Angel Has Fallen (2019): Review by Grosse Point geek

Angel Has Fallen (2019): Review by Grosse Point geek

A Blog Other Cr*p

Plot In A Nutshell: When the President of The United States (Morgan Freeman) is attacked and his security detail wiped out, legendary secret service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler)  finds himself framed and forced to go on the run to clear his name and find out who the real villains are.

 

What worked: Butler is solid as ever, Freeman is wonderful as POTUS and the great Nick Nolte steals every scene he’s in as Banning’s estranged war vet father.

 

Most importantly the action is really great  – lots of explosions, gun fights, fisticuffs, death, destruction and a cracking last 20 minutes when all hell breaks loose in a bullet riddled fight to the death between Banning and the baddies.

 

What could have been better: To say the least its somewhat predictable  – you can guess who the villains are from a mile off, the dialogue is at times a bit ‘Basil Exposition’ and on the whole it isnt as good as the last two films in the ‘Has Fallen’ franchise.

 

Review Summary: Lacks the kinetic lunacy and heart in the mouth cheer for the good guys spirit of Olympus Has Fallen and London Has Fallen but Butler, Freeman and particularly Nolte are fantastic, the action delivers in spades and the whole thing is hugely enjoyable from beginning to end. Ok it isnt exactly Oscar friendly but who cares when a film is this much fun?

 

 

See it at the cinema? Yes

 

Buy It On DVD/Blu Ray ? Yes

 

Author: Grosse Point Geek  

 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

Plot in a nutshell: Special Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and former SAS Operative Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) are reluctantly forced to team up with Shaw’s sister (Vanessa Kirby) who also happens to be a rogue MI6 agent and go after a genetically and technologically enhanced terrorist (Idris Elba) who is hell bent on releasing a virus that will wipe out most of humanity.

 

 

What worked: Being honest  – pretty much all of it. Johnson and Statham make a great double act and bounce off each other very well, both delivering some great one liners and trading  alot of extremely funny insults. However its Vanessa Kirby who really shines , displaying bucket loads of charisma, out acting both her hulking male co stars, and  more than holding her own in all the action scenes. In addition, despite being too good for a film like this Idris Elba is excellent as the principle baddie.

 

 

Speaking of action this film doesnt disappoint – and its virtually non stop from the get go – theres a great car/motorbike chase early on, a preposterous but extremely well handled set piece in Russia which involves enormous explosions, masses of gunfire and more than just a bit of bone crushing fisticuffs. However the best is left to last when Johnson, Kirby and Statham enlist the help of Hobbs hard as nails Samoan family for a bonkers final 20 minutes that really has to be seen to be believed.

 

 

What could have been better: Its very hard to criticize a film as mad as this – admittedly its a bit long, some of the one liners dont always land, and a theres a gratuitous Kevin Hart cameo about an hour in that didnt really work at all.

 

 

Review Summary: A great big utterly mental popcorn blockbuster, jam packed with action, pickled with funny one liners and featuring some great chemistry from its three central leads.

 

 

I loved it – Great fun

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

The Lion King (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

The Lion King (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

After his father King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) is murdered by evil Uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor), young Prince Simba is banished from the Pridelands and is presumed dead by the rest of his family. Years later, a chance encounter with an old friend forces the now adult Simba (Donald Glover) to make a choice  – stay in exile or face his destiny and challenge Scar for the throne.


What worked: 

The photo realistic animation used to bring the animals and the varying African landscapes to life  is frankly astounding  – so good in fact that you will actually think what you are watching is totally real and not animated. The voice cast are also very good and the songs are still as wonderful as the 1994 original.


What didnt work:

 As amazing as the animation is it has two major problems – and that is as we all know in real life animals dont express a vast range of facial emotions  – and this is what happens here – meaning that you are left a bit cold as the characters faces dont express the same levels of emotions as the ones in the original version also and very tellingly it just didn’t look or feel right when they talked – see it for yourself and you will know what i mean. In addition it isnt nearly as downright hilarious as the 1994 version, yes Timon and Pumbaa (voiced by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen) still steal the show but simply can’t match the utter lunacy that Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella brought to the characters in the original film. 

 

Finally one has to say that its all very well having brilliant photo realistic effects but unlike The Jungle Book remake and to a certain extent this years Tim Burton directed Dumbo update, when you break it down the Lion King 2019 brings absolutely nothing new to the party and at its heart is little more than a shot for shot, line for line recycled copy of what was and remains to be one of the greatest animated films of all time. Therefore if you look it it that way this means that one must view this film very cynically  – as all its purpose seems to be is to show off some fancy SFX, and make lots of money for Disney. 


Review summary: Never less than enjoyable and the animation is the best you will ever see  – but there is not one scrap of originality on show here.

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek 

 

 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog

Plot In a nutshell:After killing a member of the all powerful High Table on the sanctified grounds of the Continental Hotel, John Wick (Keanu Reeves plus dog) is on the run with a $14 million dollar bounty on his head and every assassin on the planet after him for the reward. Its now a race against time for John to get out of New York and somehow make good with the High Table before his deadly pursuers catch up with him.

What worked:To be honest  – just about all of it, and as long you dont take it too seriously you’re in for one hell of a ride. To say the least this film is bonkers   – which is mostly due to the utterly insane action sequences which get madder by the minute  – you name it this film has it – fisticuffs by the bucketload, bullet riddled  gun fights, knife smackdowns, sword fights, motorbike chases and in one very wince inducing scene what will now be forever known as “Horse Fu”  – no honestly you will have to see it to believe it.
Its also well acted  – Keanu is very good as Wick and deserves alot of kudos for how he throws himself into all the action scenes. Halle Berry is also impressive as an old acquaintance who is forced to help him after he cashes in a blood oath, plus Ian McShane, Lance Reddick and Lawrence Fishburne all return to their respective roles and lend the film some smooth gravitas and high quality acting chops.

 

Finally director Chad Stahelski proves once again he is one of the most accomplished action directors working today -coming up with some truly death defying camera shots and some very inventive set pieces.
What could have been better: Its at least 15 minutes too long, Halle Berry isnt in it for long enough and towards the end one does feel a bit of sensory overload with just how much endless scrapping is going on.
Best Scene:An almighty blazing gun fight that takes place in an empty Casablanca market involving Berry, Reeves, a whole swathe of bad guys plus two extremely vicious and  very well trained attack dogs.
Review Summary:A bit long but so enjoyably nuts that you wont really care – this refreshingly quirky action franchise just keeps going from strength to strength – roll on Chapter 4.

See It At the Cinema?– Definitely

Buy On DVD/Blu Ray?  –Of Course

 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Grosse Point Geek – Top Ten Favorite Game Of Thrones Characters

Grosse Point Geek – Top Ten Favorite Game Of Thrones Characters

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few years – Game Of Thrones is THE most popular show on the box  – and deservedly so. Now on its seventh season, audiences the world over have been captivated by its inter weaving story of dragons, white walkers, huge battles, ice covered wastes, and the eternal struggle  to rule over the fictional land of Westeros.

To say any more would be fruitless but if you like Lord Of The Rings, Excalibur, Conan The Barbarian plus  more than a small smattering of Star Wars all topped off with a serious amount of blood letting, decapitations, disemboweling and copious swearing then Game of Thrones is for you. Those with a more sensitive disposition need not bother.

Most of what makes Thrones so good though are its characters, the majority of which start out as utterly despicable or completely lovable and for the most part stay that way  – so just for a bit of fun ive complied my top ten favorites  – see below

 

(FYI Spoilers ahead!)

 

1.Tyrion Lannister (AKA The Imp). 

Played by: Peter Dinklage.

Hampered by his somewhat diminutive stature, affection for the demon drink, prostitutes and being loathed by his all powerful and admittedly horrible family, Tyrion is constantly forced to rely on his wits and cunning. You just cant help but love him – brilliantly played by Peter Dinklage, he gets all the best lines and manages to be in just about every episode so far.

Favorite scenes: Delivering a rousing speech just before the Battle of The Blackwater in Season 2 then killing his hideously smug father (Charles Dance – whilst on the toilet) with a crossbow in season 4.

Status: Still alive.

 

 

2. Bron Of The Blackwater

Played by: Jerome Flynn (yes him off Robson and Jerome and Soldier Soldier)

A whoring, wine swilling,  oik who’s also a dab hand with a sword. Started out as a small supporting character but now a firm fan favorite – mostly due to some very funny if unrepeatable one liners.

Favorite Scene: The loot train battle in S7 – brings down and almost kills Drogon the dragon with a giant crossbow then in the nick of time saves Jamie Lannister from being roasted alive by said beast.

Status: Still alive

 

 

3. Tormund Giantsbane

Played by: Kristofer Hivju

One of the so called Wildings from north of the wall. Initially a baddie but after being set free and pardoned by Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) he’s now properly on the side of right. Completely bonkers character, also a bit of a pervert –  all flaming hair, huge beard and mad eyes – making him completely brilliant – if a tad insane.

Favorite Scene: The look on his face when he first claps eyes on a very unimpressed Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)  and falls madly in love with her, then the utterly hilarious smile he gives her in a later episode that is so funny it has to be seen to be believed

Status: Still alive

 

4. Ramsay Bolton

Played by: Iwan Rheon

Quite simply – one of the greatest villains in TV history. A psychopath and a sadist of staggering proportions – the list of his evil deeds is legend – skinning enemies alive, stabbing his father to death, castrating Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), feeding his stepmother and her newborn son to the hounds, torturing Sansa Stark, plus numerous others that dont bear thinking about. Brilliantly played by Iwan Rheon – we will simply never see a baddie like this again and God help us all if we do!

Favorite Scene   – all of them  – but especially when he gets his comeuppance in s6

Status: Dead  – deservedly gets eaten alive by his own dogs but not before being given an utter shoeing by Jon Snow at The Battle of The Bastards.

5. Ser Jorah Mormont

Played by: Iain Glen

Disgraced knight of the realm, initially paid to spy on Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) but then falls in love with her from afar and becomes her most trusted and loyal adviser. A very sympathetic, heroic and rather lovely character, who you just cant help rooting for  – played with gusto by the very fruity voiced Iain Glen.

Best scene: S5  – The Dance Of Dragons  – fights tooth and nail in a massive gladiatorial battle then saves Daenerys from certain death with a well placed spear.

Status: Dead

6. The Dragons (Rhaegal, Drogon and Viserion)

Played by: CGI creations

I always considered that the best screen dragon of all time was Vermithrax Perjorative in Dragonslayer (if you havent seen it do so asap) that was until i saw these three. Giant fire breathing beasts – last of their kind  – the so called “children” of Daenerys Targaryen – all are a wonder of visual effects genius, look completely real and elevate GOT to unlimited heights of brilliance whenever they are on the screen – damn terrifying too.

Best Scene: Hard to pick but for me it was Drogon’s nick of time appearance in S5 Dance of Dragons, then the Loot train battle and the huge fight with the white walker army  in s7.

Status: 1 Alive, 2 Dead

7. Sandor Clegane (AKA The Hound)

Played by: Rory Mcgann

Horribly disfigured, foul mouthed and very bad tempered former kings body guard. Clegane goes from being initially a really horrible person who kills without mercy to becoming almost likable and extremely sympathetic. Another interesting, well drawn character, superbly played by Rory Mcgann,  with subtle, hidden depths that have been slowly drawn out over the course of 7 seasons.

