Hello, Iggles! 🙂 Lizzie and I will be conducting a column where we review and discuss movies, TV shows, books, and anything that catches our eye! It’ll be like a podcast but in written form. Who knows, maybe we’ll even start making audio recordings or YouTube videos. Anything can happen! If there’s anything you guys want us to discuss, feel free to comment below or perhaps we’ll start a forum if Lizzie and I are stuck on topics to discuss. For those of you that haven’t seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier yet, there are spoilers below. You have been warned!
Lizzie: Hmm, so what would you rate the movie, 1-10?
Lily: I think 10. It seems to be the best Marvel movie so far and left fans satisfied.
Lizzie: I agree, it really worked overall, both because there was plenty of action and character development. In most Marvel movies, there’s more of a focus on the action; which, you know, makes sense, it’s an action movie. But I really enjoyed seeing the growth of some of these characters, especially Steve and Natasha-it was interesting watching Captain America, both the person and what he represents, struggling through having to adapt to the 21st century and how completely different everything is. Also, the list? Perfect touch. Overall, I would give it a 9.5, just because there were some moments where it was a bit slow, but it’s one of the best Marvel movies, in my opinion. Up there with Avengers and Iron Man. Lily: It’s a perfect blend of everything really. Like you said, it moves the plot and characters further along. I like how they played Steve and Natasha’s relationship and how they can both acknowledge that the other is attractive without any awkwardness (even if they didn’t say it out loud). The greatest part is they end up trusting each other by the end of the film along with a solid friendship. Did you notice that in the movie, Lizzie?
Lizzie: I loved Steve and Natasha’s relationship- I think it made the movie. You have Captain America- one of the most traditional 40s goody two shoes ever, and the Black Widow- one of the most famous spies who is notoriously sexy, sly, and kick ass. I mean, who would have thought they would get along well? She’s known for being a ruthless killer and he rarely ever kills. But it worked perfectly- I honestly think they both helped each other grow, and accept who they are and their circumstances. And the snark, oh how I loved the snark.
Lily: There are so many great meta posts about this movie on tumblr. One quote that resonated with me was, “This isn’t freedom, this is fear.” I find that quote so relevant today because, as a country, that’s how we’re living.
Lizzie: One of the most powerful lines in the movie. I loved their exploration of that, with HYDRA taking over- since I watch Agents of SHIELD, I knew it was coming, but I didn’t realize the impact. Whenever Zola tells Cap and Natasha how HYDRA has started all of the great conflicts of the 20th century- that blew my mind. Just imagine- Korea, Vietnam, all the massacres, Kennedy, etc.- there’s no end. And to imagine they got away with that through SHIELD- I would lose my mind if I was a SHIELD agent and that happened to me. Knowing I had worked for an organization that had helped bring about some of the worst events of the century? Also, who would you trust? What if your partner was HYDRA? Your boss? You wouldn’t know. I think that’s why it clicked with us- this is a fear we actually have nowadays, it’s not like your usual super villain- the villain, essentially, is anyone.
Lily: There was a lot of conflict, action, and tension. It’s hard to find a movie that executes all three well and makes it feel like everything is at stake without making it feel contrived or awkward. Speaking of all the action, what was your favorite scene?
Lizzie: Oh, that’s a hard one! I loved so many scenes in this movie- but one that stands out is when Fury is in his vehicle, and HYDRA is attacking him. I think I giggled the whole time through, while also thinking, “OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD.” And, of course, the opening scene with Sam Wilson and Steve- “Don’t you say it!” “On your left!” There were a ton of great quotes from this movie, also- I’m looking back on them, and they still make me laugh. That’s what I loved- while this was a serious movie, they added in comedic scenes that lightened the mood, while not being cheesy. They pulled it off well. What about you? And that scene with Peggy- *falls to the floor sobbing*.
Lily: My favorite scene has to be where Steve was on the ship rescuing those SHIELD Agents and he fought against Batroc. Batroc gave a pretty good fight against Steve without any weapons or superpowers, and that’s impressive. Steve Rogers speaking French? Yes, please. It’s interesting too because it makes you think more about his backstory. Did you know Chris Evans did some of his own stunts for this movie? Oh god, Peggy Carter. Peggy Carter is on the verge of losing her memory of Steve Rogers while Bucky Barnes already lost it. These are the two people Steve loves the most, so talk about kicking me while I’m already down, Marvel. Thank you for swimming in my tears. Now that I think about it, it’s a tie between that scene and the crowded elevator scene where Steve says, “Does anybody want to get out?” So badass.
