A few brief words on my first forays into the Marvel Cinematic Universe…

Captain-America-The-Winter-Soldier The_Avengers_poster
Have a guess: which did I like more?

I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took for me to see these films. In fact, the only reason I ended up seeing them is because some friends and I made plans to see The Winter Soldier when it came out earlier this year. So I found myself with a mini-Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon on my hands. Having never been the biggest fan of Ironman – sacrilegious, I know – the only other two I managed to get through before our movie date were the first Captain America film, and The Avengers. And boy, did I ever regret the two years I’d missed!

I’m sure that millions of words have already been written about these films, so let me just stick with what really stood out for me, having seen these three in a short space of time: for me, the ensemble effort wins hands down. Whilst the Captain America films were well made, and arguably do better at creating a believable internal conflict for the title character than Man of Steel did for Superman (at least in my book), I still didn’t really find myself invested in Steve Rogers. He’s just not as compelling for me as other characters that have carried entire films, such as Batman (NB: the NolanBale incarnation), or even Wolverine. It’s not just the Captain, though – Ironman, too, is a character I don’t really like watching in his own film. Even though Robert Downey Jr is perfect as him, I find Tony Stark way too misogynistic and annoying to watch. (Well, it probably doesn’t help that I’m not a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow…) However, throw them all into a pot and magic just unfolds. I loved the snarky interactions between Capt and Stark in The Avengers. Having a few other people around to break Hank McCoy’s melancholy also made him more palatable to me, and having the Black Widow and Hawkeye in the mix was icing on the cake.

But what really made The Avengers was that Joss Whedon was behind that recipe. Although I could certainly anticipate some of the jokes, such as The Beast punching Thor out of the room, or treating Loki like the god he’s…well…not, they still had me rolling on the floor. And I still grin uncontrollably at the post-credits scene, which I do know was filmed after the film actually opened in the States! In sum, whilst I did enjoy The Winter Soldier, and might be convinced to watch the second and third Ironman movies if my brother happens to have them on DVD, what I’m really looking forward to is next year’s Avengers instalment, The Age of Ultron. Due down under on April 24: bring it on, I say!

Review: The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight was quite possibly the only movie I wanted to see at the cinema last year. I saw I am Legend (which I haven’t reviewed) as well, but that was because the local book club had read the book.

As it has been with most Western movies over the past few years, I have generally gone into them without knowing much of the background at all. I never even saw any trailers for The Dark Knight, although the buzz that surrounded Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker could not have been missed even by someone living under a rock. Rarely does a film live up to the hype, but – and I think most people would agree – this one does.

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