Showing 1 - 10 of 11 posts found matching keyword: captain america

For the past month, it's been Guardians of the Galaxy this and Wonder Woman that. For a bit of a reality check, please recall that this is what super hero movies looked like 50 years ago:

Captain America loves you this much

Official Batman insignia my ass
from the 1967 JC Penney Christmas catalog

Ah, the good old days. When super heroes were just for white males and even officially licensed products looked like Chinese knock-offs! 'Merica!

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It's a sad day when a Family Circus comic strip speaks for my inner monologue.

The bullshit here is that kids don't read comic books anymore

Shove it up your colons, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War.

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I've been running this here blog for years, and while doing some housecleaning the other day, I discovered that one of my all-time favorite movie clips somehow got lost in one of several server relocations over the years. So I uploaded it to YouTube (which is 3 years younger than this blog) for all to enjoy!

Reb Brown will always be my Captain America!

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When I saw Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, I hated it. For an action movie, it's ugly, plodding, and there is far too much talking. It's more video game than movie. I disliked it so much that I vowed on the spot not to watch any sequels.

Fast forward to this year as several of my friends insisted that the sequel was far superior to the original, correcting most of its predecessor's flaws. Naturally, I resisted, at least until my father and I were looking for something to do one evening last week. So now I've seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Let me leave no doubt about what I thought: I hated it, too.

165. (702.) Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Just like the original, it takes far too long to get moving. So many — too many! — characters are introduced, briefly sketched out, then forgotten about for the next hour. I know that the last film considered character development to be optional, but that doesn't mean that this movie needs to devote its first hour to correcting that mistake. We also don't need to see minor characters in their own action scenes just so that we can judge how much trouble they are going to be for our hero later. The good Captain spends forever moping about the past, but I can't really blame him for that. He doesn't seem to be the focus in his own movie.

The Black Widow is around because the Marvel movie universe only has one female hero. And if you have Black Widow, you have to give her screen time (and a potential romance!). Ditto Nick Fury. Ditto Falcon. Ditto Sharon Carter, Maria Hill, Crossbones, Arnim Zola. Captain America is a supporting character in his own movie!

Instead of watching Captain America and his giant supporting cast battle AIM or the Flag-Smasher or the Serpent Squad (although we do get a tete-a-tete with an inexplicably durable Batroc the Leaper), we have to wait for a conspiracy to develop slowly within SHIELD, the movie's fictionalized NSA analogue. This turns good guys into bad guys and bad guys into good guys and, aw, who the hell cares. Captain America is no spy! The man wears a bright red, white, and blue costume and carries a metal shield that definitely will not fold up to be hidden in a briefcase. With Captain America, what you see is what you get. So by all means, let's squeeze him into a movie about the ethics of spies!

Speaking of spies, the worst part of the movies is the Cold War cast-off Winder Soldier. This character is in the title of the movie, but don't let that fool you. He's not important to the plot. He only takes up space so that Captain America has something personal to fight for when the spy movie devolves into a disaster movie. It's not enough to devote 2 hours to the juxtaposition of Captain America's antiquated 19th-century morality against the ethical quicksand born of Cold War gamesmanship and muddied by post-9/11 paranoia. No, for Captain America to have to make the hard choice between defending the public welfare and securing personal liberties, he has to fight his own family! What a cop-out.

Most of these flaws could probably be overlooked if the movie was fun, but it simply isn't. Like everything DC is making these days, it takes itself far too seriously while ignoring illogical character behavior. It doesn't help that there are as many locations as there are characters — seriously, there are scenes in three different character's kitchens — all apparently a thin excuse to justify why the other Avengers aren't called for support between action set pieces. Given that so much time is spent on character development, there's not even any suspense that Captain America and all of his friends won't live to save the day for capitalism! Yawn.

So I made a vow and I broke it. Shame on me. But I will not make the same mistake again. When Captain America 3 comes along, I'll spend my time on something entertaining instead.

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The 28th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group Trouble in Toyland toy safety survey was released yesterday, and one of the offenders this year was the Captain America Soft Shield. The USPIRG is bent out of shape that it contains too much metal. What's it supposed to be made out of? Shields made of wool don't stop nearly as many bullets.

This shield is a small, soft version of Captain America's famous flying shield designed, you know, for kids. Apparently the manufacturer's idea of "softening" the shield is to make it with a soft metal, namely lead. USIPRG reports that its tests indicate the shield has 2,900 parts per million. Who cares if the federal limit is 100 ppm? Political Correctness really has gotten out of hand if we're now protecting Nazis from lead poisoning!

Is this really something we need the government to get involved in, anyway? One of the well-reported side-effects of lead poisoning is that children who have been poisoned become listless and stop playing with their toys. See? A self-correcting situation!

Another side effect of lead poisoning on the young is the common development of behavior disorders, including mental retardation. Only the mentally feeble would read Marvel Comic books, so this sounds like a comprehensive market strategy to me. Remember, The Walt Disney Company wouldn't do anything to hurt you or your children. They need consumers like you just as much as you need them.

The Free Market works, people. Leave it alone.

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This weekend I broke my 5-year boycott of movie theaters. The last movie I saw in theaters was Iron Man. It's not that I have been going out of my way to avoid theaters (though I hate crowds of obnoxious people, which is to say all crowds). More so, it has been a combination of a lack of excitement about new films and a need to conserve money on luxuries such as movie tickets. Both of those barriers were overcome with the release of The Avengers.

Nine dollars for two hours of fun is still cheaper than a hooker.

