Chris Evans Weekend – Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Joe Simon, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Chris Evans, Samuel L Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders

 

Plot: As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.


Tagline – In heroes we trust.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Best Pure Action Comic Book Movie

 

Story: Captain America: The Winter Soldier starts as Steve Rogers (Evans) is recruited to help Natasha Romanoff (Johansson) on her latest mission, he being a soldier will help any civilian in danger, which does seem him cross paths with Nick Fury (Jackson) who he feels is using him for the dirty work to clean up SHIELD’s secrets.

When Nick is killed by the Winter Soldier (Stan), Steve must learn who he can trust as he looks for answers as SHIELD has become compromised, Steve is joined by Natasha and starts investigating SHIELD’s connection including Nick’s friend Alexander Pierce (Redford).

 

Thoughts on Captain America: The Winter Soldier

 

Characters – Steve Rogers is still learning to adapt to the modern world, he hasn’t been able to make any friends yet and is starting to deal with his own guilt from his time at war, he is getting used to help save people in need for Fury. He must investigate the murder of Fury only for to need to learn ho to trust and clashing with a friend from his own past. Nick Fury has been pushing the SHIELD’s latest plan to be pushed back, this sees him having the attention drawn to him and turning to the only person he knows he could trust, Steve. Natasha Romanoff has been working with Steve on mission, she still keeps to herself and is the only one that Steve can trust while searching for answers. Alexander Pierce is Nick’s connection to the world committee being the old friends, he has been going against the Nick’s wishes looking to use his own place of power for control. Winter Soldier is a new deadly assassin, one that even Steve can’t fight against, he does have a connection to his past too. Sam Wilson is a former soldier that Steve meets, he has been running groups for soldiers who have been struggle since returning from war and can related to where Steve is, while dealing with a friend’s loss.

PerformancesChris Evans gives his best performance in this leading role here, he gives us a character we believe is trying to do the right thing throughout the film. Samuel L Jackson continues to be the inspiration leader of the group. Scarlett Johansson shows us once against that she is wonderful in the Black Widow role. Robert Redford steps into becoming the villainous figure in the film which is unexpected and he delivers in it. Sebastian Stan returns, this time in a more prominent role and as a threat. Anthony Mackie is a welcome addition to the cast never looking out of place.

StoryThe story here follows Steve Rogers as he looks to learn about the modern world, unlock the truth about who to trust and investigate who has been working from within SHIELD to create more problems than they are meant to be solving, while dealing with an old friend. We get a much straight drawn out action story here which does deal with a political side of having superheroes in the world. we do get to see just how Steve will always put the people ahead of anything else in his life. The idea of how Steve learns to cope in the modern world is shown strongly here as he does have help, he does see similar problems people could be suffering from too. The return of Hydra is great to see because we see a more calculated villainous force that keeps everything human, showing that the heroes will need to deal with their own battles before worrying about ones coming from space.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film feels more like a pure action movie, with it including car chases, street shoot outs and more of a pure hand to hand combat, yes, we do get the big action set piece at the end, but we rarely look at explosions as part of the superpowers. We do dive into sci-fi once again by looking at a future we could face with technology being a major part of it.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings in and mostly around Washington, which helps play into the political side of the story that is going on.

Special EffectsThe effects are not needed as much as most of the other films in the franchise, the ones we do get work very well never taking us out of the set pieces.


Scene of the Movie –
Car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Stephen Strange reference doesn’t make that much sense in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the best action film in the Marvel universe, it keeps most of the action grounded staying away from the big time explosions others have had in the past.

 

Overall: The action superhero movie we wanted.

Rating

 

 

Chris Evans Weekend – Captain America: The First Avengers (2011)

Director: Joe Johnston

Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Joe Simon, Jack Kirby (Comic Books)

Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Dominic Cooper, Richard Armitage

 

Plot: Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a “Super-Soldier serum”. But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Origin Story

 

Story: Captain America: The First Avenger starts in the middle of World War II as Steve Rogers (Evans) a rejected military soldier because of his size is living in New York where his best friend Bucky (Stan) is about to go back into conflict and America is treating the war as a display. Steve is desperate to help his country, he is given an opportunity by Dr Abraham Erskine (Tucci), which sees him being trained in military training by Peggy Carter (Atwell) and Colonel Chester Phillips (Jones).

