Monday, 30 May 2016

5 Times The Same Movie Came Out Twice In The Same Year

Right now the number one movie this year is a superhero film that pitted a morally righteous character in a red and blue suit against a powerless billionaire in an enhanced suit of armor. If that plot sounds familiar to you in anyway, it's because it's the exact same plot of the prior superflick, 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'. Anyone who's seen both films can say that the similarities between the film are more than superficial. The plots both centre around an issue of superhuman responsibility and how dangerous it would be to leave such powerful people unsupervised.

This isn't a new phenomenon, in fact, there's a whole article on wikipedia about it. Every other year the movie going public has to suffer a sense of deja vu as different studios attempt to capitalize on the same market. Interestingly though, for all the similarities with the subject matter, the movies that come out are drastically different in tone, and more importantly quality. Here's a list of a few that I could remember of the top of my head.

It's like a color gradient but for tone. 

2012 was a packed year for movies. The Avengers assembled, The Hunger Games began, and Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy was concluded. That didn't stop not one, but two live action snow white adaptations from being produced.

The lighter of the two was 'Mirror, Mirror'. With a stellar cast including Julia Roberts, Nathan Lane and Sean Bean, the film was more in line with the Disney classic than the Grimm fairy tale. 'Snow White and the Huntsman' on the other hand, went for a much grittier fantasy tale, akin to that of Lord of The Rings or Game of Thrones (despite Mirror Mirror actually casting Sean Bean who was in both). Both films received poor to mixed critical reception, but both fared pretty well at the box office, more than doubling their budgets. Seeing as Snow White and the Hunstman was granted a sequel (prequel?), I guess there was an audience for it?

Maaaaaybe not.

Asteroid phobia was huge in the 90s.

This one has always been funny to me, because what you have is 'Deep Impact', a serious, gritty, emotional film, that focuses on humanity coming to terms with it's demise. It's a well thought out disaster movie, and it's got Morgan Freeman playing a black president. It kind of stings that every time there's a black president the world's gotta end but whatever.

And then you have Armageddon which is the most Michael Bay film that Michael Bay ever Michael Bayed. It's got Bruce Willis and his oil drilling, distinctly American crew, who get recruited to go up into space to stop an asteroid from hitting earth. It's filled with dumb moments like Bruce Willis chasing Ben Affleck for sleeping with his daughter, Steve Buscemi suffering space dementia, and my favourite moment, which is when Willis informs their recruiter Billy Bob Thornton, that their request for having saved the planet is that they don't ever want to pay taxes again, because they're just like you and me man. Who can't relate to that?

It's not better than 'Deep Impact' but if I'm picking one of the two to watch right now, I'll take the cheesy over the top 'Armageddon' over the morose 'Deep Impact'

It's a wonder the tagline for 'Friends With Benefits' isn't "And there are NO strings attached."

Full disclosure, I haven't exactly seen 'No Strings Attached' but both these casual sex comedies coming out in the same year, is doubly confusing considering both feature at least one of the cast from That 70's Show. Especially since they're cast members that were a couple in the show. Clearly these were just to fuel fan fiction flames.

What's interesting is that while 'No Strings Attached' has a 40% rotten tomatoes rating to 'Friends With Benefits' 70%, both films made near identical money, both clocking in at just under 150 million. Clearly there's a very specific audience for this type of film that is willing to see the same thing twice. Numbers don't lie people.

Hitchcock just looks mad that 'The Girl' exists.

This one is a damn shame because the better of the two is the one less seen. 'The Girl' was an HBO movie with Toby Jones as the infamous horror director, and the other had Hitchcock played by Anthony Hopkins. I'll be honest, of the two of those choices, Hopkins takes it, but when you watch the two films, it's clear 'The Girl' is a much better movie. Hitchcock is a bit confused as to what it's trying to be, while 'The Girl' is more confident and because it's made for HBO it didn't have to pull any punches, and is actually pretty disturbing at times.

Why it was decided to make 'Hitchcock' into a PG-13 film I'll never know. What audience below the age of 25 is gonna be jonesing to see a biopic about Alfred Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren?

Oh hey look it's Morgan Freeman again. 

Finally we have the infamous pairing of Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down. The year where the White House was attacked by two completely different directors. The thing is these movies aren't even different in tone. They both feature one man on a mission to save the president from inside the white house, with Die Hard-esque plot progression. Not only that, but the movies came out within a month of each other.

