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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Movie Review - CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, 9.2 Stars! Spoiler Protected, $300M Opening!


Yes, the hype is real. Get out and see CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and see it on the largest 3D screen possible. The story alone is worth the price of admission and it's not your typical superhero one trick pony. It's rare that a story like this makes it's way on the screen in this genre, but MAN, I'm hoping for more.

3D is playing a huge role with this Cap release. 40% of all screenings were in 3D and the box office showed it with $96.2 million from the US and Canada this weekend. And the all important overseas markets delivered on all cylinders too with a blammo $207 million! Cap 2 is April's largest opening EVER.

I love how CATWS philosophy is political but still with tons of action. Marvel is definitely on to something by building each standalone movie with a different tone. For example GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY will have much more humor built into it than the other Marvel franchise movies - it's brilliant.

I have two sore points that I have to get out of the way first and then on to focusing on the brilliance of this movie. Note that I have typed out the spoilers in white text below, so you will have to simply highlight those areas to read them if you have already seen the movie.

WARNING SPOILERS BELOW THIS LINE:
What bothered me about this movie and it's not even addressed - which really gets under my skin, is that this is a MAJOR, MAJOR attack on S.H.E.I.L.D. and the world at large - huge in scale and in fact does warrant all the Avengers assembling once again!! This is not a Cap only adventure we're talking about. Nick Fury was considered DEAD. One second from Hydra domination. Where on earth was Tony Stark? The Hulk? Hawkeye? I can understand Thor being hard to get a hold of, but even he would monitor something like this! All we get is Cap and Black Widow. Look, all I'm asking for is an explanation. Remind us that all of Stark's suits are gone. That Bruce Banner is perhaps hiding again. That Hawkeye has residual brain issues from being tapped in THE AVENGERS. :-) C'mon.

Secondly is the loss of suspension of disbelief when Hydra shows up in a super old computer system. I call BS on that one. And anyone in information technology would too - which happens to make up a LOT of this movie's target audience. A sentient computer? I don't care who is in it. Sentient? That won't happen for another 25-25 years! Moving on...

END OF SPOILERS

Here's the storyline for the movie:
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.

So yes, the story was amazing - worth a 94% for their efforts.
A treat. Acting was up to standard and because of the talent involved (Redford et al) I gave it a 92% delivery. Character development wasn't as strong (88%) as the original Cap movie, but it didn't need to be as his origins had already been done. Loved what they did with the Winter Soldier. I had some trouble with suspension of disbelief (84%) as I have outlined in the spoiler section - therefore can't go into details. Suffice to say it wasn't an overly jarring experience, but noteworthy.

The Russos did an amazing job directing the movie (93%) and apparently they are approached for the next Cap as well. Good! The sound and score (91%) are what I expect from a Marvel production - amazing! Cinematography was better than average (92%) with the cityscapes playing interesting roles in the movie. The visual effects were marvel standard as well - meaning, WOW (97%). Very well done.

Finally the 3D was a little less than what I anticipated, but still clearly top notch and well worth seeing in 3D. I think that unless my 3D score is down around 70% - you need to see any superhero genre movie in 3D. It really delivers what the directors and writers want to you. The movie was definitely planned in 3D and deftly delivered in a post production 3D effort from Stereo D. One shot in particular I loved and that's a shot of Steve Rogers talking and the city background is all out of focus - a beautiful depth of field shot and with the 3D applied was almost like art. Stunning shot. It's the little things like that. Go see this movie!

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is now playing in 3D, IMAX 3D and flat.

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Jim Dorey
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