War Within — Captain America: Civil War Review

War Within — Captain America: Civil War Review
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was supposed to compete directly with Captain America: Civil War by releasing on the same day, but Warner Bros. decided — wisely — that more money was to be made without forcing audiences to choose between two huge tentpoles.

But both studios knew their movies would be compared ad nauseum — each containing a similar premise where its lead titans would wage war against each other. DC, owning the most famous and more established comic book properties in Superman and Batman, still had a bit more of an uphill climb gearing up for its cinematic universe while Marvel looked forward to continuing its runoff to a climactic Infinity War one-two punch that begins in 2018 — ten years after Iron Man kicked off Phase One.

And it’s clear, after having seen Civil War, that my preference is Marvel’s movie. Not that I have to choose — one can be a fan of both comic movies and companies just like one can be a fan of Warner Bros., Universal Studios, and 20th Century Fox. I love both Guardians of the Galaxy and The Dark Knight without feeling the need to draw lines from one to the other.

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A Chance of Smaug — The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

A Chance of Smaug — The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

The decision to split the Hobbit into three films — its page length shorter than any of the books in the Lord of the Rings series which were also adapted into film by Jackson — might have piqued the interest of many of the book’s fans. Not only would Bilbo Baggins and his crew of dwarves get more screen time, it would also keep important plot points off the cutting room floor, which was a common complaint in the LoTR trilogy. After seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 48 frames per second, I can say with confidence that the decision wasn’t the best one, especially in Jackson’s hands. Where one two-hour movie might not have done this novel justice, Jackson’s frustrating penchant for incorporating too many shots of smiling characters, lingering too long on scenes, and an overabundance of sweeping wide shots — all these which add considerable length to a movie that needs some precise editing — creates a movie that drags, begs for emotion, and feels empty to its core.

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug PosterThe decision to split the Hobbit into three films — its page length shorter than any of the books in the Lord of the Rings series which were also adapted into film by director Peter Jackson — may have piqued the interest of many of the book’s fans who wanted more, more, more.

Not only would Bilbo Baggins and his crew of dwarves get more screen time, it would also keep important plot points from falling to the cutting room floor, which was a common complaint regarding the LoTR film trilogy.

After seeing The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 48 frames per second, I can say with confidence that I’d rather have one good movie than two mediocre films.

Where one two-hour movie might not have done this novel justice, Jackson’s frustrating penchant for incorporating too many shots of smiling characters, scenes that wear out their welcome by lingering too long, and an overabundance of sweeping wide shots go to the other extreme.

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