Captain America: Civil War: Film Review

Shall we begin?


Writer: Christopher Markus,  Stephen McFeely Director: Anthony Russo,  Joe Russo Runtime: 2h27m

Full credits  

There’s really only two ways this film could go down. Good or bad. But right from the start, it was great. But this film had to happen in the manner in which it did. It eventually became an amazing ride regardless of where you stand on the core conflict. The solo cap stories are arguably the better solo films in the Marvel franchise films. This was another great entry and a good way to start phase 3.

It was announced some years ago that this movie would be coming out around this time. Then BvS said it was gonna come out on the same day.. Then the date got moved for BvS to March. And it that was a good thing for BvS. Though the nerd in me wished it happened. two versus movies at the same time.. it would have been awesome to see the tallies. This is a great story because it blatantly shows the moral of the story but in such a woven, multilayered way. Those stories are great… well sometimes. Other times they can end up like Wrath of The Titans.

The moral of this film is that friends, true friends who share a genuine friendship, need to stick together. That’s why it’s important to actually talk and learn who you’re friends are. On one side, Steve’s childhood friend is brought into his crazy world of aliens and double crosses. On the other side you have a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, who honestly just wants to protect the world… and the few people who made him remember he too can have a heart. The film keeps in mind that the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron had to be answered.

The story is a wee bit cliche at times but they do a good job of tying elements together. And a lot of what was shown in the trailers isn’t exactly what you see in the film (love that).

I really like the position they put Rogers in. His emotional values were called into question like never before(on screen). His best friend who in all honesty, is a crook by any means of the word. While he himself is basically a cop. That’s something that gets checked and is essentially the driving story . But Rogers is who he is, and he doesn’t quit. He believes in people. It doesn’t matter what the opinion of others are. He’s gonna do what he feels is right every time. It’s part of the freedom he stands and fights for. This wasn’t so much of an arc like in the comic of the same name for the character. But more a story about who he is. and not a rebirth to a new realization/ideal like in the comics. This was the story of how he saved his friend… plain and simple. Mr. Evans steals the show every time he’s on screen. His acting is only getting better in this role.

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The Stark difference was that, Tony just wanted to save the world he really feels guilty about the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Which is great as this allows the events in the film to reflect the comic Civil War with regard to Stark. Mr. Downy Jr. Plays a much more compassionate Stark. There’s a lot more of a need to have the team of (new) Avengers become accountable. Stark sees the problem with the team and he hopes… he genuinely honestly hopes that the dream he sees in AoU is something he can prevent.  This new regulation seems like the gateway to such a ambitious goal. By far his standout scene is the forth wall breaking introduction to Spider-man as a character. as an actor however, I was rather moved by how he plays his first scene, and most of the third act. I felt his position in the same way as I didn’t while reading comic version to this story.

The new comer. Your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man. Marvel shocked fans when they announced he was gonna be in his teens. It paid off. There was a great dynamic in him being the younger one. It a works for a better and more complete perspective for both the audience and story. I don’t want to ruin anything but he is most definitely gonna be seen as the best spider-man/Peter parker to date. His voice alone gets you as a guy who would sound like spider-man at that age. my only issue, was how much cgi they seemingly used on the Spidey half of the character. say what you will about the Raimi, Webb directed films, but they used as much practical as they could in their films. and they were better for it.

My man, Black Panther.  My only issue with his portrayal was how his accent sounded. I didn’t entirely believe it. He sounded more like as middle eastern man than one from Africa. Black Panthers as a character beyond bad ass. Chadwick Boseman acted that very well in my personal opinion. He is an “under the radarcharacter but I’m 100% positive he just elevated him with his portrayal. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

The best thing about this film was how they handled each character. Everyone gets screen time. And everyone gets a moment to shine. As much as AoU did this…. it really didn’t.  That said, getting rid of some of the additional characters in the manner they did was a misstep. But it gels nicely with the over all story. The introduction to the teams was well handled and felt somewhat similar to the way bit happens in the comics.

Where I would like to praise this movie, is for constantly pushing the boundaries of what choreographed fight and action sequences should look like. The stuff in this film was jaw dropping.

My issues were the obvious. It’s a little long. At some point you forget it’s a movie that features heroes and then you’re wondering just why are they still fighting like this. They  sorta skimmed over the point of the Civil War (the registration act) within reason to the main story where the secondary tale took more precedence (the fight with Cap, Bucky, Stark). I hope it gets further addressed in subsequent films in phase 3. Also the manner in which they tied it all together felt like a “Martha moment (December, 16th 1991 anyone?). Lastly the post credit scenes weren’t as fun as they have been. My core issue is this is a war. You can’t just NOT have people get killed or harmed severely during a war. I want to say the sole reason why this s the way this film plays out is because of the introduction of Spidey. But who knows why.

This story was going to be ambitious no matter what. The Marvel Cinematic Universe doesn’t have the years of history, or characters that the publication has the rights too, at its disposal. various story beats have to be altered but theres still a lot there from the comic… and it has to be recognized as an accomplishment that they create team wrote and directed this gem of a film. it just hurts itself that the risks weren’t as far as they could have been.

This film isn’t flawless. But it’s again a great way to start phase 3. With the Russo Bro’s taking over, The sky is the limit with how far they can go.

Bottom Line: It’s a great film, has a few missteps but for anyone who is a fan of the characters, the story or the brand named Marvel, you won’t talk away disappointed like anyone did who sadly saw BvS. but what it was really missing, what made The comic so great was this: “We’re not fighting for the people anymore…we’re just fighting.” For Cap to say that.. as both a soldier and a guy from a relatively simpler time, was huge. it speaks to the way society is these days with our memes, rallies and slogans that can often seem like they aren’t going anywhere but to a new fight.

Rating:

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.9 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 10 out of 10,
  • Audio: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worth it to see in theatres, IMAX if possible. I already can’t wait to own the movie.

Creed: Film Review

You don’t have to be the product of your environment. You don’t even have to be a product of your family name.


Director:  Ryan Coogler WriterAaron Covington & Ryan Coogler Runtime: 133m Cast

After some six Rocky films the question, as always, remains, how do we keep the franchise fresh? With the seventh in the franchise you had to wonder can we listen to Rocky’s inspirational quotes… again. The answer is: of course.

Being the son of globally known parent can’t be easy. The relentless pressure from the media to take up what the father (or respective parent) is doing can be unbearable. But so can trying to fit in when your heart belongs else where. The film explores both those aspects; but for the sake of the story, it does favour one more than the other. On the surface it’s an origin story, it’s a bit of a redemption story, it is actually quite a few things. The best one being that it’s a great film consistently. I worried if knowing about the previous films would become a problem while watching. It wasn’t. The story is pretty favourable with respect to the franchises’ history. They do make mention to previous moments but I imagine they were for both older fans and for those wanting more of Rocky. There are some cliche moments but I’m sure it won’t be as cliche for the typical viewer. I will say I miss the use of training montages.

creedpostersmallMichael B. Jordan is really on the come up. Aside from the recent Fantastic Four, there hasn’t really been in a bad film. At least not one I’ve seen. His dedication to his craft is amazing. This is arguably a better performance than the one he gave in Fruitvale Station. I don’t say that as one being bad, simply put, they are both excellent performances, its hard to say which I liked more. One of his better moments have no sound, yet is so powerful in its delivery. Even though his character starts out in a shady place you root for him not so much as underdog, but for seeming going thru some sad situations. I really loved his story arc and characterization. His best and most emotional line comes in the final fight. That scene had me near tears. The limited screen time with Rashad had me wanting more. I think the two would have great chemistry on screen. Shame she didn’t have a bigger role.

Stallone has been playing Rocky for some 40+ years now and if this be his final send off, I’m okay with it. There was such a humility that he brought this time around (I’m not sure if it was always there in previous films). He’s somewhat of a man out of time both literally and figuratively. He comes off as a guy waiting for his time. I thought the extra element of his health a bit too much on the nice but I liked the contrast it created for team Rocky. Its quite amazing how much you can give a viewer beyond the surface. I hear rumblings of this being the new direction for the franchise, if that be true, the manner in which he was written was stellar. I have a great amount of respect for Stallone. His acting for the type of character he needs to be was spot on.

Relative new comer and scene stealer, Tessa Thompson, brings a lot of depth to her role. Aside from being eye candy (its hard to deny how beautiful she is), she… Its hard to sum up her performance. But I will dare to say she was one of those dream, chill girlfriends that are a level headed and very supportive(I probably insulted someone, my bad). I loved her character, I wished they used her flaw a bit more.

The cool thing about the movie is that they used real boxers. It added a level of realism. The first big fight was seemingly shot in on take. I love that. Long takes are awesome when the action inside of the take is elaborate.

