Bill Murray

March 2, 2014

The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men: Bland

118mins | Biography | 2014 

A complete mess of a film due to reasons that kill me and make me cry.
The story behind Monuments is a beautiful one. A group put together to rescue art stolen by the Nazis in World War II. I myself like this story unlike a lot of people online who apparently think its no worth tell. I think it’s one of importance and therefore one that should be told, just not in a theater.
My biggest issue with this film is the amount to be told and not enough time to tell it. Sure 118mins is long enough for most stories but not this one. What they tried to do was fit 10 lb of shit in a 5 lb bag.  This would of worked better as an episodic show on HBO, History Channel or whatever. A 10-part show, 1hr long would be more then enough, not 118mins.
Sadly with the 118mins that they had they wasted it on scenes that didn’t need to be in there. Also having a cast of 7 well-known actors sharing the screen caused issues with time. The amount of unneeded scenes and the editing back and forth of current scenes killed me. Even the camera work and blocking just seemed off, I thought in the theater that this felt very amateurish filmmaking. So much could have been reworked and cleaned up; even the jokes seemed really dare I say it, lame.
So much of this film seemed wasted, and yet I wanted more after it was over.
I wanted to like this film a lot. I adore the time period, the actors and in general filmmaking and at the end I just had a, Whatever vibe. That’s not what I wanted, and that’s not what I expected.

It’s disappointing and I expected better from this company of men.
October 25, 2013

This is Halloween: Ghostbusters II

UNDESERVED

Ghostbusters II – Undeserved

Will we ever see a “Ghostbusters III?”  The easy answer is no, the hopeful answer is, please no.  Trust me, “Ghostbusters” goes down as one of the best comedies of the 1980s, if not the best comedy from the past 30 years.  There was nothing else like it when it was released in 1984; a live action cartoon starring some of the funniest people in the world.  It made Bill Murray the biggest comedian in the world at the time, and the film still has a huge fan base to this day.  It’s a timeless classic that was way ahead of its time, but a third entry into the “Ghostbusters” saga would never work now, and would strictly anger fans of the first one while simply catering to today’s movie-watching public; a group of viewers who idolize Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and any other crap that today’s fast food media tells you to idolize.  Just look at what Michael Bay is doing to the “Ninja Turtles!”  But that’s a rant for another review.  Getting back on track, fast-forward five years and the gang got back together for 1989’s “Ghostbusters II” a sequel that gets an undeserved bad rap from fans of the original.

“Busters II” opens with Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her baby Oscar out for a morning stroll.  Needless to say something spooky happens and Ray, Winston, Peter, and Egon, The Ghostbusters, are back in business.  Apparently Dana’s baby has been chosen by an ancient evil to take over the world, it’s hokey, but that’s your plot this time around.  Throw in a creepy painting of an ancient European wizard/madman, a river of ectoplasm, and an art curator from the “Upper Vest Side” and you got a sequel, while not perfect, still captures the magic of it’s predecessor and manages to be charming.

The fact that the entire original cast decided to come back for the sequel says one of two things; 1) The story was interesting and funny enough to bring everyone back or 2) sequels usually equate to desperation for actors and greed for the studio.  Back in 1989 Murray was coming off of “Scrooged”  Dan Aykroyd, “Caddyshack II,” Harold Ramis had become more of a writer and director than an actor, and Ernie Hudson was coming off of “Leviathan.”  When I think about it, I guess it was time for a sequel to “Ghostbusters.”

While there are problems with the plot, which dances the line of parody of itself and ridiculous, it’s just nice to see the whole cast back together.  The addition of Peter MacNicol to the cast adds quite a few comic beats, and his interactions with Bill Murray are some of the best in the film.  To be honest, I almost prefer Murray’s portrayal of Peter Venkman in the sequel.  It seems that he has more to do, and unlike the original “Busters,” he is the big name and the draw, and he stands out from the ensemble this time.

The story gets a little sappy near the end with a theme that only kindness can defeat evil (I mean…..come on).  Granted, this film was coming off the Saturday Morning Cartoon, “The Real Ghostbusters” which I also adore beyond words, but I feel like the story could have used a little more bite.  It simply came off as a little sappy, and frankly, simplistic, to me.  If you asked a New Yorker to be nice, there is no doubt you would get a one-finger salute, especially in the late 80s/early 90s.  Maybe in today’s New York you would get a nicer response, but the New York of yesteryear would tell you to take a hike, and than probably knife you.

Overall, “Busters II” is a fine companion to the “Ghostbusters” mythology.  It bridges the gap between the two films nicely, and is just as funny as the original.  It really does get an undeserved bad rap.  Plus, they made Janine hot!  I mean there was even a cameo by Bobby Brown for goodness sake!  Booby FREAKIN’ Brown!  Mr. Humpin’ Around!  He just wanted a proton pack for his kid brother!  I’m sure if he asked Peter instead of Egon he could have gotten that deal to work.  But alas…..

Fun Fact:  For all you Nintendo fans out there, check out the sweet NES Advantage joystick that was used to control The Statue of Liberty.

February 5, 2013

Hyde Park on Hudson

Hyde Park on Hudson: Mixed

(2012) 94 min  –  Biography | Comedy | Drama 


The film is good. I found it mixed thou, do to the films focus. 

The issue here is we’re presented with almost two different stories in a short 94 minute film. In the beginning we start with the relationship with FDR and Daisy (his sixth cousin) and that’s fine. But then King George comes to Hyde Park (First time a King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited America) and that’s fine too. But the two just don’t seem to mix well. Sure the story between FDR and Daisy is okay, but to me the fun parts are with FDR and King George. Here we have two of the world’s most powerful people, and they both have disabilities.

King George has issues speaking and FDR can’t walk. At a time of world war this is a story that is simply amazing. So I found the relationship between the two a hell of a lot fun as these two men find out that they’re more similar then they would of thought. Then the film goes back to Daisy and I just kept wanted it to head back with King George. This kept happening and I kept thinking why couldn’t the whole film be about FDR and George. I enjoyed the way the film looked but the script I thought lacked focus.


Bill Murray was awesome. I really enjoyed him
playing that of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I also thought Samuel West as King George VI was good too. The rest of the cast was pretty good but like I said FDR and King George’s relationship is the best thing about this “mixed” film.

January 29, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: January 2013

Our first podcast of the year, and we’d like to thank all the fans and readers for making 2012 a success for us.  Right out of the gates we discuss how J.J. Abrams will balance his responsibilities between “Star Trek” and “Star Wars.”  We judge the HBO original series “Girls” in our newest segment, “Open & Shut” where we channel our inner Jack McCoy and Atticus Finch.  And we debate what is the Biggest Bad-ass 80s Action Film in “Simply the Best.”

All of this, and much more, including a beer can with no manners, Bill Murray getting hand jobs, and our longing for Saturday Morning Cartoons.

Click on the link below to download the podcast and enjoy folks!

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.

Show Notes:

Matt’s take on Girls
The Force is strong with Abrams
Great courtroom scenes
The best of 80s Action

 Click HERE to listen to podcast

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