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The Avengers (spoilers)

 
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Bob Morris



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: The Avengers (spoilers) Reply with quote

So let's keep potential spoilers out of the box office thread as we discuss the first summer 2012 blockbuster.

Saw it tonight and loved it. You've got a lot of people who need screen time and Joss Whedon manages to balance everything pretty well. I can't think of too many directors who can balance out the need for every key character to get some development without coming off as a throwaway.

The good thing about the movie is you don't have to see every film that preceded it to understand everything, with the exception of the main villain, Loki. But you at least understand enough about his motive and he doesn't come off as a mustache twirler. (For those who need to know more, the Thor movie would be the only one you have to see.)

It was nice to see Black Widow get much better treatment than she got in Iron Man 2, where she seemed more like a throwaway character.

Whedon may have done the best job with Tony Stark yet -- he gets to crank out all the one-liners without detracting from the plot. Whedon also did well in summarizing how Captain America came to be part of the "modern era" and I liked the quirk that the Captain didn't quite understand everything about the modern world.

From what I've gathered about the second Hulk film, it does a better job of doing service to Bruce Banner than it does to Hulk, but that changes here, especially when it comes to the payoff.

Speaking of payoffs, I like how things were done with Hawkeye and how he comes full circle with the revenge for being brainwashed by Loki.

The one thing that could have been done better is explaining exactly how Thor is convinced he should play along with SHIELD. First we have him wanting Loki to himself and objecting to anyone who gets in his way, and then he's playing along. That's a minor grumble, though -- and they do tie in how he and the others ultimately realize they need to come together.

The mysterious council is another minor grumble I have -- they come off too generic and we don't really get as much insight as we should about their relationship with SHIELD.

But those aside, the characters that needed the most focus get it and it all builds to the action sequences that conclude the film -- and the sequences do plenty to pay off earlier plot points.

Iron Man 3 is supposed to be the next Marvel film in this particular series of films and it's going to be hard pressed to top the Avengers. Whedon truly gets the material he's working with and how to make it work, and after Iron Man 2 didn't really follow up on the original well, those putting Iron Man 3 together have their work cut out for them.

Anyway, Avengers is very much worth seeing.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2012 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: The Avengers (spoilers) Reply with quote

Bob Morris wrote:
It was nice to see Black Widow get much better treatment than she got in Iron Man 2, where she seemed more like a throwaway character.


She was the heart of the movie, and all the credit to Joss and his well known love for strong women for making her that.

Tony was the "anchor" because he's clearly the most "over" of all the characters with the fanbase, but he's had two movies to get over. His key emotional theme here was growing from a loner to being willing to sacrifice himself for the team in the end... which was foreshadowed early, but not hit over the head time after time after time to the point that it was annoying when he had his moment with the Missle.

But while he was the anchor, it was Natasha that Joss invested a lot of the emotional elements of pulling things together. Her scene with Loki was great, and perfectly set up the scene with Hawkeye later when he was essentially going throw withdrawls and her pulling him into the team. The early scene with Banner was excellent as well, giving lots of space for Ruffalo to establish himself as a fresh Banner... but it also got over Natasha as someone who wasn't backing down to the Monster. And of course her first scene was awesome.

Scarlett is so good, and Joss is so good with her, that I really wish that Joss would do a movie with her (and perhaps Hawkeye in it as well) before the next Avengers. I know there's IM3, Thor 2 and Cap2 in the pipeline, and of course there will be A2 given the billions this will make. But the move I really want to see is Joss + Scarlett doing a Black Widow movie.

Honestly, I wouldn't have enjoyed this movie close to as much if she wasn't in it, and done as well. A lot of it would have felt like a spot-a-thon without her. And wait... she was awesome in her spot-a-thon parts.

Just wanted to get that out there. Ruffalo is getting a lot of credit for doing well with Banner, and of course Downey is fab as Starks and was given a ton of humor spots by Joss. I thought Scarlett was really good.

Also...

