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[b]Starring:[/b] Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone?
[b]Directed by:[/b] Glenn Ficarra & John Requa
[b]Synopsis:[/b] A father's life unravels while he deals with a marital crisis and tries to manage his relationship with his children. (Source: IMDb)
[b]Thoughts I Had Before Watching:[/b] I have now realized that I love ensemble movies. Not just comedies, but really any type. And that's a big factor of why I want to watch a movie. Throw in six or seven big stars working together, and I'm there. Especially if one of those is Emma Stone, my biggest celebrity crush right now. So, yes, that's why I wanted to see this movie. Its fantastic cast. Oh, and the title, too. It's pretty cool. Only later did I found out it was actually really funny, and charming, and all of my friends recommended it to me. I saw it yesterday, and, oh, boy, did I like it. It's probably the most heartwarming, sweet, and one of the funniest movies of the year. It's actually my second favorite of 2011 so far, just behind Deathly Hallows. Love, as they showed us, may suck sometimes, but the movie certainly did not.
[b]Storyline/Script:[/b] "Crazy, Stupid, Love" doesn't have exactly the most original story out there. Just as any other ensemble film, it follows several stories that are connected somehow, and that end up in the same place. We have Cal and Emily, a divorcing couple. We have Jessica and Robbie, a boy who's in love with his nanny. And we have Hannah and Jacob, a ladies' man who suddenly falls in love. So, yes, the movie is actually quite predictable and uses a variety of clichés seen in comedies dozens of times before. But they work. I think what makes the movie stand out, besides the incredible talent of its cast (we'll get there later), is its straight-forward, although at times over-sweetened, portrayal of pure crazy and stupid love. On all of its forms. Young, marital, platonic, sexual. It will steal countless "Awws" out of you. It will manipulate you into believing true love exists and is out there, and I think we all need to be manipulated that way sometimes. It's nothing new, but it will make you laugh, and cry, and smile. A lot. It's a movie that tries to be liked above everything, and it succeeds in doing so. [b]22/30[/b]
[b]Acting:[/b] Well, this is how you ensemble a movie. Three different stories, three different couples (and a couple of lovers), and all of them performed with equal charm, and depth, and likeability to make the acting the most outstanding and worthwhile part of the movie. Steve Carell is basically the character he's been playing his whole life, but he shows us yet again why he?s so good at it. Depressing and pitifully funny. Julianne Moore, playing a non-lesbianic version of his role in last year's "The Kids Are All Right" is just as good and likeable and deep. Emma Atone, well, she's just there and that's enough for me, but her sexy charm keeps blowing me away every time I see her. Ryan Gosling portrays the perfect ladies' man every guy would want to be and every girl would want to have. Marisa Tomei is the "crazy" part of the title. Kavin Bacon, well, I don't really know what precisely [i]he[/i] does there, but he was good anyhow. The best part, however, and my surprising favorites were Jonah Bobo and Analeigh Tipton (of America2s Next Top Model fame) as the youngest and, kind of ironically, truest lovers. Well, not lovers in that sense of the word. As in people who love. When you think about it, they're all lovers. They all portray a different side of love, and they do it while winning the audience entirely. A dream cast. [b]28/30[/b]
[b]Behind the Cameras:[/b] I haven't heard about the directors before. I didn't even know this was a co-directed movie. In any way, I think they did a really great job. Especially in directing the actors. Each member of the cast, in my opinion, had to portray a completely different side of love, and they were guided properly, as so was the story. I also think that this is one of those movies were a single location becomes representative. They tell me "Crazy, Stupid, Love" and I immediately think "bar". It was in the poster, in the trailer, and in the majority of the film. I don't know if this was a good thing or a bad thing, but it became memorable. Strangely, many things behind the cameras were memorable. I loved that montage scene downwards. Great job. [b]16/20[/b]
[b]Entertainment/Fun Factor:[/b] Some movies make you laugh. Some movies make you cry. Some movies make you want have someone to watch it with you. "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is all of these combined. It's the truest and sweetest of the year, although, if you are not careful, you'll leave with honey all over you. As I said, it's a movie that, above everything, wants to be liked. At times it forgets about being realistic, or the fact that it manipulates you into feeling stuff, or having an uneasy balance between being funny or deep. But, at the end, none of it really matters. It's a fun, entertaining movie. Its qualities are more and bigger than any flaws it may have. [b]19/20[/b]
[b]Highest Point:[/b] Its incredible cast, especially Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo. The clichéd, yet never boring ending where all of the stories come together.
