Guns Akimbo (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Guns Akimbo (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Those expecting a Harry Potter style family film from former boy wizard Daniel Radcliffe will be very disappointed as the actor continues his push as far away from that character as possible with another adult themed, über violent and slick action ‘comedy’ in Guns Akimbo.  Co-starring rising star Samara Weaving, the film is the debut by director Jason Lei Howden who brings energy, insanity and a shed load of creative deaths to this comic booked styled feature.  Sure it’s not perfect – too much CGI and too OTT for it’s own good at times – but it’s a load of fun and, in the right mindset, easy to forgive it’s short comings.  In short then I really enjoyed Guns Akimbo and highly recommend checking it out when it hits the UK.

Best Bit: The final shoot out

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Office Uprising, Mayhem, Shoot ‘Em Up

 


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Bloodshot (2020): Review by Grosse Point Geek

Bloodshot (2020): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Other Cr*p

Plot in a Nutshell:
A crack US Marine (Vin Diesel – one dimensional) and his wife (Tallulah Riley – hideously miscast) are kidnapped and murdered by a shadowy bunch of mercenaries, all is not lost though as here comes Dr Guy Pearce (sleepwalking) and his trusty advanced nanobot technology and hey presto big Vin is rebuilt as an unstoppable, unkillable super soldier armed with the ability to instantly heal himself every time he gets shot, knifed or blown up. I could go on but as you have probably guessed from here on in there are a lot of fights, explosions and more than a fair share of slo-mo shots of Diesel looking hard as nails and really pissed off.

What worked?
The effects are pretty good, one or two of the action scenes are well handled and there is a fairly clever plot twist halfway through that wasn’t bad at all.

What could have been better?
The action tries to be inventive but is mostly bland and fails to excite, the baddie and the rest of the supporting cast are faceless non entities, plus there is the glaring problem that Diesel has not one iota of charisma and simply cant act –  and (with the notable exception of the Riddick trilogy) he’s no different here than he was in every other action film he has ever made:

frowns a lot? – check

looks constipated?  – correct

Wears a vest showing off his abs? Yep

Thinks he is making Shakespeare? You betcha

Rest of the cast just there for the money? Absolutely

Review Summary:

Vin tries his best but proves once again that he simply cannot compete with the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Arnie or even John Cena in the charisma stakes, not only that but the story is one we’ve seen many times before particularly in Robocop and Universal Soldier.

On the whole this is just a forgettable film that passed the time well enough but is really is bit of a waste of time and effort – which as always, is a bit of a shame.

 

 


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Spenser Confidential (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Spenser Confidential (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If ever there was a film didn’t know what it wanted to be then Spenser Confidential is that movie.  Is it a knock around comedy?  A hard bitten private eye thriller? A buddy action movie?  The problem is by trying to be all three it fails to do anything that makes it stand out.  It doesn’t help that with Wahlberg as your lead you already lack that charismatic heart of your film. Wahlberg on a bad day is… well pretty bad.  It’s not terrible – there’s a few nice action scenes – but it just doesn’t do anything new or interesting to grab your attention.  Welcome to the world of Netflix originals then…

Best Bit: Big Rig arrives

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Payback, Lethal Weapon, The Other Guys

 


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The Hunt (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Hunt (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Hunt is the most controversial film that nobody’s ever seen.  Harking back to the moral panics of the early 80’s, you’d think that latest Blumhouse production is a modern day Evil Dead/Cannonball Holocaust/I Spit On Your Over Reaction. It’s not.  In fact it’s actually a smart, funny, highly enjoyable and OTT ride of a film that’s much better than you’d actually expect and, rather than being made for shock factor, has something to say about class, politics and social media.  With a lot of exploding heads.  In short: a modern day feminist version of Hard To Kill… well maybe not… but it’s bloody good fun.

Best Bit: The final fight

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Hostel, Hard Target, Straw Dogs

 


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Queen & Slim (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Queen & Slim (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Prolific TV and music video director Melina Matsouka makes her feature debut with the impressive Queen & Slim, a film that transcends its lazy “Black Bonnie And Clyde” tag to become something quite unique and beautiful.  With it’s hip-hop, blues, Jazz soundtrack and gorgeous cinematography, this story of two young African Americans on the run for a crime they did , could have been a naive and irresponsible call to power or worse a retreading of similar themes we’ve seen many times before.  Instead focusing on leads Jodie Turner-Smith & Daniel Kaluuya’s blooming closeness as they are thrown together by circumstance and chance allows you to connect and care for the titular characters. Queen & Slim isn’t the paciest film you’ve seen and the trailer does it little justice in that respect but the film you get (rather than maybe the film you want) is far better on reflection.  One of the 2020’s best so far.  

Best Bit: The soundtrack

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Bonnie And Clyde, True Romance, Thelma & Louise

 


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Villain (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Villain (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Villain, for the most part, avoids the usual low-budget British gangster tropes (it doesn’t star Terry Stone or have the word ‘Cunt’ every second for a start) and instead delivers a more measured, mature and interesting take on this very well trodden genre.  Key to this is the central performance of Craig Fairbrass, an actor whose been doing this kinda thing now since the early 90’s. Fairbrass tones it down from his usual in your face persona and manages to be totally believable as a bad guy trying to go good.   In fact it reminds you that away from the direct to video stuff he’s usually involved in, with the right material he can be a very good actor.  Yes Villain is violent. Yes Villain can be sweary. But it’s far better than you expect it to be.

Best Bit: Fairbrass is excellent

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Rise Of The Footsoldier, Rollin’ with the Nines, The Business

 


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Little Joe (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Little Joe (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If crossing Invasion of The Bodysnatchers with Little Shop Of Horrors (sans music) sounds like a great idea then probably avoid Little Joe.  Because whilst it tries hard to combine elements from both this is more like an arthouse take on both that, whilst interesting for sure, fails to be captivating and certainly doesn’t reach the heights of either of those classic.  Sadly a lot of the issues there come from the performances.  There’s very little nuance and at times the performances seem just plain bad.  Which is shame as it sets an excellent tone and feel but every time you think it starts to nail it, it falls into it’s wannabe art-house trappings.  So interesting yes but far from essential.

Best Bit: Escaping the plants

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Little Shop Of Horrors, Invasion of The Bodysnatchers, The Invasion 

 


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The Invisible Man (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Invisible Man (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Invisible Man was original set to be part of the Dark Universe, starring Johnny Depp and was no doubt in-line for a similar critical battering to Tom Cruise’s The Mummy.    Thankfully the rights were instead picked up by horror maestro Jason Blum and what we get instead is a super tense, scary, atmospheric and very modern take on gaslighting & domestic abuse.  With a touch of old school horror thrown in for, er, fun.   The Invisible Man  is really good, probably better than it has any right to be, and this sits heavily on the shoulders of lead Elisabeth Moss who gives a spectacularly unglamorous portrayal of the put upon lead.  But it’s more than that.  The direction is on point, hinting at things that may or may not be there and leading you to be as paranoid as the film lead.  I’ve always had a soft spot of Blumhouse films and once again they deliver with the very original, very scary and very fun horror.

Best Bit: The first reveal 

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Hollow Man, The Invisible Man (1933), Memoirs of an Invisible Man

 


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Countdown (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Countdown (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Released in the UK in 2020, this 2019 American horror tries to aim for a Blumhouse feel but sadly lacks the wit, intelligence or scares of that studios superior work.  Instead Countdown plays like a film that didn’t realise Final Destination was a thing (and then stopped being a thing), once again going for the trying to cheat certain death tropes that we’ve seen before numerous times.  And often much, much better.  In short Countdown just does nothing new, nothing interesting and nothing that really makes it worth your time.

Best Bit: The final hospital scenes

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Final Destination, Happy Death Day, Unfriended 

 


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Dark Waters (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Dark Waters (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A true story of greed, corruption and corporate malpractice, Dark Waters is a solid, well made but very linear story that takes a rather traditional approach to telling a story we’ve heard many times before.  Thing is, in truth, there’s probably not a better way to telling this but following on from many similar films over the last decade you already get an idea of where it’s going whether you know the story or not and ultimately this lessons the impact.  Still it’s well made and the cast are great value. Certainly worth a watch.

Best Bit: Ruffalo is great

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, The People vs. Larry Flynt

 


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