The 25 Best… Films OF The Modern Era (1970’s – Now)

The 25 Best… Films OF The Modern Era (1970’s – Now)

Best... Other Cr*p

In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review)  along with podcaster Josh Morris, Writer Mike Parkin, Grosse Point Geek’s Will Strong and Motion Picture Manic Jamie Robinson breakdown the 25 Best Films Of each major film decade.


This time out: Films OF The Modern Era (1970’s – Now)


The close but no cigar Films: Apollo 13,Starship Troopers,Little Miss Sunshine,Lord Of The Rings The Fellowship of The Ring,The Descent,The Warriors,Airplane,Ghostbusters,The Thing,Top Gun,Social Network,The Cabin In The Woods, The Dark Knight Rises,Tree Of Life,Whiplash


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Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #074 – Blade Runner 2049 (Non-Spoiler + Spoiler)

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #074 – Blade Runner 2049 (Non-Spoiler + Spoiler)

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: Don’t worry movie fans, we have you covered. We have a Non-Spoiler and Spoiler review of the critically acclaimed Blade Runner 2049! And in a highly debated Top 5, we say our picks for the Top 5 Movies That Critics Got Wrong!

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 – Blade Runner 2049

Grosse Point Geek – Blade Runner 2049

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

K (Ryan Gosling)- an LAPD “Blade Runner” (i.e a cop who tracks and kills runaway artificial humans known as Replicants) – makes a startling discovery that could, in the words of his boss (Robin Wright) “break the world”. Disobeying orders, his investigations lead him to an underground group of rogue replicants and a certain long retired Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford).

Released in 1982, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner split audiences and critics alike. Those expecting some kind of futuristic slam bang actioner were left befuddled by its bleak tone, and slow pace, whilst others hailed it as a beautifully made, multi layered, genre defining masterpiece.

In my humble opinion it is quite simply one of the most brilliant science fiction films ever made  – featuring amazing visuals, superb performances from both Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer, an astounding music score by Vangelis and one of the greatest speeches by an actor in the history of film.

When it was announced that a sequel was in the works, i was admittedly somewhat dubious  – however with The Arrival and Sicario director Denis Villeneuve at the helm and a returning Harrison Ford as Deckard, one got the feeling that we could be onto a winner.

So i am happy to report that for the most part i very much enjoyed Blade Runner 2049.

Very much like the original it has a look that is simply a wonder to behold – Roger Deakin’s genius cinematography creates a bleak, polluted futuristic landscape that demands to be viewed on the biggest screen you can find -indeed if the man doesnt win an Oscar for his efforts here then there is no justice.  Additionally Ryan Gosling is extremely good as K, giving a quietly understated performance that ably anchors the film throughout. To be honest ive never really been that impressed with Gosling in his previous films but here he

more than proves his mettle as a leading man. Then there is the welcome return of Harrison Ford as Deckard. In recent years you really never know what your are going to get with Ford  – he was great in The Force Awakens but hasnt really done anything memorable for ages, indeed it would have been somewhat predictable if he had just phoned it in but amazingly he gives one of the best performances of his career to date.

All this would be for naught though without director Denis Villenueve’s superb directing talents. Very much like Christopher Nolan, this guy seems to be completely unable to make a bad film and Blade Runner 2049 may just be his best so far. With the demands of today’s audiences, other less ballsy filmmakers would have gone down a far different route, probably going for something more high octane  – not Villenueve  – the man obviously has a deep respect for Scott’s original film and has thus bravely created a movie that is very non commercial in its tone, oddly ponderous and very thoughtful. Like the original this sequel will probably take a long time to find its audience with people needing to see it several times to really appreciate just how good it really is.

One must also ask if it is as good as the first film  – to be honest i really couldnt say  – at the moment i would have to say no – i did feel that it was a bit too long and certainly could have done with shaving  15 minutes off the running time, i also thought that Vangelis’ incredible score should have been used a great deal more as this very much defined the original film and went a long way to making it the classic that it rightly deserves to be.

These small issues aside, Blade Runner 2049 was certainly a superb film and one of the best releases of this year. I am now very excited to see what Denis Villenueve does next  – talk is that he may be doing the next Bond or a remake of Dune – no matter –  whatever he decides upon, he can count on this film geek to be first in line for ticket.

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek


Blade Runner 2049 – A Quick Capsule Review

Blade Runner 2049 – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So this is a turn up for the books – Blade Runner 2049 (Still a terrible DTV title) ends up being one of the best films of 2017.  Who saw that coming?  To be fair teaming up Reynolds, Deakins and director Villeneuve was a good starting point but still this was a sequel that nobody really wanted to a film that I still feel was a TOUCH overrated.  All this aside at nearly 3 hours in length, sitting in a terribly uncomfortable cinema with the worst audience i’ve shared a film with in a long time STILL didn’t dent my affection for this slow burn sci-fi wonder. Visually stunning, expertly performed and amazing direction.  A must watch. 

