Posts Tagged ‘Samuel L. Jackson’

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+

 

 







People tell me Django Unchained is a lot like Inglorious Bastards. Why? I can’t tell you that for sure. What I can tell you is that this movie is clever, hilarious, bloody, and a lot of fun.

 

Django Unchained

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washintgon, James Remar, Don Johnson, Walt Goggins, Jonah Hill, Laura Cayouette

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

I’m a fan of Tarantino. I loved his style in the Kill Bill’s, I adore Pulp Fiction and though I haven’t seen Reservoir Dogs or Inglorious Bastards, I’m sure I’d like them all the same. QT just has a style. A flair for the dramatics. A point of view. A creative vision. A great visual eye (thanks to Cinematographer, Bob Richardson). When you watch any movie of Tarantino’s, there’s no denying who created it. Tarantino is definitely an original.

This movie is no different. Django Unchained, at its heart, may be a story we’ve all heard before: A man is separated from his wife and sets out to rescue her despite insurmountable odds. But the circumstances are unique. The movie takes place two years before the civil war. Django is a slave on the way to be traded or sold, who is recruited by Bounty Hunter, Dr. King Schultz. Schults wants to claim a bounty on three men only Django can identify. He frees Django and they partner to help Schultz kill bad guys and help Django find Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), his wife. The search eventually leads the duo to Candyland, a massive plantation owned by the ruthless Calvin Candie, a spoiled brat that buys, sells, and fights Mandingos for sports. And well you know, of course hilarity ensues.

You wouldn’t think a story like this could be funny. But that’s where classic Tarantino writing comes in: Smooth talking, clever, intriguing dialogue that’s not only smart but witty. These characters breathe life into Django’s story.

First, you have Schultz who speaks so eloquently it’s like a dance. Schultz is smart and can pretty much talk his way out of any situation. And to watch him do so is both mesmerizing and amazing. Waltz has a way of turning any piece of dialogue into sounding like a perfect work of art. It comes out as smooth as silk. Then you have Samuel L. Jackson, who plays  privileged house servant, Stephen, to Leonardo DiCaprio’s, Mandingo plantation owner, Calvin Candie. Jackson, barely recognizable in aging make-up, plays a crotchety old man who can get away with saying the most obscene things. He’s the grandpa you spend your whole life avoiding and yet everything that spews out of his mouth is so obscene and unfiltered you can’t help but think, “No one could write this stuff.” Well, Tarantino can. Everything that comes out of Jackson’s mouth is comedy gold.

That brings us to Calvin Candie, perhaps the most vile character of them all. With his tobacco stained teeth and thick southern drawl, DiCaprio probably had the biggest transformation playing a character with no remorse, no moral compass, just righteous indignation. Candie holds his nose so high, making it all the better to smell the ass-kissing and brown-nosing from those around him. DiCaprio is really in his element here. Though, some would say it seems he is out of place, DiCaprio elevates Django to a place you would not expect. No matter what detestable things he does, or says, or thinks, you can not take your eyes off of him. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a movie star. He deserves all the good things that will hopefully come to him this awards season. (*cough* supporting actor Oscar *cough* hopefully *cough*)

With these three outstanding, memorable characters it’s easy to forget the star of the movie. Django himself, Jamie Foxx. Foxx is one badass mother f*****. From the great costume design of Sharen Davis, Foxx looks good. Like real good. His sexiness is played up, even without it even meaning too (or maybe that’s the genius behind it). When Foxx lights his cigarette, puts on those sunglasses, and saunters off into that night with explosions reverberating around him, its hard not to think he is anything but one cool ass dude. This may be my favorite Jamie Foxx role ever.

At nearly three hours Django didn’t feel long enough. Though the first half takes a bit to get going (and to the point) once Django and Schultz meet up with Candie, the movie comes into its own. Never has three actors conversing at the dinner table felt so tense, so engaging, and so compelling. The only thing I felt a bit lacking, was the chemistry and love story between Broomhilda and Django. I wish this aspect was played up just a bit more. I wanted heat! But Tarantino doesn’t do romance all that well.


Complete with the perfect mix of contemporary and non-contemporary soundtrack (which some people may find distracting, but I found it brought something unique and exciting to the flick), no one can deny that Tarantino doesn’t know how to put on a show! But this movie isn’t for everyone. It’s not for the faint of heart, or the overly critical. Some may find it distasteful, and there are buckets and buckets full of bloodshed. But really, someone will always find something to hate about anything. If you’re an too analytical and you hate stylistic pieces or movies about slavery, than you probably won’t like this movie. But if you want to go on a hilarious ride and have a bloody good time (in more ways than one) than you’ll enjoy Django Unchained.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

“I count six bullets.”

“I count two guns.”

I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun at a movie. The Avengers is one of the best summer movies I’ve ever seen. I dare you not to geek out. Hulk Smash!

Marvel’s: The Avengers

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Stellan Skarsgard, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddelston, Clark Gregg, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders

Premise: It’s a story we’ve all heard and seen before. The world is being threatened by a big baddie that unleashes unruly aliens on an unsuspecting metropolis. A group of unlikely misfits must band together to save humanity…blah blah. Yes, this is what The Avengers is about, only Joss Whedon manages to pull it off in a way that is fresh, clever, bright, witty, and completely geek-tastic.  Plus, Whedon has one thing none of the other movies have. And that’s a Hulk.

I’m gonna say it now The Avengers will be the most fun you had at an action superhero movie…ever. Sure, The Dark Knight Rises will be epic, but it’ll be moody and dark. The Avengers is pure, delightful fun. You will laugh, you will cheer, you will clap your hands like the proud nerd you know you are at heart.

This movie works because it was developed by a nerd fan-boy who appreciates the ridiculous cool factor this movie has. (I mean there are men in bright colors and tights and armor walking around NY city. How is that not ridiculous?) But it’s the fact that Whedon is the King of Nerd, that makes this movie as great as it is. Whedon has had a knack great dialogue, and contrary to popular belief, you can’t just put eight mega-heroes together in a room, blend, and expect a smooth delicious treat to come out. Sure the geek in us want to see the Hulk and Thor punch each other out, or Captain America and Iron Man battle like teenage boys fighting over who’s prettier, but the film critic/movie lover in us wants plot, and emotion, turmoil and triumph. Joss Whedon manages to fulfill both these wants. It’s a superhero movie with a plot that makes us CARE, that is a feat in itself

The Avengers is one of the funniest movies I’ve seen and a lot of that has to do with Marvel developing each character (with the exception of Black Widow and Hawkeye) in previous movies so we felt like we already know them. This allowed Whedon to skip over the messy “getting to know you” plots and have fun with the “getting to know you” parts instead.

Nick Fury (a bad-ass Samuel L. Jackson) decides to assemble the Avengers when Loki (Tom Hiddelston), brother of Thor, steals the tesseract (the glowing box of unlimited power) that Stark found while searching from Captain America. Now Loki is threatening to unleash a great evil in order to gain ultimate power and essentially rule the world. He knew assembling the Avengers would be hard, but what he didn’t expect was that it would be nearly impossible to get them to get along. Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is an obsessive compulsive, genius, narcissist, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is still a hot head, “Shakespearean” speaking god, Bruce Banner (a still loveable Mark Ruffalo no matter how “dark”) is a moody, scientist with a “big” problem, Black Widow is an ass-kicking former Russian spy, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is an observant, sharp shooter, and Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) probably the biggest outcast of them all is the only man that’s not bitter or jaded enough to do anything but follow orders and save the world. Each Avenger is already a superhero, and that’s the problem. They are loners, outcasts, misfits, and like Tony Stark says, “[they] don’t play well with others.”

Once they start working together what we get is clever, nerdy, action-packed battle scenes and bright moments that get your blood pumping. The movie is bright and colorful and hopeful, instead of brooding and sinister (I’m looking at you Batman). It’s a movie that makes you root for the good guys and cheer when then bad guys get the shit kicked out of them by The Hulk. Even Agent Coulson can appreciate the epic-ness of this movie, so why can’t we?

I’ll say it again: The Avengers is the most fun you’ll ever have in a superhero movie and that alone is a fresh feat. Check it out, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. And dare I say it…3D actually worked for this movie. Man Joss Whedon is on a roll!

 

Rating: 4 1/2 stars (out of 5).

Random Thoughts  **minor spoilers**:

  • Loved the one liners!
  • What was that old school video game that SHIELD agent was playing?
  • I am fascinated by Chris Evan’s butt in the boxing scene.
  • Loved the Loki/Hulk show down.
  • I’m not a fan of Scarlett Jo, but I am a fan of her portrayal of Black Widow.
  • End tag: HILARIOUS. Freakin’ hilarious.
  • I wish Joss had included this scene in the movie, as well as had a REAL cameo from Natalie Portman.
  • There was one moment in the movie where the entire theater gasped in horror. That’s how you know we really care about a character.