Tag Archives: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier Obsession

For a while I’ve been thinking that I want to write something different, something that isn’t connected to Jogi, Hansi or Manuel. I’ve had a few ideas but none that have stuck and the two I had last week are too depressing. They are good ideas and I think I might use them in the future, they just don’t feel right for now. I don’t need anything to encourage such feelings. I was starting to think I’d never get a non-obsession related idea. I was partly correct. Because I do have a new idea but it’s an obsession related one. Though as the title suggests, it’s most definitely not a Jogi or Hansi idea. For the first time in a long while I have an obsession which is unrelated to football. It’s ironic because my previous film related obsession was connected to CA:TWS too, my last film related obsession being Thomas Kretschmann who played Baron von Strucker.

The past week I’ve been reading Bucky fan-fiction. I read it on someone else’s recommendation and I have to admit I wasn’t keen at first. In the end I couldn’t resist, especially seeing as how CA:TWS is my favourite Marvel film. As it turns out combine the winter soldier and autism and you have my complete attention. So much so that I’m very disappointed it’s just fan-fiction, I can easily picture it as I’m reading it and I’m disappointed that I’ll never get to actually see Bucky in those scenarios.

Whilst I’m enjoying it I’m not entirely happy with it and thinking over some of the things which bothered me I started to wonder how I thought the story should be and how Bucky should be. For one thing I don’t like the idea Bucky is so quickly back to normal in some ways. I started thinking about how much more drawn out I’d like the process of his recovery to be. I made a note of an idea last weekend, it was intriguing but not quite right. The basic idea was there but the pieces didn’t fit. Now it fits, now I have my complete idea. Not only that but I have a few pages of notes and a working title, all I have to do is get started.

It’s good timing because my transitions story has hit a wall, I’ve got the next few chapters outlined but I’m having trouble getting back into it. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, I’m up to 81 completed pages. I think I may have been spending a little too much time with Matze lately, taking a break wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world. The last chapter I just finished was more than a little intense. As it turns out writing about meltdowns can be almost as intense and exhausting as experiencing them in real life. Though it was worth it to write it and a most fascinating experience, to see the situation from someone else’s point of view. To see how scary it can be when you have to protect someone from themselves.

I just watched CA:TWS last weekend but I had to see it again so earlier this morning I watched both it and the first Captain America film in one sitting. I wanted to test a theory, to see if I like Bucky as much as I do the winter soldier. Or as my Marvel obsessed friend likes to say, to see if I like 40s Bucky yet. I also wanted to see if my view of the film had changed because the first few times I saw it I didn’t enjoy it that much. I’m not that much of a fan of Captain America and I found the film rather unsubtle and lacking the humor of the others which is what I enjoyed the most. But Bucky changes everything and I now like the film a little more, meaning it gets bumped up a few places on my list of Marvel films. CA:TWS is still my undisputed favourite. But the list goes like this now: CA:TWS, Captain America: The First Avenger, Thor, Thor 2, Avengers: AoU, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Iron Mans films in no particular order. Ant-Man is missing from the list because I haven’t seen it. I’m predicting Captain America: Civil War will be my no.1 favourite come April, it will be providing nothing happens to Bucky anyway.

Another thing about Captain America I wanted to see was the scene where Captain America rescues the 107th and getting back Bucky leads the cheers for him. Reading discussions online and listening to rather endless theories from my Marvel friend I learnt that some people think Bucky looks jealous of Steve in that scene. Now I know I’m not always the best at reading facial expressions but he didn’t look jealous to me. I thought he was proud of Steve but also a little angry maybe, not at Steve but at the others. Because it took for Steve becoming Captain America for them to see what Bucky could see all along. It’s like people don’t truly appreciate Steve for who he is. It’s wrong but people take him more seriously as Captain America. Simply doing the right thing or having morals isn’t enough, they shouldn’t but people judge on looks. Character is what should count but the world just doesn’t work that way.

I thought the scene a short while later in the pub makes it quite clear that Bucky’s not at all jealous of Steve and he doesn’t harbour any feelings of resentment. When Steve asks if he’ll join him Bucky says he won’t follow Captain America, but he will follow that “dumb little guy from Brooklyn who wouldn’t run away from a fight.”

Unlike everyone else he remembers the guy behind the shield because he knew him before, he knew that he always had it in him to be the man he is now. Which is kind of fitting because it seems that after the events of CA:TWS Steve will have to do just that for Bucky. He’s going to have to help him remember the man he was, that Bucky is still in there.

I love that scene in CA:TWS during the final battle when Steve is trying to get Bucky to admit he knows him. He tells him exactly what Bucky said to him after his mother’s funeral, “because I’m with you to the end of the line pal.”

In my previous post about revisiting the Marvel universe was well as trying to work out what my favourite film is I also tried to figure out who my favourite character is. Back then I decided Dr. Erik Selvig is my favourite character and that if I absolutely had to pick a favourite Avenger it would be Thor. Both those facts are still true, I still adore Erik. But he has to take second place because Bucky now tops the list for me. Meaning my list of favourite Marvel characters goes like this: Bucky, Erik, Thor, Nick Fury and Baron Zemo.

