Richard Jewell (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Richard Jewell (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Clint Eastwood’s latest adaptation of a real life story fails to be the sum of its parts. A fascinating story, a great cast and a director who defines the term legend… it was all there.  But sadly Eastwood’s film falls (and feels) flat.  Whether it’s his workman like direction or the total lack of pace in the screenplay, Richard Jewell just seems to be going through the numbers as it ticks all the boxes you’d expect from the film without ever adding anything new.  It’s a shame because there is a compelling movie in this story but sadly this isn’t it.

Best Bit: Clearing the park

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Sully, American Sniper, Ford v Ferrari


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Grosse Point Geek – 15:17 to Paris

Grosse Point Geek – 15:17 to Paris

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

Principal Cast: Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos

Plot Summary

The true story of the three Americans who thwarted the infamous terrorist attack on a Paris bound passenger train in 2015. Unusually all three are played by the three real life heroes who risked their lives that day.

Nutshell Review

The Good: Initially the film starts out well enough and the characters look interesting, plus the reenactment of the terrorist train attack is very exciting.

The bad: Eastwood’s direction is pedestrian at best, the story leading up to the attack is pointless, slow and very uninteresting plus the script is appalling, and most of all the casting of Stone, Sadler and Skarlatos as themselves is a catastrophic misstep of gargantuan proportions. To be fair its obvious they are trying their best and giving it their all throughout, but the simple fact of the matter is that they are not actors and the film suffers badly as a result.

Review Summary: Whilst i am in no way trying to take anything away from what these three extremely brave lads did that day, there simply isn’t enough meat on the bones here for a full blown feature film and an accomplished filmmaker like Eastwood should have realised this before going ahead.

Best Scene: The climatic terrorist attack.

Worth Paying to see at the cinema?: Maybe

Worth buying on Blu Ray/DVD?: No

See this if you liked: American Sniper


Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek


The 15:17 To Paris – Motion Picture Maniac

The 15:17 To Paris – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

I’m having trouble comprehending what the hell just happened, I like Clint Eastwood, both as an actor and as a filmmaker, even regarding some of his less popular stuff, I actually liked J. Edgar for example, I thought Jersey Boys was good fun and I disagree that American Sniper is nothing if not obnoxious propaganda. He’s got a smooth visual aesthetic to go along with his noble intentions when approaching a new work and I get excited every time he has a new film coming out; if you ask me – Clint’s still got it. This is also a true story that very much deserves a film about it, these guys who tackled down a wannabe mass murderer and saved many lives are undoubtedly heroes who deserve all the respect in the world, this film should have and could have been awesome given the ingredients at hand here. But not only was it not even good, I regret to say that The 15:17 To Paris is in fact… a terrible movie.

If there was one thing that concerned me before its release, it was Eastwood’s decision to cast the real life guys, Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler, as themselves, that’s something that has worked very well in the past like when Paul Greengrass made United 93 and cast Ben Sliney as himself. He ended up doing a great job but that was different to The 15:17 To Paris because he wasn’t reciting any lines or even really acting for that matter, United 93 was made without a traditional script in order to achieve maximum realism so Sliney merely had to do his job on camera the way he did on 9/11, making it somewhat different to a performance; he was just doing his thing.

I wanted to stay optimistic though, if Clint’s made the decision to cast them as themselves – sure, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, I wasn’t there on set, for all I knew they rocked it… I’m sorry to say they didn’t. The 15:17 To Paris has a script and dialogue to be voiced and the non actors here just don’t have the chops, they’re not God awful, they’re just not believable and that’s a shame, these guys are heroes but here I am telling them they aren’t that good at acting; I feel like I’m being unfair. But I don’t want to put all the blame on their shoulders because the reasons I think this movie is RUBBISH would still be there whether they gave good performances or not.

The dialogue is horrendous, bitterly synthetic and fake sounding to the point where you start to wonder if the screen writer has ever seen a movie before; or rather has only ever seen movies without any real life experience. Everyone keeps spouting words like “bro”, “man”, “y’know” and “whoa” and it really comes across as obnoxious, when there is talk of God’s part to play in destiny, in the same nonchalant manner as deciding what to have for dinner, I starting wishing I was a tortoise so I could retreat into my shell as the humiliating cringe just became too much.

