‘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…
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: Mike is away so the children will play!!! On this episode we have two huge reviews in Venom and The Predator. We also continue with our countdown of our favourite films of each year, this time from 2010-2006.
On this episode of the podcast we talk about the recent passing of the legendary Burt Reynolds by discussing in great depth our love of TheCannonball Run and recounting our very own Burt Reynolds story. Ross also shares his thoughts of the recent Shane Black movie The Predator.
Hosted by Award winning filmmaker Ross Boyask and blogger/writer/failed filmmaker Phil Hobden.
Films Discussed: The Predator, Mile 22, Upgrade, Fantastic 4, Predators, The Kingdom, Cannonball Run, Cannonball Run 2, Deliverance, Smokey & The Bandit
Shane Black’s The Predator is cringe-inducing miscalculation of tone and narrative pace, a film that doesn’t seem to know why it has been made in the first place; if it were a person it would wonder into your house, curiously stumble about the place with a confused look on its face before realising it’s in the wrong address and leaving before causing any real trouble. The original Predator movie is a classic on all fronts, a very special film to me personally and you know what? I like Predator 2 too, and the Alien VS Predator movies – sue me! This movie, The Predator… oh dear; what the hell happened?
I was literally about to start talking about the story and it has taken me some time to think of a cohesive summary: a predator, I big crab-faced brute that communicates through clicking and ripping people’s spines out, crashes to Earth and screws up a hostage rescue operation that the film forgets about after a minute or two of the interruption. A sniper, played by Boyd Holbrook, encounters the creature, steals some of its equipment and goes on the run, meanwhile Olivia Munn is a biologist who gets picked up by the government agency hell bent on capturing the predators and stealing their technology in order to… give them a hand I guess?
MEANWHILE (again) Holbrook sends the predator equipment he stole to his estranged wife and son by mistake and drops them right in it, MEANWHILE (again, again) a much bigger super predator arrives who is also hunting the regular predator who crashed to Earth, MEANWHILE—OH GOD! How much is going on in this movie? It’s not like I’m just doing a crap job of summarizing it, this film, after a fun opening scene of crashing spaceships and Predator carnage, spends its entire first act jumping around from scene to scene without any sense of narrative necessity, flow or cohesiveness, it just kind of goes along, here’s another character, here’s another one, oh and here’s another one.
It’s the kind of mess that suggests there’s a ton of footage missing, that maybe, once, these scenes did have more to connect them but it’s all been amputated for the sake of… I don’t know, shorter runtime, more room to include stuff the studio wanted for future reference maybe, like sequels and stuff like that? Oh I see, if that’s the case then it doesn’t sound like the studio cared that much about a good movie, sounds like they did what Warner Bros. did to Justice League.
Add that to the rumours of paranoid sounding reshoots (just like Justice League) and you get a scary idea of what this thing is, a corporate product handled the same way a school bully gets the weaker kid to do his homework for him. Helmed by a studio that I’m going to guess didn’t really give a damn about integrity but rather something they could police however they wanted regardless of their hired filmmaker’s vision, “just make us a new predator movie, make it how we want, shut up, no we don’t know anything about narrative or structure but just add what we tell you to because meeting financial guidelines makes movies good by definition, right?”
I know I’m blaming the studio a lot but when you look at these problems as they play in the film they really do feel similar to infamous stories of studio meddling in the past, and not the kind of mistakes I can see a filmmaker like Shane Black make through incompetence. I think what I can blame Shane Black for is his decision to include some of the cringiest and unwarranted comedy EVER! I’m not gonna lie, I did chuckle a few times here and there but for the most part I just had to bury my face in my hands with embarrassment, particularly during the scenes on a bus. There’s a mentally challenged predator dog that shows up here and there to make a fool of itself, there’s a horrendous scene in a hotel room involving a slip up with Tourette’s which I really don’t want to think about too much and the fact that so much of the running time is dedicated to this just boggles my brain.
I was massively disappointed with The Predator, when it’s trying to be funny it makes me want to shoot myself, the action scenes are unmemorable, the CGI could’ve been better, the characters are all just walking talking quirks, the cinematography is alright and the actors seem to be having fun but the film gets surprisingly dull after the first hour or so. Even the predator costume doesn’t live up to the A+ perfection of those worn by Kevin Peter Hall, visible lines and crevices on the face suggest animatronics and the CGI on the creature’s eyes – no, sorry Shane, but no.
Want to know what the critics think of the latest hot releases but don’t want to have to search for them? Well look no further as we round up the reviews from 5 of the most influential sources for the latest BIG RELEASE movie. This time out: The Predator
“It’s a shame when everything splinters apart in the haphazard and shoddy-looking last half-hour, largely derailing what began as a promising entry in the wildly inconsistent franchise.”- 6.5
” whether this reboot was necessary at all, is probably a question worth raising, but at least Black’s take on it is to never take it too seriously while keeping us duly entertained.”
“Uneven, occasionally unsavoury and at times frustratingly muddled, but there’s enough bloody, ’80s-style fun in The Predator to give it a pass from long-term fans.” – 3/5
“Shane Black’s reboot of a franchise he once acted in is loud, energetic, and near-senseless.”
” A bad misfire this, particularly disappointing given the pedigree of who’s behind the camera. I think I may have got that across. Save your money. ” -1/5
Overall Critics Say
Full credit to original sources. Links to websites provided.
Phil’s Quick look at what’s wetting his whistle for the upcoming year in films…
Well 2017 saw Marvel driver big and DC retain it’s patchy record. Horror stood out overall as most of the big Blockbusters fell short. 2018 has the promise to be even more mixed… so here’s the films I’m most looking forward to in 2017. And a few that I’d be happy to miss.
Most Excited: Avengers: Infinity War
Like it or not this is the biggest film of the year and whilst I have reservations (Age Of Ultron wasn’t great and the trailer did little for this latest instalment did little for me) BUT Marvel have been building to this for over 10 years and with the talent involved both on screen and off this could be a once in a life time film. Or Justice League Mark 2. Time will tell.
2. Deadpool 2 The original Deadpool was brilliant and by all accounts if the trailer is anything to go by this could be as good if not better. Enter Cable to the X-Men universe and with all the returning faces from part one Deadpool could be the last great 18 rated film Fox makes if the merger with Disney goes ahead.
3. Black Panther
Marvel bring a more unconventional Superhero tale to the screen, and with an excellent trailer and Marvel’s near flawless 2017 record this has the ability to be something quiet special indeed.
4. Bohemian Rhapsody Yes it’s had production issues and yes Singer isn’t a nice guy but with Dexter Fletcher taking over and with Queens backing this could be the film about the great Freddie Mercury that we have ALL been wait for.
5. The Incredibles 2 The Incredibles was, er, Incredible and this belated sequel looks like it could be another smash hit for Pixar. Lets just hope its more Toy Story 2 than Cars 2.
Bubbling Under: Tomb Raider (Good Trailer, great cast), Ant Man & The Wasp (Ant Man was great fun), The Predator (Shane Black + Predator = Hell Yes!), Mission Impossible 6 (These films tend to always be fun), The Happytime Murders (Brian Henson + Muppets = Heaven), The Purge: Island (LOVE the Purge Films), The Irishman (Scorsese teams with DeNiro & Pacino), Halloween (New sequel that ignores previous. With Carpenter’s blessing AND music)
Stinker Of The Year: Fifty Shades Freed Yes I’ve watched BOTH Fifty Shades movies. And yes BOTH have previously taken the WORST FILM of the year titles. Look this franchise has nothing. Poor acting, poor direction and poor writing topped off with S&M so softcore you could see harder on Babestation. Thankfully this will bring this torrid series to an end and hopefully the careers of all involved.
Also Dreading: Solo – A Star Wars Story (fired directors, Ron Howard, total reshoots – this could be the first Disney Star Wars flop), Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Boring trailer and a sense of having done this before), Day of The Dead: Bloodline (please no), Ready Player One (Spielberg hasn’t made a truly interesting film for a while), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (X-Men films just don’t grab me anymore), Oceans 8 (Just WHY!), Scarface (Urban Scarface remake….a film NOBODY asked for), Pacific Rim: Uprising (God no)
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 2017 and see how close I was (or as it often is the case, how far!)…
For best: I tipped Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Star Wars The Last Jedi, War For The Planet Of The Apes, T2: Trainspotting and John Wick Chapter 2 as my most anticipated of 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was good but eclipsed by both Spiderman Homecoming and Thor Ragnorok.War For The Planet Of The Apes was good but fell a bit short of the rave reviews it was given. T2: Trainspotting was one of my top 5 films of the year (and film of the year for almost half of 2017) whilst John Wick 2 was a bit shit. Star Wars The last Jedi meanwhile. As for the rest? Silence, Spiderman: Homecoming, Alien: Covenant and Baywatch were all either great or enjoyable.
As for the Stinkers? Transformers: The Last Knight was picked as the stinker of the year but eventually was pipped by Fifty Shades Darker. Both were appalling. Wonder Woman was actually mostly excellent, Blade Runner 2049 ended up as one of teh years best and Logan knocked it out the park. XXX: Return Of Xander Cage was dumb funbut The Mummy, Power Rangers and Cars 3 all were in the worst of the year.
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: 2018 Films I’m Looking Forward To
Close but no cigar: Ready Player One, Rampage, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Purge , Ant Man & The Wasp
5 – The Predator Shane Black back on the Predator train, this time as a director. If anyone can realise the potential this franchise has then Black is the man.
4 – Untitled Star Wars Han Solo Movie Yup it’s had issues (firing the directs 3 weeks from the end of filming) but it’s still a Star Wars films and so far the Disney overloads have yet to deliver a bad film.
3 – Paddington 2 Paddington was a real joy, sweet, funny and charming. Paddington 2 can be all that and more!
2 – Black Panther The trailer looks ace and once again Marvel takes another step towards owning the world.
1 – The Avengers: Infinity War A film ten years in the making, Infinity War will finally mark the arrival of Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet, a million Marvel Characters and The Avengers teaming with The Guardians Of The Galaxy. What is there NOT to be excited about?