Birds Of Prey (2020): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Birds Of Prey (2020): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

Plot in a nutshell: Newly dumped by the Joker, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) finds herself pursued by every criminal and low life in Gotham that she has ever wronged. One of these is Roman Sionis  AKA Black Mask (Ewan McGregor) who promises not to kill Harley if she retrieves a special diamond containing the numbers of a former mafia don’s bank accounts.

 

What Worked? Margot Robbie is absolutely fantastic as Quinn and proves just as fun, unhinged and wild eyed here as she was in Suicide Squad. Mary Elizabeth Winstead is also very good as Huntress as is Jurnee Smolett-Bell as the ass kicking Black Canary and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya – a Gotham Detective with a penchant for spouting one liners straight out of bad 80’s cop shows. Its also seriously action packed, with loads of bone crushing fights and wince inducing violence. The script, by Christina Hodson is well written with plenty of one liners and profanities plus Cathy Yan’s direction is sure-fire and confident.

 

What could have been better?: Ewan McGregor is somewhat miscast as Roman Sionis and is far too OTT and pantomime-ish to be effective enough as a truly memorable villain.

 

Review Summary: After the divisive Batman V Superman and the utter debacle of Justice League, it seems that DC have finally got their house in order and delivered another very good standalone entry in their loosely linked expanded universe. One can only hope that the forthcoming Wonder Woman 1984 and next years The Suicide Squad will keep their excellent run of form going strong. I have to say that they are still nowhere near challenging the mighty MCU but on the strength of this film, plus last years Joker and Aquaman one must concede that DC are certainly more plausible contenders than they used to be.

 

See at Cinema? – Yes

 

Buy On DVD/Blu Ray? – Yes

 

 


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Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It feels a bit mean giving Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn a  7/10 (Spoiler Alert for the rating I guess) but it’s just one of those films that’s ALMOST brilliant.  For sure Birds Of Prey is funny, charming, violent and colourful. It even has a good villain in McGregor. Yup Birds of Prey is so fun it even manages to make you forget about disaster that was Suicide Squad (that said Robbie was the best thing in that too). And if this was JUST Robbie I’d be onboard. It would be an 8/10.  Maybe even higher.   But the whole Birds Of Prey thing just doesn’t work well enough.  Sure Jurnee Smollett-Bell is good as Black Canary but Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Rosie Perez just seem miscast and the film spends time introducing characters that just don’t need to be there or that you just don’t care about.   Yup it may say Birds of Prey above the poster but this is Quinn’s movie and the film is far better when she is on screen.

Best Bit: The Tank Girl punk rock n roll feel

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Tank Girl 

 


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Batman Returns (1992) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Batman Returns (1992) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Batman Returns… well kinda.  More like Batman cameos.  I’d forgotten just how little Batman features in Tim Burton’s uber-gothic sequel to his 1989 hit… yup make no illusion – the director is far more focused on his super freaks than Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego. And it works. Danny DeVito & Michelle Pfeiffer slay it as the Penguin & Catwoman and Walken add’s a nice turn as the devious Max Shreck.  Between them they eat up the good lines and the screen time.  But oddly having batman in it less makes it far more impactful when he does appear.   Burton also delivers on the visuals with a much stagier Batman film that lays on the german expressionism and gothic charm. It’s stunning to look at.    Overall not only does this hold up well it still sits as the 2nd best live action Batman film to date.  Brilliant.

Best Bit:The villains

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman, The Dark Knight

 


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Shazam (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Shazam (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Shazam is the best modern (post Nolan) DCEU film to date.  Okay so other than Wonder Woman that’s still a pretty low bar but regardless Shazam is a genuinely funny, genuinely charming and probably top 10 of the year film with loads to entertain kids and adults of all ages.  Of course it’s the cast that make this work and Zachary Levi especially nails the titular character, with Mark Strong once again laying it down thick and fast as the villain.  Okay so the last thirty minute plus smash-em-crash-em goes on too long (the film really shines in the smaller moments) but it, and you, are having so much fun you can pretty much forgive it. Shazam delivers.  See DC CAN make a good film.

Best Bit: Testing powers

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Aquaman 

 


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Teen Titans Go To The Movies (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Teen Titans Go To The Movies (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Teen Titans Go To The Movies is a riot.  No really… it’s great fun and once again shows that DC’s characters exist better in animated form than they do in live action.  Okay so Teen Titans isn’t going to change the word but it’s a film that you can’t help but love and once again gives an incredible faithful (if somewhat tongue in cheek) recreation of DC’s characters.  It’s bright, it’s silly and it’s full of fart jokes… Snider and team could learn a lot here (well maybe except for the fart gags).

