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  • Nick Paramonte 9:09 pm on 05/19/2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , review   

    Captain America: Civil War Review 

    teamsvscivilwarposter

    Cautious optimism went through my mind going into this adaptation to a poorly executed storyline. Superheroes-fighting-each-other is beyond redundant, it’s so petty.

    While The Russos pulled off a better rendition then it’s source material, just wasn’t my-cup-of-tea to end Star Spangled Avenger’s franchise on.

    Winghead all-the-way in many iterations. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his fellow Avengers signing Sokovia Acccords aka Registration Act means giving up civil rights:

    “It’s run by people with agendas and agendas change. If we sign this, we surrender our right to CHOOSE. What if this Panel sends us somewhere we don’t think we should go? What if there’s somewhere we need to go and they don’t let us?”

    Sam Wilson alias Falcon (Anthony Mackie) calls Natasha Romanov’s loyalty into question when she changes sides. He dives down to save Rhodes/War Machine before being partially paralyzed.

    Glad Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) helped Rogers escape after her character arc previously even though she’s with Armored Fascist, remarks about confiscating Cap’s shield (government property) when they’re caught at Bucharest. Also tries swaying Rogers to sign-up while he grieves when she attends Peggy Carter’s potent funeral ultimately comforts him. She does rightfully call Tony out among many:

    “Are you incapable of dropping your ego for one god damn second?”

    Peggy’s niece (not granddaughter), Sharon (Emily VanCamp) delivers meaningful eulogy:

    “Compromise where you can. Where you can’t, don’t. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say ‘No, YOU move’.”

    She also helps Rogers-and-company find Bucky’s location despite her superiors’ orders to shoot first ask little to no questions later. Sam along with Barnes expressions after Steve/Sharon consummate their relationship had me chuckling.

    Former Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) regrets people he’s murdered during his brainwashed years. Steve belief still rings although some aggression (throws officer off stairs) gets taken out on people attacking him.

    Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) still learning to be a heroine about not being able to save everyone as-soon-as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones (Frank Grillo) dies within contained explosion which very painful killing Wakadians. Later, prevents former teammates from killing each other.

    Reaction by Paul Rudd after Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) recruits Scott Lang/Ant-Man to meet Cap was priceless. Turning into Giant Man surprising. Figured they save it for his sequel enjoyed regardless-of it’s obnoxious comedy. Chadwick Boseman’s slow talking as Prince T’Challa aka Black Panther bothering at first viewing but got used to it.

    Tom Holland plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man very bright kid. Gave him some slack for his first outing (months) before Stark uses him as an asset by guilt-trips brings up Uncle Ben. Rogers getting to know Peter while they’re fighting entertaining. Surprised Cap dropped a catwalk on him even though he has strength aswell.

    Action at the Lagos opening were shaky. T’Challa appears superhuman out-of-costume while later fighting Barnes under control again after Colonel (not Baron…yet?) Hemult Zemo (Daniel Brul) recited Russian words: Longing. Rusted. Seventeen. Daybreak. Furnace. Nine. Benign. Homecoming.

    Definitely complex enough villain despite changes made from comic counterpart wanting revenge methodically repeat his wife’s last message before family (father) were killed. Wasn’t tried to commit suicide before T’Challa stops him:

    The living are not done with you.

    Would’ve been nice to walk around with concealed hood.

    Steve gave up the mantle (drops the shield) after Stark raves at him once he shuts his big toy (armor) down having found out Barnes (out-of-his-control) killed his parents. Guess Rogers returns in-the-role-of Super Soldier with some form of Secret Avengers.

    Never liked on-screen Iron Man since the mediocre sequels. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) clearly antagonist. Driven by his guilt for Ultron catastrophe (rightfully so) guided by utter resentment towards Steve, Daddy, Pepper issues, already mentally imbalanced by using his technology fantasizing memories to-finally off-his-rocker (moment) completely. Rhodes dying prior release would’ve been enough.

