Kingsman Movie Review

The day after my in-laws helped me moved in was my birthday. Wheee!

We were still moving in so we didn’t do anything super fancy.

My wife and I went out to eat for breakfast. Not like we had another option because we hadn’t moved the food over from the old apartment yet…

The breakfast restaurant was Italian themed and is rapidly becoming our favorite restaurant in Davis. It’s called Cafe Italia if anyone is interested in going.

After breakfast we unpacked more stuff. My one birthday event was going to a movie that I got to pick. I chose Kingsman (as if the title of this post and the picture weren’t enough clues for you to figure that out already).

The movie was pretty awesome, filled with action scenes and callouts to other spy movies.

The plot follows Eggsy, the son of a man killed while working for the mysterious Kingsman.

The Kingsman are a secret spy organization working independently of other intelligence agencies to keep the world safe from evil people. They’re a small group and everyone is named after people from the King Arthur stories. The leader is King Arthur, the person filling Q’s role from the Bond films is named Merlin, Eggsy’s mentor is named Galahad, etc.

I love the King Arthur stuff and it’s coupled with the agents being chivalrous and knightly in their mannerisms.

Eggsy’s initial selection is a lot of fun. Bar fights, car chases, evil step-fathers. Awesome stuff! Some of it you’ve already seen in the trailer if you watched the trailer. Go watch the trailer!

After he joins the training program the movie slows down a bit. Eggsy’s mentor, played by Colin Firth, investigates the villain’s plan to kill half the Earth’s population, while Eggsy goes through a series of unusual training exercises.

The concept of the training exercises is fun. One of them is six people sky diving and after they’ve jumped Merlin informs them that only one of them has a parachute. Unfortunately, the training sequences just aren’t as fun as the car chases and bar fights in the first half hour.

The movie heats up when Eggsy finally takes on the villain with help from the other Kingsman. I don’t want to give too much away from that part of the movie though.

I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a solid action movie and my wife said it was even a little bit thought provoking.

And it’s just barely still in theaters as I’ve been dragging my feet about making blog posts. Quick! Go see it!

-GoCorral

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Paddington Movie Review

I saw the movie Paddington with my wife last weekend.

The movie is based off the Paddington Bear book series. I read a few of the books when I was a kid but remember almost nothing about them.

What I do remember is the visual appearance of Paddington and his unflagging politeness. I remember the books being similar to Stuart Little, but British instead of American. I also remember Paddington being a teddy bear in the books, but that’s wrong. He’s an unusual bear species from “darkest Peru.”

The movie starts off with old black and white news reel describing Paddington’s home in Peru. Soon Paddington must leave his home and travel to London where he plans to be adopted by waiting at a railroad station.

Our little hero stows away in a lifeboat aboard a cargo ship headed to London. He survives by bringing along an enormous supply of orange marmalade which we are a told “has all the daily vitamins and minerals a bear needs.”

Paddington meets the Brown family at the Paddington station in London. He goes to live with them until they can find the explorer who previously visited his family in “darkest Peru.” It’s no surprise that by the end of the movie Paddington has become part of the Brown’s family.

I wouldn’t want to give more away about the movie, but it struck me as extremely British.  There’s a flashback where the explorer is describing how civilized the bears in “darkest Peru” are. The people he’s talking to respond by saying, “Civilized? Surely they don’t play cricket?” I’m paraphrasing, but that is what the movie is like.

The movie is a fun family experience. Although I’ve read some of the Paddington books, I can’t say if a true fan of the books would enjoy the movie or not. I can say that if you liked Stuart Little then you will like Paddington. A talking animal is accepted into a classical nuclear family in both books/movies. What more do you really need to know? Just that description tells you what the movie will be about. It has a few jokes, but is mostly about the warm fuzzy feelings you get from the tender moments in the movie. And having something you can watch with children.

That’s all for today!

-Mister Ed

Skyfall Movie Review

The other day I watched the latest James Bond movie, Skyfall.

In the past I’ve been a little disappointed by the newer James Bond films with Daniel Craig.

The newer movies are too violent.

Not that the old movies weren’t violent, but in the newer James Bond movies, James Bond himself is too violent.

In the older movies it was always the villain who was doing cruel things, like how Goldfinger dipped people in gold to kill them.

The new character doesn’t torture people, but he is reckless and uncaring for civilian life beyond what I would expect from a secret service agent.

Part of that is required in a James Bond movie. If he acted more reasonable then it would be a cop movie, not a spy movie (Not that the cop genre doesn’t have its own problems in this area).

For example, in Skyfall the opening scene is a perfect example of Bond’s recklessness.

In the process of chasing down a criminal he wrecks pretty much every street vendor cart in the city’s market district.

The criminal gets trapped in an open area and fires on Bond with an Uzi or something. Bond isn’t hit, but what are the odds that the dozens of bystanders weren’t?

The criminal shoots three cops who showed up on the scene and steals one of their motorcycles.

Bond steals a civilian’s motorcycle to follow the criminal on the rooftops of the historical market district.

They end up on a bridge where the criminal jumps onto a passing train.

As the train speeds up, Bond wrecks his stolen bike into the side of the bridge to give himself the momentum to catch the train.

On a cargo car of the train, Bond starts driving a backhoe and wrecks the 5 BMWs on the next car with it to try and reach the criminal.

The criminal decouples his car, but Bond won’t allow that! He digs his backhoe into the roof of the passenger car in front of him to keep it attached to the cargo car.

Bond climbs up the backhoe and jumps through the hole he created in the roof to stay on the train.

The cargo car then detaches fully, leaving an obstacle in the railroad.

Total casualties: Several business ruined, several civilians shot, three policemen shot, one wrecked motorcycle, five wrecked cars, three wrecked train cars, and other possible obstructions created during the chase that could create further accidents.

It just didn’t seem worth it to me. Any rational person in Bond’s position would’ve told himself, “I can chase him, but I have to do it discreetly or the people around me will get hurt.”

So that’s why I don’t like the new Bond films. He did this sort of stuff in Quantum of Solace too.

The villain is introduced after the first hour and the film improves rapidly from there. I just wish the movie could’ve skipped to that point a little faster.

-Mister Ed