Bon Prix Style Challenge

   In the last eighteen months or so, my weight has fluctuated to a rather notable degree. The gap between my lightest and heaviest is a full twenty pounds and, in this period, I've swung like a pendulum between sizes.

   My problem, in this regard, is that I've often favoured a less than healthy diet. Kate Moss once stated: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels". I put it to you, dear reader, that she's clearly never had a Burger King Double Bacon Cheeseburger or a side of Nando's Creamy Mash. My love of Coca-Cola, and the many spoonfuls of sugar contained within, is no secret and I've often found myself eating family size bags of Walkers' Sensations rather than worry about calories. Whilst I've often wanted to stay fit, I've never been at all concerned about putting on a few (or indeed a significant amount of) pounds.

   Yet, the one issue that has plagued me as my size has fluctuated and my mid-riff has expanded and deflated, is that oftentimes various items of my wardrobe which may have once been considered "fitted" become too snug or too loose. As such, my lackadaisical attitude to dieting has cost me a pretty penny or two as I've had to replenish my clothing selections with better fitting items.

   With this in mind I've made a pact with myself that I'm going to make a concerted effort to indulge a more balanced diet (without fully removing beloved treats from the plan) so as to remain at a consistent weight and, therefore, a consistent clothing size. What I lack in vanity I more than make up for with Yorkshire frugality. My bigger clothes are packed and ready to go to a charity shop, though, which opens up space in my wardrobe for me to replace them with more appropriately measured items.

   At this point, I was lucky enough to be contacted on behalf of Bon Prix who were kind enough to offer me £50 to spend at their store as part of a Style Challenge. This amount, to my surprise and delight, was ample enough to assemble a full outfit - as I browsed through the men's wear section I found a large number of products which each took my fancy. The challenge here wasn't making the £50 stretch (an amount which often will only cover a fraction of my footwear purchases), but rather whittling down from the multiple options in each category. The issue, then, was working out exactly what items to put together from their men's collection and in which iteration.

   As summer is almost upon us (or so it seems by the sun threatening to occasionally rear it's head), I decided that I'd put together an outfit most suitable for the forthcoming season though have refrained, as a personal challenge, from the obvious choices associated with primary colours. I've also decided to model these items on a boat - I'd love to give a better explanation for this than "because there's nothing more baller than going nautical" but I can't, so I won't.

   The first item I've selected as part of the ensemble of course is the footwear - all would-be dapper dressers should know this is the most important part of any outfit. Currently retailing at £17.99, these retro plimsolls (also available in white), are a comfortable and understated anchor for the outfit and also represent a more lightweight choice to coincide with summer sun than more formal shoes would allow.

   Continuing the casual-summer theme, nothing says "relaxation" more than stretch cotton trousers either - they're easy to wear and can bridge smart/holiday-casual with relative ease. They're versatile and, at £24.99, rather cheap too. Finally, and as a simple finishing point to the outfit, I plumped for a bike print T-shirt (£6.99). It's an easy wear too, and a simple design is part of the "no fuss" criteria I was hoping to create with my selections.

   Nothing makes one feel better with regards to clothes than comfort and the aim in my selections for  the Bon Prix Style Challenge was to show how its easy to put together a low maintenance outfit which can be contemporary, informal and relaxed simultaneously. With my aim to keep my weight in check, I'm looking forward to wearing these next summer too!

Not So Fantasy Football

Chris Kamara Football nightmare

   If you've followed me on Twitter this Premier League season, you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with Fantasy Football. I love the game and, in return, it hates me.

   Over the course of the year I've "captained" Adebayor when both my heart and my mind told me not to. Jason Puncheon, a long-time favourite of mine, flattered to deceive points-wise. I had Robert Huth in my team ("Ireland 2") when Leicester's cavalier attacking left them vulnerable at the back; I had swapped him out by the time they became the most defensively resilient team in the country. My skill, it would seem, would be to pick the worst possible players at the worst possible times like Howard Wilkinson circa 1996.

   Thankfully my bad form may not be as useless as I had once thought.

   Pub chain Flaming Grill have launched a new competition with players such as myself in mind. To coincide with this summer's Euros, Not So Fantasy Football is offering a cash prize of £500 for those who can pick the worst performing team. As I cast my mind back to my selection of Memphis Depay in my team, I begin to wonder if I'm in with a shout and imagine how, exactly, I will spend my winnings. Maybe a subscription to Fantasy Football Scout's premium service for the next few years?

