Posts Tagged ‘Captain America’

Well hey folks, and welcome to what is without a doubt the most magical part of the year for bloggers and reviewers alike. That magical time of year when I don’t have to try and figure out what on earth I’m gonna write about and instead have to try and remember what on earth I actually watched this year! And what better way to kick off our end of the year festivities than by setting our sights on the year past and remembering all those happy times we had. The long walks on the beach, the picturesque sunsets… all those horrifying news stories and horrible deaths… But anyway, let’s talk about some of that sweet sweet entertainment, shall we? And celebrate the escapism that such great features allowed us to have.

Micah’s Top Ten Movies of 2016

So this year, I feel like my top ten falls into three distinct categories. The “good but niche,” the “very entertaining but flawed” and the “any of these could have been number 1.” So let’s just jump right in there and see how these particular chips have fallen.

The Good But Niche

  1. Mr. Right

This is by far the Nichiest Niche movie on this list. It isn’t a perfect movie either from an action standpoint OR from a romance standpoint (it tries to do both.) But it’s just a fun movie! The script is quirky and fun, it’s anchored by great performances from Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick and the whole thing is just fun and crazy in very much its own way. It’s not a movie for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

mr-right-trailer

If this picture appeals to you: you should be watching this movie!

 

  1. The Magnificent Seven

Look I was very excited about this movie all year and when I finally got to see it, I was not disappointed. It wasn’t by any means a perfect movie, but it was just a good old fashioned Western and I always appreciate those. It was a fun cast led by Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt and the whole movie was just very evocative of all those old Westerns you grew up with!! Assuming you grew up in my house… which statistically you probably didn’t.

  1. The Nice Guys

Our final niche movie is probably the least nichiest of the three. The Nice Guys is a love letter from Director Shane Black to the classic Robert Downey Jr. movie “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”… which was also directed by Shane Black. So yes… it’s a love letter to himself. But it’s a pretty good love letter as such things go (though an R rated one) and Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe turn in great performances as Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer… I mean,… whatever their characters in this movie were called.

The Very Entertaining but Flawed

  1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a great movie that marked a really fun return for the Harry Potter franchise. It had its problems as far as pacing and “this is the villain because umm… Voldermort??” But it was a genuinely fun movie that really felt like the Harry Potter universe despite featuring literally none of the original characters, and that is VERY not easy to do.

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them

Stay tuned for the tie in from Head and Shoulders: Fantastic Hair and Where to Find It.

 

  1. Zootopia

Frankly, Zootopia probably doesn’t belong in this category, but I couldn’t make a 4th category called “Culturally significant kids movies, that sneakily taught us about racism.” It’s a genuinely entertaining movie that really tries to say something and for the most part it’s really successful in doing so.  It doesn’t “transcend the genre” like some of Disney’s other offerings have over the last few years, but this was a kids movie that wasn’t just something to plop your kids in front of for an hour and a half. It was a heartfelt, well-made movie that had something to say to your kids, and that is very important.

zoo

He somehow thought we belonged in THAT category!

 

  1. Dr. Strange

Back into my fun but flawed category, we have Dr. Strange. I really, really loved this movie and it only dropped this far on my list because A: it did still follow Marvels tried and true origin story mold. And B: the other movies above it were very very good. But I had a lot of fun with Dr. Strange and it definitely cemented itself in the top three or four of the Marvel origin stories and that’s nothing to sneeze at. But really, what is to sneeze at? Who gives you a thing and you say, “well that’s something to sneeze at.” Why would you say that??? Ya weirdo.

  1. Star Trek Beyond

The last (and best) of this category , I feel, was Star Trek Beyond. Look, I’m well documented as being SUPER skeptical about this movie. I enjoyed the other two movies in the franchise, but I couldn’t really get myself excited for Star Trek Beyond. I only went to see it cause there wasn’t anything else in theaters and it got pretty decent reviews. And boy let me tell you no one was more surprised than I was when I ended up thoroughly enjoying myself!! The script was clever, the cast was great, and the whole thing just felt fun. The ending sequence especially I thought was super smart, brilliantly visualized, and very well soundtracked… Soundtrecked?? The soundtrack was great.

startreksocials

More like Sound Trek!!

