Watched, Read, loved: March 2017

March2017

Here is my monthly rundown of what I was up to the previous month. Right now it is still pretty much only addressing entertainment, but I hope to add some more life things into it soon too. Please feel free to comment below if you’ve seen any of these, or just to say hi!

movies-logo

Southpaw poster

Southpaw (2015) – I love a good sport movie. Even though they are all pretty much the same story, I’m always caught up. It was no less with Southpaw, and even though Jake Gyllenhaal irrationally annoyed the shit out of me, I really enjoyed this one.

letters-to-juliet-015

Letters to Juliet (2010) – Amanda Seyfried delivers another charming performance. Objectively I know this isn’t a strong film, but it is so feel good I actually couldn’t care less about ratings. It is foolishly optimistic and cheerful, and a great film to watch if you are feeling down.

The-Wedding-Singer-movie-poster

The Wedding Singer (1998) – The 90’s atmosphere, combined with a surprisingly affable Adam Sandler and an adorable Drew Barrymore, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Definitely one of the best Adam Sandler films I’ve ever seen.

My_Best_Friends_Wedding

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) – I HATED the ending and I really disliked the main character. What a stupid movie.

enchanted

Enchanted (2007): This spectacular Disney production made me so happy when I watched it again. It is on a grand scale and very elaborate and so lovely to look at.

underworld

Underworld (2003), Evolution (2006), Rise of the Lycans (2009), and Awakening (2012)

After years of ignorance I am finally familiarizing myself with this franchise. I had a great time with all these movies. Seline is such a strong female character and saves herself and her love more than once, and the feminist in me was cheering all the way.

four

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Continuing on this journey to watch more romantic films that are seen as classics, I got to see this. It was… okay. Hugh Grant really was quite the adorable English actor in his prime, and it is easy for him to be quietly charming. Andie McDowell also had no clue how to act. I’m not sure if she’s ever had a clue in that regard, but it really is prominent here.

zac efron

The Lucky One (2012)

The Lucky One  is not by any means the worst Nicholas Sparks film – Best of Me still holds that title – but what is most notable is the awful acting. Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron just don’t gel together. I’m forced to ask whether Zac Efron actually has a brain – there is nothing shining behind those pretty blue eyes. Sure, he’s cute and ripped, but his attempt at a tortured marine invoked less sympathy than concern about synapses firing at an appropriate rate. Schilling, yeah, also pretty bad. They also have zero chemistry and the scenes looked stage and neither actor really wanted their hands on each other. Okay, I’m done. But sheesh.

Kong

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island is what it was supposed to be: a nice action packed adventure with a handsome cast and a big gorilla. Ticked all the boxes for me, excellent popcorn entertainment.

Power rangers

Power Rangers (2017)

I had not planned going to cinema for this. I would have preferred John Wick, but I was sorely outvoted by a bunch of 30 year old men who wanted to watch Power Rangers. There is something to be said for nostalgia. I ended up having a decent enough time – I  was unaware up until this point that Power Rangers could be made into something that resembles a non-cheesy film. I’m still shocked.

books

The Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts: Stars of Fortune, Bay of Sighs and Island of Glass

I read these three books in the span of two weeks and I don’t regret one second of it. It is the most fun I’ve had in ages with Nora Roberts’ fantasy work.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Half-Blood_Prince

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (JK Rowling)

The penultimate book in the best series to have ever been written is overshadowed in intensity only by the last book. Half Blood Prince is consistently one of my favorites. It features the more mature trio, naturally Dumbeldore’s death and the discovery of the reason behind Voldemort’s apparent immortality.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling)

Horace Slughorn returning to the castle to fight, Snape’s secret, Fred dying, Lupin and Tonks, Colin Creevy being tiny in death, Kreacher’s bullfrog voice, Dobby’s death, Hagrid throwing MacNair, Molly vs. Bellatrix– the last hundred pages of this book is nonstop goosebumps. I get tears in my eyes every time. Every. Single. Time. Deathly Hallows binds every single event that occurred in Potter from the very first page of The Philosopher’s Stone to the very last page of Deathly Hallows in a neat bow. This is truly the best thought out work I’ve ever read by an author.

angels-fall-nora-roberts

Angel’s Fall (Nora Roberts)

I really enjoy reading through my Nora collection at least once a year. Right now I’m with Reece and Brody, and I particularly enjoy the book – I like both main characters, the setting, the plot and development of said plot.

