Posts Tagged ‘CaptainAmerica’

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At the end of Captain America: The First Avenger Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finds himself in a world he doesn’t recognize. In the sequel, Captain American: The Winter Soldier, Rogers has ajusted to the twenty first century but learns that sadly, for the safety of the world, some things never change. The deadly Hydra is still a threat and are about to launch their most devastating assault on freedom yet. Said threat coming from the least likely of places. Adding fuel to the inferno of chaos is a ghost from Rogers past, a deadly assassin of myth-like status and one who will stop at nothing to eliminate his targets.

Anthony and Joe Russo,  known for TV’s Community, make their MCU directorial debut with The Winter Soldier. The duo made a big impact with this movie, directing with style, confidence and (through collaborating with a world class stunt team) put on film some of the best action sequences you are likey to have seen. No hype. From white knuckle car chases, ground to air combat and close quarters. In my review for the first film I said the action is great and easy to follow. In The Winter Soldier the action HURTS. It’s darker, more kinetic and on a totally different level. That is because The Winter Soldier is a different kind of film.

The first movie was a celebration of Captain America, his era and his comic book legacy. The Winter Soldier is a film that continues that celebration. This time mixing it with the political thriller/spy genre. For better and for worse. While The Winter Soldier’s plot is more mature (hate to use that term as I don’t feel the previous movie was silly or immature) I found it to be, at times, needlessly dense. There is a lot to take in, twists, turns and a request for the audience to pay attention. Add to that a wave of characters, each with their own agendas and it shows great ambition but at roughly two and a half hours the film is long! It doesn’t drag. The pace is great but it just makes you work in between the brilliant. Nothing wrong with that but by the end when all the cards are on the table the plot is really straight forward and I felt like the film could have been stronger if it had shaved even twenty minutes off the running time.

Chris Evans is brilliant in this film. He puts everying into the role of Rogers/Captain America.  He is joined on his mission this time out by Black Widow and Nick Fury. Scarlett Johansson revealing a harder edge to her mysterious Black Window character. Jackson’s Nick Fury has quite a lot to do in the film besides show up for a cameo and that was boss to see. I’d love to see Fury take on more prominent roles in these movies.

Newcomers Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo and Emily VanCamp are welcome additions to the MCU. Mackie is very good as Sam Wilson. Falcon has some of the best and impressive action scenes in the film. Both Hayley Atwell and Sebastian Stan return from the first film as Peggy Carter and Bucky Barnes. Atwell as Carter has a heartbreaking reunion with Rogers and it’s a shame they couldn’t find a way of keeping Peggy young and action ready like a certain other face from Rogers’ past. Stan does terrific work in The Winter Soldier. In a lot of ways the film rested on his shoulders and without his commitment to the role the film may not have worked.

A lot of people list Captain America: The Winter Soldier as their favourite MCU addition. No counter point from me. This is a brilliant film and one that’s  directed the hell out of. Is it my favourite out of the MCU? I would say no. It’s a bit too dense and just a tad overlong but those are tiny issues. It will no doubt stand the test of time and be shown as one of the best examples of what a awesome comic book movie looks like for years to come.

 

 

 

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Captain America: The First Avenger is a cracking cineamtic debut for one of Marvel comics most beloved and enduring characters. Who better to usher him in than Joe Johnston! Johnston has directed some great movies over the course of his career with family friendly fun in the form of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, summer blockbusters with Jumanji and Jurassic Park 3 to smaller, more character focused dramas like October Sky. As a director he has a wide pallet and he brings a bit of everything to Captain America and makes it work.

The movie follows Steve Rogers, a young Brooklyn guy who wants to enlist in the second world war and stand up for those who can not stand up for themselves. From the moment we meet Steve you see his heart is in the right place but the reality of his stature means he has to stay home while his buddy and others are cleared to join the fight. That is until a chance encounter at the World’s Fair ends with Steve given the oppertunity to take part in a experimental procedure that transforms his body and Captain America is born. Meanwhile the evil Hydra, led by the deadly Red Skull, have begun to lay waste to Europe via the power of a mysterious stone that grants them technological advantages that could see the whole world in ruin. It is up to Captain America and his allies to take down the Red Skull and Hydra!

