For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighbourhood hero is unmasked and no longer able to separate his normal life from the high-stakes of being a Super Hero. When he asks for help from Doctor Strange the stakes become even more dangerous, forcing him to discover what it truly means to be Spider-Man.
Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon with Marisa Tomei
Summary: Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, go on an journey to discover if there is still a little magic left out there in order to spend one last day with their father, who died when they were too young to remember him.
Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian Home Entertainment Release Date: 1st May 2020
Country: United States
Director: Dan Scanlon
Screenwriter: Dan Scanlon, Jason Headley, Keith Bunin
Cast: Kyle Bornheimer (Wilden Lightfoot (Dad)(voice)), Grey Griffin (Dewdrop (voice)), Tom Holland (Ian Lightfoot (voice)), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Laurel Lightfoot (voice)), Chris Pratt (Barley Lightfoot (voice)), George Psarras (Officer Avel (voice)), John Ratzenberger (Construction Worker Fenwick (voice)), Mel Rodriguez (Colt Bronco (voice)), Octavia Spencer (The Manticore (voice)), Tracey Ullman (Grecklin (voice)), Wilmer Valderrama (Gaxton (voice)), Lena Waithe (Officer Spector (voice)), Ali Wong (Officer Gore (voice))
Running Time: 102 mins
Classification: PG (Australia) TBC (Thailand)
OUR ONWARD REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Onward Review:
Twelve months ago if you asked any film fan if they were excited about any animation films that were set to be released the answer most likely would have been a resounding ‘no.’ Hollywood was getting slammed from pillar to post because it felt that the animated films that it was producing where all mirror images of each other or just another instalment in what were becoming tired franchises.
Even the animation leaders Pixar were not immune from the backlash with many believing that films like Toy Story 4 and The Incredibles 2 were inferior films in what had once been brilliant film universes. The question seemed to be ‘why can’t Hollywood be making animated movies with the creativity being shown by their Asian counterparts?’
Well it seems like the Hollywood filmmakers were listening. Earlier this year we had the surprisingly creative Spies In Disguise starring Will Smith and Tom Holland and now Pixar has just released one of the most intriguing films of the year – the very creative Onward which again stars Tom Holland (Spider-Man: From Far Home) this time alongside his Marvel universe co-star Chris Pratt (Guardians Of The Galaxy).
Together they voice Ian (Holland) and Barley Lightfoot (Pratt). Two teenage elf brothers growing up in a land that resembles The Shire from Lord Of The Rings but also contains all the modern day suburban comforts that you and I are used to in everyday life. It is those modern day comforts that have led to serious issues though for the inhabitants of the land that the Lightfoot’s call home. Technology means that the ancient magic of the wizards of that has been long forgotten, while characters like pixies and fairies have even forgotten what their wings are for.
Some people live in hope though. Barley preciously lives the lives of his ancestors through this dungeon and dragons style role-playing games while at the same time trying to look after Ian and their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus – The Seinfeld) who was left a widow after the death of her husband shortly after the birth of Ian.
The two boys have always wondered what their father may have been like but nothing prepares them for what happens on Ian’s sixteenth birthday when Laurel gives them a gift their father had prepared before he passed away. The staff that he leaves them tells them he was in fact a wizard and the spell that goes with it allows them the opportunity to bring their father back for a day. However, when Ian only manages to bring back half of their father (his legs) he is forced to team up with Barley to go on an odyssey that will see them have to revert back to the ways of their ancestors before them.
Onward is like nothing Pixar has ever created before. Director/screenwriter Dan Scanlon (Monsters University) has delved deep into his creative bank to create what could be loosely described as a ‘stoner’ film for families. While the film’s plot does at times feel a little light on you can’t help but fall in love with it as it introduces you to characters and a world that you simply just want to know more about.
