Bad Boys For Life (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bad Boys For Life (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I never thought i’d say it but Bad Boys For Life misses Michael Bay.  No really. It’s not that Bay is a good director as such (in fact he’s directed some of the worse films I have ever sat through) but his unique visual style and staging of action set pieces can carry even the worst of films if used right (see the recent 6 Underground) and whilst directors Adil & Bilall do their best to copy Bay, the film needed more confidant handling in those should stand out moments.  That said, as you’d expect, the team of Smith/Lawrence (looking a little, urm, portly) carry the film well, even if the ‘Bad Boys’ song is getting old, and the story throws in a few surprises that I didn’t see coming.  Overall then the second best Bad Boys Films and a fun afternoon at the cinema, just don’t expect anything groundbreaking.

Best Bit: Chemistry.

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: 6 Underground, Bad Boys, Bad Boys 2

 


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London Has Fallen (2016) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

London Has Fallen (2016) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Where as ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ was a fun if silly action film, London Has Fallen ejects all that was pleasurable about the original and replaces it with poor cgi, a terrible over ernest script and Gerard Butler pissing away any last resemblance of talent he had left.  A dirty, violent and nasty film with pretty dubious ethics at it’s heart. Yet there were was some quite enjoyable moments and for all the things it does bad, the moments it get’s right are well handled.  And if nothing else you an laugh at Butler delivering some of the worst lines ever committed to an action film… it’s all pretty pointless but there are worse films out there.

Best Bit: The final assault

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down, Die Hard 4.0

 


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6 Underground (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

6 Underground (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
6 Underground is a hot mess of a film with one of the worst and most unwatchable opening action sequences in recent memory.  Get beyond THAT car chase however and actually there’s a pretty fun action film with some solid set pieces, a handful of genuinely great free running sequences and a winning (if somewhat familiar) central performance from Ryan Reynolds.  It’s also a film that showcase the best and worst of it’s director Michael Bay – from poor dialogue and OTT acting (and a dash of sexism) to beautifully shot action, excellent use of slow mo and some top notch ideas (the magnet for one).  This gives me hope that Bad Boys for Life may actually be fun… so 6 Underground will not be for everyone but it won me over in the end.

Best Bit: Boat + Magnet

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Bad Boys for Life, Bad Boys, The Rock

 


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Best Film of The Decade (2010-19): Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Film of The Decade (2010-19): Mad Max: Fury Road

Best & Worst Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So first time around I wasn’t blown away with Fury Road.  I found it repetitive, a bit dull and hated the way the film sidelines it’s titular character for most of the film.  Two years on… I finally got it.  A few years after that… well Mad Max Fury Road is not only actually rather brilliant but it’s also my film of the decade.  From it’s practical effects that carry weight and danger to it’s almost relentless action, Mad Max is a visually stunning ride that packs punch after punch after punch.

Theron is superb, Hardy is good (but still too muted for my taste) and the support cast memorable.  So the film STILL feels like it’s  Furiosa: Fury Road rather than a Mad Max film but oddly second time around i’d even say Max works better in a support role.  So I’m a big man who can admit his mistakes… Fury Road is a modern classic.

Best Bit: Action. Lots of it.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Mad Max, Mad Max Beyond ThunderDome, Mad Max The Road Warrior 

 

 


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Air Force One (1997) – A Quick Capsule Review

Air Force One (1997) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Rarely does a film hold up twenty years down the line.  Out of time and out of context, films tend to date.  Even rarer is finding one that is maybe better all these years later.  Well Air Force One could well be that film.  Okay so it’s derivative as hell but it’s a joke that everyone seems to share.  The cast know how silly the film is (even usually straight laced Harrison Ford seems to be having fun) , it has a bundle of decent action sequences and, as always, Gary Oldman does a bang up job taking a text book bad guy character and giving him (a few) layers. Wolfgang Petersen directs solidly and you cant help but smile as the tension and silliness ramps up.  All in all it’s cracking fun.

