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

 

 


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Happy 2019 Rex Manning Day!

Happy 2019 Rex Manning Day!

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“We mustn’t dwell. No, not today. We can’t. Not on Rex Manning day!” -Mark (Ethan Embry)

April 8th is a big day for Empire Records enthusiasts as it’s been deemed Rex Manning Day.  And thus we celebrate that day every year at Phil’s Quick capsule Review.

From TIME magazine:
“Rex Manning was the fictional pop star in the 1995 movie Empire Records. On April 8, “Oh Rexy, you’re so sexy” Manning has a scheduled appearance at a struggling independent record store that the staff (which includes Renee Zellweger and Liv Tyler) is desperately trying to save from turning into corporate chain.

While the film flopped, making a mere quarter million dollars during its two-week theatrical run, it quickly became a cult classic — and the fake-tanned Rex Manning became an icon.”

“Who knows where thoughts come from. They just appear.”Joe

 

Check out the soundtrack on SPOTIFY

 

 

 


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My Problem With Captain Marvel by Motion Picture Maniac

My Problem With Captain Marvel by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog

Well here’s a review (well, kind of review) I didn’t want to write, the first ever MCU movie I don’t like and it’s the one released under circumstances dictating that if you don’t like it then you’re a sexist! Guess I should address that too – of course I’m not sexist you peanut! Any movie that I think has boring cinematography, badly shot fight scenes, a generic and underwhelming story and more than a few silly scenes to shake out of even the silliest of superhero celluloid (meow) is going to disappoint me whether it stars a male or female. Do I hate Captain Marvel? No, definitely not, in fact I understand the appeal completely, Marvel, the studio, has put forth a female superhero after many years of awkwardly dancing around such a venture and she’s connecting with people – good stuff, Sam L. Jackson says fuck the haters and rightly so, good for him, but me personally? Regarding my own opinion? I would be lying if I said Captain Marvel… “clicked”, I didn’t really like it all that much but the reasons I’m feeling more anger than the problems I have with it seem to warrant is to do with something bigger than just this single movie.

Let me explain from the beginning:

There’s been talk of the Marvel formula running out of steam for some time now, while still good, Doctor Strange was criticised for basically being Iron Man all over again, Ant-man and the Wasp was a straight up comedy with no depth whatsoever etc. And, for the most part, they’ve gotten away with it, there was barely an original bone in Black Panther’s body regarding plot but it was fun and, to many, revolutionary enough so that didn’t matter; I myself was only noticing this issue as opposed to being truly bothered by it. Then Infinity War rolled along and suggested that maybe, just maybe, all that formula floundering was going to change, with Captain Marvel, however, I think they’ve gone backwards in too many areas and the film, for me, was just very same old – same old.

Not in all areas of course, it’s great that they’ve finally pulled their finger out and for Christ’s sake just cast a female lead already, but am I the only one who thinks it draws attention to their previous attitude that doing so before was some kind of “ooh, I don’t know about that” difficult obstacle to overcome? I mean what was all that not doing a black widow toy about when Age of Ultron was making the rounds? We shouldn’t giving them points just because they finally grew up and did it at this point, if it’s turned out so good then why aren’t we demanding to know why it took them so long, like what was the problem before if it’s always been a big deal? Not to mention Wonder Woman having beaten them to it but Marvel’s is the arse to kiss so let’s just ignore it when DC does it first (and better) because that’s the trend right?

That’s what I am angry about in all this, the one thing that I do hate about Captain Marvel, it represents the double standard behind the whole DC vs Marvel thing, which I wouldn’t be that bothered about if A: I was still getting now scrapped DC movies I was looking forward to that were in play before everyone started bitching. And B: it didn’t mean good filmmaking has nothing to do with effort but rather the name of the brand. You wanna make a film everyone will hate no matter how hard you try? No matter how well shot it is or how high the level of production value? Well then just make a DCEU movie of course, and be sure to take it in original directions and do something new with the tired old material because they’ll really loath you for that! You wanna make a film everyone will just agree is good no matter how much you slack off? Then Marvel is the studio for you.

