Captain America: The First Avenger

Movie Information

The Story: During World War II, a skinny weakling is given super powers by the U.S. government, and becomes the superhero Captain America. The Lowdown: Goofy comic-book action that’s a couple of steps away from being wholly disastrous, but just barely.
Score:

Genre: Comic Book Action
Director: Joe Johnston (The Wolfman)
Starring: Chris Evans, Hayley Atwell, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Toby Jones
Rated: PG-13

On the wrongheaded side of bad comes Joe Johnston’s Captain America: The First Avenger, a movie that does five things wrong for every one thing it does right. The film’s missteps aren’t huge or overt, but rather are a bunch of tiny blunders that sneak up on you. I was about halfway through the film before I realized, “Hey, wait a second, this might actually not be very good.” Unfortunately, I was right, since the movie slowly unravels as the reels pile up, as its collection of poor aesthetic choices and confusing technical choices become more and more offputting.

The film is the latest in Marvel Comics build-up to their great big orgiastic Avengers movie that’s slated to come out next year, and follows down the same wisecracking paths as Jon Favreau’s Iron Man flicks and this year’s Thor. But where those films have a definitive—and workable—palette to paint from (Iron Man is centered around modern-day technology; Thor is based around magic), Captain America can’t quite figure out a proper tone, mostly due to being set in World War II. This should be a plus, since comic-book movies aren’t normally set in period (it already worked once this year for Marvel in X-Men: First Class), but war-torn Europe is a much grittier backdrop than the 1960s. Even here, the front isn’t depicted as all that much fun, which means when we get the laser-gun wielding, gimp-suit-sporting henchmen, none of it fits together all that well.

Actually, the film starts running off the rails before all that. The first sign of trouble is when we meet our protagonist, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a “90-pound asthmatic”—or rather some scrawny actor with Evans’ head CGI’ed on him, making him look a lot like Martin Short in the long forgotten Clifford (1994). Luckily, we don’t have to deal with our bobbleheaded hero for too long, since the U.S. government is kind enough to ‘roid him up, turning him into a buff, tanned-and-waxed superhuman soldier patriotically dubbed Captain America.

The next section of the film works better, showing Rogers being used more as a symbol and a means of selling war bonds than as a superhero, which contrasts nicely with the relatively stark image of war-torn Europe. This doesn’t last long, however, as the film tries to shove all matter of goofy sci-fi into the mix. Most of this comes in the form of the occult-obsessed leader of the aforementioned leather-clad henchmen, Johann Schmidt, aka the Red Skull (played by Hugo Weaving in enough red make-up to make him look like a failed experiment at Yankee Candle). The idea is likely Johnston’s attempt at recreating the pulp-era fun of Indiana Jones, but the screwier aspects of the plot don’t line up with the real-world feel the film is going for. It’s never quite playful enough to be pure dumb fun, but it’s also too lighthearted and wonky to work on the level of a more serious sci-fi film. Since a good bit of the action—usually consisting of Cap either running into or kicking bad guys—is shown via montage, there’s also a severe lack of cinematic excitement or innovation.

Taking that into account, the entire film comes off as inept. This is true even down to the technical aspects, like its grainy digital-video look—$140 million and they couldn’t hire someone to properly light the sets?—plus all the phony-looking CGI. There’s also a wealth of bizarre editing choices, with short scenes being snuck in that have zero purpose in the film. (This is compounded with the requisite tag scene at the end, with Samuel L. Jackson setting up the Avengers next summer, followed by yet another post-credits tag scene. And then—after that—a trailer for The Avengers.) Sure, this is a movie with a beginning, a middle and an end. But it’s also a movie that’s an advertisement for another movie—one which isn’t due until next year—and which has Captain America‘s plot completely at its mercy. The production-design choices that are tied into The Avengers—the “Cosmic Cube” business and Red Skull’s sci-fi technology—are exactly what doesn’t quite fit inside the film. Add it all up and Captain America becomes a pretty extraneous piece of filmmaking. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

SHARE

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

111 thoughts on “Captain America: The First Avenger

  1. I couldn’t disagree more. This is a four-star movie, warts and all, and the best superhero film since IRON MAN.

    I know nothing about Captain America except that the character is often derided as outdated. Perhaps that’s why the film works so well.

    Did we see the same film? Director Joe Johnson directed THE ROCKETEER, one of the most underrated superhero films of all time, and the look and style of that film definitely carries over. The origin part of the film comes and goes quick, and for the first time ever I wished it were longer. Shrinking Chris Evans’ head was a little strange, but you get used to it.

    Captain America comes into his own soon enough and starts kicking some German ass. The fight scenes were a refreshing change of pace by not falling back into those annoying quick cuts that plague most fight scenes these days.

    The strength of this film is in the casting. Evans was a good choice, but Hugo Weaving is inspired as The Red Skull. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen him, and forget how great he can play a bad guy. Tommy Lee Jones gives his best performance since THREE BURIALS. Toby Jones is fun as the German scientist who reminds me of a little bit like Peter Lorre. And Stanley Tucci is the heart of the film I think, giving Captain America a moral compass of what to do with his newfound powers.

    I’ll be watching this again, so I’ll pay more attention to the technical aspects of the movie, but nothing bothered me. This film is a rollicking good time and the best “blockbuster” film of the summer so far. I hope Justin’s review doesn’t turn people away.

  2. Ken Hanke

    I hope Justin’s review doesn’t turn people away.

    Oh, please. This kind of movie is critic proof. You already know whether or not you want to see this sort of thing and it doesn’t matter what a critic says. (For the record, no, I haven’t seen it and I have no interest in seeing it.)

  3. Justin Souther

    The strength of this film is in the casting.

    I couldn’t agree more. If space in the reviews wasn’t such an issue, I’d have liked to have talked more about that, but the cast is definitely a plus. I will say that it’s a pity Weaving gets stuck with all that waxen make-up, because even he can’t chew scenery through it.

    I will say — at the risk of simply sounding like I’m shilling for our podcast — that we do get into a fairly in depth discussion (at least as in depth as you can with a movie such as this) where I get to discuss my issues with the film just a bit more than I do in the review. This isn’t two stars worth of an awful movie, it’s two star worth of a movie that I feel is incredibly clunky. But at the same time, it’s a type of popcorn movie I’m not a fan of. Like I say in the podcast (assuming it doesn’t get cut), I like some junky movies, I’m just particular about the ones I do like.

  4. Ken Hanke

    If space in the reviews wasn’t such an issue, I’d have liked to have talked more about that

    As it stood you went long.

    Like I say in the podcast (assuming it doesn’t get cut)

    Be interesting to see/hear, because the three of us must have talked about it — and the genre in general — for 15-20 minutes.

  5. Justin Souther

    Looks like I’ll be butting into your podcast next week to give my opinion.

    We’ll have moved on by next week, but feel free to talk back to your computer.

  6. Ken Hanke

    Looks like I’ll be butting into your podcast next week to give my opinion

    You’re always promising this, but you never show up.

  7. Oh, please. This kind of movie is critic proof. You already know whether or not you want to see this sort of thing and it doesn’t matter what a critic says. (For the record, no, I haven’t seen it and I have no interest in seeing it.)

    I don’t entirely agree. IRON MAN and BOURNE IDENTITY attracted many moviegoers that would normally not show up for an average (or worse) summer film. There are plenty of critic proof film like TRANSFORMERS for instance.

    This isn’t two stars worth of an awful movie, it’s two star worth of a movie that I feel is incredibly clunky. But at the same time, it’s a type of popcorn movie I’m not a fan of. Like I say in the podcast (assuming it doesn’t get cut), I like some junky movies, I’m just particular about the ones I do like.

    Like I said, I’ll have to see it again for the more technical aspects of the film, but I didn’t find it clunky at all. I was expecting nothing from it and enjoyed it quite a bit.

  8. Dread P. Roberts

    The idea is likely Johnston’s attempt at recreating the pulp-era fun of Indiana Jones, but the screwier aspects of the plot don’t line up with the real-world feel the film is going for.

    This is the only part of your review that I’m really at odds with. Maybe you were initially just trying to give the movie more serious credit than I was ever willing to, but I never felt like there was a gritty, ‘real-world feel’ being strived for. The whole thing struck me as the romanticized, ’40s era pulp that one would find in the comics of that period. In fact, I thought that was what worked second best, behind the great casting (Orbit’s comment on casting pretty much summed up my thoughts, so I won’t bother elaborating.)

    Still, that isn’t to say I don’t agree. There was this sense of clunkiness that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The rushed fighting montage that was slapped in there, felt… well, slapped in there. The sci-fi aspect didn’t work for me, either. Which is sad when I think about it, because sci-fi really shouldn’t feel that out of place in this kind of pulp. And, yes, red skulls face DID look too much like wax, and not enough like a graphic skull. I attribute this to being ‘family friendly’, which I fully expected. Still, it is disappointing. Hugo seems to lose a little of his bad guy edge when goes pure red-skull. Plus, I didn’t understand the logic of the transition from always hiding his real face, to suddenly just waltzing around, sporting his wax face the second half. I summed it up to just being annoying movie scenario stuff.

    Speaking of an illogical annoyance – what’s the deal with Captain’s shield? How exactly does it work in any perceivable way like a weaponized boomerang? Magnets don’t make sense, because how would he fling it with such ease? This was never explained in the movie, so if someone with a knowledge of the comics knows how this works, then please help me out. Also, a comic book reading friend of mine once stated that Captain America’s shield is supposed to be made of adamantium (the same stuff as Wolverine’s claws) so did they screw that up in the movie?

    Director Joe Johnson directed THE ROCKETEER, one of the most underrated superhero films of all time, and the look and style of that film definitely carries over.

    Yes, I completely agree. In fact, the tone of this movie put me in the mood to watch The Rocketeer the next day. I will say, though, Rocketeer is still much more enjoyable to me.

  9. Mike

    Nah, the shield is made up of an iron/vibranium alloy. (Stark alludes to this in the film) Adamantium came later when scientists tried to recreate the original formula that resulted in Cap’s shield. Vibranium is the Marvel universe’s “other” magic metal, unique in the respect that it absorbs kinetic energy. This is why Cap can bounce the shield off solid objects – its momentum doesn’t slow. (Yeah, I’m that guy)

    There’s actually a wiki on this, believe it or not, if you really want to go down the rabbit hole: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_America's_shield

    Thought the movie was great fun but I’m pre-disposed to this sort of thing, being a long standing member of the Mighty Marvel Fanclub. Didn’t think it was a masterpiece or anything but then none of the Marvel Studios films can really claim that; they are all flawed in one way or the other. But as escapist, heroic fantasy they totally fit the bill, appeasing my inner ten year old in ways none of the other super hero movies of the last decade have been able to. Can’t wait for The Avengers.

  10. Justin Souther

    IRON MAN and BOURNE IDENTITY attracted many moviegoers that would normally not show up for an average (or worse) summer film.

    I’d hardly call the Bourne films your average summer movie. There’s a level of intelligence going on there that separate them.

    I guess I should also point out — since I didn’t review it — that I none too cared for the first Iron Man flick.

    I was expecting nothing from it and enjoyed it quite a bit.

    Shanafelt said the same thing to me, and my response was that I expected nothing from it (except for it to be simply OK, since Johnston’s only made OK films) and I still didn’t care for it.

  11. Justin Souther

    The whole thing struck me as the romanticized, ‘40s era pulp that one would find in the comics of that period.

    I get where you’re coming from to a point. Maybe what puts me off is that there doesn’t seem to be a particular aesthetic anyone’s shooting for. There’s a certain pulpiness, but yet, I keep coming back to the scene where we cut from the war bonds montage to the soldiers on the front, or to Tommy Lee Jones writing condolence letters. There’s a solemnity to aspects of the war that I like and appreciate, which pulled me back into the reality of that time, which makes it difficult for me to buy a guy sneaking around Europe in blue leather and not getting shot.

    But back to the pulp aspects of the film, it works to a point (except instead of making me want to watch The Rocketeer, it made me want to watch Inglourious Basterds), except a lot of it seems to simply not fit with this film. I’m talking about all the Hydra technology, which looks too plastic and futuristic to be from that era It’s like someone from Marvel or The Avengers production waltzed in to make sure there was some continuity in production design), or in this film. Or those awful costumes the henchmen wear (Nazis were much snappier dressers than that, Vonnegut can back me up on that). Is this nit-picky? Of course it is.

  12. Ken Hanke

    I don’t entirely agree. IRON MAN and BOURNE IDENTITY attracted many moviegoers that would normally not show up for an average (or worse) summer film.

    I haven’t seen this, but the films you’re citing had other things going for them than your average summer movie. Put plainly, there’s a much bigger market for the stars.

  13. I haven’t seen this, but the films you’re citing had other things going for them than your average summer movie. Put plainly, there’s a much bigger market for the stars.

    These films were released for the summer and marketed as such.

  14. brebro

    Having not seen the film yet, but having recently sat through a viewing of the 1979 TV movie of Captain America, starring Reb “Space Mutiny” Brown for the first time since it originally appeared when I was in ninth grade; I am sure that when I do see it, this new film will look seem like Citizen Kane (or any other movie that is supposed to be great) compared to that steaming pile of canine excrement.

  15. Dread P. Roberts

    Nah, the shield is made up of an iron/vibranium alloy. (Stark alludes to this in the film) Adamantium came later when scientists tried to recreate the original formula that resulted in Cap’s shield.

    Thanks for the clarification, Mike. I did just briefly look this up (prior to reading your comment) and it seems that adamantium was used in latter reiterations of the Capt. America universe. Perhaps it was a substitute in a modern day version? Either way, both are evidently correct.

    There’s a certain pulpiness, but yet, I keep coming back to the scene where we cut from the war bonds montage to the soldiers on the front, or to Tommy Lee Jones writing condolence letters.

    I hadn’t thought of those specific scenes as somber when watching the movie, but maybe that helps to explain the slight sense of unevenness that did I sort of feel. I think Tommy Lee Jones was just too playful (with his cheesy one liners) for me to notice a possible weightiness intended for any of his scenes.

    I’m talking about all the Hydra technology, which looks too plastic and futuristic to be from that era It’s like someone from Marvel or The Avengers production waltzed in to make sure there was some continuity in production design), or in this film.

    This comment also helps with me trying to understand why I found the sci-fi aspect less appealing than I felt I ultimately should’ve.

    For me, it can really be summed up in the fact that I wanted to groan at the end, when Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson show up on screen, in the modern day world. I appreciate Marvel’s ambitious undertaking – building up all of these superhero origin stories, and tying them all together with an attempted sense of continuity. But despite their ambitions, it just feels tiresome to me. I’m sick of hearing people cheer whenever Jackson shows up for his three minutes of three million dollar (“look at how bad-ass I am”) scenery chewing. This ending really took away from the feel of the rest of the film.

  16. Steve Shanafelt

    I liked it. It did exactly what I want every comic book movie to do: Tell the story without ruining the appeal of the character. I don’t actually disagree with Justin’s take on the film, I’m just a lot more interested in the character getting a decent treatment than in the film standing on it’s own as a work of cinema.

    Compare this film to the last Superman one. Cinematically, everything about “Superman Returns” was better, but I never felt like the film actually understood Superman the character. I’d make the same argument about Burton’s Batman films. They may be interesting, innovative films, but they’re not about the Batman that people have been telling stories about since the 1930s.

    This very much was a film about the Captain America we know from the comics. Is it a post-modern take on WWII on par with “Inglourious Basterds”? No, but it’s not REALLY about WWII, it’s an origin story that happens to be set in that time.

    Is it an ad for “The Avengers”? I see the argument for that, but it’s also about Marvel/Disney setting up their universe. The Marvel universe is highly interconnected, and has been from the very start. That isn’t often done in films — even comic book ones — because the rights to these characters have tended to be sold off to different companies. Apart from some of the schlocky Universal horror films of the ’40s and the Toho Godzilla films, when else has any film company ever even tried to do something this big? It’s not like it’s a gimmick — MOST Captain America, Thor and Iron Man stories are Avengers stories, just like most Cyclops, Storm and Wolverine stories are X-Men stories.

    Was it a great film on par with the classics of our time? No. But it was fun, it got Cap right, I enjoyed the cast and the action scenes, and it was certainly worth the cost of admission.

  17. Ken Hanke

    it seems that adamantium was used in latter reiterations of the Capt. America universe. Perhaps it was a substitute in a modern day version?

    I’m certainly glad to see things have taken a scienfific turn.

  18. Ken Hanke

    Cinematically, everything about “Superman Returns” was better

    Christ, it couldn’t be that bad!

  19. Dread P. Roberts

    I’m certainly glad to see things have taken a scienfific turn.

    Is that the new politically correct way of saying, “Good lord, you’re such a nerd”?

  20. Orton

    “Christ, it couldn’t be that bad!”

    Didn’t you give Superman Returns a glowing review?

  21. Ken Hanke

    Is that the new politically correct way of saying, “Good lord, you’re such a nerd”?

    No, I think this is in a whole different realm.

  22. Steve Shanafelt

    [b]Christ, it couldn’t be that bad![/b]

    Ahem … You gave “Superman Returns” 3 1/2 stars, remember? I think that’s fair. “Captain America” is WAY more fun than “Superman Returns,” but it’s not as stylish or as challenging of a film. It doesn’t ask deep questions of the character — the comics never dealt with a Superman who had to face a non-punchable challenge like fatherhood, for instance — it just shows Cap doing his thing.

    For me, that was enough. I completely understand why it wasn’t enough for Justin, but that doesn’t stop me from liking it more than he did.

  23. Ken Hanke

    Ahem … You gave “Superman Returns” 3 1/2 stars, remember?

    Yeah, well, I was wrong.

  24. Isle of Man

    “Yeah, well, I was wrong.”

    Wouldn’t be the first time.

    How do you go from really enjoying a movie to outright hating it? How many other reviews do you no longer stand behind?

  25. Steve Shanafelt

    [b]How do you go from really enjoying a movie to outright hating it? [/b]

    Some movies don’t age well. Once upon a time, I really liked “Tank Girl,” for instance. I also outright hated “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” when I saw it in the theater, and now it’s easily in my top 20.

  26. Ken Hanke

    How do you go from really enjoying a movie to outright hating it?

    It usually comes with distance. However, my original review of the movie in question is hardly a rave, i.e., ” I expected it to be either very good, or very bad. What I got was very OK — and you should get a little more than that from something with a price tag reported to be in the range of $250 million” and “Moments of terrific effects work and visual splendor notwithstanding (the image of Superman hoisting Luthor’s ‘continent’ is like a Rene Magritte painting), as a film in its own right, there’s just not much to it.”

  27. Isle of Man

    Regardless, 3.5 out of 5 stars is a pretty hearty endorsement. Especially when there are just a tiny handful of 5 star movies in any given year.

  28. Isle of Man

    But, really, how old were you when Tank Girl came out? If you’re like me and were in your teens at the time, then of course a flick like that is going to seem terrible in retrospect.

    The thing about revisiting movies you saw years ago and realizing in retrospect that they’re total crap is you can chalk it up to aging/maturing. The same goes for Fear and Loathing, only in reverse. I hated it, too, when I was 16. Now it seems to me like a perfect summation of that lifestyle.

    Superman Returns was a giant turd the day it came out and remains so to this day, and any adult should’ve realized that the moment they saw it.

  29. Ken Hanke

    Regardless, 3.5 out of 5 stars is a pretty hearty endorsement.

    If you want to hand it on the star rating, enjoy yourself. I’ve argued this point before. I’m not bothering with it again.

    you can chalk it up to aging/maturing.

    And what is the age at which this process stops?

    Superman Returns was a giant turd the day it came out and remains so to this day, and any adult should’ve realized that the moment they saw it

    Not everyone is, I fear, blessed with your perfect critical acumen. So, by your measument, the other 194 critics that gave it passing marks on Rotten Tomatoes are not worthy of being considered adults?

  30. Isle of Man

    “If you want to hand it on the star rating, enjoy yourself. I’ve argued this point before. I’m not bothering with it again.”

    Why even bother with a star rating, then? I’m not “handing” it on anything – you’re the one who awarded it 3.5 stars. That’s a pretty clear message by any measure, in a system of classification which you chose to use, by the way. I know this might come as a surprise to you, but not everyone bothers reading your entire review. Maybe you should just admit you shouldn’t have given it that high of a rating?

    “And what is the age at which this process stops?”

    I’m just trying to understand what epiphany one could arrive at later in life that suddenly made them realize a movie like Superman Returns was, in fact, terrible… when just a few years prior it was considered worthy of 3.5 out of 5 stars. It’s not a difficult movie, certainly not anything that requires extended reflection or further assessment. Geez, if something like Superman Returns can take such a dramatic turn in a critic’s mind, think of all the waffling possibilities on more complex films!

    “So, by your measument, the other 194 critics that gave it passing marks on Rotten Tomatoes are not worthy of being considered adults?”

    What would you do without Rotten Tomatoes as your rhetorical leverage, Ken? Obviously, I was being sarcastic.

  31. Ken Hanke

    Why even bother with a star rating, then?

    Because the paper wants it.

    I know this might come as a surprise to you, but not everyone bothers reading your entire review

    No, but if you want to know anything past is it okay, you need to. That’s true of any critic who has to use a rating system. It’s particularly true in the middle range.

    Maybe you should just admit you shouldn’t have given it that high of a rating?

    I don’t regret the rating — and bear in mind I did not review this, so there’s no telling where I’d have placed it. It’s one of those movies that is neither awful, nor great. It’s, as I said, OK. It’s more that it’s ultimately completely negligible.

    Geez, if something like Superman Returns can take such a dramatic turn in a critic’s mind, think of all the waffling possibilities on more complex films!

    You never re-evaluate films now that you’re an adult, I take it? You never change in your feelings about a movie from that day you walk out of the theater?

    What would you do without Rotten Tomatoes as your rhetorical leverage, Ken? Obviously, I was being sarcastic.

    You made a profoundly sweeping statement –“Superman Returns was a giant turd the day it came out and remains so to this day, and any adult should’ve realized that the moment they saw it” — and I want to know how broadly you mean to apply it. It’s not leverage. And, no, you weren’t being “sarcastic,” merely abrasive. Fact is, this is a thread about Captain America. Your problem seems to be with me and is unrelated to the movie at hand.

  32. Isle of Man

    “You never re-evaluate films now that you’re an adult, I take it?”

    Of course I do, just not something as simple and straightforward as a Superman film. What’s to re-evaluate? Seriously. You either like it or you don’t. Again, it’s not a challenging film. It’s an honest question, and a fair one to ask of a film critic. If we were talking about Blue Velvet, Eyes Wide Shut, Vanilla Sky, etc., I wouldn’t be debating this point. Those are films that have multiple angles for re-evaluation.

    “It’s not leverage.”

    Sure, that’s why you use the site at some point in nearly every thread to make your point, right? It’s almost like Tim Peck using his anarchist sites to hammer home his position. “See, I told ya so!” (insert link)

    “Fact is, this is a thread about Captain America.”

    Fact is, Captain America is a super-hero character, and anything related to that topic and how these types of films are rated is relevant to the discussion.

    “You made a profoundly sweeping statement”

    So profoundly sweeping, in fact, that the sarcasm seemed to sweep right past you (whew, that’s a lot of alliteration!). It was obviously a hyperbolic statement, and meant as such.

    “Your problem seems to be with me and is unrelated to the movie at hand.”

    I’m just having fun :)

  33. Steve, you mentioned that you liked the film, yet you also said that you agreed with Justin’s review. Does two stars scream “recommend” to you?

  34. Dread P. Roberts

    It’s almost like Tim Peck using his anarchist sites to hammer home his position. “See, I told ya so!” (insert link)

    Whoa! There’s really no need to go that far. Comparing anyone (shy of maybe Satan) to the Peck, is entirely too insulting, don’t you think? As they say here in the south, “them’s fightin’ words!”

  35. Isle of Man

    I will never tire of messing with people who take themselves very, very seriously :)

  36. Ken Hanke

    If you think I take myself seriously, you are very, very wrong.

  37. Dread P. Roberts

    This is an extremely, insanely, amazingly outstanding back and forth comment debate transpiring! My soul is uplifted to the heavens with ethereal inspiration.

  38. Ken Hanke

    My soul is uplifted to the heavens with ethereal inspiration.

    That may be going too far. (Not too, too far, mind you, just too far.)

  39. brebro

    My soul is uplifted to the heavens by a Soul Plane (a movie rated only half a star by Ken Hanke, has his opinion of it mellowed with age since 2004?).

    See how I got this thread back on the topic of movie reviews with a beautiful segué???

  40. Isle of Man

    “If you think I take myself seriously, you are very, very wrong.”

    Oh my god did you guys see what he did there?! So clever!

    Perhaps you’re right, though, seeing as how you couldn’t be bothered in the course of this silly back and forth to provide a real answer as to how someone in your position could so drastically change their mind about a silly superhero film. It would be, ya know, pretty cool if you could look past the juvenile portions of the debate and provide an actual answer. Because I am curious.

    On a side note, did anyone hear about Quentin Tarantino writing a 20 page essay on how Superman Returns is actually one of the best films ever made?!

  41. Ken Hanke

    a movie rated only half a star by Ken Hanke, has his opinion of it mellowed with age since 2004?

    No.

  42. Ken Hanke

    Oh my god did you guys see what he did there?! So clever!

    You know, all manner of billy goats have crossed your bridge while you’ve been parading your jackassery over here.

  43. Steve Shanafelt

    [b]Steve, you mentioned that you liked the film, yet you also said that you agreed with Justin’s review. Does two stars scream “recommend” to you?[/b]

    I agree with his points, just not his take on how they impact the film as a whole. All I wanted was a decent Captain America flick, and I got it. I think Justin was looking for a good film — one that doesn’t rely on being predisposed to a character or a storytelling universe or a certain kind of story — and he didn’t get that.

    Two stars doesn’t scream “recommend” to me, and clearly Justin isn’t recommending the film. I’m fine with that. I didn’t like “Manhattan” or “Short Cuts” as much as Justin did, so we’re even.

  44. DrSerizawa

    For those who can’t stand a critical review of a comic book movie about a fictional superhero I’ve fixed Justin’s review for you with breakout quotes.

    “The film is the latest in Marvel Comics… big orgiastic… movie… follows down the same wisecracking paths as Jon Favreau’s Iron Man flicks and this year’s Thor…. real-world feel…. it fits together all that well…..”

    Hope it makes you feel better.

  45. Big Al

    I saw Cap after reading this review and I must say the criticism of the CGI head/body of Steve Roberts and of the Red Skull being too waxy were both far too nit-picky. At least they didn’t CGI the Skull. If I hadn’t been forewarned, I would not have noticed either “flaw”. Ditto the criticism of the action montage, which I found very well-used. We ain’t got all day to fight a six-battle campaign.

    Chris Evans made me forget that he was ever Johnny Storm, and this is MY measure of an actor’s greatness, that one can you find difficulty remembering who else he has played, especially a typecasted, brand-name star (Tucci, while great, has neither obstacle to overcome). I also loved to see Neal McDonough, my favorite “Band of” Brother as Dum-Dum Dougan.

    My criticisms are:

    1) Tommy Lee Jones, who I normally love, seemed too tired and old in what should have been a much more vibrant, engaging character (I feel the same way about Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. New blood, please!)

    2) The sexual tension was underplayed. All of the romantic bantering seemed too one-way (from Agent Carter) and their parting kiss was too little to convince me that Cap felt the same . Maybe this was deliberate to make it easier to transition Cap into the 21st century, with no excessive mourning of lost love. A shame, nonetheless.

