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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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/