[b]Lowest Point:[/b] The uneven blend of drama and comedy. It feels at times repetitive and slightly dragging.
[b]Would I Recommend It?[/b] Of course I would. It's probably the best romantic comedy that will come on 2011 and a strong contender in the "Comedy or Musical" categories when the Golden Globes come. Although it's technically a "chick-flick", most of the people are likely to enjoy it because it speaks to men as well as to women, from any age and at any romantic situation or ideology. Oh, and it has the sexy stuff for both genders. So, it's also worth it just for that part. I loved "Crazy, Stupid, Love" It's one of those romantic comedies that didn't try too hard, and it ended up going beyond.
[b]Starring:[/b] Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston...
[b]Directed by:[/b] Seth Gordon
[b]Synopsis:[/b] Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness. (Source: IMDb)
[b]Thoughts I Had Before Watching:[/b] The movie looked hilarious. I think I first heard about it when the mere title caught my attention and I watched the trailer. And I wanted to watch it the second it was over. I mean, I knew it wouldn't be a groundbreaking movie, not precisely "good" in the critically acclaimed sense of the word, but I knew it would be daring and hilarious. The premise looked catching enough, but what really made me want to see this badly was its terrific cast. And not only that, its terrific cast being horrible. That was something I was really looking forward to. I watched it yesterday, and as for now, I'm considering it probably the best comedy of the year so far. I don't know if that will change, but as for August 2011, this has been the movie where I have laughed the hardest on a movie theater during the year. It has its flaws, it has a bit too much unnecessary words and grotesque situations, but, taking everything into consideration, "Horrible Bosses" was a true blast.
[b]Storyline/Script:[/b] "Horrible Bosses" follows three workers who are tired of being abused by their respective bosses (each in their own particular way) and decide to end it. By murdering them. The premise is not particularly the most original one (it takes obvious influence out of older movies like Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train", which is even a self-aware reference in the movie), so we cannot really say it's a groundbreaking comedy. Neither was the way it was carried. This is yet another effect of the R-rated mania that "The Hangover" left behind, but I gotta say that it's the one that has done it best until now. I mean, they knew that the story was nothing fresh or original, so they decided that the best way to get away with it was to go all the way with the cursing, the sexual jokes, and the gross-out comedy. And how did they do that? Well, basing themselves on the pure title, they squeezed every little bit of "Horrible" in the bosses. And it worked. God, did the movie was funny. It may not be deep, or meaningful, or relevant, but it was sure hilarious. From awkward sexual assaults by Jennifer Aniston, to burst-out-laughing meetings with Jamie Foxx, the movie is cleverly written (a bit clichéd, yes, but that's sort of given), fast-paced, and, extremely funny. A good comedy. A very, very, good comedy. The writers knew what they had, and they worked with it magnificently. It probably will not revolutionize cinema in any way, but it will last as a comedy that did not take itself too seriously, worked hard on itself, and the results were outstanding. [b]21/30[/b]
[b]Acting:[/b] This was the hook for me to watch it. It was probably the hook for most people who watched it. And it didn't disappoint. The cast is definitely what brings the movie to life and what makes the experience so enjoyable and ultimately worth it. There's Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, in a sort of re-imagined Wolf Pack. They hate their bosses. They suffer because of them, and they want to make them pay for it. Out of the three, Charlie Day is the best one as Dale, the naïve poor dentist assistant who keeps getting harassed by Jennifer Aniston. His character did what Zach Galifianakis did for "The Hangover". Stupidity in a way that you just can't hate the guy. Jason Sudeikis proves that he is more than a capable comedian, with perfect timing and charm. All those SNL years paid off. And while Jason Bateman wasn't bad, his character was never really committed to the murdering, and neither seemed he. He was a bit off most of the time, but his character worked perfectly in the final product, so I guess he's fine. But the people who steal the entire movie are Kevin Spicey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Ferrell as the bosses from the title. They were so committed to their roles, I think because they just didn't take themselves too seriously and got carried away. They had fun being bad, you could tell. And you had fun watching them being bad. I am one who thinks that, if the cast enjoys themselves, most of the times that transmits to the audience, and this was one of those times. Oh, honorable mention to Jamie Foxx as Motherf**ker Jones. The cherry on top. [b]26/30[/b]
[b]Behind the Cameras:[/b] Mainstream comedies, such as this one, have what I like to call a "standard direction". Since their goal is not to give out a certain point of view or statement, but to entertain a wider range of people, they could be directed by practically anyone with sufficient experience. They usually do not excel a lot behind the cameras, and their score is made up from popular songs. "Horrible Bosses" is not the exception. Nothing outstanding, but nothing either so horrible worth mentioning. Just standard. [b]12/20[/b]
[b]Entertainment/Fun Factor:[/b] As I said above, this has been the movie where I have laughed the hardest during the year. The premise is engaging, the cast is likeable, and the movie overall is hilarious. I think they took it a bit too far in some parts, but I think it was needed to be done in order to be remembered. It's an hour and a half very, very well spent, whether it is in the movies, or at house with friends, or even at an iPad. "Horrible Bosses" will entertain you, and will make you laugh. A lot. [b]19/20[/b]
[b]Highest Point:[/b] The incredible cast, especially the Bosses.
[b]Lowest Point:[/b] They overdid it with the cursing and the sexual jokes a bit. Jason Bateman was the least strong of them all.
[b]Would I Recommend It?[/b] Yes, yes, go see it. I mean, it is not for everyone. A group of senior citizens walked out of the movie theater ten minutes through, but, I mean, you have to dig this kind of movies in order to fully enjoy it. If you do, you will have a blast. If you don't, well, it's likely you will be left there feeling uncomfortable. In any way, "Horrible Bosses" deserves a least a consideration. The amazing ensemble cast by itself is worth it alone. It's not an original movie. It's not a groundbreaking movie. But it's a better than average movie. And it's a funny movie. Being a comedy, I think that pretty much does it, doesn't it?
[b]Starring:[/b] Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, Kyle Chandler...
[b]Directed by:[/b] JJ Abrams
[b]Synopsis:[/b] After witnessing a mysterious train crash, a group of friends in the summer of 1979 begin noticing strange happenings going around in their small town, and begin to investigate into the creepy phenomenon. (Source: IMDb)
[b]Thoughts I Had Before Watching:[/b] Well, it wasn't that long ago when we really found out what the movie was all about. There was all this mystery hype around it, with the strategic viral campaigns and sneaky merchandising. The very first time I heard about "Super 8", I assumed it would be "Cloverfield" all over again. And I don't like monster disaster movies. They're just not my thing. But then, as the puzzlement slowly dissolved itself, it started to look like much more than that. First came the all-kids cast, which made the film much more interesting. Then the fact that it was a movie a bit about filmmaking. Amateur, but still. And the fact that it seemed not to focus much on the "alien", but rather on the mystery around it, kind of like the way the whole movie was promoted. Of course, it was released in Mexican theaters two months later than in the US (thanks very much, distributors), and by then, it had already received the praise and the reviews, and the comparisons with Speilberg's 70s work. I mean, all of that didn't make me want to go and see the movie badly, but it became a plausible option to watch and enjoy. Again, Friday movie night, as all of my movie viewings are, and "Super 8" was there. After watching it, I can say that it was a very surprising and pleasant experience, and that the movie is a very refreshing (yet by no means original) option to a summer filled with sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and adaptations.
