This article is part four of an ongoing feature on my blog, “The Road to the Avengers“, which hopes to convey my thoughts on the current films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, culminating on my thoughts of The Avengers when it is released on Friday, May 4th.
Let me preface this by saying I’ve got no prior attatchment to the character of Thor. I knew he existed before the film, but that’s about the extent of my involvement in the comic book character that is Thor. Thor is a fantastic film, it was a great return to form after Iron Man 2 disappointed fans like myself. After this most recent viewing of Thor, I could not help but feel how I did after seeing it in theaters — it’s a great movie, but it didn’t strike me quite as well as Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk did. I think for this article I will adopt a similar format as I did for Iron Man 2, I believe I was more successful in conveying my thoughts that way:
- What I liked about Thor
- What I liked a bit less about Thor
- The film’s ties to The Avengers
Read more after the jump.
As Friday, May 4th draws nearer, I’m feeling the need to go back and take a look at Marvel Studios’ previous releases. Some may not know that Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), and Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) all take place in the same cinematic universe, dubbed the “Marvel Cinematic Universe”. The culmination of this plan that has been at least 7 years in the making comes on May 4th, in the form of The Avengers (2012). In any event, here’s a little blog programming for the next week or so:
I’ll talk a bit about the successes of the film, how it was received, and how it fared against The Dark Knight back in 2008. Clearly the two movies aim at somewhat different audiences and play to completely different strengths, despite some of the parallels that can be drawn between Batman and Iron Man.
By RottenTomatoes.com standards this is the Marvel Studios film with the least amount of critical acclaim. I’d like to try and delve into why that is, but it may be difficult for me because I enjoy the film a lot and tend to disagree with the consensus on this one.
Iron Man 2 is my least favorite of the five. It’s certainly not a terrible movie, it’s quite palatable and somewhat fun to watch, but it falls far from its predecessor. I’ll talk about why that is, and what I’d do differently, despite the fact that I’m not a professional writer.
I fall in the middle of the spectrum on Thor opinions. With little prior investment into the character and mythos of Thor, I’ll speak of the newcomer’s experience while watching the movie. There were a lot of people that absolutely loved this movie, and there were some that thought it was terrible. I think there’s an interesting discussion to be had about Thor.
Thursday, May 3rd – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
As with all four of the main franchises leading up to the Avengers, they all have their own feel to them. Iron Man’s playboy sensibilities certainly come out in his films, the Incredible Hulk is incredibly brooding, and Thor feels like quite the fish out of water. Captain America’s filmmaking has a very distinct and deliberate feel to it, and I’d like to share my thoughts on why it may be the best personification of a Marvel character on film.
Friday, May 4th – The Avengers (2012)
I don’t quite know what I’ll talk about with this film as I haven’t seen it yet, but by the time you read my article, I’ll probably have seen it twice, so look back here on the 4th or 5th to see my thoughts on The Avengers.
With all of the films, I think it will be interesting to take a look at the groundwork they lay for the Avengers and since this will be my first time watching all of them within close proximity of each other, I’ll be able to quantify my feelings for each and rank them more accurately than I have in the past. As always, feel free to comment, let me know if there’s something specific you’d like me to talk about in the articles. Onward, to the Avengers!
Earlier last year, specifically on February 8th, made a list of my 10 most anticipated movies of 2011. Now I’d like to go back and revisit that list, along with some of the honorable mentions, and a few that weren’t even on my radar, but probably should’ve been. This is not a top 10 movies of the year list, so do not take it as that. I’m not sure that I’ll be making a top 10 of the year list, but if I do, you’ll see it here soon.
Everyone involved in this movie is pretty brilliant, so I think it will be fun at the very least. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost always deliver fun performances and this movie has had a lot of buzz going for it so I’m looking forward to it.
Source Code – April 1st
I haven’t even watched the trailer for this movie. I don’t want to because I don’t want to ruin a single drop of its brilliance. I haven’t included any links because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else, but this is a Duncan Jones movie, and if his feature directorial debut Moon is any indication of how amazing this movie will be than this is high on the list of my most anticipated movies.
Mel Gibson plays a depressed family man who rehabilitates himself through a beaver hand-puppet that he finds. I don’t really care for Mel Gibson, especially after everything that has gone down in the news recently, but this movie will be an interesting topic. The film is directed by and also stars Jodie Foster, a close friend of Gibson’s, and it will be interesting to see what the film does for Gibson’s image and whether or not Gibson will hurt the box office of the film.
Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk are two of my favorite movies, it will be interesting to see if Marvel hits it out of the park again with Thor. Hopefully not laced with the cross-over pollution problems in Iron Man 2, the Thor trailer(s) have gotten me pumped for a character that I originally stayed happily oblivious to. It will be interesting to see how successful Thor is, both critically and financially. If the box office take isn’t so good, I fear what may happen to the Avengers in 2012.
The Tree of Life – May 27th (Apple) *Watch in 1080P*
This film looks gorgeous. Absolutely visually arresting, particularly from the first couple shots in the trailer, but overall. I haven’t seen any of (director) Terrence Malick’s work, but it seems this may be the movie of his to see. Brad Pitt is always a plus, but I’m most intrigued by the imagery and how it will all tie together in the film. (Trailer also available on youtube, but I promise you it’s better in Apple 1080P.)
X-Men: First Class – June 3rd
I’ve always been a huge fan of the X-Men. I watched the cartoon(s) religiously as a kid. However, X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine left a lot to be desired. This period-piece mutant movie was not high on the list if you spoke to me just a few short months ago, but from the images that have been released and some of what director Matthew Vaughn has had to say about his work on the movie, I’m getting somewhat excited for the release of the film. No trailer has been released yet, and I was bummed at the lack of a super bowl tv spot, but there should be something out shortly.
After seeing the tiny spot that was attached to Iron Man 2 this past summer, I couldn’t say my interest was piqued, but I didn’t rule this movie out completely. After watching the super bowl tv spot, I was intrigued. I remember director JJ Abrams saying he wanted an old-school vibe going for this movie, and I can say that watching the spot, I got these eerie vibes of E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and that alone made me interested. Plus JJ Abrams is pretty brilliant so I’m totally in now.
Marvel’s second huge blockbuster of the summer. This movie seemed pretty doomed when production was starting up. They had a little over a year, casting was serviceable at best, and they took a while to find a director, all of this coming in 2010 while the movie’s release was announced back in Spring 2008. Good news came when Joss Whedon was picked up for the Avengers, and decided to do a quick rewrite of the script for Captain America. Then production stills started coming out, and while not everyone was convinced, I started getting amped for the movie. People are hating on the helmet, but I think it looks kind of cool, and after watching the super bowl tv spot this past Sunday, I’m more excited than ever for this movie.
Never had a huge thing for cowboys growing up, in fact the only cowboy thing that I ended up watching was Back to the Future Part 3, which doesn’t even count. However, it seems that director Jon Favreau has done a great job bringing this project to fruition. Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde head up the cast and the trailers have done nothing but made me want to see the movie, so a job well done to them.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – December 21st
David Fincher has been one of my favorite directors since I first laid eyes on Fight Club. On top of that, I’ve heard nothing but great things about the book, so I look forward to reading that before the movie comes out. Rooney Mara did a great job in Fincher’s “The Social Network”, and Daniel Craig is also starring, so I’ve got my fingers on the pulse of this one for the rest of the year.
These are basically movies that I plan on seeing, but aren’t at the forefront of my cinematic mind at the moment.
Hall Pass (February 25th) – The Farrelly Brothers direct Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, et al. in a seemingly ridiculous movie that should be at least some fun.
The Adjustment Bureau (March 4th) – Although my knowledge of Phillip K. Dick’s bibliography is limited, this movie is based on a short story of his, and looks to be essentially another Bourne film, so I’ll go see it.
Take Me Home Tonight (March 4th) – This year’s Hot Tub Time Machine, should be quite entertaining.
Sucker Punch (March 25th) – Visually stunning, should be pretty thrilling, it’s an original script too, so that’s a plus.
Water For Elephants (April 22nd) – I don’t care for Robert Pattinson, but there’s also some Christoph Waltz in here and the trailer was intriguing.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 20th) – I loved the first Pirates and was okay with the second two so I hope this one is a return to form.
Green Lantern (June 17th) – Ryan Reynolds is the man, and the Green Lantern is an awesome character, but this movie has a large potential to fail miserably. I hope that the haters are wrong but I can’t say I disagree with them at the moment.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (July 1st) – I’ve heard good things, but I suppose it would be hard not to after the abysmal second entry into the series. I hope this is a return to form also.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (July 15th) – It’s the last in the series and should be quite action packed. It’ll be sad to see the characters go, but hopefully they’ll get an awesome farewell.
Moneyball (September 23rd) – Written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Brad Pitt, I’m interested.
Real Steel (October 7th) – Starring Hugh Jackman and filmed in Detroit, I’ll definitely take a look.
The Muppets (November 23rd) – Who doesn’t love the Muppets? Plus Jason Segel wrote and is starring, so I’m down.
I hope you enjoyed the list, leave me some comments as to your thoughts!