Annihilation – A Quick Capsule Review

Annihilation – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I’m an hour and thirty minutes into Annihilation and I’m starting to wish I too had a phosphorus grenade (all will make sense if you bother to watch it).  It’s all got rather dull.  And pretentious.  Not to say it wasn’t to start but it’s got a lot worse a lot quickly. Five minutes later a character has just exploded and the film has turned into  a conceptual student music video featuring Gort.  Considering Alex Garland made Dredd, 28 Days Later and Ex Machina I’d expected more from this.  Then when you remember Paramount dumped it onto Netflix… well you can kinda see their point. This would have been a massive bomb.  It’s not as cerebral as it thinks, and kinda steps on the ground that Arrival did better a few years back and, ultimately, is pretty pointless.

Best Bit: For humour sakes the lighthouse had me crying

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream as it’s free

If You Liked this Try: Ex Machina, Arrival, Dredd

Morgan – A Quick Capsule Review

Morgan – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Seen Ex Machina?  Enjoyed it?  Well let me introduce you to it’s lesser red headed step child.  Yes that’s right not one but two AI robot films in the same year. Sadly Morgan is the one to avoid.  It’s not that it does anything wrong (it’s a bit slow and Kate Mara is woefully miscast), it’s just that it does nothing worth seeing, especially in the shadows of it’s far better looking relative. Morgan is the very definition of an average film. One to pass on.

Best Bit: Anya Taylor-Joy is very good as Morgan

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Ex Machina, Transcendence, The Machine

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2016

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2016

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2016 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year.  So we’ve covered our best and our worst films of 2016, so before we look at the films coming up in 2016 here’s my ‘Alternative’ End of Year Awards for 2016…

 

The Most Entertainingly Bad Film Of The Year Award…
Gods Of Egypt

 

The best film to watch on a train as it makes it 100 times less shit Award…
Gods Of Egypt 


Surprise of The Year Award…
Low Budget films rule the roost!


Performance Of The Year Award…
Mark Kermode… for his oddly favourable reviews for his friends movies (see Jason Bourne)


Just Fuck Off and Die Award…

Michael Bay & the Transformers 5 trailer.


Least Deserving Commercial Bomb of The Year Award…
The Nice Guys

 

Come In Your time is Up Award…
Johnny Depp’s career (see Alice Through The Looking Glass & Yoga Hosers)

 

Trailer Of The Year Award…
Suicide Squad
Let Down of The Year Award…
Suicide Squad

 

It’s NOT the fact it has women in it, it’s just the fact it’s actually an average film Award…
Ghostbusters

 

The “Really? It takes some effort to fuck up this much” Award…
DC/Warner Brothers. How hard IS it to fuck up films with THESE characters?

 

Cameo of The Year Award…
Jesus (Ben Hur)

 

The Oscars only like REALLY famous dead people award for missing out other stars who died Award…
The Oscars for leaving out George Gaynes, Vanity, Gunnar Hanson & Rowdy Roddy Piper

 

The Proof That Award Shows Suck Award…
Sly Stallone, Creed, The Martian, Star Wars: The Force Awakens all missing out on awards

 

The Poof That Award Shows DONT Suck Award…
Ex Machina being awarded for Best Visual Effects


All reboots and remakes suck award and here’s the proof Award…
Point Break, Ghostbusters, Ben Hur

 

Okay so not ALL remakes & reboots suck Award…
Westworld. The Jungle Book.
Yup we just made it for the money award (aka The Sequels Suck Award…
Independence Day Resurgence, Jason Bourne, Now You See Me 2, Alice Through The Looking Glass

 

Films That SHOULD have been on my 2015 List’s but I Hadn’t Seen…
The Lady In The Van,  Straight Outta Compton, The Survivalist

 

Next time: Phil’s Look at 2016 and a look back at my 2017 predictions… 

Blog: Motion Picture Maniac – Top 10 Best Films Of The Year 2015

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

Quick word of warning, these are all movies that I personally loved, looking at other top tens throughout the years I’ve noticed that quite a few people can get particularly passionate about the subject of the best films of a year, so I just want to say if you don’t like my picks then go ahead and make your own list, that’s what makes them so fun, the fact they can all be different.

Now, films like The Revenant, Creed and The Hateful Eight won’t be coming out over here in the apparently “not as cool as America” UK until January, worth a mention seeing as they’ve appeared on other top ten lists and I don’t want people thinking I didn’t like them now do I? I just haven’t seen them, and to keep the list neat and tidy, I have a rule that dictates that it doesn’t matter if a film was released during 2015, if IMDB counts it as a 2014 release, I can’t include it, which is also why you won’t be seeing Whiplash, Kingsman or John Wick on this list.

