Thursday, April 12, 2012

My One Concern About The Avengers Trailer, Birthday Presents, Get Superman a Star

On the Avengers Trailers:

Captain America:  "Big man with a suit of armor.  Take that away, what are you?"
Iron Man:  "Genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist..."
cut to:  (in trailer 1):  Thor laughing knowingly at the humiliated Cap
cut to:  (in new TV trailer):  shrug from the sexy girl agreeing with Iron Man
implied:  the sad trombone

Marvel may not know it, but it seems they're setting up their Cap to become the insta-square that DC accidentally made of Superman back in 1986 and which, 26 years later, they've never recovered from.   By setting up our pal Cap as The Bad Guy In the Dorky Outfit picking on The Guy We All Related To a Few Summers Back,  its more than possible they're sinking one of their own flagship guys, all before the movie is released.

Sure, the exchange is intended to sell us on the crazy dynamics of the characters that we'll see if we give our local cinema $10, but the whole exchange feels out of character for Cap, including the Cap from last summer's movie (the whole point of which was - he's generally better than that).  Yes, we need a "clashing team", but...  you're losing me a little here, Marvel/ Studio/ Joss.  That exchange is supposed to be the response the drunk on power/ charming Stark gives to the stuffed suit SHIELD Agent, not the guy who just got unthawed after saving the Free World.

I'm a Cap fan. Don't make me regret your movie.

Certainly as a hug box office hit, Iron Man is the big draw in this movie, but studio marketing has really, really pushed Cap to the background in the ads, both in print and in trailers.  And, while I'm not a huge Avengers fan as far as the comics go, that just feels... wrong.

also, in this Avengers movie, Cap is never to scale with anyone else

People take sides with characters.  Heck, reading the internet on a Monday after Mad Men airs, a show with no concept of heroes or villains, and you see all kinds of people cramming their notions of "taking sides" onto the show, drumming up how this or that character is clearly a bad guy, when... no.

The charm of Marvel team books has always been the dysfunctional nature of people thrown together for a job.  Its sort of like... The Office, but with adamantium claws.   But you have to be smart about this stuff.  Give and take, not setting it up like an 80's comedy with Biff getting his comeuppance from the scrappy, relatable snow-skiier.

We'll see.  I'd just have liked to have seen the trailer at least trying to sell why Cap is cool.  Its all starting to feel a bit like when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out as a movie and Raphael was this big, heavy focus, enough so that the Turtle Rap from the movie's soundtrack included the mistaken line:  "Raphael - He's the leader of the group, transformed from the norm by the nuclear goop!"

Clearly, Leonardo was the leader.  Duh.  Get it straight rapper working on commissioned rap song.  Also - did nobody listen to that song before it wound up in stores?

Yes, I bought the cassette of the TMNT movie soundtrack.  Man, we are way off topic here.

Speaking Of:  B-Day Presents

Jamie and I exchanged smaller gifts this year for birthdays as we dedicated Christmas and Birthday gift money to our vacation in Chicago this summer.  (We're going to Chicago this summer, FYI.)

But this morning I was still barely awake when Jamie placed a Blu-Ray copy of last summer's Captain America movie in my hands as well as an action figure of Cap from the upcoming Avengers movie.

So, Captain America!

I also received a book from Heather that is hard to explain, a collection of Texas-based noir stories from Jason and Amy, and some BBQ devices from Jason and Amy.  Or as I'm calling them:  Jamie.  Wait, no...  that's just going to cause problems.

My co-worker, KP, took me to J. Mueller BBQ for lunch.  If you're in Austin, this is very good, very reasonably priced stuff.  It gets The Signal Watch Seal of Approval.

One downside:  they do not sell red cream soda.  To which I say "get with it".  But they do sell real sugar Coke, which is an okay substitute.

Get Superman a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Given the number of real life bozos who have a star on the walk of fame, surely we can agree Superman deserves a star.  After all, he's successfully appeared in movies and TV from 1940-2011 and will be back in 2013.

It just makes SENSE, people.

To read more, go here.


Jake Shore said...

