Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends Turd of 2018 Award: Red Sparrow

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends Turd of 2018 Award: Red Sparrow

Quick Review Year In Review

The votes are in, they have been counted an verified and I can now proudly announce the Winner of 2018’s Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests Turd Of The Year award is…

Red Sparrow

Yup for the second year running Jennifer Lawrence takes home the award for Worst Film! This wasn’t unanimous but it pulled over 50% of the votes!

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.




Other Nominations: Annihilation, Death Wish (2018), CloverField Paradox 



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Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2018

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2018

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2018 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 we’ve covered our best and our worst films of 2018, so before we look at the films coming up in 2018 here’s my ‘Alternative’ End of Year Awards for 2018…


The Most Entertainingly Bad Film Of The Year Award…


The Gerard Butler Award For Consistently Making Entertainingly Terrible Films
… Will return in 2019 when Butler stars in Den of Thieves 2, Naya Legend of the Golden Dolphin, Angel Has Fallen, Afterburn and many more…



Surprise of The Year Award…
Mandy.  If enough monkeys with typewriters can write Shakespeare then enough filmmakers can eventually make a good Nicolas Cage film again…



Performance Of The Year Award…
Blumhouse for making enjoyable film after enjoyable film this year…



Just Fuck Off and Die Award…
Netflix ‘Original’ Sci-Fi Movies… Annihilation, Cloverfield Paradox, Mute, Tau and MANY others!



Yup, I’m over them Award…
Jennifer Lawrence



I may have just slept through that Award…
A Wrinkle in Time



Oh that came out THIS year? Award…
Tomb Raider



Come In Your time is Up Award…
Comic Book Films. 2018 was good but not great year for comic book films.  Avengers, AntMan and Black Panther were good enough and Deadpool 2 was Deadpool 2. But even I’m feeling a wee big fatigued now…



Trailer Of The Year Award…




Let Down of The Year Award…
Solo. It didn’t suck.  But it was also the worst Star Wars Film since Attack of The Clones.  Which meant it was a huge let down…



Emperors new clothes Award…
The Shape Of Water

Runner Up: A Star Is Born



How did they screw this up Award?
Mile 22 – Peter Berg and Marky Mark



The not actually that popular popular award to…
The Oscars for the on off Popular Oscar award




Cameo of The Year Award…
Drag race alumni Alaska in The Last Sharknado (as well as Drag race alumni Shangela in A Star Is Born)  



You should have left Spacey in it…
All the Money In The World




The Oscars only like REALLY famous dead people award for missing out other stars who died Award…
Tobe Hooper & Adam West




The Poof That Award Shows DONT Suck Award…
Roger Deakins FINALLY wins an Academy Award



The Proof That Award Shows Suck Award…
Roger Deakins FINALLY wins an Academy Award but really it took THIS long.



Overboard, Superfly, Death Wish remakes



Less Is, Er, Less Award…
Ocean’s 8



The Year Of ‘Yeah that was okay’ Sequels Award
2018 for The Predator, Sicario 2, Equalizer 2, Escape Plan 2, Pacific Rim 2



Films That SHOULD have been on my 2017 List’s but I Hadn’t Seen…
Mayhem, Icarus, The Greatest Showman, Better Watch Out 



Next time: Phil’s Look at 2019 and a look back at my 2018 predictions… 


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Phil’s Top 5… Actors Who Don’t Inspire Me To See A Film

Phil’s Top 5… Actors Who Don’t Inspire Me To See A Film

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Actors Who Don’t Inspire Me To See A Film


Close but no cigar: Gwyneth Paltrow, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell


5 – Angelina Jolie
Like many here she’s made a film or two I like but now a-days her public persona and her worthy movie output does nothing to inspire me to buy a ticket.


4 – Sean Penn
Over the top, intense, driven, annoying… take your pick.  Penn does little for me as an actor and his films even less.


3 – Jennifer Lawrence
Be it Mother!, the mop film, American whatever, The Catching fire thing… i just don’t get her or why she is rated so highly.  I appreciate many others do. 


2 – Johnny Depp
There was a time where Johnny Depp could do no wrong.  Think Ed Wood era.  But now in the later years of his career his name is now synonymous with OTT acting and boring films.  See Pirates, the Kevin Smith Films, pretty much anything since 2000….


1 – Daniel Day Lewis
I get it. He’s won a bundle of awards, his method style is legendary but his name before a film does VERY little to inspire me to watch it.



Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #093 – Red Sparrow, Lady Bird, Game Night

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #093 – Red Sparrow, Lady Bird, Game Night

The Podcasts The Smoking Lamb Podcast

It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.

On this episode: Join us as we talk about everything to do with the Oscars!!!

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast


Red Sparrow – Review Round Up

Red Sparrow – Review Round Up

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p

Want to know what the critics think of the latest hot releases but don’t want to have to search for them?  Well look no further as we round up the reviews from 5 of the most influential sources for the latest BIG RELEASE movie.

