Mini-Movie Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

Ever since I saw Captain America make an appearance in the Spider-Man animated series from the mid-1990s, I’ve been a fan of Cap. There’s something about this red-white-and-blue soldier out of time that gives him a compelling story whether you learn about him in World War II in his battles against the Red Skull, or when he’s a part of the modern Marvel Avengers squad fighting alongside Iron Man, The Hulk, Hawkeye, and the rest.

When I heard that they were working on a live-action movie for Cap, I was excited but not sure that actor Chris Evans could pull off the role. Evans, who played Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, in a couple of Fantastic Four movies always seemed to be more of a smartass than a true soldier. After seeing him in The Losers, I gained a little hope for Evans in the role of Steve Rogers, the man who would become the super soldier Captain America during World War II.

I can say the cast and crew actually did pull it off in Captain America: The First Avenger, though I think I enjoyed Thor from earlier in the summer more. But the use of the extended flashback to show Cap’s origins worked great and we were able to see Cap fight the good fight in WWII against the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving from The Matrix and Lord of the Rings).

They did an amazing job of making Evans look puny for the scenes prior to his character getting the super soldier serum and I think Evans remained in character and serious all the from beginning to the end. If I have a couple of complaints, it’s that the film was a little long (at 124 minutes) and the sequence where Cap was used to sell war bonds in America through stage shows and film clips dragged things out more than a little.

I’ll give the film a definite B+ and be picking it up on Blu-ray when it’s released in a few months.

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Thor is revealed!

Hi all…

Yes, more comic book movie news. Thor, another in the line of Avengers-worthy films from Marvel, is coming next year – May 6, 2011. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, known for his acting and directing talents, Thor will likely have a very different look and feel from The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man franchises.

For a while now, I’ve been wondering who they would get to play the mighty Thor and his alter-ego Dr. Donald Blake – and it’s none other than George Kirk, father of James T. Kirk from the JJ Abrams-rebooted Star Trek film – Chris Hemsworth.

Yahoo Movies somehow managed to snag the first image of the costumed Hemsworth as Thor, and I have to say it works for me. And yes, even the cape works.

This is another comic book movie that has attracted some top-shelf actors… Natalie Portman, Idris Elba (as Heimdall!), Anthony Hopkins (totally believable as Odin), Stellan Skarsgard, Ray Stevenson, Rene Russo… So this should be interesting.

Also out next year will be Captain America: The First Avenger on July 22, 2011. Director Joe Johnston will direct current hotshot actor Chris Evans as the titular Steve Rogers / Captain America character. How will Evans pull off the seriousness of Cap when all he’s done is a bunch of smartass characters? Heck if I know. But it should be interesting to see how it works out.

Then the big event – The Avengers movie, due out on May 4, 2012 – will bring together Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Nick Fury, and others under the watchful eye of director/writer extraordinaire Joss Whedon.

Marvel has the potential to knock all of these movies out of the park. And I have to say I’m extremely geeked up to see Iron Man 2 next weekend. Can this all-star cast – Favreau, Downey Jr., Don Cheadle (stepping into Terrence Howard’s shoes as James Rhodes), Scarlett Johansson (as Black Widow), Paltrow, Sam Rockwell (as anti-Stark Justin Hammer), Mickey Rourke (as Whiplash/Ivan Vanko), Sam Jackson (back as Nick Fury) – pull off another home run this season?

Let’s hope so. The next couple of years will definitely be interesting whether they do or not…

–Fitz

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Good news, True Believers! RDJ back for Iron Man 2 and The Avengers!

Iron Man (film)

Image via Wikipedia

Hey all…

Best news I’ve heard today.

According to Marvel, Robert Downey Jr. is signed to reprise his role as Tony Stark for Iron Man 2 (currently scheduled for release in 2010). Jon Favreau will be directing that one.  And The Avengers movie that’s been talked about since Iron Man opened will have Favreau on board as a producer and Downey Jr. reprising his role again (though it’s not scheduled for release until 2011).

And if that wasn’t enough, Downey Jr. is signed for a third movie (with Iron Man he signed a 4 movie deal with Marvel) that is suspected to be a third Iron Man film.

Oh happy day!

This in addition to re-casting John Rhodes to be played by Don Cheadle now instead of Terrence Howard.

You can read more at the Marvel site here.

Should be an interesting few years seeing how this all comes to fruition!

–Fitz

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