Saturday, May 4, 2013

Stubs – The Avengers (2012) - A Second Look

In Trophy Unlocked’s quest to re-watch the two prequel films leading up to this weekend’s Iron Man 3, we’re taking a second look at Iron Man 2 and The Avengers..

Now this movie has been reviewed twice already on this blog: the first viewing in 2D and the second viewing in 3-D IMAX. That said, there’s no reason to go over the synopsis or the characters again. However, this film does set the bar very high for any sequel. Since this film came on the scene roughly a year ago, I’ve seen this film four times: twice in the theater (see above) and twice in 2-D on Blu Ray at home. (Yes, I still buy discs and don’t have a 3-D TV).

Watching this film again is like coming home to an old friend. As a review of sorts, The Avengers came out after Marvel Studios had already released Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man 2 and had the unenviable task of tying these five films together, make the diverse main characters and supporting ones interact in a believable way and still tell an interesting story. Joss Whedon not only did this, but made a memorable film to boot.

Two guesses who is Joss Whedon and who is Thor.
Summer blockbusters tend to be big, bright and dumb. They oftentimes sacrifice dialogue and character development for action, special effects and catch phrases. The Avengers proves that Hollywood can walk and chew gum at the same time. They can make films that deliver action and special effects, but also has good dialogue and three dimensional (or at least two dimensional) characters. And best of all, this film proved they can make a bundle using this formula. I hope that it is a lesson Hollywood has learned and will display this summer with the new offerings of comic-book based character films, including Iron Man 3.

The Avengers has everything a good summer blockbuster should have.
Back in the old days, when music was released on licorice pizzas, I remember occasionally playing side 1 of an album that was so good I was afraid to play the other side. I didn’t want to be disappointed. The first Cars album comes to mind. I really liked the first side, that I feared the flip couldn’t live up to the standards set. That’s kind of how I feel about Iron Man 3 after seeing The Avengers again. While this isn’t a perfect movie, it is so much fun that I’m actually worried I can’t like Iron Man 3 as much as I liked this one. I’m hoping that, just like Side 2 of the first Cars album blew me away, that Iron Man 3 will defy my fears when I finally see it.

Major Comic Stars Captain America flanked by Hawkeye (l) and Black Widow (r).
The reason The Cars come to mind is that their song Just What I Needed (from side one of their first album), is played predominately throughout the Marvel One-Shot Item 47 which appears on the disc as a bonus feature. The cute and funny short deals with how S.H.I.E.L.D. would handle tracking down a found Chitauri  weapon that is being used by a young couple, Claire (Lizzy Caplan) and Jesse Bradford (Benjamin 'Bennie' Pollock). to rob banks. Agent Blake (Titus Welliver) sends partner Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) to track them down, take back the weapon and eliminate them, but does that plan work out the way Agent Blake imagined it would. If you have the disc like I do, you owe it to yourself to watch this delightful short.             

Jesse and Claire are like a Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde with a Chitauri weapon in Item 47.

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