Archive for the ‘Science Fiction and Space Shit’ Category

Blade Runner (2007 Director’s Cut)

Monday, November 5th, 2007


BLADE RUNNER is an amazing work of sight and sound, a groundbreaking depiction of future worlds, a gloomy cinematic nightmare, a unique approach to science fiction, and a complete fucking bore. Watching it on the big screen for the limited theatrical engagement of this “definitive cut” I was struck by how beautiful it looked and sounded, and also I wanted to take a nap. It’s like watching the greatest ant farm ever constructed.

Well, shit. I can’t believe I’m writing this. I know I’m only one paragraph in but I would like to extend my sincerest apologies. This is what you call a guilty un-pleasure. It’s easier for me to picture myself reading this review, written by somebody else, and pulling my hair out, than me sitting here writing it. But here I am. I always dug this movie. Never got why anybody would consider it Ridley Scott’s best (Motherfucker directed ALIEN. ALIEN! That’s his masterpiece, people. Let’s get this straight) and thought it was a little slow. But I always dug it and I was excited to see it on the big screen here. But facts are facts. I am a journalist, or whatever. I have to admit: this one time anyway, BLADE RUNNER bored the shit out of me. (read the rest of this shit…)


Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

I cannot in good conscience recommend SHIVERS to everybody. In fact, I saw it a long time ago and didn’t get into it, but recently I felt like watching the early Cronenbergs again and this time around I enjoyed it. It’s Cronenberg’s first feature film and it is also known as THEY CAME FROM WITHIN, but should be called ZOMBIE PERVERTS or even FUCKED BY ZOMBIES.

Well, they’re not technically zombies. It’s about a sexually transmitted disease. I didn’t do this on purpose, but this is yet another apartment complex based horror. It takes place at this upscale complex called Starliner Estates, which is actually on an island so it’s isolated and has its own medical facilities and armed security. The lead is not your typical horror movie lead. He’s a middle aged doctor, head of the Starliner Medical Department, and he has some of the mannerisms of Gary Shandling. When the movie starts the infection in the apartments has already began: a former teacher of the doctor is attacking a woman in a school girl outfit. And he kills her and burns her with acid. Not cool. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern witnesses THE INVASION and lives to tell you about it!!!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007


INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. First there was the book. Then the movie by Don Siegel. Then the ’70s version by Philip Kaufman. Then the ’90s one that everybody hated if they heard of it but personally I thought it was okay by Abel Ferrara. Now we got yet another version, this one directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, a German guy known here for DAS EXPERIMENT and DOWNFALL. But then after he was done they, uh, snatched it from him, and producer Joel Silver had the Wachowskis write some new scenes which were apparently shot by the V FOR VENDETTA dude.

So you kind of know right away that this is not gonna be a masterpiece. Either Hirschbeigel’s movie sucked – in which case they’re not gonna be able to fix it just by adding some Wachowski here and there – or maybe the movie was good and Joel Silver just didn’t get it, in which case, fuck. I guess the best thing you can wish for is an ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU where it’s completely crazy anyway and the turmoil probaly added to the magic. (But even in that case the director was replaced after a few days, not after the movie was already done.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

BEYOND THUNDERDOME has always been the red-headed stepchild of the MAD MAX series. Everybody loves ROAD WARRIOR, on account of it being one of the best movies everybody has ever seen. So if Miller just rehashed it but added a new Joe Pesci character or something then everybody probaly woulda been happy. Instead he expanded on the universe, he took the story in another entirely new direction and alot of people still aren’t ready to follow.

I haven’t seen this movie in years and I actually remembered it being more different than it really is. In fact, I was thinking there weren’t even cars in this one. I just remembered planes and pig shit and that song by Tina Turner. I thought it wasn’t as good as the other two but that it got a bum rap. Seeing it again – well, okay, it’s my third favorite, and there is a section in the middle that I had a problem with, but it needs to be said that this is a great fucking movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Road Warrior

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

(or MAD MAX 2)

Man, I love MAD MAX. So raw with its low budget, so fierce with its ridiculous car stunts and harsh view of humanity. There’s something about that one that nobody has really captured again. Still, in a way this amazing sequel takes it to a new level.

