So this is basically a copy/paste from tumblr, where I have talked in the tags of various posts about things, so this isn't a complete picture of my thought. It's very close though, but it is stream of thought, and so terribly late. It's also 3.5k long.
I love the fact that in the first five minutes, they made us love Sam. I was expecting that scene to come after the ship scene, but no, it was first. (A lot of the war-related trauma and RSA (or whatever the American version is called) went over my head, except for the fact that war is a terrible thing and they both experienced it.) And they just lead in with how Sam has a sense of humour and is understanding and valiant and compassionate.
He's a pretty good 'foil' for Steve too, because his quest for righteousness in the world, while on a smaller level, starts with the personal rather than the national/global. I really want to see what he thinks about Steve's quest to find (and rehabilitate) Bucky, because while that is a personal scale motive, Sam isn't going to be concentrating on Bucky, he's going to be focused on Steve and how it's affecting him.
And a note about this being set in DC: I watch Bones, it's set in DC, there's lots of semi-romantic stuff with the cenotaph/memorial in the distance and the reflecting pool and the Lincoln thing. Plus I watched X-men: First Class and the very subtext laden chess game on those steps RIGHT WHERE THE CAMERA WAS FOR STEVE AND SAM RUNNING.
Basically a ton of stuff I've watched associates that shot of staring down the pool at the memorial with establishing relationships and reaffirming them. Maybe it's the only place film crew are allowed to shoot from, but that shot definitely went a long way to establishing Sam/Steve as a valid ship for me.
Natasha sharing most of the funny lines with Sam was also very lovely. I'm going to assume Scarlett Johansson is like every other actor and likes to do a variety of roles, and the roles most actors want after a career like hers where most people know her serious stuff, is either villains where they get to ham it up or ones where they get to crack jokes. So that's a really nice thing, and I hope she got to suggest some of those lines herself.
It's also a very nice reminder that hey, Natasha Romanoff has a sense of humour. She isn't just there to kick ass and look pretty, she's got a personality that's sarcastic, intelligent, deeply philosophical and a little melancholy at times. Like you can see where she thinks she's being a crack up and it's kind of a glorious bit of characterisation.
And oh gods, the conversations where she reveals a little bit of herself, like in IM2 with the watches and here in the car about kissing, kill me and it would hurt less because they reveal her tender underside. She's like a papier mache piggy bank built around a pottery one: there's a sturdy façade that's prettily painted that surrounds broken shards of who she once was, that contained and is now surrounded by little bits of optimism and romanticism. Of course, that shell is only paper, and dumping SHIELD in hot water has done nothing for its integrity. So now she has to piece herself back together and seriously, I wish Avengers 2 wasn't slated for next year, as I want that journey of self-discovery and backstory to be explored in a Black Widow movie. (Or at least that Black Widow and Cap feature very little in A2, and they're off doing what they want to do and not interacting very much with the threat at large.)
I was immediately grouchy when Sitwell was revealed as being on the ship. Mostly because I like new characters, but also because he was one of the fussiest agents ever. It might have been a premonition though.
But Natasha got to be clever and tech-y and it's really neat that she and Darcy could probably give Tony a run for his money on the hacking front. Also I want to know every single mission that she and Steve have run together and all the times she's saved his ass by getting him out when there's pepper spray or tear gas or something because Steve's stupid sometimes and forgets that chemical weapons affects him as badly as anyone else. (Also, asthma.)
I'm firmly in Fury's camp of "never let anyone have all of the puzzle pieces" and "people, on the whole, are pieces of shit. so don't be surprised when they are shit". Everything else though including, oddly, "people are good", I'm with Steve on. Especially the surveillance stuff, and am I ever glad that Thor and Jane and Darcy et al. have gone to ground and are hiding out in like Argentina.
Also tansy-91 is super liberal and progressive and has a tag called "of course I'm a fucking idealist it's idealism that makes progress happen" and is basically like Steve Rogers except female and kiwi and about 80 years too young and one of the best friends ever and I am happy she's my friend because she's so optimistic about politics and change and I'm kind of not, and now I'm rambling and this sentence is too long. (Basically I am mentioning her because I think she'd really like Steve Rogers and will fall in love with him.)
Peggy. Peggy. Oh gods I hope she doesn't have dementia or Alzheimer's. I couldn't cope with that, and that isn't tumblrese hyperbole in action. Peggy was born like five years after my paternal grandmother. She died with/of late-stage dementia. It was horrible to witness and I would not wish that upon anyone, not even fictional characters, but especially not upon Steve.
I do not want to know of any confirmation of what she has, I will flat out ignore canon and pretend that she's a sprightly 95 year old who's still in the spy game.
Speaking/reading a couple of other people's reactions to Peggy though, I think her current status depends on what a person's experiences with dementia are. (And this is going to get emotionally heavy about my grandmother (who is dead and even before that vocally stated her support of assisted death) so uh.. yeah.)
So the middle stages of dementia, where it's mostly just short term memory loss and maybe things like not being able to drive or keep up with technology? They're okay, they're almost endearing. But when it starts progressing to where periods of lucidity are getting shorter and where their long term memory starts regressing and they become more and more reliant on assistance for things like getting dressed, that's when it starts getting scary. (Especially if, in the case of my grandmother, they say they want it to end all before it gets any worse.)
Because they aren't the person you remember any more, and they keep slipping back in time and losing a layer of themselves. With each step backward, it's like they're dying a little until when they actually do die it's another death. One which you can't really connect to because you feel they've already gone. And I... I didn't cry much at her funeral, even though I loved her. Because it felt she'd already died and not having to care for her meant there was a huge weight off my father's shoulders. Loving and caring for someone with dementia (or Alzheimer's) is hard, and I'm terrified that I will have to do the same thing to my father.
And okay, it gives me a little narrative happiness (and plot bunnies) that Peggy might be in that state of regression where she set up the SSR and that maybe she sometimes wakes up asking where Steve is, but it all sucks regardless. Even if it is a nice parallel to match the loss of Peggy to getting Bucky back, especially with the whole memory thing.
It just hits a bit too close to home for comfort. (Which is why I do like that 'Hydra got rid of a threat who had connected the dots' theory.)
The encounter with Sharon felt weird and unnecessary and too much like "See! He's straight and ready to date!" despite what his answers to Natasha seem to say.
Ace Steve! Bi Steve! Aro Steve! Homosexual Steve! Mixed orientation Steve! Literally anything except "Steve Rogers is straight, has always been straight and always will be straight". I'll acknowledge that he had some kind of relationship with Peggy (I like Peggy) but my answer to whether I think it was actually sexual-romantic or just what Steve thought he should be doing will literally change from one minute to the next. Even with Peggy I'm not sure whether it's sexual-romantic or if she's simply the first second third person to see how good he is and hope that he gets his happy ending and will do whatever she can to facilitate that.
Speaking of ships, I pretty strongly ship Natasha with Fury. Again, I'm not sure how exactly, but ever since I spotted that arm he slung over her shoulders in IM2 (and I really need to rewatch Avengers to see if I can pick up on any more small intimacies) I have shipped it. Natasha's reaction to Fury's 'death' put the last nail in the coffin so to speak.
And yeah, there's strong evidence based on the fact he's the first person Fury trusted for shipping him with Steve, but it's nice the next two people were Maria and Natasha.
Go read fourteenacross/pocky_slash's crossover fic featuring Fury and Moira MacTaggert. It's crossover between two Marvel franchises from different studios but they're both spies and it's hilarious and they take no shit from each other.
The taking the plane down scene made me :D because he knows how those engines work, courtesy of Tony shouting in his ear when they worked together to fix the helicarrier.
HIPSTER STEVE. I DEMAND MORE OF IT. ESPECIALLY STEVE IN SKINNY JEANS.
Also more of him undercover with Nat. See above how I want to know all their missions they've had together. Like I'm pretty sure there are some pre-Avengers ones as well. They're pretty chummy even then.
The infamous milk scene. Mostly what bothered me was the size of the glass, the fact he left the milk out rather than pouring and putting it back. And of course shooting his cleaning lady, because I'm pretty sure Pierce has the money to buy her silence. Like the Winter Soldier didn't react to her presence therefore he doesn't see her as a threat, therefore Pierce's reaction was over the top and really just a kick the dog moment.
I'm so happy that the Peggy series got the greenlight.
But anyway, I hope things like the infiltration of Hydra into SHIELD gets addressed, as well as Hydra buying black market Stark weapons and why Stark Sr. was killed. (I kinda loved that little twist. Not quite as delightfully cruel as the possibility that Hydra has huge stockpiles of Stark weapons, but still a nice stab in the gut none-the-less.)
Putting in my bets for Age of Ultron: Zola in the machine, directly or indirectly, leads to Ultron. (Same thematic thread: I am waiting so patiently for gifsets using Transcendence as extra footage for Maya Hansen and JARVIS/Vision. So so patiently.)
Also, it's probably due to the fact most movies are made in the USA, but while the US's recruitment of Nazi scientists after WWII is well known, I want acknowledgement of purchase of information from Unit 731. Especially considering how horrifically that information was obtained.
...Now I want something about how the US also courted defectors before/during the war and the BURNING RAGE that went on when they met Nazi scientists years later. (And okay, some of the Nazi scientists presumably stayed because it was safer, but some of them were real mercenary scientists (which is another cool concept, SCIENTISTS FOR HIRE) and pretty much put their lot in with whoever would let them do what they wanted.)
That... kind of got away from me.
Sam totally has a hair dryer in his apartment. Natasha may very well carry beauty supplies, but uh... she had no bag. Unless it's a teeny-tiny one that is pretty much just for your fringe and she stuffed it in her jeans or shoes or something, I'm going with Sam having a hair dryer. Because hair dryers are useful. (Although may he's got a sister who stays over and uses a flat iron? Maybe he uses one to iron shirt collars?)
Why Sitwell? Why him? I might not like the guy, but some random white SHIELD agent would've made more sense? Like literally every other Hydra double-agent is white.
Also disappointed at the range of names listed off. Like they're all obvious ones, and it would've been neat to hear names like Jennifer Walters or even Sharon Carter.
Natasha knows how snipers operate. I wish there was a bit more of that, as while I may not ship Clint/Natasha I sure as hell work-partners it. She knows Bucky's blind spots and it was just lovely. (As well as tinged with desperation, because I'm pretty sure she's pretty aware that the Winter Soldier is way above her weight level.)
The fight sequences are basically going to be a joy to watch and rewatch when the DVD comes out.
And the reveal might have been dramatic for people who don't know what the fuck is going on, but obviously fans will find it almost anticlimactic. As heartbreaking as Steve's reaction was, it had kind of been hinted at with Steve visiting the exhibit and tearing up over Bucky, the whole Winter Soldier is a ghost (ghosts are from the past after all), and even with the reappearance of Zola.
Basically reviews are split between 'fans will go wild about the storylines covered' and 'intelligent spy drama that is still fun to watch'. But I'm saying it could've been more thought provoking, could've been lighter on the foreshadowing, could've had more political weight.
So meh, I should basically vastly lower my expectations with future Marvel films. I mean, I'm just going to read spoilers for Ant-Man and Doctor Strange if that ever gets made. And continue to hope like hell that Runaways gets through the pipeline, even minus Molly. Or that Marvel and Fox make a deal over rights that isn't what they have now. I want that House of M dystopia movie.
Basically I was expecting more plot and more involved explanations for things. Like the brainwashing scene with Bucky was heartbreaking and horrifying, and I am so excited for whatever movie will delve into that past of the Winter Soldier more, but I didn't get that from this movie.
Almost everyone was a conscientious objector! Although I kind of assumed there would be more of the Hydra rot within SHIELD? As it was there just seemed to be a select few agents, one division and Pierce who were Hydra. I thought there'd be entire lines of command and crucial agents that were compromised.
Though supposedly this gets covered in AoS. (Speaking of, I like Victoria Hand more than I do Fury. Even with Fury being a big teddy bear. They have similar hardline views on hierarchy of SHIELD and the importance of restricting information, but Hand has cool red streaks in her hair. (And is a lesbian in the comics.) Because cool hair > cuddles with Natasha.)
Severely disappointed the lady on the WSC wasn't actually a part of Peggy's school for young women or something. (She had an English accent or something, it could've happened!)
Although it was another excellent display of Natasha's technical prowess.
