Archive for 2001

Tape

Saturday, November 3rd, 2001

I have to admit, the digital video is starting to look more promising. For a while there I was about to declare it my arch-enemy. It never looked like a real movie. It always looked like crap. But it was winning over directors like Spike Lee, lowering their standards. Either it looked muddy and ugly (like Bamboozled) or like a TV special (like Original Kings of Comedy). Even in the best cases it just looked like cheap film stock (Chuck and Buck) and in the only case where it looked really great (Julien Donkey Boy) it was because they transferred it to film and then back to video and then back to film, or some crazy shit like that that nobody else is gonna bother to try.

I’m still skeptical but I must admit that the technology is improving, making it more acceptable. They’re even using digital video for important works like the next Soderbergh film and the third installment in the Mariachi trilogy. I saw an ad for Star Wars Part 2 and although it looked more artifial than part 1, I would never have guessed it was all shot on some super high tech rich guy camcorder. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern takes in THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE!!!

Friday, November 2nd, 2001

Hey folks, Harry here with the latest from that insane man… VERN. Vern comes from another planet…. or so I’ve heard. They apparently herd sheep into trailers there. He’s using this grazing ability to sum up the cornstalkability of this latest film from the Coens…. Here ya go…

THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE

by Vern

Monday I saw the new movie by the Coen Brothers.

First I gotta say, I am not exactly familiar with these brothers. The hughes brothers I know. The wachowski brothers. The Maysles brothers. The doobie brothers I know a thing or two about. For example, they have two drummers don’t they? I don’t know. The point is, you know more about the coen brothers than I do. Are they twins? I don’t know. Maybe they aren’t really brothers, it is only a stage name like the blues brothers, the smothers brothers or the isley brothers. The point is, I wouldn’t know. Because I know jack shit about them, if jack shit was two things. (read the rest of this shit…)

Donnie Darko

Sunday, October 28th, 2001

I gotta admit I was surprised by this picture. It is about a young man (named Donnie Darko [that is why the movie is called Donnie Darko, it is the dude's name]) to whom all the weird shit happens. Like for example a demonic rabbit lures him out of bed to a golf course, whispering mysterious type business to him in a spooky voice. In the morning he comes home and, you know, a plane engine has fallen onto his bedroom. Only one thing is, nobody knows what happened to the plane the engine fell off of. And it would be bad enough to have a plane engine fall into your room in the first place, then you gotta throw in all this mysterious bermuda triangle type business too. I mean he has a hard enough time just with school work now he has to deal with this shit.

This movie didn’t get much of a release and I don’t know, maybe it’s because it’s coming out in a time when Donnie Darko’s life doesn’t seem all that different from ours. Engines do fall out of the sky. I mean they have ax fights on planes now. They have shoe bombs and shit. They’re gonna have baboon attacks pretty soon, the way things are going in my opinion. Pilots gored by elephants after that. I mean why do they allow elephants in the cargo hold anyway is what they’re gonna say. We shoulda seen that loophole. (read the rest of this shit…)

From Hell

Friday, October 19th, 2001

Maybe I mentioned that I’ve been on a documentary kick. I mean I’ve been watching the works of documentationists left and right. Not just BIGGIE AND TUPAC, but all the Maysles brothers direct cinema shit, Pumping Iron, Hoop Dreams, you name it. If it’s a documentary, and I’ve seen it, then I’ve seen it lately. But as great as some of these movies are, only some of them are greater than 2000′s Outlaw Award Winning picture AMERICAN PIMP by the Hughes Brothers. This is the definitive pimpumentary, I don’t care what you say about PIMPS UP, HOES DOWN it’s no AMERICAN PIMP.

The Hughes brothers are identical twin brothers who look the same. Because they are identical twins. Other than that, they seem very down to earth. They got alot of attention very fast with the huge success of their first picture, MENACE II SOCIETY which basically started the whole “young black director makes first low budget movie about life in the hood” thing back in the ’90s. They followed that up with the underrated heist/Vietnam movie DEAD PRESIDENTS, which got bad reviews and which they disavow on every subsequent dvd release. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern’s Top Nine Movies To Watch In These Unfortunate Times

Sunday, October 14th, 2001

As we attempt to slide slowly back into some perverted new version of our regular lives, as we search for comfort in our leaders, our suddenly careful late night comedy shows and our community flagwaving contests, there is a danger, in my opinion, of not learning jack shit. And to see something like this happen, in our own country this time, and to not learn jack shit, is just plain stupid.

Or maybe we are learning. If you’re watching the news or reading the newspaper, you get one picture of what’s going on in people’s minds across the country and around the world. But talking to actual human beings in daily life and checking my e-mail, I get an entirely different one.

Thanks, everybody, for reading, tolerating, and in some cases even appreciating my long rant of a column last month. I got many supportive e-mails, interesting forwards and links. I heard from people on the west coast and east coast, from England and from New Zealand. You might be surprised that almost every single person who Wrote to me actually agreed with my anti-war, anti-US government stance. The one guy who disagreed was very supportive of my work and fair in his criticisms. I didn’t even once want to Write back that he should fuck off. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Devil’s Backbone

Thursday, October 11th, 2001

Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with being excited about a Mexican horror picture. This is from a fine director who did the CRONOS which the box is a picture of some blond gal but the movie is about an old grandpa who licks blood off a bathroom floor. This guy also came to Hollywood directed a picture called MIMIC which I will not mention in this article. It had some good parts though. But I won’t mention them.

However this is more important than your average mexican horror picture. You know why, because this is a mexican horror picture from the director of the most highly anticipated movie of next year. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Reviews MULHOLLAND DRIVE… But Which Cut’!

Friday, September 28th, 2001

Hey, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

Which version of this movie did he see? He mentions the lesbian sex that dominates the third act, as other reviewers have, but he doesn’t go on and on about how hot it is, as other reviewers have, so does that mean Vern is just a classy guy, or is it possible he saw the original TV pilot?

Either way, AICN’s favorite outlaw has come up with something worth your time, a peek at what David Lynch has been up to…

VERN SAW MULLHOLLAND DRIVE

(includes the spoilers)

First off let me say I feel like a grade-a asshole sitting here Writing a movie review when so many innocent people died here this month and so many more will be dying in other countries soon. But I guess somehow you gotta get back to your life at some point and I’m afraid reviewing movies is about the best I can muster for this world. I speak on behalf of myself only but, let’s face it, even the best film Writers are basically just wasting your time. or at least that’s what the talbackers say about me, and I’m one of the best film Writers in my opinion, so you do the math. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern’s thoughts one week after terrorist attacks

Tuesday, September 18th, 2001

My friends, I am not an optimist, but I never thought I’d be Writing a column like this.

I have Written huge rants about bad movies. About the popularity of reality tv shows, about the sorry state of comedy. Piddly shit.

Sometimes I have tried to tackle more sensitive topics, like a particular column I was always both proud and embarassed of, where I talked about a very sensitive medical procedure I had to get.

But I never thought I’d have to figure out what to say about this shit.

As I Write this it has been one week since the attacks on New York and Washington. For most americans and in other parts of the world, this is no fucking time to be reading a web sight about what some asshole thinks about movies. So if anyone is reading this I thank you for thinking about me, or for coming to my sight as a comfort or a distraction from what is going on in the world, or perhaps to hear what the hell I think about all this. (If that’s not what you want, you better click away now, I’m sorry to say.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Ghosts of Mars

Saturday, August 25th, 2001

John Carpenter is one of the most controversial directors of our time. Not because he gets into touchy subjects, like he goes and does some movie about jesus doing somebody in the ass or whatever it is that offends people these days. But because of his actual work. Because no one can really seem to agree whether he sucks with a few brilliant exceptions, whether he used to be brilliant and now he sucks, or whether he is really one of the great masters of the horror and Badass Cinema and that some of these new ones are just an off day.

The correct answer is c.

This new one follows many of the great John Carpenter stylistic motifs and thematic type themes. For example, if you ever read an interview or listened to his dvd commentary tracks, you know that practically every movie he ever did he claims is “really a western.” So he always has some stranger walking into town, or has some prisoner being transferred from a jail or a new sherriff in town or what not. In Assault On Precinct 13 he has the gangsters doing blood rituals like evil movie indians in a John Wayne picture. In They Live Roddy Piper strolls into town, walking down the middle of the street even though it’s LA. In Escape From LA he does the old jumping from horse to horse routine, except with motorcycles. Vampires takes place in a sunny Mexican ghost town even though it’s about fuckin vampires. Even Big Trouble In Little China and if I remember right the Elvis TV movie started as western scripts but were re-written to modern settings. (read the rest of this shit…)

Osmosis Jones

Friday, August 10th, 2001

This here is one of these live action/cartoon action combos. The live action portion is a story about Bill Murray gets sick from eating a dirty egg. The cartoons is represented by a story about a white blood cell cop (with the voice of Chris Rock) who teams up with Buzz Lightyear to fight off a virus in a city inside Bill Murray.

This is one of those clever ideas where it woulda took a normal person about five minutes to realize that wait a minute, this ain’t clever enough for hundreds of people to spend a year of their lives working on it. And it DEFINITELY ain’t clever enough for millions of innocents to sit through for 90 minutes. But the people of Warner Brothers Studio, Hollywood USA, they are not normal people. So they spent millions on this loser of an idea.

Okay, so the stomach is an airport, and the mouth is kind of like the docks, and viruses are criminals, and a flu shot is an informant, etc. They put some good thought into figuring out all this cleverness but then how are we supposed to invest ourselves in the characters of a cell and a pill? You have to because there’s not much humor in the cartoon parts except for puns like on the flinstones, except instead of having to do with rocks they have to do with bodily functions. Like the mayor is named Mayor Phlegming, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)