"I take orders from the Octoboss."

I was on Zebras in America again

My podcast pals Marcus and Scott had me on Zebras in America again. It’s just a freeform conversation, but I prepared notes, which I think helped. I’m not gonna claim I didn’t say anything embarrassing, but I had fun talking to them again. I remember we discussed EXTRACTION and the phenomenon of straight-to-Netflix action movies, the power of Scott Adkins, and I think I did a good job plugging my upcoming book at the end. I did forget to tell them that I watched ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENICE after Scott recommended it last time I was on. Also I should’ve brought up MASTER Z as a followup to our previous Dave Bautista discssion. Maybe another time.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2020 at 10:12 pm and is filed under Blog Post (short for weblog). You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

14 Responses to “I was on Zebras in America again”

  1. I like how quiet you stayed when the guy railed on Tarintino’s last few movies twice.

  2. Ha ha, I tried to say I disagreed, but didn’t get an opening. I was preoccupied with hoping not to have to say what I thought about DRAGGED, and the technical difficulties didn’t get me out of it! (My feelings on that were known when I got a related freelance gig so I don’t think it’s a problem.)

  3. I’ll have to check this out. Some film geeks REALLY hate Tarantino and I get it to an extent, but sometimes I think it’s just jealousy. I knew a guy who was making these low budget movies…like 25-50 grand, and he HATES Tarantino. Just talks about how all of his ideas are from other movies. Yeah to an extent but Tarantino does something with him. But then I see the director’s movie and every single scene in his movies were just copies of other movies, like Tarantino without creativity to do any remixing at all. And I was like “oh, you just hate Tarantino because he’s the successful version of you.”

  4. I’m looking forwards to checking this out. I found The Suspense Is Killing Us through you being on it Vern, and now it’s pretty much my favourite podcast. Hope you’re on that again.

  5. Man, the guy from Queens (no dis, it took me most of my adult life to shed my accent) is fully partaking in my new pet peeve “speakerpodcasting”

    It’s like when someone puts you on speakerphone, they don’t give enough of a shit about you and/or your call to actually hold the phone to their face, When they partake in speakerpodcasting, their own podcast isn’t worth holding the phone/investing in a $15 headset.

  6. One of my pet peeves is people who talk on speakerphone in public and hold the phone horizontally on the tips of their fingers a few inches from their mouth like it’s a piece of delicate pastry they’re about to take a bite out of. There’s something so arrogant about this posture that I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on.

  7. “One of my pet peeves is people who talk on speakerphone in public and hold the phone horizontally on the tips of their fingers a few inches from their mouth like it’s a piece of delicate pastry they’re about to take a bite out of. There’s something so arrogant about this posture that I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on.”

    LOL…I really hate that too!

  8. I’m not sure what issue you’re talking about, but any sound quality problems are due to my computer fucking up and not recording properly so we had to do the backup of using a recording of the Zoom call instead of their preference of individually recorded tracks. Last time my ancient computer caused problems and this time it’s a fresh new one. Always something.

  9. I’m not sure what issue you’re talking about

    Oh, just that the guy with the Queens accent was obviously on speakerphone

    Again, just a personal pet peeve of my own. Not supposed to represent the larger anything.

    Your weird mic fuck-up that made you sound like a decepticon was actually pretty awesome

  10. I assure you we care.
    Normally – when there isn’t a pandemic going on – we have better recording procedures.
    We figured not to let that stop us from recording (especially with someone like Vern – who is always an amazing guest and part of the reason we do what we do).
    There was no speakerphone, and we are continuing to make the listening experience during Covid as listenable and enjoyable as possible.
    Hope you enjoyed the episode as much as we enjoyed recording it.

  11. Long time fan. Been reading since the Ain’t it cool days, and probably have read so far as back to the nutmeg stories from prison. But this is the first time hearing your voice talking about movies! I’m not sure what I expected but your certain style of writing really has its own character that’s built up in my head whenever I read your reviews. It doesn’t change much of the image but now it feels cool to know you’ve got a more cerebral Werner Herzog type voice almost Anton from ratatouille manner of speaking behind the scenes. Which probably elevates the movie critic persona even further on another level of class. “Worm on a Hook” sounds amazing btw and I hope this pushes your work even further. Always wondered what a horror movie you’d make given the chance. Also, never heard of those zebra guys before this but I really thought they had some funny stuff to say. I started to watch the debt collector today to catch up. Anyway, haven’t posted here in forever but I still read your reviews on the daily despite not seeing many movies myself these days. Wish you all the best

  12. There was no speakerphone

    I guess I mistook the sounding like one was yelling from across the room/first syllable of every sentence being cut off from the voice activation kicking-in as tell-tale signs of speakerpodcasting, when they actually were not.

    I apologize for any insinuation.

  13. Sup Vern, big fan, I normally don’t reply to your posts because I’m not used to engaging with reviews, but maybe because podcasts are already conversational by nature I feel comfortable joining in. Anyway, I feel like the conversation surrounding the yellow hue in EXTRACTION and other films kind of skated around the point of the controversy. Not saying you’re wrong for talking about Netflix’s color-grading, ‘cuz that’s the way the hosts steered the conversation, but I feel like the real reasons behind the upset over its usage (specifically in action films set in Middle/South East Asia) were ignored. You’re right, that hue signifies heat, but really this special kind of barren, desert heat. Classifying communities that are actually very culturally and visually rich as interchangeable desert wastelands makes for more boring, homogenous films, but it serves the kind of underlying ethos of a lot of those types of films, making these places a backdrop for the troubled but dynamic white protagonist. I’m not shit-talking EXTRACTION specifically (and your review actually made it sound really good!) and I know that you also like all those Clint Eastwood movies like AMERICAN SNIPER, but I do think that this cinematographic pattern is worth discussing especially when it serves this really kind of sinister patriotism (or at worst, propaganda) in American movies. Funny enough, this type of convo came about later in the podcast when y’all were talking about DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE, and one of the hosts rightly pointed out that everything is political (and you made a good point re: white guys talking about making “apolitical” work when really it’s just because they don’t consider that their personal viewpoint isn’t the fucking center of the universe and does in fact have political implications, which I feel a lot of these big-budget actions try to do.) I just wish I had seen that same lens applied to the discussion of EXTRACTION tbh.

    So cool to hear you speak though, makes you seem more real to me- up to this point I kind of thought maybe you were a cryptid. SHADOW looks dope, I’m gonna watch it.

  14. I appreciate you explaining that. I wasn’t trying to discount the argument. I honestly didn’t know what the argument was, because Marcus bringing up that there was a controversy was the first I’d heard of it. So I fell back on my personal appreciation of digital tinting as a respite from all the gloomy overcast shot-in-Europe movies I watched during the glory years of DTV Seagal.

    Just on a visual level, I don’t think EXTRACTION fits in with the Middle East movies you’re talking about – it implies a muggy sort of heat, and largely takes place in colorful, populated areas. So I’d have to read more to understand the controversy in that specific case. I don’t think I brought it up in the conversation but it made me think about the visual tricks Spike Lee and Ernest Dickerson had to use to make DO THE RIGHT THING look so hot, and how one of the transfers spoiled some of them. Do you think they just need to find a broader range of techniques so everybody’s not using the same visual shorthand?

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