We've discussed when people plan to see The Avengers (here), but we haven't discussed the movie itself! So let's rectify that!

 

I went last night to a midnight 3-D showing, so I'll go first. Thus, I can't use my usual disclaimer that I'll post without reading what everyone else has posted, but what the hey.

 

To begin:

  • I loved it. I loved everything about it. And so did the audience; I haven't been to too many movies where the action on the screen evinced cheers and spontaneous applause, but it happened several times with this one. A job well done!
  • This is less "The Avengers" and more "The Ultimates," but I'm not complaining.
  • I liked how the movie struck a balance; there are six members of the team -- you know who -- plus key supporting players Agent Coulson, Maria Hill and, of course, Nick Fury, as well as the villain, Loki, but the movie doesn't seem crowded. Some might argue that it's a bit too long; I almost always think that any given movie I'm watching could be a half-hour shorter. But this one feels right, because it had enough quiet moments to let the characters be.
  • One of the best such moments was Tony Stark and Bruce Banner teaming up to track down Loki. It went like one would expect: Two brilliant minds admiring each other's prowess and striking up an easy rapport because they alone in the group understand all the technobabble they spout.
  • Reinforced later when Iron Man has to fix the broken engine on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier (Hey! it's the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier!), and tells Captain America to look at the access panel -- and Cap doesn't have the foggiest notion of what it is he's looking at. That's one of my Scenes I Always Wanted to See in movies. Cap's not stupid, but c'mon -- who would know at a glance what all those wires and diodes mean?
  • Another thing that was good was the humor. There was more of it than in most movies of this kind, and it was welcome, especially when it was low-key.
  • Like when Steve Rogers gives Nick Fury a ten-spot.
  • Tom Hiddleston as Loki was pitch-perfect.
  • Funny thing: We establish early on that the Black Widow is Russian because she speaks it during her first scene: She's tied to a chair during an interrogation getting smacked around by thugs -- but believes she's in charge. Which she is, as she demonstrates moments later. But whenever she speaks English, she sounds like an American.
  • On the other hand, Chris Hemsworth's Australian accent goes a long way to establish Thor as an otherworldly being.
  • With all the strength on display from Thor, Iron Man and The Hulk, and the talent and skill displayed by Captain America and the Black Widow, Hawkeye really seems to be the odd man out. I have to admit, seeing a guy with a bow and arrow, in these circumstances, really does seem silly and hard to swallow. Not to mention: What do you do when you run out of arrows? How many arrows can a quiver hold, anyway? Thirty? Forty? Fifty at the most?
  • The Black Widow's greatest power, however, seemed to be looking hot in a skintight leather catsuit. The audience cheered in approval.
  • This being a Marvel story, how could we not have a moment where the heroes fight with each other and then team up? Cue Iron Man vs. Thor!
  • I liked how they held back the first appearance of The Hulk. I never saw Ed Norton's movie, and I'm not familiar with Mark Ruffalo, but he did a great job conveying a man always trying to hold his rage in check and masking his fear of what happens if he doesn't with affected humbleness and humor.
  • One reviewer's criticism I have to agree with: The first time Banner becomes The Hulk, he's a mindless beast out to get the Black Widow and smashing everything in sight, but at the end, he joins the battle totally doing what the Avengers want, with no explanation for how he can behave himself.
  • Agent Coulson! He runs totally counter to the typical movie government agent; he is not flashy and flamboyant; he is not a grim martinet; he is not a jerk flaunting his authority. He is a genuinely good man, a true civil servant, efficient, diligent, and quite brave.
  • What's Robin Scherbatsky doing here?
  • One of the best moments: Loki faces off against The Hulk, shouting at him: " ENOUGH! You are, all of you, beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by a... " The Hulk's response is PRICELESS!
  • It takes a true diehard comics fan to know who that was in the end-credits bit. Lucky for me I am one; I doubt any moviegoer who isn't would have the slightest idea what that scene is supposed to mean.

 

Such great lines:

  • "I'm interviewing this arms dealer and he's giving me everything."
  • "I'm going to put you on hold."
  • "I'm always angry."
  • Captain America to Tony Stark: "Big man in a suit of armor. Take that off, what are you?" Stark's answer:  "Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist." Captain America's rejoinder: "I know guys with none of that worth ten of you."
  • "You and I remember Budapest very differently."
  • "I recognize the Council has made a decision, but given that it's a stupid-ass decision, I've elected to ignore it."
  • "... and Hulk: SMASH!"
  • Thor: "Have a care how you speak. Loki is beyond reason, but he is of Asgard. And he is my brother." The Black Widow: "He killed eighty people in two days." Thor: " ... He's adopted."
  • Loki: "I have an army." Tony Stark: "We have a Hulk."
  • " 'Phil'? His first name is 'Agent.' "

Thems for starters ... 

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From Joss Whedon at Whedon-esque:

 

"YeahbuhWHUH?"

