Blog Archives

Miss Sloane – ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review

Miss Sloane

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a powerful, workaholic D.C. lobbyist who uses every trick in the book to achieve her goals.  But her impressive success record, is on the line when she switches sides and leaves one agency to work for another. She fights for the causes she believes in, and the causes she believes she can win for.  Originally she and her team were selected by her boss (Sam Waterston) to fight for gun activists and prevent a bill from being passed, but she is approached by the owner of a smaller, far less prestigious agency (Mark Strong) to fight against her former firm and fight for the gun control bill.  Bringing some of her team with her and joining her new team the lies, deceit, back room dealings and shenanigans of lobbying and political intrigue unfold brilliantly on the screen before us.

Wow, this was an incredible film.  It clearly had a great ensemble cast but Jessica Chastain stood out and was simply fantastic.  She was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, but sadly overlooked at the Oscars.  I’d say that her performance here was every bit as good and as worthy as her previous Oscar nominations for The Help and Zero Dark Thirty.  At first I was a little leery of the film’s runtime of 2 hours 10 minutes, but it was paced perfectly and there wasn’t a wasted minute or slow scene on the screen.  There were twists and turns as you would expect, but just when I though I had Miss Sloane figured out, she bobbed and weaved away from my expectations with tremendous results.  The climax of the film was definitely something I did not see coming, and I really do love that about this film, and films in general.  I love to be surprised when I watch movies, which hasn’t happened a whole lot lately, so Miss Sloane was a special treat.

Bottom Line: A very interesting look at the complex system that is lobbying in the United States.  The film isn’t really as pro gun or anti gun as you might think, rather it’s all about the corruption and dishonesty of politics.  The film could have been arguing about the MacGuffin bill or Johnson rods and been just as effective.

Kingsman: The Secret Service – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Theatrical Review

Kingsman: The Secret Service5.0 Stars

A rare theatrical review!  That’s right, I went to the cinema to watch this one.  I remember seeing the trailer for Kingsman a long time ago, well it seems like a long time ago.  I can’t remember when but I do know that the film’s release date did get pushed back for some reason, which actually made me want to see it even more.   I was not disappointed, as this was an extremely fun fun film from director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class).

I don’t know if I can really compare Kingsman to anything else I’ve ever seen.  It was very cool and suave, so it was part Connery Bond.  It had incredible gadgets and explosions, so it was part Moore Bond.  It had plenty of tongue in cheek humour, so it was part Austin Powers…well, it wasn’t that silly, the humour really reminded me more of the Roger Moore films again.  It seemed as though the film used just about every spy movie cliche and trope at it’s disposal, but it used them properly with a wink and a nod to the films of the past.

A troubled youth who has fallen in with the wrong crowd is recruited for an ultra secret spy agency by Galahad (Colin Firth) the man who recruited his late father for the same organization.  Eggsy (Taron Egerton) isn’t the rich kid like the rest of the recruits, but he is more skilled and has the street sense they sometime lack.  Trained by Merlin (Mark Strong), who is the organization’s “Q”, Eggsy finds friendship some of his fellow recruits, such as Roxy (Sophie Cookson) and friction with others, including Arthur (Michael Caine), the head of the organization.  When a global warming scientist (Mark Hamill) is kidnapped and a Kingsman is killed in the rescue attempt, the trail begins to lead to a megalomaniac industrialist (Samuel L Jackson) who as close to a super villain as you could hope in his plan for world domination.

A lot of the film was very predictable, but that just made you love it more I think.  I would not have thought of Firth as an action film star, but he was incredible throughout the film, whether it was a fight scene or being a fine English gentleman.  Jackson on the other hand, was an absolutely natural choice who played it up with gusto, stealing his scenes at every opportunity.  I don’t think I really could find a single fault with the way the film came across.  As I was watching it though I had to laugh at a few scenes where our heroes engage in a shootout, using a gun that seems to have an endless supply of bullets without reloading.  This may have been a goof, but it also could have been yet another nod to those films that paved the way. Lots of action, lots of quick humour, and a light nod to the past, Kingsman: The Secret Service is certainly one I’d recommend.

Bottom Line: Clearly everything was set up to make this a franchise or at least have some sequels, and hopefully we do get some more.  I can’t wait to pick this one up on Blu Ray to check out the special features, and revisit the world of the Kingsman.

%d bloggers like this: