The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Man Who Invented Christmas is both a look at how Dickens created one of his most enduring tales as well as itself being somewhat of a retelling of the story about the writer himself.  It’s well put together, interesting and entertaining without ever tipping into essential.  The cast are good (Steven’s once again shines… please make this guy the next Bond) and the direction filmic enough but to be honest Scrooged still remains the definitive Christmas Carol retelling for me.

Best Bit: The Ghosts of…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Scrooged, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooge (1970)

 


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Bad Santa (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bad Santa (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bad Santa is an odd film.  Maybe seeing it 16 years after it’s release has had a negative effective (this is often a thing for sure) but for the most part I wasn’t blown away by the film, certainly seeing as how well regarded it is.  That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s moments – it does for sure and at times can be quite funny- but the film, in a post #metoo world, is quite an awkward and uncomfortable watch and for sure isn’t helped by the Weinstein name being attached!   So maybe a film very much of its time?

Best Bit: Thornton is enjoying himself

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Bad Santa 2, Elf, Scrooged 

 


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Love Actually (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Love Actually (2003) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
How do you rate a ‘great’ film?  Is it one that is made by a great director, that delivers epic storytelling but likely you’ll only watch a few times?  or is it one that, despite of its flaws, becomes a family staple year on year, watched without fail? Well it can truly be both.  But Love Actually certainly fits the later category – a locked on Christmas essential as key to the festive season as mince pies and a Christmas tree.  Yup Love Actually has a few issues but the charm, heart and love given out in those two and a quarter hours means that you just don’t care.  Truly a great feel good movie and truly one that deserves it’s standing as one of the best Festive treats you can watch.

Best Bit: The proposal/airport finale

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Notting Hill, Four Wedding & A Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary

 


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Krampus (2015) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Krampus (2015) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween’ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Krampus is the dark horror comedy you need during the festive period.  Yup for every family that’s ever argued or had in-laws over that, to be honest you just can’t stand, Krampus will take those moments and add a bucket load of weirdness to it.  It’s hard to describe Krampus – it’s part Home Alone, part Gremlins. But whatever it is it’s a whole load of fun. OTT, crazy and pretty trippy – If you like your Christmas films with a dash of bite then this is for you.

Best Bit: The loft

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Better Watch Out, Gremlins, Rare Exports, Home Alone,

 


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Anna And The Apocalypse (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Anna And The Apocalypse (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Anna And The Apocalypse is surprising for many reasons.  Firstly I had no idea it was a musical.  Secondly, as much as it tried to be a musical version of Shaun of The Dead it’s just not. Look it’s not a bad film it’s just very disjointed and by the end the limited budget really does start to show.  It’s got some great moments (the waking up musical number is well staged) but  for me the idea was better than the execution.  Just about worth a watch.

Best Bit: Dancing in the zoo

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Shaun of The Dead, Cockneys Vs Zombies, Zombieland

 


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Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Gremlins (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gremlins is a stone cold classic for sure but unlike a lot of beloved 80’s films it truly holds up today.  Okay so the technology has moved on and its setting is about as 80’s as you can get BUT it’s themes, hi-jinx and boldness helps this film still feel pretty timeless.  The thing that makes gremlins really work is underneath its cute exterior hides a brilliantly dark mean street.  Fathers trapped down chimneys, deadly stair lifts and lethal snow plows… it’s everything a Christmas movie should be and more.  And your kids WILL like it.  Essential.

Best Bit: The Bar

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Small Soldiers, Critters 

 

Hall of Fame

 


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Nativity 2 : Danger In the Manger – A Quick Capsule Review

Nativity 2 : Danger In the Manger – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Nativity 2 : Danger In the Manger is one to miss.  Yup even if you liked the first outing (I was NOT a fan) there’s little to enjoy in this seriously bloated and unfunny sequel.  In fact I offer up that with much tighter editing and a much shorter finale (god so much pointless singing) this film would have least had the fact it was short going for it but now, at just under two hours, it doesn’t even have that. My kid liked it but I feared even she was bored by the end.  Watch one of the many better Christmas movies instead.

Best Bit: Tennant is the best thing here by far

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Nativity, Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?, Nativity Rocks

 


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Krampus (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Krampus (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Krampus is the dark horror comedy you need during the festive period.  Yup for every family that’s ever argued or had in-laws over that, to be honest you just can’t stand, Krampus will take those moments and add a bucket load of weirdness to it.  It’s hard to describe Krampus – it’s part Home Alone, part Gremlins. But whatever it is it’s a whole load of fun. OTT, crazy and pretty trippy – If you like your Christmas films with a dash of bite then this is for you.

Best Bit: The loft

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Better Watch Out, Gremlins, Rare Exports, Home Alone,

 


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Love Actually (2003) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Love Actually (2003) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
How do you rate a ‘great’ film?  Is it one that is made by a great director, that delivers epic storytelling but likely you’ll only watch a few times?  or is it one that, despite of its flaws, becomes a family staple year on year, watched without fail? Well it can truly be both.  But Love Actually certainly fits the later category – a locked on Christmas essential as key to the festive season as mince pies and a Christmas tree.  Yup Love Actually has a few issues but the charm, heart and love given out in those two and a quarter hours means that you just don’t care.  Truly a great feel good movie and truly one that deserves it’s standing as one of the best Festive treats you can watch.

Best Bit: The proposal/airport finale

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Notting Hill, Four Wedding & A Funeral, Bridget Jones’s Diary

Hall of Fame

 


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The Christmas Chronicles (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Christmas Chronicles (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Netflix ‘original’s’ have had a hard time this year – Cloverfield, Annihilation and others have headed straight to the bottom of many people’s worst of the year (mine included).  So what hope does a little old Christmas film have.  In two words: Kurt Russell. Actually that’s not strictly fair – the film ALSO has bundles of charm and an unshakable 80’s vibe that leaves you with a massive smile on your face. Yup this is Adventures In Babysitting meets a live action Minions film meets pretty much every 80’s film along the way.  It’s silly, it’s crazy and it has Kurt Russell as a very modern day Santa.  Oh and possibly one of the cameos of the year.   The Christmas Chronicles is bloody great fun and will be a rewatched favourite for years to come!

Best Bit: Jailhouse rock.

Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Adventures In Babysitting, The Minions, The Muppet Christmas Carol 

 


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