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April 27, 2019

(Ep. 120): Guns – Movie Commentary: April 2019

April 26 is here!

Sure, the mystery movie commentaries were fun. But you knew what you wanted and we knew what you needed. So today we give it like it has never been given…That is why, for no other reason, April 26 was circled on our calendars.

A date we know a lot of you have been counting down towards.

A date that will most likely go down in movie history.

April 26, 2019.

The date Simplistic Reviews finally watched…Guns!

1990 ‧ Thriller/Drama ‧ 1h 36m


Initial release: November 9, 1990
Director: Andy Sidaris

A South American gunrunner (Erik Estrada) uses an island in Hawaii as his base of operations. A squad of beautiful government airfreighters Donna (Dona Speir) and Nicole (Roberta Vasquez) agents is sent to put him out of business.

Shit yeah! Andy Sidaris! The Sidaris Cinematic Universe continues of the greatest movie series ever! Bombs! Bullets and Babes! This isn’t no children’s Endgame, this is real shit!

February 1, 2017

(Ep. 82): Savage Beach – Movie Commentary: January 2017

1989 | Action | 92 min 

Ready for a trip to Savage Beach?
Come and enjoy beautiful our water
Wine and dine with at the island’s number 1 restaurant. 
And come see the last of what the 80’s have to offer in Andy Sidaris’…

Savage Beach 

Ladies and Gentlemen WE ARE BACK!
Ah… 2017 is going to be a good year! All new 90’s Andy Sidaris’ Films to watch. Honestly what more could you want?!
Shit…I just remembered…the 90’s sucked and the world is in turmoil. Oh well let’s enjoy what we have left then.
Drug agents Donna (Dona Speir) and Taryn (Hope Marie Carlton) crash-land on a remote island, rumored to have a gold treasure. Treasure isn’t the only thing on this island, war-gold seekers searching for their gold will do anything for riches.
Initial release: 1989
Director: Andy Sidaris
Screenplay: Andy Sidaris
Music composed by: Gary Stockdale


June 24, 2016

SR Podcast (Ep. 70): Picasso Trigger – Movie Commentary: June 2016

Picasso Trigger
1988 | Action | 1hr 39mins
It’s Friday! So we thought another  
Movie Commentary was in order!
Continuing our marathon of the one and only Andy Sidaris. If this is your first time, Sidaris is the king of B-Rated films that pretty much only contains the 3 elements any film really ever needs Bullets, Babes and Sex!
Today we let lose on Picasso Trigger, another solid entry into the Sidaris legacy. 
“Double agent Picasso Trigger is assassinated in Paris by double-crossing bad guy Miguel Ortiz. Then Ortiz begins eliminating agents of The Agency who were involved in his brother’s death. The Agency (belatedly) springs into action to stop Ortiz’ heinous activities. The usual gunplay, romance, and nifty toys with bombs ensue.” 
 So grab a cold one and get ready for a thrill of a lifetime, because kids this is…
 Picasso Trigger!

April 14, 2013

Simplistic TV: HBO’s VICE



In my younger, retail, years, I worked at Urban Outfitters, aka, Hipster Outfitters.  When I worked there in the early 2000s it had the air of hipster while the term was still in its infancy, but I still liked, and continue to like, the store.  One of the things I liked best was the book/magazine collection.  A lot of counter-culture and obscure reading material was always available including the magazine “VICE” a Canadian-based music and news publication produced on a monthly basis.  I usually just read the music articles and left the news story most undisturbed.  Cut to nearly 10 years later and VICE has a TV show on HBO highlighting what they were trying to do ten years ago; highlight their news stories, which you might call “Investigative Journalism Gone Wild.”

HBO’s VICE seems like the world’s dirty little secret.  The stories in the first episode essentially talked about Killer Kids in both the Philippines and in the Middle East, namely Afghanistan.  From child soldiers, to 14 year old suicide bombers that the Taliban use for their own purposes, you feel sick to your stomach seeing how backwards we are as a global society.

