Friday, July 23, 2010


Synopsis: Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can't help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean, a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. As he struggles down the road of redemption, Bad learns the hard way just how tough life can be on one man's crazy heart.

Simpleton Review:  Jeff Bridges won an Oscar  for his portrayal of Bad Blake. After watching CRAZY HEART I think he deserved it. That said - I think he should have won an Oscar for his role as The Dude in THE BIG LEBOWSKI.  

If you are a huge Jeff Bridges fan watch CRAZY HEART. The man can act and carry at tune. I was tapping my feet to his country tunes.  If you are looking for a comedy you might be disappointed. There are parts that are funny but for completely different reasons. Bad Blake is like a gnarly car accident. You can't look the other way but you cringe when you view the carnage. I felt the same way I did when I watched Mickey Roarke in the WRESTLER. Both have characters who were once stars that fade into obscurity. Once Bad Blake rocked out to crowds of fans but now he's a used-up alcoholic playing at hole-in-the-wall dives. It's sad, yet you know he's the only one to blame.

The love interest is Maggie Gyllenhaal is a reporter, and also a single mom, doing a story on Bad Blake. Bridges and Gyllenhaal have chemistry and that can make or a break a movie. Still I had moments of thinking, "Why in hell would a girl like this like this old guy."  He smokes and drinks constantly, pees in a jug, and throws up daily. I guess the smell of a Port-A-Potty turns some women.   


Monday, July 19, 2010


Rated: R [See Full Rating] for strong bloody violence, language and brief nudity
Runtime: 1 hr. 38 min.

Genre: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Drama, Horror

Theatrical Release: Jan 8, 2010 Wide

Box Office: $30M

Synopsis: Two-time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a researcher in the year 2019, in which an unknown plague has transformed the world's... Two-time Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke plays Edward Dalton, a researcher in the year 2019, in which an unknown plague has transformed the world's population into vampires. As the human population nears extinction, vampires must capture and farm every remaining human, or find a blood substitute before time runs out. However, a covert group of vampires makes  a remarkable discovery, one which has the power to save the human race.
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill

Review:  I really wanted to like this movie. The concept is different and I'm a sucker, no pun intended, for vampire flicks.  I didn't.  Five minutes into this thing I wanted to light it on fire and watch it burn like a vampire in sunlight.

What the hell happened to Ethan Hawke? The last movie I liked that he starred in was Training Day. Perhaps Uma hexed him when he allegedly cheated on her with a stripper because his record  has been lackluster ever since. This movie maintains his record. What a turd.

The mention of a turd leads me to our next player, Willem Dafoe.  He was amazing as Elias in Platoon. Now he plays some camaro driving hondo - and badly at that. I cringed everytime he had screen time. His part went over like a fart in church. Bad. Bad. Bad.

The only main character I could stand was Sam Neill. He's good at playing creepy a la his character in Event Horizon. Still not enough to recommend this to my worst enemy.

The bottom line is the plot had potential but was poorly executed. The main players add nothing and you are clapping happily when the credits roll.


Monday, July 12, 2010


 Synopsis: Two-time Academy Award® winner Meryl Streep, Steve 

Martin and Alec Baldwin star in this hilarious look at marriage, divorce and everything in between. Jane (Streep) has three grown kids, a thriving Santa Barbara bakery and an amicable relationship with her ex-husband, Jake (Baldwin). Now, a decade after their divorce, an innocent dinner between Jane and Jake turns into the unimaginable - an affair. Caught in the middle of their rekindled romance are Jake’s young wife and Adam (Martin), a recently divorced architect who starts to fall for Jane. Could love be sweeter the second time around? It’s… complicated! From writer/director Nancy Meyers comes the comedy that critics call 'laugh-out-loud funny' (Rex Reed, The New York Observer).

Review:  It's not complicated. It's simple. The movie is a stinker.

I am not usually a fan of "romantic" comedies. It has to be special, quirky, and a somewhat realistic scenario for me to enjoy it. I had high hopes for this one because it's by writer/producer Nancy Meyers who also wrote and directed Something's Gotta Give starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Now that's a pairing that worked. It's called chemistry and Streep and Baldwin have none. 

Together they are unbelievable, stiff, and awkward. A movie should make one get lost and forget they are watching something make believe. All the actors in this were too smiley and robotic. It had no flow and was boring to boot. Streep needs to stick to her drama roots and Baldwin needs to stay put at 3rd Rock. 


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Crazies

Synopsis: Imagine living in a small town where everything is safe and happy…until suddenly it isn’t. Imagine your friends and neighbors going quickly and horrifically insane. In a terrifying tale of the "American Dream" gone horribly wrong, four friends find themselves trapped in their hometown in The Crazies, a reinvention of the George Romero classic directed by Breck Eisner from a screenplay by Ray Wright (Pulse, Case 39) and Scott Kosar (The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

David Dutten (Timothy Olyphant) is sheriff of Ogden Marsh, a picture-perfect American town with happy, law-abiding citizens. But one night, one of them comes to a school baseball game with a loaded shotgun, ready to kill. Another man burns down his own house…after locking his wife and young son in a closet inside. Within days, the town has transformed into a sickening asylum; people who days ago lived quiet, unremarkable lives have now become depraved, blood-thirsty killers, hiding in the darkness with guns and knives. Sheriff Dutten tries to make sense of what’s happening as the horrific, nonsensical violence escalates. Something is infecting the citizens of Ogden Marsh…with insanity.

My expectations of  The Crazies was close to zero. I must admit that I had no idea it was a remake of a George Romero film. Romero is known for his zombie horror flicks and his zombie classic Night of the Living Dead. The movies I've seen by Romero are not my cup of tea. He set a new trend with N.O.L.D. by showing the zombie chewing and tearing at their victim's flesh - i.e. high gore. I need a good story to engage me. Gore. Meh. 

Had I known The Crazies was a remake of a Romero film I would have assumed  the film would feature zombies. That said, it was a big surprise to realize that's what the crazies are - zombies. These poor town folk are infected when a plane containing a biological weapon crashes in a marsh that feeds into the towns water supply. The closer one is to the main supply the sooner he or she is zombified. 

I thought the movie was entertaining enough as long as you don't ask too many questions. There are more plot holes than a slice of Swiss cheese. It helps that the main characters, Timothy Olyphant (The Perfect Getaway) and Radha Mitchell (Pitch Black), are easy on the eyes. Yes, there is a trend: Timothy Olyphant = hot. 

Bottom Line: Likey       

So you tell me what are your favorite zombie flicks?

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Twofer - TWO, TWO - TWO reviews in one

I hate when I watch a movie and it's turns out to be a real pile o' poo.  I have recently watched two videos that have led me to not waste my time writing two separate reviews. I have already invested over 3 hours between these two pieces of dung.

The first craptacular movie, The Box,  stars Cameron Diaz and  James Marsden. I am going to name drop here. James Marsden did attend Oklahoma State University and lived in the fraternity across the street from my casa.  Did I ever see him? No. Did I ever interact with him? Nope. However, it's a fun fact that I like to fit into random  conversations. Any who, even attending the most awesome Oklahoma State University could not give him enough sense to avoid this script. Bad, bad, bad. Cameron Diaz is playing some kind of Zombie Barbie.  Blech. It was based on a episode of the Twilight Zone. Maybe good for a 30 minute show but not a movie. Don't waste your time.

Next, the equally craptacular Bruce Willis piece called Surrogates. I wish I'd had a surrogate watching this movie for me. Then I could have been doing something else other than torturing myself by watching this. It's Sci-fi...bad Sci-fi. I might hurt myself if I have to watch another movie with Bruce Willis sporting an awful hair piece.

So, to summarize. These two should be flushed down the toilet. That's all I can give. So tired. So very tired. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Inglourious Basterds

First, I must admit I'm a huge Quentin Tarantino fan.  I think it has something to do with his debut in the film industry coinciding with my debut in college. His new approach to film was a breath of fresh air. I mean is there any movie like Pulp Fiction. It was groundbreaking.  At the time,  you didn't see many films that went out of sequence. He's a trendsetter and I like style.

His latest film, Inglourious Basterds, once again takes the audience into uncharted territory. There have been many films made about WWII but this one is like no other.

Synopsis:   Inglourious Basterds begins in German-occupied France, where Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz). Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema. 

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as "The Basterds," Raine's squad joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own... --© Weinstein Co. and Universal Pictures

 Thoughts: LIKEY

The press for this film led me to believe it was mainly about the Nazi hunting group known as  "The Basterds." While this is a part of the storyline, it is secondary to Shoshanna's story. It is really about her escape and quest to punish those guilty of killing her family.

Colonol Hans Landa, played by Christoph Waltz, is the character that makes the film. He won a Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and deserved the award. He's excellent!

What's your favorite Quentin Tarantino film and why?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Movie Review _ The Perfect Getaway

Synopsis: Cliff and Cydney (Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich) are an adventurous young couple celebrating their honeymoon by backpacking to one of the most beautiful, and remote, beaches in Hawaii. Hiking the wild, secluded trails, they believe they've found paradise. But when the pair comes across a group of frightened hikers discussing the horrifying murder of another newlywed couple on the islands, they begin to question whether they should turn back. 
Unsure whether to stay or flee, Cliff and Cydney join up with two other couples, and things begin to go terrifyingly wrong. Far from civilization or rescue, everyone begins to look like a threat and nobody knows whom to trust. Paradise becomes hell on earth as a brutal battle for survival begins. --© Universal

 Mary's Review : LIKEY

Why I liked it :  Timothy Olyphant is in it. Don't recognize the name? Perhaps this will jar you memory...



