Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Far From Home shows that Marvel is in safe hands post Endgame.  A confident, funny and charming sequel, in many ways it’s a better film than Homecoming (and in some less so) and once again delivers one of Marvel’s better villains in Mysterio – charmingly played by the excellent Jake Gyllenhaal.  But for all the crash bang wallop of the film (and there is a lot), it’s the central relationships that make this film work so well.  Be it Ned & Betty or Spiderman & MJ… you can’t help but fall in love with these characters once again. Zendaya especially shines as the honest, twitchy MJ and gives us one of the most honest love stories the MCU has ever told.  Yup it suffers from TOO much CGI and the stakes, whilst making perfect sense, are set so high that it needed risk which just isn’t there.  It’s the small moments that shine in Far From Home. So despite its few faults and unobtainable stakes, the film and the cast delivers.  Three for three this year with the MCU.

Best Bit: THAT post credit scene

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Spider-Man: Homecoming, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man 2

 


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Toy Story 4 (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Toy Story 4 (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Toy Story 4 was always going to be a major risk after the near perfect Toy Story trilogy.  So I’m happy to report that for the most part Toy Story 4 is a success – a charming, funny and sometimes surprising continuation (and probably end) to over 24 years of flawless storytelling.   As you’d expect the animation is superb, the script on point and the voice acting first class.  What’s less expected is that the film hits a level of emotion and pathos you’re not expecting and by the time the final credits roll around you heart strings have been firmly tugged on… especially for those who’ve been there since the start.   It has flaws but you almost don’t care. A great family film and one that adults will love as much as kids.

Best Bit: The Ending.

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Cinema

If You Liked this Try: Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3

 


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Toy Story 3 (2010) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Toy Story 3 (2010) – A Revisited Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Toys Are Back In Town to round up what is probably the greatest movie trilogy of all time (Yes Star Wars and Godfather take note). Mixing the usual Pixar magic with a heartwarming, emotional (yes I cried at the heart string pulling finally 10 minutes), funny and action packed story, the top notch voice cast (Michael Keaton as Ken! genius!) and a Randy Newman song or two it begs the question… can these guys make a bad film? As it stands I’d say no. Another 5 star Pixar Classic.

Best Bit: The Ending.

Cinema, Stream, Avoid: Buy

If You Liked this Try: Toy Story, Toy Story 2,Up

 


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Iron Sky 2: The Coming Race (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Iron Sky 2: The Coming Race (2019) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review Uncategorized

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Iron Sky 2 is the slightly belated sequel to 2012’s bat shit mental Nazi lunar invasion film Iron Sky. The Finnish-German science fiction comedy mash up took a similar crowd funding route as its predecessor and, much like that film, manages to squeeze an incredible amount out of a very limited budget (it raised £500k USD).  Space ships, Aliens, Hidden Worlds, Hitler riding a T-Rex (I shit you not)… it has it all. Well other than a cohesive story of course.  But who cares… if you strap in and go along with the ride when Iron sky 2 get’s going it really delivers a wild, crazy, OTT ride unlike anything out there,

Best Bit: Sieg Heil Motherfuckers

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Iron Sky, Kung Fury, Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow

 


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Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Ralph Breaks The Internet (2018) – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Ralph Breaks The Internet is a sequel that very much feels like more of the same – it’s well made, it looks pretty and has a few clever ideas but ultimately much like the original Wreck It Ralph it’s just not funny, charming or clever enough to hold my attention for it’s near two hour run time.  Okay yup The Star Wars stuff is fun, the Disney Princesses stuff clever but the rest is pretty Meh!  Both films just feel like lost opportunities and even my 8 year old daughter wasn’t that enamoured. One to skip.

Best Bit: Disney Princesses

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Avoid

If You Liked this Try: Wreck It Ralph, Zootopia, Big Hero 6

 


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The Predator (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

The Predator (2018)- A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The Predator is rubbish.  But its Saturday afternoon sitting on the sofa not doing much rubbish that is actually quite good fun while it lasts.  Okay yes so there’s obvious studio interference and the film lacks a lot of Shane Black’s usual spark (it’s also not set at Christmas usually for Black).  There’s also some issues around the side that have contributed (at least in part) to the film flopping in the cinema but and, it’s a big but,  there’s enough here to enjoy that enables you to mostly forget this.  Black’s script is witty, the cast are good and the affects  more than passable.  Predator 2 still remains the best sequel in this franchise and there’s still a much better film to be made in this world but I enjoyed The Predator for what it’s worth.

