Renegade Cut is an film analysis web show hosted by the Philadelphia-based Leon Thomas. The show came about after Thomas originally joined Channel Awesome's Blistered Thumbs group in 2011, and produced the show Heart of Gaming under their banner. He eventually started marking Renegade Cut under the Channel Awesome banner in July 2012, until creating a YouTube channel for the show in 2014. Thomas would eventually leave Channel Awesome in 2016, following the departure of Lindsay Ellis, and would from thereon out exclusively release the show through YouTube.
The show primarily sees Thomas analysing films from a left-wing anarchist perspective, specifically how they relate to subjects such as politics, religion, and philosophy, but some videos also straight up tackles political subjects, both historical and current.
This work provides and discusses examples of:
- Author Appeal: He suggests this is the reason why Tom Hanks keeps being depicted as urinating or discussing the act in his movies, whether because he thinks Toilet Humor is funny or something sexual in nature.
- The Cameo: Part 3 of his retrospective on the DC Extended Universe features voice cameos from Dominic Noble and Dan Olson.
- Capitalism Is Bad: A recurring theme in many of his videos, particularly "Thanos is Wrong" or "Late Stage Disney".
- In his review of The Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy", he makes the case for an anti-capitalism message. Instead of Frank Grimes realizing that all of his troubles were due to problems Inherent in the System and then working towards changing the system, he turns all his ire towards Homer Simpson over things that aren't in his control because he's an easier target than Mr. Burns.
- Christianity is Catholic: A very prevalent trope in supernatural horror films, he notices, likely because the nature of its hierarchy and aesthetic often come across as intimidating to viewers. He also notes that "Christploitation" films like God's Not Dead and the adaptations of Left Behind often avert this, instead being rooted in evangelical Protestantism.
- Death by Newbery Medal: The dog variety of this is discussed in the aptly titled video "Killing the Dog," as well as whether or not it is "okay" for a dog to die and when in a work.
- Double-Meaning Title: The title of "Late Stage Disney" comes from the title Leon gives in the video to the Disney Live-Action Remakes, since he argues that calling them "live-action remakes" is not accurate since not all of them are live-action (The Lion King (2019) being done entirely in computer imagery) and not all of them are remakes (Maleficent was a Perspective Flip of Sleeping Beauty centered on the latter's villain). While at first glance the new name may simply be a reference to how they are the most recent (at the time) era of films for Disney (and Leon says as such), anyone aware of the concept of late-stage capitalism may catch the double-meaning, and indeed, through the video Leon argues that those films feature a lot of its characteristics.
- Foregone Conclusion: His issue with Found Footage Films, as revealed in "No Happy Endings," is that for most films the very nature of the genre means that the main characters must die and leave behind footage to be found, thus removing all tension.
- Innocence Lost: The topic of the similarly titled "Lost Innocence," in regards to Jennifer Connelly's character(s) in Labyrinth and Requiem for a Dream; if one interprets them as one full storyline, it becomes a story about a young girl manipulated by an older man who grows up to become a drug addict as a result.
- Insistent Terminology: As Leon Thomas himself describes in his retrospective on the DC Extended Universe, more casual (and caustic) viewers often tend lump him in with "film critics," but as he puts it he is not really a film critic, but rather a video essayist. As he puts it, he might critique films from time to time, but this in and of itself is not the main goal of his work, which is to analyse films as they relate to politics and philosophy and vice versa.
- Living Prop: His primary problem with Wes Anderson is that he tends to treat non-upper-middle-class white people as this in foreign settings of his movies, most prominently The Darjeeling Limited, where the film, despite being set in India, has almost no Indian characters with their own agency, personalities, and goals, and only serve as stepping stones for the White Male Leads. He also takes umbrage that Anderson finds being accused of passive racism to be as bad as actually being racist.
- The Mockbuster: Leon Thomas defends their existence.
- Multiple Endings: One video is about analyzing which of Clue's endings is the official one. His conclusion is that Miss Scarlet is most likely the true culprit.
- Plot Hole: The show discusses a well-known plot hole in Citizen Kane and if it makes the film worse.
- Poe's Law: Discussed during the video "Post-Satire Capitalism", as he explores how extreme politics and socioeconomics have become by the 2020s.
- Prima Donna Director: One episode is dedicated to Stanley Kubrick as such. Later, similar ones are about Werner Herzog and Fritz Lang.
- The Remake: The show investigates several times how remakes can radically reinterpret a story. This can be seen in Bergman's The Virgin Spring and its quasi-remake The Last House on the Left, Rear Window and Disturbia, and The Seven Samurai and its Western reinterpretations.
- Rule-Abiding Rebel: In "Late Stage Disney", he argues that, despite seemingly deconstructing the original works, Disney's live-action remakes still seem to promote morals which were outdated even at the time the original was made.
- Shared Universe: Because of his various cameos, he's part of the Reviewaverse.
- Stalking Is Love: One of his major criticisms of Disturbia when discussing it and Rear Window is that the love interest, aside from not being well-fleshed out, isn't at all bothered by Kale's voyeurism of her.
- Urban Hellscape: The trope name comes from here, which calls it the "Sci-Fi Urban Hellscape." He explains both the beginnings, end, and aspects of the trope, using Predator 2 as an example of one of the last of its kind.
- Vanilla Protagonist: In his Luke Skywalker video, Leon argues against this common criticism against the character and actually makes a case that Luke has the more dynamic Character Arc than Han Solo.