Posts Tagged ‘Avengers’

This movie was fine. There were a bunch of robots, and people shot beams at them. Thor hit some robots with his hammer, Hulk smashed some robots, Captain American kicked his shield around a bunch of times. The best part was James Spader’s exasperated Ultron, who just couldn’t believe how people didn’t get how great his plan is. Actually, I think as far as villains go, Ultron was probably the second best we’ve seen in a J. Whedon Joint – Holland pointed out to me that making the villain an insane robot actually makes a lot of things make a lot more sense. We’d have a hard time buying this kind of “I dunno, what about a meteor?” plan from a crazy human being, but a crazy robot, sure. Who knows WHAT those fucking things are up to.

(Who’s the first best villain? Loki? No, it’s the Mayor of Sunnydale from season 3 of Buffy. I contend that the best parts of Loki are actually Hiddleston’s nuanced, three-dimensional performance in Thor; in the Avengers, he’s interchangeable with any other dumb old megalomaniac.)

Obviously, though, I am here to talk about politics.

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I generally enjoy doing a little comics primer for whatever character‘s currently popping up on the screen, and I really wanted to do one for Avengers, but there’s one problem:

An image that erroneously makes it seem like The Kree-Skrull War would be awesome.

By and large, Avengers isn’t really very good. Even the Good Avengers comics aren’t very good.

There are a few “classic” stories that are referenced on everyone’s short list of Best Avengers Comics, but boy did they leave me cold. In fact, the bolder the title, the iffier they seem to be.

In something called the “Kree-Skrull War,” for instance, you might expect to see some awesome alien battles, and you would be wrong.

Mostly, you see the Avengers commuting from one planet to another to pick up some wayward teammates. And then perennial sidekick Rick Jones ends the (mostly off-panel) war with mental powers he was granted for no good reason to wrap the story up.  (more…)

In my last post, I suggested that I had a number of questions and problems with The Avengers, despite generally having a pretty good time while watching it.  I don’t know if other people, ordinary humans with their inferior movie-watching abilities, are capable of both simultaneously enjoying something and engaging with it critically, but I am.

ANYWAY, when I declared that it was possible to make basically the same movie but also fix all of the problems that I had, Moff (author of Moff’s Law) admitted that he almost believed me.

Almost.  Believed.  ALMOST.

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Look, I’m not trying to give anybody a hard time here.  The  Avengers was a fun movie, and I was committed to liking it.  Hulk smashed, Thor knocked some stuff around with his hammer, Captain America threw his shield at guys.  You know, the stuff that happens in The Avengers.  Every moment of the movie was an exciting and dramatic moment — people were falling out of things or into pits or whatever, getting zapped by stuff, things were going wrong.  There were a lot of jokes, which were great.  All in all, A+ time, would watch again.

But.

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To get psyched (well, more psyched) for this weekend’s Avengers, I’ve been spending a little time catching up with the previous films. Y’know, Iron Man 2, Incredible Hulk, Nick Fury

Oh, have you not watched Nick Fury? Because son, you are in for a treat.

Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD is what happens when a not-all-that-bad-actually script by David Goyer meets the two things that can utterly destroy it: Soap opera actors and a mid-90’s TV-movie budget of I’m assuming about five hundred bucks.

I imagine Goyer’s initial enthusiasm upon hearing his script had gotten picked up (“Oh man, first Blade and now Nick Fury? Things are finally looking up for ol’ Lucky Dave! What’s next, BATMAN?!”) was crushed pretty completely fairly early on, but I’m not sure which piece of information would’ve really done it:

“Well Dave, it’s gonna be on Fox. And even though this format hasn’t worked for Doctor Who or Generation X, they seem to want to keep on trying.”

Or

“And we’ve got David Hasselhoff attached. He’s got some interesting ideas on how to play Fury. Something about ‘crazy, sweaty, a bit drunk, and walking around in this weird bowlegged crouch like he’s got a load in his pants.’”  (more…)

Overall, not a bad year. Not great – it’s kinda fun how the economy reacted to my minor pay raise by making everything correspondingly more expensive – but on the other hand, I HAVE A DISHWASHER IN MY APARTMENT NOW AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL. So things could be worse.

Other than the dishwasher – which, if you are someone who currently has a dishwasher, you do not realize just how many hours of your life end up spent cleaning frying pans – what else was praise-worthy this year?

Movies:
Captain America
Man, I still can’t get over the fact that they finally got around to making the exact movie I’ve wanted to watch since I was five years old.

TV:
Cartoons!
Young Justice is a teen soap opera that also has Jack Kirby characters running all over the place; Avengers is both kid-friendly and has the kind of labyrinthine plotting that can only happen when you cherry-pick all the fun bits of Marvel history and leave out all the crap (for instance, how cool would Secret Invasion have been if we didn’t have to worry about all the continuity and idiot-ball issues it raised? We’re gonna find out in season 2!); AND, DEFYING ALL LOGIC, THUNDERCATS TURNED OUT TO BE AWESOME (and in an odd way at that! So many times – for instance, the aggressively cute “Ro-bears” – did I turn to Megan and say, “This can be a very strange cartoon”).  (more…)

Another in our occasional series, detailing potential “first reads” for comic book newbies or lapsed readers whose interest in a certain character have been piqued by a movie or TV show or interesting ad campaign or what have you. The focus is on easily obtained paperback collections that can be purchased for a minimum of fuss through their local comics shop or Amazon, rather than have to dig around back-issue bins at random. And of course, keep in mind these are just opinions – though opinions based on a LOT of comic book reading, so pretty well-founded opinions. OK? Let’s get started!

The Character: Iron Man

Star of a popular movie, a less popular movie, a pretty good cartoon show (as well as a couple of not-so-good cartoon shows), a jazzy theme song, and the most fan-favorite part of a trailer for an upcoming movie that people are hoping like hell is at least okay, Iron Man has been all over pop culture in the last few years – indeed, you could even say SPANNING DECADES (if your thing is boldness, more than accuracy – and if so, hey, you must lead an exciting life, let’s get you some comics!).

Where to Start

There are actually some pretty great places to start reading Iron Man, and get the general idea of what makes the character interesting and fun, as well as flawed and occasionally troubling. It just depends on your ability to ignore some bellbottoms, wide collars and curly hair.  (more…)