Last time I said I was going through a bit of a blender, and by now I feel like I shouldn't start any further blog posts with that so you can simply assume that's my natural state. Like, next time I won't say a thing and you'll automatically infer I've been rather busy lately. That said, the opposite's should also be true: if I start a post by saying I've been chillin', then you'll know I'm really chillin'.
In the meantime, I've seen Anthony Russo and Joe Russo's Captain America: Civil War
... and it was grand. Certainly Marvel Studio's best effort, and one that puts Batman v. Superman to absolute shame, as this one also deals with similar themes of responsibility and loyalty, but without failing as much -- or at all, I'd say. I've gone to see it twice now, and yeah, it's one that improves with repeated viewings. It's just overflowing with details and plots, so further chances are strongly recommended for you to grasp and enjoy it all. We'll be certainly talking about it again after the Oscars, if you know what I mean.
Another movie that I saw that also dealt with responsibility and loyalty -- or rather, the perpetual complexities of common sense -- is Gavin Hood's Eye in the Sky
. Helen Mirren stars as a ruthless colonel who's been tracking down this terrorist cell in Kenya with drones, bent on capturing them, and by this I mean killing them. She and her team finally get a chance to do so, but they must act quick, for as they're preparing for an attack later on the day. Issues become ethically complicated immediately, however, as a young girl who lives next door to the terrorists sits down outside their place to sell bread to passerbys, as she usually does. She's just in the edge of the explosion perimeter. Mirren and her team will argue back and forth and delve bureaucratically deep in order to find out whether attacking the terrorists regardless is a morally acceptable or even a legal move at the possible cost of one very young teenager's life.
The cast's quite dynamic in this one despite how the objective stillness of it all: we never leave the offices these people work in, which are located across all over the world. From London to Hawaii to Singapur to a covert op in Nairobi itself. It's as tense as a verbal mexican stand-off, yet also it's got a chuckle or two thrown for good measure just to let you have a breather from the countdown nature of it all. It's a very worthwhile film -- one that features Alan Rickman's last live-action performance. Sad to see such dignity and humanity gone at age 69 -- there was still a wealth of greatness to him.
Speaking of Rickman... James Bobin's Alice Through the Looking Glass
features him as well. But let's be honest: he's in it for about a minute, and it's just his voice. And it's still an 'Alice' sequel nobody demanded. This was a very careless... thing. Nobody seemed to give one iota of a fuck in this movie: nobody learned anything worthwhile, and those who seemed they did pulled an unwarranted 180º out of nowhere; all the while their entire plot can be reduced to a couple of sentences and 15 minutes at most. It's just cinematic helium. There's nothing to hold on to, it'll just float away with a squeaky voice. So much visual flair gone to absolute nothing. If anything, I do hope it gets its Oscar nominations for Costume Design and Makeup and Hairstyling, because for years I've been trying my best to see all the available nominees ahead of the show, even if it's just nominated in one low-key category like Original song or Sound Mixing. Therefore, I hope this film makes it just so I can justify having seen it. It's a waste.
Speaking of the Oscars, I finally caught up with Lazslo Nemes' Son of Saul
. Didn't quite like it nor its format, but I appreciate the technical boldness regardless. I also saw Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent
, which I liked a lot. It's such a trippy, haunting, historically spanning adventure. It's something else, no doubt. The lensing's gorgeous and the acting's striking, of harsh attitudes for an even harsher environment. Check it out!Brian Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse
was seen with quite a lot of hype following his excellent Days of Future Past entry, and... this one disappointed, yeah. But not to an offensive, The Last Stand level. It's just okay. Enjoyable, comedic, but never too ambitious or memorable. There's not a lot of drive in this plot, but it's got its charm regardless. Ditto Clay Kaytis and Fergal Reilly's The Angry Birds Movie
: not the worst, nowhere near the best. Just okay. And like X-Men's Quicksilver, this one moves at a frantic speed, albeit the mutant produced better laughs by himself than the birds could in their entire running time.
That's gonna be it for now, I'm afraid. I believe I covered everything worth covering. See ya next time!