Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… Hidden Gems

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… Hidden Gems

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast we talk about some hidden gems of films that you may or may not have seen.  From the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s from action to comedy and, er, Neil Breen we will be filling up your watch list for months to come.

Hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmmaker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed: Never Too Young To Die, Love Object, Avengers: Endgame, Go, The Perfect Weapon, American Ninja, Monster Man, Fateful Findings, Action Jackson, The List Dragon, Gymkata, Creed 2, Fear Is The Key, Wet Dreams, Rapid Fire, The Last Supper, Swingers, Headrush, Free Enterprise, The Irrefutable Truth About Demons, Pterodactyl

For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Also check out @EvoFilmsUK online.

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies)

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

Watch NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE… 

 

 

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Phil’s Quick Review’s 100 Best Films… #100-76

Phil’s Quick Review’s 100 Best Films… #100-76

A Blog

Part one of our run down of Phil’s Quick Review’s 100 Best Films as chosen by a select team of hosts, podcasters, fans and writers from Ross And Phil Talk Movies, The Smoking Lamb Podcast, Filmsploitation and the Phil’s Quick Review Facebook group.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2!

So here’s numbers 100 – 76…

 

 


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Bodysnatchers (1993) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Bodysnatchers (1993) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bodysnatchers is the third big screen screen adaptation of 1954 Jack Finney novel and takes a refreshingly different approach.  Directed by the always of-the-wall Abel Ferrara, it moves the setting to a military base and contemporaries the story somewhat.  It’s a lean film for sure (in running time, budget and pacing) but that does work in its favour. It wastes few scenes or moments.   I’ve always been oddly drawn to this film series (even liking the much maligned Daniel Craig version) and this film especially was a firm favourite when I was younger.  Years on it stills works for me despite it’s rough edges. Yes it’s not the superior 1978 version but there’s plenty to enjoy.

Best Bit: Bath/First transformation 

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Invasion, Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1978),  Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1956)

 


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Rex Manning Day: Empire Records (1995) – A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Rex Manning Day: Empire Records (1995) – A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s (Not So) Quick Capsule Review:  Empire Records was a massive bomb on it’s original release.  Critically and commercially.  Roger Ebert hated it (that said he hated The Usual Suspects…), Variety labelled it as “Soundtrack in search for a movie”  and it grossed under £300k on it’s theatrical release.   Yet as the years go on so the cult around Empire Records continues to grow and grow.  From regular midnight screenings to the annual Rex Manning Day celebrations (8th April) more and more people have come around to the fact that Empire Records is, actually, pretty damn good.

The story, as such, is about an independent record store on the brink of a take over by a nasty big multi national chain called Music Town stuck with a eclectic team of broken teens and an ego manic musician reluctantly there to plug his new album.  In reality it’s coming of age story that kind of ends up being a 90’s Breakfast Club set in a Record Store rather than a detention.  But, like many a cult hit, this film is less about the story and more about the feels & the characters.  And that is something this film has in spades.

Backtrack.  I discovered Empire Records in a video shop in my home town of Lewes (Lewes Videos take a much deserved bow) thanks mostly to it’s excellent owner who had an ability to find little heard of classics and fill his shelves with them.  From 80’s actioners Action Jackson, Never To Young To Die and my love of Jackie Chan – without that shop I’d probably not be writing this review here.   See before the internet, before Facebook and Instagram a cult hit became a cult hit often from a knowledgeable video clerk pointing you in the direction of something a little special.  Yes the Tarantino stories of video shop life weren’t all exaggerations!  Sadly those days have now passed but I do wonder if this film came out now and had similar reception if it’s fandom would grow as much as it has or would it’s 30 score on Metacritic or sub 30% on Rotten Tomatoes consign it to some little seen Sky Movies channel at 4am in the morning?  

It was a film that initially felt ahead of it times whilst being a launch pad for the careers of at least 3 big stars (Zellweger, Tyler and Tunney).  And this is the key Empire Records continued success.  The cast are brilliant.   Be it Liv Tyler’s innocent but broken Harvard student Corey or Rene Zellweger’s s–ty Gina, Maxwell Caulfield egotist singer Rex Manning or Anthony LaPaglia heart of gold store manager Joe… Empire’s characters resonate hard. For sure it’s not the best acted or directed film of the 90’s. But it’s cast gave it heart and soul, making it relatable.

Oh and the soundtrack.  I’ve seen empire Records well over twenty times. But the soundtrack I’ve listened to hundreds.  And much like the films cast it’s full of oddballs, strangeness, 2nd tier hits and one hit wonders it’s soundtrack delivers an eclectic mix from Coyote Shivers to Edwin Collins.  Look beyond the official soundtrack album to Spotify playlists that have been created with music that didn’t make it to the CD and you’ll find even more quirky tracks covering Gwar, Dire Straights and many more.

I have to admit part of the original appeal for me was Liv Tyler.  Empire was Tyler’s third film (after the very good Heavy and the little seen Silent Fall) but I’m pretty sure I caught it after seeing her in Stealing beauty (a wonderful film in itself). I had a major crush so anything with Tyler in was a draw for me.  She still remains a very underrated actress, with film appearances fleeting after the early successes.

