Hearts Beat Loud

John Carney is an amazing director. From Once, to Begin Again, to Sing Street. Great films, great songs, a lot of heart and love.

This movie, Hearts Beat Loud, is not made by John Carney, but it looks like it could have been.

Instead it is directed by Brett Haley, who did The Hero. It is a film I meant to watch and didn’t, that also probably didn’t have music in it so whatever. Basically, I know little of his work, but by golly, with a movie like this, I guess I should go back and check them out.

Family
With smiles and beards like this, you know this film is infectious. In multiple ways.

Frank Fisher (Nick Offerman) is a man who has run a record store in New York City for 17 years. He loves music. He loves making music. He wanted to be a star. But he did not reach his fame.

Sam Fisher (Kiersey Clemons) is his daughter, in the summer before college, and she is taking pre-med classes to get ahead. She is going to UCLA, which is far away from NYC. She also enjoys music, but doesn’t have time for it anymore.

And her mother / his wife? Well, she is gone. She has been for some time. It has been hard. Hell, Frank was performing with her. Maybe they would have made it big together. Maybe. They just never got the time to make it fully work. And now they are about to be separated. Things are changing. This is sad. It feels sad. I’m sad.

But in a last hooray, in a jam session between the pair, they make a song finally just work. It is emotional, it is a good mix of pop and soul. And it is about to take off on the internet.

Also starring Ted Danson, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, and Blythe Danner.

Love
Also some stories of love, those are the ones that really get you.

I already mentioned how this feels like a movie by an acclaimed director. I am so surprised that this director tackled these heartfelt song and jam session scenes so wonderfully. They draw the viewer in, and as long as there are good speakers, you will feel like you are there and just want to jump for joy.

My audience actually had people cheering after they finally finished their first song, and this isn’t some midnight release crowd, so it was odd to see.

Hearts Beat Loud is emotion. It is hope, it is sadness. It is loneliness and anxiety. It is fear of change, and fear of trying something new. It is excitement, joy, and of course, love. Offerman and Clemons just feel so realistic in their roles that it is hard to not go on the roller coaster with them.

I loved the music in this movie. Surprisingly it only made me cry once. I am guessing because my own daughter is a decade and a half before moving out and being an adult, so those scenes didn’t take as much of a hold on me.

Hearts Beat Loud is a feel good movie overall, and just a movie that feels like it needs to exist right now.

4 out of 4.

Infinity Baby

Sometimes you just stumble across a film and you are not sure how you found it. Maybe it was in the depths of Netflix. Maybe it was clicking the wrong button on a Redbox. Maybe it was a strange comment on an internet forum that made you just discover something odd about the world.

Or maybe you are just trolling through Nick Offerman´s IMDB page and see something called Infinity Baby and go “Ohhhhh, that sounds weird!” and just go and grab it to watch it without even wondering what it is about.

Who really can say though? When the whole thing is a mystery?

Relationships
Oh yeah, the film is in black and white.

In this world, due to stem cell research something strange occurred. A miracle, maybe, but definitely something that no one intended. Certain babies were given a condition, a curse maybe. They would not age. They would stay in that infant, cry, poop, eat, sleep phase forever. Forever. So yes, similar to the plot point from The Boss Baby.

Why would they do this? Well it was an accident. And the government has determined to get these babies into homes. Other technologies have been developed, like special food pills for the babies. Things that put them to sleep most of the time, but still living entities. The amount of sleep and type of food they get means they only need a diaper change about once a week. The company Infinity Baby was set up to find these babies homes. I am unsure of if it is for life for them, or what, but an adult would get a large sum in the ten thousands to have them for three months. After three months, I dont know if they get more money or what.

Maybe those people who feel extra pampering would want this responsibility to be helpful. Who knows.

But Neo (Nick Offerman) is in charge of the organization. Ben (Kieran Culkin) is more of a hands on, day to day in charge of the operation, finding potential clients to take their babies. He has his own intimacy issues, and every time he feels his partner becomes too attached, he will take them to his mom´s house (Megan Mullally) and she will disapprove of them so that he can dump them.

And Malcolm (Martin Starr) and Larry (Kevin Corrigan) are two men on the ground, who actually have to go and deliver the babies to the clients. Their issue is a client has changed their mind last minute, so they decide to just adopt the baby together for that sweet cash.