Chris Evans as Captain America/Steve Rogers is brilliant. As an actor this guy has a wide range and he gets to show it here. With a less talented actor in the role the film could have failed and come off as nothing more than a cheese fest but thanks to Evans that isn’t the case. Hugo Weaving as Red Skull is very good. Tommy Lee Jones puts in great support as super dry Colonel Chester Phillips. Sebastian Stan begins to cement his role in the MCU, his character Bucky had to hit home due to the role he would go on to play and Stan achives that. Last but not least Hayley Atwell almost steals the damn movie in what is a winning role as Agent Peggy Carter. Carter aids Steve throughout the film and her no nonsense and kick ass attitude is backed up by a ton of charisma. Johnston and co. put together one great cast here and it’s a pleasure to see them all do great work together.

The special effects work on display – practical and CGI – is some of the greatest work I’ve seen but not in the obvious areas. Somehow the CGI used to blend actor Chris Evan’s head onto a smaller actors body (if that is what they did!) looks seamless! It’s mindblowing stuff. Major credit needs to go to the film’s set and art dirction which makes the movie feel and look as if it could have come out of Hollywood during the golden age of movies, evoking the look and feel of America circa 1940/50’s. All of the little and at times not so little historical touches really hit home for me because I love that era of cinema and history.

When it comes to the action Johnston and his team are top notch. Each action sequence in the film is well shot and easy to follow. There is no frantic cutting or manic editing that leaves you feeling confused as to what the hell is going on. Likewise the set pieces range from one on one showdowns to all out assaults on land and in the air with each sequence looking as if it was effortless to capture. That’s the sign of a talented director and great action. It should look effortless but the reality is that capturing that feel is anything but!

Here’s the thing with Captain America: The First Avenger, I feel like it’s criminally underrated. In 2017 the MCU is big and filled with good to great movies. As time goes on it’s going to get bigger but I hope this one doesn’t fall off the radar because, for me at least, I think this is one of the purest comic book movies ever made. Much in the same way as Donner did with Superman I feel like Johnston has directed from the heart, respected the source and delivered a boss comic book movie that now arguably seems small in comparison to say Winter Soldier or Civil War yet in other ways stands above both.

 

 

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This week I was lucky enough to catch Captain America: Civil War and I’m happy to say the mad hype the film has been generating is warranted. Winter Solider directing duo the Russo brothers are back behind the camera on directing duties and they manage to craft some brilliant fight/action scenes and a very, very good movie.

A testament to their talent is how the action is frantic but you see punch/kicks connect and never feel overwhelmed. I loved how several tense scenes quickly escalate out of control which is my way of saying there’s really no good moment to take a toilet break during Civil War as anything could happen at any moment. Chaos erupting out of seemingly non event scenes.

Joe and Anthony Russo don’t shy away from great character moments and feel confident in the characters and the story to expand and explore issues which don’t rely so much on BIG comic book action.

Obviously it’s tricky writing a review for a film that is on the top of a lot people most anticipated lists. I hate spoilers and dislike it when reviewers generally just drop them  assuming they’ll know what constitutes a spoiler or not for a potential viewer. With that said I can say Black Panther and Spiderman are excellent additions to the MCU. I can’t wait to see those guys get their stand alone movies. The action is great, yes the airport showdown is incredible and by the time you get to the end there is a clear sense of resolution. There is no cop out ending.

Any drawbacks? Sadly I can’t go into that without alluding to certain things but I think I can say that the film maybe isn’t as dark as you may think going into it. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a laugh a minute but I do wish Marvel would take a few more risks but then I can see why they have made the creative choices they have.