This year’s Marvel movie blockbuster saw Captain America and Iron Man face off against each other, leading opposing armies in a war for superhero independence in this adaptation of the modern classic comic book story-line. After a typical Avengers-villain showdown leads to the deaths of countless citizens, the UN passes a movement that would put the super-powered team under government control. Blaming himself for the incident, Tony Stark leads the charge in registering his Avengers teammates with the United Nationals program, while Steve Rogers refuses to give up any independence no matter what the consequences are. Then they fight and it’s super cool.
We Said: “While there will be many who proclaim Captain America: Civil War to be Marvel's best film yet, and rightfully so because it certainly is their best yet, what's most amazing is that they are still capable of reaching such a high point.” Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Good: There is so much to love about this movie. The Russo Brothers have such a firm grasp on every single character in the film, and have crafted a movie where the dozen or so leads all get to have a moment to shine through, with every actor giving 100% to there performance. Even the new characters are introduced into the dynamic of this group seamlessly. I can’t wait for more Black Panther and Spider-Man! If you are a fan of any of the superheroes used in this movie, you will not leave disappointed. In terms of its action, this is probably my favorite Marvel movie so far. For example, the two big battle scenes at the end are just incredible, and handled in a way that makes them far more intense and thrilling than any of the “fight a big army of faceless bad guys” scenes we’ve seen over and over again in this series so far. The visuals are jaw-dropping, the performances are fantastic across the board, and the story-line is emotionally compelling without detracting from the fun superhero spectacle. Civil War is fantastic.
The Bad: While there aren’t any moments in the movie that straight didn’t work, there are some scenes that in hindsight are not necessary to the plot. Considering the film’s length, and its place in an interconnected shared universe of movies, they could have perhaps waited on some of the concepts they put into Civil War, and instead used them in a later movie where they could actually service the storytelling. In this movie, the additional subplots actually wind up diminishing the power of the conflict between Captain America and Iron Man, muddying it with more for them to fight over than just their contrasting ideologies. On the topic, there is also one final epilogue scene before the credits that seems to be there only to tone down the otherwise heavy movie and end on a high note. I didn’t appreciate that either, as the most compelling aspect of the movie is the idea that everything might not be okay between the Avengers again, and ending on a scene like this forces a more optimistic spin on this concept in the last five minutes. Other than those few moments though, it’s a pretty great movie.
Overall: Captain America: Civil War has a lot going for it, with several aspects of its superhero blockbuster plot being handled better here than they have been ever before in a Marvel movie. Unfortunately, they don’t always blend together to assist the plot, leaving it to feel almost afraid of actually going all out in adapting the Civil War book. All things considered though, it is still an incredibly enjoyable movie, and one of Marvel’s best.
This new mockumentary from SNL alumni and viral video stars The Lonely Island focuses on Connor4Real, a Bieber-esque pop star who’s popularity declines as his ego rises higher and higher.
We Said: “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping has a few skips in the album, but it's funny and witty enough to be a comic chart-topper this summer season. ” Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The Good: As one would hope, the laughs in this movie come hard. The songs are brilliant, and the moments that take full advantage of the mockumentary format are hilarious. Popstar is absolutely one the year’s best and funniest comedies so far.
The Bad: As so often happens in producer Judd Apatow’s films, the third act of this otherwise hilarious movie decides to stop telling jokes, and instead focus on heavier, more legitimately dramatic exchanges between characters. This is incredibly disappointing, as Popstar is at it’s absolute best when it’s telling jokes.
Overall: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is ultimately rather inconsistent with it’s humor. However, when it’s funny, it’s hilarious, with side-splitting musical numbers, surprise celebrity cameos, and excellent performances left and right. I refuse to accept that another soundtrack this year will be as perfect as Popstar’s. If you’ve liked writer/star Andy Samberg’s previous work, you’ll find a lot to love about Popstar.
In the acclaimed sequel to 2013’s surprise horror hit, paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren return to solve another mysterious case, this time involving an English mother’s claim that her youngest daughter is in contact with a demonic presence.
We Said: “The Conjuring 2 has genuine scares but they don't quite shiver you to the bone the way the last film did.” Rating: 3 out of 5