You are naturally expecting me to excoriate the film, so let me go ahead and tell you that I really hated Captain America's costume. If Captain America is a symbol of everything that's right with American philosophy and a natural leader of men, why doesn't he have stars and stripes on the back of his costume? In the film, his back and ass are just a solid wall of blue. Are the troops he's leading into battle less deserving of inspiration than the foes that Cap is fighting? Sure, it's a minor point, but it's my biggest quibble. That should tell you how much I enjoyed the movie.

My second and even more minor complaint is that the Hulk's only line of dialogue was poorly timed, coming as it did so quickly after the villain's comeuppance. An excited audience trampled all over it as writer/director/king-of-fan-service Joss Whedon should have known it would. That won't be a problem when I watch the movie on DVD at my house, but it is a fine example of why I don't spend money to go to theaters.

The biggest side effect of my aversion to theaters has resulted in few opportunities to wait in line with the people I like to wait in line with. We haven't done that in years, and I enjoyed it. I hope they enjoyed it, too. Which of course I'm sure they did. (Except maybe for poor Brian, who had to listen to my constant gripes about Captain America's costume. Brian, I'm sorry the producers couldn't get Cap's costume right. Better luck next time.)

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I finally saw Captain America: The First Avenger and Green Lantern this week. Surprise, surprise: I didn't like either one of them. At least they were bad in different ways. Captain America fails because it's boring. Green Lantern, on the other hand, is stupid.

Captain America is a by-the-numbers action film as made by film students too young to remember the first Iraq War, much less World War II. Note to filmmakers: using spotlights or fireworks at night in New York City in 1943 would have been the equivalent of calling Adolf Hitler and begging him to "please bomb here." Halfway through the film, America even forgot who the Axis was and focused its resources on a man who built weapons without ever teaching his army how to use them.

The "period" styling of the movie looks like someone had based their interpretation of the War period by searching "retro" on target.com. Note to filmmakers: suspension of disbelief is impossible when you are constantly reminded that you are watching a movie. Yes, I understand that the movie is science fiction, but Captain America's "realistic" 1943 uniform shouldn't look like it came off the rack of REI in 2010.

The biggest problem with the movie is the complete lack of characterization. Note to filmmakers: populating your film with stereotypes -- commonly called the Michael Bay Method -- is not the same as developing characters. Did Cap's teammates even have names, or does the script just call them Bloke, Bluster, Brutus, Frenchie, Hotlips, Playboy, and Chink-Chink?

As boring as Captain America is, Green Lantern is far worse. Maybe I've read too many comic books, but the events are so predictable it's laughable. The opening scenes of Hal Jordan sacrificing his own job to demonstrate that he is an asshole have more in common with Hot Shots than the intended Top Gun. Note to filmmakers: if the audience is laughing at the character-establishing scene of a child watching his father's death, you've done something really, really wrong.

As bad as the art direction is for Captain America, Green Lantern is again far worse. The costumes are awful, the energy constructs are a mess, and the cgi looks particularly rushed. Note to filmmakers: no one is paying you to test whether ADD can be acquired while watching a single movie.

I had hoped for more from a movie made by a comic book company, but I should have known better when I heard who was involved in the creation of this film. The movie was directed by Martin Campbell, the man who directed Casino Royale and Goldeneye. I'm not especially pleased to say that he still hasn't made a single movie I like.

So that's two of the super hero movies of 2011 down. Next up: X-Men: First Class. If it's half as good as the other X-Men movies, my eyes will be bleeding too much to blog about it.

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This was the moment when I began to suspect that Captain America was Catholic.

Captain America, Child Molester.

These panels were published in Captain America Comics #19, published in 1942, apparently as the winning entry of an inappropriate sexual innuendo writing competition.

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There is a reason why some words are never found in comic books.

Secondly, Wally, it's inappropriate to talk about your sex life in front of the Star-Spangled Avenger. Unless, of course, this is your way of inviting him into a threesome. The panel above is taken from 1981's Captain America #262, in which Captain America attends the filming of Captain America -- the Motion Picture, and learns that Hollywood is chock full of anarchists and fascists living deviant lifestyles and working together to destroy America through television. Art imitates life, indeed.

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Apparently, in Captain America, Volume 5 (!), #25, released this past Wednesday, Captain America was killed.

The reported death of the good Captain doesn't bother me. Many a hero has survived apparent death, and Captain America has gone through this trauma before. He has been presumed dead on several previous occasions. (I mean, he never really knows how long he'll have to live anyway, right?) I certainly know that if he sells comic books, he'll be back. After all, note that he was killed in Captain America, Volume 5! That means that he has had 4 previously cancelled versions of his own title. (And this volume will make 5.)

No, what bothers me about the death of Captain America is how, suddenly, this represents news. Cap's recent behavior and death are being spun by both sides of the political spectrum as relevant. Suddenly, Captain America's death is politically important.

Bye, Cap.

The LA Times calls Cap's death a sign of "America's current distemper" with the war in Iraq. The Washington Post views Cap's shifts in temperament and goals as a cultural looking-glass in a "battle for American ideals." Fox News' "Fox & Friends" declared that Marvel's decision to kill Captain America was a sign of weakness for terrorists to capitalize on. ("You should not kill Captain America when we're at war.") Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" used Cap's death as a typically sarcastic attack on the government abdication of individuals' rights. ("Fighting to protect civil liberties like free speech and privacy isn't just quaint; it's dangerous. That's what killed Captain America.")

I'm a touch more cynical. Captain America was killed to sell comic books. And, of course, to stir hype for the Captain America movie expected in 2009.

Will the Death of Captain America be the Murphy Brown's Baby of the 2008 election? We could only be so lucky.

(By the way, Marvel: if Winter Soldier becomes the new Captain America, I'll never buy another one of your books ever again. Wait, that's not fair. I'll probably never buy one of your books again anyway, so do whatever you want.)

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To be continued...

 

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