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Whedon is a believer and he believes hard

posted by Thom on Friday May 4th 2:55pm


Marvel's The Avengers

Expectations are high … really, really, really high. The fate of an entire movie franchise, nay the whole studio, rests upon the shoulders of Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson and most especially, Joss Whedon. Will Whedon manage the hardest feat of the movies … merging four franchises into one?

Why yes, yes he will.

Hot damn, this sets the stage for the most amazing summer of blockbuster movies. With superheroes Batman and Spider-man to come, plus the prequel Prometheus, the long time coming sequel MIB 3 and a showcase of other interesting movies, this summer could be the strongest season in recent years.

Raise your hand if you are superhero movie nut. You don't need both hands people. Gather your friends and get to the theaters for The Avengers. This movie is a must see at the theater.

A quick, mostly spoiler free, synopsis of the movie:

Loki is up to mischief again and plans to bring war to Earth. Right, we saw that in the previews. Loki works to mess with the superheroes and SHIELD to maintain chaos while he strives to bring an alien army (none of the ones from the comics it would appear) to Manhattan.

The supes are striving really hard to work together … er, I mean beat each other to a pulp. Loki's plans work until the team solidifies. Battle for Manhattan.

There you go. Quick, painless and prepped for heroics.

Who's who of Marvel:

Iron ManIron Man aka Tony Stark aka Robert Downey, Jr.
This part scared me a bit. Will Robert overwhelm the others with his acting ability, ego and persona? Thankfully, the erstwhile actor brought Tony Stark to life with his usual wit, flair and excellent quips. The suits were awesome, once again, whether they were sparkling new or they'd been through a meat grinder … Hulk, Thor, Loki, Aliens, etc. And in the end, it was Downey who brought the most emotion to the screen.

Captain AmericaCaptain America aka Steve Rogers aka Chris Evans
As the leader of the “team” I really expected Cap to be a much larger focus of the movie. Where I feared Downey would overload his part, I hoped Evans would shine in his. Sadly, this is really the only disappointment. Cap brought it, but Evans didn't have the chutzpah to hang with the big boys. However, Whedon managed to show us that Cap was really the man out of time and still had the means to pull the team together. I hope Evans can pull out the all the stops when he does his sequel in 2014.

ThorThor aka … um, Thor … aka Chris Hemsworth
It took the power of Odin and a nice reference to a hot topic in physics, Dark Energy, to bring Thor back to Earth. And the angst Thor must have had to return to see his girlfriend … the nicely absent Jane (Natalie Portman) … brought the character even more humility than his own movie gave him. Hemsworth is a damned fine fake Norseman for an Aussie. Whedon gave Thor all his powers and let the Asgardian and the monster duke it out in fine fashion.

The HulkThe Hulk aka Bruce Banner aka Mark Ruffalo
Mark lacked his turn in his own movie but he certainly brought the good doctor and his Jekyll to life. His Banner was much more controlled and confident. Ed Norton's Banner was much more edgy but in the end, Ruffalo took ownership and when the time came to launch Hulk at the bad guys he gave it his own little twist. Whedon's Hulk … hmmm. To compare it with the two previous movies or the TV show is close to apples and pears. Both are oddly shaped and come in greenish hues but really aren't the same. You'll see what I mean when you see the movie. “Puny God.”  I like both apples and pears.

SHIELD … Fury, Widow, and Hawkeye aka Sam, Scarlett and Jeremy
I like FX, I like strange combat techniques and I love tech. SHIELD brings it all. First, props to Sam to getting the most movie time for Fury yet and showing that the old dog still has tricks. Next, props to Whedon for not redoing Widow's combat style and for adding her other skills in. While I like him in most of his roles, Jeremy Renner was kind of unexciting for the most part. Just another super assassin/agent/spy with mad combat skills.

The Villian aka Loki aka Tom Hiddleston
Tom's turn as a bad guy started in Thor and has only grown in depth and skill.  The actor has all the makings of a super villian. With grandios schemes, a magical artifact, a touch of insanity and a marvelous sneer, Hiddleston's Loki touches all the milestones.  He even monologues.  The true performance really comes when Loki's mechinations go awry and the subsequent facial expressions from Hiddleston become priceless.

Mr. Whedon aka the Grand Architect
Whedon is a believer. He believes hard. It's that which makes his work in TV, Film and any other media he has a finger in so much more awesome than other directors, producers, and writers. Joss can take what's in his head and give it true cinematic life.

Honestly, I was lost in the movie mere moments after it started. The audience (love midnight preview audiences) clapped, cheered, jeered and howled in laughter and I was right there with them. It is for that elusive full retreat from reality that I live for at the movies. To sit down and enter a whole new world. It doesn't happen often but it's my addiction. An addiction I received and embraced as a child when I first saw Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and the dreaded Darth Vader. I had snowcaps. They were stuck to my fingers after the movie because I stopped moving as I was reaching for them. So thank you Marvel Studios, Stan Lee and Joss Whedon for taking me out of myself.

As usual, I gauge movies not on stars, thumbs or points but on how many times I will go see it. With one showing down, I fully expect 2-3 more trips, including an IMAX run. When it comes out on Blu-ray, I'll get the full extra special super unrated version with Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Download with the optional Tesseract powered extras.

PS:  Stay to the very end of the credits.

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Thom is Lead Web Designer at FingerLakes1.com and a former Network Producer for IGN.

As an avid movie goer and collector of DVDs, he spends a decent amount of time learning about upcoming releases. Currently, he owns over 240 DVDs of varying genres.

As a rule, he'll watch pretty much anything once though he tends to avoid horror flicks. Frequently he'll watch a movie many times in a short span after release to really get a grasp of the movie.

Some recent favorites:
Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2
Casino Royale
V for Vendetta
The Dark Knight
Iron Man I & II
and the Ocean's Trilogy

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