So once again we have survived.

Posts Tagged ‘WWE Films’

See No Evil 2

Monday, October 24th, 2016

tn_seenoevil2SEE NO EVIL was the flagship title for the prestigious WWE Films banner. Directed by porn industry legend Gregory Dark, it’s a trashy, ugly slasher movie about a big sexually repressed oaf (WWE Superstar Glenn “Kane” Jacobs) who lives in an abandoned hotel and collects the eyeballs of people he catches having sex. I enjoyed it in a FRIDAY THE 13TH sequel type of way and I have no excuse for why it took me this long to catch up with the 2014 sequel, especially since in my review I swore “on Jacob Goodnight’s piss-smelling grave that I would pay money to see him undead in a sequel.”

Though made eight years later, the sequel picks up immediately after the original as the bodies start arriving at the morgue. It’s not a 2006 period piece, though – there are up-to-date phones, and a mention of Twitter (which was launched about 2 months after part 1 was released). It would be interesting to watch them back to back and see if it works. I can’t really remember if the first one mentions MySpace or says “Gerald Ford is still alive” or anything dated like that.

This one is about Amy (Danielle Harris, MARKED FOR DEATH, THE LAST BOY SCOUT), a medical examiner working a long shift on her birthday. Geeky co-worker Seth (Kaj-Erik Eriksen) surprises her with a cake. I’m not sure about eating something that was put under a blanket on a slab in the morgue for a surprise, but I guess movie morticians are always eating big sloppy sandwiches while they work to show how over it they are. This is tame in comparison. (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.

Leprechaun: Origins

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

tn_leprechaunoriginsWWEstudiosThis is gonna be short and mean, like a leprechaun. To be frankly honest I almost didn’t try to write a review of this one, because I didn’t think I had much to say. But I decided it was my moral obligation to warn everybody. The only thing necessary for LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS to triumph is for men who have already seen LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS to do nothing.

Let’s be realistic. This is the LEPRECHAUN series. You and I, we are not devastated or surprised that the new LEPRECHAUN movie is not good. We weren’t expecting it to be, we weren’t even wanting it to be. But one thing we did expect, in my opinion, was it to be a movie that had a leprechaun in it. When you really think about it, that is one of the number one things tying all the previous movies together. “Has a leprechaun in it” has always been one of the steadfast rules of the franchise. Until 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.

No One Lives

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

tn_noonelivesWWEstudiosI’m not gonna try to convince you that NO ONE LIVES is a new horror classic or anything, but I enjoyed it. It’s from the prestigious WWE Studios and it has a level of absurdity and audacity that makes it a worthy successor to their first horror production, SEE NO EVIL. The British advertising even uses an Empire quote calling it a “guilty pleasure.” They’re not trying to fool anybody.

This one has an obvious SAW influence, but it’s not a so-called torture porno. It’s kind of a horror-formula moosh-up, combining the super-genius-psycho-with-ridiculous-death-contraptions with more of a traditional slasher movie formula (people in cabin being picked off one-by-one) as well as a little LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (class tensions and abduction courtesy of a family/gang of greaser reprobates).

It’s got one of these prologues that begins mid-terror, a screaming blond named Emma (Adelaide Clemens) chased through some woods, captured by booby traps. Turns out later she’s from a rich family, but judging by these traps the kidnapper is not in it for the money. He just likes hanging girls upside down and stuff. (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.

Dead Man Down

Friday, August 9th, 2013

WWEstudiostn_deadmandownNothing has changed since yesterday. I’m still against WWE Studios flying their prestigious banner above movies starring non-wrestlers. But I gotta admit that DEAD MAN DOWN is probly the best movie they’ve had their initials on so far. It stars Crusher Colin Farrell, Notorious Noomi Rapace and Terrence Dastructshon Howard in a moody revenge romance. (The token actual wrester is somebody named Wade Barrett as some character called “Kilroy.”) I think the movie it reminded me of most is LEON, but it’s a little more downbeat, and no uncomfortable underage business. But that’s a pretty abstract comparison, I don’t even know what it is that connects them. This is the rare movie that feels like it doesn’t really follow an existing template. Or if it does it’s a bunch of different templates collaged together in a weird way that’s hard to recognize. (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 Call

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

tn_thecallWhen I saw the trailer, I thought THE CALL looked hilariously awful. Halle Berry, 911 operator who gets a girl killed by redialing her and giving up her location to her attacker, has to redeem herself when another victim calls from the trunk of the killer’s car. In context, though, I gotta say it’s not bad. A watchable if undistinguished suspense thriller.

The structure has a Larry Cohen-esque simplicity to it, which I respect.

Part 1: failed call and introduction of the spectacular call center where our heroine will spend 2/3 of the 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.

12 Rounds 2: Reloaded

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

tn_12rounds2WWEstudiosThis is the magic of the prestigious WWE Studios banner: it can force a franchise into existence. 12 ROUNDS was one of their better theatrical releases, a straightforward but solidly executed take on a well-worn gimmick: the hero (WWE Superstar John Cena) is forced to play a deadly game by a devious mastermind (The Wire Superstar Aiden Gillen) who blames him for the death of his wife. The game is of course divided into 12 rounds (if the villain was into video games it would be 12 LEVELS) where he has to drive around town doing things before a timer winds down and something blows up or something. The action is largely handheld but still clear and exciting because the director is Renny Harlin. And that gives you the handiest description of the movie: a rip-off of DIE HARD 3 by the director of DIE HARD 2.

I liked it, but did anybody else? It looks like it didn’t make much more than half of its budget in theaters. I’m sure it did better on video, but it’s not all that well known, is it? Luckily that doesn’t stop WWE Studios from DTV-sequelizing like they did with THE MARINE. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If there’s a part 2 then part 1 must be significant, right? And you don’t have to watch both because it’s not connected. It’s some other wrestler playing some other character and some other villain with some other grievance, playing some other deadly game. But coincidentally with 12 rounds again.
(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 Marine 3: Homefront

Monday, April 29th, 2013

tn_marine3You guys know I’ve always rooted for the movies carrying the prestigious WWE Films banner. I gave the rare rave review of their dumb slasher movie SEE NO EVIL (9% on Rotten Tomatoes), even got quoted by the producer on a commentary track. I wrote that the Triple-H/Parker Posey team in INSIDE OUT might be “this generation’s William Powell and Myrna Loy”. I loved THE MARINE 2 and labelled it one of the few DTV sequels superior to a theatrical original. They were starting to have a really good track record there.

Now I’m a little concerned because it seems like WWE Films is trying to get out of the making-WWE-films business. First they started picking up non-wrestling, independent features to distribute (THE DAY), then they put out two wide theatrical releases, DEAD MAN DOWN and THE CALL, that star Oscar nominees/winners instead of wrestlers. I mean I want to see both movies – they’re from pretty interesting directors, the first looks good and the other looks funny-bad – but I don’t like it. Yeah, so what if Cartoon Network has live action shows and MTV doesn’t play M anymore? Other people will make movies starring Halle Berry, I promise you. WWE should only have her in a buddy cop movie with The Undertaker.

(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 Reunion

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

tn_reunionTHE REUNION is another entertaining and kinda unexpected release from the prestigious WWE Studios. Even more than INSIDE OUT it doesn’t really follow THE MARINE’S approach of just sticking one of their wrestlers into the lead of a formula action movie. This one’s an ensemble crime comedy with only one wrestler, WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World or whatever John Cena, as Sam, one of three estranged brothers forced to work together in a family business to earn a big-ass inheritance. The other two brothers are Leo (Ethan Embry), a fast-talking fuckup bail bondsman, and Douglas (Boyd Holbrook), a James Dean type leather-jacket wearing, brooding, fresh-out-of-lockup half brother they didn’t even know about ’cause he grew up in youth homes. Embry wears an I’m-quirky-and-sort-of-retro hat like Michael Rapaport in INSIDE OUT or like a less boneheaded Matt Dillon in THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY. (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.

Inside Out

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

tn_insideoutDespite the prestigious WWE Studios logo I had no reason to believe in this crime thriller starring the long-haired pro wrestler now credited as “Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque.” I looked up the director (Artie Mandelberg), he’s a TV guy going back to Moonlighting. The writer (Dylan Schaffer) had no credits before this one. I almost didn’t rent it, but I thought it was funny that ’90s indie queen Parker Posey was in a WWE movie. I forgot she’d already worked with Triple H in BLADE 3. Could they be on their way to becoming this generation’s William Powell and Myrna Loy? (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 Marine 2

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

tn_marine2Lately alot of us have been noticing the decrease in high quality action movies on the big screen and the increase of them in the direct-to-DVD world. Some of us are starting to suspect that there’s been a switcheroo, that the DTV format – once designated as a 100% crap zone – has become the more reliable place to find good action movies. At least for English language movies it seems like most of the best ones (the UNDISPUTEDs, UNIVERSAL SOLDIER REGENERATION, BLOOD AND BONE) go straight to video, and anything on the big screen, even the ones I end up enjoying (THE EXPENDABLES, THE MECHANIC, NINJA ASSASSIN) you can pretty much 100% assume is gonna be compromised by some blurry, muddy, sloppy, close-up, confusing, de-thrillified action scenes.

Well, I’m not sure if we’ve reached that milestone yet, I might be cherrypicking my examples there. But add this to the evidence file: we got another DTV sequel that is clearly superior to the theatrical original. (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.