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'The Avengers' Directed By Joss Whedon

A movie Directed by Joss Whedon

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'The Avengers' Is Spectacularly Good, But Not Great

  • May 9, 2012
What amazes me about the latest epic 'Marvel' Comics movie is how many things go right. With the ensemble of so many superheroes placed on one screen: [Captain America, (Evans); Black Widow, (Johansson); Iron Man, (Downey, Jr.); The Incredible Hulk, (Ruffalo); Thor, (Hemsworth); and The Archer, (Renner)]; the results could have easily been a cluttered mess. Instead, nearly all the necessary elements are properly placed. First of all, the menace of Thor's brother, Loki (Hiddleston), and his army of gothic extraterrestrials provides enough peril to keep all the mighty guardians on the ropes for substantial stretches of the film. The second element is keeping the mood intact. 'The Avengers' gets campy in plenty of places, yet stays serious enough to sustain its suspense. How a movie juggles these two mood swings can easily make or break it. ('Star Wars' is the supreme example of stellar success; while 'Armageddon' remains a prime contender as one of the worst juggling acts.) Between the nimble work of Screenwriter/Director, Joss Whedon, (with screenwriter, Zak Penn) and editors (Ford and Lassek), the film seldom loses a step or its nerve. Added to that Samuel L. Jackson, as helmsman Nick Fury, the story stabilizes and prevents the exposition from becoming cloudy or long-winded.

One of the ingenious elements found in the fray is the chemistry of characters and the interplay of their indomitable egos. Front in center for both the banter and suspense is top ego, 'Iron Man' (Oddly, one of the few icons who relies on human invention rather than on superhuman strength.) played by Downey, who by his talent and the usual snappy script, propels the entertainment to its best heights. However, "The Incredible Hulk" (played by an unusually fragile Ruffalo) goes closest to the precipice of danger, providing an unstable danger to the core team. In an unusual twist, these superheroes are at such odds with each other, the threat of their enemies remains elusive until they can get their act together.

The plot is perhaps the lesser player next to the clashing arcade. Loki who is the incorrigible demi god (and brother Thor's alter ego) has an insatiable desire to subjugate everyone on planet earth. Using the forbidden, frozen substance used in the film 'Thor,' Loki and his henchmen seek to change and control mankind with this power and convert mankind by servile fear.

While 'The Avengers' is nearly pitch perfect entertainment, not all of the conflicts and dialogue succeeds. While I loved and admired all the wonderful, escapist elements the movie offers, it lacked some of the overall quality found in recent 'Marvel' offerings. It doesn't match the perfection of the first 'Iron Man,' the poignancy of 'Thor,' nor the cohesiveness of 'Captain America: The First Avenger'. A comparison with comic book classics such as 'The Dark Knight,' 'Spiderman 2,' or the splendor of the first two 'Superman' movies, and this film surely falls short. (Although I certainly admired how they wove all the recent 'Marvel' movies so seamlessly together--another tell-tale sign that this movie could have easily been a disaster!)

But where `The Avengers' succeeds, it does so in spades. As perfect popcorn entertainment, 'The Avengers' gets it right--good enough to spend your extra dollars for 3D or I-Max, and enough for people with home entertainment centers to be extra grateful during Thanksgiving or another part of the holiday season when this film will undoubtedly come out on DVD.
'The Avengers' Is Spectacularly Good, But Not Great 'The Avengers' Is Spectacularly Good, But Not Great 'The Avengers' Is Spectacularly Good, But Not Great 'The Avengers' Is Spectacularly Good, But Not Great

