Tag Archives: I know kung fu

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

“Suited vs. Booted”

Directed by Matthew Vaughn
Starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Halle Berry, Elton John, Channing Tatum, Jeff Bridges

Flush with recent successes, the Kingsman private intelligence service comes under fire from treacherous former recruit Charlie (Edward Holcroft) and his boss, Poppy Adams (Moore). Intent on expanding the power of her drugs empire, the Golden Circle, Adams launches a pre-emptive strike on Kingsman, killing all of its agents except for Eggsy (Egerton) and Merlin (Strong), the head of strategic services.

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The Dark Tower (2017)

“There are other worlds than these.”

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, Jackie Earle Haley

Troubled New York teen, Jake Chambers (Taylor), dreams of a strange pyramid, where teenagers from a weird little model suburbia deal are used to power Starkiller Base and attack the colossal Dark Tower. Convinced that his dreams are true, Jake flees from representatives of a sleep clinic and finds his way to an abandoned house with an interdimensional portal in the basement. This catapults him from Keystone Earth to Mid-World, and into the conflict between Jerkass-Good last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain (Elba), and the Affable-Evil immortal devil sorcerer Walter Padick (McConaughey), aka the Man in Black.

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Wonder Woman (2017)

“Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.”

Directed by Patty Jenkins
Starring Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya and Lucy Davis

On the isolated, paradisaical island of Themyscira, Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons (Nielsen) is the only child on an island of women. Trained in combat by her aunt Antiope (Wright), Diana (who grows up into Gadot) is fascinated by the origin story of her people and their prophesied battle to destroy Ares, last of the Olympians and bringer of all wars.

“Yes, because she’s suddenly not the most beautiful woman you’ve ever met.”

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Rebourne: Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Directed by Rupert Sanders
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Michael Pitt, Pilou Asbæk, Chin Han, Juliette Binoche and ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano

The Original

“That’s what I do. I jump off things and disappear.”

Major Motoko Kusanagi, a human brain in a robot body (the ‘shell’ which holds her psyche/soul/’ghost’) pursues cyberpunk criminals in a cyberpunk world. I’ll be honest, this is about all I know except a) she has an active camouflage system in her robot skin and b) jumps off high roofs while looking into the camera. I will try to watch the anime (the actual original is a manga comic, originally titled ‘Mobile Armoured Riot Police’,) and maybe even Stand Alone Complex and the new movie (imaginatively entitled ‘The New Movie’.)

The Remake

Right…

What we’re looking at here is of course the US remake starring Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian, a woman whose refugee boat was blown up by terrorists, leaving her brain to be implanted in a robot body by not-even-slightly-dodgy corporate giants Hanka Robotics so that she can fight crime.

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John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

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“Never Stab the Devil in the Back”

Directed by Chad Stahelski
Starring Keanu Reeves, Common, Laurence Fishburne, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane

After the brutal events of John Wick, our titular antihero (Reeves) slaughters a taxi garage full of mob enforcers to retrieve his car, shares a drink with the brother (Peter Stormare) of our previous antagonist and heads home to bury his past once again. Unfortunately, now that he has resurfaced he is not to be allowed to go back out.

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The Great Wall (2017)

And yet he got in...
And yet he got in…

“1700 years to build. 5500 miles long. What were they trying to keep out?”

Directed by Zhang Yimou
Starring Matt Damon, Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau

In the 11th century, a band of mercenaries including the English (Irish? I’m not sure what he’s going for) William (Damon) and the Spanish (they keep referring to Spain, despite being some centuries before the formation of said Kingdom) Tovar (Pascal), is whittled down by bandits and finally all but the last two are killed by a beast which William kills, cutting off its clawed and scaled arm. Fleeing bandit reinforcements, the pair are suddenly faced with the Great Wall and its defenders, the Nameless Order, who ponder the possibility of killing them until they learn that he slew a ‘Tao Tei’ single handed.

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The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

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Nananananananana

“Always be yourself… unless you can be Batman.”

Directed by Chris McKay
Starring Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes

In crime-ridden Gotham City, the Joker (Galifianakis) launches a devastating attack in concert with a vast assortment of other villains, only to be soundly (and rhythmically) defeated by Batman (Arnett). When Batman declines to acknowledge his greatest foe (because he doesn’t do ‘ships,) however, Joker concocts a plan of breathtaking audacity to take his nemesis down a peg or two.

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Fearless Tiger (1991)

Must he really?
Must he really?

“A betrayal that couldn’t be forgiven.”

Directed by Ron Hulme
Starring  Jalal Merhi, Bolo Yeung, Monika Schnarre, Jamie Farr, Lazar Rockwood

Lyle (Merhi), a nice Lebanese-Canadian thirty-year-old grad student, falls into depression when his brother is murdered by drug dealers (or dies of an overdose; I wasn’t clear.) He drops his job at the family firm and postpones his wedding, angering his father (Farr) and fiancee (Schnarre), and goes to Hong Kong to study martial arts and earn the red sash of a master of arty martialness.

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Doctor Strange (2016)

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“Open your mind. Change your reality” or “Question reality. Change your destiny” or “The impossibilities are endless.”

Directed by Scott Derrickson
Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelson

Dr Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) is a brilliant, but arrogant, neurosurgeon, pioneering new techniques while telling War Machine (or… wait? Was he actually talking about Diamondback from Luke Cage?) to take his entirely pedestrian spino-cranial injuries elsewhere. Then he gets into a car crash because he’s using his phone while driving at high speed in the rain – we get it already, he’s reckless – and loses most  of the use of his hands.

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American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

I think Steve James might rate the small print on this one at least.
I think Steve James might rate the small print on this one at least.

“The Ultimate American Fighting Machine is Back!”

Directed by Sam Firstenberger
Starring Michael Dudikoff, Steve James, Larry Poindexter, Gary Conway and some women

When the Marines guarding the US Embassy on a small, Caribbean island start disappearing, Washington dispatches Ranger Sergeants Joe Armstrong (Dudikoff) and Curtis Jackson (James) to investigate. Cue Army vs. Marines shenanigans of an extremely low grade. This step seems prescient, when an ambush on an R&R party is launched by ninja.

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