Marvel’s The Avengers – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom, Hiddlestone, Cobie Smulders, Clark Gregg, Stellan Skarsgard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Paul Bettany, Lou Ferrigno

Synopsis: Really?   I need to give a synopsis for one of the two most anticipated comic book films of the year??   What rock could people be living under?   Okay, okay, I’ll be serious.   When a major super-powered being and his army threaten Earth, no one hero alone can face it.   So Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., assembles a team of super powered good guys, along with some highly skilled assassins, to defend Earth.   In short, he assembles THE AVENGERS!

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Great Treasures at Gametraders – 20th April 2012

There has been a load of new stock arriving this week at Gametraders Blacktown.   Whether your preference is plush, figures, games or anime, you are all catered for.   Here is a selection of some of the new items available in store.

Witcher 2

This game has been popular for months on the PC and has now made the transition to consoles with this version for the 360.   Will it be the next Skyrim?   Early reports do look promising.

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Great Treasures at Gametraders – 9th March 2012

New and recently discounted games

Mass Effect 3

Easily the biggest release this week was Mass Effect 3.   The trailers for this game have been absolutely awe-inducing, not that they were really needed for those whom were already fans of the franchise.   I have not yet picked up my copy, as some of you may have realised that my review of Mass Effect 2 is not yet up, indicating I haven’t finished it.   After all, I need to import my saved character!!   For those that do not already have a model of the Normandy as well, Gametraders Blacktown is doing a bundle where you can get the game and the model for a total of $119.95!

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Great Treasures at Gametraders – 4th January 2012

Games recently added to stock

Just before Christmas, in time for the release of the film of the same name, The Adventures of Tintin hit the shelves of Gametraders Blacktown, and a few copies are still available.   Also, a lot of Kinect bundles were sold over the holiday season, so clearly it is time to cater towards those that want to get the full use out of the Kinect sensor.   Stock in Kinect games continues to increase, with Kinect Sports Season 2, Sesame Street’s Once Upon a Monster, and Dance Central being added to the games already available.

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Great Treasures at Gametraders – 22nd December 2011

This is the last Great Treasures at Gametraders post prior to Christmas… so it might just be the place to look for those last-minute Christmas gift ideas!

Replica James Bond Walther PPK

There are five primary franchises that I really hold dear.   Previously, the main ones for which Gametraders has catered towards for me is The Lord of the Rings, with the delightfully sculpted blades from these films in the weapons cabinet, and of course their wide range of Doctor Who merchandise.   They now cater towards the second of these, with this beautiful framed replica of James Bond’s Walther PPK.   Upon my reaction, I was told that rarely can a grown man be seen to react in such a way.   I picked one up immediately!!   Now all we need is some Star Trek and Harry Potter merchandise, and I would never leave the store!

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The First Avengers trailer is live…

In the past with this site, I have largely focussed on reviews of new and old films, with rarely a focus on what is happening in the future.   I am going to break trend today, and review a trailer.   Why?   Well, this trailer happens to be for the film that I have anticipated the most ever since the Lord of the Rings trilogy concluded.

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Captain America: The First Avenger – A Review by Film Nerd

Director: Joe Johnston

Cast: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Tommy Lee Jones, Hayley Atwell, Sebastian Stan, Dominic Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Neal McDonough

Synopsis: Steve Rogers is determined to make his contribution to the war effort, but is deemed unfit for service.   That is until the research scientist behind a top-secret development recruits him to test his Super Soldier Serum.   Steve Rogers is reborn with enhanced strength and abilities as Captain America.

With this film the final piece in the puzzle is finally here in Marvel Studios lead up to its superhero team movie, The Avengers, due for release next year.   Cinema audiences have now all been introduced to The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor, as well as meeting other significant characters for the Avengers throughout this film.   Like all the above films, adapting the title character would not have been easy, as over-reliance on the source material could have tipped these films into something of a farce.   As a Marvel fan myself, I am glad that this danger has once again been averted.

