Monday, July 25, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

Holy fuck, I loved this movie...
...and despite it's title, it doesn't feel like an ad for another one. I like that.

Loved Little Steve Rogers...

Captain America is a very long standing Marvel comic book character, and though he's been on the screen before, it was never done like this.
This is the story of a 90 lb weakling who wants to make a difference - a man who was born a hero.
The first third... "Steve becomes a soldier" is perfect.
This is the key to good entertainment, kids - make me care before you bring out the special effects...
And they are special - really nice looking film.

Chris Evans' "young Steve Rogers" is a great performance. I suspect he had to limit his movement for the digital effects - he seemed controlled but so earnest, I didn't appreciate how rich these characters could be in full flesh and blood. I would have watched a whole movie about that little weakling - why? ..because he's a fuckin' great character.

In fact, the GRENADE is one of the best "character" moments I've ever seen in any movie. LOVE IT.

Joe Johnston is really good at that nice soft vision of the past - his WW2 is like Band of Brothers for kids. But the most noticeable element of this whole project is how much love went into it, for lack of a better word. These guys love this character as much as I do - as much as millions of kids for years and years have - it really shows.
Tommy Lee Jones is great - most I've enjoyed him in a long time. He seemed like he was having fun.
Hayley Atwell is lovely and reminds me of another Hayley I know...
Couple o' tear-jerkin' scenes, boy.
His line after the big event, so to speak - I don't care if you like superheroes or not - it's just great writing, and kudos to the writers they're borrowing from. Years of Cap stories inform this screenplay, with a lot of the Ultimates mixed in ...impressive synthesis storytelling.

Bucky's a surprise. I love the character but it's tough to pull off a kid beside a Super-Soldier. Fantastic interpretation of the "sidekick" role - more like two soldiers at war - just excellent. There's a brilliant montage towards the end - where everyone shines, and the inspiration of this hero is obvious.
Dum-Dum Duggan is great, and I suspect Neal McDonough is in there as the original Cap consideration.

Dominic Cooper's Howard Stark was another pleasant surprise, and what an impressive world the Marvel filmmakers have brought together. The idea of Tony's Dad way back might've sounded hokey but it's so charming. They're creating Marvel history up on the big screen. Out of a wonderfully comic-heavy childhood, this is stuff I'm really happy to see - invested storytelling.
Kinda sad to me that of the four "superhero flics" this summer, three were Marvel, and the other one - well, I wanted to like Green Lantern. He's a great character.

Then there's The RED SKULL.
He's Cap's Joker, and such a fun cat - I mean, Nazis are the perfect villain bar none, but a skull-headed one - c'mon? He's awesome - just look at any Cap comics - the Red Skull is always up to something fucked-up.
Hugo Weaving plays him as a genius weirdo - and on that note,  the Werner Herzog accent is a blast - subtle and hilarious.
 ...and though I'm not so much a fan of the rubber face, it was handled really well - that slipping eye...
But his design - Brilliant - absolutely nailed it.
Took about 30 years to see Cap and his nemesis duke it out properly on the big screen for this kid.
Worth the wait this was..

...and dead?
Ahhhh, ha ha ha ha haaaa....
The Red Skull never dies - he's the toughest bad guy in either of the big stables...

Captain America: The First Avenger is tight entertaining movie. The overall design is charming but totally epic - comic-booky, but cutting edge storytelling.
It has twice the heart of most of these "superhero" flics, amidst a perfectly paced World War II actioner - I'll watch it plenty, I suspect.
I went to see it again this afternoon.

It's too bad the GLUT of superhero flics seems to have killed this one.
It's really really good.

Well, turns out CAP made a fair bit - good, I'd love to see a part 2..

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Carl Kolchak ...Johnny Depp?

Well, that might just work.
Kolchak is up there with Swamp Thing for this cat/dork...

I fucking love Carl Kolchak ..just do.
I could question why, but I already know. It's Darren McGavin - he's got the tone of the character built in to his own - he's stubborn, smart, and undoubtedly aggravating. I bet he could drive people nuts - a well trained actor, who knew what he wanted to do, but often foiled by dummies...
...and a Kolchak show could have been sooo good.
Don't get me wrong - I love the TV show, but not because it's brilliant - it boasts a few really cool episodes, but it's difficulties on the studio side led to too many compromises, and just one short season.
No, it was the original film - a TV movie called The Night Stalker(1972) that hooked both the studio(which got huge ratings and they ordered another one immediately) and myself. Now, granted I saw it in rerun, but it was such a weird experience that I told friends about it for years.
It was another late friday with Dad, and I joined the movie a few minutes in. It looked cool - that old seventies mystery look, and the lead was ...odd, I guess is the best way to put it - I remember it struck me how bumbly he was - but I was engaged by him his investigation - who was this "Kolchak", and what kind of killer was he chasing?
I was pretty freaked-out when it turned out to be a vampire - in modern day!! What was going on? What a cool story...
This was my one time experience with Kolchak but thanks to The X-Files(creators love of it) I'd find it all eventually.

What an intro.
Check out the music/tone change...

The 1st movie is great - 2nd is almost as good, and the series, though formulaic, has a few really good episodes - a couple are screenplay material fer sure...
It all looks great, and he's just so much fun.

Sooo, could someone be the new Kolchak? Guess that depends...
I didn't think anyone could be the "New Captain Kirk" but it worked(ST'09).
Really well, in fact - been a long time since I was stoked for the next Star Trek flic, but JJ Abrams - he just "gets" it...
Smart guy, and young Chris Pine ...again - he "got" it. Don't play William Shatner - play a young Captain Kirk.
...such a frickin' good movie.

Women love Johnny Depp - good-looking, funny, charming - superstar actor/zillionaire...
But everyone knows it's the quirky that makes him JD...
...and it's quirky that made Carl Kolchak.
CK is a smart character but goofy for sure and Darren McGavin wasn't afraid to be goofy - the idea is to do it well - really really well, and who does anyone think of first for well-executed weirdos?
The one thing I'd bet on is that JD loves the character if he does it, and that's what these "re-imaginings" need most - genuine love for the original material.

The film is only in the development part so who knows what'll happen but if Jack Sparrow does play Carl Kolchak - cool - bring it on.
Only One Question Remains:
Who will play Tony Vincenzo?