Sunday, September 11, 2011

Aloha to Captain America - The First Avenger

This past week was busy - hubby's birthday, older son's birthday, high school homecoming, and Library Friends' book sale.   We planned to attend the Hawaii Five O premiere on Waikiki Beach ... but we were too tired.   We watched the "red carpet coverage" on the local news station ... and they headed to the base theater for Captain America - The First Avenger.

Yes, this movie debuted back in July.   The base theater procures movies @ six weeks after their debut; that's why the tickets are cheaper.   I should add that I know nothing about Marvel Comics.   A friend recommended the movie to me, "You'll like the patriotism theme."

Before I offer my thoughts on the movie, let me tell you about base theaters.  They play the music of the National Anthem before the previews.   They project a video of military personnel around the world.   Everyone stands to respect our national symbol.  By the way, September 14 is the 197th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner.

The original flag that inspired the National Anthem -
it is now on display at the Smithsonian.

Back to Captain America, it was an entertaining movie with a nostalgic WWII backdrop, thrilling action scenes, engaging special effects, and a "David vs Goliath" theme.   "David" is actually Steve Rogers - an teenage orphan who wants to join the Army during WWII "to do his part".  Repeatedly denied because he is too thin and asthmatic, he watches his best friend (and ladies' man) Bucky go off to war.   Yet Dr. Abraham Erksine, a DOD scientist and German emigre, sees something in Steve.  Dr. Erksine recruits Steve for the secret Project Rebirth.  Steve proves his worth when he demonstrates extraordinary intelligence, courage, and conscience during "basic training".

Spoiler - I commend the producers for the scene at the flagpole and with the grenade.  It reminded us that soldiers are not just muscles.

Once Steve undergoes the experiment, his weak body gains enhanced power.  He demonstrates these powers when Dr. Erksine is assassinated by an German agent of HYDRA, Hitler's weapons research program.   Steve rescues a boy taken hostage by the agent and his effort is captured by the press.   Unfortunately, Dr. Erksine's death marks the end of Project Rebirth but Steve is recruited for propaganda duty as "Captain America".  Stateside, he becomes a success in selling war bonds.   Overseas, Steve is panned by the troops who'd rather see the chorus girls.   Once again, he has to demonstrate that he can contribute to the war effort.  Steve not only learns that he is performing for Bucky's unit but that Bucky is missing after the unit tried to attack HYDRA's research facility.   He dons his Captain America uniform, grabs his enhanced shield, rescues the American prisoners, and destroys the facility.   Steve finally receives recognition from Colonel  Chester Phillips who doubted Steve when he first arrived at Project Rebirth.   Colonel Phillips tasks Steve to lead an assault against the remaining HYDRA facilities.

Spoiler - Steve selects several soldiers who he rescued, including Bucky.   I commend the producers for casting a wide range of ethnic groups to portray these Allied Soldiers.  They demonstrate that this was a combined effort of Allied Forces to overcome the evil HYDRA.

The Goliath in the movie is German commander Johann Schmidt.   He previously worked with Dr. Erksine on human body enhancing drugs.  But Dr. Erksine became alarmed with Schmidt's mental stability (and presumably fled to the US).   Schmidt continued to pump himself with the unstable drug, built  his own army to bypass Hitler, and created a devastating weapon from Norse mythology.  The drug has not only made him insane, but turned him red.  Hence, he become the Red Skull.

Clearly, Steve Rogers as Captain America is the star of the show.  Actor Chris Evans is spot on with his portrayal of the "accidental hero" - Steve just wanted to serve like everyone else.   Evans allows his character to grow emotionally while keeping hold of  the "I'm just a kid from Brooklyn" attitude.

The movie also offers a superb cast of supporting characters including:

- Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Phillips.  His one liners inject just enough humor into the script.

- Hayley Atwell as British Agent Peggy Carter.  She delivers a combination of women's empowerment and sex appeal to encourage and intimidate Steve Rogers.

- Stanley Tucci as Dr. Erksine.  Tucci subtly portrays the "father figure" for Steve Rogers.

