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Tag Archive: Captain America: The First Avenger


It’s a little difficult to get your head around.  Eight years ago when I suggested going to your video rental store to watch the ultimate Fourth of July movie–Jaws–we still had several video rental stores in every town.  It’s very different now with streaming services (have you finished Season 3 of Stranger Things yet on Netflix?) and any Blu-ray you want available overnight for purchase from retailers like Amazon.  To be fair, you can still rent movies, the plastic disc kind, at local Redbox machines, and Family Video still has a good footprint across the nation and a broad video selection (pretty much Blu-rays prevail, so sorry to people still with only VHS and plain ol’ DVDs).  Back in 2011 when I listed some recommended viewing material for Independence Day here at borg, I mentioned some films including my pick for today.

Every audience, every moviegoer, is after something different.  If you’re looking for action try on Captain America: The First Avenger, or even binge the entire Captain America series of films.  The first Independence Day movie from 1996 has your dose of sci-fi, and it’s an easy choice to go to especially if you’re too young to have watched it before.  Even Independence Day–the day, not the movie–means different things to different people.  I would recommend to anyone films like Dave, The American President, The Post, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, All the President’s Men, Sergeant York, Far and Away, The Last of the Mohicans, Lincoln, Glory, and Dances with Wolves–each covers some aspect of what America stands for.  Actually Frank Capra has more in the category, too, including Meet John Doe and State of the Union.  

Four of my favorites are playing on Turner Classic Movies/TCM today.  At 8:30 a.m. Central is John Ford′s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, followed at 10:30 a.m. Central by Ford’s Fort Apache These are some of the famed director’s finest works, and high points for both Henry Fonda, John Wayne, and Maureen O’Hara, plus the stories tell other tales of the American experience (and both rate high on my all-time best Westerns list here).  A recent anthology film fits the bill for today well–that’s the Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which we reviewed here at borg last year.  It tells several stories of the pain, struggle, and sacrifice of peoples from throughout the world coming together to build a nation.  But what’s that sure-fire Fourth of July movie that should appeal to everyone?

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Make no mistake, Billy Batson aka Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel (aka Shazam since 2012) has always been the most difficult to fold into the DC pantheon of superheroes.  With Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman–the trinity at the top of DC Comics for so long–audiences always know much of what those characters are going to bring to a story even before they walk into the theater.  To be fair, Billy wasn’t a DC original, shuffled much later into the DC universe because of some decades-long legal tedium.  Billy Batson is a kid who suddenly becomes a superhero, so the trailers have been compared to Penny Marshall’s Big, another story about a kid suddenly dealing with being grown-up.  And that is, indeed, part of Shazam!  The movie is also part origin story, because although Shazam! adheres to Billy’s origin story going back to the 1940s (just as Captain America: The First Avenger adhered to its source material), much of the audience that saw the character in his heyday–when he was even more popular and well-known than Superman–aren’t around to make up the target moviegoing audience.  But Big and an origin story is just the beginning.

You know it when you watch a movie unfold and realize something great is happening.  DC Entertainment–the movie guys–finally paid attention to DC Comics–the actual writers and artists who built the character from the ground up–and at last delivered what this comic book reader has always wanted.  Shazam!, the story, Zachary Levi‘s superhero, and a new young actor named Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy’s friend Freddy–are fantastic.  The magic, wonder, and heart of DC Comics is finally back in the theaters.  It’s a gamechanger for the DC universe, because it finally steps away from Zack Snyder’s dark and brooding Justice League and returns it to the roots of DC Comics and DC At the Movies that we first got a taste of with Christopher Reeve’s first Superman and Michael Keaton’s first Batman.  So if the executives at DC are paying attention, and audiences agree once the film hits general release April 5, this could be an opportunity for a switch-up–an excuse to build a new Marvel-level superhero film universe around the new, amazingly fun and appealing superhero characters in this film.

At its core, the story by new screenwriter Henry Gayden updating a script by Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After, Jack the Giant Slayer, Goosebumps) is about a foster family and the importance of family, so don’t think this is another frivolous superhero movie to be easily dismissed.  As with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it’s loaded with emotional beats, and it’s all heart.  What do kids care about, and what are they afraid of?  The film takes some time to look seriously at these things.  It’s not only laugh-out-loud funny in spots, expect some snorts, too.  But look for some emotional pangs along the way, on par with an oft-forgotten superhero movie that may have more heart than any other, the 1980 John Ritter sleeper (and one of my favorites) Hero At Large.  Which makes Shazam! also a movie for fans who count Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Incredibles among their most favorite superhero movies.

