Sing Street Review

Sing Street

“1980’s, Boy Meets Girl, Girl unimpressed, Boy starts band”… Is the tagline for Sing Street and boy oh boy does it deliver. A magnificent debut performance by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo who is a musician turned actor playing Connor, who is a teenage boy living in Dublin, stuck in between a family breaking apart, changing to an inner-city catholic public school called Synge Street, yes that is not a coincidence. He turns to music as a voice of self-expression and absolute freedom. Connor is fish-out-of-water when he waltzes up the gates of his new catholic public school, bombarded by cigarette smoking, obscure haircut having teenagers staring at the new kid on the block. Connor tiptoes his way into the school yard as he meets the school’s biggest-badest and baldest bully, Barry, portrayed by Ian Kenny. During his first stressful day, he meets his new heavily Irish-accented friend Darren who hands him a cutout piece of a cereal box with his ‘management services’ details scribbled on one side. After school, they meet outside the gates, across from them is a daringly glamorous, leather jacket wearing, stunningly beautiful, 80’s hair styled girl standing triumphantly. She instantly grabs Connor’s full attention. Can you guess where it’s going now….

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Sing Street gets straight into the action there is no messing around with useless side stories, there are no cheap fluffy bits. Every scene holds meaning to every other scene, it all aids the main brilliantly written story.  You learn immediately each character’s motivation, relation to main characters and meaning to the main story arc of this boy and girl wanting to do something more than just have a 2-up-2-down. They want a life of mystery, exploration and joyful fulfilment. Connor is directly influenced by his brother, Brendan, who he goes to, to seek out knowledge of how to write meaningful songs and create diverse music which is directly influenced by bands such as Duran Duran, The Police, The Cure, and Genesis, pure 1980’s gold. Connor is a self-proclaimed Futurist, music that pushes boundaries of the norm, new genres of music which was a gigantic wave in the 1980’s. Especially when Dublin was not as prosperous as it is nowadays when everyone wanted to go to London to create a new life for themselves full of opportunities.

Raphina, intriguingly portrayed by Lucy Boynton, is the girl of your dreams, dreams. From a humble background, living in a girl’s orphanage dreaming of becoming a model. So, of course, the first song Connor will ever write is going to be called “Riddle of the Model”, can guess what’s it about? Sing Street is a masterclass in combining the creative process of writing songs that can be directly connected to the story and its characters, this is such a trademark of director John Carney, and Sing Street is another amazing showing of Carney’s great talents. The marrying of music and storytelling happens throughout the movie, you cannot have one without the other. A personal favourite of music and storytelling is when Connor writes the song “Brown Shoes” it is directly linked to a story beat of defiance against authority. The song is based on a scene between Connor’s heavily catholic and authoritative headmaster, Brother Baxter, who is making Connor take off his shoes as they are the wrong colour. This type of relation between story and music makes Sing Street have so much soul and lightheartedness because you feel every high and every single low, it is a wild rocky ride of emotions, toying with you all the way until the credits.

However, if you are expecting for Sing Street just to be a love story, then you would be half right. Carney works his magic to create a story that not only holds a beautifully crafted coming of age story arc, it also holds a story of a family breaking apart and the tensions that come with the breakup of a family. For Connor’s brother, Brendan, the break up brings his own reality to the forefront as he realises that he’s wasted most of his life doing nothing but smoke weed and sit around having been a good guitarist. A gorgeous piece of writing done by Carney giving you something as amazing as the main story of a teenager exploring his own creativity but still giving you deep and meaningful side story which makes the movie a bag full of diverse story beats and experiences.

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Ultimately, Sing Street will leave you with a massive ear-to-ear smile plastered on your grinning face, for its amazing storytelling and music created by Connor and his many experiences. Sing Street is 100% pure excitement and fun, and like Raphina says to Connor: “You can never do anything by half…”, and John Carney follows that rule until the final song is played. Simply a masterpiece of a movie…

 

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Review of Doctor Strange.

Doctor Strange

This is the 14th instalment of the, now, gigantic Cinematic Universe known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Doctor Strange being the title and title character’s name, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, is certainly the wackiest and far-fetched character within the diverse Marvel Comics pool of characters, Doctor Strange was first seen in Strange Tales #110 in 1963 and is known for outlandish comic book spreads (a single panel spread across two pages) containing violently vibrant colours and characters from literally out of this world.

Nowadays Computer Generated Images (CGI) has become so advanced that they can now bring absolutely anything and everything to life, the only limitation is your imagination cannot be any more truthful. Doctor Strange is a fantastic exhibition in the technology used in films today simply because the Director Scott Derrickson was able to use everything he could to make this film an experience for your visual senses. Scott Derrickson and the producers could create these mind-bending visuals of worlds turning inside of themselves and doubling in numbers and creating very vibrant scenes where the main character, Doctor Strange, drifted through different dimensions full of weird shapes and funky colours.    

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The target audience for this film is generally aimed at comic book readers past and present as the character of Doctor Strange is completely engulfed in comic book law and complexities only the hardened comic book readers will fully grasp and understand. However, the writers were able to create a story which enabled just the lightest comic book fans and general moviegoers to understand and cling to the story arc the whole way through the movie. This is massive feat as there was a lot of exposition to get through to explain certain story points and the weight of what was going on throughout the movie, and usually this can get quiet taxing on audiences as this is where you can lose them and never get them back into a full cohesive story, but the writers succeeded in keeping the movie flowing from point to point never losing you.  

Being the 14th instalment of the MCU does not bring any downside. Doctor Strange is based within the MCU but is still a completely separate story to the entire cinematic universe that is happening just outside the movie. It contains characters full of heart and meaning to the viewer and the characters are vastly different to each other, each one has their own individual personality and story arc within the overarching story of the movie. You want to see how each individual character ends their story and how they relate to the main story arc and the main character himself, Doctor Strange.

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One issue I do have with Doctor Strange and Marvel movies, in general, is the fight scenes in some of their movies like to add a flair of comedy and in some movies, it works and in others, it doesn’t. In Doctor Strange sadly it doesn’t work for me, during a first fight scene between Doctor Strange and the big bad baddie Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelsen, there is comedy intertwined within the scene and when you show something comical in a supposedly serious fight scene between two big name characters, it takes out the stakes and meaning of what’s happening. You believe that; this isn’t going to affect either character and won’t really change anything within the story, therefore, is irrelevant. This is why I think some of the comedy in this movie is misplaced and unwanted, taking away the seriousness of the characters and scenes.

The second issue I have with some of the MCU movies and this issue is mainly to do with the MCU as a whole, not this movie specifically. The issue is of announcing characters and movies before a movie is even out and has yet to be seen by the viewing public. Instead of going into a movie not knowing what’s going to happen, you go into a movie with predetermined knowledge of what is going to happen because you already know what other movie this character is going to be in. Which is slowly taking possible story beats and stakes out of each movie making it less and less of an experience. Each time the MCU continues to do this, it could turn into a movie that advertises the next with no real meaning in the original movie itself, which is not what movies are for! Movies are for telling a whole encompassing story with rich characters not as a feature-length advertisement for the next instalment, the original movie should tell a story that was fantastically diverse and exciting, and because you enjoyed that movie, you would want to go and see the sequel.

Overall the movie is most certainly a must-watch as the visuals are a cinematic experience you wouldn’t want to miss, simply stunning. The story is another solid enjoyable experience which leaves you full of satisfaction and joy with its story beats and diverse theme of characters.

Dear Bernie.

Dear Bernie Ecclestone, Liberty Media, FIA, and all interested parties.

Over the past few years, F1’s viewership and attendance have been declining since 2005. With the empty seats clearly viewable in Friday practice, especially.

Fan engagement has been a top talking point as of late, due to the recent takeover of F1 by Liberty Media and their comments of F1’s lack of Social Media involvement.

F1’s current foray into fan engagement is the “Driver of the Day” vote they have during the Sunday Race, however personally this doesn’t seem to be actually working, the way it was intended to. It seems like the driver with the biggest fan base is getting the vote more often than not, instead of the deserving driver. For instance, Malaysia; Max Verstappen has won the, highly esteemed award, ‘Driver of the Day’ when from an objective point of view it was clearly Fernando Alonso in Malaysia respectfully, coming from the absolute back of the grid to finish 7th. Because of this, and the general tone of Social Media content I follow, all of whom are passionate F1 followers, has suggested that many of the votes from fans have just become a joke towards the disregard they have for the ‘Driver of the Day’ award, which doesn’t really hold any meaning for anyone.

