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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) B+/A-
Nymphomaniac (2014) B-
Divergent (2014) C
Enemy (2014) B/B+

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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Captain America (27)

Sunday
Apr062014

Box Office: Marvel Strikes Again

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report.
Captain America defeated Noah to the top spot. There has to be a joke in there about America and freedom and jingoism and religion but I haven’t seen the former film yet, so I’ll hold my tongue. Captain America’s opening doesn’t meet the high bar set by any of the Iron Man films or The Avengers but it set a new record for Apil releases and the reviews are arguably the best ever for the Marvel franchise. With the recent announcement that this multiple phase, universe recreation charade is going to drag all the way until 2028 – by which time this youthful, cynical, belligerent writer will only be a cynical, belligerent writer – Marvel is going to need the good reviews to avoid fatigue. Or at least pretend like it’s avoiding fatigue, depending on whom you ask. Arguably, the bigger story of the weekend is the continued success of God's Not Dead. The film now has $32m in the bank and I have yet to come across a single person who's actually seen it. There's God's miracle right there.

Captain America and Black Widow, pondering the box office numbers

BOX OFFICE
01 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $96.2 *new* Review / Marvel Posterized
02 NOAH $17 (cum. $72.3)
03 DIVERGENT $13 (cum. $114) Review / Jai Courtney
04 GOD'S NOT DEAD $7.7 (cum. $32.5)
05 THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL $6.3 (cum. $33.3)

The only other wide-ish release of the weekend was Frankie & Alice, the Halle Berry go-go dancing vehicle that finally came off the studio shelves after a four-year delay. Remember when some of us predicted Berry’s second nomination for this one? LOLZ. On the limited side of things, the biggest story was obviously Under the Skin, Jonatha Glazer’s long-delayed follow-up to Birth. Considering the festival hype and the irritatingly, reductively prominent coverage of Scarlett Johansson’s alien sexiness, the film didn’t do that well per screen average. It’d be interesting to see how the studio decides to expand the film. Unbelievably, up here in The Great White North, Skin doesn’t even have a distributor yet. I was lucky enough to watch it at TIFF though and I’d be happily lured back into darkness by Scarlett Johansson no matter the grotesque consequences.

The other releases this weekend didn’t really get audiences (or critics) all hot and bothered but by way of completism, we’ll list their names: The Unknown Known (Errol Morris working in a similar vein to Fog of War), Dom Hemingway (Jude Law with a few extra pounds and a dash of violence), Afflicted (for horror fans, of which I’m not one) and Watermark (an environmentalist documentary which I’ve actually seen; I wasn’t a big fan overall but it’s message is admirable and well-argued and the cinematography is GorgeouS with a capital G and also a capital S for emphasis.)

What have you watched this weekend?

Saturday
Apr052014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

This post was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. Nathaniel is on vacation but it is reprinted here with their permission

"On the left" Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) warns a stranger as he jogs past him at The Mall in Washington D.C. Moments later, "On the left" again. "On the left" And a wave of quiet laughter starts rolling in the theater as it dawns on the crowd - the super soldier, better known as Captain America, is lapping this man repeatedly. It's the perfect soft joke to open Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It's not hilarious, really, but it's warm and good natured... neighborly even. Which could also describe this fish-out-of-water superhero. Steve Rogers isn't of our time. He's 90 years old, actually, but he still looks like Chris Evans because being frozen in a block of ice for 60+ years is apparently it's own kind of fountain of youth. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb072014

Link Vision

Clothes on Film on the suits of The Wolf of Wall Street
The Playlist Snowpiercer directors cut will come to the US in limited release
Vulture guess the Mean Girls line quiz. I scored 12/12 and I only had to use a hint once. 
Variety six college students chosen to deliver Oscars to presenters as "Team Oscar" - Channing Tatum helped handpick them. If this had happened to me in college I would have died of joy. Possibly before the ceremony thereby robbing me of the experience. I hope they survive and love every second of it. 