 

The any of these could have been number 1.

Seriously though, I shuffled these around more times than I could conceivably explain to you (upwards of FIVE whole times) so in the end I threw my hands in the air, waved them as though I was unconcerned as to the opinions of those around me, and just decided to lump them all into this category. So here you go:

  1. The Arrival

Super great and thoughtful sci-fi beautifully shot and anchored by a frankly astounding performance from Amy Adams. It’s by no means your typical sci-fi movie but that in no way makes it a bad movie. I have no jokes for this particular paragraph. It’s a real good movie.

  1. Moana

Dang it Disney!!! Why must you keep making such great movies? I mean seriously this is a movie about a little island girl, a chicken, and the Rock but dang it if my tiny, teeny little Grinch-like heart wasn’t warmed by this thing. No classic Disney prince or love story to be found here, just a great movie with beautiful visuals, great music, and a touching story! I’m filled with anger and hate about how much this movie made me give a darn.

moana

And I will answer!!!

 

  1. Star Wars: Rogue One

I just did a review of this but suffice to say: this movie was great. It was exactly what a Star Wars side story should be and I desperately hope the rest of the Anthology series are as good, and as different from the originals/numerical movies. And again I have no joke here! Curse these movies and there ruining of my sarcasm.

  1. Captain America (and also Ironman): Civil War

There! See? There’s a joke! I put Ironman in the title. Got ya there Disney didn’t I? Me and my sweet burns!! Seriously though: it’s probably one of the best super hero movies ever and features what is (in my mind anyway) the greatest super hero fight scene ever (the airport sequence) AND it single handedly saved the Spiderman franchise. I mean come on people! How could this not be one of the four movies I couldn’t decide whether or not to make my top movie?? How could it not.

Captain-America-Civil-War-Key-Art

It’s the best… one of the 4 best anyway…

 

So there you go guys! My top ten movies of 2016 (with apologies to A Monster Calls and La La Land which I have not seen yet. Thanks for reading, thanks for another great year and I’ll see you Thursday when we flip over this reminiscing coin and look at the ten worst movies of 2016… and boy are there some worsts.

Hey America… and other countries, and welcome to Thursday. It’s been a while since I did a Judging Covers post but with all the new trailers dropping from the hands of the Movie lords I figured this would be a good time to wipe the dust off of my incredibly judgmental glasses and talk about some movies purely based on the stuff in their trailers. Per usual, all these trailers are available on youtube or the movie trailer watching site of your choice.

Transformers: Age of Extinction

That’s right folks: Transformers 4: Putting the Stink back into Extinction. I hung with the transformers series for a long time even after the dripping mass of dirty laundry and angry muskrats that was Transformers 2 I believed that Michael Bay could pull off something entertaining with Transformers 3… and the he did not. At all. The sad thing is that I really like Mark Wahlberg, but even the prettiest girl in the world would smell of old cheese after being thrown headfirst into a melted vat of Limburger. The trailer seems to hit all the “bad Transformers movie” checkboxes. Obligatory hot girl in short shorts who can’t act, FBI guy who is a villain (but probably joins the good guys by the end), Scientist who doesn’t think we need transformers, screamy shot of Optimus Prime, etc. Not only does this look like a bad movie, it looks like the same bad movie we’ve already seen twice.

Annie

A trailer that just came out yesterday, the new Annie seems to be poised to make all of our childhood memories well up inside us like emotional gastrointestinal problems!– ew. Sorry… no idea what happened there. Umm– Cameron Diaz as Mrs. Hannigan seems like an odd choice but at this point Cameron Diaz is an odd choice to play a non-speaking character in a Geico commercial, so I guess I can’t be to thrown by this. Jamie Foxx seems charming and the little girl playing Annie looks face punchingly adorable so this movie will probably be all the things we want it to be, even if we just want it to be a fun new take on a very old story.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 

There are about twenty different trailers out for this movie and it is officially starting to get on my wife’s nerves. It’s hard to disagree with her though, I mean, we all know Captain America is the worst of the Avenger’s super-heroes but at this point it just feel like he’s standing behind the Hulk jumping up and down, waving his arms, and desperately begging us to give him some attention. I’m already at least somewhat intrigued by this movie but am unlikely to get more excited no matter how many times Marvel shows me an aircraft carrier on fire. Calm down, Marvel. It’s gonna be okay.

But look how sad he is Micah!! He just wants to be loved.

But look how sad he is Micah!! He just wants to be loved.

Godzilla 

Godzilla’s first full trailer hit the internet last week and pretty much cleared up nothing at all about the movie. Godzilla will be big and will punch things, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is going to make an “oh no” face a lot, and then there’s some other guy who looks like a shaggy haired Robert Redford who seems to mostly be in the movie so he can over act really badly. I’m not saying Godzilla will be a bad movie (it probably won’t be) but it also isn’t really making me think it’s going to be a good movie. So far the trailers could be summarized by just saying “hey look at all this broken stuff!!!” And just having a bunch of cities get smashed doesn’t really make a good movie, right Man of Steel??? (glares at Superman)

Guardians of the Galaxy 

Ah, the sweet sweet scent of an awesome trailer. Guardians of the Galaxy looks like it’s shaping up to be an awesome new entry in Marvel’s already awesome universe. The movie just looks so distinct and seems like it’s going to land right in that sweetspot between “not taking itself too seriously” while also being a big action movie with a decent amount of heart. The cast looks great, the script seems sharp, and the action looks significantly big and explosiony. I’m pretty much all in on this one from here on out and (while there’s still a chance I’m wrong) this trailer only encourages my belief that we could be looking at something special here.

I was gonna put "your welcome" down here but Marvel already did. That's the kind of movie we're talking about here folks.

I was gonna put “your welcome” down here but Marvel already did. That’s the kind of movie we’re talking about here folks.

And there you have it guys!! Thanks for checking in and we will see you next week!

As promised here are my top ten movies from 2011… It occurred to me that I really should have done the top 11 of 2011 but that would have just been more work for all of us and really who wants to do more work huh? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

 10. Captain America

Captain Americas shield: looks awesome in posters... makes no sense as a weapon.

Everyone’s favorite shield slinging hero starts off the list at number ten. A movie that I figured would be dumb and stupid and star a guy wearing a ridiculous costume turned out to be fun and meaningful and star a guy wearing a ridiculous costume. Chris Evans and Tommy Lee Jones carried a cast of genuinely likeable characters through a cool setting in a movie that turned out to be a lot better then I thought it would be.

 

9. Rango

Rango also wins my award for best singing owls... granted it was a fairly narrow field.

A movie that I, much to my shame, never reviewed on this site but actually really really liked. A surprisingly hilarious movie that featured the vocal talents of Johnny Depp, the movie about a small iguana… chameleon?… Lizard thing was without a doubt the best animated movie I have seen in a long time (and yes ladies that includes your bejeweled, chocolate covered, copies of Tangled).

 

8. X-men First Class

James McAvoy one of two reasons this movie was great. Also one of two reasons Professor X is cool. The other reason? Patrick Stewart.

As I put this list together I realized that this was a really good year for comic book movies. Aside from The Green Lantern (reviewed here) the comic book movies from this year were all fairly impactful, well put together, well cast films, that left us wanting more. X-men: First Class didn’t have the best script ever but Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy were more than enough to cover for it. Not even the presence of Kevin Bacon or January Jones trying to claim the “I will put my face in this expression and never change it” award from Keanu Reeves could completely ruin X-men: First Class.

 

7. The Ides of March

I've seen horror movies with posters less unsettling.

Another movie I haven’t reviewed yet, Ides of March features Oscar worthy performances by Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, and Evan Rachel Wood. It’s got a great (albeit slow-moving) script but the acting really pulls it through and brings it home. My only real complaint about this movie is it has virtually nothing to do with the actual ides of March, something I found slightly perplexing.

 6. Real Steel

Hugh Jackmen + Giant Robot = Epic win. Any other questions?

ANOTHER movie I haven’t reviewed yet Real Steel features robots that punch each other… and we’re done. Okay so seriously, Hugh Jackmen does a great job in a movie that was actually surprisingly heartfelt considering the whole robot punchy thing.

 5. Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows

Robert Downey Jr: Fighting crime as a man in a robot suit, and a man in tight Victorian pants. What more could you ask for?

