Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gremlins is a stone cold classic for sure but unlike a lot of beloved 80’s films it truly holds up today.  Okay so the technology has moved on and its setting is about as 80’s as you can get BUT it’s themes, hi-jinx and boldness helps this film still feel pretty timeless.  The thing that makes gremlins really work is underneath its cute exterior hides a brilliantly dark mean street.  Fathers trapped down chimneys, deadly stair lifts and lethal snow plows… it’s everything a Christmas movie should be and more.  And your kids WILL like it.  Essential.

Best Bit: The Bar

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Small Soldiers, Critters 

 

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2: Top Gun (1986) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

2: Top Gun (1986) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Top Gun is everything you want in a film.  It’s quotable, it’s funny, it has the best aerial action sequences ever shot in a film and has a soundtrack that still get’s played almost weekly in my house.  It’s also, in it’s own way, pretty ground breaking.  Yes it’s become a film of much discussion over the years (think Tarantino Top Gun Gay rant)  but none of this matters when you have a film that’s so full of iconic moments. Top Gun is of it’s day for sure but this is the film that launched careers (director Tony Scott, Cruise, Kilmer), helped Bruckheimer establish himself as an action producer de jour and made a bucket load of money to boot.  I adore this movie and wont hear a bad thing about it… so walk away now.  Go on.  You’ve obviously lost that love and feeling…

Best Bit: The final battle

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Rock, Man On fire, Iron Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

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3: Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

3: Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Star Wars: A New Hope was my first major film crush.  It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before (Okay I as probably 4 when I saw it so that’s not saying much) but man 40+ years later it’s still one of the greatest films ever made. From the characters ( A princess, a rogue, a knight) to the set pieces ( escape the Death Star, The final assault, the duel), to the music, editing and everything else… its a film that doesn’t put a foot wrong and is impossible not to love. Star Wars: A New Hope launched a franchise, a media empire and redefined cinema for generations to come.

Best Bit: Escaping the Death Star

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: The Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

 

 

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4: The Cannonball Run (1981) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

4: The Cannonball Run (1981) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Cannonball Run isn’t loved by that many people.  Sure it’s fun but a Top 10 film? Well look at it this way.  As a kid obsessed with cars, Burt Reynolds, martial arts films and latterly The Rat Pack it not only ticked all teh boxes but it drove a bloody gorgeous Lamborghini Countach through the middle of it.  It’s silly for sure but with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr, Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Jackie Chan the film puts as many iconic names together in one place alongside a sparky script, some great car chases and enough insane moments to ensure you never stop smiling. Go on give it another go… you know you want to!!!

Best Bit: 

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Cannonball Run 2, Smokey and the Bandit, Rat Race

 

 

 

 

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5: The Great Escape (1963) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

5: The Great Escape (1963) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Great Escape is a perennial bank holiday favourite that’s been repeated almost annually since time began.  Well TV anyway.  What make it special?  It could be the story – loosely based on the true escape of POW’s at the end of WW2.  It could be the cast – a whose who of 60’s talent such as Steve McQueen, James Coburn, David McCallum, Charles Bronson, James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Richard Attenborough – the list goes on.  Or it could just be they just don’t make them like this anymore – true ensembles where the cast is on fire from start to end.   Whatever it is, The Great Escape has it in spades and throws in drama, humour and pathos alongside some cracking direction.  Yup it may be over 50 years old (and then some) but The Great Escape is filmmaking at it’s finest.

Best Bit: McQueen and the bike.  Iconic.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Dambusters, Escape To Victory, Bullet 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6:  Point Break (1991) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

6: Point Break (1991) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Point Break was the first major blockbuster action film directed by a woman (now Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow).  It’s a heist movie, a cops and robbers movie, a warped buddy cop movie, an even more warped love story, an action movie, a study on friendship and an extreme sports movie all in one.  Reeves established himself as a star in waiting and Swayze cemented himself as one of the biggest leading men of the early 90’s.  But Point Break is much more than this.  It’s almost arthouse in it’s stylings and challenges audiences perceptions from the start. Another reason why the start of the 90’s was a true golden age for cinema.

Best Bit: The sky dive

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Set It Off, Baby Driver, The Hurt Locker 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7:  True Romance (1993) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

7: True Romance (1993) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
True Romance is arguably Quentin Tarantino’s most enjoyable film , one of the late Tony Scott’s best and features some of the most memorable dialogue and scenes of any 90’s movies.  From the famous Hopper/Walken, to the car/cocaine scene to the deadly finale shoot out… almost every second of this film contains something special. But at it’s core it is, simply, a love story with two adorable (if slightly unhinged) lead characters played with charm and charisma by Arquette and Slater.  I adore this film and it remains a highlight of so many actors and crews careers.

What the fuck is a Drexel.  Indeed.

Best Bit: Hopper/Walken

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKSQmYUaIyE

 

 

 

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8: Aliens (1986) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

8: Aliens (1986) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Aliens is the template for how to make a sequel.  Whilst Alien was a sci-fi horror, Aliens is pure action wrapped in a sci-fi narrative.  And it works.  Up the Aliens, add in more cannon fodder and take Ripley from a victim to killer.  A quotable script, memorable characters and some of the most tense set pieces film has ever delivered.  Yup Aliens is that good.  Pretty much perfect.

Best Bit: Special Edition sentry guns!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Alien, Terminator 2 Judgement Day, Alien 3

 

 

 

 

 

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9:  Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  (1986) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

9: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The 80’s did coming of age better than any other decade.  From Stand By Me to The Breakfast Club, it was wall to wall classics.  And none were better than Ferris Bueller’s Day Off , a film filled with wall to wall memorable scenes, quotable lines and iconic characters.  Oh and THAT Ferrari!  Yup if you are looking for a film that typifies the spirit of 80’s filmmaking this is it… and you know what whether it’s being referenced in Spiderman or Deadpool or just in almost every cool TV show (Goldergs, Simpsons, Family Guy… the list goes on) it’s legacy endures from generation to generation.

Best Bit: Twist & Shout, The Beatles and that float

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Stand By Me, The Breakfast Club, The Goonies

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10: The Thing (1982) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

10: The Thing (1982) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Thing is the template for how to make a (relatively) low budget tense, character driven sci-fi horror.  The remake is the template for how NOT to and that’s why it should be avoided at all costs.  Carpenter’s The Thing is lightning in a bottle, it could never be bettered. In fact it cemented Russell as a leading man for generations to come and Carpenter as a true icon of horror.   Critics hated it but even today it holds up as a true cult classic. Nearly perfect.

Best Bit: The ending.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Escape From New York, Halloween, Alien 

 

 

 

 

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