Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Okay, folks, I wish I could say I had a damned good excuse for having dropped off the face of the earth for the better portion of a month, but I don't. Indeed it was finals time, and I am in the process of transferring out of state, and there have been many a party to attend ... actually, those are fairly convincing arguments.

Holy crapzilla that is a screen-full of awesome!
But that said, seeing as I saw it an astounding 5 times since the midnight premier (I only paid my own way for the midnight premier, so no regrets), I gotta throw down my 2 cents on The Avengers, the damned biggest most blockbusterish superhero mashup summer slam this side of ... something. Cut me some slack, I haven't written one of these in a while. I hardly remember how to include pictures anymore.

It's like ... popular, or something.

Hehe, like riding a bike, like the one I had to ride to get to a Starbucks to utilize their wi-fi. Did I mention I've been without interwebs for a really long time now? Do you have any idea what kind of withdrawals that induces?

Anywho, back to the best comic book film ever. I say that based on multiple criteria. I'm a Whedonite. I worship at the shrine of Whedon. I even loved Dollhouse. 

Okay, are the naysayers gone? Good. Now ... I do consider Avengers to be the best comic-book superhero film adaptation to date, and a large portion of that does come from my enjoyment of Joss Whedon's body of work. However, I would stand by an argument from evidence. This film has torn through box-office record after record like a fifty millimeter bullet fired through tissue paper. Never before has a film of this kind received this kind of reception. It is literally unprecedented.

If Wikipedia is to be trusted that is ....
As a kid who has been called a geek and a nerd and a dork since the dawn of public education (luckily being of Irish descent I've enjoyed scrapping and rough housing enough to avoid the worst effects of the cumbersome monosyllabic double-digit IQ gibbons who rail against creative outlets such as comics, or even worse, classic literature), this is something of a radical time for me and those like me. It is a new millennium (older news now, but pay attention) and nerds are steadily on the rise of popularity. 

Any chance I can get to plug LICD, hehe.
Among most social circles of the college age, Pokemon is still a widely discussed topic; Power Rangers is remembered fondly; Doctor Who is referenced without shame or awkwardness. Long passed is the time of nerds gathering in basements to play Dungeons & Dragons. Today's nerds openly advertise their interests. 

And why shouldn't we? The sign of a true nerd is that honestly, at the end of the day, we love sharing the things we love. That's half the reason for this blog in the first place. There is no end to how much nerds want other people to get as excited about these subjects as we are. 

Avengers is like the ultimate representation of that. It is the final indication that the majority of the nerd stigma has been erased. For the most part, at the very least.

Now back to the film. It is the culmination of a film franchise consisting of the original Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. I have enjoyed each (maybe not Iron Man 2 ... for reasons why, see 'IRON MAN 2 movie review by Ryan Wieber'). But in almost every regard Avengers topped them all.

The film's scope is astounding, and I cannot imagine another writer being capable of balancing the cast and characters as well as Joss did. No single Avenger 'stole the show' although I will say that Mark Ruffalo did a damned fine job knocking my socks off as Bruce Banner/The Hulk. The characters each had, in their way, a hero moment, without feeling forced or constructed, and the dialogue (for those of Whedon fandom) was highly quirky and enjoyable (shining best in Robert Downey's portrayal of Mr. Stark), but not to the detriment of the characters. None of the characters were written or portrayed in a way that I felt betrayed themselves, even when the earth's mightiest heroes came into conflict with one another, whether it be Cap'n and Iron Man or Hulk and Thor.

 Also, Tom Hiddleston's portrayal of Loki remains one of my favorites in any of the films. As a lover of stage theatre (whether I'm on the stage or in the audience), Hiddleston's skill as an actor resonates with me. He does it with a raw emotion, like a starving man, with such gleeful intensity that I can't imagine not being enraptured in his performance. Much like Ruffalo's time-bomb of a Bruce Banner, who, at any moment, felt as though he might just snap and go green all of the sudden.

Also, just to throw it out there, Chris Evans' performance remains, unsurprisingly, very open and sincere as the 'old fashioned' Steve Rogers. And lastly Phil Coulson, after appearing in nearly each of the previous Avenger films (I believe he was absent from the Incredible Hulk). 

Lastly, one must make reference to Cobie Smulders, (of How I Met Your Mother fame) and her stellar performance. I can only hope that in future films we will see more of her character.

Also, I can just hear Ted Mosby saying, "Kids ... this is the story of how your Aunt Robin saved the world."

Although, plot wise, I was saddened (probably as the minority) that the philosophical implications of Loki's assertion that freedom is not something to be fought for, was not elaborated on after its initial references at the beginning of the film.

The plot, while in no real way revolutionary, serves the purpose of establishing the characters, the world, and an enemy. It is an origin film that proceeds five other origin films. Talk about trippy.

It does a splendid job of picking up open ends from said previous films and weaving them into a cohesive tapestry. Admittedly I myself have no conception of it, nor do I know of anyone on whom to test this, but I would be highly curious to find myself someone who has not seen any of the other films, force them to watch Avengers, and have them report on how much sense the film makes out of context. Who knows. 

Alright, so having expounded upon the writing and the acting, I am obligated to reference the stellar graphics, but in this day and age, that is a given, or at least should be. For a film of this magnitude it would be a crime not to. But I will say I found thorough enjoyment in the soundtrack, having listened to it repeatedly before my internet died. 

Alright, one of my associates is currently insisting upon embarking upon a quest for sustenance, as our mortal forms require it. That said, I will bid thee adieu until next time, which will be shortly. I just saw Men and Black III the other day after all.

Viva la vida!


  1. FCotLV! Good work, sir. Despite the tardiness, it was well written. Also, how great was Soundgarden at the end of the movie?

  2. After reading your comments about the Bruce Banner, I thought about how I would love to get my hands on some of the old HULK episodes, and to my surprise, I can. I found three of the five seasons are available on DVD with Blockbuster @Home. I remember watching as a kid and being so thrilled and scared. I agree that “The Avengers” movie was the best comic book movie ever (until they make another one). Actually, one of my Dish co-workers let me know that she saw The Avengers is available for pre-release reservation on the Blockbuster @Home website, which is one of the things I love about my subscription. Also, when I’m waiting for a Blu-ray in the mail, I stream with my Hopper, because I can see the Avengers cartoons instantly, which keep the kids happy while I wait for the Blu-ray in the mail.