Tag Archives: Captain America

Superhero Bits & Bobs, for Easter 2012

Hulk crave delicious Empanada yet realises cholesterol is an issue...

The Irish Avenger’s YouTube channel has two new tv spots up for Avengers Assemble – look for the extended Captain America and “Team” spots for more awesome Cap and Hulk action.  He’s also helpfully got the clip of Black Widow escaping capture in a fashion so Whedonesque it brings tears of joy to the eye.

The pic above is new, too – don’t you just love how the CG artists have managed to invest the digital Hulk model with Mark Ruffalo‘s salt-and-pepper hair colouring.  That’s bloody art that is…

Now that The Hunger Games opened and made a few bob – $269 million in the US, at last count – Fox are understandably eager to exploit her rising fame and exercise their option to cast her in the now-greenlit “X-Men: First Class” sequel, per this story on SuperHeroHype.

Matthew Vaughn is directing again, so expect the X-folk to interact with historical events and all the female characters to walk around in lingerie for a good portion of the running time.  Feminism, eh, Matthew – what is it all about?

AMC’s Film Critic blog has an interesting list of the best comic book movie trailers – whilst there are some solid and expected choices listed, I’d like to put my two pence in for the non-DC/Marvel likes of “Scott Pilgrim Vs The World” and the “Hellboy 2” trailer (the former for being amazeballs, the latter for establishing that “Hellboy 2” was a real thing and still chock full of visually arresting Del Torian surrealist gloriousness).

"Joss, are you sure this is my most heroic side?"

The “Captain America” sequel has a release date – April 4, 2014 and follows on from this summer’s “Avengers” movie  in a contemporary time-frame.

Finally, Slashfilm offers a review of Morgan Spurlock’s “Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope” documentary, which was already on my radar due to it being produced by Joss Whedon and now looks like that rare thing – the nerd doc which gets things right.  Imagine that…

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“Avengers” Super Bowl teaser – assembled.

Hyped yet? Me, too.

It turns out that sport is good for something after all – who knew?

This Sunday’s Super Bowl featured many well-paid, overly padded men hitting one another (one word, boys – ‘rugby’) and much fuss and consternation about professional controversalist MIA shocking America by flipping the bird during Madonna’s half-time show (did anybody honestly not expect her to try to be the centre of attention?).

Yet the most interesting things to me about the Super Bowl are the absurdly expensive and deliberately positioned teaser trailers for summer blockbusters – this year saw 30 second spots advertising Disney’s “John Carter”, Universal’s “Battleship” and Relativity‘s awful looking actioner, “Act of Valor”, whose sole selling point appears to be that it stars real Navy SEAL members.   Yep, that’s one film which will definitely do well outside the US.

The fraught task of single-handedly erasing the bad after-taste of the latter trailer, then, fell to Marvel’s “The Avengers”.

Imagine if Richard Branson had one of these suits - we'd never see the end of it.

It was, quite predictably, a riot of colour, crashes, bangs and mayhem – a paroxysm of superheroic shenanigans and one-liners (“We have a Hulk”), cities in fire and iconic Avengers united on-screen for the first time.

Now, this is how you do patriotic action...

I can understand that a lot of fans of Thor, Captain America and Iron Man have felt that their individual movies didn’t serve their characters well and acted as feature-length trailers for a team-up project which didn’t have the same value for them as a solo outing for Tony Stark or Steve Rogers would have done.   I can appreciate that this would be irksome but the seven-year old nerd in me looks at this trailer and can’t wait for the end of April to roll around (May 4th in the US per this trailer).

Joss Whedon? Likes his hero shots? Surely some mistake?

 

 

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A geeky round-up (because I’m ill)…

The dreaded lurgyMan-flu.  An outbreak of contagious yuck – call it what you will, I’m afflicted by it.  If I were you, I’d wear an anti-germ mask and disinfect yourself thoroughly before reading this post.

Mr Germ, yesterday.

Accordingly, my brain is working on about 40% effectiveness and I think it best for all concerned if I point in the direction of a few points of interest on the internet, before you catch something from me via Teh Interwebz.

An interesting round-up of a recent Femme-friendly Sci-Fi event, GirlGeekCon in Seattle, from those nice folks at the Tor Books blog.

 

Super Punch have an unboxing video for the collector’s edition of “Star Wars: The Old Republic”.

Milla Jovovich isn’t very happy about the US marketing campaign for “The Three Musketeers”…, via I Watch Stuff.

Ben Affleck may be directing the long-awaited adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Stand”, per Rope of Silicon.

Some reviews of  the “Captain America: The First Avenger” blu-ray disc at Blu-Ray.com and Crave Online.  I loved it – possibly a little more than I enjoyed “Thor” – and can’t wait to see it in glorious HD in December when it releases in the UK.

A sneaky clip from the “Ghost Rider” sequel is currently available over at ShockTillYouDrop – from last week’s Spike TV Scream awards ceremony.

Finally, Deadline.com reports that “Paranormal Activity 3” opened in the US this weekend to $55 million, making it the highest-debuting box office result ever for a horror movie.  I haven’t seen the first one, I stopped watching “Saw” movies after the first one and have seen two minutes of “Hostel”.  I freely confess that the last decade in horror cinema has completely passed me by.

 

 

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Make Mine Marvel Movie Mayhem!

Steve Rogers, extraordinary everyman

A few weeks late to the party, I’m afraid, but here are my thoughts on the second Marvel Studios release of the summer, Joe Johnson’s “Captain America – The First Avenger”.

Marvel have had a lot of success with their superhero adaptations – “Iron Man” and it’s sequel, “The Incredible Hulk”, the “Spider-Man” series, the “X-Men” series, the two “Fantastic Four” movies and this summer’s “Thor” – and that winning streak continues with “Captain America – The First Avenger”. In many ways, this is the best Marvel film yet.

A real American hero - and none too annoying with it...

Chris Evans stars as the titular character, an archetypal 90 pound weakling whose attempts to join the US Army during the latter part of the second world war are thwarted until he meets Dr Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci), whose experimental growth serum is being tested by the military to create a war-winning strain of super soldier.

So far, so Marvel. Sensibly, Marvel have resisted the urge to update the character and pitch him straight into the same contemporary landscape occupied by Tony Stark and Dr Bruce Banner – this is, for the most part, a period-set tale of derring do, irredeemable Nazi bad guys and a world torn asunder by conflict on a massive scale.

As with his previous comic book adaptation, “The Rocketeer”, Joe Johnson displays a deft grasp of historical setting, stages large-scale action set-pieces which don’t dissolve into a morass of fast cuts and is seemingly as interested in his actors as he is in getting the cool alternate technology and gadgets right. He’s aided by a tight, funny and – whisper it – smart script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, which mixes up mythology, history, comic book canon, pacy plotting and laughs in a hard-to-resist package.

Much less so than, say, “Iron Man 2”, this is a summer adventure which isn’t hamstrung by having to set up aspects of next summer’s “The Avengers”. The inter-universe continuity in recent Marvel flicks is here – the Cosmic Cube from “Thor” shows up and a certain, eye-patched gentleman appears towards the end of the film but the heavy lifting has already been done. We all know that there’s an Avengers movie coming, so it’s refreshing to not have to navigate a primer in Marvel Mythology when we could be having a superhero knock-down, drag-out action sequence to justify the increasingly hilariously over-inflated price of cinema tickets.

For the record, I saw a 2D print of “Captain America” and firmly avoided the post-converted 3D effort also doing the rounds – I couldn’t see many examples of cinematography, setting or action which would benefit from the process, honestly.

Chris Evans is excellent in the lead – he’s far from being a cocky, know-it-all, take charge douche and surprisingly easy to relate to. His Steve Rogers doesn’t give up in the face of insurmountable odds and leads from the front – an entertaining section of the film sees Rogers sidelined by bond-selling, USO show-appearing, conflict-avoiding duties on the home front as his friends are pitched head-first into the horrors of the European theatre.

Equally reliable are Hugo Weaving, as villain The Red Skull, whose horrific, red-skinned countenance probably accounts for much of the film’s 12-A rating. He’s got the standard villain’s modus operandi – world enslavement, troubling obsession with occult arcana and weapons of mass destruction are all accounted for – but there’s a fun parallel to be drawn between the Skull’s search for occult objects to fuel the weapons used in his diabolical schemes and the ostensible good guys that we’re rooting for who…use occult objects the fuel weapons to assist their somewhat more benevolent schemes.

Tommy Lee Jones pops up, doing a masterclass in gruff paterfamilias leadership as Colonel Phillips and he’s as economic, laconic and splendid as you might hope. My favourite character, though, is Peggy Carter, Cap’s UK contact, love interest and awesome 40’s dame. She single-handedly erases the bad taste left by “Iron Man 2”, which saw fit to turn Gwyneth Paltrow’s previously competent, business-like Pepper Potts into a screeching ninny – there’s never any sense that Peggy can’t handle herself and essentially kicks more Hydra (the Red Skull’s deep science, Nazi off-shoot army) ass than the Cap does.

Summing up – well worth seeing, possibly just a bit more fun than “Thor” (though make no mistake, I fricking loved Kenneth Branagh’s superhero adventure) and it brilliantly does the job of making you pine for what nerd godhead Joss Whedon will come up with for 2012’s “The Avengers”.

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