“You shaped the century. And I need you to do it one more time…”

Okay.

You know what? This year has been pretty fucking awful and we all need, nay deserve, a break. The world is a lot scarier and more uncertain than it was before (and it was already pretty damn scary and uncertain) and there  wasn’t much I could do about it then and there certainly isn’t much I can do about it now. But I can write something that hopefully you’ll find funny and interesting and maybe brighten your day a little  and I categorically refuse to believe that that’s nothing. So how about this? No more talking about politics and America and we just enjoy a review of The Winter Soldier, a political thriller starring Captain America OH GODDAMNIT!!!

Anyone want to skip ahead to Guardians? Anyone?

Anyone want to skip ahead to Guardians? Anyone?

Sigh. Okay. Let’s review the movie where the living exemplar of all that is best in America defeats the forces of tyranny and hatred.

Y’know. Escapism.

***

I remember when it was announced over a decade ago that Marvel were bringing Bucky Barnes back to life and I was opposed to the whole thing. Damn opposed!

Bucky Barnes is one of Marvel’s oldest characters, debuting all the way back in 1941. Bucky and Captain America were introduced as a twofer in the very first issue of Captain America Comics because, ever since Robin had been introduced in Batman the previous year, superheroes had to have kid sidekicks.  It was non-negotiable. In his origin story, Bucky is a kid who likes hanging around a military base and one day sees Steve Rogers changing into his Captain America costume. Bucky tells Steve that the only way to protect his secret identity is to let him be his crime fighting partner and Cap of course has the kid sent to a military lock up as a threat to national security agrees.  This, incidentally, is how Steve Rogers deals with anyone who walks in on him changing, which is how you got such storied superheroes as Clothing Store Assistant Girl and the Incredible Mom. So anyway, Bucky was a pretty blatant Robin rip-off and not even a particularly interesting one and the character was eventually replaced by the female sidekick Golden Girl, before then being brought back for the fifties “commie smasher” version of Captain America in the fifties. When that comic failed, both Cap and Bucky were retired by Marvel.

Then came the sixties, and with superheroes popular again, Stan Lee decided to bring back Marvel’s most popular character from the war era, Captain America, to take his place alongside the Fantastic Four, Avengers, Spider-Man and all the other classic characters that Stan Lee and his collaborators had been minting at a rate of around three a second.

But Stan did. Not. Want. Bucky.

At all.

Why? Well, sidekicks from Robin onwards had been conceived as surrogates for their young, mostly male audience. But Stan found the whole idea of kid sidekicks to be condescending, and so instead had created teen superheroes like Spider-Man and the new Human Torch who were teenagers but also the stars of their own stories rather than playing second fiddle. Then there was the issue of the comics industry’s brush with death in the early fifties thanks to the publication of Seduction of the Innocent  by Doctor Frederic Wertham which made the case that comics were a dangerous influence on the minds of America’s youth. Now the bulk of Wertham’s argument was against horror and crime comics but he also took aim at superheroes, claiming that Batman and Robin were clearly in a sexual relationship. Which, of course, if he had actually bothered to read the comics he would have realised that he was absolutely, totally, 100% percent correct.

batman

So yeah, Stan rather wisely decided that the last thing the newly revived superhero genre needed was little boys in tight shorts running around so when Cap was revived in Avengers #4 he revealed that Bucky had died at the end of the war trying to stop a bomb from destroying London and that they were totally just friends, you guys.

winter-soldier-bucky-barnes-death

This change gave the fairly one-dimensional character of Steve Rogers some much needed emotional shading. Steve was no longer a smiling, lantern jawed, shield-slinger but a grieving, troubled hero out of time and wholly unsure of his role and place in the world. In fact, it worked so well that Bucky was one of a Holy Trinity of dead comic book characters who it was implicitly understood would never, ever be brought back to life; Spiderman’s Uncle Ben, Jason Todd and Bucky Barnes. So when Marvel actually did the unthinkable and brought Backy buck…um, brought Bucky back as a grim and gritty assassin with a robot arm called “The Winter Soldier”, I just rolled my eyes and decried it as another lazy stunt that would be undone in a few months at most. But, credit where credit is due, Cap writer Ed Brubaker made the damn thing work and it’s already considered one of the best and most seminal Captain America stories. In fact, it was chosen as the plot for the second Captain America movie despite being so recent, thereby skipping decades of older, classic Captain America storylines.

What I'm trying to say is; WHERE THE FUCK IS MY WEREWOLF CAPTAIN AMERICA MOVIE, MARVEL?

What I’m trying to say is; WHERE THE FUCK IS MY WEREWOLF CAPTAIN AMERICA MOVIE, MARVEL?

What I find weird about the Captain America trilogy is that, while you often get movie series where instalments are vastly different from each other, it’s pretty damn rare to find a series of movies that hops between genres. This time around, Marvel followed Joe Johnston’s glorious, retro, Indiana Jones homage with a gritty political thriller that would have been perfectly at home in the seventies. How did that work out? Let’s take a look

The movie begins with a quiet little character based. Sam Wilson, (an absolutely magnetic Sam Wilson) is out for his morning jog and gets lapped three times by a 95 year old man. That’s pretty embarrassing but a little less so when you realise that it’s Captain America (Chris Evans). They get talking and Sam tells Steve that he’s former Air Force and is now working at the VA. He asks Steve how he’s handling life in the 21st century and Steve says that surprisingly, no polio, good food and internet is all a-okay with him. I actually like this a lot. I’m sure there’s plenty of things Steve misses about the forties (notably, all his friends and family) but it doesn’t make sense for him to be nostalgic for his own time because nostalgia is only possible when you’ve had years or decades to forget all the bad stuff and make the good seem better than it was. Put it another way, if I live to be a hundred I’ll probably be nostalgic for this time of my life, even if in the future they’ve reversed global warming, ended war and transitioned to an orgasm based economy. But if I was magically transported to that future now? Not so much.

Sam gives Steve some recommendations for music to help him catch up on all that he’s missed and then Natasha (Scarlett Johannson) drives by to pick up Steve for his next mission. This first scene is excellent because it is really, really hard to convincingly sell the idea that two people have already become friends after just meeting each other for a few minutes. But it works because the banter between Steve and Sam is genuinely funny, and also because Evans and Mackie are like two white hot suns of charisma locked in some kind of cosmic dance. After this one scene I already buy the Sam/Steve friendship more than the Tony/Rhodey bromance after five movies.

Steve and Natasha are flown in to the Indian Ocean to rescue a SHIELD vessel called the Lemurian Star that’s been taken over by pirates. SHIELD Agent Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) explains that the mercenaries are led by a French-Algerian merc named Batroc has captured the ship and is looking for a $1.5 billion dollars which surprises Steve who didn’t realise there was that much money in the world. As they suit up, Natasha tells Steve he needs some romance in his life and Steve’s all “well I was working on it back in Washington but then you totally cockblocked…um, that is to say…” and promptly jumps out of the plane without a parachute.

"LAZY BASTARD KOOKABURRAS!"

“LAZY BASTARD KOOKABURRAS!”

