So once again we have survived.

Potpourri

et-vs-predator2 copyWe get alot of good conversations going in the comments about all kinds of random shit. I’ve been thinking maybe I should do some “blog posts” about the nerd news of the day, like today it would be the AVATAR trailer or INGLORIOUZ BASTIRDZ is coming out or whatever and then we could all discuss it. Maybe I’ll start doing that sometimes, maybe I won’t. Nobody knows. But for now here’s a place to comment on whatever you damn well feel like.

I couldn’t find a good picture of the Jeopardy category “POTPOURRI” so instead enjoy this fine ET/GVP poster art.

Air Force One

tn_airforceoneAIR FORCE ONE is a good example of the ’90s style of studio prestige action movies, along with THE FUGITIVE and EXECUTIVE DECISION. They feel almost exactly like an UNDER SIEGE movie (this one is DIE HARD on a plane, if John McClane was the president of the United States) but by using respected actors (Harrison Ford, Glenn Close, William H. Macey, Gary Oldman) and dressing it up with lots of effects shots of jets taking off and lots of talk about military and White House protocol they make sure mainstream audiences don’t get embarrassed. Nobody has to know they’re watching an action movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

12 Rounds

tn_12roundsI think I owe each and every one of you an apology, because I’ve been neglecting my duty by not seeing 12 ROUNDS until now. The thing has been out on video for a month or two – how are ordinary citizens gonna know whether to watch a Renny Harlin/WWE Films tag team event if I don’t test it out first? Honestly I planned to see it in the theater, but the PG-13 kept me away. Let that be a lesson to you, Fox Atomic. Next time go for a hard-R, maybe you won’t go out of business.

From the director of DIE HARD 2 and the plot of DIE HARD 3 comes this generic but enjoyable festival of property destruction. Wrestler turned wrestler who is in movies John Cena plays Danny, a New Orleans police detective who one year ago arrested a terrorist or arms dealer or something named Miles (Aiden Gillan from THE WIRE – that’s where all the cheesy villains come from now). Miles’s girlfriend randomly got run over at the scene and he blames Danny so he’s after him With a Vengeance. (I’m not sure if he’s already gotten revenge on the guy who drove the car.) (read the rest of this shit…)

District 9

tn_district9Well, we’re getting to the end of the summer here and it’s been pretty light on good old fashioned popcorn type movies. Most of us enjoyed STAR TREK, but that was at the very beginning of the summer, it seems like a lifetime ago. TERMINATOR SALVATION was a letdown, TRANSFORMERS 2 need not be described, GI JOE was hilarious but not the type of behavior we want to encourage. Leave it to some 29 year old South African director of video game commercials to make the most memorable sci-fi action type movie in a while.

Neill Blomkamp was the plucky young orphan that Peter Jackson discovered living off scraps in the Wellington sewer system (not sure about the authenticity of this wikipedia bio) and for some reason chose to direct a movie of the video game “HALO.” But the money fell through on that one so director Blomkamp and producer Jackson said “Fack it” (they both have accents) and made a lower budget sci-fi movie free of video game heritage, an extension of Blomkamp’s ’05 short film ALIVE IN JOBURG. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern predicts BLOOD AND BONE will be this year’s best picture (direct-to-video category)

tn_bloodandboneLadies and gentlemen (although, let’s be honest, mostly gentlemen around here), Michael Jai White has arrived. He has officially gone from “promising” to fully formed action icon. He has earned the right to just be referred to as MJW and have everybody know what it means. It doesn’t matter that Hollywood hasn’t figured out to build movies around him like they do with Jason Statham, that Sly didn’t think to make him an Expendable, that Marvel Comics hasn’t lined up some super hero for him to play. He’s sick of waiting so he’s just taking it.

I believe come this Fall many of you will agree with me on this, and even for those already on board his status in your internal action hero rankings will be elevated. In October you’ll get to see him in the very entertaining blaxploitation homage BLACK DYNAMITE, where he gets to show both his badass presence and his previously untapped comedy chops. That’s a long time from now but you’ll only have to wait until September 15th to see him in a serious DTV action vehicle called BLOOD AND BONE. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Hitcher

tn_hitcherAfter FLESH + BLOOD, audiences were thirsty for more of that Rutger Hauer/Jennifer Jason Leigh team. They wanted to see more romantic chemistry from the Hepburn and Tracy of the ’80s.  So they got to see him tie her to a truck and… well, it’s even worse than what he did to her in FLESH + BLOOD. And she didn’t fall for him afterwards.

