Ghostbusters (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Ghostbusters (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay so this isn’t the disaster the early marketing suggested it could be but it’s also FAR away from the 4 star reviews it’s been getting. I think, ultimately, I just don’t get Paul Feig films – The Heat, Bridesmaids and Spy especially did NOTHING for me and here, again, whilst the cast all do okay (standout being Kate McKinnon) you just can’t help but feel there’s nothing new here once the role reversal gimmick wears off. You are left with a reboot I didn’t really want, of a film that didn’t need it, and a director that goes out of his way to remind you just how good the original film really was.

Best Bit: Hemsworth

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Heat, Bridesmaids,  Spy

 


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Green Book (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Green Book (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Green Book, the ‘true’ story of Dr Don Shirley and Tony Lip, and is proving to be quite the controversial film.  ‘White Saviour’ , “White Washing’, ‘Made Up’… are just some of the MANY accusations that have been made about the film.  They could all be true.  But, moving the politics aside for a second, this now Oscar winning Best Film is a well made road movie (even a buddy road movie) that hits all the right notes, has more than it’s fair share of laughs (and draw dropping moments) with two cracking central performances by the Oscar nominated Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Winner Mahershala Ali.  Comedy director Peter Farrelly does a great job with the material and overall whilst there may be wider issues, as a film Green Book nails it.

Best Bit: Ali/Mortensen’s chemistry

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Vice, BlackkKlansman, Roma

 


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Instant Family (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Instant Family (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Instant Family probably shouldn’t work.  It’s predicable (you know exactly where it’s going from the start), sporadically funny and relies heavily on you liking Marky Mark’s jittery charm. Yet despite all this the film ends up being an enjoyable, time passing romp.  That’s more than partly due to the cast who deliver admirably  (yup even Marky Mark), with particular notes going to Isabela Moner, Octavia Spencer & Margo Martindale’s who all deliver stand out performances.  Look it’s not breaking any new ground but it passed the time and made me chuckle more than a few times.

Best Bit: Christmas

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Daddy’s Home, Neighbors, Second Act

 


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Frank (2014)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Frank (2014)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
What can you say about Frank other that… WFT? Yup Frank is one of those movies that is almost impossible to review.  Whimsical like a Wes Anderson film, with a bit of modern day Angel Share Ken Loach, a dash of Spinal Tap and Fassbender delivering one of his best ever performances even though you can’t see him for the bulk of the film… Frank is truly an original.  And it’s also funny, charming and well worth a watch. with excellent support from Gleeson, McNairy and Gyllenhaal. But make sure you are in the right mood because if your not then this could be a hard slog.

Best Bit: Fassbender delivers a masterclass

Buy, Stream, Borrow: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Grand Budapest Hotel, The Angel’s Share, This Life Aquatic

 

 


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Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The passing of Robin Williams hit me hard.  Obviously I didn’t know him personally but his films and his comedy were cornerstones across my life.  His genius is very much missed.  This documentary takes words from the man himself along new interviews of friends, Comedians and family along with a healthy dose of film from his career and, most interestingly, rarely seen behind the scenes footage.  It’s fascinating stuff and gives you a look at just what drove him both as a person and a comedian.  Essential for fans of Robin Williams and for fans of comedy.

Best Bit: Mork & Mindy outtakes

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (HBO)

If You Liked this Try: American: The Bill Hicks Story,  Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, Looking for Lenny

 


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Sorry to Bother You (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Sorry to Bother You (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay so to explain Sorry to Bother You would be pretty hard without some pretty big spoilers. That said if you think along the lines of Get Out then you are not a million miles off.  And much like Get Out, Sorry to Bother You arrives with great hype.  Also like Get Out, Sorry to Bother You probably doesn’t quite warrant it.  A pitch black social commentary without any subtly, it’s a good ride but ultimately it asks more than it answers.

Best Bit: The toilet

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Get Out, Idiocracy, Blindspotting

 


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Dumplin’ (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Dumplin’ (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Netflix have always done better with comedies that they have sci-fi films (see Cloverfield, Tau and many, many more).  And once again Dumplin’ proves the point – a sweet, small dramedy about a plus-size teenage signing up for a local pageant.  Danielle Macdonald (of Patti Cake$ fame) plays the titular character with spark and charm but also with an impressive and relatable degree of insecurity but the film also benefits from a winning support cast (including Drag Race alumni Ginger Minge and former Friend Jennifer Aniston). It won’t be for everyone but Dumplin’ is a charming film that’s well worth your time.

Best Bit: The Pageant

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Patti Cake$, Life Of The Party, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

 


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Vice (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Vice (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Having really enjoyed Adam Mackay’s previous satire/drama/comedy The Big Short, I was really looking forward to his latest film Vice. Lucky then that it’s more of the same for this award nominated, razor sharp look at former Vice president, warmonger and corporate CEO Dick Cheney.  As you’d expect from all the nominations (BAFTA, Globes and Oscar to name but three) there’s a superb and layered central performance by Christian Bale as Cheney with a top notch support cast (especially Sam Rockwell as Dubya).  Mackay brings out his usual bag of tricks here (cameos, fourth wall breaking) and it works but this could get old quick if it turns up in another few films.  So overall a lot to unpack but it’s an interesting, funny and scary film.  Well worth a watch.

Best Bit: Rising through the ranks

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: The Big Short, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Three Kings

 


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Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Crazy Rich Asians isn’t the film its marketed as.  Whether that’s good or bad thing depends on what kind of film you are looking for because s a comedy it’s not that funny. As a romantic comedy with a lot of empathises on the romance side it nails it.  Mostly that comes from some cracking chemistry between the cast and an excellent stoic performance from Michelle Yeoh.  It’s a film that isn’t afraid to wear its heart on its sleeve and that, combined with a cracking script and an indulgent but right run time makes for a very enjoyable film.

Best Bit: Mahjong

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Bachelorette, Love Actually

 


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Holmes & Watson (2018): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

Holmes & Watson (2018): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog

First order of business for the new year, go see Holmes & Watson and try not to bang my head on the nearest hard surface. I strained and pushed and maybe even exhausted-to-death every brain cell at my disposal (all two of them) trying to keep out all of the apparently legend making negative feedback this film had received during the week before my viewing, in my efforts to at least look like a professional I didn’t want my expectations jeopardised by the bandwagon, something I’ve taken a real disliking to over the years due to all the good films damned by such bystander mentality. I denied myself any and all expectations, opened up my mind and braced for whatever was about to come through gates to face me on the battlefield.

Alas the ever untrustworthy voice of the internet has proved itself a boy who cried wolf that is now speaking the truth. Holmes & Watson is an unfunny career ending cringe fest stuffed like an ancient Rome era torture victim being force fed wine with facepalm inducing jokes, hideous performances, characters you want to strangle to death, continuity errors so bad it gives the cast the power to teleport, sound design not even worthy of an English dub of a foreign film and a script so full of bad choices it may as well have just been a list of every opportunity for success you personally missed throughout your whole life because it induces the same level of misery.

The actors at work here are not actually acting, they’re goofing around with line delivery being completely incidental to the complete and total faffing about on display. It almost makes me want to buy the eventual DVD in the hopes it will contain behind-the-scenes footage of just what direction everybody was given to achieve such embarrassment because I just gots to know. I’m serious, what the hell was going on during the making of this thing, what did the set look like – the finale of the Susperia remake? Various big names show up from time to time to humiliate themselves, Kelly MacDonald looks like she can’t wait to get it over with and just go home, Ralph Fiennes appears literally paid to stand there given how few lines he has and Steve Coogan? Well, let’s just say his character’s, spoiler alert, DEATH neatly mirrors what his agent has just done to him in real life.

This is a comedy with no laughs, I chuckled ever so slightly at a captioned quote that opens the film because of who it’s credited to but every single joke that comes along afterwards is just embarrassing to give attention to. I wasn’t just sat there being grumpy, I wanted to laugh, I prayed for at least just one gag to set me off but no, the chosen saviour never showed up; my funny bone was un-molested the entire time! Just prancing about, putting on a stupid voice, hurting yourself and others, literally smearing shit on somebody and generally acting like a tit is not comedy, it is not the exact chemistry required to bring forth the laughs, I could do it right now while writing this review, hang on… there, I just stopped typing for a minute to do my best impression of Donald Trump having a sexual encounter with the John Carpenter THING and an epileptic walrus, you couldn’t see it but believe me – it wasn’t funny.

Speaking of Donal Trump, good grief, the jokes about him just keep on truckin’, not that I’m against making fun of that fucking idiot but the jokes Holmes & Watson offers up go very little beyond hey, you know who we’re talking about? Yes, hardy-har-har, a hat that says make England great again, a dialogue exchange about how democracy is intended to prevent evil selfish businessmen from taking power over the people; I wanted to laugh but all I did was cry in the end. Story beats are all familiar and typical of a cheap throwaway comedy like this, the editor should be absolutely ashamed, saying that: the whole cast should be ashamed too, that selfie joke in the trailer was just as brain pulverising in the actual film and those Titanic jokes… yeah, I personally can’t stand people who are easily offended these days, especially by simple jokes, but these were… um… yeah… I think that’s an indication to wrap up so Holmes & Watson, nothing says poster quote like “a comedy that isn’t funny, full of heroes you wish with all your heart were dead”.

Not the worst film I’ve ever seen, it’s runtime did manage to pass along quickly enough, it’s 90 minutes did not feel like 90 hours as some others have done in the past but I’ll be damned to my rightful place in hell much sooner than I’d prefer if this doesn’t earn a 1/10 just for sheer annoyance.

 

Author: Motion Picture Maniac  

 


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