Lights, Camera, Nothing but Action

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February 6, 2015 by phicks2012

TV-Head Gorilla-SThe other day, faced with 1) being mostly caught up on tasks that actually needed doing, 2) taking a much-needed break from the indignations of housework, and 3) finding nearly nothing else worthy of transmission on the airwaves, I decided to take advantage of a free week of STARZ being offered by my cable provider to watch Captain America: The Winter Warrior for the first time.

I like super heroes, and super hero movies. I have enjoyed most — though not all — of the Marvel movies, and liked the first Captain America film, so the chances were, as I saw it then, that I would enjoy watching this one and might even later buy a copy for my collection. I mean, except for Thor: The Dark World, and The Hulk, I have all of them already, so the odds were in my favor, right?

The problem here is that the movie started out with an interminable action sequence of the sort that easily allows even a slow-moving viewer to make a sandwich, answer an email, and take a bathroom break — all without missing a single salient plot point. I kept hoping for more plot and character development as the film went on, but — very much like the Transformers films — the whole movie was <Lengthy Sigh> very nearly one long uninterrupted series of crashes, explosions, fight sequences, and building collapses.

It had it’s moments of interest, if the viewer managed to focus long and hard enough to find them and if he or she had the fortitude to hang in to the bitter end, but to me it was largely a disappointment. It’s a telling point if I don’t bother to pause the film when I leave the room for some reason — and if when I come back and ask if I’ve missed something I’m told *Shrug* “Not really”.

I like action movies. However, these days some films rely so heavily upon admittedly spectacular CGI Special Effects that they don’t leave a lot of time for inconsequential things like character development, plot exposition, and simple human interaction, and I find that the less humanity I see on the screen the less interest I have in the show or movie. Folks, the characters do MATTER. They should exist not only as props to be tossed around in special effects sequences.

Even aside from Captain Americia, this seems very much to be a trend, and I also find that movies and TV shows seem also to use “Darkness” as a selling point. I hear things like “If you liked last season, this season will be even DARKER!!” I suspect they anticipate throngs of watchers (probably Emo and Goth) responding with “COOL!!!”, but when I hear things like that my mind is pretty much instantly made up not to waste my time on the program. Real life, thank you very much, can be dark enough without actively seeking out depressing, humorless, and negative themes in entertainment. If I want that I can read the newspapers or watch news coverage of natural disasters, personal tragedies and terrorist attacks — or chat with some of the teenagers on-line.;-)

Nope, give me a well-written, well-acted, character-driven story that’s a skillful mixture of dark and light, includes some romance, and has real heros, and I’ll be a fan for years. Hell, I’ll even get the seasons of TV shows on DVD, and I’ll definitely buy the movies! But, putting in my two-bits, Captain America: The Winter Warrior would have benefitted greatly from shortening some of the endless action sequences and adding back in some humor, character, and plot. Just sayin’.

I think I’ll go up now and find a DVD. 😉

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February 2015


I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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