Ladies and gentlemen, THE SUPER-KUMITE!

tn_Super-KumiteFriends, I am proud to announce a new outlawvern.com event, THE SUPER-KUMITE, tournament of tournaments. It is a 3-round tournament of fighting tournament movies, with only one victor.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a year or two, but it took me a while to figure out how to make it work. Even once I did I made some mistakes and had to do some adjustments. It turns out there are less straight-up tournament movies than I imagined, and weirdly little information about them on the internet.

Here’s how it will work: I’ve put together 8 teams of 3 movies each which will be pitted against each other in one-on-one match-ups. In round 1 the chronological first films from each of the eight teams will compete in four bouts. The four winning teams will send their second movie to round 2, to be whittled down to the two finalists, which will compete for the crown. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern Predicts: Cheeto-sponsored movie news

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I am posting this not as an attack on the websight in question, which I sometimes read, and which I know at least one of the regulars here writes for, but simply as a presentation of the facts at hand and a demonstration of my powers.

On April 1, 2008, I posted a fake geocities.com/outlawvern redesign titled “Cheetohs Presents Vern’s Cinematic Movie Blog.” It was full of dumbed down and crassly commercialized content including, for some reason, a sidebar with the nutrition information from a bag of Cheetos:

vern-cheetos

(read the rest of this shit…)

The Island (2005)

tn_theislandTHE ISLAND I guess was Michael Bay’s big failure. He held his head high during his public shaming as the asshole who directed PEARL HARBOR, but this time he hit the type of bump that means more to him: he made a movie that didn’t make very much money. In the U.S. I guess it only made $36 million, which would be enough for his monthly Lamborghini allowance but doesn’t even cover a third of the shooting budget. For comparison, PEARL HARBOR made $75 million on its opening weekend.

Of course I’m coming to it eight years and three TRANSFORMERSes later having heard of its growing reputation as Michael Bay’s Not As Bad Movie. So when I was looking for a dumb summer blockbuster to get me in a summer movie mood it leapt off the video store shelf into my cold, reluctant embrace. (read the rest of this shit…)

Furious 6

tn_furious6Ladies and gentlemen, the title is FURIOUS 6. They’ve been advertising it as FAST & FURIOUS 6, and every time I see that I think “if the last one was FAST FIVE then why can’t this be FURIOUS SIX?” Well, the actual movie says FURIOUS 6. And this is not the first time that the THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS series has come through for me. We’re family.

Director Justin Lin returns for his fourth and final installment, and I hope they gave him a hell of a gold watch. When he came along there was this one really enjoyable POINT BREAK ripoff and one ridiculous sequel and he had to follow up without the original cast or characters. The series was left for dead. But he did a great job with TOKYO DRIFT, then reunited Vin Diesel and Paul Walker for FAST AND FURIOUS, then brought back almost the entire team and added The Rock for FAST FIVE. With FURIOUS SIX he takes everything he learned from those movies and supercharges the engine and adds spoilers and shit. Having the whole team (minus Don Omar and Tego Calderon, plus Michelle Rodriguez) together isn’t a novelty the second time around, so to make up for that he kicks the action sequences into ridiculous new extremes. Which is saying alot in a FAST AND FURIOUS – have you seen these movies? (read the rest of this shit…)

Stranglehold

tn_strangleholdThis week in my Daily Grindhouse column I check out STRANGLEHOLD, another Cirio H. Santiago picture. This one is from 1994 and stars Jerry Trimble, who you may know as the guy who fights Dolph in front of the welders in THE PACKAGE. It’s an UNDER SIEGE type scenario where delighted-with-himself terrorist Vernon Wells has taken over a chemical plant while Trimble was doing security for a visiting congresswoman.

Take a look.

by the way, Nothing Lasts Forever is back in print

I meant to post about this months ago, but things came up or whatever. Just wanted to make sure everybody knows that Roderick Thorpe’s Nothing Lasts Forever, the long-out-of-print book that became DIE HARD, was re-released earlier this year by a company called Graymalkin Media. Of course I prefer the beautiful painted cover on the beat up version I bought on ebay long ago, but those got to be real pricey in recent years so I’m glad it has been made available again to the people.

For those who read electronic fake books instead of human ones there is a bonus, apparently the ebook includes Thorpe’s recently unearthed 11-page handwritten treatment for the book. So that’s probly pretty cool.

For a pretty in-depth book-to-movie comparison I wrote many years ago click here.


Star Trek Into Darkness

tn_startrek2The genius of J.J. Abrams’ STAR TREK: NOT THE MOTION PICTURE BUT STAR TREK (2009) was not just that it had a good gimmick for recasting the original cast of characters and restarting their adventures without denying the existence of their old ones. It was also the way it worked for both Trekkos and regulars. I was able to see it with a girl that grew up watching Star Trek and she loved it, but I enjoyed it too even though, come on. We, as citizens of the world, were all able to share it and enjoy it together equally as brothers and sisters.

Party’s over, though. Trekkos want their shit back. (read the rest of this shit…)

SIFF 2013 review: Much Ado About Nothing

tn_muchadoI got a ticket to the opening film of this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, a movie called MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, from the director of THE AVENGERS and the writer of HAMLET. Yes, idolized big brother of the internet Joss Whedon had some time off after directing the highest grossing non-James-Cameron movie of all time so he invited all his actor friends to his house to do a low budget William Shakespeare movie. It was so low budget he had to do it in black and white even though it was on a RED camera.

The cast includes Reed Diamond from Homicide: Life On the Street, the younger sister that was added later on in Growing Pains, two people from the LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT remake, and nobody else you ever heard of except for like ten or fifteen people that starred in Joss Whedon’s TV shows. A couple of them got intrusive applause when they showed up on screen or after their scenes were over, and to be fair at least nobody in the audience was dressed up like Firefly characters, but come on people, it’s called self control, and it can be yours. I believe in you. (read the rest of this shit…)

Akira

tn_akiraIt’s hard out there in Neo-Tokyo. I don’t have to tell you guys. I’m sure shit was even worse right after the old Tokyo got nuked, but it’s still no picnic. You got a police state trying to crack down on all the protesters, not just the terrorists setting off bombs everywhere. You got cultists carrying on about the end times and the second coming, and it doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it used to. All you can really do is go to bars, buy capsules, steal motorcycles, customize ‘em, then get out there with your friends and attack some other gang, chase ‘em through the streets, hit ‘em in the head with pipes, try to murder them. That’s what childhood pals Kaneda and Tetsuo do, fighting some clowns. And I don’t mean that like jokers or bozos, but an actual gang of guys who wear clown makeup. I don’t see any juggalo type symbols on them, so I’m not sure if it’s that type of deal or not.

Anyway, it’s the only fun a young man has these days and the cops even interfere with that. Ruin everything. (read the rest of this shit…)

Streets of Rage

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Do you know about a female pro-wrestler from the ’80s called Magnificent Mimi, and if so did you know she wrote, produced and starred in a series of low budget action movies in the ’90s, and if so did you know that one of them was from the director of FORBIDDEN ZONE and SHRUNKEN HEADS? I didn’t know any of these things until recently. Mimi will be popping up again in a major series of reviews I’ve been working on that I’ll hopefully be ready to unveil next week. Until then read my review of STREETS OF RAGE over on Daily Grindhouse.