The Secret Life Of Pets 2  (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Secret Life Of Pets was a great concept in need of a better film.  Thankfully The Secret Life Of Pets 2, whilst far from perfect, at least does a far more even job of delivering the film we all wanted first time out. Okay so it’s still VERY Toy Story in its execution but even a lesser version of Toy Story can still make for a fun,  sometimes funny, often witty film.  It’s hardly essential viewing but, if like me, you need a way to distract a kid across a Sunday afternoon you can do far worse.

Best Bit: Vets

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Secret Life Of Pets, Toy Story, Despicable Me 2 

 


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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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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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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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