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Military as stumped about SHIELD as comic readers

I don't mean to turn this into an all-Avengers movie blog, but the popularity of the move is such that it spills into the political blogs that i read, and the synergy is too much for me to resist.

This one is about the US Military's involvement in the Avengers movie. They were originally helping out, as they have done in many movies, including the first Iron Man, but they couldn't wrap their heads around SHIELD. Is it a US organization? If so, what's the constitutional justification. Is it an international body? If so, on what grounds does the US military participate?

Frankly (as the article does a decent job of showing, although only with recent examples), it's always been a little unclear in the comics as well.

In any event, i don't really need my super-hero movies to secretly be military promotional vehicles anyway, so i'm glad they pulled out.

By fnord12 | May 8, 2012, 2:05 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (3)| Link

Time to make superhero movies more like comics

Alyssa Rosenberg again:

"Why The Avengers was so exciting to watch," Ben Kuchera wrote in his review of the movie at Penny Arcade, "was that once you have every character set up and properly introduced by their previous films you can do anything. The script doesn't have to spend time and dialog explaining who everyone is and where they came from...They each arrive on the screen fully formed, without the dullness of a well-worn origin story weighing them down."

I think he's right, and he's nailed something important about where we are in the development of comic book movies. Some, if not all, movie franchise are finally fully behaving like comic books, giving us extended explorations of individual characters that intersect with and then diverge from other characters we're spending time with in parallel, and examining new iterations of characters before the memory of the last version of the same figure has faded. To some critics, that means we've succumbed to an efficient, corporatized entertainment system that hits the same beats over and over again. Certainly, one of the reasons Spider-Man is rebooting is so Sony keeps its rights to the character and doesn't let them revert back to Marvel. And if the lesson Marvel takes from the massive success of The Avengers is that pure repetition is a gold mine, that would be too bad. But I also think that the willingness by Marvel to give us more than six-odd hours over three movies with a set of characters presents an opportunity to demand richer, more unusual, deeper explorations of characters, to turn action movies into the kind of meditations we're more accustomed to getting from television.

Or, you know, like comic books. We've been saying this for years, of course, but if it took an awesome Avengers movie to get the point across, i'm fine with it.

By fnord12 | May 7, 2012, 2:14 PM | Comics & Movies | Link

Shorter New York Times Review of the Avengers

I don't like super-hero movies, so even though i actually enjoyed the movie, i didn't like it.

For a much more positive review, here's Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress.

My own (real this time, and still spoiler free) review is that it was a lot of fun. It knocks Iron Man 1 out of the Top Superhero Movie slot for me. Every character got plenty of attention. Great dialogue, great characterization, and the action sequences were really good (to the best that i could tell: 3D sucks and i don't understand why they continue to inflict it on us). And that's all i'll say to avoid giving anything away, except that Nick Fury's gun wasn't big enough.

By fnord12 | May 4, 2012, 4:09 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (1)| Link

And somewhere, somehow, they should have worked in the line "Ooh la la Badoon"

We got to see a slightly advanced screening of the Avengers movie last night (thanks Bob!), and here are my thoughts: It's cool how all the released previews were a total fake-out, with the Loki/Badoon plot just being used for the "team formation" portion of the story and wrapped up in a quick 45 minutes or so. Pivoting over to a Masters of Evil plotline was really cool, and i liked how they were able to use mainly existing movie villains from each of the team members' solo movies, just like in the comics, without resorting to any resurrections or repeats. Arnim Zola was a real surprise which i am of course really happy about, and i liked the depiction of the Executioner and the Enchantress as well. I was surprised about the inclusion of Screaming Mimi and especially the Beetle (who i would have thought was reserved as part of the Spider-Man licensing and therefore not available), but from the post-credit teaser it looks like they're setting up for a Thunderbolts story for the sequel, which will be AWESOME.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2012, 12:05 PM | Comics & Movies | Comments (2)| Link

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