The Informer (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Informer (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Informer has a good central idea but kinda looses it as the film goes on, very much failing to become the sum of its very impressive parts – not least a cast that includes Ana de Armas, Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnaman & Clive Owen.  It’s not bad – the film is tense, smart, well made and violent when it needs to be, but overall it throws in so many story turns that by the end you’re not quite sure what the film was trying to achieve. So for sure it passes the time well but I get the feeling theirs a far better film to be made here.

Best Bit: Undercover

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: A Simple Plan, The Departed, Edge of Darkness

 


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1917 (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

1917 (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
1917 is a technical masterpiece. Director Sam Mendes alongside cinematographer Roger Deakins take a well worn genre and put a new spin on it with a clever one shot motif that adds a sense of drama. The films strength maybe also be it’s one weakness however as for me a certain tension get’s lost and the passage of time feels both tricked and, at times, laboured.  That said 1917 is still a brilliant film, with expertly placed action, shocks and spills and a whose who of British actor cameos. Mendes finally redeems himself for Spectre.

Best Bit: The front line

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Dunkirk, Hacksaw Ridge, Full metal Jacket 

 


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The Fugitive (1993) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Fugitive (1993) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Fugitive and I have a long history.  For no fault of what is obviously a good film I’ve thrice failed to actually watch the film from start to finish.  Long journey’s, late night screenings… whatever the reason I’ve never managed to get to the end credits. Until now.  And I can finally say, without exception, that The Fugitive is a bloody good thriller. Even when you know all about the one armed man.  And the escape. And pretty much all of it. So 25 years after it’s release I can finally cross off The Fugitive from my list of films I should have seen… next up Citizen Kane.  Maybe!

Best Bit: Escape

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: US Marshalls, Air Force One, Patriot Games

 


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Star Trek: Picard Episode 1 (2020) – A Quick Capsule TV Review

Star Trek: Picard Episode 1 (2020) – A Quick Capsule TV Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
18 years after he last wore the uniform, Picard is back in a new 10 episode TV series.  Yup the one and only Patrick Stewart returns to his signature role and it feels like he’s never been away.  The first episode has some pretty heavy lifting involved – convincing us just why we should care about an older Picard especially one with no Enterpise-D (or crew).  Well… mixing in a heathy dose of nostalgia, some impressive action and a bucket load of mystery Picard succeeds and quickly promises to be a must watch TV series.   Stewart is superb (as you’d expect) and the support cast, which includes a notable ST:TNG cameo, don’t let the side down. A lot can happen over ten episodes but if Picard carries on like this I shall be very happy indeed.  Make it so…

Best Bit: Is that… Oh it is.  Okay WTF

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (prime in UK)

If You Liked this Try: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: First Contact 

 


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Dolemite Is My Name (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Dolemite Is My Name (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It’s been a while but after nearly 20+ years without making an essential film, Eddie Murphy makes the come back of come backs with a truly standout performance in the excellent Dolemite Is My Name.  Telling the true to life (ish) story of Rudy Ray Moore, Murphy is back at his sweary best but never forgets to make his subject someone you really care about.  Honestly this is probably his best performance since Coming To America and he’s obviously relishing every second. The film? Equally excellent and for sure one of 2019’s best films.

Best Bit: Eddie Murphy

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Coming To America, Dolemite, Coffy 

 


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Eddie The Eagle (2016) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Eddie The Eagle (2016) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Starring the guy from Kingsman, alongside Wolverine and Christopher Walken, directed by the bloke from Press Gang in a story about a British downhill skier form the 80’s. Well that’s a pitch meeting I’d like to have been at!  Joking aside what a lovely, charming and sweet film it ended up.  Egerton is perfect as the hapless ‘Eagle’, able backed up in film and on screen by a Hugh Jackman playing very much against type.  Sure it may be a little too saccharin for some and there is only so many times you can see someone skiing down hill, but Eddie The Eagle gets it spot on for the most part. Much like the man himself.

Best Bit: “Right Time of the 40 meter”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Billy Elliot, Full Monty, Brassed Off

 


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The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Man Who Invented Christmas is both a look at how Dickens created one of his most enduring tales as well as itself being somewhat of a retelling of the story about the writer himself.  It’s well put together, interesting and entertaining without ever tipping into essential.  The cast are good (Steven’s once again shines… please make this guy the next Bond) and the direction filmic enough but to be honest Scrooged still remains the definitive Christmas Carol retelling for me.

Best Bit: The Ghosts of…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Scrooged, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooge (1970)

 


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The Game Changers (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Game Changers (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Game Changers takes a deep dive into plant based lifestyles (Vegan but without using the term), specifically around the impact on high level athletes, from running to MMA and pretty much everything in between.  For the most part it’s super compelling stuff. So much so you walk away seriously considering the lifestyle choices you’ve made.  That said it’s a very one sided view and balance should be sought. Produced by Jackie Chan (no really) and even featuring the Governator himself, it’s a must watch and for once manages to be (mostly) unpreachy in it’s delivery.

Best Bit: Arnie!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: What the Health, Fyre, Supersize Me

 


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Bad Boys For Life (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bad Boys For Life (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I never thought i’d say it but Bad Boys For Life misses Michael Bay.  No really. It’s not that Bay is a good director as such (in fact he’s directed some of the worse films I have ever sat through) but his unique visual style and staging of action set pieces can carry even the worst of films if used right (see the recent 6 Underground) and whilst directors Adil & Bilall do their best to copy Bay, the film needed more confidant handling in those should stand out moments.  That said, as you’d expect, the team of Smith/Lawrence (looking a little, urm, portly) carry the film well, even if the ‘Bad Boys’ song is getting old, and the story throws in a few surprises that I didn’t see coming.  Overall then the second best Bad Boys Films and a fun afternoon at the cinema, just don’t expect anything groundbreaking.

Best Bit: Chemistry.

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: 6 Underground, Bad Boys, Bad Boys 2

 


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In The Shadow Of The Moon (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

In The Shadow Of The Moon (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
In The Shadow Of The Moon starts off as a serial killer thriller and quickly spirals into something quite different. Okay so it’s far from perfect but at least it plays with some new concepts and ideas as the story soldiers on through decades after decades even if when the ending finally arrives it is a touch unsatisfying, with one particular turn being pretty obvious early on.  But overall In The Shadow Of The Moon is a pretty decent diversion, with a  good cast and some solid direction.

Best Bit: Ah it’s THAT film

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Primer, Predestination, Twelve Monkeys 

 


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