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Posts Tagged ‘Matthew Vaughn’

The Avengers (1998) (the movie based on the 60’s British TV show not Disney/Marvels behemoth) should have been fantastic. It looked good, Ralph Fiennes was good casting as John Steed, Uma Thurman looked the part as Emma Peel, and Sean Connery seemed to be an inspired choice as the villain. Unfortunately it just fell flat in every conceivable way. So why does Kingsman: The Secret Service succeed in every way that The Avengers failed? I am not entirely sure.  Everything just works, even the things that shouldn’t.The Avengers

It is both fun and funny.  It is as much a homage to James Bond as a parody of it.  Most surprising is how violent it is and how it manages a level of levity throughout the brutality.  The centre of the story is Gary ‘Eggsy’ Unwin played by a virtually unknown actor Taron Egerton.  His chav to gentlemen spy transformation is nothing we haven’t seen before but works because of the charisma of the actor.  His mentor Harry Hart aka Galahad (Colin Firth) could have carried a film on his own, and at times does.  Perfectly played by Firth, he is the perfect blend of James Bond, Jason Bourne, with just a little bit of Ethan Hunt, George Smiley and Harry Palmer. Perfectly turned out his double breasted Savile Row suite, he makes his character in A Single Man look positively underdressed.Kingsman

Not afraid to name-check James Bond, or any other character in the genre, the film needs an over the top villain with an insane plan.  Harry even tells us a movie is “only as good as the villain”.  Samuel L. Jackson’s Valentine fits the bill perfectly as does his henchman woman Gazelle (Sofia Boutella).  Valentine’s plan goes beyond anything seen in Bond and Gazelle’s method of killing is more theatrical than Jaws or Oddjob.Sofia Boutella Kingsman

As perfect as the cast is, the real success of the film is in the script.  Director Matthew Vaughn is joined by his usual collaborator Jane Goldman, between them they have the magic ability to know how far over the line they can go and get away with it.  There are certainly moments that will divide opinion.  There are scenes that rival Hit-Girl’s language in Kick-Ass for controversy.  How does it get away with it?  Mainly because it is such good fun, possibly even more fun than Guardians of the Galaxy.

While The Avengers is best forgotten, Kingsman is the first must see film of the year.

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As we pass the halfway point of the year one of my most anticipated films for a long time, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood has just opened and I will be watching it sometime this week. The end of the month sees The Avengers universe expand a little further with Guardians of the Galaxy, but what am I looking forward to for the rest of the year. Here are a few:

The Rover: Director: David Michôd: 15 August 2014 – Australia, 10 years after a global economic collapse, a man goes after the people who stole his only possession, his car. A sort of neorealist Mad Max.The Rover

A Most Wanted Man: Director: Anton Corbijn: 12 September 2014 – Political thriller based on a John le Carré’s novel. Sadly one of the last films to star the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.A Most Wanted Man

Kingsman: The Secret Service: Director: Matthew Vaughn: 17th October 2014 – Vaughn and long time collaborator Jane Goldman adapted comic book about a veteran secret agent and a young recruit.Kingsman The Secret Service

Gone Girl: Director David Fincher: 3rd October 2014 – A man reports his wife missing only to become the prime suspect. Adapted from a bestselling novel.Gone Girl

The Homesman: Director Tommy Lee Jones: 3rd October 2014 – A road/trail movie in the old west, Tommy Lee Jones stars as well as directs.The Homesman

Interstellar: Director Christopher Nolan: 7th November 2014 – Space travel and wormholes and things like that, we can’t be sure because its Christopher Nolan, we don’t care because its Christopher Nolan!Interstellar

The Hunger Games Mockingjay: Part 1: Director Francis Lawrence: 21st November 2014 – The first part of the final part of The Hunger Games, the revolution starts here.The Hunger Games Mockingjay

Unbroken: Director: Angelina Jolie: 26 December 2014 – True story of Louis Zamperini, Olympic runner and WWII POW.Unbroken

The Imitation Game: Director: Morten Tyldum: 14 November 2014 – The true and ultimately tragic story of Alan Turing, one of the men responsible for cracking the Enigma code during World War II.??????????????????

Snowpiercer: Director: Joon-ho Bong: Date TBA – The remnants of humanity fight a class war on , a train that travels around the globe. (on my list of anticipated films 18 months ago, I hope to see it this year).Snowpiercer

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