Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bad Times at the El Royale takes me back to the 90’s.  The split narrative, title cards, cool retro vibe… it’s what back in the day would have been branded as a Wanna Be Tarantino film (it even has a Briefcase style McGuffin in the cine film canister). Years down the line a bit ‘Tarantino’ has become a byword for a film that feels long and a touch bloated.  Which I guess probably fits even better… yup Bad Times is cool, yup bad Times has some great ideas and yup Bad Times is well acted but Bat Times is also too long, a bit too meandering and, ultimately, a really simple narrative that could have easily been 40 minutes shorter.  So fun often but not always, essential no.  So like most recent Tarantino into films then…

Best Bit: The room rescue

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Hateful Eight, Reservoir Dogs, Things To Do In Denver When You Are Dead

 


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The Old Man & The Gun (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Old Man & The Gun (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Old Man & the Gun tells a fascinating story… just not in a fascinating way.  It’s not like the cast don’t deliver – they do and are by far the best thing about the film.  But the direction and pace are so slow that even for a lean ninety minute run time the film feels slow.  Redford is fun and for sure enjoying the (mostly) true life story of Forrest Tucker but there needed to be much more to this to make it essential.

Best Bit: Redford

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Mule, White Boy Rick, A Simple Plan 

 


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The Last Movie Star (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Last Movie Star (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Last Movie Star is a fitting send off for the legend that is Burt Reynolds.  An intimate look at a fading legend, Reynolds reminds us once again just what a great actor he could be given the right material.  The film hammers it points home with come clever use of classic Reynolds footage but never feels heavy handed and his relationship with Ariel Winters character is genuinely touching.  It may not be for everyone but as a life long Burt fan I couldn’t think of a better good bye than this.

Best Bit: Reynolds being Reynolds

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Cannonball Run, Smokey & The Bandit, Boogie Nights 

 


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22 July (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

22 July (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
22 July tells the harrowing true story of the 2011 Norway terror attacks by lone wolf domestic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.  Director Paul Greengrass dispenses with flash and tells a very straight story in three parts – the event, the aftermath and the trial. The issues come in that it’s almost too little material for a the length of film it is and maybe would have benighted from going deeper into the story and aftermath and, potentially, a TV format.  The biggest issue is that you never really understand the why – why Breivik did what he did for sure but also why Greengrass made this film.  It feels too soon and doesn’t really add a level of understanding to the events that you would want or need.

Best Bit: The trial

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: United 93, Utøya: July 22, Zodiac

 


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After The Screaming Stops (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

After The Screaming Stops (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
For this who don’t know (or don’t remember) Bros were an insanely popular early 90’s music act.  The archetypal British boyband.  Their star shone bright for a very short period and then they were gone.  Luke ended up in Hollywood, Matt in Vegas.  Reuniting after all these years, this documentary picks up on the strained relationship between them – to almost Spinal Tap levels.  In short it’s bloody hysterical. Not intentionally, but Luke & Mat are almost characticture’s of themselves leading to numerous amazingly laugh out loud moments.  It’s warts and all but at it’s heart it tell’s a time old story of waring siblings reunited by piss poor 80’s songs.  Kind of.

Best Bit: The brothers reunited

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (BBC iPlayer)

If You Liked this Try: Supersonic, Spinal Tap, Anvil! The Story of Anvil

 


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Assassination Nation (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Assassination Nation (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Assassination Nation’s edgy, controversial, hip stylings tackles the dangers of being a young adult of social media, the internet and gossip better than almost any film I’ve seen on this topic.  For sure the film has issues (the leads are pretty unlikeable to be honest) but at it’s best the film feels like a modern day Heathers for Generation Instagram or a really, really mean Mean Girls. Yup it won’t be for everyone but it’s visually striking and grabs you from the outset.  Highly recommended.

Best Bit: Hanging

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Thoroughbreds, Heathers, Mean Girls

 


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Hunter Killer (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Hunter Killer (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

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Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hunter Killer is a whole bundle of dumb.  It’s also (for the most part) a whole bundle of fun as well. Yup you won’t learn anything new, and for sure no new ground was broken here (it also sports some of the naffist CGI you’ve seen since the 90’s)  but it’s a fun, silly ride…  even if the run time is more than a touch too long.   Look it’s a direct to DVD film that crept into the cinema and you’ll forget it almost immediately but this is yet another greta Butler beer and curry movie!

Best Bit: The fact Butler keeps a straight face

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down, Crimson Tide

 


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Incredibles 2 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Incredibles 2 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Incredibles 2 literally picks up where 2004 smash hit The Incredibles left off (ah the wonders of animation) and throws the family right back into the the heart of the action.  The twist here is that this time it’s Helen Parr / Elastigirl’s time in the spotlight whilst Mr Incredible is left at home to run the family.  And it works.  Brad Bird nails this sequel.  It’s funny, charming and with some of the best action scenes of the year.  It’s also got a great story about working together at its heart which drives the events in the film and grounds it in a relatable theme. Great voice cast, top draw animation and just great fun.

Best Bit: Baby get’s it’s powers

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Incredibles, Big hero 6, Wreck-It Ralph

 


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Overlord (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Overlord (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Overlord, once rumoured to be another entry into the rather pointless Cloverfield franchise, is a Nazi zombie (well kinda) horror from director Julius Avery that dials the crazy up to ten when it needed to be eleven.  That’s not to say Overlord is bad – it’s not in fact it’s a whole bundle of fun but I just wanted it to be more.  More crazy, more silly and much more OTT.  The films effects are great, the cast good and the forward momentum admirable but if the filmmakers had taken this to the next level this could have truly been something special.

Best Bit: Back to the lab

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Outpost, Cloverfield, The Thing  

 


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Creed 2 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Creed 2 (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Creed 2 at times is lacking and for sure feels like a step down in quality when compared to the superior Ryan Coogler directed Creed.  That said just the nostalgia and concept alone (Drago’s Kid fights Creeds Kid)  is almost enough to guarantee it being worth a watch and somehow feels like a natural end to the franchise. And let’s be honest – there’s very little meat left on the bones of this story.  We’ve had Creeds Kid, Drago’s kid, Rocky’s Kid, we’ve had come backs and street fights… there’s nothing left to tell and I’m happy with that as, at this rate, Creed 3 could see us step back in to the (fun) but flawed late era Rocky films.

Best Bit: Training Montage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Creed, Rocky, Rocky 4, Rocky Balboa 

 


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