Rapid Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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captain america civil war poster

“I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.”
– Steve Rogers

SYNOPSIS: After another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. – via IMDB


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I would also just like to take a moment to appreciate the raw power of this moment.

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Well. Well. Where do I even begin? Let’s start with the fact that this movie really shouldn’t have been flown under the Captain America banner – it could really have just been Civil War or even Marvel/Avengers: Civil War. This was essentially an Avengers movie, and you all know how huge a fan I am of that. So it shorts Thor and The Hulk, but they were mentioned a ton of times. I don’t know, I wanted a Captain America movie. He is my favourite Avenger, he is the only one who has individual movies I get excited about and adore, and then we got this one, so heavily reliant on Age of Ultron and all that happened there, and it was all about signing off on a document to regulate the Avengers team. Seriously. So they called it Captain America: Civil War because there was some extra Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier?

However, that being said, there was so much scrumptious Sebastian Stan for me. Oh hell yeah there was, hmmmm. I really liked the themes that were explored in the film, like friendship, opposing opinions, loyalty, standing up for what you believe in, conforming, moral responsibility, etc. The performances were all solid, though I really feel that this movie was juggling way too many characters, but still managed to do a relatively decent job with them all. I enjoyed the introduction of the Black Panther, and I freaking love the moves on this guy, so fluid and awesome. Marvel has again let us down on the villain, Baron Zemo. After The Winter Soldier, I was expecting darker, more hardcore villains. Zemo was underutilised here, and didn’t pack as much punch as he could have had he been set up better. I never felt shock and horror at any of the things that he did.

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Steve finally kissing Sharon was a little rushed and out of place in the movie, it wasn’t properly set up (in this film), and then it was glossed over. The fighting sequences were great to look at, and the Russo’s really grasp that – that choreography, the movements, all of it is just amazing. The inclusion of Steve’s “I can do this all day” is another scene that thrilled me, it is something I expect from him. There were some interesting plot developments here, some of particular interest being carried by the Winter Soldier, which is great. Anyway, with too many characters to really talk too much about, Captain America: Civil War is an entertaining Avengers flick with more heart to it than the average Avengers film, solid performances, darker, a good movie, some solid humour and well worth watching.

So. Much. Delicious. Bucky.

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This totally sums up Captain America: Civil War.

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Review: The Iceman (2012)

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the iceman poster

Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) meets and marries the woman of his dreams, Deborah Pellicotti (Winona Ryder). Kuklinski claims to have worked for Disney, though it comes out much later that he was actually in the porn business. One night the tapes are not ready, and Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta) and his crew comes calling. Kuklinski promises to have the tapes ready, and goes for a meeting with Demeo the next day where Demeo asks him to come and work for him after shutting down the porn business. He feels that Kuklinski is cold and efficient, and asks him to murder a homeless man as proof. Kuklinski does as he is told, and Demeo keeps the gun as evidence.

the iceman getting into business

Kuklinski now works exclusively for Demeo, and is not to take jobs on the side. Kuklinski is happy with the arrangement, and becomes a renowned and respected assassin in his field. Kuklinksi and Deborah now have two children together, Betsy and Anabel (McKaley Miller). Kuklinksi gives his wife everything she has ever wanted and his daughters are in private Catholic school. Life seems to be going well for Kuklinski. However, trouble breeds on the horizon when Demeo has problems with one of his guys and when Kuklinski refuses to kill a seventeen-year-old girl at one of his jobs. Robert “Mr Freezy” Pronge (Chris Evans) tells Demeo that he had to sort out the girl, and ultimately the mob politics lead to Kuklinski becoming unemployed. He is not allowed to take jobs on the side but desperate to stay in the game, he is good at what he does.

the iceman stiarcase

“You see the Iceman crying?” – Richard Kuklinski

Kuklinksi becomes bitter and increasingly angry, scaring his wife and children. He needs to get back into the game or he will lose his mind. He visits his brother who makes the ominous prediction that Kuklinski will end up in prison just like him, with his family writing him off completely. Kuklinski still works very hard to keep his personal and his professional life separate, but since being laid off caution is thrown in the wind. He notices the need to get back to work in fear of scaring his family off, which means the world to him. Striking a deal with Mr Freezy, Kuklinski is now the assassin behind the veil, the person no one knows about. Freezy pulls the jobs, Kuklinski executes the targets, and they both get paid. Together they will then cut up the victim and freeze them, making it impossible for authorities to determine time of death.  It goes without say that Demeo cannot know that Kuklinski is working with Mr Freezy. Slowly but surely though people start talking, and Demeo starts asking questions, and just like that Kuklinski’s perfectly created façade starts to crack, and he works hard to pull it all together again and remain in control.

the iceman kuklinski at work

“I only feel alone around other people. Couldn’t be truer.” – Mr Freezy

Will Demeo figure out that Kuklinski is working with Mr Freezy, despite his strict ban on working with others? Will Kuklinski be able to keep his family life and business life separated, as much as he wants to? Will his wife and children remain clueless as to his daily activities? Will his past deeds eventually catch up to him?

