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

The Loose Canon: Way of the Dragon (aka Return of the Dragon)

tn_wayofthedragonThere are a few people walking the earth, or in our memories, who are so good at what they do, so unique in their talents, that we almost mistake them for gods or super heroes. You could be born a prodigy and practice all your life, striving for excellence with every breath you take, and still not match Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Mozart or Michaelangelo. It takes more than training, more than talent. It takes a whole lot of both of those things, plus a drive to be the very best, plus… something else. If we knew what that something else was then everybody would dance like Michael Jackson.

Well, I think we can all agree that Bruce Lee is one of those individuals. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Loose Canon

loose-canon1I’ve had this idea for a while that I wanted to figure out what are the classics and most important pictures of Badass Cinema and write them all up, almost like my version of a primer or a film studies class on this particular type of movie. I guess this would overlap with the BADASS 100 project, but it would be my personal choices for works of Badass Cinema that I think every fan of the artform should see and if not love at least have an opinion on. And I’m gonna call them THE LOOSE CANON. That is why there is a logo that says that. You might’ve figured that out, not sure. Also it’s a pun, not a misspelling. (I know with me it could be either one.)

They do this type of shit for art movies, but you don’t usually see Charles Bronson’s name on those lists. So I’m gonna try my version. I think it will cover some movies that the mainstream agrees are classics, some that only the type of people who hang out here consider classics, and maybe a few more unexpected or controversial choices. And we’ll see what happens but I think my essays will be a little more in the academic vein like the acclaimed film book Seagalogy.

So the review to follow this post will be the first in an occasionally-ongoing series. But I’m making this explanation a separate post because I look forward to the thousands of suggestions of what deserves to be loaded into the Canon. If possible try to keep that discussion to this thread so the comments for the reviews can stay fairly on topic. Because they wouldn’t be on the list if they weren’t worth discussing.

Report: Seagal “awesome” in MACHETE

seagal-macheteHarry has an interview with Robert Rodriguez about MACHETE and some swordfighting cartoon he’s gonna remake in his greenscreen warehouse. Of course my favorite part is this comment about Seagal in MACHETE:

“Seagal was so awesome we kept expanding his role on the set. The big final battle is Machete vs. Seagal and it’s amazing.”

I was hoping this would be the case. The script I read had Seagal’s character only in two scenes, but they were crucial ones. I’m also happy to hear Rodriguez refer to the character as a “Mexican drug lord.” I knew he’d take advantage of Seagal’s talent for rolling his Rs (see, for example, how he pronounces “Geraldo” in HARD TO KILL).

The interview also makes vague reference to controversy over the trailer’s glorification of illegal immigrants. I don’t know if any media people have really tried to make an issue out of it, but it’s funny if they have because I requested that in my script review over a year ago, saying, “By the way, Machete is portrayed as a mythical protector of illegal immigrants. I hope somebody on Fox News gets riled up about that. This whole thing where we laugh every time they say ‘teabagging’ can’t last forever, they’re gonna need some new material.”

More good Rodriguez news: I forget where, but somewhere I just read an interview that said there was only one greenscreen shot in PREDATORS.

Pronto

tn_prontoI always enjoy Elmore Leonard, and I got no excuse for why I haven’t read his book Pronto . But I did just check out Jim McBride’s Showtime TV movie version of this book that introduced Raylan Givens, the cowboy-hat-wearing U.S. marshal that Tim Olyphant plays on the show ‘Justified.’ It’s a very different take on the character and feels very TV-movie, but I thought it was an enjoyable one with a funny, laid back Leonard feel. (read the rest of this shit…)

Jaws: The Revenge

tn_jaws4BrucethesharkiconLet’s say you’re a huge great white shark. I mean, just enormous. You’re gonna need to eat, right? Sometimes you can eat orcas, but you try to avoid those because sometimes they’ll eat you back. And little tiny fish won’t do it. A guy your size, it’s hard to find a meal that’s filling.

