Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Memory: The Origins of Alien (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
From the director of 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene comes an equally impressive deep dive into Ridley Scott’s original Alien film.  From Dan O’Bannon’s creation and inspirations through to a look at the creation of one of cinema’s most iconic scenes.  It’s an impressive feat for sure but it is missing some key interviews – notable director Scott (whose mostly shown in archive footage) and star Weaver who is missing completely. That said the film is still pretty interesting both for fans of the films and filmmakers alike, but it does lack the laser focus that 78/52 brought.

Best Bit: Chest burster

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, Alien, Alien: Covenant  

 


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Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s the Fantastic Four (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s the Fantastic Four (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s the Fantastic Four takes a look behind the scenes of the never released (but often pirated) version of Marvel’s superhero franchise. It’s fascinating stuff – from a cast and crew with loft ambitions to shady dealings by everyone from Corman to Stan Lee.  There’s extensive interviews with all the key players (well except those on the ‘other side’) and lot s of behind the scenes and film footage to salivate over.  If you want to see what marvel was like before it became the company we all now know and love, this is the film for you.  Well worth a watch (and probably still better than Fox’s Fantastic Four films)

Best Bit: The actual film footage

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Prime)

If You Liked this Try: Fantastic Four, Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau, Best Worst Movie

 


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The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys (1996) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys is a brutally honest look at the making of a Terry Gilliam film.  The madness, the arguments, the tears and the tantrums – it’s all laid bare on screen.  It’s a must for filmmakers or those with more than a passing interest in the craft as the film delves deep into what happens when Gilliam is paired with Hollywood and, as usual, not quiet enough money! Essential.

Best Bit: How the title came about

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Lost In LaMancha, Full Tilt Bookie, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse

 


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I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2019): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2019): Review by Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Other Cr*p

In the opening minutes of this documentary I was treated to a dose of dread I don’t quite remember ever feeling before. Documentaries tend to be the odd genre out for me, I’m up for watching anything that’s fiction but I, fairly or unfairly, have to be legitimately interested in the subject matter if I feel I can give a documentary the accurate time of day.

When this strange beast of a film opened up I was treated to the sight and voice of a young woman, in film with production reminiscent of a half-assed Disney channel puke fest, gushing about her love… for One Direction – the alarm bells went off. I didn’t know anything about this thing before hand, the only reason I watched it was for a review assignment, and that being the case – it would be rude and inconsiderate of me to even consider turning it off if the first sign of trouble only persisted for longer than I can take.

But, determined I was to see it through so I sucked up my feelings of horror and trudged on. I’m glad to say they were not to last as the subject quickly shifted to a different boy band and the overall premise of this thing became apparent, a number of females, ranging multiple ages, are interviewed about their love/obsession with particular boy bands. I will admit that, as I just wrote those words, it does seem a bit dumb, and had I known that was the story being told here (and how sickeningly cheerful it can be at times) I wouldn’t have been interested to see this one if it was up to me.

There are some interesting subjects touched upon here, the filmmakers did do a good job at delving as much as possible into the psych behind this kind of extreme fandom, the interviewees are articulate, have interesting things to say and engaging stories to tell, the weren’t boring or annoying – quite the opposite; and I related to much of it due to myself admittedly having things I know I am a fan of to the extreme. But, what put me off a bit, was how cheerful the tone is – persistently, there’s nothing to suggest the film has any other intention than to celebrate the fandom of its interviewees, have them say a bit about themselves and that’s pretty much it.

Like I said – there were bits and things said I did find interesting but I give it a 5/10 because the good and bad seem equally balanced, there is some intrigue but it could’ve/should’ve explored more territory, regardless of these girls all having different boy bands they obsess over it all feels like the same story being told in different ways. It was intense when they talk about strained family relationships and fascinating when they talk about journeys to meet or see their idols but it wares thin after a while and it especially doesn’t help that, like I said before, filmmaking-wise it looks like the kind of thing the Disney channel would push out with the hope of no one noticing.

After seeing the whole I still think it would have been no great loss if I gave it a miss if it were up to me and I just wish it went deeper than it did, explored more territory and did more than just celebrate its subject, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating something, even extreme fandom, but you need to do more than that, you need to present a subject, that gave me the creeps when it first reared its head, with a broader treatment than simply “isn’t it cute?” So its ok, don’t need to see it again, didn’t change my life but wasn’t painful despite a cheap look and did have at least some interesting things to say.

 

Author: Motion Picture Maniac  

 


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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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