   Chris Kamara, a legend in my hometown of Bradford and a cult favourite for Leeds fans like me, has helped launch the competition: "Last year we scoured the nation for the UK’s worst performing local football teams. This year we thought why not make it international, we want our guests to play the role of Football Manager and select their own team of flops, bottlers and hatchet men."

   Unlike regular Fantasy Football, there's no budget to bear in mind when choosing one's team. The only considerations are which formation to select (from 3-5-2, 5-3-2, 4-5-1, 4-3-3, or the classic 4-4-2) and how exactly one would go about selecting the worst possible players. The other limitation I had noticed is that every team going to the European Championship this summer has players available to add bar Northern Ireland and Slovakia - the two squads I had particularly hope to draw from.

   Points - awarded for missing penalties, getting booked or sent off, being substituted or conceding goals - can also be deducted for positive contributions such as clean sheets or goals. So, I ask, is it worth adding Rooney to my team on the assumption he'll fail to score from midfield, sky a penalty and get sent off in an act of petulance? Or do we fear he'll ruin our team by hitting a miraculous vein of form at the right time for England but for the wrong time for terrible Fantasy Football players like me?

   To read the rules, get tips and enter, click here.

Composing for Animation: An Interview With Ratchet & Clank's Evan Wise

   Animation, it is widely agreed, is the most difficult film medium to compose for. Trying to root the fantastic with emotional reality whilst simultaneously contending with technical considerations - such as constant tweaking of the material one is writing to - make the genre notoriously tricky to navigate.

   For Ratchet & Clank, a newly released family adventure movie, an array of extra factors too further complicated the composing process. The movie's heroes, for example, first came to life as characters in a long-running and much beloved video game franchise which boasts a large and passionate fan-base; a community with very strong and particular ideas about the duo and how they should be presented.

   As a project for which to write one's first full feature film score, there are few more difficult to imagine. Yet, for young composer Evan Wise, Ratchet & Clank became something of an ideal opportunity to make his name with. "I can't think of a better film to have worked on as my first [feature]."

   The animated adventure, starring John Goodman, Bella Thorne, Sylvester Stallone and Rosario Dawson among others, tells the tale of a Lombax named Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor) who wiles away his days in a garage fixing ships. He imagines bigger things - he dreams of the stars and his place amongst them, and aspires to protect peace and order as a member of The Galactic Order. Yet, although he is rejected by his would-be team-mates, fate sides with the Lombax who finds himself in a position to save the galaxy from a gang of evil-doers led by Chairman Drek (Paul Giamatti). Working on the project, Wise notes, was "really a dream come true."

   I was eager to find out more about the movie, the process of composing for it and how Ratchet & Clank differs from the video game series. As such, I was delighted when Mr. Wise was kind enough to volunteer his time to discuss the feature and his role in it.

  The film, which is now on general release, presented Wise with an opportunity to do something astonishing which he had been building up to since childhood. "I've gone to theatres forever," the composer remembered, "and looked at movie posters and seen the composer's name on there". Visiting the cinema to watch Ratchet & Clank with some friends - "It was really the first time I had seen the final, final product in the theatre, you know, on the really good stereo systems they have. I thought it sounded great, it looked great, it was a lot of fun" - allowed Wise the opportunity to search the film paraphernalia for a familiar credit. After years of spotting the names of dozens of world-famous composers, Wise finally spotted his own there too.

   Whilst a new generation of cinephiles and curious youngsters may well find themselves being presented with the name "Evan Wise" as they look to see who created the sounds for Ratchet & Clank, the composer himself remembers a formative name which inspired his own journey into the world of film. There is a large degree of serendipity that the iconic score penned by John Williams, the one which Evan Wise cites as being a key influence, also belonged to a family-oriented, sci-fi adventure.

   "I grew up in the early eighties so I think the E.T. score is still one of my favourites," the composer reminisces. "I love all the themes that everybody can remember from the score, the flying theme and all that." With a tender aside, Wise adds: "But I really like the intimate moments in that film also."

   In the years between first watching Spielberg's immensely popular blockbuster all the way through to the present day, Williams' score has somehow grown in stature and attained legendary, mythical status - Wise represents one of the many who find themselves still awe-struck by the compositions in the movie. "I got to see it [the E.T. soundtrack] performed live at the Hollywood bowl last year," Wise exuberates. "L.A. Phil played the entire score with the film there." Listening with the ear of an adult, and a trained musician too, the intricacies of the performance stuck with him. "You got to really hear some of the details in that score that are really fantastic played live. There's some harp writing in that score which is some of the most intimate, beautiful harp writing I've ever heard."

   Looking to add some of his own sense of wonder to the world, to create his own voice in the composing industry, Wise aimed to create a score of his own filled with such intimate emotion. I wondered what it must be like to be sat in a public theatre as one's name appears on the screen, and one's soul spills out of the speakers, while also maintaining a shadowy anonymity.

   "It's a little bit revealing you know?" the composer replied. "Because a lot of those things were written so personally by myself. Its interesting - its not quite the same as seeing your face on the screen but it feels intimate like that. Like 'oh wow! That's me, that's my work I'm putting out there'." The juxtaposition of the personal and the public must, I assume, be rather strange. "I always feel with film composers there's a little mystery there - there's not a lot of information about all composers, you kind of hear their music and you think: 'What is the personality behind this person? What is the angle they're writing?'"

   Witnessing Ratchet & Clank in the cinema must have been a bittersweet moment for Wise. Having first come on board the project in 2013, the process had come to an end but, as the composer stoically notes: "Its really a work of art that I've put out there [for which] I don't have any control over the avenues that it travels now. Its been a long road to get here but its really a dream come true to realise that a lot of people are enjoying the score and its thrilling when people reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook to tell me."

   Wise begun his composing career whilst studying for his Bachelors of Music. "At the time, I was thinking of going into symphony conducting and then I really got to the point where I realised I wanted to do more composition, [I] got really attracted to that - y'know maybe I could lend my own voice to orchestration rather than recreate past works." After graduating, Wise went to study with Hummie Mann, the famous conductor and composer, in Seattle - the experience proved invaluable. "Being with him for so many years and seeing how to really do this... and how to logistically score a film was very important in my training."

   From here, Wise honed his skills creating music for thousand of trailers and adverts, putting into practice all of the elements he had accumulated in his studies. Yet, when I asked about the different approaches one may utilise in scoring a film instead of an advert, the composer is forthright with the honesty of his response: "I would say, for me personally, and this isn't for everybody, its much more artistically fulfilling to score a film. You're so much more tied to the production, you're tied to the director, its a long process. You bond much more over the source material and the work. Not to say I don't enjoy working on the television and ads and trailers, but for those kinds of things its much more short term." With a chuckle he adds: "It's really nice to work on something like Ratchet & Clank where people really appreciate what you're doing.... or not!"







   When the opportunity to score Ratchet & Clank came along, the project seemed tailor-made for a composer who grew up with the sounds of John Williams and one who spent his younger years "watching a lot of Looney Tunes".  I wondered how familiar Wise was with the source material and, furthermore, if he was keen to replicate the sounds found in the Ratchet & Clank series or even to meld the disparate influences of Williams and Looney Tunes into his score?

   "I've always been familiar with the characters and the games. I was in college when the original Ratchet & Clank game came out - I remember seeing it in the dorm and guys playing it in the dormitories and playing it myself a little bit." I wondered whether it would be these people, the ones who played the game on its initial release, he would be targeting his score towards?

   Wise, matter-of-factly, confirms that he intended to approach the music anew: "When I came to write for the films I really wanted it to be a new voice [as] this was a new retelling of the story. I really wanted to develop new themes for these characters and kind of re-start the series in my own voice and I think that the director really appreciated that also and the producers thought that was a good direction to go as well. I  tried to approach it as a score which would be written for a family film (just like anything from Pixar, Dreamworks or Disney animation or anything like that)."

   Indeed, watching Ratchet & Clank confirms that Wise has created a fully fledged action score much more suited to big-screen adventures than simply regurgitating cues found in previous iterations of the franchise. Wise, as he confirmed, was very much concerned with steering clear from the obvious and the rote too. "I try to stay away from what I call 'musical baggage'! Music can always trigger an idea or a thought. So you can always go through music, or a score, and think: 'Oh, they used that there because it was used in something previous'."

   How, then, does Wise manage to escape this pit-falls and create fresh compositions which still engage?

   "A really good example of this was the character Dr Nefarious", the composer notes, referring back to his work on Ratchet & Clank. "He kind of has this 1950s B-movie vibe to him - he's this very over the top mad scientist character. It would have been really easy to use some for the sci-fi sounds from the 50s to score him... but what I tried to do was to stay away from that and use the traditional orchestral setting with him. I came up with these fluttering woodwinds and vibes and piano that  kind of all congregate together to create his sound in this little theme I came up for him. It was one of the most nuanced orchestral pieces I had ever written and I felt really happy with the way that came out and the way that was used on his character. It had almost a cynical, villainous sound to it that I felt was kind of fresh and new that really hadn't been used before."

   He wasn't, I ponder with tongue in cheek, tempted to use a more stereotypical sound like a theramin? Wise laughs at the ludicrous instrument I suggested. "The theramin would have been way over the top almost sounding like Mars Attacks! or something!"

   As our conversation progresses, Wise expands upon his compositional philosophies: "I feel like a lot of composers, and a lot of scores I hear today... the music just falls into the trap of just being musical sound effects for changes. So my process, and my idea and my goal with this [Ratchet & Clank], was to really write music that could be a consistent, fluid listening experiences whilst hitting those key points, tempo changes and action changes and tonal changes throughout the film."



   Wise refers to the temp score which Ratchet & Clank was edited to and which fulfilled the Pavlovian purposes of the 'musical baggage' theory the composer noted eariler: "There were things from Back to the Future, E.T., I think there were cues from Alien in there. There was all kinds of stuff in there but it never felt cohesive to the film. The final score that's in there is much better because it was actually written for this film." Rather than simply writing or using pre-existing "scare" cues, Wise stresses the importance of creating organic ones specifically for the picture in hand.

   The score-writing process, I find, is a rather methodical one for Wise. "I will start out writing at the piano and come up with the harmonic rhythms and progressions for themes. So I'll write kind of the structure of the music at that point and then it'll move onto the orchestration process where I'll add a lot of ornaments and flourishes in the orchestration and really make it come alive.

   "I don't have an improvisational technique - a lot of composers talk about that, how they lay down the bass-line and improv the melody. I don't do that - I write and really pay attention to how my voicings within certain sections of the orchestra are constructed. I can walk you through every point in my orchestration and discuss why I chose to do what I did. Nothing is there [just] because it sounded good; there's a methodical reason for everything."

   I was interested to hear about the collaborative process between Wise and the director of Ratchet & Clank, Kevin Munroe. "I couldn't think of a better director/composer relationship to work on for my first big feature film," Wise notes. How, I asked, did the process work? Did Munroe pass musical notes or have any pre-conceived ideas in mind?

   "I scored the film to the picture," Wise recalls, "so it wasn't writing music he [Munroe] was then going to put into the film. The scoring process is that I have the locked picture so I'm writing the music directly in time with the picture so I would just go through reel one, and go through reel two of the film. and as we would go along, he wouldn't so much comment on specific musical ideas but he would comment on tonal ideas - 'let's make this a little larger here' or, a lot of times, 'this is perfect'. I felt creatively everything moved along very, very smoothly. All of the ideas I was implementing Kevin responded to positively."


   Despite Wise's positive statements - "by the time we got half way through I feel like we were just cruising" - it is safe to say that not everything was entirely straightforward when it came to producing the score.

   "Every once in a while the producers were still noting the movie and there would be edits that they would make. And that was probably the most difficult process," the composer recalls. "Sometimes the producers would have screenings of the film at different stages and they would all decide: 'You know what - we should maybe move this scene up a couple of scenes or re-arrange something.' So, when that would happen, it would actually impact my work.  Because I'm writing so tightly to an animated film - [and] scoring animation is probably the most difficult scoring genre there is -  when edits were made or changed to the final cut, sometimes that would kind of null hours of work so I'd have to go back and re-work scenes but that's very, very common. And actually, and I've said this before, the final cut of the movie that is out in the theatres now is the best version of the movie so those decisions were always correct."

   Perhaps more disconcertingly for someone who proudly refers to themselves as a symphonist, it became clear towards the end of the project that Ratchet & Clank's score would not be recorded in the way Wise envisioned: "I had thought up until the last moment that there was going to be an orchestral recording but it turned out there were multiple constraints at the very end, time and budget, and the producers were very happy with what I was turning in already so they didn't see the need to do it."

