Thursday, November 10, 2011

Captain America




Regular readers of this blog know that I'm a big fan of Captain America and have been since that day in January 1964 when I went to Tompkins' Drugstore after school and bought AVENGERS #4 off the spinner rack, along with a handful of other early landmark issues such as FANTASTIC FOUR #25, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11, and X-MEN #4.  Man, that was a great time to be a ten-year-old comics fan.

Anyway, it was inevitable that I'd watch the recent movie version of CAPTAIN AMERICA.  Equally inevitable is that I'd carp about some of the changes the filmmakers made from the source material, such as Bucky being all wrong.  However, this is one of those cases where all the things the movie gets right far outweigh the things it doesn't.  THOR, which I saw, liked a lot, but didn't blog about, falls into the same category.  See, you can make changes that I don't necessarily agree with, but if you get the spirit right, such things don't bother me much.  It's only when you completely pervert the source material (as in the first HULK movie, the one directed by Ang Lee) that I wind up hating the film.

But back to Cap, I think this film is a perfect example of how to do comic book movies correctly: spend plenty of money and take the material seriously. Nothing looks cheesy (well, not too much) and even though most of the film takes place in the Forties, there's not an ounce of post-modern irony to be found. Everything is played straight, as it should be. And especially during the scenes that cover Cap's origin, I felt like I was watching TALES OF SUSPENSE pages scripted by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby come to life, despite the additions of Peggy Carter and Howard Stark to the story at that point.

One more minor complaint: the post-credits scene, a staple of these Marvel movies, didn't amount to much and was the weakest so far. You should watch it, but don't expect a lot.

Overall, I liked CAPTAIN AMERICA as much as any movie I've seen in a long time, and the rest of the family (none of whom have ever read a Captain America comic book in their lives) seemed to enjoy it quite a bit as well. Not as much as me, though.

Oh, and don't blink, or you'll miss the cameo appearance by the original Human Torch.  Man, what a joy an Invaders movie would be, done right . . . 

9 comments:

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I agree with your views on all the three superhero movies, especially Hulk 1 being a disappointment. I felt Chris Hemsworth didn't do full justice to Thor's rugged look in the comics; he looked almost boyish and is without the helmet through most part of the film; the sound effects were terrific, though. If you still have the comics mentioned upfront then you're sitting on a veritable goldmine!

Bill Crider said...

This is one of my favorite movies of the year.

James Reasoner said...

Prashant,
Nope, all those comics are gone . . . but my memories of them are as vivid as ever! Whenever I read reprints of them I'm surprised by all the dialogue and images that I remember quite clearly. They really imprinted on my brain when I first read them.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

True. What would life be like without comics and comic strips?!

Chris said...

I loved this movie as well. I still remember so many of my old comics too, and like James says -- it's almost startling how vivid some of the memories come back when I see a cover or panel. I'm thankful for that.

Anonymous said...

I almost jumped out of my seat with joy when I saw the Human Torch. And I absolutely loved seeing one of my all-time favorite howlin' wahoos, Timothy Aloysius "Dum Dum" Dugan, brought to life perfectly on the big screen.

Troy D. Smith said...

Crap, I didn't mean to by anonymous in the previous post. Anonymity goes against my gregarious nature.

James Reasoner said...

Yeah, when I heard that Neal McDonough was playing Dum-Dum, I was pretty dubious about that casting. But he sure nailed the part.

Chris said...

I forgot to comment on the awesomeness that would be an INVADERS movie. Put my name on the petition! How about a HOWLING COMMANDOS movie, since we are wishfully thinking here, eh?

Was it just me, or did it sound like Hugo Weaving was doing a Werner Herzog impression with his German accent for the Red Skull? I thought it was great.

I'm going to watch the movie again tonight, I think. I literally bought a blu ray player specifically for this movie's release.