The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek throws in elements of Reservoir Dogs & City On Fire in a simple but tense story that expertly holds you from start to finish. An independent film directed by newcomer Henry Dunham, it certainly doesn’t do anything new (it’s twists and turns have been seen numerous times before)  but what it does it does REALLY well and is super tense even when the story spirals out of control a touch.  In short: well worth a watch.

Best Bit: The Ending

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs, City On Fire 

 


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Guns Akimbo (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Guns Akimbo (2020) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Those expecting a Harry Potter style family film from former boy wizard Daniel Radcliffe will be very disappointed as the actor continues his push as far away from that character as possible with another adult themed, über violent and slick action ‘comedy’ in Guns Akimbo.  Co-starring rising star Samara Weaving, the film is the debut by director Jason Lei Howden who brings energy, insanity and a shed load of creative deaths to this comic booked styled feature.  Sure it’s not perfect – too much CGI and too OTT for it’s own good at times – but it’s a load of fun and, in the right mindset, easy to forgive it’s short comings.  In short then I really enjoyed Guns Akimbo and highly recommend checking it out when it hits the UK.

Best Bit: The final shoot out

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Office Uprising, Mayhem, Shoot ‘Em Up

 


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Circle (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Circle (2015) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
If you liked Saw, Cube or similar claustrophobic limited location horrors then likely Circle (Not The Circle – that’s a rubbish Netflix original) will be right up your street.  This low budget indie movie throws a bunch of random people in a room, killed off one by one by an unseen assailant.  To say anymore would give too much away but it’s easy to see why many people consider this to be one of the better films on Netflix you probably haven’t seen! Best of all it’s got a super tight runtime and a plot that keeps you guessing.  A great find!

Best Bit: The tense plotting…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Saw, Cube, The Room

 

 


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Wild Rose (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Wild Rose (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
2019 really did turn out to be the year of the music based film. From the superb Rocketman and rather enjoyable Yesterday to Blinded By The Light and the Oscar nominated Bohemian Rhapsody (well 2018’s but still).  So can Wild Rose join such a heady crowd? Well for sure on paper Tom Harper’s film is the one I was going to like the least, especially being that it’s based around country music.  But, partly due to some solid direction and partly thanks to a winning central performance by Jesse Buckley, I came out of Wild Rose both entertained and charmed.  For sure it’s pretty predictable but the mix of Ken Loach and Dexter Fletcher proved to be a somewhat of a winning touch.

Best Bit: Nashville

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Blinded By The Light, Yesterday, Rocketman 

 


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Burn (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Burn (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Burn is an odd little independent thriller set in and around a service station in rural America.   And for sure whilst it’s pretty conventional (robber turns up at a nightshift), it does manage to throw in a few twists and turns… all held together by an excellent central performance by Tilda Cobham-Hervey.  Okay so it’s little new and if you grew up watching 90’s films you’ve for sure seen this before.  But it zipped by, never outstaying it’s welcome and has some nice tight direction from relative newcomer Mile Gan.

Best Bit:Tilda Cobham-Hervey is super convincing

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Sweetheart, Slither, From Dusk ‘Till Dawn

 


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Bellflower (2011) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bellflower (2011) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bellflower is a bit of an enigma.  A few days after watching the film I still don’t really have an clue what the point actually was.  That’s not to say that it’s not enjoyable – it is, or that I didn’t like it – in fact I liked it a lot… BUT I just don’t really have a clue what the film was about. This award winning indie darling, made for under a million USD, is superbly crafted all things considered and really brings a unique visual style and feel.  Performances are strong but this wont be for everyone.

Best Bit: Medusa!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Mad Max, Take Shelter, Safety Not Guaranteed

 


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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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Cube (1997) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Cube (1997) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Cube was a break out 90’s hit that did a superb job at making the most of a very small budget, one location and a small cast.  Think Clerk’s with deadly traps.  It predated and influenced Saw and came around the time of break out low budget films like Blair Witch.  The 90’s was a really fun decade. However nostalgia aside, Cube has also aged less well than either of those films.  The effects and central concept still hold up but some of the acting can be pretty ropey at times and a slew of less regarded sequels and imitators has somewhat dampened its impact.  This all said it’s still a solid watch and shows what innovation can be done at a lower budget level.

Best Bit: Oh bugger.

Worth a Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: The Blair Witch Project, Saw, Clerks

 


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Killer Sofa (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween ‘ Quick Capsule Review

Killer Sofa (2019) – A ’31 Films Of Halloween ‘ Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
In short: Nice poster, shame about the film.  Look I get it.  I’ve watched my fair amount of borderline silly films in my time.  I even made a few.  So the idea of Killer Sofa is pretty golden but where I wanted a film turned up to 11, Killer Sofa barely get’s past just being ‘on’.  It’s just not silly, camp or gory enough. It’s just feels pretty cheap and, ultimately, pointless.  Shame.

Best Bit: Well it’s short…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Zombeavers, Sharknado, Love Object, Monster Man

 


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47 Meters Down (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

47 Meters Down (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
47 Meters Down is a 2017 survival horror film written and directed by Johannes Roberts, who brings his track record in lower budget independent films to another, mostly enjoyable, lower budget independent film.  It’s nothing new – Open Water, Jaws and a million other films have trodden this path but Roberts does a good job of keeping the tension present during its sub 90 minute run time.  Okay so it runs out of steam a touch by the end and pulls a move that is at best described as ‘well worn’ but there’s enough to enjoy here to recommend as a beer and curry type distraction.

Best Bit: Yup I knew it! 

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Jaws, Open Water, Deep Blue Sea

 


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