Chris Evans was a great choice for Steve Rogers.   He has made a career to date as a brilliant character actor and with this film he makes the jump to leading man.   His CGI to a bullied weakling is quite convincing, with a performance to back it up.   He plays Rogers as a determined man whom is dedicated to doing his part to help his countrymen.   He also successfully performs some more emotional scenes that really elucidate the motivations for his character, and as such manages to avoid making this a two-dimensional performance.   Hugo Weaving plays Johann Schmidt, later revealed as Red Skull.   He is an actor of great skill, and few actors could have made the make-up job he has gone through translate into a convincing performance.   The rest of the cast all perform admirably, but it is perhaps Stanley Tucci’s Dr. Erskine that remains in mind long after the end credits have rolled.   He is a lynch-pin character that helps determine the man who Rogers is going to be, and provides some real heart to the film.

As for plot, it establishes all the necessary elements that are required to let the film flow on smoothly to the Avengers.   Many of these elements are nods towards the established fans, giving them something more to get excited about, however a lack of familiarity with the character will not be a hinderance to an audience.   This is Steve Rogers’ story, from birth to the incident which will lead him being resurrected into a modern-day story.   The opening act establishes character, the second act establishes Cap’s reputation, and the final act is action sequences that are expertly executed.   In the end though, the story is intentionally incomplete.   Some elements seem to be waiting resolution in The Avengers.

This is an entertaining action film that manages to convey some good comic and character moments along the way.   To unfamiliar audiences it would probably rate around three stars, but for established fans like myself that this film is largely targeted for, an extra star must be given.

4 stars out of 5.

 

Captain America: The First Avenger on IMDB

Captain America: The First Avenger on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JerVrbLldXw]

100th post!!

This blog is not yet a year old, and here I am able to celebrate 100 posts (keep in mind, this only includes blog entries, and not separate pages dedicated to special events).   As such, I am reflecting back on what has been written and what has been achieved.   It is very clear that our most popular entries are reports on conventions, such as Armageddon and Supanova.   These reports will keep coming, with Urban Fantasist visiting Brisbane Supanova right now, and Fourth Verse attending the Melbourne equivalent next week.   I will kick their butts to make sure they get their reports up in good time.   I imagine both those contributors will also attend Sydney Supanova, which will also be attended by myself and Bride of Film Nerd.

Less viewed have been the film reviews to date, except for really niche films and TV films such as the Hornblower.   New releases also tend to get a higher rate of hits.   This is not surprising given the sheer multitude of movie reviewers there are out there.   I am not deterred, having a real passion for film review, and this is an element that will never be absent from this blog.   However I will start reviewing seasons of television series (I am currently marathoning both Doctor Who and Smallville), to increase the amount of output of stuff that it is harder to find reviewed elsewhere.   I am also considering adding a few other elements (action figures, video game reviews), so keep tuned.

While I get my act together though, I notice a few franchises in which only one film has been reviewed to date (Toy Story, Narnia, Iron Man, and the Millennium trilogy all spring to mind).   So while I am unable to afford much cinema going at the moment, these films will also be a short-term focus.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome, and I look forward to Revenge of the Film Nerds celebrating 200 posts!!

Cheers,

Film Nerd.

Upcoming Genre Films for 2011 Part Deux – A Preview by Film Nerd

First of all thanks to Urban Fantasist for that awesome post.   Consider my appetite whetted.   As you referred to yourself though, there are certain tastes of mine that were not catered to, so here is a preview of 2011 from the perspective of someone who collected comics in high school.

I will be using the same list as Urban Fantasist from io9, but I will extend from there a little bit from a post by blastr featuring the top 55 trailers for films coming out in 2011.   I will of course avoid overlap between these lists.

The Green Hornet (io9, blastr)     January 14

A remake of the series that first captured hearts on radio serials then on television, featuring a rich guy turned vigilante.   The character was created by the guy who brought us The Lone Ranger, and at one point in the radio series it was indicated that the Hornet is descendant of the Ranger.   Directed by Michael Gondry of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame, it could prove interesting.

I Am Number Four (io9, blastr)     February 18

A group of nine aliens hiding out as teenagers on Earth are hunted down for extermination by the government.   With three down, this film follows the story of the fourth to be targeted.    Based on a novel of the same name.

The Adjustment Bureau (io9, blastr)     March 4

Matt Damon plays a congressman destined for big things, before he meets and falls for Emily Blunt’s ballerina.   He was supposed to never meet her again, but somehow does, and falls in love with her.   The mysterious agency of the title steps in to prevent the relationship, and put our heroes life back on the set path.   Escaping, running, and hiding ensues….