What I don't get is why the creators of a children's TV show (Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes) get Cap more than the creators of $100 million movie.

I didn't particularly care for Chris Evans' plain, milk-toast, another Hollywood reluctant hero take on the character, anyway. Hopefully Mr. Whedon can pull it off. But if anyone needs some help with how Captain America ought to be portrayed, I would simply refer you the scene in Daredevil: Born Again where the Avengers show up at the climax of the book, "A soldier with a voice that could command a god... and does." My question in regard to your observations is, WHERE IS THAT GUY!

The League said...

Well put. I think I liked last summer's film a bit (maybe a lot) more than you, but I think that's the Cap I wanted to see appear in this movie. That's the Cap that, in my head, makes the Avengers gel. So, yeah, putting out this bit in more than one ad just makes me wonder what's been cooked up so that we spend 90 minutes watching these people bump heads and 10 together, and then a 5 minute denouement.

Zabe said...

For now I'm trusting Joss does well bringing the eclectic band together while giving each some highs and lows. That particular interaction kind of reminded me of Mal and Jayne in Firefly:
Mal: You think you can run this ship better than me?
Jayne: Yes!
Mal: Well.... you can't!

That scene in and of itself certainly didn't make Mal look a strong leader but he more than made up for it elsewhere.

I also heard an interview from when Joss was writing the script saying he was doing it primarily from the Captain's point of view. If he sticks to that, and it makes sense he would, I would expect the Captain would have to remain the character you easily identified with.

picky said...

Is the book Lone Star Noir? If so, it's got some great stories in it. I reviewed it for the Texas Review of Books last year.

As for The Avengers, I'm excited but nervous. I really hate bad CGI, and I'm nervous the hulk is going to look like that. But I know you said you were actually more excited about this hulk than others, so I'll hold out hope.

I'll be honest, I know nothing, really, of Captain. But I really loved Iron Man, so I'm curious to see how all these guys (and gal) will work together.

Paul Toohey said...

"BBQ devices from Jason and Amy. Or as I'm calling them: Jamie. Wait, no... that's just going to cause problems."

Maybe the funniest thing that I'll read today. That. Is. Amazing!

The League said...

@zabe - I'm not a Whedon-ite. I don't dislike his work, but I never watched much Buffy, and while I liked Firefly, I'm not a Browncoat Local or anything.

Hearing that he's coming from Cap's POV and that's the dialog actually crushes me a bit. I hope I'm wrong on this. We'll see what the nerds said who attended the premier.

@picky - It is Lone Star Noir indeed! Send me the review!

IMHO, the Lee Hulk looked a tad unfinished and the Letterier Hulk looked too much like a Mark Silvestri drawing. I was looking for that thick, chunky look and the oddly emotive face. This one seems to have caught that, but we'll see.

That's the thing - everybody LOVES Iron Man. He's the rakish funster in super armor. Having him shame Captain America in the trailer just draws Cap as another square for RDJr to whiz past in his Corvette. It doesn't serve to set up Cap as the voice of legitimacy and leadership for The Avengers.

Simon MacDonald said...

I wouldn't worry about the trailer too much since they often cut those together using unrelated scenes. Maybe Thor was laughing at Cap's comeback and not really Tony's comment.

The League said...

Oh, I know that. But the studio is selling the idea to the audience before they even walk into the theater that Iron Man is going to be the rakish rogue to that square Captain America guy who needs to be taken down a peg. Even if (or ESPECIALLY if) that's not how the scene plays out, I'm always amazed how people take their cues from this sort of thing and form opinions before walking into the movie, and let it color what they think they're supposed to get out of the movie based on the 1,000,000 movies they've seen before with similar set ups. Given the conflict no doubt Whedon was asked to write into the script, it sets it up as "Cap v. Iron Man" before we even get started. And, if I can be honest, as someone squarely in the Cap camp, I find that disappointing.

Simon MacDonald said...

If they make Cap look like an idiot I will be ticked off majorly. I'm hoping the story arc shows the Avengers coming around to Cap and realizing that he's the leader they need.

The League said...

If they don't, its going to be a failure on Whedon's part.