Alita: Battle Angel (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Alita: Battle Angel (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog
Plot In a nutshell: Hundreds of years after a devastating world war known as ‘The Fall’, the remnants of humanity live in a sprawling metropolis called Iron City whilst the privileged occupy the floating paradise of Zalem. Sorting through a junkyard, a scientist (Christoph Waltz) finds a half intact female cyborg (Rosa Salazar) who he reassembles and calls Alita after his dead daughter. At first Alita has no memories of her past life but after a series of violent flashbacks it soon becomes apparent that she is a highly trained killer, skilled in an ancient form of martial arts and has been built solely for the purpose of war.
What worked: Its not the worst film ever made, the special effects used to create Alita are good, the production values aren’t bad, its well acted and some of the action is ok.
What Could have been better: Just about everything else. The script is a cheesefest of epic proportions, apart from Christoph Waltz, i couldn’t of cared less about any of the characters who are a combination of just about every cliche in the book, most of the action scenes are boring and unexciting (the exception being a pretty good bar scrap) theres way way too much CGI and at two hours its at least 20 minutes too long. Worst of all the plot goes absolutely no where and is nothing more than a cobbled together rip off of far better films  – just about everything appears to have been thrown in here from Rollerball, Elysium, Ready Player One, the Divergent series, the Terminator, Dredd etc  – and not in a good way. Finally everyone’s favorite cheapo hack Robert Rodriguez directs with zero flair and seems completely out of his depth.
Review Summary: Producer and screenwriter James Cameron has been trying to get this film made for years and frankly shouldn’t have bothered, Alita is nothing more than a bloated, deeply unoriginal load of old crap that has zero chance of becoming a franchise and the studio who bankrolled it should have bloody well known better. Why on earth they would give Robert Rodriguez a £200 million budget to make this  nonsense is beyond me, the man is a pretentious hack, who just recycles his own moribund product time and again and hasnt had a hit film since Sin City in 2005. As for James Cameron, i for one am losing patience very quickly with him. Yes he has made two of the most successful films in history (Titanic and Avatar) but that doesn’t give him the right disappear off the radar for nine years and then heft this rubbish onto unsuspecting audiences. All i can say is that his now shooting Avatar sequels had better be something pretty damned awesome for him to get back into my good books.
Cinematic smegma of almighty proportions – avoid.
Pay to see it at the cinemas: No
Buy it on Blu Ray/DVD: No

 

 

 

 


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Creed 2 (2018): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Creed 2 (2018): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog

Plot in a nutshell: Newly crowned world heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Johnson) faces an irresistible challenge by undefeated Russian fighter (and man mountain) Victor Drago (Munteanu)  who just so happens to be the son and boxing protege of one Ivan Drago (big Dolph) who killed Adonis’s father Apollo Creed 33 years previously (see Rocky IV for more).

However, Adonis’ trainer and mentor Rocky Balboa (Stallone) wants nothing to do with it, feeling that Adonis is doing the fight for all the wrong reasons and is likely to get seriously hurt in the process.

To say anymore would spoil it for you but safe to say that if you have seen any of the other Rocky films you can pretty much guess the rest.

 
What worked? Very much like 2015’s Creed, all the performances are absolutely superb – Stallone is of course brilliant as Rocky (in his 8th go around), Johnson is extremely good again as Adonis as is Tessa Thompson as his long term girlfriend Bianca. Munteanu also does very well in what could have been a standard villain role but instead manages to give Viktor a good deal of depth which was very refreshing. Finally Dolph Lundgren is absolutely superb and a total joy to behold returning to his most famous role as Ivan Drago – snotty critics take note  -never let it be said that this guy cant act as he is bloody fantastic here. Lastly the boxing matches are very well staged  – particularly the bruising climactic bout and naturally there’s a great training montage which will have you clapping and cheering.
 
What could have been better? As good as it is this sequel doesn’t quite scale the heights of its 2015 predecessor, the original Rocky or for that matter the sixth entry Rocky Balboa.
Newcomer Steven Caple jr does well in the directors chair but lacks the same raw flair and edge of Ryan Coogler (who takes an executive producer credit here) also for me the filmmakers could have had Stallone and Lundgren share more scenes together and this seemed like a wasted opportunity. Finally the film does drag a bit in the middle somewhat. 
 
