Finally! We watch the new Marvel Avengers flick and offer our comments and analysis. Excuse this short (but spoiler-free!) description, but suffice it to say that we had a great time and found lots of interesting moments/meanings. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say, too.
So, the big boss laughing scene (everyone was laughing too here in Singapore - he looked like a big ape trashing a toy) - I managed to hear a bit of what he said to Loki (for once, thank God for Chinese subtitles!)
[Spoiler] The Hulk called Loki a “puny god” 弱神 [/spoiler]
On Black Widow bringing-a-gun-to-a-godfight, and the powers of female superheroes :
Ok, I realised I raised this point back in Iron Man 2, but I was reminded of it at the big ending fight of the Avengers movie - Black Widow’s fighting style is old-school battlefield jujitsu. She doesn’t need to have a specialised weapon when she can easily disarm a foot soldier. Her fighting style is almost all pure technique - so she doesn’t need to match the brute strength of the rest of the Avengers. Combine that with her ability to figure people out & manipulate them & you’ve got a deadly weapon! It’s also kind of liberating not to be bound that way to just one kind of weapons platform (think Thor and his Mjolnir)
PS A woman who can “hulk smash” - for me the best movie that comes to mind is Geena Davis (holycrap she’s 56 this year!) in The Long Kiss Goodnight. This movie was so epic that it’s practically the inspiration for later shows like “Alias”.
Also, Hawkeye’s power is self-explanatory - in any battle you’d need eyes in the sky. And the way he shoots his arrows are almost like chess play! Each shot is measured for maximum destruction. He sees the cause & effect and he’s able to strategise a battle plan on the fly.
Something I thought of while listening to the podcast is that all 7 main characters on the hero side actually had one on one confrontations with Loki, which was really kind of surprising.
I just wanted to agree and comment on Ruffalo’s performance as Banner. The thing I noticed is that for the majority of the movie, he has this sort of sadly amused demeanor. You get a sense that Banner is sad that he can never fully be a part of this world, but it’s not a self-pitying thing just a sad realization. Instead of moping, he just goes along with what is happening and tries to stay amused. It’s easier to defuse anger when you just wryly smile and chuckle to yourself. It’s a way of staying detached and calm (or perhaps his being calm causes him to be detached.)
Also, you only see him show fear once. In the scene when he’s transforming on the helicarrier and he looks at Natasha, you see that he’s afraid. None of the other heroes, not Loki, not the giant alien carrier beast, nothing scares him except the realization in that one scene that he has lost control. When he shows up in the final battle and sees that Stark has pulled the monstrously huge thing toward them and everyone is thinking about how the hell they are going to fight this thing … Banner just turns and casually begins walking toward it. He shows that level of badassitude that comes with knowing that you are the scariest thing in the fight.
I’m glad he’s signed to do more films.
^^ Ruffalo totally came off like a wise, slightly crumpled professor. What a subtle performance.
I say this all the time, but I waited my entire life to see superhero movies like Avengers, Iron Man 1+2, Nolan Batman.
I said in the Avengers thread: When Thor tackles Hulk, I literally got a tear of joy in my eye, realizing that Thor and Hulk were gonna go at it, and it was gonna be good.
And not only do we have the movies, but we have a talk show that raps about 'em. We’re truly living in the future.
Thank you everybody involved, from Audra to Whedon. And the million artists who worked on the movie.
Has anybody seen it twice yet? How’s it work second time around?
We saw it Sunday in 3D with the SoCal peeps and then again Monday late afternoon in NormalVision. It was just as Jossome
As for a female superhero who can bring the good old fashioned ungirlified damage, look to another of Joss’ creations, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. No mind control, no seduction, just a tiny woman beating the craaaap out of the bad guys.
