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The Cranky Movie Watcher: Winter Soldier and The Way (2010) - Input Junkie
April 7th, 2014
12:36 pm

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The Cranky Movie Watcher: Winter Soldier and The Way (2010)
I liked The Winter Soldier moderately well-- I liked seeing it once (sort of) but have no plans to see it again.

The Way got a an enthusiastic review from siderea, so I thought I'd try it out. There are things I liked about it quite a bit, and things I wonder about....



I am not The Winter Soldier's ideal audience. I like superhero stories in a mild sort of way, but that doesn't mean I follow them enough to care that the Winter Soldier is actually Bucky. Or to remember why Natasha/the Black Widow is able to change her appearance.

This being said, there was some good acting and special effects in TWS. Captain America was fun to watch, both for acting and because he was bulked up moderately above the norm in a way which seemed plausible for a superhero.

The fight scenes were fairly good,except for the first one, which gave me a case of "I don't care. I don't care. Oh God, is the whole movie going to be like this?" Fortunately, I had more emotional investment in the other fight scenes, even though I strongly prefer fight scenes which display human athleticism in a way I can connect to. I'm happier watching martial arts movies without much CGI or watching Cirque du Soleil. Someone should make a superhero movie about Cirque du Soleil. Yes, they should. I promise not to nag (much) if the plot doesn't make sense.

The winged flight sequences were more satisfying in that sense than the fight scenes. (Also, the web-slinging in the Spiderman trailer was excellent-- I have high expectations for that movie from the special effects and the "I'm a web designer" line.)

I rather suspected that Nick Fury wasn't going to stay dead. It just isn't that sort of story. This does cut down on my degree of emotional investment, but as stated, it isn't my pet genre. Would anyone who does love superhero stories care to write about how they react to "deaths"?

Also, how common is it to refer to characters by the names of the actors who play them? This seems slightly weird to me, like being more involved in the metadata than the story, but it may be that I'm just more used to books, so there's no mediation through an actor.

Anyway, the "police" attack on Nick Fury was quite involving, even though I think it was the one which had an irritating moment of hand-to-hand. Sorry, my "oh really?" got pinged.

Still, very intense, and the semi-cooperative automated car was funny.

I was wondering where the real police were. I've been told both that the attack was fairly brief (it seemed to me it went on for between 5 and 10 minutes) and that this isn't the sort of plausibility I'm supposed to care about.

So, let's take it out of the movie. Suppose such an attack happened in the real world. How long would a real police response be likely to take, and what would that response be? It seems to me that people would be hammering 911 on their cell phones, posting video to facebook, and that police helicopters would be showing up very fast.

The situation could be made more complicated if police communications were subverted to make the attack look like a legitimate operation.

There was something about the way Pierce/Redford looked which made him seem like a villain at first sight. It wasn't that he was a politician, it wasn't that he was jowly, it may have been that his skin looked like latex.

At this point, I've run out of opinions (except for a difficulty in believing in Hydra), but I bet I'll remember more of them as the movie gets discussed in comments.

So, The Way. It's about a doctor whose son died in a freak storm on the Camino de Santiago, a long pilgrimage route in northern Spain. The doctor and his son were somewhat estranged-- the son wasn't doing much with his life.

The doctor impulsively decides to do the pilgrimage himself, carrying his son's ashes and dropping off handfuls at landmarks on the route.

The beginning of the movie was absolute balm for me, and it makes me wonder how much I was tolerating The Winter Soldier rather than liking it. The Way was such a pleasure-- peaceful music, people not hitting each other (there's a bit of violence later in the movie), beautiful landscapes, if someone dies, you can trust that they'll stay dead.....

The extreme mellow only lasted for about twenty minutes, but the movie was basically interesting. The time line is mostly the doctor, but there are some views of the son setting out on the pilgrimage. There's a mention that the locals would have warned him about the oncoming storm, but this isn't shown. I don't know whether there's anything implied by this-- just bad luck of not being warned, or that seeing him ignore a warning would have made him seem like too much of a fool.

Anyway, the doctor intends to just do the pilgrimage by himself, but he accumulates three hard-to-avoid annoying travelling companions. I suspect this is the sort of story which makes introverts feel persecuted, since part of the point seems to be that isolation and privacy are serious problems.

There's an interaction that I wonder about, but it might be normal human stuff. One of the travelling companions is a woman who dumps a lot of her emotional pain on the doctor-- including some physical violence. He gets drunk, and tells off the other two people. After that, they're all buddies. I'm not sure this is plausible. What do you think? In any case, I would expect more random stress between them (just because it's humans) in the later part of the movie, even if it's handled well.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1043996.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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[User Picture]
From:harvey_rrit
Date:April 7th, 2014 07:38 pm (UTC)
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I have my own opinion about why Redford looked like a villain.

It is not a popular one.
[User Picture]
From:nancylebov
Date:April 8th, 2014 12:31 am (UTC)
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PM me with your opinion, if you like.
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