Steve is selected for a procedure which will make him a super-soldier because his desires to be a soldier show him to be braver than any other soldiers. Johann Schmidt (Weaving) has been searching for power during the war and this will end up making his search organisation Hydra known to the world. Steve becomes Captain America who will lead the fight in the war inspiring the soldiers and looking to stop Johann attempts at becoming a powerfully enemy.

 

Thoughts on Captain America: The First Avenger

 

Characters – Steve Rogers is a small guy from Brooklyn, he wants to join the army, but his size is holding him back, he shows all the strengths of a hero, but this will only get him so far. Given a chance to be a guinea pig for a procedure he gets transformed into a super soldier an icon America can look for war. Once he shows his skills he gets to lead an onslaught on Hydra. Peggy Carter is part of the British side of conflict, she sees the potential in Steve, sees him as different to the normal soldier, while also relating to him as somebody trying to break walls down. Bucky is the best friend of Steve’s he has always stood up for him whenever he needed help, encouraged Steve when everybody doubted him, him being captured is one of the main reasons for Steve to show of his new abilities. Johann Schmidt is the leader of Hydra, he was part of the Nazi war effort, but he has turned to his own desire of power becoming Red Skull a psychotic leader who will kill anyone who fails him as quick as his enemies.

PerformancesChris Evans is great in the leading role, he shows the transformation he takes his character through he goes from the shy want to be soldier to the super soldier. Hayley Atwell is strong playing a woman who has already broken boundaries in her own time. Sebastian Stan is solid enough as the best friend, he best times will come later in the franchise. Hugo Weaving will always make an entertaining villain, which Red Skull is for this franchise.

StoryThe story here follows Steve Rogers transform into Captain America a super soldier designed to help fight the war against the Nazis and Hydra, as he must learn to be accepted in the war effort despite being different. This is the origin of Captain America, we see how he went from the skinny short young man, to the super soldier and ever after that needing to go from icon for America to leader of soldiers in the fight. We get to bring in a new villainous group in Hydra which will one day become one of Captain’s biggest enemies, while also playing into the idea of scientific experiments being part of World War II. For an origin story this is everything you need, seeing the hero become the stronger version of themselves only helps us support his cause.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in this film comes from the large scale battles which are war based that Captain America finds himself in, they get to show off all his skills, while keeping most of the action in the realms of possibilities. The sci-fi side of the film shows how the technology would come to make conflict on a different scale.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings simple, we see the New York setting for the Brooklyn boy, while also jumping into the war like situations Captain America finds himself preparing to fight in.

Special EffectsThe effects through this film are wonderful, from the CGI used to make Chris Evans small, to the explosive power involved with the new weapons the world could be about to experience.


Scene of the Movie –
Captain’s first mission.

That Moment That Annoyed Me A kiss goodbye.

Final ThoughtsThis is another entertaining origin story, it brings us yet another character with his own qualities that makes him stand out from the others and continue to world build.

 

Overall: Origin story with a bang.

Rating

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – A – The Apparition (2012)

Director: Todd Lincoln

Writer: Todd Lincoln (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Luke Pasqualino

 

Plot: A couple is haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment.


Tagline – Once You Believe You Die

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Horror

 

Story: The Apparition starts as we follow a college experiment where Patrick (Felton) and his team including Lydia (Guill) are trying to re-perform the Charles Experiments from the 70’s, but something goes wrong. We move onto meet young couple Kelly (Greene) and Ben (Stan) who are living in their parent’s investment.

When strange occurrences start happening around the home Kelly and Ben must look for answers, first believing it is the mould in the house, but then when Patrick gets hold of Ben we learn that they had summoned an entity in his house and it is still there haunting them. The couple must work with Patrick to stop it going entity before it becomes deadly.

