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

Posts Tagged ‘Jake Gyllenhaal’

Okja

Monday, September 11th, 2017

This year THE HOST and SNOWPIERCER director Bong Joon-ho made a truly one-of-a-kind movie. OKJA is a sweet girl-and-her-creature tale like MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO after it has been swallowed by a vicious satire of corporate greed and man’s treatment of animals. It’s produced by Netflix with an international cast, many of them speaking English, but its wild shifts in tone make it feel safely within the tradition of South Korean cinema.

It already seems bug-nuts from the opening, when aggressively-faux-enlightened Mirando Corporation CEO Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton, CONSTANTINE) gives her colorful presentation about the “discovery” of the allegedly miraculously eco-friendly “superpig” species and their plan to give them to farmers in 26 cities around the world to raise for ten years using their local traditions and then to crown one as the best.

The decade passes, and young Mija (Ahn Seo-Hyun, the daughter in THE YELLOW SEA) lives an idyllic life in some mountains in Korea helping her grandfather (Byun Hee-bong, MEMORIES OF MURDER) take care of their superpig Okja. She’s bigger than a hippo – looks like a giant Eeyore – but limber enough to leap around like Ang Lee’s Hulk. Mija plays with her and rolls around on top of her belly and climbs inside her mouth to brush her teeth for her. (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.

Accidental Love

Monday, April 13th, 2015

tn_accidentallove“Have you ever been to a military-media moonbase event before?”

I don’t know if you guys remember this, but a long time ago David O. Russell was supposed to be doing a new comedy called NAILED, about Jessica Biel getting a nail stuck in her head. This was about seven years ago actually, so at the time Russell was coming off of I HEART HUCKABEES, which I really liked, but it didn’t seem like he was on the verge of becoming one of the big directors. I’m talking five years before he directed Jennifer Lawrence in an Oscar winning performance, when she was still playing the daughter on The Bill Engvall Show. That’s how long ago this was.

He was filming and everything but he kept having disasters with the financiers going bankrupt, not having enough money to pay the cast and crew, who repeatedly walked off. Eventually it got so bad Russell decided he had no choice but to close up shop with a day or two of filming left. He just gave up and took his first for-hire directing gig, subbing for Darren Aranofsky as a favor to Mark Wahlberg… but then that was THE FIGHTER, and all the sudden he had an Oscar nomination for best director, and then he did SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK and AMERICAN HUSTLE so he had three of those nominations and all the sudden he’s more known as that guy with the glasses at the Oscars than that mean guy who yelled at Lily Tomlin. Things are so good for him now he probly sometimes forgets that he wasted years of his life almost making NAILED.

But now all the sudden there’s this movie called ACCIDENTAL LOVE that’s on V.O.D. and will be on actual video soon. It’s written and directed by one Stephen Greene and it happens to have the exact same cast and premise as NAILED. You may be thinking “Stephen Greene, you hustlin sonofabitch, how the fuck did you achieve what three time Academy Award nominee for best director David O. Russell could not?” Actually my immediate assumption was that some guy named Stephen Greene did that last bit of shooting, slapped the thing together and credited himself as the director. But it turns out there is no Stephen Greene, he’s like Keyser Soze. They let Russell use a pseudonym for this release, which from what I hear takes some doing.

Ha. Both the director and the movie itself wanted to use pseudonyms. (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.

Nightcrawler

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

tn_nightcrawlerI watched NIGHTCRAWLER back-to-back with FOXCATCHER. So far I’ve been able to keep the titles straight in my head though, haven’t mixed them up like I still do with RISE OF THE/LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS. But it’s not just the titles that are vaguely similar. This is another story about a bizarre, unfeeling weirdo pretending to be a human. The biggest differences from John Du Pont are 1) no fake nose 2) this guy comes from a working class perspective; he’s introduced sneaking around stealing copper to sell for scrap, like a junkie 3) he’s the protagonist.

It takes place in L.A and mostly at night, so it’s kind of like a noir. Jake Gyllenhaal (HIGHWAY, PRINCE OF PERSIA) plays Lou Bloom, the weirdo in question. I liked him so much in PRISONERS that I’ll see a movie just for him now, so I was excited for this even before the acclaim. Lou is the kind of weirdo who (correctly) thinks he can just walk wherever he wants to if he acts like he belongs there. When he’s driving home one night and sees a flaming car wreck on the side of the freeway he just pulls over, gets out and walks up to watch firemen trying to pull the driver out of the wreckage. You know, just curious. Wanted to see what all the fuss was.

When he learns he can make a living listening to a police scanner, chasing down these tragedies and shoving a camera in there, it quickly becomes clear that he has a natural talent for it. He’s not only completely willing to get in the way of cops and paramedics in life and death situations, he’ll also walk into a house where a shooting has taken place, film the bodies, move things around to make the shots more compelling. Here, get this happy photo of the victim next to this bullet hole. Perfect. (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.

Enemy

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

tn_enemyENEMY is a weird, spooky thriller that director Denis Villaneuve and star Jake Gyllenhaal did right before PRISONERS. The arthouse freakout before the expensive studio drama that Lee Daniels got fired from. PRISONERS made me pay attention to the former and gain new respect for the latter, so here I am watching ENEMY.

Gyllenhaal plays a depressed college history professor who rents a movie one day and notices that the part of Bellhop #3 is played by a guy who looks exactly like him. Creepy. He does some detective work and tracks down the actor, who also has his same voice and an identical scar. He’s not sure what the fuck is going on, and he’s fascinated, but he’s weird about it. He calls and confuses the guy’s poor wife. (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.

Summer Movie Flashback: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

tn_princeofpersia

2010
2010

This is another one I never would’ve watched without painting myself into a corner with this review series. It falls into the small percentage of big summer movies that I just had no interest in seeing at all. Alot of the ones I miss, like, say, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4, I didn’t get around to seeing them, and I heard they were bad, but yeah, sure, I’d watch ’em. Probly will some day. But not this one. I wouldn’t have.

(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.

Source Code

Monday, April 4th, 2011

tn_sourcecodeSOURCE CODE is a fun thriller with a clever sci-fi premise: what if for some reason they remade GROUNDHOG’S DAY as a DE JA VU type thriller, and instead of Bill Murray it’s the guy who looks like the guy who used to play Spider-man and instead of having one day to cover the weather he has 8 minutes to figure out who planted a bomb on a train? That would be kinda cool, right? (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.

Brokeback Mountain

Saturday, December 17th, 2005

For God’s sake man, when I go to see a western there are certain things I expect to see, and certain things I don’t expect to see, and one of the things I don’t expect to see–

Nah, I’m just fuckin with you. Everybody knows that BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN is “the gay cowboy movie.” Or that’s the hype anyway. So first thing’s first, I gotta tell you that the “gay cowboy” description is utter bullshit and if that’s what you wanna see you’re gonna be just as disappointed as I woulda been if I went in expecting THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES. Because this is not about gay cowboys. It’s about gay sheperds. They herd sheep. They shepherd. They are gay shepherds. Get it straight, America. Cowboys are dealing with cows and cattle and whatnot. If they herd sheep, they are shepherds. In this case, gay shepherds. (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.

Jarhead

Sunday, December 11th, 2005

I actually saw this movie weeks ago, and I thought of this new technique to try: research. See, this is what happens. I see a movie and I like it, but it’s based on a book I haven’t read and I wonder how it compares. Maybe I wouldn’t feel the same about it if I knew my shit. This time I decided instead of reviewing the movie right away I would first read the book, then see what I thought.

The only problem is that after I read the book the movie wasn’t as fresh in my mind and it kind of blended in with the book. So I struggled with the review for a while until neither the book or the movie were fresh in my mind. What I’m trying to say is, this review might not be so hot. If I get all confused and start talking about leprechauns or a circus montage or something that doesn’t seem to fit what you know about the movie JARHEAD, do not take my word for it, assume that I am confused. Learn from my mistakes people, don’t read books or learn stuff. Because the more you find out, the more you forget about that you used to know. (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 Good Girl

Thursday, August 8th, 2002

This is the latest from the director Miguel Arteta and the Writer Mike White, who did CHUCK AND BUCK together. Mr. White also used to write for some tv shows, one supposedly really good and the rest called DAWSON’S CREEK and PASADENA. More recently he wrote the only okay ORANGE COUNTY and had a funny cameo in it. He has a small role here where he gets some laughs. He was the star of CHUCK AND BUCK and he’s a real goofball so when he appears in his movies you always want him to have a bigger part.

Before we move on I gotta ask, is this or is this not the same Mike White who does the zine Cashiers Du Cinemart that I used to always get spam for until dejanews shut down and I changed my e-mail? [UPDATE: I e-mailed the Cinemart Mike White, and he said he was not the GOOD GIRL Mike White.] If so that would also make him the same Mike White who makes the videos trying to point out which parts of Tarantino movies are similar to other people’s movies, which would make him kind of an ass. Somebody told me it was the same dude and I tried to verify it but the closest thing I could find for verification was that the Cinemart guy says he doesn’t have a new issue because he spent all of 2001 finding a new house, and then an interview with Miguel mentions that they auditioned Jake Gyllenhall in Mike White’s brand new house and he threw a chair and put a hole in the wall. That’s a pretty good clue I think but I don’t know if it would hold up in a court of law. I mean I wouldn’t want to besmirch Mike White’s name if there were two of them, like how there’s one George Miller who did MAD MAX and the other one who did the Steve Guttenberg movie where a dog rides on a dolphin’s back. (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.

Highway

Wednesday, March 27th, 2002

As I have mentioned before I live in Seattle. We are famous for a couple of different people. First of all we got Bruce Lee. When he left China he came here, he went to the University of Washington, he opened up a Jeet Kune Do school. The movie about his life, Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story, largely took place here although they didn’t film here because the University of Washington wouldn’t give them permission because they wouldn’t remove the part about the football team calling him a gook. He and his son Brandon, star of Laserblast, are both buried here.

Then we got Jimi. Jimi grew up here and he’s buried here too, although he hated it here and probaly woulda wanted to be buried in London if he had lived long enough to think about that kind of shit. (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.