HBO

September 3, 2017

(Ep. 90): SR Podcast – September 2017

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

Hello friends and soon-to-be enemies!  Since its Labor Day Weekend, the gang at Simplistic Reviews thought it would be a great time to get back to work.  But it wasn’t all fun and games on our Summer break.  The fellas got a brand new studio…a brand new intern…and brand new ideas to pollute your brain with…like a sitcom about Hitler and Eva Braun or the craziest idea for a Bridesmaids sequel you’ll ever hear.  In between that Matt, Justin, and DJ tackle some of the topics they missed and prepare for nuclear winter from either North Korea or our own government while staving off ignored but still rampant national racism; institutional or otherwise…FUN FUN FUN!  But mainly they use obscenities to take out everything from The Dark Tower, to a Joker stand alone film, to Brett Ratner.  All this and more on an Always Sunny episode of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

0:00:00 Opening Skit
0:03:50 Show Monologue
0:8:43 Simplistic Showcase
0:36:55 TV Round Up
1:05:34 Kill F%$k Marry
1:32:21 Closing Skit

MUSIC
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April 20, 2017

Fandoms and Navigating the Golden Age of Television

Once a month, we have a segment on the podcast, “TV Roundup.” We discuss what we’ve been watching, and most of the time, it’s the same thing. Right around “Game of Thrones” time talk about that, Justin talks “Homeland,” and DJ usually signs the praises of “Mr. Robot” and most recently the resurgence of “Samurai Jack” on Cartoon Network. “Luther” has popped up, as well as “Gotham,” “The Flash,” “Arrow,” the list goes on.

But as many people have pointed out, and continue to remind us; WE’RE LIVING IN THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION!!!

So this got me thinking; how much is there really to watch in this “golden age?” So I made a list, and the list is quite extensive, and got me thinking; how does one find the time to fulfill all of their TV fandoms while going through a normal life of work, home life, children, watching film, being smarmy on the Internet, and sleeping…maybe.

One of the main reasons why I don’t watch so much TV is the overall time it takes. A film is pretty much one and done, and even that I’ve been having issues getting caught up. Sure, with On Demand and Binge Culture so abundant these days, it’s easier to watch more TV than ever, but is there any one person that just happens to watch everything on TV just to make sure that they can have an actual opinion on everything.

Yes, if you happen to be a professional writer/journalist it’s your job to watch everything and lend your “expert” opinion and create a cute little list of the Top Ten reason why you should be watching said show, or how this show “wins the Internet” or how this new actor/actress on said show is “everything,” or maybe even why you “can’t even” (that’s still a thing right) with a certain episode. The list goes on…

In doing a little research, yes, we research things occasionally on Simplistic Reviews, there are over 20 major networks and/or content providers releasing shows that have some type fandom attached to it. I’m sure I’m leaving quite a few channels or shows from this general list, but to my point, that’s how much is currently out there, TV-wise. HERE is just a brief look at just some I could come up with. Trust me, I’m missing a ton, so put the torches and pitchforks away if I forgot your precious little angst-ridden hipster drama, or anything that might be on CBS. CBS doesn’t exist.

I guess the real question is whether TV can keep up it’s momentum, or will it collapse under the weight of it’s own grand ambition. I’ve mentioned in a previous podcast how I see a quiet decrease in the quality of Netflix’s Marvel TV shows. It’s incredibly hard to keep momentum for so long without people starting to poke holes in the most minor of minor issues, and sure, even I’ve gotten into the act, but the miracle of the Internet and having a platform, even if it’s a small one, is that you’re able to have an opinion.

With the rise of fandom, comes the continued effort by everyone and anyone to stand up for their given fandom. People may argue about the perceived slide in quality of shows, or scoff at the fact that there is another comic book adaptation or the re-boot of a once beloved TV show from the 80s or 90s, but there always seems to be someone defending it, and for the most part, I commend that. Hell, even I’m not one that will write something off right away. At first I thought the “Lethal Weapon” TV show looked interesting, just from a nostalgia perspective. Have I seen an episode, nope.

But this is pretty much my MO with TV. Something might be interesting, but I still won’t waste my time, and if a show gets to a point of it being a chore to watch and show-runners are simply biding their time to get the show to be good again (I’m looking at you “Walking Dead”) I’m out. This is the same for “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Agents of SHIELD,” seeing a trend here.. However, when a show does enter the zeitgeist of Film Twitter, I am compelled to watch since critics on the Internet are just as bad as cable news and their 24-hour news cycle. It’s pretty much watch, or be left in the dust, which is the vomit-inducing place we are with our Binge Culture. It really does want to make you binge-and-purge.

 So let’s try this; how many shows do you in fact watch, either streaming or on cable or network TV. Do you feel an obligation to watch everything since we’ve been conditioned to think that everything that appears on the TV is important and fantastic? Leave a couple of comments, and/or just tell him I’m an idiot and trying to be a contrarian. Kisses, and good luck on that WGA Strike…

April 27, 2016

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 68) April 2016

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY

 On this “Spring Cleaning” episode of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast, Matty Negs from Negs Best Thing Podcast helps us talk remakes of TV shows, reboots of Robin Williams films, Game Of Thrones, Prince, Coolio, and movie character fights to the death.  Oh and Al Pacino reads the phone book for us. All that and more on the April edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

Notes

Music


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October 15, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1993: Body Bags

BODY BAGS: UN-FILLING

91 mins | Horror/Sci-Fi anthology | 1993

HBO had Tales from the Crypt, Showtime had nothing. But that all changed on August 8th 1993, Body Bags an anthology TV movie aired on Showtime…and that was it.

A star studded of a cast came together to make an extremely un-filling 91 minutes. Tales from the Crypt had the Crypt Keeper hosting its episodes, Body Bags had “The Coroner” played fantastically by the great John Carpenter. Yes I know I’m comparing apples and oranges, TV show with TV movie but clearly this is what Showtime had in mind. They had the power to do something unique but instead came up short.

The three best things are John Carpenter playing The Coroner, who is the most entertaining piece in this puzzle of a film. The second is the first story, “The Gas Station” which is a solid story that sets you up to be disappointed. The third is the cast, a balls to the wall of this guy and that comes up short. I liked this cast alot. It’s a shame they didn’t make more, it would of been fun to see where it goes with others making special appearances.

“The Morgue”
John Carpenter as The Coroner
Tom Arnold as Morgue Worker #1
Tobe Hooper as Morgue Worker #2

Is the glue that holds everything together. The Coroner is the Crypt Keeper here hosting the stories in a flat out entertaining performance by John Carpenter.

“The Gas Station”
Robert Carradine as Bill
Alex Datcher as Anne
Wes Craven as Pasty Faced Man
Sam Raimi as Dead Bill
David Naughton as Pete
Lucy Boryer as Peggy
George Buck Flower as Stranger
Molly Cheek as Divorcee
Only story that makes me feel like I didn’t waste my time. The others aren’t horrible but the this one just works. It’s a simple slasher, which paired with guests set the bar way too high. Seeing the likes of Craven, Raimi and Carradine peeked my interest. But I guess its just too good for this film, because sadly the others don’t come any close to “The Gas Station”.

“Hair”
Stacy Keach as Richard Coberts
David Warner as Dr. Lock
Sheena Easton as Megan
Dan Blom as Dennis
Gregory Nicotero as Man with Beautiful Hair
Kim Alexis as Woman with Beautiful Hair
Deborah Harry as The Nurse

Stacy Keach plays a guy who isn’t happy with his thinning hair. Sheena Easton says no and she loves him anyway. But it’s just too depressing 🙁 …He tries a few comical treatments but nothing helps. I’m pretty sure this whole story was suppose to be the funny one then again it was the 90’s. And let me say its very 90’s, very very 90’s.

He see a commercial and decides to try it. “Dr. Lock” played by David Warner (Titanic, Tron, The Omen) is the doc that can help. He asks Stacy what kind of hair he’d like using a 90’s computer generated program, you know how that looks without me saying anymore. Keach picks the Stallion. Yep it is its name, long black hair (see picture). And the whole things was done over night, without surgery! Sounds to good to be true hun? Well it is… And when you find out why, it feels like a copout. When its revealed I could hear myself say, “Really?!” I didn’t care much for it but I did like it more then the “Eye”. “Hair” was so bad yet I honestly think I liked this story about a guys hair more then the guy and his eye.

“Eye”
Mark Hamill as Brent Matthews
Twiggy as Cathy Matthews
John Agar as Dr. Lang
Roger Corman as Dr. Bregman
Charles Napier as Baseball Team Manager
Eddie Velez as Baseball Player


Were “Hair” was about hair I bet you can’t figure out what “Eye” is about?…NOPE

Your wrong it is about…

A eye. Let that settle in a bit. We have a film that is made up of three stories. Two are about something on your body. Not much to pick from apparently. “The Gas Station” stands out for its pacing and the fact its different then the others. “Hair” and “Eye” are about two guys getting transplants. And its goes wrong, like it feels like they didn’t try. “The Gas Station” isn’t a perfect film, but the “Eye” and “Hair” come off like they ran out of ideas and gave it to their 8 year old son to write. When you have three films it should feel like three and not two.

“Eye” is about a baseball player with an annoying accent. His wife played by Twiggy losses her American accent a few times and that too becomes annoying. Mark Hamill here is somewhat a joy to watch. The thing is he has always been but here I feel he was wasted. When he gets into a bad car accident in which his right eye is destroyed. He ends up losing it but receives one from a donor. The donor ends up being a serial killer who killed woman and had sex with them. This eye begins to take over the good old southern wholesome baseball player who was making his way to the top.

And thats it. Still feel hungry for more don’t you? Yeah thats how I felt.

“The Gas Station” = Solid

“Hair” = Short

Should of been left out. Or give us more. I didn’t mind the story but there could of been more, the story came up short for me on creativity.

“Eye” = Weak

Like the “Hair” I think it should of been left out. What would of been cool if they connected it to “The Gas Station” and its serial killer. Maybe that was his eye, sure it sounds like Im doing a copout but at least it’s something.

Because what we got in the end was very un-filling.

Kinda felt this way after the film but The Gas Station saved me

July 1, 2014

Simply TV: The Leftovers

AGAIN

The Leftovers – Again

Whenever there is a new show premiering on HBO it always seems to be an event. One, their marketing team could make a show about a misplaced sponge seem interesting and the fact that TV has pretty much overtaken film as the medium of choice for A-list actors, writers, and directors says a lot. Two, HBO gives no f*cks when it comes to outlandish ideas and taking risks that no other network does, outside of FX perhaps. Three, and most importantly, HBO has two series’ ending this year, “True Blood” is mercifully coming to an end after six seasons, and surprisingly, “Boardwalk Empire” is ending after only five seasons, the latest being one of the strongest seasons to date. Bottom line, HBO needs some new programming that is going to stick outside of “Thrones” and they just might have it with “The Leftovers,” again another series that is a huge risk, but can pay huge dividends.

What we know about “Leftovers” after the first episode is that on October 14th, 2% of the Earth’s population suddenly disappeared. The series seems like it will take place primarily in Mapleton, USA, and follow the town’s police chief, played by Justin Theroux, and features antagonists like the “GRE” a chain-smoking cult which doesn’t speak, and Wayne, a mysterious man who people come from all over country to seeks his guidance. There are also wild dogs, a cool phone app on the iPhone, and high schoolers using the “c-word.”

