Posts Tagged ‘anthony mackie’

The thing I like about Captain America is that he’s a good man first, and a super hero second. While other superheroes are dark or selfish, arrogant or extremely complicated Captain America is a true honest to God, good, crime fighting superhero.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Directed By: Joe Russo and Anthony Russo
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannsen, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, Frank Grillo, Sebastian Stan, Emily Van Camp

Premise: As Steve Rogers adjusts to life in the present, he discovers that it’s hard to find people to trust. Even when S.H.I.E.L.D. sends him on missions it’s never cut and dry, there is always some other task going on that Steve isn’t aware of. But when a bloodied Nick Fury appears in Steve’s apartment after being attacked with the message., “Don’t trust S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Steve finds himself both a target and a fugitive. S.H.I.E.L.D believes he has the government by refusing to disclose Fury’s last words. He and Black Widow find themselves on the run knowing they are the only people who can expose the conspiracies deep within the government.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a brave superhero movie. Steve Rogers is just a man, and while the other Avengers fight killer robots with advanced technology, monsters we can only dream of, aliens from other planets, vengeful Gods with mystical powers, Captain fights for something. And that something is very real. It is something we, as mere mortals, can understand and relate to. He fights for justice, against a corrupt government, against ultimate power, and against control over the human race.

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The movie is tense and exciting and introduces new characters that are fresh and original. One of the best things about Marvel and their stories are their ability to weave complicated emotions throughout their characters. They ask the hard questions. What do you do when your brother is the ultimate evil? What do you do when you can’t contain your terrible terrible temper? What do you do when you’re just a man that can shoot arrows well? What do you do when you feel like the whole world is against you? What would you do if you had to fight your best friend whose not evil just brain-washed to do evil? This movies and movies like this (i/e The Dark Night Rises) are powerful are because the issues they tackle are relevant today. “Absolute corrupt power, corrupts absolutely.”

 

6 Things You Should Know:

1)      There is Character Development – You know me, I’m a fan of substance over flash and this movie really allowed its characters to shine. While answering old questions and giving us new ones. The actors had heavy loads this time around and Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannsen, and Anthony Mackie have some great chemistry together.

2)      The Falcon is AWESOME – I mean seriously he is. Those wings are fantastic and the first time to you them it’s hard not to nerd out about it. Not to mention Anthony Mackie brings some much needed humor to the movie.

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3)      The Nick Fury Car Chase is One of the Best Action Sequences – We always knew Nick Fury was a bad ass. From the moment Samuel L. Jackson stepped into the role there was no way he couldn’t be. But to finally see that Fury can be more than just a man dolling out vague information and funny quips is an exciting thing. It also proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Nick Fury is THEE biggest bad ass of all the bad asses. (PS: The Winter Soldier is a close 2nd Bad-Ass.)

4)      I Wish There Was More... – Humor:  The one thing the movie was missing was more of its light hearted humor. Sure Anthony provided more of the lighter moments, and it had those nice one liners and quips Marvel is so well known for, but with such a heavy subject matter I would have like to have seen some funnier moments. …Emily Van Camp: I’m guess Sharon Carter will play a bigger role in Cap 3, but I wish there were more Emily Van Camp, I love her

5)      The Fighting is Thrilling – Sure you can fight with a robotic suit, or a hammer, or a shield, but the thrilling fight sequences was when it went hand to hand, fighting with knives, or fists, or sheer will-power. GSP fighting Cap, come on! Amazing.

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6)      #ItsAllConnected – I can’t wait to see what impact this movie has on the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Because frankly it’s a game changer. And that’s what makes Marvel so ingenious. It’s all connected! How often do you get to see the aftermath of a movie play out?
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You can call him a do-gooder, you can call him boring, you can call him the least exciting Avenger. But when it comes down to it, what makes Cap so fantastic, what makes him possibly the best Avenger is the fact he’s a man first, and a hero second. He chooses to believe the best in people, who chooses good over evil, he chooses others over himself. I’d pick Cap first to fight by my side any day. Because of all the things I listed, and well, because he just looks so damn good in that suit.

