Movie Review: Captain Marvel (2019)

Captain Marvel

Plot: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

There’s that friendly rivalry between Marvel and DC, which actually just ends up benefiting them both. Fans of either side usually flock to cinemas either way, because if you love your superheroes, you love your superheroes. DC took a tentative step forward by bringing forth the fantastic Wonder Woman, which did great despite the internet trolls. Never one to lie down, Marvel countered with the equally great Black Panther, who also did great despite internet trolling racists. If we need a friendly rivalry to promote inclusion of women and people of color in films, then I am happy to have it. Marvel subsequently added more pew to their pew-pews by bringing forth Carol Danvers, potentially their strongest hero (ine), managing to include a female led film in their repertoire and also some much needed help to the depleted Avengers crew.

So, I thought this was great. I am stealing an opinion from a friend here, but as I quite agree I will tell you about it – the only (small) thing about Wonder Woman was that they included a whole lot of Pantene-esque scenes with Gal Gadot’s beautiful hair everywhere, highlighting just how beautiful she is. Carol Danvers is a straightforward fighter and her strength is highlighted by how completely bad-ass she is. I personally think that Brie Larson is just gorgeous, but the film never really focuses on her looks but more on what she is able to do.

Brie Larson is fantastic in this! There were some negative feedback about her not smiling enough in the film – who the hell has time for smiling anyway when you are saving earth and discovering where you come from?! That said, if you are only open to watching this film and not sitting in your mother’s basement and spreading hateful comments on the internet, you will notice that Carol Danvers has a whole lot of emotion flitting across her face – humor, sarcasm, kindness, empathy, and yes, even a smile or two. Larson is a phenomenal actress with a few impressive movies behind her name, and she certainly does not deserve any negative feedback for this role. I also seriously loved how they depicted the relationship between her and co-pilot and best friend Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) – we need more of this on screen, the true female friendships that inspire greatness, loyalty and courage. The same can be said for the respect and honor between the two trainee pilots and Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Benning), who I was surprised and happy to see in this even if she could manage a role like this blindfolded and tap dancing.

Samuel L. Jackson gets significant screen-time to link Carol to the Avengers, and man, he was a treat as always. It is great CGI to make him appear like his 1995 self, and the chemistry between him and Larson is great – it seems like they are true friends. It also provides some backstory on Nick Fury, which is something we all wanted – like why does he have that eye-patch? When exactly did he begin the Avengers initiative? All these interesting questions are answered and more.

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There has been so much talk of this movie by now you don’t need me to tell you that there is a highly entertaining cat in this film, or that Jude Law is gorgeous as Yon-Rogg, and that Ben Mendelsohn does a good job as Talos. What you need to do is go watch this in cinema and help Captain Marvel march towards a billion dollars, to prove that the world is inclusive and awesome.

Have you seen this? Let me know your thoughts!

Rating: 8/10

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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.

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(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.

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10) This prick getting arrested:

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11) Chris Evans is fiiiiiiiiine

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Zoë’s take:

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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?

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sebastian stan bucky barnes rifle

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is living in Washington and learning to live in the modern world. He still works for S.H.I.E.L.D. He meets war veteran Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and makes a new friend in him.

Steve is picked up by Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and they help save a SHIELD vessel from Algerian pirates. Natasha takes information from the ship’s computers on Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) orders, and Steve is upset because he is being lied to. The next day, Steve confronts Fury and Fury shows Steve SHIELDS latest developments – a large trio of helicarriers that is set to enforce world peace.

Nick Fury isn’t able to crack the data that Natasha took from the ship. It is odd, because as the director of SHIELD he has access to everything. On his way to see Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) he is attacked in his vehicle and the vehicle is torched by the Winter Soldier. Fury manages to make it to Steve’s apartment and gives Steve the data and the warning to not trust anybody. He is shot by the mysterious Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Steve takes after the assassin but he escapes and Nick dies in hospital after giving and manages to make it to Steve’s apartment.

Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), a senior SHIELD official, wants to clear Nick’s name when his involvement in the hijacking of a SHIELD vessel becomes known. He speaks to Steve, who declines to share what Fury told him seconds before his assassination. Pierce brands Steve a fugitive and Steve is attacked in an elevator by SHIELD officials. He escapes, and goes to retrieve the retrieve the memory stick with the data on where he left it in the hospital vending machine. Natasha, who took the data from where Steve put it, shows up and says she will help him find out who is infiltrating SHIELD and help clear Nick’s name.

Will the two be able to restore Nick Fury’s name? Who is the Winter Soldier? Will the helicarriers be aired despite the warning Fury issued before his death?

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Rating: 8/10

I loved this movie! It was so well done. I really thought it was much better than Captain America: The First Avenger. It seemed that the producers took their time and actual care to get the movie properly done this time around.

The Winter Soldier was action packed and fast paced, and never felt too long. The fight scenes were incredible.

Personally, Steve Rogers/CA is the best of all the super heroes. Iron Man is extremely arrogant, Thor has too much pride, and the Hulk really has an anger issue, but Steve Rogers is genuinely a brave, honest man that exists way beyond his expected life span because of those things.

Nick Fury is awesome. He is always on top of things and somehow knows what is happening everywhere. He is ruthless but everything he does is for the sake of the safety of humanity.

Robert Redford was excellent as Alexander Pierce. He seems so sincere you never see his corruption underneath until it is too late.

No aliens were involved. I enjoyed it because it shows that there are corrupt and evil people in the world, and that they must be fought too.
Although Natasha Romanoff is much more likeable in this movie, I will put it out there that I simply dislike Scarlett Johansson. I haven’t found her a fantastic actress and she seems to be in roles where she is a pain in my ass. However, her more humane version of Natasha (awesome name, have to say) was more likeable than any other movie I’ve seen her in.

The Winter Soldier itself was totally badass and an excellent villain. Sebastian Stan was excellent – can this guy be cast in more movies now? He was completely respectable as Bucky, and it is heart breaking to see how it damages Steve to see his friend in such a position.

The characters developed as the movie progressed. Especially Steve Rogers, who seems to be moving on in life and making friends, and Natasha Romanoff, who starts showing that she is a human being that wants to be accepted by the people she works with and someone who takes the integrity of the people she works with seriously. I enjoyed Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, Steve’s war veteran side kick. He seemed to be able to immediately distinguish who is right and wrong and who to help.

Really worth the watch!