1917 (2019): Cinematographically Golden

“1917” is directed by Sam Mendes (Spectre, American Beauty) and stars George MacKay (The Boys Are Back, Captain Fantastic), Dean-Charles Chapman (Into the Badlands, Game of Thrones), Mark Strong (Shazam!, Kingsman: The Secret Service), Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Bodyguard), Claire Duburcq, Colin Firth (Love, Actually, Mamma Mia!), and Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange, Star Trek: Into Darkness). This film takes place throughout, as the title suggests, 1917. Specifically, during events of World War I. The story follows two British soldiers, Schofield and Blake, as they are given a mission to deliver a message to the 2nd Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment to call off an attack on the Germans. If this mission fails, this would mean there would be a loss of 1600 men, including Blake’s brother.

First off, let me just say to all of you that this is my first review of 2020, and what a better way to start off the year than to talk about movie that is literally a year. This film came out Christmas Day in select theaters, but much to my dismay, not one theater in the Boston area was going to show the film until 2020, so I had no chance to see it until then. This year is also the earliest time in which I was able to catch an advanced screening of the film. So I trekked to the theater this past Tuesday with high expectations.

When I say high expectations, I mean that literally. Knowing some of the technical aspects of the film, which I will dive into later on, it makes me giddy just thinking about it. Plus, this week was also the airing of the 77th Golden Globes, where this movie was nominated for 3 awards, and ended up taking home 2, including Best Picture – Drama. Granted, the more I think about the Golden Globes as a whole, the less meaningful I find them to be (after all, their voting board is not that big and they have genre-specific categories), but to have some notable recognition definitely helps. But in life, I live by the philosophy to form my own opinions on any matter at all times. Because life is just better when I’m in control. So what are my thoughts on “1917?”

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Let’s see… Oh! It’s better than “Cats!” But that doesn’t say much, now does it?

Let me try this again by asking you a question, because it sort of relates to my experience. How often has this happened to you? You go see a movie, and maybe you feel that what you just saw was wicked intense, and said intensity hits you to the point where your body just shuts down at a point. For me, that’s what “1917” felt like. I walked out of this movie nearly unable to feel my own legs. To help explain some of my thoughts on this film, I am going to remind you of another recent war film, specifically Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.”

While “Dunkirk” and “1917” have their differences, one thing I cannot deny is that they both stand out in terms of how effectively they convinced me that I could have been in danger. I will say, “Dunkirk” had a slight undeniable advantage during my first viewing because I did see it in IMAX and I saw “1917” on a standard cinema screen, but regardless, “Dunkirk” emphasizes on sound more than “1917” does, which believe it or not, isn’t exactly a sign of this film lacking proper sound whatsoever. In fact, the sound editing and mixing in “1917” is great. I have no problems with any of that. But while “Dunkirk” emphasizes sound, “1917” emphasizes sight. Again, I’ll state that “Dunkirk” did a good job on that side of things as well. In fact, the movie received a Best Cinematography nomination, which it deserves. The way it utilizes 70mm and IMAX technology is undoubtedly impressive.

When it comes to “1917,” the technology used for this film, specifically the camera, is smaller. In fact, it runs on digital. The entire movie is shot using an Arri ALEXA Mini LF, which, if you don’t know much about cameras, the Arri ALEXA in general is often regarded as a current industry standard in filmmaking. This does make sense given what the crew behind this movie set out to do, which is film the movie with long takes, involving lots of movement. It’s not like this is one of those movies where the camera always sits still on a tripod, pretty much the entire movie tries to put you into the frame and take you along for the ride, and I’d say this was a pretty successful task. Because pretty much the entire time, even though I barely knew the two main characters, I was rooting for them to get out of whatever dire situation they were in. The long takes made me feel like I was transported in the movie, it made me feel like I was going to get shot, maybe debris would be flying onto my head.

The stellar cinematography in this film, which in fact, is without any argument whatsoever to be the best cinematography of 2019, is done by Roger Deakins, who also took on the job for iconic films including “The Shawshank Redemption” and “No Country For Old Men.” He also did one of my favorite films of the past few years, “Blade Runner 2049,” which he won his first Oscar for. There are several shots in this film that I can imagine myself wanting to hang in my living room if I had enough money for a big house and if I can find a good 5 panel canvas. And what really shocks me is a particular technique that is utilized during the film. I mentioned that the film is designed to look like it is one shot. Let me just tell you right now, it’s not. Without spoiling anything. There is a scene where the footage cuts to black, allowing for a slight break from whatever’s happening on screen. However, according to certain sources I have read, the film does cut but I didn’t even notice it on screen. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the longest shot in the movie is eight and a half minutes. This instantly brings a sense of hypnotization and eventually, a desire to look back at the film and try to guess when exactly the cuts happened. Plus, this film was shot on location, which brings a lot of challenges for the filmmaking process including an analysis on set design and the fact that lighting shots is perhaps an impossibility. And somehow, all of this was pulled off. This to me, cinematography-wise, may be in the top 10, maybe even top 5, all-time greatest achievements related to its category. I wouldn’t say it’s #1 at this point given how I still need time to marinate, but it does come close as of now, and if Roger Deakins DOES NOT win Best Cinematography this year at the Oscars, that award in all likelihood will be nothing short of a snub.

Another reason to consider how this movie is not #1 in terms of being the greatest cinematography achievement of all time is that this has been done before. Yes, this is sort of an upping of the stakes compared to Sam Mendes’ own long take shot experience from “Spectre,” a movie in which the cinematographer was Hoyte Van Hoytema, but that’s not the point. If you have followed 2014 in film, you may be familiar that the Academy’s Best Picture that year was “Birdman,” directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, The Revenant). Having said that, I think the originality factor of that film helped me appreciate it. “1917” on the other hand is ultimately following in its footsteps. Story and concept-wise it stands on its own, but the intention when it comes to the visual aspects of the film is not completely different. Also, according to a quick Google search, the longest shot in “Birdman” goes on for fifteen minutes, compared to “1917,” which has a longest ongoing shot for eight and a half minutes.

In all seriousness though, this film, as a visual ride, is a tour de force, and I think this could be Roger Deakins’ best work just because of the daunting task at hand. And for that, I also have to give credit to Sam Mendes for helming this production. This is an experimental, ambitious film that I think will be looked back upon for years to come. In addition to all of the surroundings that make this film what it is, Thomas Newman’s score also does an effective job at adding something to the crazy experience on screen.

As for the characters, I wouldn’t say I didn’t care about them, but I am not gonna sit right here and tell you that they’re anything special. I did mention their names, but keep in mind that I glanced at them on Wikipedia as I write this review. In fact, I think the only name I recalled from the film is Colonel MacKenzie, maybe because I was paying enough attention. But at the same time, this movie is more about the journey, the effects throughout said journey, and this was one HELL of a journey. When I bring that up, part of me thinks that I almost don’t even need to know anybody’s name. In fact, I felt like *I* was a character experiencing this event alongside everyone else, therefore I am ultimately the one who should develop the most.

If I were a character in this movie, I’d say I’d start out curious, maybe a tad scared, but at the same time, I have to realize the consequences that can come from various actions. As the movie goes on, I would still be scared, perhaps even more so, but I would still tough out through whatever lies ahead. Eventually, I’d still be my terrified self, but I’ll have a feeling that I finally get to breathe. Seriously, whenever there is a moment of silence or calmness, it felt rewarding. I felt like I went through war with these characters simply because the camera’s eyes were almost like my eyes. Granted, it focuses a lot on these folks’ faces and I would probably never spend 2 hours almost continuously running backwards, but I think y’all get the point.

The film’s concept is simple, but it is also effective. Before I dive into the paragraph where I give my official rating, let me just say that this film, story-wise, is one I need to continue to think about. However, when it comes to various other aspects, it is one that I am pretty much set on. My rating could change, but anything is possible.

In the end, “1917” gave me pretty much everything I wanted. It is a beautifully shot, brilliantly directed, and solidly executed master work. It is just incredible to think about all the hard work and craftsmanship that went into this. There are a good number of war films out right now, but I’d say that this is 1,917 times as awesome as some others. I know some people who have seen a number of movies that will tell you that maybe whatever movie they saw at the theater is not worth the experience, maybe because there weren’t enough showman-esque elements in the movie or something. Let me tell you, and I’m not talking to everyone, because I understand that war films may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s fine, but if you don’t go see this film in a theater, it’s a crime. A bad crime. Go see this movie on the biggest screen you can, with the best sound available. It’s out right now in Dolby Cinema, so if you’re willing to pay a higher ticket price, go there. Just see it! It’s an experience! As for the story, I mentioned that I have no problems with it, but it is one where I feel like I won’t remember anybody’s name. Maybe this is a movie to me that gets better the more I watch it. But we’ll just have to see. Also, the cinematography is PERFECTION. I’m going to give “1917” a 9/10. I wanted to give the film a 1917/10, but then I’d break the scale, so 9 it is.

Thanks for reading this review! I just want to remind everyone that this SATURDAY, JANUARY 11TH, will be the kickoff of my multi-part countdown event, “Top Movies of the 2010s!” I’m gathering all the entries, lining them up as we speak, and even though I am admittedly cramming at this point, I am hella excited to share my lists with y’all! If you want to see this and more content from Scene Before, give me a follow! If you have a proper account in place, feel free to leave a like and comment! Also, if you have a Facebook account, feel free to like my page to get notified about the latest goings on here at Scene Before through the place where you have friends, even those you probably haven’t talked to in five or so years. I want to know, did you see “1917?” What did you think about it? Or, what do you think is the better achievement in cinematography, this movie or “Birdman?” Let me know, you have one shot to impress me with your opinions! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Shazam! (2019): Manchildren For the Win!

Shazam! (2019)

“Captain Sparklefingers,” I mean “Captain Marvel,” err I mean “Shazam!” is directed by David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation, Lights Out) and stars Zachary Levi (Tangled, Chuck), Mark Strong (Zero Dark Thirty, The Imitation Game), Asher Angel (Audi Mack, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders), Jack Dylan Grazer (It, Me, Myself, and I), and Djimon Hounsou (Guardians of the Galaxy, Gladiator). This film is about a young, adopted boy who comes in contact with a wizard. Once finding himself in that particular situation, he is chosen to wield magical powers. To engage with such powers, he transforms himself into an adult by utterance of the word “shazam.”

Wow! Finally! I’m reviewing this movie! This is long overdue! I saw this film in April, a week before “Avengers: Endgame” came out, so this review is not coming in at a time I’d personally prefer. Am I a Marvel fanboy for this? Nope. I’m just a busy college student. Life happens. However, I did manage to see this film a couple weeks after its initial release in 3D, which somewhat enhanced my viewing experience. And this is a comic book movie that admittedly, sounds somewhat different than others that are coming out today. Yes, much like some others, it’s packed with humor. Although, the thing that makes this pop is its elements of a coming of age story. The two main characters are young boys, one of them was just recently adopted into a family, and they learn to bond with each other. Another main difference that I won’t dive too much into is it doesn’t really make the story of fighting the villain the main factor. Origin-story-wise, it puts A LOT of emphasis on testing powers and seeing what could be done with them. The execution that went into the power testing scenes is beyond brilliant. Especially when you consider the undeniably delightful chemistry between the two main characters involved.

Speaking of positive reactions, this movie was definitely worth a watch! And I’ve been noticing something. If you have been following the DCEU for sometime during its inception, you may have noticed it has built up to a Justice League team-up. One of the neat things about this movie is how it tries to stay in this cinematic universe viewers have come to know, but there is practically little to no connection to outside lore. There are slight exceptions, but I can dig those exceptions. For example, the young brother who was already living in the main character’s new home possesses a bullet used in a fight against Superman and he’s even got a Batarang. There’s even a scene where we see a toy section in a store displaying figures of previously established DC characters. When it comes to this kinda sorta maybe cinematic universe approach, part of me digs it because this would perhaps allow filmmakers to have more freedom to think outside the box. Although then again, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Kevin Feige, Warner Brothers hired Walter Hamada (The Conjuring, Lights Out) as the president of the Detective Comics Extended Universe. As much as I can appreciate Marvel for its consistent vibe and TV series-like format, I also appreciate DC for being less about making a connected story and more about making a story in general.

Let’s talk about Zachary Levi as the adult version of Shazam. HE’S FREAKING AWESOME. And despite meeting him in person at New York Comic Con, this is totally not biased! If anything, this is probably one of the best modern day superhero casting choices I’ve witnessed in my life. And I think part of it his to do with, believe it or not, my first impression of Levi upon meeting him in person. Think about it. He’s supposed to be playing the “adult” version of this main kid in the movie. He knows nothing about that life. At heart, he’s still a kid, but stuck in a man’s body. While I cannot really say I thought about this much when meeting him, he was kind of hyperactive and happy to be in his current position. This energy is also applied to the character of Shazam, or Billy Batson if you’d prefer to call him that. It’s like a slightly more paranoid version of Po from “Kung Fu Panda” or something. Hyperactive, curious, but also cautious of his surroundings. But one of the best parts of Shazam’s character that I already sort of implied is his will to check out his powers just for s*its and giggles.

Let’s face it, if I were a kid and I magically became a superhero, of course I’d want to try out my powers! Think about it! As a kid, I would roleplay and it would partially involve superheroes from time to time. If I have enough fun pretending to be a hero, how much fun do you think I’d have using something like a flashy laser beam to break my own window and be forced to pay for by my own parents? It would be f*cking worth it! Because, ya know, superpowers! That’s honestly where this movie happens to display some of its biggest strengths, but it doesn’t stop at superpowers. There’s actually a scene where Shazam is dealing with a couple robbers in a convenience store. Words cannot describe how funny it is. It’s almost… I dunno, god-like humor.

But in all seriousness though, I am not joking around when it comes to Zachary Levi. He is the perfect Shazam. He looks like what an adult version of Billy Batson would be, he’s occasionally hyper, not to mention an incessant goofball. As a superhero, he may not look that intimidating to villains, but this is one of those cases where that actually works from a screenwriter’s and artist’s point of view. C’mon, there’s a time when this guy happened to be referred to as “Captain Sparklefingers.” I mean, “Captain Marvel” might as well have been taken, so yeah, I can see why he’d be called that.

Now I mentioned this movie focuses more on its hero’s development as opposed to its villain story. Granted, that may be an understatement, because this villain has some family matters that play throughout the story. That villain by the way is Dr. Sivana played by Mark Strong. I have nothing against this character, in fact, if I had to complain about him to y’all, I’d be a liar. This guy is a great villain, but he partially suffers from a partial lack of memorability. There are one or two scenes where his true power is absolutely displayed that made me attached to the screen. But based on the excessive amount of time focused on our hero, the villain almost does not seem to matter as much. Part of me wants to call this a fault of this movie that shouldn’t be left undisclosed, but at the same time, based on the execution of our hero’s origins, I almost cannot even complain.

But speaking of our hero and mistakes, there is one thing I have to bring up. The main character in this movie is adopted. There is a sideplot to the film where he is trying to find his birthparents, and I won’t go into whether or not he finds them. I won’t go into much about it, but as that side plot manages to come to a conclusion, there is an utterance of dialogue that may not only be cheesy, but conceptually, it is FLAT-OUT IDIOTIC. I won’t go into it for the sake of not spoiling anything yet, you might not even know what I am talking about, but if I were doing a spoiler review right now, I’d probably make a mention of this somewhere because it sort of pissed me off. You know how some people may watch a really good movie but the ending just SUCKS? This was not the ending, in fact the actual climax of the film itself is freaking spectacular. This is almost what it reminded me of. I can tell the filmmakers wanted to get some sort of audience reaction out of what I am talking about. And they succeeded. I say so because I for one reacted angrily.

