The Three Musketeers (1993)- A Quick Capsule Review

The Three Musketeers (1993)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Teaming bankable box office gold and real life rogues Sheen and Sutherland together alongside newcomer O’Donnell must have seemed like a master stroke at the time.  Add in a few other mainstays of early 90’s cinema, some hot up and comers like Anwar and Delpy and an historical vibe and you should have had a classic.  Sadly it didn’t quite end that well but revisiting this film some 28+ years later it’s amazing just how enjoyable it actually is.  Okay yes it’s deeply flawed and the 90’s action feels pretty cheap but it’s almost worth watching for Tim Curry alone who gives a masterful performance of scenery chewing.  Honestly the 90’s Three Musketeers is MUCH better than you remember and thanks to Disney Plus you can relive it in it’s full 1080p glory.  What more could you ask for?

Best Bit: Curry.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Young Guns, The Rocketeer, The Man in the Iron Mask, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves 

 


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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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Ready Player One (2018) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Ready Player One (2018) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Tonally Ready Player One is a bit of a mess.  The humour doesn’t always work alongside the darker story undertones and the amount of swearing is very unusual for a Spielberg film.  This all said – Ready Player One is visually stunning and as you’d expect the direction is first class, showing once again that Spielberg is still one of the best directors working today.  The cast are generally good as well but personally I’m getting a little bored with Mark Rylance’s increasingly one note mumbling’s.  But it’s the cameos you’ll remember – everything from the Iron Giant to the Delorean and a million more.  Ultimately Ready Player One is a geeks paradise that’s good enough to paper over it’s cracks.

Best Bit: Cameos!

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Back To The Future, Minority Report, Tron

 


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Circle (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Circle (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If you liked Saw, Cube or similar claustrophobic limited location horrors then likely Circle (Not The Circle – that’s a rubbish Netflix original) will be right up your street.  This low budget indie movie throws a bunch of random people in a room, killed off one by one by an unseen assailant.  To say anymore would give too much away but it’s easy to see why many people consider this to be one of the better films on Netflix you probably haven’t seen! Best of all it’s got a super tight runtime and a plot that keeps you guessing.  A great find!

Best Bit: The tense plotting…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Saw, Cube, The Room

 

 


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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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Skin (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Skin (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The story of a young man forced into making the dangerous choice to leave the white supremacist gang he’s belonged to since being a teenager, Skin is an interesting if slightly surface film that relies heavily on it’s performances rather than it’s familiar story. In fact Jamie Bell delivers a second career best performance (after Billy Elliot) , with some excellent support from rising star Danielle Macdonald. Guy Nattiv does a good job directing but you end up feeling that the film could go further and deeper than it does.  So overall interesting rather than essential.  

Best Bit: Bell

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: American History X, Romper Stomper, This Is England

 


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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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Sorry We Missed You (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Sorry We Missed You (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Whilst Sorry We Missed You isn’t quite at the level of the Loach’s earlier I, Daniel Blake it’s still a damning indictment of the UK gig economy and the impact it can have on those living on the bread line. As usually it’s Loach’s naturalistic style and performers that really bring the story to life.  There’s no flash camera tricks or editing – this is about reflecting the ills of society back at you in the most stark way possible.   And that it does.  Blake may have been a better film overall but Sorry We Missed You still has a lot to say and say it well it does.  Impactful then but also quite sobering.

Best Bit: Can you ever have a best bit in a Ken Loach Film?

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: I Daniel Blake, The Angels’ Share, Kes

 


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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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Avengement (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Avengement (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
UK Action star Scott Adkins gets one of his most layered and in-depth roles to date in Avengement – the British crime/prison/martial arts action drama from seasoned director Jesse V Johnson.  We know Adkins can fight (he’s been a stable of mid & low budget actioners for years) but can he act? Well yes – albeit he may be stretching his range a touch here as a ex-fighter gone bad out for revenge.  But acting and story aside it’s the action most people will rent Avengement to see and, as you’d expect from a season director like Johnson, it’s really good (especially the climatic pub fight).  Well staged, brutal and creative.  Capable support comes from veteran gangster film actors Moran and Fairbrass, add a sprinkling of violence and some nice direction (which makes the film look much bigger than its modest budget) and all in you have a most enjoyable film overall.  One of action fans for sure.

Best Bit: The pub fight

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Boyka: Undisputed, Ninja: Shadow of a Tear, The Debt Collector

 


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