Best Bit: Predator Dogs

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Predator, Predator 2, Predators 

 


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Blog – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed

Blog – Friday The 13th’s… Reviewed

Quick Review

To celebrate today being Friday The 13th In what may be either a heroic or heroically dumb move, off the back of the rather excellent Crystal Lake Memories documentary, I have decided back in 2014 to rewatch EVERY Friday The 13th movie.  From the original 1980’s classic to the franchise killing remake, I re-watched ever kill, every slash and every Jason death. So here it is – a complete look at the Jason Vorhees back catalogue…

Phil Hobden

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History Of Friday The 13th (2013)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So the documentary that started it all: Crystal Lake Memories is an exhaustive (and exhausting clocking it at a nearly 400 min run time) look at the history of the Friday The 13th films – from it’s humble beginnings right through Freddy Vs Jason and the studio remake and is a must see for fans of the films. Brough to you by the same team that delivered the equally essential Nightmare Of Elm Street documentary Never Sleep Again no stone is left unturned.  Best of all far from a fluff piece this digs into what worked, what didn’t work and what happened behind the scenes.  Simply put this is both essential and fascinating. 

IMDB Rating: 

Any cast of note?   Almost everyone who has ever been in or involved with the films! 

 

[divider]

 

Friday The 13th (2009)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So in hindsight the remake of Friday 13th is actually pretty good.  Gone are the japery and silliness of the later Friday films, back comes the hardcore gore and nudity that was a hallmark of the series at it’s best.  Plenty of gruesome kills, a story which nicely remakes three Friday’s for the price of one and a cast that can actually act, it’s directed with a sense of respect to the better instalments whilst delivering a few nice new moments.  I liked it and, stood alongside the rest in the series, it comes across as very good indeed.  Recommended.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Sleeping bag then on fire.  Ouch. 

Any cast of note?   Danielle Panabaker, Nana Visitor

 

[divider]

Freddy Vs Jason (2003)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Okay that’s better.  Whilst most of the Friday films have aged badly, Freddy Vs Jason is still a prime cut in a butchers shop of (mostly)offal.   Bride Of Chucky director Ronny Yu once again delivers on a quirky premise and gives fans something they have been waiting for since it was first muted back in The Final Friday.  A knowing film with a strong idea its heart, the films full of crowd pleasing smackdowns, gross out blood and guts and nudity: everything you want from a Freddy or a Jason movie.  Best of all it leaves you wanting more which, sadly, hasn’t yet arrived.  So overall even though this isn’t strictly just a Friday The 13th movie it’s certainly one of the strongest in the series and for sure the one that delivers best all-round.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy’s hand kills… er… Freddy.

Any cast of note?   Robert England, Kelly Rowland, Monica Keena

 

[divider]

Jason X (2001)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Yup Jason X is terrible.  But it’s terrible in a knowing, fun and silly kind of way that the franchise has been seriously lacking up to this point.  Just the idea of taking Jason and putting him on a space ship is insane BUT even with terrible 90’s CGI, a near total lack of nudity and gore and acting that is at best dubious the film is just such damn fun. From VR deaths, 80’s Friday The 13th homages to a Cyborg Jason this film just knows what it is and delivers on that, never trying to be anymore or less.  And I kinda salute it for that… oh and did I mention CYBORG JASON??????

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Face, Liquid Nitrogen, Desk.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder. LexaDoig. David Cronenberg. Peter Mensah

 

[divider]

Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Look I totally understand that the Friday 13th movies were never grounded in reality.  But seriously Part 9 really does stretch credibility to levels even I couldn’t get on board with.  Supernatural nonsense, Jason’s heart being the key to his powers, transferring from one body to another… it just jumped the shark.  And for a franchise that had last ended with the pretty dire Jason takes Manhattan that’s saying something.  What’s worse is that the gore has been dialled down to almost PG13 levels means the film doesn’t even have that possible redeeming feature.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Freddy comes for Jason (okay technically not a kill but buy far the best bit of the film)

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason an in a cameo as himself.  Steven Williams.  Erin Gray.

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhatten (1989)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
This was one was a bit of a slog.  Which is a shame as I quite enjoyed Jason Takes Manhattan when I was a kid.  Reanimated via electrical cable(yes really!), this film borders on PG-13 at times with virtually zero nudity or gore (and when there are FX they are pretty poor).   Add to that a host of bad performances, an idea so totally dumb that you end up laughing at it more than being scared and you are left with one of the weaker Jason films.  That said it earns an extra star for having the infamous man boxing Jason sequence…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head knocked clean off.

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder returns as Jason. Also TV stalwart Peter Mark Richman. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 7: New Blood (1988)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Sadly Jason returns once more (via telekinesis no less) and despite marking the first time behind the mask for the legendary Kane Hodder, Part 7 is a bit of a slog.  It doesn’t help that it take almost 20 minutes for the first kill to take place, and when they do most are pretty uninspired by this point.  Gone are the higher budget effects of Jason Lives as the franchise marks it’s decline into even cheaper produced tat.  It has a few moments – the sleeping bag kill is ace, but the ending is bad even for these movies.  All in all it’s one to miss.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Sleeping bag around tree!

Any cast of note?   Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Jason Lives picks up on the momentum of A New Beginning and runs with it – more kills, more violence but oddly less nudity.   The MPAA strike again.  It also starts the journey of the franchise being (relatively) grounded that ends with Jason being in Space.  Tommy Jarvis returns (with Thom Mathews taking over the role) and this time manages to bring back the unstoppable killer with a bolt of lightning.  Accidental of course, and from there its back to the usual routine of creative deaths.  Jason Lives feels a little more high budget than some of the other entries and a bit more polished. All in all another fun entry.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Head into a toilet wall.

Any cast of note?   Jennifer Cooke, Thom Mathews

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Well this was a surprise.  The legendarily bad Part 5 (the one where Jason isn’t actually Jason) is actually one of the stronger entries into the series so far.  So yes the plot is total hokum, but this is the last Jason film before things start to go really mental (physic powers, resurrection, Space) and you know what it’s brutal, bloody and well paced with out the “God is anything going to happen” tedium of Parts 3 and 4.  It also has a nice pay off at the end, a hint of where things could have gone, but sadly didn’t.  So far from being rubbish, part 5 is actually a pleasant surprise. Who’d have thought…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill:  Belt around face, tightened.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman. Shaver Ross 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Oh dear.  Growing up this was always MY Friday The 13th film.  The one that grabbed me, the one I thought I remembered.  It had Tommy Jarvis, a young Feldman and a kick arse nail in the coffin for Jason.  And years on those things remain.  It’s just a shame that the rest of the film is so tepidly done. Yes much like the previous Friday The 13th sequels, it’s an hour and 10 mins of nothing happening (well some 15 rated nudity but little else) with a handful of kills interspersed.  Sadly it ended up being quite a slog.  So far from the 7/10 classic I remember, this has been the most disappointing Friday yet (at least in terms of expectation!).  Oh and the legendarily bad Part 5 is looming.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Jason’s death at the hands of Tommy.  Brutal.

Any cast of note?   Corey Feldman, naturally. Crispin Glover (Marty McFly’s dad)

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Part 3?  In 3D?  Don’t mind if I do.  Problem is, when it’s all over, what you have is yet another retreat of the original movie, with little of new of note, zero nudity and some really toned down kills.  I know the MPAA was pretty tough back in the early 80’s but even so it takes the film almost 50 minutes to get into gear and when it does the screaming cast and modernly good FX do little to hop dour attention.  Okay so it’s fun looking at everything set up so that the 3D could be used to max effect and, back in it’s day, this was pretty innovative.  But now?  It’s just kinda funny. The weakest Friday yet…

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Eye pop into screen.  Ah… 80’s 3d!

Any cast of note?   Betsey Palmer briefly returns again with reused Part 2 footage. Dana Kimmell did a few bits after. 