So Steve moves quickly through the boat, rather brutally incapacitating any pirates he comes across (although not actually killing anyone as near as I can tell). I have to say, I’m glad of that because the idea of Steve Rogers killing people never quite sat right with me. I mean, I suppose it’s fine in stories set during the war era (because it was a war and not the Kitten Tickling and Pillow Fighting Conflict 1939-1945) but in the modern era I prefer him to be a “no-killing” superhero.

Steve comes face to face with Batroc (Georges St Pierre) and the two of them throw down in an awesome, no-frills fight scene. This is probably a good time to talk about something that’s always bothered me about how people compare Marvel movies and DC movies. A lot of Marvel fans will tell you that the reason the MCU’s movies are better is because Marvel isn’t afraid to incorporate all the nuttiness of the comics into their movies (call it the Guardians approach) whereas DC is all about sanding as much of that off as possible in order to make their movies “gritty” and “realistic” (call it the Dark Knight approach). But I don’t think that’s the case. I think the reason why Marvel has been cleaning DC’s clock recently is because they know that both approaches are valid and when one is preferable over the other. There are some characters and stories that the Dark Knight approach is perfect for, Batman obviously is one of them, but I’d argue that Marvel’s Netflix shows very much fit in that category too. There’s a reason that David Tennant wasn’t actually purple in Jessica Jones, because it would have been wrong for the tone of a series that actually wanted to take a realistic look at sexual violence. But then, there are characters where taking the Dark Knight approach just leaches everything that’s fun and appealing out of them.

"Look! Up in the sky! ITS MISERY!"

“Look! Up in the sky! IT’S MISERY!”

My point is, neither approach is wrong in and of themselves, it’s all about the right tool for the right job. Winter Soldier, for instance, is very much in the “Dark Knight” category and you can tell because in the movie Batroc looks like this:

batroc_the_leaper2

And in the comics he looks like THIS:

 batroc

And, much as I would have loved to see Chris Evans face off against the demented love child of Wolverine and Pepe Le Pew, I think we can all agree that it might have been a little harder to take the movie’s points about pre-emptive military action and government surveillance quite as seriously if they had treated the source material as sacred text.

 Anyway, they save the hostages but Steve is furious to find that Natasha abandoned her part of the mission to extract data from the ship’s mainframe. She explains that she was working on Nick Fury’s orders so back in Washington Steve storms into Fury’s office demanding to know what he’s up to. Fury says that Natasha had a different mission because Fury didn’t want Steve doing anything he was uncomfortable with and that Natasha is comfortable with “everything”.

monty-python-nudge-nudge

 Here’s where it gets interesting. Fury is actually genuinely hurt that Steve doesn’t trust him and says “You’re wrong about me. I do share. I’m nice like that.” and takes Steve on the grand tour of Project Insight, a fleet of three helicarriers, each half a mile long, stored under the Triskelion, SHIELD’s massive multi-storey headquarters in the middle of Washington with a huge lobby with a statue of their logo. But SHIELD is totally top secret and no one knows about it, you guys. Hell, the ordinary folks of the MCU probably think the Chitauri attack on New York was a Saint Patrick’s Day parade that just got a little bit rowdy. Anyway, this movie is interesting because for the first time we get a little bit of background on Nick Fury beyond “badass super-spy with an eye patch”. It’s not really a lot to go on, and honestly part of Nick’s appeal is that he’s an enigma, but he does tell Steve about his grandfather, who worked as as an elevator operator for forty years and protected his tips with a loaded gun in his lunch bag. The story sums up Nick’s philosophy; he loves people, but he doesn’t trust them. Nick explains to Cap that the helicarriers are synched up to a satellite that was launched from the Lemuria Star and that once in the air they will orbit continually, taking potshots at anyone who represents a threat to world security. Steve’s not happy about this and Fury snaps that he’s read about the old files about what Steve’s generation did in the forties and he’s hardly one to judge.

"Youre right. We made Edgar Bergen a star. We thought he was funny, God forgive us we really did."

“You’re right. We made Edgar Bergen a star. We thought he was funny, God forgive us we really did.”

Steve then points to the helicarriers and says “This isn’t freedom. This is fear.” which is a line that Chris Evans and Chris Evans alone can make work. He goes and visits Peggy (Hayley Atwell and a shit ton of latex) and tells her that working for SHIELD just isn’t the same as punching Nazis in the face. Peggy is now ninety something years old and we learn that in the years since Steve was frozen she married and had a family. This scene is honestly kind of heart-breaking for me, not just because Peggy is slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s (and that is no decent way to die) but that in end it was all for nothing. Peggy Carter dedicated her entire life to SHIELD, and SHIELD was a lie. That’s fuckin’ bleak, man. Peggy tells Steve that sometimes you just need to start over and then her memory goes and suddenly she’s seeing him again for the first time and can’t believe that he’s still alive and goddamit Evans and Atwell are just carving up my heart in little pieces and feeding it to the dog so let’s move on.

Meanwhile, Fury tries to open the files that Natasha retrieved from the Lemurian Star but is told that he doesn’t have access and that the files have been decrypted. When he asks on whose authority, the computer replies “Fury, Nicholas J.”

"Aw hell. Was I drunk encrypting again?"

“Aw hell. Was I drunk encrypting again?”

Fury decides to pay a visit to Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), who’s one those World Security dudes who spends so much time in the shadows that they should by rights sparkle in the sunlight. Casting Redford wasn’t just a casting coup because the dude is Hollywood royalty. The Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe, were heavily influenced by the political thrillers of the seventies that were Robert Redford’s bread and butter. But I also love this casting choice because, if they had made a Captain America movie fifty years ago, Redford would have been the absolute, hands down perfect choice to play Steve.

If God was asked to submit a piece to an exhibition and wanted to showcase his best work, this is what he'd send.

My God. You could anchor a ship off that jaw and send the crew on shore leave.

Fury tells Pearse that he’s a little concerned about the safety of their plan to launch flying death machines that can pick off any human being on the face of the earth and asks him if they can take a rain check. Pearse agrees, on the condition that Iron Man visits his niece’s birthday party. Take a minute to savour the image of Tony in full armour lying in a ball pit and enjoying some ice cream cake. You’re welcome.

Driving through DC, Nick is suddenly ambushed by four cop cars that ram his car from all four directions, open fire with machine guns and then try to break down his car door with a frickin’ battering ram. But they don’t use any racial epithets which is Nick’s first clue that these aren’t actually real cops. Badly injured, Nick speeds away and manages to give the cops the slip only to come face to face with a mysterious masked figure standing in the middle of the road. The masked man blows up what remains of Nick’s car and his whatever hopes had for his no claims bonus but when he approaches the smouldering wreck to finish Nick off he finds that Fury has used a lazer torch to burrow into the sewers and escape like Bugs frickin’ Bunny.

Quick! To Albuquerque!

Quick! To Albuquerque!

