Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 36 Must See Films Of The Decade (2010-2019)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 36 Must See Films Of The Decade (2010-2019)

2019: In Review Other Cr*p Quick Review Year In Review

So this is it: Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests (including podcasters Mike Parkin & Josh Morris, Filmmaker Ross Boyask and Phil’s Quick Capsule Review writers Will Strong & Matt Duddy) LONG list of the 36 must see films of the Decade (2010-2019)

This list will also form the basis of our vote for the Essential Films of the Decade (2010-2019)

So how many have YOU seen?

Avengers Assemble
Avengers Endgame
Avengers Infinity War
Cabin in the Woods
Captain America: Winter Soilder
Deadpool
Ex Machina
Green Room
Happy Death Day
How To Train Yoru Dragon 
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Inception
John Wick
Kings Of Summer
Kubo and the Two Strings
Mad Max Fury Road
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
Misson Impossible: Fall Out
Nightshooters
Operation Red Sea
Pitch Perfect
Skyfall
Social Network
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Star Wars: Rogue One
Super 8
T2 Trainspotting
The Greatest Showman
The Signal
The Way Way Back
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Toy Story 3
Warrior
What We Do in the Shadows
Whiplash
Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Check back in the next few days for our final list or take the QUIZ HERE  to see how many you have seen!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – A Quick Capsule Review

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – A Quick Capsule Review

Other Cr*p

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is often considered to be a classic Christmas Movie. And whilst it’s not up there with the likes of Home Alone and Die Hard (Yes Die Hard IS a Christmas movie) it’s still pretty funny stuff, even if I am watching it for the first time some 30 years after it’s original release date.  Chase was always good value in the 80’s and early 90’s and gives it all here whilst the support cast equally seem to be enjoying themselves.  Yup time hasn’t always been kind but for the most part National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation deserves it rep as an essential Christmas text.

Best Bit: The Lights

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Home Alone, Die Hard, Gremlins

 


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Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 25 Must See Films Of 2019

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 25 Must See Films Of 2019

2019: In Review Other Cr*p Quick Review Year In Review

So this is it: Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests (including podcasters Mike Parkin & Josh Morris, Filmmaker Ross Boyask and Phil’s Quick Capsule Review writers Will Strong & Matt Duddy) LONG list of the 25 must see films of 2019

This list will also form the basis of our vote for the Essential Films of 2019.

So how many have YOU seen?

Avengement
Green Book
Ready or Not
Avengers: End Game
Knives Out
Rocketman
Joker
The Peanut Butter Falcon
The Irishman
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Rambo: Last Blood
Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood
Booksmart
Happy Death Day 2U
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot
Long Shot
Zombieland 2
Ad Astra
Fighting with my Family
How to Train your Dragon 3
Escape Room
Dave Made a Maze
The Night Comes For Us
Harpoon
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

 

 

Check back in the next few days for our final list or take the QUIZ HERE  to see how many you have seen!

Star Wars: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Star Wars: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

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Plot in a nutshell

Sometime after the events of The Last Jedi, the Resistance are still battling the First Order and Rey (Daisy Ridley) is training to be a Jedi under the watchful eye of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher),  meanwhile a terrifying message is detected coming out of the depths of space  – the evil Emperor Palpatine is alive and threatening to destroy all who oppose him  – its now a race against time to find his whereabouts before he can unleash a vast armada of planet killing ships and bring about the return of the Sith.

 

What worked?

In my view – a lot.

To begin with the story is superb, a rollicking good old fashioned space adventure, spanning lots of different locations, throwing in various McGuffins with some really interesting twists and unexpected turns.

As always with Star Wars, the action scenes deliver in spades, light sabre duels, blaster fights, space battles and endless escapism which had me whooping for joy.

Once again, the acting is also excellent  –  Adam Driver as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo is extremely good and has now become one of the film industry’s most talented actors working today.

I also have to say that Daisy Ridley was brilliant as Rey, effortlessly showing how she has come on leaps and bounds from her rather wide eyed performance in The Force Awakens, the girl absolutely gives it her all here and along with Adam Driver totally anchors the whole film. The ever charismatic Oscar Isaac is great as Poe Dameron, even managing to channel his inner Han Solo with some cheeky one liners and knowing smirks. Finally there is the return of the magnificent Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine  -the stuff of nightmares, seriously evil, and completely beyond redemption  – the guy owns this role so completely that when he’s on screen you just cant take your eyes off him – to say he is incredible in this role would be the understatement of the millennium.

