This is scorching hot! Take a gander at the brand new Japanese movie trailer for, “The Avengers.” Lots of never-before-seen footage. It’s lookin’ to me like Joss Whedon is gonna rock the world, Marvel Style!
Steve Rogers is just a scrawny kid from Brooklyn. His passion isn’t unique. Like many brave men at the time, he wanted to serve his country by crushing Hitler & the Nazis. This premise sets in motion the 70 year history of arguably the most famous Marvel Comics superhero, Captain America.
The muscle makeover makes the movie. The special effects used to create the anemic Chris Evans were incredible. His hair was even thinner. I like the skinny Steve Rogers. He never takes no for an answer. He never backs down from a fight, even though everyone else is twice his size. More that that, he’s a good man with heart, tons of it.
“Captain America: The First Avenger” exemplifies the American Dream. If you try at something long enough, someday you’ll get your day in the sun. That and the help of a military top secret, never-been-tested, state-of-the-art molecular-altering human weaponizer machine. Hey, it’s a movie. Here’s what you do genius: Go with the flow. It’s called, suspension of disbelief. This is not ‘The Rabbit Hole.’ It’s Captain Frikkin’ America!
Hugo Weaving was perfect as Johann Schmidt AKA Red Skull . Some will cry out that this is simplistic U.S. Rah Rah. Point taken. For me, I thought it was solid summertime entertainment at the movies.
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Hollywood has found a way to re-use popular characters: Origin stories. Starting with Spiderman, then Batman Begins, Thor, The Green Lantern, next year’s Superman: The Man of Steel and coming to a theater near you in July, Captain America: The First Avenger.
Now is as good a time as ever to tip the cap to Marvel Mastermind, Stan Lee. His imagination was a stunning 1/2 century ahead of the world. These comic book characters were created back in the 1960′s. It has to be rewarding that his passion for larger than life, yet flawed mutant characters would get their due from top filmmakers in 2011.
The swingin’ 60′s is the perfect era to have Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meet his telepathic brethren, Erik Lehnsherr. (Michael Fassbender) These two talented actors anchor the film in reality. Their emotional impact makes all the mutations, skirmishes & special effects much more believable.
X Men: First Class is set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. What an amazing fragile time in the world’s history: The Cold War. Kudos to Bryan Singer & Sheldon Turner for writing a story which integrates Charles & Erik teaming up with the ever steady leadership of John F. Kennedy, to save the world from Nuclear War. (That’s in the movie trailer) NO SPOILERS HERE.
Now, let’s get to the heavy. Kevin Bacon plays Sebastian Shaw. All I know about Kevin Bacon is this: He’s so amazingly on-point with every role he inhabits, and the thing is, he makes it look completely effortless. January Jones does a fine job as Emma Frost. Rose Byrne’s having an amazing year playing CIA agent Moira MacTaggert. This spring, Rose starred in Writer/Director James Wan’s uber clever horror flick, “Insidious,” & she also gave us the best laughs of the summer as one of the “Bridesmaids.” (Bridesmaids was way funnier than “The Hangover 2. Yeah, I said it!) She’s going to X-plode in popularity.
X Men: First Class gives the audience a clearer understanding. Questions will be answered. How did they band together? Why did Erik & Charles venture on separate paths? Why is Charles confined to a wheelchair? Who actually created Magneto’s helmet? I applaud the filmmakers for releasing X Men: First Class in 2D. It’s fine. Looks great. No Gimmicks. I’d rather have story, story & more story than 3D. X Men Marks the Spot! Don’t miss it!
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Let’s start with the end of the movie. When you go see “Thor,” you must wait a full 7 minutes until the final screen credits. There’s a scene with more movie, more intrigue, more of an upcoming direction. That’s all I’m going to say.
For 50-year old director Kenneth Branagh, “Thor” was forty years in the making. The God Of Thunder debuted as a Marvel Comics’ Superhero in 1962. As a starry eyed kid in Belfast Ireland, little Kenny buried his face into Thor’s universe. I find it fascinating & miraculous that this kid somehow manifested a path to bring these larger than life characters to the big screen. The second I found out that bit of information, my mind was set at ease. Who better to take us on a ride in this world? Fanboys have the passion!
The cast is solid. Natalie Portman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba & Chris Hemsworth as “Thor.” The tone of the film has more of a definite Sci-Fi edge than previous Marvel films like “Iron Man” or “Spiderman.” This time there are two worlds in addition to Earth. The synopsis: Thor, the son of Odin of Asgard, gets banished to Earth sans his powers. All I can say is, conflict lies within the family.
There’s also a bit of a love story going on here too. Amidst all the Norse/earthling craziness, Natalie Portman manages to keep pulling the movie back into a realistic place. Special shout out to Natalie who kept “Thor” eco-friendly by insisting the big Hollywood production do away with using thousands of plastic bottles on set.
A couple of technical things. “Thor” has amazing sound & visuals. I love onscreen acceleration. “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “The Matrix,” “Apollo 13.” Kenneth Branagh & his special effects team crushed it. It’s very exciting to watch. Did you know there were over 150 movie prop hammers used in the filming of “Thor?” The hammer named, Mjolnir was created to be an extension of Thor. There were highly detailed, custom made metal hammers. By the same token, there were hammers constructed of lightweight foam. The filmmakers were sticklers about having Chris Hemsworth holding Mjolnir in the exact same poses as Thor in the comic books.
I’m kinda 3D’ed out, but it works here. “Thor” was built for 3D. “Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs Evil,” not-so-much. You’ll have a terrific time watching this on a regular movie screen. If you’re willing to pay the extra freight, “Thor” is playing on IMAX. This is an epic summer movie. If you don’t have fun with this, just stay home & watch “Revolutionary Road” on Netflix. If that’s you, you’re bummin’ me out. My advice, get out there & catapult into the Marvel Universe! You’ll be glad you did! “Thor” is rated PG-13
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