Character Tribute: The Winter Soldier

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winter soldier 2

It’s that time again folks! Another epic character tribute here of someone who (as you all know) I am just a teensy bit obsessed with (well, not just the character, but the actor too). I thought that the Winter Soldier came together really well, and that Sebastian Stan was absolutely perfect to realise Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier. He was excellent as the cold, cruel assassin, and then his past came seeping back in, and he went from cruel to confused to livid, and it was a great transformation to watch. Anyway, here are some of the reasons that I thought the Winter Soldier was just epic!

We can start with the outfit. How ridiculously cool was it?!

the winter soldierwinter soldier rises

The general badassery of taking out a car and stepping aside at precisely the right moment… you knew hardcore things were coming!

winter soldier car

There are few things that gave me thrills and chills like this scene where the Winter Soldier just whips around and snatches that shield like “bitch, please”. That’s when you knew, hands down, that this was going to be a bigger, better villain.

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Every single fight was just breathtaking.

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The entire highway scene had me at the edge of my seat. The Winter Soldier is ruthless, he is strong, and he is extremely mission orientated. His magnificent highway stop was just… wow.

winter soldier highway

He’s merciless.

winter soldier ruthless

Every time he hauls out a gun… it’s like “stick ’em up, I haven’t got all day”. What a machine.

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How extremely endearing that assassin could become.

the winter soldier fixed

The cracks that appeared in the Soldier’s demeanor changed him completely. He was breaking, he was uncertain, and he responded furiously to that.

winter soldier you're my mission

And, last but not least, he was gorgeous with or without that mask!

the winter soldier bucky maskwinter soldier badass

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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captain america winter soldier poster

“Captain, in order to build a better world sometimes means turning the old one down… and that makes enemies.”
– Alexander Pierce

SYNOPSIS: As Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world, he teams up with a fellow Avenger and S.H.I.E.L.D agent, Black Widow, to battle a new threat from history: an assassin known as the Winter Soldier.  – via IMDB

winter soldier fight

What a movie! I missed the period setting feel of the first one, but this came together so well that it didn’t really matter anymore. This movie was good. It was put together exceptionally well, it looked great, had a good story which progressed at a great pace. The effects were wonderful and the cast was great. I was totally blown away with the appearance of the Winter Soldier, the costume design was fantastic.

I found the Winter Soldier to be quite a badass villain, and definitely one of the more interesting ones in a very long time! For once Black Widow didn’t completely grate on my nerves (I put that on Scarlett Johansson usually though) and they finally made her a little more human. The Nick Fury story arc was very entertaining, and it was nice to see him get more screen time. There were times, however, where I felt that Captain America was a little more in the background than anything.

The camera work was lovely and the score set the mood more often than not. There was a very impressive cast, too, and everything just came together very well. This is the best movie to come from the Phase 2 Marvel films so far, the other movies have been lacking, almost as though Marvel built up to The Avengers in Phase 1, delivered the big bang then sort of tapered out. This shows that they still have the goods.

I absolutely love Captain America, he is awesome, has integrity, loyalty, and is extremely brave and selfless. Chris Evans truly lends life to his character. It was interesting to watch how he is trying to catch up seventy years worth of history as well as find a way to fit into society after the incredibly long hiatus. I thought there were some great twists and turns in here and the plot simply barreled along… so excellent! It was fantastic to watch that shield being flung around again as a weapon and later being caught by the Winter Soldier…? Thrilling. Sebastian Stan was mesmerising as Winter Soldier and gave credence to a new villain and just gave a solid performance all round. Definitely the best villain performance I have seen in years.

The fighting sequences were excellent in here, too. I liked the way they explored Captain America’s disappearance and how people went on after that, even though it was not a terribly in depth look at it. I liked that it was more serious and not run into the ground by excessive cheesy humour. Overall, this movie was extremely well put together and executed and is a wonderful way to follow up on what they did with the original! I would highly recommend seeing this movie, especially in theatres if you can wrangle it… I want to go again… right now…

Review: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

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captain america the first avenger movie poster

“Whatever happens tomorrow you must promise me one thing. That you will stay who you are. Not a perfect soldier, but a good man.”
– Abraham Erskine

SYNOPSIS: Steve Rogers, a rejected military soldier transforms into Captain America after taking a dose of a “Super-Soldier serum”. But being Captain America comes at a price as he attempts to take down a war monger and a terrorist organization. – via IMDB


I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this film. When it came everyone was like uhming and ahing and I was like what the hell, let’s see, and then I had a total blast. They completely reinvented Captain America. He was not boring, he was cool and he was someone to root for. Luke made a fantastic observation when he reviewed this saying it was a good set period piece, and I cannot disagree, it was good!

The costume design was fantastic and so was Chris Evans, especially when he donned the pretty strange outfit… it ultimately just came together and worked well. As much as when this first came around I could only think the Human Torch, Evans was perfectly cast. I loved the music and the cinematography… this film was just fun. It looked great, the colouring of it, and I enjoyed the pace of it and the story line. The cast worked well together. Yes, there were some questionable CGI effects at times, but nothing that is a deal breaker. This movie came together well in so many ways. It impressed me. Of the pre-Avengers movies, I must say that Marvel nailed this one as well as the initial two Iron Man movies (no, I am still not a fan of the third).

Captain America: The First Avenger was one of the best introductory films I have ever seen for a superhero and definitely my favourite, and I loved how they focused on the war, being a hero and not someone’s pet and all that. I would highly recommend that you check this out if you have not done so already, it just worked on so many levels.

Review: The Avengers (2012) – Overhyped and underwhelming

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The following statement will be deemed heresy by the firm believers in the franchise, the fans and my friends: I was seriously underwhelmed by The Avengers.

I heard about it for months. It was everywhere. I did not see it in theatre, although many of my friends did and went back repeatedly. I was not that desperate to see it, I would wait for the DVD release, after all, The Dark Knight Rises was my extreme freak-out superhero movie for the year.

Just before the release of The Avengers, I rewatched all the movies pertaining to what would become the crime fighting squad. I own both Iron Man movies (big time Robert Downey, Jr junkie, I love his work), and started with them. I progressed to Captain America: The First Avenger, and I was duly impressed (aside from the fact that I am still trying to reconcile Chris Evans being both Johnny Storm and Steve Rogers – I sort of expected to hear “flame on” come up somewhere) with the role that Chris Evans portrayed. He was what I would have expected for a Captain America, and he aced it. It was believable. The movie was entertaining. Then there was Thor. I really like Norse mythology, so this promised to be a treat. Not really. It was ok.

Hulk out

Superhero movies so often fall short of the mark. They are alright to a point, and sometimes are not even semi-decent. Of all the movies, I skipped The Hulk. I watched the Eric Bana one when it was released, and I was not thrilled about it, but I refuse to subject myself to watching Edward Norton do it (I respect him far too much to watch the flawed logic of a brilliant scientist go daft when he hulks out). My friends keep telling me it is not so bad, and a friend’s father, who is big into his comic books and especially the Hulk, said that Edward Norton was definitely worth seeing in that film. Aside from that, I was now ready for The Avengers.

THE PLOT (very roughly):

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), S.H.I.E.L.D. director, gathers a group of crime fighters together when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his followers decide to invade Earth. Loki has teamed up with the Chitauri Army, and have stolen the Tesseract to open portals to Earth. Loki starts up with some mind control of a crazy different level, and S.H.I.E.L.D. soon realizes that the Avengers might be the only way to survive it all.

Thor and CoulsonThe Avengers Initiative is back on track, and Norse god Thor (Chris Hemsworth) meets with the rest of the freshly assembled team: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is Iron Man, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) is the Hulk, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is Captain America, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson) is Black Widow, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) is Hawkeye. They meet to stop his stepbrother’s insane plans.

Despite all their differences and separate ways of dealing with things, the group needs to band together to stop Thor’s stepbrother Loki from taking over the world. They would be doomed should it happen. Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is slightly overwhelmed to have the entire team together, as he is fans of most of theirs. Loki is intent on destroying Earth in the most public and humiliating way – to have the people become his slaves, and though Nick Fury has gathered them all together, the Avengers project seems dead in the water before takeoff has even been established.

Iron Man and Captain America

When the ages just don’t correspond

Loki is brought into custody, and plans go awry when Thor is convinced that he can reason with his brother, and talk him out of the disaster he is setting them all up for. Many things would (naturally) go wrong, nothing can be as simple as someone wanting to take over Earth and just quickly apprehending the traitor. A death in the unit brings the members closer, and gives them a common goal to fight for. Together they work on their strong points and try to work out the bad points, leading them to becoming a great unit of heroes.

Thor and Captain America the Avengers

Fighting for Earth

Earth has long since needed saviours such as the Avengers, but now is the time. Loki holds the key to closing the portal to ensure his defeat: his staff. Manhattan is in danger of being permanently eradicated due to Loki’s presence within it. Will the Avengers be able to stand up to him, to defeat him without bloodshed, and restore  Earth back to its calm and peaceful ways?

THE VERDICT:

Overall, I give it a 6.5/10. You know, I got home, all excited. It was time. I was going to have my mind blown. I was going to be super impressed. I was not. I was not pulled into the movie to that extreme at all. The cast was solid and phenomenal, the story was pretty much non-existent, and there were inexplicable inconsistencies with the story lines. The humour was, however, entertaining (at times, when it was not too childish), the effects were good, but that was it. It is not a dreadful movie, not by a long shot, but I cannot comprehend why people went so ballistic about it. I did, however, think that Mark Ruffalo played the best Hulk I have ever really seen on film, so well done. I don’t think I would have been as disappointed had it not been called the movie of the decade, best thing this year, blah blah blah. It was overplayed, that is all there really is to say about it. I thought The Dark Knight Rises was way better, and not just because I am a fan, but because it was way more consistent.