"You know what I think I'm gonna do then? Just for the hell of it? I'm gonna take this right foot, and I'm gonna whop you on that side of your face. And you wanna know something? There's not a damn thing you're gonna be able to do about it."
Well, Death Is a Motherfucker Part 2. The great Jim Kelly died today at only 67. I’m sure you all know him as the #2 badass in ENTER THE DRAGON. If you haven’t seen it I implore you to watch BLACK BELT JONES, his star vehicle also directed by Robert Clouse. It’s a much sillier movie but to me it’s the pinnacle of that peculiar intersection between martial arts and black culture. It has one of the funkiest theme songs ever, it has freeze frames on the opening credits, it has girls on trampolines, it has a fight in car wash bubbles. It’s awesome and hilarious and you will love it. (read the rest of this shit…)
I don’t always post about every great person that dies, but we lost a bunch of ‘em this week so I might as well do one post to reflect on three in particular.
First, of course, the unexpected death of the great James Gandolfini. A real bummer to movie fans since he was still great and very productive. Just last year he was in one of my favorites of the year, ZERO DARK THIRTY and was also the clear highlight of my most frustrating movie of the year, KILLING THEM SOFTLY. Even as a serial TV-misser who has somehow totally missed The Sopranos I was able to enjoy lots of brilliant work by Mr. Gandolfini. Favorite performances I would point you to would be as the voice of the neurotic monster Carol in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, the victim in the great underrated Coen bros picture THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE, and of course that epic hotel showdown in TRUE ROMANCE. (read the rest of this shit…)
Remember there was gonna be that movie THE TOMB starring both Stallone and Schwarzenegger? Now it’s called ESCAPE PLAN and IGN has the trailer:
What do you think? I think it looks promising. Not humorless but not a corny joke-a-thon like an EXPENDABLES, cool high concept premise, good supporting cast. And Stallone gets to work with 50 Cent after the internet shamed him out of casting him in THE EXPENDABLES, but before he follows Robert DeNiro into a series of gloomy interchangeable DTV thrillers.
ESCAPE PLAN is directed by Mikael Håfström, a Swede who previously did DERAILED (haven’t seen it) and 1408: AN EVIL FUCKIN’ ROOM (pretty good). One of the writers did ROAD HOUSE 2, the other MIRROR MIRROR.
thanks to Jim Newberry for telling me this was up
Last month I ran an interview that david j. moore, author of the upcoming book World Gone Wild: A Survivor’s Guide To Post-Apocalyptic Movies, did with Jesse V. Johnson. Now he sent me an interview with Ben Ramsey, who has been an important figure in my appreciation of DTV because his first movie LOVE AND A BULLET I described as “SURPRISINGLY UN-BAD” in 2002, and for a while considered one of the more impressive DTVs (I’ll have to revisit that some day). In 2009 he earned his place in the hall of fame by directing an all-time DTV/martial arts classic, BLOOD AND BONE. In this interview he talks about making BLOOD AND BONE, why Hollywood is afraid of the DTV stars we love, and how one of my other favorite under-the-radar martial arts stars was supposed to be in BLOOD AND BONE. (read the rest of this shit…)
Who the fuck am I fooling, MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE is the winner of this fight. MORTAL KOMBAT: THE ANIMATED VIDEO: THE JOURNEY BEGINS is really, really, really not the winner. Video games go back to the arcade in shame and tears. Goro goes back to Outworld to apologize to his brother who he killed to steal a crystal or whatever.
My friends, this is an embarrassment. I want to apologize for this bout. (read the rest of this shit…)
I’m pretty sure nobody’s reading these, but that’s okay because The Super-Kumite is an underground tournament. We don’t need the light of day shone on our activities. We do it all by torchlight.
But for the few of us in this elite circle of insiders it is time to announce the winner of the AMERICAN KICKBOXERS vs. THE WOMEN contest. (read the rest of this shit…)
This was a tough one. Already we can see that the competition will be fierce. Both BLOODFIGHT and BLOODSPORT II: THE NEXT KUMITE are solid takes on the formula. Both have some good fights, some good gimmicks, good laughs, good older mentor characters, good villains. This is gonna be a close call, but I know who the winner is.
Friends, I am proud to announce a new outlawvern.com event, THE SUPER-KUMITE, tournament of tournaments. It is a 3-round tournament of fighting tournament movies, with only one victor.
I’ve been wanting to do this for a year or two, but it took me a while to figure out how to make it work. Even once I did I made some mistakes and had to do some adjustments. It turns out there are less straight-up tournament movies than I imagined, and weirdly little information about them on the internet.
Here’s how it will work: I’ve put together 8 teams of 3 movies each which will be pitted against each other in one-on-one match-ups. In round 1 the chronological first films from each of the eight teams will compete in four bouts. The four winning teams will send their second movie to round 2, to be whittled down to the two finalists, which will compete for the crown. (read the rest of this shit…)
I am posting this not as an attack on the websight in question, which I sometimes read, and which I know at least one of the regulars here writes for, but simply as a presentation of the facts at hand and a demonstration of my powers.
On April 1, 2008, I posted a fake geocities.com/outlawvern redesign titled “Cheetohs Presents Vern’s Cinematic Movie Blog.” It was full of dumbed down and crassly commercialized content including, for some reason, a sidebar with the nutrition information from a bag of Cheetos:
WAYS YOU CAN SUPPORT VERN & OUTLAWVERN.COM
if you're into that sorta shit:
A little expression of my, much larger, gratitude. Thanks for 2 great books and for being my favourite critic. Always insightful, always engaging.
Keep up the fantastic work, Vern.
I love the site. There are few I visit as often.
You totally deserve this. I hope you use it to rent or buy a movie that you turn out to really enjoy.
This seems like piddling payment for almost a decade of entertainment. But I am cheap. Shocked to see donations from what looks like spambots too?? Strange place, the world.
Merry Christmas (or whatever the heck it is you guys celebrate over there!) Keep the great stuff coming Vern. You rock.
Let me put at least some of my money in the general vicinity of my mouth. Thank you for all your hard work, Vern. Keep Striving, and Excellence will always find you.
Jul 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm
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Your works are impressive. I love them and This is y small donation for your development.
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