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Tag Archives: Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon Returns for The Avengers 2

Good news everyone, Disney has announced that fan favorite writer/director Joss Whedon is returning to both write and direct The Avengers 2.  There is no way anyone can think this is a bad idea.  Whedon nailed The Avengers.  It was probably my favorite movie of the summer.  Whedon is long known for being able to handle large ensemble casts and that is exactly what The Avengers was.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios signed Whedon to an exclusive deal for film and TV through June 2015.  There is further news that Whedon will be involved in a live action TV series for ABC.  Rumors are this show will somehow tie in to The Avengers movie world.  This could lead to some very interesting cross connecting TV and movie series.

Good move Marvel and Disney.  For what its worth, I think you made the right move!

The Avengers Review

Its taken me a little while, but I had every intention of reviewing The Avengers.  As I said on the podcast, this is the movie I’ve been waiting for since I first started reading comic book and it really didn’t disappoint!  I’ll to not got into spoilers right away, but they are coming.  And honestly, you really should you seen this movie, so hopefully I won’t be spoiling anyone!

There was tons of hype heading in to this movie and I think this is something that was expected.  After all, Marvel was doing what many people thought to be impossible and assembling a team of superheroes onscreen in a live action movie.  I had thought that Joss Whedon was the perfect choice to direct this movie.  Throughout all of his past TV series he has proven that he can handle a large ensemble cast and still build up each character individually.

I waited until Saturday to see the movie, and the theater was still packed.  Even in my 2D showing there was a huge crowd.  It seemed the 3D was just as crowded as well as there were tons of people exiting when I came in.  Sadly, I wasn’t one of the lucky ones that received a trailer for both The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises.  In fact I got neither of those trailers.  However, that didn’t matter as the main attraction, the movie, was incredible.  The 143 minutes just flew by and at the end the first thing I thought was, ‘I want to see this again!’

The scary thing is, that Whedon has said in earlier interviews that he ended up cutting a bunch of material from the movie to make it flow better.  Some reports say there is as much as 40 minutes of content that ended up on the cutting room floor!  In that case, I can’t wait for the Director’s Cut of The Avengers.  One of the scenes that Whedon spoke of was Cap going to go meet with modern-day Peggy Carter in part to see her with his own eyes and explain what happened to him.  This wasn’t included in the movie and I can see why as it wouldn’t fit very well.  However, the scene would be emotionally poignant and help to beef up Steve’s character some more.  I can’t wait to see this deleted scene in the future.

Just a heads up everyone, from this point on there will be spoilers and a discussion on the plot of the movie.  Read at your own risk!

There were so many things I liked about this movie and I really only had one minor quibble.  That surprised me as I can generally find something to complain about in most comic movies.  Some of the things I bring up here might sound familiar and if you’ve listened to the All Things Good And Nerdy podcast that’s why.  I was lucky enough to geek out about this movie with 3 other co-hosts.  To be fair, I am a big Iron Man fan so I probably focus on him a little too much.

Things I Liked:

  1. Black Widow Gets to be a Badass – In Iron Man 2 Black Widow served as little more than eye candy.  Luckily, Joss Whedon knows how to write strong female characters, just look at his work on Buffy, Angel, or Dollhouse.  In The Avengers Widow has a chance to proves what a good asset she is.  The opening scene with Black Widow was both funny and badass as Widow is tied up and being interrogated when SHIELD calls to recall her.  The fight and the humor within just made for a great moment.  And then Black Widow basically played Loki like a violin later in the movie where she just manipulates him into revealing his purpose on the SHIELD Hellicarrier.  It was a great moment that showed off the manipulative background of a spy.
  2. Mark Ruffalo is Bruce Banner – I loved the way Ruffalo portrayed Bruce Banner as the smart quiet man in control of the beast inside.  Ruffalo’s Banner is easily the best in the Marvel movies as gives him a quiet strength.  I have to say I loved the chemistry between Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. as well.  The two played off each other extremely well.  The most powerful scene between the two was in the lab as Tony said he understood Banner.  Both of them received their ‘gifts’ through a tragedy.  In Stark’s case one of his weapons nearly killing him and for Banner his experiment going haywire.  Both Stark and Banner are making the best of a bad situation and trying to help others.  Meanwhile the other heroes chose to use their natural or non tragically acquired gifts.
  3. Continuity Moments – It was a very simple piece but Coulson informing Thor of Dr. Jane Foster’s status was a good moment to remind everyone why Thor is so attached to the Earth and to bring back references to previous films.  Including Pepper Potts in the movie in a couple short scenes also reminded viewers that we are in one big Marvel Universe.  And it was good to see how Tony’s relationship with her had improved.
  4. Killing Coulson – I had a feeling that Whedon would kill of a popular character but I can see why it was done.   Coulson’s sacrifice is the motivation all of the heroes needed to set aside their differences and band together.  The moment where Nick Fury plays on Coulson’s death to motivate the team is a perfect portrayal of Nick Fury.  He wants so hard to achieve his mission that he will manipulate or lie to make it happen.  Lying and saying Coulson had the Captain America trading cards in his pocket upon his death due to his belief in the heroes was just the tool to bring everyone together.  Was it right to play on everyone’s emotions?  No, but it was necessary to save to world and I doubt Coulson would have objected.  I hope this is a death that sticks, if they find some cheap way to bring Coulson back it would cheapen his death a great deal.
  5. Iron Man Armor Removal  – The platform on Stark Tower that is used to remove the Iron Man armor just makes the process look so cool.  It’s really impressive to see the evolution of this process over the span of the Marvel movies.  Originally, getting into or out of the armor was time-consuming and awkward but Stark has continued to refine it in each movie.
  6. Iron Man Mark VII – This armor was just cool.  When Tony was putting on the wristbands I was trying to figure out just how they would come into play.  Seeing Stark get thrown out a window and a suit of Iron Man armor deploy around him was just like something out of the comics.
  7. Quips and Humor – In typical Whedon fashion the movie is full of quick one-liners and puns thrown in the midst of a battle or dramatic moment.  This never takes away from the movie and leads to fun moments.  There were times in the theater where people were laughing so hard I missed bits of dialogue.  I think Thor had one of the best quips during a discussion about Loki where he tried to defend him only to learn Loki had killed 80 people in two days.  His response immediately thereafter of ‘he’s adopted’ had the theater rolling.
  8. Sibling Rivalry – It was interesting to see Thor try so hard to redeem his brother in the beginning of the movie.  In his own movie Thor had learned humility and how to set his pride aside.  It was very cool to see him try to pass that on to this brother.  Even at the end Thor tries to save his brother only to get stabbed in the gut.  Seeing no choice he has to fight and the realization of that on his face is powerful.
  9. Tony the Hero – In the earlier parts of the movie Tony and Cap had butted heads.  Cap pointed out that Tony wasn’t willing to do the hard things as a hero and that he was in fact not a soldier.  This fact, not being a soldier, is something Stark readily agreed to.  However, when faced with NYC getting nuked or sacrificing himself Tony didn’t bat an eye.  And how heartbreaking was it to see Tony trying to call Pepper and say goodbye and she doesn’t even see her phone ringing?
  10. Hulk is the Man – To steal a phrase here, Hulk does more hulking in Avengers than he ever did in his own movies.  There were so many great Hulk moments throughout the film.  There were two in particular that stand out to me.  One is Hulk grabbing a fallen Iron Man out of the sky and bringing the fallen Avenger to the ground.  The other is his confrontation with Loki, where Loki continues one of his longer evil rants and Hulk just grabs him by the ankle and throws him around like a ragdoll.  What made that moment perfect was Hulk muttering ‘puny god’ and walking off.  That was something that felts so much like the comics to me.
  11. Thanos! – This was an awesome setup for the future Marvel movies.  I’m guessing we will see the Infinity Gauntlet come into play as it was already seen in Odin’s vault in Thor.

Minor Quibbles:

  1. Cap’s Costume – I think they really gave Cap a near perfect costume in his movie.  I understand why they changed the costume, mostly to modernize it, but it would have been cool to make it look a little closer to his WW II uniform.
  2. Thor’s Return To Earth – With the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge in the Thor, many were left wondering how the God of Thunder would return to Earth.  To me, just saying as an aside that ‘Odin did it’ seemed a little bit like a cop-out.  My guess is that the explanation for Thor’s return is in one of the deleted scenes.

Overall, I loved this movie and I think it opened up a lot of possibilities for future Marvel films.  If I had to give it a score I’m thinking a 9.5 out of 10.  There were a couple of things I was left curious about that I’m hoping are in the deleted scenes.  I’m anticipating that the Director’s Cut of this movie will make this a 10 out of 10!

It is pretty interesting to note that Mark Ruffalo has already been signed to appear in 6 Marvel movies.  I would love to see him have a cameo in Iron Man 3 if only to continue building upon the friendship Stark and Banner seemed to develop in The Avengers.  In fact I think the Internet agrees with me based on one of the newest memes floating around.

Time for Science!

Time for Science!

First Look at The Avengers

Entertainment Weekly is running a big spread on The Avengers this week.  This includes interviews with the cast and some pictures from on set.  I haven’t gotten ahold of this issue of EW yet but I have looked at some of the pictures online.  This does not break my promise of going spoiler free for The Avengers as these are pictures officially released by Marvel.

I have to admit these first looks give little to nothing away but serve their purpose in continuing to get me hyped up for the movie coming out this summer.  There have also been some pieces of the EW article that have hit the web that speak of how the actors are interacting on set.

“In the sequence they’re about to shoot, Iron Man has just suffered serious ass-kicking, and Thor and Captain America are coming to his rescue. When Thor rips Tony Stark’s helmet free, the unconscious billionaire was suppose to wake suddenly, catch his breath, and ask, “What’s next?” Downey felt there should be more. Whedon agreed and put pen to paper, which resulted not just in a new series of exchanges between the three heroes, but a few alternates for Downey to say, giving the editors some options when it’s time to assemble the movie. One choice line from the bunch: “What happened?” Stark groans, coming back to consciousness as Captain America and Thor loom over him. “Please tell me nobody tried to kiss me.”

[Chris] Evans raises another question as the cameras are about to roll. ‘Wait, how do I check for a pulse?’ he asks, realizing that Iron Man’s armor makes it impossible. [Joss] Whedon’s face furrows as he thinks. Right. ‘Press his chest, lean down, and feel for his breath,’ the director says.

“‘May I see that?’ he asks, reaching for Evans’ star-emblazoned shield. ‘May I?’ Evans hands it over and Downey spins it slowly like he’s studying a record for scratches. He attaches it to his arm for a moment, striking a defensive pose, then flips it over like a bowl and turns to a prop master nearby: ‘Put some nachos in that would ya?’”

To me, it looks as though Joss Whedon is encouraging some ad-libbing in the movie.  Anytime you can let Robert Downey Jr. ad-lib lines it tends to work out well.  It has been reported before that RDJ ad-libbed a lot of his lines in the original Iron Man movie and that is one of the best superhero films made to date.  As to whether the other stars of the Avengers can ad-lib as well I have no clue, but I have faith that Tony Stark’s role in the movie will be lots of fun.  After reading the quote above it does seem as though the actors must be having fun on set.  What I really want to know, is did they eat nachos out of Captain America’s shield?  Sounds like that would be good for a laugh!

As for the pictures I think the best one to come out in this batch is Steve Rogers looking at his new Captain America costume.  The best touch is that Rogers is wearing clothes from his era while looking at a modern streamlined costume.  Fans of Captain America might notice that the headpiece of this costume does in face include ear holes just like the costume from the comics.

We can continue to assume that Loki plays a fairly large role in the movie.  It looks as though he is being escorted by SHIELD agents and Loki also looks to be a prisoner.

