Captain America

FAMILY NIGHT AT THE MOVIE – 

Captain America

Captain America

By Christopher Hill

Continuing last month’s reviews of films coming to the small screen, this month we highlight an action packed crop of big-budget features for home viewing.

Films are often stereotyped by category to what you can expect. A superhero movie is supposed to deliver over-the-top action with some humor and only slight nods to developing characters. Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes the superhero formula and delivers not only the best superhero movie of the year, but one that defies its stereotype.

This is one of the most intriguing political action films in a long time. The action is intense. However, in the quieter moments, we see beyond the red, white and blue shield of Captain America and glimpse the warmer consciousness of top spy Natasha Romanov. Unlike previous Captain American appearances where a character can be portrayed as somewhat stiff, The Winter Soldier shows Steve Rogers coming to terms with the past and finding the best path for the future.

Deeper still, the film shows what the age of information could really mean in the wrong – and right – hands. Harkening back to the political action films of the 1970s, the tension in the film is palpable. You may know from the beginning who is going to win, but the question is, at what cost?

© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Productions Llc.

© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Productions Llc.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Release: September 9th


Director Bryan Singer was challenged to weave away the mistakes of X-Men: The Last Stand and build upon the enthusiasm from X-Men: First Class. Combining two separate casts is a daunting task, but the two separate teams meld into one flawlessly in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Singer was able to make things right, and he did it in such a way that it provided the emotional context that was so lacking in the third X-Men specific movie. Retroactive continuity, or changing the facts of previously demonstrated work to fit a new narrative, is tricky. Without giving away the ending, Singer and his writers accomplish this in an emotionally satisfying way that opens the door to the next X-Men chapter.

The film begins in a very dark place but finds the light. There are enough cutting-edge special effects to keep the action junkies happy, but there is also a deep sense of character development on their journey to discovering their own personal path.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Release: September 9th


Godzilla © 20th Century Fox.

Godzilla © 20th Century Fox.

Eventually, someone is going to make a Godzilla film that features the title star. In this film, it takes an hour before you see the monster and even longer before it fights. Fans are there to see battles, not cliché, paper-thin characters. The story is as translucent as the characters, but the film provides action sequences that are memorable, albeit brief. You cannot go wrong with atomic fire breath and skyscraper-sized monsters, unless you don’t use them. In this category, it would be better to view Pacific Rim. It has the same level of storytelling but much more accomplished action.

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Release: September 16th