    Overall, I rated this as in my top four with Iron Man, Batman Begins and Green Lantern. Iron Man 2, The Dark Knight and The Incredible Hulk, while enjoyable, all had to work a little too hard on “message” (especially Dark Knight) to make them effortlessly flow enough to make the top tier. I have yet to see Thor.

  46. Jessica B.

    Saw the film Friday night, thoroughly enjoyed it. No, it wasn’t exactly like the comics but I didn’t expect it to be. It had elements of golden, silver and modern age versions of Cap, and even had a cameo of the golden age Human Torch, which tied into the comics and gave a nod to Evans’ first Marvel character role. CGI was better than I expected, and the Red Skull actually looked like his comic’s version. Bucky was completely different, but frankly, the idea of kid sidekicks doesn’t really work as well nowadays. Stanley Tucci’s take on Dr. Erskine humanized the character and actually made an excellent point on Germany being as much a victim of Hitler as any of the other countries he invaded. (And I don’t have a beef with Jackson as Nick Fury. That’s what happens when a Marvel artist bases the character on an actor’s likeness without getting permission first, especially when the actor is a well known comic geek.) On the whole, I thought it was well done, and one of the best of the super hero films. But then, I actually read comic books and go to movies to enjoy them, not dissect them and pick them apart with snide comments, so what do I know?

  47. brebro

    Yeah, but what are they going to do when the Avengers have to meet with the Fantastic Four about some matter of Infinity Gauntlet or Secret Wars proportions? Then they’ll have to CGI in Johnny Storm talking to Steve Rogers or revert back to old Elvis-Kissin’-Cousins-Patty-Duke-style-identical-cousins technology.

  48. Jessica B.

    Not really, Marvel’s rebooting the Fantastic Four film and starting over, just like they’re doing with Spiderman. Besides we’re way beyond the old split screen tech. Shame though, it could be as funny as SCTV’s “Identical Twin Opec Oil Barons”.

  49. Justin Souther

    But then, I actually read comic books and go to movies to enjoy them, not dissect them and pick them apart with snide comments, so what do I know?

    Instead you leave your snide comments for the Internet? I see.

    And I go to movies to enjoy them, too. Except when I don’t enjoy them. Like with this movie. My issues with the film have zero to do with the comic books, nor the film’s adherence to them. That should be apparent in the review. And I’m no stranger to the comic or the character, either. I promise.

  50. Jessica B.

    Justin Souther says: “Instead you leave your snide comments for the Internet? I see.

    And I go to movies to enjoy them, too. Except when I don’t enjoy them. Like with this movie. My issues with the film have zero to do with the comic books, nor the film’s adherence to them. That should be apparent in the review. And I’m no stranger to the comic or the character, either. I promise.”

    No, I don’t say anything online that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Remember, what you write is your OPINION. Just because you get paid for it doesn’t make it fact or give it any more weight. In your opinion, elements of the film don’t fit. In my opinion, suspension of disbelief (it is a comic book character, after all) for the world being created allows them to fit pretty well. This film isn’t Bergman or Kurosawa, it isn’t even Howard Hawks. It is a pretty good adaptation of a comic book character to the big screen. Just my opinion of course, which I don’t get paid for, but then again, maybe my payment was just the simple pleasure of enjoying the film. (And comparing the CGI of the young Steve Rogers to Martin Short’s Clifford? That’s pretty snide and unrealistic to boot. Even Mr. Fantastic and Eel O’Brian couldn’t stretch it that far.)

  51. Justin Souther

    Remember, what you write is your OPINION. Just because you get paid for it doesn’t make it fact or give it any more weight.

    Please point out where at any time I’ve acted like my reviews are anything more than an opinion. But I assume your opinion has more weight because I don’t read comic books, right?

    It is a pretty good adaptation of a comic book character to the big screen.

    Going from “one of the best superhero movies” to “pretty good” doesn’t sound like the highest of praise. Again, my issues in the film have nothing to do with the fact that it’s a comic book film, or even how the character and story are constructed, it’s totally in the lousy filmmaking on display. As a comic book fan, shouldn’t you want something more than “pretty good?”

    And comparing the CGI of the young Steve Rogers to Martin Short’s Clifford? That’s pretty snide and unrealistic to boot. Even Mr. Fantastic and Eel O’Brian couldn’t stretch it that far.

    Yeah, Martin Short was more convincing.

  52. Ken Hanke

    When the roster of Greatest Movies of All Time is compiled and runs:

    The Seventh Seal
    8 1/2
    The Battleship Potemkin
    Captain America: The First Avenger
    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
    Lawrence of Arabia

    Then, then will we know how utterly wrong Justin Souther was in trying to keep this movie down!

  53. Jessica B.

    Yes, Justin, I still think the film was one of the best of the superhero movies to come along. And that makes it pretty good in my opinion, which is just that, nothing more or less, no matter what I read. You’re a critic, you didn’t enjoy it. But frankly if you don’t think your opinions carry more weight, why bother to even be a critic? That’s part of your job. Just don’t be surprised when people disagree and voice their opinions. (You’re still full of it on the “Clifford” thing. At least now I know how you come by your opinions if that’s your benchmark…)

  54. Ken Hanke

    Just don’t be surprised when people disagree and voice their opinions.

    Just don’t be surprised when you snark at a critic for being snarky, you get snarked back.

  55. Justin Souther

    You’re a critic, you didn’t enjoy it. But frankly if you don’t think your opinions carry more weight, why bother to even be a critic?

    First, you somehow gathered that my word is law in the world of cinema. Now, I’m having some crisis of confidence? Please don’t put words in my mouth, and please make up your mind on what, exactly, you’re trying to nail me on.

    Just don’t be surprised when people disagree and voice their opinions.

    I wrote a review of a movie that I knew full well was going to be disagreed with. Ken — and I’m pretty sure Steve — can back me up on this. I’m never surprised that people — shockingly — have different opinions on films. Point out where that happened. Unless you’re Joe Johnston, this review is no personal affront to anyone.

    And I’m definitely not the one getting defensive over a middling summer blockbuster.

    You’re still full of it on the “Clifford” thing. At least now I know how you come by your opinions if that’s your benchmark…

    How is a throwaway joke about a movie no one’s seen my “benchmark?” Nowhere have I spoken on the quality of said movie, nor its quality compared to this film. Let’s do better than this…

  56. Dread P. Roberts

    Just don’t be surprised when you snark at a critic for being snarky, you get snarked back.

    This damn comment panel is turning into a snark’o’rific snarkfest. All of this over Captain America? Really? I mean, yeah, I enjoyed the movie more-so than Justin, but who cares? Don’t people realize that by making such a big deal over these vapid comic book films, they’re just further pigeonholing themselves into any sort of stereotyped, negative mentality people might already have towards their fellow syndicate of nerds?

    “My benchmark!” – Justin Souther (front cover of Clifford DVD) Somebody please make it happen.

  57. If only there were this much dialog about the things that matter in life.

    It’s kind of like how wikipedia articles about Harry Potter (22 printed pages) are more in depth than articles about, I don’t know, sporocarps (1/2 page).

    Alright, I admit it. Sporocarps are rather dull. But they are real.

  58. DrSerizawa

    I find it hard to believe that people over the age of 12 are still reading comic books. Yeah, I know we had some guys in the Navy who read them but they were the 80-90 IQ guys whose lips moved when they read.

  59. I just want people to know that this is a fun film. Someone that just glances at the star ratings at the top will not know that.

  60. Ken Hanke

    I just want people to know that this is a fun film. Someone that just glances at the star ratings at the top will not know that.

    This? This is something you worry about? Really?

  61. Margaret Williams

    DrSerizawa: I find it hard to believe that people over the age of 12 are still reading comic books

    Ouch! Well, I suppose I should put away my Captain America T-shirt (I was in an odd mood when shopping for clothes that day). I don’t read comics any more but I am still attached to the genre via movies and curiously comic-book-like TV shows. And science fiction.

  62. Ken Hanke

    Oh, the can of worms the Doctor has just opened! Oh, dear, dear, dear…

  63. Oh, the can of worms the Doctor has just opened! Oh, dear, dear, dear…

    Aren’t you glad it’s not you this time?

    This? This is something you worry about? Really?

    Well, yes. I’m asked dozens of times daily for recommendations. I liked this one a lot, it’s a fun summer blockbuster, so I’ll defend it.

  64. Ken Hanke

    Well, yes. I’m asked dozens of times daily for recommendations. I liked this one a lot, it’s a fun summer blockbuster, so I’ll defend it.

    I think you need to think about attaching this kind of importance to a movie like this. In summer blockbuster terms this is so last week and on its way to being so two weeks ago.

    Really, so Justin didn’t like it. So people who see those two stars might not go to it. (I still find that unlikely with this kind of movie.)Presumably people who heard your radio thing will go to it. It evens out. The world still goes around. This is all getting amazingly close to Rotten Tomatoes’ “Ebert is a douche”/”He ruined the 100%” fanboy shit.

  65. Ken Hanke

    I thought that was Armond White….

    Oh, pish-tush — that’s old news. No, Ebert not liking most of the summer comic book movies (he did like this one) got him branded (in the parlance of today) “no longer relevant.” (His health is occasionally cited as a mitigating factor.) This has, in some cases, grown to encompass the idea that he hasn’t been relevant since Siskel died.

  66. I think you need to think about attaching this kind of importance to a movie like this. In summer blockbuster terms this is so last week and on its way to being so two weeks ago.

    I thought you guys WANT discussion on here!

    I go to the movies to be entertained. For that reason, is this film any more or less important than the new Woody Allen film? I’m sure I’ll like it when I see it, but chances are I will like CAPTAIN AMERICA more.

    Tell you what. You give me last word, and we’ll end this thread.

  67. Justin Souther

    Tell you what. You give me last word, and we’ll end this thread.

    Before we get to that (and for the sake of discussion, let’s say), what I — and I’m sure Ken — are questioning is why you’re putting all the effort into defending this movie with such fervor. It’s not like there’s ever been much question as to whether or not our tastes diverge (or you and Ken, for that matter), and of all the movies I’ve panned, it’s not like this one is any great shakes in the scheme of things. It’s a blockbuster in a movie season awash in blockbusters, and hardly one that sets itself apart from any of the other comic book movies that have come out over the past few years. Plus, this idea that I’m stopping anyone from seeing this film based on a single review seems ludicrous to me. And if the greatest of sins I’ve committed as a critic is keeping people from seeing this movie — of all movies — I’m doing pretty well. And none of this keeps you or anyone from recommending it to someone else. In fact, find me one person who I’ve kept from seeing this film and I’ll buy them a ticket.

    For that reason, is this film any more or less important than the new Woody Allen film?

    Yes, there’s a gigantic difference. Woody Allen is one of the greatest American film directors of the modern era — if not any era — and regardless of how you or anyone feels about him, and regardless of the quality of his output over the past decade, he’s an important figure in the world of cinema. Captain America, is, well, Captain America.

    But, in fact, by it’s very nature pure summer entertainment, Captain America shouldn’t be seen as “important.” It sort of defeats the purpose of the kind of movie its supposed to be. Even if I’d liked it, I’d say that.

  68. Ken Hanke

    I thought you guys WANT discussion on here!

    Justin pretty well answered you with about the same thing I would. It’s the question of choosing this movie as your big cause celebre. It’s simply not important enough — and I can tell you this from personal experience: it is not the kind of movie that I — and I would guess Justin — can seriously influence either way. If that wasn’t true, movies like Running Scared and Drive Angry 3D wouldn’t have been gone in two weeks. My point is that you’re getting all bent about a review that isn’t going to affect this movie’s box office.

    I go to the movies to be entertained.

    I see. So you think I go to the movies to be tortured? Really, Marc, there are people you could make this argument with — I could name some. You know the kind — if a movie isn’t 8 reels of hard luck with zero laughs, an important message, and a bleak ending then it isn’t any good. I hardly think that describes either of us. But regardless, at the end of the day it comes down to this: you found this movie entertaining, Justin didn’t. Neither of you owe it to the other to agree.

    For that reason, is this film any more or less important than the new Woody Allen film? I’m sure I’ll like it when I see it, but chances are I will like CAPTAIN AMERICA more.

    I’m sure you will now.

    Tell you what. You give me last word, and we’ll end this thread

    There are more people here than the three of us.

  69. Jessica B.

    Justin, at no time have I claimed you’ve tried to stop people from seeing this movie, and I don’t think anyone else has either. Heck, some people go see movies because of negative reviews, when they regularly disagree with a critic. I don’t even have a problem with criticism of a something I didn’t like. I do have a problem with those who are snide for the sake of it, and “throwaway jokes” and going for the cheap laugh, especially when it isn’t necessary. I expect a good writer (critic or otherwise) to be better than that, and I think you are (or can be) that good writer.

    Ken, this wasn’t an “important” movie by any stretch. It’s pure pop culture. But it certainly seems that more people thought it was a fun movie and enjoyed it, no matter what the review was.

  70. Justin Souther

    I do have a problem with those who are snide for the sake of it, and “throwaway jokes” and going for the cheap laugh, especially when it isn’t necessary. I expect a good writer (critic or otherwise) to be better than that, and I think you are (or can be) that good writer.

    For better or worse, snark is going to be in the job description. Though, honestly, I don’t feel I was being that snide. We do try and be entertaining as writers, however that may turn out.

    The thing is — and I’m not sure it shows up in the review — I don’t even find Captain America to be unenjoyable, in a sense. Just shoddy. I can’t say I was ever bored, for what that’s worth.

    But it certainly seems that more people thought it was a fun movie and enjoyed it, no matter what the review was.

