Defending Captain America: Civil War

The way I see it, CA: Civil War (a movie I thoroughly enjoyed both times I saw it at the theater) is that it is a movie that by its very nature is damned if it does, damned if it doesn’t. The reason I say that is for starters look at its length. Its scope. Its large cast. Many would say it’s too much, mainly because they allow themselves to be overwhelmed by one of the aspects, either separately or collectively. Let’s look at the length. A movie of this scope with this many moving parts would be maligned for being too [insert complaint] if it were 20 minutes shorter. Let’s look at the cast. A movie with war in the title and an internal war at its core is going to need two large factions of folks going at it. That leaves the scope and scale of a movie of this kind. Well, of course a movie smack in the middle of a shared universe narrative is going to require large set pieces and a HUGE (and I mean YUGE!) epic battle between the warring factions. Yet, because of that large scale battle, some were left with the impression that “there’s very little story” or not enough quiet, character moments, which I contend are simply false.

Let’s look at the story itself. Due to previous events that were arguably irresponsible and shortsighted, there’s some backlash, individually and collectively. Steve’s got his issues. Tony’s got his. Bucky’s are obvious. Wanda and Natasha too. Enter T’Challa and there’s a mini-story there with all its ramifications. Same with Peter. Now, let’s introduce some way-back past events that impact Steve, Tony and Bucky dealing with the murder of Tony’s parents at Bucky’s hands – due to sleeper-agent indoctrination. That’s no big deal though. It’s not a big moment for the characters, it doesn’t touch or elevate the emotional core of this conflict and this deepening rift between 2 major players, 2 friends. Surely it doesn’t inspire an emotional climax in said story. [sarcasm]

For some reason, amid all the action and fighting – cuz, y’know, it’s in the action-adventure genre – these deeper moments got missed or overlooked by the movie’s harshest critics.

Had the makers of the movie come lightly on any of those aspects, what would we be saying? We’d be a bit underwhelmed, amirite? I think I’d probably rather be overwhelmed by a movie than underwhelmed. At some point I can come to embrace whatever there’s too much of, but on the flip of that, I can’t compensate for what’s missing.

Ya dig?


Daybook 4 | Weekend of May 6-8, 2016


Saturday – FCBD & Mother’s Day Eve

  • Free Comic Book Day 2016 at my local comic shop. For myself I grabbed FCBD editions of LOVE AND ROCKETS (Fantagraphics), CIVIL WAR II #0 (Marvel) and Valiant’s 2016 edition.
  • Saw Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR alone early enough that the theater was only 6% full when I bought my ticket and it hardly increased beyond that by my estimation. Maybe 20 people, tops. At any rate, it is the best damn superhero movie yet. Even though it’s a solo character’s movie, it’s essentially a team movie given all the characters included and teaming up, and since I always preferred team book in my superhero comics, I immensely enjoy team movies like this one. It delivers on so many levels. The Russo brothers really know how to craft these movies into great cinema. Bravo!
  • Lunch at Culver’s. I’ve done a shit job at eating healthy this past week. But I’ve certainly earned a passing grade for the past 6 weeks I’ve been at this better eating/better me initiative.
  • Mother’s Day eve dinner with Mom. Kept it simple at Texas Roadhouse with steaks, baked potatoes and salads.

Sunday – Mother’s Day

  • Breakfast, er, brunch at Bob Evans with the wife and two of the kids. I had the Brioche French Toast, a decision influenced by my youngest child’s choice. I might be biased, but I prefer my own unique style of French Toast, which in my mind is World Famous..
  • Later, family dinner at Aurelio’s that just recently opened up down the street a few blocks. Had an Italian sandwich that was rather underwhelming. I swear Penn Station has THE established standard for a proper grinder (namely the Dagwood). Most every other sub I have that isn’t made by Penn Station usually pales in comparison.
  • Watched a backlogged episode of this season’s AGENTS OF SHIELD before nodding off for a brief nap. Later, watched FEAR THE WALKING DEAD. That show seems to’ve found its stride in its sophomore season, I’m happy to say. After watching TALKING DEAD afterward I decided I’d better save GAME OF THRONES for Monday night.
  • Prior to bed I came up with a new name to brand this blog – something that played off my name just like Ruckerpedia did (which was the former name before I decided to affix it more appropriately to a different website that will launch soon). Brandon Rucker Dot Com as a “brand” just wasn’t doing it for me. So, yeah, another made-up word is in order.
  • RUCKOGNITION. Ruck, a short nickname some folks have called me, and the word cognition. Immediately I knew I was on to something. And I have Warren Ellis to thank for it as I was reading his latest newsletter late Sunday night into the AM hours where I saw he mentioned reading a novel by Steve Shaviro called DISCOGNITION. The timing of this could not be more perfect, because I was brainstorming a new name just prior to opening up that email. It also kind of plays on the word recognition too. A double win, I suppose.
  • Of course with a new name branding for the site comes a new layout/template/theme.