Recent Rediscovery

So as the title says, I recently rediscovered my Flicker account and I wanted to share that link with you.  I don’t claim to be a professional and I don’t claim to be great, but I would say that I have caught a few really good pics over the years and I just thought I would share those.  Below is one of my favorite pics I have ever taken, so check out the Flicker and know that the Maltese Falcon review is on it’s way 🙂  Thanks!

Joy

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Damn you, Woody Allen! Bein’ all Smart ‘n….Stuff!

I hate Woody Allen right now….just a little bit…. **Spoiler Warning**

Summer Film Challenge 2011
Film:  
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Date:  6 August 2011
My Rating:  9/10

Damn you, Woody Allen!!  I got so into this movie and then it just dropped me flat.  The best way I can describe it is that it is a groaner. For those of you comedically uncultured, let me give you an example:

Twin brothers, one named Emal and the other Juan, grew up and moved out of the country. A year later, their mother receives from Juan a letter and picture of himself. His mother sighs and mentions she wishes she had a picture from Emal as well. ‘Why,’ replies her husband, ‘if you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Emal.’

At first you have no idea where it is going. It seems sort of random and odd, yet you are intrigued. Then there is a slight turn towards the middle and you begin to realize you know where it is going. From there you just watch it unfold until it takes the final turn at the end and then you realize how frustratingly funny it is.  Thus – the groan.

And thus The Purple Rose of Cairo.  At the beginning you really don’t know what is going on and where this insanity is headed.  As the film progresses you develop a belief (or perhaps a hope) of where the film is headed. As it goes on, however you begin to realize what it is trying to say and you watch it begin to spiral to that point. Finally at the end, with the last little twists taken care of, you arrive at the truth – Allen told you this was coming throughout the whole film and you just have to deal with the fact that he was right.  When I watched the movie I got towards the end and started saying to myself, “Don’t you do it, Woody!” Don’t you make your point!” But of course he did, and that is what makes this movie great.

Basically the point is this (and I can’t remember who said it in the film):  It Only Ever Happens In The Movies.  Cecilia, as well as we the audience, get suckered into truly wishing that things would turn out for the best – like they always do in the movies.  But of course that is exactly what Woody Allen wanted us to thing.  He masterfully manipulates our expectations so that when the true ending occurs, we see it new and fresh just like Cecilia. And while we hate him for it at the time, we realize upon reflection exactly how brilliant the thing truly is.

One final note about the style – I would say that this is the second of the very few ways in which a Defeatist film can really work.  It does pretend to be something that is fantastic and worth my time, and then drops it all at the end.  However when you take time to think about it, that was the purpose of the film – to get us to think.  It is meant to be jarring so that we can see the true brilliance of it.  I know I use that word a lot but in this film it has been earned – it doesn’t really go anywhere plot-wise but it takes us places spectacular. It is defeatist with an ironic point – to BE defeatist.

The acting was phenomenal!!!  Jeff Daniels definitely had the role I thought he always deserved (having watched all of his work in reverse).  His portrayal of two versions of the same man was great. I loved his boyish enthusiasm as Gil and his uncanny perfection as Baxter. Truly a phenomenal performance and he had a great leading lady to play off of!  Mia Farrow destroyed the role of the woman who loved the movies – who got lost in the reels of the cinema.  Really I feel she captured the essence of what all of us who know and are passionate about Story feel like – the immeasurable spaces we get lost in when we open ourselves to fictional lives.  Great work all around in that department.

The only issues I had with The Purple Rose of Cairo were with the flapper soundtrack – which was definitely a bit much at times – and the out-of-the-blue move by Actor Gil at the ending. His decision seemed unmotivated and while I guess it makes sense to say he put his career first, there wasn’t any explanation of that really.  He just wasn’t there all of a sudden (Yes it plays into the moral, but it still didn’t make much sense).  Other than that though it was really an amazing film that I am glad to say I have seen.  I look forward to more of Woody’s work in the future.

Why we in the Film Business do what we do

So there you go!  One more of the Summer Film Challenge down and out of the way.  I still have a long way to go to finish everything from that list so expect a lot of reviews in the next month or two. Thanks for sticking around and while you’re at it, check out my friend Ryan’s reviews of this film and, one of my personal favorites, Harvey over at his BLOG.

Up next is that Humphrey Bogart classic – “The Maltese Falcon” – which should be up fairly soon. Also, don’t think I have forgotten about the Legend of Korra review on my Art of the Trailer blog.  That will be up shortly after this one is posted.  Thanks again and check back real soon for more good stuff!

BTW – My Assassin’s Creed review has had three 100+ view days in a row now!  That’s awesome! Thanks for all the support!

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Seriously! What the Frak!?

This is part of the Summer Film Challenge…..sort of.  Ryan challenged me to watch the show Battlestar Galactica, one of his fav’s right now, and so I did.  And it has been…interesting.  It has ups and downs like other shows and I want to explore those found in the first two seasons of the recently deceased Sci-fi show. BEGIN!!!

Season 1:

Long story short it started very, VERY slow but it ended rather well.  I really struggled in the first few episodes to find a character I could relate to or care about because I didn’t know enough about any of them.  I was supposed to care about the last remnants of the human race but all the plot seemed to be about was the Cylons.

Gaius Baltar, the neurotic science officer, was the most interesting character of the entire show. He is the only character who gets any sort of arc really (at least human character; Sharon seems to get a lot of attention). His psychosis is fascinating – both because it is awkwardly disturbing and because it hints at a great development in his character in the future (Getting to that in a bit).

I guess that is my major issue with the show – it starts in so hot and heavy that it is hard for me to get into it.  Two-thirds of the season were focused almost solely on the cylons (at least as far as interesting arcs go). We flash between the Galactica running from the Cylons and trying to find the sleeper-Cylons in there ranks to Helo fleeing the Clyons on Caprica in the company of #8 – “Sharon”.  Oh yeah, there’s also politics….yeah.  It just isn’t interesting stuff to watch other than for the visuals.  At least it has solid character who don’t have ridiculous 180 turns (like….say…glee!).

It was only in the last couple of episodes that I really got into it.  It was about Ep. 13 “Colonial Day” – that it picked up. The only interesting character is finally pushed into an interesting position, and Helo FINALLY gets a hint of what’s really going on. While it was a politics episode, which always frustrates me (end of the world – Smack a bleep and stop playing government), it does go as far as to develop several plot arcs to the breaking point which is what I was waiting for the whole time.

I was surprised that they found Kobol so quickly. At first I wasn’t crazy about it but when I saw how slow they were taking it I thought it was a good move.  The stakes are raised without ruining one of your good, major plot points. By far the best episode I have seen thus far was the two part Season 1 finale. It did exactly what it was supposed to do:

  • Advance the plot arcs (Helo and #8, Boomer, Starbuck and Apollo)
  • Creates new plot arcs for the next season (Baltair and Chief crashing on Kobol, the Fleet jumping away, Boomer’s revelation, Adama being shot)
  • Leaves me wondering “What’s going to happen?”

I was screaming “WHAT!?!?!?!” at the tv when Boomer shot Adama – they really did a great job of juking me. There was a lot set up that really drew me in and I think I watched the Season 2 pilot immediately after it ended, I was so enthralled.  Great job ending on a good note.

Speaking of notes, one final one:  I like how the show emphasizes sex instead of love in the semi-post-apocalyptic world.  It often feels odd that romance occurs in other end of the world films (such as Blade Runner, The Island, V for Vendetta, Waterworld).  I like that they focus on the fact that, in the world after, emotions are high and people aren’t seeking relational security as much as sheer physical contact to remind them they are alive.  It is very guteral and very human – and it makes for great drama 🙂

Overall Rating:  6/10

Season 2:

Okay. What the Frak?  What happened!?  It was going so well and then it totally lost sight of where it was going. I think this season fell into the same problem that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt 1 had – it felt disconnected and vignette-y. It also adopts a problem that Glee has in that the character have 180 degree shifts that don’t make any sense.  Really a rough Season because it had some incredibly good moments but was marred by some equally bad ones.

