Tag Archives: Samuel L. Jackson

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain_America_The_Winter_Solider-PosterWe’re talking about a hero with superhuman powers and a weapon with the ability to pinpoint villains via satellites capable of reading DNA and identifying a propensity to attack. It’s a downright outrageous scenario, but, dare I say, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” still feels like one of the most grounded Marvel movies out there.

After the destruction in New York in “The Avengers,” Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is attempting to lay low to a degree in Washington, D.C., by continuing to try to acclimate himself to the modern world while lending a hand at S.H.I.E.L.D. when necessary. However, when Steve comes to learn of an initiative to wipe out terrorists via enormous helicarriers that can detect evildoers before they even strike, his faith in the organization waivers. When Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) himself has cause to believe that something isn’t quite right at S.H.I.E.L.D., it falls on Captain America to figure out who to trust so that the technology doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

First and foremost, Evans is just an absolute natural as Steve Rogers/Captain America. There is a cringe worthy throwback to skinny Steve, but otherwise, Evans sells him as an exceptionally capable, believable and thoughtful hero with an honest heart. Whether you’ve seen “Captain America: The First Avenger” or not, in “The Winter Solider,” Captain America experiences an arc that rocks the power to resonate regardless of how many times you’ve seen him in action.

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Review: Oldboy

Oldboy_PosterDespite striking visuals and Josh Brolin’s all-in performance, the new “Oldboy” fails to build a riveting, believable mystery strong enough to support its big twist.

In the Spike Lee film, Brolin stars as Joe Doucett, a deplorable advertising executive who has all the time in the world to drown himself in alcohol, but none to spend with his daughter. During one particularly drunken night, Joe is snatched off the street and wakes up trapped in a small room. After 20 years of solitary confinement and dumplings, Joe is suddenly released and challenged to figure out who ordered his lengthy prison sentence and why.

If you’ve seen the Chan-wook Park original, it’s impossible to experience this new version objectively, but Lee’s rendition does deserve a standalone assessment first.

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At Comic-Con: Humans Are Corruptible but Machines Are Not in ‘RoboCop’

RoboCopAfter a supposedly tumultuous production process and getting bumped from its summer 2013 release and pushed to February 7, 2014, RoboCop finally rolled into Hall H and, despite those rocky times, everything sounds and looks relatively promising.

The Highlights

— Director José Padilha explained, “We didn’t try to redo the same RoboCop because it was perfect the way it was. We just took the concept of RoboCop… and we brought it to the present.” He also pointed out, “We’ll soon be seeing robots being used in war as you’ve seen in the footage. This is gonna become a big issue.” He added that he thinks the introduction of robots to the warfront will go down as we see it in his film – first we’ll use the machines abroad for foreign policies and interventions, and then we’ll bring them home.

— Michael Keaton described Raymond Sellars as “a complex dude.” He further explained, “He sees a bigger picture and he simplifies everything. He’s the ultimate pragmatist.” If Sellars asks someone if what he’s doing could make the world a better place and that person says yes, then Sellars insists that that’s what they need to do, regardless of the finer details. Keaton also highlighted that Sellars isn’t really a villain, but rather an antagonist.

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Review: Django Unchained

Django-Unchained-PosterYou can always count on Quentin Tarantino to go big and take chances to offer up some of the most wildly engaging, entertaining and all-around enjoyable experiences cinema’s got to offer.

Amidst a treacherous trek across the country, Django (Jamie Foxx) and his new slave owners are intercepted by the bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). The next kill on Schultz’s list are the notorious Brittle Brothers, but he doesn’t know what they look like. However, Django does. After a little unorthodox bartering, Schultz makes off with Django, but not as his slave, rather as an associate.

Django rides by Schultz’s side, learning the ways of the bounty hunter and helping Schultz complete his gigs. In turn, Schultz offers to help track down and rescue Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from her new owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Trouble is, Candie isn’t a particularly nice guy, and he’ll never sell Broomhilda to Schultz if Schultz rides up to the estate alongside a black man and simply asks. If Schultz and Django are going to get her back, they’ll need to make Candie think he’s got the upper hand in an incredible deal.

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Review: The Avengers

When we’re getting superhero movie after superhero movie, it’s understandable to have that, “Oh, another one?,” reaction. However, in the case of The Avengers, it was unprecedented right from the start. Yes, it’s more superhero material, but this isn’t just a film that features the biggest team of super-powered crime fighters yet; it’s one that links together a number of other features and franchises and, in turn, really creates a living, breathing Marvel universe.

The Avengers kicks off at S.H.I.E.L.D. where Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) is hard at work at the tesseract, an energy source with the power to wipe out the planet. In addition, the tesseract can act as a door to the other end of space, and that’s where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) comes in. Loki uses the device to transport himself from the other side of the universe to right there in the middle of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters where he devastates the compound and steals the tesseract.

Having witnessed the threat firsthand, S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is compelled to activate the Avengers Initiative. Fury sends Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson) to recruit Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), not for his alter ego, but to use his knowledge of gamma radiation, something that could help S.H.I.E.L.D. track the tesseract. Meanwhile, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) is bringing Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) into the mix and Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is suiting up again as Captain America. Together, they’re assigned to locate and take back the tesseract.

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Review: The Other Guys

Not only do buddy cop comedies come with a major stigma, but so do both of the stars of The Other Guys, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. The guys are guilty of doing the same thing in just about every film, Ferrell in terms of his comedic style and Wahlberg, well, with acting in general. The Other Guys primarily stays within the subgenre mold and Ferrell and Wahlberg remain in their comfort zones, but the film has just enough freshness to it that it makes more of the same acceptable.

Samuel L Jackson and Dwayne Johnson are Highsmith and Danson, New York City’s top cops. They drive the hottest car, sleep with all the ladies, earn medals and cause as much destruction as possible while catching the bad guys. When their reign comes to an abrupt end, it leaves a vacancy in the city’s hero department. That’s where the other guys come in, Allen Gamble and Terry Hoitz (Ferrell and Wahlberg), or as the boys at the station like to call them, Paper Bitch and Yankee Clipper. Allen is always happily buried in paperwork, the trigger happy Terry is constantly losing his temper and both are notorious for screwing up. But they finally get the chance to earn some respect when they stumble upon a high profile case.

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