Back at his apartment, Steve gets talking to a cute neighbour and asks her if she wants to come in for coffee and maybe look at some newly colorised footage of Operation Market Garden. The neighbour, Sharon, needs to do her laundry and so turns him down, and tells him that he left his stereo on. This is surprising to Steve, one, because he didn’t leave his stereo on and two, because he didn’t realise that’s what it did and thought it was some kind of air conditioner. Inside the apartment he finds Nick Fury who’s bloody, bruised and who smells just fantastic. I really like how Steve’s apartment is presented in this scene. There’s a lot of old furniture from the forties but it’s very incongrous with the obviously modern apartment building. It’s also quite sparse, and there are paintings opened on the floor along with piles of books that haven’t been put on shelves, giving the impression that Steve doesn’t really spend a lot of time here and hasn’t even properly moved in yet. It’s not a home, it’s a just a place where he lives. Fury tells Steve that SHIELD has been compromised and promptly gets shot through the chest from outside. Nick gives Steve a USB card with the date from the Lemurian Star and passes out from bloodloss. Sharon, who it turns out is a SHIELD agent who was assigned by Nick to guard Steve.  Sharon radios for medical assistance and Steve chases after the assassin, leaping ACROSS THE FRICKING STREET and chasing him across rooftops. Which I guess pretty much lays to rest the question as to whether movie Steve is more powerful than comic Steve. See, people often forget that Captain America is not supposed to be superhuman; he’s peak human. He’s as strong and as fast as it’s possible for a regular human being to be which means he’s still weaker than, say, Spider-man, whose strength is explicitly stated to be superhuman. Movie Steve though? He can leaps across city streets and bench curl helicopters so I’m pretty sure he’s superhuman. Damn. What did Erskine put in that serum, anyway?

But of course.

But of course.

Steve flings his shield at the assassin who just catches it like it ain’t no thang and flings it back at him. The shooter escapes and Steve and Sharon rush Nick to hospital. Natasha and Maria Hill arrive just as Fury goes into surgery. As the SHIELD agents watch, Fury starts to flatline and dies on the operating table. Hill tells them that the shooter used an untraceable, Soviet made rifle which makes Natasha put on her “I have a dark, mysterious past but I ain’t sayin’ nuffin’“ face. Steve is summoned to Alexander Pierce’s office and, before he goes, stashes the USB key in one of the hospital’s vending machines where no one will ever, ever find it.

Pierce and Steve reminisce about Fury and Pierce asks Cap about what Fury said to him before he died. Steve says that Fury told him not to trust anyone and Pierce is all “well obviously he didn’t mean me” and Cap is all “Yeah, see, you’re a huge name actor and the main villain hasn’t been revealed yet and we’re at around the halfway mark sooooo…yeah, not gonna trust you” and bails.

Taking the elevator down to the ground floor, Steve is surprised as it slowly starts to fill up with Rumlo and some of his burlier and more sasquatch esque-underlings. Realising that he’s about to get jumped, Steve asks if anyone wants to get off before they do this and it all goes to hell. I just love the fact that some of the SHIELD goons are wearing suits. It’s like:

“Bobby, why are you wearing a suit? I told you to wear your violence casuals.”

“It’s Captain America, dude! Gotta look my best!”

Anyway, after a fantastic fight scene (in an ELEVATOR no less) Steve busts out of the Triskelion with half of SHIELD on his star spangled ass. He doubles back to the hospital only to find that the USB key is gone from the vending machine and Natasha seems to have taken up chewing gum. He confronts her and she admits that she took it. She explains that she knows who Fury’s killer is, and that he matches the description of a legendary Cold War assassin called The Winter Soldier. Steve and Nat decide they need to find out what’s on the USB key and after a quick stop off in the Apple Store Natasha is able to decrypt the data because she is just that damn good. The data leads them to the abandoned ruins of Camp Lehigh, where Steve was trained. They discover a secret bunker underneath the base which was SHIELD’s original headquarters. They then find a secret bunker BENEATH the secret bunker. Who designed this place, Xzibit?

 

“Yo dawg, I heard you like secret bunkers so we put a secret bunker in your secret bunker…”

“Yo dawg, I heard you like secret bunkers so we put a secret bunker in your secret bunker…”

In this secreter bunker they find banks and banks of old timey computers. A screen lights up and they find themselves face to face with Arnim Zola (Toby Jones). Zola begins to info dump, explaining that after the war he was brought in to SHIELD as part of Operation Paperclip. Paperclip’s goal was to take Nazi scientists and put them to work for American interests, which is the kind of crazy “what could possibly go wrong?” plot that could only happen in comic books. What’s that? It was a real thing? I see.

Zola explains that HYDRA was reborn within SHIELD and that for the last century they have secretly been manipulating world events, fuelling chaos and fear so that with each new atrocity the population will be more willing to relinquish their freedoms and submit to HYDRA’s authoritarian rule and oh fuck it you know where I’m going with this…

How am I supposed to be funny when my entire universe is a joke?

How am I supposed to be funny when my entire universe is a joke?

Zola even survived his own death, transcribing his consciousness into a 1970s computer the size of a small town. Steve and Natasha suddenly realise that Zola is being really helpful and that this isn’t a Bond movie so what even the hell? Zola admits that he’s just been stalling them while HYDRA locks onto the base with a missile. They survive (obviously, I mean, how anticlimactic would that be?) and decide to lay low at Sam’s place. Sam offers to help and reveals that he’s no ordinary pilot. He flew a special jetpack in Afghanistan called the Falcon and, even though he’s retired, he’s pretty sure he can get it back. Y’know. Just like using your office printer on the weekend. Sam offers to help and they’re all “sure, more the merrier”.

Oh, and there’s a hilarious bit where Chris Evans just sits down and hits her with the full power of those baby blue eyes and it literally looks like Scarlett Johannson’s brain has just been shorted by the hotness and forced to reboot.

"Hey. You okay."

“Hey. You okay?”

"What. Even. Are you?"

“What. Even. Are you?”

 

Nat and Steve twig that, since Jasper Sitwell was on the Lemurian Star guarding the HYDRA data, he must be a HYDRA agent and decide to pay him a little visit. By which I mean they throw him off a roof and let Sam catch him until he spills the beans. Sitwell shrieks that Project Insight is essentially a cull, capable of picking off all individuals that HYDRA views a threat through a complex algorithm. Steve asks who the targets are and Sitwell replies: “You! A TV anchor in Cairo, the Under Secretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who’s a threat to HYDRA.”

“CONTINUITY ERROR!”

“CONTINUITY ERROR!”

 “Yep. Think you got them bang to rights this time, Nit.”

“Yep. Think you got them bang to rights this time, Nit.”

Yeah, there’s really no way around this. Doctor Strange is clearly established in its opening scenes as taking place after Captain America 3, which means that he doesn’t have any powers yet and couldn’t possibly be considered a threat to HYDRA. Now, Kevin Feige, that weasel, has tried to explain this away by saying that HYDRA’s algorithm identifies current and future threats meaning that HYDRA knows that Strange will become a threat further down the line. Sorry, not buying it. If HYDRA have a programme that can predict that Stephen Strange will be mangled in a car wreck, travel to Nepal and learn how to be a wizard in a few short months that’s not an algorithm, that’s magic, black and eldritch. But the real clue is the wording. Sitwell wouldn’t say “Stephen Strange” if that wasn’t a name that Steve Rogers is supposed to know. In short, ya done goofed Marvel.

“Ahhhh, sweet victory.”

“Ahhhh, sweet victory.”

The three drive towards SHIELD with Sitwell in tow, hoping to stop the launch of Project Insight. But they’re ambushed by the Winter Soldier who shoots Sitwell and that doesn’t sit well with him him, so he dies. As Nat and Sam fend off HYDRA’s goons, Steve faces off against the Winter Soldier in a vicious knife fight.

"Man. Howard Stark was full of it."

“Man. Howard Stark was full of shit”

"Huh?"

“Huh?”

"Think about it."

“Think about it.”

knife-1

kinfe-2

knife-3

"HYDRAs not going to come at you with a pocket knife."

“HYDRA’s not going to come at you with a pocket knife.”

"Man. Howard Stark was full of shit"

“Man. Howard Stark was full of shit”

In the course of the fight, Steve knocks the mask off The Winter Soldier’s face, revealing him to be none other than Bucky, aka the last Spaniel puppy left in the pet shop.

spaniel

So, here’s something I don’t get. In the comics, the Winter Soldier is a Soviet creation. The Russians fished Bucky out of the ocean, gave him a robot arm, brainwashed him into being an assassin and kept him cryogenically frozen whenever they didn’t need him (as you do). The weird thing is, the movie jettisons the Soviet connection almost entirely (although Cap 3 shows that he was trained in a HYDRA facility in Siberia and you have to wonder how Leviathan felt about that). My point is, in the MCU, Winter Soldier is HYDRA, not Soviet. But he still has all the Soviet trappings of his comic book counterpart, speaking Russian, using Soviet weapons, the Red Star on his arm. If anyone who’s more well versed in the remoter regions of the MCU can fill in the blanks, lemme know in comments.

Cap calls out Bucky’s name and he answers “Who the hell is Bucky?”. Rumlo and his STRIKE team arrive and take Cap, Natasha and Sam into custody. But on their way to be shot behind the chemical sheds, they get get busted loose by Maria Hill who takes them to a secret SHIELD hideout where they learn to their shock…

Surprise!

Surprise!

Okay, this is probably my least favourite part of the movie and not just because of my usual hatred of this kind of fakeout. Let’s just walk through Fury’s plan for a moment, shall we?

  • Someone is trying to kill me.
  • I should therefore fake my own death.
  • I will wait until someone actually very nearly kills me.
  • While I am being rushed to hospital for emergency surgery I shall get one of my associates to inject me with a drug that will make the doctors think that I’m already dead.
  • The doctors think I’m dead and so stop trying to repair my injuries which are actually killing me.
  • They leave me on a slab in the morgue, thinking I’m dead.
  • But I’m not dead.
  • am dying though.
  • Wait a minute.
  • Aw shit. Am I drunk planning again?
  • Well, too late to go back now.
  • Okay, I get one of my associates to take me to different doctors who will stop me dying for real.
  • This seems really, really, risky when I write it out like this.
  • Maybe I should just fake a plane crash or something?

Fury tells Steve, Natashsa and Sam what the plan is. They’re going to swap the computer chips on the helicarriers for different ones, thus foiling Project Insight. Steve isn’t really in that happy to be taking orders from Fury, accusing him of letting HYDRA corrupt SHIELD under his nose and of keeping Bucky’s existence from him.

"Nick, I swear to God, if theres anyone else out there who I care about who is actually alive and who you let me thinks is dead? I will literally kill you."

“Nick, I swear to God, if theres anyone else out there who I care about who is actually alive and who you let me thinks is dead? I will literally kill you.”

"Nope. Nobody else."

“Nope. Nobody else.”

Fury wants to save SHIELD but Steve is adamant that the whole organisation is corrupt and there’s nothing left to do but bring the whole rotten edifice down. Hill agrees and they launch their attack, stopping only at the Smithsonian to borrow Cap’s old WW2 uniform. The break into SHIELD and Cap addresses the agents over the intercom and blows the lid on HYDRA’s plan.  Suddenly, it’s chaos. HYDRA and SHIELD agents are firing at each other, Rumlo is launching the helicarriers and Agents of SHIELD instantly becomes, like, sixty per cent better.

Now revealed as the leader of HYDRA, Pearse tries to convince the World Security Council to go through with Project Insight. He asks the Indian councilman, Singh, “What if Pakistan marched into Mumbai tomorrow, and you knew they were going to drag your daughter into a soccer stadium for execution, and you could stop it with a flick of a switch… wouldn’t you?”

Singh replies “Not if it was your switch.”

"Also? Bringing my daughter into this makes you the worst kind of asshole."

“Also? Bringing my daughter into this makes you the worst kind of asshole.”

Pearse is about to kill the council members when one them reveals herself to be Natasha and holds him at gunpoint while she dumps all of SHIELD’s classified intel on the internet. Ah yes. This movie was made back when we all thought WikiLeaks was heroic and admirable and not Putin’s bitch. Hill and Sam manage to get the second and third Helicarriers reprogrammed. That leaves the first, where Cap has to fight his way past Bucky who comes at him with a knife (Howard, you putz). Stabbed, shot, bleeding, and probably smelling pretty ripe, Steve nonethless manages to get the chip installed at the last possible second and the three helicarriers target each other and shoot themselves out of the sky. Fury has to shoot Pearse to save Natasha, and he dies saying “Hail Hydra.”

As the last helicarrier goes down, Steve pulls Bucky from the wreckage but the Winter Soldier keeps attacking him. Steve refused to fight him, saying “You’re my friend.”

Bucky replies “You’re my mission.”

“Then finish it.” Steve says “‘Cos I’m with you until the end of the line.”

Finally remembering who he is, Bucky pulls Steve from the water as the helicarrier crashes into the Potomac, and leaves him safely on the banks of the river. And the movie ends with SHIELD in ashes, Fury going into hiding, Natasha telling a bunch of military top brass and senators to kiss her ass and Steve and Sam setting out to find Bucky.

***

The Captain America trilogy was (with the possible exception of Thor) always going to be the hardest series of movies for Marvel to get right. Which makes it all the more remarkable that Cap’s outings have consistently been the best of the MCU standalone films. A complete departure from its predecessor in tone and style, Winter Soldier is a smart, superbly crafted and politically engaged thriller.

Scoring

Adaptation 23/25

A smart, compelling retelling of the Winter Soldier arc.

Our Heroic Hero 25/25

Evans. Just…Evans.

Our Nefarious Villain 19/25

Redford is so good at radiating warmth and decency that it does actually shock you when he’s revealed to be the villain even though, on a structural level, he doesn’t do anything that couldn’t be done by Nick Fury so OF COURSE he’s the villain. Here we get a villain that hits the sweet spot; a plot that’s diabolical and genuinely terrifying but also understandable and possessed of its own twisted logic. He also gets some really funny lines.

Our Plucky Sidekicks 23/25

Anthony Mackie makes a compelling case as to why he deserves to be the next Will Smith. Johansson keeps going from strength to strength as Natasha and Jackson shines as a more world weary Fury.

The Stinger

In a secret HYDRA base, Baron Von Strucker tells his lackies to prepare for the “Age of Miracles” and we see two of them in a prison cell; Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.

