Monday, May 16, 2011

There’s Beauty in the Breakdown: GARDEN STATE Revisited

It was the summer of 2004. A young Derick Armijo had just graduated high school and procured his first job. Hocking key chains and t-shirts to tourists at Universal Studios in a denim shirt/khaki pant ensemble that was a galaxy away from resembling flattering. He was free for the first time in his life. No one told him where to go. No one told him want to do. He was charting his own path that would eventually lead to writing this blog. He had just figured out how to use the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit System and the world was his oyster. Access to buses and trains allowed him to travel to places that he never thought he could go on his own. The place was Hollywood. The theater was Arclight. Fancying himself a purveyor of independent cinema, he found himself traveling to this mythical city to watch a film called GARDEN STATE. It can’t be said for sure, what his initial interest in this film was. But he did like the posh demeanor of this theater. He was an adult now. He should act like it by paying way too much for a 1pm matinee. He was late for Arclight’s signature introduction of the film, coming in just at the end. He sat back, completely ignorant of the running time or the fact that his pager should be off, and was prepared to enjoy the film.

It was a little rocky from the start. Derick, to this day, is squeamish during scenes of simulated intoxication and early on in the movie, the characters partake in the party drug known as Ecstasy and gallivant around with young women of a questionable age. Derick rarely walks out of movies and gave it serious thought at this point.

This movie was too dark and depressing. That is, until the knight showed up. Once a comedic scene in which Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Jean Smart and future star of THE BIG BANG THEORY have a comical discussion about Medieval Times. The movie started being funny and he was instantly more comfortable. Forever more he would refer to the moment a seemingly bad movie turns good as “the knight showing up”.

Fast Food Knight sounds like the name of a Paula Cole album. He was charmed the rest of the way through. Natalie Portman was that fantasy maiden of a type he didn’t realize he was interested in. The existential dilemma of young and good looking people spoke to my young impressionable heart. And the music. My God, the music.

Like a young Knives Chou would lament six years later, he didn’t even realize good music existed when he was 17. He just consumed whatever songs were on soundtracks to his favorite movies and wore a ring into a Smash Mouth CD he received in the 7th grade. This was the first time he heard music like this and he loved it. Walking out of the theater, he got that special excitement that was similar to the way he would walk out of summer blockbusters when he was younger. Instead of “I want to BE Ethan Hunt!” he was saying “I want to BE Andrew Largeman!”. “I want to be a sad sack that complains too much and attracts damaged women! I want to whine about my parents and be numb to my future path! A new kind of hero to admire!”. The great Amoeba Records is right next door to the Arclight, so he ran right in and purchased the soundtrack and listened to it all the way to work and over and over and over after that. Okay, let’s drop the third person. I was very into this movie and so were a lot of others my age. That summer was also the summer I discovered Rilo Kiley and really felt what it was like to become emotionally attached to music. Later, that Christmas season, I worked at a Best Buy when the DVD came out and we sold out in a day. This was a generational phenomenon that had nothing to do with spaceships or capes. Since it was a small film, everybody felt that they had discovered it and needed to let others know about this gem. Every girl I knew told me “Wow, they finally got me right” when talking about themselves and Natalie Portman’s character. Which was a pretty amazing side effect, seeing as how none of them were anything like Portman’s character at all. People saw themselves in this movie, for better or worse and like me, felt a strong emotional connection to the characters and themes and the music.

Five years later, I was having a drink with some friends of a friend and we were having a pretty good time. The discussion was bordering on intellectual but in that fun three beers in kind of way. I felt very comfortable with these people, so when one of the girls asked me “Have you like GARDEN STATE?”, I felt totally fine with blurting out “Yeah, when I was fucking 12”. How the hell did I get there? Why did that come out of me? I found myself explaining how I was really into it at the time it came out but somehow, it doesn’t really rate with me right now. I might have hurt her feelings, she might still love this movie but it was at that moment that I realized that this movie didn’t mean anything for me anymore and I don’t know how that happened. So, like the tagline to the BACK TO THE FUTURE PART IV poster I photoshopped a few years ago for my myspace page states, “Sometimes in order to go forward, you must go back”.