- Dominic Carter as Howard Stark.  Carter delivers a "Howard Hughes" inspired industrialist who is intimately involved with Project Rebirth.

- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury ... from the future.

Final Spoiler - the latter two characters bridge Captain America to Marvel Comics' next project - The Avengers (see below).  At the end of Captain America, Steve Rogers destroys HYDRA'S factories, contributes to Red Skull's death, but crashes a plane carrying bombs into the Arctic Circle.   He wakes up 70 years later in modern day NYC where Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D., asks him to join his team.

Kudos to for the clever picture above - any Dallas fans?!?!

I thoroughly enjoyed Captain America for its entertaining value and embedded symbolism.  I thought it a great movie to watch on the eve of September 11.   In honor of Captain America, I am giving away the winners' choice of  book from RWA stash to find another dashing hero.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Leave a comment about a recent movie that you enjoyed.

2.  This giveaway is open to all readers.

3.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 17, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winners on Sunday, September 18.


Kim in Hawaii

Howard Stark is the father of another Marvel Comics' character - Tony Stark, aka Iron Man.

We heard from another friend to stay through the screen credits.  We were treated to a special preview of next summer's blockbuster movie, The Avengers.   Marvel Comics contracted the actors for multi-movie deals to culminate with The Avengers, including:

- Chris Evens as Steve Rogers/Captain America

- Robert Downy Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man

- Chris Hemsworth as Thor

- Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye

- Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk

- Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, the only female member of S.H.I.E.L.D.

- Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D

Thus, Marvel Comics will deliver next summer the "Dream Team" of Superheroes!

To learn more about Captain America - The First Avenger, log onto its website at this link.

To learn more about The Avengers, log onto the IMBD site at this link.  It lists the cast and has a link to the still developing movie website.

The cast of The Avengers


  1. Hubby is into the comics, and he's been really into these comics turned into movies deal. usually I tend not to be interested but this and Thor looks really good.

    and I understand all about the busy week. My week wasn't busy per say. I did celebrate my birthday on the 7th.

  2. I love the Avengers comics and can't wait for the movie to arrive next year. Going to the movies is very expensive here and the last two movies I saw were The Hangover 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

  3. Aloha, Raonaid! Hubby also celebrated his birthday on September 7. I hope you enjoyed your special day.

    Aloha, Jane! I wait for movies to come to the base theater because of the expense plus it is more convenient. We saw Pirates back in Ohio and waited for all the credits to roll. We were treated to an extra scene with Penelope Cruz stranded on the island - something from the movie washed ashore. Does anyone remember?

  4. A recent movie I enjoyed watching was Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I liked it more than I thought I would when I went into the theatre to watch it with some friends. But it'll be a while before I watch another movie in theatres as it can add up to be quite expensive going too often. So I like watching movies that air on TV too, even if they are a few years old since it wasn't like I was able to watch everything back then either so there's always something new for me to watch :)

  5. I'm hanging my head in shame -- I'm not a movie goer. I would have to say that the last movie I saw was Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr.

  6. I love going to the movies but I haven't been able to go all that much lately. The last movie I went to and loved was the last Harry Potter.

  7. Aloha, Estella and Dani, I infrequently attend movies because most do not interest me. But Captain America appealed to my children and it gave me something "positive" to write today.

    Aloha, Winnie! I've heard from my neigbhors that POTA is a good movie.

    Aloha, Danielle! I loved Downey's Sherlock. I look forward to the sequel coming this fall. Plus Hachette is publishing a new Sherlock Holmes book, authorized by the Conan Doyle estate. It is HOUSE OF SILK y Anthony Horowitz, author of Foyle's War and YA series Alex Rider.

  8. Aloha! What a fun post! I have not seen Captain America yet, but I think I will. I didn't realize all those actors where in it. Love Stanley Tucci! :) As for me, I loved the last Harry Potter movie. My husband and I are big fans of the books and movies. We also went and saw "Cowboys and Aliens" and I liked it too. :)

  9. I haven't seen Captain America yet, but I really want to! I saw Thor semi-recently and absolutely LOVED it! I cannot wait for the sequel!

  10. Don't do movies but picked up a bunch of DVDs at the library, including one, from 2002, originated as a play called The Guys. Sigourney Weaver, as a reporter, helps Anthony LaPaglia, as an FDNY captain, write eulogies for his crew lost on 9/11.

  11. The last movie I saw was the latest Pirates of Caribbean, too. Other than that, I've seen "Cars 2".

  12. Oh, this is terrible. I can't remember the last time I went to a movie theater! However, I've seen plenty of Disney movies at home with the grandkids--The Lion King, Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty all in the past couple of weeks. Captain America sounds good.

  13. Kim, it was a voodoo doll of Jack.

  14. We don't go very often unfortunately. The last one we saw was a Speilberg move, Super 8. It was pretty good. No big names. Some childrent filming a vampire movie of their own making and they catch a train wreck in the background which the government didn't want them to see. The last movie I really enjoyed was Avatar.


  15. Wow this takes me back, Saturday Mornings we would head up to the cinema from 10am to 12:30 we watch Perils of Pauline, Flash Gordon, Captian Marvel, & I am sure their was more I would have a Sixpence for admition that also go us 1 candy bar I would also have pennys for Icecream.
    Last Movie I really enjoyed was Rise of the Planet of the Apes it answered questions for my dearest DH though I did tell him He had to WAIT till it was over before he asked me.
    Have A good one.

  16. I'm a little strange when it comes to movies. I pretty much watch Horror movies when I pick a movie to watch for fun. I really don't like comedies or 'fun' movies. So the last movie I watched was Death Machine.

    The other movies I've watched recently were...
    Blood trails
    Highlander: The source
    Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
    The Horsemen

    Like I said, I watch Horror. lol But when I am reading I can read comics, comedies, Romance a little of everything...but I love Paranormal Romance.

  17. I went to see THE HELP today. It is brilliant. I laughed. I cried. I would highly recommend. I want to read the book now.

  18. Hi Kim!

    Great post! Last movie we saw was Cowboys and Aliens. We loved it, even tho the critics didn't. (No HEA, no big love story, but LOTS of stuff blew up! My favorite!)

    You did a wonderful job breaking down Capt. America and talking about it's components. Loved it. Loved the movie too. As you said, it was pretty well balanced between the special effects, the small-guy-makes-good, and rah-rah America. Grins.

    No need to enter me in the drawing, but did want to *wave* say hi and say what a great post!

  19. We rarely watch movies at the theaters for several reasons, but this summer we saw two. Both comic remakes - Green Lantern - which I recommend, and Capt. America. Both are excellent movies, the actors did great jobs at staying true to the comic characters.

  20. Last night I watched "From Prada to Nada" with Camilla Belle and Alexa Vega-- It's a modern film based loosly on Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. I rented it from Netflix because there was nothing else out I wanted to see and oh, my gosh! I enjoyed it so much! It's touching, funny, romantic, and real. It is a really, really great movie that I highly recommend!

    I am really looking forward to watching Captain America! Chris Evans is a huge cutie, in my opinion ;-)

  21. It's been years since I've gone to a movie. I watch them on tv. Overboard and Ghost are my favorites.

  22. I'm not much of a movie goer, there just never seems to be anything on that interests me. I think part of it is because I would rather be reading. Movies that do catch my attention are those that are adapted from books I have read or are scary ghost movies. I wasn't planning on watching Captain America even though all my friends liked it but seeing your post I may have to reconsider. Speaking of movie, I watched one last night, it was my second time watching Schindler's List.

  23. Hello Kim,
    My family and I loved Captain America. We also waited a few weeks to go watch it. From what we were hearing, the reviews were mixed. So glad we decided to go see it anyway. We can't wait to watch the Avengers when it comes out next year.

  24. This movie captures the the spirit of not only Captain America, but the spirit of a people who were ready to make the sacrafices necessary for freedom. I can understand why cynical critics would recoil at Captain America as a symbol in this move. But this is a testament to the movie, which shows the true depth of the character in a very realistic way

  25. isn't it amazing how captain america reached 2011 with a big impact to its fans? it was like more than 60 years since we just a comics but now a motion movie with great effects.

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