Gravity

March 2, 2014

Simplistic Reviews Picks (on) The Oscars!

It’s that time of year again.   The time of year where overprivileged stars get together, shake hands, say how much they appreciate each other, attend the Vanity Fair after-party, get smashed, and yeah…win awards.

Our job here at Simplistic Reviews, besides being jealous of these actors, is to decide who will win, and who will lose.  It’s Oscar time ladies and germs!

The 86th Annual Academy Awards are this Sunday, March 2nd, and to commemorate this special occasion DJ, Justin, Neal, who has been dubbed “The Voice of the People”, and Matt are picking the winners.

To make things easier, we are color coding their picks.  In the event of the same picks multiple colors will be added per winner.  Throughout the night, this post will be updated with the winners along with a running total of who has the most correct picks.  The boys will also be live tweeting the awards in an effort to mock every horrible outfit and every clunky acceptance speech.  Follow @srblogspot@chezitman and @tryingtobedjv for all types of hilarity.

Justin is RED
Neal is BLUE
DJ is GREEN
Matt is ORANGE 


Best Picture

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a SlaveWINNER
  • The Wolf of Wall Street 

Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)WINNER

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • Amy Adams (American Hustle)
  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)WINNER
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) WINNER

Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Ironically, the two black guys pick the white chick, and the white guys pick the black chick)
  • Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)WINNER
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)

 Best Animated Feature

  • The Croods (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson)
  • Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri)
  • Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner)
  • Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)WINNER
  • The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)

Best Cinematography
  • The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)
  • Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)WINNER
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)
  • Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)
  • Prisoners (Roger A. Deakins)

Best Costume Design
  • American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)
  • The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping)
  • The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)WINNER
  • The Invisible Woman (Michael O’Connor)
  • 12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris)

Best Directing
  • American Hustle (David O. Russell)
  • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)WINNER
  • Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
  • 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Best Film Editing
  • American Hustle (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten)
  • Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)
  • Dallas Buyers Club (John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa)
  • Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)WINNER
  • 12 Years a Slave (Joe Walker)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews) WINNER
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Stephen Prouty)
  • The Lone Ranger (Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny)

Best Original Score
  • The Book Thief (John Williams)
  • Gravity (Steven Price)WINNER
  • Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)
  • Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

Best Original Song
  • Happy (Despicable Me 2)
  • Let It Go (Frozen)WINNER
  • The Moon Song (Her)
  • Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Best Visual Effects
  • Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)WINNER
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds)
  • Iron Man 3 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick)
  • Star Trek Into Darkness (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton)
  • The Lone Ranger (Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier)

Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)
  • Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
  • Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
  • 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)WINNER
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

Best Original Screenplay
  • American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)
  • Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
  • Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
  • Her (Spike Jonze)WINNER
  • Nebraska (Bob Nelson)
January 12, 2014

Simplistic Reviews Oscar Preview Podcast Trailer #2

What’s the one voice Sandra Bullock doesn’t want in her head while struggling to survive in space?  Yep…good ol’ Julie.

December 31, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: The 2013 End of the Year Blowout Spectacular Jimmy – Jam

In the blink of an eye, 2013 is over and we look towards 2014 here on The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.  In this special edition of The Podcast, DJ, Justin, Matt, and Neal give their two-cents on the best and worst of the year in film and TV, and I’m sure a lot more.

Will “Grown Ups 2” stand alone as a worse mistake than Greedo shooting first, or will “White House Down” prove that Barack Obama is funnier than Jamie Foxx?

All of this and so much more on The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.  Happy New Year and see all you clowns in 2014.

Show Notes:
Best Films of 2013
Worst Films of 2013
Best TV of 2013

Music Notes:
“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is” By Chicago
“Your The Best” By Joe Esposito
“Background Music” By Seeburg
“Auld Lang Syne” By Kenny G

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
Click HERE to listen to podcast

Check us out on FacebookTwitter, YouTube, Letterboxd, and Pinterest

October 7, 2013

New Release! Gravity

MIND-BLOWING

Gravity – Mind-Blowing

I never start a review this way, until now of course; “Gravity” is amazing, emotional, groundbreaking, revisionist, wonderful, innovative, and of course, mind-blowing. There hasn’t been a movie since “2001: A Space Odyssey” that has elicited so many emotions over the course of 90 minutes until “Gravity.”  If the genius of Alfonso Cuaron hasn’t been noticed yet, this is the film that puts him in the lexicon of Spielberg, Lucas, Kubrick, and other luminaries that have re-defined cinema for a new generation.  Cuaron is this generation’s Stanley Kubrick.

“Gravity,” at heart, is the tale of survival, redemption, and the power of belief.  Most of Cuaron’s films all have an undertone of hope found within utter despair, see “Children of Men as a prime example.  Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalski, respectively, two astronauts on a routine mission to repair a shuttle.  Before you know it the two are adrift after space debris strikes the shuttle, and a battle for survival begins.

While I was in the theater so many emotions came over me.  Based on the trailers, you know shit is going to hit the fan, but I didn’t know the context in how said shit hits the fan. The set pieces are wonders to behold, and while CG is heavily relied upon, I never felt that I had to suspend my disbelief and realize that all I was watching was make believe.  Cuaron has officially blurred the lines between reality and fiction.  I was blown away.  Add in his trademark long takes, the first scene lasting roughly 15 minutes with no cuts, and you are sucked into this vision of space that hasn’t been seen since “2001.”

While I’m not going to say politics were involved, it’s interesting to see three superpowers (USA, Russia, and China) mentioned in a film about space and how one said superpower is to blame for the problems that occur throughout the film.  I’m not saying the Cuaron has an agenda, but it seems clear that he either has a distrust or distaste for the the Space Program, or perhaps his entire allegory in “Gravity” is that the Space Program is dead or needs to die.

There are quite a few references to death and rebirth in “Gravity.”  One is pretty clear, where, SPOILER, Bullock enters the International Space Station, strips her suit off, and curls into a fetal position.  After being in the vacuum of space for a long time, she finally has a place to feel safe, and regresses into a child-like position of safety.  Later on in the film we pretty much see the death of the Space Program, with once again, SPOILER, a US, Russian, and Chinese space module destroyed, with the latter plummeting to Earth.  Is Cuaron saying, “Look, space doesn’t want us anymore, it’s time for us to return to Earth and take care of things domestically before we deal with the vastness of space.”  I tend to think this is a very important, and timely, message for people all over the world.

For over 50 years, the world has been obsessed with visiting space, “landing” on the moon, visiting Mars, sending probes to the far recesses of the solar system, while the Earth continues to become over-populated, natural resources are slowly running out. climate change is a creeping death, and pollution chokes us.  Why is the space program a viable option anymore?  Yes, we use satellites for communication and surveillance, but why do we need to keep sending probes into space to hopefully meet E.T?  With NASA finally ending their Space Shuttle Program in 2011, “Gravity” tells us two things; good riddance to the program, and two, lampoons the program with the disaster that you see in the film.

Politics aside, “Gravity” is a technical marvel that lets us experience space from a perspective we’ve never seen, before in a realistic way.  Should you see it in 3-D?  My answer is always no to 3-D.  People might argue that it puts you INTO the film, but why do you need to be in the film when you can watch the film in
2-D and still feel like Cuaron is holding you hostage for 90 minutes, and that’s a compliment to the director.  I haven’t felt at the mercy of a director in a long time, where you can’t escape what you’re experiencing until the director lets you go.  If “Pacific Rim” was the action film you couldn’t take your eyes off of, “Gravity” is the mind-blowing, technical marvel that you can’t take your eyes off of this year, and maybe the past decade.  “Gravity” pulls you in, literally.

Fun Fact:  Ed Harris, who you might remember as Flight Director Gene Kranz in “Apollo 13,” reprises the role, in voice form, of “Houston” in “Gravity.”

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