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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
[img]http://celebnwall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/captain_america_the_winter_soldier_poster.jpg[/img]
The much-anticipated follow up to Joe Johnston’s The First Avenger, I can happily report, is one of the first successes of the upcoming summer theater season – it fared better and was rendered more entertaining than the Thor sequel, boasted the elements necessary in a solid comic adaptation film – hero/villain fight sequences, more “confidence” from the hero role as he or she gets more “comfortable” with the powers bestowed upon them, etc. – and even had Scarlett Johansson looking even sweeter than she did before, if you can imagine that, with a new straight haircut and nearly fire-red hair that complemented her “take no prisoners” attitude her “Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow” character exuded in spades here. There’s plenty of SHIELD involvement in the film – much more than in any Iron Man – and we see Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury character get some serious screen time as he becomes the first “victim” of the attacks by the rogue “Winter Soldier” and whoever is behind him and his mercenaries.

Unfortunately, the film suffers from some problems – first, we have some misleading trailers that suggest Robert Redford’s “Alexander Pierce” is actually on SHIELD’s side and behind Captain America/Steve Rogers (some dialogue rendered by Redford in the trailers were taken completely out of context here; when you see the film, you’ll know what I’m talking about). Then, we have the always unavoidable trappings a sequel falls into wherein the plot gets way too thick and plodding in certain places for its own good, making it difficult to follow what’s going on after awhile. There’s an “industrial enemies” undertone running rampant throughout Captain America: The Winter Soldier that dipped way too far into Iron Man 3 territory, and that’s what ultimately made that film bomb (in addition to, of course, misleading us with a “real” Mandarin villain). There’s also the problem with Anthony Mackie’s “Falcon” character – while very cool to include, as Falcon was Steve’s unofficial sidekick through a lot of the comic’s run, the whole thing was way too rushed and underdeveloped; in one moment, we have Steve telling his new friend he doesn't have to get involved with him, Natasha and SHIELD and the next minute he’s flying through the air with his specialized “paratrooper wings,” a bonafide superhero like Rogers. It wasn’t fleshed out enough.

The biggest issue The Winter Soldier suffered from, though, was the whole Alexander Pierce/Nick Fury/SHIELD thing; this is exactly what Jon Favreau did wrong in Iron Man 2 with the “Ivan Vanko” character, in which he made a “Frankenstein’s monster” of a villain without really basing it on any substantial comic lore. Here, we have an older, nearly decrepit Pierce as played by Redford when in the comics, Pierce was a much younger field agent. Also in the books, it was speculated that Pierce was a cover for Alexander Lukin – the man who controlled the Winter Soldier – when in this film it’s Pierce who really has a say-so with regard to the renegade super soldier. The whole plot gets way too thick and industrial-esque as the backstory involving SHIELD, the “World Security Council” Pierce is apparently head of and the way Pierce was once in charge of SHIELD and how he hired Nick Fury as its commander develops. It would have been much easier to simply keep a plot involving this Winter Soldier, who comes back to wipe out SHIELD and Steve Rogers as an ex-friend of Steve’s and who has now been transformed into a vicious mercenary perhaps stronger than Rogers himself; however, as the film progresses, all these elements get way too cloudy and thick for their own good, making us wish for the next action sequence to break things up.

Then, there’s the “Amim Zola” character as portrayed by Toby Jones in the first Captain America film and how he “returns” here – the notion is rather ridiculous, and I am uncertain if they actually delved into some of the books for this story or not. According to The Winter Soldier, Zola ended up making it through most of World War II before developing a medical condition for which there was no cure…but apparently SHIELD and HYDRA were able to save his “consciousness” which is now running a secret underground bunker in New Jersey where Steve originally trained before becoming the super soldier known as Captain America – merely by his brain power alone. Does anyone remember the original Star Trek episode named “Spock’s Brain”? That’s exactly what was going on here…and it was one of the more off putting elements of the film.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers living in Washington D.C. outside the new SHIELD headquarters and still trying to adapt to life in our modern time. As he runs his daily course around town, he meets Anthony Mackie’s character, a war vet that councils other soldiers and family members as they cope with the brutalities of battle. As the men get friendly, all kinds of things begin transpiring around Steve – Nick Fury is mysteriously attacked in his SHIELD SUV by a gang of vicious mercenaries dressed as Washington D.C. cops after his security clearance at SHIELD was somehow “erased.” Before the leader of this mercenary group, a dark, shadowy figure known as the "Winter Soldier,” can get to him in his overturned truck, Fury manages to escape his clutches and make his way to Steve’s apartment. This is all after Steve goes on a mission with SHIELD agents to rescue hostages taken by a powerful terrorist on a ship, the Lemurian Star; there, Steve, Natasha and other SHIELD agents make haste to the bad guys but not before Steve seems to meet his match with the powerful leader of the group, Georges Batroc. The hand to hand fight sequence here sets the stage with an exciting, palpable presence but we are left wondering why this guy – who isn’t the Winter Soldier – is so strong and can deal such a wallop to Steve.

