Tag Archives: Marvel

Captain America: The First Avenger movie review

I hadn’t expected much from this movie – I like old-school Nazi-punching and early Avenger Captain America but these days he has a bit of a Superman issue – grim n’ gritty is the place to be, with Cap coming off as a bit corny in the best case and some sort of symbol of nationalist excesses in the worst. I did get sucked in by the First Avenger byline, though, since I liked Thor a lot and plan to see the Avengers. Just for reference, this covers the 2D version only – I have been finding 3D hit or miss lately and so we decided to try this one in the normal dimensions.

I am glad I did – this movie was great fun. The cast was, by far, the best part. Chris Evans’ double role as wimpy Steve Rogers and buff Captain America was good enough that I barely noticed the massive CGI work needed to allow it. Hayley Atwell pulled off the somewhat tricky combination of a pinup girl and a hard as nails soldier well. Tommy Lee Jones basically played himself, though that’s not a bad thing. Hugo Weaving was by far my favorite – his megalomaniac anti-Captain was truly great, I though.

This one also had plenty of nerd nods – Cap cycles through his classic costume (with pirate boots and little head wings) before settling down on something more practical, you have Tony Stark’s dad, who probably-not-coincidentally looks a lot like a classic Tony Stark (The coolest dude with the heart of steel, with the little swinger `stache). He serves, well, basically as a stand-on for Tony, at least in the inventing and piloting sense. Cap’s commando team is also full of real characters from the comics, though I only really recognized Dum-Dum / The Irish One. (It also featured something from Odin’s toybox in Thor, and set up the post-credit scene in that movie, if you care).

The summary is simple – great cast + taking the source material seriously + clever writing = good movie. Shocking! It was not entirely a nerd fest, either – my 9 year old daughter is unfamiliar with most of the sources and Burgandy is much more of a DC fan, but they followed it pretty well and enjoyed it. As portrayed, Cap is a very human hero, for all of his slightly-superhuman prowess, and his lack of chauvanism and willingness to sacrifice himself are at least as important as his red-gloved uppercut (though you get to see a lot of this, too). Combine all of that with some city-sized Nazi super-bombers and a rocket car or too and I am in my movie happy place.

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A Perfect Storm – Review of Thor

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly style:

Good

This was a really fun movie – there were a lot of laughs and satisfying moments to be had, plus Thor himself seemed to be right on. The special effects were very carefully detailed. The costumes were enjoyable, if a bit cheesy (though they self-spoofed this). A whole lot of fun cameos for the nascent Marvel fanboy in me (I have been staying away since Civil War, more or less). A lot of cool fights with magic weapons. Asgard was very intricately designed. The Destroyer looked quite cool and I actually really liked Loki’s performance.

Bad

The effects were definitely heavy on the CGI at times. They seemed to try to mask this with big energy flashes and loud sound effects – it worked to a large extent but could make it hard to see. I think the 3D added to this – it had some rough points, and I think it looked blurry at times. The plot was a bit compressed – probably Thor’s sojourn should have been measured in months or years instead of days. The cheesiness factor was high if you’re expecting something like The Dark Knight.

Ugly

The CGI / 3D when it got bad. The Frost Giants (in a good way). Generally it was a very attractive movie – I enjoyed all of the fantasy realms, and the little desert / New Mexico sales looked like somewhere I’d like to live and Natalie Portman is always watchable, though her ditzy but gorgeous assistant stole a few scenes from her.

*Written by David, posted by Julie

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