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.
There are so many ways a grand conglomeration of super heroes could turn into a car wreck (case in point: THE FANTASTIC FOUR), that we should be grateful when a film manages just to clear that bar. Fortunately, and quite happily, THE AVENGERS not only manages that base-line feat, but goes far beyond it, becoming a rare example of a top-notch comic book movie. Granted, the team-up of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), aided and abetted by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), doesn’t boast much more than a bare-essentials plot — demigod Loki (Tom Hiddleston) wants to take over the Earth ‘cuz… well, just ‘cuz — but under the direction of Joss Whedon, the proceedings offer enough kick-ass action and delicious character moments that plot barely matters.
Come join Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French and Dan Persons as they break down the first official blockbuster of summer 2012 to find out what makes it pop and where it fizzles. Also: What’s coming to theaters.
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.
Here’s the latest CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENEGER TV spot.
Directed by Joe Johston, Starring Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones.
Coming July 22nd from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios.
Via Marvel’s Youtube page, the full trailer for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, which concentrates on Steve Roger’s (Chris Evans) desire to serve and his transformation from a frail 4-F to the American super-soldier.
Don’t care for the trailer music at all, but otherwise, I think it’s fairly impressive. Interesting to see Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) playing such an intergral role in Project Rebirth (or whatever it’s called in the movie).
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe, when Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.
As Captain America, Rogers joins forces with Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) to wage war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving.)
In theaters in 2-D and post-generated 3-D July 22nd from Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios.
Entertainment Tonight served up this promo for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER last night.
Things are starting to look interesting for this first big-budget adaptation of the venerable Marvel Comics character.
The Joe Johnston-directed, Chris Evans-starring film hits theaters July 22nd from Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures. (Via RACentral’s YouTube Page)
Via Coming Soon, here’s a promo clip from Entertainment Tonight featuring new footage from CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER.
The Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures production is currently back in the UK for two weeks of re-shoots/pick-ups.