No commentary for this film could pass without reference to the wonderful creation that is Rex Manning.  Part Hoff part every one hit wonder clinging to his heyday singer that’s ever been, former teen star Maxwell Caulfield who himself has something of a high and low filled career (see the critically hated Grease 2) delivers a note perfect slimeball performance backed up by the so bad it’s brilliant ‘Say No More Mon Amour’ track.

Don’t get me wrong the film has flaws.  It’s random to the point of being totally undisciplined, certain characters (Mark) seem like they are in a different film and it’s no surprise that few of the male cast broke big down the line.  BUT no work of art, no movie is perfect and it’s flaws just make it that bit more real.

Even thought Empire Records flopped on it’s release, in the 20 plus years that have followed it’s cult has grown enough for it to get some much needed love back from the rights holders. A ‘Fan Edit’ a few years back was released  (I’m not a massive fan as it kills the pacing and makes certain sections drag longer than they should) and a US Region A BluRay Release.  Outside the official stuff, there’s Etsy shops galore with pins, name badges and posters and Rex Manning Day has become a thing.  No really.

Empire Records was of it’s time.  And like many films I hold dear from my formative years, it’s one that stuck with me.  I’ve never shown it to anyone that didn’t love it.  I embrace it’s flaws.  I love it’s quirkiness and like Warren I too deep down just wanted Joe to give me a job.

Damn the man, Save The Empire! 

 


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Podcast: Ross And Phil Hijack – The Education of Josh – Empire Records (1995)

Podcast: Ross And Phil Hijack – The Education of Josh – Empire Records (1995)

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

To celebrate Rex Manning Day, here’s the Empire Records edition of The Education of Josh.

Josh has seen loads of films. Mostly Disney. Phil has seen loads of films that Josh should have seen but hasn’t. Join Phil as he takes Josh through an education in movies – Film by Film.  This episode Phil educates Josh on: Empire Records (1995)

Films Discussed: Empire Records, Everybody Wants Some, The Breakfast Club, Dazed & Confused 

Hosted Phil Hobden (Ross And Phil Talk Movies) and Josh Morris (The Smoking Lamb)

#TheEducationOfJosh #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #TheSmokingLamb

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies)

   

 

 

 

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The Rock (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

The Rock (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oddly I wasn’t a fan of The Rock when I first saw it. But twenty years later (yes really) I’m truly amazing just how much this film blew me away.  It’s by far the best Michael Bay film (with Bad Boys a close second) with a killer performance by both Connery and Cage and for sure it’s one of the best action films of the 90’s… which is some praise if you look at a decade full of great action films.  From the car chase to the initial arrival on Alcatraz, from the Indiana Jones styled mine cart escape to Cage’s OTT venting it’s just a joy.  The Rock is essential and a welcome addition to the Hall of Fame.

Best Bit: Car Chase

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Bad Boys, Armageddon, Transformers 

Hall of Fame

 


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Executive Decision (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Executive Decision (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Executive Decision is a classic 90’s action film – bombastic, silly and hugely over the top.  It’s also massively fun and immensity re-watchable. But it’s also a film that takes some risks – killing off one of your more bankable stars in Act 1 was bold and putting the film on the shoulders of Russell in a period he was making more serious dramas was inspired.  This really was a golden age for action – high concept films in a time before superhero would dominate.  That said the seeds of today’s superhero movie sit very firmly in this era – proper actors in action roles are now common place.  Executive Decision holds up well and is well worth a rewatch.

Best Bit: Seagal buys it!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Con Air, The Rock, Under Siege 

 


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Scream (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Scream (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wes Craven’s Scream remains surprisingly effective 22 years on.  A post-modern slasher film that (much like Tarantino was doing in the gangster film) referenced the very films that predated it.  It’s a film that plays by and yet subverts the rules of its genre.  This may have led to horror eventually eating itself with Scream clones (including certain Scream sequels) but what Craven does here is first rate.  Okay so it could have had a bit more gore for my liking but still it’s an effective slasher film with an iconic villain and some real scares.

Best Bit: “Do you like Scary Movies? ”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Scream 2, From Dusk Till Dawn

 


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From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
From Dusk Till Dawn remains one of the most nuts films of the 90’s and possibly marked the last great film by both directors Quentin Tarantino and  Robert Rodriguez.  Yes really I went there.  Starting as a typical Tarantino, it’s not until they hit the Titty Twister bar that the film takes a surprising twist. Well not that surprising as the trailer gave it away but still bloody good fun.  Cameos by Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Greg Nicotero sit along side a career making turn by George Clooney and a ‘What the fuck am I doing here’ look of Harvey Keitel.  Greta script,. superb action and a crotch gun.  What’s not to love.

Best Bit: ‘Everybody be cool.  You be cool.’

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Desperado, Pulp Fiction, Lost Boys

Hall of Fame

 


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A Few Good Men (1992) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

A Few Good Men (1992) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Few 90’s films remain as quotable, re-watchable and enjoyable as the Aaron Sokrin/Rob Reiner team up A Few Good Men.  From it’s AAA rated cast (Nicholson, Cruise, Moore, Pollack, Bacon) to it’s sparkling script, A Few Good Men just breezes past.  But let’s be honest it’s the showdowns between a grandstanding on stop form Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise that steal the show. Everytime they are on screen together they hold your attention as in teh background Sorkin’s screenplay carries all the heavy lifting.  A near perfect combination of direction, script and performance.  

Best Bit: “I Want The Truth”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Social Network, The Firm, A Time To Kill


 

 

Hall of Fame