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

Posts Tagged ‘Amy Smart’

High Voltage

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Recently I retn_highvoltagealized I missed one of the early Isaac Florentine movies, a goofy John-Woo-inspired bank robber story starring Antonio Sabato Jr. (and Sr.), Shannon Lee, Amy Smart and Lochlyn Munro. So I reviewed it for my column on Daily Grindhouse, which is now called America’s Got Punching (formerly Journey to Battle Island).

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.

The Reunion

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

tn_reunionTHE REUNION is another entertaining and kinda unexpected release from the prestigious WWE Studios. Even more than INSIDE OUT it doesn’t really follow THE MARINE’S approach of just sticking one of their wrestlers into the lead of a formula action movie. This one’s an ensemble crime comedy with only one wrestler, WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World or whatever John Cena, as Sam, one of three estranged brothers forced to work together in a family business to earn a big-ass inheritance. The other two brothers are Leo (Ethan Embry), a fast-talking fuckup bail bondsman, and Douglas (Boyd Holbrook), a James Dean type leather-jacket wearing, brooding, fresh-out-of-lockup half brother they didn’t even know about ’cause he grew up in youth homes. Embry wears an I’m-quirky-and-sort-of-retro hat like Michael Rapaport in INSIDE OUT or like a less boneheaded Matt Dillon in THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. (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.

House of the Rising Sun

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

tn_houseoftherisingsunI’m not familiar with Dave Bautista’s work as a WWE Superstar™, but I thought he was cool in a supporting role in my old internet pal “Demon” Dave DeFalco’s action movie WRONG SIDE OF TOWN. So when I saw he had a starring role in this movie (which credits DeFalco as an executive producer) I was sure to check it out. And I was surprised, especially watching it immediately after TACTICAL FORCE, at its level of quality. There are some issues, for sure, but it’s a serious crime drama adapted from a novel, not some shitty excuse to bring him from wrestling scene to shootout to wrestling scene. It’s a pretty decent story, actually. (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.

Crank

Monday, November 27th, 2006

No, this is not the one where Adam Sandler has a magic remote control that he uses to conquer the world, that’s CLICK. This is CRANK, this is the one where Jason Statham (the Transporter himself) is a hitman who gets injected by high concept poison. It’s gonna kill him, but he figures out that it won’t finish until his adrenaline rate goes down. So he tries to run around, have sex, do coke and get in shootouts until he is able to get revenge on the poisoner. So it’s SPEED in a guy, with a side order of revenge.

An inventive thrill ride full of imagination and wit that keeps you constantly involved as it builds to an unbelievable climax… would be a good way to do this movie. Instead they went the DOMINO route of “if you throw every stupid show-offy technique you ever saw in a commercial at the screen, technically it counts as entertainment.” I think I know what they were thinking: he has to keep his adrenaline up, so the movie has to keep its adrenaline up too. But it’s flawed logic. THE JERK is about a moron, but the movie doesn’t have to be moronic. I don’t think SPEED had cameras flying around constantly to convince you that it’s about speed. If you show a guy in hospital gown zooming around on a motorcycle pursued by police, that is by definition somewhat exciting. But when you throw in unnecessary zooms and split screen and do a jokey flashback on one side and then freeze on a guy’s goofy expression and then switch it to black and white and then zoom into Statham’s chest to show an x-ray of his heart beating (a nod to the Furious Movement) AND you gotta throw in “exciting” guitar music made by a guy who used to be in Tangerine Dream who is now trying to rock out, it seems like you’re overcompensating. It isn’t exciting anymore, it’s just annoying. To me it’s another movie that has no build or rhythm at all, just the same frantic shit for 87 minutes straight. (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.