Saturday, May 7, 2016

Discuss: Captain America: Civil War- SPOILER-FREE EDITION!!

Karen: OK, it's here. Please share your general reactions and thoughts, SPOILER FREE, kids - that means avoiding major plot points and not ruining the film for those who won't be seeing it opening weekend. In a week we'll post the "fully spoiled" edition.

Karen: Along with your comments, I'd like you to answer two questions: Whose side were you on before you saw Civil War -and whose side were you on after you saw it?


dangermash aka The Artistic Actuary said...

An Easter egg within an Easter egg. I'd seen on the trailers that there are scenes with Vision looking casually dressed, just like on the splash page of Avengers #92. In that film scene I couldn't help spotting that there was a chess set on a table that hadn't been arranged properly. Both players had black squares in the bottom right of the board rather than white squares. Took a look at the splash page afterwards and saw that the artist for #92 had made the same mistake. That's awesome attention to detail.

And before any non chess players roll their eyes, having the board wrongly setup makes a huge difference. As white, I always have the queenside on the left and the kingside on the right. Having them the other way around would be like driving in the other side of the road.

Side-wise, I'd not chosen before the film because I didn't know what the issue was! In the film, I'm 100% with Cap.

Redartz said...

Can't say much yet; hope to see the film this weekend. As for choosing a side: Some of you may have seen a popular t-shirt in stores stating "Always Be Yourself. Unless You Can Be Batman. Then Always Be Batman". I'd change that a bit: "Always take your own side. Unless you can side with Captain America. Then always side with Captain America."

Anonymous said...

The 20 best things about Civil War (edited for spoilers):

1. Everybody, all the time – the Russo’s did a great job of giving each character their time in the spotlight – trickier than for Whedon because this was Cap’s film.

2. Falcon – I always thought his flight i.e. those dopey little underarm wings, was ridiculous, second only to Namor. I much prefer the movie Falcon and I thought his flying scenes were brilliant.

3. Vision – great performance by Paul Bettany. Really captured that human/not quite human vibe. Loving the cinema vision of the Vision.

4. Ant Man doing the thing he does. (Edited for spoiling)

5. Antman doing the other thing he does. ( Edited for spoiling)

6. Scarlet Witch. I like Elizabeth Olsen in this role. I felt Wanda grew up in the comics from a teenage dupe of Magneto into a strong willed woman, and I think they’ve landed nicely in the middle. I like her performance.

7. Whereas the Iron Man & Thor films are of a piece, Cap 1 was a Bond film in WW2, Cap 2 was a paranoid 70’s thriller, but Cap 3 is a full on super hero slugfest ( I’m assuming everybody had worked that out already).

8. Panther – I thought he would just be a bloke in a catsuit, but he absolutely seethed power. I loved the proper African accent – in the comics he’s written like everyone else.

9. I won’t comment on the new Spidey, except to say you forget how young Peter was supposed to be at the start. BTW, I saw the film in Kingston Upon Thames, which is where Tom Holland comes from.

10. Natasha – Scarlett is great, second only to her stunt woman!

11. The dialogue is great: “OK. Anybody on our side hiding any shocking, or fantastic abilities they'd like to disclose, I'm open to suggestion.”

12. As for taking sides, hard to answer without spoiling. I think in the movie, you are supposed to side with Cap, but you have every sympathy with Tony, knowing his background and that he just unleashed Ultron on the world. I think Natasha is in an impossible position. I found the Vision’s logic unconvincing. The thing I liked most, which I hope is not a spoiler, is that the characters who would naturally come down on one side or the other do, and the ones who would be conflicted are conflicted. Both Cap and IM get each other’s positions, and neither is convinced they are 100% right. I was worried that there would be a contrived reason to fight, everyone would start unconvincingly posturing and then start battering each other without a second thought. That doesn’t happen. Nobody’s character gets butchered to contrive the plot.

13. In tone, it seemed more like Avengers 2 than Avengers 2 did to me. I experienced the same elation, the same sense of culmination, that I got in 2012. I thought Cap3 did a better job of servicing all the characters and pushing the entire MCU universe forward than Avengers 2.