The world is further down the shitter now. Society is not just crumbling, it’s in crumbs. Max is still hauling ass down Australia’s highways in his Interceptor (the last one left), battling high speed maniacs and stealing any gas he can find. The opening scene is the most reminiscent of the first movie, a classic chase scene. It also introduces the gang that will be the villains in this one. Vernon Wells plays Wez, the dude with the mowhawk and shoulder pads, riding a motorcycle with his blond punk (or bitch, or desert life partner) on his back. On the other side a dude in a car tries to shoot Max with a crossbow, but Max hits the brakes and the arrow hits Wez in the arm. (read the rest of this shit…)


Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

With the release of this movie I’d say there’s now officially a subgenre of sci-fi movies about the angst of long distance space travel. Two of my favorite movies ever – 2001 and ALIEN – are in this category. There’s also DARK STAR, a predecessor to ALIEN and an inspiration to this movie (one of the characters is even named Pinback after Dan O’Bannon’s character in that movie). I also liked the remake of SOLARIS, but I still gotta see the original one. Rounding out the category now there’s Danny Boyle’s SUNSHINE.

This one takes place sometime in the future, but probaly not too long in the future. The main difference between then and now: the sun is dying. Pretty shitty. Humanity came up with a plan where they sent a spaceship called The Icarus which would set off a bomb that would reignite the sun. But that ship was a bunch of slackers or something so nobody heard from them again. This is the story of the Icarus II, where they decided to use up Earth’s resources to make the last possible bomb that they could use to try to relight that bitch. (read the rest of this shit…)

Robocop Trilogy

Friday, August 3rd, 2007


Since my recent viewing of the TERMINATOR trilogy was a smashing success I decided to look for some other ’80s-’90s sci-fi/action robot trilogy to watch, and I came up with ROBOCOP. I’d seen the first one a million (1,000,000) times and never seen the sequels, but I had a pretty good idea it was not gonna be pretty. And it wasn’t.

To me the real trilogy is not ROBOCOP 1-3, it’s ROBOCOP, TOTAL RECALL and then STARSHIP TROOPERS, Paul Verhoeven’s three ultraviolent, FX heavy studio sci-fi action satires. ROBOCOP started off that trilogy with a bang, and even including those other Verhoeven classics there’s really nothing quite like this one. Its unique approach is established at the very beginning when it opens with a TV newsbreak (co-anchored by Leeza Gibbons) that’s a weird hybrid of news from the ’80s and from today. (read the rest of this shit…)


Friday, July 27th, 2007

I’ve seen this movie many times over many years, and I’m sure you have too. I don’t think I need to try to convince anybody to like ALIENS. Asking somebody if they like ALIENS is like asking them if they like pizza or ice cream. You can assume the answer is “yes” and if not it’s just some weird quirk that person has, you can’t really make much of it.

But having noticed signs that the BIG FUCKIN SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER POPCORN MOVIE may be ailing here in 2007 I decided to get nostalgic and watch T2 (theatrical cut, back to ’91) and I had such a good time with that I thought, jesus, where do I go from here? Is there anything that big and yet at the same time that good? I wasn’t sure but I did know of one other James Cameron part 2 that I like even better and that of course is ALIENS. So I watched the theatrical cut of that too. (read the rest of this shit…)

Piranha Part Two: The Spawning

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

After watching the TERMINATOR movies for the first time in years I was so excited about James Cameron I decided I should go back and re-watch the Cameron movies I didn’t like, see if maybe my perspective has changed. Maybe there was some magic there I just wasn’t picking up on.

So of course I had to go back to the beginning, the smash debut, the one that started it all for director James Cameron. Orson Welles started out with CITIZEN KANE, James Cameron started out with PIRANHA PART TWO THE SPAWNING. What can you say, man, it was a different era. (read the rest of this shit…)

Terminator Trilogy

Thursday, July 19th, 2007


Summer, 2007. 1:52 AM. Mindless, soul-less, visually indecipherable and crassly commercial garbage such as TRANSFORMERS has invaded America’s movie screens disguised as “good ol’ summer popcorn entertainment.” Labelled a madman for his harsh condemnation of TRANSFORMERS, Vern began to search for proof that a better, more powerful type of summer blockbuster once existed…

I’m obviously a zealot when it comes to this TRANSFORMERS shit. Most people either like the movie or aren’t as offended by it as I am. But my contention that they used to make actual smart/good versions of this type of moronic horse shit has met with some sympathy. I was happy that even the morning radio guy Adam Corolla brought up TERMINATOR 2 when discussing TRANSFORMERS on his show. He agreed with his staff that the movie was “fun” but said, “Still… it’s no Terminator.” (read the rest of this shit…)