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

Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Depp’

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

May 19, 1998

Fresh off of the hard-hitting journalism of Tea Leoni in DEEP IMPACT and Maria Pitillo in GODZILLA, summer of ’98 offered an alternative approach. Johnny Depp (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET) plays Raoul Duke and/or Hunter S. Thompson in Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Thompson’s 1971 Rolling-Stone-two-parter-turned-book about covering the Mint 400 desert motorcycle race for Sports Illustrated. You do see a glimpse of dirt bikes (well, mostly dirt), but the real story is his crazed debauchery while “searching for the American Dream” with his lawyer (who we never once see doing legal work) Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro, SICARIO), ingesting much of the contents of a briefcase containing “a serious drug collection,” turning hotel rooms into Vietnam War movies and barely avoiding death or prison like some silent film clown accidentally dodging a series of falling objects.

And the movie itself keeps ducking dangers with miraculous precision. This is 118 minutes of what mostly feels like aimless madness, depraved variations on bad behavior and hallucinations, but to me it never gets old. I actually feel more exhausted at the end of Gilliam’s more polite movies like BRAZIL, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN or TWELVE MONKEYS. Somehow I’m endlessly amused by Duke and Gonzo’s deadpan craziness as they live out the type of lifestyle where you’d only be a little surprised to wake up with an alligator tail growing out of you, a microphone taped to your face and a giant smoking hole in your hotel bed. (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 Lone Ranger

Monday, July 8th, 2013

tn_lonerangerFuck it. I loved THE LONE RANGER. I’m not gonna downplay it. It doesn’t surprise me it’s not a runaway hit, ’cause it’s a cowboy from a fuckin radio play, for chrissakes. Every several years they sink a bunch of money into a movie based on an old timey adventure hero like The Phantom, The Shadow, The Green Hornet, John Carter, or this guy, and maybe with the exception of Zorro they’ve all failed to make money or capture the public consciousness. But I tend to like these kinds of movies, so thank you, corporations, for losing so much scratch on my behalf, especially this time. Here we have the most artful and original of any of those mentioned. I wouldn’t expect everybody to want to see it, but I honestly can’t comprehend the hatred for it by people who have.

It’s made by Team Pirates of the Caribbean: director Gore Verbinski, star Johnny Depp, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, studio Walt Disney, writers Terry Rossio & Ted Elliot (this time with Justin Haythe, who wrote SNITCH), composer Hans Zimmer. And I personally really like their three Pirates movies, so keep that in mind, but this is much more concise and focused. I’m not gonna say it’s better than PIRATES 2, with all those crazy creatures and shit, but it’s faster moving and better structured. (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.

Dark Shadows

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

tn_darkshadowsa.k.a. TIM BURTON’S WHITE BLACULA

I didn’t expect to write a review of this movie, but I think I liked it more than everybody else, so I figured I should stick up for it. I mean, I don’t necessarily plan to watch it again in my life, but it has an odd tone that I enjoyed and shows signs of life in ol’ Tim Burton. (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.

Alice in Wonderland

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

tn_aliceinwonderland2010ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Louis Carroll or whoever is one of the most beloved and iconic children’s literatures of our times. It has also been one of the most adapted, referenced and re-interpreted. Ever since the books Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland and A2: Rise of the Looking Glass were first published in such and such a year, I myself as a child growing up was inspired by, blah blah blah and you know the rest. In 1951 Walt Disney, etc.

As an adaptation of the original book, ALICE IN WONDERLAND is not entirely faithful. Like many versions it combines characters from the first book and the sequel (Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Humpty Dumpty were from the second book according to Wikipedia, a popular websight). However it’s not meant as a straightforward translation of the book, but more a riff on the world of Wonderland, using our familiarity with some of the imagery and characters from previous adaptations and trying to be clever about re-interpreting them in a different context. (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.

Finding Neverland

Saturday, January 29th, 2005

FINDING NEVERLAND is one of those movies that feels kind of like a remedial imagination class they force you to take on Saturdays because you fucked up. You may not know this, it tells you, but it turns out imagination is important and magical and all that kind of crap. Johnny Depp plays J.M. Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan. The movie starts the same as ED WOOD, he’s the writer of some flop play that the audience already hates literally about 2 seconds after it starts. It’s the first line of dialogue and a dude is already asleep.

So J.M. needs to imagination up his life somehow to inspire him to write Peter Pan, and luckily he runs into a widow (Kate Winslet) and her spunky kids (a bunch of kids) while he’s walking his novelty oversized dog. Next thing you know he’s hanging out with the kids, dressing up in silly costumes and imagining stuff with them. They’re still pretty bummed about their dad dying so he has to teach them to have a childlike sense of wonder, etc. (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.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Friday, September 12th, 2003

When last we saw the Mariachi, he had killed his drug dealer brother to avenge his lover’s death and the career-ending injury of his hand. He had found a new love (Carolina) and had indirectly caused the shooting of a little boy he had given guitar lessons to. He decided to give up violence, but only a little bit, so he kept his guitar case full of weapons “just in case.”

When we see him again in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO he has become even more mythical than before. Instead of having to send Steve Buscemi to bars to make up stories about him, the bartenders themselves tell the stories. His hand has healed so he can play guitar better than ever, in fact he likes to just walk around playing guitar even when people are trying to kill him. Robert Rodriguez knows how to make a hand made guitar look like the most beautiful thing in the world, so it’s good that the Mariachi is hiding out in a town of guitar makers who like him to test their creations. (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.

From Hell

Friday, October 19th, 2001

Maybe I mentioned that I’ve been on a documentary kick. I mean I’ve been watching the works of documentationists left and right. Not just BIGGIE AND TUPAC, but all the Maysles brothers direct cinema shit, Pumping Iron, Hoop Dreams, you name it. If it’s a documentary, and I’ve seen it, then I’ve seen it lately. But as great as some of these movies are, only some of them are greater than 2000’s Outlaw Award Winning picture AMERICAN PIMP by the Hughes Brothers. This is the definitive pimpumentary, I don’t care what you say about PIMPS UP, HOES DOWN it’s no AMERICAN PIMP.

The Hughes brothers are identical twin brothers who look the same. Because they are identical twins. Other than that, they seem very down to earth. They got alot of attention very fast with the huge success of their first picture, MENACE II SOCIETY which basically started the whole “young black director makes first low budget movie about life in the hood” thing back in the ’90s. They followed that up with the underrated heist/Vietnam movie DEAD PRESIDENTS, which got bad reviews and which they disavow on every subsequent dvd release. (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.

Sleepy Hollow

Monday, November 22nd, 1999

This week what I saw was a piece by the name of Sleepy Hollow. This is what you call an old fashioned horror type movie based on that old story of the decapitated horseman. What he does is he goes around chopping off motherfuckers heads with an ax goin “Where’s my head? Where’s my head motherfucker give it back!” Or at least, that is what he’s communicating through the medium of head chopping.

Now first of all, if any of you like me saw halloween 20 last halloween, your probably thinking the same thing I am – could it be… michael meyers is the headless horseman? Because remember michael also got his head chopped off with an ax. And yeah nobody ever taught him how to ride a horse but then nobody taught him how to drive a car either but he was doing very well last night. Anyway I don’t want to give anything away but its not him unfortunately in sleepy hollow because it takes place in a different time period. SOrry.

Well obviously what you gotta do in a headless horseman type situation like this, even if its not michael meyers, you gotta figure out what the hell is up with this fucker and catch him. Let me tell you i’m glad this dude doesn’t get locked up in the end, i would feel bad for the inmates that have to deal with a dude with no head, that’s just creepy.

So anyway the dude who goes after him is kind of a sissy type fella by the name of Ichabod Crane. Apparently he’s some sort of cop although without a uniform or a badge I’m just going to let it slide and say, okay, this dude is all right with me. Even if he’s wearing some kind of lady’s scarf which I guess was considered less taboo at the time this takes place. (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.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Thursday, April 1st, 1999

This is a movie where Ichabod from Sleepy Hollow teams up with a fat Mexican dude named Benicio Del Toro, and these two drive to Las Vegas on 700 different types of drugs to cover a motorcycle race for a magazine. I believe Bill Murray played this same Ichabod character back in the ’80s based on the real guy, Hunter S. Thompson who wrote the book.

Now as you know I’m sober as the Pope during Lent, but I can still appreciate a good drug movie at least as long as it’s this good. The filmatist behind this one, Terry Gilliam, creates a nightmare Las Vegas world where hallucinations of dripping floors and cocktail drinking lizards and nippled buffaloes becomes reality. And the real trip is in the last act of the picture when suddenly Ichabod wakes up in the most trashed hotel room of all time – it looks like a junkyard on top of a lagoon – and tries to remember what happened. All the sudden he has an alligator tail and he’s dictating to a tape recorder duct taped to his mouth. I mean I think we can all relate to that type of morning in my opinion. (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.