With that aside, there is still a lot to enjoy in “Shazam!.” There are a couple of cool action sequences, a ton of humorous scenes and gags, the writing is off the chain! The story feels very self-contained and unlike some MCU movies, you don’t really need to watch any thing that precedes this film. Granted, I have no idea where the DCEU is going to go, but I have a feeling that depending on whether or not the franchise continues to have success, that is going to change. But for now, I am willing to appreciate this film’s intimate screenplay. In fact, the closest that this movie actually gets to being connected in the same universe is probably towards the last scene, which I won’t talk about that much. It doesn’t necessarily tease an upcoming film, but it is something to take note of.

And one last thing I have to note before moving onto my final verdict, for those of you who are not that invested in comic books, you may not be aware that Shazam is not this movie’s hero’s original name, it was actually Captain Marvel, but due to a legal battle between comic creators DC and Fawcett, Marvel Comics eventually started their own series with a hero by said name. How MARVELOUS indeed. Now, as most modern moviegoers know, one of the most recent films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers. I gotta be honest, the movie was not that great. So you know what? When it comes to “Captain Marvel” films, DC did this concept better! I know a lot of people look at the DCEU and consider it to almost be a joke, but in all seriousness, not only is it getting better compared to how it was in say 2016 with movies like “Suicide Squad,” but this is just another scenario where I thought DC did a film concept better than Marvel. Coincidentally, if you guys have ever read my “Captain Marvel” review, you’d know that I said towards the end that when it comes to doing solo movies with female leads, that’s another win for DC. I personally liked “Wonder Woman” better than “Captain Marvel.” Yes, Marvel seems to have the better collective universe, but much like anyone else, they have bad days at the office. Ever seen “Thor: The Dark World?” Please don’t.

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In the end, “Shazam!” is just a good time at the movies that can put an idiotic grin on your face. It’s hilarious, charming, and conceptually pleasing. Also, I would not mind watching it again and buying it on Blu-ray in the future. Maybe if Best Buy puts out a steelbook, I’ll shell out some money for that. I like my collector’s items. Zachary Levi is a national treasure and I would like to see more work for him in the future whether it is in the DCEU or in some other realm of media. Something like comedy, perhaps a buddy cop film maybe? I’m going to give “Shazam!” a 7/10. Again, one thing that takes away points for this film is the whole side plot and that one thing about it that kind of pissed me off, other than that, this is a fun and wacky superhero flick that is certainly worth your time and money.

MARVEL: We’re making a “Captain Marvel” movie! Dope, eh?

DC: Same bat-hold. Same bat-my beer.

Thanks for reading this review! If you are interested in more superhero related content, I reviewed two other comic book movies this year, and no, I have not seen “Hellboy.” If you want to get your fix of comic book movie reviews, click the links below and check these things out! I’ve got my review for “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame,” please check em’ out! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! I want to know, did you see “Shazam!?” What did you think about it? Or, what would you do if you happened to be a kid and found out you had superpowers? Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

Captain Marvel REVIEW

Avengers: Endgame REVIEW

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017): Manners Maketh Sequel

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“Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is directed by Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Kick-Ass), who also is the director of “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” the previous installment in “Kingsman” leading up to this movie. This movie stars Taron Egerton (Eddie the Eagle, Sing), Colin Firth (Love, Actually, The King’s Speech), Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, The Imitation Game), Julianne Moore (Crazy Stupid Love, The Lost World: Jurassic Park), Halle Berry (Catwoman, Monster’s Ball), and the movie also features Elton John, Channing Tatum (Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street), and Jeff Bridges (TRON, Iron Man).

This movie continues the adventures of the Kingsman. Poppy (Julianne Moore) strikes the Kingsman’s headquarters, the world is held hostage, the Kingsman run into a US spy organization known as the Statesman, and the two team up to stop the evil Poppy.

Before we go any further, I’ll have you know that I REALLY enjoyed the first “Kingsman” installment, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” It’s a movie that absolutely knows what it is, an insane spy movie. You’ve got this kid, he’s trying to become a member of the “Kingsman” organization, there’s tons of action, great music, and British people being British. While I will say that I saw better movies the year “Kingsman: The Secret Service” came out in theaters, such as “Star Wars Episode VII” and “The Martian,” I will say this undoubtedly has the best action sequence from a movie which came out that year. If you have never seen “Kingsman” you should watch it, and as far as that action scene goes, be prepared for when you see Colin Firth inside a church. If you want to watch that action sequence, there will be a video down below that you can click on.

That action sequence displayed above, personally, is one of the best I’ve seen in terms of music choices, cinematography, shock value, movements, and immersion. Going into this sequel, not only did I want a good movie, I wanted something that could potentially rival or top this scene. So did the film provide a scene like that? Sure, but that doesn’t mean it had a scene as good as this one. In fact, you can also say this movie is worse than the original. That doesn’t mean the movie sucks however, it’s still tons of fun and is definitely worth seeing either if you liked “Kingsman: The Secret Service” or if you just want an action flick in order to waste a couple hours.

Starting off the character section of the post, let’s talk about Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, although before we do, LOOK AT THIS SHOT. It’s so crisp, so beautiful, so artistically well done! I love it! Anyway, when this movie begins we actually notice some changes brought to Eggsy’s life since the previous film. The biggest example I can give is that he’s now dating Princess Tilde, which if you’ve seen “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” you may recall her as that princess who gets captured, also as someone Eggsy ends up finding when he’s trying to save the world, then they later engage in anal sex because Eggsy managed to accomplish his mission and save her. Their relationship plays a key role in the film, including a sex scene that isn’t anything short of brilliant. If you manage to see that scene, you might ask yourself “Where do people come up with this stuff?” If the answer is the brain, that wouldn’t be too surprising by the way.

Some of you may argue with me that this is a spoiler, and trust me it’s not, Colin Firth is back in this movie as Harry Hart. I bring up the possible spoiler assumption because of something that occurred in “The Secret Service” involving his character, but based on how Harry has been shown in advertising, I’d say this isn’t a spoiler. Anyway, there’s actually a subplot devoted to Harry that at times, was cringeworthy, but seeing Harry became less cringe-inducing as the movie went on. It reminded me of Tony Stark in “Iron Man 3” if he had a more gigantic cringe-factor.

Julianne Moore plays the main antagonist in the movie, and admittedly, she wasn’t terrible, but overall she was serviceable. There were actually aspects that I found rather cliche about her but at the same time I was able to come across aspects I liked about her which showcased her wickedness. Seriously! She turns a guy into a hamburger! Where else do you see that?! However, when it comes to her as a villain, she very much felt like a cartoon. Moore’s performance however was pretty good.

This movie also introduces us to the Statesman organization, which is basically an Americanized version of Kingsman. This means we get some new characters, some of which play a crucial role in the movie. I liked a lot of these characters. Granted there were mainly people from the southern part of the United States and not many people from the northern part, but keep in mind that this organization is in Kentucky, which is also the state where the church shootout in the first movie occurred.

One little factoid that may surprise some of you is that Elton John is in this movie. Not only that, but he also plays a major role in it too. Guess who he plays? Well, he plays himself, and it’s f*cking awesome! Elton John pretty much has one line in the entire movie and that’s “F*ck you.” OK, in reality he had more, but my point has been made. He’s basically a slave to Julianne Moore’s character in a way, and he was a definite scene stealer!

When I watch sequels, I tend to look out for similarities to previous installments of a franchise. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” definitely had similarities to “The Secret Service.” For example, in this movie we get a “Manners maketh man” scene, we also get an action scene that remains in a single shot for a period of time, and another thing I noticed that’s kind of brought up twice is a reference to this:

GARY “EGGSY” UNWIN: Sorry, love. Gotta save the world.