Like 'Snow White and the Huntsman', one of these movies got a sequel. 'White House Down' may have made 50 more million than, 'Olympus Has Fallen', but it was still followed by 'London Has Fallen' where it was revealed that the people behind the attack on the White House were out to destroy EVERY MAJOR LANDMARK. I'm assuming that's the plot, because I only watched the trailer. Nor did I see 'Olympus Has Fallen' or 'White House Down'.

I won't pretend that movies are made solely for their artistic merit. It's a business based on assuming what an audience wants, and then trying to sell it to them. When it's so clearly done for the sake of that business though, I get a bad vibe. I can't help but get that vibe when I see two movies that are pushing the same thing. That just says to me that it was probably rushed to beat the other movie from taking away that market. In which case, it doesn't sound like a good time for me at the movies, but it sure is fun to write about.

Thanks for reading. You can leave a comment below if you want, and here's an episode of the Take 4 podcast where we talked about disaster movies, which really and truly, a lot of these movies are.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

'X-Men: Apocalypse' Review (2016): Uncannily Boring

X-Men has never been my favourite superhero franchise. As action movies, they've had a few stand out moments here and there, and as superhero movies, there haven't really been characters to follow besides Wolverine who kind of ran his course. That is of course until they went the prequel route. What is typically the kiss of death for a franchise, 'X-Men: First Class' breathed new life into the X-Men. Watching Professor X and Magneto become life long frenemies was interesting and there was a bona fide anti-heroine story worth a damn in Mystique. That in mind, I went into 'X-Men: Apocalypse' optimistic, despite not expecting anything fantastic.

Which is to say, not much. 

So was it fantastic? Well not really. In fact, 'X-Men: Apocalypse' is kind of boring. Set ten years after the events of 'Days of Future Past', the movie gives us a world in which mutants are now known to the public, Xavier's school is fully up and running, and Magneto is on the run from the law after dropping a football stadium outside the white house. That'll ruffle some feathers. As the status quo is set, the film also introduces the world's first, all powerful mutant, Apocalypse. After being asleep for 3,000 years, he wakes up to a world where mutants are oppressed and vows to destroy it to craft a new one in his image. To say he's got a God complex is a slight understatement.

There are a few other sub plots in the movie and that's a definite mark against it. The film spends so much of its first act catching you up with new characters, old characters, and the main conflict, that it never really ends. As a result you're just kind of trudging along as the movie just explains things to you. There are a lot of ideas in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' and they all feel like they're worth exploring, but there's simply not enough movie to go around.

Can you blame them? Film is expensive.
The main attraction of the film is the titular villain. I actually liked a lot of what he was about. At least the idea of him. He basically goes to sleep a ruler of the world and wakes up to find out that super powered mutants are somehow oppressed by normal humans. It's pretty funny when you think about it, and I wished he would've been played more to that effect. Making fun of the world from an outsider's perspective. Instead he's really not compelling. His slow raspy voice followed by his bellowing auto tuned voice stops being intimidating after his first scene.

The other characters get a fair amount of backstory to go through this time around, but unlike the First Class or Days of Future Past, it doesn't really feel fleshed out. Mystique has a reluctant hero thing going on after stopping Magneto in the last movie, but when it comes time for her to complete her arc, so much has gone on in the movie that you kind of forgot it was happening. I also sort of didn't care anymore. That's how I felt about 90% of the character work in this movie.

The action is pretty good. Well is it? I guess it is. It's just nothing I've never seen before. With a world with powers as fun and diverse as the X-Men, that's really disappointing. The trouble is the new introductions are the originals we've seen before (Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops, etc.). You can only see a guy shoot lasers out his eyes so many times before it starts to be a yawn. The best scene is probably the Quicksilver sequence, but again, it's just a repeat of what we saw in 'Days of Future Past.' But hey, as the saying goes.

Fox: "And even if it is broken, just leave it and hope no one notices!"

As far as that new cast goes, they're all right I suppose. They don't really get enough time to do much. The best of the bunch is probably Nightcrawler who's limited screen time is injected with enough character for you to get what he's about. Kodi Smit-Mcphee does a good job as the doe eyed, yet tortured, devil looking creature who just wants to help the people who hate him.

The most interesting part of the X-Men movies to me has always been the world itself and the little bits you get in this are intriguing concepts, but concepts are all they are. The world has entered a period of mutant tolerance at the start of the film, but you're also shown its seedy underbelly. It's not all kumbaya when mutants are forced into cage matches. There's an allusion to a message about covert prejudice being just as bad if not worse than overt prejudice, but it's dropped pretty much as soon as it's picked up.

