Monday, April 7, 2014

F This Movie! - Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Patrick, Mike and Adam Thas talk Captain America, argue about post-credits scenes and write a metal song.

Download this episode here. (76 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: Machete Kills (2013), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), Veronica Mars (2014), The Colony (2013), Ass Backwards (2013), Cohen and Tate (1988), Jug Face (2013), Beneath (2013)


  1. I haven't had a chance to finish the entire episode, but I did want to weigh in with some initial thoughts. I'm sure I'll have more to say later.

    For me, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a totally satisfying experience, not just as a comic book movie but as a movie in general. I thought it succeeded in staying true to the essence of who these characters are in other films and in the source material without being a slave to that source material. It embraced the concept and story it was trying to tell and had plenty of action, but the action was usually grounded in the characters and wasn't there just because we hadn't seen a fight in 15 minutes. I remember saying sometime after Thor 2 came out that these movies live and die on how well they embrace the characters in their stories. Captain America: The Winter Soldier embraces them completely and without any ironic winks. That makes the movie stronger, IMO. This is how you adapt these stories: not slavishly, because comics and movies aren't the same, but with respect to the characters and to the audiences. Treat the stakes like they are real and important and I will most likely follow you wherever you take me. I left completely satisfied.
    Can't wait to hear more #condropping

  2. As someone who enjoys comic book movies to a great degree in general, I loved Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The story and themes made elevated it above most comic book movies, the action was amazing (the boat scene and the elevator scene are two of my favorites from any Marvel movie now), the villain was very menacing, and Robert Redford was excellent.

    I'll have to go back and listen again to respond more to specific things in your discussion, but one thing I absolutely agree with you on is how kind of lame the "fake death" trend is in recent Marvel movies. If you're going to do it, do it, but otherwise, stop.

    1. I should say also, one thing Mike said that I can also definitely agree on: After Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the next two movies I am dying to see in the Marvel universe are Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man, and not because of any deep affection for the characters or anything, but the men sitting in the directors' chairs. I'm REALLY interested to see what an Edgar Wright-directed Marvel superhero movie is going to look like. It's one of my most anticipated movies of next year for that reason.

  3. I also really enjoyed Cap 2, and I had to pull my car to the side of the road briefly because this podcast had me laughing so hard (specifically the bit about the term Patrick doesn't like to throw around). So, uh, thanks for almost killing me, guys!

    1. I can relate, JP. I was listening to the podcast this afternoon after watching the movie earlier today (in 3D, naturally, because 3D rulz! ;-P). While walking between 42nd and 43rd st. on 5th Ave. Patrick launches into his 'Orgy' song ('with bonus track: Thor's Hammer') and man, I start howling from laughter in the middle of the sidewalk. And I mean howling! Dozens of couldn't-care-less New Yorkers and tourists start looking at the crazy-looking guy laughing at himself, and I keep on laughing because Mike and Adam Beta are too, and Patrick just won't quit singing. Good times. :-)

  4. I'm a bit more with Adam on this one. I really enjoyed The Winter Soldier, and it is far and away the best Marvel sequel, but I'm not completely over the moon about it. Perhaps if less of the internet was saying that it was so awesome it literally melted their faces off I wouldn't sound like such a curmudgeon (it's a big case of Toy Story 3 syndrome). I found it slightly laughable that the movie is called The Winter Solider, since, to me, WS barely registered as a presence at all. The last lines had tons of people cheering in my theater, but I kept thinking to myself "I would have liked to have seen that in THIS movie." WS's arc felt more like a two-hour first act to Captain America 3: Winter Soldier For Reals This Time. But I enjoyed the heck out of the action, especially all the practical sets and amazing stunt work, and I don't have any gripes with any of the performances.

    When will Nudge-Nudge and the Haverick's new column get a release?

  5. Breaking News: We are now supposed to call the next Spider-Man movie, "Mazin' 2"

  6. I'm re-reading Brubaker's Winter Soldier arc as well and I'm impressed by how much the movie deviates from the story told in the comics while retaining the themes of it. I read a lot of this stuff back when it was first published and only saw what was on the surface. Now, revisiting it AFTER the movie, I'm seeing all sorts of layers and am so thankful that we aren't getting just the surface story. That the movie went so deep into the areas it did and wasn't just a balls-out superhero fight makes me feel so happy. I don't want or need movies to give note-for-note recreations of something I've already experienced. Winter Soldier tied in some of the themes of Civil War, Secret Invasion, AND Brubaker's Captain America run seamlessly without actually copying any of it directly. So well done.


    1. Before i went to see this i had went back and re-read winter solider and cant agree more on the themes that seemed to appear in this film epically with the whole civil war tie-ins, i know we will never see that story in the films but in some way i think it may be coming.

