Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review- Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Prior to seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I heard from critics how this movie could possibly be even better than the Avenger, or if not the best of the entire Marvel stand alone thus far. I also heard you walk in expecting one thing however you will leave with something else. Samuel L Jackson, Nick Fury, stated that he was excited to be a part of a film with such a “back story “as well as a political awareness” to it. Co–star Anthony Mackie, Falcon, has this to say on the film:

“Captain America is actually every man’s superhero. He has so many traits about him that all of us can relate to, and with what’s going on present day with all the soldiers coming home, they added so many aspects of that – with the PTSD and all that – to this script so that it’s kind of a love letter or an ode to the soldiers coming home, to give everyone a fresh look at what we’re dealing with right now in society.”

These thoughts hold true to my thoughts on the film, so after reading so many different reviews, listening to the thoughts of both Jackson and Mackie as well as Captain America himself Chris Evans, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier) and Director Anthony and Joe Russo, I walked out feeling as if this film was every bit as good as the critics and actors said it was and then some. I would not say it is as good as The Avengers.

The action sequences are as good as or even better than that of the Avengers. This film is filmed with so much drama , emotion , intrigue as well as a wakeup call in what is going on today with our soldiers who have fought for this country . The political conscience of this film is truly evident when you mix all this in with the fact that this is Marvel and that this film lays yet another part within Marvel’s next chapter and that this film will drop a huge surprise twist.

Truly got a chuckle out of how many movie goers in attendance where surprised to see that the Winter Solider was Cap’s old partner Bucky. The name drop of “Stephen Strange” was an awesome nod to what is to come for Marvel’s next phase of films with Doctor Strange.

All actors involved were at their very best; Chris Evans embodied the true essence of “Captain America”. Anthony Mackie made me proud to be a fan of the Falcon character as long as I have, never thought I would see this character brought to screen in such a well thought out dramatic way, although, I will say, next film he will definitely need a suit upgrade featuring armor and better weaponry similar to that of the comic. I feel that the Falcon character truly represents the best of humanity just as the film portrays: brave, loyal, duty driven, humble, stands for something other than himself; the Falcon is yet another huge hit that Marvel has brought to the table.

As Mackie had mentioned, this film paid a much need nod to the soldiers who serve for this country and impact mentally it has had on many of them coming home with PTSD or other medical aliments or condition. The scene when Sam Wilson/Falcon is holding a counseling session with Veterans about their trials was one of my favorite scenes, this shows how aware Sam Wilson’s character is of others who need help, support and encouragement through tough times. Truly a much needed hero in these days we live in. Now, let’s move on to the end credit scenes.


Loved the end credit scene involving Avenger’s 2 villain, Baron von Strucker,.and a first look at Avengers to be Quick Silver and Scarlett Witch. What was even more interesting was in seeing how he had possession of the scepter that Loki wielded in the Avengers film. Cannot wait to see what his plans are with such a powerful item. 

The other end credit scene with Bucky, The Winter Solider, at the Smithsonian Museum where they have a Captain America and The Howling Commandos exhibit, this has Bucky face to face with his own memorial video, which will no doubt aid in him regaining the memory of who he is. 

Really was not too please with this scene as it really did not do much for me, was hoping for something a little bit better.

This film is absolutely amazing and a true testament of Marvel’s evolution. Box Office Results has Captain America as of last Friday, breaking the April box office record, bringing in $37 million from 3,938 theater screens across North America, approximately 80% of them in 3D. The previous record holder was Fast Five earned $34.4 million in its top single-day. Last Thursday for its early showing, 82% of all ticket pre-sales on Fandango were for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the numbers beat out any other April release in the company’s 14-year history. According to, the opening weekend forecast for Cap 2 is around $94 million, with some estimates putting it near $100 million. In other words, Marvel has again tapped into something special with this Captain America franchise, and did well by retaining the services of the Russo brothers to direct the next film which is reported to be in development. I forward to seeing Cap back in action with hopefully Falcon in Avengers 2 due out in 2015, stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March News and Notes

Last night I watched the new trailer for X-Men Days of Future Past. What more can say about Marvel that I haven’t said already? Maybe it’s best that I quote pull a quote from Marvel superhero Luke Cage by just simply saying Sweet Christmas!!!!! Let me start with the X-Men trailer, loved the first trailer as I felt it captured the darkest times, the heavy weight of emotion and heroic sacrifice that the film will no doubt have on display, however in seeing the latest trailer it took those feelings and expectations to another level. Loved the new footage, the Sentinels both first edition and futurists looked awesome, as well as SunSpot, Blink, Warpath and the other mutants side by side for battle was epic. 

Watching this trailer gives you are better sense of the bleak and distraught future that awaits Logan aka Wolverine to rewrite with the help of young and older Charles Xavier and Magneto. You can feel all that is at stake and all the emotional gravity as well as the anticipation of what is to come scene for scene with the X-Men’s race to save their mutant brethren for now and future times.  When first hearing about this film I ranked it as the most anticipated movie of the summer and in so many ways it still is, however I will still give Captain America the Winter solider the nudge(this may easily change) due to the fact that the X-Men franchise are phasing out the original cast from the trilogy. The film makers will somehow find a way to incorporate Hugh Jackman within the cast of the X-Men First Class much like they will be doing in this film. There is so much more to tell with the cast of Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman and co. it would make more sense to have that team face off against a threat such as Apocalypse.

This story should have seen the return of Cyclops (James Marsden) to unite the team with it ending with Jean Grey(Famke Janssen) returning or an insinuation that she is still out there and will come back. Apocalypse is the most powerful villain X-Men have come up against, he also carries with him Mr Sinister who tries to harvest the DNA of both Jean Grey and Scott Summer (Cyclops) to recreate a mutant to sever the forces of evil and in turn change the course of the future. There are just too many possibilities when using the original cast. I will be at the movie theater front and center on May 23rd to see what will be an excellent tale with ground breaking performances.

Marvel News and Notes:


Below I have set images from Avengers 2. Image include Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and the Scarlet Witch(Elizabeth Olsen), seems as though they are  doing battle with maybe Ultron or a group of his soldiers, either way looks pretty good. Avengers 2 is set for release May 1, 2015.



The Wolverine Returns!!!
20th Century Fox has announced that they are planning on releasing a 3rd installment of the Wolverine, which was my #1 movie of last summer. The Wolverine’s  James Mangold is back in the director’s chair with, of course, Hugh Jackman returning  to reprise his role of Logan once again. Deadline reports also that the film has signed on David James Kelley to write the script for the film. The Wolverine 3 is set to start production after X-Men Apocalypse, the sequel to this summer’s X-Men Days of Future Past. pretty sure this story will follow the events of what transpires from XDOFP as well as Apocalypse. There are so many exciting stories to tell involving Logan that Mangold and Kelley could draw from.

Return of the Fantastic Fours Babies

Back in February Fox Studios announced the cast of the new upcoming Fantastic Four reboot in the form of Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell. There was a little bit of controversy surrounding Jordan, an African American, being cast as the Human Torch who is Caucasian, that did not go far; as times change we have witnessed an African American Nick Fury in Samuel L Jackson as well as Perry White in Man of Steel with Laurence Fishburne so I feel in time fans will adapt to his stamp on the character. 

I am in no way a fan of Fox going with this seemly high school or college version of the Fantastic Four, however Fox has so much faith in what they have that they are moving ahead, the first film is due out on June 19th 2015, the sequel will be released June 14, 2017. Even though I am not happy about the direction they are going with this film, I am optimistic due to Marvel’s track record with producing great films. Rumors are that the unconfirmed film slated after Fantastic Four 2 will be the much talked about crossover film between that of the X-Men (First Class cast I’m thinking) and the Fantastic Fours(babies). Stay tuned.

Untitled Wolverine sequel – March 3, 2017
The Fantastic Four 2 – July 14, 2017
Untitled Marvel movie – July 13, 20

Monday, March 17, 2014

"A" Stands for Astonishing

We are roughly two weeks away from the release of the best action/comic movie of the summer; I will even go as far as saying the year. In the midst of all the early reviews I feel the time is right to share my thoughts on Captain America: The Winter Solider and what it means to not only its franchise, but to Marvel cinematic universe as a whole. In my previous blog of the most anticipated films of 2014, I had X-Men Days of Future Past at #1, however that has drastically changed.  I am not a fan of what X-Men is looking to do beyond this film in terms DOFP featuring more of the younger X-Men as well as following this film up with X-Men Apocalypse which will feature the younger X-Men, I feel the original cast needs to be the lead in such a film. I loved the first Captain America film as I felt it was the best out of all the solo Marvel films with Thor and Hulk right behind it, although I must say once Marvel releases the next Hulk film I am pretty sure that it will be just as great as the Cap films, due to the fact that Marvel now has clear understanding of where they plan to go. (See trailer below)

After viewing a number of videos, reading early screening reviews as well as seeing early on that they were bringing back Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, due to the ground breaking work they have done with the film, I am heavily convinced that this film will truly be epic in every way. Reviews from the film convey that you will walk out getting more than you thought you would within the film’s delivered story and plot lines, that the action is magnificent and the story that is being unfolded is truly well executed to the fullest thanks to the dynamic characters of Cap, Black Widow and Falcon.

 It has also been reported that there are tidbits throughout the film that mention things throughout the Marvel Universe. Another fact concerning the film is that here are two post credit scenes which is extremely exciting as I found out that one of the scene is directed by Mr. Avenger himself in Josh Whedon and the other by the Winter Solider director. The inclusion of film legend Robert Redford adds so much weight to an already wonderful cast, makes this film a hands down #1 of the summer as well as the year, now granted I haven’t see the film and there is a lot that can happen between now and the end of the year. Check out what various journalist and movie bloggers had to say after seeing an early screening of the film.

Each review fuels fire to my notion that this film will be epic. While viewing this film, I have a few things I will be looking for.  Will anyone make mention of Marvel next phase of characters to come in Doctor Strange (who has narrowed down its list of prospected Directors). Will there be mention of T’Challa aka Black Panther, you know his people harness the most coveted Vibranium in which created Captain Americas shield. Will we even hear of Hank Pym aka Ant-Man being mention in some sort. I am also intrigue by what fuels The Winter Solider (who is Bucky Barnes thought dead in the first Captain America film) his rage toward Captain America in this film to where it’s been said that the two engage in a number of fight scenes throughout the film. Regardless of what his reasons or what mind control Bucky may be under I feel in the end he will serve as an ally for Cap and even as a new member of the Avengers. In the comic Buck Barnes has taken on a few aliases one in “Winter Solider”, he also took on the mantle as Captain America, when Cap was thought to be dead. Which is interesting because I wonder if Marvel has any plans to do something like this down the road, it has been recently reported in an interview with actor Sebastian Stan by Newsarama that he is signed on for a 9 picture deal with Marvel, which is great because as I mentioned before I feel he will somehow become an Avenger and that we will no doubt see him in Captain America 3, which by the way has been set for May 6 , 2016 release date. Below check out Sebastian Stan aka The Winter Solider interview with AMC about the film.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Two Terrific Trailers

Last week fans were treated to two interesting trailers, one for the fourth installment of Transformers and the second was for Rock Steady’s upcoming video game Arkham Knight. I loved the trailer for Arkham Knight and if you already haven't noticed by now I am a HUGE Batman fan, so with that being said keep the Batman video games coming, however give me at least one Justice League game.  Batman Arkham Asylum was epic, Arkham City was a great follow up and Arkham Origins did a clever job re-telling Bruce Wayne’s early adventures as the Dark Knight.

I have watch this trailer a number of times and still admire how well put together this piece turned out , what constantly came to mind is how great an actual movie trailer this would be, the  theatrical feeling and emotion within the game’s trailer was felt from the time you heard Thomas Wayne’s words to the very end. This game will allow fans to see the return of regulars such as Penguin, Two-Face and Scarecrow, however the game’s main villain will be “Arkham Knight”. When I first heard the title of the game my first thought was that it was based off of Batman , but I have come to find out that is not so, this will be the actual villain of the  game who will be a very challenging opponent to our Dark Knight.

