Tag Archives: “comic book movie”

The Avengers

Forget for a minute that I am a fanboy… (yeah, right.) The Avengers is a good, entertaining movie. It does for super hero groups what Heath Ledger did for the Joker, Zack Snyder for Watchmen, and J.J. Abrams for Star Trek (2009). It transcends its geeky, isolated, basement roots and brings it into mainstream acceptability. It makes me really want to see super heroes duking it out on the streets of New York. Yes, it would be dangerous, but so is a tornado. Doesn’t make it any less awe inspiring.

Let’s run down the list of what we get…

Joss Whedon-The director and brilliant creator that brought us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly. The man is a genius at fleshing out characters and going them another dimension. These heroes were already in place, he brought them to another level. We get a fight and dialogue scene involving Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth)that was better than the whole Thor movie. Joss is also good at throwing in some twists… There are 2 I’m pretty sure you won’t be expecting, and the first happens in the opening 10 minutes. His use of cultural relevance is spot on. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) tells Captain America to have Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) “suit up.” (This works for two reasons, and when you see the movie, I hope you’ll understand.)

Action- Not only that, but action we can see!!! There were 2 instances that caught my eye where I went, “what was that?”, but only a few measly seconds. The rest of the time, we can see Natasha Romanoff, (Scarlett Johansson) the Black Widow, kicking ass. We can tell that Captain America(Chris Evans) just threw a punch, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) even gets into the fray. As a special bonus, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is bas ass! No stupid purple mask thing and dorky costume. He is a top S.H.I.E.L.D agent. Comic book fans may recognize some of their favorite panels brought to life. They may not be literal translations, but you definitely know where they came from. (Pssst-> Iron Man and Thor…) And a nice nod to the Marvel Ultimate Alliance video game.

Comic Book tech- We get a freakin’ Helicarrier! Not some lame ass ship with a S.H.I.E.L.D. logo painted on the side, bit the full blown aircraft carrier that can fly! Did I mention the Quinjets? I don’t remember them being called that by name, be they are there.

Story- What does it take to give us a good hero(s)? A good villain. Loki, The Master of Lies has made his way back to earth. I really can’t tell too much here without spoiling some things, let’s just say his return is like an onion…

Balance- The mix of action, humanity, humor, depth, and story are spot on. I didn’t get bored when they were “dialoguing.” One of the things I appreciate is that is an ensemble cast, and all characters are used well.

What we don’t get is War Machine. Unless you count the 6 yr old that dressed up.

Get a great director (who knows comics and imagination), story, actors, RIGHT & PURPOSEFUL special effects, and what do you get? A huge summer blockbuster that I will gladly go see again. I admit, I did not see it in IMAX or 3D. I have been told they are good, but I don’t think it is required to enjoy the awesomeness. I predict, (ok, hoping like crazy and crossing my fingers), that on the strength of his handling of the Avengers, Joss will be able to revive the Wonder Woman project…

FYI, before there was Siri, there was Jarvis… : )

Update: I’ve seen this movie for a second time, and I have to say, the 3D wasn’t atrocious! Much like the special effects, it looks like it was utilized correctly.


KickAssUm, wow… That is pretty much what I have to say, but for those who want more, read on.

“Kick-Ass” actually surpassed my expectations. I do admit that I never read the graphic novel, so it’s existence never influenced my understanding of what this comic book movie was going to be. I’ll do my best not to give away any significant spoilers.

Read enough comics, watch enough adaptations and you think you can predict what is going to happen. Yeah, not so much with “Kick-Ass.” Maybe it is a narrow comment, or maybe you get used to [bad] bastardizations of pre existing material. I really liked some of the routes they chose to take.

Kick-Ass AKA Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson), who I believe does a better job of being the under appreciated, troubled secret hero than Tobey Maguire,  is our narrator and a “typical” high school comic geek who ponders the question, “Why has no one tried to be a superhero?” So he tries it, with some interesting results. He also finds that he is not the only one out there…

Big Daddy AKA Damon Macready (Nicholas Cage) is the literal dark avenging vigilante with a purpose. Hit-Girl AKA Mindy Macready (Chloe Moretz)is his daughter who is I vote as most likely to need therapy even though it probably won’t help. But that is a long way down the road, currently she revels in her life of weaponry, jumping rooftops and mayhem.

Hit Girl stole the show. She was absolutely awesome! I am impressed how a 12 yr old can come off as someone to actually be feared. AFTER you find out she is not your average pre-teen. As a thug in the movie states, “She’s just a kid.” Cue the chaos…

Katie Deauxma (Lyndsy Fonseca) is David’s lust interest that likes the alternate personality, but never notices the real person standing in front of her. (Lois Lane anyone?)

Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong) is our resident bad guy. They are required in almost every comic book story. Without a villain, what good is a hero? He is head of a criminal organization that finds its illicit activities interrupted by a rumored masked individual. The villain’s henchpeople seem to really enjoy reeking havoc, bringing criminalism into an artistic arena. More so, they are capable, this makes the triumph even more enthralling. Where’s the pleasure in defeating an idiot?

“Kick-Ass” pays tribute to much of the comic universe. Dave’s house looks eerily similar to Aunt May’s from Spider-Man. Big Daddy’s speech patterns remind me of Adam West’s campy Batman. “Wait til they get a load of me,” is quoted directly…

If you are a comic book fan, I think you will appreciate this film, minus a couple misguided instances in the final 5 minutes. It’s campy, fun, funny, violent and doesn’t take itself too seriously, but seriously enough.