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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I have to admit, I didn't have high expectations for the Captain America movie. They're tried to adapt it twice before and... well, it was ridiculous. And I'm not just talking about the costume.

So it came as a pleasant surprise that this latest comic book movie is not only better than the previous adaptations of Captain America's story, but is a robust, action-packed thriller in its own right. "Captain America: The First Avenger" has an earnest, idealistic tone mingled sometimes poignant realism -- exactly what it needs to have.

The time: World War II. Scrawny asthmatic Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) desperately wants to defend his country, but he's too puny to enter the army. Dr. Abraham Erskine sees the goodness and courage in Steve's heart, and enlists him in a top-secret experiment to create a super-soldier. Within minutes, Steve has superhuman strength, speed and big shiny muscles. HOORAY!

Unfortunately, the army seems more interested in using the superpowered Captain America as a mascot than a fighter. Are you really surprised? This is the GOVERNMENT we're talking about.

When Steve learns that his best buddy has been captured by the Nazis, he singlehandedly invades an enemy base and rescues dozens of soldiers. But this brings him to the attention of the Nazi super-science division Hydra, and its malevolent leader Johann Schmidt (Hugo Weaving) -- who is the only other man as strong as Captain America.

This summer has had a lot of comic book movies -- some were horribly disappointing ("Green Lantern," "Priest") and some were wonderful ("Thor"). I wasn't entirely sure which kind of movie "Captain America: The First Avenger" would be, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well-written and solidly-plotted it was.

There's also a lot of gritty, smoky action with flying bullets (and shields), fiery explosions, and speeding trains carrying machine-gun robots. But the writers don't neglect the human side of Captain America's story, whether it's his friendship with a fellow soldier or his budding romance with an icy sharpshooter.

My biggest criticism is the MacGuffinness of the subplot MacGuffin, which really doesn't do anything except also be an unnecessary deus ex machina. Really, was there ANY reason for the Odin cube to be in this?

As for the cast, they're uniformly solid. Chris Evans plays Steve as earnest, sweet and loyal, but with iron-clad determination and plenty of courage, and he's backed by excellent performances by Tucci, Tommy Lee Jones and a steely-nerved sharpshooting Hayley Atwell. And Hugo Weaving is AWESOME -- this guy can play a Nazi in a red latex mask, and still come across as insanely scary.

"Captain America: The First Avenger" is a lot like Captain America himself -- robust, action-packed, with a good earnest heart at its core. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2014
I've resisted jumping into the whole Marvel world but friends and family encouraged me so ... now I'm a huge Captain America fan (I mean, who wouldn't be after this movie) so then IMMEDIATELY watched Winter Soldier and can't wait for the next movie. There will be one, right? We're not going to leave poor Bucky in their dastardly clutches forcing him to forget who he is and to do terrible things that he'll never be able to forgive himself but we know Cap will redeem him and help him through it, love these characters so much I'm now imagining their future.

If you like nice guys and sincere super heroes with great special effects and an engaging story, you'll like these movies.
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By now, everything that anyone can say about this movie has been said. At the time it was released I was going into a "not another Marvel hero" mood. So I passed it up. Then I saw it on television and decided that it would indeed be a movie I would like to watch and enjoy. At present, I am having fun looking for the errors in it and have reached 17. But that only adds to the fun. Watch my favourite musical "The Bandwagon", and while Nanette Fabray is singing 'Louisiana Hayride', watch for the stage hand who wanders on camera. And no one at MGM caught it. But "Captain America", jingoism aside, is essentially a well made film, and has many special effects that are not of simply destroying the set when it tries for an action sequence; that particular device should now be banned from films. And that magic here is one of its best features. So is the cast, the direction, and the superb camera work.
So even those of us who think we are 'too old' for this fun, need to rethink that, and this is about as good a starting point that I can imagine.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 20, 2013
There is an element of irony in the way Captain America feels today. Strong, patriotic, never questioning his beliefs, etc. He is a living caricature of the American Dream, and director Joe Johnston plays it like such for the majority of the movie, but never at the expense of the character or the actor. And this is what makes the movie so good (for me, it is): many characters meet irony in the face when Rogers becomes Captain America. The symbol may lack perspectives, but Rogers is all heart when it comes to battling the Red Skull's army. The time reconstitution is quite astounding, and so are the special effects, all blended for the purpose of bringing the comic book character to cinematic life for the first time (let's not talk about that 1990 Captain America movie, please).

For a fan who expects many special features, Marvel and Paramount have grown quite cheap indeed, for they include just under 60 or 70 minutes of special features, never really going deep into the process of production, following the EPK formula of interviews and what a great time it was, etc. They feel rushed and not even scratching the surface.

Nevertheless, that shouldn't hold you from watching Captain America The First Avenger, for it contains its fair share of fun, action, special effects and all the goodies one may have come to love and enjoy from a Marvel movie.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 4, 2013
A young man, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to join the military. Unfortunately this is during World War II and he is deemed to be 4F. He doesn't really want to kill Nazis just thwart bullies. He gets his chance through the efforts of Dr. Abraham Erskine (Stanley Tucci,) who fattens him up a bit through injections and extreme infusions of blue light energy. Now comes the question of how will he use his newfound abilities, for good, for evil, or for frivolity?

Most of us already know the story of Capt. America many of watched programs or read the comics. So we already have a preconception of how this should come about and what he should be doing as the superhero. However I suggest you set those preconceptions aside and watch the movie for what it is. You will find that it is entertaining, fast-paced yet slows down every once in a while so that Steve Rogers can look into Peggy Carter's (Hayley Atwell) eyes and wonder what it would be like if the world was different.