While they are elves most audience members will find themselves drawn to Ian and Barley from the very beginning. There is something so natural about Ian – a young boy who feels that part of his identity is missing because he never knew his father and Barley – an almost lost teenager who society frowns up because of the energy that he puts into his faithful van and his path of discovering the lost arts of those that came before him.
As a filmmaker Scanlon doesn’t allow Onward to become a lazy film because of its supernatural elements either. No amount of great visual effects can ever make up for the connection that an audience can get from well-rounded characters. Here that connection is made straight away and throughout the film Scanlon plays on that garnishing suspense from putting the loved characters in peril while also allowing a more emotionally touching side of the film to shine through as the characters learn some valuable morals revolving around what they are going through as a family. Scanlon also weaves some true comedic moments into the film with some great sequences featuring Ian and Barley’s battle with the biker pixies and their distrust of their mother’s boyfriend Officer Colt Bronco (Mel Rodriguez – Little Miss Sunshine).
Perhaps the biggest weakness of Onward is the fact that Scanlon at times seems to make the brother’s quests just a little too easy to overcome, something that seems to be highlighted even more so due to the fact that the world the boys live in is so interesting that you can’t help but feel you want to see more of it and know more about it.
Still at the end of the day this is the kind of animated film that audiences have been waiting for. To be honest it is kind of unexpected that Pixar would deliver a film that seems to have a Gothic edge while embracing the quirkiness of a film like Planet 51, but they have and it works wonderfully well. Many asked for more creativity when it comes to the kind of animated films that we are singing in cinemas and if a film is like Onward is anything to go back it looks like that request has well and truly be delivered. Onward is the kind of film that can be enjoyed by family members of all ages – so sit back and enjoy a little bit of Pixar magic.
They say that the lights never go out in Hollywood. Well if they aren’t fully out at the moment then they are certainly very, very dim. As the Covid-19 virus goes on its deadly wave right across the planet Hollywood and the world’s film industry has become one of its biggest victims.
Right now as i write this this most of the world’s cinemas are in darkness – the projectors have stopped and the doors are closed. In Thailand cinemas are closed until April 1st while in America the cinemas are closed indefinitely. In Australia the cinema chains desperately tried to keep the doors open, but finally the week came where only one new film opened in cinemas and as people had started to fear going out in public the film was playing to empty cinemas. When you consider that film was The Current War starring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon and Tom Holland the fact it wasn’t drawing an audience just went to show how afraid people really were. Luckily the nation’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the decision for the cinema bosses when he included cinemas in the list of non-essential services that had to close as the nation went into a Stage One lockdown.
For the rest of the world the first inkling that Covid-19 was going to hit the cinema industry hard was when Sony Pictures made the announcement that they were postponing the release date of the latest Bond film No Time To Die. Sony, it seemed made the right call especially after we all saw the hit that the much-hyped Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel took upon its released. Its studio decided to brave the Covid affected cinema numbers and released the film amidst the chaos – the result was taking just nine million dollars at the box office in its first week of release in the USA. Desperate not to see the same fate happen to Diesel’s other blockbuster – Fast & Furious 9 – its studio decided to push its release back to 2021.
Some companies decided to get creative. Realising that they were going to have a captive housebound audience for potentially the next few months Universal Pictures have decided to chance its arm and in some territories has released potential blockbusters The Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour onto streaming services. It now seems likely that Disney will do the same with the eagerly anticipated Pixar animation Onward.
While the release dates of some of the year’s biggest films seem to be moving around like chess pieces on a board it leaves us with one big question – if Thailand’s cinemas do re-open on April 1st what do audiences have to look forward to? While films such as Daniel Radcliffe’s all action affair Guns Akimbo and new horror film Fantasy Island are slated for release not long after the doors open for several months audiences will have to watch locally made films and smaller international films while Hollywood prepares to re-launch itself with their all-conquering blockbusters. That is not necessarily a bad thing though as it means for awhile locally made films will have very little competition at the box-office for awhile.
