Month: August 2012

August 8, 2012

Switch

Switch: Fine

Listen Switch isn’t a bad film…It’s just a “fine” one.

Straight from IMDB the film is about A sexist, chauvinist pig gets his just desserts when his angry ex-girlfriends murder him and he is reincarnated as a woman.

It’s a Blake Edwards film so it’s got some funny scenes, but it’s no Skin Deep.

Problem I have with this film is well the date rape scene. So the guy dies and comes back as a girl. He tells his best friend played by Jimmy Smits, who says he believes him/her but still wants to have sex with him/her. Later on in the film they drink and drink and they go back to the he/her’s place where apparently Jimmy Smits has sex with him/her without him/her knowing and (Spoiler Alert)… impregnates her…WTF Jimmy Smits? The whole thing is odd and weird for this film. Nothing upsets me, trust me I’ve seen some F’d up films and I don’t care, but for this film it’s just out of place.

It’s a bit odd, but if a girl ever says they’re a friend of mine who just came back from the dead I will most likely skip the I wanna have sex with you part.

The film really is a Girly film, so if that’s your thing or what look out!

August 7, 2012

They Live

They Live: Brilliant

There will and always be a personal favorite list that any movie viewer has. A list that if you ever crashed landed on a desert island, which films who you like to have?

Today I share one of mine, They Live.

They Live is a fav of mine that always gets played over and over. I found this film years ago on TV one night. Back when VHS recorders where the shit. The station played a trailer for the film before they played it and it caught my eye. I jumped over to the remote and pressed record! I still own that copy, even though it is worn out it still gives it a special feeling effect DVD’s and Blu-rays can’t give you.

This film might not be a classic to everyone. It really only appels to a small group of people, in fact I find it hard to find people I know that have seen it. But to me this film is a classic. It gives you 93 minutes of pure joy.

I love this film! I even drove down just to see Roddy Piper when a Horror convention came to town. It was him at a desk next to Robert Englund and a few others. No one was at Piper’s desk, so I went up to him. Now I’ve met a few high profile people in my time but Roddy Piper was the best! Nicest guy I ever met (well expect for this guy). He was so happy, we talked and talked. He gave me a  autograph, They Live sunglasses with a piece of gum (if you watch this film you will know why) and asked me,  thats right ASKED ME to take a photo with him! One of the best moments of my life, thank you Roddy for that and the film. I just hope I get to met him again, possibly get to work with him on a film?…man that would be awesome!

I adore this film. Even more then the first time I saw it. When I first saw it the next day I called all my friends up to come over and watch it. It’s fun, different, a ton of action, thought provoking and entertaining. I recently watched a new high def transfer (which looks amazing and comes out this November on bluray). When I watched it the other day, I found it to touch on the world we now live in. It’s odd how close we are to this film now, with the whole obey thing. Sure it’s a bit goofy but a cult classic like this still lives up better then films of today.

Whats the film about?
They Live is about a drifter who discovers a pair of sunglasses the allow him to see that there are aliens living in our world. In fact they have taken over the Earth. They run our lives with TV and Billboards everyday. The film stars Roddy Piper, Keith David and Meg Foster. It’s directed by John Carpenter based on the short story Eight O’clock in the Morning by Ray Nelson.

Quick notes: Two actors from Back to the Future are in this film.
Longest fight scene…O and

I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.

August 5, 2012

Brave

UNWORTHY

Now, Pixar has never made a bad movie. (Ahem.)  Like I said, Pixar has rarely made a bad movie. (AHEM!)  Damn you written inner monologue!  Fine!  Pixar more times than not makes good movies.  Monster’s Inc, A Bugs Life, Finding Nemo, Toy Story Trilogy, Up, Wall-E and my personal favorite The Incredibles.  They are animated films that bring something for the kids aching to see them and also the parents forced to bring them.  They’re smart.  They’re funny.  They’re poignant.  They’re worthy entertainment.  The lastest Pixar film Brave, however, falls short of this.