PRINCESS TILDE: If you save the world, we can do it in the asshole.

That’s actually from when Eggsy and the woman who happens to be his girlfriend in this particular movie first met. This is actually brought up in a conversation between Harry and Elton John that was somewhat funny, but it didn’t really mean as much as the line it’s reminiscent of. Not to mention before Eggsy leaves to go on a mission, he’s talking to Tilde and she says “If you save the world, you know what happens.” While I do understand what she meant by that, the execution of that line honestly was weak. This is an R rated movie. My suggestion is try to say something raunchier than doing it in the asshole or just eliminate the line altogether. In fact, I’ll mention once again, the execution of the line given in the conversation between Elton and Harry was funny. But how funny would it be if Elton told Harry they can do it in the asshole if the world is saved? Just for the record, Elton John is gay so it would probably make sense. Plus, Harry’s sexuality has never been established, so if he’s heterosexual, he might as well appear grossed out by the comment and it might make for a few laughs in the audience.

Another thing I noticed in this movie is that part of it may be a commercial for the FOX News network. Now, I personally hate FOX News, but that’s not my point. A lot of the movie’s exposition was shown by hearing reporters on FOX News. Part of me wonders how much they paid to be in this film. OK, I take that back, this movie’s from 20th Century Fox so my brain tells me that’s probably likely to be nothing. I say this because I don’t know if I’m imagining things but it’s unusual for me to see a news channel in a movie for the length of time FOX News has been featured in this particular film. OK, well, if we’re talking about “Nightcrawler” or maybe “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” that’s a different story. I remember seeing Sky News in the first movie, but I remember them getting less screen time. This does remind me of the movie “Mother’s Day” which is basically a 118 minute long commercial for the Home Shopping Network. Granted FOX News in this movie is a lot less in your face as opposed to the Home Shopping Network in “Mother’s Day,” but still.

One more complaint I have about “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” is that it’s too long. The movie has so many subplots in it that it almost feels like an extended cut as opposed to a movie that would traditionally feel like a theatrical cut. Watching the movie’s climax, I was nearly convinced into thinking that the movie almost didn’t know when it wanted to end based on all of the s*it that was going down. It’s like all the hurricanes we’ve been getting lately. WAIT! THERE’S ANOTHER ONE?! F*CK THIS WORLD!

In the end, “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” may have flaws, but I’d say it’s definitely a sequel worthy of the “Kingsman” name. The first movie may be better, but this movie is certainly a fun ride with tons of action, cool new characters, and an interesting villain despite how cliche she is. From a technical perspective, this movie’s amazing, and I’d say this movie also happens to be enjoyable in terms of entertainment value. I’m gonna give “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” a 7/10. Thanks for reading this review, and before we go any further, I’m gonna let you know about a cool new app called Stardust.

Stardust is a free app you can download if you want to talk about TV shows and movies. There are multiple cool things you can do with this. You can record short videos about movies or TV episodes, you can follow people for their latest thoughts and reactions, by the way, my Stardust handle is JackDrees if you want to follow me, and you can also add movies and TV to a watchlist. By the way, if you want to talk about a particular movie or an episode of a TV show, you don’t even have to watch it, the videos you take can give you the option to say you haven’t watched something. So go download the app now, and this is NOT SPONSORED. I just wanted to share this because I have a feeling a number of people in my demographic would find this interesting.

As far as upcoming reviews go, this weekend I want to go see “American Made” which stars Tom Cruise and is directed by Doug Liman, who directed “The Bourne Identity” and “Edge of Tomorrow,” I’m also desperate to see “Blade Runner: 2049,” by the way, based on the early reviews, I can tell this movie’s gonna be amazing. I also want to see “Stronger” at some point. We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned for more reviews! Also, which “Kingsman” movie did you like better? “The Secret Service” or “The Golden Circle?” If you ask me personally, “The Secret Service” is the better movie, but I want to know your thoughts down below. Scene Before is your click to the flicks!