Monday, October 31, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger DVD

Since I did a review for the Batman: Under The Red Hood DVD, how couldn't I do one for the Cap movie? This was one of the FEW movies I actually wanted to see in the movie theater, but I instead decided to wait for the DVD to get released. Well, the movie is loading in my PS3 and should start up soon, so let's get to it!

Captain America: The First Avenger(2011):

What Happened: Back during World War II, scrawny Steve Rogers from Brooklyn winds up getting a special serum and becomes America's first super-soldier. The creator of the serum, Dr. Erskine, is murdered by agents of the Nazi's special science division, Hydra, which is led by the Red Skull. The Skull knew of Erskine because he himself took a prototype of Erskine's serum which granted him enhanced physical abilities, while leaving him with grotesque red skull-like head. Steve becomes a propaganda tool for the US government to sell war bonds as Captain America, but is more keen on actually fighting in the war, something his commanding officer, Col. Phillips, doesn't want to see since Steve was basically untested on the field. Eventually while entertaining some soldiers in Italy, Cap learns that his childhood friend Bucky Barnes(and most of Bucky's platoon) was captured and/or killed by forces of Hydra. With some help from Peggy Carter and Howard Stark, Cap ends up busting into the Hydra facility on his own and rescuing Bucky and the rest of the captive soldiers while meeting the Skull face-to-face for the first time. With that rousing success, Col. Phillips allows Cap to create a hand selected team to take the fight to Hydra. Cap's squad(basically the Howling Commandos) meets with several successes taking apart Hydra bases, but are racing against the clock as the Red Skull, using an insanely powerful artifact that he felt was left behind by the gods(basically a Cosmic Cube), is busy building a massive airship that was powered by the artifact and was capable of wiping out the entire US eastern coast within an hour's time. Cap and his squad end up capturing the Skull's right hand man, Armin Zola, but at the expense of Bucky, who is killed during the mission. Zola rats out the location of Hydra's main base and Cap and his squad attack, forcing the Skull and his Hydra goons to leap into their aircraft before they are completely prepared to. After getting a kiss from Peggy, Cap alone manages to get aboard the Skull's aircraft before the Skull was able to take flight. After dispatching of the Hydra goons, Cap meets the Skull in the plane's cockpit and the two have their long-awaited showdown. The two adversaries toss each other about the cockpit until they eventually rupture the unit holding the artifact, at which time the Skull grabs the artifact hoping to use it against Cap. Unfortunately for the Skull, the power from the artifact seemingly disintegrates him before the artifact itself burns through the bottom of the plane falling into the ocean below. With the plane's power-source gone, and the controls damaged during the battle, Cap contacts headquarters and tells them that he was going to down the plane in the icy northern Atlantic waters before it reached any populated area. Peggy, who was at headquarters, tries to talk Cap out of his plan, but the two realize that there was no other way and Peggy stays on the radio with Cap until the plane slams into the ice below. Fast forward 70 years and an expedition exploring the northern Atlantic comes across the frozen remains of the airplane, as well as Cap, who ended up in a state of suspended animation. Cap eventually wakes up, freaks out a bit and is met by Nick Fury, ending this one.

The Good: Everybody in the movie did a pretty good job with the roles they were given. I especially enjoyed the Skull, Dr. Erskine and Col. Phillips. The addition of characters like Dum Dum Dugan, Armin Zola, Howard Stark and others was a nice little treat for a Marvel fanatic such as myself. Call me a sap, but I really enjoyed the interaction between Cap and Peggy Carter. The final battle between Cap and the Skull was awesome, mainly because it was two hated enemies beating the hell out of each other. There was nothing fancy about it, it was simply a fight. Even though it was never called as such, I liked that the Skull was using the Cosmic Cube the entire time, since that rung true to the comic books. Speaking of which, the special effects with the Cube and the Skull's appearance were topnotch. Cap bashing people with his shield was as fun on screen as it is in the comics. Cap's “death” scene was a real tearjerker. The beginning and end of this film were really well done.

The Bad: Bucky as Cap's childhood friend as opposed to a younger member of the army that Cap could have found/saved/anything was a bit annoying. Speaking of which, Bucky's death was downright infuriating! He was offed by a random Hydra agent in a scene that was basically throwaway! It had literally NO emotional impact on me whatsoever. Seriously, wouldn't it have made more sense for the Skull to have been the one to kill Bucky since there was no Baron Zemo in this movie? The middle of the movie dragged a bit... The time between when Erskine dies to when Cap rescues Bucky and the rest of the soldiers was completely forgettable. The ending wasn't an ending at all, it was basically the beginning of the Avengers.

The Verdict: This wasn't the best comic book movie I've ever seen(that distinction still goes to X2), but it's definitely one of my favorites. It didn't stray TOO far away from the comic books which is always a good thing, although the Bucky stuff REALLY hurt my enjoyment of this one. I still don't get why Bucky couldn't have been a 16/17 year old soldier that Steve takes under his wing. I'm not saying to make him a 14 year old army camp mascot like in the comics, but Bucky as Steve's childhood friend/protector just didn't add anything for me. Plus his death was just plain bizarre... I mean seriously, he was killed by random Hydra agent #276! Really?! Sure, as the head of Hydra, the Skull kind of/sort of was responsible for killing Bucky, but it would have been way more personal if the Skull had a more active hand in Bucky's death. Besides the Bucky portions, which could/should have been better, this movie was a great way to spend 2 hours. I mean hell, even though I KNEW he wasn't dying, I still got all teary-eyed during Cap's “death”! That tells me that the story had me and had me good. May 2012 can't get here soon enough, bring on the Avengers movie!

Score: 9 out of 10.


  1. I saw this in theaters ( okay). The movie was awesome. Bucky's death was little annoying though (I did like that nod to is time as Capt. though). I liked that Bucky and Cap did have some sort of relationship though. It would have been hard to throw dude in at the middle of the movie.

  2. I liked Bucky's scene because it made sense for how he can be frozen and still become Winter Soldier, and he'll actually seem like a threat to Cap since before Steve's upgrades, Bucky was kind of the big man on campus. It definitely should've been put into play by a bigger name than just some random guy but I saw it as them trying to set up something down the road more than anything else.

  3. I dont loved this movie, it was Ok

    But the High tech Hydra really annoyed me and, I know is all fantasy, But.. Security cameras? in 1944? They used stuff that could not be excused with a cosmic cube
    that details really reduced my enjoyment of the movie

    My all times comic based movie still remains as The Dark Knight
    Followed by Batman Begins
    and X-men 3

    and the worst as Jonah Hex followed by X-men First class and Superman returns

  4. Really Alien? I'm surprised, I liked X-Men First Class more than all three X-Men movies, but that's just me.

  5. No x-men movie pleased me.I found ALL downright terrible. No one was fun. When you can't write Mystique as Spywoman Judas it just shows how much you know (screw you Bryan Singer!) . Since our generous host lets me rant for free, Let's play bullet points!

    I don't like that Wolverine is the main focus of the film. There is a plot somewhere about mutant hatred, but it's ignored so Wolverine can be the big sensation.

    -Anna Paquin as Rogue.When perfectly written Rogue is cool, gorgeous, temperemental and powerful in the comics (& both cartoons, the EVO version still had her badassery intact). In this,BOOOOORIIIIIIng....

    -Storm is reduced to a badly acted, badly written, badly directed and badly represented character. It's horrid. Storm is an ace character that should make a strong impression, but hey maybe these were the first of her sidelining.

    Cyclops is meant to be a leader but is written as Wolverine's play thing and Jean Grey's son. It's a shambles.Well props to him for being heads above Morrison's douche bastardization (it doesn't say much!)

    Sabretooth, the conniving, volatile villain that makes Wolverine's life a living hell, the fusion of Freddy Kruger & H.Lecter... oh wait, no, he's some dumb thug who can't win a fight and has never seen Wolverine before, ever! Way to waste the opportunity , guys!

    Anyway , I rank the Cap movie the same way I do the Thor one! WONDRFUL!
    Weaving as the Red Skull steals the show, his charisma was just palatable!Bucky 's outfit in the movie was actually my fav depiction of Barnes.
    In Thor, The god of thunder was greatly likeable, the scene at the coffee where he politely asks for another cup in his subtle asgardian way was the moment I said " Thor you're fucking epic!". Loki was pitch perfect, THIS IS How you write a villain !
    Now my favourite S-H movies are still the Batman ones:
    1 Batman (1989) If you have to go, go with a smile!
    2 Batman returns, Sorry pal , but when written efficiently, Ozzy's the man! & Pfeiffer 's Catwoman, that was efficient!
    3 The Dark Knight , Ledger is cool but for me Eckhardt as Dent was my reason to watch the movie!

