Tag Archive: captain america


Avengers and Freedom

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

All this past week the only movie I heard being discussed was Black Panther starring Chadwick Boseman.

blackpantherIt is setting records like crazy for highest box office, for highest pre-sale tickets. People are marveling over the fact that the director is only 31 years old. But Ryan Coogler also directed Creed, winning Sylvester Stallone an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

His other movie was the highly touted Fruitville Station, the story about a man shot in the San Francisco mass transit station. All three movies feature Michael B. Jordan. Ever since I saw Jordan on the TV show, Parenthood, I had a feeling he would be a force in Hollywood.

Some people have that ‘something’ and Jordan has ‘it.’ When I saw him in Creed you could feel his charisma. But one of his goals was to play a guy totally unlike himself, completely different and that meant finding a ‘bad guy’ role. He has found that role in Black Panther as Erik Killmonger.

I plan to see this movie sometime in the near future, Black Panther will surely be around for sometime. I‘ve made due with clips and trailers that I can see on Youtube. My youngest has been ordered by his brother to stop giving away the secrets of the movie.

If I am lucky I will still know nothing by the time I get to see it.

Captain America Civil warIn the meantime, I will have to settle for Captain America: Civil War. In this installment of the Marvel Universe, Captain America/Steve Rogers and Iron Man/Tony Stark do not see eye to eye about legislation meant to keep these superheros in check. Tony is for it while Steve believes it goes against everything that America stands for.

Rogers saw what happened the last time people were forced to register and does not want a repeat of that world. Stark, on the other hand, understands why governments want to control the damage that can be done by these super battles.

Soon, the various members of the Avengers, including a whole host of new people, are choosing sides. Some side with Cap, others decide to join forces with Tony. It is not pretty and some of the team members have total fanboy moments. All of this leads to an epic fight between Iron Man and Captain America.

More importantly, there is another force taking advantage of this divide. The reasons why seem crazy and not so crazy. And in the end, it makes us question what we know to be true.

Cap and ironman fightThis is a movie I have watched a few times. While I have a crush on Captain America and his philosophy of what it means to be American, I am fascinated by Tony Stark’s emotional development. Stark appears to be suffering from PTSD but wants to hide it. He also wants to be in charge and constantly improving his technology while ignoring that he made his money from weapons. These are characters that are complex and act out in ways that seem contradictory to what we view as their intrinsic values.

While I notice new details about sets, I never cease to be amazed by the development – both good and bad – of the characters in the Marvel Universe.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Civil Disobediance

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

With Pumpkin Fest coming and the theme being Pumpkins in Paradise, my mind keeps playing the old Jimmy Buffet song, Cheeseburgers in Paradise.

Wrong, so wrong and yet there it is.

pumpkin-fest-porchInstead, I am trying to focus on the fun aspects of the annual fest with the parade going by my house, pumpkins on our steps for decoration, and the need to make sure all cars are properly parked and out of the way before parade time.

Well, at least our steps are filled with pumpkins.

But this week has also seen the release of the latest Marvel Comics movie, Captain America:Civil War.

For fans of action movies and movies with a bit of fantasy, this is a winner.

I like Marvel for allowing characters to grow and develop. I like that they explore themes and realistic emotional scenarios. Most of us may never deal with aliens trying to take over our world. But we do have family members dealing with post-traumatic stress. And for those who follow politics, we know people who may like each other but really disagree on how to keep America safe.

In fact, that issue drives this movie. Because of the events in past movies and lives that have been lost and cities that have been damaged beyond repair, it has been decided by the UN that superheroes need to register and that they will only ‘help’ in situations in which they are called upon to help.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) agrees with this policy and feels superheroes need to be reined in. But Captain America (Chris Pine), the WWII hero, feels this is the wrong way to go. He is a veteran of the war in which people were separated out for their differences and does not want to be impeded to give help whenever help is needed.

Captain America Civil WarThe fight becomes brutal and personal when Bucky, the Winter Soldier, resurfaces as the possible culprit of a nasty bombing and assassination of an African king. There will be long time repercussions from this event. Soon, people are divided and they are recruiting new and old members to join the fight.

I find this to be a well done addition to the series. It is the last of the Captain America movies, although not the last time for us to see Captain America. It features the inclusion of new characters (Ant-Man and Falcon) while unveiling a few new friends (Spiderman and Black Panther), one of whom are clearly in awe of everyone he is fights for and against.

It is an entertaining movie with it’s one-liners and smart retorts. Characters still speak to each other as friends, even when they hate each others’ guts. There are plenty of explosions and fights to the death, including the last big fight between Cap and Iron man.

