Skip to main content

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the lovechild of The Avengers and The Bourne trilogy. It's got intense action, impossibly enormous things blowing up, and beautiful people running around being perplexed. At one point, it even felt like a Michael Bay movie, but thankfully it only lasted for two seconds. Otherwise, Cap's second outing as the leading man is a terrific sequel and a fine action/thriller movie.

The movie benefits from good writing. After a mission alongside fellow SHIELD Agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) has some pointed questions for his boss, Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), especially after he's let in on the intelligence agency's latest project. Cap's attempts to uncover the truth behind Project Insight underline the movie's major themes: what is freedom and who deserves it? When is the line crossed in its defense?

But if you're not in the mood for contemporary political commentary, you're in luck! Brutal ass-kicking abounds! All the fight scenes are choreographed so that you practically feel the blows being exchanged. Black Widow is up to her usual acrobatic moves, while Cap in particular is almost unstoppable when he has his shield, which reduces a bit of the tension--where's the suspense when you know the hero is just going to plow down everyone?

Enter the Winter Soldier, sporting a metal arm and a platoon of dudes to hand him a series of progressively bigger weapons. When he runs out of ballistics, he has an apparently unlimited supply of knives. He proves to be a match for our hero, omg!

Speaking of "omg!," there is a scene where Evans is in a tank top, and I went like this:


He is the beefcakiest beefcake to ever beefcake. At that moment I cursed the 3D, which makes everything dark. I repeat: this movie does not need to be seen in 3D. You can see Evans' abs rippling through his shirt just fine in 2D.

Of course, there's more to admire than stunning physiques. The second Captain America continues right where the original left off in presenting a person with firm convictions and solid morals, who has firsthand experience with both weakness and strength. As a bonus, Director Fury and the Black Widow are also shown in more depth than in the previous Marvel movies. Sam Wilson/The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) is the new kid on the block this time around, another good soldier who will sacrifice for his friends.

Friendship and trust are major themes in this movie, too. Fury isn't shy about expressing his trust issues, and it's hard to tell if the Black Widow is entirely trustworthy. Still, that doesn't stop her from being wildly charismatic with her one-liners and playful repartee with the often-solemn Cap. There better be a Black Widow movie after this, is what I am saying.

Bottom line: legitimate blockbuster! Go watch! Captain's orders!

This post brought to you by Game of Thrones, season 4, episode 1. Kill it, Arya.

Popular posts from this blog

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!


Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.

Hah!

There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:


The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…