Captain America Civil War

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I didn’t fall asleep through this film, so it can’t have been that bad? Right? Again I know I’m going to be a minority in my view, but I found this film really boring. I loved the first two although I admit I’m not the biggest Marvel fan. There are just too many heroes out at the moment. Captain America has by far been the best of them with the best storyline, but it failed here for me.

In all honesty despite Captain America being in the title this is more about Civil War and the collection of heroes. We have Captain America, Iron Man, Ant Man, Falcon, Black Widow and even Spider-Man. It’s all a bit too much in one film if you ask me.

The story starts with a disaster caused by the super heroes. This is one of many they have caused in their aim to save the world and governments are questioning the use of super heroes. The UN want to take charge and want to use the gifts of these special people, but in a controlled manner and on their terms. They don’t want these heroes to go off when they like, fighting evil and leaving a trail of destruction behind them.

The civil part is that not all the heroes agree with this action. Tony Stark is head of the For party and Captain America is part of the Against. This leads to some long battles which take up most of the screen time. We also have the tale of the Winter Soldier who is part bad and part good. He is being used as a way to divide the group as well. He is being controlled by a man hell bent on revenge.

The story line for me is really weak and is dragged out over 2 hours and 27 minutes. I don’t mind watching fairly long films, but this really went slow for me. I felt every minute and I struggled beyond an hour really. For Marvel fans this will be a treat and in all honesty most people will like this. I heard a few raving about how much they liked it as they left the cinema. It just wasn’t to my taste.

The performances were good and the choreographed fight scenes were brilliant, full of imagination. This is also a great film for female superheroes as they play a major part in the story line. There are a few good jokes in there too, mainly shared between Iron Man and Ant Man. There will no doubt be a fourth film as Marvel churn out film after film.

I think many will enjoy this film, so don’t let me put you off. It is a blockbuster full of action and if you love action then you’ll love this.

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5/10

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The Jungle Book

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This is basically the same as the animated version, but with CGI rather than drawings. There is very little deviation from the cartoon Disney. I haven’t read the book by Rudyard Kipling since I was a child and so I can’t remember the whole story, so it’s hard to compare book and gilm. I understand Favreau has tried to incorporate more of Rudyards story as well as a few songs from the cartoon version.

I really enjoyed this , but would I watch it over the cartoon version? Probably not! In saying that, the film really works. The CGI is brilliant and the scenery of India is beautiful. I think this is more for an older child rather than the young, but really this is a film for nearly everyone.

The cast is very strong and works well. We have Sir Ben Kingsley as the wise Baghira, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Bill Murray as Baloo, Christopher Walken as King Louis and Scarlet Johansen as Car. The voices are perfect for their roles particularly Idris Elba who is terrifying as the dominant tiger Shere Kahn. Scarlet Johansson is very good as Car and it was great to have a female voice as the part. I didn’t even recognise Scarlet Johannson voice, which is testament to how well the part was being played. I did find Neel Sethi a tad annoying and wasn’t quite convinced by his performance. This was the only criticism I can mention.

King Louis is a great character and the creation of the Orangutang is amazing. This huge monster who wants fire swings around the abandoned city with menace. Car is pretty scary as she mesmerises the young boy with her eyes and slithering tongue. The characters are very strong and this makes this a must see of 2016.

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8/10

Eye in the sky

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If you could save 80 lives at the risk of killing one, would you do it?

If there was only the possibility of 80 dying, but the certainty of a young innocent child dying, would you do it?

This is the basic premise of this film involving government officials, the army and known terrorists. The targets are well known terrorists who have been sought after for 6 years. They are known extremists who do not care who they hurt. They are all in one building and capture is impossible. The only way to complete the mission is to use an air strike, which puts innocent civilians at risk. As the film continues the terrorist threat increases to a large extent.

Those who are the decision makers pass the responsibility from one to another all scared of making the wrong decision. I really hope this is not the way these things work because there is a distinct lack of conviction and courage. This is an extremely tense and tortuous film and somewhat frustrating. The technology used in tracking the terrorists is pretty impressive! It’s amazing where you can place cameras and how small they can be.

There is only so long that the scenario can be dragged out, which makes for a fairly short film. The performances from Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman are very strong. I’m just not sure how believable the story is? These people are paid to make life changing decisions, but somehow they can’t? There is a distinct lack of doing the right thing and more worry on how it will look? Those carrying out the action do not seem to be particularly well trained or mentally strong enough. It all comes down to the questions I started with, could you do it?

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6/10

Batman vs Superman

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Myself and my wife have been excited about this film for some time and we weren’t let down. The film starts with Bruce Wayne as a child and how those events led him to be Batman. Those who have seen Barman begins will have already seen this in greater detail. This part needed to be there, but it needed to be a quick glimpse, which it was. This was done very well and gave those who haven’t seen Batman a brief look and didn’t bore those who have already seen it.

This is a dark film where Bruce Wayne blames superman for the thousands killed by the Cryptonians  that came down to earth to take over. Bruce Wayne lost employees and saw many suffer, which gave him a taste for revenge.

Superman continues to do good work although the trust in him is not as strong as it once was. There are many that dislike him and want him dead. One of those is the psychotic Lex Luther who hatches a plan to destroy superman. Usually the character is very calm and calculated, but here we see the Joker in Lex Luther clothing. He is a real force of energy throughout the film, which is a pleasure to watch. Many have criticised this take on Lex Luther, but I enjoyed the performance.

Obviously this is a story built up to a fight between Batman and Superman. Barman surely doesn’t have a chance as he only has the strength of a mere human. He cannot fly, burn things with his eyes or move at great speed. This should be the quickest knockout in history. Obviously this would make a boring film, so Batman has to work out a way, using the technology at his disposal. There are a few surprises in this fight too.

Lois Lane is the Damsel in distress on more than one occasion. Superman’s love for her leads him to save her when she is in danger without thought of anything else. This is not a particularly strong part for Amy Adams to play and Lois is a real weakness in Superman’s armour.

Alfred is the words of Wisdom for Bruce Wayne and gets used to being ignored on almost every occasion. This is not a major role for Jeremy Irons and he doesn’t really get much opportunity to shine.

Overall this is an enjoyable film. It is almost like Batman has been invited to a Superman film as there are no cast members from the previous Batman films. There are some from the recent Man of Steel including Lois Lane, Perry and of course we have the villain from previous superman Lex Luther. I thought Ben Affleck performed well in a very different type of Batman. He is a man determined for revenge, so you see far fewer cocktail parties and more grit. The technology is similar although far more has been spent on special effects.

This is a straight up action film and very much like the other super hero films. You can’t compare this film to the Christopher Nolan films as they are very different and should be judged in their own right without comparison. I will be watching again and I’m sure the audience will enjoy even if the critics do not.

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7/10