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Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Captain American Civil War

Oh they fuckin

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Director:

Anthony Russo

Joe Russo

Starring:

Chris Evans

Sebastian Stan

Robert Downy Jr.

Scarlett Johansson

Anthony Mackie

Don Cheadle

Jeremy Renner

Chadwick Boseman

Paul Bettany

Elizabeth Olsen

Paul Rudd

Tom Holland

Emily VanCamp

Plot:

Political involvement in the Avengers’ affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.

Review:

S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more, technically, but that doesn’t stop the Avengers from fighting crime. Captain America, Chris Evans, has a team together and they’re trying to stop a biological weapon from being stolen. They’re in the middle of a bustling city and the bad guys don’t care about collateral damage, the Avengers aren’t as good on that front as they should be either, one thing leads to another and the side of building is destroyed. In the end the Avengers stopped the biological weapon from being stolen, but civilians died, namely Wakandan citizens died.

Cue General Ross, William Hurt, who has managed to fail upward and become the Secretary of State. He convinces a struggling Tony, Robert Downey Jr., that the best form of oversight for the Avengers is the United Nations. Tony is desperate for someone to take away the responsibility so he jumps right on it. Cap, on the other hand, is used to this side of war and has seen enough of the world’s government to know he doesn’t want to dance to their tune.

Thus the Avengers Civil War is born.

The team is fairly evenly split. War Machine, Don Cheadle, and Vision, Paul Bettany, side with Tony. While Falcon, Anthony Mackie, and Scarlett Witch, Elizabeth Olsen, are with Cap. Though Scarlett Witch had some doubts and was ultimately swayed because Tony basically put her under house arrest.

On top of all of this a new bad guy is in town and he’s decided to destroy the Avengers. He knows the great lengths that Cap will go to save Bucky, Sebastian Stan, and uses that knowledge. He plays the Avengers like a fiddle and it’s truly remarkable what he’s able to accomplish. He rips them apart and even though he’s caught in the end the damage is done.

Cap and Bucky are able to escape, but the others that chose his side are all put in the Raft, a floating prison. Tony knows that’s where they are, he goes and visits them and Hawkeye, Jeremy Renner, calls him out, but Tony just leaves them. Cap is the one that breaks them out. Tony has come backs for everything everyone says to him, but they’re so weak. He knows it, but he never acknowledges it. He knows that Bucky wasn’t in control when he killed Tony’s parents, but he loses control and doesn’t care.

This movie birthed my absolute hatred of Iron Man. I had almost forgotten exactly why I hated him, but I was very clearly reminded. I felt like the movie did a poor job backing why Cap was clearly in the right. They didn’t want Iron Man to become a bad guy so they went too weak.

The fight scenes weren’t as poorly shot as Winter Soldier, so that was nice. They’re still not good, but they weren’t nearly as bad.

There were a couple big reveals in this movie, two of them being the amazing introductions to Spider-Man, Tom Holland, and Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman. Even though this was the first introduction to these characters in the middle of an ensemble movie, they didn’t get lost. They got just enough exposure leaving you wanting more, which is exactly what they needed.

It was also revealed that Sharon, Emily VanCamp, is Peggy Carter’s niece. I hated that reveal. I was never a fan of her, but she was sort of just there so it didn’t really matter, but making her related to Peggy felt cheap. It’s like she’s a conciliation prize for Cap and I hate that. It takes an already weak character and weakens her, in my opinion. They don’t bother giving her, her own backstory, they just tac her on to someone else. Frustrating.

Captain America: Civil War is a poor title for a great movie, maybe Captain America vs. Iron Man: Poor Bucky.

4.5/5

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Second Act (2018)

Second Act

Second Act (2018)

Director:

Peter Segal

Starring:

Jennifer Lopez

Vanessa Hudgens

Leah Remini

Plot:

A big box store worker reinvents her life and her life-story and shows Madison Avenue what street smarts can do.

Review:

Second Act reminded me of Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead in that we had someone conning their way into a job they weren’t qualified for, but actually it turned out that they were. There were fewer moments of Lopez’s character floundering, which felt a bit unrealistic. The fact that the only person that suspected she was inexperienced and lying was her enemy was a bit contrived. I did like the fact that she made a very public reveal because it meant that she kept all the power and not her enemy.

There was some Working Girl vibes as well here, but Working Girl did it much better. The addition of Hudgens character being her daughter that she had to give up was too much for me. It made everything too pat and I could have done without it.

All in all Second Act was an entertaining movie with an overall premise I enjoyed that just needed a little editing.

3/5

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) By: Helen Hoang

Plot:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Review:

While nominating books for Goodreads awards I stumbled across The Kiss Quotient. It sounded sweet, funny, and entertaining so I added it to my queue. While at the library I noticed it on display, recognized the name, so I picked it up. I hoped it was going to be good, but I know nothing about the author and I don’t always enjoy, what I think of, as more literary romances. You know, the books that don’t have gorgeous people on the cover, the ones that have blurbs that talk about semi-serious things, the ones that do a little bit to hide that they’re romances. The Kiss Quotient doesn’t go that way with the blurb, you know what’s going to happen based on that, but the cover kind of throws me off. My issue, not the books.

Anyway, I was ready to go to bed, decided to try the first page just to get a taste of what to expect. Next thing I knew it was four o’clock in the morning and I was finishing the book. I seriously can’t remember the last time that happened. This book was SO GOOD!

I love Stella and I was projecting on her hard. I am not autistic, at least not that I’m aware of, but so many of her little ticks I have done my entire life. She misses so many social queues, that the reader picks up on, and you just want to sit her down and spell everything out so she’ll understand. Ugh, I loved her.

My god, Michael is one of the hottest characters I’ve ever read. Seriously, the man is a dangerous fictional character. The patience and love he has for Stella is the stuff romance novels are made of. He is tortured and talented and loves his family in such a way that you just want to spend the rest of your life with him because you know that you will always be cherished. Dear god this man…

The Kiss Quotient deserved it’s Goodreads Choice Award win and then some. I am EAGERLY awaiting Hoang’s next book in a way I haven’t felt for a new author in years. I highly recommend.

5/5

Ali’s Wedding (2017)

 

Alis Wedding

Ali’s Wedding (2017)

NETFLIX Movie

Director:

Jeffrey Walker

Starring:

Osamah Sami

Don Hany

Helena Sawires

Plot:

After a “white lie” which spirals out of control, a neurotic, naive and musically gifted Muslim cleric’s eldest son must follow through with an arranged marriage, except he is madly in love with an Australian born-Lebanese girl.

Review:

Ali, Osamah Sami, feels like he’s got a lot to live up to. His brother was killed by a landmine, his father is a cleric, and his other brother is clearly not going to become a doctor. So it’s all on him. Lies are born.

Ali is a sympathetic character, but I’ve never been fond of lies and poor communication as a plot device. His motivation is better than most so it didn’t bother me as much as it normally does. Still, the lies go on for a long time.

A crush he’s had for a while ends up blossoming into love, but of course the lies end up biting him in the butt. Thankfully, there is a very happy ending.

I guess, being able to tell the truth to friends and family, isn’t always a privilege people have.

3.5/5

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Director:

Spike Lee

Starring:

John David Washington

Laura Harrier

Adam Driver

Plot:

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.

Review:

I chose to watch this instead of election coverage to help my nerves. It totally failed on that front but that’s my problem not the movies lol

Ron Stallworth, John David Washington, is the first black cop in Colorado Springs. He deals with racism and bigots, but also manages to infiltrate the KKK by calling their number listed in the paper. It’s stupidly easy and you can see that he’s just saying things that have been said to him, things that are disgusting and stereotypical, and the KKK people on the phone eat it up. Naturally, they want to meet this amazing new brother and set up a meeting. In steps Adam Driver and things progress rapidly from there.

At times the movie was a bit heavy handed in its contrast between Black and White protests, but I feel like Lee showed a LOT of restraint on that front. There were obvious inferences about current affairs, but I wouldn’t say it went outside plausible conversations for the time period.

The ending with the clips from Charlottesville were just soul crushing. The image of the upside down flag really hit home. I highly recommend the BlacKkKlansman. We have so much work to do in this country.

5/5