Once Upon a Time in Venice (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Once Upon a Time in Venice (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Remember when Hudson Hawk was considered to be (wrongly) a low point of Bruce Willis’ career?  Those helicon days feel like a LONG time ago. Yup his most recent ‘effort’, the cleverly (!) entitled Once Upon a Time in Venice, is quite frankly total and utter garbage and not even the presence of the usually fun Jason Momoa can save things.  In fact Once Upon a Time in Venice is so bad I couldn’t last past the hour mark – with Willis giving one of the worst and laziest performances of his now ruined career.  Can anyone really remember the last time Bruce Willis was good in a film?  Nope me neither.  Even free on Netflix this is one to avoid like… well… a free Bruce Willis film you found on Netflix.

Best Bit: Momoa is fine

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Hudson Hawk, The Bonfire of the Vanities,  Color of Night 

 


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Phil’s Top 5… Bruce Willis Films

Phil’s Top 5… Bruce Willis 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: Bruce Willis films

 

Close but no cigar: Hudson Hawk, Die Hard 2, The Sixth sense, Die Hard With A Vengeance

5 – The Fifth Element
Mad, silly and OTT for sure, but The Fifth Element still remains Luc Besson’s second best English language film and one of Bruce Willis’ best films.

 

4 – 12 Monkeys
The marketing may have had this all about Brad Pitt, but Willis turns in a heartbreaking central performance.  The film still holds up and remains for me one of Gilliam’s greatest works.  Mon-KEY indeed.

 

3 – Pulp Fiction
A classic on every level, Willis plays ex-boxer Butch and like most of Willis’ best characters he’s another done of his luck I need to a break hard boiled kinda guy. Willis shines even in a film with so many memorable performances.

 

2 – The Last Boy Scout
Tony Scott & Shane Black teamed up to make a film everyone hated at the time and nobody went to see.  It had the most expensive script ever at the time and was bashed by critics.  Yet the film is one of Scott’s best, Willis is hardboiled at it’s best and Black’s script is razor sharp.  A classic.

 

1 – Die Hard
It’s Die hard on a… the film that launched a hundred copy cats for sure but even now not one can do it better than what is considered to be by many the best action film of all time.  Even years later it holds up.

 

 

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews Jan 2015

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews Jan 2015

Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Happy New Year fellow film fans! Welcome to Grosse Pointe Geeks Jan 2015 Rapid Fire Review!

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Exodus: Gods and Kings

Director: Ridley Scott

Actors: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver.

Scott has another stab at the historical epic with this so-so retelling of the story of Moses. On the plus side its beautifully photographed, very well directed and the set designs are amazing. However, its too long, fairly dull in places and there isn’t nearly enough action. Also Weaver and Aaron Paul barely get a look in -making one wonder why they were cast in the first place, not only that but to be honest the whole thing had a distinct whiff of Ridley Scott tapping Gladiator all over again.

At Cinemas now

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The Expendables 3

Director: Patrick Hughes

Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Dolph Lundgren, Wesley Snipes, Jet Li, etc etc.

Recently released on Blu Ray, which includes an extended more violent version than the one released in cinemas. Now i know i did a quick review of it last year, but if I’ve said it once I’ll say it again – for the love of God and Mammon – if you haven’t done it already  -please please watch this film!

Yes its silly, no it isn’t Shakespeare but if you love an action movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously, is well made and extremely entertaining – then this is definitely for you.

(On Blu Ray and DVD now  – however i would recommend getting it on Blu Ray)

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The Heat

Director: Paul Fieg

Actors: Sandra Bullock, Mellissa McCarthy

The mismatched cop genre is mined once more in this fairly good action comedy. Bullock is the straight laced FBI agent who reluctantly teams up with McCarthy’s slobbish Boston detective. Skips along at a rare old pace, very profane and actually quite funny in parts – especially McCarthy who gets all the quality one liners.

However we have seen this kind of film many times before in the 1980’s and one hopes that its success wont necessarily inspire Hollywood to go down that route all over again.

Available on DVD/Blu Ray and Netflix

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The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Director: Peter Jackson

Actors: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Ian McKellan, Lee Pace, Orlando Bloom.

The Middle Earth saga comes to a close with this epic final chapter that sees all and sundry close in on the Lonely Mountain to try and claim the gold from Thorin and Dwarves.. Freeman, Evans, Armitage and McKellan give faultless performances once again, plus Jackson effortlessly crafts a film that not only looks fantastic but is incredibly enjoyable as well. I will say this though – as good as it is, it cant touch the Return Of The King and one did get the feeling that a lot of footage was held back for the yet to be released 2015 extended edition DVD.

At Cinemas now

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The Imitation Game

Director: Morten Tyldum

Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly, Mark Strong, Charle Dance, Matthew Goode.

Based on the true story of Alan Turing – a brilliant mathematician who single handedly built a machine that could decipher the Nazi Enigma Code and as a result turned the tide of World War 2, saving millions of lives in the process. A totally outstanding film, with a mesmerising performance from Cumberbatch that, if there is any justice, will bag him a much deserved Oscar nomination. One of the best films of 2014 – highly recommended.

At cinemas now

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The Pyramid

Director: Gregory Levasseur

Actors: James Buckley, Ashley Hinshaw

Found footage film featuring a team of archaeologists who unearth a lost pyramid then get trapped inside, whilst being pursued by evil supernatural forces and all manner of flesh eating beasties. Descends into CGI madness at the end but to be fair the story is quite interesting, there are some pretty scary bits and its certainly worth a look for anyone who enjoyed last years As Above So Below.

Possibly still at cinemas now

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Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For

Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Actors: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Eva Green, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon levitt, Powers Booth.

Not bad sequel to the 2005 original. Well made, fairly enjoyable with some good performances  – especially Brolin, Levitt, Booth and Green, however the narrative and story aren’t as well structured as the first film and overall it all feels like a case of been there done that with no need to do it again  – which seems to be all Robert Rodriguez does these days anyway.

Available on DVD/Blu ray

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The Wicker Tree

Director: Robin Hardy

Actors: Graham McTavish, Christopher Lee

Adaptation of the novel ‘Cowboys for Christ’ and a sort of sequel/companion piece to Hardy’s original film – The Wicker Man.

Suffice to say that once in a while there comes a film that is so bad that it automatically gets into my top ten worst of all time list………and this is that film. Awful in just about every way you can imagine – cheap looking, amateurish direction, terrible acting, appalling script,  and overall a complete and utter insult to anyone who enjoyed the first film.

Avoid

Available on Netflix (if you can be bothered)

 

 

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That’s it for now.  I’ll be back soon…

Author: Will Strong 

 

Blog: This Years Christmas Viewing- A Quick Capsule Review (Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Gremlins, Get Santa, Love Actually, Trading Places)

Blog: This Years Christmas Viewing- A Quick Capsule Review (Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Gremlins, Get Santa, Love Actually, Trading Places)

Quick Review

So a Phil’s Quick Capsule Review round up of the films I watched this festive Christmas season…

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Die Hard
It’s been cloned, it’s been copied but it’s never been bettered. Die Hard is a nailed on classic.  And it just reminds you how far both the films and Willis as an actor/star have fallen in the 25+ years since this film came out.  From DeBonts stunning cinematography to McTiernan’s taught direction, from the script to the set pieces, the film still gives any modern day action film a run for it’s money.  Add to that Alan Rickman chewing up the scenery and a never better Willis and you have a film as good day as it ever was.

Best Bit: C4. Monitor. Bang.  Talk about using a nuclear bomb to Swat a fly.

IMDB Rating: 


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Die Hard 2
So Die Hard 2 holds up less well than Die Hard, the directing isn’t anywhere near as tight, the action a bit stilted and the photography feels like that generic early 90’s last 80’s action film that plagued the genre.  Yet… it’s damn good fun, Willis is comfortable in his role as the wise cracking McClane  and the support cast on top form.  So not the classic that Die Hard is but still a lot to enjoy.

Best Bit: Ice. Eye. Death.

IMDB Rating:

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Gremlins
From the twist mind of Joe Dante and it once meant something stamp of producer Steven Spielberg comes one of the most subversive “kids ” film ever made.  Not that it actually is a kids film.  Oh no it’s a lot better than that.  Death, murder, microwaved gremlins… Dante delivers a feast of horrors in what is still his best film. Everything about Gremlin’s works and whilst it’s over 30 years old now, it hasn’t aged bit (save for some of the background technology). Smart. Funny. And at time scary, Gremlins is the wicked fun.

Best Bit: Kitchen Scene

IMDB Rating: 

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Get Santa
So from the director that gave you Severance and Triangle comes this years more interesting take on Christmas. Totally successful?  No.  But not without a few laughs.  Mostly of the jokes about Warwick Davis looking like an Elf or Reindeers farting type. But you take them where you can get them I guess. Broadbent is having more fun that most (including the audience) and overall you are left with a sometime funny, never boring kids film.

Best Bit: Davis being confused for an elf.

IMDB Rating: 

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Love Actually
Okay so I have a massive soft spot for this slice of manipulative tosh.  Is Love Actually a great film?  By all standard measures probably not.  It’s far too on the nose, it makes little sense and it’s as subtle as a brick around the head.  BUT.  And this is a but BUT. I still love it.  It’s become a Christmas favourite, watched ever year without fail.  Why?  Because at it heart it’s a sweet, often funny, always charming story about love and people, a story that can melt even the hardest of hearts.  What’s not to love…

Best Bit: The ending.  Love is actually all-around after all

IMDB Rating: 

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Trading Places
(1983)
Another subservience Christmas film, a tale of rags to riches to rags.  Okay so 31 years on some of the humour certainly would pass now (not least a backed up Dan Aykroyd) , but Trading Places holds up rather well considering everything that has come after.  But then good jokes, winning performances and great central ideas are pretty time less.  Maybe both Aykroyd and Murphy should watch this again and remind themselves of when they used to be funny…

Best Bit: Whilst it’s Murphy film, Ackroyd gives a star turn here

IMDB Rating: 

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Quick Reviews (Edge, Angelina, Punch, Bruce and more!)

Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Will’s round up of the latest films he’s seen…


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Edge Of Tomorrow

Director: Doug Liman
Actors: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

Despite what others on this site would have you believe, this mash up of Groundhog Day and Starship Troopers is an absolutely top film. Jam packed with superb action sequences, great SFX, and two fantastic performances from Cruise and Blunt – it’s a must see for all fans of fast paced ,high quality sci fi action movies and is Cruise’s best film since Mission Impossible 4 – highly recommended.

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Maleficent

Director: Robert Stromberg
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley

Didn’t really want to see this – but very glad I did – Angelina is simply wonderful in the title role -brilliantly managing to make her character of Maleficent both charming, evil, tragic and extremely funny. Stromberg’s direction is excellent and the whole thing is a visual feast for the eyes. Smashing film, absolutely perfect for a mum and daughter trip to the movies, with a great plot that isn’t as straightforward as the trailers would have you believe. Superb

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Odd Thomas

Director: Stephen Sommers
Actors: Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe.

A $25 million plus budget and big name director at the helm still couldn’t get this into cinemas (some kind of legal issue apparently). Available now on Netflix – Yelchin is Odd Thomas -a sort of goofy equivalent of John Constantine who can see demons and dead people. Strange film – not bad – with a good central performance from Yelchin and some inventive special effects. Not the most original of plots (very similar to the Frighteners in fact) but worth a look.

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Welcome To The Punch

Director: Eran Creevy
Actors: James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Peter Mullan.

McAvoy is the obsessed cop who join forces with master criminal Mark Strong to bring down a gun running cartel in London. Well photographed, Strong is fantastic, and some of the action isn’t bad. However the plot is utterly predictable, McAvoy is badly miscast (he looks way too young for a hard bitten detective) and it desperately wants to be the UK version of Heat – which it isn’t by a damn sight. A very average film and more proof, if any was needed, that the British just cant compete with Hollywood when it comes to action movies.

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The Assassination

Director: Brett Simon
Bruce Willis, Reece Thompson.

Thompson is the class nerd who writes for the school paper and uncovers a massive conspiracy involving drugs and stolen exam papers, Bruce Willis plays his slightly mental school principal. Well directed, good screenplay, an inventive plot and a great turn from Willis (yes I couldn’t believe it etheir!). Recommended for all fans of Brick and Easy A. Not the greatest film ever made but very enjoyable and worth a look even if its just to watch Bruce in a rare well acted role.

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Author: Will Strong 

 

Red 2: A Quick Capsule Review

Red 2: A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Inherently there is nothing wrong with Red 2.  Problem is there’s nothing particularly right with it either.  Much like the original it plays it’s tropes, stages the action and  delivers it’s one liners but it does it with such a lack of passion you can’t help but think that the film was made by a committee.  The biggest problem is lead Bruce Willis who has taken to sleep walking through these later stages of his career, taking the pay cheques but do little more than turning up.  Shame as Mirren at least looks like she’s having fun.

Best Bit: Helen Mirren is superb. Again.

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Borrow

IMDB Rating: 

If you liked this try: Expendables 2 (7/10); RED (7/10); Expendables (5/10)