   This, Wise states, was "probably the down-side to the project". "If I could have funded it [the recording] myself I would have because I feel that this movie and this score that I wrote really deserved to have a live orchestral recording with everybody in the room all at once."


   Although, in hindsight, Wise states that he's "very happy with the way that its mixed and it sounds", the composer notes that in creating the score he had to use a number of workarounds to compensate for the lack of a full orchestral recording. How does one work around obstacles like that I wonder?

   Wise is happy to explain: "A lot of the score is using sample orchestra.So its not really synthetic - they'll do a recording with the orchestra, they'll take each section of the orchestra. They'll take the strings and they'll record every note and every articulation and every dynamic level and then they'll comprise that into computer software where you can use those sounds to create your own score."

   This, for Wise, is again, bittersweet. "Those sample orchestras are getting so good now that I'm afraid in the next ten/fifteen years that producers will start saying: 'Oh wow! Why do we even need to go to London? Or Hollywood or Prague? Why are we even going to record that - what the composer is doing sounds great!' I'm a little nervous that that is where its all headed and I really hope that I'm not starting that trend but I really didn't have any choice!"

   I posit that, were Wise able to handpick any project he could imagine to work on as his next project, his dream would be to create a feature film score with a fully orchestrated, symphonic soundtrack. Wise replies that although he has a few things in the pipeline he can't talk about them just yet. In this moment, I think back on his journey - one which began in a cinema, being enveloped by John Williams' compositions, and how the most recent  chapter concluded with him sat in another theatre too but with his own score accompanying the images on the big screen instead. With Ratchet & Clank, Wise's music took us to space, to the stars - where will he take us, and where will he go, next? The only thing I can say for sure is that I'm certain we'll be seeing his name on movie posters again and, hopefully, even in ten or fifteen years time, we'll be hearing his compositions seeping out of speakers in our theatres, playing back his fully orchestrated, symphonic recordings.

Thankyou

A huge thanks is owed to Mr. Wise for the time he volunteered for speaking with me for this post.

Be sure to check out his website: http://www.evanwise.com/ and his Soundcloud.
And make certain follow him on Twitter here.

The Call Up - Film Review

   As e-Sports explode in popularity and VR gaming continues to rapidly develop, it surely can't be too long before we witness a tournament akin to the one presented to us in The Call Up - a movie in which a gang of gamers are invited to pit their wits against each other in an incredibly realistic shoot 'em up. As they don their motion-capture suits, each of our heroes are transported into a world of maximum peril - a simulacrum of a military stake-out.

   Yet, all is not as it seems. For the contestants battling it out for the $100'000 prize, everything soon begins to feel a little too real  - perhaps they're geniunely having to fight for their own survival inside something they had once considered as just a game? Does death inside the game equate to death in the real world too?


   Written and directed by Charles Barker, The Call Up is a film which invokes memories of retro sci-fi such as The Running Man and Tron whilst also feeling incredibly pertinent - its not difficult to imagine the premise being used as a launching point for an episode of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror.

   As we see individuals in over their heads, not quite understanding the real-life ramifications of the violence they create and are subjected to, it becomes rather easy to draw parallels between Barker's movie and the real life situation of the US military recruiting gamers to man their drones.

   The Call Up, a title which can be seen as referencing conscription, confronts us with a multitude of questions: how would someone who indulges in simulated violence cope with it in real life? Why do we seek out games of death and destruction in the virtual world when we'd do anything to avoid such situations in reality? How has technology disconnected us from our real lives?


   Eloquently shot with some rather fantastic special effects, Barker's film is one which provides a much-needed antithesis to the utopian world which advertisers offer us for fully embracing technology. This is a winning piece of social commentary. Yet, simultaneously, Barker does a rather excellent job of fitting his critique into a piece of cinema which manages to faithfully convey the grammar of computer gaming within its frames too - many of the scenes here are reminiscent of Xcom, for example, whilst the synthesized score by Tom Raybould roots The Call Up entirely within a digital universe.

   As Oculus Rift drifts towards the mainstream and we are encouraged to sport wearable gadgetry and devices, we're forced to ask - is the continual advance of technology actually a good thing?

   When looking at the helacious situation our troupe of gamers find themselves within as part of The Call Up, the answer is clearly no. But, in the hands of Barker et al and used for creating the movie The Call Up, it would take a fool-hardy Luddite to argue against it. Technology, we must note, is neither innately good or bad - it is how we implement it which makes it so. This is a movie which asks us to consider how, and why, we use it.

