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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Simplistic Reviews 50th Podcast Extravaganza!

FOR (MOSTLY) IMMATURE AUDIENCES


Normal podcasts usually hit their 50th podcast roughly before their first year of existence.  Good podcasts that pump out constant content on a normal basis won't even make a big deal about their 50th podcast.  Superior podcasts will look at what we're doing and probably scoff at our sheer ineptitude to barely put out a single podcast every month.  Well, it's a good thing that we are neither normal, good, and...well...the only time we've been called superior is when we show up to our parole hearings on time.  Come to think of it, I better call Justin, I haven't heard from him in a while.

With that being said, get ready for some "high"-jinks as DJ, Justin, and Matt celebrate in style with the 50th edition of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.  There will be laughs galore as the guys invite, or some might say "force", guests from other more well-received podcasts to share in their debauchery.  Guests like JD Duran from the Insession Film Podcast. Barry and Jairo from the homo"neurotic" True Bromance Podcast.  Let's not forget, damn I forgot his name...oh yeah...The Vern, from the As You Watch Podcast.  Throw in a touch of Tim Costa from The First Time Watchers Podcast, Elwood from The Depths of DVD Hell, and a guest so special and so...well...scary, that even I can't tell you who it is.

Oh, so you're not impressed with that guest list?  Well, how about the thrilling conclusion to our months long saga of Julie and her quest to kill the Simplistic Reviews guys?  Yeah, you forgot about that didn't you?  Well...yeah...now you're gonna get some closure.

Finally, we talk a trip back in time to the segment that put us on the map; Word Association with Justin, where we ask Justin about things in the news and he gives a monosyllabic answer.

All that, and so much more on this petty way to celebrate mediocrity with The Simplistic Review Podcast's 50th episode.  Oh, by the way, the show is like 3 hours long, but what else are you going to do, watch the extended cut of "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King?"  Hmmmm, wait, that actually does sound like a good idea.

Show Notes
Insession Film Podcast
As You Watch Podcast
From The Depths of DVD Hell & MBDS Showcase
True Bromance Podcast
First Time Watchers Podcast
Life Vs. Film

Music Notes
Back to the Future Theme By Alan Silvestri
Inside the Actors Studio Theme By Angelo Badalamenti
It's A Shame By The Spinners
I Dream Of Jeanie Remix
Time By Jungle
Liar Liar By The Castaways
Action In Memphis By Johnny Pearson
Soy Bomb By Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives 
Cast Your Fate To The Wind By Allen Toussaint
Vince McMahon Theme By Jim Johnston and  Peter Bursuker
Dynasty Theme By Bill Conti
Frankenstein's Monster By Henry Jackman

 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Inside Out (2015)

WEEPY


Inside Out - Weepy

So this past week Justin, DJ, and I put our top five Pixar films up over on Letterboxd. Most of our picks overlapped as we all seem to have the same sensibilities when it comes to Pixar Films. "Car" is trash, "Brave" is overrated, and both "The Incredibles" and "Toy Story 3" all have special places in our hearts. Of course we all know where this is going; now where does "Inside Out" fit into that list. Well, for me, it's a tough call. And I'll just put it out there; this film made me weep.....in public.....in front of my wife.....TWICE! What other Pixar film has done that to me so far? We'll let's get into it.

"Inside Out" is a story so relateable, it's scary. It's the story of an 11-year old girl named Riley, who is uprooted from her home in Minnesota and relocates to San Francisco. That's pretty much the story, on the surface, but of course what would a Pixar film be without something magical. Inside Riley's head resides her emotions, namely Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear, and Sadness. While all five of these emotions try to work in tandem of course hijinks pop up and we end up going on an adventure that follows Joy and Sadness as they try to cope with Riley.

This might not be the best synopsis, but it's the best I can do without giving up too much of the story and of course the adventure.