    And no one’s saying that no one should find it fun or enjoyable. That’s everyone’s right. Contrary to popular belief, both Ken and I would like nothing more to love every movie we see — it just doesn’t always happen that way. No one is going to agree with everyone on the quality of a film. How dreadfully boring would that be?

  71. Ken Hanke

    Ken, this wasn’t an “important” movie by any stretch. It’s pure pop culture. But it certainly seems that more people thought it was a fun movie and enjoyed it, no matter what the review was

    And that’s fine. I haven’t even seen the damned thing. I have no interest in seeing it. The question, however, arises as to whether or not that makes it good or means the critic must therefore concede that he or she is obviously wrong. I’d say no. Audiences all over and across all sorts of demographics adored that Big Fat Greek Wedding thing. I thought it was crap. I still think it’s crap.

    This whole snark issue is, let’s face it, reacting to snark applied to a movie that matters to you. I could snark all over the place about The Smurfs and it won’t bother you. (It’s not likely to bother anyone till a studio shill writes a phony letter to the editor — that will somehow get past the people at the paper who weed out phonies — about how “her children” loved it.)

  72. And you know this as well Ken, but I agree with about 95% of the reviews from you and Justin.

    Why do I care so much about this film? I’ve stated my reasons earlier but all in all I felt this is a great action film that could have been lost in the shuffle. Ticket sales are down, and most of the blockbuster films releases this year have been disappointing. Having a 12 year old son, I see all these damn movies. My expectations for this one were low, but then met and exceeded.

    Personally, I do not like the star-rating system and judging from your comments, you two do not like it either. However, you claim that these movies are critic-proof. To an extent they are, but in today’s economy folks are going to the movies less, so they are being more selective. Justin gave this a 2 star rating, just 1 1/2 stars over THE SMURFS and MISS MARCH. That will prevent SOME people from going to see this movie. Alternately, a four star review will help fill SOME seats. You know as well as I do that many people will just glance at the stars… that’s why The Xpress has it.

    There really is no other reason why I am beating the drum for CAPTAIN AMERICA. I loved it, and I think everyone should see it.

  73. Ken Hanke

    Marc, I don’t agree that this review is going to impact it. It took a 60% dive after week one. That’s what these things do. Even if you are right, it’s a done deal. Justin gave it two stars. His call.

  74. Ken Hanke

    But only 183 more posts and this thread will overtake Atlas Smug!

  75. Justin Souther

    I’ve stated my reasons earlier but all in all I felt this is a great action film that could have been lost in the shuffle. Ticket sales are down, and most of the blockbuster films releases this year have been disappointing.

    Let me ask you a question then. Let’s say someone didn’t see this movie because of what I wrote. Beyond that being a drop in the bucket as far as what this movie’s made, don’t you think they’d be spending they’re money at the movies anyway? It’s not like Captain America‘s their only choice (though maybe they’re not spending as much money at the movies because of the glut of the same old thing, i.e. comic book movies and sequels and remakes). Maybe instead of Captain America, they’ll go see the new Woody Allen, or Beginners, or Submarine, all of which need more help than a piece of a multi-million dollar franchise, and all of which are important(and I feel like you can agree with this, as a film fan) for the sake of the film industry’s overall health. And not to mention for Asheville’s standing as a film savvy city, I might add.

    My job isn’t to keep people from seeing a movie, but I do like to think that we, as critics, get the opportunity to turn people on to films we like and feel are worthwhile or important. A good or bad review for something like Captain America, with its giant advertising budget, isn’t that big of a deal compared to these smaller films. Green Lantern was critically panned and disappointed at the box office, and they’re still making a sequel, whether anyone cares or not. So Cap will be fine, and always was going to be fine, regardless of what I write.

    At the same time, I certainly can’t blame you for championing a film you enjoy.

  76. But only 183 more posts and this thread will overtake Atlas Smug!

    And we did it without Tim Peck!

    We can keep going if you want to.

  77. Let me ask you a question then. Let’s say someone didn’t see this movie because of what I wrote. Beyond that being a drop in the bucket as far as what this movie’s made, don’t you think they’d be spending they’re money at the movies anyway? It’s not like Captain America‘s their only choice. Maybe instead of Captain America, they’ll go see the new Woody Allen, or Beginners, or Submarine, all of which need more help than a piece of a multi-million dollar franchise, and all of which are important(and I feel like you can agree with this, as a film fan) for the sake of the film industry’s overall health. And not to mention for Asheville’s standing as a film savvy city, I might add.

    I absolutely agree. We have been championing SUBMARINE as one of the year’s best for the past two weeks. It’s been great seeing the Woody Allen and Terrance Malick films still hanging around during most of the summer. However, what I have found out from 15 years of renting movies is that during the summertime people want to go to an air-conditioned theater, buy some junk food, and turn their brain off for two hours. You two are absolutely right that it doesn’t matter how good or bad the movie is. Even if it is a multi-million dollar corporate film, I hope that my argument for it will help sway some decisions to go see it.

    My job isn’t to keep people from seeing a movie, but I do like to think that we, as critics, get the opportunity to turn people on to films we like and feel are worthwhile or important. A good or bad review for something like Captain America, with its giant advertising budget, isn’t that big of a deal compared to these smaller films. Green Lantern was critically panned and disappointed at the box office, and they’re still making a sequel, whether anyone cares or not. So Cap will be fine, and always was going to be fine, regardless of what I write.

    My stores are still open because I love turning people onto films. Orbit alone had over 1000 people rent LET THE RIGHT ONE in. My biggest rental of all time is still STRANGER THAN FICTION, my second biggest is EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED. These three movies wouldn’t have been as popular if we haven’t forced them into people’s hands, and the gratification I get when they come back and tell me how much they loved them keeps me going.

    The three of us are usually on the same page I believe, and you are right, CAPTAIN AMERICA will be fine. Now THE GREEN HORNET news is another story and another discussion.

    At the same time, I certainly can’t blame you for championing a film you enjoy.

    Yep.

  78. Ken Hanke

    And we did it without Tim Peck!

    Ayn Rand will hear about this!

    We can keep going if you want to.

    We need something to kick start it — like someone noticing Dr. S’s remark.

  79. DrSerizawa

    Well I went out and saw this. Being retired gives me more time to see things I might normally ignore. I agree that it’s a pretty good action movie. Some things annoyed me that most people wouldn’t notice. Like the integrated servicemen. And especially weapons that glow in the dark. May as well wear a sign that says “shoot me”. and the guys with flamethrowers are apparently are so blind from the tiny dark glasses that they can’t point them a Captain America. In the end these fancy weapons didn’t keep the bad guys from being defeated, but I knew this would be the case going in. It’s also impossible to believe that the US Govt would only produce one of these super-soldiers.

    Another thing that annoys me is watching an entire movie to find out that it’s all just a setup for the Avengers. Man, the Avengers better deliver because they’ve got a lot riding on its success. I’m surprised that Peggy won’t have had a granddaughter that looks just like her the that film, but apparently Hayley Atwell isn’t in it.

    Myself I’m feeling a lot of action movie fatigue. The paper thin plots cloy and CGI is not impressive any more. If this had been made a few years ago I might call it a great action film, but after Ironman it just pales. Maybe eventually they will have to go back to having like actual interesting plots. I won’t hold my breath.

    I’m not sorry I saw it, it was fun, but eminently forgettable. I’d call it a bit incoherent rather than inept as it sort of lurches rather than flowing smoothly. I think they were trying to do too much. It was perfect for the grandkids though. There are just too many of these films now for them to have an impact. This creates a vacuum for more films like, say, Tamara Drewe or the Jane Eyre remake. You know, films that aren’t completely dumb.

  80. Jessica B.

    Ken says: This whole snark issue is, let’s face it, reacting to snark applied to a movie that matters to you. I could snark all over the place about The Smurfs and it won’t bother you. (It’s not likely to bother anyone till a studio shill writes a phony letter to the editor—that will somehow get past the people at the paper who weed out phonies—about how “her children” loved it.)

    What bothers me is that for some critics, “snide and snark” start overtaking intelligence and carefully thought out criticism, and going for the easy laugh becomes their version of wit. And the critic’s own self-importance causes them to react in a “how dare anyone disagree with ME” manner whenever anyone does disagree. That’s not being a critic, just being full of yourself. I think both you and Justin are better than that, and I hope so. I look forward to continuing to read your reviews.

    As for Dr. S’s comment, it just noticed, it just wasn’t worth dignifying with a response…

  81. Ricky Party

    I think it’s pretty hilarious how the two “critics” in this discussion are acting so above it all by wondering why anyone would spend their time defending this particular film, while on the other hand spending a good bit of their OWN time, for several days running now, by responding with a fervor and befuddlement that could only be described as some form of insecurity or, at the very least, a comically defensive over-reaction. And one of them hasn’t even seen this movie! All this, for something as fleeting and “so two-weeks ago” as Captain America. Why not just drop it, move on and let the readers have their say if it’s so trivial to you?

  82. Ricky Party

    Also, when you state that a movie like Captain America is “critic proof” you’re basically nullifying the reason to even have a review for this flick in a small alt-weekly like the Mountain X. What is the point, what is the purpose? You’re kind of trying to have it both ways there.

  83. Ken Hanke

    So if comic books are only for low IQ lip readers, but anything by a Brontë sister is worthy. What can one make of this

    Bronte for lip-movers? (Actually, I wouldn’t call “anything by a Bronte sister” necessarily worthy, but that’s another matter.)

  84. Ken Hanke

    By the way, “Ricky Party,” how come your “name” was “Orton” earlier in this thread?

  85. Justin Souther

    I think it’s pretty hilarious how the two “critics” in this discussion are acting so above it all by wondering why anyone would spend their time defending this particular film, while on the other hand spending a good bit of their OWN time, for several days running now, by responding with a fervor and befuddlement that could only be described as some form of insecurity or, at the very least, a comically defensive over-reaction.

    Nowhere have I said no one should defend this film, rather I was questioning the reasons why and the means in which the film is being defended. Actually, Mr. Party, there are any number of times where I’ve explicitly stated that no one’s stopping anyone from liking the film.

    Also, when you state that a movie like Captain America is “critic proof” you’re basically nullifying the reason to even have a review for this flick in a small alt-weekly like the Mountain X. What is the point, what is the purpose? You’re kind of trying to have it both ways there.

    This was in response to the idea that this review was going to stop people from seeing the film, which was neither the intent of the review, nor the actual outcome, and not an admission that the review serves no purpose. Huge difference.

  86. Justin Souther

    What bothers me is that for some critics, “snide and snark” start overtaking intelligence and carefully thought out criticism, and going for the easy laugh becomes their version of wit.

    It depends on the film, of course. I’m not going to be snarky about a film I enjoy. On the other side, I’m didn’t care for this film, obviously. Of course, I don’t feel that any of my short jaunts into snide-dom take away from what I find to be legitimate gripes in regard to the film. I promise you, I took the time to think the film over, and attempted to reflect those thoughts into my review. I’m sure I can’t actually convince you of this, but I promise it’s true.

    And the critic’s own self-importance causes them to react in a “how dare anyone disagree with ME” manner whenever anyone does disagree.

    I hope this isn’t in regard to me, because, — again — nowhere have I taken this attitude. Like I said, I fully expected people to disagree with me, and I’m certainly not delusional enough to think that no one would. And if I have done this, please point out where.

  87. Daniel

    I think it’s a little sad that movies such as this one get so many comments while so many great movies sometimes only get 2 or 3 comments. Nerds.

  88. Ken Hanke

    I think it’s a little sad that movies such as this one get so many comments while so many great movies sometimes only get 2 or 3 comments.

    Noticed that, did you?

  89. Jessica B.

    Justin says: “I hope this isn’t in regard to me, because,—again—nowhere have I taken this attitude. Like I said, I fully expected people to disagree with me, and I’m certainly not delusional enough to think that no one would. And if I have done this, please point out where.”

    Never said you had taken this attitude, Justin, just that some who call themselves critics have and I’m sure you know that.

  90. brebro

    Movie nerds or comics nerds? (You have to be specific with your demeaning cloistered group pejoratives these days, you know. How is one to discern if you mean the juvenile and sophomoric group arguing over trifling fictional illustrated characters on a page or the wise and mature group arguing over important fictional actor-portrayed characters on film? )

  91. I think it’s a little sad that movies such as this one get so many comments while so many great movies sometimes only get 2 or 3 comments. Nerds.

    Come join me in the ASSASSINATION GAME discussion.

  92. Ken Hanke

    Movie nerds or comics nerds?

    As an elitist nerd, I’m not sure how to take that.

  93. Ken Hanke

    Come join me in the ASSASSINATION GAME discussion.

    The ultimate in nerd-dom — nay, geekdom — arguing about a movie no one other than the reviewer has seen!

  94. Al Paige

    I will never tire of messing with people who take themselves very, very seriously :)

    Thanks for that Mr Isle of Man. You almost made me fall off my chair!

  95. Finally caught up with this on a flight from Sydney to LA a couple of days ago.

    Wonderful, breezy, pulpy fun. The film is a good argument that comic book heroes really belong in the era in which they were created.

    Makes me feel like I should track down a copy of THE ROCKETEER.

    This is the film I was hoping THE AVENGERS would be. Not unreasonably long, doesn’t take itself too seriously and gives us a great scenery chewing villain with Hugo Weaving as Werner Herzog.

    For that matter, the powers that be should keep Hayley Atwell in mind if another film version is attempted of the real THE AVENGERS. She’d make a cracking Mrs. Peel, but who for Steed? Dominic West perhaps?

  96. Ken Hanke

    Might just be an argument that comic book movies are swell distractions on long, tedious flights.

  97. Jeremy Dylan

    Might just be an argument that comic book movies are swell distractions on long, tedious flights.

    Would you make the same argument about my enjoyment of RUGGLES OF RED GAP an hour later into the flight?

  98. Ken Hanke

    No, but I know the quality of the film. I have never seen Captain America, nor am I likely to.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.