Warner Bros

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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August 13, 2015

The Gallows

The Gallows: Unlikeable

81 mins / Horror / 2015 

The whole film is pretty unlikeable, down to the characters, the story and the way it was filmed.

 (This girl’s face will get on your nerves)

Characters: There isn’t much to say except I could careless about any of them. The most annoying bunch of characters I’ve seen in a longtime. Usually you’re rooting for someone, not even “Charlie” who in one of those TV spots was placed on the same shelf as Freddy, Michael and Jason.

Yeahhh about that…. not even close.

Story: What story? Kids break into a school after hours and die.

Fun Fact: The actors names are the same in the movie for their characters name. They didn’t even spend the time to give their characters names, let alone any real back story or weight.

Filmed: This one character (can’t remember his name nor do it care) shoots everything at school with his camera. So yeah another found footage.

Why films like this are picked up by a big studio to distribute is beyond me. So many good independent projects that never get a big break but this does. Wait why am I saying that? Of course the studios did, they’re stupid.

And this is why I never go see horror films anymore.

June 4, 2014

Godzilla (2014)

MYTHIC
Godzilla – Mythic

Sometimes the Devil is in the details and films need a high brow plot that grows right in front of an audience. Characters need to be fleshed out and there is a need to feel an attachment. Sometimes you need that in a film. Sometimes in a film, however, all you need are giant monsters punching, biting, and clawing each other until only one is left standing. Sometimes you need…….”Godzilla.” 2014 marks the return of everyone’s favorite “kaiju” who loves to climb out of the sea, destroy buildings, or a few monsters, and after he’s done, walk back into the sea. You don’t need Matthew Broderick, you don’t need baby Godzillas, because there’s a twist we didn’t see coming, and you don’t need a twist where there is always one more egg left. What you do need is a mythic monster that destroys things. You get all of that, and more, in “Godzilla.”

If you’ve seen any of the Japanese import “Godzilla” films, you might have a good idea of what you’re in for this time around. Basic premise; there are rumblings in the Pan Pacific area……and for sake of spoilers and other important plot points, I’ll leave it there. Yes, Godzilla is in this film, and there are a lot of moments of nostalgia that I got excited about, and overall I got to see the mythic rebirth of an icon.

Gareth Edwards honed his craft with the underrated, and little seen indie, “Monsters,” and just like “Monsters” there is a lot of build-up to the eventual return or sighting of a giant monster. This might be a turn-off to some members of the audience who might be expecting most of the film to be starring “The King of the Monsters.” Instead, we get a plot that involves a soldier (Aaron Johnson) and his father (Bryan Cranston) seeking the reason for the disturbances in the Pacific and the possible conspiracy between the Japanese government and the Monarch Corporation. You also have Elizabeth Olsen floating around as a nurse who is maybe trying to save people, and trust me, I like Olsen, I think she is an actress on the rise, but its plot and exposition for the sake of plot and exposition, and while the film might lag a little bit, it’s well worth the lead-up to the return of Godzilla.

The one comparison that you won’t be able to get away from will be the inevitable comparison to “Pacific Rim.” First of all, “Godzilla” is not “Pacific Rim.” The only comparison is that there are giant monsters that fight. It stops there. From a storytelling and world building perspective I would still give “Rim” a leg up. However, with “Godzilla” there is a sense of nostalgia and a lot of little odes to films of old. Being that this is the last collaboration between Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. it could be a while before we see another “Godzilla” flick grace the screen for a while.

At the end of the day, it’s great to see “Godzilla” back and in the capable hands of people who understand what “Godzilla” is at heart. Sure, some of the plot points are a little corny and ham handed, but when you finally get passed the mandatory exposition, the action is well worth it, and to be honest, quite convincing, for a giant monster film that is.

Fun Fact: Ironically enough, Guillermo del Toro, director of “Pacific Rim” was the first choice to direct the “Godzilla” reboot.

June 1, 2014

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 24): May 2014

It’s May, and wouldn’t you know it, we’re on time this time! The Simplistic Reviews Podcast is once again….ON TIME!

This month we recap all that was the month of May, with a special guest appearance from America’s OTHER favorite black guy, the DC Fanboy himself, Neal DaSouza. The quartet discuss the hidden beauty behind Grace Jones in “View to a Kill”, where Marvel is finally showing the chinks in their armor, and all take part in a rather “arousing” rendition of “Kill, F*ck, or Marry.” We also get a little literary, literally, when the guys talk about which graphic novel, book, or comic book arc should be adapted for the big or small screen in this month’s “Simply the Best.”

