Cinderella (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Cinderella (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
As old school and classic Disney as you can get, Kenneth Branagh’s retelling of the classic Cinderella is a charming, funny and beautiful film that will be loved by older children and just about tolerated by most parents!  Actually that’s pretty harsh – the filmmaking craft alone on display here is worth watching (sumptuous visuals, glamorous clothing and stunning sets), as are the central  performances of Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Game Of Throne’s Richard Madden.   And in fact whilst it’s pitched, and often feels like classic straight Disney the Cinderella as presented here is no wallflower, instead a strong, independent Disney princess up there with some of the best of them.  So overall whilst you’ll be dragged along by the kids, you’ll probably end up secret quite enjoying it.  I did.

Best Bit: The Ball

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Buy (for the kids)

If You Liked this Try: Enchanted, In The Woods, Maleficent

 

 


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Cinderella (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Cinderella (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
As old school and classic Disney as you can get, Kenneth Branagh’s retelling of the classic Cinderella is a charming, funny and beautiful film that will be loved by older children and just about tolerated by most parents!  Actually that’s pretty harsh – the filmmaking craft alone on display here is worth watching (sumptuous visuals, glamorous clothing and stunning sets), as are the central  performances of Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Game Of Throne’s Richard Madden.   And in fact whilst it’s pitched, and often feels like classic straight Disney the Cinderella as presented here is no wallflower, instead a strong, independent Disney princess up there with some of the best of them.  So overall whilst you’ll be dragged along by the kids, you’ll probably end up secret quite enjoying it.  I did.

Best Bit: The Ball

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy (for the kids)

If You Liked this Try: Enchanted, In The Woods, Maleficent

 

 


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Blog: Cinderella – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Cinderella – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
As old school and classic Disney as you can get, Kenneth Branagh’s retelling of the classic Cinderella is a charming, funny and beautiful film that will be loved by older children and just about tolerated by most parents!  Actually that’s pretty harsh – the filmmaking craft alone on display here is worth watching (sumptuous visuals, glamorous clothing and stunning sets), as are the central  performances of Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Game Of Throne’s Richard Madden.   And in fact whilst it’s pitched, and often feels like classic straight Disney the Cinderella as presented here is no wallflower, instead a strong, independent Disney princess up there with some of the best of them.  So overall whilst you’ll be dragged along by the kids, you’ll probably end up secret quite enjoying it.  I did.

Best Bit: The Ball

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy (for the kids)

If You Liked this Try: Enchanted, In The Woods, Maleficent

 

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: Maleficent – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Maleficent – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It’s no secret that as a rule I avoid Angelia Jolie films.  It’s nothing personal but her constant pout and general “I’m Better than everyone” demeanour has never endeared her to me.  I’m also not a great fan of Sleeping Beauty. So it means a lot then that, for the most part, I quite enjoyed Maleficent.  Okay so it has far too much CGI, Jolie still makes an unappealing lead and Elle Fanning’s doe eyed glare at almost everything grated after  while but despite all that the film has enough charm, invention and heart to make it at worst an entertaining diversion.  Needed to be a little scarier though…

Best Bit: Groot????

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Sleeping Beauty, Jack & The Giant Slayer, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Best & Worst of 2014… so far (June 19th 2014)

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Best & Worst of 2014… so far (June 19th 2014)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Best Films Of 2014… So Far:

1. Wolf Of Wall Street (brilliant)
2. Dallas Buyers Club (utterly amazing)
3. Captain America Winter Solider (up there with Iron Man and The Avengers as one of Marvel’s best)
4. Godzilla (The best monster movie since Jurassic Park – what it lacks  in good human characters is more than made up for by Gareth Edwards’ outstanding directing talents)
5. Edge Of Tomorrow (very very good indeed)

Honourable Mentions:

300 Rise Of An Empire (good fun), Maleficent (Angelina is incredible in this), Lone Survivor (top notch action), Noah (odd but dammed good), The Raid 2 (slow in places, but the last 20 minutes contain some of the greatest action scenes of all time), Pompeii (top movie -read my review) Jack Ryan (relentlessly exciting plus Pine, Knightley and Costner are very good)

 

Worst Films Of 2014… So Far:

1. The Legend Of Hercules (I’m still reeling rom this one  – so gob smackingly bad it makes Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space look positively Oscar worthy by comparison)
2. Non Stop (the title is a contradiction in terms)
3. 47 Ronin (very poor)
4. 3 Days to Kill (boring boring boring)
5. The Monuments Men (criminally wasted opportunity – George’s worst since Ocean’s 12)
6. Amazing Spiderman 2 (bleedin’ awful)

Most Over hyped film on 2014
Snowpiercer – good but cant see what all the fuss was about – and just this once maybe the Weinstein’s were right to ask for a re-edit)


Dis-Honourable Mentions
:
Robocop,  X Men Days Of Future Past , Transcendence
Best films seen this year from 2013:
Warm Bodies, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty


2014 – Most anticipated:

Expendables 3
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Guardians Of The Galaxy
Gone Girl
Interstellar
Fury

 
Author: Will Strong 

 

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Quick Reviews (Edge, Angelina, Punch, Bruce and more!)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Will’s round up of the latest films he’s seen…


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Edge Of Tomorrow

Director: Doug Liman
Actors: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton

Despite what others on this site would have you believe, this mash up of Groundhog Day and Starship Troopers is an absolutely top film. Jam packed with superb action sequences, great SFX, and two fantastic performances from Cruise and Blunt – it’s a must see for all fans of fast paced ,high quality sci fi action movies and is Cruise’s best film since Mission Impossible 4 – highly recommended.

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Maleficent

Director: Robert Stromberg
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley

Didn’t really want to see this – but very glad I did – Angelina is simply wonderful in the title role -brilliantly managing to make her character of Maleficent both charming, evil, tragic and extremely funny. Stromberg’s direction is excellent and the whole thing is a visual feast for the eyes. Smashing film, absolutely perfect for a mum and daughter trip to the movies, with a great plot that isn’t as straightforward as the trailers would have you believe. Superb

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Odd Thomas

Director: Stephen Sommers
Actors: Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe.

A $25 million plus budget and big name director at the helm still couldn’t get this into cinemas (some kind of legal issue apparently). Available now on Netflix – Yelchin is Odd Thomas -a sort of goofy equivalent of John Constantine who can see demons and dead people. Strange film – not bad – with a good central performance from Yelchin and some inventive special effects. Not the most original of plots (very similar to the Frighteners in fact) but worth a look.

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Welcome To The Punch

Director: Eran Creevy
Actors: James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Peter Mullan.

McAvoy is the obsessed cop who join forces with master criminal Mark Strong to bring down a gun running cartel in London. Well photographed, Strong is fantastic, and some of the action isn’t bad. However the plot is utterly predictable, McAvoy is badly miscast (he looks way too young for a hard bitten detective) and it desperately wants to be the UK version of Heat – which it isn’t by a damn sight. A very average film and more proof, if any was needed, that the British just cant compete with Hollywood when it comes to action movies.

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The Assassination

Director: Brett Simon
Bruce Willis, Reece Thompson.

Thompson is the class nerd who writes for the school paper and uncovers a massive conspiracy involving drugs and stolen exam papers, Bruce Willis plays his slightly mental school principal. Well directed, good screenplay, an inventive plot and a great turn from Willis (yes I couldn’t believe it etheir!). Recommended for all fans of Brick and Easy A. Not the greatest film ever made but very enjoyable and worth a look even if its just to watch Bruce in a rare well acted role.

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Author: Will Strong