Archive for the ‘Drama’ Category

Mr. Majestyk

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

I think it was my colleague in Badass Studies, Mr. Jeff McCloud, who first recommended MR. MAJESTYK to me a year or two ago. When he said that Charles Bronson played a watermelon farmer in it, I knew it was my type of movie. What better way to fulfill the criteria of the THEORY OF BADASS JUXTAPOSITION than to grow a field of watermelons? I mean I guess maybe if they were flowers it would seem more sensitive, but this business of a dude growing watermelons is definitely not the obvious choice for a Badass. Which is why it’s such a good choice.

So I was an idiot to put off watching the movie as long as I did. What really did it was I was lookin through a used book store (seriously, I read books) when I saw the book MR. MAJESTYK by none other than Elmore Leonard. I pulled it out. The dude on the front was definitely not Charlse Bronson. But I read the back, and sure enough, it was about a badass watermelon farmer. (read the rest of this shit…)

Jesus’ Son

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Sometimes a movie comes along without much of a push, and without much commercial appeal, and not very many people go to see it or even hear about it. But most of those who do are pleased to find that it is an unusually good picture. They tell their friends about it, they write rave reviews of it. Then your connection in the home video industry, Pornographical Jerry, hooks you up with an advanced preview cassette of the picture and you give it a shot. And holy shit, it turns out to be the best movie you’ve seen in a long fucking time. Now you can’t wait to use your power and responsibility as an acclaimed Writer on the films of Cinema to promote the movie, so you try to time your review to come out on the day it is released so that all the little Outlaws out there will storm into their chain video stores and say look asshole, where is it? Where is Jesus’ Son fer cryin out loud, don’t give me that never heard of it look, this is a highly acclaimed movie. “Oh, you mean the one on Vern’s sight? Right over here, sir.” (read the rest of this shit…)

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Alot of you know that I am a big fan of the surrealist movement. Well actually I do not know a whole lot about the history of the movement but among respected film Writers I’m pretty damn sure I am the biggest supporter of Jean Claude Van Damme’s surrealist period, which is best represented by his collaboration with Tsui Hark and Dennis Rodman, Double Team. Well someone pointed me towards Louie Bunuel the famous surrealist and I was able to catch one of his later works, the discreet charm blah blah blah, on the Bravo network.

Most of you sickos probaly know Louie from that old porno The Andalusian Dog where some sick fuck cuts a lady right in the eyeball (but it’s actually a cow’s eyeball which is almost as bad, I mean jesus). He did that one with Salvador Dali and in his later solo work he still loved the dream logic of the surrealism but he used it to make comedies making fun of dumb rich people. And this my friends is a good fucking use for a movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Frida

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

This is the story of Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican modernist known for her great painting and sexy monobrow. This is a gal who means many things to many people. An important artist, but also a feminist, a revolutionary, an unashamed bisexual. And you could probaly guess, since there’s a biography movie made out of her, that the poor gal had to be either alcoholic or disabled. In this case she was disabled, unpleasantly impaled in a bus accident, sporadically confined to a full body cast. But since she’s an artist she paints pretty butterflies on it.

You know Salma Hayek will get an oscar nomination for this, mainly because of the bodycast. I gotta be honest though, ’cause that’s my job. I don’t think she’s necessarily doing great work here. She’s just doing pretty good in a role that she is good for, that happens to be real Important because it’s a real person, who was a brilliant artist, who was disabled, and had some kind of political context to her life that can be simplified into movie form. I’m not saying Salma is bad, especially not compared to her embarassing improv role in TIMECODE. And I can’t think of anyone better for the role. But she didn’t exactly blow my mind either, especially not during the scenes where she wears a schoolgirl uniform and tries to pass for a teen. (read the rest of this shit…)

Fly Away Home

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

First of all I want to thank this news group for the way you guys are pretty nice to me. To be frankly honest a lot of the people I’ve bumped into since getting out have NOT been exactly COOL about it. Although not everyone especially people that don’t know about it, they are nice. But point is you guys have not given me too much shit as far as I’m concerned. Quite honestly it means a lot to old vern. It really is a fucking beautiful world out there in my opinion but a lot of people are too wrapped up in evil and especially negativity to really breathe it in

Thanks especially to my bud who gave me some writing tips and movie ideas to rent. Tonight I rented fly away home on account of the “posting” here about it. Yes, it was a good movie although it is about geese. In fact in my opinion the movie is god damned beautiful both as far as the look and as far the story plot. (read the rest of this shit…)

First Blood

Wednesday, January 1st, 2003

Some video association recently named Sylvester Stallone “Action Star of the Millennium.” Well nobody knows where the fuck that’s coming from, mainly because there are about 999 years left on this millennium and about 900 on the previously millennium where nobody had figured out how to make action movies yet. But also there’s the sorry state of Sylvester Stallone’s career.

