‘Phil’s Quick Capsule Review’ (a nod to legendary comedian Bill Hicks who coined the phrase when he reviewed ‘Piece Of Shit’ movie Basic Instinct)… where a perfect 10 is rarer than a rain free British summer!
Written by Phil Hobden – UK based podcaster, writer and former filmmaker. Part of the All Things Film network…
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Oliver Stone’s Platoon still has a lot to say about the horrors of war and the ripping away of innocence. That power still remains at the core of this thirty year old film. But overall it hasn’t aged as well as you’d hope. The performances are still great (Berenger is nuts and this is still a career high for Sheen) but the budget strains, especially at the end as the Vietcong assault the compound. In a world of Saving Private Ryan it just feels a bit tame. So overall – still worth a watch.
Best Bit: the cast
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Saving Private Ryan, Good Morning Vietnam, Full metal jacket
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…. R Lee Ermey (1944-2018) Film
FULL METAL JACKET (1987)
A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.
Stanly Kubrick’s brutal 1987 war film Full Metal Jacket showed the horrors of war both at home and away. But for all the great performances it was that of the sadistic drill sergeant that was the most memorable. R Lee Ermey was a consultant on the film, himself a former drill sergeant. But after failing to find someone who could deliver as well as Ermey in the role, Kubrick instead cast him and we had the start of a career that would span decades, often playing a take on the character seen here. But Ermey was FAR better than just rehashing this role and would go on to add some serious films to his resume and work with some of Hollywoods best directors.
In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, 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 each major film decade.
This time out: The 80’s.
The close but no cigar Films: An American Werewolf In London, Rambo First Blood Part 2, Full Metal Jacket, Rocky 4, My Neighbour Totoro
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: The Best 5 Years for Movies… Ever!
Close but no cigar: 1982 (Blade Runner, The Thing, E.T, Tron, Rambo, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior ), 1989 (Batman, Back To The Future Part 2, Dead Poet’s Society, Parenthood), 1974 (The Godfather part 2, Chinatown, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blazing Saddles), 1979 (Alien, Rocky 2, Max Max, The warriors)
5 – 1999
The Matrix, Fight Club, American Beauty, Toy story 2, American Beauty, The Blair Witch project
4 – 1987
Robocop, Wall Street, The Princess Bride, Full metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, Predator, Raising Arizona
3 – 1994
Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, Four Weddings & A Funeral, True Lies, Speed, Natural Born Killers, Clerks, The Crow, Leon
2 – 1995
Casino, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, Heat, Leaving as Vegas, The Usual Suspects, Die hard: With A Vengeance, Goldeneye, Empire Records, Toy Story. Twelve Monkeys
1 – 1984
Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, The Terminator, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Police Academy, Cannonball Run 2
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: War Films! (And these are proper war films rather than films set in War time…)
Close but no cigar:The Deer Hunter, The Hurt Locker, Three Kings, Escape To Victory, Hamburger Hill
5 – Saving Private Ryan Spielberg delivers a brutal, grown up and visually stunning look into the horrors of World War 2. With cracking central performances and THAT opening sequences, Saving private Ryan stays with you long after.
4 – Apocalypse Now Coppola’s classic and personal heart of darkness, Apocalypse Now almost broke him as a filmmaker and almost killed it’s lead actor. Brando phoned it in, the film was massively over budget and yet… it’s a work of near genius
3 – Platoon Oliver Stone’s Vietnam story of a young man’s first tour of duty in the hell of the war torn jungle has held up well. Brutal, harrowing and expertly directed it’s one of Stone’s best works.
2 – Black Hawk Down Ridley Scott chucks subtlety out the window in his everything but the kitchen sink modern day war film. A great cast, some amazing particle effects and a relentless pace makes this a true stand out.
1 – Full Metal Jacket Kubrick’s film may not be for everyone (and his London Dockland’s shot finale a poor stand in) but Full Metal Jacket breaks down the horrors of war unlike any other film. Intense if the word here and this stands out as one of the few Kubrick films I can watch time and time again.
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: The Boredom and horrors of war sub genre is well trodden. Some films have done it well, others not so much. Sand Castle (a very odd name never really referenced in the film) from Netflix sits in the middle. It has some strong performances and stand out moments but overall seems a little melodramatic and televisual. Holt convinces in the lead role but ultimately whilst it passed a few hours it’s something I probably wouldn’t ever revisit.
Best Bit: Getting my lunch
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Jarhead, Three Kings, Full Metal Jacket
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Hacksaw Ridge is a war film for those who have never seen a war film. It plays out like a cross between Saving private Ryan, Full Metal jacket and Clint Eastwood’s Heartbreak Ridge. But sadly just not as good as any of them. It’s not a terrible film but I do question why it;’s receive such found notices – the direction lacks subtlety, the carnage is well staged but after a while unbelievable and Andrew Garfield just feels miscast. At over 2 hours it feels long and whilst I’m happy to see Mel back in the lime light, I’d rather see him in front rather than behind the camera
Best Bit: Assult on the ridge
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Saving private Ryan, Full Metal jacket, Blood Father
In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: the best summer movie seasons (Post 1975).
Close but no cigar: 1981 (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stripes, Escape from New York), 1991 (Terminator 2, Boyz n the Hood), 1989 (Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, License to Kill), 1987 ( Predator, Robocop, Dirty Dancing, The Living Daylights, Full Metal Jacket)
5 – 1984 Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Once Upon a Time in America, Purple Rain, The Last Starfighter, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Top Secret!, Conan the Destroyer
4 – 1999 The Sixth Sense, Run Lola Run, The Blair Witch Project, The Iron Giant, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, Dick, American Pie, Bowfinger , The Thomas Crown Affair, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
3 – 1985
Back to the Future, The Goonies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Cocoon, Fletch, Explorers, Fright Night, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Pale Rider, Prizzi’s Honor, Silverado, Weird Science, Brewster’s Millions
2 – 1982 E.T., Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Thing, TRON, The Road Warrior, Conan the Barbarian, Rocky III
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Aliens, Top Gun, Stand by Me, The Fly, Big Trouble in Little China, Back to School, Cobra, Labyrinth, Short Circuit, Transformers: The Movie, SpaceCamp, Flight of the Navigator
Part Three of our run down of Filmsploitation’s 100 Best Films as chosen by a select team of hosts, podcasters, fans and writers from All Things Film, Filmsploitation and the Filmsploitation Facebook group.
Check out Episode 136 of Filmsploitation: The All Things Film Podcast for the final reveal of our Top 25 films (and back here in a week!)
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: What we have hear is a great director on auto pilot, delivering an okay film with a few good moments that is, overall, lacking. I didn’t hate it (although if I hear the lead refer to the Iraqi’s as “Savages” one more time I may smash the TV) but the jingoistic rubbish at the heart of this film makes it a very one sided & hollow watch. Sadly most of the over America’s $100 million USD of ticket sales for this film will belong to the whopping, hollering rednecks that the military attract, once again proving ticket sales does not make a great film.
Sorry Clint – It I want ‘war porn’ I’d rather watch Black Hawk Down (a much better film, much better directed). If I want ‘War is Hell’, I’ll watch Full Metal jacket. If I want to watch a ‘promotion video’ for the forces then Top Gun’s you film. if I want to see a good Eastwood War movie it’s Heartbreak Ridge.
All do it MUCH better than American Sniper.
Best Bit: Cooper is good
Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Borrow
If You Liked this Try: Heartbreak Ridge, Black Hawk Down, Full Metal Jacket