What are they avenging exactly? Not to sure on that. But what’s for certain is that Joss Whedon is avenging the summer blockbuster after over a decade of Michael Bay perennially desecrating its fetid, withering corpse.
3 1/2 out of 5 *****
Before we get to the review, let’s get something out of the way. I like comic books, and love that comic book movies are currently a staple of big-budget cinema. However, an aficionado I am not. So relating plot specifics to the original source material will be absent here. There’ll be none of that tiresome, “it makes sense if you read the comic” twaddle. Avengers Assemble is a film, and it is by that measure that I will be appraising it.
Now, the review. The fact that I was surprised by Avengers Assemble is in itself a surprise. It’s easily forgotten that this has been in the works since 2008 and the release of Iron Man. Anyone astute enough to stay behind after the closing credits knew that Marvel were playing a long game. Much like a television series that is written well in advance, Avengers Assemble is the culmination of four years worth of comic-book storytelling. (more…)
And we’re back!! In this somewhat unfocused, tangent-riddled show the crew try out a new catch phrase, welcome each other back, talk movies and TV, then contemplate the results of playing the shell game with famous SciFi crew members.
No, the Admiral hasn’t decided to implement that “Starfleet Swingers” program that Kennedy recommended a few months ago. This is instead a forum topic suggested by listener Steven Nystrum (Kazon Nystrøm on the forum). Steven posed the question, How well would some of our favorite genre characters do if they found themselves faced with stepping into the roles held by other sci-fi scions? (more…)
Captain America was never a superhero I was into or ever really knew much about, so it was nice to go in to the theater with little knowledge and low expectations. Set in 1943, it’s the comic-book origin story of Steve Rogers, a scrawny kid from Brooklyn chosen by the US Army to be the test subject for a serum to create super-soldiers. Using his new found strength and agility and assisted by an impervious shield, Captain America leads the Army against Red Skull and his rogue faction of Nazis.
Clocking in at two hours, the first hour consists entirely of setup, with the young Steve Rogers attempting repeatedly to join the Army, despite his physical limitations. While it moves along at a decent pace and looks picture perfect for the time period, there is no more than a single chase scene around the 50-minute mark in the way of action. Most of this first hour, however, I was too busy staring at the horrible Chris Evans head CGI’d on an anorexic 10-year-old boy’s body. This was the only serious flaw in the entire movie, but it really took me out of anything else that was going on until his transformation. More character development and backstory for the other major characters aside from Steve Rogers and his best pal would have also been nice, most everyone else in the film aside from Red Skull fade into the background. The second half is mostly action, featuring some nice set pieces and way better CGI. I’d also recommend not bothering the extra few bucks for the 3D version. Aside from a couple of gratuitous shots in the first 20minutes, it went otherwise unnoticed.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the film is that compared to most superhero movies, (energy cube aside) Captain America is mostly grounded in reality. It gives you the feeling of watching a regular war movie instead of a live-action cartoon, which I think was one of the downfalls of Green Lantern. If I had to rank it among the other comic book flicks that have come out so far this year, I’d rank it second, behind X-Men: First Class and just a hair above Thor. Definitely worth a watch, even if it’s just for the freak show of balloon-headed midget Steve Rogers in the first act.
A few years back the X-Men movies proved that comic book movies could be fun, good, and deadly serious. But the problem with that deadly seriousness was that when the inevitable melodramatic moments came along, they seemed very out of place. Comments about yellow Spandex aside this has been a problem with the genre, the producers go out of their way to create a very realistic world where we have to struggle to accept the very unrealistic heroes. Well, Marvel has finally figured out the right balance of realism and melodrama with their Avengers films, and the best example of this to date is Captain America. I’ll admit I dared to hope that this film would be, at least, fun, and I was not disappointed.
We give you the lowdown on this summer’s movies with our pal Vince from FilmDrunk.com. This episode features a cameo by Carlos Mensia and we put public humiliation on the line with the Summer Movie Fantasy Draft (thanks to ColdDimes for the idea). Part 2 will continue on our other podcast, The Gunaxin Show, which will be released on Tuesday. The entire list of movies with links to trailers and our descriptions will be up shortly at MastersOfNone.com.