Tom Hardy

November 30, 2018

(Ep. 113): The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: November 2018

Don’t count your turkeys before they’re clucked…that’s a saying, right? The Simplistic Reviews Podcast for November comes right under the wire just in time to tell you what happened to Harry Potter, explore the career and voice of Kathleen Turner, discuss the filmography of Steven Seagal and create a brand new Pokemon. The boys test the limits of reality with the return of Believable Or Bullshit. Justin reveals which classic ’70s show he’ll be watching next on TV Roundup. And we flip Hollywood on its head with another edition of Simplistic Switcheroo. All that and more on the award-winning Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

NOTES
Hard To Kill
HPV Michael Douglas
Detective Pikachu
Michael J. Fox on Curb

MUSIC
Fast Times By Idols
Sun Traces By Isaac Joel
Gold Medal By Sounds Like Sander
Runaway Ghost By Travis Loafman

May 18, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road

CLENCHING

Mad Max: Fury Road – Clenching

Finally, the movie event of the year that everyone should enjoy; oops, nope, “Pitch Perfect 2” came out and everyone went to go see that….oh well. Anywho, this is for everyone who actually went to go see “Mad Max: Fury Road” and this is going to be a gushing review of how awesome it is, how great it is, and how important it is to modern film not only for artistic purposes but socially as well. Full disclosure, I really like the first “Pitch Perfect” but I never expected the buzzsaw it would become with the sequel. Enough of that crap, let’s go to the Max.

“Fury Road” is easy to explain on the surface; there is a tyrant who is holding all the resources from a down-trodden people in a post-apocalyptic future. Resources are stolen from tyrant who goes on the hunt for his resources across a vast wasteland. Hero who steals resources becomes unlikely allies with other people who have similar ambitions and goals. Come the end, justice prevails and evil is vanquished. Of course, just explaining “Fury Road” this way is an injustice of how great a film we have right in front of us that people will likely overlook in a crowded summer full of other action popcorn flick, girls singing, and superheroes the size of ants. Again, I’m not pooping on “Pitch Perfect” I am simply making a point here.

Tom Hardy plays the titular Mad Max, a nomad in a hostile land on the run from marauders looking to turn him into a resource for overlord, Immortan Joe and his War Boys. On the other side you have Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron, in a role that will studied by scholars and film snobs alike. Furiosa is a trusted driver of Joe who takes it upon herself to take his “property” or his five wives, to a place that may or may not exist, The Green Place. Along for the ride is a wayward War Boy named Nux, played by Nicholas Hoult, who goes from the gates of Valhalla to finding his own redemption.

As holds true with the Mad Max series, the villains standout as insane despots with tons of style and a great mythic quality that deserves more fleshing out. Immortan Joe and his family, including Rictus Erectus, are a sight to behold, as well as The Bullet Farmer and The People Eater (just the names alone are worth the price of admission). The only villain that comes close personality wise is Lord Humungus from “The Road Warrior” and while the villains are villainous, there is also a certain understanding and sadness to their evil. Good and evil isn’t black and white in this film, there are many shades of grey.

My one tiny little gripe, okay, two gripes, are as follows; if you are the normal moviegoer who isn’t into too much critical thinking, this film might put you off. Yes, there are tons of explosions and chases, but without much dialogue, a lot of the characters and their motives aren’t spelled out. The performances are nuanced, and the dialogue scarce, so when something is said it’s normally important and deliberate, which might be a turn off to some people. The other gripe, and this is more of a style choice, is the blatant 3D effect used at the end of the climatic chase sequence. Like I’ve said time and time again, 3D is not needed in film, it adds nothing to the story, and is a gimmick that needs to go away. I almost feel like this was a studio decision that director, George Miller, had to abide by in order to get his film funding. Hopefully, since the scene is so terribly cheesy, this was Miller’s middle-finger to making him put a goofy 3D image to cap off an awesomely awesome chase scene.