We all watch movies to be entertained. But sometimes you watch a movie and it just moves you. Or the story is so good you apply it to you life in a way that is so profound, it shocks you. That happened to me and I get that in this day and age we are all rather desensitized to the one another that emotions are odd when shown. But in the case of the performance from MBJ, for me, it was hard not to connect to his reason for everything. You don’t even have to connect to it on the same level. But when you’re given a shot, a chance… at something and there’s people you reasonably look up too; its hard to not feel that pressure of being that lead that makes up the spelling error. It’s your determination to do the best you can that leads to you overcoming that fear.

The biggest upsets for me came down to editing and/or the on set supervision. When Rocky’s health begins to deteriorate, the inconsistency bothered me to no end.

 

Bottomline: If this film does start a new franchise, Count me in. I loved it from start to finish.

 

Rating 8

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 8 out of 10,
  • Acting: 9 out of 10,

Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s definitely worth seeing on any platform.

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Smile 4: Smile On The Lakeshore

Commissioned to do this recap video of the party put on by the “Dj Flip” team.

 

Smile 4: Smile on the Lakeshore

The party itself was hype, so It was a pleasure to do it. Would love to do more.

Happy Womb Eviction Day, 25 AND GOING.

It’s the first 22 seconds that I have replayed in my head in secret for years since getting the album way back in…… 2004. Literally a decade has flown by since I entered the spaceship (anyone who catches that gets a hi-5 with 5$). So with that said I need to do this:

 

May anyone who lost a loved one through natural loss or to a violent murderous end before the age of 25, many you Eternally REST IN PEACE.

I have lost and I have gained in 25 years of my life. The world has been in a constant state of change. I mean, Michael Jordan retired, played baseball, came back,.. retired again… CAME BACK and played for the Wizards… aka the Washington Wizards/Bullets. Michael Jackson died… really didn’t ever expect to see that happening. I have lived thru not one but 2 Spider-man franchises totalling 6 movies. I have lived through the greatest era of black urban music (though that is a debatable point), I have lived through the death of Superman, Spider-man, Peter Parker (had to be there), Robin(s) and countless other fictional super hero’s. i even live in a time where a rocket wielding racoon is cool.

I have lived in places one would question and gone to places I only heard about. I, at some point, even met Michael Jordan and many other celebs and personalities (but really, MJ will always be the top). I have done things I “regret” but I appreciate them for I may have lived a life unfulfilled. I finished a movie which is currently in the process of being completed, I’m working on another as well which that starts shooting soon. two and a half decades have gone by and though, it was a bumpy start, i do enjoy where i have placed myself to be with the help of my only father, God (y’all can fight over what to actually call him)

As a kid, I wondered about life, death church and parents. I swore to the heavens anyone who was an adult was the devil or some scary ass alien who just wanted to torture kids with shit they really didn’t need in life. The church was something that my mother had grown up with and made sure was something that was there for me as a guidance measure, if nothing else. I still question religion, more so now, as my curiosity has reached space and the cosmos currently.

If there is one thing that I learned which is the most important thing I know it’s:

DO WHATEVER THE FUCK MAKES YOU HAPPY, BUT NOT TO THE RISK OF OTHERS UNLESS IT’S A MEANS TO:
A) PROTECTING LIFE,
B) GETTING AHEAD (BUT JUSTLY)
C) ENJOYING LIFE!

There will always be someone you “admire”. That is fine. It helps us to grow as a people; to admire others. BUT do not sit and compare yourself to anyone. Remember, there a guy older/younger, than you who, yes, is a millionaire, but they may not have anyway of knowing how to read, write, or even count. You do, so make that ability work for you.

It sucks that so many people we know have fallen, but what bothers me most is when people have to ask “How many of us____ have to die in order for (simply put) change.” My either quiet or voiced retort is: “If you know/knew just one person dead, That you loved, that’s enough to be as mad as hell and make a change. People will always say, in a defeatist attitude, one person can only do so much. AND IT’S FUCKING TRUE! One person can do IMPOSSIBLE THINGS. Like believe in himself to inspire others. Malcolm X did it, MLK jr. did it, the man known as Spartacus did it, and so many more. With all that is happening around us, religious folk will heed to you its a sign of the times that Jesus is coming, others may suggest it’s citizens finally waking up and saying two letters: NO!

I will join any noble cause that actually has a plan. I plan on doing great things with any form of wealth I am able to gain thru my own hard work. I don’t care to be rich to do flashy shit. I really don’t. I first care about making my community better. But I have to work hard now. Aside from personal goals, this is what wake me. This passion to leave behind a better world. Not to leave behind parties (no shade/not dissing), countless kids, or anything that “normal” folks tend to want. I just want to try to fix what I am able first with me then with where I live, and I believe the nature of a domino effect will happen… naturally.

25 years man. I’m sorry but this is an amazing feeling. My mom tells everyone she can, that when she was doing the pregnancy meetings with her Dr said that either she’d die, I’d die, or we die together. LOW AND BEHOLD BITCH! *Jesse Pinkman voice*. Anywho I have things I need to do before I close my eyes tonight, so a”LEWsystem You’re Welcome ” to all who are wishing me a “Happy Womb Eviction Day!”

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

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– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Movie Review

This might have been the best summer movie.

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-IMAX-poster-700x1024


Writer:  James GunnNicole Perlman Director:  James Gunn Runtime: 121 mins

Cast

I had posted about who the Guardians of the Galaxy really are and its a fair bet not many knew prior to seeing the flick. This is probably the utmost reason this movie excels. Aside from my fellow brethren who know full well about the sci-fi/realm of space side of  the Marvel Universe, NO ONE cared about these guys. and that is very much a factor in the film. One of the constant mentions people keep saying is: “If you had told me a talking racoon would be a “star” character in a movie, some 10+ years ago, I would spit out my drink in laughter”. Well those folks can all now still spit out a drink in laughter and then some, cause not only does “Rocket Racoon” nearly steal the show, he, voiced by Bradley Cooper, makes you feel for the character as if he was a “human”. The film really does achieve a lot in its 2 hour run time but never once does it feel beyond whelming. Its most remarkable element was being able to blend both drama and comedy seamlessly all while never taking itself too seriously while still remaining true to being a “Comic Book” movie. I feel that is one of the problems so many other studios have with their comic book properties. They try to be a comic adaption while being true to the medium of cinema and the integrity of the director’s imagination/creativity. I believe that on some level you have to have one more so than the other(s) and never falter… But, as I say, everything is situational.

Another aspect of what makes this a great film, is the soundtrack and for once I don’t mean the musical score. The soundtrack boast some of the best music from era(‘s) past. Its even on US Billboard at #1 for this week (week ending Aug. 15th, 2014)

The soundtrack to Marvel Studios’ latest blockbuster, Guardians of the Galaxy, has topped the midweek US Billboard chart, and is the first soundtrack comprised entirely of previously released songs to reach the No 1 spot.

The soundtrack seemingly works on various levels but, really giving the Lead, Peter Quill, his only real tether to Earth and his childhood when his mother was in his life. For that aspect, it works tremendously in this film to keep it relatable to viewers. Let’s face it, we all have that one (or several) song(s) that remind us of days past (couldn’t resist).

This film boast a another crazy cast as any other marvel movie. Benicio  Del Toro, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and more; Take on their first roles in the superhero genre.  Given the roles Del Toro has had in past, I was shocked he took on the role of “The Collector from back in Thor. I fully enjoyed new comer Lee Pace as Ronan. The costume design was great even if they went for a more obvious, dark = bad guy tone. It very much resembled his look in the comics. The only characters/actors I question in terms of acting were Zoe’s, Josh Brolin’s and Karen Gillian’s characters (Gamora, Thanos, and Nebula, respectively). I felt as though they were underplayed in various ways (i.e., Thanos didn’t give me that menacing performance one wold hope from a man known as the “Mad Titan”). And even though their back stories were explained and even hinted at, I felt as though we were still short handed in respects to what we deserved from those listed and more, from a story aspect. We all know Zoe can act, and I love her as an actress (she’s skinny and kicks everyones ass, that is awesome defined!), but I can’t help but feel she didn’t give us the best of her talents. Its not in anyway, shape, or form a bad performance, just maybe a miscue in direction/communication. The cool thing about the movie is that having Vin Diesel voice act allows him to be in future movies if even as a bodyguard or something, same with B.Cooper. . Aside from the acting, due to (maybe) the quality of the image, the aliens didn’t all feel like aliens so much as humans in costume.

Which leads me to my next point of the use of 3d, cinematography, and use of effects as a whole. Right from the start you feel like you’re in the 80s. Whats nice is the tint to give it that retro feeling. Then it movies into more 3d expected territory, which was in damn good quality. This post conversion stuff is really getting better. The 3D helps to enhance that idea that you’re in a whole new world/environment. However, I feel that the use of both depth and traditional out/oFf screen effects would have served this movie better. The action, as plenty but was kinda lacking in any great shot in personal opinion. Thankfully it was mostly clear and easy to see thanks to the colourful cast. But it never gets distracting throughout the film. Which is better. I will say the ending “battle” was my favourite bit with the use of the camera.