This may not be a movie for your youngest child or one that has a short tolerance for the action violence. There is one spot that might make a protective parent wary. But in the end , I enjoyed the movie for being willing to ask tough questions about power and the wielding of it.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Come See The Avengers!

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Finally, finally, this week the movie that we have been waiting for hits the home theater market.

The Avengers arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. To say we are excited would be an understatement.

This is the one movie my husband did not see this summer although the kids and I went with friends to the drive-in to see it on opening weekend.

And what a powerhouse of performances.

I love Chris Evans as Captain America which is a completely different character from his Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four.  He pulls together the serious earnest young man who wanted to fight Nazis and became a leader in the process. Robert Downey Jr. continues as the stunningly self-confident Tony Stark . Perhaps my favorite player is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in which he is humanized even more than when Bill Bixby played the character on the old TV show.

Poster Image from IMBd.com

The story follows Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) trying to come up with a solution when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) decides he wants to take over Earth with a group of otherworldly warriors. He starts with New York City. But the problem is Fury’s group is there as well. And they are ready to fight back, especially Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who wants to bring his adopted brother back home to Asgard.

But Loki is a fierce opponent. He has more than one weapon to use and his favorite one is discord, creating disturbances within the team. That scene in the flying headquarters is wonderfully tense as the darker parts of each person comes into play. It shows what propels each character and what they control within their soul.

This time I am looking for all of those little things I missed as I was paying attention to the big action scenes. The little details of pictures on the wall and references to other characters or real-life items. My neighbor saw a reference to the ship her son had served during his stint in the Navy. I have read articles about pictures and references  to other Marvel comic characters.

But I also want to see nuances. Such as the scene in which Steve Rogers gives Nick Fury some money for a bet. I could not remember what the bet is about. I want to observe the Hulk’s and Thor’s relationship to understand why the Hulk slams Thor at one point.  I want to watch for the scene all the way at the end of the movie when the whole group is at a diner, simply sharing a meal together.

Perhaps the greatest strength of this movie is the dialogue. There are seven characters that we need to know intimately as well as any secondary characters associated with each. With each interaction, whether in battle or in downtime, we learn a little more that defines these characters. We learn about who they are and who they love and why they act in the manner that they do.

There are precious few perfect movies. But in my book, The Avengers just might be one.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Family Movie Night

 

by Karyn Bowman

 

The Avengers is one movie that had a huge build-up.

 

It has been years in the making, starting with the first Iron Man movie in 2008. In Iron Man 2 we met the Black Widow, a spy whose beauty matches her skill.  Last year we were treated to the first Thor movie which had audiences falling in love with an arrogant man forced to learn honor through difficulty.

 

And I cannot forget Captain America. The hero from years past charmed us with his earnestness as he fought Nazis and secret organizations.

 

This past weekend, the Marvel characters came together in The Avengers. 

 

Loki is a Norse demi-God who wants to rule Earth and the rest of the universe. He has teamed with other evil creatures that are looking to control Earth.

 

While Loki is capable of controlling some people to do his bidding, there is a group of people willing to do whatever it takes to keep earth safe. That team is called the Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America , Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk. They have been brought together by Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

But Loki is tricky. He likes chaos, he likes creating disturbances. He is capable of doing that to anyone. With a touch of his scepter on the heart, he can make just about anyone follow him.

 

We saw the movie in the drive-in and loved it. I was happily surprised to see six different back stories weaved in to something that made sense. Plus, it was clear that people had history together in their comments and body language. Not every one liked each other, but with the proper motivation, they were able to work together.

 

The movie was long but thanks to a tight screenplay that gave a real voice to each superhero and interesting, compelling action sequences, the movie never feels as long as it should. Just as Jon Favreau did with Iron Man, director Joss Whedon has put in a certain amount of lightness with all the seriousness of a comic book movie.

 

Now the question you might be asking is “do I have to watch all of the other movies to see this one?” My answer would be yes IF you do not have a thorough knowledge of the Marval comic characters. I was not familiar with Iron Man before the movies nor was I all that knowing about Captain America. Because of a youth spent watching Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, I understood The Hulk and enjoyed Mark Ruffalo’s performance.

 

On the other hand, we went with friends who were not familiar with the whole story and they enjoyed it. Part of it was the experience of being at a drive-in but the movie was exciting. The other part was the stunning special effects that created leviathans and creepy ice guys to cause trouble.

 

Strangely enough, I found the movie to be mostly kid appropriate. It has a PG-13 rating, mostly for the action shots. If your child is not used to such movies, then it will not be appropriate. However, our 7-year-old watched and loved it. Granted, he has also seen many of the movies leading up to this one and knew what to expect.

 

A good story with great dialogue and thrilling action along with characters that are more than cardboard cutouts make for a great movie. It is everything I would want for a summer blockbuster movie and much more.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.