Created by Damon Lindelof, of “Lost” and “Prometheus” fame, or infamy, depending on how you look at it, and Tom Perrotta, who wrote the novel in which the show is based, leave a lot of questions on the table in the series pilot, but any good show will do that. If you are looking for immediate closure on plot lines that are just opened after one episode, than this show isn’t the one for you. Plenty of interesting characters are introduced, and just as it was done in “Lost” we catch brief glimpses of flashbacks when characters are introduced. There is also a certain “Twin Peaks” creepiness to the town of Mapleton. Even with it’s idyllic nature, there seems to be a dark underbelly that is being hidden by the officials in charge.

While some people give Lindelof a bad rap, I’ve never had a real issue with him. Yes, I think he can bite off a bit more than he chew as seen with “Prometheus” and “Cowboys and Aliens” but that isn’t to say that the guys doesn’t have a vision. As frustrating as “Lost” might have been for millions, that didn’t stop those millions from seeing the entire show through. With Perrotta as a co-writer on the show, and helping Lindelof with the showrunning duties, I believe that “Leftovers” can be an interesting watch, as long as you’re willing to commit yourself to the show.

Bottom line, I think there is a lot to like about “Leftovers.” I enjoyed the performances for the most part, sure, there is some overacting, namely by Theroux, and Liv Tyler isn’t exactly showcasing her “range,” but I think Amy Brennaman is going to be one to watch along with Christopher Eccelston, who I think is criminally underrated and I’m surprised he hasn’t found more work in Hollywood. As long as HBO is willing to see this series through (I see maybe 2-3 seasons tops to finish the narrative that Lindelof might have in mind) I believe both “Leftovers” and a little show called “True Detective” will be able to carry HBO through some thin times that I see in 2015.

Fun Fact: A study in 2012 reported that Americans throw away nearly $165 Billion in leftovers, annually.

May 13, 2014

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight: Convalescing

When I first watched Last Week Tonight  it was the night of the premiere episode. I liked it a lot mostly because its a carbon copy of The Daily Show, which I love. After the episode I wanted to write a review but something seemed off about the show. It seemed fast like the rock from Raiders of the Lost Ark was coming and they figured lets get this over with as quick as possible and get the hell out. John Oliver was good, seemed a bit frighten but hey who can blame the guy. But I feel the amount covered in the episode was too much for the time given.

So I figure I’d wait till episode 2, maybe something will change. Okay so I clicked on my HBO GO (greatest thing since sliced bread) noticed the thumbnail of a interview and clicked play. I’m watching it on my TV eating breakfast, its Monday, the morning after and I enjoyed it. But again something seemed off. The show was about to be over and Oliver says to go online and watch the interview, then the show ends.

Wait, what?

Yes the interview wasn’t in the show, the interview thumbnail used for that very episode. I’m sure this is a simple mix up, okay shit happens I’ll wait till episode 3. But damn I wanted to watch that interview, the one I was expecting in the very show I clicked on. I don’t want to go online and watch it on my laptop.

Episode 3 is the best yet. It’s getter better with each episode because it finally took its time and focused on less stories.

LWT is here to stay.

Here is the thing that is good about this show, its the format. The format works fantastic. Comedy Central knows this and HBO saw a opportunity and took it. Good for them, having the format and no rules to follow like CC has too is fantastic. Anything goes, cursing is allowed to show the stupidity of the world and this makes it even better.  Like Oliver Said in episode 3,

“This isn’t network television, this is HBO. This is the wild wild west of sex and violence” 

By the way, Veep and Game Of Thrones is killing it this season.

May 3, 2014

Simplistic Sneak Peek Ep. 4

On this installment of Simplistic Sneak Peek, Matthew, Justin and DJ take a look at trailers for upcoming television shows including Jack Bauer’s 24 return, Damon Lindeloff’s HBO show Leftovers, and Michael Bay’s…(sigh)…new TNT show The Last Ship.  And just for kicks, the boys keep it on a Michael Bay tip and look at the 2nd trailer for the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.  I got a “tip” for Michael Bay…stay away from Thundercats, Gargoyles, and Centurions if you know what’s good for you, nostalgia killer.  Anyway, you can check out the links to these trailers below if you haven’t seen them, then click the video above to see Matthew, Justin, and DJ’s thoughts about them.