Movie review: Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong

Plot: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

Rating: 7.5/10

I was only too happy when I finally had some time free and could head out and see a film in an actual cinema with actual popcorn. My choice was between Kong and Logan, and I might get shot for this but Wolverine has never been my first choice (although I hear from multiple sources that it is well worth the watch). I set out to see the gargantuan monster and my decision was rewarded for an enticing film.

My most predominant thought about Skull Island is that it is Avatar, sans blue people. I checked the inspiration that director John Vogt-Roberts pulled from and Avatar isn’t listed as one of them, but:  Beautiful untainted area without known human habitation? Check. American army swinging guns and bombs in unprovoked attacks? Check. Outrage when indigenous life revolts? Also check.

kong2
The star studded cast carries the movie when it might have been boring with less capable actors. From Samuel L. Jackson who plays a war veteran who just doesn’t want to admit defeat to Brie Larson as the photographer with a conscious, John Goodman as the researcher who is more invested in the discovery that might be healthy and Tom Hiddleston as a tracker and ex British army officer, they are capable enough to entertain us for the hefty watching time this film demands. I also thought John C. Reilly was appropriate comic relief while also providing some wrenching moments where you wish for him to be granted every wish he has after the life he’s had. I only really highlighted the major cast but a shout out has to be given as well to everyone who is sent along on the expedition, they were all well cast.

Tom Hiddleston proves he is more than Loki. After seeing this I am definitely on board with seeing him in more films. I have to say, this adventurer look suits him really well, I was much appreciative for science reasons. It was also a really cool character to root for, and he had the world weary attitude down to a T.

In all honesty, it took me about three minutes to be on #TeamKong. Stupid Americans thinking they have the right to enter untouched areas and bomb it? Typical and the world is weary. The events of Skull Island immediately occurs after the Vietnam War, and we all know how that went down. The political messaging is very strong and we have to wonder whether it is some jabs at the current administration in America. The expedition team is certainly more diverse than anything that is being pushed by POTUS right now, and it is all the stronger for it.

Brie Larson might be the only female cast member that gets actual lines, but she does her job well and carries the girl power flag with excellence. I liked her, I liked her character and she is definitely an actress I’d like to see more of.

Some beautiful cinematography and directing impresses as well. The indigenous folk are terrifying and oddly beautiful in an untouched way. I’d naturally never return to sanity after meeting them. The massive animals alternate between jaw dropping and vomit inducing. They serve as a not so subtle reminder about the glory of nature untouched.
Kong: Skull Island is definitely worth the watch, although heavy on the political agenda. I also felt that some of the fighting scenes were a bit drawn out and over the top, but that is crowd pleasing to the majority of watchers. I enjoyed it thoroughly as it provided a good variety of actors with an important story and great effects.
Have you seen Kong? What did you think?

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

fb1

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

July 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

Gosh I’m glad it’s August! I am over the cold in Johannesburg. For reals man. July was a pretty decent month. I got to see my bestie, and even though the circumstances weren’t that great, I am grateful that I at least got to spend some quality time with her.

Personally I think my eyes finally cleared with a few people in my life – there is a certain level of selfishness I can’t tolerate, and this person finally reached it. I should have cut ties ages ago, but when I bond to someone, you really have to nuke me out of it. Well, I’ve been nuked.

Hmm, what else? I’ve had a couple of hectic weekends and it reflected on my scarcity on my blog, which always happens and always frustrates me. I’m going to do my very best to post more often, as it makes me super happy.

And here’s a rundown of what I’ve been watching and reading. Enjoy, and tell me below what you’ve been up to 🙂

Watched:

At home:

Proposa

The Proposal

I saw this film before I opened this blog, and I have always thought that it was an okay film. I actually really enjoyed this so much when I watched it again. Queen Sandra Bullock and a very young and adorable Ryan Reynolds certainly make an interesting couple onscreen, and I thought the dialogue and hysteria was spot on and funny in the film.

Wedding planner

The Wedding Planner

Oh, Maththew McConaughey has a few gems under his belt before he started being all badass in things like True Detective and that other horsey movie that everyone liked. This is a boogy, definitely, and it was silly enough that I got quite annoyed. There were a few pros, which I will mention when I review the film soon, but let it be noted that Jennifer Lopez is a fantastic singer (for her genre) but acting should never be part of her repertoire.

 Valentines day

Valentine’s Day

VD worked well, and it is surprising because the film is packed with actors and actresses, and that rarely works. Mostly it is just a situational feel good film, but there is nothing wrong with that!

