Actors prepare for roles by diving into their characters, and perhaps going a little "method". Athletes prepare for big events by training, honing both their body and their mind (and sometimes nourishing their stomach with KFC). We geeks, meanwhile, prepare for big comic book movies by devouring every little scrap of information that comes before them, over analysing them, and getting ludicrously over-excited. At least that's how I've been with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel's next blockbuster and the sequel to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger. Following on from The Avengers, Winter Soldier sees Steve Rogers finding himself living in the present day, working as an agent of SHIELD under his guise of Captain America. Not only is he struggling to adapt to how different the world is from the 1930s, but he also has to face a globe-spanning mystery and a new villain that could jeopardise the country he fought so hard for. Not only have all the trailers looked great, but a lot of the rumours regarding the film's plot, tone, and influences have been jolly exciting too. If, like me, you're growing rapidly impatient for the film's release on March 26th (in most of the world, anyway; April 4th in America for...some reason), I have compiled for you - well, us - five films and TV shows to distract your eyeballs in anticipation of the new film, and to "prepare" yourself for what we can expect.
5. Captain America: The First Avenger
The fifth movie in Marvel's Cinematic Universe was as big a blockbuster as the previous four, despite having a lead character with even less international appeal than Thor. Honestly, it's easy to see why: director Joe Johnston (best known for The Mummy films) infused the film with a pulpy look that suited the era it was set and when the character was created, Chris Evans made us forget about those two Fantastic Four films with a performance that was both charismatic and continuity-pardoning, and Hugo Weaving made us forget about those two Matrix sequels by having a big red face and speaking in a dodgy German accent, and it was generally a rollocking good Nazi-bashing time. The Winter Soldier, though, looks a lot different. No doubt elements of the first Cap film's plot will be referred back to in The Winter Soldier, and we already know that Hayley Atwell, Dominic Cooper and Toby Jones will be cropping up again in this new movie (presumably in flashback). What will interesting, however, is comparing the relatively uncomplicated Good vs Bad world of World War II with the modern day moral ambiguity Steve Rogers himself struggles with in the new film. Plus, we hear the titular villain of the new movie has his roots in The First Avenger...
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