Letting that one slide, a plot begins to unravel involving who this “Winter Soldier” is and why he’s seemingly after Steve and many of SHIELD’s operatives – of course, as fans knew before the film even broke, the enhanced super soldier behind the face mask is none other than Bucky Barnes, Steve’s old friend from the World War II era. The story goes like this (as Steve and Natasha learn after having a “conversation” with Dr. Zola’s “living consciousness computer” in the aforementioned underground bunker in Jersey…one of the definite weaker pieces of this plot): Apparently, Zola and some of his HYDRA scientists found Barnes after he fell from the train in the first film, transforming him into a super-strong anti-Captain America for lack of a better term; he had been put on ice, just like Steve, and then was thawed out by someone playing dirty in the SHIELD/World Security Council hierarchy with a mission to eliminate certain SHIELD operatives…and especially Captain America if he gets in anyone’s way. Of course, Steve does end up getting in his way and we are treated to some pretty awesome fight sequences between the two super-enhanced men, one early on in the film when Steve is out of uniform save for his shield, and then later on in the final fight when Steve’s decked out in his original stars and stripes costume (which he takes from the Smithsonian display honoring Captain America – I’m not kidding).

It comes down to not knowing who to trust and a rather uncomfortable, rather unnecessary subplot suggesting the HYDRA division didn’t actually “die” in World War II Germany – and is secretly working within the ranks of SHIELD, plus letting us believe Nick Fury himself may not be the good guy we all thought he was. Some of these essences I thought were completely unnecessary – the whole Alexander Pierce angle and how he is secretly controlling the World Security Council and that he may have been behind a plot to assassinate Fury, plus the HYDRA/SHIELD connection in the current, present day. They should have just concentrated on Cap fighting and finding this Winter Soldier and perhaps had him make Bucky realize he was actually once his friend – which, when you see the film, you’ll realize that doesn’t seem to actually happen.

Then, again, there’s the problem with Anthony Mackie’s “Falcon” element – yes, this was uber-cool to include Falcon as Cap’s quasi-sidekick, watching him fly all around with his super-strong metallic “wings” while shooting with dual handguns. But in the end, he doesn’t really add anything to the story and doesn’t really, to be honest, lend Cap any assistance; during a skirmish towards the end of the film with the Winter Soldier, Falcon is stripped of his wings and rendered powerless, leading me to wonder just what kind of “sidekick superhero” he really was.

That’s all I’m going to give away about The Winter Soldier – there are a ton of twists and turns that you won’t see coming, but in summary, this was a very solid follow up to Joe Johnston’s first film, transporting Cap into modern day society post-Avengers and making the “Captain America” notion not at all too cheesy as interpreted in today’s time. It was better than Thor: The Dark World and I can recommend a purchase on the Blu-ray release day. Oh – and as always with the Marvel films – don’t forget to stay in the theater until about midway through the end credits sequence for a sneak peek at where this franchise could be going next…from what I could tell, the Winter Soldier isn’t finished yet and neither is HYDRA.

Please discuss if you’ve seen it already!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Some edits made to overview.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Additional nips and tucks made to overview of film; thank you.
 

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Loved this movie and I enjoyed all the twists in it and maybe I'm the minority marvel fan here but I don't mind when they go out of the box that much or deter from the actual comics. I enjoy it especially with this film, however, hated it with iron man 3. They can do it right and IMO they did it perfect in this film. Definitely a day of release purchase for me!

Osage do you keep up with Agents of Shield? I find that tv series really ties a lot of things together in this film utilizing even a couple of actors from it. Pure genius if you ask me. A tv series that basically fills in a lot of the blanks from marvel movie to marvel movie. This is of course when it pertains primarily to S.H.I.E.L.D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Loved this movie and I enjoyed all the twists in it and maybe I'm the minority marvel fan here but I don't mind when they go out of the box that much or deter from the actual comics. I enjoy it especially with this film, however, hated it with iron man 3. They can do it right and IMO they did it perfect in this film. Definitely a day of release purchase for me!

Osage do you keep up with Agents of Shield? I find that tv series really ties a lot of things together in this film utilizing even a couple of actors from it. Pure genius if you ask me. A tv series that basically fills in a lot of the blanks from marvel movie to marvel movie. This is of course when it pertains primarily to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Hello Mike and thanks for your reply! I totally agree with you regarding Iron Man 3 -- I hated it and thought it was a massive slap in the face to fans who were eagerly awaiting a real Mandarin adversary for Stark to take on...instead we got a joke of a film that had no substance, cohesion or "sense of dread" every comic adaptation needs. I refused to buy the Blu-ray.

As for AGENTS OF SHIELD, I tried to keep up with it but I just can't get into it -- I know Sith (Jamie Alexander) from the Thor mythos is involved with them on Earth, and I know they explained away Coulson's death in Avengers, but without the Marvel heroes involved with the organization, I can't really get into it...and I realize that's a cliche because that's specifically what they were trying to get away from with the show, to depict other "goings on" at SHIELD...
 

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I'm right there with you cause it took me a bit of time to get into the show. After about 7 episodes it grew on me. But it took a while and for many I'm sure their patience ran out before then. They only have 15 episodes total right now I believe and the last 4 have been great and in some ways led up to what we saw in the winter soldier
, primarily the last episode last week before winter soldier hit theaters. Brilliant!
 

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Thanks for another great in-depth review. I will have to check this out as a rental. I didn't see the first movie "The First Avenger" so can I watch this without seeing the first?
 

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Thanks for another great in-depth review. I will have to check this out as a rental. I didn't see the first movie "The First Avenger" so can I watch this without seeing the first?
I'd suggest watching "The First Avenger" first ... it really connects the two films and Avengers.
 

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Hello Mike and thanks for your reply! I totally agree with you regarding Iron Man 3 -- I hated it and thought it was a massive slap in the face to fans who were eagerly awaiting a real Mandarin adversary for Stark to take on...instead we got a joke of a film that had no substance, cohesion or "sense of dread" every comic adaptation needs. I refused to buy the Blu-ray.

As for AGENTS OF SHIELD, I tried to keep up with it but I just can't get into it -- I know Sith (Jamie Alexander) from the Thor mythos is involved with them on Earth, and I know they explained away Coulson's death in Avengers, but without the Marvel heroes involved with the organization, I can't really get into it...and I realize that's a cliche because that's specifically what they were trying to get away from with the show, to depict other "goings on" at SHIELD...

I'll disagree just SLIGHTLY on The Winter Soldier... I thought it was the best of ALL marvels films, including Iron Man and the Avengers.... BUUUUUT. I'm TOTALLY with you with Iron man 3 and Agents of Shield... AoS just got boring and I was so angry after IM3 that I was shaking... my wife was trying to calm me down in the theater cuz I was snarling and grumbling during the whole film :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for another great in-depth review. I will have to check this out as a rental. I didn't see the first movie "The First Avenger" so can I watch this without seeing the first?
As Mike (Edwards) stated, Joe, you really should see the first Captain America film before seeing this one -- it explains a great deal about what's behind the "HYDRA" mythos (which runs rampant in this sequel) and plays off some elements that transpired in Avengers...

Thanks for the kind words and for participating, my friend!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll disagree just SLIGHTLY on The Winter Soldier... I thought it was the best of ALL marvels films, including Iron Man and the Avengers.... BUUUUUT. I'm TOTALLY with you with Iron man 3 and Agents of Shield... AoS just got boring and I was so angry after IM3 that I was shaking... my wife was trying to calm me down in the theater cuz I was snarling and grumbling during the whole film :D
Oh, yes, Mike I do disagree with you on the Winter Soldier being the best of ALL Marvel films -- though you're not the only one to make that designation and feel that way -- I don't think this was the best comic adaptation film of all time, either, as many have said as well. I still stick to this, though it wasn't a part of the Avengers/Marvel universe: There is still no comic adaptation film that has been as spot-on or incredibly involving than Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 -- from the fight sequences between Doc Ock and Spidey that felt like they jumped right off the pages of the comics to the downright perfect casting of Alfred Molina as Dr. Octavius, the film was a blueprint that I don't believe any adaptation -- DC or Marvel -- has lived up to yet.

And Iron Man 3? I know EXACTLY what you mean and agree TOTALLY -- my wife had a hard time calming me down too because I was so incredibly P.O'ed at what transpired up on the screen...especially when it was revealed that Mandarin was a bagman and decoy. Absolutely TERRIBLE idea and execution; what we need is for Favreau to get back behind the camera and make another Iron Man film to make up for Shane Black's travesty.
 

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. I didn't see the first movie "The First Avenger" so can I watch this without seeing the first?
Why would you want to?? I really liked the first CA and this one will be a blind buy for me. As stated thanks again for the great review O, I just wish I wasn't so cheap to see this in the theater;).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Why would you want to?? I really liked the first CA and this one will be a blind buy for me. As stated thanks again for the great review O, I just wish I wasn't so cheap to see this in the theater;).
LOL, still being cheap about the theater tickets, Bran?

Home Theater Shacksters: How 'bout we start a fund to start collecting some cash for Brandon so he can go to the theater more often with his wife or significant other? Come on, guys...we gotta get our fellow 'Shackster into the theater to see more films! :T :bigsmile: :rofl::help::yay2::jiggy::TT:banana::woohoo:

BTW -- thanks for the kind words about the review...:)
 

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Why would you want to?? I really liked the first CA and this one will be a blind buy for me. As stated thanks again for the great review O, I just wish I wasn't so cheap to see this in the theater;).
lol, does your theater have "before noon" cheap seats?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LOL...

We're just messin' wit cha, Bran...:T
 

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Oh, yes, Mike I do disagree with you on the Winter Soldier being the best of ALL Marvel films -- though you're not the only one to make that designation and feel that way -- I don't think this was the best comic adaptation film of all time, either, as many have said as well. I still stick to this, though it wasn't a part of the Avengers/Marvel universe: There is still no comic adaptation film that has been as spot-on or incredibly involving than Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 -- from the fight sequences between Doc Ock and Spidey that felt like they jumped right off the pages of the comics to the downright perfect casting of Alfred Molina as Dr. Octavius, the film was a blueprint that I don't believe any adaptation -- DC or Marvel -- has lived up to yet.

And Iron Man 3? I know EXACTLY what you mean and agree TOTALLY -- my wife had a hard time calming me down too because I was so incredibly P.O'ed at what transpired up on the screen...especially when it was revealed that Mandarin was a bagman and decoy. Absolutely TERRIBLE idea and execution; what we need is for Favreau to get back behind the camera and make another Iron Man film to make up for Shane Black's travesty.
yeah, it's been a hotly debated item the last few weeks. personally I can't stand the Raimi trilogy...mostly because Tobey MaGuire was such a whiny brat that I couldn't stop loathing him... but I digress, that's just personal taste

as for the Mandarin. I have no problem swapping a villain, I can even understand WHY they didn't want to portray him as the classic Asian villain with magical powers, but not only did they insult the character they replaced him with a Villain that was TOTALLY FORGETTABLE! I don't mind taking license with a character but the entire film just felt like a joke
 

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LOL, still being cheap about the theater tickets, Bran? Home Theater Shacksters: How 'bout we start a fund to start collecting some cash for Brandon so he can go to the theater more often with his wife or significant other? Come on, guys...we gotta get our fellow 'Shackster into the theater to see more films! :T :bigsmile: :rofl::help::yay2::jiggy::TT:banana::woohoo: BTW -- thanks for the kind words about the review...:)
Hey at least I will buy this when it's released! All donations will be used wisely;).
 

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lol, does your theater have "before noon" cheap seats?
I work 6 or 7 days a week so before noon wouldn't work out. I m gonna buy the movie anyways usually used from Family Video for $9.99 on bluray ,but I will pick this one up new. We need a babysitter and would have to eat out usually to make it to the theater, then there's all the idiots with there phones and talking not worth it:).
 

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I work 6 or 7 days a week so before noon wouldn't work out. I m gonna buy the movie anyways usually used from Family Video for $9.99 on bluray ,but I will pick this one up new. We need a babysitter and would have to eat out usually to make it to the theater, then there's all the idiots with there phones and talking not worth it:).
ewww, 6 or 7 days a week is rough, I feel for ya. and yeah, saving money any way you can is good. I'm a notorious cheapskate who scours pawn shops, gohastings etc quite regularly :D I could make your ears smoke and your jaw hit the floor on some of the deals I've found at pawn shops
 

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ewww, 6 or 7 days a week is rough, I feel for ya. and yeah, saving money any way you can is good. I'm a notorious cheapskate who scours pawn shops, gohastings etc quite regularly :D I could make your ears smoke and your jaw hit the floor on some of the deals I've found at pawn shops
The works not that bad it helps that my boss is pretty cool. I wish there were good pawn shops around me but all the ever have is TRASH. When we were in Witchatard , Kansas, fancy vacation, the shops were awesome.
 
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