Interstellar (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Interstellar (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Man did the though of this film leave me cold.  A trailer that did little for me and hype that bordered on ridiculous. It felt like the 5 star reviews had already been written.  But a week or so away from the release, sitting down to watch the film I have to say- for the most part the hype was right. This is astounding filmmaking. It’s not perfect – the Nolan’s script is lacking once again with terrible on the nose dialogue and large chunks of plot dump, the ending is pure Spielberg at it’s worst and the film because of it ends up being longer than it needed to be.  HOWEVER this is a film that demands to be seen on the big screen (the biggest you can find actually) , has visual FX that create some of the most believable worlds ever seen on screen and has note perfect after note perfect performance.  Oh and the sound.  Just… wow. So overall whilst not the 5 star classic certain reviewers would have you believe, Nolan delivers probably the best 4 star movie ever and is back on form after the lacklustre Dark Knight Rises.

Best Bit: Matthew McConaughey delivers the goods once again.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Inception, The Dark Knight, Insomnia

 

 


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First Man (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

First Man (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Damien Chazelle’s third feature film tackles the story of Neil Armstrong – the First Man on the moon. It’s fair to say that Chazelle directs with an experience and confidence of a filmmaker with many years more experience and had already set himself up as one of the best working directors in Hollywood with his first two films.  And First Man is no different. It’s not his best film (Whiplash for me) but the direction & style on display here is simply breathtaking and whilst the film does take a while to get to where it’s going it’s never less than a stunning journey.  Chazelle is up there with Nolan and one of the few directors whose works are must see.

Best Bit: The Moon Landing

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Whiplash, La La Land, 10 Cloverfield Lane

 


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Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #063 – Dunkirk

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #063 – Dunkirk

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: A new member of The Smoking Lamb family joins us in this action packed episode. As well as a lengthy discussion on Dunkirk, we have a Top 5 on Underrated Movie Villains and a Tarantino Themed 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

 

Dunkirk – A Quick Capsule Review

Dunkirk – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Dunkirk is a good film.  From a Technical point if view it’s actually at times brilliant but for me it falls short of the “Films The Year” accolades that critics are heaping on it.  See  Dunkirk defines both the best and the worst of Christopher Nolan films – a masterclass of filmmaking for sure but with a script that needed more work and characters who barely register five minutes after you leave the screen.  And yup Tom Hardy’s back in full “What did he say” mumble mode. But for every quibble I have, and there are a few for sure, the film is expertly made.  Form the action to the music, the effects to the tension – it’s filmmaking at it’s most innovate.  It’s just a shame Nolan didn’t put as much effort into the characters as then you would have had a true modern day classic.

Best Bit: The structure

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Interstellar, Battle of Britain, Saving Private Ryan 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Grosse Point Geek – Dunkirk (2017)

Grosse Point Geek – Dunkirk (2017)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

1940, World War Two – four hundred thousand British soldiers are stuck on the beaches of Dunkirk in Northern France – in front of them is the English channel and behind them the ever advancing German army. Unable to use their own ships, the navy conscripts civilian boats to save the stranded soldiers .Meanwhile, in the skies above two daring spitfire pilots (Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden) do desperate battle with the Luftwaffe.

Well its official – after seeing Dunkirk, i think its safe to say that Christopher Nolan is one of the greatest directors working today. After a year of seriously bad films he has single handedly restored my faith in cinema. In short Dunkirk is the best film of 2017 and may well go down as one of the greatest war films ever made.
A bold statement i hear you cry? Well lets just consider the evidence.
First of all the cast are all universally excellent. The superb Tom Hardy, as spitfire pilot Farrier is the epitome of British stiff upper lip, dispatching enemy fighter planes with clinical precision and clipped matter of fact dialogue. Kenneth Brannagh as a naval commander is another standout, plus Mark Rylance is simply brilliant playing a civilian (only known as Mr Dawson) who along with his young son sail their boat to France to save as many men as they can. Special mention must also go to newcomer Fionn Whitehead and One Direction’s Harry Styles who are very effective as two young squaddies trying to escape from the hell of Dunkirk’s beaches.
Then we have Hans Zimmer’s utterly amazing score  – a combination of ticking clock-alike notes which ratchets the tension to almost unbearable levels and in several scenes even incorporates the music of Edward Elgar, so effectively in fact that i dare you not to well up with tears and burst with pure dyed in the wool British pride.
Its also seriously action packed right from the get go  -German fighter planes and bombers strafe the beaches with bullets and bombs, an unseen enemy takes pot shots at an escaping trawler  – however most impressive of all were the genuinely gobsmacking airborne dog fight scenes  – one of which towards the end was so nail bitingly exciting that i nearly fell of my seat. Yes folks it really is that good.
However all this would be for naught without Christopher Nolan’s wealth of talent as a filmmaker and with Dunkirk he has created what could well be his masterpiece. Everything works here – the attention to detail, the unshowy but clever camera work, the use of Zimmer’s genius  music at just the right moments, the stunning performances he gets out of his entire cast- all endlessly impressive traits from a director at the height of his powers, indeed one has to ask if Nolan is capable of making a bad film – on the evidence seen here i seriously doubt it.
As a conclusion i seriously hope Dunkirk does well at the box office as we need more films like this  –  stories of pure British courage in the face of insurmountable odds  – i mean why not? Every war film for the past 20 years from Pearl Harbour to Saving Private Ryan has seemingly concentrated far too much on the Americans  – people seem to forget that we Brits kicked some serious arse in the war and that fact is too often forgotten by Hollywood.
Good on Chris Nolan for making such a brilliant film  – other directors take note  – this man is your example.
Simply outstanding

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

The Dark Knight (2012) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

The Dark Knight (2012) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Dark Knight is what every DC comic book adaptation should be.  Layered, visually stunning, director lead with practical effects and with a villain that is both memorable and real. Yes there’s CGI here but it’s used to enhance rather than lead the film.  Simple put, The Dark Knight is one of the best films of the Naughty’ (if not THE best) whilst also being the best Batman film and the best comic book adaptation yet made.  High praise indeed.

But it really is that good.  But whilst it’s remembered for The Joker, this film is so much more than Heath Ledger’s final film.  From the supporting roles (thankfully no Katie Holmes this time out) to the very well realised Harvey Dent/Two face, to the stunning visual effects, to the cinematography, the music and more… this is blockbuster filmmaking at it’s best.

In short Nolan (and his team) knock it out the park.

Best Bit: Rewatching the film knowing it holds up.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Batman Begins, Wonder Woman, Guardians Of The Galaxy

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

 

Phil’s Top 5… Christopher Nolan Films

Phil’s Top 5… Christopher Nolan 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: On the heels of Dunkirk we look at Christopher Nolan Top 5 Films…

 

Close but no cigar: Insomnia, Memento, The Dark Knight Rises

 

5 – Intersteller
Epic, confusing, pretentious, muddled, genius… you name it, Interstellar’s been called it BUT for every small miss step, this is blockbuster filmmaking at it’s grandest. 

 

4 – Batman Begins
After Batman & Robin killed the franchise dead, Nolan had a mountain to climb.  He did it by grounding Batman in reality and two of the best ever comic book movies was born. 

 

3 – The Prestige
It’s the Nolan film that most forget, but The Prestige is a cracking film and possibly Nolan’s bets in many peoples opinions.

 

2 – Inception
Twisting stories have always been some what of a hall mark of Nolan and here he takes it to a whole new level. Visually stunning and one of the most intelligent blockbusters ever made.

 

1 – The Dark Knight
Simple put one of the best films of the 00’s so far, it’s also the best Batman film and the best Superhero film.  So much more than Heath Ledger’s final film, Nolan knocks it out the park.

 

 

Blog: All Things Film – The Christopher Nolan Three-Hour Patience-Tester (2014) Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – The Christopher Nolan Three-Hour Patience-Tester (2014) Reviewed

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

Co-writer and director Christopher Nolan follows up his half-arsed, ultra-boring Dark Knight Rises with this confounding and dumb 2001: A Space Odyssey rip-off. Eventually, everything is ripped off, right down the silky smooth organ soundtrack, through to the milkshake Juicy Fruit black holes that make little sense. I’m sure somewhere in Nolan’s mind he’s being inventive and shit, but with Interstellar he’s basically repeating the same ancillary notes that Kubrick perfected the first time.

Of course Matthew McConaughey is back on track after Dallas Buyers Club and all that. In Interstellar, I can imagine him on set looking just as confused as they day he finished reading the script. Severe liberties are taken with space, time and travel; classic, textbook fucking Nolan behaviour to arrive at an ending we knew was coming a mile off, but with a million variations on clunky and prolonged exposition. Patterns are emerging in anything he’s attempted to fart out since The Prestige; that ever-rising orchestral score to underpin no fewer than three juxtapositions.

With Interstellar it all comes to a head, as he orgasms on screen having managed to finally do it with two sets of characters in two different periods of time, connecting through black magic, watches (a trademark Nolan MacGuffin) and books.

I fucking hated this morbidly obese 170 minute long film, and hated it more with each passing hour. There’s a scene where Anne Hathaway, Matt’s co-pilot, advises him that one hour spent on a new planet they’d arrived at will equate to seven years back on Earth.

After sitting through this shit I know exactly what she means.

Author: Andrew Mackay
To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download the Filmsploitation podcast! 

Blog: Interstellar – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Man did the though of this film leave me cold.  A trailer that did little for me and hype that bordered on ridiculous. It felt like the 5 star reviews had already been written.  But a week or so away from the release, sitting down to watch the film I have to say- for the most part the hype was right. This is astounding filmmaking. It’s not perfect – the Nolan’s script is lacking once again with terrible on the nose dialogue and large chunks of plot dump, the ending is pure Spielberg at it’s worst and the film because of it ends up being longer than it needed to be.  HOWEVER this is a film that demands to be seen on the big screen (the biggest you can find actually) , has visual FX that create some of the most believable worlds ever seen on screen and has note perfect after note perfect performance.  Oh and the sound.  Just… wow. So overall whilst not the 5 star classic certain reviewers would have you believe, Nolan delivers probably the best 4 star movie ever and is back on form after the lacklustre Dark Knight Rises.

Best Bit: Matthew McConaughey delivers the goods once again.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Inception, The Dark Knight, Insomnia

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Intersteller Reviewed

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Intersteller Reviewed

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Director: Christopher Nolan, Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, John Lithgow, Michael Caine, Matt Damon.

In the near future, Earth is dying, food resources are running low and mankind is now no more than a caretaker population awaiting the inevitable coming apocalypse.

However, hope lies in the discovery of a wormhole near Saturn that leads to another galaxy, wherein it is postulated that there may be Earth like planets that could potentially re-home the human race.

Naturally the wormhole has to be explored – so NASA recruits former air force pilot Cooper (McConaughey) and three scientists (including Hathaway) to boldly go and see what’s on the other side, however things do not go as planned and the team find themselves up against everything from a giant black hole, to the laws of space time and the perils of exploring strange new worlds.

Putting it mildly – Christopher Nolan is one of the best directors working today – thus far all of his films have been imaginative, well plotted and most of all extremely clever – rare traits which are sorely lacking in many of today’s modern blockbusters (the films of Michael Bay being a notable example).  So I am very happy to report that Interstellar is no exception.

Nolan once again proves to be a story teller of immense talent and intelligence, weaving a plot that twists and turns whilst cleverly throwing in proper scientific theory, which refreshingly never insults its audience but instead makes one fully concentrate and  think properly about what is unfolding on screen.

It’s also technically flawless – with VFX that serve the film rather than take it over completely. In addition Jonathan Nolan’s script is pitch perfect, with nary a clunky line to be heard.  Finally the cast is universally excellent –  McConaughey continues his stunning run of form with a wonderfully understated performance of real depth and breadth, Michael Caine is fantastic as the NASA scientist who persuades Cooper to take on the mission and there are also superb turns from Damon (in a small but pivotal role) Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck and Anne Hathaway.

One thing I will say is that if you are expecting a slam bang space adventure akin to Armageddon or Star Trek, then Interstellar isn’t the film for you. For a start its very long (3 hours), takes its time to get going, is slow in parts  and features some mighty plot twists and mind bending science that may not be for all tastes. However if you like a movie that is brilliantly made, challenging and most of all damned intelligent, then this will be right up your alley.

Don’t miss this one folks

 
Author: Will Strong