I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

Striking Distance

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

In this one Bruce plays a cop from a long line of cops. Which of course means his uncle is played by Dennis Farina. You also got John Mahoney as his dad and Tom Sizemore and Robert Pastorelli as his knucklehead cousins. All cops. Sarah Jessica Parker is the love interest, also a cop but not related, so they can fuck in one part. The movie takes place in Pittsburgh and I guess they even got local people to work on the movie, because I recognized the editor’s name, Pasquale Buba, from watching DAWN OF THE DEAD a thousand times. The director also has a familiar name, Mr. Rowdy Herrington of ROADHOUSE fame.

Unfortunately the bad guy is a serial killer – always a bummer. Terrorists and robbers and CIA agents are a good time a the movies, but some asshole that gets a boner tying up women? Not really as fun, in my opinion. Anyway they keep getting real close to catching the fucker, even chase him in a good over-the-top car chase at the beginning. I mean there’s a pretty serious maneuver the killer pulls when completely surrounded. Excellent use of the extreme Y-turn.(The new rule is, always put the best action scene at the very beginning.) (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.

City of Industry

Friday, April 1st, 2005

Here’s a small time crime picture for you, never got much attention as a child but grew up to be a pretty good movie. It starts out with Timothy Hutton stealing a car (very believable hotwire scene here with actual hammering of the dashboard, not just pulling some wires out) then going to pick up his partner for a job. They eventually get together their crew for a jewel heist, it consists of Timothy Hutton, his older brother Roy Egan (Harvey Keitel), Jorge (some guy I thought I recognized, but turns out he was only in a handful of movies before he died) and an obnoxious hotshot jackass named Skip, sort of a Stephen Dorff type (Stephen Dorff).

There is a pretty strong Richard Stark feel to this for a while as they prepare their heist. No funny stuff, no fancy talk, just straight business and some primal percussion type soundtrack shit to get your heart beating. Everything goes smooth actually until after the heist when this fucker Skip decides to shoot everybody, burn down the motor home and take off with the boodle. Fucking asshole! So the rest of the movie is about Roy trying to find and kill Skip, Skip trying to have Roy killed before he finds him. Very simple. That’s what I like. (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.

Sin City

Friday, April 1st, 2005

There’s alot of comic strip books turned into movies but usually they Hollywood em up alot. They change the story and the super hero clothes and turn brits into americans and alot of the fans are fundamentalists so they get pretty upset. Batman doesn’t have nipples because bats don’t have nipples, Super-man isn’t supposed to wear that shade of blue it is actually a different shade of blue, that kind of thing.

So what Robert Rodriguez did for this comic strip SIN CITY, he actually brought in the writer/cartoonist from the comic, made him co-director, and apparently pretty much used the comic as storyboards and script. He used his cool digital movie cameras and convinced a great cast to come in and fuck around in front of green screens and used computers for almost all the backgrounds. According to my team of expert nerds, there are scenes and lines from the funny pages that they cut out here and there and they mixed things together a little bit at the beginning in order to combine three stories into one. But for the most part the shots are based on the drawings and everything written on the page is said out loud in the movie. An obsessive level of faithfulness never thought possible even by Harry Knowles himself. Maybe the most faithful movie adaptation of anything ever, including plays, novels and trading cards. (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.

White Dog

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

WHITE DOG is the story of a racist German sheperd. Fuckin Germans. (Just kidding.) The story here is about Julie (Kristy McNicol) a small time actress who runs over a white German sheperd in the Hollywood Hills one night. She brings the dog (who never gets a name, so we’ll call him White Dog) to the vet and pays for his treatment, then takes him in while she tries to find the owner.

Before long, some Ernest Borgnine looking rapist breaks in and attacks her. White Dog not only takes care of the fucker, he does it in style. He even manages to jump right through a closed window to catch him. Everybody’s making a big deal about the guy in ONG BAK being the next big action hero, well what about White Dog. This dog jumps and climbs over all kinds of crap. This is a great dog. (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 Last Boy Scout

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005

starring Bruce Willis

So let’s say instead of being John McClane or somebody, Bruce was Joe Hallenbeck, a washed up, slightly overweight, cigarette loving, booze-sucking, wife-and-daughter-arguing, disgraced secret service agent turned low-life asshole private detective. Also, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Damon Wayans is Hallenbeck’s one-time favorite football player but his career was ruined in a gambling scandal and now he’s a drug addict dating a stripper (Academy Award winner Halle Berry, in a step up from her role as a crack ho in JUNGLE FEVER) who Hallenbeck was hired to protect by his former friend who he just found out was screwing his wife then saw get blown up by a car bomb and now Halle Berry has been murdered because she knew too much about a football team owner trying to blackmail a senator that Hallenbeck used to protect but punched out because he was torturing women and now they’re trying to legalize gambling. Also I forgot to mention that Hallenbeck once saved the president’s life, and some dudes are gonna set off a bomb at the football game, and there was this fucked up part at the beginning where an NFL player pulled out a gun on the field and started shooting everybody then said “Ain’t life a bitch?” (to be or not to be, that is the question) and blew his brains out. (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.

Hostage

Monday, March 14th, 2005

Legend has it that the times we’re in create the movies we watch. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes subconsciously. I mean who the fuck knows how it happens but the fears and the turbulence and the shittiness of troubled times somehow soaks into the celluloid and poisons the screen. So Vietnam and racial unrest soaked into the PLANET OF THE APES pictures, for example. The atomic age bred giant crabs, Hiroshima gave birth to Godzilla, Ronald Reagan caused ROCKY 4 and RED DAWN, AIDS made THE FLY.

Well, HOSTAGE is not a political movie but it is a Bruce Willis action thriller for the fucked up age we are currently being sat on by. In the DIE HARD pictures he fought terrorists, so now that terrorism is more of a realistic threat, he’s going back to fighting criminals again. But because it’s the Bush era, this is a dark, ugly, sometimes gorey thriller. A story about a bunch of psychotic, sadistic, greedy assholes terrorizing each other, and all the rest of us who get caught in the middle. A movie that wears a mask and has your wife and daughter tied and gagged in the back of a van and forces you to break your moral code and risk your life to get what it wants. It’s a real intense, well made thriller but what I’m saying is, this is 2005. Don’t expect to get blown through the back wall of the theater and have a good time and all that. (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 on WILD THINGS 3 Dvd ! He’s gone nuts folks!

Saturday, March 12th, 2005

Hey folks, Harry here… I should rename Vern, Gunga Din, cuz with what he watches and writes about… he’s a braver man than I am. Case in point. WILD THINGS 3. Behold…

Dear Blue Bay P.D.:

Please stop me before I kill again.

No, just kiddin bud, actually I am writing to warn you guys about a growing threat to your wealthy Florida community: a new breed of scheming young nubile con artists known as “wild things.” There have been at least six of these wild things wreaking havoc in your area to date and could be more on the way if you’re not careful.

These wild things first hit spectacularly in 1998 and in two less inspired copycat cases since. Don’t worry though, they should be easy to catch if you would start paying attention. I’ll give you the profile for typical wild things to help you out. (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 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.