Speaking of chase scenes, and action, holy crap does “Fury Road” pack it in. Real stuntmen, practical cars, a low reliance of CG is what makes this film a marvel to behold. You can sense the danger behind every scene, the use of camera speed and lighting makes everything pop. It’s pure old-school Ozploitation at it’s finest. Miller still knows how to shoot an action scene even 30 years after “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” and this film shows he hasn’t lost a step. Needless to say, they don’t make these like they used to.

While the action is amazing, the talk of this film is something you wouldn’t have thought, and it’s got feminists and meminists all in a tizzy; is “Fury Road” a feminist action film. Well, it has tons of strong-willed and minded females not only surviving in a wasteland, but they are also free-thinking, open-minded, and loving. It’s hinted that “man” is the reason why the world has been killed, and of course men rely on women to survive. Sure, the film is called “Max Mad: Fury Road” by Max is essentially a blunt instrument which is wielded by the metal hand of Furiosa. Outside of one character, all characters portrayed by women have a purpose and something important to do throughout the film and it’s great that we don’t have to sit through the same old damsel in distress routine. Miller has created one of the most important characters in not only action film history, but film history, and it should be celebrated, not picked apart by the vulture of social medial looking for click bait. One of the complaints might be that the characters are underdeveloped….sure, on screen yes, but that doesn’t mean they have a story to tell or history. Use some critical thinking and you can decide for yourself.

I know you might think “geez Matt, you gush over all the female characters in “Fury Road” yet you railroaded the female characters in “Pitch Perfect 2.” Not really….I am making a point of noting what is obvious, and perhaps this is just an American thing. As Americans we like safe thing; fast food, fast casual food, mini-vans, and so on…we like the familiar, and we like happy. “Fury Road” is none of those things. It doesn’t spoon feed you, while it’s fast, it’s not fast food, and it’s the anti-summer blockbuster. The chases and action are simply a means to an end, a blunt instrument, similar to Max himself, to serve a higher purpose in storytelling and social studies. Similar to other films, “Fury Road” will make it’s money overseas, far from the sheepish herd that is the American moviegoer. I’ll make you guys a deal, sure, go and see “Pitch Perfect 2” or “Avengers: Age of Ultron” or even “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” but at least go and give “Fury Road” a chance. These movies are needed in a world this Mad.

Fun Fact: Hugh Keays-Byrne, who plays Immortan Joe, also played Toecutter in Miller’s orignal “Mad Mad” from 1979.

April 3, 2014

Simplistic Sneak Peek Ep. 2

On the second episode of Simplistic Sneak Peek, the boys discuss Scarjo’s strange drug habit in Lucy, Mila Kunis’ cleaning habits in Jupiter Ascending, and Tom Hardy’s speech habits in The Drop.  You can watch the trailers comment free below then come back and listen to what Matthew, DJ, and Justin had to say about them in the video above.  So many directions…it’s like grade school.

Lucy

Jupiter Ascending

The Drop

December 24, 2012

Crappy Holidays: Lawless

FORGETTABLE

Seven minutes into watching Lawless, I knew how I’d feel about it by the end.  I could see my final thoughts bearing down on me like the subway train light did to Neo in The Matrix.  The story would get boring halfway through.  Tom Hardy would be awesome, but underutilized.  And Shia Labeouf would be less annoying, but still forced down our throats.  Suffice to say, I hate being right.  Lawless suffers from one of the big no-nos a film can have.  You can make a good movie or even a terrible one.   However, you never make it be FORGETTABLE.  Be honest and tell me you didn’t say to yourself when seeing the headline for this review “Oh yeah, Shia LaBeouf did do a gangster film with Tom Hardy.”  Those of you that didn’t probably never heard of the film at all. 

Why is Lawless so FORGETTABLE?  Well, from the beginning, it leads us to believe we’ll be learning a lot about the interesting art of bootlegging OR that we’ll witness an epic confrontation between the crooked law and an infamous family.  However, it speeds past the bootlegging information in about thirty seconds while drawing out this epic confrontation FOR…EV…ER!  The pacing of Lawless is the only crime I witnessed.  Whenever it looks like you’re about to get into the wheelhouse of the film, it delays you with a contrived double love story or just plain boring build up.  It hides the good moments from us while sticking us with moments we don’t care about.  We see a man get his feet washed in church while drunk off of moonshine for three minutes.  But there’s a castration…off camera.  Gangster films aren’t supposed to hide the brutal moments from you.  Those moments make it memorable.  You remember the chainsaw scene in Scarface.  You remember the horse head in The Godfather.  The baseball bats in Casino.  Lawless drowns us in snail like pacing between its few memorable moments, and when we get there, it doesn’t allow us to fully see them.    

It is a real shame this film is so lifeless because there truly is another terrific performance by Tom Hardy here.  The man is poised to be the next great Hollywood star, yet people will have missed probably half of the amazing performances he’s done.  Like Bronson, or The Take or RocknRolla or this.  The only person in Lawless that holds his own with him in the acting department is Guy Pearce.  Pearce plays slithery lawman Charles Rakes in a way only a certain few could pull off.  The brief…and I mean brief…badass scenes he and Hardy have together shakes you out of the slumber caused by the film’s slow pacing.  It is also good to see crazed Gary Oldman again.  His run as Jim Gordan has caused people to forget how awesomely nuts he can be.  But those guys collectively play second fiddle to the elephant in the room, Shia Labeouf.  Does Shia annoy you in this?  Yes.  Does Shia whine in this?  Yes.  Does Shia overact to cover his inability to act in this.  Yes.  However, compared to his previous work in a robotic trilogy that will remain nameless, it isn’t unbearable.  He would have been better as a costar in Lawless instead of the star.  I’d rather follow Tom Hardy’s more interesting Forrest than be force-fed Shia’s cliched Jack. 

If you want to see a compelling true story about prohibition, watch Boardwalk Empire.  If you want to see an actually decent Shia LaBeouf performance, watch Disturbia.  If you don’t have HBO, don’t own Disturbia, but are at least having trouble sleeping, watch Lawless.  In the lexicon of gangster films, it falls short enough for me to name ten others better than it off the top of my head.  Godfather 1, Godfather 2, Goodfellas, Casino, Miller’s Crossing, The Untouchables, Sexy Beast, The Departed, Carlito’s Way, Scarface.  See?  Compared to any of those Lawless is easily FORGETTABLE.  Take some Nodoz…watch it…try to remember you saw it after…then tell me I’m wrong.

August 28, 2012

The Take

The Take: Astonishing

Here in America many shows come and go. Out of probably thousands only a few are worth watching. Unlike In the UK, where there seems to be a lot more quality shows over quantity.

The Take well its a ton of goodness.

It’s simply one of the best dramas.

The Take is based off of the novel by Martina Cole. It’s first episode came on in 2009 on Sky1 in the UK. It’s about a gangster named Freddie (played by Tom Hardy) who leaves prison and is hoping to take over the empire of his boss, Ozzy (played by Brian Cox). It takes place in the 80’s which is always a great time period. I would love to talk about this show more but I don’t want to spoil anything.

So lets talk about this show’s stunning-fantastic performances. The standout is Tom Hardy who will blow you away. His acting is beyond top notch, it really is amazing. Just wait to you see his mannerisms!

The others, Shaun Evans, Kierston Wareing, Sara Stewart, Brian Cox and Charlotte Riley complete a perfect cast that you never get to see on TV, including movies. It’s really something. Brian Cox like always gives a good performance and always is great to see on film. A big surprise for me would be Charlotte Riley who’s strong performance is something to behold (by the way she is Tom’s girl in real life, he’s damn lucky, she’s beautiful and can act, a double threat that I would like to see more of.)

It’s supporting cast is outstanding. Freddie is a psychopath, there is killing, blood, a plot that keeps you going and great cinematography. What more could you ask for? This drama is one of the best you will ever see on TV. We need more of these to watch! Especially in the US.

Tagline: He’s got family, he’s got power, but he’s got issues.

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