In Fairness: CAPTAIN AMERICA – The Winter Soldier

In Fairness: 8/10 (as always, spoilers ahead)

With the highly anticipated Captain America: Civil War landing in theaters next month, I decided to revisit one of the definitively best Marvel movies yet, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Here is an interesting entry to the Marvel franchise because it is both a standalone film and a sequel; a continuation of the overarching story-line as well as an individual chapter. Someone totally new to the superhero genre or the Marvel Cinematic Universe could watch this film and still understand what is going on – but it will also work perfectly for all the avid fans who have seen the previous films and read their namesake comic books.

The smart thing that was done with Winter Solider was to make it a human story dressed up in a superhero film. It’s not so much about the wow factor as it is about the people within the story. And since then Marvel seems to have caught on to this principle and started to apply it to its other films. What this ends up doing is elevating what might have been just a typical action flick, a superhero bonanza, and turning it into a real story worth telling, and a movie worth watching.

 

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In Fairness: INTERSTELLAR

SPOILER ALERT ( as always )

Interstellar is a widely disputed film, with true sci-fi fans loving it, and realists hating it.

And this also depends on what lens you are viewing Interstellar through. For entertainment value I thought it was pretty good. As a work of storytelling, however, I thought that it was superb. And as a science-fiction movie, I thought it was brilliant. But as a film I thought it had some problems that took it just below being perfect. Although some of this does have to do with my bias going into the film. I knew that it was obviously a sci-fi film, depicting space travel and other fictional events. However as there seem to be two different types of sci-fi, the realistic and unrealistic, this was where I was thrown. What started out as a gritty and realistic sci-fi, through the course of its 2 hour and 49-minute runtime gradually became an unrealistic sci-fi with moments where I found myself almost cringing.

Hence my problems with the film.

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CRAFTSMANSHIP: Interstellar is a superbly crafted film. The sound design, the visual effects, the set design, the practical effects, and almost everything else involved in the production are top notch. As an example of a well-crafted work in the medium of film, Interstellar is a masterpiece.

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In Fairness: SPOTLIGHT

I almost have nothing to say about Spotlight. It was an underwhelming good movie. It was good pizza. Not great pizza, not bad pizza, just pizza. Solid and reliable entertainment, but nothing special. Competent film-making but nothing that wowed. However considering the true-life-story limitations it was under, I suppose it was the best iteration of the story they could achieve.

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One of the powerful moments for me came in the credits, when they thanked the real life members of the spotlight team, and I saw their names lined up on the screen – but suddenly I had to think twice: the names at first were just the same character names I had been hearing the whole movie; now they were being shown to be names of real people, still alive and functioning today. This brought some of the relevance back to the story as well as refreshing it’s date. The events of spotlight happened not so long ago, and they really happened. The spotlight team is still around, and the effects of their work still continue to be felt around the world for what are undoubtedly countless thankful individuals and families.

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