Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Skywalker Saga Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So three things stand out rewatching Attack of The Clones.  1. It’s actually paced pretty good.  For a two hour plus film I really didn’t want to rewatch it moves quite fast.  That’s where the positives end.  2.  It has one of the worst scripts I have ever seen on screen.  And I’ve seen (and worked on) some utter Bobbins.  3. Hayden Christensen is by far the worst actor in this film.  He truly stinks up every scene he goes near and has ZERO chemistry with Portman or McGregor.

Look Attack of the Clones was always the weakest of a bad bunch (the prequel trilogy).  But rewatching it I’m reminded just how bad the film is.  The CGI effects, acting, script, dire-logue, direction… all so amateur.  Also in the wider context of the Star Wars films it just makes no sense.  Example (of MANY): Skywalker/Vader met and in fact was related to the family Kenobi would later HIDE Skywalker’s son with.  Right next door to his old home. On his old planet.  Ugh.  Thankfully the film throws enough action at the screen that you don’t notice but man this is not a joy to watch again and has aged badly.

Best Bit: The Clones finally attack.

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, Star Wars: A New Hope, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

 


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Jurassic Park (1993) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Jurassic Park (1993) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jurassic Park was made almost 25 years ago and it still, for the most park, feels as fresh as if it was released yesterday.   Even the CGI, which was at the forefront all those years ago, still mostly holds up and the combination of practical and digital work means that the dinosaurs still feel real.  Its odd that Jurassic Park has never been topped by any of its sequels – in quality or FX – and Spielberg’s less is more approach (see Jaws) means that the money shots are really something to savour.  It’s also that for all the magic on screen Spielberg puts relatable humans at the film core.  It’s a stunning film and demands a rewatch.

Best Bit: T-Rex Attacks

Worth a Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Jurassic Park: The Lost World, Jurassic World, Jaws

 


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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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Batman (1989) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Batman (1989) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The 1989 Batman isn’t a subtle movie.  From its in your face marketing to its gigantic sets to it’s outlandish Batmobile and over the top Nicholson/Joker – it’s in your face from the get go.  It’s also flawed, playing as loose with the Batman story as Batman Vs Superman did (yup this is a Batman who kills and uses guns).  But it’s also highly stylised, confidently directed and, for its day, ground breaking.  Yup Burton is more interested in Wayne than Batman and the Joker outshines an excellent Keaton but this, years on, remains an essential film.  Add in an amazing iconic score (and some banging Prince tracks) and you have one of the best tellings of the Batman story.  Well at least until Nolan came along.

Best Bit: Gotham

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman Returns, The Dark Knight

 


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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Reservoir Dogs (1992)  – A Quick Capsule Review

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Week: Reservoir Dogs (1992) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Reservoir Dogs is an essential film.  It marks the debut of Quentin Tarantino of course but it’s also the template for how to take a small amount of money and deliver what was a landmark, career defining movie.  It’s raw, in your face and smart both using the cliches of the genre and defining new ones that would spawn a million copy cats for years to come.  What’s surprising is just HOW well the film holds up all these years later.  Its power & its energy drives you from one scene to the next leaving you breathless, all wrapped around some brutal violence and THAT dialogue.   Reservoir Dogs remains one of Tarantino’s best films and one of the best films of the 90’s.

Best Bit: Stuck In The Middle…

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Jackie Brown, Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight 

 


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Wild Things (1998) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Wild Things (1998) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I may take a lot of slack for this one but I honestly believe Wild Things is somewhat of a forgotten classic of the 90’s.  Okay ‘classic’ may be a little keen but hear me out because Wild Things is a genuinely fun, entertaining and surprising thriller that is much more than it’s often cited sex scenes (which today seem very tame). Yes its cheesy, yes is tacky and yes it’s silly but that’s all kinda part of the charm isn’t it?  The cast know it, the director knows it and the audience sure as hell know it.  The biggest surprise rewatching this years later was that Bill Murray features in a pretty key role.  Who remembered that? Look Wild Things won’t appeal to everyone but it’s a damn fun, unpretentious film.

Best Bit: Bill Murray

Worth Rewatching: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Basic Instinct, Cruel Intentions, Showgirls

 


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Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
I liked Solo.  It has issues for sure but overall it’s a thumbs up.  But it’s production issues (fired directors, massive reshoots, more reshoots) do shine through the film, especially the first and last act.  The pacing and tone suffer the most with the original directors comic stylings not sitting at ease with Howard’s more pedestrian direction.  BUT these issues can almost be forgotten when you have performances as spirited and fun as Glover and Ehrenreich who do excellently with such iconic roles, leaving you wanting much more from them.  Harrelson makes a good addition to the Star Wars universe but sadly Emilia Clarke once again fails to shine away from Game Of Thrones.  So not quite a disaster, Solo is a worthy if lesser entry to the Star Wars cannon.

Best Bit: Meet Lando

Worth a Watch:  Just

If You Liked this Try: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars Rebels

 


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Full Metal Jacket (1987) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Full Metal Jacket (1987) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Full Metal Jacket is one of the best of the raft of late 80’s/ early 90’s Vietnam films, a brutal look at the journey of the recruit to solider, from dehumanisation and initiation to deployment and ultimately, for many, death.  It’s as uncompromising as you’d expect from the controlling, detailed and obsessive Kubrick, with a legendarily career defining performance by R Lee Ermey dominating your memory of the film, even if it’s Matthew Modine whose the true lead. Not easy to watch but it’s an essential film.

Best Bit:R Lee Ermey

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Platoon,  Good Morning Vietnam, Apocalypse Now 

 


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Star Wars: The Last Jedi – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the Last Jedi is good.  On balance it could well be the best true Star Wars film since Jedi and It’s fair to say when it delivers it knocks it out the park – The opening, Rey/Ren, The finale.  Even better watching it back on home video, the misses that bothered me first time around (The long middle section, Star Wars Casinos, the punking out of not one but two characters set up for great things but cast aside) actually made a lot more sense.  It’s still far to say that a better script could have made this up there with Empire, but even though The Last Jedi flirts with greatness it still doesn’t QUITE land it.  This all said it was a really entertaining film, with lots of surprises along the way and twists and turns you don’t quite expect that lived up to expectations and hype.  Hamill is great, Fisher gives one of her best performances and the support cast are mostly exceptional.  Where to next is anyones guess but the final film in this trilogy will have a hell of a job beating this. Recommended.

Best Bit: Finally! Lightsaber action!

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back , Rogue One : A Star Wars Story

 


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens  – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The danger is always that when you hype up a film to such a degree that it can only ever disappoint.  And episode 7 its probably the most hyped film ever.  To live up to this hype It would have to be special.  It would have to deliver.  And you know what – for the most part it does.  The Force Awakens is the Star Wars films I wanted.  Great new characters, throw backs to the great characters of old, a simple story, intrigue, a great bad guy and a plot that doesn’t feed you every little detail.  It’s not perfect – far from it – BUT in spirit and execution this film delivers.  It feels like a Star Wars film. It looks like a Star Wars film.  It IS a Star Wars Films.

Best Bit: BB8!

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back 

 


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