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January 20, 2017

Simplistic Lists: The Worst Film and TV Politicans

Maybe…just maybe…it’s a little too early to call our incoming Presidents one of the worst of all time. I mean, the inauguration hasn’t even happened yet. But sitting through confirmation hearings of people who don’t have any experience in the office they are about to take (including our newest president) to be fair, it’s a little worrisome for most people that have a care for our country and not just a selfish desire for themselves.

With that being said, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the worst politicians from either film or our TV screen:

Mayor of Halloween Town “The Nightmare Before Christmas”

Sure it’s a cartoon, but the literal “two-face” mayor goes off at the handle at the sign of discourse and even admits that he’s an elected official and can’t make decisions by himself.

Mayor Lenny Clotch “Ghostbusters I and II”

First things first, always listen to the Ghostbusters. Two, keep religion out of your politics. Don’t kiss the ring of the cardinal and ask him for help during a paranormal crisis. While “Ghostbusters” is taking the piss out of elected officials for the most part, it is scary that some elected officials need to pray and counsel with “a high power” before making a decision that could impact millions.

Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby “The Simpsons”
Womanizing, taking bribes from gangsters, illegitimate kids; all in a days works for the mayor of Springfield. Quimby is so over the top that you have to laugh, but is amalgamation of so many aspects of politics that are corrupt can still give you a sad face.
 State Senator Clayton Davis “The Wire”
While it’s hilarious to hear “sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet” over and over on a constant loop, there’s no doubt the corruption that Senator Davis presides over during the run of “The Wire.” The best idea the entire series was “Hamsterdam” and it wasn’t even his idea. 
Senator Robert Kelly “X-Men”
A mutant-phobe in favor of a registration act that would “out” all mutants, he’s a monster in a $2,000 suit. With so much focus on the rights on members of the LGBTQ community and minority communities, the scary thing is that many of our leaders are much like Senator Kelly.
President Charles Logan “24”
A complete weasel and in the back pocket of the Russians…sounds like someone familiar…
President Arnold Schwarzenegger “Demolition Man”
You might not see him in “Demolition Man” but even back in 1992 we were making movies with celebrities as presidents…..just unpack that for a minute.
I’m sure there are a ton that are missing from this list, but as the list goes on it would just get sadder and sadder. You might think that I missed out on Frank Underwood from “House of Cards” but Frank is so cold and calculating that you have to stand in awe and simply admire him.
August 3, 2016

3 Simplistic Things: July 2016

And we’re back….and it’s not A Dinosaur Story….The month of July brought us so many wonderful things, and by wonderful I mean a bunch of things that people bitched about on the Internet. So here….we….Go.

Here’s the key to 2016. As long as you make every polling station in America a Poke-Stop….motherfu*kers might go out and vote!
Ghost Bust This!
Well, the movie that sent feminists and meninists wild was finally released, and after just about a week, no one was talking about it again…go figure…thanks Internet…we’ll move onto our next controversy.
Batgirl Gets Down?!
In one of the most unnecessary revisions in DC Comics Animated history…Batgirl has sex with Batman in the animated version of “The Killing Joke.” Look, we know Batgirl is a bad-ass, but in a comic where she is victimized, we also need to see her subjugate herself to having to f*ck Batman on a rooftop? Sorry, spoilers, I’m sure those pages were stuck together in Alan Moore’s original draft of his book back in 1989.
That’s enough ranting…kthnxbye…
May 24, 2016

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 69) May 2016


On the May edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast…Justin Polizzi…absolutely…LOSES IT!  Matt and DJ are powerless to stop him from  embracing the dark side and unleashing his anger about the new Ghostbusters movies…and Finding Dory…and Spider-Man Homecoming…and the television upfront trailers for Lethal Weapon, MacGyver and Training Day.  Polizzi’s unbridled rage and fury sends the show toppling down into a dark abyss of obscenities and inappropriate behavior with household pets. An abyss the show may never ever be able to recover from.  Now doesn’t that sound like a show that you should listen to?!  All that and more on this episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

Lethal Weapon Television Series
Training Day Television Series
MacGyver Television Series
Tetris Film
Joe Pesci Rap Song “Wise Guy”
Ghostbusters Trailer 2

1976 By RJD2
My Flows Is Tight By Lord Digga
Action In Memphis By Johnny Pearson
Let It Happen By Tame Impala

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March 4, 2016

Trailer Hot Take: Ghostbusters (2016)

It seems the Internet has been in a tizzy today after the release of the first of what will likely be quite a few trailers for the new”Ghostbusters” film. While some of the reaction has been positive, there are still quite a few people out there up in arms that their beloved quartet of proton pack-wielding demigod killers have been replaced with what could be a new beloved quartet of proton pack-wielding demigod killers.

