7 January 2022.
THE KING’S MAN ***
Here is history and adventure rolled up in one engrossing action film. This prequel by Matthew Vaughn, who has done the previous Kingsman films, harks back to WWI and the intrigues behind the different countries involved, with such actual characters as Czar Nicolas, Rasputin, Lenin, President Woodrow Wilson, King George and more. So a lot of history, however highly distorted, is in this film that besides being pure entertainment is at times very serious about love of family, country and the awful brutality of war. In fact a few scenes reminded me of “Saving Private Ryan”.
The main reason for this fantasy venture is of course to continue the “Kingsman” franchise. But with fine actors such as Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Daniel Brühl, Djimoun Housou and others, and so much amusing intrigue, why not?
LICORICE PIZZA **1/2
I simply don’t understand all the excitement around this film, except for the incredibly fine debut performance by Cooper Hoffman, son of the late, great Phillip Seymour. He’s a natural and has definitely inherited his father’s strong presence.
The story is of two characters – an older, quite homely girl and a very self-assured teenager (18 year-old Cooper) who falls for her and tries to convince her that they are made for each other. That’s basically it, except for a bunch of other oddballs, played briefly by the likes of Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper and Tom Waits.
Probably the main reason for the swoon reviews is because it’s a Paul Thomas Anderson film (he of such diverse films as Boogey Nights, Magnolia, There Will be Blood and Phantom Thread), and he’s thrown in 70s music from David Bowie and Gordon Lightfoot, used those big stars in cameo roles, and given it such an incongruous title. It meanders all over the place and feels disjointed but sort of hip. Anyway, it’s being nominated in many award categories.
As the new pickings are slim this week, I would once again recommend the excellent films – still on the screens – which you may have missed until now:
DUNE – impressive
KING RICHARD (La Méthode Williams) – heartwarming
WEST SIDE STORY – excellent remake
LA MANO DI DIO – wonderfully Neapolitan
HOUSE OF GUCCI – exciting
DON’T LOOK UP! – a visionary farce
ALINE – brilliant biopic
A HERO – serious cinema
LA PANTHERE DES NEIGES – sublime documentary
COMPARTMENT #6 – Russian/Finnish mood
MADRES PARALELAS – Almadovar!
SPIDER MAN – NO WAY HOME – a delight
For more reviews click here.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.