Movies 2016: Worst to Best

The year 2016 will be known for a number of things – an inordinate amount of celebrity deaths and an equally inordinate amount of lackluster movies. Are these two correlated? I’m not convinced its’ not. Anyway, here is my list of movies I watched this year that was released in 2016. It’s not been a good one.

BVS

Number 19: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice 6/10

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Number 18: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them 6/10

Number 17: Before You 6/10

thechoice

Number 16: The Choice 6.5/10

How to be single poster

Number 15: How to be single 6.5/10

The-5th-Wave-logo

Number 14: The 5th Wave 7/10

Suicide-Squad

Number 13: SUICIDE SQUAD 7/10

Number 12: Rogue One: 7/10

huntsman

Number 11: The Huntsman: Winter’s War 7/10

Tarzanposter

Number 10: Legend of Tarzan 7.5/10

Baby-Dory-in-Finding-Dory

Number 9: Finding Dory 7.5/10

Civil war poster

Number 8: Captain America: Civil War: 7.5/10

zootopiaposter1

Number 7: Zootopia 8/10

JB poster

Number 6: The Jungle Book 8/10

10cl

Number 5: 10 Cloverfield lane 8/10

doctor-strange

Number 4: Dr. Strange 8/10

deadpool poster

Number 3: Deadpool (8/10)

bridget_joness_baby_poster

Number 2: Bridget Jones’ Baby: 8.5/10

Pride_and_Prejudice_and_Zombies_poster

Number 1: Pride and Prejudice vs. Zombies 8.5/10

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March to May: Watched, Read, Loved

march to may

I was all over the place with this post , claiming that I would do some monthly rundowns. I was planning to, I really was, but as you know life is a busy little bastard and all you can do sometimes is hold on for dear life and hope not to fall off the wagon.

In Cinema:

I’ve been to cinema quite a lot the last couple of months. There were a few films I wanted to watch before the internet spoiled everything, and for the most part I walked out relatively pleased.

  1. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

The biggest problem with Batman vs. Superman? It lacked heart. Not all films should be lighthearted, but BvS had no comic relief and no passion – you need either of the two. I didn’t hate it though, but I do think that DC should have worked a little harder if they really plan to have a fighting chance in an environment so dominated by their biggest rivals.

  1. The Huntsman: Winter’s War 

I will definitely watch this again – it is easy, comfortable watching, not necessarily great but it was quite fun. It also contains my husband, and that can’t be ignored!

  1. The Jungle Book

Beautiful and charming, it impressed me with its gorgeous CGI and traditional storyline. Not my favorite Disney live action film, but it was good nonetheless. I am still the most excited for Beauty and the Beast next year. I CAN’T WAIT.

  1. Captain America: Civil War

Woohoo!! This was so great! It probably deserves a higher score from me, because on reflection I had a blast with it.

At Home:

Blindspot:

March: Love Actually – it was OKAY. Not really my favourite romantic comedy and I won’t be watching it again.

April: Home Alone – not gonna lie, I hated this. I am way too old for this shit

May: Warrior Sooo good, but not something I’d recommend as a pick me up.

Other films:

Begin Again (2013) – I really enjoyed it! It is surprising and not really as close to a romcom as it might sound, and I especially enjoyed the track.

The Fast and The Furious (2001) – This way Throw Back was the best and entertaining. I had the best time even though it is as ridiculous, gawdy, a murky story line and terrible acting. It’s all about investing in the future films, you see.

Wild Child (2008) – Wild Child is a favorite movie of 2008 for me. It has everything – the teenage drama, the love story, the gorgeous hero, friendship, everything! I had to force myself not watching it again right after!

Damon-Salvatore

Series:

I’m rewatching The Vampire Diaries at the moment and having a complete and utter blast.  I stopped half way into Season two to focus on exams, but I am so onboard getting my ass to season 7 eventually! Can we just say #teamDamon all the way?!

Reading:

Last Chance Salloon (Marian Keyes) – hmmm, not my favorite Marian Keyes. It was good in some places but it took me ages to get through it – long, laborious reading.

Me-Before-You

Me Before You (JoJo Moyes) – surprising and good, well thought out, not overly sloppy.

The Welcoming (Nora Roberts) – for the life of me I can’t write a review on this for some reason. It is very bland, definitely some of Nora’s most basic work. It isn’t bad or offensive, just pretty tame and nearly put me to sleep in some places.

I finally finished Big Magic after months of searching for it! I’d love to read it again, with a highlighter and a note pad.

Currently also reading:

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy. – this book is a real drag, to be honest. I don’t get why the author is compared to the likes of Marian Keyes – Binchy writes books that make me fall fast asleep. I thought perhaps this book was different from the other one I read by her, but it is shockingly the same – the exact same format and story if you take away all the frills.

Collaboration:

I reviewed over on T9M’s site The Help (2011) – such an awesome flick!

I also reviewed for Kim and Drew‘s 80’s blogathon – When Harry Met Sally – what a great film, definitely worthy of a classic status.

What have you been up to?

Movie Review: 28 Thoughts while watching Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Civil war poster

Plot: With many people fearing the actions of super heroes, the government decides to push for the Anti-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

DON’T READ IF YOU ARE AVOIDING SPOILERS!

Rating: 7.5/10

  1. Why isn’t this titled Iron Man: Civil War? Was that the first fight between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark? (The lame comments gets worse, promise)
  2. Let’s just focus for a few seconds on the fact that this entire fight starts with Tony signing something, The Captain refusing and because they are both pigheaded, a big brawl starts. MEN.
  3. When did Rhodie become an Avenger?
  4. That scene with Tony Stark and the lady at the elevator at MIT is really very sad.
  5. Vision is like the strict dad. No fun allowed.
  6. Can I please learn to Sparta kick like Captain America?
  7. I will also pay a lot of money for fighting skills like the Black Widow.Civil war natahsa
  8. And also – her hair in time of upset – it remains perfect and I want her secret.Civil War BP
  9. Black Panther!!! How great does he look? I love it.I didn’t expect him to be Prince what-what, that was a surprise. Also, the country/area’s name is Wakanda? American source material, I tell you.
  10. On a serious note – I love that the cast is looking more diverse these days.
  11. But on another note – how are only TWO of the Avengers women? That is not very diverse – are the Avengers Donald Trump supporters?Civil war audi2Civil war Audi
  12. Let’s play a drinking game – every time you spot an Audi onscreen you take a shot of Jagermaster.
  13. Is there a slightly love vibe between Vision and the Scarlett Witch? For interest sakes, does he have… all… the equipment of a man or how does that work? And isn’t he something like Tony’s best brain parts? Does that mean that Tony also fancies Scarlett Witch? So many questions!
  14. How does Steve feel to have dated a girl and her grandmother’s sister? Steve is a fox!
  15. Captain America in sunglasses and a cap. (hehehe for my pun) – it works really well.
  16. The fight scenes were incredible, well choreographed and not over the top. Although, the buses flying everywhere at the helipad? That was the height of preposterous. Does Stark Industries cover the bill for all the damage the Avengers wreck?Civil WAr barnes
  17. Bucky Barnes. Such a great character and Sebastian Stan brought everything to the table as usual. Sebastian broke my heart with all his sad and soulful looks, though I loved the camaraderie between Steve and Bucky.
  18. How sad is Penny’s funeral? Seriously, how much must our guy handle? Penny’s inclusion broke my heart because she’s the only thing that Steve had left from the world he existed in and new well.
  19. PLOT TWIST! As mentioned above, how does he feel that he does a cross generational dating vibe going on?
  20. Steve can pull me closer like he did that helicopter. MY GUY.
  21. I want to bitch and moan that husband Chris Hemsworth is not in this, but really, there are about ten million characters already in here. Same goes for the green guy – I ADORE Mark Ruffalo and think he’s great as Dr. Bruce Banner. But I don’t think the posters would have been big enough for the cast if they were included.
  22. I really liked the Black Panther. He looks great. The character is also really solid – there is a goodness in him that was definitely missing from the havoc the Scarlett Witch wrecked in Age of Ultron.
  23. Daniel Bruhl! Great appearance by a solid actor.Civil war cia
  24. Some Martin Freeman too. I hope he has some more time in future movies – Marvel can do with some of his experience and class acting.
  25. I need to watch Ant Man really soon – I wish I could have seen the film before I saw Civil War – because my cutie pie Paul Rudd is his cute self.
  26. The new Spiderman… why is his aunt Marisa Tomei and why is he so young? I just can’t.
  27. Spiderman’s talking is only second to Tony Stark’s incessant talking, and if I have to be honest there is only enough space for one talker in the franchise.
  28. I enjoyed the end and appreciated that it didn’t end with a truce because everyone’s mother is named Martha. Not that I’m pinpointing to anything else.

Ultimately, Captain America: Civil War is Marvel at its’ finest. What did DC think in sending in the substandard BvS when it was so obviously made to go up against this? There is no competition. Marvel has established its’ characters and they follow a successful if generic formula, and it works every time. I thought the story was a bit rushed and Daniel Bruhl did not get nearly enough show time or even a few flashbacks. Only when he’s achieved what he wanted to achieve you get insight into why he is doing what he’s doing.

Civil War is also sporadically like a Game of Thrones episode – there are too many characters to follow and you end up looking at things like how nice the costumes are and the action sequences. Captain America has always been the best Marvel films in terms of material, and this one slipped just a bit in that aspect.

However it does not change the fact that Civil War is a fine piece of work – the action sequences are thrilling and authentic looking (except Audis flying here there and everywhere). Of the new appearances I enjoyed Black Panther the most, and Spidey way last because really, why a reboot when the last cutie pie Andrew Garfield movie was released only last year or something?

Anyway, good job, Marvel. You entertained me really well.

Also, these arms:

Civil war arms

Top Fifteen Favorite stars in young Hollywood

Woohoo! Happy Friday!! This post was supposed to be a Five things Friday but as you can see it escalated quite quickly! Here is some love for all the young ones in Hollywood… I know some of them can’t really be classified as really young, or even really good, but I like all of these for a variety of reasons. Read, enjoy, and let me know if you agree or disagree. I might just do one for older Hollywood too at a stage. I’ve linked to the posts of the movies I’ve reviewed of these stars so go take a look if you are wildly bored!

Emma Stone

Emma-Stone

Why I admire her: She is crazy talented, extremely funny and incredibly beautiful. She also seems to have a genuinely nice personality off screen, which is quite important to me.

Best role: What’s not to love? Zombieland, Easy A, Crazy Stupid Love, the list is endless.

Worst role: Ghost of Girlfriends Past

 Benedict Cumberbatch

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch poses for photographs on the red carpet for the new movie "The Imitation Game" during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Tuesday, September 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Why I admire him: There is such a unique and startling quality to him. He is incredibly talented and well suited to his most famous role. He has these unique looks that make no sense. I’ve never pinpointed why he is so attractive – it shouldn’t work and yet it does extremely well.

Best role: Sherlock (as Sherlock Holmes)

Worst role: har-har

Emma Watson

Actress Emma Watson attends the "Noah" Germany Film Premiere at Zoo Palast on March 13, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Axel Schmidt)

Why I admire her: Not only is she a staunch equal rights activist, Emma Watson has manage to exit her Harry Potter years with grace and determination. I honestly can’t wait for her to be Belle in the new Disney adaption!

Best Role: Perks of Being a Wallflower (as Sam)

Worst Role: Harry Potter (as Hermione Granger)

Chris Hemsworth

 chris-hemsworth-2013

Why I admire him: Hehe, he’s ridiculously hot. The muscles and arms and hair and eyes and length and did I mention muscles? I’ve mostly really just liked the look of him, but he really did impress in Rush, which makes me believe that he can be in some really good films in the future.

Best role: Rush (as James)

Worst role: Thor (as Thor)

Chris Evans

 chris evans

Why I admire him: He has this extremely likable boy next door vibe. I also think he is exceptionally well cast as Steve Rogers, capturing that genuine essence of good so central to the character.

Best role: Captain America (as Steve Rogers)/Snowpiercer (as Curtis)

Worst role: Fantastic Four (as Human Torch)

Tom Hardy

 Tom-Hardy

Why I admire him: Well, duh. Look at him. He’s done some phenomenal roles as well, and has the extra addition of having pulled himself from a difficult past to be what he is today. #respect

Best role: Lawless (as Forrest Bondurant) and The Dark Night Rises (as Bane)

Worst Role: This Means War (as Tuck)

Andrew Garfield

 andrew garfield

Why I admire him: He’s extremely cute and extremely likeable and very good in the things I’ve seen him in.

Best Role: The Amazing Spiderman (as Peter Parker)

Worst Role: I’ve only seen him in Never Let Me Go other than as Spidey, and I liked that too, so I guess I don’t have one for him

James McAvoy

 James McAvoy

Why I admire him: The Scottish accent, the brilliance of how he portrays Charles Xavier. The hair. The acting. Have I mentioned the Scottish accent?

Best role: X-men (as Professor X)

Worst role: Wanted (as Wesley Gibson). He wasn’t necessarily bad, I just didn’t like the movie at all.

Ryan Gosling

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Why I like him: He inspired the “Hey Girl” meme. He’s pretty good at acting. He is the best Nicholas Sparks hero ever. He was hilarious in Stupid Crazy Love. He’s pretty much the coolest.

Best role: Drive (as the Driver)

Worst role: I will say as Noah Calhoun in the Notebook, but he’s actually really good in that too

Emily Blunt

 emily-blunt

Why I admire her: Her role as Rita. GIRL POWER. I also really enjoyed her in The Devil Wears Prada. She’s pretty cool.

Best role: Edge of Tomorrow (as Rita)

Worst role: The Five Year Engagement (as Violet)

Emilia Clark

emilia-clarke

Why I admire her: She seems like a person who enforces her privacy, and I think it is really important if you want to stay sane in Hollywood. I really like her casting as Dany – she does such a great job. And how insanely beautiful is she?!?!

Best role: Game of Thrones (as Daenerys Targaryen)

Worst role: Has she even been in anything else?

Shailene Woodley

shailene woodley

She’s the girl who made us all cry uncontrollably last year. She’s quirky and the outrageous things she says keeps me laughing for days. She seems genuine and she has such great stores of talent that she’s busy developing.

Best role: The Fault in our Stars (as Hazel Grace Lancaster)

Worst role: Divergent (as Tris Prior)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

 JGL

Why I admire him: He’s the cute geeky kid who grew up. I would really like to see him lead in something now!

Best role: Ten Things I Hate about You (as Cameron James)

Worst role: Another actor that I find extremely enjoyable even when I don’t like the movie 😀

Zac Efron

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did your screen also steam up for a second? 

Why I admire him: The funny thing is that this guy still needs to prove himself. I just really enjoy his looks, although he hasn’t been atrocious in his work, even if the movies have been bad.

Best role: The Lucky One (as Logan Thibault)

Worst role: Highschool musical (as Tray Bolton)

Channing Tatum

channing tatum

Why I admire him: He’s the extremely likable guy who finally made a name for himself.

Best role: 21/22 Jump Street (as Jenko)

Worst role: The Vow (as Leo)

 Honorable mentions: 

Ansel Elgort

Kit Harrington

Miles Teller

Chloe Grace Moretz (who recently won me over with Kick-Ass)

Rachel McAdams

Liam Hemsworth

Brit Robertson

What did you think? Let me know!

Movie Review: Age of Ultron (2015)

AOU poster

Plot: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

Rating: 8/10

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Avengers: Age of Ultron, had the extremely difficult task of living up to its’ predecessor. My love for the first movie is well known, and I’ve reviewed it on my own site as well as on Rob’s for his Genre Grandeur.

I was extremely excited to enter the Marvel universe on Friday night, and I was not disappointed.

Age of Ultron immediately starts the action. The Avengers are united (although they sadly never share HOW the Avengers got back as a team), and they are kicking ass. Invading the Hydra building in Sokovia, they briefly meet the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and it is very clear that they are impressive enemies. Then Tony Stark is Tony Stark and uses fellow genius Bruce Banner, to set loose Ultron, a powerful creature with artificial intelligence whose main goal is human extinction.

Age of Ultron feels like one huge act. The action never stops, and the scenes flow into each other. I really enjoyed that and thought it also worked well with the slightly less over the top fighting scenes. I really enjoyed the character development. My big issue with the first Avengers were that the characters aren’t really developed – some you know because of their stand alone movie but the first Avengers is just packed with vague references and smart mouth comments between the team.

Age of Ultron tries to give you an idea that these are (mostly) people. I found the story line on Hawkeye the most interesting and never thought that would be in the books for him. I also really enjoyed the character development Natasha Romanoff got – she’s the only female Avenger from the first movie and it is clear that she’s had a sad and unsavory past, but no further background was provided. Her story is intense enough to draw outrage and sympathy on her behalf, and also endear her to the female audience.

AOU Team

The humor in AOU is a lot less forced and thus funnier than in the first movie. It is not only Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr.) who crack the jokes, it is everyone, and it makes the movie a lot more humorous. I liked the testosterone fight between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Iron Man. I also really enjoyed that Thor got more lines and that he actually spoke every once in a while, showing he had more potential than looking good – which he does, excellently. One of my favorite scenes is where everyone tries to lift the hammer, and Thor only gets uncomfortable when Captain America (Chris Evans) has the hammer twitching – proving that he is the only worthy Avenger of the hammer except Thor. Captain was also once again the sad guy that kills us with his desolation of having to live without Peggy Carter – just kill me already with that, okay?

Bruce Banner is played by Mark Ruffalo and I think it is one of the best casting choices they made. I work in an academic environment and let me tell you, he does the scatter brained scientist really really well. He is also very heartbreaking when dealing with his anger issues and his heartbreaking lifestyle choices. #lovetheguy

I also really appreciated Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver. He has that mouthy and badass vibe of what you would expect of him, but he also has an authentic quest for vengeance and I appreciated that.

