“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Posts Tagged ‘Ernest Dickerson’

Def By Temptation

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

I remember DEF BY TEMPTATION (1990) seeming like an important indie movie at the time. Robert Townsend and then Spike Lee had created this excitement around the new black cinema in the late ’80s. This one predates Matty Rich’s STRAIGHT OUT OF BROOKLYN by a month and John Singleton’s BOYZ N THE HOOD by a year, and represents the movement extending into the horror genre half a decade before Rusty Cundieff’s TALES FROM THE HOOD.

Writer-director-producer-actor James Bond III made his low budget story of a vampire in the dating scene in New York, with Troma coming in to give him finishing funds. So Lloyd Kaufman provides an introduction with some fun trivia on the crappily transferred 20th Anniversary Edition DVD, including that he had to take over as cinematographer for one of the climactic scenes. That’s notable because the rest of the movie is, as the credits say, “shot by Ernest Dickerson,” who was definitely hot shit because he’d already done THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, KRUSH GROOVE, SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT, SCHOOL DAZE and DO THE RIGHT THING. (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.

Juice

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

tn_juiceJUICE is an early ’90s “hood movie” about four young friends in New York who fall into some stupid shit. Tired of getting picked on by the Puerto Rican kids and the cops and not having money, they decide to get a gun (just one between them) and rob a little mini-mart where the guy is an asshole and yells at them sometimes. It’s not exactly The Thomas Crown Affair they’re trying to pull off, but they’re amateurs so they fuck up this small time crime and have to deal with the aftermath. (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.

Demon Knight

Monday, October 11th, 2010

tn_demonknightWell boils and ghouls, I’m glad I took a stab at reviewing THE PHANTOM recently and got you squealing about Billy Zane, because you were dead right to recommend this movie in the, uh, corpse-ments. (the comments is what I mean. I’m not sure that one works.) This movie is an absolute scream! Sometimes my throat gets really dry and I can’t stop coffin. something about rigor mortis, etc.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: DEMON KNIGHT is another enjoyable studio B-movie of the ’90s that held up better than I thought it would. Directed by Ernest Dickerson (cinematographer of DO THE RIGHT THING, director of BONES, and that about sums him up) it’s a pulpy supernatural hotel-siege tale with a game Billy Zane as the (SPOILER) demon that the knight fights with. (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.

Surviving the Game

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

In this 1994 MOST DANGEROUS GAME ripoff, Ice-T plays a homeless man hired by a bunch of rich assholes supposedly to be their guide on a hunting trip, but actually to be their prey. Because the second deadliest prey is man, the first deadliest is Ice-T. (I wonder if Predator knows about this yet?)

The movie doesn’t really offer any backstory for why Ice-T is tough enough to survive this hunting expedition (SPOILER), he’s just Ice-T. He’s not an ex-soldier or ex-cop or trained in the Orient or anything. In fact it’s the reverse: he’s a regular guy and almost all of the people he kills are ex-CIA.

I gotta warn you this is a little on the cheesy side. It’s not exactly great action, and some key moments are bogged down by bad decisions like having Ice’s one-liner clearly recorded in a studio and looped in so it takes you out of the moment. But it’s still enjoyable to watch because it’s such a simple, classic setup and it’s an all star cast. Hunting Ice are no less than Gary (PREDATOR 2) Busey, John C. (ON DEADLY GROUND) McGinley, Charles S. (BLACK DOG) Dutton, F. Murray (SCARFACE) Abraham, and their sicko leader, Rutger (BLIND JUSTICE) Hauer. Then there’s some guy named William McNamara as Abraham’s babyfaced son, and for most of the movie that is the entire cast. So not a bad ensemble. (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.

Never Die Alone

Friday, March 26th, 2004

Well for a while now I have been saying that this young man DMX is gonna do some good movies. He started out in a flawed but very artful crime picture called BELLY, before buddying up with Jet Li and my man Seagal and then riding around on those go-carts and doing wheelies and shit. (I guess I better rent that one.) He is still not a very convincing actor but he just has such a presence and charisma that I have faith in the dude for some reason. Too bad it’s not panning out so far.

See, I really thought this was gonna be his breakthrough. It’s the first movie where he does not have a co-star of equal or greater “star power.” He is the main attraction. And at the same time it is not some Hollywood action vehicle that the Rock or somebody turned down, it is an independent crime movie based on a novel by the legendary black crime writer Donald Goines. Also it’s directed by the sometimes decent director Ernest Dickerson, who has some credibility because he used to be Spike Lee’s cinematographer. Also because I kind of liked BONES. (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.

Military tribunals, Bush would have lost 6 out of 9 recounts, Ethnic profiling, + Amelie, Crying Freeman, Bones & The Wash

Friday, November 16th, 2001

Well, it looks like I’m doin these columns once a month now, and I guess that’s better than nothin. This time I’ll be reviewing a handful of movies that have NOTHING to do with politics. I haven’t seen this Henry Porter witchcraft movie that everybody has a boner about but I have seen some other current pictures and some older ones that I will be discussing.

There’s a catch though. First I’m gonna hafta talk politics some more. I’ll keep it shorter, but this is more important than ever.

There is a grave threat to America right now. Well, another one. In addition to Islamic extremists crashing planes into our buildings, and right wing extremists sending anthrax to us in the mail, and turbulence symbolically knocking the tails and engines off of our American Airlines planes on Veteran’s Day as an accidental commentary on our foreign policy, now we have to worry about our acting president completely and blatantly abandoning the supposed ideals of America, and no one caring. (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.

Bulletproof

Monday, January 1st, 2001

You know how I am, I get out to the real world, I make it my duty to try to catch up on what’s going on in the culture and what not. And I have heard alot about this Adam Sandler, #1 box office star, funny guy, sings songs. Sounds kind of like my man Bruce Willis. Well I don’t wanna be left in the dust so I decided to check the kid out.

I found several to choose from – you got golf, you got babysitting, you got kindergarten, etc. The choice was obvious, Bulletproof. (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.