[b]Storyline/Script:[/b] "Super 8" (I loved the title, by the way) follows a gang of kids as they film a zombie movie. On one of their shootings, they are witnesses of a train wreck, which contained an experimental secret that now went loose on the town and it started to provoke all sorts of mysterious happenings. What I liked the most about the entire movie, is that way before it starts with the alien thing, even before it starts with the train crash (that is basically what puts the whole film into motion), is that it lets you get involved with the characters, their lives, their concerns, and it makes you care for them. What I liked the most is that, above everything, is a movie that revolves about them, and not about invasions, or explosions, or running away to save your life. It's all down to the core of the people. And that, you have no idea how I appreciated it. All the way from the first scene, the funeral, you know it's a characters journey. And you stick with them the whole way through. You like them, care for them, want them to be safe, and, at the end, in my opinion, the alien invasion (sub)plot ended up just serving as a background for a story about juvenile friendship and love. Now, while it's certainly refreshing the way it was carried, the plot was by no means an original or groundbreaking one. With obvious homages to Speilberg alien films of the 1970s, the movie is an effective mashup of "ET", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "The Goonies", and even a little bit of "Alien". It works, yeah, and it gives the movie and incredible retro-vibe in all aspects (you know, it makes you think "Gosh, where did these type of movies go?"), but it gives you the feeling that it's all been done before. [b]23/30[/b]
[b]Acting:[/b] It's all about the kids. Everything. Forget about Kyle Chandler, or Ron Eldard, or any other adult that might've appeared. The kids steal the show. And, come on, it was always their show in the first place. Joel Courtney is Joe Lamb, the lead kid who's not really a lead because the movie is not really about him. He has, however, the biggest emotional burden. His mother has died, and he is in love with the daughter of the guy responsible for it. Oh, and he also witnesses a train crash and his town is being invaded by a strange extraterrestrial. Yeah, he's got it touch. But, he manages to carry everything amazingly well, never feeling like just another annoying child actor, but with surprising depth and likeableness in his performance. Same for Elle Fanning. Wow, I mean that girl can act. It must be in the family name. Hers was probably my favorite performance of the movie, as the fragile yet incredibly strong Alice. Riley Griffiths, as director wannabe Charles, is also great. I mean, every single one of them was. They were more vivid than any of the "professional" actors that were there, and transmitted more emotions than I think I've seen done by a young cast. Truly remarkable. I mean, it's by no ways Oscar material, but it brings life and depth to a movie that otherwise could have ended up being flat and clichéd, other than lively and clichéd.[b]26/30[/b]
[b]Behind the Cameras:[/b] JJ Abrams knows how to manufacture a movie. He doesn't only know how to direct, which is pretty evident here, especially in the first half. No, but he's good at everything that involves getting a movie done. I'm sure he was very involved in every process of pre-production (as Steven Speilberg probably was. His marks are all over the place), as well as in every part of filming, editing, and promoting the movie. Man, can he know how to merchandise something. Whether it is Lost, Cloverfield, or this, he can surely make up hype about something. He's the mind behind everything that's "Super 8", with all its highs and its lows. Besides him, there's an incredible production, that make a movie that had everything to become an action, explosion-filled blockbuster, entirely the opposite and still get away with that. And I can't get over its retro feeling. I mean, from the lighting, and the way it was filmed, it was all very raw, and in a very filmmaking way, very beautiful. The special effects, oddly, weren't perfect, and they may even seem sloppy at points, especially when the alien is now present, but I think the rest makes up for it. [b]18/20[/b]
[b]Entertainment/Fun Factor:[/b] It wasn't what I expected it to be. At all. But it ended up being better. I was hooked up with the characters from the very first scene, in the funeral, and all the way until the (epic, yet seen-it-done-before) finale. It was extremely entertaining, very fun and funny, and the suspense and nail-biting effect never decayed. I can't help but to picture that's how the epic summer blockbusters used to be when they were first out in theaters, you know, like "ET", or "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Pure, raw entertainment. Now, "Super 8" will by no means become the epics these two became, but it serves as a good reminder of what the good old times used to be.[b]18/20[/b]
[b]Highest Point:[/b] The performances from the incredible talented young cast. The retro vibe throughout the entire movie. The hilarious final short film during the closing credits. Don't you dare miss it.
[b]Lowest Point:[/b] More than merely being influenced by them, "Super 8" at times feel like a bit more than an homage (verging on rip-off) on older and better teen/alien adventure films.
[b]Would I Recommend It?[/b] Yes. It's probably one of the most entertaining and best movies of 2011 so far, and I think it should be seen. Probably there will be people that won't like it, or find it, I don't know, overrated, already done, or even dull. But everyone should give "Super 8" a chance. It deserves it. I found it a refreshing movie, that, yes, uses methods and stories and techniques already used a thousand times that are starting to wear out, but it shows us how they are supposed to be used and why these stories and clichés have become what they are now. It's because they work. It's an extremely entertaining piece of film, and while I've my doubts whether it will last, or be remembered several years from now, I know that the hype will last at least as long as JJ Abrams doesn't tell us anything about his next project.
[b]Starring:[/b] Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt...
[b]Directed by:[/b] Gil Junger
[b]Synopsis:[/b] A film inspired by the classic Shakespeare play "The Taming of the Shrew.", set in a modern day high school. (Source: IMDb)
[b]Thoughts I Had Before Watching:[/b] This one was one of those movies that practically every single girl friend of mine had already seen. You know, along with "The Notebook" and "A Walk to Remember, and that sort of films. And each one of them was absolutely melted by it. Okay, I'm not a chick, and I can understand perfectly why [i]they[/i] melt it about it. It's a teen romantic flick. It has "hot guys" in it. I get it. But that's not why I watched it. I actually don't know why I watched it. I was not feeling in the mood for a thriller or a drama. I wanted something comedic and light. And I've heard this was good. Well, better said, that it was not bad. And it's a Shakespeare play translated into a modern day high school. I always wanted to do that (actually, I did it as a project last year, but that's another story...), or rather see that properly done. I guess that's what attracted me most above other options. So, I watched it last night. And I gotta say it was a very fun and pleasant discovery to add into my small collection of "The Teen Comedy is Not Dead" collection, although barely...
[b]Storyline/Script:[/b] The film is based upon William Shakespeare's classical play "The Taming of the Shrew", only, you know, with teens in a high school instead of with nobles in Renaissance Italy. Adapting Shakespeare is not easy. I've analyzed him for three years in a row now in English class, and there's much, much more than meets the eye. And I've tried to adapt him, too, the way "10 Things..." did. Into the teenage world. And that's not an easy thing to do either. Well, definitely the writers came off much better than I did (although, not to brag, and to get the subject over with, I didn't to that bad myself. One day I'll post excerpts from my "Othellia"). I can say that they almost flawlessly made the transition from Shakespearean to adolescent. The story has everything a classical play from his has: love triangles, secret pacts, lies, trickery, and lots and lots of misunderstandings. The essence of the story is still there, but it's nicely translated into characters and situations relatable to the target audience. And what's the problem with that? Well, what's relatable to the target audience in this case involved adding every single cliché and cheesiness ever used in a teen flick. Every single one. There's the completely foreshadowed mismatched couple that ends together, the dorky guy that eventually gets the popular girl that's not a bitch on the inside, the cocky jock, the slutty cheerleaders, the drunkard party, the prom. Everything is in there. So, the story may not be original in any way whatsoever, and it's corny and predictable, but it's fun to watch. It gets laughs out of you, and no matter how many times we've seen in done before, it manages to steal some sighs (even as a guy). So, the freshness that it had from successfully adapting Shakespeare to our generation, is completely outbalanced by overusing a thousand already worn out techniques. [b]20/30[/b]
