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Captain America: Civil War, the third and certainly not last superhero movie to be released in 2016, learned many valuable lessons from its predecessor, The Winter Soldier.

With a political thriller vibe and wonderfully frenetic action scenes, The Winter Soldier went from “oh yeah that Captain America sequel is coming out” to “this might just be the best thing to come from Marvel.”

It’s because The Winter Soldier gave you a little bit more than the lackluster plots and passable action scenes that superhero movies unfortunately get away with these days. Ant-Man carried a generic superhero origin story with equally generic characters, and it was a smashing success because audiences are satisfied with basic stories that they’re used to with some cool big budget action. The assembly line that Marvel has constructed keeps no movies from being bad, but few from being really great.

Filmmakers like Joss Whedon and James Gunn were able to break out as much as they could with the Avengers movies and Guardians of the Galaxy respectively, but neither comes close to how subtlety the brotherly directing duo of Joe and Anthony Russo and the writing duo of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely break the Marvel mold with The Winter Soldier and, now, Civil War.

Could you imagine if every Marvel movie had the “knock you on your ass” action and the thrilling stories that these two movies had? Actually, in that seemingly wonderful world, audiences probably wouldn’t complain so much that superheroes kill too many innocent people. So, in that unfortunate world, this movie wouldn’t exist. And that would be a tragedy.

Ever since the Man of Steel saved the day by slamming Zod into a few million people back in 2013, audiences have not stopped talking about how superheroes consistently kill an abundance of innocent people without a care in the world. DC addressed this issue with Batman v Superman a couple of months ago, and now it’s Marvel’s turn.

When Cap and his team of heroes “save the day” by taking out one bad guy at the cost of a slew of innocent lives, the nations of the world unite together to form the Sokovia Accords, named after the location that the Avengers largely and literally blew to hell during the finale of Age of Ultron. Upon signature, the superhero can not do any superheroing until the government deems their abilities necessary. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is game. So are fellow Avengers Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle).

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) believes that casualties are an unfortunate part of the job, and it’s best to continue fighting for the greater good. Plus, after seeing what Hydra was able to do to an organization like SHIELD, the Star-Spangled Man isn’t too keen on working under another government. With Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) still making noise, Cap refuses to stop, leaving Tony and friends to take action.

Yes, Captain America absolutely gets sidelined in his own movie. This is the third Avengers movie. There’s no doubt about that. Bucky plays a huge role and I’m sure Cap gets the most screen time if you add it up, but this is not Cap’s movie. It’s everyone’s. It’s a bummer that we didn’t get another standalone Captain America movie, but the material here is too strong for me to complain too much.

The fact that the writers were able to make a balanced movie with this absurd amount of superheroes – two of those are the first appearances of franchise carriers Black Panther and Spider-Man – is truly a miracle. The story never felt too overstuffed or lost underneath the clashing personalities.

The only element of the story that really fell between the cracks was the villain. His lame motivations aren’t revealed until the third act, and at that point there was so much else happening that I truly didn’t care. Another pathetic villain from Marvel…

..that at least has two dynamite franchises on its hands. Both Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man are straight fire. There’s no better way of putting it.

Boseman is a badass as Black Panther. Not only does the character have a really interesting backstory, but Boseman grounds the character in a way that makes the protector of Wakanda a really personable dude. Boseman has a cool character on his hands, and I’m dying to see him go off on his own adventure in Ryan Coogler’s upcoming film.

And to prepare you for all the people who will say Holland is the best Spider-Man, he really is great. Holland brings a much-needed levity to this movie when he comes in, and, even though the character doesn’t have much to do besides crack some jokes and kick some ass, this is a perfect set up for the 19-year-old’s franchise.

Captain America: Civil War may add fuel to the fire of “let’s jam as many characters into one movie,” “let’s have our heroes fight,” and “let’s make movies play the part of franchise starter,” but wow do I not care at all. This is an awesome movie. There’s plenty of slam-bang action to make fanboys explode with joy, and the writer’s back it up with a coherent plot. The villain sucks and Cap doesn’t get the attention he deserves from his own movie, but this is truly one of Marvel’s finest and an instant superhero classic. With the Russos and the writers replacing Whedon on Avengers movie duties, Marvel – and, more importantly, us – have a bright future ahead.

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  1. Bryan Weatherall

    May 7, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I agree with your review Petey, I saw this yesterday morning, it was a great film and they definitely got things right. Although Tobey is always going to probably be my favourite Spider-man this new one sure did well here, I’m looking forward to see how he turns out

    • Petey Oneto

      May 8, 2016 at 4:18 am

      I preferred Garfield’s jokester to Maguire’s overly-emotional Spidey, and Holland nails the playful innocence of the character while still feeling like an A+ ass-kicker. I don’t know how anybody can say he’s the best Spidey without seeing him carry his own movie, but I’m definitely excited to see Homecoming.

      • Bryan Weatherall

        May 8, 2016 at 1:39 pm

        For me I can never top the hype I had waiting when I was younger for the Raimi films, they were like the biggest things, even though new spider-man’s are coming and may be better, I think I’ll just always enjoy the old ones. But I did like this new spider-man, I’m looking forward to see how his film goes, hopefully it’s much better than Garfield’s second film haha

        • Petey Oneto

          May 9, 2016 at 7:49 am

          The Raimi movies will always have a special place in my heart. No matter how many spiders Marvel throws at me, I’ll always love Maguire. Here’s hoping Homecoming is good!

          • Bryan Weatherall

            May 9, 2016 at 7:26 pm

            Yeah, I completely agree 🙂

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Stuber Review

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Stuber Review

Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.

Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.

The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.

I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!

In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?

In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.

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The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019: Updated Chart

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Biggest Album Debuts of 2019

The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019 – Billboard has been publishing a list of the most popular albums in America every week since March 1956. They include the “equivalent album units” for the albums in the top ten. What’s not included is a way to view the biggest debuts for each year.

For anyone else who is curious, here is a chart that ranks the biggest album debuts of 2019.

NOTE:

  • This only covers first-week album sales in America that debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart
  • EPs are included in this list
  • “Equivalent album units” factor in traditional album sales, concert ticket/merch bundles and streaming numbers

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

ArtistAlbumFirst Week “Units”
Jonas BrothersHappiness Begins414,000
Ariana GrandeThank U, Next360,000
Billie EilishWhen We All Fall Asleep313,000
Backstreet BoysDNA234,000
BTSMap of the Soul: Persona230,000
KhalidFree Spirit202,000
Juice WRLD

Tyler, the Creator

Death Race for Love

Igor

165,000 (1) (2)
Vampire WeekendFather of the Bride138,000
DJ KhaledFather of Asahd137,000

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

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