It is hard to believe that 25 years ago, Marvel had trouble getting their superheroes made into movies. The blame can partly go to Superman because both part three and part four of the Christopher Reeve series underperformed and studios were shying away from comic book adaptations. In fact, when the now defunct Cannon Pictures made Superman IV in 1987, it pretty much kyboshed the Spider-Man movie that it had in production because of Supes’ budget.
Now, Marvel seems to have the magic touch as every movie it produces is a hit and Captain America: Civil War looks like it going to continue the streak. And even though it is considered a stand-alone Captain America movie, it may as well be The Avengers 2.5 with all heroes featured in it. Of course it has Chris Evans as the title character, but it also has Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Anthony Mackie as Falcon, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Paul Bettany as Vision, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man and (slight spoiler alert but not really because it has been all the advertising), Tom Holland as the reinvented Spider-Man. What is really exciting is that, like Batman v Superman, it pits two popular heroes against each other (Captain America v Iron Man), but they also each have a team. The difference between the two movies is that critics are loving this match. When the government wants to make superheroes accountable for their actions, it comes between the friendship of Captain America, who believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity and Iron Man, who supports oversight. The debate escalates into an all-out feud and the other heroes must pick a side.
What is really exciting about Captain America: Civil War is it bring Spider-Man into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Back in the late 80’s, Marvel sold its movie rights to the character to Cannon Pictures, which eventually ended up in the hands of Columbia/Sony Pictures. After three successful movies starring Tobey Maguire and two moderately successful movies starring Andrew Garfield, Sony decided to allow Marvel to have more control over the character, which allows for his inclusion in the Avengers universe (it also means that Robert Downey Jr. is in the Spider-Man movie next year).
If superheroes are not your idea of entertainment and Tom Hanks is, you may want to check out A Hologram for the King. In this dramatic comedy, Hanks plays an American businessman who goes to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes is a deal of a lifetime. The customs and bureaucracy of the country stymies him, but he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wise-cracking taxi driver and a beautiful Saudi doctor. Critics have been liking the movie, but audiences seem to be loving it, so check it out if you want to avoid the crowds.