"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Archive for the ‘Blog Post (short for weblog)’ Category

I think they call this a shoot interview

Monday, May 16th, 2022

I was recently interviewed on a podcast and this is a little different from any I’ve done before so I wanted to say something about it.

As you may or may not have heard, there’s a podcast called Downlowd: The Rise and Fall of Harry Knowles and Ain’t It Cool News. Kind of like a documentary about a websight I once wrote for. I don’t know if the podcast is popular or not – much like Ain’t It Cool News itself back in the day, I mostly just see people talking shit about it. The first I heard of it was a while before it came out, when someone who had once been harassed by Harry Knowles posted negatively about having been approached for an interview. I had not been asked and felt relieved not to have to make a moral decision about it. I figured this guy making it, Joe Scott, didn’t know who I was, and that I didn’t have much to say anyway. I was only involved via e-mail.

(read the rest of this shit…)

Bruce

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

I’m sure most of you have heard about the retirement of the one and only Bruce Motherfuckin Willis – a.k.a. Bruno, a.k.a. Walter B – due to a diagnosis of aphasia, a disorder which interferes with the ability to comprehend speech. I saw a tabloid story quite a while ago which claimed he was struggling with early onset dementia, and it’s unclear to me whether that was a misunderstanding about this, or whether that was true and this is a further development. Either way, it explains some of what has been going on with him in recent years, which honestly people have been pretty unkind about. But now they know.

I don’t need to tell you what Bruce means to me and everything we do here, but here’s a brief summary: I idolized him as a kid because of Moonlighting, DIE HARD is kinda my favorite movie, my first Usenet post was about DIE HARD, many people are kind enough to associate me with DIE HARD and refer all DIE HARD related news items to me, Titan Books associated me enough with him that they got me to name my review collection after him, also there was a famous incident in the Ain’t It Cool days when Bruce himself unexpectedly logged in as a talkbacker to respond to my concerns about LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD being rated PG-13. To my left as I write I have a beautiful framed Thai DIE HARD poster that I look to for inspiration. Three days ago I bought The Return of Bruno on vinyl.

One of my favorite things I’ve written was the piece about DIE HARD from a little after my dad died. If you’ve read that you know how much my feelings about DIE HARD and Bruce are tied in with memories of my dad, who I lost to Alzheimers. I see alot of my dad in myself and fear inheriting his fate; also I have always looked up to aspects of Bruce and aspired to be like him. So obviously it hit me hard on a number of different levels when I first heard about this. Since I always believed the story it didn’t come as a shock to read the confirmation today, but the emotions came at me like a flood. And I know it’s the same for many of you.

I just feel for him and his family and I hope they’re able to enjoy their time together. Let’s all celebrate Bruce and send good thoughts to him and his family and friends. Also, which Bruce movies is it a shame I haven’t reviewed? I’ve done the big action ones, but surely there are some gaps.

Vern’s Oscar Round-Up 2022

Friday, March 25th, 2022

Ah shit, here we go again. Another Oscar Sunday coming up. As I’ve been doing for some years now, I scrambled to watch all of the best picture nominees that I hadn’t already seen anyway, plus as many as I could from other major categories. This year, for various reasons, I did not write reviews of most of the movies that were nominated, so I’ll kinda-sorta do that here.

No time for a monologue, let’s go straight to the best picture nominees, presented in alphabetical order for your organizational convenience. (read the rest of this shit…)

New podcast appearance: The ’00s Zone

Thursday, December 9th, 2021

You may know Mark Palermo as the screenwriter of DETENTION (Joseph Kahn one, not Dolph one) or as a thoughtful commenter around here for many years. It turns out he’s also a podcaster. Mark and actress/filmmaker Loretta Yu host The ’00s Zone (pronounced like “ozone”), looking back at movies from the ’00s. And they were kind enough to invite me for their episode looking back at THE MATRIX RELOADED and THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.

I had a great time talking raves and Sentinels with Mark, Loretta and fellow guest Riley, and having listened to a couple episodes for preparation (I chose the ROMEO MUST DIE and CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON two-parter) I can vouch for this as a smart podcast offering a different perspective on these movies than any of the other ones I listen to. I’m going to check out some more.

Please enjoy this episode and let me know what you think, but don’t exhaust your MATRIX talk since, as teased at the end of the episode, I’ll finally be reviewing the whole series (so far) next week.