The scene on the gangway in the Insight helicarriers with the WS and Steve... there's a lot going on, and a lot of parallels. Obviously there's back to where Bucky was rescued from the Hydra camp, where they both made the jump; to the train, where Bucky didn't; to the Hydra air... carrier when Steve froze. (What is it with Hydra and aircarriers?) But I think there are other ones too, which I didn't pick up on my viewing.
You know that post going around, informing people why Bucky was listing off his name, rank and ID? I was expecting Steve to repeat that back at him, but instead he just kept saying Bucky's name. And just his name and no other pertinent details.
It annoys me, because triggers aren't going to be as simple as just his name, and even though those extra details are unlikely to be triggers as well,
Although since semantic satiation can be used as a brainwashing technique, as seen in the Guardians of Ga'hoole, that might not work out so well either. Although that does give lots of painful feels into regards that maybe Bucky was brainwashed as far back as that first Hydra base.
I would do minific, but it's holding up my review, but believe me when I say I have all sorts of ideas in regards to what Steve could've done and how Bucky's brainwashing will dissolve.
Steve just giving up and going into the drink hurts. Especially as I think it's paralleling his deep freeze as well; which makes it nice that Bucky cares enough to dive in after him (saving him from having a helicarrier fall on top of him) and pull him out.
But apparently not enough to do CPR or to even put Steve in the recovery position. (Also, again it's weird this is set in DC as I watch Bones and while a lot of their shots are composites, the general greenness seemed familiar.)
And if you didn't fall in love with him in the first five minutes, Sam waiting by Steve's bedside playing that album he recommended probably did it. Plus the whole 'I'm going to protect your ass while you go chasing down your bff' thing, but mostly the waiting by Steve's bedside.
I stated right after I saw the movie that a Black Widow movie should be coming shortly, because that was a perfect place to insert one: Natasha finding herself and claiming an independent identity. But instead it'll be Age of Ultron and lots of things will have happened. Including her having already completed her journey of finding herself.
It's so disappointing though Marvel aren't gonna spend much time on how broken SHIELD is (and how perhaps there are some people are trying to keep it that way) and is instead working on piecing it back together again. Like give Maria some time to kick butt with Pepper and for Sharon to find her feet in a new agency and for the world to get used to the fact there is no SHIELD and thus there might not be any Avengers to save the world the next time around. Make so maybe when Ultron comes around, no one is really sure whether the world will make it.
Though if SHIELD is being reformed, and Nick is partially retired or whatever, can Monica Chang step in? It'd be a nice tie in to a recent comic title (Avengers AI or something) and well... it's Monica Chang. I'd even be kind of okay if they flipped it to Mike Chang as long as the 'old partner' bit was kept and appropriate casting decisions were made.
Or the fandom as a whole could fancast Monica as Lucy Liu and be done with it.
For the record, I am still bitter over the Wanda and Pietro casting. I may have complained loudly in the theatre about this. After the scene and still in the credits, because I do have some manners. I also mentioned the fact that Magneto's their dad and did a vague explanation of Fox & Marvel's movie rights thing. But mostly I explained how they're half Roma and half Jewish and how I wish Yasmin Paige was cast as Wanda, even though she'd likely decline such a role unless Richard Ayoade was directing.
Also I don't care as much about Pietro. Though when there was the first news of that Olsen sister being cast, I was half-expecting Marvel to present them as siblings, but have Wanda turn out to be Crystal, giving a double whammy of a hint towards the Ultimate's-verse with the incesty vibes, but twisting it so it's instead closer to 616. But alas that isn't happening either the way they're dressing Wanda. (And could someone at least get her a headband or a ribbon or a hair tie or something? Like I get why they aren't using the iconic headpiece, but the least they could do is pull her hair back, which is the ultimate purpose of that head... thing. You can still have sexy loose long hair and have it not get into their face! Half of the Thor 2 cast had half ups! I know your costume design can do it.)
And that's it? Aside from my tag commentary on assorted posts on Tumblr. My CATWS tag is 'spies spies spies', but sometimes I'll also just tag 'precious history baby' for Steve Rogers/CATFA characters and 'bros forever' and 'Bucky Barnes' for Bucky&Steve stuff and Bucky/Winter soldier stuff. If you want to go looking.