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

Posts Tagged ‘Uma Thurman’

Batman & Robin (20th Anniversary Ice-travaganza)

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

BATMAN & ROBIN is 20 years cold, and CHILLED TO PERFECTION!

“There’s nobody else to blame but me. I could have said, ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’ I just hope whenever I see a list of the worst movies ever made, we’re not on it. I didn’t do a good job. George did. Chris did. Uma is brilliant in it. Arnold is Arnold.” –Joel Schumacher to Variety, 2014

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

It was June 20, 1997, and I thought BATMAN & ROBIN was the stupidest, most tasteless, worst big budget movie ever made. After the wholesale awfulness of BATMAN FOREVER went over well with audiences willing to sanction its buffoonery, Warner Brothers allowed director Joel Schumacher to go full Schumacher for the next one. It’s the same admirable, director-friendly approach that led to Tim Burton’s BATMAN RETURNS, and the bean counters would come to regret it once again. Schumacher’s purest artistic vision is like the aftermath of a rainbow sherbet fight in the costume storage warehouse for an ice skating troupe. He keeps the moody Elliot Goldenthal score and themes of mourning and vengeance, but buries them in a day-glo fantasia of overacting, bad puns, fetishistic rubber costumes and theme park stunt show style super hero battles. For me it became Exhibit A in any argument against the “It’s Not Supposed To Be Shakespeare/Check Your Brain At the Door” school of summer blockbuster permissiveness.

I wasn’t wrong. But twenty years later to the day, after many truly great summer movies, some of them even starring Batman, it’s easier for me to appreciate the uniqueness of BATMAN & ROBIN – the outrageously tacky designs, the subversively in-your-face homoeroticism, the laugh-out-loud ludicrousness of the plot and dialogue and settings and action, and especially the spectacle of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a bulky metal costume and glittery blue makeup as Mr. Freeze, playing like a simultaneous parody of over-the-top Batman villains, blockbuster excess and his own penchant for groan-worthy one-liners. He makes more than two dozen ice or cold related cracks without losing his boyish, gap-toothed Arnold charm.

Today I am prepared to admit that I own BATMAN & ROBIN on Blu-Ray. And have watched it twice in that format. And on purpose.

Ah shit, you guys. I like this stupid movie now. (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.

Paycheck

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

tn_paycheckwoozone?Remember when John Woo did a science fictional movie a while back that everybody said was shitty? This was after we’d all kind of given up on him, so I never saw it. Until now.

Ben Affleck, the director of ARGO, stars as Michael Jennings, an amoral engineering genius of a futurist Seattle, some time after the near-future one in STEALTH. (In the future the borders of Seattle will be stretched so far that they will include Vancouver, BC, which is all we see in this movie other than one helicopter shot over Seattle Center). His introduction is funny because he gets to do a John Woo slo-mo strut toward the camera wearing shades (it’s important to the plot that he’s finicky about sunglasses) and, uh, holding a computer monitor under his arm.

(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.

Be Cool

Tuesday, March 8th, 2005

This is the sequel to GET SHORTY. Based on another book by Elmore Leonard, but this book was made after the GET SHORTY movie and with the idea that it would become a movie too. So this is a movie about sequels based on a book that was a sequel to a movie based on a book. Which means there’s all kinds of metapostmodernistical type business running around calling attention to itself. Hey, look at me, I’m a character in a sequel talking about how sequels are bad. Now I’m a character in a PG-13 movie talking about how if you say fuck twice you get an R.

(John Travolta, as badass loanshark turned movie producer Chili Palmer points this out and says, “You know what I have to say about that? Fuck that.” And if only he had repeated “fuck that” again for emphasis I guess he would’ve gotten the R and I could’ve seen this movie in a quiet theater full of adults and not a fuckin high school cafeteria. But that’s a subject for a separate rant.) (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.

Kill Bill: Vol. 2

Friday, April 16th, 2004

(another unused one for the ain’t it cool news.)

Harry and associates,

I am writing to inform you of an exciting new picture called KILL BILL VOLUME 2. Please forgive me if you already know about this one or have covered it already. Or if you have travelled to China to visit the set. I don’t usually read your sight except when my reviews are on it.

Just jerkin your chain bud but seriously here’s the deal. This has been coming on for a while but after seeing this movie I think today is the day. I would like to officially endorse the works of Mr. Tarantino as an important chapter in the history of Badass Cinema. VOLUME 2 is a very satisfying conclusion to that exciting saga of revenge we began oh those several months ago with The Bride. (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.

Tape

Saturday, November 3rd, 2001

I have to admit, the digital video is starting to look more promising. For a while there I was about to declare it my arch-enemy. It never looked like a real movie. It always looked like crap. But it was winning over directors like Spike Lee, lowering their standards. Either it looked muddy and ugly (like Bamboozled) or like a TV special (like Original Kings of Comedy). Even in the best cases it just looked like cheap film stock (Chuck and Buck) and in the only case where it looked really great (Julien Donkey Boy) it was because they transferred it to film and then back to video and then back to film, or some crazy shit like that that nobody else is gonna bother to try.

I’m still skeptical but I must admit that the technology is improving, making it more acceptable. They’re even using digital video for important works like the next Soderbergh film and the third installment in the Mariachi trilogy. I saw an ad for Star Wars Part 2 and although it looked more artifial than part 1, I would never have guessed it was all shot on some super high tech rich guy camcorder. (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.