Category Archives: Movies
A series of terrible mistakes lead to the Avengers falling apart. Until Thanos shows up to wreck Earth next May.
As the title says, I love the fights featured in Captain America: Civil War. All of them are very good and excellently choreographed. My favorite fights are the chase in Vienna that sees Black Panther fighting Captain America and Bucky, the massive battle at the airport that features the Avengers tearing themselves apart, and the final fight between Iron Man, Captain America, and Bucky.
I didn’t care for the rest of the film.
The performances were okay, I guess. I really liked Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. Elizabeth Olsen is also pretty good as Wanda Maximoff. I feel Chris Evans and Robert Downey, Jr. phone in their performances. Downey’s performance improves dramatically when Stark breaks down in the final act, though. The rest of the cast is hampered by the fact that there are just too many characters who demand attention.
Daniel Bruhl’s performance as Zemo is understated and subtle. Perhaps too understated. But, with so many big egos to compete with, maybe a villain that doesn’t chew the scenery is necessary.
The writing is lacking. Part of the problem is the film is too busy. There is the Sokovia Accords plot, there are the Bucky plots, there are the simmering tensions among the Avengers plots, etc. Captain America: Civil War can’t help but be a mess.
What annoys me the most, and this may just be nitpicking to the extreme, is the lack of research in the world building.
Why is the U.S. Secretary of State (General Ross) also the Warden of the Raft (or, at least, why does he have such an active role outside of leading the U.S. negotiating team on the Accords)? Wouldn’t Everett Ross, Sharon Carter, or Tony Star fill that role better?
And don’t get me started on so many heroes holding idiot balls, a game of dodgeball could be played.
As much as I want to love Captain America: Civil War, I just can’t. I love the fights. I love the spectacle. I love some of the performances. But the story isn’t there.
In honor of Star Trek Discovery debuting sometime later this year on CBS/ CBS All Access/ Netflix, I want to rank the Star Trek films and television series to date (save the animated series which I have never seen).
Let me begin with the films, from low to high.
13. The Motion Picture is very dull. I’ve watched it once or twice and feel nothing for it. I wouldn’t mind never seeing the film again.
12. The Final Frontier. Has some interesting bits. But Spock’s brother and his search for God is lackluster.
11. Star Trek. The Abrams helmed reboot is a disappointment. Pretty effects? Yes. But that does not excuse the fact that this film has horrendous world building that leads to a horrid plot.
10. The Search For Spock. It has its moments. But a poor follow up to a much better movie.
9. Into Darkness. The reboots need an original plot. And to not whitewash Khan. I do like that the supporting characters are branching off into their own subplots (which the original series’s films never did).
8. Insurrection. The worse of the Next Generation films. My problem with this film is that it takes place during the Dominion War. And the Enterprise is not engaged in the war? Really?
7. Nemesis. A clone of Picard really? Cool battle sequence. And I love the fact that the Romulans realize their mistake and aid the Enterprise in preventing genocide.
6. The Voyage Home. I really don’t like this film. But I do like the fact that characters other than Kirk, Bones, and Spock have subplots, if only minor.
5. Generations. An okay movie. My favorite bit is Lursa and B’Etor. And Whoopie Goldberg.
4. First Contact. I love the exploration of Picard’s character, the Ahab comparison and touches of PTSD are excellent. I even like Data’s continued exploration of his nature. But I wish other characters had gotten more chances to shine. (Data is my least favorite Next Generation character.)
3. Beyond. Damn I like this movie. The effects are well done. The villains make more sense than they usually do. And the cast has finally made the characters their own. And the crew stand on their own separate from Kirk, Bones, and Spock.
2. The Wrath of Khan. What? Number two? Yes. I love Wrath. It is one of the best example of space opera on film. But. . .
1. The Undiscovered Country. I really love this movie. It is my favorite Trek film. I love the usage of politics in the film. The acting is really good. The themes are incisive and well executed. Just an amazing example of space opera on film.
Now. What about the television series? Again from low to high.
5. Enterprise. The third and fourth seasons are good. Unfortunately, the first and second seasons are disappointing in the extreme.
4. Star Trek. Blasphemy! I know. I just am not too terribly fond of the Original Series. There are great episodes. But there are also some terrible episodes. The problem with the Original Series is that it hasn’t aged well (which is a problem with a lot of science fiction over time).
3. Voyager. There are good episodes. And there are bad episodes. I enjoyed it when I was younger. But revisiting the series recently, I must admit that it does not hold up well.
2. The Next Generation. My first experience with Star Trek. I like the series. But I’m not sure how well it holds up. Introduced me to Wesley Crusher.
1.Deep Space Nine. By far my favorite series. It has, honestly, improved with each viewing. I love the extended plot arcs that typified the later series. There are some issues. The Mirror Universe episodes are terrible. The Ferengi episodes are disappointing. But over all, I love Deep Space Nine.
I am a fan of Star Trek. I don’t consider myself a Trekkie, though. But I do hope Star Trek returns to form and produces more excellence. More Trek is always needed.
When it comes to dramatic science fiction, no two names evoke as much passion as Star Wars and Star Trek. These two storied franchises have been pitted against each other for decades now. (Even if the two properties are apples and oranges). Conveniently, the newest Star Wars film, The Force Awakens was released only a few months before the latest Star Trek film, Beyond. That means I can do a double review and pit these two films against each other. Which one is the better film?
First, a disclaimer. I am a bigger fan of Star Trek than I am Star Wars. I have seen pretty much every episode of Star Trek (though I have only completed Deep Space Nine). I have also seen every film. My familiarity with Star Wars rests solely with the seven films. I have zero interest in the Expanded Universe or whatever the new version of it is.
All of that said, I am not going to tear either movie down for the benefit of the other. I enjoyed both The Force Awakens and Beyond immensely. I do give the edge to Beyond because there are elements in The Force Awakens which annoys me to no end.
The Force Awakens
On the whole The Force Awakens is a return to excellence for a franchise that suffered through a not well received prequel trilogy. The film is beautiful and finely acted. The narrative is pretty good save when nostalgia trumps originality.
The film looks amazing. From Jakku to the Starkiller Base everything is gorgeous. Even when the set is meant to look menacing. The CGI is excellent and seamlessly merges with the real sets.
The acting is very well done. The principal leads (Isaac, Ridley, and Boyega) are amazing. Fisher and Ford are great in the brief time they are on screen. Carrie Fisher is especially compelling as General Organa (pity she isn’t more prominent in the film). Gleeson and Driver a pretty good as the villains Hux and Ren. I am not fond of Kylo Ren. I think he is the new Jar Jar. But Adam Driver wonderfully captures that manchild.
I love the main narrative of the film: the search for Luke Skywalker. It allows the new characters a chance to develop outside of the parameters set by Luke, Leia, and Han.
I am annoyed, at best, by everything related to Starkiller Base. Narrative sacrificed to nostalgia of the original trilogy does not make for a good secondary arc. I would not be so annoyed if plot beats did not repeat from the first films. Is there not a ring system or asteroid field around the Resistance Base? Why not use some of them in mass drivers to assault Starkiller once the shield is down? Or come up with some original battle plan?
Overall, though, I did really like The Force Awakens. I especially like the new trio of Rey, Finn, and Poe.
I cannot say that I have liked the Kelvin/ reboot Star Trek films. While successful, I do not believe that Abrams’s vision of Star Trek is anything other than turning a great science fiction franchise (flaws and all) into nothing more than a blockbuster without much soul. Of the three films, Beyond is the best. While not what I want in my Star Trek, Star Trek Beyond is an enjoyable and fun film.
The film is beautiful. I especially love the Yorktown. That is an amazing scene. And the battles are awesome.
The acting is good. I especially like Sofia Boutella as Jaylah and Zoe Saldana as Uhura. I do think that Idris Elba and Shohreh Aghdashloo are underutilized in the film, though.
