kate_nepveu: Captain America's shield (Captain America)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu

Oh my god this day. Here, let me dump some more Captain America: The Winter Soldier feelings. (I haven't seen it again, because free time, hah!)

Spoilers for the MCU (nested cut-tags removed because apparently LJ hates them):

Steve, Natasha, and Steve/Natasha

I didn't say a lot about Steve the first post, I think because it didn't feel like I had much to add to the argument the movie was making. And I still don't. But [personal profile] coffeeandink has some great thoughts about the visuals and parallels that the movie was using—the visual framing, especially, is something that I'm not good at noticing. I can notice things like, "Oh look, Steve's falling into water again," but not things like reflections unless someone brings my attention to them.

I don't agree that Steve was suicidal, however, which is a suggestion I've seen around. Steve had specific goals, which were: destroy the helicarriers and save Bucky, in that order. Having replaced the server thingies, he wasn't going to tell Maria to wait on crashing the helicarriers just for his safety; and anyway he had another objection, save Bucky--or at least not hurt him any further. And if he had to die to achieve that, well, not anything he hasn't done before.

(I can't believe last time I said the movie's OTP was Steve/his shield, completely forgetting that he dropped his shield for Bucky! My OTP is not Steve/Bucky, though I don't object to it unless people use it to reduce the sincerity or importance of Steve's feelings for Peggy (sadly all too common), because fuck that, Peggy is awesome and just as importantly, I'm tired of female characters getting displaced by male characters. See also my policy of not reading any fanfic that breaks up Tony and Pepper. To get back on track, I also don't think the movie has a character OTP, but more on that in a moment.)

I also didn't say much about Natasha for the same reason, but I have to say it gives me another reason to dislike IM2—not that I needed more!—when she was so flat there, which after Avengers and this really has to be laid at the feet of the movie and not the actor.

And I admit that it's important and a step forward for the MCU that she was not a love interest and that there was no romance plot, and I agree that the movie was running as hard away from Steve/Natasha as it could. Because I contain multitudes, I can nevertheless still ship them like anything in fandom while liking canon as it is. => (Steve tells her he wants her to be a friend before Camp Lehigh; after Camp Lehigh is when he gives her his unequivocal statement of trust, if my memory serves. Natasha is obviously not in a position to be starting a serious relationship now, but later . . . )

(If the MCU wants me to ship Natasha/Clint they need to give me more than two minutes of them together and ten minutes of Clint total. Sorry, Clint fans.)

Sam, Fury, Sitwell

It's been pointed out various places that the structural role of the romance interest is actually filled by Sam. And I'm actually glad that the movie didn't take that further and make it canon, only because "I am dropping everything because Captain America asked and I want to do some unambiguous good" is much more interesting—and thematically important—than "I am dropping everything to because Captain America asked and he looks really great in shirts three sizes too small." (Which is not to say that one couldn't also hold that opinion! Though I don't think I particularly ship Sam/Steve because of the asymmetry of Sam as the follower, it makes me uncomfortable.)

I talked about the way the movie pulled its punches politically in the first post. Something I forgot to mention is that I think the movie's treatment of Fury at the end was another failure to carry through its critique. My audience cheered when he got off the helicopter in the callback to his Avengers introduction. But that, that's an action hero introduction, and that and the we-are-being-cool-now eyepatch-related moments kind of overwhelm Pierce's talking about where he learned expedience. Also the lone superhero thing that he ends up taking on at the end, of course.

(I'd mentally composed the above paragraph before reading thingswithwings' super-thoughtful and thorough discussion of the movie's political ambivalence, which includes a lot of discussion about Nick Fury. I agree about the personal journey he takes but I don't think the movie does enough to foreground and position it within the political critique it's sort-of making. I might think differently on rewatch, though; this is mostly a question of emphasis.)

(Speaking of cheering, my audience also cheered when the older woman on the Council suddenly started beating people up. I think everyone was a bit disappointed when she turned out to be Natasha.)

I have no feelings about Sitwell personally, but it is quite true that his being HYDRA deserves side-eyeing, as Gavia Baker-Whitelaw notes.

Miscellaneous

Some of my Friday-night-opening weekend audience didn't know that the Winter Soldier was Bucky. I was wondering about that: the Thor 2 Blu-Ray featurette was explicit about it, but I noticed that the trailers and TV commercials were pretty careful not to give a full, no-mask shot of the Winter Soldier, and even if they had, I'm not sure I would have recognized Bucky between the hair and the eyeblack. So that seemed to have worked reasonably in terms of calibrating information for different audiences.

I said after watching Iron Man that the only thing that surprised me was that Stane wasn't revealed to have killed Tony's parents. Apparently HYDRA gets credit for that instead—possibly specifically Bucky, which might make bringing Bucky into the Avengers later a little awkward at first . . .

