Mamo #253: Whedon Avenged

THE AVENGERS! Iron Man! Thor! Captain America! The Incredible Hulk! Matt Brown! Matt Price! Not really. But we take the opportunity – having been talking about this film in some form or another in more podcast episodes than any other project in Mamo history – to have a big conversation about everything that Joss Whedon (and Marvel Studios) did right in finally assembling the Avengers… plus, we circle back on Cabin in the Woods, and tie off our previous non-spoiler conversation with some genuine observations about the strengths of the film. Spoiler warning throughout: we heartily recommend seeing BOTH The Avengers and Cabin in the Woods before listening to this show.

To download this episode, use this URL: http://rowthree.com/audio/mamo/mamo253.mp3

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Goon
Guest

this episode made me like the Avengers a bit more. enough I may see it again in theaters now

Goon
Guest

You guys talking about Bond, and about kids approaching this… very solid case. on rewatch I’d try to watch with this is mind and see what happens.

I approached Green Lantern like a kids movie and thus had more fun than most. And I can’t make any good case for that over Avengers,so there you go.

Goon
Guest

I think I’m one of the Mamo listeners that especially appreciates when you get into the movies themself rather than just treading around the business.

Thinking back to that big comic book debate with Kurt. As time goes on I am understanding more and more why Kurt has been so consistently unimpressed and demanding more for their reason to exist, but at heart I’m with Price (and yourself even though you moderated) in principle and episodes like this one bring me back to wanting to just have fun.

And now I need to watch the debate again. For anyone else who is interested:

http://www.rowthree.com/2011/06/03/talk-amongst-yourselves-the-great-comic-book-movie-debate/

Jericho Slim
Guest

I gotta listen to this again and the podcast. I think I’m starting to shift towards Kurt’s point of view.

Matt Gamble
Guest

The problem is Kurt applies it hypocritically, and fractures the argument to fit which ever current “superhero action comic book movie” he doesn’t like.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Hey Gamble. I’m only human. I need exceptions to prove the rule sometimes!

Matt Gamble
Guest

Except you make up your own rules as you go.

Nat Almirall
Guest

To be fair, Kurtford hasn’t really said anything about The Avengers yet, so give the guy a chance to comment — still, I’m all for promoting the stereotype of the Angry Canadian.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Maybe next weekend. I’ll see the film eventually, during the day, with my 9 year old son.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I’ve seen it. I liked it. Lots of fun Whedonisms and Hellmouths and dysfunctional surrogate family brouhahah and hullabaloo on air-craft. I dug all of Whedon’s set-ups and call-backs. Two really really fun cameos.

I dug the echoes of Firefly (including the search-the-sky-camera work in a few places), the Wash-moment from Serenity, I felt the Buffy similarities even though I’ve never actually seen an episode of Buffy (yea that doesn’t make sense, but it’s true), and I found the first hour rather boring (a first hour I should say that I’ve already forgotten most of the details), but when the threads start to come together it did something that is rare, it was a super-heros punching each other action segment that felt like it was still able to develop character in the mix of whip-pans & pixels. Well played, Joss. Well Played.

The kids got endless giggles out of Smash-Hulk at the end and I got to enjoy Mark Ruffalo knock that particular role out of the park. Was happy to see so much Banner in this film.

Question: How ridiculously unnecessary was Hawk-Eye as an Avenger? WTF.

Rick Vance
Guest

The further I get away from seeing the movie the more I realize that what I liked were individual scenes that never really came together to create a working whole. A lot of the characters felt either under used or just bland, the villain seemed to get written out of the story, then replaced, then turned into a punchline(twice).

I liked Mark Ruffalo and his digital alter ego a lot and Tom Hiddleston was good when he was cutting loose but outside of that it was a fun in the moment action movie that will be overtaken and forgotten over the summer.

Goon
Guest

does it feel like The Hunger Games has already been forgotten?

Eh… it happens. Like Dave Grohl says… Done done on to the next one.

Rick Vance
Guest

That one never had a chance because I didn’t want to see it and still haven’t.

Andrew James
Admin

Of course its been forgotten. It wasn’t very good as a film. Right now I’m holding up all summer-y blockbuster action stuff to the standards of Ghost Protocol which I found (almost) endlessly entertaining.

Goon
Guest

Yeah I actually thought of MI4 a few times watching Avengers. That’s still for me the high water mark for recent mainstream action.

I ignored half of whatever Jeremy Renner says in both of them though…

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

“I ignored half of whatever Jeremy Renner says in both of them though…”

Renner is like a Franchise invading virus: MissionImpossible, Marvel, and Bourne – all in the same year!

Jericho Slim
Guest

Funny. I do the MI4 thing as well. I’ve just added Sleepless Night to the equation as well.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Yep! SOOOOO GOOOOOD! Especially from a logistics/geography way of storytelling.

Jericho Slim
Guest

Yeah, I think that was Jay-Z that said on to the next one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM1RChZk1EU

Who’s this Dave Grohl guy?

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

That video was AWESOME. Totally unawares, I was.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

I don’t have any interest anything until “Snow White and the Huntsman” so it will give me a chance to watch Avengers and Cabin In the Woods again.

Meanwhile, it boggles the mind that The Hunger Games came in #3 this past weekend. You guys might say it’s forgotten, but it still has an audience.

That said, I think out of the summer movies that Avengers will be one of the main one that a large number of people will remember. Especially as I’ve seen a renewed interest to go back to the older Marvel Studio movies on DVD/blu-ray as many people who are enjoying Avengers didn’t catch all the individual Marvel movies.

Actually, I just looked up the top tv & movie blu-rays on Amazon.com and #2 Thor, #3 Captain America, #7 Iron Man 2, #9 Iron Man 1, #33 Thor (3 disk version), #34 Captain America (3 disk version), #41 Incredible Hulk. I think Thor & Captain America are partly charting so well and better than Iron Man is not because of how well their characters are portrayed in Avengers but because how few of the Avengers audience got around to seeing those movies.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Welcome to Synergy! Disney wins again!

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Whedon’s Firefly & Serenity were at the bottom of the top 20 blu-ray list, as was his Astonishing X-men in the graphic novels lists! So it’s all good! 🙂

Sean Patrick Kelly
Guest

From what I read, Ruffalo actually wore a motion capture suit and did all The Hulk’s actions himself (a first for film adaptations of the character)

Matt Gamble
Guest

Which I think was a huge improvement on the Hulk version of the character. It felt far more like an actual organic character than a cartoon running around in a live action film.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Amen, Matty Price (On Marvel): “An increasing limitation on the Marvel Universe and these films. They are not consequential. They do not actually matter. […] They don’t escape into something larger. There is a candy coated quality … ”

The crux of my indifference to this franchise.

Jericho Slim
Guest

Matt/Matt,

Though I love your podcast (I really do), I pretty much disagree with a lot of your thoughts on the Avengers. At least what I think your thoughts are, I could be interpreting you wrong. So here’s my thoughts/opinions:

SPOILERS

1. You, along with a lot of people, have praised the structure of this movie, to which I say: It’s the only way the movie could have been structured. Before the screenwriter even started, here’s the things that were predetermined:
a) the main bad guy – Loki;
b) the mcguffin – the tesseract;
c) the motivating incident – Loki would steal the tesseract;
d) the good guys would be recruited by Fury and be dysfunctional at first;
e) the personality and character traits of the good guys;
f) the nature of the disagreements between the good guys;
g) the helicarrier as an action setpiece;
h) New York (or some other big city) as the final setpiece
i) aliens as bad guys (since loki is alien)
j) “large scale” bad guy(s) for Thor/Hulk/Iron Man to fight in the final setpiece (non humanoid – too close to transformers)
k) small humanoid bad guys for Widow, Captain America, and Hawkeye to fight:

I could go on and on.

