Mad Max Fury Road – A Quick Capsule Review Redux

Mad Max Fury Road – A Quick Capsule Review Redux

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So first time around I wasn’t blown away with Fury Road.  I found it repetitive, a bit dull and hated the way the film sidelines it’s titular character for most of the film.  Two years on… I finally got it.  Mad Max Fury Road is actually rather brilliant.  From it’s practical effects that carry weight and danger to it’s almost relentless action, Mad Max is a visually stunning ride that packs punch after punch after punch.   Theron is superb, Hardy is good (but still too muted for my taste) and the support cast memorable.  So the film STILL feels like it’s  Furiosa: Fury Road rather than a Mad Max film but oddly second time around i’d even say Max works better in a support role.  So I’m a big man who can admit his mistakes… Fury Road is a modern classic.

Best Bit: Action. Lots of it.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Mad Max, Mad Max Beyond ThunderDome, Mad Max The Road Warrior 

Top 10 Tom Hardy Performances – Motion Picture Maniac (with Venom Teaser!)

Top 10 Tom Hardy Performances – Motion Picture Maniac (with Venom Teaser!)

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

So the standalone Venom movie got its very first teaser trailer today (as I am writing this anyway) and while it didn’t give us a look at the big black beastie himself it did give us an excuse to laugh at all those heartbroken web articles, demanding answers like a bunch of football fans on the losing side as to why the studio ultimately decided not to unveil his new look. Pretending, for a moment, that the potentially post-production related answer isn’t as obvious as picking a fight with Tom “shut the f**k up you c**t” Hardy is a bad idea, or that French kissing Carnage will get your face slurped off, or – OR, get this, or that maybe, just maybe, CGI motion capture characters need to be RENDERED AND ANIMATED FIRST! HUH?

On that note, what satisfied me about the trailer was hearing Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock and REALLY liking the sound of his voice, it’s not much to go on, this being a teaser and all, but it does sound like he’s got it down and I’m really looking forward to it. So I felt like putting together a list for him, my favourite performances of his, like I really need an excuse, he’s one of my favourite actors ever and I think I’m more excited for seeing his performance rather than the fact this could be Venom getting the cinematic justice he deserves; let’s get on – here are my top 10 favourite Tom Hardy performances.

Eames – Inception: “Mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger darling”

Farrier – Dunkirk: “I’m on him”

Max Rockatansky – Mad Max: Fury Road: “*grunt*”

James Keziah Delaney – Taboo: “Good day”

Ivan Locke – Locke: “I am the father”

John Fitzgerald – The Revenant: “I found God, and I shot and ate that son of a b**ch”

Reggie/Ronnie Kray – Legend: “Oh, I prefer boys/Hello Ron, cheers mate, f**k you”

Michael Peterson/Charles Bronson – Bronson: “What do I want…? What have you got?”

Bane – The Dark Knight Rises: “Shadows betray you because they belong to me”

Tommy Riordan Conlon – Warrior: “You owe me 200 bucks”




Motion Picture Maniac 

The 25 Best… Films OF The Modern Era (1970’s – Now)

The 25 Best… Films OF The Modern Era (1970’s – Now)

Best... Other Cr*p

In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review)  along with podcaster Josh Morris, Writer Mike Parkin, Grosse Point Geek’s Will Strong and Motion Picture Manic Jamie Robinson breakdown the 25 Best Films Of each major film decade.


This time out: Films OF The Modern Era (1970’s – Now)


The close but no cigar Films: Apollo 13,Starship Troopers,Little Miss Sunshine,Lord Of The Rings The Fellowship of The Ring,The Descent,The Warriors,Airplane,Ghostbusters,The Thing,Top Gun,Social Network,The Cabin In The Woods, The Dark Knight Rises,Tree Of Life,Whiplash


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The 25 Best… 2010’s to Now Movies!

The 25 Best… 2010’s to Now Movies!

Best... Other Cr*p

In our latest regular feature, coming out the first Friday of each month, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review)  along with podcaster Josh Morris, Writer Mike Parkin, Grosse Point Geek’s Will Strong and Motion Picture Manic Jamie Robinson breakdown the 25 Best Films Of each major film decade.


This time out: The 2010’s to Now! 


The close but no cigar Films: Everybody Wants Some, The Final Girls, I Olga Hepnarova, No One Lives, The Jungle Book (2016), Hugo, The Guest, Zootopia, Black Swan, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, Drive, Florentina Hubaldo CTE



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Atomic Blonde – A Quick Capsule Review

Atomic Blonde – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Atomic Blonde isn’t the film the trailer has you think.  Less knock about 80’s spy romp with a hint of Roger Moore’s Bond, more hardcore spy thriller with sex, violence and action that puts this film on par with the likes of a John Wick (Think 007’s Licence To Kill).  The other thing to note about Atomic Blonde (other than a cracking central performance by Theron and it’s sumptuous hyper stylised 80’s Berlin ) is that it’s also oddly paced.  At times I found myself drifting off a bit, waiting for the next ‘thing’ to happen as the plot searched from one twist to the next.  That said when they do, such as the 7 minute staircase fight, they are often breathtaking with Atomic Blonde delivering some of the best action seen on screen this year.  It’s brutal, at times frustrating, at others exciting and layers in far too many plot turns for you to care by the end.  BUT it’s also unique and well worth a watch.

Best Bit: THAT fight sequence

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: John Wick, La Femme Nikita, Licence To Kill, Mad Max Fury Road

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s Top 5… Movie Trailers!

Phil’s Top 5… Movie Trailers!

Other Cr*p

Each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: Movie Trailers!

Close but no cigar:
 Suicide Squad (Ballroom Blitz Trailer), Matrix Reloaded, Blair Witch Project, Psycho,

5 – Mad Max: Fury Road
Set the scene like no other and showed us why, after all these years, Mad Max could be great again.

4 – Star Wars The Phantom Menace
Simply put this trailer still sends goose bumps down my spine even though I know the film is utter crap.  Convinced a generation that Star Wars would be good again.


3 – Terminator 2 : Judgement Day
The trailer that defined a generation of filmmaking.  Simply put it’s note perfect for a note perfect film.


2 – Alien
Just a brilliant piece of marketing in an age when trailers were mostly just functional.



1 – Prometheus
This trailer was outstanding.  It marked us a film that we wanted to see, set the bar high and then the film… well… failed miserably.


Blog: Motion Picture Maniac – Top 10 Best Films Of The Year 2015

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

Quick word of warning, these are all movies that I personally loved, looking at other top tens throughout the years I’ve noticed that quite a few people can get particularly passionate about the subject of the best films of a year, so I just want to say if you don’t like my picks then go ahead and make your own list, that’s what makes them so fun, the fact they can all be different.

Now, films like The Revenant, Creed and The Hateful Eight won’t be coming out over here in the apparently “not as cool as America” UK until January, worth a mention seeing as they’ve appeared on other top ten lists and I don’t want people thinking I didn’t like them now do I? I just haven’t seen them, and to keep the list neat and tidy, I have a rule that dictates that it doesn’t matter if a film was released during 2015, if IMDB counts it as a 2014 release, I can’t include it, which is also why you won’t be seeing Whiplash, Kingsman or John Wick on this list.

Now let’s get started:

  1. Straight Outta Compton

A movie I did not expect to like, a film that had more than a few reasons to be terrible, a film that completely blew me away. Energetic doesn’t even begin to cover it people, rap has always been a polarizing music genre but the film about NWA seems to have something for everyone, along with the perfect acting, snazzy dialogue, lack of ego and sense of scope, the film never forgot to bring the boom and burst it from the screen, it’s a music biopic that’s great; that’s saying something.


  1. Sicario

A modern western with more intensity than an apple on Halloween, with soul piercing performances by Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, perfect cinematography and direction and a harrowing tone that refuses to leave you alone, Sicario is a beautifully gritty film, vile in all the right ways, teaming with the filth of corruption all building to ending that made me want to bathe in bleach, this is a powerful and hard hitting film that left me broken and hopeless, a job well done I think.


  1. Carol

I can’t say I love this movie enough, a romance made with professionalism and maturity that does away with the tropes of lovey-dovey rubbish and actually succeeds in producing knots in throats, Carol is the kind of film that stays with you, a poignant love story with true emotional payoff, the kind that can reinvigorate romance as a genre and restore it to long lost glory. I cried during this film, I mean I really cried, the acting, the direction, the story, the characters… Good God the greatness.


  1. Avengers: Age Of Ultron

OK, I think here is where I have some explaining to do… oh wait, no I don’t; it’s my list, haha. The entire way through, I waited for something to rub me the wrong way, but that never happened. I’m a big comic book freak so I suppose it makes sense that I loved this movie, I loved the characters, the chemistry they have together, the fun the actors seem to be having and the action is insane, from the climactic group shots among waves of destruction to the fight between Hulk and Iron Man. I know explosion based action has fallen out of fashion thanks to Transformers, but just because Avengers has plenty of things going boom doesn’t mean it’s exactly like the sexist/racist masterpieces of crap that are the transformers films. Yes there are a lot of characters but this is Avengers, that’s kind of the point.


  1. Legend

I seriously don’t get the hate against this film, Tom Hardy delivers a fantastically realized duel performance as the Kray twins, people who look alike but couldn’t be more different, it’s not just about gangsters, it’s about a man torn between his family by blood and his family by marriage. The film is fun, energetic, bursting with witty dialogue, captures and tells its story perfectly and in my opinion is completely flawless. I’ve heard people are down about the tone but I simply cannot agree, it starts out fun and vibrant but begins to casually descend into darker territory as it draws to a close, very well handled I thought. I’ve heard some negative comparisons to Goodfellas, like the film just wants to be Scorsese, but if you ask me, a film about the Kray twins in the style of a Scorsese movie sounds more than awesome.


  1. Inside Out

Pixar has always been a safe bet in my opinion and Inside Out isn’t just an example, it should be a staple of just how good they can be, this is a film that stands beside the Toy Story films and Finding Nemo in terms of greatness, I suppose it’s a given that a film about emotions should also be teaming with them. It tackles a subject that very few films have dared to, particularly animated family films, it’s about depression, growing up, the way in which we can look back at our lives or how we move along with them, it brought tears to my eyes during quite a few scenes and should be shown in psychology classes; I could actually make children smarter – happy days.


  1. Ex Machina

Looking at this film one would think Alex Garland had been directing for years, but no, this is his directorial debut, and a more than impressive one at that. Ex Machina is a haunting and deeply disturbing experience that never puts a foot wrong, every scene, every shot, every moment reeks of bright futures for all involved and you would think a film of such seriousness and frightening atmosphere would be ruined by a quick blast of disco dancing, but that’s actually one the reasons Ex Machina is so unique, and of course – great.


  1. Black Mass

Johnny Depp is a great actor who has long been kept at bay from achieving his full potential and in Black Mass he doesn’t just excel, he rockets through the roof and into space. Johnny is absolutely terrifying in this film, his portrayal of real life gangster Jimmy “Whitey” Bulger is so scary, so nerve racking and unrelenting I forgot I was watching a gangster biopic and thought I was watching a full on horror film. This is a brutal and nasty film that fills it’s stage with a cast of villains and the results are spooky to say the least. Its scope is huge, its handling of its story is spot on, the false or wrong moves, everything just feels right, it’s perfectly shot, perfectly written, perfectly paced and yet, just like Legend, it received negative comparisons to Goodfellas, is that some kind of fad, comparing everything to Goodfellas? Is that what all the kids are doing now?


  1. The Martian

This is why we make and watch movies, Ridley Scott’s grand sci-fi adventure epic is 100% a perfect film, I don’t care what anybody says, I think it’s as flawless as a film can be, literally everything about it is beyond great, from the acting to the cast, the effects to the sets, the story to the humor, the cinematography to the editing, everything, and I do mean everything, was out of this world. At the end I wanted to cry, not just at the emotional payoff but the fact that everything went down so well and I could feel it, I could feel the perfection everywhere I looked. It’s upbeat, powerful, fun, charming, poignant, uplifting and all around likeable. Now only one question remains, what the hell was Ridley doing when he made Exodus and the Counselor, how could those be so terrible when he can make something as grand as this?