Now I know what you’re thinking, could it be possible that the inexperienced non-actors were just failing to pass it all off as believable? That would be a reasonable question if the actual professional actors populating the film were much better but, strangely enough, they’re the worst of the lot! Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler are all Daniel Day Lewis compared to the child actors portraying them in their youth, when these kids turn up and start trying to spout dialogue I became struck with horror and disbelief at how truly hideous their performances were. I struggled not to shut my eyes out of embarrassment and start wishing I were anywhere else, they’re bad – they’re unbelievably, unfathomably bad to the point where the film is almost worth recommending just so you can see for yourself; sorry kids but better luck next time.

The event on the train is relatively well handled but the scenes leading up to it, my word, they just go on and on and on, it’s quite clear during these stretched out segments that they are struggling to turn this singular happening into a full length film. Most of it deals with their childhood, then military experience, then their friendship as grownups but it’s still not enough to cover a whole movie so a lot of time is dedicated to them Skyping, talking about going on holiday, going on said holiday, taking photos, talking to girls, drinking, partying, chatting about destiny and whether or not life is pushing them towards something great (*gag*) literally anything that can push them to feature length.

I’ll give it this; it did make me want to go on holiday myself, so… there’s something… I suppose. I’m sorry but The 15:17 To Paris is badly acted across the board, the script was in dire need of a fresh perspective, the editing often feels like it’s struggling to fit around the performances, the story telling is wrong headed and amateurish, the pacing has been mistaken for Stretch Armstrong and treated as such, the good intentions are there, the cinematography has some pretty good bits but what’s bad is so bad that I struggled to even look. That’s the worst thing that can happen, when the acting and dialogue is so bad that I’m too embarrassed to watch.

These guys deserve better, the story deserved better, I was looking forward to this film and I’m sure Eastwood will do better next time but for now, this was a dud, a thundering, disappointing splat on the floor that had a responsibility to do well and failed – shamefully. Points for cinematography and the train attack isn’t bad at all but that’s it, everything else wasn’t just disappointing, it was full on terrible.

In The Line Of Fire (1993) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

In The Line Of Fire (1993) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
In The Line Of Fire is one of Eastwood’s best performances in a stand out film by director Wolfgang Petersen.  It’s aged well also as the story of a Secret Service agent dragged into a plot to kill the latest president of the United States plays out with an excellent support cast (Russo, Cole, Bell) and a chilling central villain turn by John Malkovich.  It’s tense, superbly directed and throws in a few twists and turns. Well worth checking out. 

Best Bit: The roof top chase

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Heartbreak Ridge, Absolute Power, True Crime

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews February 2015 (Part 2)

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Rapid Fire Reviews February 2015 (Part 2)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Grosse Point Geek, aka Will Strong, casts his eye over another bunch of recently watched of films…


Taken 3

Director: Oliver Megaton
Actors: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Forrest Whittaker

Neeson’s Bryan Mills returns with his special set of skills and ends up on the run after being framed for his ex wife’s murder. God-awful 2nd sequel in this very tired franchise, manages to be boring, uninspired and utterly formulaic all at the same time, with a phoned in performance from Neeson. I still cant believe i actually listed this film in my top ten most anticipated of 2015 – dear Lord the shame!!  Avoid

At Cinemas now




Jupiter Ascending

Directors: The Washowski’s
Actors: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne.

Kunis plays a lowly toilet cleaner (yeah right) who finds out she’s the heir to the universe, Tatum is the pointy eared, half man/ half wolf soldier who repeatedly rescues her from various intergalactic bounty hunters sent by Eddie Redmayne’s effete baddie and then (i kid ye not) Sean Bean turns up as a half man half bee………………honestly words fail me. Gobsmackingly terrible and as utterly stupid as it sounds, featuring overblown sfx, a shoddy script and laughable performances from all concerned.  Makes Battlefield Earth and Dune look like masterpieces by comparison.

At Cinemas now




American Sniper

Director: Clint Eastwood
Actors: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller

Superb film – based on the true life tale of Chris Kyle, a US navy SEAL who notched up over 150 enemy kills whilst serving in Iraq.  Cooper is simply outstanding as Kyle, as is Miller as his long suffering wife, plus its brilliantly directed by Eastwood. Can be seen on several levels – a drama, a love story or just a full on action movie. Highly recommended.

