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Introducing: your Avengers

To make this an "all geeking all the time" post: tonight is the Extended Fellowship of the Ring screening! Woo!

Meanwhile, in entirely other geeking news...

I've been somewhat interested in the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe stuff that's been developing, but that really kicked into overdrive for me after "Thor" came out last month. Thor is... let's see... yeah, the first conventional thing I've become fannish* for since SG-1 all those years ago. (* My definition of "become fannish for" is "interested enough to want to read fic for it, and find online communities to follow news and discussion for it". So, I watch plenty of shows and films and enjoy the hell out of them, without joining their fandoms.) (I'm not really counting ElfQuest or LOTR/Hobbit, as those have been fannish interests of mine for a really really long time.)

And for me, interest in "Thor" goes hand in hand with interest in "The Avengers" (i.e. the team-up movie featuring RDJ's Iron Man, Hemsworth's Thor, Chris Evans' Captain America, etc., directed by Joss Whedon and scheduled to be in theaters next May).

That means I'll probably post various tidbits about it from time to time. So! First tidbit!


Click to embiggen. This is a promo image prepared for a Licensing Expo going on right now in Las Vegas. So, it's more toy/merchandise-related, and is not a representation of what they'll use for marketing the movie. It's not a photo of the assembled cast. But still -- it's the first movieverse group shot of the team. So: SQUEEEEE!


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2011 07:00 pm (UTC)
Hi! I thought, "Who are you and why are you on my friends list?" And then I remembered. :) It might take me awhile, but I'll get used to it.

I did not know about this Joss Whedon thing. It seems almost too good to be true!
Jun. 14th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
You remind me that I was supposed to keep using my familiar user-icons to help people adjust!

The really cute thing is that we keep getting interviews and comments from the various stars, like Chris Evans, and RDJ, and Tom Hiddleston (who plays Loki in "Thor" and who is going to be a major villain in "The Avengers") saying that they are all geeking out and it's great and they love what Whedon is doing. (They are 6 weeks into filming.) Every one of them who has read the entire script (which Whedon did a substantial rewrite on, when he came on board) has pronounced it AWESOME and they all keep using phrases like "better than any of us even imagined".

Which, on the one hand -- yeah, obviously, if they're smart, they're going to say positive stuff about the project, because they all want it to succeed.

On the other hand, a lot of stars tend to just not say much of anything while the production is ongoing, if they aren't happy with it. So the fact that they all keep gushing about this is encouraging, if hilarious.
Jun. 14th, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
I really don't give a shit about any of it until the Whedon movie comes out, at which point I'm sure I will be so massively in love with all of it that no one will be able to stand me.

However, Jon Favreau did an ASS-KICKING job with Iron Man. So.

WTF Ed Norton, too good to show up for the Big Movie? (It is always referred to as the Big Movie here.) I guess no one will really notice who is in the Big Green look.

Loki will be an awesome villain, but I can't get past how much the actor looks like brent spiner. like, I keep expecting him to bust out with a "I am not sure that that is entirely accurate, Captain."

I am extremely annoyed there is no girl on the team but Black Widow. Nothing against Scarlett Johanssen's ass, it's spectacular, but so far the part of Black Widow primarily consists of Scarlett Johanssen's Ass. I hope she gets some actual LINES in the Big Movie. I can't believe Joss wouldn't make her unbelievably creepy - and powerful.

I thought there was something... wrong with Kenneth Brannagh's direction of "Thor". Something just... Off. I'm not sure what it was, but I don't think he has the sort of Cinematic Vision for that type of movie (though he pulled off Asgard well - that may also have just been the designer.) I remember thinking some of the camera angles were just... weird, and inneffective, and not actually accomplishing anything specific (like to disorient the viewer, in "Alien", or anything like that.) Maybe it was having a Brit shoot in the American Southwest, or what was supposed to be the Southwest, but it didn't feel as appropriate to the outdoors as, say, his shoot of "Much Ado about Nothing". I dunno.

I should know who directed the Hulk but I forget. It was good, a good version of the Hulk, not as earth-shattering as Iron Man, but good.

I have high hopes for "Captain America". Having seen "Wolverine", I imagine they can do super things with "Soldier from the past" that, say, "Wolverine" didn't really do. Or kinda did, but not awesomely well. Not the same with a mutant, anyway. Or at least, not the same with Wolverine. SK Jr. has filled me in a bit on Captain America, and I know from reading the crossovers that he's a loner captain kind of guy, but as smart as Batman (went head-to-head with Batman in the crossovers,) so,... I'm kind of it. I'm open to it, but if it sucks I will have no patience with it. I had my love of Wolverine to see me through "Wolverine"; I have no major investment in Captain America.

Also, I have to look and think to translate your icon too, but as long as you don't mind if I type "orca girl" in my reply, I'm good. :-)
Jun. 16th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
The Ed Norton departure puzzles me. I gather that nobody is QUITE sure why he got the heave-ho, and whether it was because he was too good for it, or whether Marvel somehow considered him too "difficult" in some way or another. Or maybe he was too expensive and unwilling to take the kind of deals Marvel wants its people to sign. (Both Hemsworth/Thor and Evans/Cap are signed to 6-movie deals, for example.)

I just watched TIH this past weekend. (Leterrier directed TIH. I know: who?) It *was* a pretty good movie, given the fact that the Hulk as a character interests me the least out of all of them. I mean, I don't dislike the Hulk. But a little Hulk goes a long way, with me. I did think Norton was really good, though. It's a shame he won't be part of the ensemble. I really don't know a thing about the guy they've got to replace him, though.

The problem of there only being Black Widow to balance out the team's gender is where, I think, Marvel's policy to date of setting up the various heroes at least somewhat beforehand has bitten them in the ass. One of the major female characters of the Avengers is the Wasp, who is very popular. But her story is tied to the story of Ant-Man (they are a couple). And the Ant-Man movie project is... underway. But I get this sense that Marvel placed it with a certain writer/director, and I am not clear on why it has taken this long, but... having done that, and being unwilling at this stage to either yank it away from him or jog his elbow, Marvel couldn't turn around and do what they did for Hawkeye (the archer cameo in Thor) or Black Widow, and introduce Wasp and Ant-Man quickly in some existing property. They are stuck waiting for their man to finish the damned Ant-Man movie, so they can get Wasp and Ant-Man into the Avengers. Everybody keeps saying, hopefully with Avengers 2.

While she won't be on the Avengers team as such, the movie will at least feature one other kickass woman, Maria Hill, who is SLJ/Fury's right-hand. She is supposed to have a presence in the film.

Problematically, the other most famous Avengers woman is Scarlet Witch. Unfortunately, she is a mutant, and Magneto's daughter, and FOX owns the rights to her at the moment and won't give her back. So that leaves Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel (aka the superhero who Rogue sucked the powers out of, originally, which made Rogue go from being a mutant who could suck others' powers to basically a mutant superwoman). She's another one who people are wondering if Marvel will figure out how to work into things soon.

Then again, good god, even if all they do is get Wasp and Ant-Man on the team, and don't get rid of anybody else, that would increase the team to 8 major characters, and in addition there's Fury and Hill. And right now everybody is already worrying how a movie consisting of 6 major heroes is going to fly. To which you may say, "Ocean's 11", but it's always been pointed out that not everybody amongst the 11 got an equal role. This is, obviously, why they wanted Joss on board.

Jun. 16th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
For Captain America... frankly I've always found him to be a bit of a stick, but the thing is, I like Evans. And I like every trailer and clip I've seen of him as Cap. It's kind of like Hemsworth's Thor -- he's got a real opportunity there to create dimensions in the character through performance alone. At least thus far, I see both a charm and a vulnerability to Evans' Steve Rogers that I never get off the pages of the comics or in the cartoon. That can only be a plus. I'm hopeful. And like you, I'm really intrigued by the idea of the period setting. Plus I think it's a good idea on their part; it sets them apart from the other superhero films thus far.

Kenneth Branagh's fondness for Dutch Angles, which were busting out all over "Thor", were much-discussed in the reviews. I don't know -- I felt he did a good enough job. What they wanted him for was to make major characters who talk in pseudo-Shakespearean sound not-silly, and I think he accomplished that. (Of course, the movie version has like 400% fewer thee's and thou's and verily's than the comics version does, which was probably a wise idea.) I felt like he managed to make the bombast of the "we're kind of Norse gods so all our family problems and court intrigue are Larger Than Life" Asgard bits work, and I actually really liked how he carried that over into how Thor comported himself in New Mexico.

It really was New Mexico, by the way. Fun trivia fact: the small town that was the setting? Is the same movie-set town used in "Silverado", and more recently in the Viggo Mortensen western "Appaloosa". They took that old-western-town set and updated it to give the sense of an older town that had had bits added to it, facades painted and signs added, and so on.

Anyway, I'd love to make you watch it again, as I've heard a number of people comment that it took them a second viewing before they really clicked with the movie. For the first viewing many have remarked that they felt too distracted trying to process all of the unexpected, but they appreciated performances and details more and could take them in better upon second look. I think this was sort of true for me. I really liked it when I first saw it, but it took a few weeks before I said, "you know what, I actually do want to see that again", and upon doing so, loved it. For some reason, the characterizations and performances and story beats just make me happy. (Which isn't to say that I think it's a superlative film. Although it's interesting to talk about its worth as a film in relation to Iron Man. I actually think it's as good as Iron Man, although quite different; and RDJ's was the most mind-blowing performance of all.)

Prior to seeing Thor, I felt wary about The Avengers, because of the strength of RDJ's Tony, and thinking, well how can anyone hope to hold the screen with him? (SLJ does, sure, but.) When I saw Thor, and saw both Hemsworth's performance, and Jeremy Renner's as Hawkeye, that was when I thought, "yes, this movie ensemble is going to work". Because not only did I want to see more of Hemsworth as Thor, but I really wanted to see those guys interacting with RDJ's Tony. I think it's going to be a HOOT.

Now Evans' Cap just needs to be a success, and we're golden.
Jun. 14th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
Hmmm I may have to go see Thor now!

I'm not really familiar with the Avengers as a group, though I definitely liked the first Iron Man movie (still haven't seen the second.)
Jun. 16th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
Oh, I definitely recommend it. Obviously. ;-) If you mean to catch it in the theater, try to see it in 2D. The 3D is reportedly just not worth it.

I'd also recommend renting the second Iron Man movie sometime. You'd get a better sense of the throughline of the movies if you watched it before Thor, but in the interests of catching Thor while it's still in theaters, you can let IM2 wait. (It contained some hints leading towards the Thor movie.)

If you ever want to get a crash course in Avengers background, I can recommend the recent cartoon "Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes". It's really well done, and much of it seems to be available on YouTube. It started with 20 "micro-episodes" of 5 min each, which were introductory for various characters, and which Marvel itself has posted to YouTube. From then on it's hunting around for the eps of the series itself, which is just finishing broadcasting its 1st season here in the US. In your copious free time, of course. ;-)

The series is very comics-faithful, whereas the Marvel movieverse is kind of its own thing, in terms of internal continuity and specific details of character backgrounds. But I think that finding out some of the comics background (through the cartoon) can be helpful.
Jun. 17th, 2011 11:43 am (UTC)
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