Tag: Sebastian Stan

I, Tonya

Tonya Harding is currently living in infamy, as the most famous figure skater ever. More people know her name than Nancy Kerrigan. More people know her name than the other figure skaters since then and before.

Tonya Harding was one of first people to be sensationalized around the world thanks to the emergence of the 24 hour news cycle. Yes, she was involved in a terrible scandal. A scandal we have never really seen before or after, or if we did, it was a lot more subtle and professionally done.

I, Tonya is a film more about the once incident that will forever define her life, unfortunately. It is about her youth, her skating career, her relationships, and sure, some time after as well.

Happy
And about her happiest moment, in which she was clearly, very goddamn happy.

Tonya Merigold Bethany Harding (Margot Robbie) (I made up those middle names) grew up poor and unloved, which is really how she was most of her life as well.

Her mother (Allison Janney) was the one who spent most of her time raising her, with a lot of failed marriages, men who could no longer stand her. She was beaten, but her mom still put most of her money into skating lessons, because Tonya showed skills at the young age of three. Tonya was crass, a red neck, vulgar, and everything that her mother taught her to be.

This led to some contention in the ice skating community, who demanded their skaters be princesses. She was often not treated right by the judges, even if she landed the hardest of tricks perfectly.

A hard life led Tonya to a hard man, Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), a couple of people who married their first love when neither had a strong education. More beatings, more of a shit home life, and yet still, Tonya succeed on the ice.

All of this led up to the 1994 Winter Olympics, and I am sure you heard a lot about that one.

Also starring Anthony Reynolds, Bobby Cannavale, Bojana Novakovic, Caitlin Carver, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser, Ricky Russert, and Mckenna Grace as little Tonya.

Family
The real torture is probably how long it took to do her hair.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into I, Tonya. Again, I really only understood the woman behind the incident through parodies and Weird Al. I knew it was classified as some sort of Dark Comedy, and usually Dark Comedies aren’t based on real events, even if they say they are. I also know that this whole thing is from Tonya and companies point of view, Nancy Kerrigan had nothing to do with this film, so there was a chance of bias.

And so I tried to look at it objectively, just as a film, telling a story, not worrying about how it matched up with real events. Like how I did for The Greatest Showman. And yet it was hard to do that as characters constantly broke the fourth wall to tell if these things really did or didn’t happen, and I don’t just mean the documentary feel of the film for some parts.

But at this point I am stalling. I, Tonya was masterful cinema in my eyes. It took a tragic and strange event and gave it human qualities. As far as I am concerned, Tanya Harding was a tragic figure growing up and very misunderstood. She had to struggle a lot through poverty, physical abuse and mental abuse from those who loved her, and yet she still became a success. And fuck it, I believe she wasn’t involved with the incident at this point. Movie has set my mind to a certain point, and I just feel so incredibly sad about it all.

I, Tonya made me laugh a ton, made me cry, but more importantly, it made me think. That sounds like a canned response, but it made me think about what it means to be a celebrity, what it means to have your lives completely under camera all the time, and how you aren’t allowed to ever be weak unless you want to be trampled.

Except when it comes to Trump. The mockery is justified.

4 out of 4.

Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh is a sunuvabitch. And I mean that in a loving way. After finishing strong with Side Effects and Behind The Candelabra, he said he was retiring from directing, and the world was sad. Sure, he gave us some of The Knick, but it wasn’t the same.

And then I saw a trailer for Logan Lucky. Soderbergh. Was. Back. He didn’t last long in retirement, a project pulled him out, described as a sort of redneck Ocean’s Eleven.

I didn’t need to see the trailer multiple times. I didn’t have to look at the cast list with glee. They just had to tell me that SS was at the helm and I knew I would not be missing that film.

Speedway
Also, add in one of the greatest known actors to man, then you are just asking for Oscars.

In West Virginia, part of the Blue Ridge mountains, with the Shenandoah River, bunch of country roads that are basically heaven for the inhabitants, live the Logans. A family that some individuals think are cursed or unlucky. There is Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), the one who was going to be a big football star, but got a leg injury leaving him with a limp before he could make it big. He also was fired recently as a construction worker in NC, so there is that. His brother is Clyde Logan (Adam Driver), soft spoken, ended up going to the Army after his brother’s accident, and in Iraq, he lost his hand and part of an arm. Now he is a bartender. Their extended family has some issues too, but their younger sister, Mellie Logan (Riley Keough), has been relatively unfazed and is a hairdresser.

Anyways, Jimmy has a family. Notably, a daughter, (Farrah Mackenzie) and an ex-wife (Katie Holmes), and he just wants to do right by them. But getting fired, not being rich, these are big problems. So he has had it. He wants to steal from a vault. He needs a giant payday, and from his construction, he knows how the money is moved at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. He has a big plan and everything to get the money and out without people knowing about it. Heck, he is even going to pick a small weekend where there is little security and not a big monetary loss to the company. They aren’t bad people, they are just…unlucky and in hard times.

They just need some help. And they want to enlist Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), a man from that area who is knowledgeable about getting into vaults. But he is also in jail. So they need to break him out, do a heist, and break him back into jail without knowing he was gone. Ah yes, good times.

And rednecks. Good times with rednecks.

Also starring Seth MacFarlane, Sebastian Stan, Brian Gleeson, David Denman, Jack Quaid, Jim O’Heir, Katherine Waterston, Hilary Swank, and Dwight Yoakam as the warden.

Incarcareted
No touching!

This film was very hard for me to review. Days later it still has resonated with me, one touching scene in particular. It has brought me closer to John Denver more so than any other film before it. You know how these movies work. Have a dad, have a relationship with his daughter, have touching moments, and you will have me there in the theater crying.

I love the cast. I love how into the characters everyone was, no matter how big or small. I loved how everyone played it straight. They weren’t mocking southerners, they were embracing the culture. Sure it was amusing, but it was still handled with a lot of class. They were just people trying to do something for their families and not trying to hurt anyone along the way. They were good people in somewhat extreme circumstances. And everyone was just so good at their roles. Even the people who were dicks.

Before I forget, this film also featured the BEST Game of Thrones reference ever in a film. It was something that made me cackle with glee. To be honest, the list of “films with Game of Thrones references” is probably pretty short, but no way could anything before have topped this one.

BUT YET THERE IS SOMETHING THAT IS HARD TO DESCRIBE. There are slower moments. There are things rushed. There is confusion at just how far away they live from Charlotte. I have to assume like 3-4 hours, which makes the timing of this film a bit awkward and harder to grasp. The later reveals of heist didn’t feel as extravagant as I had hoped. And the ending just sort of ending.

It isn’t the perfect film that my mind has made it out to be. I still can love it, I can accept its faults, but that makes me put an honest rating. You know, a brain rating and not just a rating in my heart.

If my heart was rating this film, it would maybe be a 5 out of 4.

3 out of 4.

The Bronze

Aw yeah, the most patriotic time of the year, where we all get our flags out and scream our dominance at flexibility and water sports and ignore the many sports where we never win. That’s right. Olympics time.

Now, The Bronze came out much earlier in the year, but I knew I had to wait until it was appropriate to review it. Right in the smack damn middle-ish of the Olympics, when we have maybe finished getting out gold medals in gymnastics.

And even more exciting is that The Bronze stars Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory, which of course you would only recognize her from. Outside of some cartoon voice work, I have never seen her in anything else. Oh wait, she was Woman Jogger Yelling at Sydney in I Love You, Man, of course!

Bronze
This means that The Bronze is her second most famous role now! Too bad it wasn’t third! –

Hope Annabelle Greggory (Melissa Rauch) gave America a lot of Hope and a lot of Greggory. You see, she went to compete in the Olympics as a teenager, their star gymnast, from Amherst, Ohio. And then she got injured during a routine. But you know what she did? She did her next set anyways on the uneven bars, with a hurt ankle and received enough points to still place third. She was everywhere and everyone loved her.

But that was her only time in the big leagues. Now, twenty years later or so, she is still living with her dad (Gary Cole), still wearing her athletic gear and medal, and doing jack shit with her life. She has rode her fame into free food at a local Sbarro and a special parking spot down town, but other than that, no one cares anymore. And then her old coach (Dale Raoul) commits suicide.

Well, according to a letter she sent Hope before ending it all, the coach had been training the young Maggie Townsend (Haley Lu Richardson), completely free, because her mom (Cecily Strong) is single and working alone, struggling to survive. Maggie has a lot of talent and could win it all, and yes, she is from their same small town! Hope doesn’t want Maggie to succeed, because if Maggie does better, the town will forget all about Hope and her gravy train will end. In the letter, it is said that Hope will receive $500,000 if she continues to coach Maggie and get her as far as she can.

Cha-fucking-ching.

Also starring Thomas Middleditch as the local gym owner, shy and shit, and Sebastian Stan as a male gymnast from the same games who actually placed first in his categories.

Hope
And let’s be honest, gold comes with a fat cash prize as well.

This is technically the best acting I have seen from Rauch. Of course, her only other character as nerdy occasionally angry hot girl on TBBT doesn’t have a lot of acting involved. Her character was consistent, angry, foul and angry at the world. She was angry for messing up her moment and never getting another moment later (growing boobs messed up her balance and she couldn’t re-qualify). Her character made sense as did most of her actions.

I also enjoyed Middleditch and Richardson in this movie. Middleditch was still playing his nervous self, but he had a much nicer character than normal. Richardson had that teenage girl idol hype going well for her, emotions all over the place, and she looked the part.

Finally, I also feel like I should highlight the scene that gave it the Graphic Nudity part of its rating. It was longer than I expected and all sorts of hilarious (it involved two gymnasts after all!), and yes, body doubles were used.

But throughout the movie I couldn’t help but feel it was lacking. The characters, although consistent, got a little bit dull. We had what seemed like a training montage that lasted forever. It just seems like something that should have had a lot more Olympics and a lot less moping to make a more exciting film overall. But it dragged in areas, and the constant back and forth of the lead definitely got on the nerves.

Good news is, it is definitely entertaining for at least one watch, and the ending doesn’t suck. I said, the ending. Doesn’t. Suck.

2 out of 4.

Captain America: Civil War

Captain America: The Winter Soldier before 2016 was the best Marvel movie to date. It was solid all around, had the best action, the biggest stakes, and was nearly perfect. Before that, Captain America: The First Avenger was probably the second most solid solo film of Phase 1, behind Iron Man and also behind The Avengers.

Despite the resounding success of Captain America films and the Russo Brothers at directing, I was worried about Captain America: Civil War. Like, really really worried.

First of all, it is one of the only full plot lines I have actually read the comics for, so it holds a special place in my heart.

Second, I had seen a few trailers and I was worried about a lot of things. If the trailers gave too much away. That the plot felt forced (unnatural) and the big fight between the two groups would be cheesy. That the previous films didn’t set things up enough for the resentment to be believable.

A huge list of worries. I only need to state them out clear so I am not shown to be a fanboy. Especially after Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, I was ready for disappointment.

Shield
And no matter what happened, I would be Team Cap all the way.

This movie will make more sense if you saw Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. I assume you did, because come on, Marvel.

The film actually starts out, after some flashbacks, in Lagos, Nigeria! Some current avengers (Captain America (Chris Evans), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen)) are staking out important buildings, looking for Crossbones (Frank Grillo). Needless to say, not everything goes perfectly and some civilians get hurt. Namely, a group of missionaries!