Robert Downey Jr: Fighting crime as a man in a robot suit, and a man in tight Victorian pants. What more could you ask for?

            Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law work there magic once again in a really smart, really fun to watch, detective story. It certainly wasn’t a perfect movie but if you’re in the mood for a fun movie that will keep you entertained and make you think, you really can’t do much better then Sherlock Holmes 2. Though I must warn you this movie has some of the most violent tree dismemberment I have ever seen. If you’re a squirrel, be warned.

4. Unknown

Qui-Gon Jin is chasing you with a gun. Step. Back.

What you thought Liam Neeson wasn’t going to be on this list? Are you kidding? Unknown was another movie that really kept me thinking the whole way through it and had an awesome ending that caught me very off guard. If you like watching awesome actors punch people in the face in awesome ways while sipping awesome sauce, this movie is for you.

3. Thor

Thor: yes, he has a hammer.

And here we are at last! The top three!! And leading the top three is the best comic book movie of the summer: the ever loving, well-built, mass of muscle that is Thor. Directed by Kenneth Branaugh and starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, Thor was shockingly brilliant, and incredibly well put together from the ground up. The main character was likeable, the action pieces were great, and the story rang incredibly true. Massive props to Thor for taking a super hero I always thought was fairly lame and making him not only cool but also a genuinely likeable character. You win Thor, you win.

 2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Now THAT is a scary monkey.

Winning even more than that last movie won though, is the movie with a really long title that from here on out I’m only referring to as Planet of the Apes. James Franco did a great job portraying the main human character but honestly the guy who stole the show all the way was the always brilliant Andy Serkis (who played the main ape: Ceasar). Serkis somehow made me care about the survival of a monkey more than I cared about the survival of most of the actual humans in this movie.

And number 1….

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Harry Potter: Making "P's" into lightning bolts for over a decade.

An epic conclusion that made me laugh, and almost cry (which is saying something). A movie that didn’t just tug on my heart strings but actually took out my entire heart and let it float majestically toward the heavens in the padded claws of a golden falcon. Sure you can say I was influenced by the fact that the other seven movies have been a part of my life for years, but why shouldn’t that be a factor exactly? In the end it was a wonderful send off to characters that I felt like I knew personally and as “The End” scrolled across the screen after the final shot of the movie I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends and family. And so, for it’s unparalleled use of  golden falcons, this years best film award goes to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

Thank you all so much for reading this blog this year! Here’s hoping we’ll all be here for another one! God bless, Merry Christmas, and a happy new year

Captain America: The First Avenger

Posted: August 4, 2011 by Micah in Movie Reviews
Tags:

Micah Reviews: Captain America: The First Avenger

Ah Captain America. A man who, I must confess, I thought was fairly lame until recently. And when I say recently I mean last night. Which is when I watched Captain America: The First Avenger. It’s a movie with guns, shields, and a guy who looks like a walking advertisement for Big Red gum.

On an utterly unrelated note, did you know you can order gum from Amazon.com? I kid you not! Who thinks “Man I could go for some gum… let me check on Amazon here and… (5 minutes later) There! Now I just have to wait 5-7 days and I’ll be golden… I mean Red!!”

 

 The Plot:

Steven Rogers is a tiny man. And that’s coming from me. And for those of you who don’t know me I’m not exactly Hercules (though I’m close). Anyway Steven has been trying to get into the army for years and… Oh wait it’s also 1942. Sorry, I forgot. It’s 1942. So, Steve’s been trying to get into the army for years and has been turned down four times already. But you know what they say: “if you can’t beat’em… keep trying.” Or something. Anyway, on Steven’s fifth time he gets chosen by a German doctor to be entered into the Super-Secret Super Soldier Super Program of Awesomeness (which I may have embellished a bit) and thus the plot is accelerated.

So they pump Steve with more steroids than Barry Bonds on his best day (it’s a baseball joke. Don’t worry if you don’t get it. Just keep going) and low and behold, he becomes big. Like really big. Unfortunately right as everyone is commenting on Steve’s new found pecs, a Hydra agent (Hydra being a rogue Nazi group) sneaks into the lab! He kills the German Doctor, blows up the lab, and cackles maniacally as he drives away in his schnitzel van! (that last one didn’t happen. I just like the word schnitzel.) So Steve (who we shall henceforth call Captain America) becomes the only Super Soldier in the Super Soldier program to be Supered.