2. Given number one, the only way that this movie can distinguish itself, in my opinion, is not in structure or broad strokes, but in the particulars: scenes, dialogue, humor. So my enjoyment of the movie comes down to appreciation of this smaller scale execution. (I didn’t think the movie was good at all until the third act, which was executed very well.)

3. You guys thought it was smart that Iron Man was the hero. Of course he was the hero, he’s the biggest property with the biggest star. That’s just simple math. The nature of his disagreement with Cap was unavoidable.

4. The Hulk worked because, like any monster, the less of him you see, the better. His arc was also unavoidable, from where he was recruited, to the gamma ray reason for joining, to his role in the final battle.

5. I’m not saying that this movie plot is badly written or lazy – it’s not. It’s just inevitable. Most of it was set in stone. There’s a ceiling to a movie like this, and the Avengers definitely brushed up against that ceiling.

6. The last act was very well executed and excellently directed, but I think we sometimes go overboard in giving props to directors for these types of scenes (Michael Bay). A competent director with unlimited resources and unlimited manpower should be able to make a good set piece with action that we can understand.

7. I need to get a life. This post is way too long.

Andrew James
Admin

I’d have to disagree somewhat as well. Sure, some of the plot beats maybe were inevitable and even demanded. But that doesn’t change how well it was executed. Under a lesser talented hand, this whole story could’ve gotten easily out of control and messy. The way each character is given almost exactly the same amount of screen time (outside of maybe Hulk) and each one is just as important as the next had to be a difficult line to tread and piece together.

I appreciate your effort here Jericho, but don’t you think your plot outline above could be given to almost any action film? But here, instead of one hero and one (or more) villains, you’ve got 6 or 7 heroes that all need to share screen time. I think that’s the structure that had to be delicately handled.

It could’ve been all over the place but it wasn’t. It was easy to follow and no character to me seemed to overshadow any of the others.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Hero-itis (Batman & Robin (and Batgirl) anyone?) has always been a problem in CBMs, almost as much as Villain-itis (See also, Bane & Poison Ivy and Dr. Freeze!)

So the praise for not falling into the usually traps of this is pretty valid, c’est non?

Matthew Fabb
Guest

CBMs? Since I see you are a fan of Scott Pilgrim, why not refer to them as SHM, Super-Hero Movies. As from Scott Pilgrim to Ghost World to American Splendor to Road to Perdition, there are a lot of CBMs that have nothing to do with the superhero movies that we are talking about.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

I get your point to some degree (I even mentioned the inevitability of some plot and character elements in a comment above), but putting so many different things together and balancing them together so perfectly – in terms of pacing, tone, screen time, flow, micro and macro moments, etc. – that is still totally up in the air no matter whether your plot and character elements are set in stone or not. That’s like saying no adaptation from anything can be praised for its structure because so many elements are brought over from the source, but that’s a gross oversimplification.

Jericho Slim
Guest

I take your point, Jandy.

I would just say that everything before the last act was par for the course.

I don’t find it amazing that cap and iron man argued about what it means to be a real hero as opposed to a billionaire playboy. That’s what Iron Man has always been about, no? I don’t think its genius that the movie treats the Avengers like a dysfunctional family. How else would you approach it? That’s how the Avengers have always been approached, at least in modern comic books.

That is not to say that the movie did a bad job, it did what it had to do, what it had no choice but do. It checked the boxes. I don’t think the dialogue or the scenes in the first two acts were particularly funny or well-done. Meh

And you’re right, every adaptation takes skill. I just am not going to give as much credit for an adaptation – unless they pull a Kubrick – as I will for an original property.

All that being said, I still gave the film a 4/5 because that last act was excellent. And I still think that this Avengers movie was probably about as good as it could have been.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

I wouldn’t say it’s “genius,” either. I would say that the dialogue throughout and the way the character interactions are handled are extremely organic to the point that the film doesn’t feel rote even as it plays out the inevitable elements. Sure, there’s nothing particularly unexpected, but it flows along so well that it doesn’t feel tired. But you’re not saying that it’s not well-crafted – you’re saying that it is, just that it didn’t offer you many surprises. Fair enough, but when people say it’s “amazing” I don’t think they mean that these kinds of plot elements are completely unexpected and novel, but that Whedon put together the essential plot elements exceedingly well. Many other writer/directors could take the same exact elements and make an incredibly clunky, confusing, unbalanced, and dull movie.