Jimmy Kimmel Live celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves. My favorites are Sarah Silverman, Tim Robbins, Bob Balaban, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett
Empire Lots of Captain American Winter Soldier character posters
Coming Soon Johnny Depp and probably Tom Hardy for Black Mass, a true story organized crime drama. That worked terrifically (Donnie Brasco) and fine but not great (Public Enemies) for Depp in the past but at least it's not another cartoon character.  
Bent Philip Seymour Hoffman's key gay roles. I really thought he was awful inFlawless but good clip choice
Peter Knegt shares an awesome press conference moment with Greta Gerwig. Oscar fanatics will need to watch  

I made this and it's remarkably easy to transpose Bettany's face onto The Vision

And Finally...
Some superhero casting news I can actually get behind for a change. It looks like Paul Bettany will be The Vision to Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch in The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Too bad about Aaron Johnson as Quicksilver (although at least he's better than the looks-to-be ghastly interpretation of the character over in X-Men: Days of Future Past)  but one excellent choice, one fine choice and one questionable but better than it could have been choice in a trio of famous characters is a pretty good ratio for superhero casting! So well done Joss Whedon and team. 

P.S. for those who are unaware The Vision is the android husband of The Scarlet Witch (don't ask) who is the sister of Quicksilver who are the children of Magneto. At least that's what they were saying when I read comic books (but they love to rewrite histories).] 

 

Tuesday
Feb042014

Link-Along

HuffPo Gabby Sidibe gets in trouble for using the word "Tranny" on television. It's hard to keep up. Gabby is not alone. I also didn't realize this word was now off limits since LGBT people have been using it for years and in names of clubs and dance nights and everything ("Tranny Shack" "Tranny Chasers" etcetera) 
Cinema Blend American Hustle will hit DVD Bluray on March 18th. I wonder if it will have any Oscar wins to tout on its cover? You think?
The Wire attends the Frozen sing-along

TV Blend poster for season 2 of Bates Motel (I wish I had liked that show, but nope.) 
In Contention Guy makes us want to go the Miami Film Festival 
/Film new trailer for Captain America: Winter Soldier includes Emily VanCamp

More on PSH
Slate Dana Stevens' tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Wrap catches us up on 5 current PSH projects and where they stand now that he's gone. Weirdly they leave out the sixth, Ezekiel Moss which he had planned to direct and which had recently cast its leads.
The Guardian on the double standards of drugs and drug laws. Some addicts are viewed empathetically and tragically and others as criminals 

Finally...
I keep meaning to share this really fun video of all the Best Visual Effects winners at the Oscars from Star Wars through Life of Pi. You've probably seen it already but isn't it a good watch?!

Tuesday
Dec312013

Happy 2014...Choose Three Cinematic Spirit Guides!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I've found in years past that it doesn't do much good to fuss over resolutions or plans for a new year... especially a long list of them. Which is not to say that self-improvement projects or, by extension in my case The Film Experience improvement projects, should not be on the agenda. The trick is to really focus so I'm only choosing three even though my nature yearns to do it differently. I have to fight the impulse to draft up a list of 2,014 life goals which would then make me miserable when I failed to accomplish them and guilty when I forgot what they were. I've already been working at upping my game behind-the-scenes since I didn't want to wait until a special date arose ("January 1st" is so arbitrary, really, and why should we be bound to Aloysius Lilius's 1582 business, you now?) to act on recent positive impulses, particularly because negative impulses are so more familiar and abundant. So in October this year I started saying "yes" to things I would normally hedge on or pass up altogether from worries of various sorts (time, money, fear). That was the entire goal, say "yes"! I did it in the hopes of breaking out of my "comfort zones" (which can also be pronounced as "ruts"). Maybe it's too soon to tell but I think it's working!

I'm not ready to share the three goals yet but for fun I thought I'd choose three spirit guides from the movies, to lean on for inspiration and spiritual support this year. And here they are...

Maria in The Sound of Music (1965)
Her image needs to be rehabilitated anyway. When I'm feeling ill equipped for whatever comes my way in 2014, I'm going to sing "I Have Confidence," the ultimate self pep-talk song. I'll do this while swinging my personal baggage around like it weighs nothing (I will do all of this internally and silently so as not to harm innocent bystanders) 

Captain America
Talk about freeing yourself from ruts: Is there a harder mold to bust out of than a 60 year old block of ice? He emerged with heroic spirit, super fitness (I so need to get back to the gym) and take charge instincts. He also knows from Classic Hollywood Movies since he saw them in first run!

Poppy in Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
Because she doesn't take herself too seriously and she'll try anything and throw herself into it. She's our best cinematic illustration that happiness is a conscious choice. Life doesn't always cooperate.

You should totally play along at home - strength in numbers. Choose three cinematic spirit guides and join me in making 2014 your best year yet.