And now, an additional spoiler about the comics:

Captain America 3 has been announced for May 2016; that will be the fifth movie on Chris Evans' six-movie contract. Given that he has stated that he wants to give up acting, I can't help but think that Cap 3 will be getting Bucky back and Avengers 3 will be The Death of Captain America: Steve Rogers' assassination and Bucky Barnes' assuming the title of Captain America. (Dude who was fighting Sam at the end in the building as it was being destroyed, who seemed to feel kinda bad about trying to capture Steve in the elevator, and who was found badly injured, is Crossbones, who in comics canon is part of Steve's assassination. Let us hope this does not come after anything like a Civil War plotline, because ugh.)

I am hoping that having many years to expect this will keep me from being a wreck if it actaully comes true, and will make me incredibly relieved if I am wrong and they retire Steve some non-fatal way. Because, Steeeeeeve, but obviously I don't want Evans to be unhappy or for them to recast Steve Rogers.

Some fic recs, which I think ought to be pretty clear what they're like from the tags and summaries:

Modern Careers in the Information Sciences (and Other White Lies) (3086 words) by melannen
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Random SHIELD/HYDRA agents, definitely original female charactersclearly not based on real people, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Spoilers, Missing Scene, POV Outsider, Libraries, Librarians, Fort Meade
Summary: Any agent knows that the most important thing when planning an op is information. Luckily, there's a public library right across the street from Fort Meade.

A Place to Lie Low (580 words) by ifeelbetter
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sam Wilson & Avengers
Characters: Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Fluff
Summary: Sam gets a reputation for being the dude with a place to lie low for on-the-run Avengers.

laughter is the best medicine (1148 words) by sweetwatersong
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Maria Hill & Sam Wilson
Characters: Maria Hill, Sam Wilson
Additional Tags: 5+1 Things, Male-Female Friendship
Summary: Five times Sam Wilson has a good laugh, and one time Maria Hill has the last one.

How to Win Friends and Influence People (765 words) by igrockspock
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Maria Hill, Tony Stark, Pepper Potts
Summary: Maria Hill's definition of "job interview" is different from other people's.

Next New Message (1461 words) by fabrega
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Clint Barton, Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers, Maria Hill, Jasper Sitwell, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Captain America: The Winter Soldier Spoilers, Spoilers, Movie Spoilers
Summary: "YOU HAVE THIRTY. SEVEN. NEW MESSAGES," Clint Barton's phone announces. That can't be good.

depends on where you're standing (4118 words) by dirgewithoutmusic
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Sharon Carter & Natasha Romanov, Sharon Carter &; Peggy Carter, Steve Rogers & Natasha Romanov
Characters: Sharon Carter (Marvel), Peggy Carter, Natasha Romanov, Steve Rogers, Agent 13 (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Bechdel Test Fix, Aftermath, Idealistic little girls who grow up to be fierce women, coffee with an assassin, spies around the watercooler, SHIELD falls
Summary: Sharon Carter expected to pull a gun in the line of duty. She didn’t expect to pull it here. SHIELD was her holy ground. (...)

A Hard Day's Night (1320 words) by thedeadparrot
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captain America (Movies), Community (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Troy Barnes & Annie Edison & Abed Nadir
Additional Tags: Crossover, Post-Movie(s), Coda, Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Summary: Abed gets home after a rough day at work.

Riviera Life (3015 words) by Omnicat
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Steve Rogers, James "Bucky" Barnes, Sam Wilson, Natasha Romanoff
Additional Tags: Post-Canon, Happy Ending, Male Friendship, Male-Female Friendship, Food, Artist Steve Rogers
Summary: Sam and Steve have been traversing Europe looking for Bucky. Not everyone is convinced it isn’t an open invitation road trip.

Finally, an addendum to my post about the trailers: an important critique of Lucy.

Date: 2014-04-11 01:53 am (UTC)
princessofgeeks: (Default)
From: [personal profile] princessofgeeks
Thanks for the post and the recs!

Date: 2014-04-11 02:47 am (UTC)
kgbooklog: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kgbooklog
Curiously, the LJ crosspost of this had two copies of the first cut and no fic recs.

(I am seeing Cap soon!)

Date: 2014-04-11 02:53 am (UTC)
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)
From: [personal profile] julian
Yeah, the Lucy thing (even without knowing the translations) made me tired. I realllly want a frickin' good kickass woman-centered actiony movie. And yet, there are these Issues.

I hope (but do not expect) the preview is not representative of the entirety of the movie's approach to Asian-Related-Things.

Did I mention tired?

Re: (I am seeing Cap soon!)

Date: 2014-04-11 04:36 pm (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
omg, thank you so much for the link to that post. I was bothered already by the othering in the trailer (why does she shoot the taxi drivers?) but that bit with the graffiti is ridiculous.

Date: 2014-04-11 03:02 am (UTC)
pendrecarc: Woman holding a hooked hand (Queen of Attolia)
From: [personal profile] pendrecarc
I am so glad to know about his contract--usually I steer clear of potential spoilers like that, but then I don't usually manage to get so emotionally invested that I feel like I might need several years to prepare myself for a character's death. Steeeeeeeve.

Re: pulling punches--I agree with so much of the critique I've seen of this, and it just felt so hollow. You go from a genuinely horrifying (if rather too overblown for real-world plausibility) threat, horrify because it is so spot-on, to these cartoon cut-out villains rambling about "order", and it's just the wrong rhetoric, absolutely tone-deaf to a modern audience--"Hail Hydra" and let's make the trains run on time. They could have done so much better.

Thanks for the recs! I'm bookmarking this for later, because I need to finish something myself before reading how the rest of fandom is reacting, but these look like loads of fun.

(And ugh, yes. I wanted to be all over the Lucy trailer, but then that happened.)

Date: 2014-04-11 03:14 am (UTC)
pendrecarc: Woman holding a hooked hand (Default)
From: [personal profile] pendrecarc
Also, about Sam's role, if Coulson got the awkward fannish experience of meeting his idol and losing all ability to function in Avengers, Sam got the fannish daydream of trading snappy dialog and making an immediate emotional connection, not to mention being approached for assistance when Steve was in dire straits and saving the day in a flying suit. And it was beautiful.

Date: 2014-04-11 05:50 am (UTC)
krfsm: Self portrait with sheep on head (Default)
From: [personal profile] krfsm
Re: Chris Evans' contract -- IIRC he's said he wants to spend some time directing movies, but is open to returning to the role as Cap. So we'll see.

Date: 2014-04-11 05:23 pm (UTC)
intothespin: Drawing of a woman lying down reading by Kate Beaton (Default)
From: [personal profile] intothespin
Thanks for the recs.

Date: 2014-10-23 03:40 am (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
and anyway he had another objection, save Bucky--or at least not hurt him any further. And if he had to die to achieve that, well, not anything he hasn't done before.

Agreed. And the last time, he couldn't hold Bucky: he lost him. He's holding on this time, even if he's lost, too.

(While we are discussing Bucky, or at least the Winter Soldier, I really want to give a shout-out to whoever choreographed his fight scenes and Sebastian Stan for being able to carry them out, because the thing that makes the Winter Soldier is scary is not that he's lightning-fast, or super-strong, or even that he's partly cybernetic and wears a muzzle-like mask, it's his resourcefulness: his entire body is an object and he uses it with an absolute unawareness of pain. Nothing about him fights by human conventions. He punches through the windshield of a car and pulls out its steering wheel. It is an extraordinarily efficient, brute-force method of ensuring that even if Steve and Natasha and Sam manage to fight him off, they cannot possibly regain control of their speeding vehicle and will therefore most likely die in a fiery crash on the highway no matter what, and that is not how most people think about interfering with a moving car. His hand-to-hand fights don't look like anyone else's for similar reasons. When he uses a knife against Steve, he has no apparent preference for which hand it's in—he switches, based apparently on nothing more than the best available angle of attack. He's not a Terminator, but he has that unreasonable relentlessness. It's what he was redesigned for. In consequence, Steve's decision to just stop fighting him is even more powerful. It's not an appeal to logic or memory or trust; who knows how much of that's left inside Bucky at this point? It's just not worth the damage anymore.)

And I admit that it's important and a step forward for the MCU that she was not a love interest and that there was no romance plot, and I agree that the movie was running as hard away from Steve/Natasha as it could. Because I contain multitudes, I can nevertheless still ship them like anything in fandom while liking canon as it is.

Fair enough!

(Speaking of cheering, my audience also cheered when the older woman on the Council suddenly started beating people up. I think everyone was a bit disappointed when she turned out to be Natasha.)

That was us! We thought Jenny Agutter was just that unexpectedly awesome!

I have no feelings about Sitwell personally, but it is quite true that his being HYDRA deserves side-eyeing, as Gavia Baker-Whitelaw notes.

I didn't even remember he was a recurring character. If we were meant to feel shocked and betrayed by the revelation that he was a double agent, the effect didn't come off.

Some of my Friday-night-opening weekend audience didn't know that the Winter Soldier was Bucky.

[livejournal.com profile] derspatchel didn't. He started laughing out loud. It was great.

Dude who was fighting Sam at the end in the building as it was being destroyed, who seemed to feel kinda bad about trying to capture Steve in the elevator, and who was found badly injured, is Crossbones, who in comics canon is part of Steve's assassination.

Oh. Well, then. Dammit, Steve!

Date: 2014-10-23 11:40 am (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
There's a little film on the blu-ray extras about filming the fight scenes, and Sebastian Stan rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing his bits. I love it.

(I went back through Kate's "movies: avengers 'verse" tag after seeing her recommend it to you in the most recent post, only some of the posts I've read before)

Date: 2014-10-23 04:57 pm (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
There's a little film on the blu-ray extras about filming the fight scenes, and Sebastian Stan rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing his bits.

Nice!

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