Somewhere in there were introduced to the VERY German Johann Schmidt (played by Hugo Weaving) who leads Hydra and has the full intention of taking over the world so he can make everyone wear ridiculous helmets. Captain America starts chasing him down, Schmidt pulls his face off, and some vaguely attractive British girl is largely worthless.

The Negatrons:

Generally I give the positives before the negatives but I’m switching it up here and we’ll see what happens. Honestly there really aren’t a whole lot of things I didn’t like about Captain America. That’s not to say it was a perfect movie just that it generally held together well enough to where it’s difficult to pick out one thing and say that it didn’t work.

The script is solid, though it manages to be fairly un-epic. A few funny one liners get thrown around and the atmosphere is very well maintained and… See what I mean? This is becoming a positive! Once again it’s not that the script is great and it’s not that there aren’t some weird lines. Like my personal favorite, which gets dropped during the climactic last battle:

Big Bad guy: You never give up do you?

Captain America: (Long dramatic pause) No.

Really? “No”??? Come on Captain!

But once again the script isn’t bad. The lines are well delivered, Captain America is believable and… yeah. Not great, but certainly more than good enough.

Another flaw is that at times the marriage of 1942 and Futuristic Nazi weaponry comes off a little harsh. It’s just awkward in a period 1942 piece to have Germans in weird hats marching around firing lasers. The sorest spot pops up in a motorcycle race in which the Captain is launching flames out of the back of his bike and setting up trip wires in trees. The scene feels mostly unnecessary honestly, and just doesn’t seem to really fit. It’s not a huge flaw though, and there are times when it does work so… yeah. Once again I can’t really fault it.

My last (and most nit-picky) comment is that Hugo Weaving just doesn’t get enough screen time. Weaving plays the main villain but once he becomes Red Skull (the villainous alter ego) he just sort of marches around looking like a huge bill board for skin care gone wrong. Once again this can’t really be listed as a complete flaw because it’s not that Red Skull isn’t a good villain, it’s just that Hugo Weaving is awesome.

The positives:

A quick look at the career of Hugo Weaving: V for Vendetta, Lord of the Rings, Transformers, The Matrix, The Wolfman (horrible movie but he played a cool character). I mean the man’s career is just epic! Now he adds playing an iconic villain in Captain America to the list and will be returning as Elrond in two upcoming Lord of the Rings movies. My. Goodness.

Captain America is a great period piece. The lines, sets, and atmosphere all hail back to a much simpler time in American history. Yes, it is occasionally broken up by high tech laser fire, but on the whole the movie just feels right. A quality cast led by Chris Evans, the aforementioned Weaving, and yet another brilliant performance by Tommy Lee Jones fit right into the mix and carry the film very well!

Another thing I really appreciate about this movie (and Thor before it) is the relative family friendliness they boast. Yes, they are PG-13 and yes they contain some violence of the punching/kicking/being hit with hammers variety but on the whole they maintain a fairly clean feel to them. Obviously not all movies with PG-13 ratings will be but I appreciate Disney (who now owns Marvel Comics) pulling back on some of the rampant sexuality that had started to creep in to the super hero world. One of my big problems with a movie like Transformers 2 (which was filled with LOADS of unnecessary sex) was that you know parents are going to be coming to these movies with their kids. It’s Transformers for goodness sake! Now part of that falls on the parents for not doing a some research before they drag little Johnny to the theater but it’s nice to see that we can still have comic role models like Captain America and Thor without having to deal with all the sexuality.

All in all Captain America is a warm, relatively easy going story. I’m as much a fan of the Dark Knight and the dark realism in comic books as anyone but sometimes it’s nice to just see the good guys pick up a win and throw around some shiny shields.

In Conclusion:

Captain America: The First Avenger was a good movie. It wasn’t great, but it certainly did more right than it did wrong. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the feel of the setting and characters. On the whole it’s a great romp through the 40’s helmed by a very likeable cast of characters and a lot of red paint.

I give it 4 Super-Secret Super Soldiers out of 5.