Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review [Spoiler free]

Compared to the first film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle had a lot to live up to. Centering around Eggsy (Taron Egerton), the intelligent yet troubled young adult who winds up as a secret agent for the secret service of Kingsman, he returns in the second instalment as the now titled Galahad, following the apparent death of Colin Firth’s character.

The plot of The Golden Circle focuses on Poppy (Julianne Moore), an eccentric and successful worldwide leader of a drug cartel posing as a pharmaceutical company, who contaminates illegal drugs around the world with a deadly poison, only releasing the serum if drugs are legalised. It is up to Eggsy and the Kingsman, along with the help of the American counterpart Statesmen, to stop Poppy and release the serum before millions of people are killed due to the contaminated drugs.

The storyline may seem a bit repetitive to some – bad person wants to wipe out millions of people and get a ton of money and respect in the process, but the good guys come and save the day with a few sacrifices in the process. Sound similar to the first film/spy movies? However, the execution of the film was spectacular. It intertwines personal and professional life, reminding the audience that the people that these characters love are involved in the story too. The soundtrack, the cast and the cinematography are perfect fit for a film like this.

Perhaps my favourite part of the film is Elton John’s role. He may not have been a major character, but he certainly had an impression. His funny comments and the action sequence near the end reminds audiences that this film is naturally very British, bringing it back from the American elements introduced by the involvement of Statesmen. Elton’s role as himself also gives the feeling that this is very real, possibly relating to worldwide problems that regular society may not be aware about. Obviously, nobody is kidnapping Elton John but it brings the audience back down to earth that although this film and his role may be amusing, there is an underlying problem and divide between the legalisation of drugs.

The highlight of the entire film is the fight scene between several characters. What complimented the scene was the music which was Word Up, which got adrenaline rushing through the scene. The cinematography was phenomenal; usually with fight scenes that are fast the camerawork may be a bit sloppy and hard to follow (the fight scene in It (2017) was an example of this). However, this particular scene was slowed down and excellently shot, so the audience were able to see even small details of the fight scene.

The question is does The Golden Circle keep the British element that the first one had? My answer is yes. The components from the first film are still there like Eggsy’s accent vs Charlie’s posh accent, the opening scene in London with a modified taxi, and the returning British characters like Merlin, Roxy, Eggsy’s friends and Harry. Although this second film introduces the Statesmen, including Channing Tatum, Halle Berry and Jeff Bridges, the Britishness is still the focus of the film. The trailer may have been slightly misleading, as Channing Tatum’s role isn’t actually that big of a role, as he falls ill himself after taking drugs, and it looked like an American vs British movie, however this isn’t the case. The Kingsman are the main event of the film, with the Americans purely just being sidekicks. Poppy Land, is also kitted out to be very American, with a diner, movie theatre and hair salon. However, it seems that when Merlin, Harry and Eggsy infiltrate it, it represents that the British are in charge of this movie.

Overall, I would say that the film definitely lives up to the expectations of the first film, if not better, and it’s definitely an entertaining film to watch that keeps you on your feet and thinking about who is betraying who. Albeit possibly cringey and embarrassing to watch at one particular point (which was entirely unnecessary and not funny in the slightest), the film is a must-watch.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Movie Review

“This map’s not complete. It’s just a piece. Ever since Luke disappeared, people have been looking for him.” – Han Solo

Okay, I’ll admit it.

I was never really a Star Wars fan.

There, now you can all judge me. As mainly a Star Trek fan, I never hated it, I just wasn’t that into it. However, the new movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens is enough to make the avid Trekkie swing the other way.

Anyway, here’s a bit of a quick synopsis about the movies if you didn’t already know. The films follow a battle between good and evil, the good guys being the Jedi’s and other strange creatures from different planets and the bad guys being Darth Vader and the Empire. With twists and turns along the way, a lot of intense fighting with light sabers, and witty remarks from characters, the franchise has built up a very big and dedicated fan base from generations. If you want more details, Google is your friend.

