So once again we have survived.

Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Ocean’s Thirteen

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

It seemed like most of the world hated OCEAN’S 12. I always figured it was because it was too strange, but people say it was just too self-indulgent, they get mad watching all those guys having fun together and being cool. Which is weird because if that’s the case I’m not sure why they liked the first one. I mean what else are they supposed to do? Not have fun and wear cheap suits?

Anyway I felt lucky they were making a part 13, like they were doing it just for me and the elite few who still give a shit. But I was mistaken – actually they were making this for the other guys to make up for part 12. This is the same shit but dialed back a little, so they are having a little less fun and are not quite as cool because Matt Damon wears a fake nose in one part. It’s Steve Soderbergh’s most mainstream movie since ERIN BROCKOVICH, but not even as satisfying as that since it’s sequel number two and there’s no surprise factor at all. And you get a little sick of all their con man lingo and code words. For example, faking an earthquake is “an Irwin Allen.” I’m not sure what the name would be for making a fun but forgettable part 3, since most part 3s are widely hated except for Lord of the Rings or if it’s in 3-D. And they are in the problem of being a part 3 only I asked for (see the end of OCEAN’S 12 review above). (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern Explains The Importance Of The STONE COLD DVD!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Really, what more is there to say? Vern’s the man, and if he says it’s time to go buy STONE COLD on DVD, who am I to argue?

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has come. The eagle has landed. Brian Bosworth’s 1991 film debut STONE COLD is finally available on Region 1 DVD. We’re through the looking glass, people.

As a DVD this is kind of a bust. There isn’t even a trailer on the thing. They did spring for interactive menus, that’s about it. They even labeled the disc wrong, the widescreen is actually on the standard side and vice versa. The movie is about a biker gang, but the cover seems designed to make it look like a current DTV espionage thriller – there’s not a single motorcycle pictured on the front or back. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Hardcore

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

This is not the George C. Scott/Paul Schrader movie HARDCORE, this is the 2004 Greek movie HARDCORE that I only rented when I read that the director, Dennis Iliadis, was hired to do a remake of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. So this is kind of a review and kind of a scouting mission.

This is the story of two teenage prostitutes, told from the POV of the less crazy one. They are in love but they are always fucking other people, especially the crazier one Nadia, who loves to manipulate rich older men to get what she wants out of life. Along the way there is some blood, some cocaine, some suicide, lots of depression, lots of disturbing passionless fucking and dildoing. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

McQ

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

In the movie McQ, John Wayne plays McQ, a cop trying to find out who killed his partner and why. I’m not sure if McQ is short for McQuaid or McQueen, or if it is his real name like McG. Actually, they usually just call him Lon.

McQ was made in 1974, the director was John Sturges, the style seems to be DIRTY HARRY. Except John Wayne was actually offered the real DIRTY HARRY after Frank Sinatra dropped out. He turned it down because he didn’t want Sinatra’s leftovers. Instead, he would prefer to do a rip-off of Sinatra’s leftovers.

Actually, it’s not like DIRTY HARRY. It’s a little more like MAGNUM FORCE because it turns out the other cops are dirty and there’s a coverup. But still it’s not the same type of movie, because instead of the liberal West Coast port city of San Francisco it takes place in my beloved liberal West Coast port city of Seattle. And instead of a funky Lalo Schifrin score it’s a funky Elmer Bernstein score. So it’s totally different. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Vern doesn’t like THE CONDEMNED!! Yes, our Vern!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

SPOILER ALERT !!

My friends, I write to you with a heavy heart to admit that the prestigious WWE Films banner is starting to lose its luster. They have three movies under their belt now (get it, belt – that is a wrestling pun in my opinion) but the record now is 1 in 3. And the one I’m counting as good is SEE NO EVIL (click for review!) , the slasher movie about a big bald sexually repressed muscleman poking out people’s eyes in a scary hotel. So your mileage may vary. (mileage is a car metaphor, that is no longer wrestling related, sorry.)

