Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
May 16, 2014 1:29 PM - Subscribe

Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

I didn't love the first Captain America, but this one was way better. A great story, tons of characters with interesting stories themselves, and overall some great world-building that I bet we'll see show up in future sequels.
posted by mathowie (92 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I described it to my dad as "a Tom Clancy movie except with Steve Rogers substituted for Jack Ryan". I enjoyed it a lot, though. And Chris Evans really makes Captain America work amazingly well; it's a tough job to cover all three of the bases of Everyday Guy, Badass Action Hero, and Patriotic Ideal, and yet still make him seem believable.

And I respect the heck out of them for doing a really amazing job with tying such a major plot twist in with a TV show. When I think about the sheer number of people that must be involved in making Agents of SHIELD, and the sheer number of people and factors involved in making this movie, and not just the level of secrecy but also getting the timing of the two things to match up so closely - the sheer logistics of it all just boggles my mind. Even if the movie had sucked I would still give them a ton of credit for even attempting something so ambitious.

And I would've loved to see a Black Widow movie already, but now that she's released all the files on herself to the public, I would even more love to see a movie about her that deals with the fallout from that. (I would also listen to like another hour of her just trying to set up Cap with various dates and him shutting her down.)
posted by mstokes650 at 2:08 PM on May 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


I do wish they'd pulled back on that secrecy a little, at least on Agents of SHIELD. One issue with the HYDRA twist is that we've seen so many hours of SHIELD activity in the MCU before this that if the conspiracy really has been in place for decades, as we're supposed to believe that it was, there should have been some hint of evil within the agency by now. Especially since the HYDRA we see in the movie is not what I'd call a hundred percent subtle.

Agents eventually did give us a HYDRA high-up as a seasonal villain, but with very little foreshadowing about it, if any. That contributes to the big reveal in the movie feeling like it had been made up on the spot, which is all the more frustrating because it would have been so easy to seed.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:17 PM on May 16, 2014


I enjoyed it quite a bit. The first one was okay, but I found Cap battling for his soul in a modern spy state more compelling than Yet Another Origin combined with a decent WW2 movie. Robert Redford was a delight, and this is the best use they've made of both Sam Jackson and Scarlett Johansson.

I found the use of Fury's blind eye as a kind of super secret double extra override on the SHIELD computers kind of (pardon) eye-roll inducing though. The rest worked for me just fine.

hail hydra
posted by sparkletone at 2:22 PM on May 16, 2014


I love that this is a big action movie that is A) a huge anti-drone screed B) gives Natasha half the screentime and all the best lines C) All about Steve's big sad face.

Also Natasha's little arrow necklace led to me writing this

(I totally wore my SSR t-shirt to the theatre)
posted by The Whelk at 2:42 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Agents eventually did give us a HYDRA high-up as a seasonal villain, but with very little foreshadowing about it, if any.

If you re-watch the old episodes, there actually is some foreshadowing. IMO it's clever because stuff that seemed innocuous or non-sequiturious at the time suddenly takes on a sinister tone in hindsight.

But since the big Hydra reveal on AoS happens *after* the events of CA:TWS, we should probably move any further discussion of that over to the Agents of SHIELD thread.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:49 PM on May 16, 2014


One bit of AoS foreshadowing for CA:TWS that doesn't spoil the post-CA:TWS big reveal are the very first lines of the very first episode:
The secret is out. For decades your organization stayed in the shadows.

Hiding the truth. But now we know...they're among us.
While Skye was referring to SHIELD and superheroes in her opening monologue, I don't think it's a coincidence that her words could also apply to Hydra hiding and growing within SHIELD.
posted by Jacqueline at 2:57 PM on May 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


Also Natasha's little arrow necklace led to me writing this

Dammit Whelk I'm going to have Deep Blue Something stuck in my head for days
posted by mstokes650 at 3:09 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's a coincidence that her words could also apply to Hydra hiding and growing within SHIELD.

Anything that only works as a cute nod in hindsight doesn't really fill the void of setup, though. With how little time it took Cap 2 to show that there were bad guys within SHIELD, it doesn't make sense to me why they'd choose to lock down that element of it so tightly.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:18 PM on May 16, 2014


(To be clear, my ideal Agents of SHIELD/Cap 2 synergy would have Coulson's team actively, consciously investigating traitors within the agency from...well, probably not Day One, but Day Three. Five, tops.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 3:21 PM on May 16, 2014


I really liked the part where we learned that Nick Fury wasn't actually dead, because that would have totally sucked.
posted by pwally at 3:24 PM on May 16, 2014


When the agent took the helmet off and was revealed to be Maria Hill I made a completely unconscious squealing noise. ( also when Steve demonstrated his working French language skills.)!
posted by The Whelk at 3:36 PM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


I was so disappointed when surprise! violence! Jenny Agutter turned out to be the Black Widow in a latex mask.

That moment would have been really interesting without the reveal. And it's not at all implausible that a member of the World Security Council might have some field skills, might be underestimated by her colleagues, and might choose that moment to whip them out.
posted by misfish at 5:23 PM on May 16, 2014 [33 favorites]


I too was disappointed it wasn't just an awesome world security council lady kicking ass and taking a stand.
posted by The Whelk at 5:37 PM on May 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


Loved it. I've been holding myself back from going to see it again.
posted by double bubble at 5:42 PM on May 16, 2014


I just want to say I loved--LOVED--the Winter Soldier arc in Brubaker's run on Cap, and I always said I'd be happy if they just gave me the "Who the hell is Bucky" scene, and they did and it was wonderful and this movie gave me so many Bucky feels and made me finally really get how to communicate on tumblr, because it reduced me to flailing and using words like 'feels'.

I also really loved how they introduced Sam/Falcon. Everyone in the cast is just so damned charming.

(And I'm hoping against hope that Natasha's 'birthdate' was a fabrication. I needs my WS/BW long-ass backstory.)
posted by lovecrafty at 5:47 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


To be clear, loved the movie. Totally agree about the councilwoman. For a second I thought they'd done something really brave with that scene.

I loved loved loved the set for the old underground computer room. Total nostalgia porn. Sleek and crusty all at the same time.
posted by double bubble at 5:47 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


A friend remarked that watching Captain America assumed you knew a lot about news in the current nerd zeitgeist. I noticed pretty much every trendy newsworthy thing in it. There was lots of talk about drones, there were driverless cars, you saw basic parkour as people ran around a city, some of the camera angles of action mimicked what you'd see from GoPro cameras, there was a lot of NSA-type agency bashing as well as a sort of Wikileaks and Black Widow acting like Edward Snowden. Pretty hip references throughout.
posted by mathowie at 5:48 PM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Question: in the AoS tie in ep, May and Coulson use the secret phone to call Fury but someone else picks up...I swear it is Redford's voice that says hello. Wishful thinking?
posted by double bubble at 5:51 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I do wish there was just a little more of Cap imploring people to use thier moral agency cause it's totally fitting with the idea of himself as a living symbol that decency and clarity are achievable by everyday people. Not just all singing, all dancing comic book characters.
posted by The Whelk at 6:36 PM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also I have was a conversation about popular media depictions of wikileaks/snowden stories and how they tend to be pretty positive but always with N out that allows the audience to be on the "right" side without having to indict the everyday business of country-running. You know it's not anyone we like doing it! It's a cabal of NAZI SCIENTIST ROBITS or something.
posted by The Whelk at 6:40 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


To be clear, my ideal Agents of SHIELD/Cap 2 synergy would have Coulson's team actively, consciously investigating traitors within the agency from...well, probably not Day One, but Day Three. Five, tops.

But remember, HYDRA's plan in the movie isn't about open rebellion or obvious "treachery," it's complicity. Their winning move for decades was about justifying mission-creep within SHIELD until it became Big Brother. Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) spells it out when he tells Fury that *Fury* and his willingness to do "whatever it takes"were what inspired him to set up Project: Insight.

The movie is clever, I think, in that its apparent cop-out doesn't really let Fury, Coulson, and the others off the hook. It rather flips the security-state politics of earlier Marvel productions on their head, by showing us that all those illegal detentions, all those attempts at extrajudicial killing, and the general tendency for SHIELD to reserve for itself all the amazing tech like the Tesseract and so forth were serving HYDRA's agenda all along.

Coulson and his team can't hunt for traitors, because until they get slapped upside the head with the whole "they're actual Nazis following a actual Nazi plan" thing, the HYDRA agenda is just their agenda taken to its logical extreme. Even the World Security Council, who the movie clearly shows are not HYDRA, were willing to nuke NYC and call it collateral damage in The Avengers; HYDRA's only mistake was trying to carry out the worldwide mass murder stage in one fell swoop. This is why Cap won't let Fury try to "save" or "rebuild" SHIELD; even its "good" agents are ultimately pretty complicit in HYDRA's agenda.

The movie's real cop out is in making the active HYDRA guys, excepting Pierce, so obviously, gleefully sadistic. We needed to see a few more "true believer" types besides Redford's character, but I imagine Marvel wanted to redraw a bright line after all the blurring, hence the emphasis in the film and in AoS on the really psychopathic HYDRA types.
posted by kewb at 6:41 PM on May 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


Yeah with the exception of Pierce, they're all just canon fodder. I would've liked some NOT ALL HYDRA or something.
posted by The Whelk at 6:44 PM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Also I have was a conversation about popular media depictions of wikileaks/snowden stories and how they tend to be pretty positive but always with N out that allows the audience to be on the "right" side without having to indict the everyday business of country-running.

