"I got news for 'em. There's gonna be hell to pay. 'Cause I ain't daddy's little boy no more."

Saw, Saw II and Saw III

SAW

Usually I’m on top of the popular horror movies, especially if and when they get to the part 3 mark. But until now I never bothered with SAW. I know there was a pretty good buzz on that first one, but I just wasn’t buyin it. I had seen that fuckin puppet on the TV ads and I wasn’t so sure about a killer with an evil puppet. Evil puppets in horror should always be alive, like Chucky. A killer who plays with a normal, inanimate puppet – that’s just silly.

Plus, I read some essay years ago that referred to TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2 as ‘SAW 2, and since it takes a while to type out TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2, and since that movie tends to come up alot for a guy like me, I started to use that nickname. Me and that movie are tight, we call each other by nicknames. It calls me V and I call it ‘SAW 2. Until now, because now there’s a SAW and a SAW 2. These movies interfered with my relationship with TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2. So I sort of resent them for that. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ocean’s Thirteen

It seemed like most of the world hated OCEAN’S 12. I always figured it was because it was too strange, but people say it was just too self-indulgent, they get mad watching all those guys having fun together and being cool. Which is weird because if that’s the case I’m not sure why they liked the first one. I mean what else are they supposed to do? Not have fun and wear cheap suits?

Anyway I felt lucky they were making a part 13, like they were doing it just for me and the elite few who still give a shit. But I was mistaken – actually they were making this for the other guys to make up for part 12. This is the same shit but dialed back a little, so they are having a little less fun and are not quite as cool because Matt Damon wears a fake nose in one part. It’s Steve Soderbergh’s most mainstream movie since ERIN BROCKOVICH, but not even as satisfying as that since it’s sequel number two and there’s no surprise factor at all. And you get a little sick of all their con man lingo and code words. For example, faking an earthquake is “an Irwin Allen.” I’m not sure what the name would be for making a fun but forgettable part 3, since most part 3s are widely hated except for Lord of the Rings or if it’s in 3-D. And they are in the problem of being a part 3 only I asked for (see the end of OCEAN’S 12 review above). (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Explains The Importance Of The STONE COLD DVD!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Really, what more is there to say? Vern’s the man, and if he says it’s time to go buy STONE COLD on DVD, who am I to argue?

Ladies and gentlemen, the day has come. The eagle has landed. Brian Bosworth’s 1991 film debut STONE COLD is finally available on Region 1 DVD. We’re through the looking glass, people.

As a DVD this is kind of a bust. There isn’t even a trailer on the thing. They did spring for interactive menus, that’s about it. They even labeled the disc wrong, the widescreen is actually on the standard side and vice versa. The movie is about a biker gang, but the cover seems designed to make it look like a current DTV espionage thriller – there’s not a single motorcycle pictured on the front or back. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hostel: Part II

aka DAVE POLAND’S HOSTILE 2

NOTE: I started writing this review but I realized between actually reviewing the movie and once again responding to the response to the movie, the thing was just too god damn long. So I figured if I split the two topics into two separate columns nobody would notice that it was too long. But then I felt bad about trying to deceive you like that so I admitted that that was what I was doing. But you found it admirable that I treated you as a mature adult so you read the two columns willingly and did not feel they were too long. It was awesome. (read the rest of this shit…)

Hardcore

This is not the George C. Scott/Paul Schrader movie HARDCORE, this is the 2004 Greek movie HARDCORE that I only rented when I read that the director, Dennis Iliadis, was hired to do a remake of LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. So this is kind of a review and kind of a scouting mission.

This is the story of two teenage prostitutes, told from the POV of the less crazy one. They are in love but they are always fucking other people, especially the crazier one Nadia, who loves to manipulate rich older men to get what she wants out of life. Along the way there is some blood, some cocaine, some suicide, lots of depression, lots of disturbing passionless fucking and dildoing. (read the rest of this shit…)

McQ

In the movie McQ, John Wayne plays McQ, a cop trying to find out who killed his partner and why. I’m not sure if McQ is short for McQuaid or McQueen, or if it is his real name like McG. Actually, they usually just call him Lon.

McQ was made in 1974, the director was John Sturges, the style seems to be DIRTY HARRY. Except John Wayne was actually offered the real DIRTY HARRY after Frank Sinatra dropped out. He turned it down because he didn’t want Sinatra’s leftovers. Instead, he would prefer to do a rip-off of Sinatra’s leftovers.

