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May 11 2012

Discuss 'The Avengers' - round five. Is there anything more that can be said about the movie? Course there is, we'll be talking about it for years.

Previous discussion threads can be found here. If you haven't noticed, we're scaling down the use of the spoiler tag for The Avengers.

Here's a question: during the closing credits, we see the actors who were the major players (Avengers, SHIELD, Loki) ahead of the (normal) complete cast listing. We also had Jenny Agutter, but *not* Powers Boothe.

Any idea why she was singled out that way?
Were there a lot more scenes with her that had to be trimmed for length?

[ edited by OneTeV on 2012-05-11 19:07 ]
Any idea why she was singled out that way?
Because she has a better agent? AIUI such things are part of the deal negotiated in being hired for a role.
Watched it again today. One advantage of being in a nearly empty theatre is that I heard Loki's immediate reaction to his encouter with the Hulk! :) (drowned out by laughter before)
The trailers really undersold how dark the movie is. The "Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" got played for laughs in the trailer, but in the movie it's the complete reverse.
I actually think they used a different line reading altogether for the trailer. Am I the only one?
Yes the shots do look slightly different.
How has the reaction been to Hawkeye? I am feeling awfully defensive of him as an Avenger. Not all of them have super powers, but I doubt any of them could do what he did with as much accuracy unassisted by technology. Thor has a hammer that he gets to control seemingly with his mind, Cap doesn't seem to have any training with a bow and arrow, Hulk just smashes, Stark needs Jarvis, and Black Widow also doesn't have super powers.

Bottom line: Hawkeye is not lame. I point that out a lot.
Just saw this via Twitter. It's an awesome look at Rogers and Stark.
I did read some comments that said they wished Hawkeye was portrayed like that in the comics. He was a bit like James Bond with a bow and arrow in the movie. And that's a good thing.
I don't know much about Hawkeye in the comics these days (or remember much specific from when I read Marvel way back when). Is the whole "he can watch and notice things really well" part of his character in the comics, or did Joss throw that in there?
@b!x - The only research I've done is through Wikipedia, but I think him being extremely observant is part of the comics because his name is, after all, Hawkeye. The moment that really captures this, to me, is during the Manhattan fight where he draws a bow and shoots it behind him to kill one of the Chitauri. It's cool, but it also shows his ability to be hyper aware of his surroundings.
His name, though, could in the comics just be a matter of being an expert marksman. He's got a whole other observational skillset in the movie, and I keep thinking it's new for the movie. I should ask knowledge people on Twitter.
The Ninja Report: I read the same think Simon did about wishing Hawkeye (comics) was like Hawkeye (movie); I stopped reading his comic stuff a long time ago, though, so can't really comment on his current iteration. I thought he was very well used in the movie, and I was really surprised that they managed to keep the Loki-control under wraps. Folks who saw the tease with Natasha's first scene knew he'd been compromised, but that could mean SO much - it blindsided me in the movie, and pleasantly so.

That said, I've seen a lot of commentary about people not liking his character, feeling that he was an unknown character, empty backstory, flat affect. I think that a lot of folks are missing the fact that 1) Barton's about as well known as Natasha, it's just that we got Barton's story in pieces from other people and 2) he doesn't have a lot of lines because the character is more about the nonverbal.

I walked away from it loving his character and wanting, if not a Hawkeye/Black Widow movie, at least a SHIELD movie that focused on them. But I also feel like paying attention to how he moved, reacted to Fury, interacted with Tash, worked with the team, etc, gave me a lot of insight in to his character. If people were expecting him to be an explosive or loud character claiming his own territory on screen, like the rest of the boys, then I suppose I can see how they were disappointed. (They're still wrong, though.)
Simon - The trailers really undersold how dark the movie is. The "Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" got played for laughs in the trailer, but in the movie it's the complete reverse.

I totally concur. The movie trailer had to sell itself on a tone, which is recaptured in the final battle, but the movie at other points DOES get dark. Fury's speech explaining the Avengers was overlapped with clips in the trailer, making it exciting and intense. In the movie, it occured right after Coulson's death, and had a very different vibe than I'd expected.

b!x - I actually think they used a different line reading altogether for the trailer. Am I the only one?

