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

Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

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.

National Treasure

Friday, November 19th, 2004

Well you gotta find something to be proud of your country for, and right now reality sure as shit ain’t doin’ the trick. As I’m writing this we’re lookin down the barrel of four more years of Bush. There are signs of vote fraud starting to peek their heads out, but since it wouldn’t necessarily change who the president is, everybody seems to figure eh, screw it. They just massacred the shit out of innocent people in Fallujah, only to move the rebels into Mosul and Baghdad, so now there will be more massacres. Meanwhile, Bush continues to stick an electrode up the ass of the concept of accountability, promoting everybody he can think of who has fucked up bad. National security adviser has destroyed our national security? Make her secretary of state! White House lawyer wrote the infamous memo arguing that torture is great and the Geneva Conventions are for pussies? Make him attorney general! As we speak they are trying to track down Joseph Hazelwood to head up the EPA and Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

I mean I love my country. But my country is being a real bitch right now. Don’t worry, I never hit a country in my life. But my country is getting up in my face trying to provoke me right now and I guess I just gotta leave the apartment for a while to cool off. (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.

Ring 0: Birthday

Wednesday, October 27th, 2004

Okay, let me take a deep breath and explain this shit. You remember the movie THE RING, directed by Gore Verbinski, starring Naomi Watts. It was a remake of the japanese movie RINGU (or RING) directed by Hideo Nakata. (You may remember I reviewed THE RING on THE AIN’T IT COOL NEWS and also was the first motherfucker on the internet to reveal it was being made back when I reviewed RINGU and RINGU 2 for them.) The movie by Hideo Nakata came after a TV series and both were based on a novel. At the same time Nakata’s movie came out there was another movie called RING 2 or RASEN which means SPIRAL but is not to be confused with the Japanese horror movie UZUMAKI which is about spirals but is completely unrelated to rings. Well RING 2 is also not to be confused with RINGU 2 which is directed by Hideo Nakata. See, RINGU was a huge hit but RASEN (even though it was based on the sequel book) was not, so they pretended it never happened and made a new sequel. Soon after in Korea, they made a remake of the original RINGU, known here as THE RING VIRUS and I haven’t seen that one but I heard it has stuff that was ONLY in the movie version but also stuff only from the book. In the US Gore Verbinski made THE RING which is sort of the same story as the Japanese movie but now in seattle with horses and a girl named Samara instead of Sadako. That one now has a sequel coming out which is directed by, holy shit, Hideo Nakata himself, director of the original RING movie and the second attempt at the first RING movie sequel. So now he’s directing the sequel to the remake of his original, which is apparently a direct sequel to the remake, not a remake of either his original sequel or the sequel that was adapted from the book sequel that he did not direct and nobody liked. (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 Grudge

Sunday, October 24th, 2004

For serious movie watching individuals like you or me, movies start to be like a drug after a while. You know how potheads and acidheads are always experimenting with their drugs? Dude, I wonder what the produce department is like on acid. Dude, I wonder what Disneyland is like on acid. Dude, I wonder what Knott’s Berry Farm is like on acid. Dude, I wonder what Police Academy 2 is like on acid.

Well you and I, we’re walking the clean path. But we’re kind of the same way with movies. Depending on the movie you want it to be a different situation – sit in a different part of a theater, see it with friends or alone, see it with a big crowd or early in the morning so there’s nobody there. If it’s a sequel, do you rewatch the original first or keep it distant in your mind? I had to make these type of decisions for THE GRUDGE because it’s a remake of this japanese horror movie I’ve been meaning to see for a while. Nobody probaly remembers this but I was the first one to review RINGU and RINGU 2 over there on The Ain’t It Cool News and the first one to report it was being remade as THE RING. And then I reviewed that remake too when they made 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.