Tag Archives: Captain America

Marvel’s Agent Carter Review

Hayley Atwell returns as Marvel's Agent Carter!

Hayley Atwell returns as Marvel’s Agent Carter!

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Even though the premiere was 2 separate episodes we are basing our review on the full two hours. This mini-series fits extremely well within the Marvel cinematic universe by not only having the same actors and using footage from both the One-shot and Captain America: The First Avenger but the quality of writing seems to far surpass Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. From the serious themes and to the period attitudes the plot seemed that of a cable series. While implosion devices, vocal surgery, and steampunk emails are a bit hard to swallow the plot was as cheezy as it could have been. It clearly was its own story not relying on only previous conceived ideas from the movies but included enough to make it relevant.

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Hayley Atwell’s Agent Peggy Carter has not only been previously established but has already been in 3 different points in her career so her character development was not really a point of contention and she does well to embellish her already full character. The welcomed addition was the straight-man to Carter’s take-no-prisoner personality which was in the form of Edwin Jarvis played by James D’Arcy in this series (Paul Bettany‘s robotic voice commanded AI’s namesake in the Iron Man/Avengers movie franchise). A major problem with the characters in this series so far has been almost everyone else, the villains seemed a bit like cheezy 60s comic book lackeys with a crime drama makeover and worse still were the almost faceless SSR agents that seemed included only to add sexism and to complicate Carter’s spy work.

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The addition of the Captain America radio play and the constant jazz overtone definitely made it seem like late 40s America. Sets in the series were reminiscent to the those in Captain America: The First Avenger but did not do much to expand other than adding some steampunk level spy gear. Not much here other than a clear bigger budget than Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.

Overall EAO gives ABC’s Agent Carter Mini-series gets 4 SSR shields out of 5. Rather you are a fan of Comic Books, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spy TV Shows, or even just period pieces this Mini-series is a must see.

Marvel’s Agent Carter airs on ABC at 8pm CST on Tuesdays.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Marvel Studio’s second stand alone Captain America film starred Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, and Robert Redford.

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Marvel has spent years building continuity between their films. Everyone fretted when Disney stepped in, but as a comic and movie fan this may have been a match made in heaven. Marvel’s The Avengers has been written multiple times in the box office record books and its multiple tie-in have nearly washed James Cameron’s Avatar away from people’s minds. Disney and Marvel films bring their “A” game with this sequel. As an audience member you can feel the chemistry and genuine background of the universe present in this film.

The Winter Soldier is a comic run from the masterful Ed Brubaker which has become a modern classic. Directors of this film knew that in order to re-create that epic on film would take the help of the industry and who other than Ed himself joined to help them craft this story and it shows. The comic and cinematic universes began to merge with this powerful sequel.

Anyone listening to the radio, watching the news, or in a class about political science knows about the current climate of American security policies, most of all terrorism and cybersecurity. With things like Snowden and Heartbleed flooding the news media everyday we are uniquely prepared for this type of plot. Captain America both as a character and as a film deals with those issues and how we, the citizens, fit into that equation.

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Chris Evans returns in spades to relive the star spangled boyscout. His torment and struggles with the ghosts from his past as well as the deadly secrets of friends place this performance the best of his tenure in the role and perhaps of all of the characters in the 8 other Marvel films.

Scarlett Johansson makes her third appearance as the “sidekick” Black Widow, but this time played second fiddle rather than fourth or fifth a la The Avengers. This spotlight however brought to light some flaws in her characterization that had not been evident. These flaws worked very well in the film but would detract from future films if not addressed.

Anthony Mackie makes his first outing in the Marvel Universe an interesting one. His character, Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, is introduced organically. Much about this character is left out or held off, but unlike many characters in this film and in that case any other Marvel film, he could not survive in a stand alone feature, even just a Marvel One-Shot or one of the upcoming Netflix serials. He hopefully will get more focus in the films to come, as he seems like a good addition to the team.

The Winter Soldier quickly dominates the film as he becomes the primary antagonist. His performance mainly toward the climax of the film is one of the driving reasons the film works as both as a great Marvel movie and a good political thriller.

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Robotic arms, bird flight suits, and shield tossing in combat all sound like crazy ideas on their own, but all look perfectly normal in this film. Chris Evans and the special effects team, Lucas’s ILM (another Disney acquisition), clearly have learned from their previous outings as the shield wielding avenger. No one makes it look odd, even attaching it to his back or retrieving it during combat seems seamless. Winter Soldier’s robotic limb moves like a well oiled machine in every scene it is used in. Falcon’s top secret flight suit was the hardest to swallow but it flew here because honestly we have come up with stranger stuff for the military.

More so than anything else the visual effects department excels in fight choreography. The fight scenes in this film make even some martial arts movies look slow and pre-planned. Don’t trust commercials, they have slowed some scenes down and have cut up others as to not spoil the film. This is a feat of fight-filming at the very least, and hopefully this will carry over into the future Marvel studio films.

Dat Knife Flip!

Dat Knife Flip!

Overall EAO gives Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier a solid 4.5 stars and stripes out of 5!

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same.

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