High-Rise (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

High-Rise (2015) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
High Rise is based on an “unfilmable” book by  J.G. Ballard and directed by sometimes hit sometimes miss British director Ben Wheatley.  Based on this combination, it was most likely that this was either going to be one of the best films ever made or an epic failure. Truth is it falls somewhere between the two, with at times a foot in both camps.  Often at the same time.  Visually stunning and well performed, ultimately the film for whatever reason just didn’t connect with me.  The ultra violence wasn’t frequent enough, the oddness not odd enough and the boundaries just not pushed as much as you’d expect.  Some will love it however.  Sadly I wasn’t one of them…

Best Bit: Jeremy Irons is bat shit crazy

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Kill List, Sightseers, A Field In England, Crash

 


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

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

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Gareth Edwards’s second film as a director sees him once again dealing with ‘monsters’ but this time he dares to tread where many more experienced directors have failed and take on the might of Godzilla.  And you know what?  For the most part he pulls it off.  What Edwards does best is to strike the right balance between the ample destruction and the people.  Where as Zack Snider’s destruction porn is all about falling building, Edwards makes it about the characters.  Where as Michael Bay reveals in explosions, Edwards reveals in human drama.  This doesn’t mean that the film doesn’t have it’s wham! Bam! moments – it does and in spades – but they mean something. So the story isn’t perfect and the film uses the ‘hint’ reveal a few too many times, but Godzilla does so much right that you can forgive it a few small issues.

Best Bit: Monster Smack down.

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Pacific Rim, Jurassic Park, Monster

 


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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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Children Of Men (2006) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Children Of Men (2006) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Children Of Men was one of the most original and thought provoking films of 2006 and rewatching it is still as brilliant and impactful as the day I first watched it. The dystopian world created by Cuarón is so real you can almost taste it.  This, backed up with some epic cinematography (not least one of the best ‘one take’ shots in cinema) and you have a real must own film.  In short Children Of Men is powerful, expertly made and once again shows that with the right script and director, Clive Owen is as good as anyone out there.

Best Bit: The one-take Bexhill sequence

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: The Road, Akira, World War Z

 

Hall-of-Fame

 


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Ghostbusters (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Ghostbusters (2016) – A Quick Capsule Review (Revisited)

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay so this isn’t the disaster the early marketing suggested it could be but it’s also FAR away from the 4 star reviews it’s been getting. I think, ultimately, I just don’t get Paul Feig films – The Heat, Bridesmaids and Spy especially did NOTHING for me and here, again, whilst the cast all do okay (standout being Kate McKinnon) you just can’t help but feel there’s nothing new here once the role reversal gimmick wears off. You are left with a reboot I didn’t really want, of a film that didn’t need it, and a director that goes out of his way to remind you just how good the original film really was.

Best Bit: Hemsworth

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: The Heat, Bridesmaids,  Spy

 


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The Endless (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

The Endless (2017) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Endless is a head fuck of a movie.  Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing depends a lot on your expectations.  This isn’t an easy watch especially if you expect a film that delivers answers to all the questions it asks.  The Endless just isn’t that film.  But if you want a film that leaves you think and heading to R/TheEndless to debate theories then maybe give this a watch.  As for me – I enjoyed it but found it trying a little too hard to care by the end.

Best Bit: The cabin

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Spring, Life, Signs, Primer

 


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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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RoboCop (1987) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

RoboCop (1987) – A Hall of Fame Quick Capsule Review

Hall of Fame Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Entering the SciFi wing of the Hall Of fame comes RoboCop – the 1987 Paul Verhoeven directed part action part satire that tackles crime, media and violence with a sardonic tone and a dark sense of humour.  Over 30 years later it’s surprising just how well RoboCop holds up (and conversely just how forgettable the recent remake is).  And even scarier… it feels very much like this could be modern day Trump America.  Weller does a great job with the obvious and considerable restrictions that the RoboCop role put upon him but he nails it.  However it’s the film villains that shine the most – from Ronny Cox as corporate bully Dick Jones to Kurtwood Smith as the psychotic Clarence Boddicker they chew up the scenery and give the film some really hateful villains.  But beyond that it’s a film full of iconic moments – Ed-209, the suit itself, the uber-violence and the infinitely quotable one liners.   In short – A must watch.

Best Bit: ED 209 goes rogue.

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: RoboCop 2, The Terminator, Total Recall 

Hall of Fame

 


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Alita: Battle Angel (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Alita: Battle Angel (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Alita: Battle Angel is a total mess.  Yup it’s 15 years plus in development for filmmaker James Cameron, who turns over directorial duties to the unreliable Robert Rodriguez but sadly still carried writing the script.  Seriously if after 15 years you can’t get a better script that this, then Avatar 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9  stand no hope. Mahershala Ali does that thing actors do now where they get nominated for an Oscar just months away from starring in a totally bollocks film (see: John C Riley, Eddie Redmayne) in a cast that features both box office repellants Ed Skrein and Jai Courtney.  From its non-ending ending, to its ‘did they REALLY just write that’ script, across to its piss poor CGI and clunky directing this film does almost everything wrong.  Please avoid.

Best Bit: My 2 minutes toilet break which gave me a nice break from the film

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Avatar, Ghost In The Shell, Ready Player One

 


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IO (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

IO (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
IO isn’t exactly a ground breaking science fiction film.  Think a reverse ‘The Martian’ and you get a vague idea of the story. That said considering Netflix’ recent journeys into the genre IO is a freakin’ masterpiece!  Anthony Mackie and Margaret Qualley do a good job but the film is almost so low key that you’ve forgotten it moments after it finishes.  So far from essential but it passes the time well…

Best Bit: The ending I guess

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream (Netflix)

If You Liked this Try: The Martian, Sunshine, Twelve Monkeys 

 


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