Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse (1991) – A Quick Capsule Review

Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse (1991) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmakers Apocalypse is a fascinating look behind the scenes of the making of Francis Ford Coppola’s groundbreaking Apocalypse Now, with footage shot by his wife Eleanor. It’s tells the story of a production plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems–nearly destroying the life and career of the director and a few of the cast.  It’s essential viewing for anyone with more than just a passing interest in film and the art of filmmaking.

Best Bit: Brando

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Lost In LaMancha, Full Tilt Boogie, American Movie

 


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Bad Boys 2 (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bad Boys 2 (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bad Boys, directed by a young and talented Michael Bay, produced by the legendary Simpson/Bruckheimer paring and starring a fresh off TV Will Smith, was a pleasant surprise. It was also a huge hit so a sequel was always gong to be incoming.  But by this point Bay had found his 12th gear and my memory of Bad Boys 2 was as an over long, bloated and sexist mess (with a few nice action scenes).  Years later is still all this but oddly after years of Transformer films and a huge slide in quality from Bay, it’s held up better than I expected.  And by that I mean it wasn’t as boring, as sexist or as over the top as seeing a robot with testicles or a 40 minute soliloquy about statutory rape.  So in the cannon of all things Bay, Bad Boys 2 is still memorable for all the wrong reasons yet still remains oddly distracting.

Best Bit: Smith/Lawrence chemistry

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Bad Boys, Armageddon, The Rock 

 


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Phil’s Best & Worst 2020 Films… 1st Edition (14th Feb 2020)

Phil’s Best & Worst 2020 Films… 1st Edition (14th Feb 2020)

Quick Review Year In Review

So this is my semi-regularly updated of the BEST and WORST of the films from 2020 (2020 Films), as well as the best films I missed from last year and those I just couldn’t finish.

All in my very humble opinion…

 

BEST Films Of 2020… So Far:

  1. Uncut Gems
  2. Parasite
  3. Queen & Slim
  4. 1917
  5. The Gentleman


Honourable Mentions:
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),Color Out of Space, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

 

WORST Films Of 2020… So Far

  1. Dolittle
  2. In The Line Of Duty
  3. Countdown
  4. Richard Jewell


Dis-Honourable Mentions:

 

The 2020 Films I just couldn’t Finish…

Great Films Of 2019 That I saw In 2020:

Hitsville: The Making of Motown, Dolemite Is My Name, Ford V Ferrari, One Cut Of The Dead, American Factory

 


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Whiplash (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Whiplash (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
What a film.  Mark my words if not the film of the year Whiplash will certainly be up there on a very short list.  From top notch performances, some of the best use of editing and music I’ve seen in a long time and with a story and characters you buy into 100%, cinema doesn’t get any more enthralling than this.  Can’t recommend this enough.

Best Bit: JK Simmons

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Birdman, Nightcrawler, Boyhood

 

 


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Richard Jewell (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Richard Jewell (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Clint Eastwood’s latest adaptation of a real life story fails to be the sum of its parts. A fascinating story, a great cast and a director who defines the term legend… it was all there.  But sadly Eastwood’s film falls (and feels) flat.  Whether it’s his workman like direction or the total lack of pace in the screenplay, Richard Jewell just seems to be going through the numbers as it ticks all the boxes you’d expect from the film without ever adding anything new.  It’s a shame because there is a compelling movie in this story but sadly this isn’t it.

Best Bit: Clearing the park

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Sully, American Sniper, Ford v Ferrari

 


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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood could have been a twee, dull fluff piece.  But it’s not.  In fact A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is something quite lovely, all hinging around a sublime performance from Oscar nominated Tom Hanks.  A perfectly pitched, joyous film that its both charming and life affirming. Okay so it may be a little too lacking in bite at times but once again Hanks proves just why he’s Hollywood’s Mr Rogers.

Best Bit: Hanks is just sublime.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Sully, Saving Mr Banks, Won’t You Be My Neighbour 

 


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JoJo Rabbit (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

JoJo Rabbit (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
JoJo Rabbit is bold, subversive and odd as you’d expect from a Taika Waititi film that sees a young boy in Hitler’s army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.  The problem is it just wasn’t that funny for me.  Let me just contextualise this… I hated (yes HATED) What We Do In The Shadows the first time I watched it (and haven’t ever bothered to try again).  But I love Taika Waititi and consider Thor Ragnarok to be one of THE best Marvel films.  But it’s possible that outside that franchise I just don’t get his humour.  Or maybe I’ve just seen Life Of Brian and know that this kinda thing has been done and probably better.  Okay so I didn’t HATE JoJo Rabbit and I really enjoyed the performances and ideas, but for sure I wasn’t as taken with it as most seem to be.   In short: JoJo Rabbit is film you need to see and, if you loved Hunt or What We Do, no doubt you’ll dig this.

Best Bit:Waititi as Hitler. Yes really.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: What We Do In The Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor Ragnarok 

 


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Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It feels a bit mean giving Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn a  7/10 (Spoiler Alert for the rating I guess) but it’s just one of those films that’s ALMOST brilliant.  For sure Birds Of Prey is funny, charming, violent and colourful. It even has a good villain in McGregor. Yup Birds of Prey is so fun it even manages to make you forget about disaster that was Suicide Squad (that said Robbie was the best thing in that too). And if this was JUST Robbie I’d be onboard. It would be an 8/10.  Maybe even higher.   But the whole Birds Of Prey thing just doesn’t work well enough.  Sure Jurnee Smollett-Bell is good as Black Canary but Mary Elizabeth Winstead & Rosie Perez just seem miscast and the film spends time introducing characters that just don’t need to be there or that you just don’t care about.   Yup it may say Birds of Prey above the poster but this is Quinn’s movie and the film is far better when she is on screen.

Best Bit: The Tank Girl punk rock n roll feel

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Tank Girl 

 


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The Addams Family (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Addams Family (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Addams Family isn’t perfect but it certainly tries hard and, whilst every joke doesn’t land, just enough do to make this a pretty diverting and often fun 90 minutes.  A great voice cast (Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bette Midler & Finn Wolfhard) with some witty Tim Burton/ Laika inspired animation help the film along and for sure I was never bored, even if the film does little better or different than the original live action movies.  So a fun distraction for sure but hardly essential viewing.

Best Bit: School.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Addams Family (1991), The Addams Family Values, Beetlejuice 

 


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