Best Scene: What else? The training montage, the big fight between Drago and Creed and naturally THAT music theme.
 
Review summary: Not as bonkers as Rocky IV nor as good as some of the other entries, but despite some shortcomings Creed 2 is a damn good sequel and another great entry in this wonderful and seemingly never ending franchise. 

 


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Halloween (2018): Review by Will Strong

Halloween (2018): Review by Will Strong

A Blog

Plot in a nutshell: Forget all the previous Halloween sequels and the Rob Zombie remake, this new version is a total reboot and a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 classic that basically gave birth to the slasher film genre.

40 years after he killed five people on Halloween night, deranged nutcase Michael Myers (Nick Castle) once again does a runner from the loony bin and heads for Haddonfield to finish off Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) – however this time she’s prepared for him having spent the last four decades arming herself to the teeth and training up for the inevitable showdown with the masked maniac.

What worked: Its well made, very bloody, never less than entertaining, the ever reliable Jamie Lee Curtis is good plus director David Gordon Green and writer Danny Mcbride do seem to have tried very hard to homage John Carpenter’s unique film making style.

What could have been better: For a film that purported to be a proper sequel to the original it doesn’t exactly work very hard at bringing anything new to the party – it has exactly the same plot, the same scares, once again we learn absolutely nothing about Michael Myers, and the character of Laurie Strode is somewhat of a rip off of  T2’s Sarah Connor. Worst of all though is the criminal under use of Carpenters brilliant theme tune, yes its there in places  but certainly not near enough as it should have been.

Review Summary: Not a bad film by any means and certainly alot better than all of the previous sequels and the remake, however there’s nothing fresh or original here save some gory deaths and a pretty good last 15 minutes

See it at the cinema? Yes

Buy it on Blu Ray/DVD? Possibly but not at full price that’s for sure

 

Author: Grosse Point Geek 

 


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Hunter Killer (2018): Review by Will Strong

Hunter Killer (2018): Review by Will Strong

A Blog

Plot in a nutshell:

When the Russian president is overthrown by a rogue military general and his army of dissidents its up to maverick US submarine captain Gerard Butler plus a small team of special forces soldiers to free him before world war three breaks out

What worked:

Pretty much everything  – the action is fast paced and exciting, its very well directed by newcomer Donovan Marsh, the submarine effects are excellent and in a surprising turn of events Gerard Butler puts in an refreshingly restrained and nicely understated performance that doesn’t involve his usual copious amounts of shouting or brazen machismo.

What could have been better:

Not much really -ok ill admit that its daft as a brush, a bit predictable in places and very much a boys film – so lads if you are going to take the Mrs to see it i suggest you promise her dinner and drinks afterwards as compromise.

Best scene: All the action scenes, especially the climactic last 20 minutes which is seriously thrilling edge of the seat stuff

Summary Review:

Fantastic entertainment from the get go, really exciting, well made with an an excellent performance from Butler – highly recommended

See it at the Cinema?: Yes

Buy it on Blu Ray/DVD?: Yes

Author:Grosse Pointe Geek 

 


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Grosse Point Geek: The Top Ten Performances That Should Have Been Nominated For An Oscar But Weren’t…

Grosse Point Geek: The Top Ten Performances That Should Have Been Nominated For An Oscar But Weren’t…

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

I don’t like the Oscars much -the ceremony drags on for hours and is hideously boring,  and crammed with cringe worthy speeches (Gwynneth Paltrow and Tom Hanks being some of the worst offenders).  Every time the nominations are announced, someone that should have been a shoo in for a nod gets criminally snubbed (the list is endless) , plus invariably they don’t make sense.

Now not every actor can get a nomination for a good performance but there are some that have been so shockingly over looked by the academy  that it beggars belief. Therefore having given this a great deal of thought  i decided to  put together a list of actors that should have been nominated for Oscar but wernt – read on:

 * * * * * *

1. Film: Seven (1995)

Should have been nominated for: Best Actor (Brad Pitt).

So brutal in parts its almost a horror and featuring a twist ending that’s never been bettered, Seven will stand the test of time as the greatest serial killer film ever made. Unflinchingly dark, most of the praise went to David Fincher’s brilliant direction and the admittedly outstanding Morgan Freeman –  however its Pitt as the arrogant, idealistic Det. David Mills  that should have been far more recognized.

Best scene: Ably holding his own against Freeman (no easy feat) witness  his gut wrenching transformation in the films climax, from cocksure cop to utterly broken man when he realizes just exactly what’s in the box – outstanding.

  * * * * * *

2. Film: Man On Fire (2004)

Should have been nominated for: Best Actor-Denzel Washington.

Denzel Washington is just superb here, as suicidal bodyguard John Creasey in Tony Scott’s cracking action thriller.

Fast, furious and brutal, Man On Fire managed to be a blistering actioner and showcased a fantastic turn from Washington, who manages to pull off a very complex character whilst making him sympathetic even when he’s torturing half the criminals in Mexico.

Best Scene: A roll of duct tape, some eye wateringly placed placed explosive and a bent Mexican cop who desperately wishes “he had more time”.

  * * * * * *

3. Film: The Big Lebowski

Should have been nominated for: Best Supporting  Actor-John Turturro.

A film that flopped on release but has since  passed into legend as one of the funniest and most obscure comedies of all time. The Coen brothers masterpiece features an entire myriad of bonkers characters, from Jeff Bridges as the Dude to Tara Reid as porn star Bunny, all brilliant  – but none more so than John Turturro as the bowling ball licking, do-rag wearing pederast, Jesus Quintana.

Of all the directors in Hollywood, only the Coens could make sex offender seem funny, and every time i watch this film ive almost busted a gut laughing at Turturro’s manic performance. Greasy, foul mouthed, pretentious and strutting like a peacock, he’s only in three scenes – and he owns every one of them.

Best Scene: Threatening to shove a gun up John Goodman’s backside until the trigger goes “click”.

  * * * * * *

4. Film: True Romance

Should have been nominated for: Best Supporting Actor – Gary Oldman.

In the wake of Reservoir Dogs  – studios were in a feeding frenzy for any scripts written by Quentin Tarantino. One of which was True  Romance – funny, profane and very violent, its hard to decide which of its cast should have received the most praise. Christian Slater has never been better as the slightly unhinged Clarence, Dennis Hopper is wonderful as Slater’s doomed father, and Brad Pitt (again) is hilarious as the permanently stoned Floyd. However, its Blighty’s own Gary Oldman, appearing in just two scenes as psychopath pimp Drexl who steals the show. One eyed, horribly scarred, with bad teeth, greasy dreadlocks, he is evil incarnate, and Oldman is terrifying in the role  – bypassed by the Academy it took them until 2011  to finally reward him with a nomination  for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy  -how did it take them so long??.

Best Scene: The strip club confrontation- “it aint white boy day is it?”.

  * * * * * *

5. Film: Good Will Hunting

Should have been nominated for: Best Supporting actor – Ben Affleck.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck deservedly won Oscars for their self penned screenplay about a violently self destructive maths genius. Featuring some superb performances -Damon, Minnie Driver and Robin Williams all excel, but, in a career best performance, Affleck is just wonderful as Chucky, Will’s fiercely loyal, foul mouthed best friend. Getting all the best lines and being the only one who finally gets Will to realize just how much his genius is a gift from the gods, Affleck has never been better. Damon, Driver  and Williams were all nominated for their performances  – but if anyone deserved more recognition for their acting in this film it was Big Ben.

Best Scene: The building site lecture – where Chucky tells Will what the best part his day is – wonderful and more than a bit heart breaking to boot.

  * * * * * *

6. Film: Rocky Balboa (2006)

Should have been nominated for: Best Actor (Sylvester Stallone)

When it was announced that Rocky would be making a sixth bow on the big screen, the sound of collective groans was almost deafening. Its dreadful predecessor -Rocky V – had effectively killed the franchise, Stallone hadn’t had a hit in years and was stuck making some frankly godawful films (Avenging Angelo being a particular low point). So it was to everyone’s surprise that when Rocky Mark 6 came out, what was expected to be something of a joke turned out to be anything but.