At cinemas now





Director: Alex Garland
Actors: Domhall Gleeson, Oscar Issac, Alicia Vikander.

Gleeson’s nerdy computer drone wins an inter company competition to spend a week with his reclusive Bill Gates-alike boss (Isaac), then happily discovers that its all a ruse so he can test the intelligence of the world’s 1st fully functioning AI Robot (Vikander).  Not bad, well directed by Garland with 3 excellent central performances and very good use of SFX that properly serves the story. However i did find it a bit slow and wasn’t totally convinced that it was as an original a concept as Garland wanted its intended audience to accept.

At Cinemas now




Kingsman: The Secret Service

Director: Matthew Vaughn
Actors: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Strong, Michael Caine.

Edgerton’s ASBO baiting young oik is recruited by Firth’s suave secret agent to become a Kingsman – an elite group of very British James Bond types who take it upon themselves to save the world on a regular basis. Extremely funny, very entertaining, totally politically incorrect, full of great action and unashamedly barbed one liners. Egerton is a joy to watch and Firth is perfectly cast, only Jackson’s lisping baddie fails to have much impact, though to be honest it doesn’t matter as the whole thing is so much fun that you wont care. If you liked Kick Ass then you will absolutely love this.  Cracking film

At Cinemas now



Author: Will Strong 



Blog: All Things Film – American Sniper (2015) Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – American Sniper (2015) Reviewed


American Sniper tells the true story of Chris Kyle who became the Navy SEALS deadliest sniper with over 160 confirmed kills attributed to him over his four tours of Afghanistan. The story starts with Kyle wanting to be a cowboy and spending most of his free time at rodeos, the events of 9/11 soon changed his career path and after watching the events unfold on TV he went and signed up to become a Navy SEAL at the ripe old age of 30.

Taught to shoot at an early age by his father, Kyle opts to become a sniper and quickly rises through the ranks and earns the moniker of “Legend” due to the amount of kills he has, however, the only person that has eluded him so far is an Olympic gold medallist in shooting from Syria who has been picking off his fellow SEALS on behalf of the Taliban.

The film does not pull any punches and shows the full atrocities of war along with the PTSD that haunts so many returning soldiers and the subsequent effect that it has on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, it is skilfully directed by Clint Eastwood and is produced by and stars Bradley Cooper in what is easily his best role to date.

This type of film and its subject matter may not be everyone’s cup of tea and it just stays the right side of the line in regards to being too gung ho, but at its heart is a fascinating story about America’s greatest sniper which fans of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty will lap up.

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

Author: Matt Duddy


Heaven’s Gate: A Quick Capsule Review

Heaven’s Gate: A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Heaven’s Gate is one of the most notable films in the history of contemporary cinema.  Why?  because on it’s release it pretty much buried a studio and was branded ‘The Biggest Flop In History’.  What critics missed was that actually, despite all it’s problems, there was a damn good Western underneath. Michael Cimino directs, with Kris Kristofferson andJeff Bridges staring in what is an epic dramatization of the real-life Johnson County War in 1890 Wyoming.

Best Bit: It’s ensuring legacy puts two fingers up at the snotty critics that once buried it

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy in it’s new extended and restored Release

IMDB Rating: 

If you liked this try: The Outlaw Josey Wales (10/10); Unforgiven (9/10); The Wild Bunch (9/10)

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2009

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2009

Quick Review Year In Review

Film of The Year: Slumdog Millionaire (9/10)
In Brief: One of the surprises of the year (India set movie about Who Want’s To be A Millionaire? Really?), Slumdog made you laugh, cry and at times genuinely shocking. Brilliantly directed this was a film that deserved it’s plaudits. And more!

2. Star Trek
In Brief: JJ does good again. Best action film of the year.

3. Gran Torino
In Brief: One of the Definitive Eastwood movies of any decade.

4. Up
In Brief: Will Pixar ever make a bad film? On the evidence of UP probably not…

5. Harry Brown
In Brief: Michael Caine kills hoodies. Say no more.

Bubbling under:
The Wrestler; Bruno; District 9; Coralline; Drag Me To Hell; The Hangover; The Boat That Rocked; Role Models; Inglorious Bastards