Captain America is a pretty darn entertaining movie. Let’s get that out of the way first. I think it is far more of an enjoyable ‘summer’ movie than a CGI crap-fest like Transformers. That isn’t to say Captain America is chock full of special effects and CGI, but unlike other summer fare the effects are there to serve the story. While the film itself is a good romp, to me it is best during the first half when it still realizes that it is set in the 1940s. I can understand the need to differentiate the Hydra technology from the general equipment of the day, but the led-laden, super-soaker look takes things a bit too far. The armor (tanks, APCs, etc) look far too modern and, even in the midst of a comic book story, it takes a tremendous leap of logic to assume that 70’ish years of military design philosophy could be bridged just by uncovering some ubertech power source. I would have greatly enjoyed a more retro-future aesthetic based on ideas of the day and less of a perfectly clean, contemporary sci-fi feel to the Hydra tech. To be honest, that is the only major flaw I found in the movie.
The acting is well done all around and even Hugo Weaving, who to me generally plays the same character, seemed a bit elevated. Chris Evans, whose acting I loathed in Fantastic Four but grew to enjoy in Push and Scott Pilgrim, was very well cast and Tommy Lee Jones played his usual grouchy self. It was odd that most of the comedic lines in the film came from him, but they worked brilliantly. The best of the bunch I felt were Stanley Tucci, Dominic Cooper, and Hayley Atwell (who I loved in Mansfield Park and Brideshead Revisited). I suspect Atwell is definitely going to be an upcoming ‘It-Girl’ and if you get the chance you should check out her brief appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, she seems extremely down-to-earth and likeable. Cooper is entertaining as Howard Stark, channeling Robert Downey Jr. in all his Tony Stark glory.
All in all, I think Marvel’s movies have been getting better. They may not be producing the broody, critically acclaimed films of Nolan’s Batman run, but they are cranking out good entertainment that makes garbage like Green Lantern weep in frustration. My recommendation? See it and stay through the credits. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Rating: out of 5.
A small rant to return this little corner of the internet to life. It seems Borders is closing its remaining stores and laying off pretty much everyone. This is a very unfortunate thing for these people, but the response on Twitter has been a massive overreaction. Calls have been going out from authors, blog writers, and book reviewers to find jobs for these people. Why now? Why Borders employees? It was a good book store, but there have been plenty of people laid off before now and who have been out of a job for far longer. What makes Borders employees so special? In my opinion, nothing. They’re people doing a job like most anyone else. Just because they worked at a place that people seemed to love doesn’t mean they should receive some sort of special treatment from the world. I don’t have any suggestions for the situation, it just irks me that everyone wants to hand jobs to Borders employees on a silver platter.
So, as I indicated previously, I had tickets to the Antiques Roadshow on July 10th in Miami Beach. It was to be a short 7.5 hour drive, but three pretty significant accidents in Friday night travel traffic pushed that to closer to 9 hours. The last accident happened just before I reached it and a few of us on the turnpike stopped to help the couple involved out of their car and make sure they were ok. Surprisingly, considering how many times their SUV rolled, they had only a few minor scratches. Also, I met a rather nice lady from London (by way of Newcastle) at the Earl of Sandwich in Port St. Lucie and I hope she enjoyed her vacation in the occasionally lovely state of Florida.
After those bits of excitement, I made it to Miami Beach where I was surprised to find my hotel was smack dab in the middle of the historic Art Deco district. The lovely Wyndham Garden Inn was my residence for the weekend. The room was somewhat small, but the hardwood floors and mammoth bed were great and, as far as hotels go, this was one of the greatest I’ve ever stayed at. The elevator was wonderfully old with a pull cage door and despite the fact I usually hate elevators and was only on the second floor, I was using it constantly. Definitely an A+ for the atmosphere of the place. The famous 11th Street Diner was right across Washington Street and I was pleased to find they had Taylor Ham on the menu. Any of you from the north-east or with relatives up there will likely know what I’m talking about. The service there was top notch and the quality of the food was excellent. I highly recommend stopping there if you have the opportunity. After a spot of late night breakfast, it was time for bed.
This weekend Antiques Roadshow is filming in Miami and I managed to grab a couple of tickets through the lottery. Normally I’m not a big fan of Miami and I doubt that this trip will change my mind much. But the opportunity to finally found out who painted the awesome estate sale canvas I picked up in October was too good to pass up, especially as the room was free (thank you Wyndham Rewards!). So, hopefully, I won’t end up shelling out too much for this little diversion.
As always, I’ve delayed packing until the last possible second so that means that I’ll be getting the car ready (vacuuming and finding the ol’ Knight Rider GPS) and getting me ready (laundry, packing, etc) sometime tonight. With luck, I’ll be out of here right on time at noon tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get some decent pictures from the Roadshow, although it depends on their picture taking policies.
So, that’s what’s happening here. Maybe, one day, they’ll be an interesting post here.