Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Reservoir Dogs (1992)  – A Quick Capsule Review

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Reservoir Dogs (1992) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Reservoir Dogs is an essential film.  It marks the debut of Quentin Tarantino of course but it’s also the template for how to take a small amount of money and deliver what was a landmark, career defining movie.  It’s raw, in your face and smart both using the cliches of the genre and defining new ones that would spawn a million copy cats for years to come.  What’s surprising is just HOW well the film holds up all these years later.  Its power & its energy drives you from one scene to the next leaving you breathless, all wrapped around some brutal violence and THAT dialogue.   Reservoir Dogs remains one of Tarantino’s best films and one of the best films of the 90’s.

Best Bit: Stuck In The Middle…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight 

 


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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
From Dusk Till Dawn remains one of the most nuts films of the 90’s and possibly marked the last great film by both directors Quentin Tarantino and  Robert Rodriguez.  Yes really I went there.  Starting as a typical Tarantino, it’s not until they hit the Titty Twister bar that the film takes a surprising twist. Well not that surprising as the trailer gave it away but still bloody good fun.  Cameos by Tom Savini, Fred Williamson, Greg Nicotero sit along side a career making turn by George Clooney and a ‘What the fuck am I doing here’ look of Harvey Keitel.  Greta script,. superb action and a crotch gun.  What’s not to love.

Best Bit: ‘Everybody be cool.  You be cool.’

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Desperado, Pulp Fiction, Lost Boys

 


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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tarantino’s Best To Worst Films (So Far!)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tarantino’s Best To Worst Films (So Far!)

Best... Other Cr*p Quick Review

With Once Upon A Time In Hollywood out this week, Phil takes a look at the Best To Worst of Quentin Tarantino‘s DIRECTED films to date…  

 


Best: Jackie Brown

It’s Tarantino’s best work, restrained like never before (but brutal when it needs to be), it’s a great adatpation of a good book and is cast to perfection with the story & directyion being the highlight not the dialue or the actors.

——

2. Pulp Fiction

It’s brilliant and a classic.  The fact I cant watch it after seeing it too much at University isn’t the films fault but whilst it’s flashy and expertly done, I still prefer Jackie Brown overall.

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3. Reservoir Dogs

A brilliant debut, raw and brutal and it still holds up today. Set the tone of Tarantino’s later work except that he has never shown restraint like he does here.

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4. Inglorious Bastards

It’s long.  It’s over written. But it has two of the greatest scenes in QT’s arsenal which saves the film from being a lot lower on the list.  Great cast, funny finale.

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5. Death Proof

Yup hated by most , I kinda like Tarantino’s grind house entry.  It’s raw, over long (as most of his post Pulp Fiction films tend to be) but at least it felt genuine.

——

6. Django Unchained

Loved this on it’s release but in all honesty I’ll never watch it again.  Full of excess and flabbiness, Django is a 100 minute film stuck in the body of a 3 hour self proclaimed epic. And don’t even get me started on QT’s cameo…

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7. Kill Bill Volume 2

Kill Bill Volume 1 was more fun, but I liked Tarantino’s first western more than his actual Westerns. The ending was a kick in the face to others but I liked ho wit played out.

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8. Four Rooms

Directing on of the story segments (and the second best), it’s fun if totally forgettable Yet I’ve watched it much more than his later work and for the last time it showed that with restrictions Tarantino can deliver.

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9. Kill Bill Volume 1

It’s fine and the action is well handled but it’s overlong and spends FAR too much time paying homage and far too less time kicking behind.

——

Worst : The Hateful Eight

Another film that could have been half as long and twice as good, Tarantino’s need for a strong editor and better producer are never more apparent than they are here.

 

 


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Point Blank (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Point Blank (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Another day, another poorly reviews and received Netflix ‘original’.  This time out is a remake of the 2010 French film of the same name starring Marvel’s own Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie. And nope it doesn’t suck as much or as bad as the critics will have you think.  In fact it’s a pretty easy to watch, ultimately forgettable romp that ticks all the usual hardboiled crime film cliches almost as if it’s working from a tick list.  What makes the film work is the paring of Grillo and Mackie who both have buckets of charisma.  So it’s a decent way to pass an evening. Nothing more or less.

Best Bit: Always Frank Grillo

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: À Bout Portant, Payback, Man On fire

 


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Stan & Ollie (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Stan & Ollie (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Stan & Ollie is a charming film taking a look at the later and often undiscussed years of the comic duo.  As far as biopics go it’s an untapped subject and therefore anyone with more than a passing knowledge of Laurel & Hardy will certainly love this detailed and endearing look at the later years of a pair that, sadly in todays modern society is, are overlooked.  The direction is solid, the script well handled but the film would be nothing without the central performances of Coogan and Riley.  They just excel as the titular characters and deliver a masterclass of how to pay both tribute and homage to these comic greats.

Best Bit: Coogan & Riley

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Way Out West, Sons Of The Desert, Chaplin

 


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Age of Kill (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Age of Kill (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Richwater Films, the UK’s leading indie film producer, delivers another solid if unspectacular action thriller this time featuring former singer and Kray twin Martin Kemp as an ex-MI6 agent forced to kill to protect his family.  It’s a brisk sub 90 minutes through seedy London, with some reasonable action, a fast pace and driven with some good visuals.  The script could be tighter, the acting better but overall it’s worth a watch.

Best Bit: Kemp

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Vendetta, We Still Kill The Old Way, Rise Of The White Collar Hooligan

 


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Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Filled with humour, action and heart, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is a most enjoyable follow up to the smash hit original that manages to build on that films successes whilst successfully expanding the universe, characters and wit on what came before.  It goes without saying that the cast are uniformly excellent (with former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista being a real stand out) and new comers such as Russell & Stallone just adding to the overall coolness.   It’s not perfect – the pacing of the final act and the inevitable fall into CGI things fighting CGI things let it down but there’s enough investment in the characters, warmth and humour (and man it’s a funny film, probably the funnest of the year so far) to allow you to overlook these.  So not as good as the original BUT still a success in it’s own right and still well worth a rewatch!

Best Bit: The Opening 

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Avengers, Ant Man

 


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Polar (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Polar (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Polar has had some very brutal review.  The ‘O’ stars kind. And whilst it’s not perfect I actually quite enjoyed this insane hitman action film and for sure it really doesn’t deserve the battering it’s had. Mads Mikkelsen does a solid job as the soon to be retiring hitman whilst Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick and Matt Lucas all provide capable support.  Lucas especially seems to relish the madness he brings to the role.  Yup it won’t be for everyone but give Polar a chance – it’s better than you’ve heard!

Best Bit: The last few minutes 

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: In Bruges, The Bourne Supremacy, John Wick

 


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Rim of The World (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Rim of The World (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I was surprised that checking online after quite enjoying Rim of The World, the reviews had been pretty brutal.  In fact it’s probably one of Netflix’s worst rated films yet… which is odd as, whilst it’s not amazing, it more than passed the time and I wasn’t bored once.  McG’s film has a certain late 80’s charm to it… a kids own adventure film set against the back drop of an alien invasion.  The kinda film that was a staple of my childhood.  Okay so it’s probably got less budget than BMX Bandits and it feels at times like an Asylum film but it for sure doesn’t deserve the panning it’s had.  Watch it, on Netflix, and make up your own mind…

Best Bit: Capsule lands!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: The Goonies, Space Camp, BMX Bandits 

 


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Deathtrap – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Deathtrap – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Local

Written by award-winning playwright and author Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives and Critics Choice) Deathtrap is described best as both a send up and salute to the mid- 20th century stage thriller.  It holds the record for the longest-running comedy-thriller on Broadway, and has previously been nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Play and now arrives in Eastbourne for a short run at the excellent Devonshire Park Theatre.

In short: Accomplished and celebrated playwright Sidney Bruhl is suffering from a bout of writer’s block and fading success.  But when he’s handed a once in a lifetime script for a gripping thriller from a student, Sidney sees a way out.  Could this be the play he needs to get back on top once again?

A play in two acts, Deathtrap is expertly performed, witty and sharply staged. It’s unexpected twists and turns both embraces and plays with tropes of the genre it resides in yet it’s never far from the demanded jump, surprise or scare.  Satire is often best when delivered so close to the truth and that is certainly true here. You can see why the play lapped up awards on its original runs.

Best of all the dialogue is sharply written and the cast are obviously relishing the opportunity to deliver such well written prose.  Special notes go out to Ross Waiton​ and Natasha Gray who manage to stand out from a uniformly excellent cast.

Deathtrap is not that play you expect.  It’s not even the play IT expects at times. No… Deathtrap is a razor sharp, playful put together mystery that surprises, delights and entertains in equal measure.  Highly recommended


Starring:
Ross Waiton​, Katy Dean, Natasha Gray, John Hester & Ewan Goddard. Directed by Phil Stewart

 

Deathtrap is currently performing at The Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne from Wednesday 10 July 2019 to Saturday 20 July 2019.

 

 

 

 


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