Platoon (1986) – A Classic Quick Capsule Review

Platoon (1986) – A Classic Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oliver Stone’s Platoon still has a lot to say about the horrors of war and the ripping away of innocence.  That power still remains at the core of this thirty year old film.  But overall it hasn’t aged as well as you’d hope.  The performances are still great (Berenger is nuts and this is still a career high for Sheen) but the budget strains, especially at the end as the Vietcong assault the compound.  In a world of Saving Private Ryan it just feels a bit tame.  So overall – still worth a watch.

Best Bit: the cast

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Saving Private Ryan, Good Morning Vietnam, Full metal jacket 

 


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Phil’s Top 5… Steven Spielberg Movies!

Phil’s Top 5… Steven Spielberg Movies!

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: Steven Spielberg movies!

 

Close but no cigar: Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, War of the World

 

 

5 – Jurassic Park
Proving that he does blockbuster better than anyone else, Jurassic Park is pure entertainment from start to finish.

 

4 – Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List is a brutal, personal film that finally secured Spielberg a well deserved academy award

 

3 – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Years later ET still packs a huge emotional punch and lives of generations after it’s original release.  

2 – Jaws
Jaws is one of the best horror films ever made and even now, years later, the iconic film lives on in references from everything from TV to film.

 

1 – Raiders of the Lost Ark
Creating one of the most iconic characters in film history is not easy, putting them in a trilogy that’s nearly perfect is even harder.  And yes… trilogy. There is no crystal skull.

 

 

 

 

 

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The 25 Best… 90’s Movies!

The 25 Best… 90’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 1990’s

The close but no cigar Films: Apollo 13, Fight Club, Schindler’s List, Speed, The Usual Suspects, Dumb and Dumber, The Silence Of The Lambs, Waynes World, Empire Records, In the Line Of Fire, JKF

 

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Dunkirk – A Quick Capsule Review

Dunkirk – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Dunkirk is a good film.  From a Technical point if view it’s actually at times brilliant but for me it falls short of the “Films The Year” accolades that critics are heaping on it.  See  Dunkirk defines both the best and the worst of Christopher Nolan films – a masterclass of filmmaking for sure but with a script that needed more work and characters who barely register five minutes after you leave the screen.  And yup Tom Hardy’s back in full “What did he say” mumble mode. But for every quibble I have, and there are a few for sure, the film is expertly made.  Form the action to the music, the effects to the tension – it’s filmmaking at it’s most innovate.  It’s just a shame Nolan didn’t put as much effort into the characters as then you would have had a true modern day classic.

Best Bit: The structure

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Interstellar, Battle of Britain, Saving Private Ryan 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s Top 5… War Movies

Phil’s Top 5… War Movies

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: War Films! (And these are proper war films rather than films set in War time…)

Close but no cigar: The Deer Hunter, The Hurt Locker, Three Kings, Escape To Victory, Hamburger Hill

5 – Saving Private Ryan
Spielberg delivers a brutal, grown up and visually stunning look into the horrors of World War 2.  With cracking central performances and THAT opening sequences, Saving private Ryan stays with you long after.


4 – Apocalypse Now
Coppola’s classic and personal heart of darkness, Apocalypse Now almost broke him as a filmmaker and almost killed it’s lead actor.  Brando phoned it in, the film was massively over budget and yet… it’s a work of near genius


3 – Platoon
Oliver Stone’s Vietnam story of a young man’s first tour of duty in the hell of the war torn jungle has held up well.  Brutal, harrowing and expertly directed it’s one of Stone’s best works.


2 – Black Hawk Down
Ridley Scott chucks subtlety out the window in his everything but the kitchen sink modern day war film. A great cast, some amazing particle effects and a relentless pace makes this a true stand out.


1 – Full Metal Jacket
Kubrick’s film may not be for everyone (and his London Dockland’s shot finale a poor stand in) but Full Metal Jacket breaks down the horrors of war unlike any other film. Intense if the word here and this stands out as one of the few Kubrick films I can watch time and time again.

 

Hacksaw Ridge- A Quick Capsule Review

Hacksaw Ridge- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hacksaw Ridge is a war film for those who have never seen a war film.  It plays out like a cross between Saving private Ryan, Full Metal jacket and Clint Eastwood’s Heartbreak Ridge.  But sadly just not as good as any of them.  It’s not a terrible film but I do question why it;’s receive such found notices – the direction lacks subtlety, the carnage is well staged but after a while unbelievable and Andrew Garfield just feels miscast.  At over 2 hours it feels long and whilst I’m happy to see Mel back in the lime light, I’d rather see him in front rather than behind the camera

Best Bit: Assult on the ridge 

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Saving private Ryan, Full Metal jacket, Blood Father

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Fury – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Fury – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Fury is brutal, bloody and at times hard to watch.  It’s also flawed, a bit long and, at times, silly.  Thankfully the good outweighs the bad at you are left with a shocking portrayal of a mostly unheralded part of World War 2.

Best Bit: Battle Scenes

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Saving private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Kajaki

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: Grosse Point Geek -Fury Reviewed

Blog: Grosse Point Geek -Fury Reviewed

Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Set in April 1945 when World War 2 was coming to an end and the allied forces were marching into Germany, Fury centres on a battle hardened tank crew, led by Pitt’s aptly monikered ‘Wardaddy’ and consisting of Lerman’s green as grass rookie, Leboeuf’s religious idealist, Pena’s dead shot gunner and Bernthal’s somewhat mentally unstable mechanic.  In recent years films about World War 2 have been few and far between, with many not even seeing the inside of a cinema –  notable exceptions are of course Tarantinos’s Inglorious Bastards and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.

Now anyone who has seen both of these will know that they are pretty much at the opposite ends of the war movie spectrum -whereas Bastards was a  violent “men on a mission” homage, played out like a jet black comedy/drama, Saving Private Ryan was at times an overly worthy effort notable for its incredibly realistic depiction of the Omaha beach landings.

Fury, however, is none of these and as such is likely to be one of the most accurate and unflinching depictions of war that you will ever see on screen.

Acting wise its faultless, in particular, Brad Pitt, who is superb as Wardaddy, brilliantly portraying him as an intelligent man tainted by war and unafraid to kill without mercy.  Then there is ShiaLeboeuf, who effortlessly banishes all memories of Lars Von Trier’s risible Nymphomaniac, to deliver a career best performance that has to be seen to be believed -yes he really is that good (iknow i couldn’t believe it etheir!). The rest of the cast are equally impressive too -John Bernthal and Michael Pena do fantastic work and seem to have completely thrown themselves into their roles,  with young  Logan Lerman finally coming of age with an impressive breakout turn as Norman, the tank’s newest recruit.

David Ayer’s direction is surefooted, refreshingly economical and unflashy, his camerawork making excellent use of the Buckinghamshire countryside which doubles for 1945 Germany. Then there is the action  – mainly consisting of two brutal edge of the seat tank battles and a climactic nail biting do or die fight to the death between the Fury crew and an entire army of Nazi soldiers.

Its not all guns and blood though  – Ayer also skilfully brings in quieter moments allowing for some welcome character development for all the main cast, one scene in particular involving Pitt and Lerman sitting down for a meal with two German women is a particular highlight.

I did have a couple of niggles though , one being that Lerman’s character seems to go from terrified greenhorn to full on warrior mode in a very short space of time and the main characters do seem have more than a certain passing resemblance to those in Saving Private Ryan.

However these are minor criticisms in what is a very well directed, superbly written, brilliantly acted and relentlessly exciting film. Certainly a contender for one of 2014’s best and a must for any serious cinema goer. Highly recommended.

 

 

Author: Will Strong