 

What could have been better?

Despite how good the plot was I have to say that it was at times a bit too densely packed and there were some ‘Basil Exposition’ moments that caused me to roll my eyes on several occasions.

The whole thing also seemed somewhat too focussed on Poe, Rey and Kylo which meant that some characters remained underdeveloped or didn’t get enough screen time – for example Billy Dee Williams comes back as Lando Calrissian but isn’t nearly in the film enough, then there is the excellent Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico who finds herself side-lined here in an almost afterthought of an appearance – a decision which seemed to be paying lip service to the hammering she had off the idiotic troll fanboys for The Last Jedi. Lastly, even though he’s on screen for most of the film, John Boyega as Finn isn’t really allowed to shine much at all and is very overshadowed by Ridley, Driver and Isaac – which is a shame as he is a great actor and was very central to the plots of the last two films.

 

Review summary

Very well directed by JJ Abrams, winning performances from Ridley, Driver, Isaac and McDiarmid , cracking action, lots of throwbacks to the original trilogy and an interesting plot with lots of unexpected twists and reveals -Rise Of Skywalker is a fantastic thrill ride that had me completely fixated for its nearly 140 minute running time, yes there are flaws, but to be honest I was so caught up in the whole thing that it really didn’t matter. Wonderful stuff, I loved it.

 

 


Review epilogue

As the Skywalker story comes to a close I thought id share with you some of my thoughts on this incredible film franchise. As most who know me (long suffering girlfriend, long suffering family, the eternally exasperated Phil Hobden etc) will be aware that I have been a dedicated Star Wars fan for nigh on 42 years. For me its always been about the films themselves, I’ve never cared for the expanded universe, the books, the games etc plus I really don’t take any notice of the highbrow critics or rabidly moronic fanboys who still cant see what Star Wars is all about.

For me Star Wars is simply a wonderful fairy story  -one based on all the classic tales our parents read us when we were little –   theres a castle, a hero, a princess, a wise old wizard and a man dressed in black –and  that’s all a fairy story needs to be.

Star Wars represents everything incredible in this world and in life itself-  the ability to rise above your standing, that mastering a skill isn’t ever easy and takes lots of hard work, that failure is the best lesson of all because it teaches us to always try harder,  that those who are older and wiser are in fact pretty much right about everything (even if they are 900 years old) that heroes can be flawed, villains can be redeemed and most important of all –  good will always triumph over evil.

Thankyou George Lucas and may the force be with you – always.


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Rambo: Last Blood (2019): Review by Grosse Pointe Geek

Rambo: Last Blood (2019): Review by Grosse Pointe Geek

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Plot In a Nutshell: 10 years after returning home from Burma, Ex Green Beret John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone)  looks to have finally  found peace running his deceased fathers horse ranch in Arizona and looking after his teenage niece. However things take a turn for the worse when said niece goes looking for her long lost father in Mexico and ends up being kidnapped by a notorious sex trafficking cartel – naturally Rambo heads off to save her  – cue explosions, guns, knives, arrows, claw hammers, buckets of blood and a very large number of dead Mexican gangsters who frankly should have stayed at home – or at least wished they had.

 

What worked: The action is brilliant  – particularly the final 20 minutes which simply has to be seen to be believed.  Its also one of the most violent blood drenched films i have ever watched in my life….and thank God for it  – Stallone promised us a hard R action fest and has delivered in spades  – speaking of which the big man is awesome once again as Rambo, chewing the scenery with gusto and proving that at 73 he can still kick ass with the best of them.

 

What could have been better: It could have done with being 10 minutes longer and maybe had one more action scene plus the script is a bit clunky. Its also not a film for the faint of heart (pardon the pun), nor what what one would call a date movie  plus it has mostly been made to appeal to certain niche fans who grew up happily watching these types of films  – i.e 40 – 50 year old adolescents (people like me).

 

Review Summary: A proper old school action packed slice of mayhem and ultra violence  –  Stallone is a legend, obviously knows his audience well, has happily stuck two fingers up to the critics and the politically correct brigade and made a film for all us proper Rambo fans who have loved this character since he blasted into our consciousness 37 years ago in First Blood.

