The X-Women

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Seminal moments in comic book movies: The Crow walks in (THE CROW)

One of my all time favorite comic book movies is the 1994 film The Crow with Brandon Lee, in his last role before his accidental death. In this scene, Brandon walks into a room full of bad guys who have automatic weapons. What does he have? His pet crow. Yeah, the bad guys are in serious trouble.

Monday, May 14, 2012

In defense of The Avengers...

Maybe I'm the wrong guy to be defending the Avengers. Since I have been a fan of them since 1981 and have seen the film three times so far. Each time, the film just gets better and better. But I have seen some of the complaints about the film from a small majority of audience members. Which are few and far between considering the film just hit 1 billion dollars. I wanted to hit on some of the main issues some people have had and comment on them. So here goes:

#1 - Loki did not make a good villain:

I disagree wholeheartedly. Tom Hiddleston as Loki, picked up right where he left off in Thor and even took it up a notch. Along with being mad with a lust for power and a hatred for Thor, he showed signs of genuine craziness. I mean this guy was off his rocker. And Hiddleston was perfect in his portrayal. His scenes with Thor were solid as usual but I loved his brief little chat with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) where he really got to gloat and snarl and all that good stuff.

#2 - The film starts off slowly:

 Not to me, but if you're are expecting fireworks every 10 minutes, then yes it moved at a casual pace. Which I was more than fine with. Better to enjoy the movie that much more.

#3 - Compared to The Dark Knight, The Avengers doesn't come close:

 Really, come on people..trying to compare those two films is idiotic to begin with. They are totally different. I know a lot of Bat fans might be a little hurt now that Avengers is just making tons of money, but that actually benefits us all as more comic book movies will continue to get made. And if that causes Batman to have to raise his game up a little, then so be it.

#4 - The visual effects were just so-so: 

To that I will say...are you kidding. I was blown away by the effects. From the impressive SHIELD heli-carrier to the mass destruction finale in New York City, the effects were cool and amazing.

#5 - The finale was over-wrought and too reminiscent of Transformers 3:

 while I agree there may have been a feeling of deja vu between the two films..The Avengers did it far better. You could actually tell who was fighting who and the action seemed to flow seamless. And it didn't take a whole hour to do it.

#6 - Black Widow and Hawkeye were useless:

 Once again I have to disagree. Black Widow was much improved from her debut in Iron Man 2 with Scarlett Johansson being very good and in total sync with her character now. And Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye hung in there with gods and monsters with the best of them.

#7 - Cobie Smulders acting was weak:

 I tend to think as Maria Hill, Cobie played the part as I imagined Maria would be..tough, cold and by the book. What more could you want.

#8 - the film being described as one big cheese-fest:

 I can't recall any cheese inducing moments in the film and since I have seen it three times so far, you would think I would have noticed it by now.

#9 - The Hulk wasn't used enough:

Au contraire, he was used the right amount. After three times, they finally got the Hulk right. He is best used in small doses and as a supporting player, not having a movie built around him. And hats off to Mark Ruffalo, who nailed him with the right touch of humor and nerdiness.

#10 - why did Nick Fury have to be black:

Well when they started the Ultimate Avengers comic book version many years ago, they actually based Nick Fury on Samuel L. Jackson, so when it came time to cast the film version, you better believe they were gonna cast Samuel L. Jackson. And he was bad ass in this movie. 

I probably could go on and on, but as Tony Stark says to Loki in the movie..."You're missing my point!"

And the point is that The Avengers is a terrific and entertaining movie that is just plain fun to watch. You get the epic fights you have always dreamed about like Thor taking on Hulk. Seeing a team of heroes working together to fight off an invading army of aliens. Stuff like that will have you gasping and cheering the whole time. Like I said maybe I'm the wrong guy that should be defending them, because in my eyes, The Avengers are perfect.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nick Fury met Hawkeye a few years ago, well their counterparts did....

I recently did a post about Chris Evans (Captain America) meeting Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) in a comedy years ago before suiting up as the Avengers. Well another pairing of future heroes took place back in 2003 when Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) co-starred in the action film S.W.A.T. Jackson was the leader of a s.w.a.t. unit while Renner was cast as Colin Farrell's (part of Sam's unit) ex-partner who turned rogue. Jackson and Renner didn't share too many scenes together but I thought it was cool that the future Fury and Hawkeye were in a movie together almost a decade before the Avengers assembled. Just another cool and random piece of trivia.

Monday, May 7, 2012

THE AVENGERS assemble for one terrific movie!

 Oh they are about to mess some shit up..believe that!

Just saw The Avengers for the second time in three days and all I can say is wow! As a diehard comic book fan for over 25 years, this is a moment in time I will always treasure. Seeing some of Earth's mightiest heroes team up in the same movie and do their thing. This is how you make an awesome movie! The midnight crowd was in a frenzy from the time the lights went dark and for the next 2 and a half hours, I was in sheer bliss. 
Captain America

Picking up from the endings of last year's two films Captain America and Thor, The Avengers begin with Thor's mad brother Loki (once again played by Tom Hiddleston and even better this time around) arriving on Earth at SHIELD's facility, and wreaking havoc. Shield director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson in a much more substantial role this time) is in possession of a cube of unimaginable power called the Tesseract. Loki wants it as he plans to use it to open a portal for his allies, an alien race called the Chitarui, to cross over and invade Earth. 

Iron Man
Fury quickly assembles a team to take on this threat. He recruits Captain America (played once again by Chris Evans, solidly might I add), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr..never better) and Bruce Banner aka The Hulk (this time played by Mark Ruffalo...who gives the best impression of Banner/Hulk by far). Also already in place is Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and ace archer Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will join the party a few scenes later. 

After a quick skirmish that has Loki captured by Cap and Iron Man, Thor arrives to personally settle things between him and his brother. Of course Iron Man takes offense and we have one hell of a fight that Cap has to break up. That's the thing about this film as there are so many cool fights between different characters. Thor and Hulk mix it up for another great fight. Hulk has a little beaut with Loki. Black Widow and Hawkeye go at it with lethal intensity as he is under the control of Loki. Just so many terrific matches that make a fan scream "Hell yeah! That's what I'm talking about!"


But amid all the action and spectacle there is the wonderful dialogue and direction by Joss Whedon, who has crafted some of the best series on TV ever in Buffy, Angel and Firefly. He guides this film with a deft hand and his imprint of engaging and witty cantor is on full display. Downey gets to rip off countless one liners as he butt heads repeatedly with Cap, Thor, Fury..hell everyone in the movie. Ruffalo gets to shine as we finally get the perfect guy to bring the perfect Hulk to the screen as he gets to have some fun in his role and the Hulk gets to let loose and smash. Johansson also gets a more fully developed role as Black Widow, a much improved character from Iron Man 2. In fact she has one of the better scenes in the film as she gets to have a little chat with Loki that gets very deep and personal.

Black Widow
The film is well paced as the beginning takes time to get going but once the ball gets rolling...oh boy, look out. The final 30 minutes as the team fights Loki and the alien race in downtown New York is one breathless, rollercoaster ride. So much action going on, it's just cool as hell to sit back and watch. When Banner finally gets to 'Hulk' out and smashes a giant alien in the face, the whole crowd just erupted. In fact the Hulk gets most of the best scenes as he gets two really funny scenes involving him and Thor, then him and Loki. Funny as can be. I also liked Renner as Hawkeye the archer. He was slinging arrows all over the place, from the side, from behind, no look, etc. Really wicked! And nice seeing Clark Gregg back as Agent Coulson. Gwyneth Paltrow pops up in a cameo as Pepper Potts, trying to carry on her romance with Tony Stark. And newcomer to the series, Agent Maria Hill (played by Cobie Smulders). Terrific cast!

Man, this movie is awesome. Been waiting my whole life for this to happen and it finally has. I can't wait to see it a third time, which will be sometime this week. The Avengers is the best comic book movie I have ever seen. Better than my beloved X2. I'm still seriously stoked for Spider-Man and Batman later on this summer, but for me, The Avengers is it. Avengers Assemble!

 Nick Fury


 Agent Maria Hill

Hill and Agent Coulson

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Seminal moments in comic book movies: Iron Man flexes his muscles

2008 brought the crowd cheering funtastic comic movie Iron Man to the big screen and audiences ate it up. Robert Downey, Jr. was perfectly cast as the titular character Iron Man and his alter ego, the brash inventor and savvy businessman Tony Stark. Loaded with cool special effects, lots of humor and RDJ's best role in years, Iron Man was awesome. In this clip, he arrives in a small town that is being overrun by militia who are using his company's weapons. He has had enough and decides to intervene.