Archive for captain america

The Avengers Review

Posted in 5 Stars with tags , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by russellsreviews

There has been a lot of comic books made in the last decade. Some had new updates for a younger generation and others stayed tired and true with a touch of dark realism. A successful formula was established and each one tends to follow that path. The Avengers has even a bigger and nearly impossible task than all of those of combining already established heroes with their own formula and universe already in place. These kind of events are common place in comics, but never before have been tried to be put on film. Can this film come close to the insane expectations placed upon it? Rest easy fans because not only did The Avengers delivered, but reached a new level that all comic films should be judged.

The Avengers is the best team up movie ever made. The X-Men movies were really good in their own way, but they might as well called them Wolverine with friends. It was wise choice for those movies, because Wolverine is the most popular X-man. This isn’t X-men. It’s Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor’s movie. These guys already have their own star power and each need a chance to shine and a reason to be there. The director/writer Joss Whedon couldn’t have put together a better feeling of this is a team of unique individuals putting differences aside to team up.

The movie was more from Shield’s Nick Fury perspective of trying to form the team rather than favoring one hero over the other. The move ultimately gave a greater importance of the team gathering and a bigger payoff when they finally do work together. The Avengers works as a film even if you have no prior knowledge of any of the other movies because of this idea. Actor Tom Hiddleston does another noteworthy job of Loki of not only with a stand out performance, but gives the story a weight for the need for the heroes to form a partnership to begin with.

The Avengers clicks on every level. Every moment you wished and wanted to see are there. Joss Whedon is known for witty banter and you have that in spades here. Captain America says what he should say. Nothing feels forced. All conversations between the heroes is smart and has a natural flow to them. Besides the dialogue, the other achievement was just how good the action was. Other comic films had great battles that fit the character, especially the Spiderman films come to mind, but the action here felt ripped from the comics. When you see a great fight scene in a comic or a cartoon you think yeah that’s awesome, but that could never work in real life or on the big screen. You can’t say that anymore. The word epic gets thrown around too much nowadays, but the Avengers fight scenes are truly epic. By the way, if this movie doesn’t prove to everyone that the Hulk is an interesting character who deserves another chance I don’t know what will.

I applaud Joss Whedon for pulling this off. The Avengers set the bar high that you can have a great comic movie and keep all of the comic book style and make it great where everyone can love it. I would say even that the characters were written more like themselves than they did in their own movies and even breathed new life into less popular ones like the Hulk. You will have a blast seeing this movie and if your a comic fan your nerd heart will grow twice in size.

5 STARS

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Captain America: The First Avenger Review

Posted in 4 Stars, Action, New Movie, Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2011 by russellsreviews

Captain America: the First Avenger isn’t the patriotic hero first adaptation to live action. He has been in several TV series and even already has his time on the big screen. Unfortunately, all of which have been embarrassing failures for the character. Following all of the successful marvel movies of late marvel feels like its a ripe time to try again. Captain America is a integral part of the upcoming ground breaking Avengers movie and must get it right this time. Does Captain America make you feel proud to be an American or leaves you walking out shaking your head?

Steve Rogers is a very patriotic young man who just simply wants to do his part in helping America fight the axis powers during world war two. Only problem is he is a small meek boy with asthma that no military division would accept him.  Dr. Abraham Erskine manages to see past that weak body and sees the greatness within and gives him a chance to be a part of the experimental super solider program. Rogers’ body is reborn and gets power any other man would dream of. He slowly becomes a ray of hope for America and inspires the country to do the necessary sacrifices that it takes to beat the greatest evil the world has ever known.

What’s odd in this film for comic book fans is that Chris Evans the actor who play Steve Rogers has played a famous marvel character before, the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four. Not only that but he mostly plays cocky wish cracking characters and fans have been really nervous how he would played such a strong reserved character. The film quickly puts that to bed and he actually carries most of the film. Chris Evans is a lot better actor than people give him credit for and it shows in Captain America. Along side of him are perfectly cast actors who all help elevated the film which did its part making people take this story seriously. Tommy Lee Jones is great as a military sergeant and the always good Hugo Weaving plays the Red Skull with the perfect amount of crazy. The always great Stanley Tucci plays another stand out role as the Dr. Erskine. The one that stands out the most for me is Hayley Atwell who plays the British agent Peggy Carter. She shines in every scene and mostly because of her we get to have one of the best romantic relationship in any comic movie.

The film does a great job of keeping it real and yet still giving tons of winks to the comic fans that even the more experienced fans might miss. The progression of his costume is spot on and make even the hardcore purist happy. Keeping things real hurt the film a little however. The fight scenes are good, but nothing stands out or is memorable. He uses his shield enough and its never silly, but nothing really creative that we have seen in the comics. Another aspect of the film that hurt it is the bookends of the story. Captain America opens with people finding his body frozen in ice then flashbacks to how he came to be. I don’t have problem with this kind of story telling, but I think it was handled very wrong. When the climax of the film is pretty much ruined because you know he is going to crash and get frozen even if you had no prior knowledge of the character. The most important scene where he wakes up in modern New York was shot intensely, but when he wakes up and the film has already shown the card that he gets found takes a lot of punch of it. If they would have left that prologue out and tweaked the ending some Captain America good of been more than a good film, but one of the best comic book films ever made.

Captain America is not only fun like Thor or Iron man, but also has tons of moral messages that in my mind make the best comic book films. They’re not as subtle as the Spider-Man films, but you can appreciate them. Even his shield has a meaning to what the USA really stands for. Captain America is special because he represents a time and moral clarity that America has forgotten. A type of hero that can’t be made anymore.

4 STARS