Searching (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Searching is a damn clever film. Taking the format set out in Unfriended (everything being done in-screen) it delivers a missing child thriller which cleverly flips and turns along its  narrative.  Okay so to be honest I pretty much guessed the outcome from the moment certain characters appear but the format and use of media, computers and technology to tell its story make the film pretty captivating (dubbed Screenlife).  This evolution of the found footage movie feels right

Best Bit:  The Screenlife format works really well

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Unfriended, The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity 

 


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The House With A Clock in Its Walls – A Quick Capsule Review

The House With A Clock in Its Walls – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The House With A Clock in Its Walls is a fun, silly and sometimes dark kids film that (whilst originally written before) follows the Harry Potter template to a tee.  And whilst it doesn’t land every beat (the odd CGI baby will certainly weird you out but for all the wrong reasons) it’s fantastical ideas and always forward momentum help you forgot those (few) moments.  Black is good but he does seem to be sleep walking these days but Blanchett shines here an a brilliantly off beat and quirky role. Kids will love it.

Best Bit: Entering the house

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Hocus Pocus, Goosebumps

 


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Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a worthy sequel to the surprise hit Sicario which doesn’t quite live up to the reputation set by the 2015 directed Denis Villeneuve original.  Focusing down on an even deeper grey morality, Sicario: Day of the Soldado may lack the visual stylings that the team of Villeneuve and Roger Deakins delivered previously but it almost makes up for it with a hell of a cast, some tense drama and one ballsy ending. So not as essential as Sicario (nothing touches THAT scene in the original) but well worth a watch…

Best Bit: The stoppage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Sicario, Wind River, Traffic

 


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A Star Is Born (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

A Star Is Born (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
For a directorial debut, A Star Is Born is a nothing short of a sterling effort from Bradley Cooper who delivers a slick and well made film with two cracking central performances from himself and Lady GaGa.  But Cooper’s direction is also part of the films biggest issue.  It lacks control as it becomes clear he has great affection for GaGa the performer and it’s at the point when she morphs from waitress to superstar that you stop believing it’s a character as she belts through songs in the most Lady Gaga was possible.  Every-time she sings it rips you away from the film and by the closing track you just kinda want her to stop. There’s gold here for sure but it’s a film that could have benefited from a tighter run time and a more control over his lead actress.

Best Bit: GaGa is very good

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: A Star Is Born, Dreamgirls, Crazy Heart

 


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Summer Of ’84 – A Quick Capsule Review

Summer Of ’84 – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Summer Of ’84 wasn’t the film I expected.  Far from the Stranger Things cash it initially comes across as and even further from the 80’s slash and stalk movie it market’s itself as, Summer Of ’84 is an oddly effective drama thriller that really never veers into horror territory and probably has more in common with Silence Of The Lambs that it does Elm Street. And to be fair it’s better for it.  Year it’s not perfect but this is something a little different, a little unexpected and something that throws more than a few curve balls during its sub 100 minutes run time.

Best Bit: The dark ending

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Stranger Things, Friday The 13th, Silence Of The Lambs 

 


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Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #108 – Venom, The Predator

Podcast: The Smoking Lamb #108 – Venom, The Predator

The Smoking Lamb Podcast

It’s The Smoking Lamb Movie Podcast. A weekly, no-holds-baa-aa-arred, and R-rated look at the world of movies.

On this episode: Mike is away so the children will play!!! On this episode we have two huge reviews in Venom and The Predator. We also continue with our countdown of our favourite films of each year, this time from 2010-2006.

Check it out and BLEAT THE WORLD and don’t forget to follow up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

#TheSmokingLamb #MoviePodcasts #Podcasts #FilmPodcast

 

 


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Venom (2018): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

Venom (2018): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

OK, this is a weird one, sometimes, having mixed feelings on a film isn’t the surest thing in the world, the answer to the question “what did you think?” simply being “I have mixed feelings” doesn’t feel like it does a rather endearing little film like “Venom” the justice it deserves. Did Venom have bad? Yes, yes it did. Did Venom have good? Also yes, I would be lying through my teeth so hard they would come flying out like bullets if I said I thought it didn’t. Do I feel hesitant to call the overall piece a generally good film? Yeah, I’m afraid so, but why then give it a 6 as opposed to 5? The reason is, when I’m mixed in this particular and oddly specific way, I ask myself the question – would I actively want to see it again? And in the case of Venom; the answer is yes.

Tom “Shut The F*ck Up You C*nt” Hardy plays Eddie Brock, a famous reporter who, through a series of circumstances, finds himself host to a parasitic alien symbiote named Venom, sometimes a disembodied voice in Eddie’s head with some control over Eddie’s body, other times a big black monstrosity with big teeth who likes to bite off people’s heads. Eddie must get over the fact that Venom is here to stay and embarks on a raw meat munching mission, kitted out with quips n’ quotes, to win back his girl and beat the baddie.

The plot is very basic when you think about it afterwards, but is that a bad thing by definition? I’ve seen a lot of people make a comparison between this film and all the Marvel superhero films that predate Iron Man and I think that’s because Venom’s plot is late to the game. It’s as simple as A B C, 1 2 3 and at this point in movie history we’re all used to A 1 B 6 17 C (the same reason some MCU films are feeling familiar in the story department), but again, does that make it bad? Personally I have no idea, I’m disappointed that A B C, 1 2 3 lacks ambition but I also like the aesthetic of the movie ending up that way because it enjoyed watching Tom Hardy go nuts too much for its own good; something I’m not mad about because I too am guilty of doing.

I freaking love Tom Hardy, he’s one of my favourite actors and the primary reason I look forward to films he’s in, films I otherwise wouldn’t think too much about before seeing anyway due to cinematic obsession but I digress. I have read some reviews that call this his worst performance but I couldn’t disagree more, there’s not a moment in the entire movie in which he’s onscreen that I could take my eyes off him, as well as being a much more likeable iteration of the character than what’s found in the source material and the stupid Spiderman 3; he’s like the physical embodiment of a carnival (I’m talking about Eddie Brock and the voice of Venom with that one).

It’s a shame the tone is as inconsistent as it is because when the movie wants to be funny I think it really succeeds, Venom’s quips always had me laughing and big dumb fun action scenes accompany that sort of thing quite well. Unfortunately the jokes are often broken up by evil mad scientist stuff that belongs in a different movie – not badly made, just inconsistent and strange. The directing doesn’t help the tone much since I’m not sure Ruben Fleischer was interested in originality so much as just doing his own version of stuff he liked seeing in other movies, he didn’t bring his own sensibility to the table, Venom doesn’t have an original look or feel of its own, its cinematography is commercial and unremarkable and I think a sequel needs both a different director and an R rating, sorry Ruben but i think this task is better suited to an auteur.

There’s a word I would use to describe Venom, unremarkable, apart from Hardy a lot of it feels just that, even bordering on generic, shoot maybe the story being late to the game is a bad thing after all , the plot, characters and style feel derivative of other works and I, like many others it seems, was hoping for more, in fact I’ll be truthful – I really wanted Venom to be great to spite a critic I can’t stand and who embodies a lot of the arrogance and pretentiousness that has mutilated modern internet film criticism into the popularity contest it is today (no, it’s not Mark Kermode), I mean what is the deal today with judging a film’s quality before it’s even been shot because of, in this guy’s case, the character it’s based on supposedly being overrated and the fanbase is just ill-informed?

No, I’m not grasping at straws in a desperate attempt to say Venom is a good film out of sheer spite and personal resentment towards the current comic book movie critical culture that called it terrible before it was even made, I’m just a bit fed up with movies like Venom doing nothing to help disprove these idiots and falling into status quo’s that make their pompousness predictions look like some kind of prophesising like their smug looks suggest!

All that being said I did enjoy Venom, I enjoyed its action, its cast and performances, its jokes and while the CGI on things like crashing vans and super powered feet leaping from a brick wall wasn’t all that good the CGI on all things symbiote was top notch and impressively detailed, like I said at the beginning, I asked myself if all that is enough to want to see it again and the answer is yes. Venom is a messy, flawed, not sure what it wants to do with itself guilty pleasure that I had fun with during moments of genuine effort such as the action and the dynamic between Eddie and Venom.

Author: Jamie Robinson (Motion Picture Maniac)

 


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Breaking In (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Breaking In (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
File this one under nice idea that doesn’t quite execute as well as you’d want it to.  The basic premise of Breaking In is the home invasion movie reversed as a desperate mother tries to break in (get it) to her house to rescue her kids from some nasty men.  The problem comes with the fact the film runs out of new ideas pretty quickly and just feels very repetitive.  It’s not bad it just does nothing with the central idea that we haven’t seen before.  This said it passes the time as is FAR from bad… it just could have been SO much better.

Best Bit: The finale

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Panic Room, The Purge, The Ref  (aka Hostile Hostages) 

 


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Venom (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Venom (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
“Hello Venom?  Yup 1995 called… they’d like their superhero film back please”.  Venom is an odd film – much like its titular character it’s a film that has two very different personalities.  But for the most part is JUST works. Okay so it could have done with being a hard 18 but for the most part Tom Hardy’s spirited performance carries the film.  Right up to the point it does a Fantastic 4 and just stops the story it’s telling and heads straight to the CGI finale for no reason with two characters taking a massive narrative swerve for no reason. It’s kinda crazy that this still happens and that Sony have learnt nothing both from their own disasters and the successful template laid out by Marvel. It’s not the disaster critics have said but it is a mess…

Best Bit: Tom Hardy

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Spider-man 3, Spider-man Homecoming, Spawn

 


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Fifty Shades Freed (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Fifty Shades Freed (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Fifty Shades Freed is amazing.  How anyone could make a film that takes itself so seriously yet is so ineptly delivered on every level should actually be applauded.  It’s so laughably bad that I almost cant hate it.  What’s worse is that whilst the film delivers lashings of sex, it’s done with such ineptitude that i’d image that watching a dishwasher would be more arousing.  Especially when you consider that leads have zero chemistry.  Honestly whilst it’s probably (slightly) better than the middle film of the trilogy it’s just so damn dull that you actually forget what’s happening seconds after it’s taken place.

Best Bit: Urm… certainly not the sex

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid. Unless you actually thought the other two were good. Then fill your boots.

If You Liked this Try: Fifty Shades Of Grey, Fifty Shades Freed Darker or just watch YouPorn. 

 


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