14. I like Chris Evans’s Cap. It would be easy to play Cap as a lantern jawed, constitution-quoting slab of beefcake. We get Steve Rogers almost more than we get Cap.


ps Karen - if I spoilt, please edit me or tell me to remove (hence the numbers)

William said...

I'll just say that this movie was a lot of fun. I'll definitely try to go see again in the theater. I saw it in standard movie format so I may try 3D next time.

I've been calling this one "Avengers 2.5" since I saw the first preview and that is definitely what this movie was. They almost could have called it "Avengers 3" and no one would have noticed.

Without going into any detail I will say that I loved the way they handled Spider-Man in this. However, it kind of struck me as sad that I was watching a movie that got Spidey more right than any of the comics have in the last 15 years (or longer). Hope his upcoming solo movie does him the same justice.

Another bright spot was Ant-Man. I've been a big fan of Scott Lang as Ant-Man since his very first appearance, and I think Paul Rudd does a great job with the character. His scenes were some of my favorite moments in the whole movie.

I really couldn't stand the "Civil Ware" comic series, so it somewhat surprises me to say that "Civil War" the movie will probably turn out to be my favorite Marvel film (or superhero movie in general) so far. Maybe it's because the movie version condensed the story and made the character interactions and fight scenes a lot more fun than the comic did.

Graham said...

Fantastic. Just right in every way. To me, the best super hero movie so far.

I started out on Cap's side and ended up on Cap's surprise, though I did sympathize with Tony. I could see each one taking their respective side and the fact that one of them would be conflicted.

Just a great movie all around. Might go see it again.

BobC said...

I liked it but it was a lot to take in all at one time. I literally found myself forgetting where we left one character or another. I agree that Spiderman was done perfectly--and Paul Rudd was just funny as hell and made me really like the character! It was nice to see Natasha get a much stronger role and she nailed it. The Black Panther was amazing too--loved the last scene that finally showed you-know-where. Robert Downey Jr is so great an actor--his every facial expression was just priceless! He's obviously the strongest actor on the team, although he gets some stiff competition from Scarlett J and Chad B. I find the guy who plays Falcon very likeable and funny.

I gotta say that my only gripe is with the Vision.I don't think the costume and makeup do the character justice. The more I saw of it the less I liked it.

Anyway, IMO this may be Marvel's best movie so far. TONS of action!!

Martinex1 said...

Really like those posters in Karen's post. I haven't seen those before. The 70s retro styling and Art Deco look is very cool. They don't make posters like they used to; it's fun to see these. I'm seeing the movie on Sunday. Will be back later. Cheers all!

J.A. Morris said...

I thought it was very good. I feared they would take the franchise in a "dark" direction, like what's been done with the recent DC superhero movies.

To answer Karen's question:

I went in to the movie solidly on "Team Cap." After seeing it, I'm still on Cap's side, but I didn't agree with every one of Captain America's actions during the film.

Unknown said...

When all is said and done, at its core this is a Captain America vs. Iron Man film. However, there are so many guest-stars in Captain America: Civil War that the movie is practically an Avengers film. Nearly a dozen guest-stars: Black Widow, Winter Soldier, Falcon, War Machine, Hawkeye, Black Panther, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, Spider-Man. An appropriate amount of time, more or less, is focused on each of them. Spider-Man's appearance, while interesting, is obviously intended to introduce him to film audiences prior to his own feature film (third iteration). Same goes for Black Panther.

As usual, these blockbuster films overly rely on CGI and the dialogue in superhero films tends to be corny and overly dramatic at times, but Captain America: Civil War should satisfy most Marvel fans. There is no shortage of action and suspense, and that is precisely what the summer moviegoer and Marvelite is looking for.

Thomas F.

Anonymous said...

Hmm gonna see it tomorrow, but it tickles my inner Marvel heart to read all these positive reviews of this movie. I had my reservations when I heard it was coming out, and while Avengers:Age of Ultron suffered from sequelitis, Cap: Civil War looks like it has escaped this particular curse.

Not too shabby considering it's the third film in the Captain America series! Usually the latter sequels in a movie series with very few exceptions tend to be of gradually lesser quality, but that's not the case here. You just have to give credit to Marvel Studios, they seem to strike the right balance between satisfying the diehard comic book fans and the casual moviegoer who's never heard of Hank Pym, all the while giving us movies which are connected together.

- Mike 'gotta love the Marvel Universe' from Trinidad & Tobago.

tetrahedron said...

Sure the heroes were good. But this film, like too many Marvel films, fails in one main area: lack of an interesting villain. Why take a Zemo character at all if you're going to make him so bland and almost incidental to the movie?


B Smith said...

One thing that struck me during that scene at the airport - movies based on DC characters all seem to take place at night, Marvel ones having everything going on in broad makes a refreshing change!

Unknown said...

Tetrahedron, interesting point. Lackluster villains can kill a film. Regarding Avengers 2, I liked Ultron but I felt he wasn't used to his full potential--he should have been far more destructive than he ultimately turned out to be. The fate of the world itself should have been at stake. In fact, Avengers 2 seemed more about the breakup of the Avengers team than about a potent foe being vanquished by close band of tight-knit heroes.

Humanbelly said...

Why----WHY?--- do they open a film like this on MOTHER'S DAY WEEKEND??
Apart from being terribly busy regardless-- part of my "gift" for my wife is that I'm not going to carve out any block of time to go see this on my own-- so's I can get our balcony railing rebuilt/replaced.

In fact. . . time to get preppin' for that right now. . .

But seriously-- how many Moms/wives do you think are out there today with a grimace and and a raised eyebrow, saying "You want to go see WHAT, now, on my one official, special day of celebration-???" Suck it up fellas. Priorities-- priorities--!


BobC said...

Tetra--I didn't want to be negative before but you are so right about Zemo. As cool as most of the movie was, Zemo seemed like a wet rag that didn't even need to be there. I think this "Civil War" could have easily happened without a villain had it been written a little differently.

I also agree about Ultron in the last Avengers movie. He should have been a lot scarier,but still I loved the movie. I even liked all the X-Men movies, although I seem to be the only one.

Sharper13x said...

I saw it yesterday. Great? Yes. Best MCU movie ever? I’d say "one of the best" for sure.

But I don’t think these MCU movies should be looked on like regular movies. Beyond how good they are, to really appreciate them, you have to put them in context. These films have completely revolutionized the film industry. What Marvel is doing is so cutting edge and so beyond the capacity of what the movie studios thought they were capable of (pre-MCU) that most of the industry still doesn’t even get it. Warner Bros STILL thinks they can make Superman a more interesting character with creative notes from the studio execs. And it really shows.

The idea of making dozens of incredibly expensive, high quality films with the best actors and best directors in the business, that all interlink and reference each other to form a mind-boggling massive over-story is TOTALLY INSANE. It is not something that anybody in Hollywood would have ever considered... until these people started doing it. Meanwhile... the 3rd installment of Captain America is the BEST one? That’s just bizarre if not unprecedented. The Hollywood way is that sequels get progressively worse and insulting to the audience. I’m sure there are exceptions to this, but it still holds true as a general rule - did anybody think DieHard 2 or 3 was as good as the first one?

Reviewing Civil War as a stand alone movie is fine, but it also misses the point. You can not explain its greatness by trying to talk about it in a void. On it’s own, it’s a very entertaining summer romp, with loving attention paid to a beloved cast of characters, and some of the most innovative action sequences ever... but looking at it like that misses a lot of the greatness that permeates the whole thing.

That these films exist is more super-heroic of a accomplishment than what their characters can do. For my money, that’s a good way to appreciate them. Even the ones that were “just okay” like Thor 2, are still astonishing when you view them context.

These films continue to blow my mind before they even get to the screen.

B Smith said...

Actually, that's another thing - most sequels work as stand-alone films where you don't really have to have seen the first film to be able to follow what's going on...after all, what studio would want to alienate potential box-office by making it difficult for any first-time audience to know who is who and what the thrust of the story is?

This is one film where you pretty much HAVE to see any or all of the preceding movies, otherwise you wouldn't have a clue what's going on. And following on from what Stephen Harper has said, it's amazing that regardless of whether it's a Captain America movie, or an Avengers or Iron Man movie, they have basically the one story line threading through them. They've beaten studios like Lucasfilm, wherein you had to wait about two years for your next fix of Star Wars...these things have a new chapter coming out every six months!

Karen said...

We were traveling this weekend but I have seen the film and I'm ready to comment in general. I enjoyed it. I think Winter Solider is still the best-made Marvel film but this is a very solid movie. Yes, it's jam-packed with characters. But I felt Cap was still the center of the story.

I was pleasantly surprised with how much time the Vision got in this film. I have more to say on him but I'll save it for next Saturday's "Fully Spoiled" edition.

The Black Widow continues to grow on me and I now think Marvel really needs to give her her own movie.

The Black Panther was brought into the Marvel universe quite well. I thought Spider-Man, while a lot of fun, was actually fairly unnecessary -you could remove him from the script and it really has no impact on the main story. But he brought some nice humor.

I'd agree that Zemo doesn't add much. Seems like they could have reached the same conclusion without him, with some rewriting. On the other hand, he doesn't detract from it, really. He's just there.

Robert Downey Jr plays Stark as a man at the edge. He's at a real low point and this situation has put him in a severe tailspin. RDJ gets the tension across and seems about to explode at times. It's a very good performance and reminds you how strong he can be, and why the whole Marvel film universe took off in the first place.

I liked seeing the team hash out the pros and cons of agreeing to sign. All of the points brought up were valid. Before seeing the film, I considered myself firmly 'Team Cap', but by the end I was somewhere in the middle. I could see both sides. I understand why the nations of the world would want oversight of these beings, but also why the heroes would be distrustful of an arrangement that put them in the service of politicians. In some ways, I wish the problem had been dealt with without the added side-issue of Bucky.

Edo Bosnar said...

Haven't seen it yet (probably will sometime this week), but something Karen said really made me want to fire off a comment: a Black Widow movie. The one place where I am critical of the Marvel movies (which I otherwise love for the most part) is that a BW film was not squeezed in before the first Avengers movie. I know all kinds of explanations (excuses, actually) have been made over and over again as to why this didn't happen, but I'm just not buying it. As one of the key characters and founding Avenger in the Marvel movieverse, she should have had her own feature.

Mike said...

Maybe Black Widow will now go team-up with Daredevil in DD season 3 -- talk about a Bronze Age Baby dream!

To some Civil War may not be the best Marvel movie, but I do think it is the best "superhero" movie by far. It has everything you're looking for in the genre - fun, thrilling, humorous, intense, dramatic, heroic, and mostly holding true and respectful to the established canon of the characters. So basically, it's everything that "BvS: Dawn of Justice" wasn't.

Doug said...

Son #2 and I will be seeing Civil War right after school. I'll come back with thoughts this evening.

Son #1 and his wife saw it Sunday afternoon, and he can't stop gushing about it.

I can't wait!!!


Martinex1 said...

Saw it yesterday. Thought it was excellent. A ton of fun. Some great parts and some minor quibbles, but I will hold those for spoiler day! All in all in my top three Marvel films. Need to see it again to catch everything. Action at its all time high for these types of films.

I heard Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Films, is very high on Black Widow and stated last week she could handle her own franchise and Marvel has her seriously in eye for a solo film.

Redartz said...

Just saw it. Really enjoyed it; a couple minor gripes but overall a huge winner. B Smith had a good comment about the benefits of having seen the preceding films; yet it's fascinating that the movie is still pulling huge numbers. Either most have seen the others, or are enjoying it on it's own merit. As to that merit: 13 year old Redartz showed up and sat with me; I was so stoked I couldn't tell which of us was which...

Anonymous said...

I can relate to those of you who mentioned this being a busy weekend - Mothers Day, travel, etc. My daughter graduated from college out of town so I knew that was going to tie up virtually the whole weekend so I was going to wait a while to see it. Then, my 20 year old son says on Thursday evening, the night before we are leaving town, "Hey Dad, why don't we go see it tonight?" So we went at 10:30 Thursday night. And we both really enjoyed it.

To answer Karen's question: Before I found myself thinking I would be with Team Cap, which is somewhat puzzling to me because Iron Man was actually my first favorite hero back in the early Bronze Age. But, by the end of the movie, like Karen, I was really torn.

I'll hold most of my comments for the spoiler free edition. But, one comment which I don't think will really spoil anything is that like many of you I feared a "darker" tone and actually came away feeling just the opposite. There was bright color and humor just like all the other MCU films. In a way, it sort of reminded me of all those old Silver and Bronze Age dustups we've been discussing lately. If not in terms of actual plot but in "mood".

I will also mention that on a whim we decided to see it in 3-D but I don't feel like that added anything to the movie for me. I would like to see it again soon and if I do it will definitely not be in 3-D.


Doug said...

I am back, and I have thoughts.

First, I would not cross Natasha Romanoff or Sharon Carter. Just sayin'.

For the first time in six pictures, I felt empathy for Tony Stark.

I do not, however, find James Buchanan Barnes to be a sympathetic character.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is being more tightly knit together right before our eyes. In some ways, Cap 3 brought closure to many of the issues and plotlines we saw in Cap 1.

Marvel and their casting company continue to score -- Chadwick Boseman and Tom Holland couldn't be better in their respective roles.

The stunt people are freaking incredible. The CGI is pretty swell, too.

The Vision = Bronze Age nostalgia. Steve Englehart and Roy Thomas must have been smiling.

Big "wow!" moment in the first after-credits scene.

Aunt May is the age she always should have been in the comics. I do not have any aunts or uncles that are older than my grandparents. Stan and Steve should have just made May Parker Pete's grandma, not his aunt.

Did I say how good Boseman and Holland are? I thought so...

More on Saturday, but for now I'm really still processing. In fairness, I didn't see BatmanVSuperman, but I cannot imagine that I'd have left the theater with such a feeling of satisfaction and anticipation as I did at 6:30 this evening.


BobC said...

Not sure if you guys know, but Black Widow is getting her own movie--and it looks like The Inhumans is on hold. I have to say I'm a bit surprised that so many people on the interwebs do not like Scarlett Johansen as The Black Widow. I think she's fantastic! For me, my favorite scene from the first Avengers movie was when it appeared that BW was held hostage and being interrogated, but in reality she was bored and just pumping her "captors" for info. The following fight scene, to me, was epic Girl Power.

Anyway, we Bronze Age Babies are getting the films that shoulda been made years ago! It's a great time to be a nerd! And I am stunned that these producers are getting ALL the characters "right," and I certainly can't say that about comics writers.

Doug--gotta say I disagree about a younger, hotter Aunt May. Maybe I just need to get used to the idea because factually, you're right. But I found it jarring that Tony Stark had the hots for Aunt May, given her history in Marvel comics. Anyway--who cares? Holland and Chadwick Boseman were incredible IMO. So right on the money. Ant-Man too! I loved when The Falcon grandly announced the new recruit, and he was sound asleep! Funny funny funny!

And what about Stan Lee's cameo? The BEST EVER.Again, funny funny funny!

Can we do the spoilers thing pretty soon? I'm bursting at the seams! And my buddy Human Belly needs to get on the ball and see this movie!! I will not hesitate to revoke his Marvel Nerd Card!!!

Karen said...

Don't despair Bob! The Fully Spoiled post is coming this Saturday -Doug and I are working on it as we speak (type?). So be ready with all your comments this weekend!

BobC said...


BobC said...

PS: I hope HB read carefully my threat to revoke his Marvel Nerd Card. I MEAN BUSINESS!!!

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