Grosse Point Geek – 2016 In Review (And a look to 2017)

Grosse Point Geek – 2016 In Review (And a look to 2017)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Year In Review

2016 – in short, a terrible year for big movies – in fact i struggle to remember another time where the Hollywood studios produced so many blockbuster films as badly made, boring, and lacking in imagination as what we were subjected to over the last 12 months.

To begin with were subjected endless numbers of superhero films  – one of which (Captain America: Civil War) was so contrived it was painful, then there were the dull and at times terrible sequels to long dead franchises (ID4:2 Jason Bourne, The Huntsman, Blair Witch), crap comedies (Bad Moms) iffy fantasies (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) shoddy remakes (Point Break) and yet another godawful game to film adaptation (Warcraft).

Mercifully there were some shining lights among the inky darkness – mostly for which we have to thank the many smaller budgeted productions, such as Room, The Nice Guys, Hell or High Water, Spotlight etc. These were the films that probably struggled to get made for years because the likes of Michael Bay, Roland Emmerich and the other sell outs were hoovering up all the money that the studios could throw at them, just so they could vomit their shoddy, franchise prolonging, zero imagination celluloid turds on Joe Public – bastards.

To be fair though not all the biggies were rubbish  – Star Trek Beyond was pretty good, so was The Revenant, Deadpool was awesome,  Creed rocked, London Has Fallen and Doctor Strange were great fun  and Rogue One completely blew us all away to become one of the best entries in the Star Wars franchise since Return Of The Jedi.

So here it is then – my rundown of the best and worst of 2016 and a look at what I think will be worth seeing next year.

 

Top 10 best films of 2016

  1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  2. Room
  3. Deadpool
  4. Creed
  5. Spotlight
  6. Eddie The Eagle
  7. Arrival
  8. Eye In The Sky
  9. The Magnificent Seven
  10. London Has Fallen (i’m gonna burn in hell for that one)

Top 15 Honorary mentions of 2016

 

  1. Doctor Strange
  2. Hell or High Water
  3. The Nice Guys
  4. A Street Cat Named Bob
  5. Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
  6. Ghostbusters
  7. Conjuring 2
  8. Purge: Election Year
  9. Ben Hur
  10. The Revenant
  11. Jungle Book
  12. Star Trek Beyond
  13. The Siege Of Jadotville
  14. Bridget Jones Baby
  15. Midnight Special
The Top Ten Performances of 2016
  1. Brie Larson (Room)
  2. Jacob Tremblay (Room)
  3. Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)
  4. Benedict Cumberbach (Doctor Strange)
  5. Ben Affleck (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice)
  6. Luke Treadaway (A Streetcat Named Bob)
  7. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)
  8. Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
  9. Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
  10. Alan Rickman (Eye In The Sky)
The Top ten Best Action Scenes/on screen fights of 2016
  1. That utterly incredible, pant wettingly brilliant last 20 minutes of Rogue One – ive seen it twice now and i still cant believe it.
  2. The monumental, bullet riddled arse kicking that Gerard Butler and The SAS throw the terrorists in the climax to London has Fallen.
  3. Will Smith (guns and all) vs the Meta-Human mutants – Suicide Squad (i hasten to add it was that films one saving grace)
  4. Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman’s big face off against Doomsday in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
  5. The edge of the seat finale to Eye In The Sky
  6. Little Jack’s escape from the room – Room
  7. The one take, no edit boxing match – Creed
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio vs The Bear  – The Revenant
  9. The Chariot Race  – Ben Hur
  10. The big finale – Magnificent Seven
Grosse Pointe Geek’s 2016 Hero of The Year
Gareth Edwards –  for finally giving us the Star Wars film we’ve all been waiting for with Rogue One – well done my son.

The Top Five Biggest Disappointments of 2016

  1. X-Men: Apocalypse (someone needs to grab this franchise and give it a bloody good shake)
  2. Suicide Squad (one of the best trailers of the year – just a shame it couldn’t translate into a better film – God this one had SO much potential!)
  3. Bone Tomahawk (how in the hell a western featuring Kurt Russell as sheriff going up against a bunch of psychopathic cave men could end up so dull beggars belief)
  4. 10 Cloverfield Place (another brilliant trailer  -and a complete sell out of an ending)
  5. The Hateful Eight (undoubtedly well made but Tarantino disappeared up his own arse with this one)

The Top ten Worst Films of 2016

  1. Independence Day: Resurgence (a message to Roland Emmerich –  Dear Roland, i and every film geek on the planet sincerely hope that you and Dean Devlin rot in the pit of direct to dvd hell for the rest of your miserable careers – yours sincerely – The Film going public)
  2. Warcraft (a CGI monstrosity and a complete steaming dung pile of a film)
  3. Hardcore Henry (i hated this so much i thought i was going to need therapy)
  4. Bad Moms (i’ve had more fun cleaning cat puke off the kitchen floor than i did watching this)
  5. Allegiant (a franchise killer that deserved to be the gigantic flop that it was)
  6. Point Break (pointless remake and an insult to the original -all i can say is that Patrick Swayze must be turning in his grave)
  7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (good idea, utterly crap film)
  8. Gods Of Egypt (so laughably bad i cant believe it got a cinema release)
  9. Bastille Day (probably the most unoriginal and most torturous to watch “action” film i’ve ever had the displeasure to sit through)
  10. Blair Witch (total pants  – scariest movie of the decade my distended arse)

 

and finally..Will’s 2017 most anticipated films:

  • Star War Episode 8
  • Guardians of The Galaxy Volume 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Justice League
  • The Mummy
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Manchester By The Sea
  • Geostorm
  • Ready Player One
  • Spiderman Homecoming
  • Thor Ragnarok
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Alien: Covenant
  • War For The Planet Of The Apes
  • Dunkirk
  • John Wick Chapter 2
  • Fate of The Furious (aka Fast 8)
  • Logan

 

So there we are  – my round up of 2016, overall a pretty poor year  – still never mind, Rogue One and the smaller films did alot to make up for it plus 2017 is looking very good indeed. As ever id like to thank anyone and  everyone who read my reviews (whoever you are!) and visited this fantastic website, plus a big thanks to the illustrious Mr Phillip Hobden for continuing to let me vent my spleen upon the movie going world.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous new year

 

My name is Will Strong and I’ve been Grosse Pointe Geek.

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

Phil’s Best & Worst of 2016… So Far (Updated: 30th September 2016 )

Phil’s Best & Worst of 2016… So Far (Updated: 30th September 2016 )

Quick Review

Best Films of 2016… So Far.

So this is my semi-regularly updated of the BEST and WORST of 2016’s movies, in my very humble opinion.

Best Films Of 2016… So Far:

  1. The Nice Guys (9/10)
  2. Room (8/10)
  3. The Big Short (8/10)
  4. Green Room (8/10)
  5. Deadpool (8/10)

    Honourable Mentions:
    Creed (8/10); Where To Invade Next (8/10); Midnight Special (8/10); Spotlight (8/10); Eddie The Eagle (8/10); Zootropolis (8/10), Zero Days (8/10), Money Monster (7/10), Star Trek Beyond (7/10), Batman Vs Superman Dawn Of Justice (7/10), Finding Dory (7/10); Eye In The Sky (7/10); Captain America Civil War (7/10); Blood Father (7/10); Angry Birds (7/10); The Shallows (7/10)


Worst Films Of 2016… So Far:

  1. Point Break (3/10)
  2. Central Intelligence (3/10)
  3. The 5th Wave (3/10)
  4. Kickboxer Vengeance (3/10)
  5. Cabin Fever (4/10)

Dis-Honourable Mentions: Divergent Allegiant (4/10); Triple 9 (4/10), Bastille Day (4/10); London Has Fallen (4/10); Independence Day Resurgence (4/10); Dad’s Army (4/10); Huntsman Winters War (5/10); Warcraft (5/10); Gods Of Egypt (5/10); Suicide Squad (5/10); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out Of The Shadows (5/10); The Neon Demon (5/10); Zoom (5/10)

 

The Sharknado Award for Films So Good They Cant Be Rated:

Sharknado The Forth Awakens

Great Films of 2015 I didn’t see in 2015

Honourable Mentions: The Lady In The Van (8/10); Straight Outta Compton (8/10); The Survivalist (8/10); The Seven Five (8/10); 99 Homes (7/10)

 

Eye In The Sky – A Quick Capsule Review

Eye In The Sky – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
One of Alan Rickman’s last films, Eye In The Sky is a fitting tribute to one of the best actors of this generation.  His cold, stoic and levelled performance opposite and equally brilliant Helen Mirran sits at the heart of this tense morality play about drone usage in modern warfare.  And for a film with a handful of locations, minimal directorial flash and heavy on dialogue,  it’s those performances that makes or breaks a movie.  Okay so occasionally it borders on parody with the politicians, but it;’s a small issue in what is a very good film.

Best Bit: Rickman one last time.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: 13 Hours, Black Hawk Down, Good Kill

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s Best & Worst of 2016… The Half Way Point (Updated: 3rd July 2016)

Phil’s Best & Worst of 2016… The Half Way Point (Updated: 3rd July 2016)

Quick Review

Best Films of 2016… So Far.

So this is my semi-regularly updated of the BEST and WORST of 2016’s movies, in my very humble opinion.

Best Films Of 2016… So Far:

  1. Room (8/10)
  2. The Big Short (8/10)
  3. Green Room (8/10)
  4. Creed (8/10)
  5. Dead pool (8/10)

  6. Honourable Mentions:
    Spotlight (8/10); Eddie The Eagle (8/10); Zootropolis (8/10), Batman Vs Superman Dawn Of Justice (7/10), Eye In The Sky (7/10); Captain America Civil War (7/10); Kung Fu Panda 3 (7/10)


Worst Films Of 2016… So Far:

  1. Point Break (3/10)
  2. The 5th Wave (3/10)
  3. Cabin Fever (4/10)
  4. Triple 9 (4/10)
  5. Divergent Allegiant (4/10)

    Dis-Honourable Mentions: London Has Fallen (4/10); Independence Day Resurgence (4/10); Dad’s Army (4/10); Warcraft (5/10); Gods Of Egypt (5/10)

 

 The Sharknado Award for Films So Good They Cant Be Rated:

Great Films of 2015 I didn’t see in 2015

Honourable Mentions: The Lady In The Van (8/10); Straight Outta Compton (8/10); The Survivalist (8/10); The Seven Five (8/10); 99 Homes (7/10)

 

Eye In The Sky – Motion Picture Maniac

Eye In The Sky – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

I think about the only reason to not see this movie is if you have some kind of heart condition because Eye In The Sky made my heart thump and pound so fast I thought it was going to burst from my chest like a new born xenomorph. Guys, I am a hardened veteran of cinema, I have seen some intense stuff, a whole manner of films praised for their ability to induce cardiac arrests but holy hell, Eye In The Sky is, and I swear this is no exaggeration, one of the most intense and heart stopping thrillers I think I have ever seen, literally-literally-LITERALLY!!! I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end, trying to control myself and stop my heart from exploding, sounds ridiculous I know but trust me, this-THIS is some intense shit.

This film, despite being 102 minutes, really only consists of a single scene, and what that scene consists of is a hard no nonsense colonel played by Helen Mirren trying to get permission for a drone strike which, as you can imagine, is easier said than done. This film isn’t structured with three acts, it doesn’t even feel broken up into different scenes, it is one scene, that happens to take place around different parts of the world as a multitude of perspectives weigh in on the morality of using a drone for the particular mission at play, we have Mirren and her team at Northwood Headquarters, Aaron Paul playing the Drone’s pilot in Las Vegas, Barkhad Abdi (nice to see him back on the screen) as an agent deep within enemy territory providing surveillance on the ground, all the while having to constantly look over his shoulder, and of course, the late great Alan Rickman in his final live action role as a lieutenant General overseeing the mission from London with a group of government agents.

All of these people, across different parts of the world, are all looking through the same cameras, at the same event, thinking and debating on how to handle it best what are they looking at? There is a target, wanted for capture, hiding within Al-Shabaab occupied Kenya, a terror suspect, they can see this person of interest, our main players have them right in their sights, but from there, certain things happen, the risk becomes greater and the situation intensifies, the whole mission transforms into a heated and relentless moral debate over whether or not firing a missile would morally reprehensible, not at all because the terrorists would die, but for something else entirely, I won’t spoil why the mission becomes complicated, but my word, I was sweating throughout this entire movie, I think I’ve bitten my nails down to the knuckle, how am I typing this?

Eye In The Sky is great, it is a monstrously intense and relentless thought provoker with true depth and complexity that had me so close to the edge of my seat I almost fell off, my nerves got so bad I really struggled to stop tapping my feet. As far as filmmaking is concerned, this is a towering achievement rife with an unforgiving atmosphere and powerful tension, the directing is flawless and I actually haven’t been all that much of a fan of Gavin Hood in the past, I never knew he had this in him, the editing is fantastic, the visual aesthetic is grand to behold, but the real kicker for me was the script.

This film was written by Guy Hibbert, whom you may know from films like Five Minutes Of Heaven or Omagh, which he co-wrote with Paul Greengrass incidentally, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, the script to Eye In The Sky is truly Oscar worthy, despite fundamentally taking place over a single scene, the film never forgets to give its characters dimensions, personalities and depth, and the story is so just so well told I can’t let it get away without first giving it all the praise I’m capable of giving. I suppose you could say there were a few instances towards the beginning of the film in which I found the cinematography to be underwhelming, despite having an overall great visual aesthetic as I mentioned earlier, but that’s really my only flaw with the film, and speaking of Paul Greengrass, I think if he had directed this film with cinematographers Oliver Wood or Barry Ackroyd, this film would have been even better, and it’s already outstanding.

Now the performances, Helen Mirren has this way about her that makes her seem like one tough old bird, in this movie I certainly wouldn’t want to mess with her, you can just feel the headache inducing frustration her character is plagued with throughout this whole thing. Aaron Paul proves he is an actor with some real range, most famous for his role as Jesse from Breaking Bad, here he couldn’t be more different, he’s the man at the trigger, if he gets the green light then it is he who must fire the flying death shell into a civilian populated area, the pressure that comes with this situation is beautifully realized through his facial expressions and I really felt for his character. Barkhad Abdi reminds us why he got the recognition he got from Captain Phillips, playing the most action oriented character, the man who isn’t physically safe in a room in a different country merely observing through cameras and drones, he is in it deep, desperately trying to create or control situations around the intended blast zone so that firing a missile would cause more trouble than what’s accepted.

Here I saved the best for last, Alan Rickman, every minute of screen time he has is cast over with the poignancy I can’t quite explain, just seeing him play this worn and revered General as he steals the entire movie like an absolute boss almost brought a tear to my eye, he doesn’t have my praise because he simply isn’t with us any more, but because his performance is both admirably badass and likeably human, he plays the best character in the movie and he plays it like the legend we all knew him to be, every line he spoke reminded me why he was such a great actor and the last line he has at the end, without spoiling anything, just sent chill after chill right down my spine, Rickman was a great actor and I can’t think of a better note for him to leave us on, at least in regards to live action, hopefully Alice Through The Looking Glass won’t fail at what this film succeeded in.

This is about as grey as it gets, there is no definitive answer to the moral question of the situation, there is nothing at all preachy about it, every character has an opinion on the matter and none are without some form of merit, while I myself have my own opinion on the matter, the side I disagreed with was not totally wrong. There is talk of politics but no political stance is taken, there isn’t a question being asked in regards to good guys and bad guys, it’s much deeper and much more complex than that kind of simplicity, it’s asking if the good outweighs the bad, if the tough decision is really the right decision and it never really answers them by itself, by the end it’s up to your own interpretation on the matter and while certain happenings occur that could make one presume this film has a one-sided agenda, if you think about it it’s only exploring as many possibilities and outcomes as it can and leaves no argument of either debate uncovered or untouched. The film doesn’t tell you what side is right, it only makes every theory on how this situation could end a reality and with those realizations right on your face, and lets you make up your own mind.

I loved this movie, it was something else, the kind of cinematic experience that doesn’t come often, do not miss this one, it’s a political thriller unlike any other, just one scene, one situation and one question, would firing this missile do more good than bad, or more bad than good? The fact that it concerns different people from all over the world, trying to work out a problem that is extremely relevant to the modern state we are currently living in when it comes to how we fight our wars, really make this one feel epic, it’s intense, relevant, well acted, well written, important and thought provoking beyond belief.