It was a different line reading. Less buoyant Stark snark, and more confrontational. It wasn't the only use of different footage for the trailer. It threw me for a loop during the movie, 'cause I'd grown so accustomed to a certain delivery. Even when Fury went to do the "war is started, and we are hopelessly, HILARIOUSLY outgunned." hello hilariously.

[ edited by WhatsAStevedore on 2012-05-11 20:10 ]
Loiosh, I definitely want a Hawkeye/Black Widow movie and I hope they are both in the Nick Fury movie.

Did anyone else think during the Manhattan scene, "surely he's going to run out of arrows?" I did and then voila - he ran out of arrows. :) Thanks be to Joss for keeping it grounded in the small details.
I was pleased at how unlike the trailers, the movie was. I'd felt I'd seen half the movie before I walked into the theatre but so many of the trailers were sleight of hand and not really what was going on. And if they were using different line readings, that would add to the changes.
@Simon, Lioness, b!X - quite a few shots - at a guess, at least 30-40% - in the trailers are different takes, or shots that don't actually appear in the final cut. The "Genius, billionaire..." bit is entirely composed of them. Rogers' question is a different take, Stark's answer is a different take, and Thor laughing at the answer is, I think, from right before he says "You people are so petty. And tiny" in the movie, which is in response to something else - except we don't actually see him laugh there. Same goes for the Fury/Rogers bit at the beginning of the film compared to the same exchange in trailer 2 ("Trying to get me back in the world?"). Etc.

Makes sense. The trailers are spinning their own mini-narrative and an entirely different sequence of shots, where some deliveries and angles work better than the ones used in the film. Seems quite a bit of thought went into putting the trailers together - more than usual - in terms of going through alternate takes and clips to piece it together.

As Lioness says, it also helps those of us who watched that trailer multiple times - relatively few shots in the film where I thought "seen that dozens of times".

[ edited by Kaneda on 2012-05-11 20:39 ]
Well... The trailer of Hulk catching Iron Man was a spoiler. As soon as he starts falling back towards the portal, some part of my mind said "Oh, we haven't seen the Hulk catch him yet. Bet that's next" but I'm very meta like that. And, of course, I was exactly right.
In the Avengers trailer, Thor laughs after Stark said his "genius, billionaire.." line and I was really happy to see the sweded Avengers trailer poke fun at it. I'm glad that someone thought the same thing I did, which is that Thor probably would have no idea what Stark was talking about and putting Thor laughing at that joke seemed little odd. Great trailer, still, but very peculiar choice to have as a reaction.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2012-05-11 20:40 ]
Yeah, I saw a mocked-up version somewhere that said "I have no idea what a philanthropist is" over the shot, like he was just laughing to fit in. Made me chuckle. I'm glad the reaction in the film itself was just a 'fair point' sort of head tilt from Black Widow.
I just had to share the news that after my suggestion, the company I work for is going to be hosting a movie night to see The Avengers next week! In the past they've rented a theater to see a movie after work and gotten every employee that wanted one a ticket and popcorn, but it's been a year since they've done this. Based on my suggestion, they picked The Avengers for the next movie night! So I'm doing my part to get Avengers even bigger numbers, can't wait to introduce my coworkers to the talents of Joss Whedon. ;-)

Also, finally saw the movie on my birthday (May 8th) and it was both everything I could have hoped for in a superhero team-up movie, and everything I expected in a Joss Whedon film. Can't wait to go back!

[ edited by AnotherFireflyfan on 2012-05-11 22:01 ]
What did Black Widow mean by "I am compromised" - that she realises she loves Hawkeye even though she denied it to Loki?
The one thing that Stark/Rogers article doesn't mention is that Tony defers to Steve's tactical leadership in the final battle (his instuctions also help the audience understand what's going on).
@the ninja report
My wife turned to me and actually said, "Come on, how is he not running out of arrows?" I'd already seen the movie the day before, so I just smiled and waited a minute until he reached back and found nothing left in his quiver. My wife turned to me and said, "How did they know I said that!"

