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Plot: During World War II, a brave, patriotic American Soldier undergoes experiments to become a new supersoldier, "Captain America." Racing to Germany to sabotage the rockets of Nazi baddie "Red Skull", Captain America winds up frozen until the 1990s. He reawakens to find that the Red Skull has changed… Runtime: 97 min Release Date: 14 Dec 1990
A re-evaluation of a previous review (by Tin Man-5)
With a new "Spider-Man" movie due out this May, an upcoming sequel to "Blade," and "X-Men 2" to start filming soon, I thought it would be appropriate to review some of the previous attempts that Marvel Comics has made to get their characters onto the big screen. It's no questions that their films have never been as successful as their arch rivals, DC Comics, especially in the nineties. While there was a successful TV Incredible Hulk series in the seventies, a never-released, low-budget "Fantastic Four" flick, and an *ahem* film version of "The <more>
Punisher" that is not even worthy of mention, at the end of the day, the only cinematic interpretations of their heroes that are worth commenting on at all are "Blade," "X-Men," and "Captain America."In an earlier review, written back in my naive, less-educated-in-Cinema-days, I stated that "Captain America" was the greatest super-hero film ever made. This is not a true statement, and it was one I made having not seen the film in a few years, and the flaws were less-apparent in my mind. Yes, there are many flaws in this film: Some of the dialogue is cheezy, many of the characters are underdeveloped, and there is simply not enough time spent with Captain America in costume. However, in the heart of this film there is a very sincere, very respectable tribute to the golden-age superhero, and I feel that the movie is still very much worthy of praise.Without going too much into detail about the nature of the plot, I will say that it successfully sums up sixty years of comics into one movie. Both the characters of Captain America and his facist counterpart, the Red Skull brainchild of Hitler in the comics, created by Mussolini and sold to the nazis here are depicted as much more tragic than in the comics. Both characters are well-constructed and sincerely acted by Matt Salinger and Scott Paulin, and the film is basically a tribute to old 1940's serials with two strong characters taking center stage.When I say a tribute to 1940's serials, this is exactly what I mean. Every plot point, every character save Cap and the Skull, serve nothing more than to move the story along from action scene to action scene. Many things happen that make little sense- for example, upon being revived in the nineties after being frozen in ice for fifty years, Captain America is found by a conspiracy theorist who has been piecing together his story for years. How does the guy find our hero? He just happens to be driving through Northern Canada and stumbles upon him. Once the Red Skull realizes that Cap is still alive, he determines that the hero must be out to destroy him. Now, Cap has been out of commission for fifty years, and the Red Skull is now a mysterious, Corleone-esque kingpin. In this film, they only encountered briefly in the 1940's before Cap was frozen in ice. Why on earth would Skull jump to the conclusion that hey! Cap is thawed out, and his first objective will be to stop the Red Skull? In another part, realizing that the Skull is hiding in Italy, Cap jumps on a plane fro the U.S. and flies there. Um.....how did he get on board of that plane? Surely his passport wasn't perserved with him in the ice?But nevermind....these plot holes, and many like them, are irrelavent to what this film is trying to do: Put our hero in a series of spectacular action scenes and watch how he gets out of them. It is not trying to tell a serious story, it is simply trying to give us some silly, comic-book action in a movie-serial kind of way, and the movie does just that. Our hero is strapped to a German rocket headed toward the White House, dodges nazi villians in Northern Canada, is amazed in some cleverly-written scenes how many American products are made in former enemy lands of Japan and Germany, fights the Red Skull's henchmen in Italy, and finally has an explosive showdown with the Skull himself in the kingpin's castle, where the villian threatens to blow up all of Western Europse with an atomic bomb which he receives from a piano. All this combined with the fact that the Skull is responsible for the deaths of JFK, RFK, and Martin Luther King, and now he plans to use a brain transplant to make the new economically-aware U.S. President his slave.It is impossible to take this film any more seriously than you would take an old serial or a four-part issue of the Cap comic book, and this kind of treatment is exactly what a Captain America movie needed. As a result, the low-budget, occasionally hammy acting, and confusing storytelling only add to the film's effect and heighten director Pyun's well-choreographed action sequences. There is just something grand and, dog-gonnit, patriotic about the President of the United States leaping from a tower in order to keep the Skull from using him in is experiments, only to be successfully caught and saved by Captain America, who is crawling up the wall vigorously. In real life, this would have ripped both their arms out of their sockets, but in this movie, what difference does it make? It's such a well-shot scene!This said, Cap and Skull are well-developed, and they hold the film together when it threatens to go over-the-top in its comic-book silliness. Cap fights the Skull and fails to defeat him in the 1940's, only to be frozen in ice and thawed out in the nineties, where he learns that, because he failed to defeat the Skull, his arch villian is responsible for the deaths of many historic figures. Feeling he has failed his country, plus realizing his old girlfriend is now old with a family of her own, Cap is a determined, meloncholy hero with nothing to lose. There is a sincerity to the part that Matt Salinger brings, and with his niavity and his boyish-good looks, it looks as if Cap is truly a hero from the 1940's, who has stepped out of his time and into ours and is truly amazed at the changes that have come though attempts to give him lines featuring old 40's terms such as "Gee-wizz" and "holy mackeral" don't come off so well . The Red Skull watched the slaughter of his family as a small boy in the 1930's, and this tramautizing event that led to his transformation into the monster he now is has bittered him over the centuries. In a film which emphasized overacting, he probably has the sublest role, yet he still has the film's best over-the-top lines "Assassination isn't worth the trouble. It took two years to find Sir Hans. Three to find Oswald. The King job alone cost us over twenty two million dollars. What do we get for our troubles? Saints. Martyrs to the cause." Must like Michael Corleone in the "Godfather 2" though on a much smaller level , in the film's final scenes, he builds himself up as a great, powerful crimelord, but to the viewer, he simply comes across as pitiful.In the end, "Captain America" is a fun, low-budget, patriotic, feel-good action flick which works in a Saturday Matinee sort of way. While never released to theaters here in the U.S., it made the theaters, perhaps ironically, overseas and, as a result, built the bridge for the bigger-budgeted, more-serious Marvel Superhero movies that came years later and are still to come. Certainly worth watching, certainly worth owning, certainly a tribute to sixty years of "Captain America" comic books.*** out of ****
Captain America is good movie. All of the cast was good and the characters were used properly. It was funny that Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin were in another film together. Matt Salinger played Captain America very good and Scott Paulin played the Red Skull excellently! It was unusual to see Ronny Cox as the president and Ned Beatty in yet another superhero movie! Very good directing by one of the most underrated directors Albert Pyun. I really don't know what is so bad about this movie. Sure its not like the current Marvel movies but this was made a long while ago. If you like <more>
Marvel Comics, Captain America, and the cast mentioned above then I recommend you watch this movie!
Yes! Another superhero film comes and goes! What I love about these kinds of films are that we have the hero. We have the villain. We have a damsel in distress. Heck, we even have a problem in the world, like a shortage of cows, or that we need help opening a nasty carton of milk! This movie, "Captain America," does all of that. No, there isn't anything in this movie that has to do with cows or opening milk cartons or anything. However, there is the hero, Captain America, and the villain, The Red Skull, and so forth."Captain America" is a superhero movie that may not <more>
be as exciting as "Spider-Man," but believe me, if you are lucky enough to find a copy and they are extremely difficult to come by nowadays! , then you can watch this movie and see what all the buzz is about.
Captain America: The True Comic Film (by The-Canadian)
To many people bash this movie, and personally, I think it is one of the most faithful adaptations I've ever seen from anything to screen for this time period.THE BAD: The red skull's look at the end of the movie wasn't really all that crappy... it just wasn't the red skull... I have to admit they did take their time to get where they were going in the middle of the movie.THE GOOD: The good greatly outweighs the bad in this film. Matt Salinger does a perfect rendition of Steve Rogers/ Captain America in his childish "gee whiz" kind of way. The Red Skull's make up <more>
in the first half of the film is breath taking, and Scott Paulin with a great assist from the script gives more character depth to the Red Skull than I've ever seen in the comics. The opening half hour rushes by with grace, ending with a fantastic battle inside a Nazi stronghold, and the climatic battle between Cap and the skull at the end is also unbelievable. And don't get me started on the "Pull over. I feel sick." parts of it.OVERALL: One of the best comic films out there, even after seeing some of today's, it's the perfect adventure for the whole family!
