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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)

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Mark Suszko
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 5, 2014 at 3:27:33 pm

Saw this last night in Real3d. The 3-d is post-produced, seems to be the trend now. I don't think you need it as much in this one, though it really makes the Saul Bass-inspired end credits pop nicely.

I will keep this spoiler-free, because there is a lot to be enjoyed if you watch the movie without advance info, events in the plot will have some major effect on not only the Marvel films to follow, but also major effects on the TV series: Agents Of SHIELD. It partly explains to me why A.O.S. has been so brutally scheduled and interrupted by Fox so often; they didn't want the show to get too far ahead of what happens in this move.

The film, as the one before, continues to use Cap as a tool to examine our national conscience thru the introspection of a conflicted man who has experienced the best and worst of the world, and what it means to be "American" - in two eras, the past and the present. It explores the issues of trust of - and in - government, and reflects some of the controversies about privacy versus security in the news today...

...Intercut with hyper-kinetic impossible action sequences galore. Really, the eye-candy is almost too damn much at times, and it's all set on a higher scale than ever before.

It introduces another, lesser-known Marvel character, Black Falcon, and two other characters from the comics that will become significant in the next Avengers movie. You really get a sense that Sony and Marvel are ramping this thing up and going for a massive, franchise-wide synergy.

They have a little problem though, in that the rights to some key properties in the Marvel Universe are owned by Fox and not Sony, having mostly to do with the entire mutants/x-men/Fantastic 4/Spiderman franchises. Therefore, in the Sony productions like Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk , and Agents of Shield- you don't hear the word "mutant" used. Yes, Fox somehow copyrighted the word "Mutant".

There are numerous "Easter Eggs" in the film, and Stan Lee's cameo does appear. My favorite gag in the film happens in the graveyard scene: be sure to read all the tombstones closely.


Stay after school thru all the credits, there are not one but TWO bonus clips that appear and give additional story of significance to the franchise.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 7, 2014 at 3:08:15 pm

I loved this film. I watched it in iMax 3D and out of every 3D film I have seen this one felt like you really didn't need to see it in 3D. I loved the action and that Captain America is a good guy who does the right thing when it would be extremely easy for him not to. The dating lines between Black Widow and Captain where great. Falcon was awesome! I'm a big fan of the action scenes and really enjoyed the film.

I'm mad that I got a babysitter to go to the theater with my wife only to have a baby cry behind me during the one part of the movie where there is basically no sound for dramatic reasons. Seriously people.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mark Suszko
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 7, 2014 at 5:32:24 pm

Only idiots would bring a baby to such a movie. Or ANY movie. Good parenting is more important than instant gratification: get a sitter or wait for the Pay Per View.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 6:09:15 am

[Mark Suszko] "Only idiots would bring a baby to such a movie. Or ANY movie. Good parenting is more important than instant gratification: get a sitter or wait for the Pay Per View."

I must say, we have taken a baby to the movies a few times in the past. Baby nurses and sleeps through the whole movie. These babies were only a few months old, though. YMMV.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:42:56 pm

Not to take away from the film itself, but my favorite moment during my screening of Winter Soldier came from the audience. I actually went and saw this on Saturday night, which I rarely do. As anticipated, I had to sit next to a stranger, and not once, but *twice*, I had to smell someone else's fart waft past my face. I'll be going back to my 11 am screenings next time, when everyone sits 15 seats away from each other, thank you very much. Anyway, during the villain's first real appearance, immediately after he blows up a car and the film goes dramatically silent for a few seconds; about three rows behind me a (possibly ponytailed, possibly unwashed) nerd said in a slightly above regular volume voice to (I assume) either his naive girlfriend or possibly disappointed mother with all the plugged-nose, smarmy gravitas you'd expect to hear at a Magic: The Gathering tournament... "THAT'S the Winter Soldieeeerrrrr." I wanted to bottle that moment up and store it away until it ages to perfection, popping the cork in 2025 when Avengers 7: The Return of Bucky comes out so I can savor those saccharine, contemptuous flavors for just one more glorious day.

I totally dug the origin storyline from The First Avenger more than most other origin stories as of late, and while the sequel lacked the obvious appeal of being about a superhero in the 1940s, it still had enough great action sequences and scattered humor to make it a pretty good Marvel movie. The story is a tad all over the place, serving as more of a step-by-step mystery film than any of the other superhero movies have chosen to do. And more than any of the other Marvel films (so far), this one felt the most like a SHIELD movie. Even more so than The Avengers did. I guess that's because with a guy like Steve Rogers, there's no awesome Jarvis supercomputer to build him things, or a magical viking space city for him to go to. He does what the definitive American superhero should be doing: taking down the government business dude who wants to raise *our* taxes so he can pay for his obnoxiously large machine gun satellite thingies, THAT WE DIDN'T ASK FOR. How much fuel do those things use, buddy? If this raises gas prices to $4.12 a gallon, I'm gonna flip my lid.

I like to think about fictional news programs in the Marvel universe where dumb rednecks and uptight hippies use the Avengers as talking points to push their loud, idiotic political agendas. "I heard Iron Man gets the metal in his suits from CHINA. WHY CAN'T HE MANUFACTURE HIS SUITS IN DETROIT?" "WHOA WHOA WHOA, Tony Stark is a job creator." "Stark and Banner are always tryin' to push their liberal science medicines on OUR children. Does America want their kids to grow up to be green MONSTERS? I KNOW I DON'T." "You know for a FACT that only having 1% gamma minerals in our food is completely healthy." "Then why isn't THOR using it? Huh?" "THOR HAS MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT THAN YOUR CONSERVATIVE NONSENSICAL RAMBLINGS." "CAPTAIN AMERICA DIDN'T VOTE FOR OBAMA!" "HE WAS UNFROZEN AFTER OBAMA WAS ELECTED." "STILL, TECHNICALLY, HE DIDN'T VOTE FOR OBAMA." (19 people proceed to talk over each other on the same screen)

Regardless of any little logic flaws the film may have (there's a few), it was a really entertaining movie overall. I enjoyed the addition of Falcon, he was a pretty solid sidekick, who contributed an ability that wasn't identical to the starring superhero (a la Iron Man/ War Machine), nor where there literally 50 kinda crappier versions of Captain America fighting the Winter Soldier (like in Iron Man 3, but don't get me wrong, I still liked the frantic mayhem from that movie too). If there's any compliment I can give to the action, it's that it's both extremely over the top yet relatively uncluttered. A lot of hand-to-hand combat.

I liked all the little jokes in the film, especially Rogers' tiny notebook of things from present day that he needs to look into. I was kind of hoping that one of the post credits scenes would have been Captain America trying Chipotle for the first time or something. Oh well. There was a good synergy amongst the entire cast, from Corporate Government Guy to Colby Smulders' three minutes of total screen time to Scarlett Johansson's extremely flexible stunt double.

If I was 10 years old when this awesome Marvel film universe was created, I think my favorite of these heroes might have been Captain America. He's just a good guy who fights with honor and dignity. However, if there was some sort of half-dinosaur, half-shark superhero with dragon wings, I think he would have been my favorite. BUT CAP WOULD BE NUMBER 2.

8.5 out of 10


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:54:31 pm

Scott:

As entertaining as your review was, I'm very disappointed that there was absolutely no mention of babies. It's about the only thing I can relate to these days.

4 out of 10

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:56:12 pm
Last Edited By Scott Roberts on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:56:34 pm

I forgot to mention I saw a baby at the supermarket on the way home from the movie. Crying in the produce aisle. Typical baby stuff.


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:57:39 pm

[Scott Roberts] "I forgot to mention I saw a baby at the supermarket on the way home from the movie. Crying in the produce aisle. Typical baby stuff."

9 out of 10!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 8:00:14 pm

[Scott]
Anyway, during the villain's first real appearance, immediately after he blows up a car and the film goes dramatically silent for a few seconds; a....: The Gathering tournament... "THAT'S the Winter Soldieeeerrrrr."

Is that who it was, the movie makes much more sense now. To bad I didn't have someone in the theater to explain the obvious to me.

[Scott]
I had to smell someone else's fart waft past my face.

Are you sure it wasn't a baby in the theater?

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mike Cohen
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:59:02 pm

I have not seen this yet.

But I did see this:






Not as good as this:






And really, nothing made for television between 1975 and 1980 was very good in general.

Though admittedly, this was the best part of 2nd grade!






The only Superhero movies I see in the theater are Avengers, Superman and Batman - everything else can wait for RedBox.

Mike


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Mark Suszko
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 8:55:11 pm

The Steve Rogers notebook is different in each country where the movie is released: it contains several different references, pandering to each national audience. But in all of them, Star Trek is circled and Star Wars is crossed out.

As to babies: I agree with Alamo Draft House, which allows them on special days/ showtimes, just for that particular market segment, so as to not disturb the other patrons. Still, why you'd bring one to a loud, scary event they cannot comprehend or enjoy, and likely end up crying at, baffles me. I raised three kids and we never burdened a theatre with any of them until they were of age to be proper and orderly audience members; we just waited for the movies we were interested in to come out on DVD, or we arranged a sitter, if we wanted a parent's night out. We missed a LOT of movies for a few years, but it wasn't a huge sacrifice.

We also sat in the very back row with our babies at Church, so we could quickly hush them or evacuate them to a sound proofed area in the vestibule if they started crying. I don't get parents that sit way up front and let their kids act like the pew is a set of playground monkey bars or an echo chamber for the entire service. The parents just stand there, don't admonish or instruct their kids, and pretend like nothing is happening and/or expect us all to think it's cute that little whatever is sounding off all thru the service, un-disciplined. It's not cute. it's rude.


If you take pre-teen children to R rated movies, (I've seen that) or take them to drag strips, tractor pulls, or open-air rock concerts and hold them while you're next to the speaker stacks, without ear protection,(seen that too) ....any of those actions... you're a selfish parent, putting yourself ahead of your kids and others. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 8, 2014 at 9:59:31 pm

[Mark]
The Steve Rogers notebook is different in each country where the movie is released: it contains several different references, pandering to each national audience.

That is awesome, thanks for pointing it out. Here is an article that list some of the lists:

https://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-news/what-s-on-captain-america-s-to-do...

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Mark Suszko
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 9, 2014 at 2:00:07 pm

The latest Agents Of Shield TV episode is ALL about reacting to The Winter Soldier Movie... and amid the too-long interludes to monologue and dialog while just down the hall, there are guys with guns coming to get you... there is a LOT of stuff going on, classic Wheedon. Worth a watch.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (no spoilers)
on Apr 10, 2014 at 4:16:42 am

My personal rule is that a movie in massive release gets a one-week spoiler-protected window. With over 4000 screens in the US alone, and over $300 million worldwide already, I think we'll be in the clear pretty quick here.

So, with a couple more days left for you people to hide LOL here's some non-spoilery stuff....

[Mark Suszko] "The latest Agents Of Shield TV episode is ALL about reacting to The Winter Soldier Movie."

And vice versa! In the episode that aired just before Captain America opened, one of the senior SHIELD suits is called out by name, then we see a close-up of his face reacting -- and that's it. I remember thinking that it was well played for a laugh, but I also remember thinking that I couldn't get the guy's name out of my head. Not like it was a strange name at all, but they TOTALLY stuck it in my head....then lo and behold, there he is in the movie.

Not that he started on TV. He was in Thor and Avengers too, but I had to look him up on IMDb to find that. Nothing personal, dude.

I think it's HIGHLY unlikely that elements that START on Agents of SHIELD will make their way into movies, and it seems unlikely that Agent Coulson will make his way back to the big screen...but who knows? There's an allusion to the fact that none of the Avengers know that Coulson is alive, and I can't imagine that there will be NO consequences to that.

I joked last night that the TV show is almost like webisodes for the movies. It's better than that, though, and the last handful of episodes have been really fun TV entirely independent of the movies...but watching the TV show alongside the movies really adds to the pleasure of how this is an actual universe.

Well, let's say a "related" universe. I didn't know this until just now, but there's an official acronym, MCU, for "Marvel Cinematic Universe," to distinguish it from the multiple possible comic universes. Agents of SHIELD definitely lives in the MCU.

(Interesting note: I just read that when JED Whedon's SHIELD pilot was picked up, he was told a couple of days later, "By the way, there's a movie coming up that will affect your show." That would be this.)

There are a lot more easter egg-y things to talk about beyond the Agents of SHIELD connection. Those will wait until after the spoiler wall goes down, but three I'll note are that Robert Redford's fridge is stocked with Paul Newman spaghetti sauce, and there are delightful references to War Games, and ESPECIALLY Pulp Fiction.


