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The Avengers (2012)

Joss Whedon

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#121 Christian

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:00 AM

O'Hehir's review is a classic: http://www.salon.com..._end/singleton/

BTW, he actually kinda sorta likes the movie. It's just that he dares to have perspective about these things.

I imagine several A&F folks will disagree and be offended.

#122 Thom Wade

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:15 AM

If I was in Marvel's PR Dept, I would plaster this line from his review on posters:

I guess this picture is no stupider than anything else.



:)

#123 Anders

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:08 AM

O'Hehir's review is a classic: http://www.salon.com..._end/singleton/

BTW, he actually kinda sorta likes the movie. It's just that he dares to have perspective about these things.

I imagine several A&F folks will disagree and be offended.


And what exactly is that perspective? Is it informed by the history of genre? Are superheroes a genre? Or a subject? (Alan Moore's WATCHMEN -- the comic book -- dealt with the question of subject matter in having people read comic books about pirates in a world where superheroes are real). I ask in all honesty. The answer to his question is, "Superhero movies will end when people stop going to superhero movies by the boatload."

I guess I should say, I'm as tired of O'Hehir and his type's condescending exasperation as I am of the fanboys ready to declare this film the best superhero movie ever, sight unseen.

Also, can someone explain to me the fanboy love of Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson)? Why do people care at all about him? What other stuff has this actor been in besides the other Marvel movies (where he seems particularly unremarkable to me)? A quick perusal of Wikipedia tells me that his character doesn't originate in the comics. I'm genuinely perplexed.

#124 Jason Panella

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:13 AM

Also, can someone explain to me the fanboy love of Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson)? Why do people care at all about him? What other stuff has this actor been in besides the other Marvel movies (where he seems particularly unremarkable to me)? A quick perusal of Wikipedia tells me that his character doesn't originate in the comics. I'm genuinely perplexed.


I've been a fan of Gregg's work in several of David Mamet's films (specifically Spartan).

#125 SDG

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:28 AM

I imagine several A&F folks will disagree and be offended.

Why would anyone be offended?

I don't even know if disagree is the right word. O'Hehir seems to be profoundly uninterested in the comic-book movie as such, an entirely reasonable position. Given that, he may have interesting and provocative things to say about the shortcomings of the genre as such, but I can't think that he can have anything particularly worthwhile to say about this particular film (any more than C. S. Lewis, disliking detective fiction, could review detective stories, etc.). Perhaps O'Hehir should go back to reviewing movies about Azeri lesbian shepherds, etc.

At least O'Hehir doesn't implicate the Tea Party in The Avengers. Either he's slipping, or the triumph of Mitt Romney in the GOP primaries has placated him ... probably the latter.

Edited by SDG, 02 May 2012 - 08:33 AM.


#126 SDG

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

BTW, has anyone seen this yet?

#127 Anders

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:24 AM


Also, can someone explain to me the fanboy love of Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson)? Why do people care at all about him? What other stuff has this actor been in besides the other Marvel movies (where he seems particularly unremarkable to me)? A quick perusal of Wikipedia tells me that his character doesn't originate in the comics. I'm genuinely perplexed.


I've been a fan of Gregg's work in several of David Mamet's films (specifically Spartan).


I don't even remember him in that. Thanks.

#128 Christian

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:47 PM

At least O'Hehir doesn't implicate the Tea Party in The Avengers. Either he's slipping, or the triumph of Mitt Romney in the GOP primaries has placated him ... probably the latter.

Ah, good reminder that I don't always agree with O'Hehir.

#129 Christian

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:53 PM

I guess I should say, I'm as tired of O'Hehir and his type's condescending exasperation as I am of the fanboys ready to declare this film the best superhero movie ever, sight unseen.

I might buy this if I knew of a few who expressed condescension toward these films. I see lots of fanboy accolades. Otherwise, just weary resignation from the increasingly few critics who don't approach these movies drooling with anticipation. My response to O'Hehir's review is driven by the reminder that such people DO exist.

In terms of perspective, I'll share my own: I'm surprised that the reputation of critics as being "snooty" has so traveled so far in the other direction over the past several years that a review like O'Hehir's, which dares to be entertaining and amusing rather than dealing with the History of Superheroes in a textbook fashion, should be greeted with anything other than delight.

Edited by Christian, 02 May 2012 - 12:54 PM.


#130 morgan1098

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

For some reason it's not up on his own web site yet, but here's Roger Ebert's review in my local paper. He gives it a B+ despite seeming very underwhelmed by the whole thing. Actually, I think like many folks, he's just weary of superhero movies altogether:

http://www.colorados...fans-climb.html

Edited by morgan1098, 02 May 2012 - 12:55 PM.


#131 Judo Chop

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:21 PM

BTW, has anyone seen this yet?

I can't say I have. But I have seen Thor, Iron Man (1), The Hulk (both) AND Captain America: Something or Other.
And a handful of the X-Men films.

So... not exactly 'yes', but maybe 'mostly'?

#132 SDG

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:37 PM

BTW, has anyone seen this yet?

I can't say I have. But I have seen Thor, Iron Man (1), The Hulk (both) AND Captain America: Something or Other.
And a handful of the X-Men films.

So... not exactly 'yes', but maybe 'mostly'?

Heh. Not helpful to me. I'm looking to confirm something I think is different here from one of the above-named films.

#133 Judo Chop

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:02 PM

BTW, has anyone seen this yet?

I can't say I have. But I have seen Thor, Iron Man (1), The Hulk (both) AND Captain America: Something or Other.
And a handful of the X-Men films.

So... not exactly 'yes', but maybe 'mostly'?

Heh. Not helpful to me. I'm looking to confirm something I think is different here from one of the above-named films.

One review I read dedicated a whole paragraph to the point that in this film the good guys don’t all exactly like each other, as if that was the ‘new thing’ this film had to offer. Of course I saw that same thing in one of those X-Men films I saw, so, not new, and again, I am being very unhelpful to you. I will stop doing that now.

#134 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 02:50 PM

Richard Corliss @ Time:

Reworking Zak Penn’s original Avengers script, Whedon sat on his usual impulse to go meta; instead he served as expert mixologist for this all-star cocktail party. The movie guarantees fast-paced fun without forcing anyone to think about what it all means, which is nothing. “A poem should not mean / but be,” Archibald MacLeish wrote. A pop-culture smash should not mean but do: break stuff, agitate the senses, keep the customer satisfied. The Avengers doesn’t aim for transcendence, only for the juggler’s skill of keeping the balls smoothly airborne, and in 3-D too (converted after production). At that it succeeds.


Hat tip to Roger Ebert.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway, 02 May 2012 - 02:51 PM.


#135 CrimsonLine

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:15 PM

SDG, would you take a ten-year-old boy to see this movie?

#136 SDG

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 07:16 PM

SDG, would you take a ten-year-old boy to see this movie?

Judgment call.

#137 Cunningham

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 08:51 PM

BTW, has anyone seen this yet?

I can't say I have. But I have seen Thor, Iron Man (1), The Hulk (both) AND Captain America: Something or Other.
And a handful of the X-Men films.

So... not exactly 'yes', but maybe 'mostly'?

Heh. Not helpful to me. I'm looking to confirm something I think is different here from one of the above-named films.

Very interesting. I saw this on Monday night and liked it a lot. I thought the "ensemble" aspect of it was better even than the X-Men movies, which previously would have set the bar for this kind of thing, and I thought it was funnier than any other superhero movie I've seen (or really, any action movie, period, in a long, long time). I'm curious though what you saw though that sets it apart.

#138 Tyler

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:49 PM

Is the 3-D worth it?

#139 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:50 AM

This was the first movie that the wife and I got to see in the theatre together since... well, since Thor... and darn if this wasn't a near-perfect date movie for us.

I don't know that I would call the movie "great" -- some of the fight scenes did have a certain "oh, look, it's time for one of THESE again" quality to them -- but it's consistently amusing and it even has some interesting darker overtones, especially where Nick Fury and his manipulative tendencies are concerned.

At times, I did find myself thinking that there were so many characters here, Joss Whedon was being almost too determined to pair off this guy and that guy, and then this guy and the other guy, and then this other guy over here with yet another guy, and so on and so on -- just to make sure that every possible combination of characters was explored at some point. But the actual exchanges are fun enough, more often than not, that I didn't mind how almost schematic it seemed at times.

How wonderful to see Tony Stark and Pepper Potts enjoying the current status of their relationship. Pepper's only in a couple of scenes, so there's no need to build an "arc" for their relationship into the movie; it's just there, and it's good.

I love little details like the fact that a certain character from one of the other movies is glimpsed on a computer screen even though he/she is not in this particular film. Too often, characters from previous movies are ignored when the actors aren't brought back for the sequels (the classic example of this, for me, is how NOBODY talks about Khan or mentions his name in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, even though HE'S the one responsible for the fact that everyone's searching for Spock in the first place). But here we get a photo, which means an existing relationship between certain characters is acknowledged even as the filmmakers wisely don't bother to shoehorn that other character into the actual plot in any way.

I love the two nods to Judeo-Christianity that I spotted, both of which are very brief, but still: one is a brief reference to a biblical story, the other is a line from Captain America that is strikingly reminiscent of that classic Star Trek episode in which Kirk, upon meeting the Greek god Apollo, says we don't need the pagan gods any more because "we find the one [God] quite sufficient." Is the analogous line in this film a nod to Captain America's old-fashioned ways? Possibly, but in a good way. I like it.

Of all the character-interaction scenes, I think my favorite might be the one that begins with Tony and Bruce and Steve in a room, and Tony needling everyone (but ESPECIALLY Steve) as is his wont, and then, when Steve leaves the room, the conversation between Tony and Bruce gets a little less ironic, a little more, um, heartfelt, if I can put it that way. It's a nice, and semi-subtle, shift in tone.

Oh, and while I'm not really a Whedon fan, I have glimpsed a few minutes of Buffy here and there while my wife watches the show, and the scenes of Loki interacting with his allies from outer space reminded me of the bits of Buffy I have seen where demons argue amongst each other, etc.

Incidentally, there are two "teasers" after the end credits start rolling. The first appears after the above-the-line credits but before the more exhaustive below-the-line credits, and I honestly have no idea what is being teased there, because I don't know the Marvel universe. The second appears at the very VERY end, after the below-the-line credits, and I think it might be the scene that was shot after the press junket; at any rate, I am told that it was NOT there in the version of the film that was shown at the daytime media press screening last week.

Oh, one last thought: The 3D here didn't feel necessary to me AT ALL. If anything, it detracted from the film, by making some of the flying vessels look just that much more fake, just that much more pasted onto a background that never had them in the first place.

#140 CrimsonLine

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:30 AM

SDG, would you take a ten-year-old boy to see this movie?

Judgment call.

...which I am pleading for information to help me make! A whole bunch of my friends are going to see this movie on Saturday together, and some are bringing their sons. I want help in deciding if I should bring mine. He's seen Captain America and Thor straight through, but we fast-forward through the highly-sensual bits of the Iron Man movies. Sexual imagery is our biggest concern for this ten year old, just pre-pubescent boy.





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