AVENGERS and Fans ASSEMBLE

7 May

By Comic Relief

It would not be in LIH’s best interest to supply spoiler filled appraisal of the Avengers movies.  Has this movie, cast and director found its audience? Please look at the box office numbers and recognize that the movie can’t stop breaking box office numbers? Does the movie live up to the hype? Below are 10 questions that everyone who still hasn’t seen the Avengers needs to know?  Every general effort was made to not spoil the film.

First this reviewer enjoyed the film in a big way.  My pleasure with Joss Whedon’s script and direction knows few bounds. Marvel’s immaculate hype machine began in publishing and has only evolved since.  Even Marvel’s rivals Warner and DC quote it’s promotions.  The Critics most are sadly out of it and will be looking for new jobs in the very near future.  Film criticism evolved into a publishing to screen review process a great while ago, so if you don’t know the books you don’t know jack about the film.

When New York Times critic A. O. Scott’s claims in his article “Superheroes, Super Battles, Super Egos,’’[1] “But for all their maverick swagger, the Avengers are dutiful corporate citizens, serving a conveniently vague set of principles.”  He is expressing fatigue with movies whose character exposition occurs in other movies.  And yes he saw the previous movies to the Avenger’s sequel where character motivations were presented in a way this reviewer found more than adequate.  As much as I would like to agree with him, this sentiment may solely be an expression of ancient film criticism. In terms of exposition, hopefully I will address this formal and potentially academic issue later.  Attempting to reign in my pet peeves, (at least until I express them) yet I was more than pleased with the film.  I will warn you if I will spoil the film in some way.

1.  Can group super hero movies be successful?

Yes. Again see the box office, unfortunately most of the suits stop complaining in Hollywood when the cash over flows.  At this late date, I heard that the buckets had reached a windfall of $2.6 million dollars.  Older attempts at this genre “Fantastic Four,” “X-men” and “Watchmen” are now relics of a bygone age.  And very few of the previous characters could sustain their own movies.

2Given the large cast did the story represent each character well?

No, yet all make a respectable showing. The order of character dominance is directly relevant to past box office earning success.  Iron man earned $318,412,101, and Iron man 2 is $312,433,331.  Thor earned $181,030,624.  Captain America earned $176,654,505.  Hulk earned $134,806,913.  These numbers drove character visibility, and if these bean-counter values that make you uneasy, than you should know that character Nick Fury’s Samuel Jackson is the highest paid actor in Hollywood history.  While you attempt to digest that, recognize that screen dominance and rank was projected visually.

Spoiler Alert:  Despite the huge cast, the Avengers sometimes appeared to be Ironman three.  Many of the sets appearing in Stark Tower, Tony Stark was the first to discern Shield’s opportunistic schemes, and ultimately (yet not surprisingly) Iron Man was the character who had the biggest role in stopping the alien invasion.

Without observing Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) who were in roughly in many of the movies for less than twenty minutes, here’s an account that demonstrates how past earnings distinguished presence in the character cast;

1. Iron Man: Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.), Black Widow/Natasha Romanov, (Scarlett Johansson) Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Computer voice Jarvis (Paul Bettany),

2. Thor:  Thor Odinson (Christopher Hemsworth), Hawkeye/Clint Barton, (Jeremy Renner), Loki Odinson (Tom Hiddleston), Professor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård),

3. Captain America: The First Avenger: Steve Rogers, (Christopher Evans)

4. The Incredible Hulk:  CGI Monster

3.  Does the film narrative present characters and relations as they appear in the comics?

Generally, yes.  In the comic Captain America is the undisputed leader.  Though there were scenes where strategic orders are delivered by Rogers/Evans, they were fairly few in between Starks acts of leadership.

Though technological scenarios make it easy to situate Stark as the focal point of most of the action the lack of Steve Rogers idealistic point of view is noticeable.  Of course this may define the difference between comics and filmic live action.

4.  Will all of the characters resemble their comic’s counterparts?

For the most part, I really found the variation on the Hulk the greatest variation on the comic book character.  Others have made observations that Whedon’s script is actually a comedic piece and the Hulk is surprisingly the best expression of this comedy.

Different from the dramatic leanings of the last Hulk film and the 8o’s TV series, this Hulk has some of the funniest sight gags of the film.  And unlike prior presentations of the character he frequently smiles.  The comic has explored multiple expressions of the character and after three attempts this hulk though brutal he’s actually smart.

SPOILER ALERT:

Even more surprising Whedon breaks from the depiction of the Hulk’s Dr. Jeckle and Banner’s Mr. Hyde. When Mark Ruffalo claims, “I’m always angry.”  He confirms that Banner is the Hulk’s concession, and the Hulk isn’t Banner involuntary occasional Monster. When Banner wants to be the Hulk, he purely becomes him. No contrived lose of control, no sudden fit of rage, and no accident of fate.  He simply becomes him.

5.  Does the Marvel sequel formula continue to seem fresh?

Yes, yet I do think more concessions should be made so first timers who do not have a better understanding of past events and films.  The after the credits scene teaser was not even possibly (un) understandable without being a fan boy.  That’s kind of cruel, maybe this is a marketing ploy to test or compel fan loyalty but I don’t think this is the best way to treat your loyal new fans?

6.  What does the movie suggest about future solo movies and spin offs?

  • Scarlett wants her own movie for Black Widow, we’ll see if that happens yet I agree this movie definitely creates more interest in her back-story than past appearances.

Ironman three seems to be exploring the 2010 “Extremis” story line from his comic book.

Fans are starting to clammer for another hulk movie for the Hulk/Bruce Banner.

Thor will likely concentrate on adventures pertaining to Asgard for his next movie.

Like Scarlet Johansen, Jeremy Renner probably hopes for his own feature film series.

Captain American is said to be preparing for an espionage tale for next movie.

There has been talk of a Nick Fury movie though when has never been specified.

7 What characters and actors were standouts?

SPOILER ALERT:

  • Robert Downey Jr. handled Tony Stark with his usual character’s usual flair.
  • Chris Evans proved unusually effective portraying the man out of time, Steve Rogers.
  • He and Scarlet Johansen had some of the best-choreographed fight scenes.
  • The Hulk was very funny.

8.  What were plot points were the strongest?

SPOILER ALERT:

I thought that the Shield organization was an excellent environmental backdrop was an excellent community to establish and better unveil the group.

9.  What were the weakest plot points?

Thor’s treatment was easily the least thought out.  At the end of the Thor, he was isolated on Asgard due to the destruction of the rainbow bridge. He and Loki return in this movie without any explanation of how.  Plus there was no explanation as to why he did not find Jane Foster.

His character looked unusually bad for most of the movie.  If you told me Whedon kicked Hemsworth down a flight of stair between every scene I would believe it. I know this was an action movie yet I did not understand the character “distressing.”

Referring to Captain America’s costume, I’m not sure I have ever seen a worst super hero costume in a film.

10.  What events will be the most memorable?

SPOILER ALERT:

Tom Hiddleston as Loki stole almost every scene.

Please join our open discussion Monday through Thursday. 

—————————————————————————

References:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/04/movies/robert-downey-jr-in-the-avengers-directed-by-joss-whedon.html?_r=4&ref=movies

http://boxofficemojo.com/genres/chart/?id=superhero.htm

Advertisements

18 Responses to “AVENGERS and Fans ASSEMBLE”

  1. 4string May 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM #

    There were a ton of LOL moments. One of the best involves the Hulk and Thor in the Grand Central (I assume it’s Grand Central or maybe Penn?) Station. I won’t say anything else though to spoil it. 🙂

    All of the cast did amazing, but my love for RDJ knows no bounds. When he was cast originally as Stark, the casting person hit the nail on the head. However, I think Paltrow as Pepper was horrid, in general. I didn’t like her in the Iron Man movies either. At least her part here is small. They have no chemistry.

    I haven’t see the Captain America movie, but Evans is super charming as the old fashioned gent. Love how he calls Natasha “ma’am.” *swoon*

    I don’t know much about The Black Widow, but I am interested to see what her backstory is. My husband is a comic book pro so I had to ask him questions here and there. Everyone did play well off of each other.

    • Comic Relief May 7, 2012 at 8:45 PM #

      4string,

      Prior to Captain America, Marvel fans were fairly cool toward Evans. Yet he makes a great foil and straight man for Downy Jr. I agree with you that they are very different; and I think their (non-chemistry) is great for both characters.

  2. littlebells May 7, 2012 at 11:03 AM #

    CR, I stand by my gifs from Movie buzz! 🙂

    I loved Ruffalo as the Hulk. Best Banner to date. Would love for him to have his own film.

    As far as the end of film teaser, yeah I don’t know who that character was, but I was so pumped by the film, it didn’t matter because I know I will see it!

    Tom Hiddleston: No. Words. *fan girling* The man has TALENT!!!!

    All of your pros and cons for this film: I agree. I will say that as a person who doesn’t follow comics, I thoroughly THOROUGHLY enjoyed this film and plan on seeing it again soon!

    • Comic Relief May 7, 2012 at 8:48 PM #

      LB,

      “I loved Ruffalo as the Hulk. Best Banner to date. Would love for him to have his own film.”
      I absolutely agree.

      Generally I really hate bootleg stuff yet here’s the scene from the movie introducing this new character image and dialogue introducing the character.

      The character’s name is Thanos. I don’t know whether there is an easy way to describe him.

      “I thoroughly THOROUGHLY enjoyed this film and plan on seeing it again soon!”
      It’s amazing, you keep expressing exactly what I’m thinking.

