Browse Month: August 2016

RECAP: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015): Matthew Vaughn

Perhaps, when you saw the trailer for Kingsman, you balked at the thought of Colin “White Gloves” Firth in an action role. I did.

Turns out that an Oscar winner for Best Actor possesses some skill at acting. The old dandy nearly pulled it off.

Kingsman was enough of a feel-good action movie about murdering billions to earn nearly five times its budget, making it a sleeper success, especially considering its February release date (this film coming one year before Deadpool.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A British secret agency, no, not THAT secret agency, recruits a troubled lad to replace a fallen gentleman and help save the world from–gasp–an American. Continue Reading

RECAP: Deadpool

Deadpool (2016): Some Overpaid Tool (OK, Tim Miller)

That’s what the credits called Tim Miller, birth name of the man who directed Fox’s most recent mutant extravaganza.

You might remember Deadpool as a villain in the origin story of Wolverine from the 2009 film X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Well, you remember correctly.

Fox brought him back, divested him of Wolverine’s association (at least visually) and added a whole heap of humor. The result? The all-time February opening weekend record.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A funny guy learns that he’s a mutant and hunts the guy who proved it to him. Continue Reading

RECAP: Fantastic Four

Fantastic Four (2015): Josh Trank

When does 1+1+1+1=53? When Fantastic Four finishes 53rd at the US box office in its year of release.

Fox released a reboot of the mildly successful duology featuring, yes, that Chris Evans. In casting Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, and Kate Mara, the studio captured some of Hollywood’s hottest young talent.

They tossed in the director, Josh Trank, of an off-beat superhero success, Chronicle, to make an un-Marvel superhero movie.

They made an un-Marvel superhero movie. Turns out the public wasn’t interested.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Four fantastic folks fight for friendship while single slithery scientist teleports terrain to new planet. Continue Reading

RECAP: London Has Fallen

London Has Fallen (2016): Babak Najafi

After an OK debut at the box office, the studio decided to give Gerard Butler another chance. Saving the president, singlehandedly, wasn’t enough of a challenge for him on home turf. This time, they sent him to England.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The world’s most unfortunate president is again held hostage, but he’s got the world’s best bodyguard to fight for him. Continue Reading

RECAP: Stagecoach

Stagecoach (1939): John Ford

Hollywood history is riddled with years high and low. No year soared higher than 1939. As Stagecoach is probably the only action movie still possible to watch from 1939, it’s The Exploder’s best chance to discuss the year.

The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Stagecoach are not simply classic films, they are Best Picture Winners in nearly every other year. But they went up against Gone with the Wind, arguably the most successful film ever made, and lost.

An absolute classic of the genre, Stagecoach was the only Oscar loss for director John Ford. He won four other times the Best Director statue, a feat unequaled so far.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A brazen group of stagecoach passengers brave Apache territory to ride to Lordsburg.  Continue Reading