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 ‘Tangerine Dream’

The Keep

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

tn_thekeepI still intend to review all of Michael Mann’s movies in chronological order. I haven’t gotten very far, but the one I’m on, THE KEEP, happens to be Halloween appropriate.

Other than its beautiful craftsmanship, this is completely unlike what we associate with a Mann film. Usually he looks for a higher level of realism than most movies, and to be very up-to-date with the technology and trends of the time. THE KEEP doesn’t do any of those things because it’s a weird, atmospheric horror movie set during WWII.

It concerns a group of German soldiers occupying an ancient stone fortress in Romania that seems to be haunted or something. Father Fonescu (Robert Prosky, LAST ACTION HERO, EYE SEE YOU), the priest and caretaker, warns them not to touch the nickel and silver crosses inlayed in the walls, but a couple of them try to steal one anyway. Behind it is a hole and when one of the looters peeks his head into the dark void something takes away the top half of his body. (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.

Firestarter

Monday, September 12th, 2016

tn_firestarterFIRESTARTER is a classic tale of ’80s style supernatural paranoia. An innocent father and daughter are on the run from menacing agents of a secret government entity nicknamed “The Shop.” A university experiment with hallucinogens in the ’70s gave dad (David Keith, WHITE OF THE EYE) and now-deceased mom (Heather Locklear, MONEY TALKS) psychic powers, which have passed on to daughter Charlie (Drew Barrymore in her next movie after E.T.). She can sense things, sometimes move things, but her trademark is fire. When she gets angry at people things get hot. Mom and dad had been trying to teach her to keep it under control, with mixed success. You really gotta recognize what a difficult parenting challenge this would be even if The Man wasn’t out to get them.

So now it’s Take Your Daughter On the Lam Day. They’re hitchhiking, scrounging up change, using Jedi mind tricks. She’s already used to lying to people and using fake names. It reminds me of Starman (TV show), or The Golden Years, like this a Stephen King creation and also using The Shop as the antagonists. Through no fault of their own this family are considered dangerous, and the government wants to either use them as weapons or kill them. Neither seems appealing to them.

This kill-them-for-safety-purposes policy is obviously fascist and heartless, but it’s based in a reasonable fear that if this little girl can blow up cars with her mind what will she be able to do if she grows up? And will she do 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.

Thief

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

tn_thiefTHIEF is a pure dose of most of what I love about Michael Mann. It’s moody, atmospheric and macho as hell. It matter-of-factly drops us into a gritty underworld, makes us feel like we’re witnessing the real deal, and puts us on the side of a guy who has no business being the good guy except that he lives by more of a code than the other guys do. Not even really a code of honor, just a self-serving code of independence, but one that we can loosely apply to more ethical aspects of our own lives.

By today’s standards it’s an arty movie, full of long, quiet scenes, not a bunch of noises to tell you it’s exciting. It opens with a 10 minute heist sequence where everything goes right. No one gives chase or almost sees them. They’re just very professional about it and perform their jobs well. And it doesn’t need tension. It’s fascinating without it.

It’s a movie that’s low on exposition, high on uncomfortable moments where we aren’t expected to agree with the protagonist (like the aggressive way he courts Jessie [Tuesday Weld], and then the heartless way he cuts her off, treating her as a property that’s been tying him down). But also it has plenty of moments of badassness, not shirking its duty to deliver on the genre goods. Its closest modern equivalent is DRIVE, which at times plays as an homage or ripoff of THIEF. But that’s a character, believe it or not, with more heart. (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.

Miracle Mile

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

tn_miraclemileMIRACLE MILE is a really good and unique movie that would be better if you just saw it not knowing anything about it, which is how I first saw it. So here, let me just give you the quick sales pitch and then you can bail out if you want: Anthony Edwards hears a payphone ringing, decides to answer it, on the other end is a panicked guy apparently calling from a missile silo to warn his dad that a nuclear war has started and he needs to get as far east as he can before we get hit in an hour and a half. It sounds real, so he has to decide what to do with that information, how to escape, who to tell. (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.

Legend

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

tn_legendI thought I’d seen Ridley Scott’s LEGEND back in the ’80s, but none of this shit seemed familiar so maybe not. I was never into the hobbity shit and to this day I have no clue why Mr. Scott thinks that unicorns are something that should be used in a medium other than wallpaper for a little girl’s room, so it makes sense that I wouldn’t have gotten around to this one before.

But Mr. Scott has made some good ones over the years and a couple of you once tried to convince me it was acceptable for adult men to watch this, plus they got it on a new blu-ray. So today was the day. The day of Legend.
(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.

Sorcerer

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

If you’re a never-give-up Rocky Balboa type of dude, a real achiever, or if you have to carry heavy objects alot as part of a job or strongman competition, then you know this feeling: your body is exhausted, bruised, broken, covered in sweat, maybe some blood, your task seems impossible, but you’re too stubborn to give up. You keep going until you’re done, powered by the sheer force of will. That’s what the second half of SORCERER is about. Four guys, two trucks, a bunch of nitroglycerin, and miles of untamed South American jungle. They gotta drive the nitro without blowing up, because it’s needed to put out an oil fire, ON DEADLY GROUND style. The job is ridiculously dangerous so it pays well, and they’re doing it for the pay day. They’re all fugitives hiding out here for a wide selection of crimes and the money they’ll get represents a chance to start over somewhere nicer. (The first half sets all this up.)

So there they are, in a couple of fucked up trucks, rolling over craggy roads, along the edges of cliffs, through swamps and across the shakiest bridges you’ve ever seen. And who better to lead the charge than Roy Scheider*? I think he’s the right man for the job, and if you disagree I think you will change your mind pretty quick when you watch the movie. In one harrowing scene they come to a broken rope bridge in the middle of a storm. It seems logical to give up at this point, but Roy refuses. He has his partner crawl across the bridge guiding him inch by inch all the way across. It’s a terrifying ordeal that seems to take forever and then the second they’re safely across the movie cuts to the other truck getting to the bridge and having to do the same damn thing. No time to catch your breath. (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.