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

Posts Tagged ‘James Cameron’

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

In the part of my brain dedicated to Favorite Movies, James Cameron’s TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY sits on the top shelf with all the best and strongest. It was the definition of knock-you-through-the-back-of-the-theater summer blockbuster when it arrived in 1991, and my love for it has only deepened in the intervening quarter century.

Some big budget FX movies arguably get by on technological gimmicks that lose power as years pass, but not this one. It matters nothing that the groundbreaking, reality melting digital effects of the liquid metal T-1000 (Robert Patrick, THE MARINE) no longer cause jaws to drop, because in fact T2 is more impressive as a document of the time before computer imagery largely replaced old school stunts and sets and locations. No matter how many times and ways people and vehicles and buildings and cities and countries and planets have been elaborately destroyed by computers in the summers since, the thrill of T2 is not gone. For example the semi vs. motorcycles, helicopter vs. truck and other attempts to quash the relentless pursuit of the T-1000 are still exhilarating.

Rewatching every few years doesn’t wear out T2’s spectacle. Instead it amplifies the themes that animate the movie’s soul. (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.

Battle Beyond the Stars

Monday, July 6th, 2015

tn_battlebeyondFuck a star war – what about a battle beyond the stars? I know a battle is smaller than a war, it is only one of the units that makes up a part of a war, but maybe that’s better. More intimate. More focused. And then it’s beyond the stars instead of within them, as a mere star war is. Beyond is better. This battle has transcended the fucking stars.

Admittedly, it doesn’t seem like BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS takes place further away from here than any of the STAR WARSes. In fact, it is for sure closer, because people have heard of the planet Earth, and one guy is from there. His name is Cowboy, but not the pioneering rapper from the Furious Five who coined the term “hip hop.” He’s actually George Peppard a couple years before The A-Team and he wears a cowboy hat, plaid shirt and insulated silver space pants. He always shows off that he likes westerns and exotic Earth liquor. Obviously he’s the Han Solo character, and he’s entertaining, but most of his scenes are alone in his ship, so there’s a Chewbacca-sized hole next to him. (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.

This Ain’t Avatar

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

tn_thisaintavatarThey got this new extended cut of AVATAR coming out on the DVDs and blu-rays today. On the ad they showed Jake Sully in a crowded earth city, which I’d like to see. I’ve seen AVATAR twice – once in Imax 3-D when it first came out and a second time in Imax 3-D when they re-released it in the Extended But Not As Extended As the Upcoming Extended DVD and Blu-Ray Cut.

I believe that’s where they introduced the fact that the N’avi fuck by plugging their ponytails together. I didn’t really care about that though, I just liked seeing the movie again because I hadn’t given it much thought since the first time and I forgot how exciting it was gonna be when it gets into the big battle and all the great badass villain moments and everything. It’s no ALIENS but it’s a fun movie and a unique spectacle.

But because I enjoyed it so much that second time I think I need to give it more of a waiting period before I check out the new, longer version. I don’t want to wear out AVATAR. So now I’ll stick to something that is not AVATAR, and THIS AIN’T AVATAR, due to the title, is the only movie I could feel 100% confident was not gonna be AVATAR.
(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.

Avatar

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

tn_avatarWhen I came out of AVATAR I had a nice free feeling that I wasn’t even gonna write a review of it. I figured what it excels at is self-evident and what it fails at isn’t really worth dwelling on, and every motherfucker with a computer already wrote way too much about this thing anyway so what’s the point? I wouldn’t have much to say.

Then a couple days later I had written this behemoth. Hopefully there are one or two things here that haven’t been said before. (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.

Titanic

Monday, December 14th, 2009

tn_titanicHey, any of you guys ever seen TITANIC? It’s one of the later movies from the guy who did TERMINATOR. Bill Paxton stars as Brock Lovett, a deep sea explorer using THE ABYSS-style equipment to search the wreckage of the Titanic for a lost diamond. Along the way he meets Rose (Gloria Stuart), a 101 year old survivor of the famous shipwreck who teaches him valuable life lessons and what not. Also there are some flashbacks featuring Kate Winslet (HEAVENLY CREATURES ) as the younger Rose and Leonardo Dicaprio (THE QUICK AND THE DEAD), but don’t worry, he’s not supposed to be young Bill Paxton, he’s a different character.

