Ready For Endgame: Thor And Captain America: The First Avenger

There are certain movies that are very hard for me to separate from the first time I saw them. These are usually because of the people I saw them with, or because I saw them as a kid. But with Thor and  Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s really because of timing.

People might not remember that these movies came out within months of each other, when The Avengers was a certainty but still a whisper. And everyone was still scoffing at them. “Right, like a Thor movie is going to work.” And because I was getting ready to finish my English Lit degree, I even added, “what is Kenneth Branagh doing?” (The film nerd in me was less skeptical about Joe Johnston because I’d grown up with The Rocketeer, and that the guy who made that was making a Captain America movie made perfect sense to me.)

But there’s something about these movies and the way that they act as a doorway for the MCU and the fact that they came out the summer I finished college that feels kind of perfect to me. There’s of course my epic, “Glen literally pulled Chrissy and me out of a bar at the end of a bar crawl to go see it,” Thor story. He was pissed as hell, because we hadn’t told him we were going on the crawl, his words, “I’d have gotten tickets for tomorrow if I’d known this was your plan.” Of course our very cogent response was, “PFFFF, we’re not that drunk! Let’s get pretzels, and HOLY SHIT THAT IS ONE HOT MAN RIGHT THERE ON THE MOVIE SCREEN!” I told this story in my toast at their wedding. I left out the hot man parts. The fact that these two people are parents now brings me such joy.

Captain America, I saw with my friend Lisa, which was the first time we’d hung out since graduation. I then saw it like 5 more times, because I wasn’t really working that summer, so had a bunch of spare time. It was what cemented Cap as my Marvel Guy. (At the time Batman was still my DC guy. I hadn’t fully fallen for Dick yet.) And whenever I go back and look at Phase 1, I realize it’s still the movie that I’ve watched the most. (Iron Man is close behind, btw.)

Anyway, my personal experience of these films aside, they’re both solid, and deeply enjoyable. Thor especially, is a treat. I think people tend to forget how charming it is. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are all in on Thor and Loki from their first moments on screen, and while it’s small scale is probably because no one was sure if this whole thing was going to work, it’s in the movie’s favor that it gets a quiet intimate scene where Thor explains the nine realms to Jane on a rooftop, or Thor and Selvig getting drunk together, or Sif, Loki and The Warriors Three sitting beside a fire discussing Thor’s banishment. Branagh uses his Shakespearian ear perfectly in these scenes, letting them breath and the actors relish in their ridiculous dialog, and melodramatic plots.

 The MCU in general is a miracle of casting but Captain America: The First Avenger might be the most clean example of this. Everyone in this movie is pitch perfect for it’s throwback tone. None more so than Hayley Atwell and Chris Evans though. Dear lord are they magical. Peggy Carter and Steve Rogers might be the only two love interests I’ve ever cosplayed BOTH of, because I love them both so much. (Having cut my hair again, I might bring Peggy back this year…) But seriously, there’s so much about this movie that’s absolutely right, that I have trouble not smiling.

I’ve written literally thousands of words about The MCU, and it’s hard to explain though, that the reason is because of these two movies and the people I was hanging out with at the time being so excited for them. I seriously doubt I’d have gone to see them in the theater if it weren’t for these folks, which is why it’s very hard for me to separate the movies themselves, which are great, by the way, from the experience of watching them for the first time. So I fail as a critic in this essay, because I’m too attached. (Also, if I’m frank, I watched them on a Saturday afternoon and I’ve had some wine, and I’m a little buzzy. Blogging is all about honesty right?)

Next week we talk about The Avengers, which, if you’ll recall was the first movie I ever reviewed here on The Fangirl’s Dilemma, and that was 10 years ago and that is disgusting. 

Cosplay Corner: Costume Season and Red Shirt

Hi everyone! It turns out this is becoming a more difficult to maintain feature than I thought it would be. But I’m determined to keep it going, at least through what I call “Costume Season” (Renn Faire to My Birthday Party). I’m working on a few things for Costume Season, all of which I’m really excited about.

I really should have taken some pictures here, but I didn’t think of this until I was already on my way to work, so…that wasn’t going to happen. Anyway…here’s a breakdown of what I’m working on…

Renn Faire

I still haven’t settled on what weekends I’m going, but it would appear that I will be attending both the New York Renaissance Faire and the Pennsylvania Rennaisance Faire. At both I plan to wear a costume I put together, which I am deeply excited about…Renn Faire Lady Poe Dameron! I’ll be wearing the same base pieces as my costume from last year, the white dress and brown corset belt. To bring the specifics to it, I added an orange maxi skirt, grey lace up tank top, that looks like a bodice. I’m also going to wear a Rebellion/Resistance symbol necklace and a black and red flower crown. I’m crazy excited about wearing this.

