Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

Speaking of Apollo…

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

I think most of us will agree that this looks promising. If you didn’t know about this, director Ryan Coogler got some heat for his debut FRUITVALE STATION, and then instead of signing on to some studio’s pet horror remake or comic book movie like he’s supposed to he pushed his dream project of a movie about Apollo Creed’s son being trained by Rocky. Stallone loved the screenplay and agreed to do it.

Righteous Fury: In Praise of Peaceful Notions In Violent Movies

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

tn_furyroadbVTILIIlogoa Vern Tells It Like It Is Adventure

WARNING: This essay is made up entirely of spoilers

Of the long list of things that are great about MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, one item that’s been getting alot of attention is its strong pro-woman vibe. People love its large cast of badass female characters and themes of escaping sex slavery, overthrowing a tyrannical patriarchy, etc. Surprised to see a movie with so much asskicking but also so many great female characters and themes, many have called it a “feminist action film.”

FURY ROAD is about as close to universally beloved as new movies come, but the stronger the praise the sweeter the temptation to backlash. A week in and we’ve already reached the “you guys said this movie is the ultimate feminist manifesto that will uplift women and change the world forever but I saw it and it’s some movie about cars and trucks driving around in the desert and exploding” stage. And of course there’s room in the world for anti-FURY ROAD sentiments, no need to shut down naysayers. But I’ve been looking for an excuse to write more about this movie, so thanks, I’ll take it!

The most annoyingly contrarian review I’ve seen passed around is “Actually, Mad Max: Fury Road Isn’t That Feminist; And It Isn’t That Good, Either” by Eileen Jones, a college professor and author of a book called Filmsuck, about how films suck. Some of her reasons why it’s not that feminist: the Wives are played by models, Charlize Theron has a “soft, tiny-nosed, blonde prettiness,” the consultant Eve Ensler couldn’t possibly know what it’s like to be Bosnian or Afghani. I was confused by her complaints of the “gorgeous color, red rock and rich umber sand against heartening blue sky,” which she feels is an example of “the scourge of color grading that’s afflicting so many action films.” I’m gonna have to get some action movie recommendations from her I guess because I haven’t seen enough of these Technicolor ones she’s so tired of. (read the rest of this shit…)

Darren Shahlavi

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

shahlavi2Hey guys, I got an email from Mike Leeder, a producer, casting director and bit player in numerous martial arts films (apparently he’s even an extra in ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA). He is co-producer of the upcoming JCVD film POUND OF FLESH, which co-stars the late Darren Shahlavi, and he’s trying to get the word out and squash some unfortunate rumors about how his friend died. So here he is:

On January 14th 2015, a very good friend British actor and martial arts hero Darren Shahlavi passed away, he left behind a legacy of work and great memories with so many people.

Unfortunately the tabloid press lead by scum like TMZ and sadly followed by various magazines, newspapers, websites and far too many “oh we know it all’ internet trolls implied it was by a drug overdose, and were happy to make unfounded statements that severely hurt his family, his friends and his memory.

Darren’s family recently received a Coroner’s report from the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, and would like to share the results with his friends, colleagues and fans.

Darren died on January 14, 2015 of natural causes: a sudden and fatal heart attack. He was found to have Atherosclerosis (also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease or ASVD) His left anterior descending artery was 95% blocked, which must have been worsening for several years.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Skin Trade premiere in Hollywood

Friday, April 24th, 2015

You may know that there is a movie called SKIN TRADE starring Dolph Lundgren, Tony Jaa, Michael Jai White, Ron Perlman and Peter Weller that just came to V.O.D. and will have a limited theatrical release in a few weeks. If you’re in L.A. and want to see it on the big screen I’m told there’s going to be a premiere at the Egyptian on May 6th.

Oh yeah, and with DOLPH MOTHERFUCKING LUNDGREN and TONY GOD DAMN JAA in attendance. Subject to change, I’m sure, but that’s what I’ve been told. And I have not been told this but I fully expect Jaa to ride in on an elephant and for Dolph to be carrying the dead Apollo Creed over his shoulder and wearing the He-Man costume.

Here’s the link for tickets. Apparently if it goes well there may be more of this type of screening, which would be good for you guys and for America.

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I’ll post my review of SKIN TRADE on Monday morning.

So long, Justified

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

tn_justifiedThere are many great shows that have transcended or elevated the television artform, that have been compared favorably to cinema or to great novels. Some of them I’ve seen, some I’ll catch up with some day. But Justified was my kind of show. It was full of badass bravado, dry humor, a love of language and personality. Like the Elmore Leonard books that inspired it it was accessible and unpretentious, but also smart and original. I like to think it could be enjoyed by snooty book lovers as much as by people who liked Walker, Texas Ranger.

I came to it as an enjoyer of Leonard. I remember hearing there was gonna be another show based on one of his characters, starring Timothy Olyphant, and I was curious to check it out in case it might be decent. Then I happened to see an extended preview, a clip of the scene from the pilot where Raylan meets Dewey Crowe and bangs his head against a steering wheel. And I thought oh shit, this actually looks seriously good. I’m gonna have to make an effort to actually watch a TV show from the beginning. And come to think of it I watched the entire series as it aired each week, that’s pretty rare for me.

Leonard has not had a good track record on television. I don’t mean in quality of adaptation, but in survival. There was that show of Maximum Bob with Beau Bridges. It got good reviews and was cancelled before I ever caught an episode. Years later there was Karen Sisco. I thought, now how do you make a TV version of a character that was so perfectly portrayed by Jennifer Lopez in the best Elmore Leonard adaptation ever? And then Carla Gugino came and changed my idea of who that character is. And that one I did manage to watch most of the episodes but again, cancelled before the season even finished. And neither show has ever been released on the home video.

So it’s surprising and great that not only was Justified so good, but it had the chance to last for six seasons, continue to grow in popularity, and go out on a high note. And on purpose – I’m sure FX would’ve let them make two or three or four more seasons if they’d wanted to. (read the rest of this shit…)

Tony Jaa Tony Jaa Tony Jaa

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

You guys remember when Tony Jaa couldn’t even finish ONG BAK 2, and then he disappeared into the jungle for a while, and then later he quit the film industry and became a monk? Well, he changed his mind. We got him in a small role in FURIOUS 7 next week, and then we got the sequel to SPL (or KILL ZONE as the Weinsteins call it) to look forward to:

(read the rest of this shit…)

Shout out to Clubside Chris

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

id4figure

Everyone please send some extra special good vibes in the direction of our friend Clubside Chris, the Technical Expert (see photo) of outlawvern.com. I’ve learned from social media that he’s in the hospital. It sounds like he’s gonna be okay, but he’s going through a huge ordeal and hopefully it won’t embarrass him if I take this opportunity to show some appreciation for all that he’s done for me.

If you don’t know the story, Clubside Chris is the guy who years ago decided to register outlawvern.com and give it to me because he couldn’t stand to see my important academic works sitting on a shitty Geocities sight. I actually turned him down because I had some notion about creating profound works that only the truly enlightened would be able to read because they would overlook that it looked like crap and was on a free sight that normal humans abandoned like 10 years earlier. A couple years after his kind offer my crappy sight went kaput and I contacted him (convinced he was offended that I turned him down before) and he was generous enough to help me out.

At my weirdo request he went through alot of trouble to create a WordPress template that would mimic the crappy look of my Geocities sight. And when I got sick of that (and after it possibly gave one poor guy a seizure) he made this nicer looking one we use today. He also made a forum after you guys kept requesting it. So Paul and alot of spambots owe him gratitude for that.

Chris is also the guy who convinced me to start posting my links on Twitter and Facebook. I thought the whole idea of Twitter was ridiculous, but he convinced me to give it a fair shot, and… whoops. Sometimes when I’m procrastinating from writing I wish I wasn’t so addicted to it, but it has really helped me to bring in more readers and stay in touch with people and stuff.

Chris continues to keep the sight operating and answer my ignorant questions when I have them. The most insane part of all is that he’s done it all for free, in fact at a loss. It’s incredible how much he’s done for me and for everyone who likes to read my reviews and for the community here. I also sometimes get the impression my politics can be offensive to him, and yet he’s never ditched me over it. He is a good guy. Thank you Chris.

A thread for Oscaring

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

honorblade

For those who it’s not against their religion, here’s where we can discuss the Oscar business. Sorry for the crappy photoshop work, but it’s the idea that counts. Here are a few thoughts before this year’s awards.

(read the rest of this shit…)

The Return of Florentine and Adkins

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Ha ha, that’s how you make a teaser. I think that tells us everything we need to know, other than the release date. Also, it looks like somebody’s been watching the RAID movies.

Nick Chinlund (CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK) is also in the cast. The fight choreographer/coordinator is Jeremy Marinas, who was a stunt double for two of the ninja turtles. He was also in Jon M. Chu’s LXD: THE LEGION OF EXTRAORDINARY DANCERS series, so he must be a dancer.  Co-writer Chad Law wrote the pretty decent William Kaufman/Cuba Gooding Jr. DTV movies THE HIT LIST and ONE IN THE CHAMBER.

hat tip to Papa Vinyard at the Ain’t It Cool News

You are now about to witness red band street knowledge

Monday, February 9th, 2015

In case anybody else has been anxiously awaiting a trailer for this like I have:

(don’t worry about the gentle black and white intro, it goes into the actual movie footage eventually)

I don’t know what to think, but so far it looks like something I will enjoy whether or not it’s a good movie.