Monday, February 11, 2013

Signal Rewatch: It turns out "Avengers" is a pretty good movie

I didn't hate Avengers the first time I saw it, but I also wasn't a huge fan of the movie.  I liked it well enough, but something about it didn't click with me as much as I was hoping for.  Look, straight up, I'm a Captain America fan, and I kind of though the movie gave Cap short shrift.  I think I had expectations vis-a-vis Cap's assumed leadership role in Avengers, and that just didn't happen, exactly.

But as a fun roller coaster ride?  Yeah, it's pretty phenomenal.

I still don't quite get how people even followed the movie who hadn't paid to see the other Avengers movies in the lead up to this one, especially if you missed Thor (and, really, why would you miss Thor?  My MOM liked that movie).

On a second viewing, a bit more calibrated for what one could expect from Avengers, I didn't just watch it to enjoy a few choice scenes, I really quite liked the whole package much, much better - even if the ending is kind of ridiculous.  And, man, yeah, no wonder they can't keep Avengers toys on the shelf.

Watching the big, exciting fight scene at the end, I'm now in total awe of the package Joss Whedon put together.  I mean, it's about as perfect a super-hero-y playscape, threat, etc.. as you're going to find, and then the camera work and FX just really carry you through that whole terrific, chaotic cityscape.

I know I'm telling you guys something you already know, but by that point the last time I saw the movie, I was sort of ready for the conclusion, and everything between me and our villain stowed safely away felt a bit like a semi-welcome delay before we could all file out.  Not sulking about Cap's second-tier status kind of set my mind at ease, as did enjoying a lot of what Mark Ruffalo was up to in every shot where he appeared as either Banner or Hulk.  And, yeah, as much as a Planet Hulk movie sounds boss as hell, I'd like a Ruffalo-as-Hulk movie first.

Anyway, that's this evening's geek-out.

I'm pretty jazzed about Iron Man 3, and the in-production Cap and Thor flicks.  And word is that fricking Rocket Raccoon is coming to the big screen in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie.  Rocket Raccoon is getting a movie before The Flash, Shazam, Wonder Woman, Aquaman...

Go to hell, DC.

Now, if I can get a Black Panther movie, I might relax a little.


Jake Shore said...

Glad to see you've come around. I'm convinced one's enjoyment of a movie is at least half dependent on one's expectations going in to it. After seeing how Captain America was emasculated in his movie, "Captain Nice Guy," where his most distinctive heroic feature is not his leadership, indomitable will, patriotism, ass-kicking quotient or character, but his goodness, I had zero expectations of him going into this movie. So in my opinion, Mr. Whedon was much closer to the mark with Cap than Joe Johnston, even if he gets the short shrift.

For me, making a quality, entertaining team superhero movie that is necessarily epic without getting too stupid or ridiculous and still managing to do some interesting stuff with the characters is probably the most difficult task any modern filmmaker could be expected to do, and somehow Joss Whedon pulls it off as well as anyone possibly could. It's not a perfect film (see here:, but I just can't imagine anyone doing one better.

And yes, a Black Panther movie would rock.

Simon MacDonald said...

I always enjoy watching this movie. Even though I know it is coming I still laugh at the scene where the Hulk rag dolls another character.

Does a Black Panther movie have to wait until Wesley Snipes gets out of jail? I thought he had the rights once upon a time.

Rocket Racoon and Groot in a movie will be magic Jerry, pure gold!

The League said...

I would assume Snipes had to sell those rights to clear his tax issues, but who knows? I was a Snipes fan in the 90's, but he's getting up there in years to play T'challa. There's too much young talent for him to hang onto the rights for himself.

I think BP could be pretty popular if they treated the character right and used Klaw as his nemesis. A totally different location for the origin, a cool origin at that, and a look that would look rad on t-shirts and play well as an action figure? Yeah, I don't get it.

Simon MacDonald said...

Who knows, these locked in rights and weird hollywood deals confuse me. Yes, I agree Snipes is past his prime to be playing Black Panther.

I think a Black Panther movie could be pretty awesome, if done right and for the most part since Marvel has taken over their movies as Marvel Studios they've done a very good job.

The League said...

Yeah, Marvel has done good by dusting off the core/ traditional presentation of the characters and then taking it at face value, asking directors to make it work without much changing. There's room with T'Challa for Machiavellian intrigue, encroaching outlander bad guys, the jump from idyllic Wakanda to the mean streets of New York, and super technology. What's not to like?

I think, also, T'Challa would be a good counterpoint to Iron Man as the stoic super genius.

And, Captain America already introduced the concept of vibranium, I think.

Simon MacDonald said...

I love the juxtaposition of the African man coming to NYC and not being overwhelmed by American technology but in actual fact having far superior technology. It plays counter point to what hollywood has show us for 50+ years.

Yes, I believe vibranium has been name checked in Captain America and possibly even Iron Man.

The League said...

I wish Black Panther comics were better than they usually are. I love the concept so much, but I always eventually feel like the writers don't know what to do with the guy. I have all these sporadic runs of Black Panther in my long boxes where you can see where I have up on a series.

Simon MacDonald said...

I've heard that Christopher Priest's run is pretty awesome but I've never tracked it down.

The League said...

It started strong, but then seemed to wander. I did like it for a good number of issues, though. I can't really remember why I walked away, but I bet digging through the dollar bin at Austin Books would fill the gap in my collection (and memory) pretty fast.