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daniela rossetto

My life in blog form.

Disney and Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) Review

“You and I remember Budapest very differently” – Hawkeye/Clint Barton.

Possibly one of the most quotable lines from Marvel’s The Avengers movie of 2012. This movie made $207,438,708 (USA) (4 May 2012) on opening weekend in the U.S (IMDb), ranking fourth in the highest-grossing films of all time (at the time of publishing). Honestly, I watch this movie at least once a week – sometimes more, and while it’s not even in my top five movies of all time, it’s still there as a movie that I enjoy enough to have on in the background while I relax, catch up on the daily news, or just wandering aimlessly around the net.

This movie came after the success of Iron Man and Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Thor, and also the flops that were The Hulk and The Incredible Hulk movies (I won’t go into much detail as to why the Hulk movies were flops right now, possibly later down the track).

Okay, so for those who haven’t yet seen this movie (I’d say have you been living under a rock, but not everyone enjoys comic-book-turned-live-action movies), here’s a brief as can be outline of what happens, and I cannot guarantee there won’t be spoilers: basically, Loki (Thor’s adoptive brother) is recruited by the big bad guy of the universe – Thanos (who appears for the first time in the mid credit end scene and is referred to in the movie, just not by name), to take over Earth with the Tesseract (features in Captain America), which Loki has to steal from S.H.I.E.L.D  and find a way to activate the portal to allow the Chitauri through to conquer Earth… And in between all of this, we meet the team that will become The Avengers. Like any other team that’s just thrown together by an organisation, they butt heads, they think they’re better than the other (with the exception of Bruce Banner/The Hulk who really, really, REALLY doesn’t want to be there  – “I just want to finish my work here…”), and then BAM! They become a team that saves the world – well, okay, mainly Manhatten, but whatever, minor details!

Now, when this movie, directed and co-written by Joss Whedon (this guy gave us Firefly, Buffy, Dollhouse… I could go on…), was first put out for the public, there was massive wariness… Two of the key characters, who in the comic world, create/invent the idea of the Avengers, was not even included in this. Wasp and Ant-Man were excluded, but Black Widow and Hawkeye, the former had a semi-major role in Iron Man 2 and the latter appeared uncredited in Thor, were given pretty major roles in this movie.

Whedon claims the reasoning behind excluding Wasp was simply “I could not write her in”.  And Ant-Man was practically promised to Edgar Wright at this stage for an Ant-Man movie (that he didn’t even end up directing), Whedon just didn’t know how to include them. He also didn’t know if Wasp and Widow could co-exist in the movie together, because really, Widow’s part is kinda seen as Wasp’s part, just minus the S.H.I.E.L.D agent part… Well, at least that’s what some people seem to believe.

ANYWAY! So the point of this entire post is to give MY view on whether or not this movie works if it could have worked a different way if the story makes sense, and whatever else I deem relevant for my rant.

When I first heard this was going to happen, I was all for this movie working to unite the major players in Marvel’s cinematic universe (which will be shortened to MCU from now on). And it did. There was the tension between Stark and Cap, played by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans,  (the follow up to this movie, Avengers: Age Of Ultron exploits this a little more too), that one would expect from a “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” and “the soldier – a man out of time”. There was the reluctance from Banner, played by Mark Ruffalo, who really did not want to hulk out and fight. There was Thor (his stand alone first movie sort of let him down), played by Chris Hemsworth, who really honestly (at least at first), thought Loki was there to cause havoc among Thor’s much loved ‘Midgard’ to get back at Thor for throwing him into abyss.  There was the sneakiness from S.H.I.E.L.D, led by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) covering up/only explaining the necessary stuff that you can only expect from a secret government organisation. And then there were the token ‘we don’t have actual superpowers/money to make our own super suit, but we’re killer assains’  in Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) – also, Hawkeye honestly doesn’t get that much screen time, it’s like 12 minutes all up – and that’s cause he ends being mind-controlled by Loki straight up.

Could this movie have been better? Well, yeah. BUT! The style of this movie was literally always going to be ‘let’s just throw these guys in together and make a team outta them, they don’t need to get along, or care for one another right now. We have a crisis, and we need them just to be able to fight!’. This was S.H.I.E.L.D’s idea all along and it seems to have been taken on in Whedon and Zak Penn’s writing for this movie. Granted, we get a little bit of a recap/introduction into the characters before someone comes to talk to them about the ‘Avenger’s Initiative’  and deliver them to the Helicarrier.

This movie delivers the one liners – “Puny god” and “He’s adoptive”, the amazing CGI (Helicarrier turning invisible for flip’s sake – okay so they were reflection panels, but still!) – the portal and space itself,  it plays on Cap’s lack of knowledge with the new modern world and Stark’s constant teasing of this. It plays on Stark’s mistrust for Fury and this organisation.

