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Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

The Punisher (2004)

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004

Well from what they tell me “The Punisher” is a Marvel Comics type super hero character. In the comic strip he’s a sadistic bastard that goes around “punishing” people. What this means I guess is not spidermanning them with webs or hulking them or whatever, what he does is kill them in horrible painful ways. He does not wear a cape or fly but he wears black spandex and a picture of a skull on his chest. Basically he is the guy from Rolling Thunder as a super hero. Without super powers or a hook hand. Superman’s morally questionable co-worker.

Guys who like The Punisher are not guys I can relate to. They like the violence and sadism and revenge aspects. They have a lot of anger in them and they enjoy getting it out. So far so good. But for some reason their idea of a bad motherfucker is a super hero in a comic strip. They think the right guy to get the rage out is a guy who wears a super hero costume. They can’t just watch Charles Bronson movies like everybody else, they gotta put the guy in a fucking uniform. That was one of the reasons they hated the earlier PUNISHER movie starring Dolph Lundgren. He didn’t wear the uniform. He doesn’t count as the Punisher because he wears different clothes. (maybe the movie takes place on laundry day. Huh? Ever thoughta that, asswipes?) (read the rest of this shit…)

The Island of Dr. Moreau

Friday, July 2nd, 2004

The disappointment of that Planet of the Apes remake nonsense got me thinking about the old days. How you used to be able to make movies about talking gorillas that were still intelligent type pictures. You got all the rubber makeup and the spaceships and the fighting and what not that the nerds love but you also got some social commentary in there or some politics or some insights about our world and what not. You got vietnam and the civil rights movement going on in the real world and the apes really strikes a ball or whatever with people because of the obvious parallels. These were expensive studio movies but they were willing to give something back instead of just selling a product and then running like hell.

Then out of the blue I got an anonymous tip, telling me Vern, there was a movie in the mid-’90s which attempted this same thing. You got the rubber makeup and you got the sci-fi nonsense. It’s even a remake of an old movie based on a classic book, just like the apes picture. The one catch is that everyone in the world claims this movie is a worthless piece of utter garbage. but you should still watch it, Vern. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Rundown

Sunday, June 20th, 2004

I had no problem skipping this one when it came to theaters, but it was on DVD where the problems came up. Sure, I tried, but then motherfuckers kept recommending it to me. Saying it was “actually good” and “alot of fun” and all that kind of nonsense. After a while I figured well why not, give this Rock dude a shot. I skipped his mummy pictures, so all I know is he was in BEYOND THE MAT and he seemed like a nice guy. Goes by the name of Dwayne, I believe, in everyday life, but for wrestling and movies it’s last name Rock, first name The. No relation to Chris.

The movie was pretty much what I expected when I first succeeded in skipping it. Unfortunately when they’re trying out action heroes that have not yet convinced the Hollywood suits, they have to team them with some company man as his partner/buddy/”comic” relief sidekick. For example they pulled this shit on Chow Yun Fat in BULLET PROOF MONK and here they have the same fucking narc, Sean William Scott from the AMERICAN PIE teenage pictures, saddling down The Rock, making sure he stays in line and doesn’t pull anything funny like making a great movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Deep Cover

Thursday, June 10th, 2004

This one’s from ’91 and I guess it’s most famous as the movie that introduced the world to Snoop Dogg. Not as an actor, but the young Snoop is “introduced” on a Dr. Dre song that plays on a stereo in the movie and then on the end credits. But this is a pretty good one, a serious undercover cop movie directed by Bill Duke, made memorable by a great performance by Mr. Laurence Fishburne.

Laurence plays one of those straightlaced cops whose dad was a junkie shot in front of his eyes and ever since he’s walked the straight path, stayed 110% clean and fought to clean up his community, stop the drugs, etc. Against his better judgment he signs up to become an undercover cop, working for a sleazy white fuck, looking the other way when people are murdered and selling drugs to kids and pregnant mothers – all because of the carrot at the end of the stick, the chance to bust a guy near the top of the pyramid bringing drugs into the country. But not the guy at the very top, a politician, because that guy’s off limits. (read the rest of this shit…)

Out of Reach

Thursday, June 3rd, 2004

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

Okay, kids, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for, and only Vern’s got the goods:

Hey boys, it’s Vern again, sitting out the film festival for a few days or weeks because something much more important came up. Today I managed to get my hands on the video screener I wanted more than any other. You guessed it: Steven Seagal’s new picture, OUT OF REACH.

So obviously, you know, FUCK the Seattle International Film Festival. As one of North America’s leading Seagalogists, I will be watching this many more times as part of my research. But I thought it would be good to share some of my initial thoughts with you and your readers.

