Captain America: Civil War Review

Chris Evans -Steve Rogers / Captain America    Robert Downey Jr.  Tony Stark / Iron Man    Scarlett Johansson   Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow    Sebastian Stan   Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier    Anthony Mackie   Sam Wilson / Falcon    Don Cheadle Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine    Jeremy Renner   Clint Barton / Hawkeye    Chadwick Boseman   T'Challa / Black Panther    Paul Bettany  Vision    Elizabeth Olsen   Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch    Paul Rudd  Scott Lang / Ant-Man    Emily VanCamp  Sharon Carter    Tom Holland Peter Parker / Spider-Man    Daniel Brühl Zemo    Frank Grillo  Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

Chris Evans -Steve Rogers / Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. Tony Stark / Iron Man
Scarlett Johansson
Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Sebastian Stan
Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier
Anthony Mackie
Sam Wilson / Falcon
Don Cheadle Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine
Jeremy Renner
Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Chadwick Boseman
T’Challa / Black Panther
Paul Bettany Vision
Elizabeth Olsen
Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Rudd Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Emily VanCamp Sharon Carter
Tom Holland Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Daniel Brühl Zemo
Frank Grillo Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

 

Is it really a Civil War?

Captain America: Winter Soldier was a giant box office hit in 2014.  Audiences came out of theaters wanting more Captain America movies. Marvel Studios announced later that year that Tony Stark (Iron Man) would be a character  in the next Captain America Film in order to adapt the Civil War storyline from the Marvel Comics.  The studio added more excitement from audiences when they announced Black Panther and Spider-Man would be added as characters.  Captain America stars Chris Evans as Captain America but also Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark), Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Tom Holland (Spider-man), and the rest of Avengers including Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes aka. The Winter Soldier).

It’s been one year since the fight with Ultron has leveled Sokovia, and the Avengers are solid cohesive team that are hunting Crossbones (Brock Rumlow, Frank Grillo). They track his location to Lagos and several Wakandas are killed when they attempt to capture him. The United Nations comes agreement called the Sokovia Accords. A governmental panel would have the authority to send the Avengers on missions, and the Avengers have no say where they go.  Naturally, this agreement causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man. The situation becomes more complicated when Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) plants a bomb and assassinates the King of Wakanda.  Captain America must decide to sign the Sokovia Accords or break the law by taking Bucky Barnes into custody, the Winter Soldier and his longtime friend, since vigilantes are outlawed.

The negatives of the film are that Vision and War Machine have little to do in the film. Vision was the coolest character in Avengers: Age of Ultron suffers a downgrade in this film. He has very little screentime, and his motivations for signing the Slovakian Accords are never fully explained. War Machine (Don Cheadle) joins the Slovakian Accords but his motivations are not fully explained either on signing the Slovakian Accords. The audience doesn’t know if it is his history with the government, his friendship with Tony Stark, or if he feels like it is the right thing to do. The other negative about Civil War is the government forcing superheroes to sign the accords. Personally, the introduction to the government wanting to control superheroes feels rushed. The film never fully resolves conflict between the two teams about governmental control.  Marvel Studios and the filmmakers should have waited to introduce this storyline by itself or waited after Thanos shows up in Avengers: Infinity Wars.  The two sides square off once and it’s a disappointment to only see them fight once.

Captain America: Civil War has a ton of positives and there are too many to describe. The two main themes are friendship and revenge. Bucky Barnes and Steve Rodgers have a friendship that stands the test of time.  The Winter Soldier is highly sought after in the movie for reasons. The government thinks he is a terrorist or Black Panther blames him for killing his father.  With all of this going on, Captain America finds himself in the middle trying to protect his friend and his belief puts him wrong side of the law.  Iron Man, Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), and Black Panther are vengeance driven throughout the film. The three characters take specific actions to retaliate something or someone based on their current beliefs or that happened in their past. The revenge plot is really the backbone of the storyline.

Spider-man and Black Panther are perfect additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-man is nailed perfectly by Tom Holland, and he nailed all of Spider-man’s mannerisms, attitudes, sarcasm, and background. Peter Parker is a dumpster driver in the movie. Tony Stark even makes fun of him for that.  Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. have perfect chemistry together onscreen while playing Spider-man and Iron Man. Downey Jr. will appear in Spider-man: Homecoming next year because of the chemistry with Holland. Black Panther was the other great audition.  Chadwick Boseman had a distinct African accent. He would command the audience’s attention while on screen.  He played a vengeful forceful Black Panther.  He and Holland made the audiences buzz about their performances while leaving the theater.

