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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Let's Go to Camp! Summer Camp Movies That Make You Feel Summery

Been a while since we put on a list, I mean didn't you hear that lists make the world go round in this business of ours?!

So being in the dog days of Summer might be a little rough, but I'm sure we all remember those day at camp. Going to the pool, archery, ghost stories, panty raids, alllll the good stuff. So I put on the old thinking cap and came up with some films that bring out the spirit of the season and get us back to camp! In no particular order, let's go to camp!

Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives
Sure, this isn't the best F13 film, but by and large, this is the one that introduced some of the more interesting aspects to Jason and pretty much made him a super powered, teleporting killer. Plus, this is the only film in the series that actually had a Summer Camp with kids at the camp. There were actually some stakes in this edition and it also closed out the three film Tommy Jarvis arc.

Camp Nowhere
Growing up, I loved "Salute Your Shorts." If you ask me, it was one of the best to ever grace Nickelodeon. "Camp Nowhere" was the closest thing I ever got to a "Salute Your Shorts" movie. Imagine being a kid and thinking that you could run your own camp and buy anything you want and have free reign to go ape shit. And just look above, you have Doc Brown using a fish as his ventriloquist dummy. Classic Summer hijinks.

Ernest Goes to Camp
I'm a sucker for Ernest flicks. Most of them aren't very good, but just like "Camp Nowhere" there is a definite nostalgia factor for me here. Ernest is your classic ner-do-well trying to get a group of disorderly teens whipped into shape. Then you have some subplot where an Indian Reservation is going to be destroyed by a group of greedy land owners, and it just kind of gets weird. But overall, it's campy camp goodness. 

Addams Family Values
Even though the camp aspect of "Addams Family Value" is just a side plot, it provides a good amount of the comedy beats throughout. A worthy sequel that in many ways surpasses its original and is still a fun watch to this day.

Wet Hot American Summer
"Wet Hot American Summer" is great in all of it's absurdity. Talking vegetable cans, Vietnam flashbacks, and obvious 30 year olds playing 18 year olds is just half the fun. Being a longtime fan of "The State" this film has all the insanity of the underrated sketch comedy show with an A-Z list of actors who would make it big in just a few years. Unappreciated in it's time, this flick has aged incredibly well. 

Troop Beverly Hills
This one is for the ladies. Take all the films you know about the misfits and underdogs, and you have "Troop Beverly Hills." In a genre that is littered with male-geared Summer Camp fantasies, it's cool to have the ladies take the wheel and have some fun.

Sleepaway Camp
If you dig down into the bones of "Sleepaway Camp" it's almost a camp comedy featuring bad dialogue, weird camp tropes, a pedophile that gets their comeuppance. If you've never seen this one before, you owe it to yourself to see the turns it takes in the 3rd act. 

If you have any other Summer Camp flicks that make you yearn for your mommy and daddy back home, leave a comment below!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

George Romero......In Memorium


Every genre of film has their captain; Steven Spielberg invented the Hollywood Blockbuster, George Lucas crafted the most important science fiction film of all time, John Ford, and Sergio Leone, made some of the most important westerns of all time, and when you look back at the history of horror, of course you'll always think of John Carpenter and Wes Craven, but it's safe to say that George Romero will always been the man who brought horror to the masses and created an actual conversation about class warfare and racism all because of a movie about zombies walking the Earth in 1968's "Night of the Living Dead."

While many will always remember Romero for his work on "Night," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Day of the Dead," I will always and forever go to "Creepshow" as my all time favorite. It combined my love of comics and horror and wrapped them into five nearly perfect stories. You had zombies, monsters, aliens, and bugs, not to mention a cast of actors you wouldn't expect in a genre piece, but nonetheless gave it their all, and it creates the perfect horror anthology.

I'd say Rest in Peace in George, but we all know he wouldn't want that.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

(Ep. 88): SR Podcast - July 2017

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

When this show gets to 88 episodes, you're gonna hear some serious shit!  On the July edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the boys tackle everything from Back To The Future to Judge Dredd.  Justin is in the driver's seat for Word Association and tells his Steve Guttenberg story, DJ is forced to say something nice about Transformers: The Last Knight, Matt talks Castlevania Netflix 5000 on TV Roundup, and the boys take a break for the show to do a live commentary track on a television show in honor the great Adam West in a new segment called Simply Goofing Off.  (Watch Along With Them With The Following Link: SIMPLY GOOFING OFF.) All that and more on a time traveling episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

0:00:00 Opening Skit
0:03:54 Show Monologue
0:12:09 Word Association
0:43:28 TV Round Up
0:53:27 Simply Goofing Off
1:16:58 Simply Say Anything