Lead East

I’m sad, this is the first time in maybe 8 years? That I’m not going to make it to Lead East, the 50’s car show that’s been a mainstay of Katie and my summer since we’ve known each other. But I have a good reason, I’m going to Austin with my family! So we’ll see how that goes.

New York Comic Con

I’ve finally settled on my costumes (though I’m still working out which days I’ll be wearing them)

Poe will be coming back. (For a full breakdown of my Poe Dameron Costume) as will Peggy Carter (ditto)

But I’m working on Sansa Stark! I’ve got it mostly done. I bought a wig, cape, faux fur piece now sewn onto the cape and black maxi dress. All that’s left is creating a Direwolf sigil, and I have an idea of how I’m doing that, I just need to get it done. I have a few months, but I wanted it settled by mid September at the latest. This is going to be a part of a group effort, so I’m quite excited about it and know I can’t screw it up. When I’m done with it I can move on to my other new costume.

Red Hood! When I put together the Red Hood closet cosplay a few weeks ago, I realized how good it looked and decided that I wanted to finish it up and make it ready for a con. I need to buy a red domino mask, and a white hair extension. I’m also going to buy a fresh black tee shirt, and some red cotton and iron on, and then re-enforce with hand stitching the Red Hood symbol. I have my leg holster from Poe, and I need to buy a prop gun. I’m waiting for the NYCC weapons regulations to come out, because I’m not interested in spending a bunch of money only to be immediately confiscated.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead on these, but I’m excited for them.

Halloween

Depending on my plans, I’ll either be wearing a modified Poe (my Disneybound Poe dress, with the vest and chest piece from the full costume) or Sansa. If I’m at a party, it’ll be Sansa, a bar, Poe. If I’m with the nerds, then it’ll be Jason.

Hallow-Reenie 2016: Teen Drama

My Birthday Party! I’m still trying to figure out when I’m having this party. I don’t want to have it actual Halloween weekend, for a couple of reasons that are very boring. The next weekend, when I’d ordinarily have it, my parents are away (I like having my parents at this party…) and it’s my 10th high school reunion, so there’s some working around to be done. Anyway, the theme this year is Teen Drama, and I’m torn between two costume choices.

I want to do either Brooke Davis or Blair Waldorf. For both I’d be wearing my Jessica Jones wig. For Brooke, I found a blue skirt on Amazon that looks kind of like a cheerleading skirt and blue tank tops aren’t hard to come by.

Blair is even easier because I have plenty of dresses and headbands left over from the time when my entire wardrobe was Blair Waldorf approved.

I had settled on Brooke, but then Mary said that she would do Serena if I did Blair…this gave me doubts.

Closet Cosplay

This is a simple one! I’m off to see Star Trek Beyond tonight, so I had to channel it some how.

I have this red tunic shirt, so I’m wearing that, and jeans and for the picture I picked up my Poe blaster to stand in for a phaser!


I’m a red shirt, so I mean, I probably won’t make it out of today alive…but I had to do it!

 

Cosplay Corner: Wizard World Philadelphia & Chibi-Moon

Cosplay has started to become a big part of my life again lately. (It never fully goes away), but lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time and effort on it, both for conventions and for every day “closet cosplays” because they make me feel good. So, for now, once a week. (Tuesdays or Fridays, depending on Movie Season…) I’ll talk about what my cosplay stuff looks like for the week.

Since tomorrow, I’m heading to Wizard World Philadelphia, I figured today was a good day to talk about the costumes I’ll be wearing there. (I know the con’s been going on for 2 days, but I’m not there yet.)

Since I don’t sew, most of my costumes are assembled from various bought items or things I already own, or stuff I dupe my mom into making. (Hi Mommy, I love you!)

Con Ready Costumes

First up is my new costume of the weekend, Agent Peggy Carter!


If you’re unfamiliar with Agent Carter, I don’t know what you’re doing on my blog, because if you don’t know Peggy chances are you’re not into what I’m selling, but she’s the badass British bombshell who worked with the Strategic Scientic Resever (SSR) during Steve Roger’s training before he became Captain America. She also founded SHIELD alongside Howard Stark.

I’m wearing a take on her military uniform. It’s almost perfect, except for the jacket…but this was a last minute decision so I had to take what I could get quickly and cheaply.

I’ll be in brown skirt I purchased from Amazon, as well as a Khaki shirt and a black tie. The jacket is pleather and was quick Goodwill find, and I really like the way it came together.

My Captain America costume is my laziest of all cosplays, but I love it so much. It’s simply the Her Universe Captain America Dress, a pair of red boots I bought years ago for Supergirl, and the child size Captain America Shield.


