Movies

August 8, 2011

CAPTAIN AMERICA | MARVEL’S FIRST AVENGER

The recently released live action film Captain America: The First Avenger has struck a deep chord with fans of television/ movie adaptations of marvel comics storylines. .Anyone that grew up (or maybe didn’t completely grow up at all) reading Marvel Comics and claim to know their superheroes would definitely know the Captain America story well; of a gaunt youth going by the name of Steve Rogers, who was born during the great depression and lost his dad when he was a adolescent and his mother when he was in his late teens. Becoming appalled by newsreel footage of the Nazis in Europe, Rogers decided to try to join the Army. But, due to his frailty and bad health, he was turned down. A little later his earnest plea is heard by General Chester Phillips of the U.S. Army and young Steve Rogers is selected for a top secret US Government program called “operation rebirth” during WW-II, and is administered a Super-Soldier serum and is exposed to “vita-rays” to accelerate and alleviate the serum’s effect on his body. At the end of that experiment Captain America emerges the pinnacle of human physical perfection. He then goes on to spearhead the American onslaught against Nazi Germany.

Old school Marvel aficionados will care for the fact that “Captain America: The First Avenger” remains dedicated to the original comic book storyline; loyal almost to a fault. Everybody else will love this movie as well, particularly for the thoroughly honest way this movie has been made.

Actor Chris Evans, who plays the title character in Friday’s release of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” put on 15 lbs. of muscle to play the role.

Making the movie wasn’t as simple as one would think; the people involved with the making of the movie had to figure out how the six-foot something Evans, who they’d managed to turn into a remarkably muscled specimen, was going to fit into the role of a frail young Steve Rodgers before the experiment. It may seem that shooting the part of ‘Skinny Steve’ before Evans gained all that muscle would have been the sensible thing to do. But wait a minute; take some time out here to picture Evans prior to bulking up, think back the Fantastic Four movies where Chris Evans played The Human Torch. So now you know that even at that point, passing Evans off as a wan skinny Steve Rogers would have been a stretch and would have involved altering the storyline to make it so that Steve used to be a normal human male. We already know, from the surprising loyalty to the comic that the makers have shown for the comic book, that even mulling over that adjustment would have been sacrilege.

Initially, director Joe Johnston used the ‘body-double and head-replacement’, but that did not pan out too well as the body double could not replicate the original actor’s movement well.

The filmmakers now decided to use a technology called “shrinking”: essentially erasing portions of Chris Evan’s muscular body on screen. The filmmakers used a “shrinking” technique and computers to basically erase portions of Evans’ strong physique on screen. It involved reshaping the jaw line, shrinking the skeleton, particularly the shoulders to make them look slimmer.

The makers of the movie admit that this part was more harrowing than any of the more impressive special effects that were put in and the movie has not disappointed.

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