Movie: Captain America
I had high hopes for this as the previews looked fantastic. But the opening scene had me worried as it was completely out of context and didn't make any sense. It turned out to make sense, but only once you knew what was going on. The filmmakers were being a bit too clever here. In my case, since there was no context or explanation, it put me in the wrong mood for the film. Thankfully, other things came along that were so good it almost eliminated that feeling, but every tiny mistake was exaggerated because of that awkward start. For instance, the worst thing about the film is the "magical" energy source the bad guy digs up in the Arctic: I found that ridiculous and silly and very comic booky. But my irritation with it came a lot from that rough beginning of the film which had me looking for flaws. All that said, once the film gets going (10-15 minutes in), it's quite wonderful. I loved the appropriately slow pacing of the initial story of our weakling hero transformed into muscular super-guy. That's my favorite part of the story and I had worried and expected the filmmakers would resolve that storyline in five short minutes. Instead, it's a major part of the film, and not only does that mean we actually get to know our hero as a person, but when he does transform it's far more believable and a bigger event. Though the film's action begins with that transformation, the pacing is still slow enough to be realistic, which I appreciated. I loved the way they had him come up with his "Captain America" name and costume; it's probably the most believable costume origin of any superhero ever. While the bulk of the film's plot centers around Captain America's origin, I liked that, for I found the Nazi super-villain storyline to stretch credibility so much that I wasn't interested (though the bad guy is deliciously performed by Hugo Weaving). The ending's slightly anti-climatic, but I also liked that, as it was appropriate. The very end of the film is really nice as it sets up everything for the inevitable sequel and does that brilliantly. I think they have a hit new series here.