Cube (1997) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Cube (1997) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Cube was a break out 90’s hit that did a superb job at making the most of a very small budget, one location and a small cast.  Think Clerk’s with deadly traps.  It predated and influenced Saw and came around the time of break out low budget films like Blair Witch.  The 90’s was a really fun decade. However nostalgia aside, Cube has also aged less well than either of those films.  The effects and central concept still hold up but some of the acting can be pretty ropey at times and a slew of less regarded sequels and imitators has somewhat dampened its impact.  This all said it’s still a solid watch and shows what innovation can be done at a lower budget level.

Best Bit: Oh bugger.

Worth a Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: The Blair Witch Project, Saw, Clerks

 


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Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Other Cr*p Top 5

In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: Low Budget Films.

Yup sub $300k movie making at it’s finest.  And bloodiest. It’s no surprise that it’s horror that tends to shine in this budget level, with scares and blood taking the place of cast and effects.  Here are my top 5 low budget films.

Close but no cigar: El Mariachi, Cube, Brick, Bad Taste, Paranormal Activity, Halloween

 

5 – The Evil Dead
Sam Rami followed in The Texas Chainsaw’s shoes , delivering one of the most famous ‘video nasties’ on the 80’s with The Evil Dead, a movie whose characters and legacy still carries on today.  See the original uncut version for the full on Evil Dead experience.

 

4 – Night of The Living Dead
Romero launched a genre with Night of The Living Dead, tacked race politics and scared the bejesus out of people. Night was years ahead of its time and spawned two equally impressive sequels. Today it stands as a key influencer on modern TV and movies.

 

3 – Clerks
Love him or hate him (and mostly hate with his latest few films), Kevin Smith pulled a blinder with Clerks – a mostly one location comedy with memorable dialogue and even more memorable characters.  Made with credit cards, luck and a degree of bullshit Clerks still stands up today as a damn funny, raw movie.

 

2 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Whilst it has dated badly, the original TCM was and still is somewhat of a phenomenon.  Banned in the UK for over twenty years, Chainsaw broke new ground in horror filmmaking with it’s raw handheld style, a style that would influence films like Evil Dead and Blair Witch years later. 

 

1 – Blair Witch Project
Like TCM before it, the directors of Blair Witch would never top their debut film, a film which for a long time was the most profitable movie ever made (overtaken latterly by Paranormal Activity). It launched a sub genre (the found footage film) and showed what you could do with no money but a great idea, presented alongside a one of cinemas best marketing campaigns. Like it or hate it, it changed filmmaking.

 

 

 

 

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Phil’s Top 5… Kevin Smith Films

Phil’s Top 5… Kevin Smith Films

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: Kevin Smith Films

 

Close but no cigar: Clerks 2, Red State, Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie

 

5 – Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
Take two immature, silly but fun characters and you end up with a immature, silly but fun film. Not my favourite Smith joint but a hoot none the less.

 

4 – Dogma
Smith tackled religion in his own very unique way – with lots of dick jokes and poop monsters. Also a fine performance from Alan Rickman.  

 

3 – Chasing Amy
Smith’s third film was still made for peanuts, Chasing Amy was Smith doing a more sensitive story and even included his own unique take on that infamous Jaws injury scene.  Classic

 

2 – Clerks
Clerks is a cracking independent film that set the bar for low budget films to follow.  Weak acting for sure but memorable characters and some cracking dialogue.

 

1 – Mallrats
It’s not as raw as Clerks but Mallrats is funnier, sillier and ruder.  Packed of memorable characters and sharp dialogue, Mallrats is criminally under appreciated.

 

 

Phil’s Top 5… Sleeper Hits

Phil’s Top 5… Sleeper Hits

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: My Top 5 Sleeper Hits

 

Close but no cigar: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Jackass: The Movie, Easy Rider, Clerks

 

5 – District 9
US Box office: $210 million/ Budget: $30 million
Sadly teh director has never topped his early work.

 

4 – Saw
US Box office: $55.2 million Budget: $1.2 million
Clever, franchise spawning hit

 

3 – Paranormal Activity
US Box office: $107.6 million Budget: $15,000k
Not everyone’s bag but was a massive hit

 

2 – Slumdog Millionaire
US Box office: $141.3 million/ Budget: $15 million
A charming, heart warming film by one of teh UK’s best directors.

 

1 –  The Blair Witch Project
US Box office: $248.6 million Budget: $60,000k
I loved Blair Witch and still even now it unsettles me.  Avoid the sequels.

 

 

Phil’s Top 5… Years for Movies!

Phil’s Top 5… Years for Movies!

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: The Best 5 Years for Movies… Ever!

 

Close but no cigar: 1982 (Blade Runner, The Thing, E.T, Tron, Rambo, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior ), 1989 (Batman, Back To The Future Part 2, Dead Poet’s Society, Parenthood), 1974 (The Godfather part 2, Chinatown, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blazing Saddles), 1979 (Alien, Rocky 2, Max Max, The warriors)

 

5 – 1999
The Matrix, Fight Club, American Beauty, Toy story 2, American Beauty, The Blair Witch project

 

4 – 1987
Robocop, Wall Street, The Princess Bride, Full metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, Predator, Raising Arizona

 

3 – 1994
Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, Four Weddings & A Funeral, True Lies, Speed, Natural Born Killers, Clerks, The Crow, Leon

 

2 – 1995
Casino, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, Heat, Leaving as Vegas, The Usual Suspects, Die hard: With A Vengeance, Goldeneye, Empire Records, Toy Story. Twelve Monkeys

 

1 – 1984
Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, The Terminator, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Police Academy, Cannonball Run 2

 

 

Convenience – A Quick Capsule Review

Convenience – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Convenience is a dull film.  It tried hard but ends up being a really watered down British version of Clerks without the fun script, memorable cast and quotable moments.  It’s a shame as the cast try hard but with out the script underneath them there’s not much they can do.  A missed opportunity.

Best Bit: It’s another robbery! 

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Clerks, Clerks 2, Empire Records

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Clerks – A Quick Capsule Review

Clerks – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Most people are kinda over Kevin Smith now. The once promising director is now consigned to poorly thought out low-budget tat or TV and it’s hard to remember that once upon a time Smith was one of the hottest directors in town mostly due to his début – Clerks.  Years later Clerks still holds up.  Yes it’s direction is threadbare but it’s script is still spot on, doing what Tarantino did but without being as obvious, and the performances surprisingly good.  A product of it’s time but one that still holds up.  Essential viewing.

Best Bit: Video Ordering!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try:  Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Phil’s Top 5… Low Budget Films

Other Cr*p Top 5

In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: Low Budget Films.

Yup sub $300k movie making at it’s finest.  And bloodiest. It’s no surprise that it’s horror that tends to shine in this budget level, with scares and blood taking the place of cast and effects.  Here are my top 5 low budget films.

Close but no cigar: El Mariachi, Cube, Brick, Bad Taste, Paranormal Activity, Halloween

5 – The Evil Dead
Sam Rami followed in The Texas Chainsaw’s shoes , delivering one of the most famous ‘video nasties’ on the 80’s with The Evil Dead, a movie whose characters and legacy still carries on today.  See the original uncut version for the full on Evil Dead experience.

4 – Night of The Living Dead
Romero launched a genre with Night of The Living Dead, tacked race politics and scared the bejesus out of people. Night was years ahead of its time and spawned two equally impressive sequels. Today it stands as a key influencer on modern TV and movies.

3 – Clerks
Love him or hate him (and mostly hate with his latest few films), Kevin Smith pulled a blinder with Clerks – a mostly one location comedy with memorable dialogue and even more memorable characters.  Made with credit cards, luck and a degree of bullshit Clerks still stands up today as a damn funny, raw movie.

2 – Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Whilst it has dated badly, the original TCM was and still is somewhat of a phenomenon.  Banned in the UK for over twenty years, Chainsaw broke new ground in horror filmmaking with it’s raw handheld style, a style that would influence films like Evil Dead and Blair Witch years later. 

1 – Blair Witch Project
Like TCM before it, the directors of Blair Witch would never top their debut film, a film which for a long time was the most profitable movie ever made (overtaken latterly by Paranormal Activity). It launched a sub genre (the found footage film) and showed what you could do with no money but a great idea, presented alongside a one of cinemas best marketing campaigns. Like it or hate it, it changed filmmaking.

 

Blog: Tusk – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Tusk – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So who would have thought that an idea born from a stone podcast, voted into life by Twitter and starring Michael Parks & Johnny Depp could be such an utter disappointment, eh? Well folks I give you Tusk… Kevin Smith’s stoned horror that, quite frankly, sounded much better on paper than it’s ended up being a movie.  In-fact Tusk for me was almost unwatchable – lacking scares, humour or characters I gave a shit about , wrapped in an indulgent script and Smith’s usual flat direction.  Smith the man I love – his podcasts and stand up show are ace.  Smith the director… well that’s a different story. Sorry Kev, stick to the podcasts! #walrusNO!

Best Bit: Long as the Walrus

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Borrow

If You Liked this Try: Red State, Clerks, Chasing Amy

 

Author: Phil Hobden