Posted tagged ‘Marvel’

Avengers Assemble!!

April 27, 2012

Summer has started. Welcome to the Avengers Initiative. Funny how they were called the Avengers before they had anything to avenge, Nick Fury must have had a bad feeling about this.

That was my lame ass attempt at Buffy speak. But you don’t need to listen to me, we have Joss Whedon’s brain. The dialogue was like music to my ears. I think Buffy really reshaped comedy for my generation. That sounds hugely hyperbolic but it has changed how we speak, not even kidding a little bit.

By now you know if you like Buffy speak or you don’t. Luckily the film has huge special effects and some superfolk you may have heard of before to draw in the crowd too. And, boy, did it pull in a crowd. I went for a matinee thinking it would be quieter but I haven’t had the displeasure of an audience that annoying for a while. Rustlers, talkers, frequent pee-ers, and even two people who walked out never to return.

Very strange to walk out on a film this good. Green Lantern or Transformers x (where x is any value greater than 1), sure. But this is the film where they did the Hulk right! You know how they improved it instantly? No Betty Ross and the slightest hint of intellect when Hulked out. The new guy does a good job in the role but I couldn’t help but wonder how Norton would have looked with these advantages.

Maybe Betty was going to be in there but she didn’t make the cut against the huge number of characters. Deep breath now: Nick Fury, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Agent Coulson, Maria Hill, Iron Man, Pepper Potts, Thor, Loki, Mouth of Sauron, Hulk, Captain America. Twelve characters in a two hour run time means ten minutes each, no remainder for puny love interests.

Some characters get more screen time than others but it is incredible they pulled that off. There was one odd moment of editing where Cap was on a jet and I had no idea why they showed him to us. Seconds later he was upside down and on fire. Cutting straight to that would have been weird. What else is weird is how much you get used to seeing a character upside down and on fire. Happens quite a bit actually.

Another weird bit of editing comes half way through the film where we montage quickly through some focus group called ‘dull mushy stuff’. We come out the other side repaired, emotionally and physically, and ready for battle. Thing is Thor is absent for this montage which must have atleast lasted an hour or two. So a god on Earth alone with a couple of hours to do? What is he going to do? He booty called Natalie Portman. Who wouldn’t?

Marvel is famous for its Easter eggs and we get a bunch here. I won’t spoil them but I counted a few. Some of which not so subtlety points towards the giant sequel looming over us like a giant space lizard thing. There is an after credit scene. If you didn’t know that you are not much a geek. You don’t have to wait very long and it is worth seeing.

A superhero film, or any film, is only as good as its villains. Whedon does a fantastic job of raking up tension and stakes but it still didn’t make the villain live up to the Joker. Inevitably that is what all comic book films are compared to. The Bat casts a long shadow, one he may not even be able to escape later this Summer. Loki has some good moments but his motivation feels too arbitrary. He becomes a cackling bad guy rather than the more interesting character we saw in Thor.

That had me scratching my head for who could be a bigger threat next time round. The post-credit scene answered that, but it could be a problem. Like Superman, when you have this much power how do you compete? Avengers Assemble is like the big Summer crossover events we get in the comics. They have there place but it favours smashing over deep story telling.

The group works well together and I’ll be watching more of their films in the future. I had fairly low expectations for the film and they did go far beyond those. The banter makes the film a lot of fun but not incredibly memorable. The big attack on New York felt like watching Team America. Like it was 911 times a thousand. I realise that is poor taste but the property damage on show here would run into billions. Whose paying for all that? Disney that’s who, when they line their pockets with all our cash. Keep employing Joss Whedon and I can’t give you my money quickly enough.


ActorScope: Jeff Bridges – What can’t he do?

September 12, 2009

Welcome to the first ActorScope where I examine an actor. ActorScope will be looking at their past, present and future film projects. We’ll also cover trivia, rumours and any cool connections they may have. Our first actor in the spotlight is none other than Jeff Bridges. Scientists have often wondered how someone as cool as Jeff Bridges came into being. I imagine it was a magazine editor who entered a bowling tournament when, suddenly, he was sucked into a computer and was forced to steal his business partners high tech armour to escape.

Jeff Bridges has been in a lot of movies. Born into an acting family, Bridges was raised on the set. I’ll be looking at his more modern films today. I’m sure there are many great films I’ve missed off but I wasn’t alive at the time to watch them. What I have watched is the Big Lebowski. This is a brilliant film. It’s by the Coen brothers so you can expect all the quirky dialogue and vivid visuals that goes with that. The Big Lebowski has a massive cult following, in one day I saw three people wearing different slogans from the film on their t-shirts. The Dude abides, The Dude and Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. For indie film makers the Coen brothers sure know how to merchandise.

I watched Iron Man again the other day. What a fun film. Whilst Robert Downey Jr steals the show, Jeff does a great turn as Obadiah Stane. It is very strange seeing Bridges yelling at scientists when they can’t recreate the Iron Man armour. When the slackers finally do piece it together, Iron Monger’s voice is great. Hearing a guy as cool as Bridges saying “collateral damage” really chills me. I’m sad he won’t be back in the next one.

A Bridges film I’m very keen to see would be Fisher King. Not only does it star the focus of this ActorScope, it’s also directed by Terry Gilliam. We all know I love him. Terry Gilliam is clocking up quite a few tags on this blog now. Wait till the Imagianarium comes out. A film I don’t really want to see is Seabiscuit. Now admittedly seeing Spider-Man and the Iron Monger in one film would be good, I doubt it would live up to the awesome Batman/Wolverine picture (The Prestige).

K-Pax. That was an odd one. It starred the ever watchable Kevin Spacey alongside Bridges. The only thing was that Spacey is sure he is an alien from the planet K-Pax. Bridges plays the psychiatrist trying to inform Spacey that he is human. It is an enjoyable film, but not one of my favourites. I felt frustrated that Bridges never accepted the idea that Spacey could be an alien, because if he had the film may have been more fun. It was a psychologically interesting film though.

Surf’s Up is skewed much more towards fun and away from psychological intensity. Bridges plays a hippy surfer penguin called Big Z. If you thought that premise was funny, you’ll probably like this movie. It has a lot of heart and as I remember it was very funny. The Beef (Shia LeBeouf) stars and he is a lot less irritating when you don’t see his smug little face. All I can say is that I hated Happy Feet with a fiery passion, so Surf’s Up went a part of the way towards redeeming the penguin genre.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People saw Bridges as a magazine editor who had lost his edge. Before he had always been about serious journalism and bringing to light what the government wanted hidden, now he did cover stories on little starlets. Bridges does a great job of showing someone who as forgotten why they do their job. Simon Pegg stars as the bumbling young journalist out to show Bridges how to get it back. An entertaining film that lampoons modern celebrity culture. The love story between Pegg and Kirsten Dunst feels tacked on but doesn’t destract greatly from a fun film.

TRON. No look at Jeff Bridges’ career would be complete without mentioning the 1982 geek bonanza. I am ashamed to admit I have not seen it. But I will before the sequel, TRON Legacy, hits cinemas. I’m sure it will be all over our television sets in the run up to the new film. We’ve all been touched by the vast cultural impact of TRON. Whether it is TRON guy on youtube or the light-bike race on Family Guy. Check out the exciting teaser trailer below. Bridges looks a little bit evil in this one, which is great fun.

The most exciting upcoming project, for me, of Jeff Bridges has to be The Men Who Stare at Goats. It looks incredible. A journalist (Bridges has a thing for those) discovers that America has been secretly training psychic super troops for thirty years. Or Jedis as they call themselves. It stars George Clooney, who starred in another Coen brothers’ classic – O Brother, Where art thou?, and Ewan McGregor. Bridges stars as the psychic instructor. A true hippy who looks like the dude on anti-depressants.

“I often feel that the actual movie is like the skin sloughed off the snake; it’s the by-product of the real valuable stuff, which is the real-life experience of doing it.” Jeff Bridges


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DC Entertainment – Jealous of all of Marvel’s free press

September 9, 2009

Disney buys Marvel and now Warner Bros is cracking the whip with its comic superpower DC. I know a decision like this takes months of planning but it looks a lot like the exec are screaming “Marvel are killing us, let’s do what they are doing.”

There aren’t a lot of details at the minute but basically DC Entertainment is born. Its role is to govern over all the DC characters when they aren’t busy in comic books. This new division will over see: films, games and cartoons. This raises a lot of important issues, but what really stands out is films. If you’ve follow geeky film news like I do, you’ve probably seen rumours of Wonder Woman, Flash and the big old Justice League come and go over the last few years. Now they properties are getting pulled back in and will likely the same sort of co-ordination as Marvel is attempting with its own Avengers’ films.



What about games and cartoons? Batman: Arkham Asylum has just come out and is a critical darling. It’s also setting records in how fast its selling. Win. The big question over at DC is why aren’t all their games like this. This is a question asked by the fans as much as the big wigs. If better planning will turn into better games than everyone wins. I think Mortal Kombat vs DC was a bit of a wash out and hopefully they have learnt from that. DC’s direct to dvd cartoon’s have been good lately. I can see those being used as a template for how other properties should be handled.

With the exception of Batman, DC has been having it rough lately. No Wonder Woman film. No Justice League. No Flash. But it looks like this is a big move to change it all around. Green Lantern, yes. Batman 3, yes. Wonder Woman, yes? Lets hope so.

Ant-Buoy away!

Ant-Buoy away!

Completely unrelated closing point: Gossip is going round that Ant-Man may be turned into a Pixar film. That is such a cool idea. And look at his name! I should be his freakin’ sidekick.


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Disney buys Marvel

September 1, 2009

I am a massive geek. I play computer games, watch a lot of movies and more than anything, I love comic books. I have a very tiny collection of comics but I watch over my favourite heroes from my mighty office chair through the great viewing glass offered to me by the internet.

I was very surprised when I read the headline saying that Disney had bought Marvel. Even more surprised when I saw it was for $4 billion. Way to go Spidey!

Seeing as how Disney wanted to branch out to the young male audience, the decision was  a no brainer. What was odd was that Marvel was willing to sell. For years they have been clawing back control of their intellectual property from film studios who haven’t treated them with the respect they deserve.

From what I’ve read it sounds like Disney is happy to take a back seat approach to Marvel. They seem to be trying to copy the business model between that of DC and Warner Bros. Marvel has done extremely well in the last decade so here is hoping that Disney will adopt a “if it ain’t broke” attitude.

Mixing Disney and Marvel will provide some interesting outcomes. I’d love to go on an Avengers ride by the time the film comes out. Having Sora meet Spidey in Kingdom Hearts is also setting my geek heart a flutter. Not really looking forward to seeing Mickey Mouse in his own Iron Man armour, that is not quite as cool.

If this means that comics will now be circulated in a wider area, I’ll be very happy. It wouldn’t be hard to get a comic stand in every Disney store all over the world. Sweet.


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