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Cap'n America

Posted April 7, 2014 into Movies by John Birmingham

I usually come out of a Marvel film surprised at how much it impressed me. Not at how much I enjoyed myself, which is a given, but rather how much more than a comic-book-come-to-life the movie seemed to be. Perhaps that’s just because I haven’t read enough comic books recently.

The rust and corrosion eating away at Iron Man’s soul, the weight of expectation crushing down on Thor, and now the sense of anomie and rootlessness which frames Steve Rogers second life in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Comics long ago abandoned the simplistic moralism of early Superman, of course, but big screen cinema still loves a black and white dichotomy. Especially in the realm of superheroes and supervillains.

For me, it was the emotional complexity of Cap’s resurrection which provided the depth for all of the action sequences driving TWS. I very much enjoyed the discovery of his friendship with Sam Wilson, the veteran/counsellor and the way the script used this to explore the issue of Roger’s temporal dislocation.

I don’t want to go into plot points, because I know there’s lots of people haven’t seen the film yet and Marvel borrowed enthusiastically from the post-Bourne playbook of story mechanics. Suffice to say, I’ll happily watch it again when it becomes available via legitimate digital distribution channels everywhere.

If you want to talk plot and character revelations in the comments, however, feel free, with appropriate SPOILER WARNINGS.

59 Responses to ‘Cap'n America’

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 7, 2014

"I’ll happily watch it again when it becomes available via legitimate digital distribution channels everywhere" I am so going to use that phrase in future. With of course all credit to the original source.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 7, 2014

On the related topic, some might have seen a retweet of Bette Midler's tweet on 4 Apr 2014.

@Bette Midler
@Spotify and @Pandora have made it impossible for songwriters to earn a living:
three months streaming on Pandora, 4,175,149 plays=$114.11.

S.M. Stirling reckons...

Posted April 7, 2014

Which is why I buy all my music at full price.

Murphy asserts...

Posted April 8, 2014

What Stirling said, per books.

On the other hand, this hypocrite is presently listening to Pharell's Happy on Spotify.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Murphy mutters...

Posted April 7, 2014

There is only one thing that bothers me about SHIELD in general.

Where do they get their funding?

A Nimitz class carrier is nothing to sneeze at in terms of cost, complexity and time to construct. The follow on Ford class is even more complex, costly and has a longer lead time. These helicarriers, I suspect, are built after the events in NYC circa the Avengers. So figure a year and a half to two years for THREE of them?

Further, they seem to be crossbred with the Lexington Class carriers pre-World War II.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexington-class_aircraft_carrier

The kid in me loves the helicarriers but the guy who does some of the research around here is scratching his head going, "How is that possible?" Black box MacGuffins like the ARC reactor and Stark repulsor technology take you only so far.

That being said, I did enjoy the journey Steve Rogers takes through the story. A stranger in a strange land doing things he is uncomfortable with makes the hard call with the help of a few of his friends. In that respect, I did enjoy the film.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted April 7, 2014

only ONE thing?

Murphy has opinions thus...

Posted April 7, 2014

I believe, "Where do they get their funding?" covers my overall concerns.

Sudragon mumbles...

Posted April 7, 2014

Wasn't there a line in 'Armageddon' about this? Something about $4000 toilet seats?

Murphy reckons...

Posted April 8, 2014

I'm still trying to figure out why the rovers had gatling guns in that movie.

In fact, I want to know why Hollywood, when they are at a loss for a plot says, "I know, gatling guns, fuckahs!!!!"

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Sudragon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 13, 2014

Because:

Ever since Richard Gatling's 1861 invention, the rapid-firing rotary gun has had a special place among BFGs. Because it's basically the gun equivalent of a chainsaw, there is an undeniable attraction to a gun which can produce high enough rates of fire to cleanly trim hedges, cut down trees, or, in the case of the GAU-8 Avenger, cut tanks in half. Just imagine what they do to human flesh.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GatlingGood

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 7, 2014

I think they explained SHIELD funding in the film - something to do with ripping off the middle class.

Murphy asserts...

Posted April 8, 2014

A pyramid scheme. That explains everything.

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Don Bagert has opinions thus...

Posted April 9, 2014

No they didn't :( I was thinking that in the MCU they could have really made a Cap cartoon series in the 1960's and have Steve encounter it ansd the theme song, perhaps at the museum exhibit about him LOL

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Blarkon would have you know...

Posted April 7, 2014

Black Widow - Born according to the released shield files in 1980.

Said she was trained by the KGB - which became the FSB in 1991 or so.

They should have just said "Trained by the FSB"

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S.M. Stirling would have you know...

Posted April 7, 2014

Funding:

Y'know, just before WWI, the British Imperial General Staff requested a doubling of the number of machine guns in every British battalion, and a reserve to replace losses in the event of war (and more heavy artillery.)

Lloyd George, who was then at the Treasury, denied the request on the grounds that the British public was heavily overtaxed. At that time, only people making more than about 1000 pounds a year, equivalent to about $250,000 now, paid substantial income tax, especially if they had children.

After 1918, Lloyd George had the barefaced effrontery to recount how he forced the reactionary military brass to accept more machine guns, when in reality they were clamoring for every one they could get. This should not surprise anyone who knows anything about Lloyd George, who was a brilliant but utterly corrupt and dishonest man who lied reflexively and with vicious bitchery whenever he thought he could get away with it.

Politicians spend the money on stuff that's more popular in peacetime, and then when the balloon goes up soldiers pay for it in blood.

(BTW, the stuff about Haig and the others not understanding modern weapons is complete crap. Haig was an enthusiast for new technology, demanded every machine gun and heavy artillery piece he could get, loved tanks as soon as he saw them, and badgered London continually for more aircraft. Kitchener in 1914 bluntly told the Cabinet that the war would last at least 3 years and require mobilizing millions of men, profoundly shocking the "frocks" who'd expected a limited-liability naval war. The British commanders weren't usually geniuses, but they -were- usually solid, intelligent professionals. They were simply confronted with a situation that didn't -have- any good solutions.)

Murphy reckons...

Posted April 8, 2014

One problem with the mythology versus reality (not helped by historical revisionism) is that many present day history professors avoid matters military like the plague, preferring instead to focus on social history.

Worse, if you try to teach military history in a standard survey course you find that there is considerable resistance to the material because they've been taught over and over and over again that, "War is bad, evil and we don't learn evil things."

So instead we focus on the lives of fishmongers, skirt makers and other unsundry bits of social history.

Or to put it another way, most of the military history I know I've had to acquire on my own through my own research without mentorship.

Anyway, if there is rampant ignorance about Field Marshall Douglas Haig out there (and I confess to skimming the wiki entry on me after I read your post, Steve) it is part in parcel due to what passes for history classes today.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 8, 2014

""War is bad, evil and we don't learn evil thing" so is disease but I don't see calls for doctors to take it from th curriculum in medical schools.

Surely the US with as long a military history as it has, been involved in so many conflicts must have dedicated, professional miltary historians?

Lulu ducks in to say...

Posted April 8, 2014

Murphy, for a fully-rounded picture of history one probably needs to look at both (as well as others). I think there was a long period (very long: I got some it in my 1980s schooling) when history was taught as military & government only.

Murphy is gonna tell you...

Posted April 8, 2014

Lulu, you'd think but trust me, most of the historians I encountered tend to avoid it in the classroom.

Barnes, yes, we have competent military historians. They generally tend to be in the military though not all of them are. In fact, they tend to be everywhere but in a college classroom teaching their subject matter.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm reckons...

Posted April 8, 2014

Damn doesn't that mean that college class rooms are missing a significant chunk of history in their history classes?

Murphy asserts...

Posted April 8, 2014

Yes.

As I mentioned upthread, there is significant resistance to the topic among students and faculty.

I had an undergrad professor who said, "Nothing important happens during the wars."

Now, maybe he simply didn't like talking about them. I have my topics that I prefer not to talk about. That preference doesn't override actual necessity concerning the coverage of a topic. For instance, I can't skip American Reconstruction in my American History since 1865 course nor can I brush it off with, "Read it out of the book."

Moreover, in survey courses, which is what most college students will take (the mandatory minimum exerting as little effort as possible in order to maintain a passing average) it is impossible to cover every valid topic in detail. So some instructors try different things to compensate.

Personally, I prefer to pick an historical figure who can serve as a focal point for a given period of history, using them as a tour guide to illustrate problems, challenges, potential solutions and conflicts. That option is not always possible with each topic but when it is an option and I use it, students seem to dial into the material better.

Anyway, Captain America was great.

And Carthage must be destroyed!

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Respond to this thread

Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 7, 2014

So Much to say!

Will have a look at Which-50 shortly.

Missed the last post/email.

Saw a video in Canberra 1996 called "Horny Housewifes".

Credits included PJRL and N(*).

Then there's that video 'Perfeect People" by Tommy.

Where is he now?

Signing off.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted April 7, 2014

'78 Records.

Posnamo, come no?

Respond to this thread

NBlob mutters...

Posted April 7, 2014

While this week's episode of cultural imperialism maybe offer momentary 'splodey diversion even dressed dowin the shabby rags of ennui, Samsung (not apple) have produced graphene monolayer monocrystals. This is a big deal. Perhaps not cold fusion or room temp super conductor big, but big enough.

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/179874-samsungs-graphene-breakthrough-could-finally-put-the-wonder-material-into-real-world-devices

Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted April 8, 2014

Its an impresive techical achievement and will chnage how tech is build in ways we can not even yet imagine.

NBlob is gonna tell you...

Posted April 8, 2014

"Bob, why do you hate America?"

60% jealousy

30% fear

10% other

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 8, 2014

I was kidding. I never really suspected you of hating America (just Kansas, Arizona and Missippippi).

I don't think I'll ever ask that question in jest again.

Murphy puts forth...

Posted April 8, 2014

Those Kansans did carry out Order Number 11.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 8, 2014

I thought that happened in Missouri.

Do you think there was a more immediate and effective way to respond to the Lawrence Massacre?

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 8, 2014

I just realized we opened the door for a discussion that includes Jayhawkers, Bushwhackers and Redlegs but excludes just about everyone here. I deeply regret doing so. Let's not go there, shall we?

Murphy puts forth...

Posted April 8, 2014

PNB,

1. Yes.

2. No.

3. OK.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 8, 2014

" but excludes just about everyone here" hey I may be ignorant of all the facts, details and issues. Doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on the matter on which I will carry out long, text heavy posting about.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan has opinions thus...

Posted April 8, 2014

I stand corrected: everybody here but Barnesy.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted April 8, 2014

Speaking of Missouri, I never realised that Kansas City was also known as the "Paris of the Plains".
That does make me wonder what Murph, aka 'Frenchy', has been complaining about all these years. It must be a product of his innate Parisian hauteur.

Murphy mumbles...

Posted April 8, 2014

We're called that because of the proliferation of fountains, many of which often do not work.

As for French food, Aixois is worth a visit.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

NBlob would have you know...

Posted April 8, 2014

It's actually Oreganics & Washingtonians* that truly Sh!t me. Their superscillious attitude "we're so clever" "We make boeings" that grates.

*Note: the State, not the Disctrict of Columbia. East coasters are generally more humble, gracious and they have the Smithsonian.

w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 8, 2014

The state of Rhode Island always seems short of fans.

NBlob mumbles...

Posted April 8, 2014

That'd be because it barely qualifies as a Zip code. Whomever granted State-hood must have had an agenda.

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 8, 2014

I am shocked no one here knows that Kansas City was known as "the Paris of the Plains" due to the availability of inexpensive, but skilled, prostitutes.

S.M. Stirling swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 10, 2014

A joint project of UCLA and the University of Tennessee has successfully reconnected the spinal cords of four men totally paralyzed from the waist down for 2-4 years.

(They tried the new technique of four men; all four recovered showed about the same response. The program will now be expanded.)

The men have recovered sensation and mobility in the lower limbs, bladder and bowel control, and sexual function.

