100 movies: Avengers Assemble

100 movies of 2012

Every year I set myself a target, usually of about 100, of films to watch. These are new films. Not new, new films. But films that are new to me. Any time I’ve seen a new one, I post a bit of a brain dump of my thoughts on the film here. Enjoy!

Avengers AssembleAvengers Assemble (26/04/12)

Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

I’m going to attempt to do a spoiler free mini review of this film, however, I can’t guarantee that the comments will be spoiler free, so you have been warned!

Avengers Assemble the film that a year ago, I wasn’t all that excited about. I was dreading it a little bit. But then I saw Thor. My excitement level crept up. Marginally. Followed by Captain America. The film itself didn’t really make me look forward to Avengers Assemble, but the post credits trailer did. The teaser trailers and full-blown trailers that have followed since have firmly planted me on the ‘Oh my GOD, I’m so excited!’ bandwagon. Attending the European premiere last week only made sure of the fact that I wasn’t leaving the bandwagon.

With hype levels so high, the film could have hopelessly disappointed me. Or lived up to the hype. Guess what? It completely lived up to the hype and I’m still buzzing now from it. Over 12 hours after seeing the film!

It is an epic comic book film because of all the massive characters involved. Bringing them all together and making them work, while not getting lost, was a huge ask of Joss Whedon. That was my biggest fear for the film. The characters, who are great in their standalone films, will just be watered down versions of themselves in this big team up. This couldn’t be further from the case. What was better, was the interactions between them all. Especially the ones we hadn’t seen before. I loved seeing Captain America butt heads with Iron Man. Then seeing Tony Stark and Bruce Banner as lab partners – loved it! I can’t get over how much fun I had watching all the characters interact with each other.

Did I mention this film was bloody hilarious. Not slapstick bad funny. But genuinely laugh out loud funny. And I rarely laugh out loud! This one did the trick. There are some fantastic one liners. Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson has some brilliant moments. The dialogue was sharp! I expect nothing less from Joss Whedon on that side of things. I think I rate him more as a writer than a director.

Of the new Avengers, I really enjoyed Mark Ruffalo’s take on Bruce Banner. He had a bit of Eric Bana’s Bruce in him. And the best thing was, was that the Hulk had a bit of Mark Ruffalo’s face. Hulk had some great moments.

The story isn’t anything totally new. Try and bring a team of ‘misfits’ together. Earth in peril. Your average stuff. But it’s all put together so well here. Yes there are some great set pieces, but they never feel like set pieces. The film flows from beginning to end seamlessly. Sure, the film comes in at a staggering 142 minutes, but it never felt long. It never dragged.

Loved having Loki back. He’s grown in crazy, and looked like Tom Hiddleston had fun playing that. There wasn’t all that development or explanation about The Chitauri. They just seemed to be there to make the final epic battle all the more epic. Worked for me. I didn’t care too much. Spent the whole time rooting for my favourite heroes.

The score disappointed me a little. I couldn’t hear a strong theme. Though, I did recognise Captain America’s theme from his standalone film from last year, whenever Cap was on-screen doing his heroics. It sounded like Alan Silvestri was borrowing a lot of what he did for last year’s Captain America film. Sad. Was hoping for a score I could go home and be desperate to listen to over and over again.

I did end up going to see this in 3D. Why? Too impatient to wait for Friday’s ‘normal’ release. A day made all the difference apparently. I could have lived without the 3D. I still don’t think the tech’s there yet. Though, the 3D here was one of the better ones I’ve seen. Still not a fan.

Desperate to see the film again. There’s a lot going on and I just want another chance to soak it all in on the big screen!

(It looks like I’ve rambled on for a good lot longer than I thought I would. AND I was restraining myself – there’s still so much more I have to say. )
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see all the films watched this year…

Watching the Avengers Assemble

Film

The Avengers Assemble European Premiere

Last night was a very exciting night. It was the European premiere of The Avengers Assemble and it was taking place right around the corner from my office! I’m not joking. I had to walk about 1 minutes from the outside of my office doors. Good huh?

So yes. I took the opportunity to go stake out a place at the premiere. After moving from the pen behind the press pit to the balcony (Which was a very good move.), I stood for what felt like eternity and waited for it all to get going.