Captain America was a 1990 direct-to-video release from 21st Century Films starring Matt Salinger son of "Catcher in the Rye" author J.D. Salinger in the title role, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty, and Scott Paulin as Cap's nemesis, "The Red Skull".Sure this movie's ridiculed now, but as a child growing up in the 1990s it was this, or literally nothing. Superhero movies weren't the box office blockbusters they are today, and as such this film was quite the novelty back then.Now you can walk into any store and find tons of Marvel merchandise, but it was a different <more>
story in the early-to-mid nineties. It was a lot harder to find anything Marvel related, but thankfully times have changed and people now see comics as great resources for turning out highly entertaining films. Truly, kids don't know how lucky they have it now.Sure, this movie had more than its fair share of flaws including transforming Red Skull from the German Nazi of his comic continuity into an Italian fascist for the film version, a choice I'm still puzzled by. Taking two of Captain America's unrelated love interests from different eras and making them mother and daughter in the film also seemed an odd decision, but what seemed utterly unforgivable to me as a kid was the costume designer who forgot to put a star on both the front AND back of Cap's uniform! The one thing they got right on the money was his shield.Comic fans are an interesting bunch, and I'm proud to call myself one of them, and one thing that drives us all mad is taking liberties with the source material. I think had this movie tried to stay closer to its comic book roots it wouldn't have been criticized so harshly.Personally, I believe had the filmmakers focused on making this story more of a period piece set in the 1940s during the height of World War II, I think the end result would have been a lot better. It would've given us the chance to see why Captain America was considered an American legend and war hero. As it was, it seemed the screenwriter was more focused on trying to propel the story into what was then present day. I would say that maybe roughly fifteen minutes, if that, takes place in 1943 while the rest of the movie takes place in 1993.In conclusion, I'd say that "Captain America" isn't a great movie, but it's not that bad, and before you rip it to shreds, try to remember the time period from which it came. A time when comic book movies weren't the norm, and kids were happy to have something like this to watch.If you're curious to watch it I'd say you probably won't be able to find this on DVD and certainly not Blu Ray, but check around on online auctions websites for used VHS copies, or any other popular video streaming sites where I know it's available to watch for free.I'll be curious to see Captain America: The First Avenger when it comes to theaters in 2011, with Chris Evans formerly the "Human Torch" from the two abysmal "Fantastic Four" movies taking on the mantle of Captain America.
Menahem Golan liked to film Americans, especially Chuck Norris, womp on bad guys. I wasn't surprised when I learned that he filmed a movie about Captain America. Now, I didn't see all of it, but I saw a lot of it, and, while it's confusing, it is fun to watch. I said the same thing about the Transformers movies. And, anyone could say the same thing about my upcoming review you won't have to find it amusing . When this was filmed, I think there was a long battle over the rights of Marvel Comics heroes. It was why you could see a lot of DC heroes, but no Spiderman or X-Men for <more>
years after. Spiderman would have been the biggest draw, but even if anyone could have gotten the rights, there was no Peter Parker or costume. Golan found a very good Matt Salinger and a good costume letting big brothers Warner do the heavy work on the one-piece latex . He found fun and famous American actors to co-star Ned Beatty, Darren McGavin, Ronny Cox , and an easy-to-root-against villain Red Skull . The special effects are small compared to today. Of course, no CGI, no giant explosions. A lot of it is filmed in exterior locations and the scenes are, usually, wide shots. There's a girl who, I think, is helping Captain America navigate through the modern world. Had I seen more, I probably would know more about her, or the plot. But, I've seen entire big budget movies and couldn't tell you more. I can tell you one particular chase scene looks like it inspired one found in Tomorrow Never Dies. Another interesting thing is that there is no post-modern angst in the script. No heavy brooding or moody atmosphere. No shrieking or screaming those are all pluses, by the way . Don't judge this movie because it didn't have a big budget. It's fun to watch, and I'm glad the fight to distribute it in the U.S. is over.