Well, they can’t all be NOAH, but then again, they all don’t need to be VAMPIRE ACADEMY, either. On the spectrum of the Marvel Comics franchise films, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER doesn’t reach the cinematic heights of the Raimi SPIDER-MANs (oh, okay, the first two SPIDER-MANs) or Whedon’s THE AVENGERS, but doesn’t crater out anywhere near the THOR or (shudder) FANTASTIC FOUR efforts. Filing my review for Jim Freund’s HOUR OF THE WOLF, I was happy (relieved, even) to note the not inconsiderable pleasures of this new chapter in the chronicles of America’s most patriotic superhero, even if I also feel duty-bound point out the ways it could have been better. Click on the player to hear the review.
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And so commences the Marvel Onslaught of 2014. Four movies, three studios, and more opportunities for the true believers to nudge each other knowingly when Stan Lee makes his expected cameos, even though your great-great-grandmother could probably recognize him by now. That said, there are far worse ways to kick off this flood than CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, a well-mounted, surprisingly well-acted (hey, you’ve got Sam Jackson and Robert Redford in there), and all-around entertaining actioner that finds the stalwart Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) facing a test to his WWII-bred notions of right and wrong as he finds himself suddenly at cross-purposes to his masters at S.H.I.E.L.D and confronting a formidable assassin called the Winter Soldier.
The Cinefantastique Spotlight crew of Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons are no little grateful that THE WINTER SOLDIER goes down as easy as it does, but are in accord that there were ways it could have been much better. We compare notes in this latest episode — click on the player to hear the show.
Disney/Marvel’s THE AVENGERS is featured in this week’s Empire Magazine , which hits the stands Thursday.
In addition to this cover picture, alternate solo covers featuring Scarlet Johansson’s Black Window, Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man and Chris Humsworth as Thor can be found at the link above.
A tidbit from the article gives us Tom Hidddleston’s take on Loki, and his importance to the film. “He knows who he is now, and what his powers are.
“In order for The Avengers to come together, Loki has to be more menacing, and all of his malevolence is founded in a completely delusional dream.”
Sounds very much in keeping with the Marvel theme of tragic underpinnings to their heroes and villains.
Press Release: Joss Whedon brings together the ultimate team of superheroes in the first official trailer for Marvel’s The THE AVENGERS — out Summer 2012
When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as SHIELD, finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.
The Avengers continues the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger”. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.
Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.
We’re betting Paramount would’ve preferred that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER had come out on the Memorial Day or July 4th weekends. However, martial-arts-happy animals and big-ass robots claimed those two slots, so here we are in later summer, trying to get our patriotism back for a red-white-and-blue bedecked super hero doing his bit for mom, apple pie, and gas-guzzling cars in the thick of WWII. Does director Joe Johnston’s ROCKETEER-tested period style work its magic for this final bit of table setting before next year’s THE AVENGERS? Are two hours enough time for an origin story, rescue adventure, and ultimate clash between good and evil? And where the hell are all the Nazis? Join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons as they discuss these issues and more.
Also in this episode: Dan gives his capsule review of the moody, science-fiction drama, ANOTHER EARTH.
Production has commenced today in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Marvel Studios’ highly anticipated movie “Marvel’s The Avengers,” directed by Joss Whedon (“Serenity”) from a screenplay by Whedon. The film will continue principal photography in Cleveland, Ohio and New York City.
Robert Downey, Jr. (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) returns as the iconic Tony Stark/Iron Man along with Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) as Thor, Chris Evans (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as Captain America, Jeremy Renner (“Thor,” “The Hurt Locker”) as Hawkeye, Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are Alright”) as Hulk, Scarlett Johansson (“Iron Man 2”) as Black Widow, Clark Gregg (“Iron Man,” “Thor”) as Agent Phil Coulson, and Samuel L. Jackson (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”) as Nick Fury.
Set for release in the US on May 4, 2012, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the first feature to be fully owned, marketed and distributed by Disney, which acquired Marvel in 2009.
Continuing the epic big-screen adventures started in “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers” is the super hero team up of a lifetime. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.
Based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series, first published in 1963, “Marvel’s The Avengers” brings together the mightiest super hero characters as they all assemble together on screen for the first time.
The star studded cast of super heroes will be joined by Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother) as Agent Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Tom Hiddleston (“Wallander”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Angels & Demons,” “Mamma Mia!”) who will both reprise their respective roles as Loki and Professor Erik Selvig from the upcoming Marvel Studios’ feature “Thor.”
“Marvel’s The Avengers” is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President, Kevin Feige, and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patty Whitcher, and Jon Favreau. Marvel Studios’ Jeremy Latcham and Victoria Alonso will co-produce.