The movie starts with Zach Braff (who I wasn't aware of at the time, I got into SCRUBS because of this movie) in a dream sequence where he’s in an airplane that’s going down and he doesn’t give a shit. He wakes up in his empty apartment and takes some of the medication out of the myriad of prescription bottles that line his bathroom cabinet. He lives in Los Angeles and he fights traffic to his shitty job in a trendy restaurant as a waiter. He gets hassled for being late and has to deal with bitchy customers but like the plane dream, he seems pretty numb to it all. His father calls letting him know that his mother had unexpectedly passed away and that he has to come back to his hometown of South Orange, New Jersey for the funeral. When he gets there, we find out that he’s an actor who’s actually showed up in a few things that people have seen. He runs into some old friends who invite him to a party and while he watches townies take drugs and drink alcohol to forget their daily grind, he continues not to feel anything.

At a doctor’s appointment waiting room, he meets the beautiful and incorrigible Sam, Natalie Portman’s character. She’s scatterbrained and annoying at first and desperately wants Braff to listen to her Shins album. A moment that every hipster douche guy would want to happen as he waits at the bus stop on a drunken Thursday night. She keeps saying she’s a pathological liar which here, is cute, but in real life is a giant red flag. Run, Zach Braff! This one is a drama powder keg just waiting to explode! He gives her a ride home and she tells him that she wears a helmet because she is prone to epileptic seizures. In this generation’s world, flaw is sexy. Especially when it’s a deadly flaw. If she had asthma, she would almost be too perfect. She invites him into her house where she has two gigantic dogs, a hamster habitat that trails around the entire house and the Christmas tree is still up in the middle of the summer. Red flag, red flag, red flag. She introduces her brother Titembay, a large African gentleman and they retreat to her room where they share some deeply personal issues.

So in one visit to Sam’s house we get a healthy dose of white guilt and inability to let go of childhood things. If only we had a sign that she was desperate to be unique than we would really have a ---

Yeah. We’ve got a fully formed Generation Y hipster girl on our hands. If Braff ever does a Special Edition, Lucas style, he should CG big box frame glasses on her face. I’m sure that was his original vision anyway. A little earlier we learn that Braff is on Lithium and other mood stabilizers and he decides to maybe stop taking them against the advice of his psychiatrist father who put him on them in the first place. He’s protecting his son from the terrible emotions that could have plagued him after he accidentally caused his mother’s paralysis when he pushed her and she tripped on an open dishwasher door and she hit her neck on the counter. Doesn’t sound like an accident to me, but that’s a matter for the courts to decide. He starts spending a lot more time with Portman and introduces her to his hometown friends. One of them got rich off of his silent Velcro idea and invites them to his mansion where they fire flaming arrows into the air and dodge them. Peter Sarsgaard spends time with them as well and strongly insists they they go with him on a hunt for a present for Braff. Braff wants to spend time with his new pretty lady alone, but Sarsgaard is pushy about it. They go to a local five and dime and this happens.

So what did we learn from that scene? Braff’s former classmates are either losers, scam artists or dead. Earlier in the movie, Braff gets stopped by a cop who happens to be a former classmate. He has a cocaine problem and is very comfortable with drawing his gun for show. With the exception of his lucky friend that made millions off of a stupid idea, everyone he knows has a horrible future ahead of them that is rapidly becoming their present. On their treasure hunt, they stop by a hotel where Method Man works and is charging perverts to watch through peepholes as johns take hookers into the rooms to fuck them. This is all very dark, but provides set up for the best line in the movie “Raise your hand if you just saw some titties? Now calm the fuck down”. Braff is starting to become very annoyed by all this because he’s wasting his final day in New Jersey. They finally end up at this giant pit, which is being guarded by a houseboat. Inside, are a married couple hired by a development company to watch the land they just purchased. It is here where Sarsgaard cuts a deal with these people for a necklace they have in their possession. You see, Sarsgaard is a gravedigger and he takes whatever jewels or valuables left on the dead to sell them. He did the same with Braff’s mom and now he’s getting the loot back. I don’t know whether to be happy about this or creeped out about this and neither does Braff. But the couple tells him a story about the pit and Braff is no stranger to pits of dispair so he compares the actual pit to his metaphorical one.

When they leave, it’s pouring rain outside. Braff climbs up some boxcars and screams into the pit as if to say “You don’t own me, sadness!” and tosses his hair around as if he’s being baptized by the rain. Symbolism! Character arc! This doesn't happen in movies! The next day, Braff is leaving to go back to LA and Portman is being a cry baby about it. They say goodbyes at the airport and then Braff realizes that he wants to stay and dramatically comes back to her and that’s the end. Braff's signature dramatic style of acting by talking quietly coupled with some very vague dialogue that only serves to prolong the inevitable helps the movie stumble to the finish line. As an older dude, I can't help but think that maybe the movie would have made more sense if he didn't go back to her and allowed his awfulness to consume him or never have gone to the airport in the first place. Anti-climactic maybe, but it seems more honest.

I’m not that much older from when I first saw the movie, but it feels like I’ve grown out of it. I’ve met a lot of people since then who either consciously or unconsciously play out the neurosis of the characters out in a very dramatic way, and it’s just not as cute when they do it. The most interesting thing to happen from the release of GARDEN STATE is how Zach Braff unwittingly out Crowe’d Cameron Crowe. At the same time he was making GARDEN STATE, Crowe was working on a movie about a young man who after some minor success and big failure, comes back to his hometown for the funeral of a parent and is bombarded with zany hometown characters and falls for a young strange girl who teaches him how to have fun. The exact same movie with the same big splashy soundtrack. It was released a year later to no acclaim or accolades and just faded into obscurity along with Crowe’s career. He hasn’t made another movie in six years, but I hear he’s finally rectifying that. This internet trailer, if you fast forward through the preamble to about a minute in, is mostly music and no dialogue, like the GARDEN STATE trailer. Kind of fools you into thinking it's good but I've learned to be weary of these kinds of trailers now.

In the end, GARDEN STATE is the same kind of message that a lot of films before it had made with some new flashy packaging. It’s a story about people who aren’t ready to be adults but this time, they’re Generation Y. A super annoying, whiny, apathetic, desperate to stand out while still being self loathing that aren’t even sure why they grew out their facial hair in the first place kind of people. In a way, every generation has the same kind of annoying traits but the sad truth is I CAN’T GROW A BEARD. Where does that leave me? I tried once a few years ago and it came out bright red and strange looking and the only picture I could find of it is, fittingly enough, a photoshopped REALITY BITES poster I put myself into.

That stunning lack of upper lip growth aside, I don’t feel close to this movie and it’s hard to remember why I ever did. Afterwards, I got really into SCRUBS and met Zach Braff at the Arclight and told him how much I enjoyed the movie and his show as he sleepily listened to me and signed a ticket stub while Mandy Moore tried to ignore what was happening. Years later, my entire corkboard full of Arclight signatures that included Christopher Nolan and Shane Black and Joe Dante were thrown away by family during some spring cleaning. I nearly had a heart attack over it. It wasn’t just the signatures but old bus passes and schedules and a button that said “Cite This!” I got from my high school English teacher for completing my senior thesis. Also a few pictures of old friends and some mementos. That corkboard was a physical representation of my first post-high school years. And in an instant, everything on it was thrown away so it could hang in the kitchen with a single business card for a plumber tacked onto it. A bitter reminder that all my memories only mean something to me and me alone. I was kind of crushed when this happened but it was also sort of liberating when I finally got over it. I was happier to realize I didn’t have to be angry about it then I was mad that it happened. And maybe if my generation has more moments like that, Hot Topic would disappear from our nation’s malls and perhaps I’d have a Suncoast again to browse through and never buy anything from. The one thing that does hold up is the music. I can still listen to that with a certain degree of enjoyment. Sure it reminds me of a more infantile time but you won’t see me jamming to Raffi or Baby Beluga as I drive down the street, so there’s that. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to Zero 7’s In the Waiting Line as I chugged up to the top of the hill in Universal City on their little pedestrian tram. In the first car that I ever owned, the GARDEN STATE soundtrack was in the CD player when it died for good. So it remained inside forever and is probably still there. The center of a crushed cube that slightly resembles what my car used to look like if it were a crushed cube. That Christmas, I received it again from Santa so now I have two boxes!

I was very excited to see what Braff directed next, but it wasn’t meant to be. He starred in a movie called THE LAST KISS that he polished the script on and contributed some soundtrack picks to. It didn’t light the young world on fire like GARDEN STATE did and Braff kind of let his career die a slow death with season after unwatched season of SCRUBS. Does this look familar?

Cool music and no dialogue again. Hmmm. In the end, I sort of feel a little sad that I don’t enjoy the movie like the girl I insulted does anymore. It’s like a little part of you dying, but it’s important to continue to move forward. But I still really dig the first TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movie, so don’t listen to me about growing as a person.

Until next time.

- D

PS: Another one! She runs a lot in this movie.

Friday, May 6, 2011

My Super Important Review of: Thor

Alright all of my craze has lead up to this moment. As I ran out of the Arclight, I sped passed a bunch of satisfied customers and screamed "I MUST GET HOME TO WRITE MY THOR REVIEW!" and I got massive applause by everyone. I have a feeling there's a lot of sweaty guys in stained Marvel t-shirts a-clickity-clacking at their keyboards right now to tell you what I'm about to tell you.




Very good in fact. Exceeded my expectations, which I have to be honest were fair to middling. Thor was never a favorite of mine or even a character I ever gave a fair shake to. Only when plans for his movie were made did I ever buy a Thor comic. I found a lot of the premise interesting, but the execution was lacking. "They certainly have their work cut out for them", I thought. Thor exists between two worlds. Asgard and Earth (or Midgard, if you are a norse). Juggling the tone between a bright and colorful fantasy epic and a real world America is no easy feat. The trailers and commercials worried me a bit with it's attempts at humor. Is Kenneth Branagh, famous Shakespearean so and so, not taking this seriously? The line "Oh God, this is Earth isn't it?" made me pray to Odin that it would be cut out of the movie (he answered my prayers. It isn't).

Branagh had never made a big sci-fi epic before (although he did play Dr. Arliss Loveless in WILD WILD WEST and looked like Francis Ford Coppola Dracula while doing it, so don't get him wrongo), but he's an actor's director. He can add an element to what is usually the weakest part of these of movies and the rest could take care of itself. His involvement definitely raised my brow. I think after the success of IRON MAN and THE DARK KNIGHT, a lot of classy directors started to realize that these things can be done well and be entertaining. Only a few years earlier, Marvel scrambled to find a director for their Fantastic Four films and the best they could do was the guy who directed BARBERSHOP. You can never tell who is going to be the next Richard Donner or Tim Burton or Bryan Singer, so picking a director that's well known and good at what he does was incredibly difficult. Early scrips for THOR had the entire movie taking place in Asgard. No Earth. Which probably would have alienated it's audience who don't know who Thor is to begin with. He must go to Earth. He must have an Earthly hot love interest. These kind of studio notes could doom a project, but they made it work.

SPOILER TERRITORY (but since a lot of you don't plan to see it anyway, read and be convinced)

The movie starts out with an editing decision that had to be IRON MAN influenced. We see Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Darcy (the amazing Kat Dennings) and the exact same character Stellan Sarsgaard played in GOOD WILL HUNTING, who are off in the middle of the desert chasing moon beams when they witness a bifrost deliver Thor to Earth. We then flashback to the real beginning. In IRON MAN, we see Tony Stark get kidnapped by the Ten Rings and it's exciting and shocking and then we go back to see how he got to Afghanistan. Here, we see that Thor was sent to Earth and then we go back to see why he was sent there. It's not a strong way to start the movie and there's really no reason why it shouldn't be linear. We are told a story by the King of the Gods, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) about how the frost giants tried to take over Earth once, but the Gods stopped it and now they are enemies with the frost people and even went to their planet to fuck shit up and take the Cosmic Cube from them (an object of much desire in the Marvel U). More presently, his son, Thor is about to be named King of Asgard because Odin is getting very old. During his coronation, an attempt to steal the cube is made and it riles up Thor enough to wage war on the frost dudes again. This beginning is very shaky and it gave me some worry. Things are supposed to be established during these opening 20 minutes and already there's a jumbled edit and a lot of complicated jabber going on with some scene chewing to boot. But once Thor takes his buddies to Frostland via an awesome people cannon run by IDRIS FUCKING ELBA, the movie really starts to take shape. The teleportation to the frost planet is very pretty and exciting and then a really cool battle happens on the planet. For his violent and headstrong ways, Odin banishes Thor to Earth and strips him of his powers. He also sends his hammer with him in case he decides to stop being an asshole.

