The Reviews Are In: Captain America Civil War

captain-america-civil-war-robert-downey-jr-chris-evansMost superhero movies (actually, most movies in general) are more than willing to do the ethical legwork for you. The bad guys (easily distinguished by facial scars, a dark color pallet, or customary bad attitude) are always wrong, and the good guys (identifiable by their steely-eyed commitment to the greater good and general dishy-ness) are always right. Even those films that dip their toes into moral relativism always eventually find their way to the safer, more solid narrative ground of Righteous Hero v. Dastardly Villain. But what happens when everybody looks like a good guy? What is expected of us as an audience when everyone’s actions, including the guy in spandex we came to see, can be understood as right or wrong? For once, maybe the question of morality is open to our interpretation.

Such is the case with the third Captain America stand alone, Civil War. The film opens like 3049303-56d4dc054b73ayou’d expect: good guys going after bad guys. But when the good guys (here represented by Cap, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon) make a mistake with fatal consequences, there is a global outcry for a little accountability, in the form of UN sanctioned panel that would oversee the Avengers from here on out. Some, like Iron Man, Black Widow, and Vision, see this as a necessary compromise. Others, namely Cap, Scarlet Witch, and Falcon, see it as an undermining of what the Avengers are supposed to be- a group a super friends with the autonomy needed to keep the world safe from handsome alien conquistadors and shapely, artificially intelligent robots. The result can only be described as a, ahem, civil war.

1401x788-Captain-America-Trailer.jpgIf you’re worried that this movie sounds too much like a talky political drama, rest easy. Civil War has even more than the usual amount of ass-kicking. But what’s really cool about this movie is how the Russo Brothers managed to take out almost all the cartoonishness of superhero violence. There’s a scene, pretty early in the film, where Captain America falls from a ledge and gets beaten around like a rag doll before making an uncharacteristically graceless landing. And, even more surprising, he doesn’t immediately bounce back. Right away we get the feeling that, in this film at least, violence has consequences. And unlike many other action movies of it’s kind, it feels as though the fight scenes are built around the set pieces, and not the other way around. The characters have to adapt to and use their surroundings in a way that makes the idea of a super-soldier and a guy in a cat-suit going at it feel a little more grounded.

Also, I’d like to take this moment to mention Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, andbuc0410-trl-v0141027-173551 everything I want to say can be summed up in one onamonapia: meow. Seriously, don’t change a thing.

In fact, there isn’t one weak link in this cast. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is predictably wonderful, Robert Downey Jr. is invariably the coolest guy on screen, and Chris Evans
continues to give Captain America a depth and charm that has managed to turned one of Marvel’s most stoic (and frankly, boring) heroes into a surprisingly relatable  dude.

In this humble Fangirl’s opinion, Civil War is the best superhero movie we’ve gotten thus far. It’s beautifully made, and asks more of its audience than to simply Captain-America-Civil-War-Movie-Wallpaper-5go along for the ride. You feel obligated to choose a side, and for once, it might not be the same side as the guy with his name on all the posters. Right and wrong is a matter of perspective and actions have far reaching consequences. Does that sound a little familiar?

Whitney Weldon

 

 

 

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The Reviews are In: Batman V Superman

BvS_ImaxYou wanna know the real difference between Marvel and DC? It’s not just that Marvel has consistently given us funnier, more heart-felt, better written films. (If only it were just that). It’s that I can’t shake the feeling that DC is making movies they think we want to see, while Marvel is making the movies they want to see.  Most Marvel films project a sense of joy and exhilaration that I’ve yet to see matched in one of their DC counterparts. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t even try to break that streak. It’s a movie that revels in it’s own joylessness, and like every other Zack Snyder movie yet made, any substance it might have gets overshadowed by it’s own style.

Dawn of Justice opens two years after Man of Steel laid waste to Metropolis and exposed the existence of square-jawed, steely-eyed aliens (Henry Cavill). It’s a new world, and not everyone is rolling with the changes. Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) doesn’t trust Superman’sBVS-1 ostensibly good intentions, and makes it his mission to stop him before he can do some real damage.  Also trying to put the screws to Superman is Lex Luthor. The Man of Steel’s nemesis is played here by Jessie Eisenberg, who seems to think that the only things required for a compelling bad guy are facial tics and a few schizoid-style loose associations.

