EKFR | Good Will Hunting

Good_Will_Hunting_theatrical_poster


STARRING: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgard

DIRECTED BY: Gus Van Sant

YEAR: 1997


BRIEF

A young janitor at the MIT and regular hooligan named Will Hunting (Damon) is discovered to be gifted in mathematics, but is very reluctant to make the most of it and change his life for the better, much to the dismay of college professor Gerald Lambeau (Skarsgard).

In light of this, Lambeau sets up sessions for Will with therapist and old roomote Sean Maguire (Williams) in the hopes of opening him up and realising his potential.

 

PROs

  • Robin Williams in one of his greatest performances ever, showing a lot of restrain and displaying sentiment when required
  • Matt Damon impresses in his first major starring role as Will, and has a surprisingly strong chemistry with Williams
  • Most of the supporting cast deliver, especially Minnie Driver as the romantic interest, Ben Affleck as – ideally – the best friend and Stellan Skarsgard as the tutor.
  • Beautiful direction from Gus Van Sant
  • An underrated soundtrack by Danny Elfman
  • Gripping writing, mixed with the great acting, keeps the viewer transfixed for the entire 2 hour duration
  • Numerous themes tackled incredibly well, including relationships, the effects of domestic abuse and moving on from the past
  • An inspiring message that encourages you to face your fears, take the leap and make a better future for yourself
  • One of the funniest improvised scenes in all of cinema, made all the more glorious by the cameraman’s battle to hold back the laughter and keep the shot still
  • “It’s not your fault…”

 

CONs

  • While undoubtedly a good movie, the plot and the writing in general smells strongly of Oscar-bait
  • Some of Will’s friends can get a little irritating at times

 

VERDICT

From start to finish, a captivating and heartening picture with a brilliant cast and superb emotional writing. Matt Damon has probably yet to top himself here, and this is by far one of Robin Williams’ finest showings, especially in the dramatic field.

It also leaves a supreme feeling of hope and positivity by the time it is over. A magnetic and impactful film with very few flaws, and it cannot be recommended enough.


EKFR | Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman_The_Secret_Service_poster


STARRING: Colin Firth, Samuel Jackson, Taron Egerton, Mark Strong, Michael Caine

DIRECTED BY: Matthew Vaughn

YEAR: 2015


BRIEF

A secret spy organisation by the name of Kingsman is looking for a new recruit, with young chav Eggsy (Taron Egerton) brought in for training as picked by Harry Hart (Colin Firth), who served with Eggsy’s long deceased father as part of the service.

Meanwhile, internet entrepreneur Richmond Valentine (Samuel Jackson) unveils his latest invention which, while on the surface a breakthrough in technology that will benefit the public greatly, may serve a darker purpose for the lisp-ridden billionaire…

 

PROs

  • Great cast across the board, with most of the actors fitting the ideal roles such as Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Michael Caine
  • Samuel Jackson surprisingly pulling off an geeky villain amusingly well
  • Strong comedy that balances out well with the underlying drama
  • Plentiful in action, particularly towards the end where it features tonnes of mind-blowing, over the top insanity in which you can’t help but laugh and cheer at as it unfolds
  • Lots of interesting and clever ideas
  • A few twist and turns thrown in, with one or two unpredictable scenes that are legitimately surprising.
  • Various instances of impressive camerawork
  • Quite an interesting use of product placement that comes out of nowhere but is entertainingly handled
  • That church scene. If you’ve seen it, you know…

 

CONs

  • The CGI can look pretty glaring and blatant at times
  • Depending on individual tastes, the story may get a little too silly for its own good

 

VERDICT

A ball-busting flick that is insanely fun, action-packed, hilarious, featuring memorable characters and overall taking the spy genre to another level; imagine the Roger Moore 007 films for the modern generation. Just be prepared to not take it so seriously.