Super Hero Movie Update #1 2014

Super Hero Movie Update #1 2014

- Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

- Directed by Alan Taylor

Yesterday I actually went to the movie theatre downtown and paid almost 18 bucks to see Captain America : The Winter Soldier on the big 3d screen. In the evening, I watched the most recent Marvel superhero movie on Blu Ray, Thor: The Dark World. (after falling asleep about 10 minutes in the night before)

As far as being cinematic entertainment, both had their strengths and weaknesses. Thor, despite starring a bunch of “Gods” and having a great pace, thanks to Game Of Thrones (and many other ‘big’ TV shows) stalwart director, Alan Taylor; does not have the gravitas it should considering the ridiculously high stakes the villain and heroes are playing for.

Therein lies the problem, Christopher Eccleston does a good job with what he has to work with. It’s just well, he doesn’t have much to work with. Malekith is really kind of one note and has little in the way of memorable moments. Superhero stories need memorable interesting villains. In the comics, and on screen. It’s still a good movie and I liked it as much as I liked the first one, maybe a bit more. 

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, on the other hand has a great villain in the legendary Robert Redford, playing maybe the coolest version of a staple Marvel character: Alexander Pierce (whose father was one of the original WWII ‘Howling Commandos’, in the movie ‘verse, this is Cap’s unit, rather than Nick Fury’s) Pierce is a very human villain, who is charismatic, and has some grown up dialogue and character motivations to play with. 

The Big Bad in Captain America is not the Winter Soldier, though he has the best action scenes. Action scenes that I had heard terrible things about, but in fact were pretty awesome. 

This sequel builds on the first Captain America movie, and on The Avengers, in terms of story sidebars, and continuity stuff, while maintaining its own very distinct main story, and really fleshing out the characters of Captain America, The Black Widow, Nick Fury and giving solid intros to the Former ‘Bucky’ turned ‘Winter Soldier,’ (who in the comics was ‘dead’ a long time, and was brought back in spectacular fashion, in one of the best runs of Captain America ever.) as well the Falcon, who I felt was a solid addition to Cap’s team. 

The film never felt crowded with heroes, villains and side characters. Thor, The Dark World, sometimes feels a bit crowded, and characters never really get many moments to give them a bit more heft, The Warriors Three are separated, and on their own, are a bit dull. Sif gets a better treatment, as does Odin, even if he is either scolding, or praising. He doesn’t do very much for an all powerful being. Jane Foster, too, is a bit more proactive, despite needing to be 'saved' pretty often.

Both films have a few nice ‘easter eggs’ for us comic book nerds. I for one appreciated that in the beginning of  The Winter Soldier, Cap is sporting a new (no stars n stripes colours) more modern uniform/armour. Said Armour is the same one worn in the comics by the current Samuel Jackson Nick Fury, who in comic book land is the son of the ‘original cigar chompin Nick Fury, made most famous as an Agent of Shield, via Jim Steranko’s all too brief but Iconic run on the comic. 

It is pretty similar to the armour Cap himself wore, after he was famously killed a few years ago in the comics, and of course came back to life. In that time the Winter Soldier had taken up Cap’s mantle as Captain America. The mentioning of ‘dangerous people, the bad guys want gone, like Stephen Strange, aka Dr, Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, who I want to have his own movie so badly. He has a very cinematic origin story.

So, both of these Marvel Movies were fairly entertaining, But the Winter Soldier is a much better film, all around. Both pictures though do feel like they might be part of a shared universe, with the various Avengers centric plot bits that float through them. 

I look forward to marathoning all these DVDs someday, and like reading a big comics story in order, to get that epic kick from the multi hero stories. These Marvel movies are following the HBO/High End TV model of the very long stories, intertwining, and giving various characters a voice. I am mostly enjoying the ride.

Loki, of course is the real and only scene stealer in the Thor movie. Which really is maybe the real plot. Loki's plot. 

Some nice end of credit scenes in both that give you more peeks into the upcoming Avengers, and Guardians Of the Galaxy. I was a bit freaked out by the Benicio Del Toro scene, it was so terrible. Oy.

Captain America: the Winter Soldier

8.0003 former Army Buddies who now are programmed to kill you outta 10

Thor:  the Dark World

6.58989 Arch Villains who look cool, but are in fact: world killingly bland outta 10


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