Overall, Captain America: Civil War is a good movie with a lot of suspenseful action. Spider-man is so perfectly played to a T along with Black Panther.  The film does a great job in making audiences understand different character’s point of views. Captain America: Civil War gets a 4 out of 5.

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My Top Ten Favorite Movies of the Year

top ten

Top 10 Favorite Movies of the Year 2014

What is your favorite movie? Most people ask you that question on a date or in general as a way to get to know someone.  The responses always vary because it is a matter of opinion.  I have a list of my favorite movies of all time which include many classic and newer films. Although, I have never sat down and made a list of my 100 favorite movies because it is strains my mind too much. I can decide on my top ten favorite movies of the 2014.  Favorite doesn’t mean that my movies are some of the best movies of the year but they could be.

Honorable mentions:

  • Birdman
  • Lego Movie
  • Snow Piercer
  • John Wick
  • Noah
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Neighbors
  • The Fault in Our Stars
  • The Drop
  • Peabody and Sherman (surprising I know but darn good movie).
Grand Budapest Hotel characters

Grand Budapest Hotel characters

10. Grand Budapest Hotel

I love this cast. Grand Budapest Hotel’s cast and their interaction with each other made me see this film twice in the theater.  I’m not a Wes Anderson fan but this film was super amazing. My mom and I have watched the blueray a few times since we got it. The movie itself made me laugh all of the way through it.  I still quote lines from this film and replay scenes in my head. Grand Budapest Hotel is a delightful comedy and Ralph Fiennes is one of the reasons why.

I talk to myself while driving a car too

I talk to myself while driving a car too

9. Locke

Tom Hardy is brilliant and one of my favorite actors in Hollywood.  Tom Hardy also starred in The Drop which is probably why it made my honorable mentions list.  Locke is only 90 minutes long but the runtime tells a creative emotionally story which is might be why I adore this film so much. It is also a British film, and I have a soft spot for British entertainment. Tom Hardy really gave a performance of a lifetime because he is a one man trick and pony show in the film. Steven Knight wrote and directed a great indie flick that few people have seen but when they watch it. They will fall for Tom Hardy as an actor as much as I have.  I will see Mad Max: Fury Road in May because Tom Hardy does star in it. I don’t think it will get my money opening weekend though.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Riz Ahmed as Rick  Nightcrawler directed and written by Dan Gilroy

Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou
Riz Ahmed as Rick
Nightcrawler directed and written by Dan Gilroy

8. Nightcrawler

I loved Nightcrawler because of the underlying theme.  I also have a preference for sociopathic film characters and Jake Gyllenhaal portrays one.  Nightcrawler’s theme is about greed and selfishness. Lou, Gyllenhaal, is a selfish greedy free lance reporter.  He will sabotage a rival reporter, and put his employee, Rick, in jeopardy to become number 1 in the game. He also blackmails his boss to sleep with him.  Gyllenhaal gave the best acting performance in an American film of this year.  The movie also stars Bill Paxton and Rene Russo. They really make this film great and the film is two hours of pure entertainment and suspense with a lot of jaw dropping moments.

Chef starting Jon Favreau

Chef starting Jon Favreau

7. Chef

Chef is one of those films that really hit a note with me. I love to cook but watching Jon Favreau prepare food was awesome. I left the theater hungry and wanting to try one Favreau’s Cabanos from Chef.  Chef is about Chef Carl Casper fall from a prestigious LA chef to a unemployable chef after his tirade with nation wide prestigious food critic at the place of his employment. The film is more importantly about family and having to struggle between your career and your kids. The cast of Chef is spectacular.  The actors all have great chemistry together on screen and make this film a wonderful comedy. I would highly recommend this movie to anybody.  The latina music is super amazing and could see people grooving to it in the their seats. I enjoyed this film so much that I made my grandmother to go the theater with me to see it.

Caesar, Koba, and Maurice on horses

Caesar, Koba, and Maurice on horses

6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Apes on Horses!!! Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might be better than the first Planet of the Apes.  The plot has so many different directions that makes you think that you know what will happen next but then a character changes that outlook. Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, and Karin Konoval play the three most important apes. Serkis is the Caesar, the leader while Kebbell plays Koba and Konoval plays Maurice Caeser’s Lieutenants. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is very realistic film which has beautiful visuals of a post apocalyptic world. Serkis and the other actors playing Apes had motion capture suits on, and the special effects crew made them look like real humanoid apes. I think this is one of the years best films and possibly one of the best blockbuster in a long time. The third one comes out in July 2016 so they will be filming the movie this year.

Captain America 2: the Winter Solider by Marvel  Director by Joe and Anthony Russo Starting Chris Evans

Captain America 2: the Winter Soldier by Marvel
Director by Joe and Anthony Russo
Starting Chris Evans

5. Captain America 2: the Winter Soldier

Captain America 2 is pure entertainment that has comedy fused in the story from the moment from the first scene. Sam Wilson, Anthony Mackie,  is running around the National Memorial, and Steve Rodgers keeps passing him saying “On your left.”  The moment immediately forms a friendship between Rodgers and Wilson that is why they team up later in the film. Chris Evans is so great as Captain America. He can inspire you to feel patriotic and just a lot like Christopher Reeves as Superman.  I love Captain America more because of Chris Evans.  Captain America 2 is one of the best action movies of the year, and one of the best movies of the year overall. This movie makes you feel like you are watching a Jason Bourne movie with Captain America in it.  Captain America will appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron in May then Captain America: Civil War.  He will fight Iron Man’s ideas and probably Iron Man himself in Civil War in May 2016.

The poster for X-Men Days of Future Past

The poster for X-Men Days of Future Past

4.  X-Men Days of Future Past

X-men Days of Future Past corrected the mistakes of Brett Ratner and the First Wolverine movie.  The plot is simple.  Wolverine, Hugh Jackman, travels back in time to prevent Mystique, Jennifer Lawrence, from assassinating Bolivar Trask, Peter Dinkage.  The government creates the Sentinel program because she killed Trask and use her DNA to make the ultimate Sentinel. The Sentinel are super intelligent robots that hunt mutants. The X-Men franchise hit a homer with this movie. It has comedy, amazing action sequences, and it is pure entertainment. The variety of mutants are great and it is nice to see each of them use their own powers.  Simon Kinberg wrote the script which has made the internet fan boys semi-excited for the new Fantastic Four movie coming out in August (he wrote the script).  Bryan Singer returned to the X-Men franchise and got the direction of the franchise back on track.  The film will have a sequel X-Men: Apocalypse which will start filming in April. Fox Studios are releasing a Gambit movie and Deadpool movie which will be part of the X-Men universe.  Ugh, I can’t wait for 2016. I don’t have this movie yet.  Singer cut Rogue from the film and I want Rogue in this movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy directed by James Gunn  Written by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn  Featuring Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon

Guardians of the Galaxy directed by James Gunn
Written by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn
Featuring Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Gamora, Groot, and Rocket Raccoon

3. Guardians of the Galaxy

This movie is pure fun.  It is a great science fiction movie with great witty dialogue and pop culture references.  This little known comic book property has shocked the world by its success with a worldwide audience and financially was a home run.  The cast is great.  The interaction between characters is spectacular.  This is Marvel’s most entertaining film.  I reply it in my head all of the time.  Guardians will come back to the big screen in May 2017. Again, I can’t wait to see what James Gunn comes up with for the sequel. I have seen it multiple times and still want to dance like Star Lord or along with him.

Edge of Tomorrow directed by Doug Liman Starts Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt

Edge of Tomorrow directed by Doug Liman
Stars Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt

2. Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow looked so horrible from the trailers, and thanks to bad marketing by Warner Bros, this movie wasn’t a success at the box office domestically. However, the film was a success with its viewing audience. Many people like me just completely were stunned by the movie. Tom Cruise is at his best in Edge of Tomorrow.  He was played the likeable action hero in this movie and nailed the role. Personally, Tom Cruise like Tom Hardy is a guy that I will go see any movie that he is in.  Emily Blunt played the female protagonist,  and she was magnificent.  She and Cruise had such great chemistry on the screen. Edge of Tomorrow is edited in a way where every repeat scene is different.  Cruise plays Major William Cage that is has the ability to reset the day after killing an alien.  Bill Paxton’s character is really outstanding and probably the funniest character in the film. Edge of Tomorrow is a science fiction groundhog day but it is one of the best action movies of the year.

Gone Girl based on the novel by Gillan Flynn  Directed by David Fincher  Starring Ben Affleck Rosamund Pike  Neil Patrick Harris Tyler Perry Carrie Coon

Gone Girl based on the novel by Gillan Flynn
Directed by David Fincher
Starring Ben Affleck
Rosemund Pike
Neil Patrick Harris
Tyler Perry
Carrie Coon

1. Gone Girl

Gone Girl is my favorite film of the year. I love this movie and sold on the plot from the first trailer. Gone Girl is really three hours of pure suspenseful entertainment.  I have seen this film about three times in the theater.  I was still wowed by the suspense and mystery every moment of the film.  Ben Affleck kills it in the movie but it is Rosemund Pike who steals the show. Tyler Perry also a giant scene stealer. Neil Patrick Harris’s final moment in the film will leave you speechless.  Gone Girl had the same tone and setting throughout the whole entire movie.  I will get this DVD and watch several times after I get it.  This might be the best mystery drama produced by Fox in a long time.  David Fincher will probably get an Oscar nomination, and Gillian Flynn will get the best adapted screenplay award.  I will end this list on this final tidbit about Gone Girl.  The movie will make you look twice or think twice about getting married or even dating. I think this why I like it so much.  It makes you question what it means to be in a relationship.

