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

Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Biel’

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.

Hitchcock

Friday, March 15th, 2013

tn_hitchcockHow do you make a narrative film about Alfred Hitchcock filming PSYCHO? Adequately.

Anthony Hopkins (BAD COMPANY) plays Alfred “Hitch” Hitchcock, fresh off of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, anxious about his reputation and itching to do something new. He doesn’t want to turn into some by-the-numbers hack so he turns down bullshit like some stupid “Casino Royale” movie they want him to do, whatever the fuck that is. (keep in mind parkour had not been invented yet so it wouldn’t have been that good back then.) He doesn’t want to repeat himself and he’s fascinated by the gory true story of Ed Gein, famed Wisconsin killer, cannibal, grave robber and mama’s boy. When Robert Bloch’s Geinsploitation book Psycho comes out he decides it’s his next movie, but Paramount disagrees. Through his stubbornness, tenacity and a good agent he finds a way to fund it himself and have them distribute it. He makes them his errand boy. (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 Tall Man

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Remember the excitement we had when we came across MARTYRS, written and directed by Pascal Laugier? A genuinely unpredictable, unformulaic horror movie. One that was brutal and unpleasant enough that I was hesitant about recommending it to people, but great enough that it’s become pretty much universally respected as the must-see horror movie of recent years. Probly of the decade. The pinnacle of modern euro-horror, the most respectable extreme-horror.

When there’s somebody who made something that unusual, that pure, obviously Hollywood knows what to do: string ‘im up. Bring him to the U.S., make him speak English, put him on a HELLRAISER remake. Waste his time in idiotic meetings, showing him that he’s not allowed to do whatever he wants. He must compromise. Show him who’s boss.

So he quit HELLRAISER. But he still made an English language movie starring Jessica Biel. I heard a long time ago that it wasn’t that good, I forget if it was at a film festival or somebody saw a test screening or what. But I believed it. It sounded about right. He was making HARD BOILED, we don’t want to see his BROKEN ARROW.

But the reports were wrong! This is more like his FACE/OFF. (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.

Next

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

tn_nextNEXT is a 2007 Nicolas Cage sci-fi vehicle from director Lee Tamahori (ONCE WERE WARRIORS, xXx: STATE OF THE UNION). I finally got to it because I saw that KILL THE IRISHMAN movie and liked it enough to want to look up what else Jonathan Hensleigh has been up to. He’s credited as a writer on this along with Gary Goldman (BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, TOTAL RECALL, NAVY SEALS) and Paul Bernbaum (Riptide, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, etc.). I got a hunch which one was the primary visionary behind this, but I’m not gonna say it. (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 A-Team

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

tn_ateamMore like THE C+/B- TEAM if you ask me! Nah, I’m sure somebody beat me to that one, and they probly graded lower. THE A-TEAM is semi-enjoyable but not nearly as good as I wish it was and truly believe it could’ve been even if it’s an adaptation of a stupid ’80s TV show where everybody fires guns and nobody ever gets their head blown off. Directed by Joe Carnahan in a toned down version of his SMOKIN’ ACES hyperactive style, using a script he took over from an individual responsible for THURSDAY, SWORDFISH, HITMAN and WOLVERINE, it’s a movie that only partially earns its swagger. I kind of went back and forth on my feelings about these characters constantly laughing as they pull off ridiculous digitized feats in jets and choppers. It’s kind of relatable and endearing, kind of frat boy and smarmy. It’s the only action movie I can think of where after multiple action beats the characters yell “THAT WAS AWESOME!” (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.

Stealth

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

Director Rob Cohen’s STEALTH, which would be called WHOOOSSSHHHH! if it was up to me, takes place in the near future. In the near future, the world’s three best and also sexiest pilots have been specially trained to combat terrorism. The way this works is, they fly around and drop bombs on the terrorists. They got this shit down to an art, so for example the CIA calls and says listen up super flyers, we know for sure that three evil terrorist cell leaders who are planning an imminent and deadly attack are going to be meeting up in 24 minutes in a completely empty skyscraper in Rangoon. Have at it, kids.

Even though they know for sure that there are no innocent office workers, janitors or burglars inside the building, our three top guns check out some statistics on their onboard computers to make sure this is morally sound. They know this is in the middle of downtown so they have to plan out a way to implode the building so that it will be all neat and tidy and no bricks will fall on anybody’s heads or anything. And they pull it off! (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.

Blade: Trinity

Sunday, December 12th, 2004

Man I tell you, I wish it was possible for lightning to strike 3 times in the same spot. It would be useful for many things including meteorological research and movie trilogies. But it’s not possible. Never happened. Not once. Only once has it hit the same exact place twice. And that place was the exact spot where Blade was standing at the time. Both times.

What I’m saying obviously is that BLADE III – and I will not call it BLADE TRINITY because what the hell kind of name for Blade III is BLADE TRINITY – is no BLADE or BLADE II. And there are many reasons why. The most immediate thing you notice: it just doesn’t look as good. Steve Norrington and Guillermo Del Toro were both so careful and artful. BLADE felt so exact and carefully composed, II was so spooky atmospheric with shiny gold tinted edges. III (directed by the guy Dave Goyer who wrote all the other ones but only directed the small indy drama ZIG ZAG) tries hard to imitate some of both of those looks. It has the same cinematagraphist as the last one, and I mean it’s not an ugly movie. But you can tell it’s not quite real. Not it’s own look, not quite capturing the previous looks. I think I read this was more expensive than the others but to me it feels cheaper. Almost like a really damn impressive TV version of the Blade universe. But not quite the real Blade universe. (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 Rules of Attraction

Saturday, October 12th, 2002

Not even Mr. McTiernan’s ROLLERBALL managed to scare up as much hatred in movie critics as THE RULES OF ATTRACTION, the latest by Roger Avary, Oscar winning screenwriter best known as the guy who worked at the video store with Quentin Tarantino. I knew there were a handful of fans but many of the reviews were filled with the kind of angry blubbering you usually get when somebody talks about that last Batman and Robin movie or the 30th Anniversary version of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD where they added in extra scenes and changed the music. The kind of thing where you’re so appalled by the movie you can barely even speak English anymore. The film critic at a local alternative weekly interviewed Avary about the movie and the first question was “What were you thinking?”

So I was kind of surprised by how good the movie actually is. Sure it’s pretty pretentious. And if all you see is a “rich college kids are fucked up” message then no, it’s not an original message. But then neither is “war is hell” and that hasn’t made anyone declare the end of the war movie genre for all of eternity. I didn’t find this movie profound (I didn’t find it empty either) but I really thought the execution of it was exceptional. And there is some truth to the story it paints of people being attracted to horrible people and things turning out bad. (In fact, real bad.) (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.