ChickFlicking – The Avengers Assemble Some Serious Eye Candy! (Nadia Sandhu)

Not a lot can be said about The Avengers that hasn’t already been said.  Joss Whedon’s film has been previewed, reviewed, and even sparked a media feud on the way to a record opening weekend.

Call it Spring Fever, but despite this wall of coverage I did manage to find an angle that required immediate exploration- the bicep to tricep ratio of the world’s heroes.  Drool.  Marvel and Disney’s casting department really hit this one out of the park:

Captain America is like Superman. This is a role that can go horribly, horribly wrong for an actor.  Earnest, upright, brightly costumed- that’s a tough gig these days.  But wow.  Chris Evans is a revelation from the golden sheen of his slicked back hair, to that square jawed resolve… hawt.  This man (and his shoulders) really sold that red, white and blue costume. Consider me a pre-sale for Captain America 2 tickets.

In a rare moment towards the end of the film when Robert Downey Jr. isn’t being smarmy or sarcastic as Tony Stark, one is suddenly reminded that this is one damn fine looking man.  It’s those puppy dog eyes.  Gotta be.

Mark Ruffalo is a nice guy, which can be death on the big screen, but his Bruce Banner manages a geeky chic that is awkward and endearing at the same time.  Kudos Mr. Ruffalo.  It takes a real man to rock those hideous faded cords and hide those broad shoulders under a ratty, oversized jacket.

Jeremy Renner is everywhere.  Literally.  I saw the Hurt Locker and he does play soldier very well, but why is this man in every movie franchise?  Mission Impossible, Bourne and The Avengers in 2012 alone!  Well after a close assessment of his work in The Avengers I believe the answer lies in a combination of piercing blue eyes and some really very nicely proportioned arms.  Shoulder to bicep, those arms will not be denied!

Nicky Fury covers all sins.  I am almost  ready to forgive Samuel L. Jackson for the debacle that was his portrayal of Mace Windu in the regrettable Star Wars Prequels.  Eye patch. Leather jacket.  Swagger.  Case closed.

After suspecting it during Thor, I am inching ever closer to the thesis that Chris Hemsworth equals the New Brad Pitt.  And what Hollywood needs right now is another Brad Pitt. Rawr.  Someone get on that Legends of the Fall remake, STAT!

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The Avengers Review (Matt Hodgson)

Three months in France and 10 days in Italy; I can’t even remember the last time I had an opportunity to see a new release in a movie theatre that wasn’t the victim of a coldly indifferent dub job. Luckily, Rome seems to be a little more conscious of preserving film experience, and this past Thursday I had the opportunity to check out one of the most hyped and successful films of recent memory – The Avengers.

Now being in Europe the theatre experience was a whole different beast than I was accustomed to – in fact I could probably write a review just on Italian theatres! For example, seats were assigned for each ticket holder, and at roughly the middle-point of the film the projector was shut off and the overhead lights unceremoniously turned on to make way for an intermission accompanied by a popcorn vendor trolling down the aisle. But I’m not here to review the Italian cinema experience, rather one of the most enjoyable action blockbusters to come out of Hollywood in a long, long time.

In case you’ve been living in a pre-Y2K underground shelter, The Avengers is the cinematic version of the comic book of the same name. The Avengers is comprised of some of the most popular superheroes in the Marvel universe, and the film version casts similarly popular Hollywood actors in the roles of these heroes: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Evans (Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), and Samuel L. Jackson as Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury.

As a boy and an avid comic book fan I was certainly aware of who The Avengers were, but in the 90’s they hardly seemed like a hot Ticket. The X-men dominated the marvel universe, while the skin-deep coolness of the Image universe was temporarily stealing fans from ‘classic’ superheroes like The Avengers. Since then we have had a plethora of superheroes movies, and despite being a previous comicbook fan, I have to admit that Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ version of Batman was the only one that seemed to resonate with me. This has definitely changed with the release of The Avengers.

Joss Whedon the writer/director of the film has chosen and depicted the perfect subject matter for a superhero film; the fate of the world is threatened by an alien god (Hiddleston), threatening an alien invasion – nothing more, nothing less. The heroes, earth’s only hope for surviving this ordeal, are introduced throughout the beginning of the film, and the issue quickly becomes whether or not these extraordinary individuals can overcome their differences and work together as a team. A simple concept, one that could even work on TV’s ‘The Office’, but when you have a egomaniac-playboy-billionaire with a nearly indestructible suit of armour, a super-soldier from the 40’s, a Norse God, and anger management’s least successful participant, getting along and working as a team seems barely short of infinitely impossible.

The Avengers can be charged with some sloppy dialogue at times, not the fault of the Whedon, but of Jackson and Johansson early on in the film and some of the secondary actors. However, after about 30-40 minutes the script and the actors begin to work wonderfully together and there are some truly hilarious lines and moments, not to mention REAL superhero dialogue. Also, the action sequences will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat, your support firmly behind one of the combatants, but still worried about their fate despite their superhero status. A particular action sequence in the first half of the film with Thor, Ironman, and Captain America is as close as Whedon could have hoped to approach perfection.

Robert Downey Jr. is an absolute scene stealer with his deadpan delivery of comedic dialogue that we’ve become so accustomed to. Also, it may sound strange, but the filmmakers really nailed the appropriateness of the special effects. The effects rarely seem to be too much for the subject matter (an issue that I think many Hollywood movies are struggling with nowadays, studios often blowing viewers away resulting in stimulus overload), that said, the film is still packed with some crazy visuals!

Finally, the reveal at the end of the credits left me wanting to walk out of The Avengers and directly into Avengers 2. Rarely have I been this satisfied with a Hollywood movie. The Avengers is a must see for anyone with a sense of adventure or a desire to meet some of earth’s greatest heroes.

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