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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Top 20 Movies of 2014: Part 2 (1 – 10)

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So I gave you Part 1 earlier this week, counting down my top twenty films for the year from 20 – 11, and today I will share the big ones, the ten films I enjoyed the most in 2014!

Again, we are still waiting on some of those massive releases most of the world got already, but no matter. These are the ten films this past year that made me think, or just thrilled me endlessly, flaws and all.

10. The Babadook

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Another independent budget flick, and another goodie to be sure. The Babadook sure provided some thrills and chills, and I thought it was a wonderfully crafted horror movie. I have not seen one this good in a really long time. The acting was quite solid, the pacing was good, the story was something different, and it gives you something to think about when all is said and done. Not to mention, when that freaking thing opens it’s mouth to speak, that’s just scary as hell! Absolutely great work here, and well worth looking into!

9. Coherence

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Mind games all the way, Coherence is another small budget film with a small cast, minor effects and all that, but with a story that will just shatter your mind. It is a simple plot that draws you in, even though it is a slow start, but when it gets going, you have to keep your wits about you. Fantastic concept and one of the more fresh films I have seen in years, Coherence proves that sometimes less is certainly so much more.

8. Interstellar

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Absolutely amazing to look at, visually, with some solid performances, Interstellar was an epic space journey. It was my most anticipated movie of 2014, and, as always, Nolan delivered the goods with this one. Going in you sort of think you are ready for what is about to happen (yeah, right), and by the end of it you know that you have been owned. Wow, that is all I can actually say. I know there has been a very mixed reaction with this, but I am firmly in the impressed camp.

7. X-Men: Days of Future Past

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Here’s another superhero film and all of that, for sure, but this turned out to be even better than I expected. Trust me, my expectations were pretty high for this as is. A solid story, fantastic performances, and awesome effects? This was definitely going to make it. An interesting plot, plenty of humour and plenty of drama, this movie was incredibly well balanced and benefited from a phenomenal execution, X-Men: Days of Future Past demonstrates clearly what one expects when going in for a film of this caliber, and delivered on each and every front.

6. Snowpiercer

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I went in for this not really knowing what was going to come. Then I had my mind blown. This movie was fantastic. I was incredibly shocked at how well it worked, especially considering the closed environment should have (in theory) crippled it. Instead, it told a crazy story. The cast was brilliant for this, and the performances they gave were amazing. I was a big fan of Chris Evans’s portrayal of Curtis, too, he just dominated that role, reminding the world that he is so much more than just Captain America.

5. Filth

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Well, this was another movie just to prove to me why I am a James McAvoy fan. Truly his finest performance to date, in my opinion, Filth rocked my socks on so many levels. The movie starts off all fun and games, albeit a little dark, and soon is this descent into sheer lunacy, dragging you along for a really bad trip, the whole time wondering where the hell you are. The cast worked so well, the plot was solid, the execution fantastic, and features one of the best twists I have seen in ages (truly damn near brought me to my knees). Definitely worth the watch, I thoroughly enjoyed this!

4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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This movie boasted some of the most amazing CGI and effects I have seen in ages, and touted some serious emotion and some excellent action. An incredibly successful follow up for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, this movie brings so much to the table, and should be noted for it. While maybe not completely perfect, it was plenty more than enough fun, and was extremely well put together. Andy Serkis is the motion capture king for a reason, and I think he worked phenomenally well with Toby Kebbell, who brought a whole different element to the fore here.

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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This movie just… wow. I loved it. It came together so well and thrilled me, and the more I thought about it after the fact the more I liked it. I got totally obsessed with it. The Winter Soldier was a great villain, the action was fast, fun, and brutal, the cast all played off each other brilliantly, it was shot beautifully and it was paced well. I missed the period feel that Captain America: The First Avenger offered, but I felt that this movie carried itself without that setting. Captain America remains my favourite Avenger, and this movie once again demonstrated why. Slick, fast, spy thriller feel? So there!

2. The Guest

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I went into this hoping it would be something I would enjoy, not expecting it to turn out to be something that I would love. I mean I had to rearrange my whole top ten for this film! The Guest is excellent, perfectly balancing out characters and actions, deliberately building up a story and then exploding into an action/thriller type thing. The Guest is bold, wonderful to look at and boasts a mean score. There is so much to love here, especially Dan Stevens’s performance, and it definitely ticked all the necessary boxes for me!

1. Fury

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This might not surprise all of you (seeing as how I gushed about it), but Fury was incredible. It has stunning cinematography, a solid cast that delivered all the goods, some terrifying and realistic situations and effects, a score that just drives everything home and is an emotional roller-coaster. Fury just astounded me endlessly, and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It keeps you engrossed and at the edge of your seat, and is undoubtedly raw and gritty, one of the best war movies in a really long time.

Well, there you have it. The twenty films I enjoyed the most this year 🙂

Character Tribute: The Winter Soldier

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It’s that time again folks! Another epic character tribute here of someone who (as you all know) I am just a teensy bit obsessed with (well, not just the character, but the actor too). I thought that the Winter Soldier came together really well, and that Sebastian Stan was absolutely perfect to realise Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier. He was excellent as the cold, cruel assassin, and then his past came seeping back in, and he went from cruel to confused to livid, and it was a great transformation to watch. Anyway, here are some of the reasons that I thought the Winter Soldier was just epic!

We can start with the outfit. How ridiculously cool was it?!

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The general badassery of taking out a car and stepping aside at precisely the right moment… you knew hardcore things were coming!

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There are few things that gave me thrills and chills like this scene where the Winter Soldier just whips around and snatches that shield like “bitch, please”. That’s when you knew, hands down, that this was going to be a bigger, better villain.

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Every single fight was just breathtaking.

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The entire highway scene had me at the edge of my seat. The Winter Soldier is ruthless, he is strong, and he is extremely mission orientated. His magnificent highway stop was just… wow.

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He’s merciless.

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Every time he hauls out a gun… it’s like “stick ’em up, I haven’t got all day”. What a machine.

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How extremely endearing that assassin could become.

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The cracks that appeared in the Soldier’s demeanor changed him completely. He was breaking, he was uncertain, and he responded furiously to that.

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And, last but not least, he was gorgeous with or without that mask!

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Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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captain america winter soldier poster

“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…