12 Films of Christmas 2019 (Part 10)

Can you imagine that after this post, there’s only two more? It’s a little surreal. You get into the groove of doing a daily series like this, and then it’s about to end. But before that happens, we still have some shit to talk about. So let’s do it.

So what’s on the menu today? Well, I’m about to get to it, relax, you impatient person. Based on a 1997 novel by Neil Gaiman, “Stardust” is a 2007 fantasy adventure directed and co-written by Matthew Vaughn. It tells the tale of Tristan Thorn (Charlie Cox), a young man infatuated with a woman living in the same town as him. One day he agrees to fetch a fallen star for her, in exchange for her hand in marriage. And this leads Tristan on a big, magical journey involving a conniving prince (Mark Strong), an evil witch (Michelle Pfeiffer), a pirate (Robert De Niro) and a woman who may or may not be a literal fucking star (Claire Danes). So what’s my holiday connection for this one then?

Well, compared to some of my previous ones, this is a bit more simple. No, there’s no scene involving christmas. And no, it’s not even the family squabbling between the three princes. No, it’s less contrived than that. Christmas is a holiday that’s supposed to bring joy to people, be it through presents, food, or good company. And “Stardust” is a very joyous movie, it’s a simple and fun swashbuckling adventure with a fantasy twist. And both of the times I’ve seen this movie, it has brought me great joy. It has put a gigantic dumb smile on my face. And since christmas should bring joy, then “Stardust” is clearly something one could easily slot into the holiday hangouts. Plus, that song from Take That playing during the end credits is fantastic.

Have a good one.

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” trailer!

Another interesting trailer has been released. Let’s talk about it!

So we have finally gotten a trailer for “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”, the sequel to the surprisingly awesome “Kingsman: The Secret Service” from 2015. To quickly recap that movie: Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is a troubled young man that gets recruited by a man named Harry Hart (Colin Firth) to potentially join the Kingsmen, a super secret James Bond-ish organization of dapper spies. And there’s a villain played by Samuel L. Jackson and awesome action and humor ensues. It was a great movie. So what’s going on in this one then? Well it seems like the base of the Kingsmen gets blown to kingdom come. So Eggsy, Merlin (Mark Strong), and Roxy (Sophie Cookson) will have to team up with the Statesmen, the American version of the Kingsmen, to stop this movie’s villain (Julianne Moore). And we see some plot and some really cool action, to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”. Oh and, spoiler for the first “Kingsman” coming up.
At the end of the trailer we find out that Harry Hart is alive despite being presumed dead at the end of the first movie. So what do I think? Well, this looks like a lot of fun. Not sure if this will be able to live up to the first movie, but I am at least sure that it will be one hell of a good time. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is set to be released in late September of this year.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited about “Kingsman: The Golden Circle”? And what are your thoughts on the first movie? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

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How many spy movies with any credibility do we get these days that aren’t “James Bond”? Pretty much zero, that’s how many. Really, that’s all I have to say on the matter.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Kingsman: The Secret Service”.

Harry “Galahad” Hart (Colin Firth) is a man working for an organization known as the Kingsmen. This organization pretty much consists of gentlemanly badasses. One day after a Kingsman dies, Harry gets the chance to recruit a young man called Eggsy (Taron Egerton) who happens to be the son of a former Kingsman. And they together wit ha few other members of this organization have to try to stop bad guy Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) from doing his evil things. To say that this plot is anything but basic would be a big fat lie, but at the same time the movie knows that it is quite simple. Mainly it’s just supposed to be an homage/send-up to classic spy films and something pulls it off pretty damn well. This isn’t a movie that is supposed to be taken too seriously even though there are some slightly more dramatic bits, but those bits never feel unnecessary or forced… they work. Everything in this silly plot works.

The characters are all consistently entertaining, interesting and pretty cool. Sure, there are some dickheads in the movie, but they are not really part of the central cast. Anyway… how was the acting? Well it’s pretty great. Relative newcomer Taron Egerton plays our hero, Eggsy and he is actually pretty damn great in the role. He is likable, he is relateable, he is funny and he’s actually pretty awesome. Colin Firth as Galahad was of course great if you look at it from a performance-based perspective. But I was also skeptical about it, thinking “Colin Firth: Action star? I don’t think so”. Oh, how I was wrong, he’s great in the movie. Samuel L. Jackson was great in the movie as well. He has this lisp throughout the movie which at first was a little distracting, but it kind of grew on me as time went on. Then we have a bunch more great actors who I don’t have the time/patience to fully go through even though I thought they all were great, so I’m jsut gonna go ahead and mention them and be done with it. Mark Strong, Jack Davenport, Sofia Boutella, Michael Caine, Mark Hamill, Sophie Cookson.

The score for the movie was composed by Henry Jackman & Matthew Margeson and I have to say that it was pretty great. If you’ve seen a few “Bond” movies, you know how it sounds. Big, bombastic, orchestral and fun. This movie also has a lot of licensed tracks that it uses and they all absolutely work within the context of the movie… sort of. There is one song that was in a scene that felt a little weird at first, but then I thought that it was just great and it added to the fun of it all. There are some songs I personally didn’t like, but still felt that they worked for the scenes they were used in, so I’m not detracting any points for them.

This movie was directed by Matthew Vaughn who also made “X-Men: First Class” and “Kick-Ass”, two movies I personally really enjoyed. And once again, he did a good job directing this movie. It is fast, it is well-shot and it’s just really good. Yes, there is a bit of shaky-cam in the movie but I feel like it actually sort of worked in some strange way. I don’t know, somehow it jsut really worked for the action scenes in the movie which are all pretty great. I mean the action is pretty violent, brutal and if you do not like violence and a lot of blood in your movies, then maybe skip this one because blood and gore galore. I have to also touch on the fact that we get to see Colin Firth, Colin fucking Firth… kick a lot of ass in the movie. Apparently he even did about 80% of his own stunts for the movie. And without spoiling it here, there is one scene that just has several factors about it that just made it one of the best scenes I have ever seen. Because it is both well made and utterly fucking ridiculous which is just something I really needed. I just might talk about it though in an upcoming “My Favorite Scenes” (Nudge nudge, wink wink). I also have to quickly mention that there is a lot of funny humor in this movie… that’s it.

This movie has been fairly well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 58/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,8/10.

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a ridiculous spy movie with a surprisingly good plot, great acting & characters, an awesome soundtrack, really good directing and great action. Time for my final score. *Bang bang*. My final score for “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is a 9,88/10. It definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Kingsman: The Secret Service” is now done.

Manners Maketh Man.