Cinema Dispatch: The Gentlemen

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The Gentlemen and all the images you see in this review are owned by STX Films

Directed by Guy Ritchie

So hey!  Now that we’re talked about our collective complicated relationship with Michael Bay, we might as well get to Guy Ritchie as well!  I actually haven’t seen most of his movies, even the ones that everyone else seems to like (no, I haven’t seen Snatch) but the general consensus is well known and can be seen even in the few films I’ve sat through; an over reliance of style over substance which coupled with the wrong material is utterly disastrous.  He SOMEHOW didn’t crash and burn with Aladdin even if that isn’t a great movie, but King Arthur was an absolute garbage fire of a movie; one that I’m sure we’ll all have fun laughing about for years to come.  Then again, his adaptation of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. was a surprising fun little ride, and with him returning to his comfort zone for this movie maybe he’ll get back into the groove of things and give us something truly enjoyable once again!  Can Guy Ritchie still knock it out of the park when he’s doing the one thing we know he’s good at?  Let’s find out!!

Told to us by way of Fletcher the journalist (Hugh Grant), Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is the biggest grower and distributor of marijuana in the UK, and despite being so successful and sacrificing so much to keep his business afloat, well he’s approaching that age where there are more important things and so he decides it’s time to sell it.  His buyer to be is the much more respectable Matthew Berger (Jeremy Strong) who will need to pay a pretty penny for it as that kind of infrastructure will be primed to make BILLIONS once pot is legalized in the UK, but as it turns out there’s someone else vying for a chance to get it from Mickey; namely the Chinese-British gangster Dry Eye (Henry Golding) who’s uncle George (Tom Wu) basically controls all the other drugs in the country.  Mickey isn’t planning on selling to anyone else though and politely tells him to shove it which was probably the right move to make but still ends up causing headache for Mickey and his crew including his right hand man Raymond (Charlie Hunnam) who coincidently is the person that Fletcher is telling this story to.  Kind of seems odd that he’s telling Raymond about things that he was already there for, but Fletcher assures him that there’s a twist to this story that he won’t see coming and is one that he’s certain Raymond and Mickey will be more than willing to pay twenty MILLION dollars to find out.  With so much at stake, what will Mickey do (or perhaps have already done given the framing device) to keep his empire from crumbling right before the big sale?  What could Fletcher possibly have that Raymond and Mickey don’t already know, and is it really worth as much as he says it is?  Will this be the redemption of both Charlie Hunnam and Guy Ritchie after that disastrous King Arthur movie!?

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“Is that what I think it is?”     “Yup. Every blu ray copy of King Arthur.”     “I think I’m gonna be sick.”     “Don’t lose your nerve now; you KNOW what needs to be done.  I’ll get the hammers.”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: The Gentlemen”

Cinema Dispatch: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros. Pictures

Directed by Guy Ritchie

We get a movie based on this show, and yet I STILL can’t get a Hogan’s Heroes reboot!?  It looks the Hollywood remake machine is going all the way back to the Cold War with this re-imagining of a series that was made well before Rocky solved the Cold War by kicking Dolph Lundgren’s ass.  I’ve never seen the show before, but a good old fashioned spy thriller in the vain of From Russia with Love would be a nice change of pace from the other stylish spy flicks we’ve been getting recently.  Not only that, but having Guy Ritchie at the helm of something set in an era that’s known for its unique brand of style seems like a perfect pairing of director and film, so there’s plenty to look forward to here.  Still, you can’t say that Guy Ritchie has been one to look at for great stories which is pretty evident by his PREVIOUS adaptations of a popular series that didn’t take long to go completely off the rails.  Will this be a return to form for the venerable director, or is this just another weak outing from a guy who never learns from his mistakes?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins in early 1960’s Germany with American Super Spy Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) making his way to East Berlin. His mission is to get a local mechanic (Gaby Teller played by Alicia Vikander) to assist him in finding her father who was a former Nazi nuclear scientist and has recently gone missing. The mission is fairly simple. Convince Gaby to help the US and sneak her out of East Berlin. Things get complicated however when Soviet Super Spy Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) is acutely aware of what’s going on and tries everything in his power to stop the duo from crossing the border into West Berlin.  Fortunately for the good old Stars and Stripes, Solo succeeds in his mission leaving the not so good old Hammer and Sickle twisting in the wind. Except not really! For some reason, the Soviet government and the US government decide to work together to find Gaby’s father, so now Solo and Illya have to work together to stop whatever scheme he, or possibly his kidnappers, are planning.  So wait, they couldn’t come to an agreement to work together until AFTER Solo and Illya tear their way through East Berlin? Wouldn’t that have complicated any ongoing negotiations?  Oh well, at least we now have our premise.  It’s a spy action-comedy with the tension between Solo and Illya working for opposing sides in the Cold War informing much of the comedic strife and genuine tension throughout the movie.

“At least my country hasn’t sold its soul to the false idols of capitalistic enterprises.”     “I’m sure your people feel oh so superior as they eat their potato soup and die in the Gulag.”     “CAN THE BOTH OF YOU PLEASE SHUT UP!?!?”
“At least my country hasn’t sold its soul to the false idols of capitalistic enterprises.”     “I’m sure your people feel oh so superior as they eat their potato soup and die in the Gulag.”     “CAN THE BOTH OF YOU PLEASE SHUT UP!?!?”

Continue reading “Cinema Dispatch: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”