GRADE 6.5Michael Shannon was completely amazing to watch, and is probably what saved this movie in the long run. Not that it was bad; there were just a few issues with it. I also enjoyed Chris Evans, his character gave me a bit of a sadistic giggle, though there is really nothing that should actually be amusing in here, you can’t help but find the moments where it happens. Michael Shannon played the family man role down pat, and got the icy and sinister side of his character down too. Ray Liotta was decent for what he did, but there were moments where it simply just didn’t work. The style that the film was shot in was good for what it portrayed. The plot was laid out just fine, and it was not an issue following what happened. However, I really feel that more effort could have gone into wrapping the film up at the end; it left a lot to be desired. It just felt like a bit of a missed opportunity for me, which was really a pity seeing as the cast was fine, and the story was interesting.

Review: Snowpiercer (2013)

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snowpiercer movie poster

“Know your place. Accept your place.”
– Mason

In the year 2031, the world has been destroyed. Global warming was becoming a serious issue and an experiment was launched to cool the atmosphere, bringing temperatures back to a more manageable level. Instead it froze the atmosphere, killing everything. Well, almost everything. On board the very special Snowpiercer, a perpetual-motion train created by Mr Wilford, there are survivors. The Snowpiercer ceaselessly travels a globe-spanning track, housing the only survivors of Earth. Cutis Everett (Chris Evans) seems to be someone that the residents look up to, someone they consider a leader – a role he is extremely uncomfortable with. They live in a few train cars, decrepit, poverty stricken, filthy… the lowest of the low. This is their world now. There is no way to better yourself, no option for advancement, nothing. It seems that a rebellion is brewing in the bowels of the train, to stop living in fear and as someone else’s slaves. The oppression must end. This is not living, this is captivity. Curtis’s right hand man, Edgar (Jamie Bell), is prepared to do whatever Curtis wants to get this rebellion underway. Curtis is communicating with Gilliam (John Hurt), a survivor of the last rebellion and a confidant of Curtis. They are receiving instructions from someone further up in the train, someone they believe to be in a position of power. They receive their notes in tiny silver capsules embedded in their protein blocks.

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“I belong to the front, you belong to the tail.” – Mason

When some woman comes from higher up in the train, she takes with her two children, one of Tanya (Octavia Spencer) and Andrew (Ewen Bremner). They viciously attempt to stop this, but are unsuccessful. Soon after Curtis realises that they are running out of time, and the rebellion’s time frame moves up significantly. They will have to start sooner than anticipated, and immediately they start. Tanya joins them in a desperate attempt to recover her son, and they are off. Their first stop is to fight through the security they are faced with after Curtis realises that the guns the guards wield must be empty, the bullets were used up in the last rebellion. They make way to the prison section where they awaken Namgoong Minsu (Song Kang-ho) and request his help, seeing as he was a part of the security of the train. He is a Kronal addict, and will only assist them if they supply the drugs for him and his daughter Yona (Go Ah-sung), who was sleeping in the next container, as long as he opens the doors on their journey to the front of the train. Relenting, the rebellion moves on. Lives are lost as the battle wages.

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Gilliam sends Curtis along with Mason (Tilda Swinton), a higher up on the train, though not yet the all-powerful and extremely elusive Mr Wilford. She is a loyalist in the most extreme sense. Using her as a captive and guide, a small group of survivors advance once more. Curtis and his fellow tail end train people are horrified to learn that the other inhabitants of the train live in the lap of luxury, something that most people cannot even recall, some never even had access to that when Earth was normal. While they battled and lived in squalor, there is a huge section of the train that enjoyed tailors, restaurants and gardens, amongst other things. The train builds from the slums into a stunning area. Namgoong and Yona are seemingly on another little mission, and it does not take long for Mason to try and save her own skin again, attempting to turn on Curtis and his people. Curtis is intent on making it to the front of the train and facing Wilford himself, though Gilliam insists that he kill him and not give Wilford a chance to talk his way out of it. The children are still missing, and there is no luck in finding them, though it is evident that they were far forward on the massive train. As the journey through the Snowpiercer continues, the elite start fighting back – or, at any rate, Wilford and his security lot do, making this revolt that Curtis is a part of all the more difficult. Many more obstacles present themselves, including many that start to chip at Curtis, designed to bring him to his knees.

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Will Curtis and his group make it to the front of the train? Will he finally face off with Mr Wilford, the most revered man on the train? Will they ever be able to balance out the poverty and the comfort that the member of the train experience? Will this be the first successful revolt upon the Snowpiercer? Are their days of oppression almost over?

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“They’ve got no bullets!” – Edgar

GRADE 8.5I kept seeing reviews about this popping up the whole time and figured I should totally find out what that was all about. I went in relatively blind (again, I do my best), and I was pleasantly surprised. This movie was bizarre, but it was very well done. It had everything stacked against it due to the really closed environment and all that, but it turned out to be amazingly well done. I loved the camera work and the score. Chris Evans gave a wonderful performance, and (no spoilers, relax), the story that was told at the end really just bowled me over, his delivery was perfect, it was flawless. Song Kang-ho was equally impressive. I thought the two worked fantastically together. Song’s Namgoong was definitely a great character, definitely my favourite. He brought so much to the table. The plot itself was actually pretty good, though there were some things that I questioned, if you don’t worry too much about it they will become superfluous. At the same time, the issues are nothing to really get hung up over and allow to detract from the movie. I had no idea how they were going to sustain the concept, seeing as the train is small and a closed environment, but that was sorted out relatively soon, too. The movie is long but never actually go to the place where it felt that way for me. Tilda Swinton was absolutely disgusting in this, and she played her role well. She grated on my absolute last nerve. Gilliam was also a very cool character and I enjoyed him. The rebellion that they led from the tail was impressive, and there were plenty moments where it got incredibly intense. The movie, as I said, was really bizarre, but it just worked for me, I was truly very taken with it. I thoroughly enjoyed all the themes that it explored about society and class, government and leaders… it was interesting. It was a pretty movie to look at, too. I would recommend checking this one out!

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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“Captain, in order to build a better world sometimes means turning the old one down… and that makes enemies.”
– Alexander Pierce

SYNOPSIS: As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.  – via IMDB

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What a movie! I missed the period setting feel of the first one, but this came together so well that it didn’t really matter anymore. This movie was good. It was put together exceptionally well, it looked great, had a good story which progressed at a great pace. The effects were wonderful and the cast was great. I was totally blown away with the appearance of the Winter Soldier, the costume design was fantastic.

I found the Winter Soldier to be quite a badass villain, and definitely one of the more interesting ones in a very long time! For once Black Widow didn’t completely grate on my nerves (I put that on Scarlett Johansson usually though) and they finally made her a little more human. The Nick Fury story arc was very entertaining, and it was nice to see him get more screen time. There were times, however, where I felt that Captain America was a little more in the background than anything.

The camera work was lovely and the score set the mood more often than not. There was a very impressive cast, too, and everything just came together very well. This is the best movie to come from the Phase 2 Marvel films so far, the other movies have been lacking, almost as though Marvel built up to The Avengers in Phase 1, delivered the big bang then sort of tapered out. This shows that they still have the goods.

I absolutely love Captain America, he is awesome, has integrity, loyalty, and is extremely brave and selfless. Chris Evans truly lends life to his character. It was interesting to watch how he is trying to catch up seventy years worth of history as well as find a way to fit into society after the incredibly long hiatus. I thought there were some great twists and turns in here and the plot simply barreled along… so excellent! It was fantastic to watch that shield being flung around again as a weapon and later being caught by the Winter Soldier…? Thrilling. Sebastian Stan was mesmerising as Winter Soldier and gave credence to a new villain and just gave a solid performance all round. Definitely the best villain performance I have seen in years.

The fighting sequences were excellent in here, too. I liked the way they explored Captain America’s disappearance and how people went on after that, even though it was not a terribly in depth look at it. I liked that it was more serious and not run into the ground by excessive cheesy humour. Overall, this movie was extremely well put together and executed and is a wonderful way to follow up on what they did with the original! I would highly recommend seeing this movie, especially in theatres if you can wrangle it… I want to go again… right now…

Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

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“Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”
– Abraham Erskine

SYNOPSIS: Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a “Super-Soldier serum”. But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization. – via IMDB


I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this film. When it came everyone was like uhming and ahing and I was like what the hell, let’s see, and then I had a total blast. They completely reinvented Captain America. He was not boring, he was cool and he was someone to root for. Luke made a fantastic observation when he reviewed this saying it was a good set period piece, and I cannot disagree, it was good!

The costume design was fantastic and so was Chris Evans, especially when he donned the pretty strange outfit… it ultimately just came together and worked well. As much as when this first came around I could only think the Human Torch, Evans was perfectly cast. I loved the music and the cinematography… this film was just fun. It looked great, the colouring of it, and I enjoyed the pace of it and the story line. The cast worked well together. Yes, there were some questionable CGI effects at times, but nothing that is a deal breaker. This movie came together well in so many ways. It impressed me. Of the pre-Avengers movies, I must say that Marvel nailed this one as well as the initial two Iron Man movies (no, I am still not a fan of the third).

Captain America: The First Avenger was one of the best introductory films I have ever seen for a superhero and definitely my favourite, and I loved how they focused on the war, being a hero and not someone’s pet and all that. I would highly recommend that you check this out if you have not done so already, it just worked on so many levels.