Death Wish (2018) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Death Wish (2018) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It goes without saying that this remake of Charles Bronson starring Death Wish is inferior in every-way to the original.  And that’s saying something because whilst the original has a raw charm it’s fair from perfect.  The issue here is the film – from it’s direction by Eli Roth, it’s script by Joe Carnahan, to its cast – it just feels flat.  Willis in fact looks bored for the most part and for a sub two hour film it takes forever to get going. It’s not bad but there are so many better films you can watch and so many better revenge films.

Best Bit: The gunshop payoff

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Taken, Death Wish (1974), Oldboy

 


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Stuber (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Stuber (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Stuber has a nice central idea – a temporally blinded cop being driven by an Uber driver called Stu whilst investigating a case – but be it the poor chemistry between the two leads or the pretty pedestrian script, the film fails to deliver.  Even the usually reliable Kumail Nanjiani seems to be phoning it in and Dave Bautista never seems that comfortable with the role.  It has a few nice moments and rustled up a couple or laughs but overall in a year packed with some pretty entertaining films, Stuber just doesn’t grab you. Shame.

Best Bit: The first fight

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Collateral, Let’s Be Cops, 48 Hours

 


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Anna (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Anna (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
What happened to Luc Besson.  From the heady heights of Nikita and Leon to the brilliant but more controversial Fifth Element he was the darling of early 90’s cinema. But it all went a bit wrong after that.  Joan Of Arc to Lucy and everything in between director Besson was desperately in need of a hit.  Sadly Anna isn’t it.  A messy plot, phoning it in performances and a bloated run time does little to help what is yet another rerun of Nikita. It’s just pretty dull and commands neither your time or your energy when there are FAR better action films this year (see John Wick 3).  Sadly yet another miss for the once great director.

Best Bit: The restaurant fight… maybe

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Nikita, Leon, The Fifth Element, John Wick 3: Parabellum

 


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Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Dark Fate is to the Terminator franchise what Force Awakens is to Star Wars.  A sequel/reboot that plays like a greatest hits version of it’s better, older bigger brother!  That’s okay but don’t think /expect this to be much more than a retreat of T2 because it’s really not.  It has it’s own John Connor, it’s own T1000, it’s own Skynet and it’s own Arnie. Well Arnie.  But still.  That doesn’t mean it’s not fun – until the final act the film does better than expected – but it’s yet another re-tread of a story we’ve seen numerous times before, albeit better than the last few sequels.

Best Bit: Arnie is actually really great fun

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator: Salvation 

 


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Gemini Man (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Gemini Man (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Whilst not the worst CGI wank fest this year (Alita still holds that dubious honour), the Ang Lee/Will Smith/Fresh Prince Will Smith team up Gemini Man still leaves a lot to be desired.  Like story.  Or emotion. Or FX that don’t make the film look like the 90’s Matrix video game.  The simple problem here is not with the technology (which sadly doesn’t work and gives me serious concerns for the upcoming Irishman) it’s that this feels exactly like what it is – a 90’s action film made 25 years too late. The whole thing feels out of date.  Smith does his best but the uncanny valley is in full effect and the wafer thin story, obvious twists, lack lustre direction by Lee and a phones in shit Clive Owen performance leaves you wishing they just hadn’t bothered.

Best Bit: Smith is good

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Alita: Battle Angel, Face/Off, The Irishman

 


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Rambo: Last Blood (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Rambo: Last Blood (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So after 37 years, five movies and a heap load of dead bodies Rambo fights his (allegedly) final fight in Rambo: Last Blood, once again co-written and starring the one and only Sylvester Stallone.  Let’s get this out the way… critics have hated Last Blood and, to be honest, I can see why.  It’s uber-uber-violent (to the point even I, brought up on a diet of banned horror films and gore, winched more than a few times), has little narrative cohesion and it tells a story we’ve seen 100 times before.  If not more.   But it also shows why critics are often very wrong with this type of film… Rambo is fucking glorious.  Every kill, every gore soaked sequence, every dismemberment (and there are a lot of all three and more) is just relished in a way that I haven’t seen on screen in years. This is 80’s direct to VHS grindhouse at its most over the top.  This for me is cinema.  A film that finds your limit and pushes past it, confidently knowing exactly what it wants to be and delivering on that time after time.  So if the Idea of Death Wish meets Home Alone via Rambo sounds like your thing TRUST ME… this will not disappoint.

Best Bit: The last 20 minutes

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Chapter 2, Rambo, Home Alone

 


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Atomic Blonde (2017) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Atomic Blonde (2017) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Atomic Blonde isn’t the film the trailer has you think.  Less knock about 80’s spy romp with a hint of Roger Moore’s Bond, more hardcore spy thriller with sex, violence and action that puts this film on par with the likes of a John Wick (Think 007’s Licence To Kill).  The other thing to note about Atomic Blonde (other than a cracking central performance by Theron and it’s sumptuous hyper stylised 80’s Berlin ) is that it’s also oddly paced.  At times I found myself drifting off a bit, waiting for the next ‘thing’ to happen as the plot searched from one twist to the next.  That said when they do, such as the 7 minute staircase fight, they are often breathtaking with Atomic Blonde delivering some of the best action seen on screen this year.  It’s brutal, at times frustrating, at others exciting and layers in far too many plot turns for you to care by the end.  BUT it’s also unique and well worth a watch.

Best Bit: THAT fight sequence

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: John Wick, La Femme Nikita, Licence To Kill, Mad Max Fury Road

 


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Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Dora and the Lost City of Gold walks a very fine line between entertaining the kids that would have more than a passing knowledge of the TV show and entertaining everyone else (kids and parents alike).  And surprisingly it does it really well, riffing on The Goonies, Indiana Jones and many others along the way.  The cast are obviously having fun and dora herself is endearing.  The fish out of water stuff is funny and the jungle scenes exactly what you would want.   In short: Dora and the Lost City of Gold is a fun action film, an entertaining kids films and a something that more than passes the time.  Well worth a watch.

Best Bit: The sly opening scenes

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Goonies, Raiders of The Lost Arc, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle 

 


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John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum is a marked step up from over indulgent Chapter 2 whilst still falling fault to some of the same issues.  But it also features one of the single best action sequences of the year in the knife room fight and, until the final act at least, never feels repetitive or dull as it strikes to find innovation in everyone of it’s action sequences.  Keanu is once again fully engaged and the stunt/ action work is first class but by the time the film hits the final stretch the Chapter 2 repetition issues start to weight the film down again and I was more than ready for it to end when the film finally filled credits.  Which is a shame as 20 minutes shorter this could well be one of the best films of 2019.  Flawed then but fun.

Best Bit: THAT Knife fight

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick, The Matrix

 


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Men In Black: International (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Men In Black: International (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Men In Black: International is pretty dull. Not for lack of trying with its everything and the kitchen sink approach, granted, but it’s lack of originality, obvious plot twists and, frankly, boring story do little to inspire. We’ve seen it all before. And better.  The films saving grace is that Thompson and Hemsworth have good chemistry but even that’s not enough to save this.

Best Bit: Thompson/ Hemsworth

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Men In Black, Men In Black 2, Thor: Ragnarok 

 


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