Really, I’m surprised you guys haven’t heard of this. It was a pretty big deal at the time from what I remember. (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.

Strange Days

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

tn_strangedaysStrange days we’re livin in, here in the futuristic year of 1999. Everywhere you go there’s people getting chased, cars on fire. I just saw 2 people beating up Santa Claus on the sidewalk. Can you believe gas has gotten up to three whole dollars a gallon? What a nightmare! And man, I almost miss junkies. They were so much better than these “wireheads” you got now, who plug into recordings of the brain responses to sex and bank robberies and stuff. Those guys make me sick.

Okay, you got me, this is actually late 2009 when I’m writing this, and that was a made up science fiction scenario that did not end up happening in ’99. I would remember if it had. Isn’t that weird? In less then two months we’ll be at the 10th anniversary not of this movie, but of the future it takes place in. So it’s ironic that it’s about people stuck on re-living old experiences, and meanwhile we’re watching it comparing it to the actual New Year’s Eve 1999 we experienced. (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 Abyss

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

tn_abyssTHE ABYSS is probly James Cameron’s most original movie. It’s not primarily based around people getting killed by a monster or a bad guy. It’s more like man vs. scientific challenge, trying to fix things, to not run out of air, to survive the pressure (both literally and figuratively) of being deep underwater. Okay, so Michael Biehn snaps from a bad case of the Underwater Blues, and they gotta fight him, but most of it is more problem solving and scientific analysis like APOLLO 13 or QUATERMASS AND THE PIT. And then it turns into CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. And a little 2001. But underwater, so it’s completely different. Water is different from space. You can’t drink space. (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.

Aliens

Friday, July 27th, 2007

I’ve seen this movie many times over many years, and I’m sure you have too. I don’t think I need to try to convince anybody to like ALIENS. Asking somebody if they like ALIENS is like asking them if they like pizza or ice cream. You can assume the answer is “yes” and if not it’s just some weird quirk that person has, you can’t really make much of it.

But having noticed signs that the BIG FUCKIN SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER POPCORN MOVIE may be ailing here in 2007 I decided to get nostalgic and watch T2 (theatrical cut, back to ’91) and I had such a good time with that I thought, jesus, where do I go from here? Is there anything that big and yet at the same time that good? I wasn’t sure but I did know of one other James Cameron part 2 that I like even better and that of course is ALIENS. So I watched the theatrical cut of that too. (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.

True Lies

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

In James Cameron’s idea of a romantic comedy Schwarzenegger plays Harry Tasker, an agent for the “Omega Sector” secret spy agency who protect America from terrorism and are led by Charlton Heston with an eyepatch. He has one eye on the enemy, the other eye on infinity. Or something. The opening shows that Harry is willing to blow shit up but is more of a suave James Bond type than the usual Schwarzenegger character. He gets his way through trickery, wears a tux and even does a tango with Tia Carrera. (Remember when she was supposed to be a big deal?) He just happens to be a muscleman under that tux but nobody seems to notice in the movie, it’s not really relevant to the character.

Harry spends alot of his time being followed in a van by his woman-hating loyal manservant Tom Arnold (before he sidekicked for Jet Li or Steven Seagal) and his GGWATBOADSINR (good guy who appears to be of Arab descent so it’s not racist) Academy Award nominee for GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK Grant Heslov. But when he’s not trying to stop terrorists from getting nuclear weapons he faces the much bigger problem of relating to his wife Helen (Jamie Lee “I cut off Michael Meyers’s head” Curtis) who thinks he’s a boring computer salesman. (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.

Piranha Part Two: The Spawning

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

After watching the TERMINATOR movies for the first time in years I was so excited about James Cameron I decided I should go back and re-watch the Cameron movies I didn’t like, see if maybe my perspective has changed. Maybe there was some magic there I just wasn’t picking up on.

So of course I had to go back to the beginning, the smash debut, the one that started it all for director James Cameron. Orson Welles started out with CITIZEN KANE, James Cameron started out with PIRANHA PART TWO THE SPAWNING. What can you say, man, it was a different era. (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.