Of course box office aside Covid-19 has also had catastrophic affect on the people of Hollywood and film industries right around the world. At the moment every major studio in America has shutdown production meaning that hundreds of thousands of people are currently out of work – many not knowing when those studio doors will open again.
The human side of Covid-19 in Hollywood became even more apparent when two of its biggest stars tested positive to the deadly virus. In Australia working on a new movie about the life of Elvis Presley Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson contracted the virus resulting in Australia’s Nine Network television network having to place some of their on-air talent in isolation after they had come in contact with the pair. It was later proven that Nine’s head Entertainment Reporter Richard Wilkins had actually contracted Covid-19 after interviewing Wilson.
The next Hollywood celebrity to test positive to Covid-19 was Thor: Ragnarok and Star Trek Beyond star Idris Elba and only a few hours ago it was confirmed that former Hollywood producer and convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein has tested positive to the virus in prison.
Globally nobody has been able to safely predict when the Covid-19 crisis might be over but the one thing we do know is it is going to take a long time for Hollywood to recover from cinema’s darkest days.
Summary: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 1st January 2020
Thailand Cinema Release Date: 9th January 2020
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Nick Bruno, Troy Quane
Screenwriter: Brad Copeland, Lloyd Taylor
Cast: Rachel Brosnahan (Wendy (voice), Jarrett Bruno (Young Walter/Pigeon Voice (voice)), Min-Hyuck Jang (Joon (voice)), DJ Khaled (Ears (voice)), Karen Gillan (Eyes (voice)), Tom Holland (Walter (voice)), Carla Jimenez (Geraldine (voice)), Rashida Jones (Macy (voice)), Peter S. Kim (Joon (voice)), Reba McEntire (Joyless (voice)), Ben Mendelsohn (Killian (voice)), Masi Oka (Kimura (voice)), Will Smith (Lance (voice)), Youn So (Soo-Min (voice)), Randy Trager (Terrance/Pigeon Voice (voice)),
Running Time: 102 mins
Classification: PG (Australia) G (Thailand)
OUR SPIES IN DISGUISE REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths Review:
A film where a super-hero turns into a pigeon shouldn’t work, no even the notion of such a film would probably have you laughing and wondering whether or not the film deserves to be placed in the same pile as the ridiculous Sharknado. But let the laughter subside because somehow Spies In Disguise not only works but is pure entertainment from start to finish.
The fact that the film works is probably good news for Will Smith (Men In Black) who certainly needs a winner after the absolute shocker that was Gemini Man. In this animation Smith voices Lance Sterling, the greatest spy the world has ever seen. However Sterling’s career is placed in jeopardy when he comes up against arch-villain Killian (Ben Mendolsohn – Ready Player One) who frames Sterling and makes it look like he is using a killer drone to do his own dirty work.
Sterling vows to clear his name when he is confronted by an eager young agent named Marcy Kappel (Rashida Jones – The Social Network) who is hellbent on arresting him. However when Sterling is escaping he is forced to take the nerdy and socially inept inventor Walter (Tom Holland – Spider-Man: Far From Home) with him after he accidentally drinks a liquid that turns him into a pigeon. Now with the lives of many in danger it is up to the Sterling pigeon and the out-of-his-depth Walter to try and save the day.
Like we mentioned previously the whole film’s premise sounds so far out of this world that it simply wouldn’t work, but somehow the screenplay by Brad Copeland (Wild Hogs) and Lloyd Taylor (The Wild) pulls everything together and has it work perfectly. To put it simply the film works because Copeland and Taylor never try to make this film anything that it’s not. They know the premise of the film is ridiculous and they simply go with that ‘flow.’ When Sterling is in human form they make the film a serviceable James Bond parody and when he is pigeon form they are gifted enough comedy writers to be able to introduce an influx of bird jokes and slap-stick comedy that is actually funny.
Perhaps the most important thing though is that Copeland and Taylor alongside the film’s two directors Nick Bruno (first time director) and Troy Quane (The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol) have given this film heart. Never at any time when you watch this film do you feel that this was a film made just to generate some cash at the box office. Yes despite the whole ridiculous nature of the film’s premise from start to finish this feels like a film that was made by a group of people who genuinely believed in the story at hand. The result is a film that will be lapped up by its audience as it goes from a moment of true comedy through to a far-fetched action sequence that totally works and will then rest for a moment as it explores the notion that Walter is actually emotionally hurt by some of the more traumatic events that have occurred during his life. It is moments like that that makes Spies In Disguise resonate so well with its audience.
The team behind this film also completely nailed the voice casting of the film. Will Smith is the absolute perfect choice to play a cooler-than-cool spy while Tom Holland shows real style as he branches out and gives Walter real characterisation through his vocal work alone. At no point in the film did his unique Spider-Man voice become apparent which was something I was worried about when first sitting down to watch the film.
While expecting very little from Spies In Disguise this was one animation that really surprised me. Like Teen Titans Go To The Movies and Planet 51 before it Spies In Disguise manages to overcome the obstacle of having a ridiculous premise and somehow becomes a film that reminds you just how magical cinema can be sometimes. While some of the violence of the film may not make it friendly for younger children this is certainly a film that will be enjoyed by kids who are older enough to sit down and enjoy something like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Maybe you still think Spies In Disguise sounds like a ridiculous waste of time but trust me you write off this film at your own peril.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Spies In Disguise Reviews:
Summary: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th July 2017
Australian DVD Release Date: 18th October 2017
Country: United States
Director: Jon Watts
Screenwriter: John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Jonathan Goldstein, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jon Watts, Steve Ditko (original comic book), Jack Kirby (original comic book), Stan Lee (original comic book), Joe Simon (original comic book)
Cast: Isabella Amara (Sally),Tunde Adebimpe (Mr. Cobbwell), Abraham Attah (Abe), Michael Barbieri (Charles), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Garcelle Beauvais (Doris Toomes), Christopher Berry (Randy), Hannibal Buress (Coach Wilson), Michael Chernus (Phineas Mason/The Tinkerer), Kenneth Choi (Principal Morita), Kerry Condon (Friday (voice)), Jennifer Connolly (Karen/Suit Lady (voice)), Tyne Daley (Anne Marie Hoag), Ethan Dizon (Tiny), Robert Downey Jnr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark),Tiffany Espensen (Cindy),Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America),Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan),Donald Glover (Aaron Davis),Laura Harrier (Liz),Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes/Vulture), Stan Lee (Gary), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Jason), Selenis Leyva (Ms. Warren), Hemke Madera (Mr. Delmar), Michael Mando (Mac Gargan), Logan Marshall-Green (Jackson Brice/Shocker #1),Nitin Nohria (Dean Crimson), Gwenyth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), John Penick (Mr. Hapgood), Tony Revolori (Flash), Angourie Rice (Betty), Martin Starr (Mr. Harrington), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), J.J. Totah (Seymour), Gary Weeks (Agent Foster), Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz/Shocker #2), Zendaya (Michelle)
Runtime: 133 mins
OUR SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Kyle McGrath’s Spider-Man: Homecoming Review:
Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the title character and his alter ego Peter Parker on his early steps of becoming the hero he yearns to be. After being enlisted by Tony Stark/Iron Man to assist in Captain America: Civil War (2016) Peter Parker is dropped off home, given a shiny new Spider-Man costume and pretty much told “don’t call us, we’ll call you”. Ambitious to prove himself worthy of being an Avenger he sets out to fight crime wherever he can while also struggling with the pitfalls of being an otherwise normal high school kid. His enthusiasm may soon gets the better of him when he discovers an underground operation in dealing weapons made from the stolen technology leftover from previous Avengers battles.
The elephant in the room with Spider-Man Homecoming is that this is the 3rd big screen incarnation of Spider-Man since 2002. This time the web crawler officially being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The previous films each had their ups and downs but the general consensus seems to be that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films were better with Tobey Maguire making a better Peter Parker whereas The Amazing Spider-Man films found a better Spider-Man performance in Andrew Garfield with some other fan preferences such as Gwen Stacy as a love interest rather than skipping straight to Mary Jane Watson and mechanical web-shooters rather than organic (a distinction I never cared about).
Spider-Man Homecoming brings some new interesting things to the table while some others feel weaker. I believe Tom Holland walks the line quite well and works quite well as the younger less experienced and still in high school Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
Otherwise the films visuals and musical score felt a little generic never coming close to standing out as well as Sam Raimi and Danny Elfman did all the way back in 2002. Speaking of which the CGI of Homecoming itself looks not much better after 15 years of technological progress, often characters looking like something from a computer game or the transition between CGI to live action, such as Michael Keaton’s character leaving his “Vulture” wingsuit, appears quite jarring. Most of these large CGI sequences seem to take place at night too, it could have just been poor lighting in my cinema but it was extremely dark and felt like a possible shortcut with CGI usually looking more real with less lighting.
The film’s story itself reminded me of Kick-Ass be it without the style or comedy of Matthew Vaughn & Mark Millar with Peter trying to be a “friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man”. I found this to be an interesting new take on the character and something we’ve not yet seen in the MCU: a small time loser hero trying to do his thing in the shadow of giants like Thor, The Hulk or Captain America.
With any reboot certain changes had to be made so that the filmmakers aren’t just making the same film again. Flash Thompson Esther than being a stereotypical jock bully and symbol of everything Peter wished he could be is now a weedy little prick. The once elderly aunt May is now “hot aunt May” as the characters like to remind us and the less said about the new “MJ” the better.
Other major changes are that this is not another origin story. Rather picking up in the middle of Peter’s journey of self discovery as a super hero. An issue here is that while films like Tim Burton’s Batman or even the MCU’s The Incredible Hulk showed you don’t NEED to do an origin story to introduce your hero, you still do need to introduce them and Homecoming really does not. The feeling is that Spider-Man’s powers and back story don’t need to be given much thought because they’ve been done to death already. Well too bad. This is potentially people’s FIRST Spider-Man film and outside influences shouldn’t play any part in it. Not giving a proper set up because everyone should already know is like not introducing Harry Potter correctly in the film adaptation of Philosophers Stone because “well everyone’s read the book right?”
Peter’s character development this time comes more from his desire to prove himself than his feelings of guilt over his indirect involvement in his uncle’s death like before. This was an interesting change but to be honest the time Peter spends in this naive phase goes on way too long and most of the film seems to be him rescuing people from disasters he himself caused or his selfishly helping people in the first place only because he seeks glory and to be considered one of The Avengers. This would be like if Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins stayed in “scared angry man with a gun mode” until nearly the end of the film.
I think Peter himself is obsessed so much with the Avengers as a symptom of this film being obsessed with being considered part of the MCU. Again it’s an interesting way to approach at first but the Avengers just overshadow EVERYTHING in this film. Even the film’s title itself seems to more reference a “return home to the MCU” than anything in the film itself. The very first thing you see is a child’s drawing of them and the very last thing you’ll see is a post credits cameo from one of them and rarely 10 minutes will go by without some reference to them. Spider-Man’s motivation revolves around them, the film’s antagonist revolves around them and Tony Stark while barely making much of an appearance in the film is still focused on more than Michael Keaton as The Vulture leading to him feeling like a lackluster villain. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad he didn’t just want to turn the whole city into birds using a gas or something but when his entire scheme is spending 8 years stealing Avengers related tech, turning it into odd weapons and selling it out of the back of a van to random street thugs under bridges I have to ask “who cares?”.
The worst part of this is that the movie barely feels like it stars Spider-Man at all. Even his suit is some sort of Tony Stark designed super tech nonsense which only manages to downplay the ACTUAL superpowers Peter is supposed to have. Effectively he’s a super strong, super agile kid in a suit with a bunch of gadgets. It may as well also be what allows him to walk up walls as it does everything else for him!
