A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood could have been a twee, dull fluff piece.  But it’s not.  In fact A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is something quite lovely, all hinging around a sublime performance from Oscar nominated Tom Hanks.  A perfectly pitched, joyous film that its both charming and life affirming. Okay so it may be a little too lacking in bite at times but once again Hanks proves just why he’s Hollywood’s Mr Rogers.

Best Bit: Hanks is just sublime.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Sully, Saving Mr Banks, Won’t You Be My Neighbour 


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Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #087 – The Post, Coco, The Darkest Hour

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #087 – The Post, Coco, The Darkest Hour

The Podcasts The Smoking Lamb Podcast

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: Josh, Mike and Steve take a crack at three films this week – The Tom Hanks/Meryl Streep/Steven Spielberg juggernaut, The Post; the latest Pixar movie (get your tissues ready)Coco, and the shoe-in for best actor, Darkest Hour. We also give our predictions for the Oscars – who do you think will be picking up a new golden statue? On top of this is our Top Five songs in films, Josh checks out High Noon (Or does he???) and we round off the show with Address the Lamb!

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast


Inferno – A Quick Capsule Review

Inferno – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh wow. This was directed by Ron Howard.  He can direct films.  He’s done a few pretty good ones.  In fact Rush from a few years back was awesome.  But here… here I get the impression he may not have been on set much for this one as Inferno is pretty woeful with both Howard and Hanks delivering sub par career low efforts.  And they made Ange;s & Demons.  From a clunky script that is laugh out loud bad TO THE MOST OBVIOUS TWIST EVER, Inferno takes the standard piss poor Dan Brown source material and does nothing to make it better.  In fact in a rare twist the film actually makes it worse.  One to avoid.

Best Bit: THE TWIST. The film plays it like a surprise.  You won’t be.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: The DaVinci Code, Angels & Demons, Rush

IMDB Rating: 


Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s Top 5… One Hit Wonder Movie Directors

Phil’s Top 5… One Hit Wonder Movie Directors

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: One Hit Wonder Movie directors.

Close but no cigar: Michael Lehmann, Charles Laughton, Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel & Benoit Poelvoorde, Jan De Bont, John Singleton

5 – Tony Kaye – American History X
Studio fallouts, it’s lead star locking director out of editing suite, bad press and a war against Hollywood – Kaye and American History X had it all. Even now the director refuses to work inside the studio system that he feels burnt him badly.

4 – Tom Hanks – That Thing You Do!
A light hearted teen coming of age movie about a small time 60’s band making it big was both a commercial and critical success. And rightly so it was a cracker of a film. His follow up Larry Crowne was mostly ignored.

3 – Josh Trank – Chronicle
Fired (or left) a Star Wars Anthology movie before it began as well as being party to the franchise killing Fantastic Four reboot, Trank has talent in spades but just cant seem to get on with the rigid needs of Studio film making.

2 – Richard Kelly – Donnie Darko
Southland Tales? The box? Yeah all very much also ran’s to the cult hit Donnie Darko (itself HIGHLY overrated). Hasn’t released a film since 2009.

1 – Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez – The Blair Witch Project
The Blair Witch was a true phenomenon. It launched a new sub genre and, for a time, was the worlds most profitable film. It’s scary as hell and for me one of the most influential films of it’s decade. A terrible sequel and a few indie films later and the filmmakers have more or less disappeared from the planet.



Review: Saving Mr Banks (Cinema)

Review: Saving Mr Banks (Cinema)


The Review:  You know what? Sometimes a film comes along with performances so good that it elevates what could otherwise be an over sentimental slog. Saving Mr Banks is just that film. From Thompson (giving the performance of 2013) to Hanks, Farrell to Giamatti everyone is on the top of their game here. And it’s a pleasure to watch.

The story, that of Walt Disney’s attempts to woo Mary Popins writer PL Travers into giving him the rights to her much loved story, is told well enough and the film directed in such as way that the (mostly) true to life tale can take centre stage rather than flashy visuals (American Hustle take note) , but it’s heart and soul comes from what will be a trophy cabinet filling performance from Thompson.  Divine, vine from start to finish, she injects just the right amount of heart to make you fall in love with a woman who, for the most part, is pretty unloveable.

That said, her performance centrally benefits from Hanks as Walt Disney.  Charming, charismatic and dashing (in a very 60’s kinda way), Hanks delivers a Walt Disney minus the rough edges and whilst that may not sit well with purists of the Golden Age, it doesn’t detract from a stirling effort by the former Forrest Gump.  And yes that problem is prevalent elsewhere, in that as often you find with films of this ilk the truth often makes way for narrative construct and the need to protect those that need protecting (Saving mr Banks is produced by Disney) .  So don’t expect the big guy to be lighting up anytime soon.

This are small gripes however in what is a very enjoyable 2 hours.  So come for the performances and stay for the film which is, in truth, a lovely story about simpler times.  And animated penguins.


Reviewed By: Phil Hobden

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