The Departed (2006) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

The Departed (2006) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The film that (rightly or wrongly) finally won Scorsese his best Director Oscar, The Departed is a top notch crime drama that delivers a more star driven, flashier version of Infernal Affairs. Is it better? That’s for you to decide I guess but for me it is – the more mainstream tappings and a stellar set of central performances combined with Scorsese trademark violence, music and visual tickets help the film fly through its occasionally baggy run time.  Yup he should have won for Goodfellas but The Departed was certainly one of Scorsese’s best movies of that period.

Best Bit: Scorsese + Stones = Perfection

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Goodfellas, Infernal Affairs, Copland

 


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Infernal Affairs (2002) – A Quick Capsule Review

Infernal Affairs (2002) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Infernal Affairs deserves its reputation as a modern Asian cinema classic, a film best known in the Western world for being remade by Scorsese and finally winning him the Academy award.  Infernal Affairs is a much more paired done and tighter telling of the story and whilst its lacks the star power of The Departed, the film is a tight, tense and well crafted cop thriller that stands along side some of Asian cinema’s best.  Yet oddly (and probably criminally in many people’s minds) I prefer the remake.  It’s baggier, less disciplined for sure but the combination of cast, director and expectation just win out for me.

Best Bit: Roof Top

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Departed, The Shield (TV), Infernal Affairs 2

 


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The Wolf Of Wall Street (2014) – A Hall Of Fame Capsule Review

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2014) – A Hall Of Fame Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Wolf Of Wall Street is a perfect partner of Goodfellas and Casino – a trilogy about greed, crime and excess. And whilst it doesn’t quite hit the heights of those classic Scorsese films, Wolf is probably one of the best movies the director has made in over a decade.  But for as good as the direction and craft is, its the cast that sell this film.  Margot Robbie debuts and makes an immediate impression, DiCaprio delivers a career best performance and Johnna Hill steels almost every scene he’s in.  The film is uncomfortable watching, as horrible people do horrible things not always getting the comeuppance they deserve but rather than glamorising this, Scorsese manages to reflects the true life story of the thousand of Wolf’s on the hundred’s of Wall Streets around the world. One of the best movies of this decade and gets better with each repeated watch.

Best Bit: Ludes.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Goodfellas, The Big Short, Casino 

 

 

 

Hall of Fame

 

1: Goodfellas (1990) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

1: Goodfellas (1990) – Phil’s Top 10 Films

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It was never going to be anything thing else.  Scorsese’s best film and the best mob film ever made (yes even above The Godfather part 2) is a masterclass in filmmaking.  From it’s “As Far Back As I can remember…” opening to it’s drug fuelled Rolling Stone powered finale this is a cast and crew firing on all cylinders. Memorable scene after memorable scene flows so effortless together as Scorsese weaves a thrilling tale with a truly great anti-hero.  The fact that it’s based on a real story makes it even more shocking.  Truly amazing – one of cinemas most essential films.

Best Bit: Funny guy.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Casino, The Wolf Of Wall Street, The Godfather 

 

 

 

 

Hall of Fame

 

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I, Tonya – A Quick Capsule Review

I, Tonya – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
From voice over, talking to camera and some stylish photography and editing I, Tonya is is one of the most Scorsese films NOT directed by Scorsese. This isn’t a dig.  It works.  God it works.  The combination of great directing, a fascination story and an amazing central performance by Margot Robbie, I Tonya is very much deserving the praise and awards that’s been heaped on it to date.  For a dark story the film is, at times, fun and funny and the tone works well.  In short I, Tonya  adds to what is become a very interesting award season.

Best Bit: Robbie is sublime

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Goodfellas, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Lady Bird 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s Top 5… Martin Scorsese Films

Phil’s Top 5… Martin Scorsese 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: My 5 Favourite Martin Scorsese Films

 

Close but no cigar: Casino, Mean Streets, Hugo, Gangs Of New York, The King of Comedy

 

5 – The Wolf Of Wall Street
Wallowing in it’s own sickening greed, The Wolf Of Wall Street is an over indulgent mess. It’s also amazing.  Career making performance from Margot Robbie and DiCaprio was cruelly robbed of Oscar glory.

 

4 – The Departed
The Departed finally saw Scorsese win his Academy Award.  It’s a great film and showed that, years after his golden period, Scorsese could still deliver the goods.

 

3 –  Raging Bull
Scorsese’s black and white drama about boxer Jake LaMotta is brutal.  From it’s in ring action to DeNiro’s method acting, Raging Bull was the crushing flip side of Rocky and the like.

 

2 – Taxi Driver
DeNiro is simply captivating in what is still one of his most intense and raw performances.  It still crushes all these years later.