MUSIC
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Sunday, July 2, 2017

(Ep. 87): Thunder in Paradise - Movie Commentary: June 2017

Thunder in Paradise

PG
 1993 ‧ Adventure ‧ 1h 44m

With all of the remakes coming out these days we figured doing Thunder in Paradise would help our chances of getting Hurricane Spencer and Bru back on the waters kicking ass on silver screen, or maybe not.  
 Terry "Hulk" Hogan stars as R. J. "Hurricane" Spencer who is an ex-Navy S. E. A. L. and confirmed bachelor struggling to make ends meet. In order to save his superboat THUNDER (and ultimately, his business) Spencer is forced into a marriage of convenience with the snobby Megan Whitaker. When Megan gets kidnapped it's up to Spencer and his partner Bru to save the day or risk losing everything.

Well today is the perfect day to release this action packed movie commentary. With July 4th days away, this holiday weekend we thought, what could be more American then ex-Navy SEALS saving the day off the Florida coastline?

 Answer? NOTHING...Thunder in Paradise it is!






So join us this holiday along with classical trained actor (and def not racist) Hulk Hogan and America's 2nd favorite Lemmon.

Hell even the "President" was excited for this Movie Commentary! Happy 4th everyone!





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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mythbusting Season One of 'American Gods'

The higher the concept, the bigger the risk. That's been the play for Starz for a while now, and most of those have ended abruptly. From 'Camelot' to 'Da Vinci's Demons,' Starz hasn't had the same success that networks like HBO and Showtime have had recently.

Sure, 'Outlander' has been a success, and 'Black Sails' ran it's course, but Starz has always lacked that one show that would make people coming back to the network season after season, ala, 'Game of Thrones', and perhaps they've found that one show in 'American Gods.'

Spearheaded by Bryan Fuller and Michael Green with Neil Gaiman serving as Executive Producer, there are some heavy hitters involved in 'Gods,' but can and will it be enough to actually save the series and allow it to continue even after a relative cliffhanger to end the first season.

The long and short of 'Gods' can be as complicated or as simple as you want it to be. Simply, we follow a just paroled man named Shadow Moon get involved in things far beyond his comprehension that involved Old Gods, New Gods, and other mythological beings. Add in a powerful revenant from beyond the grave and trippy flashbacks, and you have 'Gods' in a nutshell.

If you look at the series numbers, they dropped week after week, which is never really a good thing, but considering the high productive value and the high concept, you have to believe that Starz has big plans, and high hopes for the show that could be their own water cooler show.

What 'Gods' has going for it are a couple of things. One is certainly the shock factor of seeing some truly crazy things, ie, women swallowing people with their vaginas, genie fellatio, and even a game of checkers, it gets really wild. The second, and third, biggest things are the visuals and the story composition of each episode that includes visuals out of a Tarsem Singh film mixed with the work of Clive Barker and even Jim Henson. Most episodes begin with a flashback that usually preludes the actual content in said episode and introduces us to a new character, new superstition, or new religious belief. These are some of the strongest aspects of the show, if you're into the folklore element of the show. This is where the divergence can stem.

A show that is so reliant of flashbacks and exposition can really drag a show into the muck and perhaps that is why the ratings steadily declined week to week. Shows like 'Game of Thrones' usually always had forward momentum even with the large amount of characters to juggle. The characters in 'Gods' are pretty minimal, yet there is a lot of exposition to deal with and with a limited amount of episodes in season one, there are only eight, the start and stop aspect can be hard to deal with at times.

However, this doesn't mean 'Gods' isn't interesting, in fact, it's very interesting and I'd love to see where it goes from here, especially being a non-book reader and from what I've heard, there are a great deal of divergent stories and a ton of extra stories to be told. The good thing about a show that deals with mythology and theology is that there are 1000s of years to draw from and 100s of religion and belief structures to draw inspiration.

The fact that we actually had a show created out of the vivd and lush dreamscapes of Neil Gaiman is a miracle. 'Sandman' has been stuck in development hell for the longest, and will likely continue to be, and I'm sure the relative success of 'Preacher' last year over at AMC helped in getting 'Gods' green-lit and put into production. But the question will be; how long of a leash will Starz give these 'Gods,' and can it go the distance in giving the definitive version of one Gaiman's best works to date.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Best of Armond White: (A Retrospective) Part Four

All good things much come to an end, and we're going to end this retrospective with something very special and something we can all relate to. Hate; deep-seeded, unadulterated hate. We love hate on the Internet, it's what created the Internet and what makes it so wonderful!

Suicide Squad (2016): 25% RT Score

Armond Says: Think metaphorically again, and see that Suicide Squad entangles post-Vietnam and post-9/11 notions about heroism and citizenship...Suicide Squad is The Dirty Dozen for millennial viewers (and voters), who think their patriotic moral conflict is new.

