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

Posts Tagged ‘Werner Herzog’

The Act of Killing

Friday, January 17th, 2014

tn_actofkillingBTISLMan, I don’t know how long this will last, but when I finished watching THE ACT OF KILLING I had a strong feeling that not only did that have to be the best movie I saw from 2013, it might be one of the best I’ve ever seen. It’s an amazing, one-of-a-kind documentary that achieves a whole bunch of things: it shows me fascinating, outside-of-my-experience human beings in crazy situations; it’s a stunning visual portrait of places and people in Indonesia; it is deeply upsetting and shocking and yet at times horribly, uncomfortably funny; it tells my ignorant American ass a few things about a major human tragedy I never heard of but also, it sounds like, helped the people of Indonesia start to address a deliberately whitewashed part of their history. When you hear the subject it sounds like a message movie, but aside from that it has what I think is always more important in a documentary: it captures some incredible human moments that you can’t believe you’re actually seeing, including a monstrous war criminal coming to realizations about what he did.

It accomplishes this all without a single talking head, no narration and very little explanatory text. It plunges you into this world of war criminals and their supporters who are amazingly comfortable with director Joshua Oppenheimer (and un-named Indonesian co-director – at least half of the names on the credits are listed as “ANONYMOUS”). Oppenheimer is barely seen or heard but sometimes they address him by name like a trusted friend. (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.

Jack Reacher

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

tn_jackreacherJACK REACHER is the latest in a line of movies based on a pulp character using the character’s name as the title and not making enough money to continue as a series like they probly planned (see also JOHN CARTER, ALEX CROSS, PARKER, HITCHCOCK). This one’s specifically from a book called One Shot by Lee Child, ninth in the Reacher series. I don’t know the books, just the complaint by many readers that it’s important for him to be a big intimidating guy and not a little guy in a little leather jacket like Tom Cruise always plays. So this would probly bother me if I had read them. (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.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

tn_caveofforgottenIt’s been a lackluster-verging-on-so-so movie summer. I kinda liked the X-MEN one, THOR was okay, SUPER 8 was pretty good, TRANSFORMERS was enjoyably awful. Definitely my favorite so far is FAST FIVE, and I love that movie but let’s face it, it’s no RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. We want to see adventure. We want to see thrills. We want to see ancient artifacts, that’s what summer movies is about. CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS is no RAIDERS either, but it’s a worthwhile 3D extravaganza about adventurers exploring the contents of a mysterious cave that went untouched by man for 32,000 years. It’s full of amazing visuals and ideas and raises alot of questions.

I guess I should mention it’s a G-rated documentary about cave paintings directed by that weirdo Werner Herzog. So alot of it is just the camera slowly panning back and forth across the same cave wall while squeaky violins and creepy chants lull you into a trance. In 3D! (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 Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans

Monday, November 30th, 2009

tn_badlieutenantpocnoWhen I wrote about Abel Ferrara’s BAD LIEUTENANT about 2 years ago I said that should be one of the movies they remake in BE KIND REWIND, or some kids should do a remake in their backyard, or you should use scenes from it for your monologue in acting class. So far I haven’t seen any of those, but it’s even better to see a remake starring Nicolas Cage. Sort of a remake, anyway.

What exactly is THE BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS? It’s not a sequel, not exactly a remake to BAD LIEUTENANT. Werner Herzog, who directed this new one, claims he hasn’t seen BAD LIEUTENANT. Ferrara claimed he was gonna stop this one from being made. (In my opinion he failed.) This isn’t about the same character and I didn’t notice any mention of the original screenplay in the credits. But it does have a little bit of a BAD LIEUTENANT vibe, and that’s all I can ask. (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.

Mister Lonely

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

tn_misterlonelyHey guys, good news: I got another review of a weird little inaccessible arthouse movie from last year! This time it’s MISTER LONELY, the most recent movie about a Michael Jackson impersonator in Paris who meets a Marilyn Monroe impersonator who convinces him to come live in a commune where other impersonators live inside a Scottish castle, raise sheep and build a stage where they hope to put on a show. And you can imagine where it would go from there.

In my opinion MISTER LONELY writer/director Harmony Korine is a weird dude. He wrote KIDS for Larry Clark when he was 19, became a director with GUMMO and later did JULIEN DONKEY BOY. His movies are freak shows of improvisation, arty photography and the complete rejection of any mainstream idea of what a movie is supposed to be. As much as I have tried to push the idea of him directing a mainstream movie like a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE it doesn’t seem to be something he’s interested in. Instead he hangs out with Werner Herzog, gets involved in that whole Dogme 95 deal, and makes weird books with titles like A Crack Up At the Race Riots. He’s also known for his bizarre interviews like on Letterman when he was younger or with a fan websight who he instructed to meet him in the projects, then spoke to them by phone for a while, then showed up and made them listen to Beyonce on a laptop while he sat in a lawnchair petting his dog. (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.