2012 MOVIE Review : THE Verdict is in! AVENGERS… Avenged!!! :)

You are reading this either because you saw the film and want to compare your experience with others, or haven’t seen the film, and want to get a general idea of what people thought of it. I’ll answer both demographics, without going into details about the film.

I think most of you coming to this blog know, my grumpy persona aside I’m not a contrarian. I’m not one of these IMDB idiots who rate all films either 1 or 5 (on a 5 star system, I use a 4 star system), the concept of grading and gradations seemingly lost on them.

That said neither am I a bandwagon jumper who is going to praise a film when it’s trendy to do so, and eviscerate it when it is trendy to do so.(SUPERMAN RETURNS and TITANIC being two movies with more than their share of flip-floppers).

I often listen to pod-casts, and it is amazing how often you can hear one person excited by a film, but then his friends don’t like the film, so you can hear the person backtrack from his/her position, so they can be in line with the likes of their ‘friends’.

An anthropologist might define it as a clannish race survival technique (“Bubba let’s go lynch that thar 12 year old boy, for looking at that thar white woman.” “Why Bubba Senior, that thar’s a fine idea. Hyuck. Hyuck. Hyuck.”), I’ve always just defined it as cowardice.

I’m saying my good opinion or my bad is not formed by the whims of the mob.

Never has been. Never will be.

So if I give you a review you can be sure it is my review, my considered opinion… and I stand behind it.

So my considered opinion on the AVENGERS movie?

Joss Whedon, whose other film this year CABIN IN THE WOODS I wasn’t a fan of (more due to the first time Director on that film, than to Whedon’s script), here in his role as Director and Writer, knocks this film out of the park.

THE AVENGERS is… I’m trying to avoid hyperbole here, leaving that to everyone else, but it has to be said… it is a FANTASTIC film.

It’s as smart as CABIN IN THE WOODS, but with Whedon behind the camera you also get characters and moments you really care about. You get the pathos to go with the pomp and circumstance.

I mean how do you pull this off? The culmination of all these films, all this planning, all these actors, how do you pull it together and make it work and make it live up to expectations? It is really an amazingly ambitious film, a daunting prospect, and Joss Whedon… does it.

It’s really rare for me to laugh out loud in a film, I laughed out loud numerous times in this film, just because it is so knowing, and so sharp, and so biting, and so friggin fun!!!

I’m so glad I went into this film without watching a bunch of trailers or features, or ruining any surprises because I just had a ball. And along with the fun, Whedon gave space and weight to the tragedy, something that is glossed over sometimes in epic films. The weight and cost of this battle. Whedon never loses sight of the street level view, the common men and women caught in the midst of a war of Gods and Monsters.

The humanity he imbues the attack scene with is reminiscent of Mimi Leder’s phenomenal direction in the criminally underrated Clooney action film PEACEMAKER. Where every loss and every life… was felt.


The Peacemaker (Widescreen Edition)

And going along with that, for a big, loud, blow stuff up action flick on par with Bay’s TRANSFORMERS:DARK OF THE MOON (which the battle scenes bear a resemblance to) everyone gets a chance to actually act and emote in this film. Whedon’s TV/Buffy dialog/experience serving the film well.

Every principal actor really gets a chance to shine, Scarlett Johanson, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Ruffalo (Who I didn’t think could fill Ed Norton’s shoes, is phenomenal. Both as Banner and the Jade Giant he has some of the great scenes/lines in the film), Downey, they all bring it. And big kudos to Tom Hiddleston who plays Loki as more than one dimensional, but with charm and depth to match his machinations.

Anything more would be me… gushing. Suffice to say, if my math is correct this is the 6th Marvel Studios film, the culmination of half a dozen years, and their shared Universe experiment, and they pull it off. Creating a cinematic climax to this multi-year and multi-film storyline that is actually bigger and better than the films leading up to it.

I’m seldom the guy to tip my hat to MARVEL, but you have to give them their due. STAR WARS couldn’t do it (RETURN not quite living up to the greatness of EMPIRE), STAR TREK every other film is bad and they are all one off stories, BOND also is one off stories, INDIANA JONES no, MATRIX… no, LORD OF THE RINGS … no, but Marvel Studios managed to end their ambitious story… even stronger than they began it (Though it is worth noting that the heart of this whole AVENGERS cinematic concept, starts with one writer, Mark Millar of WANTED and KICK-ASS fame. His vision is what Marvel Studios followed from page to screen. And in the dozen years since his ULTIMATES comics, his involvement is perhaps not credited as much as it should be).

The AVENGERS storyline that began with the first IRON MAN, went out on a high-note with this film. Arguably only Harry Potter could claim to have as effectively told a story over multiple films. Plus they give us a great teaser at the end, can you say…. awww but that would be telling! :)

Go see the film. It’s earned its praise. Highest Recommendation A+.

And read more about the Avengers, here [Definite spoilers :)]:

The Ultimates: Ultimate Collection

The Ultimates 2: Ultimate Collection

Ultimate Comics Avengers by Mark Millar Omnibus

Avengers: Kree/Skrull War

And these books will get you up to speed with the teaser at the end of the film:

Essential Warlock – Volume 1

Essential Captain Marvel, Vol. 1 (Marvel Essentials) (v. 1)

Essential Captain Marvel, Vol. 2 (Marvel Essentials)

Infinity Gauntlet

AVENGERS vs PEPSI vs MICHAEL JACKSON?? Star forced to continue dancing after his death??!!

Okay so on this big AVENGERS day, what could bump the AVENGERS from the top spot on my blog? Would you believe a dead Michael Jackson?

Okay it has recently been announced that Pepsi bought the use of Michael Jackson’s image from his estate.

It reads:

“On Thursday [3 May 2012], Pepsi announced a deal with the late King of Pop’s estate that allows the brand to use his image for its new global marketing push.

READ: Will Michael Jackson Be Back in Hologram Form?

According to PepsiCo, the nature of the promotion will vary by country, but will include a TV ad, special-edition Pepsi cans featuring Jackson’s image and chances to download remixes of his biggest hits.

Pepsi’s chief creative officer, Brad Jakeman, said the broader Live for Now campaign took 10 months to develop and its aim is to amplify the company’s strong ties with pop culture.”— Eonline

I am not a fan of Pepsi to begin with, high-fructose corn syrup filled muck, but this… this is something scummy… even for them. It’s like the John Wayne and Fred Astaire commercials. Or the recent CASABLANCA footage, co-opted into an ad… it’s an abomination and a violation.

An image isn’t something like a car or a house, like talent it is not something that can or should be bequeathed from or to someone else, not something to be sold.

His estate sold his image???

An image, like talent, is not the estate’s to sell. And it is not Pepsi’s to buy.

If at any time you had called yourself a fan of Michael Jackson, either the boy star, or the teen phenomenon, or the young adult superstar, or even the confused/tragic/and beleaguered but no less talented Hughsian adult he left this world as, then honor him by letting Pepsi know your displeasure with their 21st century digital slavery plans.

How do you let a multi-billion dollar company know you’re not happy? You cut into their bottom line.

You stop giving them money.

In Pepsi’s case it means finding alternatives to the following:

Pepsi-co Assets:

Frito-Lay
Gatorade
Quaker Oats
Tropicana
Elma Chips (Brazil)

Products[1]

Breakfast Bars
Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
Quaker Chewy Granola Cocoa Bars
Quaker Dipps Granola Bars
Quaker Fruit & Oatmeal Bars
Quaker Life Bar
Quaker Oatmeal to Go Bars
Coffee Drinks
Seattle’s Best Coffee
Starbucks DoubleShot
Starbucks Frappuccino
Starbucks Iced Coffee
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
Dr. Pepper
7up
Squirt
A&W Root Beer
Canada Dry
Crush
Hawaiian Punch
Deja Blue
Diet Rite
Country Time (Under license from Kraft Foods)
Gini
Hires
IBC Root Beer
Orangina (Only owned by Pepsico everywhere else Suntory owns it)
Welch’s (Under license from Welch’s)
Peñafiel
Margaritaville
Mistic
Mr. & Ms. T
Mott’s
Nantucket Nectars
Nehi
RC Cola
ReaLemon
Rose’s Lime Juice
Schweppes
Snapple
Stewart’s Fountain Classics
Sun Drop
Tahitian Treat
Venom Energy Drink
Vernors
Yoo-hoo
Energy Drinks
AMP Energy
No Fear Energy Drinks
Rockstar Energy
SoBe Energy Drinks
Cap’n Crunch Cereal
King Vitaman Cereal
Kretschmer Toasted Wheat Germ

Quaker Life Cereal

Mother’s Ready-to-Eat & Hot Cereals
Quaker Essentials
Quaker Grits
Quaker Instant Oatmeal
Quaker Natural Granola Cereal
Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
Quaker Oh!s Cereal
Quaker Puffed Rice
Quaker Shredded Wheat Cereal
Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal
Quisp Cereal
Other
AMP Energy Gum
Aunt Jemima Mixes & Syrups
Quaker Baking Mixes
Rice Snacks
Quaker Large Rice Cakes
Quaker Mini Delights
Quaker Quakes
Quaker Tortillaz
Side Dishes
Near East Side Dishes
Pasta Roni Side Dishes
Rice-A-Roni Side Dishes
Snacks
Baked! Cheetos Snacks
Baked! Doritos Tortilla Chips
Baked! Lay’s Potato Crisps
Baked! Ruffles Potato Chips
Baked! Tostitos Tortilla Chips
Baken-ets Pork Skins and Cracklins
Cheetos Cheese Flavored Snacks
Chester’s Flavored Fries
Chester’s Popcorn
Cracker Jack Candy Coated Popcorn
Doritos Tortilla Chips
El Isleno Plaintain CHips
Frito-Lay, Fritos, and Tostitos Dips & Salsas
Frito-Layngh Nuts & Seeds
Fritos Corn Chips
Funyons Onion Flavored Rings
Gamesa Cookies and Wafers
Grandma’s Cookies
Hickory Sticks
Hostess Potato Chips
Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
Lay’s Potato Chips
Lay’s Stax Potato Crisps
Lay’s Wavy Potato Chips

Meat Snacks

Maui Style Potato Chips
Miss Vicky’s Potato Chips
Munchies Snack Crackers
Munchies Snack Mix
Munchos Potato Crisps
Natural Cheetos
Natural Lay’s
Natural Ruffles
Natural Tostitos
Nut Harvest Nuts
Rold Gold Pretzels
Ruffles Potato Chips
Sabritones Puffed Wheat Snacks
Santitas Tortille Chips
Smartfood Popcorn
Smartfood Popcorn Clusters
Spitz Seeds
Stacy’s Pita and Bagel Chips
SunChips Multigrain Snacks
Tostitos Artisan Recipes Tortilla Chips
Tostito’s Tortilla Chips
Soft Drinks (original Pepsi brands)
Diet Pepsi
Diet Mountain Dew
Diet Sierra Mist
Mountain Dew
Mug Soft Drinks
Pepsi
Pepsi Max
Mirinda
Sierra Mist Natural
Sports Nutrition
Gatorade G Series Prime 01
Gatorade Thirst Quencher – G Series Perform 02
Gatorade G Series Recover 03
Gatorade G2
Gatorade Natural
Gatoradgfne G2 Natural
Gatorade G Series FIT Prime 01 Pre-Workout Fuel
Gatorade G Series FIT Perform 02 Workout Hydration
Gatorade G Series FIT Recover 03 Post-Workout Recovery
Gatorade G Series PRO 01 Nutrition Shake
Gatorade G Series PRO 01 Nutrition Bar
Gatorade G Series PRO 01 Carbohydrate Energy Formula
Gatorade G Series PRO 02 Endurance Formula
Gatorade G Series PRO 02 Perform Gatorlytes
Gatorade G Series PRO 03 Protein Recovery Shake
Gatorade G Series PRO Prime +
Gatorade G Series PRO Recover +
Water Products
Aquafina
Aquafina FlavorSplash
Propel Zero
SoBe Lifewater

Long list, but considering I don’t eat corn chips or most corn based products or msg or any modified corn-starch laced products, or drink high-fructose filled beverages (ie stuff not known for its health benefits); it’s incredibly easy for me to avoid everything on this list.

