Tim here once again. Fear not if your missing the wonderful Holly Woosey she's back soon and this will be one of my last pieces so lets make it a big one. I told you it was going to be a big week with the release of 'The Avengers' so let's take a look further with a review of the last two Marvel Avenger character films released. Here's the twist, Holly and her friend are massive competing fans of Thor and Captain America respectively, even buying each other themed presents of each character last Christmas. So let's settle this right now with a head-to-head battle of both characters films. GEEKS ASSEMBLE!
REVIEW: CAPTAIN AMERICA-THE FIRST AVENGER
Leading the run of superhero movies.
Starring: Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Neal McDonough, Derek Luke & Stanley Tucci. Director: Joe Johnston. Screenplay: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Stan Lee and his comic book team have given us plenty to marvel at over this last year. From 2010's iron-tight sequel 'Iron Man 2' , to this years thunderous 'Thor' and 'First Class' addition to the 'X-Men' series. There's more to come too as the amazingly, anticipated 'The Avengers' ensemble piece sets to do battle with Batman and his 'The Dark Knight Rises' in 2012. To start things off however 'The First Avenger' must go to war for country and comic-book. So Chris Evans picks up the shield and responsibility to carry the star on his chest and the role of the first comic book hero in 'Captain America'.
Chris Evans is back in a big way. No not the four eyed, ginger entertainer-that would just be weird and wrong-but a ladies favourite actor, who's only red head came when he portrayed Johnny Storm the 'Human Torch' in the formidable 'Fantastic Four' series. In this years Summer blockbuster season, Evans goes to battle with D.C. and fellow Hollywood heart-throb Ryan Reynolds who has also had experience in playing two superhero's in separate movies (he brought his charisma to 'Wolverine's' Deadpool and a spin-off is rumoured) and is currently lighting things up on screen as the 'Green Lantern'.
It's Captain America who shines the brightest however, (besides Evans has one more comic-book, winning credit with 'The Losers' and even another if you count his evil turn in 'Scott Pilgrim') shielding the glare from 'The Green Lantern's' latest run. Evans is heaven sent, landing into the role perfectly. Standing out with charisma and charm when needed, but falling back and not overpowering the character-first nature of hero movies like this, a-la Christian Bale in Batman. He's tough, but fair in nature and his extensive action/light film resume makes him the right candidate for the Captain. With hope and glory he leads this film right with pride in the legacy of his films traditional and comic book legend. Plus he can pull off looking like a skinny teen perfectly-with some CGI help of course-not bad for a 30 year old gym rat.
You know what to expect from Marvel films these days-there's so many of them. There's always a hilarious Stan Lee cameo's, something to wait for after the credits (it's really worth it this time) and the comic-book franchise always has a real way of telling a story of world history as well as it's own legacy extremely well. Even though the expectations are a given, this is still great. There's a battalion of star power behind Evans character in support. From the brilliant, battle-tested Tommy Lee Jones (armed to the bone with wit and the British intelligence of America's love interest Hayley Atwell) to super villain Hugo Weaving (even though in full evil form he looks more like Samuel L. Jackson) and super-scientist Stanley Tucci. Plus Dominic Cooper channels his inner Downey Jnr charm to play Tony Stark's dad Howard perfectly for a clever twist on the Avenger franchises overlapping themes. Don't forget the other soldiers who have Evans back either, from Sebastian Stan to Neal McDonough and Derek Luke.
Despite being armed with little more than a shield and dodgy, dated costume (it actually works), 'Captain America' is picture perfect from the classic, right look of 1940's America (even if is thanks to filming in England's Manchester and Liverpool) to the cool action choreography. This picture is a perfect period piece. Overall this film is more then just patriotic like the 'Star Spangled Banner' and more then just another vehicle for a Samuel L. Jackson cameo. 'Captain America' is worthy of Nick Fury's initative. Someone call Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye. 'The Avengers' are ready. TIM DAVID HARVEY.
A thunderous, Thor-de-force.
12A, 130 Minutes. Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Jamie Alerxander, Rene Russo & Idris Elba. Director: Kenneth Branagh. Screenplay: Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz & Don Payne
By now you'll know what to expect from the Marvel franchise and it's budding Avenger series. Comic humor and action? Check! References to other movies? Check! Hilarious Stan Lee cameo's? Your damn right...check! Still anyone going into this film expecting the same old stuff, with their arms folded in prepared disappointment will be pleasantly surprised. Not that there's anything wrong with the other Marvel Films (they are great) but with all the sub-Avenger films and other superhero reboots coming out it's hard not to be geeked out (in the wrong way) with all this comic-book carnage. That is until you take in the excitement of 'Thor'.
OK so you may be familiar with the mythical or comic book story of 'Thor' (and let's face it both are treated like ancient text), but here's the skinny on the story of the God that's so ripped he looks like the dudes from '300' on steroids. So Thor's about to be named king by his father Odin (Hopkins) much to his brother Loki's dismay and jealousy, but then some frost giants (who look like some dodgy 'Star Trek' villains) attempt to steal their confiscated bio-frost (which sounds like some sort of detergent). So Thor armed wit his new vanity and arrogance seeks revenge much to his fathers disapproval.
This leads to his banishment to earth, where Thor is found by a research team led by Natalie Portman. This leads to some hilarious and peculiar happenings as Thor finds it hard to get to grips with coffee house etiquette and transportation means. Still if you think he's got problems back home his father's stress has led him to fall into a deep 'Odinsleep' (nice to have a type of sleep named after you hey?) which leads to the scheming Loki literally and figuratively assuming the throne. This leads to more problems for Thor as both his world and his new one are under serious threat, but can he get his Excalibur on and hammer down these problems?
This is some ridiculously good yarn wrapped up by director Branagh (who better for this, really) in all it's epic, loud Brian Blessed bravado. As entertaining as it is surprising this film is primed to storm the pre-summer blockbuster season no matter how 'Fast and Furious' it is. This film has realms of talent. After an impressive cameo in 'Star Trek', Chris Hemsworth bulks and beefs up beyond belief for a meaty role. While 'Black Swan' Oscar winner Natalie Portman spreads her wings and steps into Marvel's Gwyneth Paltrow type roll perfectly as the strong female lead. Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings also make the perfect team for her but Loki is not a good ally for his brother Thor and Tom Hiddleston plays this perfectly. Thor also has some friendly, funny and fantastic support from friends led by the beautiful and talented Jamie Alexander. Even though there in smaller roles new and established favourite talents Idris Elba and Rene Russo but in strong plays to help make this film that much bigger. Still it's legendary talent Anthony Hopkins who was born for his role as Odin, hamming it up and playing it perfectly to a tee.
Graphically speaking this movie is stunning and content wise it's suitable for adults and young kings. With some introductions to other Avenger characters in cameo's and some other movie references to Marvel at this film keeps both this franchise and series going. Exciting and funny this is pure entertainment and the mix between fantasy and real world works showing that this film doesn't treat itself so seriously. From the pomp and extravagance of the fantasy world to the easy going, small-town circumstance of the real world. It's this right mix and the fun, action-packed thrill-ride of this film that will extend this avenging franchises reign, leading fans to proclaim like 'Thor' after a drink for 'ANOOOOTHEEEERR'! TIM DAVID HARVEY.
Who's Better? It's a tough one. You be the judge...