Also starring Trieste Kelly Dunn, Stephen Root, and Noël Wells.

Couple
Would it be a big troll to say a movie is black and white, but really just one scene is, and you took the images from the same scene to trick people?

I hated Infinity Baby way more than I imagined. It is just a small indie movie with a lot of recognizable people, but the plot doesn’t go a lot of places and it presents an unnerving concept.

As a father, the idea of baby never getting past that infant early born stage is pretty damn sickening. I didn’t think that before I watched the movie, but during it. It makes me so sad and upset to even acknowledge that idea. Especially when I found out in this movie they use pills to make them mostly asleep and their lives basically meaningless. This sounds like a horrible fate to anyone.

Sure, some of the aspects are dealt with in the film. But half of the film is about Culkin’s characters inability to get a relationship. And I don’t know why that is attached to this film at all, besides a lazy parable about how other people can’t grow up either.

Maybe it was the black and white, maybe it was the plot that didn’t go many different places, or maybe, maybe, it is just the whole sadness for the babies things. But I would never want to see this movie again, nor would I really know a group who might enjoy it.

0 out of 4.

Blockers

I was very excited when I saw the trailer for Blockers. Not due to the actors, or the plot, or the humor in the trailer. Just the title alone.

I really hoped that the title of the film was officially a picture of a rooster and the word Blockers. I can’t tell you if any film title has officially just been a picture, or included a picture, but I was excited that this one might be one of the first in a good while.

Unfortunately, no. It is just called Blockers. Sure, rooster imagery abundant on the posters. But it is not the same.

It is just not the same.

Parents
Look at all these cocks right here.

Ah, growing up. The joys of being a parent. Movies and stuff. Mitchell (John Cena), Lisa (Leslie Mann), and Hunter (Ike Barinholtz) met each other on their daughters first day of school. They became best friends, so they had to be friends. Their daughters (respectively) are Kayla (Geraldine Viswanathan), Julie (Kathryn Newton), and Sam (Gideon Adlon), who are all dealing with their own issues, both in terms of their relationships with their parents and their relationships with boys.

But like all movies, prom is set up to be this big special night, so they are determined to make it special. They make a sex pact. They are all going to lose their virginity that night and it will make them closer together, so what when college happens, they don´t lose their friendship or anything.

The parents find out after they have left and aren´t sure what to do. Just kidding, they are going to find their daughters and put a stop to this madness before their daughters lives are ruined.

Also starring Jimmy Bellinger, Sarayu Blue, Gary Cole, Gina Gershon, Ramona Young, Miles Robbins, Hannibal Buress, and Graham Phillips.

Kids
Fuck that fedora is cool.

The most apparent thing about this movie is that it was directed by a woman. Kay Cannon has worked on some pretty woman based shows you would have heard about, and directed this film to make sure the woman’s voice was key. If this was directed by a dude, the parents would have been more egregious, the daughters would have had no real point of view scenes to speak their minds, and it would have been entirely forgettable.

Surprisingly, there was a wonderful amount of great arguments and feminist ideals presented by the daughters and other adults throughout the film. It was clear that our three leads were being shit heads and not thinking in a way that was beneficial to their daughters. Hell, even one of our leads for some time had great intentions as well. The message hits over and over again, without feeling like a lecture, and wanting to make a point as obvious as possible for those watching at home. Because this is just a comedic work of fiction, but it seems like its goal might be really to reach the audience, to help them learn how to better and more fairly treat their daughters.

Moving on.

Also I laughed a bunch. The acting wasn’t amazing. Cena was probably one of the lower points for me. The daughters and other teenagers really carried the film, and yes, surprisingly, Barinholtz’s character. I can’t say this is a movie I would want to watch over and over again, but it did the trick and was way better than it should have been.

3 out of 4.

The Layover

Did anyone hear about The Layover? No? It wasn’t really thatrically released? Sort of buried? Mostly VOD/straight to DVD?

Huh that is strange. Because the two leads are pretty darn famous.

But let’s face it. The only reason I even heard about this film is because it was directed by William H. Macy. Before he directed The Layover, he directed Rudderless, which I actually really liked.

So even though the movie seemed like a bad sexy comedy, I figured it still deserved a chance.

BFFSs
BFF stands for breast friends forever.

Meg (Kate Upton) and Kate (Alexandra Daddario) are actually best friends, and not only that, live with each other in the same apartment! Two twenty-something ladies, totally successful, living with their friends, yeah! Kate is a teacher, and being asked to leave her job due to a student talking about anime tentacle porn, and Meg is involved with selling supplements from North Korea. So yeah, they both made poor choices.

Well, Meg made more poor choices. Kate is getting screwed over. Before they go and pout, Meg goes and spends more of their money on a trip to Florida! On the way there, on the plane, sitting right between them, they get to meet Ryan (Matt Barr), who I guess is a cutie with a bootie. Kate is in a funk and might need a good shag, and Meg is used to getting what she wants. So they join into a little game, to seduce this Ryan man.

And good news, they have plenty of time to do it. Due to weather concerns, their plane has to land far away from their destination. You know, a layover. And now they can hang out with him outside of a plane, and I guess do a slut-off to see who can seduce him the best.

Get it? Layover? Get it?

Also featuring Matt Jones and Kal Penn.

the plane
I think he is trying to secretly take pictures for his sex wall.

Welp. No. Just no.

The Layover did not end up being a better film than the cover suggested. Macy be damned, but this is not a good follow up to Rudderless at all.

I mean, what you see is what you expect. But technically, if you are a perv watching a sex comedy for titillation, you expect at least some nakedness, but of course this film doesn´t have any of that either. This is like a strip club version of a sex comedy, just a big tease.

Want to see two ladies jump into a pool in a bad diving competition? Or to just sabotage each other over and over? Or even just have a straight up fist fight near the end, you know, over a man? Then sure, give this film a chance.

Everyone else will just give this film the obvious hard pass it deserves, because you wouldn´t even known it existed.

1 out of 4.

Gringo

Gringo had something funny occur with their PR screening ahead of time. Our screening wasn’t until the week of release, like normal, but they actually sent out the real invite for it over a month early. Now, normally, these invites are a week to two max early. If any earlier, we get save the date notes or whatever to let you know it is coming up, but this was just the regular invite to respond to for RSVP purposes.

So of course I accepted, and the only reason it is much later a review is because I was sick that day, couldn’t go, and had to watch it weeks later in the theaters. I wanted to see Gringo, it looked fun, and sure, it had a plug on The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale. Let that be a lesson for you, advertising can work. Why else would I still be using old spice body wash every day?

Gringo has an interesting name, given what I think I know what it means, and that we had a film awhile ago called Get The Gringo, which was also a bit better than anticipated. I had high hopes for Gringo given it setting, its very fun looking cast, and of course, because of Mr. Copley adding his own weird style.

WHich One
Which one is the gringo though, really?

Our story is about Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo), a man who never can catch a break. He has a high job in a pharmaceutical company,but he isn’t rolling in the dough like the people in the higher levels. His wife (Thandie Newton) is an interior decorator, but only has one client and is bleeding their money. His boss (Joel Edgerton), is a hardass, a dickwad, and all of the body parts between those two. But he makes that money, he is good friends with Harold, and he got him the job in the first place.

Harold has to work and travel to Mexico frequently for their job, where they have the pharmaceutical factory set up. They are making a weed pill, so to speak, so that when America starts lifting those bans, they will have the product and infrastructure in place to take advantage of the now open market.

Because we are talking about drugs and Mexico, it should be obvious that the Cartel is also involved. Harold doesn’t know about that of course, he is a good guy, but when dealing with his boss’s mistakes, he is about to see how little he matters in the grand scheme of events.

Also starring Carlos Corona, Alan Ruck, Kenneth Choi, Sharlto Copley, Charlize Theron, Melonie Diaz, Amanda Seyfried, Harry Treadaway, and Yul Vazquez.

GOT HIM
Ooooh, looks like they finally GOT THE GRINGO! Oh, wrong movie. Sorry.

Gringo is an example of a story with a lot of separate plot lines amongst the characters, where no one character is sure of what is actually going on, and all the chaos that occurs from these miscommunications and lies. But also, with death, violence, and comedy. So yeah, going for a Taratino film feel.