All that and so much more in their May Edition of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast.

Note: I realize that I switched between speaking in the first and third person, but that’s just one of the benefits of being a little, how you say…….insane.

 Show Notes:
Christopher Walken Freaking Out
May Day
The End of Marvel?
Zohan Catches Bullet
May Day Sleeps With Bond

Music Notes:
Birds & Brass By Sort Of Soul
Word Up By Cameo

February 17, 2014

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast: February 2014 Edition

In a desperate attempt to gain some respectability, The Simplistic Reviews Podcast has on special guest from Insession Film, JD Duran.  But in only twenty minutes, the boys corrupt this once reputable man to the point where he is setting fire to the Academy Awards, partially stalking Jennifer Lawrence, and verbally berating Will Smith.  All in a days work for Matt, Justin, and DJ.  Enjoy this corrupting episode of The Simplistic Reviews Podcast….oh…and the boys conjure the ghosts of Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock…yeah…that happened.

 Show Notes:
Unicron
Winter’s Tale
Mission Impossible III
Almost Famous
True Detective Tracking Shot
Key & Peele Liam Neeson Commercial

Music Notes:
Birds & Brass By Sort Of Soul
The Great Escape Theme By Elmer Bernstein
Lawyers, Guns, And Money By Warren Zevon
The Best By Tina Turner


FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
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October 3, 2013

Simplistic Reviews Presents: Simply Horrifying featuring Tales from the Crypt Ep. 01

October is here and now is the time for the creeps and ghouls to infest your web browsers, and I”m not just talking about those adult sites that you frequent when your wife or husband aren’t around.  No judgement.  But October is that time of the year where things get a little spooky and Simplistic Reviews welcomes everything creepy with open arms, paws, claws, webbed-feet, anything else that some mythical or murderous creature might have to grab things with.

HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” was a show that paid homage to the EC Comics from the 1950s.  Grisly images, paired with tales of morality which caught the ire of the US Government who went as far as to hold Senate Hearings about how comics were corrupting the nation’s youth and driving a hearse straight to Hell.  Sounds like my type of comic books.  William Gaines, creator of the Tales from the Crypt comic line, was a pioneer in the industry and you can call him the Stan Lee of Horror Comics.  Come 1989, the geniuses at HBO decided it was time to pay tribute to EC and create a weekly half-horror horror show every Sunday, aptly named, “Tales from the Crypt.”  Running nearly 100 episodes, from 1989 to 1995, “Tales” were comics come to life way before we had the Marvel Comics films.

As this series progresses, your host, Matt, will present his favorite episodes from all seven seasons.  The episodes will not be ranked and will only be classified by the season in which they appeared.  It’s like trying to pick your favorite child, unless its the child that cries in public, throws food on the floor, and wets the bed.  That one is a winner!

So, in this first installment, “And All Through the House” is explained away.  There are a lot of cool aspects to this episode, namely, director Robert Zemeckis helmed this episode, and this is the only episode from the series that uses Christmas as the backdrop.

Check out the video companion above and prepare to enter “Tales from the Crypt.”  If you dare…….

July 13, 2013

Pacific Rim (DJ’s Take)…And Inexplicably…The DC Film Universe

GEEKGASM

One question that has been plaguing my thoughts ever since I walked out of the dreary and utterly disappointing Man Of Steel.  That question is, why does DC/Warner keep entrusting their comic book movie properties to Christopher Nolan?  A man who set out to produce a Superman movie and wound up producing an Incredible Hulk movie more morbid and depressing than Ang Lee’s, starring someone who resembles Superman in appearance but not in character.  A man who admittedly does not truly care for the material he is supposed to be translating into film.  A man who is admittedly apoplectic about the concerns of the comic book fans he’s supposed to be catering to.  A man who feels more comfortable turning anything resembling a classic superhero into a moping, colorless, suicide inducing allegory for daddy issues.  Why would DC/Warner give their entire comic book HISTORY to him?  Yes, I know it’s because Nolan is one of the finest directors working today.  Yes, I know it’s because Nolan’s Batman trilogy is a 3 billion dollar worldwide success.  Yes, I know it’s because Nolan’s Batman trilogy is also the most critically lauded and awarded comic book franchise ever.  Problem is that his bleek, moody, and dystopian societal outlook ONLY WORKS FOR F%*KING BATMAN.  Batman is a dark character.  So yes, the more gritty and realistic you make him, the better he gets.  However, that formula DOES NOT work for the entire DC Universe.  A flawed strategy I spoke about and foresaw during my Dark Knight Rises review almost a year ago.  DC/Warner was effectively entrusting the construction of their cinematic universe to someone who DID NOT want to construct their cinematic universe.  

