Scarlett Johansson

Jackass Reviews: Captain America Civil War

On this episode of Jackass Reviews, BC talks the brand new MCU film Captain America Civil War! A complete spoiler filled breakdown of his thoughts on the film!

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The Jungle Book

Going into Jon FAVREAU’S The Jungle Book I was very excited, to say the absolute least. In my top five most anticipated films of the year. For starters Jon Favreau is one of my favorite directors to watch. I have yet to see one of his films that I have not liked. Not to mention I felt Iron Man 3 was missing his direction and storytelling. Add in a stellar cast of Sir Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Gary Shandling (may he rest in peace), and of course, Bill fucking Murray. This film is all-star packed. With what looked to be some of the greatest graphics ever laid down on film. But the question still stood, how was the execution? Did this voice cast distract from the film? Was the story put together properly? And most importantly, how did newcomer Neel Sethi perform? For this movie hinges on his ability to bring the heart and soul of film, seeing as he was the only actor on set.

First off this film is nothing short of Epic and Beautiful. From the feel of the amazing, fresh but familiar, and incredible story, to the frames and scenery of the incredibly crafted Jungle. Walking in knowing this film was shot entirely, let me repeat that, ENTIRELY, inside a studio in the middle of Downtown Los Angeles, it is legitimately breathtaking and awe inspiring to take in. I continually reminded myself that this was not a real jungle. And yet there are times that I had to question that. Numerous times. They have done such a good job in scope and in realistically creating this incredible Jungle that there are no way you cannot get lost in its beauty.

The story itself is one that we already know. Growing up on Disney’s The Jungle Book the animated film I wondered how they can turn out a fresh take on this film, but not lose the magic it had. And folks I am here to tell you that not only is this still the story you loved growing up, but it is fresh and inventive and new. The writers found a beautiful way to mend the old with some new and give us a new story that hits all the same beats as before. Right down to a few of the classic music numbers. Yes, there are music numbers in The Jungle Book! While updating the backstory and motives for our villain it has really added to a tale that was incredible as is!

The cast as well is perfectly put together. Most notably Bill fucking Murray as Baloo the bear. I was wondering how much screen time Murray would actually have as he is not one for bigger roles these days, but he was pretty prevalent and amazing as the voice of good ole Baloo. Another stand out though a minor role was the late Gary Shandling as Ikki, a porcupine with a minor but fun role. Then there was Sir Ben Kinglsy who is so good as the voice of Bagheera, that you feel like he was even the voice in the original animated film! But by far, there are 2 stand outs. One of which is Idris Elba as Shere Khan. His voice brings not only fear, but gravitas to the tiger. You feel his presence and are drawn to him ever second he is on screen. His voice commands your respect an attention and gets the feeling that this Tiger is not the mean bully from the original but an evil, vicious villain.

The other stand out is none other than the boy, the man cub himself, Neel Sethi. This movie rested upon his shoulders. It is a known fact of how difficult it is to act opposite a tennis ball in a green room. Ask Natalie Portman and Hayden Christianson. Not only that, he was alone. He is legitimately the only real thing in this entire film. A performance that would sink the film if not done properly and up to par. The Jungle Book hinges you the ability of this boy to make you relate to him, to feel what he feels, and believe that he is a long side this incredible animals. And he knocks it out of the park. This kid is a star in the making, and on his first major attempt at that!

The CGI is absolutely stunning. There was never a time that I did not think I was looking at actual animals. They have gone into such detail that ever single frame looks as real as it would be had they been in the jungle with trained animals. From the great elephants, to Baloo the bear, to King Louie, all the way down to bees buzzing around their hive. It is all so breathtaking. Now I am not one for 3D. I just don’t like it. But I saw this film in IMAX 3D, and was taken away by how seamless it all looked. It never really bothered me like it normally does.

My only gripe might actually be another positive. And that is that of Scarlett Johansson as the great anaconda Kaa. Nothing wrong with her performance of the character. But she was underutilized. While she was great as the character, one of my favorites, nearly her entire part is shown in the trailers. There is not much of her other than the one scene we see in all the trailers. But other than that it is hard to find anything to dislike about this film!