@Rednax42
I missed Loki's reaction after his encounter with Hulk both times I saw it. But the look on his face was funny enough. Also, I interpreted Black Widow's "I am compromised" to mean that what Loki said before (about the things she's done in the past) did affect her, based on her bringing up the red in her ledger again right after.
Saw it for a second time this week and I noticed RDJ facial expressions throughout the movie are so good which I quite enjoyed.

I've seen some talk about how Loki wasn't a great villain but I thought that he was really good, he managed to get under the skin of almost all of the Avengers and Tom Hiddleston did a great job of showing both the dark and humorous sides of Loki....also this film was more about the team up then the villain.

I was very happy with Hawkeye....I loved his introduction and thought he was a great character and good foil for Black Widow and I hop that they either appear in their own movie (or a SHIELD one) or make an appearance in Cap 2 because there did seem to be a good team dynamic forming there.

I am intrigued to see how they explain why they don't call upon each other during their solo movies but they might appease that by having some form of crossover (like Banner in Iron Man 3)

[ edited by ShaunieB on 2012-05-11 22:01 ]
Another thing - I liked the ambiguity of whether the Avengers fell apart in the lab due to ego clashing or whether it was Loki's manipulations. To fair to Loki, he didn't have to do any mental mind tricks to cause them to argue amongst themseleves.
Does Loki actually say something immediately after getting Hulksmashed? I've seen it twice and both times just saw him lying there blinking, looking terrified. What did he say?
@Alterego @Willowy - I'm pretty sure Loki breaks wind when he's lying in the "Loki shaped hole". That's what it sounds like to me anyway. Maybe he should have asked for new pants instead of a drink? :)
@Simon The lab scene seems like a homage to the Council of Elrond in "Fellowship of the Ring" (film), with Loki's staff replacing the Ring.

[ edited by Rednax42 on 2012-05-11 22:42 ]
Oh interesting, I hadn't thought of that. I've seem chatter online saying "Joss should have explicitly what was going on here" but spoon feeding the audience isn't his style. Also I want to watch The Avengers again.
I have seen it twice now and although all the characters were independently beautifully and clearly rendered, great fight scenes, excellent dialogue, etc etc, it didn't make me feel. I think those who were already attached to those characters could bring that emotional energy to the film, but I'm not a Marvel fan and the movie didn't make me care about them.

I loved Loki but I thought he was underused. He's the Prince of Lies and Illusion, and the film gestured to that but then didn't really make use of it. He could have been a great villain, but somehow wasn't.

Insofar as I cared about a character it was the Black Widow, who was the only one who showed any character growth (the beginning of a redemption arc, one of Whedon's real strengths).

I was, overall, disappointed. In fact I went back a second time to see if I had missed something, because everyone else seems to be over the moon about the film; but I liked it less the second time round. Usually Whedon works make me care so much. This time, there was nothing much to cheer or grieve for. The death of Agent Coulson, or whatever his name is, and it says something that I"m not sure, wasn't just transparently manipulative - it didn't work, in that I still didn't care, and was pissed off besides at being so transparently manipulated.

I know Whedon was hampered by pre-existing plot lines and the fact that (for example) he couldn't kill any Avengers. Still, I was disappointed.

I'm very glad it's done so well and made everyone boatloads of money, but it's not Whedon's best work. I just hope it gives him the financial and artistic freedom to go on producing his best work in future. Cabin in the Woods was streets ahead of Avengers, and I hope he goes on to produce more like that.
@Rednax42: I think she was referring to her fear after the Hulk encounter, as compromising her battlefield abilities. Then she slides back to "red ledger" to hide that fear.

@(everyone about Hawkeye): Definitely a reinterpretation of the character, unless his "Ultimates" version is like this. The movie decided to make him a sniper, so they emphasized his solitary, stoic nature, and made him extremely observant.

The comics version (unless they revised it over the past twenty years) has him doing trick shots in a circus while growing up. He gets introduced to crime by the Swordsman, who recognized his skill with the bow. Dated the Black Widow when they were both on the Avengers. He was a loud mouth individualist, who was constantly butting heads against whoever was leading the Avengers. (Which made him the right choice when Roger Stern had Clint become the leader of the West Coast Avengers.)
@Simon
I saw it as the scepter influencing their negativity and suspicions of one another, especially with the camera angle moving to have the scepter in the foreground and making everything upside-down, which I took as a visual cue that they weren't behaving entirely of their own accord. That along with Thor's "petty and small" line, along with Stark's wiping of his brow and Banner not even realizing he picked up the scepter all led me to think there was some kind of mind trickery going on.

