Reviews Assemble!

The Avengers

Hey! The Avengers is a little overhyped, but it’s very good. Go see it.

There are way too many thumbs up and ten-out-of-ten’s surrounding this movie for me to even bother with a review of it. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple weeks, Joss Whedon made it a hit!

I’d rather turn my attention to something I hated about this movie, and that’s the fact that I had to watch it in these:

That’s right, you know what I’m talking about. I’m not the first person to assault 3D, but I’ll still have a crack at it.

The 3D glasses you wear to achieve the oh-so-holy depth perception comes with three impairment issues.

  1. 30% Light loss
  2. 30% Colour loss
  3. The screen-shrinking effects

Want to know what the real difference is between watching The Avengers in 2D and 3D?

This is what you’re paying extra money for, ladies and gentlemen; a darker, murkier, smaller version of a big, bright, colourful movie. If you don’t believe me, take your glasses off next time you’re seeing a 3D film. Just try it for a second, and you’ll see the difference.

In addition to this I spent almost the entire time fiddling with them, scratching my nose, and massaging the pain out of my ears. For fucks sake, I got laser surgery on my eyes so I wouldn’t have to wear glasses again! Thank you James Cameron.

Alright, so my enjoyment of this movie was largely disrupted by the nuisance that is 3D. Fine, the movie was still good. In fact, it got me thinking. Why don’t I, instead of reviewing it, just do mini-reviews of all the individual films leading up to it? Did I hear a “hell yeah!”? Sweet, but which order shall I take it in? In the order of how good they are? Nah, I’ll do it in the order of release dates.

Remember, these are mini-reviews, meaning they’ll be short and to the point.

Hulk (2003) Directed by Ang Lee

Everyone recognises this movie as a failure on almost every level. Truth-be-told, I liked it. Well, I liked it to an extent. I think Ang Lee is a director who really understands characters, emotions, and internal struggles. He was therefore an interesting pick to direct this movie, but for most people it didn’t work. I hate to say it, but there’s simply too much emotion and parent-issues going on. You feel every minute of this film because the pacing is terrible. So much time is spent on watching the characters cry that there’s hardly any time for the superhero to “hulk-out”. Still, it’s a valiant effort on the part of Ang Lee and I give special credit to the editor Tim Squyres, as the cutting of this movie is wonderfully creative.

Also, the headline of one of the reviews of this movie (which tore it a new one) was nothing short of brilliant: “You won’t like me when I’m Ang Lee!”. Come on, that’s incredible!

Hulk (2003) Trailer

The Incredible Hulk (2008) Directed by Louis Leterrier

 So after we had a Hulk film that focused too much on the “slow bits”, we had one that over-emphasised the “fast-bits”. The Incredible Hulk is a bizarre film. They decided that the way to fix Ang Lee’s Hulk was to effectively ‘reboot’ the franchise with an all-new cast and a french director. It didn’t work. This film actually managed to be worse than the first one. It’s headache-inducing and just plain loud. In the middle of this whole mess we have Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, Tim Roth, and William Hurt. Why? No idea. This movie is a turd. It’s quicker and lighter than the first one, but that’s not enough to redeem it.

The Incredible Hulk (2008) Trailer

Iron Man (2008) Directed by Jon Favreau

I remember being impressed by this film when I first saw it. Robert Downey Jr. is the perfect choice for Tony Stark, and the humour in the film worked well. The best part of the movie is clearly the build up at the beginning, where Tony is stuck in a cave creating the initial Iron Man suit, and after that the film sort of loses it. Still, it was like a brighter, happier, more child-friendly version of Batman Begins.

Iron Man (2008) Trailer

Iron Man 2 (2010) Directed by Jon Favreau

From good to not-so-good. Ok no bullshit now, the beginning of this film really had me. The scene where Mickey Rourke walks out onto the race-track as Whiplash is absolutely incredible. Seriously, it’s a wonderfully crafted bit of cinematography, blocking, editing, and last but not least production design. After that, the film goes down the crapper. Explosions upon explosions, characters I don’t care about, and plot that simply doesn’t grip me.

 

Iron Man 2 (2010) Trailer

Thor (2011) Directed by Kenneth Branaugh

Out of all of these superhero movies, this is the one I liked the most. I actually really loved this movie. I think it’s better than The Avengers.

It’s very strange, really. I went into this thinking it was going to be the biggest cheese-fest I’d ever seen. It turned out to be the exact opposite. This movie is really sweet and lovable. That might sound strange, but the juxtaposition of Asgard with the simple rural-earth-town was charming. More importantly; I adored the concept of a massive Norse God with an even more massive ego being beamed down to this little village in the outskirts of America and having to learn the tenets of humility. It was shakespearian. Of course that is Branaugh’s speciality, so it’s no surprise that he gets away with it. Honest to Odin, Ken Branaugh managed to make the most moving, well balanced, simple, yet Homeresque superhero movie I’ve ever seen. He proved that with the right approach, you really can make even the most ridiculous premise work on screen.

Thor (2011) Trailer

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Directed by Joe Johnston

Ok, so after Thor I was on a bit of a high. I couldn’t wait for the next Avengers-lineup superhero effort to slide int the projector, and Captain America looked promising. It was directed by Joe Johnston, who made The Rocketeer, The Pagemaster, and Jumanji. Unfortunately he also made Jurassic Park III and The Wolfman, so I knew it could go either way. For me it ended up somewhere in the middle. I didn’t dislike the film, but I wasn’t a huge fan either. Some of the visual effects were well done, like making Chris Evans a scrawny weakling, and that deserves recognition. My favourite part, however, is that of Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull. That man is an alchemist. Give him anything and he’ll turn it into gold. Every minute that he was on screen, doing his Werner Herzog impression, I was smiling like a giddy puppy. I recommend you check it out, but it’s no Thor.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) Trailer

That appears to be it. Now make sure you go see The Avengers!   …in 2D!

Rant Over!

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