 

1 – Goodfellas
The greatest film of all time.  Part of Scorsese ‘s greed trilogy (along with Casino and The Wolf Of Wall Street), it’s got it all from killer performances, amazing music and great cinematography.

 

My Favourite… Don Rickles Film

My Favourite… Don Rickles 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…. Don Rickles (1926-2017) Film

[divider]

CASINO (1995)

Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a former sports handicapper turned casino executive, for a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Sometimes you don’t need the biggest role to make an impact. It’s the memorable support cast, the walk on part, the character with the memorable lines that you remember.  Well in that case, Casino was a true stand out for Don Rickles.  A man with a lot of experience of Vegas (he worked there as a comic and was a honorary Rat Pack member), Rickles played casino manager Billy Sherbert a savvy, smart veteran of the gambling industry who could easily pick out the untrustworthy.  Starring alongside Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci, Rickles earned rave reviews for this role which took up just minutes of screen time but was memorable enough to introduce a new generation to his work and comedy.

See also: Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3

 

 

Silence – A Quick Capsule Review

Silence – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It’s fair to say that Scorsese’s meditation on religion wont be to everyone’s taste.  It’s a long, slow, languishing movie that doesn’t rush to get anywhere in a hurry.  It also features Adam Driver who, still, does little for me on screen.  But stick with it and it’s a hell of a film which represents a labour of love for Scorsese that has taken decades to realise on screen.  Garfield is excellent and the film looks amazing.  Touch by rewarding.  

Best Bit: The direction, a master at work

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Kundun, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Grosse Point Geek – Silence (2017)

Grosse Point Geek – Silence (2017)

A Blog Grosse Point Geek

In the late 1600’s two Jesuit priests (a bouffant-ed Andrew Garfield and an emaciated Adam Driver) are sent to Japan to look for their mentor Father Ferrera (Liam Neeson) who has disappeared, along the way they preach the word of God to the local peasantry and try to avoid being beheaded by the distinctly anti christian Japanese government.

 

 

Directed by Martin Scorsese, Silence has apparently been a passion project for the great auteur for the past 25 years – however after emerging bleary eyed and virtually suicidal from my local multiplex i sincerely wished he hadn’t bothered.  Putting it mildly Silence is, without doubt THE most boring film i have ever seen in my life. Hideously overlong (three hours to be precise) and stunningly dull, Scorsese has done nothing but create a film for himself and a few high brow critics.

 

Yes ill admit its well made and the acting is good but so what? Nothing can excuse a film being this indulgent and so devoid of entertainment.

 

Now i wouldn’t have minded so much had Silence been an hour shorter and perhaps not had a $40 million dollar budget attached to it  – but it was and it has and that really annoys the hell out of me. As ive said many times before, there are so many good directors that right now are desperate to get their films made and they are being made to wait just because the great Scorsese wants to bring this torpid, sanctimonious snore fest to the big screen  – well i’m sorry i just don’t agree.

 

 

In short, a total waste of time, talent and money  – avoid this film as if your life depends on it.

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

Blog: All Things Film – Andrew Mackay’s Best & Worst Films 2014

Blog: All Things Film – Andrew Mackay’s Best & Worst Films 2014

Quick Review

2014 has been truly hit-and-miss. I could well have copied this paragraph from last year with a quick find-and-replace. But just as we were marching into the middle of the decade thinking “Oh Christ, here we go – more Michael Bay, more Ice Cube, more nah nah nah…” along come at least two films that really did make me rethink my stance on the movie industry today (See my #1 and ‘3 on the best list). It’s not been a terrible year for movies. It’s been very good, on the whole – and I sincerely hope 2015 can fill these big boots!

WORST

5: The Came Together

Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler prove that former SNL players continue to suck at satire, as They Came Together aim for all the right targets and continually miss them. It’s akin to watching a small child with learning difficulties throw balls at a coconut shy, and standing back and feigning a smile at how well they had done – despite throwing the ball 180 degrees in the opposite direction and accidentally scoring an own goal. An insufferable, turgid and most unfunny piece of rancid shite.

4: Tammy

Sticking with the learning difficulty angle, Melissa McCarthy turned up as Tammy; an overweight, unpleasant and charmless oaf who manages to drag Susan Sarandon under her tyres for one of the year’s cosmic laugh-free zones. There’s nothing funny about someone who’s clearly one of society’s beat-upon plumpsters having the piss taken out of her for nearly 100 minutes. It’s soul-crushingly hateful stuff, and not in a good way, either.

3: The Angriest Man in Brooklyn

Angriest man? I can see the poor sod who played him spinning in his grave. It’s a well known fact that Robin Williams took on roles simply to pay the rent. I guess one could argue that Williams’ response mid way through the year was perhaps a bit harsh, but if I’d viewed my performance in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, then I’d empathise to a point. The bleedin’ obvious aside, this movie stinks to high heaven anyway – and it’s nothing to do with Robin Williams (it’s merely a shame) and/or Mila Kunis (again, merely a blip). It’s shittingly bad and, once again, less funnier than Cold in July.

2: Zombeavers

It’s no coincidence that the bottom five of 2014 are mostly all comedies, is it? Comedy is hard to get right. Comedy and horror, even more so. The beavers look like puppets, and the characters have about as much depth as puppets, too. I know, I know – that’s sort of the point. And yes, I am a Troma fan. Zombeavers sits awkwardly in a sort of dole office of being too good to be bad, and too bad to be anything other than second in my top ten worst list for 2014. They couldn’t even get the “hot jock” boyfriends hot-o-meter correct. I suppose there’s no saving grace about Zombeavers; if guys these fugly can get chicks those cute – well, maybe there’s hope for us all.

1: Tusk

Fuck Kevin Smith.

[divider]

BEST

5: Wolf of Wall Street

Originally getting a 7 out of 10 in my review from January, I did make the prediction that Wolf could be a stayer and rank among Scorsese’s best. It’s now nearly one year later, and I think I was right. I was right, also, to award it a seven; it’s not a perfect movie by any stretch; but what it is, though, is a shit-load of fun and as absorbing a story as the characters are impervious to humanity. A thoroughly loathsome bunch of feral, money-hunting wankers that would put The Riot Club to shame. As far as overindulgence and excess goes, we will all use Wolf of Wall Street as the barometer; both for the characters and storyline, and for Scorsese’s “have it all and eat it, too” barbarism.

4: Dallas Buyers Club

For a long, long stretch was sitting at my number one spot in the top ten until, of course, those films in my top three came about. An award-winning performance from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (the latter being performance of the year, probably) and about a story that would help shape our attitude toward the AIDS epidemic. An absolutely wonderful film, rich in detail and disciplined in narrative and length, it is truly one of the best dramas in recent memory.

3: The Babadook

Jennifer Kent writes and directs her way in to what I had long since regarded as a genre that is impossible to win me over; horror. Seriously, after so much watered-down PG-13 ghost/doll/clanking doorway shite, I’d pretty much all but abandoned this pithy, lifeless genre. I suppose it’s no surprise to learn that if anyone was going to buck the trend it’d be an independent Aussie filmmaker. But there you go. Fundamentally, The Babadook is a semi-realistic drama about a woman who grows evermore scared of her weird son. The fact that it has a bad guy and some whacked-out, truly innovative elements in the third act all contribute to one of the best – and most unsettling – surprises of the year. The Babadook never puts a foot wrong, and manages to do so with the minimum of fuss. I love The Babadook.

2: John Wick

Is Keanu Reeves back? YEAH. I’m thinking he’s back. Well stone me if John Wick isn’t the baddest-est ass, action-packed, violent, kill-happy revenge thriller of the year. Perhaps even the decade. It’s the usual sort of stuff, but directed and played with such freneticism that you simply have to drop to your knees and worship at the Wick alter. Even if you’re not a fan of action, you’ll love this movie. I can’t wait to see it again – and it’s unlike me to espouse the awesomeness of a silly action film. So I’m just as shocked as you. Check out the soundtrack, too. It’s terrific.

1: Life Itself

Roger Ebert has played a huge part in my life as both a film critic and film maker. I often step back and think “what would Roger Ebert award my movie, out of four stars?”. Life Itself is the equivalent (for me) of a film maker making a documentary about someone you personally admire and love. In a sense, it feels as if the documentary was made for you. I’ve never cried at a film – ever – in my entire life; that’s still true today, but God damn it if Steve James’ masterful documentary Life Itself did not come close. It’s a film about life as Roger Ebert expertly and humorously clings on to his own; a film about love, as his wife Chaz makes his twilight months comfortable and keeps up a brave face, even past the inevitable – and then, it’s a film about friendship, as we delve in to his hate/love relationship with Gene Siskel, who died fifteen years earlier. Ebert awarded director Steve James’ Hoop Dreams (1994) the accolade of Best Film of the 1990s. He remarked that real-life throws plot points at you that you could never see coming, and that a truly gifted documentarian would seize on any opportunity that came their way. Siskel dying alone and unannounced really affected Ebert (one of the handful of facts I did not know till seeing Life Itself) and seeing Ebert doing precisely the opposite seals the friendship and, by virtue, the love(s) of his life.   In so many ways Life Itself is the best film of the millennium, and a more-than-fitting closing chapter in the life of a man I so admired.

 

Author: Andrew Mackay