Book: Yippee Ki-Yay Moviegoer! by Vern

Rating: 3.5 on 4 / Get the book here!

Tagline: Wrigitings on Bruce Willis, Badass Cinema, and Other Important Topics
 Written by VERN

THE PLAN: A book that goes into detail as to what makes a badass a badass, why DIE HARD is the greatest American action movie ever made, and how it is that a balding wise-cracker got to be one of the most badass individuals in Hollywood. The book also explores other movie topics, from talking animal children comedies to horror flicks, and just about everything in between.

THE KILL:Being a product of the 80s, I grew up thinking that action movies consisted of action, sex, violence, and nudity (that might be a bit redundant, but true none-the-less). I grew up hearing heroes drop the F-bomb, seeing people get blown away by gunfire and their bodies ripped apart in splurts of blood, and knowing that true action heroes were bigger than life and screamed of what it is to be a MAN. This was the 80s and the 80s were as unapologetic when it came to action as much as they were when it came to horror. The music and the fashion might have sucked ass, but at least the action / horror movies were cool.

But this isn't the 80s anymore. And I'd hate to hear what kids growing up these days think of what action movies should be. We live in a world of PG-13 action flicks, driven by flashy CGI effects and award-winning actors "playing" action heroes. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but... yeah. There's something wrong with that.

The living legend known as Steven Seagal.

One man who's voice seems to be advocating for the 80s action fan is VERN (from AintItCoolNews.com). He came out with the classically titled and well-received SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL (read the Arrow's review HERE), an ode to the legendary Steven Seagal and all the awesome movies he was in (his best reeking in classic 80s goodness).

VERN has a new book out, a solid follow-up to SEAGALOGY, a book that goes in the most logical direction after reviewing every Seagal movie ever made: "YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!": WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA, AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS.

Where Seagal was the focus of SEAGALOGY, VERN dishes his comedic-laced opinions on just about every type of movie out there, sprinkling his love and affection for Bruce Willis and DIE HARD ever chance he gets. The guy knows what it is to be badass, knows what it is to be a good action movie, and knows what it is to be a pile of dog crap. And best of all, he's not afraid to tell it like it is.

DIE HARD: Greatest American Action Movie and 100% Badass

The book's split into sections, and each section is kicked off with an introduction by VERN as to what the chapter is about and why he chose those particular reviews for said chapter (all of the reviews were originally published on his website or over at AICN). The section (or chapters) highlight 'of-like' reviews that have to deal with everything from being a warrior (Chapter 1: Warriors) to movies that are totally f*cked up (Chapter 10: Filth and Sleaze) to even a section on horror movies (Chapter 11: Tales from Vern's Bloody Crypt of Phantasmagorifying Horrors) and just about everything in between. He even talks about films that deal with bigger issues (Chapter 7: The Issues), where he was cool enough to include THEY LIVE among the likes of CRASH and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (which, by the way, is one of the funniest reviews I've ever read).

THEY LIVE is badass AND covers an important topic.

"YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER" speeds up to a climatic finish with a full chapter devoted to Bruce Willis, DIE HARD, and what a f*cked up world we live in where a DIE HARD movie is PG-13. If you agree with that statement, then you'll like that chapter, and the rest of the book, for that matter. That's the big theme running rampant throughout: what does it take to be a true ass-kicking action movie, to be a badass, and why Bruce Willis is the greatest American action hero ever. Even if you don't necessarily agree (I've always been a Schwarzenegger man myself), you have to admire the guy's passion and devotion to convince you otherwise.

Even a PG-13 Bruce Willis was pretty flippin' badass.

VERN is a funny writer. But he's also spot-on most of the time in his reviews, as unorthodox as they are. He has a knack for breaking down a film's plot like he's explaining it to a 2 year old, which will make some of your favorite movies sound both simple and ridiculous (THE TERMINATOR: Basically the story of two naked guys from the future fighting in Los Angeles.). By unorthodox, I mean he doesn't stick to the formulaic way of writing a review but rather goes on tangents about the little aspects he thought of said flick when it comes to him. Actually, there's a great chapter called "Tangents" which features reviews that go into full-on tangents that are totally off topic for a page or two, then reels itself back in to the movie in question. If you ever want to know VERN's opinions on cell phones, his CRANK review dishes the dish and then some.

VERN's not a huge fan of CRANK or cell phones and he's not afraid to tell you why.

The guy loves movies, he considers himself an 'expert' in action films and all things badass, and you know--I'd have to agree. He knows his shit and he knows how to back it up. If you're a fan of action movies and are sick of Micheal Bay movies or shit like TRANSFORMERS, then you will get more than your money's worth with "YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!". This is not to say that I agreed with VERN's opinions on every movie (I liked THE LAST BOYSCOUT way more than he did), but what fun would it be to read a book that's in total agreement of my your views and opinions?

THE LAST BOYSCOUT is both funny and badass according to ME.
Not according to VERN.

With all this praise, is there anything wrong or negative I could possibly say about the book? Not much, but two things did stand out: 1) no pictures. The Arrow had the same complaint with SEAGALOGY and I'd have to agree--a picture or two said movie or badass action hero would have been nice. And 2) I would have liked to see more Sly Stallone, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, and JCVD flicks reviewed. I get the focus is on Bruce Willis (and duly so, the guy is the everyday man's action hero), but these other dudes deserve a place in the spotlight in a book focused on badass cinema. Also, I get that there's an entire book devoted to Seagal's care er, but... his presence would have been nice here as well.

What? No Chuck Norris? Pray Chuck doesn't find out about this...

Maybe it's because VERN's from Seattle and I'm from Seattle, so we have this connection or something, but his views on movies were spot-on for me, making "YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEHGOER!" one of those great movie companions. His reviews are a little too long to bring along with you at the video store when looking for a good recommendation, but chances are you've seen the flicks he talks about here anyway, which makes them perfect fun little reads. Plus, if you've ever gotten into an argument on the merits of ALIENS being one of the greatest sequels ever made or how STONE COLD is one of the most underrated action movies around, you can always bust this book out and stop the argument altogether. Your right, they're wrong, and VERN is the dude to prove it.


"Asking somebody if they like ALIENS is like asking them if they like pizza or ice cream. You can assume the answer is "yes."

If you're a fan of action and badass movies, then "YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!" belongs in the empty void on your bookshelf.


Source: AITH



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