The opening paragraphs of the first chapter of Slavoj Zizek's In Defense of Lost Causes has a really interesting take on the idea that the true ethos of the "realistic" subset of the espionage genre is to pretend to consider the moral complexity of realpolitik methods, but ultimately and always to treat them as "tough, but necessary" choices to maintain "the everyday business of country-running." Basically, such stuff pretends to raise the question or morality specifically in order to quiet such questioning.
posted by kewb at 6:45 PM on May 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


I just gotta say, I love the marvel response to DC's loveletter to the NSA that was Batman 3
posted by rebent at 7:00 PM on May 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


Right when the movie came out, the internet spent a day or so forwarding around screen shots of Steve's notebook, the one where he writes down all of the cultural stuff that people keep telling him he has to see/hear. What I found funny, once I'd seen the movie myself, is that nobody commented on what a great use they put the device to.

By having the Falcon insist, at the beginning of the movie, that Cap really has to listen to the "Troubleman" soundtrack, the writers created the pretense necessary to have that song playing over the montage of events surrounding Steve's time in the hospital. And it was pretty much the perfect song for that moment...moody, complex, tough.

The thing is, without the set up in the first scene, the song choice, perfect as it was, would have just read as...odd, too much out of the sky blue sky. But with the foreshadowing, you can just roll with it and agree that, yeah, Cap absolutely needs to hear Marvin Gaye. Captain America needs to know all about Marvin Gaye.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:20 PM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Tumblr and Winter Soldier now have me utterly convinced that this whole patriotic ideal thing means that bisexual possibly-sorta-poly Captain America is actually a thing that makes total sense with modern virtues of equality and acceptance and all, and I spent a lot of the movie pretty much sobbing my eyes out alternately over Bucky and Peggy and then things exploded and I really can't ask for much more in a movie than something that can provide both feels and explosions.
posted by Sequence at 8:47 PM on May 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


The South Korean version of the notebook scene has Steve Rogers learning about DDR and Oldboy, though. That's something I need to see like burning.

I liked it. I liked it enough that I went on a binge of analysis and looking at screencaps and reading everyone else's opinions on it to the point where I no longer know whose ideas were mine and whose I stole from someone else. Hellotailor's thoughts are probably my favorite thoughts, though.

The number of supporting characters originally had me worried about how they were going to handle each one, but it turned out much better than I feared. Natasha and Sam especially, but I don't have any issue with how Sharon played out, and Sebastian Stan got a lot through, considering he had, like, five lines and the majority of his face covered through a good part of his screentime.

I too was disappointed that the WSC lady wasn't a secret badass.

The Nick Fury scene where he gets stopped and he just sneers 'do you need to see my lease' was great - there was a definite audience response to that line in the theater I was in, too.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:58 PM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was wondering how sad they where going to make the Peggy scene and then IT WAS AS SAD AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.

Also I called what albums Steve would have in his apartment like a year ago. When I heard it in the movie I thought I was having a seizure.

(and I agree with mightgodking that this felt like the first Marvel movie where it was about something other than the personal needs of the main superbro, and Natasha isn't supporting, she's the second lead by far. I cannot tell you how much I love Nat in this movie. She's such a good friend to Steve and in the end she throws away her life's work, all the secrets and lies and covert operations she's made bread and butter on cause she believes him and in him. The world's best spy goes for total transparency, cause Captain America is about realizing your best self and your best ideals, as a person and as a nation.)
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 PM on May 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


I really, really hope that they address what secrets of Natasha's have been revealed and that there's some personal fallout is addressed at length. Because, yes - that scene where Robert Redford (I believe) asked her if she wanted the world to see her as she truly was, and there's that little flinch.

Before that, there's some ambiguity - is she acting this way because this is who Steve wants her to act? She's so used to appearing to be what everyone around her expects her to be or wants her to be that it's hard to tell - even she says so. But there's a few moments that really do seem like she's genuine, and they all have to do with Shield - when Fury is shot, processing the aftermath in Sam's guest bedroom, and the scene when she decides to reveal the state secrets.

(I feel like there's more to be said about agency and authority in this film - at what point does a person lose responsibility for their own actions, but I don't have it in me to write it out now)

And the funniest thing is that the movie actually makes you believe that having Captain America in your life will make you do shit like voluntarily share your whole gory life story on the internet for the greater good - the whole idea that he makes everyone around him a better person somehow works.

ugh, feelings.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:28 PM on May 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


From the comics side of things: the winter soldier arc in Captain America is worth reading (Volume 5, 8-14), the Winter Soldier Title just sort of left me cold (and I hated the way they used Natasha in it), but the newest Black Widow series (Volume 5) is both very pretty and very satisfying if you need more Natasha being amazing and trying to right her previous misdeeds through espionage. Which of course you do.
posted by dinty_moore at 9:39 PM on May 16, 2014


i did kinda of break out depression and lose a shit ton of weight cause I watched the first Cap movie oh ten times in a row so I am not an unbiased source

