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Fantastic Four Review


Until the special effects take over in the final act, this is an unusually gritty, grounded superhero thriller, with characters who are so believable that the wacky science almost seems to make sense. This is Marvel's very first franchise, and the filmmakers are unable to resist the pressure to indulge in an overblown finale, and the digital mayhem they give into is oddly unexciting. So as an origin story, this film is more involving than most, but the superhero action itself feels rather limp.

It opens as an exploration of the school friendship between the misunderstood genius Reed (Miles Teller) and junkyard bully Ben (Jamie Bell), whose teleportation science experiment gets them in trouble. But Dr Storm (Reg R. Cathey) sees that their work solves a problem he has encountered in his own experiments, so he brings Reed to New York to join his well-funded, high-tech team. Working with Victor (Toby Kebbell) and Storm's children Sue and Johnny (Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan), Reed builds a full-size teleporter that succeeds in crossing over to another dimension. And Ben joins the crew for an illicit first voyage that goes spectacularly wrong, leaving Victor on the other side, while Reed, Ben, Sue and Johnny emerge with superpowers caused by altered DNA. The big boss (Tim Blake Nelson) immediately starts training them for military action, but Reed remains determined to make things right.

A strong cast helps all of this play out with remarkable introspection, letting each character develop an organic back-story that brings them together as an uneasy team. The inter-relationships are complex and engaging, veering from rivalry to camaraderie. Teller anchors the film with a layered performance as a smart, troubled guy who struggles to maintain friendships as he focusses on his work. Mara and Johnson add some feisty attitude, but it's Bell and Kebbell who provide the spark of personality that makes this crew so engaging. Then both of them become animated characters (Bell as The Thing and Kebbell as Dr Doom) without even a hint of the actors visible underneath. And the movie never quite recovers its momentum.

Continue reading: Fantastic Four Review

Bond Is Back, But Here Are Five Other Daniel Craig Films Worth Watching

Daniel Craig Matthew Vaughn Sam Mendes Tom Hanks David Fincher Rooney Mara Toby Jones Liev Schreiber

As the latest 007 outing, Spectre, draws ever closer, we're taking a look back at five films from Daniel Craig's varied big-screen career - none of which involve the iconic superspy in a suit.

1. Layer Cake (2004)

Layer Cake stillDaniel Craig looking Bond-like in Layer Cake

Continue reading: Bond Is Back, But Here Are Five Other Daniel Craig Films Worth Watching

Matthew Vaughn Confirms 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' Sequel

Matthew Vaughn

After the stunning success of the original, Matthew Vaughn has confirmed he is working on a sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service. The spy-caper starring Colin Firth and Mark Strong took over $400 million at the global box-office and scored mainly positive reviews.

Kingsman The Secret ServiceKingsman: The Secret Service grossed over $400 million at the global box-office

Promoting the release of Kingsman on Digital HD, Blu-Ray and DVD, Vaughn revealed that he was working on a script for the sequel.

Continue reading: Matthew Vaughn Confirms 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' Sequel

'Kingsman' Sequel In The Works

Colin Firth Samuel L Jackson Michael Caine Taron Egerton Matthew Vaughn

Having quietly accumulated global box office takings of over $400 million, the successful spy adventure film Kingsman: The Secret Service has apparently been given the green light for a sequel.

According to movie news website The Wrap, sources closely involved with the film have strongly hinted that a follow-up is in development at Fox. While there’s not been an official confirmation by the studio, any timetable or suggestions of who will appear in it, a sequel would make sense given the huge interest shown in the first one.

Samuel L Jackson, Michael Caine and Taron Egerton starred alongside leading man Colin Firth in the surprise hit from earlier this year, which was an adaptation of a comic book by Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar entitled ‘The Secret Service’.

Continue reading: 'Kingsman' Sequel In The Works

Matthew Vaughn In Talks To Direct 'Flash Gordon' For 20th Century Fox

Matthew Vaughn

After the surprise success of Kingsman: The Secret Service, 20th Century Fox is looking to lock down Matthew Vaughn to helm its next franchise - Flash Gordon. Sources tell Variety that the Brit is in negotiations to adapt the classic 1930's comic strip, with Chronicle producer John Davis and George Nolfi already on-board to produce.