Brave got a lot of attention as being the first Pixar film with a strong female lead.  This got my attention even though I didn’t see the big deal.  It isn’t like females in previous Pixar films were worthless background noise.  ElastiGirl from The Incredibles might be one of the strongest animated female characters in film history.  After seeing Brave, a very misleading title by the way, I would not place Princess Merida anywhere in Helen Parr’s league.

What if I told you a tomboyish princess, who trained to be an archer/warrior her entire life, was opposed to her prissy mother’s demands to marry her off to the suitors of rival kingdoms?  Still with me right?  Now, what if I told you her refusal to marry plunged her kingdom into war?  Awesome!   Then what if the princess and her mother are sent away by the king for their own safety?  Uh oh!  Then what if they were ambushed and attacked by men from a rival kingdom?  Oh Sh*t!  But what if the princess, escapes with her mother?  Wow!  What if the princess used every bit of the skills she’d learned from her warrior father to travel across the dangerous countryside back home?  Nice!  What if, while avoiding capture and surviving the elements, the princess proves to her mother that there are things a woman can aspire to be other than a stuffy aristocrat.  A woman can actually aspire to be “Brave”.  You’d want to see that right?  So would I.  Too bad that isn’t what this film is about.

Sure Princess Merida is being forced into marriage.  But instead of the story going the way you want it to, it changes into a silly body transformation comedy no better than that Tim Allen Shaggy Dog remake.  Don’t look forward to seeing Princess Merida using that bow in the above picture in any meaningful way.  It doesn’t make a bit of difference in this film’s story.  She could have been awesome with a boomerang or slingshot and it would not make a bit of difference in this film.  Merida is also NOT A STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER.  She is a whiny, petulant, prideful child that makes a decision that could only be described as DUMB.  At no point did I see her as brave.  The brave thing to do would be to confront the issues she had with her mother head on.  Instead, she avoids doing the brave thing pretty much for this entire movie.

Think my version of what I hoped Brave to be is too adult?  Then let me remind you that the beginning of Up centers around infertility and a subsequent psychological breakdown.  The Incredibles deals with the issues of a midlife crisis, infidelity and McCarthyism.  A Bug’s Life is literally a remake of the Magnificent Seven/Seven Samurai.  Wall-E is set during a post apocalyptic future.  And Toy Story 3….oh boy…Toy Story 3 was a few frames away from being the ballsiest allegory for mortality ever.  A Scottish female version of Rescue Dawn is not too much to ask for.

Brave also has an OVERLY PREACHY message about fate that would be lost on a child and insult the intelligence of an adult.   A message narrated to us just so they could tie it back to the, again, misleading title.  The film should be called Pride if anything.  It is the only thing I see at work in the main character.   This could have been a film that might have set an example as to how to make a movie with a strong female lead.  However, it comes across more like a medieval episode of That’s So Raven.  (Yes, I’ve seen it.  Don’t judge me.)  A film UNWORTHY to be under the Pixar banner.  I expect this from Disney Studios but not these guys.  Brave it…then tell me I’m wrong.

August 5, 2012

American Splendor

SPLENDID

Even with the recent commercial successes of this and this, people still look down on comic books, their readers, and especially their movies.   To malign the worth of comic books is extremely short sided.  Comic books are just another medium of entertainment.  No different than a novel, or song, or television show.  There are even certain comic books and comic book creators recognized for their work.  Some that receive awards.   Most look to the works of the strange and grumpy Alan Moore.  But forgotten is the even more strange and grumpier Harvey Pekar. (Pronounced PEE-KAR)  American Splendor circles the life of Harvey, the award winning comic book he made and the life that influenced it.

What makes American Splendor different than other comic books you’ve probably read or heard of is that its not about a superhero.  Its about a normal guy facing normal problems.  Cancer.  Loneliness.  Love.  Loss.  Mortality.  Stark reality up front in center.  To see these issues addressed through comics separates this film and Harvey Pekar’s story from the other cookie cutter movies that do the same.

American Splendor has a format that leads me to believe producers were uncertain as to how they wanted to make the film.  Its a documentary that turns into a movie that turns into a documentary about a movie.  There are times directly after scenes where an actor gets to interview the person they are portraying.  But it works seamlessly and becomes an interesting mechanism in telling the story.  No film I’ve seen has ever done this.

Though he can be overbearing at times, Paul Giamatti is someone I’ve always liked as an actor.  He’s perfect in this role and, in my opinion, gives his finest performance as Harvey Pekar.  You’ll love Hope Davis as very reserved Joyce Brabner.  You’ll be mesmerized by the unrecognizable Judah Friedlander as Toby.  However, its the real Harvey that stands out to me in this.  Giamatti handles the thematic aspect of the role but you will be drawn more to the scenes where Harvey talks to him.

American Splendor is a very SPLENDID film about a real person with real problems who managed to use those problems to make an impact on the literary world.  A man that should get a little more attention than he does now.  Watch it….then tell me I’m wrong.

August 4, 2012

Fanboys

Fanboys – Unexpected
Let’s face it; the three prequel “Star Wars” movies were disasters.  Films that pandered to 11 and 12 year old kids that lacked heart, and acting for that matter, so it might behoove you to believe that a group of friends would actually go cross-country in order to steal a print of “The Phantom Menace” and risk everything for a friend’s dying wish.  Well, it happened in “Fanboys” and to be honest with you, I enjoyed 
almost every minute of it.
“Fanboys” is one of those interesting movies that was filmed well before it was actually released in theaters (all 12 of them), and featured a lot talent (Seth Rogan, Kristen Bell, Danny McBride) before they really got big.  The film is fluff, but it’s the type of fluff that makes you feel good inside and the characters are fun enough that that you actually enjoy the adventure that they are taking you on.
It’s not a perfect movie, but if you enjoy adolescent hijinks in the vein of “Adventures in Babysitting” or “The Goonies” then “Fanboys” will be right up your geek alley.  Also, if you’d like to keep the good times rolling, check out ‘Ready, Player One” the first novel by “Fanboys” screenwriter, Ernest Cline, it’s one of the best things written in the past five years.
Fun Fact:  Kevin Smith was supposed to cameo as Harry Knowles of “Ain’t It Cool News” but had to bow out at the last minute.
August 4, 2012

The Watch

The Watch: What?
What the hell? This movie (If I can call it one) goes…NOWHERE.
The Three Stooges made me cut myself 8 times…
The Watch made me jump in front of cars, after I set myself on fire and shot myself 6 times.
This shit makes me sad that movies are now made like this…What? Why? It’s all shit anymore…every stupid film that comes out is shit…honestly I think I’m more pissed that good films aren’t made anymore. 

This is why people torrent films!… okay?
This is why tickets are 20 bucks to watch!
This is why no one wants to waste money on shit films?
This is why movies lose money!
This is why I don’t go to the theater anymore!
This is why!
It’s a gamble to go to the theater anymore and I rather go to a casino to lose my money…
  

August 2, 2012

Exit Through the Gift Shop

Exit Through the Gift Shop – Balls

I remember as a kid I would always see this tag all around my neighborhood “Kaos.”  I never really understood what it meant growing up and I would never know, it was just some graffiti on the wall, literally.  I’ve never been into the whole “street art” scene, in fact I’ve never really been into art at all, but when you think about what street artists do to get their point across, it takes a lot of balls to do some of the art you see in “Exit Through the Gift Shop.”

The guy with the biggest balls is Banksy, a London street artist who has “tagged” everything from retaining walls in the West Bank to Disneyland.  It’s really incredible that this guy isn’t locked under the jail, but he keeps calm and carries on.

Speaking of balls, Thierry Guetta, the main documentarian for which the film is based on, shows how art, in any form, is a truly backstabbing business where anything goes and you have to be in the right place at the right time and know how to co-opt a fad.

“Exit” has been accused of being a “fake” documentary, but that only adds to the mysticism of Banksy, Thierry, Shepard Fairey, and other artists shown in the film.

Fun fact:  The most expensive street art ever auctioned was Banksy’s “Keep It Spotless” which sold for $1.8M in 2008.

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