Friday, September 22, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

My ViewKingsman: The Golden Circle  (2017)   After the death of Harry (Colin Firth),  Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now the main man for the Kingsman. After his headquarters are destroyed, Eggsy, as the new Galahad, heads to America, along with Merlin (Mark Strong) to team up with a group called the Statesman, headed by a man named Champ (Jeff Bridges). Their mission is to stop a drug lord named Poppy (Julianne Moore) and her gang named ‘The Golden Circle.’ I liked the first Kingsman movie (except for the church sequence, which I hated) but this movie never quite captures the fun and magic that one had. I found the film cartoonish and filled with too many characters. Channing Tatum, as a cowboy agent for the Statesman, is just there to be a talking point in the film. Also wasted in the film is Hallie Berry, who plays Merlin’s counterpoint. She is given almost nothing to do in this film, although if there is a third, she might have a bigger part. The film feels every minute of its 2 hours and twenty-minute length. At one point, I looked at my watch thinking we are about to wrap this up, and we still had thirty-five minutes to go. I wanted to have a fun time watching this film. Instead, it just made me miss the Colin Firth performance from the first Kingsman.   My Rating:  Cable   Kingsman: The Golden Circle Website
Family FaireThe Lego Ninjago Movie (2017)  PG  By day, six young friends are just trying to survive high school, but, at night, they change into ninjas who have been given the task of defending their island home from evil.  This is the third film in the ‘Lego’ series, in which I loved the first, The Lego Movie. While not anywhere near the quality or creativeness of the first film, The Lego Ninjago Movie is a fun watch that kids will eat up. I loved the character voiced by Jackie Chan, Master Wu, who is guiding the six warriors. The warrior getup is fun as they control robots, much like the Power Rangers do, and they are innovative and clever in their appearance and implication. I like the bad guy in this film, Garmadon, who is voiced by Justin Theroux. His character brings quite a bit of humor and makes a worthy opponent to the Ninjas. Be sure to stay through the first batch of credits as there are some humorous outtakes with Jackie Chan.  My Rating: Full Price   The Lego Ninjago Movie Website
My ViewFriend Request  (2016)  R  A college student (Alycia Debnam-Carey) accepts a social outcast’s (Liesl Atlers) online friend request, and soon she finds herself fighting a demonic presence that wants to kill her friends. This is your run-of-the mill, ordinary jump out of the dark, scary movie. It brings nothing new to the horror genre, and the whole movie is so predictable that the only thing that kept me guessing was which friend would die next. The performances are ordinary, and the film never builds the tension that it desperately needs. I like scary movies, just not ones that are this lazy.  My Rating: Cable   Friend Request Facebook Page
IndiefestBrad’s Status  (2017)  R  A father, Brad (Ben Stiller), takes his son (Austin Abrams) on a tour of colleges on the East Coast and meets up with an old friend (Michael Sheen) who seems to have everything that Brad wants in life.  Anchored by a dazzling performance by Ben Stiller and a script that is witty and deep, Brad’s Status is a movie that any parent would enjoy. Stiller gives a very subtle and nuanced performance aided with voice overs done by Stiller that give us insight into his characters' thoughts and feelings. Now I will say this: you may want to throttle Stiller’s character, as one of the characters he encounters on the trip points out, Brad does have a good life and should be proud of the son that he has created. Austin Abrams, as the son, has immense chemistry with Ben Stiller, and it makes their scenes together feel real and emotional. This is a fantastic film that sometimes is painful but has love at its core as a father goes through a gamut of emotions when he realizes his role as a parent is changing.  My Rating: Full Price   Brad's Status Website
IndiefestPolina  (2016)   A young Russian girl named, Polina (Anastasia Shevtsova), is about to achieve her dream and become a classical ballet dancer at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet.  She meets a free-spirited Frenchman, and she decides to take a different life path. This is a beautiful and enchanting tale of a young woman trying to, somehow, channel her emotions into her dance routines. Polina is a good dancer, but something is missing that would make her a great dancer. She leaves ballet and Russia to try and find what is missing in her life. The film gives us insight into how a dancer thinks, as we see movement and dance in even the most routine task. The dance sequences are breathtaking, especially one where Polina and her dance partner/lover (Jeremie Belingard) improvise along the banks of a river in Antwerp. It’s a spellbinding and marvelous moment, one where Polina learns to not only feel the moment but also enjoy it. If you love or even just like dance, this is a film that you do not want to miss.  My Rating: Full Price   Polina Website
Indiefest:   Year by the Sea  (2016)  Joan (Karen Allen) decides to part ways with her husband and move to Cape Cod, hoping to reclaim who she was before she got married and had children.  I liked Karen Allen in the role of Joan who feels that, after years of being a wife and mother, she doesn’t know who she is anymore. I also enjoyed that the star of this film is over 60, and the subject matter is aimed at adults. What I didn’t like about this film was the soundtrack that sounded like every bad song from the 70s and dialogue right out of a self-help book. The film moves at a snail’s pace making it feel much longer than its almost two hours in length. I wanted to like this movie but it never delivers its promise. My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Year by the Sea Website
My View:   Stronger (2017)  R  The story of Jeff Bauman (Jake Gyllenhaal), an ordinary man who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing and must start his life again. This is an inspirational film about how hard it is to deal with and recover from such a traumatic event. Jeff gets pulled between his family wishes, who want him to be celebrated as a hero, and Jeff’s needs to get the time to recover. Jake Gyllenhaal gives a complex, moving performance of a man who just wanted to live his life, never asking for the life he gets after the explosion. Tatiana Maslany gives a mesmerizing performance as the on again/off again girlfriend who is thrust into a role that she isn’t prepared to deal with. Some of the best scenes are the ones with Maslany and Gyllenhaal are alone, whether they are quietly loving each other or arguing full out in the car. This is a powerful film that doesn’t sugar coat how hard people have to work after a traumatic event to put their lives back together again.   My Rating:  Full Price   Stronger Facebook Page
Forgotten FilmGeneral Idi Amin Dada (1974)  Documentary on the murderous ruler of Uganda during the 70s. This is a fascinating film where the subject is an insane, egotistical despot who thinks that agreeing to be the subject of this movie will help the world understand him. This is a rare film where the subject is both intriguing and horrifying at the same time. My Rating: Full Price    General Idi Amin Dada Info

Weird Credits:  From the credits of Kingsman: The Golden Circle:  Sculptor

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near YouLucky  (2017)  Lucky (Harry Dean Stanton) is a 90 year-old man who loves his routine. He knows his life is coming to a close, and he begins pondering what his life has meant. This was one of the most talked about films at SXSW, and the late Harry Dean Stanton gives his last performance. I know I won’t be missing this one.   Lucky Website
Until Next Time!

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