Matt Says: Well that's one way to put it. You could also say that "Suicide Squad" is a film bloated beyond repair with what we could agree on is one of the worst villains in recent comic book films. But on the other hand this film has been beaten to death and saying anything else about it is just white noise.

Green Lantern (2011): 26% RT Score

Armond Says: The F/X of Hal creating objects out of his ring's green light are successfully, modestly fantastic. Such professionalism needn't resort to dumb stereotyping.

Matt Says: There's no doubt some of the effects were done nicely, but there was no saving this film from itself. An early blunder by DC that would set the tone for many of it's future failures.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011): 32% RT Score

Armond Says: Depp's caricature is so far past its expiration date that it forces speculation about the actor's own movie stardom.

Matt Says: It's safe to say that the ship has sailed on Jack Sparrow, and this film just kicked sand in the audiences' faces.

Red Riding Hood (2011): 11% RT Score

Armond Says: Too bad Hardwicke didn't adapt The Scarlet Letter -- better yet, she could have transformed the asinine Easy A.

Matt Says: You get a two for one with this one. Not sure I understand the hate for "Easy A," it was fun enough, but we can agree on that "Red Hiding Hood" should have stayed under the hood.

Morning Glory (2010): 56% RT Score

Armond Says: Morning Glory is just routine Hollywood dishonesty (with the most annoying song-score since Juno) and wastes its stars.

Matt Says: Another two-for-one with a dig at "Juno." I can't speak much for "Morning Glory," as a film; it was forgotten about just as quickly as it was watched.

The Heartbreak Kid (2007): 29% RT Score

Armond Says: We deserve better than this and expect better from the Farrellys.

Matt Says: Personally I haven't expected much from the Farrellys since "Kingpin."

88 Minutes (2008): 5% RT Score 


Armond Says: 88 Minutes plays like a script Tom Cruise rejected back in the '90s, forcing Pacino to run -- across campus, across town, through parking garages, up and down stairs.

Matt Says: Let's be honest, Pacino isn't a very good runner onscreen. Just see "Insomnia" and "Heat" for prime examples of old men running poorly.

The Happening (2008): 18% RT Score 


Armond Says: A better title for M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening would be Nonsense. It's like an amusement park ride that has no reason for being -- and no meaning -- besides visceral excitation. Only difference is that The Happening isn't fun.

Matt Says: Yeah, this film just isn't good. I mean, it's just bad. You'll wish you were the person laying down in front of a riding mower.

Well there it is folks. You've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. In the Wild West that is Rotten Tomatoes there is a lot of blame to go around. However, the beauty of RT is the fact that it gives everyone a voice. Critics aren't going to agree with audiences, and vice versa. But speaking from both a critic and a member of the audience; just go and watch film. Watch the worst of the worst and the best of the best. If you truly want to be part of the conversation, you need to see it all.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Wonder Women

Wonder Woman: Wonderful

PG-13
2017 ‧ Fantasy/Science fiction film ‧ 2h 21m


There isn't much to say about WB and their DC Movies but when it comes to Wonder Women one thing I will say is...


Wonder Women is a Wonderful film.


WB finally made a real movie. They created something that was enjoyable to watch and not a torture to sit through. A movie that had a beginning, middle and end. Not a over complexed film trying to do something different. (See Suicide Squad a movie that shows everything you shouldn't do in a movie)


WB went back to the basics and it pays off big time



Gal Gadot is Wonder Women, one that I can not get enough of. When it comes to Justice League the truth for me, and I believe as well as the general public is we aren't really excited about it. But Gal Gadot has given me more enthusiasm for JL. This is what WB should done. Introduced each character in their own film before Justice League, this was the first and biggest mistake.


Chris Pine does a great job as Steven Trevor. One of Pine's greatest abilities as a actor is his comedic timing. It works beautifully here that only helps the flow of this movie. Keep in mind this is still a 2hr and 21 minute movie but never did I feel that. Batman v Superman was a different story.

Credit has to be given to Director Patty Jenkins. Jenkins made a great action film that has a solid story line and the best scene in a DC movie to date.


Wonder Women is the first DC movie (Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad) from scene to scene that kept my attention locked. I felt emotion on the screen, the last 3 never did that for me. Lets swing over to action. The action in WW is great. The fight sequences are fantastic and this should be the standard from this point further.  



Hey WB pay attention here!


Jenkins directed her first feature length in 2003's Monster. A movie that Charlize Theron won an Academy Award for Best Actress. Now her second film after her TV stint is Wonder Women which at the time of writing this charges toward $420 plus million. Which would be 2017's 8th biggest movie on 4,165 theater screens.


Which was the lowest...

