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Old 07-30-2011, 01:17 AM   #176
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

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Great review Axl. You really got the movie and you get Cap. I loved how Cap was always decent and humble, even after becoming this incredible adonis-he was still the same good man, like Erskine wanted him to be. And I loved the friendship between Steve and Erskine in the film. I've read Cap's origin hundreds of times, and this is the first version where Erskine's death actually made me very very sad.
Thanks! You know, I think it was when I first heard Erskine's line in the trailer - about "staying who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man" - that I thought this movie really might be something special. In these dark times, we need a truly heroic figure like Steve Rogers to remind us about the good side of human nature.

In the last several decades, Western culture has arguably become more about the individual and less about the greater good. Maybe it started with the so-called "Me Decade", but today we have this narcissistic celebrity culture, exemplified most by "reality" TV. How many times have you seen a show like Survivor, where loyalty and friendship are seen as weaknesses, and ruthless self-absorption as the key to success? Maybe one of the reasons World War II has such resonance in the American consciousness is because it marked one of the last times when the people banded together and sacrificed for the common good in the face of a clear and identifiable evil. Steve Rogers exemplifies that spirit of community. The grenade scene really says it all: this is a guy who selflessly puts the safety of others ahead of his own personal well-being. In such a cynical and dispirited age, that's incredibly refreshing to see.

Now if only Zack Snyder's Superman can follow that example, maybe we'll see if Cap is a leader is in more ways than one.

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Old 07-30-2011, 01:44 AM   #177
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

I'll throw my hat into the ring here regarding the hero vs anti-hero thing (for better or worse). What it all boils down to to me is the character journey, generally the worse off the character the more area you have to develop a compelling narrative whereby the character has to overcome certain obstacles, this goes for all characters not just superheroes. If a character is simply a good guy who wants to do what's right then it's a pretty weak character arc because the only obstacle he has is defeating the bad guy. Let me reiterate that there's nothing wrong with being a good person, it's a virtue that many people lack, but from a story perspective it makes characters one dimensional to be painted with such broad strokes in a film that's trying to take itself seriously. The thing is you can add extra layers to a character without resorting to them slipping into that grey area or changing what they stand for, I saw it briefly in that scene where Rogers realizes he can't get drunk anymore, basically the realization that he's no longer the man he use to be, why not play that up more? Or his lack of skills with women which is touched upon but not as much as it could have. Things like that don't really change what he stands for, but it gives him a personal hurdle or two to overcome, it's small things like that that can ultimately change characters for the better and make the movies far more engaging.

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Old 07-30-2011, 02:59 AM   #178
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

if i want a tormented soul i'll read The Punisher or any MK comics.

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Old 07-30-2011, 03:06 AM   #179
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How Ironic is it folks that in a film that has a clean cut/good old fashioned Hero when compared to the other MCU films, that it ends on the most saddest note as well?lol

Seriously, I've talked to a good amount of people who aren't as familiar with CA's story in the comics, that are hoping after having seen CA:TFA that Steve ultimately gets a happy ending to his story within his franchise.

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Old 07-30-2011, 03:10 AM   #180
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

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Originally Posted by Axl Van Sixx View Post
Thanks! You know, I think it was when I first heard Erskine's line in the trailer - about "staying who you are, not a perfect soldier, but a good man" - that I thought this movie really might be something special. In these dark times, we need a truly heroic figure like Steve Rogers to remind us about the good side of human nature.

In the last several decades, Western culture has arguably become more about the individual and less about the greater good. Maybe it started with the so-called "Me Decade", but today we have this narcissistic celebrity culture, exemplified most by "reality" TV. How many times have you seen a show like Survivor, where loyalty and friendship are seen as weaknesses, and ruthless self-absorption as the key to success? Maybe one of the reasons World War II has such resonance in the American consciousness is because it marked one of the last times when the people banded together and sacrificed for the common good in the face of a clear and identifiable evil. Steve Rogers exemplifies that spirit of community. The grenade scene really says it all: this is a guy who selflessly puts the safety of others ahead of his own personal well-being. In such a cynical and dispirited age, that's incredibly refreshing to see.

Now if only Zack Snyder's Superman can follow that example, maybe we'll see if Cap is a leader is in more ways than one.
I agree with everything you said. I think WWII is still held in such high regard and the US Military itself is still so respected-probably the only US Government institution that people generally respect-because of the unity they represent. Even people who are strongly against the wars are not against the servicemen (which was the case to a degree in Vietnam).

