He Is Not RoboCop; He Is Kingsman

Some people have commented that Kingsman: The Secret Service is a mash-up of Harry Potter, James Bond and bloody Kill Bill, which I cannot agree more.

The story follows a young man, Eggsy played by a relatively fresh face, Taron Egertonwho has been selected by Harry Hart/Galahad (Colin Firth) as a candidate to join Kingsman. What is Kingsman? A great question! Bravo!

Kingsman is a tailor shop and literally at this very moment, you can find pieces just like Colin Firth has worn in the film from Mr. Porter. However, under the disguise of a tailor shop, Kingsman is a secret organization that is beyond the systematic and bureaucratic corporations and governments, and they do things to keep world peace , to fight the evil. The round table is replaced by a long conference desk surrounded by dazzlingly suited English gentlemen. Even though, they are still called by those ancient knights’ names. The leader of Kingsman himself is called Arthur ( Michael Kane) who you may find him too familiar as Alfred.

The antagonist of the film is a genius billionaire Valentine played by Samuel L. Jackson , who strangely reminds me of Tony Stark. Valentine creates a special SIM card that is free to claim and free to use for the entire world; however, later it is revealed that the SIM card can broadcast waves that make humans aggressive and kill each other. Valentine’s plan is to reduce the world population in order to save the planet. World leaders, many of them, get on the same boat with Valentine, and they are implanted by another chip on their necks to counter the wave broadcasting from the SIM card. Hart and his bunch later discover that those chips can also blow those implantees’ heads off.

Hart (Colin Firth) and Eggsy (Taron Egerton)

Hart is accidentally exposed to the wave and kills an entire church of people. When Hart confronts Valentine outside the church, Valentine shots Hart at the head. Some people may start to cry at this moment seeing Colin Firth lying there liveless. Of course, Hart’s death devastates Eggsy, but even worse, Eggsy finds that Kingsman Arthur is one of Valentine’s allies. Eggsy kills Arthur and destroys Valentine’s plan with help from Merlin (Mark Strong) and  Roxy (Sophie Cookson).

The film starts with some really comicy touches, and the opening scene definitely reminds me of Kid Spy except that someone dies right away, who later is revealed to be Eggsy’s father. The fire between Kingsman and Valentine becomes wild when Lancelot, a Kingsman agent, is killed by Valentine’s assistant, body-guard and, maybe, butler Gazelle (Sofia Boutella) who has artificial limps that can turn into lethal weapons. The entire film is action driven and sometimes, there is a good laugh and Director Matthew Vaughn has done a brilliant job to bring out the quirkiness that his fans adore him for the most.

Kingsman might not have a powerful storyline like the Imitation Game or the Theory of Everything, but it is a social satire stunningly done. Even though, the film focuses on to bring visual enjoyment, the focus on an environmental cause is quite inspiring. Is Valentine evil? Is he too self-righteous to play God? However, without effectively controlling the world population, there may not be a planet called Earth in the near future. As well, the deadly weapon in the film is not the artificial limps from Gazelle or those gadgets from Kingsman, but the SIM card providing services free of charge, which I, personally, will be attempted if there is one. How much we have been depending on cellphones and the Internet can be concerning, and Kingsman might serve as a wake-up call for those who cannot live without their cells for a single second.

Advertisements

Dior Homme Autumn/Winter 2015-16

Kris Van Assche is a stubborn visionary romantic! When I first saw those flower pins from the backstage, I was incredibly disturbed. Is Mr. Van Assche pushing too far? However, when the curtain was finally peeled away and Dior-look models walked down the stage, everything worked out.

As usual, Mr. Van Assche translated his attitudes toward sportswear so well into this sophisticated collection. He did his homework well and blended his respect to Mr. Christian Dior subtly and flatteringly – Mr. Christian Dior is an avid gardening enthusiast. Very classic French luxury. It is different from those heavy fabrics and flamboyant patterns people can find from Italian fashion houses, it is also different from those chic and brave designs from rising British menswear, and it is Dior Homme, one and only in this world.

Even though, Mr. Van Assche was a long time assistant to Dior Homme’s previous creative director, Hedi Slimane and there is a decades-long story between Dior and Saint Laurent, Mr. Van Assche successfully parted his own interpretation of the label from his teacher. People might see resemblance between Dior Homme and Saint Laurent Paris Menswear, but once you read into the designs, the only thing sharing between Dior Homme and Saint Laurent Paris is that they are both French luxury. Other than that, Dior Homme is unique and unreachable for Van Assche’s sportive and sophisticated design language.

