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Posts Tagged ‘action’

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With a cast including Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L Jackson, and a script that doesn’t take itself too seriously (or even slightly seriously) this was always going to be a good film, with lots of laughs – not to mention lots of violence and lots of swearing (something to maybe consider if this puts you off).

The Kingsman are a secret spy organisation and Colin Firth is Harry Hart (code name Galahad). The service is looking for a new recruit and Galahad’s nominee is Eggsy (Taron Egerton), a streetwise kid, often in trouble with the police. Eggsy has to pass a series of tests, in a group which consists of upperclass, rich kids, who mostly resent his presence and his success at the tests.

Meanwhile, megalomaniac film producer Richmond Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) has a plan to cull the human race in order to save the planet. Accompanied by his sidekick and bodyguard Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) their plan starts to take hold and only the Kingsman can stop it.

I laughed all the way through this film – it’s absolute ridiculousness works somehow because it acknowledges the outrageousness of the plot throughout. The cast are excellent and seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves in the roles. If swearing and violence are not off-putting to you and you want to kick back and watch something really funny and action packed, I recommend this film highly.

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Year of release: 2014

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Mark Millar (comic book ‘The Secret Service’), Dave Gibbons (comic book ‘The Secret Service’)

Main cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L Jackson, Sofia Boutella, Mark Strong, Michael Caine, Samantha Womack, Sophie Cookson

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Action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as a disgraced professional bodyguard Michael Bryce being forced to protect his longtime enemy, hitman Darius Kincard (Samuel L Jackson). Kincaid is in prison but cuts a deal to give evidence against Belarusian dictator Vladislav Duckovich (Gary Oldman) in return for his (Kincaid’s) wife’s release from prison.

Lots of action, LOTS of violence and LOTS of swearing make this a highly entertaining and funny film. Reviews have been very mixed but I really liked it. Jackson is excellent as always, likewise Gary Oldman. Ryan Reynolds was also great as good-guy-in-a-bad-situation Bryce.

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Year of release: 2017

Director: Patrick Hughes

Writer: Tom O’Connor

Main cast: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L Jackson, Gary Oldman, Elodie Yung, Salma Hayek

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Action ‘dramedy’ starring Bruce Willis as retired CIA Agent Frank Moses, Mary Louise Parker as his romantic interest, and Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich (who basically steals the entire film) as his former colleagues who team up with him to unearth a conspiracy that goes to the highest echelons of power.

Lots of fun, lots of action and a completely unbelievable storyline make for an entertaining couple of hours. Bruce Willis plays his usual macho hero role, but almost parodying himself. Morgan Freeman – as great as you would expect although possibly underused. Helen Mirren and Mary Louise Parker are both excellent, but the real star of the show is John Malkovich.

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Year of release: 2010

Director: Robert Schwenkte

Writers: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber, Warren Ellis (graphic novel) Cully Hamner (graphic novel)

Main cast: Bruce Willis, Mary Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman

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This is the second book by actor and producer Rob Lowe.  Having read his autobiography ‘Stories I Only Tell My Friends’ and really enjoyed it, I was very much looking forward to reading his follow-up, and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint.

In ‘Love Life’, Lowe shares stories and anecdotes from his life, both personal and professional.  He is a very engaging narrator, thoughtful and contemplative, but also very witty (his story about dressing as Bigfoot on a camping trip with his children was wonderfully told and incredibly funny).

Other stories involve his musings on marriage – from being a playboy with an addiction problem in his 20s, to being a sober, happily married father of two 25 years later; being involved in a tv show which is rapidly heading toward oblivion, and making a monumental script cock-up on stage in the West End.  He talks with pride of his two sons, and the chapter where his older son goes away to college was very moving.

Maybe I’m biased – I really like Lowe as an actor; he is very versatile, and equally able to do both comedy and drama, and understandably, he does discuss his acting career here – but I think I would have enjoyed this book even if I was not especially a fan of his.

As mentioned earlier, this is not an autobiography, and nor does it claim to be, but it does provide more insight into his character and his philosophy.  It’s a thoroughly enjoyable read, and I would definitely recommend it.

 

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This is a cool little movie.  I was predisposed to liking it I guess, because it stars the utterly luscious and swoonsome Benicio Del Toro, a man upon whom I can happily feast my eyes!

However, to reduce Del Toro to mere eye candy would be to do him an injustice.  He is a terrific and charismatic actor, and he is super in this film.  The other main star is Tommy Lee Jones – another man who can make a film worth watching just by being in it.  They both bring their characters to life, and make them easy to believe and invest in.

The premise of the movie is that Aaron Hallam (Del Toro), A decorated US Special Forces Operative, has gone on a murderous rampage, seemingly without motive, and Lieutenant Bonham (Jones) is the man reluctantly brought out of retirement to hunt this killer down.  Bonham is the man who trained Hallam and turned him into the killing machine that he now is, and probably has a better idea of his mindset than anyone.  However, Hallam is also able to correctly anticipate Bonham’s methods.

The chase takes place through the woods and through a city, and there are many great action scenes in this film.  It is a pretty straightforward thriller, although Hallam’s state of mind is never fully explained (is he mad, or is he bad)?  And what are the reasons for his rampage?

Two great stars elevate this from good to great!

Year of release: 2003

Director: William Friedkin

Writers: David Griffiths, Peter Griffiths, Art Monterastelli

Main cast: Benicio Del Toro, Tommy Lee Jones, Connie Nielsen

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