Tag Archives: Movie

‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ excites movie fans

Art by Shelby Pennington

By Reagan O’Farrell

A final group of people bustles into the already packed theater just as the lights go down, signaling the beginning of the film. People shift in their seats, turning off their phones as their focus now turns to the large screen before them.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle starts off with a bang, paralleling its predecessor of Kingsman: The Secret Service by instantly throwing moviegoers into the heat of the action. Taron Egerton returns as “Eggsy,” one of the two latest recruits to join the Kingsman, a spy organization created with the intention of upholding peace without the use of the government. Mark Strong, who plays “Merlin,” also returns, bringing with him a good portion of the comedy that makes the Kingsman movies so popular. The much-anticipated Colin Firth also returns as Harry Hart despite the seemingly fatal gunshot through the eye in the last movie.

This particular movie centers itself around a group known as The Golden Circle led by Julianne Moore as Poppy, who is the head of a major drug organization that plans on making its practices legalized by any means necessary.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle delves further into characters of whom little was really known about. Harry’s past, in particular, is subject to more scrutiny than previously, and more of Merlin’s personality is revealed through his excursions with Eggsy.

New characters are also introduced in the storyline, including Channing Tatum’s ‘Tequila,’ Halle Berry’s ‘Ginger,’ and Pedro Pascal’s ‘Whiskey.’ These players still did not quite overshadow the original characters, but Ginger and Tequila especially had fairly large roles throughout the movie. Channing Tatum did not appear in the movie nearly as often as one may have expected based on the trailers, but his presence as Tequila still impacted the actions of many characters whether or not he was on the screen.

Kingsman continues its trope of fantastical spy technology, even including a bionic arm that looks straight out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This comes as no surprise, though it did often lead to several easy wins that would never be possible without their presence. That being said, it did not hinder the movie: there are many battles that could not be solved by a nicely timed container of goop, and multiple resounding losses are faced.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle has been popular since its release on Sept. 22, possibly signaling the rise in popularity of movies that include a combination of action, adventure, and comedy. This movie blended all these genres together seamlessly, occasionally hardening back to The Secret Service in parody.

As with the first film, this movie was clever. Just like in The Secret Service where the “world ending” plot was radical though had its fair amount of reason and logic behind it, The Golden Circle has characters doing bad things for what they believe to be just reasons. While some aspects were more outlandish than others, with one of the main antagonists even bringing about some Hannibal-istic concepts, most of it was in no way entirely unheard of.

This movie does not appear to signal the end of the series: the tail end teases another sequel that may allow Kingsman to continue.

While this movie is certainly rated R for a reason, with its language, violence, and sensual content nobody can rightfully argue, it is certainly something worth seeing for the more mature audiences.

Movie effectively blends humor and emotion

By Brooke McAfee

When I stepped into the theater to watch the movie About Time, I expected it to be a pleasant, but an unmemorable romantic comedy. Within a few minutes, the mixture of lovable characters, witty dialogue, hilariously awkward situations, and a little bit of magic changed my mind.

Written and directed by Richard Curtis, About Time is centered around Tim Lake, played by Irish actor Domnhall Gleeson, and his quirky, lovable family. His father, played by Bill Nighy, reveals on Tim’s 21st birthday that all of the men in their family can travel back in time to previous events in their lives. Tim uses this ability to create second chances, relive certain moments, and build a more successful love life. He falls in love with a charming, but insecure woman named Mary, played by Rachel McAdams, and after plenty of time-traveling and a variety of “first meetings,” a sweet and humorous romance begins.

Though time travel plays a major role in the film, it is certainly not a perfect approach to the complicated topic. An audience searching for mistakes may certainly find plot holes in the story, but these imperfections were overshadowed by the brilliance of the movie on a comedic and emotional level. Time travel serves as the perfect comic device, yet laughter is perfectly balanced with tears as the story unfolds to reveal a simple, but beautiful message. Many romantic comedies are simply feel-good escapism, but About Time, while still maintaining this aspect, shows a deeper understanding of love and loss.

Despite the impossible element of time travel, the love story was more believable and realistic than many implausible relationships portrayed in movies. Gleeson gives a convincing performance as an awkward man struggling to find a successful relationship. McAdams is certainly no stranger to playing the love interest, and she has great chemistry with obscure, but talented Gleeson.

Although the relationship between Tim and Mary is touching, one of the most moving stories is the love between Tim’s eccentric family, particularly the relationship between father and son. Nighy is impossible not to adore in his role as the loving father who uses his ability to travel in time to read more books and spend more time with his family. Each family member has their own quirks and issues, and it is these little details that make these characters and their stories so relatable.

The soundtrack complements the movie perfectly, and the use of songs such as Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest,” contribute to the simple beauty of the story.

About Time is 123 minutes long, and is rated R for language and some sexual content.

The movie manages to be both one of the funniest and most emotional films I have seen in a while. The writing, directing, and acting are all excellent, and as I left the cinema, it left me with a smile and a feeling of optimism.

Iron Man 3 excites columnist

By Sidney Reynolds

Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 is incredibly refreshing and thrilling. This time Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is back with his same arrogant, brilliant, and humorous self with a slightly more humanized effect that makes it easier to connect with the audience.

Throughout the movie it shows Stark having anxiety attacks from his time in New York working with The Avengers. During this time it also shows that there are a string of terrorist attacks committed by the main villain, the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley).  In response to his actions, Stark publicly insults and threatens the Mandarin. This results in his house is bombed while he and his girlfriend, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), are inside. Stark goes to find him but results in getting captured by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). This leads to a full out battle between Stark and the Mandarin.

It was very nice to see this movie pick up after The Avengers instead of just ignoring it as if it never happened. Drew Pearce and Black also did an outstanding job writing the script making each scene exciting, intriguing, and hilarious to kept the audience’s attention. They also did a good job with character development. Stark seems a little more human and less like the perfect man due to his post-traumatic stress disorder. Robert Downey Jr. did an excellent job as he has done in the past two movies. He managed to get every emotion, thought, and word to touch the audience.

In the movie, Potts really transforms from just a love interest in the first movie into a bit of a hero all her own even though she is not necessarily the main hero in this movie. In this movie she really shows more of her independence which is different than most superhero movies that typically just have a damsel in distress. She is an inspirational role model for young women showing that she does not need to wait around for Stark to save her and that she can be her own hero. Paltrow does an amazing job portraying Potts and makes it very easy to see the chemistry between her and Stark.

This movie was definitely worth seeing again and again. It is an all around exceptional movie.

The Film That Got Away: The Purple Rose of Cairo

By: Christian DiMartino

Title: The Purple Rose of Cairo

Genre: Romantic Comedy, Fantasy

Release Date: March 1, 1985

Film Rating: PG

Leads: Mia Farrow, Jeff Daniels, Dianne Wiest

Director: Woody Allen

Writer: Woody Allen

Before controversial filmmaker Woody Allen won his fourth Oscar for his charming and enchanting screenplay for Midnight in Paris back in 2011, there was only one other time when Allen experimented with fantasy. That film is 1985 The Purple Rose of Cairo, an original, funny, and magical romantic comedy which displays what Allen is best at. Allen is the master when it comes to romantic comedies, and The Purple Rose of Cairo is Allen at his near best.

Mia Farrow, Allen’s one time partner and muse, plays Cecelia, a lonely woman stuck in a dead marriage living in Depression era New York. After a series of unfortunate events, she ends up doing the one thing that makes her happy: Going to see The Purple Rose of Cairo, a film that she truly loves. She mainly loves it for the film’s main character, a goofy guy named Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels).

Not only does she see it once; she sits there and watches it over and over again. Until one day, something unexplainable and unexpected happens: Tom begins speaking to her. Then, he steps out of the screen, and Tom and Cecelia run off together, causing two worlds to collide, and nothing but happiness with a hint of chaos.

As a viewer, the film is a little difficult to adjust to. Like Midnight in Paris, the unexplained magic may leave some skeptical and wanting to give up. I too questioned what I was seeing, but I hung on. I am sure glad that I did. This is a wonderful movie from start to finish.

The acting is just one of its many qualities. Having seen Daniels in movies like Dumb and Dumber, it did not seem possible for something like this to be pulled off. But he nails this role. He is wonderful in the dual role of both the naïve movie character and Gil Shepard, the actor that plays Tom. Farrow does a fine job, but this is mainly Daniel’s show.

The Purple Rose of Cairo is a funny and delightfully enchanting romantic comedy that is an example of the romantic comedy genre in top form. Allen really put his heart into this one, and the unique story is just something that cannot be ignored. What can be ignored is the fact that the magic involved is not explained. To enjoy this movie, throw caution to the wind and just go with it. It seems like a romantic fantasy, but in the end, it is nothing more than a slice of life.

Most Woody Allen fans would say that their favorite of his movies would be something like his 1977 best picture winner Annie Hall or 1979 Manhattan. But he begs to differ. His personal favorite is 2005’s Match Point, followed by this one. I could not agree more.

Match Point is his best movie, with this movie right behind it. His career is a blend of light and dark. The Purple Rose of Cairo is as light as it gets. It is his most wonderful movie of all.

The Purple Rose of Cairo received only one Oscar nomination, and that was for Best Original Screenplay. It did not win. Can screenplays get more original? Where was the love for Jeff Daniels, or the movie itself? This is one of those rare Woody Allen gems that you cannot find anywhere, and that is why it is one that got away.

Book turned film disappoints critic

By Blake Dykes

Friday night was a night I had been looking forward to ever since I finished the book Safe Haven. I finally got to see the movie. While I was not entirely excited about the overall outcome of the movie, I also was not disappointed. It is typical that movies are usually never as good as the books; that is mainly because movies do not go into as much detail as the book.

For starters, I enjoyed the book more because it really went in depth about Katie’s past and all of the abuse that she endured. The book really made me feel her pain, and I could vividly see each punch Katie would take from Kevin. However,  the movie just showed a few flashbacks, never allowing the viewers to see how wicked his character truly was.

Another better aspect of the book is that the reader witnessed how insane Kevin was because we were able to read all of his thoughts. I read how he rationalized his abuse that he inflicted on Katie, and how he made it acceptable in his head.

A bigger difference between the book and movie is the role that Jo plays. In the book Jo is more significant, and the connection between her and Katie is much more developed. Jo is constantly giving her advice about Alex and his children.

Despite the obvious connection between Katie and Alex, the book seemed to have more events that brought them closer. I was able to understand what drew them together. I specifically remember a passage in where Alex came over to Katie’s, and Katie relieved her past, telling him everything that had happened to her, and Alex was her shoulder to cry on. However, in the movie, it appears Katie will never admit her past, or the awful marriage that she is still involved in. It actually shows that Alex does not even believe Katie’s past, he just thinks that she is lying.

Overall, Safe Haven is a good movie if you have no read the book. However, if you have read the book, I would brace for some disappointment.