Tag: Chris Evans

MOVIE REVIEW | Captain America: Civil War (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I really wouldn’t consider myself a Marvel or comic book fanboy, but as I read my own gushing praise and geeky enthusiasm for this movie, I might have to rethink that.”

 Captain 1.jpg
“This job… We try to save as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t mean everybody.  But if we can’t find a way to live with that, next time… Maybe nobody gets saved.”

Marvel Studios really has cracked the code.  I read comic books for a few years as a teenager, but I’m in no way an authority of devotee.  To me, the already massive, ever expanding Marvel cinematic universe is filled with movies that are all basically the same.  The names of the characters might change, and the objects of desire they’re trying to keep from their interchangeable villains might be different, but strip away the surface level stuff, and there’s really no difference between a movie about The Avengers, compared to one about The Guardians of the Galaxy, or the latest offering starring Thor.  Yet for all of that, I can’t help loving the ride every single time I take it.  Which just happened once again, with Captain America: Civil War.

After the events of The Avengers: Age of Ultron saw an entire city ripped from the earth, raised to the sky and thousands killed, the US government, represented by Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), decides it’s time for enhanced humans like the Avengers to come under the control of the United Nations.  The two alpha Avengers are split on this, with Iron Man / Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), in favor, and Captain America / Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) firmly against. (more…)

***2015 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron

“I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky, and see hope… I’ll take that from them first!”

It seems like we’re getting closer and closer to Marvel universe singularity.  Soon, there’ll only be two kinds of movies, solo superhero movies, and super hero team up movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti super hero movies.  The Marvel universe is just too reliably good.  But in the lead up to this latest installment, I was definitely starting to feel a little super hero fatigue.  You can have too much of a good thing.  But, I’m only human, so it was pretty much impossible to not get sucked into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.


With a James Bond style cold open, the Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are mid mission, raiding a compound of the evil organization, Hydra.   The baddies from Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra have managed to score the staff of Loki from Thor: The Dark World.  Once the Avengers secure the staff, Tony Stark decides to see if he can unlock its secrets. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Avengers-Age-of-Ultron

“I was designed to save the world. People would look to the sky, and see hope… I’ll take that from them first!”

It seems like we’re getting closer and closer to Marvel universe singularity.  Soon, there’ll only be two kinds of movies, solo superhero movies, and super hero team up movies.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti super hero movies.  The Marvel universe is just too reliably good.  But in the lead up to this latest installment, I was definitely starting to feel a little super hero fatigue.  You can have too much of a good thing.  But, I’m only human, so it was pretty much impossible to not get sucked into seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.


With a James Bond style cold open, the Avengers, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are mid mission, raiding a compound of the evil organization, Hydra.   The baddies from Captain America: Winter Soldier, Hydra have managed to score the staff of Loki from Thor: The Dark World.  Once the Avengers secure the staff, Tony Stark decides to see if he can unlock its secrets. (more…)

***2014 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Snowpiercer (2014)

Snowpiercer-2

“You know what I hate about myself? I know what people taste like. I know babies taste the best”.

There’s nothing wrong with a B grade genre movie when it knows it’s a B grade genre movie, and embraces that it’s a B grade genre movie. Something like Lockout works so well because it never tries to be anything more prestigious or highbrow than what it is. But at the same time, B grade genre movies have a long tradition of tackling some pretty serious social issues as well. Movies like Starship Troopers and Robocop are great examples of not so subtle ways to have a message within the mayhem. In 2014, that mantle has been picked up Snowpiercer.


It’s 18 years in the future. After a chemical released into the atmosphere to combat global warming worked a little too well, what’s left of humanity now lives on a train. A train that is perpetually in motion, circumnavigating the frozen globe. In the front carriages are the haves, the first class passengers dining on steak and wine. In the back are the have nots, on the verge of a revolt lead by Chris Evans as Curtis. (more…)

***2014 RECAP*** MOVIE REVIEW | Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-HD-Wallpaper1

When I was really young, I loved Superman as much as any kid of the male variety.  I assume it comes with the dude DNA.  But it didn’t take long before I grew out of it.  Everything about Superman was just too simple.  He was so all powerful that there were never any real physical threats.  And he was so pure, there was never any inner turmoil or conflict.  It was a strong assumption of the same attributes that made me never pay any attention to Captain America.


But in the lead up to The Avengers a couple of years ago, I thought I should watch the movies that all worked as its intro, so I churned through Thor, the Ed Norton Hulk and the first Cap movie in an intense binge, and was surprised by how much I liked them all, especially Captain America: The First Avenger.  But what I loved most about that movie, was the WWII setting.  And after finding Cap the least interesting character in The Avengers, I wasn’t in any hurry to see his next movie, set totally in present day.  So, how do you make the idealistic, honourable, always-does-the-right-thing, good guy interesting?  Easy, you turn the world against him. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Snowpiercer (2014)

Snowpiercer-2

“You know what I hate about myself? I know what people taste like. I know babies taste the best”.

There’s nothing wrong with a B grade genre movie when it knows it’s a B grade genre movie, and embraces that it’s a B grade genre movie. Something like Lockout works so well because it never tries to be anything more prestigious or highbrow than what it is. But at the same time, B grade genre movies have a long tradition of tackling some pretty serious social issues as well. Movies like Starship Troopers and Robocop are great examples of not so subtle ways to have a message within the mayhem. In 2014, that mantle has been picked up Snowpiercer.


It’s 18 years in the future. After a chemical released into the atmosphere to combat global warming worked a little too well, what’s left of humanity now lives on a train. A train that is perpetually in motion, circumnavigating the frozen globe. In the front carriages are the haves, the first class passengers dining on steak and wine. In the back are the have nots, on the verge of a revolt lead by Chris Evans as Curtis. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier-HD-Wallpaper1

When I was really young, I loved Superman as much as any kid of the male variety.  I assume it comes with the dude DNA.  But it didn’t take long before I grew out of it.  Everything about Superman was just too simple.  He was so all powerful that there were never any real physical threats.  And he was so pure, there was never any inner turmoil or conflict.  It was a strong assumption of the same attributes that made me never pay any attention to Captain America.


But in the lead up to The Avengers a couple of years ago, I thought I should watch the movies that all worked as its intro, so I churned through Thor, the Ed Norton Hulk and the first Cap movie in an intense binge, and was surprised by how much I liked them all, especially Captain America: The First Avenger.  But what I loved most about that movie, was the WWII setting.  And after finding Cap the least interesting character in The Avengers, I wasn’t in any hurry to see his next movie, set totally in present day.  So, how do you make the idealistic, honourable, always-does-the-right-thing, good guy interesting?  Easy, you turn the world against him.

On a mission with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Steve Rogers (AKA Captain America), begins to realise that his employer S.H.I.E.L.D, lead by Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, might not have the same idealistic, honourable, always-does-the-right-thing, good guy intentions as himself.  This is where we meet Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), a suit, high up in the World Security Council, who’s about to launch three massive air battle stations that will stop criminals and threats, before they commit crimes or become a threat.

This is a little too ‘big brother’ for Rogers.  Soon, Fury’s being attacked, Rogers and Black Widow are on the run, and it turns out  that S.H.I.E.L.D has been steadily infiltrated by a group of baddies known as Hydra, for last few decades.  Also, there’s a bad guy named the Winter Soldier, who’s really just more of an annoyance than a formidable villain.  Buggers me why he gets his name in the title.

Without the WWII setting, without the support of Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk, without a big, famous bad guy from the comics, Captain America: The Winter Soldier really delivers.  Chris Evans as Cap nails the tricky balance of all American 40s hero, and modern day, super hero.  While the skin tight cat suit can take some of the credit, Johansson’s more than just a bombshell.  She makes Black Widow a really fun ass kicker.  New addition to this Marvel movie universe, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson (AKA the Falcon), bounces of off them both perfectly.  And as an unnamed World Security Council member, Alan Dale gives me a great excuse to link to my review of Houseboat Horror.

