Captain America: Civil War

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In 1991 the brainwashed super-soldier James “Bucky” Barnes is dispatched from a Hydra base in Siberia to intercept an automobile carrying a case of super-soldier serum. In the present day, approximately one year after Ultron’s defeat in the nation of Sokovia at the hands of the Avengers, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff stop Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos. Rumlow blows himself up to avoid capture, and when Maximoff tries to displace the blast into the sky with telekinesis, it destroys a nearby building, killing several Wakandan humanitarian workers.

At the team’s headquarters, U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross informs them that the United Nations (UN) is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish a UN panel to oversee and control the Avengers. The team is divided: Tony Stark supports oversight because he feels responsible for Ultron’s creation and Sokovia’s destruction, while Rogers has more faith in his own judgment than that of the government. At a conference in Vienna where the accords are to be ratified, a bomb kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. Security footage indicates the bomber is Barnes, whom T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa, vows to kill. Informed by Sharon Carter of Barnes’ whereabouts and the government’s intentions to kill him, Rogers goes to bring in Barnes—his childhood friend and war comrade—himself. Rogers and Wilson track Barnes to Bucharest and attempt to protect him from the authorities, but all three and T’Challa are arrested.

Helmut Zemo tracks down and kills Barnes’ old Hydra handler, stealing a book containing the trigger words that activate Barnes’ brainwashing. Infiltrating the Berlin facility where Barnes is held, Zemo recites the words to make Barnes obey him. He questions Barnes, then sends him on a rampage to cover his own escape. Rogers stops Barnes and sneaks him away. When Barnes regains his senses, he explains that Zemo is the real Vienna bomber and wanted the location of the Siberian Hydra base, where other brainwashed super-soldiers are kept in cryogenic stasis. Unwilling to wait for authorization to apprehend Zemo, Rogers and Wilson go rogue, and recruit Maximoff, Clint Barton, and Scott Lang to their cause. With Ross’s permission, Stark assembles a team composed of Romanoff, T’Challa, James Rhodes, Vision, and Peter Parker to capture the renegades. Stark’s team intercepts Rogers’ team at Leipzig/Halle Airport, where they fight until Romanoff allows Rogers and Barnes to escape. The rest of Rogers’ team is captured and detained at the Raft prison, while Rhodes is partially paralyzed after being inadvertently shot down by Vision, and Romanoff is forced to go into hiding.

Stark discovers evidence that Barnes was framed by Zemo and shows this evidence to Wilson, who gives him Rogers’ destination. Without informing Ross, Stark goes to the Siberian Hydra facility and strikes a truce with Rogers and Barnes, unaware he was secretly followed by T’Challa. They discover that the other super-soldiers have been killed by Zemo, who shows them footage from Hydra’s archives; it reveals that Barnes killed Stark’s parents during his mission in 1991. Enraged that Rogers kept this from him, Stark turns on them both, blasting off Barnes’ robotic arm. Rogers disables Stark’s armor and departs with Barnes, leaving his shield behind. Satisfied that he has avenged his family’s death in Sokovia by irreparably fracturing the Avengers, Zemo attempts suicide, but T’Challa stops him and he is taken to the authorities.

In the aftermath, Stark provides Rhodes with exoskeletal leg braces that allow him to walk again, while Rogers breaks his allies out of the Raft. In a mid-credits scene, T’Challa grants asylum to Barnes, who chooses to return to cryogenic sleep until a cure for his brainwashing is found. In a post-credits scene, Parker tests a new gadget that he received from Stark.

REVIEW:

DC has had their turn up to bat, and they got a decent pop fly, but mighty Marvel is strolling up to batting box, surely to hit a home run, right? Pardon the very bad baseball analogy, but there is a baseball game playing in the background as I type this up, so I found it fitting. Captain America: Civil War is a film that many comic book fans have been looking forward to for a long time, myself included, given how compelling the story is in the comics. Fans want to see how it translates to the big screen. Will Marvel’s track record stay intact, or is this the one that breaks them?

What is this about?