So you come across this nice little joint called Amity Island. Wide open, not much competition from other sharks or orcas. (There was one smaller shark, but some people killed it, mistaking it for you. Suckers!) So it’s a good set up. Just little pink morsels wiggling around, as far as the eye can see. Which is not that far actually, because sharks don’t have very good vision. But they do have a weird thing where they can sense the electromagnetic pulse of even a heartbeat. And these heartbeats feel delicious. (read the rest of this shit…)

a little clarification about UNIVERSAL SOLDIER “4”

tn_usregeneration(an outlawvern.com fucking exclusive)

The other day the internet was set on fire and punched in the face with reports from Cannes that John Hyams (UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION) would probly be returning with Van Damme and Lundgren for another UNISOL picture, and in 3-D. This is of course great news for people like us who have seen REGENERATION (currently my pick for best DTV movie ever made) and are anxious to see Hyams direct something else, anything else. And of course we’re happy to see more of Van Damme and Lundgren, especially if they can be as great as they were in that movie.

But 3-D? Does that mean they expect to release it theatrically? Couldn’t Variety have explained this more? I’m not trying to be a journalist but since I’m more interested in this than the journalists and I happened to have contact info for John Hyams I decided I had to ask him about it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Jaws 3-D

tn_jaws3BrucethesharkiconOkay, good. If you’re gonna be an asshole and make a sequel to JAWS, I figure this is more how you should do it. You’re never gonna match the achievement of the first one, so you should zig where that one zags.

First you acknowledge that the directors you hired won’t have the skills to fill Spielberg’s filmatic shoes. You put director Joe Alves into the shoes and fill the extra toe-space with credit-flying, severed-limb-and-head-floating, dolphin-and-orca-jumping, water-splashing-in-the-camera, slow-motion-water-ski-jumping, harpoon-firing-just-like-FRIDAY-THE-13TH-3D-but-what’re-you-gonna-do-you’re-fighting-a-shark, fake-dragons-and-snakes-popping-out, shark-exploding-and-spraying-goo-all-over-the-audience 3-D. I mean, not on video, but that’s what it was originally, and I would’ve enjoyed that. (read the rest of this shit…)

Jaws 2

tn_jaws2BrucethesharkiconWatching JAWS 2 for the first time I was thinking maybe man is actually worse than shark. Because would shark make a sequel to JAWS? I don’t think shark would. I think they’d know to leave it well enough alone. But then I thought well, the shark in this one, Jaws 2 we’ll call him, is pretty much sequelizing what Bruce “Jaws” Shark did in part 1. He sees that Bruce caused a splash (get it?) eating people at Amity Island and he thought you know what, I will do the same thing but not as good and with a higher body count.

So I guess man and shark are the same. Sharks swarm when there’s blood in the water, men when there’s money to be made. We’re creatures of pure instinct. (read the rest of this shit…)

ON DEADLY GROUND: Still ahead of its time

I’m sure I’m not the only one this has occurred to. In the end of his directorial debut ON DEADLY GROUND, Steven Seagal did a speech and slide presentation about the environment that seemed to predict Al Gore’s Oscar and Nobel Peace Prize winning AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. Seagal was mocked and ridiculed (admittedly partly because the movie is hilariously absurd) but the essential truth contained in the movie can’t be denied. And now, with this disastrous oil spill, his points seems more relevant than ever.

I was thinking about that when I came across this article from the Huffington Post about a whistleblower in the Alaskan oil industry who talks about oil workers faking test results for “preventers” similar to ones that failed to do their job of preventing the explosion in the BP spill. This whistleblower could almost be Seagal’s late, lamented buddy in the movie. He told Forrest Taft about the “faulty preventers” that were being used despite the danger of causing something like this. In the movie, Taft snuck onto the rig and heroically imploded it. We weren’t so lucky in real life.

Jaws

tn_jawsBrucethesharkiconWith IRON MAN 2 in theaters and on Slurpee cups I’d say Summer Movie Season 2010 is officially underway. And I thought a good way to welcome the season would be by watching some movies I haven’t seen before: the JAWS sequels. Only thing is, as much as I love it I never actually wrote a review of JAWS. And I’d feel like an asshole reviewing the (I’m gonna guess possibly crappy) sequels and ignoring the original masterpiece.

But wait! There may be an answer contained within the Outlaw Vault. I knew I had written something about it, I just hadn’t posted it before. Back when I was considering a book about summer movies I wrote a rough draft for part of the ’75 chapter. So even though I’m still alive I’m gonna clean it up a little and package it as new material, like a posthumous B.I.G. guest appearance. (read the rest of this shit…)