Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Okay…maybe that’s overdoing it a bit…but I was happy to receive this Blu-Ray from my wife when she returned home from a day of shopping at Target. Even if she didn’t bring it home last night, I still would’ve took a trip there myself to get it, because I had been waiting for this disc from the minute I left the theater last May after watching the film for the first time.
Back in 1978, I saw—at the time—the best comic book film I had ever seen: Superman. As far as special effects movies of that time, Superman was the best. It had even won an Oscar for it and won such critical praise for its cinematography, but my 9-year-old self loved it regardless back then. For over 25 years, that movie was on a pedestal for me as the best superhero movie ever…until Spider-Man 2 was released. Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was overall a good trifecta of films (yes, even the third one was enjoyable), but part 2 stood out from the three and even from all comic book movies, because in 2004, I held that movie as the best superhero movie ever. In my mind, The Dark Knight was a worthy runner-up, but Spider-Man 2 won me over as the best. However, a mere 8 years later, The Avengers comes along and just blows me away!
Conversely, this film didn’t just drop on us all of a sudden...we all knew about this and saw this beast coming almost 5 years ago. Starting with Iron Man in 2008, four separate films constructed and readied all of us for The Avengers simply by giving us entertaining movies with a tag at the end of each one—albeit, making us wait through exorbitant amounts of movie credits—hinting at an upcoming collaborative superhero movies which we all knew was going to be The Avengers. And, looking back, that is what made this film work. Because the filmmakers couldn’t just drop a huge movie like this and try to introduce us to a group of heroes with their origins in just a matter of 2½ hours. If they did, the movie would need to be over 4 hours long.
So, what I’m trying to say is that this movie has topped my choice for the best comic book/superhero movie to date. It breaks my heart to say it, because I’m a HUGE Spider-Man fan (although it makes it easier now that Sony screwed up the character with this new rebooted debacle they released over the summer). But yes, The Avengers is now my favorite film based on comic book characters.
Now, if you’re coming in this dry, with no prior knowledge of the separate films that led up to this one, it’s okay. You may find yourself asking questions about what one person (or alien) is, or you may not understand the objects or plots discussed, but you’ll get the basic gist of the film. And the simple idea of it is that an alien menace threatens the welfare of the planet, so a security agency in charge of keeping peace helps to assemble a group of superheroes to maintain that peace and fight off the threat that wants to annihilate our planet.
The heroes should all be familiar and are pretty much household names that most people would recognize. But as I had said, even if you don’t, the movie is very enjoyable to watch.
One by one, the heroes from the previous stand-alone films are called in to help.
The music score by Alan Silvestri is actually memorable and symbolic as the heroic theme of the movie. As I sit here, writing this review, it’s replaying in my head, over and over. Trust me, I’m not complaining.
Nonetheless, I can go on and on about this flick. I’ve seen it twice in the theater and once so far on Blu-Ray, only because I had to get to sleep last night, otherwise I would’ve watched it a second time last night. I’ll probably wear out this disc with the multiple viewings it’s going to endure, but it’ll be well-deserved because this film is the quintessential superhero comic book movie. It’s what other studios would love to do, but I really don’t think they’ll have the know-how that Marvel does. Talk has been brewing about the Justice League movie going into pre-production, but they better watch all the movies leading up to The Avengers if they want a chance at doing it halfway right. Are you listening (or reading this), Warner Bros.?
But you know what? It’s all about Marvel. The future is bright with what’s to come and I can’t wait!
So, in conclusion…what’s my final “bit” on The Avengers?
Also, to follow suit with all the stand alone movies, there are two post credits scenes: one in the middle and one at the very end. Comic book nerds will understand the first one and the second one is very amusing.
Well, that’s about it. Thank you for reading and, as always, you can reach me on Twitter: @JustCallMeManny.
at 11:45:00 AM
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
In the past year or so, I had heard of this movie that many horror sites have held in high regard. But to avoid contaminating my mind with opinions—both good and bad—from other movie reviews, I dodged them all until finally getting this flick in the mail from by beloved Netflix account.
