Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Captain America 2 PosterRelease Date: April 1, 2014

Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo

Written by: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, Sebastian Stan

Synopsis:

Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

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What’s most striking about the cavalcade of new toys recently rolled out at New York City’s own Toy Fair is how familiar they are. Look, over there! Transformers that switch from vehicle to robot and back, right next to the new G.I. Joe sets! Behind them, an ever-evolving set of Star Wars figures and play packs, just a short stroll from tiny Mr. Potato Heads dressed as Marvel superheroes. There is, of course, also a heavily armed raccoon screaming pithy remarks to anyone who will listen, but a lot of what rounds out Hasbro’s latest set of toy lines are old characters made new – or, at least, newish. The team at Hasbro is kind enough to preview its major lines – from Marvel to My Little Pony and back – every year before Toy Fair really gets going, allowing journalists to pack a small convention center and ooh and ahh (sometimes, quite loudly) over new collections, especially those pegged to new feature films (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the latest Transformers all debuted fresh toy accompaniments) and existing properties that still stand tall (yes, there were plenty of Star Wars items, though nothing that seems directly related to the new films in the series). What toys are destined to crowd your shelves soon? And which toys just might give us a read on heavily anticipated films? Take a look, and brace for those tiny Mr. Potato Heads.

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elementstruth-1

Like many readers of this site, I love comic books. I grew up reading them, so when Hollywood finally started to really get superhero movies right in the mid-to-late 2000s, I was overjoyed. Of course, I had been enjoying superhero movies long before Iron Man and The Dark Knight. As a child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up watching superheroes on television and in the movies when radiation was the key element of heroic transformation and spandex was the fashion standard. Going back to the 80s, these comic book movies have their own Kryptonite that causes problems for them. It seems that one of the best ways around a mysterious substance or miracle solution is to encounter an unknown element, or to discover a new one if you don’t have the expertise to just create it in your own home laboratory. And this got me thinking… where do all these unknown and new elements come from?

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Earlier this week, Variety chief film critic Justin Chang wrote about time travel romance films in response to the new Richard Curtis movie, About Time. It’s a fair reading of the genre, focusing narrowly on Somewhere In Time, The Lake House and The Time Traveler’s Wife (which like About Time stars Rachel McAdams). These are all cinematic equivalents of the time travel romance novel (two are actually adaptations), of which there are hundreds of examples, and they’re all pretty sappy, whether they have sad or happy endings. Of course, they’re concentrated on not only love stories, but ones putting the ideas of destiny and its obstacles to the extreme of temporal distance. So either concluding in a final parting (death) or union (finally getting together forever), there’s going to be a great sentimental power breaking through the tension at the end, a power that probably leaves its audience in need of a tissue. But those four movies, including the latest, hardly represent the full extent of time travel romance in the movies. It’s just that most of the others are concentrated on the time travel narratives over the romantic. Still, they feel the need for those love interests, and the love story elements are always very interesting given the plots. See some notable examples below.

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Captain America Winter Soldier Banner

Well, you can take the superhero out of the Avengers, but you can’t take the Avengers out of the superhero. You would think that he would still be struggling to adjust to life in the modern world after, you know, being frozen for 70 years and then almost immediately fighting aliens in New York City, but it seems that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is doing pretty well for himself as he continues to work for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and S.H.I.E.L.D. But as the title Captain America: The Winter Soldier implies, this isn’t really a team effort. Sure, he’s got Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) by his side to kick ass and take names, but we all know that when it comes down to it, that very Jared Leto-y looking villain is going to have to answer to the red, white and blue. As with any Marvel venture, there is explosion upon explosion, crashing car upon collapsing aircraft carrier, and it is all glorious. Soak it up. Plot wise, it’s still not clear why exactly it’s all on Captain America to save the nation, but there will undoubtedly be about 10 more trailers to dissect in the very long stretch between now and April. Check out the trailer for the Anthony and Joe Russo-directed film here:

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Captain America

From the looks of things, Captain America has definitely thawed out by now and is geared up to defend his beloved country on his own, post -The Avengers. The first images for Captain America: The Winter Soldier have arrived, via USA Today, showing Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) kicking ass and surveying his handiwork, and it also seems that he’s gone through a little makeover since the last time he appeared on screen. Gone is the red, white, and blue, stars and stripes bodysuit with matching head cap, it’s now replaced by a sleek black and silver incarnation. It’s more stealthy than overtly patriotic – but don’t worry; the shield is still intact. The overhead shot depicts the Captain in the moments after he takes on an elevator full of bad guys and obviously wins. What kind of superhero movie do you think this is?