 Runaway_Bride

Runaway Bride

I’m on such a Gary Marshall/Julia Roberts run, it is not even funny. They do seem to be a dream team, because when they get together there always seems to be some romantic comedy as a result that is actually enjoyable to watch. Between this and Pretty Woman I enjoyed Pretty Woman much more, but I definitely liked this.

Skyfall

I already reviewed here, and if you haven’t read it yet, rest assured that I really liked this Bond film. It’s my second favorite after Casino Royale, and I must say, I am really surprised how much I’ve enjoyed all these films.

 Ugly truth

The Ugly Truth

It’s really ugly, and it’s really bad. The awful dialogue results in awful acting, I’m not really blaming our leads here at all, it’s just a shit film with crap writing and is as believable as anything Donald Trump says.

 27dresses

27 Dresses

JAMES MARSDEN. You have no idea the amount of hilarity this man causes in my family. I really like him, but his dress sense in this film was absolutely awful. Like, AWFUL. It is also a depressing movie – I will shoot myself before I’m a bridesmaid 27 times, it’s just not right or fair. I love our girl Katherine Heigl in here, and thought there were pretty good moments between the rapid romances and problems being solved easily.

In Cinema:

The Legend of Tarzan:

Tarzanposter

I reviewed this one here. It’s man candy season in this film. I’m not gonna lie. However, it isn’t nearly as bad as the trolls want you to believe, and I am still calling it the most pleasant surprise of 2016.

Series:

VDS4

Vampire Diaries Season 4

I finally switched it back on! It was a time issue, not because I’m struggling to watch it. It is still quite a solid show, but there are a few dips, something that probably can’t be helped when you travel this far into a show. I’ll post all the reviews once I’m done watching, then I can do them consecutively across a couple of weeks : )

Books read:

The Obsession – LOVED this!

Honest Illusions – It was okay – review here

Currently reading:

I’m actually in the middle of way too many books! I am reading Twilight again (the shame, I know) and I am definitely enjoying it more than Blood Bound (Rachel Vincent). I can promise you, when I get through this book, the review will be up here in no time and it will be a bad one – this book is so stupid. It is taking me ages to get through it, a damn shame because it is supposed to be a quick read.

So there it is – I am way behind on everything in life at the moment, but at least I got to do see and read some great material! What have you been up to?

Movie Review: The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

Tarzanposter

Plot: Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.

Rating: 7.5/10

I realize that this is against popular opinion to have really enjoyed this, but who cares about popular opinion anyway? I really enjoyed this, and found it the biggest surprise of 2016. If you can deal with the fact that this is somewhat like Jungle Book but with bulging muscles, more humans and some steamy kisses, you are sorted to have a lot of fun.

Tarzan6

You’ve heard by now that Samuel L. Jackson is tasked with bringing the comedic relief and pulls it off, because that’s what great actors do. He’s totally great, also not a big surprise, a warrior that has seen too many obliteration of freedom and can’t really deal with it anymore.

Tarzan5

Christopher Waltz is good as but perhaps expectantly the soft-spoken villain, something he is excellent at but is limiting his genius when it comes to his work – no great actor deserves to be typecast that way. His one and only aim is to make the King of Denmark really rich and successful, and he seems void of true cause. Djimon Hounsou is a tribal leader that wants Tarzan dead, and the reason is heartbreaking. That, explored, could have been excellent material, but it was thrown down the ravine as soon as they could move Tarzan on further. I loved the look of Hounsou’s tribe, which is in actual fact a real look for some African tribes.

Tarzan1

Alexander Skarsgard is the titular Tarzan, and if you don’t explore the nagging questions like how he adapted to England when he had very little contact with humans in his formative years or how he remained so built, and how he’s even speaking any language, you can enjoy the quiet intensity he obviously worked hard at. Margot Robbie is Jane, and although she had the sassiest comebacks and one escape attempt, she just waited mostly for Tarzan to fetch his Jane, and I couldn’t help but be a little pissed off at her.

There were some truly beautiful scenery of wild and tribal life. I appreciated that while Tarzan had a connection to all the animals, they didn’t go so far and have him speak with them – that would have sent this film into the abyss. There were some moral eyebrow lifting to the slave trade. It seems inconceivable that people really justified barging into a continent and ripping control from the natives, and yet history proved itself over and over again that people really did have that audacity.

Tarzan4

Like I said, the film was thoroughly enjoyable. It was easy to root for the good guys. No one had grey areas and the villain, for better or worse, was pretty straightforward. I thought Skarsgard impressive, imposing, and very drool worthy. I wish they had given some form of a backstory – the flashbacks were far and few in between, and this would have been a better sequel than a first film. He seemed intense and socially shy, and that worked out fine. Skarsgard was even WITH a shirt most of the time, dramatically decreasing the cheese feast I thought it would turn out to be.

