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 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Ford V Ferrari (aka Le Mans ’66) – A Quick Capsule Review

Ford V Ferrari (aka Le Mans ’66) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Le Mans ’66 tells the story of the battle between Ford & Ferrari for dominance at the famed race event in the 60’s.  Well actually that’s not right because really it’s the battle between Shelby and Ford that sits at the heart of this true life tale. It’s a great story – full of twists, turns and surprises.  It’s also a damn good film as well, with director James Mangold once again delivering a tense (but never over the top) film that allows Damon and Bale to really shine.  Once you get past Bale’s accent. For a film closer to there hours than two it flies by and the racing is everything you ant it to be. Had I seen this in 2020 it would have hit my best of teh year list for sure.

Best Bit: Le Mans

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Senna, Rush, Le Mans

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Dolemite Is My Name (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Dolemite Is My Name (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It’s been a while but after nearly 20+ years without making an essential film, Eddie Murphy makes the come back of come backs with a truly standout performance in the excellent Dolemite Is My Name.  Telling the true to life (ish) story of Rudy Ray Moore, Murphy is back at his sweary best but never forgets to make his subject someone you really care about.  Honestly this is probably his best performance since Coming To America and he’s obviously relishing every second. The film? Equally excellent and for sure one of 2019’s best films.

Best Bit: Eddie Murphy

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Coming To America, Dolemite, Coffy 

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Bombshell (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Bombshell (2020)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
As impressive as the three lead performances are, there’s just something about Bombshell that doesn’t quite work.  Something that stops it being great rather than just good.  For sure it’s story is shocking -that of Fox News founder Roger Ailes and a string of sexual abuse dating back years – but the film has a tendency to slip into caricature and there’s something ultimately unsettling about a film that ends up making Rupert Murdoch it’s hero.   It’s also pretty messy at times and Jay Roach’s direction is often obvious and lacking in subtlety as you may expect from the man who gave us Austin Powers. But the films saving grace is its leads.  Robbie, Theron and Kidman smash it out the park (Robbie especially) and all deliver impactful, heartfelt performances.  Without them this would for sure be lesser a film.   So a story that had to be told in a film that could be better.

Best Bit: The three leads

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Spotlight, Secretary, Broadcast News

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Fishermans Friends (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Fishermans Friends (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Based on a true story, Fishermans Friends tells the story of a male singing group from Port Isaac, Cornwall, who sing sea shanties.  If that sounds about the least exciting film ever you may be right.  Almost.  That said whilst the story feels pretty well trodden, the performances, direction and charm make this a fun watch which a particularly strong cast at it’s core .  Yup it wont break any records or set the awards season alight, you can do worse that spend the night with these old salty sea dogs.

Best Bit: London

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Boat That Rocked, Wild Rose, Finding Your Feet

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Trial by Fire (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Trial by Fire (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Trial by Fire tells a very interesting story but sadly not really in a way that engaged me, even if the ending was surprising.  Based on a true story, Trial by Fire features lots of solid performances but needed a stronger hand behind the camera to tie it all together to make it feel less like two films stretched together.   Pacing wise the film plods at points whilst skipping past other more important and relevant moments (such as the trial and investigation itself).  It’s not a mess for sure but these issues don’t help you engage with, what could have been, an interesting film.

Best Bit: Solid performances

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Time To Kill, A Few Good Men, Summer Of Sam

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

White Boy Rick (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

White Boy Rick (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
White Boy Rick is based on a true story of a drug dealing gun totting 15 year old, dragged deep into a world of crime by the FBI.  It’s solid stuff – with Matthew McConaughey delivering yet another strong performance.  But for all it’s grit and dirt it’s the very workman like delivery that lets the film down.  In more solid hands this could have been a really interesting film but as it is it’s more diverting than essential.

Best Bit: Getting close with the girl

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Black Mass, American Gangster, New Jack City

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Straight Outta Compton (2015) –  A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Straight Outta Compton (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Biopics are hard to pull off, especially when the subject (s) are both well known and still living.  But give a good director a good story and an oscar nominated script (criminally the only nominations or this film) and you end up with Straight Outta Compton – a quality look at the rise of N.W.A and rap music in America in the late 80’s and early 90’s.  Dre, Cube, E and Snoop are all represented here and whilst the film has taken some flack for leaving some of the rougher edges out, it’s still pretty hard hitting at times. Racism, AIDS, betrayal, drugs and money – it’s all on display alongside some of the best music of the decade.  A must see.

Best Bit: F–k The Police

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: 8 Mile; Boyz In The Hood

 


Follow us on Social Media:

 

 

Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
You know what? Sometimes a film comes along with performances so good that it elevates what could otherwise be an over sentimental slog. Saving Mr Banks is just that film. From Thompson (giving the performance of 2013) to Hanks, Farrell to Giamatti everyone is on the top of their game here. And it’s a pleasure to watch.

The story, that of Walt Disney’s attempts to woo Mary Popins writer PL Travers into giving him the rights to her much loved story, is told well enough and the film directed in such as way that the (mostly) true to life tale can take centre stage rather than flashy visuals (American Hustle take note) , but it’s heart and soul comes from what will be a trophy cabinet filling performance from Thompson.  Divine, vine from start to finish, she injects just the right amount of heart to make you fall in love with a woman who, for the most part, is pretty unloveable.

That said, her performance centrally benefits from Hanks as Walt Disney.  Charming, charismatic and dashing (in a very 60’s kinda way), Hanks delivers a Walt Disney minus the rough edges and whilst that may not sit well with purists of the Golden Age, it doesn’t detract from a stirling effort by the former Forrest Gump.  And yes that problem is prevalent elsewhere, in that as often you find with films of this ilk the truth often makes way for narrative construct and the need to protect those that need protecting (Saving mr Banks is produced by Disney) .  So don’t expect the big guy to be lighting up anytime soon.

This are small gripes however in what is a very enjoyable 2 hours.  So come for the performances and stay for the film which is, in truth, a lovely story about simpler times.  And animated penguins.

Best Bit: Emma Thompson

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

 


Follow us on Social Media: