It's not often I'm pleasantly surprised by a film but it happened twice this weekend.
If you read this blog (or know me) you know I'm a comic book geek. You also know I love The Avengers. Love it. Love it. Love it. Could go on about it all day. And I have so I'll force myself to stop now.
Marvel gave almost everyone a movie prequel for Avengers so that we didn't have to waste time with origin stories. I watched all of them, except Captain America. Iron Man and Iron Man 2, enjoyed very much. The Incredible Hulk, absolutely adored. Thor, shook my head and asked myself how JMS could be involved in this drek ... at least Chris Hemsworth is worth looking at. But I'd been warned that Captain America was worse than Thor and thus avoided it.
But I was told on Friday that I should give it an honest chance. I was bored ... so I did. And I really enjoyed it. Chris Evans does a good job as both pre-transformation and post-transformation Rogers. And if someone had told me that I would get to see Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones and Stanley Tucci, I would have been in theatres.
It was a good story. A little overly syrupy and patriotic at times but understandably so. And the ending wasn't a surprise since I'd seen the flashback clips in Avengers. So the ratings stand with The Incredible Hulk still on top and Thor still bringing up the rear.
My next surprise was one I taped off TV with an eye to killing a couple of hours with the kids over the weekend. (I can only take so much Treehouse and then my synapses start to collapse.) I hadn't seen Monsters vs. Aliens and thought to myself: how bad could it be?
The shaky animation was nearly enough to kill it before it started but cheap gags (and lack of alternatives) kept me going. And I ended up having a good laugh. Nathan sat with me and watched the whole thing. I shamelessly used it as a parenting opportunity to point out that there are good monsters and thus he doesn't need to be afraid of things which look different. And told him Mommy and Daddy weren't crazy for having to pause the TV because we were laughing like crazy people at the President mis-playing the five tone sequence from Close Encounters. I explained to him that it was funny because it was from a famous movie and then laughed even harder when the guy started playing Axel-F.
Nathan is still unconvinced on the his-parents-aren't-crazy thing and honestly, I can't blame him.
The final verdicts: Captain America, worth making the effort to see. Monsters vs. Aliens, if it's on TV anyway, give it a try.