Tag Archives: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Countdown to ENDGAME | Captain America | Civil War


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ONE A WEEK UNTIL Avengers Infinity War opens in May!

Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Captain America | Civil War

Civil War Mondo

If you can get over the fact (and I think I have – it has taken me four years) that the plot of this movie hinges on the heroes acting exactly as the villain intends and that a two-decade old VHS tape must play in order for the movie to work, it is almost perfect.

Civil War transcends the typical trappings of “make heroes fight each other” and pits the Avengers against each other with stakes that seem real. While the team disintegrates, the movie, somehow, manages to perfectly introduce two major new characters: Black Panther and Spider-Man, both of whom who have since headlined movies of their own.

Add to the proceedings humor, brilliantly staged action and pathos, and you have an excellent movie and one of the best Marvel films. To paraphrase the title character: “I could watch this all day.”

By-the-way, though I think his plan would never have worked, the villain won in this one. The Avengers are, for all intents and purposes, no more at the end of this film.

I gave Captain America: Civil War FIVE VHS TAPES out of a possible FIVE when it came out. It deserved all five.


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • T’Chaka; king of Wakanda
  • T’Challa; The Black Panther
  • Everett Ross
  • Baron Helmut Zemo
  • Spider-Man
  • Aunt May

CONNECTION(S) TO INFINITY WAR:

  • Of all the films preceding it, Captain America | Civil War prepared for Infinity War in the most clear fashion. It left the Avengers broken and scattered. It leaves them ultra-vulnerable to an attack, like the attack Thanos mounted. They will come back together – we hope – in Endgame.
  • The Vision has a conversation with the Scarlet Witch about the Mind Stone embedded in his head which came from Loki’s staff and also created the Scarlet Witch’s powers.
  • The Winter Soldier is left in Wakanda at the end of the film. He will be there in both Black Panther and was there in Infinity War. Until he wasn’t.
  • “That shield doesn’t belong to you…” I do not know that the filmmakers knew what a key line that would be when they wrote it, but it set up Black Panther’s terrific “get this man a shield” line in Infinity War.
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Countdown to INFINITY… Captain America | Civil War


Related Content from And There Came A Day


ONE A WEEK UNTIL Avengers Infinity War opens in May!

Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther

Week Fourteen: Captain America | Civil War

 

Civil War Mondo

If you can get over the fact (and I think I have – it has taken me four years) that the plot of this movie hinges on the heroes acting exactly as the villain intends and that a two-decade old VHS tape must play in order for the movie to work, it is almost perfect.

Civil War transcends the typical trappings of “make heroes fight each other” and pits the Avengers against each other with stakes that seem real. While the team disintegrates, the movie, somehow, manages to perfectly introduce two major new characters: Black Panther and Spider-Man, both of whom who have since headlined movies of their own.

Add to the proceedings humor, brilliantly staged action and pathos, and you have an excellent movie and one of the best Marvel films. To paraphrase the title character: “I could watch this all day.”

By-the-way, though I think his plan would never have worked, the villain won in this one. The Avengers are, for all intents and purposes, no more at the end of this film.

 

I gave Captain America: Civil War  FIVE VHS TAPES out of a possible FIVE when it came out. It deserved all five.


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • T’Chaka; king of Wakanda
  • T’Challa; The Black Panther
  • Everett Ross
  • Baron Helmut Zemo
  • Spider-Man
  • Aunt May

CONNECTION(S) TO INFINITY WAR:

  • Of all the films preceding it, Captain America | Civil War prepares for Infinity War in the most clear fashion. It leaves the Avengers broken and scattered. It leaves them ultra-vulnerable to an attack, like the attack Thanos will mount.
  • The Vision has a conversation with the Scarlet Witch about the Mind Stone embedded in his head which came from Loki’s staff and also created the Scarlet Witch’s powers.
  • The Winter Soldier is left in Wakanda at the end of the film. He will be there in both Black Panther and, according to the previews, Infinity War.
  • “That shield doesn’t belong to you…” I do not know that the filmmakers knew what a key line that would be when they wrote it, but watch for Black Panther to supply Cap with the soldier’s most emblematic weapon in Infinity War.

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And There Came A Countdown To INFINITY…

Avengers Infinity War will open on May 4. Let me go out on a limb here: it will be one of the most successful movies of all time. I cannot wait for it.

You are among the millions who have watched the trailer, right? No? Take a moment. Click below. I will wait.

Okay, the question is: how do you get ready for Avengers Infinity War? What should you do and how should you do it?

We here at And There Came A Day are here for you. Last week, I saw a a tweet that suggested that, if you watch one Marvel movie a week beginning in the first week of 2018 and screen a subsequent Marvel film weekly, you will complete your preparations the very week Infinity War opens.

I intend to follow the schedule below (which in NOT the order in which the movies were released, but the order in which they took place) and post my reviews weekly.

We will see how it goes… I suspect it will go very well.

Get ready, world, for the Avengers to assemble again!

January 1 – 7:  Captain America: The First Avenger

January 8 – 14:  Iron Man

January 15 – 21:  The Incredible Hulk

January 22 – 28:  Iron Man 2

January 29 – February 4:  Thor

February 5 – 11:  The Avengers

February 12 – 18:   Iron Man 3

February 19 – 25:  Thor: The Dark World

February 26 – March 4:  Captain America: The Winter Soldier

March 5 – 11:  Guardians of the Galaxy

March 12 – 18:  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

March 19 – 25:  Avengers: Age of Ultron

March 26 – April 1:  Ant-Man

April 2 – 8:  Captain America: Civil War

April 9 – 15:  Doctor Strange

April 16 – 22:  Spider-Man: Homecoming

April 23 – 29:  Thor: Ragnarok

April 30 – May 6:  Black Panther

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Can’t Be Civil, Can You?


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This needs little introduction, but I will say this: don’t turn away until after the title card…

 

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The Road to Marvel’s Civil War

In May, Marvel Studios releases Captain America: Civil War, the sequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the follow up to Avengers: Age of Ultron. The first trailer for the movie has been released and it’s good. It’s very, very good.

If you’re interested in learning more about the movie and its massive cast of characters, io9.com has a great breakdown.

Suddenly, students of American history everywhere are going to believe the American Civil War started on May 6, 2016.

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Ant-Man A Movie Review

Ant-Man


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For the duration of this review, I am going to try to resist making any kind of size pun. We’ll see how successful I am.

Last summer, Marvel Studios seemed to learn with the late summer blockbuster success of Guardians of the Galaxy which followed the blockbuster success late spring of Captain America: The Winter Soldier is that releasing a smaller movie following a big one might be a very good way to continue to build the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Next summer they will try it again with Captain America: Civil War in May and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in August. Will they strike the same kind of gold this summer with Ant-Man? Maybe not as much gold as they minted with GotG, but surely enough.

Ant-Man is the second Marvel Studios release this summer following the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. As such, it has existed in the shadow of that extravaganza and that has been both a blessing and a curse. It’s been a blessing in that expectations for Ant-Man are nothing like the expectations for Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s been a curse in that people seeing Marvel Studios’ movies have come to expect a grandiose, intricately connected film that references Captain America and the Avengers and Tony Stark and plays into the tapestry of that universe.

Ant-Man doesn’t set up that way. With a sharp focus on two primary characters, Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym and Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, Ant-Man is more a passing-of-the-torch legacy story than anything else. The trick here is that, before the movie, there was no torch to pass. That Douglas’ Hank Pym was hero-ing around in the Ant-Man suit in the 1970s and 1980s was a revelation. Before this movie began, one might have thought Bruce Banner’s Hulk or Tony Stark’s Iron Man were the “first” superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not so fast. As it turns out, SHIELD had been associated with at least two heroes prior to Banner’s experiments and Stark’s suit, prior to Nick Fury becoming the Director. Those two heroes are Ant-Man and… well, no spoilers here.

Michael Douglas is wonderful as Hank Pym, an aging scientist desperate to see his creation – the Pym Particle – not used for evil. Douglas balances the right amount of gravitas with a certain sprinkling of twinkle in his eye to make Pym far more than a secondary character and a simple plot device. Douglas shines in his scenes with Paul Rudd and also has great chemistry with the underused Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope Van Dyne, his somewhat estranged daughter. Much like Robert Redford who was in last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Douglas plays the entire movie straight with no knowing winks to the audience or no air of superiority over the material. This is a credit to Douglas as he spends a lot of time shoveling exposition and talking about things like communicating with ants. He’s a great addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The opening sequence of the film is, in-and-of-itself, proof of that.

Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne isn’t served nearly as well. Though she is very good in the movie, Ant-Man continues a somewhat troubling trend for Marvel Studios’ films, namely that they don’t know what to do with a strong female character. Much has been written about this and I won’t delve too deeply into it here. Suffice it to say that, while Lilly is a welcome addition to the movie, has great rapport with Rudd and is a nice addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she is all but superfluous to the goings on here. One can easily envision a version of this movie without her character appearing at all from strictly a plot perspective, and that’s a shame, Marvel Studios has to do better with its women.

What Marvel Studios has done with its casting is truly remarkable. They have found almost perfect actors to inhabit their lead roles. Ant-Man is no exception. Paul Rudd makes a fine superhero, at least a fine superhero of the Ant-Man variety. The characterization written here (and Rudd did a polish on the script) is completely in the actor’s wheelhouse. Witty, intelligent and down-on-his-luck, Rudd’s Scott Lang is a modern-day Robin Hood trying to listen to the angels of his better nature to work his way back into his daughter’s life. Rudd makes the scenes with his daughter work. The audience never questions the relationship. He also displays the appropriate amount of “WTF?” as he learns about the Ant-Man suit, about the ability to communicate with insects and about Hank Pym’s plan.

His plan, simply, is a heist and Ant-Man is very much a well executed heist movie. It hits all the heist-movie plot points, including pulling together a rag-tag band of professionals to assist in the final gambit. Of these, Michael Pena’s Luis really stands out and has the most heroic moment of the film – if not of any Marvel film. Watch for it near the end of the movie. Give me more Pena, please. Find a way, Marvel. You’re smart folks.

Ant-Man is at its best when it plays as an action-comedy. Rudd is, primarily, a comedic actor and seeing Douglas run through some of the same paces reminded me of his Romancing the Stone and War of the Roses days. There are laugh-out-loud moments to be found here and the action, especially the sometimes jaw-dropping “micro-world” action, is very much up-to-snuff.

As I wind down the review, I note that I’ve not mentioned Ant-Man’s antagonist in the movie one time. The reliable Corey Stoll plays Darren Cross, a former protegee of Hank Pym’s, who is ready to unleash terror on the world… yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it. White guy, corporate power broker wants to make some money in despicable ways. We’ve seen this before and, while the two-dimensional Cross, who eventually puts on a “Yellow-Jacket” suit with very similar powers to the Ant-Man suit, is fine as a villain, he is absolutely no more than that. Hey, Marvel, while you’re fixing your problem with women in your movies, take a look at your villains, too. Giving Stoll some interesting character ticks doesn’t make him a fully developed character.

Peyton Reed directs the film and he had the unenviable task of replacing genre fan guru Edgar Wright, who had developed the movie over a number of years. Wright has a unique voice. Marvel Studios is obviously looking for a more “house” voice and Wright apparently chafed against those constraints. Reed stepped in with little prep time and with a lot of Wright’s material at his disposal. He manages to be true to Wright – there is some really crazy stuff happening here and some moments and lines that are so bizarre they must be left over from Wright’s development – while slotting Ant-Man nicely into the pantheon of Marvel Studios’ films. That’s something of an impressive high-wire act.

Though there is A LOT at stake in the movie (Hank Pym reminds Lang and the audience of that any number of times), director Reed keeps the audience centered on what’s really going on: Scott Lang taking a shot at redemption and trying to become a better parent. That these very themes also spill over to Hank Pym’s character arc is very nice symmetry, indeed.

ANT-MAN receives FOUR AND A HALF SUGAR CUBES out of a possible five.

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COUNTDOWN TO STAR WARS EPISODE SEVEN – 231 DAYS

star-wars-force-awakens

Counting down the 231 days until The Force Awakens on December 18, 2015.

In the days leading up to Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, And There Came A Day will present links, images, videos, art, memories, laughs, theories and thoughts leading up to the big day… which happens to be on my birthday!  ENJOY and may the Force be with you, always… or at least until 12.18.15!

NO, THAT’S NOT TRUE… THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!

Honoring Avengers Age of Ultron opening today comes this article from Entertainment Weekly about a very strange Star Wars homage that seems to run through the Marvel movies. Minor, minor spoiler alert: I can report (as I am just back from a screening of Age of Ultron as I write this Countdown) that the streak of amputations continues in this film as well!

image from Entertainment Weekly.

image from Entertainment Weekly.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars Long-Ago Faraway Galaxy have a lot in common. Both contain dashing heroes with cool powers. Both are owned by Disney, much like your childhood and your future. And both feature copious sequences where someone gets a hand chopped off. This curious recurring motif is actually an elaborate homage, according to Marvel Studios’ head honcho Kevin Feige.

As Feige revealed in an interview with Cinema Blend, every Marvel Studios movie in the post-Avengers Phase 2 era features a scene where somebody loses a hand. According to Feige, this wasn’t initially intentional; the first hand chopped off was Guy Pearce’s in Iron Man 3, during the part of Iron Man 3 you totally forgot about where everyone starts glowing and all the Iron Men do Iron Man stuff. Then Thor’s hand got chopped off in Thor: The Dark World, until it turned out it was all a hallucination.

The most specific homage was arguably Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where Bucky loses an arm and gets it replaced with a Skywalker-brand robo-appendage. And in Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora hacks off both of Groot’s arms, although they eventually grow back, because nothing ever really dies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Besides Rene Russo.)

Feige implies that even talking about this homage is a spoiler for Ant-Man. Intriguingly, Feige also claims that the Star Wars homage was intended, at least in part, to establish Phase 2 as Marvel’s Empire Strikes Back. So, Ewoks in Phase 3? 

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