    Team Shellhead are tools blindly following orders while their “fearless” leader on-a-leash by ex-General Ross (William Hurt) walks over them.

    Martin Freeman (Sherlock) using an American accent. But didn’t need to-be-there to chastise people. I’m getting used to Benedict Cumberbatch speaking for Doctor Strange.

    Rhodey (Don Cheadle) loses most likability he had featured-in Age of Ultron. He compliments “Thunderbolt” then dresses down Wilson, who’s a fellow soldier. Almost gets Steve along with Bucky killed by shooting sonics at Wanda while holding collapsing airport tower caused by Vision.

    Stark’s biggest hypocritical line comes before-that accuses Rogers getting them into this mess. He just threw a sixteen year old kid (Peter) into this pointless conflict. He bascially tells Parker to shut up during Peter’s dramatic entrance. He says, “You’re done.” chime-in that “Get out of here” kinda tone.

    Panther’s one-track revenge mindset where he can’t-be-reasoned-with (Natasha/Bucky) for majority to be off-putting. Zemo takes some steam out of Claw (Andy Serkis) being personal threat to his main antagonist. Bio-weapon Crossbones stole at beginning goes anywhere.

    Overall, has moments-of-levity however weakest out of this trilogy but that’s just personal taste. Would’ve prefered Serpent Society film instead.

    Rating: 7 1/2

    312-stars

    Enjoying where Bucky’s character is going (still teasing). He’s in good hands with Wakandian scientists to get rid anymore brainwashing techniques while frozen once again. King T’Challa making amends for being tropially misguided still gives me hope for his solo film.

    Peter’s webshooter including Spider-Signal as opposed to belt fruitful. Looking forward his character develop in Homecoming. My only concern is how much Stark’s influence will have.

    First Avenger               Winter Soldieravatar_5d55d0b3e8cc_96

     
  • Nick Paramonte 5:15 pm on 08/12/2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , review, solve everything, ,   

    Fantastic Four: Solve Everything TPB 

    Hollywood once again botched their ironically fourth attempt to kickstart a film-franchise with Marvel’s First Family ridiculously marketed as Fant4stic. However Josh Trank (Chronicle) contributed toward this catastrophe since I’ve usually point-the-finger at Fix (Fox).

    I purchased volume one of Secret Wars Writer, Jonathan Hickman’s run drawn by Dale Eaglesham (Green Lantern) in-trade being fully aware before the oncoming trainwreck.

    Reed Richards alias Mr. Fantastic is offered membership on a council with versions of himself from alternate realites including some wielding the all-powerful Infinity Gauntlet onto focusing on the-bigger-picture rather then confide facing his own world’s problems. Reed seeks his counterparts’ wisdom while struggling with his character-tendency through getting heldup with lab-work which burdens Susan “Storm” Richards aka Invisible Woman more spent time with their children Franklin (immensely powerful) and an enigmatic daughter named Valeria. World-45 Reed resorts using lobotomization collaring Doctor Doom armies derived from his own DNA justifiying-his-actions as “necessary evil”.

    Celestials (godlike race) come which coincidentally watched Marvel Knights’ motion comics about 76′ cosmic group called Eternals on-paper take via Neil Geiman (Sandman) in-addition John Romita Jr. (Amazing Spider-Man) on DVD. They kill-off aforementioned interdimensional assembly members one-by-one like exploding Talosian Reed’s head after probing Universe 4280 Richards’ mind who’s powerless but still smart to build himself high-tech arsenal. 4280-Reed reveals price they’ve paid was personal sacrifice aftermath. Earth-8901 Richards serves-as main mentor motivating Reed indicating degree to being better based-on childhood flashbacks extending-to his father (Nathaniel).

    Subplot envolving Johnny “Spencer” Storm/Human Torch along with Ben Grimm/Thing on-vacation at Nu-World (a cloned Earth) while nephews stowaway then go-to-school minute. There’s power-struggle between Lightwave (Earth-807128) hails originally-from surrogate Zenn-La (Silver Surfer’s planet) him plus Ultron. Rocky Grimm calling Flame Brain Worst Travel-Agent ever sums-up their butting relationship. Hulk Jr. (Banner’s son from Earth-807128) fellow prisoner stays behind during break-out settle a score with aforesaid former Galactus herald. Psionics (Lightwave’s daughter), Johnny’s crazy ex during short-fight raves Val plays crucial role to send refugees back to Terra. Spider-Man (Peter Parker) briefly shows up by birthday request. Book ends on cliffhanger with future-Franklin comes to tell his sister alone about an apocalyptic war only Victor Von Doom can prevent.

    Only issue is Richards saying “cool” which is more up Johnny’s alley cause Reed wouldn’t use phrases like that. Being an excentric he’d reply-with “fascinating” or “interesting” while serving-as one-of-the-top intellectuals within the MU (Marvel Universe). Decent scifi elements team deals with on-regular basis. Hickman captures who these characters are supposed to be cause Fix has no idea.

     
  • Nick Paramonte 7:13 pm on 01/22/2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Captain Cold, , , , heatwave, revenge of the rogues, review,   

    Flash “Revenge of the Rogues” Review 

    Aaron Couch, editor of The Hollywood Reporter followed me while live-tweeting the episode. Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold is full-fledged supervillan when he and Heatwave (Dominic Purcell) steal a priceless painting, Fire & Ice (not subtle Johns). Telling Mick Rory to put his-seat-belt-on during a failed confrontation with The Scarlet Speedster (which Snart calls him) his intellectual performance.

    Star Labs continuing to help Central City’s Finest to reconcile the Partial Accelerator incident to counteract this threat (with many more to come) adds more points to the show. Barry revealing his persona to the world (unlike a certain farmboy) scores another big development with this excellent momenteum. Alternate Eobard Thawne (Harrison Wells) almost blew his cover by getting out of his wheelchair to save Mr. Allen from an oncoming drone. Tom Cavanagh shows his character’s ambition rather then his usual inherent anger despite some supposed humanity later on:

    In case you doubt it, you pushed me to be better too.

    How you gonna explain the people you killed or manipulated to keep your friend/enemy safe? Glad Joe (Jesse L. Martin) be supcious of him again after convincing his surgent-son not getting involved to focus on catching Original Reverse-Flash. Noticed Jesse kept his beanie on throughout.

    Iris (Candice Patton) giving Barry his childhood backpack (with Space Ghost comic inside) was a more thoughtful gift then just-another microscope to use at the Crime Lab. Walking onto a shootout so she can be with her Pretty Boy (Rick Cosnett) was still dumb. Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui) should’ve kick her off she’s still a waitress nor “reporter” (copy/paste other people’s posts). Her turtle doll probably referencing Turtle Man the Slowest Villian Alive or her future nephew’s pet. Carlos Valdes (Cisco) drops some of-that comic-relief to give a genuine speech.

    Purcell however overacts Mick’s pyromania, pulling a manical laugh in the climax, topping off with a Bill Goldberg impression at Joe’s gun while struggling with CCPD earns funniest moment. Barry in his normal voice shouting out-loud into his communicator with Singh, Eddie, in-addition Iris being there not smart. Snart would’ve been smart to counteract their plan to cross-the-streams. Joe telling Cold to freeze (punny) just asks to get shot.

    Rating: 7

    Samuel Scudder aka Mirror Master is the only one left to complete the roster. Eobard uses his speed (red streak) which is probably from the charge in his suit. Episode fifteen will tackle the time-travel aspect could break the camel’s back.

     
  • Nick Paramonte 8:23 pm on 04/21/2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , review,   

    Captain America: Winter Soldier Review 

    Phase 2 of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) has been mediocre, so I had severe apprehension but an incredible amount of optimism at the same time hoping that The Sentinel of Liberty’s follow-up would be the saving grace to this fiasco. I can say without a doubt it absolutely was.

    The Russo Brothers (Community) really impressed me with their direction-and-execution with making this sequel an espionage spy-thriller. It reminded me about what I’ve loved about the first Metal Gear Solid game considering towards the middle an henchman fires at Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) with an M16 Vulcan cannon like Raven.

    Chris Evans proves once again he is the Star-Spangled Avenger. The biggest strength of this film is how the screenwriters of it’s predecessor, Christopher Markus along with Stephen McFeely handled character relationships most notably Rogers’ new-founded friendship with Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie). The actors played off each other so well delivering an even better chemistry then what Robert Downey Jr. in addition Terrence Howard had in Iron Man. Touching upon soldiers suffering from PSD after tours of duty which relates to Steve adjusting to living in modern-time added alot of gravitas. Steve’s reunion with the elder Peggy Carter (Haley Atwell) dying of Alzheimer’s hits the right emotional core. Sad because they never got their dance. Agent 13 alias Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) had more then just a cameo. She saves a S.H.I.E.L.D. technician’s life from getting shot in the back of the head for gods sake.

    I personally find Bucky Barnes’ return to be the most plausible out of these infamous “coming back from the dead” scenarios unlike Jason Todd’s resurrection. Kudos to the writers adapting this storyline by Ed Brubaker. He’s a human with a cybernetic enhancement in the source material, here he’s another equal that can go toe-to-toe with Cap like Red Skull before him. When Sebastian Stan (Black Swan) comes on screen he embodies every quality he’s supposed to have. Mysterious aswell as dangerous at the same time since alot was riding on him to pull this off since he’s been minor so far. He delivers the “Who the hell is Bucky?” line in confusion rather then in cynicism like Jon Curry did in the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episode of the same name.

    Humor is back on point after being severely scribbled on the chalkboard. The Smithsonian scene where a kid recognizes Rogers then gives him the quiet hand very reminiscent of that little moment in X-Men where Cyclops smiles back a child staring at him. Could even roll with the infamous Superman’s glasses joke when Steve along with Romanoff pose as an engaged couple in an Apple store evading agents. Stan Lee’s cameo as a Smithsonian security guard was priceless when Rogers goes back to the classic uniform.

    Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation) had better material to work that convinced me she’s Nadine Roman plus her hairstyle worked unlike the others. Glad there wasn’t any romance between them considering she tries setting him up with Peggy’s granddaughter. Hopefully they’re not going to stall Steve/Sharon‘s relationship like they’ve been teasing us with Thor/Sif. No words can be said about Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) as Nick Fury other then awesome. Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill continues to be a much more likable character then her annoying comic/animated counterpart.

    The action is terrific especially at the beginning with Batroc the Leaper (Georges St-Pierre). It succumbs to the “in order to see it has to be viewed on a smaller screen” syndrome unfortunately. Frank Grillo (Minority Report) miscast as Brock Rumlow, who becomes Crossbones didn’t strike me as the big bruiser-type. His right-hand man, Agent Jack Rollins played by Callan Mulvey (300: The Unnecessary Sequel) was more like Frag. Wasn’t thrilled Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) showed up cause who needs to be reminded about Iron Man 2?

    Overall, everything about it from start-to-finish been engaging which is key to a good film.

    Rating: 10

    Baron Von Strucker played by Thomas Kretschmann, who looks like Liam Neeson’s cousin managed to get his hands on Loki’s Sceptor containing The Mind Gem which he intends to use on The Twins aka Pietro/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) setting up for Age of Ultron to which this adversary still hasn’t been foreshadowed at all which even so is going to come out of nowhere for general audiences. Wanda along with Pietro are probably going to be magic-users instead Mutants which in turn will gear up for Phase 3, which introduces actual mysticism into this universe instead of the whole “science that looks like magic” ordeal.

