Dunkirk (2017) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Dunkirk (2017) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Dunkirk is a good film.  From a Technical point if view it’s actually at times brilliant but for me it falls short of the “Films The Year” accolades that critics are heaping on it.  See  Dunkirk defines both the best and the worst of Christopher Nolan films – a masterclass of filmmaking for sure but with a script that needed more work and characters who barely register five minutes after you leave the screen.  And yup Tom Hardy’s back in full “What did he say” mumble mode. But for every quibble I have, and there are a few for sure, the film is expertly made.  Form the action to the music, the effects to the tension – it’s filmmaking at it’s most innovate.  It’s just a shame Nolan didn’t put as much effort into the characters as then you would have had a true modern day classic.

Best Bit: The structure

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Interstellar, Battle of Britain, Saving Private Ryan 

 


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Dunkirk – A Quick Capsule Review

Dunkirk – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Dunkirk is a good film.  From a Technical point if view it’s actually at times brilliant but for me it falls short of the “Films The Year” accolades that critics are heaping on it.  See  Dunkirk defines both the best and the worst of Christopher Nolan films – a masterclass of filmmaking for sure but with a script that needed more work and characters who barely register five minutes after you leave the screen.  And yup Tom Hardy’s back in full “What did he say” mumble mode. But for every quibble I have, and there are a few for sure, the film is expertly made.  Form the action to the music, the effects to the tension – it’s filmmaking at it’s most innovate.  It’s just a shame Nolan didn’t put as much effort into the characters as then you would have had a true modern day classic.

Best Bit: The structure

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Interstellar, Battle of Britain, Saving Private Ryan 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Arrival – A Quick Capsule Review

Arrival – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I really liked Arrival but it’s not the film of the year for me, as many critics have branded it.  It is however a very good, well made and visually stunning Sci-Fi film that has one of the performances of the year in Amy Adams central linguist.  What lets the film down is it’s “Ha! Aren’t we clever” ending which doesn’t really work and some rushed ideas (not least a storyline about the base solders)  that just seem to be there to force conflict.  These points aside it’s certainly still damn good but there have been much more enjoyable films this year.

Best Bit: Amy Adams

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try:  Contact, Interstellar, Sicario

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2015 (Updated)

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2015 (Updated)

2015: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

So 2015 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 here it is: my pick of the BEST films of 2015.

Film of The Year: Whiplash 
In Brief: Lets be honest this was my No1 film of the year from the moment I watched it.  Excellent performances , superbly made and expertly edited – this was one of those once in a decade type films.  A must watch and 100% my tempo.

 

 

2. Inside Out 
In Brief:  Pixar delivers big after a few years of “meh” movies.  It made me laugh.  It made me cry.  It made me remember why I fell in love with films again.

3.  Shaun The Sheep
In Brief:I have a real soft spot for Shaun The Sheep – a funny, charming animated feature where barely a word is spoken.

4. Birdman
In Brief: For most of the year this ran a very close second to Whiplash and even now it ‘s still one of the bets film of the year.  Innovate, different yet totally captivating.

5.Star Wars The Force Awakens
In Brief: It’s Star Wars and after the horrid memory of the prequels still leaving a bitter taste so much could have gone wrong.  It didn’t.  It delivers.  It sets a high bar.

Bubbling under:
6. The Martian, 7. Sicario, 8. Kingsmen: The Secret Service , 9. Pitch Perfect 2 , 10. Unfriended , The Infinite Man,  John Wick ,  Focus,  The Theory Of Everything, Going Clear , Cinderella ,  Man Up, Son Of A Gun

 

Phil’s 2015 Preview & Look Back At 2014 Predictions…

Phil’s 2015 Preview & Look Back At 2014 Predictions…

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick look at what’s wetting his whistle for the upcoming year in films… Yup 2015 is going to be a BIG year.

Most Excited:  Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Er of course.  What else could it be? Well probably the Avengers. or Mad max.  But actually it was always going toe Star Wars.  Even after the prequels tanked and Star Trek Into Darkness ended up being a bit of a let down, an intriguing teaser trailer and a promise of film more like the original trilogy has gotten my excitement levels peaking.  It could all still go very wrong BUT right now the signs look very good.

 

2. Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Come on did you REALLY expect anything else???  Avengers was blockbuster cinema at it’s best and so far Marvel haven’t put a foot wrong (even the ‘risky’ Guardians turned out to be a massive hit).  So the returning Joss Whedon, the additional of the excellent Elizabeth Olson, James Spader and Andy Sirkis, the fact it’s coming after probably the strongest run of Marvel film yet (Iron Man 3, Capt 2, Guardian’s) well it all means this one has VERY hight expectations attached.  Oh and judging by the trailer… it’s shouldn’t disappoint.