Wisely going back to basics, Sly portrays Rocky as a sad,  heart broken widower (Adrian has died), desperate to connect with his yuppie son (Milo Ventimiglia) and pining for the glory days of his former life as a world class boxer. Its brilliant stuff – beautifully photographed, skilfully directed and superbly acted by Stallone, Ventimiglia and Burt Ward as Paulie.

With the obligatory training montage, a fantastic boxing match and the kind of jump for joy feel-good factor rarely seen in films today  -this was, without doubt, one of the best nights ive ever had at the cinema – lets just say that grown men were known to cry!

Best Scene – Rocky’s heart rending confession to Paulie how bitter he is about Adrian dying and his struggles with the “beast” inside him.

  * * * * * *

7. Film:  The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

Should have been nominated for: Best Supporting Actor- Sean Astin

Ok ROTK deservedly won just about all its categories at the 2005 Oscars  – but, despite this the only actor to ever get a nomination was Ian Mckellan as Gandalf in The Fellowship of The Ring.

With its huge cast its very hard to say who  gives the best performance – the likes of Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood and Bernard Hill are all superb, but for me the standout was Sean Astin as Sam.

Now some American actors can do good British accents – but these are the types usually adopted in films like Shakespeare in Love and Gladiator.

Here, however, the very American Sean Astin did the impossible and pulled off an absolutely pitch perfect west country accent, and on top of that  turned in a frankly outstanding  performance that anchored the entire trilogy.

Best Scene: ROTK – Unable to go any further, and weighed down by the  ring, Frodo (Elijah Wood) collapses with exhaustion on the slopes of Mount Doom. Refusing to let him give up, Sam  gently tells Frodo about the wonders of the shire, then in one last gasp of strength, painfully hauls his beloved friend over his shoulder and makes his way up the mountain to destroy the one ring.

  * * * * * *

 8. Tombstone (1994)

Should have been nominated for: Best Supporting Actor: Val Kilmer.

In 1994 there were two adaptations of the story of Wyatt Earp.  Lawrence Kasdan and Kevin Costner’s version was a rather bloated and overlong affair, but George P Cosmato’s Tombstone was by far the clear winner.

Ok it isn’t Shakespeare, there are some gaping plot holes, some of the editing is a bit iffy and by all accounts it was a nightmare shoot ( original director Kevin Jarre got the boot early on).

Despite this, it’s a very entertaining  film. Kurt Russell is very good as Wyatt Earp , as are Michael Biehn and Powers Boothe as the main villains.

However its Kilmer that shines the most  as the Latin spewing,  tuberculosis ridden Doc Holliday. Stealing every scene he’s in and walking away with the entire film, this was the role that got Kilmer out from the shadow of Top Gun and showed him as an actor of real range and versatility. Criminally overlooked by the academy, its just a damn shame he never capitalised on his success here and unfortunately  is now to be found in various bargain basement DTV efforts.

Best Scene:  Ensconced in the local saloon and  drunk as a monkey, Holliday slurringly  trades insults (in Latin) with Michael Biehn’s Johnny Ringo, who then tries to get one over on him with a macho display of handgun twirling.  Not to be outdone, Holliday brings the house down by doing the exact same thing  – but with a whiskey cup. A cracking scene that perfectly sets up the story for the bullet riddled action to come.

  * * * * * *

9. In The Line Of Fire (1993)

Should have been nominated for: Best Actor: Clint Eastwood

For me Clint Eastwood is an actor that has just got better with everything film he appears in. Now everyone says that his greatest performance was in Unforgiven – and undoubtedly he thoroughly deserved a best actor nomination for his portrayal as the reformed outlaw and mass murderer William Munny.

In my opinion though, the film where he impressed the most was as the aging secret service agent Frank Horrigan in Wolfgang Peterson’s In The Line Of Fire.

Haunted by his past failure to save JFK  and desperate to stop John Malkovich’s chameleon alike assassin from killing the current president, Clint has never been better.  Deceptively introducing  Horrigan as a standard,  by the numbers tough guy,  Eastwood superbly reveals him as a heartbroken tortured man who just needs that one last chance to redeem himself.

Best Scene: After being told he’s off the President’s security detail, Frank recounts to fellow agent Lily Raines(Rene Russo) what happened on that fateful day in Dallas. This is, without doubt the best acting you will ever see from Eastwood – just incredible.

