Scarlett Johansson

The Gauntlet 03: Iron Man 2

The Gauntlet 03: Iron Man 2
Screen Heroes

 
 
00:00 / 68:41
 
1X
 

Screen Heroes and the entire network are proud to announce a new weekly segment: THE GAUNTLET! Join Jeremy from Redshirts & Runabouts and Saturday Morning Tooncast and Rae from Costume Couture and Screen Heroes on their epic rewatch of the MCU films starting with Iron Man. That’s right, every week, we’re talking about one of the many stops on the road to Thanos and Avengers: Infinity War and this week, we bring you Iron Man 2!

We’ve brought Barry back for the Iron Man 2 episode! There have been some large changes to the MCU, even on its third film. Listen in to our discussion of casting changes and the role Marvel Studios had in the making.

If you already subscribe to Screen Heroes, then you’ll get these bonus episodes every Sunday! Not subscribe? Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Blog Talk Radio, Spreaker, Google Play, or just drop in our RSS feed. All the links are below!

Screen Heroes: The Gauntlet Podcast Credits

A Heroes Podcast Network Production

Hosts
Jeremy Monken
Rae Stewart

Special Guest
Barry Poole

Executive Producer
Derreck Mayer

Editor
Rae Stewart
Derreck Mayer

Music
Avengers Theme Excerpt by Alan Silvestri

iTunes Subscription Link
Screen-Heroes.com

Blog Talk Radio
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/screenheroes

Spreaker
https://www.spreaker.com/show/screen-heroes

Google Play Subscription Link
https://play.google.com/music/listen#/ps/Iwvfusxqyignwamadhc3viav4qy

Feedburner Subscription Link
http://feeds.feedburner.com/griddaily/screenheroes

RSS Feed Link
http://heroespodcasts.com/feed/podcast/screenheroes

Social Media
@HeroesPodcasts

Captain America: Civil War – A Spoiler Free Review

I have been looking forward to Captain America: Civil War since it was announced in 2014.  It stands as my favorite comic book story line in the last 20 years.  Needless to say, a lot was riding on this for me.  And overall, I wasn’t disappointed. The problem was I wasn’t over elated. I didn’t give it applause after and I didn’t leave that theater eager to see it again.  I was genuinely concerned, though, for the well-being of my favorite characters in comic book history.  Before I delve into it anymore, I’ll break down the good and the bad for you.

 

The Good

Every action sequence is incredibly on point.  It is obvious that each character has their own unique fighting style because each person gets their time to shine, more or less, which hasn’t always been the case of Marvel ensemble movies in the past. While I won’t go into any specific details, Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, and Scarlet Witch do not disappoint.

The women of Captain America: Civil War are not forgotten. It’s been a very long road of asking for more Black Widow to actually seeing her at her best, and this is it. She’s strong, educated, sassy, and a true friend to her fellow Avengers.  Wanda was also given an emotionally driven story arc, which was a huge part of the heart of the film (although, weirdly, no mention of her dead brother.)

That being said, the men don’t let down either. Sam Wilson’s increased character brought a definition of a true friend to the picture.  While Captain America is fighting for Bucky the entire time, he does miss out on some of the loyalty of Falcon.  He was honestly one of the highlights. The first appearance of Black Panther was, honestly, my favorite part of the film. He wasn’t treated as a throw away addition to the team, but given his own motivation as well as taking care of his origin story in the first hour so that the official Black Panther film can be a continuation of the character already.Captain America: Civil War Fiight

Lastly, the acknowledgment of the missing Hulk and Thor was superbly well done. It’s not a giant focus, but it’s just impressive how clever it was.

 

The Bad (yes, there was some bad; deal with it)

Sadly, Spider-Man was not my favorite.  It was painfully obvious he was a last minute addition that they actually had to squeeze into the lineups and action scenes.  He only talked to a few characters! I’m not saying the CGI to render him wasn’t impressive, but I really would have liked to see him more planned out and not such an afterthought. I know what you’re going to say, they do what they can with the licensing they can. And I’m aware of this, but his introduction to the world could have been done a bit better; I know it.  That being said, Tom Holland will be a great Spider-Man.

The overall tone of the film was just sad. There was some great jokes, and Marvel avoided the gritty tone that takes over so many films today, but it was a legitimately depressing film. I don’t know what I was expecting with Civil War, but it wasn’t this. I was anxious for death in every scene. I was surprised by some of the brutality by these characters.  I didn’t know where it was going, and I was truly scared. I had never felt like that in a Marvel film before.Captain America: Civil War Cap v Iron Man

Lastly, Iron Man and Captain America were easily mishandled. Choose Team Cap or Team Iron Man; it doesn’t matter. Both tread the line of good and selfish. Despite what others say, neither is a true hero. They get in their own way. They’re blinded by their own arguments that, to use a phrase used in the film, catastrophe easily ensues. Now that’s expected in a good war story, and flaws in everyone are important, but we’ve held these guys to such high standards before, I don’t see why we have to give them a pass now. I’m hoping that future films can redeem both Avengers for me.

I’ve seen a lot of people give this film the highest possible rating they can, and I find that difficult to accept because of what Marvel has done before. It’s important to still be critical of what is produced so we can continue to appreciate the amazing. We’ve been so spoiled by Marvel in the past that it’s easy to forget films like Iron Man 2. Civil War is good, still one of the better Marvel films. It is not, however, without flaws. That being said, I will go see it again and I am so looking forward to Dr. Strange.

Rating Saucers 4.5 out of 5

 

 

I give Captain America: Civil War 4 UFOs out of 5.

The film officially releases in North America on May 6th, 2016.

Captain America: Civil War – A Spoiler Free Review

Disney’s The Jungle Book – Spoiler-Free Review

The Jungle Book, for me it’s an animated film Disney put out way back in 1967 but the powers that be have decided to change all this with two new live action feature films from competing companies. You see, Disney and Warner Bros. don’t have enough to battle over with their comic book genre films, so now we have The Jungle Book from Disney which hits theaters this Friday, April 15th in North America and Warner Bros. Jungle Book: Origins (though IMDB drops the “Origins” part of the title) set to drop in October 2018. I want to explain this so there is no confusion because the stories are different, the casts are different, the movies are different. Warner Bros’ film will star Christian Bale (Bagheera), Benedict Cumberbatch (Shere Khan), Cate Blanchett (Kaa), Andy Serkis (Baloo), and Roham Chand (Mowgli). To contrast, this year’s Disney version stars Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Bill Murray (Baloo), and Neel Sethi (Mowgli) with Lupita Nyong’o (Raksha), Giancarlo Esposito (Akela), and Christopher Walken (King Louie). With well over two years before we see WB’s incarnation, I expect more roles to be filled but for now, these are the primary casts.

So let’s talk about The Jungle Book from Disney. I was able to catch an early screening Monday night in 3D. My goal here is to talk about overall quality and expectations you should have going into the movie and will avoid spoilers. Things that have been shown in trailers\previews might get mentioned though, so you’ve been warned.

The Jungle Book - Shere Khan and Idris Elba

Visuals

As I noted, I saw The Jungle Book in 3D. I felt that overall, the 3D experience was solid and less gimmicky than most. That is not to say it’s without gimmick but for the most part, it was immersive and sharp. I enjoyed the extra sense of depth it provided and it reminded me of the ways Avatar used 3D a while back. Now, the 3D does fail during major scenes of movement and action. There are two scenes in particular that I am thinking of, one involving Mowgli running and another involving a lot of primates. In both cases, the CGI lost its crisp realistic style and the 3D lost its immersive sense. The former scene even included one of my pet peeves which is when water is splashed and it hits the camera lens like we are watching the movie through a window. This bothers me in 2D films but when the goal is a 3D experience that feels immersive and includes depth… why would you put a window in front of me? It seems counter-intuitive. The primate scene in question made me think of the barrel scene in The Hobbit, though this one is not nearly as bad.

The CGI in general was stellar. I felt that the animals consistently looked realistic and even moved as such. Even though the animals can talk, they are not overly anthropromophized. They are just animals that we happen to be able to understand. I never felt that the animals were poorly done and the CGI weaknesses in the two scenes I noted might have been unique to the 3D experience. I intend to see the movie again in 2D, so I’m looking forward to comparing.

The Jungle Book - Kaa

Casting

The cast is nearly perfect. Bill Murray, of course, nails Baloo but no one is surprised at this. I love Bill Murray and will watch just about anything he is in but this character isn’t much of a stretch for him, though I’m not complaining. Idris Elba is a fearsome, intense Shere Khan and I can’t imagine Benedict Cumberbatch getting close to matching Idris’ presence. I think my favorite scene is actually Scarlett Johansson’s Kaa. Though short, the scene is powerful, intense, creepy, and the voice work is great. She’s perfect for the role and I’m glad they went in the direction they did with the character. Everyone else did a great job. Bagheera, Raksha, and Akela are not in the film as much as I would have liked but then again, the wolves don’t have anywhere near as much of a presence in the original animated film, so I should be grateful. Neel Sethi as Mowgli is fine but fairly forgettable. It’s his first role and is credited as an introduction, so I am not going to be overly critical here. He’s young and inexperienced, so I look forward to seeing his future roles.

The only issue I take with casting is Christopher Walken as King Louie. It just doesn’t work. While I loved him in various roles like Pulp Fiction or even Click, he does not work as King Louie. His voice is too Walken-esque. The character’s song isn’t even a song in this incarnation because Walken isn’t really going to sing, so he speaks it. It just doesn’t work. He’s not intimidating, he’s not threatening and the voice does not match the visual of the character.

The Jungle Book - King Louie

The Jungle Book: Conclusions

The Jungle Book is a great live action adaptation of the original story that, if memory serves me, stays true at least to the major components while expanding on some in ways to enhance the story. The special effects are realistic, accurate, and impressive throughout most of the film while the voice cast is nearly perfect. I think the film suffers from two primary issues, the push of 3D and the star-studded cast. 3D can be fun but it’s usually completely unnecessary and I think this is an example of that. The 3D gets in the way, lowers CGI quality, and becomes distracting or completely forgettable. The all-star cast is a lot of fun but also distracting because you know Bill Murray is the bear and Scarlett Johansson is the snake. It pulls you out of the experience at times.

Overall, I give the film 3.5\5 UFOs. It’s a good movie and better than I expected for a live action interpretation but there is room for improvement.

The Grid Rating Saucer 3.5

 

 

 

Are you looking forward to The Jungle Book? Have you seen it yet? Comment below!

Disney’s The Jungle Book – Spoiler-Free Review