Only stuff I was getting was occasionally Tropicana and Aquafina and now that I know they are owned by Pepsi, I can definitely do without them.

And no, I’m not suggesting this boycott of Pepsi because I’m a Michael Jackson fan. It’s about more than that.

I haven’t been a music follower for a while, or heard anything by Michael Jackson in a while, but I respect that a man’s image, not his likeness (ie caricature, or drawing, or performance) but a man’s actual image, is not something to be owned by another man. This country has an unresolved history with trying to own what is not theirs to own.

Utter nonsense, you say. Utter fiction.

Unfortunately we live in a time, where technology is every day making of our fiction… facts.

This precedent set, can affect any actor, any person. Robert Downey Jr or Jeremy Renner or Samuel L. Jackson sold by their estates after their deaths; to speak lines or support causes or candidates they would have never done in their life.

Isn’t that a violation, for anyone?

For you, and you, and you over in the corner?

And because they are actors it should be no less a violation. You offer not your soul, when you offer a performance.

You do not lose… the rights of man.

Except Pepsi says… perhaps you do.

So Pepsi should be reminded of the… tactlessness of their plan.

The products above… stop purchasing them.

Ingredients wise, you’re not going to be missing much, as they are labeled junk food for a reason.

And I would love to know the money grubbing member of Jackson’s estate who got rich, selling the image, and no doubt if they could, the soul of Michael Jackson to the highest bidder.

Send a message, that there is such a thing… as decency, as propriety.

Send a tweet, or email (or whatever you kids do) to Pepsi, saying…”boycotting you because of Michael Jackson ad plans.”

Let them know.

Let them all know.

That there is such a thing, as the rights of man.

Five FAVORITE AVENGERS Posters!!

So I was at the post office flirting hard, with the fetching postal worker behind the counter. And to her credit she was throwing it back pretty capably, and we got on the subject of the AVENGERS movie. She has no interest in the AVENGERS movie or any superhero or action flick.

She was much more psyched by THINK LIKE A MAN and WOMEN THOU ART LOOSED and other relationship tinged flicks. I must admit I died inside a little to know my future wife has no interest in slam, bam action flicks, but oh well. Diversity they say makes a happy home. :)

On a serious note, taking a page from her book, I’m glad the AVENGERS movie is finally here, and I’m glad Joss Whedon is helming it, but I’m not really that wowed by the trailer I’ve seen, or the poster.

Of course I’m going to go see it, and I hope it’s great as everyone thinks it’s going to be, but I’ll be happy with good. Let’s put it this way, on anticipation level, not crazy about the default AVENGERS poster, this one:

The poster just bothers me, because it’s so un-artfully done, if you take my meaning. I can’t quite define what grabs me the wrong way about it, but it does. It definitely puts me off. It is so bad it actually has me worried about the movie. :)

If you can’t take the effort to make a decent poster it just hints at sloppiness or laziness somewhere else in the film. I’m hoping that’s incorrect and the buck stops with a lazy marketing department (which is far from an isolated thing in Hollywood, unfortunately.)

So I went searching for AVENGERS posters that did look good, and found these top 5! (Some of the best ones are fan created) Enjoy!

First the honorable mentions. The solo posters with Scarlett Johansson for obvious reasons :) :

Now counting down to the best, #5:

#4

#3

#2 A great poster from Australia!

And my #1 favorite AVENGERS poster, is this simple but sumptuous use of open space and duality in this Japanese poster. I show the logo and logo free posters. It’s great!

Well I don’t know about you, but I feel better for having seen those nice looking posters! Easily pleased aren’t I? :)

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