I don’t feel the need to jabber on too much about The Avengers. Trust me, it’s that kind of movie that sort of speaks for itself through the heavy duty marketing that has lasted for what seems like FOREVER! It is what it is, a collection of super heroes from the Marvel universe fighting the forces of evil, badness, darkness, whatever requires their special talents. Who has come to the party? The Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Black Widow, and Hawkeye. I have never read any comic books, so remember this while you read on.
The story brings humanity to the brink of destruction at the hands of a distant foe who has taken control of Loki, Thor’s brother (adopted). Loki, our sexy and nicely performed poorly behaved Hiddleston, is a twisted little creep who wants to be famous, powerful, feared, and has decided that all of humanity should be the ones who worship him, fear him, cower at his feet. How do we survive this onslaught of comic book movie trouble?
Dr. Banner brings his smarts and “the other guy” to the shenanigans. I like this Banner, he’s Ruffalo, quality acting with a hint of smart-alleckness. He’s trying not to be the Hulk, but we all know what that means. Along with our beloved roaming Dr. Banner we get the Hawkeye, or just Hawkeye? Yea, Hawkeye, not my favorite Hawkeye from M*A*S*H, of course, but the archer guy. He’s Renner and that’s a very good thing. Renner is intense but bouncy enough to have been converted from a two dimensional guy on a comic book page. Captain America has slept a few decades to make it to the gathering of tough guys, and gal. He’s Evans, formerly Johnny Storm but now being the stern all’round American hero guy, and he does a good job of it. I didn’t like the Human Torch, so now that he’s this other super hero I’m on board. The Black Widow, Johansson behind the slick moves and complex character, is my favorite. Of course I would like the one woman of the group. I’m not sexist, I just have good taste. She’s fearless and bold and strong, and I want her to have her own movie!!! Are you listening Stan Lee!!??
Where were we, oh yea, next we have the god from a distant planet, Thor. He’s Hemsworth, worthy of my new devotion to the man with his massive hammer. I really do like how he remains a certain kind of proper and old school. He doesn’t become filthy with modern idiot language changes or relaxing into a less godly stance. Last but not least we are presented with Iron Man. Downy is what he is, ornery and a smart ass, which works for his duel participation as Tony Stark and the man in the metal suit. Iron Man becomes more advanced each time we see him, which is fun. All in all each character keeps building on who they are, what struggles they deal with, inner turmoils, stuff like that. Thor has the biggest challenge at the moment, since his adopted brother is trying to turn all of humanity into his personal slave race. Our thunder god is ever vigilant to protect Earth because of Queen/Senator Padme, and yet he still keeps a certain sympathetic view of his brother, wanting him to ultimately be good on the inside. I like that approach.
The action is always big and crazy. The special effects are awesome, with a touch now and then of horrible rag-doll syndrome. You know what that is, right? When they make CGI dudes/women who are moving in impossible ways in a fight or other physical sequence look like they have not been given the right body movements and seem more like a rag-doll being tossed around. I don’t like that, but it seems like it has to creep up in most of these movies.
Overall I enjoyed The Avengers very much. I want to go back and watch the movies that lead us to this big event. I look forward to more, even if it seem vulgar to toss that much money at something as trivial as movies….still, it’s good for the soul to be entertained with a rah rah kind of story. It never hurts to feel the urge to protect our little planet and each other.
- The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen Experience – If you have a iPad or a laptop you can watch the movie while concept art and other information appears on the smaller screen. I can’t watch two things at once so I think this is aimed at the folks with short attention spans.
- Marvel One Shot: Item 47 – A cool little short film that should be watched after the main feature. A bank robbing couple use an alien weapon to wreak havoc.
- A Visual Journey – A 10 minute featurette covering the special effects in the film.
- Gag Reel – Marvel have never done a gag reel before, I guarantee you they will from now on.
- Deleted Scenes – Quite a few deleted scenes here. I really like the one that shows a bit of Captain America’s past it could easily have been included in the movie.
- Live To Rise Soundgarden Music Video – Soundgarden doing what they do best.
- Assembling The Ultimate Team – Another 10 minute featurette that interviews the cast members and shows how this all came together.
- Audio Commentary – Joss Whedon does the commentary thing, lots of intricate details on the making of the movie. If you love Joss you will be in heaven listening to this track.
- 3D & 2D Versions Of The Movie
- Digital Copy & Soundtrack Download
Cover Art and Menus: 4/10
The cover is what it is. Busy but amazingly uninteresting. I wouldn’t want this as a poster. The movie has soooo many images that would make a better cover and a great dynamic poster. No one bothered to use them on this cover though. The menu is a slice of live action for each character, enough to be watchable through its loop, but not too much information to ruin the movie.
Audio & Video: by Ascully 10/10
The Avengers comes to Blu-Ray with a bang. The 1080P AVC encoded transfer fills your entire HDTV thanks to the 1.78:1 transfer Disney utilize here. This is as perfect a presentation as you get on Blu-Ray filling the screen with color and fine detail with every frame. If I had any complaints it would be the first half of the movie is quite dark but as soon as we hit the half way point everything becomes less murky and crystal clear.
Also included in the box is the Blu-Ray 3D version of the movie which I tested out on my 3DTV and have to say adds quite a bit to the experience. Not being a huge fan of 3D myself I would usually opt to watch the 2D version but in this case if you have the equipment you should experience the 3D version at least once. At the time of writing the Deluxe 3D set can be had for the same price as the 2D one so you have nothing to lose anyway.
The DTS 7.1 HD Master Audio mix brings The Avengers to life, from the opening moments when Loki appears and your subwoofer comes to life you know you are in for a treat. If you like LFE the movie is literally dripping in it, listen to the scenes near the end as the Hulk jumps up onto the buildings and you will think the Hulk is in the room with you. This is without question a reference audio track that needs to be experienced.
If you need all of the bulks and the jumping and the arrows in a big collection, The Avengers will fit in just right. The price is too high for my taste, so I won’t say buy it during it’s peak marketing campaign. It’s got enough fun and action to be exciting, along with enough good story, acting, dialogue (most of the time) to be satisfying, but not for over 30 bucks. I don’t give a crap if you want to say the 4 discs with multiple versions of the same movie are added value…you are wrong. For just a great evening at the movies rent it, stream it, borrow it:) It’s worth a view whatever way you get it into your movie watching life, as long as it’s not full ticket price.
Overall Score 7.5/10