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May 10, 2012
Fun review, JP! and nice to see you come out with a review! I can tell that you really liked this one too. How have you been?
May 11, 2012
Thanks for the upbeat encouragement. I am scatterbrained, busy, but happy to be connected with you. May is great, especially when they they swing for the fences with this good of a movie early in the game.
May 12, 2012
anyitme, JP! I see you are not just 'picks' but also 'pans' LOL! I also reviewed this movie if you are interested...
More The Avengers (2012) reviews
review by . May 05, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Avengers Assemble! Joss Whedon Assembles Marvel's Mightiest Heroes!
With all the recent films that brought Marvel characters to life, almost every comic book fan was excited for the coming of an “Avengers” movie. I have read the “The Avengers” comic books ever since I was a very young child and even read them during this time of my adult life. I even managed to possess many of the issues that came before I was born. I guess you may say that I am an “Avengers” geek; I have seen the evolution of the team from something that leaned …
review by . May 05, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
It's been four years that Marvel has been planning and building to this.  If they failed, it would be hysterical.  Such a build up, such a hype with such a failure?  Oh yeah it would be epic.  Ever since Iron Man in 2008 have seeds and build up been planned.  All the movies that followed would have something to do with this film be it plot points, characters or even sly hints for fanboys to giggle at when they wink at them across the screen.      …
review by . May 04, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The Avengers is pretty much a summer blockbuster through and through.  If there were a rule book for summer blockbusters, The Avengers would've written it.  Cheesy one liners?  Check.  Dumb plot?  Check.  Flat characters?  Sort of check (they're not that flat, but this is assuming you've seen their respective films).  Tons of stupid, mindless explosions?  Check.  Pointless strange deus ex machina that comes out of nowhere?  Check.  …
review by . May 12, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    It would appear that Marvel's "The Avengers" has a little something for every movie-goer. The Joss Whedon fan, the comic book/Marvel geek, and the action movie aficionado can all safely rejoice under the comforting roof of a single film. It's been in development for quite some time, and perhaps teased and spoken of for even longer periods of time; but it's finally here, and it pretty much kicks ass. I guess I'll begin by saying that upon first glance, I didn't …
review by . May 26, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
This is the best Marvel film since the first Iron Man film. Just like that film, the best part of this film was Robert Downey Jr. as the wise cracking Tony Stark. Loki has made a deal with an alien race that if he helps them get to Earth, they will conquer the planet and let Loki be the king (right). Loki must pave the way so they can get there and this involves stealing the Cosmic Cube (introduced in Captain America) and using to power a beam to open a passage through space.    To …
review by . May 15, 2012
Every bit as fun as you would expect.
From the day I walked out of that theatre after watching Captain America I was hyped, hyped for the Avengers. As much as I was hyped I got even more excited when I found out that Joss Whendon was directing.  Ever since I started watching Superhero movies I’ve been dying for a film featuring a crossover of different characters from different comic books. While the Avengers technically are their own comic book (Marvel vs. DC is what I had in mind) it’s still something I’m excited …
review by . April 29, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Something to Marvel at
Comic book movies or superhero movies or whatever you want to call them, all inherently have a very difficult task to accomplish. They all have to cater to a notoriously picky niche market, made up of detail oriented fanboys, while still remaining broad enough to appeal to the masses. They cost a fortune so they cannot afford not to attract the widest audience possible, but if they play it too broad, the fanatics will denounce the film and ruin any chance it has of making any money back. THE AVENGERS …
review by . May 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
        For those of you who are not in the know about The Avengers where have you been?  Seriously not only have there been two recent movies featuring The Hulk and Iron Man, but last year Paramount obviously rushed through production of Thor and Captain America to get the public ready for what could be a record breaking opening.  And while these two movies were nothing all that special, they both lay the ground work and have important …
review by . May 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Riding a massive wave of anticipation, hype, and phenomenal fanboy expectations, the mega-budget film version of Marvel Comics’ “The Avengers”, has arrived thanks to the vision of Director Joss Whedon (who also helped craft the story), and a $220 million plus budget. The film connects previous Marvel films such as “Thor”, “Captain America: The First Avenger”, “The Hulk”, and “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2″, but can easily …
review by . May 21, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
The dust still hasn't settled on the excitement of the release of The Avengers.  Joss Whedon was handed over the combined stories of four of Marvel's most iconic characters (and a few others tossed in for good measure) and asked to create a film (co-written with Zak Penn) that brought all of them together on a scale that has, at least up until this point, never been achieved.  For the most part, Whedon and company do a pretty darned good job of things.      …
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John L. Peterson ()
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The Avengers is the title planned for an American superhero film yet to be produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. It was announced in April 2005 and is to be based upon the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The film is intended to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which crosses over several Marvel superhero films including Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger. Chris Evans, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo are under contract to star, with Joss Whedon attached to direct a script written by Zak Penn and himself. The Avengers has an announced release date of May 4, 2012 in 3-D
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Director: Joss Whedon
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: May 4 2012
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Joss Whedon
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Marvel Studios
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