Captain America! Heck yeah!

Jenn and I went out on Wednesday night and saw Captain America, or as it’s properly known Captain America: The First Avenger.  What to say about this movie?  In short, it rocks!  A great, fun, summer blockbuster.

Captain America is the bastard love child of Indiana Jones and Iron Man, who was then adopted by The Rocketeer.  This is a very good thing.  We have the heart and patriotism that we always associate with the 1940’s World War II era, with a healthy dose of Marvel goodness.

Some might complain that this is just merely an ad for The Avengers movie coming next summer.  If this is true, then we need more ads like this.  Of course, I’m not sure how including Avengers material into the recent string of Marvel movies is a bad thing.  This is what all the fanboys (myself included) want.  If we got Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America movies with no mention of there ultimate fates coming together in The Avengers, it would be a shame.

It’s this aspect that has been lacking from comic book movies for such a long time.  In most comics from Marvel and DC, all these heroes live in the same world, a lot of the time, it’s even the same city.  They frequently show up in stories of other characters, either as small mentions or part of larger story arcs.  This is simply the latest part of Marvel creating there own unique film continuity and universe.

But, the Avengers isn’t until next year (and I didn’t see Thor yet) we are here to talk about Captain America.  Chris Evans is simply ideal casting of Steve Rogers.  He is believable as the tiny Steve in the beginning, with only a slight awkwardness in the effects, all in all it’s a solid effect and you can easily forget what the real Chris Evans looks like and get lost in the story.

On the flip side, Hugo Weaving is the slimy Nazi antithesis of Captain America.  They have both been modified into what they are in the film.  However Rogers’s heart and humility is what seperates him from Red Skull’s lust for power and loss of humanity.

Since I’m a huge Star Wars fan, I saw some of the classic Hero’s Journey in the film.  Of course director Joe Johnston has a history with that galaxy far, far away as well.  Steve Rogers is the ultimate underdog who discovers that he has the opportunity to become The Hero.  Tommy Lee Jones is his drill sergeant Obi-Wan, training him in what it takes to be a soldier.  Which of course makes Red Skull the Darth Vader of the story, and I saw a very similar homage (maybe it was intentional, maybe it wasn’t, I want to think it was) to a classic scene from Empire Strikes Back, where we got a peak under the helmet of Darth Vader.

I could go on continuing to gush on the movie, scene by scene, but I’ve rambled on long enough.  Simply put, the movie is a solid hit in a summer of questionable blockbusters.

Of course, you will be humming this movie as you leave the film (after you made sure to stay after the credits) – NSFW lyrics

Harry Potter and the Nonexistent Review

My mom was in town last weekend.  We had a lot of fun, going around seeing some of the sites and just having a nice relaxing weekend.  On Saturday, the three of us decided to go see the final Harry Potter film.

My wife and I are huge Harry Potter fans.  We’ve both seen all the movies, and read all the books multiple times.  So, this is something we had been waiting a very long time for.

We all enjoyed the movie a lot, even my mom who is more of a casual fan of the series.  Even though, she didn’t quite know the full story, she was able to mostly jump in and enjoy the exciting conclusion to this epic saga.

However, I have noticed a problem when I was trying to build an overall review of the film in my head.  This is just something I do with everything.  For good or for bad, I’m always looking at things with a critical eye.  The problem with this film, is it is not a complete movie.

In your standard 3 act film story structure, this film begins near the end of Act 2 and the majority of the film is Act 3.  This film is all resolution with little to no setup.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is truly a 4 and a half hour film that has been chopped.  So, talking about this film by itself is literally like talking about a film where you came in late and missed the first half.

Of course, I’ve seen the first half and greatly enjoyed it.  I can’t wait to have both films on blu-ray where I can sit down and take in the full story.  But, I feel that you can’t really review Part 2 by itself, it needs to be judged in context with Part 1.

So, this is not my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  That review will never truly exist, because I really want to look at this as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Not Part 1 and Part 2.

The Harry Potter films are among the best adaptations of books to film out there.  In any adaptation, changes are required.  Some things that work in a novel, just don’t work on the screen.  I know people always complain about any changes, I have done plenty of this.  However, with these films, I think that the vast majority of changes have been positive and have served to make the overall story better.  Deathly Hallows is among the most faithful of the series, part of the reason why it is so long.  But, the film never seemed to drag, lose focus or get caught in the minutiae.

It’s sad to see the story come to a close, but I’m very happy with the conclusion.  I hope that others will use this series as a blueprint for adapting other novels to films.