Musings On Marvel: Day 9 (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Directors: Russo Brothers (Captain America: Civil War, Arrested Development pilot, Community pilot)

Budget: $170million

Box Office: $714million

  • Why does Captain America need to jog? Isn’t his strength and fitness derived from the serum so he doesn’t need to exercise at all. Unless he’s just bored, in which case, go fight bad guys or something.
  • Wait, he’s got “Thai food” on the list of things to research? Dude, just go eat Thai Food. Done.
  • And Sean Connery? Not a list of films he’s in, or anything like that. Just Sean Connery in general?
  • The Captain America plan to getting into a building:
    1. Stealthy stealthy stealthy
    2. Flippy flippy flippy
    3. Loud noise! Throw shield into room so everyone knows you’re there.
  • Isn’t Captain super strong etc? I mean, he went toe to toe with Iron Man in Avengers, now a regular bearded dude troubles him?
  • “last time I trusted someone I lost an eye”, I know, people always say “I’ll tap your head a second before” but they never do.
  • “agent Romanov is comfortable with everything”, so that’s why you make her wear that skintight costume.
  • Fury gives a detailed nostalgic history of himself, he’s going to get shot.
  • “greatest generation, you guys did some nasty stuff” “for freedom!”. Random fact: the Nazi party got their influence for their eugenics programme from a programme in California. U S A! U S A! U S A!
  • Why does his friend have his own exhibit at the museum? There’s nothing about Churchill’s bff at the war museum.
  • How did he find out where she lived?
  • “I thought I could throw myself back in, serve in the army again”. You barely served in the Army. You spent most of your time doing theatre.
  • “you saved the world”. I mean, yeah, it’s a shame that Captain America doesn’t exist in real life so Germany won the war and the world has been destroyed. That sucked when the world was destroyed. I hadn’t even finished paying off my sofa.
  • Why holograms? Why not just skype? This is literally just technological dick measuring. And just as messy.
  • This film continues the MCU tradition of hoping that merely mentioning the other Marvel characters will stop us wondering why they never turn up to help each other.
  • “he has to socialise”. You want Iron Man to socialise at a kids birthday party? He’ll probably try to fuck the mother and get the kid drunk.
  • Holograms on the car window now? That’s not just pointless, that’s also highly distracting and possibly illegal.
  • I would question how they think they could stage a police attack then remembered that Nick Fury is black so they’d just need to say he littered so they had to shoot him.
  • “to build a better world we need to destroy the old one”. Wow, I wonder if this guy’s evil.
  • This fight would be over in about 5 seconds if they used the paralysing technology from Iron Man 1.
  • F*ck off can he fall that far and be okay. Super soldier or not, he still has to obey the laws of physics.
  • “he refused to share information” so you kill him? Surely one of the people working there realises that’s unfair justice.
  • “two dozen assassinations in over 50 years” That’s really not many at all. That’s like one every two years. That’s nowhere near enough to have that big a file. I mean, if I get a few more I’ve beaten that record.
  • Oh please. As if Captain America knows about function overrides on computers.
  • “if you guys need anything. I’ve been Aaron” so who are you now?
  • He didn’t eject it properly! That flash drive is going to crash.
  • That just says which buttons are pressed. Not in which order.
  • Wait, he’s seen War Games but not Star Wars or any of the Rocky albums?
  • Wait, so THIS is the guy they decide to save his brain? He’s quite useless.
  • “if you try to take freedom, they resist”. Really?  No shit.
  • How did they get such high-quality footage on a green and black monitor? This would be like watching TV on an old Game Boy. Which you can’t do.
  • So the lesson is, don’t trust Swiss people?
  • So they blew that building up, and all that data, just to kill two people?
  • “seem pretty chipper for a guy who died for nothing”. Well, you know, except Nazi’s.
  • Oh, so we can’t get Iron Man or anything, but don’t worry, we’ve got the senator from Iron Man 2 in here.
  • So Falcon has never been seen in any of these films? He wasn’t called to save the president in Iron Man 3, or to save New York in Avengers?
  • Rolling out of a car at that speed would cut your skin up so you looked like a kebab.
  • For two super cool assassins, their aim sure is terrible.
  • Winter soldier destroys a strangers car. More like Winter So-D’ya Have To Be So Rude?
  • Superhero landing!
  • They keep shooting at his shield instead of his legs.
  • Surprise! Except it’s totally not a surprise. It’s really obvious so why did they leave it so long?
  • By the way, this scene should totally have an 80’s power ballad playing over it.
  • How did they decide to use this a hiding space? “We need to think of a hiding space, any idea where?” “damn” “perfect!”
  • “about damn time”. Yeah, you should have got shot earlier, damn you ScarJo.
  • Wait, I’m fairly certain Zola was on the same train that Bucky fell off, and was captured almost immediately after. So he could not have been there when he woke up. No, no, no, nothing about this makes sense at all, and horses can’t talk!.
  • Wait, first Aldrich loses his arm in a battle in Iron Man 3, then Loki chops off Thors arm in The Dark World, now Bucky last an arm too? Marvel hates arms.
  • Awesome, a scene to show a friendship we already knew existed. Great.
  • People think that Chris Evans transformation to Captain America was well done, but Sebastian Stans transformation from Bucky to the Winter Soldier is a lot better. He’s almost unrecognisable.
  • Hey it’s Abed. Hey Abed.
  • That actually makes sense, the directors for this were hired due to their work on the paintball episodes of Community. That’s the good thing about the MCU, they’ve taken risks with new directors from different genres. Doctor Strange is being directed by Scott Derrickson, who’s known mainly for horror. They’re not sticking with established directors, in fact, the most well known one they had was Kenneth Branagh. And even that was a risk.
  • “what if Pakistan invaded Mumbai and you knew they were going to drag your daughters into a soccer stadium”. Football! Not soccer. That’s probably the most evil thing he’s done.
  • They never use this disguise technology again.
  • “are you sure you’re ready for the world to see you as you really are?” with how tight her clothes are, we already know.
  • They fired like 8 missiles at one person. No wonder the US military spend so much with that kind of wastage.
  • Even Michael Bay thinks these explosions are “a bit much”
  • “it’s trending”. Wait, I pretty much used that exact line the year before in a film. Bastards!
  • “unless you want a hole in your sternum”. 1) that’s not where the sternum is. 2) couldn’t you have done that earlier when she was hitting people?
  • “order only comes through pain” kinky.
  • Does Captain America really need to attempt to sacrifice himself? HYDRA has been exposed,  and the missiles aren’t aimed at cities anymore so everyone’s safe. And we’ve already seen he can jump from great heights and be completely okay for some reason.
  • Captain drops his one of a kind shield out of the flying vehicle, yet somehow you know he’ll find it again.
  • “there’s nothing more horrifying than a miracle” I dunno, genocide?
  • Are supposed to be surprised Bucky is alive? I mean, we saw him walk away, this scene literally serves no purpose.

