Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Capt. America: The Winter Soldier Melts Hearts

OK, talk about a LATE, LATE review of a great movie! Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened on April 4th to much fanfare and was well-received, making over $95 million the first weekend. Also, in conjunction with the TV series "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." the smart boys over at Marvel decided to follow through with the storyline, having the evil organization of HYDRA so infiltrating SHIELD that even one of our regular TV series heroes was found to be a double-agent.

Tying your TV series to a big tentpole blockbuster so directly has never been done before. You watch the TV series one week, go see the movie over the weekend, and the next episode is dealing with the repercussions. I was very impressed. It was a real game-changer and the very series so many were thinking as your weekly boilerplate mystery/action team show suddenly got a lot more interesting.

It doesn't hurt to see TV series veterans like Clark Gregg and Cobie Smulders show up in both film and series to maintain continuity, you know? The Marvel Cinematic Universe is getting stronger and stronger with each film, and for an old geek like me, it is fun and rewarding to see the "ordinary superhero" trope come to life.

You know what I mean if you read the Bronze Age comics: The Avengers commandeering a bus to fight a Cosmic Threat, Captain America deflecting snowballs launched by children as he walks with Ms. Marvel in the courtyard of the Avengers Mansion in winter - that sort of verisimilitude is irresistible to me, mixing real life with our fantastic superheroes.

[above images lifted from Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun and SuperMegaMonkey.net ]

Now pardon the diversion, but THAT sequence shows the Captain America I've been looking to see on film for decades. So confident, he is more concerned that he encourages and lifts up his allies than be distracted by some prank. He is a man without ego. He is a man with a mission. He understands the difference between being a patriot [a good thing] and being a nationalist [a dangerous thing]. He is a conservative, but he is conscientious one, utterly aware how men can do great things - and terrible things.

As one web pundit said "He's the first conservative to spout moral imperatives without sounding like a total a$$#!@#&!"

I laughed when I read that and I agreed.

I see a lot of liberal mindset in the movie, but stuff I mostly agree with, esp. concerning government power and control. I think we need to be as local- and self-governing as possible, because frankly, federalism is just a step away from fascism, and we can do with less of that, I think.

We'll tie this in with Jesus next blog, I hope.

[to be continued]

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