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!)


Blog: Creed – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Creed – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well few people saw this coming 10 years ago when the Rocky franchise was languishing in oblivion.  Yes years after most people forgot about Rocky films firstly we had Rocky Balboa (which is exceptional and a step above Creed… just) and now Creed a sequel/franchise reboot that gives you everything you love about the Rocky Movies (training montages, OTT fights, camp) and adds what could be a career best for producer Stallone (not writing or directing for once).  Creed is exceptional and works both as a sequel and the launch of a franchise of its own.

Best Bit: All In One Shot

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Rocky Balboa, Rocky, Southpaw

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: All Things Film – Creed (2015) Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – Creed (2015) Reviewed

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

Boxing films haven’t done too well this year. I refer specifically to Southpaw, a film I had high hopes for, but which turned out to be sour. That film had an established director and writer. Creed does not; Co writer and director Ryan Coogler makes his debut in the mainstream ring, and Michael B. Jordan plays Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis. If someone had told me with the odds weighing in at the beginning of the year that Creed would knock Southpaw out in every respect, I’d have said they were mad.

It’s a very curious way to keep the franchise alive. We open with a teenage delinquent who’s passed from foster home to juvenile detention in LA. This is Adonis, the offspring of Apollo Creed to an extramarital affair, being rescued from a life of crime by Creed’s wife. He grows up to be a successful businessman but jacks it all in to travel to Philadelphia to take up boxing. He finds Rocky at his restaurant and persuades him to train for a title fight. His opponent is a loud-mouthed Liverpudlian named Ricky Conlan, played by newcomer Tony Bellew.

Shifting locations to Liverpool was a strange move. Trying to inject a ‘hip’ urban streak into the proceedings is to be expected; thematically, Creed as a movie is nary different to something like Straight Outta Compton; beat for beat, punch by punch, this is underdog story writ large. If there’s any criticism to be had, then it’s in the finely drawn, tried-and-tested beats we know it will follow. it’s as sure as the training montages. But, happily, Creed contains its fair share of surprises as well. You all probably know how this one will end. And you’d be sort of half-mostly right.

Creed exists in the modern age; there are always drawbacks and downsides, but the main temperament to keep fighting brings the spirit alive. As we’re frequently told, it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts.

Michael B. Jordan is superb as Donnie Creed, having to wade through an immense amount of physical and emotional treacle. Stallone, as ever, is Stallone; hard-boiled, tired and ever the skeptic (at first) and there are at least a dozen nods, both in the dialogue and visually, to the franchise before. In much the same way Rocky Balboa from 2006 doffed its hat to its title character’s age, so too does Creed.

I’m sure this is down to fresh, new talent. Coogler attempts, successfully, to have Creed’s first fight in a one-take, roving-camera three minute sequence; it creeps up on you, and before long you realise that with carefully crafted cutting you’re right in there with the action. Some of the best boxing moments in the film borrow heavily from that scene in Snatch (thought with less frivolity) and some ducking and weaving from Raging Bull. And for every cliched turn of events (the love interest between Jordan and Tessa Thompson goes through the motions) there’s always a pang of ingenuity. Rocky himself is dealt a particularly vicious hand from fate about half way through the movie.

It all adds up to a mostly familiar, yet nevertheless engaging, crowd-pleaser. It won’t be troubling the top ten of 2015 in a couple week’s time. Unless of course it’s a top ten list named “I really thought that was going to be shite, but it turned out pretty good fun, actually”.


Author: Andrew Mackay


To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download our very own show, The Film Podcast! 

Blog: All Things Film – Southpaw (2015) Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – Southpaw (2015) Reviewed

All Things Film Blog Other Cr*p Uncategorized

Visiting the IMDb’s trivia section after seeing the film makes so much sense. This boxing melodrama starring Jake Gyllenhaal has been written by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy and The Shield) and has its roots buried deep as a sort of parochial follow-up to Eminem’s 8 Mile, with Marshall Mathers in the lead role.

Yes, this makes sense. Of course it does. Directed by Antoine Fuqua so soon after The Equalizer and Olympus Has Fallen, Southpaw seems rushed and buried at its own disposal. The trailers reveal a mighty grit to the endeavour. It’s far too sloshy and miserable in general.

