Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a worthy sequel to the surprise hit Sicario which doesn’t quite live up to the reputation set by the 2015 directed Denis Villeneuve original.  Focusing down on an even deeper grey morality, Sicario: Day of the Soldado may lack the visual stylings that the team of Villeneuve and Roger Deakins delivered previously but it almost makes up for it with a hell of a cast, some tense drama and one ballsy ending. So not as essential as Sicario (nothing touches THAT scene in the original) but well worth a watch…

Best Bit: The stoppage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Sicario, Wind River, Traffic

 


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The Best & Worst Of 2017 – Motion Picture Maniac

The Best & Worst Of 2017 – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac Year In Review

Remember when the disappointment that was 2016 ended and we all toasted to 2017 hopefully proving to be better? Didn’t exactly meet expectations did it? Last year many of our favourite celebrities passed away, this year many of those left have turned out to be sex offenders – go team. But anyway, just like last year I’ve had to stretch my film lists out from top 10’s to top 20’s, which could be seen as a good thing, an indication that there were enough good films to warrant a longer list but then, you remember, the same goes for the bad list.

What can I say; this year was long and depressing, the year before it was long and depressing and, realistically, the next year will probably be long and depressing also; happy days! So here we go, the best films of the year and… the other list, along with some other fun considerations because why not? Of course there were some well-regarded films I was unable to see like Call Me By Your Name and Brigsby Bear and I do hate that I missed them but hey, what can I do?

 

Best Films Of 2017

  1. Dunkirk – (Film of the year, a perfectly shot single feature length action sequence rife with lethal intensity, brutal sound design and gargantuan production value; all of which transpire to do justice to real life heroes)
  2. Blade Runner 2049
  3. Wind River
  4. A Ghost Story
  5. Wonder Woman
  6. Loving Vincent
  7. Thor: Ragnarok
  8. Song To Song
  9. War For The Planet Of The Apes
  10. Mother
  11. American Made
  12. It Comes At Night
  13. Lego Batman
  14. John Wick Chapter 2
  15. Logan
  16. Battle Of The Sexes
  17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  18. It
  19. The Disaster Artist
  20. Atomic Blonde

 

Honourable Mentions

The Beguiled

The Killing of a sacred deer

Detroit

Double date

Only the brave

T2 Trainspotting

Okja

Get Out

Baby driver

Spiderman homecoming

 

Special Sympathy Mention:

Justice League

 

Worst Films Of 2017

  1. The Shack – (Worst film of the year, one of the most morally bankrupt, self satisfied, arrogant and offensive pieces of propaganda garbage I have ever seen in my life, it’s not just bad, it’s hurtful and dangerous)
  2. The Bye-Bye Man
  3. Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
  4. Unforgettable
  5. Everything, Everything
  6. Girl’s Trip
  7. The Snowman
  8. Flatliners
  9. The Zookeeper’s Wife
  10. The Sense Of An Ending
  11. Hampstead
  12. Unlocked
  13. The Emoji Movie
  14. The House
  15. Daddy’s Home 2
  16. CHiPS
  17. Bitter Harvest
  18. Overdrive
  19. Transformers: The Last Knight
  20. Fifty Shades Darker

 

Dis-Honourable Mentions

Geostorm

The Star

A Bad Mom’s Christmas

The Space Between Us

Wish Upon

Fist Fight

Table 19

The Book Of Henry

Snatched

Rings

 

 

15 Favourite Action Sequences

Pretty much everything in “The Air” – Dunkirk

Silo Hostage Rescue And Subsequent Battle – Justice League

No Man’s Land – Wonder Woman

Bifrost Bridge Battle – Thor: Ragnarok

Stairwell Fight – Atomic Blonde

Helicopter Swatting – Kong: Skull Island

Hocus Pocus – Baby Driver

The Battle Of Crate – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Drill Sight Massacre – Wind River

Art Gallery Shootout – John Wick Chapter 2

Aero Baby Rescue – Fate Of The Furious

Throne Room Slaughter – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Steppenwolf In Themyscira – Justice League

K VS Luv – Blade Runner 2049

Opening Sequence – John Wick Chapter 2

 

 

Favourite Villainous Performances

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf – Justice League

Jamie Foxx as Bats – Baby Driver

Jeff Goldblum as The Grandmaster – Thor: Ragnarok

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise The Dancing Clown – It

Sylvia Hoeks as Luv – Blade Runner 2049

Will Poulter as Krauss – Detroit

Woody Harrelson as The Colonel – War For The Planet Of The Apes

Ruby Rose as Ares – John Wick Chapter 2

Robert Carlyle as Francis Begbie – T2 Trainspotting

 

 

Best On-Screen Couples (Romantic, Bromantic Or Otherwise)

David and Walter – Alien: Covenant

Thor and… his Hammer – Thor: Ragnarok

K and Joi – Blade Runner 2049

Hobbs and Deckard – Fate Of The Furious

Billie-Jean and Marilyn – Battle Of The Sexes

Greg and Tommy – The Disaster Artist

Rocket and Baby Groot – Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Wolverine and X23 – Logan

Batman and Superman – Justice League

Bryce and Kincaid – The Hitman’s Bodyguard

 

 

Special Awards

Best Opening Credit Sequence: Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Best Use Of Music In Correlation To The Visuals: Blade Runner 2049 – “Sea Wall”

Pottymouth Of The Year: Robert Carlyle – T2 Trainspotting

Most Interesting Style: TIE – Loving Vincent/A Ghost Story

Best SFX: War For The Planet Of The Apes

Most Immersive Camera Movements: Justice League

Funniest Line (Intentional): “I’m gonna knock your teeth so far down your throat you’re gonna stick a toothbrush right up your ass to brush em” – Fate Of The Furious

Funniest Line (Unintentional): “Blow into the hole gently, I’ll do the fingering” – Alien: Covenant

Captain Obvious Award: Josh Duhamel, Transformers: The Last Knight – “Look, it’s a big alien ship”

Guilty Pleasure Of The Year: TIE – xXx: Return Of Xander Cage/Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Notable Face-Palm Of The Year: Fakest Sneeze Of All Time – The Bye-Bye Man

Done and dusted, recalling and sifting through the stuff I liked about the year was great fun, doing the same for what I didn’t like bloody hurt. Oh I wonder what the next year will hold, not just regarding the movies but the politics, the sociology, the very backbone of public opinion… who am I kidding, it’s gonna suck, it’ll all suck and we should probably all just save time by taking turns gleefully leaping into a giant deadly shit hole to boil and desolve to death.

 

Happy New Year.

Motion Picture Maniac 

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends ESSENTIAL LIST For 2017 Part 1: Manchester By The Sea, Wind River, Baby Driver, Paddington 2 , Elle, The Triangle

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends ESSENTIAL LIST For 2017 Part 1: Manchester By The Sea, Wind River, Baby Driver, Paddington 2 , Elle, The Triangle

Other Cr*p Quick Review Year In Review

The votes are in.  The Long List been reduced to just 11… and here they are, the Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests list of the FILMS TO WATCH for 2017.  In no particular order:

 

#1: Manchester By The Sea
A depressed uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.

 

 

 

[divider]

#2: Wind River
A veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman, and uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN9PDOoLAfg

 

 

[divider]

 

#3: Baby Driver
After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.

 

 

 

[divider]

 

#4: Paddington 2
Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.

 

 

 

[divider]

 

#5: Elle
A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.

 

 

 

[divider]

#5: The Triangle
Four filmmakers take their cameras into the Montana wilderness to document the mysterious inner workings of a young community with a giant secret.

 

[divider]

Next Time: The final 5 Films To Watch for 2017. 

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 25 Must See Films Of 2017

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Friends: The 25 Must See Films Of 2017

Other Cr*p Year In Review

So this is it… Phil’s Quick Capsule Review & Guests (including podcasters Mike Parkin & Josh Morris, Filmmaker Ross Boyask and Phil’s Quick Capsule Review writers Will Strong & Matt Duddy) LONG list of the xx must see films of 2017

This list will also form the basis of our vote for the Essential Films of 2017.

So how many have YOU seen?

Wind River
Paddington 2
Beauty and the Beast
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
La-La Land
T2 Trainspotting
Baby Driver
Raw
Happy Death Day
Elle
The Triangle
Spiderman: Homecoming
Operation: Mekong
Let Her Out
Despicable Me 3
Dunkirk
A Monster Calls
Star Wars The Last Jedi
Thor Ragnorok
Get Out
Lady Macbeth
Brawl in Cell Block 99
The Fate of the Furious
Hacksaw Ridge
Shot Caller

Check back in the next few days for our final list or take the QUIZ HERE To see how many you have seen!

Grosse Pointe Geek’s Round Up of 2017

Grosse Pointe Geek’s Round Up of 2017

A Blog Grosse Point Geek
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

  1. Dunkirk
  2. Thor Ragnarok
  3. Star Wars The Last Jedi
  4. A Monster Calls
  5. Manchester By The Sea
  6. Lion
  7. Spiderman Homecoming
  8. Blade Runner 2049
  9. Logan
  10. War For The Planet of The Apes

Top Ten Honorary Mentions  

  1. Wind River
  2. Molly’s Game
  3. Gifted
  4. Wheelman (catch it on Netflix  – its great)
  5. Fast 8
  6. Hacksaw Ridge
  7. John Wick Chapter 2
  8. Wonder Woman
  9. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2
  10. The Hitman’s Bodyguard

Top Fifteen Worst:

  1. 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)
  2. Underworld 5 (god-awful rubbish)
  3. XXX3: The Return of Xander Cage (at least 15 years out of date, bereft of entertainment value and utterly juvenile to boot)
  4. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (horribly crass, overlong and an insult to the brilliant original)
  5. The Discovery (torpor inducing nonsense)
  6. The Snowman (considering the talent in front and behind the camera it beggared belief as to how rotten this film was)
  7. Ghost In The Shell (boring and bland in the extreme)
  8. Free Fire (crap)
  9. Unlocked (mega crap)
  10. King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword (a misfire and a complete mess of gargantuan proportions)
  11. 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)
  12. The Bye Bye Man (just bad bad bad)
  13. 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)
  14. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (Johnny was good value as always but this moribund franchise needs to end with immediate effect)
  15. Assassins Creed (good looking film but could have been so much better)

Top Fifteen Favorite Performances:

  1. Chris Evans  – Gifted
  2. Mckenna Grace  – Gifted
  3. Hugh Jackman  – Logan
  4. Mark Rylance  – Dunkirk
  5. Ryan Reynolds  – The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  6. Frank Grillo – Wheelman
  7. Jessica Chastain  –  Molly’s Game
  8. Adam Driver  – Star Wars The Last Jedi
  9. Mark Hamill – Star Wars The Last Jedi
  10. Chris Hemsworth – Thor Ragnarok
  11. Jeff Goldblum – Thor Ragnarok
  12. Dwayne Johnson  – Fast 8
  13. Chris Pine – Wonder Woman
  14. Andy Serkis – War For The Planet Of The Apes
  15. 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:

  1. “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
  2. “Im gonna beat you like a Cherokee drum!” Agent Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson – again) – Fast 8
  3. “By the beard of Odin you will not cut my hair!”  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
  4. “Please kind sir do not cut my hair!”  – Thor (Chris Hemsworth) – Thor Ragnarok
  5. “I have legendarily huge turds”  – Drax (Dave Bautista) – Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2
  6. “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.

Wind River – A Quick Capsule Review

Wind River – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wind River feels like a really high quality TV show.  That’s not a dig – far from it, but it you found it on HBO or Sky Atlantic you wouldn’t be surprised.  The cast is really strong and even if the revelations that follow the discovery of a dead teenage girl never really surprise you that much, it’s still a compelling watch.  It is at time visceral, it’s tense and it’s really well directed.  Overall a really good film.