The most focused message in the movie is "Black armor good, colour costume bad"

I don't really know what else to say. It's not a bad movie. It's not a good one either. The ideas it brings up are compelling but the overall execution of the story is really dull. It's plagued by exposition and the dialogue is really clunky at times. The old cast is as good as they ever were, except in the case of Jennifer Lawrence who seems kind of bored. I can't really blame her. The movie is two and a half hours long, and the length is felt. It just doesn't have the pacing it needs, especially for the apocalyptic stakes it's trying to sell. It's not bad enough to hate though, and you probably wouldn't be mad if you were to Catch It On Cable.

ANR = 5/10

Thanks for reading and if you liked this movie leave a comment saying why, and if you didn't, also do that. If you're unfamiliar with the X-Men movies, I did a podcast on it recently that is the definitive rundown of every X-Men film and their important nitty gritty details (not really).

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

'Barbershop: The Next Cut' Review (2016): Fresh & Sharp (But Also Kinda Dull)

When I was a kid I used to watch shows that were created for the sole purpose of getting across some message. Don't raise your voice, read your bible, eat your vegetables. Back in the day, the message was always crystal clear, as in, completely spelled out for me. The best messages though were the ones that weren't put straight in my face but had subtlety about them. The problem with that is, you're never quite sure if the audience gets it, so the choice is either to talk down to them, or hope the message doesn't get lost.

'Barbershop: The Next Cut' is a movie that definitely has a message in mind, several messages, but finds a way to put it in your face, without talking down to you. The story goes that in the wake of intense gang violence in the south side of Chicago, Ice Cube's Calvin must decide if he can suffer the ills of a violent community, run a successful business, and raise his son. As the problem doesn't seem to be fixing itself, the crew of the barbershop propose a 48 hour period of non violence, to show that their home doesn't need to be the war-zone it currently is.

Community over conflict.

The best part about this movie is the dialogue that surrounds it. Calvin's barbershop is home to conversation that feels purposeful, but at the same time completely common place and natural. You feel as though the views being expressed about the rise in gang violence, the black lives matter movement, and the idea of taking action to change something, are all views you'd hear in the real world. The few times where it doesn't have that feel is when it's moving the plot along. By and large the conversations don't have a real end, because the issues discussed are so complex.

It's not just matters of life and death discussed either. Calvin's barbershop is no longer the male sanctuary it once was, but now includes a beauty salon on the other side of the room. This opens up the discussion of a completely separate group of issues, pertaining to women's rights, the evolving roles of men and women in the black community, and unattainable standards of beauty. Strangely, this doesn't feel like a disconnect from the rest of the movie, since it plays as a regular freeflow conversation, which tends to go in all manner of directions.

Margot Bingham's face should tell you everything you need to know about how those 'Men vs Women' discussions go down. 

For all its discussions of the real world problems of the black person in modern day America, 'Barbershop: The Next Cut' is in fact a comedy. To that end, it's actually pretty funny. Some of the jokes are juvenile and childish but who cares. Funny is funny. It's especially great that the characters don't feel one note. That is of course with the exception of Cedric the Entertainer who, while still funny in the movie, has an "I'm old" shtick that gets pretty...well old.

The jokes however, don't detach from the seriousness of the subject matter, but in fact enhances it. It goes back to that idea of natural dialogue. Joking about it simply makes it easier to talk about it, and once it gets talked about action gets taken. 

That action though is probably where the movie falls down. The execution of the ideas in 'Barbershop' leave much to be desired. In the 10 years since the last film, the story moves a long much like a movie from the mid 2000s did. Every story beat is pretty much telegraphed and will have you going, "well duh" when it comes time for those beats to hit. It's a shame really because those scenes that are supposed to be pushing the movie's point home, feel like a chore to sit through.

Kinda like sweeping hair in a barbershop. So maybe it was the movie's attempt at immersion?

There are also a few events that feel completely unrealistic. It's a stark contrast to the sense of realism being in the barbershop portrays. You're supposed to get a sense of hope from the movie, but it feels too much like a movie for it to feel applicable in the real world. There is one attempt to ground it when it gets too high off the ground, but because it was a move that I found to be telegraphed like much of the rest of the movie, it didn't have the desired effect. 

