Star Trek

September 11, 2018

(Ep. 110): The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: September 2018

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast is back from our August break and raring to go. And since we thought the show could use more of a fangirl touch, we got the biggest and best fangirl of them all, Jeanette Ward from The Mundane Adventures Of A Fangirl. And as gracious hosts, we immediately put Ms. Ward in the hot seat during another edition of Questions From The Crowd. The gang also go against their better nature while playing Say Anything. Shane Black, Cardi B Nicki Minaj Beef, and midichlorians…all things discussed on the latest episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

NOTES
Ray Liotta Commercial
Nicki Minaj & Cardi B Fight
Glass Noodles
Blockbuster Video 

MUSIC
60’s Blues Rock Kinda Thing By Aaron Tosti
Gold Medal By Sounds Like Sander
Fast Times Club By Idols

January 15, 2018

(Ep. 98): SR Podcast – January 2018

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES


The boys at Simplistic Reviews are back for a brand new year of hijinks, hilarity, intrigue, and murder…well maybe not that last one.  On the January edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the gang not only tries to unravel the mystery of January Jones’ secret baby daddy, they also discuss Star Wars, Star Trek, The Crown, The Wire, and the 1991 Macaulay Culkin animated series Wish Kid…yeah…we’re still a pretty weird show.  The boys also reveal some secrets they’re not too proud of in the segment Simply Ashamed.  All that, an office search, a porno movie experience and more on a brand new edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast

NOTES
X-Factor
Wish Kid
January Jones Kid Mystery
The Wire’s Best Scene
Billy Joel Accident

MUSIC
Sexy By Ben Sound
Ying And Yang By John 00 Fleming
The Croft By Joakim Karud

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April 5, 2015

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 43) April 2015

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

Play-Doh!  YA Vamp movies! Good Friday & Passover Combined!  Get ready for the most eclectic episode of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast yet.  Justin and DJ finally pay their debts to Matthew by finally reviewing Vampire Academy.  And by reviewing…we mean trashing the hell out of it.  They also discuss how Fox does something right with Deadpool…then something way, way wrong with Play-Doh.  They also get their Artful Dodger on with the return of the segment Get Your Hand Out My Pocket.  Guard your jewels in this Holy edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

 SHOW NOTES
Play-Doh
Vampire Academy
Mad Max: Fury Road
Spectre
Best of Pennywise
Deadpool April Fools
We’re No Angels

MUSIC NOTES
My Flows Is Tight By Lord Digga
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place By The Animals
Birds And Brass By Sort Of Soul
Plain Jane By Sid Phillips

October 14, 2014

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – Double Trouble

DOUBLE ENJOYMENT

Man, the action movies of this vintage were really reaching with this gimmicky subject matter. All the straight forward stories about alien hunters in the jungle and war vets returning to NAM to “take pictures” had all run dry and Hollywood writers must have been looking to cartoons for inspiration. All aboard! Out destination today is 1992…AGAIN! If I’m not careful the year 1992 is going to get stuck in the internal memory of the time machine and I’ll never be able to escape the early ‘90s.
The year is 1992. Peter and David Paul, aka “The Barbarian Brothers“, are identical twins who spent most of the ‘80s body building in Southern California before making the jump into acting. They had a gig driving a “D.C. Cab“, they hung out with “The Flamingo Kid” and even starred in a film that seems to have been titled after then, “The Barbarians”. As the ‘90s began things were really looking promising for the Barbarian Brothers and they even landed a role in the film we‘ll be visiting today, “Double Trouble“.
THE SKINNY
This films begins with Peter, Peter Paul, making a phone call to the police from a plush high-rise apartment in the dead of night. Who is he calling? The police. Why is he calling them? The apartment has been robbed…by him. I’ll admit this isn’t the smartest thing I’ve seen a criminal do, but much like the “Wet Bandits”, this is his calling card.
 
Moments later he is apprehended on the roof by detective…umm… David, David Paul, Peter‘s twin brother. He isn’t so much apprehended as he is shot by David. The two start bickering about how Peter can’t stay out of trouble and how David takes life too seriously. David gets frustrated and shoots Peter in the arm. Peter stumbles, falls off the roof and makes his escape.
This doesn’t matter much because a day or two later Peter is up to his old cat burglary tricks when he heists a collection of valuable diamonds. Again, Peter calls the police but this time he asks them to send David. Peter tries to get even with his bro for shooting him by setting a booby-trap but instead gets caught in it himself.
 
After spending the night in the jail house, Peter cuts a deal with O’Brien, the chief of police, played by James Doohan of Star Trek fame. Apparently Peter overheard some juicy information the last time he was in prison, some of which helped him find the diamonds he tried to steal. The rest involved Philip Chamberlin, Roddy McDowall, a diamond exporter who the police suspect is using his exporting connections as a way to traffic drug money. O’Brien decides to team Peter up with David and let them work together to dig up dirt on Chamberlin.
 
As the brothers investigate they learn that Chamberlin has paid off all the right people, including city council who approved the plan to build a subway underneath the nearby diamond exchange. He then made friends with Kent, the man in charge of the subways construction. The plan is to use the unfinished subway to blow a hole in the wall of the diamond exchange’s underground vault. It’s just an old fashioned robbery. I guess the police shouldn’t have been so concerned with Chamberlin’s drug money trafficking.
Once the brothers are hip to Chamberlin’s plot they rush to the diamond exchange, but it’s already too late. The diamonds have been stolen and Chamberlin and his goons are headed to the airport to skip town. The twins follow.
Once Chamberlin and the rest arrive he shares a celebratory toast with his criminal cohorts. The funny thing about criminals thou, they are greedy and can’t be trusted. Chamberlin poisoned the champagne so he could wouldn‘t have to share the booty.

Chamberlin grabs the diamonds and heads to his private plane but surprise, the brothers beat him to the punch in a way that only Barbarian Brothers or a Mentos commercial could. The plane is upside down.
Now the typical cat and mouse chase ensues before David corners Chamberlin and blows him away. The blast from David’s shotgun throws Chamberlin’s body through a plate glass window in a display of true detective work that would make Dirty Hairy proud.
With another case closed, David stops to wonder where his brother is. And that’s when he notices, the diamonds are gone. As the credits roll David chases Peter into the early morning sunrise. The End.
THE VERDICT
“Double Trouble” plays better as a comedy than a straight action movie. Hmm, am I experiencing déjà vu? Didn’t I just say that about “Twin Dragons“? The sheer absurdity of these two walking behemoth twin brothers pitted against each other in typical odd couple fashion doesn’t do much to help the poor acting and less than amazing plot that was later stolen for “ Die Hard with a Vengeance“.
But I have to admit, it’s pretty entertaining all things considered. The Barbarian Brothers share good comedic timing and some of the humor isn’t half bad. The jokes are low hanging fruit in most cases but it was enough to get a few genuine laughs out of me.
I also enjoyed all the familiar faces. James Doohan and Roddy McDowall are great. Even David Carradine was kind enough to make an appearance as an old prison friend of Peter’s. Here is someone I bet you forgot existed, Bill Mumy. He plays one of Chamberlin’s enforcers, but you might remember him as the little boy from the “Lost in Space” television show or the episode of “The Twilight Zone”, “It‘s a Good Life”.
 
So, in the end I can’t say “Double Trouble” isn’t all that bad, even though I expected it to be. In fact I had more fun watching this than I did watching both “Twin Dragons” and “Double Impact“. Go figure. I guess you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover even if it’s cover is a muscle-bound pair of twins who probably shouldn’t have been actors.
Now I bet you‘re wondering what happened to the Barbarian Brothers right?.. Right?! Well they went on to star in a few other films, their last being “Twin Sitters” from 1994 in which they play baby sitters who get caught up in all sorts of hilarious hijinks. Oh but that’s not all! They also recorded the “Twin Sitters” soundtrack and on four of those songs they rap. LOL Why? WHY, DID EVERYONE RAP BACK THEN?! I guess there weren’t many good ideas in the early ‘90s. I blame everyone’s struggle to kick their cocaine habit — a remnant of the ‘80s.
 I’m Cory Carr and this concludes our ride on the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Until next time, Semper Fi!
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!

November 19, 2013

Simplistic TV: Almost Human: Premiere Episodes 1 & 2

FLASHY

I’ve been a fan of Karl Urban since The Bourne Supremacy.  His portrayal of Dr. McCoy in the new Star Trek franchise is practically perfect, he made Judge Dredd a bad ass again, and he was my pick for Batman before the character eventually got Afflecked.  So, my expectations were perhaps a bit too high for his new FOX television show that is essentially an I-Robot spin-off/rip-off/remake/re-imagining.  I’m sorry, that jibe was a little unfair.  The similarities between I-Robot and Almost Human are numerous, but they aren’t exactly the same.  I-Robot was murder mystery, while Almost Human is a cop drama.  The major similarity they do share is that both are FLASHY while lacking a whole lot of substance.

Almost Human comes from JJ Abrams and Fringe collaborator J.H. Wyman.  The show follows a tough as nails, cybernetically enhanced cop in the not-to-distant future solving crimes alongside an android partner.   The aesthetic of the show is FLASHY, almost unsustainably expensive looking, and imaginative.  However, all the pretty distractions and visual spectacle thrown at us may just be a smokescreen hiding the fact that the show is nothing more than another police procedural.  Almost Human seems set up to examine the relationship between androids and humans and whether programmed emotions constitute an actual soul.  An interesting subject that has been explored hundreds of times before, but always leaving room for more inventive analysis.  Urban’s character has an ongoing mystery involving his past that will sometimes get in the way of that.  A little part of me wishes the show would have went with a more Blade Runner feel instead of the colder Minority Report vibe.  Though, audiences now a days are more captivated with shows driven by cool CGI effects than ones with creative cinematography and atmosphere.

On paper, Karl Urban is a great choice to play a hard nosed grumpy cop.  Urban does good grumpy.  His Dr. McCoy is funny grumpy, his Judge Dredd is intimidating grumpy, but his Almost Human character John Kennex is kind of just boring grumpy.  From episode one to episode two, the writers seemed to remember Urban’s comedic chops and gave him some humorous material to play.  I only hope they can round out his character a little more and give us something else compelling about him other than the stereotypical “closed off emotionally cop” schtick.  Michael Ealy does just fine as Dorian, the android with feelings.  (Little strange that the older model android seems newer than the newer model androids…but whatever.)  His chemistry with Urban is very good at times and he knows just how much emotion to display.  However, the rather heavy-handed allegory the show wants to make about race relations gave me a bit of pause in regards to his casting.  Choosing a black actor to play an android who will make statements about mistreatment that draws comparisons to racial prejudice…a little on the nose.  My thought is that if they are going to go there, go all the way with it.  Although, it seems Almost Human is a bit too fluffy of a series to delve any deeper into that sort of subject matter.  

Urban and Ealy’s clearly apparent chemistry is a relief because their supporting cast is marginal at best.  The best being quirky forensics specialist Rudy Lom, played by Mackenzie Crook.  Crook, better known for his character Ragetti in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series, has the only interactions with the two leads that has any real life or resonance.  Everyone else appears to just be cardboard exposition outlets that get the main characters from point A to point B.  The worst being the forced romantic love interest Detective Stahl, played by Minka Kelly.  Don’t get me wrong.  Minka Kelly is a beautiful lady, but she is about as believable as a police detective as Denise Richards was as a rocket scientist.  Unless there is some “big bad” on the horizon that’ll be played by someone who isn’t half asleep, Almost Human will be carried solely by Karl Urban and Michael Ealy’s relationship.

With a litany of lackluster to god awful new television shows this season, Almost Human falls in the unremarkable, yet, harmless part of the spectrum.  My only hope is that its FLASH doesn’t distract from its direction so much, that it prevents us from getting good stories.  Strap on your prosthetic super leg…make sure your android partner isn’t scanning your testicles(Yes, they do that on this show)…watch it…then tell me I’m wrong.

May 22, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness (Matt’s Take)

Star Trek Into Darkness – Something

SOMETHING


The Summer Movie Season has finally kicked into high gear.  Sure, you might have called “Iron Man 3” the start of the Summer Movie Season, but it left some people, including me, to an extent, underwhelmed.  And while you aren’t supposed to be moved or left with a feeling other than adrenaline after walking out of a Summer movie, there are times where you are left with a feeling where you can still get Summer Blockbusters with a little heart; just a little something extra that you wouldn’t get out of your typical Summer fare.  That something is “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Now the extent of my “Star Trek” knowledge only encompasses “Wrath of Khan,” and the 2009 re-boot, but to be honest with you if you have that knowledge already, there is no way that you won’t enjoy this film.  Even to a lament of the “Trek” universe, I jumped right into the re-boot and enjoyed it for what it was; a sci-fi epic with familiar names of characters and a cool cast that fit the characters, from what I know them as, to a tee.

“Into Darkness” is more a celebration of the series, whereas the re-boot was more of a way of getting footing and setting up a world, that while familiar, was brand new to people that either didn’t grow up watch the 1960’s TV show or familiar with any of the films.  In this adventure, The Federation is under attack by a rogue Starfleet Member names John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch.  After the attack, Capt. James T. Kirk, and his crew of The USS Enterprise take on a mission to bring Harrison to justice for his crimes.  Of course nothing goes right for the Enterprise crew who face overwhelming odds, pissed off Klingons, and angry ancient warriors out for revenge.

