Month: August 2018

August 28, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Adventureland

Maybe I’ve had a DELAYED reaction, but I actually really like “Adventureland.” Sadly, when it was released it was sold as a screwball comedy in the vein of “Superbad” and every other Judd Apatow inspired comedy that had been released prior.

It’ss a coming-of-age flick, which I’m a sucker for, with some honest acting, and despite what people might say about Kristen Stewart and her sullen, angsty acting style, she works extremely well here, and I know people will always give her shit for her years in the “Twilight” films, but she’s honestly perfect in her role here. If you’re a “Freaks and Geeks” fan, “Adventureland” is the perfect companion piece. Oh yeah, music in the 80s will live forever in my heart and I can listen to Shannon’s “Let the Music Play” on repeat….come at me.

August 27, 2018

Tango and Cash

Bloated dialogue that makes your head spin. Tango and Cash is on the edge of it’s so bad it’s good. Unfortunately it doesn’t even make it to that level and leaves on the table too much protential of what could of been.

August 24, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Hostiles

“Hostiles” should be one of those films that ends up on everyone’s ‘End of the Year Top Ten List’ thing they like to do; it has a great cast, some awe-inspiring cinematography, timely socio-political commentary, and everything else that will get you on a list.
Low and behold, aside from an excellent performance by Christopher Bale, “Hostiles” is just kind of there and after a strong opening, it just kind of MEANDERS into it’s 3rd act and ends with a typical ‘happy’ ending.

At the end of the day, I really like Scott Cooper as a director, he’s a talent dude, but despite some memorable moments, his latest film is just kind of there.

August 21, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Of course this me is being cheeky, but there is a scene in this other wise poignant documentary where Fred Rogers essentially robs a Senator of 22 Million dollars after he tells him a story about the power of his show and PBS. I mean literally “Runs the Jewels” and keeps PBS alive while talking to an elected official like a child. If that’s not Gangster, I don’t know what is.

While I can’t call myself a huge Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood fan, the guy seemed liked a class act despite what appeared to be some serious inner anguish. 2018 doesn’t deserve to have someone like Fred Rogers around, we don’t deserve him, and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” proves that being Christ-like and Christian and two totally different things.

August 15, 2018

A Not So Simplistic Review: Blackkklansman

The simple answer; yes, “Blackkklanssman” is very very good. The more complicated thing about Spike Lee’s latest is why in 2018, over 160 years after emancipation and over 75 years after World War II and The Holocaust, are we still as fractured as ever? Why are we dooming to repeat the same mistakes generation after generation and why are we choosing to elect politicians on the confidence of making things great again and essentially saying, “If It Ain’t White, It Ain’t Right.” Why are we still at this point in America, or should I say, why did we try and decide to make some progress and immediately decide to go back to pre-Civil Rights America? I have no clue…

Probably his best outing since “Inside Man” Lee, with a little help from Jordan Peele, has crafted a film that is filled with humor, horror, tension, and necessary evil. No punches are pulled in “Blackkklansman” and while you’ll be laughing one minute, you’ll be scratching your head and on the verge of tears, filled with dread at the thought that only a year ago we witnessed the horror of Charlottesville, and I’m not just talking about white guys with bad haircuts equipped with tiki torches spouting off racist epitaphs, but just how little we’ve learned and how far we’ve sunk as a society. I’m white and Jewish, and sad about where we are right now. This is something we all have to FACE.

“Blackkklansman” is not only a film to watch, but also experience for expressing the current zeitgeist we are all going through. From “Do the Right Thing” to now, Spike Lee has created something timely, important, and horrific. FACE it, you need to watch this.

August 14, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Eraser

For a long time, Arnold Schwartzenegger was pretty much untouchable. His films printed money. “The Terminator,” “Predator,” “Terminator 2,” the guy was teflon. But in came the mid-90s and suddenly there was this downfall…and of course his turn as the Governator of California.

“Eraser” isn’t a bad film, it’s actually quite fun, the the shark jumping, or should I say gator jumping that takes place in this one, is a little over the top. But yeah, you also get Vanessa Williams, who is decent enough, and possibly the hammiest performance of James Caan’s career. It’s like it Sonny Corleone joined the CIA and was taking poppers at the same time. Just no fist-biting this time kids…

August 12, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Better Luck Tomorrow

Before all the “Fast and the Furious” sequels, Justin Lin was making films like “Better Luck Tomorrow.” It’s a pretty paint-by-numbers flick, but there is something that draws me in. Before MTV went full in on “Teen Mom” and “Jersey Shore” they used to be involved in some great films like “Election” and this film.

“Luck” explores the “plight” of six Asian-American overachievers bored with their lives who either decide to star in porn or start committing up petty crimes, and eventually murder. There are some interesting socio-political ideas here when it comes to achievement and how Asian-Americans are perceived by their peers, and it’s expertly shot. It’s one of those lost gems that really gets lost in time.

August 9, 2018

Mission Impossible: Fallout

Mission Impossible: Fallout is one of the best times you’ll have at the theater this year. Fallout is a high octane action film that brings every aspect you look for in a film to a level of excellence.

August 8, 2018

A Simplistic Review: Accepted

So in re-watching “Accepted” I finally realized why a kind of like it; it’s a college version of “Camp Nowhere” which I’ve always enjoyed, in the way that I still enjoy “The Sandlot” and any other campy and disposable coming-of-age film.

But I also find the overuse and constant smarm of Johan Hill and Justin Long in addition to the insanity and rantings of Lewis Black grating and exhausting, but overall this is an acceptable comedy that has a likable band of misfits and underdogs.
August 2, 2018

Uncle Sam

So you may have notice we did a movie commentary on Uncle Sam and if you didn’t well I guess shameless plug for us. But honestly you can’t get more American then this film. What other country can you finance a film about it’s patriotic symbol and have him murder people on that country’s birthday. Uncle Sam is a crappy film but that’s okay. It’s the perfect entertainment to enjoy with the freedoms we get when some in other parts of the world don’t. Uncle Sam a stupid slasher film that fills the appetite.
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