Blinded By The Light (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Blinded By The Light (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Based on a true story, Blinded By The Light is an odd film.  It has real heart and soul, capturing the late 80’s political and social atmosphere well, but in a year where we’ve had films about the music of The Beatles (Yesterday), Elton John (Rocketman) and Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody), a near two hour love fest of Bruce Springsteen struggles to stand out.  It’s also an incredibly televisual film – lacking any real need to exist as cinematic release with director Gurinder Chadha focusing more on performance than spectacle.   However the cast are good, the music sequences work and it tells a lovely story.

Best Bit: Radio

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocket Man, Sunshine On Leith 

 


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Go (1999) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Go (1999) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Doug Liman’s follow up to the cult Swingers is a fun ride with its sharp script and charming central performances (Holmes and Polly especially shine).  It’s glittery, flashy, and fast-paced – an entertaining, clever black comedy that owes more than a passing nod to Tarantino and his early films whilst putting enough of an original spin to stand out.   Well worth revisiting!

Best Bit: Dinner

Worth Revisiting? Yes

If You Liked this Try: Swingers, Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, Pulp Fiction 

 


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Eighth Grade (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Eighth Grade (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Eighth Grade is a hard watch.  It’s uncomfortable, real and disarming.  It’s also pretty darn good.  In fact Eighth Grade probably nails Coming Of Age for the millennial generation better than any film has to date.  With a super honest and believable performance by Elsie Fisher at its heart it makes you feel every rejection, every let down and every emotion.  It will probably resinate just as much for parents seeing this from the outside.  So not an easy watch but one that is well worth it.

Best Bit: Graduation

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Booksmart, Stand By Me, Ladybird

 


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Stand By Me (1986) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Stand By Me (1986) – A Hall Of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
It’s been a while but rewatching Stand By Me there was one thing that struck me now more than ever – River Phoenix, Jerry O’Connell , Will Wheaton and Corey Feldman genuinely couldn’t not have given better performances.   They ARE their roles and it’s not surprising that arguable at least three of the cast have never really bettered their work here.  The film is still fantastic and remains one of King’s best adaptions, showing once again that his short stories are often ‘easier’ to adapt than his weightier tomes.   In 2019 Stand By Me still remains and essential watch.

Best Bit: The Junk yard

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Shawshank Redemption, IT (2017), Mystery 

Hall-of-Fame

 


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Light Of My Life (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Light Of My Life (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Light Of My Life isn’t a fun film to watch.  It’s also not one that delivers much pace or narrative drive.  This is a film about the relationship between a father and his daughter in a post-apocalyptic world where children don’t seem to exist.  You can mostly work out what will happen from the start but its less about the story and more about the relationships and writer/director/star Casey Affleck does a good job making this film feel very real.  For sure it could have been shorter or a little pacier but fans of films like The Road will have a lot to enjoy here.

Best Bit: The opening shot

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Road, Birdbox, Leave No Trace

 


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Wonder (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Wonder (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wonder is a charming, heart warming and well acted drama that never misses an opportunity to twang on your heart strings across it’s somewhat bloated near two hour runtime.  Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson & especially Jacob Tremblay make this film giving a believability to the story but oddly whilst this film is about Auggie it was Izabela Vidovic as Via whose story resinated with me the most.  Yup it’s overlong and starts to repeat itself a touch but regardless Wonder is a joyful film that leaves you smiling.

Best Bit: Science

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Coco, Marley & Me, A Monster Calls

 


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Low Low (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Low Low (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
On their last day of summer, four high-school girls confront sex, violence and their uncertain future as they struggle to reconcile a rebellious youth with impending adulthood.  Low Low is an entertaining, challenging and interesting independent film that hits more than it misses, telling a simple well tread story with a solid cast and direction.  It’s nothing new for sure but not everything has to be.  Well worth a watch.

Best Bit: The cast

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Stand By Me, Go, Booksmart

 


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The Hate U Give (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Hate U Give (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Hate U Give tells a fascinating story of a police shooting and its effects on the wider community, with strong performances at its core and a message that sticks with you after the credits roll.  It’s a shame then that the film feels so sluggish at time.  At over two hours, this is obvious Oscar bate and would have benefited from a shorter runtime with a few less obvious narrative choices.  Not a film you can enjoy for sure but certainly one with a strong message to tell that can be admired from a far.

Best Bit: Strong performances

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Monsters And Men, If Beale Street Could Talk, Blindspotting 

 


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The Hummingbird Project (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Hummingbird Project (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If a drama thriller film about high-frequency trading and ultra-low latency direct market access sounds a bit… boring… well don’t worry it isn’t.  Mostly. The Hummingbird Project is a well acted, well put together thriller that has a dark black comedic vein running through a film that, at times, seems a little Social Network lite.  Yes it’s longer than it needs to be and at times can drag a bit but it’s a solid, entertaining story that more than passes the time.

Best Bit: FBI chase!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Social Network, Steve Jobs, The Boiler Room

 


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Tucked (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Tucked (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Tucked is a raw, emotionally charged yet highly charming and engaging story of friendship and love. It’s also bloody short, at just under 82 minutes long. Such a refreshing thing in this day and age of 2 hour plus films as standard. Derren Nesbitt & Rizzle Kicks singer Jordan Stephens are simply superb as the two lead characters thrust together into friendship.  It’s their chemistry that sells this low key independent British drama and neither put a foot wrong.  Director Jamie Patterson keeps the story moving and never lets it get maudlin and the writing is on point. A possible Top 10 of the year so far…

Best Bit: Derren Nesbitt &  Jordan Stephens Chemistry

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Ru Paul’s Drag Race, I Am Devine, Hurricane Bianca 

 


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