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Peter T Chattaway

The Avengers (2012)

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I confess...I don't really connect with this "forgettable" theme that has popped up in the thread. I saw the film only once and it was opening weekend. I can still remember scenes, dialog and so on quite clearly.

Same here. I'm still discussing it with folks I know, and it's very fresh in my mind.

Edited by Jason Panella

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Is the point raised here a concern for those who watch the movies only? Or is this the sort of objection one would have only if one were applying the framework of the comics to these films?

MP.TheAvengers.08.re-lettered.flattened.sm_.gif

Oh, and FWIW, as of this past weekend, The Avengers has finally fallen behind where Avatar was at this point in its release (in North America, that is). The Avengers had about $586 million as of Sunday, while Avatar had about $595 million as of the end of its own seventh weekend (which coincided with the Oscar nominations, if memory serves).


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Yeah...the movie does not establish the cube as being all powerful. It's a massive source of energy and a potential weapon...but the movies never states to be an all powerful source that can do *anything*.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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My thoughts, upon the Blu-ray release.

I've been re-reading some of this thread, and I see that my reaction differs somewhat from that of others, because whereas some of you enjoyed the movie but didn't feel any reason to revisit it, I was troubled by it at first but ended up enjoying it much more once I re-watched it a couple of times.

Edited by David Smedberg

That's just how eye roll.

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I disagree a bit with your assessment of the Hulk a bit. Banner is not in control of the Hulk-once he transforms, the Hulk is the brain in charge. The Incredible Hulk established he has rudimentary communication skills, and can stop smashing things-even in Hulk form. The Hulk is capable of making choices-but he makes them in the same impulsive fashion as an angry child.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Fair enough, Nez--it's been a while since I saw The Incredible Hulk and it doesn't stand out in my memory as clearly as Ang Lee's version did anyway. (Jennifer Connelly can do that to a man.) While that potentially answers my "plausibility" objection, it doesn't necessarily answer the "satisfying" objection, since I really, really liked the Hulk's semi-tragic story arc, and if he is more Super-Brat than Superman, he's still pretty dang invincible.

Edited by David Smedberg

That's just how eye roll.

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(Jennifer Connelly can do that to a man.)

Yup. Why else would anyone remember The Hot Spot or Career Opportunities? OK, I never saw the latter. But I remember the poster.


"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Shameless (non self-) promotion coming up.

A friend of mine and all around funny guy actually got a couple of jokes accepted on the Rifftrax for the Avengers. So, everyone buy, download, listen to/watch watch the Avengers Rifftrax. You won't be disappointed: http://www.rifftrax.com/riff/avengers

Edited by kenmorefield

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Full disclosure: there's no way I'm reading the whole preceding thread. Sorry.

I've been the guy who was a minor annoyance the last few years with regard to comic book movies. Generally, I don't much like them, even though I've spent a lot of time reading superhero comics. I've been a bit of a jerk in expressing that view.

In fairness, now, it's incumbent on me to admit how ridiculously entertaining this movie is. What's so great about Whedon's film, in my view, is that he recognizes the essence of what made the Lee-Kirby stable of characters and events so compelling to kids my age: (1) bombast, (2) humor and (3) an acknowledgment of superheroes as an essentially B-level/genre entertainment (not that there's anything wrong with that). This involves a funny juxtaposition: the fate of the earth is always in the balance, but there's always time for a quip. The stakes are serious, but the comics never take themselves too seriously. Christian Bale's hilariously bad Batman voice and somber musings would have been totes out of place in THE AVENGERS. (Now that I think about it, imagine the hilarious riffing that Stark could have laid on raspy Batman.)

Plus, Whedon has a chance to reap the harvest of the preceding half-dozen Marvel movies used to introduce these characters. I've only seen a couple of them-- the two Hulks, Thor and Captain America-- and they're all minor pleasures. Some of them are more successful than others, but all significantly less accomplished than THE AVENGERS, which benefits so well from being able to play the characters off against each other within a superheroed world. I know Marvel/Disney see this as the big payoff from those films, but the characters they hadn't introduced previously-- Hawkeye and Black Widow-- come off pretty well, too. Part of what is so appealing about the way Whedon throws these characters together is that as a group, they each retain their individual characteristics, but the sheer multiplicity of heroes spares us from the now-ludicrous Sturm und Drang of the Superhero-as-Metaphor. Yes, yes, I get it. The X-Men are a stand-in for all persecuted minorities. Peter Parker is a pubescent boy. Batman is what makes everybody afraid. The less time and attention paid to these on-the-nose themes, the better, and THE AVENGERS is so stuffed with characters and events that it has no time for this overused angle.

I'm also typically bored by action/fight sequences, but Whedon kept me interested the whole way through. His eschewing quick-cutting is a large part of it, but his frequent use of long and wide shots to spatially orient the viewer is a nice departure from the school of filmmaking that puts the viewer right in the middle of a disorientingly-shot fight.

Also, this: the film gets even better on a second viewing. How many action movies actually appear more consistent, rather than less, when you take a second look?

Also, this: my 9 y.o. and I may or may not have watched/rewound/rewatched the Loki-thrashed-like-a-rag doll scene five or six times.