Marvel hasn’t exactly been a safe haven for auteur filmmakers with ideas of their own for some time now and as a result their films have gotten more and more workman-like over the years, the cinematography is becoming almost non existent, the stories are getting more and more familiar and therefor: underwhelming, their SFX have started to nose dive in quality; and if I was feeling pretentious I’d say they’re almost not even real films at this point but financial-minded merchandise products of themselves first and foremost. The days of the first Iron Man are over, and DC , starting its slate with risk taking, doing things differently and new ideas, gets ripped apart for daring to do so despite being better made films (shut up, yes they are, a fictional character abandoning their moral compass and going on a killing spree does not automatically mean bad filmmaking by definition, get a grip). To make a long story short, I’m a bit miffed that Captain Marvel has no style or artistry but everyone loves it anyway, while films that do have style and artistry and tones not broken up with awkward humour to break the tension, like Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, get torn apart regardless because “Superman didn’t smile enough” and now I don’t get my Justice League sequels because you people couldn’t stop moaning for five minutes – THANKS!

Captain Marvel has no art, personality, no passion, nothing much to say outside of “we’re doing a female superhero movie, aren’t we great!” It’s a film that looks like the two directors were never present, it’s a corporate machine, a conveyor belt of a movie that doesn’t take any risks, try anything new or even look that well made if I’m being honest, it didn’t do it for me. From a pedestrian view point I didn’t think Brie Larson was giving 110%, some of her line delivery felt a bit wooden at times, I thought the cinematography was just plain bad, there were times the editing was very mechanical: like during a scene early on in which Larson gestures her fists at Jude Law while they were talking between close-ups, but when she gestures it cuts to a wide shot dollying backwards that clearly wasn’t meant to go there before awkwardly cutting back to close-ups again.

Some of the fight scenes are shot very badly and way too close (but hey, they’re not hand held like man of steel so they’re automatically good right? Honestly, fuck all of you!) the humour was a bit out of place here and there, the various twists and turns scattered about the story did nothing for me, the way Nick Fury lost his eye was insultingly stupid and while his young CGI was very good and the action scenes you can actually see are indeed entertaining, I’m sorry to report Captain Marvel just wasn’t for me, although I am a white guy so maybe that was intentional (I’m kidding, I’m kidding, I’m kidding).

I felt similarly about Shazam too, while I think that’s a better film because the story of a boy with the power to turn into a super powered grown-up should appropriately be very silly and funny (and it found success on those fronts), the direction and look was rather generic and uninteresting, but no one seems to care! Mainstream movies with darker tones are being punched in the face regardless of how well made they are because the definition of good filmmaking nowadays has nothing to do with original ideas, deeper stories and directors with personality, but rather depends on just whether or not they’re “fun”.

I’d like to see The Dark Knight receive its masterly reputation if it came out today, and why is this the case? Why are films with so-so style, look and production getting a pass as long as they’re fun/funny while better made films get ripped apart just for wanting to be a bit more serious minded? I’ll tell you why: the same reason making a badly received film apparently seems to warrant online abuse because your daughter commits suicide, it’s just one more way the human race SUCKS!

 


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Rated: Marvel Cinematic Universe (up to Captain Marvel)

Rated: Marvel Cinematic Universe (up to Captain Marvel)

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RATED looks at EVERY Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film and gives a QuickReview as well as putting them in order of BEST to Iron Man 2.!  Updated as and when a new Marvel (Studios) film is released…

(Note scores reflect my original IMDB ratings)


Best: Captain America Winter Solider

A cold war thriller with Robert Redford and a mini Avengers team up.  Add in the always awesome Frank Grillo and a genuinely interesting script and you have Marvel’s strongest cinematic outing.

——

2. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Massively far out of Marvel’s usual comfort zone, Guardian’s introduced spaceships, talking racoons and a giant tree person. Cracking script, expert action and a heap of fun.

——

3. Iron Man 3

The Iron Man film that broke a lot of Marvel fans, Shane Black took the playbook and ripped it up.  Twists, turns and a cute central relationships made this a different take on the norm and was all the better for it.

——

4. Thor: Ragnarok

Well this was a bundle of fun.  The previous Thor films have been okay but Ragnarok delivered a brilliant romp which dragged in The Hulk, a handful of memorable new characters (Korg!)  and some great set pieces to end up being one of Marvel’s best films yet.

 ——

5. Marvel’s The Avengers 

All the groundwork paid off as Marvel delivered it’s first ever super hero team up.  The Hulk was back (and done right this time), Hawkeye and Black Widow joined the team and director Joss Whedon delivered the goods.

——

6. Spider-Man Homecoming 

Funny, charming, with Marvels best villain and best Spiderman (yup sorry Andrew Garfield) Homecoming is a joy of a film that is by far the closest to what the comic book Peter Parker is.

——

7. Avengers: Infinity War

Shocking, well paced and with one of Marvel’s greatest screen villains Avengers Infinity War ALMOST delivered on it’s considerable promise.  Almost.

——

 

8. Iron Man

The Film that started it all… Iron Man was a rock n roll action movie with an unlikely lead, an even more unlikely director and enough balls out moments to wow.

——

 

9. Captain Marvel 

A great origins story, a fun film and a great soundtrack – what more could you ask for really?

——

10. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Loud, silly and funny as heck, Vol. 2 isn’t quite the tight film that it’s 2014 original is but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.  Add in an amazing cast (including Stallone, Hasselhoff and Russell) and you have another winner from Marvel…

——

11. Ant-Man

Ant-Man is a heist movie. With Ants.  And fights on toy trains.  It’s crazy but it’s also full of charm, humour and fun.

——

12. Black Panther 

Black Panther takes a different approach to the usual Marvel film, yet falls into a lot of the same traps of relying a bit too much on visual effects at times.  That said it’s one of Marvel’s most intimate stories and whilst not perfect is a really strong entry into the increasingly bigger MCU.

——

13. Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man & The Wasp is GREAT fun.  It’s also totally forgettable and delivers what is possibly Marvel’s weakest villain to date.  Not bad by any stretch just off pace of the original.

——

14. Doctor Strange

Off the big screen Doctor Strange looses a little but this visually stunning film shows that marvel are still interested in pushing the envelope as far as you can in mainstream blockbusters.

——

15. Captain America: The First Avenger 

Solid, fun and well done, whilst it has little rewatch appeal Captain America again took a different approach and gave us a couple of Marvel’s most enduring characters.

——

16. Captain America: Civil War

It’s not bad.  It just didn’t gel with me as much as it did others. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot to like and again it plays with the expected formula, but ultimately i’m just not that keen to go back to it.

——

17. Thor: The Dark World

I liked The Dark world MUCH more than others.  Okay so it’s flawed for sure but it’s crazy fun.

——

18. Thor

Thor was a sold film, tasked with the near impossible job of making a god fit in a world of men.  It does it well but not one you’ll rewatch much.

——

19. Avengers Age Of Ultron

Marvel’s first disappointment, Age Of Ultron was all show and little else.  Too big, too dumb and too long.

——

 

20. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

It has charm and the casting works well but ultimately The Incredible Hulk (whilst FAR better than the Ang Lee version) just doesn’t have enough to recommend it.

——

 

Worst : Iron Man 2

The idea was fine but sadly most of the film misses.  Even Mickey Rourke (yes one of the oddest Marvel villains ever) can’t save this.

 


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Rampage (2009): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

Rampage (2009): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog

Your Honour, I would like to plead guilty to the crime of liking a film by Uwe Boll and not in the guilty pleasure, so-bad-it’s-good sort of way. Rather in that “no, really, I’m serious” sort of way. Is it a great film? No. Does it have problems? Of bloody course it does. But do I also think it’s one that deserves a fair look from any judge-by-the-cover detractors, who have based early dislike on the name at the helm? Oh you bet.

I’ve been working on a short film for a little while now and haven’t had that many opportunities to go to the cinema as per my usual amount (and what I have seen I don’t think I can get a whole review out of). What I have had some time for is evenings of old DVD’s and revisiting bits and pieces from the past; one of which is the one good Uwe Boll film that I own: Rampage. No, not the blockbuster with the Rock going up against big hungry beasties, I’m talking about the nasty as hell horror action punch to the faces of GTA fans everywhere in which Brendan Fletcher plays a mass shooter who spends much of the plot gunning down innocent civilians; not presented by Disney then?

We live in a world where the consensus of the tasteless is beginning to regress. We got over the initial shock of the video nasties, then we opened our eyes and realised all the people who caused the fuss, proclaiming that violent movies would bring down civilisation, were fucking idiots who deserve to have their graves desecrated and names vilified throughout history. But now we’re reverting back to that mindset because everything ever said and thought is just offensive to everyone now so oh well, never mind.

I say that because, believe it or not, I think Rampage may be the kind of film we need in our society, yes, even nowadays, in fact: especially nowadays. With all the mass shootings going on all the time and those with the power to do something about it shrugging everything off with a smile like it’s not their problem and everyone’s just being silly for asking, it could be up to films like this to give everyone the shock they need – why exactly? Well, I don’t think you’re supposed to like it; at least not in the traditional sense.

This is not a pleasant film to watch content-wise (which can only work if the surface works beforehand), Boll went and pulled his finger out with this one so on a technical level the film is actually kind of alright, it doesn’t look like the camera was simply pointed at the actors while they spout lines from an early stage practice script like House of the Dead or whatever. It feels like he actually made a film, like… a real film, with on beat editing, stylish camera work and decent performances, but also with a thematic intention, which is to deliver a brutal commentary; even if that means bordering on deliberately unwatchable. It’s weird, he’s proving here that he actually knows his stuff on a fundamental level so what happened with all of his other efforts?

The story goes thusly: Brendan Fletcher plays Bill, your regular ol’ average Joe whose parents think it’s time he moved out, he doesn’t get on with his boss, he’s got a rambling political realist for a best friend, who likes preaching online about the problems of the world, and he seems to bump into contagiously grumpy people at every turn; his life doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. That is until one day in which Bill reveals he hasn’t been as lacking in ambition as everyone thought by dressing head to toe in body armour, grabbing a couple of machine guns, and going out on the town to shoot, stab and blow up pretty much everyone in sight.

That’s it, guy has dull life so guy grabs guns and kills everyone. You wanna know why I think this film works? It doesn’t ever try to be cool or fun, it’s not really an action film, it’s a horror. The rampage of the title isn’t supposed to make you ooh and aah, the minimal use of slo-mo is there to drive home disturbance instead of emphasising any kind of badass-ness and there isn’t a single moment in which you’ll catch yourself cheering the “hero” on – even when the victim is someone who once wronged him. Our protagonist proves early that, while we’re stuck with him, he’s not going to be the most likeable of leads, you don’t approve of his actions and definitely do not sympathise with him. A few moments during the rampage come to mind in which the word “evil” has seldom been more appropriate, such as Bill calmly joking with a cornered woman while he reloads before shooting her to death the same way he would lock his front door.

Boll shot the thing with a shaky hand-held style and surprisingly realistic sounding improvised dialogue that makes everything feel spontaneous and as if the camera itself doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. This is very different to what his usual kitchen sink style of filmmaking is like, it’s crazy to even think it and I’ve already touched on it but wow, Boll actually shut up, sat down and gave thought to the thing – thought about aesthetics and the boundaries of style consistency. The first 45 minutes deal with Bill’s uneventful life as he goes through the motions but every now and then we get flashes of his plan in his head, probably the only thing I don’t like about the film; that and an explosion effect that is just not very convincing at all.

I get that Bill is supposed to be losing his grip and it’s an OK idea to show him thinking of the plan with shots of people dying, I mean the film’s called rampage and have you seen the poster? It’s hardly a surprise when bullets start flying, but there’s something about the way it’s done I don’t like that much, we see glimpses of latter scenes that don’t out right spoil them per say but still do feel like they’re giving too much away. It’s not just shots of nameless faceless victims falling but really specific stuff that it really doesn’t make sense to show. That’s about it though, I’d say everything else is smooth sailing.

As for the rampage itself, how does it do as a sequence? It begins with Bill suiting up and getting ready, probably one of my favourite scenes. He checks his outfit in the mirror and I nervously laugh when it is revealed how short he is, making him more human before he commences, and when bodies start falling it makes for one of the best and most haunting sequences of Boll’s career. The sight of innocent civilians dropping like flies the way they do here makes for some very uncomfortable viewing, no flash, no fun, just people getting shot and dying and it borders on nightmare inducing.

The scenes that follow begin to vary and mess with your expectations. Neither one in a beauty salon or another guiltily funny one in a bingo hall will be quickly forgotten, there’s a scene where Bill robs a bank because he may as well while committing mass murder I guess (I’m covering spoilers here), and it contains some pretty nasty shit; I won’t lie. All practical explosions that follow the not-so-great CGI one are superbly well edited (especially around a surprised police car), Brendan Fletcher absolutely crushed it as the unlikeable lead and, thinking about it, I really aught to get onto those sequels if they’re anything like this one.

Rampage may not be a great film given its irritating few issues but what works well really, really does work well. Jessica Derooij’s musical score is brilliant, the stunt work is brutal, the kills are just horrible and… yeah, well done Uwe Boll, trying his hand at a bit of social commentary and succeeding, who knew? I recommend you give Rampage a go, what’s the harm? It works, damnit! And when a broken clock is right for that one second it’s fun to point it out. Does this make me a lunatic? YES but who cares?

 


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Ross & Phil Talk Movies Present: The 2019 Boyask Action Awards

Ross & Phil Talk Movies Present: The 2019 Boyask Action Awards

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Taking 4 Awards, Mission Impossible: Fallout swept the board in at the 1st Annual Boyask Action Awards, with Tom Cruise also entering the Hall of Fame.

‘The Boyasks’ (named fro our very own Action obsessed Ross Boyask) pick up on what the Academy, BAFTA’s and Globes miss out… acknowledging the performance, craft and skill of action & stunt performers and cinema.

You can listen to the full podcast here (including our discussion on just WHY the Academy Awards refuses to acknowledge action and stunt performers)

Winners Highlighted in GREEN

 


Best Action Sequence
24 Hours To Live
Final Score
Mission Impossible: Fallout – Finalle 

Best Fight Scene
Upgrade
A Prayer before Dawn
The Night Comes For Us
Accident Man

Best Stunt Sequence
Mission Impossible: Fallout – Halo Jump
Mission Impossible: Fallout – Roof Top Run
Mission Impossible: Fallout – Helicopter Hang

Standout Action Performer of 2018
Tom Cruise
Dolph Lundgren
Dwayne Johnson 

‘Holy Shit’ Moment of the Year
Tom Cruise – Helicopter Hang (Mission Impossible: Fallout)

Comeback of The Year
Dolph Lundgren
Special Mention: Cobra Kai/ Karate Kid

Best Blockbuster Film
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Den Of Thieves
Deadpool 2
The First Purge
Mission Impossible: Fallout

Best DTV Film
The Night Comes For Us
Final Score
24 Hours To Die
Braven
Accident Man

Hall Of Fame – Class Of 2019
Loren Janes
Tom Cruise

 


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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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Motion Picture Maniac’s Guide To Picking A Favourite Movie

Motion Picture Maniac’s Guide To Picking A Favourite Movie

A Blog

Dust off your DVD’s and prepare your Ludovico eye drops because you and I, together and holding hands the whole way through, are gonna solve the answer to that itchy personal question many unfortunate film buffs live with and suffer daily; twisting their skulls and scratching their brains like a schizophrenic gorilla trying to make the voices stop every time some ill informed passerby asks: so you’re a film buff eh? What’s your favourite movie then?

Do you have trouble choosing from the hundreds (if not thousands) of films you’ve seen? Do you have a list of personal bests from which you wish to pick one out, like a top 10, 20 or 50, but don’t know which one to go with? Let these feelings of incompleteness bother you no longer fellow film nuts as you’ve come to the right place, read forth what lies before you and you just might be able to pluck your all time favourite from the ocean of films drowning your mind and salting your eyes red raw.

Note: Unless told otherwise, every answer to the following should be a “yes” in order for the subject to qualify for the holy position, if any “no’s” come along then the candidate is caput and it’s time to start over with a new and different choice; let’s begin!

Do you, without question, love every single scene and every single shot; not being able to live without even one if it were removed?

Is there absolutely nothing about it you dislike, do you even enjoy its visible mistakes in an endearing sense?

Would you highly praise every single one of its filmic elements: acting, cinematography, narrative, style, editing etc.?

Do you feel better after watching it, would you say it’s good for your soul; regardless of how dark/depressing the film is intended to be?

Have you or could you watch it in excess of 200 times without getting bored, and watch it a further 200 times after that? (An impressive feat right there!)

Are you unhealthily obsessed with it even when you’re not watching it? Does it pop into your mind at the worst possible moment like porn does with teenaged dickheads.

When it is over, is your first instinct to hit the replay button without a moment’s hesitation? Everyone knows a favourite film should take priority over a personal life.

Do you and this potential candidate have a long history together? Have you loved it since childhood for example? A solid “yes” is not required but it can help if you’ve been watching it again and again for that long.

Do you know all the dialogue off by heart? In fact – do you have the entire film itself committed to memory? A sad admission but hey, we’re all friends here.

Are you well versed in its behind-the-scenes making?

Does it contain a message or themes you fundamentally agree with on a very personal level? I myself am partial to movies with a message pertaining to how much the human race irredeemably SUCKS!

Does it also apply to your own personal tastes on a surface level? Does it do things you just happen to like aesthetically; without really mattering too much to the story but never the less tickle you?

If a significant other hated it, would you end the relationship? (What was it I said about priorities?)

Do you even enjoy watching the end credits?

Is your favourite part the bit between opening up the DVD box and hitting replay after watching the whole thing? Har har har!

(These next few are for protection against the disapproving “um, OK then…” you may hear from the more elite type of film snob, you’ll know what I mean in a second)

Is more than ten years old? Better yet, was it made before the turn of the 21st century? (This is probably the most unfair requirement but apparently, if it isn’t, then it is taken less seriously for some reason; ever notice that?)

Is it actually considered good by most other people as well? If not, does it at least have a dedicated following or reputation for still being watchable; despite a negative reception on paper?

Would the non-film buff every man understand your choice if you told him? If yes, then great, if no, it matters as much as his inferior opinion, just ignore him, you can say no for this one; please do continue.

Finally, are the chances of you ever changing your mind slim to never? Tell a film snob your favourite film has been so for 15 years and watch their eyes widen with respect for your seriousness for film buff-ism.

Ok that’s it, that’s all I got, if this has helped you find your ultimate choice for best movie ever then great, fantastic even, if not then… really? Wow, tough crowd, worse still – if the choice all of these questions brought you to is something like Transformers 5 then… then… oh who am I kidding, more power to ya, who am I to judge? That being said, please tell me it was something else!

 


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Holmes & Watson (2018): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

Holmes & Watson (2018): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog

First order of business for the new year, go see Holmes & Watson and try not to bang my head on the nearest hard surface. I strained and pushed and maybe even exhausted-to-death every brain cell at my disposal (all two of them) trying to keep out all of the apparently legend making negative feedback this film had received during the week before my viewing, in my efforts to at least look like a professional I didn’t want my expectations jeopardised by the bandwagon, something I’ve taken a real disliking to over the years due to all the good films damned by such bystander mentality. I denied myself any and all expectations, opened up my mind and braced for whatever was about to come through gates to face me on the battlefield.

Alas the ever untrustworthy voice of the internet has proved itself a boy who cried wolf that is now speaking the truth. Holmes & Watson is an unfunny career ending cringe fest stuffed like an ancient Rome era torture victim being force fed wine with facepalm inducing jokes, hideous performances, characters you want to strangle to death, continuity errors so bad it gives the cast the power to teleport, sound design not even worthy of an English dub of a foreign film and a script so full of bad choices it may as well have just been a list of every opportunity for success you personally missed throughout your whole life because it induces the same level of misery.

The actors at work here are not actually acting, they’re goofing around with line delivery being completely incidental to the complete and total faffing about on display. It almost makes me want to buy the eventual DVD in the hopes it will contain behind-the-scenes footage of just what direction everybody was given to achieve such embarrassment because I just gots to know. I’m serious, what the hell was going on during the making of this thing, what did the set look like – the finale of the Susperia remake? Various big names show up from time to time to humiliate themselves, Kelly MacDonald looks like she can’t wait to get it over with and just go home, Ralph Fiennes appears literally paid to stand there given how few lines he has and Steve Coogan? Well, let’s just say his character’s, spoiler alert, DEATH neatly mirrors what his agent has just done to him in real life.

This is a comedy with no laughs, I chuckled ever so slightly at a captioned quote that opens the film because of who it’s credited to but every single joke that comes along afterwards is just embarrassing to give attention to. I wasn’t just sat there being grumpy, I wanted to laugh, I prayed for at least just one gag to set me off but no, the chosen saviour never showed up; my funny bone was un-molested the entire time! Just prancing about, putting on a stupid voice, hurting yourself and others, literally smearing shit on somebody and generally acting like a tit is not comedy, it is not the exact chemistry required to bring forth the laughs, I could do it right now while writing this review, hang on… there, I just stopped typing for a minute to do my best impression of Donald Trump having a sexual encounter with the John Carpenter THING and an epileptic walrus, you couldn’t see it but believe me – it wasn’t funny.

Speaking of Donal Trump, good grief, the jokes about him just keep on truckin’, not that I’m against making fun of that fucking idiot but the jokes Holmes & Watson offers up go very little beyond hey, you know who we’re talking about? Yes, hardy-har-har, a hat that says make England great again, a dialogue exchange about how democracy is intended to prevent evil selfish businessmen from taking power over the people; I wanted to laugh but all I did was cry in the end. Story beats are all familiar and typical of a cheap throwaway comedy like this, the editor should be absolutely ashamed, saying that: the whole cast should be ashamed too, that selfie joke in the trailer was just as brain pulverising in the actual film and those Titanic jokes… yeah, I personally can’t stand people who are easily offended these days, especially by simple jokes, but these were… um… yeah… I think that’s an indication to wrap up so Holmes & Watson, nothing says poster quote like “a comedy that isn’t funny, full of heroes you wish with all your heart were dead”.

Not the worst film I’ve ever seen, it’s runtime did manage to pass along quickly enough, it’s 90 minutes did not feel like 90 hours as some others have done in the past but I’ll be damned to my rightful place in hell much sooner than I’d prefer if this doesn’t earn a 1/10 just for sheer annoyance.

 

Author: Motion Picture Maniac  

 


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Rated: Marvel Cinematic Universe (up to Ant Man & The Wasp)

Rated: Marvel Cinematic Universe (up to Ant Man & The Wasp)

A Blog

RATED looks at EVERY Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film and gives a QuickReview as well as putting them in order of BEST to Iron Man 2.!  Updated as and when a new Marvel (Studios) film is released…

(Note scores reflect my original IMDB ratings)


Best: Captain America Winter Solider

A cold war thriller with Robert Redford and a mini Avengers team up.  Add in the always awesome Frank Grillo and a genuinely interesting script and you have Marvel’s strongest cinematic outing.

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2. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Massively far out of Marvel’s usual comfort zone, Guardian’s introduced spaceships, talking racoons and a giant tree person. Cracking script, expert action and a heap of fun.

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3. Iron Man 3

The Iron Man film that broke a lot of Marvel fans, Shane Black took the playbook and ripped it up.  Twists, turns and a cute central relationships made this a different take on the norm and was all the better for it.

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4. Thor: Ragnarok

Well this was a bundle of fun.  The previous Thor films have been okay but Ragnarok delivered a brilliant romp which dragged in The Hulk, a handful of memorable new characters (Korg!)  and some great set pieces to end up being one of Marvel’s best films yet.

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5. Marvel’s The Avengers 

All the groundwork paid off as Marvel delivered it’s first ever super hero team up.  The Hulk was back (and done right this time), Hawkeye and Black Widow joined the team and director Joss Whedon delivered the goods.

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6. Spider-Man Homecoming 

Funny, charming, with Marvels best villain and best Spiderman (yup sorry Andrew Garfield) Homecoming is a joy of a film that is by far the closest to what the comic book Peter Parker is.

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7. Avengers: Infinity War

Shocking, well paced and with one of Marvel’s greatest screen villains Avengers Infinity War ALMOST delivered on it’s considerable promise.  Almost.

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8. Iron Man

The Film that started it all… Iron Man was a rock n roll action movie with an unlikely lead, an even more unlikely director and enough balls out moments to wow.

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9. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Loud, silly and funny as heck, Vol. 2 isn’t quite the tight film that it’s 2014 original is but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.  Add in an amazing cast (including Stallone, Hasselhoff and Russell) and you have another winner from Marvel…

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10. Ant-Man

Ant-Man is a heist movie. With Ants.  And fights on toy trains.  It’s crazy but it’s also full of charm, humour and fun.

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11. Black Panther 

Black Panther takes a different approach to the usual Marvel film, yet falls into a lot of the same traps of relying a bit too much on visual effects at times.  That said it’s one of Marvel’s most intimate stories and whilst not perfect is a really strong entry into the increasingly bigger MCU.

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12. Ant-Man & The Wasp

Ant-Man & The Wasp is GREAT fun.  It’s also totally forgettable and delivers what is possibly Marvel’s weakest villain to date.  Not bad by any stretch just off pace of the original.

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13. Doctor Strange

Off the big screen Doctor Strange looses a little but this visually stunning film shows that marvel are still interested in pushing the envelope as far as you can in mainstream blockbusters.

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14. Captain America: The First Avenger 

Solid, fun and well done, whilst it has little rewatch appeal Captain America again took a different approach and gave us a couple of Marvel’s most enduring characters.

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15. Captain America: Civil War

It’s not bad.  It just didn’t gel with me as much as it did others. Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot to like and again it plays with the expected formula, but ultimately i’m just not that keen to go back to it.

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16. Thor: The Dark World

I liked The Dark world MUCH more than others.  Okay so it’s flawed for sure but it’s crazy fun.

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17. Thor

Thor was a sold film, tasked with the near impossible job of making a god fit in a world of men.  It does it well but not one you’ll rewatch much.

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18. Avengers Age Of Ultron

Marvel’s first disappointment, Age Of Ultron was all show and little else.  Too big, too dumb and too long.

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19. The Incredible Hulk (2008)

It has charm and the casting works well but ultimately The Incredible Hulk (whilst FAR better than the Ang Lee version) just doesn’t have enough to recommend it.

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Worst : Iron Man 2

The idea was fine but sadly most of the film misses.  Even Mickey Rourke (yes one of the oddest Marvel villains ever) can’t save this.

 


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