‘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 first thing that strikes you about Kingsman: The Golden Circle is just how long it is. With a near two and a half hours run time, this had to be one hell of a good film to pull it off. It isn’t. Well not quite. BUT it’s also not the critical bomb you may have been led to believe. As is often the case the truth sits somewhere in the middle. A middle that’s too long and baggy for sure. But when it hit it hits well, with Julianne Moore being a particular stand out. So, far from dull and far from bad, but with a tighter script and tighter editing this film could have been on par with the superior original.
Best Bit: Bar Fight Mk 2
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Kingsman, Kick-Ass, The Man From U.N.C.L.E
Another year goes by and like very much like 2016 its been a mighty disappointing one for us film geeks.
The blockbuster season (which started in about April) was without doubt the worst i have ever known – littered with remakes, sequels and reboots that proved there is a total lack of any new ideas flowing through Hollywood at the moment. Time and again it seemed that millions of dollars had been simply thrown away on the likes of utter rubbish such The Dark Tower, Valerian, King Arthur and that awful Transformers sequel, with nary a single passing thought to investing in creating proper stories, decent scripts or even a hint at actual risk taking. Instead, for the most part we got nothing more than good looking dross aimed at the 12A moron crowd who wouldn’t know a proper film if it came up and bit them on the arse.
What is painfully obvious is that the film industry as a whole needs to completely take stock, cease trying to create the next expanded universe or indulging talentless idiots like Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay and (whisper it) Luc Besson and start delivering edgy, daring material that at least has a go at being original, thought provoking and dare i say it – not solely aimed at the average 12 year old boy, then maybe we would have a chance of far more satisfying years at the cinema than this one turned out to be.
I will concede that it wasn’t all bad as there were a few shining lights. Logan proved to be the best X-Men film since X2, Dunkirk solidified Christopher Nolan as one of the greatest directors working in Hollywood today, Thor Ragnarok was utterly insane and turned out to be the funniest and most enjoyable standalone film of the MCU universe, Fast 8 was great fun and Star Wars The Last Jedi was fantastic, in addition some smaller more independent films also managed to impress – the likes of Wind River, Manchester By The Sea, Molly’s Game, Lion and A Monster Calls were all top notch. Plus there were some great performances – Chris Evans, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Jessica Chastain, Mark Rylance and many others all did very well in challenging and memorable roles that impressed critics and audiences alike.
However, despite this i still have to say that over all this year was sadly a massive let down and one can only hope that 2018 is a significant improvement……we live in hope.
So without further ado please see below my personal list of the good, bad and in many cases very ugly films of 2017.
Top Ten Best
Star Wars The Last Jedi
A Monster Calls
Manchester By The Sea
Blade Runner 2049
War For The Planet of The Apes
Top Ten Honorary Mentions
Wheelman (catch it on Netflix – its great)
John Wick Chapter 2
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Top Fifteen Worst:
Transformers:The Last Knight (the cinematic equivalent of being disemboweled with a blunt spoon then slowly and choked to death with ones own entrails – I HATED this film)
Underworld 5 (god-awful rubbish)
XXX3: The Return of Xander Cage (at least 15 years out of date, bereft of entertainment value and utterly juvenile to boot)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (horribly crass, overlong and an insult to the brilliant original)
The Discovery (torpor inducing nonsense)
The Snowman (considering the talent in front and behind the camera it beggared belief as to how rotten this film was)
Ghost In The Shell (boring and bland in the extreme)
Free Fire (crap)
Unlocked (mega crap)
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (a misfire and a complete mess of gargantuan proportions)
Silence (Scorsese’s $40 million dollar vanity project that was, without a shadow of a doubt THE most boring cinematic experience I have ever had in my entire life)
The Bye Bye Man (just bad bad bad)
The Dark Tower (a catastrophic waste of time and money – how this version of Stephen King’s classic novels managed to get the green light from the studio I will never know)
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (Johnny was good value as always but this moribund franchise needs to end with immediate effect)
Assassins Creed (good looking film but could have been so much better)
Top Fifteen Favorite Performances:
Chris Evans – Gifted
Mckenna Grace – Gifted
Hugh Jackman – Logan
Mark Rylance – Dunkirk
Ryan Reynolds – The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Frank Grillo – Wheelman
Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game
Adam Driver – Star Wars The Last Jedi
Mark Hamill – Star Wars The Last Jedi
Chris Hemsworth – Thor Ragnarok
Jeff Goldblum – Thor Ragnarok
Dwayne Johnson – Fast 8
Chris Pine – Wonder Woman
Andy Serkis – War For The Planet Of The Apes
Tom Holland – Spiderman Homecoming
Top Ten Best Action Scenes:
1.Star Wars The Last Jedi: The final battle – Chewie and Rey arrive in the Falcon in the nick of time
2.Thor Ragnarok – That god almighty scrap on the Bifrost Bridge – all brilliantly played out to Led Zepellin’s classic Immigrant Song
3.Star Wars The Last Jedi – The Throne Room Lightsabre duel
4.Dunkirk: Tom Hardy’s RAF spitfire pilot desperately tries to bring down a German Bomber before it kills scores of soldiers who are stranded the water plus pleasure boat captain Mr Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter -total edge of the seat, nail biting stuff – all together now “Come on Farrier!”
5. Fast 8 – Jason Statham (plus very cute baby) vs an entire plane load of baddies
6. Fast 8 – Dwayne Johnson vs speeding torpedo
7. Wonder Woman – The No Man’s Land dash
8. Spiderman Homecoming – The Washington Monument rescue sequence
9. Justice League – The League’s first proper battle with Steppenwolf and the Para Demons
10. Thor Ragnarok – Thor vs The Hulk
Best One liners:
“Im gonna shove your teeth so far down your throat that your gonna have to shove a toothbrush up your ass to clean ’em!” – Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) – Fast 8
“Im gonna beat you like a Cherokee drum!” Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson – again) – Fast 8
“By the beard of Odin you will not cut my hair!” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
“Please kind sir do not cut my hair!” – Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
“I have legendarily huge turds” – Drax (Dave Bautista) – Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2
“What the F….!!!!!” Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) Spiderman: Homecoming
Right, there we have it – my work here is done for another year – as ever i would like to thank my dear friend Phil Hobden for letting me contribute to this fantastic website (despite the fact that he is still remains to be utterly wrong about Paul WS Anderson and The Hobbit Trilogy!) and finally my heartfelt thanks go out to all our loyal readers (whoever the hell you are)
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
My name is Will Strong and i’ve been Grosse Pointe Geek.
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: We have a license to kill (a perfectly good podcast) and we aren’t afraid to use it! In this Spy themed episode we review the slightly disappointing Kingsman: The Golden Circle, we go over our Top 5 Spy Movies and Josh is in the classroom to share his thoughts on Leon.
Three years on from single handedly saving the world, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now a fully fledged Kingsman and living in London with his Swedish princess girlfriend (Hannah Alstrom). All is going great until the Kingsman HQ and all of its agents are wiped out by a mysterious drug baron played by Julianne Moore. On the run and with no one to turn to Eggsy and Merlin (Mark Strong) high tail it to the US to find the Statesmen – the brash American equivalent of the Kingsmen.
Back in 2014 Matthew Vaughn gave us Kingsman: The Secret Service – which, putting it mildly was an absolute bloody joy of a film. Brilliantly managing to blend James Bond with the classic story of Pygmalion, it was brash, funny, action packed, perfectly cast, featured a star turn from Egerton and gave Colin Firth one of the best roles he has ever played (and that’s saying something).
In short i loved it.
Sadly the same cannot be said of the sequel. Now i’ve no idea what Matthew Vaughn and screenwriter Jane Goldman were thinking, but dear God almighty did they get it wrong here.
To begin with there is none of the charm that made the first film so good, yes Firth, Strong and Egerton are all great – but one never feels as engaged with their characters in the same way as before. Plus moving the action to America kind of makes sense but the first films success owed alot to its quintessentially British setting and the absence of this factor sticks out like a sore thumb.
Its also painfully over long – clocking in at a whopping 141 minutes, and considering how paper thin the plot is – it outstays its welcome by at least half an hour. This is so frustrating as if i’ve said it once i’ve said it a million times, there is no reason for any blockbuster – let alone an action film – to have more than a two hour running time. As we’ve seen with the likes of the Transformers franchise – audiences just lose interest if a film of this ilk is too long and filmmakers need to realize this.
There is also the odd casting of Channing Tatum – who features so strongly in the posters and trailers, but only appears briefly in thinly drawn supporting role that serves no purpose to the story whatsoever -indeed one wonders why he even bothered to appear at all as it makes no sense for an actor of his star wattage to play such a thankless part. Speaking of casting -a certain Elton John appears as himself in an excruciating, unfunny and seemingly never ending cameo that (very much like Tatum) was completely pointless – it must also be added that the Rocket Man can’t act for toffee and really should stick to his day job.
Another gripe i had was how lacking this sequel was in the sharp barbed humour that made itspredecessor so good. Whereas Kingsman part one managed to be chock full of laughs , here we get very little of that, instead there was a rather nasty streak of crassness that in one particular scene bordered on the offensive and was so poorly judged that i’m amazed it got a pass from the studio let alone the censors.
I will admit that it isnt all bad – an opening car chase/punch up in London is really good, and all of the action scenes are well handled, however this doesn’t make up for all the other issues mentioned above which drag the film down and make it the staggering disappointment that it is.