But it could also work equally as well that it was just the group finally breaking down after butting heads so much prior to that, what with all of SHIELD's duplicity coming to light and everyone realizing they don't know each other very well, so who's to say who is trustworthy.

Like you said, it's not Joss' style to lay it out in black and white like that.
I liked that Joss used the classic "council on big, dark, eerie screens" (as seen in V for Vendetta, the original Superman movies and more recently at the end of BtVS season 4 in the wrap up to the Adam/Initiative arc--as well as, I'm sure, a ton of other places). I think it really worked because it required no previous knowledge of such a council's existence or its role. The subsequent power control issues were immediately understood without wasting a single word of dialog.

I think one of the coolest things that has gotten nearly zero attention is Iron Man's Mark 7 armor. That was a fun bit with the armor on auto-pilot; attaching as Stark fell to the Earth. I wonder how many people worked their butts off to bring that particular imagery to the screen. I hope the next movie features some of the more specialized armors (like the Hulk-Buster armor, for example).

lbowman you can't please all the people all the time. And I think most would agree that this isn't his "best" work (when compared with some of his seminal tv moments), although I've seen it twice already and really enjoyed it. For me, most of the time, simply "really enjoying" a movie is enough. Even though I consider myself a true comic fan, I'm sure a portion of my enjoyment just came from being super happy for Joss to have a huge mainstream reception. (I'm sure I can't be the only one to feel a huge sense of pride as "A Joss Whedon Film" lit up the screen) And btw, I've never heard of Loki referred to as, "the Prince of Lies and Illusion." From my foggy recollection of the early Marvel days, I thought he was always the God of Mischief to Thor's God of Thunder.
Oh and yay for Pepper's bare feet - definitely "A Joss Whedon Film" :)
alexreager I yelled out "COOL!" when that armor deploy-*choke* - deployed. Also loved when he'd go home and it would just be removed from his bod automatically.

Side note: Was anyone else surprised at how short Ruffalo is? Not any biggee, I just wasn't expecting him to be a short man. Also can we talk about how cute Stark and Banner are together? I see new BFF's happening! Someone mentioned how they liked the unevenness of how the team all got along. Some people didn't seem to like one another very much, while others got along well, and others there was just an 'all business' vibe. I noticed that as well, and thought it was nicely played by all.

Is anyone going to tell me what Loki said?
alexreager - yes, that's how I've always heard him referred to as well - God of Mischief.
In an interview Tom H. said that Loki is now more a God of Menace than mischief. He doesn't need his family any more, he just wants to rule, and the self-importance that comes with that. He feels he has nothing to lose, so he's more balls-to-the-wall badass. He thinks, meaner though he is, he's still worthy of redemption. Did anyone see the tear that rolled off his face when he mockingly said "sentiment" and stabbed Thor?

Yessir, Avengers are the Scoobies and Loki's the Spike.
@Willowy Loki didn't say anything between his encounter with Hulk & asking for a drink later. However, there was a sound, I guess it could be him being winded/in pain but sounded more like breaking wind to me :)
There needs to be an all-female punk-rock band called The Mewling Quims, like yesterday. That is all.
Regarding Loki's type of godliness: wikipedia says nobody really has a clue what to make of him. I only found out today that he can be considered a god of fire...
B-but. He's a Frost Giant.

*And THANKS, Rednax42*
Rednax42 - I think it's deliberately left vague, what Natasha meant when she told Clint she was compromised, and that her ledger is in red. Based on comic history and a lot of the choices made in the movie (her reaction to him being compromised, the way she hovered over the screen of his file on the bridge, body language, the way they sat at shawarma), I read it as acknowledging their relationship in a language that two very private people shared - and that being compromised isn't always a BAD thing.

She utterly and completely played Loki because he doesn't understand human emotions. Loki had control of Barton's mind, he knew they had a relationship, and he assumed that she would be a weak female mewling (heh) over her lover. She led him through the trap and then reverted to norm when he sprung it.

