Grosse Point Geek… (Best Film from EVERY Year I’ve Been Alive)

Grosse Point Geek… (Best Film from EVERY Year I’ve Been Alive)

A Blog Best... Other Cr*p Your Opinion Sucks

A look at the BEST films, one from each of my years on this planet…. starting with 1976!

 

The 70’s

1976 – Rocky
1977 – Star Wars
1978 – Jaws
1979 – Alien

The 80’s

1980 – Empire Strikes Back
1981 – Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1982 – The Thing
1983 – The Return Of The Jedi
1984 – Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom
1985 – Back To The Future
1986 – Aliens
1987 – Predator
1988 – Die Hard
1989 – Indiana Jones and The last Crusade

The 90’s

1990 – Goodfellas
1991 – The Silence Of The lambs
1992 – Reservoir Dogs
1993 – Jurassic Park
1994 – Pulp Fiction
1995 – Seven
1996 – Jerry Maguire
1997 – LA Confidential
1998 – The Big Lebowski
1999 – The Matrix

The 2000’s 

2000 – Gladiator
2001 – The Lord Of The Rings: The fellowship of The Ring
2002 – The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
2003 – The Lord of The Rings: The Return Of The King
2004 – Shaun Of The Dead
2005 – Batman Begins
2006 – Rocky Balboa
2007 –  Hot Fuzz
2008 – The Dark Knight
2009 – Star Trek
2010 – The Kings Speech

 

The 10’s 

2011 – Warrior
2012 – The Dark Knight Rises
2013 – The Wolf Of Wall Street
2014 – Whiplash
2015 – Mad Max Fury Road
2016 – Rogue One: a Star Wars Story
2017 – Dunkirk
2018 – Avengers Infinity War
2019 – Avengers Endgame

 

 


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Phil’s Life In Movies… (Best Film from EVERY Year I’ve Been Alive): Revisited & Updated

Phil’s Life In Movies… (Best Film from EVERY Year I’ve Been Alive): Revisited & Updated

A Blog Best... Other Cr*p

A look at the BEST films, one from each of my years on this planet…. (Yes ’86 and ’84 was impossible to split!)

… And yes a few do differ from my Annual ‘Film of The Year’.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!!!

The 70’s

1976 – The Outlaw Josey Wales
1977 – Star Wars
1978 – Dawn Of The Dead
1979 – Alien

 

The 80’s



1980 – Empire Strikes Back
1981 – Raiders Of The Lost Ark
1982 – The Thing
1983 – The Return Of The Jedi
1984 – Ghostbusters/ Gremlins
1985 – The Goonies
1986 – Aliens/ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off/ Top Gun
1987 – The Lost Boys
1988 – Die Hard
1989 – Tango & Cash

 

The 90’s

 

1990 – Goodfellas
1991 – Terminator 2 Judgement Day
1992 – Reservoir Dogs
1993 – The Nightmare Before Christmas
1994 – Pulp Fiction
1995 – Heat
1996 – Trainspotting
1997 – Con Air
1998 – Lock Stock & Two Smoking barells
1999 – Fight Club

 

The 2000’s 

 

2000 – Snatch
2001 – Black Hawk Down
2002 – 28 Days Later
2003 – Love Actually
2004 – Shaun Of The Dead
2005 – Serenity
2006 – Children of Men
2007 – Bourne Ultimatum
2008 – The Dark Knight
2009 – Slumdog Millonaire
2010 – The Social Network

 

The 10’s 

2011 – Hugo
2012 – Skyfall
2013 – Rush
2014 – Wolf Of Wall Street
2015 – Mad Max: Fury Road
2016 – The Nice Guys
2017 – T2: Trainspotting
2018 – Mission Impossible: Fallout
2019 – Joker

 

 


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Star Wars: A Corana Movie Survival Guide By Grosse Point Geek

Star Wars: A Corana Movie Survival Guide By Grosse Point Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Other Cr*p The Blogs

In these rather strange and troubling times we are living in at the moment it is of course very easy to get depressed and down in the dumps.  Many of us are naturally struggling to fill the time in the absence of being able to do normal things – like visit family and friends, go to the pubs, restaurants, theatres or cinemas. So what to do to stave off the COVID19 blues? Some people are playing board games, some are listening to music, others are on their play stations or Xboxes.

However if you are like me (a notoriously obsessed film geek) you may be raiding your dvd/blu ray collection or trawling though Netflix and Amazon Prime in search of some thing to watch. So to help you all out I have compiled a few lists of films and box sets to see you though the coming weeks.

Next Up: The Star Wars films (no derogatory comments please -I’ll have you all know I’m v sensitive when it comes to these films -yes even the prequels! – lol)

 

Watch in following order:

 

  • Episode 1 The Phantom Menace

 

  • Episode 2: Attack Of The Clones

 

  • Episode 3: Revenge Of The Sith

 

  • Solo A Star Wars Story

 

  • Rogue One a Star Wars Story

 

  • Episode 4: A New Hope

 

  • Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back

 

  • Episode 6: Return Of The Jedi

 

  • Episode 7: The Force Awakens

 

  • Episode 8: The Last Jedi

 

  • Episode 9: The Rise Of Skywalker

 

I’ll be back with more lists to help get you through the current Film and new release shortage!

Podcast: Phil Talks… His Best To Worst Star Wars Films!

Podcast: Phil Talks… His Best To Worst Star Wars Films!

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast Phil, on his own, talks about his best to worst Star Wars films. Yup Phil breaks down the 12 cannon Star Wars Movies (no Ewok’s or Christmas Specials here) from his least favourite through to the best of the best, and everything in between.  Expect maximum Star Wars!

Usually hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed former filmmaker Phil Hobden.

Discussed: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: The Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Attack of The Clones, Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Solo: A Star Wars Story

For more on Ross Boyask search @RossBoyask on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Also check out @EvoFilmsUK online.

For more on Phil Hobden check out www.philhobden.co.uk , Twitter (@PhilQuickReview) and Instagram (RossAndPhilTalkMovies

#RossAndPhil #RossAndPhilTalkMovies #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts

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Phil’s Best To Worst: Star Wars Movies! (Updated with The Rise Of Skywalker)

Phil’s Best To Worst: Star Wars Movies! (Updated with The Rise Of Skywalker)

A Blog

Listed from best to Attack Of The Clones, Phil, of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, breaks down a film related subject in order of his own personal enjoyment.  This time out: Star Wars Films!

 

The Rules: So I’ve excluded the throwaway 80’s Ewok kids films here as well as the Christmas special as it’s far from cannon.  So just the main 12 Star Wars films and the feature length Clone Wars movie.

——

 

BEST: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Empire Strikes Back is a franchise high point for many reasons but MOSTLY as it’s the Star Wars film Lucas had least to do with, instead putting the film into the hands of Kasdan.  It shows – more mature, darker and edgier it still boasts one of cinemas best twist endings and adds depth to the cut out characters from Star Wars.  Essential.

 

——

2. Star Wars: A New Hope

Groundbreaking, epic and genre defining space sagas don’t get much better than this. A lean plot, some edge of your seat action sequences and THAT ending make Star Wars a simply outstanding film.

——

3. Star Wars: The Return Of The Jedi

I love Return of The Jedi.  Growing up it’s the Star Wars film I watched the most (it certainly has the best action of any Star Wars films).  Years on the excitement still holds but there are shadows of the failings of the prequels here also (Ewok’s for some but mostly the convoluted plotting, the fact everyone knows or is related to the Skywalkers and the weak dialogue).  Still the final space battle and the lightsabre duel stand out as the franchises two best moments

——

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Yup that hit the spot.  Rogue One, a war story, a story of hope and overcoming overwhelming odds.  And thats just the making of it.  Yet it works.  It works SO well in fact that it’s jumped to No4 on this list.

 

——

5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

Delivering a new style of Star Wars film, The Last Jedi makes some bold choices (and some silly ones) to take Star Wars in a fresh new direction that will finally allow it to move past it’s Skywalker focus story and firmly land the legacy on the shoulders of some new characters. It doesn’t all work but when it does it’s some of them most spectacular Star Wars yet!

——

6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens  

After the much maligned prequels, the first Star Wars film to be Lucas free felt very much like a homage as it retooled A New Hope’s story and gave us a “Best of” compilation.  That said it was well done, set up an array of exciting new characters and gave us well hell of a twist when you know what happens to you know who.  Not as good as we wanted it to be but a massive step up from the prequels.

 

——

7. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker 

Look The Rise Of Skywalker is a mess for sure, the whole trilogy lacking a cohesive drawn out narrative from the start and this for sure plays out as a massive negative here as JJ struggles to pull it all together.  It also is hampered by Carrie Fisher’s death, something that causes narrative issues.  BUT these points aside it’s a good film – spectacular action sequences, solid twists and turns and some great character work by the core cast.

——

8. Solo : A Star Wars Story 

Solo is good.  It’s just a victim of the production issues that plagued it from the start.  The cast are mostly superb (Clarke isn’t sadly) but the film runs out of steam as it tries to hit every Solo touch point referenced in previous Star Wars films.  Good but could have been better

 

——

9. Star Wars: The Revenge Of The Sith

The best of a very bad bunch, Sith at least had a darkness to it that the franchise had avoided previously.  It’s still shouldered with terrible acting, a plot that steps on the original trilogy more than it ever needed to and some terrible FX work BUT it’s not Attack of The Clones.

 

——

10. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2005)

From little acorns big Oak Trees grow and that’s very much the case here.  See the Star Wars: the Clone Wars animated film has nuggets of promise that would later be fulfilled by the excellent TV show but the feature length pilot instead gets itself weighed down in trying to please too many people and ends up being a bit of a mess.

 

——

11. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace 

Deeply flawed, badly plotted and criminally dull at times this film is saved by some excellent visuals (although dated FX), the pod race and the final duel between Jedi & Sith.  It overplays it’s hand throughout however and the Jedi prove to be rather dull as leading characters.  Less said about Jake Lloyd the better.

 

——

WORST: Star Wars: Attack of The Clones 

A real low for the series and one of the worst sequels ever made, Attack of The Clones gets almost nothing right.  If A terrible story that makes no sense, a boring end battle where CGI things shoot CGI things and the blowing of one of Star Wars most talked about moments (The Clone Wars!!!) weren’t enough you also have one of the most wooden central performances ever (helped by some of the worst dialogue ever).  It’s a bad film. And one to be avoided.

 

 


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Star Wars: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Star Wars: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Other Cr*p

Plot in a nutshell

Sometime after the events of The Last Jedi, the Resistance are still battling the First Order and Rey (Daisy Ridley) is training to be a Jedi under the watchful eye of Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher),  meanwhile a terrifying message is detected coming out of the depths of space  – the evil Emperor Palpatine is alive and threatening to destroy all who oppose him  – its now a race against time to find his whereabouts before he can unleash a vast armada of planet killing ships and bring about the return of the Sith.

 

What worked?

In my view – a lot.

To begin with the story is superb, a rollicking good old fashioned space adventure, spanning lots of different locations, throwing in various McGuffins with some really interesting twists and unexpected turns.

As always with Star Wars, the action scenes deliver in spades, light sabre duels, blaster fights, space battles and endless escapism which had me whooping for joy.

Once again, the acting is also excellent  –  Adam Driver as Kylo Ren/Ben Solo is extremely good and has now become one of the film industry’s most talented actors working today.

I also have to say that Daisy Ridley was brilliant as Rey, effortlessly showing how she has come on leaps and bounds from her rather wide eyed performance in The Force Awakens, the girl absolutely gives it her all here and along with Adam Driver totally anchors the whole film. The ever charismatic Oscar Isaac is great as Poe Dameron, even managing to channel his inner Han Solo with some cheeky one liners and knowing smirks. Finally there is the return of the magnificent Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine  -the stuff of nightmares, seriously evil, and completely beyond redemption  – the guy owns this role so completely that when he’s on screen you just cant take your eyes off him – to say he is incredible in this role would be the understatement of the millennium.

 

What could have been better?

Despite how good the plot was I have to say that it was at times a bit too densely packed and there were some ‘Basil Exposition’ moments that caused me to roll my eyes on several occasions.

The whole thing also seemed somewhat too focussed on Poe, Rey and Kylo which meant that some characters remained underdeveloped or didn’t get enough screen time – for example Billy Dee Williams comes back as Lando Calrissian but isn’t nearly in the film enough, then there is the excellent Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico who finds herself side-lined here in an almost afterthought of an appearance – a decision which seemed to be paying lip service to the hammering she had off the idiotic troll fanboys for The Last Jedi. Lastly, even though he’s on screen for most of the film, John Boyega as Finn isn’t really allowed to shine much at all and is very overshadowed by Ridley, Driver and Isaac – which is a shame as he is a great actor and was very central to the plots of the last two films.

 

Review summary

Very well directed by JJ Abrams, winning performances from Ridley, Driver, Isaac and McDiarmid , cracking action, lots of throwbacks to the original trilogy and an interesting plot with lots of unexpected twists and reveals -Rise Of Skywalker is a fantastic thrill ride that had me completely fixated for its nearly 140 minute running time, yes there are flaws, but to be honest I was so caught up in the whole thing that it really didn’t matter. Wonderful stuff, I loved it.

 

 


Review epilogue

As the Skywalker story comes to a close I thought id share with you some of my thoughts on this incredible film franchise. As most who know me (long suffering girlfriend, long suffering family, the eternally exasperated Phil Hobden etc) will be aware that I have been a dedicated Star Wars fan for nigh on 42 years. For me its always been about the films themselves, I’ve never cared for the expanded universe, the books, the games etc plus I really don’t take any notice of the highbrow critics or rabidly moronic fanboys who still cant see what Star Wars is all about.

For me Star Wars is simply a wonderful fairy story  -one based on all the classic tales our parents read us when we were little –   theres a castle, a hero, a princess, a wise old wizard and a man dressed in black –and  that’s all a fairy story needs to be.

Star Wars represents everything incredible in this world and in life itself-  the ability to rise above your standing, that mastering a skill isn’t ever easy and takes lots of hard work, that failure is the best lesson of all because it teaches us to always try harder,  that those who are older and wiser are in fact pretty much right about everything (even if they are 900 years old) that heroes can be flawed, villains can be redeemed and most important of all –  good will always triumph over evil.

Thankyou George Lucas and may the force be with you – always.


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Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the Last Jedi is good.  On balance it could well be the best true Star Wars film since Jedi and It’s fair to say when it delivers it knocks it out the park – The opening, Rey/Ren, The finale.  Even better watching it back on home video, the misses that bothered me first time around (The long middle section, Star Wars Casinos, the punking out of not one but two characters set up for great things but cast aside) actually made a lot more sense.  It’s still far to say that a better script could have made this up there with Empire, but even though The Last Jedi flirts with greatness it still doesn’t QUITE land it.  This all said it was a really entertaining film, with lots of surprises along the way and twists and turns you don’t quite expect that lived up to expectations and hype.  Hamill is great, Fisher gives one of her best performances and the support cast are mostly exceptional.  Where to next is anyones guess but the final film in this trilogy will have a hell of a job beating this. Recommended.

Best Bit: Finally! Lightsaber action!

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back , Rogue One : A Star Wars Story

 


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The danger is always that when you hype up a film to such a degree that it can only ever disappoint.  And episode 7 its probably the most hyped film ever.  To live up to this hype It would have to be special.  It would have to deliver.  And you know what – for the most part it does.  The Force Awakens is the Star Wars films I wanted.  Great new characters, throw backs to the great characters of old, a simple story, intrigue, a great bad guy and a plot that doesn’t feed you every little detail.  It’s not perfect – far from it – BUT in spirit and execution this film delivers.  It feels like a Star Wars film. It looks like a Star Wars film.  It IS a Star Wars Films.

Best Bit: BB8!

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 


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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Return of the Jedi isn’t the best Star Wars film.  That will always be Empire.  But it’s certainly the most watchable (and one I watched the most).  See Jedi is pure popcorn fodder – full of space battles, plot twists, ground wars and lightsaber fights.  The cast here are super comfortable, clearly loving  their roles (well maybe not Guinness) and proxy director Marquand delivers high action from the start. In this current version Lucas’ changes remain mostly in and around Jabba’s palace and still stand out like a sore thumb.  Like most of his additions they just feel so unneeded.  Other changes are okay but I think we all could do with out Hayden Christensen anywhere near this trilogy.  In short – despite Lucas’ best efforts to ruin his films, Jedi remains a perfect send off for the original trilogy. Fun, action packed and full of Ewoks.  Yes I went there… I love the Ewoks.  Thank god then in the end it was a trap!

Best Bit: Attack of the Death star 

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 


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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Empire Strikes Back is gritty, dark, challenging and bloody brilliant. Set after the events of A New Hope, it starts to put the pieces together that would form the core mythology at the heart of this franchise.  It’s a shame then that a LOT of those reveals have been ruined by the prequels.  Rewatching Empire the iconic ‘I Am Your Father’ moment becomes shrug rather than the fall of the chair moment it was before.  That said the film is still amazing (escape from Hoth, Cloud City, Fett and more) and even Lucas’ 90’s changes don’t ruin it too much. The Empire Strikes Back is, simply put, the best FILM of this series.

Best Bit: Hoth!

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: Return of The Jedi, Star Wars: A New Hope

 


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