We meet up with the humans again, and they take Thor into their custody. Now here's where that humor I was talking about was to be displayed front and center, but within the context of the scenes and the situation and without dwelling too much on camp, the humor works! After a bit of stuffy fluff on Asgard, some light ribbing really hits the spot. Kat Dennings is adorable and funny. NatPo also brings it and the chemistry when it comes to interacting with her co-star. And that Chris Hemsworth who got the part off of an amazing ten minute turn in 2009's STAR TREK really gets comfortable with the role here and does swimmingly. He becomes charming after all that yelling and fighting, which is not an easy transition to make but he does it. It's not easy to play a giant beautiful blonde model who is a God and also has the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. They do that post production eye color change to him, like Brandon Routh with SUPERMAN RETURNS but it kind of works. Makes him seem otherworldly. The townspeople try to lift Thor's hammer, but only someone WORTHY can pick it up. This leads to some of the funnest parts of the movie. SHIELD shows up and takes all of Jane's research. Thor promises to return it all once he gets his hammer back. He goes to retrieve it and the movie really starts to cook. He enters the SHIELD compound by ragdolling some motherfuckers and an amazing Hawkeye cameo happens which was totally done in post production but is blended in very well. Thor can't lift his hammer because he's still an asshole and it's very dramatic and done appropriately. Drama! Weight! Conflict!

Back on Asgard, Thor's brother Loki takes over as King and his dastardly plan is starting to come to light. Thor's buddies decide to go to Earth to tell him all the shit his bro is starting. Thor and Jane have some pretty awesome cuddle time when Thor starts to lighten up and tell her about his world in relation to hers. She's eating all this up because it's science shit and this guy is an Abercrombie and Fitch ad. It'd be like Anne Hathaway explaining Batman lore to me which she TOTALLY COULD NOW these days! His friends show up, but Loki sends the Destroyer with them to live up to his namesake by leveling New Mexico. Some really impressive action happens and Thor sacrifices himself to save the town. In doing so, he is deemed worthy of the hammer again and he gets his powers back. After hammering in an IOU for a future assbeating into the Destroyer's face, Thor and pals go back to Asgard to stop Loki. Thor promises to come back for Jane, as he has found an anchor to this realm of Earth. Thor and Loki battle, for he is opening up a portal that will destroy the frost world, for which Loki is actually one of. Turns out he's an adopted frost dude and now he wants to destroy his real home planet. In hopes to appease his father? In hopes to destroy his checkered past? It's never really clear with Loki, God of Mischief what his true agenda is. Right for the character I guess, but they could have fine tuned him a bit. Loki dispatches himself when his father and brother try to save him and Thor destroys the bridge to the other realms in an attempt to save the frost world. In doing so, he also destroys his only way back to Jane. He is a celebrated hero in his world, but his heart is left on Earth with Jane. She is feverishly surveying the heavens in hopes of finding him. And that's how it ends. How fucking beautiful is that? I am honestly pretty knocked out over how much they made me care about the love story. I was already won over and then they hit me with the new Foo Fighters song, WALK. If that isn't a cherry on top, I don't know what is. And it fits so perfectly.

THOR is a whole lot of fun and excitement and impressive action and performances. Characters you end up loving and relationships that stay with you. The action is no game changing Wachowski shit, this being Branagh's first time with this sort of thing, but I think there is enough effort and the other parts of the movie are strong enough that it all works out as a whole. There were a lot of dutch angles in this and at first I didn't know what to think of them. My final decision lands on "pretty cool". THOR is like nothing I've ever seen yet still establishes strong super hero thematic elements into the mix without seeming old hat. The tragic thing is the deck is stacked a little bit against THOR. There is a severe lack of interest in this character because nobody knows much about him. This movie needs people to give it a shot. Take a leap of faith. I trust that word of mouth is going to be on this movie's side. There were lots of females in the audience tonight. More than usual. I'm pretty sure they enjoyed themselves, too. The stakes are not too high with THOR. AVENGERS is already filming, so Hemsworth is already locked into returning to screens as Thor and Marvel has tons of other projects to keep them afloat. THOR seems to be like a bonus. It came at just the right time where they were comfortable enough to roll the dice with this weird concept between two successful IRON MAN films and a sure thing like THE AVENGERS. They kind of have nothing to lose with it. And neither do you. You will have a fun time and get to hear an Iron Man reference. I will be seeing it again. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I did back in those 90's summers. And that's a great feeling.

I give the mighty THOR three stars out of four.

*** out of ****

I saw the new GREEN LANTERN trailer today and...well, I'm glad I didn't use any disappointment on this one because something tells me I'm going to need more than I bargained for in June. Oh well. Big headed Peter Sarsgaard will be fun to chuckle at, I guess. Remember when he was a respected actor? Those were the days. I leave you with the Foo Fighter's new song WALK off their awesome new album. SOMEONE MADE A THOR MUSIC VIDEO! ANOTHER BONUS! CHIPS ON CHIPS, MOTHER FUCKERS!