The scene later was a repetition of the language specifically, I thought, to show the contrast - and that while in one sense being compromised can be bad (what happened to Barton), it can also be good (the two of them).

However, I also think this in part because I see Mockingbird showing up as basically never happening, and as was already mentioned, Black Widow and Hawkeye were involved in the comics. They've been pretty true to form in sticking with those relationships as they've brought the comics to screen, even if they do some updating (Jane and Thor) along the way.
There needs to be an all-female punk-rock band called The Mewling Quims, like yesterday. That is all. -
slayerinthedark

As much as I hate the c word, I really loved this turn of phrase. It was misogynistic and belittling, exactly what Loki was trying to be. I don't really understand what all the finger-waggling is about. Joss wrote Wolverine calling Scott a 'dick' in X-Men. Why shouldn't the female genitalia get equal time? ;)
@Loiosh - thanks. Yes that makes sense. So the two scenes are (fractured) mirrors of each other. As others have pointed out, mirrors are a theme throughout the film.
@simon, in all 4 of my viewings, everyone laughed like crazy people at the "genius, billionaire..." line. I think it's played for laughs regardless, but that, in true Joss fashion, it has a deeper meaning with what is happening at the moment. It is serious to the characters, funny to the audience. And somewhat amusing in it's truth to Black Widow (whose reaction is when I laugh, the rest of the audience seems to be too busy laughing to notice)

Whether or not this is Joss' "best" work is really dependent on the subjectivity of "best." Considering the challenges to tell this story as well as it is told, to be at any given time completely exciting and/or funny and or dramatic and/or meaningful, etc... to do all that with a lot of guidelines to follow and previous plots and character developments to base it upon. This movie could have easily failed to really land. More than land, it hit hard and kept going. And managed to make you care, even if only a little bit, about each and every character. Considering the challenges, this could easily be his best work. It's just about the criteria for "best"
IMO, It's his "best" work since Buffy.

Also, I agree that in assessing best-ness, one must take account of the fact that this was a movie, and a mission, that was virtually impossible to do well. And despite all the obstacles, he somehow still managed to pull off the most inspired super-hero movie ever.

[ edited by Squishy on 2012-05-12 01:31 ]
@Loiosh, While I don't think that Mockingbird is a done deal, I also wouldn't count Bobbi out yet! She's an easy character to adapt. Basically just a blonde Shield agent with a staff weapon.

But more importantly, Black Widow and Winter Soldier as a movie 'ship has to happen or I'll flip. If I don't get to see Sebastian Stan flirting with Scarlet in a future movie, then I will go insane and I will take you all with me.
Also, can I just say that for the sequel, I would love to see these heroes find themselves forced to align themselves with Hiddleston's trickster Loki, if only to defeat some more ominous threat.
Squishy... like say, Thanos? ;-)

(Arsenal - I never liked the Winter Soldier thing. Don't shoot me!)
I saw the movie again today, at a different theater. This one had better projection (picture and sound quality were both improved), but less comfortable chairs. Definitely worth it, since some of the scenes that had been too dark were more clear.

This crowd didn't laugh as much, not sure why.

I can't even remember the last time I saw a movie for a second time in a theater.
Just got back from a second showing... my audience wasn't as "in tune" to it and a third left before Thanos and then more left before shawarma. Then there were people who were expecting a tease to a future movie. My audience was disappointing.
The post-smash Loki, mewling, is one of my favorite moments in the film.

Couldn't hear it the first time, too much laughing going on, but this time? Hilarious.
Saw it again today for the third time and noticed a few things

Its weird but while hawkeye's actions,um results,accuracy with the bow is good it felt very much like they were going for rule of cool rather than an accurate portrayal. Perhaps i am just sensitive after being spoiled by the hunger games, which does a ridiculously good job of portraying katniss' skill. While you see hawkeye do cool stuff you dont get the same sense of him being that good.
Like I said, its weird

Also the foldable bow looks really good and really impossible

Then I was curious about the "he killed 80 men in 2 days" line
When did that happen? Are they talking about the labs he blew up? If so why 2?
Cause it isnt clear if anyone died at sttugart.

