Captain America: Civil War: Little Note Nor Long Remember, by Scott Nye

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6 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    Jesus, man. I’m not a fan of the MCU by any stretch, but this is downright scathing. It makes me want to see it more than a positive review would.

    I’m still not going to, though.

  2. FictionIsntReal says:

    A whole lot of the “contradictions” in Cinemasins videos aren’t even contradictions but ignorance or misunderstanding on the part of the folks making those videos. This is a pretty good dissection of one of theirs:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnTZbZw1JPQ

  3. Dan Roy says:

    “…the Russos have an uncommonly bad eye for action. The opening espionage sequence is a mess of handheld camerawork that neither conveys what’s actually happening nor reaches the expressionist mayhem of our finer (vulgar) auteurs.”

    They relied so heavily on handheld vérité in Winter Solder, and made almost no effort to make it a piece with the parts that can only be real in a comic book. Here’s a neat scene of Cap fighting guys in an elevator, now here’s Cap jumping out of the elevator and falling 20 stories (ugly, needless Avatar-style handheld zoom) and surviving, and here is some helicopter shots of Cap leaping from a motorcycle onto a harrier jet and defusing it single-handedly. They use the style so they can avoid stylistic decisions, ones that would make sense, because their audience is undemanding children who need a minimal amount of semaphore to conclude that this is a “70’s-style conspiracy thriller”.

    • Scott Nye says:

      Calum Marsh really nailed it when he said something along the lines of, “oh, so when you guys said Winter Soldier was a 70s-style conspiracy thriller, you meant a 90s-era James Bond movie.” This isn’t to knock the latter, as such, and I’m not even a gigantic fan of Three Days of the Condor or The Parallax View, but there’s a pretty wide gulf there. That serious people are still repeating this bit of ad copy two years later is…unfortunate.

      And I’m not against using vérité style amidst ridiculous stunts (I think the Bourne movies bridge this gap pretty effectively), but the Russos just don’t have a sense of how to utilize it. Everything “adds up” in that you can more or less tell what’s happening (really just the bargain-basement level of expectations on a movie that costs as much as these do). As you said, though, you still need to make decisions along the way – where to put the camera, how long to hold there, why you’re cutting when you do. Everything about their visual scheme suggests they just set up as many cameras as they could, anywhere they could, to ensure it would all “add up.”

      • Battleship Pretension says:

        While I don’t necessarily respond super well to how the Russos approach action, I will say that their chaotic sensibilities seem to make more sense for a hand-to-hand combat type of film, which is what we had in WINTER SOLDIER (which is why the elevator sequence worked so well for me). Captain America as a character operates on a much smaller level than other superheroes, so it makes sense that the action would be cut from that Bourne cloth.
        It’s only when the action requires a more epic scale (as in the big superhero battle in CIVIL WAR) that their instincts fail them. So I’m now officially worried about the action in INFINITY WAR, which will have a galactic scale that I don’t think they’ll be up to handling.

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