March 28, 2014

Movie Review: "Captain America: The Winter Soldier"

Got a chance to check out "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed the film. The movie is billed as a spy/espionage movie, and it definitely fits the bill. Granted it's more follow the clues from A to B, but that's the situation when you cram the elements into a movie, thus having only a 2-hour time-constraint.

The movie's plot deals with an internal force within S.H.I.E.L.D. threatening to destroy the organization and the world, just as S.H.I.E.L.D. is about to unleash their newest program designed to keep humanity safe, Project: Insight.

During the movie Steve Rogers (aka Captain America; played by Chris Evans) comes into contact with the Winter Soldier, a myth circulated among the Intelligence community for decades. For long-time comic book fans, we know the identity, and it's quickly revealed in the movie, that the Winter Soldier is real, and is Roger's former childhood friend, and long-thought deceased army brother, James Buchanan Barnes (aka Bucky; played by Sebastian Stan). Unfortunately for Captain America, Bucky's memories have been wiped, for the most part.

The movie also introduces Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), a retired paratrooper, who was part of a decommissioned experimental paratrooper rescue unit utilizing rocket-propelled wing harnesses, dubbed "Falcon." Rogers and Wilson know one another from morning exercise routines around the Washington, D.C., area. Wilson quickly becomes one of the few people Rogers can trust once the shit hits the fan.

The movie is quickly about Captain America and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) going on the run, trying to uncover the truth about "Project: Insight," after a manhunt is initiated for Captain America, under the pretense of him withholding knowledge, and possible involvement, in the assassination of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). The operation is headed by Fury's long-time friend, Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), intent on learning the truth about Nick Fury's assassination. I normally wouldn't reveal this, but they are mentioned it in the trailer… so yeah...

The action was great, especially the fight scenes between Batroc the Leaper vs. Captain America and Captain America/Black Widow vs. Winter Soldier. While there were some fast-cut, shaky shots, for the most part the fights were clear and discernible shots showing fight choreography and not shaky footage to pretend there's a fight going on.

Also returning to the movie are Cobie Smulders (as Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (as Peggy Carter), Maximiliano Hernandez (as Jasper Sitwell), and Toby Jones (as Arnim Zola). Being introduced into the Marvel cinematic universe are Brock Rumlow/Crossbones (Frank Grillo), Georges Batroc/Batroc the Leaper (Georges St. Pierre), Sharon Carter/Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp), Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann), Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).

You have a great mid-credit scene, directed by Joss Whedon, that leads into "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," plus a brief one at the end featuring Bucky. Overall I loved the film. the only thing I felt meh about were two things within the movie that if I were to reveal would be too much of a spoiler :P

March 16, 2014

SpringFest 2014

Checked out SpringFest for the first time today, at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering in Downtown Brooklyn. I've heard stories, and wow, were they ever true! It was quite the disorganized mess in the very beginning. The lines didn't even start being let in until ALMOST two hours later!

Today was the first day I started shooting video interviews with cosplayers for my new interstitial series, slated to air for the Summer. Pretty chaotic, and it was just so noisy we took the interviews outdoors, but even outdoors it was windy despite the dead mouse on the microphone. So it's quite the experience, since right now I'm recording audio blindly thanks to being unable to listen to the audio until afterwards, due to the way the 5D Mark II is designed. I think next time I'll definitely have to get a lav mic for the Sony EX1 that we were using today as the B-roll camera. Anyways, got some great interviews with Koneko YourAverageNerd, Spectra Marvelous, Negative Stacey, Pixie Belle Cosplay, and Avalon Cosplay. It was also my camera man's first convention, and he was definitely blown away by the types of people he saw at the mini-convention.