Monday, May 07, 2012

The Avengers movie

This weekend I went to see Marvel's "The Avengers" in 3D & it was pretty awesome. This is going to be a geek-tastic post, but I have to rave about this film a bit.

Marvel's The Avengers Trailer 2 (OFFICIAL)

When I was a kid, I collected comic books- but never had any issues of The Avengers. I was familiar with these and most of the other Marvel & DC characters, though. This movie made excellent use of the iconic heroes that make up the super team.

I'm very critical when it comes to most creative works, because I can usually think of a better way to do it. Only recently have superhero action movies gotten to the point where I think they are produced properly.

The Superman movies from the 80's seemed cheesy to me. I thought Tim Burton's version of Batman was ok back when I was 12 years old, but the sequels were garbage.
More recently, DC has been improving the quality of their movie franchises. Batman Begins was very cool, but Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight was horrible & The Dark Knight Rises looks like it's going to be crap. Bane & Catwoman look like they've been handled all wrong & Christian Bale's voice when he's Batman is unbearably annoying. I saw & really enjoyed The Green Lantern recently. I was glad that they did justice to one of my favorite comic characters.

As for Marvel movies, I really liked the X-Men movies & the Wolverine spin-off was done well. The Spider-man movies were good, but the portrayal of his arch-nemesis Venom in Spider-man 3 was weak. I don't really care for the Fantastic Four & haven't seen those movies. Even though The Silver Surfer was one of my favorite characters, I refused to see the Fantastic Four sequel when I learned that the planet-devouring Galactus was going to be some kind of nanobot cloud.

The individual movies leading up to The Avengers have all been solid films in their own right. They all came together to make a truly kick-ass movie that even my critical eye can find few faults with. The way that Marvel has worked to interweave all these separate stories into one overall thread has been brilliant.

• Iron Man has the benefit of the best casting decision ever, with Robert Downey Jr. playing Tony Stark. The state of computer graphics is finally at the point where the portrayal of the mech suit is believably realistic & looks amazing.

• I thought the digitally rendered Hulk looked 'off' in his previous movies, but he was much improved in The Avengers.

Thor would have been a really cool movie if Natalie Portman & her character didn't ruin it.

• I haven't seen the Captain America movie yet, since I've always thought he was really lame. Chris Evans is a convincing Capt. America, though, that is true to the character.

Cap, The Hulk, & Thor are all being handled infinitely better than the ridiculous attempts made in the 80's.

"The Incredible Hulk Returns"

"Captain America" (1990)

As for The Black Widow, she's played by Scarlett Johansson... so..... that's all there is to say about that!

Loki was a decent villain for The Avengers, but the Asgardians (Loki & Thor) seemed pretty vulnerable for god-like beings. It was funny when The Hulk gave an unsuspecting Thor a taste of his strength, though.

The Avengers had some well-placed humor, eye-popping visuals, an exciting story, superb casting, and everything that should be in a great superhero movie. Like most people, I left the theater going "Wow!" & freaking out over all the amazing details. I give it my highest recommendation, whether or not you like superhero movies.

The excellence of this film was topped off with a final teaser scene, shown after the first set of end credits. The Marvel Film Universe is about to get a whole lot bigger & crazier!

To see the spoiler, highlight the text below:

The scene showed the alien who  kneeling before an unseen figure on an asteroid in space. The alien said something to the effect that "battling with the humans would be courting Death." That's when I thought... "no way!!!"... before they showed 'the mad Titan' Thanos turn towards the camera & grin. I hadn't read any spoilers about this scene. However, I said right before it that the only way Marvel can build on something bigger would be to use a storyline like The Infinity Gauntlet series I read when I was a teenager. They are clearly going to bring the entire Marvel movie lineup (The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Spider-man, & The X-Men) together to face off against Thanos & the Infinity Gems. Based on Marvel's track record so far, it is going to be completely awesome!

At least the official Avengers movie turned out better than this:

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