Sure, Gyllenhaal is very good in the lead role; clearly putting a lot of physical effort in to the recently bereaved and tormented fighter. The problem is that there’s no-one to root for. The culprit here is Sutter, who writes as if he’s eight years old with a crayon. The beats can be seen a mile off. It’s riches to rags to riches. Absolutely no surprises anywhere. It says something when your onscreen daughter manages to outshine you – Oona Laurence from Penny Dreadful is a scarily good actor and has a bright future ahead of her.

Everyone else is either wasted, appears too late to make much of a difference, or, worst still, phoning in their performance (McAdams, Whitaker and Fiddy Cent respectively). The film, much like its star character, has an almost regressive modular existence. It’s far too preoccupied with immediate stealth, and resolution – blindsided by its own narrow field of vision when it comes to justice. The set up is third-rate bait material. The closure is not any better.

It’s simply a piss poor film.


Author: Andrew Mackay


To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download the Filmsploitation podcast, part of the All Things Film network. 

Filmsploitation’s 100 Best Films… #75-51

Filmsploitation’s 100 Best Films… #75-51


Part Two of our run down of Filmsploitation’s 100 Best Films as chosen by a select team of hosts, podcasters, fans and writers from All Things Film, Filmsploitation and the Filmsploitation Facebook group.

So here’s numbers 75-51…


Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Top Ten Best Sports Movies Ever Made

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – The Top Ten Best Sports Movies Ever Made

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

As you are aware, this month sees the start of the 2014 World Cup, that 4 yearly footballing tournament that makes temporary widows out of our wives and girlfriends,  turns normal peace loving males into raging right wing xenophobes and is the source of untold misery for any and all England fans (myself included).

So in the light of the fact that Roy’s men will most likely have been unjustly dumped out of the tournament within the next 3 weeks and we will all require cheering up as a result,  I have compiled a list of the top ten best sports movies ever made  – all guaranteed to alleviate those familiar feelings of crushing disappointment and the desperate need to purchase extra strength lager or illegal narcotics to dull the inevitable pain of another failed England penalty shootout.

* * * * * *

Slapshot (1977)

Director: George Roy Hill

Actors: Paul Newman, Strother Martin,)

George Roy Hill’s film of a down on their luck Ice Hockey Team who resort to extreme violence to win games is possibly one of the funniest movies ever made. With hilarious sight gags (the mad as cheese Hanson Brothers are a standout) extreme profanity and Paul Newman in one of his greatest roles – if you haven’t seen this one then you should be ashamed of yourself

Best Bit:  Too many to choose from – Strother Martin ranting down the phone at Paul Newman(“you cant put a bounty on a man’s head!!”), the Hanson’s first game where they proceed to beat up and /or mercilessly scythe down half  the opposing team (plus the ref) and Newman’s classic parting insult to the Charlestown Chiefs uppity lady owner – which is far too rude to repeat  – even on this website!

* * * * * *

Rocky 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6

Directors: John G Avildsen (Rocky) Sylvester Stallone (Rocky’s 2, 3, 4 and 6)

Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Burgess Meredith, Talia Shire, Mr T, Burt Ward, Carl Weathers, Dolph Lundgren.

The first entry  bagged a handful of Oscars, and made Stallone a star, the rest got more even preposterous as they went on  – but did we care?  – like hell we did.

Full of one liners, fantastic  training montages, the greatest music score ever written and  amazing  boxing matches that, despite being completely daft, never fail to thrill with each repeated viewing.

Best bits: Again – too many to choose from  -however my personal favourite has to be Stallone’s hilarious  one liner to Burgess Meredith in Rocky 2:

Rocky: “Its Apollo”

Mickey: “Who’d ya expect??”

Rocky: “I was hopin’ he wouldn’t show!”


* * * * * *

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Director: Oliver Stone

Actors: Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx

One of Stone’s best. Cleverly highlighting the rampant commercialism that turned American Football into less of a team sport and more of a business governed in the boardrooms, featuring career best performances from Pacino, Diaz and especially Foxx – this is one of those faultless movies that just begs to be seen again and again.

Best Bit: Pacino’s incredible  dressing room speech to his players before their do or die final game of the season. Without doubt one of the greatest, most uplifting and most astoundingly performed bits of acting you will witness on film. Safe to say  messrs’ Gerrard, Rooney, Lampard etc. could do a lot worse than watch this scene before they play the Italians on Saturday night!

* * * * * *

Warrior (2011)

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Actors: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Frank Grillo

A must for all fans of Rocky and UFC cage fighting.  Hardy and Edgerton play estranged brothers (one is a dedicated a family man facing bankruptcy, the other an emotionally damaged gulf war veteran) who both enter a brutal multi million dollar cage fighting contest in Atlantic City.  Superb film with real depth, bone crunching  fights, brilliant acting and wonderful jump for joy moments  – it doesn’t get much better than this – and if your not in tears by the end then there’s no hope for you!

Best Bits: The training montage and all the cage fights.

* * * * * *

Days Of Thunder (1990)

Director: Tony Scott

Actors: Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, Nicole Kidman.

Otherwise known as “Top Gun 2” due to its shameless similarity to the 1986 Tom Cruise starring fighter plane film. Days of Thunder is pure mindless Hollywood excess – massive budget, Simpson and Bruckheimer producing and zero plot. Nevertheless its extremely enjoyable, with genuinely exciting race sequences and great turns from both Cruise and Duvall.

Best Bit: The thrilling final race at Daytona.

* * * * * *

Wimbledon (2004)

Director: Richard Loncraine

Actors: Paul Bettany, Kirsten Dunst, Sam Neil, Jon Favreau

One for us Brits. Bettany is very good as aging tennis pro Peter Colt, given a million to one shot at the Wimbledon championships, Dunst is his love interest with Favreau  as his long suffering sports agent.

A  proper feel good movie , very funny, well written and featuring some great tennis sequences  – if this one doesn’t cheer you up nothing will!

Best bit: The nail biting Wimbledon final between Colt and his arrogant US opponent  – real edge of your seat stuff.


 * * * * * *

The Replacements (2000)

Director: Howard Deutch

Actors: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Rhys Ifans

When the players of pro football team The Washington Sentinels, go on strike over a salary dispute, the club owner (Jack Warden) hires former coach Gene Hackman to assemble a misfit team of replacement players to finish out the rest of the season. This consists of Reeves as a long past it quarterback, Ifans as a Welsh former pro Rugby player, a deaf mute and egg guzzling Japanese giant.

Not exactly Shakespeare, but extremely enjoyable, with a wonderful final 20 minutes that will warm even the hardest of hearts.

Best Bit: honestly? – all of it – its that great.

* * * * * *

Real Steel (2011)

Director: Shawn levy

Actors: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lily.

Set in the very near future where remote controlled robots have replaced humans in the boxing ring, Hugh Jackman is the lovable rogue who rebuilds an obsolete ‘bot called Atom and turns it into a world title contender, all the while trying to reconnect with the son he hasn’t seen in years. Yes I know there isn’t no such thing as robot boxing –however Jackman is great value as ever, Atom is adorable, the SFX are superb and despite the fact that its basically Rocky with Robots, its so much good fun that it doesn’t matter.

Best Bit: The epic title fight showdown between Atom and world champion Zeus.

* * * * * *

Jerry Maguire (1996)

Director: Cameron Crowe

Actors: Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger, Cuba Gooding jr.

A total classic. Zellweger is superb as the single mum who falls for Cruise’s morally dubious sports agent, as is Cuba Gooding jr. who thoroughly deserved his best supporting actor Oscar win as loud mouthed football pro Rod Tidwell. Superbly directed by Cameron Crowe, very sharply written with a standout performance from Tom Cruise, who successfully manages to ditch his usual clean cut all American hero image and create a wonderfully layered character who, in the end you just cant help rooting for.

Best Bit: “Show me the MONEY!”

* * * * * *

Escape To Victory  (1981)

Director: John Huston

Actors: Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Pele, Max Von Sydow, Bobby Moore.

Generally shown by the BBC on rain soaked Sunday afternoons or after England win a match . Featuring  Sly Stallone as the worst goalkeeper to ever grace a football pitch, a somewhat out of breath Michael Caine, a wooden Pele, plus Bobby Moore and half the Ipswich FC team (yes that is John Wark – porn star moustache and all). Safe to say that this footballing version of the Great Escape is absolutely terrible and completely bloody wonderful all at the same time.

Best Bit: The climactic football match–especially the scene  just before half time where the Allied team have had enough of being mercilessly fouled by the Germans (ring any bells??) and score a superbly orchestrated goal.

Please God let this happen with England!!!!