 24: Live Another Day Trailer

The Leftovers Trailer

The Last Ship Trailer

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer #2

February 2, 2014

Simplistic TV: Looking

DIFFERENT

Looking – Different

HBO has a long history of inclusion with the gay community.  From shows like “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood,” to taking on the AIDS crisis with films like “And the Band Played On,” and “Angels in America.”  Home Box Office has always been one of those networks with their fingers on the pulse of what was happening in the world, not to mention being incredibly tolerant.

With that being said, it’s no surprise, and probably long overdue, that they have decided to create a show like “Looking.”  Since the fall of DOMA, and more states becoming more accepting of those in the LGBT community, it made sense to create a show like “Looking,” which deals with gay issues in a mature way.  It’s different but at the same time it’s reminiscent of shows like “Girls” and “Sex in the City.”  Think of it as “Sex in the City Goes Fabulous.”

“Looking” follows three gay 30-somethings in San Francisco post-DOMA.  All three friends are your typical characters; Patrick is looking for love after being dumped, Dom is a bear on the prowl after his breakup, and Agustin is trying to finally get serious with his partner.  It’s a lot of the same, but like I said, it’s different.  Much like films like “Cruising” and “Interior: Leather Bar,” HBO is taking a much more mature approach when it comes to the gay community.

What sets “Looking” apart is the way it depicts gay men in this day and age.  Sorry to say it, especially for you Bible-thumpers out there, but they are a lot like us.  The have jobs, engage in meaningless talk, deal with real issues, and last but not least, they aren’t caricatures that we always like to depict in the media.

Back in the early 1990s we had Rickie Vasquez on “My So Called Life” as the poster boy for the gay community, but gay pride and gay rights have come a long way since 1994.  “Looking” depicts a look into the lives of people who, unfortunately, disgust so many.  True, “Looking” will not be for everyone, but it’s a show that is necessary for this day and age.  Gay Rights is the new Civil Rights Movement, and seeing people in a normal light is necessary to increase awareness and inclusion.

Overall, “Looking” has potential to be a watershed moment for TV, and with the backing of HBO it should succeed in an environment that is becoming younger and far more tolerant.  The timing could not have been better.

Fun Fact:  DOMA, aka, The Defense of Marriage Act, was written into law in 1996, but Section Three of the law was deemed unconstitutional in 2013 with the case, The United States vs. Windsor.

November 1, 2013

Simplistic Reviews Presents: Simply Horrifying featuring Tales from the Crypt Ep. 13

Happy post-Halloween you creeps!  In this 13th episode of Simply Horrifying we have an episode that probably is the most memorable in my opinion.  Being a child of the late 1980s and early 1990s one of my favorite movies has “The Goonies” and this episode, entitled “Undertaking Parlor” has the finger prints of “The Goonies” all over it.

A group of friends stumble upon a town conspiracy to kill it’s riches residents and profit off of their funerals.  Starring John Glover as the town mortician and Data from “The Goonies” as Josh, the aspiring film director of the group, can three four friends put a stop to this evil plot or murder for profit.

Click the link above for the full review and don’t forget to subscribe, comment, or leave us hate mail, if you dare……

October 31, 2013

Simplistic Reviews Presents: Simply Horrifying featuring Tales from the Crypt Ep. 12

There were days when vampires were vampires and not whiny little bitches who sparkle in front of mouth-breathers.  Vampires were bad-ass creatures of the night that seduced women and drained them of their blood while making them their vampire mates.  Those were the days, or nights, if you will.
On this episode of Simply Horrifying we take on a little tale entitled “The Reluctant Vampire.”  A really strong episode from season three that finds Malcom McDowell as the titular vampire who works the night shift at the blood bank.  Fearing for his job when a blood shortage hits, he succumbs to his primal nature to save the bank.
Click the link above for the full review, if you dare……..
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