Uncut Gems (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Uncut Gems (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Uncut Gems is not an easy film to watch.  It’s exhausting – a two hour plus film that runs at 100 metre sprint pace… a wall of sound and noise, of shouting and aggression, of violence and people.  But it’s a bloody good one.  Sandler delivers a performance that reminds you that not only can he act (and is far better than the dross Netflix has him starring in) but in fact given the right material he could hold his own with anyone.  in fact, as the story unfolds, Sandler creates a character you oddly sympathise with him even though he is as far from likeable as you can get. It’s pretty criminal that he was snubbed at the Oscars (as was the film and directors the Safdie’s).  Outside Sandler the film is still just as good – from its direction to its support cast and phenomenal score.  Sure Uncut Gems won’t be for everyone but if you want a film that pushes your sense to the limit, that’s unlike anything I’ve seen in years then Uncut Gem is for you.

Best Bit: THAT ending

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: The King Of New York, Good Time, Punch Drunk Love

 


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In The Line Of Duty (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

In The Line Of Duty (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

 Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
In The Line Of Duty  feels like something that would have been better suited in the 90’s.  It’s just such an over the top, silly execution of a reasonable (but done so many time before central idea) that you wonder if you went to bed in a time machine and woke up in a sub-Shane Black movie. Lead Eckhart looks bored (and must be wondering how to fire his agent most of the time), the director is throwing in his best 90’s cliches (shouting police chief that never listens? Check!) and everyone else is wondering “Why the hell did I pay to see this”.  Okay so it’s not dull but man there is so little new here that you could rent or stream a hundred films that do it better.

Best Bit: The idea is kinda of okay

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Black & Blue, Training Day, End Of Watch

 


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The Gentleman (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Gentleman (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay so Guy Richie returning to familiar ground isn’t always a guarantee of success (See Revolver) but after years of playing in someone else’s sandpit, the British director’s return to the genre he helped revive, feels long overdue and very much welcome. The Gentleman won’t be for everyone – it drops it’s fair amount of C-bombs & violence alongside a cast that are dialing up the Ham to factor 15 – but for fans of the directors earlier works this is a rare treat.  What Richie has crafted here is an old school 18 rated UK crime film released in the cinema (something quite rare these days) with suave, swagger and style where the cast look like they are having the time of their lives (even if Matthew McConaughey is outclassing them all playing it dead straight). The Gentleman is funny when it needs to be, sharp when it wants to be and menacing when you least expect it. In short: I bloody loved it.  Special note to Hugh Grant who obviously is having the time of his life.

Best Bit:McConaughey playing it like he’s in an Oscar contender.

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Snatch, RocknRolla, Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels 

 


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Knives Out (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Knives Out (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Somewhat of a palette cleanser for both star Daniel Craig (Bond) and director Rian Johnson (Star Wars), Knives Out is one of the most fun and enjoyable films of 2019 and one that managed to sneak into my top 10 for the year at the very last moment! A whodunit in the classic Poirot/Christie sense, this is a cast and director having a ball with a  fun script, some suitably OTT performances and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing right up until the last minute.  Specula note goes to Daniel Craig who relishes in the opportunity to be silly in the lead detective role, even cracking a smile once or twice.   So in short Knives Out is great fun and one of 2019’s must watch films.

Best Bit: Daniel Craig

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Murder On The Orient Express, Clue, Radioland Murders

 


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Lucky Day (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Lucky Day (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear. Late contender for one of the worst films of 2019, Lucky Day is written and directed by the man co-credited for Pulp Fiction.  No… not THAT one..  the other one.  So after years inside and even more years in Hollywood purgatory, Roger Avery returns to filmmaking with a stinker of a film that wants to be either Lock Stock or Pulp Fiction and ends up being Once Upon A Time In London.  In truth there’s not really anything to recommend here…. well other than NOT watching it of course.

Best Bit: Glover is having fun.  

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Pulp Fiction, Lucky Number Slevin, Killing Zoe

 


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21 Bridges (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

21 Bridges (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If 21 Bridges had been made in the late 2000’s it would have been directed by Tony Scott, starred Denzel Washington and probably with music by Hans Zimmer.  Alas this is a film out of time, and its impact is lessened because of that.  There’s still lots to enjoy here but 21 Bridges is never afraid of being obvious (Oh look character keeps going off to make a ‘Phone Call’) and by the time the epilogue rolls around, it’s all a bit predictable and played out.  So essential no? But you fancy an old school 2000’s vibe?  Just imagine Denzel is the lead and 21 Bridges will deliver…

Best Bit: The first shoot out

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Talking of Pelham 123, Unstoppable, Safe House

 


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A Good Woman Is Hard To Find (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

A Good Woman Is Hard To Find (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
A Good Woman Is Hard To Find almost doesn’t work. It’s very much a film of two performances: Sarah Bolger is excellent in the career making lead role and the film is tense as hell with a suitably satisfying final act.  In fact it’s fair to say that Bolger makes this film, giving a credible and impressive central performance.  On the other hand you have Edward Hogg who delivers a frankly bizarre performance as the lead antagonist and, at times feels like he’s in a different film.  It just doesn’t work.  Add to this a few characters choices which seem totally left field and you have a film that often walks a very fine line.  This all said director Abner Pastoll does a good job with the more bloody moments however and the film remains suitably shocking and captivating.

Best Bit: The ending

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Widows, Revenge, Harry Brown

 


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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Reservoir Dogs (1992)  – A Quick Capsule Review

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Reservoir Dogs (1992) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Reservoir Dogs is an essential film.  It marks the debut of Quentin Tarantino of course but it’s also the template for how to take a small amount of money and deliver what was a landmark, career defining movie.  It’s raw, in your face and smart both using the cliches of the genre and defining new ones that would spawn a million copy cats for years to come.  What’s surprising is just HOW well the film holds up all these years later.  Its power & its energy drives you from one scene to the next leaving you breathless, all wrapped around some brutal violence and THAT dialogue.   Reservoir Dogs remains one of Tarantino’s best films and one of the best films of the 90’s.

Best Bit: Stuck In The Middle…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight 

 


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Point Blank (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Point Blank (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Another day, another poorly reviews and received Netflix ‘original’.  This time out is a remake of the 2010 French film of the same name starring Marvel’s own Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie. And nope it doesn’t suck as much or as bad as the critics will have you think.  In fact it’s a pretty easy to watch, ultimately forgettable romp that ticks all the usual hardboiled crime film cliches almost as if it’s working from a tick list.  What makes the film work is the paring of Grillo and Mackie who both have buckets of charisma.  So it’s a decent way to pass an evening. Nothing more or less.

Best Bit: Always Frank Grillo

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: À Bout Portant, Payback, Man On fire

 


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The Departed (2006) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

The Departed (2006) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The film that (rightly or wrongly) finally won Scorsese his best Director Oscar, The Departed is a top notch crime drama that delivers a more star driven, flashier version of Infernal Affairs. Is it better? That’s for you to decide I guess but for me it is – the more mainstream tappings and a stellar set of central performances combined with Scorsese trademark violence, music and visual tickets help the film fly through its occasionally baggy run time.  Yup he should have won for Goodfellas but The Departed was certainly one of Scorsese’s best movies of that period.

Best Bit: Scorsese + Stones = Perfection

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Goodfellas, Infernal Affairs, Copland

 


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