“Captain America: Civil War” review

I gotta say, I thought this movie was amazing. I’ve always been a Marvel and superheroes fan, but I think this movie really stood out. I personally think the¬†Captain America¬†movies are the best ones of the Marvel cinematic universe (my personal favourite being¬†The Winter Soldier) because they bring up more serious issues than the others, but still have that Marvel kind of humour. And¬†Civil War¬†is yet another great instalment.

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As you probably know by now, with the #TeamIronMan and #TeamCaptainAmerica, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) and Cap (Chris Evans) have some kind of a disagreement about a contract to sign and two teams of superheroes form. Before watching the movie, you might think you’ll side with your favourite one, but as you watch it, you realize¬†that both sides are a little bit wrong and a little bit right. You understand why every character acts a certain way or thinks a certain thing, and this is such great writing! I honestly found it quite difficult to side with either one of them, because I agreed with both. The main issue is also quite an important one; when the Avengers fight against villains, many innocent people die. Cap and Iron Man basically disagree about how to react/what to do about the situation. I was so glad that this issue was brought up because every time I watch a superhero movie and buildings get smashed down and towns get destroyed, I always wonder what happens to the people in there, who have absolutely nothing to do with the fight.

Another thing in the movie that I found amazing is Spider-Man. Tom Holland did a great job and (I never thought I’d say that) I’m actually excited for the next stand-alone¬†Spider-Man¬†movie and really do have high hopes. I hope I won’t be disappointed.

I also adore Bucky Barnes aka the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). I think he has a very interesting story arc and we learn¬†quite a lot about him in this movie. His relationship with Steve evolves a lot too, which was interesting as well.¬†And his stunts were fantastic! Especially the motorcycle ones, if you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. In fact, all the stunt work throughout the movie was amazingly executed and the fight scenes were choreographed almost to perfection. So, props to the stunt people and all.

Of course, there are a few things that could have been better. One time in particular (I don’t want to spoil anything) but Iron Man is on his way to see Cap and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), who could not have heard anything of where Iron Man was heading, is seen in a jet, going the same way, as if certain he would find what he is looking for. Yeah, fine, you might say he decided to follow Iron Man “just in case he was headed there”, but still. I know it sounds really picky, but it kinda bothered me.

I also was a bit disappointed with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Yes, most people find him useless, but he actually is one of my favourite characters. Not in this movie though. I think Cap, the Winter Soldier and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) are some of the most well-written characters in the series and I hoped Hawkeye would become one of them. I always thought he was a very interesting character, they just never wrote him at his full potential. Maybe in the next one.

And yes, even though I¬†think Black Panther is a very interesting character and I can’t wait to see his stand-alone movie, I thought maybe this movie could have done a better job with him. Yes, we learn a lot about him and his motivations are clear, but, kinda like Hawkeye, I think he might not have been written to his full potential. Of course, they probably didn’t reveal too much about him because they want us to get to really know him in his stand-alone movie, but still. I feel as if there was a little something missing to his introduction. Still a badass though.

All in all, I thought¬†Captain America: Civil War¬†was a great movie and one of the best Marvel movies so far, and I can’t wait to see where the characters will be next and how they will evolve because man do I get involved in these movies!

Captain America: Civil War: A

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Postmodernism

Ever since I’ve learned what postmodernism in movies was, I’ve been a big fan of it. Many of my favourite films are postmodern or have postmodern elements in them. I think it is a very entertaining and interesting movement. Postmodern movies are so much fun to watch and analyze, I think I’m in love with them. And I thought I could write a little thing about the three main characteristics of postmodernism.

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Homage or pastiche: Postmodern movies will mix many different genres and make them fit together in a way you never expected. They can also “quote” or reference older works of arts, like paintings, books and other movies. It is always fun to find the similarities between the postmodern movie and the works it is quoting. An example that comes to mind right now is¬†The Cabin in the Woods¬†(2012). It has so many references to classic horror movies; every time I watch it, I find a new one!

Meta-reference: So basically, this is when a movie is self-referential or lets you know that it knows it is only a movie. The editing of the movie will be noticeable, the characters might break the fourth wall by talking directly to the camera or by using narration, the colours might look unnatural at times… Plus, postmodern movies often unfold in a non-chronological order. The movie wants to show you that it was constructed, assembled like a puzzle.

Contradictions: A postmodern movie might use loads of contradictions and paradoxes in the techniques they use to present the movie, or in the characters themselves. The ideas and morals introduced to us might change throughout the movie, or characters that really contradict each other might always been shown together. The concept of time and space practically doesn’t exist, which can lead to confusion at times, which contradicts our understanding of cinema itself.

A few suggestions

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Big Lebowski (1998)

Fight Club (1999)

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Birdman (2014)

Wes Anderson and Quentin Tarantino’s movies are great examples of postmodernism in films.

3 movies I used not to like

Sometimes you watch a movie and you’re too young to appreciate it. Or you’re just not in the right mood. Or you don’t understand it. And that’s enough to make you dislike a movie. Fortunately, I like to watch movies more than once, even when I don’t like them. And sometimes I realize that a movie I didn’t like is actually pretty good. So here are three movies I used not to like.

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

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I first saw this movie with friends, in theatre. And we missed the first thirty minutes or so. I really didn’t like it; I thought it was lazy and stupid and did not quite make sense. About a year later, in a cinema class, we watched it. I was quite bummed because of the opinion I had of it. But when I saw the thirty minutes I had missed, I truly understood the movie. And I loved it. We then had to analyze it and it was so interesting!¬†The Cabin in the Woods¬†became a favourite of mines and I think it is one of the cleverest (maybe the most clever) movies of the genre.

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

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Boy did I hate this movie though. The first time I saw it, I was about 8. Clever, I know. I had no idea of what was going on, I didn’t understand a thing and I swore never to watch it again. When I was 16, I decided to give it another try. I did not understand everything just yet, but I liked it a lot more. And when I was 18, we had to watch it for a class. I have to admit, I still didn’t fully understand, some parts still remained blurry to me, but I started loving the movie; I even bought it on dvd. What I like is that every time I watch it, I understand it a little bit more. I haven’t watch it since I was 18, I should watch it again soon, maybe I’ll fully understand it this time.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

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Scott Pilgrim vs. The World¬†is now one of my favourite movies. I absolutely love it!¬†I love Edgar Wright’s work as a director, so I was surprised when I didn’t like this movie at first. I don’t really know why, but I just did not enjoy it. Okay I actually kinda know why; I was not really paying attention to it, I was on my phone the whole time… Shame on me. A few months later, I decided to watch it again, and I discovered a great movie, very funny and so cool to watch. I never read the graphic novels, but I read reviews that said the movie really captured the atmosphere of the books, which is always great.

4 movies I love that people don’t

So I have a tendency to enjoy movies that are not well-liked (at least not by the people I know). Some of them seem to be loved by many others, either people I kinda knew from school or based from articles I read on the internet. Others just have bad ratings (and I can see why) but I still really enjoy them.

Enemy (2013)

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So I absolutely loved this movie and I thought it was brilliant (I actually wrote a little thing about it:¬†A somewhat unorganized analysis of ‚ÄúEnemy‚ÄĚ), but most people I know hated this movie with a passion. My theory is that they either did not understand the movie, or did not pay enough attention to it. They might also just don’t like it though. I won’t write too much about it, as I just mentioned, I already wrote a whole text about it, but yeah, this movie is amazing and just so well-thought! I love that before watching the movie, you think the story will go a certain way, but as soon as the movie starts, you understand that it is going to go in a totally different direction.

Tu dors Nicole (2014)

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So a little more than a year ago, I participated to the¬†Prix¬†coll√©gial du cin√©ma qu√©b√©cois¬†(PCCQ), where around forty students from forty different schools have a debate and vote between 5 movies to choose the best movie from Qu√©bec. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.¬†Tu¬†dors Nicole¬†won, and I was really happy about it because I had a proof that I was not the only person who really enjoyed this movie. But besides these other cinema students and cinema lovers, I don’t know anyone who loves this movie or even bothered to see it. Most people I know who saw it found it wayyyyyy too long and boring. But I thought it was fantastic. It perfectly showed how people my age feel in this exact period of their lives. The black and white works so well, the movie is so beautiful and meaningful, I¬†could watch it again and again without ever getting tired of it.

The Voices (2014)

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So this movie got mainly bad¬†to okay reviews,¬†and I don’t feel as if people enjoyed it as much as I did. I thought it was quite funny; I loved the dark sense of humour. I reckon that it can be “too weird” for many people, but I think that is what makes it so fun. The main character, Jerry (Ryan Reynolds), is both lovable and scary and that feeling stays with you throughout the movie. I loved the differences between the world he sees when he is on his meds and the world he sees when he is not taking them.¬†The movie leaves you with mixed feelings; should have I enjoyed the movie or not? I’ll admit, it is a quite disturbing movie and I think¬†it might have been too much for some.

Buried (2010)

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Yes, another movie staring Ryan Reynolds. Yes, another movie that is quite disturbing. Just like¬†The Voices, people became quite uneasy watching this movie, as I did. But I love when I get as involved in a movie as I did with Buried. I love how simple, yet frustrating and scary the movie is. I was truly panicked and devastated while watching it and I think it is what makes this movie so good to me. I’ll always remember the first time I saw it; when it ended, I was in such a shock I could barely move. I don’t watch this movie often because I want to “forget” about it so that when I watch it again, even though I know what happens, I’ll get the same feeling I got the first time I saw it.

“Hush” review

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Hush¬†is a movie written and directed by Mike Flanagan and was distributed by Netflix. I honestly wasn’t expecting much of the movie, but I was a little bit surprised.

Maddie (Kate Siegel) is a¬†deaf writer, who lives in a cottage in the woods. One night, as she is working on the ending of her new book, a masked man (John Gallagher Jr) starts to stalk and terrorize her. The premise of the movie might sound similar to the one of¬†Wait Until Dark, a 1967 movie directed by Terence Young and staring Audrey Hepburn. I guess¬†Hush¬†was probably inspired by it to some extent, but it still was pretty entertaining.¬†I found the suspense quite good; since the main character is deaf, we sometimes “become” deaf with her. What I mean here is that sometimes the sound cuts off and just like her, we don’t hear what is going on. I thought this¬†brought something very interesting to the movie. I also love how minimalist the movie was; it all takes place in the same location and we only see 5 characters throughout the whole movie (including one we only see on a computer screen). I also quite enjoyed¬†a little sequence near the end, which I do not want to spoil so here:¬†Spoiler Alert¬†– I liked the sequence where she tries to figure out every outcome possible, quite like when she writes many different endings for her book. I’m not usually a big fan of similar sequences, but I did not mind this one.¬†End of spoiler¬†(that might not have been a spoiler but hey whatevs right).

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Something I did not really like was that the bad guy takes off his mask too soon. I know it sounds silly, but I thought he was much scarier with his mask on, more mysterious. None of the actors were excellent, but they were good enough for their performances to be believable. For example, ¬†John Gallagher Jr’s acting was not always on point; I sometimes didn’t find him threatening when he should have been. Maybe if he had kept his mask on longer, I’d have been more scared. However, Kate Siegel’s performance was better. I got attached to her character and really wanted her to win.

I’ve always loved movies with¬†home invasions, because they usually terrify me. I have no idea how I’d react if someone attacked me in my own house. This movie did not terrify me, but I found it entertaining. Nothing in this movie is mind-blowing, but it is still very enjoyable. I probably will not watch it again, but I don’t regret seeing¬†it. I think it was a good “realistic” horror/thriller movie and it would definitely be fun to watch with friends at a sleepover or something.

Hush: B

Another 5 favourites

I love a lot of movies you know? So I thought I’d make another list of favourite movies, because why not eh?

The Big Lebowski (1998)

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I saw this movie for the first time in class, only a few years ago, and I absolutely loved it! The Dude (Jeff Bridges) became some kind of a hero to me, because he’s just so calm and nothing really worries him. I’d like to reach this level of chill one day. It is a very nihilistic movie; nothing actually happens, and what does happen happens for nothing. It is funny and quirky and has a great social message. The performances are all great, especially John Goodman as Walter, who is the absolute opposite of the Dude.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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This movie was directed by Wes Anderson and, as usual in a Wes Anderson movie, stars many big names. It is also a very beautiful, aesthetically pleasing movie. The movie is also a lot of fun: it tells the stories Mr. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), concierge of the famous hotel, and Zero (Tony Revolori), the lobby boy. We also get to know the people staying at the hotel, all more colourful that the others. Many stories intertwine, which creates a very entertaining movie.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

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I’ve loved this movie since I was 8. It is, according to me, one of Stanley Kubrick’s bests (also, the book by Anthony Burgess is amazing, one of my favourite books). Malcolm McDowell as Alex is fantastic. Every time I watch this movie, I get chills. In a somewhat near future, ultra violence becomes the norm and Alex and his droogs have a lot of fun fighting, raping and terrorizing. Alex gets arrested after “accidentally” killing a woman. In prison, he is subject to many experiments and learns to hate violence. This movie really makes you think about the society we live in and you definitely look at violence differently after watching it.

Harold and Maude (1971)

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Harold (Bud Cort) is obsessed with death. Maude (Ruth Gordon) loves life. He’s a young adult and she’s 79, but they become best friends and lovers. They meet at a funeral of someone none of them knew; both of them were there to pass time. I saw this movie for the first time on television when I was about 13 and I fell in love with it instantly. I identified so much with both Harold and Maude, I couldn’t think of anything else for weeks. Plus, all the Cat Stevens’ songs we hear throughout the movie got stuck in my head for months (like, I still sing¬†If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out¬†all the time).

Kynodontas (2009)

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Kynodontas¬†(or¬†Dogtooth¬†in English) is a very weird movie that can easily and understandably make you uneasy. We follow the life of a family, all of them remaining unnamed, and very strange things are going on. The father (Christos Stergioglou) and the mother (Michele Valley) keep their two daughters (Aggeliki Papoulia and Mary Tsoni) and their son (Hristos Passalis) captive. None of the “kids” (they’re in their late teens/early twenties) has seen the outside world. They think planes in the sky are toys, cats are extremely dangerous and they learn an entirely “new” vocabulary (like, the movie starts with the three of them listening to a tape and they learn the meaning of carbine as “a beautiful white bird”). It is unsettling, but makes you think a lot.

“Hell and Back” review

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I love stop motion, I love monsters and I love dark comedies. But I didn’t like¬†Hell and Back.

Hell and Back is a 2015 movie directed by Tom Gianas and Ross Shuman. When I first heard about this movie, I was pretty excited; it seemed to have everything I like. And Susan Sarandon is in it. As I was writing I love stop motion animation, I realized I had not watched this movie yet, so I did. And I ended up being pretty disappointed. I knew, in the first 5 minutes, that I was not going to like this movie.

I have to admit, I really enjoyed the animation. The characters looked great and original. I loved the colours too. The sets looked amazing and the demons looked pretty damned cool (pun slightly intended). Judging only on how the movie looks, I’d give it something near a full mark. I also enjoyed the music throughout most of the movie. But unfortunately, the movie also has a script. The premise of the story is quite fun; Remy (Nick Swardson) and his friends Augie (T.J. Miller) and Curt (Rob Riggle) work in an amusement park that is clearly dying out, when Remy finds a book with a picture of the Devil (Bob Odenkirk). But it is no ordinary picture; it is crying.¬†After breaking a blood oath he made on the book, Curt is sucked into Hell and Remy and Augie decide to go and save him. The whole “finding a cursed book” thing is not the most original premise ever, but it could have been good. Plus, the blood oath Curt breaks is pretty silly, which is probably the only thing I found amusing.

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Hell and Back¬†is trying to be funny but it does not quite succeeds. Most of the jokes are¬†racist or sexist and just plain bad. And most of them are quite repetitive. It seems like it’s trying really hard to have a¬†South Park¬†kind of vibe, by swearing a lot and trying to be controversial, but once again, it¬†fails. South Park¬†is satire,¬†Hell and Back¬†wants to be but ends up being kind of offensive instead. There were a few little moments that made me giggle, but nothing important enough to redeem the whole movie. The other times I giggled were¬†because I thought the dialogue was really bad. Had the movie been well-written and actually funny, it could have been a good, enjoyable movie. Sadly, it seems like the writers did not put much effort into it. All the characters were incredibly annoying (except maybe the Devil, I quite liked him sometimes) and most of them were very flat, with absolutely no development whatsoever.

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In order to write a proper review, I wanted to watch the movie until the end, but it was so difficult! I kept being distracted by anything else. I couldn’t concentrate on the movie; it was that bad. Not “so bad it’s good”, like Tommy Wiseau’s¬†The Room¬†(2003), but just bad. Anyway, if you want to check it out for the animation, go ahead, it is the only thing worth it in the movie. Otherwise, you can avoid this movie and won’t be missing anything.

Hell and Back: C-