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

Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Irons’

Justice League

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

(SPOILERS)

Sometimes, you know, Superman dies, so a bad guy decides to conquer the world, so you have to put together a team of other super heroes to fill in for Superman, but then you decide to bring him back to life, but he seems evil at first and fights you, but then he chills out while you fight the CGI guy, then he shows up. JUSTICE LEAGUE is a perfectly watchable, okay super hero romp, with a hefty serving of the humor everyone thought was missing in the last two Superman pictures, but no more sense, and very little of the gravity or operatic style. Goodbye worshipful awe of Superman, hello green screened-in undercutting gags.

Oh, but don’t worry, when Aqua-Man smashes through a building it’s been painstakingly established that it’s in an abandoned town. That’s the most important thing, obviously.

The invasion foreshadowed at the end of BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF THE LIVING JUSTICE is at hand. Batman knows it because a Geonosian “Parademon” flies up while he’s hanging a thief off a rooftop. I think he was using the poor guy as bait (the things smell fear), but possibly it’s just a weird thing that happens while he’s on the job. I like that when the creature appears Batman and the criminal seem to completely drop their conflict and have a conversation about how fucked up things are since Superman’s death. A little bonding between fellow humans. A nice moment. (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.

Die Hard With a Vengeance

Monday, June 1st, 2015

tn_dhwav

RELEASE DATE: May 19
RELEASE DATE: May 19

“But I thought this was a currency exchange!”

In kicking off my summer of 1995 retrospective I made the grave error of skipping a May 19th release that very likely is the movie of that summer, one that is widely loved (especially around here) but sometimes forgotten in the lists of great films of the ’90s. Of course I don’t have to remind you guys about DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE, you know about it. But I neglected to remember that my reviews of the original DIE HARD trilogy were written 15 years ago when I was taking the first steps on my journey to cinematic enlightenment. In other words I was kind of a dummy. So I owe it to myself and to society to try again.

The main thing that makes WITH A VENGEANCE stand out from the other DIE HARD sequels is the strong filmatism of director John McTiernan at his peak. The opening two minutes is a perfect sample, like when the one guy in the coke deal lets the other guy dip his finger in and taste the product. We see the Brooklyn Bridge on a summer day. Then the words “DIE HARD” whoosh onto the screen. This is DIE HARD but it’s a new location, new time of year, new time of day. Then the words fly away and are replaced by a much larger” WITH A VENGEANCE,” slamming across the screen, then shooting right at us. This is a sequel that’s aware of the power of it’s title, so it’s unashamed to smash it into our eyes with a sound effect, to cockily fill the whole screen with it.

Then we get a beautiful montage of New York City set to “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful. The sun glimmering on reflective buildings. Sidewalks filled with people walking to work. Cars and buses and delivery trucks. These look like real commuters. Documentary footage. An accurate representation of regular people starting their day. A nice day, too. But abruptly, mid-lyric, a department store explodes, sending clouds of dust and wreckage into the street, flipping over cars and trucks parked in front. (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.

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.

Dead Ringers

Monday, June 21st, 2010

tn_deadringersOne type of humor I’m a sucker for is the ol’ pathetic lie joke. For example in that movie KINGPIN Woody Harrelson and Randy Quaid are trying to hustle some guys at a bowling alley and Quaid says he’s gonna lose all his money because he’s “so bombed.” But the bartender knows he hasn’t been drinking and says, “You get that way from ginger ale?”

They’re caught, they’re dead, there’s nowhere to go from there, they should hang up the towel, but they don’t. Woody goes for the pathetic lie.

“Nah, he was sniffing glue in the parking lot.” (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.

Die Hard: With a Vengeance

Wednesday, January 5th, 2000

DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE

My first time

Well I have found that a lot of my readers have also come to love the films of the Bruce Willis Die Hard series. But I wonder how many of you are in the same situation as me. Die Hard comes out in 1988, you love it. Die Hard 2 comes out a couple years later, pretty fucking good. Die Hard part 3 comes out but wait a minute, you are incapacitated and/or incarcerated at the time and are not able to ever get around to seeing the thing until letterbox video in the year 2000.

So yes, this is my first time for Die Hard With a Vengeance which is what they call part 3 for whatever reason, not sure about that one get back to me on that one later.

The other Die Hards took place in a limited setting – part 1, they take over a building. Part 2, they took over an airport. Part 3 opens by montaging New York city to the tune of “Summer in the City” by the Lovin Spoonful. You got the cars, you got the people, you got the stores and then oh yeah you got a big explosion. So right away you say wait a minute, these terrorists, these motherfuckers are working on a bigger canvas this time. That canvas, in my opinion, is called New York city. So it’s a whole different thing we’re dealing with here McClane.

Now the second difference here is that McClane doesn’t just happen to be there by coincidence. In fact he’s on suspension and he’s out drinking and they have to find him, because the mastermind who calls himself Simon asks for McClane specifically. (Not to give anything away but he is Hans Grueber’s brother out for revenge.)

In my opinion the opening is the best part of this piece. This one harkens way the fuck back to Bruce Willis’s Die Hard 1 (1988) in which John McClane was introduced as Hollywood’s most fucked up action hero. He’s separated from his wife, he fucks up bad and starts arguing with her, I mean the guy’s falling apart so much he’s walking around without shoes on. (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.