Friday, May 4, 2012

Discuss: The Avengers movie

Karen: Today's the day! I know I'll be with my husband and friends at an IMAX theater in California to see this film, hoping it's as epic as the ads make it look. Let's hear reactions from those of you who have seen it.

Doug:  I am hoping to see it with the high school senior Sunday afternoon (assuming he can stay awake after Prom!).  So until about a week passes, feel free to heap praises or throw tomatoes, but try not to SPOIL anything for our readers who won't see it for awhile.  Thanks!



pete doree said...

It's fantastic. I can't see any comic fan not loving it. All the cast are great, each character is given equal time and depth, there's some brilliant gags, lots of great character moments and some INCREDIBLE fight scenes.
I walked out of it feeling like a kid again and the teaser at the end is capital A awesome!
Really want to mention specific bits but it's only fair to play the game so, if you haven't seen it yet, just get ready to smile A LOT.

Doug said...

Thanks, Pete!

Slow on comments today, which is to be expected since for most of us our first chance to see it is actually tonight. Please stop back to this post in the next few days, however, and let us know if you've seen it. We'd like to run a "who cares about spoilers?" post after about a week or so -- but we want to make sure that most of our faithful readers have had the opportunity to soak in this film (which the Associated Press gave a 3 1/2 out of 4 rating!) before the lid is blown off in gushing discussion.



Anonymous said...

First of all, congratulations for the blog.
I watched the movie (twice) last week in Brazil and I can say that Joss Whedon (and all the cast) did an amazing job. A movie to comic books fans and no fans. Marvel has another winner. Go for it and you won´t regret.
All the best!

William said...

Just got back from seeing the Avengers movie and I must say that it's THE BEST THING EVER PUT ON FILM! EVER!!! EVER!!!

No spoilers, but everything you could hope for to appear in an Avengers film is in this movie. I have a whole new respect for Joss Whedon. He really delivered something amazing for the fans and general movie going public alike. Definitely the best Marvel Comics movie adaptation of all. Can't wait to see it again.

FYI, sit through all the credits. There are actually two after movies scenes, one about a third of the way through the credits, and another all the way at the end that is worth waiting for.

I've waited about 35 years for an Avengers movie and it was worth the wait. See it as soon as you can. And then see it again. Nuff said.

david_b said...

Hoping to go either tonight or tomorrow night for a midnight showing.., on military travel again. Might have to bring my MU Goliath with me..

(Hey, I typically bring a bit of home-geekness with me on long trips, along with a few Masterworks and DVDs..)

J.A. Morris said...

I haven't seen it yet, but this "Avengers" video is pretty funny:

Anonymous said...

Hey david_b,

Bringing that cool looking Goliath is a great idea. Especially if you buy him a seat.

My wife and I are going tomorrow night. Reserved 3-D seats! We decided that the reserved seats trump driving over the Bay Bridge to spend all day in line for Imax. I'm trying to get her to dress up as the Wasp, but she's just not seeing the bigger picture on this one. I really wish our 2 yr old son was old enough to go. He already likes Iron Man.

James Chatterton

pete doree said...

Has everybody seen the 'Avengers Assemble! ' webseries on youtube? Funny stuff, obviously made by fans, and they nail Hawkeye. ( As you'll see, Clint'll appreciate that analogy.. )

Fred W. Hill said...

Saw The Avengers tonight with a few friends. Just plain awesome! It skews more to the Ultimate universe than ye olde Marvel, but (no surprise) is independent of both, creating its own mythos. Unexpected standout (for me) was Mark Ruffalo's performance as Bruce Banner -- I liked how Banner was as much a part of the team as his emerald alter ego. And Scarlet Johansson was great as the Black Widow! Lots of great performances all around. Lots of drama and fun, as well as many nice comedic bits that suited the characters. Even if only loosely based on the actual comics, I think it very much adhered to the spirit of the best stories by Lee & Kirby and their many successor Avengers & Nick Fury chroniclers

larkydozer said...

So good I can't wait to see it again.

The teaser at the end was so unexpected I let out a "whoooaaaah" in the theater.

Karen said...

Fantastic. I felt that the characters were pitch perfect. Plenty of great quips and great action. And the Hulk is a stnd out. I was initially opposed to Mark Ruffalo's casting but he does an excellent job.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Just saw The Avengers. It's the closest thing yet to seeing the Marvel comic experience on the screen. They really pulled out all the stops this time. My wife the non-comical book type loved it as well. We're definitely going again.

James Chatterton

Anonymous said...

I had a bigger on my face than...well, if you've seen it, you know who!

Anonymous said...

Grin! The missing word is grin...I need some sleep......

Doug said...

Hey, everyone --

My boys (both of 'em -- the college soph. met us at the theater on his way back into town for the summer (very cool!)) and I took in the Avengers this afternoon in a PACKED theater! The only place we could sit together was in the front row, so I'll definitely be going again some time to get a better perspective.

We saw it in 2D; I had some students who had seen the midnight showing on Thursday tell me on Friday that the 3D was good -- I'd appreciate some feedback on that, as I may switch it up on the re-viewing.

As others have gushed, this movie was simply wonderful. I told my wife I've been waiting 40 years to see this movie -- she gave me a "yeah, right" look. I told her I was 6-years old when I got my first Avengers comic! I think then she understood.

Again as others have said, every character in the film has at least one standout moment -- heroes, SHIELD agents, Pepper Potts (wow, did they sex her up for this picture), Jarvis -- everyone. The CGI on the Hulk is the best yet, and the sets are amazing. I couldn't be happier.

I am going to (if Karen hasn't already beaten me to it) set up a follow-up post for a week from today (Sunday, May 13) where we can let it all hang out - spoilers be damned! We'll put a prominent disclaimer at the top alerting folks who've yet to see the film, but then the rest of us are going to share our true likes and maybe even a fleeting dislike IN DETAIL.

Man, cannot wait to see this again! I'm looking forward to hearing the updated gross receipts as well -- before I went I saw that in the Thursday-Saturday revenues the film has made over $200 million in the States. Do you recall back when the 1989 Batman film came out that it was the first movie to gross $100 million in 10 days?


Fred W. Hill said...

For some odd reason my original comments from verrrry late Friday night, made after I got home from hanging out with friends and seeing The Avengers, disappeared. Anyhow, I loved it! Great performances and a nice mix of drama and comedic bits just like in the best of Lee & Kirby's work. We only stayed long enough for the post credits bit, not realizing there was another one to come. Ah, well, guess I'll have to see it again!

Doug said...

Fred --

Many apologies about your first comment. Blogger placed it into the Spam folder for some reason. Karen and I receive email notifications for all of the comments, but we have no way of knowing if they actually published unless we see them on the blog. I was pretty tied up over the weekend, and this morning after I saw your follow-up comment was the first time I thought to check the Spam folder.

Thanks, and apologies --


William said...


I saw it in 3D, because I wanted the "complete" experience. So, if your theater has good 3D, it is worth seeing. There are some very impressive moments in some of the battle scenes that I felt were really enhanced by the 3D. I found myself thinking several times, while watch the movie, "Wow! That was awesome. I bet it wouldn't have looked nearly as cool in 2D."

So, that's my opinion on that. Hope it helps.

david_b said...

Saw it in 2D Saturday night late (the early evening show was sold out..).

Can't wait to see it again. Hard to tell who stole scenes more, but definitely the Hulk/Banner concept worked great, even seamless. Ruffalo scored BIG time as Banner, loved the wry sense of humor from his end.

As for line-up changes, some folks have chimed in that Widow and Clint can expendable, but I'm totally against that. It the smaller-scale, more-human level characters like Widow and Hawkeye that really ground the group and works great on another level. You need that for good team dynamics. The lesser characters help to define the dominant characters in terms of strength, which also brings out sensitivity in the dominant characters by assisting the weaker team members.