Out of all the many cast members, the only one to really shine is our star, Oyelowo, who seems to have perfected that scream freak out look that he gets to do over and over in the film as he continues to get shit upon. Because that is the movie. Bad things happening to his character, despite being a relatively good guy, and him never getting out of his situation.

If you hate crazy plot lines, you still might enjoy it for Oyelowo’s performance, where he seemed to show a different side of him. A more excited side, compared to more of his very serious roles recently.

The movie did feel quite long, given the twists and turns along the way. And hey, I didn’t know where it was going most of the time. So it was a surprising thrill ride that did still have me on the edge of my seat. A lot of bad people in this one, and one guy to root for. A good classic film position to be in.

Give Gringo a shot, at least just once.

3 out of 4.

Ready Player One

I probably first heard about the Ready Player One four or so years ago, as a book recommendation from a friend. I figured I would rush right out and read it, due to their very appealing sell, but I also had found out that no, they are going to be making a movie out of it. Eventually.

So I did the right thing, and knowingly did not ready the book, knowing one day, Steven Spielberg was going to make the movie. Years later, it appeared!

Now I did hear eventually a general plot synopsis. And I did get to see parts of the book. Especially cringe worthy scenes of nostalgia for nostalgia sake, or lines that were very transphobic. All of it certainly turned me off from the book, knowing I would probably hate it at this point if it wasn’t very well written.

Sign. Somehow I became a book snob when it comes to prose. Blame Patrick Rothfuss. And let’s get on with the nostalgia.

Tech
Our star is living in a van down by the river?

RPO takes place a few decades in the future, in 2045. Life sucks by now, overpopulation, war, all the reasons you can imagine. People are living in stacks of trailers to get by and deal with the number of people. Columbus, Ohio is one of the central hubs now! Why?

Well, Halliday (Mark Rylance) and Morrow (Simon Pegg) created a game called Oasis. It is a completely VR experience, where a user is transported into a digital world where they can live their fantasies. They can be anyone. They can be tall, short, strong, fat, boy, girl, something more fluid, whatever they want. The way to buy gear and get better is through in game currency, through leveling up. If you die in game you lose all your items and go back to level one.

Anyways, everyone loves Oasis. It helps them escape their bleak miserable worlds. Wade (Tye Sheridan), our hero, is one of the people in the game hoping to find the three hidden keys to unlock and easter egg. Before Halliday died, he inputted a secret competition, so that the best of the best would compete his crazy challenges. The first one to get all three keys would gain a controlling share of the Oasis, money, and worldwide honor and praise.

But one company, IOI, is hoping to find them first, to change the Oasis into a money making ad tool, and also, do this thing with people slaves. Just general bad stuff.

Also starring Ben Mendelsohn, Olivia Cooke, Hannah John-Kamen, Lena Waithe, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, and T.J. Miller.

Oasis
Hello, totally not Kratos thing!

Ready Player One is a CGI-fest film, taken to the next level, and is animated enough to qualify for Best Animated Film, should they want to go that route. It has obvious references to pop culture throughout it, using the fact that the main creator was a very autistic pop culture junkie, who wanted all of the biggest things in his world. Pop Culture knowledge was supposed to be some sort of saving grace for the characters in the movie, but only one example really helped save the day. Or at least, one non common example.

There is a lot of problems with this film. It is going for a pure popcorn flick, so it isn’t really trying hard on certain levels. Acting is never really believable, and they turn Mendelsohn into a cartoon villain, quite literally with his behavior. It just feels so juvenile.

A lot of artifacts are brought up and clearly used later in the film, but one has to wonder why they exist. Why would they put in an item that kills everyone in the game so everyone goes back to level one? Why? Why would someone make special real life suits for you to wear to feel everything that happens? Most people would just feel pain and hurt in the constant warring atmosphere, its popularity doesn’t make sense.

The game makes you wonder who are the real people behind certain avatars, and well, yeah, for the most part they are all average to attractive looking people. No uglies in this VR world, despite their fears. Come on, almost 30 years from now, in a land where most people just play video games all day? Where are the fatties at?!

One thing that Ready Player One had going for it is that it didn’t feel like a 140 minute film. It was relatively interesting to watch, but it is not something that made me very excited or happy or sad while watching. I just felt indifferent. Throwing a quick scene of a character I recognize into a film isn’t going to increase its grade, it is just going to distract me from the story that is relatively weak.