I must add that I respect all drivers for their talents in the car, but the deserving driver should be awarded it over someone who has a more current if you like, fan base.

I also realise that a race weekend is already very busy and intense for everyone involved, however, to increase fan engagement and excitement within the sports something like this needs to be done.

My idea for Formula 1 is to improve the excitement and engagement of fans on Friday Practices. I believe this to be an all-around benefit for everyone involved with the sport itself.

Friday Practice – Driver Vs Driver.

During the Friday practice, fans can vote for 2 drivers to either go head-to-head in a lap time event or in a 5 lap race.

In the head-to-head, drivers are put into either GT cars or current road cars, sponsored by competing manufacturers or outside manufacturers.

Fans can choose from a set list of available cars from the multiple types of cars and manufacturers. Each car having a decal or number to identify which driver is driving; drivers personal racing number.

Winning driver could be awarded prize money that goes to a charity and/or a special decal on their Formula 1 racing car for that specific weekend.

Rules:

– Drivers cannot be voted into the event once they have done it, until 5 race weekends later. For all drivers to be able to participate throughout the season.

Possible add-ons:

  • Could include GP2 drivers (Old Vs New).
  • Special events where drivers at their home race compete.
  • Be able to host the event during all types of weather.
  • To have better engagement with drivers as well, they could have current/past drivers commentating on the head-to-heads.

Benefits for all parties include:

For Teams: a good advertisement for their road cars as they advertise F1 technology in their current road car models.

For Drivers: pure racing excitement and engagement with fans. A chance to show off who they are and what they’ve got.

For FIA/F1 Brand/FOM/Liberty Media: Fan engagement, higher interest in Friday practice & income from more attendance on Fridays. Brand awareness, engagement & loyalty.

For TV distributors: More excitement involved with the entire weekend, more viewers across the weekend rather than having most on Saturday & Sunday.

My Guardians of the Galaxy Review.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Directed by James Gunn, Distributed by Walt Disney Studios.

Guardians of the Galaxy is Marvels hit or miss movie, it has a rag-tag group
of characters such as a talking tree, a talking Racoon, a green alien hitman-type, another alien and a human from Earth. But however ridiculous that may seem this movie is definitely a hit, a massive hit! $773.3 worth of a hit! Guardians are yet another movie which showcases Marvels ability to make movies fun and entertaining even when it has crazy plot points & characters, and we will probably see this ability again in Marvels Doctor Strange coming to cinemas in November 2016. James Gunn handles the origins so well, he gives each character so much heart and warmth that you find yourself falling in love with the characters instantly and that love just grows and grows through the second act and then the third act. The idea of making a talking tree and racoon a relatable and loveable bunch of characters was laughed at when people heard what James Gunn was directing & writing but dumbfounded when they came out of the movie liking those characters the most.

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It is a movie that shows a real-world observation of what the crazy road of life is about, making the best of what you have available to you if it doesn’t work at first you find a way to make it work. Which is exactly what Peter, Gamora, Groot, Drax, Rocket do in this movie they all have different styles, methods, emotions and mentality and yet they all find a way to defeat the common enemy and become friends along the way, but I do have to add it did help that one of them had A* dancing skills. Guardians showcases the rising talents of Chris Pratt, Zoey Saldana & Dave Bautista, with Chris Pratt (Peter Quil) being able to be himself by Director James Gunn was a genius move because Christ Pratt really does knock it out of the park with his performance of a comedic and troubled character, Zoey Saldana (Gamora) brings in another solid action role but keeps it 3 dimensional and her performance really added to every scene she was in. Dave Bautista puts in an out-of-the-blue performance for his character of Drax who is a vengeful, very literal alien, and his performance gives the viewer another comedy angle which you weren’t expecting.

Not only was this movie fun and entertaining on its own, it had one of the best soundtrack list accompanying it, which is still stuck in my head. Set designs are also another big strong point in Guardians, some of my highlights are the Kyln Prison which was fully hand-built set and then melted back down to sell back to the supplier, it made everything feel so much more real and therefore adds to the story, Peter Quills personal ship; The Milano, the dead Gods head; Knowhere and finally the Collectors Museum with all the Easter eggs planted around the set.

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My Review of Legend.

Legend – Directed by Brian Helgeland, Distributed by Universal Pictures.

Legend is the telling of the notorious London twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Going from their start in the London criminal underground scene to their height of power and influence to their individual demise. However, the movie does lack in a continuous coherent story development it goes from little things which happen in the begging of the Krays empire to the very big story developments such as getting out of a jail sentence which would’ve put a stop to them all together, and that is just glossed over like it was part of montage when it could have been so much more. They could have gone into the nitty gritty of how they got to that much power and influence but instead, they showed us more on how Reggie went to prison for 6 months and having a brawl with a guard as well as the story arc of Reggie and Frances Shea his wife to be. I get why they did this, to make you feel for the characters more, but if I wanted to see a love story with a few dark twists here and there, there are other movies like that. I wanted to see how notorious the Kray twins were, what made them tick and what made them so feared and revered.

It is an entertaining movie nevertheless; it has one of the best dual performances I have seen by Tom Hardy, drawing you in on each individual character beats. Playing the slightly calmer mannered and 60’s socially normal Reggie Kray to the schizophrenic and certified insane: Ronnie Kray. Hardy plays each brothers spectrums going from being able to pull off the hard but sort of likable Reggie Kray, to taking you on a characterful ride of conflicted Ronnie Kray to certified insane and to an endearing character which showed off his nicer side in very small doses. Story arcs from the Kray Twins were good enough to make you understand them as individuals and how they worked as a team that took over London in the 1950’s & 1960’s. Although, the character of Detective Superintendent Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read was very underdeveloped and you never ever felt for him when he got told to drop the case about the Kray twins to when he finally gets the Krays imprisoned, his story arc does not give justice to what Read actually went through to finally get the Krays. Reads character isn’t on screen enough to make you feel invested in his character, you see him here and there but never enough. The sound mixing is one of the worst features of the movie in some scenes where it’s meant to be intimidating and scary they play a happier toned score where it throws you completely off tonal wise, you have to bring yourself back down to where the actual scene is going tonally.

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Despite all this, it is a movie you really should see as it shows off the talents of Tom Hardy and his performance of both Reggie and Ronnie Kray makes the movie what it is, without him this movie wouldn’t be watchable. It is just a shame that the story doesn’t hold any importance or stature when it comes to telling a coherent story when it just jumps from one thing to the next without much polish.

My Review of Stranger Things.

Stranger Things – Created by Matt & Ross Duffer, Distributed by Netflix (Worldwide).

From the get-go of Netflix’s Stranger Things, you are just enthralled by the storytelling and the characters themselves. The first episode, The Vanishing of Will Byers, hits you with the childhood you have always seen in Spielberg movies (E.T, etc.) and a lot of 80’s nostalgia and takes you from that kind of high and throws you deep into horror/thriller tones and story elements of this unknown-silhouetted creature in the night. This show will get you on the hook straight away and it will never let go until the end, and you’re still left wanting more.

In essence, this show is a love letter to the films by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Stephen King, John Carpenter, etc. From the intro music and its font in the opening title you really get that 80’s nostalgia feels. The use of pop-culture references is done to perfection, usually, I get thrown out of the show or scene whenever they make a reference to pop-culture because it feels show horned in to wink at the audience. However, in Stranger Things the references are part of the story altogether, one example would be the first dungeons and dragons game the 4 boys play in the first episode it isn’t there saying “look at how quirky we are”, it is actually setting up the story of the whole series from when the Demogorgon is introduced in the game it also represents the (minor spoiler) creature from the ‘upside-down’ and the fact that it happens on Will Byers turn and he has to choose between fleeing or throwing a fireball; he chooses to run. Later in the story when the creature appears for the first time, it happens to be with Will Byers and he chooses to run and hide from it. There a lot more parallels from the first episode throughout the series as well which is just an amazing feat by the not-so-well-known Duffer Brothers.

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The fact that the Duffer Brothers went to multiple different TV studios to try and get this show made, is ridiculous, I am quite glad that it was finally picked up by Netflix because it’s a show you simply cannot put down you have to keep watching it I couldn’t have waited a week or more to find out what happens next. Each character’s story arcs are perfect no one is left in the background and left underutilized from the magnificent Sheriff Hopper to the High school bullies. Dan Harbour who plays Sheriff Hopper is one of the outstanding performances in this series, his arc from the Sheriff of just the small town somewhere in the deep heart of America to the father that has lost his daughter to cancer is portrayed brilliantly by Harbour. The writing of his character is so well done and well rounded, you really see his arc of keeping his emotions bottled up about his daughter’s death to (spoilers!!) when he gets involved with the disappearance of Will Byers to (spoilers!!) when Hopper finally finds and saves Will from the upside-down dimension, he finally let’s go of his pain because he wouldn’t let Will down, without a big fight. Which is a parallel to the story of his daughter where he couldn’t fight for her life but he could fight for Will’s life.

I really hope there is going to be a Season 2 of Stranger Things because every character in this series has heart and their own tone to go with the story, and all I want to do is see what they do with their knowledge of the supernatural and where does everyone go from now on. The Duffer Brothers ended the series with just enough to tease you for a possible season 2 with some very intriguing story line possibilities of Eleven, who is the ‘E.T’ of this series with certain abilities which I do not want to spoil as it’s just a wild ride of discovery with her character, I simply won’t do her justice here, and Hopper in contact with each other. They also added, Will Byers possibly having something supernatural happening to him. All in all, you should watch this show because it’s a storytelling masterpiece and just tone perfect throughout.

Is the Prancing Horse slowing its pace?

Ferrari F1 Britsh GP

Words by Jack Milburn

Ferrari’s recent outing in the British Grand Prix was not one of their best outings for the Scarlet Red Ferrari team seeing as the spinning, grid penalty struck Sebastian Vettel finished 9th and sort of average performance by Kimi Räikkonën finishing 5th. Even though Sebastian’s spin after coming out onto the still slightly damp track and wet Abbey (turn 1) with the white stripe mediums on, was one of the easier things to do in a car which has 900+ horsepower under the drivers’ right foot. It was still just another compounding problem which Ferrari are definitely having a lot of recently. Tyre blow out for Vettel and a gearbox penalty in the week before at the RedBull Ring in Austria, and then again another gearbox failure at Silverstone for Vettel, which still had the brand new gearbox from Austria.

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Austrian GP – Sunday. Kimi Räkkonën.

Ferrari is also having troubles with strategy calls during a race because ever since the first race of the season in Albert Park in the ‘land-down-under’ they have been trying things and none of the strategy calls they have made have worked out. The strategy in Spain did not work for either driver and nor did it work in Canada, they have the same issue which William’s have had they both do not take control of a race and do what they want to do or need to do. They [Williams & Ferrari] have also waited and reacted to whoever was around them at the time of the race or have made completely out-there calls such as the call in Canada with Vettel’s tyre calls, which I even thought to myself: “well…why the heck have they done that?!”. Even Vettel himself, has started to question the tyre strategies from the Ferrari pit-wall, in Baku with the call from the pit-wall to come in and Vettel responding with a sort of sarcastic question of: “Are you sure […that’s right] …?”. It is a team sport, yes, but, Ferrari have a certain way of doing things and not all the time it is the optimum way. Example being recently Sergio Marchionne putting more and more pressure on the team to win and the master mind behind Ferrari’s success in the early 2000’s, Ross Brawn, saying they need to calm things down and take off the pressure and work together to achieve what they desire.

In 2016, we have seen a few more retirements/failures in the top teams than we saw in 2015, this is because they [all the engine manufactures: Mercedes, Renault & Ferrari] are all starting to push the limits on these new Hybrid Power Units and therefore are getting some cracks into their reliability. We are seeing a lot more issues with MGU-K’s and Turbo Charges on the Mercedes PU’s [Power Units] than we have ever had before in this Hybrid era, so this does tell us that even the dominant team is pushing everything to its working limits.

