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C'mon Hollywood: Learn from the success of The Avengers!

May. 15, 2012by: Paul Shirey

Typically, this column bitches about how f*cked up Hollywood is, but today I’m going to give some praise, albeit not without a warning. A hearty “thank you” is due to Hollywood for somehow managing to not only get THE AVENGERS made, but to have done it with such class and integrity. It’s not a perfect film, but the best superhero film made to date. Everyone has their favorite, but I think that THE AVENGERS is the encapsulation of all the key elements that make not only a great superhero film, but a great event film to boot.

So, the question is: How the f*ck did this happen? How did Hollywood grow a pair and actually allow a film with Gods, super-serum injected relics, a big, green monster, and other assorted comic book staples to be translated to film with almost no “retouching” at all? And the bigger question is: Does this mean that Hollywood will finally embrace the roots of a comic book property without subduing them to the point of being unrecognizable?

In 2000, Bryan Singer’s X-MEN reawakened the genre, which forever altered the course of superhero films as they’re made today. And although they were faithful to the comics in many ways, they were still too uneasy to fully embrace the transition from panel to screen. Exec’s scoffed at the idea of Wolverine wearing a costume and any other color than “black leather” was deemed as something that “just doesn’t translate to the big screen,” so we were left with the X-Men meets THE MATRIXSPIDER-MAN fared better, but the Green Goblin’s “man-made” outfit left fans annoyed and Batman has been denied the blue and grey since 1966.

The creative teams behind each individual film starting with IRON MAN built towards THE AVENGERS from the get go. They didn’t have every facet and detail figured out, but they created a framework that followed the same formula as the comics. They slowly introduced characters that intertwined between films (just as comics do) and built their universe from the ground up, staying true to the material and to their plan.

Let’s focus on that word for a second; “plan.” That’s a rare thing these days, especially when many movies are just being tossed together (MIB III comes to mind, with production being started without a finished script). However, Marvel put their heads together and worked toward a specific goal. Not only would they introduce each of their key characters in their own respective films, but they would make it possible to put them all in one film together without having to retell an origin story for each. It was a gamble, because it would bank on the success of each individual film (which, thankfully paid off).

What Marvel did was embrace the characters that have been a staple of their brand for decades. Because they owned the rights they didn’t have to compromise and put their characters in black leather or make them different races, sexes, or “change it up” for the sake of a current trend. They stood by their brand. They gave a shit. Not only about the characters, but the fans who stood by them for so long. They recognized that the people going to see these films were going to see them for what they were, not for how different they could be. We, the fans, wanted to see superheroes brought to life, not have it sucked from them.

Since day one, Marvel was instrumental in selecting the creative teams for their films. Favreau on IRON MAN 1&2, Branagh on THOR, Johnston on CAPTAIN AMERICA, and finally, Joss Whedon on THE AVENGERS (Leterrier is probably the least inspired choice on THE INCREDIBLE HULK). They never went for big names or safe names, but for the RIGHT names. We’ve blown a lot of smoke up Whedon’s ass for what he did with THE AVENGERS already, so consider this another puff. Whedon was the perfect fit. He’s not the perfect fit for every film out there, but for THE AVENGERS he was, and Marvel had the insight to recognize that and the talent of each respective filmmaker before him to help lead the way.

Whedon poured soul, humor, wit, action, and meticulous care into THE AVENGERS. He didn’t shy from their roots, but embraced them. He never tried to explain away the comic book themes (cosmic cubes, super soldier serum, gamma rays, etc.) so that audiences would “believe” them. He let the world BE a superhero world, multi-colored costumes and all. For once, we were treated to an unabashed superhero film that owned its comic book roots and told its story without trying to cater to every demographic. It’s not a miracle that this film was made. It’s a miracle that those who made it cared enough to do it right.

Take note, Hollywood. Success is in your hands. Learn from it. Embrace it. At $1 billion and counting, the incentive to do it right just got sweeter.

Extra Tidbit: While I think Marvel would make an error in not trying to lure Whedon back to The Avengers 2, I do believe that there are other contenders that could handle the job. What do you think?
Source: JoBlo.com

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12:11PM on 05/17/2012

Extra tidbit

Fincher, Aronofsky, Edgar Wright.

Avengers was great I'm going again today.
Fincher, Aronofsky, Edgar Wright.

Avengers was great I'm going again today.
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3:55PM on 05/16/2012
I want somebody to give me an example of the "soul" that Whedon put into the characters. I sure didn't see any. Every character came off as one dimensional.
I want somebody to give me an example of the "soul" that Whedon put into the characters. I sure didn't see any. Every character came off as one dimensional.
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7:37PM on 05/16/2012
The scene where Cap is reeling from saving everyone in the bank, trying to catch his breath, while the onlookers looked on. It was a moment that not only showed Cap's unflinching bravery, but his vulnerabilities as a man who is thrust into this new world.

The scene where Stark and Banner talk about how the gamma radiation may be a gift, rather than a curse, with Stark showing faith in Banner's "Other Guy." Then, the payoff when Banner shows up to the fight, even though everyone thought
The scene where Cap is reeling from saving everyone in the bank, trying to catch his breath, while the onlookers looked on. It was a moment that not only showed Cap's unflinching bravery, but his vulnerabilities as a man who is thrust into this new world.

The scene where Stark and Banner talk about how the gamma radiation may be a gift, rather than a curse, with Stark showing faith in Banner's "Other Guy." Then, the payoff when Banner shows up to the fight, even though everyone thought Stark was crazy for even thinking he would.

And the final arc for Stark, where he overcame his selfishness by flying the nuke through the portal, for the first time sacrificing himself over all others.

I'm not saying those are the most epic "soulful" moments on film, but they're pretty damn good for a movie about super soldiers, gods, and a gamma-powered green goliath.

It's cool if you don't agree. Shit, I don't care for anything Whedon's done UNTIL this. However, you'll likely be in the minority on the quest of hatorade for The Avengers. To each their own.
4:25AM on 05/16/2012
As much as I am happy about how well The Avengers turned up & the build up towards it Hollywood will not take note from it. The only solution to this would be for the other studios who own the rights of Spider-Man & other Marvel characters that are not owned by Disney/Marvel. Even then for that to happen I would certainly hope we will not have more reboots & origin stories. Once Hollywood figures out you do not need to dumb down a comic book film for audiences to understand then it will be a
As much as I am happy about how well The Avengers turned up & the build up towards it Hollywood will not take note from it. The only solution to this would be for the other studios who own the rights of Spider-Man & other Marvel characters that are not owned by Disney/Marvel. Even then for that to happen I would certainly hope we will not have more reboots & origin stories. Once Hollywood figures out you do not need to dumb down a comic book film for audiences to understand then it will be a stop in the right direction. Let's hope indeed the way The Avengers turned out is the beginning of something fans have been waiting for.
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+2
9:43PM on 05/15/2012

Why...

...do people keep saying the Avengers is "not a perfect film" or "not the best to date"? What was wrong with it? Be specific.
...do people keep saying the Avengers is "not a perfect film" or "not the best to date"? What was wrong with it? Be specific.
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10:43PM on 05/15/2012
My only issue was Agent Colson. His scene with Loki in particular I found a bit forced. Colson came off as stiff. I know his character is very stoic but the scene itself seems almost awkward compared to the fluidity of the rest of the film. His opening scene with Fury was a bit stale also. You could definitely tell who the A list actors were and who weren't
My only issue was Agent Colson. His scene with Loki in particular I found a bit forced. Colson came off as stiff. I know his character is very stoic but the scene itself seems almost awkward compared to the fluidity of the rest of the film. His opening scene with Fury was a bit stale also. You could definitely tell who the A list actors were and who weren't
5:58AM on 05/16/2012
Because it has problems with pacing and exposition, particularly towards the beginning.

The film is in such a hurry to get everyone together (as it should be) that it glosses over details and simplifies things to an extreme.

An example of this is Banner's ability to control Hulk during the final battle, but not while on the Helicarrier. Yes, Loki's staff may have been manipulating his emotions, but this was never addressed in the film aside from a few glances and camera moves.

Mark
Because it has problems with pacing and exposition, particularly towards the beginning.

The film is in such a hurry to get everyone together (as it should be) that it glosses over details and simplifies things to an extreme.

An example of this is Banner's ability to control Hulk during the final battle, but not while on the Helicarrier. Yes, Loki's staff may have been manipulating his emotions, but this was never addressed in the film aside from a few glances and camera moves.

Mark Ruffalo has stated that the scene between himself and Harry Dean Stanton was originally much longer and ended with Banner having a "come to Jesus" moment of realisation.

Perhaps this issue (and others) would be resolved if the promised half an hour of deleted scenes were reincorporated, but we'll have to wait and see if that ends up happening, or if they'll just be dumped on as a special feature.

I would go so far as to say that the final half an hour of the film makes you forget about any problems that may have come before.
7:28PM on 05/15/2012
Let me start by saying that I loved Avengers and I'm glad for its success. But honestly, it didn't reinvent the wheel. There were many great comic book films released before Avengers: Superman, Batman (89), Spider-man 1&2, X2, Batman Begins & Dark Knight. Of the Marvel films, I feel that only Iron Man and Avengers would get included with those. I'm happy Marvel took the approach they did, but to say its the only way to make a comic book film is wrong. Fantastic 4 has the costumes like the
Let me start by saying that I loved Avengers and I'm glad for its success. But honestly, it didn't reinvent the wheel. There were many great comic book films released before Avengers: Superman, Batman (89), Spider-man 1&2, X2, Batman Begins & Dark Knight. Of the Marvel films, I feel that only Iron Man and Avengers would get included with those. I'm happy Marvel took the approach they did, but to say its the only way to make a comic book film is wrong. Fantastic 4 has the costumes like the comic, does that make it better than X2? Avengers is not the first well-reviewed and big-money-making comic book film, and it is important to recognize those earlier films that paved the way for Marvel to do what it did.
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5:42PM on 05/15/2012
Avengers is great and special, the first great and best thing since the first Iron Man. I stand by The Dark Knight as the greatest though with Avengers being second.
Avengers is great and special, the first great and best thing since the first Iron Man. I stand by The Dark Knight as the greatest though with Avengers being second.
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2:02PM on 05/15/2012

Great Article but 1 Disagreement

Hate to be all "Comic Book Guy" on you, but Blade marked the beginning of the current era of comic movies, not X-Men. Blade, Release 1998 in 2,322 theaters, Prod. Budget - $45 Million, world wide box office - 131 million. X-Men released 2000, in 3,112 theaters, production budget $75 Million, World Wide Box office $296 million. Blade released 2 year prior, in fewer theaters, smaller budget. Just saying.
Hate to be all "Comic Book Guy" on you, but Blade marked the beginning of the current era of comic movies, not X-Men. Blade, Release 1998 in 2,322 theaters, Prod. Budget - $45 Million, world wide box office - 131 million. X-Men released 2000, in 3,112 theaters, production budget $75 Million, World Wide Box office $296 million. Blade released 2 year prior, in fewer theaters, smaller budget. Just saying.
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2:23PM on 05/15/2012
I haven't forgotten about Blade, but when talking about superhero teams and the genre as a whole, it was X-Men that lit the fuse. I guess you could argue that Blade possibly contributed to X-Men getting the greenlight, but ultimately it was the mutants that set everything off.

I love the first two Blade films and think they fit perfectly in Marvel's model.

Blade was a stepping stone, for sure, but not the catalyst.
I haven't forgotten about Blade, but when talking about superhero teams and the genre as a whole, it was X-Men that lit the fuse. I guess you could argue that Blade possibly contributed to X-Men getting the greenlight, but ultimately it was the mutants that set everything off.

I love the first two Blade films and think they fit perfectly in Marvel's model.