There are a few nitpicks I have to get out of the way first. One, and this is a quibble, this isn't a film for kids. While it's colorful and vibrant, the pace is frenetic, and unless you are of age to appreciate what is going on inside Riley's head and/or have gone though something similar, the story will be lost on younger kids. Which again, is fine by me. Let the kid's have the colors, I'll take everything else.

Two, while Amy Poehler and Lewis Black are great as Joy and Anger, respectively, I feel like the rest of the cast gets lost in the shuffle. Fear, voiced by Bill Hader, seems underutilized, and Disgust, voiced by Mindy Kaling is just kind of there.

So, this is where things get heavy. This film is heartbreaking. Not only is it personal, but it's just so damn on the nose. We've had our spats with our parents, we've been angry with friends, we've had to deal with being the new kid in school. There isn't a thing in this film that you can't find some level ground with, and it's just so beautiful. The ideas are simple, but so very effective, especially the 3rd act which will rip your soul apart.

Pete Docter, who was also the madman behind "Up" and "Monsters, Inc." knows how to just get under your skin enough to make your rethink your childhood and adulthood, but he also knows how to make a film with pathos, heart, and plenty of smarts. The idea, which is so simple, that you need sadness to make your appreciate the joy in your life is maniacally effective and will reduce you to a wad of bubblegum.

All in all, "Inside Out" not only lives up to the hype it's getting, but it far exceeds anything else that Pixar has made on an emotional level. For a film based on raw emotion, I don't think many films really come close.

Fun Fact: During Riley's first dream sequence about her new house, you can hear the Haunted Mansion ride music in the background. The more you know.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine - Hercules in New York

RIDICULOUS

The year is 1969. While the Woodstock music festival rocks the world Apollo 11 lands on the surface of the Moon. The Beatles perform together live for the last time, 250,000 people march on Washington D.C. to protest the Vietnam War and Austrian born Mr. Universe winner dons the name Arnold “Strong” for his big film debut in “Hercules in New York“.

Oh boy, the swinging ‘60s is upon us. Set your seats in their upright and locked position. The Action Movie Time Machine is set to our target destination. You did remember to ware your bell-bottoms and Led Zeppelin t-shirts right?…RIGHT?!

THE SKINNY
“Hercules in New York” begins high atop Mt. Olympus with the Greek Gods who are gathered around Zeus as Hercules, Arnold Strong aka Arnold Schwarzenegger, is pleading his case, that he should be allowed to visit Earth. Hercules has grown bored with the godly lifestyle and wants to explore the lives and times of us mortals.

This angers Zeus, who thinks that Hercules’s place is among the other gods. For his insolence, Zeus decides to punish Hercules by…sending him to Earth…to interact with the mortals…Does this makes sense anyone else?
With a fiery thunderbolt, Hercules disappears from Olympus and falls to Earth, past a Pan American flight and into the Atlantic Ocean. Here Hercules is picked up by a shipping freighter where there is some confusion over who he is -- not understanding that he is the real Hercules -- and how he wound up so far off shore.

Soon the ship docs in, none other than, New York City and Hercules decides to leave the ship and stretch his legs which for some reason turns into a brawl among Hercules and the ship hands/doc workers. This is one of many scenes that illustrates the “fish out of water” story that is “Hercules in New York”. Prepare yourself for hijinx.
As Hercules escapes the brawl, he meets an interesting individual who goes by the name Pretzie, Arnold Stang. Pretzie makes a living by selling pretzels to the doc workers during lunch, and now, he acts as Hercules’s tour guide.

The odd couple travel all over the city and misunderstandings are abundant. Herc and Pretzie have no money to pay for a cab ride -- a fight breaks out between Herc and the cab driver which results in Herc turning the cab over onto it’s roof. But, that’s not before Herc says one of the more memorable lines of the film; “Bucks? Doe? What is all this zoological talk about male and female animals?”. Of course this is in reference to money.
Later, while showing up a track and field team, he meets Helen, Deborah Loomis, and the two hit it off. While on their date, Helen treats Herc to a carriage ride through Central Park. There in the park, Herc and his date encounter a “600 pound grizzly bear…known to be surly and dangerous” that recently escaped from the zoo. Herc protects Helen and defends the honor of young woman by battling the bear in hand to hand combat…TO THE DEATH! Some say it’s a bear, but I say it’s a man in a cheap bear suit --Classic.