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was on 4,256

Suicide Squad was on 4,255

Man of Steel was on 4,207

WB this is what you need, continue what you did with Wonder Woman.
























Monday, May 29, 2017

(Ep. 86): SR Podcast - May 2017



FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

Oh what a time to be alive! That's what we keep hearing. And yes, it's true, it is quite a time to be alive when you get to listen to another edition of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast. Because, boy, let me tell you what, this one is a real doozy!

DJ, Justin, and Matt cover it all with their monthly news roundup that runs the gamet of nonsense to non-sensical.

And if you thought we liked fighting last month, wait until you get a load of "Simplistic Switcharoo." This time around, these Simplistic Scamps yammer on about who in Hollywood would do the other jobs better. We know you guys and gals have all fantasized about who would do our job better. Right? I mean imagine Betty White, Paula Deen, and Pat Sajak doing what we're doing...just imagine it...and imagine us on the "Golden Girl," cooking a fatty Southern racist meal, and giving the eyes to Vanna White...IMAGINE IT!

That, and we say hello to our PornHub resident scientist; PornHub Snooty Scientist, in what MAY be our last podcast ever....spoiler alert....it's not. Oh, and a conversation on Air Bud: Ninja Dog. May is go fetch....get it....we'll see ourselves out...




MUSIC


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Best of Armond White: (A Retrospective) Part Three

So we gave it a break last week, but let's jump right back into our Armond White Retrospective. In this edition, we are going to look at the times when both the public and Mr. White actually saw eye to eye on films that are, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes, Certified Fresh.

Arrival: 93% RT Approval

Armond Says: Though a second-rate, semi-profound art movie, Arrival is nonetheless an ambitious demonstration of how the media manipulate our perception and our experience

Matt Says: Even with a backhanded compliment, the point is made clearly about how media affects the way we feel and react
to things.

The Player: 98% RT Approval 


Armond Says: The Player, which Altman made after years of struggle, with all Hollywood fascination worn away, is Altman's dour version of Dante's Inferno. His satire forces us to realize the obscenity of Clinton-era corruption - once again.

Matt Says: The Player is likley Robert Altman's forgotten masterpiece, that deserves multiple viewings.

Kubo and the Two Strings: 97% RT Approval 

Armond Says: Kubo is a delicate tale addressing today's sense of moral bereavement. This is conveyed through the boy's search for the father he never knew. Little Kubo's gallantry parallels the desperation of youth from broken families.

Matt Says: While I will mention the fact that Mr. White loves
nearly all animation, as long as it isn't Pixar or Disney, I can't
argue with how great "Kubo" is and it narrative works on
so many levels, and it's emotion runs deep.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: 81% RT Approval 

Armond Says: It is easily the best American movie of this corrupted summer.

Matts Says: This corrupted Summer? Let's take a look; Iron
Man 2, The Last Airbender, Shrek Forever After, Grown Ups...
yeah, pretty bad. But 81% for "Rise" that's almost criminal.

True Grit (2010): 96% RT Approval 


Armond Says: True Grit speaks to our current moment of vengeful, moral uncertainty. It continues the same revamped Americana that distinguished the Coens' sophisticated remake of The Ladykillers -- a truly original religiouspolitical hybrid.

Matt Says: While I won't speak as highly about the "sophisticated"
"Ladykiller," I will speak on the greatness that is "True Grit" and
the fact it turned Hailee Steinfeld into a star.

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: 81% RT Approval 

Armond Says: Wright's speed and humor are authentic and irresistible. Let's hope that's not all his admirers see.

Matt Says: It's a good point to bring up the fact that people
might only see style over substance with Edgar Wright, but
"Pilgrim" is so utterly watchable that it's shocking the Approval
Rating for this comic book adaptation is so low. This is why we
can't have nice things...

Bronson (2009): 76% RT Approval 


Armond Says:  Hardy's portrayal is more than a real-life impersonation of Bronson; it realizes the Stunt Movie opportunity to present an actor's thoroughly romantic admiration of force.

Matt Says: Hardy is the only person that could have pulled
this character off, and that was before anyone even knew who
he was! 

Pineapple Express: 68% RT Approval 

Armond Says:  The result is Green's first watchable movie since George Washington -- even if it's ultimately worthless.

Matt Says: While this film is on the cusp of just being "meh" according to our trusty voters on RT, it's still fun, albeit "worthless" if you will.

Live Free of Die Hard: 82% RT Approval 


Armond Says: To call this the best Die Hard movie ever made merely acknowledges that Director Len Wiseman simplifies the franchise to its basic elements: Predicament, Villain, Hero, Action.

Matt Says: "Best Die Hard Ever Made?" I guess the original film never existed...or "With a Vengeance" either....vexing.

See you guys next week with our final, and hater-rific, entry.

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