Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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*** Warning: Spoilers For Films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Follow ***

I need to get this out of the way up front: I’m not a “comic book guy”.

That’s probably weird for you to read, as this site is called Nerd Bastards” after all; complete with a smattering of classic funny books comprising the logo alongside what appears to be a homeless man who mugged Darth Vader for his Camel Lights (doesn’t that dude have asthma?). The truth is: I’m pretty much a strict “cinephile”, my education (formal and otherwise) rooted in both classic and contemporary film history. That’s not to say I’m a complete ignoramus when it comes to comics. I collected when I was a kid, frequenting my local shop at least once a week, hooked on the books  whose stories fascinated me. It’s just that this main vein habit didn’t follow me into adulthood like cinema did — a hobby that I chose to turn into a career of sorts.

I don’t bring this fact up to distance myself from the NB audience; more to illustrate that I probably view the films adapted from the stories they so love through a different prism. Where they’re looking for consistency of character and adherence to the established mythologies, I’m motly hoping to sit down with a (hopefully more than) competently constructed work of filmic language that not only brings our diligent defenders to life, but does so with a focus on pleasing more than just the established fan base. In no way is one method of evaluation better than the other — it’s just a different value system with which to rate a specific subsection of the form. To be honest, the best critics of “comic book cinema” are those who can do both, dropping knowledge about the “mis-en-scène” as easily as they can break down why this particular iteration of Captain America is the most faithful to its four-color creators. I strive to do both, but my limitations with the source material keep me from going full-blown FilmCritHulk most of the time.

To wit, I introduce to you my very own take on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At this point in the sprawling franchise’s history, everybody seems to have their own personal rankings of the films leading up to and beyond Joss Whedon’s AvengersAs much as the snobbier cinema goers would like “comic book filmmaking” to evaporate completely into the ether, it’s time to start recognizing that the genre is far too profitable to disappear anytime soon. These movies need to be treated like bona fide works of art and evaluated as such, so I present my own personal, cinephilic take on the MCU, from worst to best…

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There have been whisperings that Marvel character Agent Peggy Carter, as portrayed by Hayley Atwell, would be getting her own TV series since January (at least). Now, according to DeadlineABC appears ready to throw their total support behind the project, and dive straight in–no pilot necessary. (That’s what a “Straight To Series” order means. Don’t be embarrassed–I had to look it up myself.) (more…)

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In-jokes are all the rage these days, a fun way to acknowledge that your cast has a life outside the movie you are presently seeing them in, and probably few actors lend themselves to the in-joke better than Samuel L. Jackson. The actor has had roles big and small in a great many of the most iconic movies of the last 20 years, but perhaps none are more known, or quotable, than Pulp Fiction. It would not be out of the question to say that the Quentin Tarantino movie made Jackson a star, and it did so with one monologue in particular. Jackson’s new movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, paid tribute to it one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it scene, and the film’s directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, recently explained how and why they decided to do it. Spoilers follow. (more…)

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went from the show everyone couldn’t wait to love, to one of the most disappointing endeavours in the history of television. Indeed, instant reaction to the show was so dire that Screen Rant published an article about how the series could be improved within days of the airing of the premiere episode. Of course, no one’s saying that the show is, or was, perfect, but one thing’s for sure, the fallout from Captain America: The Winter Soldier is surely going to change what it means to be an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. from here on out. Obviously, major spoilers are below. (more…)

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So what did you do this weekend? Well, if you’re reading Nerd Bastards, you probably saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you did see it, you’re probably spinning from that twist in the end, which seriously shuffles the deck for all Marvel movies here on out, or at least the ones that intersect with S.H.I.E.L.D. in some way. So given what happened in The Winter Soldier, where does the MCU go from here? Your guess is as good as mine, but Marvel Studios producer Kevin Feige recently let us in on his thought process. Major spoilers follow… (more…)

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In salute to the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier  (a damn fine movie btw, be sure to read our review HERE), Nerd Bastards is hosting a ultimate fan pack giveaway extravaganza.

Short of taking a super solider serum, your best chance to be Captain America is to conduct yourself with his boy scout spirit… and to dress the part. You take care of the first half and we got the rest covered. We have the gear to make you a terror to spies and saboteurs. We’re giving away a cosplay hoodie, a Cap shield replica, Battle Helmet, Collectible Action Figure, as well as an exclusive Captain America: The Winter Solider IMAX Poster (*see full information below).  That’s 5 items worth over $100. All courtesy of 80sTees.com  and Hasbro Toys. There’s so much red, white and blue here, you’ll think you’re Uncle Sam’s sock puppet. (more…)

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The best thing about Captain America is that he’s a human being, protected by nothing more than a thin layer of spandex. Where Bruce Banner turns into the impenetrable beast that is the Incredible Hulk, Tony Stark is shielded by his iron suit and Thor is an otherworldly god here on Earth, Steve Rogers is just a man, driven by a relentless need to serve and protect his country. This simple fact is what ultimately helps The Winter Soldier work so well, both as a part of The Avengers series and as a stand-alone piece of cinema. Joe & Anthony Russo’s first foray into the Marvel Universe never loses sight of the fact that beneath the red, white and blue exterior is bona fide flesh and blood, with a pulsing heart that can be wounded. In many ways, The Winter Soldier is a catalogue of the lacerations that Rogers has endured, both as a solider and as a man completely out of his own time.

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His name is Steve Rogers. But you probably know him best as Captain America.

This might come as a surprise (or not, as you’re currently reading a site called “Nerd Bastards”), but Captain America wasn’t simply the “First Avenger”, he was also the initial Avenger to ever appear on the big screen. 2014 is a big year for the ultimate All-American, as it marks a major anniversary for the star-spangled superhero. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we here at NB thought it might be a good idea to trace Steve Rogers’ cinematic lineage all the way back to the beginning, while also taking a look at the few pit stops he made on TV during his silver screen journey. It was a bumpy road, for sure (with some jolts damn near knocking the axle off of his red, white and blue motorcycle-housing van), yet arguably ends with some of the best cinematic output of Marvel’s entire existence. So fire up the Francis Scott Key and let’s take a trip back in time to somewhat simpler days…

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