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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Matthew Vaughn
Cast:
Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong
Writing Credits:
Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn

Synopsis:
A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency's ultra-competitive training program, just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Box Office:
Budget
$81 million.
Opening Weekend
$42,000,000 on 3,204 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$128,219,589.

MPAA:
Rated R.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian DTS 5.1
Ukrainian Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Portuguese
Russian
Chinese Simplified
Estonian
Indonesian
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Malaysian
Chinese Traditional
Thai
Ukrainian
Vietnamese
Slovenian
Serbian
Turkish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Portuguese
Russian ‘
Korean
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Thai

Runtime: 129 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 6/9/2015
Bonus:
• “Kingsman: The Secret Service Revealed” Six-Part Documentary
• Galleries
• Trailer and Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


Kingsman: The Secret Service [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 5, 2015)

After he directed 2011’s terrific X-Men: First Class, I felt disappointed Matthew Vaughn didn’t get the chance to helm its follow-up, 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. This didn’t leave Vaughn totally out in the cold, though, as he took this opportunity to make 2015’s James Bond-styled Kingsman: The Secret Service.

A prologue set in 1997 introduces us to a British secret spy organization called “Kingsman”. During an interrogation, a terrorist pulls the pin on a grenade, and apprentice agent Lee Unwin (Jonno Davies) sacrifices himself to save his colleagues.

This leaves Lee’s wife Michelle (Samantha Womack) widowed and his young son Gary (Alex Nikolov) without a father. Kingsman Harry Hart (Colin Firth) – known by the code name “Galahad” – can’t give details of Lee’s secret life to Michelle, but he does provide her with a medallion that includes a number to call if she ever needs special help. Michelle passes this to little Gary.

We fast-forward to meet Gary as a young adult better known as “Eggsy” (Taron Egerton). He lives a semi-delinquent life and tends to run with the wrong crowd, which gets him into trouble with local goons.

When this lands him in jail, Eggsy remembers the phone number on the medallion and calls it. In short time, Galahad arrives and gets Eggsy out of the clink. Galahad also demonstrates remarkable fighting skills when confronted by the thugs who threaten Eggsy.

Galahad recruits the young man to try out for a vacancy in the Kingsman ranks. We follow Eggsy’s path as well as a worldwide threat posed by technology mogul Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson).

At the start of this review, I bemoaned the fact that Vaughn didn’t get to direct the last X-Men film. I still wish that he’d made Days of Future Passed, as I think he could’ve made it much more interesting than Bryan Singer did, but at least Kingsman acts as a good consolation prize.

Though First Class came between the two films, Kingsman evokes stronger comparisons with Vaughn’s 2010 flick Kick-Ass. Both Kick-Ass and Kingsman embrace a gleefully over the top tone, and both walk a fine line between spoof and homage.

I think Kingsman reflects Vaughn’s growth as a director, for it offers a much more fluid and entertaining experience than Kick-Ass did. I liked Kick-Ass but thought it lacked consistency and felt like something of a missed opportunity.

The same doesn’t hold true for the wild, witty and wacko Kingsman. While it works from the Bond template, it goes into a much more crazed world, one that earns its “R” rating. Kingsman gets pretty graphic at times, and that means it won’t be for everyone.

If you can get past the gruesome moments, Kingsman turns into a total winner. It works as both a spoof and a straight action flick, and it even manages to turn a pretty trite “origin” story into something interesting. Eggsy’s training lacks much creativity but the movie handles the scenes with enough spark and aplomb to make them fun nonetheless. No, we never doubt that Eggsy will become a Kingsman, but we still enjoy the journey.

The cast helps. I never thought I’d buy Firth as an action hero, but he does nicely here and feels totally believable as Galahad. The scene in which he takes on the goons at the pub delights and gives us a great view of Firth as lethal agent.

Others disagree, but I think the movie uses Jackson well. I don’t feel like we get too much of him, so as goofy as he plays his part, he doesn’t wear out his welcome. I also think it’s fun to see him play a role that doesn't feel like his usual "cocky badass". Jackson offers a clever twist on the traditional Bond villain and becomes an asset to the story.

Speaking of assets, Vaughn features music to remarkable effect. The presentation of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird" during one action sequence dazzles, and we also get other strong uses of source songs. These could’ve been cutesy or annoying, but instead they benefit the movie.

My only complaint about Kingsman? Its trailers gave away too much of the fun. This is such a delightful movie that it’s a shame to know what you’ll see. I don’t know if Kingsman will wind up as my favorite film from 2015, but it’s a contender.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

Kingsman: The Secret Service appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This was a mostly appealing presentation.

Sharpness became the only mildly inconsistent element, as a handful of shots came across as a bit soft, usually during interiors. These remained in the minority, though, so the majority of the flick displayed concise, distinctive elements. I saw no jaggies or shimmering, and edge haloes failed to mar the image. Print flaws also didn’t appear.

Here’s a shocker: Kingsman opted for a palette with an obvious teal and orange push. I’m tired of these stylistic choices, but within the image’s parameters, they looked solid. Blacks showed good depth and darkness, while low-light shots appeared smooth and clear. The occasional soft moment made this a “B”, but the picture worked well most of the time.

I also felt happy with the solid DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Kingsman. Despite the movie’s billing as an action movie, it didn’t come with a ton of chances for auditory theatrics – at least not until the third act. The first two-thirds of the movie focused so much on character that they didn’t bring out a ton of dynamic action pieces.

As the movie progressed, though, the soundscape kicked into higher gear. These sequences used all the channels in an active, involving manner and created a good feel for the material.

Audio quality was also positive. Music sounded lively and full, while effects delivered accurate material. Those elements showed nice clarity and kick, with tight low-end. Speech was always distinctive and concise, too. This mix worked well for the film.

In terms of extras, the disc’s major component comes from a six-part documentary called Kingsman: The Secret Service Revealed. All together, this runs one hour, 31 minutes and 41 seconds as it provides comments from writer/director Matthew Vaughn, comic book creator/writer/executive producer Mark Millar, writer Jane Goldman, editor Eddie Hamilton, property master David Cheeseman, supervising armourer Damian Mitchell, costume designer Arianne Phillips, 1st AD 2nd unit Joe Geary, stunt performer Rick English, fight arranger Damien Walters, comic book creator/artist/executive producer Dave Gibbons, and actors Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Sofia Boutella, Mark Hamill, Nicholas Banks, Jack Davenport and Sophie Cookson.

“Revealed” looks at the film’s origins and development, story/character areas and aspects of the source comic, cast and performances, Vaughn’s style, weapons and other props, costumes, stunts and action, and editing.

“Revealed” seems less complete than I’d expect for such a long program. For instance, we learn little about music and effects, even though both play a prominent role in the film.

Those odd omissions aside, “Revealed” delivers an informative and entertaining piece. It touches on a lot of useful areas and does so with candor and clarity. These turn it into a valuable program.

We also get Galleries. These split into three areas: “Behind the Scenes” (51 shots), “Sets” (24) and “Props” (39). All three provide good material, but “Sets” and “Props” work best since they let us get closer looks at those domains.

The disc opens with ads for Spy, Unfinished Business and X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut. Sneak Peek adds promos for Taken 3, The Marine 4: Moving Target and Before I Go to Sleep. We also get the trailer for Kingsman.

A giddy, violent ride, Kingsman: The Secret Service presents a dynamic take on the “gentleman spy” genre. The movie succeeds as both spoof and straight action flick, one that presents a consistently exciting journey. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio as well as an interesting documentary. Kingsman packs a lively punch.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4.1666 Stars Number of Votes: 6
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main