Now on to Captain America: The Winter Soldier...

-- To me, movies are tribal. I go to be WITH PEOPLE, not hope I don't notice them. If there are no crying babies or other people's farts, I might as well have stayed at home with my own farts and no crying babies. That's just sad.

-- I definitely find "explain-y guy" FAR more offensive than any amount of farting, babies, or farting babies. Not because people shouldn't talk at movies. Because they shouldn't be condescending sexist dicks about it.

-- I keep going to comic book movies hoping to be entertained, and I keep being crushed. The first Iron Man stuck the landing, and there were about 15 minutes of The Avengers I found entertaining (anything with Loki, Iron Man-Captain America banter, or ScarJo kicking someone's ass), but the rest, I found myself getting madder and madder at the entire MCU for sucking down my time.

I tried Thor 2 against my better judgement (Tom Hiddleston is too dreamy to be denied), yadda yadda sad-trombone, and swore never again. Family members drug me to Captain America, and I was dreading it.

I LOVED it! Kinda interestingly, in my mid-50s, I was the youngest of the lot of us, and we ALL loved it. What a fun movie! THIS is how you do a comic book!

As others of you have mentioned, I loved how witty it was (as distinguished from "quippy," which is the best most other Marvel movies can manage), and the old fashioned punching and kicking was AWESOME. I had no idea how much I missed fisticuffs.

Not that there's not plenty of spit blowing up. Gots ta have me plenty of that, and I got it.

Scarlett was awesome, I love Falcon and the actor playing him (Anthony Mackie), and this was by far the best use of Samuel Jackson in an MCU movie yet. Fantastic. In fact, just a nifty Mr. Jackson supporting turn, period.

In lists like this, I almost never see Chris Evans' name come up, so ima say it: he's perfect in a role that would seem almost impossible to bring sparkle to without making it TOO comic-y.

re: how witty it was: this movie was directed by the Russo Brothers, who won an Emmy for directing the pilot of Arrested Development. They were also the exec producers and directors for the first couple of seasons of Community. It definitely showed. They brought a deft touch to even the dramatic and heaviest action scenes.

(Actually, there's a Community easter egg in the movie too.)

One tiny thing did bug me. There's a whole security state riff that includes the actual words at the climax of the "they know everything about everyone" rant, "The government even has your SAT scores!" -- what? THAT's the worst thing?. It felt like the "murican manufacturing" riff in Iron Man. Please. I don't need you ppl to be resonant. I need you to blow stuff up. I need you to point at somebody, tell me they're the bad guy, and give them a death that amuses me.

Otherwise, through, it really was dang near perfect, and none of the others in the group (which included the fullest breadth of the political spectrum imaginable) were bothered by it at all. They dug the movie enough to brush this off, and after that brief interlude to roll my eyes, I did too.

I found that it changed some of the ways I feel about the MCU.

The thing is, I love Joss Whedon. I ADORE him. But I'm not yet overly stoked about him coming back for another round of Avengers. The first one felt leaden, overlong, and to me, other than the brief moments I mentioned above, entirely devoid of fun. I'm hopeful that he can find his groove this time, and that the constraints of working in the Marvel universe will also keep him from pulling his most annoying trick: killing off main characters for very nearly zero dramatic payoff.

(The SOLE exception: one death on Buffy that was absolutely shattering, even though you knew the character was going to come back from the dead the moment you saw the death coming....but the price for it was gruesome. Absolutely terrifying. One of the highlights of TV history, imo -- but otherwise, cut it the fghk out, dipstick.)

So I'm probably going to go see Avengers 2 anyway dagnabbit, but, at this point, the only thing coming in the Marvel universe that doesn't fill me with dread is the return of the Russo Brothers to direct Cap 3...which actually fills me with giddy delight.

Of course the last giddy delight I felt was after THIS clip, and that movie was another disappointment. But still, THIS. Giddy. Delightful.



My one and only real disappointment with Captain America was the 3D. I still deeply believe that there is an ETHICAL IMPERATIVE for artists to see 3D movies in 3D, and I'm not kidding...but also not kidding when I say, Marvel, c'mon, there's an ETHICAL IMPERATIVE to BRING GAME. The 3D in Captain America is good -- Thor 2 is by far the worst of the lot -- but there's no excuse for a studio that's "committed" to 3D to not be COMMITTED to doing it RIGHT. The lesser 3D in Thor 2 was less disappointing because there was so much to be disappointed by in that movie. With Captain America so close to flawless, I really felt the gap.

Even if you decide to back studio greed and see it in 2D LOL you should definitely see it. I was trying to remember any movies that I've REALLY enjoyed the last couple of years, and the only things I could come up with were the two David Russell movies and two Hunger Games -- WAIT! IT'S THE JLAW QUAD-FECTA! -- but in fact, this now goes on the list.


FINAL NOTE: THE TRAILERS

Movies like this are important for launching other movies, and two trailers really jumped out at me.

Put together Hitchcock, Don Jon, Under the Skin and Her in just the past 2 years, and, JLaw love notwithstanding, I really don't see anyone doing the range of work that Scarlett J is doing, with all of it absolutely top notch.

That's not even considering her work with Woody, or Lost In Translation WHEN SHE WAS A TEENAGER, and others. She's a real live movie star doing some really special work.

But DANG, this trailer for Lucy looks INSANE. Ridiculous, yes, but INSANE. Hey, and it's directed by Luc Besson! The Professional (please tell me you've seen this), The Fifth Element, La Femme Nikita, Transporter, Taken and a other tasty bits of braindead confection. Pleasedon'tsuckpleasedon'tsuckpleasedon'tsuck



The one that has me REALLY excited though, is THIS:



Babies ready? Farts ready? ACTION!

PS. re: Marvel's lack of 3D game. This was a trailer for a 3D movie, the HEADLINE trailer directly attached to a 3D showing of a 3D feature, following other 3D trailers...but this one was in WHAT?!? TWO DEE!!! WHAT THE FLKJLK YOU PPL????

PPS. Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy (also Parks & Rec on TV), and Emily VanCamp in Captain America (also Revenge)? They played brother and sister on Everwood, a really good show you may have missed on The WB ten years ago or so. Because it LOOKED heartwarming, but was quite dark, both constituencies felt under-served. I'm glad it lasted 4 seasons anyway, but these two kids were great in it. Especially Chris, whose character developed in really interesting ways, but I love seeing them both doing well.....


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Mark Suszko
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (some spoilers)
on Apr 10, 2014 at 3:37:13 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Apr 10, 2014 at 4:02:58 pm

Patton Oswalt will star in next weeks AOS Tv episode... when I heard he was going to be in it, I was hoping he'd play MODOK, but I gather that's not what his part will be now. Patton would be an AWESOME MODOK.




Possible spoiler if you didn't watch the TV show yet:


I have a theory on the AOS episode, based on a 2-second long shot without audio, where Coulson seems to be arguing with or instructing a reluctant Agent Ward in the background, that the last scene we saw at the end of the episode was staged, Agent Hand is not dead, and Ward is now a Triple-agent, re-infiltrating Hydra on behalf of SHIELD, under the guise that he's still a Hydra mole.

He's still got the very precious, super-secret-containing thumb drive as far as we know, but how he uses it, or if he replaces it with, say a dummy hard drive, bearing a worm or other malware that will attack Hydra at the source... we don't yet know. But Agent Hand handed HER personal gun to Ward to execute Bill Paxton's character. That gun could have had dummy rounds put in it; Ward shot them all in the back, and we didn't see much, if any, blood. They could be tranq rounds to make it look good, and because the Good Guys would tend to play it like that. For Ward to really execute Hand and two loyal agents in cold blood, just to sell a cover identity, is pretty dark for a Disney/ABC/marvel Comics Tv show with a large youth demographic.

For the next season of AOS, I see two main directions possible: Coulson's team goes rogue and independent, hunted by what's left of SHIELD AND Hydra... or Coulson is tapped to re-form and re-organize a new SHIELD organization, while chasing Hydra around the globe. I like the latter direction better.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (some spoilers)
on Oct 13, 2014 at 6:38:56 pm

Just re-watched Captain America 2 over the weekend. What a great movie! Never noticed that at the end Black Widow changes out of the blue outfit she is in. I guess she always wants to look her best when saving the world. Although Scott warned me that I shouldn't watch Transformers 4 I think I'm going to do it.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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