Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Movie Review

“On your left”

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Directors: Anthony RussoJoe Russo Writers: Christopher MarkusEd Brubaker (Concept and Story) Run Time: 136!

Cast

Government conspiracy theories are always around us. But what if you died to prevent one of the greatest evils the world has ever known? Only if to see it still thrive? Insert a 90-somthing year old super soldier. What if you were a soldier who fell in battle only to be caught by the enemy. Insert the winter soldier.

The creative team behind this movie did that and made it a great ride for 2 plus hours. The comic arc isn’t something I’m too familiar with,  but I knew a good amount going in. And thats really from reading all the marvel comics cross over books (like Secret invasion, Avengers etc). So for those who are worried, trust that the movie doesn’t require you to know anything else aside from maybe the Avengers movie and maybe Iron Man 2. Really didn’t need to see the first Captain America movie. As I say. Marvel has a great way accepting new readers at any point in a story/arc.

The best part about this movie is its odd sense of feeling grounded. The stunts, story, and dialogue are tremendously blended to give the viewers a modern day government espionage film. The stunts aren’t as over top as Avengers were or even the first Avenger film. Not everything explodes from the simplest thing. There isn’t a stunt that had some sorta crazy effects. Really reminded me of the 90’s actions movies.

The dialogue is decent and showed a new layer to Steve Rogers. He’s more modernized. Speaks a bit more like today’s RESPECTFUL adult. Only person I thought had bad lines was the first appearance of Black Widow in the movie. Personally, who I wished had more, was GSP’s Batroc character. I heavily enjoyed Nick Fury’s presence on screen. Marvel/Disney needs to let the man swear tho.

The one character I didn’t feel was done right was Falcon. He could have been more of an asset, but was more utilized as a background player. He’s used well, just could have done more as a character. Past that I felt that Bucky Barnes, in the form of Winter Soldier was more a starting point character. He didn’t seem to have his story fully explained.

Bottom line: In terms of Phase 2″  properties go for Marvel,  this is a significant step forward and a great starting point for Avengers two. I’m as excited as I can be with what that easter egg of Dr. Strange and the post credit scene.

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Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 9 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? IT’S OUT NOW GET IT ON BLU RAY!

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Kick Ass 2 Graphic Novel: Review

An interesting follow up from the ground breaking original that was turned into a major motion picture and a sequel that came out last summer (2013). Same creative team of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. (JRJR)

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I read this months before the sequel came out as that’s how it was produced initially. I enjoyed this quite a bit, and now with benefit of hindsight, can confirm it’s better than what was released on film.

Where this book shines is where JRJR does work. He’s great at making each character in a panel/frame as individual as his skill allows which is important to me. I can’t stand when I see an artist with talent make everyone with the same face (with exceptions like twins or something). Since World War Hulk and his tremendous run on Amazing Spider-Man, he is one of the best artists in drawing “destruction” scenes. In this book, being that it’s a realistic take on the medium almost within the medium(medium being comics), most of the destruction comes from human dismemberment, which I’m sure older/mature readers will appreciate. It’s something along the lines of Spartacus in terms of its gore. His splash pages are poster worthy and are usually seen towards the end of a chapter/issue. The overall feel is similar to the original so that is helpful, I did notice a more orangey hue to the book why I don’t know, maybe to compliment to the bravery of the title hero.

Millar has created a string of self invented stories, characters under his Millar World brand, but I don’t think any are as impressive as Kick-Ass (aside from “Superior). For readers of a more daring age or ones who support creator owned titles, or just like a different way from the big two (Marvel & DC) every so often, this is awesome. Painting a fan boys dream of how a typical modern day nerd really does think about doing from time to time.

Kick Ass2 #3This isn’t one of those really porky individuals or one of those fashion nerds, this is a person who reads comics and said maybe it would be a cool idea to actually do some good in the Cosplay costume I wear to comic-cons. So the story takes place a couple months after the original, and it moves swiftly to the end. Of course it felt long as the issues came up, but the story is pretty fast paced. I’m sure in the movie version, some characters got expanded more than in the book, namely like, Ms. “Night-Bitch”. In the comic where I felt it was the biggest flaw was that most of these characters weren’t important other than really just having bodies to emphasize the scope of Kick-Ass inspired heroes. Again I would have loved to see his script in translation to JRJR’s art (I think the issues usually have those kind of special features). One of the things I love about this is he uses names in very humorous ways. Like when he made an Adam Huges reference I was very pleased because he was very accurate with it.

In an awkward way this was almost a Spider-Man story. It really shows the resilience of a character to do something despite all the personal pain you might go through. It’s not the most self inspiring story but, it does have a lot more personal pain in this. We all have those days when we don’t feel well so we won’t go into work or go to church or a particular event. He literally has no powers, but he just wanted to make those heroes, that he reads, proud. I think, on the surface anyway, the core of the book is about giving your word, keeping it against everything and anything, and taking a lot of pride in it. That alone, is something this world seems to lack in men these days. And trust me, A LOT HAPPENS to Millar’s created heroes.

With that said it’s a worthy pick up in graphic novel form, or as a rarity item, as issues.

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Rating:

  • Overall rating of the comic: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Art:  9.5 out of 10,
  • layout*: 9 out of 10,
  • True to character dialogue: 10 out of 10,
  • Story: 8.5 out of 10,
  • Continuity? Well its out of normal continuity, so it works, but in general, from panel to panel, it is pretty solid.

Thank you for reading feedback is always helpful.

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace” . Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Amazing Spider-Man 2: Movie Review


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Director: Marc Webb Writer:  Alex Kurtzman (screenplay), Roberto Orci(screenplay) MORE Running Time: 142 mins

Starring:

This is way better than the Raimi movies and the first Amazing Spider-Man movie. THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE SAID!

Dialogue is very important in a talking movie as it is in a comic book. The dialogue here is quite frankly just as amazing as the title would suggest. First, let me say that Spider-Man has been a pop culture icon since the 70’s (lets be fair, he probably wasn’t as cool with the world at the jump in 62) so he isn’t entirely hard to get right. Theres COUNTLESS  ARTICLES in his history. That said, he has been known as the kid hero who gets to beat up on you as he insults you. All while dealing with a elderly, near-nagging aunt. Homework money woes and everything and anything teens deal with in their day-to-day lives. This film is obviously a modern take on what exists. The dialogue is at its strongest when it comes to Gwen and Peter. I am no expert on love, but for the allowed time limit that this movie runs, It’s hard not to see the very obvious chemistry between the two leads. In the first ASM movie, there was that nervous love, almost secret love. Here and now, you have that same secret love but it’s a bit more of a guilty pleasure that just feels more right than wrong (because of the promise he made Gwen’s dad). Which is essentially ripped from the comic as it may (minus the contrast with Gwen’s approval of spidey). The remainder of the cast, interactions between the lot, and overall story; play very much like a comic but feels very grounded. But again, the best thing here, verbally, is the dialogue, notably between the couple. I remember sitting there and feeling the pain Peter was feeling from his guilt and  the joy, from what he was doing.

UnknownI will have to give credit to Jamie Foxx on having me believe that he could be an average dude who just wanted to be noticed. I remember how the design for this character came to be from an interview he did on one of them “late night talk shows. He said what would I look like if I didn’t make it… and was something like a nerd. (Don’t quote me tho) alas here we are with his portrayal of Max Dillion aka Electro. Everyone is mad he’s black. But I ask does it matter what he is. He was a skrull in New Avengers and no one bats an eye. So let it be. His race played no part in his character. Its not like he is Black Panther where it has a higher symbolism for that character to be black. Anyways, Mr Foxx really impressed me with what he was able to achieve. He’s really one of those underrated actors who doesn’t get proper credit (I feel so anyway). Maybe because he’s multi talented… or maybe cause of the movie Booty Call. But, here he plays a villain which isn’t so much something we have seen him play before, if memory serves correctly. Then you have DeHaan who again makes me anfan of his work. (Lawless and Chronicle) he really convinced me of his character. A bit of a bratty, very intelligent heir to a fortune; who later becomes a villian. He ties into the history of Peter nicely. Written to seem very seamless since he is a new actor/Character to the mix. The time square scene with Foxx and the board meeting scene for DeHaan are the stand out scenes for me acting wise, from those two. Andrew and Emma just steal it in every aspect when on camera together. Andrew just portrays spidey as he is meant to be.

Director, Marc Webb really out did himself in this movie. His stylistic choices only served to enhance the movie and lore of Spider-Man. I’m totally ok with chnaging aspects of what exists as long as they make sense to the character and theme of either the story and or the premise of said character. Don’t just make people switch up for the sake of it (I’m looking at you Chris Nolan). From the mechanics behind web swinging and way Foxx looks, talks, acts, etc. Overall look of the film is dope as hell. I really love the Time Square scene and the underlining importance of time.

The best thing about the Avengers was that they were able to essentially blend 5 movie star franchises into one world. Even though, most of those worlds felt very much independent from each other. What Spider-Man does is create a world all its own for itself, within. The dynamic of his parents being basically responsible for everything he is dealing with as Spidey. All while being roughly true to the comics (Ultimate Universe).

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My two flaws are the end sequence. From when he finishes off Electro (come on that’s not a spoiler) to the credits. When the inevitable happens I would have chosen to opt out of using a musical score. And the time lapse just seems odd. But still effective how it’s done. And Rhino’s voice. Not one word was understood by him… whatever happened to focus groups?! Atleast Nolan tried to fix that for that garbage I was talking about earlier.

Bottom line. This is arguably the best adaptation of any hero. It was as close as one can get to the comics and the greatness that was the 90’s animated show. Its very much reflected from Dan Slotts spidey as well as Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man. Which makes the most sense in terms of relevance (and of course the comic its based off of written by Gerry Conway) . This movie is a love letter to Spider-Man and it shows. Movies are an art form as is comics and this is a great cohesion of the two.

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 10 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9.5 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10 (Score could have been better),
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Amazon has a bust statue case of it ready to pre order.. I did that weeks ago.

for your consideration, please see Spider-Man: Blue

THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: “LEW System”

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW