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New Escapist Video! “The King’s Man Gets the Job Done – Review”

I’m thrilled to be launching movie reviews on The Escapist. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be joining a set of contributors in adding these reviews to the channel. For the moment, I’m honoured to contribute a three-minute film review of The King’s Man, which is in cinemas now.

Non-Review Review: The Kingsman

The creators of The Kingsman either really love or really hate the classic Roger Moore Bond films. Probably both.

Another creative collaboration between Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Mark Millar, The Kingsman is just as juvenile, crass and ultimately charming as Kick-Ass. There is a sense of mischievous and cheeky fun to this classic spy film homage. It is effectively an update of those seventies and eighties spy films with a more cynical and self-aware attitude. There is a sense that The Kingsman is simply more transparent than its inspirations in its infectiously juvenile and borderline offensive sensibilities.

Sound and Firthy...

Sound and Firthy…

It is hard to tell how much of this homage is genuine nostalgic affection, and how much is witty subversion. The Kingsman is a spy film that not only uses outdated (and occasionally insensitive) spy movie tropes, it practically revels in them. Although the third act occasionally feels a little too mean-spirited in its riff on classic Bond sensibilities, The Kingsman has enough boundless energy and raw enthusiasm to keep the audience watching. The script is well-observed and the direction is tight. A superb central cast helps to anchor the film.

The Kingsman is an odd beast. It is that rare homage that seems quite likely to shock and offend many fans that otherwise share its nostalgic inclinations. However, those willing to be a bit more adventurous will find much to love in this updated spy caper.

Matthew Vaughn's fingerprints are all over this...

Matthew Vaughn’s fingerprints are all over this…

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Non-Review Review: Kick-Ass 2

Kick-Ass was a rare treat, a movie that managed to perfectly balance wry cynicism with an almost surreal optimism. It was the story of a kid with a crazy and reckless idea that somehow managed to do some genuine good. It was also arguably a movie that benefited from the fact that it wasn’t a franchise or a brand – it was cheekier and freer than most superhero films. While still an enjoyable ride, Kick-Ass 2 loses a lot of that edge.

"Right, so everybody has watched the Avengers, right?"

“Right, so everybody has watched the Avengers, right?”

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Win! Kick-Ass 2 Goodies!

Thanks to the wonderful people over at Universal Pictures Ireland and Kick-Ass 2 we have two (2!) Kick-Ass 2 goodie packs to give away.

Kick-Ass 2 is the sequel to Matthew Vaughn, Jane Goldman and Mark Millar’s 2010 hit Kick-Ass, one of our favourite superhero films of the past few years. Most of the cast is returning, including Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Kick-Ass, Chloé Grace Moretz as Hit Girl and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as the Mother-f&%!#?. There are also several new additions, including Jim Carrey as “Colonel Stars ‘n’ Stripes”, but also Donald Faison and John Leguizamo.

It’s released here in Ireland next Wednesday, 14th August. You can check out the trailer below and get a glimpse of what’s in the packs below.

Simply fill out the form below to enter.

Each pack includes:

  • 7″ Action Figure
  • Character Pin Set
  • Kick-Ass Keyring
  • Hit Girl Keyring and Heroclix Mini Figure

It’s quite an impressive haul, as you can see below.


To be in with a chance to win, fill out the form below:

The competition is now closed. Winners will be notified shortly.

Your contact details will only be used to inform the winners. You must be a resident of Ireland or Northern Ireland to enter. Good luck!

Check out more details on the Kick-Ass 2 facebook page.

Watch! Joe Carnahan’s Daredevil Sizzle Reel Trailer…


I am a pretty big fan of Daredevil as a character, if only because he works extremely well a deconstruction of superheroes – expecially of the Batman archetype. That’s part of the reason I’m surprised that Fox never really did anything with him while Nolan was doing Batman. The character is a mess of hero – to the point where he’d make Nolan and Bale’s Bruce Wayne appear well-adjusted. His secret identity has gone public, he’s had a nervous breakdown from the pressure he puts himself under, he’s obsessive, self-righteous and refuses to acknowledge that he may occasionally need help. In short, he’s pretty much exactly the kind of person who shouldn’t be a superhero.

There was talk a little while back of director Joe Carnahan helming a Daredevil film. Fox has held on to the rights since the disappointing Ben Affleck incarnation, but never did anything with them, save for the dire Elektra spin-off. It emerged recently that director Joe Carnahan had pitched for the film. It never happened, and Fox is letting the rights revert to Marvel, but he has released a proof of concept (cobbling together clips, comic panels, and voiceovers from various sources) to give us an idea of what it might have looked like. While Carnahan has yet to truly impress me, I’ll admit that his take looks absolutely fascinating. Much like X-Men: First Class, it looks like a period piece. While Matthew Vaughn brought out the best in the mutants by evoking the social change of the sixties, I think there’s something very clever about a Daredevil film set in the seventies.

That said, I can’t imagine what looks like a gloriously grindhouse exploitation superhero movie making too much money. Which is a shame, because I’d love to see Marvel get back in touch with Carnahan when they appropriate the rights. Sadly, if they do decide to use Daredevil, I don’t see Carnahan’s vision meshing with the shared movie continuity, which is a massive shame. (It’s also something I don’t like about mainstream comics, and I’m sad to see those sorts of concern ported over to the more accessible medium of film. It’s hard to imagine the company producing a seventies exploitation film in the shared universe with Captain America: The First Avenger and Thor, especially given it woul rule the character out of cameos and guest appearances in modern films.))

Still, he’s released two proof of concept trailers. They’re very crude in terms of execution, and seem to mostly establish tone and theme, but I like them. I really do. They seem much more in keeping with the character than the original film. I do hope that Marvel at least talks to Carnahan. This wouldn’t be the safest option for the character, but it would be fun and unique.

Non-Review Review: X-Men – First Class

X-Men: First Class is easily the best thing to emerge from Bryan Singer’s X-Men movie franchise since X-Men II, all those years ago. Jane Goldman’s smart script and Matthew Vaughn’s confident direction help inject life back into the franchise that stirred up this current superhero blockbuster fad, providing one of the finest examples of the subgenre. Although the movie does occasionally veer a little bit too close to (and, once or twice, right into) camp, it’s also a clever, brave, bold and exciting action adventure, which provides the best characterisation of the series to date.

We've got it covered...

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A Good Poster for X-Men…

If you were on the inter-webs yesterday, you might have had the grave misfortune to stumble across Michael Fassbender’s face superimposed over Sir Ian McKellen’s crotch and James McAvoy’s eyebrows being cut short by Patrick Stewart’s wheelchair arm in a vain attempt to promote X-Men: First Class, which must have the worst marketing campaign in the history of cinema. However, in order to help you forget those images (I never will), Last Exit to Nowhere tweeted the below epic X-Men posted from Eric Tan. It has nothing to do with actual movie, but it still manages to fit the whole “nostalgic” thing the movie’s going for (albeit fifties instead of sixties).


On the other hand, I do quite like the (relatively) more subtle European posters which don’t feature Michael Fassbender’s face superimposed over Sir Ian McKellen’s crotch and nor James McAvoy’s eyebrows being cut short by Patrick Stewart’s wheelchair arm.

Now That’s First Class: X-Men – First Class & Superhero Nostalgia

I have to admit that X-Men: First Class is a movie that I find myself in a wild state of flux over. At times, I’m delighted by the sensational casting, the fantastic director and the wonderful artistic design that we’re seeing. However, I am equally curious as to what the point of a prequel is, or why Bryan Singer jumped ship so quickly. At times, it’s one of my most anticipated movies of the coming year, while at others it’s just another film awaiting release. Somewhat lost amid the announcement that Bane and Catwoman would be the villains of The Dark Knight Rises, Fox released a slew of information about their newest X-Men film last week. looking at eth photos, I can’t help wondering whether the superhero movie genre is on the cusp of the nostalgia-fest which has swept their comic book counterparts in recent years.

He always had a magnetic personality...

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Non-Review Review: Kick-Ass

Kick-Ass may be the action movie of the year. It will more than likely be the comedy of year. And it is currently among the best movies I’ve seen so far (and it’s been a very good March, might I add). Kick-Ass does what Watchmen should have, and takes superhero movies to the next level: working on the assumption that the genre is so well recognised that audiences will appreciate all the tiny little tropes, Kick-Ass picks apart the big budget superhero flick, but manages to avoid being mean.

Kick-Ass kicks... well, you see where this is going...

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