Drama

January 13, 2019

(Ep. 115): Hard To Kill – Movie Commentary: January 2019

The new year is here and so is a new batch of Simplistic Reviews Movie Commentaries! 
We start this new year off with a film from 90’s action star and serial eater, Steven Seagal. Which Seagal film? Well, since Steven has a large collection of so bad its good, we figured we get out one of the better Seagal films that also has some of our favorite lines.
Stay warm with the boys from SR on this chilly January Sunday and let’s watch some Hard to Kill!
Hard to Kill

R 1990 ‧ Drama/Thriller ‧ 1h 40m

Description

When police detective Mason Storm (Steven Seagal) uncovers ties among corrupt cops, the mob and charismatic politician Vernon Trent (Bill Sadler), a hit is ordered on his family. During the attack, Storm’s wife is killed, and the cop himself is severely injured. After waking up from a years-long coma, Storm, aided by gorgeous nurse Andy Stewart (Kelly LeBrock), slowly gets back on his feet and plots revenge against those who wronged him, particularly the duplicitous Sen. Trent.

Release date: February 9, 1990 (USA)
Director: Bruce Malmuth
Box office: 47.4 million USD
Screenplay: Steven McKay
Music composed by: David Michael Frank


December 17, 2017

(Ep. 95): Elves – Movie Commentary: December 2017

Elves

R

1989 ‧ Drama/Horror ‧ 1h 29m

_________________________________________________________________________________

A department-store Santa Claus (Dan Haggerty) discovers a Neo-Nazi plot to mate a nice girl (Julie Austin) with an elf in Colorado.

Release date:  October 24, 1989
Director: Jeffrey Mandel
Screenplay: Jeffrey Mandel
Music composed by: Vladimir Horunzhy

That time of the year is back when the gang sits around and watches nothing but terrible holiday themed movies.

Today is not only our first appearance of Dan Haggerty here at Simplistic Reviews but also a ending for a movie that flabbergasted DJ. I suppose this would already be enough for a Movie Commentary but nope…that’s not all. We also have a homeless department store Santa investigating a modern-day Neo-Nazi plot to finally bring about the master race that Hitler had always dreamed of.

Instead of a race of pure-blood Aryans, it is revealed that Hitler dreamed of a race of half-human/half-elf hybrids.

Yep… what a movie everyone. So grab that egg nog and sit back, things are about to get weird.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. Enjoy the Elves because next week is a cold one set on a tropical island. Try not to question it.

   

November 25, 2013

Parkland

Parkland: Messy

Drama/93mins/2013

Parkland is one of those films you hear about then count till the day it comes out. It peak my interest mostly due to the event this film takes place on. I’m talking about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The assassination has always been an interest of mine for awhile now because I’m the history type of guy and not a conspiracy type. Every 22nd of November I sit in front of my TV and binge watch.

So how does this film work covering the events that took place on that day? Well it’s kind of…

Messy  

Let me try and explain. If you wanna watch a good movie about this part of history watch Oliver Stone’s JFK. Parkland is really, well suppose to be about the events at the Hospital Kennedy and Oswald where taken too. Yes in the beginning we get that, but then it begins to explore Zapruder, we shift to Robert Oswald and his mother, The Secret Services agents, The Reporters and then back to the hospital. Now maybe the writers thought this was a good idea to do a film about the hospital and not the same old format. But that’s not really how it played out. Did they say, “Shit we don’t have enough material to do just the ER.”

The synopsis to this film is  “A recounting of the chaotic events that occurred at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital on the day U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.” But most of the film is about Zapruder and the Oswald family. Yes that was very well done and in fact both of those parts are the best in the film, but I was expecting a whole ER film with a few drop outs in setting but not a bookended film with no care toward the only parts this film was made about.

Abraham Zapruder was played brilliantly by Paul Giamatti. He is my favorite thing of this whole film. Ron Livingstion who is always great and James Badge Dale who really stands out in this film as one of the only actors seemingly entertaining to watch. Marcia Gay Harden, David Harbour, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Welling, Mark Duplass, Colin Hanks, Jackie Earle Haley and Jacki Weaver all are included in this mass of who can we fit in here for a kinda cameo. That’s what it really felt like. Was it bad? No just a bit too much I think.

Then we have the top billing of Zac Efron. I’ve never watched that much of his work but ouch he seems to try way to hard to not be that Zac Efron. He just plays a guy we as a viewer should care about but instead we go hey you look like, right your that Zac guy. Hey he might be a nice guy, I really don’t know or care but you need to tone it down a bit. For the charactor we should care about I honestly could care less about.

This film isn’t what I was told it would be. It was good at a few things including a nice looking production, with a real time period look to them. Solid acting, here and there. And a film that even though a ton of information is missing, including that of not including John Connally who was at the same ER and in the same car as JFK. So yes the film is weak, worse in some areas but overall a messy mess.

October 17, 2013

Big Fan

Big Fan: Intense   …But fun.

88mins/Comedy/Drama/2009

Patton Oswalt plays a lovable but passionate fan of his football team. Not just any football team, but his New York Giants. To him no other team should even exist on this earth. But then one day his favorite player kicks the crap out of him. This puts him in a bad place.

Emotionally he becomes unstable and it leads to a place that surprised me at first.  He has to pick between him or his football team and the way it plays out was pretty awesome.

This is a film that I couldn’t really guess what came next. So many films anymore are very predicable. Patton Oswalt really shines in this film. This may be a comedy slash drama, but I would really like to see him go more toward the drama end. He really just fit this film in such a way I couldn’t see anyone else play. Micheal Rapaport and Kevin Corrigan also star, both hold a screen present not too many can. The ending will leave a smile on your face and wanting more. I would also like more from director and writer, Robert D. Siegel who on top of this wrote, The Wrestler. Both films I enjoyed and only wish we got more of his work.

Been a fan of Oswalt for the longest time, and this film might just sealed it for you as well.

September 24, 2013

It’s a Disaster

It’s a Disaster: Splendid

2012 / 88 min / Comedy | Drama

If you’re looking for a film to watch this week I found it.

With all the crap that is around these days on TV and even in the theater, check out; It’s a Disaster.

The film itself is far from being a disaster. It’s very witty, funny and down right enjoyable.

It’s Splendid.

My favorite part of the whole film is how it does a turn in the story. At first you’re presented with a simple friends meeting to have dinner type of film. You know the type. Each character is having his and hers relationship problems, cheating and simply falling out of love. Everyone knows each other, there all good friends and this is something they have been doing for quiet a while now.

The only new person at the table is David Cross, who I’ve always thought steals the show of which he’s on, even in interviews, he just steals the spotlight in his funny way.

The dialogue is lovely and the random characters like the next door neighbor and the call center guy, don’t just pop up without the viewer noticing. They pop up and steal the scenes making you laugh.

There is a ton in this film that I feel will make you smile ear to ear and keep your eyes glued to your TV.

The ending might upset a few, but I thought it was just downright perfect… Enjoy!

March 18, 2013

Barney’s Version

Barney’s Version: Touching

134mins/Drama/2010 IMDB link
Late one night I was surfing the channels on the good old TV in which honestly only shows nothing but pointless crap. Then I caught this film with only 15 mins left, It drew my attention so much I quickly found the next day it would play and scheduled it; with the single greatness advancement in the living room the DVR! Well it was a long time ago and I completely forgot about it, then one day boom there she is! There is that film one night that caught my attention.
So I watched it and its very good. If you might be looking for a film to watch I would say watch this film you wont be disappointed. 
The film is about Barney, played by Paul Giamatti and his life. He is this extremely flawed man who has issues. He meets beautiful women who he ends up meeting (and marrying), including meeting a woman at his wedding and becomes caught so badly by her beauty. Barney’s father is played by the wonderful Dustin Hoffman. No one really does what Hoffman can do, he steals every film he is in. Honestly when he pops up within 5 secs he puts a smile on your face. We meet Barney’s friends as well as his other issues we as people go through. But the relationship with his father is my favorite part. I love this relationship where Dustin jokes around one moment and the next knowing and talking about his son’s flaws then grabbing him with his words and pretty much saying I love you, I stand with you and I trust you. 
You will see what I mean, lovely and funny stuff you just don’t see much of anymore.

