cazarilsraven: (Default)
So I was watching Bucky murder strut his way up the stairs in the Civil War trailer and came to a realization: my brain practically purrs when the Winter Soldier moves, but starts throwing up enough flags to equip a football halftime show when Captain America just... stands there. Of course then I had to do some self analysis to figure out ‘what the hell brain?’

Hypothetically, if I was in a room with the Patriotic Dorito and I knew he was Captain America, I’d probably be fine and do my normal thing that I do with unknown authority (wait to see if they’re competent). And if I was in a room with the Raccoon Assassin and knew he was the boogeyman of the intelligence community, then I’d be leaving the room as fast as possible, because why tempt fate? However, if they were out of uniform and I didn’t know them from Adam, my reactions would be flipped.

The main reason is this: Steve never turns the aggression off. Tiny or muscled, the impression he leaves in my memory is of an angry shaken two liter soda bottle, just waiting to explode when someone messes with the cap (ha, pun). In CA:TWS he more reminds me of a shaken soda bottle that’s been left alone for a few hours. He has purpose, focus, not just anger. And the more times I rewatch Captain America/ Avengers films, the more my brain is able to catalog what is making me twitch. Basically, my immediate reaction is to put my back to a wall and keep an eye on Rogers to see which way he goes off.

The Winter Soldier/ Bucky Barnes is all directed aggression. If I’m not his target, or between him and his target, then I’m as safe as I would be at home. When he’s on, he’s on and when he’s off, he’s really off (and looks like he needs a cocoa and a blanket. Yes, this does include WWII Bucky, think the bar scene vs when he’s sniping). And his aggression doesn’t have a lot of anger behind it. I think the most anger I saw was when the Winter Soldier was beating Steve’s ass on the helicarrier and that was more confusion/ frustration than rage.

It has to be a actor/ director choice because Chris Evans does not ping me at all in interviews or behind the scenes. First time seeing him as Captain America I was so excited! He’s gorgeous, fits the role really well, and does a fantastic job with the script and action. Then The Avengers came out and I watched him have a PTSD off with Stark while under the influence of the Stick O’ Doom. Then Avengers: Age of Ultron came out and his everything started setting me off. And now I can’t watch CA:TFA without it being ruined by what I know of his future characterization.

I do recognize it’s my life experiences that are causing me to twig about Rogers, and that I’m in the minority when it comes to assessing him as a threat.
cazarilsraven: (Default)
The weakest point of world-building in the MCU so far is that HYDRA has been in SHIELD for the last 40+ years and no one noticed.

Steve Rogers, Captain America, sworn enemy of HYDRA, didn’t notice for 2 years that he was working with flipped agents.

Nick Fury, the most paranoid spy in the business, either didn’t notice or severely underestimated the extent of the infiltration.

This comes down to Rumlow. He is either an outlier, and Steve didn’t report his ass for being an overly aggressive dickhead, or he’s not, and Steve was fine with an environment that was overly aggressive, racist, ableist, and sexist, ‘cause Nazis.

The easiest way for HYDRA to infiltrate SHIELD is to start getting people into HR. Building a company culture is as easy as hiring people like you. You want a company that is granola, free thinking, and ambitious? Then that’s who you hire.

All HYDRA would need to do in the beginning is hire people like Jack Thompson (from Agent Carter) and then sound them out. How do they react to sexist jokes? racist jokes? being encouraged to treat the enemy less humanly? using less than ethical means to get information? And then they build on that environment by hiring people progressively closer to the HYDRA vision statement.

One of the things I think Whedon could have used better in AoU is the ending of CA:TWS. Why should people in Sokovia trust the Avengers when the internet shows their leader working for Nazis for 2 years, how can they know that he was oblivious? Anything Steve does to distance himself from SHIELD will look like he’s trying to distance himself from it.

At some point someone (Sam) needs to set Steve down and tell him “Now put yourself in someone else’s shoes: Documents leak that Captain America, the hero they’ve idolized since they were a tot, has been working for Nazis for the past two years. How well do you think they’re going to react to you Steve? This isn’t a judgement of you as a person, just something you need to take into account when dealing with press or government officials.”

The people Steve got through to in CA:TWS were people already deeply invested in SHIELD; we haven’t seen him interact with someone outside of that organization about how DC and HYDRA were handled.
cazarilsraven: (Default)
A misstep I see dragging Avengers: Age of Ultron down in terms of storytelling, characterization, and chances to build emotional rapport between the characters and the audience was how Wanda assaulted the Avengers’ minds.

First change: Have them all get hit at the same time. If it’s a trap for the Avengers, a chance to deploy HYDRA’s secret weapon, have Wanda incapacitate them all at once. According to the plot, Wanda is hugely powerful, she should have been able to hit more than one Avenger in that opening battle, but the audience never gets a clear demonstration.

Second change: Have everyone start off the same way: they’re in Wanda’s position, huddling with a young Pietro, waiting for the bomb to go off. Then it morphs into each teammate’s fear, playing on the same theme as her fears. Make it explicit that she is in their brain. Find the aspect of their fears that correlate to her fears.

Show her trying to only target Tony, but as she reacts to seeing her fear in his mind she starts to lose control and pulls more and more of the Avengers in until she accidentally grabs Pietro. Which has the bonus of giving him independent characterization. This section of film needs to build a dramatic crescendo, to start soft with Tony and end loud with Thor, to explain Thor running off to get more info about Vision.

Tony’s starts quite with the family meal, soft chater about their day, with a quiet throb in the background. Slowly the sound of engines becomes harder to ignore, until there’s the sudden crash of the shelling. Bomb hits, screen goes black, but we can still hear the building fall, the crunch of rubble. The lights come back up and we can see Pietro crying, but we can’t hear him, simulating disorientation. The camera shows slightly injured hands, raw knuckles, grab wounds/ splinters. Pan camera back to young Pietro soundlessly screaming. Then audio comes in as they get under the tub, crying and coughing (Referencing the visual/ audio makeup of Tony’s kidnapping in Iron Man). The throbbing is back. Pietro is obviously terrified, but trying to console the camera (Wanda) in their native language, no translation. Start blending the audio with Yinsen murmuring to himself as he works on Tony’s chest. The throbbing starts stuttering, the camera shows the Stark bomb from Afghanistan, and the audio turns into a heartbeat.

*Baboom Baboom* *Gasp* And he’s back in Afghanistan on the operating table. “You need to keep breathing Mr. Stark.” Because the one thing that ties all versions of Tony Stark together is their health, specifically that they can’t rely on their heart to keep beating. Suddenly it’s quiet and he’s alone in the cave, no kidnappers, no friend, no props, just him and the table. He’s running through the cave, lugging the car battery, finding his teammates dead one by one “No no no no, this isn’t right, it didn’t happen like this!” (oldie but goodie). Have Cap’s voice echoing “Take away the suit and what are you?” showing that Tony’s afraid this is the answer. Have the last one he finds be Rhodey, barely alive, “Watch out, there’s more of them,” referencing the infinity gems, a yellow glow is emanating from Rhodey’s chestplate, the Mind Gem trying to talk to Tony, but he’s too upset to hear. He exits the cave, stops dead and looks heartbroken, he says “Pepper?” We see an Extremis going critical flash. And then he’s back in the castle looking at the Stick of Doom.

More dreamscape changes... )


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