Creed 2 (2018): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Creed 2 (2018): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog

Plot in a nutshell: Newly crowned world heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Johnson) faces an irresistible challenge by undefeated Russian fighter (and man mountain) Victor Drago (Munteanu)  who just so happens to be the son and boxing protege of one Ivan Drago (big Dolph) who killed Adonis’s father Apollo Creed 33 years previously (see Rocky IV for more).

However, Adonis’ trainer and mentor Rocky Balboa (Stallone) wants nothing to do with it, feeling that Adonis is doing the fight for all the wrong reasons and is likely to get seriously hurt in the process.

To say anymore would spoil it for you but safe to say that if you have seen any of the other Rocky films you can pretty much guess the rest.

What worked? Very much like 2015’s Creed, all the performances are absolutely superb – Stallone is of course brilliant as Rocky (in his 8th go around), Johnson is extremely good again as Adonis as is Tessa Thompson as his long term girlfriend Bianca. Munteanu also does very well in what could have been a standard villain role but instead manages to give Viktor a good deal of depth which was very refreshing. Finally Dolph Lundgren is absolutely superb and a total joy to behold returning to his most famous role as Ivan Drago – snotty critics take note  -never let it be said that this guy cant act as he is bloody fantastic here. Lastly the boxing matches are very well staged  – particularly the bruising climactic bout and naturally there’s a great training montage which will have you clapping and cheering.
What could have been better? As good as it is this sequel doesn’t quite scale the heights of its 2015 predecessor, the original Rocky or for that matter the sixth entry Rocky Balboa.
Newcomer Steven Caple jr does well in the directors chair but lacks the same raw flair and edge of Ryan Coogler (who takes an executive producer credit here) also for me the filmmakers could have had Stallone and Lundgren share more scenes together and this seemed like a wasted opportunity. Finally the film does drag a bit in the middle somewhat. 
Best Scene: What else? The training montage, the big fight between Drago and Creed and naturally THAT music theme.
Review summary: Not as bonkers as Rocky IV nor as good as some of the other entries, but despite some shortcomings Creed 2 is a damn good sequel and another great entry in this wonderful and seemingly never ending franchise. 


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Will Strong

The Austin Powers to Phil Hobden’s Dr Evil, it’s fair to say Will spends his life trying to convince Phil that Paul WS Anderson ISNT a bad filmmaker, that The Hobbit movies really are THAT good and, for the most part, Phil is wrong about most things. Which he is.

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… The Oscars That Should & Shouldn’t Have Been! EXTENDED

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… The Oscars That Should & Shouldn’t Have Been! EXTENDED

Ross and Phil Talk Movies

This episode Ross & Phil Talk… The Oscars That Should & Shouldn’t Have Been!

This episode we jump on the Oscar bandwagon, we give out the very first (and unofficial) Stunt & Action Oscars (the quippyly titled Boscars) and take a look at the best and worst decisions of the academy in our lifetime. All in a special extended 60 minute episode.

Hosted by Award winning Filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmamker Phil Hobden.

Films Discussed: The Departed, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Gladiator, Baby Driver, GI Jane, Brawl In Cell Block 99, Moonlight, Forrest Gump, Goodfellas, Dances With Wolves, Tootsie, Rocky, Room, Titanic, Hacksaw Ridge, Jailbreak, Fate Of The Furious,Trainning Day

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies

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The 25 Best… 70’s Movies!

The 25 Best… 70’s 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 70’s. 

The close but no cigar Films: Rollerball, The Omen, Deliverance, Halloween, Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers, Bednobs And Broomsticks, The Outlaw Josey Wales, The Wicker Man, All The Presidents Men, Blazing Saddles, Monty Python And The Holy Grail, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Slapshot


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Phil’s Top 5… Sports Underdog Films

Phil’s Top 5… Sports Underdog Films

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Sports Underdog Films!


Close but no cigar: Kingpin, Tin Cup, Million Dollar Baby, Rocky Balboa, Moneyball


5 – Bloodsport
Yeah so Dux maybe a martial arts expert, but chased by the military, entering a no hold barred tournament never won by a Westerner  before, the odds are firmly stacked against him.  Love Bloodsport.


4 – Cool Runnings
A true (ish) story, Cool Runnings is one of the most unbelievable stories ever told.  Featuring a great cast (including the late John Candy) it’s a heart warming tale.


3 – Major League
Cheesy for sure.  But when Wild Thing kicks in, there’s not one person watching the film that doesn’t feel their heart pounding.  Charlie Sheen’s never been better.


2 – Rocky
THE sports underdog film, still rating up there as one of the greatest films of it’s time.  An Oscar winner with a career defining performance at it’s core… few top it.


1 – The Karate Kid
For me, even more so that Rocky, The Karate Kid is the quintessential sports underdog film.  Greta montages, cheesy music and Elisabeth Shue.  Say no more.





Counterpunch – A Quick Capsule Review

Counterpunch – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Counterpunch takes an interesting look at three boxers at different stages in their career – the pro, the Olympic hopeful and the up-and-comer set against the background of a sport whose popularity is on the slide.  It’s an intimate portrayal for sure that, excuse the expression, pulls few punches.  It’s a really interesting documentary and is backed up with opinions from some serious legends such as Sugar Ray , De La Hoya and more.  It’s one flaw is the lack of acknowledgement of MMA as a legit contender to boxing. This aside if you like combat sports this is a must.

