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

Posts Tagged ‘Steven E. de Souza’

Die Hard

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

tn_diehardBI don’t like to say I have a favorite movie. There are too many great ones that I love for too many equally meaningful-to-me reasons. But if I had to choose one, like if you had to register your favorite movie with the government or something, maybe it would be DIE HARD. I wrote a piece about it before, but that was 16 years ago, I was a different person then, and it’s embarrassing to me. So let me try again.

Many of the reasons I love DIE HARD are self evident. By now most people have caught on to the fact that it’s an extremely well made, ridiculously entertaining popcorn masterwork. The story is so perfect and elemental that it became a template, a name for a reliably entertaining subgenre of action movies. This is a testament to the genius of the setup by Roderick Thorp in his novel Nothing Lasts Forever, its remolding by screenwriters Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza, and its precise cinematic execution by director John McTiernan, cinematographer Jan de Bont, editors John F. Link and Frank J. Urioste, composer Michael Kamen, etc. They crafted a pitch perfect introduction of this character (based around the charm and humor of Bruce Willis) and unrolling of the sinister plot he’s about to crash head first into. And then it escalates into spectacular crescendos – the explosion in the elevator shaft, the desperate leap from the roof and bare-foot-kicking-through of the window – that, in their somewhat grounded context, continue to feel enormous even after movies (including its four sequels) have gotten bigger and bigger for nearly three decades. In retrospect it wasn’t the amount of C-4 but the placement of it that caused the ads to vow it “WILL BLOW YOU THROUGH THE BACK WALL OF THE THEATRE.”
(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.

Judge Dredd

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

tn_judgedreddHow are you gonna get em back on JUDGE DREDD with Sylvester Stallone when they’ve seen DREDD with Karl Urban? The new version is lower budget and streamlined and way better. It’s dedicated to the purity of this fascist character and the ugly world he lives in, and doesn’t worry about commercial considerations. (And sure enough did not do well commercially.) The new version is cool because it’s just about this larger than life character on one day doing one job. The old one, of course, had to be the story of the biggest thing that ever happened to Judge Dredd. It has all the weaknesses of calculated blockbuster type filmmaking, and only some of the strengths.

But you know what, it’s pretty fun to watch. There’s alot of good shit in here anyway, especially at the beginning. It’s a little better than I remembered. (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

Monday, July 5th, 2010

tn_streetfightermovieI haven’t really kept up with this, but I heard something about Roger Ebert drawing a nerd fatwa by saying that video games aren’t art. From the sounds of it I think people should lay off the guy, because do you really want to convince Ebert to love video games and have him spend his last years playing Halo looking for its themes? I don’t want that, and I wish he’d cut down on the Twitter a little too. (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.

Hudson Hawk

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

tn_hudsonhawkBruceTo celebrate the release of my new review book that’s named after Bruce Willis it’s only appropriate that I review a Bruce movie I never reviewed before. And by far the most requested title in that category is the notorious-flop-turned-minor-cult-movie HUDSON HAWK.

I’ll start by laying out the three basic schools of thought about why HUDSON HAWK crashed and burned. (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 says BLAST is like DIE HARD on an Oil Rig, but starring Eddie Griffin!!!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Harry here with Vern’s uncovering of the greatest America has to offer. This time it is BLAST starring… ah hell, I’ll just hand it over to Vern – he’s who you come to AICN desperate for something new to read…

Boys –

You know how it is with me, every time I get a screener for some shitty straight to video movie I get this idea somewhere in my brain… what if this is it? What if this is THE ONE? The one I’ve been looking for all these years? Well today we’re here to discuss BLAST, which is not the one. But it is one of those rare surprisingly competent ones. Destined for a Not As Bad As You Would Think award from the Direct to Video Academy of Well Who Are We Kidding There Is No Art Or Science In These Things.

Basically BLAST is DIE HARD on an oil rig. Or maybe UNDER SIEGE on an oil rig, but not ON DEADLY GROUND. Anyway the important thing is instead of Bruce or Seagal, we got wisecrackin Eddie Griffin. You know, from MY BABY’S DADDY. Now look, I wouldn’t watch 99% of the shit this guy has made. But I do think he can be funny. I’m more of a POOTIE TANG man, but I liked him in UNDERCOVER BROTHER. And his standup movie/family documentary DYSFUNKTIONAL FAMILY was funny. Here, he has a couple good smartass lines, but mostly plays the action hero. (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.