Annihilation – A Quick Capsule Review

Annihilation – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I’m an hour and thirty minutes into Annihilation and I’m starting to wish I too had a phosphorus grenade (all will make sense if you bother to watch it).  It’s all got rather dull.  And pretentious.  Not to say it wasn’t to start but it’s got a lot worse a lot quickly. Five minutes later a character has just exploded and the film has turned into  a conceptual student music video featuring Gort.  Considering Alex Garland made Dredd, 28 Days Later and Ex Machina I’d expected more from this.  Then when you remember Paramount dumped it onto Netflix… well you can kinda see their point. This would have been a massive bomb.  It’s not as cerebral as it thinks, and kinda steps on the ground that Arrival did better a few years back and, ultimately, is pretty pointless.

Best Bit: For humour sakes the lighthouse had me crying

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream as it’s free

If You Liked this Try: Ex Machina, Arrival, Dredd

Life – A Quick Capsule Review

Life – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Life is okay.  It’s not terrible by a long way and whilst it treads almost zero new ground (and oddly treads a lot of ground covered by Alien Covenant which was released a few months later) it’s certainly a fun ride.  The cast is fun, the direction makes good use of the confined spaces and the story moves at pace.  Yes it’s silly, yes there’s better films out this year but for a sub two hour time passer I QUITE enjoyed it.

Best Bit: Broken Hand!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Alien Covenant, Gravity, Arrival

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Passengers – A Quick Capsule Review

Passengers – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Passengers is one of the best designed, best looking films of the year.  It’s simply stunning.  In fact they spent so much time on this I’d argue they totally forgot to work on the story which at bests is plodding at worst is dull. Look when the action finally kicks in the film finds a fine pace and becomes enjoyable but it’s too little too late and as charismatic as the two leads are, there’s just not enough for them to work with. 

Best Bit: The production Design 

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Arrival, Moon, The Fifth Element

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2016 (Updated)

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2016 (Updated)

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2016 may be in the rear mirror but having now seen a few of 2016’s last few must see movies I’m having a do-over and republishing my list of the best films of 2016.

So here it is: my FINAL pick of the BEST films of 2016.

 

Film of The Year: The Nice Guys 
In Brief: It was pretty much Room or The Little Prince all the way this year until The Nice Guys came along.  But then any film directed and written by one of my favourite filmmakers in Shane Black was always going to have a fighting chance. Smart, funny and sharp as a tack… The Nice Guys is the best film you probably didn’t see this year!

2.  Kubo And The Two Strings
In Brief: : Paranorman, Coraline, The Boxtrolls and now Kubo.  That was high bar for sure but amazingly Kubo sets it higher still. Near perfect.

3. The Little Prince
In Brief:  Who saw this coming?  Adaptation of a popular kids book, released almost exclusively on Netflix. But man it knocked it out the park.  Brilliantly animated and heart wrenchingly performed, Little Prince is up there with the best of the genre.

4.  Sing Street
In Brief: Much like Sunshine Of Leith a few years back, Sing Street brings the songs, the charms and the heart and brings them all in spades.  One of the best films of the year for sure.

5. Hunt for The Wilder People
In Brief: A coming of age family drama that will spawn a million “Shit Got real” T-shirts.  Worth all the amazing reviews…

6. Room

7. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

8. Moana

9. Green Room

10. The Girl With All The Gifts

Bubbling Under:  Deadpool, The Big Short, Arrival, Doctor Strange,  Train To Busan, Eddie The Eagle, Midnight Special , Creed, Bad Moms, Spotlight 

 

The Best and the Worst of 2016 – Motion Picture Maniac

The Best and the Worst of 2016 – Motion Picture Maniac

Motion Picture Maniac

2016 absolutely sucked, not just because we had, what felt like, twice as many bad films as usual, but more celebrity deaths than one can count and the UK and US trying to out-do each other in the “see who can make the worst political decision ever” competition. But alas, we are here just to talk about the films we had this past year, and usually I would stick to top 10 lists but it seems 2016 was so prolific I had to go for dreaded top 20’s instead of 10’s; not sure if that means the year was extra good, or extra bad.

