‘Phil’s Quick Capsule Review’ (a nod to legendary comedian Bill Hicks who coined the phrase when he reviewed ‘Piece Of Shit’ movie Basic Instinct)… where a perfect 10 is rarer than a rain free British summer!
Written by Phil Hobden – UK based podcaster, writer and former filmmaker. Part of the All Things Film network…
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Searching is a damn clever film. Taking the format set out in Unfriended (everything being done in-screen) it delivers a missing child thriller which cleverly flips and turns along its narrative. Okay so to be honest I pretty much guessed the outcome from the moment certain characters appear but the format and use of media, computers and technology to tell its story make the film pretty captivating (dubbed Screenlife). This evolution of the found footage movie feels right
Best Bit: The Screenlife format works really well
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: Unfriended, The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: The Bay is a real surprise. Firstly it’s a big name director (Oscar winner Barry Levinson) doing something VERY different and secondly, probably even more relevant, it’s an original and engrossing found footage movie. Shocks, scares and thrills aplenty here but also a good story that replies on more than jump shocks (that said it ha s a few classics) and cheap tricks. Highly recommended.
Best Bit: The direction and concept
Rent, Borrow, Buy, Stream: Buy
If you liked this try: The Blair Witch Project (8/10); REC (8/10); Paranormal Activity (8/10)
In our continuing regular feature, Phil (of Phil’s Quick Capsule Review) along with podcaster Josh Morris, Writer Mike Parkin, Grosse Point Geek’s Will Strong and Motion Picture Manic Jamie Robinson breakdown the 25 Best Films Of a particular genre…
This time out: The Best Horror Films of All Time
The close but no cigar Films: Dawn of The Dead, You’re Next, The Blair Witch Project, The Pact, Grave Encounters, Let The Right One In, The Evil Dead
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: The Best 5 Years for Movies… Ever!
Close but no cigar: 1982 (Blade Runner, The Thing, E.T, Tron, Rambo, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior ), 1989 (Batman, Back To The Future Part 2, Dead Poet’s Society, Parenthood), 1974 (The Godfather part 2, Chinatown, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blazing Saddles), 1979 (Alien, Rocky 2, Max Max, The warriors)
5 – 1999 The Matrix, Fight Club, American Beauty, Toy story 2, American Beauty, The Blair Witch project
4 – 1987 Robocop, Wall Street, The Princess Bride, Full metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, Predator, Raising Arizona
3 – 1994 Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, Four Weddings & A Funeral, True Lies, Speed, Natural Born Killers, Clerks, The Crow, Leon
2 – 1995 Casino, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, Heat, Leaving as Vegas, The Usual Suspects, Die hard: With A Vengeance, Goldeneye, Empire Records, Toy Story. Twelve Monkeys
1 – 1984 Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop, The Terminator, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Police Academy, Cannonball Run 2
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Blair Witch does a very good job of re-treading the far superior original for the bulk of it’s run time until, finally, in the last twenty minutes it tries to do something a little different. By then however it’s too late and sadly whilst it has a few scary moments (and far too many cheap jump scare ones) the film never really pays of it’s central idea. What you are left with is the feeling that found footage style films are officially done, with Blair Witch bookending the genre at either end.
Best Bit: The house
Buy, Stream, Avoid: Stream
If You Liked this Try: The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, Troll hunter
Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five. This time out: One Hit Wonder Movie directors.
Close but no cigar: Michael Lehmann, Charles Laughton, Remy Belvaux, Andre Bonzel & Benoit Poelvoorde, Jan De Bont, John Singleton
5 – Tony Kaye – American History X Studio fallouts, it’s lead star locking director out of editing suite, bad press and a war against Hollywood – Kaye and American History X had it all. Even now the director refuses to work inside the studio system that he feels burnt him badly.
4 – Tom Hanks – That Thing You Do! A light hearted teen coming of age movie about a small time 60’s band making it big was both a commercial and critical success. And rightly so it was a cracker of a film. His follow up Larry Crowne was mostly ignored.
3 – Josh Trank – Chronicle Fired (or left) a Star Wars Anthology movie before it began as well as being party to the franchise killing Fantastic Four reboot, Trank has talent in spades but just cant seem to get on with the rigid needs of Studio film making.
2 – Richard Kelly – Donnie Darko Southland Tales? The box? Yeah all very much also ran’s to the cult hit Donnie Darko (itself HIGHLY overrated). Hasn’t released a film since 2009.
1 – Daniel Myrick & Eduardo Sanchez – The Blair Witch Project The Blair Witch was a true phenomenon. It launched a new sub genre and, for a time, was the worlds most profitable film. It’s scary as hell and for me one of the most influential films of it’s decade. A terrible sequel and a few indie films later and the filmmakers have more or less disappeared from the planet.
In a new semi-regular feature each week Phil takes a lookout a different movie related Top Five… this time out: the best summer movie seasons (Post 1975).
Close but no cigar: 1981 (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stripes, Escape from New York), 1991 (Terminator 2, Boyz n the Hood), 1989 (Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Lethal Weapon 2, License to Kill), 1987 ( Predator, Robocop, Dirty Dancing, The Living Daylights, Full Metal Jacket)
5 – 1984 Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Once Upon a Time in America, Purple Rain, The Last Starfighter, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Top Secret!, Conan the Destroyer
4 – 1999 The Sixth Sense, Run Lola Run, The Blair Witch Project, The Iron Giant, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut, Dick, American Pie, Bowfinger , The Thomas Crown Affair, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
3 – 1985 Back to the Future, The Goonies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Cocoon, Fletch, Explorers, Fright Night, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Pale Rider, Prizzi’s Honor, Silverado, Weird Science, Brewster’s Millions
2 – 1982 E.T., Poltergeist, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Thing, TRON, The Road Warrior, Conan the Barbarian, Rocky III
1- 1986 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Aliens, Top Gun, Stand by Me, The Fly, Big Trouble in Little China, Back to School, Cobra, Labyrinth, Short Circuit, Transformers: The Movie, SpaceCamp, Flight of the Navigator
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review: Independent horror films often dare to tread were their more mainstream counterparts won’t. It’s fair to say that the visually striking image of kids swinging dead in the trees is one of those places. Treehouse is raw, clever and well made. It certainly won’t grab everyone. Certain changes in story direction could confuse or confound rather than surprise and shock, whilst a few of the performances are weaker than you’d hope. BUT that honestly doesn’t detract from the fact that this film when at it’s best is a daring, striking, memorable piece of filmmaking. Just one that’s equally flawed also.
Best Bit: The bodies
Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent
If You Liked this Try: The Blair Witch Project, Willow Creek, Roadkill