Side note: The makeup team has done one of the best jobs I’ve seen in years. Fantastic job on aging the actors!… Unlike this film.

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.

December 20, 2012

Happy Holidays: Lawless Heart

Lawless Heart: Intriguing

2001, 99 mins, Drama

I’m really not sure how this film got under my radar for so long, but I’m glad I finally saw it.
The other day I got home from work early, figure I watch a film and I searched on demand high and low. I found something called Lawless Heart and started to read into it. The film stars Bill Nighy (Underworld) and Tom Hollander (Pirates of the Caribbean). Well I figure that is a damn good enough reason to take a look.
The story straight from IMDB contains, Three intersecting stories about people whose lives are affected by the death of a gay restaurateur. 
The film starts off at the restaurateur’s funeral, which becomes a key moment for all and you will come back to this and other moments throughout the film.
Films that warp time and connect stories of different characters, always grabs my attention. I really love to watch films like that. The reason I think I do so much, is the crew, when making a film like this creates a lot of detail both inside the story and visually throughout the film. When you have great characters  this becomes something that grabs me and keeps me around for each persons story and to me that can create a damn good film because we seem not to get that anymore in films. 

Bill Nighy, in anything this guy does is simply great. He holds the screen and brings life to characters that you just don’t get out of other actors. He is always someone I look for when I’m looking for a film to watch.
Tom Hollander stands out in this film in a good way. He plays Nick, the gay restaurateur’s partner. He’s character’s story is quiet fascinating and intriguing in a way I never really see in a film.
All in all this is a wonderful acted and written film. I just wish we had more films like this come out more often. If you’re looking for a film to simply sit and relax too, then you should check it out.  
(The trailer is shit, but the film is really good)
September 21, 2012

Beginners

Beginners: Beautiful
(2010)

Put simply, Beginners is one of the most beautiful films I have seen in years.
It has been a long time since I have seen a film that hit a 10 on every level.
Directing ✔

Acting ✔
Story ✔
are all absolutely Beautiful.
The story is a unique one, which is nice to say. It has been a long time since a unique story like this has popped up on my “To watch list”.  As well as a story that has character development!
So what is this story about? Well a son (Ewan McGregor) is told by his father that he is gay and has stage 4 cancer. A lot to take in for his son, who’s own look on relationships has been stain by his fathers treatment of his own mother. The scenes between his mother and him, when he was young are heartfelt. Ewan also meets a girl at a party and is taken by her. She herself also has some parental problems. She also reminds Ewan of his own mother, in many different ways. The story of his struggle with life and its relationships to me are just flat out fascinating. Christopher Plummers performance is a joy to watch, as well as that dog that steals every scene he shows up in.

I tip my hat to Mike Mills. His writing and directing is simply beautiful. I look forward to his future projects.

September 3, 2012

J. Edgar

J. Edgar: Solid

This movie is fine, and thats it.

I would say it’s a weak Clint Eastwood film.

Leonardo DiCaprio is good, like usual.

His make up was good. Clyde Tolson’s wasn’t. Really got on my nervers every time I saw it.

I would like to see a story about someone’s life that doesn’t use the standard, “I’m writing a book so let’s now go back and show you everything that I talk about”.

If you have time to kill then okay watch this, if not I’m sure you can find something a bit better.

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