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

Posts Tagged ‘Albert Pyun’

Captain America

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

tn_captainamerica90summer2016originsEXPLANATORY INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH: I have noticed that some of the movies coming out this summer are based on pre-existing characters or stories. In this off and on series we’ll look at earlier versions.

I don’t know if the young people know about this now, but in 1989 Tim Burton’s BATMAN (do people even watch that anymore?) was a gigantic explosion in pop culture. This was way back when “geek” was considered an insult and “actually some comic books aren’t just for kids they call them graphic novels” was considered interesting trivia. A movie about a super hero hadn’t been popular since SUPERMAN twelve years earlier, and that had seemed like an isolated incident. Now all the sudden the world was captivated by billboards and merchandise of just the bat symbol. It was on cereal boxes and racks of bootleg t-shirts in parking lots. Batman was worn by skateboarders, celebrated in weird Prince videos on MTV, welcomed back nostalgically in reruns of the ’60s comedy series starring Adam West. Intrigued newcomers picked up paperbacks of the groundbreaking ’80s work of dark Batman that were considered sacred texts from publication until the exact moment when musclebound Zack Snyder picked up the ball (the dodge ball?) and ran with 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.

Cyborg

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

tn_cyborgYears ago when I saw a little movie called DOUBLE TEAM I remember coming out of the theater and running into an acquaintance, a friend of a friend named Corey who was waiting for the next show. We got to talking about Van Damme, and it was kind of shameful how many of them he mentioned that I hadn’t seen. So this guy decides right then and there that we’re gonna meet once a week in a neutral location and we’re gonna watch a Van Damme movie. And I don’t remember how long we did that but it was probly a month or two of important learning. You know, it’s the same as with KICKBOXER or BLOODSPORT, you try to find a mentor or a buddy to take you under his wing, and that’s how you get your start. So shout out to Corey. And I hope I’m doing my part to pass on these lessons to the next generation.

Anyway, that was the last time I saw CYBORG. On a screen bigger than I’ve ever owned, but full frame VHS, and when I was younger and dumber in my ongoing journey to filmatistic enlightenment. Here’s all I remember: Van Damme doing the splits between two walls, a guy with sunglasses grunting, being bored.

Okay, I wasn’t that far off, this is sitll a bit of a chore for me to get through, but I repsect it more at this stage in my evolution. CYBORG is from the Cannon Group, it’s directed by our friend Albert Pyun, it doesn’t really have any concepts that separate it much from other post-apocalypse movies (with a little BLADE RUNNER and TERMINATOR influence thrown in the mix), but the thing I didn’t get back then is that it’s a fuckin art movie. The plot is minimalistic, there’s very little dialogue, lots of wind and dreamy slow motion. Van Damme plays a mysterious figure apparently called “Gibson Rickenbacker,” a so-called “slinger” or bounty hunter helping a woman named Pearl (Dayle Haddon, NORTH DALLAS FORTY) who has the cure for a deadly plague to travel through the wasteland to Atlanta. And she’s part robot, by the way. (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.

Albert Pyun retiring

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

tn_pyun

I heard some sad news today from Cynthia Curnan, the producer and writer of several Albert Pyun movies going back to SORCERERS in 1998. It seems that Mr. Pyun, who has recently completed his 50th movie ROAD TO HELL starring Michael Pare, has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and has been forced to retire from his extremely prolific filmmaking career.

I guess this has been public for a few weeks now, but I hadn’t heard about it. Pyun is a force to be reckoned with in the world of b-movies, with a few under his belt that are beloved in some circles (THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER, CYBORG, NEMESIS, BRAIN SMASHER… A LOVE STORY) and alot more that you’ve at least heard of (RADIOACTIVE DREAMS, ALIEN FROM L.A., CAPTAIN AMERICA (1990), DOLLMAN, MEAN GUNS, many others). Honestly after seeing a few of those and not liking them I tried to avoid his movies, but of course I analyzed his Tom Sizemore/Steven Seagal/Dennis Hopper movie TICKER in Seagalogy and I was surprised to find myself genuinely liking his KICKBOXER 2: THE ROAD HOME.

That’s when Albert Pyun the actual person, as opposed to the mysterious director of a million low budget movies, came onto my radar. Even though in my review I wrote “The director is Albert Pyun, but I never would’ve guessed that because it’s both watchable and kind of good,” Mr. Pyun showed up in the comments. It was a really nice and self-deprecating post responding to some questions that had come up during the course of us all trashing his filmography. Then he kept coming back to answer many questions that people had for him.
(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.

Dangerously Close and Under Cover

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

cannon-stockwellDANGEROUSLY CLOSE

Here’s one from Cannon Films and our friend Albert Pyun, but I’m sorry to say this is the most boring one I’ve seen so far in my back-to-school marathon. The idea behind it, at least, is different from the other ones I’ve seen. This time the school is overrun with troublemakers spraying graffiti and what not, but they’re not the bad guys – that would be The Sentinels, a group of fascist jocks who patrol Vista Verde High School to keep people in line. Their main job at school is just painting over graffiti, but outside of school they actually track people down wearing masks, beat the shit out of them and make them think they’re going to murder them, then leave them crying out in the middle of the woods. Don’t you hate popular kids? (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.

Kickboxer 2

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

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…)

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.

Mean Guns

Wednesday, March 29th, 2006

A while back I reviewed this sci-fi action movie called EQUILIBRIUM and I complained about the cliche of using techno music in all the action scenes. I asked why somebody didn’t try out some different styles of music on some action scenes. A while later a guy named Jonathan Lee wrote to inform me of a movie called MEAN GUNS where they did just that, they used mambo music during all the action (and other parts of the movie).

The only recognizable stars are Ice-T and Christopher Lambert, and then there’s a bunch of other people. Mario Van Peebles was not available. Anyway, “The Syndicate” has recently bought a prison somehow, and the day before the grand opening Ice-T calls a bunch of criminals there for big meeting, like THE WARRIORS. (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.