And the audience went

 elf

The reveal of two A-List avengers plus a fairly major Marvel villain? Why Stinger, you spoil us.

The Second Stinger

Bucky visits the Smithsonian and sees that everything Steve told him was true.

And the Audience went

 born-ready-gif

So we’ll be seeing more of this guy.

Infinity Gem Count: 3

Holding steady, but the first stinger gives us another look at Loki’s sceptre/the mind stone.

Wait a minute, was that Stan Lee?!

That was Stan Lee, as a Smithsonian security guard who really, really should be retired by now.

Hey, what’s Thanos doing?

Thanos is preparing his transition team…I mean, sitting in his chair.

Thanos is preparing his transition team…I mean, sitting in his chair.

FINAL SCORE: 90%

NEXT TIME: Meet me in the next post. I got news.

100 comments

  1. I’m sorry to say this, but… even if you don’t like what Wikileaks had to say or who it implicated, it was STILL a heroic and admirable thing. Also, (nitpick of my own), Captain America fluctuates between being peak-human and super-human or even just regular-human-with-good-punches throughout his career – there were definitely decades where he could leap between buildings and pick up cars. It all depends on the writer and their interpretation of the Super Soldier Serum, I guess.

  2. Love this movie. Gonna watch it tonight, because you’ve got it playing in my head now.

    Yeah, the Stephen Strange bit was weird. Maybe after Tony Stark, Hydra is targeting people who look suspiciously like Sherlock Holmes.

    Could also be that their algorithm hit on “Brilliant”, “Wiseass”, “Due for Redemption Arc”, and “Alliterative Name”, and connected the dots. In the Marvel Universe, it’s about a 50/50 shot.

    1. Yeah, I figured Strange had either done successful brain surgery on someone HYDRA didn’t want to get better or was predicted to do that. I like your theory better.

      1. Um, you do realize that when they were talking about a spinal injury in a prototype suit, they weren’t talking about Rhodey right? They specifically call the guy a Marine Colonel, and Rhodey is Air Force. The theory I have, that was the pilot in the Hammer suit from Iron Man 2.

      2. Read this: http://www.cinemablend.com/news/1582039/that-doctor-strange-civil-war-reference-isnt-what-you-think-it-is

        That puts Dr. Strange just after Iron Man 2, which you have to remember, doesn’t leave many, if any witnesses as to what happened. I’d like to think Dr. Strange doesn’t return to New York until after Avengers, but he does know it happened and that Loki was responsible. That’s why he had Thor over a never-ending beer mug explaining why Loki had returned to New York.

      3. Actually according the Doctor strange Watch the movie starts in February 2016…shortly before Civil war, but also long after Ironman 2….plus, the director already said that it was a reference to neither. Apparently people getting spinal injuries in faulty flight suits is now so common in the MCU, looking at the patient isn’t even worse Doctor Strange’s time.

    2. Think about it: Strange was a brilliant Neurosurgeon who could have been an asset, but his tendency to choose certain cases and his moral code would only have turned him against HYDRA.
      They saw him helping certain people that they didn’t want to help and decided to eliminate him to stop that from happening.

  3. “Also? Bringing my daughter into this makes you the worst kind of asshole.”

    Smile when you say that Mouse!

    Love this movie, but you’re right I’m getting tired of the political BS. Done lost my cool, my armor, and my sanity. If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the grill.

  4. Why do I get the feeling this will be the first in a long line of Trump jokes?

    Anyway, I do enjoy this movie, but do I think it’s top 5 material like a lot of other people claim it to be? I don’t know. For me, I’d rank it third in the Captain America trilogy, behind Civil War in second and The First Avenger first. Not that I think it’s bad, but because I liked the other two a little more. My opinion might change after a rewatch, but that’s where it stands right now. How would you rank the CA trilogy?

    Congrats on the new gig and I hope for your success! See you in February!

  5. “stored under the Triskelion, SHIELD’s massive multi-storey headquarters in the middle of Washington with a huge lobby with a statue of their logo. But SHIELD is totally top secret and no one knows about it, you guys.”

    Ooh, hey, topical stuff! It came out over the last few hours that the NSA has a massive hub at a skyscraper on 33 Thomas Street, right in the middle of Manhattan. Giant, unlit windowless skyscraper, code-named TITANPOINTE, looming like the Barad-Dur in the middle of the most famous city on the planet and nobody pays attention to it. It’s funny because the world is terrible!

    Also, was there an alternate cut for Europe? You said the Soldier shoots Sitwell, but over here in the States, Bucky throws him–live and screaming–into the path of a passing tractor-trailer. Yeesh.

  6. The deal with Bucky in the MCU that I always read was that HYDRA was trying to instigate tensions with the Soviets by making their assassin seem Soviet. I don’t know how canonical that is though.

      1. I always thought it was just because he was assigned to the Soviet branch of Hydra. Also explains why he’s kept in Siberia between missions, at least until the 90’s.

  7. Actually, there is no latex….the aging of Peggy Carter is pure CGI (Impressive, isn’t it?). Also, the algorithm was supposed to find people who would be a danger to Hydra, not potential Superheroes. Doctor Strange the surgeon with principles and the super-smart mind certainly qualifies as potential danger.

    Anyway I love The Winter Soldier…alongside with GotG and Civil War my favourite movie of the MCU (those three are really hard to compare because they are so different). Cap is my favourite hero in my favourite Franchise!!!! (BTW, did you see Chris Evans campaigning hard against Trump and then his classy reaction when he won? It was is if the spirit of Captain America has possessed him!).

    Which reminds me: FUCK YOU 2016!!!!!

      1. I agree that the reference to Doctor Strange is weird now that we’ve gotten to his movie, but it can still make some sense. You just have to be willing to do some “the Kessel Run is measured in parsecs” mental gymnastics.

        If you don’t know, that distance-as-time flub is explained in the Legacy materials by saying that the Kessel Run is through a black-hole-ridden sector of space and the Falcon was able to map new shortcuts.

        As far as Dr. Strange goes, consider this: what happens in the MCU if a talented obnoxious genius decides to stop being selfish and turn his brilliant mind to say, fighting crime? Iron Man. Iron Man happens, and HYDRA would be extremely interested in any and all potential Iron Man-style individuals.

        It’s still a problematic line when it comes to making sense of the MCU, but not as problematic as, say… the entirety of The Incredible Hulk.

      2. I might bother with arguing that Amadeus Cho has actually been introduced into the MCU already, but it was done so in The Incredible Hulk, a film that also cast the Dad from Modern Family as Doc Sampson, so needless to say I doubt it will come back up.

      3. They didn’t call him by name. In a weird set of circumstance, when they reenacted the scene from the movie in the novelization of the film, they did name the character as Amadeus. But it was more likely than not a purely arbitrary name-drop choice, as the actor, Martin Starr, does not have any discernible Korean heritage, and most importantly is three years older than the actress who played Helen Cho in Age of Ultron.

  8. So, are you going to be reviewing the first MCU Cap film at some point? It’s sort of strange that you skipped only that one so far.

  9. Quoting Feige:

    The whole thing, what Sitwell’s saying is, this algorithm is going to predict if you’re going to become a problem for Hydra or not. So you don’t have to just be Tony Stark, actively plotting to save the world. You could be a kid whose SAT scores and whose essays have indicated that you’re going to be a problem one day. So is Stephen Strange the Sorcerer Supreme? Probably not at that point. Is he an unbelievably talented neurosurgeon who’s opinionated and kind of arrogant? Probably. That might put him on the list.

    So no, no goof.

      1. Sitwell actual words: “A TV anchor in Cairo, the Under Secretary of Defense, a high school valedictorian in Iowa City, Bruce Banner, Stephen Strange, anyone who’s a threat to HYDRA. Now, or in the future.
        The 21st century is a digital book. Zola told HYDRA how to read it. Your bank records, medical histories, voting patterns, emails, phone calls, your damn SAT scores! Zola’s algorithm evaluates people’s past to predict their future.”

        So yeah, Stephen was a potential threat in the future even if he never even became a superhero, and he’s mentioned because as a neurosurgeon he has made quite a name for himself. Dude probably has ties with WHO and he moves in a social circle that probably has put him in contact with politics. Zola’s algorithm only says “this person is a potential pain in the ass for us” based in that person digital records and past, but doesn’t predict what specific events are going to make that person go from potential threat to actual threat.

  10. For the continuity error, i see it as Stephen strange being such a good surgeon that hydra deemed him a threat. Maybe they thought he could make more super soldiers? just my thoughts on this.

  11. I do not care for this film and nobody has managed to explain me really how it is supposed to be special beyond the different factor. I want my politics films more realistic and with more detail and thrillers with mysteries that are more difficult to see or at least feel more important. And I never cared for Bucky or thought Fury was dead and the direction was not the best. But it is not bad, just not hype worthy at all and unmemorable. Evans was the best part.

  12. Mouse, why do you think Clinton should be allowed do whatever underhanded thing she wants with impunity? Are you anti-democracy now? The site you called “Puttin’s bitch” has shown Americans when our government has killed innocent people with our tax dollars, and considering how secretive our government is with that info, they’ve probably risked their freedom in doing so. What great things have you done for the world at risk to yourself? And if you’re going to insult a group that bravely exposes governments when said governments kill children, what right do you have to insist that people not talk about your daughter?

    1. If you needed Wikileaks to tell you that America has bombing civilians you must have been living under a rock. And yes, Wikileaks publicised intelligence leaked to them by Russian intelligence. And I’m sure Putin did that out of love for the American people and democracy. And if we’re talking about killing children (which for some reason we always fucking are) how many do you think Assad is going to gas now that Trump and Putin are going to give him a free hand? But no. Assange. Stand up guy.

      1. “If you needed Wikileaks to tell you that America has bombing civilians you must have been living under a rock.”

        But specific CASES of killing civilians have been revealed by Wikileaks. There are probably individuals who wouldn’t know who killed their family members if it weren’t for Wikileaks.

        “And yes, Wikileaks publicised intelligence leaked to them by Russian intelligence.”

        Just because the Clinton campaign claims the leak came from Russia doesn’t mean it did. Not that it matters if it did, since it was info the American public had every right to know either way.

        “And I’m sure Putin did that out of love for the American people and democracy.”

        Just as I’m sure it would’ve been more democratic for us not to know about it before we voted. Even if it was Russia that exposed the things Clinton did, that doesn’t make it okay that she did them. Yes, I was upset about how the election went too, but the blame for that needs to go to Clinton for doing the things she was exposed as doing in the first place, not to Wikileaks for exposing them. You’re essentially arguing that info should be withheld from the public to trick them into voting a certain way. That’s the sort of thing Putin would do.

        “And if we’re talking about killing children (which for some reason we always fucking are) how many do you think Assad is going to gas now that Trump and Putin are going to give him a free hand?”

        As opposed to Clinton, who acknowledged (and we only know that she acknowledged this thanks to “Putin’s bitch”) that the Syria policy she later adopted would kill innocent people:

        https://theintercept.com/2016/10/10/in-secret-goldman-sachs-speech-hillary-clinton-admitted-no-fly-zone-would-kill-a-lot-of-syrians/

        And was complicit in arming child soldiers:

        https://theintercept.com/2016/06/09/hillary-clintons-state-department-gave-south-sudans-military-a-pass-for-its-child-soldiers/

      2. A hostile foreign power has used Wikileaks to influence an American election and install a white supremacist government in the White House friendly to its interests. This is not a bad Tom Chancy novel. This is happening. Now. Jeff Sessions, an admitted KKK supporter, is likely to be the next Attorney General. The likely next national security advisor has said that he has been at war with Islam for most of his life. The president elect has promised to bring back torture as policy and target the families of ISIS members. This has happened. If you are actually deluded enough to think that Wikileaks is a friend to you or anyone in the Middle East we have nothing further to discuss.

      3. The current head of the NSA has said that Russia is responsible for the leaks. If that doesn’t convince you, then you’re delusional and nothing will.

  13. “Which I guess pretty much lays to rest the question as to whether movie Steve is more powerful than comic Steve. See, people often forget that Captain America is not supposed to be superhuman; he’s peak human. He’s as strong and as fast as it’s possible for a regular human being to be which means he’s still weaker than, say, Spider-man, whose strength is explicitly stated to be superhuman. Movie Steve though? He can leaps across city streets and bench curl helicopters so I’m pretty sure he’s superhuman. Damn. What did Erskine put in that serum, anyway?”

    I think this was an idea taken from the Ultimate Universe, where Cap was strong enough to punch Hulk and not only not shatter his fist into fine dust, but to make Hulk feel it.

    The Chitauri themselves were an invention of Ultimate, so that’s hardly without precedent.

      1. “The Ultimate Universe without assholes” seems like “Marvel Zombies but without zombies” or “Marvel Apes if they were all people.”

        …Now that I think about it I would pay top dollar to see Thanos defeated by the Ape-Vengers.

        Or the Deadpool Corps.

  14. “A hostile foreign power has used Wikileaks to influence an American election and install a white supremacist government in the White House friendly to its interests.”

    If they influenced it at all – which is questionable because of both the lack of evidence of their involvement and because Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing before the election – they did so by informing the American public. I know they didn’t do that because of the public’s right to know the info, but we really did have the right to know nonetheless. They did the right thing for the wrong reason, but still the right thing. If you don’t believe in democracy even when it leads to results you don’t like, you don’t believe in it at all. Also, it’s easy for you to want a pointless war between America and Russia over a no-fly zone in Syria when your daughter won’t have to fight in that war. Try having some empathy for American soldiers and for people who might be drafted if we went to war with a country that has a military as vast as what Russia probably has.

    ‘This is not a bad Tom Chancy novel. This is happening. Now. Jeff Sessions, an admitted KKK supporter, is likely to be the next Attorney General. The likely next national security advisor has said that he has been at war with Islam for most of his life. The president elect has promised to bring back torture as policy and target the families of ISIS members. This has happened.”

