Michael Inside (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Michael Inside (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Michael Inside is a brutal look at the spiralling life of an impressionable eighteen-year-old Michael McCrea (an incredible performance by Dafhyd Flynn) whose future is changed dramatically when he is caught holding a bag of drugs for a friend.   A low budget Irish film, it currently holds a near perfect Rotten Tomatoes score and has received rave reviews.  And you can see why.  This is an impeccably acted, tightly directed story that takes the usual prison tropes and puts them aside for a well researched look at what life really is like inside for a young offender.   It’s hard, brutal and shocking and is a film that pulls few punches.  Yup it’s far from upbeat viewing but should be an essential watch for both young adults and their parents.

Best Bit: Consequences

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Scum, Made in Britain, Dog Pound

 


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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So three things stand out rewatching Attack of The Clones.  1. It’s actually paced pretty good.  For a two hour plus film I really didn’t want to rewatch it moves quite fast.  That’s where the positives end.  2.  It has one of the worst scripts I have ever seen on screen.  And I’ve seen (and worked on) some utter Bobbins.  3. Hayden Christensen is by far the worst actor in this film.  He truly stinks up every scene he goes near and has ZERO chemistry with Portman or McGregor.

Look Attack of the Clones was always the weakest of a bad bunch (the prequel trilogy).  But rewatching it I’m reminded just how bad the film is.  The CGI effects, acting, script, dire-logue, direction… all so amateur.  Also in the wider context of the Star Wars films it just makes no sense.  Example (of MANY): Skywalker/Vader met and in fact was related to the family Kenobi would later HIDE Skywalker’s son with.  Right next door to his old home. On his old planet.  Ugh.  Thankfully the film throws enough action at the screen that you don’t notice but man this is not a joy to watch again and has aged badly.

Best Bit: The Clones finally attack.

Worth A Rewatch: God no.

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, Star Wars: A New Hope, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

 


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The Rock (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

The Rock (1996) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oddly I wasn’t a fan of The Rock when I first saw it. But twenty years later (yes really) I’m truly amazing just how much this film blew me away.  It’s by far the best Michael Bay film (with Bad Boys a close second) with a killer performance by both Connery and Cage and for sure it’s one of the best action films of the 90’s… which is some praise if you look at a decade full of great action films.  From the car chase to the initial arrival on Alcatraz, from the Indiana Jones styled mine cart escape to Cage’s OTT venting it’s just a joy.  The Rock is essential and a welcome addition to the Hall of Fame.

Best Bit: Car Chase

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Bad Boys, Armageddon, Transformers 

Hall of Fame

 


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Captain Marvel (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Captain Marvel (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
From its awesome Stan Lee homages to its 90’s throw backs and references to 10 years plus of Marvel cinematic cannon, Captain Marvel knows exactly what film it wants to be from the start.  And that’s a good thing.  Marvel know how to create characters you care about and once again they nail it with Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel – one of the most likeable heroes yet.  She’s staring, smart and relatable.  Oh and she can seriously kick arse. Okay so the story is a touch predicable (If you can’t spot the real bad guy 5 minutes in or even from the trailer you’ve probably never watched a film before) and at times it may be trying too hard but any film that has a running Top Gun reference gets my vote.  So overall another must see Marvel film.

Best Bit: Goose

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Thor: Ragnarok, Top Gun

 


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Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
You know what? Sometimes a film comes along with performances so good that it elevates what could otherwise be an over sentimental slog. Saving Mr Banks is just that film. From Thompson (giving the performance of 2013) to Hanks, Farrell to Giamatti everyone is on the top of their game here. And it’s a pleasure to watch.

The story, that of Walt Disney’s attempts to woo Mary Popins writer PL Travers into giving him the rights to her much loved story, is told well enough and the film directed in such as way that the (mostly) true to life tale can take centre stage rather than flashy visuals (American Hustle take note) , but it’s heart and soul comes from what will be a trophy cabinet filling performance from Thompson.  Divine, vine from start to finish, she injects just the right amount of heart to make you fall in love with a woman who, for the most part, is pretty unloveable.

That said, her performance centrally benefits from Hanks as Walt Disney.  Charming, charismatic and dashing (in a very 60’s kinda way), Hanks delivers a Walt Disney minus the rough edges and whilst that may not sit well with purists of the Golden Age, it doesn’t detract from a stirling effort by the former Forrest Gump.  And yes that problem is prevalent elsewhere, in that as often you find with films of this ilk the truth often makes way for narrative construct and the need to protect those that need protecting (Saving mr Banks is produced by Disney) .  So don’t expect the big guy to be lighting up anytime soon.

This are small gripes however in what is a very enjoyable 2 hours.  So come for the performances and stay for the film which is, in truth, a lovely story about simpler times.  And animated penguins.

Best Bit: Emma Thompson

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

 


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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Academy and BAFTA winning animated feature Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse could well be the best Spider-Man film yet.  Yup I know Spider-Man 2 was superb and Homecoming was a real return to form after the more forgettable Sony efforts but Into The Spider-Verse is just so much… everything.  It’s fun, has a great soundtrack, its funny, the animation is stand out with a great voice cast and killer set pieces.  It has heart, surprises, delivers a top draw story and it’s pace never lets up but also never outstays it’s near two hour run time.  In short Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse out Marvel’s Marvel and offers Lord & Miller reception after their recent Star Wars issues!  Near perfect (and finally Spider Redemption for Sony)

Best Bit: Sticky!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man

 


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Robin Hood (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Robin Hood (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I get why people didn’t like the latest version of Robin Hood. It’s a bit full of itself, it substitutes style for substance and mashes about 500 years of technology into one.  I also still don’t buy Taron Egerton  as an action hero. This all said I actually quite enjoyed Robin Hood, despite its faults. The action is interesting, the CGI not too interactive and the mash up of technology quite fun.  And if nothing else at least it takes a different approach to a very well worn story. Peaky Blinder’s Paul Anderson is especially fun as Guy of Gisborne and Ben Mendelsohn does this best attempt to out Rickman Alan Rickman as the Sherif (he doesn’t get close but he’s still fun).  It’s flawed.  It’s silly. But its fun.  Worth a watch.

Best Bit: The riot/raid/assault

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Assassins Creed, Tomb Raider, Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves

 


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Fyre Fraud (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Fyre Fraud (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hulu’s Fire Fraud is another take on the now infamous festival that wasn’t, following hot on the heels of the Netflix original Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.  It’s more of the same with Hulu trumping Netflix a touch with exclusive (and paid) access to the man himself , even if he fails to deliver any real insight.  Looking at  the two films together for me Netflix edges it with a more rounded and polished affair but both have pointers and moments missing from the other. So if you are interested in the Fyre fiasco then make this a back to back offering!

Best Bit: Billy

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Hulu)

If You Liked this Try: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Holy Hell, Amanda Knox

 


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The Girl In The Spiders Web (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Girl In The Spiders Web (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Girl In The Spiders Web has two main issues.  The first is the fact that the trailer pretty much gives away the whole story – not least a pivotal end moment.   The second (and far worse crime) is that despite this the rest of it’s still pretty uninspiring playing like the Bourne movies nobody liked directed by someone that wasn’t David Fincher (thus robbing the film of the main reason to see the original US Dragon tattoo film). Foy is fine as is the rest of the cast but this just feels like Jason Bourne all over again.  Too late and nothing new.

Best Bit: Sniper

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Jason Bourne, The Bourne Legacy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 

 


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Reign of the Supermen (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Reign of the Supermen (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
DC animation continues to deliver solid stories with its continuation of the Death of Superman adaptation.  Thing is you kinda know what you are going to get here – they are mostly straight adaptations – with a solid voice cast and solid animation.  That said after a few these are all starting to feel pretty familiar and I can’t help but think that they need to start making a few creative leaps to stop these getting ‘Hum Hum’. So solid but left me wanting a bit more…

Best Bit: Supermen Vs Lex

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Superman: Doomsday, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse

 


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