Lizzie: That scene was excellent- not gonna lie, I love a good action scene, and it delivered. I was definitely rooting for Steve, especially since it was such a challenge for him to challenge Batroc. Usually he just flings his shield, and boom!, done. Seriously, though, this movie should win the award for “Most Emotional Feels”. For, like, the next few years, maybe?
Lily: I’m sure there will be many more to come considering The Amazing Spider-Man has come out and The Avengers: Age of Ultron is coming up soon.
Lizzie: Some people are like, “Ugh, all these Marvel movies”, but I’m just like, “Keep them coming, baby. Feed my addiction”. *grabby hands* What are your feelings on Agent 13? I don’t feel anything for her yet- she wasn’t in the movie enough, but if they explore her story and background in the upcoming films, it could be interesting.
Lily: I don’t have any feelings on Agent 13 either since I haven’t delved into the comics all that much and I don’t know much of her backstory. What I do know is she’s related to Agent Peggy Carter, so she must be a badass.
Lizzie: And, of course, the endings Marvel always has, thoughts?
Lily: Oh god, this is embarrassing but was there a second ending? I saw the one where you see these two twins developing some freaky powers, but I heard that there was a second one? I’m confused.
Lizzie: Same! We didn’t stay for the second, and my sister afterwards was like, “So….I heard there was a second ending, oops.” It wasn’t anything too important, thankfully- just Steve visiting a Bucky memorial. I’m glad I didn’t see that because too many Cap/Bucky emotions already. Ugh. So, the twins- MCU update! That’s Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Magneto’s twin children. *dum dum dum* They’re both pretty powerful- I’m interested to see where that goes, especially since Fox has them in Days of Future Past. I’m leaning more towards Marvel’s portrayal though.
Lily: Magneto’s twin children? WHAT. THERE ARE SO MANY POSSIBILITIES.
Lizzie: You don’t spend days on the Internet reading up on your Marvel canon? For shame. Yeah, I KNOW. They’re going to be in Age of Ultron- there are some promo pics, which look amazing.
Lily: I haven’t because looking at all the universes and story arcs intimidates me and I think I’ve been so entranced with Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers that I haven’t exactly paid attention to any other Marvel characters or stories. I’m ashamed.
Lizzie: You are under the spell of Chris Evans’ beard. It’s understandable. *pats you on back* Seriously, that beard though. And Cap/Bucky have the perfect angsty relationship – it’s heartbreaking. You know how great of a person Bucky is, then you see this shell of a person he’s been turned into. If that doesn’t break a person’s heart……
Lily: I’m under the spell of Chris Evans. Period. It breaks my heart every time I think about it and putting it back together again while thinking about Bucky and Steve is like trying to fix broken glass with glue. It’s not happening.
Lizzie: Almost all Marvel fangirls are under Chris Evans’ spell- like seriously, look at him. I don’t even want to discuss it- that last scene, where Bucky saves Steve? Like, hello, Marvel, who gave you the rights to tear out my heart? Which scene did you root for the good guys the most?
Lily: The scene in which I was cheering on the good guys the most where Steve is on the intercom at SHIELD Headquarters and he’s telling everybody about HYDRA and asking everybody to stand up to the evil that has infiltrated their agency. It makes me really emotional thinking about it because Steve Rogers is about doing the right for the sake of doing so. He doesn’t want glory or praise. He doesn’t want to be put up on this pedestal. He’s not perfect though. One of his flaws is that he has a temper and we see bits of that in The Winter Soldier. The main point is that Steve Rogers tries to be a good man in a cynical, unforgiving world while trying to inspire everybody else to do the same. Quite frankly, it makes me angry when people think Steve Rogers is boring or dull. It makes me livid when people think Steve Rogers should be this overly masculine, patriotic jerk and that he would be more interesting if he was bigoted.
Lizzie: Oooh, I saw a really good post on Tumblr about that, how everyone thinks he should be outdated and judgmental because of the time he’s from- but he’s not. Here it is:
He rose above that, and that’s one of the reasons why I love him. He grew up in the early 20th century- but he’s genuinely a nice guy, who cares about everyone so much. He can be stubborn at times, but I think he’s learning to overcome that- to accept his way might not always be the right way, and that he needs to listen to others, while also staying him. He’s becoming the Captain America the 21st century needs- I think we saw this struggle in The Avengers, too. Also, of course, that body.
