Captain Marvel (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Captain Marvel (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
From its awesome Stan Lee homages to its 90’s throw backs and references to 10 years plus of Marvel cinematic cannon, Captain Marvel knows exactly what film it wants to be from the start.  And that’s a good thing.  Marvel know how to create characters you care about and once again they nail it with Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel – one of the most likeable heroes yet.  She’s staring, smart and relatable.  Oh and she can seriously kick arse. Okay so the story is a touch predicable (If you can’t spot the real bad guy 5 minutes in or even from the trailer you’ve probably never watched a film before) and at times it may be trying too hard but any film that has a running Top Gun reference gets my vote.  So overall another must see Marvel film.

Best Bit: Goose

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Thor: Ragnarok, Top Gun

 


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Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
You know what? Sometimes a film comes along with performances so good that it elevates what could otherwise be an over sentimental slog. Saving Mr Banks is just that film. From Thompson (giving the performance of 2013) to Hanks, Farrell to Giamatti everyone is on the top of their game here. And it’s a pleasure to watch.

The story, that of Walt Disney’s attempts to woo Mary Popins writer PL Travers into giving him the rights to her much loved story, is told well enough and the film directed in such as way that the (mostly) true to life tale can take centre stage rather than flashy visuals (American Hustle take note) , but it’s heart and soul comes from what will be a trophy cabinet filling performance from Thompson.  Divine, vine from start to finish, she injects just the right amount of heart to make you fall in love with a woman who, for the most part, is pretty unloveable.

That said, her performance centrally benefits from Hanks as Walt Disney.  Charming, charismatic and dashing (in a very 60’s kinda way), Hanks delivers a Walt Disney minus the rough edges and whilst that may not sit well with purists of the Golden Age, it doesn’t detract from a stirling effort by the former Forrest Gump.  And yes that problem is prevalent elsewhere, in that as often you find with films of this ilk the truth often makes way for narrative construct and the need to protect those that need protecting (Saving mr Banks is produced by Disney) .  So don’t expect the big guy to be lighting up anytime soon.

This are small gripes however in what is a very enjoyable 2 hours.  So come for the performances and stay for the film which is, in truth, a lovely story about simpler times.  And animated penguins.

Best Bit: Emma Thompson

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

 


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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Academy and BAFTA winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse could well be the best Spider-Man film yet.  Yup I know Spider-Man 2 was superb and Homecoming was a real return to form after the more forgettable Sony efforts but Into The Spider-Verse is just so much… everything.  It’s fun, has a great soundtrack, its funny, the animation is stand out with a great voice cast and killer set pieces.  It has heart, surprises, delivers a top draw story and it’s pace never lets up but also never outstays it’s near two hour run time.  In short Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse out Marvel’s Marvel and offers Lord & Miller reception after their recent Star Wars issues!  Near perfect (and finally Spider Redemption for Sony)

Best Bit: Sticky!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man

 


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Robin Hood (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Robin Hood (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I get why people didn’t like the latest version of Robin Hood. It’s a bit full of itself, it substitutes style for substance and mashes about 500 years of technology into one.  I also still don’t buy Taron Egerton  as an action hero. This all said I actually quite enjoyed Robin Hood, despite its faults. The action is interesting, the CGI not too interactive and the mash up of technology quite fun.  And if nothing else at least it takes a different approach to a very well worn story. Peaky Blinder’s Paul Anderson is especially fun as Guy of Gisborne and Ben Mendelsohn does this best attempt to out Rickman Alan Rickman as the Sherif (he doesn’t get close but he’s still fun).  It’s flawed.  It’s silly. But its fun.  Worth a watch.

Best Bit: The riot/raid/assault

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Assassins Creed, Tomb Raider, Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves

 


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Fyre Fraud (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Fyre Fraud (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hulu’s Fire Fraud is another take on the now infamous festival that wasn’t, following hot on the heels of the Netflix original Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.  It’s more of the same with Hulu trumping Netflix a touch with exclusive (and paid) access to the man himself , even if he fails to deliver any real insight.  Looking at  the two films together for me Netflix edges it with a more rounded and polished affair but both have pointers and moments missing from the other. So if you are interested in the Fyre fiasco then make this a back to back offering!

Best Bit: Billy

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Hulu)

If You Liked this Try: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Holy Hell, Amanda Knox

 


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The Girl In The Spiders Web (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Girl In The Spiders Web (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Girl In The Spiders Web has two main issues.  The first is the fact that the trailer pretty much gives away the whole story – not least a pivotal end moment.   The second (and far worse crime) is that despite this the rest of it’s still pretty uninspiring playing like the Bourne movies nobody liked directed by someone that wasn’t David Fincher (thus robbing the film of the main reason to see the original US Dragon tattoo film). Foy is fine as is the rest of the cast but this just feels like Jason Bourne all over again.  Too late and nothing new.

Best Bit: Sniper

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Jason Bourne, The Bourne Legacy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 

 


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Reign of the Supermen (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Reign of the Supermen (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
DC animation continues to deliver solid stories with its continuation of the Death of Superman adaptation.  Thing is you kinda know what you are going to get here – they are mostly straight adaptations – with a solid voice cast and solid animation.  That said after a few these are all starting to feel pretty familiar and I can’t help but think that they need to start making a few creative leaps to stop these getting ‘Hum Hum’. So solid but left me wanting a bit more…

Best Bit: Supermen Vs Lex

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

 


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Fighting With My Family (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Fighting With My Family (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Fighting With My Family follows the standard format of the sports movie almost to the letter.  You’ve seen it in Rocky, The Karate Kid and hell even Cool Runnings.  Underdog get’s their shot at the big time, wobbles, comes through it and ends up beating the odds.  What makes Fighting With My Family stand out from the more run of the mill offerings is the heart on show.  The pitch perfect cast really deliver (yes this is the rare good Vince Vaughn performance), especially Florence Pugh who totally convinces as soon to be WWE wrestler Paige (no spoilers – this is based on a true story) and it’s good to see The Rock as, well, The Rock.  Reminded me of my youth.  The ending almost brought a tear to my eye and whilst the film probably does focus a bit too much on the wrestling side (which could put people off) this is a cracking film and well worth a watch.

Best Bit: Raw debut

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: No Holds Barred, Beyond The Mat, The Wrestler

 


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Killer Joe (2011) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Killer Joe (2011) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay this one will split audiences down the middle. Edgy, tough and at times hugely uncomfortable, Killer Joe is now for the weak at heart.  Or of stomach.  In fact it’s fair to say this former stage play is about as claustrophobic and uncomfortable as a film can be.  Move past the obvious shock value, this is a superbly acted, boundary pushing film of the highest order.  A pleasant surprise.  Be warned however when the chicken is introduced most will want to look away.

Best Bit: Fried Chicken

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Bad Lieutenant, Shallow Grave, Silence Of The Lambs

 


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Bird Box (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bird Box (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bird Box is for sure one of the better Netflix Sci-Fi ‘originals’, benefiting from an A-list cast and some super tense direction. It’s not A Quiet Place but its tense for sure, even if it could have spent more time on the river than in the house.  Bullock is a strong, cold lead and the unseen monster is a powerful presence throughout. If they had stuck with the original book ending the film could have pushed a higher rating for sure.

Best Bit: The rapids

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: A Quiet Place, 28 Days Later, 10 Cloverfield Lane 

 


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