Alan Rickman

January 18, 2016

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 61) January 2016


FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY

Happy Jew Year friends and family. The Simplistic Reviews Crew is back, and boy are they going to let you have it….not their virginity, we’re all still clearly waiting for the right one to give that away to….

This month the boys try to find a way to make “Making a Murderer” the new #1 Comedy on CBS, to DJ’s everylasting black rage involving Michael Bay as Transformers 69 is coming soon. We even throw in a little TV talk, and introduce a brand new game segment where we decide who lives or dies in “Simplistic Fisticuffs.”

All this, plus we finally catch up with the asshat responsible for the deaths of both David Bowie and Alan Rickman in this super-sized, jam-packed edition of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

NOTES:

Bowie Being Bowie
Rickman Being Rickman
Bay Being Bay

MUSIC
My Flows Is Tight By Lord Digga
Syd Dale By The Hell Raisers
1976 By RJD2
Cast Your Fate To The Wind By Vince Guaraldi

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January 14, 2016

RIP Alan Rickman

1946-2016

Usually the New Year is supposed to begin with hope and cheer and promise of better things to come. But the week of January 10th 2016 has been a pretty bad one, but hey it can only get better….right?

First the end came for Ziggy Stardust, as David Bowie was removed from this mortal coil at the age of 69, and now another testament to British excellency, Alan Rickman, has also passed at the age of 69. Like I said, not a great way to start the year.

To be brief, the Simplistic Reviews crew will truly miss Alan Rickman and everything he has brought to film and the constant inspiration he has given our podcasts. Here are just a few things to remember about Rickman and some of our favorite roles of his:

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. II
Everyone has their panties in a bunch about Harry Potter, and almost everyone remembers Rickman as Professor Severus Snape from the “Potter” series, and sure, he was very good. Click HERE for the cream of the crop.

4. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rickman has created some of the best villains ever put to celluloid, and I think this is one that people really forget about. I mean, what kind of bad guy wants to cut someone’s heart out with a spoon. Check out the goodness HERE.

3. Dogma
If there is a God, I think it would be safe to say that the docile tones of Rickman would be the voice that I would want to hear. For more on that, click HERE.

2. Galaxy Quest
This seems to be a favorite of so many people so why wouldn’t we include it in a Top Five list. By Grabthar’s Hammer….click HERE

1. Die Hard
The quintessential action film created one of the most quintessential action film villains of all time. Whether talking fashion on where Arafat buys his suits to giving his best American accent as Bill Clay, was there anything that Hans Gruber couldn’t do? HERE is the proof.

Sure, Hans couldn’t fly at the end of the day, but now, Alan Rickman surely flies above us all.

“I don’t play villains, I play very interesting people.”
-Alan Rickman 1946-2016

December 16, 2012

Happy Holidays: Love Actually

WARM

Full disclosure.  I’m not the biggest fan of the holiday season.  I pretty much peter out after Thanksgiving and pray for New Years to start.  Pretty sure me and the Grinch are cousins.  Full disclosure.  I’m not the biggest fan of romantic films.  They are generally very color by numbers predictable or tragic for tragedy’s sake.  So, imagine my surprise when a film came along that combined both of my dislikes and still managed to knock my socks off.  Love Actually is that film.  For years I’ve held it up as my favorite, most watchable chic flick and my second favorite Christmas movie.  I’ll get to the first later.  No matter how many times I watch it, I’m left with a WARM feeling that actually gets me in the holiday spirit…if only for a little while.

Love Actually comes to us from writer and, then, first time director Richard Curtis of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral fame.  The film is a collection of interwoven stories that explores the different aspects of love during the Christmas Season.  The stories range from slapstick comedy to heartfelt drama.  Some are hit and some are miss.  As a whole, however, they all compliment each other perfectly.

Love Actually set the ensamble films bar too high for puke inducing copycats like He’s Just Not That Into You, Valentine’s Day and New Years Eve to come close to reaching.  Ggack!  Just reading the titles of those films almost made me throw up a little.  You might think Love Actually out does those films because the quality of actors in it are amazing.  Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightly, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, Rowan Atkinson and many more.  However, I think its because Curtis just knows how to use his talent in the proper way.  Each actor is the right fit for their roles.  They aren’t haphazardly thrown in to parts that we’re forced to accept because they’re Zach Efron or Taylor Swift.  If each side story were a full length film, the actor in place would still be properly cast.  The film, as a result, thrives because of these performances.  Especially those by Neeson, Rickman and Thompson.

Neeson’s story about a suddenly widowed husband and his stepson is the most dramatic driving force in the film.  It is an almost frightening coincidence that this scenario would actually happen to Neeson later in life.  The story is extremely well done and has a rare great child actor performance in Thomas Sangster.  Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson’s tale about a waning marriage and infidelity always evokes a different feeling in me every time I watch it.  You should really hate Rickman for straying from his wife.   However, Curtis presents the circumstances in such understandable way that you’ll find yourself sympathizing.  Though, the tale that is sure to put a smile on your face has to be the one about Bill Nighy’s aging rock star Billy Mack.  Of all the stories that I wished had a full length film or sequel, it would be Mack’s.  Nighy’s obvious nods to Mick Jagger and his brazen attitude toward those around him are easily the comedy high points of the film.

Love Actually is a great film to see if you want to feel good about Christmas but avoid the overly cliched shlock we’re usually bombarded with.  I’ve made a habit of watching it every year.  I, then, immediately plop on Die Hard right after in order to keep my man card.  What?  Its my favorite Christmas film.  Don’t judge me.  Watch it…watch your heart grow three sizes that day…plop on Die Hard after just to be safe…then tell me I’m wrong.

July 19, 2012

Die Hard

 QUINTESSENTIAL

That budget wasting/cgi wasting/oxygen wasting Michael Bay has proven to us that anyone can do an action film. However, not just anyone can do it well. There is one action film that ALL other action films are judged to when it comes to greatest ever. And that is the QUINTESSENTIAL action film Die Hard. No, there wasn’t some racial stereotype of a robot blowing up random things under the shadow of the American flag while some Victoria’s Secret runway model struggles to put words together in an attempt to get the director’s d*ck hard. (I hate Transformers if that wasn’t clear)

No, there isn’t a square jawed, Zzzzzzzz…boring, goody-goody, untouchable, unflappable, hero that relates to the audience as equally well as a f*cking block of wood. No, the villain wasn’t some dumb faceless one note straw man for the hero to do battle with. Die Hard was about a regular guy who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time against a sophisticated and scarily realistic criminal. Yes, it has explosions. Yes, it has one liners.(Possibly The Greatest Of All Time) Yes, it has unbelievable stunts. But at its core is a normal guy doing amazing things NOT to just save the day, but to survive. In doing that, Die Hard put us in the shoes…or bare feet…of John McClane….And that’s why it works so well. That’s why its the best. 
As far as legacy is concerned, it was the benchmark example on how to pitch and/or promote an action movie for years. “Its Die Hard in a grocery store!” “Its Die Hard in a school!” “Its Die Hard in space!” Terminator 2 comes close but Die Hard was the first action film to have the perfect balance of action, story, performances, comedy, and pure spectacle. If you’re one of the alarming number of people living under rocks and haven’t seen it, watch it. If you have seen it, watch it again….then tell me I’m wrong.
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