The brothers Russo, Anthony and Joe, seemed like a weird, out of nowhere pick to direct something this massive.  Before now, they had two movie credits to their names, the totally under seen and under appreciated Welcome to Collinwood, and the understandably under seen and since forgotten, You, Me and Dupree.  Their major successes had been on the small screen, most notably with the totally awesome Arrested Development and the totally overrated Community.

At first, I couldn’t figure out why a studio would take this chance on such an important, tent pole movie by giving it to these two TV veterans.  Then I realised it’s not such a wild choice.  Arrested Development and Community are both so heavily reliant on meticulous timing to make their jokes work.  The kind of meticulous timing that’s needed to pull off big, action set pieces.

The hiring of the Russo brothers also points to another decision the big studios seem to be getting increasingly right with comic book movies.  They’re less and less being given to big budget hacks like Michael Bay and Brett Ratner, and more and more being given to not to just comic book nerds, but real film nerds.  The kinds of film nerds who worship the 70s cinema of people like Scorsese, Coppola and Friedkin, and bring that 70s grit to these glossy, modern behemoths.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier is big, loud, dumb, fun, action.  But it’s big, loud, dumb, fun, action done right.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Directed By – Anthony RussoJoe Russo
Written By – Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

MOVIE REVIEW | The Iceman (2012)

The-Iceman-Poster
Unfortunately, there’s no Academy Award for Best Casting.  Because if there was, The Iceman would have blitzed any competition.  If you want an almost-1950s-era-all-American-Dad, with more than a hint of menace and balls out absolute bat shittery, you want Michael Shannon.  Which is why his casting deserves more credit than the direction and screenplay for all the best parts of The Iceman.


Shannon plays Richard Kuklinski, an almost-1950s-era-all-American-Dad, with more than a hint of menace and balls out absolute bat shittery.  When the movie opens, his source of income is copying porno films for local small time gangster Roy DeMeo (Ray Liotta).  Soon, he’s dating, and not too much later married to, Wynona Ryder’s Deborah.  Sidenote re. Wynona Ryder…  You still definitely would.  When Liotta shuts down the porn dubbing operation, Shannon takes the opportunity to secure a bump in pay by becoming Liotta’s go to hit man.  You see, it turns out Richard Kuklinksi is a sociopath and feels absolutely no emotion, guilt or remorse.

After a decade or so of top notch service, Shannon is put on the reserve bench.  Liotta’s bumbling off sider, played surprisingly awesomely by David Schwimmer, has brought a little too much heat their way and they all need to lay low.  Only problem is, Shannon’s wife and two daughters have become accustomed to a certain quality of life that he feels like they deserve to keep.  So Shannon hooks up with a local ice cream / hit man played by Chris Evans.  Their partnership leads to plenty of money and their body disposal methods lead to the nickname given to Kuklinksi by the media which leads to the title of the film.

The Iceman wrings most of its drama, not from the killings and violence, but form constantly showing the juxtaposition between Kuklinski the killer and Kuklinksi the family man.  His merciless acts of murder are jarring by themselves, but when the next scene shows how completely and how easily he tricks his family into thinking he’s a good man, he becomes all the more terrifying.

The movie has a cool way of dropping bits and pieces of Kuklinki’s back story in here and there, never resorting to shoehorning in a flash back, or massive expositional monologue, or clunky confession where Kuklinksi tearfully tells his origin story.  Instead, the audience is given little fragments over the course of The Iceman that eventually give you a solid idea of who and why Richard Kuklinksi is.

>The Iceman is based on an HBO documentary called The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman.  If it didn’t sound fascinating before, watching the dramatized version has made me more than just a little stoked to see the doc.

The Iceman
Directed By – Ariel Vroman
Written By – Morgan Land, Ariel Vroman