Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Mark Strong’

kingsmanheader

This is the follow-up to the huge success Kingsman film. Eggsy is now a fully fledged member of the secret agency and in this instalment, has to do battle with an evil drug dealer named Poppy (Julianne Moore). Channing Tatum pops up in a surprisingly funny role, and it’s great to have Mark Strong back as Merlin. As the poster shows, Colin Firth is also back as Harry, involving a rather amusing explanatory back story, and Halle Berry and Elton John (yes, you read that right) provide good support. Elton John is actually pretty hilarious and one of my favourite things about this movie. What really made it for me was having one of my all-time favourite actors, Jeff Bridges play a great (although too small, in my opinion) role.

Just like the last one, the plot is preposterous and entirely unbelievable, but there is so much fun to be had, that I just didn’t mind. The film never takes itself too seriously either which really helps. The reviews of this sequel have been less kind than the reviews of the first film, but if you did enjoy that first one, then I suggest you give this one a try too.

*************************************************************************************

Year of release: 2017

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writers: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn, Mark Millar (comic book), Dave Gibbons (comic book)

Main cast: Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Elton John, Pedro Pascal

*************************************************************************************

Read Full Post »

81mi4-qt4wl-_sy445_

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.

*************************************************************************************

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

*************************************************************************************

Read Full Post »

There have been so many adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels that it can be a bit confusing knowing where to start if you want to watch one.  This version of Emma is not the most well known, but I certainly think it’s worth a watch.

Kate Beckinsale plays Emma Woodhouse – a well meaning, but impetuous girl who likes to meddle in other people’s lives a little bit too much.  She thinks she’s doing them a favour, but she is about to learn that sometimes it’s best to leave well alone.  Her brother in law, George Knightley (the brother of Emma’s sister’s husband) is fond of Emma but is exasperated when she interferes in the affairs of her young friend Harriet Smith, and disastrously tries to set Harriet up with the local minister, Mr Elton.

Emma looks like she may be in for a romance herself when the handsome Franklin Churchill shows up, but it may be that Churchill has his own secrets…and what is the secret that young Jane Fairfax, recently returned to Highbury, is hiding?  Emma thinks she knows, but when the truth is revealed she might be in for a shock.

As far as adaptations go, this one is pretty faithful to the book.  I thought Kate Beckinsale (almost unrecognisable from how she looks today after being ‘Hollywoodised’) played the part of Emma very well, and delivered the right amount of mischievousness and haughtiness (it should be remembered that Jane Austen thought that Emma was someone who no reader would like, but I feel that she was a bit harsh on the character).  However, I did think that the character came across as slightly more ‘bitchy’ or cutting than the Emma Woodhouse of the novel (particularly in her scenes with Franklin).  Mark Strong plays George Knightley – a character I adored when I read the book.  Strong plays the part fairly well, but tended to make Knightley always so intense and angry.  I’m afraid that I was also somewhat distracted by his awful hair style!!  However, the best actors in the whole piece were Prunella Scales as Miss Bates – a character who could have been played purely for laughs, but who here is imbued with a sense of poignancy and wistfulness; and Samantha Morton, who played Harriet Smith to perfection and was exactly as I imagined Harriet would be when I read the book.  Raymond Coulthard is also great as Franklin Churchill, with just the right amount of handsome arrogance and good humour.

The period is brought to life very well, and the fact that I knew the ending did not spoil my enjoyment of the film (in fact, it probably enhanced it).  This film, made for ITV television, is not as famous as the version starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma, but I think it’s well worth a look, especially for anybody who is a fan of the book.

Year of release: 1996

Director: Diarmuid Lawrence

Writers: Jane Austen (book), Andrew Davies

Main cast: Kate Beckinsale, Mark Strong, Samantha Morton, Raymond Coulthard, Olivia Williams, Dominic Rowan, Prunella Scales

***************************************************************************************************************

Click here for my review of the novel.

Click here for my review of the 2009 mini series.

Click here for my review of the 1996 film adaptation starring Gwyneth Paltrow.

Click here for my review of the 1972 mini series.

Click here for my review of the 1995 film Clueless (adaptation of Emma).

***************************************************************************************************************

Read Full Post »