--Kitty Pryde

Dear Friends,

Well, it's been quite a weekend. Someday, long from now, I will even have an emotional reaction to it, like a person would. I can't wait! But before I become blinded by this "emotion" experience, there's a few things I'd like to say. Well, type.

People have told me that this matters, that my life is about to change. I am sure that is true. And change is good -- change is exciting. I think -- not to jinx it -- that I may finally be recognized at Comiccon. Imagine! Also, with my percentage of "the Avengers" gross, I can afford to buy... [gets call from agent. Weeps manfully. Resumes typing.] ...a fine meal. But REALLY fine, with truffles and s#!+. And I can get a studio to finance my dream project, the reboot of "Air Bud" that we all feel is so long overdue. (He could play Jai Alai! Think of the emotional ramifications of JAI ALAI!!!!)

What doesn't change is anything that matters. What doesn't change is that I've had the smartest, most loyal, most passionate, most articulate group of -- I'm not even gonna say fans. I'm going with "peeps" -- that any cult oddity such as my bad self could have dreamt of. When almost no one was watching, when people probably should have STOPPED watching, I've had three constants: my family and friends, my collaborators (often the same), and y'all. A lot of stories have come out about my "dark years", and how I'm "unrecognized"... I love these stories, because they make me seem super-important, but I have never felt the darkness (and I'm ALL about my darkness) that they described. Because I have so much. I have people, in my life, on this site, in places I've yet to discover, that always made me feel the truth of success: an artist and an audience communicating. Communicating to the point of collaborating. I've thought, "maybe I'm over; maybe I've said my piece". But never with fear. Never with rancor. Because of y'all. Because you knew me when. If you think topping a box office record compares with someone telling you your work helped them through a rough time, you're probably new here. (For the record, and despite my inhuman distance from the joy-joy of it: topping a box office record is super-dope. I'm an alien, not a robot.) So this is me, saying thank you. All of you. You've taken as much guff for loving my work as I have for over-writing it, and you deserve, in this our time of streaming into the main, to crow. To glow. To crow and go "I told you so", to those Joe Blows not in the know. (LAST time I hire Dr. Seuss to punch my posts up. Yeesh!) Point being, you deserve some honor, AND you deserves some FAQs answered. So please welcome my old friend and certainly not-on-my-payroll reporter/flunky, Rutherford D. Actualperson!

RDA: So good to see you, young Joss! is it possible you've gotten more attractive since we last spoke, and less fungal in odor?

JW: Thanks for noticing. Let's talk.

RDA: "the Scavengers" is a huge success! Does this mean you have changed the very fabric of existence?

JW: Dude, it's just a movie. Also, yes.

RDA: I've seen a lot of a talk about "the Availers" vs "the Dark Knight Rises". How will you feel if you're eclipsed by Nolan?

JW: I'm glad I made you ask that. I will feel sad. But let's look at the bigger picture, and I can't say this enough: THIS IS NOT A ZERO SUM GAME. Our successes, whoever has the mostest, are a boon to each other. We're in the business of proving that superhero movies aren't just eye-candy (they're eye-TRUFFLES!). People seem intent on setting us against each other, and though I'm proud to be Woody Strode to Nolan's Kirk Douglas, I think they're missing the point. Whatever TDKR does on its first weekend, the only stat that matters to me is the ticket I'M definitely buying. Nolan and Raimi INVENTED the true superhero flick, yo. (Special mention to Jon Favreau and James Gunn.) Happy to be in the mix.

RDA: What does this mean for your upcoming slate of tiny independent films/Internet shenanigans? Will they fall by the wayside?

JW: There may be new ideas realized -- I always leave myself open to that -- but my commitment to Wastelanders and Dr H.2 does not waver. Those stories bubble on my stove.

RDA: And TV?

JW: TV is my great love. To tell stories with that alacrity, intensity, and immediacy... Nothing quite like it. I imagine it's not dissimilar to the feeling great poker players have: "Here's what I got, here's where I'm going... How to trick everybody into thinking I know what I'm doing?" [Full disclosure : Joss hates poker. He is probably talking about bridge. But it should apply nonetheless.].

RDA: What message would you give fans of "the Lavenders" who are not so familiar with your previous work?

JW: "Cabin In the Woods": still in (some) theaters!

RDA: Is 'the Ravengers" a perfect movie? It did get an A+ cinemascore...

JW: There are very few perfect movies. "The Court Jester", "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", "Godfather" I & II... The list does not go on and on. "The Avengers" is notably IMperfect, which makes its success mean so much more to me -- because it's striking a chord that matters MORE than its obvious flaws. Like the team, it appears to be more than the sun of its parts. Boo-yah!

RDA: What do you feel is the greatest achievement of "the Avoiders"?

JW: Getting "mewling quim" out there to the masses. Also, Hulk.

