What People are Saying about ‘Captain America: Civil War’

Captain America: Civil WarI saw “Captain America: Civil War” the other day and I loved it.  This was, in my opinion, the best superhero movie I have ever seen.  Until now “Iron Man” held that position in my esteem.  Both movies are fresh and original compared to what came before them.

You can read my longer review of “Captain America: Civil War” on SF-Fandom’s forums.  It’s not easy to write a movie review when you have so many things going through your head.  My hat is off to professional movie reviewers who do this week in and week out.  In fact, my movie tastes are rather limited.  I would not do well if I had to watch a lot of the movies that are reviewed.

For another point of view you can also check out “Captain America: Civil War Keeps You on the Edge of Your Seat” at Comic-Book-Movies.Com.  I did not mis-spell that.  There is an “s” at the end of the domain name.  This is an older site that has been around for years but it has been overshadowed by the domain without the “s”.

I kind of wish the old writing team at A1 Movie Reviews were still working together.  I’d love to see what Gregor Turley or Shane Rivers thinks of this movie.  The Marvel franchise was still quite young when the site stopped publishing new reviews.  I have read a lot of their reviews lately and I am quite impressed with their expertise.

Superhero movies used to be almost as atrocious as barbarian movies (usually called “sword and sandal” flicks at one time).  You could always count on bad acting, low budgets, and terrible scripts for barbarian movies up until “Conan the Barbarian”.  And then you still had the bad acting.  But they never made enough money to get them out of the desert wastelands.

I grew up watching Steve Reeves and his imitators, and then spent my early adult life wishing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s imitators could have done as well as Reeves’ Italian imitators.  What is it about barbarian movies that makes people in the film-making industry want to spend as little money as possible?

Superhero movies were treated the same way.  You had the campy “Batman” movie in the 1960s, based on the beloved TV show.  And then Christopher Reeve proved a man can fly in “Superman” but it was all down hill from there.

Michael Keaton was a great Batman in the 1990s but Tim Burton repeated some of the mistakes that Richard Lester made with “Superman II” and “Superman III”.  Both directors turned their heroes’ worlds into caricatures.  We were awed by the spectacles at first but when you watch those movies years later they just feel weak and dated.

This has been the problem with a lot of superhero movies.  I really enjoyed “The Phantom” in 1996.  Billy Zane was great.  And yet I knew at the time that it had been done wrong.  Director Simon Wincer could not treat the subject matter seriously.  We had that awful over-the-top villain, Xander Drax.  I was never a big Treat Williams fan and “The Phantom” ensured I never would be.

“The Shadow”, like “The Phantom”, disappointed a lot of people.  It did not drop as low as “The Phantom” did in lampooning super heroes, perhaps because The Shadow was best known as a radio drama.  But these were not the superhero movies we were looking for.

The list of near-misses and total failures is quite long.  “Iron Man” turned that around.  It took the subject matter seriously and treated both the character and his world as if they mattered to the audience.  The Marvel movies have been great ever since.  The awful, nasty, disappointing “Man of Steel” nearly ruined my hopes for a good DC franchise (I have nothing against Henry Cavill, a fine actor, but they should have kept Brandon Routh in the role).  My hopes for a good DC franchise were dashed even further by “Batman vs. Superman”.  What a horrible waste of great talent that was.

Being able to watch “Captain America: Civil War” after BvS was exactly the tonic I needed for my superhero movie malaise.  It takes the Marvel franchise in new directions, brings in new heroes, revisits some of our favorite comic book moments, and sets the stage for an evolution in the Marvel universe.

Imagine that: they are re-inventing superhero movies on the basis of success, not failure.  I can’t wait for the next Marvel movie.

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