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Sunday, December 3, 2017

(Ep. 94) SR Podcast - December 2017

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES
 On this early holiday addition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the boys discuss all the Hollywood news they missed while on Thanksgiving break during an edition of Can You Dig It. They also review everything from The Punisher to Vice Principals during TV Roundup. They even get to try out some new impressions during the game Simply Quotable…and all this is bookended by Justin’s attempt to cancel a gift basket he bought from Costco…yes really. All that, a new trailer spoof, and some underhanded shots at Matt Lauer on this Season’s Greetings episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

NOTES
Vince McMahon Buys WCW

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Justice League

Justice League: Fun

PG-13
 2017 ‧ Fantasy/Science fiction film ‧ 2 hours
__________________________________________________________________________________________

What Is The Story?


Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes -- Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash -- it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. (IMDB)




Did I like it?


Justice League is a fun movie with problems I can't believe went unseen, but lets talk about that later. Did I enjoy JL? I did. This was a film I went into with zero care especially with the amount of crap thrown at me. Whether it be online ads or TV spots I was already hungover by the time JL was hitting screens. So when I sat down and drank my coffee I really had a fun time watching. This wasn't do to the genetic storyline but it was watching these characters and as well having them interacting with each other.


Without the strong characters this film is light on its feet. With the mess that was Suicide Squad and Dawn Of Justice, the key take away was the dark tone. With Wonder Woman that tone changed. What we got was a happier, brighter and more colorful film. This was needed and I believe was part of the success that Wonder Woman had. With JL I am happy to see the dark visuals get toned down. Now it wasn't Wonder Woman levels and in the film it even fights with itself, but still it was nice to see a more colorful look. Don't believe me? Take a look at the comparisons with the first trailer and the newest one. Same exact shots but with a brighter and clear look. The addition of Danny Elfman scoring went a lot further in helping this tone problem WB has.

That 2hr running time should be the new standard. This sets up boundaries for filmmakers like Snyder. Stick with the 2hrs everyone! 

We finally get the classic Superman we have been waiting for. Talking like Superman and acting like Superman.

The Flash is great thou he needs to be turned down a few. Having the Flash at 11 the entire time is a bit draining.

Wonder Woman is still great.

Aquaman was good. Wish we had more but I'm looking more forward to his standalone movie.

Cyborg was better then I was expecting.

Batman was Batman. Wish we had his standalone already. Not sure what is going on behind the scenes but I feel we are missing out on The Batman film not yet shooting.





What Was Bad?


A lot. Story, dialogue, CG, sound mixing and more. Again I am surprised to see some of this in a tentpole film. I had to shake my head a few times do to the sheer craziness of allowing this into the final edit. I understand the issue this film had during production. But I wont allow that to hinder my final view on the film. I would love to talk about the super mustache but I won't because the amount of work that goes into a movie production is incredible. What happened was terrible and I can look past that. Probably should of just added a beard on him to cover it up. The fact that any movie is completed is an achieve on itself.

But some stuff is just surprising. 

The first few minutes should grab your attention but here I was shocked right away. The kids on their phone recording Superman was terrible. Great idea but terrible execution. The video should of been filmed by real kids. I would of loved to see I child film this with other children around in the frame. It felt so fake and that's another issue with this film, cheap execution. The onscreen camera buttons just did not need to be there. This was the first thing we as the audience see and it wasn't done right. 

Then we jump into Batman on the roof capturing a criminal. This entire scene felt out of place on top of that it felt shot like a TV movie, cheap. And out of all the scenes that need to be dark this was lit way too much. Then the stupidest thing I've seen in ages happens. Batman talks to Alfred using his real name right next to the criminal. Are you kidding me? This is a one on one conversation. There is no need for real names. You could use a codeword but again this is two people talking, no confusion on who is talking to who.

Now the criminal knows Batman talks to a man named Alfred, I'm sure he won't go home and google Gotham and Alfred together. Christ. The way these DC films treat Batman's secret identity is appalling.  

Now with the villain I would not go as far as what others are saying. He is definitely not the worst ever. I don't believe that. What I can't believe is why make him a full CG character? Why hire the great CiarĂ¡n Hinds and only use his voice. What the hell are you thinking? Throw him in the make up chair and allow him to use his sinister facial expressions to bring that character to life. But hey no one really wants Steppinwolf as the main baddie in a JL film anyways. What if Doomsday was approaching Earth to take it over. First half hr is Doomsday taking over and enslaving humans. Flash goes back into time and sets up the team with a plan to bring back Superman. Bring him back is the only chance they have. Superman comes back as evil and the JL film is about fighting Superman and setting up the arrival of Doomsday in part 2.

