This ties into my reading challenge again where I have to read books based off of specific prompts. The Night Tiger fit a couple of them, published in 2019 and an Author from South America, Central America, or Asia. I was also curious because it […]
The Granddaddy of roll and write games is taking on a new class as we have a fatal four-way between these games that use a similar mechanic, but are all really different. Will the old challenger be able to hold off the young guns trying […]
I would expect me to put out more on this later, but Kristen and I are starting to watch through the Marvel Cinematic Universe again, and we’re doing so in chronological order, as it is in the films. So Captain America: First Avenger takes place during World War II and is the spot to start, oddly enough, followed by one of the most recent films Captain Marvel, which we’ll probably watch this weekend.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a lot of these films, and Captain America: First Avenger has been quite a while as well. So how did it stack up against what I had remembered and where it was in my MCU Movie Rankings that I did after Endgame came out. Obviously, I need to rewatch everything again to see if anything else is going to shift around, but the quick summary is that I enjoyed watching Captain America: First Avenger again. I don’t think it’s without it’s flaws and compared to the origins of Iron Man and Thor, I think that it’s weaker. There will be spoilers, but this movie has been out for a long time.
I think that this movie starts off strong. I like the story of Steve Rogers and how he becomes Captain America. The whole time he’s applying for army, you feel for him, and you get a good idea of how loyal he is and how strong his convictions are. And then getting stuck encouraging people to buy bonds feels like something that would legitimately happen. I think the only part of the story to that point that feels a bit odd is the Hydra Agent blowing up everything, mainly I feel like that part of the opening of the movie was a bit rushed. Beyond that though, up through rescuing Bucky and the others is great. Unfortunately the movie starts to fall apart for me there.
What really makes it feel off is the montage sequence. If you don’t remember, it’s a sequence where Captain America and the Howling Commandos, that’s what the group run by Dum Dum Dugan is called, are just running around and punching Hydra Agents again and again. For a montage sequence to work well, you need to feel like the character is progressing towards a goal or learning something, and in this case, the montage doesn’t really provide that. You’re supposed to be getting the idea that they are cornering the Red Skull, but it doesn’t feel that way. It’s just punching some anonymous bad guys and cheering because Captain America is a hero who is beating up the bad guys. This could be a bit of nod to the fact that he punched an anonymous Hitler over and over again with the War Bond shows he was putting on, but it didn’t feel that way, it just felt like rah rah hero fighting without any purpose to it.
That’s where it starts to come apart for me, and then it continues with the actual getting to the Red Skull. Again too much punching of anonymous bad guys. Then getting captured and then getting rescued. I think the issue I have is less about that, but instead because you don’t feel like by the end of the montage that the Red Skull is much of a threat at all. I mean, we all knew that Captain America was going to win anyways, but they had done a decent job building Red Skull early in the movie, but at the end, you feel almost like he’s just another anonymous bad guy for Captain America to beat up.
Now, all of this seems like a lot of a knock on the movie. And I do think it makes it one of the weaker movies, but it’s easy to pick out what you don’t like in the film. I do want to go back and talk some things that I really want to point out how good they are. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter works so well, and you feel like she has feelings for Steve Rogers, more so after he’s Captain America and not tiny and scrawny, but she clearly respected him and liked his attitude better than any of the other large guys who they were training, and she liked the fact that his personality didn’t change. Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones were also good in their roles. I wish we could have had more time with Tucci on the screen, but when he was on the screen he was great. It makes sense why his character died and it was needed. Finally, Howard Stark, played by Dominic Cooper is really enjoyable. You feel like the confidence that he exudes and his cockiness and you can see why Tony Stark would end up the way he did based off of Howard’s portrayal.
And I realize that I forgot one, Toby Jones as Dr. Arnim Zola, I don’t think I had realized how well he played his character. I wonder if they were planning that he’d infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. from the beginning or not, but if they did, he played that out well on screen and you can see some of his quirks that I hadn’t paid that much attention to before. In particular, I like how you can see into his mind with how he has no qualms about building weapons for people to kill people with, but he doesn’t want to see them used. His character feels like he’s, in some ways, as much in control as Red Skull is, which in some ways plays out in a future movie, but I’ll save that for that review. Toby Jones just does a great job of playing that brilliant and almost scared character.
Finally, I think that the CGI and special effects hold up well in this film. I was a little bit surprised considering how much they’ve advanced or seemed to advance in the past few years. But Captain America still looks good, and putting Chris Evans head on the scrawny body works. It didn’t feel uncanny and it didn’t look like it was poor CGI. I had thought that it might not hold up with the Red Skull or something like that, but I feel like, and this was obviously when Marvel was still ramping up, it did a good job for what had to have been a pretty small budget.
So, like I said, I don’t know that this movie is going to move up. As much as I remembered how well I liked the first half of the film, the second half falls apart some for me. And I think, like we’ll see with Thor soon, Chris Evans has to grow into the role of Captain America. I also wish, with the future films, they had done a call back to something that Dr. Erskine (Stanley Tucci’s character) had said, about how the super soldier serum doesn’t just make you bigger and stronger, but it makes you more of who you were before. And I think that’s something that they could have leaned into a whole lot more, especially with Captain America: Civil War. I also think that if we were to get this film now, the film would be stronger, because they know what they are doing better, but also because they wouldn’t be as worried about leaning into a 1940’s aesthetic and tropes, which I feel like they did once in a while, but generally felt a bit out of place when they did.
