captain america review

Click here to load reader

Post on 29-Mar-2016




0 download

Embed Size (px)


An experimental layout deisgn I did. The text was provided by TheScene, official magazine of WBB ( which I'm a part of)


  • EXAMPLE LAYOUT | November 2011 Movies Movies1 2


    Somanycomic bookmovies! All the pieces of the puzzle are now in place for next summers highly anticipated The Avengers with the release of Captain America: The First Avenger, although the subtitle is rather ironic since hes the last character to earn his own film. Cre-ated by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Captain America first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 in March, 1941, which makes him one of Marvels oldest superheroes with 70 years of publication history. As both the creators were Jewish, the characters crea-tion was politically motivated and Captain America was often depicted fighting against the Axis powers, particularly Nazi Germany, during World War II. After the war ended, the characters popularity began to wane until he was brought back by writer Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in The Avengers #4 in 1964. Since then, Captain America has remained a permanent fixture in the Marvel Universe with his own series and numerous spin-offs. This is actually the third film appearance of Captain America with the first being a fifteen-chapter serial in 1944 but the depiction bore absolutely no resemblance to the char-acter except in name only. The second was more faithful but it was hampered by a low-budget and instead debuted on direct-to-video in 1990. It was produced by Menahem Golan of Cannon Films. Yes that Cannon Films, famous for killing off the Super-man franchise for nineteen years. Of course, theres no way this new adaptation, backed by a proper pro-duction budget, would fall flat and to the great relief of all comic book fans, it does not. Captain America: The First Avenger plays it safe by sticking close to the superhero origin formula and while it lacks the nuance of its peers, the film is a solid summer blockbuster thanks to Chris Evans likable presence and a nostalgic tone that harkens back to the original Superman where good is good and evil is evil.

    Captain America begins in the present day when a group of scientists discover a massive jet buried in the Arctic and a red, white, and blue shield amongst the wreckage. Flashbacking to March, 1942, Nazi officer and leader of science division Hydra Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) invades a castle in Tnsberg, Norway in search of a powerful tesseract in the shape of a cube (comic fans will recognize it as the Cosmic Cube which ties into Thor). Mean-while, Brooklyn native Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is rejected from military service for the fifth time due to his sickly physical appearance. While at the Modern Marvels of Tomorrow exhibition with his

    best friend, Sergeant James Buchanan Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), Steve slips into a recruitment center to try to enlist again. He meets an expatriate German scientist named Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), who is working with the U.S. governments Strategic Scientific Reserve. Sensing something good in Rogers, Erskine allows him to enlist and he trains with his fellow soldiers at Camp Lehigh under the supervision of Colonel Chester Phillips (Tommy Lee Jones) and SSR officer Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). One of the trainees will be chosen for a super-soldier experiment and because of Rogers courage and strong morals, Erskine is convinced that this is the man he is looking for. The experiment proves to be a success and Steve is transformed into a taller and muscular man, his strength and agility at peak physical condition. How-ever, an assassin of Schmidt manages to infiltrate the facility and he shoots Erskine dead, the secret of the super soldier serum dying with him. Although initially used to sell war bonds while wearing a gaudy costume, Steve proves his worth when he rescues his friend Bucky and over 400 soldiers from a Hydra facility in Italy. Working with Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), Steve dons a more combat-ready uniform and wielding an indestructible shield, he becomes Captain America! Elsewhere, Schmidt harnesses the power of the cube-like tesseract to make weapons of war and sets his sights on conquering the world.

    Captain America: The First Avenger is literally a comic book come to life on the big screen. Unlike most Marvel adaptations, this is a period piece like X-Men: First Class with the action set during the 1940s, bookended by scenes in the present day but while the film remains faithful to the source material, it plays it safe by adhering to the superhero origin formula so there are little surprises to be had. Initially, I had feared the tone would be overly jingoist like the abysmal Bat-tle: Los Angeles or a Michael Bay film but thankfully, this is not the case. Yes, as the main character bears the word America in his name, the film is patriotic but in a more innocent, nostalgic sense. Steve Rogers is portrayed without any real flaws compared to other superheroes and exhibits an honest, Aw, shucks! attitude, which is a breath of fresh air with the current tread of heroes always brooding and full of angst. Sometimes you just want to watch an old-fashioned good guy win and get the girl. Its hard not to relate to Rogers whose been picked on his whole life due to his small stature and his lack of experience with women. In some ways, he reminds me of myself. With its sharply defined lines of good and evil, Captain America

    Whatever happens, stay who you are. Not just a soldier, but a good man.



