Film review-The King’s Man

The King’s Man is a prequel, to the two previous films in the franchise. It attempts to provide a backstory to please Kingsman fans, but it primarily feels like it’s addressing questions nobody asked.

On the verge of World War One King George of England, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, and Tsar Nicholas of Russia are three cousins who find themselves as rulers of three European and Eastern mega-powers (all played by Tom Hollander).
Meanwhile, dark forces commanded by Erik Jan Hanussen (Daniel Brühl) lurk in the shadows, attempting to infiltrate the three leaders’ trust and launch a world war, beginning with Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria’s assassination.
With his intimate relationship with Wilhem, Hanussen shatters the trust between cousins, while manipulative monk Grigori Rasputin (Rhys Ifans) rips into the Tsar, all while a secret mole runs rampant in King George’s circle of influence.

The action is directed incredibly well, there’s an absolutely breathtaking skydiving sequence and, Rhys Ifans steals every scene he’s in. However, the screenplay by director, Matthew Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek (The Last Days of American Crime) — adapted from Mark Millar’s comic —leads The King’s Man into being a very disjointed film. It’s a part-historical drama and part-action adventure. It starts with a serious anti-war message but quickly turns into a parody.

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where The King’s Man has gone wrong, but, despite a clever early twist, it all feels ploddingly predictable in a join-the-dots-of-history and Kingsman origin-tale kind of way, even the “shock” post-credits set-up for another instalment is rather head-slappingly obvious.

The King’s Man is out in the UK on Boxing Day.

Red Notice still Netflix’s number 1 worldwide

Despite the fact that “Red Notice” was not well received by critics, Netflix customers appear to be enamoured with the comedy-action film and its A-list ensemble, which includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot.

The film topped Netflix’s weekly worldwide streaming lists for English-language movies in all 94 countries for the third week in a row.

According to Netflix, the film has received 328.8 million hours of viewing since its November 12 release and has now overtaken Sandra Bullock’s “Bird Box,” which garnered 282 million hours of viewing in its first 28 days.

Johnson took to Instagram to congratulate the creative team, on the positive response to the action-comedy adventure.

Director Rawson Marshall Thurber recently discussed the possibility of a sequel. He told The Hollywood reporter “I think that is a real possibility.”


Review-Venom: Let there be Carnage

The Venom franchise is a very strange beast and probably the oddest franchise in Sony’s Marvel Cinematic Universe-or whatever they’re calling it this week. The character was first seen in live-action, way back in 2007’s terrible Spider-man 3. Talks of a Venom spin-off followed the film, but nothing came of it until 2018.

The original Venom film was a letdown, a jumbled mess with an identity crisis. It wasn’t sure if it was a buddy-comedy or a body horror. It didn’t help matters that it was released in the same year as one of Hollywood’s most popular superhero movies, Avengers: Infinity War. Compared to that, Venom felt like a throwback to a superhero movie from 2003.

Venom: Let there be Carnage, however is heads and shoulders above the first film. The tone is set immediately and they stick with it. The crude humour is still present, but it somehow works this time around. At just 90 minutes, it’s a lean film that breezes by. Tom Hardy’s portrayal of Eddie Brock and the CGI Venom, gets the movie through some really tough spots.

Woody Harrelson, like Hardy, wholeheartedly embraces the film’s unique, frequently ridiculous tone and thoroughly enjoys his role as the antagonist. He’s practically chewing the scenery.
The duo makes it easier to overlook some of the obvious storey gaps and jumpy editing because they work so well together.

Whilst I enjoyed the pace of the film, the shorter runtime does do a huge disservice to Anne Weying (Michelle Williams), Francis Barrison (Naomie Harris), Stephen Graham and Patrick Mulligan, the films secondary characters. Fans of the comics may feel a bit letdown, by how little they feature. They all have intriguing potential roles, but they don’t get much in the way of development beyond a few rushed plot beats and end up being the story’s weakest link.

