Minding The Gap (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Minding The Gap (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oscar nominated for Best Documentary at the 2019 Academy Awards, Minding The Gap is a film about the lives and friendships of three young men growing up in Rockford, Illinois, united by their love of skateboarding.  Directed by first timer Bing Liu it’s a film that plays with your emotions, surprises you and, ultimately, leaves you with a feeling of hope.  It’s a film about friendship not skateboarding (just as Kermode says Jaws is not about Sharks) and it’s laser focus on the three leads feels totally authentic.   Better than most of the films nominated this year.

Best Bit: Hope.  Maybe

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Dogtown and Z-Boys, Boyhood, Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator

 


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The Defiant Ones (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Defiant Ones (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I’ve been a huge fan of Dr Dre and his music for a long time.  Whether as an artist (The Chronic) or as a producer (see Eminem and MANY others) I’ve held him and his talent in high regard.  His partnership with Jimmy Iovine is at the heart of this HBO documentary which looks at their rise across the 80’s/90’s and eventually to the largest purchase of a company that Apple has ever made.  It’s fascinating stuff – from the those they have produced to the trials and tribulations, Rap wars and signings, falling outs and controversy that have happened along the way.  It’s essential viewing for anyone with even a passing interest into the history of modern music.

Best Bit: The whose who at Iovine’s wedding

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, Straight Outta Compton, Beats Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

 


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Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I first heard about Bob Lazar: Area 51 & Flying Saucers on the Joe Rogan podcast. Yup it sounded far fetched but he at least had the courage of his convictions.  The show was entertaining.  It made the documentary with checking out. Don’t. Amateur, childish and poorly made this is a budget student film put together with all the flair of a corpse documenting his own funeral.  By far one of the worst films I’ve switched off this year.

Best Bit: That I watched on Netflix. Didnt pay. Winner.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Independence Day, Alien Autopsy, Invaders From Mars

 


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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Full Tilt Boogie (1997) – A Quick Capsule Review

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Full Tilt Boogie (1997) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Full Tilt Boogie charts the making of From Dusk ‘Till Dawn but goes beyond the usual ‘chuck it on a BluRay’ extra that’s typical of this genre and instead delivers a fun, insightful and often controversial behind the scenes film that is surprisingly honest. From Juliet Lewis doing Karaoke to a rather bizarre interview with Harvey Keitel, from Grips to assistants complaining about catering and working hours… it’s pretty warts and all but also highlights just WHY people would want to do this job.  It’s a fascinating look behind the curtain of filmmaking and an essential one for anybody interested in the craft!

Best Bit: Unions!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, From Dusk Till Dawn, Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker Apocalypse, 

 


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The Shark is Still Working (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Shark is Still Working (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Shark is Still Working is a fascinating look at the making and impact of Spielberg’s classic horror film Jaws. From it’s never before highlighted behind the scenes footage to interviews with cast and crew to the director himself, you get an honest overview of what was a very tricky production process.  Watching this 12 years on from its original release (and 43 years on from the film itself being made) it’s still amazing to see just how well the original film, its impact and influence still holds up.  If you have any interest in filmmaking or Jaws this is a must.

Best Bit: Behind the scenes footage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Jaws, The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys, Full Tilt Boogie, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

 


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Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation! (2008) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Ozploitation is a thing.  The low budget exploitation cinema of Australia may have rarely troubled our shores but the films, filmmakers and actors were too important to todays current crop of movie makers to not be recognised at some point.  Enter 2008’s Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation – a wild, crazy documentary that breaks down the key films, key players and key fans (including Quentin Tarantino) of these often insane and often near unwatchable movies. It’s a ball, especially if you grew up loving low budget films.  There’s stories, footage and tales here that you will relish.  A real must for fans and wannabe filmmakers a like.

Best Bit: Seeing David Hannay (an old friend) on screen! Also loads of amazing film clips

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape, American Grindhouse, American Movie

 


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78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Probably one of the most famous scenes in cinematic history, 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene takes a granular look both at the scene itself and the relationships, influences, creation and history that lead to it.  It’s a fascinating documentary that breaks down a sequence probably more than any film ever has done in movie history.  This also means that this isn’t for everyone of course – you need to be a fan of the craft or the film at least – but for those that are there’s some amazing trivia (not least that Raging Bull took the sequence shot for shot for a boxing scene) and analysis of a true master.  Amazing.

Best Bit: Influenced and rip offs montage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Psycho (1960) , Psycho(1998), Raging Bull 

 


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Free Solo (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Free Solo (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I hardly breathed during Free Solo, it’s that tense.  And that isn’t hyperbole.  I had to stop the film twice to get my breathing back on track.  A truly incredible, once in a life time feat of human endeavour sits at the heart of Free Solo but it’s more than just the act (albeit the climb itself is just breathtakingly tense, even if you know the outcome) , it’s the intimate look and access given to the filmmakers and presented to us, the audience, that allows you to buy into this incredible journey. A now Oscar winning National geographic film, directed By Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, allows you to feel part of this endeavour and feel every fall, trips lip and hang. The personal toll and ultimate feeling to achievement. In short:  Tense, beautiful and stunning.

Best Bit: The final climb

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Man On Wire, Meru, Touching the Void

 


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Behind The Curve (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Behind The Curve (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Behind The Curve tackles the thorny issue of Flat Earthers – those that believe the Earth really is flat.  Yup this is a real thing. Daniel J. Clark’s documentary never strictly goes out to mock its subject, instead allowing them to pretty much do that themselves. Witness the man who makes actual flat earths.  The fact that this is even a thing is insane, but at least the documentary is engaging and ends on a brutally frank moment that should put a whole heap of doubt on those true believers.  So interesting for sure but deeply concerning.

Best Bit: The experiment

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: The Act of Killing, Man on Wire, The Overnighters

 


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After The Screaming Stops (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

After The Screaming Stops (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
For this who don’t know (or don’t remember) Bros were an insanely popular early 90’s music act.  The archetypal British boyband.  Their star shone bright for a very short period and then they were gone.  Luke ended up in Hollywood, Matt in Vegas.  Reuniting after all these years, this documentary picks up on the strained relationship between them – to almost Spinal Tap levels.  In short it’s bloody hysterical. Not intentionally, but Luke & Mat are almost characticture’s of themselves leading to numerous amazingly laugh out loud moments.  It’s warts and all but at it’s heart it tell’s a time old story of waring siblings reunited by piss poor 80’s songs.  Kind of.

Best Bit: The brothers reunited

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (BBC iPlayer)

If You Liked this Try: Supersonic, Spinal Tap, Anvil! The Story of Anvil

 


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