While my initial reaction was somewhat positive, in case you don’t listen to our podcast you know the three of us have been pretty gun-shy to say this film will be any good, and yes, after immediately seeing the trailer some of my worries for squashed, but upon another few viewings, a few things starting sticking out to me to really did give me this “meh” feeling.

Here are a few things to consider:

I like seeing the old firehouse from the original films, it’s a nice piece of homage.
Now this is when things not so great…..I hoping there will be some work done on the CG, because this really isn’t cutting it….
More weird ghost CG…..
 I do like Kate McKinnon, a lot. I would assume she is playing the role of an Egon Spangler-type this time, but she looks like she might be stealing the show in this one.

This iteration of Ecto-1 (if that’s what they are going to call it) looks pretty good and I like it swerving past the arc near Washington Square Park
 The uniforms look pretty good, no real complaints here
 Again, more suspect CG….and……3D might be looming….oh boy…..

I guess this is supposed to be funny and/or sexual based on what McKinnon’s character is supposed to be developed into. We’ll see…..
 The proton pack beams do look pretty legit

My main gripe is the overall tone of the trailer, as it kind of gives you a little bit of the new with some weird new tones. I hope the “possession” angle of the film isn’t a major plot point and just happens to be a small scene. But we’ll see in July….

February 1, 2015

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 37) February 2015


In this Super Bowl Edition of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast, we…um…don’t talk about the Super Bowl.  We do talk to Dan Clark from The Talking In Circles Podcast.  Dan gives us his take on Pratt possibly being cast as Indiana Jones. In exchange for his well thought out analysis the boys force him to share deep dark secrets about himself on a segment we like to call Simply Ashamed.  DJ reveals how he lost his one true love, Matt reveals a hidden musical talent, and all three of them take great pleasure in the absurdity of the film Lean On Me.  All this and more on this Super Bowl/Non Super Bowl Edition of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast

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October 25, 2013

This is Halloween: Ghostbusters II


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.

October 14, 2012

31 Nights Of Halloween, Red Lights


The fun part of Halloween is embracing and being caught up in the frightening lore, eerie superstitions, and wild hocus pocus of the holiday.  The INTERESTING part of Halloween is if you really begin dissecting some of those paranormal activities we take for granted as innocent fun.  Do things actually go bump in the night?  Is there something under your bed?  Are there powers at work that are actually supernatural?  Red Lights is a film that delves into these questions head on.

I had first heard that Red Lights was like watching a serious take on Ghostbusters.  And though, the irony of having Sigourney Weaver play the lead in such a film is not lost on me, Red Lights is not really Ghostbusting.  Its mythbusting.  Deconstructing the paranormal and determining whether strange phenomena and psychic prophets are just a bunch of explainable coincidences and con artists, or if other worldly spirits are truly at play.

I first heard of director Rodrigo Cortes after I watched and swooned over his previous film Buried with Ryan Reynolds.  I marveled at how much tension he filled into a two hour film with only one actor, a cell phone and a dark casket.  One could only imagine what he could do with multiple locations, multiple great actors, and a budget.  Red Lights, though dealing with very INTERESTING subject matter, ultimately comes off as only a great tv pilot.  Cortes had an opportunity to do some really creative things visually with this film, but he unfortunately plays it really safe.  Something, I think, that causes Red Lights to fade into the background of films of this genre instead of shining brightly.

I was surprised by the quality of the cast in Red Lights.  De Niro’s mug is the only one on the poster, so I was not expecting Sigourney to be the lead.  I also wasn’t expecting the very talented Cillian Murphy to carry a lot of this film.  Even Toby Jones sticks his head in at at times.  They all do a really good job, especially Murphy.  A lot of attention and build up is given to De Niro in this, but you’ll be more captivated by Murphy.  He rarely gets to play a part that isn’t…well…Scarecrow.  But there is something about his commitment and intensity in all the parts he plays that makes it hard to keep your eyes off him.

Red Lights squanders its potential by not entirely pushing the envelope as far as it could.  However, it still is a film that is worth a watch entirely on the concept alone.  Don’t be a skeptic….watch it…then tell me I’m wrong.

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