Alas, that is not the only reason I liked it. It has an interesting twist that will keep you guessing. This is no award winner but it's a solid B movie. David Twohy  produced this movie and Pitch Black. I like his style.

CONS: It takes at least 30 minutes to get past all the cheesy stuff. The acting is so bad it's painful. However,  trust me when I say this, it all comes together in the end.  

You'll either like it or hate. This is one where few are caught in the middle. This time I'm on the like side.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Top Ten Romantic Movies

I am not made of stone. I may have a hard outer shell but inside I'm all mushy gushy. Don't tell anyone! That being said here is a list of my favorite romances. I'm not main stream romantic and go for quirky stories. I'd love to hear what makes your heart go pitter patter! Happy Valentine's Day!

Mary' List :

  1. Punch Drunk Love
  2. Sense & Sensibility
  3. Groundhog Day
  4. Something's Gotta Give
  5. As Good As It Gets
  6. Four Weddings and A Funeral
  7. Juno
  8. Cold Mountain
  9. When Harry Met Sally
  10. Up!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top Ten Oscar-Nominated Films That Suck

All this Hurt Locker/ Oscar talk has inspired me to create a list.

Feel free to dispute this list or add a film of your own

MK's List of Oscar-Nominated Films That Suck:

  1. Hustle & Flow - "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp" - Really? This won best song.
  2. The Cider House Rules - Tyler Durden says Rule #1 - There is no cider house.
  3. The English Patient -  My husband almost gouged his own eyes out with a Sour Patch Kid.
  4. Brokeback Mountain - I don't care about their sexual preference. The storyline sucked. Period.
  5. Shakespeare In Love - Twirling out of an Ace bandage? No thanks.
  6. The Hurt Locker - I like the lead guy when he played the same soldier role...IN 28 WEEKS LATER!
  7. Lost In Translation - I am lost! Why Bill? Why? 
  8. The Thin Red Line - The Long Boring Movie.
  9. In The Bedroom - That's where I went after watching bed, under the sheets, and tucked in a fetal position.
  10. Gangs of New York - Wow, never realized the gangs and Michael Jackson shared the same fashion sense. I was sure "Beat It" would play during a fight scene. I'm still waiting...   

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Hurt Locker

The Oscars about to descend upon us and it has me thinking about some of the nominated films. Several weeks ago I rented The Hurt Locker with high hopes. I am a huge fan of military related film. The first five minutes had me on the edge of my couch thinking this was going to be a great movie. It goes to show first impressions can be wrong. It had me...and then it lost me. The movie lost focus and veered in too many directions to feel much for any of the characters. I have a secret - I haven't watched the Oscars since Saving Private Ryan lost the title of best motion picture to Shakespeare In Love. I think I made the right choice because once again another lame movie is up for best picture.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My review of Bruno. What's the most offensive film you have ever seen?

   So last weekend my husband and I watched Bruno starring Sascha Cohen. You may recognize Cohen from the now canceled HBO series Da Ali G Show, Talledega Nights, or Borat.  If you liked Borat, you MIGHT like Bruno. If you ever watched Da Ali G show Bruno and Borat are two characters from the show. Bruno is a German homosexual who dreams of making it big in the U.S.A. The film follows him around as he tries to do things that other celebrities do to become famous. Many times the joke is on the other people in the film because they have no idea Bruno is fictitious. I would not recommend this movie to many people. It crosses so many lines and on so many levels. That being said, we thought it was hilarious. So so wrong, but still funny. We let our neighbors borrow it thinking they shared our sense of humor. Let's just say we are no longer on speaking terms since they watched it.

That leads me to ask you, dear follower, what is the most shocking/offensive movie you have ever seen? What about it upset you? Would you ever watch it again?

Let me add - nothing rated worse than R!

Mary Kole's Kidlit contest ends tonight!

Kidlit Contest

Friday, January 29, 2010

What is The Simpleton?

Hello and welcome to The Simpleton. I chose to name this blog The Simpleton because I don't think you need to be Roger Ebert to review a film. It's simple - you know a good film when you see it. However, we all have differing opinions on what makes a movie good. Here you will find my reviews on all genres of film. That includes oldies but goodies and new releases. The Simpleton is also a place you can give your two cents. I promise I won't hunt you down like a dog in the night if you disagree with my opinion. So let the credits roll...