one word reviews of Movies and TV

Monday, February 11, 2019

A Simplistic Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe


As the kids would say; "'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' brought me here." I'm almost positive that I've seen "The Autopsy of Jane Doe" be suggested to me on Netflix time and time again, but I always turned my nose up at it.

These types of films just aren't my horror cup of tea. Not that it scares me, I just don't care for the supernatural, scary, maybe witch, girl, who terrorizes people. Just not my jam.

But after finally giving it a chance, and despite it being just "meh" Guillermo del Toro made the CORRECT choice in choosing director, André Øvredal, to helm one of my most anticipated films in "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark."

Øvredal knows how to build suspense and you might even say that "Jane Doe" is a story cut right from "Scary Stories." The dude has some chops and I'm looking forward, and hoping, that he doesn't, like the adults say; "ruin my childhood."

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Velvet Buzzsaw


Say what you will about "Velvet Buzzsaw" but the opinion will simply be in the eye of the BEHOLDER.

Much like art, whether you dig this flick will all depend on what you're looking for, and the more I think and dwell on "Buzzsaw" I find a lot in common with modern film criticism. It's annoying, needy, whiny, overly complicated and needless more often than not. Of course I'm skewering myself as well, but I can take my own joke and realize what kind of hypocrite I am.

Being one of like five people in the whole world that actually likes "Art School Confidential" I liken "Buzzsaw" a fun little companion piece where John Malkovich is somehow playing the same character in both and it's wonderful.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Simplistic Review: I Am Not Your Negro (2016)


I'm kind of in a weird spot with this review. It's just after Martin Luther King Day and just about a week before Black History Month, but after watching "I Am Not Your Negro" it took me some time to PROCESS.

As a White, Jewish Male, there isn't a lot for me to bring to a discussion about the mistreatment of minorities and the injustice and abuse they have all endured for over 700 years when White Europeans decided they were going to sail to a "New World" and for all intensive purposes commit genocide and kick off White Supremacy.

I feel bad I've not know much about James Baldwin up to this point in my life. He settled as a background guy for the likes of titans; Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Lorraine Hansberry, and Dr. King. He's also the witness for their lives being cut short while being the interest of the FBI and living as minority within a minority.

Baldwin took the best of Lorraine, Malcolm, Martin and Medgar and created his own brand of resistance that more seem to be discovering as we are slowly degenerating back into the 1950s and 60s and fighting for a new generation's Civil Rights.

In short, "I Am Not Your Negro" is required viewing about an unsung hero who I sadly know too little about.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Eighth Grade

It's hard not to CRINGE at "Eight Grade." It's everything you would expect a film about middle to be. Awkward, bittersweet, stomach-churning, and all together relatable.

Considering I'm about 20 years removed from middle school, I remember it being a little unbearable, but a lot has changed in 20 years and perhaps I don't find enough to connect with in "Eighth Grade" but I admire it's zeal for portraying the "modern" kid growing up in a technological and "me-me-me" society.

Maybe I'm sure more of a "Welcome to the Dollhouse" type of guy, but I'm also a weirdo who likes really dark shit...

Monday, January 14, 2019

A Simplistic Review: The House That Jack Built


Lars von Trier is the master of the TRIGGER. He knows how to get under your skin and manipulate your emotions and get people riled up. But that also makes him the last of a dying breed of mainstream directors who are fading away.

The best I can really say about "The House That Jack Built" is that it TRIGGERS a response from people, whether it's good or bad, but it's a lot of posturing on von Trier's part about a hearty pat on his on own back.

It's "American Psycho" without the pitch black humor and while it might take place in the 80s at some junctures, "Jack" devoid of the era and simply takes place when it takes place.

Is "Jack" worth 150-minutes of your time? It honestly all depends on whether you think a Lars von Trier film is worth the squeeze and how TRIGGERED you might be.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

(Ep. 115): Hard To Kill - Movie Commentary: January 2019

The new year is here and so is a new batch of Simplistic Reviews Movie Commentaries! 

We start this new year off with a film from 90's action star and serial eater, Steven Seagal. Which Seagal film? Well, since Steven has a large collection of so bad its good, we figured we get out one of the better Seagal films that also has some of our favorite lines.

Stay warm with the boys from SR on this chilly January Sunday and let's watch some Hard to Kill!
Hard to Kill

R 1990 ‧ Drama/Thriller ‧ 1h 40m

Description

When police detective Mason Storm (Steven Seagal) uncovers ties among corrupt cops, the mob and charismatic politician Vernon Trent (Bill Sadler), a hit is ordered on his family. During the attack, Storm's wife is killed, and the cop himself is severely injured. After waking up from a years-long coma, Storm, aided by gorgeous nurse Andy Stewart (Kelly LeBrock), slowly gets back on his feet and plots revenge against those who wronged him, particularly the duplicitous Sen. Trent.
Release date: February 9, 1990 (USA)
Director: Bruce Malmuth
Box office: 47.4 million USD
Screenplay: Steven McKay
Music composed by: David Michael Frank



Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Molly's Game


Considering this was one of my favorite films from 2018, I'm finally getting around to making it my first review post for 2019. Makes sense, right?

What do you get when you take Jessica Chastain, throw in a little Idris Elba, and have them recite, impeccably, the dialogue of Aaron Sorkin? Well, your plants might get a little TIGHT, but you also get "Molly's Game."

This is also the film that finally made me a fan of Jessica Chastain. Her and Anne Hathaway I lumped into the same boat for a long time, just not a fan. But, after seeing her play word gymnastics with this script and simply being the anchor of this film, I'm finally a believer.

Friday, December 28, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Deadpool 2


I feel the short-hand "DP2" was so on the nose for "Deadpool 2" that perhaps in fact I was DP'd. Not that I would know that DP'ing is. Because I'm the good, God-fearing member of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast. Not like my heathens-in-crime of course. But man, the EXCESS in "Deadpool 2" is well, sometimes, a little bit EXCESSive

If you love Wade Wilson and his constant wink-wink, nod-nods to the camera, the audience and his fellow characters, you are going to love "DP2" and all it's DP'ingness.

From a comic reader perspective it's awesome because you finally see Cable on the big screen, along with Domino, and by the way, Zazie Beetz is a kween. And shoot, you even get Shatterstar and they reference Mojo World. Talk about a deep cut!

You get Goonies references, more baby appendages, shoot I even forgot, you get to see Black Tom Cassidy! Maybe there isn't enough in this film, I actually want more. What have I become...

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse

I was cautious about this film. In hindsight, I wonder why I ever was. It's so darn good, it's almost frustrating.

At the end of the day, I'm a purist when it comes to comic books and how I like the look and feel of them. If I had it my way I would have characters look exactly how they looked in all the comics I read in the 90s. Imagine how everyone would look in "X-Men: First Class" or even in that Ultron flick? Probably a little problematic actually...

But there is serious SERVICE paid in "Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-verse." You have what people have been clamoring for for years. Finally a film with Miles Morales AND Spider-Gwen. What kind of world do we live in? A pretty special one indeed. Considering we are living in an even more inclusive society, this is the perfect film, at the perfect time. It's almost needed. It's a film that should inspire and make evident, what's already been said over and over; "Anyone can be Spider-(wo)man."

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