‘Phil’s Quick Capsule Review’ (a nod to legendary comedian Bill Hicks who coined the phrase when he reviewed ‘Piece Of Shit’ movie Basic Instinct)… where a perfect 10 is rarer than a rain free British summer!
Written by Phil Hobden – UK based podcaster, writer and former filmmaker. Part of the All Things Film network…
So 2017 is almost over and it’s that time a year again where everyone reflects back on their best and worst films of the year.
So first up… the 5 WORST films of 2017. And, as always, there were quite a few to choose from..
Stinker of The Year: Fifty Shades Darker (2017) In Brief: It’s so bad it’s not even fun. Yup Fifty Shades Darker takes off where 50 Shades Of Grey finished – mostly bad script writing, score core S&M and some Movie Channel poor acting. It’s totally amateur and I’m beyond gobsmacked that they made this film, let alone the upcoming sequel. Lets be honest if a film can beat a Michael Bay Transformers film to Worst film it’s pretty bad.
2. Transformers The Last Knight In Brief: Another year this would have romped it home, but few things can beat Fifty Shades in a shit film contest. That said Hopkins slumming it, more Marky Mark and a pointless nonsensical story get’s pretty close.
3. Assassins Creed In Brief: Video name adaptations don’t come more asinine than this. It’s dull, it’s silly, it makes no sense and you stop caring after a few seconds.
4. Underworld Blood War In Brief: The Underworld films have always been little more than OKAY but Blood War was a case of flogging a very dead horse.
5. The Mummy (2017) In Brief: CGI strewn humourless Pants… The Mummy is a hot mess of a film that even the usually robust star power or Cruise couldn’t save. It’s just terrible.
6. The Circle – Boring Netflix drivel
7. Power Rangers – Pointless
8. A Cure For Wellness – Pretentious, long and dull
9. Leatherface – A film you didn’t need or want
10. Hacksaw Ridge – Nice to see Mel back but this was just jingoistic war porn.
Dis-Honourable Mentions:King Arthur Legend Of The Sword , Live By Night, Sing! , The Boss Baby, The Dark Tower , The Limehouse Golem, Justice League
The 2017 Films I just couldn’t Finish: Sleepless, The Ghoul, The Lost City of Z
Another year goes by and like very much like 2016 its been a mighty disappointing one for us film geeks.
The blockbuster season (which started in about April) was without doubt the worst i have ever known – littered with remakes, sequels and reboots that proved there is a total lack of any new ideas flowing through Hollywood at the moment. Time and again it seemed that millions of dollars had been simply thrown away on the likes of utter rubbish such The Dark Tower, Valerian, King Arthur and that awful Transformers sequel, with nary a single passing thought to investing in creating proper stories, decent scripts or even a hint at actual risk taking. Instead, for the most part we got nothing more than good looking dross aimed at the 12A moron crowd who wouldn’t know a proper film if it came up and bit them on the arse.
What is painfully obvious is that the film industry as a whole needs to completely take stock, cease trying to create the next expanded universe or indulging talentless idiots like Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay and (whisper it) Luc Besson and start delivering edgy, daring material that at least has a go at being original, thought provoking and dare i say it – not solely aimed at the average 12 year old boy, then maybe we would have a chance of far more satisfying years at the cinema than this one turned out to be.
I will concede that it wasn’t all bad as there were a few shining lights. Logan proved to be the best X-Men film since X2, Dunkirk solidified Christopher Nolan as one of the greatest directors working in Hollywood today, Thor Ragnarok was utterly insane and turned out to be the funniest and most enjoyable standalone film of the MCU universe, Fast 8 was great fun and Star Wars The Last Jedi was fantastic, in addition some smaller more independent films also managed to impress – the likes of Wind River, Manchester By The Sea, Molly’s Game, Lion and A Monster Calls were all top notch. Plus there were some great performances – Chris Evans, Andy Serkis, Adam Driver, Jessica Chastain, Mark Rylance and many others all did very well in challenging and memorable roles that impressed critics and audiences alike.
However, despite this i still have to say that over all this year was sadly a massive let down and one can only hope that 2018 is a significant improvement……we live in hope.
So without further ado please see below my personal list of the good, bad and in many cases very ugly films of 2017.
