2016 Summer of Movies: Is It The Greatest Comic Movie Of All Time?

Captain America: Civil War 5/5

I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll just say this:

This is easily a contender for the best comic book based movie of all time.

How the Russo brothers directed a movie that had like 10 movies inside it, and upwards of 15 significant characters, and it doesn’t feel like a mess is one of hell of an accomplishment.

This isn’t sparring. This is fighting. This is characters ideologically opposed and motivated. And it all works.

I already feel like this is the best Spider-Man we’ve ever seen and he’s only in it as much as Hawkeye plus a post-credits scene.

I wondered thoughts before the movie that I thought would be kayfabe breaking in the film, but they explained those away in ways that actually make sense and get you to buy in.

For instance, if you’ve followed Tony Stark through the films then you understand his decision making, so you buy it. If you’ve followed Captain America, you understand why he opposes this, so you buy it. You understand why the teams are split as they are.

I’ve seen some flak tossed towards the villain Zemo in the film, but he isn’t the villain. He’s a villain. To be honest, who you define as the Big Bad in the movie is up to your viewing experience.

The first act works to establish the film. The second act with airport scene is the greatest, peak-est, lit-est, straight fire comic book scene of all time. The third act dials things back down in scale, but keeps the stakes high just as you think they were going away.

There is some really creative action sequences and inspired action scenes. The humour is perfect. And it even gets dark and intense, without feeling jarring and gross.

I’m going to see this multiple times. Its so excellent.

I will literally answer all your questions.

nod

Previously:

To Come:

  • Keanu (April 29)
  • X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (June 3)
  • Popstar: Never Stop Singing (June 3)
  • Warcraft (June 10)
  • Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)
  • The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)
  • Star Trek Beyond (July 15)
  • Jason Bourne (July 29)
  • Suicide Squad (August 5)
  • Sausage Party (August 12)

Maybe’s of the Summer

  • Money Master (May 13)
  • Neighbours 2 (May 20)
  • The Nice Guys (May 20)
  • Now You See Me 2 (June 10)
  • The Legend of Tarzan (July 1)
  • Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (July 8)
  • Ghostbusters (July 15)
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Summer Movie Reviews: Now with 100% More Robot Avengers

Avengers: Age Of Ultron 4.5/5

This movie rocked. Spoilers ahead. I don’t know why people were down on it. I read some reviews and they were nitpicking like “Whats the point if we know that they’re all going to assemble again in a few years?” You’re dumb, movie critics.

This is everything you could have possibly wanted in an Avengers movie, and it felt way more like the comic book Avengers than the first film.

The bad:
There were a few little plot strings that bothered me, and it too is nitpicking. Andy Serkis/Claw kind of just disappeared and was there for set up for Civil War and Black Panther. Maybe Dr Cho died, but I thought she didn’t and should have been at the new Avengers Academy at the end so she felt like a real part of the movie. Black Widow/Hulk stuff was fine for the most part, except they’re “Lets run away together and leave everyone else to fight Ultron and save people.”

I would have preferred Ultron to be darker and more evil evil, but he is still a strong villain and we don’t know if he’s actually dead. If you know anything about comics, unless you see a dead body then they aren’t dead. And even if you see a dead body they probably aren’t dead. I have my own theory why he’s alive I’ll share if you ask me to.

I don’t know what it is about Black Widow, but when Joss Whedon is doing the writing/directing I do not enjoy the character. In Cap 2 and Iron Man 2, I quite liked her.

The good:
Basically the entire film. It starts off letting you know exactly what you’re getting. A cool like 2 minute shot of everyone doing their sweet fighting together like the Avengers in the comics/cartoons. Fighting like a team. It was awesome.

Hulkbuster fight. Awesome.

Vision. Awesome. Great comedy as well.

They made Hawkeye interesting! That was so good. And better than that, they gave him a role of his own. He is the “normal guy” on the team.

Linking the two films centered around Loki’s staff and the Mind Stone was a great tidbit for comic nerds that I don’t think non-nerds will quite follow.

We saw heroes saving people. That is huge to making them heroes versus violent fighters.

Ultron’s execution and naivete was spot on. I liked how different his plan was compared to the comics and to other villains. He wasn’t going to destroy the world by shooting it. He wanted to do it by causing a legitimate disaster.

I enjoyed the little plot threads we got to see for Civil War, Ragnarok, and tie-ins to the space alien stuff with Guardians.

The trailer’s do not spoil the whole film. The trailers were basically picked from 2-3 scenes in the first 40 minutes. Also nothing from the end of the movie. Surprise 🙂

The awesome:
Rotating the cast of the Avengers team gets top marks from me. It keeps things fresh and also keeps the growing the universe. It also allows for them to do more Avengering as Thor and Hulk, in practical terms, limit exactly what the team can do and how often.

Cap, Widow, Falcon, War Machine, Scarlet Witch and Vision make a nice new team with a whole new dynamic.

Plus we know that Iron man, Hawkeye, Thor and Hulk will come back for Infinity War and some of them for Civil War.

Killing Quicksilver and not Hawkeye made me go “Say whaaa!” because it really threw me for a loop. I like that. I guess Quicksilver was really just in there so Marvel could get their hands on Scarlet Witch first.

Other reviews

To come this summer:

  • Mad Max, May 15
  • San Andreas, May 29
  • Entourage, June 5
  • Jurassic World, June 12
  • Antman, July 17
  • Fantastic Four, August 7
  • Hitman: Agent 47, August 28
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens, December 18

Maybe to come this summer:

  • Ted 2, June 26
  • Terminator: Genysis, July 1
  • Pixels, July 24
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, July 31
  • Goosebumps, October 16
  • Jen and the Holograms, October 23

Top 10 Best Movies of 2014

These are my best “get off your butt and go see them please!” movies of 2014.


10. Big Hero 6 
– It is not a comic book movie. It uses the name of a comic book but it is super loosely related. Its really just a Disney property. It was fun to watch and it gave you feels. I need to watch more Disney animation movies. They’re always awesome.


9. Birdman 
– Michael Keaton was really good in this sorta-biopic of himself. But Ed Norton steals the show. Emma Stone rocks in it. It has a good story. Its nice to watch a movie that just has actors doing their acting thing without all sorts of ish going nuts. I really enjoy movies when they just have great actors doing great acting.


8. 22 Jumpstreet 
– I need a comedy and this was the best comedy I saw this year. It avoided turning into a giant turd, huge accomplishment. I’m usually bothered when movies make nods to the sequel, like a lot, but here they were legitimately funny and not hamfisted like Dumb and Dumber To or the Pirates sequels. It was funny and fun and I like Jonah Hill.


7. John Wick 
– I find Keanu Reeves kind of laughable as an actor. He’s really good at being clueless and I find he needs to lean on other actors in his movies to get to a high level. Well, here he kills it primarily on his own. Suspense, thrill, action. Fun stuff.


6. The Lego Movie 
– EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! EVERYTHING IS COOL WHEN YOU’RE PART OF A TEAM! EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! WHEN WE’RE LIVING OUR DREAM!

This movie is awesome.


5. Guardians of the Galaxy 
– I love how hammy this movie is, but still somehow keeps it serious. Ronan playing it straight is a great juxtaposition to our group of alien misfits. This is a movie that really should have only been “okay” but everything clicks. I’m always impressed when a movie manages to fit everyone in without cutting anyone short.


4. Nightcrawler 
– I’m fascinated by sociopaths. This movie stars a sociopath and follows that descent as it gets worse and worse. So neat to see all the moral issues and qualms others have that surround Gyllenhaal. It makes me wonder just how close this is to real life, and considering some of the crazy stories I’ve heard it doesn’t seem very far off.


3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
– The best Apes movie I’ve ever seen. The way the apes talk but its all in their own language. I really liked how it depicted society post-apocalypse, which is something I love to see. I like seeing different “end of the world” scenarios. I think this movie is legitimately worth of an Oscar nomination for best picture (especially since they’re opening the voting to 10 films). Caesar rules.


2. Snowpiercer 
– Post-apocalypse. The world sucks. Everyone lives on this train. Poor people vs rich people. Revolution lead by Captain America! And instead of messing up dudes with a shield, he ruins their day with an ax! AN AX! HE STRAIGHT UP PUNKS PEOPLE WITH AN AX! Furthermore, the concept is just so cool and well executed. You gotta see it.


1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier 
– This is probably the best Marvel movie ever made. Non-Joss Whedon Black Widow is best Black Widow. I love this kind of action where it is punches and kicks (Cap definitely doesn’t skip leg day) as it has so much more impact than Iron Man blasting dudes. It was so well directed and written. I can watch this movie on repeat.

Age of Ultron Trailer Reaction and Analysis: OMG

HOLY CRAP! That was my reaction. But lets also look at the trailer and try to find some things. SPOILERS DUH maybe.

  • 00:14 –  opening shots of general panic set the tone well. James Spader’s voice over is menacing and authoritative. Almost sounds regal. Excellent.
  • 00:19 – shot of Ultron(?) getting out of lava. Love this as it gets across the indestructible nature of Ultron.
  • 00:24 – some shots of Cap, Hawkeye and Thor in the area of the place that was panicking. They all look a little haggard and exhausted.
  • 00:29 – Looks like the interior of the Avenjet. Banner is tripping balls. No sign of Stark or Hawkeye in the jet. Banner is using his shirt like a straight jacket it seems.
  • 00:33 – More killer voice work and some shots of a limping and damaged Ultron V1 (we’ll call it V1).
  • 00:34 – “Tangled and strings” I love this theme.
  • 00:40 –  Things get real. Crushes the head on one of the Iron Men/Ultron prototypes.
  • 00:49 – Cap never skips leg day. I’m digging his new suit.
  • 00:55 – Some destruction shots. Guns. A tank. Makes things look hopeless.
  • 00:58 – Banner stumbling around in some woods. Really interested in his plot for this movie.
  • 1:00 – Is that Widow?
  • 1:03 – Ultron working with the “miracle twins” or whatever they were called by Von Strucker. Definitely makes sense if they were captives, and Ultron is looking to cut the “strings” on the world. They’d be willing disciples.
  • 1:06 – Love the design of Ultron’s minions.
  • 1:09 – Thor’s with Cap, Widow and Hawkeye. He drops his hammer. It’s a neat “oh no” style shot.
  • 1:12 – Stark is looking over what looks like Ultron V1/ what is left of him.
  • 1:13 – “This is the end.”- Stark. False. There are plenty of sequels still to be made.
  • 1:15 – Nick Fury. Curious to see what he can do without S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • 1:16 – “Nothing lasts forever.” – Widow. Except you having terrible hair in every Avengers film to date.
  • 1:18 – Elizabeth Olsen/Scarlet Witch screaming in the middle of a devastated courtyard. She isn’t my wife yet but I hope she is one day.
  • 1:21 – HULKBUSTER ARMOR! That is so hype.
  • 1:26 – Widow gets dropped on her Harley to go fight, presumably. Makes me wonder why there is still traffic heading towards where she is going. Robots destroying entire cities isn’t subtle, citizens. Why isn’t she getting people to safety?
  • 1:29 – Quicksilver runs through a robot as Cap takes a seat. Curious to see how they handle his speed powers after Xmen: DOFP and The Flash TV show handling super speed really well.
  • 1:31 – Is Cap geared up in a night club?
  • 1:34 – Who is this guy? He’s obviously someone but I haven’t paid too much attention to the casting and I can’t quite put a name to him.
  • 1:34 – Standard “Chris Hemsworth must be shirtless” scene.
  • 1:35 – Hulk and Widow share a moment. Really wanna know Hulk’s story now.
  • 1:37 – Tank shots. Looked like they were firing blue stuff, which was the Phase 2 weapons/Hydra weapons powered by the Tesseract.
  • 1:38 – Hawkeye still in a goofy outfit I am not on board with yet.
  • 1:40 – Thor grabs Stark by the throat, like Loki did. Looks like this scene is back where Ultron made his first appearance in Avengers Tower.
  • 1:42 – Hulk v Hulkbuster Iron Man – can’t wait to fanboy over this in the theatre.
  • 1:43 – Song plays again. I am so on board with it. I’VE GOT NO STRINGS by Ned Washington/Leigh Harline.
  • 1:46 – Quicksilver running. Tiny bit underwhelmed by what they’re showing his speed to be. He should be basically instant. Other characters look like they’re only at half speed.
  • 1:48 – Why do fruit stands always get destroyed in action scenes?
  • 1:53  – CAP’S INDESTRUCTIBLE SHIELD OH NO!
  • 1:56 – Dat Ultron design.
  • 2:14 – Making me wait until April is bullcrap.

Enjoy these gifs