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Monday Movies Knocked Out Hitler 200 Times!

Captain America: The First Avenger‘s reception was mostly along the lines of “hey, whaddya know! It’s not half bad!” And, you know, it isn’t, although it doesn’t save the superhero movie or anything. The production design will incorporate smart period details like the clunky A/B detonator switches on Cap’s motorcycle or the USO costume that Cap wears on stage in front of the dancing girls, and then switch into hideous teal and orange and oddly futuristic wall panels. Cap’s band of soldiers is a funny tribute to the Great Escape — there’s a British chap, a Frenchman, and a bowler-wearing Irish, then they add in a black guy (who learned French at Howard) and a Japanese soldier (“They’re letting anyone fight?” “I’m from Fresno.”) It’s an odd bit of fantasy — there were no integrated units in WWII, although I learned on Wikipedia that Eisenhower put guns in the hands of African-American soldiers when he came up short at the Battle of the Bulge. Hugo Weaving’s face is so marvelous that they led him keep it on for most of the movie, then do a spectacular job of embedding his unique sneer in the facial musculature of the Red Skull. And Chris Evans is serious and boyish in a manner that’s strange to the pictures. Maybe that was one of the period details; you don’t see it much these days. What did you see, and how did you like it?


October 31, 2011 - Posted by | Monday Movies | , , , ,


  1. 10/25/11 – Ototo – Yamada 2010 8/10
    I marvel at Y’s perfect craft. This one passes the Bechdel test, I think. Three generations of women deal with pathetic and irresponsible men. Tons of Ozu allusions (red teapot) and symbol juggling (birds,Tokyo and Osaka towers)
    10/26/11 – Three Resurrected Drunkards – Oshima 1968 7/10
    Craziness;made within months of the famous Vietnam photo of the shot to the head, that killing or more accurately our reaction to the photo is what the movie is about. In the style of Richard Lester + Kafka + Firesign Theatre. And Koreans in Japan.
    10/27/11 – Triangle – Christopher Smith 2009 8/10
    puzzle picture like Memento with tone of horror movie;full of holes but tons of fun
    10/28/11 – Good Men, Good Women – Hou 1995 9/10
    Speaking of Ozu, both Hou and Kiarostami openly acknowledge their debt,and use the tools Ozu developed to explore politics under repression with family narratives
    10/29/11 – Joen – Yoshida 1967 6/10
    somebody called this “Updike filmed by Antonioni with soundtrack from Twilight Zone”;tough stuff about sexual repression + extreme weirdness but Yoshida is a cinematographer’s god with black and white asymmetric wide-screen compositions
    10/30/11 – Paranoia Agent 13 1/2 hour episodes anime – Satoshi Kon 2003 6/10
    Technically great;Pitchblack social commentary (incest, corruption, murder) with humor;1st seven episodes terrific;then three for a pause;then most people think Satoshi just slopped out an ending;I’m not so sure, there is enough self-reference (including an episode about making anime) that the simplistic sappy explanation for the profound mystery may have itself been a nasty message to the audience (imagine Matrix ending “It was all a dream”); but Satoshi’s themes of delusional narrative, individual and social, historical contingency etc are a lot more accessible in his movies.

    I need to watch these again.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | October 31, 2011

  2. When steroids were such a big deal in the news, I thought Captain America would never get made because the super serum seems too much like them. But there was Cap on the big screen, bashing Nazi skulls and without backne or even so much as a shrunken testicle.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | October 31, 2011

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