RDA: Anyone in particular you'd like to thank?

JW: [Reads from notecard]. I couldn't have done this myself. Part of this Saturn Award belongs to Jeremy Latcham, Kevin Feige, and the fine Marvel folk... But the secret ingredient is my closest peeps: J-Mo, who did uncredited punch-up work (carrier battle, yo!), Z-bro, Drew "I am Loki only taller and foppier" Goddard, and Kai, all of whom worked the story with me. Without them (and Jeremy), I'd still be figuring out how the Wasp fits in to this, and where to put Red Hulk.

RDA: What's next for Joss "finally got it right for a change" Whedon?

JW: Can we not call me that?

RDA: Just deal. Whut up?

JW: I really think we should discuss that nickname, but I'm finishing "Much Ado About Nothing" this month. If you liked "the Avengers", you'll love... I can't. It's Shakespeare. And not in the park. I hope it gets watched.

RDA: Any message to your precious "Whedonesk?"

JW: Whedonettes?

RDA: Weeble-eque?

JW: I'm not aware of that group.

RDA: Didn't they know you when?

JW: I'm not sure who you mean. I'm discarding my old fans so I can concentrate on fame, Euro-trash guy-jewelry and my precious "Air Bud" reboot. But, dude, don't print that!

RDA: You have my word.

So, that's our post! Hope you enjoyed it. Hope you'll continue to carry the banner even though other people may have joined the parade. (Kind of a gay pride/Newsies vibe: sentence accomplished!) Hope you understand how I feel. Cliff notes: grateful.

"Here's to us. Who's like us? Damn few"
-- Stephen Sondheim, "Merrily We Roll Along".

"It took a dog playing Jai Alai to teach us humanity!"
--Me, in that awesome film I'm gonna make.

-j., 5/9/12

I saw it last night. I liked it, but didn't love it. It does reconfirm in my mind I am just not a Joss Whedon fan. I will never get that time back for waiting through all of the credits. I do think the Hulk stole the show, and Mark Ruffalo was great.

Alan said:

Have we ever seen that explanation before of how Hawkeye is able to always pull his trick arrows? Because I thought that was kinda awesome.

I think it was Hawkeye were they said he had notches on the arrows like a code so he knows which one was which (or it was Green Arrow I know it was one of those archers)

As for the new villain the friend I saw it with was a fairly big comic reader back in the '80s and he had no idea who that was.

Did anyone else get a Ghostbusters feel from The Avengers...especially at the end? 

No.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

Did anyone else get a Ghostbusters feel from The Avengers...especially at the end? 

No.

Mark Sullivan said:

No.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

Did anyone else get a Ghostbusters feel from The Avengers...especially at the end? 

Nope.

ClarkKent_DC said:

No.

Mark Sullivan said:

No.

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

Did anyone else get a Ghostbusters feel from The Avengers...especially at the end? 

OK, then...just me.  :)

I am pretty sure that all the arrows were headless and there was a rotating set of arrowheads at the bottom of the quiver. He activated some doohickey and they rotated and the appropriate arrowhead ended up on the shaft. Something like that.

Travis Herrick said:

I saw it last night. I liked it, but didn't love it. It does reconfirm in my mind I am just not a Joss Whedon fan. I will never get that time back for waiting through all of the credits. I do think the Hulk stole the show, and Mark Ruffalo was great.

Alan said:

Have we ever seen that explanation before of how Hawkeye is able to always pull his trick arrows? Because I thought that was kinda awesome.

I think it was Hawkeye were they said he had notches on the arrows like a code so he knows which one was which (or it was Green Arrow I know it was one of those archers)

As for the new villain the friend I saw it with was a fairly big comic reader back in the '80s and he had no idea who that was.

No.

Care to elaborate, esspecially regarding the end?

Doc Beechler (mod-MD) said:

Did anyone else get a Ghostbusters feel from The Avengers...especially at the end? 

One of my favorite aspects of being a teacher is being known as the geek mentor.  I had probably twenty students, many of whom I don't even have in class, come up to me this week and ask me who the villain was during the credits.

I get that but I wanted to see more of a heroic Hawkeye with some background. They gave all the snarky lines to Tony Stark!

Another thing: Loki corrupts his mind with a combo of alien tech and Asgardian magic and the cure is a baby concussion!
 
Andrew Horn said:

Philip said “I was surprised that Hawkeye was "villianized" for half the movie but I liked Jeremy Renner's performance.”

Don’t forget, this was actually consistent with the way Hawkeye was first introduced in the comics, though in that case he was duped by the Black Widow into working for the Commies, so he was more or less a villain for his first appearances. It was a nice tip of the hat to his original backstory, and clearly deliberate.

Andy

...Are we to assume from Josh's comment that he finds the idea of Jan's inclusion - and by extension , Hank's - a " ho , ho , ho..." idea ????????? :-( Awwwwwwww .

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