Captain America: Civil War

The Movie Snob checks out more men in tights.

Captain America: Civil War  (B+).  Wouldn’t you know: every time I start to wonder if the superhero genre is played out, the next superhero movie I see turns out to be entertaining and enjoyable.  The plot of CACW was reasonably clear, and the fight scenes were exciting without being too ridiculous.  Most of the Avengers seemed to show up for this one, including Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd, Ant-Man), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson, Vicky Cristina Barcelona).  There were also a couple of people I didn’t recognize: Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen, Liberal Arts) and Vision (Paul Bettany, Dogville).  They must have joined the club in a movie I missed.  Vision was a little troubling to me; he seemed so powerful as to kind of upset the balance of power.  I mean, he can shoot lasers and dematerialize at will?  But I still enjoyed it, and it didn’t really feel like two and half hours.  Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) and Marisa Tomei (The Big Short) pop up in small parts, which was kind of fun.  The same directors (Anthony and Joe Russo, of Community fame) also directed Captain America: Winter Soldier, which left me cold, so I’m glad to see they’ve upped their game.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Movie Snob takes on the First Avenger.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier  (C).  I enjoyed the first Captain America story, but this one was just sort of meh.  Dislocated in time, square-jawed Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) is not sure he’s really fitting into the shadowy ranks of the intelligence organization known as SHIELD.  For one, he doesn’t trust Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, Deep Blue Sea), probably because he wears a sinister eye-patch.  For another, a bunch of SHIELD guys seem to want to kill him for some reason.  On top of all that, there’s this hot girl he maybe sort of likes, but she’s always trying to get him to ask other girls out–plus she’s a former KGB agent nicknamed the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson, The Other Boleyn Girl).  But enough kidding around.  This movie is 2 hours and 15 minutes of earnest and dull.  There are lots of fights and explosions, of course, but nothing ever really seems to happen.  Robert Redford (Indecent Proposal) seems to have a good time slumming as a top SHIELD guy, and Cobie Smulders (The Avengers) effectively pulls off her tiny recurring role as Agent Intense Brunette Sidekick Of Nick Fury.  A few TV actors unexpectedly pop up in small parts, which was kind of fun.  But on the whole, the movie left me unfulfilled.

Potpourri from Nick at Nite

Nick at Nite reviews DVDs:

You, Me, and Dupree

You, Me, and Boring. Avoid this movie at all costs. I suggest the following alternatives. Wash your dog, clean the garbage disposal, go grocery shopping, offer to go grocery shopping for a neighbor, read a book, read another book, write a book, grow your own vegetable garden, learn to play the harmonica, or get a GED. I put this movie in the queue because the movie trailer was funny and Owen Wilson (Midnight in Paris) is a good Dallas kid. Well, turns out the movie trailer was not that funny and Owen Wilson’s home town doesn’t make the movie entertaining. The movie features a young married couple who take in the husband’s loser friend when he is kicked out of his apartment and fired from his job because he took an unapproved leave of absence to go to their Hawaiian wedding. Madcap antics ensue. Relationship sours. Loser friend is the inspiration that rekindles the young married couple’s love. Sound like a formula? It is. It is just not clever enough or funny enough to be worth anyone’s time. I expect more from Owen Wilson; from the rest it is to be expected. I give this movie a solid “F.”

Superman Returns

And why not. Forget Christopher Reeve. Ignore the last two movies in the prior Superman series. What the world needs now is the man of steel. This is a fun ride. This kid they got to play Superman sounds like Christopher Reeve. One of my friends is convinced it was some kind of dubbing job. This movie seems to kick off after the first movie of the prior Superman series ends. Superman has disappeared for several years after his home planet was discovered by scientists. He apparently travels there and then after a long journey returns to earth. Of course, his skills and talent are needed here on earth where evildoers are evildoing. Superman takes care of business and says very corny things. He is greatness. I am glad someone took the time and effort to make this movie the right way. Yes, it is cheesy at times. And, yes the special effects are over the top (shouldn’t they be?), but I enjoyed it and a whole new generation of kids got to see Superman. I give it an “A.”

Miami Vice

Wow. This was terrible. Usually, I love anything directed by Michael Mann (Ali). Jamie Foxx (Ray) is almost always great. And that Irish guy is not too bad. But this is ridiculous. I knew I was wasting my time when in the first 45 minutes of the movie, Jamie Foxx, one of the cops in the movie, goes from driving a racing boat, to driving a Ferrari, to flying a plane, and then a helicopter. Is he a cop or a stuntman? Do most cops usually do all of this stuff? Stupid. I know, I usually eat this kind of garbage right up. Yet, something about this movie just didn’t sit right with me. I think it they had called it anything else and left alone the whole idea of Miami Vice, I might have liked it better. I kept waiting for Don Johnson to pop up in a bad suit with a t-shirt underneath it. Perhaps Edward James Olmos saying something trite, but true. A guest appearance by Willie Nelson. Or a Dire Straits song. Without these things this was just another movie. And not a great one. I give it an “F.”