Top Ten Best
Star Wars The Last Jedi
A Monster Calls
Manchester By The Sea
Blade Runner 2049
War For The Planet of The Apes
Top Ten Honorary Mentions
Wheelman (catch it on Netflix – its great)
John Wick Chapter 2
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Top Fifteen Worst:
Transformers:The Last Knight (the cinematic equivalent of being disemboweled with a blunt spoon then slowly and choked to death with ones own entrails – I HATED this film)
Underworld 5 (god-awful rubbish)
XXX3: The Return of Xander Cage (at least 15 years out of date, bereft of entertainment value and utterly juvenile to boot)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (horribly crass, overlong and an insult to the brilliant original)
The Discovery (torpor inducing nonsense)
The Snowman (considering the talent in front and behind the camera it beggared belief as to how rotten this film was)
Ghost In The Shell (boring and bland in the extreme)
Free Fire (crap)
Unlocked (mega crap)
King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (a misfire and a complete mess of gargantuan proportions)
Silence (Scorsese’s $40 million dollar vanity project that was, without a shadow of a doubt THE most boring cinematic experience I have ever had in my entire life)
The Bye Bye Man (just bad bad bad)
The Dark Tower (a catastrophic waste of time and money – how this version of Stephen King’s classic novels managed to get the green light from the studio I will never know)
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (Johnny was good value as always but this moribund franchise needs to end with immediate effect)
Assassins Creed (good looking film but could have been so much better)
Top Fifteen Favorite Performances:
Chris Evans – Gifted
Mckenna Grace – Gifted
Hugh Jackman – Logan
Mark Rylance – Dunkirk
Ryan Reynolds – The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Frank Grillo – Wheelman
Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game
Adam Driver – Star Wars The Last Jedi
Mark Hamill – Star Wars The Last Jedi
Chris Hemsworth – Thor Ragnarok
Jeff Goldblum – Thor Ragnarok
Dwayne Johnson – Fast 8
Chris Pine – Wonder Woman
Andy Serkis – War For The Planet Of The Apes
Tom Holland – Spiderman Homecoming
Top Ten Best Action Scenes:
1.Star Wars The Last Jedi: The final battle – Chewie and Rey arrive in the Falcon in the nick of time
2.Thor Ragnarok – That god almighty scrap on the Bifrost Bridge – all brilliantly played out to Led Zepellin’s classic Immigrant Song
3.Star Wars The Last Jedi – The Throne Room Lightsabre duel
4.Dunkirk: Tom Hardy’s RAF spitfire pilot desperately tries to bring down a German Bomber before it kills scores of soldiers who are stranded the water plus pleasure boat captain Mr Dawson (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter -total edge of the seat, nail biting stuff – all together now “Come on Farrier!”
5. Fast 8 – Jason Statham (plus very cute baby) vs an entire plane load of baddies
6. Fast 8 – Dwayne Johnson vs speeding torpedo
7. Wonder Woman – The No Man’s Land dash
8. Spiderman Homecoming – The Washington Monument rescue sequence
9. Justice League – The League’s first proper battle with Steppenwolf and the Para Demons
10. Thor Ragnarok – Thor vs The Hulk
Best One liners:
“Im gonna shove your teeth so far down your throat that your gonna have to shove a toothbrush up your ass to clean ’em!” – Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) – Fast 8
“Im gonna beat you like a Cherokee drum!” Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson – again) – Fast 8
“By the beard of Odin you will not cut my hair!” Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
“Please kind sir do not cut my hair!” – Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
“I have legendarily huge turds” – Drax (Dave Bautista) – Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2
“What the F….!!!!!” Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) Spiderman: Homecoming
Right, there we have it – my work here is done for another year – as ever i would like to thank my dear friend Phil Hobden for letting me contribute to this fantastic website (despite the fact that he is still remains to be utterly wrong about Paul WS Anderson and The Hobbit Trilogy!) and finally my heartfelt thanks go out to all our loyal readers (whoever the hell you are)
I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.
My name is Will Strong and i’ve been Grosse Pointe Geek.
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: The Top 5 Disappointing films of 2017
5 – The Dark Tower
I dint hate this but in a year that brought us IT and Gerald’s Game, this should have been SO much better.
4 – A Cure for Wellness
Lots of hype. So little delivery.
3 – War Machine
War Machine just lacked bite. For a satire it lacked, well Satire. Pitt was good but the film was just to mainstream.
2 – King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
King Arthur was a mess. Richie can be hit and miss but the cast, trailer and even concept was great. But studio messing and a lack of vision just led the final film to be half the film it should have been.
1 – The Mummy
It was never going to be Shawshank but Tom Cruise is usually pretty reliable. Shame then that film (a “Universe film” that sunk the universe it was set to create) was total disappointment with a messy script. One to avoid.
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Gerald’s Game is yet another 2017 Stephen King adaptation. This one sits between the most excellent I.T and the less than excellent (but still not as bad as everyone says!) The Dark Tower. With some strong central performances, a tight story and a nippy run time it works well, even if the tones and story is a little bit familiar. Another strong Netflix original…
Best Bit: Netflix Hits again
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)
If You Liked this Try: IT, The Stand, Fifty Shades Of Grey, Misery
So this is my semi-regularly updated of the BEST and WORST of 2017’s movies, as well as the best films I missed from last year and the Phil’s Quick Capsule Review Sharknado Award.
This will be the LAST Edition until our final end of year Wrap up.
All in my very humble opinion…
BEST Films Of 2017… So Far:
Baby Driver (9/10)
T2 Trainspotting (9/10)
Paddington 2 (9/10)
OJ: Made In America (9/10)
Blade Runner 2049 (8/10), La La Land (8/10), IT 2017 (8/10); Thor: Ragnarok (8/10), Shot Caller (8/10); Dunkirk (8/10), Spider-Man Homecoming (8/10), Logan (8/10), Prevenge (8/10), Logan Lucky (8/10), Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (8/10), Counterpunch (8/10), Jawbone (8/10), Silence (8/10), Hidden Figures (8/10), War For The Plant of The Apes (7/10), Wheelman (7/10), Happy Death Day (7/10)
WORST Films Of 2017… So Far:
Fifty Shades Darker (2/10)
Transformers The Last Knight (2/10)
Assassins Creed (3/10)
Underworld Blood War (4/10)
The Mummy (4/10), The Circle (4/10), Power Rangers (4/10), A Cure For Wellness (4/10), Gaga: Five Foot Two (4/10), Leatherface (4/10), Hacksaw Ridge (5/10), King Arthur Legend Of The Sword (5/10), Live By Night (5/10), Sing! (5/10), The Boss Baby (5/10), The Dark Tower (5/10), The Limehouse Golem (5/10), Justice League (5/10)
The 2017 Sharknado Award for Films So Good (!) They Cant Be Rated:
2 Lava 2 Lantula & Sharknado 5: Global Swarming
The 2017 Films I just couldn’t Finish…
The Ghoul, The Lost City of Z
Great Films Of 2016 That I saw In 2017:
The Edge Of Seventeen, The Girl With All The Gifts, Train To Busan, Deepwater Horizon, Kubo & The Two Strings, Sing Street, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, 13th, I Daniel Blake
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: The Dark Tower took a critical drubbing on it’s release – despite it’s literary pedigree and stellar cast – it didn’t land well. It also came out within weeks of the vastly super adaptation of King’s IT. Thing is it’s NOT as bad as you have been led to believe. Yup it’s not great for sure but it’s also not boring, quickly paced and doesn’t outlive it’s welcome for the most part. It does have issues – it’s a film put together in the edit suit that at times feels partly finished (the ADR for example is terrible). But there are worse (and much better) films out this year and this probably shouldn’t trouble anyone’s best or worst list.
Best Bit: Idris Elba is good
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: IT (2017), The Stand, Stand By Me
It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.
On this episode: This week on the show Josh, Stephen and Ricky B bring reviews of The Hitman’s Bodyguard, The Dark Tower and The Defenders. Top 5 movies with minimal dialogue, educating Josh and a new hilarious address the lamb.
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: 2017’s most anticipated films
Close but no cigar: Justice League, The Dark Tower, Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver
5 – Spiderman: Homecoming With two good Spiderman films, two average and one pretty poor, Marvel’s not at the reigns and with Downey Jnr’s Iron man onboard as mentor and Tom Holland knocking it out the part in Civil War could be finally get a version of Spiderman that’s faithful to the comic book.
4 – Dunkirk Nolan’s last film was divisive as the backlash against his success started to creep in. Dunkirk promises more of his visual lead direction with epic set pieces (never a strength of Nolan previously) and an impressive cast.
3 – War For The Planet of The Apes The two Apes movies (Rise & Dawn) have been impressive. The third chapter looks to take the concept and run with it with. You had me at Ape on horseback with a gun to be honest.
2 – IT (2017) That trailer. IT was a good mini series back in the 90’s but it suffered from a small budget, a strange ending and slow pace. This version promises to correct those flaws whilst making a truly memorable Pennywise that could (maybe) top Curry’s iconic performance. Maybe.
1 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi Come on! It’s Star Wars! The 8th part of the Skywalker saga promises to be darker and tread a different path to The Force Awakens and the recent trailer seems to hint at just that. End of the Jedi? Just maybe…
Phil’s Quick look at what’s wetting his whistle for the upcoming year in films…
Well 2016 was a bit… odd. With most of the big films not quite hitting the mark, especially comic books films. 2017 looks like more of the same – big budget super heroes, franchises, remakes and sequels. Here’s the films I’m most looking forward to in 2017.
Most Excited: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Marvel continues to do solid work, with Doctor Strange being a highlight of 2016. Also Guardians was, simply put, bloody terrific. Oh and have you seen THAT trailer. Baby Groot? Atomic Bomb? Yup. Sold.
2. Star Wars Episode 8 Lucasfilm in the hands of Disney have given us two very good Star Wars films in the shape of The Force Awakens and Rogue One. With the original cast (mostly) returning, more promised on the origins of Kylo Ren and Rey as well as a full return to the movies of Luke Skywalker… Episode 8 should be pretty special.
3. War For The Planet Of The Apes Rise was great. Dawn even better. And now War. Based on THAT trailer and a synopsis which promises the final showdown between ape and man (which should lead to the end of the world/Charlton Heston) this could be one of the best films of the year.
4. John Wick Chapter 2 John Wick was old school, martial arts awesomeness. John Wick 2 promises a LOT more of the same. I have my seat booked.
5. T2: Trainspotting Trainspotting remains one of the best films of the 90’s and one of the best British films ever. Whether T2 follows the source material of Porno or not is still to be seen but either way with the cast returning and Boyle back behind the camera this should deliver a great film.
Bubbling Under: Baywatch (Excellent Trailer),Lego Batman (It’s Lego. Batman. Done), Spiderman: Homecoming (this could go either way to be honest but I’m hoping…), Silence (Scorsese. I’m in), Alien: Covenant (come on it HAS to be better than Prometheus!), The Dark Tower (could be the King adaptation we’ve always waited for), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Original was amazing, same team).
Stinker Of The Year: Transformers: The Last Knight The previous 3 Transformers films have each rated in AT LEAST the bottom 3 of year they were released (some even rock bottom). Looking at the trailer for the fifth (yes FIFTH!) Michael Bay Transformers film does little to convince me that this will be anything but an utter mess. It’s a bit like shooting fish in a barrel sure but come on there has to be ZERO chance of this being any good.
Also Dreading: Wonder Woman (The trailer is lacking, the film just doesn’t grab me), Blade Runner 2049 (Silly title, a sequel we just don’t need), Power Rangers (Urm not needed, not wanted), Logan (Want tone wrong but so far these films have just not worked), XXX: Return Of Xander Cage (Diesel is back. Nobody cares), Cars 3 (1 & 2 weren’t great) , The Mummy (Tom Cruise. A Mummy. I’ll pass).
So how did I do last year?
This is the time of the year when I look back at my picks of the good, the bad and the ugly from 2016 and see how close I was (or as it often is the case, how far!)…
For the best: I tipped Captain America Civil War, Creed, Finding Dory, Deadpool & London Has Fallen as my most anticipated of 2016. Somewhat of a mixed bag with Creed & Deadpool sitting close to my top 10 with Creed my film of the year for a few months near the start of 2016. Finding Dory was good but not good enough. London Has Fallen, well that ended up being one of the worst films of the year for me. As for Captain America Civil War? It promised a lot but fell short of the far superior Winter Solider from a few years back and Marvel’s very own Doctor Strange which was the best superhero film of the year.
As for the Stinkers? Point Break was terrible as expected and landed firmly in my bottom 5 for 2016. Batman Vs Superman was actually pretty fun (if flawed), The Hateful Eight overrated as I expected but there were worse films in 2016, Ghostbusters was forgettable, Warcraft was everything that’s wrong with game movie adaptations and the combination of sequels Divergent Allegiant & Independence Day Resurgence showed that both franchises have zero fun left in them and even less commercial appeal. Only Star Trek Beyond rose above the dross as a truly fun film (until the silly somewhat overblown ending).