81 users responded in this post

Subscribe to this post comment rss or trackback url
mygif

@The Unstoppable Gravy Express: Meh, superhero movies always have a billion little “realism” holes like that. For me, what X2 had going for it was a sense of mystery, suspense, and tension, as well as a better sense of theme, simplistic and obviously allegorical as it was.

I would agree more effort was spent by the writers on balancing the team dynamics in The Avengers compared to the X-Men movies. It helps that the X-Men movies are really about Wolverine, whereas many of the Avengers characters have their own sub-franchises to promote. (And I guess The Avengers being all about crossovers in the general comics universe helps too.)

ReplyReply
mygif
Urthman said on May 7th, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Re: Hawkeye’s behind-the-back shot, I think the implication is that he’s glanced around the battlefield once and that he has everyone’s position and trajectory in his head and is able to just visualize where that alien’s going to be.

Re: Black Widow’s introduction – yes it was cheesy, but I think it was worth it for establishing her “super-skill” as not so much being a bad-ass marital artist but a psychological manipulator. One who can deceive Loki himself! Loki tells her, “I know why you’re here,” he’s exactly right, and she still gets him.

ReplyReply
mygif
plastikgyrl said on May 7th, 2012 at 4:43 pm

“Re: Black Widow’s introduction – yes it was cheesy, but I think it was worth it for establishing her “super-skill” as not so much being a bad-ass marital artist but a psychological manipulator.”

While I’m pretty sure Black Widow is also a pretty skilled marital artist, I don’t remember seeing any of that in the film. More’s the pity.

ReplyReply
mygif
Urthman said on May 7th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I can’t agree the Thor movie is less good than Iron Man and Captain America. Hemsworth’s Thor is very good and Hiddleston’s Loki is easily the best villain to appear in any Marvel movie (including McKellen’s Magneto). I love that his actual plan is both less traitorous and more monstrous than it appears. And the sequence where he taunts Thor with “news” of Odin’s death (dressed in human clothes that are utterly perfect) and then he can’t resist trying the hammer although he clearly knows it won’t work, that he’s not worthy.

The parts with Thor on Earth are pretty underwhelming, but they are at least light and frequently amusing. And I have to like the way the movie treats Jane and Darcy — they’re not eye candy running about in their underwear, they don’t do stupid stuff that gets them kidnapped by the villain. (Is this the only Marvel movie to pass the Bechtel test?) The movie ends with the implication that Thor is trapped in Asgard until Jane can find a way to “rescue” him.

And I think it’s important that Thor is willing to sacrifice himself, not to save all of Midgard, or even all of Manhattan, but simply to keep the Destroyer from hurting any more people in this little podunk town.

I like that the climaxes are character-driven rather than just a 30 minute action roller coaster. The bit where Thor pins Loki under his hammer is so perfect it’s hard to believe it isn’t lifted straight from the comics.

All of Asgard looks great, but somebody deserves an Academy Award for designing a “rainbow bridge” that actually looks regal and godlike instead of something that flew out of a unicorn’s butt.

ReplyReply
mygif

I loved this movie, but you may want to keep in mind that I also thought IM2 was better than the first Iron Man. So… there’s that.

In any event, I actually thought the big battle in New York offered the best justification ever for why Hawkeye was a place on the Avengers. Using him as the “spotter”/pattern-recognition expert made sense, and was a reasonable and imaginative extrapolation from the existing character concept.

ReplyReply
mygif

Saw it yesterday in craptacular 3D (only thing they had at the theater I went to)

The movie did what it set out to do which is make a crap ton of money and weave the various Avengers films into a cohesive story that was entertaining and…epic, I guess, since there isn’t a better word to define it.

Mark Ruffalo was fantastic as Bruce Banner, playing up Banner’s awkwardness and reluctance at letting the beast out as easily as he exhibited Banner’s inner rage which gave birth to the Hulk. As for the Hulk himself, the CGI has gotten a lot better, and in many ways he did steal the movie in the final fight scene.

The Cap/Iron Man dynamic drove a lot of the more interesting character bits, with the modern man at odds with the man out of time and though the team-up on the Helicarrier felt forced, Cap taking the point during the final fight was a nice moment. Whedon nailed both their personalities and RDJ proved once again why he was the perfect choice to play Iron Man.

Black Widow was handled properly, her talents being utilized in typical spy stuff (interrogation, etc.) as opposed to ‘super-heroics’, but Hawkeye was simply underused, got no back story, and spent most of the film walking around doing Loki’s dirty work. I understand the need to do this, since super-archery guy isn’t exactly ideal to battle a god, a super soldier, and Stark, but Renner’s such a good actor. It was a shame he didn’t get to do more.

Hiddleston was excellent as Loki once again and the portrayal of Loki as a guy who’d rather mess with people’s heads than blow them off was spot on. Let’s be honest, the Chitauri were there so the Avengers could punch and shoot and smash a lot of bad guys.

The plot of the movie is basically a mish-mash of Avengers #1 (plus Cap with Widow/Hawkeye standing in for Pym/Wasp) and The Ultimates second arc (Loki, Chitauri trying to take over the world). I’ve long been a fan of comic book movies remaining faithful to the source material by picking and choosing which elements to incorporate which Whedon did with this film.

The consensus seems to be good, not great, but a lot of fun which is basically how I felt coming out of the theater.

ReplyReply
mygif

“but Hawkeye was simply underused, got no back story”

There was the allusion that he and Black Widow had been on opposite sides in a combat situation in Budapest, some time in the past.

ReplyReply
mygif
JCHandsom said on May 7th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

@Salmos: My bad on calling it what it isn’t. I think my main problem with “The Arc reactor protects Tony from Loki’s ‘Glow stick of Destiny'” is the same as MGK’s problem with “Loki’s mind control is cured by head trauma.” The explanation is a little too handwavey and it makes Loki’s mind control seem even more ineffectual.

@T.Shock: I felt the exact same way about Hawkeye, and I wish that someone at Marvel would give him some more character in these movies than “the bow guy.” It would be cool if they fleshed out the past Hawkeye/Black Widow relationship in their own movie, but whatever.

ReplyReply
mygif
Corrin Radd said on May 7th, 2012 at 8:12 pm

My one sentence review:

Cap and Iron Man team up to fix an engine for like 15 minutes of the movie.

ReplyReply
mygif
Urthman said on May 7th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Hawkeye spending most of the movie doing Loki’s dirty work is also a nice nod to how he started out accused of being a criminal and getting roped by the Black Widow into stealing stuff from Stark Industries and fighting Iron Man before reforming and joining the Avengers.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 8th, 2012 at 7:23 am

Based on what everybody has been saying, it sounds like it would be okay if I waited for this to come out on DVD like I did with Thor and the first Iron Man.

I think I’m going to write something on my own crummy blog about why I always find superhero movies disappointing, but anyway…

If it’s not as good as Thor, I’m definitely not paying extra for the 3-D.

I was surprised by how much I liked the performances by the guys who played Thor and Loki in the Thor movie, but otherwise… Well, the rainbow bridge was pretty neat and Stellan Skarsgard could entertain me by reading the phone book.

I couldn’t believe how bored I was by a movie featuring the Warriors Three and Anthony Hopkins as Odin. For me, the highlight was that scene where Thor and Eric get drunk at the bar and talk a little.

Sure, there were some neat bits during the fight scenes… but I spent most of the movie thinking “I would probably enjoy this more if they had let Kat Dennings play Jane Foster” and not really giving a crap about anything.

If Thor was actually better than The Avengers, I’m not exactly in a big rush to see this movie and find out if Chris Evans can get me to stop hating him for the way he played The Human Torch (and the way he played the computer guy in The Losers), or if Hawkeye gets some fancy arrows to help explain why he doesn’t just use a sniper rifle.

I love Robert Downey, Jr. but he wasn’t enough to get me to watch Iron Man 2, so he isn’t really a huge draw for me this time either. And I’m not really interested in seeing Scarlett Johanssen in a cat suit (Kat Dennings, on the other hand…). So, that leaves Ruffalo as Bruce Banner as the main attraction for me… I guess…

That sounds like a rental to me.

ReplyReply
mygif

This probably doesn’t need a spoiler tag at this point, but just to be safe:

–SPOILERS–

OK, maybe I’m missing something really obvious, but what does LMD mean (as regards Coulson/Stark)? I’m thinking back through the film and coming up blank.

And as far as bringing Coulson back, I rather like the idea that he wasn’t dead and Nick Fury is, as stated above, “a lying liar who lies.” One thing I didn’t realize until after leaving the theater was that we never actually saw Coulson’s body. And as we all know, if you don’t see the body (and sometimes when you do) they’re not really dead.

But I only really posted because of the LMD thing. So yeah, somebody explain that please.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 8th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I think LMD = live model decoy

When Coulson first phones Tony, he answers with “you’ve reached Tony Stark’s live model decoy”.

So I presume the Internet is abuzz with the theory that the Coulson who got shanked was actually an LMD. But I personally prefer the “Nick Fury lied” version.

ReplyReply
mygif

I both agree and disagree with the complaint about long periods of standing around and waiting. I agree that they were there, but I thought they worked magnificently as tension-builders because the good guys know that capturing the bad guy doesn’t mean squat if they can’t stop his plan, and the bad guy knows they’re getting more and more desperate and panicky…and ultimately, that they’re impotent for all their power because they can’t make him talk. The movie holds that tension until it’s just about unbearable, then lets it all out in the big action sequences.

And as to many comments about “why is Loki involved with the Chitauri?”…OMG is the actor who plays Loki awesome. He only gets the one tiny scene where he’s allowed to reveal that he’s working for someone who scares even him, but he plays every scene with such a palpable undercurrent of desperation that you totally get that he does not have the option to back down no matter how many times and how many ways it’s offered to him. He has to follow through, because he ran into someone mean and scary on the other end of the universe between the end of ‘Thor’ and now, and he has no way out.

In the end, I loved it. My only complaints are by this point pretty much standard for the genre in all media: 1) The Avengers kill. A lot. It’d be kind of nice if that didn’t happen, seeing as how for the first several decades of their existence that was a pretty important part of their standard of ethics. And 2) Yes, I’m fully aware that the classic Marvel Hawkeye is a goofy, borderline comic relief character. He’s still just about a billion trillion quadrillion times cooler and more interesting than the Ultimates/movie version. 🙂

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 8th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

@John Seavey: I agree completely about 616 Hawkeye.

Hawkeye is basically just a cooler version of Silver Age Green Arrow with “trick” arrows that make more sense, but somehow Avengers writers made him transcend his roots as an obvious Green Arrow rip-off and turned him into a guy who could plausibly lead a team and is actually pretty likable and interesting.

Yes, an English longbow is a dumb weapon in a world where bad guys shoot death rays out of their hands. Yes, the circus performer origin probably sounded a lot better back in the Sixties. Yes, he has worn several really bad costumes. But somehow, all that stuff doesn’t matter. Green Arrow wishes he was as awesome as Hawkeye.

Movie Hawkeye, at least based on what little I saw in Thor, doesn’t seem like Hawkeye at all. He seems like the guy from The Hurt Locker with a hunting bow.

ReplyReply
mygif

LMD = live model decoy. Got it. And thanks, by the way.

Thing is, I just assumed Stark was bullshitting about that in order to avoid Coulson. I get that Stark has all sorts of cool gadgets and tech lying around, which would on the one hand make an LMD plausible, but that’s exactly why I figured it was a bluff: how could Coulson be sure Stark didn’t have a live model decoy? It’s just the type of thing Tony Stark would pull, then, when his bluff worked, he’d say something along the lines of, “Note to self: invent live model decoy.”

If the Coulson that got shanked by Loki were an LMD, there would’ve been much more emphasis placed on the actual existence of an LMD in Stark Tower. There wasn’t, therefore it was really Coulson. Hollywood’s not that subtle.

ReplyReply
mygif

@John,

The underselling of the threat Loki was under hurt the film a little for me. No fault of Hiddleston’s, of course, but he should’ve gotten more chances to reflect that.

ReplyReply
mygif

“Yes, an English longbow is a dumb weapon in a world where bad guys shoot death rays out of their hands.”

Hawkeye uses a recurved bow, not a longbow.

ReplyReply
mygif
Brian T. said on May 10th, 2012 at 4:27 am

Ah. My bad. Green Arrow is the English-style longbow guy. Of course Hawkeye uses something better.

Anyway… What’s the firing rate on a bow? I’ve seen estimates ranging from six to ten shots a minute. Which is great if you’re trying to stop the Norman conquest. It isn’t so great if Ultron is trashing your mansion.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 10th, 2012 at 10:27 am

Ah but if you have your patented Ultron-fragging arrow ready, you only need one shot.

ReplyReply
mygif
Candlejack said on May 10th, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Brian T., I’ve seen videos of a guy who can fire three arrows in a second and a half, and have 11 arrows in the air before the first one hits the ground. Don’t know if dude’s a record holder or anything, but you’d assume Hawkeye should be at least as good as some random guy on the internet, even if the random guy is a record holder. But in the movie it doesn’t really come up, as it’s his accuracy and variety of trick arrows we’re all supposed to be awed at.

I’m not saying a secret operative with a bow makes any kind of sense, mind you. But I thought Hawkeye was actually pretty good in this–much better than I expected, really, though that’s a low bar.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 10th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I’m also pretty sure the firing rate on Hawkeye’s arrows is at least as good as the firing rate on Captain America’s shield.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but Black Widow never did actually use her wrist-blasters, did she? Which was extra-odd given that they got a big close-up in the closing credits as her “signature equipment”.

ReplyReply
mygif

Black Widow seemed to zap peoples’ necks a lot, unless that was something on the alien suits breaking…

ReplyReply
mygif

Black Widow did get to user her widow’s bite at least once, but it was pretty easy to miss.

ReplyReply
mygif

I’m so glad that the Marvel Studios films have never gotten hung up on the heroes killing people, one of the most annoying, double-standard-ridden aspects of the genre.

ReplyReply
mygif
The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 11th, 2012 at 8:47 am

Ah, so maybe what I thought was Ult-Skrulls armour sparking and shorting out from being hit, was actually a widow’s bite attack.

Might have helped to have some kind of scene with “hey look guys, this is my widow’s bite, it does this”. Trick is do to that nonanviliciously of course.

ReplyReply
mygif

Yes, the number one reason not to kill villains is because you need to re-use them eleventy-billion times… which is true for comics, but certainly not movies.

Number two reason… think of the children! Oh, but comics aren’t just for kids anymore…

ReplyReply
mygif

I’d just like to bring up my personal Coulson theory: he died. Proper, actual died.

But he’s got an LMD, somewhere in SHIELD storage. All the high-ranking SHIELD operatives do, it’s a job requirement. Sometimes you need a decoy. Except Coulson hasn’t backed his up in a while – he’s been busy the last few months, after all, dealing with Stark and Thor and all the shit he’s had to worry about.

So there’s a version of Phil Coulson, somewhere. Except… that version hasn’t met Tony Stark yet.

(This way they can a) bring back Phil Coulson, b) have him not quite be the same person as he used to be, so you get a bit of mileage out of that and he can grow as a character, and c) he can become the movie-Avengers version of Vision, as someone who’s technically a robot, without them needing to go into the whole Ultron thing.)

ReplyReply
mygif

I’m not so sure Hawkeye was a GA ripoff. Green Arrow was a minor character who was only appearing in backups in World’s Finest and in JLA, so there’s no reason to really use him as a model. And comics had a LOT of archers in the Golden Age–Hawkeye could just as easily be one more in the long line (the fact he and Ollie are the last archers standing makes it look as if they have more in common than they do.
I always figured it was more the oddity of a guy with a medieval weapon going up against the avatar of Marvel high-tech.

ReplyReply
mygif

“I always figured it was more the oddity of a guy with a medieval weapon going up against the avatar of Marvel high-tech.”

The ‘trick arrows’ gives the weapon the ability to accomplish other, non-lethal things, too.

Ignoring the more comic-booky special arrows, when used as a weapon, you can use soft, blunt arrow heads to stun.

In a time when violence in comic books isn’t allowed or brings unwanted scrutiny, a bow is more useful for a character than a gun.

ReplyReply
mygif

Hm.

Now, I see things a little different. The scene introducing Black Widow isn’t so much setting up the Loki interrogation as it’s setting up for her meeting with Bruce Banner. When she shows up, she’s apparently at the total mercy of some gangsters who certainly look like they’re supposed to be tough, but she’s not really afraid of them and almost falls asleep while beating them up. Big bad gangsters -> walk in the park.

And then the same woman is alone in the room with Bruce Banner, and she’s _terrified_ of him hulking out. Which really underlines the fact that Banner is a walking bomb which you can’t really stop – only avoid. That’s what I got out of the two films.

ReplyReply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Note: Comment moderation may be active so there is no need to resubmit your comments