I was digging Cobie Smulders. Damn Joss for doing well with his women. :)

John
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Bob Morris



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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't mind seeing Whedon directing a movie with Black Widow and Hawkeye in it, either. Taking a look at the other planned sequels and their scheduled release dates:

Iron Man 3: May 4, 2013
Thor 2: Nov. 15, 2013
Captain 2: April 4, 2014

I would think Marvel might be open to trying a Widow/Hawkeye release in August of 2014 -- or perhaps in the fall of 2014 -- which allows you to build to a May 2015 release of Avengers 2.

A lot depends on what Marvel wants to do with future X-Men and Spidey releases. They already have the next Wolverine movie set for a July 2013 release.

It's possible Marvel might look at a Hulk flick with Ruffalo. A lot depends on how well the studio thinks it can get the writers to tie everything into the next Avengers flick. Whedon was good at tying things together for this Avengers flick, but the question is how well the writers and directors of the planned individual-hero sequels follow up on what's been set in motion.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ruffalo has gotten a lot of positive comments, and a lot of good buzz, from this movie. They might look to slot the relaunch of the Hulk franchise into November 2014. Marvel probably thinks there's more money in Hulk than Black Widow. :/ That also could more naturally lead into Avengers: the four anchors all have movies between now and A2.

I think Joss had fun with this, and rather than walk away from it might think doing two of these will almost set him up for life... not just financially, but in being able to write his check in Hollywood. We also have seen form his TV past that he has a lot he wants to say with a set of characters... at time almost too much. :) But 220 minutes for him is chump change: 3 2/3 tv episodes, and this is a guy who juggled two full series of 20+ episodes at one time.

So unless Marvel is a pain in the ass to him, of Joss goes nuts, he's probably back. Looking at how they let the three Spidey movies and then the Iron Man movies have a director leading the project, Joss could have this. He also seems like an actor's director/writer, and it sounds like everyone enjoyed making the movie.

John
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good movie. Everything worked. Ruffalo & Hulk stole the movie. The most fun was the battle between Hulk & the god Loki. Lots of fun. I've seen it twice & it got better.

Did everyone stay long enough to watch them eat dinner?

Yohe
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Bob Morris



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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joss has a working relationship with Marvel regarding a series of DVD releases based on the Astonishing X-Men comic book series, so one would think he'd keep a good relationship as long as he wants to do Avengers and related movies.

The question becomes whether DC tries to lure him into doing one of their franchise -- or somebody else wants Joss to direct a sci-fi flick or something else. Avengers is certain to be the flick that thrusts Joss past cult-film work into the blockbuster realm.
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Bob Morris



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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following up on what I previously wrote about Whedon, DC luring him in may not happen. I had read that Whedon had been hired to write and direct a Wonder Woman film and he left the project, between him not finding a direction he liked and his vision differing from the studio.

So that's one less competitor for Whedon's services.
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jdw
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joss is a pretty creative guy. I doubt he wants to be doing comic book adaptations for the rest of his life. :) So leaving Marvel for DC isn't something he's likely thinking about, since he probably doesn't consider himself a "Marvel Guy".

He probably knows he has a good thing with doing an Avengers sequel. But he also long term will feel it limiting: he's a bit beholden to four other film series lining up with his plans. It's even had to do it as a trilogy because the demands of the other movies, and it's not like he can kill off one of the super heros.

Just a guess, but he'll use Avengers to get to do other projects he has in mind. He's probably has seen the ups and downs of his own career, and will want to cement himself as a "made man" with a second Avengers. But if it doesn't happen, he'll be happy with what this monster has given him. I also think in the end that there's a streak of TV in him because it gives him more time to develop characters and storylines. With Avengers, it's going to be 3 years before he can continue it (in terms of release date).

John
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jdw
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Black Widow Spins Webs Around THE AVENGERS

That article really nails why I think Black Widow was the heart of the movie, and Joss really put a lot of what he's best at as a writer into the character.

JOhn
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