Happy New Year, friends

So much for that bullshit. Now for the next one. Hopefully we can start digging our way out of the wreckage from this one.

Thank you everybody for reading and posting this year. I’m so grateful to be able to talk movies and everything else with you all, to hear your insights and your jokes and your feedback. I appreciate the community you all create here and all the other ways you’ve supported me and helped make it possible for me to spend most of my time writing.

So consider this a toast to all of you, to great movies, to terrible movies, to kung fu and samurais and funk music, to excellence, to weirdos, to kindness and generosity and sticking it to The Man. Love you all.


This entry was posted on Thursday, December 31st, 2020 at 11:59 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.

27 Responses to “Happy New Year, friends”

  1. Happy New Year, Vern! From a fan in Singapore.

    Here’s to hoping 2021 will be a brighter and more just world for everyone.

  2. After I get a certain amount of sleep I will talk more about this year, but until then: Happy new one, everybody! And thanks for being a beacon of excellence in this declining world of internet criticism. WIth that I mean both Vern and of course all you other assholes in the comment section. (And I use “assholes” here in the Australian way, so it’s a term of endearment.)

  3. Happy New Year, y’all. My relief at the toilet fire that was 2020 finally being over is greatly lessened by the death of Mother Fucking Doom. I literally gasped. I just used one of his verses in a remix the other day. An influential yet inimitable MC. Nobody else would even consider saying the shit he said, saying it the way he said it, or saying it over the kind of beats he said it over. He could rap over literally anything and make it dope. To hear Doom is to hear everything hip-hop is capable of but so rarely achieves. My man had more names than Satan and still couldn’t be labelled.

    I couldn’t figure out what track of his I wanted to post in tribute so I said fuck it. It’s a new year, maybe it’s time to try new shit. So here is a link to that song I made. This is my first publicly released song ever. It is entirely made out of samples (much of it Christmas music, though not all–there’s some Lauryn Hill, some Iron Maiden, a little Dave Matthews, Soundgarden for the guitar solo) except for the drums, which are loops. I did not make the loops. Much gratitude to the nameless internet beat programmers who did.

    For those who don’t know, Doom has the first verse. (The second is Pos K of “I Got A Man” fame.)

    Anyway. I hope a few of you like it. There are literally thousands more where it came from.

    Make 'Em Clap

    Listen to Make 'Em Clap by Walker Sexist Mangler #np on #SoundCloud

  4. Hey, I already have a follower! I’m like 90% sure she’s a bot but still!

  5. Hey, that’s some cool shit, Mr M.

    Anyway, 2020…yeah, well…you know.

    That said, on a personal level, it wasn’t that awful. Nobody I knew got sick, died or lost their job and/or home. Although I had one crazy Covid scare that one week they re-opened my work place and put me together with 6 other people, out of which only one wore a mask, in a tiny basement room until I started to get the sniffels (Thankfully it was just a normal cold). Still, that one day down there gave me the biggest, freaking panic attack I ever had (to the point where I even wonder if I ever had a real panic attack), but thankfully they just transfered me upstairs, where I still had too much contact with people who didn’t wear their masks correct and got sick again. (Again, just another cold) So I got laid off (which sounds worse than it is. Long story, that would include how the German unemployment system works. So for now just believe me when I say that I’m surprisingly okay with my job status right now.)

    In terms of movies, there wasn’t much going on. For some reason I only watched a bit more than 80 movies, which is my worst count in maybe a decade or longer. At least since I started counting!

    My favourite new release was by far PHINEAS & FERB: CANDACE AGAINST THE UNIVERSE, which, just like the series, provided me with all kinds of big laughs. After that it’s BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC, which felt rushed at times, but was a worthy entry in the Wyld Stallyons saga and far from being the emberassment, that late sequels usually were. BORAT 2 was great too, but I think it crumbled a little under its own expectations, but it still surprised me how unexpectedly wholesome that one was. Bonus mention for HUBIE HALLOWEEN, which wsa one of Sandler’s more forgettable movies, but gets a gold star for its explicit “What’s so bad about being a good person, you assholes?” message.

    Musicwise the only album that counts was A STEADY DRIP, DRIP, DRIP by Sparks. Incredible how these guys after all these years still come up with well made, clever, catchy songs, while flying under the radar of most of the world. Although I noticed the radar part slowly changing in the last few years. I guess being praised by Edgar Wright and Weird Al helps a lot in that regard.

    My three favourite music videos this year were:

    – Duck Sauce: Mesmerize (Which is more NSFW than it seems at first) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gduUeX0N4Q
    – Sparks: The Existential Threat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLxPIOxgkM0
    – Danny Elfman: Happy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3xKyWemAr0

    And well, that’s it. I go back to bed. Had one hell of a virtual party last night and it powered me out more than any real party ever did. Good times. I think I’m getting old. Happy new year.

  6. Mr. M: Signed up for SoundCloud and followed you.

    CJ: don’t you have a SoundCloud as well?

  7. I had one, but I only used it to post DJ sets, but at some point they changed how much stuff you can post on there, plus I got a few copyright strikes (which oddly never lead to my deletion) and I kinda abandoned it. Now I moved on to http://hearthis.at/psychofrakulator , which also has mostly DJ sets, plus some mash-ups and selfmade music, but none of that as good as Majestyk’s stuff.

  8. Oh, also this became my traditional New Year’s lunch in the last few years. The recipe is in German (sorry), but you should be able to put it together anyway. (I replaced the spinach with tomatoes, for reasons or personal preference)

    Hackfleischrolle mit Schinken, Bacon und Käse

    Hier geht's direkt zum Rezept: http://bzfd.it/2ABZeU0Hol dir noch mehr Inspiration auf unserer Facebook-Seite: https://www.facebook.com/EinfachTastyWenn dir ...

  9. Hey, thanks, guys. There’s already a guy on SoundCloud promising to make my song huge, whatever that means. Should I take him up on it? Being 43 and a honkey who lives in suburban Connecticut is no reason not to suddenly become a hip-hop superproducer, right?

    I wanted to do a more elaborate tribute to Doom so I threw together this samplepalooza over breakfast this morning. It is made of some of the whitest shit ever recorded, thus proving my earlier thesis that Doom can sound dope over anything.

    Gazzillion Ear (Remix)

    A tribute to MF DOOM

  10. Happy New Year!!

    I had a pretty good year, to tell you the truth. Most of it felt like limbo, waiting to see WTF was going to happen with this pandemic and whether dumbass Trump would get re-elected. I did not suffer financially from COVID at all, just transitioned to working from home, and my wife and I have spent the last nine months cooking good food at home. I think we have gotten takeout food three times, maybe four. The election was depressingly close but ended up all right, just barely, and not descend our country further into blatant corruption, mismanagement, ugliness and shame. I actually had a pretty sizeable nest egg saved up and ready to blow on either (1) moving out of the USA and never looking back, or (2) fixing up my house. I am happy that it is going to be option 2, but my faith in our country is still shaken and I am not sure that four years from now I won’t be selling my house and blowing this joint. A lot of people say dumb shit like “if X wins I am leaving the country”… but I was fucking serious. The pandemic would have seriously messed up any concrete plans we could have come up with, but we would have made it happen somehow, eventually, one way or another.

    So I still feel a little bit in limbo, sadly. Especially with Trump’s constant barrage of anti-democratic yammering about overturning the election, and his cronies somehow going along with it?? WTF has happened to America when this kind of crap is spouted from our highest office and even some in Congress. I don’t think anything will come of it but things still feel really weird and probably will until Biden is sworn in and living in the White House for a couple weeks. Pretty fucked up that this is even a concern.

    It seems pretty clear now that COVID is just going to stay at a low-level burn indefinitely, as the country goes through random bullshit cycles of half-ass “lockdown” and opening back up. If reopening actually led to disastrous results like people dropping dead in the streets maybe America would learn, but instead it seems like it just kills mostly old people, and a few random others, and a Congressman or two. No big deal, 3k deaths a day, they were mostly elderly anyway, WTF. We won’t learn until enough of our spoiled and selfish countrymen have lost a relative and everybody finally agrees to take moderate precautions for the greater good. We clearly aren’t there yet, and Trump being replaced with Biden is not gonna change the hearts of America. At the beginning of this shit I predicted 80k deaths and my friends thought I was being crazy. I doubt we will hit a million by the end of it, but actually that isn’t even that far outside the realm of possibility.

    What a mess. I hope 2021 is a good year.

  11. Happy New Year y’all, and may I express my deep gratitude for this website/community. I’m thankful for Outlawvern every day, a place online where people meet to engage each other sincerely in sharing and analyzing the art that moves them. Keep taking it to the bridge, everybody.

  12. The statement that Vern’s site is one of the last vestiges for film criticism is so true. CHUD is long dead. Ain’t It Cool I don’t even visit anymore. Slash Film is just too middle of the road to be worthwhile.
    This site remains the best one to read as usual. Thank you Vern for what you do.

  13. Thanks Vern! You keep writing, we’ll keep reading :)

  14. Happy New Year to all of you, and to our wonderful host.

    Thanks so much Vern for your continued devotion to excellence in 2020. This has been a tough year for habitual obsessive moviegoers (still much less of an adjustment than for those who, you know, got sick and died, but I don’t think we’re being blinkered by fretting a bit over the future of one of the rituals that structured our social lives, and in some ways acts as the main line to engagement with the broader national and international culture, to the extent that such a thing still exists), and your dogged persistance has been a real inspiration. If you ever experience bleak moments in the coming year which cause you to doubt your creative instincts, let this serve as a reminder that said instincts not only served you well in these bleakest of years, but were a serious balm to many total strangers as well. Thanks for that.

  15. Happy New Year Vern and everyone else. Even if I’ve been working ever since the first quarantine, been tested twice and been forced to take public transport each day, 2020 was kind to me, my family and my friends. Hope everything is well with all the excellent people I meet on this sight on a daily basis. 2021 will be better!

  16. 2020 is the year I stopped being a long time lurker around these parts and actually started contributing my own 2 cents and interacting with all you fine people here, so on that note alone, 2020 hasn’t been a complete shit show.

    Happy New Year Vern and everyone else! Continue staying healthy and safe

  17. Happy New Year. Thanks for helping me get through 2020. One nice thing about having had covid is that I started to give plasma so maybe my antibodies will help somebody out in the future.

    I also started started a Discord with Mike Scott who does the Scott Adkins podcast, Adkins Undisputed, where we basically just use it to discuss action cinema. Geoffreyjar and Krautsalat are there often. It is even Vern approved. Here is the link of anybody is interested. Geoffreyjar can attest that it’s a mostly positive community that won’t make you cynical.

    Join the Action Undisputed Discord Server!

    Check out the Action Undisputed community on Discord - hang out with 39 other members and enjoy free voice and text chat.

  18. Not a big Discordler and y’all seem to have a much bigger knowledge of actionmovies than me (which I blame on a shit ton of the classics being difficult to get your hands on in Germany), but I might join it at some point. Thanks.

  19. On a related note, where should I begin with Doom? He’s one of those that for one reason or another has largely fallen through the cracks with me, though not due to any particular effort on my part. I pretty much know Madvilliany, his KMD stuff and that’s it. Help a guy who should’ve figured this all out 20 years ago.

  20. Vern, first off thanks again for another great year of writing. I have read your stuff since at least the old AICN days and it is funny that the world you wrote about then had hard-to-find DTV and shit in the era of VHS and DVD. Sometimes you had to go looking, you know? Now you can bring up a streaming service and find them already there or, at worse, click a button and there it is. DTV is all the rage now in the time of COVID. I mean, WW84 is essentially a DTV movie even with its weak-ass release (which still seems crazy to me….stay the Fuck home, America and much of the world!). Anyway, thanks for the continued exposure to cool movies I wouldn’t run across on my own or reviewing the stuff I do love but giving me a perspective I appreciate on it.

    Also, congrats on your second novel. I loved your published essays but really enjoyed Niketown and look forward to Worm… Keep it up. Next a movie???

    On MF DOOM, I am also weak on DOOM. My first exposure to him, swear to god, was DOOM and DM teaming up with Space Ghost on their song Space Hoes Coast to Coast. I loved it but thought it was some fun side-gig for someone, like Kool Keith as Dr. Octagon. Alas, he has lately popped up on any feed of rappers I do love and truly has earned the title of “your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.” Now I have some digging in to do. Sad to explore it posthumously.

    So happy new year, VERN. Looking forward to 2021 being an improvement. Thanks for everything. Stay safe.

  21. Handsome Dan: You pretty much can’t go wrong but I’d probably start with the first Doom album OPERATION: DOOMSDAY and then check out the first Viktor Vaughn album, VAUDEVILLE VILLAIN.

  22. A lot of celebrity death last year. I’m not sure it was more or normal, but it was probably an average. I missed a couple of deaths in December, because I was preoccupied with other things, and didn’t hang much on Twitter for a couple of weeks. Reading Joblo’s A TRIBUTE TO THOSE WE LOST IN 2020, I saw that I missed the death of Tommy “Tiny” Lister, jr. and Korean director Kim Ki-duk (he died from Covid while doing location research for his next film in Latvia, people stay the fuck home!). They died on 10th and 11th December. I guess this the main reason I do Twitter, as I usually will miss stuff like that if not for twitter.

  23. fil: That entire DangerDoom album is pretty great. It should just be a gimmick but everybody involved brings their A-game and it’s miraculously sort of a classic. That’s kinda Doom in a nutshell: He does shit that should be corny but he does it with such sincerity and intelligence that it becomes more legit than just anybody else’s “serious” music.

    DangerDoom - The Mask ft. Ghostface Killah

    i don't own anything in this video or whatever

  24. Hey everybody! Happy New Year to you all.

    I’m just gonna second everyone’s emotion regarding how much this sight has meant during “these uncertain times”TM.

    (Sorry I worked on a lot of corporate videos this year and that was the number 1 phrase)

    But y’all have seriously made it worthwhile and a resplendent oasis from the beginning-of-Demolition-Man year weve had. Particularly a big fan of the discussions from the 1985 summer reviews. Brought me back to a time i needed.

    Heres to a better year! Thank you all again! And I also need to get on thr Danger Doom bandwagon as that was my introduction to both Danger and Doom and i haven’t looked back.

  25. Vern, thank you for continuing to post reviews of movies old and new. Movies are my church and have been ever since I still went to church. Funk music is also my favourite music and one of the things that kept me going this year. I didn’t suffer much this year. I lost my grandmother and that was hard. (not Covid related although it made saying goodbye almost impossible except for a phone call near the end.) I’m so happy that you enjoyed TeneT as much as I did. I saw TeneT in an empty IMAX theatre, Bill and Ted in a nearly empty theatre, The Invisible Man (in the last days before theatres here in greater Vancouver temporarily shut down and Harley Quinn (about a month before things really shut down.) Rewatching episodes of Mike Judge’s Tales From The Tour Bus Seasons 1 and 2, but especially 2 which is the funk centered one also helped me get through 2020. Playing music with friends and colleagues, at a distance with masks on was also a life saver. Spending more time with my family than we would have normally done was also really great at times. I loved Soul after grudgingly signing up for Disney+ which I swore I would not sign up for. I still don’t know if I’m going to keep it after I watch The Mandolrian season 2…but there is Wandavision coming soon which I’m curious about. That’s how they get you I guess. :) Happy New Year to you Vern and to all who frequent this site, may everything open up again when it’s safe and I hope that recovery happens in every way possible during 2021!

  26. Happy New Year to everyone indeed. And thanks to Vern for his work and this space. It really made a difference to me in 2020.

    I saw exactly 4 movies in theatres in 2020: KNIVES OUT, PARASITE, QUEEN AND SLIM, and BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC. All in their own ways excellent, but QUEEN AND SLIM really deserved a better reception.

    My kids also saw TENET in a theatre and tell me that Nolan was right to hold out for the big screen experience, even if he inadvertantly killed event movie releases for the foreseable in doing so.

    For action, I enjoyed catching up with Veronica Ngo, including her brief appearance in THE OLD GUARD, although neither that, nor EXTRACTION was my favourite online release. That goes to THE LOST BULLET, which again seems to’ve deserved a better reception (credit where it’s due – I picked up on it from Fred recommending it). I really liked BACURAU too, although that did get a lot of mainstream coverage and approval.

    For older stuff I just caught up on, I’m still reeling from WAKE IN FRIGHT (1971) and WENT THE DAY WELL? (1942). And NEW WORLD (2013) may just be the best gangster movie made outside Hong Kong this century.

    My family and friends have been fine throughout the year, and for that I am grateful, even if those working on various front lines have been pushed to the limit. The celebrity death that hit hardest was Ennio Morricone’s, even if at his age we could hardly call it unexpected and it certainly did not pass unnoticed:

    Ennio Morricone - Addio a Cheyenne

    Ennio Morricone's song "Addio a Cheyenne," from Sergio Leone's film "Once Upon a Time in the West." (1968) With Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards...

    A happy and healthy 2021 to all!

  27. Happy New Year everybody!

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