Like A Boss (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Like A Boss (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Like A Boss is a pretty poor film by all conventional measures.  Yet at under 90 minutes it breezes past, smashing the Kermode Laugh test pretty quick and never loosing it’s charm even when the jokes fall flat (which they do). Haddish is funny, Byrne charming and Hayek having the time of her life.  Yes there are better films (many) but for a Friday night in lockdown you can also do a lot worse.

Best Bit: Haddish gives it her all

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Bridesmaids, Neighbors, Girls Trip

 


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Pontypool (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Pontypool (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A unique spin on the Zombie thriller, Pontypool ALMOST pulls it off. The problem here is neither budget (of which there was little of) or cast (who are great) it’s more the overall tone.  It doesn’t know whether it wants to be scary or funny, ultimately failing to be either to any great degree.  So what you are left with them is a highly competent, well imagined low budget film that was entertaining enough but promised os much more.

Best Bit: The cure

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Shaun of The Dead, 28 Days Later, Zombie Flesh Eaters

 


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Murder Mystery (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Murder Mystery (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A direct to Netflix Adam Sandler comedy? The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over and many others show that this relationship between Sandler and the streaming giant rarely mines gold.  But Murder Mystery is actually alright.  Okay that may sound like damning with faint praise right but actually I laughed, I was engaged and at just over 90 minutes the film doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.  The support cast are good (Walliams & Stamp are having fun in their limited roles) and the film flies from from one set up to the next.  So if you want a great comedy on Netflix there’s loads to choose from but once you’ve watched them you can do much worse than Murder Mystery.  Like The Ridiculous 6 for example…

Best Bit: Bedroom Escape

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Knives Out, Clue, The Longest Yard 

 


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Underwater (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Underwater (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Underwater isn’t terrible.  It just isn’t terribly great either.  This sub 90 minute horror sci-fi film is efficient in everything from it’s cast to it’s run time, thankfully meaning it’s not long enough to get boring.  But with such a simple story and scant plot you kinda get the feeling it could’ve done hell of a lot more with its setting and protagonists.  Like make it a bit scary once in a while.  It’s also oddly toned, not knowing if it wants to be a James Cameron epic, B movie horror or pretentious Heart of Darkness.  Okay so I’m probably being harsh because actually it’s probably good enough to pass a Sunday evening but with the cast involved you’d expect something better,

Best Bit: The reveal

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Abyss, Deep Blue Sea, The Mist 

 


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Running With The Devil (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Running With The Devil (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I may be mad (and judging by the reviews on the web I may well be) but I didn’t hate Running With The Devil.  In fact I kinda enjoyed it.  Look this, once again, is direct to DVD/streaming junk but there’s a kernel of a decent idea here and Cage is doing something other than shouting at the camera looking insane. Which is a nice change.  In fact it’s Laurance Fishburne who takes those honours this time out as he dial sit up to eleventy stupid in an effort to help you forget he was once a decent actor. Running With The Devil is full of direct to video mainstays, obviously twists and a spiralling plot that often gets away from the director. Yet. Yet I still enjoyed it. What more can I say?

Best Bit: THAT Larry Fishburne scene!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Traffic, Kill Chain, Black & Blue

 


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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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Doctor Sleep (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Doctor Sleep (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Doctor Sleep does a solid job in delivering a belated and, let’s be honestly, mostly unwanted sequel to Kubrick’s superior movie The Shining.  The main issue here is length.  Yup it has the job of adapting another lengthy King tome whilst also weaving in elements from the Shining but I’m just not sure it needed over two and a half hours to do it.  Leads Rebecca Ferguson, Ewan McGregor and newcomer Kyliegh Curran are excellent and the Mike Flanagan does a decent job directing but I just wanted a tighter film with a bit more pace.  That said the conclusion is excellent and you get the feeling there could be other stories to tell in this universe.

Best Bit: The Shining revisited

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Shining, IT: Chapter 1, Carrie

 


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Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Whilst far from essential (and by far I mean Earth to the Moon far), Sonic The Hedgehog is a perfectly reasonable Saturday afternoon film that shows enough respect to the original game whilst managing to be its own thing.  And considering the issues round the original trailer and character design that’s no mean feat.  Yup the filmmakers (including producer Tim Miller) have managed to just about pull Sonic off… helped considerably by the efforts of both James Marsden and Jim Carrey (who gives his most OTT performance in years) .  So kids will like it, old Sega fans will accept it and everyone else will probably hate it.  But honestly it’s probably what you would expect from a film called Sonic The Hedgehog…

Best Bit: Carrey is great fun

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Super Mario Bros, Angry Birds Movie, Detective Pikachu

 


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Hustlers (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Hustlers (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hustlers has more going for it than the obvious.  Yup for sure there will be teenage boys who will enjoy this film in a different way from most, but beyond the over staged stripping sequences co-lead Lopez does a damn fine job reminding people why she was once considered to be such a superb actress.  Layered, complex and conflicted Lopez brings her A-game.  That said, performances aside, the direction is pretty sloppy and the film never once does anything you don’t expect.   It’s a shame because the story itself is pretty interesting (even if Styles is wasted as the reporter role) but the film rapidly looses momentum by the last act.

Best Bit: Lopez

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Out of Sight, Magic Mike, Showgirls 

 


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Bad Boys 2 (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bad Boys 2 (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bad Boys, directed by a young and talented Michael Bay, produced by the legendary Simpson/Bruckheimer paring and starring a fresh off TV Will Smith, was a pleasant surprise. It was also a huge hit so a sequel was always gong to be incoming.  But by this point Bay had found his 12th gear and my memory of Bad Boys 2 was as an over long, bloated and sexist mess (with a few nice action scenes).  Years later is still all this but oddly after years of Transformer films and a huge slide in quality from Bay, it’s held up better than I expected.  And by that I mean it wasn’t as boring, as sexist or as over the top as seeing a robot with testicles or a 40 minute soliloquy about statutory rape.  So in the cannon of all things Bay, Bad Boys 2 is still memorable for all the wrong reasons yet still remains oddly distracting.

Best Bit: Smith/Lawrence chemistry

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Bad Boys, Armageddon, The Rock 

 


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