  • Movies 4EXAMPLE LAYOUT | November 2011 Movies3

    conjures up memories of the original Superman, although it lacks the grandiose quality of Richard Donners classic. Much of the plot ties into Thor and sets up The Avengers but these elements are weaved in such a way as to not be overly intrusive, which was one of the common criticisms of Iron Man 2. The depiction of Hydra and the Red Skull can come off as cartoonish and is reminiscent of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra from the uniformed soldiers to the retro futuristic, energy-based weapons. What it lacks in subtlety and nuance, Captain America: The First Avenger makes up for solid, wholesome entertainment.

    Initially, I was skeptical of Chris Evans being cast as Steve Rogers. I always felt he was more at home playing sarcastic and snarky char-acters like Johnny Storm from Fantastic Four or Jake Jenson from The Losers. However, Evans creates an instantly likable presence in Steve Rogers and imbues with an earnest goodness and a slight na-ivet. You really do believe he can inspire and be a leader. Even when he is forced to do an embarrassing musical number, Rogers takes it with a smile. Hugo Weaving was a natural choice in playing the Red Skull. Sure, his nastiness is the stuff of comic books but its great to see one of the most iconic villains in the Marvel Universe done so right. Hayley Atwell is fine as Peggy Carter and has some nice chemistry with Evans but their romance didnt feel real until the final minutes when the two share a heartbreaking good-bye. Tommy Lee Jones uses his crusty demeanor to his advantage, delivering plenty of one-liners with a straight face. Hes definitely one of the more fun supporting characters since J. Jonah Jameson from the Spider-Man films. Dominic Cooper largely apes Robert Downey Jr. as his father, Howard Stark while Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes just isnt in the film enough to make an impression, despite his importance in the comic books.

    The action scenes arent too memorable but they remain enjoy-able, especially when Cap finally engages in fisticuffs with the Red Skull. Despite all the fantastical elements, theres something old-fashioned with watching two people go at it without the use of crazy

    Rated PG-13 (Intense Sequences of Sci-Fi Violence and Action)

    Running Time: 2 Hours & 5 Minutes

    Cast:Chris Evans - Steve Rogers/Captain AmericaHugo Weaving - Johann Schmidt/Red SkullHayley Atwell - SSR Officer Peggy CarterTommy Lee Jones - Colonel Chester PhillipsSebastian Stan - Sergeant James Buchanan Bucky BarnesDominic Cooper - Howard StarkStanley Tucci - Dr. Abraham ErskineToby Jones - Dr. Arnim ZolaNeal McDonough - Timothy Dum Dum DuganDerek Luke - Gabe JonesKenneth Choi - Jim MoritaBruno Ricci - Jacques DernierJJ Feild - James Montgomery FalsworthSamuel L. Jackson - Nick Fury

    Directed by Joe Johnston

    Final Rating:

    powers. The CG is competent, if unremarkable but I do agree that the special effects crew did a stunning job in slimming down Evans. Originally, director Joe Johnston used a body double but it never felt right to him, so he decided to use Evans but shrink him down using CG. Captain America: The First Avenger is another one of those post-converted 3D films but I decidedly to stick with good old-fash-ion 2D. I cannot comment on whether if the conversion is done well but I feel 2D fits since it takes place in the 1940s.

    Released in regular 2D and 3D on July 22, 2011, Captain America: The First Avenger has received mainly positive reviews with 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics found the film a solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment with plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances. Although opening in the shadow of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 caused some concern, the film is doing solid business and has earned $26 million so an opening weekend of $60 to $65 million is possible. Deathly Hallows Part 2 seems to have experienced a massive drop due to being frontloaded. With this last film, all the characters are now finally in place for The Avengers next summer. While its origin story fails to break new ground and lacks nuance, Captain America: The First Avenger uses its simple, good-natured tone to its advantage, creating a wildly enjoyable flick with likable performances and plenty of solid action. SP

    Hugo Weaving was a natural choice in playing the Red Skull.