    The second after-credits scene might be setting up Barnes picking up the mantle considering Evans has only three more films to go before his contract is up then retiring. Guardians of the Galaxy still looks to be an enjoyable flick despite the fact that it could end up being another dud:

     
  • Nick Paramonte 6:48 pm on 07/24/2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , review   

    Captain America Review 

    captain_america_the_first_avenger_ver6While I admired Superman, The Sentinel of Liberty was my childhood icon. I loved the 60’s cartoon, that crappy 1990 flick, owned alot of merchandise, dressed up for Halloween, and even took pictures with a guy in costume at Wizard World Philly back in 96′ when I was a kid.

    The embodiment of USA ideals (liberty, equality, democracy, opportunity, and rights) that this cynical world we live in desperately needs. So this film was the one I was anticipating the most out of Marvel Studios’ slate.

    With a production cost of 140 million dollars, the canvas was larger, grander, and more epic then Thor‘s 150 masses. Joe Johnston’s previous directorial work on Rocketeer (which was the first movie I ever saw in the theater) paid off in fold. It certainly redeemed himself after that letdown called a Wolf Man remake.

    Chris Evans became one of my favorite actors over last few years (those abysmal Fantastic Four films, Cellular, The Losers). Unlike Ryan Renyolds, he made the transition from being a Jokester to serious / dramatic actor (with occasional humor) smoothly. He absolutely pulled off Steve Rogers, The Little Guy from Brooklyn before and after the Super-Soldier experiment. I still stand by my early statement about the frail effect.

    Hugo Weaving is a chameleon. The man embodies every role he plays (Agent Smith, V, Megatron) and The Red Skull is no exception. Glad he was an Übermensch that can go toe to toe with Winghead as opposed to his comics counterpart who was human. I didn’t mind Hydra being the antagonists instead of The Nazis. They’re involved (Hydra being the science division), just not at the forefront. Stanley Tucci (Dr. Erkskine) followed in the footsteps of mentorship left by Shaun Toub (Yinsen) very well. Tommy Lee Jones (Colonel Chester Phillips) definitely earns an award for Most Funny Pick-Up Lines. You care about Steve’s friendship with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in the amount of screentime they have together.

    I was also skeptical about the USO sequence. The last thing anybody wants to see is the superhero himself singing and dancing on Broadway (Spider-Man and Batman not withstanding), but thankfully that didn’t happen. Still, The Star Spangled Man written by Alen Menken was a catchy song. But also in context, Steve inbleshes it a little before being hit (literally and figuratively) by the harsh reality of World War II.

    Alan Silvertri (the Back to The Future trilogy, Predator 1 & 2, Judge Dredd) delivers a magnificent score. I’d say the Captain America March is a close second to John Williams’ Man of Steel rally.

    However, I didn’t like The Misunderstanding cliche thrown into the ligament Love Story for being the reason Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) shoots at Steve shown in the trailers prior. (Nothing against his acting) Dominic Cooper came across more young Tony then Howard Stark. He clearly was the most youthful person there compared to the rest of the supporting cast. Even resembling Robert Downey Jr. then the other guys that played his character’s father (Gerard Sandars and John Slattery). I don’t see the connections between them.

    Neal McDonough (STF: The Legend of Drama Queen) was another Ray Stevenson (Volstagg). Completely miscast, popping through the Dum Dum Dugan makeup, and blatantly wearing padding underneath his military jacket to make him look overweight. Also, there should’ve been an extended scene with The Howling Commandos (Derek Luke, Kenneth Choi, and Bruno Ricci) stumble at first then triumph in one their missions to blow up the Hydra facilities rather then splicing all of it in a montage.

    But aside from those minor complaints, it blew all the other big comic book movies (one good and the other pitiful) out of the ballpark this year.

    Rating: 9

    Next year, Avengers Assemble. While the after-credits preview had me pumped, it still bugs me though to see Mark Ruffalo and not Edward Norton as Bruce Banner aka The Hulk.

    With Thor’s look, it appears they’ve gone back to one of Alexandra Bryne’s early concepts. My only gripe about Cap’s new threads are the white stripes on the shoulders.

    Anyway still looking forward to this culmination of the past three years despite the recasts, miscasts, speed-bumps, and shortcomings.

     
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