It was worth it. Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Clark Gregg and Kevin Feige were all there. Fine, I wasn’t close enough to give Chris Hemsworth a hug or blow Robert Downey Jr. a kiss. But it was worth being crushed by very loud Spanish tourists who were using me as their personal elbow tables.

Nabbed plenty of photos. Got the number down to about 120. Here are some of my favourite shots:

120+ Movies: Summer Blockbuster season is here!

120+ Movies of 2011

The InternationalThe International (23/04/11)

An Interpol agent attempts to expose a high-profile financial institution’s role in an international arms dealing ring.

What have I learnt from watching this film? The world’s banks are lethal corporate machines and rule the world with an iron fist. Or something like that. What else have I learnt? The subject of banks don’t necessarily make for an interesting thriller. I got lost in a lot of the details.

Plotting was pretty slow. I admit I did get very bored and woke up somewhat just as the excellent scene at the Guggenheim museum played out. Loved that scene and the use of the structure of the museum was brilliant.

Can’t remember the outcome of the film, but by the end I didn’t care too much. None too thrilling characters and heavy dialog meant I got lost along the way!
Rating: 2/5

ThorThor (25/04/11)

The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

The first time I saw the trailer for the film I was a little scared. It looked like it could be a major car crash of a comic book film and not at all paving the way for The Avengers film. The look of Asgard looked so absolutely over the top. I couldn’t imagine that playing alongside the very normal Earthbound scenes.

The film was anything but a car crash. It was brilliant! Loved it. Chris Hemsworth made a fantastic Thor. Going from an arrogant, cock-sure god to a much more human god. Asgard looked absolutely stunning as did all the very elaborate Asgard-ian outfits. Great storyline – simple but there was no need for it to be any more complicated for the sake of it. Loved the cameo from a certain Avenger and the post-credits scene just made me excited about The Avengers movie.

Natalie Portman didn’t have a whole lot to do. Shame, but that’s what the role called for. All of the attention was firmly on Thor and his journey. As an origin film for a comic book character, that’s what the film needed to be.

Having the film in 3D is utterly pointless. Some of the action sequences were so frenetic that it all looked like a blur in 3D. Though that’s more the studio and marketing people’s insistence on making films 3D when there’s absolutely no need for it.

I think the bar has been raised very high for the rest of the comic book movies that are due to be released this year. It also has bonus points from me for using Foo Fighters.
Rating: 5/5

Fast & Furious 5: Rio HeistFast & Furious 5: Rio Heist (28/04/11)

Dominic and his crew find themselves on the wrong side of the law once again as they try to switch lanes between a ruthless drug lord and a relentless federal agent.

This film doesn’t claim to be anything other than what it is – a balls out ridiculously large action film with some of the most beautiful cars seen onscreen since Gone in 60 Seconds. And for that I absolutely loved it.

The plot’s simple, even with a couple of hiccups along the way, the film goes from A to B with few deviations from the course. You’ve got some fantastic action sequences set in the favelas of Rio. Those really were fantastic to watch. I think I caught a little bit of CG when Brian and Mia went crashing through a rusted roof – they suddenly looked very plastic-y! Other than that, the action sequences looked refreshingly real – something a lot of action films lack these days.

Same with the car chase sequences. All were done with real cars and some skilled stunt drivers. That’s another reason to applause the film. I still think my favourite car chase sequence of all time is shared between Ronin, The Bourne Identity and Supremacy. However the final car chase with the bank vault was so ridiculously audacious and just plain massive, it’s got a special place on my favourite car chase list.

The car themselves? Can I just say wow? The 2002 Porsche GT3, 1966 Ford GT40, Koenigsegg CCX, 1972 Nissan Skyline, I could go on! Too many pretty cars for me to list them all, but those are my favourites. I think. The list is sure to change the next time I see the film, when I buy it on blu-ray!

Brian Tyler’s back with the scoring duties and he’s pulled it off again. Fantastic action movie score to add that little bit more to the film. It’s hard not to love it.

Fast & Furious wasn’t a movie franchise I thought I’d be a fan of. I just ignore films 2 and 3 in the franchise. 1 and 4 were fantastic films and Rio Heist is a great addition to the franchise.
Rating: 5/5

Read on to see the entire list of movies seen this year so far: