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Monday, September 28, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule!!!


Hey guys and gals, Matt here.

I know all of us in the blogging community like to get in the spirit of Halloween, and we also all like blog-a-thons, and to try something a little different out, I thought that I'd put this idea out there.

We are looking for contributors to help us with putting out 31 reviews in 31 days for the month of October. Instead of just writing 31 random reviews, we thought we would do a little time capsule. Starting in 1984 and ending in this year in horror, 2015.

Click see the link HERE to get an idea of what horror looked like from 1984-2015 and e-mail us at contact@simplisticreviews.net if you want to get involved. Let us know the film you'd like to write about (it doesn't have to be from the list, it can be any horror film from that year) and what date works for you and we'll let you know if that date is available.

To better cross-promote, grab the banner and stick it on your site.

Click Here to Download the Artwork

SR Podcast (Ep. 55): Hard Ticket To Hawaii - Movie Commentary: September 2015

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES


Today's Sunday Movie is...

Hard Ticket to Hawaii

96mins / Action / 1987

There are films that come and go. Great films that missed the limelight and never get the recognition they deserve.

Then there is Hard Ticket To Hawaii, a film that's not amazing but we are glad it was made. It's a crazy film that feels like they honestly just run and gun it. And even though this film isn't perfect, it is one fun film to watch.

Check out Slaughter Film's Review

Action Movie Time Machine - Hard Ticket to Hawaii

It's a film jam packed full of Bullets, Boobs and Explosions! 

What more can you ask for?





 Show Notes

Watch the film with us

Read the Slaughter Film Review


Music Notes

Theme Song



Sunday, September 20, 2015

Black Mass


UNEASY
Johnny Depp was never really on my radar of great actors until he put on the gold teeth and somewhat affected swagger of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Oh, I had seen him in films like Donnie Brasco and Ed Wood and Edward Scissorhands.  However, I never really appreciated him as my kind of actor until he disappeared into the role of Captain Jack.  A role that truly made him an icon.  Then Depp began to make choices, mostly prompted by his friend and frequent collaborator Tim Burton, that turned his unique ability to disappear into a role a bit of a criticized trope.  Odd because the more he did what we kind of wish all of our actors would do, disappear into a role, the more we criticized.  Whether that be Dark Shadows, Alice In Wonderland, Mortdecai, The Lone Ranger, or Into The Woods.  It has been a somewhat unfair appraisal of Depp because it is obvious in hindsight that those films as a whole are the main problem.  The common denominator of those films and criticized Depp performances are also that they are light hearted tales.  People who still championed Depp hoped for him to do what he does best in more serious films.  The totally unremarkable Transcendence was not light hearted, but the film seemed to neuter every bit of personality or nuance Depp has.  Depp's career seemed to be in critical limbo.  Fortunately for Depp, the film Black Mass has come along to not only break him out of that limbo but remind us how talented of an actor Depp is when put in the proper project.

Black Mass is the not-so-thorough true story of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger and how his shady alliance with members of the FBI made him one of the most powerful criminals in the country.  If you have seen The Departed before going into this film, you will realize coming out how much director Martin Scorsese and actor Jack Nicholson borrowed from this infamous gangster's life.  Since the backstory of Nicholson's Frank Costello took kind of a backseat to Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon's characters, I was delighted to hear that a film about the real Whitey Bulger was coming out and would hopefully fill in all those gaps.  Regrettably, As you can tell from the "not-so-thorough" descriptor in my opening sentence, Black Mass does not really flesh out Whitey as much as I or most would like.  Black Mass feels more like a collection of scattered moments, very well shot and well performed moments, that serve to drive the point home as to how scummy and terrifying Whitey Bulger was.  

What Black Mass lacks in specificity, it makes up for in its performances.  Johnny Depp certainly is the standout.  A performance that is worth the price of admission and worthy of Oscar consideration.  Thankfully, Depp is not alone.  Joel Edgerton, who is having a pretty good year with his earlier sleeper hit The Gift, matches Depp's seductively slimey performance with an entertainingly sad and humanized one of his own.  Where Matt Damon's character Colin Sullivan comes off as more a comically wormy character in The Departed, Edgerton's version of a corrupt and desperate law enforcement official under Bulger's thumb comes off as more real and relatable.  Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Whitey's brother Billy, impressed me since I was a little wary of how he would fit into this film and how well his Boston accent would hold up.  Cumberbatch nails every scene he is in, which left me wanting more insight into him, given how compelling a story it is to be the legitimate brother to a illegitimate gangster.  But the big names aren't the only ones who shine.  Rory Cochrane, Corey Stoll, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Juno Temple and even Dakota Johnson are compelling in their limited amount of time in the film.  

Whether it be Out Of The Furnace, Crazy Heart, or Black Mass, Scott Cooper seems to be making a career of helming films where the performances are stellar but the films themselves end up being only so-so.  It shows that as a director, Cooper knows how to get the best out of his actors, especially Johnny Depp.  He just needs a bit more polish and terms of telling a complete story in my opinion.  He knows how to create the tense and UNEASY atmosphere Black Mass needs.  I just hoped for a more indepth look at the man Depp creepily embodies.  Cook up your steaks, don't give away the family secret, don't put your wet fingers in the peanuts, don't tell Whitey Bulger that you're coming down with something, watch it...then tell me I'm wrong.   