The story is good and fun if a little repetitive (the plots of all three Star Trek reboot films are very similar). I like the fact that the crew is split up and engaging in their own character arcs that further develop them all (rather than just Kirk, McCoy, and Spock).
My lone problem with the film, besides the lack of material for Elba and Aghdashloo, is the final battle. In a battle to save thousands if not millions of lives, is it not corny to rock out?
Despite that one grievance, I really like this film.
So, which film is better? Again,I give a slight edge to Star Trek Beyond. I cannot get over my annoyance with Starkiller Base. Or my hate for Kylo Ren.
The futures of Star Wars and Star Trek are bright. If you haven’t seen both these films, what are you waiting for? Go watch it now!
I’m a huge fan of the James Bond films. I think I’ve ranked the films before the release of Spectre. So, I think it is time to write a new list.
Before I begin, however, I think I should explain my preferences when it comes to Bond films. My favorite Bond films tend to hew closer to Fleming. I like Bond a little darker and “realistic.” I am not as fond of the Bond films that approach science fiction levels of gadgets and plots. So, it should not come as a surprise what two films come in at the bottom of my list.
Without further ado, from worse to best, here are the films.
24. Moonraker, This is my least favorite Bond film. It takes the science fiction elements to the extreme. Add to that it has Jaws, who I have no interest in. Just a really bad film.
23. Die Another Day, This movie is bad. The villain is ridiculous. Just bad.
22. The Spy Who Loved Me, Stromberg is a non entity as a villain. The plot is dull.
21. The Living Daylights, Yes, this film is one of the darker Dalton films. But the only good part about this film is Nekros in a speedo.
20.The Man with the Golden Gun, Easily the worst Bond Girl to date. Why is J.W. Pepper in this movie? And the final confrontation of Bond and Scaramanga should have been so much more tense and dramatic.
19.Live and Let Die, I like this movie. But I think it is too silly in parts. And, again, J.W. Pepper is in this movie, too.
18. The World is Not Enough, Second worse Bond Girl, who should not have existed. I feel that Elektra King should have been more menacing. I really want a strong woman Bond villain.
17. Quantum of Solace, The worst of the Craig films. I like Quantum. I like Greene’s plan. But there is something off about this film.
16. From a View to a Kill, Third worst Bond Girl which is mitigated by Grace Jones’s May Day and Christopher Walken’s fun turn as Max Zorin.
15. Tomorrow Never Dies, I like this film. Wai Lin is one of my favorite Bond Girls. But I would have liked her not to be captured so often in the final act.
14. Goldeneye, The best of the Brosnan films. I really like this film.
13. Diamonds are Forever, The worst Connery film. I am torn about this. I do like the campiness of this film, especially Charles Gray’s performance as Blofeld. But Diamonds are Forever is one of my favorite Bond novels and I do want a proper adaptation of the novel like Casino Royale.
12. For Your Eyes Only, Probably the best Moore film, though not my favorite Moore Bond film. I adore Carole Bouquet’s performance as Melina Havelock, Topol is a trip as Columbo, and Julian Glover is charismatic as the villainous Kristatos.
11.You Only Live Twice, I like this film despite the heavy science fictional elements. I like this film largely because Bond doesn’t save the day himself. He works with a team.
10. Octopussy, I love this movie. Objectively, it is a middle ranked Bond. But it has always resonated with me. I think it has a lot to do with the glamour of the film. Octopussy is my favorite Bond Girl, and Kamal Khan is a great villain. Plus Mishka and Grishka.
9. Dr. No, I really like the first Bond film. I enjoy the back and forth between Bond and Dr. No.
8. Casino Royale, I really like this movie. I like how the film updates Fleming’s novel for modern viewers. However, I’m not fond of the extended poker game sequence.
7. License to Kill, I like this movie. It is dark and menacing.
6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, This is a gorgeous movie. And tragic. But I wish Blofeld was played by someone other than Telly Savalas.
