Sunday, May 19, 2013

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Blu-Ray

Rating:  3 out of 5 shield ricochets before finally hitting a Nazi

Plot Synopsis:  Steve Rogers goes from wimpy 4F reject to the badass super powered embodiment of ‘MERICA!  FUCK YEAH!

The Good:

-The opening, pretty much until we get our first glimpse of Steve Rogers.  The very opening establishes us in a time period and book ends the film without having to explicitly state what happened.  After that we get thrown back in time to Johann Schmidt attacking a castle in Norway.  So we get an introduction to our main antagonist, his goals, what he’s capable of and a hint of his true power.  So when we are introduced to Steve Rogers we have an idea as to what he’s up against and where he’ll end up (which some might consider a negative but I liked the glimpse).

-The establishing of Red Skull as a man of science and the tesseract as an object of science and  not an object of magic.

-Chris Evans looks great as the sickly Steve Rogers, they did such a good job on that effect.  It could easily look really fake or stupid but they’re able to pull it off pretty seamlessly.

-They keep telegraphing the shield, at first he uses a garbage can lid and then a taxi door with a star on it.  It’s nice foreshadowing.  I read that to mean that he has a natural predilection for using shields which is what makes him so good at using the one he gets.

-Bucky as the badass that Steve looked up too.  Rather than Bucky being an Army brat who gets picked by a powered Captain America he’s the childhood friend that Steve wanted to be.

-Howard mutha fucking Stark.  He’s played to perfection as the Howard Hughes type genius.  He’s enough like Tony to understand where Tony got it but different enough to see why Tony and Howard may not have gotten along.

-The characterization of Steve Rogers is great.  They establish that he’s persistent, he’s principled, he’s not afraid to fight, he doesn’t like bullies, and he won’t stay down no matter how much you beat him.

-“Is this a test?” “…Yes.”

-The establishing shot of Dr. Zola is his face in a TV screen which is a great reference to how, in the comics, he’s a face on television located in the stomach of a robot.

-Hugo Weavings accent as Red Skull, the way he talks and moves really adds personality to the Skull.  It’s such a unique accent and way of talking that it can’t help but be interesting.

-Tommy Lee Jones is basically Tommy Lee Jones which is exactly what I want to see in my Tommy Lee Jones.

-I like how they establish Rogers as a person to sit back and evaluate a situation and then approach it smartly rather than brute force everything.  This is really shown in the flag capturing scene.  When the soldiers are told to climb up the flag pole and get the flag everyone else goes after it in a mad scramble while Steve watches.  When everyone is done he walks up to it and solves the problem with little effort.

-Haley Atwell is great as Peggy Carter, she’s tough and she’s got depth.

-Dr. Erskine is played really well by Stanley Tucci.

-I love how they tease the reveal of the Red Skull.  Blood on a skull pin, flames behind him when they reveal his origin, hiding his face when he is getting his portrait painted.

-Steve has a little trouble adjusting to what his new body can do.  He over runs a corner, he underestimates his speed and his has a little trouble with his jump.

-I like how they visually changed everything.  Hydra looks badass (bright green and yellow works in the comics but would look stupid in real life), Captain America’s costume looks great, like an actual military uniform, everything is made a little darker and a little more real and it all benefits from the change.

-The moment Red Skull counts how many targets are in the room before killing them.

-Cap as a propaganda tool.  A good homage to the original Cap costume and a good way to establish Cap as a pop idol in the show and movies and whatnot.  Plus he knocks out Hitler.

-The sudden change from the civilian shows to the USO show in front of live soldiers.

-“You know what you’re doing?” “Yeah, I’ve knocked out Adolf Hitler over 200 times.”

-The Red Skull make-up is amazing.

-The Stan Lee cameo is, as always, pretty funny.

-There seems to be a hint of jealousy between Howard Stark and Cap.

-The incredibly brief scene establishing Buck as a sharpshooter.

-“I am a scientist, I can-noe faiii-t” Zola gets a little Monty Python added to his accent.

-The last we see of Cap in the flashback portion is a picture of him before his transformation.

-Finally the last little bit where we bring Cap into the modern world and he immediately see’s through Fury’s ploy and runs out into the modern world.

The Bad:

-Zola seems a bit too cowardly and moral.  I think his depiction in the video game is more comic accurate where he is a cold, amoral scientist.  He’s played brilliantly and the change gives the character a bit more depth but SOMETHING has to be wrong with this movie.

-The weird helicopter jet thing is kind of dumb looking.  How does that thing function?  How does it not kill everyone around it?

-I don’t like how Bucky goes out in this.  He just falls of a train like a bitch.  They should have tried to keep true to his comic death.  That death had a bit more meaning and a bit more drama.  The way he goes out in this he’s more just a clumsy, unlucky bastard.

-Are you supposed to drink milk with steak?  I thought you weren't supposed to drink milk with any kind of beef.

-How does a trip wire get the last guys?  Don’t they see everyone in front ducking?

-Red Skull goes like a bitch.

-The final fight could be longer.  By which I mean the fight with Red Skull and Cap, the final action scene 
goes on for quite a bit.  Cap fights cannon fodder, jumps on a jet (why not let Bucky jump on a jet and taken out?  At least he goes out a hero and it’s closer to the comic) flies with the jet, throws the guy out and flies the jet back before confronting Skull.  That time could have been spent with Skull and Cap fighting.  The fight is good but I could have stayed with it longer.

The Ugly:

-The CGI/green screen is kind of easy to see in the hangar scenes.

Final Thoughts:  There isn't really much to say about this movie.  Seriously.  I don’t have much to say about this movie.  It’s the most popcorn of the Phase 1 movies, there isn't a lot to get mad about, there really isn't even a lot to think about.  It’s a fun action movie without a whole lot of baggage attached to it.  It’s some really good acting, some really good action scenes and a pretty decent story of good vs. evil.  It’s definitely really good for a comic movie and worth checking out.

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