Kick Ass 2 – A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Kick Ass 2 – A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

The Review: First let me say this. I wasn’t a massive fan of Kick Ass. I didn’t hate it but much like Scott Pilgrim, Sin City & Watchman I found it to be more style than substance. Too aware of it’s own geek cool and not afraid to point it out at every moment.

Yes Mortez was great, no I didn’t care she said ‘Cunt’ at the tender age of 11 and yes the action was brutal, but nothing I hadn’t seen a million times before. I liked the central idea of an everybody becoming a superhero but overall I walked out think “that was okay” and haven’t revisited the film since.\

With this in mind I pretty much stayed away from the hype and promotion for KickAss 2, fully aware that I’d probably see the film but didn’t need that geek cool to be rammed down my throat once again.

With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world’s first superhero team with Mindy but when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she’s forced to retire. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes. Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world’s first super villain assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad.

Looking at the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes this morning I was shock to see this film sitting at a paltry 28%. That’s less than the critically mauled Lone Ranger. Especially surprising as I thought, overall, this was a much more enjoyable film that the original Kick Ass, less concerned about looking cool, shocking for shock’s sake and shouting ‘I Was Based on a Really Cool Comic Book Don’t You Know’ and more about just interesting characters in even more interesting situations.

In fact, as much as I loved Iron Man 3, for me Kick Ass 2 is the best superhero film of 2013. Cool in it’s own way, with people I actually cared about. Okay so apparently it’s toned down from the comic (I’m not sure we really needed the gang rape of a main character) but as I’m not a fan of the source material that doesn’t really bother me. In fact more over the fact that it doesn’t just set out to shock is for me what stands out about it’s predecessor.

Kick Ass 2 also has some strong action sequences, not least a Good Guys Vs Bad Guys battle that looses the now standard CGI monsters vs Monsters stick of the studio Marvel films and goes with something a little… different. And is FAR more entertaining because of it. Hit Girl vs Mother Russia is for sure the fight of the year to date.

On the subject of Hit Girl, Props go to Chloe Grace Mortez who once again shines and shows that, as long as she doesn’t go all Lohan, she has an amazing and probably award winning career in front of her. Also a massive shout out for Jim Carey who delivers the best performance of his twilight career, even if he was too much of an arse to promote the film (even though his winging actually created even more publicity of the movie… ). Mintz-Plasse is also great as the self titled Mother Fucker, even if he does just deliver the TradeMarked Mintz-Plasse performance.

With assured but not overly showy direction, some social commentary about what it is to fit in, a host of solid action sequences and characters you actually care for, Kick Ass 2 is that rare beast of both a sequel that ends up being more enjoyable that the original and a superhero film that didn’t feel the need to collapse into a CGI want fest.

In short: Fuck the critics, fuck the source material. Just go make up your own mind. You may be pleasantly surprised.

 

Rating:

 


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Beast Of The Southern Wild (2012) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Beast Of The Southern Wild (2012) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review
Beast Of The Southern Wild is truly one of the best debut films I have ever seen.  Stunning, poetic & beautiful this almost impossible to describe coming of age fantasy drama shows a true talent in the making both behind the camera and in front (Quvenzhane Wallis is truly amazing).  This is a film that deserves to be seen… if not always understood.

Best Bit: Quvenzhane Wallis

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy

If you liked this try: Moonrise Kingdom, Pans Labyrinth,  Life Of Pi

Rating:

 


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What We Are In The Shadows (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

What We Are In The Shadows (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well that’s a disappointment.  A Man Bites Dog meets Spinal Tap style documentary about Vampires sounded like a winner but sadly, whilst it has it’s bloody moments, the film completely forgot to add any laughs, instead wallowing in it’s own cleverness.  There’s not much more to say… a comedy without laughs, a horror without scares, a film without interest… it’s all just a little bit too full of itself. Disappointing.

Best Bit: The Werewolf bit is as funny as it goes

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Borrow

If You Liked this Try: Man Bites Dog, Spinal Tap, Borat

 

Rating:

 

Universal Soldier Day Of Reckoning – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Universal Soldier Day Of Reckoning – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Wow. Who would have thought it… this Universal Soldier sequel turns out to be not only the best film in the franchise but probably one of the top 10 films of the year.   No really.  Action packed, making the most of it’s probable modest budget, it finally gives star Adkins a role to get his teeth into whilst trading punches with two other members of the Expendables 2 cast.  Watch this if you like you action 90’s style.
Best Bit: One shot shoot out
Rent, Borrow, Buy: Buy
If you Liked this try: Universal Soldier, Universal Soldier: The Return,  Universal Soldier 2

Rating:

 


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Paddington – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Paddington – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Paddington is a joy of a film. There’s no other way to describe it.  A superbly realised kids film but with a humour and charm that will appeal to adults also.  From it’s fully realised lead character to it’s excellent cast (Whishaw as the titular bear stands out) who all connect so strongly with the audience.  Even without this,  however, the filmmakers throw in enough goofy set pieces to make you laugh out loud.  If I had ANY issues with the film it would be that maybe the FX don’t quite live up to the budget’s realities BUT this is a very small point in what is really a wonderful film.  Both for kids AND adults.

Best Bit: Paddington settles in to the house!

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Shaun The Sheep, The Boxtrolls, The Book of Life

 

Rating:

 


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Kajaki – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Kajaki – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Kajaki is the best movie from 2014 that you haven’t seen.  Scrub that it’s probably one of the best movies from 2104 period.  Kajaki is as brutal and intimate a war movie as you are ever likely to experience.  And trust me experience is the word… I watched Kajaki and at times forgot to breathe.  The tension is palpable, the acting flawless and the direction outstanding.  This is a must see.

Best Bit: Tension.  In spades.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: BlackHawk Down, Platoon, ’71


Rating:

 


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You’ve Been Trumped – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

You’ve Been Trumped – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
You’ve Been Trumped doesn’t paint a nice picture of the billionaire and the director of this film will certainly be missing from Donald Trump’s Christmas card list this year once he’s watched this.  Because as one sided as the story told here is, whatever way you look at it Donald Trump comes off as a bit of a twat.  To be nice.  Otherwise it’s business as usual, the big bad company headed by the powerful uber rich American vs the small British town & towns folk.  Interesting but unbalanced.

Best Bit: The artwork

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Stream

If you liked this try: Exit Through The Gift Shop,  Sicko,  Super Size Me

Rating:

 

 

Skyfall – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Skyfall – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Hold the phone.  007 is back and this time he’s bloody near perfect.  Yes that’s right Skyfall is exactly as good as the hype suggest, a film that returns Bond to the classic figure we know and love whilst throwing in enough action, heartache and shootouts to be a damn good action thriller in it’s own right.  From the Aston Martin, to the fight in a lizard pit (yes really!), this is Bond at the best he’s been for a long time. Highly re-watchable, massively fun.  A must watch. Just a shame about the song.

Best Bit: The final showdown
Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy
 
If you like this try: Casino Royale, License To KillQuantum Of Solace

Rating:

 

The Babadook – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

The Babadook – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
There’s little left to be said about The Babadook.  From All Things Film’s own Andrew Mackay’s glowing review to the heaps of 5 star reviews across the globe, it’s fair top say the film arrives with bucket loads of hype.  And you know what… for once it actually deserves it! Scary as hell, this old school horror film is so unsettling and oppressive that it will stay will for you for weeks to come. Needless to say this is a film that demands to be seen in teh best possible way – so turn off the lights, send teh kids to bed and get prepared to be scared shitless.

Best Bit: Direction.  One of the most assured feature debuts ever.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Shining, The Others, We Need To Talk About Kevin

Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

 

 

 

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Big Ass Spider: A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Big Ass Spider: A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Not often do you get a film that so brilliant ‘does what it says on the tin’ but welcome then to Big Ass Spider a film about… well I think you can guess.  So cheesy dialogue, poor FX, Lloyd Kaufman cameo, mostly TV cast… it’s all here.  But you know what? It’s bloody good fun despite all that. Or maybe because of? Regardless this is a fun way to spend 90 mins.  It’s won’t linger much past the end credits but that’s not always a bad thing.

Best Bit: The opening. Actually quite brilliant.

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Stream

If you liked this try: Snakes On A Plane (7/10); Sharknado (6/10); Megladon (4/10)

 

Rating: 

 

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