Golden Kingsman

The Kingsman Are Golden

Suit jackets are buttoned, ties are tied, the Oxfords are on, not the Brogues. That can only mean one thing – the Kingsman are back!

Last night, the second outing for the Kingsman debuted, and what an adventure it was!

Robots, psychopathic villains and character resurrections define The Golden Circle, in one of the maddest, out of this world films I’ve seen this year.

Think Kingsman 1, but bigger, better, and all round crazier, and you have the vaguest idea of this film.

The Golden Circle follows Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Rylance), the only surviving members of the Kingsman, after every hideout is blown to pieces, as they travel to America to find the US version of their organisation – The Statesman.

The two could not be more different, the Kingsman are the definition of stylish, discreet, and gentlemanly. The Statesman are quite a bit louder, brasher, and just about every stereotype an American secret service organisation could be – but with some very cool toys.

Naturally, Eggsy and Merlin clash terribly with Statesman agents Whiskey (Pedro Pascal), Champs (Jeff Bridges), and Tequila (Channing Tatum), but have to work as best they can to take down The Golden Circle, who have a plan to kill millions with infected drugs.

Sound like enough to be dealing with? Well, there’s another thing to add to that list of problems – Harry is back. That’s right, Harry Hart (Colin Firth), Eggsy’s mentor, previously shot-through-the-head-and-dead agent of Kingsman, is alive. Missing an eye, and all of his memories, but he’s alive. And Eggsy has no idea what to do, he has to complete the mission, but he needs Harry back to his old self, so the old crew are back together.

Hilarious, insane, and ruder than the first, Kingsman: The Golden Circle is an unforgettable thrill ride. Anyone who says it was too long, or suffered from thinking ‘bigger is better’ is entirely wrong, and clearly don’t know what the Kingsman franchise is all about. It’s about massive fight scenes, far-fetched plots, insane characters, it’s escapism in it’s truest form.

I laughed, I nearly cried, and loved every damn second of it. As Eggsy would say – it was fucking awesome – and well worth seeing several times over.

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Full Disclosure On The Addams Family

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky, the Addams Family! And their musical has finally come to the UK!

I’m a life long Addams Family fan, I’ve loved the films since I was a child, was nicknamed Wednesday by certain family members, and have generally been a massive fan of the iconic family for years. So when I heard that there was a musical, I had to check it out.

Sadly, for years, it didn’t come over to the UK, so I had to make do by listening to Carrie Hope Fletcher sing ‘Pulled’ (Wednesday’s big solo) on repeat for three years.

When the UK tour was announced, I raced to get tickets, especially when I found out that Wednesday was being played by Carrie. I’ve been a huge fan of her too for years, so to see the two collide was an absolute dream. A dream, that did not disappoint.

The Addams Family musical is focused on Wednesday, who has fallen in love. But she’s not in love with just anyone, she’s in love with a *shudders* normal boy, from Ohio. In fact, she’s not just in love with him, she’s engaged to him. The only problem is, Morticia doesn’t know, and Wednesday wants her blessing.

So, she organises a dinner, for her fiance Lucas and his family to meet her family, and gain the blessing of her parents. And that’s where things go wrong. Wednesday has driven a wedge between her parents, forcing Gomez to lie to his wife for the first time in their entire marriage, Lucas’ parents’ marriage is failing, Pugsley is scared to lose his sister, and the families, to say the least, clash, with sometimes hilarious, yet strangely poignant, results.

I was worried before I saw the musical that it would be too different from the films, that it wouldn’t be done well, that everybody would be wrong for their roles. That Andrew Lippa wouldn’t capture the true essence of The Addams’. But I needn’t have worried. It’s clear this musical was lovingly made. There’s changes to the characters we know and love, but that’s because they’re grown up now, with new experiences under their belts. They’re still psychopaths, still in love with death and all things dark, and most importantly, they’re a family.

Because really, that’s what The Addams Family has always been about. Family. As they sing in the opening number, it’s family first, it’s family last, it’s family by and by. It’s about learning more about each other, getting through the tough times, fighting for the ones we love, and showing just how a family should be… Even if that family is slightly odd.

Filled with brilliant one liners, darkly wonderful songs filled with lyrics such as ‘I want my love to cut you like my knife,’ and fantastic acting, The Addams Family is unmissable. Especially for those who has always wanted to do the ‘click clicks’ with an audience, wanted to be part of the clan, or just simply wanted another Addams adventure.