There were a lot of easter eggs in the film, from both the BTS side of things, to things right out of the comics and throughout pop culture. I noticed a few from the comics and pop culture, but heres more.

This movie is nothing, if not well put together. nice blend of the medium. it excels mostly because of its obscurity. The tremendous control over the time and place(meant) of comedy, action, and a dramatic moment is superb. I wouldn’t call this an adaption, as much as I would call this movie. The characters are all losers, and people you’d bet against in the right conditions, but with the tremendous writing and character understanding, this movie really captures the essence that would this band of merry folks just really don’t want to die unless its by their actions. Most superhero movies tend to go the ay of this is my problem i have to fix it because i created the villain. this story didn’t feel like that. Has some of those elements yea, but in actuality its a great neutral bad guy vs good guy(s) story here. It’s really hard to hate on this movie outside of nitpicking. For my chosen nitpick, how on earth did they get on to the ship with Yondu and get new costumes for everyone (the all red, scarlet ones) including Rocket Racoon?

9.7

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 9.7 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 8 out of 10,
  • Editing: 9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10,
  • Acting: 8.9 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? It’s not bad in Imax. Definitely worth picking up to truly start phase two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)

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

– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW

Carib… I Mean, Scotiabank (Toronto) Caribbean Carnival

 

Well the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (SCC) has now come and gone and with it many complaints and praises. but surprisingly from the wrong side of field for each.

This, for all intents and purposes, is a rant folks.

Since the fall of what was known as “Caribana”, SCC has taken it over and has, more or less, improved what was really a shy mirror to what you’d expect to see when it’s carnival time in a respectable Caribbean atmosphere. Since I haven’t been to one I have nothing to accurately compare it to, but there’s both an up side and down side to that; which I will get to later.

Let’s start with Thursday.

cred: Teeography (Tee Teeography Murphy)
cred: Teeography (Tee Teeography Murphy)

Dr. Jay, who is essentially the foremost known DJ in Canada when it comes to Soca music, (Just ask Iwer George) threw his annual “Re-Jouvert-nate”. It was as good as it’s always been. With performances from Problem child and Skinny Fab, you can’t go wrong. The atmosphere and vibes were just nice… as were the women.

Friday was prep day for many. Which is where my issues really come from. News came to me that some of the bigger bands were only handing out costumes on the Friday for either a section or in general which, in personal opinion, is ludicrous. Bands should have had all costumes finished by the Tuesday latest and sent out by Thursday leaving Fri to be the day to make any necessary adjustments. Especially considering that most registration took place way back in April/May and many sections were sold out before the end of that said month. I think, given their instagram feed, Toronto Revellers were the only ones who were saying come and play with us ’till the very end before SCC. One band apparently had soon to be masqueraders waiting 5 plus hours (No names though) for their costumes. That is utterly ridiculous. Sadly I wasn’t able to attend “Pan Alive” as I had planned.

Saturday. This serves as your disclaimer. Due to two prior altercations before I even got to the CNE, and the belief I had lost my wallet, I didn’t take many pics this year.

Caribana routeSo I got there, finally, safe and sound after deciding to walk there since I was #6 on the road, entered and was shocked that it was so easy to get in without any formal search. Not that I wanted a pat down, but as a safety measure, it would have been nice to have just that small bit of reassurance that some level of checking was done giving the more tragic side of Caribana’s/SCC’s past. I was even more bewildered that not many knew where to go. I had a general idea of where to go since I had seen that the parade route before hand and the mas set up was pushed back towards the “Medieval Times” building. But, as I said, there wasn’t many who knew where exactly to go or how best to get there or if that was even the confirmed spot to go to (I’m looking at you, you scarce parade marshals and organizing officials). I asked one person he looked me dead ass serious saying:

ELEW:(my question) Where do the mas players go?
SCC MEMBER (SCC.M)”Well, horse I ain’t know where that is nuh… that.. that ain’t my department.”
ELEW: but…. Ok. No thanks for you
SCC.M: no problem.

