The Avengers assemble, and it fucking ROCKS

For a discussion on Joss Whedon and why he’s good for film, please go here.

If you’re sitting there going, “I don’t like comic book/superhero movies, so I don’t care about The Avengers,” well fine, but just know you’re passing up the most fun that can be had at the movies this year. The Avengers, written and directed by Whedon, is not flawless. There are some trouble spots. But when stacked against the sheer pleasure derived in watching, those issues ultimately don’t matter. Because even with a couple squiffy points, The Avengers is not a mess. It should be, but it isn’t. It works on nearly every level and is a testament to a great director working with a great group of actors and a studio that knew when to get out of the way and let the creatives be creative. Continue reading “The Avengers assemble, and it fucking ROCKS”

The Avengers will melt your face with awesome

So I saw The Avengers and it was pretty much the most awesome movie I’ve seen in ages. And I’m not exactly sure how to review it because a lot of the joy of watching is just being amazed by the various things happening on screen and going, “Oh my gosh that! And THAT!” So I’ve decided to do two reviews and you can choose your own adventure, basically. This is the short-form, spoiler-free review, and later in the week I’ll do a proper analysis. Yes/yes? Continue reading “The Avengers will melt your face with awesome”

When it comes to female superheroes, it’s quality, not quantity

This is going to get very nerdy.

The L stop near my home in Chicago is plastered with Avengers posters in advance of the movie hitting theaters on May 4. As I was studying the display, I thought about how much Scarlett Johansson stands out, and no, not just because her little gun looks ridiculous next to Thor’s hammer and Iron Man and The Hulk. No, I was thinking about how, as the only woman featured in the marketing campaign, Johansson solely represents what women will be in Joss Whedon’s version of the Avengers universe (good thing Whedon has a history of creating intricate, strong female characters). What I get from Black Widow, the superhero Johansson plays, in the ads is “sexy but functional”. Her leather body suit, though tight and unzipped, doesn’t actually show any cleavage. It’s no more exploitative than Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye costume or Chris Hemsworth’s Thor getup, which leaves their awesome guns bare. Continue reading “When it comes to female superheroes, it’s quality, not quantity”

The State of Superhero Nation

It’s been a busy couple weeks in superhero movie news. Remember in the early 2000’s when the grown-ups thought superhero movies were a fad? Ten years later and there’s something like 917 superhero movies coming out over the next couple years. Here’s a rundown on what’s happening with the longest-lasting “fad” (haha, grown-ups are so silly) in cinema. Continue reading “The State of Superhero Nation”