“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

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Posts Tagged ‘The Loose Canon’

The Loose Canon: Blood and Bone

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018
Every now and then I write a more-in-depth-than-usual study of a movie I consider important and influential in the evolution of Badass Cinema, or in this case one that I simply think is great. It’s a movie I believe most fans of the genre would love and all should see and have an opinion on. I call this series THE LOOSE CANON.

The Loose Canon: BLOOD AND BONE (2009)

There have been two proud moments in my getting-close-to-20-years of writing about action movies when a truly special one appeared inconspicuously in the DTV market and I was the first person I’m aware of to point to it and say holy shit you guys, check this out. One was John Hyams’ UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION, which later gained attention from some of the more respectable critics thanks to its great and very arty followup UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: DAY OF RECKONING. The other is BLOOD AND BONE, directed by Ben Ramsey (LOVE AND A BULLET). I do think it has grown something of a following, but not the credit it deserves as a perfect showcase for an under-recognized star in peak form, or as a stone cold classic of its genre. Like another Michael-Jai-White-starring DTV favorite, UNDISPUTED II: LAST MAN STANDING, BLOOD AND BONE isn’t even available on region A Blu-Ray. What the fuck, video industry? Too badass for hi-def?

The ten year anniversary of BLOOD AND BONE is coming up next year, so I’m giving the rights-holders and the gatekeepers a heads up. I want to see a cool, respectful collector’s edition Blu-Ray with added extras and a painted cover and shit. I want to see theatrical screenings. I am positive this will play great with audiences. Make it happen. A parade would be cool too, but that’s negotiable. (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.

The Loose Canon: LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE & BABYCART AT THE RIVER STYX vs. SHOGUN ASSASSIN

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Every now and then I write a more-in-depth-than-usual study of a movie I consider important and influential in the evolution of Badass Cinema, a movie I believe most fans of the genre would love and all should see and have an opinion on. I call this series THE LOOSE CANON.

* * *

In 1980, a violent samurai movie called SHOGUN ASSASSIN hit American shores. It is the story of Lone Wolf, an assassin trying to avenge the murder of his wife by the Shogun he used to work for. He travels Japan by foot pushing a babycart that  carries a number of weapons and his son Daigoro – who also narrates the movie – and eventually kills the Shogun’s brother. With its weird tone and garish violence, and coming right at the beginning of the decade when Americans became obsessed with Japanese traditions like karate and ninjas, the movie took on a legendary status in pop culture that lasts to this day. Its dialogue and primitive synthesizer score were heavily sampled on the seminal 1995 hip hop album Liquid Swords by GZA, and also heard in KILL BILL VOLUME 2 as little Bebe’s chosen bed time movie.

The one problem with SHOGUN ASSASSIN: it’s an insultingly dumbed down bastardization of two excellent 1972 Japanese films, LONE WOLF AND CUB: SWORD OF VENGEANCE and LONE WOLF AND CUB: BABYCART AT THE RIVER STYX (the first two installments in a six movie series). (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.

The Loose Canon: Way of the Dragon (aka Return of the Dragon)

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

tn_wayofthedragonThere are a few people walking the earth, or in our memories, who are so good at what they do, so unique in their talents, that we almost mistake them for gods or super heroes. You could be born a prodigy and practice all your life, striving for excellence with every breath you take, and still not match Muhammad Ali, James Brown, Mozart or Michaelangelo. It takes more than training, more than talent. It takes a whole lot of both of those things, plus a drive to be the very best, plus… something else. If we knew what that something else was then everybody would dance like Michael Jackson.

Well, I think we can all agree that Bruce Lee is one of those individuals. (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.

The Loose Canon

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

loose-canon1I’ve had this idea for a while that I wanted to figure out what are the classics and most important pictures of Badass Cinema and write them all up, almost like my version of a primer or a film studies class on this particular type of movie. I guess this would overlap with the BADASS 100 project, but it would be my personal choices for works of Badass Cinema that I think every fan of the artform should see and if not love at least have an opinion on. And I’m gonna call them THE LOOSE CANON. That is why there is a logo that says that. You might’ve figured that out, not sure. Also it’s a pun, not a misspelling. (I know with me it could be either one.)

They do this type of shit for art movies, but you don’t usually see Charles Bronson’s name on those lists. So I’m gonna try my version. I think it will cover some movies that the mainstream agrees are classics, some that only the type of people who hang out here consider classics, and maybe a few more unexpected or controversial choices. And we’ll see what happens but I think my essays will be a little more in the academic vein like the acclaimed film book Seagalogy.

So the review to follow this post will be the first in an occasionally-ongoing series. But I’m making this explanation a separate post because I look forward to the thousands of suggestions of what deserves to be loaded into the Canon. If possible try to keep that discussion to this thread so the comments for the reviews can stay fairly on topic. Because they wouldn’t be on the list if they weren’t worth discussing.

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.