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Captain America

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Mark Suszko
Captain America
on Jul 24, 2011 at 4:05:03 am

Saw it this morning at a matinee 2-d screening: 4 adult tix for 20 bucks is not bad.

OK, here's the thing: it was good, I enjoyed it... and yet.... I can't quite put my finger on it yet, but jam-packed as it was, I still felt some spark of some kind was missing.

Tommy Lee Jones steals the show and has all the best lines. By a country mile.

There's a motorcycle chase scene sequence that will strongly remind you of speeder bikes on Endor.

Hugo Weaving does okay, but I expected more of the intensity he showed as Agent Smith in The Matrix. Here he plays the Red Skull broad and flat, and I wanted something more personal out of it.

Stanley Tucci did a terrific job, as ever.

Chris Evans, what can I say.... looks the part more or less, though I thought his chin was a little weak.
I think maybe the problem I'm having is that some of the supporting cast have more depth written into their characters (Howard Stark, Tony's dad, for example) than Steve Rodgers has. He makes Christopher Reeves' Superman/ Kent look like a conflicted hardass.

They spent a LOT of time on the origin story, enough for a whole movie by itself, and they did it with love and care and a lot of nice detail... and after the first climax following his becoming Cap, you really feel the movie can end right there... but you have what feels like another hour to go, to start the inertia moving again to ANOTHER huge set piece fight with The "Big Bad". It just felt a little anticlimactic, though it had even more kaboomy exploding and whatnot. And they killed off Bucky, WTH, I don't recall that happening in the books.

I still can't point to any one thing really lacking in it, but I left the show feeling entertained, yet, as if I had missed... something. Maybe it's that Cap is (as in the comics) drawn (figuratively) so darned angelic and selfless that he doesn't seem real.

For my five bucks, I can't kick too hard. I really wanted to like this movie a lot more, and the trailer had me super-pumped in anticipation.

Stay past the credits for an extended promo clip of the Assembling of the Avengers.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:03:46 pm

I’m no expert on the subject, but I’m *fairly* confident that this movie was historically inaccurate…

I also felt that the movie was lacking a little something, and I couldn’t put my finger on it either. But it was, punch for glorious punch, probably the best comic book movie of the year. This is an origin story for haters of origin stories. The whole story leading up to him becoming Cap is pretty darn entertaining. They just put so much heart into the Steve Rogers character, it’s nearly impossible not to like him. Even if you throw away any of the "America is the greatest" tone it has, you root for Rogers simply because he’s the most genuine, selfless protagonist you could have possibly put on the screen. Without getting political (don’t wanna go there), luckily the film takes place in World War II, in a time when not a single person could possibly deny that America was in it for the right reasons. And for that, Steve Rogers’ oozing patriotism transcends redneck “these colors don’t bleed!” bumper sticker schtick, and just becomes a great hero trying to stop the evil in the world. Simply because he KNOWS it’s the right thing to do. He could have been Captain Canada, but if he fought with the same level of heart I still would have liked him the same. Heart is what he’s all aboot, don’t cha know?

Chris Evans played it great. Maybe lacking a little personality, but I think that’s how it was supposed to be. I don’t know who Hayley Atwell is (the British woman), but she is gorgeous! And her character was interesting enough to keep me riveted whenever she was on the screen. Tommy Lee Jones; hilarious as Steve Rogers’ passive aggressive commander. I don’t have any complaints with Hugo Weaving the actor, but I suppose I do with the Red Skull character himself. Well, first off, I thought fighting Hitler’s occult HYDRA unit was a lot cooler than if they just fought plain old Nazis. But I don’t know, I was never intimidated by Red Skull. He didn’t seem to have a lot of power. He was more or less a weaker version of Steve Rogers, but with laser guns (cool tie in with Thor, btw). He just didn’t seem as menacing as he could have been. It might have been because he was too buddy-buddy with his portly scientist friend. I don’t know. Could have made Red Skull crazier in my opinion.


[Mark Suszko] "There's a motorcycle chase scene sequence that will strongly remind you of speeder bikes on Endor."

Definitely agree with that! Loved all the action in it, and it seemed to pop pretty well in 3D. There was even a moment when he abruptly throws the shield right at the camera and it made me flinch, a rarity in most 3D movies. I thought the whole thing moved at a really good pace, and I agree that the story was probably more interesting in the first half than it was in the second. I felt the ending as a whole was a bit clunky (like the last 30 minutes, wrapping it up with Red Skull), yet I liked the actual ending itself. If that makes sense. The series of events that led to the ending may have been a bit messy, but I liked the last two scenes. There, that sounds better.

Overall, pretty great, but not mind-blowing. Minimal complaints. It has great foundation from a strong lead character, and he gets support from a nice round up of supporting good guys (even if the bad guys weren’t that developed). But yeah, I can’t help but wonder what about it made me not cross over to think it was something special? Definitely worth watching, though. You shouldn’t have much trouble staying entertained.

