The Flash

April 4, 2019

(Ep. 119): The Simplistic Reviews Podcast April 2019

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast is back from Spring break…clean…sober…and ready to go. One of those things is true. The boys discuss everything they missed since they’ve been gone. From James Gunn rehiring, to the etymology of the word “trump”, to that famous last line in Lethal Weapon 2. You remember that one right? We sure didn’t. Doug Funny, Oregon Trail, Jenny & Melissa McCarthy…all points of interest or disinterest on this Spring fling episode of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

MUSIC
Fast Times Club By IDOL
Gold Medal By Sounds Like Sander
November 22, 2017

Can There Be Justice for the Justice League?

So what really went wrong for “Justice League” in it’s underwhelming opening weekend? Was it the fact that DC decided to make their own version of “The Avengers” without strong stand-alone films? Was it the condensed sub-2 hour runtime? Was it the fact that the film had two completely different tones and styles? Was it Superman’s amazing mouth CGI? Was it the fact that Batman was almost as lifeless as Charles Manson? Was it the fact that Cyborg as a head on some questionable CG body? So many questions; so little time.

In case you haven’t heard, the Internet hasn’t been too kind to DC’s latest outing where you get to see their greatest heroes all join forces to defeat a bad guy who isn’t Darkseid. Sure, there are tons of problems with “Justice League.” Overall, it’s a rushed mess with trite dialogue, awkward performances, a main villain that makes Malekith from “Thor: The Dark World” look good, and it just feels rushed. But that’s what the DCU has felt from the start; a rushed attempt to catch up to the MCU.

But here’s the thing; is “Justice League” all that bad? Of course if you ask the Internet in it’s infinite wisdom is bad and they just can’t get past how bad the CG was on Henry Cavill’s magic mustache removal. Yes, it’s not good, it’s almost criminal that in a 300+ Million Dollar tentpole blockbuster that someone would sign off on that actually being passable in this day and age. Of course I’m not an artist of any kind and I have no idea how had it is to digitally remove a mustache, but for the past 27 years we’ve been able to make dinosaurs come back to life, create liquid metal terminators, de-age actors, bring them back to life, but somehow, facial hair removal eludes us. Go figure.

To to uninformed, here’s the gist of “Justice League.”

*Some Spoilers to Follow*

The world is still in mourning over the loss of Superman, and a new threat has arrived; Parademons and their leader, Steppenwolf who is after three Mother Boxes, which are essentially terra-forming alien technology kind of similar to the World Engine in “Man of Steel.” If all three Mother Boxes are found and combined they will essentially bring about the end of Earth as we know it.

So it’s up to Batman to form a team to save the world, but it’s going to take a lot more than a really fast guy, a head on a robot’s body, a powerful Amazonian, a drunk lifeguard, and a guy dressed in black rubber to save the world, they need Superman back. The only problem is that he’s buried in Smallville, Kansas. Good thing there is still a good amount of Kryptonian technology sitting around Metropolis.

If you’re a fan of the “Justice League” or “Justice League Unlimited” cartoon series, you’ll likely be a big fan of this version of “Justice League.” But in a world that’s been created to be dark, humorless, and void of a general sense of right and wrong, it’s odd that we have so many moments that are supposed to be funny and genuine. Why am I supposed to care if these characters like each other? I barely know them, and they barely know each other. It’s hard to buy into that as a viewer since there is very little frame of reference and not much history. But, you’re expected to buy into it.

However, one of the biggest issues overall with “Justice League” is the tonal difference between what we see directed by Zack Snyder and what’s directed by Joss Whedon after he took over for Snyder. Whedon does his best to create an Avengers-like vibe, and you could argue that some scenes are directly cribbed from his superhero Magnum Opus. I’ve never been a Snyder fan aside from just one of his films, but at least his style has been consistent with “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman” and just knowing that you’re watching the work of two different directors within the same film is quite infuriating for me. Whedon should have at least tried to keep the same tonal approach as Snyder instead of trying to reinvent a MCU film in DC’s backyard. But hey, that’s just like, my opinion man.

Surprisingly, Batman is actually one of the worst things about “Justice League” with Steppenwolf coming in a close 2nd thanks to more shoddy CG. I gave Ben Affleck the benefit of the doubt in “BvS” it’s his first time out and he’s doing the best he can, but this time around, he’s kind of just going through the motions and I don’t know how you make Bruce Wayne/Batman uninteresting, but Affleck did it, and it might be the reason why he’s potentially on the way out of the DCU.

I know i’ve spent a lot of time harding on things I don’t really like with “Justice League” but looking back at my experience, despite my eye rolls and scoffs, this might be DC’s most complete film to date. It hits all the right tropes, doesn’t diminish what was created in “Wonder Woman,” introduces The Flash who isn’t half-bad, and actually makes Superman/Clark Kent more like the Superman/Clark Kent that people might recognize.

So despite a slow start, can “Justice League” bounce back after a poor start? At the box office, probably not, but on the bright side, the US Box Office is about as useless as a screen door on a submarine, it’s all about the Foreign Box Office. But could a Snyder cut, or can a 2nd viewing show a film that is actually better than it really is? Perhaps, but please fix Superman’s lip…he deserves better.

March 25, 2016

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Spoiler Free Review
Batman V Superman
Dawn of Justice:
Bloated 
 2h 33mins | Action | 2016

So how is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?

It’s Good. Not great…but good.



That’s it in a nutshell. The movie is fun, dark and gritty. Everyone’s sure to be favorite is Batman. Big reason I went to see it plus well… Wonder Woman. Been dying to see Wonder Woman in a movie. But Batman…he is simply amazing.

The film as a whole is riddled with problems. The truth is the movie itself is its own worse enemy.

Let’s start with the good.

Ben Affleck kills it as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. First actor that filled both those shoes since Keaton. Keaton as Bruce Wayne really? Yes he was the closest. When Batman Begins hit I thought Bale did the deuces, but as his mantel of Batman continued his voice became worse. Keaton in two films held the two better then anyone else since. Well until Affleck stole it from under his cape. Affleck steals the film. Just takes the film and runs with it. The voice is awesome. The cave is great and the Batmobile, ugh I want more. Alfred was great as well. He has a few moments that will make you grin. I simply cannot rest till I see a standalone film with those two again, I just cannot. I hope Affleck does a few Batman movies and continues this with what he has created. Oh when they do, please use one villain, stop the cramming of a few into one movie.  

Lex Luther, a lot of people will hate this version but I liked it. It’s different but simple. Lex is just crazy. He is ruthless, smart and pretty much a mad scientist. Dare I say at the end I liked it? True is half way into the film I hated Eisenberg’s performance. But as the mad scientist it grew on me and at the end I was intrigued to see where it will go in the future.

Visually the movie looks great. Its dark and I liked it. All the suits look amazing. Superman, Wonder
Woman and Batman look great. The costumes are just on point. I cannot talk more on how amazing they are.

Wonder Woman was kickass. I liked her a lot and I only wish there was more. I got excited when they call out Diana Prince’s name. Her as WW that costume looks great and when she popped up she received such a large cheer at the theater. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman and I will be there on opening day when her film drops.

Listen Batman and Wonder Woman are the the best part of this bloated film. Everything else kinda makes you wonder why. But damn it was entertaining to watch this on the big screen.

What about the Bad stuff?

The film is 10 years too late. If this came out before The Avengers I think things would work out better. Like I said the movie is its own worst enemy. The idea of this film being the beginning of this larger world and following up with having a Justice League film is the biggest issue I have here. Because this isn’t one movie.

“This is 4 movies crammed into a 2hr and 33 min film. That just didn’t need to be”

Superman was under used and weak. This could of been better on the writers end. Then again I don’t care much for Superman anyway, but come on guys. There is so much to do with him yet they seemed to not want to do the leg work.

Should Superman exist is a great idea for a movie, maybe a Superman standalone one but we didn’t need to be here yet with this film. Why? Because they first should of created a single Batman movie. The two could create a build up to a real Batman V Superman. Here there isn’t much of a buildup. Mostly you see and feel it from Bruce but I wish we had a scene were you see him at the funeral for everyone at Wayne Enterprises or something really painful. Yes you do get hints but it doesn’t feel enough for me. That beginning was great but we needed more. You understand he takes this personal and he wants this not to happen again but it should of been more of a build up. You should see that anger build which we get but there should of been more. The movie just had no more room for it. Yet its a 2 and a half film. That shouldn’t be. The movie just had no idea where to go with itself.

