Charlie’s Angels (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Charlie’s Angels (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I for one quite enjoyed McG’s original Charlie’s Angels film, flawed as it was.  The sequel less so but still.  And now 19 years later a new Angels film arrives and, much like 2015’s Ghostbusters reboot, the hate was a flying.  Unlike 2015’s Ghostbusters reboot this one’s actually often enjoyable, mostly thanks to the chemistry on display from the three main leads.   Star, writer and director Banks does an okay job but the major flaw here is that the action across the board is really flat and televisual.  With Barrymore, Diaz and Liu you actually believed they could be kick arse says and, for all his many faults, McG can produce slick action.  Here none of the three leads really convinces in the action stakes and, when your film is built round that, it becomes somewhat of a fatal floor. A great support cast helps (Stewart hams it up perfectly) but you can’t help but feel with a stronger action director this film could have been far, far better.

Best Bit: The cast have great chemistry

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Charlie’s Angels (2000), Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle (2003), Knight and Day

 


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The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek throws in elements of Reservoir Dogs & City On Fire in a simple but tense story that expertly holds you from start to finish. An independent film directed by newcomer Henry Dunham, it certainly doesn’t do anything new (it’s twists and turns have been seen numerous times before)  but what it does it does REALLY well and is super tense even when the story spirals out of control a touch.  In short: well worth a watch.

Best Bit: The Ending

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, City On Fire 

 


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Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (2019) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The 9th film (don’t get me started!) by Quentin Tarantino was also the one that I was looking forward to the least.  Great cast… check.  Old Hollywood theme… check.  But another rambling near 3 hour Tarantino film after the disappointments of Hateful Eight, Django and almost all his films since Jackie Brown… Check. But Once Upon a Time In Hollywood won me over.  It’s not perfect for sure (it’s far too long and has a middle section that adds nothing to the film) BUT the central cast are quite simply phenomenal and this is Tarantino both at his most and least Tarantino… a balance that oddly works.  Okay so the last act feels oddly tacked on and his once again history meddling feels strange but on balance this was a well directed, expertly acted romp that has more positives than negatives.

Best Bit: The old ranch

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, True Romance 

 


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The Dead Don’t Die (2019): Review by Your Opinion Sucks

The Dead Don’t Die (2019): Review by Your Opinion Sucks

A Blog The Blogs Your Opinion Sucks

Here is a completely insubstantial series of unsuccessful tonal shifts, made with the most average tier filmmaking, that makes about as much of a comedic/satirical/whatever-the-hell-this-is-supposed-to-be impression as a biblically long joke without a punchline. I’ve never understood, nor sympathised with, the sheer eccentric aggression the internet culture of today likes to resort to, specifically when someone asks a film’s naysayer if, maybe, they just “didn’t get it”. The Dead Don’t Die does nothing to change this opinion I have, as I can summarise every thought and feeling I have about this film with three words and one letter: I don’t get it. This isn’t the first time I would use this summary either, there have been a few films in my movie-watching life I can say I simply didn’t “get”, and it therefore bewilders me that people who ask this are immediately vilified as annoyingly pretentious; always!

Best not lose my train of thought, The Dead Don’t Die feels like it is about to flip the table and reveal a brand new spin on the very tired zombie genre (would still love a 28 months later though) any second now; but it never happens. And the time and time again that it shifts its tone, from curiously serious to awkwardly cartoonish, is always as smooth and delicate as a dodgy decapitation. I knew nothing of the film’s intentions before commencing my viewing, the poster/DVD cover suggests something along the lines of Zombieland or Shaun of the Dead, but when Bill Murray and Adam Driver sit in a car and emote to the rhythm of something more dramatic, with not even an attempt at humour anywhere in sight, I thought the film might just require me to also make some effort if I want to know what its deal is; nothing wrong with that, and you can’t judge a book (or DVD in this case) by its cover.

But then Iggy Pop shows up as a zombie and I start wondering if I might have nodded off without realising, and someone had changed the discs. Is this film a comedy? What was clearly supposed to be humour seemed way too few and far between for that to be the case. Was it just too subtle in other places for me to notice it was there? I honestly don’t know! Tilda Swinton did have the odd funny line here and there, and the sudden presence of familiar celebrity faces, making random extended cameos with admittedly decent enough performances, did sometimes put a smile on my face, but that’s where the positives put all their feet in the grave for me. Just when I think the film only wants to be rather quirky, it turns into a cartoon, when I feel like I might be getting close to just rolling with it, an actor delivers a performance so serious and legitimately fearful, I feel like we’re suddenly back in straight-faced territory again.

These tonal shifts hit me like a sack full of bricks every single time, and even if it settled down and just picked one for goodness sake, it would still have trouble functioning since none of them work on their own when given a chance. The humour and quirkiness were not very funny, the scenes i’ll call the “serious sounding ones” were just a bit weird, the special effects were awkwardly unconvincing, the cinematography was painfully unimaginative and cheap looking, and a fourth wall break, towards the end of the picture, found itself eliciting only embarrassment-fuelled violence upon one’s self. The Dead Don’t Die is simply a film I won’t remember, everything about feels so incredibly average that my bank has no place for it. I didn’t like it, I didn’t hate it either, but my inability to fully wrap my brain around its constantly rubix-cubing tone, atmosphere and incomprehensible motives leave me with two things:

The first is a question, just what was it about the script that attracted such a colossal cast? Does the director know them all personally? Is he just a really swell guy? Did it play out differently on paper? I would really like to know.

The second is a mere statement – I just don’t get it.

 

 


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Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock opens  fast food chicken shop. Yup the guy who ate nothing but McDonalds for a month goes after the fast food industry again to dispute their claims that it is now healthier, more natural and organic. Holy Chicken may lack the humour and originality of the original Super Size Me but it doesn’t lack any of the bite as Spurlock goes after everything from the marketing to distribution to Big Chicken, breaking down just how flawed and fake the industry really is.  In short Super Size Me 2 is super entertaining but we’ve seen this before which ultimately takes away a degree of the films bite.

Best Bit: The grand opening

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Super Size Me, McLibel, Food Inc

 


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The Kitchen (2019)- A Quick Capsule Review

The Kitchen (2019)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Mob films have always been very ‘male’ focused with women often relegated to the role of wife or Goomah.  Along comes The Kitchen taking the typical mob movie and inverting it as the story of three mob wives who have to take over their husbands criminal empire after they are sent away to prison.  It’s a great idea and it gives usually comic actors Haddish and McCarthy some seriously meaty roles to get their teeth into.  And for the most part it works well. Okay so it’s never THAT believable but the ride is good enough that mostly you don’t care.  Recommended.

Best Bit:McCarthy playing it straight

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Goodfellas, Shooting the Mafia, Ocean’s Eight

 


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Kill Chain (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Kill Chain (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
On the surface Kill Chain looks like yet another direct to DVD/streaming Nicolas Cage movie.  And to be honest under the surface it pretty much is as well.  It pains me to think how far Cage has fallen of late.  Far from his Leaving las Vegas days, Cage now sits with Willis, Cusack, Travolta and many others in direct to crap hell, churning out movie after movie with little care for content or quality. To be fair Kill Chain is more interesting than most and at least puts forward an interesting concept.  Sad thing here is Cage mostly just book ends a wider (and more interesting) linked narrative.  It’s still not amazing but it’s a start.

Best Bit: Hotel fight

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Wild At Heart, Con Air, The Rock 

 


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Come To Daddy (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Come To Daddy (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Come To Daddy isn’t the film I expected. Starting as a family drama that sees a privileged man-child arrives at the remote coastal cabin of his estranged father, reuniting after 30 years,  it isn’t long before it descends into something quite different.  And much, much more fun.  In fact Come To Daddy, with a great cast including Elijah Wood, Stephen McHattie & Michael Smiley, was a pleasant surprise.  Obviously shot for a smaller budget, this independent film throws in surprises and shocks all over the place.  Really enjoyed this one.  Most entertaining.  

Best Bit: Oh. THAT.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Color Out of Space, Guns Akimbo, Kill List 

 


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American Factory (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

American Factory (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A compelling documentary that looks at the reopening of an old General Motors factory by a Chinese billionaire and the inevitable culture class that follows.  What’s most scary here is how quickly the two different worlds fail to gel and the openness and honesty in which the documentary dig’s deep into this.  Whilst Netflix original narrative films often fail to deliver, its documentaries are some of the best out there and once again they hit big with the Oscar nominated American Factory.  Stream it now on Netflix.

Best Bit: Lazy Americans

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Icarus, 13th, Fyre

 


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One Cut of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

One Cut of The Dead (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
One Cut of The Dead is a Japanese Zombie film with a massive difference. And to discuss that I need to go into a few spoilers.  So I’ll say this first: One Cut of The Dead is really good and, if you love Zombie movies, this is a VERY clever and unique take on that.  Reading on from here? There be SPOILERS.  Probably not since Shaun of The Dead has a Zombie film subverted the genre quite as well as One Cut of The Dead does. Okay so it’s not THAT good (Shaun is a true masterpiece) but still One Cut is super clever with it’s three act structure that pulls the rug from under you more than once.  No doubt you’ll start by going “Wait… what the hell is he talking about. This shit is CHEAP” but I urge you to let that play out because pretty quickly you’ll see all isn’t quite what you think. It’s VERY are you get something unique in this genre but One Cut of The Dead really is something you haven’t seen before.

Best Bit: Oh wait. Oh Nice.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Dawn of The Dead, Return Of The Living Dead, Shaun of The Dead

 


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