Luckily, I had recognized some mas costumes from both Revellers and Saldenah so I followed them and I got to where I needed. maybe 45 mins after getting to the mas set up area, we were on road. Which was fairly simple. We passed one judging point, and were well on our way to this apparent second judging point. Which, for the sake of reasoning, can ANYONE explain to me why there were two judging points? it was at this point that everything kinda went down hill in terms of wallet going missing and the parade becoming a problem for many others who paid to play mas. I will say this first; for quite some time I was a “non payer” to the event formally known as Caribana, so in many ways, I side with them, “the stormers“. From since I was small I have witnessed people hopping the fences to join the masqueraders down the Lakeshore. I never had an issue aside from the hip-hop/rap truck and the reggae truck in my frequent attendance at this event in past. Both of which I didn’t see this year (but for the life of me, I can’t fathom why any sensible person would want the hip-hop truck there considering most of the negativity and ignorance that, that genre of music promotes on the regular at the parade. And PLEASE don’t try to use conscious rap as a valid argument. You know damn well they won’t play that at on the road.). The hip-hop/rap genre of music really doesn’t fit the vibe of the carnival in honest opinion. But, as usual, money still has to be made. Any who, on the flip side, my mother has been participating with creating and making mas just as long as I’ve been half an egg and a sperm cell. She instilled in me an appreciation for the hard work that goes into making these costumes for so many. Furthermore, she always took me to see the “King and Queen” show where the bigger costumes would be judged and showcased. Since this year I was playing mas, I was hoping to catch a different vibe. I can certainly say, paying big dollars is almost a waste in Toronto as there was no difference to getting on the road. The “Stormers” (is it wrong that I think of storm troopers every time I say that word?) caused such an issue at this apparent second stage of judging (and most of the road I’m hearing), that no one could get back (as I was trying to find my wallet), some bands and some band sections apparently couldn’t cross said stage, and that “judging” couldn’t even take place as a whole since there were so many just “interrupting” the progress. Dr Jay had a series of tweets venting about how the organizers and parade marshals didn’t do enough to clear the stormers off the parade route much less give a clearing so each band could be judged. Also mentioned that there wasn’t in terms of notifying where the judging point was so that mas players could get organized to display their costume properly. For a minute, I will be honest. There isn’t much ONE single wo/man can do to stop hundreds of thousands of people from going wherever, but something can be done. This year I noticed most bands made no effort to lock off their band with orange fencing, rope, or the combination of the two with some skinny pieces of wood. If this be the new parade route and trend for mas bands going forward, I would suggest building some sort of actual stage (maybe closer to the assembly area) so that the rest of the road can be the party it seems to want to be each year. or if you insist on fencing, build it high enough and add barbwire or make it similar to the indy races fencing scheme. It obviously sucks that it must come to that, but in order to keep it mas friendly, how else can you prevent it? (you can sound off in the comment section below) In addition to this, its important to remember something. Not only do fences keep people out, they keep people in. So, even if you wanted to clear them off the road, you have to give them an exit point as well (typically close to the same place one can enter the parade route). Soon after accepting my loss wallet, I left to go home and slept. It was on hell of a good sleep. *UPDATE* OUT OF THE 9 BANDS (NOT ALL WERE ABLE TO COMPETE) THE WINNER FOR BAND OF THE YEAR WAS SELECTED: Toronto Carnival Band Of The Year Results: 1) Nationz 2) Saldenah 3) Revellers. I find this troubling as to what exactly did they have to choose from? However it was basically a no brainer as Nationz had won everything else mas wise prior to the parade. First time ever one band swept everything.

Sunday. I decided to try something different from the normal fete choices like Fire Fete (before someone takes that the wrong way, THIS IS NOT A DISS). I went to more of a lime than anything at the olympic island(one of the many Toronto island clusters, just to the left of centre island). It was honestly well worth it. granted there could have been more but it started from around 10 am and went to about 9:30 PM with musical acts like Blaxx, Iwer George, Pan Phantasy, Tallpree and more. I would say it was basically a Fire Fete, before Fire Fete. There was  LOT of room to hold hundreds more. What I felt was wrong or off about it was the fact it ended at 9:30. Once the bigger acts came on, the crowd responded and was ready to move and party. Time really flew by once the performances started (I got pics and video coming shortly for this event). But the biggest highlight for me was talking to the CEO (Knia Singh of the brand known as Caribana. We talked about his vision for the fateful day of when he and his team can reacquire whats now known as SCC. He is very ambitious in that desire. Obviously at the moment, what he wants is a bit of a long shot, but to try to sum it up, he wants to bring back the festivities of old to the younger generation so they can one day carry it forward as well but with way more accountability. I would suggest that after this year, Mr. Singh may have a real good shot at doing so.

“Look around you what do you see. Scotiabank. This isn’t a cultural event anymore, this isn’t a community event, it’s a corporate ad.”
-Knia Singh

 

He was right. I don’t think Scotiabank took in how much of a community setting Caribana was (or tried to be). We discussed many things like the process of making mas and I informed him that some/certain bands (for some reason) ship parts of the mas making responsibilities to “China” and he said one of the greatest things. “Why not ship it back home to Trinidad or just anywhere in the Caribbean?” and I told him he’s right. I don’t want this to come off as a racial thing, but for a moment think of it this way. So much of what the black community is/was has been “sold out” to others where we then lose out on passing it down/forward to future generations (I don’t just mean Caribana either). Does anyone remember/know of black wall Street? I’m not saying China doesn’t need the business from this, I’m not saying that the Chinese can’t make or even participate in making/playing mas (that’s just all kinds of ignorant). I just personally feel that if we, as a whole or even an individual, are gonna let someone profit off this thing (which no matter what will be the typical elected official) why not share the wealth within the same place this all started? I obviously don’t know if, in the caribbean they do the same thing by shipping it out, but I see it like this. A few years ago some Canadian politician said that making our own Canadian flag in China was “wrong” (I want to say it was the late Jim Flaherty) so technically this is no different than our national flag.. Since this style of mas is predominately a caribbean thing, why are we letting “others” make our thing? Again, this isn’t a race thing, this is just about keeping something within our community and within our culture. Yes! I know there are all walks of life in the caribbean from Black, White, Asian, Dougla, etc. But being able to give back to them from up here, I think would serve a higher purpose then waiting for whoever is going back “home” and filling up their luggage with things to take back, or sending barrel after barrel to aid members of the family still back “home” or just its citizens in general.

As for Monday, I went to Smile 4 and took video coverage for that, so be on the look out for that.

UPDATE:

PHOTO’S ARE UP

 

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past Movie Review

by Richard Davies
by Richard Davies

Don’t believe the hype.

Director: Bryan Singer Writer(s): Jane GoldmanSimon KinbergMatthew Vaughn

Cast:

more…


This story has been done in almost every iteration of the franchise known as the X-men.

and,

The story is more familiar with those who were born in the  late 70s/80s via comics by the legendary, Chris Claremont; and later by the cool kids who watched the X-men cartoons on fox kids (see above). Since then, it was last seen in comic form (if I’m not mistaken) in the Ultimate Comics version of X-men or the T.v. cartoon, “Wolverine and the X-men”. Whichever was first. But more on that in another post..

The X-Men are, simply put, the white versions of Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X with mutant powers Prof. X and Magneto respectively). Their powers could be said to be accurate to their Real life, black inspirations. But that’s another story all on its own. From where we left them we saw Prof. X crippled and Magneto forming the first Brotherhood of (Evil) Mutants. Time passes and then we’re in the future. In my personal opinion this was the(ir) first mistake of sorts. Well… in the way it was handled. I’m all for dystopian futures and stuff of that sort but, this was just a very flat portion of the film. Sentinels are shown here as these giant leap in the line of defence. However, as cool as they are, we’re all gathered to see the X-Men kick ass. To put it lightly,  that doesnt happen to much.

Honestly, I need to just get this off my chest. What really bothers me, is the made up for the sake it, power that Kitty Pryde aka Shadow Cat has. As an avid movie goer,  it works. But as a fan, its a giant piss off.

Ok, back to this story. One of the best things between all the films is Prof. X desire to inspire hope and confidence in humans and mutants alike all while battling his best friend in Magneto. One of the best performances you will probably see this summer comes from Michael Fassbender and  James McAvoy in a plane. The intensity of it and the dire need for it is amazing. Then past that was the real purpose of this story; To see where Charles got to become the hopeful inspiration he is. Those are very interesting elements and I thought, of anything else, Bryan Singer really captured that marvelously. By the end of the film you’re just happy he pulled the first ever movie retcon to a franchise that desperately needed it.

x_men_days_of_future_past_poster-wideThere was a lot of hate on the look of new comer Quicksilver and its understandable. I still think the choices behind his look were stupid. But it does make sense within the story. Its the 70s. A time where basically anything goes and it was very much the boom of of society as we see it and/or know it today. The actor was tremendously casted as well. I wouldn’t say be on the look out for him but, I’m sure he will be back in the next X-Men movie. More on this dude later. Wolverine was very much the tent pole character he’s been since the first movie 14 years ago. He was a brute individual who basically got caught up in the words and actions of prof.X and his fellow X-Men. Jackman has played many various mindsets with this character and if he decided to retire from the role, I wouldn’t be mad. I think in his acting range he’s exhausted all abilities to the character. Plus he keeps hinting he’s done anyway. Aside from that, the future set of mutants didn’t really do much for me. I enjoyed them. But in terms of development, I don’t think anything new was added. I would have liked to seen a bit more of their story. Writer, Simon Kinberg said it was his vision to show you the “end” to original actors. But not to rule anything out.

