Roxanne (1987) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Roxanne (1987) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Roxanne is probably one of my favourite Steve Martin films.  For sure it’s not his most critically loved, his funniest or even the best made.  But this modern day (well 80’s) take on Cyrano de Bergerac manages to bottle up Martin’s charm and serve it perfectly for 95 minutes straight.  It’s warm, charming and never less than entertaining. Roxanne was a film for everyone who grew up being told they weren’t attractive or handsome enough, that showed that looks were only skin deep and personality and humour could always win the day.  A better message you will rarely find…

Best Bit: The nose joke bar scene

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Jerk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Parenthood 

 

Hall-of-Fame

 


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6 Underground (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

6 Underground (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
6 Underground is a hot mess of a film with one of the worst and most unwatchable opening action sequences in recent memory.  Get beyond THAT car chase however and actually there’s a pretty fun action film with some solid set pieces, a handful of genuinely great free running sequences and a winning (if somewhat familiar) central performance from Ryan Reynolds.  It’s also a film that showcase the best and worst of it’s director Michael Bay – from poor dialogue and OTT acting (and a dash of sexism) to beautifully shot action, excellent use of slow mo and some top notch ideas (the magnet for one).  This gives me hope that Bad Boys for Life may actually be fun… so 6 Underground will not be for everyone but it won me over in the end.

Best Bit: Boat + Magnet

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Bad Boys for Life, Bad Boys, The Rock

 


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The Gentleman (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Gentleman (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay so Guy Richie returning to familiar ground isn’t always a guarantee of success (See Revolver) but after years of playing in someone else’s sandpit, the British director’s return to the genre he helped revive, feels long overdue and very much welcome. The Gentleman won’t be for everyone – it drops it’s fair amount of C-bombs & violence alongside a cast that are dialing up the Ham to factor 15 – but for fans of the directors earlier works this is a rare treat.  What Richie has crafted here is an old school 18 rated UK crime film released in the cinema (something quite rare these days) with suave, swagger and style where the cast look like they are having the time of their lives (even if Matthew McConaughey is outclassing them all playing it dead straight). The Gentleman is funny when it needs to be, sharp when it wants to be and menacing when you least expect it. In short: I bloody loved it.  Special note to Hugh Grant who obviously is having the time of his life.

Best Bit:McConaughey playing it like he’s in an Oscar contender.

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Snatch, RocknRolla, Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels 

 


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Alien 3: The Assembly Cut (2003) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Alien 3: The Assembly Cut (2003) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I’ve long been an apologist for Alien 3 as a movie.  Yup it’s flaw and yup it had serious production issues but in truth I watched Fincher’s red headed step child as much as I ever did Alien (if not more). The Assembly Cut however, a faux directors cut that pieces together a vision as close to Fincher’s as you will ever get, is a very different beast.  Longer, more detailed and at times slower (in a good way), this version makes some major changes – not least origin or the Alien and cutting that horrible ‘Ripley grabs Alien as it bursts out moment’ – that make sense of the story far more.  It’s still flawed for sure (the CGI is still dated) but it’s a film that feels real and, in this extended cut, that stands aside as a very different beast to Alien and Aliens.  In short: Alien 3: The Assembly Cut deserves to be rewatched by the haters.

Best Bit: The longer opening

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Alien, Aliens, Alien: Resurrection 

Hall-of-Fame

 


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The Lady In The Van (2016) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

The Lady In The Van (2016) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
As seems to always be the way now, one of the best films of the previous year ends up being British and one that I miss on it’s release (See Pride and Sunshine On Leith).  It’s also simply amazing that Maggie Smith didn’t get at least an Oscar nomination being that she delivers what is probably one of the best performances of the year (and her career). This is Maggie Smiths film and she owns ever second she’s in.  That said the rest of the cast fair pretty well and the story, as quickly delivered as it is, is compelling and charming enough to make this one hell of a film overall.

Best Bit: Maggie Smith

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Sunshine On Leith, Full Monty, Pride

 


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Best Film of The Decade (2010-19): Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Film of The Decade (2010-19): Mad Max: Fury Road

Best & Worst Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So first time around I wasn’t blown away with Fury Road.  I found it repetitive, a bit dull and hated the way the film sidelines it’s titular character for most of the film.  Two years on… I finally got it.  A few years after that… well Mad Max Fury Road is not only actually rather brilliant but it’s also my film of the decade.  From it’s practical effects that carry weight and danger to it’s almost relentless action, Mad Max is a visually stunning ride that packs punch after punch after punch.

Theron is superb, Hardy is good (but still too muted for my taste) and the support cast memorable.  So the film STILL feels like it’s  Furiosa: Fury Road rather than a Mad Max film but oddly second time around i’d even say Max works better in a support role.  So I’m a big man who can admit his mistakes… Fury Road is a modern classic.

Best Bit: Action. Lots of it.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Mad Max, Mad Max Beyond ThunderDome, Mad Max The Road Warrior 

 

 


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Worst Film of The Decade (2010-19) : Transformers Age Of Extinction

Worst Film of The Decade (2010-19) : Transformers Age Of Extinction

Best & Worst Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wow.  If you thought, like me, that Michael Bay and the Transformers franchise couldn’t get any worse that it’s dire third entry, think again.  Welcome to Transformers Age Of Extinction , a film that plunges new depths of shite.  The story? Well to be honest I have no idea.  It’s about things. And noise. And stuff.  None of which I cared about.

So… I guess you want to know just why is it so bad?  Well other than the obvious (it’s Michael Bay), TransNearFourHours is a film that manages to get almost every single thing it does wrong.   It’s a film where product placement (Victoria Secret, Bud Light etc, etc,etc) takes priority over, well, everything else , a film where Transformium (yes Transformium) manages to reduce the once very cool idea of Talking Robots in disguise to Midichlorian levels of dumb, a film where statuary rape justification and underage sex jokes are perfectly fine and a film where a near 3 hour run time (thats longer than Goodfellas for the record) seems to exist just to fit in more shots of near underage girls in short shorts, Marky Mark saying “Whoa”… a lot or visual artists spunking CGI on the screen. In years to come THIS will be what interrogation experts use to break terrorists.

It’s destruction porn once again as director (nay movie pornographer) Michael Bay delivers his raison d’être to seemingly both visually and audibly rape you for near 3 hours with a that film leaches from one boring CGI action scene to, well, another boring CGI action scene, where you can see so little because of its over editing and where so much is thrown at you, you end up becoming so numb that tooth extraction or minor surgery could well be done without any addition form of additional anaesthetic.  Yup, what you end up with (other than a headache, a numb arse, a near £15 hole in your wallet if you were mad enough to pay to see this and the sense of loosing 3 hours of your life you will never reclaim) is probably the worst film of 2014.  Yup worse than Legend Of Hercules AND Need for Speed.  Put together.

In fact we could have our No1 contender for worst film of the decade.

Is it all bad?  No.  Few things are.  For example it lacks the casual and quite disturbing racism of part 2 (or was it part 3?  Or do I even care?), neither Rosie Huntington-Pouty or Megan Fox’s sulky face turn up and in my book any film that doesn’t feature Shia LaDouche instantly makes it a step up on any film that does.  But that’s where the good news ends… with its shoddy performances, a script with first draft level dialogue and a story that manages to fuck up the coolest Transformer ever created (Yes Grimlock, not that he’s even named in the film or even gets to speak), all you end up with is $200+ million dollars of the most inept filmmaking ever seen on the big screen.  And considering Bay’s track record that’s quite some achievement.

Boring. Forgettable. Stupid. If it managed to be just one of those it would be ten times better.  No what we get is loud, amoeba smart and such a horrible experience that it will haunt me every time I shut my eyes.

Yet it’s made hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars in box office receipts and has a fifth film already green lit (thankfully one Bay has said he WONT direct) … so, hey, what the hell do I know.  Maybe I just don’t get it.  Because, hell, enough people seem to.  Personally I like to think it was something else however…  something akin to a road crash where, despite the fact you know you shouldn’t, you go look anyway.    Yes that will be it.  Because near $1 billion of box office would otherwise mean the world is full of people so dumb that, we as a species, truly are screwed.

Transformium.  For fuck sake.

Best Bit: Prime riding Grimlock is pretty cool.  But it was also in the trailer so just watch that instead.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: I downloaded a Chinese subtitled version.  Even then I felt ripped off.

If You Liked this Try  Battleship.  Or Transformers 3.  You’ll love them.  For everyone else… watch ANYTHING else.  Literally ANYTHING.

 

 


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Phil’s Best & Worst Films Of… The Decade (2010-2019)

Phil’s Best & Worst Films Of… The Decade (2010-2019)

Quick Review Year In Review

So this is a look back at all the films I gave the coveted Best & Worst awards each year to from the previous decade, as we look back at the previous 10 years of movies.  Have opinions changed?  Actually on a few… yes.

All in my very humble opinion…

 

BEST Films Of The Decade… (By Year)

2010 – The Social Network
2011 – Hugo 
2012 – Argo (Should have been: Skyfall)
2013 – Rush
2014 – The Wolf Of Wall Street
2015 – Whiplash (Should have been: Mad Max: Fury Road)
2016 – The Nice Guys (Should have been: Kubo And The Two Strings)
2017 – Baby Driver (Should have been: T2 Trainspotting)
2018 – Coco (Should have been TIED with: Mission Impossible: Fallout)
2019 – Joker

BEST FILM Of the Decade: Mad Max: Fury Road


Honourable Mentions:
American: the Bill Hicks Story, Senna, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty, Life Itself, Inside Out, Kubo And The Two Strings, T2 Trainspotting, Mission Impossible: Fallout

 

WORST Films Of The Decade… (By Year)

2010 – Skyline
2011 – Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon
2012 – Ghost Rider 2: Spirit Of Vengeance
2013 – The Host
2014 – Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction 
2015 – Fifty Shades Of Grey
2016 – Point Break (2016)
2017 – Fifty Shades Darker
2018 – The Cloverfield Paradox (Should have been Holmes & Watson)
2019 – The Dead Don’t Die 

WORST FILM Of the Decade: Transformers 4: Age Of Extinction 

 

Dis-Honourable Mentions: 44 Inch Chest, Sucker Punch, Cold Light of Day, The Worlds End, Sex Tape, He Who Dares 2: Downing Street Down, Central Intelligence, Transformers The Last Knight, Fifty Shades Freed

 

 


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Phil’s 2020 Preview & Look Back At 2019’s Predictions…

Phil’s 2020 Preview & Look Back At 2019’s Predictions…

2019: In Review Quick Review Year In Review

Phil’s Quick look at what’s wetting his whistle for the upcoming year in films…

2019 was a good year all in all, with many smaller movies standing out from the crowded franchised blockbuster arena. That said Marvel killed it again and Star Wars Skywalker saga drew to a close.   So here’s the films I’m most looking forward to in 2020.  And a few that I’d be happy to miss.

 

The Must See’s

 


Most Excited: 
Top Gun: Maverick
The sequel to my second favourite film of all time, with a launch trailer that stuck the landing and an epic cast… okay so it will probably suck but I could not BE any more excited.

 

 

2.1917
Following up the dire Spectre with a big budget World War 1 film, Mendes looks to be striking gold on a film that’s already getting Oscar buzz.  And teh single take idea really intrigues me.

 

3.Wonder Woman 1984
With Marvel having a quieter year it’s down to DC to deliver the goods this year and Wonder Woman 1984 may well be the film to do just that.  The best thing in all the DC movies to date and with a well regarded film already under her belt, Wonder Woman returns to battle new bad guys. This time without Zack Snider’s influence.

 

 

4. The Many Saints of Newark
The Sopranos is my favourite TV show of all time.  This feature length look at a young Tony Soprano (played by Gandolfini’s own son) could go either way.  But, much like Top Gun, nostalgia runs high here.

 

5. No Time To Die
A risky choice for sure but No Time To Die promises lots.  A great director, Craig reinvigorated (well that’s what he says) and a different story featuring a retired Bond dragged back into action.  Every other Craig film has been good so the odds are in it’s favour.

 

Bubbling Under: Tenet (Nolan is back, always worth a watch ), Bill & Ted Face The Music (Excellent! ), A Quiet Place 2 (The original was superb ), Last Night In Soho (Edgar Wright. Say no more.  ), Halloween Kills (The last Halloween was genuinely good ), Ghostbusters 2020 (a risk but with the original cast returning… maybe. Just maybe), Black Widow (Only a fool would bet against Marvel)

 

 

The Must Nots

 

Stinker Of The Year: The New Mutants
Shooting Fish in a barrel this one.  So the trailer looked okay, the property it’s based on is solid and the cast & crew impressive… so why am I not keen? Simply this should have come out two years ago, it’s had delays, reshoots and is rumoured to be dumped direct onto Hulu.  If it even comes out.


