Sunday, July 17, 2011
The Blog About My Childhood Hero
Most people know I love Batman. Probably because most people have seen at least one batman movie and can have a conversation about batman so it comes up a bit more. But not everyone understands that on an equal level, I love Captain America. I remember being in kindergarten and getting my first Captain America action figure, saving every penny to get the vhs tape of the 1960’s Captain America cartoon, having a subscription in the mail of the Captain America Comic, and going to the video store every week hoping the one copy of the direct to video Captain America movie wasn’t checked out. I had a Captain America dress up set complete with a Frisbee shield and got my Captain America tattoo before getting one of the dark knight.
While Bruce Wayne was a man who had all the financial and physical means to fulfill his destiny, Captain America’s alter ego Steve Rogers was a man who had no way to become the hero he was meant to be. He was small, weak and too frail to even be allowed to serve his country during World War II. But Steve Rogers had the heart of a hero and was given the chance to fulfill his destiny. As cool as Batman was and still is, whenever I imagined being a superhero (when I was a kid of course), I always imagined being Captain America. I imagined being average, maybe even less than average, and being courageous enough to do what others were afraid to do, and fight a villain like the Red Skull who rather than being insane like the Joker, was an intelligent, calculated form of pure evil.
Unfortunately, like a pre super-soldier serum Steve Rogers, the legacy of Captain America on film has been weak and frail. We got that one movie that I tried to rent so many times at the video store 20 years ago. That was the same movie that got a theatrical release in every country EXCEPT AMERICA! Sure when I first saw it I loved it, but I was 6 and I was young and stupid, not to mention it was all I had. I’ve watched it since and it’s bad, and not in a fun or nostalgic way. Let’s not even talk about the made for tv movies of the 1970’s. I’ve had a vision in my head of true movie about Captain America, set completely in World War II and having a more period war piece feel than a spider-man type super hero flick, and for years I’ve voiced my aggravation about the fact that this movie was not getting made. I’ve been getting multiple versions of Batman, the Hulk, and the Punisher, but not one solid or even semi-solid attempt at the star spangled avenger?! What the F Hollywood?
But then Marvel decided to take control of what happened with the cinematic versions of their characters. They tested the waters with Iron Man, and made plenty of money from that, and began creating what they now call the Marvel Cinematic Universe, combining characters and situations from multiple films that are culminating next summer in Joss Wheddon’s Avengers film. So far in this ambitious and so far lucrative adventure, we have gotten 2 Iron Man films with a 3rd on the way, a rebooted Incrdible Hulk, and a Thor film with the 2nd already on its way. But before the Avengers hits, we got one movie left to piece it all together, Captain America: The First Avenger.
I was overjoyed with the first news of a real Cap movie getting made. It was announced early that the entire movie would be set in WWII, saving modern day for the Avengers film, and they got a great director who was experienced, credible, and passionate about the character in Joe Johnston. They got the always badass Hugo Weaving to play the Red Skull, but I had my doubts about Chris Evans playing the Captain himself. My mouth was shut as soon as I saw the trailer and have already forgotten he played the Human Torch in the soon to be rebooted Fantastic Four movies. He looks, feels, and acts the way I’ve always thought Steve Rogers to be, coming across as more of a soldier than a superhero. Could this really be the Captain America movie I’ve been waiting over 20 years to see?
I got my tickets for the midnight showing. Check back soon after that to find out