Based on those events, the events in NYC, in Sokovia, and more, the world has decided to stand up in unity and demand action. Over 100 countries have signed the Sokovia Accords, which states that the Avengers will now only act if they have permission from a UN Panel, and of course, have to act if they deem it necessary. A few of the Avengers agree with these accords. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is feeling guilty and War Machine (Don Cheadle) is on his side. Hell, even Vision (Paul Bettany) feels it is necessary to avoid problems in the future.

But not Captain. He has trust issues with these sorts of groups now, and doesn’t want to be forced to step aside if he sees wrong doing, or be forced to do something he sees as wrong. So he doesn’t sign the papers. The papers are led by the King of Wakanda, T’Chaka (John Kani), who is especially pissed that their primary export was used to make Ultron. And sure enough, more bad things happen. Apparently The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) is at it again!

Fuck, so much shit. Captain believes Bucky is just brainwashed and wants to protect his old friend and not let the government kill him. So yeah, there is some conflict here. Captain and a few others agree to help him out, to get to the bottom of all of this, while the other guys have to stop them for negligently doing bad things to the UN and other officers. Fuck, who is right, I don’t know?!

Also featuring the return of Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp). And of course, introducing Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, and Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo. William Hurt plays the Secretary of State and Martin Freeman as the head of the UN Avengers Council thing.

Shield2
Shit Spider-Man, why do you gotta go and steal my boy’s shield like that?

Captain America: Civil War is two and a half hours long, but I found myself wanting more. I needed more. More of everything! I could spend the next 500 words just comparing it to BvS, but that wouldn’t be a review of this film, it’d just be a shitty comparison. So I will keep it short: Civil War did a lot of things right that BvS did not.

Civil War turns out to be a fanboy’s wet dream. The action is incredible throughout most of the film. For each and every spout of athleticism, you can understand the fight. There aren’t a thousand quick cuts or shaky cameras. You will not only see well choreographed fighting skill sets before your eyes, but each character fights true to their persona and powers, so no one ends up fighting the same. Of course, a lot of heroes end up fighting and battling with other heroes. We also get tons of team ups you haven’t seen before. All of this creates for some intense scenes with a whole lot of fan service.

Now now, I know what you are thinking. If basically everyone is a good guy with future films, the tension can’t be real. Well, for the most part you shouldn’t expect people to die. Because it is a comic book movie and all that reason. I am not saying people don’t die, but I am saying for sure a lot of people do get hurt, both physically and emotionally. This is not a movie that wraps up everything with a nice big bow, it changes the future landscape of the films…much like The Winter Soldier did.

On another note, Civil War doesn’t go the obvious route throughout the plot. It didn’t go the typical Marvel movie route. It didn’t just keep escalating the odds to ridiculous levels. It had emotional backing behind it, on every side and even on the villain side. Some can complain that the villain is too calculating, but when I compare his plan to someone like Lex Luther’s (fuck I did it again), his makes a lot more sense without ridiculous stretches.

Shield3
Thank’s Black Panther. You are clearly just aggressively giving the shield back here.

Now here, allow me to hype things.

Black Panther HYPE! What a great introduction to this guy. He was shown to be strong, agile, moral with conflicting issues given his royal upbringing. His inclusion in this film was well written and explained, along with why he chose to fight. He is in this film a bunch, more than most of the other Avengers. I am so excited for this eventual film and future roles.

Spider-Man HYPE! Spider-Man was in this film a lot more than I expected as well. We got to see him as Peter Parker a bit as well for an introduction. His fighting was very spider like, along with his normal combat quips. They also showed his age really well, when compared to the old ass fuckers on the team, giving a clear and distinct gap in knowledge bases and general attitude.

Future films HYPE! I can’t wait for more. Like I said originally, I wasn’t looking forward to Civil War. After BvS, I certaintly wasn’t looking forward to Suicide Squad. All of my hopes were riding with X-Men: Apocalypse, which I don’t see as being good as the last two, and Doctor Strange, which I am pretty excited for. But now I have higher hopes for the future of Marvel films. Higher than I already anticipated.

On a final note, despite the large cast and significance of the plot, Civil War was worthy of being called a Captain America film. It wasn’t just Avengers 2.5. His characters was largely the focus of the film, but at the same time he wasn’t a simple protagonist. Chris Evans is GOAT, hooray movies.

4 out of 4.

The Martian

Everyone knows that James Cameron really loves the ocean. He is stupid rich and just wants to conquer it.

In some ways, I am starting to think that Matt Damon is like a James Cameron-lite. He doesn’t like water, but he is starting to love the shit out of outer space. Three films in three years have featured a Mr. Damon spending time away from Earth. First in Elysium, he went from the slums to the orbit. But you know, he was just there for a little bit. In Interstellar, he was in space for a long..long time. And he was alone!

Think of it like a Three Bears situation. In Elysium he was in space for a small amount of time, in Interstellar it was too long. But maybe in The Martian, Damon will find his “just right” amount of space time. You know, then he can go back to Earth and start doing political things again. Or Boston things. Or maybe, just maybe, fingers crossed, he can go back to voicing Bill the Krill.

Alone
Damon had a lot of time alone to reflect on his career while pretending to be on Mars.

Set somewhere in the future, NASA has successfully put people on Mars! Yay! We rock! Speaking of Rocks, there are a lot of them on Mars. And sometimes there are dangerous rock storms. When a particularly powerful storm begins to develop, Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) decides that they need to evacuate the planet. There is a chance their escape rocket could tip over and then they’d be stranded! During the storm though, Matt Watney (Damon), a space botanist, gets hit by some debris and goes flying. All of their suit flashy devices say that his suit has opened and he has to be dead.

So Lewis and the rest of the crew (Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie) escape Mars to begin their flight home a few weeks ahead of schedule.

But it turns out, against extreme odds, that Matt is actually alive. However, he is now stranded. The mission only was supposed to last about 30 days, and they had made it to 17, so his rations aren’t that plentiful. He has a huge checklist of responsibilities suddenly that are all vital to his survival. He has to figure out how to grow his own food on a desert planet. He has to make sure his equipment doesn’t break, so he doesn’t run out of water or oxygen. He has to figure out a way to communicate with NASA. And of course, he has to figure out how to get himself home. Even though Matt wants to survive, he openly acknowledges his impending doom and realizes that almost everything he does is just prolonging his most likely catastrophic death.

Eventually, obviously, he isn’t 100% alone. Or else it would be an impossibility. Back on Earth, thanks to satellites, they are able to eventually note the differences of the site and realize he must be alive and kicking. This is where I can sneak in all the rest of the actors.

Who is involved in the mission to get him back? Well, of course, the Head of NASA (Jeff Daniels), a different head of NASA type guy (Chiwetel Ejiofor), head of the Mars program (Sean Bean), head…engineer…of the shuttle? (Benedict Wong), an Astrodynamics guy (Donald Glover), head of NASA PR (Kristen Wiig), and Mindy Park (Mackenzie Davis) who controls a satellite. Or something.

Storm
This unfortunate scene reminded me too much of Fantastic Four and now I am undergoing PTSD.

Ridley Scott has been not putting his best foot forward recently. Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Counselor were terrible, and Prometheus had a lot of issues. So I have to go into every new movie of his with a bit of a hesitation.

Thankfully, Scott did not disappoint this time and knocked The Martian out of the park.

The absolute best part of the film is its attention to detail and scientific accuracy. I don’t know how hardcore they went into it, but I will be checking Neil Gegrasse Tyson’s twitter to see if the stars on mars were at least accurate. But everything else is so damn sound and smart. I almost stood up in the middle of the movie to chant U-S-A and show off my Science Boner. That is a bit graphic, but the metaphor is necessary to emphasis how sexy it all was. It isn’t dumbed down and they just go full on smart people talk on the viewer.