Battle: Los Angeles (io9, blastr)     March 11

Gritty war film with hand-held camera work with visceral closeups, etc.   Oh yeah, and humans are fighting aliens.   Sounds like a great big B-movie, but with a cast headlined by Aaron Eckhart, may prove a hidden gem.

Red Riding Hood (io9, blastr)     March 11

Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman star in this retelling of the classic tale, with the wolf recast as a werewolf connected the past of she with the hood.   Don’t know how Urban Fantasist missed that one, sounds like her cup of tea!!

Paul (io9, blastr)     March 18

Comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, as two mates on an American road trip that meet foul mouth alien Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen.   Some of the gags on the trailer are foul, but delightfully so!!

Sucker Punch (io9, blastr)     March 25

A film by Zack Snyder, who previously brought us 300 and Watchmen.   He does have a talent for absolute visual splendour on-screen, and the trailers indicate this will be no different.   It is hard to get a grasp on what it is about, but seems to be the story of five girls attempting to escape the clutches of evil authority in a mental asylum…or is it a war zone???   Or a bordello??

Super (io9, blastr)     April 1

Okay, so the concept of this sounds very similar to Kick-Ass… average bloke dons a costume to fight crime.   So lacking in originality on that count perhaps.   Just watch the clip posted on blastr though and I dare you not to show some interest!!

Hanna (blastr only) April 8

Eric Bana’s ex-CIA agent trains daughter Saoirse Ronin to be the perfect assassin, with the goal to target Cate Blanchett.    A lot of talent there in that sentence, and a pretty cool concept to boot.    The trailer also kicks butt!!

Your Highness (io9, blastr) April 8

Danny McBride and James Franco reteam with the director of Pineapple Express to star as royal brothers on a rescue mission… a comedy that drags Natalie Portman and my favourite Zooey Deschanel along for the ride.   I am still giggling at the trailer… “What a coincidence, I was just about to finish thinking of you!!”   Hehe.

Thor (io9, blastr)     May 6

The Norse god is exiled to Earth, as reimagined by Marvel Comics.   Mjolnir was spotted after the credits to Iron Man 2, resulting in my second Nerdgasm for that film.   Those that don’t know that this is part of building towards Joss Whedon’s The Avengers should be stripped of their geek badge immediately!!

X-Men: First Class (io9 only)     June 3

The second Marvel movie for 2011.   With James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and January Jones on board, and Kick-Ass’ Michael Vaughn directing, can we put the travesty of X-Men: The Last Stand behind us???

Green Lantern (io9, bkastr)     June 17

A film based on a DC universe second tier hero.   Ryan Reynolds is good casting, but the CGI costume is still a little off-putting for me.   However, has the potential to be the next Iron Man, whom was one of Marvel’s second tier heroes.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two (io9, blastr)     July 15

You really want a synopsis for this one?

Captain America: The First Avenger (io9 only)     July 22

The source of my first Nerdgasm in Iron Man 2 was spotting Captain America’s shield partially constructed in Tony Stark’s work room.   Like Thor, this is building to Whedon’s The Avengers, and has Chris Evans donning the tights in what can only be called great casting!

Cowboys and Aliens (io9, blastr)     July 29

James Bond and Indiana Jones!!   The old west!!   Aliens!!    Daniel Craig waits from unconsciousness with a strange device on his arm.   Harrison Ford plays the villain of the piece, that teams with Craig when the bigger threat arrives.   Why didn’t they think of this earlier???

The Thing (io9 only)     October 14

Prequel to John Carpenter’s iconic original.   Stars Joel Edgerton, and personal favourite Mary Elizabeth Winstead, last seen in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Sherlock Holmes 2 (io9, blastr)     December 16

Downey Jr. and Law return to 221B Baker Street, this time to face the infamous Professor Moriarty.   Be warned, blastr screwed up, the trailer from the first film, not the first trailer for the second!!

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (io9 only) December 23

Steven Spielberg directs his first fully motion capture film.   Peter Jackson produces.   They will be swapping roles for the sequel!!   Stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.   Some writing was even done by Doctor Who‘s Steven Moffatt!! Add that element of retro charm and I am sold!

Man, that is a lot of movies…. I hope Bride of Film Nerd doesn’t kill me when we need a second mortgage!!