Random Movie Review – Captain America: Winter Soldier

Work, a move, a fried hard drive, and the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever had, and two seizures in less than two weeks, led to a long break. With my computer (and me) back up and running, it is time to get back on the horse.

Unfortunately, that horse doesn’t have internet, so we’re doing this on a phone. Ugh.

POSTER!

captain
This gentleman is known to many as “Captain America”

Epilepsy

I would love to say that this isn’t an issue, but that would be a lie. There’s a reason it comes first in my discussion of this movie. I went in the theatre medicated and well slept. I had just consumed a good meal, with tea, not coke/soda to hype me up.

Right off the bat I had muscle response to the rapid fire action scenes. Over and over, in multiple scenes throughout the film, my muscles and brain responded to the automatic fire. I’m not sure exactly why this surprised me – Cap fights with non-special powered individuals and non-laser/arrow folks, it was yesterday that I realized how few “heroes” use actual guns! – but it did feel odd.

(I’m no longer on my phone, thank GOODNESS.)

General Plot

Post-New York, Captain America is working for SHIELD, and more specifically seems to be close (non-sexually, you perverts) with Black Widow. There is some understanding that they have become comfortable with one another. Though, of all the heroes, those two are the most friendly; Cap naturally, and Widow for the sake of the job, usually.

Eventually the job takes a turn for the troublesome. Cap, Widow, and a new friend who goes by the name Falcon must go head-on against their enemies.

Thor: The Dark World – as I mentioned before – works fairly well as a stand alone. It’s not easy to take the Avengers back and forth between worlds. With Captain America: Winter Soldier, that is not the case. This film takes place in the current Marvel timeline/universe, so there is no reason why other Avengers can’t step in. Bruce and Tony are even mentioned by name. Even worse in this way is Falcon:

falcon international
I could only find Foreign Poster only for Falcon… not sure why.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Falcon. I’m also super fond of Anthony Mackie, who plays the new, military-veteran hero. But

But. There’s pretty much nothing Falcon can do that Iron Man can’t do as well. Usually better. Except, maybe, follow orders. There’s always going to be tension between Tony and Steve, so maybe there’s that … but… in this situation, Iron Man would have been useful. And if not Iron Man (what with the whole detonation of the suits … which matters not at all since he has remote control of suits that have non-live-implant arc reactors), War Machine has both the suit AND the military background. As well as bigger guns.

But maybe he’s busy … protecting POTUS or something. And not connected to S.H.I.E.L.D or Steve as tightly as Sam/Falcon.

Still bullshit. But he’s Anthony, and the wings are fun, so whatever. I got over it.

The Winter Soldier was extremely well done, I thought. Like really, really well done! The confidence of movement, the fighting, the confusion…. I’m really hesitant about writing more about him. The character was familiar to me, and many others, but for people who don’t know anything about him they might call “spoiler” on me, and I don’t want that.

I will say, I have a complaint about the relationship described between Natasha/Black Widow and the Winter Soldier. (Don’t worry, I won’t show a picture from the comics that would spoil you people who are touchy about such things.)

black widow winter soldier
As in: They boned for awhile … you might say, “who DOESN’T ‘bone for awhile’ in comics,” and you’d have a point … but their boning is important!

Which sort of goes hand-in-hand with previous complaints of her characterization, like how she recruited Hawkeye, not the reverse (as was stated in Avengers, though the story of Hawkeye turning her to SHIELD as opposed to Black Widow recruiting Hawkeye to evil might have just been a story for Loki’s benefit).

Acting

Flowing from the above, the actors all get good reports for me on this. The only criticism I might have stemed from character writing. Senator Fishlips (Senator Stern … yeah, Marvel’s never been subtle with the naming) of Iron Man 2 fame comes back for a brief cameo in this. He’s just annoying. Actor and character. Pretty much all the politicians fit this for me. Stiff and annoying. But that could easily be their given dialogue pulling that from the actors as character.

Visuals/Tech

Was that a Wilhelm Scream when that guy got stabbed? Seriously? Don’t those usually get used for falls and shots? Weird.

Peggy, being really old, gets a CGI face-wrinkling. They use this a lot on her mouth, and damn if it doesn’t look creepy as all hell. I couldn’t find a screen cap of this event, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. We’re talking uncanny valley level stuff. It’s ALMOST there, almost perfect, but enough off that I found it terrifying.

Also, very sad.

The fight scenes were fantastic, and — since there was a dude flying around with metal wings — this wasn’t a guarantee. Cap had a few jumps that were bullshit, but then he’s CAPTAIN AMERICA, so you suspend some disbelief.

I still, years later, have problems with all the through-glass-and-mirrors camera work in Avengers. Seriously, go back and watch that movie if you’ve never noticed. Like every other scene is shot looking at action through a mirror, or on the reflection of glass, or through glass. I love that movie, don’t get me wrong, but DAMN that’s annoying. Captain America: Winter Soldier does not do any shit like that (at least not that I noticed on the first viewing).

Points of Interest:

They name-drop Dr. Strange.

STAY FOR THE END CREDITS. It’s beyond me that people go to Marvel movies and don’t stay. Mid-credits for us in Thailand was a Winter Soldier snap, though I’ve heard some people calling this an end credit scene. It is possible that this was mixed up in international showing. Not the first time something like this happened.

OUR end credit scene showed the twins, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Their names have been circling in rumor for months now, and it looks like rumors were right. The twins are actually Magnito’s children, and Quicksilver is on the character list for XMen: Days of Future Past. There will be two different actors for Quicksilver, one for Fox’s production, and a second for Marvel/Disney.

This is a big flag that highlights the issues with multiple studios owning the rights to Marvel characters. If Marvel is working up to a universe-wide event (like, for example, the Civil War storyline … which I love), they’re going to have to either join in production with Sony and Fox, or they pay out the nose to regain control of the Spiderman and X-Men characters.

The trailers SUCKED. Not sure if that’s true for everyone, but it was true for us. Twenty-five minutes of trailers and commercials that SUCKED.

All-in-All

I liked it. I did not love it. This is unusual for me when considering superhero films, but for a movie that uses Winter Soldier in the title, it didn’t use him to his best advantage. The stunt guy playing him could film a great fight! Senator Fishlips broke me from the action to give a big fat “asshole” snort to the film. The major action/climax there at the end of the film just had me sighing in my seat. It was a major “been there / done that” feeling.

I felt more tension on my most recent (and at least 6th) viewing of Penelope. 

A Penelope movie poster
Yeah. This one. “Will her costumes remain beautiful?!?!?!” Such a stressful question.

In one word, “Letdown”.

Yet, I still enjoyed it more than Man of Steel, which I liked when watching. So…take that to mean whatever the hell it means. I’m not sure what it means. Perhaps my standards have gotten higher? (HA! Yeah right!)

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