      • littlebells May 7, 2012 at 9:08 PM #

        I think I enjoyed Ruffalo’s performance because his Banner was written a lot more reserved and quiet compared to the previous Banners. It seemed to make his alter ego that much more powerful. A greater contrast I guess.

        Ok so do we get to discuss spoilers tomorrow??? I’m DYING over here drinking out of my Hulk glass, throwing a Captain America shield frisbee, and wearing my Iron Man mask. Hahaha! But seriously I may invest in some merchandise.

        • Comic Relief May 9, 2012 at 1:41 PM #

          LB,

          How is it that we reacted the exact same way? Banner was my favorite part of the cast also. I didn’t know you saw all of his previous incarnations. By far Ruffalo’s version seemed to be the smartest and most self-aware. Until now I thought the Edward Norton version was the best. Now I agree with the fan boy population, that the character should get another film highlighting Joss’s version.

          On the second time I saw it I was really impressed with the way. Downey’s Stark by way of his own rearing challenges (and possibly narcissism) was the best character for understanding Loki. I’m sure I was critical in the article regarding Stark’s presence but now I think it was a logical presentation.

          As for the marketing I think Walmart has all the gear. Or at least that’s what they say in the commercials.

          • littlebells May 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM #

            I completely agree about a film for the Hulk! I think Joss set it up perfectly. I wanted to know what happened to make him go into “hiding” and how he gained enough control to always be the Hulk but not physically show himself. I think it would be a fantastic film!!!

      • Comic Relief May 9, 2012 at 1:36 PM #

        Oops, …actually this scene did not happen after the credits but only at the end of the movie. The second time I went I saw the real after credits scene (that I won’t spoil) which I thought was far better (and less grandiose).

        The last statement from the clip was: (speaking of humans) “to challenge them is to court death”. To understand who “death” is please watch the following video. If you are not in a geeky mood, please disregard the clip.

  3. littlebells May 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM #

    CR,

    What do you think is the strongest link in the overall production of this film (including promo, movies leading up to it, etc…) that has stimulated the masses to attribute $200.3 M for the opening weekend?

    Greatest moment: Hulk and Loki together at the end. Awesome and hilarious at the same time. 🙂

    • Comic Relief May 7, 2012 at 8:49 PM #

      LB,

      “Greatest moment: Hulk and Loki together at the end. Awesome and hilarious at the same time.”

      Yup. Yup. See, I think we were in the same theatre.

    • Comic Relief May 9, 2012 at 1:38 PM #

      In terms of the overall production, I don’t know. I think the previous movies were the best advertising.

      I rented Ironman 2 (frequently hated by Fanboys) and so manyof the Avenger’s story line and plot were presented there…

      • Stark’s feeling that his dad did not love him –Loki felt the same and had resentment for Thor as well

      • Frequent mentions of Stark’s arrogance and narcissism – Loki demonstrated this in a broad sense.

      Obviously you had to see Thor, to understand Loki. Actually the Hulk/Loki scene was just as funny and suprising the second time.

  4. littlebells May 7, 2012 at 9:01 PM #

    Thanks for that video CR!

    Two questions: can Marvel please adopt Wonder Woman? 🙂 and is thete any significance to the blonde girl who is saved by Captain America? I figured because we saw her about three times or so, she may be Important in a future film. ????

    • Comic Relief May 9, 2012 at 1:39 PM #

      LB,

      : “…can Marvel please adopt Wonder Woman?”

      Sometimes, I wish they would.

  5. parisienne May 7, 2012 at 11:30 PM #

    I have seen the movie! I enjoyed the entire movie and my fav scene was when the Hulk was throwing Loki around and when he dropped him he said “Puny God.” LOL Also, there was some dialogue about different Gods and Captain America says something like “There’s only one God and He doesn’t dress like that.” 🙂

    • Comic Relief May 9, 2012 at 1:39 PM #

      Paris,

      “There’s only one God and He doesn’t dress like that.”

      I thought that was funny too. To me, Cap seemed to be the best character to voice that statement.

  6. Open Book May 9, 2012 at 6:32 PM #

    So I finally saw The Avengers yesterday. Pet peeve #1 When will they create stretch pants for the Hulk? I have stated this numerous times. There is NO way woven material would stretch that much. I think it’s more of a distraction to believe pants for a 32″ waist could fit a 42″ waist? Nope not buying it. I rather see him naked or in his undies. At least they stretch.

    I did like the film a lot and will see it again.

    • littlebells May 9, 2012 at 6:54 PM #

      Whoa, whoa, whoa, I do NOT need to see the Hulk naked because that would be a MASSIVE distraction! hahahahahahaha!!!!! 🙂 And I get what you mean, but does Banner then have to wear bicycle pants all the time?????

      • Comic Relief May 9, 2012 at 7:16 PM #

        If your pants were that tight you’d be angry too.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: