Captain America Civil War

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Captain America: Civil War

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. & Sebastian Stan…

Directed: the Russo Brothers

Grade: A

This one was so much better than Age of Ultron!

This film is pretty straight forward. The destruction from the last several movies lead into the governments of the world wanting to basically have the Avengers work for the UN. This leads to a split between Tony and Steve. Unfortunately at the same time Bucky Barnes reappears which leads to a much bigger split and a whole lot of people making some really questionable emotionally based decisions.

And a really enjoyable movie.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll try to keep this simple.

The Russo’s do a much better job here of juggling both the cast and the political issue. I never felt like I was being preached to. You could see both sides of the accord. You could see both sides of everything that was going on with the whole Bucky thing. And I thought for the most part where the other Avengers came down on the issue was true to character.

The action was very good. The villain did tie into the story nicely. I really enjoyed the introduction of the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). Honestly at this point with the Marvel movies I’m tending to think no more characters! But he fit in very well, the actor was engaging and believable and I really liked what they did with him.

But for me most everyone is overshadowed by Robert Downey Jr. and Sebastian Stan. They were as they needed to be, excellent.

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My more Marvel comics inclined friend tells me that a lot of people hate Tony in this story but I just couldn’t. I understood where both of them were coming from and the reasons they did what they did even when I didn’t agree with them and certain parts of their story lines were really heartbreaking.

I did have some nitpicks watching this. Spiderman did nothing for me. Not the fault of the actor (Tom Holland) but he felt out of place in the movie and the stuff with him went on to long especially all the joking throughout what should have really been a more dramatic bit. I kind of wish if they had to go to the Spiderman well again we at least got out of high school this time. And the fact that he was so young made me seriously question the decision making of the person who brought him there.

Also, Scott… I love Paul Rudd but him joining the fray to possibly become a wanted man and being like, “Yeah, whatever! I’m in!” All I could think was didn’t I just watch a whole movie about how you wanted to go straight and be around for your daughter? It was more understandable with Hawkeye, who was often away from his kids and these were personal friends and co-workers he was watching destroy themselves, but it seemed weird for Scott’s character.

Lastly, they tried a little harder with Sharon Carter this time but she’s still a pretty useless character for me. She could have been left out. Chris Evans has more chemistry with Sebastian Stan than he does with her. (Seriously, there’s more than one part with Bucky where I was like, “This I could ship…” with Sharon it was like, “Why are you here again?”)

Recommend: Yes. Nitpicks aside I really enjoyed this one. It was on the long side but never felt it. I was very interested in most of the characters and never bored and the acting was pretty much on-point to excellent. At this point at the end of Civil Wars I’m excited to see where most of the characters are going.

Ant-Man

Ant-Man

Ant-Man

3/5 Stars

This was a hard one but I finally thought just right up the middle of the road. Entertaining. Average. Seen it all before except the ants. And I really, really liked the ants.

I said on my other blog that Paul Rudd is absolutely effortless and Michael Douglas is as smooth as ever. I was one of the few people who liked Evangeline Lily on Lost so no problems with her portrayal of Hope. If you’ve seen the preview (or any other Marvel movie) you know the story. Ordinary guy gets special suit with some jumped up technology in order to stop a corporate minded mad man from using another suit which would bring about really bad things.

The cast really sold this movie and special notes to Michael Pena for Luis, Scott’s best friend who has some funny scenes and gets some good action. I also want to say yeah for Scott who, after hearing the plan, just comes right out and says shouldn’t we call the Avengers.

Speaking of despite some stretching of the belief and the usual dragging from essential an origins movie this was a lot cleaner and a lot better structured then Age of Ultron. I also thought they did a great job with a lot of effects.

There was an interesting thing to the movie that has been bugging me. Basically what I know about Marvel I know from the movies but in this one it was very obvious (and brought up several times) that Hope Pym was far, far more qualified to wear the suit then Hank. She knew the technology. She knew the company and what they needed to do. She kicked ass physically including Scott’s.

Yet it was Scott that got to be Ant-Man.

I have to say while watching the movie it only bugged me a little. Lily and Douglas do a good job with the emotional stuff. There’s a good reason that Hank doesn’t want her in the suit and while it’s trite and obvious it still makes sense. But no matter how entertaining the movie was for two hours, I had seen it all before. It worked.

Think the first Iron Man only with ants.

So I can’t help but think it could have been a much more interesting movie if Hope had been the one to don the suit and jump into action and Scott the one with the daddy issues.

Oh and I’m getting a little feed up with the credit sequences. If stuff is so important just put it in the movie especially that last scene!

Recommend: Yes- but it can wait. Honestly, I didn’t feel like this was a must run out and see it in theaters kind of Marvel movie.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Avengers Age of Ultron

(Small plot spoilers in here though I try to stay away from any of the big spoilers.)

This movie felt long. Not in one of those this movie is long ways (though it is) but actually my body is starting to hurt from sitting here is this going to end any time soon kind of ways. It was entertaining don’t get me wrong. It was just overstuffed and had some issues. While the witty banter was on-point and everyone was as good as they always are it also felt a little… old? Stale? Like they were just checking things off a list.

Expectations game:

I was a little worried about Quicksilver and Aaron Taylor- Johnson so he surprised me. He and Elizabeth Olsen were both bright spots in the film even though they didn’t have that much to do. I thought it actually made Ultron less frightening when they switched sides. Also it was nice to see Paul Bettany have a bodily role as Vision.

I thought there would be more set-up for Civil War but it didn’t really come into play here.

Okay! Problems first…

The romance. I liked the idea of the Widow and the Hulk and these are two incredibly charismatic people of course. I also like the idea of building their characters but it just felt so forced. At times it felt like Banner and Natasha were also acting a little out of character.

Where the hell did Hawkeye’s family come from? And why we’re they so utterly perfect that I spent all the time with them (too much in all honesty) thinking it had to be a set-up or a ploy or something?

Thor in the God Pool or whatever that segment was supposed to be. My friend said that one will probably pay off in the next Thor movie but it felt like a waste of time here.

The ending with the city was a little too over the top for me and I say that as someone who had no problem with the aliens coming through a portal in the first movie. I also didn’t understand what Vision did to Ultron. He seemed to be cutting him off from the net but he could still jump bodies. A lot of the end was unclear to me.

Things that I enjoyed:

Like I said the addition of the twins who were called “enhanced” in this movie was a good one. I’m a particular fan of mind control so the Scarlet Witch could be a long-term favorite if Olsen continues to play her.

Captain America and Agent Carter kind of sort of had their dance! I mean he swung her into his arms. It was also an illusion but I’ll take what I can get.

James Spader made a wonderful and fun Ultron. A true quip-filled child of both Bruce and Tony. I enjoyed also their discussion about science and what would be appropriate means to protecting the world. I wish there would have been more of that kind of thing in the movie. That and a bit more stress on all the issues with Tony and Steve which seemed a little too resolved at the end considering what’s coming.

Loved the little bit at the party with Thor’s hammer and the look on Chris Hemsworth’s face when it moves just a little bit for Steve. Also Pepper and Jane were about the only people who didn’t appear in the movie but at least they gave them good reasons for not being there.

Recommend: Yes, despite everything. It’s the Avengers and if you’re in it this far you’re probably in it, for better or worse, until the bitter end. I just wish they had spiked a couple of things from this movie so that it could breathe better. I like Whedon but I’m happy new blood is coming in.