Also Dreading: Birds of Prey
(Robbie will be great but the film will not, sadly ), Bad Boys 4 Life (Michael Bay – so will be long and a slog) , Fast & Furious 9 (No Rock, No Stath, No Walker. Just Vin ), Godzilla Vs Kong (I think we are done with Godzilla now ), Dolittle (A film we don’t need), Minions 2 (The last DM film was weak and teh Minions film equally a let down), Coming To America 2 (Murphy has had VERY little to offer of late)

 

Last Year…


So how did I do last year?

This is the time of the year when I look back at my picks of the good, the bad and the ugly from 2019 and see how close I was (or as it often is the case, how far!)…

 

For best: I tipped Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel, Hobbs & Shaw, Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood as my most anticipated of 2019. Toy Story 4 was good but not in my top 5 of the year with Captain Marvel following suit. Hobbs & Shaw was a bust but Once Upon A Time In Hollywood delivered in spades.  As for Star Wars: Rise Of Skywalker… it was good but not great but still a great watch!

 

As for the rest? Avengers Infinity War Part 2 was really good and closed off the saga in spectacular fashion,  IT: Chapter Two was better than most gave it credit (but still not on par with Chapter One).  Wonder Woman 1984 never came out and has been added to 2020’s list.  Glass was good fun but Godzilla: King of the Monsters died on it’s arse.Spider-Man: Far From Home  could well be the best Marvel film of 2020 whilst Joker was simply awesome.   Jumanji: The Next Level was good fun as expected, even if it as a step down from Welcome to the Jungle,  &  The Irishman was everything I wanted it to be (other than maybe a few minutes shorter)

 

As for the Stinkers? Terminator: Dark Fate was actually okay (and certainly not the bomb I expected), The Lion King remake was also pretty good fun, Pet Sematary was weak and Pokemon Detective Pikachu was great fun (think Deadpool for kids).  Never watched What Men Want , Aladdin 2019 was solid and X-Men: Dark Phoenix was pretty much what I expected.  Rubbish.   John Wick: Chapter 3 was a return to form but both Alita: Battle Angel & Men in Black Spin Off  both failed as expected.

 

So here’s to 2019… see you again next year!

 


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Phil’s Best & Worst 2019 Films… FINAL Edition (31st Dec 2019)

Phil’s Best & Worst 2019 Films… FINAL Edition (31st Dec 2019)

Quick Review Year In Review

So this is my semi-regularly updated of the BEST and WORST of the films from 2019 (2019 Films), as well as the best films I missed from last year and, of course, the Phil’s Quick Capsule Review ‘Sharknado’ Award.

All in my very humble opinion…

 

BEST Films Of 2019…

  1. Joker
  2. Booksmart
  3. Avengers: Endgame
  4. The Irishman
  5. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood


Honourable Mentions:

Rocketman, How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Knives Out, Rambo: Last Blood, Spider-Man: Far From Home, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Green Book, Tucked, Toy Story 4, Shazam, Missing Link, Fighting With My Family,  Minding The Gap, Happy Death Day 2U, The Lion King, Long Shot, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, Pokemon Detective Pikachu

 

WORST Films Of 2019… 

  1. The Dead Don’t Die
  2. Lucky Day
  3. Alita: Battle Angel
  4. Hellboy (2019)
  5. The Fanatic


Dis-Honourable Mentions:

Godzilla: King of The Monsters, 3 From Hell, Into The Ashes, Close, Velvet Buzzsaw, Anna, Killer Sofa, Child’s Play (2019), Crawl, Pet Sematary (2019), X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Gemini Man, Triple Threat, The Banana Splits Movie, Trial By Fire, Stuber, Rabid (2019), Angel Has Fallen

 

 


The 2019 Films I just couldn’t Finish…

Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers, Mary Queen Of Scotts

 

Great Films Of 2018 That I saw In 2019:

The Domestics, After The Screaming Stops, They Shall Not Grow Old, Assassination Nation, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Free Solo, The Last Movie Star, Incredibles 2, Wonder (2017)

 

Worst film of 2018 that I thought was a 2019 release

Holmes & Watson

 


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