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

Posts Tagged ‘Bill Duke’

Freaky Deaky

Monday, March 11th, 2013

tn_freakydeakyI guess different people are free to interpret Elmore Leonard different ways, but to me he writes serious stories that are funny. As far as this movie is concerned he writes comedies. I guess that’s the GET SHORTY approach as opposed to the OUT OF SIGHT/JACKIE BROWN/Justified one. Too bad this isn’t as good as GET SHORTY.

It’s been years since I read the book, but I think this is fairly faithful. In my memory Skip (Christian Slater) is one of the main characters, which is not really the case here (despite the terrible cover making him way bigger than everybody else). But the basic storyline I think is intact and the movie’s biggest strength is lots of funny dialogue, largely from the book I believe. (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.

Fever

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

As you know I can enjoy a good neo-noir type picture every once in a while. It’s almost not fair to include THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE in this pantheon because it’s so spectacular and successfully retro that it makes the other ones look kinda lame. But other than that one it’s been a while since anyone succeeded at the modern film noir. I guess most independent filmatists trying to start out with a low budget crime movie have moved on from trying to make a BLOOD SIMPLE or a RED ROCK WEST to trying to make a RESERVOIR DOGS and then a PULP FICTION and then a LOCK, STOCK AND ET AL.

What makes this one surprising is that the director is Alex Winter, best known as Bill from BILL AND TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE. Or possibly Ted. The point is, he’s not Keanu Reeves, but he is one of those two, Bill and Ted. I believe he is Ted come to think of it. Or he may be Bill. One of those. (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.

Get Rich or Die Tryin’

Friday, September 15th, 2006

50 Cent, aka Curtis “Mumbles” Jackson, is not a rapper. I mean technically you might think he was one because he’s released rap albums. Pretty popular, too – the one this movie’s named after went six times platinum. But in a profile in Forbes magazine he talked about his albums and all his other products (a record label with all his buddies on it, a line of clothes, a line of Reebok sneakers, a flavor of VitaminWater, a video game, a ghost-written autobiography) as a continuation of the drug dealing he did starting at the age of 11. Just another hustle, another product.

When I read about his deal with Apple to sponsor a line of low-cost computers aimed at the inner city, I wondered if maybe he was smarter than he was letting on in all his music and interviews. Had he used his fame to give back to the community, strategically getting Apple to help the poor catch up technologically with the rest of American society and build a better future? Maybe, but he never mentions anything like that in the article. It ends with the quote, “I never got into it for the music. I got into it for the business.” (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.

Predator

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

PREDATOR starts out with a shot of an alien spacecraft jettisoning a shuttle towards earth. We just see it from the distance, there’s not alot of detail visible, but we don’t live under a rock, so we know what’s going on here. The extra-terrestrial hunting enthusiast known only as “Predator” is arriving on Earth. The human characters in the movie get all the screen time, but Predator gets the first shot, so we know this is really his story.

Like E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, PREDATOR doesn’t give us any backstory on the alien star. All we know is the guy is no botanist. Maybe an exotic meat salesman. It almost seems like an alien remake of FIRST BLOOD because you got this one crazy alien maniac out in the jungle by himself, taking on a couple platoons worth of elite soldiers and doing a pretty good job of it. John Rambo did some sick shit but he didn’t skin a bunch of guys and hang them upside down from the trees. He didn’t pull out people’s spines. So Predator’s got one on John. You even get the scene where Predator, like John, is wounded and has to do some makeshift surgery on himself. The only difference is he uses advanced alien technology to heal himself instead of just crudely sewing himself up. (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.

Deep Cover

Thursday, June 10th, 2004

This one’s from ’91 and I guess it’s most famous as the movie that introduced the world to Snoop Dogg. Not as an actor, but the young Snoop is “introduced” on a Dr. Dre song that plays on a stereo in the movie and then on the end credits. But this is a pretty good one, a serious undercover cop movie directed by Bill Duke, made memorable by a great performance by Mr. Laurence Fishburne.

Laurence plays one of those straightlaced cops whose dad was a junkie shot in front of his eyes and ever since he’s walked the straight path, stayed 110% clean and fought to clean up his community, stop the drugs, etc. Against his better judgment he signs up to become an undercover cop, working for a sleazy white fuck, looking the other way when people are murdered and selling drugs to kids and pregnant mothers – all because of the carrot at the end of the stick, the chance to bust a guy near the top of the pyramid bringing drugs into the country. But not the guy at the very top, a politician, because that guy’s off limits. (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.

Payback

Thursday, December 20th, 2001

Well in late December as I was preparing to face down the ol’ Y2K problem I got to thinking about the old Mad Max and Road Warrior movies I used to like so much, and that got me thinking about Mel Gibson, the young Australian actor who played Mad Max.

Well okay, I admit that Mel hasn’t amounted to as much as we as a society thought he would back in those days, but that doesn’t mean you can Write the man off entirely. I know what you are thinking, this dude hasn’t done shit since Mad Max so just forget about him. But sometimes even after he’s considered washed up by the general public an actor or actress is still putting out high quality type performances with little recognition. (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.