‘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…
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Bumblebee is not like any previous Transformers film. And that’s a REALLY good thing. Okay that’s a touch harsh as I still rate the 2007 Transformers film but even then Bumblebee stands out as a far more character driven film, deserving of it’s Christmas release date rather than carry the expectation of a more action heavy summer blockbuster slot. And that comes very much from the vision of Kubo And The Two Strings director Travis Knight who gives Bumblebee a heart and soul, focusing more on relationships that action. But when the action DOES break out the character models, CGI and staging mean that for teh first time you can actually see what’s happening. Add in loads of knots back to the more traditional G1 designs and you get a film for newbies AND fans. Yup it’s fair to say that Bumblebee is the first essential Transformers film since 2007. Go watch.
Best Bit: Wrecking the house (or Cybertron)
Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema
If You Liked this Try: Transformers (2007), Transformers: The Movie (1986), Real Steel, Kubo And The Two Strings
Phil Hobden is the former Film Editor & Writer for renowned martial arts focused COMBAT MAGAZINE in the UK. He is also a filmmaker in his own right, having produced two cult Independent action films in LEFT FOR DEAD and TEN DEAD MEN. He was the host for the award nominated Filmsploitation podcast for 4 years, currently co-hosts Ross And Phil Talk Movies and is a writer/editor for his own blog Phil’s Quick Capsule Review…
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 we’ve covered our best and our worst films of 2016, so before we look at the films coming up in 2017 here’s my ‘Alternative’ End of Year Awards for 2017…
The Most Entertainingly Bad Film Of The Year Award… Geostorm
The Gerard Butler Award For Consistently Making Entertainingly Terrible Films Gerard Butler (Geostorm)
Surprise of The Year Award… That Any one’s left standing in Hollywood after the year of deaths and scandals…
Performance Of The Year Award…
Mark Kermode AGAIN… for his still oddly favourable reviews for his friends movies (see Murder On The Orient Express)
Just Fuck Off and Die Award…
Michael Bay & Transformers. Just stop. Now.
Least Deserving Commercial Bomb of The Year (Maybe EVER) Award…
Blade Runner 2049
Shit so I still can enjoy these films right, even though their lead/producer/co-star was a pervert/bully/ sex offender/Insert Crime Here Award Baby Driver, Swimming With Sharks, Pulp Fiction, X-Men 2, Toy Story… agh almost ALL my favourite films. God damn you Hollywood.
Come In Your time is Up Award… Zack Snider. You made two good films. EVERYTHING else has been deeply average. TIED with Harvey Weinstein – your a cunt Harvey pure and simple.
Trailer Of The Year Award… Logan Redband Trailer
Let Down of The Year Award… Hollywood. A seething industry of low lives and scum.
Yes it’s Good. But come on people its also a bit Emperors new clothes… Get Out
Low Budget Straight To DVD Surprise of the Year! Shot Caller
The ‘YES! See We don’t Always Fuck Up Award’ DC/Warner Brothers. They Made a Good Film! (Wonder Woman)
Fuck! We Spoke Too Soon Award DC/Warner Brothers for Justice League
Let Down of The Year Award Part 2…. George Romero NOT coming back as a Zombie when he died.
Cameo of The Year Award… Tim Curry’s original Pennywise The Clown in the 2017 version of IT.
The Prove That ‘You Can Come Back from Horrible Shit’ Award (Aka The Future Kevin Spacey Award) Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge, Daddy’s Home 2)
The Oscars only like REALLY famous dead people award for missing out other stars who died Award… Garry Shandling, Florence Henderson, Alexis Arquette, Doris Roberts and Robert Vaughn
The Proof That Award Shows Suck Award… Snubs (Didn’t wins or Not Nominated) for I Daniel Blake, Hunt for The Wilder People, Sing Street, Hell Or High Water, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kubo And The Two Strings, Silence, Amy Adams and many more
The Poof That Award Shows DONT Suck Award… It’s La La Land… No Moonlight… No Titanic… No it’s me. The awards themselves offered few surprises, The Oscars even less, but the best picture cock up at the Academy Awards was pure gold!
The Audience Wins! Award. 2017 Sees LESS remakes/Reboots than ever before. Some still sucked. Flatliners, The Mummy
Not ALL remakes & reboots suck Award… IT 2017. Just awesome.
Yup we just made it for the money award (aka The Sequels Suck) Award… Transformers Age Of Extinction
Films That SHOULD have been on my 2016 List’s but I Hadn’t Seen…
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
Next time: Phil’s Look at 2018 and a look back at my 2017 predictions…
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.
To be honest folks i cant be bothered to give much of a plot summary on this film – however if memory serves it involved something to do with an ancient staff of ultimate power being gifted to King Arthur by dark age Transformers, we then fast forward a few thousand years and for whatever reason Mark Wahlberg has got to stop Megatron and Optimus Prime getting their hands on it before the Earth is destroyed. There were also alot of things that went bang and some robots fought each other – the end.
Any self respecting film geek will always have a top ten list of the best films he has ever seen, opposingly, he will also have a top ten worst list…………i have the dubious honour that mine features five films directed by Michael Bay – Pain and Gain (a crass, unfunny, morally bankrupt monstrosity) and the last four Transformers sequels (which includes the film that is subject of this review).
As you may have guessed , i am not a fan of Michael Bay’s work – however this was not always the case – I really liked the first Transformers entry, Bad Boys was good fun (although i hated the sequel) Armageddon is daft but gloriously entertaining and The Rock remains to this day to be one of the best action films of the 90’s. However, despite all this good work everything else he has directed has ranged from being mind blowingly offensive (the aforementioned Pain and Gain), a blatant rip off (The Island is nothing more than a copy of the Matrix) laughably awful (PearlHarbor features THE worst dialogue in movie history) or simply overblown, badly made, boring and totally bereft of plot (all the Transformers sequels).
Unfortunately and completely predictably – so it is again with this, his latest effort – the fifth entry in the never ending Transformers franchise-a and putting it mildly there is absolutely nothing good i can say about it.
For a start – the script is a painfully juvenile mess that sounds like it was written by a ten year old. Indeed so bad is the dialogue that at times I genuinely struggled to believe i was actually watching a modern day film made by an established studio.
The story (such as it is) fails on every level to be even remotely engaging, and features characters which at best are nothing more than thinly drawn, personality deficient non entities who i didn’t care if they lived or died (died would have been better).
The performances from the cast (some by actual Oscar nominees no less) are also universally awful – Anthony Hopkins completely embarrasses himself as an eccentric English Lord, the voice over actors (Peter Cullen, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi et al) are all staggeringly poor, the usually reliable Stanley Tucci shows up in a an excruciating cameo as Merlin, plus Walhberg just looks like he’s only there for the money and appears completely disengaged throughout.
Then there is the action sequences – all of which fail on every level to raise even a modicum of excitement. Bay constantly throws in as many explosions, helicopters, guns and special effects as he can muster at any one time and simply hopes for the best – worst of all this was compounded by a horribly downbeat music score which was used in almost every set piece – particularly the climactic last 20 minutes, which was so boringly dull and loud that it made my eyes and ears feel like they were having needles stuck in them.
Indeed it is a measure of how bad a job Bay has done, that not one action scene made any sense or appeared to have been shot with even an iota of imagination or flair. Coupled with this was the unfathomable decision to keep changing the aspect ratio throughout -on more than one occasion the entire screen was filled – then it was completely reduced in size seconds later – whether or not this was an accident or (more likely) a serious flaw in Bay’s dubious directing talents i’m afraid we shall never know.
What annoys me the most however, is the fact that this film had a budget of nearly a quarter of a billion dollars and yet managed to be so bad. How does this happen? How does that much money buy such an appalling script? Or produce such poor performances from normally good actors? Or results in a film that has the temerity to call its itself a summer blockbuster yet turns out to be less entertaining than watching paint dry and more painful than a firm kick in the testicles.
Ask yourself this – how great would it have been if the studio had used that $250 mill to produce lots of smaller more independent projects that were directed by real filmmakers such as Edgar Wright, Sam Raimi, Neil Marshall or the Coen’s? But no – they gave it to Michael Bay – a one trick pony and a hack, who’s only legacy will be that he succeeded in making films that served no purpose other than to sell tonnes of overpriced merchandise, make rich men richer, and were nothing more than plotless, pointless, torpor inducing piles of cinematic excrement that insulted, disrespected and ripped off their intended audiences.
You are probably wondering by now why on earth i even bothered to go and watch this crap -indeed those who would defend Michael Bay’s work would argue that i don’t have to see his films if i don’t want to and to be fair, they would be right – perhaps i just hoped that he would do a better job this time round and return to the promising form he displayed so well with The Rock or the first Transformers film, or maybe i just felt it was my solemn duty to the readers of this website to grit my teeth, suffer some pain, then write a review that when they read it may just save the poor saps from throwing their money away. Hopefully i have succeeded.
All I have left to say is this – Michael Bay -if you are reading this review -be aware that you have directed one of the worst, most catastrophically awful films in history, conned people into watching it,wasted millions of dollars that could have been better spent elsewhere and flushed whatever talent you had straight down the toilet. Shame on you and shame on your employers
Take note Mr Bay – for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for thee sir.
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: If you hate the Transformers series then this is the show for you! Mike and Josh crucify the latest film. And since we are at the half way point of the year, the team goes through their Top 5 Movies of 2017. To top it all off Josh debuts a brand new style to 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: The Worst films of the 00’s so far.
Close but no cigar: Tusk (2016), The Happening (2008), 50 Shades Of Grey (2015), X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008), Body Of Lies (2009)
5 – Battlefield Earth (2000) If scientology was a movie… oh wait actually this IS a scientology movie. Misconceived on every level from casting to production, Battlefield Earth is just total crap.
4 – Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) So The Phantom Menace was a creative flop for most. So this was going to be better right? It HAD to be better? Sadly no. A worse script (Just say Sand to any Star Wars fans watch them cry), terrible CGI led filmmaking, a silly plot and a conclusion that did little to satisfy… The Clone Wars is the series low point by some way.
3 – Catwoman (2004) Catwoman tries to be different. It was. It stood out for being just horrible. Expectations were low and it still missed them. At least it was funny. Which was something.
2 – Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011) The third Transformers film had a change of righting the wrongs and returning to the much stronger original. It didn’t. Bay CAN do better but seems unwilling or unable in this franchise.
1 – Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014) Justifying statuary rape? Unwatchable cinematography. Stupid story. Terrible script. Mark Wahlberg. Yup this film hits a series low (which is some effort all things considered). It’s $200 million USD of totally unwatchable toss.
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: It could have been worse. TMNTOOTS is a workman like sequel to the Michael Bay produced reboot which provides a few good moments, introduces some classic Turtles support characters and, for the most part, isn’t boring. Thing is? By the end you just get the feeling you’ve seen it all before and that corporate stench of a sequel produced purely for financial reasons leaves an unsatisfying taste in the mouth. There are worse ways to spend an evening but there are far better also…
Best Bit: Stephen Amell
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), Transformers, Battleship
It’s hard to put into words my hatred of this film. Dull, crude, boring, pointless…. doesn’t even cover it. EVERYTHING about this film is wrong. Cast. Script. Story. Okay maybe not everything … Editing is better than most Bey films and the CGi is top notch but it means nothing in what is possible one of the worst films of the past 10 years.
Best Bit: The ONE funny joke. One.
Rent, Borrow or Buy: Don’t even watch
If you liked this try: Never watching a movie again ever.
STINKER OF THE YEAR: Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon (2/10) In Brief: Simply put everything that is wrong with Hollywood today. Vacuous, pointless and dull, this loud, obnoxious $250 million abortion of a movie was just dire. And yet it made lots of money,. Go figure.
2. Sucker Punch In Brief: Uncomfortable to watch without feeling more than a bit dirty, Sucker Punch was style over substance and ended up being just dull. One to avoid for everyone other than horney teenagers who haven’t yet discovered pornography.
3. Rubber In Brief: If like my films off the wall. I like them mad as a box of frogs. But Rubber was just pointless, pretentious tripe.
4. Scream 4 In Brief: The shark jumped, this was a sequel that was just not needed. Most Scary thing: Courtney Cox’s botox face. Nasty.
5. Season of The Witch In Brief: Nick Cage makes another stinker and drags Ron Pearlman with him. Just dull, dull, dull.