Overall, I’m keeping my opinion that this was a 2016 goodie. It’s not perfect, and certainly lacks backstory, but the fight to keep the Congolese people free from slavery is heartbreaking and emotional, especially if you consider the constant state of current political turmoil in that beautiful piece of the world today.

Tarzan7Tarzan3Tarzan2

Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

IB poster

Plot: With the help of a German bounty hunter, a freed slave sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.

Rating: 8/10

I really like myself and my heritage on a regular basis. I’m not one of those white people perpetually steeped in guilt of what my ancestors did. However, there are a few things that makes me ashamed of the things the White Man has done – surely the most pompous and perplexing breed of human ever to roam the earth. Django Unchained definitely made me feel disgusted with American settlers. I firstly want to say it is incredibly rich of Americans to bitch so endlessly about Apartheid – just look at how they went on. Anyway. Let’s actually talk about the movie, shall we?

Django Unchained is now the third Tarantino film that I’ve seen. I saw Pulp Fiction as part of a Blindspot 2015 film, and watched Inglorious Basterds in the same week I watched this one. Django certainly has the same feel of Tarantino films – that crazy flamboyance. I love that he has such a distinct style – you only need to watch one sequence to know who you are dealing with.

django_unchained_waltz

It is not an easy story to watch. It gets very rough in places and I felt a bit sick a few times. It is not that the violence is particularly often, it is the dehumanizing type of violence that is so terrible. Once again Christopher Waltz manages to steal the show as the infinitely sweet Doctor King. He was the one white man in the movie that showed he had a soul and was had kindness in him. His courteous treatment of Django and his gentle education makes him a character that I won’t soon forget (and how vastly different is he from his role in Inglorious Basterds?!)

inglorious basterds

I’ve never really paid much attention to Jamie Foxx’s work, but I was really impressed with him. He manages to be severe yet humorous, a difficult feat, and has intense character development. The first scene with him in where he throws off his cloak it is obvious that Django is not a man that was born to be oppressed.

Leo

I love Leonardo DiCaprio, well, on the level that everyone loves Leonardo DiCaprio. I was truly revolted by him in this film, which showcases his talent and abilities. But still, just NO.

DU is a bit long – I think the end went on slightly longer than it should have. It is really good though, and definitely worth a watch.

Movie Review: Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)

Kingsman-movie

“Manners maketh man. Do you know what that means? Then let me teach you a lesson.”

Plot: A spy organization recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Rating: 8/10

My little sister and I are solidly in the “we WON’T help Fifty Shades of Grey reach the billion dollar mark at the cinema” camp, so we chose to go watch Kingsmen this Saturday and man, that was forty bucks well spent.

Kingsman-2

Kingsman is 100% fun and a great action film. Colin Firth sets the standard for kicking ass in a suit. I’ve never seen him in anything remotely like this and would never have thought it could work. It worked unbelievably well and I would support any person that chose him as the next Bond.

Eggsy flatcap

Taron Egerton as Gary “Eggsy” Unwin did very well. I was unaware of his existence prior to this, and now I’m willing to watch anything with him in it. He was rough and angry and he truly seemed like a crazy English football fan. His journey from being a troublemaker to becoming someone aware of his capabilities was worth the watch. Eggsy is also my final proof in the argument FOR the Suit and against the Flatcap. Through the entire movie I was very meh about Egerton’s looks, and hell, then that suit happened. Bless that suit. Bless it now!

Eggsy Suit

I wasn’t a fan of Samuel L. Jackson’s Valentine. He was such a un-terrifying villain but what I did get from him was that people are currently obsessed with celebrities and are controlled through their mobile devices. His sidekick and her startling abilities was rather good to see and she was way more villainous than her master.

Valentine

Kingsman has a very satirical and mocking take on the whole spy-genre and it was immensely pleasing to see how they could joke around, swear at each other, get out of impossible situations, look classy and get things done all at the same time. The fighting scenes were incredible to behold and the music score during the fights made it all feel so surreal.

Most importantly, this movie is long but it doesn’t feel long, and I don’t say that often at all. It’s an excellent film and the only suggestion I would have given the producers was to release it at another time – Fifty Shades is undeserving to lead the box-office when there is something like this running around. Do yourself a favor and go see this!

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 🙂

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?

winter soldier

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!