Captain America: The First Avenger Review

27 07 2011

Crap Pun Review: This Cap Ain’t No 90lbs Weakling!

The summer of 2011 brought us Thor, X-Men: First Class, The Green Lantern and last but not least, Captain America: The First Avenger. In all honesty, I was only really interested in X-Men and Cap. I really wasn’t planning on seeing all four.  I had high hopes for Cap when I first eyed the trailer and speaking truthfully, I wasn’t disappointed by the end results.

This is the last solo Avengers flick before the big Assembling (pun intended) next year. Here’s hoping Mr. Joss Whedon doesn’t fuck it up. But honestly, everything he touches turns into fried gold. I shouldn’t worry, really.

I digress.

For those who don’t know Cap’s origin story: Steve Rogers was a skinny weakling who gets turned into a Super Soldier. He goes overseas to punch Hitler in the jaw. Red, white and blue, etc. The end. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

The movie was a lot more fun than I anticipated. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s definitely worth a go at the theatres.

Just promise me this: Promise me that you won’t see it in 3D. Pinky swear! No, seriously.

I’ll hunt you down. I’ll know.

What I liked:

– Red Skull’s wheels (It looks like Captain Nemo’s car from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)

– Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci’s performances. Jones brought the gruffs laughs, Tucci brought the drinks and the German accent.

– Chris Evans’ performance. He got the goody goody and the heroics juuuuuust right.

– Skinnified Steve Rogers SFX was pretty well done

– They decided to stick to the WWII era instead of trying to modernize it and send him to Iraq or something

– Actually getting an English actress to play a brit!

– Working Cap’s original costume into the story (and it STILL looked better than the costume they had from the 1990 movie)

– Giant-ass missiles that were clearly labeled for their intended targets

– Tommy Lee Jones eating steak…*nom nom nom*

– Captain America’s old timey theme song when he’s selling bonds

– Didn’t try to crowbar a love interest for Steve Rogers. Well, sorta.

– Chris Evans topless. *phwar*

What I loathed:

– Not enough Chris Evans toplessness

– Most of Cap’s action sequences was just one giant montage

– The climactic action set piece was in the middle of the movie instead of the end

– Yet another anti-climactic climax

– The disassociation of the Red Skull had with real Nazis and making him and HYDRA “badder than Hitler”

– Generic orchestral music. Come on, Alan Silvestri, you wrote music for Back to the Future!!!

What I’m Not Sure About:

–       Hugo Weaving’s acting, which gets WAY cartoony once he peels off his face

–       Lt. Hawk (Neal McDonough) from Star Trek: First Contact as Dum Dum Dugan (He used alright looking?! Now he’s an old dude in a bowler!)

In short: Go watch Chris Evans sling a shield into your face!

One for the road.


Red (2010): The Review

14 07 2011

Crap Pun Review: Red is the New Gray

I had my doubts when I first heard about this movie. I figured this would be a Space Cowboy for the government conspiracy/action-comedy flick genre.

Boy, was I wrong. Well, sorta.

Essentially, the flick’s about oldies kicking the arses of everybody younger than them (well, mostly Karl Urban’s arse), with the obligatory twist at the end.

Red = “Retired, Extremely Dangerous.” It’s what it says on the tin, strap in and enjoy the ride.

If you haven’t seen it already, give the movie a spin!! It’s definitely worth an hour and a half of your day!

Details and skin after the jump.

What I liked:

– Helen Mirren shooting guns in an evening gown. HAWT.

– Helen Mirren throat chopping some dude with her classy purse.

– Helen Mirren doing ANYTHING in the movie.

– The chemistry between the cast. It seems like everyone was having a good time. And getting a fat paycheque to boot.

– John Malkovich being generally nutty.

– Morgan Freeman’s French accent.

– Postcard scene wipes.

– Gun vs. bazooka sequence and homerunning a grenade by Malkovich.

– Karl Urban getting his arse completely handed to him by Bruce Willis.

– “Open the pig!” (Just watch it.)

What I loathed:

– Using Toronto to sub for Chicago and everywhere else. Being a Toronto native, it really took me out of the movie.

– “Kickass” music cues when there’s no need to. Yes, Bruce Willis just took down a hit squad and blew up his house. We get he’s bad. No need for the cockrock.

– The ridiculous shot of Willis stepping out of the cop car as it spins out of frame.

– Willis’ whisper acting. It was like he’s been taking lessons from Nicole Kidman. We had to turn the subtitles on because we couldn’t hear a damn thing whenever he spoke.

– Richard Dreyfuss’ annoying villain voice.

– Not nearly enough Helen Mirren.

What I’m Not Sure About:

– The lack of plot and the obligatory twist thrown in for good measure.

In short: Get a nice hot cup of tea, put your feet up and have a grand ol’ time!

Karl Urban in his Xena days. Grrrrrrr!

Summer Wars: The Review

7 07 2011

Crap Pun Review: The season’s right for an awesome film.

Summer Wars is a film about Kenji Koiso, an eleventh grade math genius who agrees to take a summer job at the hometown of his crush, Natuski. Much to his surprise, his “job” is to pretend to be Natsuki’s fiancé at the 90th birthday of her family’s matriarch. Meanwhile, his attempt to solve a mathematical equation causes a collision between OZ (virtual world) and the real one.

I’m gonna have do something different for this review. I tend to crap on a lot movies in my reviews, but this time around, there won’t be any crapping because I can say, with 100% certainty, that I’m constipated.

Okay, maybe 95% certain.

I bought this film without doing any research other than seeing clips of the sequences and thinking, “Wow, those are some cool character designs they’ve got in this film!”

I have no problems with the film itself. It’s an awesome film. It’s the way the film was marketed in North America that I have a problem with. Judging from DVD cover for this film, people might give it a pass because it looks like a generic Pokemon/Digimon type anime. I guess they have to reel anime fanboys in somehow. Judging from the poster alone, you’d have no idea that the entire movie takes place in the countryside and invovles a 90 year old woman and her family.

Yes, there are Digimon-looking avatars kicking ass in a VR world, but don’t be fooled. That isn’t what the movie is about. At its core, this movie is about the bonds between a family.

Note: I watched the original Japanese dubbed version. I can’t guarantee the same level of enjoyment if you decide to watch this with the English Dub.

Japanese Poster (Left) vs N American Poster (Right)

If you haven’t seen this, go hunt down a copy and watch it already!

What I liked:

– superb animation

– the strong-willed, 90 year old family matriarch

– character designs within the world of OZ

– good balance of humourous and serious moments

– evokes the family relationships found in Miyazaki films. (But with more asskicking sequences.)

What I loathed:

– the last part of the movie was a bit War Games-like

– predictable anime story arc (But still enjoyable!)

In short: SEE IT!