The grenade scene is fantastic.

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I'll throw my hat into the ring here regarding the hero vs anti-hero thing (for better or worse). What it all boils down to to me is the character journey, generally the worse off the character the more area you have to develop a compelling narrative whereby the character has to overcome certain obstacles, this goes for all characters not just superheroes. If a character is simply a good guy who wants to do what's right then it's a pretty weak character arc because the only obstacle he has is defeating the bad guy. Let me reiterate that there's nothing wrong with being a good person, it's a virtue that many people lack, but from a story perspective it makes characters one dimensional to be painted with such broad strokes in a film that's trying to take itself seriously. The thing is you can add extra layers to a character without resorting to them slipping into that grey area or changing what they stand for, I saw it briefly in that scene where Rogers realizes he can't get drunk anymore, basically the realization that he's no longer the man he use to be, why not play that up more? Or his lack of skills with women which is touched upon but not as much as it could have. Things like that don't really change what he stands for, but it gives him a personal hurdle or two to overcome, it's small things like that that can ultimately change characters for the better and make the movies far more engaging.
I think not only was Steve unskilled with women, he was completely socially awkward. But that didn't stop him for always standing up for his beliefs, like the theater scene. That's why the whole USO bit actually worked-Steve got to appear and perform in front of people and while it wasn't like field leadership, he did learn some degree of leadership from it. I don't think he would have pulled off the rescue without doing the USO bit.

Again, this film massively exceeded my personal expectations. Fantastic movie. Kirby would like it.

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Old 07-30-2011, 04:11 AM   #181
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

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I agree with everything you said. I think WWII is still held in such high regard and the US Military itself is still so respected-probably the only US Government institution that people generally respect-because of the unity they represent. Even people who are strongly against the wars are not against the servicemen (which was the case to a degree in Vietnam).

The grenade scene is fantastic.
I don't want to get too off-topic (I'm always a sucker for political debates), so this will be the last thing I say that's not directly related to the movie itself. I agree with what you said, but it's a fine line between respect for the military and a dangerous glorification of militarism. I think the difference with World War II was that it was the last major conflict (not counting the Cold War) where the U.S. faced an enemy of comparable strength. Vietnam definitely soiled the image of the military for a lot of Americans, but blaming the soldiers themselves was totally stupid and counterproductive, since they were basically following orders. Unfortunately, I think we've now swung to the opposite extreme, where any criticism of the military is absolutely forbidden - an especially dangerous development when the current wars the U.S. is engaged in are so controversial.

There's a personal element to this for me, since my father is in the Canadian Forces and just finished a year-long deployment to Afghanistan. I'm against the war personally, but I know my father is a good man and I have a lot of respect for him putting himself in such a dangerous situation. I think the relative lack of controversy of World War II - Nazis are the definition of political evil - makes it easy for me to like CA: TFA. Now that Cap is in the present for The Avengers, I feel they'll have to ignore politics more for the sake of not alienating potential audience members. One of the reasons I like Cap so much, despite my Marxist (read: internationalist) politics, is the idea that he stands for American VALUES, not necessarily the American government - this has been one of the ways Marvel has handled the character since his 60s resurrection in the Vietnam era. But in terms of the Avengers movie, this inevitably means they'll have to avoid pointed commentary on America's current military entanglements in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

That makes sense from a business perspective, but I can't help imagining, if Steve Rogers were a real person, what his views on the current American wars would be. Given that the wars are so controversial, I can see why Marvel would avoid having the character comment on the wars; remember the uproar when a recent Captain America comic included some mild criticism of the Tea Party? Current issues just stir up too many passions on all sides and taking a firm stance on any of them would alienate a large portion of Cap's potential audience. Like a Rorschach test, people want to see themselves in Cap. If you're anti-war, you want him to be against the wars, and likewise if you're pro-war you would want him to support them.

