Genre films release the kraken


This better than average action flick involves a hit man, a fixer and a good cop all cooped up in a hostage situation inside a jail cell.

Joe Carnahan cleverly directs “Copshop” so it could be a parody or a rocket-propelled guns-loaded thriller in any given scene.

Gerald Butler soft talks his killer instincts; Joe Grillo swings for the fences as a man-bun negotiator with a violent twist; and Alexis Louder as a tough cop trying to stop the madness gives the film core strength.

Carnahan doesn’t get enough credit; he’s cranking out reliable and fun-to-watch genre films like “Copshop” and “Boss Level” while Hollywood is cleaning off the shelf with shit that’s been gathering dust for a couple of years.

“Copshop” is unwinding exclusively in theaters.

Prisoners of the Ghostland

A fantastical barrage of retro filmaking with visual allusions to “Greaser’s Palace” and films of Leone and Jodorowsky from the same era “Prisoners of the Ghostland” offers a mixed bag of genre sendoffs including zombie foo, samurai foo, road warrior foo, and that’s not even mentioning the parody element and candy color scheme director Sion Sono, a Japanese filmmaker with dozens of credits but virtually unknown domestically, brings to his vision of the future.

No better way to relay genre filmmaking than to rely on Nic Cage’s deadpan banter.

We are set loose in a post-apocalyptic society where convict and failed bank robber Cage as Hero is given a chance to redeem himself by the ad hoc town’s big daddy (Bill Moseley).

Most of “Prisoners of the Ghostland” revolves around the mission – Hero must bring back The Governor’s daughter (Sofia Boutella). Constant action choreography as well as dreamlike flashbacks to a botched crime dominate the narrative.

Note the portrayal of Hero’s partner-turned-adversary Psycho by Nick Cassavetes. A reunion of sorts for two actors who faced offed in an explanatory scene in “Face/Off.”

“Prisoners of the Ghostland” is in theaters and available on-demand.

The Nowhere Inn

As wacky as it is hip “The Nowhere Inn” will be remembered as the film that gave Annie Clark a chance to show her true stripes as a rock star cum film actor.

The rock musician known as St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark, has a love/hate relation with her friend Carrie Brownstein who is also making a documentary about a St. Vincent tour.

Limits as to what constitutes conflict between Brownstein and Clark seems stretched. The joys in watching this film bounce back and forth from a respectable twist on a rock star playing a mirror role to rather ridiculous diversions into the travails of fame.

Like demanding your filmmaker shoot your orgy with Dakota Johnson. Which will become the talked about sequence of this otherwise whimsical film.

Not likely to reach cult status outside of die hard fans there’s still no doubt that Brownstein and Clark are very much new millennium It-Girls in search of a great script.

“The Nowhere Inn” is in theaters and available on-demand.


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