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The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

The first and most important thing that must be said of THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE is that it has one of the most badass theme songs ever, and without even leaning on the crutch of wah wah guitar. A deep ominous BA-DUMP-BUMP-BUMP alternates with tension building horns and violins or something in a higher pitch… well, I’m dancing about architecture here but trust me, this theme song WILL kick your ass. The score is by David Shire, who strangely has done mostly TV movies but recently did ZODIAC. But it has that catchiness and strutting quality of the best Lalo Schifrin, like ENTER THE DRAGON or something, where after you see the movie you can’t help but walking around picturing it as your theme music.

(By the way, if you watch the original theatrical cut of PAYBACK you can tell that the badass music during the opening montage is inspired by this. They did a good job, but not as good.)

And the movie does a pretty good job of living up to the theme song. It’s directed by Joseph Sargent who is also mainly a TV guy, but the feel is cinematic. Watching it now I realize this must’ve been a huge influence on many of the DIE HARD type movies and especially DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE. It doesn’t have the one guy in over his head and physically fighting the bad guys, but the criminal plot, setting, characters, sense of humor and tone are all very DIE HARD. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN VS. THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY / TURNS OUT OBAMA HATES WHITES AND STUFF?

You know, if there was ever a time when humans and dinosaurs co-existed like they used to do in caveman movies it would’ve been unfair. A t-rex comes by your cave and starts eating your clan, you’re gonna get pissed. You go out there and start throwing rocks at the fucker, poking him with sticks. Doesn’t do anything. You go back inside, paint some unflattering cave pictures. When he’s far enough away you go out and beat on a drum, trying to rile up the other clans. If everybody throws rocks at that thing, everybody pokes it with sticks, then we’re safe and we’re all gonna eat steak tonight.

So the next day everybody throws the rocks and sharpens the sticks. And again the next day. And the next. But no matter how many times you do it that asshole keeps coming back, keeps biting off heads. Eventually you get tired. You’re not afraid of that thing anymore, but you don’t feel like you can defeat it. So you go back in your cave. Not cowering in fear – worse. Trying to ignore it. Stay in here, wait it out. Eventually a comet will hit or something.

Sadly, that’s where I’m at with George Bush, and that’s why I haven’t written about politics in a long time. After the dinosaur eats a certain amount of people you become desensitized. But the wait is almost over. On a clear night you can see the comet headed this way. 2008 is here and the campaign is underway – time to find a president to fill the all time smallest shoes. Whoever they get will probaly feel like a comedian going on after Michal Richards’ infamous n-word breakdown. It’s uncomfortable, and there’s a mess to clean up, but you’re gonna come out looking pretty damn good by comparison. Even if McCain wins it’ll probaly feel good. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern’s Got His Review Of WAR INC As Well!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

THE FOLLOWING IS A CORRECTED INTRODUCTION, REPLACING THE INCORRECT INFORMATION ORIGINALLY HERE:

WAR INC may have hit theaters in Canada last week, but it’s actually opening in New York and LA on May 23. It played the Tribeca Film Festival a few nights ago as well.

What Vern saw was, evidently, not a screener for the DVD release, but simply a screener for this theatrical release. John Cusack’s on the publicity trail for this one now, too, doing everything from Jimmy Kimmel to Al Jazeera. I’m hoping to take a look at this release from First Look ASAP.

Are you guys as curious about this one as I am?

As an aficionado of DTV I’ve exposed myself to many works from the Millennium Films library, films starring the likes of Van Damme, Seagal, Snipes, Jai White, Timberlake, etc. I’m talking about movies like THE ORDER, UNDISPUTED 1-2, OUT FOR A KILL, UNSTOPPABLE, TODAY YOU DIE, EDISON FORCE, MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE, UNTIL DEATH and the DAY OF THE DEAD “remake.” They’re the kings of crap – kind of like the new Cannon Films except they don’t have as many fluke good ones under their belt as Cannon did. They’ve made it to the big screen every once in a while which is how we got THE BLACK DAHLIA, THE WICKER MAN and some of those shitty Al Pacino movies that have been coming out lately. I’m obviously biased on the Seagal pictures so let’s just say the closest they’ve ever gotten to a great movie is RAMBO. (read the rest of this shit…)

Boiling Point

Some individuals have been writing to me asking for me to “go on record” about Wesley Snipes getting sentenced to three years for not filing his tax returns. I don’t know, man. It seems to me like a bullshit sentence. You can skip down a couple paragraphs to get to BOILING POINT but I’ll say a few things here by request.

I got mixed feelings about taxes. On paper I believe in them strongly. I mean somebody’s gotta pave the fuckin streets so you hot shots can drive around on them. I like having electricity in the street lights. There’s alot of anti-tax sentiment here in Washington, there’s a rich prick who has made himself richer with a for-profit company that every election files a bunch of anti-tax propositions. They usually get shot down as unconstitutional but they’re popular so the state government ends up following them and the next thing you know the fuckin library is closed two months out of the year and the bridges are ready to collapse with no money to even tape ’em up with duct tape and there’s twice as many homeless people sleeping on my street and everybody is confused. WHY is the soccer field by my house closed?! I demand justice! … What’s that? Lower property taxes? Of course, where do I sign? (read the rest of this shit…)

The Proposition

The Burns Gang, three brothers, recently attacked some family, raped and killed a pregnant woman. I don’t know about you but I’m against it and in fact so is middle brother Charlie (Guy Pearce) who was so offended he decided to take little brother Mikey (Richard Wilson) and run off. But of course it’s those two remorseful brothers that have been captured by Ray Winstone now, not the ringleader Arthur (Danny Huston). Since we didn’t see the attack we don’t know for sure how guilty they are or how much of a chance they had to stop it, but Winstone seems to believe this Arthur is the guy to get. So he takes Mikey, lets Charlie go, says I’m gonna kill little brother on Christmas Day unless you kill older brother. That’s the proposition.

This is a western, but it takes place in Australia. I’m not familiar with the geography of Australia, for all I know this takes place on the East Coast, but oh well. It’s a western. (read the rest of this shit…)

Chopper

CHOPPER came out in 2000 and in the 8 years since I don’t think I’ve seen too many characters or performances as good as Eric Bana playing Mark Brandon Read, whose friends call him Chopper and he calls himself Uncle Chop Chop. I never heard of him before the movie but he’s a real Australian criminal who became a celebrity writing his memoirs while he was locked up. And the movie’s based on some of those.

It’s kind of a weird movie. It threw me at first because it doesn’t have much of a structure and it’s kind of a small story. Maybe I was expecting some kind of crime epic or something, but instead a bunch of stuff happens and then it ends. I prefer a tight story but it still had me. It was so captivating I ended up watching it again the next day. (read the rest of this shit…)

Razorback

How do you do an Australian version of JAWS? You can’t have a killer koala. Maybe a rogue kangaroo that goes around punching people or stealing babies in its pouch. In 1984 these guys went with a huge fucking boar. And that would’ve been a great headline for a review if the movie was bad, but actually I really liked it.

I know this is the kind of movie people write off immediately. It definitely is a ripoff of JAWS and redoing JAWS with a huge pig seems even funnier than redoing it with an orca. But the movie doesn’t give a fuck what you think. It knows what it is and it has no shame. Go ahead, laugh at the razorback. Laughing is healthy and will make you taste better. As one of our heroes says, “It has two states of being. Dangerous or dead.” Mostly the first one. (read the rest of this shit…)

Enchanted

I like to think I’m a pretty tough individual, even on a cellular level. So I don’t usually watch movies like this and I don’t usually get sick. A year or two ago I got some crud that really knocked me out, so while I was laying there a useless husk of my regular self I decided that God had opened a window – a window of opportunity for me to watch KILL BILL VOLUME 1 and VOLUME 2 in a row. The movie seemed even better in one sitting and I was healed the next day. Thanks God. You got good taste in movies.

So the next year when I got real sick I did the same thing, with the same success. Only trouble is when I got sick again this month and it was the worst I had in years. My KILL BILL treatment had been too recent, I didn’t know if it would work and I didn’t want to overdo it and create a KILL BILL-resistant supervirus. So I watched a bunch of other DVDs I had laying around. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Tackles THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here.

Never heard of this one, but when Vern starts tossing around comparisons to the original TEXAS CHAINSAW, I start paying attention, because I know how highly he regards that film. I love indie horror that comes out of nowhere to surprise you, so is this going to be a film worth seeking out? Only Vern knows…

THE WILD MAN OF THE NAVIDAD is a ’70s style low budget horror movie that’s going to be playing the Tribeca film festival in New York later this month. But it originates from Harry’s neck of the woods. The “Wild Man” of the title is a mysterious being – sasquatch? lunatic? – who lives near the Navidad River in Sublime, Texas, does not necessarily have the best manners, and may or may not take some bites out of any animals or humans that encounter him. (read the rest of this shit…)

48 Hours + Another 48 Hours

the complete 96 hour saga

48 HOURS is a well made and highly influential movie, but I think you sort of had to be there. Today about 30-42 hours of it holds up.

Coming 5 years before LETHAL WEAPON this is the father of the ’80s interracial buddy movies. The premise is that edgy cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte), in a desperate ploy to stop a killer, manages to get custody of convict Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) for two days to help him with the case. Of course they hate each other until they slowly earn each other’s respect. It’s cop vs. criminal, white vs. black, etc. Part of the fun is watching them flip each other shit and get in fights, although it gets uncomfortable because Nolte uses most of the racial slurs he knows – yes, including the N-word. He later apologizes and says he was just doing his job of keeping Reggie down – I’m not sure what that’s meant to say about cops but you can interpret it how you want. (read the rest of this shit…)