Blade was a stepping stone, for sure, but not the catalyst.
11:31AM on 05/15/2012

Excellent Article

Maybe now there's hope for an X-MEN or WOLVERINE film where he actually wears his yellow and blue or orange and brown costume.. with a fucking mask.. Because in the comics, when he goes on solo missions where people don't know who he is, he puts the costume on to conceal his identity when he's in public (mainly bars). Because it's going to be pretty fucking hard to go around slicing people up at night and then just stroll around the village during the day without anybody recognizing you.. come
Maybe now there's hope for an X-MEN or WOLVERINE film where he actually wears his yellow and blue or orange and brown costume.. with a fucking mask.. Because in the comics, when he goes on solo missions where people don't know who he is, he puts the costume on to conceal his identity when he's in public (mainly bars). Because it's going to be pretty fucking hard to go around slicing people up at night and then just stroll around the village during the day without anybody recognizing you.. come on.
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10:24AM on 05/15/2012
I had a blast watching the Avengers, but it is hardly the best superhero movie to date. Don't get me wrong, though... it was still pretty awesome!
I had a blast watching the Avengers, but it is hardly the best superhero movie to date. Don't get me wrong, though... it was still pretty awesome!
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11:26AM on 05/15/2012
It is the best.. hands down.. Only two other movies come close.. THE DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN
It is the best.. hands down.. Only two other movies come close.. THE DARK KNIGHT and WATCHMEN
2:39PM on 05/15/2012
@JeffKnite...

Watchmen? Really?
@JeffKnite...

Watchmen? Really?
1:47PM on 05/16/2012
@Jeff Knite

I have a feeling you only remember the last 30 minutes of the Avengers and not the snore-fest leading up to it.
@Jeff Knite

I have a feeling you only remember the last 30 minutes of the Avengers and not the snore-fest leading up to it.
9:59AM on 05/15/2012
So right. When you get a good team, you get results and not only they profit, the fans profit too.
So right. When you get a good team, you get results and not only they profit, the fans profit too.
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9:38AM on 05/15/2012
I agree 100%. Now if DC eventually wants to do a JLA film, they should go to Bruce Timm. What Marvel did with the live action films, Timm already did with the DCAU starting with B:TAS through JLU. And he did it awesomely! Why oh WHY can't they see they have the right person to over see this already?
I agree 100%. Now if DC eventually wants to do a JLA film, they should go to Bruce Timm. What Marvel did with the live action films, Timm already did with the DCAU starting with B:TAS through JLU. And he did it awesomely! Why oh WHY can't they see they have the right person to over see this already?
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2:26PM on 05/15/2012
Too many cooks in DC's kitchen. If they want to follow Marvel's model they'll have to nail it with Man of Steel and get Batman rebooted to a more "comic-friendly" environment. It's certainly possible that they may be priming Man of Steel to be the "Iron Man" of their JLA venture (seeing as Green Lantern didn't quite do it).

However, speaking for myself, if I had the choice, I'd take a sequel to The Avengers over a JLA movie any day of the week.
Too many cooks in DC's kitchen. If they want to follow Marvel's model they'll have to nail it with Man of Steel and get Batman rebooted to a more "comic-friendly" environment. It's certainly possible that they may be priming Man of Steel to be the "Iron Man" of their JLA venture (seeing as Green Lantern didn't quite do it).

However, speaking for myself, if I had the choice, I'd take a sequel to The Avengers over a JLA movie any day of the week.
+10
9:28AM on 05/15/2012
You think Avengers is the best superhero film to date? Really? Oh well, fair enough, it is fucking awesome, just like this article.

And I say bring Whedon back. Of course there are other great directors who could handle the Avengers 2, but I love Whedon's wit. At the very least, keep him on as the writer.
You think Avengers is the best superhero film to date? Really? Oh well, fair enough, it is fucking awesome, just like this article.

And I say bring Whedon back. Of course there are other great directors who could handle the Avengers 2, but I love Whedon's wit. At the very least, keep him on as the writer.
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9:05AM on 05/15/2012

Excellent article

It takes smart, business minded people to do what Marvel has done, but it also takes respect for the source material - maybe even a bit of fandom. Kevin Feige and his team at Marvel Studios are just that, and that is a big reason this has worked so well.
It takes smart, business minded people to do what Marvel has done, but it also takes respect for the source material - maybe even a bit of fandom. Kevin Feige and his team at Marvel Studios are just that, and that is a big reason this has worked so well.
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8:51AM on 05/15/2012
You said everything right. I liked the fact that this film was taken completely from the comic, and not altered. When X-MEN was coming, I expected Wolverine and Cyclops to wear the yellow, blue and black spandex. Even though that film was better than First Class, First Class had something for it, which was the costumes.
You said everything right. I liked the fact that this film was taken completely from the comic, and not altered. When X-MEN was coming, I expected Wolverine and Cyclops to wear the yellow, blue and black spandex. Even though that film was better than First Class, First Class had something for it, which was the costumes.
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+11
6:24AM on 05/15/2012
In my opinion, the success of The Avengers starts with Iron Man back in 2008. Marvel threw a dice and it paid off big. Another important example is that Marvel didn't rush The Avengers right after the first Iron Man. They pave the way little by little in order to give each character their own places in the spotlight. Once everything is in place, The Avengers happens and now it's making history. This is probably the reason why Warner Brothers' Justice League failed.
In my opinion, the success of The Avengers starts with Iron Man back in 2008. Marvel threw a dice and it paid off big. Another important example is that Marvel didn't rush The Avengers right after the first Iron Man. They pave the way little by little in order to give each character their own places in the spotlight. Once everything is in place, The Avengers happens and now it's making history. This is probably the reason why Warner Brothers' Justice League failed.
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6:23AM on 05/15/2012
One of the best things I've ever read; couldn't agree more. There should now be no excuse for the entire rest of the history of cinema: COMIC BOOK MOVIES NEED TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE SOURCE! This especially includes costumes, races, looks, etc. I know some will say "Well story should always come first." No shit. You can have a good story *AND* keep the looks of the characters. They aren't mutually exclusive. If you have to drastically change the source to make it good, then why are you
One of the best things I've ever read; couldn't agree more. There should now be no excuse for the entire rest of the history of cinema: COMIC BOOK MOVIES NEED TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE SOURCE! This especially includes costumes, races, looks, etc. I know some will say "Well story should always come first." No shit. You can have a good story *AND* keep the looks of the characters. They aren't mutually exclusive. If you have to drastically change the source to make it good, then why are you adapting the comic? Because it is popular? Then why are you changing it?! And the costumes should always look like the comics! In fact, for The Avengers, even though the costumes are more faithful than 95% of comicbook films, I still would have prefered Cap to have wings, Thor to have his helmet, Hawkeye to have his mask, Hulk to have his purple pants, etc. Seriously, any "derr that wouldn't translate well derr" is complete and utter fucking bullshit.
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11:01AM on 05/15/2012
I think that changing race/sex/origin, etc. is a blatant disregard of what they're adapting. Why adapt at all if you're going to change so much? Do we need a black Captain America? Do we need a white Black Panther? Do we need a female hulk? Oh...wait.

The point is, that these characters have been around for decades and have stuck to the same incarnation for the most part, with the exception of Nick Fury (which goes into a whole other rabbit hole of the regular Marvel U and the
I think that changing race/sex/origin, etc. is a blatant disregard of what they're adapting. Why adapt at all if you're going to change so much? Do we need a black Captain America? Do we need a white Black Panther? Do we need a female hulk? Oh...wait.

The point is, that these characters have been around for decades and have stuck to the same incarnation for the most part, with the exception of Nick Fury (which goes into a whole other rabbit hole of the regular Marvel U and the Ultimates), which is a rare change, but one that fans embraced.

Would Hollywood make a movie about a black George Washington? A white Martin Luther King, Jr.? No, because that would be ridiculous (oh, shit, some exec is getting ideas somewhere now...)

Every now and again it can work (MCD in Daredevil is an example), but making mass changes would be stupid. Fortunately, Marvel realized that, "Hey, these are the characters created back in the '40's who have remained relatively unchanged for 70 plus years and we've been selling comics with that likeness for as long. Why not embrace what we have rather than try to shape and mold it to fit every Tom, Dick, and Harry's movie palate? Let's make OUR superheroes OUR way."

Good stuff. Thanks for the strikeback.
+4
6:06AM on 05/15/2012
Excellent article, I couldn't agree more. And yes, there are definitely other directors that could do Avengers 2 justice, but I 150% want Whedon back. He just GETS it, the same way the fans do.
Excellent article, I couldn't agree more. And yes, there are definitely other directors that could do Avengers 2 justice, but I 150% want Whedon back. He just GETS it, the same way the fans do.
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10:53AM on 05/15/2012
I think hiring Whedon back is the right answer. However, he can be fickle in his choices, which is why I wouldn't count on it 100% I could see him saying "no" which would really suck, but I do have faith in other filmmakers to handle the job. Marvel would just have to be selective, as they always have been, in hiring the right person.

However, I am with you all the way. Joss FTW.
I think hiring Whedon back is the right answer. However, he can be fickle in his choices, which is why I wouldn't count on it 100% I could see him saying "no" which would really suck, but I do have faith in other filmmakers to handle the job. Marvel would just have to be selective, as they always have been, in hiring the right person.

However, I am with you all the way. Joss FTW.
5:59AM on 05/15/2012
This was a solid article and I agree with it, but theres an element of praise that I feel has been overlooked in most of the articles written about the success of THE AVENGERS:

The hiring of the best special effects houses in the business.

Special effects might not be the main ingredient that makes superhero films work, but when the quality of effects work produced is so jaw-dropping and (in most cases) realistic, it's not hard to start differentiating between A and B-quality
This was a solid article and I agree with it, but theres an element of praise that I feel has been overlooked in most of the articles written about the success of THE AVENGERS:

The hiring of the best special effects houses in the business.

Special effects might not be the main ingredient that makes superhero films work, but when the quality of effects work produced is so jaw-dropping and (in most cases) realistic, it's not hard to start differentiating between A and B-quality films.

Take THE INCREDIBLE HULK, for example. Not a perfect film the hiring of Louis Letterier guaranteed a mixed final product but the budget effects work on Hulk by Rhythm & Hues did NOTHING to help elevate the film, or to make Hulk more compelling as a character.

I hope Marvel acknowledges that tightening the purse strings for the next chapter isnt the way to go and that spending money on top-quality effects is an integral part in making a top-quality film.
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10:49AM on 05/15/2012
As with most successful properties, the price tag is bigger for any follow ups and I'm sure The Avengers will be the same. Certainly if they rehire Whedon for the sequel his price will go up. And it should. He's made them one of the most profitable movies of all time.

As for the effects...I couldn't agree more. I was surprised quite often at how good the effects were as I expected to see some "Superman Returns-ish" lazy CGI, but was surprised to not notice any.

You definitely get
As with most successful properties, the price tag is bigger for any follow ups and I'm sure The Avengers will be the same. Certainly if they rehire Whedon for the sequel his price will go up. And it should. He's made them one of the most profitable movies of all time.

As for the effects...I couldn't agree more. I was surprised quite often at how good the effects were as I expected to see some "Superman Returns-ish" lazy CGI, but was surprised to not notice any.

You definitely get what you pay for.
5:43AM on 05/16/2012
Agreed!

Let's hope Marvel takes it even further with THE AVENGERS 2.

God, can you imagine?
Agreed!

Let's hope Marvel takes it even further with THE AVENGERS 2.

God, can you imagine?
5:22AM on 05/15/2012
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I agree completely. "The Avengers" was perfection for me because I can't even name one element that could have been improved further, considering the magnitude and purpose of the film, which is to bring together these superheroes (and their egos) and entertain the audience for 2h 23m. People who say "oh, this movie doesn't have character development" are just missing the point. I do think they have development, because at first they don't like each
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I agree completely. "The Avengers" was perfection for me because I can't even name one element that could have been improved further, considering the magnitude and purpose of the film, which is to bring together these superheroes (and their egos) and entertain the audience for 2h 23m. People who say "oh, this movie doesn't have character development" are just missing the point. I do think they have development, because at first they don't like each other, but after an "unfortunate event" they realize the threat is bigger than what they can handle alone and they come together as a team, and they fight together as team. I loved that. I count that as character development. Besides, each of "The Avengers" had its own movie to be developed. Hawkeye not so much, but in the grand scheme of things, does it even matter? Jeremy Renner did the best he could do, and so did Black Widow (who also didn't have her own movie, just a secondary role in Iron Man 2), but those two were just so interesting and had such great interaction that now I really want their movie to be one of those 2 unannounced Marvel movies.