This time out: Red Sparrow 

Overall Critics Say


“This tale of espionage should have stayed classified.”- 2.5


” A solid espionage thriller that’s lifted by its charismatic leads, Red Sparrow commits to the brutality of its subject matter, meaning it’s never easy viewing.” – 3/5



“Red Sparrow is a promising beginning to a potential new spy franchise. Just be aware of its unexpectedly barbed edges. ” – 3/5


“Jennifer Lawrence gives a star performance as a Russian spy driven by survival in an espionage thriller that’s (gratifyingly) more talk than action”

Red Sparrow is probably too downbeat and bitter to be quite the mainstream hit it’s marketed as. ” -3/5



Full credit to original sources.  Links to websites provided. 

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #071 – Mother!, American Assassin

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #071 – Mother!, American Assassin

The Podcasts The Smoking Lamb Podcast

It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.

On this episode: He’s back! Josh returns to a whopper of an episode. We have two great reviews of Mother! and American Assassin, a Top 5 on Posters That Ruined The Movie as well as our most creative Address The Lamb yet!

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast


Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Reviewed

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Reviewed

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Grosse Point Geek turns his critical eye to the fourth and final Hunger Games Movie…

Director: Francis Lawrence
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore.

Picking up directly where Mockingjay Part 1 finished, we find Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) recovering from her attack by the brainwashed Peeta (Hutcherson), meanwhile the Resistance, led by President Coin (Moore) are preparing for all out war on Panem’s capital city.

Last i year i wrote a review of Mockingjay Part 1 – and whilst perfectly acceptable, it was nothing more than half a film. As a result i refused to give it a star rating as, basically how can you rate something that was incomplete?
So it was with much anticipation that last weekend i went to see this, the conclusion of the rather splendid Hunger Games series. Now what i expected was a full on action movie that (if the poster was to believed) promised to be chock full of action, gun fights, explosions and all manner of exciting escapism. What i got instead was sadly way short of the mark.

Frankly to say that this film was a disappointment of epic proportions would be the understatement of the millennium. Yes i will admit that it has it good points. For a start its universally well acted – the principal players ( Lawrence, Moore, Hoffman, Sutherland and especially Josh Hutcherson) are all excellent. Director Francis Lawrence builds up lots of tension, and a refreshing air of unpredictability, plus throws in some really good set pieces – in particular a lengthy underground chase sequence that proves to be relentlessly tense and very exciting.
However, just as things are starting to get really enjoyable, the whole film comes to an catastrophically unbelievable, soul crushing stop that totally ruins everything that has come before. Now without saying too much, what should have been a slam bang climax to what is, at its heart, an action franchise, ends up being nothing less than a total damp squib of the first order. Putting it mildly, never before have i been so disappointed as i was here.

Now in many cases the practice of splitting a film is understandable – The Hobbit, Lord Of The Rings, Harry Potter and even Kill Bill needed several chapters to tell their stories – however this final part of the Hunger Games did not. Overall when one looks at both the two Mockingjay films it becomes blindingly obvious that one instalment would have more than sufficed. Indeed had the studio had been driven by more than just how much money they could wring out of this now concluded franchise and had any respect for the fans, they could have delivered a film that should have had potentially Star Wars levels of action  in it, rather than the bafflingly dull effort we have here.

In short  – a huge letdown and a totally wasted opportunity.


Author: Will Strong


Blog: The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 1 – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 1 – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Hunger Games films have always been a bit hit and miss to me.  The first one didn’t grab me at all, being a low rent PG13 version of Battle Royale,  but oddly I was quite engaged with Catching Fire and hoped this would be an upward trend of the remaining two films.  Sadly Mockingly Part 1 lives up to it’s books reputation as being more than a little disappointing.  It’s not bad but in two hours other than a lot of shouting and crying, little actually happens.  Lawrence and the films awesomely impressive cast are great but the story gives them nothing to do.  So not bad just really dull.  Let’s hope Part 2 finally delivers…

Best Bit: The hospital

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Borrow

If You Liked this Try: Hunger Games, Hunger Games Catching Fire, Divergent


Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 1 Reviewed

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part 1 Reviewed

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

After the events of ‘Catching Fire’, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is now safely ensconced in the underground rebel hideout of District 13, and has been shanghaied by its leader (Moore) to be the spearhead of a publicity campaign to lead the other districts in an all out rebellion against  the evil President Snow (Sutherland) and his totalitarian government. 

Director: Frances Lawrence
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland.

In past i have not exactly been backward in coming forward with my dislike of Hollywood’s never ending obsession with adapting young adult novels into films. To say the least i hated Divergent, loathed The Mortal Instruments and don’t even get me started on the bloody Twilight series.

Despite this however – i have always liked the Hunger Games. Both the previous two entries were extremely well made, superbly written, relentlessly exciting and featured very strong performances from the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland. Indeed i am  pleased to say that Mockingjay has all of this – but –  and its a big but – its only half a film (the other half is due next year) and maddeningly ends very abruptly just when it moves into high gear and starts to get interesting.

Ok I can understand why the studio cut it in two –  they wanted to make more money, which makes complete sense from a business point of view – but in doing so they have completely and utterly short changed the audience, who will now have to cough up more money in 2015 in order to see how the whole thing ends. Now in the past this has been necessary  – The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies had way too much story to tell in anything less than 3 films a piece, and frankly I didn’t mind shelling out to see them as they were all brilliant (i haven’t yet seen the 3rd Hobbit film as its out later in December). I could even see the point of splitting Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in to two parts, as again the book is just too big for one film.

However with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay this was a totally unnecessary move, as a great deal of its story is nothing more than padding and window dressing for all the good stuff (i.e. fighting) that is going to happen in the next film. Indeed on reflection i completely struggled to see the point of it all. There isn’t that much action, the story doesn’t really move forward and as good as she is, Jennifer Lawrence is given very little to do other than mope and incessantly worry about  Hutcherson and Hemsworth.

Don’t get me wrong i did like Mockingjay – but because its only half a film i truly am at a loss as to how to properly review it, so just this once i am not going to give it any stars at all because until i see part 2 next year its going to be impossible to form a  proper opinion about it.



Author: Will Strong 


Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Will’s 10 quick reviews

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Will’s 10 quick reviews

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Over the past few weeks i have managed to watch a large amount of films – i would normally write full reviews on all of them, however time does not permit, so for your perusal please see below 10 quick reviews of films i have recently seen.

* * * * * * * *

2 Guns

Director: Balathazar Kormakur

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington

Some funny one liners, action scenes are plentiful but uninspiring, Wahlberg and Washington have good chemistry, but ultimately this is a rather average effort that plays like a poor mans Lethal Weapon – passes the time, but that’s it.

* * * * * * * *



Director: Robert Swenkte

Starring Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds.

One of the biggest flops of 2013  and a shameless rip off of Men In Black, the sfx are shoddy, the plot contrived and its at least a quarter of an hour too short – however Reynolds and Bridges are very good and the final 20 minutes are pleasingly action packed – certainly not the worst film I’ve ever seen.

* * * * * * * *

I Frankenstein

Director: Stuart Beattie

Starring Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski

Made by the same people who did the Underworld Series – bit silly, woeful effects, terrible script and a very miscast Eckhart – but quite enjoyable in parts and certainly not as bad as all the critics would have you believe.

* * * * * * * *


The Legend Of Hercules

Director: Renny Harlin

Starring Kellan Lutz

Words fail me on this one . Looks like it was edited with a chainsaw,  script appears to have been written by a ten year old and Kellan Lutz’ “performance” as Hercules resembles nothing more than a large plank of balsa wood. By far and away THEworst film of 2014 and candidate for one of the worst films ever made – staggeringly awful. And yes you read that right- its directed by Renny Harlin  – on this evidence the glory days of Cliffhanger and Die Hard 2 are but a distant memory.

* * * * * * * *


Director: David Ayer

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington

Another flop – one of the worst of Arnie’s career in fact. Shame really as its not half bad. Well acted, well made, gritty, with some pretty good action scenes. The problem isn’t the film per se  – its Arnie – unfortunately he’s played this kind of role too many times and to be honest he’s looking a bit past it to really be credible any more.

* * * * * * * *


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Director: Francis Lawrence

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson

Absolutely superb sequel to 2011’s The Hunger Games, Lawrence, Harrelson and Sutherland are all superb, as is the direction, story and production values  – cracking film, very exciting – don’t miss it.

* * * * * * * *

The Worlds End

Director: Edgar Wright

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Martin Freeman.

The third entry in the “Cornetto Trilogy” is a crashing disappointment on a epic scale, featuring annoying characters (especially Pegg’s), an appallingly unfunny script and a rubbish story.

Absolutely pales in comparison to the frankly brilliant Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Dear God Edgar, what the hell went wrong here mate??????????

* * * * * * * *

3 Days to Kill

Director: McG

Starring Kevin Costner, Amber Heard

Despite a top notch turn from Costner, this action thriller simply doesn’t cut the mustard. Persistently slows down when it should be going full steam ahead, overlong and is suspiciously reminiscent of Taken.

– another dud from McG.

* * * * * * * *


Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco

A great performance from Johnson cant save this from being a very standard actioner, not bad, but Seagal was churning these out in his sleep 20 years ago.

* * * * * * * *


Director: Gary Fleder

Starring Jason Statham, James Franco.

Good old fashioned beat em up, plenty of fisticuffs and gunfights, written and produced by Sly Stallone, Statham is great value as ever, and Franco is excellent as the bad guy – but what in the name of Zeus’s butthole is he doing in this kind of film????????????????!!!

Author: Will Strong