Overall I liked 'Barbershop: The Next Cut' far more than I expected to. There are a good number of scenes that feel really special and a cast that really does a lot to sell the movie's environment to you. The ensemble here really works and is the real reason for seeing this movie, but because its most precious moments feel the least potent, it's better you see it at Half Price.

A.N.R = 7/10

As always thank you for reading this review. I genuinely hoped you liked 'Barbershop: The Next Cut', and if you didn't, you can let me know why in the comments below. You can also listen to a podcast I host once a week that comes out on Sundays. Here's one we did about Black Movies.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

'Mother's Day' Review (2016): Sorry Moms.

I can't fault a movie like 'Mother's Day' for existing. It's a two hour greeting card put to film that stuffs all the faces that mothers like seeing. Julia Roberts. Jennifer Aniston. All it's missing is a Sally Field or a Sandra Bullock and it would literally have everyone's mom's favourite actress. So why wouldn't you make it? It makes perfect sense. What doesn't make sense is that it would be this bad.

Okay that's a lie. That makes sense. The reason that makes sense is that it's from director Garry Marshall, who's last two movies were 'Valentine's Day' and 'New Year's Eve'. Films that follow the same basic concept of 'Mother's Day'. Take a holiday, think of as many different situations you can think of that sort of apply to that holiday, and smush em all together 'Love Actually' style. The difference being that while 'Love Actually' organically wove its multiple story-lines into a compelling narrative with engaging dialogue, these films just kinda don't.

Truly, the first act of the film seems to be ongoing, as if I've not yet left the theatre. I still feel like I'm being introduced to more and more characters, with so many story lines that you start to get the equivalent of cinematic whiplash.

But not the good kind. 

The different conflicts by themselves might make for their own mediocre, yet sweet films about a certain type of family dynamic. The problem is there's so little time devoted to each one that as they're being set up, you can see the resolution coming a mile away. It doesn't help that every situation is one that's been seen a million times before. Whether it's the bigoted monster in law who is hidden from the modern family of her offspring, or the struggling widower going through the oh so painful ordeal of being caught buying tampons for his teenage daughter.

Tampons: They won't bite you. 

The most baffling thing about 'Mother's Day' is the strange leaps in logic it takes to resolve its many conflicts. For instance, in the middle of one character's stand up routine, he stops doing his set to have a tender moment about how he's so in love with his girlfriend. I haven't been to many stand-up shows but I'd reckon the reaction from the audience in real life would be "Who gives a damn, say something funny". The same goes for a scene involving a proposal on another character's home shopping show. Why in the hell would the audience care, when the only reason they're tuning in is to buy cheap jewelry and dining sets?!

Mother's Day has a lot going wrong, but it's not without its moments. There are a few scenes peppered in where the script actually manages to evoke emotion from the audience. The movie tries to have more than just a few though, but too often does it attempt for an "aww" and instead gets an "ugh", simply because the moment feels unearned. Not to mention it's poorly performed. Everyone's just sort of doing whatever, phoning it in. I mean there's so little character to care about here.

Yeah I'm not even sure what to say here, the movie's kind of bad.

I know I said the thing about illogical moments of resolution was the most baffling thing in the movie, but the most baffling thing in this movie is actually its casual racism. One of the mothers in the film is a bigot whose daughter is married to an Indian man so of course, the script has moments that show just how bigoted she is. The problem lies in the overt stereotyping from the rest of the cast. To put it simply, there's a scene where said Indian character is the only one out of his entire family, who are all white, to be told to get down on the ground by the police, following a chase scene. The cops reach for their guns as soon as they see his face, aiming it at him when he's on the ground. When did that imagery become a punchline?

Mother's Day is actually not as bad as I expected it to be. The main problem is that the movie has a completely unnecessary two hour run time. If the film had a half an hour shaved off of it, cut out 8 of the 12 story lines, and maybe had some punch up dialogue here and there, it might actually be a film worth seeing. As it stands, it's not so bad that it makes me angry. Mostly I rolled my eyes, and there is entertainment value in watching it just how lazily cliched it can get. That said, it's not a movie for me. If it's mother's day and you're sitting around thinking of something to do, I wouldn't think it a sin for you to Catch It On Cable.

Arbitrary Numerical Rating: 3/10

Thanks for reading this and if you liked this movie, good for you. It's pretty harmless so I'm not even mad about that. In fact you can leave a comment if you want. You can also listen to this episode of the Take 4 Podcast on....aaaah look I'll be honest with you, I could not find one that connected to this movie in any way shape or form's the episode where we made predictions about what'll be good or bad at the movies this year.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

'The Jungle Book' Review (2016): New Old World

Remakes have always felt weird to me. They exist because of a desire to update an old story for a new audience, but only get made when the old audience still has nostalgia for the old story. Right there you run the risk of alienating the people who made it what it is, and most of the time striking indifference with the new generation. Most of the time it's to be given a facelift. A top to bottom revisualization using new technology, and sometimes an old tale can be applied to a new world issue. Either way, remakes, like prequels, inherently feel unnecessary. It can be hard to shake the cynicism that follows them.

'The Jungle Book' is such a remake, but it definitely doesn't feel like a waste of time. The story is essentially the same as the Disney animated classic. Mowgli is a human child who was raised by wolves, and is forced to run through the jungle as the evil tiger Shere Khan, voiced by Idris Elba, hunts him down. As he makes his escape with the ever so faithful panther Bagheera, played by Sir Ben Kingsley, Mowgli encounters more of the jungle than he's ever seen and along the way finds his place in the world.

Deep down, aren't we all just feral children running from the tigers of our past?

The changes in the film are almost entirely tonal. The story has a greater sense of dread than the original, and the world itself has a much more dramatic feel. Having said that, it still has the joy of a grand adventure to go with it. There's a great emphasis on "The Law of the Jungle" and with that comes an exploration of this bona fide animal kingdom. I enjoyed delving deeper into the politics of the jungle especially when it was mixed in with a degree of mysticism. Fantasy films are meant to be escapism, and what better way to escape than into a world which feels thought out and realised. 

Of course, a world is nothing without its characters. They all interact like they know each other and that goes a great deal to crafting a compelling story. Jungle Book shines in this regard, no doubt due to its pitch perfect casting. Whether it's for Christopher Walken as a mob boss King Louie or Bill Murray as a loveable ne'er do well Balloo, the casting director for this film should be given an oscar for this movie. I'm not sure if they do that sort of thing for casting directors...but they should give it to this one. 

Her name is Sarah Finn, and she's amazing. 

Lately, the art of the villain has kind of been lost in cinema, so it's about time a really great one shows up. Everything from his imposing entrance, to his chilling dialogue, Shere Khan is an extremely compelling villain. There's not a time he's on screen that you don't like watching him. At the same time though, he's terrifying. There was many a scream in the theatre whenever Shere Khan growled. 
In a year with 4 comic book movies coming out, I defy any of them to produce a villain as compelling as Idris Elba's Shere Khan.

That fear by the way happens frequently in the film. By taking time to establish the stakes of the main plot, you start to fear for Mowgli's life. I probably jumped two or three times, but that's also because the scenes do a good job of developing tension. Unfortunately, there's only so many times the man-cub can narrowly escape the clutches of his pursuer before it starts to lose its effect. Thankfully though, it's right at the point where the bit gets old that the movie takes a turn to its grand finale.

I'm not gonna say this is a representation of when Shere Khan and Bagheera fight. But I'm not gonna say it's not. 

As much as the movie does to differentiate itself from its source, there's a strong reverence to it as well. The movie opens up with the classic Disney logo, and there's a familiar beat of the drum as you're first introduced to the jungle. It is a fine line though, because while I'm certainly in the minority, I found the movie came to a grinding halt whenever it came time to play one of the old songs. It just felt as though they didn't have a place in this version of the story. Every time the songs started playing, I was taken out of the film that had so immersed me.

All that said though, Jungle Book is a very good film that re tells an old tale in a new, well crafted way. It's a visually stunning film that looks so good that I never stopped to ask myself what was real and what was fake. At its best it's completely immersive. At its worst it's too familiar. Something it does that most movies don't though is make great use of its 3D. There are multiple perspective shots that are enhanced by being in 3D. Shots that really show the depth of field in a fantastic way. For the visuals alone it's worth the price of admission, but there's plenty here to keep you entertained and maybe even impressed, so it's definitely a Big Screen Watch. 

ANR = 8.5/10

Thanks for reading and if you liked this review, or didn't, please leave a comment, or don't. It's a free country. Hopefully. I don't know where you're reading this from. Also I have a podcast where we talk about movies, like this one. Here's an episode we did on Animal Movies:

P.S Big props to Neel Sethi, the kid who plays Mowgli. Since most of the movie is completely computer generated (and all of his costars are), that dude had to act off of blue screens and ping pong balls and he is great. I mean this movie is really immersive when it wants to be and that wouldn't be possible without this kid so, good on him. Here's a picture of him on set so you know what i'm saying.