When the two alien symbiotes ultimately battle it out in the third act, it’s a satisfying conclusion.
The CGI is noticeably better than in the first film, probably due to director Andy Serkis’ previous experience.
The action is simple to follow and looks fantastic. There’s even a great cameo by Reece Shearsmith, which leads to the funniest line in the film.

While the film passes the fundamental prerequisites for a comic-book movie, enjoyment. It is the post-credit scene that elevates the film and the character of Venom to new heights. It not only broadens the realm of where he and Eddie Brock may appear next, but it also elevates the potential sequel to new heights.

Venom: Let there be carnage, is available to rent from all VOD services in the UK.

Episode 273: Last night in Soho/ Ghostbusters: Afterlife

It’s an original recipe special this week, as Martyn and Gerrod sit down to give spoiler-free reviews on Last night in Soho and, Ghostbusters: Afterlife.

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

Artwork by Penny Smallshire.

We sound familiar can be found here.

More than just an impression can be found here.

Comedians talking about football can be found here.

Sam’s YouTube channel can be found here.

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Trailer-Halloween Kills

Is he a man, or a manifestation of evil? Only one thing is certain, nothing can kill Michael Myers.

The horror antagonist, who started an entire genre is back and more deadly than ever in “Halloween Kills.”

This is the second instalment, in a new trilogy of Halloween films made by David Gordon Green.

Watch the newest trailer below.

In 2018, David Gordon Green’s Halloween, starring icon Jamie Lee Curtis, killed at the box office, earning more than $250 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing chapter in the four-decade franchise and setting a new record for the biggest opening weekend in history for a horror film starring a woman.

And the Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn’t over yet.

Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor.

But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster.

The Strode women join a group of other survivors of Michael’s first rampage who decide to take matters into their own hands, forming a vigilante mob that sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.

Evil dies tonight.

Listen to our podcast about the original film here.

Review-Freaky

It’s weird that as I type this, I realise there has never been a terrible body swap film. There have been some that are better than others, sure. But even the ones that fall a little flat are entertaining. This is in the latter camp.
Directed by Christopher Landon (“Happy Death Day”) ‘Freaky’ is a low-budget high-concept supernatural slasher, that tells the tale of Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) who spends her days trying to survive high school and the cruel actions of the popular crowd. She’s “Hollywood ugly”. But when she becomes the latest target of the Butcher, the town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries. When the Butcher’s mystical dagger causes him and Millie to magically switch bodies, the frightened teen learns she has just 24 hours to get her identity back before she looks like a middle-aged maniac forever.

Written by Michael Kennedy, the script is incredibly formulaic. Kennedy pays so much homage to the predecessors, that it often falls into the trappings that bogged those down.

There is some laugh out loud moments of comedy, watching Vaughn swivel his hips like a cheerleader, whilst flirting with Millie’s crush (Uriah Shelton), is funny. For about 15 minutes. Whilst the entire cast bring energy to these roles, they can’t stop the premise from running out of steam.

The main problem is that Millie is so ill-defined as a character. She’s the school mascot, so she’s a loser. But she still looks like Kathryn Newton. At one point, a sneering football player calls her a “but-her-face” implying she’s ugly. Her friends are also written to be just as paper-thin, there’s the black one and the gay one. “You’re black and I’m gay! We are so dead!” Josh (Misha Osherovich) shouts at one point. That’s about all the character they’re given.

I guess it could be argued that Kennedy was in fact writing a pastiche of tired old Hollywood cliche’s, that by making the characters so paper-thin, they would come full circle and actually be the most well-defined characters in cinematic history. But, I doubt it.

Freaky is released in UK cinemas July 2nd.

Review-Greenland

If you’re in the mood for a distraction from COVID-19, or 2021. Then perhaps a world-ending disaster movie is just what you need.
I’ll admit, I laughed when I first saw the trailer. I remember the day well. I’d gone to see Tenet with my fiancée, and my best friend. This trailer came on and the three of us erupted with laughter. It looked awful. It looked like a paint-by-numbers, generic Gerard Butler disaster movie. This is a disaster movie, but one that may surprise you. It certainly surprised me, now. It’s not a great film. But it is far better than the trailers made it look.

John Garrity (Gerard Butler) is a Scottish structural engineer living in Atlanta, Georgia with his estranged wife, Allison (Morena Baccarin), and their diabetic son, Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd). He returns home from work to reconcile with his family and prepare to host a party with their neighbours to watch the passing of a recently-discovered interstellar comet, named Clarke.
Whilst on a trip to the supermarket, he receives a Presidential alert inviting him and his family to be evacuated to Greenland. He returns home, gets his family and they head to the airbase. However, on arrival, they discover Nathan’s diabetes excludes him from being allowed on the plane. After some confusion, the family get separated and we follow them each, as they head to Allison’s father’s house. Then try to make their own way to Greenland.

The story ditches the normal end of the world cliches and instead, plays around with themes of human survival. This slightly different take can make for some immersive and uncomfortable viewing. The family encounter people who are terrible, people who are opportunistic and, people who will go above and beyond to help. This leads to a very realistic feel to proceedings, which oddly reflect the very early stages of the Covid outbreak. You know, when you couldn’t buy toilet paper?

Morena Baccarin and Gerard Butler have some wonderful chemistry, they feel authentic as a troubled couple, doing what they need to save their son.

As I said earlier, the trailer is slightly misleading. Some might find this a slow burn. Perhaps the fact we’ve all just experienced a global crisis, which has shown the best and worst of humanity, made me project more onto this film than I would have otherwise. However, I was pleasantly surprised and found it to be a more nuanced take on the genre.

Greenland is available on Prime Video from 5th of February.

Episode 237: Remembering Connery, Sean Connery

In which Martyn and Chris talk about the late-great Sir Sean Connery.

They also discuss what they’d like to see in future James Bond video games and, Chris explains why he’s quit Twitter.

Sean Connery was a Scottish actor, who gained worldwide recognition as the first actor to portray fictional British secret agent James Bond in film. He went on to star in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983. Originating the role in ‘Dr. No’, Connery played Bond in six of Eon Productions’ entries and made his final appearance in the Jack Schwartzman-produced ‘Never Say Never Again’. He reprised the role in 2005, for a video game adaptation of ‘From Russia with love’. Connery won an Oscar for his role as Jim Malone, in the 1988 film ‘The Untouchables’.

Check out the history of James Bond games.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.



The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Spotify, Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

We also have a Smartlink.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Chris is taking part in Movember if you’d like to donate you can do so here.

Check out our Youtube, We Sound Familiar and, Comedians talking football.

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Episode 236: Georgia Hirst inteview

In an impromptu mini-episode, Martyn was lucky enough to get 10mins with Georgia Hirst.

Georgia Hirst is perhaps best known for her role as Torvi in the hit show, Vikings.

The duo talks about Vikings, going on the convention circuit and, her new interactive film Five Dates.



The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, PodchaserPlayer FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Check out our Youtube, We Sound Familiar and, Comedians talking football.

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FIVE DATES is released worldwide for digital download on Windows & Mac via Steam, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on 17 November.

Episode 233: Halloween (1978)

For the first time in 11 years, we bring you a Halloween special. This was an impromptu episode recorded 15 minutes after Martyn and Gerrod saw Halloween at the local Odeon.

Your dynamic duo discusses John Carpenter’s seminal classic, Halloween.

Equipment used in the creation of this feature was purchased through a grant from Graeae and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.



The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as but not limited to Amazon Music, Podchaser, Player FM, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

If you’d like to support the show, then please shop via our Amazon link. A small percentage goes our way, at no extra cost to you.

Chris is taking part in Movember if you’d like to donate you can do so here.

Check out our Youtube, We Sound Familiar and, Comedians talking football.

Socials:

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Martyn – @BadWilf

Gerrod –@InGerrodsMind

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