  7. Only half way through, and just when I was asking myself if it was that good, I realized it is. Want to go see it again. I'm not even a Cap fan when it comes to the comics. But it's way better than Man of Steel. I would like to say I like the Falcon story line, and I thought the way they handled PTSD was very much on point. Thanks guys for the podcast.

  8. I'd like to add Iron Man 3 to your list of "MCU Movies That Are Actually About Something". Not only is that movie actually kinda really underrated, it has a lot of interesting things to say about how we place targets on political ideas and movements, and how this ultimately weakens our understanding of the general situation in which the movement is involved.

  9. I'm pretty certain we're meant to understand that Peggy has Alzheimer's.

    I disagree with Adam (it was Adam, right?) that that touch was over the top, unnecessary, or just piling on. I think the point is that Steve continues to have nobody from his former life. He can't visit Peggy and reminisce about the good old days every weekend. And I love the fact that it's not clean. It would have been very easy to say that Peggy died 10 years before he was unfrozen, but instead she's a senile old woman. Steve doesn't just wake up in a totally new world, but has to witness the ravages of time on someone he loved/loves.

    And I think that further serves and strengthens the Bucky plot line, which would be harmed (albeit in a very minor way) if Bucky isn't the only person left for Steve.

  10. So I don't want to be the guy who Patrick expected would quibble on his opinion of post-credit sequences, but I think there are many reasons for why they are effective.

    Personally I don't care about them, I'll watch them the first time in theaters, but I never find myself watching them a second time. I also usually know what to expect, and nothing comes as a surprise. For the most part I would agree that they don't matter, but at least they're piecing together holes in future Marvel movies (Loki's staff and the cosmic cube for instance). So in some ways it helps in not having to waste time filling holes.

    Now obviously we (as movie/comic fans) knew Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were going to be in Avengers 2, just like we knew there was going to be a Thor movie. So no it doesn't do a whole lot for us (beyond knowing they don't look Days of Future Past terrible). But does that apply to the average film-goer? I doubt much of the audience knows about future Marvel plans, so maybe they're surprised to see that Quicksilver and SW were going to be in the next movie. I know in Avengers most of the audience had no idea who Thanos was. They also get fanboys talking as well, as it gives them something to look forward to, and makes them look like the smartest man in the room.

    I also think a big reason is that's what people expect now. For my Thursday screening I didn't see a single person leave after the movie ended (some left after the first scene in the credits). So do they want the audience to leave on a low point by not having a reveal after the credits? It's also a trait of Marvel movies now, so it's kinda something they need to do (just like The Fast and Furious franchise). Maybe it would be funny if they played with the audience and had nothing, but it would probably enrage some people to waste ten minutes of their day for nothing.

    Another smaller reason is possibly they want the audience to sit and actually watch the credits roll (the initial credit sequence was great btw)? Eugene Levy has told us many times that it's the audiences duty to sit their and watch the credits so we can appreciate all those who were involved in the movie. That way we can learn Charles Wang did a spectacular job at key grip, and that Max Wright was the perfect personal assistant to Chris Evans.

    I think Patrick has a problem with the machine behind the whole production, which I can attest to in a way. But I don't see why there's much of a problem with this in particular. It's not really part of the movie, but just something to the audience and tempt them back into theaters next time. I agree that I wish they had meaning to them, but I also would prefer not to be spoiled months (if not years) in advance. Which is why I like them filling in small holes without spoiling huge plot points at the same time.

    I can see where Patrick is coming from though, as they do nothing for him. Most of the time I would say the same thing, but I don't see them going anywhere soon.

    1. Your points are all taken. And I know my frustration with these things is completely irrational, because they're not harming anyone or anything. I just see the potential to do something special and they consistently come up short.
      I don't know if these endings are done for the 'average' moviegoer though, because as you pointed out they don't know who anyone is. My wife didn't know those characters were Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, just like she didn't know who Thanos was. So I do feel like they're done more for the fans, but those are the people who already know what's coming. So you have teasers that fail to surprise comic book people and fail to make sense to anyone else.

      Again, I'm talking about this way too much. It just comes down to me saying "I wish these things were better." But it's a minor issue, made even more minor when I like the movie as much as The Winter Soldier.

    2. I actually think they're done for a far more nefarious but effective reason... marketing. It gets everyone talking about it, negative or positive, it sets up an anticipation for how it will pay off. It rarely does, but it does inform the audience that there is something more and maybe you should find out what it is because if you don't, then you're not going to understand this "universe" as a whole. I think it's supposed to cause people to ask others in The Know, "Who was that?" This is something Marvel has done successfully, built audiences around properties no one cared about before Iron Man by turning these set of movies into one huge serial landscape. I agree that the first couple of teasers were designed to surprise, but the tags at the end of the movie now serve no other purpose than to advertise and sell you on the idea that there's more, so stay tuned... Same Marvel time, same Marvel channel.

  11. Oh and The Colony was terrible. Check out The Afflicted instead if you want to see that starts off in a predictable way, but then completely changes your expectations 1/3 of the way into the movie. Both are Canadian as well. Just one of them is practically unwatchable.

