Romano's Review: Captain America Civil War

Romano's Review: Captain America Civil War

Everything Wrong with the Marvel Universe
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The 2015 movie season is the most highly anticipated movie season since, and Captain America: Civil War may be the most highly anticipated movie of the summer. Both dedicated Marvel fans and casual movie goers are flocking to the cinema to see the critically appraised super power slug fest. Some have even scene it twice already (*cough cough*) totally not me. The movie is a critical success, and comic book expert, Kevin Smith, has gone so far as to call it the greatest comic book movie of all time, comparing it to the Dark Knight. The movie was definitely good, but to compare it to the Dark Knight is like comparing delicious chocolate chip cookies to a fiber one bar, its an okay snack but we all know which one is better. Therefore, I now present to you my review of Captain America: Civil War. There will be spoilers.

The Good

4. The fight scenes

As proven in the previous installment, the Russo brothers know how to direct action scenes. The action scenes in Civil War are excellent, they combine a plethora of gritty hand to hand combat that we have come to expect in a Captain America movie; however, there is also a ton of quality super-powered fights executed in a way that we haven't scene yet in the MCU. The action pieces are exciting and fast paced, as well as being very high-stakes by pitting our favorite characters against each other.

3. Black Panther

I was extremely skeptical about Black Panther, going into the film. He seemed like a second or third rate character, but I was absolutely proven wrong. Black Panther's story arc perfectly exemplifies the broader them of the movie. With the death of his father, he is pulled between the values of loyalty and morality, where he must decide whether to avenge his father's murder or allow for redemption. He ultimately decides to spare Zemo, and allow for himself to be free free of vengeance consuming his life. Something the other characters cannot do.

2. Character Development

If you couldn't tell from the promotional material, this story pits Captain America against Iron Man, who have a dispute over whether or not the government should regulate "enhanced" people's activities, because of the fall out from the previous movies. The reasoning for both sides is rock solid. The movie delves deep into the damaged character that is Tony Stark, and Robert Downey Jr. does a masterful job of portraying the emotions of loosing parents and being the cause of so many deaths. Chris Evans has always been the best casting for Steve Rodgers, and, once again, defines the character as being a rigid, moral and loyal friend. Marvel has traditionally been criticized for their movie villains, but this isn't the case. Daniel Bruhl is astounding as Baron Zemo, and something tells me he will be back.

1. Spider-Man

Tom Holland is absolutely amazing as Spider-Man, better than both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. This take on the character is the most accurate to the source material we have seen yet, and it is absolutely amazing. Holland is completely believable as a teenage kid from Queens with super powers. He's fun to watch and absolutely hilarious. The brief screen time made me excited for the upcoming Spiderman: Homecoming movie.

The Bad

3. Its all over the place

Team movies are the way superhero movies are going, but that is a slippery slope. If not done correctly these movies can be way overblown and choppy. This movie has over 12 superheroes and a villain, meaning that 13 characters are fighting for limited screen time. Add that to the over abundance of dialog among characters, and the jumps from city to city, this movie can easily become confusing. The audience barely has time to blink, let alone take a bathroom break, which is a big deal during a movie with a 2 hr 27 min run time.

2. It relies on knowledge of almost all of the past marvel movies

With the insane number of characters, there is not time to give a background on everyone. Also, with a jam-packed plot, there is no time to explain the background between Tony Stark and Steve Rodgers. Casual movie fans and new comers would have a very difficult time following the logic behind the two ideologies. They would not know some of the background heroes, like Hawkeye, Ant-man and especially War Machine. War Machine becoming a big problem since his injury is the emotional turning point of the movie. The script brought in characters from the Incredible Hulk, that I didn't even remember. A shared universe will always have this problem, but Civil War relies on the background knowledge more than any other movie

1. There are still no consequences

This is my number one problem with everything in the MCU. We have yet to see a movie that has had serious implications at the end. The two most prominent Avengers just battled for almost two and a half hours, and at the end they send each other a letter to make it all okay. The most shocking scene in the entire movie, when War Machine gets paralyzed, is gut wrenching, but ultimately gets fixed with some sophisticated Stark tech that helps him move his legs. The Marvel executives are so scared to end some things on a bad note that it begins to ruin the credibility and emotional pull to the bad things that happen during the movie. It isn't just this movie either. Coulson dies in the first movie, but don't worry he'll get a TV series. Loki dies in Thor: Dark World, but don't worry its just a trick to take over the throne. Even Nick Furry gets to come back to life after being absolutely riddled with bullets. Its unrealistic and disappointing to know that the entire emotional basis of a movie is manufactured to tie up nice so that we can all go home with a good feeling. Give us some depth or we aren't gonna buy into your plot.

Cover Image Credit: http://images-cdn.moviepilot.com/image/upload/c_fill,h_1080,w_1920/t_mp_quality/h20wkj2-iron-man-vs-captain-america-who-sides-with-who-in-marvel-s-civil-war-jpeg-151871.jpg

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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To Percy Jackson, I Hope You're Well...

Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus are both series which helped shape my life. I want to share my love for them here, with you.

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Two days before I moved from New Jersey to California, I had a late night at a friend's house. Just a few miles outside of my small town of Morris Plains, his house was out of the way and a safe haven for myself and my mother during a harrowing and strenuous move. My father had been across the country already for almost two months trying to hold down his new job and prove himself. His absence was trying on me (at the tender young age of nine years old) and my mother, and we often spent time at my friend's home, as our mothers got along well.

That night came the time to say goodbye for the very last time, and as our mothers were tearfully embracing at the door, he ran up to me and shoved a book in my hands. Bewildered and confused, I tried to give him my thanks but he was already gone - running away in a childish fit that expressed his hurt at my leaving more than any words he could've said. I looked down at the book in my hands. It was a battered copy of Rick Riordan's "The Lightning Thief," with its binding bulging slightly out in a strange fashion, the cover slightly torn and bent, and quite a few pages dog-eared. The book wasn't in good condition, but I took the time to read it. I was ensnared and enchanted by the lurid descriptions of mythology, of the lovable characters of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, and the upside-down world they lived in. Over the course of the move and our eventual settling into our new California home, I devoured the series adamantly, reading "The Battle of the Labyrinth" almost five times in the fifth grade and eventually finishing out with "The Last Olympian." The series accompanied me through a difficult move and a whirlwhind of early puberty; by that time, Percy and friends I knew intimately as my own companions. When the series ended, I happily parted with it, and began other literary conquests (namely in the realm of classics).

After an almost year-long break, I re-discovered the series in sixth grade. I hadn't realized that there was a companion series to the first, in fact, a continuation - The Heroes of Olympus. I lapped up "The Lost Hero" and "The Son of Neptune" with greed, and eagerly awaited the arrival of "The Mark of Athena" the following year.

One of my most vivid memories of middle school was sneaking downstairs the morning of the Kindle release of "The Mark of Athena", sneaking past my parents' bedroom as stealthily as I could in the wee hours of the morning to get my kindle and immerse myself in the world. I believe I finished it in about two days. For the next two books in the series, I followed the same pattern: get up early, read it as fast as I could get my hands on it. "The Blood of Olympus", the last book in the series, came out in my freshman year of high school. After finishing the second series, I shelved my much-loved paperbacks for good, and turned myself to other literary pursuits. I eventually relocated to Virginia, and went to college. Percy and friends were almost forgotten until my first year at the University of Virginia.

I was devastatingly alone my first semester at university. I didn't know what to do with myself, entombed by my loneliness. However, at the bottom of my suitcase, I found my old Kindle Paperwhite, with both of Percy's series neatly installed for me. I made a resolution with myself: I would reread both series, reading only at mealtimes where I sat alone. By the time I was finished, I wanted to see where I was compared to when I started.

Re-reading the series was like coming home. It was nostalgia, sadness, and ecstasy wrapped into one. I delighted in revisiting Percy's old haunts, his friends, his challenges. However, it was sad, knowing I had grown up and left them behind while they had stayed the same. It was a riveting memory train which made me look forward to meals, and eased my loneliness at school. Gradually, as the semester progressed, I was reading on Percy's tales less and less, as I found my friends, clubs, and organizations that gradually took up more and more time.

I still haven't finished my re-read, and am about halfway through "The Blood of Olympus". I've come a long way in the almost decade since I first received that tattered copy of "The Lightning Thief", and I still have some ways to go. So thanks, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Jason, Piper, Reyna, Nico, Frank, Hazel, Leo. Thank you for growing up with me. I'll never forget you.

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