Friday, May 04, 2012

post-AVENGERS crazy talk

I'm just gonna unload about what I loved, was thinking, think now, about the movie (which I wish would never end) and generally scat and ramble about whatever comes to mind in the process, so *SPOILER ALERT!!!*

I *love* Coulson's fate. Everything about it. Not that it *should* be all he's known for, but it *is* Joss, so everyone's game, right? But, it's Marvel, so everyone's gotta make it to the next sequel or cross-over. But, it's Joss, so...

I *knew* that something like that, a horrible/wonderful death, a sacrifice, would happen, but I just didn't see it being Coulson. The math is perfect, of course, but I got swept up in all the awesome and was totally disarmed (which is really not a bad thing - I sometimes wish I could shut off my anticipating movie mind and watch like a 7 year-old (which is the age at which I first saw ALIEN - yeah, my mom's awesome =)) And done so well! Loki, doing his trickster thing and striking in his weaselly way, just when Coulson is at his most courageous and as-always-steadfast-and-subdued. And then, "So, *that's* what it does..."

Brought a tear to my eye.

I *like* the way Fury plays the Captain America trading cards. A hint of the Fury you see in Ultimate Marvel.

I *love* that Stark threw "Life Model Decoy" out there.

I *love* the banter. Each superguy sizing up the other. Setting them up one-against-all, and then in dyads, and in a melee, having the snarky remarks and put downs layer one on top of the other in different combinations... It was kind of musical.

And it only gets better once they've sized each other up and we see the mutual respect. The meeting of the minds in the lab - Tony, Bruce, and Steve - and the follow-up - Tony and Bruce getting the gamma detector up, but also hacking into SHIELD's encrypted whatnot, and Steve busting into the secure storage area on his own - played out wonderfully. Of course, it helped that they had a mutual enemy/challenge - Nick and "Phase 2" development of the Tesseract.

OH! I *love love* Coulson's final words. Or rather, what's left, sadly, unspoken. "They need something to..."

Sadness at the moment. Joy at the storytelling. *sigh*

A flash now - what if Coulson was an LMD? All the time? Or maybe just when he challenges Loki? Nah. I wouldn't put it past Nick, but it detracts from the power of his facing up to Loki and his passing.

I *love* the helicarrier. I honestly just didn't think of it ever sitting in the ocean and then taking off. Just didn't cross my mind. I don't remember if I've seen that in a comic book or not, but seeing it on the big screen was just FUN! And I already knew it was coming of course. There's a lot of goofy fuzzy memories associated w that hunk of junk that just can't stop getting knocked out of the sky. I mean, sure, it's frickin cool, but is a helicarrier PRACTICAL? Eh. Guess you focus on the cool, right?

What goofy fuzzy memories? Well, goofy fuzzy comic book memories. You know what I thought of when that was happening on screen? Godzilla. Yeah, Gozilla, King Of All Monsters. The GODZILLA comic book was where I first encountered S.H.I.E.L.D. and the helicarrier. Might've been my introduction to many of the Marvel superheroes, actually. Thor vs. the big G with the Empire State Building between them! =)

When they cut to the interior of the bridge right after take-off, when we see the giant curved glass windowframe, I thought of Romita, Jr.'s helicarrier from X-MEN, when Rogue takes a silver dollar (or is it a quarter? a Susan B.?) and chucks it, ballistically, thru the carrier's sensors. That was an eye-opening little trick for me when I read it.

Oh, one other goofy fuzzy memory, a reminder of a reminder of one. Seeing the helicarrier in the sky gave me a momentary flash to DOCTOR WHO and U.N.I.T.'s Valiant, which, when I saw it caused me to flash to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s helicarrier. Heh. That's the first time I've noticed that the two acronymtastic organizations have similar tastes in airborne command platforms.

I *love* the first epilogue. I would *never* have guessed that the next Big Bad for the Avengers would be the big T! Perfectly written (if a bit forced) dialogue for it, too. The Chitauri guy is like, "To challenge the humans is to court death." "Court death." That was the gimme, all of three seconds before the actual reveal, heh. Cuz who do we know who looooooooves Death, right? But hey, so... I *sort of* guessed that, tho, right? By the transitive property? Cuz if you've got Captain Marvel, you're gonna have Thanos! Right? Right? =)

But MAN, that is boxing above your weight class, isn't it? I was kind of amazed that this first Avengers movie went with the Chitauri (aka Ultimate Skrulls). Maybe I'm too conservative and cautious in my story-brewing. I mean, we've already been given magic and gods, right? If the audiences buy into that, let's hit them w the aliens right away, right?

But damn. Thanos. That's more like... AVENGERS 4, maybe? I mean, even if they build up to it in bits in IRON MANs and THORs, it'll be a leap to make it happen in A2. MAYbe A3. The Tesseract would be a worthy prize for Thanos if it could be shown to be Cosmic Cubey and reality-altering. But I suppose as "just" a portal-creating tesseract (assuming that teleportation is otherwise highly risky and nigh-impossible), it WOULD be valuable to cross interstellar gulfs and sacrifice billions of souls at a time to Death, right?

But, hey, the Tesseract isn't the only toy in Odin's chest, remember? I do believe the Infinity Gauntlet/Gems were in an Asgardian safety deposit box adjacent to the Casket Of Ancient Winters, or whatever they called it in THOR. But, damn! That is a *LOT* to introduce... I hope they don't rush it. Maybe they could throw a time traveler at the Avengers in a second movie and wait til the third for the Mad Titan. What time traveler, you ask? How about the Maestro? Or maybe Iron Man 2020? Or maybe Kang, who is trying to prevent the Avengers from ever forming, but in a J.J.Abrams-style-STAR TREK story, they *always* form. They are *FATED* to in timeline after timeline...

I *love love love love* the second epilogue! Shwarma! Maybe more than any other scene in the film, this feels like a Joss signature scene. Something that doesn't only develop characters, but brings you closer to them in an unexpected way. A joyful follow-thru. I'm guessing this is the scene that Robert Downey, Jr. boasted they were going to shoot after a press conference or convention panel. I heard today that the second epilogue was not part of the UK cut/release, so wow - they shot it and edited it in for this cut. Sweet and soooo worth it! =)

I *love* the Avengers prime battle in the Black Forest or wherever it was in Germany. Iron Man takes on Thor and Loki watches, amused, from afar. Then Cap steps in and, thanks to the vibranium-adamantium allow that Tony's father developed, and his augmented strength to some degree, he takes a blow from Thor's hammer. The impact of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object creats a shockwave that levels the forest around them. I was sure, in a superhero/action movie cliche model way, that we would see that move again in a crucial moment later in the film. However, I was disappointed and gratified that we did not. Disappointed because I would've been really happy to see it, but gratified because Joss and the film chose to buck the cliche and -I hope!- save the maneuver for the next AVENGERS, or maybe a Cap or Thor flick. Needs a name, a la "Fastball Special," but alas, the only one that springs to mind is "The Gong." Not very cool, but maybe its thuddishness will have an appeal delivered by one of the superheroes in the midst of battle? Hrmm... "Liberty Bell?" Of course, Iron Man could deliver the line/name snarkily and sell it.

I *missed* the significance of the gamma-rad detector alarm going off just when Hawkeye and co. blow Engine Number Three. From Banner's reaction to the readout, he seems to see that there must be a gamma radiation source right on top of the helicarrier, right? Something like, "Oh sh---!" And then Hawkeye's boom arrow blows. I was thinking that maybe Hawkeye had a device that might emit gamma as a way to induce the Hulk transformation against Banner's will. That would fit right in with Loki's strategy to use the Hulk, right? Loki's amusement at seeing Banner in his lab was a perfect setup for that. Just seeing his smile as he's escorted down that corridor says it all, really.

Loki's spear *seemed* to be responsible for relaying or emitting some Psycho-Man style emotional screw wave, causing all of the Avengers to bump egos and butt heads in its proximity, but that was never spelled out. Is there a logic to that, tho? The spear seems to channel a portion of the Tesseract's power, typically in destructive blasts, and presumably some limited sympathetic teleportation energy, in sync w the Tesseract proper. How does something like that mess with human/demi-god behavior?