Rock Steady Rep had this to say:
 "Yes. I can tell you his name is the Arkham Knight. And that's pretty much about it. He's a new super villain that we've definitely had a lot of fun working on. We fell for this particular art. We wanted a new character in there. It works so well for this story that we're telling. We still definitely got all the classic characters back, and these are characters you all know and love. And then we wanted to bring someone new in who could push and test Batman in new ways. It was also great for us personally to have that opportunity to contribute a little bit to the Batman universe as well”
Batman seems to be getting yet another great adventure that fans will have the opportunity to play through. Stay tuned.

As for the new Transformers trailer, I have very mixed feelings. I am a huge Transformers fans, I grew up watching the cartoons and reading the comics I am also a huge fan of Optimus Prime. I come into this with feelings of excitement as I am happy with the change up in cast, I think Mark Wahlberg will be great , he will give the movie the serious edge it lacked in all of the previous films especially on the human side of things. I cannot wait to see if the fan favorite Dinobots are done justice in this film by Michael bay, and as always it will be great to see Optimus Prime in action as well as Galvatron and what looks to be there interpretation as Unicron, which in the animated movie, was a planet that devours other planets. This incarnation, in what I saw in the trailer, seems to be a huge ship like creature that can cause massive destruction just. I will see this film out of nostalgia and for the simple fact I will get to see characters brought to life with our ever growing technology.

In all three films, Michael Bay has done an awful job telling the story of the Transformers and in really giving the fans insight on the relationships and personalities within each Autobot and Decepticon within the film, too much time is spent on the humans and exploding things and not enough on the viewer getting to know these character, that was huge with the animated series because you got to know the different personalities and characteristics between both groups. I am also not a fan of how he seems to go away from the source material of the characters, Bumblebee is a small Autobot scout, however in the movie version he is this huge action attack Autobot. Jazz, who was foolishly killed in the first movie, was the size Bumblebee should have been. I do not see Bay making use of the endless gallery of Autobots and Decepticons in this film, I keep seeing made up characters. This is uncalled for as you have a list of series one Transformers to choose from as well as the later version which gave us Hot Rod, Ultra Magnus, Kup, and Springer. Although the trailer was pretty good , still very leery about this film,  but I am hopeful that it will be the best out of its three predecessors.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Guardians Have Arrived

Well the wait finally ended this past week when Marvel finally unveiled their full length trailer of Marvel’s next big adventure, The Guardians of the Galaxy, fans all over the world had hoped for a glimpse at the Marvel Movie during the Super Bowl, but just as the old saying goes good things comes to those who wait and man did it. Who are the Guardians of the Galaxy you might ask? Why is Marvel making a major motion picture on a cast of unknown characters to tie into to their next phase of films?  

It’s extremely obvious after watching the trailer that Marvel has created yet another franchise that will be just as popular as the Avengers film, very genius of them to add a cast of unknown heroes and insert them into an ongoing story line that connects to the larger picture within the Marvel story arc, meaning the infinity stones which Thanos, seen at the end of the Avenger, longs to have in his grasp. Thor: The Dark World also gave us a glimpse of the infinity power in which we saw the Sif and Volstagg bring the   “Collector” (who you see briefly in the trailer above). “The Aether” was the power source the Dark Elfs where attempting to use to destroy the earth.

I am so excited for this film and the door it will open with it being set in the cosmos; I look forward to seeing more of Thanos who is rumored to be in this film as this film is set more in his backyard. In a brief scene during the first Thor we got a chance to see the infinity gauntlet in Odin’s chamber which is a type of glove which has all 6 infinity stones which are: time, space, mind, soul, reality, and power.

For those who have never read the Infinity Gauntlet  saga,  it is a cosmos driven story arc which involves Thanos finally getting his hands on all 6 stones and placing them into his Gauntlet which makes him much more powerful, posing a threat to the entire  world as well as those beyond it. A platoon of Marvel heroes band together along with Adam Warlock who we will see in Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos. This was truly a great Marvel story, one I recommend to anyone who is a comic reader or who wants to gain knowledge for what is to come in Marvel’s next phase of films.

The Guardians of the Galaxy trailer was excellent, it blended the tone of action, it connected to what Marvel is looking to do in terms of tying it in to all of its predecessors and it has that Marvel touch of comedy that they tactfully bring to the big screen.  Cannot wait to see which of the character becomes a fan favorite, my vote is for Rocket Raccoon. Despite the reports that I heard that this was a “gamble” for Marvel in terms of making a motion picture on a cast of “unknown” space bandits turned heroes, I never saw it that way for a few reasons; this is Marvel and they have well thought out plans and a clear vision as to what they want and how they intend to play everything out and what better way to add a cherry to the top of your dessert than surprise everyone with a cast of heroes that you can place your cinematic stamp on. This movie allows Marvel to explore the more cosmic side of its universe with Ronan and his cast of villains, Adam Warlock, Captain Marvel, and the Nova Corps, along with so many other intergalactic characters being sprinkled all throughout Marvel’s Universe. More importantly we will get to see a little more out of Thanos himself.

Marvel’s last movie Thor: the Dark World has earned $205,582,918 in North America and had a worldwide total of $639,382,918, the director for this film has signed on for part 3. Iron man 3 reached greater highs with its number with $409,013,994 in North America with a grand total worldwide of $1,215,439,994, which made it the fifth-highest-grossing film, the highest-grossing 2013 film. The second-highest-grossing film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe  was Marvels Avengers. Marvel is hot and they truly have an understanding of what they want and what they intend to do with their phase of films moving forward. Captain America: The Winter Solider has been getting rave reviews from critics and they have already signed the producers for the film for part 3. My prediction is this film will be the number 1 film of summer 2014 (followed very closely by X-Men Days of Future Past). Doctor Strange, which reportedly has a narrow list of directors in line for its film, are the next step in Phase 3 for Marvel along Black Panther and Ant-Man.

I am extremely excited and optimistic of what is to come with this film once it hits theaters, which will be August 1, 2014. The story follows Peter Quil aka Star Lord coming in contact with an unknown power “orb” (infinity stone) that he finds is much more than just your average stolen artifact. It is a much coveted power that the villain Ronan wants and in turn sets out a bounty for Quil in return of the Orb, finding out what Ronan means to do with the Orb  and its power, Quil and a group of intergalactic misfits Rocket (Raccoon) gun-toting raccoon, Rockets’ partner Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly Gamora (who I might add, happens to be the adopted daughter of Thanos ) and the powerful revenge driven Drax the Destroyer all band together to stop the impending threat. The more I talk about this film the more I want to read up on and know about the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is a notion many all over the world echoes especially after seeing the trailer. 

Meet the Guardians!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Part Man, Part Machine: All Hero

Going to see this film, I had low expectations. The casting intrigued me: Michael Keaton, who I have not seen much of outside of The Other Guys; Gary Oldman (Dark Knight Trilogy, Rise of The Apes) and Nick Fury himself Samuel L Jackson; the last reason in seeing this film was the fact that this is the only movie of any interest until April 4th when the number 1 movie of the summer, Captain America: The Winter Solider opens. Actor Joel Kinnaman, who plays the role of Detroit Cop turned RoboCop Alex Murphy did a great job in capturing the emotional nature of the character from beginning to end. 

The writer did a great job in revising the story from its original plot. In the original film Murphy is gunned down execution style by a gang. His body or what remains of his body is transformed by Omni Consumer Products (OCP) into the Cybernetic law enforcement part man-part machine figure known as RoboCop. In this film Murphy is set up by a trio of dirty cops who plant a bomb in his vehicle disfiguring his body. OCP has been pushing to have machine as law enforcement officials for years, however Congress have not seen enough evidence to lift the bill which prohibits mechanical law enforcement in the US; that is until Murphy steps in as RoboCop. 

The debate throughout the film is can machines be trusted to make the right decision within situations of distress and can they be trusted as a human would to make the right call? OCP figured they had remedied that with putting a man within the machine, but in the end head of OCP played by Keaton, thirst for greed, power and control transformed him from someone looking for innovative ideas to help serve and protect into a monster. The jest of the original film still rings true throughout its new incarnation. 
Corrupt cops are found out through Murphy’s array of tech and policy know how, justice is served, and Murphy is now left adjusting to life within the machine while at the same time finding his way to continue being a family again with his wife Clara, played by Abbie Cornish and son David (John Paul Ruttan).