Edited by Russ

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Russ wrote:

: I've only seen a couple of them-- the two Hulks, Thor and Captain America-- and they're all minor pleasures.

You missed both of the Iron Men? Interesting, as it was the success of the first film that paved the way for all the others... plus, they set up the Tony Stark - Pepper Potts relationship here...

: . . . the characters they hadn't introduced previously-- Hawkeye and Black Widow . . .

Black Widow was introduced in Iron Man 2. :)

(Hawkeye had an ultra-brief cameo in Thor, too, but it's *so* ultra-brief it doesn't really count as an "introduction".)


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Also, this: the film gets even better on a second viewing. How many action movies actually appear more consistent, rather than less, when you take a second look?

Huh. I finally got around to a second viewing of this a couple weeks back and this was not my take away at all. I think I may have been overly generous with this film because of a) the excitement of finally seeing all these characters together on the big screen, and b ) the good will Whedon has previously generated.

But I thought the action was the worst part of this film by far. Open 10 min are deadly boring and really lack tension despite being necessary to setting everything up. And the final battle, despite the long takes, is actually pretty generically bad.


"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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I've seen it at least five times and maybe six. It holds up. In particular, the action scenes hold up.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I've seen it at least five times and maybe six. It holds up. In particular, the action scenes hold up.

Fair enough. I know you're a big fan of the film, but a second viewing just didn't do it for me. Not enough to tilt me negative on it, but, I don't know; all the stuff that I had nagging discontent about the first time around felt magnified on a second viewing.

The genericness of the Chitauri is a major issue for me. As for the action scenes, I remember a couple nice touches in the final battle, but I just don't have motivation after two viewings to go back and figure out exactly what I didn't like about it. I'm open to hearing what you love about them though.

Re-reading Scott's much-maligned review in the Times, I find I track almost beat for beat with his reaction:

The best scenes are not the overblown, skull-assaulting action sequences — which add remarkably little that will be fresh or surprising to devotees of the “Transformers” franchise — but the moments in between, when the assembled heroes have the opportunity to brag, banter, flirt and bicker.

Edited by Anders

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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Letterboxd.

Reviews and essays at Three Brothers Film.

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Re-reading Scott's much-maligned review in the Times, I find I track almost beat for beat with his reaction:

The best scenes are not the overblown, skull-assaulting action sequences — which add remarkably little that will be fresh or surprising to devotees of the “Transformers” franchise — but the moments in between, when the assembled heroes have the opportunity to brag, banter, flirt and bicker.

While I'm certainly fond of the "moments in between" Scott cites, the qualitative comparison of the "overblown, skull-assaulting action sequences" to the Transformers franchise is glib poppycock, going no deeper than superficial similarities of imagery. I submit that if you forced Scott to sit through the second or third Transformers movie again, halfway through he'd be weeping to escape to a screening of Avengers in the next theater.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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I've seen it at least five times and maybe six. It holds up. In particular, the action scenes hold up.

I have not seen it quite as many times...but I concur.


"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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Re-reading Scott's much-maligned review in the Times, I find I track almost beat for beat with his reaction:

The best scenes are not the overblown, skull-assaulting action sequences — which add remarkably little that will be fresh or surprising to devotees of the “Transformers” franchise — but the moments in between, when the assembled heroes have the opportunity to brag, banter, flirt and bicker.

While I'm certainly fond of the "moments in between" Scott cites, the qualitative comparison of the "overblown, skull-assaulting action sequences" to the Transformers franchise is glib poppycock, going no deeper than superficial similarities of imagery. I submit that if you forced Scott to sit through the second or third Transformers movie again, halfway through he'd be weeping to escape to a screening of Avengers in the next theater.

Amen.


In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."

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Yeah, this film was big spectacle in all the right ways that the Transformers films are wrong. But to speak specifically of the action scenes, the Transformers films' action scenes are as close to unwatchable as it gets. I can't tell what's going on. Whedon blew Bay out of the water here just by being coherent.


"It's a dangerous business going out your front door." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
"I want to believe in art-induced epiphanies." -- Josie
"I would never be dismissive of pop entertainment; it's much too serious a matter for that." -- NBooth

"If apologetics could prove God, I would lose all faith in Him." -- Josie

"What if--just what if--the very act of storytelling is itself redemptive? What if gathering up the scraps and fragments of a disordered life and binding them between the pages of a book in all of their fragmentary disorder is itself a gambit against that disorder?" -- NBooth

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I had no idea David Hasselhoff played Nick Fury first -- or that he thinks Samuel L. Jackson didn't do it right.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joZODFleOaA


"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I had no idea David Hasselhoff played Nick Fury first -- or that he thinks Samuel L. Jackson didn't do it right.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joZODFleOaA

 

Hasselhoff is pretty well cast, if a bit lightweight, as Classic Nick Fury.

 

Samuel L. Jackson IS Ultimate Nick Fury. Period. The Ultimate version of the character wasn't just visually modeled on Jackson, the way Frank Miller styled Matt Murdock on Robert Redford. The character's whole persona is adapted straight from Samuel L. Jackson's screen persona.

 

It is just not possible to read a comic book with Ultimate Nick Fury and not hear Sam Jackson's voice. There are no two ways about this.


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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