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One Word Reviews

June 10, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men

Rap groups come and go. Many have an expiration date, I mean just look at most of the groups from the last 90s and 2000s. Record companies chewed them up and spit them out, but hey, it could have also meant they just weren’t very good either.

But as the old adage goes, “Wu-Tang is Forever,” even if it shows how FRACTURED they are after you watch Showtime’s “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men.”

The four-part series peers behind the curtain during their making of THE SEMINAL hip-hop record of the 90s “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers” shows how they beat the music system by signing a lucrative record deal for each member, but also shows the dark side of management and how the death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard essentially imploded the group.

It’s a personal look, and plays like an intervention as the group gathers to watch old footage and wax lyrical on their struggles with each other and how the business has changed during their nearly 30 year run. 

June 8, 2019

Simplistic Interviews: Producer Heather Buckley, of “The Ranger”

On this Simplistic Interview, we sit down with Heather Buckley, producer of the 2018 horror film “The Ranger.”

From days writing at Fangoria Magazine to pitching films at Cannes and South by Southwest, Matt and Heather discuss what it was that got her into horror, how inclusion is shaping the horror genre, and essentially how she is an encyclopedia of genre knowledge. Oh, and of course punk rock!

Follow her all over social media too!

Twitter: @_HeatherBuckley
Instagram: www.instagram.com/_heatherbuckley

And of course check out “The Ranger!”

Twitter: @TheRangerMovie
Instagram: @therangermovie
Streaming on Shudder, Amazon Prime, and anywhere else where you can find great horror flicks.

June 3, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Ma (2019)

There’s nothing like a slow BURN. Just enough time to get some fire in your belly while you wait for everything to really start popping off. That’s the delicious BURN I got from Octavia Spencer and “Ma” this weekend.

First thing’s first, I’m always a fan of actors or actresses that have won big awards, namely Oscars, and continue to work in the genre field. Spencer looks like she is having the time of her life playing the Veterinarian-turned-psychopath, but there is some meat to this story that cribs ideas from flicks like “Carrie” “The People Under the Stairs” and maybe even “Fatal Attraction.”

“Ma” BURNS the house down in it’s final 20 or so minutes and creates a memorable new heavy that rivals the likes of Alex Forrest and Anne Wilkes.

May 29, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Booksmart (2019)

Man…so people are pissed! Apparently no one saw “Booksmart” over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The unofficial kickoff to the Summer movie season! People instead saw a live action Disney remake, the story of an unstoppable assassin and they even saw superheroes punch super-villains in the face instead of a film about white people with white problems…what a shock.

Look, I know people are already taking SIDES on “Booksmart.” Excuses included;

It’s Annapurna’s fault for putting it out wide during the holiday. The audience is stupid and doesn’t appreciate indie comedies. People aren’t ready for female and/or queer leads in their coming-of-age comedies. The list goes on and on…

Honestly, “Booksmart” is fun. I laughed out loud a couple of times. But it’s also a derivative story that I’ve seen before.

Yes, having extensive LGBTQ representation is great, but it’s almost window dressing for the main story; friends at the end of their high school friendship. And the problem for so long is still using the LGBTQ community as the side gig to the problems of the straight community. Amy (played by Kaitlyn Dever) shows the struggle and anxiety of being gay, but it just seems to be…I don’t know…selling it short. But what do I know, I’m a straight, married, white male.

I digress, I liked “Booksmart” butI also like “Superbad.” I guess that shows where I’m at.

May 25, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Under the Silver Lake

I see what David Robert Mitchell was doing here.

Hmm, or maybe I don’t…regardless.

So you have this KOOKY film, “Under the Silver Lake,” where you have Andrew Garfield doing his best impression of Jeff Daniels’ The Dude, while he tries to figure out a conspiracy theory that would make Brian De Palma, Alfred Hitchcock and David Lynch blush.

On the surface, I really dig this flick. It’s so…..KOOKY. It really has no purpose, it’s mainly a series of vignettes that’s held together by an insane premise, but it works if you stick with it.

May 24, 2019

(Ep. 121): Fire Down Below – Movie Commentary: May 2019

We started this new year off with a film from 90’s action star and serial eater, Steven Seagal’s Hard to Kill! We continue the Seagal Saga with Fire Down Below, you know the EPA action film…no not that one…the other one…yeah there is another EPA action film.


Fire Down Below

1997 ‧ Thriller/Action ‧ 1h 45m

Description

When an EPA representative is discovered dead in a small Midwestern town, government agent Jack Taggart (Steven Seagal) goes undercover to check things out. He finds that local coal mogul Orin Hanner Sr. (Kris Kristofferson) is cutting financial corners by disposing of hazardous waste wherever he pleases and that local kids are falling ill because of this recklessness. Taggart then works to stop the shady activity and save the town, but Hanner and his thugs soon grow suspicious of him.

Initial release: December 13, 1997 (South Korea)
Budget: 42 million USD
Box office: 16.2 million USD
Music composed by: Nick Glennie-Smith
May 24, 2019

A Simplistic Review: John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

There is always a question of who is the BADDEST…

Lance Riddick is the BADDEST concierge.
Halle Berry and Angelica Houston are the BADDEST chicks.
Ian McShane is the BADDEST Hotel Manager.
Mark Dacascos has the BADDEST crew of Indonesian BADASSES this side of Southeast Asia.

oh…

Keanu Reeves is the BADDEST man in “John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum.”

May 21, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Scary Stories (2019)

Censorship is nothing new. In fact it’s a long held American TRADITION to censor things that we are afraid of or we think are doing to destroy the youth.

“We have to protect the youth!” said the old, out of touch white, and black, folk.

But there is also the TRADITION of fighting against the onslaught of people telling other people what to do.

Let’s not forget about the TRADITION of tell stories that have been passed on from culture to culture to generations upon generations. “Scary Stories” is the documentary that will hit the nerve of nostalgia while also showing how the culture of censorship continues to plague us as a society.

Click HERE for our interview with the director of “Scary Stories,” Cody Meirick. If you want to found out more about this film, click HERE
May 12, 2019

A Simplistic Review: The Ranger (2018)

Well someone had to take these big city punks down a peg or two!

The MERIT badge for making a National Park Ranger the big bad in this 80s inspired “killer in the woods” romp goes to Jenn Wexler.

“The Ranger” is a tidy 80 minutes long and gets to the point without going over a pain-staking backstory for our heroine and how she fell into a gang of drug-dealing punk rockers.

Good gore, good villain, with a rocking soundtrack and score.

April 28, 2019

A Simplistic Review: Avengers: Endgame (Spolier-Free)

Over a decade of storytelling, 22 films, BILLIONS of dollars invested, and this is what we get?!

Let me just give a BOW of respect for what Paramount, Marvel, Disney, Sony, Fox, and anyone else who was involved in the creation of the MCU and the on again, off again relationship all the studios have had in order to generate this juggernaut which has led to “Avengers: Endgame.”

I swelled up and cried a lot in this film, because at the end of the day, strip away the bombastic characters, large scale battles, and all the special effects, because this “Endgame” is a character driven story with superheroes you’ve spent the better part of your life around.

There is something to be said about what The Russo Brothers have done here. They created a large scale film with pathos to spare and also enough moments that had your bursting at the seems with excitement. This decade-long journey to the inevitable culmination is huge, it’s exciting, and it’s something that we all just need to take in and enjoy because it’s special.

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