Karl Rove, Steroids, Movie Slump, Snakes on a Plane!, Why Mustard?

I get alot of emails these days asking for a new Vern Tell’s It Like It Is column, with all the political business. Because there’s so much going on and some people I guess want to know what I have to say about it. Except one guy. There was the guy who wrote to me to say I was good with movies but I need to never talk about politics because I just copy the “talking points” from moveon.org. I checked out that web sight and it was a good suggestion but I couldn’t find a link for the talking points so I guess maybe that’s why I haven’t done a new column in a while.

KARL ROVE

Obviously the first order of business has to be this Valerie Plame/Karl Rove thing. But I mean, I don’t got much to say that hasn’t been said already. My reaction when I first heard about it obviously was like Roddy Piper in THEY LIVE when he sees all the rich ladies in fur coats and businessmen in ties are actually skeleton faced alien invaders, and he says, “It fuckin figures.” I remember Joe Wilson saying way back when this thing started that he thought Karl Rove was the leaker, and I wondered why he’d say that if there wasn’t more to it we didn’t know about. But then he backed off from that statement and I was as surprised as anyone to see it actually come out into the open all this time later. (read the rest of this shit…)

Stealth

Director Rob Cohen’s STEALTH, which would be called WHOOOSSSHHHH! if it was up to me, takes place in the near future. In the near future, the world’s three best and also sexiest pilots have been specially trained to combat terrorism. The way this works is, they fly around and drop bombs on the terrorists. They got this shit down to an art, so for example the CIA calls and says listen up super flyers, we know for sure that three evil terrorist cell leaders who are planning an imminent and deadly attack are going to be meeting up in 24 minutes in a completely empty skyscraper in Rangoon. Have at it, kids.

Even though they know for sure that there are no innocent office workers, janitors or burglars inside the building, our three top guns check out some statistics on their onboard computers to make sure this is morally sound. They know this is in the middle of downtown so they have to plan out a way to implode the building so that it will be all neat and tidy and no bricks will fall on anybody’s heads or anything. And they pull it off! (read the rest of this shit…)

Broken Flowers

I don’t know if this is true, but there’s legends that Chevy Chase and Bill Murray are some kind of arch enemies. Ever since Chevy left Saturday Night Live and was replaced by Bill, there’s been some kinda bad blood between these boys. I don’t think it’s ever come to a duel, or even a wrestling bout, but you know. Probaly gave each other dirty looks or something.

If that’s true Chevy Chase must be having a shit fit these days cause Bill Murray is the only one of any of those guys that figured out how to still have a career with integrity. I guess there aren’t too many guys left from that era of comedy, and I’m not sure if Chase even counts because I can’t remember the last time he made a movie. But let’s use Steve Martin as a symbol. That’s what you’re supposed to do now, you’re supposed to make shitty studio comedies with no style or imagination that nobody will ever remember. You’re supposed to be considered funny on the basis of distant memories. Not current reality. (read the rest of this shit…)

Equilibrium

When this picture first showed up a ways back I wrote it off, just like any reasonable individual would. I wouldn’t give EQUILIBRIUM the time of day. Or watch it. I figured it was a poor man’s MATRIX. Nothing against the poor, we are good people. I’m just saying a poor man can’t make the real matrix, only a fake one starring Jim Belushi and Coolio. Admittedly, this one stars Christian Bale and Taye Diggs, so it’s not that poor. Still, I really wasn’t too curious to see the movie, the only thing I was curious about was how poor Christian American Psycho Bale wound up trading his unending integrity for a leather coat and a pair of pistols. But the picture has stuck around sort of, kept alive by a small but dedicated cult following. Which I guess is the definition of a cult following, small but dedicated. Man, let’s just move on to the next paragraph.

Point is, I’ve seen a whole lot of weirdos on the internet calling the director Kurt Wimmer a genius who reinvented action and why can’t Kurt Wimmer direct X-Men 3 and Mission Impossible 3 and Brown Bunny 2 and etc. Actually it was probaly just one guy but it seemed like more than one at the time. So all the sudden it turned out I was curious just what the hell this EQUILIBRIUM was all about. Incidentally, I don’t know if you know this but curiosity is the number one suspect in the murder of the cat. Just a little aside there. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern says BLAST is like DIE HARD on an Oil Rig, but starring Eddie Griffin!!!

Harry here with Vern’s uncovering of the greatest America has to offer. This time it is BLAST starring… ah hell, I’ll just hand it over to Vern – he’s who you come to AICN desperate for something new to read…

Boys -

You know how it is with me, every time I get a screener for some shitty straight to video movie I get this idea somewhere in my brain… what if this is it? What if this is THE ONE? The one I’ve been looking for all these years? Well today we’re here to discuss BLAST, which is not the one. But it is one of those rare surprisingly competent ones. Destined for a Not As Bad As You Would Think award from the Direct to Video Academy of Well Who Are We Kidding There Is No Art Or Science In These Things.

Basically BLAST is DIE HARD on an oil rig. Or maybe UNDER SIEGE on an oil rig, but not ON DEADLY GROUND. Anyway the important thing is instead of Bruce or Seagal, we got wisecrackin Eddie Griffin. You know, from MY BABY’S DADDY. Now look, I wouldn’t watch 99% of the shit this guy has made. But I do think he can be funny. I’m more of a POOTIE TANG man, but I liked him in UNDERCOVER BROTHER. And his standup movie/family documentary DYSFUNKTIONAL FAMILY was funny. Here, he has a couple good smartass lines, but mostly plays the action hero. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Devil’s Rejects

If you ever saw THE HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES, there’s one thing you probaly remember. It’s this montage set to “I Remember You” by Slim Whitman. It’s got lots of slow motion and you can’t hear anything but the music as the cops discover a couple of the house’s thousand corpses unexpectedly, then get gunned down by the Firefly family. The montage ends with Otis (Bill Texas Chain Saw Massacre 2 Moseley) holding a gun to a cop’s head and it sits there with 20 full seconds of complete silence and stillness before he executes him.

