Rapid Review: Captain America: Civil War (2016)

captain america civil war poster

“I know we’re not perfect, but the safest hands are still our own.”
– Steve Rogers

SYNOPSIS: After another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps, one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability. – via IMDB

captain america civil war

I would also just like to take a moment to appreciate the raw power of this moment.

captain america civil war helicopter

Well. Well. Where do I even begin? Let’s start with the fact that this movie really shouldn’t have been flown under the Captain America banner – it could really have just been Civil War or even Marvel/Avengers: Civil War. This was essentially an Avengers movie, and you all know how huge a fan I am of that. So it shorts Thor and The Hulk, but they were mentioned a ton of times. I don’t know, I wanted a Captain America movie. He is my favourite Avenger, he is the only one who has individual movies I get excited about and adore, and then we got this one, so heavily reliant on Age of Ultron and all that happened there, and it was all about signing off on a document to regulate the Avengers team. Seriously. So they called it Captain America: Civil War because there was some extra Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier?

However, that being said, there was so much scrumptious Sebastian Stan for me. Oh hell yeah there was, hmmmm. I really liked the themes that were explored in the film, like friendship, opposing opinions, loyalty, standing up for what you believe in, conforming, moral responsibility, etc. The performances were all solid, though I really feel that this movie was juggling way too many characters, but still managed to do a relatively decent job with them all. I enjoyed the introduction of the Black Panther, and I freaking love the moves on this guy, so fluid and awesome. Marvel has again let us down on the villain, Baron Zemo. After The Winter Soldier, I was expecting darker, more hardcore villains. Zemo was underutilised here, and didn’t pack as much punch as he could have had he been set up better. I never felt shock and horror at any of the things that he did.

captain america civil war tony bucky steve fight

Steve finally kissing Sharon was a little rushed and out of place in the movie, it wasn’t properly set up (in this film), and then it was glossed over. The fighting sequences were great to look at, and the Russo’s really grasp that – that choreography, the movements, all of it is just amazing. The inclusion of Steve’s “I can do this all day” is another scene that thrilled me, it is something I expect from him. There were some interesting plot developments here, some of particular interest being carried by the Winter Soldier, which is great. Anyway, with too many characters to really talk too much about, Captain America: Civil War is an entertaining Avengers flick with more heart to it than the average Avengers film, solid performances, darker, a good movie, some solid humour and well worth watching.

So. Much. Delicious. Bucky.

captain america bucky barnescaptain america bucky and tony big fightcaptain america civil war winter soldier tony2captain america buckycaptain america bucky civil war

This totally sums up Captain America: Civil War.

captain america civil war avengers

Rapid Review: Chef (2014)

chef poster

“I may not do everything great in my life, but I’m good at this. I manage to touch people’s lives with what I do and I want to share this with you.”
– Carl Casper

SYNOPSIS: Carl Casper is an acclaimed chef with a family life that seems as decaying as his artistic freedom. Those frustrations boil over into a raucous viral-videoed public confrontation against a restaurant critic who panned his cooking of food that his boss ordered him to make against his instincts. Now with his career ruined, Carl’s ex-wife offers an unorthodox solution in Miami: refit an old food truck to offer quality cooking on his own terms. Now with his young son, Percy, and old colleague, Martin, helping, Carl takes a working trip across America with that truck to rediscover his gastronomic passion. With Percy’s tech savvy and Martin’s enthusiasm, Carl finds that he is creating a traveling sensation on the way home. In doing so, Carl discovers he is serving up more than simply food, but also a deeper connection with his life and his family that is truly delicious in its own way. – via IMDB

chef food

GRADE 8This is something I have been waiting a while to look into (sounds like so many of the movies I have been watching recently), mainly because I really enjoy Jon Favreau’s work. Plus a food flick? I was not sure  how this was going to work, but it came back with solid reviews, and let me tell you, with good reason. I think Favreau is actually a pretty damn good actor, and his skills were out on display here. I thought he was a fantastic chef, and his character made me laugh and exasperated the hell out of me because he was relatively miserable (by his own choice), and really did not focus on his son.

Granted, there is nothing revolutionary about this story whatsoever, but Favreau pulls it off, making it sweet, heartwarming and funny. The performances all round were so good. Scarlett Johansson again managed to not work on my last nerve (she is really going back to where I used to like her), John Leguizamo delivers such a likable character that gave me plenty of laughs, the friendship between him and Carl really was something to check out, Emjay Anthony was adorable as Carl Casper’s son, Robert Downey Jr had a great little cameo and Dustin Hoffman really was not a very nice guy – though I loved his Stones quote, of course.

chef dancing

One thing Chef did super successfully was the social networking integration (specifically Twitter in this case). Usually that is something that is never pulled off properly in movies and instead adds to serious annoyance levels, but in the case of this it was done properly, adding to the story and not taking away from it. It was a wonderful journey to undertake with Favreau and his portrayal of Carl Casper, moving from depression to losing everything to working to get his life centred again, repairing his life, so to speak.

I would highly advise, however, that you eat something prior to viewing or have a magnificent mean/sandwich/whatever when you are watching it because just watching that food the whole way through really got me hungry. Serious food porn going on here.I thoroughly enjoyed the story, the direction, the score and camerawork for this. Again, while predictable in places and nothing we have never seen before, Chef carries itself well, and is definitely something to see! 

Review: Don Jon (2013)

DON JON MOVIE POSTER“Movies and porn are different, Jon. They give awards for movies.”
– Barbara

Jon “Don Jon” Martello Jr (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is an attractive, egotistical and shallow porn addict. An addict though he does not know it. His friends consider him to be a Don Juan of the modern day. He sleeps with a lot of women, though he still watches a lot of porn, being of the opinion that it is superior to sex. He loves his family, his car, his body, his home, his friends, his church, his girls and his pornography, though not in that order exactly. One night out he meets a girl and she is just gorgeous for him in every which way. He flirts with her and makes out with her but she leaves to go home at the end of the night without him. He is not deterred, and picks up another girl and goes home with her. After their night is spent together, he goes and watches pornography. The real deal simply doesn’t live up to that which pornographic dreams he has.

don jon at the club
“Since last Sunday I had sexual relations out of wedlock two times. I also watched pornographic videos and masturbated seventeen times. For these, and all the sins in my life, I am sorry.” – Jon

Doing something completely out of character when he cannot stop thinking about the mysterious girl at the club that turned his one night stand down, he starts asking around about her and learns that her name is Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johannson), and gets hold of her to meet him for lunch. The two circle around each other, both being the unknown quantity. They are both attracted to one another, but she refuses to sleep with him and that be all the relationship is about. The two start dating one another, and Jon needs to make do without sex for more than a month. Jon is also taking classes at night so that he can get a more stable job than that from the service industry. Jon introduces Barbara to his mother Angela (Glenne Headly), father Jon Martello Sr (Tony Danza) and sister Monica (Brie Larson). The family seems to like her a lot. Barbara starts changing a lot of things in Jon’s life, and he allows it to happen, but does not see the bigger picture.

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“You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” – Jon

The couple finally sleeps together, though Jon is disappointed with the result. He was expecting the sex to be the best thing ever. After they are done, naturally he gets up to watch porn. Barbara catches him and freaks out, leaving Jon to lie to her about it being a joke email that one of the guys sent to her. Calming down, she believes him and things go back to normal. Jon starts to hide his tendency to watch porn, getting his fix where he can. At college he meets a woman named Esther (Julianne Moore), emotional and very strange. She catches him watching porn but does not judge him. The two eventually enter into a very strange friendship, and Jon starts confiding his secrets to her. Jon and Barbara’s relationship is far from perfect, and the longer they are together the more controlling she becomes, and he allows it. She puts him down about the things that he finds to be personally satisfying, and eventually their relationship starts to splinter, though Jon is in love with her. Discovering porn in Jon’s browser, Barbara calls an end to their relationship, though Jon will not tell anyone.

“If you wanna lose yourself, you have to lose yourself in another person. It’s a two way thing.” – Esther

Will they be able to find a way to work past their differences? Will Jon stop lying to Barbara about the porn? Will Jon find a way to enjoy sex as much as he does pornography, or is that something that is just never going to matter? Will Barbara be the woman to teach him that women are there for more than just sexual gratification and the stroking of the male ego? Will Jon complete his college classes so that he has an education behind him?

Don Jon earns a 6.5/10. This really was not a bad outing for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and again he showcases his talents here, taking it up a notch to include directing, too. I enjoyed the movie for what it was, giving another look at how some people may perceive porn to be, as well as the insane track record Jon had created for himself, and how incredibly selfish and dissatisfied he is no matter what. The way he changes tack and attempts to go on the straight and narrow to get laid in a more satisfying way had me laughing. Scarlett Johannson was brilliant to play Barbara, and she, too, was as selfish as her male counterpart. It seemed a match made in heaven, though naturally, nothing was changed too much from him. Listening to Jon defend his pornographic enjoyment was funny and sad both at the same time, because it truly highlights that he is an addict. I had to laugh at how/where Jon exercised his penance according to the Catholic Church – in gym while working out. Also, the way it shows how Jon really did love the church, and considered it to have a huge impact in his life, just to learn that he is a mere member to them, nothing more, nothing special. Monica says nothing throughout the film, but when Brie Larson was utelised to say what was required, it carried so much more impact. Julianne Moore was again worth checking out, she was emotional and she carried her character well. I thought she was well cast, though there were so many complaints. Definitely not a movie I would say is family friendly viewing, it is not too bad to check out when you have the time.