Saturday, August 15, 2015


Yes. Just, yes.

Despite my noted hatred for literally every film version of '60s television (Wild, Wild West '99--MY EYES! MY EYES!), I have been quite looking forward to this film. It was the only summer blockbuster that I was looking forward to (although, I did end up enjoying Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road was basically life-changing). Sadly, I don't think it's gonna be quite a blockbuster (DARN YOU, TOM CRUISE STEALING ALL THE SPY AUDIENCE WITH YOUR M:I NONSENSE! I DON'T FORGIVE YOU! YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID TO JIM PHELPS!), but I desperately need it to be, so that I can have many sequels, and enjoy the wonderful world built just for my pure enjoyment.

Anyway. (I promise to stop abusing the parentheses for the rest of this post.)

I don't know why I was quite so excited for this film. But, somehow I just knew that it was gonna turn out okay. I just knew that Sean Connery would not be talking to people in a giant teddy bear costume. And Simon Templar would not just hang around being depressed.

No, this was gonna have style and, hopefully, absolutely no substance.

I also, for some crazy reason, really want Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer to succeed in life, because they just seem like delightful people who keep appearing in failures (or just being Superman)--and I just want them to be loved. I'm not even a particular fan of either; I just feel bad for some actors. (I still believe in you, Taylor Kitsch!)

Also, Alicia Vikander is hardcore cool, so yeah.

And, finally, although I was raised on a steady diet of '60s spies. Man From U.N.C.L.E. was not ever really introduced to me. I knew of it, and I've now seen episodes here and there, but unlike literally every other '60s spy program--it is not something that is intrinsically familiar to me. AKA, there was no nostalgia for Guy Ritchie to destroy.

So, when the trailer was released, I was FULLY on board. It was stylish  and colorful and awesome and there were terrible Russian accents, and everything was right with the world.

I waited and waited for this movie to arrive. My soul was parched and desperate for a cool drink of '60s spy ridiculousness. < --I reread this statement and utterly stand by it. I need to not write posts at 2AM.

Excitedly, I noted that it was playing at the Cinerama here in Seattle. I got my ticket. I got a friend a ticket. It was a noteworthy occasion.

At last, Friday arrived. It was a perfect August day here in Washington. Even nature conspired for greatness--with heavy downpours and regular intervals of thunder and lightening. My kind of day.

When I got off work, I popped over to my place to make some dinner (we had tickets for the 8PM screening). I also ended up changing into a mostly socially-acceptable version (I looked sorta like an idiot) of a '60s spy outfit (there was pleather). Some people dress up for superhero movies. I DRESS UP FOR MY SPIES.

My friend and I caught the bus (don't you love all this important information). There was a some delay, because the Seahawks were playing and that was important or something. BUT, WE MADE IT. And, we got our chocolate popcorn and root beer and we settled into the majestic Cinerama and prepared for greatness.

Note: before this film began, my friend said, "Wait. What is this about again."

There was greatness.

There was pure joy and energy and style and delightfulness.

Man From U.N.C.L.E. is formulaic for sure. But, the formula is a wonderful one. The greatest praise I could give it is that is perfectly reminded me a '60s spy television show. Like a bigger-budgeted episode where they can afford to drive on-location and not with rear-projection.

Not without its flaws (there are a few editing choices that can come off as repetitive), nevertheless, I literally smiled the whole time.

The entire cast was extraordinary: great chemistry. It was also quite enjoyable to note all the cast-members using fake accents (some more accurately than others).

Also, fun fact, David Beckham has a 2-second cameo that I only recognized because I follow the Becks on Instagram (obviously, why wouldn't I? [side-note: the only non-friends I follow on Insta are Becks, Lupita Nyong'o, Jonny Lee Miller, Propaganda, Propaganda's wife (I'm supes creeps) and Tavi Gevinson--so, who even knows why?!]).

Guys, I'm rambling. I can't stop. Of course, I haven't blogged in 8 million decades, and my return is a ridiculously effusive post about a Hollywood wanna-be-franchise-starter that's just a remake of something else.

But, really, if the thought of a bunch of ridiculously attractive people being stylish in stylish settings and doing cool things while talking about it and being clever and witty in the 1960s at all appeals to you--YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS.

Preferably, at the Seattle Cinerama, but, you know, whatever works.

*post literally just ends because I suddenly crash from my chocolate popcorn high and fall asleep mid-sentence*

The Millie will return!

Oh, also, my friend ADORED it. This person is not really a movie person overall, but she literally said, "I'm gonna need to see this one again." I HAVE NEVER HEARD HER SAY THAT. IT WAS MAGICAL.

Oh, and I legit cackled at subtitle of a Russian yelling about  "A GIANT WITH A FIREARM" when referring to Armie.


kate gabrielle said...

YESSSSS!!! I'm so glad you blogged about this, I loved it so much and I was just nodding my head going "YES!" at everything you wrote. I need to go see it again!! I very rarely watch a movie in a theater and leave thinking "I can't wait to own this on DVD" but I definitely thought that.

Also, Armie Hammer has adorable Gary Cooper style eyelashes and I'm slightly in love with him now. aghhhhh

And I need to own basically EVERYTHING that Alicia Vikander wore in this movie. Her white sunglasses almost gave me a stroke. And I need to see your Millie version of a spy outfit!!!!! ANd I need to wear one when I go to see it again!! Too many exclamation marks in this comment!!!!! SORRY!! It's literally not even 8am here and you know that's not my finest hour.

Anyway. I'm so glad you blogged and I'm so glad if you were going to blog about something that you picked this movie because it was ridiculously enjoyable. Also, thank you for forcing me to watch the trailer because I would never have thought to go see it otherwise. Thank yous all around.

Terence Towles Canote said...

This is the summer movie I have been waiting for too. Okay, I know in the past that the adaptations of Sixties spy shows (The Saint, The Wild Wild West, The Avengers) were all horrible, but I knew this one would be different. For one thing it is directed by Guy Ritchie, and I love his Sherlock Holmes movies. Anyway, I can't wait to see it!

Millie said...

Kateeeeee: It seriously would have been awesome to watch this with you!

I should have guessed that you would fall in love with Armie Hammer. hahaha. Do you know that his real name is Armand Hammer? That delights me far too much.

Yeah. I couldn't even with the costume design. And my own outfit was really just far too much pleather and dramatic '60s makeup. NBD. ;-D

I am determined to return to blogging. I missed the release of incomprehensible emotions onto the page.

8AM?! Good heavens! Why?! ;-D

Terry: I'm sure you'll love it! It has one thing (among many things) that make it better than those other films: an actually cohesive story idea. haha. Can't wait to hear what you think!

DKoren said...

Yes, please return to regular blogging. Reviews like this are just too much fun. I grinned and laughed reading it, cuz I saw this one today! Fun stuff, and those outfits both ladies wore were perfection for this movie!

Also. Chocolate popcorn?

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

I too am in the "let's help Armie Hammer succeed in life because otherwise what's the point of movies" camp. Henry Cavill I haven't actually seen in much, so am not attached, but Armie... I'm attached. Absolutely a fan. Rooting for him constantly.

Chocolate popcorn, though? I need to move to Seattle.


But, really, if the thought of a bunch of ridiculously attractive people being stylish in stylish settings and doing cool things while talking about it and being clever and witty in the 1960s at all appeals to you--YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS.

is exactly spot-on.

Armie IS a giant. The only good part of The Social Network was that there were two of him (many movies could benefit from having TWO Armie Hammers) and him saying at one point that they didn't need to hire a mob hitman because "I'm 6'5", 220, and there's two of me!" I kind of kept thinking that through this whole movie, whenever he was towering over the entire landscape and everyone in it.

I so badly want this movie to succeed enough to get a sequel and so Armie won't get discouraged and stop making movies.

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

(Did you know that not only is Armie's real name Armand Hammer, he's like Armand Hammer IV, and his family owns part of Arm & Hammer just to be funny? I don't buy off-brand baking soda anymore.)


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