Review – The Avengers (2012) Movie

The wait is over for the latest Marvel Super Hero installment, Marvel has released The Avengers to theaters this weekend and it’s taking off like mad. The new movie spearheaded by Joss Whedon sets out to combine the lives of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye into a single classic package from the comic world. The article will try to stay as spoiler free as possible so everyone can read it without feeling like I just killed the ending.

Given past experiences this isn’t something that’s a given to go well, many have felt the burn from bad group movies like Fantastic Four and some of X-Men as well. Fortunately Whedon has a history with Marvel in writing story arcs and developing characters across their roster, as a result he has a bit of an understanding about how they work. Add onto this he’s a creator from the genre and understands developmental trends from the Marvel Universes, as a result we get a mixture of hero profiles that set up a great experience without trying to reinvent the wheel, instead he just borrows from the best of all there is to pick from.

The basics are easy, Loki has returned and he’s in for payback, he has an army with him and a plan to launch a full-scale invasion if he’s lucky. With his brother preoccupied elsewhere and his existence thought to be lost to the void he’s on a limited free ride ticket to get into action while he can. Unfortunately this is where things go horribly wrong, in his last trip to Earth he didn’t take the time to absorb the level of the heroes on the planet, as a result he’s stuck with something he didn’t account for, some big names that don’t take kindly to getting shoved around.

As a Marvel movie this hits a lot of points that get missed in regular releases, while running at around 2 hours and 30 minutes from previews to credits it uses the time to create story, relationships, conflicts and resolve without axing too much off. It’s very common to see critical development skimmed through in favor of being flashy or saving time, Whedon doesn’t dive into this all that much and the experience is richer for it. We see a band of heroes that had no real relations jump into the fray with genuine conflict instead of magical cooperation, given the fights that happen in the comic universe it was a relief to see that no one was really happy-go-lucky in the story.

The result of this is an intense experience and one of the most impressive accomplishments is the development of the best Hulk I’ve seen yet in the movies from Marvel right now. The personality development is critical and the focus goes from the random generations of Banner to something closer to the Hulk seen in arcs like Planet Hulk. If there’s a chance to keep that thunder going it would likely prove to renew faith in the franchise even if it was yet another reboot. Other characters like Captain America get a heavy kick to the modern age, we left off with him trying to cope with the modern age but Whedon helps crank a reluctant Captain into full gear by making him step up to the situation at hand.

Other developments include a reformed Thor, while headed toward greater responsibility he’s less of a hot-head figure in the development, using calculated attacks and complete control of the hammer to dish out heavy damage to anyone in his way. The other step up in development came from Iron Man, while there’s no doubt that Tony Stark likes to let it rip, he’s at a technological point where he’s more interested in knowing more and doing more than ever before. While he still gets to be a bit of an ass it’s nothing that dwarfs the rest of the cast in the movie and often serves to develop the story around other characters even more.

While I had a lot of excitement going into The Avengers, it was a true test to see if it held up to expectations, it’s safe to say that it delivers on multiple levels. As a comic movie it brings intense action and storytelling to new levels, it doesn’t short the audience to meet a deadline and it draws a full story experience from start to finish. Joss even finds time to tease other parts of the universe throughout the film to the final seconds before the MPAA rating screen closes out the movie, yes that’s right sit through EVERYTHING, if you leave early you’ll only hurt your own experience.

Visually The Avengers brings intense environments through heavy use of locations and CG implementation, the story sells because they took the time to go through how they sold the comic and kept to that. With so much time taken into making this a major accomplished piece there aren’t any areas that just blatantly scream out that a corner was cut. It’s easy to know so many things are CG in the film but the immersion remains strong throughout the movie and owns what it is by utilizing the technology to the extreme.

Overall it’s an experience to catch although some may need to prepare themselves for it based on the running time. While it is action driven it’s very much about the drama and adventure throughout the story and that may set some fans back. If you’re a general movie fan hoping for a blind rush of action that lacks depth I’d still say try to see this, if you’re looking for a well executed comic movie, you’d only rip yourself off by skipping The Avengers. Now the question remains if Marvel can hold the rest of their movies up to the same bar. For my experience this was one of the most rewarding installments I’ve come across for Marvel movies, I was interested going in with minimal fears and I came out wanting to see it again.

