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Mark Ruffalo Says Hulk Will Be In CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

Source: ScreenRant

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Spotlight Movie Review & Film Summary

At a time when newspapers are closing, and print readerships are down, Spotlight couldn’t have arrived at a more pivotal time. The new film from director Thomas McCarthy is truly a love-letter to the art of journalism. It doesn’t glamorize the job or what these journalists did; it just illustrates how they did their jobs—to investigate and to report. It shows all of the lengthy footwork that is among the process of an investigative reporter’s job. Most importantly the film, which is based on a true story, shows just how important journalism is.

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, and John Slattery in Spotlight

Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, and John Slattery in Spotlight

Spotlight follows the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in America, The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team. The team consisted of Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), Ben Bradlee Jr. (John Slattery), and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James). The focus of the movie is on the team’s coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic archdiocese of Boston, Massachusetts. The “Spotlight” team brought the filthy secret of sexually abused minors by the church to the national limelight. The coverage earned The Globe the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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Foxcatcher Wrestles with Emotions

At one point in Bennett Miller’s poignant and powerful Foxcatcher, John du Pont declares the importance of a coach, “A coach is a father, a coach is a mentor, a coach has great power on an athlete’s life”. While these words definitely sum up what your typical coach/athlete relationship is like, this film does more than enough to separate itself from the traditional sports drama. In this moment, this quote really sums up du Pont’s greatest delusion. Foxcatcher is a chilling tale of people hoping for greatness. They desire to be heroes, winners, and champions, but in the end no matter how much they give they feel like it will never be their best. This constant feeling of failure looms large for du Pont and his athlete, Mark Schultz, and it is ultimately the start of their own self-hatred. Led by terrific performances by the three leads Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo, Bennett Miller has created one of the best films of the year that shows you the pain of two disturbed and lost individuals.

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher, which is based on true events, follows the unlikely relationship between Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler, Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum), and the multi-millionaire heir to the du Pont estate, John du Pont (Steve Carell). When John du Pont invites Mark to his estate in order to offer him the chance to prepare and train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Mark eagerly accepts the offer. The two develop a special relationship that is driven by the need to win. Mark hopes to step out of his brother’s (Mark Ruffalo) shadow, and du Pont is motivated by wanting to be respected by all, especially his disapproving mother. However, their relationship soon turns toxic and not even winning Gold can prevent a tragic outcome.

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Now You See Me

This year, we have already seen two magical adventures at the movie theaters. The first one came in the form of Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician, who is thrown into the vibrant Land of Oz. There, Oscar must use his magical powers and trickery to do some good in order to transform himself into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. The second adventure was more or less a frivolous tale of magician Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) as he is surrounded by a superfluous lifestyle that is enthralled in trickery, stupidity, and the love of magic. Apparently those stories have not quenched our thirst for magic on the big screen. Opening up this week is a new film that appears to offer and present a grand trick that might very well be the greatest illusion to ever be revealed on screen.

Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me

Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco in Now You See Me

Now You See Me follows a group of the world’s greatest illusionists, The Four Horseman, as they pull of a series of not only daring, but mystifying heists. In each of their performances, they pull off these incredible heists, and reward the audience members by showering them with the stolen money. As The Four Horseman gains more notoriety they become pitted against a FBI squad led by Agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo). What transpires is a cat and mouse chase that leads the FBI unit chasing the illusionists across the nation hoping to put an end to their crime spree. Can The Four Horseman elude the FBI, or will Agent Rhodes be able to capture them and prove that this has all been a grand illusion?

Now You See Me may be the most frustrating movie of the year for me. The film shows and provides a great amount of potential, but is ultimately undermined by its own arrogance. Yes, you could say that this film is extremely clever and smart, and for the most part you are probably right. I will admit that this film has aspects that are sly and intelligent; however, the shrewdness only lasts on a superficial level. Now You See Me possesses a great idea and an entertaining cast, but the material actually proves to be a substance-free diversion. The cast and crew keeps pulling off magic tricks after magic tricks that are rooted in mystery and would be thrills, but those tricks soon culminates into no authentic suspense, or any real investments in the characters and story. Now You See Me simply makes a promise that it can’t keep. At the heart of the film, there is too much illogical situations and implausible setups and resolutions that I began to not only not care what transpired on the screen, but began to ponder to myself what is the point? Why is this happening? By the time the film comes to the big shocking finale, nothing will catch the audience off guard, and the shocker will only be rewarding for mere seconds. Director, Louis Leterrier, has some nice style and the perfect amount of energy, but lacks the visual panache to help put over the magicians and the illusions. Now You See Me wants you to be amazed by the magic, and even inspired by the tricks, but by doing so it comes off so absurd and pretentious that it is hard to play along with the magic.

Now, I have been accused that I lack an imagination, had a bad childhood, and just could not understand the heist part of the film, and those are the reasons why I did not like Now You See Me. I find this to be as ludicrous as the film itself. I understand that the film deals with magic, and that magic is supposed to challenge your beliefs and make you believe in the unbelievable, but the problem is that the film never allowed me to. For anyone to really like that film, one needs to check all of his or her intelligence, logic, and reasoning at the door. That is my major complaint about the film. Throughout the duration of Now You See Me, the many characters beg you to look closely and to use your smarts because they are always one step ahead. Aww, that is a really nice try guys. You might fool a couple of people, but let me do my own magic trick right now. Let me read the minds of the writers and creators of the film. What I am about to do is called mentalism, according to the film. In reality, Now You See Me is really trying to tell you don’t think, don’t try to connect the dots, and please don’t try make any sense of it all because if you do you will know that this is actually a big scam.

I do, however, give Now You See Me credit for pulling off one elaborate illusion. One grand trick that actually worked and will not be noticed or revealed until viewing the film. Behind all of the one dimensional characters and impractical tricks there is actually something worth viewing. Behind the facade of being a magical thriller, Now You See Me offers a great on screen duo to watch. The always solid Mark Ruffalo teaming up with the stunning Mélanie Laurent is by far the best part of the movie. Ruffalo as Agent Rhodes and Laurent as a Interpol agent, Alma Dray, work wonders together. They provide the best chemistry of all of the cast, and actually provide stability, and integrity to the film. When the film focuses on their relationship and their search for the Four Horseman it is a fun, entertaining heist thriller to watch. That is the movie right there. I would have love to see a film that focuses on those two’s dynamic interactions. Ruffalo’s American rigidness and stubbornness matched perfectly with Laurent’s European sensibilities and sophistication, and it is a joy to watch. Laurent and Ruffalo is the real magic of the film. The rest of cast is either misused or hurt by the misdirections of the film. Jessie Eisenberg plays an arrogant ass so well, and here he does it with ease, but with this usual shtick and a character that you could care less for you will soon be indifferent to his J. Daniel Atlas. Woody Harrelson and the pretty Isla Fisher are fun to watch, but are ultimately wasted. The same can be said of Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. Now You See Me manages to pull a disappearing act on their stars and inhibits them for truly shining.

Now You See Me is satisfactory at best. It provides cheap thrills if any, and does so in a manner that is sometimes sluggish and ineffective. The movie leaves the audience indifferent for far too long, and uses superfluous trickery that distracts them from the many plot holes that can be found. The twist is well disguised, but nothing was truly at risk; thus, limiting any thrills and providing an ending that is lackluster and unfulfilling. Like magic the film will disappear right before your eyes because, ultimately, Now You See Me has nothing up its sleeves.

The cast includes: Jessie Eisenberg (The Social Network), Woody Harrelson (No Country For Old Men), Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), Morgan Freeman (The Dark Night Rises), Michael Caine (The Dark Night Rises), Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers), and Mèlanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds). The film was written by Ed Solomon, Edward Ricourt, and Boaz Yakin. It was directed by Louis Leterrier (The Clash of the Titans).

 

1.5 out of 4 stars.

 

-By Louie Coruzzolo

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The Avengers

The hype has been building for over five years, but now the wait is over. The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon, is finally here. The film is based on The Avengers, a Marvel comic book series, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, which debuted in September of 1963. It’s been almost fifty years since The Avengers assembled in the comic world, and now they make their live action debut on the big screen. The Avengers stars Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, and Tom Hiddleston.

The Avengers

In order to stop a possible global catastrophe caused by Thor’s brother Loki, Nick Fury, the creator of S.H.E.I.L.D., must band together the world’s strongest superheroes. The group contains, Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, with Hawkeye and Agent Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow). However, more people are hurt and the world begins to suffer while The Avengers struggle to work as a team. Though Iron Man is stubborn and Hulk can’t quite control himself, can the group finally unite and avenge the human race?

 

After one of the biggest buildups in film history, The Avengers, despite what I predicted, doesn’t disappoint. The movie gives audiences everything it promised, a massive, action packed, comic book movie. The fight scenes were stylish and used a technique set to each character. The action was breathtaking, and some of the smallest fights, offer great emotion. For instance, between Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man, the fight was small, but showed the strengths and power of each hero. At the same time, The Avengers gave strong moments of comedic relief, which connected and worked well for the audience. At one point in the film as Loki and Thor argue, it seems like a theater play, when Downey doesn’t miss a beat saying, “It’s like Shakespeare in the park.” It seemed that the film, didn’t want to take itself to serious to avoid being campy. The glue of The Avengers was the chemistry shared between the cast, everyone seemed to work well off each other, making them all look good. The uniting of the “Earth’s Mightiest Heros” would have never worked so well without the chemistry, for instance, during the film’s climax, The Avengers are in a circle as the camera does a 360 around them, making the audience roar, and in all honesty giving me goosebumps. Robert Downey, Jr., shows strong charisma, and entertains though out the picture, which is usual. Downey easily carries scenes in the movie, that would have been a complete bore without his presence. However the surprising performance of the film was from the angry Mark Ruffalo. Ruffalo was intriguing and kept my attention the entire picture. Playing The Hulk, Ruffalo easily portrayed the monstrous battle between man and beast, making it more real then ever before, also making him one of my favorites in the entire picture. The Hulk or Bruce Banner, was a very in-depth character, like he should have always been, with one of the greatest inner conflicts to destroy the beast within. Surprisingly, one would argue Ruffalo has been the best one to portray the enraged green beast. Tom Hiddleston portrays a vicious villain, Loki, he also becomes one of the most believable characters in the entire film. The other surprise performance, was the train wreck that was Samuel L. Jackson. His performance seemed annoying, and viewers had no real desire to even see him on screen. The Avengers gives us amazing special effects, and gave viewers more than just the battles over Earth. The picture, which many comic book films lack or lack to do well, really express the inner battles of the heroes. Like mentioned earlier, Mark Ruffalo does as the Hulk, rather seeing him just smash stuff, the battle of a man hating the beast inside becomes very apparent. As well as Thor has to physically battle his brother Loki, while struggling the fact he may have to destroy his own blood. Stark may realize, behind the suit of iron, he might be nothing but a man and not at all a hero. These internal conflicts really drive the movie, and make it more likable then most comic book films. At the end of it all, the real superhero is filmmaker Joss Whedon. Whedon brings one of the most anticipated films to life and at the same time, succeeds in where so many others fail, satisfying the comic book fan.  The movie was high strung on energy and gave the viewers and fans exactly what they wanted. It seemed that the film just wanted to be really fun, and it was.

 

The Avengers wasn’t as strong as The Hulk, nor was it as godlike as Thor. However the film was as cunning and witty as Iron Man, and as good and noble as Captain America.

 

3 out of 4 stars

-By Jacob R. Tiranno

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Shutter Island

Shutter Island

After earning a quick forty million dollars opening weekend, Martin Scorsese’s latest Shutter Island shook theatres nation wide. I sat Thursday night awaiting the most anticipated film of the year, and at midnight the lights dimmed. Going into the film, we all know one of the most creative directors to date was in control of this project. Now, before I get any further into this review, I want to point out what kind of director Scorsese is. The difference between Martin and other directors is that other directors take time to figure out what will work for the audience, Martin doesn’t, he trusts the true fans and does what he wishes. The brilliance is that Scorsese will do something, and let the fans catch up, and if they don’t, he doesn’t mind leaving them behind. Besides, the visionary director, we had one of, if not the greatest actor to date, Leonardo DiCaprio. Leo’s performance once again had left me in total shock because I believe is one of only the few actors to date who actually “becomes their character”. DiCaprio didn’t miss a note taking and breaking down this character of Teddy Daniels, making you feel every single emotion that crosses the main character. Adding to the all star cast and crew, Ben Kinsley and Mark Ruffalo, the two supporting actors who live up to the phenomenal performance, which this film had called for.

Shutter Island did exactly what Martin Scorsese planned it to do, shock the audience and paint an amazing visual picture of this grisly story. The film takes the audience through a mental maze and makes them fight to get out. The beauty of this film is that it is a long road full of forks, and which ever road you decide to take it will bring you to a different destination. Ask anyone who’ve seen this film and they will tell you they all got something different out of the film. Shutter Island took a brave step and played not only a giant cat and mouse game, but a beautiful game of reverse psychology. The film made you confident of something then turned around and slapped you in the face for believing it. Will I say this film redefined the genre, sadly no, it was a great film but not quite what some expectations requested. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio teamed up to take this extraordinary challenge and turned it to a great film that will become a favorite for many. As a die hard fan of both DiCaprio and Scorsese, I was completely happy with the turn out of this psychological thriller, and loved the way Martin let his audience take their own way to get out this visual and mind-boggling labyrinth.

The movie will take you on a thrilling, eerie story that had twist and turns that will leave you in awe.The game that is set upon you and the audience will leave you absolutely nothing but astonished.

 

3 out of 4 Stars

 

By Jacob R. Tiranno

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