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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Captain America - No Spoilers

Friday night, in a twinkle of serendipity, we watched Iron Man on TV. This put us in the perfect mood to go see Captain American on Saturday afternoon. I am in love.

The costumes, make-up and staging were designed so that they did not look strange to the modern eye yet perfectly evoked the World War II milieu. That’s not easy to do, and I appreciated it. On top of that, it had a strong, really strong, realistic female character who was of the era without conceding to our modern notions that women must either be delicate and helpless or delicate and kick-ass.. Peggy was a relief.
I don’t mean to single her out, though. The acting throughout was superb. I mean every   single   role. The all-American (albeit light-haired and blue-eyed) Steve Rogers, was as compelling as the bullied underdog as he was as the national hero. Bucky, the General (was the rank General? I think so), the villain, all the characters were layered and credible.
Unlike so many movies today, Captain America moved right along. There was depth of plot without requiring unrelated sideline action to pad the main narrative. If I had one criticism, I would say that it surrendered to the current notion of thinking that longer is better. While it held my attention throughout, it could have lost ten minutes. On the other hand, those were ten minutes of battle scenes which are probably well liked by males.

Despite the war scenes, there was no unnecessary violence which is all too rare in today’s movies, and since it depicted the 1940s, there was no sex. It didn’t need either to keep your attention, and it means you don’t have to be embarrassed to take your tweens to see it.
We misread the movie times and saw it in 3-D. It is the first, the very first 3-D movie I’ve seen that made full and proper use of the medium. The images didn’t smear themselves into your face or dip and fall in order to make you sick to your stomach. It was as if an entire room opened in front of you. Three-D technology does not make movies better for me; a flat screen is almost always as good as 3-D, but at least the 3-D in this movie didn’t make me sick and, I’ll admit, made some scenes ever better..
The producer and director made the iconic comic book images believable to the modern eye and interwove the comic book spirit into a realism I haven't seen before.  The patriotism depicted was neither maudlin nor rigid -- who knew such an interpretation was possible these days?

Of course in the end they had to . . . nope, no spoilers. Despite the current nonsense going on in congress and around the country, this movie actually – dare I say it? – made me feel proud to be an American.

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