Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Movie Review: Draft Day (PG13 – 109 minutes)

There are plenty of sports movies out there.  There are also plenty of “behind-the-scenes” sports movies out there.  Moneyball is the one I think of the most recently that was basically a movie about people talking about baseball, rather than a movie about baseball.

Draft Day is a movie about people talking about football, and a bit of a character study hidden inside that premise (just a little bit though, it's not nearly the Oscar movie that Moneyball was).  While that sounds a little boring, let me assure you, it’s far more entertaining than you think. 

Sonny Weaver Jr. is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns.  He lost his father a week ago, which seemed to take place sometime after Sonny had fired his father as coach of the Browns.  Draft Day takes place on draft day itself, which, in case you are not familiar, is the day when the NFL teams get to make their picks of the college players, and draft them up to the NFL.  There are all kinds of details involved in that process:  what number pick each team has, how much research they have done into what players they want, and the quality of the college players available.  I will not pretend to know much about that process.  But, let me see if I can sum it up like this – Each team in the NFL gets picks, and there are several rounds of picking.  So a team has a pick to make in each round – and they can trade those between themselves.  College players are judged by what round they are expected to go, and what number in that round.  That usually reflects the type of player they were, but not necessarily the player they will become.  For example, Aaron Rodgers was the 24th pick and went in the 1st round, Donald Driver was the 213th pick in the 7th round, Clay Matthews was the 26th pick and went in the 1st round, Eddie Lacy was the 61st pick and went in the 2nd round, Randall Cobb was the 64th pick in the 2nd round, Jordy Nelson was the 36th pick in the 2nd round, and John Kuhn was undrafted (yes, those are all Packers – I’m unashamedly biased). 

Sonny wakes up that morning, and we quickly find out that his girlfriend told him the night before that she is pregnant.  He seems unsure how to handle that, and we see him write himself a note – as she leaves for ‘her place’ before work – she’s the salary cap manager for the Browns.  On his way to work, Sonny gets a couple of phone calls – one from college defensive player Vontae Mack, who badly wants to play for the Browns, and is concerned about his place in the draft – one from Ray Jennings, who was a promising college player who just got in a fight, but wants to be a Brown because his father was – and a call from the GM of the Seattle Seahawks, who have the number one pick (which should be Bo Callahan, a quarterback from the University of Wisconsin).  Seattle has been doing some thinking – and they trade the number one pick to Sonny, but in return, he has to give them his next three first round picks over the next few years.  After that very confusing drive to work, he arrives at the office and has to deal with his secretly pregnant girlfriend/co-worker, the angry team owner, the team quarterback who gets upset when he thinks Sonny is picking a new quarterback, the new coach in from Dallas, his mother and ex-wife and his father’s ashes, various other GMs, and a brand new intern.  Over the course of the day, Sonny makes a decision about what to do with his number one pick, and how to build the team he wants to take forward.  Also – the payoff of the note he wrote himself at the beginning of the day is pretty wonderful.

This movie is directed by comedy genius Ivan Reitman, who is known for directing some pretty fantastic comedies over the years:  Meatballs (1979), Stripes (1981), Ghostbusters (1984), Legal Eagles (1986), Twins (1988), Ghostbusters II (1989), Kindergarten Cop (1990), Dave (1993), Junior (1994), Evolution (2001), My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006), No Strings Attached (2011).  In that list, chances are there’s at least one movie you love and several you like.  I will be adding this to the list of his movies that I loved.  It plays out beautifully over the course of one day, and the tense-ness of the day makes for great comedy and drama.  It’s tough to make a movie that’s all dialogue scenes interesting, but Reitman makes some fascinating choices with split-screens and movement.  It keeps the sequences where people are just sitting around talking still visually interesting.  I also really love the sweeping shots of the various cities as they are introduced, and then the shots of the stadiums.  I also really enjoyed the cast.
  • Kevin Costner plays Sonny – and it really is his movie.  He has a strong supporting cast, but really the action revolves around Sonny as he makes his way through this very difficult day.  Costner has been really good in many different things, and his quiet, understated personality plays perfectly in this as Sonny keeps trying to please everyone else around him, but finally decides to stay true to himself.  It’s also difficult to go with Costner in a football movie, since really he’s best in baseball movies.

  • Jennifer Garner plays Ali, the salary-cap manager that Sonny’s been having a secret relationship with.  Garner is great when she stays inside her box – which this role fits perfectly in.  She’s uptight and a little difficult, and you have to try not to think about the age difference between them.  It’s really only 15 years, she looks younger than she is, and he looks older.

  • Frank Langella plays the over-the-top owner of the Browns.  He gets to fly about on his private plane and cause trouble and get angry.  Incidentally, I’m pretty sure he played this same role in the movie Eddie with Whoopi Goldberg, back when they were dating.  You heard me right.

  • Denis Leary plays Denis Leary as the newly hired coach of the Browns.  They brought him in from the Dallas Cowboys, and he spends a great deal of time telling people how great he is, and the rest of his time arguing with Sonny, until (spoiler alert) he finally sees what Sonny’s ultimate plan is, and supports him.

  • Ellen Burstyn plays Sonny’s mother, Barb, and she gets a couple of feisty scenes with Costner.  It’s a little much to throw her storyline in on top of everything else he’s dealing with, but that’s exactly the point.

  • Tom Welling plays Cleveland’s returning quarterback Brian Drew.  He went down in the 5th game of the previous season, but has been working hard during the off season to win his place back and convince the team management to stick with him.  So, naturally, when he gets wind that they might be picking Bo Callahan, he gets angry.  Remember that one season of Smallville where Clark played quarterback?  Basically, this is more of that – in a good way.

  • Chadwick Boseman, who did a great job playing Jackie Robinson in 42 plays Vontae Mack.  He is perfect at giving you exactly what you expect on the surface, and then as the movie progresses, revealing more and more detailed layers of Vontae’s character.

  • Real-Life Houstan Texan player Arian Foster plays Ray Jennings, the promising young player who has to deal with the repercussions of getting into a fight just before draft day.  He has just a couple of scenes, but does really well with conveying the genuine desire to become a player.  It was also fun to see Terry Crews completely toned down as his father, a former Browns player. 

  • Josh Pence plays Bo Callahan as the stereotypical pampered college football quarterback success.  His job is mainly to sit there quietly and look pretty.

  • Sean Combs (yes, that Sean Combs) plays Bo Callahan’s super agent, and for the entire front half of the movie, just seems to be himself.  I did really love the scene he gets when (spoiler alert), Bo does not go as the number one pick, and has a bit of a tantrum.    The agent immediately goes after him, and Combs gets a pretty good scene to lecture him to get back in there and hide his disappointment, because teams won’t want a quarterback who panics.

  • Patrick St. Esprit plays the hard-nosed pancake-eating GM of the Seattle Seahawks who throws the first monkeywrench into Sonny’s day.  He’s determined and manipulative, but also has some pretty humorous parts.  It was fun to see Chi McBride with him in the majority of his scenes.
  • David Ramsey (from Arrow), Timothy Simons, and Wade Williams play some of the Browns behind the scenes men, helping do the research and on the players.  They are small parts, but they work well together, and they get some funny moments.  Also - Ramsey is only one reason you should be watching Arrow...there are others, but he's probably enough:

  • Griffin Newman plays the brand new intern Rick, who goes from having the worst day to the best day pretty quickly.  He really exists only as comedy relief, but he does a great job at it.
  • Wallace Langham plays another GM, Sam Elliott briefly shows up as the coach of Wisconsin, Kevin Dunn briefly plays the Browns representative at the draft itself, Rosanna Arquette plays the ex-wife, and Roger Goodell plays himself.

I am not sure how I would characterize the marketing of this movie, but it’s not doing a great job.  It’s gotten some harsh reviews, but I really loved it.  It’s simple, it’s quick, and it’s very enjoyable.  It’s not really about football, it’s about the people working in football.  It’s funny and touching, and I think you’ll like it.

8 out of 10.  Gained points for Tom Welling – really I could stop there - was I the only one who wanted his confrontation with Costner to end with him telling Costner he was a terrible Jonathan Kent?  I am?  That's fine.  Lost points for the other GMs preying on Sonny during his moment of weakness (“fleece him.”)  Gained points for David Ramsey.  Gained points for the cool split-screens, gained points for the tense moments during the draft itself, are those last minute trades for real?   Yikes.

Bonus Video 1:  Eddie – a fun piece of nonsense with Whoopi Goldberg and Frank Langella

Bonus Video 2:  Field of Dreams – have you not seen this?  Have you forgotten about this?  Go see it again.
Bonus Video 3:  Smallville football fun - this is over a decade old now.

Bonus Video 4:  Cast Interviews:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (R – 100 minutes)

Wes Anderson has a very distinctive style, and if you are a fan of his work, you’ll love the newest one.  However, I think that more so with this movie than with previous movies, even if you’re not a fan of his, or not familiar with his previous work, you’ll like this one.   It’s got a little wider appeal than some of his previous pieces, but I feel like each individual movie is doing that more and more.  I would have said that Moonrise Kingdom was his widest appealing movie to date.  Now I will say that The Grand Budapest Hotel is his widest appealing movie to date.

Previous Wes Anderson movies include Rushmore, The Royal Tanenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (my favorite), The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the Darjeeling Unlimited, and Moonrise Kingdom.  His style is very still, with an incredible focus on set design and shot-set-up.  Each scene looks like a painting, and everything is relatively still inside of it.  This allows the actors to shine, and the writing to be appreciated – they almost feel like plays instead of movies. 

In The Grand Budapest Hotel, we open on a writer, talking directly to us, about a story he heard from a man years ago.  We then get the flashback to the writer as a younger man, being told a story by an old man, and inside that flashback, we get another flashback to the storyteller as a young man working as a lobby boy in the Grand Budapest Hotel, which is situated in a fictional country that borders two other fictional countries about to have a fictional war.  Zero Moustafa, the storyteller, tells how he met M. Gustave, the very best concierge, how he learned the hotel business, and how they had an incredible adventure. 

M. Gustave treats all his guests with love and respect, especially older ladies of a certain type.  One of them suddenly dies, and Gustave and Zero head to her mansion for the reading of her will in front of her wicked son and daughters and other questionable family members.  The will leaves Gustave a priceless painting, which Dmitri, her son, is reluctant to part with.  Gustave and Zero take the painting and leave, as the butler is trying to tell him something, and instead – slips an item in with the painting.  They head back to the hotel, and eventually, Gustave is arrested for her murder, and Zero helps him break out of prison, while an associate of the son of the old lady is chasing down leads to find the missing document, which the lawyer determined was missing.  Gustave and Zero, and Zero’s baker love Agatha, eventually find the document – a second will – which of course leaves everything to Gustave. 

If that sounds confusing, you’re right – if it also sounds like it has amazing potential for quirky comedy, you’re right again.  Part of the genius of Wes Anderson is that he tends to work over and over with the same cast of actors – something that makes a huge difference, because these people really know how to work in his world, and give his quirky characters just the right feel.   
  • Tom Wilkinson plays the older version of the writer, which is played as the younger version by Jude Law.  Neither of them have a ton of things to do, mainly just listen to the story.  But Law does get a few scenes wandering through the near empty hotel before sitting down to listen to the tale.  And Wilkinson gets to yell at a random child.

  • F. Murray Abraham plays the older version of Zero – Mr. Moustafa, who sadly gets to relate the story of his best friend and mentor.  He’s wonderful, but I still think of him as Salieri.

  • Tony Revolori plays the young Zero, and this is his first major role, and he does a great job.  He’s from California, but of Guatemalan descent, none of which matters, because his performance in this movie is perfect.  He is somber and eager, and his friendship with Gustave is touching and genuine.  I also enjoyed his near flat performance as they embark on their adventure.

  • The movie really does belong to Ralph Fiennes as Gustave, and he owns it.  It’s been a long time since I saw a movie that he was starring in, I feel like lately he’s been more of a supporting player.  He gives Gustave such a genuine passion for his job, and passion for those around him that he immediately becomes a likeable character and wins the audience over completely.  He also does a great job of reading some terrible poetry. 

  • Matheiu Amalric plays Serge, the missing butler.  He has very little to do except look very worried all the time, and set up an insane meeting between himself and Gustave and Zero while he’s in hiding.
  • Adrien Brody plays the son, Dmitri, and everything about the performance, including the wardrobe, reeks of old-fashioned evil.  I wish he twirled his mustache.  He’s really fantastic in this.

  • Willem Dafoe is even better.  He plays the son’s associate, Jopling, who hunts down leads to try to find the missing document.  I’m not sure what was up with his outfit, or teeth for that matter, but he was particularly menacing in this – and that’s really something for a guy who is always menacing.
  • Jeff Goldblum plays the lawyer who has to sift through all the documents to see that one is missing.  He’s as wonderful as he always is, and Wes Anderson movies really suit him.  Okay, they suit everyone in them, but Goldblum in particular seems to fit this world.

  • Harvey Keitel plays a fellow prisoner once Gustave is locked up.  He helps coordinate the escape, and is covered with some terrible fake tattoos on purpose.  Also – I feel like I’m watching too much Face Off on SyFy, because I feel like that bald cap was poorly done, unless of course, that was just his head – and in that case – his head skin is weird.

  • Saoirse Ronan plays Agatha, the baker with a birthmark the shape of Mexico on her face.  Her romance with Zero is very sweet, and her assistance in the final epic conclusion is very entertaining.

  • Edward Norton plays the officer who is on the trail of Gustave once he gets blamed with the murder of the old lady, and then with tracking him down once he escapes prison. 

  • Jason Schwartzman had to be in this, and plays the concierge of the Grand Budapest during its slow decline as the writer is hearing the tale from the older Zero. 

  • Tilda Swinton under huge amounts of makeup plays the old lady, Madame D.  She’s barely in it, but she’s appropriately hilarious when around.

  • When Gustave calls for help – he contacts the “Society of Crossed Keys”, which is apparently a secret society of concierge’s at all the big time hotels in the area.  These include Bill Murray, Bob Balaban, Fisher  Stevens, Wallace Wolodarsky, Owen Wilson and Waris Ahluwalia.  Each of them has a very brief scene in which they call another member to come in and assist.

The movie is charming and sweet, but also very funny and touching.  There are several moments that are surprising.  I particularly enjoyed the escape from the mountaintop monastery, in which Zero and Gustave escape on a sled, down a ski slope, then a ski jump, then a bobsled track.  It’s random and beautiful, and might just be my new favorite Wes Anderson movie.

8 out of 10 – Gained points for the sled bit, Lost points for Goldblum’s fingers bit, gained points for Zero insisting that Agatha take the note with the location of the painting (“you may need a magnifying glass”), lost points for the cakes shaped like tools that she sneaks into the prison – although, probably gained points for that too – it’s cute.

Bonus Video 1:  Moonrise Kingdom, check it out - if you haven't.

Bonus Video 2:  So far the only thing that I’ve seen with Adrien Brody attempting to not be an indie darling, Predators, in which he attempts to be an action leading man.  Not a bad attempt, but Topher Grace steals this movie from him.

Bonus Video 3:  Cast Interviews:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Movie Review: Captain America, the Winter Soldier (PG14 – 136 minutes)

Captain America first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1941 to help America fight Nazis.  Steve Rogers was an extremely patriotic American who wanted to serve his country and help fight in the War.  He was too small, too sickly, and too weak to be accepted into the army, but due to the quality of his character, he was accepted into a new experimental program that gave him a “super soldier” formula, making him bigger, and super strong.  He then helped fight the Red Skull during WWII.  It’s a simple origin story, with very clear goals, and it’s also why Cap lost favor later – it was an outdated story, and people couldn’t quite relate to him.  When Marvel brought him back, after being frozen – it allowed them to cover many “fish out of water” stories, and make Cap a man lost in time, dealing with losing everyone and everything he knew and loved.  This origin story was expertly covered by Joe Johnston in Captain America: The First Avenger. 

Incidentally, it’s also covered beautifully in Marvel’s two animated Ultimate Avengers movies, and even more so on the Marvel – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes animated series – now streaming on Netflix (get on it!).  Here's Cap being awesome with Spiderman.

In this post-Avengers Captain America movie, Cap is hanging out in Washington D.C. – working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and keeping a list of pop culture things he missed and wants to catch up on (“Star Wars/Trek”  “Rocky (Rocky II?)”).  

He meets Sam Wilson (who first appeared in Marvel comics in 1969), and in him finds a friend outside of ‘work’.  
He and Black Widow (first Marvel appearance, 1964 – and where is Hawkeye?  Somewhere else, on some other mission?) are going about different jobs, and this movie opens with an assignment to re-take a ship that has been taken over by pirates.  The pirates are led by Batroc (“zee leaper!” – first appeared in Marvel comics in 1966).  Cap and the elite team led by Brock Rumlow take back the ship, and Cap realizes that Widow had a separate mission.  This upsets him enough that he confronts Director Nick Fury (Marvel first appearance 1963 – the ultimate version was 2001).  

Fury lets him know that there are all kinds of things they are working on that Cap is not aware of (clearance levels and all – turns out Fury is a level 10 agent, Cap is a level 8 agent),  including Project Insight, which will launch three majorly weaponized helicarriers that can take out multiple targets at once.  Cap (being mostly a big time boy scout) doesn’t like the sound of that, and begins to question what’s happening.  In the meantime, Fury analyzes the information Widow brought back, and begins to doubt Insight – and asks his boss, Secretary Alexander Pierce (first appearance in Marvel comics was 1988) to put the project on hold.  Shortly after making that request, Fury is attacked, hides out in Cap’s apartment; then is basically assassinated as Cap takes off after the shooter – who is revealed to be the Winter Soldier (first comic appearance, 2005). 
Fury had told Cap not to trust anyone, so he tries not to, but ends up trusting Widow to help him figure out what is going on.  They discover something hidden at the old army base where Steve was first trained…it’s difficult to explain further without spoilers, so I’ll just stop here, because seriously, you need to see this movie.  Let me sum up by saying Cap and Widow get help from Sam to … well, solve the problem – sort of.

The first movie was beautifully done, and wonderfully shot, playing up the 40s-ness of it, and the development of Steve Rogers into Captain America.  The Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe) have directed episodes of Community (Danny Pudi pops up in this movie), Happy Endings, and Arrested Development, so I knew they could handle quick dialogue and snappy one-liners.  What surprised me is how fantastic the action is.  The hand to hand combat sequences in this movie are amazing, and the first sequence on the ship literally had me holding my breath.  They have been very clear that they wanted a more political-thriller aspect to this movie than with previous Marvel movies, and they have certainly accomplished that.  Everyone in the movie settles into their characters with spectacular ease.

  • The more Chris Evans suits up as Cap, the better he gets at it.  I was one of those people who wasn’t sure he could play Steve Rogers, especially after seeing how wonderful he was as Johnny Storm (that movie got a lot wrong, but he was one of the things it got right).  He feels completely natural as Captain America – and you completely understand where he’s coming from with trying to learn about the current world, and confused by the layers of subterfuge at hand.  He looks amazing, and there was one scene where he certainly could have pulled a Thor-like gratuitous shirtless scene, however, Steve Rogers wouldn’t do that.  Darn it.

  • Samuel L. Jackson plays Nick Fury, and just in case you haven’t heard this story – Sam has been a comics fan all his life, especially Marvel.  He was in a comic shop in 2001 to pick up some new editions and saw his face on the Ultimate Avengers book, Marvel had decided to base the new look of Nick Fury on him.  He was immediately thrilled, because he knew he would get to play him in upcoming movies.  He gets way more action in this one, and he’s fantastic – I’m not sure he’s doing much more than just being Sam Jackson, but that is exactly what we want, and exactly what is needed.  I especially love his eye patch flip-up moment in this one.

  • Scarlett Johansson plays Black Widow; she continues to have amazing action sequences, and gets to push the limits of Widow’s tightly arranged emotional box.  I was never sure I liked the casting of her in this role, but she was great in this movie.

  • Robert Redford (yes – Robert Redford) plays Alexander Pierce, and honestly, I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t seen him in a while, or because I was never all that familiar with him, but I was struck by how good he is in this movie.  He’s just perfect in the role, and really believable.  Also – there’s a scene where he backhands the hell out of somebody, and I found that really entertaining.

  • Sebastian Stan played Bucky Barnes in the first Captain America – so he continues to play him in this Captain America movie – which is awesome.  He does an amazing job of being completely re-programmed, brainwashed, and really threatening.  I cannot wait to see what the next step is for him.  Oh – spoiler alert, Bucky is the Winter Soldier.  That was never made a secret, and if you know anything about the comic story line, it’s not a surprise to you.  Also – the arm looks great.

  • Anthony Mackie plays Falcon, who I was thrilled to finally see on screen.  He’s always been a great character, with a really loud outfit.  
    I’m good with the super-slick costume update they gave him.  Incidentally, Falcon was the first African-American leading super-hero; he was three years after Black Panther – but T’Challa is from the African nation of Wakanda.   Falcon pre-dated Luke Cage by three years, Blade by 4 years, and Storm by six years.  Mackie is another huge fan who apparently kept calling and calling Marvel hoping to be in the movies – they finally told him to stop calling and they would call him.  They did, and everyone should be thrilled they did.  He’s perfect as a semi-retired para-rescue military officer now working at the V.A.  He’s also fantastic in the action sequences, especially all the flying parts, and the hand to hand parts.  The opening scene with the jogging around D.C. is really entertaining (“On Your LEFT!”).  Mackie is wonderful in everything he does, and if you haven’t seen the Adjustment Bureau – check it out.

  • Cobie Smulders reprises her role of Maria Hill from the Avengers.  She first appeared in Marvel comics in 2005, and occasionally runs SHIELD if Fury is out of commission.  Smulders gets a little more to do in this movie, and really does a good job of portraying Hill’s ability to keep cool under crazy pressure.

  • Frank Grillo plays Brock Rumlow  - who is the Marvel character of Crossbones (first appearance:  1989), that’s why they kept focusing on his outfit, and the crossed straps in the front, in case you couldn’t figure that out.  I suppose if you know who Crossbones is – you’re not surprised when Rumlow turns out to be a bad guy – but if you’re not aware of that history, then it’s quite a shock when he turns on Cap, since they’ve been working together so well.  Grillo is great in this, and has an action star name, so I’m hoping we’ll see more of him?

  • MMA champion Georges St. Pierre plays Batroc the leaper - he has hair in this!  In the comics, he was a French Foreign Legion member known for his excellent fighting skills.  In this movie, he’s a pirate, known for his excellent fighting skills – wearing an outfit that evokes memories of his outfit in the comics.  St. Pierre was the perfect choice for this, and his hand to hand battle with Cap is astounding.

  • Emily VanCamp takes a pause from her near-constant search for Revenge to play Agent 13, or Sharon Carter who first appeared in Marvel comics in 1966.  What you don’t get to find out in this movie is that her last name is Carter because she’s the niece of Peggy Carter (founding member of SHIELD, and Cap’s lady friend from the first movie).  She basically is portrayed as a trustworthy SHIELD agent, so I hope that gets further developed in more movies.  She does a good job, in the few scenes that she had.

  • Maxmiliano Hernandez reprises his role of Agent Sitwell from Agents of SHIELD, as well as the Marvel One-Shot movies.  He’s in places he shouldn’t be, and may or may not be doing things he shouldn’t be doing – hey! Gary Shandling!

  • Toby Jones plays Armin Zola who first appeared in Marvel comics in 1977 – They update him in a very interesting way, that I can’t really say too much about, but it’s really cool – and a little scary.
I don’t need to tell you this, but be sure to stay seated all the way through the credits.  There is a post main credits sequence directed by Joss Whedon that introduces Thomas Kretschmann as Baron Strucker (Marvel First Appearance:  1964).  Technically – with his appearance in Blade 2 – this counts as his second Marvel movie.  He introduces the twins, and if you’re not aware of who they are, I will let you do your own research.  But with the pieces of the universe that Fox still owns (X-Men), it will be interesting to see how Marvel/Disney can explain/describe the twins next summer. 

The movie is fantastic – it’s surely one of the best Marvel Movies to date, and probably the one with the best story to this point.  It also has some of the best action I’ve seen.  Even if you’re not into superheroes (what’s wrong with you?), it’s a great action movie, and chances are you will really enjoy it.  There are two things I would have added: 
One would have been the introduction of Captain Carol Danvers somewhere (I would cast Katee Sackoff in that role) so that we could get an awesome Captain Marvel movie eventually (yes, Captain Marvel, the hell with the Ms.). 

Two, I would have added a post-credits sequence where Fury looks the way he does at the end of the movie, and is sitting on a park bench, pretending to be homeless, saying, “Spare change?” to passerbys.   I’d like him to say it to one handsome young man (played by Aldis Hodge), who would say no, and then Fury would say, “How about any spare Vibranium?”  The man would turn back around, Fury would say, “I need your help, you highness.” And Bam – roll that into a Black Panther movie in which Fury goes to Wakanda in the midst of a battle between the Gorilla and Panther clans to get more Vibranium, during which T’Chaka (played by Wesley Snipes) is killed, and T’Challa (again – Aldis Hodge) becomes king and the Black Panther.  Get on that, Marvel.

10 of 10.  Yep – I loved it.  To be fair, the Avengers got an 11 out of 10 – so it’s not better than the Avengers, but it’s the best thing I’ve seen this year, and it’s really fantastic!  Go see it – you may not need the 3D, but it was really cool in 3D.
Bonus Video 1:  Ultimate Avengers 1 – so good.

Bonus Video 2:  Not Another Teen Movie – Chris Evans = really funny.

Bonus Video 3:  Cast Interviews