  12. Odd thing is, Patrick, there's a current book titled "The Superior Foes of Spider-Man" and it's one of the better books Marvel is publishing. It's about some of the more lower-level foes, like Shocker and The Owl, and it's a kind of a funny look at lower-level super-villainy in the Marvel universe.

  13. I face an existential crisis whenever I see a new Marvel Studios film.

    I get so excited right before its release due to the hype machine, but then find the experience in itself quite underwhelming…. Because by the time I’m halfway through the movie, I’m already looking to the next one. Even in a movie as objectively “good” as Captain America: the Winter Soldier, halfway through I was thinking, “So where’s Agents of SHIELD going to go from here”; “I wonder what Iron Man is doing right now”. (arrggh brain, stop it!)

    The other reason why I am less enthusiastic about these Marvel Studio films is that they feel too serialised, too commercial and too much like a product. That’s my problem with the post-credits sequences – they can’t get let the movie be its own thing. They’ve got to remind you of the fact that this thing you just watched isn’t unique or special or tailored just for you, it’s part of a larger picture. The thing you just experienced, that thing you (potentially) loved is a small drop in a huge oncoming tidal wave of fanboy pandering. And that’s when I realise that I’m part of the problem. (REALLY EXCITED FOR GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY!!!!)

  14. Your opinion on Australians is correct

  15. I really love the podcasts you three do together and it's inspired me to go out and watch this ASAP so I can listen to the rest but for some reason this exchange struck me as one of the funniest things I've heard on here a for awhile:

    Adam: [seriously] The movie The Road was one of the hardest...

    Patrick: ...times you laughed?

    Kills me!

  16. Enjoyed the movie. but some minor quibbles..
    The Nazi-Scientist-From-The-First-Movie who is now in a computer used as exposition device was rubbish.
    On one hand it was cool that for a pointless role of exposition that they used existing parts of the universe and comics, i suppose. But the other hand, it was an over the top unnecessary nod to the fanboys which only served to diminish the real world aspects of the universe down a notch. Also, but to a much lesser extent, the "just is" aspect of the Falcon wings did the same thing. If they keep going like this these characters who are meant to be special...wont be because their world is so far out.

    Patrick, regarding the post credit scenes, i think this is the right time to say "they're fiiine".
    It sounds like your expectations of their purpose is defined by the first one, that they are to be a surprise reveal of a character/concept. I dont think that has consistently been their aim, enough so I think its safe to say that they arent always aiming for that goal.

    Sometimes they are using it to reveal plot point and/or build the universe:
    Thor's scene was used to reveal Loki was still alive and that he has the power to manipulate/control others and now has access to Shield.
    Dark World's introduction of the Collector by showing him getting one of the stones

    Sometime used to have a bit of fun with the character interaction:
    Iron Man 3 scene had Tony talking to Banner like he was a psychiatrist, just for the fuck of it.
    Incredible Hulk had Tony trying to recruit hulk/Abomination from Ross (also part of the building a universe plot points one)

    And Sometimes, like you said, used as a tease/reveal
    Iron Man 2 with Thors Hammer,

    I think viewing them as only having one intention and evaluating their success or failure based on that is a bit off base as it isnt really their aim, at least not all the time. So, with the removal (or reduction) of that expectation, I think its clearer that having fun with their concepts and growing universe is more the aim, not just going for OH SHIT, LETS ALL MASTURBATE EACH OTHER RIGHT FUCKING NOW!!! type moments.

    Having said that, even when it is a known reveal it could still be pretty cool. Not the quicksilver/scarlett witch one mind you, even I didnt know that one. But, imagine if instead the scene was in Hank Pyms lab and we see Rudd trying on his suit or testing out an early version of his size changing equipment. There'd be no need to masturbate me then, as my seat would already be sticky.

    ranty ranty rant rant. Im going to bed. i aint event gonna proof read dis motha. enjoy the typos bitches! PEACE!

  17. Way late to this party but finally watched this and boy was I impressed - as a Canadian with some understanding of global history who's never had much reason to think favourably of the US, I've pretty much got a built-in aversion to Captain America as a character (though I've come to learn his idea of what America should be is one I could support) but I liked the first one quite a bit, and this new one was pretty damn great.

    My only problem - and maybe this is just from a lifetime of watching movies - is that I saw EVERY twist coming, not that it took a genius. [SPOILERS?] Redford in cahoots with the bad guys? Of course. Nick Fury still alive? D'uh. The Winter Soldier is Bucky? Took me a little longer but yeah. I can't imagine I'm alone - are these kind of movies just never going to be sophisticated enough to really surprise us?

    In the end it didn't matter - I was thoroughly entertained and though all other action movies have been rendered quaint by The Raid 2, there were scenes that still impressed me - a great time at the movies fo sho.