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Coming in at about the same price as the actor’s screen-used prop blaster from Return of the Jedi this summer (discussed here at borg), Harrison Ford proved again he is #1 among pop culture and entertainment memorabilia collectors.  At Prop Store‘s entertainment memorabilia live auction in London yesterday, called Treasures from Film and Television (which we previewed from San Diego Comic-Con here in July), one of the fedoras worn by ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark brought record bids for a prop from the franchise, taking in an estimate of between $522,500 and $558,000, including fees and taxes.  Ford’s Han Solo blaster sold in June for $550,000 (before tax).  The hammer price for the hat was £320,000 when the winning bid was placed and the hammer struck, or about $424,755.  Provenance for this hat was not provided by Prop Store in its catalog, but the company said it could be screen-matched through identifying marks to several key scenes in the movie.  An Indy bullwhip from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom sold for $74,460, including buyer’s premium, at the auction.

One of the other auction lots worn by Ford was supposed to be the crown jewel of the auction, a simple stylized blue jacket worn in The Empire Strikes Back said to have been screen-matched to the film’s Cloud City scenes.  Although it was expected to garner $660,000 to $1.3 million, bidders were just not willing to push bids past the $600,000 mark and the seller’s minimum reserve price.  The jacket was one of the only hero costume pieces from the original trilogy to be offered at public auction.

This week’s big star prop of the Prop Store auction was crowded among other Hollywood props on display at San Diego Comic-Con this past July.

Several other key props from the four corners of genredom sold in excess of six figures (including buyer’s premium and net of taxes) in yesterday’s auction.  A light-up T-800 endoskeleton from Terminator II: Judgment Day (1991) fetched a massive price of $326,500.  A Christopher Reeve costume from Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980) sold for $212,200.  A Hayden Christensen Anakin Skywalker lightsaber from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005) sold for $180,000 and an Ian McDiarmid Emperor lightsaber from the film sold for $114,000.  A background First Order Stormtrooper helmet from Star Wars: The Last Jedi surprised everyone, selling for a whopping $180,000.  A Johnny Depp costume from Edward Scissorhands (1990) sold for $106,100.  Of several original comic book art pages that sold, the star was Page 15 from The Amazing Spider-Man (1966), Issue #32, by artist Steve Ditko, which fetched $155,000.

More than two dozen other memorable props and costumes from sci-fi, fantasy, superhero, and horror classics fared well (prices quoted include pre-tax conversion from British pound, including buyer’s premium):
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As part of the continuing celebration of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that kickstarted filmdom’s modern superhero blockbuster chapter, AMC Theaters are getting the entire team back together for an eight-day movie marathon nationwide beginning Thursday, August 30.  Get ready for the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival.  Marvel has converted three early films in the series to IMAX for the first time: Iron Man, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk.  So the entire 20 film series will be screened in IMAX, plus many of the films will also be screened in 3D.

The announcement arrives with the home video release of Avengers: Infinity War, now available on Blu-ray and Digital HD, 4K, and DVD.  If you missed Infinity War, check out our review here (and catch all our Marvel Cinematic Universe reviews below).  This is your chance to catch up any or all of the films you might have missed in the theater, including the three 2018 releases Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and The Wasp.  And it will give many younger viewers the opportunity to see some great superhero movies from the early days of the MCU on the big screen for the first time.

The big day of the festival appears to be September 3, with a great single-day line-up: Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and The Wasp.  The series will run over Labor Day weekend, with four films per day from August 30 through September 5.  On September 6, AMC will screen two fan-favorite films, to be selected by a fan vote.  See the Marvel Studios 10th Anniversary Film Festival website for more details.  It also seems likely based on past screenings that AMC may offer some kind of bundled purchase price for multiple shows.  Check back to the website as the end of August nears for any additional promotions.

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Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger and the ensemble film The Avengers, is full of all those things you like to see in a comic book spinoff film: lots of action sequences and plenty of banter between superheroes.  It’s a good addition to the Marvel Studios universe of films.  But compared to past entries it begs the question of where Marvel is heading with all its Avengers-based films.

Not as viscerally compelling as The First Avenger, the story in The Winter Soldier seems disjointed, as if it is a stitched together batch of scenes instead of a clearly thought out story.  We have one villain with the Winter Soldier, another with a government wonk played by Robert Redford, another with a would-be S.H.I.E.L.D. enforcer played by the who-would ever-trust-a-guy that-looks-like-that Frank Grillo, and pretty much every government lawman around, including scenes with too-many-to-count police cars destroyed and demolished by the good guys.  Oh, yeah–and Hydra.  Again.  Is it a complex story or just too many unnecessary plot threads?  The first Captain America was a complete story, showing the weak young man who wanted to fight for all that’s right as he moved along a path to become a supersoldier, working with an incredible group of comrades, and experiencing love and loss along the way–character driven, not action driven.  The basic story here has been over-used lately–stop the criminals who believe destroying the world (or the city, etc.) is the only way to save it.  In what world does that logic make sense?

Steve-Rogers-fighting-in-Captain-America-2

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THE-FLASH-First-look

The CW Network released this first look at the new Flash costume and announced that filming of the pilot episode will begin this week.  This time around, the supersuit developed by Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood seems to have kept with the modern design continuity of her costume for Stephen Amell’s Arrow while possibly pulling in some inspiration from Chris Evans’ Captain America costume from Captain America: The First Avenger, with that 1940s leather football helmet look, complete with chin guard.

Captain America helmet

Captain America–inspiration for the new Flash supersuit helmet?

The primary red-colored suit from the decades of comic book artist renderings has been cast aside for an edgier, dark look, also perhaps taking the lead from the darker mood of the Arrow series’ new DC universe that the new Barry Allen/Flash springs from.  The color also resembles the classic Flash series that this new series will be undoubtedly compared to, possibly the best incarnation of a costumed hero to appear on TV or film, worn in 1990-1991 by actor John Wesley Shipp, shown here:

Flash John Wesley Shipp

The original Flash–a supersuit that can’t be beat.

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Agent Coulson is back

Agent Coulson lives!

Like all characters in comic books, dead doesn’t really mean dead.  And we couldn’t be happier that Marvel Studios is bringing back Agent Phil Coulson, who, played by Clarke Gregg, was the unlikely lynchpin of every one of the recent interconnected movies based on Marvel Comics’ characters.

In the marathon opening night for The Avengers, Agent Coulson served as our guide, speaking directly to viewers as he introduced Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man 2, and Captain America: The First Avenger.  In The Avengers, we saw what was unquestionably the most emotional scene of the franchise as Coulson was killed by Loki.  Or so we thought.

Check out the preview for the ABC Network’s new TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

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You have several choices for getting psyched up for Thursday’s U.S. premiere of The Avengers.  You can either stay at home and watch any number of the marathons running on cable, like Superhero Sunday on FX, you can grab your DVDs or Blu-Rays and invite over a few friends with your mega-sized HD or 3D TV, or if you’re up for it, you can take Thursday, May 3rd off work or school and run to your nearest AMC Theater for The Ultimate Marvel Marathon.

Starting at 11:30 a.m. local time on May 3, the day before the May 4 premiere, get set for 12 hours of the Marvel films that set the stage for the new film, and watch the premiere at midnight.  For $40 you get a ticket to all the showings and, on a first come, first served basis, get one of four character themed 3D glasses to watch Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers and take home with you.

At least one staff writer for borg.com plans to take the 14+ hour plunge and hopefully he’ll share some thoughts on the experience one he comes up for air. 

It all kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and the films will show in this order: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, then The Avengers premiere at midnight.

The movie marathon will be held in the following metro areas: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, NYC/New Jersey, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Rockford (IL), Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane, Springfield (IL), St. Louis, Tallahassee, Tampa, Toronto, Tucson, Tulsa, and Washington, DC.

Seating is limited so if you plan to go get your tickets online early.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Last month we previewed the Captain America: The First Avenger auction to be conducted by Marvel Studios and auction house Profiles in History.  The auction was held April 14, 2012 at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo with incredible results proving that Marvel Comics fans are as rabid as any genre collecting group.  Details of the full prices realized can be found via links at Profiles in History’s company website.  Featuring primarily props, costumes, and set pieces from the 2011 release Captain America: The First Avenger, the auction also featured a few lots from Iron Man 2 and Thor.  The auction included four recognizable Captain America supersuits, as well as several other costumes worn by actor Chris Evans, and 11 iconic shield variants.

Supersuits

The key item up for bid was Lot 154, the Steve Rogers Captain America hero costume and shield worn by Chris Evans in the movie, which served as his final superhero suit in the film and is the suit used in all the Marvel posters and marketing.  It carried an auction estimate of $20,000-$30,000.  The final price including the auction house premium?  A stunning $233,700!   That’s right–nearly a quarter of a million dollars.  You’ll be hard pressed to come up with any genre costume from any character of any series, sci-fi, fantasy, or superhero movie, that has ever sold at auction for so much.  Clearly a landmark price for a neat character costume.

Why such a high hammer price, as compared with sales in past auctions of other hero costumes from other franchises?  Several factors created fertile turf for this monumental auction, including: (1) the movie itself received critical acclaim and approval of average movie-goers (I have met no one who saw this film and didn’t think it was very good), (2) the character is iconic–literally a hero suit (as opposed to a stunt suit) from an actual superhero, (3) it’s Captain America–there’s a lot of nationalistic pride behind this character and its historic place in both comicdom, World War II mythos, and Americana, (4) unlike all the Batman, Spider-man, and Superman suits on the market from several movies, this was the first big budget Captain America film, for a character who has been around and beloved by all ages for three generations, (5) the Avengers have never been bigger in the history of Marvel Comics than this month–with the release of Avengers vs. X-Men and the new Avengers film premiering everywhere in just days from now, (6) this was a rare occasion where a film costume didn’t match the classic costume and fans didn’t care because the new outfit was designed with cool results, (7) the auction was heavily publicized and was held in a venue with excited comic book fans, (8) the simple but nicely done catalog arrived early and gave interested bidders time to plan bidding strategies, (9) the auction house, Profiles in History, is simply getting more and more visible, especially with its SyFy Channel TV series Hollywood Treasure, and the recent record-setting movie costume sales from the Debbie Reynolds collection.

Chris Evans’ Captain America USO costume and shield had an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.  Final sale price?  $30,750.

The Captain America costume worn by Evans in the POW rescue scene had an auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000.  The lot included an early style Cap shield.  Final sale price?  $27,675less than the distressed version–Evan’s Captain America distressed rescue suit also had an auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000, but sold for $30,750–still a low price considering it was seen so much in the film as compared to the primary hero outfit.

Shields

One early style Cap shield from the Hydra factory scene carried a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.  It sold for $13,530.  A separate shield of the same design was estimated to sell at $2,000-$3,000.  It sold for $14,760.  A similar shield with distress marks from the “Invaders” scene had the same auction estimate.  It sold for $17,220.

An unpainted silver prototype shield from Howard Stark’s laboratory carried an auction estimate of $3,000-$5,000.  It sold for $18,450.

One shield offered was the frozen in ice version, which had an auction estimate of $4,000-$6,000.   I think this was the coolest shield at the auction.  It sold for a cool $24,600.  Lot 177 was a classic, traditional Captain America shield, expected to sell for $4,000-$6,000.   It fetched $27,675.  Yet another battle damaged shield from the final showdown with Red Skull carried an auction estimate of $4,000-$6,000.   It sold for $27,675.

A distressed stunt shield of the same type from the show’s final showdown carried an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.  It sold for $20,910.

Motorcycles

The Steve Rogers’ hero modified Harley Davidson motorcycle had an auction estimate of $12,000-$15,000 and a second hero motorcycle from a different scene has an auction estimate of $10,000-$12,000.  They sold for $14,760 and $12,300, respectively.

Red Skull and Hydra

Hugo Weaving’s Johann Schmidt/Red Skull SS costumes were expected to fetch $6,000-$8,000 each.  They ranged from $19,680 to $20,910.   Weaving’s bright red “Red Skull” facial prosthetics—3 in all—were expected to sell for $2,000-$3,000.  They sold for $4,305 to $7,995. 

A Hydra non-functional mini-tank was expected to fetch $12,000-$15,000.   It was one of the rare key pieces that sold in its estimate range, for $14,760.  Various Hydra motorcycles carried an auction estimate ranging from $3,000-$6,000.   They sold between $4,920 and $18,450.  Several Hydra soldier uniforms had an auction estimate of $1,000-$1,500.  They sold well over that, from $6,765 for standard outfit to $15,990 for the hero outfit.

Iron Man

The original, incredibly detailed, full-scale Mark II silver Iron Man suit from Iron Man 2 had an auction estimate of $60,000-$80,000.  It sold for a whopping $135,300.

Thor

Finally, two stunt Thor Mjolnir war hammers were offered at the end of the auction from the Kenneth Branagh movie Thor, each expected to sell between $3,000-$6,000.  They each sold for $19,680 and $23,370, incredible for rubber stunt props of any film.

As with most Profiles in History auctions, the actual hammer prices (rimshot) generally far exceeded the auction estimates.  Movie studios are sure to take note of this quickly burgeoning source for revenues.   With strike prices this impressive, expect studios that haven’t paid much attention to the costumes and props that were once thrown out after production in the past to follow suit with future auctions.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

Just in time for the new Avengers movie premiere, Marvel Studios and Profiles in History will be auctioning off screen-used Captain America costumes and shields, an Iron Man suit and Thor’s hammer at its Captain America: The First Avenger auction on April 14, 2012 at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo.

Profiles in History is offering the catalog for the auction for sale for $39.50 and a digital auction catalog is also available online at the company’s website.  The auction will also be available live to online bidding.

Featuring primarily props, costumes, and set pieces from the 2011 release Captain America: The First Avenger, the auction also will be featuring a few lots from Iron Man 2 and Thor.  The auction features four recognizable Captain America supersuits, as well as several other costumes worn by Chris Evans and 11 shield variants.

Supersuits

The key item up for bid is Lot 154, the Steve Rogers Captain America hero costume and shield worn by Chris Evans in the movie, which served as his final superhero suit in the film and is the suit used in all the Marvel posters and marketing. It carries an auction estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

Chris Evans’ Captain America USO costume and shield has an estimate of $4,000-$6,000.

The Captain America costume worn by Evans in the POW rescue scene has an auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000. The lot includes a early style Cap shield.

Evan’s Captain America distressed rescue suit also has an auction estimate of $6,000-$8,000.

Shields

One early style Cap shield from the Hydra factory scene carries a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.  A separate shield of the same design is estimated to sell at $2,000-$3,000.  A similar shield with distress marks from the “Invaders” scene has the same auction estimate.

An unpainted silver prototype shield from Howard Stark’s laboratory has an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.

One shield offered is the frozen in ice version, which has an auction estimate of $4,000-$6,000.  Lot 177 is a classic, traditional Captain America shield, expected to sell for $4,000-$6,000.  Yet another battle damaged shield from the final showdown with Red Skull carries an auction estimate of $4,000-$6,000.

A distressed stunt shield of the same type from the show’s final showdown carries an estimate of $3,000-$5,000.

Motorcycles

Do you need a Cap-cycle?  Steve Rogers’ hero modified Harley Davidson motorcycle has an auction estimate of $12,000-$15,000 and a second hero motorcycle from a different scene has an auction estimate of $10,000-$12,000.

Red Skull and Hydra

Various Hugo Weaving’s Johann Schmidt/Red Skull SS costumes are expected to fetch $6,000-$8,000 each. Weaving’s bright red “Red Skull” facial prosthetics—3 in all—are expected to sell for $2,000-$3,000.

A Hydra non-functional mini-tank is expected to fetch $12,000-$15,000. Various Hydra motorcycles carry an auction estimate ranging from $3,000-$6,000. Several Hydra soldier uniforms have an auction estimate of $1,000-$1,500.

Iron Man

The original full-scale Mark II silver Iron Man suit from Iron Man 2 is incredibly detailed and impressive. It has an auction estimate of $60,000-$80,000. Despite its incredibly realistic paint detail, it is not actually made of iron, but it is composed primarily of fiberglass resin.

Thor

Finally, two stunt Thor Mjolnir war hammers are offered at the end of the auction from the Kenneth Branagh movie Thor, each expected to sell between $3,000-$6,000.

As with most Profiles in History auctions, expect the actual hammer prices to exceed the auction estimates.  Usually for entertainment memorabilia auctions of late the hammer prices vastly exceed the estimates.  The bonus of this auction is that there are plenty of costumes, shields, props, heck–even motorcycles–to go around for the die-hard Marvel Avengers fans.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com