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.
An invisible library, filled with books taken from thousands of alternate worlds? Librarians, who go out to find books from these worlds? Some of these worlds infected with ‘chaos,’ and therefore have vampires, werewolves and other Fae creatures running around?
Sign me right up!
Except, that isn’t quite what I got.
Well, I did get that. I got the vampires, the Fae, the magical Library and it’s Librarians, trying to collect a certain version of Grimm’s Fairytales. But I didn’t really, care about it all.
Sure, the story line was incredibly inventive, and, quite frankly, like my ideal job, if I had the slightest bit of bravery in me. I just simply could not find myself to care about anything going on, and that was because of a few issues:
- The characters.
- Missing emotional context.
- Lack of common sense.
These three things all weave into each other, but essentially, our main character, Irene, is rather good at not seeing the obvious. Or even suspecting it. She’s too busy trying not to think about Kai, and trying to be a Good Librarian, that she doesn’t even consider several very obvious possibilities.
Without giving too much away, there’s an Evil Librarian, who is trying to kill Irene, her apprentice, Kai, and their associate, Vale. And when she gets betrayed by a fellow Librarian, she doesn’t stop to think that maybe, just maybe, the one betraying her is the one trying to kill her.
I don’t know about you, but if I was being hunted down by someone who’s gone rogue from my secret society, and then someone in my society betrayed me and left me to the mercy of werewolves, I’d think that maybe they were the same person. Or at least associated with each other.
But not Irene. She just continues to think that this is all because of her and her betrayer’s rivalry.
The same goes for when she finds out the other character’s secrets, she doesn’t pull them aside and get them to explain, or wonder why she’s been lied to. She just carries on, resolving to ask later on, and continuing to just trust her partner, who has lied to her about who he is, for the rest of the book.
Which was, frankly, infuriating. Which is the only emotion I felt through the entire book.
There are several scenes in this book that should have made me wince in pain, or at least feel something, but each one fell completely flat for me.
Irene is injured several times, and quite severely. Or she’s put in danger. Or she nearly dies. Each time, I could not have cared less. The scenes were described in such a way, that I felt nothing. Even during the fantastical scenes, such as a steam-powered centipede attacking the main characters, there was no shock or surprise.
At any point, I could have put the book down and never picked it back up again, and not cared one iota about the fate of the characters. Several times, I did put the book down on a cliff hanger and didn’t pick it back up for several days, and each time, I didn’t think once back to the characters fates.
The only reason why I finished the book was to avoid having another ‘DNF’ on my list because I hate doing that.
Essentially, I really, really did not care for this book at all. It had all the elements I love – steampunk, libraries, female protagonists who actually do something, along with vampires, and I just could not care about it. I wished I could have liked it, but I really couldn’t.
A great story idea, with brilliant plots, but poorly executed. But hey, at least the cover is pretty?
I’ve just spent the entire day, since 8 am this morning, watching the new Marvel Netflix show – Defenders.
And ohhhh boy, was it AMAZING!
The eight episodes chronicle previous Netflix series heroes – Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones), as they team up to finally put a stop to The Hand – an organisation both Iron Fist and Daredevil have faced before.
Without giving away spoilers, of which they are many, the TV show is an absolute thrill ride and brings Marvel’s Netflix world back on track.
Things, for me at least, fell apart a bit during Iron Fist’s first solo outing. The fight scenes did nothing for me, the story wasn’t all that interesting, and, quite frankly, everyone around Iron Fist was more interesting than Iron Fist himself.
But, Defenders brings Netflix back on track. A brilliant story line, excellent fight scenes for everyone, lots of blood, guts and gore, there’s something for everyone.
Also, Marvel has clearly taken the time to improve the character behind the Iron First, Danny Rand. His choreography was far better than before, and while naive (and, admittedly, still annoyingly head strong) Danny almost became likeable.
Don’t get me wrong, I finished the series still not liking him, but I hated him less after this series. I still laughed at watching him get beaten up, but I wasn’t actively wanting him to get killed like I was in his solo series.
Personally, I think it was all down to how he was presented, and how he interacted with other characters.
His fellow Defenders really offset Danny’s annoying tendencies and stopped him rushing into danger a lot, as well as shut down his naive moments. He still had them, but at least his ideas weren’t followed through with for the most part, so I didn’t feel like tearing my hair out with frustration with him.
As for the other Defenders, they were all still on complete top form. They blended together perfectly in my opinion. They didn’t like each other all that much, and certainly didn’t get along for most of the show, but they still blended together well.
I had been worried that this series wouldn’t work, as the characters are too different in personality and too similar in powers. But it actually worked incredibly well.
Worked so well, in fact, I was near tears by the end. Honestly, I very nearly cried at the end. At the very least, I was terrified that someone wasn’t going to come back.
From the cinematography to the plot, to the comic references, this show is truly bringing Marvel back on track.
If you’re someone who loves Marvel, violence, gore, or just Netflix TV shows, I would highly recommend Marvel’s The Defenders. It’s clever, funny in places, violent to the extreme at points, and restored my faith in Marvel’s Netflix universe.
The Defenders are officially in business, and I cannot wait to see what they do next, individually or together.
Whatever they do next, it will certainly be one hell of a ride.
What does every writer want, more than anything? More than a book deal, along with a movie adaption deal?
Someone to write the book for them, that’s what. And don’t try to tell me you don’t, every writer has, at least once in their writing life, wished the book would either write itself, or for someone to do it for them.
That’s exactly what Philip Murdstone gets.
Murdstone starts this book as an established writer, but he hasn’t published anything in years, and his sales are going through the floor. He usually writes books for ‘sensitive boys,’ overcoming some sort of trial in their lives, and that kind of thing just isn’t selling anymore.
What is selling, though, is fantasy. Fantasy is selling by the bucket loads. Every literary agent, publishing house, and writer, is looking to create the next Harry Potter.
There’s one problem. Murdstone hates fantasy, abhors it, wants it banished from the world. He’d rather die than write a fantasy.
“I hate Tolkien. I mean. Bloody pretentious escapist nonsense, isn’t it?”
His agent doesn’t like the genre very much either, but it sells, so who cares?
But when he is faced with no other choice, he gives in, and that’s where this story starts.
Murdstone ends up meeting Pocket, a swearing, uncouth, yet strangely likeable, Greme from another land, who agrees to tell him about Morl, a dark necromancer trying expand his Thule. The book becomes an instant classic, Murdstone soars to J.K Rowelling levels of fame.
It all comes at a price, though. And that price is Morl trying to use a sacred Amulet to get into this world, an Amulet that Murdstone possesses, and uses, to translate Pocket’s stories into our language.
Every writer’s dream, and worst nightmare, wrapped into one.
But, for a reader, it’s brilliant.
For a reader, who also happens to be a writer, or knowledgeable in the publishing industry, it is dream, to read.
Full of sass, snark, and just about every insult to Tolkien, Rowelling, and the fantasy genre as a whole, The Murdstone Trilogy is an unrelenting, yet hilarious, story, with twists and turns galore. Nothing is safe from Murdstone and his ire.
“Writers no longer work in solitude, crafting meaningful and elegant prose. No. They have to spend most of their time selling themselves on the fucking internet. Blogging and tweeting and updating their bloody Facebook pages and their wretched narcissistic websites.”
In between the Hamlet-esque ‘is he mad, or is this actually happening,’ diatribes against just about everything, and the fear for Murdstone’s life, there are moments where the audience can really sympathise with Murdstone’s plight.
Every writer has thought that they couldn’t finish the book, or face huge deadlines that loom overhead, or have been so unbelievably stuck, they didn’t think they could ever get out of it.
Every writer has wished that they were as successful as J K Rowelling.
Every writer has definitely wished for someone to take the story away and magically complete it for them.
And that’s the magic of this book. It’s wacky, and insane, but it speaks to the authors, the publishers, the editors. It creates a story focused around the world of publishing, while keeping the most fantastical elements flowing.
I loved every second of this book. It was truly a wonderful read, that had me laughing throughout, and half wishing I could have my own Murdstone-style adventure.
Witty, uncompromising, definitely not for the faint of heart, but, an absolute must read for anyone who loves books.