Best Bit: The final showdown

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: True Detective, Insomnia, The Town

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Wind River – Motion Picture Maniac

Wind River – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

Taylor Sheridan is very quickly becoming one of my favourite creative forces working today, I must admit I was a little worried there for a second, I loved Sicario but when I found out his script had been revised in a few places by the director and the cast, I became rather afraid for Hell Or High Water. I thought to myself “what if Sicario was only great because of Villeneuve? What if Sheridan’s original untouched draft was actually terrible because we never really know how much of what gets changed in the world of Hollywood now do we?” Fortunately Hell Or High Water took those fears out the back and shot them execution style by being really sharp and funny and great, allowing me to get excited about the release of Wind River as opposed to fearful; excitement that paid off this time around because this movie rocks.

Wind River tells the tale of a tracker played by Jeremy Renner, a bereaved and broken individual making a living by shooting predators you might find feasting on your live stock. One day, while out in the freezing wilderness, he finds the body of a young woman, barefoot, miles from civilisation and frozen solid; the FBI send in Elizabeth Olsen as an agent, completely outside of her comfort zone and unfamiliar with such brutal weather, to solve the case. The two team up to find out who dunnit and now we have a movie, an extremely well done one too.

The plot sounds simple enough, person gets killed, circumstances are very weird, send in the polar opposites to solve it, we’ve all seen that kind of thing done before and it would come across as old and clichéd if not for Sheridan’s understanding of how to fill in the blanks, the man has admitted he likes writing relatively simple stories in order to give way to the characters and bloody hell; it works a treat. The narrative runs on character like a vehicle on fuel, this isn’t like an episode of some TV show, this is a harsh yet smooth, slow but tense, and meditative yet merciless look at a man making do with poetic redemption; who happens to be helping to solve a murder.

The acting is brilliant across the board, Jeremy Renner sells the broken man trying to look like he’s over the bad thing that happened to him once with gusto, Elizabeth Olsen is more than efficient in, not just her character’s self aware naiveté of her situation, but in the head spinning action scenes as well, I know, I know, any idiot can shoot a gun but selling fear and determination takes something, what’s it called? Ah yes – great acting! Gil Birmingham, who also had a role in Hell Or High Water, plays the father of the murdered girl and he manages the pain one would have after losing a child so well you start to wonder what the excuse is for everyone else on the Hallmark channel whom fails to cut it.

When it comes to the action scenes, I’m no stranger to seeing people get shot in films, I’ve seen them all and very rarely does a film still get me to jump out of my skin when a trigger is pulled and a loud bang comes out of the barrel; Wind River did it. When people die in this movie they really die, there’s nothing fake looking about it, people don’t dramatically wave their arms about the place, oh no, these shootouts are grizzly and painful, one thing I don’t think we’re used to quite just yet are dead bodies falling and landing in awkward positions, some people die before they hit the ground and there’s just something very disturbing out the way they look when it’s over. This is not an action film, it’s a drama, make no mistake, but it is so much a drama that when an automatic machine gun is whipped out and unloaded (something I’m no stranger to seeing in movies) it terrifies me; not many movies can still do that nowadays.

The harshness of the white snow, combined with mostly hand held camera work, creates the impression that the cold is the real villain here, a product of the bleak area our characters are forced to exist in, either for just a short time or for their entire lives. Wind River itself is dangerous to the souls of the heroes, a dead end frozen hell that is bringing out the worst, but hardly most surprising, side of humanity. This movie is not without humour, but for the most part things are pretty dark, just like Sheridan’s other works there is no light at the end of this tunnel, and what light there is more likely to give you snow blindness rather than show you the way to freedom.

I was really excited to see this movie and I couldn’t have been happier, I love the cinematography, the characters, the dialogue, Sheridan’s talent, not just on the page, but translating it to the screen, the darkness of it, the brutal personality, the aesthetic, everything. It’s a great film and easily earns a spot on the best list at the end of the year with no hesitation; I can’t wait for Soldado and I look forward to seeing what Sheridan does next. It’s sort of strange seeing as his only other directorial effort before this was a little forgotten horror flick called Vile that came and went with such little attention given, some have even mistakenly referred to Wind River as his directing debut, it doesn’t look particularly good, its internet ratings aren’t all that promising so what happened? Did he take notes from all the directors who adapted his scripts to become good at this sort of thing or is Vile some kind of secret brilliance, I’m curious to find out.