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Mercedes AMG Petronas’ v6 Hybrid Power Unit. Image Credit: Motorsport.com

During the British Grand Prix weekend, it was announced that Kimi Räikkonën will be staying at Ferrari for, at least, another year. This puts a massive damper on the driver market for me because I was hoping that we might have a Sergio Perez or a Romain Grosjean sitting alongside Sebastian Vettel in the 2017 season, which would’ve been fantastic to see! Sergio Perez is a driver that is performing at his best at every race, and which team doesn’t want that, he is out-performing his team mate, Nico Hulkenberg who is a Le Mans winner so is no slouch. The reason why I don’t include Valtteri Bottas in this topic is because his personal ‘stock’ within Formula 1 has gone downwards if he seriously wants to be sat in a red car at some point he needs to be out-performing his team-mate constantly and by a bigger margin than he has at this point in the 2016 Season, if Bottas cannot put Felipe Massa, his team mate, into his spot at every point on a race weekend then why would Ferrari want him over Sergio Perez or Romain Grosjean because they out-score and out-perform their team mates by a massive margin in Romain’s case.

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Kimi Räikkonën at Silverstone.

Another issue I have with Ferrari’s choice of sticking with Kimi for the 2017 Season is the simple fact of performance and development of the car, if a team wants to improve their car in every area possible (aerodynamics, engine performance/reliability/fuel saving and the teams functioning) they want the best possible drivers to be driving their cars to be pushing everything of that car to its limit. Without this, they fall back on developments and that enables other teams like Renault to catch up and even pass them [Ferrari] in race performances and championship results, and it also enables Mercedes to pull away even further. I am a big fan of Kimi but there is a time when you are just taking up space in a Formula 1 team and I think he isn’t giving the team what they need to be able to push for a championship anytime soon. I might be eating my own words next year but we will have to wait and see if Ferrari’s crystal ball is right or not.

My Review of Black Hawk Down.

Black Hawk Down – Directed by Ridley Scott, Distributed by Columbia Pictures.

Black Hawk Down is a very bloody, very real, graphic retelling of the 1993 raid in Mogadishu by the U.S Military. The raid was aimed at capturing faction leader Mohammed Farrah Aidid and the battle of Mogadishu ensued. As I have never been in a war zone and hope never to be, my perception of one is what I have only seen and read about in news reports and footage from archives. I believe that this film has accurately depicted, from my perception, what a war zone is like.

This film really brings to light what happens when everything which could go wrong in a war zone, does go wrong. It completely captures what a battlefield is, a whole lot of blood, sweat, tears and camaraderie between troops. The way Ridley Scott and Ken Nolan have written this film adaptation of the book by Mark Bowden with the same name is simply amazingly graphic and scary. After you have watched it you are left emotionally drained and exhausted because of how well they have depicted what a real war zone might feel and look like, between the relative calmness at the Army HQ to the completely and utterly insane depiction of a war zone. You can only imagine what the soldiers would have been feeling during those times of being completely surrounded by the militia to running back to the safe heaven of UN-controlled areas, and even then you probably aren’t anywhere near what they might have felt.

Overall each actor gave it their all in this movie and it does come across that way because you do believe in each of their characters and the camaraderie they share on film is endearing and gives the movie more heart in the darker moments. Especially between Tom Hardy’s character of SPC Lance Twombly and Ewen Bremmer’s character of SPC Shawn Nelson because in the film these two are separated from all the other big squads which are active and are alone in the centre of Militia Controlled Territory, you couldn’t possibly imagine what these two would have been going through and to make it back to their team and make it out of their alive must have been one of the most extreme feelings humans are capable of.

My Review of Captain America: Civil War.

Captain America: Civil War – Directed by Joe & Anthony Russo, Distributed by Walt Disney Studios.

Now that’s how you make a versus movie! Directors and screenwriters giving the necessary screen time and story development to each individual characters to make you care about each and every one of them on either side of the ideological battle going on.

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The Russo Brothers, have achieved a feat that I thought wouldn’t have been pulled off at all. But not only did they pull it off but they rocked it! Even with all these massive big name characters after the movie ended I still felt like it was a Captain America movie despite being on Team Iron Man. This was the first movie where I was practically drooling over how awesome and well choreographed the action sequences were. The first sequence with Black Panther, Bucky, and Captain American is mouth-wateringly epic and just had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. Black Panther & Spider-Man definitely steal the show in this movie even with all these awesome characters alongside them. Black Widow really pulls out a great performance in Civil War and really does give a reason why she is on this team of super-powered people and she kicks a lot of butts.  I have never really been attached to the Vision character but with his deep connection with Scarlett Witch and fight scenes with Ant Man/Giant Man & Hawkeye it was just so cool to show how powerful he is with going from transparent to his vibranium state of ultimate badass-ness and when he misses Falcon in the final parts of the airport fight scene and tragically hits War Machine before he does that he is holding Scarlet Witch in his arms and you get tell he felt something for her which distracts him enough to miss. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is another well-performed part of the movie and after most of Team Cap get put in jail the conversation he has with Tony Stark is another reason to be thinking why are these guys fighting because even after all that fighting Falcon asks and cares for War Machine, so even after fighting there is still a friendship there.

Tony Stark’s story arc is well justified compared to the villain type role he played in the Civil War comic book story line, his reasoning and mentality behind what he was doing in this movie are wonderfully well thought-out by the directors and it gives you a valid reason to be on his side of the argument. Tony’s scene with Captain America just before the absolutely awesome airport fight scene is very well acted by Robert Downey Jr he really does hit out of the park with his speech of “you’re gonna come in with us, because it’s US!” and it really makes you believe that Tony is only doing this because he wants to keep the Avengers together, as everything else in his life at the moment isn’t very stable, he wants and needs them to stay together. In the end of the movie Tony is still pretty conflicted on where he stands but he still wants to have Steve there because despite everything I still think they are friends.

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Underoos! Spider-Man’s entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is definitely one to behold, a masterpiece in understanding what his character is and how he acts. His character was so easily and well done in one single scene they got everything you need to know about him out there, which was no matter how hard you hit him, no matter what’s in his way he will laugh in life’s face and find a way to beat it. They even covered the essential Spider-Man ethos of “with great powers, comes great responsibility” without even saying those exact words. They deal with that by a very nice piece of dialogue delivered brilliantly by Tom Holland, “I didn’t play football before I had this happen to me, so why should I play it after” Tony then asked him “why do you do it all then?” and then in the sincerest and charismatic manor Holland’s Peter Parker replied by saying “For the little guy”. That scene encompasses everything from who Spider-Man and Peter Parker is. And there are still the action scenes to talk about with Spider-Man and there is nothing else to say other than it is just awesome.

One of the downsides to the current Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are the fact that most of the villains aren’t that interesting nor very well thought-out in their plans of world domination. Baron Zemo is the villain in Civil War and I would say some of his plots aren’t very well thought-out because why would he want to just kill those Hydra Kill Squad and leave it at that. But his plans and execution of his plans of pitting Captain America and Iron Man against each other are very well planned out in the sense that it completely adds to the story of the battle of ideologies between Steve Rodgers & Tony Stark. Zemo is wasted in some parts of the plot and he adds to it in other parts for instance the end scene with Black Panther/T’challa, where T’challa basically is making the switch to being a superhero in saying that vengeance has gotten the best of him and it has gotten the best of Steve and Tony, he won’t continue to let it get the best of him anymore. He stops Zemo from killing himself even though Zemo was the cause of all of his pain, T’challa does the right thing. Daniel Brühl is an amazing actor, I loved him in the role of Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush the story of the 1976 Formula 1 Season and he played this part just as wonderfully he made you care about him and what he went through.

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The airport fight sequence will be one of the things that will be talked about for years to come as how to make fight sequence awesome and still have individual characters have a special moment for the viewer to care about what is happening to them physically and ideologically. As I was on Iron Man’s side I found it quite annoying that Scarlett Witch was always there when someone of Team Tony was about to whoop someone. But it still doesn’t take away of the spectacle of the fight sequence.

Overall this movie is a triumph of directing, screenwriting, and action choreography. It is also a testament to how good Marvel movies are and it is also a twist on the themes and tones of past Marvel movies it is completely different in the sense that it has a lot of weight to the movies ending and to what is coming in Phase 3 of the MCU. I would rate it 9.5/10 just because of the under-developed villain plot but otherwise, it’s pretty damn perfect.

 

My Thoughts on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Batman V Superman : Dawn of Justice

Directed by Zack Snyder & Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Starting off I do have to agree with the general buzz of this movie, even though it is with a pinch of salt. Because I do really like this movie but I do have to try hard to like it as it does mainly have pacing issues and some things are done a certain way some of which I do not agree with, Batman killing people is one of them that is one line he should never cross no matter what day he has had. There are 4 movies within this behemoth of a film: a new older Batman introduction, a Man of Steel sequel, a Wonder Woman teaser and a Mark Zuckerberg-like Lex Luthor/Doomsday storyline.

The Wonder Woman parts are really just a teaser for what is to come for the DC Extended Universe and her character soundtrack is the best one in this movie (link to the soundtrack). However, they were very enjoyable to watch because I have been waiting to see a Wonder Woman film for ages because her story line from the comics is one the best ones and the fact that it is a very powerful female role one which can go toe-to-toe with the biggest and worst villains. That is very good to see in this day and age on the big screen as there isn’t a lot of strong female characters being shown and I am looking forward to seeing what other franchises like Star Wars are going to do with their female leads.

Wonder Woman : Dawn of Justice

Now onto issues, I have with this film. In one scene Lex Luthor said “…Day versus Night, God versus Man…” now in the comic books I would completely agree with the perception of Superman being he is the hope, the light in which everyone can believe in, to people Superman is hope and Batman is the night, he is the one that installs fear into the heart of every criminal. Superman is the light at the end of the tunnel, he is the person they believe in when there is nothing else to believe in. Whereas in this movie and really if I have to be truthful they didn’t achieve this in the Man of Steel movie either, even though I liked that one! They haven’t fully captured the image and perception of Superman from the comics, now I know most cynics would say “well it doesn’t have to be exactly to the comics” and I would agree to a point but Superman needs to be the light side, his colours are Red, Blue, and Yellow which are light colours they stand out from the rest of the monotone coloured costumes of the DC Universe. In these movies, his costume is dull and darkened, which may or may not be going to fit with the general tone of the DC Extended Universe movies but Batman is there for a reason and one of his names is Dark Knight for a reason. Batman is meant to be the one to be dark and gritty. I hope Henry Cavill gets another chance to dawn the red cape for another solo adventure because he is a brilliant actor and brilliant to play the iconic role and he deserves the chance to play Superman at his best, which is giving hope to the human race and saving them whenever they need saving. We don’t need to another answer the issue of “I have the ability to save people but should I save them, even if I can’t save everyone ever?”.

Batman Superman Wonder Woman : Dawn of Justice

Now we have gotten passed my few reservations about this movie, we get to the better sides. The image and role of Superman in this movie was to show how far he could be pushed into actually doing something that crossed that ‘line’, which is talked about a lot even though he technically did it in Man of Steel. [SPOILER] Because his mother is taken from him and Lois is put in danger as well he still doesn’t go over that ‘line’ for choosing to kill someone or not. It’s showing no matter what people do to try and make Superman do something he doesn’t want to do; he still won’t do it.

How they ended the BvS fight isn’t the best way of doing so but justified in this movie, Batman’s whole ideology is based on the fact that his parents got killed in front of him as a child and he sets out on this crusade to try and prevent this from happening again to anyone else. So to hear that Superman mother, Martha which is just one other connection the share, has been taken from him, that’s a deep connection within Batman so of course he will want to help him. Batman knows Superman could end him within seconds so the fact that he hasn’t yet meant Batman knows it’s going to take more than him to break Superman’s belief system and to learn that it’s his mother who has been taken from him Batman realises that if he were in that position of Superman’s would he have killed the other guy. I feel that justifies why Batman stopped what he was doing because his whole life is been about stopping what had happened to him happening to others.

[MAJOR SPOILER]The whole end scene fighting with Doomsday, the fact that Superman would rather die than have this creature roaming earth proves again to Batman that Superman is unbreakable because he decides to do the right thing even when it means saying goodbye to the main thing in his life Lois Lane.

I would give it a 7/10, but constantly reminding myself there is going to be a Directors Cut Blu-Ray edition which might flow better than the Theatrical Cut.