Also, IMHO, the sequel should be smaller in scale, more personal and driven. That's how truly successful sequels work.

It's like a chapter of a book or an act of a play, you have to have highs and lows in terms of action and character development. How they'll do that with Thanos, is anyone's guess. Companies who use sequels to simply try to out-punch or out-CGI the first film typically aren't too successful. I think of Supes II and Empire Strikes Back as great examples of deepening impact rather than out-blasting the first film.

I still LOVE thinking about the final post-credits scene.. PURE GENIUS.

david_b said...

Oh, and I do declare that DC and 'Dark Knight Rises' has 'just been served'...

Doug said...

William -- thanks for the opinion! I think I'll definitely see it in 3D next time.

David B: Removed the spoiler, huh? Hey, it's all gyros to me!


david_b said...

Yeah, apologies for not being more observant on your plans for the 13th for this site to go SPOILER-READY. I didn't see it until after I initially posted.

More than willing to sit in the BAB penalty box..

Doug said...

Ha! No worries, friend -- I'd never even heard that word before it was in the film. As I said above...

I kept waiting for something "bigger" to happen; I'm glad it didn't. Genius, as you said.


david_b said...

We ate 'em in Kuwait all the time.. It was my commander's favorite whenever he went to the nearby Kuwaiti Naval Base for cargo inspections with Customs.

And, yep, they're basically gyros.

humanbelly said...

Thus taking care of an annoying question mark that was hanging in the air over my cranium. "Is it me-", I thought to myself, "-or are those just gyros? Maybe with a couple of more ingredients?"

@Doug re: Pepper Potts: I completely agree that she was a distractingly sexy element in this film (o'course, our own thundering middle-agedness may be amplifying the effect. . . ), but think back, brother. Remember what she was wearing in her primary scene w/ Tony & then Phil? A pair of regular old cut-off jeans shorts, and (I think) a simple sleeveless button up cotton shirt (can't find any images, so I'm unable to double-check). No shoes. And minimal make-up (corrective/natural-look). Completely un-glamorous. . . and drop-dead lovely at 40 years old. *sigh* It's nice to now that a leather cat-suit or flight suit doesn't win every time. . .

@Karen et al: Yep, Mark Ruffalo brought to life the Bruce Banner that we Hulksters know from when he was being written at his best. Quiet, confident in his scientific abilities, unbelievably (and again, quietly) altruistic, VERY wry, highly ethical, and perpetually- though not overtly- ill-at-ease (Especially around authority figures. And he was BRILLIANT in subtly depicting this small trait, even when it wasn't a focal point at all.). I was thinking there was an enormous amount of actor-electricity between him and RDjr in their few scenes together, and found myself wanting to see the two of them team up for some other film entirely. Very disparate styles that are riveting when they're combined.


Anonymous said...

Not sure where we are with the spoiler alert, so I’ve waited till now, but if you ain’t seen it, DON’T READ THIS:

Doug, Doug, Doug.......front row, 2D? I ached for you when I read that. The 3D is very good. You can tell Whedon shot it for 3D rather than converted it. As with all 3D you have to take the glasses of periodically to get the WOW factor back, but it was it well done. Very few gratuitous, stuff-flying-at-the-screen shots...but a few! And 10 years of Buffy showed.

So many superbly framed shots that stick as snapshots in my mind even though the action was integral....I mean like Scarlett framed by the Hulk behind her as she runs from him, Thor catching his hammer at the same moment Cap catches his shield, Hulk punching Thor sideways etc.

I couldn’t believe how much quality air-time everyone got. Even relationships that were changed, like Natasha/Clint, you could see there something going on there. They both layered it. Every character was explored, none were butchered to save time or to streamline the plot.

