Joker (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Joker (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Let’s cut to the chase…. You can fully believe the hype here – Joker is one of the best films of 2019.  Period.   It’s dangerous, intense and brutal… a game changer of a film that does so much more than I expected it to do.  Playing out like part V For Vendetta part Taxi Driver, The Hangover’s Todd Philips delivers a film that you’d think had been done by a master filmmaker.  Not the guy who delivered some pretty average films.   Joker is stylish but without being in your face and, contrary to the Birds Of Prey trailer that screened beforehand, relies on performance and nuance over flash. Philips is a revelation.  But for all the films expert direction it would be very different without Joaquin Phoenix’s central performance as Arthur Fleck.  He’s mesmerising, edgy and, at least for a time, highly sympathetic. Phoenix must be a shoe in for an acting nomination at the Oscar’s next year. Joker delivers more than it had any right to and become essential viewing in the process.

Best Bit: Joker On TV

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: V For Vendetta, Taxi Driver, The King Of Comedy , Fight Club

 


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Hellboy (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Hellboy (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The 2019 version of Hellboy is a real slog.  Okay full disclosure I was never a massive fan of the Del Toro Hellboy films but at least I could see WHY people liked them.  This Hellboy… well let’s just politely say that it’s a hot mess.  Okay politeness over… from it’s 90’s quality visual FX to it’s 70’s quality make up to it’s scenes that literally look like they were shot by low-budget filmmakers in a Car park stairwell there is little to recommend here.  Script, direction, design… all poor.  And man its dull. Yup there was studio interference but even with that in mind Marshall needs to shoulder some blame.  It’s just a mess from start to finish – not least the cast which just doesn’t work.  It’s not QUITE the worst film of 2019.  But it’s damn close.

Best Bit: When it finished

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Hellboy (2004), Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Doomsday

 


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Shazam (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Shazam (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Shazam is the best modern (post Nolan) DCEU film to date.  Okay so other than Wonder Woman that’s still a pretty low bar but regardless Shazam is a genuinely funny, genuinely charming and probably top 10 of the year film with loads to entertain kids and adults of all ages.  Of course it’s the cast that make this work and Zachary Levi especially nails the titular character, with Mark Strong once again laying it down thick and fast as the villain.  Okay so the last thirty minute plus smash-em-crash-em goes on too long (the film really shines in the smaller moments) but it, and you, are having so much fun you can pretty much forgive it. Shazam delivers.  See DC CAN make a good film.

Best Bit: Testing powers

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Wonder Woman, Deadpool, Aquaman 

 


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Spiderman Week: Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Spiderman Week: Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A year on Spiderman: Homecoming is still a top draw Marvel film.  Keaton’s Vulture, Holland’s Peter Parker, even the support from Favreau and Downey Jr enhance the film and it’s still great to see a teenage Spiderman (yes I’m looking at you Garfield).  There’s still pacing issues (second time around the film takes a while to get going) but it’s worth it for scenes like that in the car and the odd Ferris reference.

Best Bit: The car

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Spiderman, Spiderman 2, Ant-Man

 

 


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Spiderman Week: The Amazing Spiderman (2012)  – A Quick Capsule Review

Spiderman Week: The Amazing Spiderman (2012) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Let’s get this straight: Did The Amazing Spiderman Need to be made.  Simply put – no.  But is it worth watching?  Certainly.  It’s a flawed production for sure with CGI issues, a poor villain and a feeling of been there done that that seeps through from start to finish.  BUT the central story of Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy as performed by Garfield & Stone is just devine and the film does a lot to reset the problems of Spiderman 3 that left little room for any further movies.  So not a must see but certainly with some good action, a great cast and a great central paring there are far worst films to watch.

Best Bit:Emma Stone

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Spiderman 2, Spiderman, Spiderman 3 

 


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Spiderman Week: Spiderman 3 (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review

Spiderman Week: Spiderman 3 (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Erm… months on after its original release this is a much, MUCH better film on DVD and without the hype attached. The film is a lot faster, more fun and just better when watching it at home and whilst Mcguire is still phoning it in, Rami’s delivers a mostly solid effort.  So Spiderman 3 is flawed but it’s far from bad.

Best Bit: Anything BUT the dancing.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Spiderman, Spiderman 2, Batman Begins

 

 


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Endgame Week: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Endgame Week: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Avengers: Infinity War is over ten years in the making. Thats a lot to live up to then.  So the big question… does it deliver on those exceptionally insane expectations? Well yes.  Just.  Look any film that has a run time of two and a half hours and brings over 30 established characters to the screen is going to feel at times rushed and overstuffed.  But surprisingly the pacing here is one of it’s strong points and the characters the film does focus on works well (see Capt, Stark, Strange, Guardians) .  That does mean some characters are left on the back burner but you can’t have it all.  Also Thanos ends up being one of THE great comic book movie villains.  You believe in him as a character and he’s painted with a few shades of grey.  Brolin also doesn’t play him shouty shouty which makes him fee more real.   The biggest issue the film has is lack of surprise.  Outside the opening sequence, little happens that you don’t expect (with the exception of one sequence featuring the return of an old foe).  Characters fight and do what they do with very little consequence. And whilst I appreciate this was always meant to feel like the first of two films, the ending left me a bit hollow feeling like the inevitable big death will take place in the next film.  I was frustrated that I’m going to have to wait a year to get resolution – a resolution that will undo what was a powerful end of Infinity War.   So overall this is a top notch Marvel film for sure but one that isn’t quite the 5 star epic that mainstream reviewers have painted it as.