So there we are  – the top ten best sports movies ever made  – all should still be available on dvd, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Author: Will Strong 


Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Top 15 Rules For Being A Film Geek

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Top 15 Rules For Being A Film Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Every person I have ever met has an interest in something – be it football, cars, music etc. All worthy, normal pastimes that are generally tolerated  by most people.

However if there’s one type of individual within the human race that receives an enormously unjust amount of ridicule – it is the dedicated film geek.

I am proud to say that I have been a member of this select group since approximately 1977 – the year Star Wars came out – coincidence? You be the judge.

This means that for the past 37 years I spent far too many hours ensconced in a cinema or in front of the telly and amassed a vast knowledge of useless information that, I have found to my cost, doesn’t really impress the fairer sex or put money in my pocket. Nevertheless  – it is my firm belief that out in the world today there are many closeted film geeks just wishing to break free from their clandestine existence and declare themselves upon society.

So if you are reading this article and have an inkling that you may well be film geek, then here are 15 simple rules that must be strictly obeyed  – read on:

 * * * * * *

Rule Number 1

Without question, critique, pause or doubt you must have seen, be a massive fan of and own on dvd/blu ray the following 30 films:

The original Star Wars trilogy, Rocky,  The Matrix, The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (Extended Versions),  Alien, Aliens, Blade Runner, The Terminator, Terminator 2, The Big Lebowski, Xmen2, Die Hard, The Raid, The Shawshank Redemption, Commando, Raiders Of the Lost Ark, Mad Max 2, Jaws, Pulp Fiction, Highlander, Star Trek 2, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Evil Dead 2 and Predator.


Rule Number 2

Your dvd/blu ray collection must be extensive, deeply personal to you, proudly on show in your place of residence and in strict alphabetical order.


Rule Number 3

A true geek does not arrive late at the cinema, nor does he talk during the film. In addition he does not leave said establishment if he has come to the end of watching a Marvel Studios production and knows full well that there is a post credits sequence to be enjoyed.


Rule Number  4

You must own at least one decent movie T Shirt and one piece of  film memorabilia.


Rule Number 5

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fan of Star Trek – but not a pathologically obsessive one. This is an affliction commonly referred to as “Trekiitis”. Symptoms include: pale skin, speaking in tongues, an aversion to exercise, zero social life, a stalled career, perpetual forced celibacy and hairy palms. Unfortunately there is no cure –so be warned.


Rule Number 6

You must buy one film magazine per month and read at least one film website per day to keep yourself up to date.


Rule Number 7

The following films must be universally dismissed by you as utter crap and must not have been enjoyed in anyway shape or form: Batman and Robin, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, Highlander 2, Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, and Superman 4:The Quest for Peace. Any opinion voiced  to the contrary will result in immediate exclusion from the world of geek and eternal damnation to a life of watching reruns of the Star Wars Holiday Special.


Rule Number 8

You must, on demand, be able to quote verbatim “The Path of The Righteous Man” from Pulp Fiction and the “Tears in Rain” speech from Blade Runner.


Rule Number 9

Shedding a happy tear whilst watching a film is perfectly acceptable and nothing to be ashamed of – examples include:  the end of Rocky 1, and the Death Star trench sequence from Star Wars.


Rule Number 10

It is always accepted that the creation of Jar Jar Binks, writing a biblically awful script and casting Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker was an unforgivable act of wanton neglect and  thoughtlessness by George Lucas on all true Star Wars fans the world over.


Rule Number 11

Complete avoidance of any film directed by Uwe Boll is a must.


Rule Number 12

Anything written, produced or directed by the following  has to be seen straight away: JJ Abrams, Joss Whedon, Sam Raimi, The Coen Brothers, Gareth Edwards, Gareth Evans, Christopher Nolan.


Rule Number 13

Most critics are not to be trusted  – especially those that write for certain UK Newspapers.

(However those who write for ALLTHINGSFILM are perfectly acceptable and always right in their opinion)


Rule Number 14

The dedicated geek does not just restrict his viewing to the big screen. An unhealthy and moronic interest in various TV programmes must also  be wholly embraced. It is therefore recommended that the following series be got into with immediate effect: Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Spartacus, The Sopranos, Sons Of Anarchy, Firefly, The X Files, The Walking Dead and (using caution) Star Trek.


Rule Number 15

Han shot first – end of.

* * * * * *

There you go – 15 simple rules to follow – and if you can successfully do that, keep your head whilst all others are losing theirs – you’ll be a film geek my son.

Author: Will Strong