After the science, we have to talk about the Damon. Damon plays what has to be the greatest Botanist ever on the silver screen. I don’t know how praise worthy that statement actually is. The writers made him smart, charming, witty and a guy with a morbid sense of humor. He tells jokes to logs where he notes everything he is doing, with the caveat that it probably won’t matter since he will most likely die. And he even got to say “Fuck” twice in the film, despite the PG-13 Rating!

Basically everyone in the cast was great in their roles. Even Stan, Mara, and Hennie, the crew members who people don’t care much about. I want to give special shout outs to Glover, who had a small role but was extremely convincing, and Wong, who was an important side character who for some reason didn’t even make the IMDB credit list.

The film is of course also visually wonderful. Mars, the future Houston space center, outer space, all of it is great. I don’t think 3D added much to the film, and it should be a good experience without it. It isn’t as necessary as Gravity.

Despite how much I liked the film, it only has one issue. There is a sort of epilogue after the events, so you can find out what happened to characters. It seemed off to me. It was also a bit sudden of a tone shift. The previous scene I was almost at the point of tears (You don’t get to know if from happiness or sadness, sorry), but they ended it too quickly for all the emotions to rile up in me. And the last few minutes were just…meh.

Oh well, 99% of a film is still pretty damn awesome.

4 out of 4.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Ah, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I will be honest. I wasn’t really looking forward to this movie when it was first announced.

I like the Captain, sure. But the next two movies are Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers: Age of Ultron. This one was just giving me more of an already established character. Still, I was excited enough about it to make a fake review for April Fools Day.

Being a comic book fan is sort of a double edged sword with these type of movies. On one side, it is great experiencing the comics come to life with large enough budgets to make every fanboy cry out in glee. But on the other side, we know the stories they are inspired by, so most likely the bigger plot twists and turns won’t be surprises to us.

Unless of course they create new unexpected ones like Iron Man 3, but that is a different story.

Hand grab
“Hey, stop moving so the camera can focus on your backside.”

The Winter Soldier begins by showing us what life is like for the one and only Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a national hero and now high up in S.H.I.E.L.D. He is doing missions around the world! But S.H.I.E.L.D. and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) have their secrets and Steve doesn’t really like secrets.

So when things start to get a little bit feisty at the headquarters in DC, Steve isn’t sure who he can trust. Can he trust the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) who is known for half-truths and deception? Can he trust Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) head of the World Security Council? How bout Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders)?

Yeah, he is kind of in a sticky situation. The spy game sure has ramped up its deception since the 1940’s, so if he is going to protect the world from a hidden threat, he will need all the help he can get. This movie introduces a few future characters as well, like the titular villain The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Sam “The Falcon” Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) and Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp).

Vulture? Falcon? Whatever
Holy shit the Vult-err.. Falcon. Sorry. Good Guy Falcon, Bad Guy Vulture. Got it.

Being the fanboy that I am, I have been trying to be more critical of Marvel movies lately. Just because I squeal in delight over almost every one doesn’t mean they are perfect. They don’t all deserve perfect marks.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier deserves perfect marks.

Everything about this movie is so spot on spectacular that I have a hard time believing it is even real. Captain America: The First Avenger was a good movie on its own right, but one I have never really been in the mood to watch again. I can see myself watching The Winter Soldier many times once it releases, maybe more than I saw the first Iron Man. It literally might be my new favorite Marvel movie.

It is hard to find something that is negative about the movie. It is over two hours, but never drags. There is maybe only one scene I thought was a bit pointless, but it doesn’t affect the overall movie. There is a lot of action and all of it is so well put together, from the choreography to sound editing. The movie itself is a lot more serious than other Marvel films, but it still has the nice jokes and references throughout it to keep you happy.

Did I know the big reveal? Yeah. But knowing it didn’t take away from my experience at all in the movie. This excites me because it means I will likely enjoy future viewings.

My last point I guess would be about acting. Evans gave a strong performance as the lead, but the side characters as well were all quite good. Mackie didn’t have too big of a role, but he kicked its butt and I actually enjoyed the Falcon. Redford was great, Jackson was great. Everyone was great.