Clearly, the way they'll handle this in The Avengers is by having the team tackle distinctly non-political threats, like the Skrulls or Loki. Again, that makes total sense from a business (and likely from a creative) perspective. I guess it all comes down to what you're looking for in your entertainment. Most people are probably looking for pure escapism - I know sometimes when I'm sick of reading about politics I come on this board to think about something else (and, of course, often end up starting political debates - sorry, I can't help myself). But Cap is different in that his patriotic image can naturally lead to debates about U.S. foreign policy. I think this is why my favourite Cap stories take place in World War II; there's less moral ambiguity. Everyone hates Nazis, so you can just enjoy a rollicking good vs. evil adventure story without getting too bogged down in complex political reality.

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Old 07-30-2011, 06:13 AM   #182
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

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Well, the film isn't for everyone, I guess, upon repeat viewings, I feel it might be Marvels strongest film. It absolutely catered to my sensibilities, and was, hands down, the most beautifully shot film of the MCU thus far.

For the amount of story, it was very tricky to maintain a good pace, but I feel as tho, they accomplished that. In fact, my only complaint is that the movie could have been longer to help decompress the story(especially in the second half).

Sorry you didn't enjoy it as much. From the previews, I was hoping to get something akin to Indiana Jones and was pleasantly surprised with the result. It's been a while since I've had that old school sense of "fun" while watching a movie.
The ending, to me, was also poignant.
The film was too safe, too much formula, predictable except the last scene. Red Skull always went running , Captain America wiped out his army quite easily, that "I had a date" ending, lack of emotional depth especially when Bucky died, the Howling Commandos were forgettable, the pace is too fast too. Its a safe movie.

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:11 AM   #183
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

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The film was too safe, too much formula, predictable except the last scene. Red Skull always went running , Captain America wiped out his army quite easily, that "I had a date" ending, lack of emotional depth especially when Bucky died, the Howling Commandos were forgettable, the pace is too fast too. Its a safe movie.
While I don't disagree with the bolded part it was still a great movie. Every movie doesn't have to be all edgy and risky to be good.

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:19 AM   #184
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if only cyclops would of gotten the same treatment another guy people label as boring when the really dont get him

same with supes

also to be honest captain america was more a intriguing character than thor and iron man imo
Same here. May I'm getting bored with the jaded, arrogant, anti-type heroes. Rogers felt refreshing.

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:26 AM   #185
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Same here. May I'm getting bored with the jaded, arrogant, anti-type heroes. Rogers felt refreshing.

I agree, and i'm really glad it worked. Theres always the chance for that type of character to come off as cheesy and hokey.

Evans and Johnston did a great job though and struck the perfect balance with the character. I'm really glad to see an actual Hero do well in this jaded, anti hero worshiping world. He really is the anti Batman/Wolverine/Iron Man.

Superman. Your up.

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:43 AM   #186
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

It definitely was. And it was all on Evans shoulders. Yet he pulled it off. I'm thrilled for him.

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:49 AM   #187
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

I second that, Doctor ones.

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:56 AM   #188
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Just got back from seeing it and it wasn't that great. It was better than Thor but it wasn't that great.

I liked the USO scene at the start and the newsreels. They could have used more of that sort of stuff.

I hated some of that hammy dialogue. Like Doc Erskine's dreadfully obvious looking at the camera "NOT ALL GERMANS ARE BAD" line to Steve the day before the SSS experiment took place. We get it, we know the reasons why Germany fell to Hitler. You don't have to make a big deal about it because you think that people are going to go out and punch a German because they saw Captain America or something.

The dialogue in particular was really bad actually.

But the end with Nick Fury was interesting.

6/10.

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Old 07-30-2011, 10:25 AM   #189
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I hated some of that hammy dialogue. Like Doc Erskine's dreadfully obvious looking at the camera "NOT ALL GERMANS ARE BAD" line to Steve the day before the SSS experiment took place. We get it, we know the reasons why Germany fell to Hitler. You don't have to make a big deal about it because you think that people are going to go out and punch a German because they saw Captain America or something.
I don't know, personally I appreciated that scene. Even today, it's common for some people to equate all Germans with the Nazis (e.g. Daniel Goldhagen's book Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust). When it comes to fascism, there's still often this idea that "it can't happen here." Erskine's dialogue was a necessary reminder that the Nazi Party first terrorized its own people before it moved on to other nations. I thought it was a nice tip of the hat to history, to the fact that - even in this period, where as I've said, the enemy for citizens of the Allied nations was more clearly defined than it is today - things aren't always black and white, but shaded with grey. Given that the rest of the story moves on to HYDRA, which is really not that different from any megalomaniacal organization with plans to dominate the world in your average James Bond movie, I believed it was a necessary inclusion and helped flesh out the character of Erskine even more.

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Old 07-30-2011, 12:30 PM   #190
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The film was too safe, too much formula, predictable except the last scene. Red Skull always went running , Captain America wiped out his army quite easily, that "I had a date" ending, lack of emotional depth especially when Bucky died, the Howling Commandos were forgettable, the pace is too fast too. Its a safe movie.
You forget the fact that the movie is 2 hours long, it's both an origin story, and a full war-movie adventure which happens to mix with a superhero, a nemesis and everything involving Marvel previous and future movies.
I think on that level the movie largely succedes. It was a tough movie to pull off, I think the pace was good, I don't understand what you mean with 'too fast'. It's an adventure movie, it isn't supposed to be slow.
I understand what you mean with the rest, but I doubt this was a safe movie. It was a freakin' 1940's retro futuristic-superhero-war movie for Christ's sake!!

I though the movie was very original, I thought I was watching something different. Just like Asgard's parts on Thor, it felt refreshing to see Marvel characters in another setting rather than a city.
So no, in my opinion, I don't think it was a safe movie at all. If you start to think too much about it, every movie has flaws. But I think in this case, the good achievements overshadow the (small) flaws.

(I quoted you so I could start writing about the movie -which I saw yesterday- so don't take it as a personal post!)

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Old 07-30-2011, 12:55 PM   #191
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Default Re: The Official Captain America: The First Avenger Review Thread! - Part 1

The thing I'd like to find out is if Joe Simon has seen it yet and how did he like it.

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Old 07-30-2011, 01:16 PM   #192
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Watched it a few days ago and I loved it. Though now after watching it I think they did Black Widow totally wrong in IM2.

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Old 07-30-2011, 01:55 PM   #193
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I´m going to watch the movie next Wednesday.

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Old 07-30-2011, 01:56 PM   #194
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The thing I'd like to find out is if Joe Simon has seen it yet and how did he like it.
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Old 07-30-2011, 02:03 PM   #195
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Watched it a few days ago and I loved it. Though now after watching it I think they did Black Widow totally wrong in IM2.
Out of curiosity, how so? I don't disagree, I'm just curious how this particular movie changed your opinion.

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Old 07-30-2011, 02:54 PM   #196
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I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, much better than I expected.

Love the end of credits scene.

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Old 07-30-2011, 03:50 PM   #197
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Just saw it, I really enjoyed it. It felt like, and was, a throwback to an older style of action film, and it worked damn well. It might be Joe Johnston's best film since the Rocketeer (he and Nazis just work) and actually it might be the best film from Marvel so far (and I really liked Thor).
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Cap is indeed the best big budget movie so far in 2011 and the year for such things is slowly drawing to a close. Cowboys & Aliens is as bad as most are saying. I'd say Transformers 3, Thor and First Class are the only real contenders for the crown that I give to Cap.

These are what I've found to be the common reactions to this film. I don't understand the jealousy or hatred and I really don't care. I'm just glad such a good film is VERY well liked and is crossing the $100 million domestic mark probably as I type this out. Sets up what will be an epic Avengers film and will make enough to give us a sequel. That's all I wanted... a great film that does the character justice, delivers fun and does well enough to spring in to a full fledged franchise. A job well done.

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Old 07-30-2011, 04:26 PM   #198
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I agree I hope this film makes about 200 mil dometicly.

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Old 07-30-2011, 04:30 PM   #199
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I'd also like to note the diversity of the action and the settings here: a first Steve Rogers encounter running the city with his newly human abilities, we had Cap rescuing the team in the first costume, Cap in the forest and several different battle situations with the second costume, Cap in the motorcycle, in the snow, in a train, in mid air against a couple of Howling Commandos, in Red Skull's base, inside Red Skull's Jet... if you think about it, they pretty much covered every setting from that era. I liked that.

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Old 07-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #200
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I really enjoyed this movie, and will post more complete thoughts later. I do have one major quibble. The "horror of war" element was noticeably absent. Now, I get this is a film that has to be able to appeal to a broad range of people, but surely at some point one would explore, with a supersoldier character who can harm and kill with such apparent ease, the nature and impact of such a thing. It seems to me that this has been a fairly important part of the Captain America mythology, and it was almost nonexistent in this film.

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