Heroes of the East

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Heroes of the East

Film discussion and banter

    Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)


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    Join date : 2011-02-16
    Location : Modesto, CA

    Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo) Empty Captain America: The Winter Solider (2014: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo)

    Post  Masterofoneinchpunch Wed May 07, 2014 10:44 am

    "On your left."

    I normally do not see a film twice in the theater, but I made an exception for this one. Part of the reason was that there was nothing much else at the theater I wanted to watch and I wanted to make up the last time I went see this. Of course this involves a story. A couple of weeks ago at this same theater, but different screen, I had too much tea as usual and had to make a quick bathroom break. I think I have evolved it down to an art form to spending as little time away from the screen as possible. This movie was playing in one of the large rooms where there is connection to the balcony where there is a hidden restroom that no one uses or seems to use. This cuts down on time quite a bit. I had left during the scene where Nick Fury is at Captain Americas apartment. I figured this was going to be mostly exposition and I would lose little here. I made it back to the theater while Fury was still talking so I knew I did not miss much. It is a rather dark scene so I accidently bumped my thigh into a railing trying to get back to my row as I misjudged the drop from the stairs unto the row as well. It was nothing too bad, just a slight annoyance. As I was hurrying to my seat to sit there was an echoing sound of BAM! (Batman style) and possibly a couple of chuckles in the audience I think, because I slammed my shin into a seat that did not prop back up properly. It was painful and slightly embarrassing but nowhere near as painful as other bumps or injuries I have done in the past. I smirked to myself and sat down while crossing my leg on my other thigh to massage it. I sat wondering why my leg was so sweaty until I realized that my shin was bloody as I see the darkness on my hand as I try to get some light from the screen. Damn it! Back to the restroom where I clean the wound, stop the bleeding, clean up my leg and try to hurry back to the theater though this time with a little more caution. I do not think I am going to get that blood out of the sock though.

    So starting fresh, full of caffeine and yet not losing blood I sit to enjoy my second watching of this. I liked the first Captain America, more than I originally thought I would with its underdog or ugly-duckling story (something this could not duplicate for obvious reasons) and I definitely wanted to see the continuing adventures, especially post-Avengers. It is always good to start off a film with a mission and even more impressive by jumping out of a plane without a parachute (might have hurt a little if he hit the ship.) Here he has some help from his friends including Natasha Romanoff upon a siege of a hijacked ship courtesy of Georges Batroc (Georges St-Pierre) a French-speaking mercenary for hire. The mission goes off quite easily, except for the fact that Rogers found Romanoff doing a separate mission for Nick Fury that he was not privy to. This “compartmentalization” is anathema to Rogers’ straightforward approach and leads him to consider that this is not the same world he originally left and his place in it might be more limited than he expects. It is ironic that later an attempt on Nick Fury’s life by a legendary ghost-like assassin-for-hire The Winter Soldier brings Rogers back into the game with a clear adversary, though who exactly is the head of it remains a question (well probably not that hard to know.)

    I am still not completely satisfied with the fighting sequences. I like the fact that a different arsenal of hits and kicks are used (count how many times a front kick is thrown; I believe 300 helped popularize this simple but effective move), but the shaky-cam is overused as well as the too quick editing. Still the Georges St. Pierre hand-to-hand battle is fun and one of the better Hollywood fight scenes of the past several years and I really enjoyed the elevator fight scene. Obviously when money is spent on special effects, the CGI scenes tend to have less shakiness though and they look quite good here even when the overabundance tends to dehumanize everything else. Still, wouldn’t you like to have Nick Fury’s vehicle.

    There could have been a little more fish-out-of-water sequences that would have benefited the film. It is going to take him quite a bit more time to get used to all the changes that he missed. Of course he has a list written down (future freeze frame moment when I get this on BD/DVD) of things to research (thank goodness it is on paper.) Of course, I am the type of reviewer that likes more psychology and characterization so consider the source with my blather. But this is first and foremost a comic-book action film and an effective one at that. It does dabble with political rhetoric and in some ways I feel it is more effective than The Dark Knight’s waffling with its quasi-stance on the ubiquitous technology and the “we should not but we will use it just once to solve our current dilemma.”* Steve Rogers pretty much sticks to his guns and finds himself at odds with the current administration head (Robert Redford) at SHIELD because of it.** That myopic view of Rogers makes him unique in this day in age of anti-hero superheroes. But what really helps me enjoy this film is the interaction between Rogers and the secondary characters. He seems to have a real chemistry with Natasha as well as Sam Wilson (Falcon) as well as the titular villain.

    Action and comic book fans [s]will[/s] certainly like this (I am sure they have already watched this). It is my third favorite in The Avengers Cycle with only Iron Man and The Avengers ahead of it. I will purchase it when it comes out on BD/DVD though I probably will not risk a third viewing at the theater.

    Stay through the credits. There are two extra scenes: one after the graphic credits which refers to a future film and one at the very end of the credits which has to do with this film. I cannot believe how many people I have talked to have missed both (the second one is more understandable, but never miss the first extra scene after the graphic credits in a Marvel film.)

    * Another Batman comparison: I do not think Catwoman (as played by Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises) would have any chance in a fight against Natasha Romanoff. I also thought the Scarlett Johansson fight scenes came off much better than Hathaway’s as well.

    ** Those that have seen Three Days of the Condor might see juxtaposition with Steve Rogers in the Robert Redford role and the Winter Solider in the Max von Sydow role.

    Article: How ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Succeeds Where ‘Man of Steel’ Failed by Mike Ryan: Poignant article on some major differences between the two films, though maybe takes the Man of Steel argument a bit too far.

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