The new film, directed by JJ Abrams, reboots the story and introduces new characters and old characters, combining the fan generations with Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprising their roles as Han Solo and Princess Leia respectively. The new film also introduces rising stars such as John Boyega and Daisy Ridley who are introduced as Finn and Rey. Finn is a reformed First Order storm trooper, who helps pilot Poe Dameron escape from the clutches of villain Kylo Ren. Rey is a scavenger on desert planet Jakku, and although her identity of what her role is in the universe is concealed, it is clear that she has a big role to play in the upcoming films.

Set after Episode VI of the old movies, Luke Skywalker has disappeared, and from the ashes of the Empire comes the First Order, lead by Supreme Leader Snoke (voiced by Andy Serkis). The purpose of the First Order is to eliminate Luke and the Resistance, an army of people seeking to destroy the First Order.

Going to see this in the cinema, I didn’t really know what to expect, having not really watched the original movies more than once, but sitting in the cinema and being surrounded by new and old fans, it gives a certain nostalgic feel. In the opening sequence, it has stayed exactly the same. The text on the screen reads a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Wait for it… legendary Star Wars theme plays. It sends shivers down your spine, it really does.

The film is crafted well enough for a new audience that may not have watched the original films, with a few references here and there that they may not understand. There are two major events that happen in the film, and had some d**k in a Twitch chat not ruined it for me, I probably would’ve been shocked at the latter of the two. The first one isn’t a huge plot twist, and comes up quite early on in the film, so that’s not too much to worry about.

The setting of the film is beautiful, the cinematography being taken into account with every little detail and very visually pleasing. The team – Finn, Rey, Han and Chewy race through cities, forests, planets and fly different ships to get where they need to be, and all these scenes seem to be beautifully crafted, showing the full potential that it isn’t just the characters and story that makes the film, it’s the behind the scenes too.

Character development is a major point in any film, and the character development in this film makes you actually forget that you don’t know these characters. Especially the role of Rey, she is very different to those of other female characters in different films. Along with her, Leia and Captain Phasma, they are considered equal to the males, where emotion doesn’t tear them apart and they continue to fight. Not that every other female character is like that, but they stand out to be strong, independent women who know what to say, when to say it and know the right decisions.

As the story unfolds, we learn a lot about characters and their backgrounds, meeting interesting creatures like Maz Kanata, who, although we only see for a short time, seems to be particularly nice, even if at first Han warns Rey she is very strange and told not to stare.

The film is a total of 136 minutes long, staying true to the running times of all the other films. This film is the beginning of a new trilogy, with Episode VIII set to be released for May 26th, 2017, and it’s also the beginning for a whole lot of memories for old and new fans alike.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, so click the links below to order your copy now:

(UK) http://www.amazon.co.uk/Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens/dp/B019FF9WHW

(US) http://www.amazon.com/Star-Wars-Force-Awakens-Blu-ray/dp/B018FK66TU

Rating ★★★☆☆

The Jungle Book (2016) Movie Review

Reboots. Reboots. Reboots. Bit of an acquired taste, don’t you think? Most movies these days are reboots from 40 years ago, book adaptations or sequels, prequels and film series. However, sometimes Hollywood gets it right. After all, we still pay to see these movies, right? RIGHT?


I went to see The Jungle Book at the weekend, and it’s by far the best adaptation reboot that Disney has created in a long time. It makes me so excited for the live-action of Beauty and the Beast. The movie is so similar to the original story and the 1967 animated movie that it’s like a movie nerds dream. You always expect the adaptation to be entirely different to the original story, but it’s almost identical down to the little details.

The story obviously follows the young man-cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) as he is forced from the jungle by the vicious and disturbing tiger Shere Khan, played by the fabulous Idris Elba. His voice has a tone of warmth but also terrifying fear, even though the animation of the leader of the jungle looks so beautiful. On his way to the man village, he encounters characters like Baloo, a friendly and humourous bear voiced by Bill Murray, and Bagheera, a beautiful looking black panther played by Ben Kingsley.

