Rebecca's Movie Blog

Captain America: The Winter SoldierStarring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie and Emily VanCampDirected by: Anthony and Joe RussoRated: PG-13
The story:In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers decides he is tired of being Captain America and assumes a new identity as a normal guy living in a New York apartment. It is there that he meets a nanny who looks exactly like Natasha Romanoff. They fall in love. The end. Oh I’m so sorry. I got mixed up. That’s The Nanny Diaries, starring Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. Classic by the way. It’s “intelligent AND entertaining.” What more can you ask for?
Here’s what really happens: Steve Rogers continues his work as Captain America for S.H.I.E.L.D., the government protection agency. However, government conspiracies, global threats and new enemies present themselves everyday. Some of these enemies existing inside the agency that is thought to be protecting the greater good. Steve begins to see that protecting freedom and the truth are far more difficult than he imagined. 

The Acting: Chris Evans is the perfect Captain America. Captain America is my favorite superhero and that is not just because he is a total dreamboat. Instead, it’s because he is so loyal, brave and honorable without being opportunistic in any way. He truly wants the best for everyone around him. 
What was so interesting about seeing Steve in the Avengers and now in The Winter Soldier is watching his character adapt to the modern world. From our obsession with creating the greatest technology to our loss of idealism, America has changed immensely since the 1940’s, but Steve Rogers hasn’t changed. He’s just trying to find the best in America and it’s people. I think that consistency of this character is something the creators of these films and Chris Evans have portrayed really well. Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff AKA the Black Widow. She first showed up in Iron Man 2. Since then she has appeared in the Avengers and now, Captain America: the Winter Soldier. Basically, she is incredibly awesome. She defies the common myth that females must wear cheap, tacky clothing, be the objectified romantic interest, or spit out dumb dialogue in order for men to actually pay attention to them. Natasha Romanoff proves that people can intelligently watch and respect a complex female character in an action movie. She commands the screen and isn’t there for eye candy; she is there to fight with everyone else. I just did some research and Marvel has said they are looking into making a Black Widow movie. This is awesome news! If they can make Guardians of the Galaxy, they better make a Black Widow movie. (Side note- I saw the preview for Guardians of the Galaxy and I’m not too excited for that one. I don’t understand why a raccoon is guarding galaxies.) 
It was great to see Natasha and Steve work together in this movie. Their relationship has grown a lot and to see them really trust each other was excellent. Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you are watching a Marvel movie with Samuel L. Jackson in it and he is in the scene, something drastically important is about to happen. I personally guarantee it. That is just how it is.  In this film, Nick and Steve have very some interesting conversations about politics and how they believe freedom should be attained. The dynamic of these two and their conversation was really fascinating.Hollywood legend, Robert Redford portrays Alexander Pierce, an agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D. I can’t talk too much about his character because it will give away some major plot points, but he is a big part of the movie. It was surprising to see a celebrity of his standing take on this role. Anthony Mackie plays Sam, a new character. Sam is a former military veteran who meets Steve while running. They form a quick friendship and Sam helps Steve with some of his personal issues from the war. I really love the addition of this character. It was great to see him help out  in so many different ways. He’s extremely selfless and kind. He proves that Steve is not alone in this modern world.I am a really big fan of the show Revenge on ABC, so I was pretty excited when I saw Emily VanCamp as a new character added to the film, playing Kate, Steve’s mysterious neighbor. She is a fantastic actress and it was great to see her on the big screen. (I’ll keep from writing too much about her character to avoid spoilers.)Final Thoughts and My Rating: One of the things that seems to make this movie so engaging is its political relevance in terms of recent NSA events paralleling S.H.I.E.L.D’s surveillance tactics. Obviously the NSA scandal is something that is fresh in everyone’s mind, so to put something so similar in this film was very gutsy and applicable to current situations.


If there was one thing I would have toned down it would have been the car chases/car explosions. There are a ton of those in this movie. I understand that it’s an action movie and you must have action, but my one critique would be to tone down the car chases. 
Besides that, as someone who was looking forward to this movie for a long time, it definitely did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the fact that the film blended action, humor, and an intelligent storyline.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a very effective political superhero thriller that keeps you entertained from start to finish. 
My Rating: 
9/10
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie and Emily VanCamp
Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo
Rated: PG-13

The story:
In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve Rogers decides he is tired of being Captain America and assumes a new identity as a normal guy living in a New York apartment. It is there that he meets a nanny who looks exactly like Natasha Romanoff. They fall in love. The end. Oh I’m so sorry. I got mixed up. That’s The Nanny Diaries, starring Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. Classic by the way. 
imageIt’s “intelligent AND entertaining.” What more can you ask for?

Here’s what really happens: Steve Rogers continues his work as Captain America for S.H.I.E.L.D., the government protection agency. However, government conspiracies, global threats and new enemies present themselves everyday. Some of these enemies existing inside the agency that is thought to be protecting the greater good. Steve begins to see that protecting freedom and the truth are far more difficult than he imagined. 
The Acting: 
Chris Evans is the perfect Captain America. Captain America is my favorite superhero and that is not just because he is a total dreamboat. Instead, it’s because he is so loyal, brave and honorable without being opportunistic in any way. He truly wants the best for everyone around him. 
What was so interesting about seeing Steve in the Avengers and now in The Winter Soldier is watching his character adapt to the modern world. From our obsession with creating the greatest technology to our loss of idealism, America has changed immensely since the 1940’s, but Steve Rogers hasn’t changed. He’s just trying to find the best in America and it’s people. I think that consistency of this character is something the creators of these films and Chris Evans have portrayed really well. 
image
Scarlett Johansson plays Natasha Romanoff AKA the Black Widow. She first showed up in Iron Man 2. Since then she has appeared in the Avengers and now, Captain America: the Winter Soldier. Basically, she is incredibly awesome. She defies the common myth that females must wear cheap, tacky clothing, be the objectified romantic interest, or spit out dumb dialogue in order for men to actually pay attention to them. Natasha Romanoff proves that people can intelligently watch and respect a complex female character in an action movie. She commands the screen and isn’t there for eye candy; she is there to fight with everyone else. I just did some research and Marvel has said they are looking into making a Black Widow movie. This is awesome news! If they can make Guardians of the Galaxy, they better make a Black Widow movie. (Side note- I saw the preview for Guardians of the Galaxy and I’m not too excited for that one. I don’t understand why a raccoon is guarding galaxies.) 
It was great to see Natasha and Steve work together in this movie. Their relationship has grown a lot and to see them really trust each other was excellent. 
image
Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you are watching a Marvel movie with Samuel L. Jackson in it and he is in the scene, something drastically important is about to happen. I personally guarantee it. That is just how it is.  In this film, Nick and Steve have very some interesting conversations about politics and how they believe freedom should be attained. The dynamic of these two and their conversation was really fascinating.

Hollywood legend, Robert Redford portrays Alexander Pierce, an agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D. I can’t talk too much about his character because it will give away some major plot points, but he is a big part of the movie. It was surprising to see a celebrity of his standing take on this role. 

Anthony Mackie plays Sam, a new character. Sam is a former military veteran who meets Steve while running. They form a quick friendship and Sam helps Steve with some of his personal issues from the war. I really love the addition of this character. It was great to see him help out  in so many different ways. He’s extremely selfless and kind. He proves that Steve is not alone in this modern world.

I am a really big fan of the show Revenge on ABC, so I was pretty excited when I saw Emily VanCamp as a new character added to the film, playing Kate, Steve’s mysterious neighbor. She is a fantastic actress and it was great to see her on the big screen. (I’ll keep from writing too much about her character to avoid spoilers.)

Final Thoughts and My Rating: 
One of the things that seems to make this movie so engaging is its political relevance in terms of recent NSA events paralleling S.H.I.E.L.D’s surveillance tactics. Obviously the NSA scandal is something that is fresh in everyone’s mind, so to put something so similar in this film was very gutsy and applicable to current situations.
If there was one thing I would have toned down it would have been the car chases/car explosions. There are a ton of those in this movie. I understand that it’s an action movie and you must have action, but my one critique would be to tone down the car chases. 
Besides that, as someone who was looking forward to this movie for a long time, it definitely did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the fact that the film blended action, humor, and an intelligent storyline.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a very effective political superhero thriller that keeps you entertained from start to finish. 
My Rating: 
9/10

12 Years A Slave Review

        image   

12 Years A Slave
Directed By: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson and Brad Pitt
Rated: R

12 Years A Slave was this year’s Best Picture Winner. I could leave it at that, but this a review blog and I am here to review. I am just going to state the obvious before I go any further in the review: this is an R-rated film about slavery. It is a true story. There are scenes that are very difficult to watch. However, what we are seeing onscreen is not even half as awful as what the real Solomon Northup and thousands of others really suffered through on a regular basis. 

The Story: 
12 Years A Slave is the true story of Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York in the mid 1800’s with his wife and children. He is very well-educated and a trained violinist who earns a steady living for his family. One day, Solomon is approached by two men who want him to play the violin at a few parties in Washington. He agrees to the deal. While at dinner with the men, he drinks some wine that has been drugged. While unconscious, Solomon is sold into slavery. What follows is a heartbreaking, painful, and powerful look at one man’s fight for survival. 