It should of only been Batman and Superman. Each gets to bring 1 person. That is. But when you add the Dawn of Justice, things begin to go a different way. This doesn’t become a film about Batman vs Superman, it becomes a film about coming together which isn’t what we as the viewer were sold on.

I only wanted to see each other kick each others asses. We get that but its small. Next film should of been the building of the team. I didn’t want to hear about all these other characters now, I didn’t want to hear about anything but two guys who hate each other. But that is the issue.

Too much in one film.

What you end up getting is this back and forth.

Batman is great but then you switch to Diana Prince and your like shit I want to see her in her own film. Then it’s back to Clark, then Batman damn Batman is cool I can’t wait to see-then boom! Cut to Superman then back to Woman Woman then to Bruce then to Lex.

“Ugh I just want to see Batman that is all and damn I can’t wait to see a Wonder Woman movie”. This was my thought process, over and over again. We should of gotten that before hand.

This film is bloated. It has way too many comic book stories jammed in. Way too many characters.

Just way too much in a already too long of a film.

Oh and yeah Doomsday. You saw the trailer. Well there is more but its pretty much the same Doomsday. He changes a bit and gives Superman a run for his money. This whole part felt like it could of been better. Saw a lot of great opportunities but it didn’t go as far as it could.

There is this one great shot of Superman in space that looks great, but that’s all I can say without giving anything away.

Other then that it was fun to watch but

October 15, 2015

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 56) October 2015

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

To celebrate this creepy time of year, why not hang with the creepy movie aficionados in the biz.  On this Halloween edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the boys talk candy…fall TV premieres…Ronda Rousey’s Roadhouse and Hayden Christensen.

This episode is filled to the brim with tricks and treats.  Grab your machete, your knife glove, and put on your inside out William Shatner mask and enjoy!

NOTES
Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games C-word poster
Sam Smith Writing On the Wall
Ellen Pompeo criticizes Daniel Craig

MUSIC
Created A Monster by B.o.B. 
Murder Was The Case By Snoop Dogg
Bonfire By Childish Gambino
Saw Theme By Charles Clouser
Halloween Theme By John Carpenter

 Check us out on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLetterboxd, and Pinterest
July 13, 2014

Comic-Con Sneak Peek: The Flash…And By Default, Arrow…Um…And Inexplicably Smallville (DJ’s Take)

PROGRESS

I was never a big fan of Smallville.  Sure, it had its own huge following, but it was never really a Superman for me.  It always felt like the perpetual meanderings of a soon-to-be hero before becoming the Man Of Steel I grew love.  I wanted the hero, not the just the origin.  That kind of formula is the basis behind my apprehension to Fox’s upcoming Gotham series.  Then DC and the CW came out with a show about the fringey at best comic book hero Green Arrow.  A show in which I also had apprehension of at first.  But Arrow gave me something that I never fully got from Smallville.  Arrow gave me the hero.  Yes, Arrow also shows the origins of its titular character.  However, it uses careful orchestrated time jumps (Lost style) to interweave that past origin with his circumstances in the present.   This formula resulted in Arrow growing into probably the best comic book television series ever.  Its success showed DC and the CW that giving us the hero faster and touching back on his or her’s backstory is more enjoyable and more efficient than leading us along for 10 seasons only for a lackluster payoff.  Arrow’s rich world building is handled more deftly and accurately than DC’s cinematic one has so far.  The Flash is one of the first fruits of Arrows labor, and I have to admit, it is a tasty fruit.

There isn’t that much I need to say to set up The Flash, seeing as it was already set up perfectly in a mid-season run of Arrow last season.  Crime Scene investigator Barry Allen visited Starling City searching for the thought to be superpowered killer of his mother.  While he’s there he essentially puts Arrow on a straighter path to becoming a hero.  Then he’s struck by lightning during a freak storm caused by an experimental machine and falls into a coma.  The series picks up right where that plot line leaves off as Barry awakes slimmer, trimmer, and a sh%tload faster.  The rest of the plot goes through the comic book movie basics of Barry figuring out his powers.  The more interesting thing though is that the strange malfunction by the machine that gave Barry his powers seems to have also sparked the birth of people with abilities across the globe.   The term “metahuman” is finally dropped for all DC Comics loyalist to squeal over.  For the uninitiated, metahumans is a DC classification just as popular and actually more encompassing as Marvel’s mutant classification.  In other words, this blows the TV universe wide open.  The gritty and grounded show Arrow is now sharing a world with people as out there as Beast Boy, Aquaman, Gorilla Grodd and friggin’ Plastic Man.  And all of it was done deftly and believably in less than a minute.