I really want more female avengers next time. Black widow was awesome and what little we saw of maria hill was as well but it didnt quite feel like enough.

Did anyone here about a serenity shot or shape in the movie? Idk if its true, my brothet told me he heard a rumour. I figured it was likely similar to the pots in dr horrible

Anyone else thought fury's use of boat instead of ship was peculiar?

I really liked seeing tony and pepper so comfortable and happy. And it also made me nervous about them. I was happy to see theyre engaged now

Someone pointed out ob tumblr that the new tower has a floor for every avenger,which I thought was brilliant.

I found it amusing and of course humilloating how they gave loki a muzzle

I thought thor was a full god not demi?

Oh and I noticed hawkeye is actually referred to as hawkeye once by natasha. It was good.

Anyone else got a game of thrones vibe? From lines like 'no men like me' to loki talking about power, to tony and steve arguing where I half expected tony to say you're just a soldier arent you? Trained to follow orders ' though technically that line wouldve fit loki better
And cap says'not day' and speaks of only one god. But I seriously doubt he worships the many-faced god

Im probably just imagining things,ive been infected by asoiaf/got and cannot get it out of my head. And the whole loki/thor story and dynamic would fit the 7 kingdoms to a tee

I do wonder if loki is somehow bulletproof since bullets seem to hit him when he first arrives and nothing.

Anyone know if the russian was any good?

Oh and post-hulk loki just sits there whimpering,almost deflating.
Its almost funny but I have so many loki feels I cant helpt but feel bad for him

I still feel I need to see it severalmore times. And I want a hawkeye/black widow film. I need it! But jeremy should take proper archery lessons.
Just saw it for the fifth time (2xIMAX, 1xRealD, 1x2D, & now at the drive-in). Having sound piped through the car radio was awesome. I'd previously missed Loki's "this usually works" line after trying to take over Tony. Also, I don't think Loki was breaking wind. He sounded like he was whining with pain to me. A couple of times, you see Hawkeye collecting arrows from corpses, so I had no problem with him not running out until he was on top of the building (where he couldn't gather them back up).

Even at the drive-in, there were several instances when you could hear outbursts of laughter. I go to this theater a lot, & I'd never been able to hear reactions like that before.
I think what I loved best was simply how much it felt like an actual Avengers comic, as I remember reading them in elementary school. I felt like those characters had simply come to life. I can only think of two moments that for me were sort of wrong notes that took me out of full immersion in the reality.

One is Phil trying to explain his Steven Hawking reference. Why didn't he say Einstein? That would (even today) be most people's first choice of archetypal genius, anyway. The fact that he resorted to "Really smart guy" felt like a stretch for a laugh.

The other was "Point Break." Now don't get me wrong, it's funny and in character, but it struck me as too specific a reference, one that may be lost on a lot of this movie's potential audience, especially in the future. It's not a reference to stand much test of time. I wonder how many people who weren't around when it came out have even seen that movie? I was longing to hear someone call Thor "Goldilocks" because I remember that happening in the comics and thinking it was hilarious.
PS: One of the ways in which it felt like an actual comic was the references to things that had happened in other films. There were times when I half expected to see a little yellow box appear at the bottom of the screen with a note from "Ed." telling us which issue that thing Fury just mentioned happened in.
You know if I've got one issue with this movie as a whole(and I seem to have ONLY one issue which is great), it's that Loki feels oddly two dimensional to me. I understand that Mr. Whedon had a lot of balls in the air for this film mind you. It's just too bad that Loki felt so much more fleshed out in Thor and I was expecting Joss to really run with that. He is usually so good with giving us properly interesting villains.

It might just be me, but I guess I wanted to see a bit more hinting at the brotherly relationship between Thor and Loki to offset the archnemesisness (that's a word now) of it all . Felt like it would've been right up Mr. Whedon's alley.

Everything else suitably blew me away though!
I've never read the comics, but I liked Hawkeye a lot, in no small part to Jeremy Renner - I think he'll be an excellent non-Bourne (of course if the script is bad that wont help them)

Didn't like Scarlett Johansson though, neither as the character or herself at the press conferences (where it felt to me like she had been forced at gun point to be in the movie and show up, but would prefer to be somewhere else)
Hunted, as I understand it, she's shy (sometimes painfully so), and her last go-around with the press wasn't a lot of fun, since people were hounding her about her divorce and not the movie she was promoting.