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Self/less

Self/less: Satisfaction 
117 mins / Thriller / 2015


It’s a movie we’ve seen a hundred times before but despite that, I was honesty entertained.  The ending I thought was good, Reynolds was Reynolds and Ben Kingsley is always a joy to watch. There haven’t been any good films to watch lately on a day off so I wasn’t expecting much.

After viewing I didn't feel like my time was wasted but instead for 117 minutes I was entertained. One issue I had was with the company that transferred consciousness to a new body, run by Matthew Goode. For them being hidden from the outside is a big deal. Yet they do something very stupid that gets them caught and this creates a large plot hole.   

Plot Hole (Maybe Spoiler)



Even with this I enjoyed it. It’s not fantastic but it is entertaining. Oh and I really don't care for that title. Looks too much like Face/Off.









Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Unboxing/Review: Sony ECMCS3 Microphone

Today we check out the new microphone that I am now using for podcasting. A cheap but good old little microphone that sounds pretty damn good. For more about podcasting check out The Film Pasture Podcasting episode were we give out our closely guarded secrets and learn about others.

*This review isn't being paid for, just a personal one. But hey if you'd like to pay us too, we're down for that.

Links
Amazon Sony Microphone
USB External Stereo Sound Adapter for Windows and Mac 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 54) September 2015

                                                          FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

Sharpen your pencils and grab your loose-leaf notebooks.  It's the "back to school" edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.  On this episode, the boys tackle Jesse Spano's horrible drug problem, Patty Mayonnaise's slutty behavior, and Max Landis' ego.

Speaking of schooling, Matt and DJ also pay up on a debt and discuss the high school spy film Barely Lethal, starring Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld and Samuel L. Jackson...yes...nothing in that sentence was made up.

Bill Cosby, Jared, Kanye, Miley...all get a little ribbing on this episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

Show Notes
Wes Craven
Jesse Spano freakout
Patti Mayonnaise
Tommy Wiseau & Fantastic 4

Music Notes
My Flows Is Tight By Lord Digga
Saved By The Bell Theme Song
Plain Jane By Sid Phillips
Game Of Thrones Remix
Cast Your Fate To The Wind By Vince Guaraldi

                         Check us out on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLetterboxd, and Pinterest

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine - Cyborg 3

INTERESTING

Oh dear god, I'm back with another “Cyborg” movie. I bet you didn't know there was a second one, let alone a third, but here we are. In fact there are four of these movies...kinda...sorta. But all that cheesy goodness will be revealed soon enough. Today we will be continuing where we left off in “Cyborg 2: Glass Shadow”, as we get reacquainted with Cash in “Cyborg 3: The Recycler”.

The year is 1994. Men everywhere were booby-trapped (pun intended) when the Wonder Bra made it's debut. Nickelodeon was on fire with shows like “Aaahh!! Real Monsters”, “The Secret World of Alex Mack”, “Clarissa Explains It All” and “All That”. The song “I Swear” by All 4 One played so often on the radio that many considered suicide. All this and Cyborgs start popping out babies.

THE SKINNY
“Cyborg 3” begins several decades in the future from where we left off with Cash and Colt, who were carving a home for themselves out of the desert. Now, the humans and the cyborg are at odds. The disease that ravaged the humans, during “Cyborg”, has left them weak. And since the Pinwheel Corporation has come to an end, in “Cyborg 2”, the world economy has collapsed. There is no growth and no innovation. For humans to survive they must resort to cannibalizing cyborgs for their parts in order to repair their aging technology. This has created a need for “recyclers” men and women who travel the wastelands searching for cyborg parts. Even hunting cyborgs to harvest their pieces.

Here we meet one such recycler, Anton Lewellyn, Richard Lynch, who has made a living murdering cyborgs for their parts and taking their eyeballs as his trophies. In an early, and very superfluous scene he tries to sell damaged cyborgs to Lord Talon, Malcolm McDowell. Anton and Lord Talon have done business in the past which came to a dismal end. It seems Anton sold the Lord a sexy cyborg who came fitted with “Glass Shadow” explosives. And since this rather explosive encounter, Lord Talon has been equipped with a robotic right hand. I say this is superfluous scene because, sure, we learn a little about Anton, but we never see the Lord Talon character again. The filmmaker wanted to use Malcolm McDowell's star power to help sell this underwhelming film. McDowell is even featured on the cover of the VHS as if he were the star. Well I guess “the old in-out, in-out” wasn't coming as often for this little droog  in 1994, and McDowell had to stoop low for a paycheck.

Anyhow, after meeting with Lord Talon, Anton and his sidekick/muscle Jocko, Andrew Bryniarski,head over to the ol' cyborg whore house for some tail. Here we see Anton pays to torture a naked dancing cyber-gal. Anton is one sadistic son of a bitch. She just wants to love?! This is important because, as he leaves the whore house located in some dusty ghost town, he encounters Cash. Being the ever shrewd recycler, Anton  notices how special Cash is – after all, she is one of a kind. From this point on it becomes his mission to hunt Cash and sell her to the highest bidder.

Cash on the other hand was visiting a cyborg clinic located in the ghost town. She has been feeling weak and has come to see what the problem is. Surprise, it's a baby! Yep, old Colt knocked Cash up. This is interesting because we see Colt die of old age... Was his wiener still working or...what the hell's goin' on here? I guess it doesn't matter anyway, because the good doctor sends Cash, Khrystyne Haje, away on a quest to find Evans, played by THE Zach Galligan from “Gremlins”. Evans was a cyborg designer from back in the day. If anyone can know how Cash got pregnant and what she should do, it will be him.


Now Cash must travel through the desert with Anton hot on her trail. Just when she arrives at Evan's...cyber cave and he runs some tests to prove that she is in fact pregnant. Built with a cybernetic womb and cryogenic sperm bank. The next obstacle to overcome to get Cash to care about the child. At the moment she sees it as a threat to her life. As it grows inside her, it drains her resources. She lacks the nurturing instinct that human woman possess naturally. According to Evans, this is the reason why cyborgs like her was never made, and yet here she is. Again, Cash is a one of a kind.

Anton finally catches up with Cash. She and Evans hop into her not so futuristic dune buggy and head to “Cy-Town” located in the “free zone”. It's another deserted city. But this is time it's one protected by a sophisticated force-field that scrambles cyborg tracking radar, making it appear invisible to recycler. This is the only place cyborgs can live in total safety.
Here in Cy-Town, Cash delivers her baby – a weird cyborg tube...thingy. Apparently newborn cyborgs look like softball sized spark-plugs. Her evolution into motherhood wins the hearts and minds of the other cyborg residents who weren't interested in protecting her from the recyclers on her trail. They would rather just leave her out in the open to keep Cy-Town hidden.

Oh did I say that “recycler” were on her trail. Yep, Anton is a little pissed that Cash and Evans got away and he knows they are headed to Cy-Town so he calls in back-up. Every other recycler he known is traveling through the night to where Cash's was last picked up on cyborg radar.

Anton plans to capture Cash for himself, while letting his recycler friends have at the rest of the population. It would be the largest single cyborg harvest ever.
In the mean time, Evans begins repairing the rag-tag group of wounded and maimed cyborgs who are barley alive to begin with, and preparing them for war against the recyclers – which makes up the final ten or fifteen minutes of the film. Cy-Town looks like a future-realistic version of the Island of Misfit Toys. Poor bastards.

The recyclers find their way into Cy-Town and the battle begins. Eventually Anton and Chas encounter each other, as action movies often end with the main character and villain duking it out at the end – if ya didn't know by now. Cash, in an act of superb tactical planning, or maybe just post-pardon lunacy, uses her child as a decoy so she can full Anton fill of bullets. As he lays dying, he belches out one hell of a string of last words; “Sweet mother of god, this bitch sure has some interesting programming.” lol what? And the cyborgs live on.
 

THE VERDICT
“Cyborg 3” is perhaps even less visual than the previous films. With what I assume is an even smaller budget, “Cyborg 3” is the perfect example of what a straight to video movie is. It is an inferior sequel to a franchise that was forgotten long before it was made. But that doesn't mean that “Cyborg 3” is bad. It's just cheap.

There is great acting mixed with poor acting. B-list celebrities mixed with nobodies. Fight choreography, explosions and stunts mixed will lame practical effects.

Fortunately there are some neat ideas nestled within all of the previously mentioned hodgepodge of what have you.

For starters, Cash has to learn to accept that she will be a mother. It's interesting to see her character evolve and deal with something that woman face everyday – changing their entire lifestyle to care for their baby. It's something that often leads to a deep depression.

Khrystyne Haje's portrayal of the Cash character was well acted, but she didn't seem to feel at home during all the action. Angelina Jolie did a little better job handling the rough and tumble stuff, and selling her character being a bad ass.

Another deep character arch involves Jocko, Anton's muscle. Jocko carries out Anton's brutal bidding, murdering cyborgs left and right – even though he is a cyborg himself. With Cash's help, Jocko learns that he was once a medical officer deployed during war time to act as a battlefield surgeon. He went from saving lives to taking them when Anton stole Jocko from some military depot and erased his memory in order to use him as a muscle bound slave. Once Jocko learns this, he repents by turning on Anton during the final shoot-out. This ends in an emotional conclusion for Jocko that I wouldn't have expected from a film of this caliber.
So in conclusion, there are two ways to look at this film; the first being that it is cheaply made rubbish, and the second being that it is thought provoking and emotional. Somehow both of these are true and I personally feel that if you are willing to sit through “Cyborg 2” then this is required viewing. It's one of those flicks that you won't regret watching it, but at the same time you could easily not know it even exists.

Up next will be “Masters of the Universe” starring Dolph Lundgren, and no I'm not kidding. Find out why, next time.

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 slaughterfilm.com. The home of weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!

 

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