Archive for May, 2009

NINJA trailer

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

In case anybody missed the link Jake generously provided in the Summer Movies comments, here’s the trailer for the upcoming movie NINJA, which is in my opinion about a ninja.

NINJA marks an exciting moment in DTV history for me, because Isaac “UNDISPUTED 2″ Florentine and Scott “Weapon XI” Adkins are a director/star team with a body of work good enough that I’m honestly looking forward to this as much as I would a theatrical film. I’m also happy to hear the return of cheesy action movie trailer narration, especially when it’s talking about the deadly ancient traditions of the ninja.

That’s the other thing – this is part of an upcoming glut and/or renaissance of ninja films. It’s in competition with the McTeigue/Wachowski joint NINJA ASSASSIN for top of the heap, but there’s also another DTV one called THE LAST NINJA and a recent made-for-cable called MASK OF THE NINJA. I didn’t finish that one though and was disappointed that Casper Van Dien played the cop and not the ninja. There was an okay part where his undercover role in a drug bust was as guitarist in a bar band, but he didn’t even use the guitar as a weapon or do an awesome solo.

VERN’S 2009 SUMMER MOVIE EXPLODETACULAR

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

tn_summer09A Preview and a Pep Talk

With WOLVERINE: X-MENS in theaters and STAR TREK: NOT THE MOTION PICTURE BUT JUST STAR TREK hitting tomorrow, the ribbon on the 2009 summer movie season has officially been cut. Doesn’t matter that it’s early May and greyer than your grandma’s hair outside my window – I’ve seen with my own eyes they got Wolverines and Terminators on the Slurpee cups, and that means it’s summer. Come to think of it, the summer movie season keeps getting earlier in the year, just like Christmas decorations. Anyway, since I got a blog now and I can just blog about anything I want to blog about here on my blog, I might as well get back to the standard movie nerd shit I used to do in the old days. So here’s my SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW plus a little venting at the end. By the way, blog is short for weblog, that is why you say blog, it just sounds so good to say it instead of weblog. (read the rest of this shit…)

Mister Lonely

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

tn_misterlonelyHey guys, good news: I got another review of a weird little inaccessible arthouse movie from last year! This time it’s MISTER LONELY, the most recent movie about a Michael Jackson impersonator in Paris who meets a Marilyn Monroe impersonator who convinces him to come live in a commune where other impersonators live inside a Scottish castle, raise sheep and build a stage where they hope to put on a show. And you can imagine where it would go from there.

In my opinion MISTER LONELY writer/director Harmony Korine is a weird dude. He wrote KIDS for Larry Clark when he was 19, became a director with GUMMO and later did JULIEN DONKEY BOY. His movies are freak shows of improvisation, arty photography and the complete rejection of any mainstream idea of what a movie is supposed to be. As much as I have tried to push the idea of him directing a mainstream movie like a MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE it doesn’t seem to be something he’s interested in. Instead he hangs out with Werner Herzog, gets involved in that whole Dogme 95 deal, and makes weird books with titles like A Crack Up At the Race Riots. He’s also known for his bizarre interviews like on Letterman when he was younger or with a fan websight who he instructed to meet him in the projects, then spoke to them by phone for a while, then showed up and made them listen to Beyonce on a laptop while he sat in a lawnchair petting his dog. (read the rest of this shit…)

Wendy and Lucy

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

tn_wendyandlucyWell, we had Butch and Sundance, we had Bonnie and Clyde, we had Thelma and Louise and Tango and Cash. And today on DVD we have WENDY AND LUCY.

Wendy and Lucy are an inseparable team, relying on their wits alone as they set forth on a harrowing cross-country trek from Indiana to Alaska. But when fate separates them, Wendy will stop at nothing to reunite with her friend… even if it means sacrificing everything she ah hell, I can’t make this shit sound exciting. This is actually a quiet, minimalistic movie about a girl and her dog stuck in a small town in Oregon with no money. Nice and simple. No explosions. (read the rest of this shit…)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

tn_wolverineBy special request, and because I was planning on doing it anyway, here is my review of X-MEN 4: X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE: THE PREQUEL.

Word on X-MEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE has been toxic ever since some prick leaked it onto the internet a month ago. Nerds hated it, critics hated it, my buddy who was looking forward to it as much as I was hated it. I heard nothing but bad news. When I checked the San Francisco Chronicle for a followup on that kook that says her dad was the Zodiac I instead found a WOLVERINE review with the headline “Lower your X-pectations.” So I did. And it was a bummer because I genuinely had been X-cited. I enjoyed the X-MEN pictures… ALL THREE OF THEM. Do you find that shocking? EVEN PART THREE, MOTHERFUCKERS. I am 33% more into X-Men than most nerds. (read the rest of this shit…)

Day of the Assassin

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

tn_dayoftheassassinsMy Brian Trenchard-Smith studies continue with this 1979 picture, not an Australian one but a USA-Spain-Mexico co-production. And you know with that many countries cooperating that it’s gotta be amazing. It stars Chuck Connors as a jovial freelance agent hired to retrieve a mysterious document from a South American dictator’s blown up yacht. There also might’ve been some money on that thing so the world’s best agents and assassins, including Richard Roundtree, are all in the area competing with him. Also Henry Silva is the head of police who has jurisdiction over the area, but he’s just in a couple scenes doing press conferences. He doesn’t reveal himself to be evil, but I don’t buy it.

It seems like everybody involved in this movie is just doing it for a quick paycheck, but that’s okay. It’s still cool to see them all together in this weird little movie. Glenn Ford plays the guy who hires Connors, and he looks like he’s either retired or on vacation. He’s wearing shades and a white Adidas track jacket, and he’s only in a few scenes, sitting next to the swimming pool. I bet whenever Trenchard-Smith called “cut” he jumped in. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ong Bak 2

Friday, May 1st, 2009

tn_ongbak2Usually I prefer to wait to see a movie on the big screen, but when I saw an import DVD of ONG BAK 2 I just couldn’t resist. What on earth is that guy gonna jump off of or over in this one? Who or what will find their bones crushed by his bones? And the thought of that little guy running around on top of elephants… I don’t know man. I wasn’t gonna sit around waiting if I didn’t have to.

I think we all agree that Tony Jaa is the closest thing we got to a New Jackie Chan. Not that his persona or humor is the same or anything. But he’s an inhumanly great martial artist and stuntman whose movies make our jaws drop with feats of physical prowess and death defiance. They don’t make too many of those these days so it’s a big deal. I don’t know about you but I really hadn’t  quite had a “holy shit, a guy really did that!?” reaction like that since the heyday of Jackie. (read the rest of this shit…)