Captain America: Civil War Review

Captain America: Civil War is the best Marvel movie yet.

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It may be a bold statement, but it’s true. On all levels, this film beats the rest. It has the best action, the best story and it is the best team up film (yes, even better than The Avengers.)

Now if you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should. But, I will be talking about some things that may be spoilers. I will avoid talking about the plot in too much detail.

This movie is about a civil war within the Avengers, brought on by a catastrophe at the beginning of the film. It leads to the team splitting into two factions, one led by Captain America and one led by Iron Man.

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Like I said before, but I want to stress again, the action is amazing. There were so many scenes that left my jaw hanging. It is incredible. I think this film is perfect visually and pretty perfect plot-wise.

The thing that Marvel does best in their films is their characters. The returning characters were all fleshed-out so well that I felt closer to them, and understood them better than I did in any other MCU film.

And then there were the new guys.

Here’s where there may be some spoilers so read on with caution.

There are three significant, new characters: Black Panther, Baron Zemo and Spiderman.

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Black Panther’s motivations were clear and relatable making him a strong character from the start. His action scenes are some of the best in the movie. And, bluntly, his suit looks cool. He’s one of the more exciting characters in the movie and I can’t wait for his solo movie.

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Baron Zemo was introduced well and had a good enough foundation to leave me wanting more. He was a good villain but I have one problem with him. My only problem with this movie is that Zemo Never got his mask. Come on, Marvel! What are you doing?

Finally there was Spiderman.

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All I have to say is Tom Holland’s incarnation of Spiderman is the most perfect Spiderman/Peter Parker on screen yet. I cannot wait to see more. I am just so happy to see one of my favorite superheroes done so correctly.

Anyway, any spoilers are done.

See this movie. It’s a must.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

It isn’t often that the sequel is better than the original, but when it comes to Captain America the sequel blows the original out of the water.

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Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, The Winter Soldier is a great espionage and conspiracy movie with a superhero in it. Like how The Dark Knight was a great crime thriller with a superhero in it. This film is a great movie as well as a great superhero movie.

The film deals with Cap adjusting to the modern times, issues within shield and the emergence or The Winter Soldier, a mysterious and powerful villain with a metal arm.

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The action in this film is outstanding. It’s choreography is beautiful, like an amazing dance. It’s amazing to watch the fight scenes.

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But outside of the action the film also has a compelling plot. I was on the edge of my seat the while time I watched it.

But also let’s talk about The Winter Soldier as a character. He’s intriguing and just kinda bad-ass. Plus, no spoilers I promise, his back story is amazing. You’ll have to watch the film to see what I mean. But, I loved his character from the way he looked to the story of his character.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the best Marvel movies as well as a great movie overall. It is definitely worth the watch.

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Captain America: The First Avenger Review

In anticipation of Captain America: Civil War, I am reviewing both previous Captain America movies. So first is The First Avenger.

Captain America: The First Avenger is a 2011 movie directed by Joe Johnston. The film is the origin story of the titular superhero, played by Chris Evans.

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The movie isn’t great but it also isn’t terrible. There are good parts to this film, but ultimately it becomes forgettable once you see the sequel. But when looking at this film by itself, it works. That’s what matters.

It is a typical origin story. The film works to set up the character as well as The Avengers. Exciting action, an interesting villain as well as a few dramatic scenes highlight the film.

Chris Evan’s acting, as well as Hugo Weaving’s and the rest of the cast’s, is great in this movie. But Evan’s acting is overlooked when you’re too distracted by his tiny, pre-transformation CGI body. It’s extremely awkward and obviously not real.

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The best aspect of the movie is the fact that this hero could have been extremely silly. I mean look at the old live-action Cap.

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This movie stays serious and it works extremely well.

Like I said before, the movie is forgettable. It was forgettable when I watched it the first time, but it is important to watch this movie in order to really understand the sequel, The Winter Soldier.

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X-Men Apocalypse Final Trailer Review

I was going to write a movie review today, but something more interesting popped up today.

The final trailer for X-Men Apocalypse came out this morning, and for the most part it was actually not interesting at all. If you want to watch a great trailer for this movie, watch the second trailer. But, there is one thing in this trailer that really knocked my socks off.

After the title card appeared at the end of the trailer, there was one extra scene. Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, walks into a room full of bodies. The  X-Men who were already there said “we had some help.”

Then, for a split-second, we see Wolverine’s claws…

I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea this was coming. But it raises the question of should they have shown it or not. My answer? They should have saved it.

This isn’t like Captain America:Civil War where there were rumors of Spiderman. Showing Spiderman in the trailer was the right thing to do there. It clarified the rumors. But Wolverine was a surprise they should have saved. There were no big rumors about Wolverine, and I would have seen this film with or without this little tease. I would have been much happier going into the film not expecting Wolverine, but now I have expectations. I can be let down. If I had no idea he was in this I would have just been happy when he showed up in the film.

Bad move FOX…bad move.

