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

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.

R.I.P. Don Covay

Friday, February 6th, 2015

tn_doncovayOne of my favorite singers, Don Covay, has passed away at the age of 76. I expect many or most of you never heard of him, so I want to share a couple of his songs with you and I think you’ll love him too. He was a great solo artist, but was more successful as a songwriter for other people. His best known composition was probly “Chain of Fools,” performed by Aretha Franklin. Have Mercy! the Songs of Don Covayis a whole compilation of songs he wrote, as performed by Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Little Richard, Wanda Jackson, Ben E. King… I mean, he got around.

I buy alot of random funk and soul compilation CDs to try to discover things I wouldn’t know about otherwise, and it was on one called Breaks Sessions that I first learned about Don Covay. It’s a nice 2-disc collection of songs that were sampled in hip hop, such as “Nautilus” by Bob James (sampled by Ghostface in “Daytona 500,” among many others) or “Tribute to Obabi” by The Last Poets (which you’d know as “Excursions” by A Tribe Called Quest). Some of the songs you find on these things are by more obscure artists than those guys, though, ones I never heard of, often without any other recordings to their name. Still, if I like the one song I look them up and in the case of Don Covay it turned out there was a motherlode of other great stuff. (read the rest of this shit…)

Pound of Flesh teaser

Friday, January 30th, 2015

It sounds like this trailer is not officially complete or something like that, but it looks great. I knew this was the title of an upcoming Van Damme picture but did not realize it represented such an excellent variation on the you took my daughter/son/elephant type premise. Also it looks like a high level of fighting for modern JCVD and his first use of the splits in a long time.

You may also notice that the late Darren Shahlavi is in there. I’m not sure if he’s playing a bad guy or the bad guy. IMDb lists him second so I bet it is one of the leads and not a henchman.

The director is Ernie Barbarash, whose last movie was the enjoyable FALCON RISING with Michael Jai White. With Van Damme he has done ASSASSINATION GAMES and 6 BULLETS. Fight choreographer John Salvitti is a long time Donnie Yen collaborator going back to IN THE LINE OF DUTY 4 and up to last year’s KUNG FU JUNGLE. He even helped out on BLADE II.

UPDATE: The original trailer I posted was taken down by the producers. I’ve replaced it with the newly released official trailer, which doesn’t make it that clear that it’s about him trying to get his stolen kidney back, and doesn’t have the impressive splits-related money shot that was in the other one (even though it ends with the same scene). Seems like a weird marketing choice to me to try to stop anybody from seeing the trailer that makes it look good, but this will all be moot once we get to see the movie.

Darren Shahlavi

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

shahlavi
I’m afraid it is being reported that Darren Shahlavi, the martial artist best known for playing Twister, the arrogant villain of IP MAN 2, has died. I haven’t found any explanation of a cause of death or confirmation from a news organization, but several people who have worked with Shahlavi, including Jesse V. Johnson (who directed him in THE PACKAGE) seem to believe it’s true. Shahlavi was quite active on Twitter, so I imagine if it was a hoax he would’ve seen it and cleared it up by now.

Fans of DTV and late period Seagal would recognize Shahlavi even if they didn’t know his name. He was in BORN TO RAISE HELL, TACTICAL FORCE and episodes of True Justice. He played Kano in the newer incarnation of MORTAL KOMBAT, and also was in an old movie called LETHAL COMBAT, where he played… Twister? I didn’t know that.

He had been filming the new KICKBOXER movie (possibly called KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE now, but I think it’s still a remake). He plays Eric Sloane, who in the original was Van Damme’s brother who got paralyzed in the ring by Tong Po so he had to get revenge for him.

I learned to get excited whenever Shahlavi showed up in a movie, usually as a smug bad guy. I really did believe he was on the rise. He will be missed.

What the shit? Darth Mad Dog?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Okay, I’m skeptical about this one, but it would be irresponsible of me not to make sure everybody has heard this report that three great screen martial artists from the RAID saga are allegedly crossing over to the STAR WARS one. This has been picked up by Deadline and other industry type blogs (specifically the movie industry), but the report comes from Twitch, who source it simply by saying that “Twitch has learned” Iko Uwais (Rama), Yayan Ruhian (Mad Dog/Sad Dog) and Cecep Arif Rahman (“The Assassin” in part 2) will be in THE FORCE AWAKENS.

I guess only time will tell whether or not Twitch learned accurately. In my opinion these three star warriors are for sure playing Luke Skywalker’s triplet sons Huey, Louie and Mad Dog Skywalker. I have learned (in a dream) that part 7 is pretty much non-stop brutal martial arts and death defying stunts with an occasional C3PO “Oh dear!” for punctuation.

Seriously though, guys, if this somehow turns out to be true then it looks like Lucasfilm has decided to go after the coveted Vern vote. Next week they’ll announce that part 3 will be directed by Isaac Florentine and go straight to video.

raid2triptych

Out of the way 2014 there’s a new sheriff in town named 2015

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

seagal-wineHappy New Year everybody!

2014 was quite a year in my opinion. There are many personal, national and global reasons for me to hope that the door hits its ass on the way out, but it’s also been a great year for me in so many ways. I definitely had some landmarks and I want to thank all of you for the part you played in that. You always let me know how you feel and that’s important to me. You have fueled me with your kind words on my essays, your thoughtful comments on my reviews or about Niketown, by saying hi in email or the social media, and even in person that one time. That was awesome! I truly could not have faced these new challenges without all of your support and inspiration.

Also the people who have supported outlawvern.com financially in the various ways, that is so cool of you, I am very grateful and I hope that my reviews give you a laugh or an idea to in some way pay you back.

Thanks everybody and let’s try to make 2015 have less shittiness and more excellence. WE CAN DO IT!

Promising trailer: EVERLY

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Looks like Salma Hayek doesn’t even have to go outside to be John Wick, the whole colorful hit-person community just shows up at her doorstep. The director on this one is Joe Lynch, who’s a friend of the internet whose WRONG TURN 2: DEAD END I only half liked, and whose last movie was the taken-away-from-him-and-disowned KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM. But I think this looks and sounds fun, and it apparently went over well at Fantastic Fest. IMDb doesn’t list who did the fights, but stunt coordinator Akihiro Noguchi is a long time Power Rangers stunt guy who choreographed COLD HARVEST and NINJA for Isaac Florentine.

It hits VOD January 23rd and theatrical (i.e. just the Sundance theater where I saw FALCON RISING) February 27th.

h/t to Badass Digest

Happy Christmassing

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

tn_christmas-8diagram

I just want to wish everybody a safe and happy Christmas, or eating of Chinese food, or watching of THE INTERVIEW at an independent theater, or driving a city bus, or other. I really want to thank everybody for all the support and fun this year, I really appreciate it. I guess it’s not New Year’s yet, I can get mushy then, huh? I’ll be back next week with some new reviews. Go watch a Johnny Cash Christmas special.

p.s. Special thanks to Jan Elvsén for sending me a Christmas CD he made. It has everybody from Diana Ross to Shonen Knife on it.