Happy Sunday! This weekend was excellent. Daniel and I went to the Duke Faculty Club pool with his dad this afternoon, so I took the opportunity to do a little swimming and tan, of course. I’m still not used to the fact that there are just more beautiful days here than in Upstate New York. Yesterday we went for a hike at West Pointe on the Eno. It was a real hike that included climbing up rocks and walking on narrow banks next to the river. I probably almost fell into the river at least twice. It was a spectacular day and I did snap a few pictures.
The majority of this post is going to be dedicated to The Avengers. Now, Daniel and I actually saw this movie a few weeks ago, but it’s one that I needed to write about. I personally thought the movie was brilliant. It was scripted and directed by Joss Whedon, who you may know as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think few people realize how much involvement he has also had in the comic book industry, making him extremely qualified to write and direct a film like this. Even if you didn’t know he wrote the script for The Avengers, I think it became pretty obvious throughout the film. He made Tony Stark’s/Iron Man’s character entirely like his character of Xander in Buffy. (This witty character archetype is one that he uses in probably all of his films and t.v. shows, and I believe that in interviews he has claimed it is based off of himself.) And it worked perfectly with the previous film depictions of Iron Man, and matched the comics as well.
I’ve noticed he also likes to build up tension, usually during a monologue of a villain, but that monologue is then cut short by a protagonist beating the crap out of the guy trying to give his speech, followed by the protagonist saying something witty. I feel like that was in every other episode of Buffy, and at least in the Angel pilot, which I happened to have watched recently. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll know to which scene with Loki and The Hulk I am referring. If not…well, WHEN you go see it, you will understand. It was hilarious.
I think some previous movies based on comic books have failed because the writers couldn’t get the pacing right. At least, this is what Daniel always says, and he would know, right? This movie was unique because all of the back-stories of the members of The Avengers had already been established in four previous films, respectively: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger. Whedon didn’t need to waste any time establishing the characters, but could jump right in to the assembly of the group. And, like I said, he’s a comic book writer, so he just gets it. The script sounded just like a comic book. It was perfect for comic fans like Daniel for that reason, but it was also just really well written, which would appeal to the rest of the population.
Overall, I get why it’s been so successful. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it, but not before you watch the other movies. And be sure to stick around after the credits. It was by far the best movie I’ve seen in a couple of years.