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Kingsman: The Secret Service – Preview

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Kingsman: The Secret Service

Release: Feb 13, 2015
Cast: Samuel l, Jackson, Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Micheal Caine, Sofia Boutella
Director: Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men First Class,Layer Cake)

Official Synopsis:
Based upon the acclaimed comic book and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class), Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.
Why I Want To See It:
Matthew Vaughn passed on directing the X-Men sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, to make this film based on Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons 2012 comic book series. I, for one, am looking forward to a new spin on the British James Bond spy film. The trailer suggests I’ll get what I wanted and more. The movie looks like it’s filled with Get Smart spy humor, mixed with James Bond action sequences. The story involves the son of a dead agent who is made aware that Dad had a secret life in an elite organization called The Kingsman. The son, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), is spotted by Harry Hart (Colin Firth) and recruited to stop a villain that is clearly modeled on hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson). Valentine, like all good villains, has a henchman, in this case a woman; Algerian dancer Sofia Boutella (Gazelle). I’m looking forward to seeing her run around chopping off limbs with razor legs in hopefully gory R rated glory. If you watched Kick Ass you know that Vaughn can do violent adult action well. In that film the action sequences with “Hit Girl” are easily the highlight of that movie. I’m interested in seeing what he’ll do with the kind of amped up violence we won’t ever get from a Bond film, no matter how bad-ass Daniel Craig may be.

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Quality is not an act, it is a habit." - Aristotle. A seasoned connoisseur of only the best things in life. The Fortune Five will help you not waste one of life's most valuable commodities, time.

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The Mandalorian Gets Star Wars Right

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Star Wars is pretty silly, and that’s okay. If we want Shakespeare, we already have it. I don’t expect some fantasy silliness to ever take the place of nutritious art. Still, I like candy, too, and that’s what we get from those films whittled from the paper-thin mythologies of the original.

Enter The Mandalorian, like some nameless Sergio Leone anti-hero through a planked saloon door, stopping the piano player and all conversation in its tracks. There’s a stranger in town. Could be Clint Eastwood, could be Charles Bronson. In this case, it’s Pedro Pascal, a Chilean actor best known for Game of Thrones and Narcos. You’d never know it, though, since as of episode 7 we’ve yet to see “Mando” sans helmet. This only adds to a coolness originally displayed by another famous Mandalorian, Boba Fett. Boba actually debuted between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back in a hastily produced Christmas cartoon.

Not everyone likes it when silly wants to be taken seriously. Still, there’s a way to do it that’s not as jarring as Adam West v. Christian Bale.

Jon Favreau, whose Iron Man truly kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, acts as executive producer and showrunner of The Mandalorian, and he knows just how to balance the whole thing with an aesthetic more Alex Ross than Jack Kirby. As head writer, Favreau successfully walks that tightrope between nostalgia and the now. He tempers seriousness with one of the most adorable little puppets you ever did see. I’m talking about “The Child,” better known via recent memes as “Baby Yoda.” In the same way that the Mandalorian isn’t Boba Fett, the Child isn’t Yoda – yet both have those original characters baked into their DNA.


At 15 million clams an episode, you get some excellent production value. Cinematography, music, and special effects are all on point, as are cameos from the likes of Amy Sedaris, Bill Burr, Werner Herzog, Nick Nolte, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito, and Taika Waititi. Waititi also directed the final episode of Season 1, to be released December 27th.

The Mandalorian may be the best byproduct of the original series. Check it out on Disney+.

Using a host of pen names, Eric Curran has been blogging in one form or another for well over 10 years. He's a partner at One Track Mine, and also runs the blog Jealous Foodies.

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Aaron Paul Breaks Bad Once Again

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Vince Gilligan brings us the further adventures of Jesse Pinkman as only he can, and the results are pretty entertaining.

Released on Netflix and in theaters on Friday, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie steps back and forward in time to resolve Pinkman’s story in two tension packed hours. Thankfully, Gilligan doesn’t bite off more than he can chew, and manages to pack more action into this story than in four frickin’ seasons of Better Call Saul.

You know that feeling you get when an episode of Saul ends and you feel like you’ve just been tricked into watching lawyers talking for an hour? You won’t have that with El Camino.

Now, if they could just spin off Jonathan Banks the same way.

Some familiar faces show up here and there, and they thankfully don’t chew up too much of the scenery. Worth noting that Robert Forster does a fine job in El Camino, and he unfortunately passed away the day the film was released. Peace out, Mr. Forster.

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Joker

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1570216451060No villain in comic book history has been more praised, dissected, and interpreted than the Joker. His enigmatic past has given several authors opportunity to give their take on his origins, yet never stapling him down to any legitimate background. This film is another folklore to add to the potential rise of a mad man.

If you’re expecting a superhero movie, you have definitely come to the wrong place. This film is a character study of a man suffering from trauma, abuse, and mental illness. It relates less to the Batman comics and more to a blend of Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver & King of Comedy which ironically both star Robert De Niro. It dives deep into the descent of a delusional man pushed to his absolute limits as he begins to find his ultimate self in the bowels of a maddening society.

Joaquin Phoenix was spectacular in the role, embodying the look and characteristics of the villain we are all familiar with, yet adding a twisted perspective that humanizes his actions and roots it in many forms of anguish. His body twisting in macabre movements added to a tone which conflicted its viewer between rooting for him or slowly separating ourselves from his bizarre antics.

The environment of the movie is perfect for this character: New York City in the early 80’s, which is how we’ve been conditioned to stereotype Gotham. It’s dirty, dreadful, ugly, and cultivated all the elements needed to allow sickness to thrive.

The supporting cast added value to the movie without standing out more than Joaquin, who is impossible to outshine.

Only two big flaws I found with the movie:

1. It was very slow-paced. Just surpassing two hours it felt like it dragged during certain scenes and some tighter editing could’ve cured some of that.

2. I would’ve love to have seen more of the clown make-up. Even though Arthur Fleck was interesting on his own, there was a certain level of superhuman strength he dawned with the clown paint. He was evil, he was scary, and inhuman, and that would’ve been just as intriguing to observe.

Other than that. It was a pretty solid movie.

Overall Grade: B+

Joker was more fascinating than I anticipated, and strikes a good balance between comedy and tragedy. I recommend it to anyone that is happy cringing through some really foul human behavior.

Joker (2019) 2h 2min | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 4 October 2019 (USA) Summary: In Gotham City, mentally-troubled comedian Arthur Fleck embarks on a downward-spiral of social revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his infamous alter-ego: "The Joker".
Countries: USA, CanadaLanguages: English

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