Now by that I do not mean that Entertainment Weekly shit that he is not making hits. There are many actors who are not making hits who are still completely respectable, such as our friend Mr. Eastwood. But Stallone is in the Arnold category, he’s done so much worse than making less money. His good days are so far behind him you almost don’t even associate him with them. First he turned Rambo into an icon and became the symbol of everything that is wrong with our country, our culture, our movies, and our clothes. (I mean that headband looked fuckin ridiculous.) Then he started makin shit like COBRA and DEMOLITION MAN and etc. etc. He fell so hard that even HE started noticing it after a while. So he went through a stage where he was fighting for critical respectability. He tried to go the Travolta route and lobbied for the role of Max Cherry in JACKIE BROWN. When that didn’t pan out he got fat for the role in COPLAND and america was under his spell until, you know, the movie came out. Soon he became so desperate he tried to revive both the Rocky and Rambo series, but luckily that hasn’t worked out yet. (read the rest of this shit…)

Gangs of New York + The 25th Hour

Sunday, December 22nd, 2002

For some reason I didn’t expect all that much from Martin Scorsese’s new picture GANGS OF NEW YORK. I’m not really a big fan of period pieces, I’m just as ignorant of history as anybody else who is ignorant of history and I don’t have any opinion one way or the other on “Leo” who plays the protagonist Amsterdam or “Danny” who plays Robert Deniro playing an early gang leader named Bill the Butcher. (You know, the same way Roddy Piper played Kurt Russel in THEY LIVE).

But I guess I forgot about that Scorsese, he knows how to make a fuckin movie. GANGS OF NEW YORK is an archetypal type story of some guy whose dad was killed in a gang battle, he escaped and hid away for many years and then came back for revenge. But you know he’s a cowboy or a samurai or a wizard or some shit so he plans for the perfect time to murder Bill in front of everybody at a big celebration of the anniversary of killing his dad. And in the meanwhile he befriends him, to make it all the easier and all the worse. (read the rest of this shit…)

Drumline

Saturday, December 14th, 2002

I don’t know what the deal is with this movie but I gotta admit I kinda liked it. Basically it is your formula movie about young kids competing in something, like LOVE AND BASKETBALL or KARATE KID or WORLD’S BIGGEST GANG BANG or that kind of thing. But in this case instead of sports they are competing at marching band.

The main kid is Nick Cannon who I just looked up on IMDb. I guess he was on the “nickelodeon” kids channel and even had a show named after him. So basically he is an unknown. He is real good as a prodigy on the drum. Not the drums, just one drum that you carry around. This kid is real good, especially good at memorizing and picking things up fast, but you find out later that he can’t read music. Still, he gets a scholarship to this college and goes to this marching band and finds out it’s alot more strict than he expected. They got a curfew, they got a drum major that hates him, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

Solaris (2002)

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

Well that young bald man Steve Soderbergh is still on a roll. He just keeps hittin em, bam bam bam and even when they’re not a home run like THE LIMEY or OUT OF SIGHT they’re still real good. Hell, even FULL FRONTAL, he just squirted that one out like a soft ice cream, and it was pretty good ice cream too. This one is a little more of a sunday. It’s not my favorite soderbergh movie but that’s like saying “that’s not necessarily the greatest blowjob I ever got.” This guy has never made a bad movie. Go ahead, try to find one. You can’t. You would have to make a fake movie and put his name on it. But he didn’t make that one, you did. You can’t fool me. Fool me once, shame, shame, you can’t fool me.

First of all let me make it clear that I am ignorant on the topic of Solaris. I have not seen the legendarily long and boring and brilliant Russian version by Mr. Tartavsky. Also I have not read the book which is according to the credits what Mr. Soderbergh’s version is based on. But I did see this movie. So that’s my background on that one. (read the rest of this shit…)

Far from Heaven

Friday, November 22nd, 2002

FAR FROM HEAVEN is the lovingly crafted new film from Todd Haynes (VELVET GOLDMINE), about an upper class socialite house wife (the great Julianne Moore from JURASSIC PARK PART 2 and ASSASSINS) dealing with the shameful prejudices and social pressures of the time. When she discovers that her husband (one of the Quaids, I think Randy) kissing a man, she tries to be loving and understanding about it. Her friends joke about her liberalism and call her “Red” but she naively deals with it as a medical problem, and brings him to a doctor to be “cured”. Soon she strikes up a friendship with her black gardener (the president from that stupid tv show 24) and again tests the limits of her liberalism when she finds that both whites and blacks scorn their innocent relationship.

Part of what makes it work is that the styles of acting, the dissolve-heavy editing, and the music by Elmer Bernstein are all taken directly from the films of that time period. It’s as if Haynes had travelled back in time and created a movie that he wishes they could’ve made back then, dealing with issues no one wanted to face, ones that are still embarassingly relevant today. It’s all a perfect re-creation of the melodramas of Douglas Sirk. (read the rest of this shit…)