I count "The Avengers" as the best comic book movie to date, tied with "The Dark Knight". They are different, but equally perfect. One is perfect fun with perfect character banter, the other has this gritty feel in a more realistic world, it's more of a drama and has top-notch performances.

Regarding Joss Whedon, he was the perfect choice. I too was afraid he couldn't handle, so well, this ensemble cast, but he blew my expectations away. He made every character important, even some secondary ones like Agent Coulson (which I wasn't expecting at all to be a sort of catalyst). At the same time, he even fleshed out the villain, who could have just been there to make a stand against SHIELD and The Avengers.
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+5
4:51AM on 05/15/2012
Well, Marvel knows their own property best, so it's not surprising that the films did well. This is the problem with other studios owning the rights to these comic book properties. They are trying to make movies, not comic book movies. So, we get films that try to change things because they don't believe that the comic book stuff will work. I agree. I hope this is a wake up call. Maybe studios like Sony and Fox will realize that people like their comic book films to resemble the comic books and
Well, Marvel knows their own property best, so it's not surprising that the films did well. This is the problem with other studios owning the rights to these comic book properties. They are trying to make movies, not comic book movies. So, we get films that try to change things because they don't believe that the comic book stuff will work. I agree. I hope this is a wake up call. Maybe studios like Sony and Fox will realize that people like their comic book films to resemble the comic books and will just let the films be what they are supposed to be. Then we can avoid more X-men 3 and Spiderman 3 fiascos.
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3:32AM on 05/15/2012
One of the very best articles on this site. Kudos to you Paul Shirey!
One of the very best articles on this site. Kudos to you Paul Shirey!
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2:51AM on 05/15/2012
Say what you want about The Incredible Hulk, to me it was a fantastic movie. It was a lot of fun, Norton was cool as Banner, and the Hulk just shred everything in its path in a very brutal way. I loved it, and it's the reason why I couldn't wait for the Hulk to be unleashed in the Avengers.
Say what you want about The Incredible Hulk, to me it was a fantastic movie. It was a lot of fun, Norton was cool as Banner, and the Hulk just shred everything in its path in a very brutal way. I loved it, and it's the reason why I couldn't wait for the Hulk to be unleashed in the Avengers.
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10:44AM on 05/15/2012
I actually really enjoyed The Incredible Hulk, but it's definitely the dark horse of the bunch leading up to The Avengers.

I thought Norton was great in the role and has more of a "nerd" factor over Mark Ruffalo. It was a shame to see him go.

Ruffalo surprised me, though, and pulled off the role well in The Avengers. That said, I still would've liked to have seen Norton in The Avengers.
I actually really enjoyed The Incredible Hulk, but it's definitely the dark horse of the bunch leading up to The Avengers.

I thought Norton was great in the role and has more of a "nerd" factor over Mark Ruffalo. It was a shame to see him go.

Ruffalo surprised me, though, and pulled off the role well in The Avengers. That said, I still would've liked to have seen Norton in The Avengers.
2:18AM on 05/15/2012
The Avengers and indeed the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe is proof that if a property is treated with care and respect, it can pay dividends.
The Avengers and indeed the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe is proof that if a property is treated with care and respect, it can pay dividends.
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+24
1:53AM on 05/15/2012

