Dominic Cooper

Agent Carter

Marvel’s Agent Carter in review.

Now that Agent Carter has ended, and I say ended because it has. Agent Carter was classified as a mini-series that ran for 8 episodes. They never called it its own series, it was planned and ran as a mini-series. Now where was I, oh yes, now that Agent Carter has ended I thought I’d give my opinions on it. Not that any of you care, but hey, maybe someone does, and I have a computer so I’m going to write about it. I like my opinions. You should be warned also, SPOILERS ARE AHEAD! I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT A SHOW THAT RECENTLY AIRED AND HAS RAN ITS COURSE AND ENDED! SPOILERS! DON’T COMPLAIN IF YOU KEEP READING AND ARE SPOILED! Ok.

So from start to finish Agent Carter was 8 episodes. I think that was right amount for them to run. It maybe could have stood to air 1 or 2 more, but it did not hurt it to stop at 8. With a lot of shows, Superhero shows especially, they get to running 22, 23 episodes a season. With that many you run the risk of not having a story that can really be drawn out in each episode. Especially in the beginning. You have to filter in “monster of the week” or “lesson of the week” type of episodes. Not that it is a bad thing. It can just sometimes distract from the overall arch of the show. With this mini-series format, they knew their story, and executed it perfectly.

The cast was strong in my opinion. It starred Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murry, Enver Gjokaj, Shea Whigham, Ralph Brown, Dominic Cooper, Bridget Regan, and a cameo appearance by Neal McDonough as Dum Dum Dugan. The series took place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and held tie in’s to the films, mostly toward Captain America: The First Avenger, but held connections like characters mentioned in other films.

Agent Carter followed Agent Peggy Carter (Atwell) of the S.S.R. where she is often treated as nothing more than a glorified secretary. Missing her days of the war where she had purpose, she finds herself in middle of a scandal involving an old friend, Howard Start (Cooper). Allied by only Stark’s loyal butler Jarvis (D’Arcy) Peggy must find a way to clear his name, before it is too late, and many innocents are lost in a catastrophic disaster.

Right from the start I was entertained. It immediately become one of my favorite shows to watch. Seeing Agent Carter have to work around her time and being over looked for being a woman was a very welcomed plot device. Plus I am a sucker noir type films. I loved this era. The roaring 40s. The show kept you guessing on where it was going, who was behind the curtain, and what the plan was. In the end it wasn’t Hydra that I thought it would be, but Leviathan, and the can only be assumed to be as The Black Widow Project. The character Dottie (Regan) presumably the first Black Widow. Hinting toward the past of our own MCU hottie, Agent Romanoff, The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

In the end Leviathans plan was simple revenge. Stark had created a gas by mistake that caused the death of many Russian soldiers, including Johann Fennoffs (Brown) brother. Luckily Agent Carter and Jarvis are able to foil his plan in the end, with only Dottie escaping. Fennoff is placed in prison with a cell mate, hinting to what can only be assumed as the beginnings of HYDRA. Toby Jones reprises his role in the final scene of the series as Arnim Zola, ex hydra scientist, now prisoner of the S.S.R. and cell mate of Fennoff. Leading us to believe that it is here where HYDRA began to its plan to grow within the S.S.R. and eventual S.H.I.E.L.D.

Do I think this show doesn’t need to continue? Not necessarily. Another short mini-series could benefit the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. and give us more adventures. I’d like them to jump a little time. I’d like to think with how the series ended Agent Carter is still where she was in the beginning. Knowing her worth, and how important she is the agency, but still being over looked. That is her superpower. Constantly being underestimated. This spot leaves us to believe the Marvel one shot Agent Carter that accompanied the Iron Man 3 Blu Ray release takes place after this series. If they were to jump time for the next installment, Peggy and Stark could have begun building S.H.I.E.L.D. We could see her leading the agency. Building it from the ground up. See HYDRA begin to form in the under belly. I think there is a lot to go on there.

All in all, I was very impressed with Agent Carter. Given the slow start to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this could’ve ended up bad. Normally my Jeebus Score is reserved for film, but if I were to give it Agent Carter I would give it a 4.2. I can tell you this is a mini-series I will be purchasing on Blu Ray.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

Need for Speed

I feel the need, the need, for speed! No this isn’t Top Gun, and we aren’t talking about XBOX or PlayStation! Need for Speed directed by Scott Waugh, and stars Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame, and Howard Stark, er Dominic Cooper, Kid Cudi, and few other people I’ve never seen. I was pretty excited for this one and went in with high expectations. After all I’m a huge Fast & Furious fan. However, this is not Fast and Furious.

Aaron Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a mechanic and well of racer who with his crew rebuilds the fastest mustang on the planet for Dino Brewster (Cooper). When Marshall is framed for the death of a friend during a high stakes race, he spends 2 years in prison. Upon his release he and the old crew get right to work to avenge their fallen friend with the worlds fastest mustang, racing across the country to make the deadline for the one big race.

The story is pretty weak. And by pretty weak, I mean insanely weak. I honestly made the mistake of going into his hoping for a decent story in between races. What you get is a mess of a plot that starts out decent enough but quickly becomes more and more unbelievable. There are times when you are completely taken out of the film wondering, who in their right mind come up with this plan. I mean the whole plot is centered around the fact that this is the fastest car on the planet. Yet there are constantly people in trucks, and cops right in toe.

The casting was pretty off as well. I don’t know Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad I’ve never watched the show, but he is not the problem. All though his character is very one dimensional, as is almost every character, he does a good job in the part. The rest of the cast seem like they have no business behind the wheels of these vehicles. Kid Cudi adds a little comic relief but not enough to save the film. Imogen Poots is cute and fun to watch but also seems a bit out of place. The one shining star is Michael Keaton. Keaton plays the underground race kingpin that commentates via web cam as the film goes on. It looks as if Waugh just told Keaton, “Go, play, have fun” and he did.

Need for Speed is not all bad though. The race scenes and cars are spectacular. This where the film shines. And with absolutely no CGI. The stunts and races all performed with practical effects, and they are a blast to watch. The cars include, among others, a 66 Pontiac GTO, a 65 Gran Torino, a Saleen S7, McLaren P1, Bugatti, Koenigsegg Ageras, and of Corse the 2013 Shelby GT500. They are all phenomenal! It actually hurts watching some get destroyed. If you are going t\for the car chases and races and cars, then you will be thoroughly entertained by them, just don’t hope for much substance around them.

If you can suspend you disbelief, and completely overlook the lack of character development, and sub-par plot filled with plot holes and lack of common sense, you might have a good time with this film. Especially if all you are looking for is cool cars, chases, and races. All in all I gave the film a Jeebus score of 2.6 with a .3 bonus for Beetlejuice-like character Michael Keaton gives us rounding out with a 2.9, Go head and Redbox this one.