5. Thunderball, I love this movie. Largo is amazing. Fiona Volpe is awesome. That is all.
4. Skyfall, I love this movie. It is so freaking well shot. And tragic. And it gives the supporting cast so much more to do than the average Bond film.
3. Spectre, I love this movie. It takes Skyfall and builds on it. The supporting characters are as important to foiling Blofeld as Bond is. What holds it back from being higher on the list is that I am not fond of Blofeld’s relationship with Bond. Nor am I happy with every other Craig era villain being connected to Blofeld and Spectre.
2. Goldfinger, This is a great movie. I can watch it and rewatch every day. Goldfinger is an amazing villain.Honor Blackman is great as Ms. Galore. Connery is mesmerizing as Bond.
1. From Russia, with Love, The best Bond movie, bar none. A great plot. A great set of villains. Bond is amazing. It has Lotte Lenya.
I’m going to end this post now. What are your thoughts on Bond films? How would you rank them?
In Star Trek Beyond, Hikaru Sulu (portrayed by John Cho [formerly portrayed by George Takei]), will be revealed to be in a same sex relationship. Well past damn time there is a LGBTQ character in Star Trek! So I’m doing a happy dance (even though I am not fond of the reboot/ new timeline). And it is being reported that there will be LGBTQ representation in the new Star Trek television series. So excited for that! (even if I’ll have to get CBS All Access to watch it).
But there is controversy over Sulu’s gayness. Or bisexuality. Should a new character have been created instead? How does George Takei and his opinions factor into this?
(I’m not going to argue for what seems like the hundredth time defending diversity and inclusion. If you don’t get why it is so important by now, I’m not going to waste my valuable time on it.)
Sulu being depicted in a same sex relationship serves a number of functions. It rights a wrong in Star Trek that has been allowed to persist for far too long. It honors George Takei. It is narratively efficient. And the character already has a characterization (which promotes the narrative efficiency).
George Takei, however, has voiced his disappointment with the decision. Rather than recasting or queering a preexisting character, he has voiced support for creating a new character to be the vanguard of LGBTQ representation. His reasoning, if I have it right, is because he played Sulu as straight and Roddenberry wrote him as straight (even if they wanted to add some queerness at the time of the original series). I can see Takei’s point. Seeing your work discarded (even if it is an alternate version in some form) has to be frustrating. Especially when the discarding comes with the intent to honor.
Both sides, I think, have good points.
Queering Sulu is more efficient. Precious narrative time is not going to be wasted on introducing a new character. A new character who, let us all face it, will not have the impact or staying power of Sulu (as Iceman proved when he became the most prominent gay superhero after his coming out). There is also, as Simon Pegg points out, the perception of the new LGBTQ character as “The LGBTQ Character.”
A very compelling case for queering Sulu, I think. (Assuming he is even straight in the primary timeline. There has been some debate over whether or not there are explicit references to his sexuality in Star Trek and the subsequent movies he appears in.I really cannot comment on this with any authority, myself. I am a fan of Star Trek, but I am not as fond of the original series as I am the later series.)
Personally, I am reticent to promote the recast or queering of characters as an absolute good thing. Recasting/ queering must improve upon the original. It must, I believe, provide new avenues of narrative and characterization. Sometimes, editing existing characters is a sign of lazy writers, no matter how well the intent. A new character, well written and with a compelling narrative, can create a whole new fandom. (Pity no one takes the time).
Ultimately, I think Sulu in a same sex romance is the better option. Star Trek Beyond is only two hours. Not much time to introduce an original character with a compelling character and narrative that lifts him or her above the usual cast of forgettable original characters in Star Trek films.
Lately, I’ve wondered if a live action adaptation of Naruto is viable. The franchise is fifteen years old with 685 chapters and two very long running anime series (Naruto and Naruto Shippuden). With all that in mind, can Naruto be adapted for live action?
I’m honestly not sure Naruto can be adapted to film without some major cuts. A single movie is impossible without becoming a confusing mess. A trilogy or tetralogy is certainly more viable, but the filmmakers will have to find the essential narrative and, largely, cut the rest. Another option is to film every arc. But who would be willing to commit to fifteen plus films? And what will happen when the main cast age out of their roles?
The best option, I think, is for a Game of Thrones style ten to thirteen episode a season television series.
Here’s how I envision Naruto breaking down by season: The first season starts with Naruto becoming a genin and covers the Wave and Chunin Exam arcs. The second season covers the Invasion of Konoha, the Search for Tsunade, and the Sasuke Retrieval arcs. The third season would cover the Gaara Rescue, Sai and Sasuke, and Hidan and Kakuzu arcs (ending with Sasuke killing Orochimaru). The fourth season would cover the Itachi Pursuit and Invasion of Pain arcs ( ending with either the Raikage calling the Gokage Summit or Nagato’s death). The fifth season would, then, take on the Gokage Summit and the initial stages of the Fourth Shinobi World War. Finally, the sixth season would cover the Fourth Shinobi World War.
You know, this could actually work. The only problem is one of production. I don’t know much about Japanese television, but I get the impression that the preference is, generally, for shorter, single season dramas.
The problem with an American production company getting a hold of the live action television rights to Naruto is the danger of whitewashing the characters. Dragon Ball was whitewashed. The Last Airbender was whitewashed. And the proposed adaptations of Akira and Death Note features heavily rumored whitewashing of settings and characters. Hell, the rumored Naruto live action film featured some tween hearthrob up for the role of Naruto.
A solution to this problem, if American filmmakers get the greenlight, is to have a diverse cast. I’m not familiar enough with the current crop of actors to give a fantasy casting sheet. I’ll leave that to others.
I would love to see Naruto get a live adaptation. I don’t know if it is possible, but one can always hope.
A few weeks ago, I set myself the task to challenge my apathy towards historical fiction. The first novel in my challenge is a revisit. I first tried to read Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the four great Chinese novels, years ago. I couldn’t get into it and returned it to the library disappointed. But I’ve always wanted to give the novel a second look in the hopes that I will come to appreciate if not actually enjoy Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Damn, I’m glad I did. I love this freaking book. Even if it is too damn long at nearly 1400 pages spread out over two volumes. It is, despite its size, an addictive read.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms reads like a chronicle. A heavily fictionalized chronicle that tells the tale of the dissolution of the Han dynasty into three competing kingdoms and the eventual reunification of the empire under the Jin. This approach strips away all but the essentials. Given that the the Three Kingdoms lasted about a century, there is still a lot of material to cover. But this approach does have its problems. Characterization is limited to only a few major characters. And even then, the focus is on single character traits (the hot headed Chang Fei comes to mind).
What I find so interesting about Romance of the Three Kingdoms is how much it explores the strategy of the myriad conflicts surrounding the dissolution of the Han dynasty. So often in fantasy fiction, the hero (or his army) blindly rushes into battle with no plan, no strategy, and wins the day. Here, the reader sees how the generals plan to attack, defend, and trap each other. It is freaking cool.
But at the same time, Romance of the Three Kingdoms does have major problems, especially for a modern audience. Women are by and large non entities explicitly compared to clothing (so are children) by the designated hero Liu Bei. There are a few exceptions like Diaochan and Lady Sun, but their impact is relatively limited to single episodes in the larger epic. But it must be noted that many of these women are given expanded roles in adaptations.
Which leads me to Red Cliff, the film of one of the most pivotal battles of the entire saga. I’ve been meaning to watch this film for months. I finally took the opportunity after reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms and damn it all, I love this movie.
In 208 C.E., Cao Cao has consolidated his position as Prime Minister to the puppet emperor Xian (the last Han emperor) by defeating the northern warlords. To reunify China under his rule, he must conquer the last remaining opposition in the south led by Liu Bei and Sun Quan. To prevent this, Kongming advises an alliance between Liu and Sun. Thus the stage is set for the decisive Battle of Red Cliffs.
It is freaking gorgeous. The visuals are amazing. The battle scenes are great. The acting is wonderful. How the hell did the film makers accomplish all of this for only 80 million?
What I especially like is how the film gives equal weight to heroic fights and to the strategy that leads to victory. While many of the characters are portrayed as near super human, like Zhao Yu and Liu Bei and his companions, it is the competing strategies of Cao Cao and Kongming that make the film so amazing.
Women play a pivotal role in the movie. Lady Sun, the sister of Sun Quan, with her body guard of women warriors prove key in early skirmishes and as a spy in Cao Cao’s camp. And it is the wife of Zhao Yu, Xiao Qiao, who proves essential to victory as she distracts Cao Cao. This, honestly, is an improvement on the source material.
All in all, I love Red Cliff and Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Maybe I was wrong about historical fiction after all?
I promised a top ten list last night. And I don’t know what to top ten list. I haven’t really read enough novels published in 2012 to make a top ten. Same goes for movies. I guess I could do comics. Or maybe a general my top ten favorite things that happened in 2012. Yeah, let’s go with that.
10) Reading The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer. Definitely on my shopping list.
9) Discovering Morning Glories and Sweet Tooth.
8) Going to my local comic book shop after years of not going.
7) The fun I’ve had with this blog.
6) Earth 2
5) Going to see The Dark Knight Rises in the theaters.
4) Watching The Avengers from my local library.
3) The reelection of President Obama.
2) The various marriage equality victories at the polls.
1) The various artistic breakthroughs I’ve had this year.
Well, that’s that. I’ll have something else tonight. And then tomorrow, post 300.
I’ve been thinking about criticism a lot lately. The problem, I think, is what is criticism actually good for? Are there times when criticism is alternately positive or negative? Or is it all negative? And really, what should the response be to criticism from creators, critics, and fans alike?
A Definition is in Order
A Handbook to Literature (Harmon and Holman) define criticism as “the analysis, study, and evaluation of individual works of art, as well as the formulation of general principles for the examination of such works.” Now, this definition is highly academic but still, I think, very useful. Especially for someone who comes from an English Literature major background.
Let’s try a definition from Merriam- Webster’s for criticize “to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly” and “to find fault with.” Very interesting definitions, I think.
Positive criticism, either focusing on positive, negative, or both aspects of a work can lead to improved works of art. The arts, of every kind, improve with continually engaging in it and listening to criticism geared toward helping to improve the work.
But I guess how positive criticism is worded makes as much difference as the intent. One must, I think, use kind and encouraging words when wanting to aid an artist in developing and improving their work. If a work isn’t doing it for you, explain why in as gentle and non aggressive way as possible.
The Place of Popular and Academic Criticism
Can reviews for popular consumption be positive? What about criticism for either popular or academic readers? This is a tough one, I think.
Maybe the issue is the intent on the part of the critic. If a critic intends to write a fair minded argument for or against, can that still be positive even if the verdict is negative?
Whenever I do reviews or critical analysis, I’m always afraid that I’m not being fair. Often times, I worry if I’m being too mean when I review things. Especially if I’m not a fan of the work. But even positive reviews can be problematic. If I really like a work, can my judgement be trusted. And vice versa?
I guess what got me started thinking about these questions is an article on After Elton. Com entitled “Hate Watching Glee.” From my limited experience of the show, I think Jurgens is largely spot on with his criticisms. And many in the comments section have excellent criticisms too. And I’ve gone on record with calling the writing atrocious and the narrative world building schizophrenic (and not in the good way).
But are we fair? Like I’ve said before, I have very limited experience with the show. But what about those who are passionate and know their stuff? The criticism seems right to me.
But, and here is the big but. How should “negative” criticism be taken?
I think the intent plays a large role in this.
If a critic’s intent is to be malicious, then their criticism is, honestly, worthless. Though his or her words may hurt, they offer nothing positive. Only vileness and negativity.
Now, if a critic is attempting to analyze and evaluate a work to see how and if it works, then perhaps there is something there to hold on to. Just like in the roles of alpha and beta readers (or Critters).
The Creator/ Artist/ Etc. Takes It How?
I think every one takes criticism differently. Some may genuinely take it to heart and use it to improve their art. And others may ignore it completely, even if it does have excellent points to think about.
But is that criticism good only for the creators targeted? I say, honestly, hell no.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not overly interested in working in television. But there have been tons of very useful advice coming out of After Elton’s articles concerning Glee (especially in the comments). Of course, there is also a ton (and I mean a ton) of worthless crap.
And I hope that other creatives take the time to appreciate good advice, too.
But What About the Fans?
The fans of a work can often be the most vicious when it comes to criticism. Both in attack and defense of the source of their fanaticism. Often times fans can be the most ardent criticizers of a work as well as the most savage when it comes to defense.
I think it is important to remember that no work is perfect. And never let the passions blind one’s judgement.
A Personal Example
I’m a fan of James Robinson’s Earth 2. I’ve fallen in love with that series. And it does hurt when comic book reviewers give individual issues ratings lower than I think they deserve.
Now, I will admit that most comic book reviews vary wildly in quality within even their own websites/ individual reviewers. And sometimes, they really don’t make a whole lot of sense in what they complain about.
But, I want to focus some on Sara Lima (of Comic Vine)‘s reviews of Earth 2. Do I think she was fair to give Robinson a lower rating for Sam’s death? And what about issue 6? Well, at first, I admit I was not happy. But the more I think about it, and reread the issues, I find that I’m actually starting to agree with her.
I’ve come to see that she has a point that Sam’s death is problematic. But isn’t the death of a loved one a powerful motivator for super heroes? Yes, but it sucks. Why can’t a hero be heroic for the sake of heroism? Why is that push needed?
And yes, Alan Scott’s defeat of Grundy is rather unsatisfying.
Damn it, this post is really long. And I wanted to touch on the role of bias in criticism. But, to be honest, I’m tempted to have biased criticism be adjacent to malicious criticism. I mean, if you can’t see the value in a work, why the hell are you criticizing it anyway?
Remember, Post 300 is coming up. . .
Oh my, The Avengers has got to be in the top two superhero films of all time. Damn, that was a great movie. I freaking loved it!
Everything about this film is almost perfect. And that makes writing this review so difficult. Where can I point out the flaws in all of the elements that are so right? Well, there are a few things.
I can’t say that I’m overly fond of Agent Coulson’s fanboy attitude towards Captain America. That kind of got on my nerves.
Another issue I had is the requisite superhero brawl before the inevitable team up/ team formation. Ugh, why does this always have to happen? Too big egos?
That said, I think Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) does a stand out performance. And all of the actors who make up the Avengers do a splendid job.
The one acting job I have an issue with is Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. In Thor, Loki’s tragic journey to super villain status is heartbreaking and very well acted. Indeed, I much preferred his story over Thor’s. But in The Avengers, he becomes just another petty wannabe tyrant. What made him work so well as a character in Thor just seems absent here. And that is a waste, to be sure. And the acting shows that, in my opinion.
And the credits interlude scene? Bah. I never liked Thanos. So I’m not really looking forward to him being a main antagonist in future films.
Now, let us shift a little to the action. Whoa, some of those scenes are just amazing. Especially the attack on the Helicarrier and the Battle of New York. Oh my, now that is how you do action sequences! Spectacular!
Is it possible to do a fair review when you really enjoy (or love) a film? I don’t know, honestly. I know The Avengers has its flaws, but what it gets right makes up for it by far. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, why the heck not?
I know this review is rather short, but it is late, and I have other things I want to do.
Also a quick reminder to comment topic ideas for post 300. If you don’t, I’ll write a post on my obsessions. Until my next post. . .