If you can catch her interviews where it's just her and one interviewer on tape (Entertainment Weekly or any of the late night shows), she comes across as much different.
Enjoyed Enver Gjokaj's little cameo near the end. Wish he'd gotten a few more lines!
@okelay Yep, "boat" instead of "ship" stood out to me as well. Like a Mal'ism, no?

A couple of shots of Loki's malevolent grin made me think that Tom Hiddleston would've made an excellent young Hannibal Lecter in the prequel.

Similarly, if ever someone could play the late Peter Falk's iconic Columbo character, I think Mark Ruffalo would be perfect. He does mild, rumpled, but oh-so-sharp very well.

Oh, and, I'll be seeing Avengers for the third time this weekend, bringing my sister and her sons. I can't wait to catch their real time reactions!
"Really smart guy" > "Einstein".
Loki and Thor are both a bit 2 dimensional imo. Loki felt fine the way he was portrayed though. Loki is a man child obsessed with getting the attention and Fear&awe that he believes his brother and father have gotten but not him. And to make his brother suffer by hurting the people that Thor has come to care about. Plus Tom Hiddleston is super charismatic.

Sometimes I felt Thor was just there to give us a visual reminder of what Loki wants to be but hates at the same time. And to be an Avenger who could take the physical abuse of the other Avengers. Chris Hemsworth is beautiful and has a presence about him that worked though and Joss gave him some good lines so I was ok with his role in the movie. But I do feel he was the least flashed out character.
Loved Enver's cameo. He had some of the best moments in "Dollhouse," and I've missed him terribly.
I personally wouldn't call this Joss's best work, but only because I have yet to see anything that tops Firefly. I would call this a very very good work and one of the best superhero movies ever.

I loved this movie like I loved the first Pirates of the Caribbean and the first Back to the Future movie. It has so much character development and attention to detail, and Joss is absolutely not lost in the Big Movieness of it all. I was afraid we wouldn't be able to see him in it by the end of movie studio politics. However, I could see his directing styles (the circle-round-the-group which is in Serenity, the attempts at avoiding over-over shots for conversation, and the homage shots to various other sci-fi or action films) and I could hear his writing. I knew Phil would die by the end of the scene with Stark-- I get this sick feeling when I laugh and like a character too much in something made by Joss and I definitely had prepped myself for Phil's death mentally beforehand.

I saw this in the theater Friday at 1:30pm and the theater was mostly packed, which made me feel all bubbly inside. However, I found that very few people laughed at any of the jokes aside from the Hulk Smash bit (sidenote, I felt the Loki reaction was a whimper and not a fart, but I have only seen it once). I'm not sure why the audience was so averse to laughter, and I felt a little silly laughing by myself.

I did cheer lots when I saw Joss's name at the end.

I stayed until the after-first-credits scene, but I didn't stay until the end. I assume I missed something at this point. I need to go see it again but I'm not sure when I will have time.
@veryverycrowded A woman, and her small child, had a pee break, and did not return to sit beside me, I think, this was because I was laughing at references they did not get! Her husband, however, became very angry when the older child *lost* something, sweeties most likely, on the floor, and told him to "watch the fucking film", for which I was eternally grateful. (Child abuse notwithstanding.)

ps. LOVED the bit where Harry Dean Stanton said "Son, you've got a condition."
Saw for it for the first tonight. First time in an American theatre that I've seen the audience break out in applause.
Round five discussion thread? Just back from round five of viewings. Receptive, demonstrative, mixed-age audience (older couple next to me, tween girls mid-house, kids here and there). Someone left at the end whistling the Silvestri theme.
Captain America says, "Hulk. Smash." Hulk smashes. Someone in the audience yells out an exuberant, "HULK!"
Finally saw it for the first time Saturday. Absolutely Awesome!

Loved so much and more keeps surfacing in my mind as I digest it.

One amusing point I haven't seen discussed:

It's been said that all films since 1939 contain some reference to "The Wizard of Oz." So the fact that Captain America highlights the reference to flying monkeys ("I know that one!") makes it all the more amusing.

