The Shark is Still Working (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Shark is Still Working (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Shark is Still Working is a fascinating look at the making and impact of Spielberg’s classic horror film Jaws. From it’s never before highlighted behind the scenes footage to interviews with cast and crew to the director himself, you get an honest overview of what was a very tricky production process.  Watching this 12 years on from its original release (and 43 years on from the film itself being made) it’s still amazing to see just how well the original film, its impact and influence still holds up.  If you have any interest in filmmaking or Jaws this is a must.

Best Bit: Behind the scenes footage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Jaws, The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, Full Tilt Boogie, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

 


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Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… Spielberg, Fox, Oscars & Gunn

Podcast: Ross And Phil Talk… Spielberg, Fox, Oscars & Gunn

Ross and Phil Talk Movies The Podcasts

On this episode of the podcast we talk movie news! Yup we catch up on the latest happenings in the world of movies – from Spielberg’s campaign against Netflix, to Disney buying Fox, the Academy awards (yes I know we are late) and James Gunn coming back to Guardian’s 3.

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

Films Discussed: A Quiet Place, Marvel, Guardians Of The Galaxy 3, Greenbook, Bohemian Rhapsody, Suicide Squad, Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse, New Mutants, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Jack Reacher, First Man, Steven Spielberg, Netflix

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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War Of The Worlds (2005) – A Quick Capsule Review

War Of The Worlds (2005) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Steven Spielberg teaming with Tom Cruise in an adaptation of a classic sci-fi text had a lot of promise.   And for the most part it delivers.  The film especially excels in the opening hour when the aliens first invade, leaving a path of destruction and death in their wake.  The film drifts towards the end and the very Spielberg conclusion robs the story of its power but this remains a really strong entry into the directors considerable cannon.

Best Bit: The invasion starts

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Invasion of The Bodysnatchers, Cloverfield, The War Of The Worlds

 


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Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gremlins is a stone cold classic for sure but unlike a lot of beloved 80’s films it truly holds up today.  Okay so the technology has moved on and its setting is about as 80’s as you can get BUT it’s themes, hi-jinx and boldness helps this film still feel pretty timeless.  The thing that makes gremlins really work is underneath its cute exterior hides a brilliantly dark mean street.  Fathers trapped down chimneys, deadly stair lifts and lethal snow plows… it’s everything a Christmas movie should be and more.  And your kids WILL like it.  Essential.

Best Bit: The Bar

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Small Soldiers, Critters 

 

Hall of Fame

 


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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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Grosse Point Geek – Ready Player One

Grosse Point Geek – Ready Player One

A Blog Grosse Point Geek The Blogs

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

 

Principal Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance

 

Plot Summary

The Year is 2044, to escape their humdrum, poverty stricken lives, the Earth’s population spends most of its time in a VR world known as The OASIS. Here you can be anybody and do anything – fight in huge battle – check, take part in a high speed car race – you got it, fly to another planet – no problem.  So when its eccentric creator (Mark Rylance) dies, he leaves behind a series of near impossible challenges with the promise of nothing less than ownership of OASIS to whoever solves all of them. Enter young Wade Watts (Sheridan) who joins forces with a group of revolutionaries led by Olivia Cooke’s Art3mis, in a quest to win the biggest competition of all time

 

Nutshell Review

The Good: Theres lots to love here  –  visually its stunning, the OASIS is a feast for the eyes, full of clever Easter Eggs that any dedicated film geek worth his salt will absolutely adore  – the Delorean from Back To The Future, the pulse rifles from Aliens, KIng Kong, Freddy Krueger, Chucky, the glave from Krull  – even the Charm of Making from Excalibur gets thrown in.  The acting is also very good  – Sheridan and Cooke make for engaging leads, Mendelsohn is his usual evil self as the principal baddie and naturally Mark Rylance puts in another brilliant, faultless performance that  proves yet again that he is one of the greatest actors working today.

 

The bad: One could easily accuse Spielberg of some very lazy film making here –  movies set in the future featuring an abundance of virtual reality worlds have been done so many times before in the likes of The Matrix, Tron, Lawnmower Man and Inception that means none of what happens in Ready Player One comes across as particularly original or ground breaking. Not only that but i found it very hard to root for any of the characters,  yes i’ll admit that the principal  cast are very good in their respective roles but unfortunately the characters they play are too thinly drawn and are desperately lacking in much needed depth and back story.

Finally, and most disappointing of all are the somewhat dull action set pieces, which on the whole were more than a bit generic and  certainly not what one would expect from  Steven Spielberg –  who, lets face it , does have a well deserved reputation as being one of the greatest action directors that has ever lived

 

Review Summary: Without doubt Ready Player One is a pretty good film, with a great cast who act their socks off, impressive visuals, and lots of cool classic film references, plus it stands head and shoulders above recent dross like Transformers 5 and Pacific Rim 2. However considering that its directed by Steven Spielberg, one has to say that pretty good just aint good enough. In my humble opinion he has completely lost his touch when it comes to directing big budget blockbusters – which has been all too painfully evident in the likes of The Lost World, Minority Report, War Of The Worlds and especially Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. One can only hope that he regains some of his mojo when we finally get to see the recently announced fifth chapter in the Indiana Jones  franchise – one can only hope.

So in summary  i would recommend seeing  Ready Player One, certainly its worth a trip to the multiplex as that’s where it deserves to be seen –  just don’t go expecting vintage Spielberg.

 

Best Scene: Every one featuring Mark Rylance.

 

Worth Paying to see at the cinema?: Yes

 

Worth buying on Blu Ray/DVD?: Probably – but personally i wouldn’t rush out to buy it at full price

 

See this if you are a film buff and liked: Tron, The Lawnmower Man, Inception

 

Author: Will Strong aka Grosse Point Geek

 

The Post – A Quick Capsule Review

The Post – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Post is Spielberg at his most ‘Oscar’.  That isn’t a necessarily a bad thing – the story of the Washing post breaking confidential Vietnam documents is ripe for a big screen retelling.  It’s dramatic, well performed (of course you’d expect that with Streep and Hanks at the centre) and has enough urgency to drive you through what, in another directors hands, could be a lot less than thrilling.   Well worth it’s nominations and praise.

Best Bit: The presses roll

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: All The Presidents Men,  Spotlight , Network 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Transformers The Last Knight – A Quick Capsule Review

Transformers The Last Knight – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
There was a moment, just briefly, that I started to convince myself during the near epic runtime of Transformers The Last Knight that it wasn’t actually the worst Transformers film I’d seen.  Yes a low bar granted but still… small things.   After all it lacked the now (in)famous Michael Bay voyeurism that has haunted the previous instalments.  It also didn’t stop the film to have a near 10 minutes dedicated to justifying statuary rape.  You know it was at least a LITTLE bit better.  But then… then after over an hour and a half of mind numbering action, a story that makes so little sense I could have been written in Korean and visuals so dull and relentless that a bout of Chinese water torture would have been preferable I realised that no, actually, this was just as bad as the previous 3 instalments.    Just without the underage sex and horrid gynaecological shots of Megan Fox/Rosie Huntington Whatever/Other girl’s rear ends.   Okay so in hindsight I THINK Fifty Shades still edges it for worst film of the year but man if you want to see what $300 million USD of pure tedium looks like then The Last Knight is your bag.  But don’t.  PLEASE.   I watched this so you don’t have to.  There is nothing for you here.  Nothing.  Oh YOU STILL want to ignore my warnings? Well Marky Mark made over $60 million USD for this.  There you go. See.  NOTHING. Enjoy your day at the park.

Best Bit: SIR Anthony Hopkins slums in for money.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Burn.  Burn any copies of this film you can.

If You Liked this Try: Waterboarding

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Blog: This Years Christmas Viewing- A Quick Capsule Review (Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Gremlins, Get Santa, Love Actually, Trading Places)

Blog: This Years Christmas Viewing- A Quick Capsule Review (Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Gremlins, Get Santa, Love Actually, Trading Places)

Quick Review

So a Phil’s Quick Capsule Review round up of the films I watched this festive Christmas season…

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Die Hard
It’s been cloned, it’s been copied but it’s never been bettered. Die Hard is a nailed on classic.  And it just reminds you how far both the films and Willis as an actor/star have fallen in the 25+ years since this film came out.  From DeBonts stunning cinematography to McTiernan’s taught direction, from the script to the set pieces, the film still gives any modern day action film a run for it’s money.  Add to that Alan Rickman chewing up the scenery and a never better Willis and you have a film as good day as it ever was.

Best Bit: C4. Monitor. Bang.  Talk about using a nuclear bomb to Swat a fly.

IMDB Rating: 


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Die Hard 2
So Die Hard 2 holds up less well than Die Hard, the directing isn’t anywhere near as tight, the action a bit stilted and the photography feels like that generic early 90’s last 80’s action film that plagued the genre.  Yet… it’s damn good fun, Willis is comfortable in his role as the wise cracking McClane  and the support cast on top form.  So not the classic that Die Hard is but still a lot to enjoy.

Best Bit: Ice. Eye. Death.

IMDB Rating:

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Gremlins
From the twist mind of Joe Dante and it once meant something stamp of producer Steven Spielberg comes one of the most subversive “kids ” film ever made.  Not that it actually is a kids film.  Oh no it’s a lot better than that.  Death, murder, microwaved gremlins… Dante delivers a feast of horrors in what is still his best film. Everything about Gremlin’s works and whilst it’s over 30 years old now, it hasn’t aged bit (save for some of the background technology). Smart. Funny. And at time scary, Gremlins is the wicked fun.

Best Bit: Kitchen Scene

IMDB Rating: 

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Get Santa
So from the director that gave you Severance and Triangle comes this years more interesting take on Christmas. Totally successful?  No.  But not without a few laughs.  Mostly of the jokes about Warwick Davis looking like an Elf or Reindeers farting type. But you take them where you can get them I guess. Broadbent is having more fun that most (including the audience) and overall you are left with a sometime funny, never boring kids film.

Best Bit: Davis being confused for an elf.

IMDB Rating: 

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Love Actually
Okay so I have a massive soft spot for this slice of manipulative tosh.  Is Love Actually a great film?  By all standard measures probably not.  It’s far too on the nose, it makes little sense and it’s as subtle as a brick around the head.  BUT.  And this is a but BUT. I still love it.  It’s become a Christmas favourite, watched ever year without fail.  Why?  Because at it heart it’s a sweet, often funny, always charming story about love and people, a story that can melt even the hardest of hearts.  What’s not to love…

Best Bit: The ending.  Love is actually all-around after all

IMDB Rating: 

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Trading Places
(1983)
Another subservience Christmas film, a tale of rags to riches to rags.  Okay so 31 years on some of the humour certainly would pass now (not least a backed up Dan Aykroyd) , but Trading Places holds up rather well considering everything that has come after.  But then good jokes, winning performances and great central ideas are pretty time less.  Maybe both Aykroyd and Murphy should watch this again and remind themselves of when they used to be funny…

Best Bit: Whilst it’s Murphy film, Ackroyd gives a star turn here

IMDB Rating: 

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden