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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Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi  – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Return of the Jedi isn’t the best Star Wars film.  That will always be Empire.  But it’s certainly the most watchable (and one I watched the most).  See Jedi is pure popcorn fodder – full of space battles, plot twists, ground wars and lightsaber fights.  The cast here are super comfortable, clearly loving  their roles (well maybe not Guinness) and proxy director Marquand delivers high action from the start. In this current version Lucas’ changes remain mostly in and around Jabba’s palace and still stand out like a sore thumb.  Like most of his additions they just feel so unneeded.  Other changes are okay but I think we all could do with out Hayden Christensen anywhere near this trilogy.  In short – despite Lucas’ best efforts to ruin his films, Jedi remains a perfect send off for the original trilogy. Fun, action packed and full of Ewoks.  Yes I went there… I love the Ewoks.  Thank god then in the end it was a trap!

Best Bit: Attack of the Death star 

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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Escape Room (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Escape Room (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Escape Room is basically Saw light. In fact it’s so lacking in gore and real threat for the most part you wonder just how close it could have been to getting a 12 rating.  That’s not to say that it isn’t enjoyable. It is.  In fact Escape Room is a whole bundle of fun – if you don’t mind checking your brain at the door.  It doesn’t stick the landing sadly with a weirdly sequel focused denouement but the cast are good, the puzzles crazy and the story just about believable.

Best Bit: Pool

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Saw, The Belko Experiment, Cube

 


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Pet Sematary (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Pet Sematary (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Pet Sematary 2019 is an odd film.  I get what it was trying to do as a film, but starting off by marketing yourself as from ‘The Writer Of IT’ already tells you this is going for the mainstream.  I kinda liked the somewhat janky 1989 Pet Sematary, it was pretty edgy for it’s time and did a lot with it’s modest budget.  The 2019 version makes some odd choices and whilst I kinda liked the ending the journey was pretty unsatisfactory.  Thing is it’s just felt like another modern day horror – Part Ring, part Annabel, part whatever and a lot of the charm of King’s book is lost.  So personally I’d stick with the original…

Best Bit: The ending

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: IT (2017), The Stand, Carrie

 


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Million Dollar Baby (2004)- A Quick Capsule Review

Million Dollar Baby (2004)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Million Dollar Baby is a great boxing film with a brutal ending that I honestly didn’t see coming.  I have no idea why it’s taken me fifteen years to see Eastwood’s Oscar winning sports film, but seeing it devoid of hype all these years later allowed me to really settle in and enjoy what is a really good film. Eastwood is excellent as the gravelly trainer and Swank really convinces as the from the streets Boxer come good.  If the pay of hurts, it’s became you really bye into the characters.  I probably could have lost the Freeman narration (a  little too Shawshank) but overall this one really does deserve the plaudits.

Best Bit: The title fight

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Rocky, The Fighter, When We Were Kings

 


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Game Of Thrones: The Bells (S8E05)  – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Game Of Thrones: The Bells (S8E05) – A Quick Capsule Review (Spoilers)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
‘The Bells’, the penultimate were episode of Game Of Thrones ruined me.  From its crushing deaths (quite literally as it happens) to its shocking, brutal assault on Kings Landing… it was a super intense episode that highlighted both the best and the worst of Thrones season 8.   Let’s start with the best: this was a real tour deforce of direction.  Intimate, intense and visceral it had me shouting out loud and holding my breathe equally.  Seeing Jon realise that his troops and armies were no better than the Lannister’s or others was powerful stuff.  Also the Hound/Mountain fight was everything we wanted and more.  Worst? Well its speeded up storytelling makes certain choices harder to swallow – Daenerys for one.  I see why, I understand it but I just haven’t had enough time to buy it.  Also lets be honest whilst I get the air of poetry having Jamie/Cersei killed by rubble was a little unsatisfactory.  Gripes aside on an episode to episode basis this is thrilling, satisfying stuff.  Just one to go then…

Death Toll: Urm… millions?

Worth The Wait: HELL YES

Best Bit: The mad queen… 

 


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White Boy Rick (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

White Boy Rick (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
White Boy Rick is based on a true story of a drug dealing gun totting 15 year old, dragged deep into a world of crime by the FBI.  It’s solid stuff – with Matthew McConaughey delivering yet another strong performance.  But for all it’s grit and dirt it’s the very workman like delivery that lets the film down.  In more solid hands this could have been a really interesting film but as it is it’s more diverting than essential.

Best Bit: Getting close with the girl

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Black Mass, American Gangster, New Jack City

 


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Shed Of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Shed Of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Shed Of The Dead  tries hard to be very like a certain other ‘S’ of the Dead.  Hell, it even references the classic Edgar Wright film (and many others) in the rather knowing animated title sequence.  Yup it’s aspirations to be the latest in a long list of Zom-Com’s are set out right from the start and, happily, for the most part it works. Avoiding the pitfalls of other independent Zombie films (mostly trying to do too much with too little), director Cullingham makes the smart choice to focus down hard to the characters rather than the gore, with the money splashed at the right moments and the bad taste humour picking up the slack throughout.  Shed also drags together icons from franchises such as Friday the 13th, Hills Have Eyes and Texas Chainsaw for extended cameos in what turns out to be a clever gimmick – enough screen time to get bums on seats but not enough to distract.  With this and it’s Shaun-esk feel, brisk run time and clever use of budget you have what is a pretty enjoyable Zombie romp. In short: Shed Of The Dead has a great cast, is slick, sick and funny.

Best Bit: Shed Zombie

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Shaun of The Dead, Anna And The Apocalypse, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

 


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Scum (1979) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Scum (1979) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Alan Clarke’s Scum (itself a remake of a BBC TV version from 1977) remains a sobering, brutal look into 70’s borstal life.  From suicide to rape, beatings to racism, it’s a film that doesn’t hold back for a second of it’s run time time.  At the centre was a career making performance for Ray Winstone, the new ‘Daddy’ on the block.  It’s a film that has been re-quoted in playgrounds for years and whose legend shines bright in the history of classic British cinema.  A must, if tough, watch.

Best Bit: I’m The Daddy Now.

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Quadrophenia,  Borstal Boy, Nill By Mouth

 


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