AOU Scarlet

THEN: OMFG I LOVE THE SCARLET WITCH. Elizabeth does an absolutely amazing job as the female part of the Maximoff twins. Her attitude is fierce, her quest for vengeance is pure, she looks like such a bad ass and the way her powers are brought to life on screen had me in such a fangirling in the cinema. YAY to Marvel for bringing in such an impressive character in the Avengers franchise (I might add that brings the total females up to three, and the males six thousand).

The romance in Avengers came unexpected but not unwelcome. I don’t really think it was necessary because it is not a rom-com, but it is still welcome and surprisingly sweet. The two characters involved surprised me because I would never have grouped them up, but it worked out really heart twisting in the end.

AOU Ultron

I really liked the villain. Ultron is surprisingly funny and embodies the darker side of Tony Stark’s thought. Ultron is multi-layered, extremely intelligent, not alien (good to Marvel for not going that route again) and he had me worried a lot of the time for the level of destruction he could cause. His cause was initially so noble and good, and enales great discomfort because Ultron really has something right – the human race has no idea how to maintain peace.

I thought AOU did so many things better than the first one did: humor, pacing, character development. I still like the first one more, but can’t really pinpoint why – perhaps it is Loki’s deadly charm that pushes it to the top. Age of Ultron is an excellent job done by Joss Whedon and Marvel, and the characters individually shine and as a team. It is definitely worth paying a ticket for!

Marvelous Mondays: Captain America: Winter Soldier Colab

captain america the winter soldier poster 2

Happy Monday everyone!

Today’s collaboration promised to be fun the second we established when it would take place. Zoë and I had a very important mission the last time I trekked over South-Africa to see my bestie – We HAD to watch The Winter Soldier for the last part of our promised collaboration in Marvelous Mondays. We had earlier reviewed The First Avenger (there’s a link below in Zoë’s part of the post) so here is our second and I hope you like it.

I really love Winter soldier. As a sequel it is just as good as the first movie, something that never ever happens. Marvel finally showed that they could write intricate story lines, compelling villains and a meaty story.

 Plot: As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with another super soldier, the black widow, to battle a new threat from old history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

There are several reasons I enjoy this movie, and they are:

1) Chris Evans is the perfect America. He is so American, the boy next door. I think he fits that character perfectly and also that he is a very good actor. I love the depth he gives Steve Rogers – it is clear that he is struggling with who he is and how firm he is about what he believes in. There are no grey areas for this guy, and I enjoy how easily he takes on Nick Fury when Nick does something questionable.

2) The fight scenes: They are incredible and you don’t get whiplash from the constant CGI.

3) Sebastian Stan: I think Zoë likes him much more than I do, and for different reasons, but he is a great cast member and works that dark look of the Winter Soldier perfectly.

4) Robert Redford: He is iconic, a brilliant and hardworking actor and I fangirl about him all the time because he set out early on to not just be another pretty face in Hollywood but to make a real difference to the art of film making – did you know he started the Sundance festival?

4) The Winter Soldier wasn’t too long. I HATE movies over 2 hours, and will only enjoy them if they are particularly good.

5) Black Widow is more human in here. She’s a bit too tight-pant-kickassy for me to really enjoy – I think female superheroes are way too objectified. In the Winter Soldier Natasha Romanoff has to deal with some disillusionment because she’s realized something is up with S.H.I.E.L.D, the people she believed in and the institution gave her something to clean up her dark past with.

6) Captain America friendzoning the Black Widow.

friendzone

(source)

7) Steve Rogers visiting Agent Carter as an old woman. I will be honest, it broke my heart, but it shows the goodness of his character and how he can’t let go from his past.

8) The Falcon. His costume was wicked cool and Anthony Mackie gave him a fun persona while always reminding you that he had also lost a great deal during his military career.

9) Nick Fury’s escape scene in the car. This guy is so badass and Samuel L. Jackson is perfect to play him.

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-Nick-Fury

10) This prick getting arrested:

Senator_Stern

11) Chris Evans is fiiiiiiiiine

chris evans arms

Zoë’s take:

captain america the winter soldier poster 1

I freaking love this movie. It is no secret. And if you don’t know this, then I didn’t express my adoration for this properly. When Natasha started up her Marvellous Mondays, you must know how I was all over the Captain’s movies. He is my favourite Avenger (so honourable and fair and brave and sweet), and I really like Chris Evans, and it all just works. It was soon established that Natasha and I would be doing these two films in conjunction (you can totally check out the first collaboration here) and this one we saved for her visit in December so that we could actually discuss it while perving watching.

captain america this isn't freedom

The Winter Soldier just has so much going on for it. I am a big fan of the fight scenes, they were so well choreographed, and a lack of CGI just made them all the more amazing (seriously people, sometimes less in more). The soundtrack suited everything down to a tee, and the pacing was excellent. This felt like an old school spy thriller that just so happened to feature a superhero, and I liked that (because really, I am always front and centre to watch superhero movies, but lately they have all felt so… recycled). The cast all handled their material really well, and I absolutely loved the tension that was worked in perfectly between Evans and Stan.

Now… on to Sebastian Stan. Could we just stop here for a minute? Or two?

sebastian stan bucky barnes uniform

sebastian stan bucky barnes rifle

sebastian stan body

Alright, I am done. Totally not the only reason I thought this movie was good. Besides the fact that he is absolutely fucking edible, all long hair and leather and badass, the Winter Soldier also happened to be the one time Marvel got the villain right. He was not some cheeseball dufus, and his character was consistent, which was also great. He was not playing around, he was on a mission, and he would do whatever it took to complete it. I liked how the cracks start coming through, but it still does not hinder him from going with all he’s got to complete the mission. Watching Bucky Barnes peeking through when the Winter Soldier asked about Steve Rogers was very rewarding, too. The character definitely goes through some changes, and the struggle he and Steve face is quite a difficult little conundrum.

shield captain america winter soldier catches

Let’s also talk about how successfully the movie tied the last two movies together with this one. For instance, the Captain has not just woken up, joined the Avengers and carried on. He is really struggling to fit in with modernised society and everything and everyone he knew is gone. He is lonely. The scene with Steve and Peggy Carter is an absolute killer, and was just executed so well. Not too much, not too little, but enough to really get under the skin. Also, I liked how (unlike Iron Man 3) The Winter Soldier did not hang too much on the events of The Avengers, because that would have annoyed the hell out of me.

The action in The Winter Soldier was handled phenomenally. Edge of your seat and entertaining as hell, I could not take my eyes off of anything that was going on – from big fights in the sky, to ramping motorbikes and a lot of gunfire, knife fights and everything going wrong on the highway, it is well worth checking out. But never once is the action really the focal point, the movie manages to balance out some story, too, and I thought they did that really well.

falcon jumping

I know some people are freaking out because this was a S.H.I.E.L.D. issue and surely the other Avengers should be there and blah, blah, blah. Let me just tell you, I was thrilled that they were not there. I thought it fitting. S.H.I.E.L.D. was created by those linked intimately and closely with Captain America and fighting Hydra, I just thought that it was suiting that this was just for Captain America. We totally didn’t need more superheroes. Scarlett Johansson didn’t bug me nearly as much as usual, like she works better with Captain America because Steve Rogers isn’t leering at her the whole time, and they have a better camaraderie going on. Anthony Mackie was also just awesome as the Falcon, and I really liked the way they kept that flight pack contraption a secret until the very last moment. It made for a splendid reveal.

As you can tell by now (I hope), if you didn’t know before, Captain America: The Winter Soldier rocked my socks off. It is the first movie in years I went to repeat viewings for at the cinema. I will usually watch something and wait. This one needed to be experienced again. And again. And it loses none of its charm, and that’s wonderful. If you somehow managed to miss this, find it and rectify that immediately! It’s a really fun film 🙂

Marvelous Mondays: Captain America COLAB: Me and My bestie!

Captain-America-The-First-Avenger

Abraham Erskin: “Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”

So, if you are wondering if you are hallucinating whether you are seeing double (it is Monday) because there was just earlier another Marvelous Mondays post, do not fret, you are not losing your lovely mind. I, however, lost mine earlier this month when exams started. I planned TWO posts (Rob’s Daredevil review) for today, and now I am keeping up the awesomeness by posting this one too.

This post is something I’ve been excited for for ages… me and Zoë watching something together and then bringing thoughts out into the world. I do love Captain America a whole lot, I think they are great movies, excellently produced and directed and some of the best after the Iron Man franchise.

So, read and enjoy, it is a bit lengthy but we have really intense conversations, me and my best friend.

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 if he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization. (via IMDb)

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The above slide refers to where Peggy clocks the bully soldier that enrolled with Steve. I love Peggy! She is actually an admirable lady who doesn’t need a skintight black jumpsuit to save the day.

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We were suitably outraged that Sebastian Stan’s ice bucket challenge didn’t have him drenched in ice. (it’s because he didn’t follow the rules, you know :D)

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I have always had such issues with “colonel” being pronounced Kernel. I mean really.captain america 14

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Thoughts 11.1

Well, howdy do friends. It has been a while since I wrote one of these, or anything for that matter. It’s November, so I’m probably not the only one who is cranky, tired and over this shitty year. BUT, let’s be positive and take at what is happening:

This kept me giggling for days:

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(Because it is so true. I don’t know who said it but wisdom is wisdom. Note: I made this very basic image myself so POINTS FOR ME)

Watching right now:

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True Blood Season one. I am in two minds about it, whether I hate it or love it, but I am nearly through it and will eventually put up a review.

I finished Homeland Season 2 this past weekend and am really happy that I started watching. You can read my review of the first season here.

Reading:

Nothing new right now. Just rehashing all my favorite Nora Roberts books, as usual. True Blood did put me in the mood to finish the Stackhouse series!

Movies I’m excited for:

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Actually really just one: Mockingjay part one. EEK!!!!

Movember:

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Source

I LOVE beards. Just ask Zoë because she isn’t overly fond of them and we are always discussing the pros and cons. I think Movember is fun, because hey, when else is it acceptable for guys to look a little bit like they own white minivans? I’ve been just a bit sneaky and got some of my bestie’s favorite guys with beards in an attempt to convince her 😀

Chris Pine

We all know my love for Mr. Pine ❤

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#yum

George Clooney With Beard

We have this saying in Afrikaans: “Oud maar nog nie koud”  Mr. Clooney, you define that saying.

FOR BESTIE: BRINGING IN THE BIG GUNS

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I believe the term is “bite me” #geddit

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Even though he is an engaged man now 😦

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PS: Two of these lads will appear in a colab Captain America post Zoë and I are doing Monday. Keep an eye out for it friends!

Over and out,

N

Marvelous Mondays: The Fantastic Four by The Review Club

Hi There! Today’s Marvelous Monday post is about the Fantastic Four, done by Troy of the Review Club. Thanks for participating Troy!! (If you are interested in taking part, see the updated movies list here)

FANTASTIC 4 (2005)

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Wow, this feels like a trip down memory lane. I remember going to see this film when it came out, I would have been 14 and superhero films were big, but I guess not as big as they are now what with Marvel creating its own branded universe and yearly layout and DC now getting onto that same planning bandwagon with untitled films scheduled for the next few years. Seeing this now almost ten years later loses the young wonder I saw it with before, it has some fun elements but on the whole it lacks a punch and that’s sad considering the four powerful characters it has to play with.

On getting his idea agreed to, Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) takes his friend Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) to Victor Von Doom’s (Julian McMahon) space station where they’re joined by Von D himself, Reed’s old flame Susan Storm (Jessica Alba) and future flame figure Johnny Storm (Chris Evans). Up there they’re all struck by a freak radiation storm cloud and soon they discover they have powers which they need to understand, control and use to fight a power mad Doom.

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There’s fun and slight enjoyment to be had in certain places, the space station cosmic disaster is good enough to shed light on how they all come to gain their gifts, the last showdown with the masked Dr. Doom has some shiny glimmers if not feeling disappointingly short for a final act battle. The best sequence I thought was the bridge which gave time for Ben/The Thing to become a hero and be seen as not some weird orange rock monster. The destruction comes thick and fast with fire engines wreaking havoc, vehicles flipping and flying and all four of them use their powers openly for the first time giving them the public attention to make them the heroes of the movie. There may be some few poor green screen moments or CGI weaknesses amongst this sequence but on the whole it’s the best thing in the movie…I feel.

The issue this film has it never feels fast or exciting; it takes more time with them and their problems which in turn becomes the plots problem. It has an opening that jumps straight into Reed’s plan leaving the exposition light wildly flashing. The majority of the film is about Reed attempting to use his science know how to get them back to the way they were, which isn’t at all interesting to watch. Now with films such as Iron Man or The Avengers letting the heroes revel in the way they are it feels a touch boring having this as the main driving story, the motive is never serious as you want them to stay the way they are so the whole time they’re trying to revert their powers you’re growing tired of it. Siding with the smooth yet cocky Johnny proves to be the right choice.