To conclude i simply cant express how let down i feel here -especially by director Matthew Vaughn , who has been so consistently good up until now. He did such great work the likes of Kick Ass, X-Men 1st Class and the first Kingsman – but with this film he’s badly messed up.
Want to know what all the influential news sources think of the latest hot release? 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: KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE.
Overall Critics Say
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle is as cheeky, cartoonish, and crazy as its predecessor, but it’s also commendably unafraid to demolish what had come before it if it’s in service of the story.”- 8.5
” The Golden Circle often feels precisely tailored when it should’ve been cut a little looser. ” – 3/5
” As ultraviolent as the first film, and as ultrasmutty, The Golden Circle will leave the Kingsfans grinning, even if its characters have less growing to do this time around.” – 4/5
“t’s not like anyone has ever accused James Bond of being realistic, but the “Kingsman” series has gotten so outlandish that “Moonraker” suddenly looks plausible by comparison.”
” The Golden Circle provides another slice of original insanity, peppered with colourful characters, great performances and yet another soundtrack to purchase.” -3/5
Full credit to original sources. Links to websites provided.
Phil’s Quick look at what’s wetting his whistle for the upcoming year in films…
Well 2016 was a bit… odd. With most of the big films not quite hitting the mark, especially comic books films. 2017 looks like more of the same – big budget super heroes, franchises, remakes and sequels. Here’s the films I’m most looking forward to in 2017.
Most Excited: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Marvel continues to do solid work, with Doctor Strange being a highlight of 2016. Also Guardians was, simply put, bloody terrific. Oh and have you seen THAT trailer. Baby Groot? Atomic Bomb? Yup. Sold.
2. Star Wars Episode 8 Lucasfilm in the hands of Disney have given us two very good Star Wars films in the shape of The Force Awakens and Rogue One. With the original cast (mostly) returning, more promised on the origins of Kylo Ren and Rey as well as a full return to the movies of Luke Skywalker… Episode 8 should be pretty special.
3. War For The Planet Of The Apes Rise was great. Dawn even better. And now War. Based on THAT trailer and a synopsis which promises the final showdown between ape and man (which should lead to the end of the world/Charlton Heston) this could be one of the best films of the year.
4. John Wick Chapter 2 John Wick was old school, martial arts awesomeness. John Wick 2 promises a LOT more of the same. I have my seat booked.
5. T2: Trainspotting Trainspotting remains one of the best films of the 90’s and one of the best British films ever. Whether T2 follows the source material of Porno or not is still to be seen but either way with the cast returning and Boyle back behind the camera this should deliver a great film.
Bubbling Under: Baywatch (Excellent Trailer),Lego Batman (It’s Lego. Batman. Done), Spiderman: Homecoming (this could go either way to be honest but I’m hoping…), Silence (Scorsese. I’m in), Alien: Covenant (come on it HAS to be better than Prometheus!), The Dark Tower (could be the King adaptation we’ve always waited for), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Original was amazing, same team).
Stinker Of The Year: Transformers: The Last Knight The previous 3 Transformers films have each rated in AT LEAST the bottom 3 of year they were released (some even rock bottom). Looking at the trailer for the fifth (yes FIFTH!) Michael Bay Transformers film does little to convince me that this will be anything but an utter mess. It’s a bit like shooting fish in a barrel sure but come on there has to be ZERO chance of this being any good.
Also Dreading: Wonder Woman (The trailer is lacking, the film just doesn’t grab me), Blade Runner 2049 (Silly title, a sequel we just don’t need), Power Rangers (Urm not needed, not wanted), Logan (Want tone wrong but so far these films have just not worked), XXX: Return Of Xander Cage (Diesel is back. Nobody cares), Cars 3 (1 & 2 weren’t great) , The Mummy (Tom Cruise. A Mummy. I’ll pass).
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 2016 and see how close I was (or as it often is the case, how far!)…
For the best: I tipped Captain America Civil War, Creed, Finding Dory, Deadpool & London Has Fallen as my most anticipated of 2016. Somewhat of a mixed bag with Creed & Deadpool sitting close to my top 10 with Creed my film of the year for a few months near the start of 2016. Finding Dory was good but not good enough. London Has Fallen, well that ended up being one of the worst films of the year for me. As for Captain America Civil War? It promised a lot but fell short of the far superior Winter Solider from a few years back and Marvel’s very own Doctor Strange which was the best superhero film of the year.
As for the Stinkers? Point Break was terrible as expected and landed firmly in my bottom 5 for 2016. Batman Vs Superman was actually pretty fun (if flawed), The Hateful Eight overrated as I expected but there were worse films in 2016, Ghostbusters was forgettable, Warcraft was everything that’s wrong with game movie adaptations and the combination of sequels Divergent Allegiant & Independence Day Resurgence showed that both franchises have zero fun left in them and even less commercial appeal. Only Star Trek Beyond rose above the dross as a truly fun film (until the silly somewhat overblown ending).