Jason Bourne Trailer Review

Now he remembers.

 

The new trailer for the next Bourne film has dropped and it’s interesting to say the least.

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The trailer for Jason Bourne begins with the punch we saw in the teaser and then goes on to show some scenes from past Bourne films. This culminates with a Matt Damon voice-over saying that he remembers everything.

References to Edward Snowden and facial recognition immediately makes the viewer feel like this is something tangible, like this could happen in our own world.

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The trailer then goes on showing similar action and antics of Mr. Bourne like in the first films, but with a bit extra. It mixes the old and new very well.

Speaking of new, Alicia Vikander is in this film. She was outstanding in Ex Machina and she was an Oscar winner for her role in The Danish Girl. I can’t wait to see what she brings to this franchise.

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The trailer ends with the same punch as the beginning, coming full circle.

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I am excited about this movie, but there are other films that rank higher on my list of anticipated films. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not excited. With a lot of interesting films coming out this year competing for my attention, this one still stirs some interest.

This film is the re-entry of Damon into the starring role, after the sub-par Jeremy Renner film. That alone is exciting. It is also the return of Paul Greengrass as director. This guy knows how to direct action. We see that in The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum.

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With a proven star and director back, this should be a good film.

Creep Review

With a title like Creep, you better deliver on the creepiness, and this film by Patrick Brice is creepy as can be.

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Co-written and directed by Brice, Creep stars the director as Aaron, a man who answers a Craigslist ad to spend the day filming Josef, played by Mark Duplass the other writer of the film. Without spoiling too much of the plot of this 77-minute film, let’s just say that Josef is more than a little creepy and things get weird.

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This is a good film for what it is. It is another “found-footage” style film. Honestly, this style of filmmaking is overused but it works for the plot of this film. The story of the movie is enhanced because you are stuck with the creepy Josef from Aaron’s POV.

The plot of the film is basic, there isn’t much to it. Normal guy gets involved with a creepy guy and things get creepy. It is pretty obvious, but the film works as a horror film because it does a good job of freaking out the viewer (at least in my personal experience…).

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The movie crawls at the beginning but eventually picks up the pace.

Creep is a good movie that you can pick up on DVD for cheap. I found it at Walmart for $10. Overall I liked it, even though it gets somewhat uncomfortable at times.

Apparently it’s the start of a trilogy too. I don’t know how I feel about that.

Anyway, if you get the chance to check out this movie it’s worth the 77 minutes.

Batman v Superman Review

(This article was originally written for and published in The Buzzworthy)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is superhero film and a launching point for the new DC Cinematic Universe. The film has a lot of problems, and those problems mainly lie within the fact that this 151 minute film is trying to set up multiple films.

There are already three big superheroes in the film: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. The film struggles to balance all of their storylines yet continues to try and push more and more characters and plots in the audience’s faces, including four Easter eggs for future films.

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It is doing too much for one film, and it can’t handle the amount of work it needs to do. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) took multiple films to develop each character before the big team-up, but Dawn of Justice rushes to the team-up after one insufficient movie, Man of Steel.

The film was cut down from around 3 hours, meaning that this rushed feeling could have been missing in the longer cut, but it still should have been spread out over the course of a few movies.

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Another problem the movie had was its marketing. SPOILER ALERT the trailer tells the complete story. The movie, of course, has more details than the trailer, but if you’ve seen the trailer you know that it completely ruined the film by showing Doomsday and Batman and Superman fighting together. Don’t worry though, there are still some surprises in Dawn of Justice.

The film isn’t terrible though, there are good things about this movie. For one thing the performances are all great, except for Amy Adams. I have the same complaint about Adams as I do for Man of Steel, she isn’t a good Lois Lane. She isn’t an exciting character and she is not a believable journalist. Another controversial character was Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. He has been criticized for his insane performance. Even though I thought his performance would have better fit the Joker than Lex Luthor, I thought it was refreshing. Lex Luthor isn’t the most captivating villain and I think Eisenberg brought new life to the character.

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Batman in this film is amazing. Ben Affleck plays a good, older Bruce Wayne/Batman. Every scene with him in it is exciting and cool. Every action scene with him is brutal and visually exhilarating. Batman carried this film.

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The film also carries the stylistic. Zack Snyder and frequent collaborator cinematographer Larry Fong have again made a visually stunning movie, along with Watchmen and 300.

Overall the film is good not great. It won’t live up to films like The Dark Knight and the DC Cinematic Universe won’t be as well made as the MCU. But Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a decent film.

 

A (Subjective) Top 5 Movies of All Time.

 

Let me start off by saying that this list may not correspond with other lists of the greatest films ever made. Since film is an art form and therefore subjective, you can’t really have a definitive list of the greatest movies ever made. This list is a personal list of movies that I believe shine brighter than other films: these films stand out. But as I write this list I find it constantly changing, there is no set order for these five films, they all deserve the top spot. So by being on the list they all achieve the title of co-greatest film ever made.