The character animation is probably the best aspect of the movie. The animals look so real, something Hollywood have lacked lately by over-animating characters to the point where it’s obvious that they’re fake. Each tiny little detail has been taken into account, like the fur of Shere Khan, the kindness and gentle look of the wolves, especially Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o), Mowgli’s adoptive mother. You establish an emotional connection with several of the characters, like the little wolf cubs that adore Mowgli, and the friendliness and loyal personality of Baloo. The movie is, in my opinion the best live-action adaptation of a Disney animation, because you have the same love and connection with the characters in a darker and more real environment as you would in the 1967 version. In the original movie, Kaa is a male snake, however this time Kaa is a female and is played by Scarlett Johansson. Her voice is sinister and enchanting, almost as if she’s trying to draw you in a hypnotise you as an audience.

Jungle Book Collage

In my opinion, King Louie is the most sinister character of the movie, Shere Khan is more of a beautiful creature, but maybe that’s because I have a love for big cats and I find monkeys creepy.

When the movie first starts, it’s slightly animated, but it reflects the same opening as the animated movie. At first, I thought I was watching it. However, it changes very quickly into a live version of the forest. The soundtrack made me emotional because it was the same music as they used in the Disney movie. It’s clearly not identical but the soundtrack has been inspired by the original. It’s hard to not compare it to the Disney animation, but it’s so similar that it’s difficult not to, but in a positive way. The film isn’t a musical, so I didn’t go in expecting singing, but I hoped they would at least sing The Bare Necessities. You get more than that. Along with a happy rendition of the classic by Baloo and Mowgli, you also get Christopher Walken singing I Wanna Be Like You, as he plays the greedy and sinister King Louie. If they hadn’t included these songs, then I think that the movie would be disappointing.

There are a few references to other Disney movies. For example, there is a buffalo stampede that is caused by Shere Khan chasing Mowgli, which is a reference to The Lion King, except in these circumstances, no-one dies (fortunately). Another is a flashback from Kaa when Mowgli is saved by Bagheera and Mowgli as a baby touches Bagheera’s face in the same manner as baby Tarzan touches Kala’s face. The last is another reference to The Lion King. There is a shot of a lot of animals and a warthog and a meerkat are standing next to each other, maybe a reference to Timon and Pumbaa.

The environment surroundings and cinematography are also on my list of favourite aspects of the film. The producers have taken particular care in the ambience of the jungle, it’s colourful and realistic. The film is dark but not too dark to scare children, although there are a few jump scares, but also balances with a good sense of humour, particularly coming from Baloo and Bagheera’s love-hate relationship. The closing credits of the movie are also the same as the original movie, with the last shot of the film fading to a drawing and the book closing.

Overall this film is a must-see, it’s beautifully filmed, the acting is great, and the characters are loveable and strong. This is definitely a family film, and the best adaptation to date. I’m excited to see how Beauty and the Beast fairs when it’s released.

Rating ★★★★☆

10 Emotional Disney Scenes that People Forget About

Disney is one of the most successful companies in the world, and it’s renowned for creating such beautiful and emotional pieces of art. You connect with the characters, and I don’t know anyone that hasn’t cried at at least one Disney movie. But with successful emotional films like Up, Inside Out and The Lion King, there are some scenes that are so emotional that people seem to forget about them. Here, I’ve chosen the top 10 emotional Disney scenes that many people forget about, mainly because the films aren’t popular, or ones that some people may not be as sad as other, more popular films.

Before I begin, this article contains spoilers from films like Finding Dory, Tangled and Big Hero 6, so if you haven’t seen these films and wish to not have it ruined, please don’t read further.

Please note these aren’t in any particular order, because some of them would all be number one to me.


  1. Saving Mr. Banks (2013) – the Mary Poppins Premiere

saving-mr-banks

‘Mary Poppins, you won’t ever leave us will you? Whatever would we do without you?’ – Jane

Although P.L. Travers didn’t like Mary Poppins, and originally developed as an independent production until Disney took an interest, Saving Mr. Banks was an international success. Centred around the development of Mary Poppins, this scene was particularly notable when it comes to emotion. P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson in the film, was portrayed as a hard woman who wasn’t keen on Walt Disney’s pursuance of the rights to the film. This was due to her background, seen by flashbacks throughout the film. When she reluctantly attends the Mary Poppins premier in 1964, she is deeply moved by the film. She finally breaks down to show the vulnerable person that she is, because the film was inspired by her father. The scene obviously shows the original Mary Poppins, which adds even more emotion to the scene, and it’s a lovely ending to the film.


  1. Tangled (2010) – Rapunzel is reunited with her parents

tangled

‘I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?’ – Rapunzel

Being locked up in a tower since she was a baby, Rapunzel finally finding her parents will definitely be emotional. To put yourself in the shoes of a family that have lost their child is heart breaking enough, but to finally see your daughter after so many years brings tears to anyone’s eyes. When a guard bursts through the door and nods at the royal King and Queen, it shows how hard the whole kingdom looked to find the princess, and it sets off something inside you when their faces realise their daughter is finally home. Easily one of the most emotional scenes, and if not one of the most tear jerking movies of a young girl finding her way back home there is.


  1. Tarzan (1999) – Kerchak dies

tarzan

‘No matter where I go, you will always be my mother.’ – Tarzan

An emotional film in general about a young man that is taken in by gorillas, the scene of Kerchak’s death is definitely one that is sad. Kerchak was the leader of the band of gorillas, and was never accepting of Tarzan because he was human, and although it’s a typical ‘I’ll forgive you on my deathbed’ scenario, we know that Kerchak means it. When Kerchak finally calls Tarzan his son, even from a cartoon you can see by Tarzan’s reaction that that’s all he ever wanted – acceptance.


  1. Wreck-It Ralph (2012) – Ralph destroys Vanellope’s car

wreck-it-ralph

‘Turns out I don’t need a medal to tell me I’m a good guy. Because if that little kid likes me… how bad can I be?’ – Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph tells the story from a different angle – from the bad guy’s perspective. Well okay, he’s not really a bad guy, he’s just meant to act like one. This scene was the motivation to write this post, as it really is one of the most heart breaking scenes I’ve ever witnessed from a Disney movie. Ralph destroys Vanellope’s car, which he previously helped build, to stop her from racing and becoming a player in the game. If she does so, as she’s a glitch, she will break the machine and the game will have the power pulled. In order to save the residents of the Sugar Rush arcade game, Ralph smashes her car to pieces, as Vanellope watches. The sad music and her screaming are what really gets to me because Vanellope wants to be part of the racing so badly. Although Ralph had good intentions, he majorly upset Vanellope, and it’s just a horrible scene to watch, regardless of whether you know how it ends or not.


  1. Mulan (1998) – Mulan leaves to join the army

mulan

I’ve heard a great deal about you, Fa Mulan. You stole your father’s armour, ran away from home, impersonated a soldier, deceived your commanding officer, dishonoured the Chinese Army, destroyed my palace, and… you have saved us all.’ – The Emperor of China

What’s most powerful about this scene is that there’s no dialogue at all. Just the musical score itself is powerful enough to carry the visuals that we see of her cutting her hair and taking her father’s uniform. This scene shows that Mulan is transitioning from girl to woman. Although not many of us can relate to the literal sense of Mulan taking her father’s place in the Chinese army, we can relate to making sacrifices for the ones we love. The scene demonstrates how far someone would go to protect their family and friends, and that alone is the connection we can all make.


  1. Monsters Inc. (2001) – Sulley leaves Boo

monsters-inc

‘You and I are a team. Nothing is more important than our friendship.’ – Mike

Although this is probably a popular emotional scene, but I couldn’t help but include it in my top 10. We all knew it would happen, but it’s still a scene I cry at to this day. We all agree that this scene is sad, but the film is based off an unlikely friendship between two very different characters, something that audiences may relate to in terms of becoming friends that they probably didn’t think they would be friends with. However, we all experience tears of joy at the end when Sulley is finally reunited with Boo after Mike goes to all the hard work of piecing her door back together. Now all Disney need to do is make a sequel – everyone wants to see what Boo looks like older.


  1. Finding Dory (2016) – Dory finds her parents

finding-dory

‘What is so great about plans? I never had a plan! Did I plan to lose my parents? No. Did I plan to find Marlin? No. Did you and I plan to meet? Well, I don’t think we did and that’s because the best things happen by chance because that’s life and that’s you being with me out in the ocean not safe in some stupid glass box.’ – Dory

This is probably one of the most touching scenes in Disney history, just like when Rapunzel was reunited with her family in Tangled. Throughout the whole film I was just hoping that she would find her parents, that they would be alive and well. When it was revealed that Dory followed the shells home to find her parents and that her parents were doing it for years hoping she would find her way home, it really struck a chord in me. Not only did it mean that Dory found her parents, but she also found herself along the way. Audiences can’t help but love Dory, despite her short-term memory loss she’s still a valuable and loved character. The scene also can allow audiences to relate to Dory, because the moral of the story is no matter how far away your family are from you or if you think that you’re lost in life, they’ll never give up and will always try to find you.


  1. Big Hero 6 (2014) – Baymax dies

bh6

‘We didn’t set out to be superheroes. But sometimes life doesn’t go the way you planned. The good thing is, my brother wanted to help a lot of people and that’s what we’re gonna do. Who are we?’ – Hiro

Based on the Marvel comics, this tale comes of a team of friends turned superheroes to avenge the death of Hiro’s brother Tadashi, following a fire at their college. Baymax comes to aid Hiro of his loss, and we soon fall in love with the squishy friend. He is caring, kind and for a robot, particularly funny. But when Baymax sacrifices himself to save Hiro and O’Callaghan’s daughter, it’s absolutely heart breaking. Although Baymax comes back as Baymax 2.0, it still doesn’t get away from the fact that he committed a selfless act to help his friends. This story portrays a powerful message – your friends are always there in times of need, even when you may not think they are.


  1. Toy Story 3 – Andy leaves the gang with Bonnie

ts3

‘So long… partner.’ – Woody

No doubt one of the saddest scenes to ever occur in the Disney universe. When I saw this in the cinema I was crying, four people behind me were crying, everyone in the cinema was crying. For a lot of people moving to university and starting college, this is a scene that they can identify with. It signifies moving on with life and having to leave things behind, which may not necessarily mean just toys. Andy has the courage to leave Woody, Buzz, Jessie and the rest of the gang with Bonnie, a kind child with just as much love for toys as Andy did when he was a kid. Although it’s sad to see the end of an era of movies and adventures that audiences of all ages loved, it’s nice to see Andy leaves his toys with someone just like him, knowing they’ll be looked after. What really got everyone was Andy driving away to college, and the gang looking on as he leaves. Although another Toy Story has been confirmed and we’ll see more of our most beloved toys, this scene will stay in every avid Disney’s fans’ hearts forever.


  1. Treasure Planet – Silver’s speech to Jim

treasure-planet

‘Now you listen to me James Hawkins! You got the makings of greatness in ya! But you gotta take the helm and chart your own course, stick to it; no matter the squalls! And when the time comes you get the chance to really test the cut of your sails, and show what you’re made of, well, I hope I’m there, catching some of the light coming off of you that day.’ – John Silver

This is my all-time favourite Disney Classic movie. I connect on so many levels with this film and the main character – Jim Hawkins. He feels that no matter what he does he will always be a failure and can’t do anything right. The story focuses on him finding himself and becoming a success as he saves Silver and all of the crew, gaining the trust of them and the rest of his family. The scene occurs after Jim is blamed for accidentally killing one of the crew, the real creature responsible being Scroop. Silver tells Jim to not give up on his dreams, and to still pursue them, assuring him that he isn’t a failure and that he is valued. The scene always makes me cry because whenever I feel down about messing up or not feeling great, I listen to the words of what Silver says to Jim. This film is very underrated, but it’s still my favourite of all-time.

The Terrifying Reality of The Purge

“The soul of our country is at stake. The Purge target the poor and the innocent, it is a night that is defining our country. The Purge has to come to an end.” – Charlie Roan

First one = original. Second one = average. Third one = the best in the trilogy. The reason these films are so terrifying is the possibility that it could actually happen, especially with the potential of such a person like Donald Trump possibly coming into power. Yes, I know, a lot of critics and audiences have had mixed reviews on these films and yes, spitting out movie after movie with the same concept can become boring. However, these films are all original and tells the stories of the same concept from entirely different people.

The Purge is a series of films set in a dystopian America where every year all crime is legal for 12 hours. The supposed purpose of The Purge, successfully convinced to society by The New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), is to stabilise American society by allowing the public to release their anger or grudges by murdering or attacking other people. Although there are certain rules (like the protection of government officials and the prohibition of mass destructive weapons like grenades and rocket launchers) that have to be followed, every single crime is legal.

What makes these films different from other horrors is that it’s not just generic like supernatural horror. Many films these days are based off of exorcisms, haunted houses and bloody murders, and it doesn’t scare audiences anymore. The events that happen in The Purge could happen in real life. That’s what the scariest part about it is. Especially with the political situation in America as it is right now, think to yourself – could this really happen? Audiences have actually compared the president in the movie to Donald Trump. But this is just what the production company does to get audiences hooked. In such an emotional and sensitive time in America, they just have to make the third film political.

The Purge: Election Year is based around the Charlie Roan, whose entire family was killed eighteen years ago in one of The Purges. Now she is a senator, fighting to have The Purge removed as many members of society are beginning to believe that it is a way for the government to help their economic agenda as a means of ‘population control’. By members of the public purging and killing others, the government don’t have to pay for health and welfare or living costs. Without spoiling the movie if you haven’t watched it yet, the NFFA revoke the rule that protects government officials of rank 10 or higher in order to eliminate Charlie, meaning that no-one is safe.

The Purge Cast

This film has no supernatural elements to it; no possessions or exorcisms or unexplained bumps in the night. That’s why it’s terrifying. With the amount of people in this world that are actively supporting Trump in the presidential election, what makes you think that they’re not the type of people that would support something as messed up and dehumanising as The Purge?

Think about it and your financial situation if The Purge was active in today’s society. Would you be safe? Would you be vulnerable? Would you be scared that all the people you’d upset in the world, even if you’d caused them minor inconveniences, were coming to get you or your family? Maybe you’re even scared that random people may come across your street and attack your house. That’s the reality of it. Homeless, financially, psychically and mentally unstable people are all at risk. Even children. There are racists, homophobes, transphobes, sexists, rapists etc still walking this earth. Some people (and maybe even you now I’ve mentioned it) may think that The Purge is a good thing because it rids the world of all these nasty people that intoxicate it. But is it really worth the death of all innocent lives and all the families torn apart just for the satisfaction of killing those that have done us wrong? You may describe those people as animals, but if you kill them, aren’t you now an animal too? How scary must it be for society to think that we are so far gone and corrupt that mass murder is a way to progress the world’s development and move on?

The first film takes place in 2022, that’s 6 years away. SIX YEARS. If Donald Trump is elected as president, he can serve as US President for up to 10 years. Scary, huh? Although I’m not suggesting that there would be a direct correlation between the possible real-life introduction of The Purge and Donald Trump, people have compared him and his entire personality to that of Hitler.

Let’s just hope that several years down the line this blog post won’t need to be read because such a think wouldn’t happen.