Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"I Can Do This All Day...."

So after watching Captain America: Civil War finally, all I have to really say is.... "Go Team Captain America!!!!!!" Unlike most of the other Marvel films, the Captain America films have gotten far better with each one, and also have gotten deeper; this one of course reaching the pinnacle thus far of the 3 films released. I am truly becoming "comic-booked out" but the Captain America films stand apart from the others. There are two plots going on in this film; one bad dude is seeking vengeance on the Avengers, and the other plot is the United Nations trying to control organized superheroes. Tony Stark is for the UN controlling the Avengers, and Captain America is not, and thus struggles ensue, and of course Bucky Barnes returns as the Winter Soldier further complicating matters. I really don't have to say much about the returning cast, although Chris Evans (Captain America) and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) really took it up a couple of notches in this film which was great; more intimate and human than fake superhero. I really enjoyed Anthony Mackie (Falcon), he's an excellent addition to the team. Scarlet Johnansson (Black Widow) perfection as always. Sebastian Stan was good as Bucky, but was awfully static considering. Don Cheadle is a great actor, but I really do not care for him as War Machine....it just doesn't seem to fit him. Jeremy Renner shot arrows as Hawkeye and witty quips...that's it. Paul Bettany as Vision was good, but static, but I really enjoyed Elizabeth Olsen as the Scarlet Witch. Paul Rudd's brief appearance was....amusing. Emily VanCamp finally got a larger role, and she did quite well with it. As for the new people, some were excellent some were....not. Tom Holland as Spider-Man was perhaps the only part of the film, aside from Paul Rudd, that I didn't like about the film. I'm sure he's exactly the kind of Spider-Man the filmmakers want, but I for once would like to see a new Spider-Man story start out with the character in college already and skip the obnoxious intro stuff. Not to mention the character is depicted as a kid that yacks on and on endlessly. Not really something I am really interested in. Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther was awesome; the best new character from the film absolutely. He presented himself in a compelling way, and his character had a reason for being there; he wasn't merely just haphazardly tossed in. Definitely looking forward to seeing more of him. Martin Freeman (CIA chief) and William Hurt (Secretary of State), and Marisa Tomei (Aunt May) were totally wasted talents; William Hurt should have had a far more prominent role, that was clearly not written well. And as for the other two, their characters weren't even necessary whatsoever; I don't even know why they were in there. Bad casting and writing award there.
The action sequences were relatively good; not too much over the top action, but there were times when more dialog would have been better suited than other ten minutes of punching, kicking, jumping, or flying. The Russo Brothers directed the film and are apparently also directing the Avengers: Infinity Wars, and they did a pretty good job. I would give props for the writing, but I think they really messed up on the villain; talk about severely anti-climactic, especially after The Winter Soldier, so I would definitely say that was a huge flaw in the film. Henry Jackman did the music, and it was relatively forgettable unfortunately, although he did far better on The Winter Soldier. I don't recall anything significantly amazing about the 3-D, but maybe I'm just getting used to it. There weren't any technical elements that really stood out in the film, but I guess they were far interested in 13 superheroes than anything else. It was definitely entertaining and enjoyable, and I have to say that I no longer really care for Tony Stark/Iron Man as a character after this film, I have become disillusioned with his character, and War Machine as well. I can't wait for Thanos to rip them all apart; now that will be fun. Oh, and there are some interesting parallels to what's happening politically in the world now, and what was going on in the film, try to see if you can spot it.
Captain America: Civil War trailer

Captain America: Civil War interviews

Beauty and the Beast trailer (looks like it will be amazing!)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

"This is the Story That You Get...!"

So I'm slowly but surely making my way through all of the 2016 Oscar films. It took me a while, but I sat down and finally watched Room, and the title is not misleading whatsoever. Pretty much for the first half of the film there are only three actors, and primarily Brie Larson who plays the mom and Jacob Tremblay who plays the young son. Up to the point of the opening of the film the mother had been locked up in this room for 8 years I believe, while her son has known nothing else but existence in the room. She was kidnapped and raped for 8 years by the same man as he kept her hidden away. Brie Larson did a fantastic and brilliant job with the role; I think she captured the essence of what a rape victim that has been imprisoned would go through, especially the part of having a child born of rape. Kudos to her indeed. Jacob Tremblay played the young boy with conviction and power that I would think is uncanny for a young boy of his age, but he pulled it off quite amazingly. These two are the driving force of the entire film, and there is really no other reason to mention the rest of the cast, although good, did not have as significant of a presence or performance in the film. Joan Allen plays the captive young woman's mother and William H. Macy plays her father; both did an excellent job with their roles, although I would have liked to have seen William H. Macy given more screen time. The film is a powerful narrative about how to survive imprisonment, rape, abuse, and yet still live for those who love and need you; definitely a story needed for this age of hopelessness and despair. Now, this film is not for the faint of heart; you will cry and possibly be shocked and disgusted at times, though I will say there is nothing graphically depicted on the film thankfully as the allusions are enough to convey the seriousness of the depravity occurring. That being said, if you're a young mother you may have difficulty, or even a young father. This film narrates a story that I and others I worked with dealt with in mental health, and it's fairly tough to watch at times.
Granted, the film is slowly due to the fact that it is hard to be constantly dynamic when you're stuck in a small room, and the other actor is a small child, but all things given they did fairly well. The directing (Lenny Abrahamson) and writing (Emma Donoghue) was quite good, especially the writing which was also based on a novel written by the screenwriter as well. Brie Larson received an Academy Award for Best Actress, and the film received three other nominations for: Best Motion Picture, Best Directing, and Best Adapted Screenplay. I'd definitely watch it again, and I did like it, but it's one of those films I wouldn't frequently watch due to the intense nature of the subject material, but I would recommend it if you're interested. There are a lot of hurt and damaged people in the world and better understanding them would make huge strides in helping them. I think this film does an excellent job of creating awareness for rape, mental health problems, but ultimately hope and choosing to live and thrive for those who need and love us. Slowly but surely I am making my way through my musical, and am on Act II, so halfway there, but it is of course the second half that will be the more difficult to write, so we shall see how it goes.

Room clip

Brie Larson interview

The BFG trailer (it looks interesting, but not at the same time).

The Assassin's Creed trailer (looks like it has some possibilities, 
but will most likely be dreadful).