THE CONDEMNED sort of stars Steve Austin, formerly known as Stone Cold Steve Austin, but maybe he dropped that after he got fired from wrestling for getting arrested for wife beating. I’m not sure. Austin is the most sympathetic of ten convicts that an amoral millionaire buys out of prisons in third world countries, puts on an island and forces to kill each other for one of those live streaming internet shows they have in horrible movies (see HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION). They have bombs attached to their ankles so they can’t escape, and if one is able to be the last one remaining he or she will be set free. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Point Break

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

Until recently I was the guy who had never seen POINT BREAK. But the other day I busted my cherry on that matter, pardon my French, so I’m some other guy now.

I’m sure you’ve already seen it but let me refresh your memory: Keanu Reeves plays the perfectly named Johnny Utah, college football hero turned fresh-faced FBI rookie teamed with Gary Busey (in one of the first roles of his Crazy Post-Motorcycle Accident Period) to track down a gang of bank robbers who Busey (correctly) theorizes are surfers. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Payback: Straight Up – The Director’s Cut

Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

I don’t know how familiar any of you are with Payback, the 1999 Mel Gibson-starring adaptation of Richard Stark’s The Hunter. That’s the same book that inspired one of the all time canonical works of Badass Cinema, Point Blank.

Well, Mel Gibson is no Lee Marvin and writer/director Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale) is no John Boorman. But I think Payback is an underrated movie. It’s a good balance of vicious and funny. It’s got a bit of a ’70s throwback feel and lots of weird touches to make it an indistinct time period. There are rotary phones, and primitive credit card technology that makes fraud more convenient, and the film is washed out with bleach making everything have a pale blue tint to it. You’re not sure when this is supposed to be taking place, which in a weird way reminds me of the experience of reading the books. Most of it reads pretty modern but obviously you are dealing with armed robbers, there is money, communication and security technology that would make some of the stories impossible today. So I sometimes have to check the copyright dates to be sure when this would’ve happened. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

The Lookout

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

They got a real unique advertising campaign for THE LOOKOUT, they are trying this new thing where you don’t promote the movie at all, and nobody knows it even exists. So there is this mystery around it. I don’t know why it hasn’t blown up yet but so far this playing-hard-to-get approach does not seem to be capturing the public consciousness.

About the only thing I knew about THE LOOKOUT was the reason I wanted to see it: it is the directivational debut of screenwriter Scott Frank, who wrote many movies but most importantly OUT OF SIGHT. He also wrote GET SHORTY so it’s easy to expect Elmore Leonard if you know this is a movie involving a bank heist. But the feel is very different, it’s not really fun or jokey, it’s actually a little sad. But it is a real good and tightly-written thriller. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

District B13

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

(originally BANLIEUE 13)

I’m way behind on this movie. I remember a couple years ago I went to see some movie at the film festival here, and this one was just getting out on the same screen. I saw some people I knew coming out and I asked them how it was. They said it was ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK except in France, and with some weird martial art where they run up walls and shit. I knew it was a Luc Besson joint so I thought wait a minute, is this related to that YAMAKASI movie I saw? The art of climbing and flipping?

Now it’s years later and the movie has long since played American theaters and DVD players in a dubbed version called DISTRICT B13. The advertising campaign has tried to convince us we know what the word “parkour” means. Another practicioner of the art has battled (and lost) the new, badass James Bond. Now it’s old news, the excitement has worn off, so I saw it now. That’s just how I roll. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Zodiac

Monday, March 5th, 2007

David Fincher’s movie SEVEN (no, I’m not gonna do that cute shit where you type the number seven instead of a v, do I look like the type of dude that would try to pull that sort of typographic horseshit, I don’t think so) is the deadbeat dad of the modern serial killer thriller. Or the killer that inspired all the copycats. Ever since then, hacks have been trying to cop that thick atmosphere, that dark-as-tar nihilistic tone, that sicko mix of religion and violence, that serious treatment of the type of gimmicky murder sprees that used to be fun when Vincent Price did ’em, and especially those fonts used on the opening credits. Simply put, without SEVEN there would be none of those other movies where Morgan Freeman tries to catch a serial killer, nor would there be a GLIMMER MAN. And then where would we be as a society?

When you take away the artfulness of Fincher’s direction (and add a side order of Seagal/Wayans bickering) you can see how morbid and ugly that type of subject matter is. So the fact that Fincher took the time to do such a good job of it makes you question his mental health a little. Didn’t they say he personally splattered the fake blood on some of those victims? (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.