Best Bit: Deakins cinematography

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Blade Runner, Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens, Strange Days

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I like Blade Runner. I rewatched it today in it’s Final Cut form (a version I’ve never seen before). It’s a great film for sure, visually stunning and unquestionably groundbreaking .  BUT and this is a BIG but… the story isn’t that great and worse still Decker is pretty useless as a character (Come on he lucks in at almost every turn). Controversially I also think the music is WAY to intrusive throughout and dates the film much more than the visuals or FX which hold up well. I can see why it’s classic to many and it’s influence has been vast. BUT not in my top 50 films, maybe even not in my Top 100.

Best Bit: “Ive seen…”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Blade Runner 2049, Alien, Strange Days

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden



Phil’s Top 5… Films Influenced by Blade Runner

Phil’s Top 5… Films Influenced by Blade Runner

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:  Films Influenced by Blade Runner


Close but no cigar: Minority Report,Ghost in the Shell (2017), Blade Runner 2049, A.I

5 – Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Cyber punk animation Ghost In The Shell (and it’s much lesser remake) cribs heavily from the visual style of Blade Runner.


4 – Dark City
Alex Proyas dark, brooding dystopian Sci-Fi could dave come straight from the pages of Philip K Dick.


3 – Star Wars: Rogue One
Dystopian Sci-Fi and Star Wars go hand in hand by certainty there’s a heavy design influence that owes more than a passing debt to Bladed Runner in Rouge One


2 – Gattaca
Another 90’s film that owes a huge debt to Blade Runner, Gattaca is also another film mostly underappreciated on it’s initial run.


1 – Strange Days
Little seen classic from Kathryn Bigelow, took  massive chunk from the Blade Runner play book.  It’s a great film that deserves a major rewatch.



Phil’s Top 5… Years for Movies!

Phil’s Top 5… Years for Movies!

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 Best 5 Years for Movies… Ever!


Close but no cigar: 1982 (Blade Runner, The Thing, E.T, Tron, Rambo, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior ), 1989 (Batman, Back To The Future Part 2, Dead Poet’s Society, Parenthood), 1974 (The Godfather part 2, Chinatown, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blazing Saddles), 1979 (Alien, Rocky 2, Max Max, The warriors)


5 – 1999
The Matrix, Fight Club, American Beauty, Toy story 2, American Beauty, The Blair Witch project


4 – 1987
Robocop, Wall Street, The Princess Bride, Full metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, Predator, Raising Arizona


3 – 1994
Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, Four Weddings & A Funeral, True Lies, Speed, Natural Born Killers, Clerks, The Crow, Leon


2 – 1995
Casino, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, Heat, Leaving as Vegas, The Usual Suspects, Die hard: With A Vengeance, Goldeneye, Empire Records, Toy Story. Twelve Monkeys


1 – 1984
Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, The Terminator, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Police Academy, Cannonball Run 2



Phil’s Top 5… Box Office Flops (That Actually Are Really Good)

Phil’s Top 5… Box Office Flops (That Actually Are Really Good)

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: Best Movie Flops.

Yup those films that despite the fact nobody went to the cinema to support them were actually really damn good.   And remember a film needs to make at least 2-3 times it’s budget to be considered a hit these days…

Close but no cigar: Hugo, Children OF Men, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Ed Wood, The Wizard Of Oz, Edge Of Tomorrow 


5 – Dredd (2012)
Worldwide takings of just $36 million USD on a production budget of $45 million made Dredd a huge bomb.  Yet the critics loved it, everyone that saw it loved it. It’s a bloody great film.


4 – Blade Runner (1982)
With initial takings of under $10 million, studio edits and footage from The Shinning inserted, Blade Runner was poorly handled on it’s initial release.  But it grew and a cult of fans with it which saw more definitive versions and a much belated upcoming sequel.


3 – Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
One of my favourite films ever (and one of the best of the 80’s) this barking made comedy action mish-mash made just $11.1m in the US on its $25m budget. Yet it’s brilliant.  Shame on you all.


2 – Serenity (2005)
The Fans demanded it. Everyone demanded it.  Everyone wants dates movie sequel to the cult hit Firefly.  Then no one turned up.  The series was officially dead.  $39 Million USD budget with takings of just $38 million USD.


1 – The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Took just $16 million USD of a $35million USD budget on it’s initial run. Now heralded as one of the heartiest modern films ever made.  Sometimes even the best films are growers…




Phil’s Top 5… Ridley Scott Films

Phil’s Top 5… Ridley Scott Films

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: To celebrate (hopefully) the release of Alien Covenant I present my top 5 Ridley Scott films.


Close but no cigar: Legend, Black Rain, Thelma & Louise


5 – The Martian
After years of sub-par films, Scott returns with this tense, funny and expertly directed film.

