Empty Balcony: Renegades, aka American Renegades

The Luc Besson action mill has turned out some of the most successful action flicks of this century, and also some of the genre’s most overwrought messes. Renegades (released in the States as American Renegades) lies somewhere in between. It has the grandiosity one would expect from a Besson-produced action flick, but the end product is something anonymous.

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Shitty Movie Sundays: Final Score

Die Hard in a soccer stadium. That thought went through my head before the end of the first act of Final Score, the 2018 action flick from director Scott Mann. That’s how the collective voice of the internet described the movie, as well, when doing my post-watch research. From conception to execution, there might not be a better example of a project staying true to its vision. It was pitched as Die Hard in a soccer stadium and that’s what audiences got. What they didn’t get was John McTiernan or Bruce Willis. But, that’s okay, because this flick is shitty. Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Final Score”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Black Water

From Amazon’s page on Black Water: A deep-cover operative (Van Damme) imprisoned on a CIA submarine teams with a fellow prisoner (Lundgren) for an electrifying fight to escape in this action-powered thriller.

Jean-Claude Van Damme! Dolph Lundgren! Secret Agents! On a Submarine! Whoever wrote this blurb must be a shitty movie fan. No one but one of us could tap so deeply into the shitty movie fan’s root desires in so few words. And if they’re not fan — if they’re just churning out copy for a meager wage and nothing else — then might I suggest a raise? This scribbler has talent! Continue reading “Shitty Movie Sundays: Black Water”

Empty Balcony: Braven

From Canada comes a movie that should give red-hatters down here in the States hard-ons. Braven, directed by Hollywood stunt coordinator Lin Oeding and written by Thomas Pa’a Sibbett and Mike Nilon, follows the titular character (Jason Momoa) as he lays waste to a group of evil drug dealers attacking his mountain cabin.

Joe Braven lives a pretty decent life up in rural Nova Scotia. He owns a logging company; has a hot wife, Stephanie (Jill Wagner); a precocious daughter, Charlotte (Sasha Rossof); two homes, and a pickup truck. The only problem in his life, and it’s a big one, is his father, Linden (Stephen Lang), who is slipping into dementia. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: Braven”

October Horrorshow: Hereditary

Some horror flicks are designed to scare, while others are designed to provoke dread. They are two very distinct emotions. Fear has a crisp flavor, and can be as extreme as panic or as mild as butterflies in one’s stomach. Dread is something more profound. It’s an emotion of desperation and inevitability that makes fear look like mother’s milk. Dread is the certainty, not just the possibility, that something very bad is about to happen. Dread is oppression. Dread is doom. Which makes a film that revolves around dread something of a difficult watch. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Hereditary”

October Horrorshow: A Quiet Place

It’s the near future — just a couple of years past the present day. The human race has been devastated by an invasion of ferocious creatures. Where the creatures come from is never made clear, although space is as good a culprit as any. The creatures are sightless, but have extraordinary hearing. Among the cacophony of sounds that a planet and all its inhabitants make, the creatures are able to pick out even the slightest of sounds made by a human, and hunt them down quickly. All remaining people are forced to live a life of silence that would try even the most devoted of monks. Such is the setup to A Quiet Place, the film from director/star John Krasinski, and writers Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: A Quiet Place”

Empty Balcony: The Meg

I, and a whole lot of other viewers, went into this film expecting a shitty movie. The only question in my mind was whether it would be a good shitty movie, like Anaconda, or something devoid of all taste and soul, like Baywatch. I was a little disappointed, then, when The Meg turned out to be silly and stupid, but not shitty. It’s not great, it won’t be competing for any major awards, and that’s fine. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Meg”

Empty Balcony: The Titan

Movies that premiere on Netflix have been banned from competition at the Cannes Film Festival. In an action that is part snobbishness and part an effort to protect theater owners, Cannes has drawn a line in the sand. To them, if a new movie is available to stream on television or other device, then it’s not really a movie. That’s absurd. Theater owners have cause to be worried that their business model might be obsolete, because it is. The best thing theaters have going for them is getting first run movies. Netflix is at the forefront of destroying that partial monopoly, and with home media having better picture and sound than ever before, watching a film at home is no longer a subpar experience compared to watching it in a theater. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Titan”