One final side note; my friend Joe informed me while we waiting for the credits to end (to catch the Avengers teaser trailer [looks legit, btw]) that the director of this also directed last year’s horrible Wolfman remake. Talk about a quick turn-around in quality!


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Tim Wilson
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:20:53 pm

[Scott Roberts] " the director of this also directed last year’s horrible Wolfman remake."

He has a pretty strange filmography. He also directed Jumanji, which was freakishly dark for a movie ostensibly aimed at a younger audience, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, the third Jurassic Park, and The Rocketeer.

You probably missed this one in 1991, but it's another vintage superhero-ish story, set in 1938 (Nazi flavor plus innocence), and meant to evoke old-timey serials. This too had everything going for it, including Jennifer Connolly as the love interest (dude), Alan Arkin and Timothy Dalton as the older mentor and villain respectively, and a ton of absolutely perfect supporting actors....and was flat for reasons I still can't explain.

In any case, catch Debra Kaufman's article on the 13 effects houses that worked on this picture. It's the best overview I've ever seen of how a single FX coordinator manages all of them, as well as what each of them did. Great, great fun, regardless of how the movie actually came out for you.

Check it out.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 2:38:33 pm

I'm a fan of Jumanji for nostalgia reasons, and I've seen the Rocketeer at some point during the VHS days, it didn't make an impression on me as a kid, and haven't bothered to rewatch it as an adult. But it does have a cult following apparently. And I remember glazing over this article a couple weeks ago, but didn't read it, but now that it's relevant to this thread... there's talk of a Rocketeer sequel!

http://www.slashfilm.com/joe-johnston-id-love-sequel-rocketeer/

I had no idea this director had such a scattered career. It seems like he just took whatever job he could. Which isn't really a bad thing I guess. I suppose I'm happy he's having a nice moment with Captain America, and I hope he doesn't ruin it with Rocketeer 2... Much like the Johnny English sequel (I saw the trailer before Cap), I don't think anyone is really asking for it.

Gonna read that Debra Kaufman article right now!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:09:21 pm

I would have enjoyed about another 30 minutes of watching defrosted Captain America in 2011 coming to grips with his new world, more than the final battle with Red Skull. What 1942 Steve Rogers makes of 2011 USA and how he reacts to it, is grist for an entire movie itself.


I adored The Rocketeer, and Connolly was uber hot in that movie, as a bonus.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:20:40 pm

[Mark Suszko] "What 1942 Steve Rogers makes of 2011 USA and how he reacts to it, is grist for an entire movie itself."

I imagine that will be part of The Avengers. But I don't know how soon after Captain America it will take place. I imagine there will be one or two scenes of this nature:

(Tony Stark pulls out cell phone, sets up conference call with other Avengers)

Stark: "Hey guys, need some help over here, terrorists are attacking the east coast. I'll stay cool as hell and make wisecracks until you get here."

Thor: "What is this strange magic?!" (smashes phone with hammer)

Captain America: "How does this phone work without a cord?!?! What is Angry Birds?!"

Bruce Banner: "OK Tony, I'm coming ri- (connection drops out) Hello? Helllloooo? AT&T! WHHHYYYYY!" (turns into Hulk, destroys a four square block radius)


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Mike Cohen
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:26:36 pm

[Scott Roberts] "I had no idea this director had such a scattered career."

Joe Johnston started as a stop motion animator. He worked on the AT-AT battle in Empire Strikes Back, then went on to be a director of effects-based movies. Look at his track record - good effects, so-so acting. But he's a legend.

Mike Cohen


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Mike Cohen
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:29:28 pm

Found this link - Joe Johnston designed a lot of the original Battlestar Galactica's look - and some of that carried over into the more recent version
http://www.galactica.tv/battlestar-galactica-1978-news/joe-johnston-battles...


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Captain America
on Jul 25, 2011 at 3:52:28 pm

Yea, I felt the same way a lot of you did enjoyable but something did feel a bit off. Tommy Lee Jones was fantastic, and it really felt like a trilogy crammed into one movie. There was that montage in the middle of Cap't America and his merry men wreaking damage on the bad guys, building their reputation and getting closer to the evil boss. That would have made a great action movie, all of those little scenes set something up but we were out and onto the next too quickly. Fun movie though, looking forward to The Avengers.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Captain America
on Aug 1, 2011 at 6:50:41 pm

Just saw this, and it made me laugh pretty hard.

<a href="http://i1.creativecow.net/u/150514/cap.jpg"><img src="//i1.creativecow.net/u/150514/cap.jpg" border="0" /></a>


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Stephen Smith
Re: Captain America
on Jan 5, 2012 at 6:10:56 pm

This was a fun movie. I think the Avenger characters make for a great franchise, with the exception of the Hulk. I really disliked the first one a lot and I have not seen the others. But I really love the mix of action and humor in all of these films. Plus the Stan Lee cameos are really great. I liked the SFX and I think that that is really cool how they placed the actors head on someone else's body.


[Mark Suszko] "There's a motorcycle chase scene sequence that will strongly remind you of speeder bikes on Endor."

I also have to agree with that.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

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