The Acting: 
Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup. His portrayal of Solomon is so emotionally captivating that I’m really surprised he wasn’t a stronger Oscar contender. You can actually see the pain in his face and hear it in his voice throughout the film. However, you can also see that he is determined to keep on living. He will not give up on getting back to his family. He will fight against the terrible conditions he’s been unjustly sold into. After seeing the film, I thought for a long time about how Solomon’s freedom was taken away from him without his consent. Can you imagine having all of your freedom completely taken away from you? This man was hard working with an exceptional family, yet he was unjustly taken away from everything he knew, just so some people could make some money. It’s truly unbelievable. 
image
Lupita Nyong’o plays Patsey and this is her first major film role. Patsey is a girl that Solomon meets at the Epps plantation. She is taken advantage of and abused countless amount of times by the plantation owner and his ridiculously jealous wife. Despite the abuse she suffers, she possesses a unique innocence. She also maintains kindness to those around her throughout her pain. It was interesting to see the differences between Solomon and Patsey. Solomon was brought into slavery after experiencing a life of freedom and Patsey was subjected to a life of slavery. I kept wondering which would be worse, to know freedom and then be forced into a life in chains? Or to be stuck in a life of slavery forever without ever knowing freedom? The film explored this theme in an interesting manner and it will definitely leave you thinking. I am shocked that this is Lupita Nyong’o’s first major film role because she is absolutely remarkable. Nyong’o is absolutely heart wrenching as Patsey and it’s not at all surprising that she took home the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her emotional performance. 
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Michael Fassbender plays Epps. He is quite possibly the most terrifying, disturbing movie character I’ve ever seen on film. He truly believes that the slaves on his plantation are “property” rather than human beings. (Property that he doesn’t value in any way.) A drunk and a lunatic, Epps is an absolute menace to everyone around him. 
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Brad Pitt co-produced the movie and has a cameo appearance in it. He plays Bass, a man working at the Epps Plantation as hired help. He is one of the very few kind people that Solomon encounters. Bass is not in the film much, but he is a significantly important character because he is instrumental in Solomon’s quest to regain his freedom and return to his family. 
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Final thoughts and Rating: 
Today, we are usually taught about slavery from history books in school. While these books are accurate, they are just words on pages. These books don’t capture the horror and pain that took place in the days of our country’s past. Things change when you see them on a screen. Director Steve McQueen has adapted the true story of Solomon Northup to show us just some of the true atrocity of slavery. We are shown this story through the eye’s of a man who once had freedom, but had everything taken away from him. We see the true terror of this situation. It was extremely eye opening to see some of the things that went on during these times that I had never even thought about. 
The film is not just about slavery, pain, and atrocity though. It is also about survival and hope against all odds. Solomon refuses to stop fighting, even when things look completely hopeless. He keeps on living and trying to get back to the life he once knew, a life that consisted of freedom and his family. 
12 Years A Slave is an excellent, gritty, and powerful drama. It is fantastically acted and well directed. It deals with many important issues and thought-provoking themes. When all of these elements are pieced together, we are given a portrait of Solomon Northup, a fascinating man whose story should be seen. 
My rating: 10/10

"How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!

The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. 
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d”

(Source: excursio, via excursio)

I’m so tired. I thought I just needed a night’s sleep but it’s more than that.

(Source: fygirlcrush)

Dear Tiffany. I know you wrote the letter. The only way you can beat my crazy was by doing something crazy yourself. Thank you. I love you. I knew it the minute I met you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to catch up. I just got stuck. Pat.

(Source: beatriceprios)

Hugh Grant

—Pop! Goes My Heart

vertigos:

#THE MOST IMPORTANT ‘80’s SONG THAT WASN’T EVEN IN THE ‘80’s

(Source: queenthranduil)

"Howard and I were indeed a strange pair. I don’t think—what should I say?—I think that reluctantly he found me a very appropriate companion. And I think that I found him extremely appropriate too. He was sort of the top of the available men—and I of the women. We were a colorful pair. It seemed logical for us to be together, but it seems to me now that we were too similar. He came from the right street, so to speak. And so did I. We’d been brought up in ease. We each had a wild desire to be famous. I think that this was a dominant character failing. People who want to be famous are really loners. Or they should be. Certainly I felt that I was madly in love with him. And I think he felt the same way about me. But when it came right down to “What do we do now?”—I went East and he stayed West. We’d been together about three years. Ambition beat love, or was it ‘like’?”

(Source: fradine)

One thing that has really bothered me this awards season is the media’s need to pit Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence against each other. There seems to be this constant idea that one must fail in order for the other to succeed. I never see the media pit male actors against each other, so why do it with women? Haven’t we come further than that? There’s no need to tear down one actress to build up another. There’s no need for a made up Lupita vs. Jennifer rivalry. These two women clearly get along and they both gave incredible performances this year that deserve to be celebrated. So let’s put away the cattiness and let Jennifer and Lupita’s incredible talents and great personalities speak for themselves!

One thing that has really bothered me this awards season is the media’s need to pit Lupita Nyong’o and Jennifer Lawrence against each other. There seems to be this constant idea that one must fail in order for the other to succeed. I never see the media pit male actors against each other, so why do it with women? Haven’t we come further than that? There’s no need to tear down one actress to build up another. There’s no need for a made up Lupita vs. Jennifer rivalry. These two women clearly get along and they both gave incredible performances this year that deserve to be celebrated. So let’s put away the cattiness and let Jennifer and Lupita’s incredible talents and great personalities speak for themselves!