Avengers Movie Biography… Steve Rogers aka Captain America

Steve Rogers was a puny military reject who had a heart of gold and only wanted to serve his country in World War II. After being noticed by a scientist, he was given the Super Soldier Serum, gaining the powers of Captain America.

He is the only person to receive the perfected serum as it was destroyed soon after and the scientist was killed.

Captain America used his new found powers to lead the Allies and the Howling Commandos against the Nazis and particularly the Red Skull. They were defeated but at the cost of Captain America’s life, as he crashed a plane into the Artic (I think) to keep America safe.

Later, SHIELD found his body in the present day and to their surprise, Cap was still alive due to the serum. He is currently a member of SHIELD as everyone he knows is assumed dead.

Powers and Abilities

Enhanced Strength
– Due to the super soldier serum, Cap has enhanced strength well beyond that of a normal human.

Enhanced Speed
– Due to the super soldier serum, Cap has enhanced speed well beyond that of a normal human, In one scene, it was shown he is as fast as a car and can swim at well above average speed.

Enhanced Durability
– Cap has been shown to be able to take considerable amounts of punishment. Even before the serum, he had a higher than normal tolerance for pain. Cap was shown to take an equally strong punch from the Red Skull and was barely phased. He also survived a plane crash and survived being frozen for decades.

Hand to Hand Combat
– Cap has been trained by the US military in hand to hand combat, and when combined with his strength, speed, and durability, it makes him quite formidable.

Skilled with Weapons
– Due to his military training, Cap is skilled with a variety of fire arms.

Natural Leader
– Cap is a natural born leader, leading the Howling Commandos in World War II.

Military Strategy
– Cap was shown to have an excellent military mind, orchestrating the many attacks on the Red Skull’s bases and was able to memorize the locations of these bases while looking at a map for under 30 seconds.

Vibranium Shield
– Cap has a shield made of Vibranium given to him by Howard Stark (Tony Stark’s Father). Vibranium is a rare metal only found in Wakanda (this hasn’t been mentioned in the movies but it is) that has the ability to absorb the vibrations of ANYTHING. Guns, bombs, punches… literally everything. So anything Cap blocks with the shield doesn’t get through. Cap uses the shield both offensively and defensively. Offensively, Cap is an excellent marksman, being able to hit things with pin point accuracy with the shield. He also has the ability to bounce the shield off of anything with perfect accuracy so it hits multiple enemies and bounces back to him.

Effective weapon.

Avengers Movie Biography… SHIELD Agents

The Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division aka SHIELD is an American (was international in the comics) peacekeeping, anti-terrorism, and intelligence agency that is headed by Nick Fury. It seems to be the top of the top (aka above the CIA and such) of government military-ish organizations.

Nick Fury and SHIELD are responsible for the Avengers Initiative and have dealt with other super-hero-ish problems such as keeping the Destroyer, the Leader, and the Cosmic Cube.

There are four named agents of SHIELD that have been introduced so far in the movies: Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Clint Barton aka Hawkeye, and Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow.

Nick Fury

The director and possibly the founder of SHIELD.

Powers and Abilities

– Mostly Unknown. Fury hinted that he is older than he looks, but we don’t know for sure what that means in the movie universe. In the comics, Fury was given the Infinity Formula, allowing him to age at a super slow pace.

Agent Phil Coulson

Son of Coul as Thor called him seems to be the chief liason for SHIELD and Fury’s right hand man. He is the one that has first made contact with Stark and Thor. On a side note, Captain America is like his favorite person ever.

Powers and Abilities

Hand to Hand Combat
– In one of the Avenger shorts, Coulson was shown to have excellent hand to hand skills as he was able to disarm two armed robbers with ease.

Natasha Romanoff aka the Black Widow

Black Widow is a field agent of SHIELD and ends up a member of the Avengers. Her first appearance was in Iron Man 2, acting as an undercover agent as Stark’s assistant and then kicking ass in the building Whiplash was hiding.

Powers and Abilities

Hand to Hand Combat
– Widow has been shown to be excellent in hand to eye combat, clearing out a room in Iron Man 2.

Master Spy
– Widow has been shown to be an excellent spy and has the ability to hack into computuers.

Clint Barton aka Hawkeye

Hawkeye is a field agent of SHIELD and ends up a member of the Avengers. He has only made one appearance in the movies so far, and that was in Thor, where Coulson told him to get in position to possibly take down Thor as he went for Mjolnir.

Powers and Abilities
– We have seen nothing of what Hawkeye can do in the movie universe, but it is safe to assume the following…

Hand to Hand Combat
– Being a field agent of SHIELD, we can assume he is proficient in hand to hand combat.

Master Marksman
– Hawkeye is known to be a dead on shooter, especially with his bow, hence the nick name.

Bow and Arrow
– In addition to being an excellent marksmen, Hawkeye uses a variety of arrows, not just your standard sharp end arrows. In the comics/cartoons, we have seen everything from exploding arrows to electrocuting arrows to freezing arrows. There has been no indication if these different arrows will show up in the movie however.

Training Log: Squats

Warm Up:

Foam Roller
Lacrosse Ball
Bike
Stretch

Lifting:


Paused Full Squats, belt: 395×1

Walking DB Lunges: 40×10

Rotating Planks: 2 sets

– Everything hurt. 395 felt so heavy that I unracked it once, put it down, and made sure I didn’t actually put an extra plate on. I did one rep that felt like a 1RM, and that was that.

– I am so fucking fed up right now. I felt great yesterday, woke up today and half my body hurts for no fucking reason at all. No stress, didn’t over do it in the gym yesterday, nothing.

I am reaching the breaking point with this shit. Being 160 lbs and playing video games is sounding a lot more appealing every week.

Avengers Movie Biography… Tony Stark aka Iron Man

Tony Stark is/was a weapons developer and owns Stark Industries. After being taken hostage and seen what his weapons do to people, he developed the arc reactor and Iron Man armor and set out to be a super hero.

In the movies, Stark has shown to have battled various terrorists groups such as the Ten Rings, as well has his partner Stane, and the villain Whiplash. Stane and Whiplash are both dead.

Currently, Stark is a consultant for SHIELD, not a member of the Avengers due to his attitude.

New movie armor.

Powers and Abilities

Genius Intellect
– Stark is a certified genius, specializing in machines/mechanics and especially weapons. As seen in Iron Man 1, he created his first suit and arc reactor out of scraps in a cave. He has even created his own A.I. the runs his house and armor. In Iron Man 2, he even created his own element to keep him from dying and power his suit.

Billionaire
– Stark is one of the richest people in the world.

Iron Man Armor
– There are multiple Iron Man suits created by Stark and each seems to be better than the last with improved weapons and armor. The suit gives Stark a variety of powers including:

Flight: The suit is incredibly designed for flight. It can reach super sonic speeds and is able to out maneuver fighter jets.

Hand Repulsors: Stark can use his hands to balance in flight or as weapons that emit a powerful blast. This is his primary weapon.

Central Chest Beam: This is like a giant version of the hand repulsors that provide a much larger blast but takes longer to do and can’t be done repeatedly.

Tank Missiles: A rocket that blew up a tank.

Smaller Missiles: Can be shot with pinpoint accuracy.

Laser Beam: A laser beam that can be shot and seems to cut through essentially everything. Can only be used once.

Enhanced Durability: While in the armor, Stark can take a ridiculous amount of punishment, including getting shot by a tank and walking off afterwards.

Enhanced Strength: Stark has shown the ability to pick up a car, even when using his back up reactor.

Jarvis A.I.: A computer that communicates with Stark in suit. It does everything from tell Stark is power levels or pinpoint targets for maximum accuracy.

Flares: Can deploy flares to keep heat seeking missiles away.

Enhanced Reflexes: The suit allows Stark to have faster an normal reflexes, good enough to dodge a missile shot at close range.

Avengers Movie Biography… Bruce Banner aka The Incredible Hulk

Bruce Banner was a scientist with a focus on gamma radiation. In an experiment, he used himself as a guinea pig, creating an alter-ego called the Hulk. Banner turns into the Hulk whenever he gets angry or his heart rate rises.

In the movie, Banner is hunted by General Ross, who believes his body belongs to the military so they can create more Hulks that they can control. Due to this, Banner lives on the run hiding from all governments.

In the Incredible Hulk, Banner defeates the Abomination, which was a super soldier experiment gone terribly wrong.

Currently, Banner is somewhere in the wilderness and is staying off the radar.

The new design for the Hulk is stunning. 

Powers and Abilities

Super Strength
– The Hulk is one of the strongest things in existence. The angrier he gets, the stronger he gets. The Hulk has shown the ability to throw a forklift like a softball and use a military Hummer like a baseball bat. He can create, air force by clapping loudly. He can also punch the ground causing a shock wave.

