IR Film Review: Supernerd Chooses a Side in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Summer Blockbuster Season is upon us! But it might as well be over as well because what might prove to be one of the year’s best movies has been released and that film is Captain America: Civil War. I know we still have eight months left in the year but Marvel Studios has just raised the bar for not only their own films but comic book films in general.

In a loose adaptation of the 2006-07 Marvel Comics storyline by writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven, Civil War finally brings the MCU to the inevitable point that we all saw coming – superheroes being called to cost for the damage that gets inflicted when they save the world. The straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back is when a delegation from Wakanada ( a peaceful but reclusive African nation) gets killed in an errant explosion during an Avengers mission to apprehend Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo returning from Captain America: The Winter Soldier) aka Crossbones.

The Sokovia Accords – a treaty signed by 117 United Nations representatives – would have the Avengers become an entity unto the U.N. and only go on sanctioned missions instead of where they feel they are needed most. This divides Earth’s Mightiest Heroes into two camps – those for registration (led by Tony Stark) and those against it (led by Captain America).

Meanwhile the search for the Winter Soldier is still on. While Captain America and Falcon never really stopped looking, their search gets stepped up by the fact that everyone else is hunting for Bucky as well after he bombs the U.N. proceedings for the Sokovia Accords. Now Bucky has both sides of the registration act hunting him down as well as newcomer Black Panther (who has his own reasons for wanting to see the Winter Soldier go down).

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely manage to tell what feels like three different stories and juggle about a dozen different characters in a film that doesn’t feel rushed or have any points that drag. Every action builds upon itself until we get to a satisfying end that sets up what should be a truly different MCU in Phase Three.

What truly made this story stand out was the fact that every person had their reasons for doing what they did and believed that they were in the right. You could see the merit in both sides of the argument and I know I sat there hoping for an end where everyone would come together and compromise – but this was a tale of change and evolution and you will most definitely see the repercussions from this film ripple through the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

While this may have been a Captain America film I was thoroughly impressed with the evolution of Tony Stark and how we finally get to see his true colors. If you watch from Iron Man up through Civil War you can almost see the familial battle between Shellhead and Cap. As I watched Civil War Tony came off more and more like a petulant child whose father favored his “older brother” (Captain America) more. You can hear it in Tony’s voice the last time he tries to get Cap to sign the Accords and you most assuredly sense it in the climax of the film where Iron Man and Captain America go toe-to-toe in an epic battle.

And even though this film already had plenty of established characters to work with, the filmmakers decided to get ambitious and bring aboard Black Panther and the fan favorite Spider-Man. While both could have felt tacked on and without purpose it’s a testament to everyone involved that these two ended up almost stealing the show. I’m actually really bummed out that we have to wait almost two years (!!!) for the solo Black Panther film.

While there were nitpicky moments they truly were few and far between. The Russos and McFeely and Markus have proven why they are the go-to team for balls-to-the-wall action that also tells a compelling story or three. The start of Marvel’s Phase Three has gotten off to a fantastic start that will hopefully only get better with each subsequent installment – and seeing as how this is the team that is going to take on the next Avengers films I’d say that we can expect Phase Three to end on just as high a note.

Oh and in case you were wondering…I was #TeamCap all the way.

GRADE: A+  


The Next X-MEN Film Confirmed To Be Set in The 1990s

With X-Men: First Class taking place in the 1960s, X-Men: Days of Future Past primarily taking place in the 1970s, and X-Men: Apocalypse being set in the 1980s, it was only safe to assume that the X-Men film after that would take place in the 1990s. Well, writer/producer Simon Kinberg has confirmed that in an interview with ComingSoon:

“The next one is set in the ’90s."

It's not specified whether this will be Bryan Singer's next X-Men film or Josh Boone's New Mutants movie. Who knows, maybe it will be both! I spent my teenage years in the '90s reading X-Men comics that featured that art of Jim Lee. There are so many great X-Men comics to come out of that era. On top of that, there was the fan-favorite animated series. 

I freakin' loved the early '90s and I'm excited to see that era represented in film again —especially an X-Men film! It looks like they are going to get the style of the '80s right with Apocalypse, and it'll be fun to see how they play with the '90s. 

Director Lee Daniels Leaves Richard Pryor Biopic

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

Director Lee Daniels has exited The Richard Pryor biopic set to star Mike Epps as the volcanic comedic legend. The official word from The Hollywood Reporter is that Daniels’ busy schedule due to his TV smash hit Empire and upcoming Star is the reason for The Weinstein Company moving on from the Precious (Based on the novel Push by Sapphire) director .

If it feels like this project has been kicking around forever, it’s because it has. Mike Epps originally won the job back in 2005, when Warriors director Walter Hill was writing and directing. Pryor himself was directly involved with that project prior to his death. The project fell apart, but soon rose again with Gods and Monsters director Bill Condon coming onboard to write and direct with Marlon Wayans set to star as Pryor.