 

[divider]

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Part 2 delivers slightly less gore (thank the MPAA for that), a slower pace (mostly the murders don’t start until after 45 minutes in) and a sack-headed Jason.  But whilst it’s not as strong as the original, there’s still a  lot to enjoy here.  Jason get’s his machete for the first time, there’s a nice call back to the infamous part 1 jump scare ending and the film certainly starts to set the tone for what would follow in it’s relentless Jason as unstoppable killer trope. I also really liked the ending where Ginny pretends to be Mrs Voorhees, confusing Jason long enough for her to try and escape.  Miner is a workman like director so the film overall is proficient rather than spectacular but still enjoyable none the less.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Machette + Head + Wheelchair

Any cast of note?  Amy Steel is something of a cult favourite.  Betsey Palmer briefly returns. 

 

 

[divider]

Friday the 13th (1980)

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
The original, and one of the lesser regarded films in the franchise (it didn’t, after all, even feature the iconic Jason as the killer), I was surprised at just how well the film held up some 34 years later.  A nice quality HD transfer, some creative kills and some excellent early Tom Savini FX work, Friday The 13th plays more as a who done it that the slasher series it would later become.  Yup the acting is variable and the fashion dated, but overall it’s a much stronger film that I remember.

IMDB Rating: 

Best Kill: Kevin Bacon of course! Arrow through the throat.  Excellent!

Any cast of note? Kevin Bacon

 

 

Author: Phil Hobden

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Avengers Week: Thor The Dark World : A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Avengers Week: Thor The Dark World : A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

With Avengers: Infinity War opening this week, Phil’s Quick Capsule Review will be rerunning the reviews of some of our favourite Marvel Films!

The Review: For me the original Thor film was my second , least favourite Marvel adaptation after Captain America (sorry Capt.).  It wasn’t bad but it always felt like it was missing something special.  Now, two years later and bolstered by an appearance alongside his Avengers buddies, the Blonde, buff god returns in what is a far more well rounded and successful movie.

The Story: Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Firstly let’s get this out the way.  Thor 2 is actually really good.  Excellent in fact.  Of all the Avengers films, it’s probably the most ‘together ‘ .  It has a simple story, which moves at pace, with action and drama but keeping it tight enough to come in at under 2 hours.  It even manages to get around (at least MOSTLY get around) the standard CGI monster fighting CGI good guy trope that has hobbled the end of every Avengers film since Iron Man.

A large reason why the film works so well is the sublime decision to once again sit an unlikely candidate in the director’s chair.   Be it Jon Favreau for Iron Man or James Gunn for the upcoming Guardians Of The Galaxy, Marvel have a knack of picking the right man for the job.  This time out respected TV and Game Of Thrones director Alan Taylor brings a more even vision to the film, much more suited to the material than Kenneth Branagh, and obviously revels in having a larger that his usual budget to play with.   The action is clean and well shot, and best of all you can see every punch, every explosion and every insane flying spaceship moment.

Oh and talking of flying Spaceship moments… director Taylor is obviously a fan of 80’s cheese fest Flash Gordon, being that he borrows a considerable part of the films finale for the attack on Asgard.  Not that I’m complaining as the mix of sci-fi, Norse legend, super hero and action make for a pleasant change form the usual Earth bound Marvel world.

Hemsworth once again proves he is a man of considerable talent, delivering action alongside comedy and the occasional pathos.  Naturally Natalie Portman has little to do (as is the female role generally in a Marvel film) but she remains a welcome addition, as does the returning Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston (once again a stand out as Loki) and Anthony Hopkins (as his most gravelly).  Rene Russo even gets to kick arse, which is nice.  As for former Dr Who and professional grump Christopher Eccleston he does good with his limited bad guy role, but in reality with the added make up and FX it could have been anyone as Dark Elf leader Malekif.

In truth the film has little against it, other than maybe an element of familiarity, and ends up being one of the best blockbusters of the year.  Maybe not as good overall as Iron Man 3, but certainly more fun. For the most part.

So overall a good script, great characters and some snappy dialogue alongside standout action sequences and a fast pace mean that deservedly Thor The Dark World will be another hit for Marvel.  Truly a studio that cant seem to get it wrong.

Rating:

 

 

Jigsaw – Motion Picture Maniac

Jigsaw – Motion Picture Maniac

A Blog Motion Picture Maniac

Looking back now, I’m not sure the Saw franchise was ever really all that bad, sure some instalments were better than others and many had instances that were just flat out garbage, but I can’t help but have the tiniest bit of respect for a series of nasty and grimy horror films that were quite well woven together as far as plot is concerned, and knew fully well that they were all about blood and guts and not much else regardless of what any of the high brow moustache twirlers thought. I’m not saying they were any good but there are things about them I like, the long spanning continuity is certainly better than that of the dumb-but-fun Resident Evil movies, the insane and chaotic editing style that was present in every instalment must have been hell for whatever poor soul had the task of putting it all together and, if I’m honest; some of the traps were pretty cool.

