Category Archives: Comic Books
Caution: If you haven’t yet seen The Avengers, you may not want to read further as I will be spoiling the movie!
First, let me say that I enjoyed The Avengers. Marvel has been building up to their Super Team-Up movie for a while now, introducing core characters and dropping not so subtle hints after the credits of their previous movies. Overall, I’ve been very happy with Marvel’s productions ever since they began producing them in house with Iron Man in 2008, with Captain America: The First Avenger being my favorite of the bunch.
Here’s my ranking for the Marvel Studios movies so far.
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- The Avengers
- Iron Man 2
- The Hulk
As I said, I did enjoy this movie, but it was just a bit off of the bullseye for me. I feel like it boiled down to an awkward, non-cohesive buildup to one hell of a great extended action sequence.
It’s been very hard for me to figure out exactly what it was that bugged me about the first half of the movie, it just felt awkward. The individual vignettes that caught us up with our heroes were all well acted, entertaining and showed off Joss Whedon‘s penchant for witty dialog. A few of the story points used to bring the team together just felt too contrived.
I have to agree with my buddy Adam who mentioned Whedon’s talent for featuring female posteriors in his shots in his post. I greatly appreciated that… err… aspect.
As for the individual actors and characters, I’m still not completely sold on Samuel Jackson‘s Nick Fury and I think that his performance was a bit flat here. Mark Ruffalo did a great job as Dr. Bruce Banner and I particularly liked his interaction with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. Hawkeye, played by Jeremy Renner was very weak and little more than a background character and villain’s foil.
Once the alien invasion and subsequent battle began, I really enjoyed myself. The sequences were well filmed and edited together to make a very cohesive and fun battle. It captured the Team-Up comic book feel very well. My son and I exchanged several high fives and fist bumps throughout the second half of the movie. Again, Whedon’s humor was prevalent throughout the fights.
Oh, let’s talk about the alien invaders, the Chitauri. I had no idea where in the Marvel Universe these guys were from, so I had to look them up. They are an alien race that aided Hitler in an attempt to take over the world. Another name for the race is the Skrull, a very well-known alien race in the Marvel Universe. So why not just call them Skrull? Or if you’re going to use a name connected with the Skrull, at least make them look like Skrull. If you’re not going to bother with either then just make something else up. Throughout the movie I felt that the creature design of these guys was a bit uninspired.
If you didn’t stay for the during and after credits scenes, SHAME ON YOU! You should know by now that Marvel always gives you a little something extra at the end. If you didn’t know, the villain at the end is Thanos. I’m excited to see him as it hints at future Marvel movies pulling more from the Cosmic side of the Marvel Universe.
I don’t want to give the impression that I hated this movie. I just felt that it was missing something. I really enjoyed the second half, and not because I only enjoy action, but because it just felt like a better movie.
Share your thoughts with me, I’d love to hear why I’m wrong about this one.
Thanks to the folks at Dunkin’ Donuts of Northeast Florida, Ian and I had the opportunity to attend an advanced showing of Captain America two days before the premier. I’ve ben anticipating the release of this movie for a while now as Cap is has always been one of my favorite Superheroes.
I won’t spoil the movie for you if you haven’t seen it yet, but truthfully the plot is very straight forward and is reasonably loyal to the comic version of Cap’s origin. Steve Rogers is an undersized and sickly young man who feels a deep sense of responsibility to defend his country. After being rejected for military service multiple times, he’s taken into a Super Soldier program run by a defected German scientist. The program turns him into the ultimate soldier, faster and stronger than any other. Equipped with his indestructible Vibranium shield and accompanied by Dum-Dum Dugan and the Howlin’ Commandoes, he sets out to defeat Hydra which is led by classic Cap villain The Red Skull.
I greatly enjoyed this film. At it’s core it was a great action movie with enough of butt whipping, shooting and explosions to make any fan happy. The action sequences were well thought out and well filmed. And best of all, there was little to no use of the “shaky cam” technique that so many film makers have annoyingly adopted lately.
There were plenty of comic elements to lighten things up between the action and the jokes were delivered well without feeling forced. Tommy Lee Jones did a great job of playing the crusty commanding officer. He took the character right to the edge without taking it to the point of being a caricature.
Classic comics always had an underlying lesson or moral to present and Cap was not exception. Steve Rogers was chosen for the program because of his moral character and dedication to always doing what was right. Even when granted with extraordinary strength and ability, he still wants to stick up for the little guy. The movie did a fantastic job of presenting this moral without feeling like it was shoved down your throat.
Chris Evans did a great job of reinforcing this by maintaining the same attitude and emotion from scrawny Steve to Cap. His performance has thankfully made me forgive or at least forget the fact that he played Johnny Storm in the horrid Fantastic Four movies.
The remaining cast of characters were all well acted and served to push the story along without dragging it down. Marvel movies seem to have finally figured out the formula for introducing plenty of peripheral characters without feeling like they were tacked on even if their parts don’t quite match up with the comics. We got to see Dr. Arnim Zola, Dum-Dum Dugan and the Howlin’ Commandoes, Cap’s sidekick Bucky (who never donned his costume) and Iron Man Tony Stark’s pop Howard.
Unfortunately, the advanced showing that we saw didn’t include Marvel’s now obligatory after the credits scene, so I’ll have to see if I can find it elsewhere.
Captain America is the last Marvel movie before the anticipated release of The Avengers in 2012. The Avengers are Marvel’s premiere super team and had a rotating cast of characters including Cap, Iron Man, Spider Man, The Hulk, Thor and many others. I’ve been please so far with the recent run of movies from Marvel and hope that they continue down the path that they are on.
The latest movie from Marvel Entertainment, Captain America, opens this Friday but thanks to a twitter contest I get to see it two nights early! I won two tickets from Dunkin Donuts of NE Florida to attend a Press and VIP screening tonight, so my son Ian and I will be headed up to Jacksonville for the showing.
Cap has always been in the upper echelon of my super hero favorites and I’m excited to see a big screen version of him. At the worst, I’m crossing my fingers in hope that Marvel doesn’t screw this movie up as bad as they did with The Fantastic Four.
I’ll try to post a review before the end of the weekend.