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Last weekend I saw Captain America in the very old Majestic Theatre. It just felt appropriate to see it there. The Majestic is something of a landmark in my hometown. We’ve had another theater open (and close) but the Majestic has long stood its ground. The first movie I saw there: Lady and the Tramp. The last movie I saw before it (temporarily) closed in the mid-90s: The Babysitter’s Club (seriously). If you ever get the chance to see a movie in a hundred year old theater, I highly recommend it. Sure, it may be a bit uncomfortably hot. The screen might not look as good and the sound system may not exactly be Dolby Digital 5.0… but there’s just a great feeling of Americana as well as a nostalgia for a different time period that only comes when you see a movie in a theater like this.
Thus, Captain America was an appropriate movie to see at The Majestic. It was also the most fun I’ve had in a movie theater in a long time, and certainly the best experience I’ve had with a comic book movie since the first Iron Man was released in 2008 (coincidentally, I also saw Iron Man in The Majestic). I had a lot of problems with the film, such as the pacing of certain scenes, some character motivation (especially the bad guys), and a final fight sequence that seemed unnecessarily chopped up in editing, but I had a great time watching Captain America, especially with a crowd that was certainly in the mood for this type of film.
Let’s be honest for a moment: this summer has almost completely sucked for movies. The only other film released that I have thoroughly enjoyed was Super 8. In such a humdrum summer, Captain America felt extremely fresh, even with its dose of Americana and homages to the Silver Age of comic books. The action sequences (described by Nick as “campy” in our upcoming podcast on this film) felt appropriate, and I loved the swashbuckling nature of Evans as Cap. In fact, I loved the whole damn cast a ton. Hayley Atwell is pretty phenomenal, and I want to see her in more movies in the future. Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, and Toby Jones just seem so damn perfect for their roles, as does Neal McDonough, perfectly cast as Dum Dum Dugan.
If there’s a major complaint to be found in Cap, it’s that not much is really at stake and none of the major characters are ever in any real danger. But as a set-up film for the upcoming The Avengers, this was really to be expected. I wrote last week that I was looking forward to this movie partly because of director Joe Johnston, who has covered similar territory with The Rocketeer (a really underrated movie). He delivers here as well, offering a Cap who is genuine and real, and giving the film the veneer of a 1940s serial adventure.
Once again, I had a great time during this movie. It’s far from a great film, but as a summer action movie and as a set-up film for next summer’s would-be blockbuster The Avengers, Captain America works fantastically. It has its fair share of problems, but I feel the good greatly outweighs the bad here and anyone looking for an entertaining summer movie need look no further.
Also: Expect a classic Zack and Nick podcast some time in August (when we get the space to upload again)!