 

To begin where any top 5 list should, the ones who missed the cut: The Honorable Mentions.

These movies missed the mark, but still remain great films that everyone needs to see. They are cultural classics, both new and old. They did their part to influence others in film as well as pop culture in general. They are:

Vertigo, The Dark Knight, The Godfather part 2, Saving Private Ryan, Psycho, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Star Wars, and Empire Strikes Back.

Now for the real deal, starting at number 5.

#5: The Godfather.

 

While many may claim that any of these films on my list deserve the top spot, many will make a strong case for The Godfather. It’s Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece and an epic one at that. It’s five minutes shy of being three hours long. But, if you have the time this is a must-see. Its great cinematography and acting only serve to highlight the film’s fantastic script. It is a movie that has its place in American film history.

#4: The Shawshank Redemption.

I can hear the comments already. “You put The Shawshank Redemption at number 4!?!?” And I know that this choice may confuse or upset many people. Perhaps I made this list just to get people riled up, but in my defense there is a bit of personal bias thrown in here.

This film is amazing, just like all of these films on this list. It is an adaptation of a Stephen King novella so you know the source material is strong. This film also contains the best performance by the legend Morgan Freeman.

It’s a great story and a well-made film all around.

#3: Citizen Kane.

And by now I’m sure I have no one left on my side. Possibly everyone on earth considers Citizen Kane the best movie of all time. But, like I said the order of the list is subjective and all 5 movies are technically tied for greatest of all time.

So, what can be said about Citizen Kane that hasn’t been said before? Well to me, it stands out as an older film that feels like a modern film. It’s a classic that set the stage for modern filmmaking and probably inspired every other movie on this list with its innovation.

It remains an icon of cinema in general, but on my list it stays at #3.

#2 Pulp Fiction

If anyone is still reading this after Citizen Kane fell to #3, then listen to my argument for why I picked Pulp Fiction to take the second spot. Pulp Fiction is a cultural masterpiece. It has the best dialogue of any movie as well as an interesting and intricate storyline filled with memorable scenes.

Quentin Tarantino knows how to make a good movie, and this is his masterpiece. I would also argue Inglorious Basterds on any other day but for right now, it’s Pulp Fiction.

I still talk about Royale with cheese, that’s saying something.

And drumroll please…

#1 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Oh you’re still here? Thought you left a while ago. Well since you decided to see this through till the end, I should probably explain my choice. 2001 did something revolutionary. It came out in the late 1960s but the effects hold up till this day. Whether it be the apes in the beginning or the scenes in space, 2001 delivers effects of the highest standard.

The film is also a unique sci fi tale that has never been told before. Its story is so incredibly original that I couldn’t possibly compare it to anything else. A beautiful film by Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest of all time. This film deserves the top spot on my list.

 

So were you angered by my choices? Have a list of your own? Leave a comment to tell me how you feel.

 

Doctor Strange Trailer Review

“Stephen Strange, might I offer you some advice…”

Finally, a few days ago Marvel Dropped the first trailer for Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and directed by Scott Derrickson. YES THIS MAN:

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For some reason, I have developed an unhealthy obsession with this director. But either way, back when I wrote about my anticipated films for this year, Doctor Strange was on the list because I believed that this man could make a good film.

First, lets talk about the look of this film. It looks fantastic. Now we know that Doctor Strange heavily revolves around magic and this film looks darkly magical.

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The film also looks like a Marvel version of Inception, which I love since I love both Inception and Marvel.

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As the trailer shows, this is definitely an origin story for the character, and it looks like a good one. Most of the time origin stories are too focused on the origin and it leaves the audience a little dissapointed that they don’t get to see them in action for too long. This trailer focuses on the origin but the set photos and the last shot of the trailer at least show us that he suits up.

It’s sad that we have to wait until November to see this movie.

Watch the trailer for yourself and let me know what you think.

Mesmerized by The Shining

The other night, I watched the documentary Room 237 and I was blown away. I had known of Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic intelligence before, but now I was amazed to see how he expresses this knowledge through one of his films: The Shining.

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I have seen The Shining before, but I have a new appreciation for it now.

The film features a number of people commenting on different themes and hidden meanings behind the movie. Showing off different hidden messages and pointing out details that make The Shining even more of a cinematic experience.

Possible underlying themes, like faking the moon landing or guilt over destroying the lives of Native Americans, stand out more after watching this movie. What also stands out is the genius of Kubrick’s filmmaking. Like, how his film lines up when played forwards and backwards with the images overlapped.

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This shot above shows the way the blood lines up with Jack’s dark stare, looking like blood is dripping from his eyes and mouth.

Never before have I been so mesmerized by a movie. Room 237 has made me so much more interested in The Shining and I respect Kubrick even more now. I am now more convinced that he is the best filmmaker to ever live. A genius of the movie world.

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This documentary is a movie for movie lovers. If you call yourself a film buff then you need to see this movie. It will show you what true genius filmmaking is like.