Black Hawk Down (2001) – A Quick Capsule Review

Black Hawk Down (2001) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Rewatching Black Hawk Down it still remains a truly stand out Ridley Scott movie.  It’s a film that combines an amazing cast (Piven! Hartnett! Bloom! McGreggor! Fichtner! Sizemore! Bana!) with a punishing narrative, loud bloody war action and a heart pounding true story of heroism. It’s over the top, in your face and brutal.  But it also tells one hell of a story.  Beautifully shot, expertly edited… modern war movies don’t get much better than this.

Best Bit:Little Birds & Mini Guns!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Crimson Tide, Lone Survivor, 12 Strong

 


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Mile 22 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Mile 22 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
What a mess Mile 22 is.  From  Mark Wahlberg’s OTT yet oddly flat performance to Lauren Cohen’s equally silly overacting to Peter Berg’s instance in taking one of the best martial artists in film and making so you can’t actually see what he does… it’s just a disaster.  Especially considering that Berg CAN direct action.  The script is amateur, the acting film school worthy and the story, ultimately, pointless.  Yet it has flashes of what Berg CAN do when he’s on fire but sadly this is much more like Battleship than Lone Survivor.

Best Bit: It does have some nice action… when you can see it

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Lone Survivor, Deep Water Horizon, Patriots Day

 


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12 Strong – A Quick Capsule Review

12 Strong – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
12 Strong is actually far better than I expected.  Set against the back drop of 9/11 and based on a true story, 12 Strong is a solid action war film charting the heroics of a mostly unacknowledged (at least at the time) team of special forces soldiers who were the first into Taliban controlled Afghanistan.  It’s action packed, full of over acting and the script could do with a refinement but it’s entertaining and never dull.  Recommended.

Best Bit: Charge!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Black Hawk Down, The Hurt Locker, Lone Survivor

Grosse Point Geek – 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story Of The Horse Soldiers

Grosse Point Geek – 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story Of The Horse Soldiers

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

The Film: 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story Of The Horse Soldiers

Directed by: Nicolaj Fuglsig

Principal Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, William Fichtner, Navid Negahban.

Plot Summary

Based on an actual true story  – In the days following 9/11, a 12 man US Special Forces team led by Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth) is deployed to Afghanistan to join up with a local militia group and their General (Navid Negahban) to take the fight to the Taliban.

Nutshell Review

The Good: Superb direction by first time helmer Nicolaj Fuglsig, plus the photography and camera work are very impressive  – no where more so than in the outstanding action scenes – especially the climactic battle which is edge of the seat exciting.  Finally, all the central performances are excellent – particularly Hemsworth and Negahban who are both highly believable and very likable in their respective roles.

The bad: A few of the characters are underdeveloped  – mainly some of the 12 US Special forces guys and the female characters.

The could have been better: The title of the film is weak – they should have stuck with the original title which was ‘The Horse Soldiers’.

Best Scene: The final battle  -outnumbered and outgunned, Hemsworth and the lads mount up and take on a heavily armed, fifteen thousand strong Taliban force  – cue enormous gunfight, bombs, tanks, rockets and explosions  – made all the more incredible due to the fact this actually happened.

Worth Paying to see at the cinema?: Definitely

Worth buying on Blu Ray/DVD?: Yes

See this if you liked: Black Hawk Down and Lone Survivor

Score:

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

Patriots Day – A Quick Capsule Review

Patriots Day – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The team behind Deepwater Horizon are back for a look at the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings in what is a workman like effort.  Walhberg plays the lead once again (his third film with Berg)  alongside a top draw support cast featuring John Goodman, JK Simmons (criminally wasted in a small role), Kevin bacon and Michelle Monaghan (again wasted). It’s interesting for sure and well made but it lacks the spark director Berg brought to Deepwater Horizon.

Best Bit: Tense shootout

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor, Hacksaw Ridge

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Good Kill – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Good Kill – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Good Kill simply put is the film American Sniper SHOULD have been. Expertly exploring the issues around modern day distance warfare and how the rules of engagement effect those doing tend dirty work the film is lead by a recent career best performance from Ethan Hawke and some taught direction from Andrew Niccol which never once strays into the obvious.  Overall if you hd to pick between this as Eastwood’s film this wins by a mile.

Best Bit: Justice

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: American Sniper, Lone Survivor, Black Hawk Down

 

Author: Phil Hobden

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.

 

[divider]

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.

 

[divider]

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.

 

[divider]

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: Grosse Point Geek – Best & Worst Of 2014… So Far!

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Best & Worst Of 2014… So Far!

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

So here’s Will’s Best & Worst of 2014 so far…

Best Films So Far:

  1. The Wolf Of Wall Street
  2. Dallas Buyers Club
  3. Captain America 2
  4. Noah

Worst film so far

  • Non Stop

 

Honouree Mentions

  1. Jack Ryan
  2. 300: Rise Of An Empire
  3. Lone Survivor

 

Great Films of 2013 that I’ve seen in 2014

  1. Riddick
  2. 21 and over

 

2014 Films I cant wait to see

  1. Godzilla
  2. Guardians Of The Galaxy
  3. Interstellar
  4. X Men Days Of Future Past
  5. Expendables 3
  6. Hobbit: There and Back Again

 

Most annoying future films

  1. Star Wars Episode 7 – don’t care about knowing too much about the plot  – but for God’s sake JJ  -stop messing about and just tell us who you have cast in the bloody thing!!!
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road: Seemingly the forgotten blockbuster – Started filming in 2012, finished in November 2013, $100 million budget, no trailer, no clips, just a handful of on set photos, and a  sketchy plot outline that says some thing about “word burgers” …………….All I can say is that after the amount of  time George Miller has kept us waiting, this film had better be damn good!!

2014’s Hang Your Head In Shame award

Robert Rodriguez – by the end of the year you would have released 2 sequels to films you directed in 2005 and 2010 and a TV series that’s  a remake of a film you made in 1996. Not only that but you sold us all short by having the bare faced cheek to call Predators (2010) a “true sequel” then making something that was a cheapo remake of the original and paled in comparison to Predator 2.

To be frank your unoriginal, low budget, “chopped, scored and shot” approach is wearing thin mate – do something original and stop recycling your own material – also for the love of God and Mammon – do us all a favour and drop the Grindhouse films  -they were pants in the 70’s, they are just as pants now, no one but people like you ever used to watch them………….. and in case you hadn’t noticed – Machete Kills, Hell Ride, Planet Terror and Death Machine all flopped!!!!! So in case you haven’t got the message yet  – No one wants to watch them!!!!!


Author:
Will Strong