The creative production team also includes Oscar nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Atonement”), production designer James Chinlund (“25th Hour”), Oscar winning costume designer Alexandra Byrne (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”), Oscar winning visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs (“Iron Man 2,” “The Matrix”), visual effects producer Susan Pickett (“Iron Man,” “Iron Man 2”), stunt coordinator R.A. Rondell (“Superman Returns”), and four-time Oscar nominated special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (“Iron Man,” “War of the Worlds”). The editors include Oscar nominated Paul Rubell (“Collateral”) and Jeffrey Ford (“Crazy Heart”).
EmpireOnlineis featuring new pictures and comments from the makers of CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
According to Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige:
“Scripts had been developed that took place half in World War Two, half in the modern day and none of those scripts were particularly successful because the costume ended up overshadowing the man. So we finally said, ‘If we could make a Captain America movie any way we wanted to make it, how would we make it?’ Well, we’d set the entire movie in the past, in that period, with all of the Marvel trimmings. And so we made the fun, kick-ass Captain America movie we wanted to.”
Director Joe Johnston said: “I’ve always loved Raiders (of the Lost Ark) and the tone that it had… It was period but didn’t feel like it was made in the period. It felt like a modern-day film about the period, which is what we’re doing on CAPTAIN AMERICA. It will not feel like a war movie. It’s funny where it needs to be and emotional where it needs to be and serious and full of action.” Star Chris Evans is dquote as saying “I think he’s the ideal human… Not just American. It’s what being a good person is. Steve’s managed to overcome all the shortcomings he’s had in life and he does what’s good and what he believes is right.”
Regarding Kevin Feige’s comments about Captain America’s costume, I really have to say: “WTF?” Are you sure you get the basic concepts of costumed superheroes? NEVER be ashamed, worried, or self-concious about their iconic, established and time-honored appearance. Because if you are ambivalent, the attitude will likely be reflected in the film, to its detriment.
Worry about the plot, acting and truthfulness to the published and popular source material, and not so much the material of the costume.
Sure, make the costume the best that you can, avoid shiny spandex if possible, use a darker or muted color pallete if you must, but don’t get hung up on the “will the costume be acceptable to a non-comic book audience?” question. In my view, the believability of the characters’ actions, motivations and story is what’s important, even to the the casual movie-goer.
So much of what is coming out of the makers of this Captain America film seems so tone-deaf towards the character and his long-time appeal, and full of a desire to distance themselves from the comic book — particularly the original, patriotic aspects of this intensely patriotic character, created intentionally to present and espouse all the best ideals of the country.
Hopefully, all this apparent avoidance and equivocation we’re hearing from some of them regarding the source material and the character will not undermine the finished film.
(Stepping off soap-box, now.)
The full story will be featured in the March issue of Empire Magazine, which should hit stands in the UK Feb. 3rd, and probably by week’s end in the US.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER is due in theaters July 22nd, in 2-D and post-converted 3-D.
From The L.A. Times, here’s the first official picture of Chris Evans as Cap in an action scene from Marvel Entertaiment’s upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
The outfit, properly photographically graded, is starting to grow on me a bit, I must admit.
Look for Captain America to hit the screen July 22nd.
Scanned from Entertainment Weekly, via SuperheroHype, here’s a new shot of Chris Evans as CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
Very Ultimate Captain America, I guess. The ‘hero’ costume doesn’t look much better on Eveans than the ill-fitting one did on his stuntman.
What was wrong with the idea of a form-fitting chain-mail shirt, anyway? They were actually tried in World War I & II. And why is it powder blue, and not say, a dark navy/indigo, like the America flag? Grumble…
Gotta admit those Hydra goons (I assume) have a definite Jack Kirby vibe to them.
The U.K.’s Daily Mail is featuring the first looks at what is at least one of the costumes of the lead character in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
A group of photos from a location shoot in a wooded road near London show Chris Evan’s stunt double decked out in a World War Two version of the costume, complete with ‘winged’ crash helmet, riding what they identify as a US Army Indian motorcycle.
The costume is pretty baggy, and for some unguessable reason in a powder blue, rather than the darker blue shown in the design sketches. In my opinion, Cap needs to be in a very dark blue, more like the indigo used in the American flag. The lighter, “process blue” generally used in the comics is really due to the needs of cheap and clear 4-color printing, rather than other aestheticconcerns.
The reverse angle of this photo, which can be seen at the Daily Mirror site, shows that Captain America is carrying a holstered pistol, and has some kind of rifle in a cycle-mounted holder.
Also to be seen is a neat looking period roadster, complete with WWII-era ‘black-out’ covers on the head lamps, and these high tech cycles ridden, it seems by the Red Skull’s minions.
UPDATED: On closer inspection, the insignia on the motorcycles seems to be that of HYDRA, the international nihilist terror organization that Captain America and SHIELD would face in the 1960’s. Apparently, in the film the Red Skull creates HYDRA, and in the comics has been retconned as one of the founders.