For a movie that’s supposedly about the struggle between Idealism and Realism, this movie has little of either. Even for a comic book block buster, there’s a mind-numbing over-reliance on CGI effects, so nothing feels grounded. We never get a sense of the “real” Batman-v-Superman-Dawn-of-Justice-Wallpaper-HDworld that Bruce Wayne is trying to preserve. A fact that isn’t helped by the weirdly timed, totally nonsensical dream sequences (seriously, don’t ask). Meanwhile, Clark Kent’s trademark zeal for truth, justice, and the American way is slipping; in fact, Superman spends most of the film wondering whether mankind is worth the trouble of saving. By the end, it’s hard to remember why these good-doing dudes are fighting in the first place. And when they do finally settle their differences the moment has no impact, making their feud feel a little toothless.

It’s not that I’m prejudiced against DC. I just wish that, for once, they would start to measure their films in the depth and honesty of their stories and characters, rather than the number of times they make things go boom.

-Whitney Weldon

 

Marry, Boff, Kill: The Boys of Summer!!! (Ellen’s CORRECT Answers)

Yesterday, you may have seen that Whitney played a round of MBK with some of the characters from some of our favorite movies this summer.  She predicted I would throw shade and she gives me no choice but to do be shady when she gets it so unequivocally wrong.  Once again, it falls to me to not totally disqualify us as experts in objectifying men.  Whitney, you are totally going to ruin our street cred.  If you feel like we are both getting it wrong, or if you feel like you need to tell Whitney how wrong she was, let us know on our Facebook page, our twitter@fangirly2, or at fangirlyfangirls@gmail.com.

Ellen’s Picks

Jurassic-World-Chris-PrattMarry: Owen Grady

First of all, he looks like Chris Pratt.  That should be enough, but I’ll go on.  Granted, this is the one movie I haven’t seen of the three, but just from the trailer I know that he has the gentle-yet-firm approach to train velociraptors that is sure to make him the perfect candidate with whom to make babies.  Doesn’t hurt that the process is sure to be quite…enjoyable.

avengers-age-of-ultron-scarlet-witch-quicksilver-marvelBoff: Quicksilver

I don’t know how to be delicate with my response to this one.  But…umm…he has super speed and I won’t lie and say that I am not curious as to how that would manifest itself in the boudoir.  Admittedly, “fast” is not always what one wants in that department, but I feel like it could also have…ahem…satisfactory results that I am not prepared to bypass for the purposes of this game.  Was that all vague enough to still be appropriate?

nicholas-hoult-in-mad-max-fury-road-movie-3Kill: Nux

It would a bit of “pot calling the kettle black” to reject him for skin tone alone, but I’ll start there.  Then I will move on to what Whitney referred to as his “cute little tumors” and the fact that he requires a human being to be chained to him as a blood bag.  Listen I am open to experimentation, but I am not quite prepared to have a voyeur joining us.  So, Nux, I send you off to that great Valhalla in the sky.

Ellen 

Run-On Sentence Review: May Movie Round-up

avengers_age_of_ultron_2015_movie-wideAvengers: Age of Ultron – I have been pretty open about my bias for Marvel in the past and my level of excitement for this movie was heightened by watching all of the 10 preceding Marvel movies in the months leading up to the release of this second team up of our heroes but I have tried to not let this bias affect my reviews of this movie when people have asked for it because while I LOVED this movie I can recognize that it is not without its faults because, and I don’t know if this is on Marvel or Joss Whedon, but they just bit off a lot more than they should have because in the course of this movie they are already dealing with six Avengers, introducing (SPOILER) some new Avengers, and doing some major setting up for not one, not two, not three, but FOUR upcoming Marvel movies, four if you count both Infinity War movies and just felt like too much and the movie struggled for it because there was exposition just whizzing by to make room for all of these components, but that being said the jokes were on point, the action was awesome, and Ultron made for a great villain due to the performance from James Spader and Paul Bettany was great as… a new character.

Pitch Perfect 2Pitch Perfect 2 – I will always throw it in my friends’ faces that I had to drag them to go see the first movie with me on opening night because I knew it was going to be good before it became the “surprise hit” that it was but it is this very “surprise hit” factor that debilitates the sequel because I think this second film is as good as the first, it just lacks that fresh feeling of the first film but isn’t that the case with any sequel because here the jokes are still aplenty, the girl power vibe is even more prevalent, and the music is probably better than in the first if not at least having more of it and isn’t the music really the best part of movies like this, it’s just like dance movies where the only reason I really like them is for the dance scenes and not really the story, at least with this movie you get a pretty enjoyable story, as well.

maxresdefault (1)Mad Max: Fury Road – There are plenty of extensive treatises on this movie that will discuss this movie much more eloquently that I will or could in this run-on sentence  but I will still endeavor to convince that this movie is freaking awesome because it is and you should see it (see what I meant about the eloquence) but if for no other reason than seeing the most awesome car chase sequence ever should you see this movie because it is basically a two hour car chase and making the car chase even more awesome is the fact that it is, for the most part, all practical effects which, being the rarity that is today, makes it stand out even more and the other thing that you are hearing about with this movie is that it is the first feminist film and that is not without credence because, despite the title, this is a film led by a female saving females who are being objectified by males, so does it get much more kick ass feminist than that?

Verdict: Mad Max is the best overall movie, Ultron is essential viewing for being able to keep up with the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe that also happens to be fun, and PP2 is definitely a fun movie but only you can know if it is worth it for you to see it in theaters.

Ellen

 

GIF Reactions to the Marvel Phase 3 Announcements

In case you live under a rock or are maybe just less obsessed with any news coming out of Marvel HQ than I am, you may not have heard about Marvel’s presentation today.  Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige took the stage at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theater and gave us, yeah, some news that we have been expecting for a while, but it still set the nerd world into a tizzy.  So much of a tizzy, that I don’t have words so I’m going to rely on GIFs.

First up,

1adoctor

brad-twirl

Now just officially cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and we’ll be in business.

benedict

Strange will be delving more into the supernatural than the other films from the studio and is yet another more out of left field pick for Marvel. I cannot wait. Just remember that only 3 months ago most of us were saying, “Guardians of the what?”

Speaking of that, they moved up the Guardians 2 release date to May 5, 2017.  Who else can’t wait?

raise your hands

So.  That’s awesome.

Now, for one of our oldies, but goodies…

1athor3

And not only is Thor back, but his devious brother, Loki AKA Tom “Yes Please” Hiddleston.

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They announced that Thor’s story would take a dramatic turn post Ultron, so I’m excited to see what happens with Hemsworth and Co.

Moving on to one of their bigger announcements…

1ablackpanther

bad-max-side-five

This one has been long speculated by Marvel diehards due to little Easter egg hints throughout the previous films (for example, Captain America’s shield is made of Vibranium, an alloy native to Black Panther’s nation of Wakanda) and it sounds like there are more allusions to come in Ultron.

Also, they later announced that 42′s Chadwick Boseman will be taking on the title role and I don’t think they could have made a better choice. Boseman is a great actor and I am excited to see him in something other than a biopic.

Fans have long been clamoring for more diversity from this cinematic universe, so following Black Panther will be…

1acaptainmarvel

beyonce

Who runs the world? My guess will be Carol Danvers. No casting announcement was made but I have faith that she will kick ass.

If nothing else, it is exciting to see such a change-up with the Avengers.  Whether Captain Marvel and Black Panther end up being additions or eventual replacements, they should be fun additions to the team.

1aainhumans

I have just met you i love you

I admittedly don’t know a lot about the Inhumans, but I’m still excited. What I DO know is that they are the test subjects of Kree’s attempts to create a sort of super race, so this will obviously be more in the universe of Guardians, which for me just means epic amounts of awesome. Also, we have some pretty solid proof that Marvel does good “team” movies.

1acivilwar

scared baby

I knew this was coming but TWO PARTS!  While many will see this as a gimmick to get more money, I don’t care. Gimme more. Heck, split both of those and make it four movies.

money-gif

The “Infinity” subtitle implies that the big bad here will be Thanos and it will be the culmination of the infinity stones story line (so probably an appearance by the Guardians universe, as well).

After trying to fake out the fans with a misleading Cap 3 subtitle, Fiege revealed the real title card.

1acivilwar1

In other words Cap Vs. Iron Man.

heating up

We all knew this was coming but it will be pretty awesome to see this discord between Cap and Iron Man. Two words: Ep. IC.

Now the only problem is the waiting.

Difficult life

Ellen