Chris Evans

Captain America The Winter Soldier

One of the biggest hits of the year so far has been Captain America: The Winter Soldier, making it a bigger success than the first film. It helps that it follows up The Avengers and cross-pollinates with other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, what also helped it along was a fresh story that was less of a gee-whiz superhero film and more inspired by the conspiracy thrillers of the 1970s. Now that the film has been released on home video, the directors and writers have sat down and dissected it in their commentary track, available on the Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray. (Sorry, folks… the DVD does not have the commentary on it, so you’ll have to spring for a Blu-ray player if you want to listen. But, seriously, why don’t you have a Blu-ray player already? You do? Thought so.

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Snowpiercer

For director Bong Joon-ho, the future looks bleak. Based on the French graphic novel, “Le Transperceneige,” Snowpiercer takes audiences a mere twenty-six years into the future when an attempt to stop global warming leaves the world frozen and uninhabitable. The only humans left alive now exist on a self-sustaining train that endlessly circles the earth making their new home feel more like prison than salvation. For those segregated to the back of the train, life is a constant struggle where every meal (and moment) is regulated by a select few lucky enough to have boarded at the front. The Snowpiercer is ruled by it’s omnipresent inventor, Wilford, and his unflinching rules are upheld by Mason (Tilda Swinton) who is equal parts comical and terrifying. Trying to survive under this constant oppression, it is not long before those in the back of the train decide it is time to overthrow their self-appointed rulers. This rag-tag army, as led by the surly Curtis (Chris Evans), band together to push their way to the front and try to figure out why they are being treated like second-class citizens.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America has had a tough life. Steve Rogers, created over 73 years ago by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, has been put through the wringer time and time again. Sure, he made a hell of an introduction by punching Adolf Hitler in his first issue ever, but his luck soon ran out. He went to hell, fought communists for Joseph McCarthy, and, at his lowest and most desperate, worked as a History professor. As we all know, teaching history is far worse a gig than having to fight Nazi Werewolves. Now things are on the up for Captain America, at least for his public image. In 2011 he got his own movie — let’s just pretend the 1990 version never happened — and it was the top dog of Marvel’s Phase I. Now that the studio has successfully moved into Phase II, Director Joe Johnston‘s Captain America: The First Avenger has managed to remain the best of the bunch. Its sequel, Captain America: Winter Soldier, is a close second. Captain America (Chris Evans) faces his greatest threat yet: his best friend, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), a.k.a. The Winter Soldier. The world may have been threatened in The Avengers, but global annihilation doesn’t match the personal stakes that come from having to fight your BFF, who’s been turned into an unstoppable killing machine with a shiny metal arm. This isn’t just Captain America taking on some power hungry villain, but Steve Rogers having to confront a friend. The personal stakes aren’t all Captain America: The Winter […]

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Elevator Scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier already has a lot of people claiming it as the best Marvel movie yet, which is bizarre hyperbole in the face of The Avengers, but for those who love a grounded spy yarn it definitely has a maturity not present in any other Marvel outing to date. Or at least a different style of superhero storytelling. Imagine it as Captain America: Enemy of the State with double the action sequences. Rob’s review is thorough and glowing, worthy of a great superhero movie that tones down its superheroism in favor of plot intrigue. It’s a sentiment matched by a ton of critics, but I can’t agree with it completely. The positives absolutely outweigh the negatives, and it’s a very slick movie, but there’s more to do than simply throwing ticker tape from out your office window. Mostly because it would be difficult to find ticker tape these days. Do they even make it still? Spoilers included, here are 10 things I liked about Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 10 things I didn’t.

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Chris Evans in CAPTAIN AMERICA THE FIRST AVENGER

Captain America: The First Avenger is probably the best of Marvel’s Phase One films. I say “probably” to allow for nostalgia for Iron Man and the abundance of fun that is The Avengers, but re-watches have shown The First Avenger to be the least problematic and most affecting of the bunch. Its high entertainment value doesn’t hurt either. The sequel, The Winter Soldier, hits theaters this Friday, and according to at least one very reputable source it may just be the best Marvel film yet. We’re spending the week exploring all things Captain America so there’s no better time than now to take a listen to director Joe Johnston‘s commentary for The First Avenger. He’s joined by the film’s editor and director of photography, and together they discuss the production, the cast and crew, and the moments they love as film fans.

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Chris Evans in CAPTAIN AMERICA THE WINTER SOLDIER

Captain America should be the most boring lead in the ongoing cinematic superhero cavalcade — he’s a goody two shoes who fights with a shield, wears an excessively patriotic costume, and by all accounts has never been laid — and yet, over the course of three films he’s quickly become the most entertaining, exciting to watch, and affecting of the bunch by a wide margin. (Your move Superman.) It takes nothing away from the writers and directors of those films to acknowledge that the biggest key to the character’s onscreen success can be found in the man behind the mask, Chris Evans. His charisma, appeal, and physical presence combined with the character’s personality and tragic circumstances make for a compelling and fun superhero whose humanity shines through far more often than heroes who spend half their screen-time as CGI creations. Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees Steve Rogers/Captain America (Evans) still trying to fit in to the modern world while working for SHIELD on a regular basis. His latest mission leads to yet another conflict with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) over his and SHIELD’s priorities and methods in fighting the war on terror. Rogers thinks criminals should be punished after a crime has been committed, but Fury says they can’t afford to wait that long. The arrival on scene of a mysterious and legendary assassin, the Winter Soldier, shakes things up even further, and soon Captain America is fighting not only for the lives of millions but for his […]

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Tim Burton Batman

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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James Rebhorn in The Game

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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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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oh0iz9

While it’s still unclear when the U.S. will be able to see Bong Joon-Ho‘s Snowpiercer, which is still enjoying a record-breaking run in South Korea, we can all wait and twiddle our thumbs while the Weinstein Company trims and re-edits the movie and occupy ourselves with these new stills and gorgeous concept art. Many of the photos take us inside the grimy train where people huddle in the dark – but Tilda Swinton almost looks stately in her bug glasses and fur coat. In sharp contrast to the train, Alison Pill appears to rule over a bright, cheery classroom as the grooviest schoolteacher in an otherwise desolate landscape. I’d like to think that shot of the man in the suit looking puzzled is a direct reaction to watching her dance. The concept art shows beautifully inked images of the train and its insides, and perhaps glimpses of scenes that we haven’t been shown yet. And hopefully, that won’t get cut in the “new and improved” version of the film that we may get thrust upon us. Hopefully, these images will be enough to tide you over for awhile, because it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing Snowpiercer until early next year, so take a look after the break.

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hSnowpiercer_14

To those who’d like to see Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer and don’t currently live in Korea, I’ve got some bad news. The film still has no release date for the Western world, but Harvey Weinstein, eager to add insult to injury, has just stepped in to make things much, much worse. According to film critic and programmer Tony Rayns (via Australia’s Inside Film), Weinstein, who’s in control of the film’s international distribution, has instructed Bong (The Host) to shave 20 minutes off his 126-minute film, or it won’t see a release in North America, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. That’s awful. But what’s even worse is Weinstein’s reasoning behind the cut.  Rayns tells why: “[The Weinstein Company] people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma.’” Reportedly, the cuts would come from the film’s character work, leaving Snowpiercer as a bare bones action flick.

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chris-evans-as-steve-rogers

Before heading back to the ol’ Joss Whedon factory, Chris Evans is taking a little detour and trying his hand at directing. He is set to step back into his red, white and blues for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, but first Evans will be helming a romance called 1:30 Train this fall, according to Deadline. The Ronald Bass-scripted romance is Evans’ directorial debut. He’ll also star in the film, described as being in the same vein as Before Sunrise, about two strangers who meet up in Manhattan and wind up spending the night together as their personal problems become a reason for getting to know each other and themselves. Sounds… kind of generic, but Bass has a varied and successful resume that includes Rain Man, Entrapment and What Dreams May Come, so this could be an interesting flick. Plus, Evans has been attached to the project for quite some time under a different director and took over when that person dropped out, so he clearly sees something fantastic that the small synopsis isn’t offering up. And hey, he can always pick up his star-spangled shield and start fighting bad guys again if it doesn’t work out. source:

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Snowpiercer

There’s still no US release date for Bong Joon-Ho‘s Snowpiercer, but that hasn’t stopped the powers that be from dangling the film in front of our faces (those of us in the United States, that is) like a carrot, tied to a string yet just out of reach. And the latest carrot comes in the form of a new trailer for the film, showing off plenty of action, foreboding voice-over and some some seriously brutal axe-murdering. Check it out after the break.

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CaptAm_Teaser_1-Sht_v3

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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trailer snowpiercer

There are few directors with a track record as consistent as Bong Joon-ho, and while it could be argued that he hasn’t made all that many films yet I’ll always prefer quality over quantity. His debut feature remains his only truly average one with Memories of Murder, The Host and Mother all being near brilliant examples of genre filmmaking at its best. It’s been a long four-year wait since his last film, but Bong’s newest is finally ready to be shared with audiences. Snowpiercer is his biggest film yet with a globe-spanning storyline and an international cast. The story, based on a French graphic novel, is a post-apocalyptic tale about a train carrying the last human survivors across a landscape enduring a new ice age. A clear line exists between the classes, and as the train races along the tracks a violent uprising is brewing in the back cars. Take a ride with the Snowpiercer trailer below. (And note, this international trailer isn’t of the highest quality.)

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snowpiercer-characterposters-swinton-full

While Bong Joon-ho‘s upcoming Snowpiercer is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the only living survivors of a massive, ongoing Ice Age all live together on a trans-continental train that continually circles the globe, it looks like certain things haven’t changed – namely, that Tilda Swinton has still somehow managed to look insane, otherworldly, and completely engrossed in her character. Sure, there are some shades of Golden Girls here in this first set of character posters for the film, but this look at Swinton and the rest of the cast is eerily compelling. Just how bad are things on this train? (Yes, yes, pretty bad, as there is a revolution stirring.) After the break, check out the rest of the character posters, including Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, John Hurt, Kang-ho Song, and Octavia Spencer.

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Snow Piercer artwork

Whether due to coincidence or collusion, 2013 is the year three of South Korea’s best film directors will premiere their English language debuts. Kim Jee-woon’s The Last Stand will hit screens first in January, while Park Chan-wook’s Stoker will follow suit a few months later. Both films look to exist firmly in their director’s respective wheelhouse leaving Bong Joon-ho‘s Snow Piercer as far more of an unknown entity. One of the biggest questions has now been answered though as The Weinstein Company has reportedly picked up distribution rights for the film in North America, the UK and a few other English-speaking regions. No official release date has been set, but Deadline seems to believe a Summer 2013 premiere is to be expected. Snow Piercer is based on a French graphic novel called Transperceneige and plays out almost exclusively aboard a futuristic locomotive. The world has become an iced-over post-apocalyptic wasteland, and the only real safety is on this train which is constantly in motion. The last vestiges of humanity live aboard distinctly divided along class lines, but rumors of a rebellion from the lower decks reach the one-percenters living above and threaten to derail mankind’s last hope.

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Director George Clooney

What is Casting Couch? Proof that not everyone’s tracking Hurricane Sandy’s path on Twitter. Some are still out there casting movies. The big casting news over the weekend was all of the big names that were announced for George Clooney’s next project as a director, The Monuments Men. Deadline had the scoop that this period drama about a group of art historians and museum curators trying to recover important and historical works from the clutches of the Nazis is going to star names like Bill Murray, Daniel Craig, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban. As far as I know none of these people can even speak German, but you’ve still got to look at that list and be impressed. You could cast this crew as an office full of telemarketers and everyone would still watch the movie, making them heroes during the dying days of the Nazi regime is just icing on the cake.

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Writer/director Ariel Vromen (Rx) has chosen an interesting subject for his latest film, The Iceman; a New Jersey native named Richard Kuklinski who served as a mob hitman and killed somewhere between 100 and 250 people between the mid 50s and mid 80s, all without his wife and kids having any idea how he put food on the table. Vromen’s film follows Kuklinski from the point where he met his lady love and first got into organized crime back in the 50s, all the way to his capture and incarceration in 1986. It explores his psyche, his methods, and the way New Jersey fashions have gotten increasingly more ridiculous as the decades have gone on. Oh yeah, and one more thing… it’s got Michael Shannon playing the title role. Given what an intense, captivating actor Shannon has developed into over the years, any movie that puts him in a starring role is pretty explicitly setting up his performance as being its main attraction, so it feels necessary to spend a lot of time talking about how he does. Unsurprisingly, he’s good. Kuklinski was best known for being merciless and unflappable, and Shannon gets that across by doing a silent, stone-faced, De Niro type thing that feels authentic in its competence and menace. As his turn in Take Shelter proved, Shannon is best when he’s got repressed emotions boiling just beneath the surface of his skin, and the role of the dangerous killer playing wholesome family man gives him multiple chances […]

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