NostoNews, August 1, 2011
by Tommy Jasmin

Summer and Movies

It's been a long time since I did a Nosto News on nothing but recent movies, but after seeing Captain America today, I can't help but note that Marvel actually delivered on two recent flicks I thought were certain screw-ups. I'm talking about the just-mentioned Cap film, and Thor. Here, I thought, are two Marvel is sure to mangle.

Maybe part of it was my low expectations, but I came away from both feeling great. Neither one were perfect, by any means, but I don't require perfection. That last 5% isn't worth fretting over - if anybody attains it, it's purely circumstantial. The cool thing about both Thor and Cap was, it felt back to basics for me: the hero was someone you felt good about and they felt like Silver Age done right.

This is the way to do it, Marvel. Light on the big-name actors, focus on accurately casting low-dollar actors in the leads. Remember how perfect Hugh Jackman felt as Wolverine? Nobody knew jack from Jackman back then. Same goes for Chris Hemsworth - he made a great Thor and he's on his way now. A lot of the thumbs-up on this movie were for Natalie Portman's role, but IMO she was satisfactory, no Black Swan.

In Thor, the Frost Giants were well done, very creepy. Gave it the feeling you were mixing in elements of a well-done Conan movie (as did Thor smashing his mead-mug on the floor). And Kirby would have been proud of Asgard. A basic, exciting, hero story that barrels along and wraps up tight. Very satisfying. Instantly reminded me of Thor 151, how that cover image with the Destroyer was perma-burned into my brain as a kid.

This was the goal IMO for Thor

Same goes for Captain America. Just the right amount of everything to make a comic book movie I dare anybody to complain about. I mean a legitimate complaint, not a nit-pick. We got a refreshing script I didn't see coming, which clarified a big problem with comic book movies - cool versus goofy costumes. Each required chunk was well done: action, love interest, comedy in the right spots, and acting anchors where needed, like Tommy Lee Jones as Cap's commanding officer. Best surprise: a Bucky that was not a pussy and they truly knocked off in a surprise twist.

And this was the goal for Cap

For the past several years, I've found my assessment of movies to be pretty much in sync with The Onion, so I had to go see how they rated these two. The Onion does not hand out As readily, so giving Cap a B and Thor a B+ is high praise from The Onion, which I was really happy to see. They gave Green Lantern a D+, so I won't even bother with that one, sad to say.

Enjoy these while you can. Every time I see that Stan Lee cameo, and catch the reverent nods to the best of comic book culture, good stuff I think, good stuff.

Thanks, we'll see you all next month.

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