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Entries in The Avengers (53)

Wednesday
May162012

Link to the Rescue

First Showing Django Unchained banner on the Croisette in Cannes
Inlander Don Draper isn't Mad Men's main character any more
Filmofilia a full slate for Amy Adams through 2014 at least. Add thriller Dark Places (based on the novel of the same name) to the long list
Cinema Blend Rise of the Planet of the Apes sequel gets the Contagion screenwriter Scott Z Burns 

 MZ Yikes. Actor Nick Stahl of Bully, Terminator 3 and Carnivàle fame has been reporting missing since May 9th
Heat Vision Robert Downey Jr's The Avengers payday could reach $50 million. The other actors aren't so lucky
Gold Derby Downton Abbey will be competing in Best Series (where it belongs) for Emmy nods... finally giving up on considering itself a miniseries, bless.
Pajiba "Identifying the Moment in Natalie Portman's Career Timeline In Which It Was OK To Admit a Crush"
Screen Daily Keira Knightley replacing ScarJo in Can a Song Save Your Life 

Indiewire Awesome news for fans of the gay romantic drama Weekend (2011). Criterion will handle the DVD.
Michael Musto interviews Andy Dick, now sober but just as candid.
Coming Soon Orphan star and now Hunger Games victim Isabelle Fuhrman will star in the remake of Suspiria
The Film Stage Terrence Malick's latest, a romantic drama starring Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, and Rachel McAdams (at least according to which characters feature in the synopsis) finally gets a title... To the Wonder.  

Not Your Usual Superhero Articles
Filmwell "thou shalt have no other god but Captain America's" on references to the divine in The Avengers
GeekWatch adorable story of a five year old boy meeting Captain America and Loki on the set of The Avengers  

 

Tuesday
May152012

Tues Top Ten: Who for Avengers 2 ?

Every once in awhile people will ask me if I really like superheroes or if I just post about them on occassion because it's good for traffic. The answers are a bold yes and an er, probably not (The Film Experience isn't so much on the fanboy traffic radar for numerous reasons including undoubtedly because actresses on the verge of onscreen nervous breakdowns are a way more thrilling visual effect than superhero powers). But in truth I've always loved superheroes and only wish that superhero movies had more variety and imagination and a fan culture that was less slobbering and homogenous. See, I grew up completely obsessed with X-Men. Just as with movies where strong casts are consistently more likely to thrill me than movies built on one performance, I generally appreciated team comics the most, so I also read (in ascending order of favoritism): The Legion of Superheroes, Fantastic Four, Alpha Flight, The Avengers and The Teen Titans. I liked the Avengers best when certain characters were present.  For those of you who didn't read comics, The Avengers operated on an internal narrative wherein the roster of heroes changed fairly regularly, sometimes only one or two slots but never exactly the same roll call. 

So with last week's no shit announcement that box office titan The Avengers would be getting a sequel, I thought I'd list the ten characters I'd most like Joss Whedon to consider for it. He's already on record saying he'd like another female though the pickings are somewhat slim. The unstated problem is that the best female superheroes are part of the X-Men team, characters 20th Century Fox is in control of... a thorough breakdown of who owns which characters can be found at Screen Rant. This is all assuming that Marvel Studios doesn't want Whedon to just make the first movie again with a new villain. Which, I'll quickly note, is a ridiculous assumption. The guiding rule of expensive studio sequels is "make it the same only bigger" 

Top Ten Heroes To Consider for Avengers 2

With apologies to Quake who was in the original post and was accidentally deleted until it was all written.

10 Doctor Strange
The Marvel Universe's premiere sorcerer has yet to make a dent outside of comic books. Name recognition wouldn't be high for mainstream audiences but that's what people worried about with Iron Man and look how that turned out? Strange got a TV movie in 1978 but subsequent planned film versions have been cursed, the spell forever uncast.

The rights have changed hands many times but last we heard, Marvel Studios had control of the mystic doctor again and had hired screenwriters. Adrien Brody was rumored for the role a couple of years ago and then Patrick Dempsey was lobbying hard in 2011. I'm not crazy about the Dempsey idea since his charisma is scaled so well for the small screen -- really it's just the hair that make people think he's right for it because as an actor he definitely lacks mystery -- but the Doctor could be an intriguing character in the right hands.

#8 through #1 after the jump

09 Ms Marvel / Binary / War Bird
I've never met a soul who has any deep feelings or fandom for Ms. Marvel, which probably dooms her big screen chances altogether but hear me out. Her backstory is so fucked up, her name has changed multiple times, that nothing is canon. A writer like Joss Whedon could do virtually whatever he pleased with her without upsetting decades of story. But it's also worth noting that Ms. Marvel's most intriguing story connects to the X-Men mythology. Rogue (played by Anna Paquin in the movies) once absorbed just too much of her and gained all her memories and identity giving both women major psychiatric issues thereafter. 

If handled brilliantly and with a team of great lawyers couldn't she straddle both superhero franchises as a supporting player, essentially tying them into the same universe without disrupting either studio's plans too much?

#8 through #1 after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May132012

Box Office in Full Franchise Mode

In its second weekend, Marvel's The Avengers broke yet more records (first film to gross over $100 million in its second weekend) and joined the long-legged Katniss of The Hunger Games in her treetop perch. Together they can gaze far far down at the rest of the year's films whilst casually planning their even bigger sequels. Toy Story 3 excepted, they're the two most massive hits since James Cameron's Avatar. Meanwhile in limited release that Exotic Marigold Hotel was at full occupancy. Dark Shadows had a disappointing bow given the expectations generally placed on the Burton/Depp camp in mainstream remake mode. Since they clearly ought to take a break to recharge their creative batteries, maybe this is for the best? Consider that the Dames Judi & Maggie, in far far fewer theaters (roughly 4% of Dark Shadow's screens) and in their second weekend, had double the per screen average.

Johnny Depp's bankability tied down by Avengers fever and Double Dame powers.

TOP TEN 
01 THE AVENGERS  $103.1 (cum $373.1) Review
02 DARK SHADOWS  $28.8 new
03 THINK LIKE A MAN  $6.3 (cum $81.9)
04 HUNGER GAMES  $4.4 (cum $386.9) Review
05 THE LUCKY ONE  $4 (cum $53.7)
06 THE PIRATES! $3.2 (cum $23.1)
07 FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT  $3.1 (cum $24.3)
08 THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL $2.6 (cum $3.7) Review
09 CHIMPANZEE $1.6 (cum. $25.5)
10 GIRL IN PROGRESS $1.3 new 

What did you see this weekend? How many times have you seen The Avengers already? I would've seen Dark Shadows (LaPfeiffer awaits) but for visitors from out of town. I shall gaze on my beloved this week. More to come.

Friday
May112012

Linkopolis

Movie|Line Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams take over for Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier in the insta-remake of Love Crimes (read my Ludivine interview) now dubbed Passion 
Self Styled Siren and friends are hosting another For the Love of Film blog-a-thon (May 13th-18th) to raise money for a recently discovered fragment of White Shadow which was assistant directed by Alfred Hitchcock. I shall try to write a Hitchcock piece to join in.
NPR worries that James Cameron will be stuck on Pandora forevermore with Avatar sequels. I wouldn't worry. It takes him so long to make a movie, we'll be lucky if we get even two more narrative movies -- of any kind -- out of him.  

Animation Magazine Guillermo Del Toro will be co-directing a new Pinocchio movie and presumably be given all the credit for it (sigh). His soon to be unsung partner will be the Fantastic Mr Fox whiz Mark Gustafson so this should look lovely.
Stale Popcorn is working on a 1994 retrospective and has already covered Reality Bites, Blink, and Nell... all movies I loved back in the day. 
Hollywood and Fine has had its fill of Zooey Deschanel. Is she overexposed and overquirked now? 
Pajiba proof that every rabbit in the history of cinema has been evil.  Yes, even the boiled one in Fatal Attraction.
John August first person account of a year on the writing staff of Ringer. Interesting behind the scenes glimpse 

Avengers Mania
The Atlantic terrific piece on Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow in The Avengers and the challenge of being a woman in male entertainments
THR The Avengers sequel confirmed (duh) so it's 3 solo sequels over the next two years (Iron Man, Thor, Cappy) followed by another group effort. Why not a Black Widow / Hawkeye movie just to keep things just a tad fresher? I know there are people clamoring for a third Hulk movie since he stole the show but there's a reason he stole it. It's called "leave them wanting more"... something Hollywood is not good with once something's successful.  
Vulture times the six heroes to see who has the most screen time. They seem surprised by Black Widow's showing but I wasn't at all. It's Joss Whedon and he always makes room for strong women.

