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22 July 2011 @ 04:05 pm
Movie: Captain America (2011)  
Captain America: The First Avenger

After being deemed unfit for military service during World War II, Steve Rogers volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending USA ideals.

Wow, so this movie was pretty freakin' awesome!!!

I've never cared about Captain America very much. The comic book version of the hero looks silly, and he's always felt extremely dated since his story is so integrated with World War II.  When he got killed off a few years ago, my gut reaction was, "Wait, he's still around?"  Something about the ol' Cap just smacks of silly propaganda to me. 

But story-wise, this movie manages to make Captain America into someone noble, someone that I want to cheer for.  He's something beyond the cheesy guy in red, white and blue.  I guess this is the first movie that made me care about Steve Rogers, and that's why it works so well.

The skinny, undersized version of Chris Evans that passed for Steve Rogers was really strange-looking.  I mean, his head was freakin' huge!  I assume there are computer shenanigans involved, but I'm not exactly sure how they altered him.  Did they digitally shrink the body?  Is his head being cut-and-pasted on top of someone else?  (That seems like a lot of work.) 

So I skimmed the trivia for this movie on imdb.com, and this is how it described the process:
Most of the shots were done by an L.A. company called LOLA that specializes in digital "plastic surgery." The technique involved shrinking Chris Evans in all dimensions. They shot each skinny Steve scene at least four times; once like a normal scene with Evans and his fellow actors in the scene, once with Evans alone in front of a green screen so his element could be reduced digitally, again with everyone in the scene but with Evans absent so that the shrunken Steve could be re-inserted into the scene, and finally with a body double mimicking Evans's actions in case the second technique were required. When Evans had to interact with other characters in the scene, they had to either lower him or raise the other actors on apple boxes or elevated walkways to make skinny Steve shorter in comparison. For close-ups, Evans's fellow actors had to look at marks on his chin that represented where his eyes would be after the shrinking process, and Evans had to look at marks on the tops of the actor's head to represent their eyes. The second technique involved grafting Evans's head onto the body double. This technique was used mostly when Evans was sitting or lying down, or when a minimum of physical acting was required.

Seems like a lot of work for creating a bobblehead.

But it's a fun movie.  Funny.  Much, much funnier than I expected, actually.  I don't know why, but I'm always surprised when a superhero movie is funny in a genuinely humorous way, rather than ha-ha cheesy or ha-ha stupid.