Best Bit: Stan Lee!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Incredibles 2, The Lego Batman Movie, Big Hero 6

 


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Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk…  Aquaman (And other DC Movies)

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… Aquaman (And other DC Movies)

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

 

On this episode of the podcast we talk about Aquaman.  Well Ross does.  A lot.  We also cover off a lot of other DC movies and ask which was the better fish movie… this or the one starring Vinnie Chase?

Hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmmaker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed: Aquaman, Entourage, Flash Gordon, Justice League, Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Man Of Steel, Superman, Arrow, Elseworlds, Black Panther

For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Also check out @EvoFilmsUK online.
For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies)

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

Spotify

 

 

 


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Arrow-verse: Elseworld (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Arrow-verse: Elseworld (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Arrow-verse (The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow and sometimes Legends Of Tomorrow) delivers its fifth annual cross over event and manages once again to show just how much DC rules the roost on TV (Yes Netflix Marvel shows I’m looking at you).   Bringing in Batwoman, Superman, Lois Lane and all the regular cast, Elseworld is funny, smart,  compelling and never feels baggy across its three episodes. Where as the big screen DC movies (not least the bloated Batman Vs Superman & Justice League) rely on effects and spectacle, the TV show is driven by character and ultimately this means you care. If only DC films could just once in a while see what their TV counterparts are doing Marvel could finally have some competition.  Elseworld is by far the strongest  Arrow-verse cross over yet, expertly sets up next years big event and leaves you wanting more.  What more could you ask.

Best Bit: Barry/Oliver

Watch, Stream, Avoid: Watch

If You Liked this Try: Batman Vs Superman, Justice League, Avengers Infinity War 

 


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My Favourite… Margot Kidder Film

My Favourite… Margot Kidder Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

 

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. Margot Kidder (1948-2018) Film

 

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (1979)

Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship to Earth. Raised by kindly farmers Jonathan (Glenn Ford) and Martha Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), young Clark (Christopher Reeve) discovers the source of his superhuman powers and moves to Metropolis to fight evil. As Superman, he battles the villainous Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), while, as novice reporter Clark Kent, he attempts to woo co-worker Lois Lane (Margot Kidder).

Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie broke ground and set the stall out for ever modern Superhero movie ever made.  In fact it’s so good few, if any, superhero movies have ever come close.  It also made a star out of it’s cast, the late Christopher Reeve (Superman) and a young Margot Kidder who made a generation of fans fall in love with her portrayal of reporter Lane. Long before girl power was a thing, Kidder gave Lane a soul beyond the pages of the comic book.  She remains the best on screen Lois Lane to date.  Sadly her career never lived up to it’s promise but if you are going to be remembered for one thing you could do much worse.

 

See also: Superman 2, The Amityville Horror

 

 

 

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Avengers Week: The 25 Best… Superhero Films of All Time

Avengers Week: The 25 Best… Superhero 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 Superhero Films of All Time

 

The close but no cigar Films: Batman Vs Superman, Thor Ragnarok, Mystery Men

 

 

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Justice League – Review Round Up

Justice League – Review Round Up

Other Cr*p

Want to know what the critics think of the latest hot releases but don’t want to have to search for them?  Well look no further as we round up the reviews from 5 of the most influential sources for the latest BIG RELEASE movie.

This time out: JUSTICE LEAGUE 


Overall Critics Say

 


“It’s messy and flawed but it still offers enough entertainment value (mostly thanks to its likable characters) to make it worthwhile.”- 7.0

 

” DC’s team up extravaganza is a bust, with a vanilla plot, dire bad guy and largely failed attempts at levity. Worth watching for Wonder Woman, but little more.” – 2/5

 

 

” It’s breezily fun at times – but, lumbered with a story that struggles to find resonance beyond its improbable plot devices, Justice League isn’t about to steal Avengers’ super-team crown.” – 2/5

 

” The film is the definition of an adequate high-spirited studio lark: no more, no less…. Yet the movie is no cheat. It’s a tasty franchise delivery system that kicks a certain series back into gear.”


“Considering the circumstances under which it was produced, Justice League–the long-awaited crossover of the DC film universe’s cornerstone characters–is arguably better than it has any right to be. ” -3.5/5

 

 

Full credit to original sources.  Links to websites provided.