Posts Tagged ‘Caped Crusader’


Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 2.20.21 PMRichard and CP24 anchor George Lagogianes do a refresher on “Captain America: Civil War” and then talk about the weekend’s big releases,the George Clooney – Julia Roberts thriller “Money Monster” and the lusty and lurid “A Bigger Splash.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 1.42.28 PMWelcome to the House of Crouse. Occasionally an image seen on line or in a magazine will burn itself into your brain. HoC guest George Zimbel has taken his share of memorable photographs but his 1954 snap of Marilyn Monroe, standing on a subway grate, skirt flying up around her waist is not only one of those memorable pictures, it’s one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Listen in and find out the story behind the photo. Also stopping by for a chin wag is Emily VanCamp, co-star of Captain America: Civil War. Find out who she supports, Iron Man or her love interest Captain America. The answer may surprise you!

Metro: Emily VanCamp talks about playing Captain America’s love interest

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.19.27 PMBy Richard Crouse – Metro In Focus

There’s trouble in Avengers Land.

Like the recent Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which saw the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel go head-to-head in a showdown over how best to police the world, Captain America: Civil War sees the Avengers go mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano (there’s a lot of them) in an effort to settle their differences.

As anyone who has seen the Avengers movies knows, the superhero team have caused havoc all over the world, blowing things up dropping buildings on people, all in the name of law and order. It’s been a wild ride but after a rescue mission leaves 11 innocent people dead the United Nations decides it’s time to rein them in.

The proposed restrictions divide the group. Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) wants more oversight while Captain America (Chris Evans) refuses to compromise.

Watching from the sidelines is Sharon Carter, ex-S.H.I.E.L.D field agent and love interest of Captain America. Played by Port Perry, Ont., native Emily VanCamp, the character is firmly onside with her superhero suitor.

“It’s an interesting debate,” she says, “because there is no real right or wrong at any given moment. It is difficult to take sides. I know where my character stands. I understand that. Because I play her, I get it but at the same time, as Emily, I really do feel it would make much more sense to be on Iron Man’s side. That’s what makes it interesting.  You think you’re going to go into it with a very clear vision of whose side you’re on but you don’t leave feeling that way.”

With two Captain America films under her belt VanCamp is part of the Marvel Universe. That means she has a whole new group of fans with ideas about her character.

“The fans are incredibly invested,” she says. “There are a lot of people with very specific ideas of who they want to see with Steve (aka. Captain America) and sometimes Sharon is not that person. I certainly hear about that. You have to admire how invested people are, whether they’re on your side or not. You have to respect it. I just have to do the best job I can do as Sharon and create the best version of the character and not take some of it personally. You hope, for the most part, the fans are happy.”

The 29-year-old actress began performing in dance class when she was just three years old.

“There were a lot of us in my family so it was a way to tire us out,” she laughs. “It was an outlet to run around which then turned into more serious dance training.”

Those lessons came in handy while shooting one of Civil War’s wild fight scenes. “Dancing teaches you to be connected with your body,” she says.

“We had to shoot the scene in Civil War where Sharon and Black Widow take on Bucky, quite fast. We didn’t practice it.  They were running behind that day and they shot the reaction to getting slammed on the table the next morning but all of the fight stuff was in an hour-and-a-half. I don’t think I would have been able to do that unless I had some formal training in dance.”


CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR: 4 STARS. “Why can’t you superheroes just get along?”

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 3.18.46 PMWhy can’t you superheroes just get along? Like the recent “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” which saw the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel go head-to-head in a showdown over how best to police the world, “Captain America: Civil War” sees the Avengers go mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano e’ mano (there’s a lot of them) in an effort to settle their differences.

Thankfully this isn’t a repeat of the Zack Snyder film. While the themes may be similar to “B v S” the Russo Brothers (Anthony and Joe) achieve a much different result. There’s humour, a story that more or less makes sense and lots of surprises.

As anyone who has seen the other Avengers movies knows the superhero team have caused havoc all over the world, blowing things up dropping buildings on people, all in the name of law and order. It’s been a wild ride but after a debacle in Lagos leaves eleven innocent people dead the United Nations decides it’s time to rein them in.

“While a great many people see you was heroes,” says Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt), “there are those who would use the word vigilante.”

Captain America (Chris Evans), Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark (Robert Downey Jr), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are asked to sign a document that would limit their autonomy, requiring a U.N. okily-dokily before they can spring into action. The restrictions divide the group. Stark wants more oversight. “With no limits we’re no better than the bad guys,” he says. Captain America refuses to compromise. “If we sign this,” he says, “we lose our right to choose where and when we fight.”

Complicating matters is Cappy’s old pal Bucky Barnes a.k.a. Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). When he’s not under the influence of HYDRA’s mind-control he’s a good guy, but when he is exposed to a series of code words he turns into a Manchurian Candidate style super-duper high tech killing machine. When Winter Soldier is accused of a terrible crime Captain’s loyalty to his friend that drives a wedge between him and Iron Man. As The Avengers self-destruct a mysterious figure (Daniel Brühl) watches from the sidelines.

In some ways “Captain America: Civil War” feels like an echo of “Batman v. Superman.” The difference is a matter of tone. The films share many of the same ideas about responsibility and culpability but whereas “B v. S” was a dark soul-searching affair, “Captain America: Civil War” opts for a cleaner, simpler approach. Minus the ponderosity of Snyder’s film, the Marvel movie manages to make its point in a more concise and interesting way. It’s not exactly a case of less is more—“Civil War” is almost two-and-a-half-hours long and is a Superhero-A-Rama with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Antman (Paul Rudd) Spider-Man (Tom Holland) joining all the usual suspects—but there is an easy elegance to a line like, “Victory at the expense of the innocent is no victory at all,” missing from “B v. S.”

Better yet, “Civil War” finally finds a recipe for juggling its characters. “Age Of Ultron” featured more stars than there are in the heavens and I left the theatre feeling as though I had just left a kindergarten Christmas pageant where they have to give a part to everyone in class so no one feels left out. The Russo Brothers de-clutter, but still manage the sprawling cast effectively, giving each of them a moment or two in the spotlight and more importantly, a reason to be in the spotlight. Extended cameos from Spider-Man and Ant-man are woven into the fabric of the story, bringing some fun with them while Black Panther is set up to be an interesting recurring character.

Of the regulars Robert Downey Jr holds sway, although his Tony Stark is more subdued than usual. The wisecracks are still there, but there’s fewer than usual. Perhaps it has something to do with spending much of the movie fighting with Captain America. Much humour comes from the other characters. There’s something sublimely ridiculous about superheroes complaining about everyday things. “Can you move your seat up?”

“Captain America: Civil War” delivers. It provides all the high-flying action you expect from a summer superhero blockbuster but also delivers a thought provoking look at the nature of power, loyalty and yes, even the practicality of wedging three superheroes into a Volkswagen.


imagesIn my review of the first installment of the revived Caped Crusader franchise I wrote, “I went in to Batman Begins expecting a lot and left wanting less—less psychological babble, a lesser running time and less of Liam Neeson’s ridiculously wispy goatee.” For the new episode, The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan has kept most of the stuff that bugged me about the first movie (except for the wispy goatee part, which is, thankfully, is no where to be seen) but has, this time around, created a tour-de-force that left me running for my thesaurus to find new words for awesome.

Its two-and-a-half running time makes it the longest of the summer blockbusters but, unlike Get Smart or Sex and the City, there isn’t a wasted second or extraneous scene. The film takes off like a turbo charged Batmobile, opening with an exciting bank heist, and doesn’t let up until the end credits.

Following the robbery, in which $68 million dollars of the mob’s money is stolen, the triumvirate of Batman (Christian Bale), Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldham) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart) take a broom to the streets of Gotham in an effort to, once and for all, put an end to crime in their city. After mass arrests the crime fighting trio comes up against their greatest foe yet, The Joker (Heath Ledger), a psychopath with a sinister scar in place of a smile, who forces Batman and Dent to push the boundaries of their professional crime fighting ethics.

Since 9/11 the world has spent a great deal of time pondering good and evil, and so does The Dark Knight. It is the first true, post 9/11 superhero movie; one that looks at the use of chaos as a tool of terrorism while exploring the paper thin line between good and evil.

Dispensing with the jocularity of Iron Man, the CGI action of The Incredible Hulk and Hancock’s sense of irony, The Dark Knight is a serious film with a positively Shakespearean exploration of the ethics of good and evil that raises timely questions in these unsettled times. Mainly, to what lengths can heroes go as they fight crime before they stop being heroes and become vigilantes? When is it OK to break the rules to stop evil? Batman and Dent grapple with these questions (more than, say, Rumsfeld or Bush ever did) as the Joker pushes them closer to the edge of their moral boundaries.

The Joker’s biggest question is one for the ages. Can bad guys exist without the good guys?

“I don’t want to kill you,” the Joker tells Batman, by way of an answer. “You complete me.”

But don’t get the idea that The Dark Knight is only a treatise on the nature of villainy. It is that, but the ideas about good and evil are wrapped around a popcorn movie that is packed with great action, thrills and good performances.

Christian Bale fills out the Batsuit better this time around, skillfully portraying the moral tug of war the character plays with his conscience while ably pulling off Batman’s outrageous feats of physical prowess. Bale may be the only contemporary actor who can convincingly pull off ennui one second and then pilot a supercharged motorcycle up the side of a building the next.

New franchise addition Maggie Gyllenhaal, stepping in for Katie Holmes, brings a feistiness to the character of Bruce Wayne’s oldest friend and soul mate Rachel Dawes. Aaron Eckhart in a dual role does a nice job of playing the transformation from the virtuous DA Dent to the twisted morality of the considerably creepier Harvey-Two Face. Old pros Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, as Bruce Wayne’s trusted butler and equipment designer respectively, round out the cast, both handing in effortless performances.

Of course the cast member everyone wants to see is Heath Ledger as the Joker in his last completed performance. I always felt Batman Begins was marred by the lack of a great villain, but this time around the inclusion of Ledger’s Joker guarantees on-screen fireworks for The Dark Knight.

Whereas Jack Nicholson’s Joker was a pop culture icon for the prosperous 80s and 90s, Ledger’s Joker is a super villain for the new millennium; a terrorist, more interested in creating chaos than in anything else.

He’s a disfigured bad man—“What doesn’t kill you only makes you stranger,” he says—who when he isn’t killing people—his preferred weapon is a knife because it’s up-close-and personal—keeps busy creating elaborate schemes to test the moral fiber of the men who want to put him behind bars. Ledger strips the character of Nicholson’s cartoon persona, re-imagining him as a fiendish lunatic. From the slash of red lipstick where his mouth should be to the caked white make-up that obscures his face Ledger’s Joker is an unhinged creation that will likely inspire nightmares. It’s a bravura performance that sees the late actor working at the top of his game as he creates the definitive version of the character (sorry to any Cesar Romero fans who may disagree).

The Dark Knight is a rare beast. It’s a summer blockbuster with equal parts brain and brawn.