I saw it midnight Thursday and then again both Friday and Saturday nights (each time with someone who hadn’t seen it yet.) I’ll be seeing it again this weekend with my parents. While the surprise is gone, most of the badass moments are still just as badass on repeat viewings. Repeat viewings will give you the opportunity to catch small things you didn’t notice the first time. It also gives you a chance to step back from the story and appreciate the film itself, the acting, writing and directing. They are written and perform just like they did in their individual films, so any fan of one particular film or character can appreciate them just as much in the ensemble. The only change, Ruffalo’s Banner, is one that I found suited me better (as you can see from my post above.)
I guess I am in the minority, I found myself more attracted to Cobie Smulders character than Scarlett Johansson’s. But I can be weird that way… And as to strong and relatively believable female heroines I recommend: Haywire, T2, Watchmen, Machete,?? Fifth Element ??, Drive Angry, Tomb Raider 1 & 2, RED, Harry Potter series, Powerpuff Girls, Lisbeth Salander, Xena???, Silence of the Lambs, Daria, Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Mr and Mrs Smith, Run Lola Run, ?Resident Evil series?, Descent, Lost Girl (tv), and I am sure I am missing loads more.
Depends on the writer, how much clout the Director and Producer have, and a whole lot on who the film is going to be marketed for as to how much of what the writer and creative team put into the character remains. The difference between what was originally envisioned and what makes it onto the screen can be very different. Anime and Asian martial arts films are still two of the mediums that do not shy away from strong female characters, I hope more of that trend makes its way to America. But the live action Akira film has me worried, if they will not even put Asians in the frakkin film what hope do women have??
First of all, hooray for me that I actually saw a major GWC movie. For reasons to boring to share, I didn’t see Star Trek 2009 until a month after it came out, and it was incredibly frustrating for me cuz I had to put off listening that podcast at all the ones around it to avoid spoilers —and double frustrating cuz I am this biggest Star Trek fan. Period.
But that’s all water under the bridge…
Avengers, I saw the day after its midnight release. Totally loved it. Perfect in everyway I can think—the writing, the acting, the cast, the action the look, the villian OMGs the villian.
Btw, I’m gonna assume this tread its okay to talk spoilers, but
To me it seemed that the story was structured as an Iron Man story in that it sort of began and ended with him. Though you could argue it was a SHEILD story but …whatever. Regrardless, it was amazing how EVERY CHARACTER got not just lip service, but just the right amount of lines, scenes and integral plot points.
Making Hawkeye the character that’s turned was genius cuz it elevated his place in the plot.
All that said, I gotta agree that The Hulk stole the show. Our of a 500 satisfying moments in the movie, the Hulks moments stood out.
So we saw the Hulk in the trailers doing amazing damage and fighting in the city, so we KNOW as an audience that some point he’s gonna change into the Hulk. I don’t know about you, but the whole time I’m was thinking “Wow, how are they gonna make him angry to get him to be the Hulk at the right time?”.
And the totally surprise payoff moment when he says “You wanna know my little secret? I’m always angry” And BOOM he’s immediately the Hulk. It’s surprising and unexpected and says SO much about Bruce Banner’s character. Awesome.
Also, because it’s a Joss Whedon movie you KNOW a character is gonna die.
So when agent Coulson dies you’re reminded that everyone and anyone could be killed, and that makes you really worried that Stark is dead when he looks to be.
Anyway, great movie. Can’t say enough about it.
to throw another super-strong but believable female hero…Barbara Gordon/Oracle (unless they rebooted this which I heard they did)…back when she was wheelchair bound by the Joker, she turned around and became the information source and the go-to person that Batman and others went to for knowledge and info…from a wheelchair…and this was back in the 80s…I’d think you have to throw her into the equation too
I never read a Marvel comic as a kid (probably never will now either…me’s a DC Loyalist :D)…but it is fun learning about these guys through the movies…and reliving the old DC stories through the animated DVD’s (which are just the awesome!)
Yeah, they did reboot that, but I’ve heard rumors they might go back to her being Oracle (though I wouldn’t mind if they brought Chloe Sullivan over in that role and left Barbara as Batgirl )
Seen it three times now, once in 3D (which was actually pretty darned good). Each time I watch it I see more of what is going on in the background, can appreciate the attention to detail in the costumes and the sets; and as the crowds grow smaller I can hear more of the dialog.