Super Durability
– The Hulk is virtually indestructible. The strongest weapons used seemingly bounce off him and cause him no pain. The angrier he gets, the more indestructible he becomes. The only thing shown to slow him down so far was an equally strong Abomination. Also, it seems Banner cannot die as well, as whenever he suffers an injury he spontaneously turns into the Hulk. This was shown when he was dropped from an air plane, hit the ground, and turned. The Hulk’s durability increases the angrier he gets.

Genius Intellect
– As Bruce Banner, he is considered one of the smartest people in the world, with a focus more towards chemistry (in contrast to Stark’s genius in weapons/mechanics). In the comics, he is considered one of the eight smartest people in the world. As the Hulk, he has shown basic intelligence, such as the ability to recognize some people, use weapons, make shields, ect.

Hulk SMAAAAAAASH!

Enhanced Speed
– It has been shown he can run faster than a normal human easily.

Enhanced Leaping
– Hulk cannot fly, but he can jump such distances at such speeds that he can cover a lot of ground very quickly.

Hulk Out on Command
– It was shown in the after credit scenes that Banner may now be able to turn into the Hulk whenever he chooses too, not just when his heart rate goes up and he gets angry. We are not sure if he has full control or not though.

Training Log: Upper Body

Conditioning:

Treadmill (before workout): 0.3 miles in 1:40
Treadmill (after workout): 0.2 miles in 1:15

Warm Up:

Pec Stretch
Band Curls
Band Extensions
Band Pull Aparts
Bicep Raises
Scaption Raises

Lifting:

Paused CGBP: 265x1x7, 265×3

Dips: BWx20x2

Hammer Chins: BW+75x5x3

One Arm Machine Reverse Flyes: 110x15x3

– Did CGBP again as I wasn’t in the mood for heavy dips. It was really easy again and I had no lop sided, weak right shoulder issues. I took a video just so you can see what I mean when I say it is easy. The video is the last set I did…

(Repost) Captain America: The First Avenger Review

[I am going to be posting up reviews for the previous five Avengers “prequels.” I am just going to re-post the ones I already have done. – Shadow]

This is the last of the Marvel movies until The Avengers finally comes in May and Marvel definitely ended on a high note. We have had Iron-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron-Man II, Thor, and now it is time for the First Avenger to shine.

If you know nothing about Captain America, here is a quick low down. In World War II, the Americans were trying to create an ultimate weapon: the Super Soldier. The serum would make the soldier bigger, stronger, faster; basically turning him into a super hero. While looking for the first, perfect candidate, they run into Steve Rogers, who is a tiny little dude with asthma and a list of other health problems. But, he essentially has a heart of gold and they choose him. And of course, the serum works and he becomes Captain America. I will leave it at that.

Across the Atlantic, there is a new power rising and it isn’t Hitler. The Red Skull and Hydra have essentially overthrown the Fuhrer and are doing it with technology well beyond anything the Allies have.

In short, this movie is excellent. The plot is excellent and the story moves at a great pace. Steve Rogers is played perfectly both as a puny normal person and as Captain America. This is just another example of perfect casting from Marvel. Thor, Iron-Man, and Captain America were perfect. Hopefully Banner follows suit in The Avengers.

There is a little more “old school” cheesiness in this movie that wasn’t particularly necessary but it didn’t distract from the movie. Most of it involved Steve and Peggy and was your typical romantic movie at a stupid time thing. Speaking of actors other than Steve, Tommy Lee Jones is excellent as a minor character like he played in this movie. And the Red Skull was played well by the Agent Smith guy. Dude is just a good actor.

The action scenes were good and plentiful. They show off Cap’s power well and the shield throws weren’t as corny as I thought they might be. I wish more of the action scenes weren’t just montages but they spent a ton of time in the origin of Captain America so it was somewhat to be expected.

This movie also served as the final bridge to The Avengers. It wasn’t as subtly done as in The Avengers but it wasn’t overbearing like Iron-Man II. This movie explains a lot in regards to the Avengers movie.

All in all, you won’t be disappointed in this movie, as a comic book fan or an action movie fan. Hell, even my wife enjoyed it and she generally hates my movies.

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 79% Audience: 76%

Shadow’s Rating: 9/10– Not quite as good as Thor but in that same class. One of the best comic book movies out there.

Pros, cons, and SPOILERS after the jump

Cons:

– Some of the cheese was unwarranted. Especially the kiss scene when they were chasing the plane at the end.

