Movie Reviews

Over the past few days, we’ve seen a fair number of DVDs and one in theater movies, so here are my reviews:

Captain America:  

It’s still basically a lead-in for the upcoming Avengers movie, but it is a lot better than Thor.

That’s because whole Thor was about the character’s back-story, Captain America is about his story.

Captain America has what the oldest story of any of the Avengers, beginning in 1941, and it ran for nearly 10 years before being folded in the early 1950s.

The Nazis, the Red Skull, etc.  are all a part of the original story arc.

What this means is that we have a real story here, as opposed to Thor‘s, “How did this Asgardean get to earth?” tale.

It also helps that Chris Evans gives a very down to earth performance as Steve Rogers.  He sells it when he says, “I’m just a kid from Brooklyn.”

Iron Man and Iron Man 2:

The best part of both Iron Mans is the performance of Robert Downey, Jr.

He’s fun to watch, and he is believable as a dissolute character who eventually finds redemption.  (Unsurprising)

One little detail that I loved is from the 2nd movie, when he is going through his father’s notes on a power supply, and we see a sketch of a representation of a 3D shadow of a tesseract.

The 4-dimensional hypercube figures prominently in the technology used by the Red Skull in the Captain America movie, and the (not entirely clear) fate of the Red Skull in that movie points back to the interdimensional “bridge” used in Thor.

It’s something you pick up on DVD or PPV, but might miss in the theater.

One thing that I have noted in all of the super-hero movies is that the villains tend to seize whatever scene they are in, and they have many of the best lines, the Red Skull’s, “Not a scratch” is prize.

That being said, Micky Rourkes Ivan Vanko/Whiplash is kind of flat, and I found Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2 to be far more engaging and funny, as is Gary Shandling’s appearance as a self serving and fatuous Senator.

As to Scarlett Johansson’s introduction as Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow, it’s Scarlett Johansson in a cat suit. What more do you need?

The Adventures of Tintin:

This movie is fairly true to the original comic book/graphic novel serials, and it was a rollicking good time, with a clear sequel in the works, which is also very much in the spirit of the original.

It’s light and fluffy fare, and relishes that fact, which makes it a pleasant diversion.  It’s a well acted adventure fantasy.

I’m not entirely sure why they went with CGI based on motion capture, rather than live action, except for the fact that it allowed them to create the rather caricature like faces of some of the main characters to better match those of the original Hergé comics.

We all saw the film in 3-D, and the technology is much improved over the last 3-D film that I saw in theaters, 1983’s Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn.  Once the glasses were on, it just worked, even though I wear glasses myself.

It worked better, and was less obtrusive, at least when the director wasn’t intent on showing it off.

One interesting note here about our theater experience, was that there was something near half an hour of coming attractions, largely also in 3-D, which I rather enjoyed.

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