Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 23 Must See Films Of 2016

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 23 Must See Films Of 2016

Other Cr*p Year In Review

So this is it… Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests (including podcasters Andrew Mackay & Josh Morris, Filmmakers Drew Cullingham & Ross Boyask and writer/film fan Matt Duddy) LONG list of the 23 must see films of 2016.

This list will also form the basis of our vote for the Essential Films of 2016.

So how many have YOU seen?

Hunt For The Wilderpeople
The Shallows
Doctor Strange
Eddie The Eagle
Everybody Wants Some !!
Green Room
Hail, Caesar
I, Daniel Blake
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Sing Street
The Invitation
The Jungle Book
The Little Prince
The Nice Guys
Triple 9

Check back in the next few days for our final list or take the QUIZ HERE To see how many you have seen! 

Blog: All Things Film – Andrew Mackay’s Best & Worst Films 2014

Blog: All Things Film – Andrew Mackay’s Best & Worst Films 2014

Quick Review

2014 has been truly hit-and-miss. I could well have copied this paragraph from last year with a quick find-and-replace. But just as we were marching into the middle of the decade thinking “Oh Christ, here we go – more Michael Bay, more Ice Cube, more nah nah nah…” along come at least two films that really did make me rethink my stance on the movie industry today (See my #1 and ‘3 on the best list). It’s not been a terrible year for movies. It’s been very good, on the whole – and I sincerely hope 2015 can fill these big boots!


5: The Came Together

Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler prove that former SNL players continue to suck at satire, as They Came Together aim for all the right targets and continually miss them. It’s akin to watching a small child with learning difficulties throw balls at a coconut shy, and standing back and feigning a smile at how well they had done – despite throwing the ball 180 degrees in the opposite direction and accidentally scoring an own goal. An insufferable, turgid and most unfunny piece of rancid shite.

4: Tammy

Sticking with the learning difficulty angle, Melissa McCarthy turned up as Tammy; an overweight, unpleasant and charmless oaf who manages to drag Susan Sarandon under her tyres for one of the year’s cosmic laugh-free zones. There’s nothing funny about someone who’s clearly one of society’s beat-upon plumpsters having the piss taken out of her for nearly 100 minutes. It’s soul-crushingly hateful stuff, and not in a good way, either.

3: The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Angriest man? I can see the poor sod who played him spinning in his grave. It’s a well known fact that Robin Williams took on roles simply to pay the rent. I guess one could argue that Williams’ response mid way through the year was perhaps a bit harsh, but if I’d viewed my performance in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, then I’d empathise to a point. The bleedin’ obvious aside, this movie stinks to high heaven anyway – and it’s nothing to do with Robin Williams (it’s merely a shame) and/or Mila Kunis (again, merely a blip). It’s shittingly bad and, once again, less funnier than Cold in July.

2: Zombeavers

It’s no coincidence that the bottom five of 2014 are mostly all comedies, is it? Comedy is hard to get right. Comedy and horror, even more so. The beavers look like puppets, and the characters have about as much depth as puppets, too. I know, I know – that’s sort of the point. And yes, I am a Troma fan. Zombeavers sits awkwardly in a sort of dole office of being too good to be bad, and too bad to be anything other than second in my top ten worst list for 2014. They couldn’t even get the “hot jock” boyfriends hot-o-meter correct. I suppose there’s no saving grace about Zombeavers; if guys these fugly can get chicks those cute – well, maybe there’s hope for us all.

1: Tusk

Fuck Kevin Smith.



5: Wolf of Wall Street

Originally getting a 7 out of 10 in my review from January, I did make the prediction that Wolf could be a stayer and rank among Scorsese’s best. It’s now nearly one year later, and I think I was right. I was right, also, to award it a seven; it’s not a perfect movie by any stretch; but what it is, though, is a shit-load of fun and as absorbing a story as the characters are impervious to humanity. A thoroughly loathsome bunch of feral, money-hunting wankers that would put The Riot Club to shame. As far as overindulgence and excess goes, we will all use Wolf of Wall Street as the barometer; both for the characters and storyline, and for Scorsese’s “have it all and eat it, too” barbarism.

4: Dallas Buyers Club

For a long, long stretch was sitting at my number one spot in the top ten until, of course, those films in my top three came about. An award-winning performance from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (the latter being performance of the year, probably) and about a story that would help shape our attitude toward the AIDS epidemic. An absolutely wonderful film, rich in detail and disciplined in narrative and length, it is truly one of the best dramas in recent memory.

3: The Babadook

Jennifer Kent writes and directs her way in to what I had long since regarded as a genre that is impossible to win me over; horror. Seriously, after so much watered-down PG-13 ghost/doll/clanking doorway shite, I’d pretty much all but abandoned this pithy, lifeless genre. I suppose it’s no surprise to learn that if anyone was going to buck the trend it’d be an independent Aussie filmmaker. But there you go. Fundamentally, The Babadook is a semi-realistic drama about a woman who grows evermore scared of her weird son. The fact that it has a bad guy and some whacked-out, truly innovative elements in the third act all contribute to one of the best – and most unsettling – surprises of the year. The Babadook never puts a foot wrong, and manages to do so with the minimum of fuss. I love The Babadook.

2: John Wick

Is Keanu Reeves back? YEAH. I’m thinking he’s back. Well stone me if John Wick isn’t the baddest-est ass, action-packed, violent, kill-happy revenge thriller of the year. Perhaps even the decade. It’s the usual sort of stuff, but directed and played with such freneticism that you simply have to drop to your knees and worship at the Wick alter. Even if you’re not a fan of action, you’ll love this movie. I can’t wait to see it again – and it’s unlike me to espouse the awesomeness of a silly action film. So I’m just as shocked as you. Check out the soundtrack, too. It’s terrific.

1: Life Itself

Roger Ebert has played a huge part in my life as both a film critic and film maker. I often step back and think “what would Roger Ebert award my movie, out of four stars?”. Life Itself is the equivalent (for me) of a film maker making a documentary about someone you personally admire and love. In a sense, it feels as if the documentary was made for you. I’ve never cried at a film – ever – in my entire life; that’s still true today, but God damn it if Steve James’ masterful documentary Life Itself did not come close. It’s a film about life as Roger Ebert expertly and humorously clings on to his own; a film about love, as his wife Chaz makes his twilight months comfortable and keeps up a brave face, even past the inevitable – and then, it’s a film about friendship, as we delve in to his hate/love relationship with Gene Siskel, who died fifteen years earlier. Ebert awarded director Steve James’ Hoop Dreams (1994) the accolade of Best Film of the 1990s. He remarked that real-life throws plot points at you that you could never see coming, and that a truly gifted documentarian would seize on any opportunity that came their way. Siskel dying alone and unannounced really affected Ebert (one of the handful of facts I did not know till seeing Life Itself) and seeing Ebert doing precisely the opposite seals the friendship and, by virtue, the love(s) of his life.   In so many ways Life Itself is the best film of the millennium, and a more-than-fitting closing chapter in the life of a man I so admired.


Author: Andrew Mackay

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2012

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2012

Quick Review Year In Review

Stinker Of The Year: Ghost Rider 2: Spirit Of Vengeance  (2/10)
In Brief: Ha!  This was a joke right?  An April fool? Because if you thought Ghost Rider was bad (it was) and couldn’t get any worse, then this film will amaze you just to the depths that Nic Cage can stoop.  For everything that was right about Avengers, GR2 gets wrong.  Just terrible.

2. Cold Light of Day 
In Brief: Oh god this film was dull.  A dull lead performance, a dull story, a dull set of action set pieces… dull, dull, dull.  It was so dull I originally forgot to put it on my list.

3. Wrath Of The Titans 
In Brief: I liked Clash of The Titans for my sins.  I hated Wrath.  Yes hated.  I know that’s a strong word but my god for a sub 90 min film I have never been so bored.   Bad 3D, bad story, bad acting, bad… just bad.

4. Dark Shadows 
In Brief: Tom Burton’s worse film by a country mile, this film’s strange tone,  over blown performances and seeing the same bloody cast in every movie is getting old now.  Tim… time to mix it up again.

5.  Prometheus 
In Brief: THE most disappointing film of this year and actually one of the most stupid.  Hopes were high and every single one of them was dashed.  The is it isn’t it prequel to Alien ended up being so stupid that  even it’s amazing photography couldn’t save it

Bubbling Under:
Bourne Legacy; Snow White & The Huntsman; Taken 2; Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter; The Tall Man; Monster Brawl; Silent House; Underworld Awakening 

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2010

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2010

Quick Review Year In Review

Stinker Of The Year: Skyline (3/10)
In Brief: Great idea. Terrible execution. Okay FX but with it’s piss poor action and a plot that meanders from one dull encounter to the next there’s very little upside to watching this mess. Avoid

2. 44 Inch Chest
In Brief: Great Fucking cast. Boring as Cu*ting hell. Far too many Fuck Fuck Fucking swear words

3. Last Seven
In Brief: 20 of the longest minutes of my life. Wound past the rest.

4. Twilight: Eclipse
In Brief: Another boring Twilight movie. Only two to go.

5. Survival of The Dead
In Brief: So average it hurts. Romero has fallen so far it’s scary. One of the worst Zombie movies ever.

Bubbling under:
Sorority Row , The Other Guys, Twilight: New Moon (I watched it this year for the first time!), Wolfman, Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief, Hot tub Time Machine, Surrogates, Nightmare On Elm Street

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2009

Phil’s 5 Worst Films of 2009

Quick Review Year In Review

Stinker Of The Year : Body Of Lies (3/10)
In Brief: Body Of Lies biggest crime was that it was just painfully dull. A bad film that you could have maybe excused if it was a cheap DTV action thriller but the whole situation is compounded by the fact it was a Ridley Scott movie with a cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio. Avoid.

2. Fighting
In Brief: Worst MMA film ever. DULL.

3. Watchmen
In Brief: Over hyped, dull and sooooo loooong.  Massive let down.

4. Transformers : Revenge Of The Fallen
In Brief: So much money. Wasted. Oh at least you see Megan Fox in jeans. DULL!

5. Xmen Origins: Wolverine
In Brief: Yawn.

Bubbling under:
Twilight; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Max Payne; Pride & Glory; Bronson; Never Surrender; Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2

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

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2008

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2008

Quick Review Year In Review

Film of The Year: The Dark Knight (9.5/10)
In Brief: Without a doubt one of the best movies in many a year, let alone best superhero film ever, The Dark Knight is an amazingly well made and well acted blockbuster that ticks all the right buttons.

2. Wall – E

In brief: Pixar hit gold with this charming kids film

3. In Bruges
In brief: Shock Horror! An original take on the British gangster film.

4. Sweeney Todd
In brief: Tim Burton is back on form with this gruesome musical.

5. Iron man
In brief: Marvel strike gold with what will be one of the all time great Superhero films.

Bubbling under:
Hell Boy 2; Taken; Felon; RockNRolla; Forgetting Sarah Marshal; Rambo; Doomsday; Son of Rambow; Quantum Of Solace; What Happens In vegas