 

Thoughts on The Apparition

 

Characters – Kelly is a trainee vet, she moves into one of her parent’s rental properties with her boyfriend where she starts experiencing the haunting events. Ben is the boyfriend of Kelly, he is a good handy man and searching for his career. It is his past that comes back to haunt them. Patrick is part of the team that did the experiment with Ben back in the college days and now he will help right the wrongs.

PerformancesThe performances, well this is fun and this is not just the actors performances that hold them back, the characters are written one dimension which gives the actors nothing to work with. If we look at the main three stars, they all struggle to make an impact and it shows through the film.

StoryThe story here follows an experiment gone wrong and now there is an entity haunting the people who released it from whether it came from, it plays into the idea that you shouldn’t mess with the dead because they will come to haunt you. Anyway this story is simple enough, it is a survival horror against a ghost figure that doesn’t have too much going on about it. We have plenty of just dark sequences that seem to go nowhere or lead to false jump scares and before long it is over, I think. I can’t say the story offers too much for the horror fans or just film fans and it feels like it is flat by the end of the film

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is mostly false scares which just frustrate throughout, you are now looking to be on the edge of your seats, well this doesn’t give you any of that.

SettingsThe settings just feel like they went and grabbed the Poltergeist location and thought this will do, nothing makes sense for the entity and the hauntings though.

Special EffectsThe effects look poor throughout, it all looks like CGI which is poor to see in a modern horror.


Scene of the Movie –
Credits were good.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Kelly criticising people who work in stores, these people work hard and deserve praise.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor lazy horror that just doesn’t do anything for the genre and becomes dull quickly.

 

Overall: Boring horror that has no scares.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – D – Destroyer (2018)

Director: Karyn Kusama

Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Scoot McNairy, Bradley Whitford, Toby Huss

 

Plot: A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.


Tagline – You can’t run from yourself.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Kidman Powerhouse Performance

 

Story: Destroyer starts when one of Erin Bell’s (Kidman) former cases comes back into the spotlight, one which saw her go undercover with fellow officer Chris (Stan) within a gang run by Silas (Kebbell). This case took nearly everything out of Erin’s life including straining the relationship Erin has with her daughter Shelby (Pettyjohn).

As Erin starts to go through the gang, she gets to learn what the members have done with their lives in the time after the incident, Erin knows that Silas is coming for revenge and this investigation gives her a chance to face all her demons and make peace for her errors.

 

Thoughts on Destroyer

 

Characters – Erin Bell is a police officer that went so deep undercover that she lost her family, 17-years-later the leader of that gang has returned, this will give the Erin a chance to make peace with this case, trying to put her addiction problems a side, Erin won’t take any abuse from anybody, she will step over the line of the law to make sure she puts an end to this case. Silas is the leader of the gang, he makes his followers do anything to prove themselves to him and will lead them in breaking the law, he has gone into hiding, with his return making him a target for Erin. Petra is one of the main followers in the gang, she is one that is still active with Silas, showing that her addiction is still controlling her life. Chris is the partner that worked with Erin in the undercover job, we see how they got to learn to work together to make themselves seem like a couple.

PerformancesNicole Kidman gives one of her career best performances ever single scene we see her committed to this role where she demands your attention unlike any performance, we have ever seen from her before. Toby Kebbell does make us believe his character is on edge and a threat through each and every scene he appears in. Tatiana Maslany and Sebastian Stan complete the main supporting cast which shows us they can step up to look strong against Kidman through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a former undercover police officers that wants to make amends for her case which ended in tragedy and has made her lose out part of her life when it comes to family, turning her to her own addictions. The first thing to know about this that we have two times being viewed, it is easy to tell the two apart because of the length of Erin’s hair. As Erin is trying to locate Silas, we get the flashbacks to her interactions with the gang members as she gets to relocate them as she is searching for Silas. Away from the investigation side of the story, Erin is also trying to rebuild her relationship with her daughter one that she shattered with her problems in the past. The mix of the two stories shows us just how dysfunctional this life can become for anyone that gets too deep within the undercover job.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film follows the events of the robbery, how it went down and how the escape was planned. We do enter the crime world, which sees how Erin went undercover and operated within the gang, followed by how she bent the laws to track Silas back down.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which as always is a wonderful backdrop for the criminal underworld, it shows us just how crime can get done around the city without people seeing it come.