– I didn’t like how Bucky “died.” He should have died trying to save Cap or something heroic, not just picking up the shield and getting blasted. And if you don’t know, Bucky becomes the Winter Soldier, someone who is very important in the Marvel Universe. Hell, he helped bust Wolverine out of Weapon X and eventually became the new Captain America.

– When I first saw the movie, I was pissed about the montages because it didn’t leave hardly any room for a sequel. But it has came out that most of the sequel will be held in the present so that doesn’t matter anyway.

Pros:

– Great acting all around, especially Cap.

– Liked the costume for Cap. Also Evans got big enough which is a plus. Although he looks tiny again in the Avengers trailer.

– The origin story was excellent, one of the better ones done. It wasn’t dragged out and it wasn’t something we have seen 1000 times *coughSuperManSpiderManBatmancough*. It was both funny and serious at the same time. A great balance (like the other Marvel movies).

– Bridged into the Avengers quite nicely. I thought it was too much the first time I watched it but it wasn’t as much as I remembered. We not only get to see how Cap got on the team, but also the Cosmic Cube. It seems like the movie is following the path of the Ultimate universe instead of the mainstream one. We will see I guess.

– The Red Skull is a great villain and I like the way he “died.” Sets it up for more movies whenever he comes back. I also like how he was created due to an imperfect super soldier serum instead of just being an evil genius. Made him more on par with Cap.

(Repost) Thor Review

[I am going to be posting up reviews for the previous five Avengers “prequels.” I am just going to re-post the ones I already have done. – Shadow]

Of the four MAIN Avengers (Iron-Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America), this movie had the most difficult task. Not many really know who the hell Thor is other than he has a giant hammer. Not many know who the hell Loki is. Marvel needed to explain who the heck all these people are, make a good movie, and tie it in with the rest of the Marvel Universe. [AVENGERS SPOILERS] It is even more paramount due to the fact Loki is the main bad guy in the Avengers movie. [/SPOILERS]

And it succeeded.

This movie basically is set in three different parts. In the beginning we get the past, which explains quickly (but good enough) who the hell the Asgardians are, who the hell Odin is, and who the hell the Frost Giants were. Then, as the movie progresses, we get huge amounts of Asgard and Earth as there were two story lines going on.

Asgard was absolutely stunning visually and I hope Thor 2 is set more in Asgard. You got the sense that this was the place of Gods and not just another planet/city. The home of the Frost Giants and the Frost Giants themselves were also excellent.

This movie, though, was about Thor and Loki. Marvel HAD to have strong performances from both and strong they were. Henmsworth played an excellent Thor. He didn’t turn Thor into “his own” character like say, Downey Jr. did to Iron-man. Hemsworth actually became Thor. But, Loki was played just as well and will be a very interesting antagonist in future movies. In this movie, you could tell he was conflicted with what he was doing and wasn’t downright evil. I think this will change in movies to come.

The Earth parts were good and added some humor as well. Watching Thor adjust was comical and Portman and her crew were well played without being a distraction.

Also, this movie wasn’t one big Avengers commercial either. Sure, you had SHIELD and Agent Coulson and even Hawkeye in the movie, but they weren’t the focus of the movie. Just enough to blend the movies together and that was it.

Is this movie perfect? Of course not. I would have loved a bit more action from Thor when he is in God form. Some of the battles were a bit underwhelming considering the power of everyone involved. The movie was a tad bit predictable on Thors in (not Loki though), but that will happen with super hero movies from time to time.  And also, the Destroyer was a bit underwhelming in my opinion.

Oh, and watch the scene after the credits.

All in all… excellent movie. Marvel keeps showing people how you are supposed to make a super hero movie, even with a super hero the common folks don’t know. If only the people who made Green Lantern would have taken notes…

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 77% Audience: 80%

Shadow’s Rating: 9/10– Great movie all in all. More/Better action scenes would have bumped it up one more spot, but this is an awesome movie.

After the jump, pros, cons, and SPOILERS.

Cons:

– It was a tad bit predictable with the whole, “Thor is arrogant, Thor gets banished, Thor can’t lift hammer, Thor learns and regains power.” But, that is Thor so it was somewhat to be expected.

– I hated how quickly Thor destroys the Destroyer. It should have been a much more epic battle.

– There need to be more or better action scenes. I understand the Loki/Thor battle not being epic because Thor really doesn’t want to kill his brother. But there could have been some improvements with the Destroyer/Thor battle for sure.

Pros:

– The CGI was wonderful in this movie. The Frost Giants were epic looking. Asgard was epic. The Destroyer looked how it should. People bitching about CGI can go fuck themselves. When it is used well like this movie, it is a great thing. Of course, movies like the Green Lantern use it terribly but too many critics and people bitch and moan, “there was too much CGI,” can just go back and watch local theater shows.

