So once again we have survived.

Posts Tagged ‘Neal McDonough’

Batman: Assault On Arkham

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

tn_batmanaoasummer2016originsBATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM is one in a long series of DTV animated movies based on the super hero works of the DC Comics company (#20 out of 26 so far, according to Wikipedia). This is a particularly too-PG-13-for-kids one (a sex scene, exploding heads, a few naughty words, bullets going into a decapitated body, unceremonious deaths of characters your kid may love if he or she is weirdly knowledgeable of third-string DC villains), and although it’s marketed as a tie-in to the Batman Arkham City video games it’s actually a Suicide Squad cartoon with Batman as a supporting character.

We all know the concept of Suicide Squad now, thanks to this summer’s live action version. It’s a DIRTY DOZEN type team but instead of army troublemakers the members are the enemies of various super heroes. This version starts when shady government official Amanda Waller (CCH Pounder, FACE/OFF) oversees her SWAT team getting The Riddler (Matthew Gray Gubler, EXCISION) snatched out from under them by the fucking Batman (Kevin Conroy, YOGA HOSERS). They want Riddler for some secret black ops something or other, but Batman gets him into the regular legal system, locked up in Arkham Asylum. (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.

Falcon Rising

Monday, September 8th, 2014

tn_falconrisingI don’t think FALCON RISING is a new b-action classic like BLOOD AND BONE or UNDISPUTED II. It’s not as imaginative or expertly executed as those. But it is something I love that the world doesn’t get enough of these days: a solid meat and potatoes action movie molded entirely around the badassness of a martial artist, the great Michael Jai White.

Career-wise, MJW has diversified more than his golden age predecessors like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal (who he fought in UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: THE RETURN and EXIT WOUNDS, respectively). He’s supplemented his many action credits with Tyler Perry movies and sitcoms (WHY DID I GET MARRIED 1-TOO, For Better or Worse) and with creating and writing BLACK DYNAMITE (both the movie and the animated series, soon in its second season). But one look at his cartoonishly inflated muscles or at one of his flying kicks and it’s clear that he was meant for an endless series of action vehicles, even if that’s not what Hollywood (or Sofia, or whoever) thinks they’re supposed to be making in this era. (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.

trailer for FALCON RISING starring MJW

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

We finally have a new Michael Jai White vehicle on the way, and here’s the trailer.

Falcon Rising – Trailer from Moonstone Entertainment on Vimeo.

Somehow MJW hasn’t had an action movie role since 2011 (when he co-starred in TACTICAL FORCE and NEVER BACK DOWN 2), and he hasn’t had a starring action role since his DTV classic BLOOD AND BONE in 2009. The producers of FALCON RISING recognize this problem so they are pre-planning this as a franchise. If they stick to the plan then White’s character John “Falcon” Chapman will doing flying kicks on motherfuckers in different exotic locations each year. This is of course the Brazil chapter.

It looks like Neal McDonough plays his boss, and his sister (who gets kidnapped, I think) is played by Muhammad Ali’s daughter Laila. Not surprisingly considering the setting, Lateef Crowder (capoeira fighter who’s in THE PROTECTOR and UNDISPUTED III) is also in it. Larnell Stovall (UNDISPUTED III, NEVER BACK DOWN 2, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING) choreographed the fights. At one point I read that Isaac Florentine (where are you, man?) was gonna direct this, but it ended up being Ernie Barbarash. Not as much of a sure bet, but I remember thinking his Van Damme/Adkins team-up ASSASSINATION GAMES was pretty decent.

Allegedly this will have a theatrical release September 5th, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

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 Marine 3: Homefront

Monday, April 29th, 2013

tn_marine3You guys know I’ve always rooted for the movies carrying the prestigious WWE Films banner. I gave the rare rave review of their dumb slasher movie SEE NO EVIL (9% on Rotten Tomatoes), even got quoted by the producer on a commentary track. I wrote that the Triple-H/Parker Posey team in INSIDE OUT might be “this generation’s William Powell and Myrna Loy”. I loved THE MARINE 2 and labelled it one of the few DTV sequels superior to a theatrical original. They were starting to have a really good track record there.

Now I’m a little concerned because it seems like WWE Films is trying to get out of the making-WWE-films business. First they started picking up non-wrestling, independent features to distribute (THE DAY), then they put out two wide theatrical releases, DEAD MAN DOWN and THE CALL, that star Oscar nominees/winners instead of wrestlers. I mean I want to see both movies – they’re from pretty interesting directors, the first looks good and the other looks funny-bad – but I don’t like it. Yeah, so what if Cartoon Network has live action shows and MTV doesn’t play M anymore? Other people will make movies starring Halle Berry, I promise you. WWE should only have her in a buddy cop movie with The Undertaker.

(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.

After Dark Action announces theatrical date for DRAGON EYES and 4 others

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

tn_elgringoAFTER DARK ACTION (that new low budget action company I wrote about here) put up their websight today and announced their schedule. In the tradition of the same company’s AFTER DARK HORROR-FEST they’re gonna be unleashing 5 new action movies in select theaters and on video-on-demand on May 11th. So far Seattle is not on the list of cities, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Not literally, that would be stupid.

All five of the movies sound like something I would watch, some more than others. Among their casts are two of our favorite ’80s/’90s action icons, 2 of our favorites from the 2000s, one star of a STEP UP sequel, my favorite Justified villain, and Christian Slater. (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.

Captain America: The First Avenger

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

tn_captainamericaCAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is the last of the Marvel Comics soda can labels before next year when all the separate labels will be united into one all-star label called THE AVENGERS (the comics one, not the one with Sean Connery in the teddy bear costume). The IRON MANs, THOR and INCREDIBLE HULK were all on Dr. Pepper I believe, though, and this one’s on 7-UP. So it’s a whole new ball game. I think it dips a bit into the cheesy side visually and filmatism-wise, but it’s an enjoyable story that’s a little different from the other super hero guys and stands on its own better than THOR. In fact the way it leads up to this AVENGERS movie allows it to end on an odd emotional note that it wouldn’t have otherwise.
(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.

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

tn_legendofchunliIf I had to choose the better STREET FIGHTER I guess I’d have to go with the newer one, STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN LI. It’s a slick, competently made preboot with TV actress Kristin Kreuk as the young Chun Li. There seems to be more martial arts in the first 8 minutes (when Chun Li is still a kid) than in the entire STREET FIGHTER: THE MOVIE even if you watched it two times in a row. Could’ve done without Chun Li’s constant voiceover narration through the first half, though. (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.

I Know Who Killed Me

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

Other than having a scene where a girl gets sadistically tortured, I KNOW WHO KILLED ME is nothing like the current generation of American horror movies. It seems less influenced by SAW than by Brian DePalma thrillers and “giallos” out of Italy – you know, the weird slasher mysteries where logic is not as important as atmosphere and vivid colors. That’s definitely the philosophy of this one. Logic is for losers.

The director, Chris Sivertson (best known as the co-director of the behind-the-scenes featurette on the remake of THE TOOLBOX MURDERS) has a lush visual style and is unhealthily obsessed with the color blue. You see it on Lindsay Lohan’s clothes and car, her school’s football uniforms, the rose her boyfriend gives her, the big Liberace ring her piano teacher wears, her dad’s glowing phone, the gloves that both the police and the killer wear, the hospital scrubs, the entire emergency room, the weapons the guy uses to torture her, even the gag in her mouth. Seriously, you’ll be pissing blue for a week after you see this. The only things missing are Otter Pops and blue raspberry Jolly Ranchers, otherwise every bright blue colored object or substance that ever existed appears in the movie. (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 Reviews FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS!!

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Merrick here…

The fabulous Vern sent in his thoughts on FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. His reviewis rather long, so I’ll get out of the way and let him speak for himself.

Here’s Vern…

Well, shit. I feel like an asshole giving a room-temperature review to my man Clint Eastwood’s long awaited WWII drama. Because Clint is the best. If there was some reason why the entire human race had to be destroyed except for one movie star, and I had to choose who it would be, I would choose Clint. I don’t care if he’s old, he’s the number one Badass Laureate of all time. He’d make a damn good last representative of our species, and he could still take on the vampires pretty good I think. But despite (and partly because of) my great respect for the man, I gotta be honest: I don’t consider this a great movie. (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.

Walking Tall (2004)

Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

The first thing you see in this movie: “inspired by a true story.” The last thing: “Dedicated to the memory of Sheriff Buford Pusser.”

In between, you got nothing to do with Buford Pusser, except a sheriff with a stick. See, that’s what happens when you raise an entire generation on nothing but Diff’rent Strokes and Duran Duran. They get confused. They grow up, they start running things, but they got heads made out of oatmeal. It’s like letting a dog mow your lawn. If you train it right, it might be able to push the mower around, but it’s gonna do a really bad job by human standards. These kids today, they don’t understand reality. To them, “reality” means you have to eat bugs and stab your best friend in the back to win money. So let me explain it to you knuckleheads. MOVIES ARE NOT REALITY. Because a movie was made in the ’70s does not mean that it actually happened. If you make a remake of Saturday Night Fever or Star Wars, you can’t say “based on a true story.” You have to say “based on a movie you already saw.” (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.