Cannes is Coming
In Contention Cannes Check Jeff Nichols' Mud (and the McConaughey Renaissance continues)
Little White Lies has predictions from four of their contributors. Good read. So much to think about. 
The Playlist amazing photoshoot of Robert Pattinson styled after older Cronenberg movies like Dead Ringers and Videodrome

Sunday
May062012

Hulk Smash Box Office!

Here's one of the very smartest things about The Avengers that I read all weekend and surely a sign as to why it's handily smashed opening weekend box office records with its mighty $200 mil.

Perhaps people like The Avengers so much because it celebrates a triumph of branding. The Hulk reinforces his brand by blending together a sensitive, indie, yet still hunky Mark Ruffalo with a green, childlike, cartoonish embodiment of aggression that smashes things.  Viewing the film is like watching Pepsi chat with McDonalds ironically about the inadequacies of Apple as Facebook dons a blue mask before ripping Nike's hammer away in a fit of pique."
-The Film Doctor

I haven't read this elsewhere but I think it's worth noting that this exact same weekend 10 years ago was also historic. Spider-Man (2002) was our first ever $100+ opening weekend. In ten short years the booty has practically doubled but in Spider-Man's defense they have raised ticket prices radically in that span of time. I liked The Avengers but the only way I'd see it again in theaters is if I can find a matinee 2D screening.

Hulk crush Harry Potter & Batman © Nathaniel Rogers

TOP FIFTEEN 
01 THE AVENGERS new  $200.3 Review
02 THINK LIKE A MAN  $8 (cum $73)
03 HUNGER GAMES  $5.7 Review (cum $380.7... and suddenly looking far less likely to stay the #1 movie of the year)
04 THE LUCKY ONE  $5.5 (cum $47.9)
05 THE PIRATES! $5.4 (cum $18.5)
06 FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT  $5.1 (cum $19.2)
07 THE RAVEN  $2.5 (cum $12)
08 SAFE $2.4 (cum. $12.8)
09 CHIMPANZEE $2.3 (cum. $23)
10 THREE STOOGES $1.8  (cum $39.6)

11 CABIN IN THE WOODS $1.5(cum. $38)
12 JOHN CARTER  $1.3 Review (cum $75) 
13 21 JUMP ST  $1 Review (cum $133.9)
14 AMERICAN REUNION  $.8 (cum $55.3)
15 THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL new $.7

What did you see over the weekend? I checked in at the The Bext Exotic Dame-Packed Hotel... which I'll write a little something about soon. If they were going for counterprogramming against The Avengers maybe they should have opened in more theaters? With Hotel's high per screen average and a weak showing for everything but the superheroes (and a strangely resurgent John Carter. What's going on there???), I bet they could have opened in the top ten. Then again, I assume Manhattan's very mobile elderly get out to the movies far more often than their counterparts elsewhere. It seems impossible but we may have been the youngest people in the theater.

Sunday
May062012

Linksplosion

Scribble Junkies wonders if short men make better directors
My New Plaid Pants sneak peaks End of Watch with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena
IndieWire Oops, we deleted the movie. The growing pains of digital cinema
Cinema Blend Joss Whedon on his success with The Hulk. Speaking of...
Tom Shone thinks the Hulk is the only thing he got right.
Huffington Post thanks the foundations laid down in the Whedonverse for The Avengers success
USA Today gets good quote from the Core Four in The Avengers. And everyone has a good laugh about Mark Ruffalo in his motion capture phase. The man himself:

The first day of the leotard I said, OK (expletive), get a good laugh. Let's just get it out in the open. There was a lot of snickering and off-color jokes about the leo part of my tard. I don't think that needs explaining. 

Wow Report the best job in Hollywood is...
ASME announces the best magazine covers of the year. Truly odd choices here, I have to say. Mila Kunis' GQ cover is the only actress cover featured. 
Guardian sad legal battles over the Zsa Zsa Gabor estate. The famous actress is 95 and is probably not long for this world
Forbes released their list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. The highest and only ranked actress is Angelina Jolie at 29 (unless you think of Beyoncé #18 as an actress). 
Newsorama has a ten-wide list of things we've learned from The Avengers... but it's more about what Marvel Studios can learn from it. 
The Mary Sue Brave's Princess Merida already showing up at Disney parks 

Theater Watch
Potentially terrible news for New Yorkers. The fate of the awesome Zeigfeld Theater on 54th street is up in the air. That's a pity. This is hallowed ground we're talking about. It's one of the few single screen ginormous theaters left. It's where I saw Moulin Rouge! for the first time. It's where I saw Michelle Pfeiffer in the pflesh and its the only suitable place for big deal starry movie premieres in Manhattan. Please don't close up!

This Weekend's Must Read...
The Hairpin points us to this amazing Elizabeth Berkeley interview right before Showgirls (1995) came out. It's hilarious and fascinating and sympathetic in retrospect. So much titillating delusion.

I thought, ‘I have to do this.’ I mean, this role, I would kill for. It’s very rare you read a script where the whole focus of the film is on a woman. Also, I’m so passionate about what I go after and I really felt a lot of connection with the character right away...

The bottom line is the character is so emotional. She’s constantly on the edge of a breakdown so that was hard because what’s two minutes in her life was 17 hours for me. There was one scene in particular where I’m on stage auditioning for the showgirl spot where Alan Rachins’ character is wanting me to put ice cubes on my nipples. That was so difficult. Everyone on the set just felt really upset by it because the fact is that goes when showgirls audition. I mean, it’s part of the process.  

Authenticity!

Saturday
May052012

Review: "The Avengers"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad...

If Agent Natasha Romanoff can interrupt an espionage interrogation to attend...

If Thor can find a way back to Earth without his rainbow bridge...

If Tony Stark can stop erecting enormous arguably phallic odes to himself for a moment...

If Captain America can get back in shape now that he's out of deep freeze...

And if Dr Bruce Banner can come out of self-imposed exile to join Marvel's THE AVENGERS, than I really ought to be able to review some movies again. Let's go.

 

After roughly four years of movie-length commercials for The Avengers (formerly known as: Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger) "Earth's Mightiest Heroes" have finally assembled. To fans of the superhero genre, this probably feels like an impossible dream realized. To non-fans of the superhero genre this might play like the perfect time for a showstopping climax -take a bow and give mere mortals some movies again! The latter group should brace themselves. This particular blockbuster is lively enough to greenlight an even bigger movie family of men (and hopefully some women) in tights. MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May042012

The Link Initiative

The Avengers Initiative
Wired the physics of the Hulk's jump
Monkey See suggests some other team-up films that should follow The Avengers. Love the ending. Hee!
Guardian have you heard this ridiculously whiny Samuel L Jackson story? He's incensed that AO Scott gave The Avengers a thumbs down. I like AO Scott. The New York Times critic was at my screening and patiently waited in line. NY 1's Neil Rosen thought himself way too important to wait and just walked to the front. How do you like them apples? 
Scanners Jim Emerson sounds off on this same controversy (the Jackson vs Scott thing not Rosen's apples!) 

Not Relation
Empire Joseph Gordon-Levitt may headline a remake of Little Shop of Horrors (1986). Uh, good luck finding another Ellen Greene.
Coming Soon Sharlto Copley (District 9) is lining up a lot of movies. He next stars in Old Grave then Old Boy (the two films are not related) and now maybe Maleficent with Angelina Jolie
Details The Friday Night Lights movie is on! Squeeeeeeee
Cinema Blend Kellan Lutz will play a motion capture animated Tarzan in another adventure for the vine swinging ape man
The Wrap in the most important news of the century Demi Moore changes her twitter handle. She's no longers Mrs Kutcher 
Towleroad Anna Paquin "being bisexual is actually a thing"
Next Movie summer blockbusters reimagined as indies via their posters 

California readers take note: There's a three benefit celebrity-hosted performance of The Last Five Years in Hollywood this weekend. It's easily one of the five best original musicals to emerge in the last 10 years and you can buy tickets here. I can't imagine how it will quite work in terms of cumulative emotion with a rotating cast -- it's a two person musical in which the lovers tell their story forwards (the man) and backwards (the woman) simultaneously but it so transcends its gimmick. If you've never seen it, go. If you're not near Hollywood, give the CD a chance if you love musicals. 

I use to want to see it made into a movie but it's probably better left untouched since it's so very much a stage piece.

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