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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Leaving Neverland (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Leaving Neverland (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Finding Neverland is a powerful look at abuse – both physical and of power.  Whatever you believe (and I truly challenge you to watch this film with all preconceptions put aside), the pair at the heart of this documentary deliver a deeply tragic, intimate and personal story that is as upsetting as it is disturbing.  And because of that across it’s near four hour run time HBO deliver a documentary that sticks with you and has become a true ‘water cooler’ moment of 2019.

Best Bit: There’s no best bit in this…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (HBO/Sky Atlantic)

If You Liked this Try: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, Surviving R. Kelly, Abducted in Plain Sight

 


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Fyre Fraud (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Fyre Fraud (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hulu’s Fire Fraud is another take on the now infamous festival that wasn’t, following hot on the heels of the Netflix original Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.  It’s more of the same with Hulu trumping Netflix a touch with exclusive (and paid) access to the man himself , even if he fails to deliver any real insight.  Looking at  the two films together for me Netflix edges it with a more rounded and polished affair but both have pointers and moments missing from the other. So if you are interested in the Fyre fiasco then make this a back to back offering!

Best Bit: Billy

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Hulu)

If You Liked this Try: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Holy Hell, Amanda Knox

 


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They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

They Shall Not Grow Old (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
They Shall Not Grow Old is an often brutal yet strangely hopeful documentary about the soldiers and life in the then ‘Great War’.  Produced and directed by Peter Jackson, it’s an intimate look at life in the trenches – from the casual nature of death, to the day to day routine of trench foot and toilet duties.  It’s also a technical marvel – re-colourised and reconstructed footage (including frame rate adjustments) matched with recreated sound takes the film to the next level and goes even further to highlight just what life was like in one of the most brutal wars ever fought.  An essential watch both as a film and as a historical document.

Best Bit: Colour

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The African Queen, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Great Escape 

 


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Supersonic (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review

Supersonic (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Mat Whitecross’ Oasis documentary Supersonic is a stunning, personal and intimate look behind the rise (and the cause of the eventual fall) of one of the UK’s largest ever bands.  From the arguments and breakdowns to the drugs and the tours, Supersonic leaves very few stone unturned.  And as you’d image either Noel or Liam come out of it unscathed but, in truth, you probably end up feeling a little more sympathy for them than you’d ever imagine.  Essential for both fans and lovers of music.

Best Bit: Whiskey A Go Go

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Amy, 20 Feet from Stardom,  Gimme Shelter

 


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