LCM 2015 Fall Winter: Topman Design

#JesuisCharlie

Topman has been growing along with London Collections:Men, only becoming stronger and better, emmm, maybe just better-looking. Doesn’t those heavy long coats remind us of something from Burberry Prorsum? Look at those jumpsuits! Aren’t they a tribute to Moschino blended with some Versace? Maybe even a bit Dsquare? Look at those suits! Are they just copies of Dior Homme with lesser quality materials? And there is a touch of Saint Laurent everywhere! Maybe just because they are using some of the same models who have been walking for Hedi. Lastly, look at those checks at the end? Comme des Garçon?

After all, Topman may still just be a high-street fashion store around the corner that collects recent fashion school graduates’ overly attituded sketches.

Police and Digital Media: What about Our Privacy

It has been a messy year. 43-year-old Eric Garner,18-year-old Michael Brown, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice are three names that tragically tremble the news and people who care. It might not seem fair when Mike Brown’s “killer”, Darren Wilson, a Ferguson Police Officer, was not indicted; however, it was not right in any ways when Ismaaiyl Brinsley executed two New York police officers to, in his own words, give wings to two pigs.

We might need to give all the buzzes about the recent tragic events a break, but one thing about how NYPD tried to uncover the motive behind Brinsley’s inexcusable action was how they incorporated social media into cluing everything up. It seemed like a really smart idea until CNN reported that Baltimore PD has faxed NYPD a warning about Brinsley after spotting his unusual posts sharing on social media. And this little detail reminds me of NSA about how easily our phones can be bugged.

People in America have been criticizing how restricted media are in China and some other mid-eastern countries for that governments are spying on their people on a regular basis. Even though, American media have been considered more liberal, but still it is not entirely a safe place for Freedom of Speech, because the US government is watching its people just like those countries people have been criticizing!

Do You Want A Baymax? A Movie Review of Big Hero 6

A good time laughing out loud and weeping in secret is what a great storytelling can do to us, which Big Hero 6 flattered brilliantly. Read along to find out if it can also entertain you just like any other great Christmas season animations from Disney. Many details are omitted to avoid major spoilers.

Hiro (Ryan Potter), the protagonist, is apparently a science prodigy. After winning a bot-fight unexpectedly with his two-face cute-and-evil tiny robot, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), Hiro’s older brother, reveals to us that bot-fights are illegal in this fictional metropolis, San Frantokyo – a mashup of San Fransisco and Tokyo, voila-and Hiro himself graduated from the high school at the age of 13. He’s 14 in the timeline of the film if you are wondering just like I were.

Hiro is this bratty, arrogant and somewhat pessimistic teen who is keen to live a life with illegal bot-fights; however, his brother who studies at a local university tries to convince Hiro to use his talent and to care about his higher education. Tadashi takes Hiro to his lab at the university on the way when they are going to a bot-fight.

Hiro and Tadashi

Hiro gets fascinated by the projects lying around in the lab by Tadashi’s labmates/classmates/schoolmates, Go Go (Jamie Chung), Washabi ( Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) and the school moscot, Fred the Lizard (T.J. Miller). Tadashi also shows Hiro his personal project, Baymax – a personal healthcare robot. If you don’t know, Baymax does talk and it is voiced by Scott Adsit.

On the way out of the university, Hiro and Tadashi encounter a professor in the university who invented the technology Hiro used to build his fighting bot, Professor Robert Callaghan (James Cromwell). Due to admiration of Professor Callaghan and pure fascination toward robotic science, Hiro decides to join a science fair to impress Professor Callaghan in order to get into the university. 

Baymax

Hiro wows the entire audience at the science fair with his micro-bots including Professor Callaghan and Alistair Keri (Alan Tudyk), a successfully business man. Keri offers to buy Hiro’s invention but is stopped by Professor Callaghan. There is definitely some bitterness between the two. Hiro takes the offer from Professor Callaghan and decides to join the university. 

After the fair, someone sets the entire building on fire. Tadashi runs back to rescue Professor Callaghan who is considered to be trapped. The building explodes; Tadashi is killed.

Due to the grief of losing his brother, Hiro hides himself indoors and avoids seeing people. Accidentally, Baymax gets activated and decides to help Hiro feel better to fulfill his personal health care robot obligation. Soon, the team of two finds out that Hiro’s micro-bots are not destroyed in the fire and the fire must not be an accident.

