one word reviews of Movies and TV

Monday, April 22, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Guava Island


There's nothing wrong with VANITY projects. Big music stars have done it for decades. "Purple Rain" with Prince, "Michael Jackson's Moonwalker," "Cool as Ice" with Vanilla Ice and who could forget "Swept Away" with the indomitable Madonna. Hmmm, come to think of it...maybe there is something wrong with them.

"Guava Island" is a 55-minute music video for Donald Glover where he gets to weave in some of his newer songs into a film about putting on a festival on a island that is under the control of a guy named Red Cargo who doesn't want his works to have Sunday off.

Oh, Rihanna is also in this film.

It's fine, and the opening animation scene reminded of something out of "Coco" and of course the public infatuation will continue for Glover, for good reason of course, the dude is super talented.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Pet Sematary (2019)


Let it be known that 2019's "Pet Sematary" remake is a REMINDER that yes, sometimes dead is better...

No matter what I say people are going to continue to translate Stephen King's work into films, but man, has there been any one source that has the up-and-down's like King's material.

After the remake of "It" hit big back in 2017, it was open season on getting back on King's D and trying another remake; that one happened to be this year's "Sematary."

Sure, there are a couple of things that I like about this remake, but the acting is wooden and it almost feels like the filmmakers are trying to have their cake and eat it too. Is this flick high brown or low brow horror? How much can we change to make this story feel fresh, etc...

Sure, I don't expect a new generation to check out the original from 1989, considering no one wants to watch an old movie, let's just dive into a remake, but hopefully this is a lesson that not every film deserves that much coveted remake treatment.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

(Ep. 119): The Simplistic Reviews Podcast April 2019


The Simplistic Reviews Podcast is back from Spring break...clean...sober...and ready to go. One of those things is true. The boys discuss everything they missed since they’ve been gone. From James Gunn rehiring, to the etymology of the word “trump”, to that famous last line in Lethal Weapon 2. You remember that one right? We sure didn’t. Doug Funny, Oregon Trail, Jenny & Melissa McCarthy...all points of interest or disinterest on this Spring fling episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.


MUSIC
Fast Times Club By IDOL
Gold Medal By Sounds Like Sander

Monday, April 1, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Dragged Across Concrete


This April Fool's review is brought to you by Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn. I'm sure a bunch of you thought it was a joke when they starting showing up to award shows together, but "Dragged Across Concrete" is no joke, it's an actual film, and it's actually an UPWARD movement in the reestablishment of Gibson maybe making his way back into the Hollywood stream. Not mainstream, but at least dipping his toe back in the waters.

S. Craig Zahler's filmography might be short, but damn is it impressive. From horror-western fare, prison exploitation and now heist films, he's getting impressive results away from the mainstream and creating pretty kick-ass films.

Gibson and Vaughn are great, but the star of this film is Tory Kittles as the freshly releases ex-con looking to make good on taking care of his family by any means necessary and still having a moral code.

"Bone Tomahawk" and "Brawl in Cell Block 99" are great on their own, but I think "Concrete" is Zahler's best work to date and he's shaping up to be the Neo-Tarantino we all deserve.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

(Ep. 118): Mystery Movie 2 - Movie Commentary: April 2019

So last time we tried something new, something mysterious, something crazy!

The people responded and wanted more or we're just untalented hacks...anyway we did it again!

Matt and Justin watch a movie just in-time for another movie that's due out April 5. Wow a movie commentary tie-in? Kinda...But unlike last time, both Matt and Justin have seen this film before.

Sure, it may be just a one off type of film but damn its really mysterious is it not?


So join Matt as he joins DJ in a movie commentary like none other...a mystery movie...eh movie commentary!?



Wednesday, March 27, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Us


There's a lot to unpack in "Us." But I'll keep it...simple

Does it have the same affect that "Get Out" created in 2017? I don't think so. Did Jordan Peele create another socio-political horror film about how the poor are marginalized and cast away while we as an American society put on a happy face even though, deep down inside, we're ashamed of the unabashed consumers that we've become while living a soulless existence? I think that's a little more accurate.

"Us" is a nice SWITCHAROO for an audience that thought they were going to see "Get Out 2: Electric Rod-a-roo."

Sure, there's plenty of commentary to sink your teeth into, but drilling down this is a film that is part "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" part "Dawn of the Dead" and part "The Strangers," all while shaking up the tired horror cliche by subbing out your typical white family in danger with a black family, and making a very strong point.

Which is...

Why have horror films always just settled for white actors to be the stars horror films while marginalizing black actors to the roles of "the first to die" or "the sage-like advice giver?" Peele is making a statement that a lot of white folks probably aren't ready for; get ready to be the new "first to die" in the horror genre.

Friday, March 22, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Inside Llewyn Davis


I think I like being the guy that checks out movies anywhere between 3-6 years after they come out and are heaped praise by any and all movie critics; I'm TARDY if you will. But gee golly did I enjoy "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Oscar Issac is fun playing the down-on-his-luck, struggling folk singer in 1960s New York, where he is always just one step behind. Of course, I don't know the plight of folk singers in the 60s around the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Manhattan, but I can imagine the bohemian lifestyle.

What the Coen Brothers do here that is so special is that while there is a ton of music, and great music at that, it shows a stark contrast to what life is like when you come off the stage. Infidelity, unwanted pregnancies, lost cats, hanging out with dope fiends, and of course getting punched in the face by the husband of the person you heckled on stage.

As as whole, "Davis" is great, but man, it's pitch black comedy, but what else would you expect from the Coens.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Simplistic Review: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre


It took me a long time to like "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre." And honestly, to this day, I prefer the remake from 2003. I know that probably hurts my horror film credentials, but shoot, I also prefer the remake for "The Hills Have Eyes" as well as the remake for "It" and a few other films that are simply better made films, at least aesthetically

1974's "Chain Saw" is grimy, ugly, grim, but digging down created a SYSTEM for early slasher films to thrive and made people uncomfortable and was seen as pornography that was ruining society, which I can always get behind.

Perhaps watching the original "Chain Saw" with the wisdom of Joe Bob Briggs and "The Last Drive-In" helped re-open my eyes to how much this film changed the landscape of the genre and created the actual "Formula" that predates other proto-slashers like "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th."

Tobe Hooper created a nightmare landscape with some of the most memorable cannibals you've ever seen along a lonely, dust road in central Texas that is forever the stuff of legends.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Special Guest Simplistic Review: Captain Marvel



Who knows you better than your best BUDDY? The 'Other Cap' felt like a love letter to your BFF. Which is exactly why I loved and needed Lashana Lynch’s Maria Rambeau as a real life contrast to Brie Larson's Carol Danvers' wonderful but very “literal” girl power. 

Maria is what I want more of - a strong, single mother that kicks ass, flies planes and does some “simple physics”. Because to paraphrase a book I’m reading, “sometimes men want a sticker just for treating a woman like a human being.” I want to see more diverse women as equal human beings.

In “the other ladies who kick ass” category, Annette Benning and Gemma Chan do a fun job in their supporting roles.

Seeing the origins of Nick Fury, Agent Coulson and other origin Easter Eggs are also fun little nuggets.

But beware; If you troll this film just to bring down the ratings without any legitimate criticism - F**K your fragile ego. We may fall down, and hopefully first weekend numbers prove otherwise, but we will get up again and again. 
Besides the slowish start and “dance” fights - this is a solid Marvel origin story and introduction to the ‘Endgame’. 

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