For once, the Hulk actually looked like Banner i.e. the CGI Hulk looked like an expanded Mark Ruffallo, but I still felt he looked a bit like a bendy toy when he was moving. I think 20 years from now, this movie will still look good with the exception of the Hulk. I think the CGI will date badly. Am I alone in thinking the Hulk would look better played by a Ferrigno type very-very-big-dude until they can get him right? Ruffallo...maybe the best Banner? I think better than Bana or Norton, but Bixby is hard to shift. I liked the way Ruffallo seemed utterly involved what was happening, but you still felt he had his own problems and was wary.

I’ve heard movies described as all star casts before, but this was ridiculous. Even down to Harry Dean Stanton chatting with Banner in his crater and Cobie Smoulders as Val (yes, I know she was called Maria, but she was Val, wasn’t she? And, yes, I know, you’re gonna tell me it’s not Smoulders, but that’s a matter of opinion!).

I agree with David about Hawkeye and the Widow for the reason he sites, but also because IM, Thor, Cap & Hulk have their own movies in the same way that they had their own comics. The thing that made the Avengers work was the characters that only appeared there, and Hawkeye was the first.

Conversely, I loved the continuity to the other movies. Pepper, Cap’s flashbacks, Loki/Thor plot
etc. Continuity made Marvel great and when they lost it they became a joke.

You’re also right about ‘sequelitus’. They already made that mistake with Iron Man. Avengers 2 could be Empire or it could be Temple of Doom.

Bloody Hell. Thanos. Did NOT see that coming. I mean, right when I thought I could not be more impressed/engaged/amazed, HE turned round. Imagine an entire cinema full of guys suddenly sitting bolt upright and their girlfriends going ‘what? What just happened? Who’s that now?’

I would have given anything to have been sitting next to Karen at that moment.

Are you watching the box office? Biggest movie ever. By miles. Already.


Doug said...

Doug said on May 4:

We'd like to run a "who cares about spoilers?" post after about a week or so -- but we want to make sure that most of our faithful readers have had the opportunity to soak in this film (which the Associated Press gave a 3 1/2 out of 4 rating!) before the lid is blown off in gushing discussion.

Doug said on May 6:

I am going to (if Karen hasn't already beaten me to it) set up a follow-up post for a week from today (Sunday, May 13) where we can let it all hang out - spoilers be damned! We'll put a prominent disclaimer at the top alerting folks who've yet to see the film, but then the rest of us are going to share our true likes and maybe even a fleeting dislike IN DETAIL.

Not to be heavy-handed, but out of respect for everyone who's not yet had the opportunity to see the film, we here at the BAB are going to do our best to keep this a safezone. Are details all over the Internet? Sure. Is it virtually impossible by this time to NOT know who the baddie is in coming installments? Yep. But if we can, let's wait until the end of the week (Sunday to be exact), and then we can let it all hang out.

Many, many thanks!


david_b said...

Nope, Doug, good to be a strong moderator, that's really the best strategy.

I've got lots to say on the characterzations of both Natasha and Clint, not all good.

Looking forward to the free discussion, no rush.

(Ok, ok, that being said, can I at least chime in on how NICE Pepper looked without much makeup and in those jeans..?? Not to be sexist, but that was a WONDERFUL visual for us more seasoned male admirers..)

Anonymous said...

Apologies to all on the spoiler thing. I was a major criminal there, but, seriously, Doug, this thread is called Discuss: The Avengers Movie. Anyone who wants to walk in tabula rasa really should NOT be reading a thread called Discuss: The Avengers Movie, and my mind boggles at how this thread would read if we spoiled nothing for the uninitiated. ‘My seat was comfy’. ‘The man sat next to me had a great sweater’. ‘We got a really cool parking spot’.

Admittedly David’s point that Gwynnie looks hot in Daisy Dukes does not spoil the plot in the slightest, but I put it to the jury that that is not really discussing the Avengers Movie in any meaningful context. Except in the 7th grade.

I'm guessing you were hoping to just whip up a lot of excitement, bask in the joy that the movie is finally here, and let the initiated blow off a bit of steam without spoiling it for the whole class? Bless you for trying, but we’re in love.....


PS ...but sincere apologies from me. If anyone had spoilt it for me....

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