Actually, it’s not like DIRTY HARRY. It’s a little more like MAGNUM FORCE because it turns out the other cops are dirty and there’s a coverup. But still it’s not the same type of movie, because instead of the liberal West Coast port city of San Francisco it takes place in my beloved liberal West Coast port city of Seattle. And instead of a funky Lalo Schifrin score it’s a funky Elmer Bernstein score. So it’s totally different. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Wicker Man (2006)

When I read that the unrated DVD of THE WICKER MAN REMAKE has a SHOCKING ALTERNATE ENDING!, I was a little confused. Because if you’ve ever seen the original, good version of THE WICKER MAN you know this can only SPOILER end one way: an outdoor barbecue featuring Nic Cage in a central role. What could the SHOCKING ALTERNATE ENDING be? He doesn’t get burned alive?

The movie is a pointless and weird re-jiggering of the original. It’s not really the crazed spectacle I was hoping for, at least not from beginning to end. If you’ve seen the original you know where it’s going, and it’s not all that exciting to see him wander around a weird farm colony island looking for this missing girl and getting frustrated that nobody is cooperating. But oh boy does it have its moments. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Hip Hop Project

Here’s a little documentary not many of you will probaly bother to see, but I just saw it and I have to vouch for it. I know THE HIP HOP PROJECT sounds like a working title they never bothered to change, but it’s actually the name of the youth outreach program documented in the movie. This is the story of a guy in his 20s named Chris “Kazi” Rolle who finds some troubled teenagers with a talent for rapping and helps them record an album. It’s not only his way of keeping them off the streets, or giving them a voice for self expression, or even getting into their lives to be a mentor and a positive influence. It’s all of those things, but it seems like it’s also a form of redemption and self discovery for him, having been an orphan and a homeless criminal and still not having come to terms with where he came from.

Kazi lures these kids in with the promise of recording, and then he tells them the catch: you can’t talk about “money, hoes and clothes.” He wants them to talk about their lives, their problems, try to touch somebody emotionally, maybe change somebody’s life. We do see a scene of some rappers battling, insulting each other to each other’s faces, and it’s very entertaining. But Kazi is trying to get at something more sincere and from the heart. As an exercise he asks them to tell about something that has happened to them in their lives. This leads to an amazing scene where one of the kids rhymes (and I’m not clear whether he has had time to write this or if he is improvising) about his father. While he’s rhyming he starts to cry, his voice quivers, tears start pouring out. But he keeps going. I heard DMX gets tears on stage sometimes but I don’t know if he rhymes while crying. I never seen anything like it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Revenge of the Ninja

(aka NINJA II)

REVENGE OF THE NINJA isn’t connected to the story of ENTER THE NINJA. Franco Nero’s White Ninja character is nowhere to be seen, defying the promise of his final freeze-frame wink. Which is bullshit, man. If you’re gonna wink – especially if you’re gonna freeze-frame wink – you better fuckin mean it.

However, Sho Kosugi (who died in part 1) is reborn as a different character, a collector of Japanese antique dolls whose family is killed by ninjas. His white friend convinces him to take his son and mom to AMerica to open a gallery for his dolls. And I don’t think I need to point out that any time in an action or fighting movie where you are discussing the hero’s doll collection you are on some paper thin ice. But I’ll be charitable and accept this as a fulfillment of the Theory of Badass Juxtaposition. (read the rest of this shit…)

Spider-Man 3

Okay, first off, I only seen Spidermans 1 & 2. I have not seen anything between 1.1 and 1.9 or 2.1 through 2.9, any of these weird DVD special editions. So if I’m missing any info I apologize. But based on this limited theatrical knowledge I would have to say that the conventnerdal wisdom is probaly a little correct: Part 3 is more flawed than Part 1 or Part 2. But not by much. It is the same tone, same combo of boy-girl soap opera, cornball old fashioned comic book reverance for New York City and high-flyin’ CGI action. Only thing is in this one they are telling a more ambitious story (good) which is stitched together with some ridiculous coincidences and occasional bad ideas (bad).

For example, there is a black goo that falls from space which just happens to land right in the park where Spider-man is kickin it with his girl. Okay, admittedly the space goo may have been intentionally honing in on Spider-man’s powers, we don’t really know this. So I will let that one go. But when Tom Hayden Church is running from the pigs he just happens to climb over a fence into a science facility where, at that exact moment, scientists are about to do an experiment with sand which turns him into a sand monster. Admittedly, he did say earlier that he had bad luck, so that is sort of explained why that happens. So I guess I can let that one go too. But what about this. Eddie Brock happens to be in a church praying for God to kill Peter Parker at the exact moment Pete is yanking the evil space goo off of his suit up in the bell tower right above, so the goo falls on Eddie and turns him into a monster!? I mean what are the chances of that? The only way to explain it is that God was pissed that Eddie would defile the church with such a bullshit prayer, so He went Old Testament on him. Hmmm, actually I like that. Come to think of it, never mind, there are no coincidences, it’s air tight. (read the rest of this shit…)