You’re probably asking yourself why am I ranting about Man Of Steel, Chris Nolan and DC/Warner in the beginning of a Pacific Rim review.  Well, it’s because DC/Warner does have another director in their stable that not only knows the material, but has a genuine love for the material.  A man who should be constructing their universe.  That man is Pacific Rim’s director Guillermo Del Toro.  Give me a reason why not him.  Worried Del Toro can’t bring fun, eclectic comic book characters like Martian Manhunter, Flash, and Wonder Woman convincingly to life?  See Hellboy.  Worried Del Toro doesn’t have the chops to do comic book perfect action scenes and sequences?  See Blade 2.  Worried Del Toro can’t give a film pathos and originality?  See Pan’s Labyrinth.  Worried that a comic book nerd would be the wrong choice to helm a superhero epic.  See Avengers.  Worried that a film like Justice League is just too big to bestow upon him.  Well, Del Toro was the first person Peter Jackson asked to do The Hobbit before scheduling conflicts interceded.  If Peter Jackson was willing to hand over the best fantasy franchise ever made to Del Toro, why is it such a far leap for DC/Warner to trust him with the JLA?  Del Toro’s resume just grows and grows almost without notice.  Pacific Rim is just another awesome notch on his belt.

Rim is the fulfillment of a promise Del Toro delivered when he leaked the film’s original title at Comic-Con. (Giant F%*king Robots Versus Giant F%*king Monsters)  This is a tech versus terror smörgåsbord that draws breath from it’s Toho Company & Manga Studios predecessors and creates something amazingly fresh and original out of it.  If I was a producer on that 2014 Godzilla movie or that long awaited Voltron film, I’d shut down shop right now.  There is NOTHING I can think of that those two films can do to equal, let alone, top Pacific Rim.  Yes, Rim may be cliched empty calories as far as it’s character archetypes and plot are concerned.  However, it is the most tasty empty calories you’ll enjoy this summer and probably this entire year.  I haven’t seen a film with as many GEEKGASM moments since The Avengers.  Instead of the action scenes being incomprehensible, emotionally hollow, blunders, with the visual resonating effect of a strobe light…(Hello Battleship and EVERY Transformers movie)…they end up being well crafted, stunning, and cathartic displays of raw violence.  The special effects here are, and I was convinced of this from just the trailer, the best I personally have ever seen.  That is not hyperbole.  Every effect, every monster tooth, every robot rivet, every building toppling explosion looks breathtaking and FINISHED.  Every penny of the budget and every drop of sweat from the VFX crew is on the screen from beginning to end.  Guillermo Del Toro understands the concept of fan service.  And instead of shying away from it like most, he embraces it.  He doesn’t mind having a character in a giant robot shoot a fallen monster, video game style, as a joke just to get a “Hell, Yeah!” from the audience.  That is who I would want to make my comic book universe.  Someone who wants to please BOTH the fans and the uninitiated.  Someone who can have a balls to the wall battle scene and still have time to make the battle fun.  Yes, fun.  It is not a four letter word, literally and figuratively.  Fun is a word that needs to be the lifeblood of genre movies like this.  If it isn’t fun, then why the hell should we watch?

Recently, DC/Warner announced that Nolan won’t be producing the Justice League film.  However, it’s a safe bet that they won’t have the sense or vision to pick someone like Guillermo Del Toro to take the reigns.  They are losing the arms race to Marvel and it saddens me.  Not because I want them to win.  I love Marvel.  It saddens me because the two companies competing is better for the audiences than one totally dominating the other.  DC/Warner’s savior is right in their face flapping his arms like a cartoon character, and they still can’t see it.  Don’t believe me?  Watch Pacific Rim…imagine while doing so the same care, fun and GEEKGASM moments put into a Justice League film….cry your heart out when you realize that will probably never happen….then tell me I’m wrong.

