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Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Vern braves and endures Wes Craven’s CURSED!

Friday, February 25th, 2005

SPOILER ALERT !!

Hey folks, Harry here to bestow upon you the glory and the greatness that is the mighty Vern. He wades through films and text like the Grim Reaper in a Corn Field…. shitting out the husks of material that dreams of better days. Now he turns his excellence at Wes Craven’s troubled latest. A film left hemorraging from the Dimension process, but with a pedigree of cool otherwise. Let’s see what Vern says…

Harry –

Don’t know if you’re sick of me yet this week but I just saw CURSED one day early, so what the fuck man you know what happens next. A review, some belligerent talkbacks, etc.

This is the new one from Wes Craven, who in my eyes at least still has some small amount of credibility. I know he tries his damndest to piss it away on executive produced projects like DRACULA 2000, WISHMASTER, WES CRAVEN’S SO-CALLED CARNIVAL OF SOULS, etc. And he’s done some bad ones all throughout his career. Like DEADLY FRIEND and DEADLY BLESSING. I forget which one is which. One of them involves a robot. And VAMPIRE IN BROOKLYN. And THE HILLS HAVE EYES 2. (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.

Maria Full of Grace

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

This is a movie about a beautiful teenage girl from Colombia who works a shitty job dethorning roses, gets in an argument with her boss, one thing leads to another and suddenly she’s pursuing other opportunities. Around the same time she finds out she’s pregnant, gets in an argument with her boyfriend and they announce they don’t love each other and begin a new journey of life travelling on separate paths. (A convenient way for the guy to avoid responsibility. Well played, deadbeat. Well played.) Also she meets a new guy and this guy has some connections with drug traffickers. Which leads to an exciting new moneymaking opportunity.

You probaly already heard of this movie so you know what it is. She becomes a drug mule. She swallows something like a dozen balloons of heroin, has to carry them on a plane to New York. She’s part of what they call “shotgunning” where they send a bunch of mules at the same time, figuring if one of them gets caught it will create a distraction for the others to get through. She knows some of the other mules (one of them is her whiny, pouty best friend) so it puts them in sort of an uneasy alliance/competition. (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 Born Losers

Friday, February 11th, 2005

I always dug the Billy Jack pictures. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re low budget independent movies about a half white/half native ex green beret badass with hippie values. He and his wife (the director and producer of the movies, respectively) run “The Freedom School” where they teach kids to be themselves and stand up for minorities and strum guitars and crap. Billy Jack lives one of those lives where, you know, he’s always out trying to ride a horse or a jeep or something, just minding his own business, but inevitably he’s gonna see some racist assholes picking on an indian or some rapist assholes picking on a girl or something along those lines. And he’s gonna walk over quietly and interject himself into the situation. This sometimes means beating some ass, but also sometimes means getting his own ass beaten and ending up in jail. But the important thing is he stands up for the downtrodden. That’s his primary interest and hobby, I guess. He stands up to rich kids, corrupt cops, even the energy industry in the last one, Billy Jack Goes to Washington, where he becomes Senator Billy Jack and makes his stand in an exciting filibuster climax.

(if you REALLY haven’t heard of Billy Jack you probaly assumed that last part was a joke, so I should make it clear that it is not.) (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.

Collateral

Monday, January 24th, 2005

First off I gotta say, Michael Mann is what you call overrated. What did he do, fucking Miami Vice – some asshole who forgot to shave fighting drug dealers in a pink shirt and no socks – we’re supposed to give the guy a fucking medal? I mean yeah it seemed like a pretty good tv show at the time but it’s not the fucking Parthenon. You belong to the city, you belong to the night. Let’s be a little more humble there, Michael Mann.

(To be honest I’m not sure what the Parthenon is, but what I mean is something good enough to last the ages and always stand as a proud beacon of achievement, etc. i.e. not Everybody Loves Raymond or even Miami Vice.) (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.

Absolute Power

Friday, January 14th, 2005

Okay, so everybody in their right mind loves the old Clint Eastwood pictures, and most people and critics love the Serious Clint Eastwood Pictures like Unforgiven, Mystic River and now Million Dollar Baby. But the period between Unforgiven and Mystic River is kind of an ignored period. The in between period is not as Serious or Important as those movies and they usually get mixed reviews. Well I was busy at the time so I missed most of these but now I decided to catch up starting with 1997’s Absolute Power.

Now this is a suspense thriller and the way it unfolds, it almost reminds me of a less flashy Brian DePalma. It even has the old DePalma voyeurism. But what I’m talking about is it takes its time setting up all the pieces and giving you the information you need a chunk at a time. (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.

Unstoppable

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

First, a haiku:

Enormous talent
Piddled away on this shit
Why, Wesley Snipes, why?

Wesley Snipes IS Unstoppable. And by that I don’t mean that he stars in some crappy straight to video action movie called UNSTOPPABLE, although that is also true. What I mean is, no amount of cinematic crappiness can completely extinguish Wesley Snipes’s fire. The guy is great in everything he does, from Spike Lee dramas to vampire movies. He’s great in all 3 BLADE movies, even though the third one isn’t as good. He’s great in that movie where he played a drag queen named Noxzema Jackson. He’s great in his cameo as a crackhead in ZIG ZAG. He’s great in the bad Walter Hill prison boxing movie UNDISPUTED (see above). And he’s great in this terrible straight to video action movie where he’s a traumatized veteran who gets injected with a drug that makes him think he’s back in the shit during the Bosnia conflict. (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.

Blade: Trinity

Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Man I tell you, I wish it was possible for lightning to strike 3 times in the same spot. It would be useful for many things including meteorological research and movie trilogies. But it’s not possible. Never happened. Not once. Only once has it hit the same exact place twice. And that place was the exact spot where Blade was standing at the time. Both times.

What I’m saying obviously is that BLADE III – and I will not call it BLADE TRINITY because what the hell kind of name for Blade III is BLADE TRINITY – is no BLADE or BLADE II. And there are many reasons why. The most immediate thing you notice: it just doesn’t look as good. Steve Norrington and Guillermo Del Toro were both so careful and artful. BLADE felt so exact and carefully composed, II was so spooky atmospheric with shiny gold tinted edges. III (directed by the guy Dave Goyer who wrote all the other ones but only directed the small indy drama ZIG ZAG) tries hard to imitate some of both of those looks. It has the same cinematagraphist as the last one, and I mean it’s not an ugly movie. But you can tell it’s not quite real. Not it’s own look, not quite capturing the previous looks. I think I read this was more expensive than the others but to me it feels cheaper. Almost like a really damn impressive TV version of the Blade universe. But not quite the real Blade universe. (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.

52 Pick-Up

Saturday, December 4th, 2004

So let’s say you’re an old rich dude who runs an auto factory and lives off the patent money from inventing a latch that they use on cars and spaceships. And you’ve been having an affair with a girl your daughter’s age, and you decide to call it off. But when you get to her apartment the girl is not there and instead there are 3 dudes in ski masks and they force you to watch a video of you and the girl fooling around and they tell you how they are going to show this movie to your wife unless you pay them 105 grand hush money.

So you figure no fucking way, I’m not paying, instead you tell your wife about the affair and figure that’s that. But next thing you know these fuckers drag you into a warehouse and show you another video where they execute the girl with a gun stolen from your bedroom and wrap her in a coat with your name stitched into it. And they tell you now it’s 105 grand a year or the cops find the body and trace it to you. (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.

Southern Comfort

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Okay, this group of National Guardsmen (Peter Coyote, Powers Boothe, Keith Carradine, Fred Ward, others) are on one of them training exercises, right? Basically, they gotta go out into the Louisiana swamp with a map, try to locate this one particular place. To practice their navigation skills. Most of them aren’t taking the job too seriously, paying more attention to their plans to hook up with some whores when they’re done. I mean they’re carrying guns, but with blanks, because who are they gonna shoot at anyway. There’s no enemy in this exercise.

And then they get to some water, and they realize either they’re reading the map wrong or the water has shifted and the chunk of land they’re supposed to find is now a chunk of underwater. (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.

Paparazzi

Sunday, November 21st, 2004

This is one of those mysterious movies that suddenly appeared out of nowhere one Friday night, then disappeared again a week later without so much as a puff of smoke. It straddles that blurry line between mainstream studio movie advertised on national television and straight to video thriller nobody’s ever heard of.

I actually saw an ad for it that week and I gotta admit I was a little intrigued. You just saw some dude falling down a fire escape and maybe a car flipping or something, and I thought maybe it was some gritty low budget late ’70s early ’80s style down and dirty revenge thriller. I mean there were no stars in it, it looked like the main character was that sleazeball Tom Sizemore (actually it’s Cole Hauser, some guy who looks kind of like Christian Bale but sounds kind of like Willem Dafoe). The only way they tried to make it sound like a Real Hollywood Movie was to brag that it was produced by Mel Gibson. (the guy from MAD MAX.) (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.