Sunday Short Reviews

Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…

Kingsman: The Secret Service
In Kingsman: The Secret Service, director Matthew Vaughn and writer Mark Millar apply the same sensibilities that they brought to Kick-Ass to the James Bond spy-action genure. Troubled youth Eggsy is a typical juvenile delinquent, boosting cars, drinking too much and getting into fights. After his estranged father dies, Eggsy is recruited into a top secret spy organization called the Kingsmen, overseen by Michael Caine and including the likes of Colin Firth and Mark Strong. After several qualifying tests, Eggsy is declared an official member of the Kingsmen, and spearheads a mission to stop a megalomaniacal tech-billionaire played by Samuel L. Jackson from taking over the world. I enjoyed the hell out of Kingsman: The Secret Service, but I don’t have any deep or elaborate analysis of it. This movie really is to spy films what Kick-Ass was to superhero movies. Irreverent and funny, vulgar, bloody, violent, and a hell of a good time. But in no way is this a movie designed to get you thinking. Kingsman is basically what every 12-year-old boy was imagining when he played James Bond games in his back yard with his friends, with everything it entails. Crazy amounts of blood, loads of shootouts, and a few severely underdeveloped female characters. But then, that’s basically every Bond film ever made, right? Kingsman should be viewed as silly entertainment and nothing more.
3.75 out of 5

The Nightmare
Audiences seem divided on documentary filmmaker Rodney Ascher’s work, because he chooses to focus on narrative more than talking head interviews or even facts. Ascher’s documentaries tend to be presented more as mood pieces designed to get people talking and theorizing, rather than films designed to educate. In The Nightmare, Ascher looks at the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, and how it can play tricks on the brain. The Nightmare is made up of segments wherein subjects describe the experiences that they had during bouts of sleep paralysis, and then Ascher tries to recreate those (terrifying) experiences for the viewer. I found this structure to be extremely effective in conveying something that I, personally, have never experienced, and each recreation of a sleep paralysis experience is genuinely scary. However, as one should expect from Ascher’s work at this point, you will not have any major revelations or insight into sleep paralysis. This is more like people describing their nightmares to you in a way that lets you see them for yourself. It’s creepy stuff, and really well-made, but I predict that audiences will be divided over this movie that way they have been with Ascher’s previous works. Me? I really enjoyed it, even if it gave me the heebie-jeebies.
3.5 out of 5

Luther the Geek
So bad it’s hilarious, Luther the Geek should only be viewed with a group of rowdy friends and a ready supply of alcohol, but if you love b-movies, then you owe it to yourself to seek this one out. Luther is a crazy guy with metal teeth who crows like a rooster. After being released from prison for “good behaviour,” he immediately bites the first person he meets and flees to a nearby country home. There he proceeds to terrorize every member of the family, biting many a person along the way. As you can no doubt tell, this movie is stupid as heck, but it’s so ridiculous that fans of grindhouse pictures will get a big kick out of it. It’s short, it’s simple, and it will make you laugh. What more could you want from a bargain-bin Troma production?
2 out of 5

See you next Sunday for more thrilling short reviews!

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