  * * * * * *

10. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Should have been nominated for: Best actor: Bruce Willis

Recent efforts by Bruce Willis have been utter rubbish – Die Hard 5 and GI Joe 2 were terrible, plus he seems to be starring in more and more DTV films that never see the inside of a cinema.

However in 1996 he gave an absolutely amazing performance as unhinged convict James Cole in Terry Gilliam’s post apocalyptic time travel masterpiece.

Completely shedding his usual smirking tough guy image, Willis  effortlessly brings range, depth and subtlety to a highly complex and sympathetic character,– all qualities that he has rarely utilised in future roles he’s played.

Best Scene: In a touching moment, after kidnapping  psychiatrist Madeline Stowe, the injured Cole hears music on the radio for the first time and revels in its beauty.

 

Author: Will Strong 

 

Grosse Point Geek –  Mile 22 (2018)

Grosse Point Geek – Mile 22 (2018)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

Grosse Point Geek casts his critical eye over the latest (some sometimes greatest) releases… this time out: Mile 22

Director: Peter Berg
Principal Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Rhonda Rousey, John Malkovich
Plot in a nutshell: A elite US special ops team in Indonesia are tasked with aiding in the escape of a local police officer (Iko Uwais) out of the country in exchange for the location of cache of stolen chemical weapons. Their only problem is that the airport is 22 miles away and the entire Indonesian intelligence agency are hot on their tails.
What worked: The action scenes  – gunfights, car chases, explosions, hand to hand combat – all expertly staged, extremely brutal and very exciting -especially those featuring Iko Uwais – who, frankly is a martial arts god. Its also well directed by Berg and zips along at a superb breakneck pace
What could have been better: Wahlberg is annoying and a tad  dislikeable  as the leader of the special ops team  – and seems to play these types of characters in just about every action film he ever appears in. Also director Peter Berg’s quickfire editing needed reigning in a bit, plus sticking a wig on Malkovich was a somewhat catastrophic decision by the wardrobe department.
Best scene: The hospital fight sequence – an enormous bout of fisticuffs featuring the astounding Iko Uwais versus two Indonesian government goons who have been sent to kill him.
Summary Review: Not perfect and Wahlberg badly needs a new MO – but a great action film nonetheless,  refreshingly non pc, very violent and really really entertaining.
See it at the Cinema?: Yes
Buy it on Blu Ray/DVD?: Yes


 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

 

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Grosse Pointe Geek: Top Film Actors You Should Know But Can’t Place Them…

Grosse Pointe Geek: Top Film Actors You Should Know But Can’t Place Them…

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

You know how it goes – there you are, happily watching a film and up pops a familiar actor in some third or fourth supporting role. You’ve definitely seen him before, but no matter what you do, you absolutely cannot remember their name or what they’ve been in.

But fear not friends, where there’s a “Will” there is way – so I present to you the (unlikely to be) definitive list of the top 10 actors you should know but cant place the film you’ve seen them in:


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MV5BMTkyODgyMzMzMl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjM3ODgxMTE@._V1_SY317_CR51,0,214,317_Cole Hauser.

Hauser (son of DTV “star” Wings) has been around for many years, debuting in School Ties (1992) (alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) and putting in very good performances in the likes of Pitch Black,  2 Fast 2 Furious (as the main bad guy) and Good Will Hunting. Never really a headline star in his own right (he had a go with the very average Paparazzi in 2004) he’s  impressed in everything I’ve seen him in – and seems to be particularly good in villainous roles.

  • Most likely to be remembered for: The drug addicted mercenary Johns in Pitch Black (2000)
  • Last wide release: Olympus Has Fallen (2013)


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MV5BMTQwNDk0NjU4OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzIyMzYwOA@@._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_Michael Biehn.

Brilliant in The Terminator, evil in Tombstone, heroic in Aliens and mad as cheese in The Abyss. Biehn was once touted as a major star, sadly some dodgy choices (The Seventh Sign, Navy SEALS to name but two) put the scuppers on that and he has mostly been in DTV nonsense like Omega Code 2 and flops such as Cherry Falls and Grindhouse. A genuinely very good actor  – he recently appeared in a smashing post apocalyptic thriller called The Divide, which I would highly recommend and is available now on DVD and Netflix.

  • Most Likely to be remembered for: Kyle Reece in James Cameron’s The Terminator (1984)
  • Last wide release: Grindhouse (2007) (The Sherriff in Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror)


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MV5BMTE5MTIxNTM1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTMzNjc1._V1_SY317_CR3,0,214,317_ Peter Weller

Best known for playing the cop turned cyborg in Paul Verhoeven’s  Robocop (he was also in the godawful sequel), Weller has since made the odd cinematic outing with the likes of Screamers, Naked Lunch, Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite and most recently as the villainous Star Fleet Admiral Marcus in last years Star Trek: Into Darkness. The rest of his output has been DTV and its unlikely that he will ever be remembered for anything other than RoboCop – which is a real shame, as superb performances in the likes of TV’s 24 and the aforementioned Star Trek sequel showed him to be an actor of real range and versatility.

  • Most Likely to be remembered for: Alex Murphy in RoboCop(1987)
  • Last Wide Release: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

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MV5BMTMyODQwNDgwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjgzNTg2Mw@@._V1_SY317_CR17,0,214,317_Jeff Fahey

A very prolific actor  – usually cast as the principal baddie, but far better in quiet supporting roles, Fahey made early impressions in Lawrence Kasdan’s  Silverado and Clint Eastwood’s White Hunter Black Heart.

His most famous role was as Jobe in the Lawnmower Man (1992), on the big screen he was the best thing in Grindhouse (alongside Michael Biehn -Planet Terror chapter) and had a role in 2010’s Machete, you may also have caught him in seasons 4,5 and 6 of Lost and Stephen King’s tv series -Under The Dome . Sadly, like Biehn, Fahey is damn good actor gone to waste in a lot of rubbish that got released straight to disc.

  • Most Likely to be remembered for: The Lawnmower Man (1992)
  • Last wide release: Machete (2010) playing ruthless businessman Booth.

* * * * * * 

 

MV5BMTY0NzAzMTEyOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjYwMzYwNg@@._V1_SY317_CR2,0,214,317_ Ron Perlman

Usually to be found under a ton of make up in films like Hellboy 1 +2 , Quest for Fire and Star Trek Nemesis, Perlman regularly works with Guillermo Del Toro, is a big fan favourite and has been fantastic in everything I’ve seen him in – especially the currently very popular TV show -Sons of Anarchy as biker gang leader Clay Morrow, he was also in Blade 2 (as Reinhardt) and the rat eating  hunchback monk in the Name of The Rose.

If those don’t ring a bell then some of you may be old enough to remember him as Vincent in the soppy Beauty and Beast series that aired in the late 80’s and early 90’s – but don’t hold that against him.

  • Most likely to remembered for: Hellboy 1 and 2/Sons of Anarchy
  • Last wide release: Pacific Rim (2013)


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MV5BMTQ2MTk3OTgwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODE1OTIwMw@@._V1_SY317_CR7,0,214,317_Eric Roberts

Brother of Julia and Oscar nominee for Runaway Train (1985), able to do comedy, drama and action , he was the best thing about 1994’s The Specialist (as the thoroughly nasty son of Rod Steiger’s Miami drug king) put in a small but memorable performance as Gotham gangster Sal Maroni in The Dark Knight (2008) and was rather good as the main baddie in The Expendables (2010)

Roberts has appeared in vast amounts of films and has over fifty – (yes fifty!) –releases coming out  in 2014 alone.

  • Most Likely to remembered for: The Dark Knight and several appearances in Heroes
  • Last Wide Release: Lovelace (2014).


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MV5BMTA0ODI1ODk4NzdeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDkwNjkzOTY@._V1._SX214_SY317_SY317_SX211_ Joel Edgerton

An extremely good Australian actor  – Edgerton first came to prominence as the young Owen Lars in Star Wars Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones, since then he was outstanding as the physics teacher turned cage fighter in Warrior (2011), was great in The Thing (also 2011) and appeared in last years The Great Gatsby remake alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. He also played the special forces leader in  Zero Dark Thirty and is soon to be seen as  Pharaoh in Ridley Scott’s Exodus. One to watch out for – and if you haven’t seen Warrior yet then you should be ashamed!

  • Most likely to remembered for: Warrior, Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3.
  • Last Wide Release: The Great Gatsby

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MV5BMTIxODE2MTgwM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwMjYzNTky._V1_SY317_CR33,0,214,317_ Udo Kier

A veteran of over 200 films –  Kier is another fan favourite – especially amongst the horror crowd. An occasional collaborator with the legendarily awful Uwe Boll and controversial director Lars Von Trier, you will know him  as the head vampire in Blade (1998) the German scientist who makes Michael Clarke Duncan break down in tears in Armageddon (1998) and the head of a devil worshiping coven in End Of Days (1999).

Always good value , Kier brings quality to everything he appears in.

  • Most Likely to remembered for: End Of Days and Blade.
  • Last Wide Release: Nymphomaniac (2014)

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MV5BMTYxNTA2MDExOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDE0MDAxMw@@._V1_SX214_CR0,0,214,317_
Brad Dourif

Another journeyman actor, Dourif has appeared in everything from One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest to Alien Resurrection.  Mostly seen in weirdo or creepy bad guy roles, he is the voice of the demonic doll Chucky in the Child’s Play franchise, played Grima Wormtongue in Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers and The Return Of The King, and made appearances in Dune, Priest and Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake.

For me, though his best part was as racist, wife beating deputy sheriff, Clinton Pell in Alan Parker’s superb Mississippi Burning (1988).

One of the best films of that year, and memorable for superb performances from Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, Dourif excels as the grinning, smug, murderous small town cop  – and I dare anyone not cheer when Hackman’s hard as nails FBI agent finally gives him his long overdue comeuppance near the films climax (“did you smile Pell?!!”).

  • Most likely to remembered for: The Two Towers and Return of The King (Extended Edition)
  • Last wide release: Priest (2011)

 

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MV5BMTQzODk4MjU1NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDYwNjQzMg@@._V1_SY317_CR1,0,214,317_ Michael Shannon

An established stage and screen actor  – some will remember Shannon from early appearances in forgettable guff such as Bad Boys 2, Pearl Harbour and Kangaroo Jack.

However an electrifying performance in 2012’s The Iceman,  being one of the best things about last years Man Of Steel, and a series regular on Sky Atlantic’s Boardwalk Empire (as the slightly unhinged FBI agent turned bootlegger Nelson Van Alden)  have made Shannon one of the most respected and sought after performers working today. One of those guys who can bring quality to just about anything he appears in (even Pearl Harbour) it’s fair to say Shannon is an actor destined for even more great things to come.

  • Most likely to be remembered for: Man Of Steel (as General Zod) and Boardwalk Empire.
  • Last wide release: Man of Steel (2013)

 * * * * * *

 

So that’s it  – there are many more fine actors I could have mentioned  – however the list could go on forever – but if you can catch any of the above in the films I’ve mentioned they have been in then, you will know what I’m talking about  -in addition they can all be found on Wikipedia if you want to know more about their body of work.

As an aside – if you’ve watched an actor in a film that you know you have seen before but cant remember where and its keeping it you up all night in frustration  – just send a question in to me on my blog (Grosse Pointe Geek) at ALLTHINGSFILM and I’ll try and give you the answer.

 

Grosse Point Geek: The Marvel MCU Best To Worst (to Ant-Man & The Wasp)

Grosse Point Geek: The Marvel MCU Best To Worst (to Ant-Man & The Wasp)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

Phil’s Quick Review’s own master blogger Grosse Point Geek takes a look at the ENTIRE Marvel MCU to rate films os far from BEST to The Incredible Hulk… get ready for a few surprises (Yes he really does rate Iron Man 3 that low!!)

