The event Marvel Studios has been working towards for many years is here: the studio has released The Avengers, in which the various stars of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk unite in the sort of super-team movie that once would have existed only as a fan pipe dream. Well, most of the various stars of those films, as Mark Ruffalo steps in as Bruce Banner and the Hulk, but otherwise we’ve got the roster that Marvel has been building over the past few summers: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, and relative newcomers Jeremy Renner and Cobie Smulders.
Joss Whedon got the job rewriting and directing the film and, I think, managed a neat balance of character and action. Every member of the team gets their due, and the conflict that brews between the rougly-formed team of Avengers and Asgardian trickster Loki culminates in a giant battle sequence that occupies most of the film’s final act. But Whedon & Co. keep the action lively and the staging uncluttered enough that we can see what these heroes are doing as they repel an alien force.
So now that you’ve had a chance to see The Avengers, what did you think? Chime in through the comment section below where, as always for these pieces, spoilers are totally acceptable. Read More »
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It’s the big weekend for Disney, and Pixar director Andrew Stanton, as Stanton’s live-action adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel A Princess of Mars finally hits theaters. John Carter is a film that has been many, many years in development, and finally sees life thanks to Stanton’s interest in the story. Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong and more make up the cast of the film, which follows a Civil War vet (Kitsch) who is transported to Mars, where he meets a smokin’ hot princess (Collins) and is drawn into an alien civil strife.
In our review of the film, Angie praised the loving care devoted to realizing the film’s world, even as she was less than impressed with the overall narrative structure and central character. But enough about our thoughts, and enough about Disney’s marketing of the movie, plans for sequels, or past versions that never came to be. Let’s talk about the John Carter that we have here and now — hit the jump to voice your thoughts on the film, and go into the discussion knowing that spoilers lie ahead. Read More »
If I had to imagine the results of a quick exit poll, I really don’t know how I’d expect responses to Martin Scorsese‘s latest movie, Hugo, to fall. The director’s first ‘family’ film is an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret and, on the surface at least, tells the story of a young boy’s attempt to live in the roof of a train station in ’30s Paris. The boy, Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is trying to repair a curious automaton that is the last relic of his father, and in so doing discovers tales of the earliest days of cinema.
Hugo has a very impressive use of 3D that makes perhaps the best argument yet for the format, and expresses such a love for early cinema that some scenes within may be the most irresistible stuff to parade in front of the eyes of film nerds this season. But it isn’t uniformly as magnificent as some of the best scenes, and it isn’t the sort of family film that audiences are expecting to see. So let us know: what did you think about Hugo? Read More »
After a long promotional runup that included a never-ending string of parody trailers, photo shoots and gleeful audio experiments, The Muppets is finally in theaters. Jason Segel‘s loving ode to Jim Henson‘s puppet troupe combines some winking modern showmanship with a whole lot of love for the Muppets and what they have always represented in pop culture. Because the Muppets mean a lot to many of our readers, it is possible that the film has a difficult standard to live up to.
So the question is: did director James Bobin, co-writers Segel and Nicholas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie, co-stars Amy Adams, Jack Black, Chris Cooper and all the Muppet puppeteers manage to craft a modern Muppet vision that jibes with the classic image of the characters? Tell us what you thought in the comments after the jump. As always, spoilers are fully cleared to go in this discussion. Read More »
Posted on Friday, September 9th, 2011 by David Chen
There really is nothing like a sprawling film covering a complex topic directed by Steven Soderbergh. Soderbergh’s Contagion hits theaters today boasting a cavalcade of big film stars, all trying to make sense of a world being torn apart by an infectious virus.
So with the insane amounts of talent behind it, does the film live up to its promise? Does it measure up to that other Soderbergh epic, Traffic? And most importantly, does Gwyneth Paltrow make it out of the film okay? Hit the jump for some of my thoughts and feel free to share your own in the comments. Assume SPOILERS lie after the jump and in the comments.
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The success of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 is already a foregone conclusion; the film grossed over $40 million from midnight showings alone last night, an amount most films are lucky to take in over an entire opening weekend. But does David Yates’ final entry in the franchise make for a satisfying conclusion to one of the most critically and financially successful film series of all time?
/Film’s Germain Lussier seems to think so, and so do the vast majority of the film critics. But what did you think? Were the battle sequences suitably epic? Did the decision to split the last book into two films make sense? Share your thoughts in the comments and assume SPOILERS lie after the jump.
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It’s been a couple of years since Michael Bay unleashed his last filmic atrocity upon us in the form of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. An overlong, numbing, and mildly racist abomination, Revenge of the Fallen nonetheless went on to make one quadrillion dollars at the worldwide box office during its theatrical release.
I was pretty certain that we’d never ever get a good film out of Bay again, and certainly not very hopeful for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which hits theaters this week. After all, when audiences not only accept your complete creative failure, but financially reward it generously, it probably doesn’t inspire much desire to change your style. Amazingly, Bay actually ended up acknowledging some of that film’s shortcomings, and early buzz from the film was fairly positive.
So, is Transformers: Dark of the Moon Michael Bay’s redemption? Or is it the nail in his creative coffin? Leave your thoughts on the film and assume SPOILERS lie after the break in the comments.
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I’m a huge fan of Martin Campbell. This is the guy who successfully rebooted the Bond franchise (twice), and brought a kickass version of Zorro to the big screen. A superhero film based on Green Lantern seemed like a bit of a stretch, but with Campbell’s action sensibilities and his ability to portray characters broadly yet compellingly, I was more than willing to give it a chance.
Green Lantern finally hits theaters today. Is it an action adventure on par with Casino Royale? Can Ryan Reynolds hold together an entire superhero film? Hit the jump and share your thoughts. Assume SPOILERS lie after the jump.
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