THE CALL UP is in cinemas 20 May & DVD/Digital 23 May 2016.
Available for pre-order at Amazon now.







Captain America: Civil War - How Rogers Betrays His Legacy and Becomes a Trump Libertarian

   Captain America is an illustration of how, sometimes, we get the hero we deserve, not the one we need.

   The erstwhile Steve Rogers, revived from stasis, has become very much a citizen of his time. In his original incarnation, the Avenger once fought for the truths, justice and American ways established by the FDR administration - the good of the community prevailed over the selfish desires of the individual, people still asked what they could do for their country and not vice versa.

   In Captain America: Civil War, Rogers is now situated in contemporaneous society and is seen as man whose spirit has very much caught up with the ideologies of our age. "I have faith in individuals," he pronounces at one point, an utterance which proves more profound, perhaps, than he intended. We now live in a neo-conservative world where the sovereignty of the individual is seen as more important than any other factor.



   A recent trend in superhero films (including in Batman v Superman). has seen our heroes deal with the fallout, collateral damage and consequences which stem from their deeds. Civil War is no different - as the Avengers attempt to subdue would-be terrorists in Lagos,  Wanda accidentally causes the deaths of multiple civilians with her powers. Horrified governments across the world agree that something must be done to prevent such tragedies occurring again - the group need to be held accountable for their actions and, as such, a universal accord should be signed by the heroes. The treaty suggests that, rather than run wild as vigilantes, the Avengers will now work as agents of the international community and under a universally agreed remit.

   Tony Stark, a one-time uber-capitalist, witnesses the destruction caused by his peers and experiences something of a guilt-inspired Damascene moment. The Avengers, he believes, should operate to enhance the world's security rather than jeopardise it; under what authority did the group invade foreign countries "for their own good" anyhow? Surely it is entirely undemocratic, and thus anti-American, to decide for one's self whether the law should be applied to them? His reason and rationale is accepted wholesale by many of the team including, to his surprise, the Black Widow.



   One mind shut off from reason is "Cap" - in polemic to Stark's political lurch to the left, Rogers has very much embraced the values of the new right. FDR and his New Deal seem as far removed as possible from our protagonist's thoughts - apart from fear itself, Rogers believes, we now have the tyranny of central government stampeding on our dreams of "freedom" to contend with.

   When asked to sacrifice personal autonomy for the good of the people, for democracy and international diplomacy, Rogers neglects his role - he knows his rights but straight-out refuses to accept his responsibilities. Why should he sign a contract which states he will be held accountable for what he does? What happens if he believes he knows better than the masses - surely Cap should be allowed to sidestep any rules society wants to impose on him if he chooses so? In this respect Rogers is an anti-authoritarian very much in the libertarian mold of a Donald Trump or a Rand Paul. When Margaret Thatcher declared "there's no such thing as society", she could have well been distilling Captain America's frame-of-mind into a six word slogan.

   As Rogers battles with the decision of doing the right thing or doing the thing he wants to do most, an important element from his past silently slips away into the night. No links or ties to his former, virtuous self bind him and Cap is free to follow his insatiable Id. He's now an entitled, selfish citizen of the post-Baby Boomers world where there's no such thing as "too much". What, now, can incentivise Rogers to act ethically or appropriately? A sudden, lustful embrace with a woman he shouldn't morally be involved with is the last nail in the coffin in which Rogers' integrity is buried. At this point, the only thing driving Captain America is his own self-regard. Damn the world, damn accountability, and damn decency.

 
   Stark, having seen the literally destructive nature of capitalism, has invested himself in making the world a better place rather than chasing any further dirty riches. His philanthropic actions, funding scientific research through multiple grants to students, mirror Tony Benn's dedication to "the white heat of technology" as too, do his denunciations of hereditary privilege and his march to the political left. If Captain America is Trump in this allegory, then Stark is the Bernie Sanders of this story.

   Rather than an action movie, the narrative found here is closer to a tragedy. The fall from grace, and catastrophic embrace of individualism and greed, the sovereignty of the self above all else, position the story as not only one of vicissitude for a post-FDR Captain America but, more pertinently, of America herself. Steve Rogers, a man who tries to evade international law and who provides himself with his own, ever-shifting moral barometer no-one else can hold him to, is the hero our times deserve.

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