I thought that the performance of Murphy’s partner/friend Jack Lewis (Michael K. Williams )was great as well, the friendship and camaraderie between he and Murphy was felt, I look forward to seeing him in more films hopefully RoboCop 2. The film ends leaving you with the feeling that Murphy has come to grips with what he has become and that an alliance has been formed between he and OCP scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), and that there is more story to tell. I was happy to see RoboCop go back to the original gray and black armor at the film’s end because I was not a fan of the black. 

Truly hope that this film gets a sequel as I would like to see the core cast return to make this a complete trilogy, as I enjoyed this just as much as I enjoyed Thor: The Dark World and I thought hands down that although this film does not have its appeal and popularity that it was head over heels better than Iron Man 3, and I also want to see Samuel L Jackson make more of his crazy “pro robot” rants with him also wearing that hilarious  wig, so with that being said let’s hope we see RoboCop out patrolling again in theaters soon.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

We Have a Vision in Sight

It has been announced that the Vision will finally make his debut in Avengers 2. When I read the news, I was extremely excited to say the least as I am a huge fan of the character; he is a pretty interesting character who was a mainstay with the Avengers for years in the comics. In the comic’s depiction of Vision he is created by Ultron who in turn was created by Hank Pym aka Ant Man, however in this movie incarnation of the character it has been rumored that Vision is created by Tony Stark by way of Jarvis. That’s right Jarvis will in turn be created into the vision, which bolds the question which actor will play the Vision? Answer: Paul Bettany, the very individual who has voiced Jarvis in all Iron Man films as well as the first Avengers film. Using Jarvis as the Vision and more importantly utilizing the same actor who voiced him was very ingenious. This to me seems to be a card that Marvel has been holding in their back pocket for a while which once again displays their continued consistency in having the foresight and “Vision” (pun intended) to bring forth more excellent ideas to the big screen. There is still no official word on who creates the Vision and even how Ultron is created, who by the way is being voiced by another great choice in James Spader (he was great in Boston Legal). Judging from the Avengers 2 teaser, I feel Stark has a hand in creating Ultron which results in the creation of Vision. 

It has been reported that the Vision’s outfit may resemble that of his original white coating , however there have been talks that it will resemble the more green and red current comic look, I’m pulling for the latter as I was never a fan of the white costume. A source from the Comic Book Therapy Claims this is the Vision costume:
“It has a helmet akin to the Iron Man armor, but it’s designed more like a face than a smooth Stark helmet. The iconic yellow and green are present in the design, but it’s more metallic shades than bright ‘comic book colors.’ They said it reminds them somewhat of the T-100 from Terminator 2 but it’s not as shiny. The yellow metal “liquid” bits seem to light up. This may or may not happen since there are two designs for that section. One lights up the other doesn’t. That’s the only difference. The cape is present, but they say it appears to only “pop out” when in flight mode. The cap sports some similar shades of yellow as the body. The “neck pieces” are the same yellow but they seem to shift positions from “standing” (for lack of a better word) to “flight mode.”

With the inclusion of Vision, we may see the apparent love affair that takes place between Vision and the Scarlett Witch, surprise, surprise who happens to be one of the other newbie’s in the film along with brother Quick Silver. In the comics both Scarlett Witch and Vision marry, very unusual odd couple to say the least; a sorceress and a sophisticated android being together? Hey it’s the comics. With the addition of Vision, Scarlett Witch, Quick Silver and  Falcon, who will make his debut in Captain America the Winter solider, as well as the ‘unannounced Marvel film coming in 2016 (Black Panther or Doctor Strange), we could be seeing the formation of a New Avengers cast. 

The Avengers team has seen many different incarnations, which as a fan of the movie and comics, is truly an amazing concept to see made reality. Whatever Marvel decides to do with Vision and Ultron’s origins I am sure it will be a huge groundbreaking success as Marvel continues to pick up steam towards building upon their ever growing Universe. In closing I’d like to add that Comic Con 2014 will be much better with the inclusion of the Vision within the Ultron story arch, cannot wait. Check out the teaser for Avengers 2 below. Absolutely, make mine Marvel.