Posts Tagged ‘Frank Grillo’

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.


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.


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.


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.


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?

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+




Held up by the find acting of its leads, End of Watch is a strong, gritty movie with consequences that will linger long after the movie has ended.

End of Watch
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, David Harbour, America Ferrera, Cody Horn

Premise: Best friends, Officer Taylor and Officer Zavala are cocky partners in charge of keeping the streets of LA safe. One day on patrol, the uncover a large crime that through a series of unfortunate events leaves them targets of an extremely dangerous drug cartel.

My Review: End of Watch does what a lot of movies fail to do. It develops a love between two people so well you actually care about them, their relationship, and their survival. In this case, it’s two cops who have been friends for many years. They are both work partners and “brothers from another mother” and their devotion to each other and each other’s family is palpable. The friendship and bond between Officer Taylor and Officer Zavala and the chemistry between their counterparts Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena is what holds this gritty, bloody, stressful movie together.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are incredible to watch. Jake has his rugged good looks, his lopsided side smile, and his confident charisma and it works well with Pena’s humor, good nature, and overall charm. They bring these characteristics to their characters and we know from the decisions they make, and their devotion to each other that Taylor and Zavala are the real deal. This bond and chemistry made the ending that much harder to swallow. I knew what was coming, I had a strong feeling how it would end, but I cared about these characters so much the effect on me was powerful.

Despite having a serious story line and putting its characters in extremely dangerous and nail-biting situations, there is also humor to be found in David Ayer’s (who also directed) script. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena joke and bicker like they’ve been doing it all their lives. This, combined with fantastic supporting actors, Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, David Harbour, America Ferrera, and lesser known actors, are what makes this film watchable.

Unfortunately, where it fails is in the camera work. I can’t tell whether this movie is documentary style, found footage style, or just a film where sometimes we cut to the POV of the camera our protagonists hold. It never really committed to one of these styles, which made it extremely distracting. However, as I became engrossed in the movie I forgot all that, and in some cases I found that it worked. Most of the time you never saw things before our hero’s saw them, making situations that much scarier.

Like I said before, End of Watch is a strong movie with situations that will haunt you long after the movie has ended. If anything, watch it for the great work by Jake and Mike (In my mind, I know them well enough to call them that.) but beware, it’s not for the faint of heart.


Rating: 3 ½ stars out of 5
(It would have been 4 if not for weird camerawork)