Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

Vern wants to tell you about Brian DePalma’s BLACK DAHLIA!!!

Friday, September 15th, 2006

Fellas –

Brian DePalma’s new picture has gotten alot of good reviews, but it’s the really harsh ones that stick with you. The Ain’t It Cool’s own MiraJeff was so mad he literally said he wanted to recreate the mutilations of the real crime on Brian DePalma. (Maybe he’s moody getting psyched up for his bout with the House of the Dead guy.) “Like high-school kids playing dress-up, or bad Kabuki,” is how David Edelstein described it in his capacity as film and apparently kabuki critic for New York Magazine. And a crazy person at the screening I went to announced during the credits that the movie had “nothing to offer to society,” had too much violence and smoking, and would flop at the box office.

Well, I wish I could give a more passionate defense, because I really have no idea where some of these people are coming from. But I also thought that as a DePalma fan (for here on referred to as “a DePalmaniac”) the movie was pretty underwhelming. It kept me interested, it has some great scenes, I even thought Michael Meyers’s nephew Josh Hartnett was surprisingly good playing the boxer/cop protagonist. But since DePalma’s last movie FEMME FATALE was pretty much The Ultimate 100% Unadulterated Brian DePalma Film, it’s a little disappointing to see him doing what seems like just his little spin on material that alot of other directors could’ve done almost as well. I’m guessing fans of the book, though, will be more interested. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern explores the bizarre mystery that is Wesley Snipes in HARD LUCK…. and the Snipes-less BLADE tv series!

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

Hey folks, Harry here – with the latest from Vern. This time, Vern tackles the ever evolving career of one, Wesley Snipes. I miss Wesley Snipes. He was never just the muscle action guy and I kinda hate that THAT is what he’s becoming in these cheap straight to DVD flicks. Snipes is a dramatic actor of an immense amount of range. He just needs to calm down and begin straightening out a lot of the bad press he’s had – and just do the work. Put himself in some independent films – showing his range and humility and getting back to where filmmaker’s won’t be taking a “chance” directing him, but taking the OPPORTUNITY to use him. He’s incredibly talented, I just want to see that back on screen again. Here’s Vern to tell us if we see any of that talent in HARD LUCK…

HARD LUCK

Well boys, time for another chapter in the ongoing drama THE MYSTERY OF WESLEY SNIPES, where we explore why a talented individual who starred in the three hit BLADE movies keeps doing nothing but straight to video. This new one, HARD LUCK, comes to video in October. While it’s not a particularly good movie, and it definitely shouldn’t be released theatrically, it’s at least a step up from the generic and sometimes horrible DTV action movies he’s been doing lately. It’s kind of a quirky crime movie with some occasional funny touches and an unorthodox (but not revolutionary) structure. The big news is that it reunites him with NEW JACK CITY’s Mario Van Peebles, who is director, co-writer and co-star of HARD LUCK. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern’s Peace Initiative

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

As if the whole world wasn’t going to shit already, now we got this war going on between Israel and Hezbollah in Syria. Or according to some people, between the US via Israel and Iran via Syria via Hezbollah in Lebanon or I don’t know. Whatever the fuck is going on over there, it’s not good. People are dying every day and it seems like this could be just the humble beginnings of this latest phase of the world’s biggest mess.

In the old days, like, say, seven years ago, what we would do is the President would make some phone calls, send some diplomats, try to figure out how to get those assholes over there to chill the fuck out. “Come on guys, it’s not worth it.” Like when your buddy’s had a few too many drinks and starts getting in a guy’s face in an argument over a girl or a shoe or a slice of pizza or something. You gotta give your buddy some perspective before things get ugly. (read the rest of this shit…)

Miami Vice

Monday, August 7th, 2006

MIAMI VICE is the movie version of the old TV show from the ’80s about Crocket and Tubbs. It’s written and directed by Michael Mann, executive producer of the TV show, now know as the humorless, pretentious, talented jackass behind COLLATERAL, HEAT, etc.

Remember that show? We, as a nation, stopped wearing socks when that show came on. We stopped shaving. We started wearing pastel shirts under white Armani jackets. We drove Ferraris and had pet alligators. We listened to Phil Collins and Glenn Frey and all that shit. Our hearts pumped to the rhythm of Jan Hammer’s awesome electronic drum pads. It was who we were as Americans. At least that’s what I keep reading in reviews of this movie. Actually, it is partly true, everybody loved that show and people did try to dress up as the characters. Like you Star Wars freakos only it was considered legit. Everybody from little kids to old men in walkers was wearing those ridiculous white suits and sunglasses. Pretending to be an actor on TV pretending to be a cop pretending to be a drug dealer. It was a fun time and it might be fun to make a movie that transports us back to those days. (read the rest of this shit…)

Action Jackson

Friday, July 21st, 2006

Every once in a while I’ll get in a gentlemanly argument with a motherfucker about whether Michael Bay single-handedly ruined the future of action cinema forever, or whether he’s just an asshole. And invariably a Bay-defender will claim that although his movies are not fun to watch and you don’t know what’s going on while you watch them, Michael Bay “blows things up real good.” I think the idea is supposed to be that Regular Folk like to watch a big fiery explosion with no brains involved and if you got a problem with that you must be some kind of snob.

Well I am not a snob and I think you guys know that. The problem is that in my opinion he DOES NOT blow things up good. He blows things up and then by the camera placement and quick cuts forces us to wonder whether we are in fact watching an explosion or a closeup of Billy Bob Thornton’s shoe or perhaps the reflection off a bead of sweat dripping down Josh Hartnett’s adam’s apple. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

This third picture in the FAST AND THE FURIOUS trilogy saga is pretty different and at first doesn’t even seem to be connected to the other ones. I never saw Academy Award nominee for best director John Singleton’s 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS, but I know Paul Walker returned and Vin Diesel didn’t. And I believe Tyrese showed up. This time around we lose everybody and start over with a new character played by Lucas Black (the kid from SLING BLADE who I last saw in a small role in JARHEAD).

The first section of the movie, which is also the best section, is all about Lucas Black getting into macho confrontations with dudes and then having a race. In the opening he’s leaving school, getting into his junker car when he exchanges words with a rich asshole jock dickhead (HOME IMPROVEMENT’s Zachary Ty Bryan, still wearing a letterman’s jacket at 24). You can already tell this is gonna be a worthwhile movie when it starts playing western style music and showing closeups of their faces as they stare each other down. They’re about to get in a wrench fight when the jock’s girlfriend suggests a peaceful solution: a fast and/or furious race. Lucas Black says, “I only race for pink slips,” (he doesn’t mention whether or not he lives life a quarter mile at a time) but since the HOME IMPROVEMENT guy’s Viper is worth $80,000, the bet is not agreed upon. So the girlfriend suggests herself as the prize. So you know the western music was not lying about this movie being awesome. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Godfather Part II

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

aka GODFATHER: RESURRECTION

When last we saw The Godfather part II (Al Pacino, DICK TRACY), he was in a room, closing a door. Nobody knows what happened inside that room, probaly some gangster shit. But THE GODFATHER PART II picks up years later with Michael Corleone now living in Las Vegas. Remember, he sent poor Robert Duvall there to stake out some territory, well apparently that went well. It seems there is some mafia roots in modern day Las Vegas. Huh, go figure.

Now, part 2 is even more epic than part 1. This one actually has time travel in it. It skips back and forth between The New Adventures of Michael Corleone and The Young Vito Corleone Chronicles. Hell it goes all the way back to the motherland. Remember that villa where Michael hid out in part one, then he married a girl with no nipples and watched her get blown up? Turns out that’s Vito’s childhood hood, and that place Michael lived is where the OG Godfather lived, and killed Vito’s mom. (read the rest of this shit…)

Road to Perdition

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

ROAD TO PERDITION is that gangster movie that came out to pretty good reviews a couple years ago that we all forgot about already, but I never saw it until now so I’m late to the party I guess. Please disregard.

This movie is modeled after old fashioned gangsters movies. But it’s based on a comic book by Max Allan Collins. The comic book itself is modeled after LONE WOLF AND CUB, either the Japanese comic books or the great movies based on the comic books, I’m not sure which. Also I’m guessing it’s a little bit based on some real life historical type business since it’s got Al Capone and whatsisdick Nitti in there and I think somebody said Elliot Ness is in the comic book, and maybe some other historical figures like Thomas Jefferson or Voltaire or one of those guys. As you know I don’t read comic strips, but I have read a good book by Collins called TWO FOR THE MONEY. Actually it’s two books reprinted as one by Hardcase Crime, taken from the Nolan series, which is modeled after Richard Stark’s Parker series. (read the rest of this shit…)

Brick

Friday, April 14th, 2006

BRICK sounds like a good name for a blaxploitation movie about a dude named Brick, but that’s not what it is. It’s actually a detective movie starring all teenagers. There are only two grown ups in the whole movie, and one of them, incidentally, is Shaft.

At first I thought it was like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: THE ADAPTATION where a bunch of kids made the movie but they didn’t know very many grownups who would hang out in the backyward with them so they just got their friends from class to play adults. But then I realized no, it’s just a gimmick. It’s kind of like those movies like BUGSY MALONE and HAWK JONES where it’s kids playing adult type characters. Or like that episode of M.A.S.H. where a magic genie turns them all into kids but they have little kid-sized army uniforms and they build a tree house and do combat surgery in there. Or what about Veggie Tales, it’s like that only instead of vegetables as the Bible it’s teens as hard boiled noir type characters. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Godfather

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

That’s right, the god damn GODFATHER. I mean, what is there even left to say about THE GODFATHER? Well, I’ll tell you.

Bear with me though, I’m about to mention Steven Seagal again. Yesterday I was reading Seagal’s entry on wikipedia when I came across a section talking about the field of Seagalogy, mentioning me as the inventor and linking to a separate entry just about me. I couldn’t believe it. After all I’ve been through – getting rejected from the Online Film Critics Society, being hated by the newsies on Ain’t It Cool for years, failing to stop the Iraq war and even, as you can see above, watching GARFIELD – after all that struggle, here I am, acknowledged in reference material, and described as a “noted internet film critic.”

Can you believe that? Noted. (read the rest of this shit…)