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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Sweet 16 Results: FILM GOOD

JAMES BOND (1) WINNER
JACK SPARROW (13)










As Jack's Disney female family member could attest, every Cinderella story must come to an end.  The battle of the Brits comes down to the battle of the wits. And Commander Bond has more than enough to spare to out duel ol' Jackie.  James puts Sparrow to rest...in Dead Man's Chest.

JOHN McCLANE (3) WINNER
SARAH CONNER (10)










Sarah Conner is a warrior through circumstance.  You go ahead and have a cybernetic organism from the future come back to kill you and see if you wouldn't join the NRA.  But at the end of the day she wasn't really a successful warrior.  She may have attempted a daring escape from the funny house, but she was eventually captured.  She may have tracked down and shot Dr. Dyson but she couldn't kill him.  She may have blasted a few holes in Robert Patrick but Arnold still had to save her.  McClane's record versus bad guys waaay out of his league is astounding.  And I won't even go into his compunction for killing.  Besides, if there is anyone harder to kill than a T-1000 it would be John McClane.  Its not called Die Easy folks.  

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Sweet 16 Results: TV GOOD

JACK BAUER (1) WINNER
XENA (5)

You know, even against a demi-god I don't find it hard to believe Jack Bauer would find a way to win.  His bloodlust is probably on par if not more so than the warrior princess.  The same with his rage.  The more I think about it, are we certain Jack isn't the God of war?

BUFFY SUMMERS (2) WINNER
RAYLAN GIVENS (3)

Raylan's southern charm and steely stare is ineffective against The Slayer.  Mainly because of Raylan's weakness for hot blondes.  His ex-wife Winona, His ex-girlfriend Ava, that con artist bartender, and now Buffy.  All those girls have gotten the best of Raylan in one way or another.  However, Buffy is the only one badass enough to jam a wooden stake through the side of that Stetson.  

Saturday, March 30, 2013

G.I. Joe: Retaliation (DJ's Take)

BETTER

Stop me if you've heard this one.  I hate Michael Bay's Transformers franchise.  I made many points as to why they are lowest common denominator fodder and a tried and true example of bad filmmaking alone.  But to be honest, I hated it mainly because it was a tactical strike to my nostalgia.  I am an 80s baby.  Transformers, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, TMNT, He-Man, Voltron, M.A.S.K., DuckTales, TaleSpinRescue Rangers, Silverhawks, Gobots, HeathcliffCenturions, Dino-RidersDanger Mouse, Count Duckula, and many more shows practically raised me.  Yes, looking back at them now, I can see they were cheesy.  However, I still love them because they spoke to me.  They spoke to a me that I wasn't fully aware of at the time.  They filled in the gaps of love and companionship my family left me to fill when they were not around.  They developed my entertainment pallet.  They developed my right and wrong meter.  They are virtually time portals to my childhood.  And if they stayed that way I would be happy with that.  So, if you are going to remake them...if you're going to bring them back to modern day...changing things...changing their DNA to shoehorn them into modern sensibilities...it literally hurts me.  Every instance of Michael Bay's corruption of Transformers makes me feel like Marty McFly looking at that photograph of he and his family and watching himself slowly disappear.

I bring up Bay here because of the financial success of his Bayformers, other studios followed suit seeing as the almighty dollar is their guiding light.  Stephen Sommers (A director I can't believe I used to like) fired another Trident missile into my memories when he brought G.I. Joe to the the big screen.  It was almost as if he was copying off of Bay's test in school.  It was predictable, trite, comically bad entertainment.  My only hope was that like an ebola virus, the franchise would flare up and die out so fast, it wouldn't be able to spread.  Then, it was announced that a sequel was on the horizon and it would be directed by the guy who did the Step Up films and Justin Bieber's Never Say Never.  I felt like Dustin Hoffman in Outbreak.  However, after seeing G.I. Joe: Retaliation  I am relieved to say that it is much BETTER than I expected.  Understand that I was expecting the EBOLA VIRUS!   So to say it is BETTER isn't saying that it is a great film.  It still has logic problems and cheesy moments and lackluster effects.  But it more effectively fits the tone a G.I. Joe film should have and offer up enough fan service an old school Joe fan would want in order to be able to walk out of the theater under their own power.

I mentioned this in my last review but it bares repeating.  The Expendables works because it acknowledges the performers' nostalgic roots.  It gives the fans of these performers what they want.  You want Arnold to say 'I'll be back'?  Fine.  You want someone to say yippee ki yah?  There you go.  You want a Van Damme spin kick?  Here's two.  You want a bloody, bullet riddled, fire fight for ten straight minutes?  We'll give you twenty.  It isn't complicated to make films that are based purely on nostalgia like Transformers and G.I. Joe.  This isn't The Master or Tree of Life.  Keep its simple and give the people what they want.  Popcorn films like these have longer legs that way.  Ask Joss Whedon.  Yes, Transformers made money.  A crazy amount of money.  But does anyone...ANYONE hold it in high regard?

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is burdened by cleaning out the closet of the previous film's storyline.  A terrorist group called Cobra have an operative impersonating The President and reeking havoc on the Joes and the world.  A team of surviving Joes must clear their names and take down Cobra before its too late.  Simple.  Director Jon M. Chu seemed to have done his research on what failed in the first film and done research on the material in general.  It shows in the little nuances Joe fans would notice.  A faceplate for Cobra Commander, an Uzi for Snake Eyes, an Australian accent for Firefly, a blindfold for Jinx.  Its those little things that show me he actually cares about the material and doesn't just want to use the property as a bridge to show off his directoral talent.  It comes across that the Joes in this film seem to actually be capable soldiers with varying skills, the way the show was intended.  That as apposed to the bumbling, excelerator suit wearing, dummies in the previous film.  Men and women who seemed to be working for Maxwell Smart instead of the United States armed services.

Dwayne Johnson takes the lead in this and does an solid job.  Much BETTER than the laughable Marlon Waynes and the cameoing Channing Tatum.  The one thing that I thought the first G.I. Joe film got right was Ray Park's Snake Eyes.  Though, Sommers even tried to screw him up too by putting a mouth on a masked man who DOESN'T TALK.  But I digress.  He is the only thankful carry over from the first film.  His action scenes with rival Storm Shadow are worth the price of admission alone.  Bruce Willis is trying much more in this than he did in his own tent pole franchise and I really liked Adrianne Palicki's Lady Jaye.  However, the performances aren't all roses.  Jonathan Pryce is still a bit over the top as the faux President/Zartan.  The ball was dropped by casting the wooden D.J. Cotrona as Flint.  A character who is supposed to be the more charismatic version of Duke merely slinks by unnoticed and unremarkably through this film.   And I'm not even going to get into how bad RZA is as Blind Master.  I think it is the overall camaraderie of both teams that allow you to be able to dismiss the bad apples.

By the level of improvement this film has made from The Rise Of Cobra, it would take about two more films before I could consider it a must watch franchise.  However, I think I'm going to have to settle for the fact that G.I. Joe: Retaliation is just BETTER than expected and breathe a sigh of relief that I haven't fully disappeared.  Be a real American hero...watch it...then tell me I'm wrong.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Round Two Results: FILM BAD

HANNIBAL LECTER (1) WINNER
ALEX FORREST (8)










Being rude to Dr. Lecter is essentially like poking the proverbial bear.  And nothing is ruder than an obsessed woman who won't be ignored.  Alex can cook all the bunnies she wants.  It doesn't stop Hannibal from making a special stew of his own...out of her.

THE JOKER (2) WINNER
ANNIE WILKES (7)










As Batman said, a crazy person like Annie Wilkes is the type of person The Joker attracts.  However, does Annie really want to be stuck in a cabin in the dead of winter with the clown prince of crime?  I don't think so.  Go ahead, break his ankles.  The Joker would literally laugh it off.  Wilkes has nothing to threaten Mr. J with and is slowly driven even more mad.  Misery?  Poor choice of words.

KHAN NOONIEN SINGH (3) WINNER
COMMODUS (6)

Khan's superior intellect is too much for the patricidal prince to handle.  Death smiles at us all Commodus.  Just be thankful Khan didn't want to use any Centaurian slugs to drive home the point.  

DARTH VADER (4) WINNER
JOHN DOE (12) 

Vader finds John Doe's lack of faith disturbing.   Doe asks for wrath and Vader grants him his wish and then some.  Jar-Jar's head in a box, ironically, was something filmgoers were begging for during the prequels.

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Round Two Results: FILM GOOD

JAMES BOND (1) WINNER
BATMAN (8)










A superhero versus a super spy   In this gladiatorial matchup it comes down to one thing.  One rule.  A rule that Batman won't break but one that Bond breaks five times before he finishes his morning martini.  A license to kill separates Bond from Bruce...just barely.

SARAH CONNER (10) WINNER
INDIANA JONES (2)










There is no fate but what we make.  Well, it seems Sarah Conner's fate may be to win this tournament.  She pulls a major upset of our favorite fedora wearing archeologist.  Man, seems Indy can't catch a break since Crystal Skull.

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK (6)
JOHN McCLANE (3) WINNER 










I wish Seth Green and the people over at Robot Chicken would do a bit where McClane sneaks aboard The Enterprise and takes out members of the crew one by one.  You'd of course have Kirk as Hans, Spock as Karl, and Bones as Ellis. "Kirk, babe.  Put the phaser down this is radio not television."

HAN SOLO (5)
CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW (13) WINNER
Jack's victory over Han, a character he is basically based off of by the way, singularly personifies what Disney did to the Star Wars franchise.  An out of the blue attack and take over.  If you only knew the power of the mouse side.  

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Round Two Results: TV BAD

JOFFREY BARATHEON (1) 
CERSEI LANNISTER (8) WINNER










The only lady that could open hand slap the king and get away with it was Cersei Lannister.  Killing him isn't that far a step.  And seeing as she already has one king on her kill resume, it would be easy for her to kill another.   Sadly, its less depraved killing Joffrey than explaining the circumstances of how he was conceived.  (SHIVER)

BEN LINUS (2) WINNER
ANGELUS (7)










People underestimate Ben Linus at their own peril.  He's stared into the eyes of the smoke monster and lived.  A vampire is small potatoes to this master manipulator.  

RUSSELL EDGINGTON (3) 
TRINITY KILLER (6) WINNER










Much props for Edgington reminding us how an ACTUAL vampire is supposed to act. (I'M LOOKING AT YOU TWILIGHT).  However, serial killers, unlike vampires, can hide in plain sight.  No one sees them coming.

BOYD CROWDER (5) WINNER
NINA MYERS (4)

In the battle of smooth talking snakes in the grass, Boyd Crowder wins hands down.  He's a man that uses twenty words when three will do.  Sometimes to confuse you.  Sometimes to buy himself time to outwit you.  But always to win.  There isn't a con you can lay on him that he hasn't seen, done himself or done better.  

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Round Two Results: TV GOOD


JACK BAUER (1) WINNER
TYRION LANNISTER (9)










Well, you can add midget to the magna carta long kill list of people Jack Bauer has sent to the next world.  All he needs is a wizard, a dinosaur, and a unicorn and he gets a free smoothie.

BUFFY SUMMERS (2) WINNER
SHERLOCK HOLMES (7)










Much to the objection of fellow British smarty pants Giles, Buffy takes care of the world's greatest detective with relative ease.  Somewhere Moriarty is slapping his forehead muttering, "You're telling me all I needed was a stake?!"

TITUS PULLO (6)

RAYLAN GIVINS (3) WINNER











Pullo has Raylan beat physically, but Raylan could easily out think the rugged Roman warrior.  Knowing that Raylan has to deal with people as big and physically imposing a Titus F%*king Pullo on a daily basis makes me NEVER want to go to Kentucky.

XENA (5) WINNER 
OMAR LITTLE (4)










Omar may have been warring on the mean streets of Baltimore for his entire life, but Xena has been warring around uncivilized lands filled with wizards, gods, and god knows what else.  Oh and speaking of warring, it has been speculated that Xena's father was actually Ares.  Ares as in THE GOD OF F%*KING WAR.  Sorry Omar, its all in the game.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard


A Good Day to Die Hard: Bullshit
98mins/Action/2013

Might have some spoiling but hey this film spoiled all that was good in the Die Hard universe.

Apparently this was a Die Hard Film...

Die Hard is and will always be the best or one of the best action films ever. Its even in my mind of one of the best films period. Then they did Die Hard 2 which is fine you know its okay, it has wisecracking John McClane so it a fun film. Then we got Die Hard: With a Vengeance which is fantastic! With Samuel L. Jackson this film got very close to original Die Hard. But those two are kinda different, the biggest is Die Hard with a Vengeance's scope is so much larger, this time it's racing around New York. Compared too Die Hard which was pretty much 99.9% in a building (which just goes to show you how incredible that film is). Years later we got another one, Live Free or Die Hard. And at the time I had issues with it but it was just fine and I kinda left it at that (I'll come back to this later).

Then this year we got A Good Day to Die Hard and boy did I die inside. I could make a long ass list of the issues with this film but its not worth your time. So here is just a small bit of the bullshit this film was.

Story is very weak

Plot holes coming out of its ass

Bruce Willis SUCKS...John McClane never shows up

Weak Villain

Shitty Directing.

A Ending that made me shake my head in pain.

His son (Listen he wasn't that bad, clearly the film was written for him but I came to see John not Jack)

The stupid "Jack we thought you went to Russia and where doing drugs, bullshit, no dad I work for the CIA" It just doesn't work for me.

And so on...

Action was way out there, going through like 4 floors into water at Chernobyl and just acting like it wasn't anything. Oh shit and there is a scene where his son gets a piece of rebar in him and they talk and talk then hey lets pull that bar out and boom he's all good and healed.

Okay so Bruce Willis WTF? He never seems like he wants to be here. The thing about McClane is he is a fantastic character and honestly his lines never seemed like McClane nor did Bruce who was just Bruce. I have a sad theory that the new GI Joe film will have him play a more McClane like character, and that's not good.

The Ending is so shitty its just sad. Here is what I would do. I would have him get off the plane and meet is Wife and Daughter and BOOM they all die and we end the pain I must now go through in life knowing Die Hard has a shitty film like this. I hated that damn ending. The music, them talking and not hearing what they're saying (I mean its fine but that went on for like 2 min's and I kept saying what the hell are they saying?). Then it ends with John half of the screen. The shot was so off it made me very upset. Listen it sums up the film, Johns is half off in this film (Should of been on the poster).

So back to The Live Free or Die Hard. I didn't care for it when it came out but I watched it again and you know what its so much better compared to this shitfest,  even Bruce seems and sounds like John, why did they not just end it on that one...Oh yeah greed, the number #1 Killer of movies today.

...Oh I paid to watch this. Hummm wonder why people watch movies online, oh yeah to save their hard earned money and not waste it on films that should of never been made...never!
And sorry for the rant with spelling errors but I'm writing this and I quickly started to run away...So depressed.



Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Round One Results: TV BAD


JOFFREY BARATHEON (1) WINNER
ATTI OF THE JULII (16)










Atti gets whatever she want by using the gift god gave her.  Her potent sexuality.  However, brat Baratheon usually doesn't take kindly to people using sex as a weapon on him.  Just as Tyrion and those badly beaten whores he sent Joff's way.  Baratheon wins...Atti dies.

BEN LINUS (2) WINNER 
THE GOVERNOR (15)










The Governor is a brutal master manipulator.  But where he has to juggle the wills of men and zombies, Ben Linus has even more on his plate.  Smoke monsters, polar bears, shapeshifting evil beings, time traveling islands,  and enough flashbacks to make a Vietnam vet blush.  On top of the fact that The Governor wasn't coldhearted enough to let his zombie daughter go.  Linus let his human daughter get her head blown off for his own purposes.  Linus wins and The Governor lost.

RUSSELL EDGINGTON (3) WINNER
GUS FRING (14)











When you get down to brass tacks, Russell Edgington and Gus Fring are both businessmen.  Only one wants to rule the human race and drain the blood of every non-vampire like cattle, and one wants to sell chicken and meth; easy enough to understand.  While both these bloodsuckers are master manipulators, Fring forgot one thing;  Edgington is FU*KING IMMORTAL!  Maybe if that meth was laced with silver nitrate and oak he would have had a chance, but Russell takes his battle easily.

NINA MYERS (4) WINNER
SYLAR (13)










There isn't a superpower out there that can compete with the evil of the 24's biggest snake in the grass, Nina Myers.  The thing that makes her so deadly is that you never see her coming.  Jack Bauer didn't and Sylar wouldn't either.  Time runs out for the power sucker.

BOYD CROWDER (5) WINNER
ROBERT QUARLES (12)











A sadist versus a slick, smooth talking, hustler from the south.  Robert Quarles has many a trick and pistol up his sleeve.  However, not enough to out wit and out battle the man I like to call The Redneck Joker.  Boyd manages to get his enemies to do his work for him and disarm Robert Quarles quick and simple like.

TRINITY KILLER (6) WINNER
PRESIDENT CHARLES LOGAN (11)











If there is one thing you can count on its this;  never trust a politician, especially a sniveling liar-of-a-president like Chuck Logan.  I mean, this guy killed our first black TV president for crying out loud!  But how does one sniveler defeat another sniveler?  Giving the Secret Service and the CIA a day off, the Commander in Chief doesn't have a chance against the Trinity Killer.  Using his patented "bludgeon a man to death with a hammer" routine, Trinity wins, and goes off to enjoy a scalding hot shower while crying.

ANGELUS (7) WINNER
SHANE VENDRELL (10)










One of the most dangerous things in this world is a desperate man.  And they don't get more desperate than Shane Vendrell.  However, desperation is exactly the thing a vampire like Angelus would prey on.  Sad thing is, that family Shane is always trying to protect would be an hors d'oeurve for our favorite vain vamp.   Hand grenade won't work this time Shane-O.

CERSEI LANNISTER (8) WINNER
STRINGER BELL (9)











Cersei Lannister knows how to manipulate; just as anyone from the Stark family, if you can find one.  Stringer Bell on the other hand, is a sucker.  While West Baltimore is no King's Landing, Cersei reigns supreme in any domain.

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