So once again we have survived.

Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

The Rules of Attraction

Saturday, October 12th, 2002

Not even Mr. McTiernan’s ROLLERBALL managed to scare up as much hatred in movie critics as THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, the latest by Roger Avary, Oscar winning screenwriter best known as the guy who worked at the video store with Quentin Tarantino. I knew there were a handful of fans but many of the reviews were filled with the kind of angry blubbering you usually get when somebody talks about that last Batman and Robin movie or the 30th Anniversary version of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD where they added in extra scenes and changed the music. The kind of thing where you’re so appalled by the movie you can barely even speak English anymore. The film critic at a local alternative weekly interviewed Avary about the movie and the first question was “What were you thinking?”

So I was kind of surprised by how good the movie actually is. Sure it’s pretty pretentious. And if all you see is a “rich college kids are fucked up” message then no, it’s not an original message. But then neither is “war is hell” and that hasn’t made anyone declare the end of the war movie genre for all of eternity. I didn’t find this movie profound (I didn’t find it empty either) but I really thought the execution of it was exceptional. And there is some truth to the story it paints of people being attracted to horrible people and things turning out bad. (In fact, real bad.) (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.

Full Frontal

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2002

First of all you gotta realize, this is one of them movies where a well known director decides to do a loose, low budget experimental quickie type picture. For example, while making his “real” movie, the chinese water torture of an animated feature that is WAKING LIFE, Richard Linklater also spent like a day or two doing a minimalistic three-character-play-on-digital-video called TAPE that was a little easier to stomach.

In this case the director is Steven Soderbergh, and in my book he’s earned the right to do whatever the fuck he wants with a digital camera and Julia Roberts on the weekends. Not because he made two movies in the same year and was nominated best director for both (although that’s probaly something worth bragging about) but because before that he was on even more of a roll, doing OUT OF SIGHT and the 1999 Outlaw Award winner THE LIMEY right in a row. This year Soderbergh is doing a remake of SOLARIS, that russian space movie that is famous for being really long, boring and good. But first to cleanse his pallet he whipped out this little fucker that is kind of an homage (french word) to the DOGMA of ’95 movement and the new wave that the french had a while 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.

The Good Girl

Thursday, August 8th, 2002

This is the latest from the director Miguel Arteta and the Writer Mike White, who did CHUCK AND BUCK together. Mr. White also used to write for some tv shows, one supposedly really good and the rest called DAWSON’S CREEK and PASADENA. More recently he wrote the only okay ORANGE COUNTY and had a funny cameo in it. He has a small role here where he gets some laughs. He was the star of CHUCK AND BUCK and he’s a real goofball so when he appears in his movies you always want him to have a bigger part.

Before we move on I gotta ask, is this or is this not the same Mike White who does the zine Cashiers Du Cinemart that I used to always get spam for until dejanews shut down and I changed my e-mail? [UPDATE: I e-mailed the Cinemart Mike White, and he said he was not the GOOD GIRL Mike White.] If so that would also make him the same Mike White who makes the videos trying to point out which parts of Tarantino movies are similar to other people’s movies, which would make him kind of an ass. Somebody told me it was the same dude and I tried to verify it but the closest thing I could find for verification was that the Cinemart guy says he doesn’t have a new issue because he spent all of 2001 finding a new house, and then an interview with Miguel mentions that they auditioned Jake Gyllenhall in Mike White’s brand new house and he threw a chair and put a hole in the wall. That’s a pretty good clue I think but I don’t know if it would hold up in a court of law. I mean I wouldn’t want to besmirch Mike White’s name if there were two of them, like how there’s one George Miller who did MAD MAX and the other one who did the Steve Guttenberg movie where a dog rides on a dolphin’s 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.

Slackers

Friday, February 1st, 2002

I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me. Here I am battling the IMDB for a prestigious award, I’m trying to prove myself worthy and this is all I have to offer you. Fucking Slackers.

I couldn’t tell you how it happens. Every time I set out to see a particular movie. I mean there are three movies in particular I want to see right now. There’s Little Otik, the Czechoslovakian cartoon about some folks raising a tree stump as their baby. There’s Brotherhood of the Wolf, where the frenchy who directed Crying Freeman mixes French history with kung fu and, I guess werewolves maybe. Who knows. And there’s also Storytelling from the pervert who made Happiness. (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.

Habit

Tuesday, January 1st, 2002

I like the horror pictures. I used to just review them because I saw them, and what else am I supposed to do, you know? I already saw it, might as well Write the fuckin review you know.

But after a while I started to really like this stuff. I mean everybody likes monsters and shit. I started to watch all the Dracula pictures, all the Chucky pictures, everything. I started to seek them out.

I heard alot about this director, Larry Fessenden, who is some new york independent filmatist who has made a trilogy of pretentious horror movies – NO TELLING, HABIT, and WENDIGO which got some good reviews when it played at a film festival here but I haven’t seen it. (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.

Stealing Beauty

Tuesday, January 1st, 2002

Well if you know what this movie is then I know what your thinking. How the fuck does a motherfucker like ol’ Vern end up watching a picture like Bernardo Bertolucci’s Stealing Beauty. Well the answer is the Bravo network. Ever since I saw The Getaway on Bravo a week or two ago I started watching this channel pretty regular. I think you know about inside the actors studio so I won’t mention it except to say, at the end, he always asks them what their favorite curse word is, and they either say fuck or more often motherfucker, and the audience always laughs like it was completely unexpected. Kind of like how everybody always laughed when arnold said “Whatyou talkin about Mr. Drummond?” even though for fuck’s sake we all knew the joke was coming, jesus let’s not pretend it snuck up behind us fer cryin out loud.

So anyway, Stealing Beauty is a picture about gorgeous 19 year old Lucy who comes to an equally gorgeous Italian villa where all the artists work and what not. This is like the prettiest god damn place you ever seen. The houses are huge and old fashioned, there are perfectly clean streams to swim in, plenty of nature and olive groves and beautiful wooden statues everywhere. I mean it’s like going camping, only in the garden of eden. Everyone there loves a laidback lifestyle, they appreciate the arts and the nature and beauty more than anything. It seems like none of them ever go to work, but they have huge houses and property and big parties with candles everywhere and yet they don’t come off like a bunch of soulless rich fucks. It takes place in the modern day but it wouldn’t have to. People ride bicycles and read books. Nobody watches TV and the only connection to the media or the outside world is an occasional call on the cell phone or a CD that Lucy plays. (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 Fifth Element

Tuesday, January 1st, 2002

The Fifth Element is your usual Bruce Willis movie that starts out in Egypt in 1934 and ends up in some fancy space hotel in 2334 with this blue skinned space opera lady singing opera and then busting off dance moves. Bruce is introduced down on his luck, pretty much like in the Die Hards – his wife left him, he’s trying to quit smoking, his mom won’t stop hassling him and he’s “5 points away” from losing his job as a flying cab driver in space age New York.

In fact this is a lot like a Die Hard movie except in a cartoony comic book space world instead of a building. Instead of talking to a cop on a walkie talkie, he just talks to his mom on the phone, and instead of terrorists there’s this big ball of fire hurtling toward the earth that turns light to dark, life to death, sometimes has a giant skull for a face, eats missiles and sattelites, and calls himself Mr. Shadow during phone calls. (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.

Vanilla Sky

Saturday, December 15th, 2001

Vanilla Sky is an american remake of OPEN YOUR EYES, the second picture by the young spanish gentleman Alejandro Amenabar, who also did THESIS and THE OTHERS. After the movie I was saying to a gal that the ending was kinda different on the original, and the guy next to me was saying the same thing to his friend. Except he was just getting out of OCEAN’S 11.

Everything is fucking remakes now, huh? The above took place in Seattle, Washington, where as we speak the Dreamworks company is hard at work on an unneccesary remake of (the) RING. History has not been kind to american remakes of foreign pictures. Even when you get the same guy to remake it – like with THE VANISHING or NIGHTWATCH – the movie will piss everybody off and the director will be forgotten forever. (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.

Military tribunals, Bush would have lost 6 out of 9 recounts, Ethnic profiling, + Amelie, Crying Freeman, Bones & The Wash

Friday, November 16th, 2001

Well, it looks like I’m doin these columns once a month now, and I guess that’s better than nothin. This time I’ll be reviewing a handful of movies that have NOTHING to do with politics. I haven’t seen this Henry Porter witchcraft movie that everybody has a boner about but I have seen some other current pictures and some older ones that I will be discussing.

There’s a catch though. First I’m gonna hafta talk politics some more. I’ll keep it shorter, but this is more important than ever.

There is a grave threat to America right now. Well, another one. In addition to Islamic extremists crashing planes into our buildings, and right wing extremists sending anthrax to us in the mail, and turbulence symbolically knocking the tails and engines off of our American Airlines planes on Veteran’s Day as an accidental commentary on our foreign policy, now we have to worry about our acting president completely and blatantly abandoning the supposed ideals of America, and no one caring. (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.

Shallow Hal

Saturday, November 10th, 2001

In Hollywood they have a saying that goes something like, “if you can’t think of anything funny, put a movie star in a fat suit.” On some magazine I saw on a news stand they had another saying that goes, “Fat suits: the new blackface.”

It’s true too. I mean the less acceptable it becomes to make fun of the gays, the more people need somebody else to pick on. So they start pickin on these big folks.

I don’t know why but for some reason people think it’s hilarious to see a celebrity made up to look all fat. They did it on Big Momma’s House. They did it on one of those sitcoms that is popular now, I believe it was either Friends or Cheers. The one about the kids in the apartment who have relationships, etc. Also Eddie Murphy did it. He thought it was so funny he based two movies around it. And within each movie he had to play four or five different fat characters in order to try to fill the whole movie with laughs. (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.