Until next time!

- D

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Forsooth! Summer begins tonight! THOR!

I sit here on the eve of another summer movie season. Reflecting quietly with my final 7-11 THOR slurpee, and am enjoying the calm before the storm. The first movie out is the aforementioned God of Thunder's first foray into moving pictures. I will see this movie tonight at midnight. Over the past few weeks, I've heard from a lot of people expressing their complete and utter disinterest in this new chapter in Marvel's countdown to nerd nirvana, THE AVENGERS. As a completist, I feel that people should ignore their stupid opinions and interests and JUST SEE IT. It's like completely ignoring Christmas because you're averse to sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are fucking good, you idiots. Just have the fun that a major corporation has planned for you that appeals to your childhood nostalgia. *takes another sip of Thor slurpee*.

Mmmm. Tastes good.

Anyway, because I rule so hard, I recently re-watched all the Marvel films in the new continuity. I don't think they have figured out a good groove yet, but I think all of their movies are definitely entertaining in their own right. I tend to use these re-watch sessions to look at the films again subjectively. Without hype. Without the audience. Without any emotional attachments. Like I'm seeing them for the first time. I know most people can just do that anyway, but I am way too emotionally attached to these kinds of things. Here are my thoughts on the Avengers countdown as of yesterday:


IRON MAN: Perfect. Gold standard for not only Marvel films but of summer action tent poles in general. Amazing performances from talented yet cooled off actors probably purchased at bargain rates. Entertaining beyond big action set pieces. Fun and a wonderful kick off to Marvel's new continuity.

THE INCREDIBLE HULK: Pretty great model for a reboot only five years after the previous movie. The characters are in the same place they would have been had Ang Lee's HULK gotten a sequel yet they aren't tied to those events at all. The movie loses some points for having a significant amount of the movie take place in someplace other than my beloved United States of A. But they make the most of it by having this dirty foreign country action take place in mostly a soda factory. I love soda! Good on ya, Marvel. Norton is the lord's gift to acting, so he's always great. Liv Tyler mumbles her love for him and William Hurt kind of chews up the scenery. The action is adequate but sort of fails to do anything impressive. But I think the charm of the movie lies within it's unique superhero themes. Banner is on the run with a power he can not control or harness that does more harm than good. His life is dedicated to getting rid of it. A lot of Captain America preamble goes on here. It's enough of a solid effort to stand alone as a worthy night's entertainment and adds some mystique and allure to what's to come in the Marvel universe.

IRON MAN 2: This one received a lot of backlash for not being as good as the original. Disappointing, sure. But by itself, I think it can stand on it's own merits. Tony's ways are causing his physical body to deteriorate and he has to look towards his father's legacy to find way to survive. This hits me the hardest, because Tony is so much of a rogue that it's really interesting to me when he internalizes. I love his relationship with his dad in this and the Walt Disney imagery. The Monaco race circuit scene is better than anything in the first movie and shows how heroic the characters are without suits and powers. It has a great "You fucked up now" moment when Tony finally gets his Mark V armor on. Moments like that I don't get enough of from movies. It reminded me of that Whitest Kids U Know sketch with Abraham Lincoln telling John Wilkes Booth how much he fucked up.

I also like how steeped in Iron Man comics continuity the movie is. Whiplash, Justin Hammer and War Machine are staples of the book, and all work really well here. It has some obvious DARK KNIGHT influences it could have done without, but it's forgivable. I think in a few years this movie might get a better rap. As for it's Avengers wind up, there's a lot of Samuel L here surprisingly not a lot of SHIELD and a nice reference to INCREDIBLE HULK and THOR.


Listen, BATMAN made me not only in love with movies but also comic books. I grew up around Marvel gum ball machines and bed sheets and Pez dispensers and all manner of crap that made me a happy child. I know I'm not the only one. I would say that I'm more interested in the adaptations of the characters slightly more than the source material, though. I'm super excited that we get a Marvel movie universe that can cross over and interact with itself. Do you know how hard it was to do that? To wait for enough properties to come back into the fold and then plan and schedule all these talented people? DC and Warner Brothers are nowhere close to doing this, and next summer we're getting a movie where Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk are all going to be punching THE EXACT SAME THING? Directed by JOSS FUCKING WHEDON? What the fuck is wrong with you to ignore all this effort to give you fun? What a dipshit you are. See THOR, you idiot. Thank you.

- D