Matthew VaughnMatthew Vaughn could helm Flash Gordon for 20th Century Fox

Flash has provided inspiration for a huge number of sci-fi directors, most notably Star Wars creator George Lucas. The story follows a famous space explorer, his love interest Dale Arden and the scientist Hans Zarkov as they battle the villainous Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo. 

Continue reading: Matthew Vaughn In Talks To Direct 'Flash Gordon' For 20th Century Fox

New York Premiere Of 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'

Matthew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer - New York premiere of 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' - Arrivals - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 9th February 2015

Matthew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer
Matthew Vaughn

Colin Firth's 'Kingsman' Is A Nod To James Bond

Colin Firth Matthew Vaughn Taron Egerton

People were shocked when Matthew Vaughn abandoned work on X-Men: Days of Future Past to work on an adaptation of an unknown comic book called 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'. But with the film now in cinemas, it seems like a rather obvious choice for him, as it allows him to do the same thing for the 'James Bond' genre that he previously did for superheroes with 'Kick-Ass'. Namely, he plays with the formula, both grounding and exaggerating the premise while refusing to water down the material for pre-teens, as most studio movies do.

Taron Egerton and Colin Firth in 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'
Taron Egerton and Colin Firth in 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'

Vaughn loved making 'X-Men: First Class', but says getting away from the studio system was a big motivation, since no one would be telling him what to do. "It was just me and my mates going off and making a film," he says. "And 'Kingsman' is the kind of film I'd really like to watch."

Continue reading: Colin Firth's 'Kingsman' Is A Nod To James Bond

Kingsman: The Secret Service Review


With virtually the same tone as they used in their superhero spoof Kick-Ass, filmmakers Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman take another riotously adult approach to pastiche, this time tackling the James Bond genre. Essentially they have made a 007 movie that refuses to tone itself down for the PG-13 audience, indulging in the profanity and excessive violence other films shy away from. So it doesn't really matter if the plot itself isn't quite as rebellious as it pretends to be.

Kingsman is a top-secret spy agency located in a Saville Row tailor, beholden to no corporation or government. Led by Arthur and Merlin (Michael Caine and Mark Strong), these gentlemanly super-agents use the names of the knights of the Round Table. And when one of them dies, they know it's time to get with the times and recruit someone young and hip. So they set up a rigorous school for trainees, with one lucky graduate set to earn a spot at the table. Harry, aka Galahad (Colin Firth), chooses rough East End teen Eggsy (Taron Egerton) as his candidate. The son of a former agent, Eggsy shows considerable promise even if he lacks the expected refinement. Then just before the final selection is made, they discover that mobile phone billionaire Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is up to something nefarious. So Eggsy and fellow rookie Roxy (Sophie Cookson) kick into action to figure out what he's up to, and stop him.

Despite constant reminders that "this isn't that kind of movie", it clearly is. Every Bond element is here, including the crazed villain with an elaborate lair and a technically augmented sidekick (Sofia Boutella's vicious blade-footed henchwoman Gazelle). The only difference is that where Bond hints cheekily at violence and sex, Vaughn and Goldman go for it. This film is packed with outrageous, over-the-top carnage and intensely rude dialogue, delivered with relish by the expert cast. Firth, Caine and Strong are terrific at combining tweedy propriety with public schoolboy naughtiness, while Jackson merrily plays around with Valentine's god-complex.

Continue reading: Kingsman: The Secret Service Review

World Premiere Of The 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'

Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn - A variety of stars were snapped on the red carpet for the World premiere of the British action movie 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' which was held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Thursday 15th January 2015

Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn
Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn
Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn

'Kingsman: The Secret Service' - UK Film Premiere

Matthew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer - 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' UK film premiere held at the Odeon Leicester Square - Arrivals. at Odeon Leicester Square - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 14th January 2015

Matthew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer
Matthew Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer

20th Century Fox Teams With Uber To Promote 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'

Colin Firth Matthew Vaughn

20th Century Fox has teamed with innovative taxi service Uber to promote Matthew Vaughn's new spy movie Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong and Colin Firth. Uber riders in 50 cities will get the opportunity to get exclusive access to the movie from January 15, one month before the film hits theaters.

