Avengers: The Down Side Of Up

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Siberian Relic:
So, let me get this straight: The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus failed because they weren't utterly flawless masterpieces and didn't reach their lofty ambitions, while The Avengers was a success because it met its own shallow ambitions and altogether managed to exist without raising a stench to high heaven?

Also TDKR wasn't as true to the source material as Bob would have liked, which was a mark against it already. It also didn't involve an actual Robin, which Bob has been pushing for since at least Kick Ass. So TDKR had a few strikes against it before it was released.

Bob still is hating on Spider-man... I think this is the 7th or 8th article he's lumped it into the "it's a terrible movie" category while skill ignoring the fact that, while not perfect, a huge majority of people enjoyed it.

But I do think we're going to be seeing a lot of "me too" attempts at superhero team-ups. Even Guardians of the Galaxy could fall victim to it (I hope not). But DC, definitely, seems to be in a hurry to screw it up.

Opinions, this thread is filled with it and they all contradict each other. As far as the future of Marvel movies: I hope that more will be released of the same quality as we enjoyed so far. That is all.

As someone who grew up after the Matrix had left its impact on modern action cinema, I am confused by what you said at the end of the article:
The Matrix was smart?

I'm curious as to what you think of the upcoming Starship Troopers reboot since that's supposed to be more faithful.

Siberian Relic:
So, let me get this straight: The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus failed because they weren't utterly flawless masterpieces and didn't reach their lofty ambitions, while The Avengers was a success because it met its own shallow ambitions and altogether managed to exist without raising a stench to high heaven?

Where's my like button? I need a like button!

Seriously though. Avengers was a good movie, but the fuck is with the massive hardon people have for it? It was a throwaway popcorn movie with a barely there plot. If anythin it was barely a step above the expendables with the only marks for it bein that its visuals are flashier and its character interaction is actually there.

The thing about The Avengers that I think puts it in a completely different league to other superhero movies, is that it truly feels EPIC. I don't think there has been a movie where I have sat there in audible awe, realizing the magnitute of the whole thing. Even Avatar, as flashy and good looking as it was, couldn't capture me enough with the story to give me the feeling "this is an alien planet with floating mountains!" It fell flat with characters explaining it as something with magnets...(?)

The Avengers did everything right in my eyes. It took very unique characters from the comics, considered their backgrounds, and while staying true to the ideas, created something original and satisfying. And remember that "show don't tell" Bob points out in oh so many movies? During the entire climax of the movie, it showed in all the right ways. The Earth is being ATTACKED. there are MONSTERS the size of SPACESHIPS coming from the sky. a GOD has decided to rule our planet. Only these few can stop it all.

That image is exactly what I thought couldn't be possible beforehand. This movie had successfully given me the feeling that I was watching the movie-form of a really good Event comic.

Will many copy it? Yeah, definitely. Will they fail? In time, definitely. Will people be complaining to Warner Brothers when the time comes? Probably, although I haven't seen the newest spiderman, I haven't seen a marvel movie that wasn't at least decent.

I nominate Sam Raimi to direct the next Hulk movie starring Mark Ruffalo. Who's with me?

Trishbot:
Bob still is hating on Spider-man... I think this is the 7th or 8th article he's lumped it into the "it's a terrible movie" category while skill ignoring the fact that, while not perfect, a huge majority of people enjoyed it.

It doesn't matter if a majority of people enjoy it, as he was writing the article from his perspective, in accordance with the views expressed in his reviews. Perhaps I'm more sympathetic to Bob because I hated the movie as well**, but he could be forgiven for bringing it up in an article about big budget, trend-setting, comic-book movies.

Thinking about it, it is especially relevant. The influences of recent movies have taken a huge toll on the writing of the new Spiderman. The protagonist and romance seemed to be taking an awful lot of cues from Twilight, whilst the emphasis on dark brooding and shadows all looks very Nolan. Spiderman demonstrates all the dangers of excessive executive meddling ("We want to appeal to this demographic! Put this in! And this! What? Oh, no problem, we'll hire more writers.")

300lb. Samoan:
I nominate Sam Raimi to direct the next Hulk movie starring Mark Ruffalo. Who's with me?

I think you need to take your other half of the sunshine acid

maninahat:

Trishbot:
Bob still is hating on Spider-man... I think this is the 7th or 8th article he's lumped it into the "it's a terrible movie" category while skill ignoring the fact that, while not perfect, a huge majority of people enjoyed it.

It doesn't matter if a majority of people enjoy it, as he was writing the article from his perspective, in accordance with the views expressed in his reviews. Perhaps I'm more sympathetic to Bob because I hated the movie as well**, but he could be forgiven for bringing it up in an article about big budget, trend-setting, comic-book movies.

Oh, I don't mind Bob not liking the movie. I'm more than okay with him liking the movie and letting the world know he doesn't like it...

... But he just won't shut up about it. It's gone well past the point of me going "okay, I get it. You don't like it." He just keeps at it, every... single... article... for months and months now... and I just want to pat him on the back, tell him to breathe, and go "let it go... move on... this isn't healthy. Find something new to hate for the next few months."

Thinking about it, it is especially relevant. The influences of recent movies have taken a huge toll on the writing of the new Spiderman. The protagonist and romance seemed to be taking an awful lot of cues from Twilight, whilst the emphasis on dark brooding and shadows all looks very Nolan. Spiderman demonstrates all the dangers of excessive executive meddling ("We want to appeal to this demographic! Put this in! And this! What? Oh, no problem, we'll hire more writers.")

I hate Twilight as much as any girl could possibly hate Twilight. I particularly hate people who assume I like Twilight BECAUSE I'm a girl. No, Twilight is stupid, and you are stupid if you like it. It is vapid, soulless, bland tripe of shoddy wish fulfillment for the most boring of society to dive into. So when people say that Peter and Gwen's romance is "like Twilight" I sort of shake my head and face-palm. What part? He doesn't particularly stalk her (any more than Tobey MacGuire stalked Mary Jane... which was a lot), and she herself is a smart, sassy, largely independent woman that is FAR more interesting, likable, useful, and charming than Bella Swan ever could be, while Peter himself, though a bit of a jerk, is still charismatic and loving enough to not be CREEPY like a certain sparkly vampire. Apart from his hairstyle, I never saw the Twilight comparison Bob was spewing out.

The dark and shadowy Nolan stuff? Yeah, that bothered me. Spider-man is a colorful character. He needs to be out in the daylight. Thankfully, the school fight was largely devoid of brooding shadows.

I actually did NOT hate Spider-man 3. I didn't love it, but it was okay in my book. But I still felt that The Amazing Spider-man was a better movie. I think Spider-man 2 was the best, but I honestly feel that ASM is almost as good as Spider-man 1. I actually wished it was MORE different, because the things that were similar were what annoyed me.

But Spider-man 1 was cheesy as hell too... and had a lot of ups and downs, with good and terrible performances from all. It had its goofy Goblin costume, its really terrible side-characters, its strange celebrity cameos (Macy Gray?!), and its odd pacing, but it did have more charm and fun than ASM ever did, and it told a more complete and satisfying story.

But ASM, I felt, had a better actor as Peter (not a better role, though), and he at least was wise-cracking like he should, while the romantic interest was far superior to Dunst's Mary Jane. The Lizard was a bit of a letdown, as was the lack of JJJ, and even the action was forgettable, but I also felt that Uncle Ben and Peter bonded far more in ASM and the emotions they had came across as more natural and believable... but it had its problems with pacing, filler, repetition, and some sore acting at times too. It felt... purposeless.

I like both, and I enjoyed both. I think a sequel to ASM could improve a lot of the original problems, just as Spider-man 2 did, and I'm willing to give it that chance.

Just because the movie was made under studio orders to meet a deadline doesn't mean it was entirely soulless. Some of the best movies ever made were made with heavy studio demands and interference. Without studio limits, George Lucas's Star Wars would have been a disaster (and when he got more control, it DID become a disaster). They're not always right, but good things can arise, and often due, from hard circumstances.

Trishbot:

snip

...when people say that Peter and Gwen's romance is "like Twilight" I sort of shake my head and face-palm. What part? He doesn't particularly stalk her (any more than Tobey MacGuire stalked Mary Jane... which was a lot), and she herself is a smart, sassy, largely independent woman that is FAR more interesting, likable, useful, and charming than Bella Swan ever could be, while Peter himself, though a bit of a jerk, is still charismatic and loving enough to not be CREEPY like a certain sparkly vampire. Apart from his hairstyle, I never saw the Twilight comparison Bob was spewing out.

I'd say most of the similarities lie in the revision of Parker's character. He's been changed from a nerdy looking, goofy, insecure geek to a broody, deliquent, bad boy, Calvin Klein model. And whilst there was always an emphasis on relationships and romance in the Spiderman movies, they are a very different shape - In Raimi's, Parker is out of her league, and he is doing his best to try and win her over. In Webb's, they click very easily, and the conflict is more about him being an outsider/outlaw, possibly dangerous, somewhat troubled, and unable to get on with her father. It's those details that raises the eyebrow.

That said, I have to concede on the differences. Stacey is a much more independent, smart and likeable character than either Bella or Mary Jane. I think that this did create problems for the story though. They made her less dependent, but failed to give her control over the events of the story; besides helping Parker to meet the villain, and firing the medicine rocket thing at the end, what does Stacey get to do? She still ends up waiting on Peter Parker the whole time, which isn't how it should be. As the one who works in the labs, surely it should be her who spends more time around the villain, arguing with him and uncovering his evil plan? If you want to make a female character who doesn't need rescuing, who is reliable, resourceful, and in control, they should have let her take control.

Just because the movie was made under studio orders to meet a deadline doesn't mean it was entirely soulless. Some of the best movies ever made were made with heavy studio demands and interference. Without studio limits, George Lucas's Star Wars would have been a disaster (and when he got more control, it DID become a disaster). They're not always right, but good things can arise, and often due, from hard circumstances.

I agree entirely - movies are all about collaboration, compromise, and sharing multiple artistic visions. It can produce brilliant results, but it is a precarious set up. If one individual gets too much power (be it a writer, director or producer), they can over-indulge (the Star Wars prequels). On the flip side, if too many writers and producers have too much input, it can create a gargled mess with no clear single vision (which I think was the case in Spider Man).

The last one is so true. One of the few things that annoyed me about Avengers was Captain America's costume. It just looked so cheap and silly compared to the others and I have to assume it was largely due to them wanting to stick too closely to caps costume design in the comics; ie the steriotypical super hero one piece body suit that always looks like a cross between an outfit made out of the same stuff as stockings and some kind of painted on second layer of skin which looks fine when drawn but just never looks right in film. It needed to be messed with more and be closer to the one he had in his actual movie but obviously modernized.

At the same time though yep hollywood can go the complete opposite direction and is more commonly known for doing so; where the original design/aesthetic is practically treated like a joke and goes ignored entirely and then we end up with 3 Xmen movies where almost every character that is known for wearing a costume doesn't have one and is in nothing but black leather.

maninahat:

Trishbot:

snip

...when people say that Peter and Gwen's romance is "like Twilight" I sort of shake my head and face-palm. What part? He doesn't particularly stalk her (any more than Tobey MacGuire stalked Mary Jane... which was a lot), and she herself is a smart, sassy, largely independent woman that is FAR more interesting, likable, useful, and charming than Bella Swan ever could be, while Peter himself, though a bit of a jerk, is still charismatic and loving enough to not be CREEPY like a certain sparkly vampire. Apart from his hairstyle, I never saw the Twilight comparison Bob was spewing out.

I'd say most of the similarities lie in the revision of Parker's character. He's been changed from a nerdy looking, goofy, insecure geek to a broody, deliquent, bad boy, Calvin Klein model. And whilst there was always an emphasis on relationships and romance in the Spiderman movies, they are a very different shape - In Raimi's, Parker is out of her league, and he is doing his best to try and win her over. In Webb's, they click very easily, and the conflict is more about him being an outsider/outlaw, possibly dangerous, somewhat troubled, and unable to get on with her father. It's those details that raises the eyebrow.

