Phil’s Top 5… Films About Hacking

Phil’s Top 5… Films About Hacking

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: Films About hacking!


Close but no cigar: Blackhat, Snowden, Live Free or Die Hard, Ghost in the Shell, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Tron


5 – Hackers
Yup it’s one of the silliest films about hacking ever made BUT it’s great fun, spectacularly stupid and features a cast of about to be great actors.



4 – The Social Network
So the film itself isn’t solely about hacking BUT some of the best sequences revolve around Zuckerberg, Saverin and co sat around hacking into university databases to make hot-or-not style sites.

3 – War Games
80’s films at it’s best.  Thermo-nucelar war, early computer graphics and the one and only Ferris Bueller.

2 – The Matrix
The Matrix is all about hacking the titular Matrix, which in itself is just an excuse for lots of action, fights and Keanu in leather.

1 – Sneakers
Sneakers is one of my favourite films from the 90’s.  It’s clever, smart and brilliantly directed, with a cracking cast and lots of surprise twists and turns along the way.




Ready Player One – A Quick Capsule Review

Ready Player One – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Tonally Ready Player One is a bit of a mess.  The humour doesn’t always work alongside the darker story undertones and the amount of swearing is very unusual for a Spielberg film.  This all said – Ready Player One is visually stunning and as you’d expect the direction is first class, showing once again that Spielberg is still one of the best directors working today.  The cast are generally good as well but personally I’m getting a little bored with Mark Rylance’s increasingly one note mumbling’s.  But it’s the cameos you’ll remember – everything from the Iron Giant to the Delorean and a million more.  Ultimately Ready Player One is a geeks paradise that’s good enough to paper over it’s cracks.

Best Bit: Cameos!

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Back To The Future, Minority Report, Tron

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


Phil’s Top 5… Years for Movies!

Phil’s Top 5… Years for 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: The Best 5 Years for Movies… Ever!


Close but no cigar: 1982 (Blade Runner, The Thing, E.T, Tron, Rambo, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior ), 1989 (Batman, Back To The Future Part 2, Dead Poet’s Society, Parenthood), 1974 (The Godfather part 2, Chinatown, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blazing Saddles), 1979 (Alien, Rocky 2, Max Max, The warriors)


5 – 1999
The Matrix, Fight Club, American Beauty, Toy story 2, American Beauty, The Blair Witch project


4 – 1987
Robocop, Wall Street, The Princess Bride, Full metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, Predator, Raising Arizona


3 – 1994
Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, Four Weddings & A Funeral, True Lies, Speed, Natural Born Killers, Clerks, The Crow, Leon


2 – 1995
Casino, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, Heat, Leaving as Vegas, The Usual Suspects, Die hard: With A Vengeance, Goldeneye, Empire Records, Toy Story. Twelve Monkeys


1 – 1984
Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, The Terminator, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Police Academy, Cannonball Run 2



Phil’s Top 5… Summer Movie Seasons

Phil’s Top 5… Summer Movie Seasons

Other Cr*p

In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: the best summer movie seasons (Post 1975).

Close but no cigar: 1981 (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stripes, Escape from New York), 1991 (Terminator 2, Boyz n the Hood), 1989 (Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, License to Kill), 1987 ( Predator, Robocop, Dirty Dancing, The Living Daylights, Full Metal Jacket)

5 – 1984
Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Once Upon a Time in America, Purple Rain, The Last Starfighter, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Top Secret!, Conan the Destroyer

4 – 1999
The Sixth Sense, Run Lola Run, The Blair Witch Project, The Iron Giant, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, Dick, American Pie, Bowfinger , The Thomas Crown Affair, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

3 – 1985
Back to the Future, The Goonies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Cocoon, Fletch, Explorers, Fright Night, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Pale Rider, Prizzi’s Honor, Silverado, Weird Science, Brewster’s Millions 

2 – 1982
E.T., Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Thing, TRON, The Road Warrior, Conan the Barbarian, Rocky III

1- 1986
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Aliens, Top Gun, Stand by Me, The Fly, Big Trouble in Little China, Back to School, Cobra, Labyrinth, Short Circuit, Transformers: The Movie, SpaceCamp, Flight of the Navigator