Kingsman: The Secret Service

I awoke early and watched CBS Sunday Morning. The first segment was about movie memorabilia, and one other interesting report was about a foley artist. I went out to Safeway to buy some blackberries. I went out to take a bus out to Jack London Square. I had been thinking about seeing “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” but the reviews were so bad that I went with “Kingsman: The Secret Service” instead. It had elements of The Avengers and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., along with James Bond movies like “From Russia, With Love.” I liked Colin Firth. He went through some rigorous physical training in preparation for this movie. He goes around killing an outrageous number of people. Samuel L. Jackson is the villain, and watching him, I couldn’t stop thinking about how different he was from those days of “Pulp Fiction.” Michael Caine was part of the cast, too. It was good to see him in something other than a Batman movie. This secret group is like a modern day Knights of the Round Table. Firth is Henry Hart, who brings in a young man named Eggsy to put him through a training process that seemed like Harry Potter in espionage. There was a young girl who was in contention who was something like Hermione, and I think that Emma Watson was considered for that role. One of the lessons is that if someone wants to give you free phone service with free Internet, you should be very suspicious. There was a deadly woman named Gazelle who was reminiscent of Oscar Pistorius. Some of the violence was pretty sickening, although it had a bit of Monty Python in it. The audience got involved in this movie, and in fact the woman next to me talked too much throughout all of it, speculating on what was going to happen and giving advice to the characters about what they should do. One thing I didn’t buy was Eggsy driving that car backwards. One thing they should stop doing in these action movies is the scene where the spy put down 79 people without getting so much as a scratch. I couldn’t see how those Kingsmen set up that transportation system. It looked like it came from “You Only Live Twice.” I couldn’t believe that Samuel L. Jackson went to M.I.T. It seemed that one of the themes in the story was getting the older people out of the way to make room for the young. That was a shame, because I’d like to see Colin Firth and Michael Caine around for as long as they’re willing to be in the movies. Eggsy goes through a personality change that was too much, going from being a person who couldn’t bear to see harm done to his dog to being a mass murderer. Another thing I noticed about this movie was that people could do miraculous things with computers. People just type some commands, and things happen instantly. In reality, it takes hours to get the simplest things done, even if you’re a technology expert. Mark Hamill was in the movie, so there was an interesting pair of Star Wars actors to see. I thought some of the gadgets were too outlandish. The movie tries to break some of the spy movie conventions and yet wallow in some of them, too. One of the conventions is that numerous bad guys can shoot at the good guy simultaneously, but all of them will miss. How can you get through strange surroundings and not get hurt with a million guards after you? A lot of people are killed in an unusual way, but it is a ridiculous, cartoon death. We see a Princess Tilde. We had to hear references to anal sex that I wished we hadn’t heard. There was not so much suspense about the fate of the world because I knew that there was a sequel in the works. I was disappointed with Colin Firth’s last scene. I thought he deserved more respect. I didn’t believe that Eggsy could ever turn into a gentleman. I thought of The Streets. If you can get past the disturbing violence of this movie, you’ll like “Kingsman.” The audience liked it. One trailer that we watched was “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” It did not look like it was going to be especially good. There was also “Ant-Man” and “Fantastic Four.” I took the buses back home and I watched part of “Love Streams.” I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times program on KCSN. He played tracks by PJ Harvey and Kate Bush. One of my favorite songs was “Big Exit.” I watched the Oscars. I was not shocked at all that J.K. Simmons won an Oscar. I thought that Michael Keaton might have a chance, but that was not to be. I did not listen to any of the acceptance speeches. By the end, I knew that “Birdman” would win the big prize. Sean Penn sure had a way of lessening the impact of the announcement. Can’t he just ever just read the winner instead of offering some comment or saying something irritating? I wondered how quickly that building would empty with all the stars wanting to get out of there. The bag of prizes that they would be getting included coffee and a train trip, according to what I heard. Can you just give away your stuff to someone else? I thought that the one major winner who unquestionably deserved his Oscar was Eddie Redmayne. I noticed that one person who was included in the In Memoriam segment was Charles Champlin. I watched the end of the Columbo episode with Vera Miles. She didn’t stand a chance against Columbo’s relentless approach. Vincent Price and Martin Sheen were also in the cast. What I saw on “WKRP in Cincinnati” was a female fan getting too friendly with Les. The one record album that Les had in his apartment was Johnny Mathis, who had the hit “Chances Are.” I watched Maude’s friends throw a surprise birthday party for her. She was supposed to be 46 years old, although I thought she was older than that with a grown daughter. I can’t say that anyone in the cast did a good job with their acting. I read one more chapter of “Gone with the Wind” and thought ahead to the next book I would read. Some of the people who died on February 23 include John Quincy Adams (1848), Carl Friedrich Gauss (1855), Edward Elgar (1934), Stan Laurel (1965), and James Herriot (1995). Today is a birthday for Dakota Fanning (21) and Peter Fonda (75). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 23, the 11th Academy Awards were held in 1939, with “You Can’t Take It with You” winning Best Picture and “The Adventures of Robin Hood” winning three awards. In 1978, the Song of the Year Grammy was awarded to both “You Light Up My Life” and “Evergreen.” In 1979, “The Deer Hunter” had its national release.

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