Movies: First They Killed My Father, Kingsmen: The Golden Circle, Brad’s Status

First They Killed My Father

Shortly after the end of the war in Vietnam and the U. S. withdrawal from the region, next door in Cambodia gave rise to the brutal regime called the Khmer Rouge.

That was 1975.  As Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia in retribution for “hosting” American forces the Khmer Rouge swept through the country seeking anyone (and their families) who worked, supported or benefited the U.S. during the war.  This included anyone working for the Cambodian government before it collapsed after the US withdrawal.

This film focuses on one family.  The parents and their six children who survived the terror, “re-education” (brainwashing, labor camps and torture) where over 2 million others died.

Be warned, it is heartbreaking, intense and emotional to watch.  The film is not rated but we would caution parents with young children.  The story is told by the now adult Loung Ung as a horrific drama when she was a young child.

The film is Written and Directed by Angelina Jolie.  It is also available on Netflix. The genre is Drama/Thriller with a run time of 2 hours, 16 minutes.  Cambodian, Vietnamese and French with English subtitles.

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Kingsmen: The Golden Circle

This rendition is as good as the first with just a little bit more of everything.  It is the second edition of the famed comic book series.  It has fresh twists and turns, unique characters, a good pace, funny in the right places and surprises right up to the end.  Visually the movie is impressive and some parts are stunning.

The A list cast includes the return of Taron Egerton, the always good Colin Firth, Channing Tatum, Holly Berry, Julianne Moore is a great villian, and  there’s a hilarious scene with Elton John as himself.

It is rated R for strong violence, drug content, language and sexual material.  We caution parents with younger viewers.  It is listed as an Action/Adventure and runs a whopping 2 hours, 20 minutes.

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Brad’s Status

Brad is a middle aged dad with a good job, a comfortable life and a college aged son seeking placement at a good college like Harvard.  Nonetheless, Brad has angst about a lot of things, his career, money, life style, his wealthier college buddies and so on.

The story is well written and acted.  Ben Stiller is excellent as the dad, Jenna Fisher plays the level headed wife.  Highly successful college buddies are played by Michael Sheen, Luke Wilson and Jemaine Clement.  Austin Abrams plays the mostly calm level headed son.

It is listed as a Drama/Comedy/Music genre (with the music only playing in one scene).  It is rated R for some strong language (quite tame actually).  The run time is 1 hour 41 minutes.

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