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:
EMOTION: SHUT OFF
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.
EMOTION: TURN ON
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.