As the Washington Post reported today, “People connected to the Russian government tried to hack election-related computer systems in 21 states, a Department of Homeland Security official testified Wednesday.” Continue reading “Accuracy Over Efficiency”
Television is a tough racket. Just ask the employees of WBS TV. In the future, the year 2072, to be precise, WBS has a hit show on their hands. It’s called The Danger Game, where contestants are hooked up to a machine that pumps visions of bloody torture directly into their brains. If they endure the torture without panicking, they win. It’s a successful show for the discerning TV consumer of the dystopian future, but it’s still getting beaten in the ratings by Kill Bike — a show featuring riders on motorbikes engaging in some poorly filmed jousting. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: The New Gladiators, aka Warriors of the Year 2072”
Despite how much I liked The Raid, my review of the film ended up being a little thin. That’s because, while there was much to recommend, the film was overwhelmed by its violence. It took all the hard work that went into the sets, the music, the costumes, even the acting of the leads, and rendered it subservient to the majesty of the violence. As it turns out, that’s because the only thing to survive writer/director Gareth Evans sprawling vision of crime, police corruption, and kickass martial arts, was the violence, owing to a budget that precluded any grand scope. The success of The Raid opened the taps more for the follow-up, and allowed Evans to explore in-depth themes that were forced to remain on the periphery in the first film. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Raid 2”
A viewer can tell what writer/director Craig Moss was trying to accomplish with Bad Ass, but the execution just wasn’t there. Inspired by the Epic Beard Man viral video, so much so that one of the production companies for this flick is listed as Amber Lamps, LLC, Bad Ass follows Danny Trejo as Frank Vega, a down on his luck Vietnam vet who kicks the shit out of a couple of skinheads on a Los Angeles bus. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Bad Ass”
Tom Latham thinks that life could only get better if he just kills himself. Turns out, he’s right! Tom (Nicky Henson) isn’t suffering from depression, nor is he a deluded youth who is incapable of processing the permanence of death. He’s the leader of an outlaw biker gang called The Living Dead. They get their kicks by driving mildly quickly on the roads of rural England and occasionally tipping over vendor’s carts at the local shopping center. How dreadfully frightful. But Tom has an idea that can make his little band of nihilists even more of a public nuisance. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Psychomania, aka The Death Wheelers”
A review of the last week in the Turdpol Kakistocracy:
- May 9, Tuesday: President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. The administration claims the firing is over the Director’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
- May 10, Wednesday: Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the Unites States Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office and reveals highly classified intel to the Russians.
- May 11, Thursday: Trump has an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt where he torpedoes all the spin over the Comey firing coming from his own aides, and reveals that he fired Comey because of the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
- May 12, Friday: Trump threatens Comey on Twitter, warning him not to leak anything to the press.
- May 15, Monday: News breaks about Trump revealing the classified intel to the Russians.
- May 16, Tuesday: Reporting reveals that James Comey kept memos of his interactions with President Trump. One memo describes a meeting in February where Trump asked Comey to end the investigation into disgraced National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia.
- May 17, Wednesday: The Department of Justice appoints former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor to continue the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice.
There’s more, but those are the broad strokes. Without a doubt, this past week has been the most damaging to Trump’s presidency in a long string of weeks with not a lot of good news. Continue reading “Trumpland Day 119: What a Week”
A million bucks must go a long way in Indonesia. That’s all the money writer/director Gareth Evans had on hand to film The Raid (released in the U.S. as The Raid: Redemption). Despite that tiny budget, Evans constructed a spectacular action flick, packed so full of visual and auditory stimuli that just watching it can make a viewer feel a little drained by the end. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Raid”
Irwin Allen had been producing motion pictures for over twenty years before he wandered into the disaster genre. He had a pair of genre-defining hits with The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, but that was about all the water Allen could draw from that well before bringing up sludge. Next came The Swarm (dreadful), then Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (sickening), and finally When Time Ran Out. According to the internet, so it must be true, Paul Newman, star of When Time Ran Out, was once asked if he regretted making any film. He answered, “That volcano movie.” Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: When Time Ran Out, or, The Poseidon Volcano”
In the early 1970s, United Artists wanted Sean Connery back in the role of James Bond. Part of the deal that brought Connery back was UA agreeing to finance a pair of vanity projects for Connery, as long as the films didn’t cost much money. The Offence was the first of the pair, and the only one made. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Offence”
“U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Thursday struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with “the mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military, Pentagon officials said.” — The Associated Press
“The Pentagon said U.S. military forces dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday.” — CNBC