Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn (Screenplay) Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons (Comic Book)

Starring: Taron Egerton, Pedro Pascal, Sophie Cookson, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges

 

Plot: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pure Blast of Fun

 

Story: Kingsman: The Golden Circle starts when the Kingsman are left for ruin with only Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong) making it out of a calculated attack by drug lord Poppy (Moore) who is using former failed applicant Charlie (Holcroft) to do her work.

Searching for the Doomsday play, Eggsy and Merlin head to Kentucky and for Stateman to work with their agents Tequila (Tatum) Ginger Ale (Berry), Champagne (Bridges) and Whiskey (Pascal) to learn more about the Golden Circle which is the only other clue they have, it isn’t long before Poppy reveals her plan to the world and now the two Kingman and Stateman must work together to stop her with the help of an old friend.

 

Thoughts on Kingsman: The Golden Circle

 

Characters – First the Kingsman Eggys is now a proven Kingsman, a year has passed and his working relationship with Merlin and Roxy are the highest they have ever been. When he losses most of his team, he is reunited with Harry and must use his skills to return Harry to his former glory and save the world. Merlin continues his gadget man role but gets to learn with Ginger Ale about newer technology, where the two work to help the field team. Harry survived, well we get a loose story that works as to why but he is damaged spending the year not remembering who he is, when his memory does return to him, he isn’t the same man but does still have the edge.

The Statesman, Tequila is the agent that first discovers the Kingsman in their base, he asks the questions and feels almost like an American Eggys. Champagne is the leader of the Statesman who sets out the missions. Ginger Ale is the gadget woman that dreams of being able to go into the field but for now she works with Merlin. Whiskey is the agent that goes out into the field with Eggys and is easily the best character from the Statesman side of things with his lasso in hand, he gets all the best fight scenes.

Poppy is our main villain, she is a drug lord living off the grid, she has everyone in the palm of her hands but now she wants to be remembered as the successful businesswoman that she believes she is, by making her drugs legal, which looking at the reasoning seems like a good idea for her motives. She does have an evil side which comes out with how she is demanding people to accept what she is doing or they will die and forcing Elton John to sing for her.

We do have a large cast but with the length of the movie the most important characters do all get the required screen time.

PerformancesTaron Egerton once again does a great job in the leading role showing the street smarts one minute and the upper class the next, Mark Strong and Colin Firth both enjoy their roles never putting a foot wrong. Julianne Moore relishes playing the villain and makes the most of it. The weakest performances come from Bridges and Tatum but that is mostly because they have very few scenes and are both here to drag in a certain audience. Halley Berry does a good job in her role not demanding the attention which other gadget figures have in the past, but to me Pedro Pascal is the scene stealer here, he loves the action sequences, understands how his character is meant to be over the top too.

StoryThe story here does increase the scale of everything, it brings the Kingsman into an international ring of secret agent which opens many more doors in the future, but it does bottle down to needing to face one crazy genius who has an enhanced goon as their main protection. The villain does have good motives for their plan, which is different for most villains who just what the money or revenge, the idea of bringing Harry back while farfetched does play into the bigger story too. If you wanted bigger, you get it here and even though the film is longer than you would like it to be it just doesn’t get slow.

Action/AdventureThe action is large scale with the usual well-placed action sequences with the ski lift being the most impressive of the lot. The adventure side of the film does take the agents all over the world to face different environments for battle.

SettingsAs we said we jump around the world, we start in London, head to Sweden, Kentucky, Italy and Cambodia for our main settings which gives us different environments to fight in.

Special EffectsThis is one of the weakest elements of the film, it does make things bigger which does force the use of CGI and the large-scale scenes do at times take you out of the moment.


Scene of the Movie –
Ski lift.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Travelling around the world never happened so quickly.

Chances of Sequel: I am sure we will get one.

Final ThoughtsIf you wanted a sequel that is just as fun as the original, then you will find it here, it builds a larger universe which we know is something we don’t always need, we have a great villain with a smart plan, we also have enjoyable action throughout.

 

Overall: One of the most fun action films of the year.

Rating

 

 

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Boogie Nights (1997)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, John C Reilly, William H Macy, Heather Graham

 

Plot: The story of a young man’s adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Drama About Success

 

Story: Boogie Nights starts as we meet high school dropout Eddie Adams (Wahlberg) working in a club for Maurice TT Rodriguez (Guzman) in his disco club. The club brings in porn director Jack Horner (Reynolds) with his number one star Amber Waves (Moore). When Jack sees, and hears the rumours about the size of Eddie’s penis he wants him to be the new star of his movies.

Leaving his home Eddie move in with Jack and it isn’t long before he becomes the hottest property in the porn industry as Dirk Diggler, as he learns that along with the fellow pornstars Rollergirl (Graham), Reed Rothchild (Reilly) and Becky Barnett (Parker) the production company dominates the industry through the late 70’s and early 80’s, but with the success come the darker side of the industry the drinks, drugs and knowing age could be an expire date in the industry.

 

Thoughts on Boogie Nights

 

Characters/PerformanceEddie Adams is the typical high school dropout that lands on his feet entering into the porn industry. The characters sum up how a young star can rise too quickly and become blinded in the overly famous. Jack Horner is the director of the films but also the man preparing the latest talent even if not everything is strictly legal. Amber Weeks is the experienced star guiding Eddie as well moving onto new thing. We do get a couple of well-developed characters in the supporting roles too who we can all learn about as we are invested in their supporting roles.

