"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Best Movie of 2012, so far. (Updated)

"Serious" critics, and many who saw it and enjoyed the hell out it, may consider this as heresy, but so be it. I'll be vastly (but pleasantly) surprised if it's nominated for such, but right now I'm saying that "The Avengers" is it.

There are a number of movies that I looked forward to this year ...

"The Cabin in the Woods"
Outrageously good - probably three more months until it's on DVD.

Ridley Scott's return to science fiction and to the universe of "Alien".

"The Dark Knight Rises"
The third (and probably final) Christopher Nolan Batman. A lot of hype about Tom Hardy as Bane. The movie opens on July 20, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, so I'm gonna be torn as to what to post about. (26 Jul 2012 - Never posted about Jul 20. Things happen. Enough said.)

And ...

"The Avengers"
Joss Whedon's take on the Marvel universe of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye and The Hulk.

Having been a Whedon fan since the way-too-short-lived TV series "Firefly" and its subsequent closing-chapter movie "Serenity", I expected (and got in spades) someone who can and does respect the material and the characters, and still manages to have a hell of a lot of fun with it.

No, this is not a film with lofty thought-provoking ideas (except perhaps a Whedon philosophy of "If you're going to do something, at least try to do it right!") And, boy does he get it right this time. In terms of accomplishing what he set out to do, he hit it out of the park.

My criterion is real damned simple: after you've bought your tickets and sat though the movie, did you get your money's worth?


This is one of the most fun and enjoyable movies in a long time. It ain't meant to change the world. It just wants to give you a good time.

It does.

Update Thursday night, 26 Jul 2012 - After finally getting around to "The Dark Knight Rises" (I'd already seen "Cabin" and "Prometheus" before writing this post), my assertion that "The Avengers" is the best movie of 2012 still stands.

I liked "Cabin" a Hell of a lot. While "Prometheus" and TDKR qualify as "Pretty Damned Good", "Avengers" and "Cabin" benefit from having Joss Whedon on board as writer. He is a far better and more coherent storyteller than the ones who conjured up the other two.  It's really just as simple as that.

Makes all the difference in the world.

Further Update - The Morning After (0820 CDT, 27 Jul 2012) - Did I just label TDKR as "Pretty Damned Good" above?  Dear God!  Strike that.

"The morning after" is very appropriate. Harlan Ellison once reviewed a movie that he enjoyed "only while I was watching it". It was when you began thinking about it afterwards, well you know. :(

Bottom line on TDKR: Crushing disappointment.

For now, "The Avengers" rules!.
(Originally published 1948 CDT, 20 Jun 2012)


free movie downloads online said...

I have to agree with you on this one: Avengers is probably the best thing that came out of 2012. With all the hype i was afraid i would be disappointed, but luckily i was wrong. All the actors were great, but Mark Ruffalo did the best job, and i can`t wait for him to play the Hulk again.

Paul Gordon said...

We're on the same page regarding Ruffalo. I thought he played Bruce Banner as a genuine scientist, in the Carl Sagan mold, who would do research for the sheer joy of it if he didn't happen top have a pressing agenda.

His alter-ego, the Hulk, was also outstanding, one of whose smack-downs (that brought cheers every time I saw it) being clearly inspired by a Tom and Jerry cartoon.

The IMDB lists Lou Ferrigno (The Hulk, in the '70s TV series) as the voice (uncredited) for The Hulk here.

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Use your own judgment, and common sense.


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