After chasing the clues, Hiro and Baymax encounter the masked antagonist who is operating Hiro’s micro-bots. Baymax does not seem to be able to fight against the enemy. Hiro recruits Go Go, Fred, Washabi and Honey Lemon and assembles an entire “super-hero” team of six including Baymax with armor upgrades.

They confront the masked bad man and get to learn that what the masked man is doing is to revenge for his daughter who is lost or dead in another space during a teleportation project by Krei. Big Hero 6 defeat the masked man, and Baymax finds that the daughter is still alive. Hiro and Baymax enter into the teleportation gate t o save the daughter under the risk of never coming back.

Baymax sacrifices himself in order to push Hiro and the daughter back into the reality. Several months later, it appears that Hiro starts to attend the university with his friends. In Tadashi’s lab, Hiro places the last piece from Baymax by the window, a fist. He fist-bumps it and finds the memory chip Tadashi created for Baymax, which is hidden inside of the fist.

Big Hero 6 is another almost-perfect blend of science fiction and touchy emotions. The dynamic between Hiro and Tadashi is inevitably real and sincere. The brother love is strong enough to make the whole story logical. The story is straightforward and definitely kids-friendly; however, if you are one of those brainy who wants more, then you probably should go to the room next door for Interstellar.

Baymax’s cute appearance and its pure intention of curing Hiro from his grief  teaches a lesson to follow audience effectively. Baymax cares to know how Hiro feels and want to know in order to help; besides,Baymax is huggable, “fat” and soft.  a perfect someone everyone needs. Another message from the film is, indeed, that education is important. The entire film somewhat serves as a giant PSA for the kids in the audience.

Optimistically, I believe Big Hero 6 can inspire some to love science and give importance to education.

Alexander Wang Womenswear S/S 2015: It’s the Spirit!

Bold colors, inspired by sports, great silhouettes and always party-ready, Alexander Wang presented us another great collection of versatility and the new chic. Raf Simons and Karl Lagerfeld have refined that sneakers are not just for treadmills and elliptical trainers; but Wang tells us that baseball skirts can be worn outside of the court with confidence.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was not a huge surprise when Wang was hired by Kering to head Balenciaga. Wang’s sportive attitude fits right into what Nicolas Ghesquière has created for Balenciaga. Even though Wang’s designs are signaturly recognizable, he is doing great to part his own label from what Balenciaga offers. Alexander Wang is much more athletic and, of course, American in the heart.

Neo-Robocop

Robocop is back! Not only did the metal suit get some face-lifting, but also did Alex Murphy himself become much prettier. The story happened in Detroit, 2028, which was pretty much the same locale as the original. The film transited so well from the roaring lion of MGM dubbed with Samuel Jackson warming up his vocal to his character, Pat Novak’s broadcast. The debate between the left and the right on the age of machines was brought up non-shyly at all. Step away from the screen, a similar situation in the real world American politics, there is the silly debate about global warming. Director, José Padilha, was not shy at all showing those machines and robots less than 10 minutes into the film. Stunning special effects! Soon, the protagonist, Alex Murphy, played by Swedish actor, Joel Kinnanman, who is modelly pretty, revealed himself and glorified his bad luck by gunning with automatic weapons with a pistol. In this neo-take of the sci-fi classic, Murphy was blown to pieces instead of being shot at head (and all over his body).

The good doctor working for the bad guys, Dennett Norton, played by Gary Oldman, was another crucial element progressing the story. Murphy was taken away his emotions, but his tragic accident haunted him, his son was upset, and ,voila, Murphy got his own emotions back, overrode the machine protocols, and killed the bad guy.

Remaking classics is quite risky unless it was Jugde Dredd, but Neo-Robocop was fairly enjoyable. The satirical portray of media was so explicit that I wanted to punch Jackson at his very face. The hypocritical side of Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton) was so disgusting that people would forget Keaton used to be the Dark Knight all at once.

Murphy’s son (John Ruttan) was another thing done so right. In the original Robocop, Alex Murphy was a loner, and later became a dead loner brought back to life in a metal suit. The new Murphy was married, and an amazing father. Kinnaman did so well to portray a more multifaceted and more disturbed Alex Murphy.

However, the film was far away from being great. The second half of the film when Murphy went on to revenge was rushed through. Despite Murphy being basically bulleted to a beehive, people might still feel it was not enough. Showing the dangling remaining parts of Murphy once again before Audiences losing their hopes for a sequel did not culminate the film to its full potential.