    And I see you’re just going to ignore the evidence I showed you about all the horrible things Clinton did and probably would’ve continued doing if she’d entered the White House. Face it, America was given two very shitty, deplorable choices this year. I wish we’d gone with the less shitty and deplorable one, but I don’t believe in withholding information from people to trick them into voting the way I want them to. Just as I support freedom of speech even for people who say disgusting things, I support the public’s right to know what they’re voting for even if it leads them to make a disgusting choice. I believe in democracy as a matter of principle.

    “If you are actually deluded enough to think that Wikileaks is a friend to you or anyone in the Middle East we have nothing further to discuss.”

    If your daughter were killed and the only reason you knew who killed her was because of Wikileaks, you’d be whistling a different tune. I’m sorry I have to bring her up, but I don’t know if there’s any other way to get you to imagine yourself in the shoes of the people Wikileaks has helped.

    Besides, the Iraq war shows what likely would have happened if Clinton had toppled Assad. It would have created a power vacuum in Syria that would’ve been filled by ISIS or Al-Qaeda. How would that have been good for anyone in the Middle East?

  15. “The current head of the NSA has said that Russia is responsible for the leaks. If that doesn’t convince you, then you’re delusional and nothing will.”

    [sarcasm begins here] Because we all know that America’s intelligence agencies have never lied about anything. It’s not the CIA has a long history of secretly toppling other country’s governments or anything. I’m sure we can trust a clandestine organization with little oversight that’s currently under the control of an outgoing president who wanted Clinton to win.[sarcasm ends here]

    Really, though, I don’t know why we’re even arguing that point. It doesn’t matter if the leak came from Russia. It’s still info that the American public has a right to know.

    “Why the fuck does everyone keep dragging Mouse’s innocent daughter into this? That’s a low fucking blow.”

    Because of the callousness he’s shown towards other people’s families. I’m trying to get him to put himself in the shoes of people who’d likely lose family members if the policies he advocates were implemented and people who only know what happened to their family members because of Wikileaks. It’s the old Golden Rule, often taught to nasty children as “how would you like it if that were done to you”. When I see what Mouse seems to want to happen to others’ families, I have to ask “how would you like it if that happened to your family”. Given his unwillingness to answer that question, I’m beginning to wonder if he’s capable of empathy.

    “Apparently they think I’ll be more inclined to agree with them if they make me really, really angry. ”

    The fact that you get angry at people for MENTIONING her yet don’t mind horrible things happening to others’ families shows that you are a hypocrite.

  16. That is a bold as hell last statement there. Let me go ahead and mention Mouse’s daughter. Mouse, I’m sure your daughter is a wonderful and happy child who is being raised by a fantastic father. Is Mouse going to get mad about me mentioning her here? Of course not, BECAUSE I DIDN’T ASK HIM TO IMAGINE A SCENARIO IN WHICH SOMEONE KILLED HER. Do you realize how fucked up it is to base your argument around that?

      1. I am so sorry that this is what the comments on your wonderful blog have become, Mouse. I’m going to try not to engage on this any further because all it’s ending up doing is making me mad and making this place worse for everyone else. If you want to go ahead and delete all the political comments I’ve made on this thread, that’s fine by me. I’d rather this place continue to be somewhere we can have friendly discussions about how much we love Marvel and Disney movies.

  17. I’m really sorry, Mouse. I realize now that I was WAY out of line and I went too far. I still maintain that your argument is unethical, but that doesn’t justify the vile and shameful personal attacks I made against you. I didn’t really mean them, I was just mad and I acted stupid because I wasn’t thinking. I’m especially sorry I brought your daughter into it. Please feel free to either delete the comments I made so you never have to see them again or leave them up to show everyone what a sociopathic asshole I’ve been; whichever seems best to you. I don’t suppose there’s anything I can do to make up for my behavior?

  18. My favorite scene in this movie is the one that isn’t there.

    You know, the one between “the suit is in this facility with such tight security that no one could possibly get to it” and “we’re using the suit now.”

  19. I know several people who dislike or outright abhor this movie, just for that mid-point HYDRA twist. There’s this guy (http://www.therobotsvoice.com/2015/11/marvel-mcu-marvel-cinematic-universe-captain-america-winter-soldier.php/2) who makes a whole list of his reasons as to why he believe Winter Soldier is actually the all-time worst MCU film. Most of his points I personally disagree with, but his final straw was the HYDRA twist which , to him, turned this fictionalized United States into the worst type of propaganda, where the supposed wrongdoings made by the American Government over the last century can easily be brushed off by the schemes of a Nazi death cult, a symbol of outright moral repugnance that leaves little support or debate. Lindsay “Nostalgia Chick” Ellis also was dissatisfied with the twist reveal (On 24:00 of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZknp9aFM3c&t=493s), though she seems far less outraged than the first reference I linked above.

    Personally though, a story beat like that did very little to bother me, as I was well aware the filmmakers were not trying to make a statement; in their action film siphoned through the sub-genre of a political thriller, certain liberties can be made when building up your story, and making HYDRA a constant, Illuminati-like presence in a Captain America story, to me, just felt like something that felt natural in context to the reaction of the character and the setting built around him. Ms. Ellis herself notes earlier in her video I linked that the MCU is something more of an idealized reality, one where the Army appears to be fully integrated during WWII, so I personally feel it to be a bit overzealous to take offense at a film series that, much like its inspired comic-book medium, is meant only to reflect reality, rather than replicate it.

    There has been some talk in recent years as to how popular entertainment, with its bloodless, PG13 violence and non-explicit reflections of real-life social issues, has created a certain kind of dissonance between the viewing audience, but that’s for further discussion elsewhere. The MCU as a whole has become something of a low-hanging fruit for various film critics or theorists, ones who love to lambaste its success to bringing the film industry down as a whole (Because no one has ever made outrageous claims such as that in regards to any popular thing at the time). When Spielberg said that the superhero film would likely sputter out like the Western, what I took from that is that, like the Western, the Superhero film is in a golden age, where a multitude of projects are being made simultaneously, but eventually the appeal with wither but not outright dispensary, which will likely lead to one or two films being made every couple of years as opposed to the current norm of two per year. In the meantime, why can’t we all just relax and enjoy this trend while it lasts?

  20. The Russo Brothers, as well as screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, have so far demonstrated to have the best aptitude when it comes to both world building in their settings and character moments in their action and dialogue. It was certainly troubling at first, knowing that this particular sequel could not work off of its prior film, but it was greatly refreshing to see the pace of the story work so seamlessly, giving Cap great sympathy as he goes on in his day-to-day life in the first act, then seeing the rising tension integrate into the second and third acts fluently as well. I was already brewing up this big explanation as to why I am not personally bothered by the mid-story twist involving HYDRA, but some formatting issue must have happened, as it didn’t seem to have been posted.

    Regardless, this Directors/Screenwriters team succeeded in their subsequent work in Civil War, and I am thoroughly glad they’ll be coming back for Infinity War as well.