Hulk gets struck from my list because I don’t like his newfound friendship with Tony in AoU. Hawkeye I also like but that’s based more on fan-fiction than the films so I don’t think he should be on the list. As for Baron Zemo you might ask how he can be on the list seeing as how the film isn’t even out yet. Simple answer is I love Daniel Brühl and he’s not disappointed me yet so I’m counting on him being awesome.

As for why Bucky is my favourite all of a sudden the logic is similar to my liking of Hulk. I felt a kinship with Hulk in regards to controlling his anger. With Bucky I can’t identify with him at all before what happened to him. It’s after he becomes the winter soldier that I can identify with him a little. Not so much the film version of Bucky because obviously no-one knows what he’s like yet. It’s the fan-fiction and because it’s so good to me that’s Bucky, whatever happens in the films. It has it’s flaws and I don’t agree entirely with certain aspects of it but they’ve done well in creating a well rounded version of Bucky from the fragments of what is known about him. He’s unsure about who he is, has nightmares, can’t escape from his memories of the past, is worried about hurting people and controlling himself and he can’t sleep. Whilst my nightmares and the memories which haunt me are nowhere near as bad as Bucky’s I understand a little what it’s like to have your mind dominated by memories of things you’d rather forget. As for the having trouble sleeping, I certainly know what that feels like.

When you start to write a story you’re committing not just to the story but to spending time with the characters in question. I have no idea how it works for other people but for myself when I get attached to a character they become a part of my inner universe. They become a part of my thought processes as a whole whilst I’m working on the story. There is much simpler way of putting this and it’s something I’d never say in real life because people can and do misinterpret it but I guess I don’t have to worry about that here. What I’m getting at is they take up residence in my mind, I hear them as easily as I do my own thoughts. I spend time with them, talking to them and testing out scenarios to see if they work before committing them to paper. If something doesn’t flow in my mind then I don’t even bother writing it down.

I feel like I can spend some time with Bucky right now, I don’t see why not given I’ve spent the past few days dreaming about him. It sure feels strange to be dreaming about someone who isn’t Jogi, Hansi or Manuel. But then that’s a sign in itself, if I’m daydreaming about him then I like him enough to write a story centered around him.

Quirk of Habit

Quirk of Habit

Which quirky habit annoys you the most, and what quirky habit do you love — in yourself, or others.

Reading this prompt I mistakenly thought it would be easy, after all there’s lot of things about other people that annoy me. But when I got to thinking about it I realised a lot of those things aren’t really quirky habits, just normal human behaviour. It’s me who finds them strange, like people who insist that I can’t possibly be listening to them because I haven’t once looked at them or aren’t facing them. What they fail to understand it’s precisely because I’m not looking at them that I can listen to them at all.

I had to think hard about the people I spend the most time with to come up with something that annoys me. I know there’s a few things about certain people that would annoy others but they don’t annoy me because I’m used to it. Nor do I really consider them quirky habits. For example my brother used to make animal noises which understandably a lot of people find bothersome but to me it was just normal.

I did however come up with something, people who pick at things. People who always have to play with something. I’m thinking of one person in particular who keeps playing with the corner on the case of their iPad. The noise drives me crazy and every-time they do it I think of the scene from Plastic in which Thomas Kretschmann’s character smashes a tablet over someone’s head. That’s how much it bugs me. But I would never do that, I’d never smash up a tablet. Not least one that contains pictures of Bucky.

There are other things which annoy me which I suppose could be considered quirky habits. But they aren’t other people’s, they’re mine. Like my almost compulsive collecting for example, the difficulty I have in throwing stuff away and the way I talk over people. I know I shouldn’t do it, I’ve been reminded a million times and yet when I get carried away talking about a special interest I still do it. Randomness is another thing I can find annoying. I love it as much as I hate it. It leads to some interesting conversations but sometimes I don’t just confuse other people but myself.

Obsessiveness is something else I have mixed feelings about. I used to like it, the way I devote myself to one thing to the exclusion of everything else. Now I’m not so sure. Someone once told me they admired and liked my obsessive focus, even if they often found my subject choice quite baffling. I’m wondering if they feel differently about it now. If it at first it seems like a cute and quirky little habit but once you’ve had to deal with it for several years it maybe starts to get a little wearing.

Right now there’s room for only a few things in my mind. First is of course Jogi and Hansi, then Freiburg, Manuel Neuer and the new addition is the winter soldier. He’s my first non-football obsession in quite a while. It’s certainly been a long time since I liked someone enough to go out and buy up as many of their films as I can get. At first it was just Bucky I liked but now I’m starting to appreciate Sebastian Stan too. Though for me I’ll always like him the best in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s his wonderfully long hair that seals the deal and that intense look in his eyes.

Winter SoldierAs for what quirky habits I like unreservedly, Manuel Neuer has to get a mention here. I love the way he often finds someone to celebrate with when a goal is scored. No matter where he is he’s determined not to be left out of things, he wants a hug too and not even having to run half the length of the pitch will stop him:

Manuel_Neuer_celebrates_Wolfsburg_v_Bayern_DFB_PokalManuel_Neuer_celebrates_Bayern_v_DortmundManuel_Neuer_celebrates_Bochum_v_BayernThere’s another special moment of Neuer’s I love too, this one here:

Neuer_magic_fingers

Revisiting the Marvel Universe

In anticipation of the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron I’ve been rewatching the films in the Marvel Universe. Technically I should rewatch season 1 of Agents of SHIELD and start to watch Agent Carter too but I barely got through AoS the first time round and I’m finding the second series equally as troublesome so I’m skipping that. So far I’ve seen Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and Avengers.

Next up is Iron Man 3 and now I’ve got to that I regret my decision to do this. I’ve seen Iron Man 3 three times, twice at the cinema and my opinion wasn’t altered by the subsequent viewings. I disliked it as much as Iron Man 2 and now Iron Man is officially my least favourite Avenger. What I disliked most about Iron Man 3 was the reason given for the vice president’s betrayal of his country, but not just that, it was the way it was revealed. A shot of his daughter in a wheelchair was considered enough to show to the audience why a man would betray his country. I didn’t like that at all, like that’s all “normal” people need to see and they will automatically understand. Disability is viewed as a enemy in a way, seeing as how it’s the center of not only the vice president’s betrayal but also of the Extremis program as well.

I have to say I did like the Mandarin though and the reveal that he was in fact an actor hired to play the part of a terrorist. Apart from that I found it as tedious as I found Iron Man 2, I no longer find Tony Stark an interesting character (at least not in his own films) and the second and third film lack the wit and intelligence of the first one.

I did like him in Avengers, in particular his interactions with Bruce Banner. That for me is the stand out feature of the Avengers film, the humor that is to be found in the interactions of the Avengers. My favourite moment of the entire film is when Hulk smashes Loki into the ground saying “puny God.” I think Mark Ruffalo is perfect as Bruce Banner, I much prefer him to Edward Norton in the role. I liked his line when Cap tells him to get angry: “that’s my secret Captain, I’m always angry.”

I’ve realised that the humor is my favourite thing about the films, the action stuff is of little interest to me so I’m not going to complain about which villains I do or don’t like or any of that.

Another reason for watching them all again was to figure out who my favourite Avenger is and which of the films I like the best. I’m not done watching the films but I already know the answer to the second question at least. My answer is unchanged, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my undisputed favourite. If not only because in this one, I actually enjoyed the action scenes as well as the rest of the film. Also because I think it’s better written than the others, the one liners and the overall dialogue are far better than the others. I saw it at the cinema at least five times and I couldn’t imagine sitting through any of the others films that many times in the space of six weeks.

I had a hunch TWS would be a favourite of mine before I even saw a single second of it, the reason being that it was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo who worked on Community. Joe Russo in fact directed what are not only my most favourite episodes of Community but what I also consider to be some of the best TV ever. The paintball episodes, the Dungeons and Dragons episodes and the missing pen episode.

The Russo brothers are directing the next Captain America film and Avengers Infinity War Part 1 and 2. All of them will also be written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, news which makes me happy indeed, though not even that can make up for the fact that Tony Stark is in the Captain America film. Given that Daniel Brühl is in it, I will most likely want to see it quite a few times, which means having to tolerate the presence of RDJ a lot. As it turns out Daniel is playing Baron Zemo, I can’t wait to see what his costume will look like and to find out where he fits into the story in regards to Von Strucker, if he’s in this film that is. From what I’ve read and been told by someone who is far more knowledgeable about these things than myself that would seem to the case. I’m not into comic books, my sole comic book experience consists of reading the first Nick Fury comic where he duels with Von Strucker. I have nothing against comics, or graphic novels as they are sometimes referred to these days, I just can’t get into them.

This is what Baron Zemo looks like:

https://i2.wp.com/comicattack.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/373465-19408-baron-helmut-zemo_super.jpg

As for my favourite character, that is actually none of the Avengers. My favourite character is Dr. Eric Selvig, partly because I like Stellan Skarsgård and partly because of how great he is in Thor: Dark World, he is easily the best thing about that film. My favourite Avenger would be either Hulk or Thor. Hulk because I can identify with being angry all the time, with that risk of turning into a monster at the drop of a hat, though obviously I don’t turn into a green hulking giant. It’s not quite so clear to me why I like Thor so much all of a sudden, at least not until someone asked me this the other day, “is the reason you like Thor so much because he’s from another planet?”

That may very well be the reason, the fact that he doesn’t get any of their references and is usually a step behind in the conversations. Then of course is so is Steve but it’s different with him. he’s from another time not another planet.