1)Of the recent crop of Marvel movies, I've only seen the first Iron Man.  I am interested in going to see The Avengers.  I wonder if you folks think it's worth having a look at Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, and the second Hulk picture before it comes out.

 

2)Also, is the second Hulk picture in the same continuity as the Ang Lee picture (which I have seen)?

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1) Depends on your tastes - the Thor film is very good, the Cap film pasess an agrreable couple of hours.  What it does allow you to do is to trace the thread, from Iron Man through The Incredible Hulk and the others, to the upcoming movie.

 

2)  Do you know, I'm not sure.  It's not an origin story, but it is in the same timeline as the others.

I think all of them are fun and worth watching.  I have a slightly stronger preference for the Cap movie over Thor, in part because I think it would have been so easy to go off the rails with Cap's character, and instead I thought Chris Evans nailed it.

If you're watching the 2nd Hulk movie, I have two words of advice.  Volume control.

Thor and Captain America and Hulk are worth seeing once (IMO), but I wouldn’t care to own them on DVD because there’s little chance I’d ever watch them again. The Marvel movies I have seen are primarily eye candy… a lot of flash but so little substance they’re difficult to remember a week later. The only Marvel “II” I ever saw was Spider-Man. I liked the first one (and even did buy it on DVD) but the sequel put off the entire franchise. I have my doubts that The Avengers even can be adapted into film, but from what (little) I’ve seen of it, they’re not doing the “Avengers,” they’re doing the “Ultimates.” That’s doable. I probably will see it eventually, but I’ll likely wait until it comes out on DVD. The two Hulk movies are in different continuities.

I'll say that I liked Thor and Captain America more than I did Green Lantern, if you've seen it. I believe Iron Man 2 was the last movie to get me to the theater, and I wasn't disappointed. I also liked both Hulk movies. If you have the time, watch them all.

OK, thanks, gents.

Loki is the main baddie in The Avengers and his plan comes after he was thwarted in Thor, so if you want a bit more Loki motivation, there is that.  The Incredible Hulk is probably the least "required", Whedon said the main inspiration for The Avengers Hulk is the Bill Bixby version.  Iron Man and Captain America were my two favorites and probably the two more important ones to see before The Avengers as they set up the two very different personalities "running" the team.  Our family loved Captain America, we saw it in the theater and own the DVD; I don't know how many times the girls have rewatched it.  Chris Evans was the first, since Christopher Reeve, to play a straight-on superhero without camp and pull it off.  There's bad earnest acting (see all of Smallville) and there's good and Captain America falls into the latter group. 

 

That all said...Whedon said that he wrote the film so that if you're walking into it cold, without all of the other Marvel movie background, you'll be fine. 

 

And, again, Jeff is wrong...Spider-Man 2 was fantastic.

It’s okay… if you’re more interested in seeing Tobey Maquire’s pretty face than, you know… Spider-Man.

I thought the real star of the 2nd Spidey movie was Alfred Molina!

Well, when I'm paying to see actors I DO want to see their faces.  The great thing about Spider-Man in animation/comics is that you can change the shape of his face and eyes to show different emotions...you can't do that in a film. 

I think you pretty much nailed it. I see you as a movie guy who reads comics, whereas I am more of a comics guy who watches movies. I have never seen a superhero movie I’ve liked as much as the comic book it’s based on, but I’m guessing you have. I remember when I first heard that Joss Whedon was going to be doing the Avengers. I was disappointed when I found out it was only a movie and not the real thing. I don’t think comic books translate well into film (but to be fair, I don’t think films translate well into comic books, either).

See this?

This is a BAD thing. What I hate so much about the second Spider-Man movie is that it has taken one of the most iconic images of Spider-Man ever (second only to the sequence of him lifting the machinery off himself) and the most iconic cover image (as far as I am concerned), and twisted it to mean the exact opposite of what it should mean. They can set his mask on fire (or whatever contrived excuse they come up with for the next movie) as often as they like, but it still smacks of writer’s fiat to me.

I am glad you are happy with your trilogy of Spider-Man movies (and I mean that as sincerely and non-snarky as possible), but I would pick IDW’s John Romita Artist Edition or the Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus Vol. 2 (which shipped yesterday, BTW) over the movies any day. I love you, Bill, but we’re never going to see eye-to-eye on the relative merits of Spider-Man II.

You can probably see the Avengers without seeing the others. However all the films built to the Avengers and it was cool seeing some of the threads flow throughout the movies. Of them all Iron Man 2 was my least favorite.

The new Hulk movie stands on its own but doesn't really dismiss the events of the first film either.

If I were to list the Marvel produced movies from favorite to least favorite:
Iron man
Captain America
Thor
Incredible Hulk
Iron man 2

If you're talking about every Marvel movie then my favorites would be the X-men movies with the exception of the 3rd one and Wolverine. I also like the first two Spider-man movies but wish they had made Spidey more quippy. Looks like he will be more along those lines in the new movie.

Jeff, there's probably a lot of truth in what you say.  The first time I heard about a comic shop nearby (I was probably around 10 years old), I was so excited because I thought it would be full of stuff about comics (Groucho Marx, Laurel and Hardy, etc) not comic books.  I was much more into cartoons and monster movies as a young kid than comic books.  It was Thor comics...with a crazy guy fighting butt-ugly monsters WITH A HAMMER...and Star Wars comics (again, monsters) that finally sucked me into buying comic books on a regular basis.

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