All in all, I had an incredible time watching this movie. It is by far one of the best films of the year. So entertaining, and breathtaking. From the direction of Jon Favreau, all the way down to the minor role for the late Gary Shandling, it is utterly fun and extremely entertaining. Even in 3D I enjoyed it. While being someone who hates 3D, I just don’t like putting glasses on top of my glasses. However you become so sucked into this world that I forgot I was watching a movie through 2 pair of glasses! I have scored this film 4.6 out of 5. But I’m adding the Jeebus bonus of a .4 for the incredible job Neel Sethi has done, and the awesome CGI. That gives The Jungle Book a Jeebus score of 5! One you definitely need to check out in theaters this weekend!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 5 points with a .5 bonus. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Entertainment Value, Story/Writing, Performance, Direction, and Production. 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 5.5 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

to serve as the primary means of visual identification at the top of the article dedicated to the work in question.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs stars Ashton Kutcher as the title character, wait, no, that’s not right, that was 2013. Steve Jobs is the 2015 version of the film! While Kutcher did a phenomenal job (pun intended) portraying the mind behind Apple, he did not have the amazing team that this film has behind it. Steve Jobs stars Michael Fassbender, Magneto himself, as Steve Jobs, with Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels, and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak in a film directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. Like I said, Kutcher didn’t have the team.

This film was plagued by all sorts of setbacks. Going into pre-production with David Fincher set to direct, and Christian Bale to play jobs, it hit its first set back with Fincher leaving. Then Bale decided to pass on the project. Boyle came in and wanted DiCaprio to star. Who eventually passed. Bale came back and accepted the role, then left the project months later. With Jessica Chastain, Ike Barinholtz, and Scarlett Johansson all vying for roles they all eventually dropped and passed. Sony then dropped the project all together and Universal picked it up with started negotiations with Natalie Portman to join the project. She then passed. Eventually its current cast was set and production was finally underway. I never thought the film was coming.

But now it is here, and by here I mean limited release here. It is only playing in I think 2 theaters here in Dallas. Last weekend it was just 4, 2 in New York and 2 in LA. So we have a little wider release this week, and then a full wide release will hit theaters October 23.

Question is, is did all the drama affect the movie? How is it? Well in going to tell you. Unlike its Kutcher counterpart that selected random event throughout Steve Jobs’ life, this film focuses on 3 events. 3 separate days. The days leading up to his 3 biggest announcements, and all the drama and planning that went on behind the scenes.

First off, yes, it is freaking amazing. At first I was bothered by Magneto playing Jobs. Because I did not see Jobs. I saw Fassbender. Almost with a little mixture of Robert Downey Jr. in there. I know, weird. But that’s all I could focus on. But as the film plays out, Fassbender begins to disappear. You get over it, and you can see Steve Jobs. In the performance. The character becomes too much to ignore and you forget about the actor, and you see a character. Not necessarily the person, but you see the character. And it is astonishing. This is another performance I would chalk up to the Best actor category. Not a winner, but a nominee.

Everyone else is incredible in their roles. Honestly, even though I knew it was Kate Winslet, She was immediately gone into the part. And Seth Rogen is little bit of his normal self, mixed in with a great performance. But the second nominee for this film is of course Jeff Daniels. Between the Martian and Steve Jobs that guy better take home the damn supporting actor statue. True story.

The way it is filmed is a work of art in and of itself. Danny Boyle perfectly adapts Sorkin’s script. Especially filming act 1 in 16 MM, Act 2 in 35 MM, and Act 3 in digital. As Jobs brings out the next evolution of technology, the film grows with you. It may sound like a gimmick, but it works in this instance perfectly. And Sorkin is at his best with this script. This is a walk and talk, dialog heavy film. And it flushes out every single character beautifully.

The only real negatives on the film would be the neatness that a few things get wrapped up. But in a film adaption that is going to happen. Especially with a project like this. But it still leaves the door open that maybe not everything is tied up perfectly, but perhaps settled for the time being.

Steve Jobs can become his own genre of film. While Jobs itself was not fantastic, it was entertaining for Kutchers performance. And now, this film is a remarkable top tier film. I’m giving it a Jeebus score of 4.2. Go out; go see it next week when it goes wide. But what say you Jackass Nation? Are you an Apple User? Did you enjoy Jobs? Are you excited for this film? Sound off in the comments below, and remember, it is what it is.

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.

The Avengers Age Of Ultron

Nearly two years ago to the day I sat in a theater, watching a dream come true. Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor, on screen together. Marvels The Avengers changed the game. Then, in its end credits, around 245 in the morning, The Mad Titan Thanos made his debut. Since that moment, I have been waiting for this night. The return of Earth’s mightiest heroes! Could this film live up to the hype? The first one was so special because we had never seen these characters, on screen together. The Marvel villains can be one sided at times, could Ultron live up to Loki? Well, yes. In every sense of its being, it was epic!

The Avengers Age of Ultron tells the story of Earths Mightiest heroes coming together again to finish what they started in Marvels The Avengers however, during their wrap party they are greeted by a creation that Stark and Banner had been working on to create peace. However this creation, this Artificial Intelligence has decided the best route for peace, is extinction. The film stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Arron Taylor-Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. It is once again written and directed by the great Joss Whedon.

The pace is epic in this film. We open up with the Avengers on a mission and we never really slow down. It is nearly a 2 and half hour action scene. That’s not to say the story does not follow suite. Whedon has done and incredible job bringing these characters back together, and while the magic of seeing them for the first time is gone, the charisma between the characters is so much fun to see unravel. There is a lot of worry that the film would be to dark, however it is quite the opposite. While it is dark and gritty, there is no lack of fun and jokes. Every joke hits perfectly.

The cinematography is beautiful. Every shot is nearly seamless. The CGI is incredible. Hulk is once again amazing to see on screen. The story is well written. Ultron is a well-rounded villain that makes you fear for everyone in this film. And for good reason. Whedon does such a good job with this script. Are some of the beats the same as the first film? Yes, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. There is a lot of heart to this one. To the point that I was actually tearing up at certain scenes.

Now that’s not to say I don’t have any negatives. I had a few issues. There is no explanation for the end of Iron Man 3. Stark is just, Iron Man again. I guess forget that he said he was done. Also Ultron is kind of just thrown together. While he has no lack of personality, there is not much to his creation. Short montage and boom. I’m here; there are no strings on me. There is a random cross thread which I assume is meant to build the greater universe, a short scene with Thor, that feels out of place and is never mentioned again. Other than those, I don’t have much to complain about.

I think the biggest positive about Age of Ultron, is its character development. We get three new members this go around. Marvel’s version of Quicksilver, his sister The Scarlett Which, and The Vison. And I enjoyed all three of them. The accents the twins are given are little off. And Olsen has a hard time keeping it up in some scenes. Vision is incredibly well done. A character that could come off as pretty goofy comes off, pretty epic. There is a lot of develop to the Hulk and Black Widow as well as their relationship. You get hints toward the Civil War between Stark and Rogers. As well as Hawkeye. Hawkeye final gets the respect he deserves.

So all in all. Age of Ultron is an incredible film, and a must see in the theater. Before I get my Jeebus score, I am going to let you in a little surprise. I will be releasing my first video review within the next week. It will be much more spoiler heavy and meant for fans who have already seen the film. But know that it is coming. So, score. Age of Ultron is epic as I have said, I gave it a 5.0, with a .5 bonus for spoilerific reasons I can’t tell you here (wait for the video) giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.5.

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.

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.

Chef

So this one isn’t a new release, but I just got around to watching it so I wanted to put up a review for it. Chef. Written, directed, produced, and starring Jon Favreau. Alongside Favreau Chef stars John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Oliver Platt, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey Jr. And I just got to say, Leave it to Favreau to assemble such an ensemble cast, as well as write himself a character that has an ex wife played by Sofia Vergara and a love interest played by Scar Jo. Nice one Jon.

So Chef follows the story of Los Angeles Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) who after a twitter war between a himself and a major food critic (Platt) goes viral and culminates in a video outburst by Casper, quits his job and ends up on a trip with ex-wife and son to Miami. While in Miami he is pushed to get a food truck that he fixes up and begins a journey back to LA making stops along the way bonding with his son and getting back to the basics of what made him the chef he was.

The story is pretty cool and plays out well. It is interesting and fun to follow. And in a way a metaphor for Favreau himself. He said about writing this film he wanted to get back to basics after the major motion pictures he had been putting out. The direction is greatly on par, and the plays out well. It is really just a fun film to watch. A heartwarming story about a father and son, mixed together with a road trip and a cooking fun that’ll make you hungry for more!

The story is very social media heavy too. And it helps push the film, and makes it realistic. We are in an age where everything is social media driven, where every company has a twitter, an instragram, a Facebook, all of that. Something I try to take advantage of and this film gives me hope, so shameless plug in the middle of a review, retweet, and send out my reviews. Go down to the bottom of this and comment a little. It helped out Carl Casper, maybe it’ll help me.

The cast is a lot of fun and well put together. While most like Dustin Hoffman and RDJ are small roles, they are all great characters. RDJ obviously plays himself. And Hoffman is on his game for the few scenes he has. ScarJo is always fun on camera, and is just stunningly beautiful. And I’ll tell you this, I love John Leguizamo. Every film he’s in, I always love to see him pop up. Like I’ve always said, I loved Super Mario Bros, and he was Luigi! Favreau.

There really wasn’t much I didn’t like about it, not that it is the best movie of the year, or an Oscar worthy film or performances, but there are just aren’t really many negatives. I think if I really sat and thought about it I might be able to come up with some, but they’d probably be nitpicky, and I don’t want to just pull out something you didn’t like just for the sake of telling you something bad about it. If you really want me to pull something out, I’d say maybe there is a disappearance of ScarJo halfway thru the film, and there isn’t any real closure or development with the character. Other than Leguizamo’s character, Casper, and Casper’s son played by Emjay Anthony, no other character really gets any kind of development or story arch. But, that’s it. Sorry. Best I got for you.

So while I didn’t have any negatives, we end up with a very fun film, I gave it a Jeebus score of 4.5, would have been a Good time at the theater! So get on On Demand, or go out and buy it on DVD, Chef, a great film.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier(no spoilers)

Captain America is back! And this time he has a new squad of buddies. The question is, who does he trust? I really liked this film, Captain America is much different hero then you get with Thor, or Hulk, or even Iron Man. With those films you get your Destruction film, or fantasy film, or true action adventure. With the Captain, you almost get a Political Thriller, which keeps you on the edge of your seat and wanting more. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, and starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford, and Samuel L Jackson. Now I’m going to get in this with everything I can and not give away any spoilers. I will put out another one next week a little more spoiler filled. I’m even going to attempt to keep down my comic loving nerdism out.

Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier sees our hero adjusting to life in this decade. We open with a pretty cool action scene that shows us that Captain Rogers has decided to stick by S.H.I.E.L.D. even though he doesn’t truly trust the secrecy. There is an attempt on Nick Fury’s life, and Captain Rogers along with The Black Widow go on the hunt for who is behind the meltdown that has become S.H.I.E.L.D.! Along the way Rogers continues to attempt to adjust, but when his past comes back in the form of The Winter Soldier.

This film does everything a sequel should. It ups the ante in action, story, and suspense. It does a very good job moving along the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It takes the Universe they have created and turns it upside making you wonder where they are going. Never once becoming predictable, or stale. The story is easy to follow, yet keeps you guessing at who to trust. My only real negative on the movie, and this could possibly be construed as a spoiler, but The Winter Soldier who the film is named after, isn’t even the main story line that runs through the film. It’s almost where if you had taken him out, Captain America would of still had quite a problem to handle! Yet it leaves wanting more of this mysterious soldier, and where they will go.

Newcomer Anthony Mackie as the Falcon is a definite plus. He is going to be a fun force to watch moving forward and I hope he gets a bigger part then the Iron Patriot/War Machine does in the Iron Man franchise. The Easter Eggs as well will knock you away if you are a comic fan and looking forward to the growth of this universe, as will the after credit scenes. Yes I said sceneS, plural, make sure you stay until the very end!

All in all I scored Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier a Jeebus score of 5.6, with a .2 for Anthony Mackie, a .1 bonus for Scarlett Johansson, and .1 bonus for an Easter egg I can’t mention, giving us a final score of 6, and the first JEEBUS-TACULAR of the year!