Thursday, April 23, 2015

Movie Talk - Captain America in the MCU

Since the Avengers are popping up in theatres next month, I think it’s finally time to look at all of the Marvel Cinematic movies. The only ones I won’t touch are The Incredible Hulk and The Avengers. I went into depth with TIH last month and I might as well save The Avengers for the eventual look at the new movie. Today, it’ll be Captain America’s movies.

I’ve got to say that I’ve started to gain a fondness for Captain America over the last few years. He’s pretty much the essential part of the Avengers. Without him, it doesn’t feel right. The movies have definitely helped in that growing fondness. I saw Captain America: The First Avenger with a friend in Smyrna. It was also the first time I went to Panda Express. As for the sequel, I really wanted to see this one in theatres and was able to do so. I also made these movies a part of my re-watch.

Captain America: The First Avenger
The First Avenger was released in 2011. The film is the origin of Captain America and it’s primarily set during the second World War. Steve Rogers, a frail man who’s rejected by the military draft, is recruited by a doctor to undergo a procedure in creating a super soldier. The experiment is a success but the doctor dies and the military is cautious of sending their only super soldier to war. Steve is able to prove that he is capable of the job. He really gets put to the test as he has to face HYDRA and their leader, the Red Skull.
I seriously want to do that version of his costume for Halloween one day.

I thought that this was a good movie when it was released and I still think that now. The story was pretty good for the most part. You get all you need to know about the character in about 2 hours. I thought Chris Evans was really good as Steve/Captain America. That was one casting choice that was weird at first but worked in the end.  I liked at lot of the supporting characters as well. Halley Atwell was cool as Agent Carter and Tommy Lee Jones was hilarious in this. Everything he said was funny. 
Well, it sure ain't the curator from the museum under that mask!

While the Red Skull is your standard “villain aiming for world domination,” I liked Hugo Weaving in it. He had certain flair to him and his look was pretty freaky. The action was pretty cool. It’s a movie that takes place during World War 2, so you know it had to bring some good action. Cap’s fight scenes were fine but I will say this is one area where The Winter Soldier soared in. The movie also had also blended in some nice comedy beats. The biggest one is the “War Bonds Montage” and that was hilarious.
Steve, I think she wants you to look at her... just guessing.

While I do like the film, I had some nitpicks about it. I feel like they rushed over Captain America doing his Nazi/HYDRA-kicking thing. We see what became his first mission, a fight montage, and his final mission. It would have been cool if we got more of him and the Commandos fighting Nazis. I know they were trying to set up Captain America for The Avengers, but it would be cool if we got a WW2-era movie with Cap fighting Nazis. Also, where were the Nazis? I know HYDRA’s a part of the regime, but I felt that someone upstairs was afraid of the swastika showing up. It’s a WW2-era movie and I would think that actually showing Nazis is pretty much a given. Other than those small nitpicks and a couple of others, I liked this movie.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Winter Soldier takes place some time after The Avengers. Steve is working for SHIELD and trying to get acclimated to the 21st century. Things change when Nick Fury is attacked by someone called the Winter Soldier. Before Fury was taken out, he informs Steve that SHIELD has been infiltrated by some unknown force. Steve even ends up on the run from the corrupted parts of SHIELD. Steve teams up with the Black Widow and a friend to find out what this “many-headed force” is planning.  Yeah, I’m not trying to spoil it but some stuff may slip out.
Apparently, they did different "to-do lists" for each country. Cool. 

This was pretty good as well and even better than The First Avenger. I will say that some of the excitement wore off on my second viewing but it is still one of the best Marvel’s done. As folk have probably said before, it’s a political thriller with explosions. It’s not laden with humor like the other movies and that’s a good thing here. The story is pretty good. While it’s not big on character development, the characters still shine through. Chris Evans was awesome as Captain America. I also really enjoyed the Black Widow in this. We probably get more of her here that we’ve gotten so far. I also really liked Anthony Mackie’s Falcon.
I know that ain't Chris Evans, but that move was still cool.

The villains were more interesting this time around.  It was a bit of a shock to find out who was the force hidden in SHIELD. Let’s just say it’s one that has shown up before. Their motivations were clear and laid out. The Winter Soldier himself was pretty cool whenever he showed up which isn’t much. As usual, the action was awesome. The big sequences were on par with The Avengers. I also really enjoyed the fight scenes in the movie. While there was some shaky cam going on, you could follow the fights. Plus, they were well choreographed.
That's probably the same look I'd have on my face too.

I really don’t have anything negative to say about the movie. I do wonder why they named it “The Winter Soldier” since he’s in it for a quarter of the run time.  They could have went with “Hail $$$$$,” but that would have probably spoiled things. I also thought the fakeout death with a certain character was a bit much. Isn’t any major player allowed to die in these things? They brought Coulson back, Loki pulled a fake, and @@@@ ain’t dead! I was glad to see him back but it kind of takes something away. Other than those nitpicks, this movie was awesome.


Overall, these were some good movies. If you haven’t seen them, you know what to do. I feel like Cap’s movies tend to bring the best elements to the table.  I don’t if I can say that about the other Marvel movies, but you’ll find out about that next time. Hopefully Captain America: Civil War does its best too since the source material... well, I'll save my opinion about that story later. Until then, Peace, God Bless, and will someone make a petition to make “Punch Hitler Day” a reality?

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