Best Bit: It’s a Great Story

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: When We Were Kings, Rocky, Tyson

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden

Top 10 Movies Of The 70’s – Motion Picture Maniac

Top 10 Movies Of The 70’s – Motion Picture Maniac

Motion Picture Maniac

Ah the 70’s, such an odd decade, one we’re looking back on today for its contribution to cinema and the films it gave us, pretending for a moment that the first thing that comes to your mind when someone mentions the 70’s isn’t “oh yes, the time taken for the LSD induced insanity of the 60’s to transform into the cocaine fuelled haze of the 80’s; but I digress, here are the 10 best films of all the 70’s according to my stupid opinion; I really wanted to make it a top 20 if only to include all the well known classics and avoid sparking hatred but what can you do? Here’s hoping counting them as honourable mentions is good enough.

10. Monty Python And The Holy Grail

I tried picking a quote for this one, it couldn’t be done.

9. Alien

My skin still crawls when I think of the chestburster scene.

8. The Godfather

One of the greatest Gangster epics of all time, how can you top it…?

7. The Godfather Part 2

… Oh, that’s how.

6. Watership Down

The bloodiest U rated film of all time – that’s saying something.

5. Days Of Heaven

One of the most well shot films I have ever seen, and hey, Richard Gere can act.

4. Manhattan

My favourite Woody Allen film, just perfect in every way.

3. Badlands

Terrence Malick’s first, and I love his recent works so screw you.

2. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Vile, sadistic and ugly – what’s not to love?

1. Star Wars

What can I say except what the hell else was it going to be?

Honourable Mentions:  Aguirre: The Wrath Of God, Jaws, Taxi Driver, The Exorcist, The Life Of Brian, Duel, Dawn Of The Dead, Apocalypse Now, Saturday Night Fever, Rocky, A Clockwork Orange, Assault On Precinct 13, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, Annie Hall, Salo Or The 120 Days Of Sodom

Jawbone – A Quick Capsule Review

Jawbone – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jawbone is a cracking British social boxing drama.  Think I, Daniel Blake meets Rocky.  Or Southpaw.  Look any film that gives Ray Winstone a chance to act (rather than yell ‘cunt’ and shout a lot) is a good thing and he remains one of the best British actors working today.  But it’s Johnny Harris’ film and he is excellent.  Broken, damaged but with hope behind his eyes, his performance misses the usual cliches that litter these films and when the boxing finally arrives he looks every bit the pro. Jawbone is a top notch film and well worth your time.

Best Bit: Winstone

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: I Daniel Blake, Rocky, Southpaw

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden

My Favourite… John G. Avildsen Film

My Favourite… John G. Avildsen Film

My Favourite… Other Cr*p

As death continues it’s relentless march through the gifted and talented of TV and film, My Favourite… celebrates those we have lost by taking a look at a slice of their best work. Well sometimes best, sometimes just the one I like the most.

This time out: My Favourite…. John G. Avildsen (1935-2017) Film



Daniel (Ralph Macchio) moves to Southern California with his mother, Lucille (Randee Heller), but quickly finds himself the target of a group of bullies who study karate at the Cobra Kai dojo. Fortunately, Daniel befriends Mr. Miyagi (Noriyuki “Pat” Morita), an unassuming repairman who just happens to be a martial arts master himself. Miyagi takes Daniel under his wing, training him in a more compassionate form of karate and preparing him to compete against the brutal Cobra Kai.

It didn’t break any ground, it wasn’t the film he won an Oscar for and for the most part it’s not even that well made (and the less said about the ‘Karate’ on display the better) BUT director John G Avildsen’s The Karate Kid was still one of the most seminal films of my childhood and even now, 30 plus years on, stands as a damn entertaining film that time has dented too much.  It was also the film that made me fall in love with Elisabeth Shue, has one of the best movie songs of the decade (“Your The Best”) and launched a million attempts by kids of all ages to pull of a crane kick (Which no one did until years later Anderson Silva pulled it off in the UFC).   Yeah so Avildsen did Rocky (a far more worthy film) but The Karate Kid was the one that kept me coming back to watch it year after year.


See also:Rocky, The Karate Kid Part 2, The Karate Kid Part 3



Phil’s Top 5… Oscar Best Picture Winners

Phil’s Top 5… Oscar Best Picture Winners

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: to celebrate this years Academy Awards, I take a look at my favourite 5 Best Picture Winners.  No Crash is NOT included.


Close but no cigar: Braveheart, The Godfather, Platoon, The Deer Hunter, The French Connection, The Unforgiven

5 – The Silence Of The Lambs
It’s an amazing accomplishment which finishes on a high with some of the best fantasy action ever captured on film.  It’s infinitely rewatchable and even the multiple drawn out endings cant take away it’s enjoyment.

4 –  The Silence Of The Lambs
One of the best horror thrillers, it features a memorable protagonist and an excellent central performer by Foster.  So good is  The Silence Of The Lambs that numerous sub-par sequels have failed to take away from it’s lustre. (See also Hannibal on TV for Lecter done well)

3 –  Rocky
The definitive boxing movie and probably the definitive sports film, most people forget Rocky was a Best Picture Winner. So iconic it’s still referenced all these years later.

2 – Schindlers List
Spielberg finally recognised after years of snubs, Schindlers List is a heart wrenching true story directed with brutality and flair. It packs and emotional punch and hasn’t been dulled by age or familiarity.

1 – The Godfather Part 2
The second best Gangster film and one of a few films where the sequel out shines the original, The Godfather Part 2 is epic filmmaking at it’s height.  Who needs Brando.



Phil’s Top 5 (ish)… Mondo Movie Posters

Phil’s Top 5 (ish)… Mondo Movie Posters

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Mondo Movie Posters!

Yup the coolest movie posters on the planet and here are my top 5 (and one extra!)