 

What a film  – see it now.

 

Author: Grosse Pointe Geek 

 


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I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2019): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2019): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Other Cr*p

In the opening minutes of this documentary I was treated to a dose of dread I don’t quite remember ever feeling before. Documentaries tend to be the odd genre out for me, I’m up for watching anything that’s fiction but I, fairly or unfairly, have to be legitimately interested in the subject matter if I feel I can give a documentary the accurate time of day.

When this strange beast of a film opened up I was treated to the sight and voice of a young woman, in film with production reminiscent of a half-assed Disney channel puke fest, gushing about her love… for One Direction – the alarm bells went off. I didn’t know anything about this thing before hand, the only reason I watched it was for a review assignment, and that being the case – it would be rude and inconsiderate of me to even consider turning it off if the first sign of trouble only persisted for longer than I can take.

But, determined I was to see it through so I sucked up my feelings of horror and trudged on. I’m glad to say they were not to last as the subject quickly shifted to a different boy band and the overall premise of this thing became apparent, a number of females, ranging multiple ages, are interviewed about their love/obsession with particular boy bands. I will admit that, as I just wrote those words, it does seem a bit dumb, and had I known that was the story being told here (and how sickeningly cheerful it can be at times) I wouldn’t have been interested to see this one if it was up to me.

There are some interesting subjects touched upon here, the filmmakers did do a good job at delving as much as possible into the psych behind this kind of extreme fandom, the interviewees are articulate, have interesting things to say and engaging stories to tell, the weren’t boring or annoying – quite the opposite; and I related to much of it due to myself admittedly having things I know I am a fan of to the extreme. But, what put me off a bit, was how cheerful the tone is – persistently, there’s nothing to suggest the film has any other intention than to celebrate the fandom of its interviewees, have them say a bit about themselves and that’s pretty much it.

Like I said – there were bits and things said I did find interesting but I give it a 5/10 because the good and bad seem equally balanced, there is some intrigue but it could’ve/should’ve explored more territory, regardless of these girls all having different boy bands they obsess over it all feels like the same story being told in different ways. It was intense when they talk about strained family relationships and fascinating when they talk about journeys to meet or see their idols but it wares thin after a while and it especially doesn’t help that, like I said before, filmmaking-wise it looks like the kind of thing the Disney channel would push out with the hope of no one noticing.

After seeing the whole I still think it would have been no great loss if I gave it a miss if it were up to me and I just wish it went deeper than it did, explored more territory and did more than just celebrate its subject, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating something, even extreme fandom, but you need to do more than that, you need to present a subject, that gave me the creeps when it first reared its head, with a broader treatment than simply “isn’t it cute?” So its ok, don’t need to see it again, didn’t change my life but wasn’t painful despite a cheap look and did have at least some interesting things to say.

 

Author: Motion Picture Maniac  

 


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

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

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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  

 

 


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Tarantino’s Best To Worst Films (Inc: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

Tarantino’s Best To Worst Films (Inc: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood)

Best... Other Cr*p Quick Review

With Once Upon A Time In Hollywood now out, Phil takes a look at the Best To Worst of Quentin Tarantino‘s DIRECTED films to date…  (and yes there are more than 9)

 


Best: Jackie Brown

It’s Tarantino’s best work, restrained like never before (but brutal when it needs to be), it’s a great adatpation of a good book and is cast to perfection with the story & directyion being the highlight not the dialue or the actors.

——

2. Pulp Fiction

It’s brilliant and a classic.  The fact I cant watch it after seeing it too much at University isn’t the films fault but whilst it’s flashy and expertly done, I still prefer Jackie Brown overall.

——

3. Reservoir Dogs

A brilliant debut, raw and brutal and it still holds up today. Set the tone of Tarantino’s later work except that he has never shown restraint like he does here.

——

4. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Baggy for sure and displaying QT at both his best and worst, but Once Upon A Time In Hollywood also feels fresh, interesting and (feet aside) free of a lot of Tarantino’s cliches. Damn good fun.

——

5. Inglorious Bastards

It’s long.  It’s over written. But it has two of the greatest scenes in QT’s arsenal which saves the film from being a lot lower on the list.  Great cast, funny finale.

——

6. Death Proof

Yup hated by most , I kinda like Tarantino’s grind house entry.  It’s raw, over long (as most of his post Pulp Fiction films tend to be) but at least it felt genuine.

——

7. Django Unchained

Loved this on it’s release but in all honesty I’ll never watch it again.  Full of excess and flabbiness, Django is a 100 minute film stuck in the body of a 3 hour self proclaimed epic. And don’t even get me started on QT’s cameo…

——

8. Kill Bill Volume 2

Kill Bill Volume 1 was more fun, but I liked Tarantino’s first western more than his actual Westerns. The ending was a kick in the face to others but I liked ho wit played out.

——

9. Four Rooms

Directing on of the story segments (and the second best), it’s fun if totally forgettable Yet I’ve watched it much more than his later work and for the last time it showed that with restrictions Tarantino can deliver.

——

10. Kill Bill Volume 1

It’s fine and the action is well handled but it’s overlong and spends FAR too much time paying homage and far too less time kicking behind.

——

Worst : The Hateful Eight

Another film that could have been half as long and twice as good, Tarantino’s need for a strong editor and better producer are never more apparent than they are here.

 

 


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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tarantino’s Best To Worst Films (So Far!)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tarantino’s Best To Worst Films (So Far!)

Best... Other Cr*p Quick Review

With Once Upon A Time In Hollywood out this week, Phil takes a look at the Best To Worst of Quentin Tarantino‘s DIRECTED films to date…  

 


Best: Jackie Brown

It’s Tarantino’s best work, restrained like never before (but brutal when it needs to be), it’s a great adatpation of a good book and is cast to perfection with the story & directyion being the highlight not the dialue or the actors.

——

2. Pulp Fiction

It’s brilliant and a classic.  The fact I cant watch it after seeing it too much at University isn’t the films fault but whilst it’s flashy and expertly done, I still prefer Jackie Brown overall.

——

3. Reservoir Dogs

A brilliant debut, raw and brutal and it still holds up today. Set the tone of Tarantino’s later work except that he has never shown restraint like he does here.

——

4. Inglorious Bastards

It’s long.  It’s over written. But it has two of the greatest scenes in QT’s arsenal which saves the film from being a lot lower on the list.  Great cast, funny finale.

——

5. Death Proof

Yup hated by most , I kinda like Tarantino’s grind house entry.  It’s raw, over long (as most of his post Pulp Fiction films tend to be) but at least it felt genuine.

——

6. Django Unchained

Loved this on it’s release but in all honesty I’ll never watch it again.  Full of excess and flabbiness, Django is a 100 minute film stuck in the body of a 3 hour self proclaimed epic. And don’t even get me started on QT’s cameo…

——

7. Kill Bill Volume 2

Kill Bill Volume 1 was more fun, but I liked Tarantino’s first western more than his actual Westerns. The ending was a kick in the face to others but I liked ho wit played out.

——

8. Four Rooms

Directing on of the story segments (and the second best), it’s fun if totally forgettable Yet I’ve watched it much more than his later work and for the last time it showed that with restrictions Tarantino can deliver.

——

9. Kill Bill Volume 1

It’s fine and the action is well handled but it’s overlong and spends FAR too much time paying homage and far too less time kicking behind.

——

Worst : The Hateful Eight

Another film that could have been half as long and twice as good, Tarantino’s need for a strong editor and better producer are never more apparent than they are here.

 

 


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Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 25 Must See Films Of 2018

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 25 Must See Films Of 2018

2018: In Review Other Cr*p Year In Review

So this is it… Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests (including podcasters Mike Parkin & Josh Morris, Filmmaker Ross Boyask and Phil’s Quick Capsule Review writers Will Strong & Matt Duddy) LONG list of the 25 must see films of 2018

This list will also form the basis of our vote for the Essential Films of 2018.

So how many have YOU seen?

 

The Shape Of Water
A Quiet Place
Avengers Infinity War
A Star Is Born
Incredibles 2
Halloween
I Tonya
Mandy
Mission Impossible: Fallout
My Generation
Coco
Revenge
Blackkklansman
12 Strong
Mamma Mia 2
Overlord
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Operation: Red Sea
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Sorry To Bother You
Bohemian Rhapsody
Summer of ‘84
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind
Tag
Mohawk

 

Check back in the next few days for our final list or take the QUIZ HERE  to see how many you have seen!