That being said, that doesn’t mean I was in any way optimistic about the new chapter in the series titled “Jigsaw” (or, as I like to call it, Saw Gets Jiggy With It) and that’s for a number of reasons. I rather liked the ending of Saw 7, AKA Saw 3D, AKA Saw: The Final Chapter, the film preceding it wasn’t very good but I liked the way it finished everything up and confirmed my own personal fan theory so that was nice, but that’s the problem, the continuity wrapped, what story there was ended… seven years ago, so now we have a new instalment even after the story actually reached a conclusion – SEVEN YEARS AGO, and if that wasn’t bad enough, that last instalment, SEVEN YEARS AGO, was called “The Final Chapter”, YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

I know, I know, it doesn’t really matter if a film is just a blatant cash grab made to force life back into an already exhausted franchise because that is not the same as not being good. Saw Gets Jiggy With It is directed by the Spierig Brothers who made Daybreakers which was good fun and it’s not like the Saw franchise was running the risk of going down hill by making a late return, if anything they already reached the bottom of several hills and began tunnelling down to the centre of the Earth when the gore effects opted for crappy CGI. Unfortunately I get to say “I knew it” without any of the smug satisfaction because Jigsaw is dull, underwhelming and has no reason to exist outside of the old cha-ching.

All the changes they’ve made to the familiar aesthetic in the hope of adding some freshness have actually done the film a disservice, the crazy editing is gone as is the filthy style that cluttered the set design with grunge and hideousness and the average Joe’s of before have been swapped out for standard Hollywood beauties. Now I get it, after seven films of filth a grunge it might be nice to clean up the visuals a bit but what they took out they didn’t replace, making even the surface feel hollow and empty and as a result I quickly started missing the dirt and filth of all the previous films. Everything just looks too clean and polished, like the killer has a budget all of a sudden, the rust and grime of all the previous traps made sense beyond just looking gross, in reality they probably would be slapped together from scrap; the new movie has gone ballistic with Cillit Bang.

I wouldn’t kick up such a fuss about the loss of all the hideousness if only Saw Gets Jiggy With It didn’t look so bland and uninteresting, which is also magnified by the fact that the plot is dull and sillier than ever before, the characters are all hollow and even the main event, the reason we’re all here – the gore effects, even they were rather underwhelming. The gruesome result of a head being split a number of different ways by CGI lasers just looked daft, why don’t the people being buried alive just keep lifting their feet up? Why has the ending of the last film been made irrelevant? This is like a Saw film that wishes it wasn’t a Saw film, like the heir to some powerful dynasty who’s actually ashamed of his heritage as opposed to proud. This isn’t a terrible film, the one actor you would expect to be great is indeed great and the production value isn’t technically bad per say but overall it’s very disinterested in itself and as a result I became very bored, see it if you want but personally I think this franchise needs to go back to its coffin and stay dead.

They even managed to get characters emptier than post-autopsy corpses mis-cast! The big guy who sarcastically comments on how Billy the puppet is “not creepy at all” has close-up reaction shots that look better suited to comedy than horror and actually got a few laughs from the audience whenever he screamed; not exactly a good thing now is it?

Batman Return Of The Caped Crusaders – A Quick Capsule Review

Batman Return Of The Caped Crusaders – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
Things like this either work REALLY well or fall flat. Thankfully what you have here is a rather brilliant (at times) revisit to what is by far one of the most fun periods of Batman ever!  Burt Ward and Adam West return, along with the original Catwoman Julie Newmar, for a jape filled retro Batman romp which at times is laugh out loud funny.  The ONLY issue here is that for me the joke wore out after a while and the film, even at just of 75 mins, still felt a little long.  That said it’s damn fun and seeing batman in space is a real highlight.

Best Bit: Burt Ward & Adam West.  Just devine!

Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream

If You Liked this Try: Batman (1966), Return To The Batcave, The Lego Batman Movie

IMDB Rating: 

 

Author: Phil Hobden