Things really seemed to be making progress when Daniels come on as director in 2014. Epps won the job back after a long casting process that had Eddie Murphy, Michael B. Jordan, Nick Cannon and Marlon Wayans all vying for the role as well.  Beside Epps, Daniels assembled an all-star cast icluding Oprah Winfrey as brothel owner “Grandma” who raised Pryor (Pryor’s biological mother worked for Grandma), Eddie Murphy as Pryor’s father,  Kate Hudson as Pryor’s widow Jennifer Lee Pryor and Tracy Morgan as Comedian Redd Foxx.

No word on how this will affect the film. I would be willing to bet that TWC is going to work to aggressively fill the position, so as not to lose the forward progress the film has had over the last year.


THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Gets an Amazing James Bond-Style Opening Credits Sequence

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Wanna see something cool? You've gotta check out this James Bond-style opening credits sequence for Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back! This badass video was created by Kurt Rauffer, and it's definitely a unique thing to see for a Star Wars film. As you know, there's a signature style to all of the opening's of the Star Wars films, and it's something that may never be changed. It's cool to see the fans play with it a bit and show us some alternative styles. The creator of the video offered the following thoughts on his creation:

Star Wars is one of Hollywood's biggest franchises to date, containing one of the most unique universes in sci-fi fiction. Not only is the universe incredibly iconic, so is it's title sequence (the famous title crawl). Designed by Dan Perri, the title sequence is one of the most recognizable introductions in the history of film.
Growing up in the 90s where Star Wars was released on VHS, the franchise really sparked my imagination as a child. It not only let me exercise my imagination but also supplied me with some of the happiest memories as I watched it with my family. After re-watching "The Empire Strikes Back," I decided to use this as a chance to create a homage in the form of a title sequence. This would also serve as my senior "thesis" at SVA and took me the whole semester to complete.
The style and tone of the animation was inspired by the James Bond title sequences. The music was a rejected song from the newest Bond film, Spectre, sung by Radiohead. I really wanted to play on the concept of Luke trying to find himself and true purpose, so the music and inspiration felt fitting.

Watch the fan-made sequence below and let us know what you think!

Explanation of How Tony Stark Knew About Spider-Man in CIVIL WAR

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Just in case you’ve been wondering how exactly Tony Stark knew about Peter Parker being Spider-Man, we have some information from writer Christopher Markus, who worked on Captain America: Civil War.

SPOILERS ahead if you haven’t seen in the movie yet:

In the story, Tony Stark makes a surprising visit to Spider-Man’s home in Queens and recruits him to fight on his side against Team Cap. This leads to one of the greatest and most action-packed superhero battle scenes ever put on film.

So how exactly did Stark know about Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man? During an interview with ComicBook.com Markus offered a pretty cool explanation.

"I think he's been keeping tabs. I think he might know about everybody."

I imagine when he says “everybody” it also means the characters in the Netflix series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher. I mean, how can he not know about those guys, right? He continued:

"Tony has A.I. somewhere running crime statistics. He can see where it's going up and heroes might be needed and where it's going down and there might be heroes. It's why he built Ultron in the first place."

It’s not hard to imagine that Stark is going to be the one who brings all of these heroes together for the epic battle in the upcoming Infinity War films. The one thing about this explanation is that Stark didn’t know about Scott Lang, a.k.a. Ant-Man. If he had been keeping tabs on superheroes he would have definitely heard about him, especially with the kind of technology involved with Ant-Man. 

We know Iron Man is going to show up again in Spider-Man, and maybe, just maybe, he’ll make an appearance in some of the other Marvel films leading up to Infinity War. That would definitely be a pleasant surprise.

Hot Toys Reveals ALIEN Ellen Ripley Action Figure

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In celebration of Ridley Scott's classic sci-fi horror film Alien, Hot Toys has unveiled their 1/6th scale collectible action figure of Sigourney Weaver's Ellen Ripley. As you will see, they've done a fantastic job bringing this badass character to action figure form. It's a perfect toy for any collector who is a fan of this incredible film franchise. 

“This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.”

2016 is a special year for Alien fans as this year marks the 30th anniversary of Aliens and April 26 has officially became Alien Day! Many fans around the world has been longing for Hot Toys’ highly detailed 1/6th scale collectible figures based on of this sci-fi saga, and today we are pleased to officially introduce the new 1/6th scale collectible figure of the iconic heroine – Ellen Ripley from Alien. 

The highly-accurate collectible figure is specially crafted based on the image of Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in the film. It is the first official 1/6th scale collectible figure featuring the likeness of Sigourney Weaver! Furthermore, the figure comes with specially tailored costume, a custom flamethrower, highly detailed accessories including a tracking device, a wrist watch, Jonesy the cat and its carrier box, and a diorama figure stand. 

Alien fanatics, now it’s the chance to pre-order this iconic character and add her to your collection.
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Intense Teaser Trailer for Ron Howard and Tom Hanks’ INFERNO

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"There's a switch. If you throw it, half the people on Earth will die. But if you don't, in a hundred years the human race will be extinct."

Sony Pictures has released the first teaser trailer for Ron Howard and Tom Hanks' highly anticipated film Inferno, which is a sequel to The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. I'm a big fan of this Robert Langdon franchise created by Dan Brown, and I'm really excited to see how this third movie turns out. From what I am seeing in this trailer, it looks great! 

This latest story "finds the famous symbologist on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to foil a deadly global plot."

Inferno is set to be released on October 28th, 2016.