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Captain America: The First Avenger
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|Genre||Action & Adventure|
|Format||Multiple Formats, AC-3, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Color|
|Contributor||Kenneth Choi, Toby Jones, Richard Armitage, Neal McDonough, Bruno Ricci, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, J. J. Feild, Hugo Weaving, Derek Luke, Stephen McFeely, Hayley Atwell, Christopher Markus, Joe Johnston, Kevin Feige, Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones See more|
|Runtime||2 hours and 4 minutes|
Captain America leads the fight for freedom in the action-packed blockbuster starring Chris Evans as the ultimate weapon against evil! When a terrifying force threatens everyone across the globe, the world’s greatest soldier wages war on the evil HYDRA organization, led by the villainous Red Skull (Hugo Weaving, The Matrix). Critics and audiences alike salute Captain America: The First Avenger as “pure excitement, pure action, and pure fun!” – Bryan Erdy CBS-TV
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Product Dimensions : 0.6 x 5.3 x 7.5 inches; 2.4 Ounces
- Item model number : MFR097361439747#VG
- Director : Joe Johnston
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, AC-3, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Color
- Run time : 2 hours and 4 minutes
- Release date : October 25, 2011
- Actors : Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan
- Dubbed: : French, Spanish
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish, French
- Producers : Kevin Feige
- Language : Unqualified (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Studio : Paramount Studios
- ASIN : B005IZLPKQ
- Writers : Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #10,787 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- #1,197 in Action & Adventure DVDs
- Customer Reviews:
Reviewed in the United States on April 7, 2021
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Marvel is a comic publisher that has enthusiastic fans and respect for their creations. The comic book logo beginning that flashes across the screen of every Marvel masterpiece initiates a sensation of excitement and suspense among the audience due to their reputation of stellar superhero films. Captain America: The First Avenger was directed by Joe Johnston. A man known for his interest and expertise in special effects and fantasy department, making him the ideal candidate for this superhero film. Throughout the film, Captain America: The First Avenger, Joe Johnston was the captain of incorporating symbols of color within characters and settings.
Captain America: The First Avenger begins with a very mysterious and cold glacier setting with very dark lighting and unrevealed characters. The music by Alan Silvestri is very intense, suspenseful, and mystifying. The setting is quickly represented in 1942, the time of World War Two, when Captain America is introduced during the enlisting process. An enlistee announces, “Boy a lot of guys getting killed over there. Kinda makes you think twice about enlisting, huh?” Steve Rogers, later identified as Captain America, replies with a firm “Nope.” Steve Rogers is portrayed as a scrawny, driven, and desperate man who wants nothing more than to serve his country. Doctor Abraham Erskine is introduced into the movie by being intrigued by Steve Rogers’ intensified eager to join the army. Also, at this time in the movie, Stark industries is thrown into the mix when Tony Starks father, Howard Stark, speaks about a flying car and his new technology he is inventing. This uniquely foreshadows that Doctor Abraham Erskine, Steve Rogers, and Howard Stark will eventually be together again in another situation of experimentation when Steve Rogers is transformed into Captain America. When Captain America is transformed in the lab, he brings to life the American red, white and blue uniform that becomes his icon. His iconic outfit purposely stands out from the other soldiers because he has become their respected leader, their captain. As the scenes shuffle, we eventually come face-to-face with the lair of Nazi officer Johann Schmidt. His cold, dark, uninviting, yet modern room incorporates mainly dark colors with seamless highlights of fluorescent blue. The hints of fluorescent blue generate the connection to the Tesseract and how it has the power connect to the out of the world forces that exist. This is tied with Schmidt because he desperate searches for greater power and does this through rage. Joe Johnston used this technique to hint to the audience about Schmidt use of the Tesseract as an alternative power source and how the Tesseract drives Schmidt’s evil mentality. Schmidt reveals his true face for the first time when Captain America invades the Hydra site. He throws his fake human skin face into the fire below to show that the war between Captain America and him has begun and he is officially ready to fight. Schmidt’s true boiling red face explains the constant rage that is exemplified through his want for greater power. The music at the end of the film proves to be accurate to the audiences and the character’s emotions during the scene. Alan Silvestri incorporated slow, intense, and heroic music while Captain America drove the plane into the water. This exemplified the intensity of the sacrifice he made. Then, it almost immediately switched to cheers to reassure the audience that the Captain did the heroic job of ending the war and truly saving all Americans.
Joe Johnston uses symbols throughout the film in a simple way. He does this by zooming in and drawing attention for the sole purpose of forcing the audience to notice and remember the symbol for a reason. The first symbol is shown to the audience during Joe Johnston’s technique of a flash-forward scene as the first scene of the movie. The audience is presented with Captain America’s red, white, and blue shield cemented underneath the ice. This initiates the audience’s thoughts that this movie revolves around American values and gives the suspenseful feeling of what could’ve occurred that lead to the hero’s symbol being inaccessible. The following symbol that the camera zooms up on is the octopus as the emblem on the front of the car that shows the obvious enemy side: Hydra. The last main symbol of importance that immediately comes to the audience’s attention is the Tesseract; the fluorescent, blue, and glowing cube that connects to extraterrestrial life. It is clearly depicted as a instance of importance because it was introduced with high interest from the villain character, Johann Schmidt, and was secretly hidden in the dark and dusty tomb.
One main genre that was incorporated throughout the entire film was romance. The primary aspect of romance was between Steve Rogers and Agent Carter. Agent Carter was introduced as division supervisor and was consistently intrigued and impressed by Steve Rogers heroic qualities. Agent Carter never failed to have a glimpse of red on her at all times portraying her aspects of intimacy and female sexuality. Along with Agent Carter’s constant quality of red, she also has the typical outfit of red, white, and blue which tied her and Captain America together throughout the whole movie. Another genre that was illustrated was science fiction. The clips involving the Tesseract incorporate large amounts of science fiction because of its computer-generated qualities and capabilities. A majority of the weapons and soldiers that were under control of Johann Schmidt portray science fiction because they are futuristic and utilize the Tesseract as a power source. The genre of action is constantly displayed during battles between Captain America and the army against Hydra. This constant fight continues until it is finalized with a fight between Captain America and Johann Schmidt. The action on the American side is less advanced compared to Hydra due to the time period and lack of intelligence with futuristic materials versus Hydra has the brain of Schmidt’s extreme scientist that allowed Hydra to take their weapons quality and quantity to the next level making the fight harder to achieve for the Americans, but not impossible. The last, most important genre that was depicted in the film was the comic genre. The film’s comic qualities constantly make an appearance through the hero, villain, and storyline. The typical comic book plot shows through by having a hero that was introduced from the start and slowly found his duty to the world. Eventually, the hero developed an arch-nemesis to battle against until the end when the hero is forced to make a drastic sacrifice that gives him the ultimate hero reputation.
Captain America: The First Avenger was a film created as an idealistic hero movie. Joe Johnston effectively incorporated different settings, lighting, special effects, and genres in order to give this film the spark it needed to be rated as a successful superhero movie. As a viewer in the audience, I believe Johnston worked hard to integrate scenes that truly depicted Steve Roger’s mental dedication to saving lives. In my opinion, the most crucial scene, was when the commanding officer of Roger’s division threw a grenade at the men to test their response and while every man ran away for their safety, Rogers ran and jumped on top of the grenade to sacrifice himself. This scene sparked my interest because I feel like it became a turning point for the audience to notice that Rogers was the clear candidate to be Captain America: America’s fighting hero. This scene goes to show that there are many undiscovered individuals out there that are willing to put forth the effort that is required in order to contribute to the greater good of society.
The primary source of the good will this movie generates for the U.S.A. is actor Chris Evans' portrayal of Steve Rogers, the man behind the mask of Captain America. Evans' performance had the exact combination of earnestness, determination, humility, guilelessness and unfaltering commitment to serving the greater good that I consider the defining traits of the character. It's these attributes, and not the superheroic persona and outfit he eventually adopts, that make him a perfect embodiment of how Americans, and the rest of the world, once saw this country. As Evans said in an interview, "The movie is about values, morals, and someone standing up for the right thing. It's about someone fighting for justice who puts himself last and compassion first." Once Steve Rogers is transformed from 98-lb. weakling to super-soldier by Dr. Abraham Erskine (wonderfully played by Stanley Tucci), as Captain America he uses his military might less like the world's policeman than its big brother, coming to the rescue when other nations are getting pushed around by Bully States. And like a good neighbor, he never butts in where he isn't invited or overstays his welcome.
As I see it, Captain America: The First Avenger is nothing short of a nostalgic love letter to our country: not so much the way it is, or even the way it was, as much as the way we've always wanted it to be. It celebrates everything good about America--from its desire to spread democracy to its scientific innovation--but ignores everything bad, like the racial segregation of the military or internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II (even though it includes African-American Gabe Jones (Derek Luke) and Japanese-American Jim Morita (Kenneth Choi) among the Howling Commandos who join Captain America in his wartime escapades). But given the nature of this film, I don't fault it for praising America's achievements so highly, or for ignoring our misdeeds during WWII. Ironically (and unexpectedly), my only major criticism of the movie is that it ignores the misdeeds of our enemy.
Captain America is defined as much by what he stands against as what he stands for. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created him more than 70 years ago in response to the specific circumstances of their times. There's a reason they chose Adolf Hitler to be on the receiving end of their character's first blow for democracy on the 1941 cover of Captain America #1 (I was thrilled to see this iconic cover cleverly incorporated into the movie). The Third Reich and Nazi Party carried out evils unlike any the world had ever seen. As Jews, Simon and Kirby would have a very personal stake in showing Captain America symbolically destroy Hitler's forces in the pages of a comic book that at its height was selling a million copies a month. It would be inconceivable to make a movie about Captain America's earliest adventures, or any movie about World War II for that matter, without the Nazi's playing a prominent part. And yet, director Joe Johnston pulled it off--for reasons I can't begin to understand.
The evil empire Johnston pits Captain America against is Hydra, a fictional terrorist network in the Marvel Comics universe. This is no doubt to set the organization up as a recurring adversary in future Marvel Studios films. Here it's described as a Nazi research group that combined occult powers and advanced technology to create wonder weapons for Hitler's stormtroopers. What I found disturbing was that the Nazi part of the organization was downplayed to the point of virtual invisibility. Although Hydra's tentacled skull symbol got about as much screen time as the stars and stripes, I don't recall ever seeing a swastika (although I'm sure the few that must have appeared in the movie just went by so fast I missed them*). I might understand, at least theoretically, choosing to minimize references to Germany out of a sensitivity to present-day Germans (although, as Dr. Erskine points out in the film, "the first country the Nazi's invaded was their own"). But whose feelings could the filmmakers have been trying to spare by taking Nazis out of the picture? Even more incredible than the lack of swastikas in the movie, was the total absence of any mention of the Holocaust (as far as I can remember, it wasn't even hinted at). Besides being a seemingly misguided attempt to sanitize history, it also diminishes the importance of Captain America's conflict with the film's main villain.
Hydra's leader is the Red Skull (played menacingly by Hugo Weaving), a character who debuted in the same 1941 comic book as Captain America and has been the arch nemesis of the "Sentinel of Liberty" ever since. The Red Skull is the living embodiment of everything Hitler and Nazi Germany stood for--Aryan superiority, racism, antisemitism, homophobia and blind obedience to the State to name a few. The Third Reich personified, he excels at and revels in the practical application of Nazi theory--unprovoked military aggression, torture, political repression and mass murder. But in the movie, the Red Skull abandons Nazism for a more vague, generic super villain desire to rule the world. The problem I have with this is that he never explains why this is his goal, or how a world under his control would differ from the one he's already living in. To put it in actor terms, I don't understand his motivation. It's clear that he is cruel and arrogant, which makes him Steve Roger's opposite in terms of his basic character. But in comic books, the Red Skull was created to be Captain America's opposite.
Based on their depiction of Steve Rogers' pre-Captain America training, screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely were obviously influenced by The Adventures of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty , a 1991 four-part miniseries by storytellers Fabian Nicieza and Kevin Maguire, retelling Cap's origin in commemoration of the character's 50th anniversary. Unfortunately, I get the impression Markus and McFeely never read the last book in the series, where a captured Captain America is taken to the heart of Nazi Germany and forced into an arena to battle the Red Skull in ritual combat before Adolf Hitler and an audience of Wehrmacht soldiers, Gestapo officers, and concentration camp prisoners (who were so conspicuously absent from the film). Of course, this intended demonstration of Aryan superiority does not turn out as Hitler had hoped. Now that's something I would have loved to have seen on the big screen.
By removing any trace of Nazi philosophy from the Red Skull in this film, his final battle with Captain America becomes nothing more than two comic book characters slugging it out. Instead, it should have been an allegorical clash of ideologies: totalitarianism, intolerance and brutality versus freedom, acceptance and compassion. This is not just a war over territory but an epic war of wills that has been waged since the dawn of civilization--the Will to Power versus the Will of the People. For me, the failure to make clear the moral high ground in this fight kept a merely good movie from being truly great.
* A case in point: In a movie poster for the film that recreated the cover of Captain America #1 , the swastika band that was originally on Hitler's right arm was moved to his left, thereby hiding the Nazi symbol from view.
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Far FAR better 3D conversion over the lacklustre 3D treatment of the (1st) Thor film. This Marvel film is up there with the latest MCU blu-ray releases with real depth and clarity to the picture. It really adds incredible depth especially in crowd scenes which really immerse you in the enviroment. There are some great stand-out 3D moments from the movie from start to finish. Recommended!.
I remember when I watched this I thought it was a pity he could not stay in the historical period setting for longer - although of course he had to be brought to the present day by the end of the film in order to pave the way for his role in the first Avenger's movie.