To turn it the other way, would you have wanted them NOT to tick those boxes? Wouldn’t it have felt more out of place and jarring to have had Iron Man and Cap NOT clash, or for Tony and Bruce NOT to geek out over sciencey stuff? To me, being able to work within the kind of restraints that a film like this poses and still come up with something that feels as fresh and fun as The Avengers is pretty praise-worthy.

Jericho Slim
Guest

Well, we agree on the genius part, that’s good.

But I guess we have an honest difference of opinion on the first two acts. They were well-crafted in that they weren’t horrible. But I found them dull and unfunny – especially Stark’s dialogue. They gave him all these one-liners, and none of them hit for me. I thought the action scene on the heli-carrier was dull as well.

The third act checked the boxes, too, but it was good. Good action and funny – the Hulk/Thor gag was funny, the Hulk/Loki gag was funny, the Captain America line “hulk, ____!” was a great callback to the comics, and the long take was incredible. Even the Hulk saving Iron Man that we saw in the previews was good because of the context.

Basically the Hulk was awesome. Though it would have been way cooler if Thor had turned him into the Hulk by hitting him with lightning. Then the later gag would have been even funnier.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

The only part I thought was on the dull side was the opening part at SHIELD. For me, once the Avengers started getting together, it all worked like gangbusters. I do have a definitely bias toward Whedon-esque dialogue and timing, though.

So yeah, just a difference of opinion on that, fair enough.

Jericho Slim
Guest

no hard feelings, then 😉

Matt Gamble
Guest

The fact that the Avengers haven’t always been treated like a dysfunctional family kind of ruins your point that it is the only way you can treat the characters.

Jericho Slim
Guest

C’mon, Matt. You know as well as I do that its been the case for a long time.

They have been that way since at least 1990, including the West Coast Avengers (Vision, Wanda, etc.) and all of the incarnations since then in every medium.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Sure, but you’re claiming it is the only way to do it, and that simply isn’t the case. Their are countless ways they could have screwed up the setup (anyone who has read Marvel or DC through the years can list off countless examples) and the fact they didn’t is a testament to the skills of Whedon and his ability to tie everything together.

Making a functioning, well paced massive budget action movie with 6 leads all bankrolled by a damn near Fascist company (when it comes to creative control) is really fucking hard. Hard on a scale I can barely fathom.

Then toss in that they’ve been working on this for almost a decade and employing multiple creative forces who could ruin the entire thing at any time and that Whedon (and Marvel) was able to pull it off so damn well is a testament to the craftsmanship employed throughout the film.

So yeah, maybe it was a fat pitch that was thrown to Whedon, I can go with that, but he still had to hit and hit it well enough to get it out of the park, and their are plenty of people that could have failed on one or both of those aspects.

And if that rant isn’t enough I’ll just follow up that anyone who claims its easy to check boxes has never heard of a hanging chad.

Jericho Slim
Guest

Perfect analogy, Matt.(but he fouled off the first two pitches)

and my chad is hanging just fine, thank you.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

OT to Matt – If I wanted to get into reading Marvel comics, any suggestions on where to start? I’ve tried a few current ones (so far I’ve found the current Brubaker runs of Captain America and Winter Soldier the easiest to get into), but it’s a bit overwhelming. Like, there are something like 27 different Avengers comics running NOW. (Slight exaggeration.) And beyond that, of the 150 gazillion collections, where would be a good place to start? Leaving aside Spiderman/FF/X-Men for now – I’m interested in finding out more about the crew in The Avengers movie.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

You said no X-men, but if you liked Whedon’s Avengers, why not try Whedon’s Astonishing X-men? It’s 25 issues (or 3 trades) and completely self-contained. Although there are some references to Chris Claremont’s classic run on X-men many years ago, you can understand without reading those older comics.

Also once again not Avengers, but Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan (he was one of the writers on LOST for a few seasons), who eventually leaves and Whedon takes over for a bit, is also incredible. It’s about a bunch of super-powered teenagers on the run from their super-powered and evil parents. Eventually Terry Moore takes over the series after Whedon and despite being a big fan of Moore’s Strangers In Paradise, I never got around to seeing how successful he was at it, but I’ve heard mixed reviews.

A lot of what Marvel & DC does this days are these big giant events where everything is attached and you have to collect a good part of the 150 gazillion collections to figure out what is going on. Perhaps Matthew Brown can point you in the right direction with what is going on now, because I only wade in for a collection of an occasional stand out title.

Outside of comics, the animated 2 Ultimate Avengers straight-to-DVD are pretty good.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Oh God, I don’t know if I’d ever recommend someone get into reading Marvel comics. I’ve had pretty much a love/hate relationship with them for 30 years now. Yeah they’ve done some great stuff, but sometimes you have to wade through years of horseshit to get to it.

That being said: Strazynski’s run on Thor is pretty much a must, as his run was the backbone for much of the film.

Demon in a Bottle is the main Iron Man storyline most people would recommend though Doomquest is pretty damn good too.

Operation: Rebirth is a pretty fun recent run on Captain America that should be fairly easy to track down. Cap’s books tend to be pretty bad though, outside of his early stuff.

Anything Peter David wrote for the Hulk is worth a read. While his movies have been pretty crappy, hulk probably has the strongest comics run out of any of the Avengers.

Most of Hawkeye’s best stuff is in either the Avengers or West Coast Avengers.

Black Widow doesn’t have much since she hasn’t had much of a solo run. Their is a pretty interesting one-off with her in Uncanny X-Men that talks about how she’s about 90 years old and fought in WWII and has known Wolverine and Captain America since that time.

Under Seige is one of my favorite Avenger’s runs. I could see that storyline being the focus of an eventual Avenger’s movie, especially once people really get invested in the characters.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

Thanks, guys, I’ll look for those.

Matthew, I do definitely plan to get Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men run. I’m glad to know it’s self-contained; I wasn’t sure if it was, or how long a run it was. It’s not that I’m not into X-Men, it’s just that I know where I’m starting with that – Whedon’s run, and Ultimate X-Men because my husband has the first collection. 🙂 Ditto with Spider-Man – we’ve got the first five Ultimate Spider-Man collections, so I’m set on that for a while.

Matt, yeah, I know. 🙂 I’ve been getting into DC a good bit and some other smaller publishers and kind of want to find out what’s going on with Marvel, too, if only for gaining competence in the field. When I get into something, I kind of have a need to learn about all aspects of it for a while until I feel like I’ve got a good grip on it. I’m glad to hear Hulk has a lot of good comic runs – despite his lack of movie success, I find the character pretty fascinating, so I’ll probably seek out some of those.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

Ooh, hang on. Brian K. Vaughan as in Y: The Last Man Brian K. Vaughan? I loved that series. I’ll definitely have to check out Runaways, then. I’m reading his current one Saga, but I’m not totally sold on it yet.

Matt Gamble
Guest

You should read Pride of Baghdad, Jandy. It might be my favorite Vaughn book.

A couple other books you should track down once you’ve read more Marvel and DC books are The Authority and Planetary. The Authority is basically a hard R version of a pseudo-Justice League that is simply fantastic while Planetary is probably one of the best superhero comics ever written. It plays with pretty much every pop culture icon in existence and ties them all into DC and Marvel universes in a truly brilliant and mind-bending way. I mean, not many comics or pop culture references are going to base themselves on advanced mathematical theories like the Monster Group.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Also one other recommendation…
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS

If you want to see why some fans were freaking out at the reveal of the major villain during the middle of the credits, go read the Infinity Gauntlet. I loved that series as kid, but I haven’t re-read it and have no idea how it stands out now. However, if you want to see where Marvel is going with likely Avengers 2 that is what you should look at.

The character by the way, is Thanos and it wasn’t Marvel’s idea to put him in there but Whedon’s. Apparently one of Whedon’s favorite Avengers stories as a kid involved Thanos. Which gets me thinking that Whedon would love to do Avengers 2 if they use Thanos.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

I second Mr. Gamble’s recommendation on The Authority and Planetary. Both those series totally knock it out of the park.

Yup, Brian K. Vaughan is from Y: The Last Man and he’s also done Ex Machina, described as the West Wing meets superheroes. It’s a great series, even if he in my opinion fumbles the ending.

Also going back to Mr. Gamble’s first round of recommendations, Peter David is a great writer and run on the Hulk is considered one of the classic Marvel runs. However, looking it up in wikipedia I see that he was on the series for 12 years. However, I see that Marvel has been collecting Peter David’s run in a series of “Marvel Visionaries” collections.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Hehe. This from Drew (McWeeney?) over at Deadline:

Andrew Stanton is the happiest dude in Burbank ’cause The Avengers just bailed Disney out of the John Carter debacle with one knockout punch this weekend. Joss Whedon should be expecting a gift from Stanton et al.

Marcus
Guest

I think the real issue is the rowthree community has forget how to have Fun.

Jonathan
Admin

Third rowers are a fickle bunch, but don’t let it scare you off. All movie goers are. I will see The Avengers eventually just so I’m not culturally irrelevant (although I have yet to see Thor or Captain America and probably won’t), but it is pretty cool as a teacher when my 12th grade boys came in Friday to school, looking exhausted, telling me they went to the midnight showing and “it was totally worth it.” It can get a person all caught up in the hype. I just might wait for the DVD. Or the dollar theater. Which is probably stupid for a movie like this.

Rot
Guest

Like a bar full of Begbies and someone just tossed a mug.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

I like this analogy, and shall steal it in the future!

Andrew James
Admin

???! I had tons of fun at Avengers! Doesn’t mean I can’t criticize and praise various aspects of it.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

Most of us liked it a lot, I think. It’s just a question of which parts, and to what degree. Even those like Jericho who are pointing out things they didn’t like are rating it 4/5 stars, which is not too shabby. 🙂

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Hardly. Went to bat for MIRROR, MIRROR and LOCKOUT two movies that are fun first, everything else, second.

Matt Gamble
Guest

Yeah, Lockout doesn’t check boxes at all!

Oh wait….

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Kinda the point of LOCKOUT, same way as Doomsday or Austin Powers or Kill Bill was hitting bases in its sandbox, I also don’t for a lick take anything happening in Lockout seriously, it’s a different form of entertainment than this SHCBMs from Marvel.

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

Why do you take the Marvel movies more seriously than Lockout? I haven’t seen Lockout, but there’s not much seriousness in The Avengers.

(But I will give you that this is exactly my argument with Avatar – it seemed to demand a seriousness that I didn’t feel it deserved. The Marvel movies don’t feel that way to me, but I guess they do to you.)

Matt Gamble
Guest

Lockout without a doubt is taking itself very seriously, even with its veneer of hipster ironic detachment.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Info about the first post-credits stinger, which the Matt & Matt had credited Kevin Feige (I thought so too) but is apparently all Whedon’s idea (obviously big spoilers in the text):
http://www.slashfilm.com/exclusive-joss-whedon-kevin-feige-explain-origin-the-avengers-post-script/

The fact that Whedon sets up this favorite villain and is one of his favorites from one of his favorite Avengers storylines, makes me think that he will sign on for Avengers 2 and continue to be heavily involved in what Wikipedia refers to as the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”.

Bobby
Guest

Now I’m sure everybody has great/salient points to add to the film and I just wanted to throw in my two-cent worth of observations:

Using a quick Ctrl+F for “Buffy” came up with zero (thankfully) so fortunately I won’t be repeating anybody.

