I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Posts Tagged ‘Edward Norton’

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Friday, December 5th, 2014

tn_birdmanorBIRDMAN OR is an incredible movie on a technical and craft type level. It’s like a play, really. Mostly dialogue and centered around one building, but it’s also very cinematic because it’s photographed ROPE-style, as if the whole movie is one continuous shot. Of course it’s not, that’s all an illusion, and it’s not even supposed to mimic real time. Sometimes it will pull up to the sky and it will become day or night before it comes back down, or the events within the shot will make it clear that time has passed. One second they’re in a rehearsal for a play, the next there’s an entire audience there. Pretty tricky stuff pulled off with the genius of director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki, expanding on the long takes he did with Alfonso Cuaron in CHILDREN OF MEN and GRAVITY. The director/co-writer this time is their buddy Alejandro González Iñárritu (BABEL).

It’s the story of Hollywood actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton, JACKIE BROWN), who was a serious actor but became known mainly for playing a super hero in a trilogy of movies in the early ’90s. Now he’s trying to adapt a Raymond Carver story for the stage. He’s having all kinds of problems right before the first preview, while also dealing with emotional crises about his lagging fame, his perceived lack of respect as an artist, his failed marriage (Amy Ryan plays his ex-wife, still in his life), the crappy job he’s done as a father (Emma Stone plays his recovering junkie daughter/assistant, who is constantly annoyed with him and her job). So we, as the point of view of the camera, hover there and watch his rehearsals, his arguments, we fly through the labyrinthine back halls of the theater, into the dressing rooms, onto the scaffolding, onto the stage, outside into crowded Times Square. There is crying, fighting, fucking.

Meanwhile Riggan seems to be losing it, he occasionally hears the Beetlejuice-like voice of his movie character egging him on and finds that he can move objects with his mind and even fly. In fact we first meet him levitating in a yoga pose, but still managing to look pathetic in his slightly loose tighty whiteys and dingy theater-basement apartment that the narration tells us “smells like balls.”
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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 Bourne Legacy

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

THE BOURNE LEGACY is a sequel with the uphill task of replacing its title character. Not recasting, like James Bond, but creating a new hero, like when Valerie Harper got fired from Valerie and they brought in Sandy Duncan as her sister-in-law. I actually think that’s more interesting than if they just made another Matt Damon BOURNE. I liked those movies but I think they’re pretty repetitive, and they wrapped up that storyline anyway. Enough of that, I say. But I’m surprised the studio thought there were enough people like me to justify making this movie.

(And I thought they were wrong, based on the reviews I’d heard. I know at least a couple of you guys hated it, and I assumed not many went to see it. But I just looked it up and it turns out it made more money than they expected it to and they might do another one.)
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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.

Moonrise Kingdom

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Now that GI JOE: RETALIATION has become GI JOE: PROCRASTINATION that means the big Bruce Willis movie of the summer to hold us off until EXPENDABLES 2 will have to be Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM. Bruce plays Captain Sharp, head of the Island Police, New Penzance Township, charged with the task of capturing a fugitive – Sam (Jared Gilman), a disturbed young orphan gone AWOL from the Khaki Scouts of North America, Troop 55, to run away with his also disturbed pen pal/girlfriend Suzy (Kara Hayward).
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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.

Kingdom of Heaven (director’s cut)

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

I remember when this movie came out everybody said it was terrible, then the longer director’s cut came out and it started to build up a reputation as underrated. Just to be safe I wanted to allow some time for that rep to foam over and then dry up and harden into a solid surface. The effects of oxygen on the polished surface create the ideal viewing circumstances. So I watched it 7 years later. (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 Italian Job (2003)

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

tn_italianjobcountdownlogoTHE ITALIAN JOB circa 2003 is a standard issue studio ensemble heist movie, and a really enjoyable one. The director of FRIDAY and the writers of DEEP BLUE SEA put together a good group of likable actors to play the team of expert thieves, they came up with some clever gimmicks for an elaborate heist, and they executed it well with good pacing, light humor, a sense of fun but also a reasonable enough sense of danger. So it’s closer to OCEAN’S 11 where they obviously know what they’re doing but have to put in some elbow grease than OCEAN’S PART 13 where they seem to have super powers and can do absolutely anything at a moment’s notice with no trouble at all. (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 Incredible Hulk

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Listen up Hulkamaniacs –

This new Hulk remake/sequel/do-over/all new adventure starts out with an opening credits montage of flashbacks and headlines to explain his Incredible origin. It’s like the opening to a TV show, setting up what you need to know. So I’m gonna do a TV show opening for this review to: I don’t know the comic strips, vaguely remember the TV show, still love the Ang Lee movie no matter what you say, but was open to and kind of excited about the notion of the goofball director of fucking TRANSPORTER 2 taking over to do the flip side of that coin.

But I got a little worried when I read that Edward Norton had rewritten the script. Uh oh. That means he thinks he’s making the serious Hulk movie. Did he not know about the Ang Lee one? I think he did, because I read that he turned it down. I guess he regretted that maybe. It’s true, Louis Letterier is not in TRANSPORTER 2 mode here. He’s more in DANNY THE DOG aka UNLEASHED mode: a movie with elements of crazy action fun, but that is trying really hard to be a serious drama. (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.

Gangs of New York + The 25th Hour

Sunday, December 22nd, 2002

For some reason I didn’t expect all that much from Martin Scorsese’s new picture GANGS OF NEW YORK. I’m not really a big fan of period pieces, I’m just as ignorant of history as anybody else who is ignorant of history and I don’t have any opinion one way or the other on “Leo” who plays the protagonist Amsterdam or “Danny” who plays Robert Deniro playing an early gang leader named Bill the Butcher. (You know, the same way Roddy Piper played Kurt Russel in THEY LIVE).

But I guess I forgot about that Scorsese, he knows how to make a fuckin movie. GANGS OF NEW YORK is an archetypal type story of some guy whose dad was killed in a gang battle, he escaped and hid away for many years and then came back for revenge. But you know he’s a cowboy or a samurai or a wizard or some shit so he plans for the perfect time to murder Bill in front of everybody at a big celebration of the anniversary of killing his dad. And in the meanwhile he befriends him, to make it all the easier and all the worse. (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.

Death to Smoochy

Friday, March 29th, 2002

I guess you have to be suspicious of a movie made in 2002 that is making fun of Barney. Which was a children’s show that was popular for a while a couple years back. Barney is one of those things that everybody in the world hates, but then some people think they are the only ones who hate, and that they are being subversive by complaining about it. But hating Barney is as unique as liking pizza or chocolate. “No way! You like pizza too? I can’t believe this!” There’s not really anything subversive about connecting a lovable tv icon and murder. It’s old. (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.

Fight Club

Monday, October 11th, 1999

Fight ClubFirst of all thanks guys for making my first column a success, by reading it.

Also i’m sorry my sight has been offline I don’t know WHAT the fuck is wrong with geocities.

now every so often there is a movie that comes along that really hits a motherfucker right in the balls and says LOOK AT ME, MOTHERFUCKER – I AM A CLASSIC.

the motherfucker i’m talking about is of course fight club, the new movie by david fincher. david fincher for those of you who don’t know is a director of beer commercials from the ’80s. like beer commercials Fight club is a movie with assloads of style. unlike commercials, this is a movie about NOT buying products, or rather not buying into the idea that material objects are your life. the star is a guy by the name of “narrator” who is kind of a yuppie type dude working at a car company, wearing a tie, traveling around to take a look at burnt up cars.

by the way, don’t read this column if you haven’t seen fith club. id on’t want to ruin it for you. Just go to the bottom and order something from reel.com so a motherfucker can eat.

Now i don’t think i have to tell you this dude narrator is not happy, and that is why when his condo gets blown to shit, he decides to squat in the most fucked up house you ever saw. this is a piece of shit with no water, electricity, tv and falling apart. and narrator is happier than ever because when it comes down to it a nice condo is not worth a fucking penny compared to living life the way you want to.

actually iguess i don’t have to explain it because you guys have already seen it. sorry. So here is what I think. (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.