Seagal may be at a crossroads in his career right now. As you have no doubt read, he is planning to do a comedy, parodying himself with the help of one of those Zucker brothers. I shoulda known that Mountain Dew commercial was a harbinger of doom. I’m sure this comedy will be one of the least funny pictures of his career, but still, the fact that he is trying to make fun of himself is probaly some kind of a landmark. Once he has acknowledged the ridiculousness of his persona, will that mean he can no longer make serious movies anymore? Because I don’t see Leslie Nielsen doing any movies where he doesn’t dress up like characters from other movies and then that’s supposed to be funny, I guess. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rolling Thunder

Saturday, April 24th, 2004

This great overlooked revenge movie was one of if not the first movie to deal with the effects of the Vietnam War. With a script by Paul Schrader (rewritten by another dude) it works on two levels, as a raw exploitation picture and as a depressing statement about the mess our country was in at the time. Fortunately we never repeated those mistakes ever again so this movie is completely irrelevant now and only good as a curiosity.

The picture opens with corny music as heroic Vietnam POWs arrive home at an airport, among them William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones. Mr. Devane will be our protagonist this evening, and as he pretends to enjoy the ceremony honoring him as a great american hero, you can tell right off the bat that he’s not quite there. He’s got a wife and kid waiting for him, and the kid doesn’t even remember him he’s been gone so long. Some guy named Cliff is there to give them a ride home. “You remember Cliff?” the wife says innocently, and you fuckin know what that means. (read the rest of this shit…)

Kill Bill: Vol. 2

Friday, April 16th, 2004

(another unused one for the ain’t it cool news.)

Harry and associates,

I am writing to inform you of an exciting new picture called KILL BILL VOLUME 2. Please forgive me if you already know about this one or have covered it already. Or if you have travelled to China to visit the set. I don’t usually read your sight except when my reviews are on it.

Just jerkin your chain bud but seriously here’s the deal. This has been coming on for a while but after seeing this movie I think today is the day. I would like to officially endorse the works of Mr. Tarantino as an important chapter in the history of Badass Cinema. VOLUME 2 is a very satisfying conclusion to that exciting saga of revenge we began oh those several months ago with The Bride. (read the rest of this shit…)

Never Die Alone

Friday, March 26th, 2004

Well for a while now I have been saying that this young man DMX is gonna do some good movies. He started out in a flawed but very artful crime picture called BELLY, before buddying up with Jet Li and my man Seagal and then riding around on those go-carts and doing wheelies and shit. (I guess I better rent that one.) He is still not a very convincing actor but he just has such a presence and charisma that I have faith in the dude for some reason. Too bad it’s not panning out so far.

See, I really thought this was gonna be his breakthrough. It’s the first movie where he does not have a co-star of equal or greater “star power.” He is the main attraction. And at the same time it is not some Hollywood action vehicle that the Rock or somebody turned down, it is an independent crime movie based on a novel by the legendary black crime writer Donald Goines. Also it’s directed by the sometimes decent director Ernest Dickerson, who has some credibility because he used to be Spike Lee’s cinematographer. Also because I kind of liked BONES. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Has Seen WILD THINGS 2!! No… Seriously…

Monday, March 8th, 2004

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

This got lost in the e-mail last week, which sucks. An unpublished Vern review is like an unrecorded McCartney/Lennon song. Even if it’s for WILD THINGS 2.

Howdy boys

Not sure if you got this review that I sent you boys last week. Maybe you didn’t feel it was up to my meticulous standards. But I feel the people have a right to know. A right to know that there is a WILD THINGS 2.

So yep, I saw WILD THINGS 2. Unneccessary direct to video sequel to underrecognized 1998 John McNaughton masterpiece. And believe it or not I’ve been waiting for this one anxiously. Not expecting it would be anything other than garbage, but just hoping on the off chance that maybe it would be fun. Yeah, I’ll give you two guesses which one it was. The first one. The one about the garbage, and the not being anything other than, or whatever it was I just said. (read the rest of this shit…)

Mystic River

Sunday, January 18th, 2004

When I saw the first trailer for MYSTIC RIVER I practically flipped out. I guess not like one of those “geek-gasms” my bud Harold Knowles talks about but more like getting goose-shivers or the hair standing up on your balls or whatever the saying is. I already knew it had cleaned up at the Whatsisdick Film Festival over there in wherever it was, and that it was directed by my man Clint, who actually did the narration for this trailer. There was no scenes from the movie, just a helicopter shot of the town with the narration and then the credits start telling me, okay: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney… and then it says, “A Film by Clint Eastwood.” It gives you no clue what it’s about really, just shows you the setting and tells you the players and figures that if that’s not enough for you then you must be an asshole. “That’s all I need to know,” I said, but really I already knew more – that it was written by oscar winner Brian Helgeland, director of outlaw award winner PAYBACK. (read the rest of this shit…)