July 12, 2013

Man of Steel

Man of Steel – Sponsors

SPONSORS

The time is now for Warner Bros. and DC Comics.  The window has already closed to be able to compete with Disney and Marvel Comics so its time to just try and carve out a little bit of a niche for themselves.  Sure, Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy was a huge success, but that’s over, and unless you thought “Green Lantern” was a good direction for DC Comics film-wise, well, I’d have to disagree with you on that one.  So with all their chips on the table, Warner/DC has decided to go for the Hail Mary.  That Hail Mary is “Man of Steel,” sponsored by Sears, 7-11, IHOP, and of course, LexCorp.

Contrary to what you might hear about “Man” the film isn’t that bad, sure its loud, bombastic, brash, and suffers from a severe case of style-over-substance…..hmmm, well, I guess “Man of Steel” isn’t that great when I really stop and think about it.  While it has some good ideas, the way Superman is presented almost makes this attempt feel like this is a sequel to another film.  And while “Man” tries it’s best to distance itself from the less-than-super “Superman Returns” there are too many scenes where director, Zack Snyder, once again, lets his ego get in the way and decides to make things explode as opposed to detailing the psychology of Clark Kent and how he’s torn between being the last son of a dying world and the protector to a new one. Snyder shoehorns scenes of Clark’s more impressionable years in Smallville, but the scenes merely feel like a feeble attempt at trying to make us feel like he has a soul and why he feels an obligation to the human race.  I almost feel “Man of Steel” would have been better suited as a trilogy as opposed to fitting everything into one giant action-fest.  Obviously Warners has no interest in another compelling “Dark Knight-like” trilogy, they are so busy trying to catch up to Marvel.  The one thing I will say is that Superman isn’t as interesting to be able to fit into an entire trilogy like Bruce Wayne/Batman.

At the end of “Man” I was left both wanting more and wanting less, if that is possible.  The action scenes were both large in scope, but felt empty; the story of Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman was both easy to follow, yet lacked depth; and the story became inconsequential come the start of the 3rd act when everything that can go boom, goes boom.  I’m sure Michael Bay had plenty of tissue handy when he witnessed Metropolis being torn apart by a group of Kryptonians.

What troubles me the most about this new direction for Warner/DC is the world building, or lack thereof. Sure, you get a nod to LexCorp, Wayne Enterprises and other minor DC characters that may exist in this specific universe, but while Warner says they want to complete with Marvel in the superhero-movie-making business, they still seem to want to make self-contained films and somehow make them all gel.  If you go all the way back to when Marvel released “Iron Man” the plan was already in motion for more films within a coherent universe.  Marvel could have slapped “Iron Man” together and flown by the seat of their pants, but they made a conscience effort to create a world where other heroes could exist.  “Man of Steel” provides us with glimpses, or “Easter Eggs” of companies which have meaning to characters such as Lex Luthor, Batman, and Cyborg, but you’re left to wonder how many movies it is going to take to finally set in motion a “Justice League” or even a “World’s Finest” film.  At this stage in the game it looks like we’ll get another “Man of Steel” film in 2015 and maybe a “Batman” reboot in 2016.  You might say “Well, you can’t create an entire universe in just one film.”  I’d say back “How come Marvel was able to do it, and make us believe they knew what they were doing from the get-go?”

In no way am I shredding this film, even though it might sound like it.  There are things I genuinely like about “Man of Steel.”  I thought the acting and casting was spot on, and it looks like we finally have an actor playing Superman that we can believe in with Henry Cavill.  He fits the suit like a glove and his banter with Lois Lane, played wonderfully by Amy Adams, is vintage.  Michael Shannon continues to impress as General Zod and is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters actors in Hollywood.  The supporting cast is solid as well, including Russell Crowe as Jor-El and Lawrence Fishburne as Perry White, Chief Editor of The Daily Planet.

With “Man of Steel,” Warner/DC neither loses ground or gains ground on the Disney/Marvel juggernaut.  If anything it washes the taste out of Superman fans mouths for “Superman Returns” and gives people plenty of explosions.  What it didn’t do is break new ground.  Sure, Superman does some super things, but he also feels like a shell of what Superman should be; a protector of the Earth and Metropolis, not it’s destroyer as seen in the final 30 minutes of “Steel.”  This review sponsored by Wayne Enterprises.

Fun Fact:  General Zod’s first appearance was in Adventure Comics #283 in 1961.

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