You can check out other VICE exposes on their YouTube page by clicking here for stories that are a little lighter with a touch of humor, but if you want your world news in your face than HBO’s VICE is for you.

VICE is Executive Produced by Bill Maher, who you know from “Politically Incorrect” this stand-up, and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” so you know the show isn’t going to pull any punches, which I think separates it from other new magazine shows like “60 Minutes” and “Dateline NBC.”  I think being on HBO gives the show even more leeway and allows the show to explore the extreme of fringe news.

The show isn’t going to appeal to everyone; it’s stark, violent, scary, and maybe a little too real for most people, but if you’re an HBO-watcher already, I’m sure it isn’t something you’ve already seen.  Some of the more graphic content was depicted in the second story of the episode, which dealt with teenage suicide bombers in Afghanistan.  Aftermath of explosions were seen, including body parts and bloodied victims.  From a Western perspective, these scenes are rarely seen and have to be searched out to be seen under normal circumstances.  There are several haunting images throughout the story that certainly stick and you want to thank the corespondents for putting themselves into this dangerous situations.

Overall, VICE has plenty of potential, and of course people are going to say the news has a bit of a slant with Bill Maher behind the show, but watch the show, do your own research, and use the stories as a template to improve your own knowledge of world news, even if it is news on the fringe.

Fun Fact:  VICE was originally named “The Voice of Montreal” in 1994, the year it was founded by Shane Smith.

January 12, 2013

Holiday Hangover: Gangster Squad

Gangster Squad – Bite

Its been a while since there’s been a straight-up cops fighting the mob type of film.  The last one I can really think of  was “American Gangster.”  The problem with this genre is that it’s been done to death, and how can you really re-invent the wheel.  Sure, you can make it more modern and take it out of the 1920s or 40s, but that’s half the charm of these films.  I like to see big Cadillacs, bright lights on buildings, and usually, extraordinarily bad acting.  Well guess what, “Gangster Squad” is more than happy to bite off of all these cliches, and more.

If you take “L.A Confidential,” “The Untouchables,” and “Dick Tracy” you pretty much have “Squad” in a nutshell.  The story follows a group of LAPD officers who are tasked by Nick Nolte’s police chief to take down East Coast-turned-West Coast mobster Mickey Cohen, played by Sean Penn.  The story is basically “Hey, Cohen is a bad guy doing bad stuff.  Let’s shut his operations down!”  Stock story, stock characters, and very little room for characters to develop.

I personally like the way the film was shot.  I thought it was stylish, even though it did use an obscene amount of slow-motion camera work, and the fact that nearly all the shootouts and action set-pieces were shot practically, I appreciate that even more.  Ruben Fleischer has a knack for the quirky, and has a real grip on filming practical effects, but I don’t think he has a knack for filming drama.

While the action kept me in the film, the acting and writing left a lot to be desired.  Not even a cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Penn can save a paper thin plot that is so predictable, it was almost laughable.  In a film that had room for a few twists here and there (one again, think “L.A Confidential”) they decided to go the big budget action romp route.  While I was in the theater I started to think about the video game “L.A Noire.”  They both have similarities in the time frame (Post World War II) and really harped on the fact that Los Angeles was at “war” and soldiers are needed to win wars.  I wanted to know the war storied behind John O’ Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Gosling) but I got nothing of the sort.

While this movie might have been something to look forward to, it received a lot more publicity after the shooting in Aurora, CO in July 2012.  “Squad” had to go back and completely re-shoot an entire scene that featured a movie theater shooting as well.  While there are plenty of bullets flying throughout the course of the film, I’m puzzled why a re-shoot was necessary.  Whether it’s a movie theater or not, shooting and killing people is still shooting and killing people, no matter the venue.

Overall, “Gangster Squad” is a movie that will come and go through the theater, and probably make it’s money back, but it’s not changing the genre in any way.  The cast is good, the direction is good, but the story and characters are down right criminal.

Fun Fact:  This isn’t Josh Brolin, Michael Pena, or Nick Nolte’s first go around as cops.  All three have played Johnny Law in “American Gangster,” “End of Watch,” and “48 Hours,” respectively.

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