What makes the film work for both devotees of old school and new school “Trek” is the direction.  What happens when you take a geek and have him geek out in a giant geek-fest?  You get a giant geek orgasm with fan service to spare, and tissues are included, which are for dual purposes.  The casting is once again spot on with everyone returning, and as a bonus, you even get Peter Weller.  Yes, Robocop is in this movie and he is awesome, as he is everything he does.  He meaning Robocop, but Weller is pretty good too.

If you were letdown by “Iron Man 3” and thought the newest Marvel adventure was a misfire to start the Summer, have no fear; the Summer has “officially” begun with the arrival of “Into Darkness.”  Set Warp Speed for the cinema, and set Phasers to “Fun.”

Fun Fact:  The first appearance of Khan Noonien Singh was in the “Star Trek” TV show episode titled, “Space Seed” in 1967.

May 19, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness (DJ’s Take)

FUN

Look.  I’m going to make this fast.  One, because I’m on the way to go watch this movie for a second time.  Two, because I want to try and stay as spoiler free as I can.  With a little introspection brought on by something well put from MovieBob Chipman in his own negative review of this same film, I’ll admit my duty and privilege as a reviewer is to tell you if I thought a movie was good or not and to tell you why in either case.  It is not to preserve secrets, not to geek out, and not to just relegate myself as a proverbial cog in the already powerful marketing machine of said movie.  However, my objectivity sometimes waivers when a movie manages to personally effect me either emotionally, nostalgically, or both in this case.  So, I’m hesitant to just come out and say that Star Trek Into Darkness is the most FUN I’ve had in the theater since Skyfall.  I’m hesitant to just come out and say that it is the best Star Trek film I’ve seen since…you know what.  I’m hesitant to just come out and say that it gave me everything I wanted and so much more.  I’m hesitant to just come out and say that it will probably be the best summer blockbuster you’ll see this year…PERIOD.  Hesitant not because it isn’t all of those things.  Hesitant because if I do you’ll chock it up to just tiresome Trekkie hyperbole.  But I’ll risk it because…Star Trek Into Darkness is worth the risk.

To get into plot points of Into Darkness would ruin some of the films best moments.  So, I’ll put it like this.  Into Darkness takes the best parts…THE BEST PARTS…of the original franchise’s BEST films and literally puts them all into one balls to the wall action sci fi space adventure.  AWESOME!  It takes those nostalgic moments that fans loved from the originals… cleverly and surprisingly turns them on their ear…which somehow makes it suddenly into a new and equally rewarding experience.  BRILLIANT!  It managed to give me the FUN and the humor that Iron Man 3 gave me, but also give me the stakes and gravitas that Iron Man 3 didn’t.  THANK YOU!   It surpasses all the best moments of the 2009 remake, which I loved by the way, in under twenty minutes.  STUNNING!  It, despite my  preconceived notions to the contrary, has some of the best 3D conversion shots I’ve seen…um…ever.  BEAUTIFUL!  And flatly, the film just works.  No matter what nit-picky flaw you could conjure, no matter what prejudices against Star Trek you carry, the film just works.  I attribute this to two overall things.  The cast and the director.

Whenever I see a tv show or film where the cast just doesn’t fit or when I’m trying to explain actor chemistry to someone, I seem to always bring up Star Trek 2009.  When you have perfect casting in not just a film, but an iconic franchise, your stories can be literally about anything.  Hell, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home had the original crew go back in time and save whales for crying out loud.  And it was the highest grossing Trek film until 2009.  Why?  Mainly its because you just want to see these guys hang out and share their adventures.  That is why casting for the new franchise was, ironically, paramount.  With Into Darkness, the cast has bonded even more.  Even the tiniest interaction between two characters, whether it be Kirk and Spock, Bones and Sulu, or Uhura and Scotty, just seems to hit the mark every time.  The uninitiated can’t help but feel the chemistry and the die hard Trekkie can’t help but smile at the homages.  That is a testament to Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe, Karl, Simon, John, Anton and Bruce.  They understand their characters and have totally made them their own now.  It’s house money the writers are playing with, and thankfully they don’t just rest on their laurels with it.  The story and the dialogue is strong enough for each of the characters to shine brightly.  What about the newbies?  Well, Mr. Cumberbatch was an addition that I knew would be amazing, due to his previous efforts as Mr. Holmes.  Any amount of screen time for him is always going to be too little for me.  However, it is the performance by Peter Weller that is really going to stick out after you watch this.  Robocop himself, is so very strong here that  I found myself wondering why he doesn’t work more.  Its a small role, but he totally knocks it out of the park.

I figured that this was going to be JJ Abrams mic drop as he exits the franchise for a galaxy much farther away.  And boy you can tell.  For those of you who were worried he’d sleepwalk through this after being given the reigns to Star Wars, fear not.  Abrams throws so much into this film it is amazing.  The action is flabbergasting.  Especially because I didn’t figure there’d be so much of it.  However, Abrams does manage to let you catch your breath for the comedy and some really solid emotional moments.  He brings…I don’t believe I’m saying this…balance…proper balance to this film.  My colleague Matt Stewart did say that this was going to be our best first look at what JJ will have in store for us in Episode VII.  And if that is true, The Force has nothing to worry about.

Star Trek Into Darkness is not only a great Star Trek film, but an action blockbuster that can hold it’s own against any blockbuster film that has come before it (Sorry Iron Man 3) and will come after it (Your move Man Of Steel).  My favorite film of the year so far.   It has a lot of moving parts but never forgets to stay true to the thing that James T. Kirk covets above all things.  FUN.  Set course for it…maximum warp…chase it ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames…watch it…then tell me I’m wrong.

April 2, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Sweet 16 Results: FILM BAD

HANNIBAL LECTER (1) WINNER
DARTH VADER (4)

If there was any Star Wars character in need of psychotherapy it would be Anakin Skywalker.  Mommy issues, daddy issues, inferiority complexes, obsessive behavior, night terrors, megalomania, depression, mental trauma, and so on.  All gravy for Dr. Lecter.  Anakin has also proven to be easily duped by the kinder older gentlemen hiding a dark secret.  They don’t get much darker than Hannibal.  Not even Palpatine dined on his enemies.  

THE JOKER (2) WINNER
KHAN NOONIEN SINGH (3)

A man out for revenge is a scary thing.  A man out for chaos is even more frightening.  Khan’s relentless linear thinking eventually makes him predictable.  There is no telling what depths or what ends The Joker would go to.  The Joker’s intellect is also very comparable to Khan’s.  The difference is Khan isn’t certifiably insane.  A genius level intellect in the hands of a mad man is the personification of chaos.  

March 29, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Round Two Results: FILM BAD

HANNIBAL LECTER (1) WINNER
ALEX FORREST (8)

Being rude to Dr. Lecter is essentially like poking the proverbial bear.  And nothing is ruder than an obsessed woman who won’t be ignored.  Alex can cook all the bunnies she wants.  It doesn’t stop Hannibal from making a special stew of his own…out of her.

THE JOKER (2) WINNER
ANNIE WILKES (7)

As Batman said, a crazy person like Annie Wilkes is the type of person The Joker attracts.  However, does Annie really want to be stuck in a cabin in the dead of winter with the clown prince of crime?  I don’t think so.  Go ahead, break his ankles.  The Joker would literally laugh it off.  Wilkes has nothing to threaten Mr. J with and is slowly driven even more mad.  Misery?  Poor choice of words.

KHAN NOONIEN SINGH (3) WINNER
COMMODUS (6)
Khan’s superior intellect is too much for the patricidal prince to handle.  Death smiles at us all Commodus.  Just be thankful Khan didn’t want to use any Centaurian slugs to drive home the point.  
DARTH VADER (4) WINNER
JOHN DOE (12) 

Vader finds John Doe’s lack of faith disturbing.   Doe asks for wrath and Vader grants him his wish and then some.  Jar-Jar’s head in a box, ironically, was something filmgoers were begging for during the prequels.

March 29, 2013

The Simplistic Reviews March Madness Bracket of Good and Evil Round Two Results: FILM GOOD

JAMES BOND (1) WINNER
BATMAN (8)

A superhero versus a super spy   In this gladiatorial matchup it comes down to one thing.  One rule.  A rule that Batman won’t break but one that Bond breaks five times before he finishes his morning martini.  A license to kill separates Bond from Bruce…just barely.

SARAH CONNER (10) WINNER
INDIANA JONES (2)

There is no fate but what we make.  Well, it seems Sarah Conner’s fate may be to win this tournament.  She pulls a major upset of our favorite fedora wearing archeologist.  Man, seems Indy can’t catch a break since Crystal Skull.

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK (6)
JOHN McCLANE (3) WINNER 
I wish Seth Green and the people over at Robot Chicken would do a bit where McClane sneaks aboard The Enterprise and takes out members of the crew one by one.  You’d of course have Kirk as Hans, Spock as Karl, and Bones as Ellis. “Kirk, babe.  Put the phaser down this is radio not television.”
HAN SOLO (5)
CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW (13) WINNER
Jack’s victory over Han, a character he is basically based off of by the way, singularly personifies what Disney did to the Star Wars franchise.  An out of the blue attack and take over.  If you only knew the power of the mouse side.  
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