This kid had to act off of Doctor Manhattan's hands with googly eyes on them. Screw Dicaprio.

Friday, 6 May 2016

'Captain America: Civil War' Review (2016): If It Ain't Broke...

It's the first weekend of May and while that might not actually be the beginning of summer, it is the start of the blockbuster summer season. Coming our way weekend after weekend are movies with big budgets that hope to have even bigger box offices. Question is, for all the money being thrown about, will they be any good? Maybe not, but with school out and the planet getting warmer every year, a mindless movie in a dark air conditioned theatre sounds just fine to me. The hope is that every time you step into that theatre, you get a little more than you bargained for.

That's pretty much how I'd describe the first of the blockbusters, 'Captain America: Civil War'. A movie that bounces around a lot of ideas, but the main idea is the most enticing. After the disastrous calamities that have struck the world since the original 'Iron Man', the nations of the globe decide they're kind of tired of their buildings falling and citizens dying because of an Avengers scuffle. To make sure that doesn't happen, the United Nations develops 'The Sokovia Accords', a regulation that would control how and when the Avengers avenge.

On one side you have Captain America, who opposes oversight of any sort. He's of the view that the freedom to choose when to act is what the Avengers are all about. On the other side, there's Iron Man, who uncharacteristically (not really) decides the best option is the one that keeps he and his friends under close watch. As the movie develops the other Avengers align themselves under the warring factions and you the viewer make your decision as well, at least that's the hope anyway.

'Civil War' will have you switching between sides faster than Quicksilver on cocaine.

The conflict in the movie is the best part about it. Rather than clear the whole way through, the right path becomes rather muddy. Because this is a franchise of franchises, the characters have known each other for years, much like a cast of a long running television show. To that end, 'Civil War' feels like that one big episode where all the characters have their falling out. It's the first time since maybe Harry Potter that I've seen that sort of ensemble character work matched in a film franchise.

The thing that makes 'Civil War' good is how everything works in tandem. The characters drive the action, which drives the plot, which drives the characters. Every moment in the film makes sense because it's consistent with how this world and these people work. It's not so much something that's become expected, but more so a euphoria that occurs when things that happen in a movie happen with a certain...oh right that's the word, logic.

Been so long since I've seen logic in a blockbuster.

What I also liked about 'Civil War' is it's unwavering creativity. It has fun with all of these characters existing in the same universe of course, but on a purely technical level this film excites. There's a great deal of attention to spectacle, in the sense that, you always feel like the best shot was chosen to portray something. Whether it's a pov shot from Falcon's drone, or two different shots emphasizing he just how freaking high the building Captain America leaps from (so high guys). It just feels as though the entire film, especially where the action scenes are concerned, went through copious amounts of well thought out choreography.

The very first super-hero film I saw was Sam Raimi's original Spider-man and since then, Spider-man has always held a special place in my heart. Of course, the character has gone through some rough patches over the years, but I always hoped to see him back in form on the big screen. That's been done in 'Civil War', with Tom Holland. The movie also introduces the Black Panther, with Chadwick Boseman. Although they're pushed into a movie which has too many characters to count, they're not shortchanged at all. In fact, Boseman kills in the movie and both he and Holland steal the screen whenever they're on.

Steals the screen like he steals the shield. Or that guy's pizza

There's a lot to like in 'Civil War', and there's some stuff to not like as well. The villain is uninspired to say the least and the "overly convoluted to the point where it doesn't make sense" plan has kind of had it's day at this point. On top of that, there are moments when the movie drags a bit, mostly because you hear the characters belabor the same points over and over, but if they didn't I'd complain that they just fought without talking to each other so why is this a problem? Because making the perfect movie is hard.

Overall, I liked this movie. I thought it was a movie that had the enormous task of being the movie that truly puts this universe of characters to the test. It's remarkable that it feels so well balanced, and yet still truly feels like a Captain America adventure. I don't know if it's better than Cap's last outing 'The Winter Soldier', but as far as ratings go, it's a definite Big Screen Watch.

Arbitrary Numerical Rating: 9/10

Thanks for reading and if you want, please leave a comment about this or any other movie. Maybe 'Gattaca', that one with Ethan Hawke, and Jude Law in a wheelchair. Also I have a podcast that you can listen to if you want. Here's a link to the most recent episode on Disney movies. Be careful though, as the banner suggests, the show got a little blue.