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

Posts Tagged ‘Salma Hayek’

Wild Wild West

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017
a survey of summer movies that just didn’t catch on

Big Willie Weekend, 1999

Two summers after their hit film MEN IN BLACK, director Barry Sonnenfeld (d.p. of BLOOD SIMPLE) and star Will Smith (SUICIDE SQUAD) tried to bring a similar comedy/special-effects/adventure mix to the old west. It’s like a western in that there are cowboy hats, guns, railroads and occasional horses, but also not really because it’s about two top agents for the president going undercover and then having a big battle against a giant mechanical spider that’s on a rampage and headed for the White House. Not a type of story I’ve seen done with John Wayne or Clint or anybody.

The basis is The Wild Wild West, a western-meets-spies TV show that lasted four seasons, ending thirty years prior to the movie. It was actually cancelled not due to a lack of popularity, but controversy over violence on television, and did have two followup TV movies. But the last of those was in 1980, and nineteen years later it was at best a cult show, and not yet available on DVD. So this is another expensive blockbuster based on characters that most of its intended youthful audience had never seen, or in this case even heard of.

But they didn’t have to know it was based on anything. Waning interest in westerns may have been a bigger problem, but that could’ve been overcome by the popularity of Smith, or the fun gimmick of the gadgets and steampunk type robotics, or the energetic style and cartoonish humor of the director of the ADDAMS FAMILY movies.

But that didn’t happen. (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.

Desperado

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

tn_desperado

RELEASE DATE: August 16th
RELEASE DATE: August 25th

DESPERADO is my favorite Robert Rodriguez movie. People will always say the scrappy, home-made, subtitled EL MARIACHI is better, and a strong argument could be made for FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, with its Tarantino script and movie-star-making performance by George Clooney. But to me DESPERADO is his purest expression, the full enthusiasm of a young, hungry Hollywood rookie high on spaghetti westerns, John Woo and what his new friend QT was up to, fired into a full-blooded action movie uniquely based in Mexican culture.

The Tarantino influence shows in the talky opening with Steve Buscemi as the Mariachi’s hype man/street team, loudly telling tall tales about him in a bar, and in the scene where Tarantino himself plays a criminal telling a long-winded joke about peeing. But otherwise this has an identity very different from the wave of ’90s crime films, one that’s more visual and musical. He uses lots of slo-mo and dissolve edits working in tandem with a driving Latin rock score by Los Lobos. This is just one example of how the fresh Hollywood hotshot used his newfound resources while insisting on doing it his way. Another is the casting of the leads. (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.

Everly

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

tn_everlyEverly (Salma Hayek) is one of these sex slaves who doesn’t know Liam Neeson or Tony Jaa, so she has to take justice into her own hands. Her movie starts right in the thick of things, but we quickly start to piece some of her story together: she’s been kept woman to a Yakuza for four years, taken away from her young daughter, and she can’t stand it anymore. She had an escape planned with a police officer she trusted, but he hasn’t shown up. Now she’s here in the bathroom with one stashed gun and a bag full of money, so she can either kill herself or take that one opportunity that Eminem talks about in that one song.

In a way this is a DIE HARD type movie. It’s one person fighting off many criminals in a contained location, in this case the fancy apartment she’s been stuck in. It’s even Christmas time, though she is not bare foot, so in that sense it’s more like DIE HARD 2. And she can fight better than we probly could, but it’s all tenacity, she’s not a super woman. She gets shot, cut, stabbed, she cries, she messes up, but she keeps fighting. (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.

Promising trailer: EVERLY

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Looks like Salma Hayek doesn’t even have to go outside to be John Wick, the whole colorful hit-person community just shows up at her doorstep. The director on this one is Joe Lynch, who’s a friend of the internet whose WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END I only half liked, and whose last movie was the taken-away-from-him-and-disowned KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM. But I think this looks and sounds fun, and it apparently went over well at Fantastic Fest. IMDb doesn’t list who did the fights, but stunt coordinator Akihiro Noguchi is a long time Power Rangers stunt guy who choreographed COLD HARVEST and NINJA for Isaac Florentine.

It hits VOD January 23rd and theatrical (i.e. just the Sundance theater where I saw FALCON RISING) February 27th.

h/t to Badass Digest

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.

Savages

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

SAVAGES is the new crime film from Oliver Stone, about two young idealistic pot entrepreneurs taking on a ruthless Mexican cartel (which is one of the most common types of cartels). The tale is narrated to us by O (GREEN LANTERN’s girlfriend Blake Lively) who is the shared lover of botany genius/philanthropist Ben (Aaron KICKASS Johnson) and Iraq vet/muscle-of-the-operation Chon (Taylor JOHN CARTER Kitsch). The two grew up together as surf bums in Laguna Beach and then one day decided to bring home marijuana seeds from Afghanistan and create a new strain. And the shit blew up like Apple. (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.

Frida

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

This is the story of Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican modernist known for her great painting and sexy monobrow. This is a gal who means many things to many people. An important artist, but also a feminist, a revolutionary, an unashamed bisexual. And you could probaly guess, since there’s a biography movie made out of her, that the poor gal had to be either alcoholic or disabled. In this case she was disabled, unpleasantly impaled in a bus accident, sporadically confined to a full body cast. But since she’s an artist she paints pretty butterflies on it.

You know Salma Hayek will get an oscar nomination for this, mainly because of the bodycast. I gotta be honest though, ’cause that’s my job. I don’t think she’s necessarily doing great work here. She’s just doing pretty good in a role that she is good for, that happens to be real Important because it’s a real person, who was a brilliant artist, who was disabled, and had some kind of political context to her life that can be simplified into movie form. I’m not saying Salma is bad, especially not compared to her embarassing improv role in TIMECODE. And I can’t think of anyone better for the role. But she didn’t exactly blow my mind either, especially not during the scenes where she wears a schoolgirl uniform and tries to pass for a teen. (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.