Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Yeah, I Liked It More Than The Avengers

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There, I said it…and I loved The Avengers! You all know my Loki love and I would put this film, The Winter Soldier, on top of my Marvel  movie list. Chris Evans, who I praised after seeing Captain America: The First Avenger, is the ideal performer for the role and reminds us, yet again, of this fact with his most recent, and evolved, portrayal of Steve Rogers – Captain America himself.

He is Captain America, dang it!

He is Captain America, dang it!

Now, The Winter Soldier has been in theaters for over a week, and I have no intention of giving any spoilers away here. I figure if you haven’t seen the film by now, you either are going to soon or have read/heard enough to know that a lot of things happen in this film that move towards Avengers 2. The Hail Hydra memes are a pretty big clue at any rate. What I would like to focus on is the story and what makes this movie the best of the Marvel films to date.

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Alright…It Is Finished

Sorry for the delay folks – but this past week has been C-RAAAA-ZY! Between basketball games, having fluid on the ear, and driving through an ice storm it’s been hectic to say the least. I didn’t even work on the design at all Saturday because I just wanted to sleep (which I did). Then Monday = ballgame, Tuesday = practice, Wednesday = ballgame, and tonight = ballgame. Soooo, I’m running on a little besides middle school boy’s basketball (which, by the way, my boys are the best – at least to me!) and Diet Mt. Dew.

Still, last night, I uploaded my three images to WeLoveFine. They are the following:

The first - and still the one I like the best

Avengers A-Weeble - but they don't fall down!

Avengers!

I really enjoyed working on this project, and I feel more comfortable with Sketchbook Pro. While I know this is a lot to ask – and I’m not really sure when they will actually be up on the website for view (as of this post I have confirmation emails that WeLoveFine had received my submissions, but the images aren’t on the contest site yet) – but if you would, go to https://www.welovefine.com/contest.php?id_contest=7 and check out the designs. If you feel it worthy, please vote for me. Otherwise, vote for the one you like – I’m pretty chill like that.

Thanks for all the support and help, it has been appreciated – and enjoy!

Goodbye Johnny Storm…Hello Captain America!

I was going to write this last night as soon as I got home, but I thought it best that I sleep on it and not write, “Whoo! This movie was awesome and everyone should go see it!”  I still feel like I could write the previous statement and not be wrong, but I owe it to the film to be a little more specific.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you another synopsis, or break the film down.  That’s not my job and I wouldn’t want to take away from the flick in any form or fashion.  Instead, I thought I’d take a minute to tell you what I thought were a few of the highlights, especially with regards to what I consider the art of the film.

First off, this is a fun, action packed film and Chris Evans, I tip my hat to you especially.  When Mr. Evans played Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four films, I liked him, but I didn’t really get into the films that much.  It really didn’t have much to do with the actors (except for maybe Jessica Alba, but I digress…), I just didn’t get into it.  Fast forward a few years, and the creation of Marvel Studios, and I’ve been hooked since Iron Man.  In fact, despite Iron Man 2 not being as awesome as Iron Man – but still pretty good – I’ve not been really disappointed in a Marvel film to date.

Chris Evans deserves a lot of credit for what he did with Captain America.  He played him earnestly and just how I have imagined Cap’ to be: a good man trying to do what he believes to be right in a world that’s in the throes of chaos and change.  The effects are fantastic!  The fact that they actually shrunk Mr. Evans to allow him to play Steve Rogers prior to the Super Solider Serum test is amazing.  Originally, they were going to use a small body double and add Mr. Evans’ head later – kinda like they did with Jeff Bridges for CLU in Tron: Legacy, but when they saw it wasn’t going to work, they improvised.  It was the best decision because, at least for me, I believed in his transformation from a small man to, well, a super solider.  In the same vein that I now see Iron Man as Robert Downey, Jr (and no one else because RDJ is spectacular!), Captain America can be no one else but Chris Evans.

Have no doubt, the supporting cast is superb as well.  Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Hugo Weaving, Haley Atwell, Dominic Cooper,  – they all deserve credit for rounding out the film and giving it humor, heart, and suspense.  Hugo Weaving is great as a villain – has been since he played Mr. Smith in the Matrix trilogy – and there couldn’t have been a better choice for the Red Skull.

Tommy Lee Jones in the War Room

Hugo Weaving - all Red Skull like

Stanley Tucci - the kind doctor

Yes, I probably could go on, and on, about this film and just how great of a job I thought Chris Evans did.  Still, it was the little references to things throughout the film that really surprised me.  I especially love that they put Cap’ on a Bond tour, show clips from actual news reel footage, and really create a 1940’s feel throughout the film.   I have a soft spot for propaganda art, and the end credits design is based entirely on such posters – which is a lot of fun.  Heck, they use Cap’ as propaganda by putting him on a Bond tour, having him make films showing American’s winning battles, and they even included the 1st comic that Cap was seen in.  Yes, he was punching Hitler and yes, it came out in news-stands PRIOR to the U.S. entering WWII (fact!).

I guess I really liked that, not only was it a WWII film, but it seemed like a WWII film that could have been made in the 1940’s.  There were no ambiguous good guys (like the Inglorious Bastards) or sympathetic baddies.  It was good guys vs. bad guys.  Very black and white, which is the way I believe Captain America sees the world….that is, until recently but that’s a whole other thing.

I hope you’ll go watch the film.  I realize that this really isn’t much of a review, and I’m probably rambling a bit.  It kinda stuck with me all night and I’m still giddy about it.  If nothing else, it was entertaining and a great story.  As with all of the Marvel movies, stay after the credits to see what’s coming our way.  On this note, I’ll thank the cast and crew that made this film, and a really big thanks to Chris Evans – I knew you could do it!

Captain America – I’m excited about this film!

Punching Hitler - all in a day's work

With the upcoming Captain America movie premiering this week, I thought it would be a great time to tell you how excited I am about this film.  Not only is this movie about one of the most beloved characters in comic book lore, but it’s a WWII movie!  Not a Michael Bay version of Tora! Tora! Tora!, but a real WWII movie full of America’s number one solider punching Nazis and being badass.

For those not familiar with Captain America: The First Avenger plot, I’ll give it to you in brief as I believe it to be.  Steve Rogers is a weak young man.  He’s been rejected by the Army numerous times.  Finally, he’s allowed to join, but on the condition that he is to be a part of an experiment.  The result of that experiment is that Steve Rogers becomes a super solider!  The serum works – lets pump everyone up with this right?  No.  Something goes wrong, things that I don’t want to go into happen, and the super solider serum is gone.  We are left with Captain America and a war to win.  The mysterious Red Skull and HYDRA play a part in the film I’m sure ( I mean, how can they not!  Red Skull is on the poster and trailer..He’s Capt’s arch-enemy – craziness…)  Anyways, that’s my take on it, and I can not wait to watch it on Thursday night!

So, in honor of the release of Captain America: The First Avenger, I’ve decided to showcase three films set in, or around, WWII.  These films may not be well-known to you, which is why I chose them, but they are wonderful and are really worth the watch.

Hope you enjoy!

The Great Dictator (1940) is really Charlie Chaplin mocking Hitler before the United State’s entrance into WWII.   This film is both funny – there is a Prince and the Pauper flair to it – and moving.  The final speech the character makes gives me chills (even when Robert Downey, Jr. gave it in the film Chaplin).

Here is a link to the final scene – check it out, play it in the background http://youtu.be/45BotfjfGpE

The Hill (1965), looks at an aspect of war I know I never really think of, the prison camp.  Now, I don’t mean Stalag 17 type of prison camp where it’s enemy soldiers guarding our boys as they plan their escape.  I’m talking where our own are kept for crimes committed while on duty or in uniform.  The Hill takes place at a British prison camp in North Africa.  Sean Connery is fantastic as Joe Roberts, a man who refused orders to run headlong into enemy fire.  The dynamic between the prisoners and their guards – all soldiers in the same army – is interesting and, at time, tragic.

Mister Roberts (1955), like the most successful films, blends tragedy with comedy.  It is a very humorous film that focuses on a ship that is not in the thick of things and an officer that so badly wants to be.  The captain is tyrannical and is constantly undermined by “Mister Roberts.”  The interaction between the characters is wonderfully done and the cast is spectacular.