Executive Decision (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Executive Decision (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Executive Decision is a classic 90’s action film – bombastic, silly and hugely over the top.  It’s also massively fun and immensity re-watchable. But it’s also a film that takes some risks – killing off one of your more bankable stars in Act 1 was bold and putting the film on the shoulders of Russell in a period he was making more serious dramas was inspired.  This really was a golden age for action – high concept films in a time before superhero would dominate.  That said the seeds of today’s superhero movie sit very firmly in this era – proper actors in action roles are now common place.  Executive Decision holds up well and is well worth a rewatch.

Best Bit: Seagal buys it!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Con Air, The Rock, Under Siege 

 


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The Humanity Bureau (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Humanity Bureau (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Humanity Bureau arrived on Netflix before Cage experienced a cult hit with indie horror Mandy.   If not for that film, 2018 would be another low for the once interesting Cage with films like Humanity Bureau just reinforcing just how far he’s fallen over the past 10 years.  Okay thats a little harsh.  At least he makes an effort in these films (unlike Bruce Willis) but THB is FAR from a good film.  Low budget, weak direction and a well hashed story make this one to skip.

Best Bit: The ending is interesting

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Mandy, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Con Air

 


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The 25 Best… Horror Films of All Time

The 25 Best… Horror Films of All Time

Best... Other Cr*p

In our continuing regular feature, 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 a particular genre… 

This time out: The Best Horror Films of All Time

 

The close but no cigar Films: Dawn of The Dead, You’re Next, The Blair Witch Project, The Pact, Grave Encounters, Let The Right One In, The Evil Dead

 

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The 25 Best… Action Films of All Time

The 25 Best… Action Films of All Time

Best... Other Cr*p

In our continuing regular feature, 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 a particular genre… 

This time out: The Best Action Films of All Time

 

The close but no cigar Films: The Bourne Supremacy, Men of War, Speed, Captain America: Winter Solider, Fast Five, Hardboiled, Inception, Battle Royale, Speed, The Book Of Eli

 

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My life In Movies… (Best Film from EVERY Year I’ve Been Alive)

My life In Movies… (Best Film from EVERY Year I’ve Been Alive)

Best... Other Cr*p

A look at the BEST films, one from each of my years on this planet…. (Yes ’86 and ’84 was impossible to split!)

… And yes a few do differ from my Annual ‘Film of The Year’.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!!!

The 70’s

1976 – The Outlaw Josey wales
1977 – Star Wars
1978 – Dawn Of The Dead
1979 – Alien

The 80’s

1980 – Empire Strikes Back
1981 – Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1982 – The Thing
1983 – The Return Of The Jedi

1984 – Ghostbusters/ Gremlins
1985 – The Goonies

1986 – Aliens/ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/ Top Gun
1987 – The Lost Boys

1988 – Die Hard
1989 – Tango & Cash

The 90’s

1990 – Goodfellas
1991 – Terminator 2 Judgement Day
1992 – Reservoir Dogs
1993 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
1994 – Pulp Fiction

1995 – Heat
1996 – Trainspotting
1997 – Con Air
1998 – Lock Stock & Two Smoking barells
1999 – Fight Club

The 2000’s 

2000 – Snatch
2001 – Black Hawk Down
2002 – 28 days Later
2003 – Love Actually
2004 – Shaun Of The Dead
2005 – Serenity

2006 – Children of Men
2007 – Bourne Ultimatum

2008 – The Dark Knight
2009 – Slumdog Millonaire
2010 – The Social Network

The 10’s 

2011 – Hugo
2012 – Skyfall
2013 – Rush
2014 – Wolf Of Wall Street
2015 – Whiplash
2016 – The Nice Guys

Phil Hobden
Editor – Phil’s Quick Capsule Review

Con Air (1997) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Con Air (1997) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:

Con Air is 20 today.  So I decided it would be a good idea to take a look at one of my favourite 90’s films. 

The first thing you notice re-watching Con Air is that for an action film it features very little action.  Seriously other than a shoot out, the “Put The Bunny Back in the box” fight and the excellent bone yard scene it’s not the most action packed of action films. That said… it’s still a cracking film that’s aged (and continues to age) very well indeed…

Simon West, a former assistant editor with the BBC and commercials director made his directorial debut under the guidance of producer super star Jerry Bruckheimer (in the days when he made more than terrible Pirate films) working alone after the death of his partner Don Simpson the previous year.  Side note: Simpson apparently hated the idea and relinquished all ties to the film when he and Bruckheimer split prior to his death.  To put this in context the summer tent pole movies of the Simpson/ Bruckheimer partnership had been on a role after The Rock, Bad Boys & Crimson Tide launching along the way directors like Michael Bay and cementing the late Tony Scott as one of the best action movie directors in the business. But things had soured between the producing pair and Bruckheimer was going it alone.  In short: Con Air and West had a LOT to live up to.
And for me at least, It did. With an all star ensemble cast include Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Danny Trejo , Colm Meaney, Ving Rhames and Steve Buscemi, the film was released on June 6th 1997 in the USA.  With a on fire Cage (in his new guise as action man) in the lead as Cameron Poe, a newly paroled ex Ranger who is caught on a prisoner transport plane as its taken over by some of the worst criminals in America (who would have thought that plan would have gone wrong) the film delivers killer one liners, a top notch musical score and some very assured direction to make this one of the best action films of the decade.

It’s just great unpretentious fun where every action beat isn’t edited to an inch of it’s life and the film is allowed to breathe between set pieces. It’s measured and even it’s OTT ending (which admitably does jump the shark a bit in Vegas) isn’t totally unbelievable.  But like a lot of the films around this era (See Armageddon the follow year) it’s the cast that make it shine.  Malkovich especially is great in the villain role and every member of the cast delivers a memorable performance.  It just works.  It even received awards kudos for the accompanying LeAnn Rimes warbling country track “Who Do I Live”.

Its not all good.  Whilst reviews were generally okay some were savage.  Cusack apparently hates the film refusing to be interviewed about it and Ving Rhames confesses to having never seen it.  On top on that Malkovich hated the fact the script was being rewritten on a daily basis and the film saw FX specialist Phil Swatz killed on set.

Problems aside, the film took $223million USD worldwide (on a $75million USD Budget) so was a hit and has been a cult favourite with it’s stature growing as the years have gone on.  I personally prefer it to The Rock and Armageddon and it gets played at least once a year in my house.

Shortly after Con Air the hyper quick editing and explosion driven direction that now make most big budget blockbusters almost unwatchable started to set in.  The ensemble action movie (after the following years Armageddon)  would take a hiatus until The Expendables franchise launched years later (which ironically West would end up directing the 2nd film) and whilst Bruckheimer would go on to have commercial success with Disney and the Pirates films, director West would never manage to out do his work here, with disappointments like Lara Croft Tomb Raider, The Generals Daughter and Stolen.

In short: If you fancy a slice of unpretentious 90’s action fun full of silly one liners, OTT charecters and Steve Buscemi’s most insane character yet you can do FAR worse than Con Air.

 

Best Bit: Is that my car…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Rock, The Expendables 3, Armageddon

IMDB Rating: 

Author: Phil Hobden

 

Phil’s Top 5… Guilty Pleasure Films

Phil’s Top 5… Guilty Pleasure Films

Quick Review 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: My Favourite Guilty pleasure Films!

 

Close but no cigar: Anaconda, Grease 2, Tango & Cash, Masters Of The Universe

5 – Bad Boys
What ya gunna do? Bad Boys was a slice of 90’s action awesomeness with Will Smith making his big screen debut in an evolution of the Lethal Weapon idea of miss matched cops.  It works because Bay was limited by budget.


4 – Showgirls
It’s terrible yet brilliant at the same time.  The over acting, the terrible script, THAT pool s-x scene. Showgirls is a joy to watch. 


3 – Con Air
Aaction film where there’s little action.  But man what a film.  A quotable script, an amazing cast and Nick Cage’s awesome hair.  One of THE best guilty pleasure films of the 90’s

2 – Cannonball Run
Burt Reynolds, some awesome cars and two of the Rat Pack reunited on screen, Cannonball Run is brilliantly enjoyable.  It’s terrible by most film making standards of course but it’s relentless fun wins you over.


1 – Top Gun
Come on was it going to be ANY other film. Top Gun is awesome.  The planes, the sound track, the camp, the cheese – it’s the bets of the 80’s. But look past that and you have a well crafted, expertly direction action film of the like we’ve never seen before.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAfbp3YX9F0

Blog: Wild Card – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Wild Card – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wild Card isn’t strictly an action film.  It’s more a crime film with a few good action beats.  That’s not a bad thing – William Goldman delivers a cracking script aided by some neat direction from Con Air’s Simon West.  Okay so we’re not talking a classic here – it is after all yet another vehicle for UK action star Jason Statham but their are far worst and far less entertaining films out there. So good, forgettable fun then…

Best Bit: The final fight

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Con Air, Taken, Princess Bride

 

Author: Phil Hobden

One Sentence Reviews… Round 1

One Sentence Reviews… Round 1

Uncategorized
Looking through my DVD collection there’s a raft of films that due to age, obscurity or general lack of point in doing so will never be reviewed here. So with that in mind let me introduce a semi-regular new feature.
The one sentence review. The MTV/McDonalds hamburger of reviews…
Round One

BAD BOYS
Watch two guys play whose penis is bigger in a homoerotic take of male bonding.

BATMAN & ROBIN
Oh my god Clooney Killed Batman. You bastard.

BRAVEHEART
Enjoyable but as factually accurate as a Kosivan immigrant, who barely has idea where the UK is, explaining the history of our royal family to an alien in Spanish.


CANNONBALL RUN 2
Like Cannonball Run. Just with added Sinatara.


CON AIR
The usual Bruckheimer… but without the action.

DELIVERANCE
Reynolds. Voight. Rednecks. Canoes. Banjos. Anal rape.

DIRTY DANCING
A film made for women who have either been dumped or run out of batteries for their rampant rabbit.

THE DOORS
He’s nobody. He’s famous. He’s drunk. He’s nobody. He’s dead.

(Thank you Dennis Leary!)

ROADHOUSE
Flashdance with martial arts.