Scene of the Movie –
The robbery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The final encounter.

Final ThoughtsThis is brilliant crime thriller that shows that Nicole Kidman is one of the greatest actresses of her generation, we have a story that keeps you guessing with an anti-hero in Erin that needs to fix her life.

 

Overall: Gripping Tense Thriller

Rating

 

 

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writer:Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin, George Perez, Ron Lim, Steve Ditko, Joe Simon (Characters)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr, Chadwick Boseman, Karen Gillan, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, Sebastian Stan, Pom Klementieff, Letitia Wright, Tom Holland, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Idris Elba, Benedict Cumberbatch, Danai Gurira, Dave Bautista, Mark Ruffalo, Paul Bettany, Benedict Wong, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle

 

Plot: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe


Tagline – An entire universe. Once and for all.

Runtime: 2 Hours 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly a Game Changer

 

Story: Avengers: Infinity War starts as we see the power of Thanos (Brolin) collecting his second infinity stone leaving a path of destruction, with his power growing the Avengers must unit to fight and stop him getting the remaining Infinity Stones that will give him the power to eliminate half of any population with the click of his fingers.

The battle will take place in space, on distant planets and back home on Earth where we get to see unseen team ups and reunions between friends.

 

Thoughts on Avengers: Infinity Way

 

Characters – When we dive into characters we have so many to talk about, I will spend time talking Thanos because has been a villain waiting in the background for many films for, we know his is powerful and this is how you make a villain the powerful force we know and will remember because what he does in this film will make you remember within the first five minutes, but we do also see what drives him and that he has true belief in his cause. In the rest of the characters we know what we are getting from most, I was impressed with Doctor Strange as I wasn’t too interested in the solo film, Thor has a brilliant story arc that keeps his character in the tone we got in Ragnarok and the father son dynamic between Tony and Peter is still here. Drax gets the most laughs once more, while everyone around Steve Rogers is the more serious side of the film. the only negatives on the characters we meet would be the generals for Thanos, who are largely forgettable.

PerformancesThe performances like the characters we have way too many to talk about, Josh Brolin being the new comer makes a massive impact easily becoming the best villain in the MCU. The talent on the Avengers is fantastic and the people that stood out for me were Benedict Cumberbatch, Dave Bautista and Chris Hemsworth, while I don’t think anybody is close to being bad, I felt the actors on the Earth battle weren’t given enough to do to get to their best abilities.  

StoryThe story here is the build up for 18 movies, we have developed our heroes while learning little about the villain, this story shows just what Thanos is fighting for, what he will do to get it and what the heroes will need to do to stop him. For me this is the game changer in superhero movies, we manage to handle seeing separate groups work together to fight on different worlds in groupings you wouldn’t put together, this does however mean certain characters don’t meet in this story which might disappoint fans. The story also balances comedy with the Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy mostly and the serious side of what is coming with Captain America. This is easily what we as fans have deserved, but you might not get everything if you haven’t seen the other films.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fi/FantasyThe action is massive and takes us to different worlds for the battles which each are filled with peril because we know not everyone will make it out of this one. the adventure takes our characters to places they haven’t been before for their part in the story, which brings the sci-fi sides with large parts of the film being in space and different worlds that only could come from fantasies of comic books.

SettingsEach setting offers our characters a challenge they will need to face in battle, this shows how easily travelling through space can be if you know the ability to do so.

Special EffectsThese fight sequences, action sequences look breath taking and nearly everything is flawless except the routine space creatures in the final battle.


Scene of the Movie –
Thor meeting the Guardians.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We learn why a couple of characters are not in the film, but there are some that just seem missing which frustrates because they were interesting ones you would have liked to have seen fight.

Final ThoughtsThis is the biggest comic book movie of all time, it changes everything going forward and is a must see for anyone who is a fan of the genre.

 

Overall: Must See Brilliance.

Rating