Most of this is just goofy fun, showcasing Herc’s strength and Arnolds “Strong”’s grasp of the English language. But now we approach the meat of the film.

Pretzie and Herc decide to use his strength to make a little bit of money by entering him into wrestling matches and soon his victories attract the attention of some mobster types -- who are named Maxie, Fat-Lips and Nitro, just for the record.

The mobsters “lean” on Pretzie, forcing him to sign Herc into a contract working for the them. This is all fine and well, for a while, until the mobsters set up and promote a weight lifting challenge pitting Hercules the Great against Monstro the Magnificent.
Before this takes place, there is a doin’s transpirin’ up on Olympus. Juno is scheming to deal Hercules a humiliating blow, forever disgracing him in the eyes of his father Zeus. Her plan is to slip a magical powder into Hercules’s drink -- causing him to temporarily lose his godly strength and causing him to lose the competition.

Who the hell is Juno you ask? Well, Juno is the Roman counterpart to Hera of Greek mythology from which Hercules and Zeus come from. There is a lot of Roman names used for Greek gods in this film. It seems like someone didn’t do their homework. In fact, the man who wrote this film, Aubrey Wisberg, never went on to write, direct or produce anything else. This was the end of his career. Let that be a lesson to you all, just how important it is to know your gods.

So Hera’s plan, I mean, Juno’s plan works without a hitch and Hercules loses the weightlifting challenge. Herc’s mob promoters aren’t to happy with him -- they put a lot of money on Herc to win and they feel they’ve been cheated.

Herc and Pretzie make a break for it, which begins a lengthy chase through Central Park, Time Square and finally ends inside a printing factory where Herc and Pretzie are cornered. Without his godly strength, Herc is a sitting duck.
High above, Zeus looks down at Hercules and declares that no son of his shall be taken out by any group of mortal ruffians. He, with the help of Mercury and Venus, calls for the aid of Atlas and Samson to help his beloved son and together the strongmen are able to fight off the mob.

With Hercules safely back on Mt. Olympus, the film ends with Zeus paying New York a visit of his own. And if the tales of Zeus are any indication of what he’ll be doing on Earth, there will be many fatherless demi-gods being born in the year 1970.

THE VERDICT
Boy, this movie sure is something. I’m sure you can tell that this isn’t your typical Arnold film.

This was Arnold’s first film and you can tell by his mediocre acting and speech. But that’s what gives the film it’s charm. Arnold is billed as “Arnold Strong” because the filmmaker thought an American audience wouldn’t be able to pronounce Schwarzenegger. In some cases this is still true today.

I don’t know if “Hercules in New York” ever got the MST3K treatment, but it sure deserves it. Arnolds speech was so poor that, after it was filmed, his dialogue was dubbed over. For many years this was the only version available in theaters or on VHS. Only recently -- with Arnolds popularity being what it is -- did the film get a DVD release restoring his original dialogue. This is the version that is a MUST SEE.

Arnold isn’t the only thing that makes this stinker into a cult classic.

The acting is mediocre overall with the exceptions of Arnold Stang and James Karen, who plays Helen’s father. These two play their rolls very well, and Stang’s totally animated faces are the best.

The Olympian set is nothing more than a New York park. If you listen close you can hear children playing and car horns in the background. And of course the mythology mix-up doesn’t help things. Zeus even has to borrow Samson from the Bible. LOL

So in conclusion, “Hercules in New York” is amazing for all the wrong reasons and I highly recommend it. The film deserves a .5 bullet rating, but due to it’s shier amount of ridiculous entertainment I bump that rating up to a full 5 bullets.
This has been a fun look at a wide variety of Arnold Schwarzenegger films. Arnold is probably my favorite action star, and now you know why. He’s done it all; the good and bad, action and comedy, he has an unmatched bodybuilding career, he is a bestselling author, and became the governor of California all before returning home to the silver screen where he belongs. This won’t be the last you’ll see of Arnold her at The Action Movie Time Machine.

I’m Cory Carr and this concludes another trip in The Action Movie Time Machine. Until next time, I’LL BE BACK!

For more from Cory, check out slaughterfilm.com. The home of weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!
 



 




Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine - Kung Fury

WILDLY BAD-ASS

The year is 2015. Funny man and “Late Show” television host David Letterman calls it quits after thirty-three years, “Jaws 19” premieres and breaks every previous box office record, gold medal Olympian Bruce Jenner undergoes a sex transformation – becoming Caitlyn Jenner, and both Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush announce their entry in the 2016 United States Presidential race.

Little did they know, that announcing their bid for the presidency would polarize the country in a way that had not been seen since the Civil War. American citizens were divided into two factions – either Blue or Red – and began skirmishing with one another. Buildings were burned and blood ran in the streets.

The events of the Party Wars, as they would later be known, brought on the first collapse of the United States of America, and later the atomic bombing of New York City. This attracted the attention of imperialistic space aliens who's invasion was fought off by the people of Earth. This triggered a chain reaction of events; The Alien Wars I-III. The aliens were finally fought off when robotic soldiers were created to protect humans. Once the robotic soldiers became self-aware, they turned on their human creators which lead to The Robot Wars. After all this, America wasn't very popular, as the country was directly responsible for the previous catastrophes. As a result, Soviets began launching nuclear weapons at the United Stated. This lead to The Apocalypse War. And finally, The Franchise Wars, which guaranteed that Taco Bell would be the one and only fast food restaurant.

All this, and an indie action flick, "Kung Fury”, took the world by storm. 

THE SKINNY
“Kung Fury” takes place during 1985 Miami, and begins in an '80s style arcade. The “Laser Unicorn” arcade machine comes to life and begins attacking the patrons of the arcade, then the townspeople of Miami. Outmatched, the Miami police call in for backup and soon Kung Fury, David Sandberg, is on his way. Kung Fury makes short work of the renegade arcade machine. This fight takes place on the ground, in the air, and even in space for optimum bad-assery.

Meanwhile, somewhere in a back alley of Miami, the wind picks up and lightning begins to strike. Suddenly a time portal opens up and one Adolf Hitler steps out. To be continued.

Kung Fury returns to the office to talk to his commanding officer who reams his ass out, in typical action movie fashion, for destroying an entire city block with his arcade machine battling efforts. Afterwards, Kung Fury's commanding officer receives a phone call a mysterious stranger. Who could it be Hitler...? Well yes, it is in fact Hitler and through the phone, Hitler assassinates Kung Fury's boss in an attempt to lure Kung Fury into a confrontation.
Most people don't realize this but Adolf Hitler was a martial arts master who has grown envious of Kung Fury and his martial arts mastery. If Hitler can eliminate Kung Fury, we will obtain the art of Kung Fury – the super secret and ultra deadly martial arts style who “Kung Fury” is named after.

Kung Fury attempts to locate the murderer of his boss and in doing so recruits the help of Hackerman – the greatest hacker in the world. Hackerman – through his hacking talents – ascertains that the one and only Hitler was responsible for the murder and offers to “hack time”, sending Kung Fury back to Nazi Germany to confront Hitler before his evil plot began. But there is a problem...Hackerman mistakenly sends him back too far in time. All the way back to the Viking age.
 There in the Viking Age, Kung Fury meets up with some totally sweet Viking babes who he pleads his case to and agree to help him. How do they do this? Well by calling upon the Thor himself. Thor, with all of his mystical Norse powers, uses his might hammer to open time portal to send Kung Fury to the appropriate time – somewhere in the early 1940s.
There, in Nazi Germany, Kung Fury confronts a horde of Nazi soldiers who he fights – hand to hand – one by one before being out numbered and out gunned. Just then, the cavalry arrives in the form of another one of Thor's time portals. From this time portal enters Thor, Hackerman who has hacked himself into a robot, two sexy Viking warrior babes, a talking T-Rex and last but not least, Triceracop – Kung Fury's recently assigned partner who just so happens to be half man and half triceratops.
Kung Fury and his pals fight hundreds of Nazi soldiers, killing them where they stand before Hitler is vanquished...or is he? I won't be the one who spoils the end for those of you who haven't seen it. Just know that “teamwork is important”...and go WATCH IT!
THE VERDICT
“Kung Fury” is, honestly, one of the most entertaining things I've seen in some time. It is a wonderfully  bad-ass and nostalgic blend of all things '80s set inside an action film. Not only does it incorporate the aesthetics of '80s special effects film making – recreated digitally – but it takes place within the shortcomings of VHS.

“Kung Fury“ is almost as if a child dumped his toy chest out onto the floor and started to pretend that all of his toys somehow belonged in the same reality – and that is “Kung Fury”.

There is time travel (Terminator), robots (everything in the '80s, but also Transformers), dinosaurs (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dinosaucers – whatever the hell that is.), animation (G.I. Joe and Thundercats), as well as stereotypical action movie stuff like the traditional partner who gets killed by the villain in the first act, pun related one-liners and countless dead.

One of the things that makes “Kung Fury” so entertaining, is it’s humor. I’ve tried to avoid too many of these details for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. Just know that it’s…go watch it.

Much of what can be nit-picked are minor things. For instance, the acting is stiff and a bit over the top. But this is intentional, in an attempt to capture some of what '80s action films had to offer. If you've read my reviews you'll know that action icons such as Chuck Norris and Jean-Claude Van Damme aren't the best actors and sometimes their films reflect that. It isn't a terrible thing, but rather, something that has become synonymous with the genre of that era. My only honest negative remark is the faux VHS effect. I don't know what it is exactly, but I've seen it used a handful of times and each time it looks like an obvious fake. I appreciate the effort to try to make an “'80s film” resemble a film on VHS from the '80s, but it just doesn't look right. They always look like a digital film edited digitally to resemble that classic VHS quality. Again, this is a nit-pick but it's worth stating.

 
Honestly, there isn't much I can say about this. There is no underlying meaning or hidden message. If there was, it would be; “Remember the '80s? Wasn't that a wild time? REMEMBER IT FOREVER!”. And for that I highly recommend “Kung Fury”. Watch it and pick apart each scene to uncover it's particular '80s influence. Watch it now and have a blast! Did I mention that you should watch it now? WATCH IT NOW!

I also reviewed “Kung Fury” for Slaughter Film which sparked a bit of a conversation between my co-host and I. If you're interested, check it out.

I’m Cory Carr and this concludes another trip in the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Until next time, Semper Fi, Punk!

For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!











Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 49): June 2015

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES



This is it! The penultimate episode before 50th episode extravaganza!

You'll swoon for June as the boys discover that there is no safe joke to be made about Caitlyn Jenner.  They instead decide to tackle stories such as a Big Trouble In Little China reboot, a Jack Bauer spinoff, and a James Bond free for all on Simplistic Showcase.  Justin and DJ later pay off a debt and discuss the 2014 horror anomaly that is Ouija.  A conversation that introduces not one, not two, but three new characters.  There is also the introduction of an old game played in a new way known as Simplistic Password.  And The ongoing mystery between the boys and Julie reaches its climax.

Oh and Shia Labeouf closes out the show.

All this and more on a highly questionable, slightly offensive, Smokey and the Bandit themed episode of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Simply Shorts: Kung Fury & Predator: Dark Ages

Last week, two short films made their way onto the Internet, one in a more conventional way, the other I had to find it in more "unconventional" ways. Basically what I'm trying to say is that for as much as I hate the Internet, I also love it for the scum that it is. Both films are nostalgic trips to say the least, one is more of a traditional fan film, while the other is a sugar-coated PCP trip-out of a film that is all that is 80s and all that is insanity. Let's start with the more traditional of the two.