TOP 20 BEST FILMS OF 2016

I’ve heard wonderful things about Moonlight, Patriot’s Day, Manchester By The Sea and Silence but they are yet to come out in UK just yet, so don’t go thinking they’re not on the list because I didn’t like them or any such nonsense, I just haven’t seen them so I can’t comment. Either way, here are my personal favourite films of 2016, if you don’t like them – tough!

  1. Everybody Wants Some!!
  1. The Girl With All The Gifts
  1. Moana
  1. Café Society
  1. Anthropoid
  1. Hush
  1. The Neon Demon
  1. Brotherhood
  1. Deadpool
  1. Zootopia
  1. 13th
  1. Finding Dory
  1. Hell Or High Water
  1. Arrival
  1. Deepwater Horizon
  1. Captain America: Civil War
  1. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice – Ultimate Edition (I’m not sorry)
  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  1. American Honey
  1. I, Olga Hepnarova

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Conjuring 2

Midnight Special

Sully

Hail Caesar

Doctor Strange

 

DISQUALIFICATIONS

These titles were released in 2016, but IMDB, for whatever reason, decided to count them as 2015 releases, I choose to put them in their own list not to put them down but rather as an excuse to include as many good films as possible, if I included them in the main list I would have to remove some other titles already on there, and even if the disqualifications are better than those films I would have to take off the list to make room, I would still rather do it this way so none are left out, honourable mentions are difficult enough to pick out.

Knight Of Cups

Eye In The Sky

Son Of Saul

Green Room

The Witch

 

BOTTOM 20 WORST FILMS OF 2016

Now for the other list, the 20 movies this year that made me question my existence and hate myself for sitting in front of as they played out, like I said before, this was a bad year for films, I tried to keep it to 10 slots but it couldn’t be done, better luck next year.

  1. Dirty Grandpa
  1. The Boss
  1. Fifty Shades Of Black
  1. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  1. God’s Of Egypt
  1. Allegiant
  1. Pete’s Dragon
  1. The Choice
  1. Alice Through The Looking Glass
  1. Ice Age: Collision Course
  1. Mother’s Day
  1. The Other Side Of The Door
  1. Swallows And Amazons
  1. Equity
  1. Me Before You
  1. Ballerina
  1. Dad’s Army
  1. Nine Lives
  1. Norm Of The North
  1. Miracles From Heaven

NOTE – Miracles From Heaven is the worst film of the year for me because, despite not having production values as horrid as some of the other films on the list, religious propaganda just rubs me the wrong way, especially when it’s as arrogant and pompous as this and not just badly made (which it is).

 

DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Boy

Risen

Now You See Me 2

Keeping Up With The Joneses

The Forest

 

BEST LINES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

*Everything he says* – Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

“I need to get her out of me” – Bella Heathcote in The Neon Demon

“Be careful not to choke on your aspirations, director” – James Earl Jones in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

“To commit suicide you need a strong will, my child. Something you certainly don’t have” – Klara Meliskova in I, Olga Hepnarova

“If God is all powerful, he cannot be all good, and if he is all good, he cannot be all powerful” – Jesse Eisenberg in Batman V Superman (again, I’m not sorry)

“I hope he comes all over your car!” – Sasha Lane in American Honey

“You’d think there were ten of me” – Ben Foster in Hell Or High Water

“I am just a dumb bunny but we are good at multiplying” – Ginnifer Goodwin in Zootopia

“Never tell a soldier he does not know the cost of war” – Alan Rickman in Eye In The Sky

“Suck it, bipeds” – Ed O’Neil in Finding Dory

 

TOP SURPRISINGLY GOOD PERFORMANCES

Shia LaBeouf in American Honey

Gal Gadot in Batman V Superman

The Rock in Moana

Jamie Dornan in Anthropoid

Jai Courtney in Suicide Squad

Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals

 

MEMORABLE SCENES

Darth Vader rebel massacre – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Church shootout – Anthropoid

Granny’s peach tea – Batman V Superman

Airport royal rumble – Captain America: Civil War

Alone at the morgue – The Neon Demon

Truck murder – I, Olga Hepnarova

Bye-bye baby – The Witch

They arrive – Arrival

Alan Rickman’s final scene – Eye In The Sky

The pit – Son Of Saul

 

FAVOURITE SOUNDTRACKS

Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL – Batman V Superman (notably “Is she with you” & “This is my world”)

Cliff Martinez – The Neon Demon

Johann Johannsson – Arrival

Robin Foster – Anthropoid

Opetaia Foa’i, Mark Mancina & Lin-Manuel Miranda – Moana

Michael Giacchino – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (I know some people aren’t too fussed, but I most certainly was, especially the track “Your Father would be proud”)

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2016 (Updated)

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2016 (Updated)

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2016 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year.

So here it is: my pick of the BEST films of 2016.

 

Film of The Year: The Nice Guys 
In Brief: It was pretty much Room or The Little Prince all the way this year until The Nice Guys came along.  But then any film directed and written by one of my favourite filmmakers in Shane Black was always going to have a fighting chance. Smart, funny and sharp as a tack… The Nice Guys is the best film you probably didn’t see this year!

2.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
In Brief:  Holy wow.  Blockbuster of the year, the 4th best Star Wars film and a film that **spoilers** managed to raise a horror icon from the dead.  A War film, a hiatus movie, a Star Wars story.  Yup… Rogue One is THAT good.

3. The Little Prince
In Brief:  Who saw this coming?  Adaptation of a popular kids book, released almost exclusively on Netflix. But man it knocked it out the park.  Brilliantly animated and heart wrenchingly performed, Little Prince is up there with the best of the genre.

4.  Room
In Brief: Was a contender from the moment I saw it and one of the few times that Oscar bate lives up to it’s billing. It’s touching, masterfully made and beautiful.

5. Moana
In Brief: A stunningly well made animation from Disney with heaps of charm, laughs and catchy songs.  A late entry into my Bets Of for 2016.

6. The Big Short
7. Green Room
8. Deadpool
9. Doctor Strange
10. Arrival

Bubbling Under: Eddie The Eagle, Midnight Special , Creed, Bad Moms, Zootropolis,  Star Trek Beyond, Spotlight 

 

Grosse Point Geek – 2016 In Review (And a look to 2017)

Grosse Point Geek – 2016 In Review (And a look to 2017)

Grosse Point Geek Year In Review

2016 – in short, a terrible year for big movies – in fact i struggle to remember another time where the Hollywood studios produced so many blockbuster films as badly made, boring, and lacking in imagination as what we were subjected to over the last 12 months.

To begin with were subjected endless numbers of superhero films  – one of which (Captain America: Civil War) was so contrived it was painful, then there were the dull and at times terrible sequels to long dead franchises (ID4:2 Jason Bourne, The Huntsman, Blair Witch), crap comedies (Bad Moms) iffy fantasies (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) shoddy remakes (Point Break) and yet another godawful game to film adaptation (Warcraft).

Mercifully there were some shining lights among the inky darkness – mostly for which we have to thank the many smaller budgeted productions, such as Room, The Nice Guys, Hell or High Water, Spotlight etc. These were the films that probably struggled to get made for years because the likes of Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich and the other sell outs were hoovering up all the money that the studios could throw at them, just so they could vomit their shoddy, franchise prolonging, zero imagination celluloid turds on Joe Public – bastards.

To be fair though not all the biggies were rubbish  – Star Trek Beyond was pretty good, so was The Revenant, Deadpool was awesome,  Creed rocked, London Has Fallen and Doctor Strange were great fun  and Rogue One completely blew us all away to become one of the best entries in the Star Wars franchise since Return Of The Jedi.

So here it is then – my rundown of the best and worst of 2016 and a look at what I think will be worth seeing next year.

 

Top 10 best films of 2016

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  2. Room
  3. Deadpool
  4. Creed
  5. Spotlight
  6. Eddie The Eagle
  7. Arrival
  8. Eye In The Sky
  9. The Magnificent Seven
  10. London Has Fallen (i’m gonna burn in hell for that one)

Top 15 Honorary mentions of 2016

 

