Captain America: Civil War

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*Be forewarned…there are spoilers ahead*

There is a always a great deal of excitement when a new Marvel movie comes out. The success rate for these movies is quite high and even though some are better than others, all the movies in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) have been entertaining and important to watch considering how each movie effects the others. After watching Civil War I realized that superhero movies are not in a slump as some people claim and are in no danger of wearing out their welcome as long as they continue to be as excellent of a movie as this one. The Russo brothers have given us great hope that their spin on the MCU will be the best to date.

One thing was made very clear to me after watching this film…all those before it were leading to this movie. The very first Iron Man made a clear reference to the Civil War comic book event when the movie ended with Tony Stark telling everyone he is Iron Man which was a key moment early on in the comic book event. Also, the destruction at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron hinted strongly at the fact that something was going to happen as a result of so many civilians being killed and injured.

The conflict between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers has been shown throughout their previous meetings and due to the Sokovia Accords (which essentially gives the government control over the Avengers) the antagonism between them come to a boiling point. What impressed me most is how the movie makes you see and somewhat agree with both sides. Controlling the superheroes could be a good way of preventing more deaths of civilians, but the concept of any government possibly using them for their own personal gain is an uncomfortable idea.

Iron Man leads the pro-Sokovia Accords side and Captain America leads the side that is against the proposed laws. What truly brings things to a head is when Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier is framed for killing the king of Wakanda, T’Chaka. Iron Man wants to bring him in to pay for his supposed crime and Captain America wants to protect his life-long friend.

The action scenes in this movie are insane and I will not go into great detail since these moments have already been well chronicled, but there are so many incredible moments without making the viewer feel overwhelmed. When T’Challa/Black Panther hunts down Bucky we get to see one of the most incredible chase scenes captured on film in a long time. The big airport battle between Team Cap and Team Iron Man has so many amazing moments it is hard to pin them all down, but when Ant Man becomes Giant Man we are treated to a humorous and awesome moment.

When Spider-Man enters the fray we see nothing but one great moment after the other starting with him fighting Captain America one-on-one in a pitch perfect battle and then Spider-Man taking on Bucky and Falcon that will having you smiling throughout. The final battle, which is the most emotional and brutal, shows Iron Man taking on Bucky and Captain America in an amazingly choreographed scene. We find out that Bucky murdered Stark’s parents decades ago while he was being brain washed and the anguish and rage we see on Stark’s face when he discovers this is extremely powerful.

The one thing I really appreciated was that none of the main heroes died. Some came close, but none actually perished. In the comic books we see Captain America die at the end of the storyline which causes Tony Stark  to rethink his position, but we do not get such an easy out in the movie. We see a hint of reconciliation, but they still are not fully on the same side which makes sense and gives an intriguing spin on what we may see in the next two Avengers movies.

It is amazing to me that a movie which has some dark/serious undertones can still come off as bright, humorous, and positive. Everything does not have to be constant doom and gloom to be an effective movie in today’s world. Civil War proves that.

Despite all of the amazing moments and performances the two actors that stick out the most are Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa. We have finally found the perfect Spider-Man who truly embodies the role better than anyone before and Boseman’s portrayal of Black Panther gives us a performance that is truly gripping and gives us a new character in the MCU that could turn out to be it’s best and most popular. Their performances give me great confidence in their upcoming solo movies.

This movie is definitely a must see wether you enjoy this genre of film or not since it is not only a great superhero film, but a great movie overall.

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Coming soon

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Hey everybody!

I apologize for being away for a good long time, but I’ll try to be consistent from now on.

While I’ve been gone a lot of stuff has gone down. The Avengers: Age of Ultron has come out, the casting for Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War has come down to a few young actors, wrestling has been amazing yet has been very unpredictable – and personally for me a bit stressful – and Phoenix Comic-Con was just a few weeks ago!

I hope to share my feelings on those – and a lot of other things as well – in the near future! Thanks for sticking with us, and have a great weekend.

 

 

 

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Hey guys! This week I’m reviewing Captain America: Winter Soldier, one of my all-time favorite movies.

I have never trusted and loved a pair of directors more than I do the Russo brothers. This movie was absolutely outstanding. It could be debated that it was better than the first movie. The fact that the Russo brothers completely understand that it is a lie that every movie needs to have a romantic lead to be a good movie is refreshing and fantastic.

How every character was written was amazing, but I feel like Natasha/Black Widow’s was the best. She’s an existing character, but we didn’t really get a lot of her personality from the Avengers movie and Iron Man 2, and the fact that they were able to give her a great and real personality but also still be what she was before is amazing. She’s absolutely terrifying as Black Widow, calling to soldiers saying “Hey sailor” and looking like she’s going to eat them alive is truly just Black Widow. Natasha is one of Steve’s close friends, she’s playful, she has a great sort of dry humor, and even though she has a dark past, it does not make her personality gloomy and negative. There is a difference between Black Widow and Natasha and Captain America: Winter Soldier illustrates that greatly.

Sam Wilson couldn’t be any better, honestly. He is an amazing character, being a bit funnier than the others but not becoming just a comic relief character. He’s very sweet to Steve and Natasha, especially when they showed up at his doorstep – just having dealt with a confrontation/action scene with the Winter Soldier – and he just let them right in. He’s mischievous but not overly so, he’s very caring for his community, and he has so much courage and heart, he’s a very lovable character. I would personally love to see him take on the role of Captain America, but Chris Evans is doing such an amazing job, I certainly don’t want to see him leave soon.

Steve Rogers is one of my favorite characters and in the Captain America sequel we learn more about him – his mother died while Bucky and Steve were fairly young, that he makes friends insanely easy, that he’s still trying to catch up on seventy years, and that he isn’t dependent on being Captain America. We also learn that he is a good person but not a rule-following robot. He understood that what S.H.I.E.L.D. was doing was wrong, that ‘this isn’t freedom, this is fear.’ This is the Steve Rogers I absolutely love. Steve is just an amazing person, and out of all the male characters I can think of he is one of the most well-rounded. I’m so glad that we got to see him in the world of 2014 and to see him work through all of it very well.

Steve is incredibly smart too. Remember when he broke into the ‘Captain America Museum’ and stole his old uniform? That wasn’t just suppose to be a cool moment – even though it was. Steve was using his old uniform to trigger Bucky Barnes’ old memories. He knew that they had guns, and yet he still wore this uniform that made him completely vulnerable – but he did it to trigger Bucky’s memories. He risked his life just to get to Bucky. We see in this movie, not unlike in the first movie, that he is so very smart and cares so very much. Bucky is obviously Steve’s absolute best friend, and Steve is risking his life for him – just so he can get Bucky back.

Bucky Barnes is so very valuable to Steve Rogers. Bucky was probably the kid that was there for him when other kids bullied him, he was there for him when both his parents died, he was there for him in the war. Bucky isn’t just Captain America’s side kick, he’s Steve Rogers’ best friend, and could even be called his brother. When Steve says, while Bucky is beating the life out of him, ‘I’m with you til the end of the line’ Bucky’s impulse to protect him is so much stronger than the command wired in his brain to kill him.

I’m definitely glad that we got to see Bucky Barnes so much and so prominently in this movie. Yes, he is the protagonist of this movie so of course we’ll see him enough, but I was worried that we wouldn’t get to see Bucky and that’d we just see the Winter Soldier. What Bucky went through is absolutely horrible, and one of the first things that happened was that he was brainwashed – so when people say that he is the villain of this movie it’s technically incorrect. He is a victim playing the villain. None of what Bucky does in this movie is of his own free will, except for saving Steve at the end of the movie. Hydra has completely brainwashed Bucky to do what they want. He has been repeatedly frozen and refrozen for the past seventy years, and almost every time they wipe him and wire in commands to kill more people. If he was doing all of this by himself, if he was trying to kill Steve Rogers and countless others in his past consciously, then you could call him a villain. But he did not, so he is the victim of this story. I can only hope we see him in the next movie and see some of the process to getting him back to Bucky Barnes.

This was such a great movie, and I am so so glad that the Russo brothers will be directing the next movie and taking over the Infinity Wars. I am absolutely positive that Captain America: Civil War will be absolutely outstanding.

WS

Disney Infinity

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Ever since Disney Infinity came out in 2013 I found myself interested in the game since I am a big Disney fan as is my whole family. I am an avid gamer and a collector of many things, including toys, so the combo of the two with a property I enjoy seemed a no-brainer. I just never got around to buying the game.

This past Christmas I got a big surprise from my wife under the Christmas tree of the 2.0 Marvel Avengers starter set. Now I have a copy of the original game to go along with it and way too many figures, power discs, cases, etc…

To say I enjoy the game is an understatement. It has become quite the hobby for myself and my family. We all enjoy it immensely and wish we had gotten into it sooner.

The game itself includes two main modes…Adventure and Toy Box. Adventure contains your basic gameplay of beating up the bad guys, collecting things, achievements, etc…It is very basic and made for a general audience, but is still fun for a casual gaming session.

The best mode though is Toy Box. You build your own world through unlocking features in the game itself and the purchase of power disc booster packs ($4.99 for two randomly packed discs). The possibilities for customization seem endless. They have all the Disney themed stuff you can think of with the addition of the world of Marvel with Disney Infinity 2.0. Combining the two worlds can be quite fun. Captain America riding a surfboard with Stitch on the front through it’s a Small World is one of the truly simple pleasures in life. There are also tons of mini games to play and keep you interested for many hours.

I enjoy the multiplayer aspects of this game since it has proven to be fun for not just myself, but my wife and daughter as well. It is really a big thrill when my wife gets excited to buy a video game.

I hope in the future they will add the Star wars universe to Infinity since Disney owns that huge property as well. Chewbacca fighting with Thor against Captain Hook would be a blast.

This is a game/toy that is perfect if you have a family that likes to join in your gaming sessions and you are looking for something simple and just plain fun.

Agent Carter

Hey guys! I apologize for not posting here for what seems like forever, I’ve been a bit busy, and right as I was writing a new post, I came down with a cold. But hopefully I can come back full time.

As I said before, I was going to review Captain America: Winter Soldier. I’ve decided against that, considering Agent Carter has just aired a week ago and has been the center of my attention.

I won’t say I was sure that Agent Carter was going to be amazing, that it was going to do Peggy justice, that she wouldn’t be made into just another “strong female character” who had more than two lines and said things like “Man up,” and “You hit like a girl”. I was fairly nervous at first, but I was overjoyed to find out that I had underestimated Marvel’s writing team.

Agent Carter is absolutely amazing, and her fighting skills are a dead giveaway that if they had given her the Super Soldier Serum, she would have taken down Hydra in two days. Her fighting techniques are completely brutal. She does not fight like Natasha/Black Widow does, which is more acrobatic, graceful and, in a way, more feminine. Peggy absolutely dominates her opponents and obstacles she faces, throwing them out windows, stabbing them in the hand against a truck, knocking them out with a stapler, pointing a gun at a man and threatening both their lives, and most importantly, threatens to kill them for being misogynistic. And not just the new show put that in light, in the first Captain America movie, she punched the first man to question his authority and charged into the final battle against the Red Skull, guns blazing. She even almost shot Steve when he made out with a random woman. She is brutal, and she is unapologetic about it, which I absolutely adore.

Peggy has been absolutely amazing, and if she was a man, she would be everyone’s favorite character. She’s shown weakness but has not become sniveling, she’s very human and I’m so glad to see that. I am so glad that she has her own show. I was fairly upset that Black Widow was not getting a movie, and Agent Carter is a good way to fix what they cannot fix with a relatively progressive show. (We certainly do need to set our standards highers though, we needs shows like this but in a modern setting. The 40’s were a long time ago, but we need shows that present the complicity of sexist acts nowadays, and women overcoming them.) I definitely want to see more female agents working with her, being just as great.  It would really say something, but I understand that it could be hard to write.

The writing of the characters on this show is absolutely fantastic. All characters have caught my attention, and this last episode, showing the blonde woman being removed from the Griffith, I wanted to know more about her. Even the antagonists are interesting.

The cinematography is beautiful, and the clothing/set design couldn’t be any more perfect than it already is. It looks more like the 40’s than the actually 40’s looked like. Marvel always lives up to the standards they’ve set with their past movies, and they just keep getting better and better. Agent Carter has definitely reassured me that the shows coming out on Netflix are going to be fantastic.

I can only hope Agent Carter either stays amazing or gets better.

Avengers Assemble

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I am currently watching Marvel’s Avengers Assemble through Netflix’s streaming service and I am enjoying it immensely. It is a great mix of action and humor. A lot of today’s television cartoons take themselves way too seriously and it is nice to come upon one that likes to mix in humor with it’s quasi seriousness. I am an adult who happens to enjoy the occasional cartoon and even I like to take a break from all the seriousness of the real world and just smile during a 22 minute cartoon.

It features all of the characters from the live action Avengers with the addition of Falcon. It is also great to see villains and heroes from the Sony and Fox owned Marvel properties like Doctor Doom, Spider-Man, and Thing.

About 14 shows in to a 26 episode run and it has not disappointed. The voice over work is top notch and the animation is well stylized, but not annoyingly so. The writing is pretty solid as well. Even though there is an overarching storyline throughout, the episodes are fairly self contained which I enjoy.

If you are a big Marvel ‘everything’ fan or just want to watch a solid cartoon, then Avengers Assemble should be playing right now on your television or computer.

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

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Now THAT was a summer blockbuster!

Guardians of the Galaxy was simply fantastic. Well written, perfectly acted, publicized perfectly, and just a grade A example of how to create a new movie franchise that people will love.

This is a movie that must be seen to be believed. Directed by James Gunn it had the feeling of a big Marvel film, but laced with Gunn’s sensibilities. He is a very unique, exciting, and intelligent film maker (Slither and Super being two of his most notable) and it seemed like this may be a monumental task for someone used to working with small budgets. Given a significant amount of money for Guardians he showed he was ready to be a big time, mainstream director and not lose any of his appeal as a singular, creative force.

The story was pretty darn faithful to the comic books and changes were made where appropriate. The casting was spot on as well. Chris Pratt as Star-Lord was a genius casting choice. Zoe Saldana as Gamora and Dave Buatista as Drax were inspired casting choices and they embodied the characters better than anyone else could have. Lee Pace and Karen Gillan as Ronan and Nebula respectively were perfect villains for this film. Even Vin Diesel as Groot was a great choice despite the severely limited verbiage.

The standout though (which is hard to achieve with such a terrific cast) is Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket. Wow! He could have come off goofy but wth the great CGI and the top notch voice work he is becoming a beloved character of many a non comic book fan.

I even loved the post credits scene which was so off the wall which was a great choice for this film.

This is a must see movie. You need no knowledge of the characters to fall in love with it. It is very similar to the first Star Wars movie in that respect.

What are you waiting for? Go see it now!

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