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

Posts Tagged ‘Clint’

Gran Torino

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Holy shit, I think I knew this before, but Clint Eastwood is the greatest movie star of all time. How is it possible that a guy who 40 years ago starred in some of the best westerns ever, and 30 years ago starred in some of the best cop movies ever, and 15 years ago directed and starred in the (deserving) winner of the best picture Oscar (another one of the best westerns ever), and in this decade is still going strong as a unique and sometimes great director of serious movies, and yet ALSO chose to direct and star in this humble little slice of moving dramedy with a side of good old fashioned ass kicking? Answer: it is not possible. But Clint doesn’t believe in impossible so he did those things anyway. Also he was mayor once. And plays piano. And sang the theme song for this one.

I think probaly most people want Clint to keep doing those Oscar bait movies. I liked MILLION DOLLAR BABY (another best picture, not even the one I referred to before) and I get why people like MYSTIC RIVER, and I thought LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA was great. But as good of a director as he is I think Clint Eastwood the movie star is an even more valuable treasure to the world, so I’m happy he’s still willing to throw us one of these. The older and gruffer he gets the cooler he gets, so he should stay on camera. (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.

The Dead Pool

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

THE DEAD POOL is the fifth, last, and worst of the DIRTY HARRY series. It’s still watchable because it’s Dirty Fuckin Harry, but it completes the pattern of each entry being not as good as the last.

It’s important to consider the time of the release though. In the US it came out 20 years from last month. July 13th, 1988. It was a Wednesday. Harrison Ford was out celebrating his 46th birthday. One of the girls from the “High School Musical”s was being born. Long haired kids in Minneapolis were trying to find someone to buy them beer at a convenience store near the Metrodome where the Monsters of Rock Tour would be playing that night. Red Sox fans were trying to figure out what to make of John McNamara being replaced by Joe Morgan. Ronald Reagan was signing Executive Order 12646, establishing an emergency board to investigate a dispute between the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation and certain of its employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. And there was a new fuckin Dirty Harry movie coming out! (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.

Sudden Impact

Friday, August 8th, 2008

I’m not sure what the title means on this one, but if it were up to me it would be called A DIRTY HARRY SALUTE TO DEATH WISH II. The three before this all felt like “DIRTY HARRY” but in this one he goes to San Paolo and all the sudden he’s in Charles Bronson’s jurisdiction.

Let me point out a few connections: The score is by Lalo Schifrin, but the opening credits are still DEATH WISH sequel style cheeseball drum machine and keyboard rockafire explosion over establishing shot of the city (Lalo’s revenge for not getting to score part 3, I bet). Kevyn Major Howard, the gang rapist Stomper in DEATH WISH II, plays a criminal who gets off due to improper police work by Callahan. And like most DEATH WISH movies the lead villains are maniacally overacting gang rapists. In DEATH WISH and DEATH WISH II Bronson is getting revenge after (among other things) his daughter was gang-raped into a state of catatonia. In this one Sondra Locke is getting revenge because she and her sister were gang raped and her sister is in a state of catatonia. Speaking of which, Bronson’s wife Jill Ireland was in DEATH WISH II, and here we have Clint’s live-in lady friend at the time starring in this one. It ends a little more like the first DEATH WISH with the police (in this case Harry) knowing about the vigilante actions and letting it go because they sympathize. (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.

Unforgiven

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

I saw this movie years ago and like anybody I loved it. But watching it again recently I was surprised to find that it was better than I remembered. UNFORGIVEN is a GFM (Great Fucking Movie) for many different reasons, most of them you know, but I’ll try to point out a few of them.

For one thing it’s a story that you never quite know where it’s going. Supposedly it’s designed so you think Little Bill (Gene Hackman) is the good guy, since he’s the sheriff. I didn’t get that though because the first time you see him he comes in to settle this dispute in the brothel where some assholes cut up a prostitute because she gave a giggle at his “teeny pecker”. Little Bill isn’t evil but he obviously makes a poor decision by not punishing these guys but just fining them a couple ponies. No even horses, he specifically says ponies. (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.

In the Line of Fire

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Here’s a movie not directed by Clint Eastwood (it’s Wolfgang Peterson, the DAS BOOT guy) but like alot of his directorial works of the past 20 years it deals with him getting old. Clint plays a Secret Service agent named Frank Horrigan. He’s still working but he’s washed up – he was there when JFK got shot and is still haunted by his failure. After that he became a huge asshole, he started drinking and his wife and daughter left. But this is Clint we’re talking about so we still like him, and also he plays jazz piano.

This is a good example of those ’90s big budget studio action thrillers along the lines of EXECUTIVE DECISION and DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, movies that depict the workings of a city and its various departments as they respond to an emergency. In this case it’s the Secret Service responding to a threat against the president. We see Clint and his new partner (Dylan McDermott, or possibly Dermot Mulrooney – I don’t know which is which so if it’s important to you check IMDb) making their rounds, so first they have to shoot some guys over counterfeit money, then they have to check out a report of “some weirdo.” It just so happens that this is the one in a thousand of those calls that really is a dude planning to kill the president. He’s not home but he sees Clint in his apartment from afar and the game begins. (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.

The Enforcer

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

In the third Dirty Harry picture Inspector Callahan has become some sort of an enforcer, a guy who travels around enforcing things. Alot of people tend to dismiss the series after MAGNUM FORCE, and it’s true that this one isn’t as good as the two before it, but I gotta admit I like it.

Alot of the goofiest shit from ’70s and ’80s cop movies, the cliches that get made fun of all the time, might be traced directly to this movie. This is definitely a prime example of the cartoonishly out of line bureaucrats in the police headquarters who demand the police “clean up the streets” but get mad at them when they do. “I didn’t say to use violence.” It’s got the scene where he gets suspended and has to give back his badge, which is memorable because Harry calls it a “seven point suppository… you heard me, stick it up your ass!” And the opening section of the movie is about him driving around encountering different police situations unrelated to the plot just so they can show the funny/abrasive way he deals with criminals, like the guy supposedly having a heart attack in a restaurant who he kicks and tells to get up or the liquor store hostage-takers who demand a car, so he “gives it to them” by driving through the front of the liquor store. (Of course followed by a scene where the aforementioned bureaucrat yells at him with a tally of all the damage done.) (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.

Magnum Force

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

DIRTY HARRY is probaly a better movie overall, but as far as sequels go I think MAGNUM FORCE is a work of genius, because it does two things.

ONE:

It does a good job of following the template of the original and delivering alot of what people liked about that one, for example the classic hot dog/bank robbery scene is replaced by a scene where he goes to get a hamburger at an airport cafe and ends up stopping a hijacking. You gotta love when he butts into the security pow wow at the airport, they tell him what’s going on, he asks “Can I make a suggestion?” and it cuts to him walking toward the plane wearing a pilot’s uniform. Classic! (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.

Dirty Harry

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Man, I’ve watched DIRTY HARRY so many times since I’ve been writing about movies, and it is clearly one of the classics of Badass Cinema (the Loose Canon, I recently decided it should be called. Get it it is a pun I believe.) But I just figured out that I never wrote a review of it. Weird.

This time I watched it on the occasion of buying the new DIRTY HARRY ULTIMATE COLLECTION box set, which totally made my day and I did feel lucky punk and it is so good it would blow your head clean off and is the most powerful box set in the world. That is not really puns but you know what’s going on there, I think you get 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.

Yojimbo, Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing

Thursday, August 9th, 2007

YOJIMBO
and
FISTFUL OF DOLLARS
and – why the hell not –
LAST MAN STANDING

I’ve been doing alot of themed movie-watching lately and I don’t want that to grow stale, so I decided to mix things up a little. Three movies starring my favorite badasses, but from different years and different countries. Just a real variety of material here. YOJIMBO is about this bad motherfucker who wanders into a small town torn apart by two warring gangs, and he goes back and forth working for them, plays them against each other, rescues a woman from them then gets beaten up real bad but escapes and hides out and then tricks them some more and also I forgot to mention there’s alot of good jokes about the town coffin maker getting business from his activities. FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, on the other hand, is about this bad motherfucker who wa– hey, wait a minute! (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.

Letters from Iwo Jima

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Dear Friends,

Last year we all heard Clint Eastwood, who I still consider the greatest living human, was directing this World War II movie produced by Steven Spielberg. Not really my genre, but with Clint directing obviously I was looking forward to it. Things got more interesting during filming when he announced that he realized the story of Iwo Jima needed to be told from the Japanese perspective too, so he was doing another movie straight after FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, originally titled RED SUN, BLACK SAND. And that sounded more interesting to me. Way to be ambitious, Clint.

But when FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS came out it was underwhelming enough that, to be honest, I lost some of my interest in LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA. That first movie’s not terrible, and I really like what it was about – the complicated feelings of some guys who are declared war heroes for bullshit reasons and have to go along with it in order to raise war bonds and help out their fellow soldiers who are still fighting. But the way the story was told was just not Clint enough. Usually when he directs the stories are pretty spare, pretty bare, and the emotions are raw. The score of FLAGS was about the only thing that was the usual laid back Clint. He had to jump between the present day with the son of one of the flag raisers interviewing the survivors, the actual battle of Iwo Jima, and the war bonds tour after the battle, and then all of those are jumbled up so they’re in even less order than it sounds like. (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.