That movie was pretty good, I liked it overall for it’s spunk and what not, but it was real sloppy and uneven. And that “I Remember You” scene was the one part where the director, a guy named Rob Zombie (yeah I know, I think it’s Hungarian or something), seemed like a real filmatist. Well good news, Mr. Zombie’s new one THE DEVIL’S REJECTS is not as much a sequel to HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES as it’s a sequel to that scene. It’s about the brother of the first cop killed in the montage hunting down the Fireflies for revenge. And all the sudden the Zombie guy knows what the fuck he’s doing: real good framing, way better acting, expert use of slow motion and effective montagings edited to old country music, blues and classic rock. Very dirty and raw, lots of ’70s techniques like Peckinpah slo-mo and fancy wipes. Kind of what Jim Van Bebber was going for with THE MANSON FAMILY. Maybe not quite as authentic but way better thought out and more involving. It’s almost changed genres – now it’s less straight up horror and more of one of those sicko ’70s serial killer/crime/road pictures, or a revenge picture like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT. It’s just as sick and inexcusable but more fun. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern says, ‘F–k WEDDING CRASHERS!’ Do you think he liked it’

SPOILER ALERT !!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our man Vern who is… mighty unhappy with a certain Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson comedy right now. You see, he… well… Shit, Vern can tell you…

Boys -

First off, congratulations on the kid, Moriarty. I hope he doesn’t have too many problems being named after some freak from FORBIDDEN ZONE. But congratulations and in my opinion some credit should also go to the wife, who I bet performed some of the more difficult aspects of the birthing process unless there is something Harry is not telling us.

Second order of business, I saw some movie called WEDDING CRASHERS. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn play a couple of dickheads who like to sneak into weddings because somehow it causes them to automatically get laid. When I first saw the trailer for this one I felt insulted. It seemed like one of those premises that would maybe seem funny when you first think of it but then you would realize before you got a chance to even write it down that it was not funny enough for anybody to actually make or especially watch. The trailer didn’t show any of the plot but I assumed it would be one of those generic romantic comedies where the protagonist lies and tricks people but then to his surprise he meets someone who he really falls in love with, and there are montages and flirting and laughing and they become close but it’s all based on a lie so then suddenly she finds out the truth and he has to admit that he’s a scumbag but then he publicly humiliates himself and proves to her that he really loves her and then… oh shit, what if in this one they got MARRIED AT THE END? Would that be ironic or what? The hunter becomes the huntress, or whatever. (read the rest of this shit…)

War of the Worlds

Sometimes for scientifical type purposes I try to predict what bad puns the hack critics will use in reviews of upcoming movies. For WAR OF THE WORLDS I was leaning toward an “out of this world” or “worlds away from E.T.” type thing. Somebody suggested “Bore of the Worlds” but I was saving that for “Fantastic Bore” and “Fantastic Snore.”

But then I saw WAR OF THE WORLDS and you know what this is? The scariest PG-13 movie of all time. Fuck dinosaurs. Fuck a guy eating monkey brains. This is as hard as Steve Spielberg is gonna get. This is a well put together piece of work in my opinion. Usually making a movie PG-13 when it could be R is a copout, but in this case it’s almost subversive. Sorry about taking the guns out of E.T., to make it up to you I’m gonna give your kids the worst nightmares from now until they turn 16.

So now I’m thinking the pun headline should be CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE KIND WHERE YOU ALMOST SHIT YOUR PANTS. Or maybe E.T. – THE EXTRA-WE’REFUCKED-STRIAL. (read the rest of this shit…)

Enter the Dragon

BREAKING NEWS: ENTER THE DRAGON is a classic and it’s mainly because of Bruce Lee’s performance. More on this story as it develops.

Okay maybe that’s old news. He’d been trying for years to become a superstar in the US (he only went back to hong kong after being dissed one too many times by the white man). So it was a big deal for him to have his big american co-production. And in the movie he has so much screen presence that they had to build a special type of camera to film him, after going through six different regular cameras that broke because of his power.

Actually that’s complete bullshit, I just made that up. That woulda been cool though. Anyway anything you need to know about why Bruce Lee is such an icon is in this movie: the arrogant persona (his character is actually kind of a dick), the perfect physique, the powerful moves, the cool nunchucks, the occasional philosophy, the greatest theme song of all time (thank you Lalo Schifrin). But everybody knows that. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know if I talk about that. So let’s give some credit to the rest of the movie. For example, co-star John Saxon. (read the rest of this shit…)

The 36th Chamber of Shaolin

tn_36thchamberaka SHAOLIN MASTER KILLER

So you got these fuckin Tartars goin around oppressing people, right? No surprise there. Humiliating people, publicly executing people, fucking with innocent people’s seafood shops and all that kind of crap. I mean let’s be honest here, we all know how these fuckin Tartars are. And in a Shaw Brothers classic like this, we know Gordon Liu is gonna do something about it.

There’s this classroom of kids (played by adults) and they’ve been learning about the importance of their country and standing up to their enemies but they can’t figure out why they’re learning this in the classroom and then watching the Tartars pull this kind of crap. Are those lessons just words or are they concepts they should really live by? They decide on the second one and when they try to stand up and make a difference, they are rewarded with a serious assbeating.

But Gordon gets away, and you know what he always does when he gets away. He finds his way to the Shaolin Temple where the monks patch him up, then he demands to stay and become a monk, and then he asks to learn kung fu. (read the rest of this shit…)