Hrmm... Loki does use the spear to "possess" his minions, a la Hawkeye and Solweig. Is the emotional tweaking an extension of that? Was the spear Loki's to begin with (gotta re-watch THOR I guess)? As God of Mischief I'd be willing to grant him the ability to mess with human thoughts and emotions, but we never see him use such an ability in a direct way when it would benefit him.

So, there's no great logic to the spear messing with the Avengers' minds, even tho it certainly looks like that's what's happening.

I kind of like my gamma emitter theory better. Would also help explain how Hulk's first appearance was all about unfocused rage, but his second, Banner-willful one, is more directed.

I *rolled with* the Hulk being able to reign in his chaotic nature to focus on an actual battle. It totally works with the momentum of the film, and offers so many rewards in its execution, but I would have liked more of a set-up for it. An admission from Bruce that when he *chooses* to transform, it makes a difference. Or that Tony's pep talk about how each of their burdens is actually something that saved or saves them, and for something more and greater. A *truly* great comparison in the context of the Marvel movie universe. It reminded me of how I dug ULTIMATE HUMAN (Ultimate Hulk + Ultimate Iron Man) because it demonstrated how Hulk and Iron Man are manifestations of the same or similar pursuits - improving human beings. I honestly can't remember the details of the story now, but I liked that idea.

I *filled in* some stuff on my own in regards to Black Widow, post-Hulk attack. I think in contrast to every other situation she finds herself in, she has the least control of the scenario when facing the Hulk. The wallop he gives her that bounces her off some helicarrier machinery is a true shock to her system. The Hulk is raging at that point, and ready to vaporize her with his next blow, when Thor hits him and sends them both into another sector of the ship. Several minutes later, Fury radios that Hawkeye is heading for some part of the carrier, looking for agents to respond and intercept. We see Widow still in the same place the Hulk left her, closer to catatonic than her usual hyper-aware self. For me, her apparent state tells me that she's dealing with this brutal, horribly mismatched, defeat in a very bad and personal way. I think a lot of it is about control (compare to her intro scene with the three Russian arms dealers) but some may about guilt and what punishment she might think she deserves (the red in her book). In any case, I feel like I had to do some of the lifting to make that work for me. Did anyone else? Or am I reading more than is meant to be there? To really sell it, a couple of cuts to Natasha after Thor tackles Hulk and before she responds to Fury's radio message would've been good.

I still would've liked to have seen some SHIELD dossiers on other potential Avengers recruits. A "Peter Parker," a "Logan," a "Henry Pym."

Did they retcon the creation of the Hulk to make it a failed attempt at recreating the super soldier serum? Is that what the first two movies suggested? Frack. Really can't remember. Blerg.

Didn't love Miss HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER as Maria Hill, but then again, didn't hate her. Made a decent enough foil for Fury. Before she was addressed as Hill, I thought she might've been an Agent 13, Sharon Carter, but that's probably too soon for Cap, right? Maybe she'll get written into that role as Maria Hill, tho. She did seem to take eyebrows-raised notice of Rogers on the bridge, eh?

Allright, enough (otherwise known as way too much) for now. I'm gonna see it again tomorrow. =)

Keep on keepin on~


Jessica said...

Speaking of Peter Parker and the schwarma, I heard rumors that he would be in a cameo. The only thing I could figure out was a shadow in the back of the schwarma kitchen... or maybe Disney cut the cameo after it leaked?

cabinboy said...

I would've LOVED that! Would've been PERFECT if there was a scene of Parker working the schwarma shop in the SPIDER-MAN trailer we got before AVENGERS. =)

Would've been nice to have some more neighborhood type heroes show up during the attack on Manhattan, doing their thing in the background, maybe out of costume? Peter Parker and a blind lawyer getting people out of collapsed buildings or knocking over water towers to put out fires, maybe?

Still. *SO* satisfying seeing a proper team-up come together on the big screen! =)

Check your phone for a little something extra.