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

 


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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

 


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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

 


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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

 


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