‘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: The Goonies is a nailed on classic. Richard Donner & Steven Spielberg come together to deliver an uplifting tale of adventure, pirates, criminals, murder and missing octopuses. An iconic cast, a film full of action and adventures… every kid wanted to be a member of the Goonies after watching this film. Hell I still do. A sequel is often muted but, thankfully, has yet to materialise because this really was a one off.
Best Bit: Hey You Guys!
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy
If You Liked this Try: Gremlins, Stand By Me, Super 8
A look at the BEST films, one from each of my years on this planet…. (Yes ’86 and ’84 was impossible to split!)
… And yes a few do differ from my Annual ‘Film of The Year’. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!!!
1976 – The Outlaw Josey wales
1977 – Star Wars 1978 – Dawn Of The Dead
1979 – Alien
1980 – Empire Strikes Back 1981 – Raiders Of The Lost Ark 1982 – The Thing
1983 – The Return Of The Jedi 1984 – Ghostbusters/ Gremlins
1985 – The Goonies 1986 – Aliens/ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/ Top Gun
1987 – The Lost Boys 1988 – Die Hard 1989 – Tango & Cash
1990 – Goodfellas 1991 – Terminator 2 Judgement Day
1992 – Reservoir Dogs
1993 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
1994 – Pulp Fiction 1995 – Heat 1996 – Trainspotting 1997 – Con Air 1998 – Lock Stock & Two Smoking barells
1999 – Fight Club
2000 – Snatch 2001 – Black Hawk Down 2002 – 28 days Later
2003 – Love Actually
2004 – Shaun Of The Dead
2005 – Serenity 2006 – Children of Men
2007 – Bourne Ultimatum 2008 – The Dark Knight 2009 – Slumdog Millonaire
2010 – The Social Network
2011 – Hugo 2012 – Skyfall 2013 – Rush 2014 – Wolf Of Wall Street 2015 – Whiplash 2016 – The Nice Guys
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: Non-Tradtiotonal Christmas Movies!
Not EVERY Christmas film has to be about Santa or presents. Some are set around that time or have a very tangential link. Here are 5 of my favourites!
Close but no cigar:Batman Returns, In Bruges, Iron Man 3, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
5 – Trading Places Eddie Murphy at his best alongside the awesome Dan Akroyd and a cast to die for, Trading Places even some 30+ years later is nothing short of a near perfect comedy that has been much aped but never bettered.
4 – The Long Kiss Goodnight It’s no surprise than 4 of the movies here (alongside Iron Man 3 and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) are Shane Black films. Not ONLY is he a great filmmaker/ writer but he also has more than a passing obsession with Christmas. Whilst Kiss, Kiss is a better film I just adore the pithy dialogue and brutal action in the Long Kiss Goodnight. Just a brilliant film.
3 – Lethal Weapon Another Shane Black film, and another one of my favourite action films Lethal Weapon is a brutal, violent and dark thriller that explores some pretty tough themes. It’s easy to forget what the series start at when you look back at the new TV show and the later films.
2 – Gremlins What’s not to like? Furry creatures who cant get wet or eat after midnight do just that and soon a town if overrun with evil, killer gremlins! The film that started my multi-decade crush with Phoebe Cates!
1 – Die Hard Simply put the best non-traditional Christmas film ever and one of (if not THE) greatest action ever made, Die Hard is a lean, mean and for it’s time groundbreaking film. It also , for better or worse, gave us Bruce Willis.
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 one 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.
Die Hard It’s been cloned, it’s been copied but it’s never been bettered. Die Hard is a nailed on classic. And it just reminds you how far both the films and Willis as an actor/star have fallen in the 25+ years since this film came out. From DeBonts stunning cinematography to McTiernan’s taught direction, from the script to the set pieces, the film still gives any modern day action film a run for it’s money. Add to that Alan Rickman chewing up the scenery and a never better Willis and you have a film as good day as it ever was.
Best Bit: C4. Monitor. Bang. Talk about using a nuclear bomb to Swat a fly.
Die Hard 2
So Die Hard 2 holds up less well than Die Hard, the directing isn’t anywhere near as tight, the action a bit stilted and the photography feels like that generic early 90’s last 80’s action film that plagued the genre. Yet… it’s damn good fun, Willis is comfortable in his role as the wise cracking McClane and the support cast on top form. So not the classic that Die Hard is but still a lot to enjoy.
Best Bit: Ice. Eye. Death.
Gremlins From the twist mind of Joe Dante and it once meant something stamp of producer Steven Spielberg comes one of the most subversive “kids ” film ever made. Not that it actually is a kids film. Oh no it’s a lot better than that. Death, murder, microwaved gremlins… Dante delivers a feast of horrors in what is still his best film. Everything about Gremlin’s works and whilst it’s over 30 years old now, it hasn’t aged bit (save for some of the background technology). Smart. Funny. And at time scary, Gremlins is the wicked fun.
Best Bit: Kitchen Scene
So from the director that gave you Severance and Triangle comes this years more interesting take on Christmas. Totally successful? No. But not without a few laughs. Mostly of the jokes about Warwick Davis looking like an Elf or Reindeers farting type. But you take them where you can get them I guess. Broadbent is having more fun that most (including the audience) and overall you are left with a sometime funny, never boring kids film.
Best Bit: Davis being confused for an elf.
Okay so I have a massive soft spot for this slice of manipulative tosh. Is Love Actually a great film? By all standard measures probably not. It’s far too on the nose, it makes little sense and it’s as subtle as a brick around the head. BUT. And this is a but BUT. I still love it. It’s become a Christmas favourite, watched ever year without fail. Why? Because at it heart it’s a sweet, often funny, always charming story about love and people, a story that can melt even the hardest of hearts. What’s not to love…
Best Bit: The ending. Love is actually all-around after all
Trading Places (1983)
Another subservience Christmas film, a tale of rags to riches to rags. Okay so 31 years on some of the humour certainly would pass now (not least a backed up Dan Aykroyd) , but Trading Places holds up rather well considering everything that has come after. But then good jokes, winning performances and great central ideas are pretty time less. Maybe both Aykroyd and Murphy should watch this again and remind themselves of when they used to be funny…
Best Bit: Whilst it’s Murphy film, Ackroyd gives a star turn here