4 – Gladiator
Russell Crowe’s defining role, an epic sword and sandals blood spurting classic. 


3 – Blade Runner
Blade Runner is much loved and with a sequel incoming, it’s time to revisit this real one off.


2 – Black Hawk Down
Raw, brutal and unrelenting – Black Hawk Down is one of the best modern war films.


1 – Alien
A classic genre defining film, Alien is simply one of the best horror science fiction films ever made and still today holds up well.




Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Top 15 Rules For Being A Film Geek

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Top 15 Rules For Being A Film Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Every person I have ever met has an interest in something – be it football, cars, music etc. All worthy, normal pastimes that are generally tolerated  by most people.

However if there’s one type of individual within the human race that receives an enormously unjust amount of ridicule – it is the dedicated film geek.

I am proud to say that I have been a member of this select group since approximately 1977 – the year Star Wars came out – coincidence? You be the judge.

This means that for the past 37 years I spent far too many hours ensconced in a cinema or in front of the telly and amassed a vast knowledge of useless information that, I have found to my cost, doesn’t really impress the fairer sex or put money in my pocket. Nevertheless  – it is my firm belief that out in the world today there are many closeted film geeks just wishing to break free from their clandestine existence and declare themselves upon society.

So if you are reading this article and have an inkling that you may well be film geek, then here are 15 simple rules that must be strictly obeyed  – read on:

 * * * * * *

Rule Number 1

Without question, critique, pause or doubt you must have seen, be a massive fan of and own on dvd/blu ray the following 30 films:

The original Star Wars trilogy, Rocky,  The Matrix, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (Extended Versions),  Alien, Aliens, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Terminator 2, The Big Lebowski, Xmen2, Die Hard, The Raid, The Shawshank Redemption, Commando, Raiders Of the Lost Ark, Mad Max 2, Jaws, Pulp Fiction, Highlander, Star Trek 2, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Evil Dead 2 and Predator.


Rule Number 2

Your dvd/blu ray collection must be extensive, deeply personal to you, proudly on show in your place of residence and in strict alphabetical order.


Rule Number 3

A true geek does not arrive late at the cinema, nor does he talk during the film. In addition he does not leave said establishment if he has come to the end of watching a Marvel Studios production and knows full well that there is a post credits sequence to be enjoyed.


Rule Number  4

You must own at least one decent movie T Shirt and one piece of  film memorabilia.


Rule Number 5

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fan of Star Trek – but not a pathologically obsessive one. This is an affliction commonly referred to as “Trekiitis”. Symptoms include: pale skin, speaking in tongues, an aversion to exercise, zero social life, a stalled career, perpetual forced celibacy and hairy palms. Unfortunately there is no cure –so be warned.


Rule Number 6

You must buy one film magazine per month and read at least one film website per day to keep yourself up to date.


Rule Number 7

The following films must be universally dismissed by you as utter crap and must not have been enjoyed in anyway shape or form: Batman and Robin, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, Highlander 2, Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, and Superman 4:The Quest for Peace. Any opinion voiced  to the contrary will result in immediate exclusion from the world of geek and eternal damnation to a life of watching reruns of the Star Wars Holiday Special.


Rule Number 8

You must, on demand, be able to quote verbatim “The Path of The Righteous Man” from Pulp Fiction and the “Tears in Rain” speech from Blade Runner.


Rule Number 9

Shedding a happy tear whilst watching a film is perfectly acceptable and nothing to be ashamed of – examples include:  the end of Rocky 1, and the Death Star trench sequence from Star Wars.


Rule Number 10

It is always accepted that the creation of Jar Jar Binks, writing a biblically awful script and casting Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker was an unforgivable act of wanton neglect and  thoughtlessness by George Lucas on all true Star Wars fans the world over.


Rule Number 11

Complete avoidance of any film directed by Uwe Boll is a must.


Rule Number 12

Anything written, produced or directed by the following  has to be seen straight away: JJ Abrams, Joss Whedon, Sam Raimi, The Coen Brothers, Gareth Edwards, Gareth Evans, Christopher Nolan.


Rule Number 13

Most critics are not to be trusted  – especially those that write for certain UK Newspapers.

(However those who write for ALLTHINGSFILM are perfectly acceptable and always right in their opinion)


Rule Number 14

The dedicated geek does not just restrict his viewing to the big screen. An unhealthy and moronic interest in various TV programmes must also  be wholly embraced. It is therefore recommended that the following series be got into with immediate effect: Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Spartacus, The Sopranos, Sons Of Anarchy, Firefly, The X Files, The Walking Dead and (using caution) Star Trek.


Rule Number 15

Han shot first – end of.

* * * * * *

There you go – 15 simple rules to follow – and if you can successfully do that, keep your head whilst all others are losing theirs – you’ll be a film geek my son.

Author: Will Strong