Respond to this thread

Rob mutters...

Posted April 7, 2014

My money will be spent on the Lego Movie. and maybe beer, and a band or maybe beer and wait for the DVD,

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 8, 2014

Not aiming this at anybody, but....
I can't see how people who enjoy the super hero genre, can disdain the fantasy genre because magic.

Those emotional complexities are also stock in the fantasy/magic genre. Those who have magic are often fearful of the ability. Struggle to control it. Get it wrong to horrific effect. See it as a curse. Can feel it's threat of absolute moral corruption. Would rather not walk across the land to fight monstrous evil.

NBlob has opinions thus...

Posted April 8, 2014

@ W. It's pretty simple;

1 There is a Maguffin (Spider-bite etc) that sets limits on the degree of superhero-ness, unlike in Magical stories where there is no *logical* limitation of powers.

2 No hobbits, sprites, elves or other punchable little F*kers.

Barnesm asserts...

Posted April 8, 2014

The problem with the superhero genre is not the Maguffin itself but when they are a medium that has been running a continuous story for 70years and you have to keep inventing new ways of using, challanging the character.

Imagine fantasy telling one continuous story for 70years with the same characters and settings at times it would have to dig into the grab bag that DC and Marvel have had to resort to.

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 8, 2014

Not so big an issue with the movies sinec they can simply choose the best stories and ignore any bits that make things ridiculous/too fantastic.

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Dino not to be confused with would have you know...

Posted April 8, 2014

Hey W,

Magic is sxciesez yet to be understood.

Flying planes were magic a while ago.

Still everyone is a scientific expert aren't they?

S.M. Stirling would have you know...

Posted April 10, 2014

Actually, no, they weren't. The principle was understood as far back as the Renaissance, and working models were demonstrated in the 1840's. The main problems were stability and a power source with a sufficiently high power-to-weight ratio, which was just engineering.

Respond to this thread

tqft mumbles...

Posted April 8, 2014

I will put this here rather than in the SJ thread preceding

http://www.dailydot.com/fandom/black-widow-reviews-wrong-captain-america/

"

Just for kicks, I took a look at the top reviews for The Avengers, to see what America’s most acclaimed and respected cinema critics thought of Black Widow back in 2012. Bear in mind that most of these quotes are the only description of Scarlett Johansson’s performance in the entire review.

In the New Yorker, Anthony Lane wrote, “not to be left out, Black Widow repels invading aliens through the sheer force of her corsetry,” while the Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer-winning Joe Morgenstern complained, “Black Widow spends lots of time looking puzzled or confused.”"

Hopefully Blackwidow with SJ does get a solo movie

Dino not to be confused with mumbles...

Posted April 8, 2014

Seeking Female,

Intelligent, nice, likes good food, honest, good fighter.

Dino not to be confused with ducks in to say...

Posted April 8, 2014

I met her when she was a kid but she (probably)won't remember it.

Respond to this thread

Don Bagert is gonna tell you...

Posted April 9, 2014

Hey, you know that early scene with Sam where Steve has a small pad where he writes down things that he missed in the 60+ years he was on ice that have been suggested to him? I gather that the list of items is different for each country! JB - see any Australian references there? :)

tqft would have you know...

Posted April 9, 2014

it was too fast for me to catch any oz specific reference. There is a reddit thread devoted to this topic.

w from brisbane ducks in to say...

Posted April 9, 2014

Australia & New Zealand

AC/DC
Space travel
Steve Irwin
Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
Tim Tams
Thai Food
Star Wars/Trek
Nirvana (band)
Rocky (Rocky II?)
Troubleman (soundtrack)

Paul_Nicholas_Boylan reckons...

Posted April 9, 2014

You missed "cashed up bogans."

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Don Bagert ducks in to say...

Posted April 11, 2014

Thank you!

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Myles Lobdell puts forth...

Posted April 11, 2014

Superman's morality may have been black and white in the germinal days of the 1930s, but it was black and white in a very politically progressive and partisan manner: crusading against corporations and the merchants of death and quelling endemic government corruption. All consonant with the latest Captain America movie.

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