I wish I could see it again, and I hope that I will get the chance some day in the future. Even if I don’t, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It fulfilled many childhood dreams, I laughed, I clicked, I clapped, and I finally got to hear Pulled live. I’m a very (un)happy Addams fan.

Click. Click.

 

Guardians Of The Galaxy Is Out Of This World

 

Alright, I’ve had 4 hours sleep, which was interrupted thanks to a lovely pounding headache, but I have to write this now because I cannot stop thinking about Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2.

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, as I do with all the films Marvel releases, but the Guardians have had a special place in my heart for a while. The first film was a triumph, and made me fall in love with how different they are from other superheros in the franchise, how the humour is kicked up a notch, and just simply how lighthearted this rag-tag team of misfits are.

But Volume 2 hit me sideways. I was not expecting the turns this film took, I was expecting a laugh out loud comedy action film, instead I got a funny, but poignant, film focusing entirely on one important thing: family.

When we left the Guardians Of The Galaxy had just learnt to work together as a group, and in this film, they still work together, but they’ve become a family. And by family, I mean a very dysfunctional one. Peter and Rocket argue constantly, Gamora is ignoring all of Peter’s advances, Drax doesn’t listen to a word anybody else says. Groot mostly stays out of it, because he’s just a tiny baby tree (and by just I mean the cutest thing Marvel have ever created), who is in essence a toddler who likes to cause trouble. The arguing is getting worse and worse, they all love each other in their own ways, but they haven’t learnt to live together, and they are getting close to tearing each other apart.

Meanwhile, Yondu’s crew have mutinied against him, The Sovereign are after the Guardian’s, and there’s a mysterious man hanging around with an alien claiming to be Peter’s dad. That’s right, Peter’s dad has found him, and we finally find out why Peter could hold an Infinity Stone without dying instantly.

I won’t say who he is for spoiler reasons, though if you’re on the internet as much as I am, you’ll know by now, as it was announced months ago. All I’ll say is that the man is full of mystery, and thanks to him, we find out so much more about each member of the team, things that we were desperate to know, some we really weren’t.

I’m making this sound like it’s really angsty all the way through, and it really isn’t. The essence of what makes Guardians Of The Galaxy is still there, the humour definitely more adult in places, but this is still as fun as the first one, if not more so. The plot is great, with some fantastic plot twists that hit me so hard in the chest I nearly wanted to cry. The stakes are higher, the bad guys are more powerful, and most importantly, the films heart got bigger. The Guardians have always been about family, and this time it shines brighter in the most beautiful way.

Volume 2 is like Volume 1, dialed up 100 notches, it’s brilliant, fantastic, just as mind-blowing as the first. I loved every second. I laughed, I nearly cried, I freaked out in places at references as to what is to come later in the MCU. Essentially, I loved it. Plain and simple.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Volume 2 is an awesome mix of fun, love, and consequences. A film I feel that everyone should watch. Marvel have once again hit the nail on the head, and made one amazing film.

 

Doctor Strange Mind Trip

doctor-strange-reiew

Anybody who knows me will tell you the same thing – I love Marvel, and I love Benedict Cumberbatch. So as you can imagine, Doctor Strange has caused a lot of excitement for me. And by a lot of excitement, I mean it’s been a huge part of my life ever since the casting was announced on this film. My favourite actor, and my favourite franchise combining? What could be more perfect? (Well, a McFly song somewhere in the film would have been wonderful, but hey, two out of three isn’t bad)

Never before in my life have I followed the production of a film so closely as I have done for Doctor Strange, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally see the film yesterday, after two long years of waiting.

And all I can say is wow, just wow. This film is brilliant, in so many ways. It’s an origins story, which could seem outdated and boring by now, but this film does it in a slightly different way.

I’ll start from the beginning. Doctor Stephen Strange is the best neurosurgeon around, he’s at the top of his game, working only on the hardest (but curable) cases he can find. He’s arrogant, rich, and only out for himself. He has to be right, constantly, and does not hold back when he finds someone stupid. But it all changes when he has a violent car crash, which crushes his hands, leaving him with nerve damaged hands which constantly shake, and unable to do surgery.

After hearing that there’s someone out there who can cure him, he goes in search of The Ancient One, and that’s when his entire world is turned on it’s head. He’s introduced to magic and the mystic arts, and after some false starts, starts to train and learn everything he can about them, slowly becoming entrenched in this world of magic, albeit reluctantly.

Sounds like a normal Marvel origin story, right? Wrong. Because unlike Iron Man, Captain America or Thor, Stephen Strange doesn’t want to be a hero. He just wants to be a surgeon again, he doesn’t want to kill others to save the world, or anything like that. He wants to save lives in the operating theater, like he’s been doing his entire life. There’s several arguments throughout the film over this, and in the beginning he only fights when he has to, not because he wants to. It’s only towards the end of the film when he changes his mind, unlike all of our other heroes in this universe.

Another thing that stands out in this film is how Doctor Strange battles. He doesn’t have a special suit, isn’t enhanced in any way, isn’t a Demi-God, or battling alongside aliens. He’s completely human, a human with magic, and mystical objects which help, sometimes hilariously, along the way, but he’s still human. And he gets hurt, a lot, in this film. Not just in training with The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), but in actual fights with the enemy.

His powers sometimes fail him, he loses important objects he needs to battle, he doesn’t fully understand the mystical powers that are working around him. For once, we saw a hero actually get beaten, several times over in fact, and in ways that made everyone wince in sympathy in the cinema.

It was a refreshing thing to see, and made the character more realistic in my opinion. I’m sure others are getting slightly tired of the hero winning battles without much issue their first time round, so to actually have someone get seriously beaten really grounded the audience in reality, despite all the magical things going on.

Even the magic seems sort-of grounded in reality. Of course, it’s as trippy as the old Steve Ditko comics, and it takes you on a wild ride through the weirdest of dimensions, but the characters make this all seem rather normal, because it’s normal to them. It’s their way of life, their way of protecting the world, and has been for centuries. The way it’s been done gives the audience just a glimpse at what’s out there, what Doctor Strange will go on to accomplish as the Sorcerer Supreme, while still making it accessible, and not making the whole thing seem too… well, strange. 

All in all, Doctor Strange is possibly now my favourite Marvel film (sorry Civil War), it had all of Marvel’s hallmarks – great wit, engaging characters, amazing end credit scene (stay right to the end of the credits, there’s two end credit scenes) – but it was different from the classic origin stories we know and love.

It’s needless to say, but the acting was also superb, the casting on point, and the costuming/effects were done beautifully. Everything came together perfectly, setting up a sequel in the future, expanding the MCU even further, and changing up everything. It’s a must see film for any superhero fan, and hell, even if you’re not a superhero fan, go and see it anyway, because it’s possibly the best film I’ve seen all year.

To say the least, it was worth the two year wait.

Is Ghostbusters A Bust?

Today, the new Ghostbusters reboot was released onto the world, and, as a rather large fan of nerdy films (and Chris Hemsworth), I decided to check it out.

Now, I have a confession to make – I’ve never seen a Ghostbuster film. Well, I have seen the first one, but it was years ago and I didn’t really enjoy it. That may be because I’m not the right demographic, or from the right time, so I couldn’t appreciate the old graphics or story lines, I’m not sure, but I just simply didn’t enjoy it that much. But I thought I’d give this new one a shot, I’m older now, and I’m all for girl power (and, I repeat, Chris Hemsworth), so I went along today, figuring it couldn’t hurt to give this reboot a try. Jurassic World was amazing, so this could be pretty good too, right?

For starters, the graphics are amazing, the ghosts and everything are absolutely brilliant, and thoroughly enjoyable. The slime is flying by the bucket load, and the guns look cool and do cool things. That I thoroughly enjoyed, because I’m always a sucker for cool guns and great CGI.

The story line, for me, personally, lacked something. Don’t get me wrong, I rather enjoyed myself, but everything came to this new team a bit too easily. Every machine worked first time, with no trial and error, the ‘non-believer’ believed too quickly, and they all worked together as a team straight away, despite the animosity between two of the main characters at the beginning. Everything happened just a bit too quickly for my tastes, I like things to progress realistically, or at least for things to go wrong in the story for the team.

On that front, the film failed for me, others may enjoy the progression of the story, I guess it depends on personal preference. The same goes for the humour of the film. Again, personally, some of it was a bit hit-and-miss. This could be due to me not getting original Ghostbuster references (I did spot the original Ghostbuster team, as well as Slimer and the Stay Puff Marshmellow Man), or the humour could have just been in need of a bit of work. Resident techie Holtzman (Kate McKinnon) was funny in places, her ‘I build epic stuff and I’m amazing’ attitude created a few laughs. Kristen Wiig’s Gilbert’s crush on Kevin (Hemsworth) was great fun, and spoke to every Chris fan girl out there. Mellissa McCarthy’s Abby had a few great lines, Leslie Jones’ Patty was great too.

But I feel like the most stand out, funny character was Kevin. Now this was me being just a tad bit biased, but he was very funny in places. Kevin took the ‘dumb blonde’ stereotype and kicked up at least 100 notches, and it’s fantastic. It shouldn’t be as funny as it is, but the stereotype worked great for him. This could be because it’s a nice turn around for the usual dumb blonde woman stereotype, or because of Chris’ great timing, but it was great to watch.

All in all, the new Ghostbuster’s in an enjoyable comedy, that is fun to watch. There could be a few tweaks, but it was a fun film. It’s not as good as Jurassic World, but it is one of the better reboots of recent years. And most importantly it proves one major thing – the girls are just as good as the boys.

Captain America: Civil War – A Spoiler Free Review

Last night I saw the midnight showing of the new Captain America movie – and my God it was one hell of a roller coaster ride! The title is not kidding when it says ‘Civil War’ because this really is a war between the Avenger team. Friends are fighting friends, and they’re not holding punches, to say the least, Marvel were not holding back when making this movie. It has to be seen to be believed.
You may be thinking just why I’m saying that – the trailer gives the plot away right? They’re all fighting over the Sokovian Accords. Wrong!
Well, half right, there’s other things at play here too, which I won’t go into for spoiler reasons. What I will say is that the trailers are completely misleading, Marvel have presented every clip to look one way, when in the actual film, it’s going another. They’ve actually used different takes in some cases than they do in the film, to mislead it’s audience. And somehow, that really, really works. You expect a scene to be going in one direction, then Marvel throw the curve ball at you and leave you reeling.
To say the least, this film is two and a half hours of tense fighting, mainly focusing on Chris Evan’s Captain America, and Robert Downey Jnr’s Iron Man. Characters like Black Widow, Bucky Barnes, Hawkeye and Vision are involved, but the argument is centered around Cap and Tony Stark. It’s agonising to watch their friendship deteriorate, even as they desperately try to stay friends, while remaining on opposite sides. What I enjoyed about this was that the character did try to talk it out, and that both sides of the argument were shown.
In this film, there is no right and wrong, there is just Steve Roger’s opinion, and Tony Stark’s, and you as the audience member can choose which side you are on. It’s a tough one to call though, both sides have their good arguments, and both sides also have their bad. Both make mistakes along the way, both try to do what they think is the right thing, and they are both right in their own ways. Even now, I’m still on the fence about which side I’m on, I still honestly do not know. I don’t think I ever will choose a side for definite, it’s just too difficult to call.
Besides all this angst and pain, the film is also surprisingly funny in places. Paul Rudd’s Ant Man is as funny as his solo film, Bucky and Falcon have sort of teamed to make a great double act, who bounce off each other, and Steve Roger’s well.
And, who’d have thought it, but Spiderman is hilarious in places. Honestly, I never find Spiderman funny, in fact, I generally find him a bit tedious and boring. But this film really brings him to the fore, in some ways he and Black Panther steal the show. For once Peter Parker is compelling, actually looks like a teenage boy, and acts like it too. Tom Holland did a fantastic job playing him, and I feel like after his own solo film, I may actually become a Spiderman fan.
Likewise, Black Panther was not what I was expecting. For some reason, I was expecting a more wild character, someone who would not listen to anybody and would act within his own needs, but I was wrong. T’Challa is incredibly regal and calm, willing to listen, yet absolutely lethal in his search for revenge. I don’t know much about his character history, but his future in the MCU is going to be very interesting to say the least.
All in all, Captain America: Civil War is a masterpiece, possibly the best Marvel movie to date. The ending is unexpected in a lot of ways, and is going to lead perfectly into Avengers: Infinity War. There’s brilliant light and shade throughout, you will laugh and cry for the entire film. There’s only a few niggles I have with the film, and those are either down to personal preference, or because I was expecting something different (mostly at the end credit scenes, of which there are two. The scenes are good, but I was expecting a different character to be in one, but that’s just me). But this film is incredibly, honest to God amazing.
And one thing is for certain, the Avengers will never be the same again after this.