Chris Evans brings comedy and a twinkle eyed performance as The Human Torch and without falling back on a pun he does burn away the others with his character, a smouldering fiery performance even! Sorry. Ioan Gruffudd does what is needed as the straight laced smart guy but he’s a bit dull and as the group leader Mr Fantastic he’s not that fantastic. Jessica Alba is gorgeous and gets under the skin of the preppy and romantic seeking Invisible Woman with enough believability even if at times you feel she’s acting. I’ll forgive her. Michael Chiklis gets the raw deal being caked in stupid prosthetics that make him look like a reject Pokémon with his only trait really being that he can clobber and smash. McMahon has flashes of evil in his path to becoming the big bad but he like the story never comes across as exciting as he could be considering he’s the only villain.

It’s not a greatly made movie by any account but at least it had time to set up all the characters which is perhaps the reason why ‘Rise of the Silver Surfer’ is a much better movie and actually proves that sequels can be done well. A hit and mostly miss movie with some enjoyable moments here and there, but a movie that Marvel must feel glad it never became part of their new universe.

5/10

Marvelous Mondays: The Avengers (2012)

Firstly, happy Monday my devoted readers! After Rob brought us the Fantastic Four (which he didn’t enjoy all that much), I am putting up a post about one of my favorite movies EVAR, the Avengers, and I really hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I am planning to.

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A challenge in reviewing a lot of Marvel movies is that I’ve seen most of the latest ones, and most likely have reviewed all of them. SO, to keep it all fresh, I will be attempting to go off the tracks and be original with the ones I have already posted. PS (A lot of these were blogged about in the beginning phases of my blog so they are highly likely to be crap. I am doing myself an honor to rectify these previous little posts.)

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Facts about Marvel

Marvel Comics originated in 1939 as Timely Comics by Martin Goodman

The company was known as Atlas Comics during the 1950’s

The finally and ultimately renamed itself as Marvel Comics in 1961

I actually tried to trace in how many Marvel movies Stan Lee appears in. That lead me to read up about Lee, and while I still don’t have a definite number of his appearances I can truthfully state that what he did for comics is the equivalent of what Pascal and Newton did for science. (Naturally, please feel free to tell me in the comments section in how many movies he appeared in). I’ve always thought Stan is pretty damn cool (who doesn’t) but what I didn’t get is that he is essentially Marvel, and this guy is a symbol for what hard work and determination can do to people if they are willing to work their asses off.

Plot (via IMDb): Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

(That may or may not be the lamest plot synopsis I have ever read)

The Avengers (2012)was this insanely successful film that had the expected categories: people loved or hated it. Either way, the film was everything Marvel had hoped it would be: funny, sarcastic, and intense and the perfect conclusion to the Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America that had their releases as a build-up to this.

Why it works:

Well, it is fun. It has a story everyone at least has some partial knowledge of but steps were taken to keep a few suspenseful surprises up the sleeves of Josh Whedon.

There is most likely a character in there you will love. The Avengers has a massive, famous cast with Robert Downey Jnr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Buffalo, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner all have their say, and that is just to name a few of the insanely charismatic cast.

Earth gets attacked: NOTHING fascinates a cinema of people more than the mere thought that the extinction of the human race is nigh. Aliens have always been a fun yet scary occurrence to contemplate, and if you add in some gods with Thor and Loki, the movie becomes a potent hot bed for success.

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Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation! The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled! In the end, you will always kneel.

Oh, Villainy villain:I am not one of those sad fools who think Loki is the hotter brother, but that man sure has stuff going for him. Tom Hiddleston brings depth to the character which may or may not have failed otherwise. Loki has a lot of issues, his brother is not only the legitimate child of Odin but also stronger, more charming and courageous. Loki makes you understand that although he is rotten, he is also complicated, and that the knowledge of his true parentage sent his already dubious ethics straight into the ground.

Damn funny stuff: This is a movie full of wise-cracks, sarcasm and chirp. A lot comes from Robert Downey Junior’s character, Tony Stark. Iron Man was obviously a great pull for everyone to go watch Avengers, and he delivered by being his usual uncontrollable self. I love and perve about Chris Hemsworth on every level, but I think he should leave the funny stuff to Iron Man. I mean, Thor is beautiful to look at, but he doesn’t come across as having a lot of funny bones in him.

The special effects made the movie that much more entertaining. I really do think it was well done.

There isn’t something I dislike about it the movie, but if I had to choose I would say that female superheroes shouldn’t have to wear tight black suits to save the day. If this is the case, please let Chris Hemsworth walk around bare chested the whole time in his next movie so he can be subjected to being objectified every five seconds.

I am obviously incredibly excited about Age of Ultron, the second Avengers movie. I have hopes that they can improve on this, if it is possible, by taking the story to a whole new level and exploring the characters a bit more. I think Mark Ruffalo is a decent hulk and he needs a movie of his own. He manages to show what bottled rage really means.