Captain America: The Winter Soldier - reviews

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Steve Christou, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Saw Captain America Winter Soldier last night in 2D. Sat through so many adverts I almost forgot what film I was there for, trailers for Noah, Spider-Man, Transcendence, Divergence sorry... Divergent, and best of all Guardians of the Galaxy which looks like a lot of fun, never read the comic.

    Another winner from Marvel, Captain America is up against his evil doppelganger, The Winter Soldier, a ghost from his past and a world threatening conspiracy involving both Hydra and members of SHIELD. The action sequences are spectacular as you would expect and contain probably the best choreographed fight sequences in any comic book movie to date.

    The film introduces a new hero, The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie, does he have his own comic?

    Fans of Scarlett Johansson, and they are legion, will be happy to know she's with the Cap all through the film, her biggest role as Black Widow so far.

    Chris Evans, Samuel Jackson, Robert Redford are all top notch and it was a thrill seeing Jenny Agutter kicking ass nearly 40 years after Logan's Run. :D

    4 out of 5


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Winter Soldier comfortably climbs into the top spot of Marvel Studio films. Strong in every facet of blockbuster filmmaking, it starts off with the best action sequence in a superhero film to date, easily making Captain America the very baddest of badasses, but still the most decent of men. It then propels itself into superhero thriller territory that is just topical enough to be interesting, but respectful of the genre by making it tie into Marvel history.It puts Steve Rogers where he belongs, at the moral center of the Marvel Universe, worthy of leading the Avengers, and worthy of the word hero before the word super.This was a great, great time at the theater. I would have thought the Russo brothers were old action pros from how well constructed and shot the copious (and always fun) action in this film was. They always remember to keep it grounded to the story at hand, and they demonstrate how awesome Cap is in about 12 different ways.The cast is great, the story is great fun and the film is top shelf.Highly recommended for action fans, thriller fans, and superhero fans.
     
  3. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    What a great film! Definitely one of Marvel's best. Steve was great as the moral compass in a world filled with shades of gray. The movie had nice story beats for all of the major players. Nick Fury and Natasha had their best roles yet in the MCU. Newcomer Sam Wilson (Falcon) was VERY likable. His friendship with Steve seemed quite natural, and they make a good pair. I'd really like to see more of him in the MCU. I think it's a given we'll see him in Cap 3, but I'd love if he could show up in Age of Ultron first. Maria Hill had a nice little role in the story, and "Agent 13" was also nicely set up for a more prominent role in Cap 3. Winter Soldier was a total Bad-ass! And I loved the Winter Soldier theme music. Very disturbing and disorienting while also having something of a "Terminator" vibe. Nice. Redford was also great, as expected. The action in the film was definitely top notch. Very nicely handled by the Russos. The humor was subtle and felt appropriate, never taking you out of the moment. And the movie had a few genuinely moving moments. Just a damn good movie all around. And boy does this movie have a significant impact on the future of the MCU! I'd love to discuss this stuff openly, but I think it would be best to wait until at least after opening weekend to discuss the spoilerly stuff. I also thought it was nice that the movie sets up where Cap 3 might go and also has elements that will clearly be relevant to Age of Ultron. There are two post credit scenes. Be sure to stay for them both. The mid-credit scene is the big one done by Joss Whedon that ties right into Age of Ultron. It was really freaking cool! The second scene at the very end of the credits isnt anything "flashy". It is a smaller, character focused moment that is more of a follow-up to the story you just watched which leads into Cap 3. Definitely check this one out! image.jpg
     
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  4. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I agree with the above. Captain America 2 and Avengers are in that category that just makes them seem loftier, more ambitious and more interesting filmwork than their peers.

    What really struck me about Cap2 though, wasn't just that the subject matter had real weight and subtext, it is that there were moments within the film that accomplished a rich feeling that I don't remember in any other (recent) Marvel film, including Avengers.

    When I think of Superhero films, I always look for the actions of the superhero, etc. but you also look for the actions of those around them.. ordinary people who practice extra-ordinary amounts of bravery. DC comics made a living of promoting this as the idea to become a hero, and 'sidekicks' were often Ordinary People who do the Extra-ordinary.

    There is a scene within Cap2 that to me elevated it above almost every other Marvel film..

    When the elite squad raids the launch group, and the controller sits at his computer, and with a gun pressed to his head refuses to launch the equipment. That moment was an ordinary person - a nobody in the nature of the plot - performing an extra-ordinary act of bravery. The SHIELD agent who was Caps next door neighbor then risks her life in a compelling scene to back up the computer operator's play.

    That sequence could have been cut in the hands of someone who just wanted a shoot-em up, but it added real weight to the story, and raised the consequences to make it clear that not everyone there was a 'bad guy' and that they were willing to risk it all to do the right thing.

    It is much easier as a plot method to just say: the other side is unbelievably evil, nothing redeeming about them at all... this was gutsy plot that didn't make anything that clean or clear...

    Stay through the credits, there are two cut scenes. The first is very interesting and definitely plays into Age of Ultron, the second, though, continues the main movie story. As Sean mentions above, they are both worth it.

    When I think of truly great, fun to watch comic book films, Avengers stands out as one that just nails it. All the sensibility, the joy and the delight of comic book heroes.. and at the same time, it manages to do something a lot of films don't.. it touches on the humanity of the characters. Iron Man 3 tried to continue this somewhat (and was "OK" at succeeding with this).. but Captain America 2 sells itself on being about the humanity of the characters, and their 'super traits' don't in the end define any character.

    I'll watch it again because I think there were so many great small scenes with real impact - dealing with PTSD soldiers at the beginning, defining the trust we have for people, the scene I put in spoilers above.
    It's the small touches, often the non-huge touches that I think really made Cap2 'work' for me. This is a Solid-A to potential A+. Solid direction, great storytelling, and while much 'gorier' and 'more brutal' then any Marvel film of the current generation, it did so in a way that made it not seem goofy or stupid, but put real characters at risk and made the choices matter.

    Really enjoyed the night at the theater.
     
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  5. Freddie Z

    Freddie Z Stunt Coordinator

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    Marvel is on a roll! Can't wait for Cap 3! Feel any pressure yet, DC (Warner Bros.)?
     
  6. Nigel P

    Nigel P Stunt Coordinator

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    Some random thoughts.

    Moral Compass, Inspiration, Leader. All things that Captain America should be and is in this film. He not only does what is right, but he inspires others to do the same. I hope Age of Ultron builds on this very solid foundation for Cap's role in the MCU.

    I thought this film was very much it's own thing while also working well as a sequel to The First Avenger. You can see how the ripples tidal wave of effects could lead into the events of Age of Ultron. I thought it balanced those things brilliantly.

    Sitwell name dropping
    Dr Strange.
    was a cool moment.

    Not only were the Russo's action novices, but the fight choreographer and co-ordinator don't have much other than stunt work on their CVs which makes the quality of the action even more impressive.

    I enjoyed Iron Man 3 and Thor Dark World, but they both felt a little inconsistent with their tone which certainly isn't an issue here.

    I didn't think I could be looking forward to the next Avengers film any more than when I walked out of the first, but Winter Soldier combined with that mid credits scene may just have done it.
     
  7. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Nigel, I noticed that name drop too. It was so quick and no one really paid attention to it at the time, but my ears perked up. There's only one piece of the movie I wasn't over the moon about:
    Cap tries way too much to bring Bucky around, almost to his own detriment. And it looks like we're not done with Bucky yet.

    Action was well done and not CGI-ish at all. The story kept rolling, the introduction of some new characters and a really gutsy third act. I think Cap is now my favorite hero out of all of them who got their own movies.
     
  8. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Saw it in 3D, but don't really think the 3D added that much to it.

    I thought the film was a solid follow-up (as I wasn't all that blown away by the first installment of "Captain America" anyhow), but I felt it was lacking in some spots for me, but I won't hash them out here for now, maybe I'll return in a week after most have seen the film.

    The central plotline did have ambitious scope by the time we get to the 3rd act, with a lot of ramifications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    It's an entertaining film, but with a somewhat familiar story once it gets going. The action doesn't stretch your suspension of disbelief too much once you invest in Captain America being able to do all the stunts and action sequences shown. I was glad the "punch-cam"'s use wasn't a repeated theme, but it did add some chaotic feel to the fight scenes.

    Overall, I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

    P.S. The 2nd bonus scene at the very end of the credits left me with a "meh" feeling, I wanted something more. The first of the bonus scenes was intriguing, though.

    I made the joke after the 2nd bonus scene:

    (Please don't read until you've seen the scene and the film itself).
    Captain America 3: The Search of Buckyhaha.
     
  9. Yavin

    Yavin Stunt Coordinator

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    4.5 out of 5. I absolutely loved this film. It epitomizes everything that's great about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also, it's got the best mid-credits scene since The Avengers.

    Here's my official review.
     
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  10. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Solid movie. I'm a more casual fan of the Marvel movies than most here but this was definitely my favorite since The Avengers and one of the better Marvel movies overall. Solid action, some laughs and all the main characters/actors got some nice moments to shine. MattCR nailed the best scene in his spoiler text.

    It was nice to see the Russo brothers give Danny Pudi a small part.

    I assumed that it was a lead-in to the next Avengers movie but can someone explain what the hell was going on in the mid-credits scene? I'm probably the only person who goes to a comic book store on a weekly basis that has no clue. :)
     
  11. Nigel P

    Nigel P Stunt Coordinator

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    You are correct that it is a direct lead in to Avengers Age of Ultron.
    The evil monocle bloke was Baron Von Strucker and the 2 prisoners were Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    ^ Thanks for the info, Nigel!
     
  13. Clawwolf

    Clawwolf New User

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  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    I saw the 11:15pm screening of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" in digital IMAX 3D at the NYC Lincoln Center auditorium. As with last week's screening of "Noah", this is a venue that is built and configured for 15/70 screenings, and the digital projector is unable to fill either the width or height of the screen, so that it is a very windowboxed presentation. That being said, I did not notice any of the pixelation that was present during "Noah" or "Gravity" last year. Unfortunately, IMAX refuses to comment on whether a release is digital or film - it used to be a guarantee that if you bought a Lincoln Square ticket, you were going to see a 15/70 presentation - that's no longer the case, and they won't tell you in advance which it is. ("Iron Man 3" was a 15/70 release, for instance.) Anyway, specific theater quibbles aside...

    "Captain America: The First Avenger" is the best so far of the Marvel Phase 2 films, and does the best job of any of those films in portraying a post-"Avengers" world. Whereas "Iron Man 3" supposedly dealt with Tony Stark's mental fallout from the events in the Avengers, I thought that plotline was written badly and had a hard time accepting that Stark was ever in real distress. (I think the idea of someone having post tramautic stress is real and believable; I just don't think the filmmakers did a great job selling it.) "Iron Man 3" also had shifting tones where it didn't seem quite sure what kind of movie it wanted to be. "Thor: The Dark World" barely mentions the events of "Avengers", and ABC's SHEILD show only occasionally touches on it as well. While the Avengers won the battle in "Avengers", they were left deeply suspicious of SHIELD and Nick Fury. SHIELD was making secret weapons; SHIELD was messing around with forces they shouldn't have, which is what allowed Loki to get through in the first place. And in "Avengers", we see that at the least, Iron Man and Captain America are not thrilled with Fury or SHIELD. Unfortunately, Iron Man 3 doesn't develop this at all.

    Fortunately, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" picks up that thematic point - what happens when you think you're one of the good guys, trying to do the right thing, and you find out that the people behind you might have ulterior motives? I think the film nails the vibe of the 70s paranoid cold war thriller, and it seems appropriate for a story that is half old school conspiracy theory, half ripped-from-the-headlines big brother survellience nightmare. The film feels both timely and timeless, allowing the viewer to bring in (or leave out) as much real-world baggage as they want. Afterall, while plenty of people watch a movie like this for sheer entertainment, there is still a sizeable audience that looks for parables to the real world in their fantasy storytelling.

    I have two minor complaints that are somewhat-spoilery, so probably best to avoid reading til after you've seen the movie:
    The first was with the Winter Soldier, and how he got here. They kind of brush it off in a line of dialogue - he fell, but the Nazis were doing experiments on him, so that must be why he survived - that kind of thing. There's some brief talk of him being unfrozen and refrozen, and memory being wiped, etc. I have to admit, I'm usually a sucker for fake science in these kinds of movies, so I could have used some more of his origins as the Winter Soldier.

    The second minor complaint goes with the first... who is Alexander Pierce? He apparently overseas Shield, but we've never heard of him before. But he's connected to the Winter Soldier, and the Winter Soldier has been around for a long time. Is Pierce older than we thought he was? The movie doesn't give us much background on him or his motivations, so while it's easy to accept him as the bad guy, I felt the filmmakers failed to keep us guessing if he was a bad guy - and if you guess that Pierce is the bad guy after just a scene or two, the big reveals in the middle and end might not be as shocking cause you're already like "Yeah, I get it, Redford is bad, so anyone working for him is bad too". At the beginning of the movie, we're supposed to wonder if maybe Fury is in the wrong, but Pierce never seems trustworthy enough to make us question Fury. I at least want to give the movie credit for not having Cap being fooled -- as a viewer, one of my peeves is watching characters trust other characters who are so clearly untrustworthy, and I'm glad that didn't happen here.

    I wanted more of the Winter Soldier and his history, and more of how he was used to manipulate history. I wanted more of how they turned Bucky into a super soldier, especially because the movies have spent so much time showing on how it worked on Rogers, but no one else -- it didn't work when Bruce Banner tried a version, the Extremis stuff that they cooked up in Iron Man 3 wasn't stable, and there were similar failed attempts on the SHIELD tv show -- so for some version of this serum to have worked, even one more time, I feel like that needed to be mentioned,

    Another minor quibble would be that some things just can't be suspenseful when you know in advance that the cast is signed to multi-picture deals.
    I didn't believe Fury was dead because I knew he was signed for more movies. You know Cap's not gonna die, you know Black Widow can't die because they're gonna be in the next Avengers. But some of that is just the reality of doing a huge film series, and I can't think of any way around that.

    Quick note on the 3D: I was a little disappointed. I think the original Thor and Captain America films (Marvel's first forays into 3D) were good post-conversions for their time (early-to-mid 2011), and that "The Avengers" had the best 3D visuals of any of the films. I get why the Avengers was so good in that regard - Joss Whedon had originally planned to shoot the film using 3D cameras, but wasn't happy with how they performed on the set when he filmed the tag at the end of Thor, so the decision was made to film in 2D and convert for 3D. But the film was intended to be in 3D, and you can tell that watching it, at least some thought was given to 3D from the beginning. In my opinion, "Iron Man 3" was a big step back, with very indifferent 3D that seemed barely there for most of the film. "Thor: The Dark World" was a little better than "Iron Man 3" in that regard, and I think this was probably somewhere in between. There were a couple shots where the 3D conversion made it appear that the Winter Soldier's metal arm was floating above his torso instead of being attached to it, but they were very brief and I think most people wouldn't notice. I absolutely love 3D, and I think comic book movies are natural candidates for the 3D treatment, so it's been disappointing to me to see the post-Avengers Marvel films doing a somewhat lackluster job at it.

    All in all -- really good moviegoing experience, and I'd like to see it again sooner vs. later.
     
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  15. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Just a minor note on your spoiler Josh:

    I didn't believe Fury was dead because I knew he was signed for more movies. You know Cap's not gonna die, you know Black Widow can't die because they're gonna be in the next Avengers. But some of that is just the reality of doing a huge film series, and I can't think of any way around that.

    So, my response is:

    Yeah. This is a problem of the internet. It's hard to really surprise audiences who know the business back end of films, see the clips and outtakes.. and so it lowers peril because the audience knows from a business standpoint things far in advance. I don't know how any film in the future will avoid this problem.
     
  16. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    While I can understand the point about knowing how many movies for which an actor is under contract, I think that is more relevant to
    major characters, like Cap and less relevant to supporting characters. Just because an actor is under contract for a certain number of films doesn't necessarily mean that the studio will use them for that number of films. A supporting character like Fury could still be given the axe if that's what the film makers think is best for their story and larger cinematic universe. Though in this case, I'd say it wasn't surprising to me not because of the number of films he is contracted for but because this is something that has been done in the comics (Fury faking his death when going up against SHIELD).
     
  17. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Producer
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    Matt -- agree completely. I blame myself more than the film for that, I don't know what the filmmakers could do any differently. Some of my friends have started becoming "no spoiler" types where they no longer watch trailers or read pre-release buzz. I can't imagine doing that (I think the fun in the months leading up to the movie outweighs getting some of the stuff spoiled in advance), but I can totally see why it's an appealing choice.

    Sean -- excellent point. And truth be told
    maybe I just wasn't gonna believe it anyway, even if I'm not familiar with the comics. Heck, I didn't believe it in the Avengers when Coulson died, I thought they faked his death to bring the team together, and I fully expected the post-credits scene to be Tony Stark flying Coulson out to Portland for a date with the cellist mentioned earlier in the movie. And even though Coulson was resurrected on TV, at the time of filming, they intended for him to be dead. And I just didn't buy it. So maybe the problem is me!
     
  18. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Regarding that spoiler, I didn't know about anyone's deal but I didn't believe it because
    Sam Jackson is too awesome to kill off. :) Plus, if they ever do kill Fury, they won't do it by shooting him in the back. He'll blow himself up with a nuclear bomb in order to stop Galactus or something crazy like that.
     
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  19. Nigel P

    Nigel P Stunt Coordinator

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    Josh regarding your spoilers:

    It is a tricky one. I think by not spending too much time on the Winter Soldier it left him as this really menacing threat and that every time he was on screen you knew things were about to go bad for our heroes. I wonder if they will delve more into what he had done to him in the 3rd film along with him coming to terms with who he was, what he did and who he now wants to be.


    It seems a very comic book thing that nobody ever really dies, but at some point in the MCU it needs to happen and it needs to stick. We have now had Bucky, Coulson and Fury die and come back. I guess if anyone is going to kill off a beloved character then Whedon is the one to do it. If Fury had actually been dead then Cap taking the lead could have been seen as happening by default rather than Fury deferring to Cap.

    I loved hearing Silvestri's theme near the start of the film.
     
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  20. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan
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    Yes, the classic Silvestri theme is nicely used at the beginning jog. It is also used more subtly at the Smithsonian. Jackman's score was quite well done, in my opinion. It was more of a mood enhancement for the film's drama and action. But there were some really nice tracks. From the sound track: The Winter Soldier, The Causeway, Taking a Stand, In to the Fray, and End of the Line are the definite standouts. "Captain America" is also a nice track.
     

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