[b]Acting:[/b] Well it's teens, acting in a teen comedy. I think we all can expect from the very beginning that this won't be a King's Speech, and it is not, but the leads give out enough charm and likeableness to overshadow every inexperience (because that's all it really is) they may have. Oh, Heath Ledger. Back when he was just a young hot lad melting the ladies. Back when there was no Joker to live up to. Back when he was alive. His Patrick, the bad-ass that's sweet in the inside and wins up the unwinnable girl, is charming, and cryptic, and you can understand completely why every girl falls to his feet. He's the perfect teen flick lead, that's about it. But Julia Stiles (sue me, I have absolutely no idea who she is...in what other movies has she appeared?) is probably the stand-out of the movie, as Kat, the cynic, closed, and apparently impenetrable girl that all that wants is to be liked. She was strong, and firm, and hilarious, and deep when she needed to be. I just think her and Ledger's characters evolved way too fast from being completely shut out beings to opening to each other emotionally. That felt way out of place. And while Stiles may be the standout in performances, the guy who steals the whole movie, at least for me, is Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cameron. God, it was so freakin' strange watching him so young. He wasn't particularly the best actor, but even then he reflected the charm that has made him so characteristic nowadays. And I could just swear that his character grew up to become Tom from "(500) Days of Summer". He was a pleasure to watch. Actually, they all were. Again, the performances weren't the best, but their charm made up for it. [b]20/30[/b]
[b]Behind the Cameras:[/b] Well, it's nothing outstanding. Neat direction, you know, aiming to go somewhere, deliver a simple message and charm a certain type of people, which I think they did successfully. The score is something worth mentioning. Instead of going with bubblegum teen pop, they chose a more indie direction, which I think was really appropriate for the movie. Nice. But, hey, it's a teen flick. I mean, after all, who's even looking behind the cameras? [b]13/20[/b]
[b]Entertainment/Fun Factor:[/b] I wasn't looking for a movie where I had to think much. I just wanted to lie back, and watch some romance, and comedy, and have a good time. And this movie gave me exactly that. Maybe I didn't burst out laughing every two seconds, or I wasn't dazzled at the originality and wittiness of the screenplay, but I enjoyed myself. It was a good movie to spend the afternoon, it is a movie I would watch again if the opportunity is given, and it is a movie that I think ultimately accomplishes its main goal, which is to entertain teenage audiences. Oh, and maybe subconsciously impregnating some Shakespeare, but that's beside the point. [b]18/20[/b]
[b]Highest Point:[/b] Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The hints of classical Shakespearean drama elements in the storylune.
[b]Lowest Point:[/b] The usage of probably every single teen movie cliché in the book.
[b]Would I Recommend It?[/b] Yes, I think I would. I would certainly recommend it to my friends, since I know most of them will be the ones to enjoy it. Especially girls. Especially girls during dates. God, will this be an effective movie in that circumstance. Anyway, it is a well-accomplished movie, that, if you know what you're up for, mostly everyone will enjoy. It didn't break any boundaries within the genre. Come on, this is no "Easy A" or "Mean Girls". But it left a hint out there that good teen comedies still have the potential to be what they used to be in the 80s. For now, "10 Things I Hate About You" will remain as an all-time favorite flick for teenage girls to watch at sleepovers, and maybe as a very useful tool for teachers to introduce William Shakespeare to younger audiences. There are worse movies, but there are much better...
[b] Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) [/b]
[b]Starring:[/b] Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell...
[b]Directed by:[/b] Joe Johnston
[b]Synopsis:[/b] After being deemed unfit for military service, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals. (Source: IMDb)
[b]Thoughts I Had Before Watching:[/b] I'm not a big fan of superhero films. It's a funny thing: once I get to know it, I enjoy the mythology of superheroes, but for some reason I'm never attracted to watch the movies. I really don't know why, since every time I see one, I seem to like it a lot. So, "Captain America". Just another superhero movie in the bunch. The last one of those movies that, in my opinion, are just being made to justify and create even more hype about "The Avengers", which will very likely become the biggest superhero movie ever (I said "biggest", not "best"). I wasn't dying to watch this. I mean, I wasn't objecting it, either, since I knew I would enjoy it eventually, but it wasn't on my top choices. So, Friday movie night...why not? And, yes, story repeated itself. "Captain America", although it felt like a too forced prequel for the mega movie coming out in 2012, was enjoyable, fun, and slightly above most other superhero films. It is pure summer blockbuster. Of the good kind.
[b]Storyline/Script:[/b] The film follows Steve Rogers, a wimpy and short guy whose biggest dream is to serve for the United States army during the Second World War, but is too weak to do so. Because of his good spirit (what a surprise), he is chosen to be the subject of an experiment that turns him into, quite literally, Superman (except without the flying). Now he's able to go fight properly and save the world, like any other superhero would do. So...yes, it's the regular superhero storyline. The flawed hero, the megalomaniac super villain, the love interest, the cool action sequences. It's all there. It's coherent, it's entertaining, it's fast-paced, and it's fun. I just think the movie suffers from what I'm now naming "The Dark Knight effect". It's no news that Nolan revolutionized the superhero genre, but he has spoiled us with strong psychological motivations behind every single of his characters' moves. And, now, whenever I see any other superhero film, I see the lacking of that. Especially here, in "Captain America". I found it hard to fully believe that Rogers would want to fight in the war just for the sake of being patriotic, or that Red Skull would like to conquer the world because he feels like it. There weren't any real motivations behind the story, and, I felt like everything was given way too easily to Steve Rogers. I didn't feel like he struggled much with anything, not internally, and not externally. Even the love for Peggy seemed to resolve itself. Also, in my opinion, even though all of these movies are ultimately leading to "The Avengers", I think they should work as movies on their own too, and I'm not sure "Captain America " accomplishes that fully, especially in the end part. It felt way too much like a prelude, and not like a movie of its own. Maybe it's just merchandising. I don't know. It was a well-crafted, very entertaining story to follow, but one I felt lacked a bit too much depth and closure. Superheroes now need this. Thanks, Batman. [b]19/30[/b]
[b]Acting:[/b] I think it was overall pretty decent. Chris Evans makes an incredibly charming, humble, and likeable Steve Rogers/ Captain America, which serves pretty well to carry the whole weight of the movie upon his shoulders; but maybe he was too flawless for a superhero. Even Superman had his kryptonite. But that's more of a screenplay's problem. Evans was just fine in his role. Newcomer Hayley Powell is astoundingly charming and good as Peggy, Captain America's (ironically) British love interest. Hugo Weaving (who every time I see, I can't help but to picture behind the mask of "V") is villainous enough as Red Skull, but for some reason never feels threatening enough. Oh, and I never bought the "I'm over Hitler" stuff. Next to Hitler, any villain seems small. Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark (yes, Robert Downey Jr.'s father. And, let me say, these two actors resemble each other a lot) is also more than decent. But, oh man, did they kill Stanley Tucci way too soon. He was by far my favorite character. I seem to like him in almost every recent role he has had, and this was no exception, especially in that German accent. Overall, the performances are good enough, and more than above average, to bring the needed credibility in a movie about a man that is chemically transformed into a Calvin Klein model. Not any complaints here. [b]24/30[/b]
[b]Behind the Cameras:[/b] Technically great. But not in the "CGI all over your face" kind of way. In a cooler retro style. I think there's actually more physical action than explosions, or superpowers that blow everything away. It was all very raw. I appreciated that quite a lot. The direction was, in my opinion, that of the predetermined type. I mean, maybe it's not this way whatsoever, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I picture this type of movies as the ones that studio executives assign any director just to have it there, but they're the ones who take all the major decisions, as the director isn't really the one who carries the movie, but an entire mythology behind it (and box office earnings). It doesn't really show, but I feel that way. Anyway, technically the movie is flawless, but flawless is standard now on action/ superhero films. So, we must say it's standard. [b]17/20[/b]
[b]Entertainment/Fun Factor:[/b] For being a two-hour film, I felt it extremely fast-paced, and entertaining, and fun to be around. It had the perfect mixture of action, humor, and romance, and it wasn't overfilled with action sequences, and explosions, and super face-offs, which is always appreciated. Again, I felt it a bit too shallow, and they could've gone deeper into the character's origins and motives, but I don't think the movie was made for any more purposes than for raw entertainment and serving as a bridge to connect to "The Avengers", and it excels on both. A good old summer blockbuster movie. The pure kind. The good kind. [b]17/20[/b]
[b]Highest Point:[/b] Chris Evans, Hayley Powell, and Stanley Tucci. The hilarious musical sequence. Yes, you heard it. There is a musical sequence on "Capitan America".
[b]Lowest Point:[/b] The lack of emotional connection with either the story or the characters. The feeling that it was made just as a prequel to "The Avengers" and not as a movie to stand on its own.
[b]Would I Recommend It?[/b] Yes. Go see it. You'll have fun. If you like superheroes, and action films, and shirtless guys, and are one of the many millions who are biting their nails waiting for May 2012, you can't miss it. I don't know if I'll see it again, I don't know if I'll see any other of the already released movies containing "The Avengers"; I don't even know if I'll see "The Avengers". I'm not really looking forward to it, but I know it's going to be a huge event. If I come to see it, I know that, just as it happened with "Captain America", I will very much enjoy it.