Performance wise, Mark Wahlberg burst onto the main stream with this impressive performance, Burt Reynolds in the star of the show here dominating the screen whenever he appears. Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, Don Cheadle, William H Macy, Nicole Ari Parker all are great in the supporting roles in this film.

StoryThe story shows the rise and fall inside of the porn industry, we see how some people get out and start a life outside the industry, others get consumed by the lifestyle, others never move forward with the times and others can struggle in the post industry life. I do think this brings us brilliant character development even if the story is slightly long at times but the afterlife outside the industry becomes fantastic viewing.

SettingsThe settings show us the time the film is set, the struggles the people are going through, I think each setting comes off perfect as we get to see the world we are entering.

Final ThoughtsThis is a long film but it is also a rewarding film too, it does a brilliant look into how lives can be ruined by a career choices.

 

Overall: Brilliant, haunting look at the porn industry.

Rating

 

 

The 13th Friday (2017)

Director: Justin Price

Writer: Justin Price (Screenplay)

Starring: Lisa May, Khu, Melissa L Vega, Victoria Valdez, David E Cazares, Deanna Grace Congo

 

Plot: When a female refugee discovers an ancient demonic device that opens the gateway to another realm, she unleashes a dark entity that poses as her daughter. After many failed attempts to have the church explain the creation of her worst nightmares, she learns that the house is cursed by an enraged spirit that died on Friday the 13th. And now a group of thrill seeking friends unknowingly unleash its wrath and damn their souls.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Low Budget Horror

 

Story: The 13th Friday starts as we learn the legend behind a church where the daughter of a previous owner sacrificed here demonic daughter, but the house was waiting for more victims and the party of teenagers offers them that with the victims all disappearing.

Allison (May) has been preparing with her friends for what is meant to be the thirteenth sacrifice, while junior reporter Paige (Khu) is searching for answers to the disappearances going on around the house, can the answers be found before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on The 13th Friday

 

Characters – Allison becomes friends with the group that entered the house, she wants to learn more about what has been happening with the house but her friendship with the group might be to help solve the curse. Paige is a junior reporter that is investigating the string of disappearances in the town, but we don’t see that much from this character. Ryn is one of the friends who entered the house and must find a sacrifice to save herself and the friends. We get the usual group of friends, the person that has spent years investigate the first cast there and the easy victims.

PerformancesWhen you look into the performances here, it would be fair to say these are not going to be remembered on any of the stars highlight reel, the performances just seem to fail to connect with what the horror is offering up.

StoryThe story is an idea which sounds very interesting, because watching friends look to solve a curse which is coming for them with people from outside the group investigating the truth works. The problem I found is the way this story is told, we follow to separate people trying to solve the curse while also seeing the original group of friends not doing anything to investigate it themselves and if the story was told in a smoother way we would get a more complete horror movie.

Horror/ThrillerMany of the scares do feel borrowed from other horror ideas (The Ring, Lights Out just to mention a couple), but I did think the image of the ghost does come off frightening every time we see it.

SettingsThe house or church starts the horror but then we fall into small town America and here the people don’t seem to know each other either and don’t seem to have one location where you would find them all.

Special EffectsThe CGI effects do show us the budget the film was working with but the practical ones, well they are good with the make effects on the ghost.


Scene of the Movie –
Lights Out

That Moment That Annoyed Me Having two characters doing the same thing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror film with a lot of potential but due to a poor storytelling process, we lose out on better developed characters, horror moments and most importantly any reason to care about these characters.

 

Overall: A horror that misses the marks

Rating

 

 

The Simpsons Challenge Season 4 Episode 5 – Treehouse of Horrors 3

The Simpsons Challenge

Season 4

Episode 5 – Treehouse of Horrors 3

Couch Gag – This time we have the family as skeletons arriving on the sofa.

Plot SynopsisAn evil Krusty the Clown doll makes life hell for the Simpsons, Marge is captured by a giant ape who falls in love with her, and Bart inadvertently raises the dead.

What is going on reallyWe get a Hitchcock like start with Homer giving a warning about the episode as it is the Halloween one. In the first chapter we have the Simpsons hosting a Halloween party as Bart being Alex from A Clockwork Orange. We then move into story time.

First one Bart get a Krusty doll from Homer after he forgets to get him a birthday present. When the doll comes to life it targets Homer but things all work out nicely in the end.

In the second story we enter the world in King Kong as Marge joins Mr Burns and Smithers on the hunt for King Kong. Homer is King Kong and takes a shine to Marge but gets captured and taken back to America before marrying Marge.

In the third chapter Bart needs to read a book and finds the occult section at school and starts trying to raise the dead. When Bart does raise the dead Springfield is overrun as Bart needs to find a spell to reverse the effects bring everyone back to the normal.

Star Character

The Family

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the weaker treehouse of horror because all the stories do seem to have a happy ending and don’t have enough time to shine, we get well known parodies though with Child’s Play, King Kong and Night of the Living Dead. I wouldn’t start with this one though.

Rating 2.5/5