My biggest flaws with this are the pacing, character relationships, and lack of music. As cool as the fights and action was. I felt it was all very short and uninspired. Bryan Singer isn’t the best for fight scenes,  the best one he was in charge of was and still is X2:X-Men United. This felt like a natural progression to X-Men First class, but it lacked a lot in the action and showing the best of the powers with the added new mutants. The overall look and pacing was off. It was funny but not entirely consistent. It was dry but not sand paper dry (thank the Lord). Theres one point where Iceman and Shadow Cat run by each other and have some weird moment. And for the life of me couldn’t figure out why. That would have been great to see what happened to their love over the years from X3: Last Stand. Beyond that it just felt off. Didn’t seem to get a rhythm going until after the first 40 mins. Then you have the “very odd given the circumstances” love between Charles and Raven aka Mystique. Sorry it just rubbed me the wrong way and sort of came out of left field. Music is probably the most important part to a movie or anything you watch. Its very suggestive and I feel with the epicness that was First Class, this was a giant let down. Another thing that sort of bothered me, was the swtiching back and forth with the current style of film and what I’m guessing was 16mm film. It was natural given the period but felt out of place because as a movie.. who exactly is looking at that reel? We were (mentally) following Wolverine. Why are we seeing that?

Bottom line: I think this is perfect for simple movie watching with no history known or prior memory of the other iterations of this story. The lack of a epic score really dumbs this movie down and where the editing is concerned it is isn’t the strongest. Its not a terrible film but its NO WHERE NEAR THE BEST SUPERHERO MOVIE OF ALL TIME. Avengers still happened, Captain America still happened, The Dark Knight still happened, Iron Man still happened… THE FIRST CHRIS REEVES MOVIE STILL HAPPENED… so… yea.



 

Ratings for all movies will now be out of ten

  • Overall rating of the movie: 7.2 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7.2 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6.9 out of 10,
  • Audio: 5 out of 10 (Score was lacking),
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,
  • Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Worthy add if you have the others in the series so far. Only getting  it for the special features.

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)

KickAss2_7_

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.

KickAss2

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

Lego Movie: Film Review

lego-movie-poster-e1391804441146

I was shocked as anyone when I heard about this film…


Director: Phil Lord & Christopher MillerWriter: Dan HagemanKevin HagemanPhil Lord & Christopher Miller,

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!! I really can’t complain about this movie. Its great for kids, even though I don’t see too many kids playing with lego these days. Adults had a riot, and I was well entertained.

I think this movie really helps increase or reinvent the brand that has been pretty static until the emergence of the “Lego Star Wars” games. Of course I went in not expecting much but came out near tears from all the laughing. The key to this movie’s success is that it doesn’t remotely try to take itself seriously. It is light; it is funny and makes fun of all the things “wrong” with the toys and then some. But it’s not overly complicated or too morally strong. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have a point/moral of the story, all good stories do. It just happens to be more naturally than most comedies seem to allow these days.

The voice direction for the lego characters was great. Further helped by the bigger talent behind the Lego characters like Will Ferrell, Liam Neelson and Morgan Freeman to name a few. Interestingly enough, they were able to get actors like Billy Dee Williams, Harrison Ford to reprise their roles from their famed roles in Star Wars, and even finally, Cobie Smolders got to play Wonder Woman.

The few flaws I do have are that the story didn’t allow for other Lego franchises to be explored. Which makes sense given the movie was from Warner Bro’s and their current biggest investment is featuring Superman, Batman and the warrior princess; Wonder Woman. So that only made sense from an advertisement perspective. The other being that some characters weren’t used more than they could have been.

Bottom line: This movie is totally awesome and no surprise that it’s getting fast-tracked to a sequel. It’s definitely worth the price of admission. Perfect to a nice lil comedy with a loved one, solo, when you’re “high”, or when you’re with small ones.

  • Overall rating of the movie: 8 out of 10,
  • Cinematography: 7.5 out of 10,
  • Editing: 6 out of 10,
  • Audio: 10 out of 10
  • Acting: 8 out of 10,

Contemplation Music Video – An Essenex/ Juggernaut Production

Contemplation.

The hit song from his debut album “The Grand Movement”. Papa Grand A.K.A. the Gemini award winning actor, Garry James.

Louis Saldenah 2013 Band Launch: Heaven and Earth

Louis Saldenah’s theme for this year is Heaven and Earth, hope you enjoy. The mas camp is now open.

follow me on Instagram: @coolyongelew.

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