Now I’m not saying that Ollie is gonna have a throw down with someone as crazy as Animal Man, (Although The Atom is gonna pop up next season) but that is what separates Flash from Arrow.  Flash is a show more suited to explore that crazy superpowered world, whereas Arrow is is more suited to just sticking a toe in it once and a while.  Flash has the right mood for it.  The pilot for Flash feels more upbeat and chipper than the gritty Arrow show, while not being as melodramatically Tiger Beat as Smallville seemed to get at times.  There is a scene with a particularly great and apropos cameo that seems to point out that delineation.  A scene that shows where this show has come from, but also how it is going to be different.

I owe Grant Gustin an apology.  When I first heard about his casting as Barry Allen in a guest spot on Arrow, I was against it.  Mainly because I was thinking long term.  Justice League long term.  I could not see them casting an actor from Glee as one of the most famous members of the Justice League in the inevitable Justice League feature film.  That was before I realized that DC’s cinematic universe isn’t likely going to cross over with its television universe.  This was also before I saw him actually as Barry.  Now I still think Gustin is a bit too young to play Allen, but Gustin’s likability outweighs any minor geek discrepancies I or anyone may have.  Stephen Amell had the benefit of Oliver Queen being unknown enough for him to shape and truly make him his own.  Barry Allen is a lot to live up to.  From what little I know of Flash mythos, Allen seems to have a more compelling and entertaining backstory than his predecessor or his successors.  Heavy lifting for Gustin to handle.  However, there are some very good scenes in this pilot, one in particular with original Flash actor John Wesley Shipp, which shows Gustin’s capability to carry this show. 

The Flash is a welcome surprise and another strong foothold for the DC’s television universe.  A universe run by two men, Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, who I’ve almost forgiven for being creatively responsible for that horrible 2011 Green Lantern film.  Almost.  This October, watch out for lightning…stay out of the friend-zone…be careful in that barn…watch it…then tell me I’m wrong. 

July 13, 2014

Comic-Con Sneak Peek: The Flash (Justin’s take)

The Flash: Fun

This is a tough review to do. On one hand we where going to wait till the premiere date in October. With the leak of the pilot a lot of sites decided to just post their reviews online right away.  And the other makes it tough to have a detail review without ruining a fun show.
But we can defiantly talk about some cheers and jeers without spoiling the show.
Let me just say The Flash is good. It’s like Arrow, but a bit different, which gives The Flash its own type of storytelling. Arrow uses a lot of flashbacks. This is something I thought early on was going to get them in trouble with timelines. Also after awhile flashbacks for me can really turn me off of a story, unless like here they’re used correctly. But Arrow continues to be one of the best shows to watch, mostly do to the writing and its fantastic leads. The Flash seems more likely to follow a different path. Thou it is tough to tell at this point, being this as the only episode. The narration was good. The Flash, Grant Gustin does a very good job playing Berry Allen. I’m very glad they didn’t throw in a ton of jokes for Allen to tell like we have seen before with the character.  He’s dialogue is pretty solid and this was a worry I shared at the start. Detective Joe West and Iris West where good, John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen was a great idea (Shipp played The Flash on TV in 1991). Harrison Wells is an interesting character to say least (You’ll see what I mean).

The villain was okay.  The meat of the storytelling impacted the character to be given more, so it’s not a total loss. I will say this, the news of Robbie Amell (cousin of the Arrow) as Firestorm has excited me more then anything. I’m looking forward toward seeing that characters come alive.
The effects are pretty good. I was wondering a bit how it would look when I first heard of the show being made. But I’m pretty happy with it. This is something more I’m waiting to see in future episodes. Smallville did a good job with this too, and I’m hoping they take it to the next level, like the flash getting stuck in a mirror from Mirror Master.

All in all everything was pretty good. Only thing that I didn’t like was the amount they packed into the pilot. I’m surprised they didn’t pull a 24 and stretched it along a handful of episodes. A lot happens making the episode feel jammed packed. If they made it a 2-hour event then I could really seeing it working out a tad bit better.
Definitely give it a watch if you’re a fan of the Flash, the Arrow or just like watching something fun on TV.

Also keep a look for a ton of Easter eggs, for a pilot there’re some big ones.
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