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April 25 2012

(SPOILER) Discuss 'The Avengers' - round one. It's out now in various countries around the world. If you've seen it, come tell us what you thought.

Aussie here. I saw it today in IMAX 3D. Not perfect, but damn close. Funnly, action-packed, perfectly well-balanced, and it got me excited as hell for Phase 2 - especially that after-credits scene. In closing, I'll repeat what I told my friend, whose brother Evan got to see it at a preview screening.

"If Evan told you The Avengers was the movie God would watch, he was underselling it."
Is that Alexis Denisof in the after-credits scene? He is listed as The Other.
I had very high expectations... they were all exceeded.

All the characters got their fair share of the spotlight; each with their own great moments. Even my least favourite characters such as Hulk and Black Widow were very cool. Mark Ruffalo did an amazing job with Bruce Banner, who is much more likeable in this film. Hulk was the funniest character in the film (poor Loki).

It's been worth the wait!

@Simon: I think it was Alexis indeed, but I don't think his character is called The Other (even though he's credited as such). I think he is .
Saw it in the morning. The room was full. It was very good, of course. The death was predictable but I didn't see it coming, as usual. Hoping Joss will make the sequel...
@Simon Oh, wow, that's awesome, didn't know it was him. I assume that The Other is the servant of Thanos that Loki was working with. He appeared multiple times, not just in the post-credits sequence.

@Allycat, I'm pretty sure Thanos isn't actually 'played' by anyone. All we see is his face, totally CGI, and he doesn't speak.

[ edited by Break_Atmo on 2012-04-25 13:54 ]

[ edited by Break_Atmo on 2012-04-25 13:54 ]
Did Enver get more than a "blink and you'll miss him" role?
Enver gets a few lines, but not much. At least one or two lines, I'm not sure. But he gets good screen time, you won't miss him.

[ edited by Ragondux on 2012-04-25 14:14 ]
That's more than I was hoping for! Cool, thanks.
Since I'm in the U.S.,we have to wait another week but I was already spoiled for a few things including the death.It's very ironic though since
My absolute favourite parts were Black Widow's "interrogations" - I just loved that the assumption that women are weak, and weakened by their emotions, was not simply overturned by a straightforward showing of a strong woman but actively used against characters who hoped to play that 'weakness'. Putting it in a comic book movie where women are so often portrayed as sex toys (give or take) made the contrast even sharper.
Black widow was awesome.. They fleshed out her character brilliantly
And she had a lot more screen time than I expected.

[ edited by Ragondux on 2012-04-25 14:43 ]
I was surprised how much of the humour we typically view as being 'Whedonesque' managed to shine through in a blockbuster. Specifically thinking of that guy playing computer games in the middle of the crisis (I can't remember what game, I went to a midnight showing and apparently wasn't retaining as many specifics as I thought), that was great. Also, everything to do with Hulk. I was really surprised how hilarious they managed to make a character that hadn't really been done justice on film before. The whole movie was fantastic, expectations exceeded.
SPOILERS!! (Just to be double safe).... I loved the bits where they reveal that Nick fury used the captain america collector cards to manipulate the avengers to work together, and when he shoots down the plane with the nuke on it... Reminded me of Giles in season 5 of Buffy Since he's a character willing to make the tough decisions for the greater good, even when they aren't entirely ethical.
It was awesome! Like everyone else said, the humor was soo good. Pure Joss. A lot of the time I couldn't hear the next lines in the scene because the audience was laughing so loud. I think my favourite line is during the Loki/Iron Man scene in Stark Tower: "That usually works." I'm laughing just thinking about it.

The Hulk was the absolute standout for me. Just great in every way. Banner was great. Hulk punching Thor near the end was brilliant. And what he did to Loki was a joy to watch.

I was looking out for Alexis Denisof but couldn't see him. I'm guessing The Other is the alien Loki interacted with in the beginning and it was probably him, but you cant tell.

Enver is in a small scene, he gets a couple of lines so you wont miss him, but it isn't much.

Oh and I'm saying it here first:

Roll on Avengers 2.
Kaan, I believe you are absolutely right about that! I enjoyed the movie thoroughly, it was much more Joss-like than I had expected. I can't believe he crammed so much awesome in 2 hours and 20 minutes and nothing felt rushed or unfinished at the end. That was my biggest fear.

[ edited by J.I.G. on 2012-04-25 15:52 ]
So I managed to see it 3 times on opening day, so worth it!

A few Joss tropes made it in which... I love but at the same time hate (you know why).

I found that there was good timing for most of the main cast to get some fleshing out. Would have loved more Hawkeye but that's more cause he's my fav.

Crowds laughed, screamed and cheered in the various screenings... I am so glad that this movie is as awesome as it is so others can understand why we love Joss.

[edit] Oh, Kaan, my partner agrees with your call...

[ edited by Kayley on 2012-04-25 16:56 ]

[ edited by Kayley on 2012-04-25 16:57 ]
Kaan, I hadn't thought about that, but now that you mention it, if Fury was willing to do the "card trick," he could easily have lied about something larger. My favorite moment was the Thor/Loki scene, although I really enjoyed the Tony Stark/Bruce Banner interactions greatly as well. There was something very touching in their guarded affinity for one another.
So my two cents on The Avengers.
I found the first half a bit long and underwhelming. I believe part of it is that the characters had to be introduced and I already knew them. I'm also not sure about the Stuttgart bit. On the other hand, it has what could be my favorite quote of the movie ("There is only one God. And He doesn't dress like this").
The second half is, to this day, the best action sequence I have ever seen in a movie. Bar none. It has impressed me more than the first half-hour of Revenge of the Siths, and that's saying something.
All in all, this is a great comic-book movie. If you exclude TDK on the count that it is more of a thriller than a DC movie, it is the best comic-book movie.
But, in Joss's works, in my opinion, it is average. Only Banner/Hulk and Black Widow feel like true Whedon heroes, mostly because I suppose that he was allowed more leeway on those characters.

[ edited by Léo on 2012-04-25 21:21 ]
Black Widow's 'interrogations' were great. Wasn't she, ultimately, the only character ? I loved how happy Cap was when he got a pop-culture reference - I can relate to that. Tony making fun of Thor's attire was priceless...

So many funnny/awesome moments...

Can someone explain to me the meaning of ?

[ edited by Effulgent on 2012-04-25 22:56 ]
I reviewed the movie for Republic of Cinema:!/2012/04/movie-review-marvel-avengers-assemble.html

Mid level spoilers.
Effulgent, that's Thanos who is one of the major big bads of the Marvel Universe. I assume we'll see references to him in Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 etc until the next Avengers movie comes out.
My theather switch on the light as soon as the other character in the after credit scene started to turn around with half the audience still there. Being on 3d it meant we only saw a big blur.
Who was he?
Simon, thank you for the info!
Khan I agree with you
Just saw it tonight in Paris, got one of the last tickets, it was completely sold out.
I thought it was excellent, Joss managed to bring life to these characters in the best way possible. They each have their moment to shine and the whole thing is incredibly well balanced.

My only issue would be the cinematography, which I think could have been better. It looked too smooth in my opinion, not all the time but it was far from the gorgeous looks of "Serenity". I also still don't understand why Joss chose to shoot in 1.85.1 and not in cinemascope, he must have had his reasons.

There are however many great shots in the movie, I was really happy that I could tell Joss was behind the camera. The talking scenes were beautifully shot and directed, and I can't say enough great things about the last part of the movie, it really was one of the best action I've ever seen in a movie.

So "The Avengers" is a great accomplishment, Joss did an exceptional work, and I couldn't be more happy for him. In fact I'm going to see the movie again this week-end :)
I saw Avengers (2D) yesterday, and I'm still smiling about it. It was everything I hoped for and more. I went with two friends and my husband, and the two friends were seeing it mainly because I was enthusiastic, and they both loved it.

In fact the audience really got into it, and there was even spontaneous clapping with some of the more surprising jokes and actiony bits, and also at the end, particularly when Joss' name was on the screen - I haven't seen clapping happen for ages!

Okay, what follows contains spoilers. It's a spoiler thread so I'm assuming that's okay.

Some dot points of what I loved (definitely won't cover everything here):

Starks interaction with Pepper Potts. First off, Pepper seemed much more real and a bit cheekier than the Ironman films, but in a nice and not a jarring way. I liked watching Joss portray a happy couple again.

Hulks fight scenes in the climax and his 'punchlines'.

Both Black Widows interrogations and how Joss managed to pull the carpet from under me with these scenes, not once, but twice. In fact, the way in which Joss played with tropes/cliches was fantastic, and often meant the audience laughed so hard I missed the next line!

Cap actually getting a pop culture reference.

The Banner/Stark interactions.

The innovative and imaginative action scenes, and how none of them were repetitive. I particularly enjoyed actually being able to see the punches as oppose to the current trend in action films (since around Bourne 2) to have so much handheld camera/choppy editing that you can't actually tell what the hell is going on (a bug bear of mine).

There were a few things I didn't like, and I'm curious to know if I'm the only one, so I'm going to list them:

The Thor/Loki scene on the rocky hill and in the forest was too dark. I found it really hard to see what was going on, and that pulled me out of the scene. (note that I saw it in 2D so I dread to think how those in 3D felt).

It's a big plot point at the end of the Thor movie that Thor is stuck in Asgard. I was a bit miffed that he just sort of showed up in Earth in this movie with what can only described as very minimal, token explanation.

I also felt that the explanation for Natalie Portman's character absence was a bit lame, but at least there was one.

I found the difference in Hulk's command of himself in the two action scenes jarring, and not earnt on the story front. He seemed to go from not at all command of himself in the first action scene to almost completely in command in the second action scene.

I attempted to rationalize this to myself during the movie (and the fact that I did it during the movie as opposed to afterwards after some reflection points to how jarring I found it). The rationalization was: in the big group argument that leads to the first 'hulking out' Joss kept showing Loki's scepter (or whatever his weapon was called), and I think the implication was that the scepter was meant to be leading to all the aggression in the room. Therefore, since Banner became Hulk under the influence of the scepter, he didn't have as much control of the Hulk. The second time, he changed willingly, so he had more control.

However, I still haven't quite convinced myself of this, because as Stark puts it nicely "you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster." So why then did he have so much control in the last battle scene? Le sigh.

I realise that most of these negatives can be put down to lack of time. But I noticed, so I thought I'd share.

Still a fantastic movie, it's the first movie since Spiderman that I'm planning on seeing at the cinema again.

Edited to make clearer.

[ edited by Bluey on 2012-04-26 00:19 ]
Bluey, that thing about Hulk's behaviour bothered me too. I pretty much came to the same conclusion - he willingly transformed the second time, so he had control.

Anyway, in short, I thought the movie was fantastic.

In long, here's my review:
This movie was...

A blast.

I think that says it best, except that it completely undersells it. My expectations were SO high, and yet this movie was so much better than I thought it would be. It was a great ride from start to finish.

The Hulk smashing into that first flying worm/whale thingy? Are you kidding me? They actually did that? There were so many moments with great action that also had the audience laughing at the same time. And just so many solid jokes.

This. This is why Joss is amazing, like we have always known. And from now on, no one will ever be able to dispute what a tremendous talent he is. Even if he makes incredibly questionable content down the line, The Avengers will always stand as the superhero movie everyone and their grandmother told their friends to go see (instead of whatever comedy films are out now) because it blew their minds.

When can I see it again? I was ready to buy another ticket literally the second it ended.
I watched this a few hours ago. I've reflected on it. And it was a holistically great film. There's not much to say about it that hasn't already been said -- great third act, Ironman was hilarious, ScarJo was great. Impressively, it made me like Thor and Captain America.

There was one thing I noticed Joss does that not enough action films do -- there was a continual succession of seed planting, setting things up and paying them off twenty minutes later. The trading cards, Hulk punching Thor, Banner's secret, Black Widow's interrogation techniques... The whole film was incredibly tightly structured and the constant pay offs enhanced the third act set piece -- which I usually get bored of in similar films.
Okay, I skipped almost all of your peoples comments so I won't get spoiled since it doesn't come out till next week here in the U.S....but....would you guys say that it's easily the best Marvel film and possibly the best superhero film? Curious. :)
@krissyjump YES YES YES YES! You are in for an absolute treat. Easily best yet and Joss at his finest. Now get outta here before you get spoiled!
The Cap/Fury tip gag was amazing. Subtle, ballsy and oh so very Joss. Can't wait for my second viewing tomorrow night.
@Dude Meister THANKS! :) I'm really excited for it. Me and my sisters are going to see it at midnight when it comes out. And leaving now! Thanks! <3
Just to start with krissyjump's question - we discussed that exact thing walking out... Is this the best Marvel film? "Discussed" should tell that it was close enough for all of us. As for me...

I still have a lot of fondness for the first Iron Man, but I can't watch its "climactic" fight again without my finger itching to press fast-forward. It just plain bores me. Did the first time too.

Captain America was surprisingly great (I've always had an intense dislike for the boy scout-y stuff, but Chris Evans manages to sell the character) - and it brought some nice Rocketeery memories - still, not rushing out to buy the Blu-ray. X-Men: First Class, also surprised - better than X2 which is the only "old" X-Men contender.

Just going to mention Spider-Man as well as the sequel as the remaining "old" contender. Both bore me in the third act in the same way as Iron Man.

Iron Man 2, just no. Except for Downey Jr.'s quips which are always fun. Thor - had its moments, but the Asgard stuff let it down for me - it got too God-babble-y a la Lord of the Rings, and the Earth stuff was bland. Actually haven't seen The Incredible Hulk yet, except for the first 15 minutes.

So yeah, Avengers is actually up there. As a complete package, I think it's the best.

Next comment will be the spoilery part. :-)
Loved it. Joss clearly threw some elements you'd expect out the window (there's no information about the bad guy CGI army in the entire movie) to make way for other things (Loki is just a guy with long hair - who is total bad ass and brilliant).

All the humour in the movie is character based - this isn't a Judd concept comedy (which I also like, by the way), it's a series of increasing laughs based on getting to know the characters, and see them get to know each other.

Also, 2 female characters who have no love interest. Instead they hit people, solve problems and save the world. The only romance going on is between two guys.
Lots has been said already that I might as well just agree on. This was excellence. Humour, action, characters, visuals, perfectly paced. The third act didn't bore me (see comment above), and I'm actually looking forward to the 3 hour director's cut, if it does appear. Never figured Joss this cinematically visual a director. Nope, really always figured that as his "flaw" - should have known better (sure Serenity had some great stuff, but also quite a bit of "plainness").

Loved the oners - whether "real" or CGI. The argument scene one I didn't even realize until it ended, because the story just worked and the camerawork wasn't screaming for attention at that point.

As for the aspect ratio (as mentioned by Nico-Angel). I've stayed away from most info on the film, so - if the info was even out there, I wasn't prepared for the 1.85:1 aspect - almost thought the projectionist had hit a wrong setting until we saw the first pictures and the compositions looked absolutely right.

And then I realized why. The visuals of this film wouldn't work in 2.39:1 - lots of vertical stuff going on, whether it's the cityscape in the climax, the S.H.I.E.L.D. command center... or the one constant that couldn't really be worked around and may have caused the initial decision: 6 superheroes including a Hulk. Try to frame them all in a 2.39:1 composition without feeling very, very constrained about where to place everything. 1.85:1 is an excellent choice, and was used perfectly in a ton of scenes.

So much to talk about, but I'll probably wait until I've seen it a second time.
I think the lack of info about the villains was actually more or less the only thing that bothered me about the film.

Who actually got blown up by the nuclear missile? Just evil aliens bent on evil-doing?

I am unlikely to ever not consider the geopolitical implications of anything.
I didn't care, honestly. I was wrapped up in the Iron Man of it.
Harry Dean Stanton is part of the Whedonverse. And he got one of the best lines in the film! So hurray for that!

I can only add my voice to the chorus of appreciation. Mark Ruffalo was the acting standout, and I can't imagine anyone else ever capturing Banner or the Hulk as well as he did here.

The only other thing I think I can add is to mention what an experience it was for me personally. Almost cathartic. To be in an audience of over 200 people in my home town, almost all of whom were so obviously engaged with the script, the direction and the performances. The room shook with laughter after Hulk's "puny god" set piece. After all the cancelled shows and box office disappointments, here was a mass audience connecting with something that said "directed by Joss Whedon" at the end of it. I found it to be pretty emotional, that's all. Thanks Joss!
The (public, random cinema) screening I went to gave a round of applause at the end. I'd never seen that before. Also, Ruffalo is amazing. He constantly looked like he was about to hit something, or burst into a song about hitting things.
Just got back from the theater -- and man, I'm still mind-blown! Everybody kept warning me about my ridiculously high expectations, but they were totally exceeded. And I obviously wasn't the only one, since the whole audience kept clapping and cheering throughout the movie -- plus some people (remarkably all female) actually showed up in costume, which I've hardly ever seen in such a small cinema.

Throughout the film, it still felt kind of surreal to see so much "Jossness" on the big screen (never saw Serenity in the theaters, talk about missed opportunities), it just warms my heart! While I could go on about the perfect dialogues, great character moments, Jossy banter & humour, I just want to stress one thing, namely the absolutely beautiful cinematography and composition (even more noticeable due to the unusual 1.85:1 aspect ratio) -- I don't see how anyone could still have doubts about Joss' cineastic eye after watching The Avengers.

Whew, still overwhelmed... :-)

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