Posts Tagged ‘code of honor’

13 Assassins

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

tn_13assassins13 ASSASSINS is a pretty straightforward and thoroughly badass samurai picture from director Takashi Miike. I know that guy’s known for making 2 or 3 crazy fucked up movies a year. I think the only one I’ve seen before is AUDITION, which I thought was a pretty good romantic comedy but not quite up to the hype as the most fucked in the head movie you ever saw. Pretty well done though. Anyway, this is different.
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Monday, May 19th, 2008

If you’ve seen anything by David Mamet then you know it’s kind of surprising (and awesome) that his new movie is about Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I even heard rumors that it was a straight ahead kickboxing movie like BLOODSPORT, and when the opening credits had Japanese drums like Christopher Lambert’s THE HUNTED I was about ready for the rebirth of action cinema. But this is really not an action movie. Anyone who goes in looking for that might be disappointed like the guy who wanted his money back when I saw GHOST DOG. Maybe not quite as much – there’s not alot of poetic shots of birds flying or long scenes of dudes driving around quietly contemplating. But this is not BEST OF THE BEST 2008, it’s definitely a David Mamet movie. Slowly unfolding plot that could go in any direction, narrative that respects the audience enough not to spell everything out for them, an intricate con, macho dialogue, magic tricks, Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna, Mamet’s wife, songs by Mamet’s wife. I was hoping William H. Macey would show up as some retired kickboxing legend, but maybe next time.

The best thing about the movie is Chewetel Ejiofor. He plays Mike Terry, the instructor at a small, struggling jiu-jitsu academy, and a total fucking badass. He has some ties to bigshots in competitive mixed martial arts (or “karate potpouri” I believe they prefer to call it) but he doesn’t consider competition fights to be honorable, so he won’t do that even when he needs the money badly. It’s best to just let the plot fall into place, it’s not exactly high concept. But I will say that it involves some coincidence, a broken window, some lies, and some sleeper holds. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ghost Dog and Titus on DVD

Monday, August 14th, 2000

Well it brings tears to an old man’s eyes to point out that it has been 1 penny solid that I have been on the outside of the correctional system. 365 days of freedom. Good lord what a beautiful year. Very few brushes with the law or neighbors and many months of clarity and sobriety. It has gotten to the point where I can even wait patiently in line at a bank without much shuffling my feet or getting a sweaty forehead.

And the lord likes to bless us on these types of occasions and this week he has some doozies for me. Because GUESS WHO DOESN’T HAVE CHLAMYDIA! That’s right, thanks to all of your prayers, my test came back negative. Must be some other kind of infection. So you heard the lord girls. All ladies over 18, Vern is back open for business!

But there are a couple things in this world more important than disease-free sex, or even finishing a weekly column on time. And one of them is GHOST DOG: WAY OF THE MOTHERFUCKIN SAMURAI. Artisan home entertainment has kindly agreed to commemorate my anniversary by releasing my favorite film Ghost Dog to video as well as to the popular digital versatile disc format which I highly recommend. You see like many digital versatile discs, or “dvds” as many of us call them for short, GHOST DOG has many extra bonus type deals on it which are NOT on the tired, obsolete and embarrassing medium of the “vcr tape”. (read the rest of this shit…)

Best fuckin movie EVER?

Monday, July 31st, 2000

Folks this week I’m gonna cut right to the chase. I have just seen a movie that is new to dvd that is VERY likely the BEST FUCKIN MOVIE EVER. This is a movie many of you have probaly never seen and hell I never even HEARD of this piece until the other day however it is, for those of you just joining us, the BEST FUCKIN MOVIE EVER.

Now I have been tallying and calculating votes for the top 100 Badass Films of All Time and this picture has not received one vote. And I’m not complainin because this is not a Badass picture per se. It is more of a drama than an action film and is more about feeling and sentiment than about attitude and breaking a motherfucker’s arms or whatever.

The name of the picture is Knightriders, a film directed by George A. Romero in 1980. It was one of those movies that did very poorly at the box office and was never heard of again…. until it came to dvd and most people discovered that it was the BEST FUCKIN MOVIE EVER. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Monday, April 3rd, 2000

First off folks I would like to apologize from the deepest recesses of my big ol’ outlaw heart for getting this column in late. I know some of you really count on the punctuality of this particular column Vern Tell’s It Like It Is and if it is not ready for you on monday morning it throws off your whole damn week. Without my artistical Cinematic musings, my down to earth stories and advice, you are not ready to begin your week.

Oh who the fuck am I fooling, nobody knows this but this column usually goes up early Monday morning, but this time it was late. If anyone noticed then sorry bud. Remember it comes out on monday gang please read it regularly. jesus.

Anyway, the reason why I was late can be blamed on one individual named Ghost Dog and his picture Way of the Samurai. You see ever since seeing this picture I have been trying to be more open to the different ways of the individuals in different parts of the world, cultures, etc. I think Ghost Dog has a very good point that it is time people started learning from people who are different from them, from the chinese circus acrobats who swing from their hair to the dude in El Topo who has no legs who is strapped to the back of the dude with no arms.

We as americans must stop taking everything so literally man. Just cause a guy is a shaolin monk or a guy with blue hair does not mean you can’t exchange tips on how to live life. I think a cowboy or an astronaut could go out for a drink with say a ninja or a ballerina, and could learn from their ways. This does not mean the astronaut starts wearing a tutu underneath the astro-suit, or even that he does ballet moves while floating through outer space. What I’m talking about is they can get to the core of the thing, the understanding. They can learn from the philosophy or the attitude and figure out how to apply it to their own life. I mean imagine if Clint Eastwood in the westerns had learned how to look at life the same was as a ninja. I mean jesus he would be unstoppable, that motherfucker. I almost don’t even wanna think about it. (read the rest of this shit…)