Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – A Quick Capsule Review

Wet Hot American Summer (2001) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I get that Wet Hot American Summer is a spoof of the camp comedy genre that was popular in the 80’s and early 90’s.  The thing is spoofs should be clever or at least funny and I found neither in Wet Hot American Summer.  Look I get it.  I see where the jokes are.  I just didn’t find it funny.  And for me it was 10 years too late.  It’s like a film today spoofing Carry On’s… the time has very much passed. A great cast who all give it their own but for me it was a major miss.

Best Bit: Great cast

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Porkys, Meatballs, American Pie

 


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VHYes (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

VHYes (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
VHYes joins a very exclusive club of films… those that I just couldn’t finish.  It’s a pretty exclusive club (The Lost City Of Z sits in their alongside a few films by York Entertainment).  Yup I’ve sat through piss-poor British gangster films, I’ve watched direct to video action made on a dime and even endured countless shark movies.  But VHYes just didn’t do it for me.  Look I get it.  I like retro and the central idea here is smart.  But man it dragged and after 40 minutes was just not going anywhere. It’s had better reviews for sure so I’d invite you to take a look but beware… a lack of laughs and no central plot makes this somewhat of a slog. VHYes?  VHNo.

Best Bit: I didn’t watch it all.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Be Kind Rewind, VHS, Son of Rambow

 


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The Lovebirds (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Lovebirds (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Lovebirds has ended up direct to Netflix after the COVID crisis disrupted release schedules globally.  But to be honest this woulddn’t have been huge breakout cinematic hit and where it’s ended almost feels perfect for a film that, at times, seems a little cheap.  But budget aside this is a pretty entertaining romp. Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are perfect in the lead roles and the obvious adlib actually adds to the film rather than taking away (as often it can).  Also at just 87 minutes the film never gets boring even when it gets to it’s been here before conclusion.  So overall: a worth while evening in.

Best Bit:Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani’s chemistry

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Game Night, Murder Mystery, Adventures In Babysitting 

 


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Like A Boss (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Like A Boss (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Like A Boss is a pretty poor film by all conventional measures.  Yet at under 90 minutes it breezes past, smashing the Kermode Laugh test pretty quick and never loosing it’s charm even when the jokes fall flat (which they do). Haddish is funny, Byrne charming and Hayek having the time of her life.  Yes there are better films (many) but for a Friday night in lockdown you can also do a lot worse.

Best Bit: Haddish gives it her all

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Bridesmaids, Neighbors, Girls Trip

 


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Police Academy (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Police Academy (1984) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Police Academy is a hugely underrated comedy that in fairness should be remembered almost equally alongside other 80’s greats like Ghostbusters and Trading Places for being just funny and almost as influential.  Yup the sequels quickly soured the memory of the original somewhat (although Their First Assignment is still a good film) but it’s fair to say that without Police Academy and Porkey’s you’d never have American Pie and a wealth of 90’s teen sex comedies.  Police Academy is both genuinely witty and smart, holding up surprisingly well some 30+ years later with a solid central message and some memorable gags.

Best Bit: The standoff

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, Ghostbusters, Stripes, Porkys

Hall-of-Fame

 


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Murder Mystery (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Murder Mystery (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A direct to Netflix Adam Sandler comedy? The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over and many others show that this relationship between Sandler and the streaming giant rarely mines gold.  But Murder Mystery is actually alright.  Okay that may sound like damning with faint praise right but actually I laughed, I was engaged and at just over 90 minutes the film doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.  The support cast are good (Walliams & Stamp are having fun in their limited roles) and the film flies from from one set up to the next.  So if you want a great comedy on Netflix there’s loads to choose from but once you’ve watched them you can do much worse than Murder Mystery.  Like The Ridiculous 6 for example…

Best Bit: Bedroom Escape

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Knives Out, Clue, The Longest Yard 

 


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Emma (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Emma (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jane Austen’s Emma has had numerous adaptations, from those on TV to the 90’s Gwyneth Paltrow version.  Oddly I’ve seen quite a few of these and this 2020 version could well be one of my favourites.  Anya Taylor-Joy is superbly cast as Emma and adds a real sense of heart to the role and whilst the film may lack nuance it makes up for it with a wicked sense of humour. Johnny Flynn & Mia Goth also stand out but in truth the whole cast are excellent.  Tip of the hat also to the production design which is just gorgeous.  It may not be perfect but it’s perfectly enjoyable and sometimes that’s all you need.

Best Bit: Anya Taylor-Joy is superb

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Emma (1996), Clueless, Sense and Sensibility

 


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Eddie The Eagle (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Eddie The Eagle (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Starring the guy from Kingsman, alongside Wolverine and Christopher Walken, directed by the bloke from Press Gang in a story about a British downhill skier form the 80’s. Well that’s a pitch meeting I’d like to have been at!  Joking aside what a lovely, charming and sweet film it ended up.  Egerton is perfect as the hapless ‘Eagle’, able backed up in film and on screen by a Hugh Jackman playing very much against type.  Sure it may be a little too saccharin for some and there is only so many times you can see someone skiing down hill, but Eddie The Eagle gets it spot on for the most part. Much like the man himself.

Best Bit: “Right Time of the 40 meter”

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Billy Elliot, Full Monty, Brassed Off

 


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Playing With Fire (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Playing With Fire (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Playing With Fire is terrible.  No really it is.  It’s cheap, sloppily made and seems of a quality best described as ‘very direct to video’. Yet… yet I kinda enjoyed it.  See for all it’s faults (and I could list hundreds here) the film made my giggle loads, it entertained my kid on a very long flight and the cast are never giving less than 100%. No seriously you’d think they were in Shakespeare they are trying so hard! It’s throw away stuff for sure but if you are in the right mood then you can probably do worse…

Best Bit: The cast.  They really give it it’s all

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Toy Story 4, Home Alone, Instant Family

 


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The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course isn’t a film for newcomers to Steve Irwin.  But actually for a narrative driven feature based on the antics of a famous TV documentarian, Collision Course is about the best case scenario. It’s fun, crazy and manic but it’s also charming, funny and endearing. Irwin is a force of nature and for me one of the most entertaining characters of the early 21st century. Collision Course gives you PEAK Irwin and I love it for that.

Best Bit: Irwin vs croc

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Crocodile Hunter (TV), Crocodile Dundee, Lake Placid

 


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