 

Rating: A-/B+

 

 







10 Years wasn’t a bad movie, persay. It had some sweet moments but that’s all they ever were. One thing this movie did was it made me glad I did not attend my 10 Year High School Reunion.

10 Years

Starring: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Justin Long, Max Minghella, Oscar Isaac, Chris Pratt, Ari Graynor, Scott Porter, Brian Geraghty, Aubrey Plaza, Rosario Dawson, Ron Livingston, Anthony Mackie, Kate Mara

Premise: High School friends attend their 10 Year high school reunion remembering the good and bad times. They see how people have changed and not changed all at the same time. Things are learned, things are not learned, and there’s karaoke. Also, you should know, Channing Tatum keeps his shirt on this time.

My Review:  Movies with big ensemble casts can often suffer from spreading themselves too thin from too many plot lines. Some movies tackle this issue well (see Love Actually), while others can suffer from muddy, uninteresting plots that are not well developed (see What To Expect When You’re Expecting). This movie had a total of 9 to 10 subplots and was 90 minutes long. And…surprisingly, it felt longer. That should tell you something.

I do have to say there was one storyline I enjoyed and that was the storyline between Oscar Isaac, who I was convinced was a younger/better looking David Krumholtz for the first half of the movie, and Kate Mara. They’re chemistry was out of this world! And the storyline was intriguing and surprising and sweet. Also sweet, Channing Tatum and his wife, Jenna. They are just so damn adorable in this movie using their coupledom to their benefit. If this is how they are all the time…I truly hate them. I love them, but I hate them.

10 Years seemed to encapsulate what I imagine my high school reunion to be like: Nostalgic, uncomfortable, annoying, and very, very….VERY awkward.  Lucky for me I passed on my reunion, and honestly, save this movie for a Redbox.

 

Rating: 2 Stars

 

 

 

Okay, despite the highly implausible plot and plot points, and predictable “twists” you could see coming a mile away. I liked this movie, it was a good ride.

Man On A Ledge

Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Anthony Mackie, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris

Premise: Nick Cassidy, an ex-cop, has been accused of stealing a multimillion diamond from the most powerful man in the country. He has been sentenced to 25 years in prison as a result despite the fact that insists his innocent – no one seems to believe him. While released briefly to attend his father’s funeral, Nick escapes custody and goes on the run. Now, days later we find Nick on the ledge of the Roosevelt a 40-story building, threatening to jump. Only things aren’t adding up and we find out there’s much more to Nick than the suicidal jumper he claims to be.

My Review: First, let me list the bad:  1) This movie reminded me of a lot of other movies put together. It felt like a mix between “Phone Booth” and “Oceans 11”.  2) A lot, if not most of the situations were highly impossible. Impossible in the ways that even if, and it’s a big IF, one of those things could actually happen, there’s no way in our society today the latter would be able to happen. (An explosion in NYC not noticed? In what world?)  3) There was a lot of “filler” in the middle of the movie, almost like the filmmakers were grasping at straws to make the movie fit into the 102 minute film.

Now the good: I like it when movies are creative – when something unexpected happens amongst the expected. Sure, okay, maybe the plot and subplots are a little familiar and slightly familiar, but if it’s executed in a creative, smart, funny way, then I think it’s a win overall. And that’s what Man On A Ledge did. The tricks and twists kept me entertained and saved this movie from being a letdown.

I also like the fact that Hollywood didn’t drag some meaningless romantic story line into the plot and screw it all up. (Seriously, doesn’t it seem like every movie whether it fits to the character or not has a romantic plot line? But I digress…) Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks had good chemistry, and it would have been real EASY to include a romance type situation in there but instead they stuck to the story instead putting friendship, trust, and family at stake. And those things are much more interesting with a story like this.

Overall, though some situations were incredibly highly implausible, the acting was great, the supporting cast really added depth, humor, lightness, and the story was engaging and the movie was smart and clever.

 

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

 

This movie proves it IS possible to make an engaging, engrossing movie with a good story and lot of heart, involving robots that kick each other ass. Reel Steel is the movie Transformers could and should have been.

 

Reel Steel

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lily, Dakota Goyo, Anthony Mackie

Reel Steel is one of those movies that will leave you with warm fuzzies about it. There’s nothing too complicated about it and it doesn’t try and be something it’s not. Sure aspects of it are about the pretty pretty toys and fancy technology, but there’s no overall evil force, there’s no real villain. It’s about the underdog. It’s about a father reconnecting with his son. It’s about a man trying to find what makes him happy and…It’s about robots that kick each other’s ass. How would any of that NOT appeal to you?

I wasn’t sure at first how I felt about Hugh Jackman as Charlie. He didn’t quite fit into the role, but once his son, Max (Dakota Goyo), came into the picture it was like all was right with the world and I think both the Hugh (the actor) and Charlie (the character) felt the same way. Something just clicked.

The movie takes place in a time where people thirst for violence and money making opportunities only with no loss of life. Thus, humans built robots to fight to the death. Charlie, who makes his living fighting robots for money, learns the mother of his child has died. He agree to give-up his parental rights to the kids aunt, but the uncle has a problem…He wants to take his wife to Spain for two months. Without the kid. So Charlie agrees to “watch” his “son” for a price of course.

It was always inevitable that the pair would fall for each other, and as much as Charlie fought it, he did have natural father instincts. Hugh Jackman played Charlie just right, a little cocky, a little selfish, and very reckless, but once Max came into the picture the layers began to peel away.

The robot action was no disappointment either. It somehow managed to blend “old school” with “new school.” I appreciated that they used a boxing ring for their matches (like the rock ‘em sock ‘em robots) rather than some uber-sleek, shiny futuristic arena. It was completely believable to me. I really think a couple decades from now we will be watching unmanned robots kill each other. I mean have you seen the X-Box Kinect? We are super close.

Overall, this movie had a lot of heart and there’s a David and Goliath ending that is truly fantastic. Hugh Jackman also has a wonderfully inspired moment at the end that brought tears to my eyes. Michael Bay take note! You can have a successful movie involving ass-kicking robots!

Rating: 4 Stars.

I’m a sucker for a good rom-com. They’re fun and you get to swoon over guys who in real life don’t exist, but it’s fun to pretend like they do. Though Anna Faris can sometimes be over the top, What’s Your Number was sweet, cute, and gave me a crush on Chris Evans.

 

What’s Your Number?

Starring: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Anthony Mackie, Blythe Danner, Andy Samberg

Premise: Ally Darling (Anna Faris) is searching for the right guy. She reads a magazine article that tells her any girl who sleeps with 10 + men is destined to live a life of loneliness. Unfortunately Ally’s number is 20, leading her to reconnect with her ex’s in order not to increase her number. With the help of her playboy neighbor (Chris Evans), Ally tracks down her exes and realizes they were her exes for a reason.

My Review: There are good romantic comedies such as Sleepless In Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Sweet Home Alabama and then there are terrible, terrible rom-coms: He’s Just Not That Into You, Ugly Truth, Something Borrowed. Luckily, What’s Your Number falls into the former.

Anna Faris is endearing. She’s sweet, she’s nerdy, she’s cool, and she’s obviously psycho, but psycho in the best way. Sure at times she was over the top with both her acting and the naiveté of her, but my major problem with her was that it was completely unbelievable that she wouldn’t be able to snag a great guy, and it was completely unbelievable that she’d have this string of loser ex-boyfriends. There had to be some good ones in there, right? But I guess that was her thinking too.