Best Bit: Soul Stone

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: The Avengers Assemble, Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians Of The Galaxy 

 


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Endgame Week:  Avengers Age Of Ultron (2015)  – A Quick Capsule Review

Endgame Week: Avengers Age Of Ultron (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the bigger, louder, more action packed sequel arrives in cinemas with a weight of expectation on it’s shoulders, a weight sadly even it’s great cast & solid director just can’t live up to. Even if it’s still likely to smash box office records globally…

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad film BUT even I’m getting a bit bored of this formula now and in an age when Guardians and Winter Solider did it differently enough to stand out from the crowd, Ultron just seems a bit of a backward step delivering us action, humour and character beats we’ve seen countless times before.

Starting with some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a long time, the film rattles along at a pace with action scene after action scene, adding more and more characters along the way. Problem is, like I noted above, we’ve seen it all before and, except for the Hulk vs Iron man bit, there was little that really got me excited – especially as the film ends in pretty much a repeat of Avengers Assembles impressive last 40 minutes (hordes of faceless bad guy getting pummelled by CGI Avengers). Yes the humour’s here once again, as is the stand out character interactions, but this time it feels more forced and whilst Ultron, the titular foe for this Avengers outing, is solid good creation voiced expertly by Spader, he lacks the charisma of say a Loki, as is always the way when it’s a purely CGI creation.

So for me this is one of the weaker Marvel films, not because it’s badly made, but because familiarity surely now is starting to breed contempt and with another 5 years of Superhero films in the works I just wonder what they can do different now to stop the inevitable decline of this genre of films.

Best Bit:The party

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Avengers Assemble, Guardians Of The Galaxy, Thor

 


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Endgame Week: Avengers Assemble (2012) – A Quick Capsule Review

Endgame Week: Avengers Assemble (2012) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Avengers Assemble changed the landscape of modern cinema.  Yup Iron Man was more significant in terms of launching the MCU but The Avengers/ Avengers Assemble showed that a multi-layered set up across multiple films and characters could be brought together in a film that gave (almost) everyone their moment in the sun whilst being coherent, fun and full of memorable moments (and quibble lines). It also nailed the Hulk after multiple miss steps.  Avengers Assemble is still the best of all the Avengers movies and wipes the floor with Justice League.  Essential.

Best Bit: Attack on New York

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Iron Man, Thor , Captain America

 


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HellBoy (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

HellBoy (2019): Review by Grosse Point Geek

A Blog

Plot In a Nutshell: After Guillermo Del Toro and Ron Perlman’s two adaptations of the Dark Horse/ Mike Migola demon superhero comic  we now have this reboot of the Hellboy film franchise  – this time Big Red is played by David Harbour (Stranger Things) and the director is Neil Marshall (The Descent). The plot involves the resurrection of the evil Blood Queen (Milla Jojovich) who threatens to unleash a deadly plague on the Earth  – that is unless Hellboy, his adopted father (Ian McShane) and the B.P.R.D can stop her first.

The Good: Its fairly watchable, Harbour does well as Hellboy,  McShane is his usual charismatic self, one or two of the set pieces are ok plus the design work and make up effects are very imaginative.

The Bad: Dear God where to start?  – With the exception of McShane, most of the supporting cast are terrible – the worst offenders being Daniel Dae Kim as a BPRD agent with an iffy Dick Van Dyke British accent and Milla Jojovich gurning for all her worth as the Blood Queen.

Its gets worse – the script seems to have been written by a 12 year old – all F bombs and juvenile humour  – with hardly one quip or funny line managing to raise more than a titter, the special effects are extremely poor and look cheap, its badly edited, overly loud,  a potentially interesting plot involving King Arthur is wasted and most of the action scenes are boring and generic.

Best Scene: The last 2 mins which to be fair is a well handled one take shoot out that sets things up for a sequel

Summary: A pointless reboot and a staggering disappointment which pales in comparison to Del Toro’s films  – made even worse by the fact that its directed by Neil Marshall – a superb film maker who gave us The Descent and Dog Soldiers and directed two of the best ever Game Of Thrones episodes (Black Water and The Watchers on The Wall). Yes ill admit David Harbour is good as HB but his performance doesn’t really distinguish itself in any way from Ron Perlman’s previous take on the character. Over all i have no idea why the studio decided to reboot this franchise as both Del Toro and Perlman have both said for years that they were happy to return for a third film and considering that Hellboy 1 and Helloy 2 did pretty well at the box office it beggars belief that no one took them up on their offer.

Crap

 

 


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