That would be in my opinion a better storyline. Perhaps having Batman v. Superman in this universe kills that. Another reason they shouldn't have made that film. Starting to think WB didn't plan any of this out.





My Favorite Parts?


The league fighting Superman. There is a great shot that almost makes the entire movie. More of this WB.

Elfman using Superman's classic theme which got my heart racing. Again more of this WB.

Elfman bringing his Batman 89 theme back brought tears to my eyes. This was the moment the film became more for me. I felt honored to hear that again in a theater. This is Batman's theme just like Star Wars and Bond have theirs. But if you weren't paying attention you might of missed it. It pops up a couple time but the poor sound mixing drowns that out for the general audience. I don't know who is at fault here, someone needs to be brought back. That was almost disrespectful. Felt like the movie was embarrassed of the theme.  

That's the recurring theme with WB and their DC films. They seem to be embarrassed of their property. We have been witnessing this for awhile now. Allow your property to be itself. You saw that happened with Wonder Woman. Your on the right track but I feel like your out of chances. Right now your on track to lose money. It's a shame because this is a ton better then Dawn of Justice. 





Wrap Up


Snyder and Terrio need to go. I do believe Joss Whedon brought this film up to fun for me. If he wasn't apart of it this would of been a remake of Dawn of Justice. Give Whedon the control or hell Patty Jenkins she already showed us she knows the property better. The numbers are there and the people have spoken. It can not continue this way.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Can There Be Justice for the Justice League?

So what really went wrong for "Justice League" in it's underwhelming opening weekend? Was it the fact that DC decided to make their own version of "The Avengers" without strong stand-alone films? Was it the condensed sub-2 hour runtime? Was it the fact that the film had two completely different tones and styles? Was it Superman's amazing mouth CGI? Was it the fact that Batman was almost as lifeless as Charles Manson? Was it the fact that Cyborg as a head on some questionable CG body? So many questions; so little time.

In case you haven't heard, the Internet hasn't been too kind to DC's latest outing where you get to see their greatest heroes all join forces to defeat a bad guy who isn't Darkseid. Sure, there are tons of problems with "Justice League." Overall, it's a rushed mess with trite dialogue, awkward performances, a main villain that makes Malekith from "Thor: The Dark World" look good, and it just feels rushed. But that's what the DCU has felt from the start; a rushed attempt to catch up to the MCU.

But here's the thing; is "Justice League" all that bad? Of course if you ask the Internet in it's infinite wisdom is bad and they just can't get past how bad the CG was on Henry Cavill's magic mustache removal. Yes, it's not good, it's almost criminal that in a 300+ Million Dollar tentpole blockbuster that someone would sign off on that actually being passable in this day and age. Of course I'm not an artist of any kind and I have no idea how had it is to digitally remove a mustache, but for the past 27 years we've been able to make dinosaurs come back to life, create liquid metal terminators, de-age actors, bring them back to life, but somehow, facial hair removal eludes us. Go figure.

To to uninformed, here's the gist of "Justice League."

*Some Spoilers to Follow*

The world is still in mourning over the loss of Superman, and a new threat has arrived; Parademons and their leader, Steppenwolf who is after three Mother Boxes, which are essentially terra-forming alien technology kind of similar to the World Engine in "Man of Steel." If all three Mother Boxes are found and combined they will essentially bring about the end of Earth as we know it.

So it's up to Batman to form a team to save the world, but it's going to take a lot more than a really fast guy, a head on a robot's body, a powerful Amazonian, a drunk lifeguard, and a guy dressed in black rubber to save the world, they need Superman back. The only problem is that he's buried in Smallville, Kansas. Good thing there is still a good amount of Kryptonian technology sitting around Metropolis.

If you're a fan of the "Justice League" or "Justice League Unlimited" cartoon series, you'll likely be a big fan of this version of "Justice League." But in a world that's been created to be dark, humorless, and void of a general sense of right and wrong, it's odd that we have so many moments that are supposed to be funny and genuine. Why am I supposed to care if these characters like each other? I barely know them, and they barely know each other. It's hard to buy into that as a viewer since there is very little frame of reference and not much history. But, you're expected to buy into it.

However, one of the biggest issues overall with "Justice League" is the tonal difference between what we see directed by Zack Snyder and what's directed by Joss Whedon after he took over for Snyder. Whedon does his best to create an Avengers-like vibe, and you could argue that some scenes are directly cribbed from his superhero Magnum Opus. I've never been a Snyder fan aside from just one of his films, but at least his style has been consistent with "Man of Steel" and "Batman v Superman" and just knowing that you're watching the work of two different directors within the same film is quite infuriating for me. Whedon should have at least tried to keep the same tonal approach as Snyder instead of trying to reinvent a MCU film in DC's backyard. But hey, that's just like, my opinion man.

Surprisingly, Batman is actually one of the worst things about "Justice League" with Steppenwolf coming in a close 2nd thanks to more shoddy CG. I gave Ben Affleck the benefit of the doubt in "BvS" it's his first time out and he's doing the best he can, but this time around, he's kind of just going through the motions and I don't know how you make Bruce Wayne/Batman uninteresting, but Affleck did it, and it might be the reason why he's potentially on the way out of the DCU.

I know i've spent a lot of time harding on things I don't really like with "Justice League" but looking back at my experience, despite my eye rolls and scoffs, this might be DC's most complete film to date. It hits all the right tropes, doesn't diminish what was created in "Wonder Woman," introduces The Flash who isn't half-bad, and actually makes Superman/Clark Kent more like the Superman/Clark Kent that people might recognize.

So despite a slow start, can "Justice League" bounce back after a poor start? At the box office, probably not, but on the bright side, the US Box Office is about as useless as a screen door on a submarine, it's all about the Foreign Box Office. But could a Snyder cut, or can a 2nd viewing show a film that is actually better than it really is? Perhaps, but please fix Superman's lip...he deserves better.

Monday, October 30, 2017

(Ep. 93): Killer Klowns from Outer Space - Movie Commentary: October 2017

Killer Klowns from Outer Space


PG-13  1988 ‧ Science fiction film/Cult film ‧ 1h 28m


When teenagers Mike (Grant Cramer) and Debbie (Suzanne Snyder) see a comet crash outside their sleepy small town, they investigate and discover a pack of murderous aliens who look very much like circus clowns. They try to warn the local authorities, but everyone assumes their story is a prank. Meanwhile, the clowns set about harvesting and eating as many people as they can. It's not until they kidnap Debbie that Mike decides it's up to him to stop the clowns' bloody rampage.
Release date: May 20, 1988 (USA)




What could be better then watching some Killer Klowns this Halloween!? Well with the Simplistic Reviews crew! Join us as we watch a movie that was made to be wacky and goof, yet its still better then half the shit that comes out today! So grab that frankenberry! Pour some of that Halloween themed choice of beer because... this Movie Commentary is gonna scare your socks off!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

(Ep. 92) SR Podcast - October 2017

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

On this October episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, Matthew takes the reigns and guides us on a spooky journey which takes us from Harvey Weinstein, to Tyrese & Rock beefs, to Rush Hour sequels. The boys play the game where cross-dressing is totally allowed, What Are You Supposed to be, and we all try to figure out the name of the black guy who hosted Nick Arcade. All that and more on a terror-filled edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast!

NOTES

The Great Pumpkin Soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi
The Shining Theme by Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind

Friday, October 13, 2017

Hummingbird Fly: How Jude Angelini is Writing His Own Rules

*Interview was conducted October 9th, 2017 with Matt Stewart from Simplistic Reviews and Jude Angelini via phone. All quotes have been taken from the interview*

The beat poets of the 1950s were a revolutionary idea. Intelligent writers struggling to find meaning in a world where they didn’t think they belonged. From Ginsberg to Kerouac, it sparked a literary revolution and inspired a generation of new writers to simply write about life. But where are the new crop of “beat” writers? They’ve become a relic of a bygone era. But the idea of writing about one’s life experiences lives in one “Rude” Jude Angelini with the release of his newest book, “Hummingbird,” the follow-up to his 2014 release, “Hyena.”

Many have made comparisons that Angelini is a modern day Charles Bukowski, whereas I see shades of Brett Easton Ellis with his vivid depictions of sex and drugs. However, “Rude” Jude shakes those comparison’s off and doesn’t want his voice to be put in a box.

“He (Bukowski) inspired me to write…’Notes From a Dirty Old Man’ that’s the one that get me to think about writing a bit, but I try to stay away from those two guys (Bukowski and Ellis). I’ve been listening to a lot of Elmore Leonard, and reading Larry McMurtry lately…I try to stay away from the Beat writers, because I don’t want to be compared to them, but I do consider myself a modern day Beat writer.”

