Red Sparrow (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Red Sparrow (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Red Sparrow commits one of cinemas biggest crimes – being both dull and needlessly long.  Yup this spy thriller (oddly set in modern times but feeling very much out of place) just does little with it’s solid cast, delivering a story we’ve seen a million times before (and better) alongside some dull cinematography and some very perfunctory dialogue.  It’s a shame but as her career progresses Lawrence has done little to justify her early praise and here, once again, she gives her now standard detached performance which makes her character almost impossible to like, making a slow film feel even longer.

Best Bit: Spy school

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Terminal, Atomic Blonde, Winters Bone


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Terminal (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Terminal (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Terminal is one hell of a showcase for Margot Robbie, a neo-noir that is visually striking and with one of the most insane last fifteen minutes of any film i’ve seen this year. It’s just a shame that overall the film is so uneven, with twists and turns so obvious that you guess them as soon as they are muted.  However Robbie is so gloriously over the top and the film some insane I actually ended up liking in because of it faults.  The support cast deliver (Dexter Fletcher and Simon Pegg especially) and the direction is bold.   So not everyone’s cup of tea for sure but go with it and there’s a lot to enjoy.

Best Bit: The last fifteen minutes

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, Atomic Blonde, Suicide Squad



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The Best & Worst Of 2017 – Motion Picture Maniac

The Best & Worst Of 2017 – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac Year In Review

Remember when the disappointment that was 2016 ended and we all toasted to 2017 hopefully proving to be better? Didn’t exactly meet expectations did it? Last year many of our favourite celebrities passed away, this year many of those left have turned out to be sex offenders – go team. But anyway, just like last year I’ve had to stretch my film lists out from top 10’s to top 20’s, which could be seen as a good thing, an indication that there were enough good films to warrant a longer list but then, you remember, the same goes for the bad list.

What can I say; this year was long and depressing, the year before it was long and depressing and, realistically, the next year will probably be long and depressing also; happy days! So here we go, the best films of the year and… the other list, along with some other fun considerations because why not? Of course there were some well-regarded films I was unable to see like Call Me By Your Name and Brigsby Bear and I do hate that I missed them but hey, what can I do?


Best Films Of 2017

  1. Dunkirk – (Film of the year, a perfectly shot single feature length action sequence rife with lethal intensity, brutal sound design and gargantuan production value; all of which transpire to do justice to real life heroes)
  2. Blade Runner 2049
  3. Wind River
  4. A Ghost Story
  5. Wonder Woman
  6. Loving Vincent
  7. Thor: Ragnarok
  8. Song To Song
  9. War For The Planet Of The Apes
  10. Mother
  11. American Made
  12. It Comes At Night
  13. Lego Batman
  14. John Wick Chapter 2
  15. Logan
  16. Battle Of The Sexes
  17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  18. It
  19. The Disaster Artist
  20. Atomic Blonde


Honourable Mentions

The Beguiled

The Killing of a sacred deer


Double date

Only the brave

T2 Trainspotting


Get Out

Baby driver

Spiderman homecoming


Special Sympathy Mention:

Justice League


Worst Films Of 2017

  1. The Shack – (Worst film of the year, one of the most morally bankrupt, self satisfied, arrogant and offensive pieces of propaganda garbage I have ever seen in my life, it’s not just bad, it’s hurtful and dangerous)
  2. The Bye-Bye Man
  3. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
  4. Unforgettable
  5. Everything, Everything
  6. Girl’s Trip
  7. The Snowman
  8. Flatliners
  9. The Zookeeper’s Wife
  10. The Sense Of An Ending
  11. Hampstead
  12. Unlocked
  13. The Emoji Movie
  14. The House
  15. Daddy’s Home 2
  16. CHiPS
  17. Bitter Harvest
  18. Overdrive
  19. Transformers: The Last Knight
  20. Fifty Shades Darker


Dis-Honourable Mentions


The Star

A Bad Mom’s Christmas

The Space Between Us

Wish Upon

Fist Fight

Table 19

The Book Of Henry





15 Favourite Action Sequences

Pretty much everything in “The Air” – Dunkirk

Silo Hostage Rescue And Subsequent Battle – Justice League

No Man’s Land – Wonder Woman

Bifrost Bridge Battle – Thor: Ragnarok

Stairwell Fight – Atomic Blonde

Helicopter Swatting – Kong: Skull Island

Hocus Pocus – Baby Driver

The Battle Of Crate – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Drill Sight Massacre – Wind River

Art Gallery Shootout – John Wick Chapter 2

Aero Baby Rescue – Fate Of The Furious

Throne Room Slaughter – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Steppenwolf In Themyscira – Justice League

K VS Luv – Blade Runner 2049

Opening Sequence – John Wick Chapter 2



Favourite Villainous Performances

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf – Justice League

Jamie Foxx as Bats – Baby Driver

Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster – Thor: Ragnarok

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise The Dancing Clown – It

Sylvia Hoeks as Luv – Blade Runner 2049

Will Poulter as Krauss – Detroit

Woody Harrelson as The Colonel – War For The Planet Of The Apes

Ruby Rose as Ares – John Wick Chapter 2

Robert Carlyle as Francis Begbie – T2 Trainspotting



Best On-Screen Couples (Romantic, Bromantic Or Otherwise)

David and Walter – Alien: Covenant

Thor and… his Hammer – Thor: Ragnarok

K and Joi – Blade Runner 2049

Hobbs and Deckard – Fate Of The Furious

Billie-Jean and Marilyn – Battle Of The Sexes

Greg and Tommy – The Disaster Artist

Rocket and Baby Groot – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Wolverine and X23 – Logan

Batman and Superman – Justice League

Bryce and Kincaid – The Hitman’s Bodyguard



Special Awards

Best Opening Credit Sequence: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Best Use Of Music In Correlation To The Visuals: Blade Runner 2049 – “Sea Wall”

Pottymouth Of The Year: Robert Carlyle – T2 Trainspotting

Most Interesting Style: TIE – Loving Vincent/A Ghost Story

Best SFX: War For The Planet Of The Apes

Most Immersive Camera Movements: Justice League

Funniest Line (Intentional): “I’m gonna knock your teeth so far down your throat you’re gonna stick a toothbrush right up your ass to brush em” – Fate Of The Furious

Funniest Line (Unintentional): “Blow into the hole gently, I’ll do the fingering” – Alien: Covenant

Captain Obvious Award: Josh Duhamel, Transformers: The Last Knight – “Look, it’s a big alien ship”

Guilty Pleasure Of The Year: TIE – xXx: Return Of Xander Cage/Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Notable Face-Palm Of The Year: Fakest Sneeze Of All Time – The Bye-Bye Man

Done and dusted, recalling and sifting through the stuff I liked about the year was great fun, doing the same for what I didn’t like bloody hurt. Oh I wonder what the next year will hold, not just regarding the movies but the politics, the sociology, the very backbone of public opinion… who am I kidding, it’s gonna suck, it’ll all suck and we should probably all just save time by taking turns gleefully leaping into a giant deadly shit hole to boil and desolve to death.


Happy New Year.

Motion Picture Maniac 

Phil’s Top 5… Summer Blockbusters 2017

Phil’s Top 5… Summer Blockbusters 2017

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: The top 5 Summer Blockbusters 2017

(Baby Driver is excluded as it’s not a ‘blockbuster’ )

Close but no cigar: Atomic Blonde, Alien: Covenant, Wonder Woman, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales


5 – Fast & Furious 8
For sure there were better films this Summer, but Fast 8 was damn good stupid fun.


4 – Dunkirk
Nolan through structure and convention out the window and delivered what was one of the most interesting films of the year.  Not his best but Dunkirk was clever and stood out form the crowd.


3 – War For The Planet Of The Apes
The Apes Trilogy came to a satisfying end, even of the War of the title never really came as expected with the film ending up being far smaller and intimate than expected.


2 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kurt Russell. In a Marvel film. With Groot. And Rocket. And Drax. And… what’s not to love???

1 – Spiderman: Homecoming
Marvel did what Sony couldn’t and delivered a reboot of Spiderman that made sense, was well cast and took a new approach on a familiar character. And they won the Summer with it.


Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #066 – Annabelle: Creation, Atomic Blonde

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #066 – Annabelle: Creation, Atomic Blonde

The Podcasts The Smoking Lamb Podcast

It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.

On this episode: In this weeks episode we have two positive (kind of) reviews for you lucky people as well as a Top 5 on Documentaries. But Wait! After his debut win on last weeks show, Josh takes on Rich on Address The Lamb.

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast


Grosse Point Geek – Atomic Blonde Review

Grosse Point Geek – Atomic Blonde Review

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

At the tail end of the cold war, MI6 dispatch its top agent (Charlize Theron) to Berlin to recover a stolen list of all its undercover agents working inside the Soviet Union. As enemies close in on all sides she soon faces a race against time to get her hands on said list before it gets sold to the highest bidder.


When i first saw the trailer to Atomic Blonde, i have to say that i was more than a bit excited – it looked like loads of fun with plenty of gunfights, punch ups and car chases – so in other words  – right up my street. Sadly the finished film fell somewhat short of my expectations.


Directed by David Leitch (John Wick and the upcoming Deadpool 2) and based on The Coldest City graphic novel  – Atomic Blonde certainly isn’t the worst film ever made – not even close, indeed there are many things to like here – its well made and well written, the supporting cast (particularly John Goodman and Toby Jones) are excellent, plus the action is mostly pretty good  – particularly a five minute, unbroken one take sequence in a hotel that is a marvel of balletic gun play and bone crunching fisticuffs.


However this doesn’t really make up for several things that unfortunately did not play so well. 

To begin with the plot is very unoriginal, never really engages and has been lifted straight from the first Mission Impossible film – plus various James Bond entries. 


Then there is Charlize Theron who isn’t remotely appealing in the central role  -in fact i found her character of Lorraine Broughton  is actually quite dislikeable. The mean and moody demeanor which Theron she injects her with grows tiresome very quickly and and soon even borders on pretentiousness. Not only that but we’ve witnessed this kind of indestructible female action heroine so many times before and Theron brings nothing new to the party that we haven’t already seen in the likes of Salt, Wanted, Terminator 2 or even this years Ghost In The Shell. 


There is also a rather unpleasant streak of Michael Bay inspired titillation that pops up throughout   – on several occasions Theron appears in various states of undress plus takes part in a totally stupid and unnecessary girl on girl sex scene that served zero purpose other that to appeal to various hairy palmed teenage boys


So there we have it – not a total catastrophe by any means  -on the whole just rather disappointing, a bit generic and nothing much to write home about.


Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek


Atomic Blonde – A Quick Capsule Review

Atomic Blonde – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Atomic Blonde isn’t the film the trailer has you think.  Less knock about 80’s spy romp with a hint of Roger Moore’s Bond, more hardcore spy thriller with sex, violence and action that puts this film on par with the likes of a John Wick (Think 007’s Licence To Kill).  The other thing to note about Atomic Blonde (other than a cracking central performance by Theron and it’s sumptuous hyper stylised 80’s Berlin ) is that it’s also oddly paced.  At times I found myself drifting off a bit, waiting for the next ‘thing’ to happen as the plot searched from one twist to the next.  That said when they do, such as the 7 minute staircase fight, they are often breathtaking with Atomic Blonde delivering some of the best action seen on screen this year.  It’s brutal, at times frustrating, at others exciting and layers in far too many plot turns for you to care by the end.  BUT it’s also unique and well worth a watch.

Best Bit: THAT fight sequence

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: John Wick, La Femme Nikita, Licence To Kill, Mad Max Fury Road

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden