I use hands to help my fellow man / I use hands to help with what I can / But when I face an unjust injury / Then I change my hand into FIST OF FURY

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Shannon’

The Shape of Water

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

(may contain traces of spoilers)

THE SHAPE OF WATER is kinda like Guillermo del Toro’s version of AMELIE, and obviously in his version Amelie fucks a sea monster. Sally Hawkins (NEVER LET ME GO, GODZILLA) plays Elisa, a mute (but not deaf) lady living a quirky life in Cold War era Baltimore. Her apartment is above a beautiful one-screen movie theater showing THE STORY OF RUTH. Her next door neighbor and best friend Giles (Richard Jenkins, BLUE STEEL) is a gay painter of magazine advertisements who lives with a bunch of cats. In the opening scene, a nearby chocolate factory is on fire, so he’s even given an impression of how the place smells (shoulda seen it in 4DX).

Elisa’s job is mopping floors in an aerospace research lab, and one night the bosses bring in “The Asset” (Doug Jones, FANTASTIC 4: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER), a creature from the unspecified lagoon in a metal tube, for top secret experiments. Elisa and her co-worker friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer, HALLOWEEN II, DRAG ME TO HELL) don’t see it at first, but they hear its roar and have to clean up its bloody mess when it removes two fingers from sadistic head of security Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon, BAD BOYS II) without getting his permission.

We all know del Toro loves his creatures, and we’ll get to that. He also delights in contrasting them against depraved monsters of the human variety. Strickland is one of these, an aggressive bully who likes to talk about “signs of weak character” and the brand and stats of the cattle prod he carries around. You know you’re a bad person if you have a little speech prepared about your favorite candy that you can suddenly go into while intimidating somebody so they’ll think “Oh good, he changed the subject to candy all the sudden, I don’t understand why but maybe we are going to eat candy now or something” and then “Oh no, I should’ve known, he only brought up the candy as an analogy for his philosophy of brutal torture.” (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.

Loving

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

tn_lovingLOVING is a pretty simple true story about something that should be pretty simple: two people are in love and having a baby and decide to get married and build a life together. Should be up to them to decide if that’s a good idea, you would think, but the trouble is that Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton, WARRIOR) is white and Mildred Jeter (Ruth Negga, THE SAMARITAN, WARCRAFT) is black, and in Virginia in 1958 it was illegal for them to get married.

Like same sex couples before we got marriage equality a few years back, they had to go somewhere else to get married (Washington DC), but back at home the cops kick in their door one night and arrest them. Richard gets bailed out but they won’t let him bail out Mildred. Wait to see the judge on Monday, they say, as if that’s a reasonable thing to ask a man whose pregnant wife is currently locked up in a cold cell for ludicrous reasons. They threaten to arrest him if he keeps trying to get her released.

The judge would make the Lovings do a year for this – for being married! – but they plea bargain. Instead they have to leave the state (their home, their property, their family, their jobs) and not come back together for 25 years. So, against their will, they go to raise their kid (soon kids, plural) in the city.

(Virginia: 13 electoral votes. DC: 3 votes starting in 1961.) (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.

Man of Steel

Friday, June 14th, 2013

tn_manofsteel(contains THE SPOILERS)

I cannot tell a lie, I was really fuckin excited for the new Superman movie. I went to the midnight show and everything. I showed up way too early. I passed a guy dressed as Superman going into the john and might’ve given him a high five if I knew he’d washed his hands. I’m down for this. I wanted this to be great.

I’m not one of those people who shits on SUPERMAN RETURNS. I liked it, I just didn’t love it, mainly because I think it was shackled by nostalgia, held back by trying so hard to recapture the old Richard Donner movies. I know this is considered blasphemy in many circles (you’re gonna be hearing that a couple more times in this review) but I just don’t like those Superman pictures that much. They were great in the ’70s and early ’80s but to me they haven’t held up the way the Spielberg and Lucas joints of the era still do and will continue to. So as good of a job as Bryan Singer did of imitating that old version of Superman and goofball Lex Luthor and re-using the same font and music and all that, I feel like what I want to see now is start over and do a different take on Superman that’s made for the futuristic year of 2013. That’s what director Zack Snyder, writer David S. Goyer and producer Christopher Nolan have done with MAN OF STEEL and… well, I like not love this one also. But maybe like it a little more. Maybe a smidge closer to love on this one. I don’t feel high off it like I did off the Batman movies. But I am still thinking about it, and already want to see it again, see how it plays without all the baggage of expectations. (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.

13 vs. 13 TZAMETI

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

tn_13Okay, let’s do some DTV math here. If there’s a new Jason Statham movie, I’m probly gonna watch it. If it also has Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone and Ben Gazzara in the cast I’m even more probly gonna watch it. All of these people do crappy movies sometimes, but they’re actors I like, so with all of them together that adds up to hope.

If 50 Cent is also in there, though, that’s a detracting factor. Not that I think he’ll do that bad of a job, just that he does not have much of a track record for participating in movies that people should spend their time watching. And actually while the presence of Mickey Rourke in a movie can make it interesting or even great, Mickey Rourke + 50 Cent actually reverses Mickey Rourke and turns him into a likely negative. But in this case there is also the Statham/Winstone combo which could easily overpower the force of Rourke/50, especially when you factor in Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, ’cause he’s in it too.

So I crunched all this data and according to my calculations 50 is not gonna ruin 13. He already did a DTV movie called 12, he probly just stuck around ’til they starting filming 13 and they just let him be in it because he seemed nice and was passing out Vitamin Water to everybody. So they made the movie with him and later I rented 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.

Jonah Hex

Monday, March 14th, 2011

tn_jonahhexI can dig a good western, and alot of critics have been saying that JONAH HEX is even better than TRUE GRIT, so I thought I should check it out.

Okay, that’s not entirely true. Also it’s not at all true. Armond White doesn’t count as somebody seriously for real liking JONAH HEX. But I’m a positive individual so I was trying to put a good spin on it. Believe it or not though I don’t have to delve into too much negativity for this review. JONAH HEX is not as bad as I was expecting, or as people have said. It definitely doesn’t work, but I don’t consider it a total abomination. It is beautiful in God’s eyes, it’s only on this earthly plane that it gets bullied because of its deformed face.
(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.

Jesus’ Son

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Sometimes a movie comes along without much of a push, and without much commercial appeal, and not very many people go to see it or even hear about it. But most of those who do are pleased to find that it is an unusually good picture. They tell their friends about it, they write rave reviews of it. Then your connection in the home video industry, Pornographical Jerry, hooks you up with an advanced preview cassette of the picture and you give it a shot. And holy shit, it turns out to be the best movie you’ve seen in a long fucking time. Now you can’t wait to use your power and responsibility as an acclaimed Writer on the films of Cinema to promote the movie, so you try to time your review to come out on the day it is released so that all the little Outlaws out there will storm into their chain video stores and say look asshole, where is it? Where is Jesus’ Son fer cryin out loud, don’t give me that never heard of it look, this is a highly acclaimed movie. “Oh, you mean the one on Vern’s sight? Right over here, sir.” (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.