However, like any good romantic comedy, there were some sweet moments too. And that was thanks in part to Chris Evans. This movie put Chris Evans into heartthrob status for me. Sure he was a player pretty boy in Fantastic Four, and him with his shirt off in Captain America is indeed amazing, but in this movie his character Colin really made me (for lack of a better word) swoon. Evan’s played Colin with such ease. Colin was just a dude who liked the ladies. But we weren’t punched in the face with it. He wasn’t the playboy wild child who needed Anna Faris to tame him. He was just a dude – a dude who formed a crush on his neighbor. And it was sweet and definitely swoon-worthy.

Though this story had a lot of holes, a lot of inconsistencies, and it wasn’t necessarily the most original plot line, it wasn’t shallow. When you really get to the heart of the matter it all has to do with Aly’s self esteem. She just doesn’t think she’s good enough and that’s affected not only who she dates, but also who she doesn’t date. And in that aspect the story is utterly relatable. The movie is also helped along by the incredible chemistry between Chris Evan’s and Anna Faris. There were some real moments in the movie where the two actors looked like they stopped acting and were just having fun. The movie turned into much more than just the gimmick of Aly’s crazy and goofy ex-boyfriends. If you like rom-coms, go watch it, you’ll find yourself smiling.

Rating: 3 Stars(maybe 3 ½ for Chris Evans.)

 

 

I recently saw The Adjustment Bureau and Limitless. If these two movies were to fight to the death, hands down The Adjustment Bureau would win. Though both movies didn’t DAZZLE or IMPRESS me, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt had fantastic chemistry. Read on to check out my reviews!

 

The Adjustment Bureau

Starring: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery

My Review

The Adjustment Bureau had all the makings for a great movie, attractive cast, great story, high concept. However, it failed in execution.

The first 1/2 of the movie was compelling, exciting, and mysterious. Matt Damon has a lot of charisma and I loved watching him flirt with Emily Blunt. But when the “men with hats” were introduced it was like the writers didn’t know what to do with them. Even if Anthony Mackie is ADORABLE, there was no mythology behind the “men with hats” existence. Instead they fell back on cliche phrases like, “we answer to a higher power” or “it’s not for you to understand” or “they were never supposed to meet again” (but no explanations as to why. Instead of coming off as mysterious it felt like the characters themselves had no idea what was going on.

Still – I partly think it was the chemistry between the two leads and the high/interesting that held my attention so long. But FATE/DESTINY as the “villian” was where the main problem within the movie lied. Because, really, how do you fight fate?

Cliff Notes Version: Check it out for the chemistry and the cool concept. Maybe just – matinee.

Stars: 3



 

Limitless

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish, Robert Dinero, Anna Friel

My Review:
Limitless wasn’t bad…but I wouldn’t call it great either. Brad Cooper and his baby blues tried hard to make this picture what it could have been, but the ambiguous ending definitely knocks it down a few points.

Limitless is about a “down-on-his-luck” smart guy, who runs into an ex-in-law, who offers him a shiny small pill that can change his life forever. Only the pill doesn’t take him to the matrix, instead it opens his brain/mind letting him use it to it’s full capacity. For Brad Cooper, it turns him into an uber-smarty pants allowing him to turn $100,000 into $2 million in just 4 days. Now, I’d like to get bitten by that radio active spider.

However, this pill, is highly addicting and if taken too much for too long, it can hold deadly consequences.

This movie was bright and flashy with some fancy toys (cars, houses, etc) and smart, quick lingo. There were even some funny moments. But it was also predictable and a little “been-there-done-that,” in concept and execution. The stars are appealing, Bradley Cooper, Robert Dinero, Abbie Cornish (who will forever remain the girl who broke up Reese and Ryan) and an unrecognizable Anna Friel (pushing daisies), but the Chemistry wasn’t all there. Cooper had to do most of the work to keep the movie going.

And the ending – don’t get me started on the ending. I won’t spoil it for you but, I hate ambiguous endings. And this wasn’t even a cool one like the LOST finale, or the Inception ending. It was a “I spent 90 minutes watching this and you end with NOTHING?” kind of ending.

So Cliff Notes version: Entertaining, but save your money and rent it.

Stars: 3