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Hasbro Header

With New York Comic-Con kicking off today, Gotham is about to be inundated with all sorts of geeky goodness, and the fine folks at Hasbro like to stake their cool claim early. Every year the toy company hosts a swinging party called “Twas the Night Before” before the con kicks off, and they use the lure of hand-crafted thematic cocktails, finger foods, and tons of toys to get the press to turn out. It works – very well – for one simple reason (no, not the booze), but because nothing is off limits for play and examination, even new toys that haven’t been released yet (and toys that are quietly shuffled out of the party space when things get really rolling). Yes, you can manhandle that new Spider-Man mask, and then you can go right ahead and pose for pictures with a new My Little Pony right next to a display of new Furbies that give birth to small Furby eggs. Playing with toys will never get old. Probably. We think. After the break, check out some of very favorite things from last night’s “Twas the Night Before…” shindig, including new toys from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Transformers: Age of Extinction, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and many more.

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Captain America and The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The First Avenger was an odd movie. For one, it didn’t take on the “realistic” aesthetic we see so many comic-book movies aim for. Secondly, how often are superhero movies that unabashedly sentimental and light-hearted? Steve Rogers was a genuinely great guy who believed that the right would always prevail. There was no moral ambiguity in the first film for him to question. You’re either a good guy or a bad guy. From the sound of it, that’s not the movie we’ll be seeing with the film’s sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Although that’s slightly disappointing to hear, speaking with actor Sebastian Stan, reprising his role as Bucky Barnes and taking on a new one with Winter Soldier, there’s a good reason for that tonal shift. The movie takes place in 2013, and showing Steve now a part of a less black and white world should make for an interesting direction to take the character in.

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Marvel Studios Panel At Comic-Con

We could write all about the Marvel Studios Comic-Con panel from yesterday. We could dig through Twitter and the coverage from other sites and our own chats with some of the Marvel stars (coming later today) and give you a list of things we learned. Or we could just publish this video of the panel and let you make your own conclusions. That second option sounds great, as there is no perfect way to explain what happened when Tom Hiddleston took the stage in full character and turned a 6,000 person Hall H crowd into an army of loyal followers. Apparently we all just want to be ruled. All that trouble in The Avengers for nothing. So sit back and enjoy the Marvel Studios panel from the comfort of your own home. You’ll get updates on the more medieval Thor: The Dark World, the S.H.I.E.L.D.-heavy Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the out-of-this-world Guardians of the Galaxy and a little update about something called Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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There’s still a little over a week before Comic-Con unleashes all sorts of trailers, posters, and other goodies upon a horde of screaming fans, but Marvel has decided to whet fans’ appetite a little early with the first teaser poster for Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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discs murderer lives

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Murderer Lives at 21 (UK release) A murderer is stalking the streets of Paris, and his only calling card is a literal calling card bearing the name “Monsieur Durand.” The police are getting nowhere fast, but when a petty criminal offers evidence that the killer resides in a local boarding house a top detective goes in undercover to ferret the murderer out for arrest. Hilarity ensues. I’m not kidding about it being hilarious either. Director Henri-Georges Clouzot would go on to make Wages of Fear, Diabolique and others, but his debut film shows an assured hand with both the visual style and a fantastic tonal balance between the mystery and the laughs. The dialogue moves at a ’40s screwball comedy pace, and it’s loaded with wit, smarts and innuendo. Even more impressive is the film’s final shot… especially knowing it was shot during the Nazi occupation of France. [UK DVD extras: Interview]

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iron man 301

Iron Man 3 is a movie I’ve seen, and if you’re reading this I sincerely trust that you have too. Why? Two reasons. First, you should see it because it’s a pretty fun flick. And second? I’m about to unload spoilers below of epic proportions. My review is elsewhere on the site, and you should probably give it a read so you can call me names for the grade I gave it. The movie has issues, and more than that it leaves us with some serious questions. Again, and obviously, there are spoilers below regarding things that happen and who they happen to so tread lightly.

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Anthony Mackie in Captain America 2

On tonight’s Movie News After Dark, we start with a few words on the Netflix Streampocalypse that will undoubtedly be wreaking havoc on your life, then move on to this week’s big stories: Iron Man, Marvel, Iron Man, Marvel, Thai Iron Man.

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Captain America 2

We begin this evening’s Movie News After Dark shenanigans with Captain America stepping into the world of S.H.I.E.L.D for his tour in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It continues with plenty of movie chat, including great baseball flicks, Scary Movie 2, walking out of the theater and Vin Diesel driving a radio-controlled car. Or as we call it around here, just another Tuesday night.

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Ant-Man

If you haven’t had your coffee yet, now’s a good time to take it ocularly. For the most part, this Phase Two featurette from Marvel (via Superhero Hype) is a keen look into the world of Iron Man 3 with an eye to how they’re deepening the well while returning to it in order to make Tony Stark a richer character post-Avengers. The cast and crew, alongside Marvel head Kevin Feige, weigh in on how this trilogy entry is also a piece of a much larger puzzle. Then, they show some of the other pieces. The briefest of footage from Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World is joined by test footage from Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man, concept footage from Guardians of the Galaxy and a few comments from the filmmakers. At any rate, let’s stop pretending that you’re reading this and get to the video:

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georges-st-pierre

What is Casting Couch? It’s obsessed with the future, and never dwells in the past. Who cares about what these actors have accomplished already, what are they going to be doing next? Today we have some real news along with some anonymous speculation about who could be the new Snake Plissken. Today’s big news concerns a major casting for Marvel’s upcoming star-spangled sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The Latino Review is reporting that UFC Champion and French-Canadian fellow, Georges St-Pierre, is going to be stepping out of the octagon and onto a movie set to play one of Cap’s villains. The obvious joke here, since St-Pierre is pseudo-French and a fighter, is that he would be playing super-lame Cap villain, Batroc the Leaper, whose only real powers are that he likes to do jump kicks and he’s got a French accent so strong that it triggers his gag reflex, but obviously a film version of Captain America would never…wait…he actually is going to be playing Batroc the Leaper? Oh, man. He grows the pencil-thin mustache or we riot.

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15-Robert-Redford

What is Casting Couch? It’s a roundup of all the day’s most important casting news. Today we have a bunch of legit reports, and one of those dreaded short-lists. It’s a short-list concerning that much talked about Natalie Portman movie, Jane Got a Gun though, so it’s kind of a pressing matter. It looks like Captain America may be trading in his sidekick Bucky in order to team up with The Sundance Kid. Deadline is reporting that Robert Redford, the patron saint of independent cinema, is making a surprise move and negotiating to join the cast of Marvel’s very commercial superhero sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If he officially signs, he’ll reportedly be playing a high-ranking member of SHIELD, that government agency run by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in all of the Marvel movies. I wonder if he gets his own flying aircraft carrier? If he does, that could be the thing that seals the deal.

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Captain America Merch

Marvel and Joe Johnston did an incredible job with Captain America, making a fun film with a main character that eventually acted as a counterpoint to Tony Stark in The Avengers. Fingers should be crossed that they can manage the same kind of entertainment with The Winter Soldier, but it’s encouraging to see Marvel chief Kevin Feige talk about the movie in terms beyond the overused Superhero Action genre. In a conversation with Variety, he hinted that action won’t be the primary focus. Instead, the sequel will play out more like, say, House of Cards. “There’s an opportunity to graft almost sub-genres onto them. Our first Captain America film was a World War II picture, and the next is a political thriller. They all have their own textures and patinas, and that’s what is exciting about it.” Of course, if the first one was a WWII flick, it certainly had plenty of action to it as a result. A political thriller doesn’t immediately bring action to mind, but it might be a welcome ingredient. Think Captain America by way of The French Connection. Yes, it sounds awesome, and so does this news. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be in theaters April 4, 2014.

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Johnny Depp

What is Casting Couch? It’s a thing on the Internet that’s primarily concerned with which actors are going to be in what movies. Today it includes news regarding attractive folk like Colin Farrell and Lily Collins. For the last decade or so, Johnny Depp has largely been occupied with wearing makeup and putting on silly wigs, but once upon a time he used to play actual human beings in movies like Donnie Brasco and whatnot, and while it didn’t afford him the opportunity to use nearly as many crazy voices, things weren’t so bad. Things were so decent, in fact, that Cross Creek Pictures has announced [via ComingSoon] that they’ve cast Depp in another gangster story that’s based on real life events, just for old times’ sake. Depp will be playing infamous Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in director Barry Levinson’s (Toys, Jimmy Hollywood) new film Black Mass. Bulger, for the uninitiated, was a gangster who informed for and was later double-crossed by the FBI. Those cads.

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Toby Jones in Captain America

What is Casting Couch? Currently its a column that reports on casting news, but it’s thinking about getting into directing. The last time we saw Toby Jones’ Captain America character, Dr. Arnim Zola, he was in captivity and giving up the goods on all of his boss, the Red Skull’s, super-secret plans. Fans of the comics know that Zola isn’t just some anonymous patsy who’s going to fade into the background, however. Mad scientists don’t go out like that. Instead, Zola has his mind put into a weird robot body that projects his face on his tummy and he continues to give Cap problems down through the ages. That’s in the comics. But now we’ve gotten some indication that we might be seeing some of this stuff play out in the upcoming Captain America movies as well. When giving an interview to Hey U Guys, Jones confirmed that he will indeed be returning for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, though whether it will just be through flashbacks to the 40s or if we’re going to see him as his present-day tummy robot isn’t yet clear. You gotta root for tummy robot though, right?

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Michael Rosenbaum

As if the casting situation regarding the lead role for James Gunn’s upcoming Marvel movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, needed to get even more heated, today brings news that yet another candidate has been reading for the lead role of Peter Quill: AKA the half-human, half-alien intergalactic cop called Star-Lord. Michael Rosenbaum, who’s no stranger to the comic book world given his many years playing Lex Luthor on TV’s Smallville, recently took to his Twitter account to inform his followers that, “Read for my pal @JamesGunn GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for PETER QUILL. What a treat! Thanks Jimmy. @Marvel.” If you can’t read Twitterspeak, that means Rosenbaum now joins Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zachary Levi, and Jim Sturgess in the stable of actors we’ve heard are up for the role.

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