The movie deserves to be where it is ranked in any list really. And simply because it helped revive the comic-book-turned-action-movie genre that was so severely lacking before all of this with massive flops from both Marvel and Fox (who own rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel has Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Ant-Man, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Elektra… And conveniently, Marvel is now partly own by Disney – yes, this now makes the Avengers Disney Princesses, I don’t care.).

So ends the first blog post of a not quite movie review, mainly a rant, and nothing to do with my uni work… Whoops…

To Female Superhero Or To Not Female Superhero?

So recently, Marvel has come under fire for its lack of female superhero leads and the derogative comments two of its stars made while on a press tour for the promotion of Avengers: Age Of Ultron; while also gaining criticism for not having enough female merchandise featuring its two female leads in one of the biggest movies of the year.

I’ll be honest right now: I want a Black Widow movie, I think the world needs a Black Widow movie, and I’ve put a lot of effort into thinking how this movie could work! A young Natasha Romanoff in the Red Room, going through all the secret spy stuff training (glimpses were caught during Ultron, but it wasn’t enough!), her bad girl turned good girl for S.H.I.E.L.D, and what happened in Budapest with Hawkeye (because, let’s be honest here, that’s really what we all care about!!) followed by her kicking butt in the Avengers, and just as an amazing woman outside of her routine of killing the bad guys and trying to make up for her ‘mistakes’. But back on topic here.

There are probably many reasons why we haven’t gotten any real female superhero leads in the cinematic universe, and why we have to wait until 2018 for the Captain Marvel film we were promised two years ago. There have been no further announcements for this movie, no word on the female lead role, no director or a producer. All we know is that we’re getting a Captain Marvel movie sometime in 2018. There was speculation it was all about ‘timing’, but honestly, Marvel’s current CEO has been accused of not liking the idea for female leads after emails were leaked. In the comic verse, we’ve been introduced to Lady Thor, who, SPOILER ALERT, is Jane Foster (Thor’s Earth girlfriend and main love interest in the cinematic verse).

So, why is it so hard to give us a female lead? Maybe it’s because Marvel can’t find any actresses they deem ‘worthy’ of portraying their extremely well built and strong female leads in the comics, or maybe it’s because they don’t think the world is ready for a dominant all female movie. But if we can introduce this into the comic and graphic novel world, why can’t it be done in the cinematic verse? I understand Marvel’s hesitation with these projects, with the flop of Elektra in 2005, and D.C.’s Catwoman, it was never well received.

But there are a lot more options out there now that can, and will, benefit the idea of female leads. There’s so much history within Marvel to create this, that it should be one of the greatest choices they’ve made. Please, leave a comment with your opinion on why or why not this could work for Marvel.

Twitter list!

So, here’ s a list of groups and people on Twitter that I follow to get the latest on all things Marvel related in the news. Some of them post a lot of other topics but are some way involved in the Marvel community.

cracked.com – so these guys are a website based pop culture group who run different articles on different topics. Some Marvel ones can be found here and here.

nerdist.com – Nerdist provides up to date articles on the latest news in any pop culture. Their Marvel articles are pretty intense, and review the latest episodes of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”.

vulture.com – Vulture specialises in all things movie, music and TV. They’ve got a variety of different topic posts on different pop culture trends. But their Marvel ones seems to be pretty much on point.

ComingSoon.net – the ComingSoon team provide everyone with the latest trailers for up and coming movie releases, and articles relating to any movie updates like the latest writers, directors, or stars, to sign up to a movie.

BuzzFeed Geeky – so their title pretty much says it all in my opinion. These guys run as a category within BuzzFeed website. People can sign up to write for them, and they’re always running articles on Marvel and its universes.

Comicbook.com – Comicbook provide the latest in news on any verse in pop culture, they give the rumors, and remove them while showing facts and exclusives. Their Marvel knowledge is pretty high, and their skills with writing about Marvel are always fact.

IMDb – The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is pretty much a database that gives us the title, star, directors, writers, producers, and so on, as well as trivia, goofs, and soundtracks, when searched for. They have the latest trailers and news regarding everything in the movie/TV world.

Total Film – these guys are a magazine. While their Tweets are self-promoting, they do, however, promote a fair bit of Marvel in their mag, therefore, giving me exclusive access to their content before it comes out.

Empire Magazine – Empire Magazine provide the latest in any entertainment news, be it in their magazine, their website, or their Twitter feed. They’ve always got something Marvel related to report, regardless of whether or not Marvel is even in the news.

Geek.com – again, the title says it all. Just like Vulture, Comic Book, Cracked, and Nerdist, Geek.com provide the latest in pop culture, and technology. They keep everyone happy with their range, and their knowledge is wide.

And last but not least, the entire reason this blog exists:

Marvel Entertainment – if anyone should know what’s going on in their universes, it would be Marvel themselves. This is their official Twitter, and while they have one for Australia and New Zealand, as well as ones for other countries, this Twitter account is really all you need to follow Marvel.

So, there you have it, a Twitter list post related to all things Marvel! Leave a comment below if there’s one you follow, that I don’t have!

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