Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

SIFF: Vern Goes Crazy For STANDER With Thomas Jane!!

Friday, June 18th, 2004

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

Vern rarely writes to us about genuinely great movies, so when he sets aside his insane Steven Seagal fetish to write a review like this, I have to take it seriously:

Dearest Harold,

Vern here and for once I’ve got the genuine article for you. Not just a better than average straight to video-er or something. This is an actual great theatrical film that you haven’t much covered yet and that I know you boys are gonna love. Guaranteed. I saw it here at SIFF and I know it’s played some other film festivals and it’s coming soon to a theater near some place or other. And if nobody goes to see it, well then, fuck those guys. They obviously don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

STANDER is the true story of Andres Stander, a police captain turned legendary bank robber in ’70s South Africa. At the height of the revolution he noticed that with all the police on riot duty to stop uprisings and protests, there weren’t enough police to really guard the banks. So he started robbing them, then pretending to investigate his own crimes, until he was caught and then busted out of prison and started his own very successful gang. Seems like a pretty good guy. (read the rest of this shit…)

SIFF: Vern on the John C. Reilly flick CRIMINAL!!!

Monday, June 14th, 2004

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with gobs of reviews from the SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, which seems to have been kicking all kinds of ass lately. Below you’ll find our man Vern’s look at a flick from Clooney and Soderbergh’s production company, Section 8, called CRIMINAL. I love me some John C. Reilly and Diego Luna is fast becoming one of my favorite young actors after his groundbreaking performance in Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN and his love-struck puppy dog character in THE TERMINAL… Not that I have seen that yet… ahem… Here’s Vern for more on this damn cool sounding flick!

Boys –

I’m sure you’ll get more reviews on this one so I’ll keep this one short. Also because I’m a chump and haven’t ever seen NINE QUEENS, the picture from the land of Argentina which this is a remake of. Anyway CRIMINAL is the americanized version which premiered tonight in Seattle. The movie stars John C. Reilly (who was there) and Diego Luna. It’s directed by this guy Greg Jacobs, who was assistant director on an assload of Steve Soderbergh movies, but this is his first as a non-assistant director. (read the rest of this shit…)

Out of Reach

Thursday, June 3rd, 2004

Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

Okay, kids, this is the one you’ve all been waiting for, and only Vern’s got the goods:

Hey boys, it’s Vern again, sitting out the film festival for a few days or weeks because something much more important came up. Today I managed to get my hands on the video screener I wanted more than any other. You guessed it: Steven Seagal’s new picture, OUT OF REACH.

So obviously, you know, FUCK the Seattle International Film Festival. As one of North America’s leading Seagalogists, I will be watching this many more times as part of my research. But I thought it would be good to share some of my initial thoughts with you and your readers.

Seagal may be at a crossroads in his career right now. As you have no doubt read, he is planning to do a comedy, parodying himself with the help of one of those Zucker brothers. I shoulda known that Mountain Dew commercial was a harbinger of doom. I’m sure this comedy will be one of the least funny pictures of his career, but still, the fact that he is trying to make fun of himself is probaly some kind of a landmark. Once he has acknowledged the ridiculousness of his persona, will that mean he can no longer make serious movies anymore? Because I don’t see Leslie Nielsen doing any movies where he doesn’t dress up like characters from other movies and then that’s supposed to be funny, I guess. (read the rest of this shit…)

Donnie Darko: Director’s Cut

Monday, May 31st, 2004

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a couple more looks at the Seattle Film Festival’s premiere of Richard Kelly’s DONNIE DARKO: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT. First up is AICN’s own bad boy, Vern. Now, Vern has brought it to my attention that not only was Jena Malone in attendance, but so was Drew Barrymore… Being as Vern was in the same general space as two of my dream women, I think it’s safe to say that he deserves nothing less than a slow and painful death at my hands. Some of you negative retards below can disagree with me about the radiance of Ms. Barrymore and that’s fine. Less people I have to fight against in my ongoing struggle to woo this vixen! Anyway, here’s Vern-o!!!

Dear Harry,

Hey bud this is Vern. I don’t want to be a squealer or nothin but fuckin Moriarty man, that dude put me on his spam list and keeps dumping my reviews. I wrote a review of Cruel Intentions 3 to name one example of a review that the world obviously needs to see but he threw it in the trash with the p.enis enlargements and the v~icodin. I mean I understand the guy is busy, but come on. I can’t imagine he’s staying up all night polishing the dialogue on that thing. I’ll give you a hint bud: Scorpion says “Get over here.” Don’t be writing any monologues for him or anything. And then you’ll have a few extra minutes for dusting your flatscreen and putting up my reviews. So anyway that’s not the point, the point is this. I’m not going to as many SIFF movies this year, but I did manage to see Donnie Darko’s Director Cut. The world premiere. NOT the press screening which was already reviewed by “Gooter.” I don’t do press screenings. I saw it with the people. That’s just the kind of guy I am. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vigilante

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

I don’t know how familiar anybody is with William Lustig. The guy is no genius. He made the MANIAC COP series. He made the picture UNCLE SAM which is a decent holiday slasher picture with subversive Gulf War themes, but it’s kind of a bummer because there is almost no use of stilts after the initial appearance of the Uncle Sam costume in a parade. Anyway after many years of directing bad horror pictures this guy started that company Anchor Bay which put out alot of better ones on video and DVD.

But there are some pretty good ones in his filmography, especially the first one, MANIAC. That was a sleazy, brutal horror picture about a sweaty New York pervert who kills women, staples their scalps to a mannequin, handcuffs himself to the mannequin and cries. Then during the daytime he puts on shades and tries to make it as a hip fashion photographer. It’s a real sick movie with ridiculous gore effects by Mr. Tom Savini. Not recommended for anybody unless they like that kind of crap, which in this case I do. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rolling Vengeance

Sunday, April 25th, 2004

As long as I was renting ROLLING THUNDER I thought what the hell man, might as well also pick up ROLLING VENGEANCE which should be pretty fuckin good considering it’s the story of a man achieving the vengeance of the title by means of a huge monster truck with a drill on the front and flames coming off the top. I mean god damn if that isn’t a good premise right there. I am not at all surprised that somebody sunk their money into this pile of shit. Especially in 1987, when monster trucks like “Bigfoot” and what not were probaly about as close as a fucking truck could get to being a popular cultural type icon or whatever.

The one thing they failed to take into consideration, though – the killing blow that prevents this movie from being worth your time – is that they made it in 1987. I’m sorry, but 1987 was not a good year. 1980-1989, those were bad years. Sorry. I don’t care what cable television tells you about how great the ’80s were. Your mother and I have been meaning to talk to you about this, actually. The 1980s were literally the worst decade ever as far as American arts and culture. (read the rest of this shit…)

Rolling Thunder

Saturday, April 24th, 2004

This great overlooked revenge movie was one of if not the first movie to deal with the effects of the Vietnam War. With a script by Paul Schrader (rewritten by another dude) it works on two levels, as a raw exploitation picture and as a depressing statement about the mess our country was in at the time. Fortunately we never repeated those mistakes ever again so this movie is completely irrelevant now and only good as a curiosity.

The picture opens with corny music as heroic Vietnam POWs arrive home at an airport, among them William Devane and Tommy Lee Jones. Mr. Devane will be our protagonist this evening, and as he pretends to enjoy the ceremony honoring him as a great american hero, you can tell right off the bat that he’s not quite there. He’s got a wife and kid waiting for him, and the kid doesn’t even remember him he’s been gone so long. Some guy named Cliff is there to give them a ride home. “You remember Cliff?” the wife says innocently, and you fuckin know what that means. (read the rest of this shit…)

Never Die Alone

Friday, March 26th, 2004

Well for a while now I have been saying that this young man DMX is gonna do some good movies. He started out in a flawed but very artful crime picture called BELLY, before buddying up with Jet Li and my man Seagal and then riding around on those go-carts and doing wheelies and shit. (I guess I better rent that one.) He is still not a very convincing actor but he just has such a presence and charisma that I have faith in the dude for some reason. Too bad it’s not panning out so far.

See, I really thought this was gonna be his breakthrough. It’s the first movie where he does not have a co-star of equal or greater “star power.” He is the main attraction. And at the same time it is not some Hollywood action vehicle that the Rock or somebody turned down, it is an independent crime movie based on a novel by the legendary black crime writer Donald Goines. Also it’s directed by the sometimes decent director Ernest Dickerson, who has some credibility because he used to be Spike Lee’s cinematographer. Also because I kind of liked BONES. (read the rest of this shit…)

Elephant

Friday, January 23rd, 2004

Who the fuck knows what to make of Gus Van Sant? Fierce independence and idiosynchricity or whatever for many years. Openly gay independent filmatist working out of Oregon, adapting underground literature and hanging out with Burroughs and shit. Suddenly out of the blue he does this huge hit studio movie with no gay people, but Robin Williams and a math genius garbage man or whatever the fuck that movie was about (I never saw it). How bout them apples I guess is what a guy says in it, I don’t know. So suddenly Van Sant is a mainstream super star and he can do whatever he wants… so what he does, he announces that he’s gonna do a shot for shot remake of Mr. Hitchcock’s famous picture PSYCHO. With the same score and everything. And hire the same screenwriter just to change like ten or fifteen words in it.

Now I know I am against the wheat grain on this one but for me, that was the thing that SOLD me on this Van Sant, not the thing that lost me. Sure, DRUGSTORE COWBOY was a great one and there was some good business in his other pictures, but it was the day he cashed in his mainstream clout to do something THAT fucking ridiculous that made me think this was a guy I could really respect. Nobody else would get the chance to try something like that, nobody else would WANT to try something like that, and anybody, including him, is not likely to get out of that one unscathed. It was a god damn kamikaze mission, or “homicide bombing” as our friends at Fox “news” call it in their unending quest for a new, less accurate form of speaking. (read the rest of this shit…)

Mystic River

Sunday, January 18th, 2004

When I saw the first trailer for MYSTIC RIVER I practically flipped out. I guess not like one of those “geek-gasms” my bud Harold Knowles talks about but more like getting goose-shivers or the hair standing up on your balls or whatever the saying is. I already knew it had cleaned up at the Whatsisdick Film Festival over there in wherever it was, and that it was directed by my man Clint, who actually did the narration for this trailer. There was no scenes from the movie, just a helicopter shot of the town with the narration and then the credits start telling me, okay: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney… and then it says, “A Film by Clint Eastwood.” It gives you no clue what it’s about really, just shows you the setting and tells you the players and figures that if that’s not enough for you then you must be an asshole. “That’s all I need to know,” I said, but really I already knew more – that it was written by oscar winner Brian Helgeland, director of outlaw award winner PAYBACK. (read the rest of this shit…)