So this past weekend, Captain America: The Winter Soldier opened and it has a fantastic opening with $96.2 million in North America.

Capt America Shield FE

I had been waiting for this movie for far too long I feel.  I’ve read so many articles, looked at the same trailers over and over and finally I got to see it.  Now I must say, usually when I’m looking forward to something so much as I was this film, that I’m usually disappointed.  That was not the case at all.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier was hands down my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film to date.  Now that is saying a lot for me, as I absolutely loved The Avengers.

I want to clarify this review from the beginning.  I was really trying to decide how I wanted to write it.  Do I break down what happened in the film and basically spoil it for anyone that still plans to see it?   No, I can’t do that.  What I’m going to do is explain some things you will see in the film, to give you some of the back story, so that maybe you understand what you see when you do.  I know most fans of the films don’t know all the comic history and why things are how they are.  I don’t claim to know it all either.

First I’m going to clarify again, I loved this movie.  The story line and how it all comes together are fantastic. The action in this film will have you on the edge of your seat at times.  Now you have to go in remembering that S.H.I.E.L.D. exists in a universe where technology is so far advanced that some of the weapons and things are not around yet.  I will also say, and this is very important I think, if you are a die hard fan of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesdays, please make sure you see Captain America: The Winter Soldier before you watch this weeks episode.  If you won’t be able to see the film but want to watch Tuesday’s episode then you will probably want to find spoilers of the film online because there is a lot of change in the Marvel Universe from the events of this film, and everything is linked together.  So what happened on the big screen this weekend will effect the show on the small screen this week.

Here are some things that you really need to know from the first Captain America.  First, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, was a small 5’4″ 95 lb kid when he enlisted in the military.  He was chosen by a doctor to be a part of the super-soldier experiment.  One of the people involved in the experiment was none other than Howard Stark, Tony Stark’s (Iron Man) father.  You will see references to Steve’s background in the film and may wonder why.  Also growing up, Steve’s best friend was James “Bucky” Barnes.  Now Bucky was already in the military and was going to fight in the war.

The villain in the 1st movie was Johann Schmidt, know to Marvel fans at Red Skull.  Red Skull is known to be the right hand man to Adolf Hitler.  Red Skull had stolen a glowing cube known as the Tesseract.  Yes the same Tesseract that was in the Avengers film.  Red Skull created his own organization known as Hydra, which used the Tesseract for power beyond what humans could create. You will hear his followers use the term “HEIL HYDRA”, similar to the term used for HEIL HITLER.

Red Skull was frequently seen in the first Captain America with Arnim Zola, a Swiss biochemist.  Zola was a brilliant biochemist especially for his time and worked for the Nazi party and eventually for HYDRA.  With no super human powers, Zola knew his body was mortal but his brain needed to live on.  He conducted an experiment basically turning himself into a computer.  His brain became the intelligence of the computer and basically his computerized persona could live forever.

Now you may wonder, why is Cap’s shield so powerful?  In the first Captain America most of the time Cap has a different shield which is really just a piece of metal.  Eventually, after talking to Howard Stark, he is introduced to a piece of metal that is circular and told it’s the strongest metal and that is all they have.  The shield is painted with the well known Red, White and Blue with a star in the middle.

In this movie, we see the new Triskelion, which is the primary headquarters for S.H.I.E.L.D. located in Washington D.C..  Most know who Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is, he is the main man that runs S.H.I.E.L.D.  Nick is not the highest power though, he has to answer to the World Security Council which is headed by Secretary Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford).

I think that will clear up some things you may see in the movie and hopefully provide a little background so you understand better.

As Marvel fans, there are a couple of things you have to know about.  First, Stan Lee has a cameo in every movie, so keep your eyes out for him.  Second, you don’t get up and leave at the end of the movie before the credits.  There is always a shorter scene that usually points to something coming up in a future film.

The first scene is one that most will have no idea what it’s about. Even the people who follow Marvel movies may not understand all of this.  After the short credits run, you see a man walking through an area where there are workers everywhere.  This man is Baron Von Strucker. He was a former Nazi Officer and one of the leaders of HYDRA. You will see him walking with another man, through what looks like a military lair.  They are talking about HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually they come up to two cells and calls the people inside “The Twins”.  Pietro and Wanda Maximoff better known as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  Baron Von Strucker, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will all be a part of the Avengers: Age of Ultron film.

I realize the casual viewers have no idea who Quicksilver or Scarlet Witch are so here is a brief history lesson on them. Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are the twin children of Magneto.  Yes Magneto the main villain from the X-Men films.  Now keep in mind, the Avengers films and the X-Men films are completely separate, but in the Marvel universe characters do cross over into each other.  To briefly graze the surface of their comic book origins, the twins found themselves orphaned shortly after their birth and in the care of a gypsy couple, who were later killed when their home was attacked, an event that would lead the children to their birth father. Not realizing the truth, Magneto enlisted them into his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants terrorist group after saving them from angry townsfolk, who were incited into a riot after seeing Wanda’s chaotic abilities get the best of her. Eventually, though, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver would abandon their evil ways and join up with The Avengers.

There is one more scene at the very end after the last credits so make sure you stay around till then.  That one is pretty self explanatory.  You will see people leave the theater after the movie and before the first scene.  Most will stick around for the first scene and not realize there is another one at the very end.  Just stay comfortable and enjoy the final scene before you leave. Hopefully this has helped you with a little background information on Captain America. I hope you enjoy the film as much as I did.

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