Triple Frontier (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Triple Frontier (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Triple Frontier is yet another slightly underwhelming star studied Netflix vehicle.  Okay so it’s not at all bad but what should be an exciting adrenaline pulsing heist/on the run action thriller just feels flat by the end of it’s third act.  Yes there’s a few surprises along the way and the film flirts with some dark ideas (sadly without ever committing)  but with a cast this good you just want someone to jump of auto pilot just for a few minutes.  Sadly no-one does. J.C. Chandor has made some very strong films so far so maybe the bar was set higher than it should have been. Ultimately Triple Frontier  passed the time but I won’t remember it in a few months…

Best Bit: The heist

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: The Accountant, Inglourious Basterds, Three Kings

 


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Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Velvet Buzzsaw is a great title in need of an equally great film.  Okay that’s a bit unfair – Velvet Buzzsaw isn’t terrible.  But it is pretty average in the whole, another Netflix original letdown. Filmmaker Dan Gilroy , who made the rather excellent Nightcrawler, tackles a more straight up horror here.  Sadly whilst the central idea is good, the film isn’t that scary.  It’s also not that bloody and whilst the cast seem to be having fun, you just cant help but think that if they had dialled it up to 11 it could have been something quite special.

Best Bit: Truck Stop

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Nightcrawler, Society, Mother!

 


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Bird Box (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bird Box (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bird Box is for sure one of the better Netflix Sci-Fi ‘originals’, benefiting from an A-list cast and some super tense direction. It’s not A Quiet Place but its tense for sure, even if it could have spent more time on the river than in the house.  Bullock is a strong, cold lead and the unseen monster is a powerful presence throughout. If they had stuck with the original book ending the film could have pushed a higher rating for sure.

Best Bit: The rapids

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: A Quiet Place, 28 Days Later, 10 Cloverfield Lane 

 


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Dumplin’ (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Dumplin’ (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Netflix have always done better with comedies that they have sci-fi films (see Cloverfield, Tau and many, many more).  And once again Dumplin’ proves the point – a sweet, small dramedy about a plus-size teenage signing up for a local pageant.  Danielle Macdonald (of Patti Cake$ fame) plays the titular character with spark and charm but also with an impressive and relatable degree of insecurity but the film also benefits from a winning support cast (including Drag Race alumni Ginger Minge and former Friend Jennifer Aniston). It won’t be for everyone but Dumplin’ is a charming film that’s well worth your time.

Best Bit: The Pageant

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Patti Cake$, Life Of The Party, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

 


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Close (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Close (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Netflix drops another deeply dull ‘Original’, this time with Vicky Jewson’s Close – an action film that lacks characters to care about or set pieces to indulge in.  Thing is, as is often the case with these originals, it’s not bad enough to love falling very much in the fades into the background type TV movie you’d watch in the old days whilst having your dinner.  Noomi Rapace is an actress I’ve never connected with and I guess this sits at the heart of the problem – you don’t empathise or care about her or her character and thus ultimately about the film.  Simply put there are FAR better things of Netflix to watch.

Best Bit: The house escape

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Taken, La Femme Nikita

 


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Bandersnatch (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Bandersnatch (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The first proper foray into interactive films, Netflix’s Bandersnatch is a really unique experience that enables the viewer to control the outcome of the film.  It’s a great concept but one that doesn’t quite always work.  Beyond the (actually pretty cool) gimmick the story is pretty flimsy and some choices actually have very minimal outcome.  But as an idea and as a glimpse to where interactive TV could do its’ pretty groundbreaking.   So one for the future, Bandersnatch is ahead of its time.

Best Bit: Netflix & Fight

Play, Stream, Avoid: Play

If You Liked this Try: Black Mirror, Fighting Fantasy, The Butterfly Effect, 12 Monkeys

 


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The Christmas Chronicles (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Christmas Chronicles (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Netflix ‘original’s’ have had a hard time this year – Cloverfield, Annihilation and others have headed straight to the bottom of many people’s worst of the year (mine included).  So what hope does a little old Christmas film have.  In two words: Kurt Russell. Actually that’s not strictly fair – the film ALSO has bundles of charm and an unshakable 80’s vibe that leaves you with a massive smile on your face. Yup this is Adventures In Babysitting meets a live action Minions film meets pretty much every 80’s film along the way.  It’s silly, it’s crazy and it has Kurt Russell as a very modern day Santa.  Oh and possibly one of the cameos of the year.   The Christmas Chronicles is bloody great fun and will be a rewatched favourite for years to come!

Best Bit: Jailhouse rock.

Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Adventures In Babysitting, The Minions, The Muppet Christmas Carol 

 


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Long Shot – A Quick Capsule Review

Long Shot – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Long Shot clocks in at under 45 minutes and is available streaming on Netflix.  It continues the trend of top notch true crime documentaries released by the streaming giant over the post 2-3 years (See Making A Murder) and follows the likes of podcasts like Serial in pulling out the smallest detail to expose corrupt police practices in the US.  Its a must see and to say too much would give away it’s many surprises.  Needless to say this is 45 minutes of the most captivating film this year.

Best Bit: Curb

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Making A Murder, Serial (Podcast), The Keepers

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Bright – A Quick Capsule Review

Bright – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bright is Netflix’ $90 million big budget original sci-fi release, its gamble to try and take on the big studios at their own game.  The idea is great.  The execution sadly isn’t.  Bright is a high 15/low 18 rated sci-fi film that feels like it wants to be a kids film.  It’s an odd mix of Orc’s, fairies and elves with Training Day with added Will Smith.  But it’s rushed world building just doesn’t work and instead of being interesting it mostly comes off as hokey. Maybe as a TV series for sure but as a film this is a miss.

Best Bit: Visually nice

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: Training Day, Lord Of The Rings, Alien Nation 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Gerald’s Game – A Quick Capsule Review

Gerald’s Game – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gerald’s Game is yet another 2017 Stephen King adaptation.  This one sits between the most excellent I.T and the less than excellent (but still not as bad as everyone says!) The Dark Tower. With some strong central performances, a tight story and a nippy run time it works well, even if the tones and story is a little bit familiar.   Another strong Netflix original…

Best Bit: Netflix Hits again

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: IT, The Stand, Fifty Shades Of Grey, Misery

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden