White House Down (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

White House Down (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
One of 2013’s biggest misses this arrived months after the hit that was Olympus Has Fallen to a chorus of meh!  But I have no idea why because, as an action film, it’s much better that Olympus, has it’s tongue firmly in cheeky and mangoes to deliver whilst never taking itself too seriously.  In fact White House Down is probably one of the best action films of 2013.  No Really.

Best Bit: President of the USA + Rocket luncher.

Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy

If you liked this try: Olympus Has Fallen, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Under Siege

 


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Grimsby (2016)-  A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Grimsby (2016)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Critically Sacha Baron Cohen’s worst performing film to date, Grimsby in general however seems to have connected far better with the fans.  Why?  Well because its’ actually pretty funny.  Okay so it doesn’t hit the heights of Borat or Bruno, but there is a hell of a lot to like here as Baron Cohen pushes beyond the levels of decency in what could feature at least two of the most gross out sequences ever put in a comedy film.  Oddly behind its knob gags and The Sun level humour there’s actually quite an interesting ideas about where you come from and the meaning of family at play here, something that most critics missed (that said it’s easy to do under the weight of penis related jokes).  So occasionally clever than it thinks, frequently low brow but smashed the Kermode six laugh test with ease.

Best Bit: Elephants.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Borat, The Dictator, Bruno

 


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Cinderella (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Cinderella (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
As old school and classic Disney as you can get, Kenneth Branagh’s retelling of the classic Cinderella is a charming, funny and beautiful film that will be loved by older children and just about tolerated by most parents!  Actually that’s pretty harsh – the filmmaking craft alone on display here is worth watching (sumptuous visuals, glamorous clothing and stunning sets), as are the central  performances of Lily James, Cate Blanchett and Game Of Throne’s Richard Madden.   And in fact whilst it’s pitched, and often feels like classic straight Disney the Cinderella as presented here is no wallflower, instead a strong, independent Disney princess up there with some of the best of them.  So overall whilst you’ll be dragged along by the kids, you’ll probably end up secret quite enjoying it.  I did.

Best Bit: The Ball

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy (for the kids)

If You Liked this Try: Enchanted, In The Woods, Maleficent

 

 


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Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Saving Mr Banks (2013) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
You know what? Sometimes a film comes along with performances so good that it elevates what could otherwise be an over sentimental slog. Saving Mr Banks is just that film. From Thompson (giving the performance of 2013) to Hanks, Farrell to Giamatti everyone is on the top of their game here. And it’s a pleasure to watch.

The story, that of Walt Disney’s attempts to woo Mary Popins writer PL Travers into giving him the rights to her much loved story, is told well enough and the film directed in such as way that the (mostly) true to life tale can take centre stage rather than flashy visuals (American Hustle take note) , but it’s heart and soul comes from what will be a trophy cabinet filling performance from Thompson.  Divine, vine from start to finish, she injects just the right amount of heart to make you fall in love with a woman who, for the most part, is pretty unloveable.

That said, her performance centrally benefits from Hanks as Walt Disney.  Charming, charismatic and dashing (in a very 60’s kinda way), Hanks delivers a Walt Disney minus the rough edges and whilst that may not sit well with purists of the Golden Age, it doesn’t detract from a stirling effort by the former Forrest Gump.  And yes that problem is prevalent elsewhere, in that as often you find with films of this ilk the truth often makes way for narrative construct and the need to protect those that need protecting (Saving mr Banks is produced by Disney) .  So don’t expect the big guy to be lighting up anytime soon.

This are small gripes however in what is a very enjoyable 2 hours.  So come for the performances and stay for the film which is, in truth, a lovely story about simpler times.  And animated penguins.

Best Bit: Emma Thompson

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

 


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Frank (2014)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Frank (2014)- A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
What can you say about Frank other that… WFT? Yup Frank is one of those movies that is almost impossible to review.  Whimsical like a Wes Anderson film, with a bit of modern day Angel Share Ken Loach, a dash of Spinal Tap and Fassbender delivering one of his best ever performances even though you can’t see him for the bulk of the film… Frank is truly an original.  And it’s also funny, charming and well worth a watch. with excellent support from Gleeson, McNairy and Gyllenhaal. But make sure you are in the right mood because if your not then this could be a hard slog.

Best Bit: Fassbender delivers a masterclass

Buy, Stream, Borrow: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Grand Budapest Hotel, The Angel’s Share, This Life Aquatic

 

 


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Killer Klowns From Outta Space (1988) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Killer Klowns From Outta Space (1988) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Killer Klowns may sound like a cheap 80’s low budget horror film (which to be fair it is) BUT it offers far more invention and creativity than you would expect from a film made for peanuts and directed by a trio of brothers who have done little of note since.   The basic premise of Alien clowns killing people in a small town is silly enough but the charm in which is does it and the creative use of clown tropes makes this far more enable that it has any right to have and oddly stands up well over 30 years later.  One to stream for sure (now on Netflix UK).

Best Bit: Shadow Puppets

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Ticks, The Blob, Critters

 


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Kajaki (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Kajaki (2014) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Powerful, tense and more of of the seat that ANY horror film I’ve seen in a long time, Kajaki is one of the best films I’ve seen in 2015 and certainly one of the best British films I’ve seen in a long time.  Showing what can be done with a good story, great performances and taught direction Kajaki had my pulse racing.  This is simply a must see film, made even more important as a retelling of actual, life changing events that took place at Kajaki Dam in 2006.  Stunning.

Best Bit: So tense.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Animals, Black Hawk Down, 71

 


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Suicide Squad (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Suicide Squad (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So’ the worst film ever made’ as seemingly branded by ever critic ever? No.  Is it any good?  Kinda.  For about 30 minutes of it’s run time at least.  Shame then it’s a near two hour film.  Look this film would NEVER live up to those trailers.  It was impossible.  They were just SO good.  So the fact it falls short shouldn’t surprise anyone.  The fact that the film also suffers from a seriously lack of vision, feels rushed yet manages to be boring at times and has a script seemingly written on the torn up back of a cigarette box also shouldn’t surprise anyone when you consider Ayer is a okay director whose never really excelled and Zack Snider has his messy finger prints all over this one. SO the headlines: Margot Robbie Steals the show, Jai Courtney is bad as you’d expect and less said about Cara Delevingne the better.  Could have been a contender…

Best Bit: Margot Robbie

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Batman Vs Superman Dawn Of Justice, Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Dirty Dozen

 


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The Orphanage (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

The Orphanage (2007) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Crikey.  I watched the bulk of The Orphanage behind a blanket.  Ye sit really is that unsettling/scary/creepy.  But then again spooky children and ghost films have always been my achilles heal.  It’s true to say however that The Orphanage is one of the scariest films I have seen in a long time that relies more on tension and acting than cheap scares and shocks.  A must watch.

Best Bit: Oh.  So that’s what happened.  *Tear*

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Others Stir Of Echoes, Pans Labyrinth 


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Carriers (2009) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Carriers (2009) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
28 Dawn of The Living Stands Laters. Although considering most of those rate in my top 10 horror movies of all time, the fact Carriers doesn’t sit too out of place along side some of them isn’t a bad thing. Thoughtful, shocking and well made it’s biggest issue it that it just, ultimately, isn’t scary enough.  But man it tries…

Best Bit:Tough choices.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: 28 Days Later,  The Stand,  28 Weeks Later

 


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