– Thor was played perfect by Hemsworth. He played Thor how Thor should have been played. He played both the arrogant Thor and the more humble Thor (without losing that touch of arrogance) quite well. And some people said he was too small but I disagree.

Too small???

– Loki is a great character. He goes from mischievous and jealous to conniving, but he never did cross the “evil” line. A lot of what he did was a just a (horribly) misguided way to show he was the better ruler of Asgard. Everything Loki did was like 4 steps ahead of everyone else. And at the end, you could really tell his heart and soul was crushed by Odin at the end.The only real evil thing he did was try to kill Thor with the Destroyer. He will definitely cross that evil line in the Avengers though.

– The movie was about Thor and Loki but the others played their parts. Odin was done well. Heimdell was awesome, even if he was supposed to be white. The Warrior 3 and the humans on Earth were well done. They all added to the movie without losing focus on what the movie was really about.

– The fight against the Frost Giants in the beginning was pretty damn cool.

– That Hammer is bad ass.

The Incredible Hulk Review

.

This movie, in my opinion, really comes down to whether you like the character or not. Do you like seeing a rampaging rage monster destroy stuff or not. If not, this movie sucks. If you do… it is a pretty good representation of the character.

The movie begins with Banner hiding in South America. Through flashbacks it reminds you who Banner is and why he is hiding. After an accident in a plant, General Ross finds him, sends a team after him, and all hell breaks lose. Also during this movie, Banner is communicating with someone called Mr. Blue, trying to find himself a cure.

The Hulk looks much better than he did in the previously made movie as the CGI is much improved. There are no dumb dogs or other made up characters in this movie. This is purely the Hulk vs. the Military and at the end, the Abomination. The Abomination really is what makes this movie as it gives the Hulk someone to fight that is his equal in strength.

One confusing thing for people who have seen the previous Hulk is that they think this is a sequel when it is not. The first Hulk movie is not related to this one at all and this is an entire new reboot based in the Marvel Universe. This is a God send, as this movie is 100x better than that trash. This also includes Edward Norton, who is a much more convincing Dr. Banner than whoever the hell the first guy was.

.

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 66% Audience: 75%

Shadow’s Rating: 9/10– I really like this movie and feel it is way underrated as a comic book movie.

.

Pros, cons, and Spoilers after the jump.

.

Continue reading The Incredible Hulk Review

Iron Man 2 Review

IronMan2poster

.

Iron Man 2 offers improvements in some areas over its predecessor, but as a whole it just doesn’t stack up to the very effective and entertaining Iron Man 1.

The movie starts off right where the first ended, with Tony Stark confirming he is Iron Man and has basically made himself into a one man peace keeper. The US wants his technology but he won’t give it up. On the other side of the world, a man named Vanko aka Whiplash is building his own reactor and wants revenge on Stark.

The action in this movie is much better as a whole in my opinion, especially the final battle. We get a ton more of Iron Man and War Machine doing what they do: flying around and blowing shit up. The climax really felt like a climax in this movie. The rest of the action in the movie was ok at best and really nothing too special.

The action was better but I didn’t quite enjoy the story and plot as much. HAMMER and Vanko were a little underwhelming as far as villains go, especially when you compare them to other villains in the Marvel Universe such as Loki, Red Skull, and the Abomination. Vanko looked like he should have been a menacing bad ass but didn’t really act as one. Your skin should have crawled when he was on screen but it never did. It seemed like he was acted half assidly. There was also too much of Stark’s shenanigans, and while I understand why they were there, it still was kind of boring and seemed almost like fluff.

SHIELD was much more involved in this movie with varying results. There presence was felt a little too much in this movie and it felt like this movie was made only to bridge it better to the Avengers. Which is both good and bad I suppose.

There were a couple of new additions to the good guy side, including War Machine and Black Widow. Both were used well and were solid additions to the movie universe. Widow was especially impressive, even if her fight scenes seemed a little too choreographed. They really captured the essence of the character as a super spy, bad ass.

As a whole, it was an entertaining comic book movie but not quite as good as the other 4 Avenger prequels.

.

Rotten Tomatoe’s Rating: 74% Audience: 80%

Shadow’s Rating: 7/10– Not quite up to the standards of the first but still a good comic book flick.

.

Pros, cons, and spoilers after the jump.

.

Continue reading Iron Man 2 Review