Best Bit: “Get off my plane”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Con Air, Executive Decision, White House Down 

 


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Die Hard (1988) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Die Hard (1988) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Uncategorized

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Die Hard is for sure the best action film of the 80’s.  Hell is probably the best action film ever made.  Directed by John McTiernan at the top of his game and starring Bruce Willis when he gave a fuck, Die Hard is a super tense, super creative genre defining (and creating) film that changed cinema forever.  But beyond the incredibly staged action, the tense script and the career making performances by Rickman & Willis, you forget just how beautifully shot Die Hard is. Dutch cinematographer (and now director) Jan de Bont creates a gorgeous film that breaks all the rules around lens fair as it makes the most of it’s confined spaces  Films genuinely don’t get any better than Die Hard and 31 years on it still holds up like it was made yesterday.  And yes… Die Hard IS a Christmas movie so there.

Best Bit: Lift shaft + C4 = Boom!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard: With A Vengeance, Speed

 

Hall-of-Fame

 


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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The sequel to 2017’s hugely successful Jumanji : Welcome To The Jungle does knows what it needs to do and does just that, little more and certainly no less.  That’s not a bad thing as such as this is an enjoyable formula with an entertaining team but for sure as much as I enjoyed The Next Level there was a degree of the law of diminishing returns at play here.  The film hits most of the same beats, similar jokes and pathos of the 2017 film, whilst throwing in some bigger, sillier and more over the top set pieces as is par for the course for modern sequels.  Karen Gilliam is the standout here, and it’s great to see two legends back on the big screen.

Best Bit: The Bridges

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Jumanji : Welcome To The Jungle, Jumanji, Zathura

 


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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Collections Quick Review Star Wars

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is the best of a bad bunch.  I know that’s kinda damning with faint praise but it’s true – the prequels just do not hold up.  Shonky effects are forgivable (just) but shonky acting, direction, script and story telling just isn’t.  In his desire to make a nice 6 film arc Lucas struggles to put all the pieces back together and rather than making things neat, leaves as many questions as he answers.  Yup it’s darker (killing kids… really?) but it’s also sillier with little cohesion between old and new trilogies.  So overall it’s still pretty weak it’s just not as bad as Attack of The Clones or Phantom Menace.  And I guess we can be a touch thankful for that at least… 

Best Bit: Nooooooo! (Joking – probably the opening attack)

Worth A Rewatch: Not overly 

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story , Star Wars: the Clone Wars (TV)

 


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Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Beverly Hills Cop 2 (1987) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Beverly Hills Cop 2 has always been far less regarded than the original Beverly Hills Cop.  Yet oddly I’ve always enjoyed it far more.  Yes it’s silly, over the top and obvious (they cant Brigitte Nielsen as a bank robber for god sake) but it’s a whole lot of fun and even now, 32 years later, it mostly holds up well as both a sequel and an action film in it’s own right.  For me that’s partly that’s down to the solid direction of the much missed Tony Scott but also this is Murphy on top form.  Yup attitudes have changed and the fashions dated but this is everything I loved about 80’s films.

Best Bit: Heff!

Worth a Rewatch: Yup. Aged quite well.

If You Liked this Try: Beverly Hills Cop, The Last Boy Scout, 48 Hours

 


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Angel Has Fallen (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Angel Has Fallen (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Angel Has Fallen is probably my favourite on this trilogy of action movies.  But that’s not saying much – I hated London has Fallen and White House Down trumped Olympus Has Fallen in almost every way. In truth Angel Has Fallen is good enough to entertain/pass the time but its lacklustre action choreography, weak CGI and bored Gerard Butler do little to push it over the edge.  So… fans of the ‘franchise’ will probably like it, but in a year where Hobbs & Shaw blew up half the world, Angel Has Fallen doesn’t offer a great deal new or better…

Best Bit: The assault on the president

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Olympus Has Fallen, White House Down, London Has Fallen

 


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