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

Posts Tagged ‘music documentaries’

Reincarnated

Friday, April 26th, 2013

tn_reincarnated“Snoop gets Lionized”  –headline I predict Rolling Stone or somebody will use for their review

Like anybody, when I heard that one of my all time favorite but past his album recording prime rappers Snoop Dogg was changing his name to Snoop Lion and doing a reggae record, I shook my head and laughed. Ah, what will he think of next? But I saw the trailer for this Vice-produced documentary about Snoop going to Jamaica to record the album and suddenly I had to take the whole idea more seriously. The movie looked good enough that I would’ve gone to see it in a theater if it had played here. Instead here it is on DVD in time to promote the album of the same name, which came out Tuesday.

BTISLAnd holy shit you guys, this is a great documentary. I watched it last weekend and it overshadowed all the other things I’ve been watching lately, most of which I liked. I loved it so much I decided to invent this new medal just to make sure you guys will know I’m not fuckin around. This is an acclaimed documentary now, otherwise it wouldn’t have won a prestigious medal like this. If you love Snoop Dogg, or are even open to the idea of Snoop Dogg, you gotta see this. Regardless of how anybody feels about the album this is a great document of a man trying to find himself, of a historic bridging of musical cultures and generations, of the process of songwriting, of an awesome trip to Jamaica.

(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.

Thunder Soul

Monday, March 19th, 2012

tn_thundersoulTHUNDER SOUL is kind of like that movie WHEEDLE’S GROOVE, another documentary about a now-mostly-forgotten regional funk phenomenon of the ’70s, recounting the glory days through photo montage and vintage clips, with interviews of the musicians now that they’re all grown up and square with regular jobs and families but can use their rediscovery by young white record geeks as an excuse to reunite and prove to themselves that they’re still kinda cool. In my opinion that was a long sentence. (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.

Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terrordome

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

tn_terrordomeI never heard of this 2007 documentary about Public Enemy until I saw it in the new releases this week. Looks like it was made 3 years ago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their first album. I guess on DVD it must be celebrating the anniversary of their third album. But that’s Fear of a Black Planet, that’s a great album.

This is not the definitive hyper-detailed PE documentary I’d have dreamed about if it had ever occurred to me there could be a documentary about them. I’m sorry guys, I would’ve dreamed about it, but I was too distracted waiting for that Hank Shocklee Making of It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back book that never came out. This doesn’t quench my thirst for that one, but it’s not one of these amateurish hip hop documentaries they got either. It’s an enjoyable retrospective with alot of good moments, good photography and editing. Maybe the fonts could be improved, but for the most part it seems professional. (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.

Shut Up & Sing

Monday, November 27th, 2006

This is a documentary about the Dixie Chicks. Now, you probaly won’t be surprised to hear that I got no interest in the music of the Dixie Chicks. But you may or may not be surprised to hear that I liked the movie alot.

Of course the title refers to the main subject of the movie, the controversy that came in 2003 after Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines ad-libbed the dangerous sentence, “We’re ashamed that the President of the United States comes from Texas,” during a concert in London. Because of that one sentence (and some mild anti-war, pro-human life comments on the eve of the invasion) right wing web sights organized call-in campaigns to country music stations across the country, causing the corporation that runs the computer that programs every radio station to not play Dixie Chicks songs anymore. Meanwhile, idiots with bad handwriting made signs and stood outside of Dixie Chicks concerts reinforcing all the worst stereotypes about lower class white southerners. (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.

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party

Thursday, March 9th, 2006

DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY is the happiest, warmest, most joyful movie I’ve seen in a long god damn time. And not in a stupid way. The problems of the world are not ignored. There’s some light-hearted jokes about race issues, there’s a mention or two of the war, there’s some militant rap lyrics and a brief sermon by Fred Hampton Jr. All things I’m in favor of discussing. But mostly what this movie is is a whole bunch of people coming together to laugh and make beautiful music and have a good time together. In that sense it turns out it is kind of like WATTSTAX, the movie they mentioned as a model when they were filming this. I made fun of my ain’t it cool colleague Quint for writing that the trailer gives off a Wattstax vibe as if he came to that conclusion on his own. But there is a faint whiff of that vibe in the final movie I guess, if you’re really making a close examination of its vibes.

I saw this movie in what I consider a JASON X set up: the same big auditorium where I saw JASON X, mostly empty with only a few people peppered throughout, but sharing their love for the movie across the empty rows. At the end of the movie people clapped, like it was a live performance. I can’t remember the last time I saw that at a regular multiplex showing like this. (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.

Vern Gets SCRATCHed At SIFF!!

Saturday, June 16th, 2001

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

It has come to my attention that some of you are less than thrilled with the stylings of Vern, one of our infrequent contributors. That’s a damn shame. I think Vern rules. I would print Vern reviews if he was just talking about what he had for lunch. I am pleased as fuck (see, I can say it, too) to print this review of a film I adore, SCRATCH, which I reviewed before Sundance, and I also wrote about the SCRATCH live event at Sundance, one of the highlights of my year so far. We’ve also had glowing responses from John Robie, Monki, and others as the film has played at various festivals like South By Southwest and the current Seattle Film Festival. That’s where Vern saw it. Check out what Vern’s got to say, and if ya don’t like it, then as the great Kurtwood Smith once said in the also-great ROBOCOP, “Bitches… leave!”

So everybody keeps telling me Vern, you’re in Seattle. You gotta go see this movie called CHOPPER. It’s about this Australian ex-con maniac. It’s right up your alley Vern, come on bud watch it. And I REALLY want to see this movie. So somehow I end up missing it and seeing a documentary about moving records back and forth on a turntable to make weird freaky type noises that the kids do now. Which they call scratchin.

SCRATCH is a good one though, boys. The movie starts out with a basic background on the rapping music, breakdancing and etc. Then it moves into today’s “deejays” who are the folks who just… I don’t even know what these fellas are doing. But it’s two records and they just… whicka whick scratchety fresh, is basically the noise they make. Hard to explain. (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.