With many people fearing the actions of super heroes, the government decides to push for the Hero Registration Act, a law that limits a heroes actions. This results in a division in The Avengers. Iron Man stands with this Act, claiming that their actions must be kept in check otherwise cities will continue to be destroyed, but Captain America feels that saving the world is daring enough and that they cannot rely on the government to protect the world. This escalates into an all-out war between Team Iron Man (Iron Man, Black Panther, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine, and Spiderman) and Team Captain America (Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Falcon, Sharon Carter, Scarlett Witch, Hawkeye, and Ant Man) while a new villain emerges

What did I like?

Friends forever. Today, Facebook reminded me that I’ve been friends with my best friend 5 yrs today. Obviously, its been much longer than that, but its the sentiment that counts. A man needs his friends. For someone like Steve Rogers, who has outlived everyone he knew, it must be extremely tough. The filmmakers decide to show this by giving the audience a little insight into his relationship with Bucky, which we already know a little about from Captain America: The First Avenger. Seeing Cap, joke around with the guy shows a human side that we don’t see very often. Also, and I wasn’t a fan of this, his other tie to his time, Peggy Carter has an…event…shall we say, happen to her that nearly crushed my black heart!

Black Panther. I could sit here and go on and on about how awesome it is to have Black Panther make his big screen debut, but you’ve seen the trailers. He is a bad ass from those scenes alone. What you see in the film furthers that point. I do want to go a little bit into his character, a suave, smooth, respectable monarch that does not lose his cool and is highly intelligent. My knowledge of Black Panther isn’t as well-versed as others, but from what I saw in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and have read in a few comics, they nailed his personality dead on. Add in the bad ass action we get from him and we can’t forget to mention the costume…WOW! I can’t wait until we get to his movie!

Underoos. We’ve had 5 Spider-Man movies and they have yet to get him right. One franchise made got the Peter Parker side right but threw everything else out the window. The recent franchise got the Spider-Man part, right, but the actor that played him was not likable and there were just numerous other issues with that mess, which was rushed into production solely to keep the rights away from Marvel. Well, a deal was brokered to where Sony keeps the rights, but loans him out to Marvel. It isn’t the best situation, but at least we get Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If his short time on screen is any indication of what we’re going to get in the future, I’m excited. This is the Spider-Man we see in the comics and cartoons, complete with eyes that move (more of a comic thing, but they learned from Deadpool, I would imagine).

What didn’t I like?

Crossbones. It seems that the last few Marvel movies have all started with a small villain fight before the film proper gets going. That’s fine. It is a warm-up of sorts. Here’s the problem with this one, though. Frank Grillo, who I think should be playing the Punisher, was introduced as a character that seemed to be headed for a long term rivalry with Captain America in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So, what’s the problem? Well, after all that time building him up in the last film, he doesn’t make it past the first 15 minutes in this one. Making matters worse, Crossbones is somewhat of a major character in the comics…then again, so is Batroc the Leaper.

Put on the mask. In this day and age of “grounded” and “real” interpretations of superheroes and villains, filmmakers pick and choose who keeps their original costume, who gets and updated version, and who just throws the concept out the window. In the case of Helmut Zemo, they threw it out the window. In the comics he messed with a chemical that made him immortal and fused the mask to his face. I was looking for some sort of nod, if nothing else, to this origin, much like they did with Arnim Zola. Instead, there is nothing remotely Zemo about this guy.

Avengers assemble. If I’m not mistaken, this is a Captain America movie, yet it feels more like an Avengers sequel than Avengers: Age of Ultron did, and that one felt more like Iron Man 3 than the real one did. If they wanted to make this an Avengers movie, they should have just done so and given Cap a true close to his trilogy. If I recall reading early on, before this went into production, it was a totally different story (one that featured Crossbones more, too). What is it with studios masquerading sequels for one franchise as another? While I’m on this subject, how is it that what’s going on in Hell’s Kitchen with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and others not come to the Avengers attention? What about all the Inhuman stuff that the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are dealing with? Just wondering, since Tony Stark was able to track down Spider-Man, as Peter Parker, mind you!

Final verdict on Captain America: Civil War? Well, it has everything you want in a Captain America movie, action, espionage, someone trying to take down American and take over the world, humor, etc. The scope and magnitude of this film won’t be as immediately felt across the MCU as the last film, but I’m sure something will come of it before the inevitable reunion in Avengers: Infinity War. In the meantime, can we just bask in the how superior these Captain America films have been to most everything else that has been released in theaters? Do you even need to ask if I recommend it? Stop reading and run go see it…multiple times!!!!

5 out of 5 stars

That Touch of Mink

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , on May 17, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

When wholesome, hardworking small-town girl Cathy (Doris Day) moves to New York City and meets handsome tycoon Philip (Cary Grant), she thinks she’s found the man of her dreams. Although Philip assures her he’s not the marrying kind, Cathy has other ideas.

What people are saying:

“This is what movies should be like. Great dialogue, some unpredictability, characters that play off of each other. Gig Young is a trip and a half in this one. This is a well-spent hour-and-a-half. While some of it is obviously dated (clothes, etc.), this is a fun flick.”

“Have always been a huge fan of Doris Day but this is easily my least favorite movie of hers. Dialogue is very telling of the times.. and not in a good way. But then again, I’m a sucker for an old movie.”

“A clean and interesting romantic affair between a corporate man – Cary Grant’s polished action and a childish and anxious lady.”

“I can’t really think of much to say about this film. It is an inoffensive, middle of the road romantic comedy which barely delivers 3 solid laughs. Even Cary Grant couldn’t win me over on this one.”

“lines from the movie in the order they come Cary Grant “How do you feel about tapping the unused, abundant natural resources of young, developing countries?” Doris Day “I think they should be tapped!” If you don’t understand why this is oddly magical or how Cary Grant is doing Jack Donaghy from 30 rock way before 30 Rock or why Doris Day is so damn huggable here, then what help can I give you. You heartless hag.”

The Running Man

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

An unjustly accused prisoner in 2019 is given a slim chance at freedom if he enters a battle-to-the-death on a television game show. Dawson steals the show as the slimy host!

What people are saying:

“Great Schwarzenegger effort where he is a prisoner hunted down on a violent game show. You would think that by 2017, the home version of the show would have advanced to video instead of a board game. Richard Dawson is good as the jerk host.” 4 1/2 stars

“I loved the idea behind this movie, but there have been many other better movies with the same idea, and the movie itself is predictable and much like Schwarzenegger’s other films. Richard Dawson was perfect as the game show host, though, I really liked him. Overall, it’s okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it. A similar, but better movie: Deathrow Gameshow.” 3 stars

“Finally watched this from start to finish and it is pretty damn bad. I am sure back when it came out it was a bit better for a sci-fi film but it now is generic and along with the horrible acting it is enjoyable for the hilarity of corny one liners and cheesiness.” 1 1/2 stars

“Some of the main problems that The Running Man runs into is the extremely fast pacing and the extreme lack of character development, plot development, and exposition. Seriously, this could have been a really good movie if the crew focused on these things rather then the full-fledged action you find for the entire duration of the film. It felt as if this movie was made for thirteen-year olds with very short attention spans. A couple of redeeming qualities are Arnie’s acting and his classic one-liners and a really cool head-exploding scene. That’s pretty much it.” 2 stars

“With a dance routine choreographed by Paula Abdul, ironically The Running Man forecast America’s obsession with over-produced competitive ‘reality’ shows and predates The Hunger Games by 25 years. I’m not so sure about Arnie’s Bond style quips but the casting of Richard Dawson as the show’s host is inspired.” 4 stars

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Posted in Animation, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

The film follows the plot of the TV series SpongeBob SquarePants, focusing on the anthropomorphic sea sponge of the same name (Tom Kenny). SpongeBob dreams about managing the Krusty Krab restaurant, which is in trouble because a customer has no cheese on his Krabby Patty, but SpongeBob saves the day. He wakes up and cheerfully prepares for the opening ceremony for the Krusty Krab 2, hoping that his boss Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown) will promote him to manager of the new restaurant built next door to the original Krusty Krab. At the ceremony, SpongeBob is passed over; his co-worker, Squidward Tentacles (Rodger Bumpass), has been given the promotion because Mr. Krabs thinks he is “more mature” than SpongeBob.

Meanwhile, Plankton (Mr. Lawrence), Mr. Krabs’ business rival, devises a plot to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula and frame Mr. Krabs. He steals King Neptune’s (Jeffrey Tambor) crown that night, leaving evidence that pins the crime on Mr. Krabs, and sends the crown to Shell City, a distant, mysterious land from which no fish has returned. That night, SpongeBob goes to his favorite restaurant, Goofy Goober’s; he drowns his sorrows in ice cream with his best friend, Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke), waking up the next morning with a headache. King Neptune barges into the Krusty Krab 2 the same morning and threatens to slay Mr. Krabs. Although SpongeBob criticizes Mr. Krabs shortly after he arrives, he promises Neptune that he will retrieve the crown from Shell City. Neptune freezes Mr. Krabs, still certain that he is the culprit, and tells SpongeBob to return with the crown in six days for him to spare Mr. Krabs. SpongeBob and Patrick leave for Shell City in the Patty Wagon, a car shaped like a Krabby Patty.

In Bikini Bottom, Plankton steals the Krabby Patty formula and uses it to produce and sell Krabby Patties at his restaurant, the Chum Bucket, with the claim that Krabs bequeathed him the recipe. He sends a hitman named Dennis (Alec Baldwin) to pursue SpongeBob and Patrick. Squidward discovers the truth about Plankton stealing Neptune’s crown and tries to alert Neptune. However, Plankton uses mind-controlling bucket helmets disguised as souvenirs to control Bikini Bottom’s residents, including Squidward, and renames the city Planktopolis.

Meanwhile, SpongeBob and Patrick encounter a dangerous trench, but Neptune’s daughter Mindy (Scarlett Johansson) helps them past it by making them think she can transform them into men. They are stopped by Dennis, who tries to crush them with his spiked boots, but he is in turn stepped on by a massive “cyclops” (a diver) (Neil Ross). The “cyclops” grabs SpongeBob and Patrick, and goes to his beachside store, revealed to be Shell City. At the store, SpongeBob and Patrick find the crown, but are killed in a lethal drying-out process with the heat lamp turned on. Their tears short-circuit the heat lamp; its smoke activates the sprinkler system, reviving their bodies and the other dried sea creatures to be sold as souvenirs. As the sea creatures attack the diver, SpongeBob and Patrick take the crown and head for the beach. When they lose their way home, David Hasselhoff offers them a ride; Dennis catches up to them but is knocked by a catamaran back into the sea.

Back at the Krusty Krab 2, Neptune arrives to execute Mr. Krabs. Just in time, SpongeBob and Patrick return with the crown and confront Plankton, who then drops a mind-control bucket on Neptune, enslaving him. SpongeBob performs the song “Goofy Goober Rock” (performed by Jim Wise) and, after transforming into an electric guitar-wielding wizard for the duration of the song, he frees Bikini Bottom’s residents. Plankton is arrested, and King Neptune thanks SpongeBob for his bravery and thaws Mr. Krabs, who makes SpongeBob manager of the Krusty Krab 2 in gratitude.

REVIEW:

Everybody sing with me now, “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” What? No response? Man, what a bunch of party poopers you lot are! So, it is a fairly hot Saturday afternoon and I’m stuck inside babysitting with a broken air conditioner. What better movie to put on than The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, right?

What is this about?

SpongeBob and Patrick are shocked when Mr. Krabs is accused of stealing King Neptune’s crown, and they set out on a wild adventure to prove their friend’s innocence by finding and retrieving the priceless treasure themselves.

What did I like?

Continuity. When shows jump to the big screen, especially while they are still on the air, there is usually a disconnect in continuity. Take South Park, for instance. If I recall, after their movie, it was a year or two before they acknowledged those events. With this, though, I felt like I was watching just an extended episode of the cartoon…with a bigger budget.

Plotholes. I remember back in the days of MySpace, I wrote on a blog post about how we aren’t sure what age SpongeBob is. He has is own house and all that, but he is very juvenile and his job isn’t exactly something one would want later in life. The acknowledgement that he is a kid, finally set my mind at ease about his age. Based on this film, I’d say he’s about 16 or so.

Appeal. There should be no doubt that this is a film marketed towards younger kids, much like the cartoon, but there are some things that will appeal to older viewers. For instance, Patrick calls Princess Mindy hot. Totally out of character for him, which may have been the reason I found humor in it. The preserved fish come to life and attack the “Cyclops” diver was also pretty nifty. There are plenty of scenes that will appeal to a broad audience, so kudos to the filmmakers for having the wherewithal to not dumb this down for just their core audience.

What didn’t I like?

The Hoff. I have no problem with David Hasselhoff. As a matter of fact, I grew up with him on Knight Rider. I’d also say Baywatch, but let’s face it, nobody was watching that show for him. My issue with him in this film is the weird physics that were employed. At one point he stopped in the middle of the ocean and floated there like a boat. How in the bloody blue blazes is that possible? Don’t even get my started on the pectoral launch…that was just weird!

Plan Z. As the series’ antagonist, one would expect Plankton to have some kind of role in the film, perhaps doing the same thing he always does, try to take over the world and steal the Krabby Patty formula. Here’s the thing, though…why is it that Plan Z was so effective, but every other plan he’s had has been a complete and utter flop? I can’t think of a plan of his that came anywhere near actually working!  Sure, the stakes are raised, if you will, for the big screen, but come on, this was just too competent for him!

Pirates. Every now and then on the show, Patchy the Pirate will show up. Ok, I still don’t get what he has to do with anything, but I don’t hate those short segments. He’s not in this as far as I can tell, but there are a mess load of other pirates that apparently love SpongeBob. Surely, there had to be a more effective use for them than sitting in a theater watching the movie, right?

Final verdict on The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie? Well, chances are you aren’t going to just randomly choose to watch this unless you are/were a fan or have seen a few episodes. With that being said, you’ll know what to expect. There isn’t anything new or surprising with this film other than the voice of Scarlett Johnasson. So, if you like the cartoon, you’ll like the movie. For me it wasn’t anything special, other than that.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Babadook

Posted in Horror, Movie Reviews with tags , , , on May 13, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Sam’s frequent tantrums turn sinister when a creepy children’s book mysteriously appears in his room, and he asks his mother, “Do you want to die?”

What people are saying?

“The final sequence’s sheer terror makes up for a couple of flaws throughout. The Babadook is a suspenseful, clever horror film that is driven by its ominous mysterious & shrouded figure which is inventive and modern for today’s genre.” 4 stars

“‘The Babadook’ is not just a masterclass in how to make a psychological horror film from a technical standpoint, but it’s the first horror film I’ve seen in quite some time that has deep emotional resonance and makes for a fascinating discussion piece. In short, it will do for Jennifer Kent what ‘Night of the Living Dead’ did for George A. Romero.” 4 1/2 stars

“I don’t watch horror movies to some poetic story running in the background. Not many jump scenes, does not scare you, do not watch this. Save yourself the time and just staple yourself a few times. It wont take as long, and you will have same feeling.” 1/2 star

“The Babadook manages to break free of the clichés of its genre and, for once, portrays some genuinely creepy ideas. However despite its relatively short run time, it still felt much too long.” 3 stars

“Interesting metaphorical play in the story, but leaves something to be desired” 3 stars

Trailer Thursday 5/12

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on May 12, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

Last week, Captain America: Civil War was released. In the spirit of that greatness coming to theaters, let’s go back and visit the first film with this version of good ol’ Cap, Captain America: The First Avenger.

Trailer Thursday 5/5

Posted in Trailer Thursday with tags on May 5, 2016 by Mystery Man

It’s Trailer Thursday!!!

One of my favorite rom-coms, despite the total cheesiness of it, is Music and Lyrics. So, this week, I figured I’d share it with everyone.

Watch and enjoy!

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