‘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…
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: This week we welcome back Josh who unfortunately had to cut his trip short after getting into a prang with a moped. Unlucky for him but lucky for us! We cover Ocean’s 8, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Not only that but we also take a look at some movie news, and our top five this week involves Science being used for Evil!
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: Jurassic Park/World movies…
5 – Jurassic Park 3
Totally forgettable instalment that retread the same ground once again. Added little to the franchise.
4 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom It’s not a bad film but Fallen Kingdom is just dumb. It’s also completely wrecked by the trailer which pretty much gives away everything.
3 – Jurassic World Jurassic World was fun but I don’t rate it as much as most do. Good action but dumb characters.
2 – Jurassic Park: The Lost World
I always felt Jurassic Park: The Lost World was underrated. Yes it’s fair from perfect but it has some excellant sequences and Spielberg on low gear is still better than most directors out there.
1 – Jurassic Park Jurassic Park was superb and still delivers a story, characters and FX better than any other Jurassic World/Park movie.
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is an odd film. Narratively it’s a mess but it does manage to deliver a few stand out sequences, even if the film overall fails to hang together. That said it quickly felt like we’ve been here before as stupid characters do stupid things to drive the plot into a series of cheap pay offs, each of which were given away by the trailers (which also includes one of the last shots of the film). As is the plague of 2018 blockbusters the CGI is woefully inconsistent, ranging from amazing to rather poor – often in the same scene. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom isn’t without some merit but if they are to make a third film in this trilogy, I hope they finally pay off the threads that have been teased since the second Jurassic Park film and finally keep the dinosaurs in our back yard.
Best Bit: The house
Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Jurassic World, Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park
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: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
“It’s a brave choice to literally blow up everything that’s come before but one that definitely pays off in Fallen Kingdom”- 8.4
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom says goodbye to the park for good, not just carrying the de-extincted dinos off the island but freeing itself from the genre trappings of the previous four films. ” –
“This is a Jurassic sequel that plays it both adrenaline-pumpingly huge and thrillingly small. A summer ride that will drive kids out of their minds, and maybe even give the parents nightmares.” – 4/5
“It’s the first “Jurassic” film to come close to pretending that it isn’t a ride at all, and as a result it ends up being just a so-so ride ”
” Even on first watch, though, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom impresses as a brave, beautiful and fun summer popcorn flick.” -3/5
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Kong Skull Island is a damn fun film. It’s not going to trouble the Oscars (Okay MAYBE it’s Effects. Maybe) but I’ve had much worse times at the cinema and even found myself smiling on more than one occasion. From Jackson’s Colonel Kurtz, to Hiddleston’s audition for Bond to the camp script, OTT monster vs monster smackdowns and stupid plans it ticks all the boxes you want from a Summer blockbuster and for once it’s lack of Michale Bay style editing means most of what happens can be seen and enjoyed. So taken for what it is, I highly recommend Kong as a good way to spend time in the cinema.
Best Bit: Kongpocalypse Now
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Godzilla (2014), King Kong (2005), Jurassic World
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: So the best film ever made? No. Not even the best film made about CGI dinosaurs. In a summer of hyper, critical love and box office smashes, Jurassic World does what it needs to and returns all the same thrills in similar types of movies that you’ve seen in the last 20+ years since Spielberg delivered his Jurassic Park. But that’s kinda the problem. Jurassic World does little new, little interesting or little standout. The CGI is okay, the script at times poor and the actors exist only to move you to the next CGI set piece. It feels at times like a computer game being played that you get to watch.
Hell whatever I say however, you’ll see it anyway but this could have been so much better.
