Star Wars: The Last Jedi – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the Last Jedi is good.  On balance it could well be the best true Star Wars film since Jedi and It’s fair to say when it delivers it knocks it out the park – The opening, Rey/Ren, The finale.  Even better watching it back on home video, the misses that bothered me first time around (The long middle section, Star Wars Casinos, the punking out of not one but two characters set up for great things but cast aside) actually made a lot more sense.  It’s still far to say that a better script could have made this up there with Empire, but even though The Last Jedi flirts with greatness it still doesn’t QUITE land it.  This all said it was a really entertaining film, with lots of surprises along the way and twists and turns you don’t quite expect that lived up to expectations and hype.  Hamill is great, Fisher gives one of her best performances and the support cast are mostly exceptional.  Where to next is anyones guess but the final film in this trilogy will have a hell of a job beating this. Recommended.

Best Bit: Finally! Lightsaber action!

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back , Rogue One : A Star Wars Story

 


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Captive State (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Captive State (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Captive State was in and out of cinemas so quick you probably didn’t notice.  Which is a shame as, whilst it’s far from perfect, there’s a hell of a lot to like in this sub $30million dollar sci-fi invasion film. Apes director Rupert Wyatt does a great job building a believable world without being too obvious and the lack of aliens of the most part allows the film to focus on the more interesting human elements.  Yup it looses its way a bit in the final act, delivers some very unsurprising surprises and the lack of budget does bite after a while BUT it’s still nothing less than good fun.

Best Bit: The cold open

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, Arrival, They Live

 


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Godzilla (2014)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Godzilla (2014)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gareth Edwards’s second film as a director sees him once again dealing with ‘monsters’ but this time he dares to tread where many more experienced directors have failed and take on the might of Godzilla.  And you know what?  For the most part he pulls it off.  What Edwards does best is to strike the right balance between the ample destruction and the people.  Where as Zack Snider’s destruction porn is all about falling building, Edwards makes it about the characters.  Where as Michael Bay reveals in explosions, Edwards reveals in human drama.  This doesn’t mean that the film doesn’t have it’s wham! Bam! moments – it does and in spades – but they mean something. So the story isn’t perfect and the film uses the ‘hint’ reveal a few too many times, but Godzilla does so much right that you can forgive it a few small issues.

Best Bit: Monster Smack down.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Pacific Rim, Jurassic Park, Monster

 


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Godzilla: King of The Monsters (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Godzilla: King of The Monsters (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Godzilla: King of The Monsters isn’t terrible.  It’s also just not that great.  I almost wish this had been a terrible Asylum style offering because at least that would have been entertaining.  Sadly Godzilla only manages being rather boring and average.  It’s muddy CGI monster fights muddy CGI monster (mostly in darkness) with little coherent plot or characters to care about.  Which is why I think this film would have been WAY better if they had thrown a few men in rubber suits and set them against each other WWE style.  At least then it would have been fun and held my attention longer than it did (by hour two I was starting to drift off). The cast deserve better, especially the talented Millie Bobby Brown who spends most of her time slack jawed or wide-eyed and the films odd habit of rolling out a ‘Oh it’s them’ actor cameo just gets distracting by the end (Joe Morton, David Strathairn and even the criminally underused Sally Hawkins).  So overall it’s not as good as Gareth Edward’s 2014’s Godzilla and both pail into compression with the original Japanese Godzilla films.

Best Bit: I guess the monsters doing stuff

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Godzilla (2014), Monsters, Kong: Skull Island 

 


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Rocky Horror Show  – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Rocky Horror Show – A Quick Capsule Theatre Review

Local

Just to get this out of the way before we start… Rocky Horror Show is probably my favourite stage show of all time.  From its beginnings as a stage show to its cult film adaptation and back to a campy polished stage show, Rocky Horror in its various forms has entertained us for over forty years.  

 

So you’d think it would get a bit tired by now right?  Or it would loose some of that sparkle the eleventh time in… Wrong.  This 2018/19 touring production is as fresh, fun and over the top as ever.

 

The real revelation here is Stephen Webb.  A staple of numerous theatre & TV shows, Webb relishes the opportunity to turn it up to 11 as Frank-N-Furter unleashing his inner camp with relish and aplomb.  Now well into his tour of duty, Webb is nailing his Frank which is no mean feat if you consider some of the epic Franks that came before him ( David Bedella to name but one).

 

That said nowadays no touring version of Rocky Horror is complete without Kristian Lavercombe, who has logged over 1000 performances as Riff Raff across the globe yet delivers every line, song and snark like it was new.  He’s the heart and soul of this production and obviously still enjoys every moment.,

 

As for the rest of the cast… well for one it’s great to see Punt back as the Narrator, whose super comfortable in the role and knows exactly where to pause for the appropriate call backs and interactions (which came thick and fast). As always Rocky Horror is best enjoyed with a knowledgeable (and well turned out) crowd…



The songs, production and choreography are first class and you can’t help but be swept along in the breakneck pace on show here!

 

So strap on your heels, pull up your stockings and fasten that wig because Rocky Horror is by far the best time you will have this year!

 

Starring: Stephen Webb, Steve Punt, Joanne Clifton, Ben Adams, Kristian Lavercombe

 

The Rocky Horror Show is currently performing at The Congress Theatre in Eastbourne from Monday 27 May 2019 to Saturday 01 June 2019.

 

 

 

 


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A Defence of Game of Thrones Series 8 : Motion Picture Maniac

A Defence of Game of Thrones Series 8 : Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

So I suppose there’s one or two things I should quickly start with: yes I rather liked the not-so-popular season 8 of Game of Thrones, yes I liked it enough to feel like writing a defence and while I do agree that certain elements in the finale did feel somewhat rushed, my overall emotional and cathartic response was never sullied by any timing issues that, for some people, apparently disregard any and all quality the show presented in its previous seven seasons. That and every criticism and comment I touch upon here is something I actually discovered online, not stuff i’ve made up to justify anger at those with an opposing opinion to mine, I like to believe I’m a logical person, and it can be the easiest thing in the world to deduce what a person is getting at with an internet comment they leave lying amongst the context of thousands of others.

Got that?

Was there ever any doubt that the finale to a show like Game of Thrones wasn’t going to please everyone? In fact I’d say a turnout like that seems like the most obvious way for reality to go about it, just think of what the world of entertainment criticism is at the moment. Governed by whatever the Joneses are saying on social media, I mean are you telling me there’s nothing suspicious about people very casually dropping “oh, it’s shit” comments everywhere without any kind of explanation as to why, or hint of legitimate disappointment in sight?

That’s something that bugs me, amidst all this screaming and crying, refusing to eat what you’ve been given malarkey, no one actually seems “disappointed” by the prospect of the final season being… well, a disappointment. There’s too much fun being had and too little explanation as to why this is now the status quo outside of “well, that’s what everyone else is saying”. If you think I’m wrong about that then let me ask you this: why is no one talking about Cleganebowl? Why is no one talking about Tyrion’s tearful final scene with Jamie? Why is no one talking about the fan theories that actually did come true that people hoped would? I’ll tell you why, because that would mean saying something nice about “the worst GOT ever” and doing that does extinguishes fire rather than add fuel. I wonder if it’s even real fans doing the complaining because there seems to be a much bigger concern with being relevant on Facebook and Twitter and joining the determined conversation than trying to delve into the why of all this.

“Season 8 sucks! Just making sure everyone knows that’s what I think, just throwing that out there. See, I’m relevant now, I’m part of the cool gang”.

The point the criticisms all seem to come back to is Dany’s burning down of King’s Landing, you know, that place populated with all those idiots who cheered on Ned Stark’s execution. The explanation (holy shit, a criticism with an explanation for once) being that she makes up her mind to commit mass murder too quickly and therefor against who she is as a character. I disagree, aside from there having been red flags galore that something like this was coming the whole show, there’s a lot of stuff that goes down not long before the massacre that, I thought, made it totally plausible, I’m not fanboying, if that’s what I think then what am I supposed to do, pretend it isn’t so I fit in? If only everyone could stop pretending to be so impressive with how much they know about filmmaking and take their critic caps off for five seconds, wouldn’t that be the day?

Think about it, her beloved John – more in line for the throne than she is, that’s a slap in the ambitious little face, his family – don’t like her, could they potentially be traitors? Tyrion and Varys, two advisors to “keep her worst impulses in check” either fail her too many times or flat out do try and betray her, Cersei – because of her, two of her dragons are now dead, one died bringing the stubborn Cersei proof that white walkers exist, the other she had killed outright, she’s even the one responsible for this battle starting by killing Missandei, and then she has the balls to just surrender? And let’s not forget the knowledge that years of Targaryen incest have rendered her not right in the head, just like her father. Considering all of those things I’d say it makes sense for her to lose her shit and go crazy, trust was betrayed too many times, I certainly wouldn’t trust Cersei with mercy if I gave it to her.

I get that’s just what I think but why is it more fun complaining about something than just relaxing and allowing yourself to enjoy it? That’s not the same as saying you’ll enjoy it if you force yourself to, but everyone doing the complaining seem like they’re going out of their way to make sure of it? If you think I’m wrong about that then consider how the complaining didn’t stop at just this one mistake, it wasn’t enough to justify the level of anger so you gotta branch out I guess. This single occurrence in a 70 minute episode, one of 73, suddenly defines ALL of the writing in the entire show as “shit” for some reason. “Yeah Benioff and Weiss have been great so far but a character made a decision too quickly so they are, by definition, overall shit writers now”. That’s just over zealous internet baby screaming and I can’t take it seriously at all; it’s illegitimate.

I’m reminded of a rather random comparison – The Santa Claus 2 (of all things):

“Our number 2 elf overlooked the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT DETAIL IN THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS!” – “wow, one mistake in 900 years”.

Do you see what I’m getting at?

Even though some people did have their issues with seasons 5 and 7 (issues amplified by their dislike of 8) I don’t recall anyone losing their minds and declaring them to be the shittest thing anyone has ever made (because isn’t everything nowadays with a little bit of hype that’s not a billion % perfect?), but make what many consider a serious error in the penultimate episode and SUDDENLY you’re a shit writer, you deserve to die and no amount of great things you’ve done in the last 8 years up until this point matter anymore. There was recently an interesting Twitter thread that detailed how George R R Martin and the show’s writing team just have fundamentally different methods when it comes to plot progression, and that the seasons written without books to follow aren’t shit but simply feel different. The best some dickhead could come up with in response to this thread was a simple “nah, they’re just shit writers”.

Are you kidding me? Right there I knew it, this has nothing to do with legitimate feelings about the conclusion of a tv show, it’s playground bitching for the sake of it, to, like I keep saying, join in the conversation on the web; some people’s new definition of the real world. I bet you this person absolutely loved all other seasons prior to 8, or rather – the backlash to 8 so you know what side of the argument to be on. Anything interesting or logical in that thread was just thrown out of the window in favour of having a blame figure to exercise aggression on, aside from not agreeing with them these criticisms just come across as too sadistic to be taken seriously, I even have my doubts some of these people dropping the odd “season 8 sucks” comment here and there have even watched it.

This has been the case with a lot of entertainment criticism this past generation, the once noble profession of film or television criticism has been degenerated to mindless screaming on the internet because, apparently, every likes to prove just how much more than filmmakers they know about the craft and it’s getting really annoying. Especially with the existence of favourite targets, filmmakers who could say something as simple as “good morning” online and someone just has to announce why they’re a terrible person for doing so. Then there are the films that make the same mistakes as critical flops that don’t even get half the backlash for the simple fact that they aren’t the favourite target; it’s not about criticising what deserves to be criticised, it’s something much more sinister that has me worried about the future of entertainment. Especially with fans starting selfish and entitled petitions that disrespect all the work that goes into their entertainment they’re too spoilt rotten to eat when given, all because they found one or two things a bit rushed which, in internet speak, means the WHOLE thing just sucks – I really hate that word, “sucks”.

I definitely think I could go on folks, I really really could but I’d better stop before my brain explodes, or yours does for indulging me for this long, this isn’t about me having a moan about someone saying something about about something I liked, I’m legitimately worried about what could be in store for entertainment in the future if this is what the feedback is going to be like, if I were a filmmaker and spent many years of my life making something people don’t like I’ll want to know why, not just read comments about how shit I am. The fan petition thing borders on psychotic given just how easily no one cares about how hard it is to make this stuff, but oh, I forgot, celebrities aren’t real people are they, they’re other worldly entities who are here to serve us, and if they spend many years of their lives making something specifically for us to be entertained and we don’t like it, it makes sense for us to complain about how OUR time was waisted because we watched it for two hours (in the case of some films).

You know what, it’s getting old, the moaning and winging not because of continuity errors, bad sets, cheap cinematography or porno acting, but because a fictional character made decision we don’t like in a fictional story that’s specifically there for enjoyment, I’ve not much faith left for this film critic thing at all, not if children are the ones doing it. Remember that scene in Birdman where the mean critic lady tells Michael Keaton how he represents spoilt entitled children, go rewatch that scene and know that everything she says, I would happily say to modern critics of today.

 


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T2: Trainspotting – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

T2: Trainspotting – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
T2 Trainspotting is a brilliant film. Not the film you expected. Or even wanted.  But brilliantly done.   It’s a film that, maybe for the first time ever on screen, captures what it’s like to be lost in life at a time where its hard to change who you are and when the dreams of life settle to the reality.  As a 40 year old who at times feels the failure to be what he wanted to be, whose settled in life on a path different to what he thought and sees a future so different from what he imagined, it was always going to be a story that would hit a nerve.  And it did.  For the first time in a long time I had to reflect about a film.  Sit quietly and take it all in.

It won’t be for everyone, not even for every fan of Boyle’s groundbreaking original and it certainly lacks the intensity, raw energy and exuberance that Trainspotting delivered.  But like the film,  I’m not 19 anymore either so my life has slowed down and it feels right the film should reflect that.  The fact that the film leaves you at the end feeling that you wanted more from it, feels oddly like it was actually the point.

So on it’s own merits then it’s a well told story , excellently directed,  superbly performed (especially Ewan Bremner’s Spud) about what it’s like to be closer to the end than the beginning and what it’s like to feel lost in your own mind. I liked it a lot.

Best Bit: The cubicle

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Trainspotting, Go, Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels

 


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens  – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The danger is always that when you hype up a film to such a degree that it can only ever disappoint.  And episode 7 its probably the most hyped film ever.  To live up to this hype It would have to be special.  It would have to deliver.  And you know what – for the most part it does.  The Force Awakens is the Star Wars films I wanted.  Great new characters, throw backs to the great characters of old, a simple story, intrigue, a great bad guy and a plot that doesn’t feed you every little detail.  It’s not perfect – far from it – BUT in spirit and execution this film delivers.  It feels like a Star Wars film. It looks like a Star Wars film.  It IS a Star Wars Films.

Best Bit: BB8!

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 


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The Secret Life Of Pets (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

The Secret Life Of Pets (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Secret Life of Pets is basically Toy Story without Pixar.   That’s not a bad thing of course but it does feel like somewhat of a retread of the much better Pixar classic.  It’s charming, funny and (occasionally) smart.  It’s also not as funny as it should have been, not as clever as you want it to be and not as charming as it thinks it is… which is a shame as the film has bucket loads of potential. Ultimately the kids will love it, adults with find it witty and it will make money.  Hopefully of the sequel they can develop the bits that worked best into a what could be a comedy gem.

Best Bit: When the owners leave…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Toy Story, Despicable Me 2, Toy Story 3

 


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Game Of Thrones: The Iron Throne (S8E06) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)- A Quick Capsule Review

Game Of Thrones: The Iron Throne (S8E06) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Iron Throne had an impossible task.  How do you end a series where we’ve had long nights, red weddings, battles of bastards and much, much more.  It was never going to be an ending to suit everyone.  People would be disappointed.  And I was.  Sometimes.  Look the ultimate revelation of Bran as the new king felt pretty pointless and not particularly earned whilst the inevitability of Jon killing Dani was a let down.  But the last few scenes felt the most Thrones the show has all year.  From the comical bickering at the small council to Jon riding out North of The Wall, Ghost at his side… the final few scenes gave us hope whilst still remaining true to the core of the series.  It’s just a shame then that the rest felt so rushed.  You can’t help but think with a few more episodes you’d be able to buy into some of the more stretching choices that were made.  But ultimately whilst the journey may differ, the result is exactly what GRRM will lay down in his final books so maybe, just maybe, it was doomed to fall short from the start.

Death Toll: A few Lannister soldiers and a mad Queen

Worth The Wait: No.

Best Bit: Jon rides out… 

 


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