Just remembered another very good film with a female character as its focus, HANNAH; loved that film… And I am looking forward to Brave. A lot of Urban Fantasy series have females as the protagonists, and they are strong well written characters. I am sure Sean can confirm this since he follows a few of them. I believe Anita Blake crossed over into comics for awhile and I know Mercy Thompson has been in two graphic novels, it would be nice if they could be in a TV or movie series. I think the American public is ready for it…
“That man over there is playing GALAGA!! He thinks we wouldn’t notice but I did!”
Covering one eye with a hand. “How does Fury read these screens?”
“He turns his head.”
“No hard feelings ‘Point Break’ you have a mean swing.”
“I am bringing the party to you.”
Watching the Leviathan approach. “In what way is this a party?”
I thought Loki was much… I don’t want to say “better”… but he seemed more… substantial in Avengers than Thor. And I liked Thor.
Going with the boy tomorrow. Woohoo!
Finally saw it yesterday… Great, fun movie: but the 3D was not particularly impressive. But I still had a great time.
Chuck it was interesting to hear your comments on the Prometheus trailer: the youtube trailers don’t do the real-deal, 3D cinema trailer any sort of justice. I am sooooo hanging out for this movie, you have no idea!
Hi guys - just listened to the cast and really enjoyed it. I’ve now seen Avengers 3 times with 3 different people. It’s certainly got a great rewatch quality to it and I’m so pleased you guys have as much enthusiasm for it as I’m seeing with those I watch it. One point on something you said. The Civil War storyline in the comics was not due to the Mutant Registration Act. The storyline went along the lines of a massive tragedy due to a superhero/villain clash that led to a clamour for a Superhero Registration Act - that’s anyone with enhanced powers, not just mutants. Coming down on the Pro registration side were Iron Man, Spiderman (at least initially), Mr Fantastic, Black Widow and Beast among others. Anti-Registration were Cap, Daredevil, Wolverine, Human Torch etc. It was also the storyline that introduced the Maria Hill character, though the movie cut out a lot of the shot footage that depicted her as less than friendly to the super-heroes and not exactly Nick Fury’s most reliable and loyal lieutenant.
So here’s my opinion on the whole Tony Stark/Steve Rogers leadership thing. When it comes time to actually fight, Stark is woefully under-trained. Tony simply has no experience planning and executing a battle. When he fights, he is usually taking care of the most immediate threat and that is where his focus is. In both Iron Man 2 and Avengers he asks Rhodey and Steve Rogers what the play is. It’s not Tony deferring to his friend or to Captain America to get them more into the battle, it’s because he is untrained (and PERHAPS incapable) of deploying and employing military forces en masse. He’s a one man show both scientifically, corporately and militarily.
Steve Rogers on the other hand is trained to employ special forces. This is what he does. Rhodey is also a decorated military commander. In fact, I sorely missed Warhammer in the last battle of the Avengers, especially since the battle took place on American soil.
So Tony is asking Rhodey and Rogers what to do because that is not his expertise.
But that’s just my 2 cents.
Yeah, I can see why in a cast this big they didn’t want any redundant members (i.e. two robot dudes) but I would’ve liked at least a refrence to Rhodey. Mention that the Air Foce has him in Afganistan or whatever.
Although you have to wonder why S.H.I.E.L.D haven’t recruited War Machine; especially given their earlier acceptance of Iron Man but rejection of Stark. Seems like the guy whos like Iron Man but more disciplined would be the logical choice
Agree - especially since they felt the need to explain away Natalie Portman in a one liner. I know Marvel had the option for Don Cheadle to return, but chose not to exercise that. Hopefully we’ll get some explanation in Iron Man 3
I think Disney/Marvel were hesitant to involve Cheadle with a surefire blockbuster after his past as a pornographer came to light: