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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mini Movie Review: Captain America

Of all of the comic book hero movies I've seen so far, Captain America has been my favorite. Not only did it transport me to an era with vestiges I only vaguely remember from my childhood, but Captain America was depicted as a regular guy. And he echoed a sentiment that's always been close to my heart: he doesn't like bullies.

1940s Brooklyn was very much like 1950s Chicago, so it was kind of nice to revisit the old neighborhood through the filter of Hollywood.

It starts out with Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans) a skinny, undersized guy who desperately wants to serve his country during WWII. He's turned down time and again until a scientist spots him and offers him a chance if he's willing to undergo an experiment.

Throughout the movie Rogers demonstrates how noble and self-sacrificing he is, but nothing exemplifies it as much as when a grenade is tossed into a crowd and he throws himself onto it.  (That's not a spoiler since it's in the clip.) The grenade is a dummy and now everybody knows that Rogers is made of sterner stuff.

Rogers is brave, compassionate, and loyal to the last. All these qualities along with his physique are amplified through the regeneration process. But no matter his size, his resolve remains the same.

The filmmaker digitally removed bits of Chris Evans' physique so he could play 'skinny Steve Rogers', then compensated for the blank spaces by reinserting the background. Overall, I think it worked, though at times I thought the actor's head was just a tiny bit disproportional to the rest of his body.

I liked this movie. It reminded me of the sort of movies we used to watch when I was a kid where heroes were regular guys from Brooklyn and there were no grays in good and evil. The movie was sanitized to meet 21st century expectations for racial and sexual equality, but it was still enjoyable. 

It'll be interesting to see Captain America (with his 1940s morality) interact with the other (more emotionally flawed) characters in next year's The Avengers movie.

Did you see this movie? How about the other superhero movies? What do you think so far?

Addendum: Sarah Falen reminded me. You MUST stay until after the credits roll so you can see a teaser of The Avengers movie with all the superheroes.


Don't forget that Friday I will be with Jackie Burris on her blog talking about book bloggers.


Sarita said...

I have not seen the movie but after reading your impressions I'm thinking of slipping into a matinee. Sounds like a nice escape!

Superheroes have always been big around here. I remember watching The Hulk when I was young, and loving it even though that green was weird.

Superheroes? I love 'em. Real or imagined...all good.

Dru said...

They're making the Avengers? Wow. No one can compare to Diana Rigg and Patrick McNee.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

saw it, loved it. Did you stick around to watch the Avenger's trailer after the credits? Cuz man, i cannot WAIT for Stever Rogers and TOny Stark to hang out for the first time. The casting for both of them is fantastic!

Angela Brown said...

I haven't seen the movie yet. It's on my TO DO list.

I've never been a comic book fan but I have been a big hero nut. Loved Superman even though I could never understand how he got away with people not knowing who he was. Adore all the Batman films, even the ones that aren't so popular and yes, I had to have the Wonderwoman training bra as a kid. Even as an adult, I enjoy catching an episode of the Justice League with my kiddo.

Something about heroes that gives us the ability to believe in some common good worth saving...cause in the end, that's what most of them do.

Raelyn Barclay said...

Haven't seen this yet but it's on our list for this summer. Thanks for the review. With the wee beasties all the comic book heroes are a must when they come to the big screen, LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarita: Definitely a good summer escape. If the theater hadn't been so crowded, it would've been great.

Dru: I think this is a different Avengers. But I could be wrong. Greg keeps up with all these things. I just go along for the ride.

Sarah: D'oh! I completely forgot to mention that in the post. Yes. Stay until after the credits. And you're right. I am really looking forward to how Stark and Capt. America interact.

Angela: Okay, That Wonder Woman training bra did a wonderful job. :) You turned out great!

Raelyn: The kids will love it. They can go for the fighting, and you can go for the 'other' stuff. ;-)

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I liked the movie all right, but I've been suffering superhero fatigue. I look forward to watching it again when I haven't seen so many other superhero films lately.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: We haven't watched all of them yet. We saw the Green Lantern and I didn't like that one. While I'm glad Hollywood found themselves a franchise that made money. I so wish they would come up with something original.

jackie b central texas said...

I am a sucker for comic book based movies, if it comes out on the big screen I am one of the first in line. However with this particular movie will have to wait for Pay-Per-View as my movie pard (my husband) will not go to see it with me, for a lot of the reasons why you liked it Maria.

Anyway did get to see X-Men First Class, Green Lantern, Green Hornet and will watch the remake of Fright Night if am lucky enough to get to go...

Cowboys and Aliens Baby, that is the one I am waiting for! Will get to go see it on the 6th in Austin when we pick up my husband's new glasses from Eyemasters. (have to make the most of that 100 mile round trip to the "big city"!)

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: I'm getting so worried Cowboys and Aliens might not be a lot of hype.

I've noticed when the ad gurus hardly say anything (like the early Star Wars and the recent Star Trek) the films are amazing. But when they constantly keep pitching it--watch out.

I hope I'm wrong and it's just a ploy to get the word out.

jackie b central texas said...

Maybe so but you will not keep my husband from a Harrison Ford vehicle, he is the driving force behind wanting to see it bad movie or not! Like you I will go along for the ride, also there are a couple of eye catching scenes in there that this Sci-Fi action junkie does not want to miss my own self.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: The premise for Cowboys and Aliens is so unique. I have high hopes.

Regan Walsh said...


I'm a huge fan of superheros as evidenced by the type of stuff I write, so I may have to check this movie out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts of it.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: It was the perfect summer movie. It reminds me of something I would've seen at the drive-in...when we used to have drive-ins. :)

Thanks for popping in!

Regan Walsh said...

We still have one drive-in left around here. I keep telling my husband we should go. I love the drive-in. In fact, maybe this would be a great movie to rekindle some of those memories (children in PJs and stuff). :)

Maria Zannini said...

@Susan: No kidding? I didn't know we still had drive ins.

They weren't fun in SE Texas because of the heat and all the mosquitoes, but in Chicago, it was a pleasant way to spend a night.

Captain America would make a great drive in movie.

Victoria Dixon said...

Thanks for this! We haven't seen it yet, but I'm looking forward to it even more now. I've got to say, it's fascinating what they can do with fx these days!