Musings On Marvel: Day 3 (Iron Man 2)

Director: Jon Favreau (Chef, The Jungle Book)

Budget: $200 million

Box Office: $623.9 million

  • Ok let’s see what exciting new property Marvel use for their third movie. Wait, a sequel? Lazy.
  • Surely you’d have realised that if you read the title of this article?
  • Shut up.
  • This press conference is different from how it was in the first film.
  • Wait, the news cuts away to reaction shots during a live press conference? Bit of a stupid move.
  • Mickey Rourke (not Tim Robbins as I first thought when I first saw this film), looks older than his dad.
  • Yeah, it’s impressive that Iron Man is jumping from a plane to launch himself into the conference, but you know what’s better? The queen parachuting with James Bond.
  • To quote Deadpool: “Woo! Superhero landing! You know that’s really hard on your knees. Totally impractical, they all do it.”
  • “Nobody can go toe to toe with me on my best day”. On average days, I can be bested by a sloth, but on my best days…..
  • “It’s not about us, it’s about legacy”. Oh crap, that’s not another really obscure superhero that’s going to appear is it?
  • Oh, it’s not?
  • Shame.
  • Shame!
  • Tony Stark arguing with the government. Makes the superhero registration act a bit difficult to figure out.
  • Seriously? The weapons expert is called “Hammer”? Subtle.
  • Anthony? His name is Anthony?
  • Neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerd.
  • Hey Rhodes, you look different.
  • A lot of people taking photos. They’re probably surprised a black guys got a speaking role too.
  • Apparently Al Pacino was going to play the role of Justin Hammer. As much as I like Rockwell, f*cking Pacino!
  • The news network misspelt “Capitol” in title of their video. Yay journalism
  • And now we have the most annoying thing about this film: Tony Stark drinking a chlorophyll based drink to counteract heavy-metal poisoning. That wouldn’t work. At all. I know some of these films are lacking scientific accuracy but that’s normally because they contain future technology. This is just pure bullshit. It would be like saying that cling film can stop HIV or dipping your cock into boiling water stops genital warts.
  • I’m fairly certain he can’t just walk into a Formula 1 circuit and decide to drive in a race on the day. If that is possible, Donald Trump would have done it by now, and he’d had died in a flaming wreck of hot justice.
  • Note to self: a film about two cops who go under cover as strippers: Hot Justice.
  • Random fact: Tony Stark was meant to be driving a car that was yellow and red in this scene, you know, the Iron Man colours. Robert Downey Jr. changed it.
  • “Hey, there’s a crazy guy chopping up cars in the middle of this race, think we should stop?” Do you see the chequered flag? No, then the race is still going. Continue!
  • So he just stood there whilst Tony was suiting up? That’s polite of him. See, he ay be a Russian bastard, but he’s got manners.
  • Random fact: everytime the word “Russian” was said in this film it was muted in the Chinese version.
  • This film was much better in cinema. Mainly because I got cake during it.
  • “There will be blood in the water, and the sharks will come”. Sharks have the weirdest sexual fetishes.
  • “i was at a hearing where he insisted those suits can’t be made by anyone else, yet here we are”. Not all suits are the same. That’s like saying “I was told that nobody else had this machine gun, and yet there’s a guy with a pistol”
  • Do you not think it would have been a good idea for them to tell this EXTREMELY DANGEROUS person what the plan was instead of surprising him and putting a hood over his head?
  • “His continual erratic behaviour”. Yeah, like getting attacked, what a bastard, how dare he.
  • That’s actually a picture of Mickey Rourke getting arrested.