Ready Player One is a convenient movie (one where things just keep lining up nicely), that relies on nostalgia and an average story and flashy effects to sell the tickets. Easily something that can be better watched at home.

2 out of 4.

Isle of Dogs

Fantastic Mr. Fox came out in 2009. It was not my first Wes Anderson movie, but it was the first Wes Anderson movie I really, really loved. Not saying I hated everything before it, no. In fact, at that time, I only had seen one of his movies which was The Royal Tenebaums. I maybe saw it too young and was not ready for its quirks, and still haven’t seen it for redemption, but I didn’t love it. The fox though? Yes. Every one of his movies since then? Yes.

But this is something different and special. This is 9 years later, and another goddamn animated stop motion movie. Can he recreate the magic of Fantastic Mr. Fox but with Isle of Dogs? More talking animals?!

At least with his last one, it was based on a previous book. But this is a new idea, based on dogs, a culture that isn’t his, and a sort of throwback to a cinema that he loves. I was certainly excited again, especially given how much shit 2017 gave us for the animated category.

Dogs
Can I have all of these doggos? Please tell me no doggos actually die.

Set in the fictional future of some world that is similar to our own, we have to go to Megasaki City to find our story. In this city, the new mayor, Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura), is from a family with a long hatred of dogs. They are cat people and want to get rid of dogs forever! Well, that is great, because these dogs are gaining some sort of dog virus and snout flu, which has the ability to transfer over to humans! He declares that all dogs in the city must be sent over to Trash Island, in order to quarantine them until a cure can be found. Speaking of cures, Professor Watanabe (Akira Ito) thinks he is really close to getting a cure and hopes everyone will wait. But mobs be mobbin’, yo. And the dogs start getting sent that very night.

And now, a few months later, the island gets a non furry visitor. Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin), a young boy who is ward of the mayor, has crashed a tiny plane in the island, in hopes of finding his old dog Spots (Liev Schreiber) location. Although dogs cannot speak any form of human language, we the viewer are happy to note that the film translates their language into English! Yay!

He finds a group of alpha dogs to help him on his quest. These dogs include Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Boss (Bill Murray), and Duke (Jeff Goldbloom).

Can these dogs find the missing dog for this little human boy? Can they also cure the dog flu, and put an end to this corrupt mayor? Well, maybe. I don’t know. Or if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.

Also starring the voices of Courtney B. Vance, Tilda Swinton, Yoko Ono, Ken Watanabe, Akira Takayama, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, and F. Murray Abraham.

Sling
The human has thumbs so he can do some interesting things with them.

I loved, loved, loved Isle of Dogs. A lot, very much so. Before I get into those details, lets talk about the controversy.

You see, there is a lot of talk of white savior complex, cultural appropriation, and more going on with this movie. It is set in a fictional future dystopian-esque Japan, or at least one city in Japan. And coming from a place of white privilege and all of that, I can honestly say I really don’t see it at all. The white savior thing just seems like it would be assumed by people who read a plot outline, not watched the film, because it is no where close to the normal problematic levels. The other issues I just also really can’t see well. I can’t say that they aren’t true, because I certainly don’t speak for Japanese people or their culture, but I can say that I didn’t really get that vibe at any point, and didn’t affect me negatively either for this movie.

Back to the film! Holy shit dogs!

What a totally immersive story. There were little quirks here and there that could remind you of it being a film, especially when it came to the various translation methods, but I just wanted to live there and run around and frolic despite all of the bad things that were going down. The dogs in particular all have their own personality and jokes that surround them, for good quick laughs.

I really enjoyed that I couldn’t understand the entire film. The Japanese characters spoke Japanese, and didn’t always have a reason to be translated or subtitled, and during those times, well, if you knew Japanese you could follow 100%. The audience was required to watch the facial expressions and to hear obvious key words to make sure we could follow. It was great to not get everything super dumbed down.

Isle of Dogs is an interesting adventure, a unique tale, and a story that just seems to have so many tiny perfect details that it would be fun to watch over and over again. Until though, I will just settle for a rewatch of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

4 out of 4.

The Death of Stalin

Josef Stalin was a dude who a lot of people respected, a lot of people feared, and lot of people hated. But at least he got the trains running on time in Italy, right?

Wait, that was Mussolini? And Mussolini was in Italy?

Stalin was in goddamn Russia? Oh, well, fuck, close enough. Communists are communists, am I right?

Either way, The Death of Stalin is a satirical look at his death, and the power vacuum that existed in the Soviet Union after the fact. A topic you (like me) probably know next to nothing about, and after you see a film like this, will assume you know a lot that is probably not true.

Body
He peed his pants. That is smelly.

In 1953, in the Soviet Union, everything was nice and grand. People are alive, until they are not. People are living their lives normally, until their not. Josef Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) is a generous man who rules with an iron fist, sure, but hey, its a hard job being in the top. He has a big cabinet of faithful advisers, from Georgy Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), Nikita Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), Vyacheslav Molotov (Michael Palin), and Lavrenti Beria (Simon Russell Beale).

He also has death/torture lists, that are frequently updated. You know, traitors and such. The army runs out, grabs them, imprisons them or kills them just because Stalin heard a whiff of untrustworthy behavior. Not too fun to be caught up in that.

And then? Well, then Stalin just had to go and die. And now, we have a group of men who all want to be leaders, while also want to be sure Stalin is dead before they take over the power vacuum. This cabinet of individuals has to try and work together to make sure their country doesn’t fall apart, and that they don’t backstab each other before the best man actually gets the job.

Also, while dealing with the religious fanatics, the normal people, the army, the special army, the prisons, and lists, and ugh, the family of Stalin.

Also starring Andrea Riseborough, Jason Isaacs, Olga Kurylenko, Paddy Considine, Paul Chahidi, Paul Whitehouse, and Rupert Friend.

Funeral
If they all stand around the casket, then the only one that can backstab them is Zombie Stalin.

The Death of Stalin is a strange movie to come out, one that is really hard to describe. Because it is weird. It is sort of Monty Python-esque, sort of silly, while still maintaining a very strong and serious vibe. I am laughing out loud in the theater due to how absurd the whole thing feels and how awkward the characters are.

It is quite obvious that there is no way the events are accurate as shown in this movie. It is very wonky and similar to maybe the Three Stooges, with a bit less slapstick. At the same time, it still felt realistic and natural for these men to be freaking out and being awkward, given the situation they are in. They know everyone of them is ruthless. They have been living in a ruthless time. They are used to a period where people would die for saying the wrong thing, and when you want to be on top, you might end up saying the wrong thing.

Overall, this is not the sort of film that everyone would love. A bit bizarre, a bit funny, while also maintaining a lot of deadpanning and dry humor. And somehow, still, piss humor.

This film has definitely intrigued me about this moment in history and it has wanted me to learn more!

3 out of 4.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Secret Service was a strange breath of fresh air in 2014. A strange mix of Bond parody while maintaining its own serious qualities of a film. It wasn’t outright joke-y, but it did have plenty of jokes and extremes when comparing itself to Bond films.

I mean, outside of its very stupid ending (Which again, was just going to extremes), it almost felt like a perfect film. So many people were excited about Kingsman: The Golden Circle, heck, I was too. I just…didn’t see it.

So again, we find ourselves with a perfect film for “Things I should have watched and reviewed last year,” a theme title too long to tag, especially since I keep changing the wording. All of that is part of the theme title. It came out during a stronger time for movies, so the makers were certainly confident in their own work, that’s a good thing.

Rope
Just like they are confident enough to feature a lot of people wearing glasses.

A lot has changed for The Kingsman group since Galahad (Colin Firth) died and the whole world ending stuff from the first film. For example, Eggsy (Taron Egerton) is now in a committed relationship with the Princess Tilde (Hanna Alström). Merlin (Mark Strong) is getting in more of the action now too, and we learn he loves John Denver, how quaint! John Denver was featured heavily in Free Fire and Logan Lucky as well, so 2017 was like a love song to him, but you know, with movies.

Either way, they are going to have to deal with The Golden Circle, the world’s biggest drug organization. Why do they have to deal with them? Because they are planning something big soon to take out most of the world’s inhabitants. You know, like the last movie had a similar thing going on. But also because the organization took out basically all of the Kingsmen, except for Eggsy and Merlin, including their headquarters. That is totally not cool.

Following some clues, they head to America, to find The Statesmen, the American version of their organization. They are disguised as a brewing company in Kentucky. Well, disguised, and also do make the alcohol. In fact they have cute code names that are alcohol based. We get Tequila (Channing Tatum), Ginger Ale (Halle Berry), Champ/Champagne (Jeff Bridges), and Whiskey (Pedro Pascal). The two sides agree to work together, after some shenanigans and reveals to help bring The Golden Circle down, before calamity and stuff.

Also starring Julianne Moore and Elton John.

America
America has more cowboys and cowboy accessories.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is 141 minutes long. 141 minutes long. The last one cracked two hours as well, but at no point did it crack 2 hours like this film. Sure, both run times include the credits, so we can subtract about 8 from each and still wonder what the hell was so important in this film for it to be so goddamn long.

And one of the biggest issues with this film is that it certainly drags and just has too much extra information that really doesn’t add a lot extra to the plot. It is in desperate need of some editing.

The characters still maintain some of their charm. I think too much of the film is spent trying to bring back some memories of a character. The action is okay, the overall plot isn’t. It feels way too similar to the plot of the first film, given the goals associated with it.

Overall, this is an average movie and not really worth the time it was given. Outside of Merlin, the other characters really don’t have much growth that you would expect in a sequel. It didn’t feel as funny or unique as the first film either. Basically, it is a lamer and longer version of the first film, pure and simple.

2 out of 4.

The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence)

Holy fuck. Today is the day. Today we have reached the biggest milestone yet. Because that is how numbers work, and each review is the biggest number yet, so of course milestone wise, that would increase as well.

Two. Thousand. 2000. Two thousands reviews on Gorgon Reviews!

I have been slacking a bit, mostly because I didn’t feel any inspiration, but my last Milestone Review was when I hit 1750, at the beginning of 2017, with the Resident Evil Franchise review. I figured that every 50 was getting me a bit burnt out, and most people didn’t care when they were that frequent. That is roughly one every 3 or so months. I figure after this one, I will just do every 100 a Milestone Review, to keep it fresh and fun for me.

But this is too much nonsense. I need to talk about the 2000th film. To catch you all up, I used to say that I didn’t review horror films, just to avoid The Human Centipede, which was popular when I first started writing. For my 1000th review, I changed all of that around and opened up the genre.

For my 1500th review, I did the second film, just as the third one was finally about to come out. And it made a lot of sense to me to make sure I saved The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) for when I hit this magical 2000 number, even if I really never wanted to see this film.

With all this backstory, I can say for sure right now that I have no idea what my 2500th film will end up being. I have nothing on the docket right now, but I have 499 movies to watch first before I have to make any hard decisions.

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Hard decisions, like whether or not I need to make a human centipede.

In the second movie, the original film was just a movie. In the third film, the first two are both movies, and this one is totally set in the real world this time.

This time it is also set in a prison, in some Southwestern state. This is a prison of anarchy, of brutal prisoners, and a staff who doesn’t give a damn. Led by the Warden, Bill Boss (Dieter Laser), who yes, you would maybe recognize as the evil doctor from the first film. Don’t worry, that isn’t our only reunion! We also have the main assistant/accountant of the warden, Dwight Butler (Laurence R. Harvey), who was the sadistic security guard in the second film!

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there are a few notable new people to the series though.

Don’t worry, this isn’t just a big sausage fest. We have a woman character! Her name is Daisy (Bree Olson). She is a secretary. She also has to give the warden blowjobs, gets generally sexually harassed all the times, is clearly just an object and not a person. And of course she is played by Bree Olson, known for her work in the adult industry.

Overall, this may have been better to be a full on sausage party. Then we wouldn’t have the unnecessary sexual violence against women also taking part in this movie.

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And this time, the hammer is not his pistol.

Back to the prison. Man, these inmates are really pissed off at everything. In a mini riot, one of them stabs an officer, so the warden breaks his arm. That is the kind of justice they serve here. The prisoners unfortunately cause problem after problem, where the Warden decides on a whim what to do about it. Like random castrations, which he is happy to do personally. Or waterboarding but with boiling water.

Overall, the warden is a fucked up man. He has a jar of cut off Clitorises from Africa to snack on for strength.

4
Look, you came into this review knowing the movie would be a fuckshow.

All of these issues cause the governor of their state (Eric Roberts) to stop on by, demanding that the violence in this prison be put to a stop. It turns out that the prison has also been spending a lot of money, going almost bankrupt in the process, due to all their extra medical fees.

Good old accountant Dwight though has the solution. He has known for the whole film how they can save money, reduce fighting, and be heroes for the state! You see, Dwight is a fan of a certain two films, which are claimed to be scientifically accurate!

He just needs permission to turn the prison into one giant human centipede, and everyone will love them!

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Do you really want to know where this blood came from?

No! There is no way this is plausible! It is just a stupid goddamn movie!

But Dwight insists. Hell, they even bring the director, Tom Six (Tom Six) of the first two movies (and yes, he wrote and directed this one) to be an adviser over the whole thing. He has ideas for them, as long as he can also observe and see it happen, because hey, seeing his film come to life would be cool.

They have other issues going on with this idea too. For example, prisoners eventually get to leave the prison. They cannot just make a permanent huge centipede. They have to be able to be removed from teh centipede when their time is up, meaning so taking out their knees, or permanently attaching mouth to anus. There are rules, damn it.

Good news, their doctors know how to make it all work, realistically!

6
Just needed a goddamn planning session, to brainstorm this shit.

Needless to say, the inmates were not too thrilled with the prospect of having to eat shit. They decided to show them that this is not okay, and have another riot! In the process, they messed up Daisy a bit too, and she certainly didn’t deserve any of that. She certainly didn’t deserve to be raped by the warden either, while in a coma after the fact.

I can’t even make jokes out of this shit.

But the film can, specifically shit jokes. Because not all prisoners are medically able to join the centipede. Due to weak blood, or constant Diarrheaing. But those aren’t real problems, they are just punishments for other people!

Either way, the 500 or so prisoners get put into the centipede! For those prisoners who have no chance at parole, they are put into an extra special Human Caterpillar, that doesn’t have those pesky limbs getting in the way of some good old fashioned mouth to anus action.

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Caterpillar picture not included.

The governor shows up as soon as they are finished. He hears their pitch on how this will save them money on food, on walls, on staff, on riot induced hospital visits. Or even punishment based visits. And the governor is pissed. He thinks they should be locked up. They are certainly fired. This is fucked up, this is fucky, this is oh so so so so bad.

And they put poor Daisy in the chain accidentally, but no one except Dwight cares!

Just when the warden is going to go out in a blaze of glory, the governor has a change of heart. He thinks that it is swell and that they are geniuses.

Oh yay! Too bad that the warden still is a literal walking pile of feces, killing Dwight so that he can have the sole credit.

And now he can run his prison on his own, shirtless, firing his gun into the air and just taunting the prisoners with his loud mouth. The. Fucking. End.

Also featuring people like Clayton Rohner, Robert LaSardo, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister, and Jay Tavare as inmates or doctors.

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They also have some permanent scars so everyone knows you were once part of the prison centipede.

The third and so far final act to this franchise is over 100 minutes long and manages to do something the other films could not. It is for the most part NOT about a gross human centipede contraption. Seriously, it is over halfway through the movie before the accountant is able to finally tell the warden his ideas. That means we have 50 minutes of a warden just being an overall asshole, to other assholes, and we as audience members just have to take it.

And what is the goddamn point? The other films were terrible for focusing on gross aspects, while being worse than torture porn, and poor acting. This one has the poor acting, and seems to focus on MORE gross aspects, just a more diverse set than previous editions.

This film is strange in that it ends on a mostly happy ending for the person who did this to the people. At no point does this version feel scary, it just feels like a waste of time. Bad guy is comically bad, while doing gross things, until he does a bigger grosser thing, the end.

Oh, but again, this one has one woman character, who is used as a sexual object, beaten, and raped, just for the lols. It is downright terrifying in that manner, especially as it is always played as a joke, which is the biggest shocking points of this whole movie.

The third film in this franchise is indeed, different than the first two. But in the end, it is just a different bad way to waste an evening with. Zero. Fun. Sir.

0 out of 4.

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