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Entries in The Avengers (68)

Wednesday
Jun182014

Beauty Break: Bewitched Elizabeth Olsen

Flaunt magazine, which always has amazing photoshoots of gorgeousity, is featuring Elizabeth Olsen right about now with a profile article and a photoshoot. I've been smitten since that eery girl-without-a-center performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene but it didn't hurt that when I met her on the Oscar campaign trail that year she was even more beautiful (skin of creamy flawlessness) and we talked Michelle Pfeiffer since she's also a pfan. But I digress...

These days she doesn't have to wait for her phone to ring with movie roles though we've yet to see a role or performance from her as stellar as that quadruple named indie breakthrough. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun162014

Bobby Holland Hanton: The Man Who Has Been Thor, Batman, and Bond

Bobby Holland HantonHave you ever fantasized about being a superhero? Bobby Holland Hanton doesn't need to. He's done it time and again.

Though he's only been in the movie business since Quantum of Solace (2008), the young fit Brit stuntman has already worn the Batsuit, Thor's cape, James Bond's suits, and... well whatever it is anyone was wearing on the set of Green Lantern before it was replaced by CGI. You can see Bobby somewhere in the battle sequences of Maleficent at the moment, albeit much less foregrounded than he usually is due to doubling a who's who of A list leading men.

A former gymnast, he competed for Great Britain until he was 17, he lives a very regimented life. Before any shoot, he shifts the training to "match" the body of whoever he'll be stunt doubling for. He's stepped in on the difficult stuff for Christian Bale, Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Channing Tatum. He's with Chris Hemsworth all the time now, which is hard work due to his size.

Hemsworth is huge and when he's Thor he's massive"

To prepare for The Avengers Age of Ultron he was training six days a week, twice a day to look like the God of Thunder. You'll see Bobby -- but you won't know you're seeing him since that's the magic and the craft  -- as Hemsworth's more acrobatic twin on two 2015 pictures: Heart of the Sea and the superhero sequel. He's also doing Captain America stunt work on Ultron somehow though we hope not in the same scene. 

I spoke to this in-demand stunt man by phone. Superpowerless mortal that I am, I couldn't very well fly to South Korea to drop in on the day's filming of The Avengers! He was out of Thor's wig on a rare early finish day (it's usually "six to six and longer") and he'd already had dinner, trained, showered and applied all his Dove Men + Care products*. He'll start the routine again the next day in the wee hours of the morning, for makeup and costuming, clipped and banded into Thor's long blond tresses all of which is rough on the hair and skin, hence the products. [*Yes, this is your requisite product placement scene within the movie. Bobby is a spokesperson for the line. I received a set in the mail after the interview which was a most welcome surprise.]

I'd never spoken to a stuntman before so at first I had to get the skinny on how one gets started. Gymnasts are naturals which should surprise no one...

[Bobby talks Hemsworth, Tatum, Batman & Bond  AFTER THE JUMP...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
May232014

Good Reads: Superheroine Edition

With various X-Men smearing their mutant DNA all of your movie screens this weekend, it's become painfully obvious that movie studios are still terrifed of superheroes with vaginas. Storm continues to be the single most-wasted ineptly-transferred great character from the comics but Kitty Pryde has an even sadder story. "X-Men Days of Future Past," one of the most famous and influential comic arcs of all time, originally granted the phasing young mutant (played by Ellen Page in the movies) the starring role. We all knew they would find a way to sideline her.

I lurve Hugh Jackman but one of my biggest disappointments about the X-Men movies continues to be the way the team aspects are muted in order to make it all about the charismatic clawed one. The Avengers figured out a way to balance multiple headliners but the X-Men movies haven't been that inspired. So here are two excellent reads from Slate if you care about the ladies and gender inequities within this genre.

"Why is Wolverine Doing All The Things I Did?"
Kitty Pryde herself (via Stephen Burt) writes a letter to the filmmakers about her suddenly sidelined heroics. Why is that exactly?

"David Goyer’s Comments About She-Hulk Make People Very, Very Angry"
The title is too utilitarian to get excited about but there a lot of great points raised in this article about origin stories and comic book sexism. This article was in response to screenwriter David S. Goyer's (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) comments about the character of She-Hulk on a podcast we linked to yesterday. One of the two podcast hosts Craig Mazin, who used the word "slut" in the discussion, has since published an apology/clarification of what he meant. But the conversation basically treated her as a Bride of Frankenstein sex fantasy creation for Hulk -- missing the point that she was created as a female empowerment fantasy and is Bruce Banner's cousin. (Not the kissin' kind.) I suppose it's no accident that Goyer is involved with Batman v Superhero: Dawn of Justice which already controversially cast a 110 lbs underwear model as the most famous amazon superheroine of all time (that'd be Wonder Woman). 

The takeaway is that we're never going to get female superheroes done right until...

Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)

a) more actressexual directors get involved. Joss Whedon is a great start and our best hope at the moment - look how he rescued the Black Widow from her Iron Man 2 decorative-nothingness. Can we hope that he'll also exceed expectations with The Scarlet Witch?

b) the people in charge of shepherding this genre to the screen are more evolved than Frank T.J. Mackey and don't immediately think "great tits!" first when confronted with the idea of a superheroine. There's nothing wrong with great boobs -- We fully support them and thank Scarlet Johansson for hers at least weekly --  but boobs do not a heroine make. 

You wouldn't think those two things would be such tall hurdles to clear... 

Tuesday
Apr152014

Channing "Gambit" Tatum and Your Favorite Superheroes

I've been quite blocked today (apologies) so I'd like to turn the time over to you for an open discussion. With news coming that Channing Tatum would love to play Gambit in a movie (poor Taylor Kitsch. It's not his fault everyone has tried to scrub X-Men Origins: Wolverine from their memory) Fox will surely be jumping all over that to make it happen.

Though the superhero movie boom will surely die out as all movie trends do eventually, we have no idea how long it will last so we'll just try to enjoy it while it does rather than bristle against it.

The other day on Facebook Stan Lee posted a 'name your five favorite superheroes' thread and I answered more quickly than I knew I could. Without thinking about it five names popped right into mind: Nightcrawler, The Human Torch, Storm, Spider-Man, and The Scarlet Witch. Other than Sam Raimi's perfect Spider-Man 2 I haven't had much luck getting my favorite characters translated to my taste on the screen though, so I've tended to enjoy characters I didn't much at all care for in the comics the most onscreen. Like Captain America. Speaking of... my eyes bugged out seeing a brief glimpse of The Scarlet Witch in that film and I'll be curious to see how Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Olsen dramatize her in The Avengers: Age of Ulton. But still, I hate those post-movie tags which are the heighth of pandering narrative inelegance. They're very much like "next week on..." TV tags

But I'm curious. Name your five favorite superheroes in the comments.  I perused through some answers on Facebook and was surprised to see that very few people chose heroes beyond the truly iconic household name ones - batman, superman, spider-man, and wolverine were constantly name-checked.

Monday
Mar312014

Beauty vs. Beast - Black Widow vs. The Hulk

I can't tell you how proud I am to be hosting JA's weekly series "Beauty vs. Beast". I feel like a giddy reader each Monday just wondering which amusing sophie's choice he'll pose. But he's in Italy this week so I'm your substitute pollster.

I wanted a poll where I wouldn't know who would win. I caught up with Thor: The Dark World recently (for reasonszzz) and I'm about to leave for a screening of Captain America: Winter Soldier so Loki & Black Widow are both on the brain. Remember that great tense scene in The Avengers where the Hulk is after The Black Widow? Remember how they both stole that whole movie via outsmarting or smashing Loki? It's a literal Beauty vs. Beast this week

 

 

Voting Continues!
Both this poll and the Talented Mr Ripley "Tom vs. Dickie" poll are open until Sunday when JA returns from Italy.

 

 

Friday
Mar282014

Superheroes Have Birthdays, Too

Batman
Did you know that May marks Batman's 75th birthday? The billionaire in the cowl was introduced in Detective Comics #27 May 1939 edition (a comic that sold a few years ago for over a million dollars). He's aged well but trust funds will help that way. And Bruce Wayne had more money than God even before Batman was a cultural icon and DC and Warner Bros figured out how to make billions from trotting him out consistently. Warner Bros is planning a year-long celebration as well they should since their ownership of DC's superheroes on screen probably accounts for a nice sliver percentage of their profits. 

I'd suggest a theme week here but after the past 25 years of movie blockbusters featuring the caped crusader, maybe I need a break. What say ye? Celebrate or Ignore? Or somewhere inbetween?

Quicksilver
One of the sexiest of superheroes (saith I), Magneto's son, the sometimes evil sometimes good super speed silver haired young fox turns 50 this very month. He's never been visualized onscreen but due to complicated rights issues we'll get him twice over in the fourteen months with Fox's X-Men Days of Future Past (played by Evan Peters in a terrible wig in 2014) and Marvel Studio's Avengers: Age of Ultron (Aaron Johnson with silver hair despite earlier awful suggestions he'd stay brunette in 2015). [Long story short: Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver as spawn of Magneto are connected to The X-Men mythology but more often connected to The Avengers in terms of regular appearances so both studios can use them provided they never mention their other heroic connections.]

Next month Daredevil and The Black Widow both turn 50. They were once lovers in the comics but due to rights issues they aren't really in each other's orbits onscreen.

The Black Widow is back very very quickly in Captain America: Winter Soldier and the latest incarnation of Daredevil will arrive whenever Netflix gets around to their planned series. That one is certain to be the most satisfying simply because it can't be worse than the movie version. I only pray they make him a redhead this time like he's supposed to be. Male gingers deserve their proxy heroes, too.

Namor turns 75 in April, the Green Goblin turns 50 in Julym, Scott Pilgrim (not really a superhero I know) turns 10 in 2004, and Hawkeye turns 50 in September

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