Star – Steve Evans
Genre – Action > Comic Book
Run Time –147 minutes
Certificate – 12
Country – USA
Awards – 2 Wins & 7 Nominations
Amazon – £ 9.99 DVD (£15.00 Blue Ray)
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So, the brilliant Captain America films just keep coming and alongside The Avengers trilogy have put Marvel firmly on top of the battle with DC Comics in the multiplexes. When you introduce Ben Affleck to superhero films you are going to go down like a wet fart on Bake Off, Superman V Batman a real stinker by all accounts. The Hollywood Studio system has firmly put all their eggs in one basket in the last 20- years with the superhero genre as the comic book spectaculars continue to get bigger and bigger and so fund that studio system. Why bother making mid budget movies for $50 million dollars that may or may not make $10 million back when you can make $750 million dollars back on just one of these, which this one comfortably did. Thye appeal to a world wide audience with their deliberate cosmopolitan locations and castings and a 10-year-old kid in Paris can enjoy them just as much as an octogenarian in rural china. They have saved the cinema experience and responsible for a quarter of all multiplexes seat sales and if you don’t like them much then remember they find the films you do.
The most spectacular action movie of 2016 is the highest grossing of 2016 and already in that un-missable category. This is fabulous! In fact it’s the 12th highest growing movie of all time at $1.1 billion dollars and the best return of the Captain American films so far. It’s fair to say the Top 10 is comicbook dominated and Marvel has three in their already. Three films in history have grossed over $2 billion dollars and 27 over the magic one billion dollar mark. All but three of those were this new millennium. But if you adjust for inflation then ‘Gone With The Wind’ is top at $3.4 billion, Star Wars up in 3rd behind Avatar and Titanic down to fourth with The Sound of Music in 5th. Now you know.
Chris Evans ... Steve Rogers / Captain America
Robert Downey Jr. ... Tony Stark / Iron Man
Scarlett Johansson ... Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Sebastian Stan ... Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier
Anthony Mackie ... Sam Wilson / Falcon
Don Cheadle ... Lieutenant James Rhodes / War Machine
Jeremy Renner ... Clint Barton / Hawkeye
Chadwick Boseman ... T'Challa / Black Panther
Paul Bettany ... Vision
Elizabeth Olsen ... Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch
Paul Rudd ... Scott Lang / Ant-Man
Emily VanCamp ... Sharon Carter
Tom Holland ... Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Daniel Brühl ... Zemo
Frank Grillo ... Brock Rumlow / Crossbones
Gene Farber ... Karpov
William Hurt ... Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross
Martin Freeman ... Everett K. Ross
Marisa Tomei ... May Parker
John Kani ... King T'Chaka
John Slattery ... Howard Stark
Hope Davis ... Maria Stark
Alfre Woodard ... Miriam
In the year of 1991, the brainwashed super-soldier James "Bucky" Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is dispatched from a Hydra base in Siberia to recover a case of ‘super-soldier serum’, where he ambushes a car and kills two innocent people. In the present day (2016), approximately one year after Ultron's defeat in the nation of Sokovia at the hands of the Avengers (film 2), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Sam Wilson(Anthony Mackie), and Wanda Maximoffstop (Elizabeth Olsen) are trying to stop Rumlow (Frank Grillo) from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Nigeria but messing up and taking out half a building nearby, killing several aid workers.
U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) informs the Avengers that the UN has had enough of their reckless crime busting and preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will see the superheroes come under control of the UN from now on in and so accountable for any crimes. But the team is split on that mandate: Stark (Rob Downey Junior) supporting oversight because of his role in Ultron's creation, while Rogers has more faith in his own mind than some government with private interests.
At a packed conference in Vienna where the accords are about to be ratified, a bomb kills King T'Chaka (John Slattery) of the African kingdom of Wakanda. CCTV footage soon after shows the bomber is Barnes, whom T'Chaka's son, the righteous T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), vows to kill in bloody revengel. When CIA agent Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) informs Captain America of his friend Barnes' whereabouts and the authorities' ‘intentions’ to terminate him, Rogers decides to bring him in alone and protect him, against the UN’s orders, meaning he is now an international fugitive and the rest of the Avengers consigned to office duties.
A man called Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) is also keen to track down Barnes and after taking out his handler, prepares to trigger Barnes' through Winter Soldier training to infiltrating the Avengers facility and take them down, especially Stark and Rogers. If the UN wants to keep the world safe from this guy they may have to unleash The Avengers once again.
As action films go in this genre this is spectacular and hard to fault. I absolutely loved it! I really liked the Winter Soldier and I loved the first film to. This is up there with the Christian Bale trilogy. The real genius by the directing team of the Russo brothers is being inclusive with all the huge stars and characters in the action and not overdoing the action sequences, which I felt The Avengers movies are now tending to do. In fact this ends up more an Avengers movie and you can feel all the Marvel Universe will merge soon, a surprise appearance by its biggest star in this one. We also meet the Black Panther, played by the extremely handsome newcomer Chadwick Boseman and see other characters sidelined some. Poor old Jeremy Renner with his bow and arrow really needs some decent lines.
Civil War is funny in all the right places, has a more original comic book feel to it and not just a series of special effects like some of these are. It cost a perfunctory $250 million comic book budget to make and did that excellent $1.1 billion back to date, the DVD and movie channel releases in the autumn sure to push it toward $1.5 billion. It’s definitely all time Top 10 material. You need to see this. Getting 8 on IMDB puts it in the all time 250 movies there and it scores well with all age demographics, especially women over 45. Everybody loves this stuff and this one of the best yet. I still think Batman Begins is the best ever in the genre though. The film is gripping from the big opening action sequence and although slows down a little to fill out the story and new characters it never lets up and a delight when the new superheroes are introduced into the universe. We don’t muck about with love triangles either, also refreshing, Evans very much a man alone.
Its snappy and fast paced fight scenes may discombobulate some whilst others annoyed by blatant product placement but it really is up there in the action genre. I felt the last Avengers film had started to suffer the way Star Wars did second time around with too much going on where as this gets it just right. I guarantee you will have a great time with this on your big screen HDTV and although well over two hours the time flies and you don’t notice as it is that much fun and you just want more. But the Marvel Universe is beginning to blur so this will be the bets it gets for me. Its still the best film I have seen for a while.
Imdb.com – 8.0/10.0 (355,102votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 90% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 84%critic’s approval
New Yorker – The motto of the directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, appears to be: If you can make it happen, do it. Don't hold back’.
Toronto Star –‘ Civil War reminds us it's OK to enjoy a few laughs, even while diabolical villains plot doom, outraged citizens demand accountability and your best pal mistrusts you’.
Wall St Journal –‘A comic book extravaganza that's enhanced by wit and audacity, not to mention the sort of action that only mountains of money can buy’.
Matt’s Movie Reviews –‘Its many ideas, plot-points and characters are expertly conceived, written and portrayed to make for a roller coaster of a superhero movie’.
The Mail –‘ Civil War is the Marvel machine doing things right, but the machine is still designed to make films with all of the corners rounded off and all of the themes simplistic enough for ten-year-olds’.
Baltimore Star –‘’Simply put, when it comes to juggling multiple superheroes in a single movie, Marvel's latest comes close to setting the standard. And the studio, as well as the villagers, should have cause to rejoice’.
I've been visiting this cinema on a regular basis for the past 10 years. Why do I go here? Well, it's the most convenient for me and my family to visit and I can combine a visit with visiting other shops in the area. It's now just a familiar part of our cinema going routine and I thought it was about time I wrote a review about it.
~~~Where is it Located?~~~
The UCI cinema can be found on the third floor of the Whiteleys shopping centre (The Wright Stuff is filmed up on this floor too). It's situated in Queensway in Bayswater, London. This floor is also the location of a large selection of eating places such as Cafe Rouge, Bella Pasta, Oscars, Yo Sushi and Ask.
~~~Transport to the Cinema~~~
If you're coming here by car, there is a car park just outside the back of the cinema. Although the cinema is on the third floor, the car park is reached via ramps which take you up to the same level as the cinema. It's open from 8.30am to 12 midnight seven days a week with more than 175 parking spaces.
If you're arriving via public transport, bus routes that stop close by are the no. 7, 12, 23, 27, 36, 70 and 98. Tube stations close by are Royal Oak on the Hammersmith and City Line or Bayswater on the District and Circle lines.
Or, if like me, you cycle everywhere, there are loads of cycle racks just outside.
~~~The Cinema Complex~~~
Just outside the cinema are large advertisements on the walls detailing all the films which are currently being shown inside the cinema as well as films soon to be shown. They usually have all the current popular films showing, but not all and I'm often quite annoyed that some newly released films are not shown here at all. Feature films tend to have a lot of screenings for the first couple of weeks after release, after which your options are greatly reduced to a choice of two or three times a day.
There are eights screens, four on the level you enter the cinema and another four upstairs.
Although the online website indicates different areas for seating, ie premier seats or standard, when you arrive, it's a sit anywhere you want situation. Some of the cinema screens have just a bank of seats down the middle, others are larger with aisles either side of the middle section with further seats either side. The smallest screen has 123 seats and the largest 327.
My main problem with the seating inside this UCI is that they are all on one level. This means that if you are on the short side, pretty much anyone who sits in front of you will block your view. And I can guarantee, if I've made sure I've come in just before the film starts, found myself a decent seat, someone will come in later and plonk themselves in front of me.
At the entrance to the cinema they have a shelving area with bright yellow portable child seats. These can be taken into the cinema and placed on a seat, providing greater height. If you are seeing a popular children's film, you need to be early to get one of these seats.
There are a couple of ticket collection machines which you go to retrieve your tickets if you've already ordered them over the phone or online. These are a useful way of avoiding the long queues at the till (when they're working)! There have been many occasions when either one or both of these machines have been out of order. This means you need to join that lovely queue at the tills.
There are a couple of tills where you can buy your tickets but, as with any cinema, it's best to avoid going just before a film starts as you may become stuck in a queue. Actually, I tell a lie. There are three tills, but in all the years I've queued there, only two have been open at any one time.
Tickets (at the time of writing) cost between £7.60 and £10.50 for adults depending on the time of day. Children's tickets range between £5.30 and £6.30 depending on the time. Before 4pm is the cheaper time. It's annoying that they don't do a family ticket like Vue cinemas as it can become extremely expensive when taking the family.
~~~Food on Offer~~~
Food on offer in the cinema is a typical cinema junk food fest. Popcorn, hot dogs, nachos and fizzy drinks feature prominently on the menu. Oh they also offer big bags of chocolates and upstairs there is a large pick and mix sweet selection as well as ice creams on sticks. So, with all that exercise you'll be doing in the cinema, eat to your hearts content. Not.
I despair at the choice of food offered in cinemas today, particularly with the government and health professionals giving daily dire warnings about the obesity levels in this country. The only remotely healthy item on offer is the sugar free fruit shoot drink. Popcorn can be healthy as long as it's not covered in sweet substances or salt, but these are the only options in the cinema.
But it's not only the choice of food that's outrageous. It's the price. Just last week my son pleaded for a hot dog and waited for me to pay. I approached the till and saw £3.70 rung up on the till. I asked my son what else he'd ordered and he said 'nothing'. I simply could not believe that this plain bread roll with a solitary hot dog sausage sitting inside would cost me £3.70. Never again.
At the entrance to the cinema is a Ben & Jerry's Ice cream kiosk offering similarly overpriced and unhealthy ice cream snacks.
I tend to take my own food in with me, either hiding it in my bag or carrying it in along with bags of groceries. I've never had a problem doing this or been stopped. I know many cinemas won't allow this, but I believe, until they can offer decent healthy food at prices even approaching reasonable, then I will carry on taking in my own food. There is a Starbucks just across the way from the cinema and I always purchase a coffee and a fruit salad from there.
There are two locations for the toilets, upstairs and downstairs and these cater for both men and women. It's useful having two sets of toilets. If you need to go after the film, which many people do, then they generally head for the nearest toilet, and typically with the ladies, there will be a queue. So, to avoid the after film toilet queue, just go to the other toilet.
The toilets are usually in good order, with most of them having their doors still intact. They are clean and checked frequently by cleaners. There are hot air dryers, soap dispensers (with actual soap in them) and warm water taps (not for drinking).
There are a certain amount of facilities in place for the disabled. The Whiteleys centre itself is fully accessible for wheelchairs, with ramps etc and lifts up to the other floors. However, the cinema doesn't have any means of accessing the second floor screens, so you'd be limited to seeing whatever films were showing on the ground floor of the cinema (screens 1-4). Screens 1-4 have place for 2-3 wheelchairs each.
So, if you're shopping in the Whiteleys Centre, it's nice to come and enjoy a film when you've finished.
Yet another cinema in London, and there is not a great deal to distinguish it from the rest. Transport links are reasonable, with the District and Circle lines or certain buses. The area around is fairly nice, with many shops, and the Whiteleys mall with a few restaurants and shops. It is a typical UCI cinema, with popcorn, and high-backed seats which are quite comfy to sit in, although the angle of the seats means it can be quite hard to see the screen. The screen itself is of average size for a modern cinema, and the sound is equally average. However the main sticking point with this cinema is the price. £7.50 for a ticket most of the time is not worth it compared to less expensive cinemas offering equal quality screens. This is, of course, less than many West End cinemas, but I believe the price at all these places is extortionate, and you are much better served going to a cinema in the suburbs for £2.00 less.