Closet Cosplay Of The Week

So, I’ve been closet cosplaying or casual cosplaying a lot lately, and I figured I’d document those. These will be mostly from my already existing wardrobe, and almost always work appropriate!

This week, I decided to channel Sailor Chibi-Moon

I started by putting my hair up in half pigtails, I think that this gets the “bun head” feel a little better than just regular pigtails.

White tee shirt is pretty self explanatory. The pink skirt is a fun Polo skirt made of sweatshirt material and features a tie, to give me that extra Sailor Moon bow feeling.

The thing I was most proud of with this look though, was wearing the pink tassel to represent the Sailor Collar.

Add in a pair of pink ballet flats, and I’m all set to train to defend Earth in the name of the moon!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be pulling out other closet cosplays, and detailing some of my more intricate Con costumes, even if I don’t have a con coming up. (Although, I do…but I’m not putting anything together for Heroes and Villains…) I think this is going to be fun!

 

Have you heard of me? You probably haven’t heard of me

Ant Man

OK.

I can admit when I’m wrong.

I can admit when it’s time to let go of my preconceived notions and think something that I previously thought wasn’t going to work is actually really really freaking great!

And Ant-Man, is really, really freaking great.

OK, from here on in we’re into spoiler land.

You have been warned.

Ant-Man opens with a CGI younged up Michael Douglas as Hank Pym walking into a half built Triscallion in 1989 to tell Howard Stark, Peggy Carter and some other guy that they can’t have his tech.

Oh, and John Slattery is back as Howard.

And Hayley Atwell in old makeup.

Right, so, if you were worried, at all, Peggy Carter is in this movie.

We jump forward in time and see Scott Lang getting out of prison. Scott’s an expert cat burglar, but he’s planning on going straight for the sake of his young daughter Cassie. He gets sucked into one last score by his old cell mate, but it turns out to be a set up by Pym and his daughter Hope, who want Scott to stop Pym’s former protege from creating weapons tech from the shrinking technology Hank created back in the day.

Paul Rudd is great, Evangeline Lilly is great, Michael Douglas is great. The guys on Scott’s crew are amazing. A fight sequence between Scott and Falcon (yup!) is stellar. All of the ant stuff is awesome.

The movie is great in a way that we haven’t seen from Marvel in a while. It’s fun the way Iron Man was fun, but is also not at all like Iron Man, if that makes any sense?

Go see the movie!

Rankings

  1. Ant-Man
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road (You had a good run, may you ride shiny and chrome, you live, you die, you live again.)
  3. Inside Out
  4. Tomorrowland
  5. Jurassic World
  6. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  7. Minions
  8. Terminator: Genisys
  9. Entourage
  10. Pitch Perfect: 2

Trailers

The Walk: I look forward to watching this on HBO some day. Aless is annoyed because the documentary about this was already great. I’m inclined to agree.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Alright, ok, I’ll go.

POST CREDITSSSSSSSSSSSS

Seriously, I don’t want these spoiled for anyone at all. They’re that good. In the “mid-credits” as it’s been called, we see Hope and Hank, a large bit of the tension in the movie comes from the fact that Hank doesn’t want Hope shrinking, as her mother, Janet VanDyne was lost in the micro world. But he finally understands that he needs to let her go, and shows her the Wasp Suit. Hope smiles and says, “Well, it’s about damn time!” To which Aless and I shouted, “HELL YEAH IT IS!” About damn time for The Wasp, about damn time for another female super hero in the MCU, about damn time for all of this shit. 

And then it got even better as the credits faded out, we see Sam walking down a dark hallway and greeting Steve, they walk over to another space and there’s Bucky, glaring at them and breathing heavily, you know, like you do when your best friend and his new best friend have you chained to a thing, probably because you were brainwashed to kill them, or whatever. So BUCKY ALIVE AND FOUND, and then Steve says, “We can’t tell Tony, we don’t know what he can even do because of The Accords.” Sam looks at Steve and says, “I might know a guy.”

WE SEE YOU ALL AT CIVIL WAR! (I’m freaking out. Seriously, we were squeeing all over the place.)

Rewatching The MCU: We Need A Little Old Fashioned: Captain America: The First Avenger & The Avengers

I think we’re into the movies I have seen more than any others. I don’t even know how many times I’ve watched The Avengers or Captain America, but it’s a lot. I’m pretty sure they’re still my favorites.

Captain America: The First Avenger

I'm going to watch it all of the times!

I still marvel (hah!) at the fact that they had to ask Chris Evans multiple times to play Captain America, and I’m still always overwhelmed with joy that he did say yes.

There just aren’t many actors who can pull off saying the word, “swell” unironically anymore and he’s the kind that can. Which is why he’s perfect as Captain America. It’s also a testament to this movie and this studio that, after 13 hours of Daredevil I was able to exhale and know that I was getting something completely different even within the same genre and world when I settled in to watch The First Avenger.

I feel like the sheer amazing-ness of Winter Soldier has lead people to forget what a treat First Avenger is. And how perfect it was to hand it over to Joe Johnston. Who made The Rocketeer and thus defined the large swaths of my childhood not defined by Star Wars and The Princess Bride. His feel for all things vintage is unparalleled and I love him for it. Which is why the details of this movie, every uniform, every hairstyle, and that damn catchy Alan Menken USO song are so phenomenally perfect.

And also Hayley Atwell. I forgot how really and truly great she is in the role of Peggy Carter. She really did earn Marvel’s first female title character with her brilliant, bad ass, funny performance here.

MCU Bits

  • Everytime Sebastian Stan was on screen my hurt broke into tiny itty bitty pieces. Also, MCU gives really good bromance. (For more information on MCU bromances, tune in tomorrow for my Daredevil coverage.)
  • The SSR which would evolve into SHIELD is on full display here. (Katie, if you’re reading, can super organizations evolve in your opinion? I’m just curious.)
  • I always forget that opening scene where Coulson and that other guy find Cap in the ice. Like always forget it. I assume, every time I start the movie that we’re going to see Red Skull in Norway immediately.
  • I do always remember that rather than a post credit scene we get that super fun Avengers teaser. To this day, I still think, “Some Assembly Required,” is the greatest tag line ever. It also reminded me that there was a time when I wasn’t sold on Loki as the main villain in The Avengers. Seriously, I remember saying, “I just don’t think it’s going to work.”

The Avengers

Avengers

Guys, it’s the movie that launched The Fangirl’s Dilemma! Kind of hard to believe how much has changed since I railed on it for feeling too much like the Buffy finale right? But yes, three movie seasons ago, before I even had movie season mapped out the way I do now, and long before I had any idea of this blog being anything other than a place to chat about, well, The Avengers, without annoying my family.

Also The Dark Knight Rises.

Anyway, looking back on it, The Avengers really is an even bigger achievement than it even was that fateful summer when it was everywhere. A lot of pop culture centric people talk about the things that “changed their lives,” and I often roll my eyes, which is hypocritical, because when it comes to The Avengers this is true for me.

This movie changed everything for me. I didn’t want to be a casual fan anymore. I wanted to be the friend who people asked when they needed clarification. And so I became the girl who tracked every Coulson Lives rumor she could find, who watched these movies over and over again. Who wrote about the relationship between Loki and Thor with the same care once only reserved for Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I was in, after The Avengers, and now three years later, we are where we are.

Thanks for taking the ride with me.

MCU Bits

  • Let’s just talk about Loki for a minute OK? Or Hiddleston. Let’s talk about Tom Hiddleston and how gob smacking amazing of an actor this man is. He does not have an off moment in this movie, and it’s glorious to watch. Where would genre be without classically trained British Actors taking it seriously?
  • Coulson’s death hit me really hard this time, even though I know how soon he’ll be back, but also, I mean, I love Agents, but Coulson 2.0 is not the same guy, and I miss this guy. I also just want Pepper to know he’s alive, because I love that they’re buddies.
  • RDJ is the rock that holds the MCU together. I don’t care. I love all the others, but it’s him, he’s the guy. Disney and Marvel better keep backing up the money truck, because I don’t see how this all works without him. I just don’t.
  • Samuel L. Jackson, also quite important.
  • ScarJo’s black widow hair is best in this movie, and I wish they’d kept the short curly look. I’m not a fan of her Winter Soldier hair. To even the score, gender wise, with the appearance critique, they also figured out how to get the bleach right for Hemsworth here, his beard and eyebrows look a good deal less ridiculous than they did in Thor, where they are quite distracting.
  • I still consider it a huge crime that like 5 people say “Suit Up!’ in this movie and Cobie Smulders is not one of them. It’s just wrong.
  • Mark Ruffalo’s casting was positively inspired and I forgot how really fantastic he is as Bruce Banner. I’m excited to see more of him.
  • When Tony asks Nick, “What exactly is Phase 2?” I kind of wish Natasha had said, “Oh mostly filler, some spy stuff and then a Space Opera.”
  • Thanos! I remember actually gasping, because well, I didn’t know who he was, but it seemed important. So far, still, not really?
  • Because I watched this the day after I watched Daredevil, I keep thinking that during the attack Matt was probably having sensory overload, so many sonic booms.

Next week we’re into Phase 2, which as I mentioned means, “Mostly filler, some spy stuff and a space opera!” Can you believe we’re only 2 weeks until Ultron? Amazing.