To me, this movie is like an Avengers 1.5. I don’t expect Guardians of the Galaxy to have too much impact on the current Marvel universe, so this is the perfect lead up to next May. This movie has made me beyond excited for the Marvel future, and definitely for the third Captain America in 2016. Although, knowing the comic plots, I kind of already know what is likely to happen.

4 out of 4.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Yep, I am awesome. I got to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier as a special promotion over a whole week before it came out. They just told me I couldn’t release a review on it til April.

Fine by me, early movies are early. The first Captain America I really enjoyed, but didn’t feel patriotic enough. There was a severe lack of American flags throughout the movie and I just couldn’t accept it. There was a lot of Nazi stuff too, which is silly. I want America stuff, not Nazi German stuff.

Stare-ing
Uniform looks diluted. Patriotism failed.

This movie takes place dozens of months after The Avengers. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is living a sad life. Sure, he lives in Washington D.C., a patriotic city if any, but is bored. He is still working for S.H.I.E.L.D., but he isn’t killing Hitler, so what’s the point of it all?

Which is when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) comes back. What a shifty character. Fury has some information regarding Rogers and his family. Turns out Rogers’ brother had a son a few years after World War II. That’s right, the Captain has a nephew. But the weird way time travel works, the nephew, Alexander (Robert Redford) is of course now much older than him. Hah, how silly.

But Alex also helps run the council that oversees the world in the Marvel Universe. Pretty baller. He is the one that lets him know about The Winter Soldier (Jeremy Renner). He apparently just came out of Russia, another classic enemy, has some robot parts and really wants to fuck some shit up.

Good. Steve doesn’t understand technology much anyways, so he is happy to do battle. Of course, when he realizes his true identity, he might have some moral convictions.

Chatting
Or they might just stand there chatting about the good times a couple years ago.

Man, if people were upset by the changes to the lore in Iron Man 3, they would probably be even more furious at these changes. To change the identity of The Winter Soldier like that to Hawkeye? Man. Why do they keep making him the badguy? No one even really likes Mr. Renner.

There were far too many plot twists involving who was related to who. First Steve Rogers and his nephew, then Nick Fury and his son (Anthony Mackie) it kind of got ridiculous.

This movie was supposed to be a pseudo Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) movie as well, but if I had to guess, she probably had like 3 minutes of screen time, everything you saw in the trailer, all at the end too. Must have been too busy voicing sexy robots again.

I am pretty sure this is second longest Marvel movie too, after The Avengers, and a lot of it drags on. They kept introducing other side villains who got barely any screen time that it kind of took away from the overall plot, reminding me of Spider-Man 3. Hell, it even had a strange emo dance scene in it as well.

Overall, this movie feels like a big lie. Both to the Marvel continuity, through its advertising, through so much. I am glad I guess that they killed off Steve Rogers at the end, bringing in a different Captain America story. Can’t wait to see how they spin this for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. But that was about the only cool aspect.

1 out of 4.

The Apparition

Oh goodness, I am so close to being done with horror movies this season. I am pretty sure this is the last one, not counting random B movie slasher flicks that no one cares or knows about. Sure, The Collection just came out in theaters, but it isn’t showing anywhere near me, so it will be awhile.

But The Apparition? It didn’t come to theaters either. I only saw one preview for it, and it looked kind of cool, kind of supernatural. It intrigued me. Little did I know that there is a reason I only saw the preview once.

Summoners
Why? Because hipsters. That is why.

Back in the 1970s, there was something called The Charles Experiment. They tried to summon the spirit of a Charles and I guess it worked. Many years later, a group of college students are attempting to do it again. But with MOAR technology and MOAR cameras. They are amping up their spiritual side a lot and hope to make the summon work! Well it works, and uhh, one of the people get sucked into the wall and presumably dies.

Some more years later, Ben (Sebastian Stan) is now living with his girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene) in a neighborhood with only like, one family neighbor. Rest are empty being built. Woo, being first.

Either way. Weird shit starts to happen. Ben finds out from his nerdy friend Patrick (Tom Felton, yes, Draco as a nerd) that they are all fucked. THey did the experiment again, because a dead friend ain’t nothing. This time, 4000 times as powerful instead of 400. Oh jeez.

Cover
Sometimes the movie cover is the ending of the film. I am looking at you, Quarantine.

Man, fuck this movie.

That is all I can really say without ranting.

There is about four or so characters in it, only two main ones, yet still there is no redeeming qualities about any of them. The trailer even sets up the movie to make it seem like something it is not. I don’t remember the One You Believe, You Die being a major part of the movie. Maybe because it was so bad. But also because the thing was fucking with shit long before they would believe in it, and trying to kill them.

Like the end of the trailer? Clearly it’s not working. All the lies man.

Remember when she yells “Get Out of My House?” Well, she doesn’t even yell that at the ghost, but her boyfriend. Because hey, he did supernatural shit, so why not make him leave the house, even though the ghost thing is in said house?

It is incredible how bad this whole movie is. So bad, that I am even a bit disappointed that I wasted my free rental on it. Mehhh. Meh.

0 out of 4.

Gone

Gone is pretty much like Taken.

You know, if the main character is a young adult women, not an older man.

And if the younger sister is taken, not the daughter.

And if the main character has no training in any government field.

And if it takes place in a small town not half of France.

And — okay, not much like Taken.

AS Gone
Next thing you know I will be comparing everything to Top Gun.

Amanda Seyfried is just a girl. She works the night shift at a local diner, and lives at home with her younger sister, Emily Wickershaw. Possible drug use is happening. And vague references to a park. But why? Well, two years ago Seyfried was abducted from her house, and allegedly thrown in a hole in the middle of the forest. She wasn’t alone, bu there was bones too. She was trapped all day, but at night, heard a voice saying that it was time to die, and managed to escape when the mysterious man got her out of the hole. Since then she has lived her life in fear.

Unfortunately the local police don’t believe her story. Couldn’t find the hole, no signs of any abuse, and other complications. She was even put into a mental hospital for the story (severe!). But she lives with the sister now, and after getting home in the morning (and after some weird encounters with her coworker, Jennifer Carpenter) she finds her sister…missing! Based on very little evidence, she knows for a fact that the abductor has come back and meant to get her, but instead found just her sister.

Of course none of the detectives (Daniel Sunjata and Katherine Moenning) really believe her, but the new guy, Sebastian Stan kind is willing to believe her. Even though she has only been gone for hours, not really a missing person case. But Seyfried is freaking out, knowing that the killer “kills at night (from her one time being there)” and that she is running out of time!

So using what little she is given, she follows clues, and talks to many people who seem to remember an awful lot about their previous day, hoping to catch the killer in time. Wes Bentley also plays Emily’s boyfriend. Tons of other guy actors I know in this film, but you know, don’t want to give away which ones are important and which ones are not.

But will these strangely placed convenient clues and people who know way too much information, will they lead her to the killer? Or will she run into a trap? Or is she just making it all up again?

Gone
Or will her life revolve around a series of flashbacks that could be fake? Fakebacks.

For a film I didn’t even hear about until I saw it for sale (when I was going to pick up my copy of Goon), I was surprised that I liked it that much. Honestly, I assumed the only reason it was even supposed to be a big movie was because of Amanda Seyfried. I couldn’t recognize any of the actors on it besides her (and until I watched it, when I obviously knew Jennifer Carpenter).

But I thought it was nicely done. Seyfried’s acting was great, and had to carry the film. Lots of red herrings. Believable enough plot, but very believable ending. The police chase throughout the film wasn’t as believable. Tons of bumbling idiot cops I guess. And it also didn’t feature tons of shots of Seyfried kicking ass or anything. Mostly running away, and being sneaky.

I’d definitely say its worth a watch.

3 out of 4