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

Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Jane’

The Crow: City of Angels

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

a survey of summer movies that just didn’t catch on

August 30, 1996

I don’t remember ever hearing anybody say nice things about THE CROW part 2, CITY OF ANGELS, so let me start out with one: this is a gorgeous looking movie. Part 1 production designer Alex McDowell (LAWNMOWER MAN, CRYING FREEMAN, FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS, WATCHMEN) returns, this time with cinematographer Jean-Yves Escoffier (GUMMO, GOOD WILL HUNTING), to tweak and expand on the aggressively stylized gotholopolis look he created for Alex Proyas’ THE CROW.

This time it looks more real, and has a yellow tint on its foggy (maybe it’s smoggy?), trash-strewn streets, representing the heat of Los Angeles, I hope, and not the piss that it clearly smells of. I don’t know my skylines, so I’m not sure I would’ve understood that they changed the location from Detroit without the subtitle or the cool shot where a row of palm trees burst into flame one-by-one as the crow (the bird that seems to be responsible for resurrecting murder victims, not the vengeful harlequin ghost he enables) flies past them. There’s a great tracking shot of the bird flying over the (model) city, and a profile shot of the ghost speeding on his motorcycle, his feathered friend right in front of him. The movie definitely achieves on levels of technical craftsmanship. (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.

Drive Hard

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

tn_drivehardDRIVE HARD joins DEATH RACE and GETAWAY in the new action subgenre of “former car racing superstar is forced to drive for bad people.” In this one the driver in question is Peter Roberts (Tom Jane, STANDER), a flaky doofus who left racing to get married and raise a daughter in Australia, but now is running out of money and having trouble paying the mortgage, let alone achieving his dream of opening a racing school. Instead he has a driver’s ed school.

Then one day mysterious troublemaker Simon Keller (John Cusack from THE PAPERBOY), a grown man who seems to already know how to drive, takes a lesson from him. After an uncomfortably horrible drive and awkward coffee break in which the stranger admits to being a fan and knowing all about his career, he convinces Peter to drive him to the bank. So he can get some cash to pay for the lesson, he says. But then he comes out holding a brief case and exchanging gunfire with security guards.
(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.

Killshot

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

tn_killshotDo you ever notice the movie posters where it shows the faces of all the leads but then the names above their heads don’t match? You see that and you understand that it was some legal thing, they were required to list them in that order by contract, there’s alot of politics involved. But then you wonder why they don’t plan for that reality ahead of time and make a composition with that in mind. I know it can be done. And KILLSHOT, the long-delayed-then-poorly-received-then-put-off-seeing-by-me-until-now Elmore Leonard adaptation from the director of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, does something rarer. It introduces the characters in the actual movie in credits order so the actor’s names can appear over them on screen. I was really impressed by that extra effort. (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.

Give ‘Em Hell Malone

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

tn_giveemhellmaloneThomas Jane plays Malone, a fedora-wearing, ’52 Buick driving, ten thousand bullet firing, fake film noir style opening scene narrating, badass private eye motherfucker in a mostly empty city portrayed by Spokane, Washington. The movie takes place in the modern day (email is mentioned once) but obviously takes most of its cues from the cliches of detective stories/film noir, including the femme fatale client, the fast, back-and-forth quipping and, you know, his hat. He’s old fashioned enough that he keeps calling women “sister.” Also, alot of the score is that cheesy type of saxophone they always use in modern movies and TV as a code for “it’s like an old private eye 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 Thomas Jane’s DARK COUNTRY (the first review?)

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

tn_darkcountryOver on the Ain’t It Cool News I have what I believe to be the first review anywhere of DARK COUNTRY, directed by and starring Thomas Jane. Most of it takes place at night but I thought I would use the thumbnail on the left because I thought he looked kind of like Steve McQueen there. Also this is the beginning of the movie when he’s leaving for his honeymoon with his new wife, so I use this picture to symbolize Tom Jane beginning his new life as a director. One of the cups is for him and one is for directing. I’m sure you understood that without me explaining it though.

I am Vern…

DARK COUNTRY, by rookie director Thomas Jane, is a stylized noir made on a low budget with a minimal cast. It was written by a guy who wrote Disney’s TARZAN and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. It was shot in 3-D but is going straight to flat DVD. But somehow this weird combination of elements makes up a pretty good little movie, and possibly the best ever directed by one of the Punishers. (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 Mist

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

THE MIST is called THE MIST because it’s a cool and refreshing vapor of soothing horror quality in a sea of crappy bombast. Also because it’s about a mysterious mist that surrounds a small town and when they go into it there’s monsters. The small town is Castle Rock, Maine and you know what that means: based on a Stephen King story. The weird thing is the hero, Thomas Punisher Jane, is not an alcoholic writer, he is a guy who paints movie posters exactly like Drew Struzan (he even painted the poster for THE THING, just like Drew Struzan did, and came up with the same poster). So this is real new territory for Stephen King.

After a storm wrecks Tom Jane’s painting, his window, his boathouse, and his asshole neighbor’s Mercedes he takes his son and the neighbor (the great Andre Braugher of TV’s HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET) to the Food House grocery store. The place is chaotic with everybody stocking up in case of more storm and you can imagine how much worse it gets when The Mist traps everybody inside. By the way, even though this is Stephen King the grocery store is not possessed, not even the mist is possessed, it’s just mist that happens to surround monsters, which may or may not be possessed. I’m not really sure if monsters can be possessed or not, I have not considered this before. (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.

Thursday

Friday, February 17th, 2006

This poor bastard Skip Woods. How was he supposed to know? He stumbles across this winning formula of late ’90s independent quirky crime drama, and it just so happens that another individual, somebody named Quentin Tarantino, has already done it.

You gotta feel sorry for Skip. How was he supposed to know that Tarantino loved to take larger than life movie archetypes and show the mundane parts of their lives? Like this opening scene where three criminals who obviously don’t realize how annoying they are (Aaron Ekchart, Paulina Porezkova, James LeGros) stop in a convenience store after a big score to get coffee, and argue over the price until they end up killing the clerk and then have to pretend to work there when a cop comes in. And how could Skip have known that when he has the cop ask, for no reason, whether Eckhart prefers Picard or Kirk… that it JUST MIGHT look like he was some fuckin idiot jackass blatantly and embarassingly trying to copy the most superficial elements of Tarantino’s formula? (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 Punisher (2004)

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004

Well from what they tell me “The Punisher” is a Marvel Comics type super hero character. In the comic strip he’s a sadistic bastard that goes around “punishing” people. What this means I guess is not spidermanning them with webs or hulking them or whatever, what he does is kill them in horrible painful ways. He does not wear a cape or fly but he wears black spandex and a picture of a skull on his chest. Basically he is the guy from Rolling Thunder as a super hero. Without super powers or a hook hand. Superman’s morally questionable co-worker.

Guys who like The Punisher are not guys I can relate to. They like the violence and sadism and revenge aspects. They have a lot of anger in them and they enjoy getting it out. So far so good. But for some reason their idea of a bad motherfucker is a super hero in a comic strip. They think the right guy to get the rage out is a guy who wears a super hero costume. They can’t just watch Charles Bronson movies like everybody else, they gotta put the guy in a fucking uniform. That was one of the reasons they hated the earlier PUNISHER movie starring Dolph Lundgren. He didn’t wear the uniform. He doesn’t count as the Punisher because he wears different clothes. (maybe the movie takes place on laundry day. Huh? Ever thoughta that, asswipes?) (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.

SIFF: Vern Goes Crazy For STANDER With Thomas Jane!!

Friday, June 18th, 2004

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

Vern rarely writes to us about genuinely great movies, so when he sets aside his insane Steven Seagal fetish to write a review like this, I have to take it seriously:

Dearest Harold,

Vern here and for once I’ve got the genuine article for you. Not just a better than average straight to video-er or something. This is an actual great theatrical film that you haven’t much covered yet and that I know you boys are gonna love. Guaranteed. I saw it here at SIFF and I know it’s played some other film festivals and it’s coming soon to a theater near some place or other. And if nobody goes to see it, well then, fuck those guys. They obviously don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

STANDER is the true story of Andres Stander, a police captain turned legendary bank robber in ’70s South Africa. At the height of the revolution he noticed that with all the police on riot duty to stop uprisings and protests, there weren’t enough police to really guard the banks. So he started robbing them, then pretending to investigate his own crimes, until he was caught and then busted out of prison and started his own very successful gang. Seems like a pretty good guy. (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.