LEGO Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I don’t know who Antonio and Andrea Toscano are, though I do know a labor of love when I see one, and their Lego version of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is just that.  All the iconic moments from the trailer are there, lovingly reinterpreted in Legos.

By way of comparison, here’s the original trailer.

‘Deathwish’ through ‘Deathwish 4′: The Mother Of All Crackdowns

Paul Kersey, as played by the late Charles Bronson, has to be the most cursed person on the planet.  The Deathwish films aren’t supernatural, but the way violence seems drawn to Kersey makes it as logical an explanation as any (other than it being a movie, that is).  If you had to deal with Samara from “The Ring” you have seven days to either pawn the tape off on someone else or solve Samara’s mystery, while in the case of Paul Kersey, all he seems to get is a bus ride to his next murder spree.

I get the feeling that if he were headed to Amish country he would be attacked by roving gangs of Amish thugs trying to go Rumspringa on his ass (which is an interesting idea for a movie).

Deathwish

In the original “Death Wish” Paul Kersey’s family is attacked by hoodlums, who kill his wife and rape his daughter.  As a result he becomes a one-man hit squad, tracking down the killers and dishing out justice when the police can’t (which is pretty often).  The original film, based upon a novel by Brian Garfield, was a harrowing experience because everything unfolded in a realistic fashion.  It also doesn’t hurt that it took place in New York City, which is a character in and of itself.

Despite being extremely effective, Kersey is a reluctant vigilante.  You’re shown his progression, as he thwarts a potential mugger with a sock full of quarters till the city becomes his shooting gallery.

Deathwish is probably one of Bronson’s most memorable roles, and it’s easy to see why.  It’s important to mention that Kersey is really hit hard by some horrific events, and it shows.  Unfortunately, in the case of the sequels, this element is lost.

In other words, in the sequels he’s essentially the Terminator, minus the brawn and accent.  He kills almost as if the producers have no other ideas, as opposed to it being a pressing need on the part of Paul Kersey.

A clever writer could have done something interesting with the idea, maybe introducing the idea of Kersey being shell-shocked (essentially what we call PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, today).

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Commercially Speaking: Jason And The 3D Printer

Commercials are made to inform about a particular service or entice you to buy something you want (but don’t yet know that you want).

Though in practice, most do the exact opposite.  They confuse instead of clarify, and irritate to such a degree that there are some DVR’s designed to skip them entirely.

Though there are times when a commercial just works, informing and entertaining all at the same time, which brings me to this RadioShack commercial from SuperBowl 2014.  I learned of it from those maniacs over at Bloody Disgusting–which is good because I might have otherwise never heard of it since I rarely watch football, or sports in general–and stars Friday The 13th’s resident knife-wielding killer, Jason Vorhees.

It’s an awesome advert which would have been perfect if he were making a machete instead of a key, but despite that small oversight, it’s still pretty cool.

‘Devil’s Due’ Review

Devil's Due poster II

“”Devil’s Due” is slightly more ambitious that most found-footage movies, though suffers from problems built into the format.”

Having seen Matt Bettinelli-Olpin‘s and Tyler Gillett‘s “Devil’s Due,” about a newly married couple destined to give birth to the Antichrist, it’s obvious that the found-footage trend, ushered in by the 1999 film “The Blair Witch Project” and made mainstream with the Paranormal Activity films, needs a break so that it can recover the sense of freshness and spontaneity that made such films so intriguing in the first place.

Which will not happen any time soon because these movies are so cheap to produce.

For instance, “Devil’s Due” cost $7 million to make, and earned almost $33 million dollars, which is a really tidy profit.

The premise of the movie while by no means unique, is at least interesting, though like other films in this genre it makes little in the way of sense because there are too many situations where someone would not be walking around with a camera.

Most found-footage movies at least stick to the cameras at hand, though “Devil Due” expands to using footage from literally any camera in an area, which the characters shouldn’t have any access to, as storytelling devices.  It makes no sense at all and kind of takes you out of the movie if you give it any thought.

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Captain America Uniform From ‘The Avenger: Age Of Ultron’

Captain America (Age of UltronHere’s a picture from “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” of Captain America (Chris Evans) in his new costume.  It looks like a combination of the suit he wore in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” combined with the one he wore in his most recent adventure, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

I think it looks great, particularly the way the wings are integrated into the design of his helmet (which looks a lot like the leather helmets pilots wore in World War II).WWII Pilot's Helmet

You can find some more shots here, which is perhaps a better use of your time than following the legal travails of Bryan Singer, who like Icarus flying too close to the sun, may lose it all if the allegations of Michael F. Egan III are proven true.

And even if they’re not, they may have cost him the next film in the X-Men franchise because people may have a problem going to see a multi-million dollar production helmed by a alleged pedophile.

 

Movie Mistakes: ‘Iron Man 3′

Iron Patriot
Generally I don’t particularly care about these sorts of things, but having seen “Iron Man 3″ perhaps more times than should be legal, I noticed this little error.

Truth be told, it’s less of an error than the filmmakers apparently showing us what they can get away with when viewers are in awe over one of their favorite comic characters appearing on the big screen (for the fourth time).  What happens is that James “Rhodey” Rhodes/War Machine/Iron Patriot (Don Cheadle) is captured by Aldrich Killian/Fake Mandarin (Guy Pearce), who uses his Extremis-derived abilities to superheat a section of the armor, with the intention of forcing Rhodey to abandon it.

Killian knows that he’s damaging the surface of the armor, and so he strongly suggests that his henchman, Savin (James Badge Dale) had better be able to fix it.  Now, Savin may indeed be talented, but prior to this moment the movie gave no indication he also had some pretty awesome metallurgical, as well as painting, skills because the next time we see the Iron Patriot armor, there’s no sign that there was any damage at all.

I mean not even a smudge of the paint.  I also know that we’re watching a movie based on a comic book, but Savin making what looked like considerable damage disappear is probably the most outlandish thing in the movie.  Though you have to admit that the man is talented, and if Tony needed any help in his lab, he could do worse than hire him.

Iron Patriot

By the way, anyone that has been following the Iron Man films–Yes, even “Iron Man 2!”–knows that Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) has an miniature Arc reactor in his chest, which keeps a piece of shrapnel from entering his heart, which is pretty much at the center of the chest (which is why the armored suits he wears don’t have the chest repulser off to the left or right).

In the penultimate act of the movie, where (Spoiler Alert!) where Tony Stark and Rhodes are squaring off against the Extremis-enhanced forces of the Fake Mandarin (that’s not his name, but if you have seen the Marvel One-Shot, “All Hail The King” you know it’s true) the Arc reactor is in the center of his chest, where the Universe and Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber and Don Heck intended it to be…

Arc Reactor III

Only to find that in later scenes it has somehow shifted considerably–and quite noticeably–to the right.  It’s not like it’s now on his shoulder or something, but it’s definitely no longer in the center of his chest.

Arc Reactor II

Occam’s Razor posits that when faced with explaining why or how an event happened, the simplest explanation with the fewest assumptions is more likely than not the correct one.  So, considering that that Arc reactor prop was entirely practical, it was probably somehow adhered to Robert Downey, Jr.’s chest, and with all the activity that the film required from him, shifted a bit.

And you know what, I’m OK with that because what the filmmakers could have went with was a CGI Arc reactor, as opposed to a practical one, though the problems it would bring would probably quickly disabuse them of the notion.  For instance, if it were computer-generated, it would have to look slightly different every time it appeared on screen because of changes in lighting conditions as well as his body shifting.

It’s certainly doable, by why would anyone want the added cost, when you could create an Arc reactor medallion, have him wear it, and save yourself (probably) thousands of dollars.

And besides, we’ve seen a movie that was so chock-full of computer generated effects that even the costume that the actor wore wasn’t real.

And we all know how well that went.

Like this movie, I am awesome!

A Movie About Me!  What Could Go Wrong?

‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ Official Trailer 3

Here’s the latest trailer for “X-Men: Days Of Future Past,” were our not-quite-so-merry band of mutants have to send one of their number back to the past to prevent a all-out war against mutant-kind led by the Sentinels.

If the early trailers were guilty of giving away too little, this one reveals a litte too much, though it does keep how things will end hidden.

But we already know that, don’t we (considering that all the X-Men properties have earned over $2 billion dollars, I think the outcome is pretty obvious)?

Though with movies of this sort, it’s less the outcome than the journey to reach it.