THE HITCHER starts off as a really good horror movie. Atmospheric shots of C. Thomas Howell driving out on the highway, drinking coffee out of a Thermos, trying to stay awake. Looks like he’s been up all night driving. It starts to rain. Maybe out of desperation to stay awake, maybe out of spontaneity, he picks up a hitchhiker, Rutger Hauer. He jokes about how his mom told him never to pick up hitchhikers. But when he tries to ask Hauer where he’s going the weirdo keeps not answering, changing the subject. Every time he does it it gets more uncomfortable. Then he starts talking about murder and dismemberment, making threats, pulls out a switchblade. (read the rest of this shit…)

Flesh + Blood

tn_fleshandbloodPaul Verhoeven’s first American-produced (and English language) movie was this knights and swords movie about a group of amoral mercenaries in Europe circa 1501. It’s not a fantasy because there’s no sorcery or dragons and Mako does not narrate. It does have Susan Tyrrell, but she doesn’t narrate either.

Rutger Hauer plays Martin, the sort of leader of a rowdy group of soldiers who, betrayed by their captain, set out for revenge and riches. While burying a stillborn baby they find a buried statue of Saint Martin, so they take it as a sign from God and carry the statue around with them, travelling in whatever direction his sword ends up pointing. (read the rest of this shit…)

Kickboxer 2

tn_kickboxer2When Van Damme got his chance to play twins for the first time of course he took it. But while he was out double impacting the saga of the Sloane brothers had to continue, so they invented a third brother besides Van Damme or the champ older brother whose death in the ring with Tong Po he had had to avenge. They say this new one, David Sloane, is not as strong or fast as his brothers, but has “more heart.” And the movie actually backs that up.

The first half is actually kind of like REDBELT. He’s struggling to keep the family gym/dojo in the black, but still refuses offers to fight professionally. Instead of Ricky Jay you have Peter Boyle as the sleazy sports entertainment business man (but he kind of has a conscience – the guy you really gotta look out for is his partner Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). When they try to recruit Sloan and he refuses he tells his confused student, “He’s gonna take a sport that we both love, that we would die for, and destroy it.” (read the rest of this shit…)

The Wildman of the Navidad

tn_wildmanofthenavidad I’d like to call your attention to a review I wrote early last year, of a movie called THE WILDMAN OF THE NAVIDAD. After playing some film festivals and what not it finally came out on DVD today, so maybe the review is of more use now. This is one of the many movies I have watched just because of its Texas Chain Saw connection (it was produced by Chain Saw co-writer Kim Henkel), but I thought it was a pretty good one, as you can see in the review.

And I’m sure it’s a bitch trying to promote your low budget, set-in-the-70s LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK homage in 2009, so I thought I would help them out by mentioning it. You know, sort of like Oprah does.

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

tn_gijoeNot since THE HURT LOCKER have I seen a movie that so convincingly captures the mental toll that the pressures of a war zone take on our soldiers. I’m not talking about GI JOE, I’m just saying I haven’t seen another movie like that since THE HURT LOCKER.

I don’t know what you’ve heard, I don’t know what kind of rumors are flying around, but this here is not what anybody should call a “good summer popcorn movie.” GI JOE can’t be mentioned in the same breath as JAWS or even JURASSIC PARK or even INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, so don’t ever read this sentence out loud. But there is something unique about this movie and I would recommend it to some of you. If you’re the type of individual with room in your heart for a ridiculous movie that comes out in August that you go see in a half (or all) empty theater for a laugh, then I believe this movie will deliver for you spectacularly. For example I paid money to see STEALTH a few years ago and it was kind of funny. If STEALTH was a single this is a grand slam. I was laughing pretty much from the extravagant new Hasbro logo at the beginning to the weirdly intelligence-insulting final scene, without many lulls in between. For some of you it will be unwatchable crap, but for me it’s hilariously terrible and/or terribly hilarious. (read the rest of this shit…)