Story:★★★★½ 
Cinematography:★★★★★ 
Dialog:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★½ 

Review – The Avengers #25 (AvX)

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Walter Simonson
Inks: Scott Hanna
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Daniel Acuna
Published by: Marvel Comics

Avengers vs X-Men spills into the pages of The Avengers #25, the fight is on and then we shoot back into the memories of Captain America. Unfortunately yes, we’re in another back story sandwiched between minutes of the fight breaking out. This isn’t to say it’s irrelevant in the story though, in fact it’s a chunk of a huge story panning out for the arc . We’re given a glimpse at Captain America in this struggle, it’s not one he’s all that accustomed to though, he faces issues of public perception and doubts in his own mind about his ability to deliver. No one ever said being the face of a super hero group would be easy though, even his allies remind him of that as he wishes for that one move to put them back in the good grace of the public.

Issue 25 takes us into the heart of Cap’s doubts and desires to deliver a win for the people, with the help of his fellow Avengers and a streak of luck delivered by Noh-Varr they take on a piece of the puzzle that delivered such a heavy blow to the image of the Avengers. With swift action and coordination Captain America is able to relive the good moments of this job, tackling A.I.M. and renewing faith in his team to protect the world in a way they only can. It’s a deep side story that really drives off from the Phoenix issue at hand, that is until the end of the issue and then you find out yet another interest rests under the surface of this conflict. Who else in the Avengers will develop a new agenda as they come to this fight and how will it spiral out for the team?

For those hoping to see a dramatic battle in Avengers 25, you’ll get one but it will not center around the X-Men, instead the focus shifts over to A.I.M. and it’s an important step to introduce a greater issue at hand. It’s a shame to see so much back peddling but understandable given where this story is directing itself, what was originally a battle to save the Earth from the Phoenix force is now developing into a galaxy wide battle to control it. We’ll have to see how well they can keep it together when they start to wonder who they can really trust.

Outside of the story, the rest of the issue is a good read, although I still struggle to see why Thor came off so odd, his face almost too flat to imagine as he flew in to lend a hand to Captain America. So much of the book went fine minus that moment and it was so large of an exposure that seemed to never repeat itself after the fact.

Story:★★★★☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

Avengers Movie Toys by Hasbro arrive

Hasbro and Marvel are back at it, the duo have introduced new movie related play goods for the masses. We have some images and the info in a handy guide for everyone.

Link: Marvel News

  • Iron Man Mission Mask
    • Make super hero action “come alive” with the awesome IRON MAN mask that features lights and sound effects! When villains rear their ugly heads and you’ve got to save the day, put on your mask to feel just like your favorite hero. With details that make this mask seem just like the real thing, you’ll want to wear it all the time — or until your evil enemies are defeated!

      Mask comes with instructions.

      Requires 3 “AAA” batteries, included.

      Mask adjusts to fit most head sizes for ages 5 through adult.

  • Iron Man Tri-Power Repulsor
    • Arm yourself with this super-powered TRI-POWER REPULSOR blaster, just like the legendary IRON MAN hero! Sneak up on your enemy, then immobilize him with your blaster’s pulse lights and launch sounds as you fire away with missile after missile! Re-load and move on to your next target. The future of the world is in your hands!

      Blaster comes with 4 missiles.

      Requires 3 “AAA” batteries (not included).

      Ages 4 and up.

  • Captain America Attack Shield
    • In order to fight alongside the AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA needs all new equipment – including an improved Stark Tech shield. Built by Tony Stark himself, his shield packs all the latest in high-tech weapons, from bulletproof energy shields to devastating projectiles for taking down enemies at a distance.

      Defend and destroy with your CAPTAIN AMERICA Attack Shield! Arm yourself with this impressive piece of weaponry to block attacks and, with a squeeze of the trigger, stun your target as you send discs soaring up to 20 feet!

      Shield comes with 5 launching discs.

      Requires 4 “AA” batteries (not included).