Best Scene: The massive and very bloody tavern scrap in S3

Status: Dead

8. Joffrey Baratheon

Played by: Jack Gleeson

Teenage king of Westeros and a lying, spoilt, sadistic, cowardly bully. The kind of person that deserved a right kicking from every person he ever wronged. Horrible character in fact – but so brilliantly realized by the very talented Jack Gleeson that one simply cant leave him out of this top ten.

Best Scene: Hard to say  – for me it was the wedding feast after he weds Margaery Tyrell – behaves appallingly, humiliating his uncle Tyrion but not before suffering  death by poisoning – and God did he deserve it!

Status – Very dead

9. Jamie Lannister

Played by: Nicolai Coster Waldau

A very complex character, who starts out as a total swine, who is having an affair with his sister plus mercilessly cripples young Bran Stark by pushing him out of a window. Then in a stroke of very clever plotting becomes a guy you just cant help rooting for – despite the fact that he’s on the side of the villains.

Best Scene: Saving Brienne of Tarth from the bear pit.

Status: Dead

10. Jon Snow

Played by Kit Harrington

The main GOT character and clearly modeled on Luke Skywalker. Yes i know at times hes a bit bland – but he’s completely fearless, hard as a coffin nail, great in a fight and a total classic hero.

Best Scene: For me its in my two favorite GOT episodes – The Watchers on The Wall (S4) and The Battle of The Bastards (s6). He’s in every scene and kicks so much arse with that sword of his that its a joy to watch.

Status: Still alive

There you go then  – my top ten favorite Game of Thrones characters. If you havent watched GOT yet then i implore you to do so -admittedly it took Phil Hobden a great deal of effort to get me to stick at it, but im so glad he did as its now become my favorite TV show ever and i cantrecommend it highly enough.

Valar Morgulis!

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

HellBoy (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

HellBoy (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog

Plot In a Nutshell: After Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman’s two adaptations of the Dark Horse/ Mike Migola demon superhero comic  we now have this reboot of the Hellboy film franchise  – this time Big Red is played by David Harbour (Stranger Things) and the director is Neil Marshall (The Descent). The plot involves the resurrection of the evil Blood Queen (Milla Jojovich) who threatens to unleash a deadly plague on the Earth  – that is unless Hellboy, his adopted father (Ian McShane) and the B.P.R.D can stop her first.

The Good: Its fairly watchable, Harbour does well as Hellboy,  McShane is his usual charismatic self, one or two of the set pieces are ok plus the design work and make up effects are very imaginative.

The Bad: Dear God where to start?  – With the exception of McShane, most of the supporting cast are terrible – the worst offenders being Daniel Dae Kim as a BPRD agent with an iffy Dick Van Dyke British accent and Milla Jojovich gurning for all her worth as the Blood Queen.

Its gets worse – the script seems to have been written by a 12 year old – all F bombs and juvenile humour  – with hardly one quip or funny line managing to raise more than a titter, the special effects are extremely poor and look cheap, its badly edited, overly loud,  a potentially interesting plot involving King Arthur is wasted and most of the action scenes are boring and generic.

Best Scene: The last 2 mins which to be fair is a well handled one take shoot out that sets things up for a sequel

Summary: A pointless reboot and a staggering disappointment which pales in comparison to Del Toro’s films  – made even worse by the fact that its directed by Neil Marshall – a superb film maker who gave us The Descent and Dog Soldiers and directed two of the best ever Game Of Thrones episodes (Black Water and The Watchers on The Wall). Yes ill admit David Harbour is good as HB but his performance doesn’t really distinguish itself in any way from Ron Perlman’s previous take on the character. Over all i have no idea why the studio decided to reboot this franchise as both Del Toro and Perlman have both said for years that they were happy to return for a third film and considering that Hellboy 1 and Helloy 2 did pretty well at the box office it beggars belief that no one took them up on their offer.

Crap

 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

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

 

 

 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

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. 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

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 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

 

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 

 


Follow us on Social Media: