Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Flicky Flicks Round 3

Oops! I think after a strong and enthusiastic start from the six of us who collectively comprise Team Flicky, our film-watching exploits known as Flicky Flicks kind of went off the rails a bit. We were supposed to be doing a round per month, which might in retrospect have been a bit ambitious since we all have families and full-time jobs and all that, but it has been over a year since we started this round. Oh dear :(

Nonetheless, we are still kind of puffing along and this third round - the theme for which was sequels - was pretty much concluded just before Christmas for most of us (although it looks as though Dave (Grumpy McUnt) has now bowed out), but it has taken me this long to write my mini-reviews for each film. Oops again! Anyway, here are the films we chose - the winner will as always be revealed at the end!

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola Starring: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Talia Shire, Morgana King, John Cazale, Marianna Hill, Lee Strasberg

Nominated By: Liam Running Time: 200 Minutes

Following the violent conclusion to the acclaimed original film, this sequel picks up soon afterwards with Michael Corleone (Pacino) now firmly in place as head of the crime family bearing his name, but his life is becoming complicated, with an attempt made on his life and problems with new business arrangements in Cuba, while back home he is facing a government investigation into his family and related business dealings. As this is going on, a series of flashbacks shows how his father (De Niro) rose to power upon his arrival in the U.S. around 40 years earlier...

Chip (viewing beverage: gin & pineapple cocktails): The Godfather trilogy is one of those things I just never got around to. I don't think there are many classic film gaps in my viewing history, but this has always been a glaring omission. (I've never watched the Sopranos either, could be related...) With this in mind, a nomination of the middle movie seemed the perfect time to rectify the situation. Turns out my partner loves the films, so we sat down Sunday to marathon the three films. Well, we managed the first two, turns out they're almost Kubrickian in length. I'll have to watch the conclusion some other time. I can say I enjoyed both movies, it's interesting how many of the set pieces and elements of dialogue have made it into pop culture. I pretty much felt like I had seen it all before anyway. Focusing on the second film for this review, I did find the pacing to be a bit odd. Also a couple of times when it was leaping between the past and present, it took me a few minutes to figure out what I was watching. Perhaps that was just me not paying enough attention. Also there are a few occasions where it shows someone 'disrespecting' the Corleone family, and you think "they're going to regret that", but the film takes so long for the payback that I found I'd stopped caring. It's probably supposed to make a statement like 'the mob never forgets' but since you know it's coming the delay just feels drawn out and makes a long film feel even longer. The acting performances are stellar, and the film deservedly iconic. I found the score grated, but that's more the fault of 1 million beer adverts than this movie's. I think I've done the Godfather a disservice by leaving it so long to watch it, and expect the Don will be popping round to sort me out. It's 6 Mafiosos out of 10 for me

Randar: I first saw this film and its prequel when they were released on DVD - I'm not sure why I was so late in viewing them but I enjoyed the first film a great deal. It was immediately clear why it was so well regarded and I had high hopes for part two (which was supposedly the first ever film to be a numbered sequel). I remember feeling that it was less well structured and even a bit confusing the first I saw it though, and I kind of lost track of the plot at some points. Well, the parts set in the 'present day' anyway, which definitely aren't as captivating as those in the first film. Nor as they as good as the flashback scenes which are really what elevate this sequel. I'm not sure how much of a likeness De Niro is for a young Brando but the scenes really are great and easily the parts I was most looking forward to when revisiting the film for this round of Flicky Flicks. Even without them, Godfather Part II would be a good film - it's hard to fault the performances or production values and there are some all-time great, iconic scenes - but with them it's great. Even if I didn't quite enjoy it as much as the first film, it's still a historic film and a must watch for any filmophile... 8/10

Liam (formerly Hipster Ben): Michael takes over his father's empire built on respect and love, but it becomes one of paranoia. "I don't have to kill everyone, just my enemies." It's a long film, depressingly atmospheric driven by the soundtrack. It's a heavy tale, Vito's flashbacks being my favourite parts. I almost feel like I'd have preferred those just to be the film itself. I didn't enjoy it as much as the first time I watched it some 15 years ago, but the performances are brilliant. In particular Al Pacino. 9/10

Not watched by Grumpy McUnt or Neptune King of the Sea. Watched by Pinbot but no review...

Max Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
Director: George Miller Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Emil Minty, Michael Preston, Virginia Hey, Kjell Nilsson, Max Phipps, Arkie Whiteley

Nominated By: Pinbot Running Time: 96 Minutes

Since losing his family to a violent motorcycle gang in the first film, former highway patrol officer Max now roams the post-apocalyptic wilderness with his dog and shotgun in his black supercharged V-8 Pursuit Special, scavenging for supplies. After enlisting the services of a gyrocopter pilot who informs Max of a nearby oil refinery with a plentiful supply of precious fuel, he decides to help them when he witnesses the regular harassment they receive at the hands of a psychotic gang of racers and bikers led by the masked 'Lord Humungus'...

Pinbot: This was one of my favourite films as a kid, when I sneakily saw it at a mate’s house. I was always disappointed that my dad’s maroon Vauxhall Cavalier estate wasn't the Pursuit Special and the grey streets of ‘80s Sheffield were not quite as dangerous and stark as the post-apocalyptic wasteland. It's an unashamed B-Movie and yet the sets, costumes, make up, practical special effects and stunts are cool and still have a lot of charm. The plot is wafer thin and the dialogue is minimal but this film is all about the action sequences, the world, and our hero trying to survive in it. This desert punk sci-fi western delivers by the bucketload. Better than the original? Tons better. The first film is perhaps a more deep and 'human' a story but it was made on a budget of $45 and it really looks like it these days. This is a bigger, more impressive sequel with a better Mel Gibson performance and a larger budget which allowed for more inventive and exciting action sequences. Until Fury Road came along and brutally flattened it, it was the best Mad Max movie, with less said about the third one the better. Humungus out of Ten

Chip (viewing beverage: water, hydration is important, yo): I think this is my favourite in the series, although Fury Road is outstanding and might be jointly top. Braveheart aside, Mad Max has always been Mel Gibson’s definitive role for me. When I first saw Mad Max 2 in my early teens I definitely wanted a Gyro Copter, and to be honest I think I still want one. Oh, and a deadly metal boomerang. Performances are excellent all round. Even the Feral Child manages to avoid being annoying, but they probably achieve this by not having him speak… An excellent sequel. 8 marauders in BDSM gear out of 10

Randar: I had never seen any of the Mad Max films prior to this (nope, not even Fury Road). My OCD would therefore not allow me to only watch this second one, so I first had to watch the original too. I didn't enjoy it at all to be honest, so I wasn't really looking forward to this one either, despite being assured that it was far better. Happily, these assurances were well-founded! The budget was clearly higher for one thing. Not that I can only enjoy a film if it has a high budget, you understand, but it did help in this case - pretty much everything is better this time around. Gibson is great and the bad guys were better too, especially the mohawk-sporting nutjob known as Wez (there's a name to strike fear into the heart), and the vehicles and all the action/stunts they were used for are superb as well, especially the climactic chase/battle. The boomerang-wielding 'feral kid' freaked me out a bit but overall this was way better than the first film. I could even say I enjoyed it! 7/10

Neptune King of the Sea: This film is what Flicky Flicks is about, seeing that classic film which you forgot was so amazing. All the way through this I thought it felt familiar. It's like so many post-apocalyptic films which is true until you realise this film influenced them all. In fact, Fist of the North Star is almost a carbon copy of MM2 in theme and design. Let's get this correct - the film is brutal, it still manages to shock in terms of dispatching characters in brutal and bloody ways. Gibson is as his best as a silent and merciless shell of a man who by the end of the film shows at least the chance of redemption. Great supporting acting performances in what is strangely quite a hauntingly beautiful film. Far superior to the original and the surprise package of Flicky Flicks round 3.

Liam: Mad Max. Not a film series I have memories of as an 80’s kid but I've definitely seen them before at some point. With this clearly being a low budget film with some questionable costume choices, it doesn't take away from what it's trying to achieve. Even with a small amount of dialogue, it’s not totally needed as the plot just works. Gibson nails the role. Some epic action scenes and some of the camera work is stunning, with the mood and action propelled by intense music. A very enjoyable film even all these years on... 8 camera shot changes in 8 seconds out of 10

Not watched by Grumpy McUnt

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Director: James Cameron Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, Joe Morton, Earl Boen

Nominated By: Neptune King of the Sea Running Time: 137 Minutes

Around ten years after being hunted by the first Terminator sent back in time to kill her, and by extension her son John who would go on to lead the resistance against 'the machines' in the future, Sarah Connor is now being held in a psychiatric facility. John, made aware of his future role and brought up by Sarah in preparation for it, now has another, more advanced Terminator after him, however. Can he keep two steps ahead or will Skynet finally manage to secure its own future by offing him before he can meet his fate?

Pinbot: This was pretty much the first instance I can remember of a film being described as a 'blockbuster'. And watching it again, it still lives up to that description - everything is big, loud and expensive. Hard to believe that this movie was made nearly 30 years ago, as almost nothing about it feels too dated. I even still find the liquid metal CGI very cool. This is Arnie's movie of course, but I think Linda Hamilton steals it from under him with a truly exceptional performance as the tough, committed (in both senses of the word!) heroine who pretty much knows we are all doomed, but will try her hardest to win or die trying. I was nervous about watching this again as I really didn't think it would hold up, but it did big time. Tense, dramatic and horrific with some good dark humour thrown in. Even Edward Furlong wasn't as annoying as I feared. Better than the original? As much as this film is basically the perfect sci-fi action movie and a lesson on how to make a sequel properly, I do like the '80s cyberpunk dystopia original slightly more still. Mimetic polyalloy out of Ten

Chip (viewing beverage: a couple of pints of fizzy lager with a hotdog): Managed to watch this twice during the twelve months of this Flicky Flicks Season… The second time at my local cinema as they did a screening of the new 3D version. Found it interesting to re-watch this, as it was one of those films I think I watched repeatedly in my teens, along with other Arnie and Sly Stallone classics. It does hold up well, although I found Sarah and John Connor even more annoying than I remembered them. Given that all the movies after have been disposable, there could be an argument for the film ending with their deaths as well as saving the world. 7 Cyberdyne Systems out of 10

Randar: There are many wonderful and memorable things about Terminator 2 - often justifiably cited as perhaps the greatest sequel of all time - but to me it is, amongst other things, pretty much the only film I remember going to see with my dad. I'm sure there were many more when I was younger which have faded from my aging memory but I was 16 when this came out and it blew me away! How could it not? The premise is superb - old Terminator versus fancy new Terminator, the now-iconic characters were perfectly cast, the performances are all great, the soundtrack is fantastic, and the action scenes still take your breath away. Even those special effects, so celebrated at the time, still stand up really well, unlike many such examples from the early CGI days. I was going to say it must surely still be one of the best action films of all time, but then I thought the same about the sci-fi genre too. The fact is, Terminator 2 is still among the very best examples of all the genres it touches upon. An all time great. It's a shame the numerous sequels that have come after it can't compare, but c'mon - how many films really could? 9/10

Neptune King of the Sea: T2 is based on a very simple premise, in the 1st sequel let's flip the formula round and make the good guy the bad guy. Its one of those rare occasions when this premise works very well. Whilst the original is a brutal juggernaut, the sequel is far more subtle and is allowed the time for character development, it's a much richer film in that respect. The plot itself deals with some deep concepts, technology and it's impact on society, how the mentally ill are cared for, what it means to be human, and the biggest concept tapping into that 1980s fear we all had about an impending nuclear holocaust. Begrudgingly strong performance from Furlong as a bratty kid that does good. I don't think Linda Hamilton has performed better in a film as a troubled but driven kick-ass mum (in this extended cut you softer side to her character). Arnie is solid and despite playing a cold machine, he does a good job of gradually thawing the character out and is the perfect tool to turn the focus back on us as human beings when asking some difficult questions. The action sequences are still amazing and most of all I found the film satisfying and more rewarding than the 1st film. Rating: I'll be back

Liam: So many reasons to argue that this is my favourite film of all time. The music, the setting, the story, the casting, I don't think there's any negatives. If there are I am blinded by nostalgia. Do I care? Nope... 10 ATM hacks out of 10 eaaaasy munnay

Watched by Grumpy McUnt but no review...

Batman Returns (1992)
Director: Tim Burton Starring: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle, Michael Murphy

Nominated By: Chip Running Time: 126 Minutes

Michael Keaton returns to the black tights for the second and last time to find millionaire Max Shreck (Walken) working with the ghastly Penguin to build a new Gotham City power plant, and in so doing gain control of the city for himself. When they attract the attention of the Caped Crusader they set out to destroy his image and turn the people against him. Meanwhile, Shreck's downtrodden secretary is quite literally thrown out when she discovers his despicable plans only to rise again as Catwoman, vowing revenge...

Pinbot (viewing beverage: lukewarm airplane coffee): So what does Batman do at Christmas time? Sadly no festive capes, reindeer antlers on the Batmobile, Slade on the Batcave stereo or mulled wine for the caped crusader – crime it seems, never takes time off to celebrate a holiday. I was amazed how good this film still was. At the time it was right on the tipping point after which some bright sparks at Warner Bros decided that the way forward for the Batman franchise was to greatly increase the villain count until the films were barely about the Dark Knight anymore and of course amp up the camp to almost rival the 1966 TV series. A truly revolting situation. The film was showing its age somewhat. Gotham City always looked like a set, with proper old school model miniature special effects, costumes and puppets also filling the screen. But I didn't care a jot, it gave it a lot of handmade charm and warmth in these rather cold, precise CGI times. I always find Tim Burton’s work a bit hit and miss, but this was one of his winners. It was dark, had a brilliant brooding atmosphere and yet also some good humour. Just goth enough. Michael Keaton worked well as Batman, but more importantly just as good as the ever tormented Bruce Wayne. Danny DeVito was a fantastic choice as The Penguin and Christopher Walken and his amazing acting wig was pure gold. I also think I'm in love with Michelle Pfieffer again. Better than the original? Oh yes! It’s bigger, louder and more relentlessly action-packed than Batman '89. A penguin with a rocket pack out of Ten

Chip (viewing beverage: scotch): Widely, and accurately, acknowledged as the best Batman movie pre-Nolan, this is an excellent outing, and also a great Christmas film. If I don’t think about it too much, I’d probably still put it in the top 5 Batman films, (it’s comfortably above The Dark Knight Rises, but behind Mask of the Phantasm and probably Lego Batman). Affleck is my favourite live-action Batman, but has yet to play the character in an anyway decent movie. I hope post-Wonder Woman DC can pull something together to make the most of him. I have trouble deciding whether I prefer Michael Keaton or Christian Bale, but that would for sure make up my top 3. Watching Batman Returns now, it would be easy to fall down the “look how Tim Burton the Tim Burton movie is” hole, but it suits the source material nicely. 8 rocket-launching penguins out of 10

Randar: Here's another one I had previously never seen. I was never really big on the Batman character and didn't think too much of the first Keaton film so I never even bothered with this one. Seeing it now, I'm sorry to say I don't regret avoiding it in the slightest. I guess I can see why some people like the Burton Batman films but the whole 'live action comic book' style just isn't my cup of tea. Visually they're decent enough but the action is far too unrealistic and the acting far too hammy for me. The story in this one is entirely forgettable and is just an excuse for having DeVito and Walken on screen really. They are probably the best things about this film but I still didn't really care about anything or anyone in it. Of course, what most people remember the film for is Pfeiffer as Catwoman, and obviously she is attractive and looks good in a PVC catsuit (quite literally in this case) but I found the character frankly ridiculous. Where did the meek secretary suddenly get her athleticism and fighting ability from? She just kept popping up, being a pain in the arse, and generally getting in the way. Perhaps that was the point but I just wanted to set a giant rat or two on her. Maybe it's a film you had to see in its day, to grow up watching, but for me, watching it for the first time now, I was counting the minutes until it ended. Sorry! 4/10

Neptune King of the Sea: I have a long history with this film, I went to see it with my mate for his 16th birthday, but for all those years I have only watched this a handful of times in comparison to later entries in the series. On reflection this is a little unfair. Sure the plot is non-existent but the film is held together by some very strong acting performances. Devito is incredibly good as the tortured Penguin, he plays him as a very human character, you almost feel sorry for him. I say almost because the darkness has broken this man and he is portrayed as irredeemable. This film makes me wish that Keaton had portrayed Batman a third time, just the right amount of physicality and charm in a very underrated performance. But for me the strongest performance is from Pfieffer. As cat-woman her transformation and descent into madness is a revelation of an acting performance - the doomed romance with Wayne should be noted sizzles. A tragic and beautiful performance. It's also a great looking film, they really went overboard on the sets, it feels like an old comic book. A dark and interesting comic book romp!

Liam: A Batman movie. Batman Returns. Where's he returning from, holiday? Batcamp? Yeah! Batcamp! The film is indeed a little batcamp. Especially the fight choreography. The music is fantastic. The setting although feeling like mainly stage sets, is wonderfully dark and gothic and Tim Burton was right for the job. This film is more about multiple villains. Penguin, Catwomen and Stark, having their own city takeover agendas and they all upstage Keaton in their performances. Danni DeVito as Penguin being my personal favourite, stole the show. Michelle Pfeiffer looking stunning and ridiculously sexy as Catwoman. It's a good bat-movie but lacking any real focus on actual Batman, and he takes his damn mask off! Certainly one of the better early ones. A dark dingy alley mugging... 7/10

Not watched by Grumpy McUnt

Snatch (2000)
Director: Guy Ritchie Starring: Jason Statham, Alan Ford, Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones, Benicio del Toro, Stephen Graham, Robbie Gee, Lennie James, Ade, Rade Šerbedžija, Jason Flemyng

Nominated By: Grumpy McUnt Running Time: 102 Minutes

After delighting the movie world with his smash-hit debut, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, writer-director Guy Ritchie followed it up with Snatch. Similar in style to his first film, it stars a large cast of British criminal underworld types including boxing promoter Turkish, 'pikey' bare-knuckle boxer Mickey, ruthless gangster Brick Top, gun-for-hire Bullet-Tooth Tony, jeweller Cousin Avi, a group of small-time crooks, and all sorts of other shady types. What ties them all together? A highly sought-after diamond...

Pinbot: It’s an unfashionable opinion, but I like Guy Ritchie’s movies. 'Lock, Stock' was a solid debut, the Sherlock movies are fun romps and I'm sure I am the only person who actually liked The Man From UNCLE movie, especially as I have never seen even one frame of the original TV show. Even the batshit crazy Revolver looked amazing and Swept Away… well, we’ve all had to do things to please our other halves. Am I right fellas?! So Snatch. I really enjoyed it the first time I saw it and liked it still now. It is a swift, witty, violent gangster flick with real style and snappy dialogue. There are what seems like a thousand characters and plot lines but it just about holds together. Brad Pitt is great in the film, and is completely lost in his character. So much so that I forgot it was him after a short while. Alan Ford’s Brick Top is a terrifying villain, much like Trainspotting’s Begbie, he is scary because he is so real. Better than the original? Despite a similar style and sharing many themes, I don’t think this is a sequel to Lock, Stock. Jason Statham, Jason Flemyng, Vinnie Jones and Alan Ford are in both films but play different characters and there are no references to any events in the other movie. It might take place in the same city and the same universe, but that’s as close as it gets. However let’s say it is this one time and therefore this is better in absolutely every way. Sausage Charlie out of Ten

Chip (viewing beverage: more scotch): Outstanding film, superb cast and did the unthinkable and repeated the quality and dynamic of Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. It’s not a sequel though so get in the sea Mr. Bird. 1 disqualified caravan out of 10

Randar: Like many at the time, I was persuaded to give newcomer Ritchie a chance to impress with Lock Stock, and also like many I was indeed suitably impressed, so when this follow-up appeared a couple of years later it got a lot more attention than it might otherwise have. Happily it did not disappoint. Far from it in fact - it's actually better in every way (probably). It had a much bigger budget (how could it not?) and it definitely shows, with Ritchie's snappy style taking in a number of sub-plots featuring more than a dozen characters whose respective skylarkings all converge into the main twisty plot, namely their discovery and subsequent pursuit of the huge diamond that, presumably, they all want to 'snatch' from its latest bearer. Nearly all the roles are memorable but particular favourites include Statham in what was probably his breakout role as Turkish, James as small time crook Vinny, Pitt's hilarious turn as the mumbling 'pikey' Micky (there was even a 'pikey subtitles' option on the DVD so you know what he's saying!), and of course Ford as the snarling 'horrible c*nt' Brick Top who must be one of the most memorable gangsters ever. It might not be an actual sequel to anything - I'm still unsure why it's even in this FF round - but it was certainly no hardship to see this awesome film again... 9/10

Neptune King of the Sea: Let’s get straight to the point, this is one of the best gangster films out there. A bold statement considering the quality entries in the genre but the film which is not only Guy Richie’s best film but also one of the best British films I’ve seen. The film is just so well balanced the right amount of menace, comedy, and grit – in fact it also manages to be part revenge epic! A suitably strong ensemble cast with standout performances from Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, and Dennis Farina you also get little gems of performances from people like Vinnie Jones, Mike Reed, and Benicio del Toro. Alan Ford needs a special mention for creating possibly the greatest villain in gangster film history as Brick Top. You get the impression that he thoroughly enjoyed getting his acting chops around the wonderfully menacing and over the top character. There's an accomplished twisting plot and genuinely interesting dialogue which is witty and entertaining. Love the inspired soundtrack choices too. The film may not be the genre definer like Lock Stock but it’s superior in every way.

Liam: The best non-sequel sequel, ever... So much comedy set in a series of events of interlinked chaos and calamity. Strong unforgettable characters, star performances, great story, fantastic music and so many excellent memorable lines delivered. Take any scene in this movie as a trailer to show someone who hadn't seen it before and they'd want to keep watching. Brilliant. 10 course I avs outta 10

Watched by Grumpy McUnt but no review...

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson

Nominated By: Randar Running Time: 136 Minutes

Two years after the events of the first Avengers film, Steve Rogers now works full-time for Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. while he continues to adapt to modern society some 70 years after bringing down Hydra. However, when Fury is targeted after becoming suspicious of Project Insight, S.H.I.E.L.D's new preemptive threat elimination program, Rogers finds evidence that Hydra have not only survived but also infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.

Pinbot: The Marvel movies quickly worked out a formula for success and stuck to it. This is good but it can get a little, tiny bit tiresome maybe? This film however, turns the page and tries a different approach. It has the required superheroey action which we all enjoy of course, but it feels more human, more intelligent and is a pleasure to watch as a consequence. I'm not sure if it's the presence of Robert Redford or the slightly grey, washed out hue to the film, but it feels like a '70s conspiracy thriller written by John Le Carre. Which is absolutely fine by me. I thought it blended top-drawer action, pithy humour and a clever plot, expertly making it a 'proper' movie rather than a series of welded together set pieces like in 'The Avengers'. The chemistry between Evans and Johansson is great and you really do feel that they have been through a lot together and survived. I really enjoyed watching this again, and it's definitely my favourite of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (after Guardians of the Galaxy obviously!). Better than the original? As much as I enjoy the first Cap movie with its action packed WW2 setting, Hayley Atwell making my heart beat faster and Tommy Lee Jones chewing the scenery like he's starving, Winter Soldier has much more class. Bucky out of Ten

Chip (viewing beverage: a lovely cup of tea): This is probably one of the 'best' examples of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Certainly the one that is critically considered to be a good movie in its own right, away from the larger universe. The story is great, and has some excellent action sequences. Unfortunately, Captain America is annoying as a character, and I always find his movies to be the least enjoyable for repeated watching. When I first saw this, I'd probably have given it an 8 or 9, but I’m less convinced now after a few more viewings. 7 hydra sleeper agents out of 10

Randar: Like many, I have enthusiastically embraced the MCU series of films which have somehow managed to maintain a consistently high quality throughout most of the associated releases. Frequently cited as one of the very best is this, the second of the Captain America trilogy which features the titular villain who, as Cap discovers to his amazement, is none other than his childhood best friend Bucky, previously assumed to have died during a WWII mission. Now he's back, enhanced, and working as a Hydra assassin, and who's in his way? That right, his old buddy Steve! It definitely adds an interesting edge to their inevitable confrontations and the action is as good as ever, with the former friends proving more than a match for each other. It's also nice to get a sizeable helping of Black Window loveliness and Sam Jackson gets one of the best action sequences of the film as Hydra attempt to take out Fury in his armoured SUV. It's easy to see why this is still ranked highly by MCU fans, and indeed films fans generally - it has strong performances and a good story (for an action film) including a few reveals, and it introduces a few new characters too. There's even a bit of emotional investment, and somehow manages to work as a standalone film as well as advancing the overall MCU storyline superbly. Great stuff and a fantastic sequel... 9/10

Neptune King of the Sea: I'll start by saying that not only does this film fill the criteria as a sequel it's also one of those rare beasts which is better than the original. Where the first is a thoroughly enjoyable romp that really sets the scene for the entire Marvel Universe, it's a very important film. This film reals with a second generation slickness, of a film company getting into swing of making these films. It's a very tight action film with super hero elements rather than the other way around, it's the perfect fallout film from Avengers. Great performances and a compelling storyline, one of the best in the genre (I do think Civil War is the best film in the series). Great start to Team Flicky season 3.

Liam: A good action film. Going into this I had no knowledge of Captain America, where he stands in the Marvel universe, and I hadn't seen the previous film so was hoping I'd be able to get into it easily. No problems there. It was enjoyable, not something I'm normally fussed about, not for any particular reason, I always like these sort of films when I finally get round to watching them. Some strong characters that worked well together and a gripping storyline that's made me want to go and watch the first and third instalments now... 8 smoking red heads out of 10

Not watched by Grumpy McUnt

Winner: There we have it - most films watched and reviewed by most of us. Again, none of them proved to be universally adored or despised but the ultimate victor, narrowing beating the mighty Terminator 2, was... Mad Max 2! (tootle, tootle) Congratulations to Pinbot once again for his winning nomination (seems like he's good at this!). The next theme, as chosen by the victor, will be the films of Sigourney Weaver. See you again once they have all been watched and reviewed too!

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