Patreon bonus review: 2 Halloween(ish) episodes of ‘The Crow: Stairway To Heaven’

Friday, October 29th, 2021

Happy Halloween everybody! (Or I suppose Devil’s Night Eve, as of this posting.) I hope you have enjoyed my super-sized 5-day-a-week horror reviewing this month. But if you need even more review content to put into your container or whatever and you happen to be a Patreon contributor (or want to start) I took a look at two episodes of the short-lived 1998 syndicated action series based on THE CROW and starring Mark Dacascos. And if you missed it I still have last year’s Halloween special, a Knight Rider episode featuring an Anthony Perkins impersonator and the Silver Shamrock pumpkin mask, plus the year before’s Walker: Texas Ranger about a satanic cult.

Enjoy!

STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

 

 



Podcasting in Freddyvision

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

I’m the guest on the new episode of the podcast 30 Years Later, which is of course a podcast where they revisit movies from 30 years ago. They saw me tweeting about summer of ’91 and invited me on, so of course I offered to do the episode on FREDDY’S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE. It was fun to watch again and talk about it with these guys.

There were a couple things I meant to say but forgot to. One was an overarching point about themes I like in the ELM STREET series, so maybe I’ll save those for an essay. But the other was this trivial observation: I never understood why they used the name of a song from the SUPER FLY soundtrack for the title and then have no version of it in the movie. Maybe Curtis told them to fuck off.

 

Anyway, enjoy!

30 YEARS LATER

Summer of 1991 closing remarks

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

Thank you for joining me and/or being patient with me during these last few months of S91: JUDGMENT SUMMER, my look back at most of the summer movie releases of 30 years ago. (If you actually didn’t join me, you can scroll down and click on the links to all the reviews). According to my calculations I reviewed 46 movies for this series, not including the non-1991 ones (like the part 1s for some of these part 2s). And now here are my judgments.

By the end, you noticed, I was calling it “Sarah Connor Summer.” There’s never gonna be an over-arching theme to an entire release schedule, but it really is cool how much of a “let’s give women a little bit more to do in movies” movement took place in those months. By that I mostly mean that

1) THELMA & LOUISE and its fantasy of regular women going ballistic against the daily transgressions of sexism really became a cultural phenomenon

2) TERMINATOR 2’s fierce, muscular (but also emotionally complex) version of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor created a new ideal for women in action movies

and

3) Kathryn Bigelow directed the other best action movie of the summer, both dissecting and glorying in masculine themes from her unique perspective, which she can do if she damn well pleases. (read the rest of this shit…)

Early look for Patronites or whatever: FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980)

Friday, August 13th, 2021


For years people have requested, and I have planned, to finally sit down and do real reviews of each of the FRIDAY THE 13TH movies. Although I usually don’t like to give away what I’m working on, here is your (severed) heads up that I will actually be doing that, currently planned as part of the October festivities. But today is a Friday the 13th and I have part of the series written, so I figured what the hell, I will give Patreon supporters an early look at the first one. If you’re not a supporter that’s fine, no hard feelings, and you’ll be able to read it here when the series starts. But if you are then thank you, and I hope you enjoy my attempts to say something interesting about this legendary but strangely overshadowed movie we kinda take for granted.

FRIDAY THE 13TH on Patreon

Programming note

Monday, July 5th, 2021

Hey friends,

I’m going out of town for a wedding, so I’ve  decided to take this week off from posting reviews. But I’ll be back next week in time for another one of the most important Summer of ’91 classics.

thanks pals

Dude – I’m on Adkins Undisputed!

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Do you all listen to ADKINS UNDISPUTED? It’s a podcast done by a guy named Mike Scott, who goes through the Scott Adkins filmography in chronological order. I can imagine a version of that concept that’s fun to listen to, but not as good as what Mike does. He takes the job seriously, with heavily researched scripted intros, followed by a more free-wheeling discussion with the week’s guest (or “champion”). And very early in the run of the show Mr. Adkins himself caught on to it and has provided interviews for each episode. I’ve learned many things about the movies from Adkins, plus the side discussions have led me to all kinds of Hong Kong movies I hadn’t seen, and the rotating guests have introduced me to some cool people from the world of action movie fandom. It is fun to listen to, but also a genuine work of action movie scholarship. I love it.

So it was a great honor to be a guest on this week’s show. The subject is THE LEGEND OF HERCULES, which I hadn’t actually seen until now, despite Adkins playing the villain and Renny Harlin being the director. Mike originally invited me on for a better movie a little later in the filmography, but we realized it was going to be months before he got to it and nobody was slotted for HERCULES so I was happy to do it. I hope I did okay!
HERE IT IS

P.S. I’ll post a review of the movie after the episode has been up for a bit