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  1. #1
    Bloodsail Admiral Breccia's Avatar
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    Captain America: 60 seconds of stupidity in one scene

    So I saw Captain America for the first time last night. Before I start with the scene in question, let me say that I found it in on way to be a bad movie. I actually quite liked it, for the most part. Not perfect -- what is? -- but good and enjoyable.

    HOWEVER.

    There is a scene, about sixty seconds long, in which all three major characters do something criminally stupid. And I felt the need to vent about it. Oh, and it's not a spoiler. I found it to be a scene of unnecessary resistance, like a single almond in the middle of an otherwise enjoyable eclair.

    In this scene, Howard Stark is showing the Captain some new equipment, including a selection of shields, at least three. Before Stark gets even one sentence into describing the first shield, Rogers asks about a smaller, circular shield sitting on a shelf under the table with the other shields. Stark says "No, that's just a prototype" but Rogers presses him on it. Stark explains it's made from vibranium, a metal stronger than steel, but a third of the weight. "It's completely vibration absorbent," Stark explains, but hard to get. "That's the rarest metal on Earth. What you're holding there, that's all we got." At this point, Officer Carter enters asking for the Captain's attention. Rogers, holding the shield, says "What do you think?" at which point Carter grabs an automatic handgun and fires multiple bullets directly into the shield, which of course ping off and fall to the ground.

    The entire clip is found here:

    It lasts 53 seconds.

    Holy crap. Where to start?
    A) First and foremost, clearly Steve Rogers is even more of a dick when it comes to the R&D people than James Bond on his worst day. Howard Stark is the best mechanical genius known to America and he doesn't want to hear a single word he has to say about the inventions he intentionally made with the sole purpose of saving Captain America's life. For all he knows, the first shield is made from adamantium, has an IFF chip, and dispenses food and vaccines to homeless children. And, when told the item he picks is "just a prototype" he continues to press for information about it, rather than "oh, I should hear more about the completed models he clearly built personally for me."

    B) But Rogers turns out not to be the worst offender. Stark is far worse. Apparently, he has the US's sole supply of vibranium, and has made it into a shield, brought it to this demonstration -- where the US's only shield-using soldier is waiting for new equipment. And he has NO INTENTION of showing this shield to Rogers.

    C) And besides this, while I'm 100% willing to accept the sci-fi properties of vibranium in a comic-book movie, and it sounds like a wonderful property for a defensive item, it sounds like the worst possible choice of material for a blunt weapon. Captain America spends the majority of combat in the rest of the movie using the shield as a throwing weapon, as well as beating people with the edge and face of it. Metal has no ability to read context: impact is impact, and the metal of the shield should absorb it. Based on what I can see of the shield, it is AT MOST 30 inches across and a quarter-inch thick. A disc of steel that size would be just over 51 pounds, so the shield he's holding weighs about 17 pounds (and, realistically, is probably thinner and therefore even lighter). Even if the metal is being overstated by Stark and is, let's say, "only" 90% vibration absorbent -- still easily enough to stop 0.45 bullets at point-blank range with no risk of injury to the user -- hitting someone with that would have the inertia of using a 27.2-ounce weapon. I grabbed a 0.45 ACP handgun at random from a sporting goods website, and it was 28 ounces. The Captain would literally have greater effect throwing his SIDEARM at Nazis.

    D) As a followup: Stark is a world-class genius at designing weapons and armor. He had even built and brought Captain America's new battle armor to the very same demonstration, while hinting at its possible inadequacy. Exact quote: "Carbon polymer. Should withstand your average German bayonet, although, Hydra's not going to attack you with a pocket knife." So, given vibranium's shortcomings as an offensive weapon, why not use it to make a helmet and/or chestpiece? He does use metal armor under his uniform in the comic, so this isn't asking too much. There seems to be enough. Then you can make the shield out of titanium -- also stronger than steel, but lighter. Or titanium carbide, which is even harder. Yes, it's true, the real Captain America in the comic used a vibranium shield in WWII, but you'd think there'd be a better explaination than this! It's not like the war was over quickly.

    E) But as bad as both Rogers and Stark are behaving, they can't match Carter's behavior. She enters the room a full 10 seconds after Stark describes the metal's special powers. Now remember: this is "just a prototype" and he had shown no desire to show it to Rogers, having made other items specifically instead, and therefore, it seems unlikely he would have explained it to Carter either. So when she grabs a pistol --

    F) And JUST a second. Who leaves a loaded pistol with a round chambered and the safety off just lying around on a table?

    E) -- and she fires it directly into a hard, metal surface. Based on earlier scenes, I have no doubt Carter could easily shoot the shield at that range, but how did she know this would be a good idea? For all she knew, the shield -- clearly lightweight -- was a mockup of aluminium, and the 45-caliber bullets would have ripped through it and killed the clearly unarmored Rogers. Or maybe she trusted Stark would have brought a bulletproof shield, fair enough, but what about the obvious danger of a ricochet? The room is crowded with unarmored, unsuspecting officers and scientists. Stark himself is standing literally four feet away and in FRONT of the shield, at an angle where a bullet could very realistically bounce off the shield and hit him square in the torso. And this is someone that is not only very useful to the war effort in general, but has worked with Carter, specifically, recently, yet she risks his life on a whim. Carter is clearly some kind of sociopath who should never be allowed near weapons, or maybe near people, ever again.

    G) And finally, while the bullets do fall harmlessly to the ground -- which vibranium should have done, so full credit there -- they also hit the shield with a *ping* sound audible over the gunshots, with a gong sound afterwards. Sound, as in vibration. Clearly, the material's not living up to its name after all.

  2. #2
    Legendary! KrazyK923's Avatar
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    You're reading far too much into something. That whole scene was blatantly just to get Cap the shield that he makes into his famous one. Oh and Peggy being all pissed cuz he kissed Margaery Tyrell.
    Men, you've trained for this. You're among the elite. You are Skyfire men! This is the ship that took down Deathwing. You think some raggedy little Horde outpost stands a chance against the pride of the Alliance fleet? NO! Those green dirtbags down there plagued your homes in Southshore, laid siege to your children in Redridge, and massacred every man, woman and child in Theramore. It. Is. PAYBACK TIME!
    Sky Admiral Rogers for High Queen. Remember Theramore!

  3. #3
    High Overlord Gufkys's Avatar
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    Epic.

    /10char
    His name is Robert Paulsen.

  4. #4
    The Patient Arch0s's Avatar
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    This is quite possibly the best, most thought-out thread I have ever read.
    eu.battle.net/wow/en/character/grim-batol/Fatál/simple

    Warrior main.

  5. #5
    When I saw that scene I shared the same WTF logic moment - although I'll admit I hadn't thought of half the oddities you have pointed out

  6. #6
    Rofl... not sure if serious or not.. but this is epic.. 10/10 would read again

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    At this point, Officer Carter enters asking for the Captain's attention. Rogers, holding the shield, says "What do you think?" at which point Carter grabs an automatic handgun and fires multiple bullets directly into the shield, which of course ping off and fall to the ground.

    F) And JUST a second. Who leaves a loaded pistol with a round chambered and the safety off just lying around on a table?
    Pretty spot on except for the bold parts. That's not an "automatic" handgun. Also, some pistols' safety mechanisms are deactivated when gripping the pistol and also having contact with what looks almost like a second trigger on the gun itself. It's not always based on a standard safety switch.

    Epic post though.

  8. #8
    Bloodsail Admiral Breccia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serem View Post
    That's not an "automatic" handgun.
    Well semi-automatic, then. Conventionally, if inaccurately, called automatic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serem View Post
    Also, some pistols' safety mechanisms are deactivated when gripping the pistol and also having contact with what looks almost like a second trigger on the gun itself.
    Huh. I did not know this. Even if such weren't standard in 1945, this is Stark's lab: maybe he invented them. I'd accept that.

  9. #9
    The Insane det's Avatar
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    Mr Plinkett of Half in the bag couldn't have analysed it better.

    And if you don't know that guy, check his epic reviews http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/
    Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
    One cause is a cognitive bias called projection bias. Essentially living inside your own head your entire life makes it exceedingly difficult to understand how others do not also live your same life, think your same thoughts, and hold your same beliefs. In many cases it's quite frustrating to try to empathize and understand why you yourself may not be the center of the universe, which generally results in one 'acting out' in various ways.
    So, in short: the internet.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    Well semi-automatic, then. Conventionally, if inaccurately, called automatic.
    Huh. I did not know this. Even if such weren't standard in 1945, this is Stark's lab: maybe he invented them. I'd accept that.
    Yep. You can see the two safety triggers in the image below. I don't know how long it's been around, but it's possible that could be the case. More than likely just movie lawls though.


  11. #11
    not saying it's a super hero movie, but it's a super hero movie. Great analysis though, was fun to read.

    I have a question to Marvel fans, are the Nazi's and redskull on another planet right now? Because they use the Tesseract as a weapon source of power, and when people were "killed" they vanished a bit like when people teleport in later movies like Thor using the Tesserac as the device. Did Redskull and his nazi friends basically just got teleported to another world?

  12. #12
    Brewmaster Otaka's Avatar
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    Its a good idea to make it a shield... vibration resistant/absorbent, or something, protective equipment that can be used as a weapon aswell is brilliant choice.

    If it was a chestplate or helmet, then all he could do with it would be like act as if you were ironman and take bullets like a boss.
    But a shield is far more mobile... and if its vibration resistant or something, then its even better... the most vibration ive felt is playing icehockey and shooting at the goal, after doing that for sometime hands start to be sore because everytime i slapshot the stick vibrates violently. If it didnt vibrate then i could keep shooting longer...

    Same thing with caps shield, using it as defensive and a weapon makes it more durable for the user by being vibration resistant.
    Besides, using armor would limit his mobility.

  13. #13
    Mechagnome Tommys's Avatar
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    Way to suck the fun out of a movie. You must have a really hard time watching most movies.

  14. #14
    Pit Lord
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    you make valid, logical points.

    unfortunately youre trying to be logic into a movie in which the hero has been enhanced with a super soldier serum, the bad guy looks like he got into a fight at the red lipstick factory, and the weapon they are both fighting over comes from outer space.

    needless to say there is no point in getting all up in arms over logic and just enjoy the movie for what it is, entertainment.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bisso View Post
    not saying it's a super hero movie, but it's a super hero movie. Great analysis though, was fun to read.

    I have a question to Marvel fans, are the Nazi's and redskull on another planet right now? Because they use the Tesseract as a weapon source of power, and when people were "killed" they vanished a bit like when people teleport in later movies like Thor using the Tesserac as the device. Did Redskull and his nazi friends basically just got teleported to another world?
    i often wondered if red skull wasnt just transported to another world much the same way loki apparently was when he fell into the "abyss" at the end of thor 1.

    if you look around, when the red skull is holding the tesseract at the end of the movie the background looks a lot like the empty space region loki fell into. i dont imagine we'll be seeing red skull in the near future but his death can surely be easily explained as he seems to have suffered from the same thing loki did.

    just my .02

  15. #15
    Epic! schwank05's Avatar
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    What about the part where they guy is in a coma for 50 + years and does not age a day? Oh wait it is a movie based on a comic book, it doesn't have to be real.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by dokilar View Post
    you make valid, logical points.

    unfortunately youre trying to be logic into a movie in which the hero has been enhanced with a super soldier serum, the bad guy looks like he got into a fight at the red lipstick factory, and the weapon they are both fighting over comes from outer space.
    That last bit was what pissed me off the most. Cos they've got this devastating bomb, carried by aircraft, which could blow up an entire city... and they need to make that alien technology. Cos, y'know, humanity didn't have ANYTHING like that in 1945.

    I guess something blue and glowing is just cooler than a nuke, right?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Breccia View Post
    E) -- and she fires it directly into a hard, metal surface. Based on earlier scenes, I have no doubt Carter could easily shoot the shield at that range, but how did she know this would be a good idea? For all she knew, the shield -- clearly lightweight -- was a mockup of aluminium, and the 45-caliber bullets would have ripped through it and killed the clearly unarmored Rogers. Or maybe she trusted Stark would have brought a bulletproof shield, fair enough, but what about the obvious danger of a ricochet? The room is crowded with unarmored, unsuspecting officers and scientists. Stark himself is standing literally four feet away and in FRONT of the shield, at an angle where a bullet could very realistically bounce off the shield and hit him square in the torso. And this is someone that is not only very useful to the war effort in general, but has worked with Carter, specifically, recently, yet she risks his life on a whim. Carter is clearly some kind of sociopath who should never be allowed near weapons, or maybe near people, ever again.

    G) And finally, while the bullets do fall harmlessly to the ground -- which vibranium should have done, so full credit there -- they also hit the shield with a *ping* sound audible over the gunshots, with a gong sound afterwards. Sound, as in vibration. Clearly, the material's not living up to its name after all.
    These two points are pretty simple. You said it in your own description.

    And this is someone that is not only very useful to the war effort in general, but has worked with Carter, specifically, recently, yet she risks his life on a whim.
    Carter knows how Stark works, and despite not having seen the Iron Man nor Avenger's movies, I can tell you: Tony Stark NEVER half asses a project. Anyone who has worked with him knows it. 'Prototype' it may be, but a Stark brand prototype is still 9000% more trustworthy to prevent any and all lethal ANYTHING than the most perfectly constructed ANYTHING from anywhere else. She knows Stark was there, and there were lots of shields around. Chances are, those shields are Stark brand.

    Meanwhile, we're talking a fake metal that was made up specifically for Marvel comics, and trying to apply real world logic to it. Vibranium is absorbing the vibrations, not preventing them. The gunshot is smacking the shield, and the vibrations are being absorbed by the shield - Creating the *ping* from the hit, and the gong from the absorbed vibrations. Absorbed vibrations don't just disappear. They still make a sound.

    I can't speak for Carter's sanity or ability to handle weapons as I don't know who she is. But to trust that a Stark product is going to prevent deaths of both the wielder and those around the wielder is not a far stretch of the imagination. As for whether she's a sociopath... Well, I can't and won't go there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    If a building's about to collapse, you can debate whether it's better to demolish it or repair it, and you can make political-agenda arguments either way. Disputing gravity itself to claim it won't fall down is not a political position, it's just ignorance.

  18. #18
    Brewmaster Bassch's Avatar
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    Didn't Captain America like, get frozen in a block of ice for a couple of years or something? If yes, that's the answer to everything you saw wrong :P

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommys View Post
    Way to suck the fun out of a movie. You must have a really hard time watching most movies.
    Actually, finding random points of movies to dissect and mock is a great deal of fun. You must have a really boring life with so little imagination.

  20. #20
    Bloodsail Admiral Breccia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleugen View Post
    I can tell you: Tony Stark NEVER half asses a project.
    Minor point, but it was actually Howard Stark. Probably same work ethic, tho: Tony would have gotten it from somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fleugen View Post
    But to trust that a Stark product is going to prevent deaths of both the wielder and those around the wielder is not a far stretch of the imagination.
    You'd think that. But in the first 10 minutes of Iron Man, a gunman shoots the prototype suit at point-blank range, and is immediately killed by the ricochet. So it comes and goes. Firing a gun directly at a hard metallic surface, especially a hard angled metallic surface, does not traditionally cause the bullets to stop on impact and drop to the ground. That's precisely the reason knight and muskateer breastplates stuck out in the center, to create an angled surface to deflect (rather than absorb) arrows and gunfire. Unless Carter knew about the special effects of vibranium (which, based on the rest of the scene, she had no way of knowing) it was a stupid, stupid move.

    Also I think you need to review how sound, specifically the *ping* sound of metal striking metal, is made. As opposed to, say, the lack of ping sound from the same metal hitting a mattress or pillow. Something deliberately designed to absorb vibrations shouldn't make *ping* sounds loud enough to be heard over gunfire. See also: singing sword (the stage prop, not the magic item).

    Quote Originally Posted by Otaka View Post
    Besides, using armor would limit his mobility.
    In the comic, he actually did use metal armor, a kind of scale or chain mail under his uniform. Between the armor's flexibility and his own empowered strength and agility, it had limited to no effect on his mobility the way, say, a solid chestpiece might. Especially if they had used vibranium (they didn't) because it's so much lighter than steel.

    Oh and...if you know the rest of Captain America's history, you might not be ready to discount the "helmet is a good idea" bit. Just sayin'.
    Last edited by Breccia; 2014-03-03 at 08:09 PM.

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