Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Thoughts On Chris Evans As Captain America

Let’s get one thing straight:

I like Captain America.

I like his “patriotic weakling to walking symbol of hope and freedom” origin story.

I like his old timey way, and how it juxtaposes so well with the often times annoying immature antics of today’s comic superheroes.

I like his powers and abilities, as the range of his physical capabilities allows him to be “super,” while at the same time quite vulnerable.

Hell, as goofy as it can look at times, I even like his costume design.

Well, except for this, the "flag conspicuously pointing at crotch" variant.

When I first heard that Chris Evans was going to be playing Cap in Captain America: The First Avenger movie, my initial reaction was to say:

“Really?  Chris Evans is in another comic book movie?”

Off the top of my head, Chris Evans has been in 4 comic book movies, playing 3 different characters, with no less than 2 more roles down the road if you count the Captain America film in question, and his appearance in the upcoming Avengers film.

Chris Evans has an acting portfolio. At least I think so anyway.

Make no mistake, comic book movies as still very much “in” at the moment, and if anyone is making bank off of the trend, my guess is it would be Mr. Evans.

Now, while that may have been my initial reaction to the Captain America casting news; my honest to God feelings on the matter were lodged somewhere in the valley between confusion and disbelief.

To date, I still can’t understand why he was chosen for the Captain America role.

With the exception of Street Kings, wherein he played a very vanilla and by the book cop; every role I’ve seen Evans in has had him cast as the “funny guy” or failing that, the “funny guy that can set himself on fire.”

Although he was without a doubt the best part of the Fantastic 4 movies, that doesn't mean they weren't pure ass.

Truth be told, I’ve never been disappointed by any of his performances, not that that’s saying much; but the point is:

Unless he’s hiding some well-concealed stoicism or acting range beneath his “funny guy” exterior, he just doesn’t seem like Cap to me.

Captain America is one of those characters that, to me; is more easily represented as a somewhat older man.

While the First Avenger is most likely going to take place exclusively in the WWII era, when Steve Rogers was cutting his teeth on Nazis, for some reason I’ve always pictured Captain America as being one of those guys that’s been a manly man since the cradle.

Kind of like Charles Bronson, James Coburn, or Anthony Hopkins.

Pictured: Charles Bronson at 9 months.

I know It’s unfair of me to judge an actor, or a film for that matter; before it’s even had a trailer, but in my mind the actors that would have best played Captain America have already aged themselves out of the running.

Despite a distinct lack of physicality, I always felt that Robert Redford could’ve made for a very effective Captain America.

His voice, face, hair color, acting ability and God given aura of gravitas would’ve gone a long way towards legitimizing the character and the film.

Not only that, with movies like A River Runs Through It, and The Natural under his belt, he always had that all-American feel to him.

Some people said the same of Kevin Costner.

Said people are of course, utterly retarded and full of shit, as Costner’s just about the most boring and vanilla pile of feces to ever walk the face of the Earth.

Pictured: Feces with a soul patch.

Sadly, “boring as shit” seems to describe far too many young actors these days.

Maybe it’s just because they’re young, and seem to be cast more for their looks than their acting ability, but to me it seems like most of the big-budget blockbuster movie actors these days just seem to lack “character,” at least in a physical sense.

When you look at the actors from back in the day, they had a look to them that lent a lot to their performances.

Not only that, in the post-studio picture era, subtlety was an acting trait that was considered praise worthy among performers, a fact that has not changed since; but seemingly has eluded many of the young actors of today.

..... Y'know, I'm not even gonna' say anything.

 

I’m rambling.

Anyway, at this point in time, The First Avenger seems like a pretty decent movie on paper.

It has a pretty strong cast, with Hugo Weaving sure to steal the show as The Red Skull, and a competent, if somewhat bipolar director at the helm in the form of Joe Johnston.

If Johnston gives us another Rocketeer or Jumanji, then Captain America’s gonna’ kick some serious ass.

If he gives us another Jurassic Park III though, then I just might have to sit this one out.

In either case, the man has shown considerable zeal for crafting old timey period films, not to mention he has a tremendous visual effects background, so if nothing else; the film will be pretty to look at…

That being said, on a final note, I’d just like to say that I sincerely disapprove of Marvel’s decision to rely on the Ultimate Universe for some of the visual stylings and character interpretations for their current and future films.

I understand that the Ultimate Universe has not been confirmed to be used as direct source material for said films, but from what I’ve seen, that seems to the case.

Maybe it’s because the Ultimate Universe was never targeted at my age group, as it’s intended audience is that of younger, less seasoned comic fans, but honestly I’ve never seen the appeal of it.

I can understand Marvel’s desire to use the black Nick Fury, as Samuel L. Jackson is the bees knees in the eyes of dorky haole kids, but to be perfectly honest; it makes me sad that both the Captain America and Thor movie’s character designs have drawn influence from the Ultimate Universe.

Long story short, Ultimate Thor is okay, but Ultimate Captain America is absolutely hideous in my eyes.

Concept art from the movie. Where's the fuckin' wings!!!??

 

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Best Boss Music #9: God Hand

*ATTENTION, THIS POST IS BROKEN-AS-FUCK ON ACCOUNT OF YOUTUBE SUCKING BALLS.  IT WILL BE FIXED ASAP.*

I treasure every moment I was able to spend with God Hand.

Even though the game was control-smashingly difficult, and cursed with a poor camera system and even worse controls; God Hand served as a magnificent throwback to the beat ’em ups of yore.

Blue jeans and thunderbolt wrestling tights: Standard garb in the early 90's.

In fact, it’s one of those games that I honestly would love to see a sequel to, however; due to the dissolution of Clover Studio shortly after it’s release, as well as it’s sub-par review scores, I doubt that will ever happen.

Oh well, one can only hope that Capcom will resurrect it someday…

BRING THEM BACK YOU MONEY GRUBBING GRABOID-FUCKERS!

Anyway, God Hand is, as I mentioned previously; a non-traditional beat ’em up for the PS2.

I say “non-traditional” because the game made use of an over-the-shoulder camera system akin to Capcom’s own Resident Evil 4 from a year or 2 before, a feature that is scarcely seen in traditional beat ’em ups.

While most attempts at 3D, polygonal beat ’em ups turned out to be utter failures, (Gekido and Dynamite Cop some of the few exceptions) God Hand manages to succeed for the most part.

Fighting Force on the other hand, was not so lucky...

The main appeal of the game lay in it’s clever use of context sensitive button functions and utterly ridiculous (and unapologetically Japanese) dialogue and character designs.

Seriously, this game is balls out INSANE from end to end, but in the best possible way.

Can you think of any other games that feature giant Mexicans named Elvis, gorillas in Lucha Libre garb, and a fighting force of formidable midget Power Rangers?

Hah, thought I was kiddin' yah', didn'cha'?

Oh yeah, and don’t forget the spanking.

Yeah, I can’t think of any other games like that either.

While I won’t attempt to explain the details of the storyline of God Hand, I will offer you this simple summary:

The player character, Gene; loses an arm to some demons one day, only to wake up in a hotel room with a hottie named Olivia, and his arm restored in the form of the legendary, and outrageously powerful God Hand.

Yeah, this isn't a product of Japan. Not at all...

From that point on, the pair set out into the world to battle the demons and their generals, the 4 Devas; in an attempt to prevent the resurrection of the demon lord, Angra.

Angra, in the flesh.

Much Japanese kitsch and comic violence ensues, and eventually the whole thing comes to a head as the hero is forced to battle Angra while making use of both of the God Hands.

My God! He's gone Super Saiyan 2!

All that nonsense aside, a major part of God Hand that really made it fun for me, was of course it’s battle system.

The game made use of all 4 of the PS2’s face buttons for various attacks, however every single button could have it’s functioned assigned by the player to their liking.

Throughout the game, the player could acquire various fighting moves, with variable damage and speed statistics, eventually resulting in the player gaining a vast arsenal of unique and drastically different maneuvers they could implement depending on the situation.

Best of all, like most beat ’em ups, mashing the square button 5 times would result in an “auto combo,” however; thanks to the games’ robust customization system, each individual strike in this combo could be arranged to the players preference.

In addition to this, the game also featured a robust dodging system using the right analog stick, which allowed the player to juke, duck and sway to avoid attacks, as well as do evasive handsprings.

I know it's dumb, but this pic from the Dustin Hoffman/Robert Redford movie All The President's Men, just happened to be the first image I got when Googling "evasive handspring."

Aside from the basic attacks, the player was also afforded the powers of the God Hand of the game’s title.

Basically, the God Hand is, quite literally, one of the hands of God, of which there are 2, the other of which is of course possessed by a boss you end up fighting later in the game.

The God Hand had 2 functions in the game:

To provide the player limited bursts of super-powered invincibility, and to activate the games’ roulette wheel mechanic.

While the invincibility is self-explanatory, the roulette wheel was a interesting, if somewhat awkward element that succeeded in the keeping the player on their toes, even while executing some of the games’ most powerful attacks.

Basically, the roulette wheel was a customized set of a handful of super attacks and mauveurs that the player would have to quickly sort through during a brief period of slow motion.

Pictured: The Roulette Wheel.

Upon making their selection, the player character, Gene; would carry out the selected maneuver, usually resulting in mass pwnage.

It’s interesting to note that 2 selections on the roulette wheel were a constant:

One that would cause Gene to kowtow before his opponent in shame, and one that would cause a pan to fall from the sky and onto his head.

The first of these would cause the player’s style meter to lower, (a feature that served to increase the player’s after level ranking, as well as adjust the game’s difficulty level in-game) while the second served as a minor health penalty, as well as a exploitable glitch that allowed the player to avoid enemy attacks for a moment.

Yeah, I played God Hand A LOT.

Anyway, enough bullshitting, let’s get down to the Best Boss music selection from God Hand:



The title of this is track is, of course; a clever play on the title of Capcom’s own Devil May Cry.

Devil May Sly plays during the player’s first battle with the owner of the other God Hand, a man named Azel.

While the energy level of the music may seem a little excessive to some, I assure you, the battle that it accompanies is most certainly worthy of such energy.

While this is a poor example of the gameplay, as the player is far too good to make the game seem fun, take a look at this clip:


The fun part of the battle with Azel, is that the programmers were able to effectively endow him with the same abilities and attacks of the player, while making the battle play out very smoothly.

Essentially, what I mean to say is that, while there are of course Resident Evil 4-like context sensitive button mashing sessions during the fight, one still feels like they are indeed playing the game as opposed to an interactive cutscene or minigame.

The first time I beat Azel (I did in fact lose once or twice) was a helluva’ a good time.

I feel it’s also worth mentioning that Azel’s second appearance in the game, also deserves some kudos.

This battle happened to be a little more frustrating, and less rewarding than the first, but I really liked the music so I figured I’d throw it up here for yah’.

In keeping with the more serious tone of the battle, the music is appropriately darker and heavier.

While I really like Duel Storm, I feel that Devil May Sly is, musically; just a little bit more enjoyable.

With that, I leave you with this delightful, and not at all strange TV spot for God Hand:

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