I also own his uniform the officer one with the pins that are real movie props I'm so sorry not sorry>
posted by The Whelk at 9:40 PM on May 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


Well, I did not break out of depression or lose a shit ton of weight because of Captain America, and I still concur. I have this ongoing thing I keep harping on to people who do a lot of smiling and nodding about how this version of Captain America just so fundamentally believes in the value of other human beings. Steve isn't trying to work out whether your virtues outweigh your limitations, he just expects people to do what they're able to do and it's enough. Right now, she's one of the good guys, she's proved she's one of the good guys, so what do the dark secrets matter? If he's capable of not holding it against someone when that person is actively trying to kill him if he thinks they can't help it, he's not going to be losing respect for someone over old news.

If Captain America still thinks you're okay, first of all most people are probably going to follow his lead, and even if they don't, you have a solid foundation to just remind yourself that the people who don't like you are dumb and wrong.
posted by Sequence at 10:11 PM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


*under breath in difficult moments* staaaaalwart and steady and truuuuuuue
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 PM on May 16, 2014


it still fits
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 PM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


In the past few weeks I have continued to descend into a hideous feelings spiral about Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier and it is NOT GETTING BETTER. In fact, it is only getting worse. The Hello Tailor review was completely correct when it said:

"Bucky's role in this movie is the point where Marvel nerd and non-nerd audiences part ways. Going by the reactions I've seen from film critics and my non-fan friends, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was an entertaining superhero movie that probably should've had more dialogue and fewer action sequences. But if you go by Marvel/Captain America fandom, EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS FILM WAS AGONY AND LIFE IS A WORTHLESS HELLSCAPE UNTIL STEVE AND BUCKY CAN BE TOGETHER AGAIN."

Serious kudos to Sebastian Stan for making the absolute most of his, like, three lines, because that scene with Pierce and the Winter Soldier where he says "But I knew him," was complete, unrelenting agony. I thought the scene with Peggy was bad enough, but then "I knew him" happened and see above re hellscape. The movie did a brilliant job of showing the complete horror of what was done to Bucky Barnes with great economy. Hell, even two of the three lines Bucky got there did a lot of work: I knew him, not "he knew me." The Winter Soldier, who doesn't get to have an identity beyond "the asset," who is denied even a name, asserted his personhood and said "I knew him." And then Pierce said "wipe him," to take even that away.

So then I spent the rest of the movie and a significant portion of my time afterwards mentally wailing, "SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP BUCKY BARNES."
posted by yasaman at 11:45 PM on May 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


I cheered the moment I saw the camera above the TV screen. I hope there's a backup of Zola somewhere, whirring and waiting.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:18 AM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


What if Zola is becomes Ultron?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:39 AM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I loved this film, so much. In between the Avengers movie and this one coming out, I went from completely disinterested in comic-book movies apart from the ninety minutes of escapism they provide, to Finally Understanding Why Fandom, loving Marvel and mainlining Steve/Tony fanfic. (This can mostly be traced to the amazing American Captain webcomic. Thanks, MartinWisse.) Given all that, I was a bit trepidatious going into this movie, worried that it would be disappointing, and it totally was not.

Hello Tailor's blog posts, linked above, totally hit the nail on the head for me about everything I enjoyed about it, so I won't repeat too much from them. I do have a few lingering questions, though:

-- In all his years as a suspended-animation murderdoll for the Russians, why has nobody trimmed the poor Winter Soldier's hair? This must be some tragedy-of-the-commons thing where no one cares about communal equipment, right? :(

-- When Natasha and Steve seek refuge at Sam's house, she obviously finds a set of hair irons*, because her hair goes from wet and wavy to straight and severe. How does she know to ask Sam for them? Why does he need them, when he doesn't have any hair? What's the backstory here?

-- I liked Natasha trying to set Steve up with a date as much as anyone ... but why is she still doing it at the end of the film, in front of his new boyfriend? That's uncharacteristically insensitive of her.

*This is probably not the correct term, but you know what I mean, right?
posted by daisyk at 7:37 AM on May 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Oh, and I really liked what we saw of Steve's flat. On his big room divider/bookshelf, where someone else might have arranged some vases or objets d'art, he has a stack of clean glasses and a couple of plates. For some reason I found that a very telling detail.
posted by daisyk at 7:40 AM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I cheered the moment I saw the camera above the TV screen. I hope there's a backup of Zola somewhere, whirring and waiting.

God I hope so. Having him show up in his full computerized Nazi mad scientist glory only to deliver an infodump and then explode was such a tease.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:06 AM on May 17, 2014


When Natasha and Steve seek refuge at Sam's house, she obviously finds a set of hair irons*, because her hair goes from wet and wavy to straight and severe. How does she know to ask Sam for them? Why does he need them, when he doesn't have any hair? What's the backstory here?