 

 

3. Mad Max: Fury Road
This is an odd one.  The trailer looks amazing. Tom Hardy is about as good as you can get in terms of replacing a peak Mel Gibson. And Miller has always been at his best with the Max films.  There is a BUT. And that But is it’s been forever since the last great Miller film.  And even longer since the last good Mad Max film.  BUT (again) the trailer is amazing and it IS Mad Max… so fingers (and toes) crossed.

 

 

4. Pitch Perfect 2
Oh fuck it. Come on Pitch Perfect was awesome fun. And if they go in with even a 10th of the same spirit and sense fun as they did with that film, this should be a winner.  The Pitch Is back.

 

 

5.  Bond 24
No trailer.  No story.  Pretty much no idea other than Mendes and Craig returning, alongside Skyfall alumni Whishaw, Fiennes and Harris.  Oh and Lea Seydoux.  And Christoph Waltz.  And… okay to be honest I was sold with Mendes.  Look Skyfall was probably one of the best Bond films ever.  And whilst it’s going to be hard to follow up, you kinda get the feeling if Mendes is back he has an idea.  And THAT should make this well worth a watch.  Oh and did I mention that pesky Blofeld rumour…

 

Bubbling Under: Mission Impossible 5 (At worst the last two MI films have been bloody good blockbusters), Ant Man (Could this be Marvels first flop… no), Minions Movie (It’s got Minions… ), American Sniper (Clint! Cooper! Guns!), Kingsmen The Secret Service (Great trailer! Great Cast! Great Director! ), Fast & Furious 7 (It’s still got lets), Magic Mike XXL (Magic Mike was ace), London has Fallen (Butler is back!  If it’s half as mad as part 1 it should be a hoot)

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Stinker Of The Year (Part 1): Terminator: Genisys
It pains me to say it but this just looks terrible.  A terrible title. Those horrid Entertainment Weekly cast shots. A reboot story.  An old Arnie T-800.  There’s just nothing that excited me about this film.  At all.

Stinker Of The Year (Part 2): Point Break
Fuck you Hollywood.  Point Break is about on of the most perfect action crimes films ever made. And you want to reboot it.  In the wold of ‘Extreme Sports’.  Yup Hollywood is creatively bankrupt and this is the proof.

Jupiter Ascending (They haven’t made a good film since The Matrix), Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (Ugh… really?),  The Fantastic Four (Good director, bad cast), Fifty Shades Of Grey (Shooting fish in a barrel) , Jurassic World (Trailer didn’t grab me. ), Hunger Games, Insurgent, Maze Runner Sequels (The Teen Angst thing has dramatically run out of steam)

 

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So how did I do last year?

This is the time of the year when I look back at my picks of the good, the bad and the ugly from 2014 and see how close I was (or as it often is the case, how far!)…

For the Best:  I tipped X Men Days of Future Past, Godzilla, Interstellar, The Raid 2 and The Monuments Men as my Most Anticipated of 2014.  Well X-Men was a bit of a let down for me (although critically it was very well received).  Godzilla, Interstellar &  The Raid 2 were all very good, but with only Interstellar ending up near my top 5 films of the year. The Monuments Men flopped critically and commercially and whilst it wasn’t quite as bad as everyone thought it was a let down.

As for the Stinkers?  Well Transformers: Age Of Extinction ended up being one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.  But we all knew that even before the film was made.  So that was spot on then! Jupiter Ascending slipped to 2015 so is back on that list for next year and whilst  Need For Speed was bad Robocop wasn’tthe cluster fuck we all expected (although totally forgotten about by the time end of year rolled around), Expendables 3 was great fun probably the best of the 3 films (and the unrated cut delivered all the action the PG13 cut missed) and Noah ended up being EXACTLY as expected – dull, stupid and far too long.

 

So here’s to 2014… see you again next year!

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2014

Phil’s 5 Best Films of 2014

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2014 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year. Having already covered off my worst films, next up (logically I guess)… I my pick of the BEST films of 2014.

Film of The Year: Wolf Of Wall Street
In Brief: From early on in 2014 this film stood head and shoulders above the rest for me.  Morally I can see why some people had an issue with it, but creatively this is a director back on form and actor whose never been better and a three hour film that flies by.  Brilliant.

 

2. Life Itself
In Brief:  Documentaries don’t get any better than this.  Heartbreaking, inspiring and beautiful all at once, Life Itself will grab you and not let go.

3. The Babadook
In Brief: The best independent film of the year,  The best horror film in a decade. Welcome to The Babadook then, a game changer in these days of torture porn and jump care horror.

4. Nightcrawler
In Brief:Any other year this would have been film of the year for me.  Probably one of the best performances of 2014, in a film that ends up deriving it’s crown as a modern day Taxi Driver.

5. Guardians Of The Galaxy
In Brief: Marvel does it again.  And Twice in one year with it’s other creative and commercial smash Captain America. Guardians is what a space epic should be.

Bubbling under:
Interstellar, Dallas Buyers Club, Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes, Starred Up, Captain America Winter Solider, The Guest, Cheap Thrills, Horns, Muppets Most Wanted, The Book Of Life

 

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – 2014 Roundup Best & Worst Of The Year!

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – 2014 Roundup Best & Worst Of The Year!

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

As the year comes to a close, it has to be said that on reflection, 2014 has been pretty damn good for films. The summer blockbuster season produced one of the best sequels for ages in Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, we bade a fond farewell to Middle Earth with the release of the final Hobbit film and Marvel managed to do it again with the one two punch of both Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of The Galaxy. There was also the continued rise of some really exciting actors, specifically Richard Armitage (The Hobbit and Into the Storm) Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Matthew McConaughey (just about everything).

It wasn’t all plain sailing though – Michael Bay managed to take a stinking robot sized dump on us all with the appalling Transformers: Age Of Extinction, Renny Harlin proved that Die Hard 2 and Cliff-hanger were but distant memories by giving us the risible Legend Of Hercules, and shockwaves went round Hollywood with the untimely deaths of both Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams – both wonderful, talented actors who will be sorely missed.

So to business – now remember the following is only my opinion and doubtless a certain person (no names mentioned Hobden) will be in dire disagreement with me on most of it.

Read On.

 

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2014’s Top Ten Best Films (in no particular order):

  • The Wolf Of Wall Street – one of the most entertaining, profane and downright hilarious films since Pulp Fiction.
  • The Dallas Buyers Club – managed to be both heart-breaking and very funny with a brilliant academy award winning turn from Mathew McConaughey
  • Dawn Of The Planet of The Apes -really well made with amazing SFX, Andy Serkis’ astounding motion capture performance as lead ape Cesar and some exciting top notch action.
  • Captain America The Winter Soldier -incredibly entertaining and refreshingly different.
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy – utterly mental but so much good fun – damn clever too.
  • The Imitation Game – cracking film – If Cumberbatch doesn’t win an Oscar for this there’s simply no justice.
  • Fury -highly realistic, relentlessly exciting, and superbly acted – will stand the test of time as one of the best war movies ever made.
  • Interstellar -mind bending sci fi, outstanding SFX, great direction from Nolan and yet another amazing performance from McConaughey.
  • Gone Girl -great date movie, Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike were fantastic in the lead roles, and there was the usual rock solid direction from David Fincher. A must see.
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies – certainly flawed and not as good as Return of The King, but still a cracking good movie, full to the brim with director Peter Jackson’s boundless imagination, epic battles and great acting (especially Richard Armitage as Thorin).

 

The Top Ten Honourable mentions

  • The Expendables 3 – daft as a brush, but absolutely huge fun, jam packed with fisticuffs, explosions and gunfights – plus Mel Gibson was a revelation as the villain.
  • Godzilla – Would have easily made the top ten best list if it hadn’t been for some very limp human characters and the criminal underuse of Brian Cranston. However it was exceptionally well directed by Blighty’s own Gareth Edwards and featured SFX and monster action that was frankly gobsmacking.
  • Maleficent – surprisingly lovely film, with real hidden depths and a wonderful performance from Angelina Jolie.
  • Pompeii – great action, good use of 3d that actually benefitted proceedings and a deliciously OTT Kiefer Sutherland as the chief Roman baddie.
  • Hercules – preposterous in just about every way you can think, but a rollicking good ride, featuring some top battles and good show from Dwayne Johnson.
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Another fun film – Phil hated this, but I just couldn’t help liking it – hopefully there will be more.
  • 300: Rise Of An Empire – ridiculous prequel/equal/sequel to Zach Snyder’s 2006 original. Nary a shot was without a rippling torso, severed limb or a lot of shouting, and Gerard Butler was sorely missed – but despite this it managed to be extremely entertaining.
  • The Raid 2 – Another one that would have made the top ten best list – not quite as good as the first entry, a bit talky and at least 20 minutes too long, but the presence of the indestructible Iko Uwais, Gareth Evans sure handed direction and some bone crunching fight scenes made for a absolute corker of a film.
  • Lone Survivor – Peter Berg atones for Battleship, with the true story of four Special Forces commandos trapped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan. Featuring brutal action, a welcome absence of jingoistic American flag waving and some great acting – especially from Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch.
  • Edge Of Tomorrow – Basically Groundhog Day meets Aliens –but Cruise gets his best role for a long time, plus it was really well written, and all the set pieces were excellent.

 

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The 4 Most Overrated of 2014

  • X-Men: Days Of Future Past – With Bryan Singer back directing, I expected to be blown away by this one – but instead of a welcome return to the awesomeness of X2 and X-Men 1st Class, what we got was at times a very entertaining film, that sadly let itself down all too often by miring the audience in overly talky dialogue and overblown exposition. Not only that but the ending made no sense at all.
  • 22 Jump Street : The first one was well written and funny, this admittedly was good in places – especially when Ice Cube was on the screen – but was I the only one who thought it was just a rehash of the original film?
  • Lucy – On release this was a massive box office hit – however I am still trying to fathom out as to why. Ok Scarlett Johansson was pretty good in the title role, but the story was basically a rip off of Limitless and by the end got so preposterous that it stretched even my usual levels of tolerance.
  • Snowpiercer – Despite having a good first 40 minutes plus a great title, cast and setting – this one turned out to be a right let down. Mainly due to the fact that what should have been a slam bang post apocalyptic actioner ,turned out to be a rather boring arty farty oddity that had woefully disappeared up its own orifice by the time the credits had rolled.

 

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The Top Five Worst of 2014

  1. Transformers: Age of Extinction – There are not enough words in the English language to describe the utter unmitigated hatred I have for this steaming pile of celluloid ordure. There is just no excuse for a summer blockbuster about Robots fighting each other to be nearly 3 hours long, deathly dull, mind numbingly boring, badly written and offensive. Without doubt the worst film of 2014 and quite possibly of the last 10 years too. Shameful.
  1. The Legend Of Hercules – Laughably pants, with a balsa wood infused “performance” from Kellan Lutz, crap fights; terrible direction from Renny Harlin and editing that appears to have been done with a blunt machete. Avoid like the plague.
  1. Non Stop – how on earth an action movie starring Liam Neeson of all people can be this bad is beyond me. Dire.
  1. 3 Days To Kill – Despite a spirited central performance from Kevin Costner , this meandering Taken wannabe failed miserably on every level to be even remotely engaging and provided more evidence (if any was needed) that McG is one of the most inept directors working today.
  1. The Amazing Spiderman 2 – Overly bloated sequel with an oddly dislikeable performance from Andrew Garfield as Spidey, Jamie Foxx’s awful pantomime villain, zero story and dull action scenes – which all in all made for one of poorest superhero movies for a very long time.


Next Time: My Preview of 2015

 
Author: Will Strong 

 

Blog: Interstellar – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Man did the though of this film leave me cold.  A trailer that did little for me and hype that bordered on ridiculous. It felt like the 5 star reviews had already been written.  But a week or so away from the release, sitting down to watch the film I have to say- for the most part the hype was right. This is astounding filmmaking. It’s not perfect – the Nolan’s script is lacking once again with terrible on the nose dialogue and large chunks of plot dump, the ending is pure Spielberg at it’s worst and the film because of it ends up being longer than it needed to be.  HOWEVER this is a film that demands to be seen on the big screen (the biggest you can find actually) , has visual FX that create some of the most believable worlds ever seen on screen and has note perfect after note perfect performance.  Oh and the sound.  Just… wow. So overall whilst not the 5 star classic certain reviewers would have you believe, Nolan delivers probably the best 4 star movie ever and is back on form after the lacklustre Dark Knight Rises.

Best Bit: Matthew McConaughey delivers the goods once again.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Inception, The Dark Knight, Insomnia

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Will Strong’s Preview Of 2014…

Will Strong’s Preview Of 2014…

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Quick Review

Every year Phil and Will look at what’s grabbing their attention for 2014.   Here’s Will Strong’s pick for the films to look out for in 2014…

    1. Hobbit –There and Back again (cant wait!)
    2. Godzilla (trailer looks amazing)
    3. X Men Days of Future Past (could be brilliant, could be X Men 2 good or could be meh)
    4. Interstellar (Nolan needs to deliver here but will be interesting)
    5. Pompeii (looks fun and its P WS Anderson!)
    6. Robocop (could be very good – trailer is excellent – however the original was so good I cant see this being better )
    7. Hercules The Thracian Wars
    8. Expendables 3 – Gibson, Banderas, Stallone, Arnie, Snipes etc etc  – nuff said!
    9. Fury – sounds like it could be awesome
    10. The Monuments Men – looks very good and lots of fun
    11. Captain America The Winter Soldier – im worried about this one – could be ok but the directors are very untested and are we experiencing too much Marvel output at the moment?
    12. Guardians Of The Galaxy – this will ether be Star Wars meets the Avengers or John Carter meets Dune
    13. Sabotage – looks very action packed plus Arnie is in it
    14. Edge Of Tomorrow – could be very good
    15. The Raid 2  – this could be awesome but how do you top the original?????