  • And thus begins a long tradition in Marvel films of “friends fighting friends in an action scene that has no narrative purpose and is all but forgotten about later and is just an excuse for a poorly designed action scene”. See also: the Thor/Captain America/Iron Man threeway in Avengers, Hulk going grrr in Age In Ultron. So the idea of Civil War being “OMG, these guys are going to fight” is like “and? Big f*cking whoop, they’ve already done that”.
  • “I’m going to have to ask you to exit the donut”. I get told that like every day.
  • Samuel L Jackson there expertly playing the role of Samuel L Jackson.
  • “why are drones better?” You call yourself a weapons manufacturer? You f*cking idiot, drones are cheaper as you don’t need to pay people to be in them so there’s a lower staff turnover as less of them die. It also means you can go to warzones without risking troops. And it’s harder to deliver a plane full of people in place than send drones over so the enemy has less time to prepare. For a weapons manufacturer, he knows next to nothing about his own industry.
  • “then you can solve the riddle of your heart”. That sounds like a line from an 80’s power ballad.
  • Turn around, bright eyes.
  • Every now and then I fall apart.
  • And you need you more tonight.
  • And I need you more than ever.
  • And if you only hold me tight.
  • We’ll be holding on forever.
  • I’ll stop now.
  • “this is my Eiffel Tower” so something that most people will hate and won’t appreciate until decades later?
  • “what is, and will always be my greatest creation is you”. Awwww so nice, shame you put it on a video that he may never see. This is like telling somebody you love them by putting a note in a random book in a library.
  • How on earth did that not cut through the wires holding the thing up as well? It cut through almost everything else but not the wire. That shouldn’t create a new element, it should create an electrical fire that blows the building up.
  • This song was in a GTA game. Always reminds me of walking around shooting people and stealing cars. Not because of GTA though, just because it’s what I listen to whilst doing it on weekends.
  • “that’s a hell of a lot better than cheerleaders”, yeah but not as sexy. Unless you’re into robots of course.
  • Again with the superhero three point landing.
  • An entire glass ceiling gets shot down and lands on people, yet nobody dies. Bullshit.
  • “I’m locked on, I have target lock” “on what” “on you”. You know you could have just said “the targets locked on you”, would have saved time.
  • “tell me everything you know: go” Knuckle indentations coincide with the amount of days in every month, bananas are an excellent source of potassium, rainbows are pretty. Oh, you mean about this specific situation?
  • Movie teases kid getting shot. But kid doesn’t get shot.
  • A spin kick? That’s needlessly showy and is worse than a normal kick. Do screenwriters not read Artemis Fowl before doing stuff like this?
  • Is it just me who doesn’t think Gwyneth Paltrow can act? She’s probably the most well known actress in this film and gives the least convincing performance. For evidence of this watch her “you’re really dying” and see if you find it believable.
  • Tony and Rhodes are lucky those suits decided to stand there for dramatic effect for a few seconds before doing anything.
  • These drones have the worst attack plan: walk slowly towards them.
  • So the first film ended with Iron Man vs someone who made his own Iron Man-like suit. And the second film ends with Iron Man battling someone who made his own Iron Man-like suit. See, this is why people like Loki so much, because he’s different.
  • Whip it. Whip it good.
  • So he set up not only a really obvious red light telling them they’re going to explode, but also a like 30 second timer? This is what is known as “bond villainy”, as in; works in film but is really really stupid.
  • Avengers reference. Subtle.
  • Post credits scene sets up Thor. Random note: this was actually directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Ranking The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films (so far)

So yeah, Captain America: Civil War is out in 14 days. There’s 12 films, you know what that means? Yup, it’s time for the as-yet-untitled Marvel Version of my hugely unsuccessful Nightmare A Day series. What, you don’t remember that? Don’t worry, shall all be explained tomorrow. But until then, I still have to blog today, so what will today’s be? Simple, this will be my last normal blog until Civil War is released, so is really my last chance to do this and make it relevant. So here goes, all opinions are my own, but if you disagree you are wrong.

12. Thor: The Dark World

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I saw this film at the cinema and yet can barely remember anything about it. The trouble was that it’s kinda dull and doesn’t fit in with the rest. Plus by this point it was obvious that the character of Thor isn’t as interesting as his own villain. Loki dominates this film, just as he did the previous film, only this time it’s a lot more clunky in terms of why he’s there. It also completely wastes Christopher Ecclestone. The first film to really be skippable.

11. The Incredible Hulk

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A film that only ranks so low because it doesn’t really mesh with the others. The only thing tying this into to the rest is the cameo of Tony Stark. If it wasn’t for that, (and if it was released first instead of second) then they could just ignore it and pretend it never happened, like the world does with Godfather III.

10. Thor

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Yeah, maybe my personal bias is showing, I don’t like Thor. Mainly because the rest of the MCU tries really hard to be realistic and scientific, and then suddenly this guy shows up and smashes that to pieces. Also I feel his character just displays wasted opportunities. They have a character who is a God, they could do films based on how the world reacts to this, how does religion react to the existence of A God, but not Their God? None of this is shown, at all. Oh, and Natalie Portman’s character has all the background and charisma of a see through piece of tissue paper. Oh, and they wasted Idris Elba. Plus, Thor basically tried to kill Captain America in Avengers movie. Yes, the shield stopped him from being smashed with a hammer, but Thor didn’t know that would happen! From his perspective he just jumped at someone and tried to smash their face in with an unbeatable weapon. That would be like me launching nuclear weapons at a school but it turns out it’s okay as Fuzzy Felt stops explosions (it doesn’t by the way, I can 100% confirm this, sorry Nagasaki).

9. Avengers: Age Of Ultron. 

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This film highlighted a problem with a lot of modern super hero movies: pointless fight scenes and action sequences. Not just that, but poorly made action sequences too. There’s so many moments in this where action sequences just happen for no reason other than the studio thought “Action sequence goes here!”. Which is a shame as other than those it’s actually an okay story. I mean, the trailer did that annoying thing where it showed an awful thing that turned out to be a dream sequence. If it wasn’t for those two things it would be rated much higher (probably top five).

8. Iron Man 2

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Mickey Rourke is good in this, as is Downey Jr. But that’s kind of the biggest problem too. It’s so heavily dependent on performance, that it forgets to carve a good enough story. The villain is too similar to the first one (although don’t get me wrong he is better). The scene where Tony Stark is called into congress to explain himself is fantastic and says a lot about the nature of heroes, but then it just dissolves into casual action fare. Plus it’s hard to imagine THIS Tony Stark being the same one who (maybe, if they go close to the source material) advocates government registration of superheroes.

7. Iron Man

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Ok now we’re getting into awesome stuff. This is the film that launched not only the MCU, but superhero movies being fun again. After Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy it looked like all future superhero movies would just be fifty shades of grey and dark blues (and just as painful as that sounds). A great origin story, brilliantly directed by Jon Favreau, and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. was a master stroke. It was a risky decision but one that paid off.

6. Ant-Man

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Very, very fun. Paul Rudd is very funny. Yes, it would have been better if Edgar Wright stayed on but still. I saw this soon after Age Of Ultron, and the action set pieces in this were a lot better, featuring the best use of Thomas The Tank Engine I’ve ever seen in film.

5. Iron Man 3

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F*ck you I liked it. I know a lot of people don’t, and I understand why. But this was the first time the series tricked me. I’m a pretentious film student so I recognise plot twists early, but this one genuinely came out of left field, but in a way that made sense, it wasn’t one of those “and the killer turned out to be the goldfish all along!”. Yes, it still sucks that Iron Man films have had the worst villains so far but meh. This one also should be commended for actually showing character growth, Tony Stark is haunted by the actions of the Avengers movie, he’s basically suffering PTSD, sadly this was pretty much forgotten about by Age Of Ultron, very disappointing.

4. Avengers Assemble

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I rate this higher than the second one only because the action sequences aren’t as long, and at the time it was new. Plus it resurrected The Hulk as a character after two previous attempts to make a live action film about the character. This film established Loki as THE best villain in the Marvel Universe, which counts both for and against it. For because in this film he’s a charismatic, logical villain. Against because they can never hope to do that again.

3. Captain America: The First Avenger

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Yes, other films have been better, but this was the moment where the series grew from “action fare” to “cinematic genius”. The first (and best) use of cinematic emotion in the series. Usually when people say “Superhero movies are grown up and mature” they show things like Deadpool etc, things which are “adult”, but not “mature” (and yes, there is a difference). This would be a better option, exploring themes of identity, loss, and the commercialisation of war heroes to raise money instead of winning the war. The casting of Tommy Lee Jones in it added authenticity to the film, oh, and Hayley Atwell is superb. This is the first time they went beyond the “superhero saves world” story and focused on the hero themselves, a truly touching tale that was a worthy introduction to the character.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Probably the best example of a comic book movie transcending the genre. This film is almost like a cold-war era spy movie. Has the best plot of any of the films, fantastic characterisation, and is just all round brilliant. Amazing but not too comical, this film is not “look at this ooooo moment”, it’s not spectacle, but it is spectacular.

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy

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A part of this is because everybody expected it to fail. When it was announced people were certain this would be the biggest flop in Marvel history, more so than SuperLee, a superhero who fights crime with sarcasm and bitterness, which was invented by me, in my head, just now. But this film is amazing, it’s funny, smart and perfectly acted. It’s odd that Marvel has made better characters from a tree that only says three words than a lot of films manage with entire monologues. A space opera which is definitely the most fun film from all of them, and overall that’s what films should be: fun. It’s not the film with the best story, or the best acting, but it is definitely the one you’ll want to watch the most.