The film goes on after that, showing a more somber Brent as we find out his father died in that crash. He seems distant and dark, only coming out of his trance-like states for his girlfriend, Holly (Victoria Thaine). He seems to only keep attachment with one friend, Jamie (Richard Wilson) and not much else. He broods in his room, listening to metal music and doesn’t do much else that doesn’t involve hurting himself (he carries a blade around his neck and we later see scars on his body from cutting) or wanting death (we see him climbing a cliff and hang there, wanting to drop).
at 9:54:00 AM
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Once again, I digress.
My second favorite genre of movies is probably, and more accurately, a sub-genre of action movies—comic book movies.
After years of collecting DVDs, my wife grew tired of seeing all the different colors of movie covers in our bookshelf. She suggested that I inter the discs and covers into a DVD binder, doing away with the plastic cases and saving space on our shelf. Not long after doing this, my binder count is up to 25, with each binder holding 20 movies. That means I have around 500 titles in our bookshelf. Of course, maybe 2% of those movies are my wife’s, but the rest are all mine.
Two of those binders are dedicated to my second favorite genre—or first favorite sub-genre—comic book movies. A good portion of one of the binders is growing with the Marvel Studios films that tie into my upcoming Blu-Ray, The Avengers (I already have a spot saved for it).
Before The Avengers came out back in May, I sat at home and watched the films that led up to it, so I can have the characters’ stories fresh in my mind. Seeing that the Blu-Ray is probably coming out in September, I decided to do it again (although it might be a little premature since it’s still more than a month away). But after watching the first Iron Man film and The Incredible Hulk, I ventured into the next Marvel Studios film leading to The Avengers…Iron Man 2.
Sorry for the long-windedness in getting to this point, but let’s move on and get into my thoughts on the film.
To synopsize the film, we open with the ending of Iron Man, or at least the audio of that press conference that ends the first movie. The scene takes place in Russia and it opens with an old man, Anton Vanko, clearly very sick, who is lying in bed and watching said press conference. As he’s about to die, he calls over his son, Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) and tells him he’s given him all his knowledge that the Starks have robbed from him. As he passes, we get a terrific performance from Rourke as he believably portrays a grief-stricken son, showing the anguish in his face, as well as obvious anger toward the man on TV—Tony Stark. In the next scene, we’re treated to a montage of Ivan, going over plans and schematics (bearing the Stark Industries name, as well as Anton Vanko), as he proceeds to build a similar arc reactor that Tony Stark built for himself. But at the end of the scene, we see that Ivan Vanko has made some type of electric whip devices before the scene blacks out and the Iron Man 2 title appears.
We then cut to Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), as Iron Man, jumping from a military aircraft with AC/DC’s “Shoot To Thrill” accompanying the scene, as he flies threw fireworks (and getting hit by one) and down into the Stark Expo. Once on stage, he demonstrates how he’s disassembled and goes on to host the opening of the show. As he introduces a 1974 film of his father, he takes a break to go back stage and we see that he’s testing his blood, the reading showing his blood toxicity level is at 17% (if memory serves me correctly). At this point of the story, it isn’t clear why there are toxins in his blood, but we come to find out later that the palladium in his miniature arc reactor is slowly poisoning Tony.
Everything was enjoyable in this film and I don’t have many complaints. If there was anything I can complain about was how quick and simple the ending was and how it was resolved. But there were a few winks here and there us comic book fans can appreciate, like the appearance of Captain America’s shield, or replica thereof.
Yes, I’m looking forward to seeing how far Marvel Studios can go with this universe they’ve created. Hopefully they can introduce more characters to the group and retain other heroes’ rights currently owned by other movie studios. I mean, come on! Spider-Man should be a part of this universe! They’ve already ruined the character by rebooting a successful franchise with a shoddy retelling of a story we saw a mere decade ago (see my July 9th review)!
Well, what’s my final “bit” on Iron Man 2?
Great comedic moments, some dramatic acts, a lot of kick-ass scenes, all made for an awesome film!
By the way, don’t forget to wait for that extra scene!
You can follow me on Twitter: @JustCallMeManny
at 1:57:00 PM