That said, I have to concede on the differences. Stacey is a much more independent, smart and likeable character than either Bella or Mary Jane. I think that this did create problems for the story though. They made her less dependent, but failed to give her control over the events of the story; besides helping Parker to meet the villain, and firing the medicine rocket thing at the end, what does Stacey get to do? She still ends up waiting on Peter Parker the whole time, which isn't how it should be. As the one who works in the labs, surely it should be her who spends more time around the villain, arguing with him and uncovering his evil plan? If you want to make a female character who doesn't need rescuing, who is reliable, resourceful, and in control, they should have let her take control.

Just because the movie was made under studio orders to meet a deadline doesn't mean it was entirely soulless. Some of the best movies ever made were made with heavy studio demands and interference. Without studio limits, George Lucas's Star Wars would have been a disaster (and when he got more control, it DID become a disaster). They're not always right, but good things can arise, and often due, from hard circumstances.

I agree entirely - movies are all about collaboration, compromise, and sharing multiple artistic visions. It can produce brilliant results, but it is a precarious set up. If one individual gets too much power (be it a writer, director or producer), they can over-indulge (the Star Wars prequels). On the flip side, if too many writers and producers have too much input, it can create a gargled mess with no clear single vision (which I think was the case in Spider Man).

Love both comments above, and once again MovieSnob hates on Spider-man without any compelling reasons to do so.

First, Peter Parker was not a dweeb. He was a nerd. Peter Parker was an outcast just because he was smart, not socially inept. Since the smart kids don't get ostracized like that anymore they can go two ways with it. One way is to make him a pansy, or the human equivalent to a used tampon. That was Spider-man 1's choice, and it was awful. The other way is to add an element to the character that would make him an outcast once more, which is what they did. Awkward still, but was believable and worked. One of those things that the changed from source material to keep the whole thing working Snob.

TSA also had Spider-man who fought like someone with those abilities would. To him, running on the ceiling would probably be no different to running on the side. That eliminates the Power Ranger type fighting that plagued the first one.

I absolutely agree that the time spent with Uncle Ben created more of an attachment to the character, and holding his dying body in his arms for so long greatly increased audiences connection to the feelings of revenge that Peter had. The creation of Spider-man was a little more natural, since he was created based off of the lessons learned while searching for Uncle Ben's murderer. Uncle Ben displayed the attributes that he wanted Peter to learn, which is way better than spouting off a much overused line of power and responsibility.

Gwen was a great character who played off of Spider-man well, but I'm fine with her not being as heroic since she is not the one who the movie is about. They showed off Peter's genius as well as his superpowers, which made him more of a full character. I don't think people got that Peter was really intelligent in the first movies, since there was nothing special or interesting about him until he became Spider-man. Kind of like how the original Batmans displayed Bruce Wayne as a psychotic who was way too connected to his parents and needs to learn how to let go.

The most aggravating thing is that MovieSnob (no, I'm not ever going to stop this) just keeps complaining about Spider-man, but never actually responds to any of these arguments. Either drop it or come up with a good explanation. The phrase "Everyone is a critic" is true, but what makes someone a GOOD critic is that they have reasonable explanations to any objections that they raise. I've never seen PMS (The "P" doesn't stand for anything specifically, I just wanted to relate Snobby to something lady-partsy) ever give satisfactory explanations to anything brought up by the viewers of his slop.

Rogue 09:
...once again MovieSnob hates on Spider-man without any compelling reasons to do so.

There's a lot of things I disagree with in your post, so I'll break it down into lumps.

"First, Peter Parker was not a dweeb. He was a nerd. Peter Parker was an outcast just because he was smart, not socially inept. Since the smart kids don't get ostracized like that anymore they can go two ways with it. One way is to make him a pansy, or the human equivalent to a used tampon. That was Spider-man 1's choice, and it was awful. The other way is to add an element to the character that would make him an outcast once more, which is what they did. Awkward still, but was believable and worked. One of those things that the changed from source material to keep the whole thing working Snob."

The whole point of Spiderman is fantasy empowerment. Peter Parker's appeal lies in the fact that shy, nerdy, socially awkward kids can easily relate to him. When Parker gets superpowers, he's basically giving the reader a fantasy in which they are able to beat up bullies and get to the unrequited love. The problem with TAS is that he is an unrelatable mess of a character. He's good looking, he's an implausibly talented inventor, he already stands up to bullies even when they beat him up, and he even manages to impress the hottest girl in school. You don't get that same sense of empowerment when he becomes Spiderman, because he already has all the cards.

"Gwen was a great character who played off of Spider-man well, but I'm fine with her not being as heroic since she is not the one who the movie is about. They showed off Peter's genius as well as his superpowers, which made him more of a full character. I don't think people got that Peter was really intelligent in the first movies, since there was nothing special or interesting about him until he became Spider-man. Kind of like how the original Batmans displayed Bruce Wayne as a psychotic who was way too connected to his parents and needs to learn how to let go."

Gwen was a nice try, but a bit ridiculous. It's implausible enough that she's a highschool kid, working as a corperate lab assistant, but the biggest problem is that the movie can't find her a role in the story. Mary Jane was pathetic and corny, but at least she had a clear role as a damsel in distress.

As for Parker, I think it was pretty clear that he was a smart kid in the Raimi movies. One of the first things you see him do in Spiderman is regurgitate a bunch of facts about spiders to his friend. In TAS, they tell the audience he's smart by making him an implausibly competant gadgeteer. Going back to relatability - it is normal for smart kids to memorise facts and be fascinated with cool critters, but it is abnormal for them to create elaborate remote controlled door locks.

"The most aggravating thing is that MovieSnob (no, I'm not ever going to stop this) just keeps complaining about Spider-man, but never actually responds to any of these arguments. Either drop it or come up with a good explanation. The phrase "Everyone is a critic" is true, but what makes someone a GOOD critic is that they have reasonable explanations to any objections that they raise. I've never seen PMS (The "P" doesn't stand for anything specifically, I just wanted to relate Snobby to something lady-partsy) ever give satisfactory explanations to anything brought up by the viewers of his slop."

Bob (forgive me for not playing along with your menstruation jokes) explains quite clearly why he didn't like TAS in his review, and he even did an article on how his views were inconsistent with the majority who liked the movie. I don't see why it is necessary for him to go any further than that to defend his own opinions. Besides, professionals generally try to avoid arguing in their own comment sections - it isn't worth the time or the trouble, and he's already said what he wanted to say in the video/article.

This is a bit off-topic, but I have to point it out:

Really? You thought The Shining was better than The Shawshank Redemption? Really, Bob?

I am always amazed at Bob's enthusiasm for Avengers. As a non-comic book reader (well, I'm European, what do you expect?), I found it alright, but I just don't get what's so amazing about it. It was a fun movie to watch, but was it really that amazing?

I suppose there must have been some depth to it that you could only understand as a comic book reader, but while I think that fan service movies have their time and their place, I don't think that such a movie should ever be considered without that fact in mind.

Flatfrog:

I think you're missing two big points here about what makes The Avengers special and extraordinary.

The first is what you dismiss as 'snarky one-liners', but is much more than that: it's a strong, effective group dynamic - precisely what Whedon specialises in and why he was such a perfect choice for the job.

I completely agree with you but what lesson can film executives take from this? Hire Joss Whedon for The Justice League?

The Avengers was much much better than it had any right to be and is deeply impressive but it wasn't half as good as Bob seems to think.

Brundlefly:

I completely agree with you but what lesson can film executives take from this? Hire Joss Whedon for The Justice League?

The lesson is: it is possible to make comic book movies that are true to the feel of their source material - big, bold and dramatic - without being camp, as long as you focus on character.

But just to make clear - I agree that Avengers isn't a great movie from any objective standpoint. It's great fun, certainly one I'd watch again and probably get on DVD, but its merits are entirely relative!

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