But I’m astonished with all the rabid Buffy fans that nobody noticed the various Buffy callbacks (either intentional or non and with Joss, you never know). Namely how the Shield HQ in the beginning resembled the end of Sunnydale or when Black Widow busted up that chair and from what I could tell, hopped up holding a stake. Let’s not forget how Joss used alien armies to raise the tension in both finales of Avengers and Buffy Season 8.

Bring on my third viewing!

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

I did definitely think of Sunnydale at the end of the SHIELD section. But then I got distracted by everything else and forgot. Great catch!

Mike C
Guest

Massive, surprised respect for what Whedon was able to do with the Avengers (and much less for what he co-managed to do with Cabin in the Woods). Talk about a gamble: submarining the visual punch of the first 2/3rds of your flick in order to make the last 1/3rd pop is some kooky chutzpah

Kurt
Guest

AGREED, sir. Agreed.

rot
Guest

Row Three community start looking at the man in the mirror

http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-common-movie-arguments-that-are-always-wrong/

So true.

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

No reason to be a killjoy, Rot. We love our little circular bouts of strum und drang here in the 3rd row. It’s what spins out of the usually bitchy-moany grooves that are interesting, not the well-worn track marks.

Am I making sense here? I am not sure….

rot
Guest

I don’t expect people to discipline their opinions, I just found it funny how easy it is the generalize common lame arguments that keep cropping up.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

I wonder what Warner Brother execs who kicked Whedon off of Wonder Woman are thinking (if they are still at WB). Are they still thinking they made the right call?

Or do they wish they had let Whedon do his Wonder Woman movie, possibly helped out with Green Lantern and helped get a Justice League movie off the ground? Whedon had even pitched to do Batman Begins before they gave it to Chris Nolan, so Whedon was quite close to being involved in with DC movies, if they hadn’t pushed him away.

Jericho Slim
Guest

So if Whedon had done Green Lantern it woud have been a smash hit? Just like Serenity?

People are always ragging on Green Lantern, but isn’t it painfully obvious that it is a patently difficult character to bring to live-action? He’s a third tier character with a patently ridiculous power and little blue men on a foreign planet as his benefactors.

Everybody acts as if the failure of Green Lantern financially is a failure of its script or director, while we all know that there have been a lot of horribly written and directed blockbusters. And there have been a lot of great movies that have been flops.

Kurt
Guest

Still think they should have really went and just made Green Lantern a police procedural noir-fi and see how that would have turned out

Jericho Slim
Guest

I would have liked to see Herzog go Bad Lieutenant on the mofo.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Perhaps keep Green Lantern on earth and go cosmic in a sequel. Something to keep the series a bit more grounded before going off into space.

Whedon helping doesn’t mean it would be a hit, but it’s obvious that DC could use some help from someone to manage things. Based on Avengers and his run on Astonishing X-men, I think he could have helped.

Gomez
Guest
Matthew Fabb
Guest

Interesting to hear about the solid numbers on Doctor Horrible. A budget of $200,000 with Whedon calling in a lot of favors and people working pro-bono. With it a success and being able to pay people it cost Whedon $450,000 and it ended up making over $3 million and is still bringing in money.

I guess it’s these kind of numbers that has Whedon wanting to take his Avengers paycheck and make Wastelanders and other personal projects.

Matthew Fabb
Guest

Kurt “I’m wondering if, like a major TV show hitting its big-screen movie, the post-Avengers Marvel movie output will begin a slow decline; I was trying to make that point in the debate last year (above link). (In all fairness, a $200M opening weekend is going to be tough to beat for any property.)

Can I call the AVENGERS ‘peak-SHCBM’ (analogous to peak-oil)? I just did.” (Edited to change CBM to SHCBM, which Kurt started using)

I think creatively and financially Marvel won’t begin to decline. There’s a lot of good stories going forward to draw on and as long as they keep the right directors and writers the future Marvel Studio movies have great potential. Also I think the Marvel Cinematic Universal as Wikipedia calls it has gained more fans, so that I think their future movies as long as the quality holds could make more than their originals.

Plus originally the Hulk seemed dead in the water as far as more movies went, perhaps going the tv route, yet now a lot of people want a new Hulk movie with Ruffalo.

I’m not sure if Avengers 2 will be able to pass the heights of Avengers 1 financially, but if they manage to make one as good, I think it has potential to do just as well. Certainly the character they want to use sounds like it could be exciting.

rot
Guest

Love Jay’s take on Whedon’s pandering in The Avengers equating it to a grade school presentation tossing out mini-chocolate bars to get them on your side. … I am seeing it tonight, just to be social, but I half expect to have the same response to it Jay does.

http://www.filmjunk.com/2012/05/08/film-junk-podcast-episode-367-the-avengers-and-hot-docs-2012/

Jericho Slim
Guest

Yeah, it was an interesting discussion. Jay brought up most of my criticisms.

Rot
Guest

Caught The Avengers and didnt fall asleep so best Marvel movie yet. Love me all that plotting.

Brittany
Guest

Seems like Whedon might have kicked Marvel in the ass a little. It’s nice to hear Feige say their going to start taking “risks”.
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/92515871/

Jericho Slim
Guest

Upon re-watch of Star Trek ’09, I have to say that it is a better ensemble action movie than Avengers in every way. (Except for acting, which is good in both films.) There is literally 15 minutes of downtime at most in the whole movie.

Yes, it has some plot holes and happy coincidence, as every summer blockbuster does, but it is much funnier, tighter, and intelligent (dialogue-wise) than the Avengers, and has real heart and character development.

I think it is the prototype for the modern blockbuster, even more so than M:I 4.

Kurt
Guest

The plot in StarTrek09 is beyond inane and silly however, it’s a killer for that movie is that it has little to say in any Science Fiction way, something the early Trek movies always did.

Red Matter my ass.

But yea the characters were fun, particularly Karl Urban and Zachary Quinto.

The J.J. Abrams method seems to be move things really fast so nobody has any time to stop and think. I prefer the Joss Whedon – which is to say actually tie everything together with thought, character arc and wit – over pure speed so you cannot stop to see how silly everything is.

Jericho Slim
Guest

red matter vs. magic blue cube – I’d have to call that a draw.

I don’t know anything about Whedon’s other scripts, but a lot more thought and character development went into Kirk and Spock than anything in the Avengers – and it’s not even close. And that is with constant action and a few impressive visuals, as opposed to all the downtime and “witty” dialogue in the Avengers.

Hell, you feel more empathy and feeling for Hemsworth in the first 10 minutes of Star Trek than you ever feel for anyone in Avengers.

But, yeah, they are both immensely silly and idiotic blockbusters that have nothing to say.

Cringe
Guest

On the topic of CBMs. Great episode of the Directors Club Podcast on the history of CBMs and The Avengers. Listen
http://directorsclubpodcast.com/post/23039374931/bonusepisodesuperheroes

Matthew Fabb
Guest

LA Times interviews Whedon makeing connections between Avengers and Whedon’s other work:
http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2012/05/15/avengers-joss-whedon-talks-sequel-buffy-and-x-men-parallels/
I’m linking this mainly because of the Bruce Banner & Oz (from Buffy) connection. I’m surprised Buffy fans didn’t make the connection before because Mark Ruffalo’s laid back attitude trying to keep calm the monster within, is pretty dead on to the way Seth Green played Oz trying to keep calm the werewolf. If Oz had grown up to be leading edge scientist like Bruce Banner, minus the Hulk parts you could slip Oz into the Avengers and not change a thing in the script or how Mark Ruffalo played the character.

Whedon didn’t make the connection until someone pointed it out to him, but he also didn’t make the connection between the smugglers on Alien: Resurrection and Firefly until someone pointed it out to him.

Speaking of which from the end of the article:

So which misfit crew is Whedon’s favorite?

“You know, I love all my raggedy children,” he said. “But if I could be anywhere, I’d be on board Serenity.”

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