Now let’s get started:

  1. Straight Outta Compton

A movie I did not expect to like, a film that had more than a few reasons to be terrible, a film that completely blew me away. Energetic doesn’t even begin to cover it people, rap has always been a polarizing music genre but the film about NWA seems to have something for everyone, along with the perfect acting, snazzy dialogue, lack of ego and sense of scope, the film never forgot to bring the boom and burst it from the screen, it’s a music biopic that’s great; that’s saying something.

 

  1. Sicario

A modern western with more intensity than an apple on Halloween, with soul piercing performances by Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, perfect cinematography and direction and a harrowing tone that refuses to leave you alone, Sicario is a beautifully gritty film, vile in all the right ways, teaming with the filth of corruption all building to ending that made me want to bathe in bleach, this is a powerful and hard hitting film that left me broken and hopeless, a job well done I think.

 

  1. Carol

I can’t say I love this movie enough, a romance made with professionalism and maturity that does away with the tropes of lovey-dovey rubbish and actually succeeds in producing knots in throats, Carol is the kind of film that stays with you, a poignant love story with true emotional payoff, the kind that can reinvigorate romance as a genre and restore it to long lost glory. I cried during this film, I mean I really cried, the acting, the direction, the story, the characters… Good God the greatness.

 

  1. Avengers: Age Of Ultron

OK, I think here is where I have some explaining to do… oh wait, no I don’t; it’s my list, haha. The entire way through, I waited for something to rub me the wrong way, but that never happened. I’m a big comic book freak so I suppose it makes sense that I loved this movie, I loved the characters, the chemistry they have together, the fun the actors seem to be having and the action is insane, from the climactic group shots among waves of destruction to the fight between Hulk and Iron Man. I know explosion based action has fallen out of fashion thanks to Transformers, but just because Avengers has plenty of things going boom doesn’t mean it’s exactly like the sexist/racist masterpieces of crap that are the transformers films. Yes there are a lot of characters but this is Avengers, that’s kind of the point.

 

  1. Legend

I seriously don’t get the hate against this film, Tom Hardy delivers a fantastically realized duel performance as the Kray twins, people who look alike but couldn’t be more different, it’s not just about gangsters, it’s about a man torn between his family by blood and his family by marriage. The film is fun, energetic, bursting with witty dialogue, captures and tells its story perfectly and in my opinion is completely flawless. I’ve heard people are down about the tone but I simply cannot agree, it starts out fun and vibrant but begins to casually descend into darker territory as it draws to a close, very well handled I thought. I’ve heard some negative comparisons to Goodfellas, like the film just wants to be Scorsese, but if you ask me, a film about the Kray twins in the style of a Scorsese movie sounds more than awesome.

 

  1. Inside Out

Pixar has always been a safe bet in my opinion and Inside Out isn’t just an example, it should be a staple of just how good they can be, this is a film that stands beside the Toy Story films and Finding Nemo in terms of greatness, I suppose it’s a given that a film about emotions should also be teaming with them. It tackles a subject that very few films have dared to, particularly animated family films, it’s about depression, growing up, the way in which we can look back at our lives or how we move along with them, it brought tears to my eyes during quite a few scenes and should be shown in psychology classes; I could actually make children smarter – happy days.

 

  1. Ex Machina

Looking at this film one would think Alex Garland had been directing for years, but no, this is his directorial debut, and a more than impressive one at that. Ex Machina is a haunting and deeply disturbing experience that never puts a foot wrong, every scene, every shot, every moment reeks of bright futures for all involved and you would think a film of such seriousness and frightening atmosphere would be ruined by a quick blast of disco dancing, but that’s actually one the reasons Ex Machina is so unique, and of course – great.

 

  1. Black Mass

Johnny Depp is a great actor who has long been kept at bay from achieving his full potential and in Black Mass he doesn’t just excel, he rockets through the roof and into space. Johnny is absolutely terrifying in this film, his portrayal of real life gangster Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger is so scary, so nerve racking and unrelenting I forgot I was watching a gangster biopic and thought I was watching a full on horror film. This is a brutal and nasty film that fills it’s stage with a cast of villains and the results are spooky to say the least. Its scope is huge, its handling of its story is spot on, the false or wrong moves, everything just feels right, it’s perfectly shot, perfectly written, perfectly paced and yet, just like Legend, it received negative comparisons to Goodfellas, is that some kind of fad, comparing everything to Goodfellas? Is that what all the kids are doing now?

 

  1. The Martian

This is why we make and watch movies, Ridley Scott’s grand sci-fi adventure epic is 100% a perfect film, I don’t care what anybody says, I think it’s as flawless as a film can be, literally everything about it is beyond great, from the acting to the cast, the effects to the sets, the story to the humor, the cinematography to the editing, everything, and I do mean everything, was out of this world. At the end I wanted to cry, not just at the emotional payoff but the fact that everything went down so well and I could feel it, I could feel the perfection everywhere I looked. It’s upbeat, powerful, fun, charming, poignant, uplifting and all around likeable. Now only one question remains, what the hell was Ridley doing when he made Exodus and the Counselor, how could those be so terrible when he can make something as grand as this?

 

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Honestly, what else could the film of the year have possibly been? Mad Max Fury Road is one of the best action films ever made, if we were to put together a portfolio of those that define film as a whole, this would certainly be one of them. This movie is to action what Carol is to romance, what Lord of the Rings is to fantasy, what Star Wars is to sci-fi, George Miller has crafted an experience like no other, it seems to be the year of both Tom Hardy and practical effects, as much as I love films like Age of Ultron and Man of Steel as I have no problem with CGI, the practical effect has become what CGI was back when it was this great new thing. It’s exhilarating, a truckload of fun, impactful, just plain awesome and the fact that lines of dialogue have taken the Internet by storm and its characters have been hailed as some of the best ever prove that there’s a place in the history books for this one, oh yes.

 

Honorable Mentions

It’s frustrating because I really wish I could include these films on the list, but there simply isn’t room, you could say I should just make it a top 20 but that’s a bit of a cop out is it not? Just imagine that including them as honorable mentions is still an indication of their greatness and that they haven’t been pushed aside or deemed not good enough.

Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens
Star Wars is certainly back guys, no more of that prequel rubbish, I lovely return to form, can’t wait for Rogue One.

 

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
In a world where 5th installments often suck, Rogue Nation is freakin’ brilliant, constructed masterfully in every way, it has a gun disguised as a musical instrument for heaven’s sake.

 

Steve Jobs
Now that’s more like it, after the abomination starring Ashton Kutcher, simply good would have done, but this was simply great instead, an example of a brilliant biopic that all others should follow.

 

Maggie
Dark, gritty, well directed, haunting, atmospheric and who could have believed it, Arnold Schwarzenegger can actually act, he’s great in this, no really, he’s legitimately great.

 

The Gift
Joel Edgerton has always been a great actor, but is he a good director? Absolutely, while not being the horror thriller the trailer would have us believe, it’s certainly a thriller, with no shortage of thrills, can’t wait to see what he does next.

Author: Jamie Robinson

 

Blog: Chappie – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Chappie started well – a morality tale of robot cops and the development of an AI but an hour in and I was bored senseless.  It doesn’t help that the two lead ‘actors’ can’t actually act (Rappers turned characters playing a stylised version of themselves which you’ll only under stand via press notes).  The film is also happened by the director – who has gone on record about how much he hates the writing and filmmaking process, something evident by the total lack of pace or direction.  The FX are amazing but ultimately despite ether action orientated last 20 minutes, the film is ultimately hollow and boring.

Best Bit: Chappie’s FX are amazing

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Robocop, Ex Machina, District 9

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Ex Machina

Blog: All Things Film – Ex Machina

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

Alex Garland treats us to another of us sci-fi musings in the shape of Ava, the artificially created android ‘thing’ in Ex Machina. Domhnall Gleeson is the young code nerd who ostensibly wins a contest to get flown out to wherever to hang out with Nathan who’s amassed wealth beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. He lives within his own outback Bletchley Park, working on AI and creating humanoids.

To be perfectly honest, this stuff has been done before. I think Garland is trying to inspire debate – however, there’s not a lot left to debate once Garland has had his say on a variety of topics such as love, friendship, NLP, betrayal and, ultimately, redemption. Ava is a gorgeous creation – both creatively and narratively – and is wonderfully played by Alicia Vikander – with shades of Peter Weller in RoboCop insofar as she’s perfectly nailed the little performances within the larger context of her character.

A lot of what transpires and is revealed are exceptionally easy to see coming. Not least the fact that we know Garland will hang the closing twenty minutes in precisely the way we expect. There’s no debate, and the lasting memory of the film are frivolous at best.

So, no genuinely new territory here, but at the very least, handled with care and with the gloss and sheen that a tale like this deserves.

 

Author: Andrew Mackay

 

To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download the Filmsploitation podcast, part of the All Things Film network. 

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…

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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

 

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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

 

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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

 

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Ex-Machina

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

 

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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