 

 

Captain America 2: The Winter Solider Review

Captain America 2: the Winter Solider by Marvel  Director by Joe and Anthony Russo Starting Chris Evans

Captain America 2: the Winter Solider by Marvel
Director by Joe and Anthony Russo
Starting Chris Evans

My mom and I walked out of the theater last night after seeing Captain America 2: The Winter Solider,  and I asked her was ” Is this movie better than the Avengers.” She answered “Yes” with no hesitation.  My mother is a huge superhero fan like I am. I often tell people that I’m my mother’s child. My mom has passed down a lot of amazing qualities and interests to me. One of those interests are being a fan of comic books. Batman will be always my number 1 with Spider-man a close second. The more I think about her comment “this movie is better than the Avengers.” I totally agree that Captain America 2 super succeeded every expectation I had going to into it and for that reason makes this movie better than the Avengers.

The Avengers is a hard movie to beat. Joss Whedon, the director, created a movie that has fun witty dialogue, a excellent narrative, great character development, amazing villain, and great action sequences. Joss Whedon pulls an ace out of his hat making the Avengers; however, Joe and Anthony Russo, directors of Winter Solider, pull two aces out of their hats. The movie has better fight sequences,  a better compelling narrative, the character development is spectacular, and the villains are amazing. The Winter Solider develops as an character, and he is the main villain. Here’s a quick synopsis of the movie.

After the Avengers, Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans) finds himself working with Shield. He is teamed up with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and a swat commander, Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) on most missions.  He finds himself at odds because the 21st century extremely different than the 1940’s.  He often talks to a veteran’s counselor named Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie).  Captain America’s first mission of the movie is to rescue hostages held by pirates, and Black Widow is sent for a different reason to retrieve information.   Rodgers has a confrontation with Nick Fury , director of Shield and played by Samuel L. Jackson, about eliminating threats before they happen. Come to find out, Nick Fury has a confrontation with the Winter Solider and pays for it dearly. Cap and Widow go digging deep into Shield’s history and find out there’s a plot deadlier than Shield knows about. The agency to hunt down Cap and Widow because is comprised by another force.

The Winter Solider has beautiful story telling. It’s not a big thinking movie but it’s a lot like a Jason Bourne movie with Marvel characters.  The story is so beautifully crafted but there are so many easter eggs that give hints to what will come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The Russo brothers also gave a lot of time to character development and interaction.  Captain America and Black Widow would be on a mission, fighting bad guys but carry on a conversation about his dating life during the fight scenes. Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie, has so much witty dialogue with Steve Rodgers and the duo have a lot of screen time. Sidekicks are not popular but the Wilson character allows movie producers to have a template on how to make these characters work. I felt connected to every character in the story. I saw their motivations and impressions of what the world should be.  Nick Fury believes that the world is full of threats, and Shield should neutralize them before they can happen. Alexander Pierce his boss, Robert Redford, believes people need a strong hand to feel safe and can’t make decisions on their own.  Captain America of course still stands for freedom, individuality, and personal responsibility. He believes in a system laws and rules which conflicts with Nick Fury’s  and Alexander Pierce’s ideals.  The Winter Solider, Sebastian Stan, has character development but i don’t want to spoil it.

The Winter Solider excelled in attributes that make action and spy thrillers such wonderful movies. The special effects were killer but sometimes i noticed little flaws in the CGI. I had to really think about them after I saw them. The best part of the movie was the fight choreography. The fight choreography had everything that I have wanted in a superhero movie. It was flawless and it felt like you were watching a lightsaber fight from Star Wars but with martial arts. The choreography is everything you want in a Batman movie but never get.  Captain America is no martial artist but when you have an unbreakable shield then it doesn’t matter. The visuals and sounds of the shield banging off multiple people and walls were excellent. The shield also makes a sound when Cap attaches it to his back.

Overall, Captain America 2: The Winter Solider gets a 5/5. I will post a spoiler blog about the movie  sometime in the next few weeks so people have a chance to see this film. You don’t need to watch the first Captain America to understand this movie. The first post credits scene teases the Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. There are several mentions of characters that will be in upcoming Marvel films so listen for those.