Best Bit: T Rex vs Uber Dinosaur
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park 2, Jurassic Park 3
Our very own Grosse Point Geek Will Strong casts his crucial eye over two new releases: Spy (2015) & Jurassic World (2015)
Director: Paul Feig
Actors Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Jude Law, Miranda Hart
McCarthy plays an overweight desk bound CIA agent who is called up for a dangerous mission when her action man partner (Law) is apparently killed by Rose Byrne’s bitch on wheels super villain. I have to admit that when i read the reviews for this, i was quite intrigued to see it – however after 2 hours of limp comedy, buffoonish pratfalls, a screeching McCarthy and crap action – i really wished i hadnt bothered. To say the least i hated this with the kind of vengeance that i only usually reserve for a Michael bay movie.
After seeing four of her films, I simply fail to see the appeal of Melissa McCarthy – OK i’ll admit she can act, but does she really have to play the same sweary obnoxious character in EVERY film she appears in? Also – who in the hell does this Paul Feig person think he is? – Oh yes that’s right he’s the comedy director of the moment, the one that mainstream audiences flock to whenever his name is on a poster, same as they did with Reitman, Landis and Apatow – and look what happened to them! One can only hope that his Ghost-busters reboot can cut the mustard or i fear that we will have seen the last of him.
I will however say one thing for Spy – it does feature a very funny turn from Jason Statham, who really should concentrate more on comedy or (as we saw with Furious 7) bad guy roles, and it is he alone who saves this generic rubbish from being the one star dud that it deserves to be.
At Cinemas now
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Actors: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’onofrio, B.D Wong
After a number of false starts (i.e running, screaming, death) John Hammond’s dream of a dinosaur theme park has finally become reality in the form of Jurassic World. Situated on the island of Isla Nublar – it attracts thousands of visitors every year, but in an effort to keep the profits flowing, its owners have created a new attraction – the Indominous Rex – a hydrid dinosaur that is even bigger and badder than the T-Rex. Unfortunately, said beastie is also highly intelligent, mean as a snake, and filled with a burning desire to escape its captive surroundings as soon as possible – which naturally it does – with somewhat destructive results.
In 1992 Steven Spielberg gave us Jurassic Park, which i still believe to be the last brilliant blockbuster he directed before going all serious with Schindler’s List, then trying and failing to get it all back with the last (and deeply crap) Indiana Jones film and various other misfires like Minority Report and Tin Tin. Featuring astounding ground breaking effects and relentless action, Jurassic Park set the bar so high that most filmmakers to this day are still trying to emulate its success – it is without doubt, one of the greatest films ever made. Sadly the same cannot be said of the two sequels that followed. The Lost World was certainly entertaining in parts but mostly average, and the less said about the Joe Johnson directed Jurassic Park 3 the better. Mercifully the same cannot be said of Jurassic World – which manages to not only crap all over the previous two sequels but almost manages to give Spielberg’s original a run for its money as well.
To begin with, the casting of Chris Pratt is a stroke of genius. He was fantastic in last years Guardians of The Galaxy and here firmly cements his leading man status with a great turn as grizzled Raptor wrangler Owen Grady – a total bad ass hero type that he absolutely nails to a T – and on the evidence here the guy is surely a shoo in as the new Indiana Jones. Bryce Dallas Howard also does well as the corporate damsel in distress type – proving to be just as adept in the action stakes as she is fending off Pratt’s nefarious flirting – however the fact that she manages to do a Usain Bolt type sprint, wearing high heels does beggar belief. Kudos must go too to director Colin Trevorrow (Safety not Guaranteed – see it asap – superb) who keeps proceedings going at a rare old pace, is obviously a filmmaker who plainly knows what audiences want from a big summer film – which is rollicking good action -and to his credit delivers this in spades – and then some.
Special mention must also be given to Industrial Light and Magic’s incredible dino effects -particularly the Indominous Rex and the Velociraptors , which are simply a marvel of CGI ingenuity – no more so than in the absolutely thrilling climax.
On the negative side i did have some quibbles – at its heart the story really doesn’t break much new ground and in places annoyingly copies a few of the of the original films character subplots. However these are somewhat minor complaints in what is a cracking piece of cinematic gold – in short i absolutely loved this film and i thoroughly recommend you see it asap.
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)
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)
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.