  1. Mad Max: Fury Road

Honestly, what else could the film of the year have possibly been? Mad Max Fury Road is one of the best action films ever made, if we were to put together a portfolio of those that define film as a whole, this would certainly be one of them. This movie is to action what Carol is to romance, what Lord of the Rings is to fantasy, what Star Wars is to sci-fi, George Miller has crafted an experience like no other, it seems to be the year of both Tom Hardy and practical effects, as much as I love films like Age of Ultron and Man of Steel as I have no problem with CGI, the practical effect has become what CGI was back when it was this great new thing. It’s exhilarating, a truckload of fun, impactful, just plain awesome and the fact that lines of dialogue have taken the Internet by storm and its characters have been hailed as some of the best ever prove that there’s a place in the history books for this one, oh yes.


Honorable Mentions

It’s frustrating because I really wish I could include these films on the list, but there simply isn’t room, you could say I should just make it a top 20 but that’s a bit of a cop out is it not? Just imagine that including them as honorable mentions is still an indication of their greatness and that they haven’t been pushed aside or deemed not good enough.

Star Wars Episode 7 – The Force Awakens
Star Wars is certainly back guys, no more of that prequel rubbish, I lovely return to form, can’t wait for Rogue One.


Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
In a world where 5th installments often suck, Rogue Nation is freakin’ brilliant, constructed masterfully in every way, it has a gun disguised as a musical instrument for heaven’s sake.


Steve Jobs
Now that’s more like it, after the abomination starring Ashton Kutcher, simply good would have done, but this was simply great instead, an example of a brilliant biopic that all others should follow.


Dark, gritty, well directed, haunting, atmospheric and who could have believed it, Arnold Schwarzenegger can actually act, he’s great in this, no really, he’s legitimately great.


The Gift
Joel Edgerton has always been a great actor, but is he a good director? Absolutely, while not being the horror thriller the trailer would have us believe, it’s certainly a thriller, with no shortage of thrills, can’t wait to see what he does next.

Author: Jamie Robinson


Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2015

Phil’s End Of Year Awards 2015

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 we’ve covered our best and our worst films of 2015, so before we look at the films coming up in 2016 here’s my ‘Alternative’ End of Year Awards for 2015…

Alternate Film Of The Year…
Sharknado 3

Surprise of The Year…
The below average nature of the years blockbusters

Performance Of The Year…
James Cameron for his press work on Terminator Genarseshite where he sated it was a great film.  It wasn’t.

Just Fuck Off and Die Award…

Sharknado 3

Trailer Of The Year Award…
Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens


The Emperors New Clothes Award…
Mad Max Fury Road


That Came Out This Year… Damn.  Totally Forgot
Blackout and Chappie.


The Oscars did WHAT this year?
Forgetting Joan Rivers.  And Richard Kiel. And numerous others…


The Poof That Award Shows Suck Award…
Oscar snub for Pride.  And Kajaki. The two best British film of last year!


The Poof That Award Shows DONT Suck Award…

Best TV Show of 2015…
Narcos. Or Daredevil. Or Ash Vs Evil Dead. Or pretty much 100 others.


The WAS the Worst Film of 2015 Award After I saw it in 2014… 
He who Dares 2: Downing Street Down


Films That SHOULD have been on my 2014 List’s but I Hadn’t Seen…
Kajaki & Pride.


Next time: Phil’s Look at 2016 and a look back at my 2015 predictions… 

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 22 Must See Films Of 2015

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 22 Must See Films Of 2015

Year In Review

So this is it…  LONG list of the best films of 2015. Our pick of the 22 best films of 2015, as voted for by our house staff (Ross Boyask, Phil Hobden, Matt Duddy, Drew Cullingham, Andrew MacKay & Josh Morris)

This will also form the basis of our short list to vote for the Film of 2015.  So how many have YOU seen?

Fast and Furious 7
Straight Outta Compton
Inside Out
No Escape
Mission Impossible Rogue Nation
It Follows
Ant Man
Shaun The Sheep
Going Clear
Mad Max Fury Road
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Listen To Me Marlon
Green Room
The Martian
White God
The Final Girls

Check back in the next few days for our final list… Take the QUIZ here

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – 2015 Preview

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – 2015 Preview

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Putting it mildly – 2015 is gonna be a belter – here are my top ten most anticipated films of next year.

  •  Mad Max: Fury Road (ETA Summer)
    The trailer blew the roof off this years Comic Con in San Diego, then to cap it all, the brand new trailer (released recently) was literally so good it had geeks the world over picking their jaws off the floor (me included). With a totally badass looking Tom Hardy as Max and director George Miller promising we will be seeing some truly balls out action, hopes for this one are now stratospherically high.

  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron   (ETA Summer)
    Marvel’s Phase 2 series comes to a close with the hotly anticipated sequel to the 2012 masterpiece. With a great looking trailer and Saint Joss of Whedon returning to write and direct, this has the potential to be absolutely bloody outstanding.

  • Jurrassic World (ETA Summer)
    After watching the new trailer a few weeks ago I’ve actually got a very positive feeling here. New director Colin Trevorrow is an exciting new talent and the casting of Chris Pratt (Guardians of The Galaxy) looks like a stroke of genius. So despite some reservations, I’m really looking forward to this film.

  • Terminator: Genysys (ETA Summer)
    I don’t want to say it but I ‘m having serious doubts. There hasn’t been a truly decent Terminator sequel since T2 in 1991. Rise of the Machines wasn’t bad, but the fourth entry – 2009’s Salvation was a total mess. Also one does get the impression that this is a very tired franchise that the studio is desperately trying to wring out the last dollars from. On the plus side it does have Thor: Dark World’s Alan Taylor at the helm and good old Arnie is back as the Terminator. Despite this though, the recently released trailer looked somewhat iffy and from what I have read they seem to have just rehashed the same story all over again. I hope I’m wrong.

  • Fast 7 (ETA Summer)
    Never been the biggest fan of this franchise, but parts 5 and 6 were great fun and with the introduction of Jason Statham’s baddie and a returning Dwayne Johnson this could be a rollicking good ride. However with the very sad passing of Paul Walker last year, one does wonder how they are going to retire his character with any degree of plausibility. Worth a look though.

  • Ant Man (ETA Spring)
    Marvel and Kevin Feige haven’t put a foot wrong for years, but if anything is going to be their Achilles heel it’ll probably be this one. Edgar Wright left the director’s chair very abruptly after spending God knows how long developing it. He was then replaced by Peyton Reed (no me neither), the character isn’t really that well known outside the comic fan base and if you ask me the name ‘Ant man’ doesn’t exactly scream “hard as nails superhero”. Plus with Avengers 2 just round the corner, Marvel is really going to have to go some to get people to watch this.
  • SPECTRE- e. the new James Bond film. (ETA November)
    Director Sam Mendes is back, Christoph Waltz is the villain and Daniel Craig returns as 007. After the billion dollars grossing Skyfall, all the signs are there that this could be another winner for everyone’s favourite superspy.
  • Taken 3 – (ETA Jan/Feb)
    Taken 2 was a total stinker, but after recently watching the rather good trailer for this second sequel in the ever popular action franchise, I get the impression that we could be in for a return to the ballistic bone crunching fun of the original. Here’s hoping!

  • Geostorm – Directed by Dean Devlin (producer of Independence Day) and starring Gerard Butler, this sounds like it could be a right corker. The plot has something to do with a deadly super storm and a race to stop a presidential assassination. Sounds ridiculous and more than likely will be – but with Devlin behind the camera and Butler in front of it I’m willing to go on a little faith.

And finally, last but not least……………….

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens. (ETA 18th December)
    With JJ Abrams directing, Lawrence Kasdan writing, and the return of most of the original trilogy’s cast (plus the Millennium Falcon) – this has all the hallmarks of being something very special indeed.  However…….if JJ and Lawrence happen to be reading this (doubtful) I would just like to say that the hopes of several million Star Wars geeks are banking on you delivering a film that is A. of exceptional quality B. intelligently written, and most of all -C. chock full of blistering sci fi space action!As you are well aware – none of us have forgiven George Lucas for the way he mercilessly crapped all over our childhoods 15 years ago, and frankly – we ain’t gonna stand for it again! So (to quote Top Gun) – if you two screw this one up, I guarantee that the next job you’ll have is flying a cargo plane full of rubber dog shit out of Hong Kong!!You have been warned lads.

Right, that’s it from me for 2014 – may I take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful Christmas, a prosperous new year, and as ever…… may the force be with you.


Author: Will Strong