Being a little bit on the cynical side you would almost think that this movie is really an outlet for out of work actors. We see many of our favorites and a few that may become favorites. Tommy Lee Jones looks a little bit like he might've melted in his old age but we still remember him from that fantastic movie "Volcano." Every time I see the bad guy okay the Crimson Skull (Hugo Weaving) I think of "Lord of the Rings." But it's too bad that Stanley Tucci did not get a longer part as he is a very flexible actor. You should really see Stanley in the movie "Undercover Blues."

I only saw the Blu-ray version so I cannot comment on any peculiarities of the other versions. And watching the credits they explained that this is really just the first movie of the series of movies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2013
While it is serviceable enough for a single viewing I don't expect to be re-watching this anytime soon. As a stand alone film it manages to do what it set out to do and that is give Captain America an origin from which to launch the Avengers films. Beyond that....not much else.
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on December 11, 2011
I found this movie very entertaining. The special effects were fantastic. And when Chris Evans comes out of the machine bulked up and oiled down I knew I had to own this movie.(Sorry but what a hottie!) I never followed this in the comic books, but I did enjoy it. Check it out.
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on July 20, 2015
The First Avenger came in the mail in perfect condition with both the DVD and BLU Ray also in perfect condition.

Watched the whole film on bluray without any issues. The movie itself in my opinion was a good watch and worth what I paid.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon May 31, 2013
Marvel's Cinematic Universe has been a rather patchy effort. There have been good films, such as Iron Man, but there have also been deeply mediocre ones, such as Thor. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this was one of their better efforts.

Like so many superhero flicks, this film is a retelling of its central hero's origin story. Of course, in Captain America's case, any such retelling must deal with two fundamental problems:

First, anyone with even the slightest acquaintance with the Marvel Universe knows exactly how this story ends, and the fates of all its major protagonists. Incidentally, for the sake of completeness, yes, I'm now giving you a SPOILER ALERT. But I promise I'm not going to give away anything that anyone who's ever read a Marvel comic book isn't fully aware of anyway.

The screenwriters deal with the problem that we already know how the story ends by beginning with that ending: the wreckage in an ice-strewn landscape where we all know the frozen body of Captain America lies, awaiting resurrection. The point is, they're letting us know that they know that we know. There's no pretence otherwise, so we can all just get on with it. They then go back and tell us the tale of how it all came to this.

Interestingly, quite early on, there is a scene in which the Red Skull is listening to a recording of the iconic "Siegfried's Death And Funeral Music". On one level it's an obvious, perhaps even trite choice of entertainment for a Nazi supervillain. Yet I can't help but wonder if there is a deeper point being made here. There is something operatic about this saga, as its larger than life characters follow their inevitable course to a conclusion as pre-ordained as that of any stage tragedy.

The second fundamental problem the filmmakers must grapple with is that we are dealing with a hero whose origins lie in an age with values profoundly different to our own. Closely entwined with this is the fact that the level of maturity we expect from the superhero genre has also increased beyond all recognition. Together, this combination of developments mean that what was right on the money in the middle of WWII can easily come across as ridiculously, even insultingly jingoistic today.

Yet once again, all of these difficulties are dealt with rather skillfully. In particular I'm talking about how the identity of "Captain America" is created for our hero. However, I'm not going to say any more than that. For those who haven't yet seen the film, I think it's best not to give even a hint. I don't want to deprive you of the pleasure of seeing how all this unfolds for yourself.

One thing I am going to tell you is that a big part of what makes this story work on a more timeless level is that there is far more emphasis on an aspect of the Captain America character that is usually neglected: the frail youth who was refused for military service on grounds of medical unfitness. Not in a facile, Charles Atlas kind of way where the "bag of bones" turns into jock who then smacks around the bullies. Rather, it's more about providing the moral core of the character. A core that stays with him from the very beginning of the film to its very end.

Beyond these most basic issues, there are a number of other points worth mentioning. In keeping with the spirit of this updated retelling, the character of Bucky Barnes is likewise rather deftly re-imagined for an audience no longer so inclined to accept the idea of a child soldier as a harmless fantasy. I also loved the Nazi "super science" we see in the film. It's interesting to compare what we see here to the legends that exist in our own world. I say "legends" because while they certainly have a basis in real technology, they also rapidly extend into the stuff of pure myth. If you're unfamiliar with what I'm referring to here, try Googling "Nazi bell" sometime and you'll see what I mean. This film captures that spirit perfectly. It also ties in no less perfectly with Captain America's own comic book origins.

But what really makes this movie a success is the conviction of the writers, the director, and the actors. All too often with superhero flicks, a film falls down because it's just so staggeringly obvious that the people who made it had no real respect for their source material. They're just churning out yet another summer blockbuster - or so they hope.

Quite recently, in a review of the Green Lantern movie, I said that when someone like Frank Miller comes along and thinks seriously about who his characters are and why they do the things they do, it shows. Similarly so on the acting front when people like Christian Bale and Kevin Conroy portray the Bat. But when someone comes along and says "Hey, let's do a summer blockbuster - we'll make tons of money!", that also shows.

It was the latter kind of thinking that shone through in the Green Lantern movie. Also in Marvel's own Thor. But not, I'm happy to say, in this work.

This is a film made by people who genuinely thought about their characters and their universe. As a result, they have given cinematic expression to both with integrity, just the right level of realism, and finally, with respect for both their source material and their audience.

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on May 17, 2014
My husband and I both really enjoyed this movie, watching the back story on how Steve Rogers became Captain America is an interesting tale. We have also watched a number of other movies starring Chris Evans and this one did not disappoint, he is good in action movies and we liked watching this action movie. Good cliffhanger at the end too.
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