Contented Reader

just point me toward the nearest library

Movie review: Captain America

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I’ve seen most of the various ‘Avengers’ movies, and had very mixed opinions.  Iron Man kicked ass, of course, but Iron Man 2 was distinctly inferior to staying home and watching the first one again on DVD, and Thor was, I’m sorry, just stupid.  Although that wasn’t entirely the movie’s fault.  It’s possible we should blame the character.

Making Captain America a World War II period piece was exactly the right decision.  An updated Captain America for 2011 might have been lame- it’s just hard to do that kind of idealized heroism with a straight face and no irony in a modern setting.  2011 just can’t handle that kind of hero.  Maybe that’s sad for us.  But set in 1943, fighting Nazis (well, actually, they’re rebels who broke away from the Nazis for not being badass enough, but who’s quibbling?), I can accept him as simply a good, patriotic, superpowered man, a hero with no ambiguity or darkness.  It’s so refreshing that it reminds me of what we’ve lost, with our modern cynicism.

An adult can’t go back to being a child, and a culture that has seen Vietnam and Nixon and Bush can’t go back to the kind of patriotism that involves total faith in the nation.  But it’s nice to pretend, for a few hours, that there was once a time when people could.

What was I saying?

Oh, yes.  Captain America.  Visually, it’s just fabulous.  The 1940’s mad scientist aesthetic is detailed and gorgeous, and the costumers all deserve hugs and jewelry.  The plot is fast-paced and keeps moving.  During the credits, my friend whispered to me, “I’ve had to go to the bathroom for half an hour, but there weren’t any slow parts.”  Maybe it’s just that I saw this movie at a better theatre with a grown-up, trained projectionist, but I thought the picture was unusually well done, and the 3D worked well.

Maybe it was the difference in theatre.  Kenwood Theatre, Cincinnati, OH.  Comfortable chairs, a choice of 3D glasses sizes, wine and sushi and fresh cookies in the snack bar as well as popcorn and nachos and SnoCaps.  Go there tomorrow.  I can’t tell you how much difference it made, just being able to choose smaller glasses, and not having to hold them onto my face while I watched the film.  The fact that the movie was properly lit and focused just drew attention to how much the AMC megaplex is often NOT properly lit and focused.

Anyway.

I was distracted by how great the movie looked, but the acting was very good as well, and the plot was simple, straightforward, and entertaining.  It’s definitely one of the better movies in the Marvel collection, and it made me more eager to see next summer’s Avengers movie than anything yet has done.

Honestly, with the amount of hype accompanying next summer’s Avengers movie, if it causes simultaneous multiple orgasms in audiences, it will still be a letdown from the advertising.

But go see Captain America.  It’s a good way to kill $13 and a few hours.

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Written by Contented Reader

July 26, 2011 at 12:16 am

Posted in Reviews

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