Movie – Captain America: The Winter Soldier: A

captain america winter soldierA
Captain America 2 felt more like a modern action thriller than a superhero film, and that is perfectly OK. It had all the slick melees, gunfights, and car chases you could ask for, never really giving the excitement time to wind down. Even Samuel L. Jackson finally gets a good action sequence. What downtime it does have is filled with Marvel-brand humor, so it flows by easily. Its only real fault is predictability, a fault which truthfully lies with the trailers and my knowledge of the comics, so it’s easily forgiven. It’s certainly better than the first film, and easily the best phase 2 Marvel film so far.

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Movie – All is Lost: A+

all is lostA+
I’ve recently realized that Man vs Nature is probably my favorite conflict archetype, and lost-at-sea stories represent the pinnacle of that concept for me. They have an amazing ability to create an almost constant, compelling tension. And the film’s mostly dialog-free gimmick, through Redford’s evocative performance, worked perfectly with this story type. After this, Gravity, and Moon, I’ve noticed films with micro-casts might be another favorite convention of mine.