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Back again last night with another game of Pandemic Legacy. How did it go this time? And what is happening in the world that is probably going to cause me to lose? Pandemic Legacy is a Legacy game where you destroy components, add in new […]
Let’s take you back in time to when it was a Friday, last Friday in fact, and I wrote an article about what X-Men I wanted to see show up in the MCU first. I didn’t want to see the normal cast of characters, but instead, I came up with my own team.
When creating that team, I’ll get to who they are again shortly, I wanted to go in a different direction. Instead of having the “boy scout” team, I went with what could be considered a team with more questionable characters. I’ll get into their stories below before I cast them. But having a team that is trouble in space, like the Guardians of the Galaxy, where they are heroes, but they aren’t that reputable is one thing, but then putting a similar team together on Earth, that’s another thing. And them having a rough relationship with the law and a poor view of them will give credence why the rest of the X-Men are in hiding.
Let’s meet the characters:
Gambit – He has the ability to charge objects with energy so that they do more damage. He’s known for throwing around playing cards to do that. But what people don’t know is that he was part of the LeBeau Family Thieve’s Guild after he was kidnapped from a hospital at birth and then raised by them. So he’s got a nice shady background.
Rogue – Growing up on a commune in Mississippi, Rogue had two loving parents until her mother disappeared. Then her “aunt” raised her, but it was very strict. When she was a teen a boy she liked kissed her, and her powers kicked in. Because of that she ran away. Rogue’s powers include stealing super powers from someone, sapping that person’s energy, and erasing memories. After leaving the boy in a coma, she ran away from the commune.
Nightcrawler – Nightcrawler has teleportation powers, but that’s not what you’ll notice about him, it will be his odd look. His tail and slightly demonic look because he is half demon. He’s the happy-go-lucky member of the party. But he’s still shunned from society for how he looks.
Bishop – From the future, Bishop grew up in a mutant camp after humans used Sentinel robots to round up all the mutants. This was after he moved to the United States from Australia when Australia was destroyed in a nuclear attack. He has powers that allow him to absorb energy and redirect back out. He also has super human strength and the ability to know where he is at all times, which is useful being from the future.
Siryn – She, like her father, Banshee, has the power of a super sonic scream. She has more abilities as well, but I think that’s the one that they’d focus on instead of giving her full and large suite of abilities. In common super hero fashion, her mother died while her father was away on a mission and she lived with her uncle. This happened in child birth, so before Banshee knew she was still alive, he hurts her uncle and he vows revenge on Banshee bringing Siryn into a life of crime.
You can kind of see where I’m going with this. I think this is a team of characters who would do the right thing, but wouldn’t always go about doing it the right way. It’s also kind of a duplicate of what we had in my last article, but more details, so sorry for repeating myself, and I am guessing that I have some of the backstory of the characters wrong, but the motivation for them would stay the same.
So let’s get down to casting:
Gambit – Gaspard Ulliel
Who, you might ask, and I think is fair. But this French actor would be able to give Gambit the classic accent. He probably is best known for playing Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising. But I think it would make sense to take a lesser known actor and put it in the roll.
Rogue – Aly Michalka
I know her as Peyton from iZombie. And while she plays a very sweet character in that show, you do get to see her tough side. I think that’s one of the things with Rogue, she’s had struggles in life but she’s generally a sweet character.
Nightcralwer – Max Mauff
I don’t know a ton about him as an actor, so I’m borrowing some of these things from other people or using ideas from others and my own, but he has the look to play Nightcrawler, and yes, by that I mean he comes with his own tail. Okay, not that, but from his work and his look, he would fit Nightcrawler well.
Bishop – Ray Fisher
He played Cyborg in the Justice League movie, but don’t hold that against him. I think that with now being cast in True Detective, I’d trust his acting chops a bit more. Fisher is someone who people won’t recognize for playing Cyborg, so that would help him find his good super hero role.
Siryn – Saoirse Ronan
The big name of the crew, and the least known character. I’m not sure if she’d want to join the super hero world, but she’s definitely got Irish background, like Siryn is supposed to as well. I think she’d be a good foil for a film as well where Siryn might be the reason for pulling whatever job it is, and unlike some actors, she’ll be able to pull off a strong character while being a foil for the story as well.
So that is who I would cast, now obviously there are a whole lot more to look at in the long run as well. You’d bring in Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Strom, Beast, etc. at some point in time. But I think that you’d want to introduce them in a big way, showing up in some big face off event to help the New Avengers or something like that.
What do you think of my casting, would you want to watch a movie with that cast? What sort of plot would you come up with for that X-Men team?
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Final topic for things to think about with a party. We’re going to try and figure out what alignments you should have in your adventuring party. Probably a trickier subject because some people really don’t want an evil character with their good character, or they […]
Back again last night with another game of Pandemic Legacy. How did it go this time? And what is happening in the world that is probably going to cause me to lose?
Pandemic Legacy is a Legacy game where you destroy components, add in new rules, and generally change up the board so that each person’s play through is unique. While all of that is going on, you’re still trying to cure a number of diseases so that the world isn’t wiped out. You can find more information on Board Game Geek.
Yesterday’s malt was from Odell Brewing Co. It’s my personal favorite beer, the nice and hoppy and summery beer Saint Lupulin, and Extra Pale Ale.