The Incredible Hulk

I don't get the hate for this film. The first Hulk was a major let down. I respect Ang Lee for trying something artisitic and different, but at the end of the day Hulk was the wrong hero to try that with. When it comes to dark emotional turmoil, there are many heroes to choose from, probably not best to pick the one who's catchphrase is "Hulk Smash". Louis Leterrier took the Hulk....and let him smash. Sure the character wasn't as funny as he was in The Avengers, but he was angry and violent.
I don't get the hate for this film. The first Hulk was a major let down. I respect Ang Lee for trying something artisitic and different, but at the end of the day Hulk was the wrong hero to try that with. When it comes to dark emotional turmoil, there are many heroes to choose from, probably not best to pick the one who's catchphrase is "Hulk Smash". Louis Leterrier took the Hulk....and let him smash. Sure the character wasn't as funny as he was in The Avengers, but he was angry and violent. Norton did a fine job, William Hurt was on form, Tim Roth was damn evil, Tim Blake Nelson was energetic, there was some good sprinkling of humour there ("don't make me...hungry?") and some great nods to the TV series. The Incredible Hulk is probably one of Leterrier's better crafted movies. Even the action without Hulk (the chase in Brazil) is frantic, exciting and yet still easy to follow. And when The Hulk appeared, regardless of the fact that he was CGI, the smashing still seemed brutal and bone crushing. I think the film gets a bad rep when it's perfectly enjoyable. Not quite the comedy Hulk show that we got in Avengers, but it walks that line between dark, gritty and lonely, and smashy smashy comic book, extremely well.
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1:37AM on 05/15/2012
I'm not going to argue about the comment of being "the best superhero film made to date" because I don't think most people will agree. However, you're right. Studios and DC can learn a lot about how Marvel handled The Avengers and the films that lead up to it. I will admit, I was initially skeptical about the whole thing, I thought Whedon was a bad choice, but I was surprised. Now, all the cards are on the table and I'm eagerly looking forward to "Phase II" of Marvel's sequels and new
I'm not going to argue about the comment of being "the best superhero film made to date" because I don't think most people will agree. However, you're right. Studios and DC can learn a lot about how Marvel handled The Avengers and the films that lead up to it. I will admit, I was initially skeptical about the whole thing, I thought Whedon was a bad choice, but I was surprised. Now, all the cards are on the table and I'm eagerly looking forward to "Phase II" of Marvel's sequels and new additions--Dr. Strange and Black Panther, please?
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10:47AM on 05/15/2012
I have never been a Whedon fan until The Avengers. I never cared for Buffy, Angel, or Firefly. Call me crazy. Serenity was "okay" in my book. However, I recognized from the get-go that it would take someone who could handle an ensemble to craft an Avengers film. I had to admit that Whedon would probably do a damn good job, regardless of my opinion of his previous work.

(insert Heath Ledger Joker voice) "And you didn't disappoint."
I have never been a Whedon fan until The Avengers. I never cared for Buffy, Angel, or Firefly. Call me crazy. Serenity was "okay" in my book. However, I recognized from the get-go that it would take someone who could handle an ensemble to craft an Avengers film. I had to admit that Whedon would probably do a damn good job, regardless of my opinion of his previous work.

(insert Heath Ledger Joker voice) "And you didn't disappoint."
1:27AM on 05/15/2012
I don't care what skin color a marvel/comic book character was in the comics, the race of a character means nothing. Michael Clarke Duncan was an awesome Kingpin in Daredevil. But The Avengers did rock too, of course.
I don't care what skin color a marvel/comic book character was in the comics, the race of a character means nothing. Michael Clarke Duncan was an awesome Kingpin in Daredevil. But The Avengers did rock too, of course.
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1:25AM on 05/15/2012
"the best superhero film made to date" Hell yes. I do NOT agree with the "not perfect" sentence, however. I can't think of any way to have made this film better. That's perfection in my eyes.

Whedon is signed and will be back for Avengers 2.

"the best superhero film made to date" Hell yes. I do NOT agree with the "not perfect" sentence, however. I can't think of any way to have made this film better. That's perfection in my eyes.

Whedon is signed and will be back for Avengers 2.

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1:18AM on 05/15/2012
Great article. I agree with pretty much everything you said. Marvel Studios did an outstanding job by introducing each character in their own respective films and bringing them together, much like how comic story lines work. Only part I might have a disagreement with you on is the extra tidbit about possibly bringing in another director for Avengers 2. I see where you're coming from but the saying, "if it aint broke, dont break it" definitely applies in this case.
Great article. I agree with pretty much everything you said. Marvel Studios did an outstanding job by introducing each character in their own respective films and bringing them together, much like how comic story lines work. Only part I might have a disagreement with you on is the extra tidbit about possibly bringing in another director for Avengers 2. I see where you're coming from but the saying, "if it aint broke, dont break it" definitely applies in this case.
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