    I know that most you don't care anymore or may be annoyed by it but my Deviant page is king of my blog (too lazy to make one)
    So here's my personal article with some music.

  6. oh JT how to begin with what I dont like from X-men first class..

    continuity, I not a expert in X-men books, (I am just begining with) But only with the movies continuity First Class is a mess.
    And if there is a thing that I love above of all things from Marvel movies is the way they sold me the feel of the shared universe.
    So I dont understand how Emma Frost could be so young in the sixties and remain the same for the Wolverines origins movie (even if that apears to be other person I am sure that she was suposed to be Emma Frost)
    Or why they use Alex Summers when he is Cyclops young Brother (meaning that Ciclops has like 60 years for the time of X-men 1)
    Why Xavier is injured in the Sixties and then he is walking in Wolverine origins movie

    Why kid magneto did not killed Sebastian when he had the oportunity killing the soldiers and destroying the room instead.
    and I hate every movie with the one week training where all the newbies become experts in a few days

    One thing I loved was that Magneto spoke the lenguaje of the country he was in (a nice detail)
    But the Argentinian Bartender talked more like a mexican than as an Argentinian (I know maybe I m asking to much for hollywood standars)
    Other problem is the town where he find the Nazis is a nice place in the mountains called Villa Gessel when Villa Gessel is a big city near the beach.
    And there is a lot of towns in the mountains with Nazis in Argentina to choose!!! why had to use that name?.
    These are minor gripes but since the begining that movie didt work for me.

  7. Wow, I've got a lot of comments to get to! Sweet! Like Arw1985, I was annoyed(to put it mildly!) by Bucky's death, but you make a good point that I didn't think about, JT... IF(and that's a big if), this were to lead to a Cap/Winter Soldier storyline for Cap 2, I'd forgive EVERYTHING about Bucky in this movie! I did notice that Brubaker got a "Special Thanks" in the movie, so here's hoping he has some influence in how things are going with this franchise. I still think Bucky could have worked as a teenager who idolized Cap and that he should have been killed by a name villain, but like I said, give me a Winter Soldier/Cap movie and it's all good!

    I'm actually with Alien on X-Men 3. I thought it was way better than most people give it credit for. And the ending, with Jean just massacring everything was a sight to behold. As for First Class, no comment, as per me not seeing it. My sister said she saw it at the store she picked this DVD up at, but she wasn't interested enough in the movie to pick it up, so I'm out of luck.

    I actually liked all three X-Men movies, Saidi. Yeah, they focused on Wolvie, but let's face it, he's the face of the franchise now. Mags and the Prof were perfectly cast, which went a long way for me. And I def agree with you about Batman(1989)... Jack Nicholson's Joker was all types of perfect! Joker isn't grim and gritty, he's over-the-top, and Nicholson was WAY over the top. He flat out LOOKED like the Joker(I guess he could have been a bit lankier, but he was def close enough)!

  8. It all kind of surprises me. I would put First Class over X-men 3 any day (although it might be a battle with the first two). I never was really a fan of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. I would probably put the first two Spider-Mans over any of the other comic movies.

    I liked Tim Burton's Batman a lot back in the day but now it seems a bit Burtonized for me(I like Batman Begins more). At least it wasn't made in 2000, I am sure Batman or the Joker would be played by Johnny Depp and god knows what the story would even be about.

  9. About Buckis death, the first thing I thought was
    "Doesnt matters he will back as winter soldier in the next movie".

    And yes Thor is the one I liked more from this Summer comic based movies...

    I liked the three Spider movies. for that reason Im pissed with the reboot.

    Tim Burton Batman was one of my favorites until Dark Knight.. I mean, I loved Jack Nicholson Jocker but it feels much Jack Nicholson if you see any movie of Jack Nicholson is like he is acting as the Jocker always... But Heth Ledger bring us someone with a unique personality.

    And Batman Return is to much Burtonized for my taste.