I’ll start with what I liked.
I liked that they developed Commander Tigh’s character – he has potential for some fantastic arcs.
I liked that Gaius’s madness progresses and began to have purpose and point (more on this later).
I liked that they played the “Power struggle with new element” card (ie – Pegasus arc).
I liked the Blackbird.

…That’s about it.  Honestly I don’t know what happened during this season, if there was a writer’s strike or what, but the season really fell apart at the halfway point.  I created the graph below which, to me, best describes the quality of the Season:

Made on an Apple Stickie

The show started off well enough and got really good at about episode 5 “The Farm”.  It brought a new urgency and, forgive me using this word again, guttural creepiness to the Cylons that reminded me that they are the enemy and I should care about the humans. Of course the return of Captain Adama to the helm was phenomenal and moving, and I loved how they showed that he was broken inside by his imploring the dead Sharon “why?”.  It was a great episode that introduced a new Humanoid-Cylon and upped the stakes quite a bit.

From there it only got better. The haphazard rescue mission to Kobol (Home, parts I & II)was great and it allowed for Chief’s character to be developed to the place it should be, as well as giving Gaius a dirty little secret. “Final Cut” (haha. film joke.) again gave us a new Human-Cylon to worry about as well as gave us a great insight into the characters we already know and love. It was a bit vignette, but the new info revealed made it worthwhile.

I loved “Flight of the Phoenix” just because it played on my favorite quote from that film:  “I think a man only needs one thing in life. He just needs someone to love. If you can’t give him that, then give him something to hope for. And if you can’t give him that, just give him something to do.”  Chief gets a great arc there and the make the absolute beauty of a ship – the Blackbird.  I was so excited to see where that would go…….yeah…

Finally, the introduction of the Pegasus and of Admiral Cain was a fantastic plot device!  I fell into exactly what they wanted me to feel – that it was a good thing at first, but then I realized that it was going to go bad really quickly. “Pegasus” and both parts of “Resurrection Ship” were the best parts of the entire Season. It got so intense and so engaging, creating several amazing arcs that were headed towards not just an engaging Season, but an awesome show.  I loved every second of those episodes. But then “Epiphanies” happened…

I think it pertinent to bring up my vignette issue again. I loved the creation of the Blackbird, but the killed it almost instantly after it was created. Same with the Pegasus and same with ANY of that Battlestar’s command.  While each episode was interesting, they all ended up not doing much to advance the plot.  I mentioned earlier about “Final Cut”, it gave us new insight into the characters but then it doesn’t go any further.  “Black Market”, “Scar”, “Captain’s Hand” – all have no ultimate bearing on anything.

I think the true case in point is the vast lineage of commanders of the Pegasus.  They had a great arc going with the power struggle between Adama, Cain, and Roslin. When Cain was killed, I was ecstatic! They had taken that about as far as it could (maybe a bit more) and now they were handing it over to a new guy.  I thought it would go well but the arc completely fell apart when a black market guy (wtf?) has him killed.  The next 8 commanders of the Pegasus don’t really work out either.  Totally killed a perfectly good line.

And then “Epiphanies” happened…
Basically they discovered fake Cylon blood cures cancer….WHAT THE FRAK!?!?!?!  Deus Ex Machina, anyone? I was glad to see Roslin stay on but not in that manner.  The episode was total malarky and as the graph shows started the period of absolute SUCK of the Season.

I’m going on a lot about this, so I’ll cut it short a bit.  “Downloaded” was great because we got to see a bit of Cylon thought (for how much the focused on them, they never developed them really”.  Plus discovering the planet was a cool plot device….until the Season Finale. I honestly have no idea what happened in the 2 part “Lay Down Your Burdens” because a whole season goes by in an episode.  They skip over years of history and leave us wondering what the frak happened!  I understand their was a webseries that covered that time but WHY NOT MAKE THAT IN THE BLEEPING SHOW!!!!!  A terrible ending to a moderately terrible Season.

It had the potential to be a 10, but I just can even begin to give it that.  The characters change every episode, the episodes go no where, and the arcs are shot out an airlock somewhere. And did that one priest lady return from the GRAVE as the Sagitarion Councilor???

Overall Rating:  5/10

Sorry to be such a Debbie-downer but Season 2 really sucked.  I got so into it and it just fell totally flat.  Sorry.

Quick note:  We have identified at this point the following about the Cylons posing as humans:

1   –
2   –
3   – Female Reporter (red hair & aussi)
4   –
5   – Male Reporter (Guy from beginning, Suicide bomber)
6   – Blonde (Gaius’ delusion)
7   –
8   – “Sharron” / Boomer
9   –
10 –
11 –
12 –
Unaccounted For
**Doctor guy from Farm (African American)
**Junky Guy from beginning of Season 1
**Priest Guy from season 2 end

Just a thought.  Another thought is that apparently they are starting a spinoff show called Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome which will be about Young William Adama and the first Cylon war.  Can’t wait for that….might be better than the show thus far.  Let me know what you think of BSG Seasons 1 & 2 (no spoilers please). I’d love to hear your thoughts on it!

Thanks for sticking with me and be looking forward to my trailer analysis on Art of the Trailer.  It’s going to be late….obviously, but it will be good so please check that out as well as all my previous stuff.  Thanks!

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Quickee-Palooza!!!

So, I am way-far behind on the reviews.  And I was really struggling to figure out how to create a full and complete review for movies that I saw a month ago now.  The solution – A Quickee post!  I might do this in the future if this comes up again but basically I take 1 or 2 paragraphs for a review rather than a whole post.  So with that rushed and poorly explained description, here we go!

Amelie

Yes. I did finally watch it with Subtitles 🙂  I still believe watching it in French was better, but I did need to see it with Subtitles to get a complete enough grasp of it for review.  It was nice to catch some of the nuances that the writing has that can’t be gained by the gorgeous visuals alone.

The film is a celebration of the importance of the smallness and magic of life’s little things.  We enter a beautiful fairytale of Jeunet’s design which revels in the peculiarities of love, adventure and the imagination.  The film itself is beautiful as are the message and plot.  All around it has very quickly become one of my favorite films and I strongly recommend it to any adult (there are a few risque scenes for younger audiences to be aware of)

MY RATING:  10/10

Pontypool

I found this movie channel surfing on the HBO channels.
I read the book it was based on.
I bought the dvd.
I am terrified by this film.

This is by far the most interesting twist on the Zombie genre since George Romero gave it life…again. The idea that the zombie virus is spread via speech is fascinating and either brilliant or insane.  The book was bizarre and very oddly written and the film manages that peculiarity while having almost nothing to do with the book! Crazy!

Pontypool has a great concept that gets a bit muddied at the end. Again I say that the plausibility of a virus hiding in our language is suspect, the idea of it is bone-chilling.  What I love most about the film is that it capitalizes on the fear of the unknown – most of the film we don’t really know what is going on until the good doctor comes in and gives a rough explanation of it (btw I like that he figures it out then and there). From this lack of definition of the problem arises the far more interesting problem of “what the bleep is going on!?”.

The location is amazingly well chosen – both because of the intimate connection of radio and language and because of its confining nature. I honestly would love to adapt this as a one-act play.  It reminds me of “Sorry, Wrong Number” – a great emotional dichotomy of a single character that plays out over a short space.  I would definitely go watch a man slowly discover that the world is caving in around him. Just a thought.

Anyway the fact that I spent all night thinking “Kiss is Kill” to me emphasizes how good the film really is.  The ending isn’t so hot but I do recommend this, again, to older audiences due to the graphic nature of some scenes.

