Friday, August 24, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) ***½

PG-13, 124 min.
Director: Joe Johnston
Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Joe Simon (comic book), Jack Kirby (comic book)
Starring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci, Bruno Ricci, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke, Richard Armitage, Kenneth Choi, JJ Feild, Samuel L. Jackson

The boys have been consuming all the Marvel movies they can in preparation for the release of ‘The Avengers” on Blu-ray. “Captain America: The First Avenger” is one of the best of them. The boys didn’t get a chance to see this in theaters, and I had a feeling it would be their favorite, so I saved it for last.

The reason I think this one is so successful is because it captures the serial feel of the cinematic traditions of the time period in which it takes place. It has the same feel of the Steven Spielberg-directed Indiana Jones series, which was inspired by the old movie serials. The director of “Captain America”, Joe Johnston also happens to be a protégé of Spielberg. He was equipped with just what he needed under Spielberg’s tutelage to make this movie a success.

The production design is just perfect. The lighting hues, the set decoration, even the dialogue is right in line with that gung ho American spirit of the time period. Even the Captain America song that the girls sing on the war bonds tour is just perfection. “Star Spangled Man” has music by Alan Menken and lyrics by David Zippel, and they deserve recognition for getting it right. When the song replayed during the credits, my boys whined that they couldn’t stand to hear it again. Of course, they were just repeating Cap’s sentiments that last time we hear the song during the film’s story. They sat and listened to the whole thing again despite their protests.

Read my full-length review here

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