Colin FirthColin Firth stars in Matthew Vaughn's 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'

Users will be encouraged to enter a competition to win two passes to an advance screening of the movie. Winners will receive an email confirmation and directions to the theater, according to The Wrap.

Continue reading: 20th Century Fox Teams With Uber To Promote 'Kingsman: The Secret Service'

'Jonathan Ross' Halloween Party - Arrivals

Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn - 'Jonathan Ross' Halloween party - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Friday 31st October 2014

Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer
Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn
Claudia Schiffer and Matthew Vaughn

Kingsman: The Secret Service Trailer

A young teen with an incredible IQ and first-rate academic performance takes the wrong path in life by getting involved in drugs and petty crime. He is caught by police during one dramatic car chase but is released unexpectedly by Secret Service agent Uncle Jack. Jack sees a lot of potential in the kid and introduces him to the world of International Intelligence. Initially impressed by the gadgetry and glamour of the Service, Uncle Jack introduces him to a new division: the Kingsman. There’s a job going for the brightest young adults in the country and Jack wants his new recruit to prove himself against the upper class kids who rival him. It soon becomes clear, though, that the world of Intelligence is not just a fun game when the training starts getting intensely scary.

Continue: Kingsman: The Secret Service Trailer

Sophie Cookson Recruited Into Matthew Vaughn's 'Secret Service' Movie

Matthew Vaughn Colin Firth Samuel L Jackson Michael Caine Adele Taylor Swift David Beckham

Actress Sophie Cookson has landed the female lead role in Matthew Vaughn's adaptation of Mark Millar's comic series The Secret Service where she will join Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Tamara Egerton and Michael Caine, reports Variety.

Sophie Cookson
Cookson In TV Series, Moonfleet.

Cookson, a relative newcomer to acting, is best known for Sky's adventure TV miniseries Moonfleet alongside Ray Winstone. Kick-Ass director Vaughn decided that he wanted to cast a fresh face who he feel really fit the part, over better known names such as Emma Watson and Bella Heathcote. Whilst potentially risky, this was a choice he opted for in Kick-Ass with Chloe Moretz and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and in Layer Cake with Daniel Craig.

Continue reading: Sophie Cookson Recruited Into Matthew Vaughn's 'Secret Service' Movie

Kick-Ass 2 Review


New writer-director Wadlow (Never Back Down) makes one severe misstep with this sequel to Matthew Vaughn's snappy 2010 Kick-Ass: he loses the irony. Now everything is played for goofy laughs and indulgent grisliness. There's no longer any subtext, nothing original in the structure or premise and a clear fear of being politically incorrect. Even so, it's an entertaining romp with a steady stream of funny gags.

After the craziness of the first film, Dave (Taylor-Johnson) has hung up his Kick-Ass costume and is trying to be a regular teen at school, but he's jealous of Mindy (Moretz) secretly carrying on her training as Hit Girl. So he asks her to team up and teach him some new tricks. But when her guardian (Chestnut) finds out, she promises to give up the violence and go back to school. Now Dave has to find a new partner, so he joins a lively team of underground heroes led by the gung-ho Captain Stars and Stripes (Carrey). But Dave's old nemesis Chris (Mintz-Plasse) still wants to avenge his father's death, so he abandons his dodgy heroic alter-ego Red Mist and instead becomes a supervillain called The Mother F**ker, with his own butler-assistant (Leguizamo) and a crew of minions.

Wadlow briskly leaps from one action set-piece to the next, and each scene has a witty sense of humour about it, even if the extreme violence is played for rather glamorised fun rather than the shock-value of the first film. Through everything, the dialog is packed with amusing lines that keep us laughing. And Mindy's parallel plot has its moments as well, throwing her in with the school's mean girls, who clearly don't know who they're messing with. Moretz plays Mindy so well that she makes everyone else feel scruffy and simplistic by comparison. Carrey's muscled meathead is a startlingly against-type role that strangely refuses to go anywhere. But Glen is rivetingly sharp in one key scene.

Continue reading: Kick-Ass 2 Review

Matthew Vaughn

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