  1. Doctor Strange
  2. Hell or High Water
  3. The Nice Guys
  4. A Street Cat Named Bob
  5. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
  6. Ghostbusters
  7. Conjuring 2
  8. Purge: Election Year
  9. Ben Hur
  10. The Revenant
  11. Jungle Book
  12. Star Trek Beyond
  13. The Siege Of Jadotville
  14. Bridget Jones Baby
  15. Midnight Special
The Top Ten Performances of 2016
  1. Brie Larson (Room)
  2. Jacob Tremblay (Room)
  3. Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
  4. Benedict Cumberbach (Doctor Strange)
  5. Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice)
  6. Luke Treadaway (A Streetcat Named Bob)
  7. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
  8. Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
  9. Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
  10. Alan Rickman (Eye In The Sky)
The Top ten Best Action Scenes/on screen fights of 2016
  1. That utterly incredible, pant wettingly brilliant last 20 minutes of Rogue One – ive seen it twice now and i still cant believe it.
  2. The monumental, bullet riddled arse kicking that Gerard Butler and The SAS throw the terrorists in the climax to London has Fallen.
  3. Will Smith (guns and all) vs the Meta-Human mutants – Suicide Squad (i hasten to add it was that films one saving grace)
  4. Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman’s big face off against Doomsday in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
  5. The edge of the seat finale to Eye In The Sky
  6. Little Jack’s escape from the room – Room
  7. The one take, no edit boxing match – Creed
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio vs The Bear  – The Revenant
  9. The Chariot Race  – Ben Hur
  10. The big finale – Magnificent Seven
Grosse Pointe Geek’s 2016 Hero of The Year
Gareth Edwards –  for finally giving us the Star Wars film we’ve all been waiting for with Rogue One – well done my son.

The Top Five Biggest Disappointments of 2016

  1. X-Men: Apocalypse (someone needs to grab this franchise and give it a bloody good shake)
  2. Suicide Squad (one of the best trailers of the year – just a shame it couldn’t translate into a better film – God this one had SO much potential!)
  3. Bone Tomahawk (how in the hell a western featuring Kurt Russell as sheriff going up against a bunch of psychopathic cave men could end up so dull beggars belief)
  4. 10 Cloverfield Place (another brilliant trailer  -and a complete sell out of an ending)
  5. The Hateful Eight (undoubtedly well made but Tarantino disappeared up his own arse with this one)

The Top ten Worst Films of 2016

  1. Independence Day: Resurgence (a message to Roland Emmerich –  Dear Roland, i and every film geek on the planet sincerely hope that you and Dean Devlin rot in the pit of direct to dvd hell for the rest of your miserable careers – yours sincerely – The Film going public)
  2. Warcraft (a CGI monstrosity and a complete steaming dung pile of a film)
  3. Hardcore Henry (i hated this so much i thought i was going to need therapy)
  4. Bad Moms (i’ve had more fun cleaning cat puke off the kitchen floor than i did watching this)
  5. Allegiant (a franchise killer that deserved to be the gigantic flop that it was)
  6. Point Break (pointless remake and an insult to the original -all i can say is that Patrick Swayze must be turning in his grave)
  7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (good idea, utterly crap film)
  8. Gods Of Egypt (so laughably bad i cant believe it got a cinema release)
  9. Bastille Day (probably the most unoriginal and most torturous to watch “action” film i’ve ever had the displeasure to sit through)
  10. Blair Witch (total pants  – scariest movie of the decade my distended arse)

 

and finally..Will’s 2017 most anticipated films:

  • Star War Episode 8
  • Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Justice League
  • The Mummy
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Geostorm
  • Ready Player One
  • Spiderman Homecoming
  • Thor Ragnarok
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Alien: Covenant
  • War For The Planet Of The Apes
  • Dunkirk
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Fate of The Furious (aka Fast 8)
  • Logan

 

So there we are  – my round up of 2016, overall a pretty poor year  – still never mind, Rogue One and the smaller films did alot to make up for it plus 2017 is looking very good indeed. As ever id like to thank anyone and  everyone who read my reviews (whoever you are!) and visited this fantastic website, plus a big thanks to the illustrious Mr Phillip Hobden for continuing to let me vent my spleen upon the movie going world.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year

 

My name is Will Strong and I’ve been Grosse Pointe Geek.

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

Arrival – A Quick Capsule Review

Arrival – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I really liked Arrival but it’s not the film of the year for me, as many critics have branded it.  It is however a very good, well made and visually stunning Sci-Fi film that has one of the performances of the year in Amy Adams central linguist.  What lets the film down is it’s “Ha! Aren’t we clever” ending which doesn’t really work and some rushed ideas (not least a storyline about the base solders)  that just seem to be there to force conflict.  These points aside it’s certainly still damn good but there have been much more enjoyable films this year.

Best Bit: Amy Adams

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try:  Contact, Interstellar, Sicario

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden