Monsters And Men (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Monsters And Men (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Monsters And Men is a 2018 American drama film written and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green that is well-acted and visually stylish but falls short of it’s expectations for itself with a narrative that doesn’t quite gel and a story of corruption and street life that we’ve seen before.  It’s a shame as all the elements here work on their own – the script is realistic, the acting solid and the direction slick but sadly it doesn’t come together as well as you want it.  That said it’s far from bad and the idea smart enough to just about hold your attention.

Best Bit: The shooting

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Boyz In The Hood, Kidulthood, City of God

 


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Leave No Trace (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Leave No Trace (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sometimes you watch a film and just ‘get’ why people rate it.  The heart, the performances, the direction is all top notch.  Yet… for some reason whilst you enjoy it, it does grab you in the same way and ultimately you are left feeling that it was just ‘good’. For me Leave No Trace is one of those films. It could be it’s pace or ultimately predictable ending, but that leap from good to ‘great’ just wasn’t there.  So for sure this is a recommendation as this film has had strong reviews across the board just be aware it may end up not being ‘your thing’.

Best Bit: Performances

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Winters Bone, You Were Never Really Here, Hunt For The Wilderpeople 

 


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Killer Joe (2011) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Killer Joe (2011) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay this one will split audiences down the middle. Edgy, tough and at times hugely uncomfortable, Killer Joe is now for the weak at heart.  Or of stomach.  In fact it’s fair to say this former stage play is about as claustrophobic and uncomfortable as a film can be.  Move past the obvious shock value, this is a superbly acted, boundary pushing film of the highest order.  A pleasant surprise.  Be warned however when the chicken is introduced most will want to look away.

Best Bit: Fried Chicken

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Bad Lieutenant, Shallow Grave, Silence Of The Lambs

 


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First Man (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

First Man (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Damien Chazelle’s third feature film tackles the story of Neil Armstrong – the First Man on the moon. It’s fair to say that Chazelle directs with an experience and confidence of a filmmaker with many years more experience and had already set himself up as one of the best working directors in Hollywood with his first two films.  And First Man is no different. It’s not his best film (Whiplash for me) but the direction & style on display here is simply breathtaking and whilst the film does take a while to get to where it’s going it’s never less than a stunning journey.  Chazelle is up there with Nolan and one of the few directors whose works are must see.

Best Bit: The Moon Landing

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Whiplash, La La Land, 10 Cloverfield Lane

 


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Review: The Assassins (DVD/BR)

Review: The Assassins (DVD/BR)

Uncategorized

The Review: The Assassins tells the tale of Chancellor Cao Cao (Chow Yun Fat), who in the early stages of the Chinese Han Dynasty mercilessly defeated China’s greatest warlord and crowned himself King of Wei. Twenty years pass and Cao Cao’s son urges his father to overturn the despot Emperor and snatch total control for himself unaware that the children of Cao Cao’s victims have been kidnapped and trained as assassins to take their bloody revenge.

On the face of it, The Assassins looks like it is in the same vein as Crouching Tiger, House of Flying Daggers and Red Cliff; it cannot be further removed from these classics if it tried. My main issue with the film is that it is extremely difficult to follow as there are so many flashbacks and cutaways, poor editing also contributes to a linear shambles of a film.

Chow Yun Fat has slowed down in the past dozen or so years and seems to be quite picky about what he stars in as it looks like he is trying to re-invent himself somewhat by appearing in historical films, Crouching Tiger aside, he has made the wrong decision.

I was waiting to see beautiful opulent visuals and stunning scenery, sweeping camera shots, seasonal changes, fantastic wire work and a sweeping love story at its core, sadly, this failed on all counts. The action, when it comes shows nothing more than close ups of 3 or 4 people fighting instead of thousands, the scenery (what there is of it) is cold and barren (like Chow Yun Fat’s performance) one on one swordplay is badly choreographed and sped up to a ridiculous degree in that I thought that the disk was skipping in my player!

Do not go into this expecting a visual feast of a film interspersed with frenetic swordplay, at most this is a slow burning political drama with a love story badly tacked on, in short this is a contrived, confusing, boring film that looks as tired as Chow Yun Fat’s career.

Reviewed By: Matt Duddy


THE ASSASSINS is out on home release now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group… http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/

Review: Only God Forgives (Cinema)

Review: Only God Forgives (Cinema)

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The Review: Routinely trounced by critics the world over, Nicolas Winding Refn makes good on his sluggish misnomer, Drive, and delivers a sublimely surreal slaughter in the form, possibly of art house cinema. To labour over the “slow” moments of the film is entirely missing the point, here – I found it to be a rather ruthless and violent revenge story. An MMA opener; a glass over the head; a reference to illicit perversions, a murder and a mercy killing – all in the first ten minutes. But what follows is a cracking performance by everyone involved, as more and more people are butchered and tortured, culminating in some of the most realistic violence I’ve seen for a while.

Refn is back on form (i.e. the original Pusher), Gosling still has it – it’s a weird, paranoid world which infers a whole bunch of unusually twisted stuff should you care to read into it – as it goes, this is a far more interesting take on “Lost in Translation”. Oh, and Kristen Scott Thomas … man, I still would. Holy shit, she’s still doing it for me. Easily one of the best films of the year.

Reviewed By: Andrew MacKay


ONLY GOD FORGIVES  is out at Cinemas now.  Join the debate on our Facebook group… http://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/