He's so clever, that Joss.
Finally saw it last Sunday afternoon. Theatre was 1/3 full. Very little response until Hulk started smashing. Nobody recognised Harry Dean Stanton. Nobody recognised Stan Lee. Small round of applause at the end (by three people).

Not the most ideal circumstances to see it in and having seen all the trailers and read all spoilers it all fell a bit flat for me. I didn't find Loki interesting as a villain and both Thor and Captain America don't grab me. What intrigued me, which I hadn't expected, was Black Widow and Hawkeye: their characters, back story and relationship. I wanted to know more about that.

I will probably be going to see it again this weekend. Hopefully there will be a larger, more engaged audience.
"What intrigued me, which I hadn't expected, was Black Widow and Hawkeye: their characters, back story and relationship. I wanted to know more about that. " (by Caroline)

I felt the same! I didnīt find Black Widow too interesting in Iron Man 2 and we didnīt see a lot of Hawkeye in Thor, but after The Avengers Iīm very interested in both characters and would actually like to see a movie centered around them.
I liked both Black Widow and Hawkeye before, but I really enjoyed them here, especially since they had bigger roles.

but I still feel they are really underestimated in regard to the other avengers.

I really liked them both and hawkeye's totally rule of cool archery didnt even bother me. that much.
It took me until the sixth viewing to hear Loki's post-ragdolling noise. Overjoyed to discover it's not just some sort of groan but an actual mewling.
Went and saw it a second time, only a half dozen people in the theatre (expected for first show on a Tuesday), so lose some of that crowd energy, but it was a lot of fun, more fun than the first time, even. There is just this inarticulable visual and thematic... poetry, really, to how "just so" everything comes together in the big action sequences -- how perfectly the jet is a way to get the Hulk out of the scene, how Thor getting stuck in the Hulk cage is great, especially since it had been made Chekhov's Hulk cage earlier. And then how just so perfectly you get almost every combination of Avenger duos fighting side by side.

This might sound odd, but I also came away from the second viewing kinda 'shipping Cap and Widow. I guess anybody so inclined would probably think Hawk, Hulk, or Tony before Cap, but now I want someone to make a Chris Evans/ScarJo romcom or something.

Also noticed that one of the crew -- makeup for Ms. Johannson? -- was Heba Thorisdottir. Doesn't that mean, -ish, Thor's daughter? How great is that?

[ edited by KingofCretins on 2012-05-22 22:21 ]
Saw it again, enjoyed it (even) more than first time. Small audience again and and really, I think the dialogue went over most (Dutch) people's heads. Flying monkeys, Point Break, etc - I think it's very anglosaxon-based pop culture that the average viewer here wouldn't get. Even 'Shakespeare in the park' and 'doth mother' didn't get a reponse. The subtitles weren't great, sometimes plain wrong. But the translation of 'mewling quim' was inspired: 'jengelpruim'.

A couple of times I got this 'oooh James Bond' feeling. Was that the score, perhaps?
Hawkeye struck me as a James Bond type character. I could have seen Daniel Craig playing him.
Yes, that too.

I noticed Loki's mewling the second time, The One True b!X, but it sounded like it was coming from somewhere else in the theatre. Took me a second to realise this is what everybody had been talking about.
Since there's 5 of these threads so far, this may have been brought up already. I'm watching 'The Gift' (written & directed by Joss) and I'm at the part where Buffy is hitting the punching bag right before the gang goes to the final smackdown with Glory. Giles enters in and Buffy hits the bag harder and harder until she knocks it across the room with one punch. That's when I remembered Captain America's scene at the beginning(ish) of The Avengers (also written & directed by Joss, which, duh) when he does the same thing! Cool little shout out to the show, or does Joss mean to telegraph something here?
Joss Whedon directed the highest grossing Summer blockbuster of all time. Wow.
So it looks like with Tuesday's Box Office, Avengers should cross the 600M domestic mark. With Wednesday's Box Office, it should cross the mark of Titanic's initial run (which is 600,788,188).

Once again, congrats to all involved!!
I just realized that "Sugar Shock" also had a "glow-stick of destiny".

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