You can straighten wavy hair with a blowdryer, it just takes a while.

While it seems unlikely that he'd have a flattening iron on hand, it's plausible that he'd keep a blowdryer around for dates to use in the morning (or maybe an ex left it there).
posted by Jacqueline at 8:15 AM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


i promise this isn't a derail-ish, but as a continued demonstration on the details that frustrate me about AoS was that it managed to deny the good of Natasha's infodump - through Skye's comment about how having this all out in the open is bad, and Coulson was right all along (re: her previous ties with Rising Tide).

OTOH, thematically, I felt AoS did actually seed the ground well enough to serve as harbinger for Hydra twist (now, I'm not saying they did it well) and Skye's about-turn could be explained by tht. A lot of the SHIELD's processes and work culture as portrayed in the show really worked to explain how Hydra could have managed to survive so long.

also yes i would like to join the Bucky Barnes prayer circle. I've been waiting for this moment since 2011.
posted by cendawanita at 8:58 AM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


When Natasha and Steve seek refuge at Sam's house, she obviously finds a set of hair irons*, because her hair goes from wet and wavy to straight and severe. How does she know to ask Sam for them? Why does he need them, when he doesn't have any hair? What's the backstory here?

As a curly-haired person, I maintain that hair in movies obeys entirely different rules to hair in the real world. This is most noticeable, of course, in the usual absence of what one might call "bed head" upon waking, especially for women. Given these alternate universes where hair obeys entirely different rules, it probably doesn't actually take her forty-five minutes with a flat iron to fix her hair.

(God I am so thankful for short hair now.)
posted by Sequence at 9:16 AM on May 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Am I alone in liking the first one better? That felt more like a complete movie to itself, this felt like another MCU/Avengers episode.
posted by octothorpe at 10:05 AM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Definitely not. The first one is my favorite MCU installment, and Winter Soldier is...uh, better than Iron Man 2. It's got pieces of a great superhero movie and of a really solid thriller, but the conflicting genres keep getting in each other's way, plus the issues with HYDRA coming out of nowhere (which is tied into it being an episode in a bigger story).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:18 AM on May 17, 2014


One of the more hilarious scenes I've seen in a recent movie: Senator Garry Shandling leans over and whipsers "Hail Hydra" into some dude's ear. Took me out of the movie even more than when Abed turned up for a minute.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:01 PM on May 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the info about straightening hair. I have such self-willed curly hair that I've never even tried it, though I probably should someday, for Science. :)
posted by daisyk at 12:34 PM on May 17, 2014


Senator Garry Shandling leans over and whipsers "Hail Hydra" into some dude's ear.

It's the same Senator that Tony Stark flips off in Iron Man 2.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:30 PM on May 17, 2014


I thought the elevator scene was superb and the assault on Fury's super-car was pretty good (although he totally should have said, "Well turn on the air conditioning, then!"), but that the last half kinda sunk into generic blockbuster climax territory.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:34 PM on May 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


All of the Marvel movies have this problem where they all turn into a 4th act huge action EXPOSION bit and literally everyone I talk to from 13 to 93 is "well that was fun but want more time with the character."

I'd love a Marvel movie that doesn't depend on a 4th act bang it up.
posted by The Whelk at 10:56 PM on May 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


I almost always like the first two-thirds more than the end. The end of Winter Soldier wasn't as bad as Man of Steel or Elysium but still pretty boring in comparison to the rest of the film.
posted by octothorpe at 5:32 AM on May 18, 2014


Empire Strikes Back gets flack sometimes for not being a complete. Yet Winter Soldier works both as a complete story and as a chapter in a larger story (IMO). Why?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 AM on May 18, 2014


%n: "I almost always like the first two-thirds more than the end. The end of Winter Soldier wasn't as bad as Man of Steel or Elysium but still pretty boring in comparison to the rest of the film."

I should have qualified that I meant that just about recent (post-millenia) action movies.
posted by octothorpe at 8:20 AM on May 18, 2014


I like the big action sequences, I also like all the character stuff. They could just make twice as many movies and we'd have twice as much of both!
posted by Sequence at 9:59 AM on May 18, 2014


I'm only kind of kidding when I say at this point I'd happily watch any of the major Marvel characters just wiling away an afternoon. Maybe getting into a fight with an office printer.
posted by The Whelk at 10:05 AM on May 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Maybe getting into a fight with an office printer.

Tony Stark would just create a new printer that can print, scan, copy, and take out a SWAT team. He would donate the old one to a community college.

Steve Rogers would carefully read the instructions and fix what was wrong with it.

Clint Barton would try to appeal to the printer - 'aww, printer, no', and then assure the printer it is pretty and useful and a good printer.