      Ages 5 and up.

  • Thor Thunder Clash Hammer
    • Forged in the heart of a dying star, the hammer of THOR was built to harness the raw power of thunder and lightning. Few beings dare challenge THOR whilst he wields his almighty hammer!

      Gear up to do battle just like your favorite MARVEL THE AVENGERS character! The Thunder Clash Hammer looks just like the signature hammer of the mighty THOR. But when you press the button, the Thunder Clash Hammer’s thunderous battle sounds will cause your foes to tremble! The lightning glow of the hammer will make you look like the warrior for good that you are! All hail mighty THOR – and you, when you hold the THOR Thunder Clash Hammer!

      Includes hammer.

      Includes 3 “AAA” batteries.

      Ages 5 and up.

  • Hulk Gamma Green Smash Fists
    • Feel just as powerful as your amazing MARVEL THE AVENGERS hero, the HULK, with these amazing Gamma Green Smash Fists! When you put these green hands of power on your own hands, it will be that much easier to imagine yourself smashing everything that gets in your way! With a HULK hero mask (sold separately), you can be even more like the muscle-bound green hero. Get into the best HULK action ever with your Gamma Green Smash Fists!

      Includes 2 fists.

      Ages 3 and up.

Marvel confirms Captain America sequel in 2014

Captain America hit it off with fans last year, Marvel is hoping the momentum carries through when he’s paired with top-level super heroes in The Avengers next month. They’re banking quite a bit as they’re planning to follow-up Thor 2 and Iron Man 3 in 2013 with Cap’s return in 2014 in a full sequel appearance. The sequel picks up where The Avengers leaves off and Cap works to continue relations with S.H.I.E.L.D. and figure out where he falls into the world now that everything has changed so much.

We’ll have to wait for The Avengers to break out next month before making any guesses on where the story could go, we’ll also keep tracking Marvel for more updates. Until Then we only have April 4, 2014 as a marker in the future for the next installment.

Link: Marvel News

Lego and Marvel prepare Avengers movie posters for launch day

Select movie locations across the nation will get a special treat next month when The Avengers hits theaters, Lego and Marvel partnered to create a promo poster using Legos to recreate the main characters from the movie. It’s pretty awesome but supplies are limited so I’d start asking around at your theaters to find out who will be supporting it.

If you’re curious check out the image below and sample shots of the Avengers Lego kits rolling out for the movie!

 

   

Marvel and AMC launch Avengers movie marathon May 3

Looking to catch The Avengers on May 4th but you’re not entirely up to date? Have an entire day to take off prior to the midnight showing? You’re in luck as Marvel and AMC are partnering to deliver a May 3 marathon of movies bringing everyone current and showing off The Avengers at 12:01AM. The entry cost? $40 but if you’ve missed out on all those films you might want to play catch up anyway before seeing the big show.

Schedule:

May 3rd @ 11:30AM

  • Iron Man
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Iron Man 2
  • Thor (presented in RealD 3D)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (presented in RealD 3D)
  • Marvel’s The Avengers (presented in RealD 3D)

Order your tickets now and check out the collectible gear you get as well. – AMC (as of posting there’s about 6 minutes until the window opens)

Participating AMC theaters

Atlanta, GA
Avenue Forsyth 12

Baltimore, MD
White Marsh 16

Boston, MA
Boston Common 19
Liberty Tree Mall 20

Chicago, IL
River East 21
South Barrington 30

Cincinnati, OH
Newport on the Levee 20

Columbus, OH
Lennox 24

Dallas, TX
NorthPark 15
Parks at Arlington 18

Denver, CO
Highlands Ranch 24

Minneapolis, MN
Rosedale 14

New Orleans, LA
Elmwood Palace 20

New York/New Jersey
Empire 25
Garden State 16
Kips Bay 15
New Brunswick 18
Palisades Center 21

Norfolk, VA
Lynnhaven 18

Omaha, NE
Oakview 24

Orlando, FL
Altamonte 18
Downtown Disney 24

Philadelphia, PA
Cherry Hill 24
Neshaminy 24

Phoenix, AZ
Westgate 20