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'Winter Soldier' tops 'The Avengers'
Showtime with Sasha
The plot in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" pits our hero against some really vile bad guys. - photo by Studio photo

You’ve seen all three “Iron Man” flicks. You checked out “The Avengers” and the second “Thor” movie. Now, it’s time to catch up with “the man out of time” in his solo sequel, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” How does this Marvel Studios movie measure up?
Making a Captain America film isn’t easy. On the one hand, you have tons of comic books to draw material from — that’s helpful. What isn’t so helpful is that many of those materials date back to the 1960s and even earlier. How do you make a soldier from World War II relevant in 2014? Ask Marvel Studios, because with “The Winter Soldier” it has managed to do just that and then some.
When the film opens, it’s been about two years since the fiasco in New York that made up the bulk of “The Avengers.” Cap (Chris Evans) is finding a new normal as a SHIELD agent, running black ops with Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson). What should have been a normal mission spirals into a conspiracy so deadly that it threatens to claim the life of SHIELD director, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
Cap’s second solo outing on the big screen hits so many things right on target. Instead of trying to make an anti-hero out of one of pop culture’s original boy scouts, the film draws us into a world so shadowy that allows Cap to shine that much brighter. We’ve got a seriously dark villain, SHIELD’s empire crumbling, shadows of the past and hints at the future.
Action, intrigue — dare I say it? “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is even better than “The Avengers.”  This picture is worth the price of admission. See it in 2-D, though; you’ll thank yourself later. And don’t forget to stay for both — yes, both — extra scenes during the credits.
I’m a fan!

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