From unabashed, self-deprecating, and in some cases, extremely sympathetic, Angelini writes from the heart, and it’s that attitude that has garnered him a devoted following in both the literary and radio world. But even with such a following, it’s hard to break the stereotype he finds himself in. Angelin explains.

“If you look at my trajectory…I don’t see myself as this, but, a lot of people do; I went from white trash wigger on ‘The Jenny Jones Show,’ to wigger shock jock. I didn’t want to be called that anymore…it overly simplified me. I wanted people to understand that my story wasn’t a unique story, if anything, it’s a common story, that’s under shared…”

Growing up in Pontiac, Michigan. Angelini has risen from the working poor in a factory town, becoming a recurring guest of “The Jenny Jones Show,” to hosting Shade 45’s “The All Out Show” on Sirius XM Radio. He now stands on the precipice of being a New York Times Best Selling author. However, even after the success of “Hyena” he’s still faced with an issue; being thought of as an overnight success in a literary world where many people don’t think he belongs.

“What’s popular in the arts? Is a heterosexual Caucasian popular in the arts right now? It’s so simplistic…’does he check off this box, this box, and this box.’ Diversity goes beyond who you fuck and what color you are. I got passed over by everyone. I’m not a celebrity, I’m not an author, they don’t know where to put me, they thought Hyena was a fluke. The company that I went to (Rare Bird Books) deals with fringe writers, like books by sex workers, and we’re doing quite well now.”

With the struggle to get “Hummingbird” published, Angelini recognizes that an honest day’s work isn’t going to be enough these days and your work ethic has to be extreme in order to get ahead, and at times, sacrificial.

“I like a lot of gangster rap from Detroit…they talk about ‘go get it, don’t wait,’ that’s my philosophy. It (the book) is about sacrifice. I sacrificed relationships, family, my daughter, loved ones, women, to not be broke, and be successful in my field. Nothing comes for free. That’s why one chapter is called ‘Abraham.’ You have to be willing to sacrifice to make it in this world.”

‘Abraham’ explores how Angelini wanted to “blow up” before settling in Los Angeles, where he now lives, his initial struggle, a move to New York, and a tumultuous relationship with Julie, who is a frequent topic in both “Hyena” and “Hummingbird.” It’s moments like these where you see a softer side to “Rude” Jude. Another example is the chapter entitled “Sadie Hawkins,” where he meets a young lady who has cystic fibrosis.

“What smart people see is that there is heart in each and every one of these stories. I might do grimy things, I might do things that society might deem unacceptable, but I have my own moral (compass) and value system, and it’s about being respectful and allowing people to make decisions on their own, but some people might read that and say it’s sexist…is it? To allow people to make their own decisions after being given all the information is sexist?”

It’s questions like that that give readers pause and challenge what they not only think about Angelini, but also think about themselves. We all share similar life experiences, but just don’t happen to write it down and have it published and read by the masses.

But at the heart of “Hummingbird” there is the underlying idea of acceptance. Whether it with your friends, sexual partners, or parents, the idea of acceptance is something that weighs heavily with Angelini. Even with book sales, that’s not the goal at the end of the day, it’s being accepted as an equal, on his own terms of course.

“You don’t write a book to make money. It’s about the prestige, it’s about the acceptance. You know what it would mean to me...a guy that took five years to get through high school that was in shitty English class, took a few junior college courses, to be a New York Times bestseller on some literary shit? People buying the book is a vote, I need votes...I want entrance into that part of society, the same part of society that rejects me, on my own terms.”


For more of “Rude” Jude check out his socials:

IG: @onemorejude
Twitter: @rude_jude
Snapchat: rude_jude

'The All Out Show' can be heard on Shade 45 on Sirius XM Radio from 4-7 pm EST Monday-Friday.

You can purchase “Hummingbird” via Amazon HERE
You can also pick up “Hyena” HERE

Matt Stewart was born and raised in South Florida and recently moved to Nashville, TN. Simplistic Reviews started with three buddies, Matt, DJ, and Justin, bitching about TV and Movies in July 2012 and guess what...they are still bitching and better than ever.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Simplistic Interviews: Lou Simon, Director of "3" Talks Horror



In the edition of Simplistic Interviews, Matt "sits down" with director, Lou Simon, and discusses her newest film, "Lou Simon's 3."

CLICK HERE for the entire YouTube interview and check out all of here social media below:



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Monday, September 11, 2017

Geekdom Comes (Back) to the Music City: Wizard World Comic Con Nashville



After a year away from the Music City, Wizard World Comic Con arrived back in Nashville, and better than ever for 2017.

Their return didn't disappoint as cult heroes like Brian O' Halloran and Jason Mewes from "Clerks" fame were in attendance, as well as living legends the likes of Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek) and Sam Jones (Flash Gordon), and lest we forget the living legend of all living legends; the creator of some of the most iconic comic book characters; Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, the list goes on: Mr. Stan Lee.

Lee entertained the Sunday crowd in Music City Center's Davidson Hall, taking questions from the audience, including his favorite Marvel cameo, here's a hint, it's when he gets kicked out of a bar after a little too much to drink. Lee was also gifted a comic book by one fan. The young man, Chris, stepped to the mic, called Lee his hero, and offered up a book that he wrote himself to Lee who took the book and offered his gratitude. Lee's only concern was that it would one day outsell Marvel to the audience's delight.

Stan the Man himself
His sly sense of humor bordered on self-depreciating to dry as a desert well. The crowd hung on every word and genuinely enjoyed his words of wisdom including this little nugget:

"Keep writing....the more you write, the better you get. And write stuff that you like. Don't write something that you figure, 'eh, that's not bad, but they won't like it.' You never know who they are, and what their taste is. But you know you're own taste. So always write something that you think is great, and the chances are that there are other people with the same kind of taste. So always write for yourself as your audience and write stuff where you say 'Boy, that's good.'"

Be a Raconteur
Another highlight was the teaching and overall personality of Victor Dandridge, who played hype-man before the start of Stan Lee's arrival in Davidson Hall, but also hosted the "U Cre-8 Comics" panel. Dandridge, a Ohio native, took the audience through the steps of creating their own superhero or super villain with the help of a handy book, essentially a guide to let your creativity run wild. You can find Dandridge's guide HERE, and start creating your own world-saving hero, or city-conquering villain.


Still the best Batmobile




The showroom was a testament to commerce, autographs, photo-ops, cosplayers, and several dozen exhibitors. Guests were also treated to replicas of the 1989 Batmobile, amongst other iconic vehicles, and sculptures of The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man as you entered the main showroom. 


Hulk Smash


The main stage offered great music from the likes of local Nashvillians "Hey, Listen!," who performed jazzy renditions of iconic video game music, introduced by none other than Kato Kaelin, who played MC all weekend, greeting guests and of course ribbing when ribbing was needed.


Signed by Jeremy Scott himself
If music wasn't your bag, you could also play some trivia along with CinemaSins, the Nashville-bred YouTube mega hit. Being a film buff, I had to give it a shot, and I ended up a big winner! While the guys from CinemaSins certainly have their detractors, you can look at one recent spat with the director of "Kong: Skull Island," they are genuine film lovers, and in getting to meet Barrett Share, one of the hosts of The Sincast, he offered some great advice about podcasting, releasing content, and how to grow an audience. It just goes to show you that in a world filled with so many podcasts, film reviews resources, and video content, there is a still a sense of community with those who have common interests and goals. 

With 2017's Wizard World Comic Con in the books, you have to wonder where the event goes next year. Nashville continues to grow, and the need for bigger events grows with it. While the guest list was a who's who of pop culture and sports entertainment, fans will continue to expect much more year after year. It's clear that Nashville has the audience and the fandom needed to continue to grow the event, so it will be exciting what will be in line for 2018.

To find out where the next Wizard World Con will be heading, click HERE.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

(Ep. 90): SR Podcast - September 2017

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

Hello friends and soon-to-be enemies!  Since its Labor Day Weekend, the gang at Simplistic Reviews thought it would be a great time to get back to work.  But it wasn't all fun and games on our Summer break.  The fellas got a brand new studio...a brand new intern...and brand new ideas to pollute your brain with...like a sitcom about Hitler and Eva Braun or the craziest idea for a Bridesmaids sequel you'll ever hear.  In between that Matt, Justin, and DJ tackle some of the topics they missed and prepare for nuclear winter from either North Korea or our own government while staving off ignored but still rampant national racism; institutional or otherwise...FUN FUN FUN!  But mainly they use obscenities to take out everything from The Dark Tower, to a Joker stand alone film, to Brett Ratner.  All this and more on an Always Sunny episode of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

0:00:00 Opening Skit
0:03:50 Show Monologue
0:8:43 Simplistic Showcase
0:36:55 TV Round Up
1:05:34 Kill F%$k Marry
1:32:21 Closing Skit

MUSIC
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