Natasha Romanov is only fighting with the office printer as a ruse so you'll underestimate her. She's already memorized all the information she is pretending to print out.

Thor electrocutes it. Midgardian technology is so primitive and frustrating.

Bruce Banner tries his best not to even think about how often printers malfunction. It's not good for his blood pressure.

Next: The characters do laundry!
posted by dinty_moore at 11:40 AM on May 18, 2014 [24 favorites]


(Nick Fury would stare the printer down, Sam Wilson does what Steve Rogers would do, just slower)
posted by dinty_moore at 11:43 AM on May 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


Midgardian technology is so primitive and frustrating.

And tiny.
posted by logicpunk at 2:54 PM on May 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Next: The characters do laundry!

The Winter Soldier stares at the unfamiliar machine; frustration, confusion and anger play across his face.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:04 PM on May 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


"I've seen something like this before ...but ....where?!"
posted by The Whelk at 3:17 PM on May 18, 2014


Okay, this seems to have become the thing I harp on about, so sorry for that, but I found another explanation for Natasha's hair straightening.

I also feel I should expand "loving Marvel" in my earlier comment to "becoming inconveniently emotionally attached to multiple characters from the Marvel stable, caring what Marvel does with them and anxiously hoping Marvel keeps fucking everything up less than DC is determined to do." But maybe that was implied?
posted by daisyk at 12:03 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Marvel's not perfect but I'm more comfortable with the values that they seem to be demonstrating lately than DC's. DC is basically making superhero movies with a certain political ethos, movies where the powerful are entitled to different rules for their behavior and are powerful somehow simultaneously because of inherent qualities that make them better than other people, and also because they do the things that ordinary people won't do, therefore entitling them to greater rewards. Marvel's ethos says that some people have powers that others don't have, but they also have flaws, and everybody has inherent value--everybody contributes and everybody wins. And so right now, Captain America and Superman came from such similar places, but Captain America is becoming beloved in a way that Superman no longer is.

Which is not to say that DC couldn't do better, I don't actually think the characters have to be written that way, but I don't currently trust them to do so. I think it's kind of fundamentally the difference between the sort of people who pick Zack Snyder to make movies versus the sort of people who pick Joss Whedon to make movies. Not that those two individuals are directly responsible for it, they're just emblematic of what's going on.
posted by Sequence at 1:13 AM on May 19, 2014 [13 favorites]


The whole Frank Miller Batman ethos veers between neoconservatism and outright fascism, and it's what the Nolan/Snyder DC films seem to be about.

Marvel spent their first phase presenting a similar view, but now their second seems to be about finding gentle ways of shaking that up or criticizing it.
posted by kewb at 12:08 PM on May 19, 2014


Empire Strikes Back gets flack sometimes for not being a complete. Yet Winter Soldier works both as a complete story and as a chapter in a larger story (IMO). Why?

Because Winter Soldier has a complete plot with a beginning, a middle, and an end. You don't have to know Cap from his first movie to relate to him; he's an anochronism in our era, he's lost the love of his life, and he's trying to cope by filling his life with work. Nobody quite knows what to do with him and it shows. There's enough there to relate to when his work starts to come off the rails. And, of course, there's an ending as satisfying as the end of Star Wars or Jedi where the evil bad news mechanized death thingamajigs go blooey.

Empire didn't have a beginning; when we meet Luke he's already a hero through actions we are supposed to have seen, and we see little other than gradual development for him throughout the movie. Without seeing Vader's minions massacre his family we don't know why the Vader == Dad reveal is such a big deal. And in the end nothing is resolved except that for some strange reason Luke is unpersuaded by this monster who massacred his family, paternity test notwithstanding, and everyone has lots of work to do in the sequel.
posted by localroger at 1:23 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


is this where I link to "we’re here to talk to you about the polyamory initiative" because that is really important to me

also clint and sam living in a nest on top of avengers tower with birds

marvel fandom is a gift
posted by NoraReed at 2:58 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


NoraReed: yes, it is and it is!

I hope this is where I link to Three Step (Steve/Bucky/Natasha) and On Your Way Up to the Light (Steve/Sam, sort of Bucky/Sam, full of feels), because I just did.
posted by daisyk at 5:15 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


This is almost enough to get me actually reading fanfic. Well, it may end up being enough in the long run. I think for a long time it's kind of fallen into the category of "that way madness lies", for me, because it's not like I think there's anything wrong with it, it's that I'm pretty sure if I ever open AO3 voluntarily on my own I am never going to be productive again. But oh god, anything Steve + feels.
posted by Sequence at 7:42 AM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Marvel fandom is a gateway drug.

I have no regrets.
posted by daisyk at 8:18 AM on May 20, 2014


It lead to that damn fanfic novella which gave me the confidence I needed to actually work on a capital B Book and right now I'm collecting all my notes for a developmental editor so ...yeah good on you fandom.
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


I've done lots of fandom in basically every other possible way. Just not fic, mostly because I was doing RP for years and years and fic was too delayed-gratification, but now I finally managed to break that habit because it was too time-consuming and this is looming huge instead...
posted by Sequence at 8:25 AM on May 20, 2014


Now's a good time to jump in, Sequence. Fandom has lost its goddamn mind over Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. And to a somewhat lesser extent, Sam Wilson and Natasha Romanoff. Before you fall down the rabbit hole of fanfiction though, here are a few great Captain America-related vids:

The Hymn of Acxiom: Possibly only effective if you have a lot of emotions about Bucky Barnes, I'm beyond reason on this matter, but it's fairly stunning and wrenching, and the song choice is devastatingly apt.

Problem: Bucky Barnes is a goddamn problem is the summary for this one, and that is accurate. A lot of fun.

The War Was In Color: Do you want to cry over Steve Rogers?

Sorrow: Do you want to cry even more over Steve Rogers?

And this one is a comics vid (yes, comics), but it's hilariously effective and really well-done: It's All Coming Back to Me Now.
posted by yasaman at 11:01 AM on May 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yesaman I have a THING coming out soon that that last video would be SPOOKILY PERFECT FOR so I'm going to put a note here to remind myself cause ...ahahaha my worlds are colliding.
posted by The Whelk at 11:23 AM on May 20, 2014


I saw The War Was In Color already, dear lord that video, a lot of the video stuff and some art I get through Tumblr as it is. Just... augh. Okay, okay.

I do have a lot of emotions about Bucky Barnes. And Peggy. I have been in the midst of serious heavy-duty industrial Processing of a relationship that ended... long enough ago that it shouldn't be that bad, but it was really seriously complicated in that sense of losing someone who is still right there but has suddenly changed beyond all recognition. And, for that matter, losing the whole life you had before right along with it and not knowing where you fit. I think I've mentioned this elsewhere, but never mind, I don't mind repeating it too much, it's just A Thing. But there's something about that, I think, that a lot of people can hook into that way, can see something or someone they've lost, can see not fitting somehow.

It's a little weird because I'm used to big feels about my original RPG characters, who are mine and therefore it feels normal that I feel so much for them, this is kind of new. Lots of things that I'm into, not nearly so many things that tug heartstrings this way.
posted by Sequence at 12:18 PM on May 20, 2014


The really frutrating thing is that Jenny Agutter plays a badass spy in the show Spooks (spoilers in the link there).

It's a great missed opportunity that they didn't call the character Tessa Phillips and be Ex-MI5.

It is only missed by not having Roy from the IT crowd in the final IT Crowd episode (which filmed at the same time as Thor 2) say:
"I went on date last night and she just kept saying Sea-bass over and over"
and have it never explained.

Then the IT Crowd, Spooks and the MCU are all the same place and that would be AWESOME.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 2:11 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


There was a post on tumblr that said something to the effect of 'Friendly reminder that the two people Steve cared for the most can't remember him" And, of course, because of the way that winter soldier has saturated my tumblr feed, that post showed up at least daily, without fail, for like a week. I follow a lot of jerks on tumblr.

On a lighter note: This is not the first time that the bananapocalypse has been referenced in Winter Soldier fanworks, and it will probably not be the last

Not that I'm complaining, mind you, because the gros michel bananapocalypse is ones of those little trivia facts I love.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:53 PM on May 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am kind of endlessly amused by the mental image of Steve's constant grumbling that NOTHING TASTES RIGHT ANYMORE and he's got to go these nichey little places to get food that isn't all sugared up and fake tasting.

Also on some drunken twitter night we decided Steve would actually be the best wine taster ever. He can't get drunk and genuinely enjoys complex flavor. He has no idea why other people think this is weird.

Now if his accent would somehow reemerge that would be LOVELY.
posted by The Whelk at 6:56 AM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just saw this one yesterday, having seen the first one for the first time last week, and these are far and away my two favorite superhero movies ever. Something about the tone and the storytelling just hit the sweet spot for me. Some random thoughts:

I LOVE the fact that the bad guys are essentially drone operators.

Dude that they were shaking down up on the roof mentions Stephen Strange! Did I miss it, or is this the first mention of Dr. Strange in the MCU?

One thing that slipped past me: Toward the end, Natasha presses some kind of button that makes the badge on her lapel fire up (but not kill her, like it did the others?) and that somehow makes Robert Redford's phone reboot? What happened here?
posted by jbickers at 5:47 AM on May 23, 2014


I don't remember that scene perfectly, but IIRC she used her electric shock gear on the phone, so he wouldn't be able to trigger her badge?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:02 AM on May 23, 2014


Yeah she shocks herself with her taser-thing ( Widow's Sting? I think) which causes an overload, etc. she gets to mumble "Wow those really do hurt."
posted by The Whelk at 7:03 AM on May 23, 2014


Dude that they were shaking down up on the roof mentions Stephen Strange! Did I miss it, or is this the first mention of Dr. Strange in the MCU?

That was the first Dr. Strange reference. My boyfriend's head pretty much exploded with this one, so I'm sure he would have caught one previously.

Also, another reason why this film is great - They put Bartoc the Leaper in the film, and it was somehow not absolutely ridiculous. I would have not thought that possible.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:43 AM on May 23, 2014


Sadly they had to gritty him up a bit as a mercenary with “a rep for maximum casualties,” instead of BATROC ZE LEAPAIR, MON AMI, the guy who just loves jump-kicking superheroes so much he made a career out of it. But we can't have everything.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:45 AM on May 23, 2014 [1 favorite]


Nick Fury's SUV UI
posted by pwally at 3:42 PM on May 26, 2014


NONE OF YOU PEOPLE TOLD ME THERE WAS GOING TO BE AN IN-UNIVERSE AVENGERS PAVILLION IN TIMES SQUARE SOON. FOR SHAME..
posted by The Whelk at 3:31 PM on May 27, 2014


I MADE AN IRL THREAD I WANNA SEE THE IRON MAN SUIT AND STUFF

I promise to wear my SSR t-shirt.
posted by The Whelk at 3:33 PM on May 27, 2014


HICCUPS

the point of fanfare is basically so we can exchange fanworks right
posted by NoraReed at 10:05 PM on May 31, 2014 [3 favorites]


CA:TWS High School AU: #thekidsdontstandachance
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:29 PM on June 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ok, way late to this party, just got to see this movie (on comfy couches, with beer, and a nice hummus plate).

A few things.

- So the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent from the mission at the beginning of the movie, who was later in the elevator and said the "it's not personal" line, and who later held the gun to the tech's head to get them to launch early, and THEN, still later, was trading punches with Sam Wilson on the 41st floor, who got smooshed by falling building and all burnty, but at the end, you see them hauling him onto a hospital bed looking like captain crispy face. No one has bothered to mention that this is Brock Rumlow, a.k.a. Crossbones. I really wonder what they are going to do with him in the MCU. He was a great bad guy/henchman.

- If you didn't stay until the very, very, very end/after credits clip, you totally missed out on Bucky at the Air/Space Museum Captain America exhibit featured earlier in the movie, reading about himself. That really was just, wow. Very awesome continuation of a great character premise.

- In the mid-credit clips, was that Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch? (It is according to the trivia section for the movie on IMDB) That's kinda cool, but I'm really curious about the fact that we have Quicksilver in the MCU and in the X-Men continuity.

- Also, and lastly for now: Steve believed Bucky was still in there, even after being shot, stabbed, and beaten to a pulp. That was awesome. The fact that Steve was willing to let Bucky kill him (if that was possible) to complete his "mission". Then the whole dragging Steve from the river and wandering away, just SO MANY FEELS. Lots of pathos.
posted by daq at 11:26 PM on June 22, 2014


Finally getting around to this cause I was so sure it would be as bad the first one.

As mentioned above, the councilwoman should have been the badass. Plus it was a ridiculous switch because Natasha is a different height and shape. Yes, it does bother me when a vampire turns into a tiny bat. Why do you ask?

I found the bit about information being released on the internet to be laughable though. The Snowden issue revealed that most people don't care, the DCMA shows that someone just has to cry copyright infringement to get your site shut down, and Google and Facebook can bury whatever's left, assuming your country hasn't pre-filtered all that for you.

"Abed" was cool. Overall, a solid B.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 11:42 PM on August 16, 2014


Ian McKellan and Robert Redford are only two years apart. Obviously Redford has had extensive plastic surgery but he also looks physically sturdier than the younger McKellan. Such a difference.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 7:00 AM on August 17, 2014




So I finally caught up with this, and appear to be in disagreement with everybody. While the first Captain America movie is one of my favourite Marvel movies, this has to be my least favourite so far, largely because of the political denialism at the centre of it. It's interesting that it recalls 70s conspiracy thrillers, because if they were attempts to unpack the corruption at the heart of American politics which was then coming to light, this uses the same tropes to essentially whitewash that corruption: "No, you don't understand, America is GOOD 'cause TRUTH and FREEDOM, and we only did those bad things because we were infiltrated by BAD GUYS. It's all the fault of the BAD GUYS that we can't have nice things like flying battleships that use a medium sized country's share of fossil fuels every day for no good reason".

To be honest, I'd much prefer the honest out-and-out fascism of Frank Miller. It may be an ugly beast, but at least it's not trying to convince you it's a puppy really.

Also not that interested in Sulky Guy With Metal Arm.
posted by Grangousier at 12:08 PM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]




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