Predator: Dark Ages - Lore

LORE
It's been tough times for Predator the past 10 years or so. Sure, we got the underrated "Predators" which injected some life back into the lore and mythology of "Predator" but other than that we've gotten crap like "AvP: Requiem." Like I said, it's been tough. And like so many lost franchises that have lost their way, it's usually takes a dedicated group of fans and filmmakers making a short film to show studio executives that people still care about a bastardized franchise. Enter, "Predator: Dark Ages." Now, I'm not going to come out and say that "Dark Ages" is going to usher in a new era of "Predator" films, but what we have here is a nice little piece of lore.

"Dark Ages" is the story of a group of roughneck knights during The Crusades, including a Templar Knight, a female tracker, two meat sacks, and a Muslim scholar, essentially every character trope of the 80s action film. The church has asked Thomas, a battle-tested Templar, to hunt down a beast that has been killing without a reason. Thomas and his group are teamed with Sied, a Muslim scholar, who knows more than he is letting on to stop the killer.

Needless to say, Thomas' team is wiped out one at a time leaving only himself and Sied to fight the Predator, which ends in a very interesting way. The End.

Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, "Dark Ages" packs in enough action, story, and sense of dread to keep you engaged for its entire run time. While I would have appreciated a little more back-story on Thomas and Seid, especially Seid who seems like he's been studying the Predators for a while, dating back to his time in Jerusalem. If you're a fan of the original "Predator" you will get a kick out of the opening sequence when Thomas and his group show up on horseback, blatant fan service, and of course how can I forget the music; Alan Silvestri would be proud.

This bring me to the second part of this double-header, and this one is a doozy.....

Kung Fury - Bananas

BANANAS
Do you like Kung-Fu? Do you like dinosaurs that talk? Do you like Viking Babes with machine guns? Do you like Hitler doing karate? Do you like ninjas? Do you like synth music? Do you like Nazis being murdered? Do you like giant golden eagles fighting dinosaurs? Do you like Miami? Well, if you don't; get the F*CK out of here and kill yourself because you're obviously reading the wrong review from the wrong site.*

So "Kung Fury" where does one start, first, if you haven't seen it, click HERE and watch it....we'll wait.....okay, we've waited long enough.

In "Kung Fury" the mean streets of Miami are awash with killer arcade machines and the return of Adolf Hitler, who is also a kung-fu master. The only man who can stop his is the baddest cop on the force; Kung Fury. Together with Hackerman, Fury is sent back in time to stop Hilter before he is able to harness the full power of the ancient art of Kung Fury. Along the way Fury meets female Vikings, Thor, a talking T-Rex, and has words with his talking car.

If you were to take "Miami Connection," "Hobo With a Shotgun," "Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon," put them in a room and let them all have a three-way, you might get a general idea of how bananas this film is. Of course, this is nothing new, the 80s is enjoying a great resurgence of interest lately, from horror flicks like "The Guest" and "It Follows" to video games like "Hotline Miami" and "Blood Dragon" people still love the 80s, and for good reason; the 80s are awesome.

David Sandberg does his best Michael Biehn impression as the title character, and Jorma Taccone, from Lonely Island fame, hams it up big time as the kung fuhrer - Adolf Hitler. The violence is over-the-top, the 80s references are awesome, and if it wasn't for a little film called "Back to the Future" I'd say this is the most realistic take on time travel to date.

"Kung Fury" is well worth your time, and why not just double feature it with "Predator: Dark Ages" to get your nostalgia fill in just under an hour.

*We at Simplistic Reviews do not want you to kill yourself, we want you to understand that these films are incredible and not watching them would be a great disservice to yourself. We love you, thnx, byeguys. 

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