Updated as and when a new film arrives…

  1. Avengers Assemble
  2.  Thor Ragnarok
  3. Guardians of The Galaxy
  4. Avengers infinity War
  5. Captain America: Winter Soldier
  6. Thor
  7. Spider-Man homecoming
  8. Iron Man
  9. Captain America: Civil War
  10. Ant man
  11. Thor The Dark World
  12. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
  13. Antman and The Wasp
  14. Captain America
  15. Dr Strange
  16. Iron Man 3
  17. Black Panther
  18. Avengers Age Of Ultron
  19. Iron Man 2
  20. The Incredible Hulk

 

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Grosse Point Geek – Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018)

Grosse Point Geek – Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

Grosse Point Geek casts his critical eye over the latest (some sometimes greatest) releases… this time out: Ant-Man & The Wasp 

 

Plot in a nutshell: After the events of Captain America Civil War – Scott Lang aka Antman (Paul Rudd) is coming to the end of a 2 year house arrest and trying to start up a security business with his daft ex-jailbird mate Luis (Michael Pena), meanwhile, Hope and Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) are on the run from the authorities and trying to locate Pym’s long lost wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) who disappeared 30 years ago into the Quantum Realm.

What worked: Its extremely funny, in particular all the scenes featuring Michael Pena’s Luis are hilarious  plus Paul Rudd is again endearingly goofy as Lang. Lilly and Douglas are also really good and the action zips along at a rare old pace with great direction from returning helmer Peyton Reed.

What could have been better: The principal villain (Ghost) is very weak plus the plot is gossamer thin.

Best scene: The truth serum bit – very funny  – classic MCU comedy gold

Summary Review: The villain should have been so much better and the plot is too simple but its so much great fun throughout  and the cast are that good that it really doesnt matter all that much and  I for one am certainly looking forward to seeing seeing all these characters return in next years Avengers 4

Watch it at the cinema?: Yes

Buy on Blu Ray/DVD?: Yes


 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

 

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Grosse Point Geek – Mission : Impossible – Fallout (2018)

Grosse Point Geek – Mission : Impossible – Fallout (2018)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

Grosse Point Geek casts his critical eye over the latest (some sometimes greatest) releases… this time out Christopher McQuarrie’s Mission : Impossible – Fallout 

Cast: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Alec Baldwin

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Plot in a nutshell: Its a tad complicated but the basics are as follows -when three nuclear devices go missing, its up to Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team to get them back before a mysterious group called The Apostles detonates the lot of them and kills millions of innocent people in the process.

What worked: In short , pretty much everything  – especially the action scenes – which are genuinely gob smacking, manage to elevate the film into a whole new stratosphere of brilliance and are made even more impressive due to the fact that Tom Cruise did all his own stunts. Yes folks that really IS him performing the halo jump out of that plane and yes it’s also him piloting that helicopter at breakneck speed in the films stunningly mental finale. Indeed one can only imagine the amount of squeaky bum time the insurance company and the producers suffered throughout filming, wondering in desperation if their utterly mad bastard of a star actor was going to make it through to the next day in one piece.

In addition, whilst the action is outstanding, one must also credit writer/director Christopher McQuarrie, who not only directs with flair and confidence but also crafts an extremely good plot that manages to twist and turn and offer up some real surprises. Its also very well acted  – Cruise, as ever exudes mega watt charisma and owns every scene he is in,  Cavill (plus the legendary King’tache) does well and shows a refreshingly different side to what we are used to when he dons the cape as Superman, Rhames is his usual cool as a cucumber self, Pegg is great fun and gets lots more to do than just act as the comedy foil, Rebecca Ferguson makes a very welcome comeback as Isla Faust and once again more than holds her own in the action stakes, plus Sean Harris returns as the completely evil Solomon Kane and proves to be the best baddie of franchise so far.

What could have been better: Not much really  –  A few one liners from Cruise wouldn’t have gone amiss perhaps – the character of Ethan Hunt can be a little too serious at times and could do with occasionally being lightened up a bit. Finally, whilst the story is really good there are a couple of plot twists that i could see coming a mile off.

Best Scene: The films climax  – a frankly amazing helicopter chase that has to be seen to be believed

Summary Review:  A proper honest to goodness blockbuster and an incredible action film to boot, extremely well made and expertly directed by Christopher McQuarrie, however to be fair its Cruise who deserves most of the praise – the guy puts in a serious shift here doing most if not all his own stunts and  giving another great performance in what is rapidly becoming his signature role.

Fantastic entertainment  -don’t miss it

Pay to see it at the cinema? – You would be mad not to

Buy on DVD/Blu Ray? – God yes

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

 

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