MY RATING:  8/10

Gone with the Wind

I finally got around to seeing it.  I can see what all the hype is about but at the same time I have to admit I have several issues with it.  First it is definitely Epic – the genre, not my feeling for it.  It clearly pushes the limits on scale of setting and extras.  However it doesn’t push any limits on story – it is one of the most basic storylines I have ever seen.  Emily mentioned that the first half could have been it’s own film.  What makes that work is the excellent quality of the writing for the characters. Scarlett and Red are fascinating roles, both fanciful and incredibly real.

The reality of the film most likely comes from the shear length of it.  You cannot sit watching people’s lives for 4 hours without beginning to see them as real people.  The writing is spectacular which does help but honestly I think it is just flipping long.  Visually the film is amazing!  I cannot think of another film that uses of silhouette at all, let alone to such wonderful results.  The visual style is vibrant, yet dimmed during the low points, and brings to life both the pre- and post- Burning-of-Atlanta South. Absolutely beautiful film.

Now the ending. First let me say that this is what I mean by a good Defeatist ending. It is depressing but they end it on a “Life goes on” message. Even if that message is rife of mixed feelings, it still gives me enough catharsis to let it end.  Just enough. What also makes the ending interesting is the audience’s mingling desires for revenge and for catharsis.  We spent the first half of the film wondering why we should care about this Bleep of a woman and yet we are crying for her at the end. It was a very interesting feeling which I think is unique to this film.

Overall it was a great movie that I am glad to cross off my list.  Long but good stuff.

MY RATING:  9/10

Btw – There is an odd similarity between the Theme song and “I’m All Alone” from Spam-a-lot….coincidence?  I think NOT!

The Manchurian Candidate

My last Quickee of the day is of the 1962 classic with Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury. As Emily will attest for me, I screamed at the screen that “Angela Lansbury doesn’t Co-star to anyone!”  And of course she played the role fantastically. Sinatra did great – I didn’t even recognize him until halfway through the movie.  Laurence Harvey also performed excellently. I loved his vacancy throughout the whole thing.

The plot was okay.  I thought it was handled well and I imagine that at the time this was groundbreaking.  However to the modern audiences it might seem a bit cliche.  I was surprised at the reveal and pleasantly at that, but for the most part it was a lot like other films.  The positive there is that it was good enough to inspire such copycats 🙂

Ultimately great film that I highly recommend to all.

MY RATING:  10/10

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Yup there you go!  Hope you enjoyed the four Quickee’s – I know it was fun to make them 🙂

I also wanted to express my flabbergast-ation and deep thanks for the incredible response I am getting to my Assassin’s Creed Review.  It has gotten over 90 hits in the last week only!  I am amazed and so appreciative for your readership and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for it. With that I am pleased to announce that I have a new video game review in progress: Assassin’s Creed II.  I haven’t finished the game yet but I’d like to get the review up before the release of Assassin’s Creed Revelations on November 15.  Thank you so much and spread the world – the sequel is on the way!!!

Final announcement:  look forward to a couple of Summer Film Challenge Reviews in the coming weeks.  I have seen several and am definitely going to have them finished before my cross-country roadtrip back to Cali next Tuesday.  In the meantime, check the my review of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy on the Art of the Trailer. Thanks for sticking with me and check back real soon, ya hear!?

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Pottermore Update

I am very pleased to announce that I got into the Pottermore Beta!!!

I am SO excited about the new world of Harry Potter that is about to arrive in the form of Pottermore.  I still don’t know much of what exactly it is but I am really looking forward to exploring it with you in the very near future.

In my review of both Thor and Captain America, I mentioned that I like to make myself aware of just enough information about something to have an appreciation going into it, but not enough to spoil the magical experience of discovery.  Now I don’t know what I will be asked to conceal as part of the early crew into Pottermore.  They might ask me to be silent on the subject until the official release in October.  And if they do, I will honor their wishes.

While I want to share as much as I can about how amazing Pottermore undoubtably will be, I don’t want to ruin it for you.  I want you to experience it exactly as I will – fresh and new.  So, if I can tell you stuff, I will.  If I can’t, I won’t.  Trust me.  It will be better this way.

I am PUMPED about it and I will keep you up-to-date with anything and everything I can share.  It is going to be an amazing thing that I think all of us Potter-ites can enjoy together as a fan base.

So thanks and stay tuned for new Pottermore updates as the coming weeks arrive.  And if you haven’t already, check out other ramblings and reviews on the Soontobeangel blog!  Also check out my weekly trailer reveiw show at the Art of the Trailer.  Thanks and stay thirsty, Generation-that-shall-not-be-named!

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Not so much “With Avengence”

This will actually be a double review and it will contain spoilers for both.  You have been warned….

In the past week I have had the pleasure (or misfortune) of seeing the final two films leading up to the big Avengers movie:

THOR  &  Captain America

I was really looking forward to both films quite a lot.  The deep mythology of Thor drew me to his film but they did a very poor job conveying a believable hero.  And when I heard they were making a war film that happened to have Captain America in it….well, that was just too great to miss!  But when I got far more hero than war, I was just as let down as I had been with the other Avenger movie.

In a nutshell, here is what went wrong:
“Both films were treated as set-up movies – necessary exposition standing between Marvel Enterprises and larges piles of mone….I mean a well-crafted franchise – rather than their being made for the great stories that they are in of themselves.”

I will take them one at a time and show exactly what I mean, starting with The God of Thunder and then discuss the third (I mean First) Avenger. Let’s go!

THOR

In case you haven’t figured this out about me, I like to know a little bit about everything – just enough knowledge to make intelligent conversation while not spoiling the magic of discovering it.  This trait of mine can be particularly seen in my understanding of the Comic Book Universes.  I knew about the base of Thor’s mythology being founded in actual Norse legends. I thought this was a fantastic way to build a backstory – take that which is already half-believed and add just a little extra fiction. Stir and bake at 350 for twenty minutes and you’ve got a great way to start a superhero tale.

Having said that, I went into the movie hoping that they would show that vast mythology behind him, show his character develop, and show why I should be worried about an oversized carpenter 🙂

What I got was a film poorly made in nearly every aspect.  The CG was terribly fake and the makeup of the Ice Giants reminded me of the Devil from Tenacious D.  For the character who mattered, it was not believable at all and ultimately this did more to set up the coming film than to make this one stand out of the crowd.

My major issue with the film is that it is called Thor, it stars Thor, is about Thor, yet Thor is the least logical and least interesting character in the film.  He is an arrogant, spoiled…murderous child at the beginning. I liked the banishment scene, but after that he makes a complete 180 in the course of, like, 3 days on earth!  He is a jerk, his friends arrive and the Destroyer tags along, then “Thor Good!”  It leaves you and me wondering “why we should suddenly root for a guy who has only shown himself to be a jerk?”  Not what we should be thinking about your protagonist…

Three good notes to mention:
First, they did have a great introduction with Odin explaining the backstory.  I thought it worked well and it gave me just enough to understand the plot.  I wish they had developed it a bit more but to be honest they gave us what we needed.

Second, the blending in and performance of the Shakespearian-esque dialogue was good. Branagh really did do it justice there. It fit in very well with the regular English.  To be honest I only noticed it when the movie was half over.  Really top notch work.

Third, and most importantly, I want to give a HUGE shoot-out to Tom Hiddleston for his incredible portrayal of Loki!!!  He took a very hard role and in my opinion gave something close to an Oscar-worthy performance. I was honestly fooled by his acting within acting as he lied to Thor about their father.  Loki is known as basically the father of misdirection – he is the embodiment of mischief and distraction – and Hiddleston really captured that so well. Truly a show stealer!

However, despite all of those positives, I just can’t get over how unlikeable Thor is.  He is worse than Stark if you ask me.  Also, the ending left me wondering “Wait.  What was the problem again?”  It was so anticlimactic and really made me question why I’d come to see it at all.  Poor story structure that fulfilled the job it meant to do – tell me just enough about Thor to know who he is in the Avengers.

Ultimately, not worth my money.  It was Pre-Avengers part I.  The only positives I can claim from seeing it was that I saw it with a friend, who generously paid for my ticket, and that he only paid $1.50 for it 🙂  FINAL ASSESSMENT:  5/10

Captain America

Again, I really went into this excited.  What I knew pre-screening was that the Capt was created in the midst of WWII, that his enemy was Redskull, that he was Batman-esque in that he has no super powers, and that he was frozen in the arctic and was rediscovered in modern day. What I was looking for in this film was the artistic push for the War Film feel – something like Band of Brothers or Saving Private Ryan.  While I can appreciate it as a hero film, I was still very let down by how little war factored into it.

Basically all of the focus of the film was on the creation of the Captain which, I grant, is important. However I would say than nearly 60 of the 124 minutes were spend on building him from lowly Steve Rogers (what kind of a Captain’s name is “Steve” anyway?) to the pop-icon (Mr. Rogers to you) to his full embodiment as Captain America.  You don’t need to spend that much time on the appetizer if it means sacrificing part of the meat and potatoes of the thing.

I want to make it clear:  I do like the story of how he becomes Captain America.  What I don’t like is that the reason the focus was there was because the film’s purpose is to set audiences up for who he is in the Avengers.  Instead of getting some truly great battles and fighting when people begin to follow him, we get a bare-boned montage to advance us from A to B.

And please, don’t EVEN get me started on the ending.  I loved that he woke up in a falsified environment, that he bust out and ran amuck in downtown NYC. That was great.

What wasn’t great was EVERYTHING ELSE!!!  There is not musical ramp, which leads to no emotional ramp.  The Nick Fury monologue has no power – no punch.  It comes down to a really bleeping one-liner that your grandmother might think is “cute”, but it is so lacking of anything cathartic, spectacular or engaging. The ending was such a letdown and it truly ruined that which I had liked about the film (the exposition) because it didn’t go anywhere.
Pre-Avengers part II.  FINAL ASSESSMENT:  5/10

That is…it doesn’t go anywhere OTHER than straight into:

Unlike Ironman which was made for its own story, Thor and Captain America were made to get us to this film.  Instead of 3 A+ movies that would lead up to a great junction film, we get an A & two C’s that will lead to a horrible pile of crap. Here is why:

How is The Avengers supposed to be a good movie when you are tying 4 major characters (1 well-defined, 3 poorly so), multiple minor characters (not defined at all), and all of their villains into one two-&-a-half hour movie?  You don’t. At least not well.

Thus far we have Downey doing his thing, Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth stepping in, and OH YEAH! Mark Ruffalo out of nowhere in as the Hulk.  Besides the challenge of bringing them all together under one leadership, there is the well known and rather important power struggle between Stark and Rogers. How is Joss going to bring them all together under one roof?

Btw: Hawkeye and Black Widow are supposed to be in it….yeah….  Sorry Scarlett and Renner, but you are going to become Deus Ex Machina for the real stars. Yup. (Pardon while I wipe the sarcasm off my brow)

I do have one positive note. The only confirmed villain is Loki from the Thor series.  Good call because Red Skull is dead as are the biggest and best Ironman villains, and Loki is not just a great villain but a great character in general.  I look forward to seeing more Hiddleston, and I applaud Marvel or whomever made the decision to set up Loki as The Villain for the Avengers (at least the first one….uggg).

There has been a recent news break that there will be some short films released leading up to the Avengers, presumably setting up Hawkeye and Black Widow.  Personally I think they should have done more of that stuff.  Really they should have gone with something like an HBO miniseries about the forming of the group – taking there time to really set up the situation well.  Then you could let the movie focus on the epic battle rather than petty squabblings of a newly formed super-Glee club.

In case you haven’t picked up on it, I really don’t expect much from the Avengers movie.  It has too much that needs to happen and far too little time to develop it properly.  All I can say is “Good Luck, Joss” and “Enjoy your swimming pools of money, Marvel.”

Thanks guys!  Hope you enjoyed the review. Please let me know what you think in the comments below – particularly what you expect from the upcoming Avengers movie.  So, until next time, stay thirsty my friends. 🙂

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