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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Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi  – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Return of the Jedi isn’t the best Star Wars film.  That will always be Empire.  But it’s certainly the most watchable (and one I watched the most).  See Jedi is pure popcorn fodder – full of space battles, plot twists, ground wars and lightsaber fights.  The cast here are super comfortable, clearly loving  their roles (well maybe not Guinness) and proxy director Marquand delivers high action from the start. In this current version Lucas’ changes remain mostly in and around Jabba’s palace and still stand out like a sore thumb.  Like most of his additions they just feel so unneeded.  Other changes are okay but I think we all could do with out Hayden Christensen anywhere near this trilogy.  In short – despite Lucas’ best efforts to ruin his films, Jedi remains a perfect send off for the original trilogy. Fun, action packed and full of Ewoks.  Yes I went there… I love the Ewoks.  Thank god then in the end it was a trap!

Best Bit: Attack of the Death star 

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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Scum (1979) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Scum (1979) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Alan Clarke’s Scum (itself a remake of a BBC TV version from 1977) remains a sobering, brutal look into 70’s borstal life.  From suicide to rape, beatings to racism, it’s a film that doesn’t hold back for a second of it’s run time time.  At the centre was a career making performance for Ray Winstone, the new ‘Daddy’ on the block.  It’s a film that has been re-quoted in playgrounds for years and whose legend shines bright in the history of classic British cinema.  A must, if tough, watch.

Best Bit: I’m The Daddy Now.

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Quadrophenia,  Borstal Boy, Nill By Mouth

 


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Bodysnatchers (1993) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Bodysnatchers (1993) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Bodysnatchers is the third big screen screen adaptation of 1954 Jack Finney novel and takes a refreshingly different approach.  Directed by the always of-the-wall Abel Ferrara, it moves the setting to a military base and contemporaries the story somewhat.  It’s a lean film for sure (in running time, budget and pacing) but that does work in its favour. It wastes few scenes or moments.   I’ve always been oddly drawn to this film series (even liking the much maligned Daniel Craig version) and this film especially was a firm favourite when I was younger.  Years on it stills works for me despite it’s rough edges. Yes it’s not the superior 1978 version but there’s plenty to enjoy.

Best Bit: Bath/First transformation 

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: Invasion, Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1978),  Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1956)

 


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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)  – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Rogue One stands up REALLY well.  Also watched in order (before A New Hope) it ties together the story really well!  For me it’s now officially the 4th best Star Wars film.  Action packed with great, memorable characters, ample surprises and a convincing, driving narrative, this Star Wars story delivers on the promise despite extensive reshoots and rewrites at the latter end of production.  The effects are everything you’d hope for and the battles at times breathtaking.  Okay so not everything works well (see a few certain effects that break the uncanny valley) BUT this is by far the best blockbuster of 2016.  A must see.

Best Bit: WAR!

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

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

 


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Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) – A Rewatched 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.

Worth A Rewatch: God no.

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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World War Z: Unrated (2013) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

World War Z: Unrated (2013) – A Rewatched Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sitting down to watch World War Z again after a few years what strikes me is just how intense the unrated cut of the film is.  The opening salvos of the film – from the traffic jam to the apartment block escape and even through to Jerusalem – are edge of seat.  And in fact those moments (and the several other extended and alternate takes) help the film work much better than it’s PG13 release which always felt less than the sum of its parts (I mean a bloodless Zombie film is pretty pointless).  It’s still flawed, with the heavily reshot last act still falling short of the far more dour and downbeat ending that was planned, but for sure World War Z works far better than I originally gave it credit for.

Best Bit: Apartment block escape

Worth A Rewatch: Yes

If You Liked this Try: 28 Days Later, Dawn Of The Dead (2004), Train To Busan 

 


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