  21. Escapism. That sounds nice. Never seen this one, so let’s see what it’s all about. Hmm, interesting that the Red Hood could work out so nicely, yet the Winter Soldier wouldn’t have a similar effect. Maybe there were some specific reasons, but they appear to mirror each other in this comically-untrained mind. In any case, I think I might have enjoyed the werewolf plot being cinematized. Like, can you imagine what it would be like if the Hulk and Wolf-America butted heads? Also, loved the throwback to Fun and Fancy Free. Man, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

    Hmmm. Has anyone thought to ask Robert Downey Jr. to attend kids’ parties in full costume as Iron Man a la Johnny Depp as Captain Sparrow? That kind of sounds like an idea, if you ask me. Plus, I picture Tony asking Jarvis to apply the new installation to his suit so he could eat birthday cake while still wearing it, and that amuses me greatly. Also, the way you described the “police officers” gave themselves away to Fury cracked me up. So did the Albuquerque bit. And, of course, the Vi-Aqua brick joke, which was nothing short of hysterical. I think your plan to medicate us with laughter is going just as planned, thank you!

  22. Wow, Spidey’s stronger than Captain A? That’s a new one on me. Who knew the ultimate American soldier could lose an arm-wrestling competition to a teenager who’s part arachnid? Doesn’t seem all that flattering, but I guess it still puts him ahead of Batman on the physical scale, which has to count for something. Also, Nick Fury died? Noooooo, what’s a Marvel Universe without a Samuel L. Jackson?!? Tragedy of tragedies, just when the smiles were coming back. If Sam dies in the Incredibles sequel as well, I will be very, very angry with Disney for throwing a good thing away twice. Well, at least you resuscitated the humour with that Sitwell pun. Nice.

    Can you blame Marvel Movies for not keeping the Soviet Connection? Who likes Grand Theft Auto music anyway? Also, can you tell I haven’t seen this one? I actually bought that Fury was killed, and was furious about it. I guess that’s what you get for reading reviews of movies you’ve missed. Even though these are fun to read even with no context. Nice going, Mouse.

  23. If I promise to be civil this time and not bring the other person’s family into it, can someone explain to me how it’s right to blame Wikileaks for giving us information? Wouldn’t it make more sense to be mad at Hillary Clinton for doing the bad things that Wikileaks informed us she did and then running for Democratic nomination despite having all those strikes against her? Or be mad at her and the DNC for how they worked to tip the Democratic primary in her favor even though she was a weak general election candidate?

      1. This was actually more of a general call to anyone who holds views similar to yours. I totally get if you don’t want to talk about it anymore. I was just hoping someone would so I could try to understand this perspective. Or are you replying “nope” to the second and third sentences in my comment?

      2. Understand that I said that I didn’t want to have a conversation with you. You’re not entitled to a debate with me if I don’t want to engage with you, especially after last time. I’m not a service for you to make use of, I’m a human being with a life of his own and who frankly does not like you very much. Piss off.

      3. I’m really sorry about the personal attacks, by the way. I’m upset about Trump winning too, so I can see where you’re coming from. And in any case, I should’ve been able to disagree in a more civil way. I guess really was a cretin.

        As for you wanting to kill the creature on the poster, I recommend trying to hold out SOME hope for the Emoji film. Maybe it will suck, but like I said, “The Lego Movie” seemed like a stupid idea, and it turned out alright.

    1. qwirky, let me see if I can do you any favors.

      What they want to blame Wikileaks for is the same thing journalists go through during war. The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, knew that to censor the news meant, in part, censoring history. This means, also, that the winner writes history. Spoils of war and all that.

      Now, if this sounds alarming, well, that’s the idea. Wikileaks is displaying classified and sensitive data without censor, thus creating a political conundrum. It’s the reason why corporations want to settle their problems out of the court. Any courtroom battle means their secrets can come out more. Or in the case of Hillary Clinton, personal secrets that can demean her character in ways you’ve never thought about.

      For example, you’ve read about the alleged VIP pedophile sex ring that seems to be snaking its way through Washington DC? Well, in a courtroom, if asked, she would be required, within the scope of the investigation, to answer any questions. Like, what age were the residents? Did you see any females that appeared to be under the age of 18? Did you engage in any sexual acts with people other than your husband? And these aren’t Congressional Hearings, this would be, “Mrs. Clinton, please answer yes or no.” If she says no, and ANY pictures or email were found that refuted that, or any witness says otherwise, she could face years in prison. That’s what happened to Martha Stewart.

      As for Wikileaks itself, not a few short years ago, Democrats were praising Assange’s praises because he was displaying the failings in the Bush administration. But now that it’s swinging the other way, they don’t like it. This same parallel can be seen in the final debate and today. The Democrats jumped all over Trump for saying he wouldn’t immediately accept the results, allowing himself room to challenge if anyone found evidence of vote tampering, or voter fraud. What happened? Trump won, and the Democrats refuse to accept the results of the election saying, “Well, Hillary won the popular vote.” Well, that would be a signature clause of the United States Constitution, Article 2, Section 1. The establishing of an Electoral College makes it where the major cities DON’T control the rest of the country. Every president from Washington on was elected by the Electoral College. Live with it, just as I’ve had to live with Obama ruining the country and racking up big debt.

      And if anyone wants to fight me on that, remember this. Obama has spent more than every president combined. The debt is yours.

      It just depends on who is in charge, and if Wikileaks is helping or hurting them. Personally, I view it as a way of government whisteblowers to speak out to the world and effect a change. Look at Snowden. He has to live in a foreign country because he can’t come home. Trump needs to pardon him, because he did blow the whistle on government wiretapping.

      I digress. Let me try this. Should Hillary have run with all the skeletons in her closet? Not if she wants them to remain in the closet. Otherwise, they’ll have a gay old time dancing in the street with her dirty laundry. Sorry, had to make that joke.

      Should we be mad at Hillary for doing those things? Yes, and she deserves her chance in front of a jury of her peers to defend herself once and for all. Good people have had their lives ruined for less.

      Should we be mad at the DNC for favoring Clinton and rigging the Primary in her favor. Yes, because they overruled the will of the people. No wonder they are suffering right now, politically.

      Does that help?

      1. Well, you actually seem to agree with me about Wikileaks. I was hoping someone who agreed with Mouse could explain their point of view in their own words. As long as you bring up a couple of other things though, let me just respond:

        *I recently heard the pedophile ring mentioned in an NPR story as one of several examples of false stories being spread around by fake news. I think it’s possible you’ve been duped.
        *I don’t know how much credit he deserves for this if any, but the deficit (the rate at which the debt grows each year) actually shrank under Obama. It may technically be the case that he’s racked up debt, but he’s racked it up at a slower rate than Regan or either of the Bushes. Evidence seems to suggest that Democrats are actually better when it comes to reigning the debt in.
        *The Electoral College is anti-democratic and should be abolished. I’d believe that regardless of how it swung the election. The majority is supposed to rule in a democracy. If that means the big cities end up picking the president, then that’s how it should be. As it is, though, I just did some quick math (rounding up a lot) using Wikipedia statistics and found that even the 300 most populous cities in the US combined only amount to a plurality of the country, not a majority. If we abandoned the electoral college but also had some kind of multi-round voting system like France or allowed people to do preference voting (and it seems unlikely that even a majority of those cities would have the same first choice AND same second choice AND same third choice etc. all the way down to whoever won under this hypothetical system), it’s unlikely that the major cities would run the country.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s