Frozen (2013) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Frozen (2013) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It’s been a while since I properly enjoyed a Disney movie, even a Pixar film.  So I was more than pleasantly surprised just how good Frozen was.  Catchy songs, great characters, amazing animation and best of all a heart and soul that even brought a tear to this old grump!  Oh and it managed to entertain my 3 year old daughter from start to finish and not a lot of films can say THAT.

Best Bit: Olaf’s song!

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy

If you liked this try: Toy Story 3,  Toy Story,  Up

 


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The Wolf Of Wall Street (2014) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2014) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Wolf Of Wall Street is a perfect partner of Goodfellas and Casino – a trilogy about greed, crime and excess. And whilst it doesn’t quite hit the heights of those classic Scorsese films, Wolf is probably one of the best movies the director has made in over a decade.  But for as good as the direction and craft is, its the cast that sell this film.  Margot Robbie debuts and makes an immediate impression, DiCaprio delivers a career best performance and Johnna Hill steels almost every scene he’s in.  The film is uncomfortable watching, as horrible people do horrible things not always getting the comeuppance they deserve but rather than glamorising this, Scorsese manages to reflects the true life story of the thousand of Wolf’s on the hundred’s of Wall Streets around the world. One of the best movies of this decade and gets better with each repeated watch.

Best Bit: Ludes.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Goodfellas, The Big Short, Casino, Boiler Room 

 

Hall of Fame

 


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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Hunger Games failed to excite me first time out, it’s Young Adult take on Battle Royale ended up being more Royale With Cheese. But oddly the sequel makes a much better job of it.  From it’s engaging characters, fantastic production design and larger than life performances, Catching Fire delivered where The Hunger Games failed.  Well worth a watch. 

Best Bit: The production design is amazing

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If you liked this try: Harry Potter Films, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Hunger Games

 


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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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World War Z: Unrated (2013) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

World War Z: Unrated (2013) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sitting down to watch World War Z again after a few years what strikes me is just how intense the unrated cut of the film is.  The opening salvos of the film – from the traffic jam to the apartment block escape and even through to Jerusalem – are edge of seat.  And in fact those moments (and the several other extended and alternate takes) help the film work much better than it’s PG13 release which always felt less than the sum of its parts (I mean a bloodless Zombie film is pretty pointless).  It’s still flawed, with the heavily reshot last act still falling short of the far more dour and downbeat ending that was planned, but for sure World War Z works far better than I originally gave it credit for.

Best Bit: Apartment block escape

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: 28 Days Later, Dawn Of The Dead (2004), Train To Busan 

 


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Sunshine On Leith (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Sunshine On Leith (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well that was  a surprise… a musical based on the works of The Proclaimers (whose music I detest as a general rule) not only managed to be charming and funny but also made me actually want to buy their music.  More over Sunshine On Leith, full of great choreography, charing performances and a heart missing from modern day filming,  ended up as probably one of the top ten films of 2013.  Who saw that coming?  Highly recommended.

Best Bit: 500 Miles.

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy

If you liked this try: Little Shop Of Horrors, Blues Brothers, Rocky Horror Picture Show

 

Rating:

 


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Kick Ass 2 – A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Kick Ass 2 – A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

The Review: First let me say this. I wasn’t a massive fan of Kick Ass. I didn’t hate it but much like Scott Pilgrim, Sin City & Watchman I found it to be more style than substance. Too aware of it’s own geek cool and not afraid to point it out at every moment.

Yes Mortez was great, no I didn’t care she said ‘Cunt’ at the tender age of 11 and yes the action was brutal, but nothing I hadn’t seen a million times before. I liked the central idea of an everybody becoming a superhero but overall I walked out think “that was okay” and haven’t revisited the film since.\

With this in mind I pretty much stayed away from the hype and promotion for KickAss 2, fully aware that I’d probably see the film but didn’t need that geek cool to be rammed down my throat once again.

With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy but when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she’s forced to retire. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world’s first super villain assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad.

Looking at the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes this morning I was shock to see this film sitting at a paltry 28%. That’s less than the critically mauled Lone Ranger. Especially surprising as I thought, overall, this was a much more enjoyable film that the original Kick Ass, less concerned about looking cool, shocking for shock’s sake and shouting ‘I Was Based on a Really Cool Comic Book Don’t You Know’ and more about just interesting characters in even more interesting situations.

In fact, as much as I loved Iron Man 3, for me Kick Ass 2 is the best superhero film of 2013. Cool in it’s own way, with people I actually cared about. Okay so apparently it’s toned down from the comic (I’m not sure we really needed the gang rape of a main character) but as I’m not a fan of the source material that doesn’t really bother me. In fact more over the fact that it doesn’t just set out to shock is for me what stands out about it’s predecessor.

Kick Ass 2 also has some strong action sequences, not least a Good Guys Vs Bad Guys battle that looses the now standard CGI monsters vs Monsters stick of the studio Marvel films and goes with something a little… different. And is FAR more entertaining because of it. Hit Girl vs Mother Russia is for sure the fight of the year to date.

On the subject of Hit Girl, Props go to Chloe Grace Mortez who once again shines and shows that, as long as she doesn’t go all Lohan, she has an amazing and probably award winning career in front of her. Also a massive shout out for Jim Carey who delivers the best performance of his twilight career, even if he was too much of an arse to promote the film (even though his winging actually created even more publicity of the movie… ). Mintz-Plasse is also great as the self titled Mother Fucker, even if he does just deliver the TradeMarked Mintz-Plasse performance.

With assured but not overly showy direction, some social commentary about what it is to fit in, a host of solid action sequences and characters you actually care for, Kick Ass 2 is that rare beast of both a sequel that ends up being more enjoyable that the original and a superhero film that didn’t feel the need to collapse into a CGI want fest.

In short: Fuck the critics, fuck the source material. Just go make up your own mind. You may be pleasantly surprised.

 

Rating:

 


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The Wolf Of Wall Street (2014) – A Hall Of Fame Capsule Review

The Wolf Of Wall Street (2014) – A Hall Of Fame Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Wolf Of Wall Street is a perfect partner of Goodfellas and Casino – a trilogy about greed, crime and excess. And whilst it doesn’t quite hit the heights of those classic Scorsese films, Wolf is probably one of the best movies the director has made in over a decade.  But for as good as the direction and craft is, its the cast that sell this film.  Margot Robbie debuts and makes an immediate impression, DiCaprio delivers a career best performance and Johnna Hill steels almost every scene he’s in.  The film is uncomfortable watching, as horrible people do horrible things not always getting the comeuppance they deserve but rather than glamorising this, Scorsese manages to reflects the true life story of the thousand of Wolf’s on the hundred’s of Wall Streets around the world. One of the best movies of this decade and gets better with each repeated watch.

Best Bit: Ludes.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Goodfellas, The Big Short, Casino 

 

 

 

Hall of Fame

 

Big Ass Spider: A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Big Ass Spider: A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Not often do you get a film that so brilliant ‘does what it says on the tin’ but welcome then to Big Ass Spider a film about… well I think you can guess.  So cheesy dialogue, poor FX, Lloyd Kaufman cameo, mostly TV cast… it’s all here.  But you know what? It’s bloody good fun despite all that. Or maybe because of? Regardless this is a fun way to spend 90 mins.  It’s won’t linger much past the end credits but that’s not always a bad thing.

Best Bit: The opening. Actually quite brilliant.

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Stream

If you liked this try: Snakes On A Plane (7/10); Sharknado (6/10); Megladon (4/10)

 

Rating: 

 

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Sharknado Week: Sharknado – A Quick Capsule Review

Sharknado Week: Sharknado – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sharknado. Yes. Shark-bloody-nado. Hell I have ZERO idea what I can say about this film other than if you think the title sounds silly then this is a film you will hate with an extreme passion.  If like me the title sounds all manor of awesome, then there’s a lot to love in this knowingly cheesy, cheap as chips, barking mad Sharks in a tornado movie. For everyone else, I’d probably recommend avoiding this. Genius.  Mad genius.

Best Bit: Chainsaw + Shark = Fun

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy

If you liked this try: Ghost Shark (UR); Sand Shark  (UR); MegaShark vs Crockosaurus (UR)

Rating: 

Author: Phil Hobden

 

 

 

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