Wednesday, 26 March 2014

(film Review) - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

So, I saw this film as an early screening after tons and tons of trailers and clips and EVERYTHING. Needless to say that this was most definitely OVERKILL and although the film looked great, I was pretty much sick and tired of it all. At one stage, I went to see a film and ended up seeing a 10 minute clip of CA:TWS and although it got me interested in the film, I couldn't help but think, "gimme the movie now, alright!". I felt it was totally unnecessary.

So, as the film starts, I see the same 10 minute clip at the very beginning of the film that I saw before watching another film and I was upset. I've seen it all before. I was a little annoyed, but to be fair, the clip was excellent, so although I had already seen it, there were some great memorable bits I remembered and bits I didn't see as I was probably laughing too hard. And just like that, the film opens out into greatness!

For those who do not know anything about CAP; Steve Rogers aka Captain America (Chris Evans) was a weak and frail young man who underwent a scientific experiment to become an enhanced human at the peak of human perfection with an experimental serum in aid to win World War II. As this worked out to be a success, Steve Rogers fought in the war and with his efforts and the defeating of the villain named Red Skull who was trying to use a cosmic cube called the Tesseract to carry out evil villainess things, Captain America crash lands his plane to save countries from being totally obliterated by Weapons of Mass Destruction. Presumed dead and is later found 70 years later, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) welcomes Captain America: The First Avenger to a brand new world where things have changed a great deal.
Shortly after being "awoken", Captain America joins, Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow & The Hulk in a desperate effort to stop Loki (Thor's Brother) from using the same cosmic cube, The Tesseract to open a wormhole which will unleash an alien race called the Chitauri to overpower and control Earth. With Loki's defeat and everyone going back to their "normal" lives, Captain America is still trying to adjust to living in a completely different world which is 70 years on and also has Aliens, Gods and Magic thrown into the mix. Not only is this something which will take some time adjusting to, Captain America who now works with S.H.I.E.L.D's espionage agency, is dubious about how Shield operate, their motives and who he can really trust. This is where CA:TWS kicks off with a Bang and becomes one of my most entertaining marvel films in a long time. Possibly since The Avengers.

With a secret operation looming involving 3 Helicarriers led by Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), which will be used to eliminate threats worldwide, things turn sour when Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) doesn't tell Captain America about her mission objectives, Nick Fury gets attacked by an unknown assailant and CAP gets framed the the death of someone really important (I'm trying to keep this Spoiler free). With no one to turn to or trust, Steve Rogers teams up with Sam Wilson aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and tries to clear his name, solve the mystery of the death of that important person, uncover S.H.E.I.L.D Secrets and who this new player/myth/ghost/legend is they call The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan).

This film is much darker than the first film. Grittier and is more of a suspense thriller than just a comic book movie like how The Avengers was. I understand that billions of people worldwide did not like the first Captain America film, but I did. No it wasn't great, but to put that film into context with eras and timing, the first film made sense to me. This film on the other hand, could not be any more perfect than it already is. The bar was raised as the stakes are very high. The acting, the fight scenes, the characters, the secrets, the lies, the suspense, it was all too much. The film has a very serious tone to it as well as being laced with comedy throughout and still manages to portray a comic book movie.

I could not give anymore praise to this film as everything worked. It makes me completely appreciate (to an extent) the reasons why the promotion for this film was heavily pushed. The first film only made, 370 Million at the box office on a 140 Million Budget. And although it made more than double the cost of the film, when a film like Iron Man 3 can make 1.2 Billion on a 200 Million Budget, the push made a lot of sense. Hopefully, everyone who is caught up in Marvel's Cinematic Universe will go to see this or who would give this one a chance after possibly not liking the first one, I could not stress any more that, if you do not see this film, there is something really wrong with you. Like, really wrong with you. Especially if you do not like it.

Never in my life have I wanted to be a shield agent with Nick Fury status...AND I watch Marvel's Agents of Shield. I might even see it again over the weekend.

Go and watch won't be disappointed. Oh, AND you don't need to have seen the first one or The Avengers to pick up the storyline.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

(film review) - Ride Along

Kevin Hart has been doing a lot of films and people have been gravitating to this comedian's films like crazy.  For me it's a matter of, is this Kevin Hart playing a character as Kevin Hart or is this Kevin Hart playing a character as Kevin Hart playing a character in a movie? If that makes any sense.  Yes he is a funny comedian, but is he funny in these films? SHould he be funny in these films? Is he always the same funny guy character in all of these films including this one? Hmmm....

Ride Along is about a detective named James Payton (Ice Cube) who is on a undercover operation only to find that a lot of the crimes he has come across has been orchestrated by a man named Omar who no one has ever seen.  To make matters worse as James is chasing a ghost, James' sister is about to marry her boyfriend, Ben 'Blackhammer' Barber (Kevin Hart), a man he cannot stand and doesn't think he is worthy of her.  To add the salt into the wounds, Ben is a security guard trying to progress to becoming an officer, but James doesn't think that Ben is cut out as a man, a man for his sister or as a cop and schemes of a way to foil his plans, embaress him, so that his sister leaves him by showing him, what a cop's life is really like and take down Omar by taking him on a Ride Along.

This film is goofy, funny and basically exactly what you'd expect from a comedy.  A bit like watching a Will Farrell movie, you know what to expect.  With that said, the comedic beats land well and this film is generally funny and goofy, with witty dialogue and decent action.  Ice Cube playing the mean, angry big brother cop goes without saying and Kevin Hart playing, the funny guy, basically Kevin Hart gels well.

Nothing too spectacular in terms of directing, script, screenplay, acting, cinematography, but a nice little popcorn flick for you to hangout to with a couple of friends.  If anything, the computer game sequences are great.  Especially the game to real life adaption, when you see it, you will understand what i mean.

Have a watch, you might just chuckle, if not, laugh out loud!