We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, April 19. 2013
So, how 'bout a movie review? First, 'The Avengers'. Language warning is in effect for both of these clips.
Like a lot of people, I draw a fairly distinct line between Science Fiction and Science Fantasy when it comes to books and movies. As long as it's somewhat scientifically possible, it's good in my book. Or movie, as the case may be. Throw in a magical cube that can harness the power of the universe (this movie, the two 'Transformer' movies, etc, etc) and you've pretty much lost me. Put another way, some guys are Batman guys, other guys are Superman or Green Lantern guys.
That's just how it is.
As a Batman guy, I've been fairly luke-cool to the rash of superhero movies that have hit the big screen in recent years (read: Hollywood is so out of fresh ideas that it's now making movies of comic books), with the one big exception being 'Thor', which earned its own review.
Each of the superheroes in 'The Avengers' has already had a movie or two, and this is the gang getting together to fight the deadliest foe of all. You know, the guy with the magical universe-harnessing cube.
Meh. See above. It was okay, but when you've got vicious armed aliens pouring through an interdimensional hole in the sky, I think it loses a bit of its charm.
Discount all that, however, and it's a pretty good flick. I wouldn't put it on my Recommended List (see above), but it certainly gets a nod for some excellent special effects and some very witty banter at times, especially when the irrepressible Robert Downey Jr. is around.
The reason I'm doing a review on it is because of two scenes that I thought were really well done and I thought I'd share them with you. Both involve the very pressable Scarlett Johansson.
In the first one, they're speaking a bunch of Russian that's accompanied by on-screen subtitles in the movie. They're talking about a couple of key players and their status in the Russian mob. The head bad guy is so sure of himself that's he blabbing away.
Then the phone rings, spoiling everything.
In the second scene, the Avengers know Loki is going to use one of them as part of his evil plan, but the trick is to find out which one.
Obviously, the answer is to send in the master interrogator.
Again, while being a bit too fantasy-y for my tastes, it has some great bits and the special effects are outstanding. Certainly worth the rental.
We'll continue with 'The Big Bang' below the fold.
'The Big Bang', starring the ever-so-cool Antonio Banderas, takes place in a police interrogation room, with flashbacks as he tells the story. What makes the movie somewhat unique is that the narration is the story he's telling the police, but the pitch and tone alter somewhat during the flashback parts and you get the feeling he's now talking to you, rather than the police. It's a little hard to explain, but this first clip, from the beginning of the movie, is a good example.
I honestly think he's got one of the greatest voices in Hollywood these days. He's got that raspiness down just perfectly. There's absolutely no hint of braggadocio, yet you get the feeling he's tough enough to back up his words. This generation's Clint Eastwood, if you will.
There are also hot babes, Russian bad guys, mad scientists, particle colliders and all the rest, making for a fairly rollicksome adventure. Doc gives both movies 6 up-twinkles, or "3 stars" by the old rating system.
My collection of movie & TV show reviews is here.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
He's a white dwarf gone super-nova.
That's 9 kindsa awesome.
I was about to hit the tip jar again, Doc; but your
"For the rest of time eternal, every time some right-wing blogger spits out his weakass post on the subject, I'm going to be right there with this one to set the truth free."
piqued my interest. Since I rarely find anything you say misguided or objectionable and I freely confess to being pretty conservative in most things, I can't wait to read your coming opus. Standing by with hand on wallet, I am
yr obedt srvnt
I'm sure you'll find it quite revealing. And yes, it is an 'opus', presently sitting around the 3,000-word mark. I'm going to be as thorough as possible on the subject, leaving no stone unturned. This isn't a 'blame game' article; more like a slant that the right-wingers put on something that's completely unjustified -- as I'll demonstrably show. I have it penciled in for Tuesday at this point, and thanks for the interest.
I don't have any interest in super-hero movies, but 'Bang' went right to the top of my Netflix queue. I love "hard-boiled detective" movies more than anything else, and it looks like Banderas is playing a great role.
I just read some stuff on it in the IMDb. Sam Elliott is the mad scientist? With long hair? Sam Elliott playing a longhair is worth the price of admission alone. :-)
BTW: Very pressable, indeed. She looks as good as she ever has.
Doc - I had the exact same reaction you did to "Avengers." Loved the special effects and witty dialogue and thought the whole "alien invasion" thing was completely unnecessary. And Loki's 'vulnerability' was kind of confusing. At times it seemed like nothing short of an atom bomb would stop him, then a big brute like the Hulk turns around and beats his ass into the ground? The whole ending seemed a little 'off'.
Hadn't heard of "The Big Bang", will put it in the queue next time I'm on the site. All of your suggestions are great. I particularly liked "Bunraku".
If someone asked me what's the best movie I've seen in the past few years, I'd be torn between 'Bunraku' and 'Jonah Hex'.
Um... Earth to Merc. Rightwing bloggers can't "hide" anything from anybody. They may not be shouting certain things from the rooftops, but they can't keep them from people, so get a grip. There are 300 million people in this country. If 262 million of them know something, it's not exactly a deep, dark secret.
1. I'm not talking about "hiding", I'm talking about slant.
2. As I said in the post, this great secret is also being kept from you, and you're part of the 300 million.
When you said The Avengers, I immediately thought of Diana Rigg. Kinda dates me I guess.
I don't think you actually need to guess. It just does. :)
She sure was hot, wasn't she? That was a fun show. Never saw the remake, although it might have been better than the terrible reviews it got. I don't trust professional critics worth a shit.
I stopped watching “The Avengers” after the magic anger stick made the heroes fight.
Magic anger sticks...universal power cubes...green hulks that are apparently stronger than universal power cubes...
Maybe that's why it's called Marvel Comics.
Because you marvel at the ridiculous crap they come up with!
Avengers was fantastic. Lotta fun, lotta action. Good mix of personalities. Great lines delivered by the cast.
Whedon didn't hit a home run w/ this, he hit a grand slam.
From a guy who thinks that Rorschach's cliches are interesting and unique, I'm not disappointed by meeting low expectations.