Saw this today. What’d you guys think?
Not exactly great art, but I liked it.
Probably the only one of the comic films that I somewhat want to see. It looks like it has quite a bit more construction and depth than many of the others. But that’s just what it seems, I don’t know.
No, not great art, but it’s a superhero movie, and it was entertaining. I brought my kids to see it. First film for my 5 year old daughter (maybe a BIT too long for her, but my 7 1/2 year old son was ecstatic when we told him we’d bring him).
Superman still my fave of this genre, I haven’t seen every single superhero movie… I thought Chris Evans embodied the pure good thing pretty well in how he expressed himself, but the rest of the characters were pretty flat in comparison. I guess there’s only so much you can handle in a 2 hour movie that needs to have explosions.
Haven’t seen Iron Man — is it better?
It looks good. Better than most of the most of the comic book crap of late anyway.
I’m a sucker for retro feel :-0
Now this is more like it! Just when the superhero genre seemed played out with so many sub-par entries over the last few years, Captain America gets everything right that the others got wrong. Sure, you have CGI effects, but they’re a byproduct of well made, character based action sequences; not its reason for being. What a breath of fresh air to see an old fashioned adventure story free of irony and post-modernism. When you’re not afraid to be sincere and even a little corny, you give yourself permission to have fun. Fun achieved!
That’s what I wrote on the “last movie you saw page,” which led to a bit of back and forth that can be found here: http://mubi.com/topics/last-movie-you-saw-and-rate-it?page=244#comment_630765.
I thought it was really bad. Unimaginative and lumbering. The jokes were groaners, the action didn’t do anything for me and I thought the look of it, especially in 3D, was ugly.
I only saw it in 2D. Don’t like to wear stuff on my face when I’m watching a movie! :)
Okay so I wanted to see this movie already, but now there’s six people already discussing it…. a perverse part of me wants to see this thread get as long as Tree of Life…
Won’t happen, but I’ll definitely give it a whirl when I get a chance so I can discuss it with youz.
Yay! Please do!
“but the rest of the characters were pretty flat in comparison.”
That’s true, and this is generally one of the inherent flaws with recent comic films . . . although some of the characters were probably introduced either to acknowledge comic fans or to set up plots for possible sequels (or both).
I can’t agree with this. Not with Stanley Tucci offering moral grounding and compassion or Tommy Lee Jones delivering on comic relief. Hugo Weaving may not have been the ultimate Nazi-esque baddie, but he was hissable enough.
And by this point, let’s just agree to watch these things in 2D. :p
“Flat” doesn’t necessarily mean ineffective, Brad (I agree with what you said regarding those three). It can just mean that there was little or no arc of development for the character in question through the course of the film. I actually think it was good for the film that it didn’t try to give the Red Skull an extensive backstory, for example.
Point well taken.
. . . On the other hand, if that’s all they’re ever going to do with Bucky, having him in the film was as gratuitous as a Stan Lee cameo.
SPOILER ALERT (maybe) – I suspect, based on a popular comic book storyline, the Bucky character’s introduction was a set up for a much larger role in a sequel.
Yeah, I do to.
Joe Johnston has hinted at a “Winter Soldier” film in recent interviews and said that he would love to make it himself. Take that for what you will.
I was very surprised by this film. I mean, I thought it was going to be good but it blew me away a bit. I really think that they got pretty much everything right. The movie flew by for me, which is the best thing a movie can do for me. The acting was really superb across the board, this is probably one of the most well cast comic book films I’ve seen.
I think the biggest advantage it has is the fact that it doesn’t take place in modern times. If it was set completely in the modern age, it probably wouldn’t have worked very well. The ideals behind the creation of Captain America are firmly rooted in that time period and by sticking to that period, they’re able to indulge in it completely without it coming off as cheesy. It definitely has a certain nativity to it which brings it a different kind of charm that other recent comic book movies don’t have.
It’s not snarky. It’s not ironic. It’s not post modern. There aren’t a million shades of grey where you wonder if Captain America is really the bad guy and if Red Skull is truly the good guy. There’s none of that stuff and I think the film works better all because of it. It knows exactly what it is and because of that, it’s able to flaunt it. And it has more of a heart because of it.
I also mention that the script is really fantastic. Quite surprised that the screenwriters from “Chronicles of Narnia” wrote this, it’s much better than that film. The action isn’t predictable and the dialogue is all right on the nose. And on top of that, the thing moves at a fantastic pace; not too fast and not too slow. It spends enough time in the beginning building up who Steve Rogers is which is crucially important. Then at a certain point, they are able to let him loose and become a leader.
Matt said I actually think it was good for the film that it didn’t try to give the Red Skull an extensive backstory, for example.
An extensive backstory might not have helped, but some storyline to make the final confrontation more interesting and compelling would have helped.
I really liked premise of the character, and I thought the film did a good job up to transformation of Steve Rogers. I thought the writing went downhill a bit after that. The filmmakers seemed to cram a bit much and without much imagination (the one man rescue of prisoners; capturing the scientist on the train and breaking into the Hydra compound). Still, I thought I mildly enjoyed the scenes afterward.
Re: Iron Man
I think Robert Downey is terrific as Tony Stark/Iron. (I’m also a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow.) The use of CGI to create the Iron Man suit is some of my favorite use of cgi as well. The storyline and villain is just OK, though.
“some storyline to make the final confrontation more interesting and compelling would have helped.”
If you wanted to end the film with that battle and have everybody live happily ever after, I would agree, but I think now we’re talking about a different film. In order to make the story connect up with the character narratives from the other films in The Avengers, you have to get Cap on ice, and that necessitates hitting the dramatic beats someone differently. As is, you want the defrost to be the biggest dramatic pay-off, not slugging it out with the Red Skull.
Can anybody think of an example of this narrative strategy being used in film before—developing characters independently from one another in separate films with the stories connecting in a later film?
@Matt — I can’t think of any, but then I’m not sure they’ve ever dealt with comics-style storylines as extensively on the screen in the past as they are right now. So that’s an interesting thing in and of itself — characters developed in separate films, stories connecting later.
Wouldn’t it be fun to try this style outside the comics realm? Hmmmm… see there are SO many possibilities for off the beaten path, even in more commercial film. I hope some inspired directors in that realm run with that idea and come up with something totally new. ! :D
@Jazz — so I’ve heard about Iron Man. Interested to see it now.
@Brad — I liked the portrayal of Steve Rogers so much that it made me want some depth to the other characters too, that is beyond the good/evil thing. I think superhero comics have great character development (at least for the major heros and villains), in a sense they remind me of the 19th century novels I like so much to read — time is spent on the psychology of the character, yes and without that, I don’t think people would get so hooked on them nor remember the characters so vividly. Every guy I know who read them remembers details about the lives and characters they most liked — I’m talking all the way to stuff my Dad used to hear on the radio when he was little in the 1930s and 40s. That is effective storytelling.
Matt said, As is, you want the defrost to be the biggest dramatic pay-off, not slugging it out with the Red Skull.
I don’t agree with that. I mean, I think the confrontation between CA and RS could have been more satisfying—without diminishing the “defrosting” epilogue. In a way, many of these set-up films for the Avengers feel like extended flashback-introductions of characters. For example, if the filmmakers made the Avengers film first, they might included flashbacks segments that would provide backstory for each character. These flashbacks would be quick fill-ins for the viewer and there’s sort of that rushed feeling in this film (and some of the others)—by “rushed” I mean the sense that the filmmakers just want to get the introduction out of the way as soon as a possible and get to the main story. However, imo, these “intro” films don’t have to be that way; they can be satisfying stand alone films that wouldn’t take away from the “main” film.
Not off the top of my head. But I agree with Odi that it has potential to be used in other genres.
I agree, Jazz — an intro film should stand on its own. Otherwise it feels like an extended preview, and therefore not substantial enough. That’s what I meant about the other characters. You know if it’s good, people will come back for more, no matter what. Plus, if the rest of the films following end up being lame-o, at least you have ONE good, substantial film for the record that can be shown without the need for the others.
While it didn’t impede on my enjoyment of the film while viewing, in retrospect, I do think one improvement that could have been made would have been a sharper definition of the nature of the Cosmic Cube. That could have added some extra urgency to the climactic battle and clarified the Red Skull’s fate (which they might not want to have made clear, again, for sequel purposes.)
Odil, I’m generally a big fan of character development, but one of Captain America’s big strengths was its pacing. This movie moved and provided lots of information very efficiently. At the end of the day, it was Steve Rogers’ story that needed to be told and was. I’m not sure I’d want that pacing sacrificed for more backstory.
Contrast this with Thor, which spent so much time on exposition, that it was somewhat undone by too much information. Natalie Portman (due to her star stature, of course) is given much more screen time than her character warrants. So much time is spent explaining the nature of the Norse gods (so much, in fact, that the film begins an unnecessary argument with itself over whether they’re gods or aliens), that the point of the film was lost in the murk.
Haven’t seen that one (Thor), Brad.
Yes, agreed — the pacing was good in Captain America. That’s really important for any action film. And I guess there’s only so much one can do in two hours, anyway. ;)
“Wouldn’t it be fun to try this style outside the comics realm?”
Yes, that’s what I was thinking—it would be an interesting collaborative project . . . if one were so inclined.
“I don’t agree with that. I mean, I think the confrontation between CA and RS could have been more satisfying—without diminishing the “defrosting” epilogue.”
How? The story you have to tell is one about a “super soldier” that was created during WWII and is revived 60-some years later, and therefore is an anachronism. Remember, you start with the discovery of the wreckage in the present day, most of the story occurs in flashback, and then you’re returning to the present-day.
If you played it so that Capt America wins a protracted action film brawl and then immediately have him park the plane in Arctic seas you would end up using quite a bit more screen time and flattening the effect of both elements dramatically by placing them so close together. Of course you could theoretically eliminate the whole present-day element of the story, which would then allow you to delete the suspended animation element and play it as a straight period film, but then you’ve violated the continuity the bigger narrative of the Marvel plan (in other words, you would not be allowed to do this).
“However, imo, these “intro” films don’t have to be that way; they can be satisfying stand alone films that wouldn’t take away from the “main” film.”
For the most part, I thought Captain America was satisfying on its own as a stand-alone. The anti-climatic final confrontation is symptomatic of the genre. The Iron Man and Hulk films were the same way.
“Contrast this with Thor, which spent so much time on exposition, that it was somewhat undone by too much information. Natalie Portman (due to her star stature, of course) is given much more screen time than her character warrants. So much time is spent explaining the nature of the Norse gods (so much, in fact, that the film begins an unnecessary argument with itself over whether they’re gods or aliens), that the point of the film was lost in the murk.”
I agree with that, Brad. Re: the Cosmic Cube, yeah, I think they had to leave some of the particulars unclear because it’s unifying object among the films and it appears to be a central to the Avengers movie, but since all of the screenplay were not written concurrently, they needed to leave some room for plotting within the story.
The story you have to tell is one about a “super soldier” that was created during WWII and is revived 60-some years later, and therefore is an anachronism.
I don’t see the way a better developed drama between CA and RS would take away from CA’s revival into the present day. Personally, I think they could have reduced the present day scenes (when Capt. revives) and show some of that in the Avenger’s film. So, they could have ended the film with the ice thawing and the viewer seeing Capt’s body begin to quiver; there could be a cut to Nick Fury saying something, “We’ve just found the perfect leader for the Avengers” or something to that effect.
The anti-climatic final confrontation is symptomatic of the genre. The Iron Man and Hulk films were the same way.
I agree they were anti-climatic—but it didn’t have to be that way, imo (especially for the second Iron Man).
Comics are a continuous and serialized story line. I found out yesterday that for the X-men movies, Fox was locked into a contract that stipulates that they have to keep making the movies in order to retain the rights to the X-men stories. I’m not sure if this has anything other to do with pure business, but in a sense it seems aimed at trying to keep the integrity of the continuous story line — really more suited in a sense to a TV series than the movies, considering the costs.
So I’m not sure… don’t comics end with final confrontations sometimes, but not always? Because the idea is to get the reader to buy the next comic to “see what happens next,” right? If that’s the case, ending the films that way most or all of the time doesn’t really make sense if you’re being faithful to the way the stories originally flowed…
" I think they could have reduced the present day scenes (when Capt. revives) and show some of that in the Avenger’s film. So, they could have ended the film with the ice thawing and the viewer seeing Capt’s body begin to quiver; there could be a cut to Nick Fury saying something, “We’ve just found the perfect leader for the Avengers” or something to that effect."
They could have, yes, but I don’t think they would want to do it that way because my sense of it is is that The Avengers is seen as being the capstone of the whole arc of movies, so if that’s the case, you wouldn’t want to defer any exposition that you could get out of the way in the earlier films.
“it didn’t have to be that way, imo (especially for the second Iron Man).”
Sure, they could have been more effective, but I think that’s the case with most films in one way or another.
“don’t comics end with final confrontations sometimes, but not always?”
Yes . . . and sometimes they end with confrontations that turn out later to have not actually happened. Suffice to say it’s complicated.