If the film can’t go 10 minutes without an Avengers reference it also can’t seem to go 30 seconds without making a funny. In some kind of spray ‘n pray approach to comedy Homecoming is so afraid of being seen as taking itself too seriously that it hardly ever allows a scene to end without some gag tacked on just for the sake of it. Comedy relief only really works if you allow tension to build in the first place and when there are multiple gags happening it just drives a truck through the middle of a scene that’s designed to have you on the edge of your seat. Then when the big heavy scenes come along such as Michael Keaton trying to be intimidating they just don’t work. The film hasn’t earned that response from the audience because any other time it came close to a similar tone someone immediately then had to slip on a banana peel.
Spider-Man Homecoming unfortunately doesn’t hold a candle to Sam Raimi’s 2002 film. It’s lacking as an introduction to this new Spider-Man and feels too focused on latching on to the hugely popular MCU films to be comfortable in telling its own story and too eager to make its audience laugh to build any drama for its underdeveloped characters. As an addition to the mountain of superhero films it’s entertaining enough and different enough to warrant a viewing but not interesting enough to be very memorable.
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Spider-Man: Homecoming Reviews: N/A
Summary: As the government asks the Avengers to be brought together under the one umbrella Tony Stark/Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jnr.) and Steve Rodgers/Captain America find themselves going to war as they both stand for their ideals.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 28th April 2016
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenwriter: Christopher Markus, Steven McFeely, Mark Millar (comic book), Jack Kirby (characters), Joe Simon (characters)
Cast: Gozie Agbo (Dr. Broussard), Paul Bettany (Vision), Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Daniel Bruhl (Zemo), Don Cheadle (Lieutenant James Rhodes/War Machine), Kerry Condon (Friday (voice)), Hope Davis (Maria Stark), Robert Downey Jnr. (Tony Stark/Iron-Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rodgers/Captain America), Gene Farber (Karpov), Martin Freeman (Everett K. Ross), Frank Grillo (Brock Rumlow/Crossbones), Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), William Hurt (Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), John Kani (King T’Chaka), Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon), Elizabeth Olsen (Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch), Jim Rash (M.I.T. Liaison), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye), Paul Rudd (Scott Lang/Ant-Man), John Slattery (Howard Stark), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes/Winter Solider), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), Emily VanCamp (Sharon Carter), Alfre Woodard (Miriam), Jane Wu (U.N. Staffer Wu)
Runtime: 147 mins
OUR CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR REVIEWS & RATINGS:
So far 2016 has delivered mixed results for comic book fans right around the world. While we were very impressed with the way that Deadpool stuck to the comic itself despite the possibility of making it a cinema unfriendly film we were all disappointed that Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice didn’t live up to the dizzying heights we all wanted it to. With those results echoing in our heads we all approached Captain America: Civil War with some trepidation. Even as a series in itself Marvel’s Avengers series has been up and down. While Captain America: Winter Soldier was a brilliant film, Avengers: Age Of Ultron was a bit of a letdown. Well you can all take a big breath and relax comic book fans because Captain America: Civil War delivers with a massive payload.
For those that haven’t read the comics surrounding the Marvel Civil War series Captain America: Civil War sees Steve Rodgers/Captain America (Chris Evans – Snowpiercer) go head-to-head with Tony Stark/Ironman (Robert Downey Jnr. – The Judge) after Rodgers decides that he can’t be part of the Avengers if it means they now have to answer to Government department… as he points out Governments can have agendas. With pressure mounting after a mission led by Captain America, Falcon (Anthony Mackie – The Hurt Locker), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen – Godzilla) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson- Lucy) ends in civilian casualties Stark is quick to sign the agreement but Rodgers refuses.
Tensions rise even more when the new Government led Avengers are asked to bring in Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan – The Martian) after he is blamed for a terrorist attack. Something that Rodgers believes he is innocent of. Cue the war.
When leaving the cinema after the premiere of Captain America: Civil War one thing was going through my mind, and that was that the Russo Brothers who directed this film and true action film geniuses. Trying to fit so many comic book characters into one film could have failed really badly. In their hands it doesn’t. For many directors (I’m looking at you Zack Snyder and Michael Bay) this film would have been an excuse to throw characterisation right out the window and instead just concentrate on explosions and fighting galore. That isn’t the case here, while the film not only allows fans to know exactly how each Avenger is feeling as the split happens we also get an introduction to two new Avengers – Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman – Gods Of Egypt) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland – In The Heart Of The Sea) and get a real feel for their characters despite the fact that time doesn’t allow for a huge introduction into their lives.
The characterisation really comes to the fore though with the friendship breakdown between Steve Rodgers and Tony Stark though. This isn’t just simply raised fists at twenty paces like it was in Batman vs Superman, no Civil War really allows the audience to see the pain the two men are going through as their friendship erodes and as a result it is easier to understand exactly what leads to the battles that we end up witnessing.
Having said that though the Russos have not forgotten that a movie like this needs action sequences and boy do they deliver on that level. If you were impressed with the action scenes in Winter Soldier then you are going to be blown away with what you see here. While Iron Man and Captain America’s hand-to-hand battle is something that every true comic book fan is going to savour what really steals the show here is the amazing car chase involving Falcon, Cap and Winter Solider, and then of course the epic airport battle that is truly Avenger vs Avenger with battle lines drawn. While the Russos make this scene look good, they also bring in some creative use of the environment around the characters and also manage to deliver some light hearted moments made possible by the smart-ass antics of Spider-Man and Ant-Man (Paul Rudd – Role Models). You wouldn’t think that action and comedy would gel so well together, but somehow the Russos manage to pull it off. So impressive are what the Russos seem to be able to do with action sequences it has to be said that they are now the best action directors around currently and they are doing for the genre what James Cameron did with the Terminator films all those years ago.
So good is the screenplay for Captain America: Civil War that this is one of the first times in this franchise that the actors have really had a chance to show their skills. Robert Downey Jnr. brings his acting A-Game to this film, he seriously puts as much effort in here as he did in dramatic films like The Judge. Even Chris Evans shows that he is more than just a pretty boy actor while Paul Rudd is backed up the comedic stakes by Tom Holland who brings a fresh new feel to the Spider-Man character. While it does take a bit to get used to Holland as Spider-Man his wise-cracking version of Peter Parker does grow you and by the time he exits the screen you find yourself looking forward to the forthcoming Spider-Man movie.
Captain America: Civil War is what we all dreamed it would be… it fact it goes beyond expectations. If it wasn’t just a little bit long you would have to say that it is the perfect action film. With spectacular action sequences, great suspense and a well-written screenplay this is one film I am going to watch over and over.
Summary: A powerful story based on one family’s survival of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami…
Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her.
Based on a true story, THE IMPOSSIBLE is the unforgettable account of a family caught, with tens of thousands of strangers, in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. But the true-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion, courage and simple kindness that Maria and her family encounter during the darkest hours of their lives.
Both epic and intimate, devastating and uplifting, The Impossible is a journey to the core of the human heart.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th January, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Screenwriter: Maria Belon (story), Sergio G. Sanchez
Cast: John Albasiny (Oliver Tudpole), Simon Blyberg (Ferdinand), Christopher Alan Byrd (Dieter), Philipee Durand (Shanque), Marta Etura (Simone), Tom Holland (Lucas), Douglas Johansson (Mr. Benstrom), Samuel Joslin (Thomas), Ewan McGregor (Henry), Sonke Mohring (Karl), Oaklee Pendergast (Simon), Emilio Riccadi (Morten Benstrom), Johan Sundberg (Daniel), Naomi Watts (Maria)