Kingsman: The Secret Service 2015
Kingsman follows Gary "Eggsy" Unwin (Taron Egerton) and his mentor Harry "Galahad" Hart as secret agents based in England. Kingsman was a tailor that clothed the most influential men in the world as used its funds to form an independent intelligence agency reminiscent of MI6 or "Her Majesty's Royal Secret Service". They are up against Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) a quirky but cool billionaire who cares very much about climate control and forms a plot to "cleanse" the earth. The movie's cast is rounded out with other Kingsman agents "Merlin" (Mark Strong) and "Arthur" (Michael Caine) who are fantastically British. Kingsman is every bit a homage film to the old James Bond movies. While Daniel Craig's Bond returns to less gadgets and more practical or "realistic" approaches to technology, Kingsman returns to cigarette lights that pack plastic explosives, umbrellas that double as bullet proof shields and fountain pens that dispense poison. The "gentleman spy" returns to the big screen with a vocabulary of Tony Montana from Scarface and Samuel L. Jackson proves once again that he is the premier actor that delivers the line "mother fucker". I can't be overly critical of anything because the film doesn't take itself seriously. The fight choreography and camera work to accentuate said fights are creative, graphic and pretty damned awe inspiring. It's a silly and fun, cliche' but innovative, big, honking, action, popcorn movie and a damn good way to kick off a year LOADED with mega-budgeted tent pole movies. I used to joke about my 4 requirements for a satisfying action film: 1) A gun fight 2) a car chase 3) something exploding and 4) someone says "fuck" at least once. My requirements have been pumped through a half stack amplifier and turned to volume 11. Recommended! ~Chris Tarride
Final Rating: 3 out of 4 stars.
Scott gives it a 2.5 out of 4
Solid Action, Great choreography, Great Vulgarity(lot's of it). This is the same guy that brought us Kick Ass(which I love).
Quote from the movie: "A spy movie is only as good s it's villain." Sam Jackson was not a great villain. The lisp was distracting. Other than that, a great popcorn movie. I agree with just about everything else Chris said.
Foxcatcher - 2014
After viewing this film it's easy to tell why it's been nominated for Oscars in the Best Director & Actor categories. With better editing to make the movie shorter instead of drawn out shots and create cleaner movement for its transitions it would have been nominated for Best Film as well. Mark Schultz played by Channing Tatum, who proves he's a good actor and David Schultz played by the ever reliable Mark Ruffalo are brothers who both won gold in the Olympics during the 80s. Steve Carell transforms into John DuPont and seeks them both out to use wrestling as a vehicle to return respect to the American ideal via athletic competition. Caught between his own quirks, ideals and lack of acceptance from his mother, DuPont manages to destroy the lives of the wrestlers in addition to his own. Side note - my business is automotive paint and I've sold DuPont products since my family opened in 1955. I've heard many stories about John E. DuPont and many of the images in the film made me knowingly chuckle as I watched them. Like all films "that are based on true events" authenticity is scrapped for story and entertainment. I've read many criticisms for and against all parties portrayed in the film but accepting the film for its characters, story and the great skill of the actors playing them makes it a very worthy watch.
Rating: 3 out of 4 stars - Chris Tarride