The Empty Balcony: The Equalizer

Once upon a time there was television show called The Equalizer that ran on CBS. It was successful enough to last for four seasons and 88 episodes. I don’t know if that’s significant. Any show that runs on American network television for four years and 88 episodes is a success, but it’s not a smash. In fact, The Equalizer was and is somewhat of an anonymous show. It’s curious that in the age of remakes and reboots, someone in Hollywood chose to resurrect this show and make it a movie. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: The Equalizer”

The Empty Balcony: Guardians of the Galaxy

I think I may have seen too many movies. That’s the only reason I can think of to explain why I did not like Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Studios’ 2014 money machine. It hit all the right notes when it comes to action, pacing, and story. It kept things simple, avoiding all pretension, and at no point did it strive to be something greater than it was. But... Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Guardians of the Galaxy”

The Empty Balcony: Thief

Thief, the debut feature film from writer/director Michael Mann, is a bit of a relic. The 1980s were a weird time, when the progressions of style were suddenly upended and everything went day-glo. Even music changed, utilizing the cost-effective yet grating sound of synthesizers. Michael Mann embraced this decade with gusto, finding a ready home in all the glitz and glamour. His style of filmmaking is so intertwined with the 1980s that I can’t figure out which informed the other. The style is a distinctive one that viewers can readily recognize. But it all had to start somewhere. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Thief”

The Empty Balcony: The Rover

I love a good post-apocalyptic tale. I have a pessimist’s fascination with the myriad ways everything can go wrong. Global catastrophe for the human race holds the same place in my mind as standing at the edge of a precipice and picturing flying off into the void. This isn’t a sign of some psychological damage or misfiring neurons. This isn’t a mental illness or a death wish. It’s just human nature to be drawn in wonder to these things. Some of us feel the pull more than others, but that doesn’t mean we want it to happen. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: The Rover”