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Superb. This could be the best sequel the genre has seen.
This film finds Captain America still adjusting to the modern day, while working under the increasingly morally ambiguous government agency S.H.I.E.L.D. The set up is masterfully done. This is the third time we've seen the character and it's by far the most complex. The Avengers film touched bit with his feelings of what it was like to be in the modern era, but besides the deleted scenes, they had no time to dive in to the subject matter in that movie. That's not the case here. This is a wonderful character study to go along with a purely thrilling plot. This was exactly the perfect vehicle to deliver the film the character deserves at this time. What makes Steve/cap interesting isn't his abilities but the man himself. The "man out of time" to be exact. He must come to terms with a past that is long gone and a longing for a better more decent era. Dealing with the shades of grey of the modern era and being part of an organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking its toll on a member of "the greatest generation." As he's finding his way, his past comes back and explodes all throughout his new life.
Enter The Winter Soldier, who is an amoral assassin and an agent of shady government rogues. Saying any more about what is an ultimately cool character would be a spoiler. Fans of the books know who he is and what he's about but movie fans need to find their own way.
I really enjoyed the origin and First Avenger but this movie is darker than the original film. It has a whole new flavor and that;s exactly what was needed. The 1940's romance and even the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" tone fit the first film quite nicely but would have been out of place in this story. Just like Cap, adaptation is a key. Steve is still an unquestioning patriot but he shifts from being an unquestioning soldier. This is where his old-fashioned values pay off. Questioning what is wrong and questioning what is morally cloudy is a test of true character. That is exactly why the character of Steve Rogers is so interesting. He's so much more than a super soldier boy scout. There's depth, angst and pathos to the max. He is out-of-place and he is old- fashioned but proud of that in a way. He also is an enhanced thinker so it's not like modern era gadgets confound him. It's all played just right.
The story itself is a good old fashion action thriller with a ton of intrigue. Honestly, I didn't expect it to be this clever. Everything about this movie is a joy to watch. Tha cast is perfect and everyone is used exceptionally well. This could be the best sequel the genre has seen. It's Marvel's best sequel for sure.
Superb in many ways. Great Fun!
Is there more to say? The sheer joy that this movie provides makes you happy to love movies. You feel blessed. And you want to thank Joe Johnson, or some god of the arts, for bringing this film, these characters to life. You fall back into a state close to childhood, when every new picture you saw was the best there is. You spend two hours smiling. Just smiling...
2011 was a great year for action/adventure and Captain America The First Avengers is right at the top of that impressive list. MARVEL is definitely on a roll what with the record breaking success of Iron Man as well as Thor hitting big this year. Let's not forget how good X-Men First Class turned out and that Spider-Man is getting a facelift and will tear it up next year. Speaking of next year, let's not forget all this greatness has been leading up to THE AVENGERS!!!!
This movie was excellent and entertaining and deserves all the praise it has gotten. Superb in many ways.
Good Memories but OK film
This movie was good but not great like I was expecting. A purely hockey movie, it missed a huge opportunity to tell the story from the viewpoint of being a springboard to the Reagan era which ushered in a return of national pride and the resurgence of a great nation. Instead, we get little snippets of insight into what was going on at that time but stay completely focused on hockey. Since that result is well known to everyone, it seemed very anticlimactic and even forcibly staged. I don't know why but it felt hallow. Instead of being a personal and heartfelt movie, all it tried to do was recapture the excitement of the 80 Olympics. However, with the shock value gone by a forgone conclusion, it just seemed like the wrong thing to focus on. Don't get me wrong, it's a story that should be told and I did enjoy it for what it was. We are treated to nice, in depth moments with Herb Brooks. I just wish there were more character development like that instead of hockey scene after hockey scene. The actual hockey skills on display are quite poor and it was almost distracting watching the director cut in and out to hide this fact. Somehow I give this movie a 7 out of 10
probably solely because of the memories it evokes rather then its own merits.
The Missing (2003)
a poorly paced, grim and dark waste of time
I'm shocked that Ron Howard could put together such a poorly paced, grim and dark waste of time. At times, this movie was even incoherent. (Ex: The need arises to run from the bad guys and out of nowhere we see shooting and mass confusion for the viewer. Later, we learn that it's just two old pals of Tommy Lee's character that happen to show up out of nowhere.) The quick camera cuts and poor story telling made the few action sequences hard to follow. The mystic avenue touched on at times in this movie was asinine and even silly. It seemed so tacked on and unnecessary. This was truly a mess of a movie and it looked like Ron Howard just shot this thing on the fly. It is brutal just for sake of being brutal. The tedious set up proves that the bad guys are truly despicable yet the climax and resolution is so very unsatisfying. This is truly Ron Howard's and Tommy Lee Jones' worst effort of their fabulous careers.
Van Helsing (2004)
I know you don't go to this type of film looking for a deep plot or even a believable story but you at least expect coherent entertainment. From the opening fight scene with Mr. Hyde through the end of the film, there wasn't one single moment when you bought in to the CGI chaos that was depicted on the screen. When severely underdeveloped characters are flying around and defying every law of physics, you're never allowed to get involved in the movie on any level other then the "cool cartoon" level (and quite frankly very few of the jerky CGI cartoon creature scenes were that cool). I could literally list the WAY over the top, unbelievable cartoon moments but that would fill up an entire page. The sad part is that most of the CGI monsters looked really fake. From Hyde to the baby vampires to the vampire women, they all looked extremely cheesy. Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale are exceptional actors but were so stranded by this script and by the stunts that it almost hurt to watch them floundering on screen from one fake backdrop to another. The hambone that played Dracula threw so much over the top cheese at EVERY single line he delivered that my arteries hardened just watching him. To call this film a disappointment would be an understatement. I was greatly looking forward to it because of the concept, the cast and the obviously huge budget. It's such a shame that they threw this much talent and this much money behind a script written by someone's pre-teen child. I guess I should be asking myself why would I expect anything remotely intelligent from a movie that was directed by the director of The Mummy & Mummy Returns? I'd say next time I'll know better but there won't be a next time for me sitting through any more of this guy's movies.
.. Kate's character spends most of her time getting smacked around, dangling from great heights and often falling from those heights but bounces up with barely a scratch. Yet, she gets humped for two seconds by the Van Wolfman and dies? What was the story with her and her brother? I know they were the last royalty but I think they were TOO close. Wasn't that them making out in Heaven there at the end? How can any director rationalize shooting and producing the idiotic things that occurred in this movie? Fun action is one thing but one stupid, cheesy and over the top CGI moment after the other is quite another thing. Van Helsing jumping all around the cathedral fighting a Mr. Hyde that doesn't bleed was video-gamesque in every way. Apparently, all the people in Kate's little town do is stand around in their courtyard with farm equipment ready to beat strangers and be food for vampires. They were upset when one died so obviously they weren't looking to fight back. What was the deal with the hambone Dracula's master plan? He has no emotions so he wants offspring? I nearly laughed out loud when he says he doesn't feel anything yet he delivers this line in ANGER and then he LAUGHS. Van Helsing was the one who killed him when he was mortal but he treats him like a long lost friend and carries on a nice plodding conversation when Van Helsing first confronts him? By the way, why is Van Helsing 600 years old? Because he's the left arm of God? Huh? Another laugh out loud moment happened when it clearly wasn't meant to. As Kate swings like Tarzan from hundreds of feet in the air from a castle window, Friar Goober flings her a syringe (the only way to save Van Wolfman) in a driving rainstorm. What results is a nice catch and the movie's 50th "roll your eyes" moment. The fact that Friar Goober just walks across the remnants of the bridge moments later makes it even more laughable. Every single time one of these vampire supercreatures has the edge they stop to talk, gloat, or toy with Kate or Van Jackman. Even Dracula stops to give his last live action cheesy moment as the moon goes behind the clouds and Van Wolfman is helpless. OY. This was just bad at every turn. You know they're over doing the fake CGI when in the middle of an action sequence I was more fixated on Kate Beckinsale's perfect behind then on any of the "spectacular" CGI shots going on around her. Yes, she's extremely gorgeous but I'm not that big of a horndog. I just was tired at looking at silly CGI that offered nothing new. Hugh Jackman had better shelve this franchise and get back to the clever franchise that's made him a star. The X-Men franchise is everything Van Helsing isn't. Hugh can play a hero with memory problems that can kick ass there but he can do it with a real character and a real director.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The Best Action Ever Presented on Film!
Spider-Man 3 is a spectacular movie. It's the best of the three and it certainly has the most depth. Everything in this movie is exceedingly better in the sequel. Characters and plot lines that were introduced in the first two films are now given room to thrive and find their own voice and their own distinctiveness. The plot becomes more intricate, the situations become more dire. No comic book movie has ever dug as deep as Spider-Man 3 does here-- these are not only the most complex characters I've ever seen in a super hero movie, they are so well written and full of small, personal moments that they transcend their origins and become living, breathing people whom have pasts, presents and futures. Harry and his emotional baggage, Peter and his multiple dilemmas and inter struggles, Marko and his tragic reason for being a villain, Aunt May and her wisdom all advance a story that we deeply care about. Then, when super powers collide it means more but it's also some of the best action ever presented on film.