Lily: I could go on and on about Steve Rogers. He’s one of those characters who is always grossly misinterpreted. I want to come back to the development of relationships in the movie, new and old. We’re introduced to Sam Wilson in the beginning of the movie and Steve hits it off with him but it’s not until later that he’s introduced as The Falcon. What are your thoughts on the relationship between Sam and Steve and on The Falcon in general? I’m so glad they included The Falcon! Sam Wilson believes in Steve Rogers, and that’s one of the best things about him and their friendship. He’s a POC and that’s definitely important.
Lizzie: I will admit- I went into this movie not knowing who the Falcon was. Whenever I first saw him on the commercials, I was like, “Huh? Who is this guy? OMG WINGS AWESOME!” But yeah, I thought he turned out to be a vital part of Captain America’s team-Cap, Falcon, and Black Widow, perfect trio. I knew from the start, when he could match Steve’s sassiness factor, that I would like him. I’m glad that he turned up in the end of the movie, because whenever he was only in the beginning, I was wondering, “Oh they better include him more!” He’s witty and nice, and I think he can identify with Steve in a way that Natasha can’t- he too lost a best friend in combat, and he understands Steve’s pain in a way Natasha can’t identify with as closely.
I also think it was essential for Marvel to include POC superheroes and supervillains- after all, the world isn’t just white. Even though Marvel is pretty good with this in the comics, they’re not too hot on including POC characters in the actual movies. Here’s a good chart that outlines that:
This is pathetic. Seriously, we’re in 2014. So, to see Falcon having a central role- that’s probably one of the best things in The WInter Soldier, hands down. Now, to see WOC in the Marvel films- such as Skye and Agent May on S.H.I.E.L.D.
Lily: People often say it’s just a TV show or just a movie but it does matter. We’re heavily influenced by media and what’s up on the big screen even if we don’t like to admit it. Diversity makes for better stories and I can’t emphasize that enough. Falcon’s wings were originally designed by Wakandan scientists. T’Challa (the Black Panther) helped Sam Wilson to fly by giving him a new harness and wings. In the Marvel universe, Earth 616, Wakanda is an African nation. There is a Vibranium microweave in Falcon’s wings which Wakanda has an abundance of. They never mentioned any of this in the film, but they’ll mention Norse gods and super-soldiers. I should also mention T’Challa is the son of the King of Wakanda, T’Chaka who was the Black Panther before him.
While we’re on the topic of WOC such as Melinda May and Skye in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, here’s a quote from this article: http://www.themarysue.com/celluloid-world-study/
“73% of all female characters in the 100 highest grossing films of 2013 were Caucasian, 14% were African American, 5% were Latina, 3% were Asian, and another 3% were aliens or fantasy races. Yes. In 2013, American theater audiences were about as likely to see a woman of an animal species or completely made up race as they were to see an Asian woman.”
“Why does our society enjoy sexism so much? Or, more importantly, why is our supposedly progressing world so opposed to breaking this sexist quo? You might say that it doesn’t matter – it’s just a TV show. But it’s not “just” anything. Everything matters, especially television. Everyone enjoys television, and until that arena of entertainment can employ more ladies and create shows that demonstrate the depths of different types of characters – women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community – our society that is so incredibly susceptible to what’s on that silver screen is going to continue to inherently absorb sexism.
So when shows like 30 Rock go off the air, that precious air time is replaced by shows that still present women as sex objects, dumb blondes, nagging wives, emotional coworkers, or ugly neighbors. We, unfortunately, still live in a world where a show run by women is a landmark, but we have to hold tight to those landmarks and make sure they keep breaking down those discriminatory norms.”
As for the ending, I’m excited about seeing Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver and how their characters will develop in Avengers AOU. They will definitely not make things easier for The Avengers in this movie and I’m interested to see how the conflict plays out. The premise for Avengers: Age of Ultron is that Hydra injected a variation of super-soldier serum into Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Scarlet Witch’s powers are different in the movie. FOX owns the film rights to X-Men, so Disney cannot reference to them as mutants and they will likely not be referenced as Magneto’s kids. Aaron Tyler-Johnson plays Quicksilver in Avengers AOU while Evan Peters plays him in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Like I said, I’m very interested to see how they will be portrayed and how things will play out in the movie.