The remaining pictures looks to be action shots of both Nick Fury and the Black Widow.  They certainly look badass and seem to hint that there will be a lot of fighting in the movie.

The Avengers Footage from D23

Marvel Studios was a big player in Disney’s D23 Expo that was held over the weekend.  In fact there was whole section of the Expo dedicated to just The Avengers, with some of the cast and crew on hand.  But what is probably the coolest is that Marvel took the opportunity to debut 5 minutes of footage from the film despite the fact that filming has not even been completed.

As you might remember I recently made a pledge to go spoiler free on both The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises.  To explain why I am covering this news let me explain myself.  Simply, I am not consider this footage spoiler material.  This is footage that Marvel Studios released to the public at large, much like an extended trailer.  There is a big difference between the leaked scripts, set photos, and personal accounts from extras.  All of those items give away facts the studios are not comfortable with sharing.  Since Marvel Studios released this footage, albeit to a small Disney controlled crowd, I am considering it fair game.  As a concession to those who don’t even want the possible spoilers from this video I will put the recaps after the jump.  Click at your own peril! Read more of this post

Has The Avengers Script Leaked?

The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, started filming earlier this week and there’s already a threat of massive spoilers hitting the internet.  Marvel has done a pretty good job about limiting information about the movie.  Most of what was being reported was based on opinions or the little nuggets of information that had been provided by the actors.

However, this all might be changing.  Someone got their hands on a copy of the script written by Joss Whedon.  In fact it looks like they got Samuel L Jackson’s copy of the script.

Obsessed with Film announced they had been contacted by an anonymous source that was looking to sell  the 129 page script.  When the source was asked for proof that the script was legitimate they provided pictures including one page of dialogue between Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow).  The page is also watermarked with Jackson on it providing further evidence this script just may in fact belong to Samuel L Jackson.  A sample page was provided as proof of authenticity.  I fully admit I skimmed it and have provided it below so readers can make their own decision as to whether the script is real.

If this anonymous source truly has a copy of the script this is a security leak on par with Sony’s recent PSN issues.  All joking aside this is one of those time where I am not a fan of the internet.  If this is real and the script gets released spoilers are going to be all over the web.  My intent is to remain mostly spoiler free on the Marvel movies and this might not be doable if The Avengers script has leaked.  I promise you all right now that if this script is legitimate and details come to light I will not be sharing them.  I want to remain spoiler-free (mostly) and I’m going to do so for readers of the site.

I have to admit I feel bad for whoever purchases this script too.  They might get a huge spike in traffic for a day or two but then the army of Disney lawyers will descend to protect their property, in this case the script from The Avengers.  With an army of Disney lawyers waiting to pounce I hope fellow bloggers and news sites practice some discretion and don’t buy this script.  Don’t put it on the internet for everyone to read either.  If either thing happens it’s just going to ruin the movie-going experience for The Avengers.

Fans have  been waiting years for a superhero team-up movie like The Avengers.  Hopefully it’s not screwed up for all the fans by leaking the plot the first week of filming.  If bloggers chose to ignore the fan opinion, at the very least have a sense of self-preservation to keep out of legal hell.  Disney is going to come down hard on whoever is selling the script and whoever posts it on their web-site.  Do the right thing don’t buy the script or post it online!

Has The Avengers Plot Leaked? [Update]

Its became well-known that Joss Whedon’s next movie The Avengers will be filming in New Mexico.  Multiple media outlets is New Mexico have reported this.  However, the Albuquerque Journal may have leaked out some plot details for the upcoming movie.  The web-site has been since updated to remove the potential spoilers but I’m told it still exists in the print version.

According to the article

The Avengers” script will blend “Iron Man,” “Thor” and “Captain America: The First Avenger” story lines as the Avengers battle with two alien races, the Skrulls and the Kree.

It’s a minor spoiler but it could be pretty interesting to see what Whedon does with both the Skrull and Kree if this rumor is true.  It’s possible that we could see a lot of plot points taken from the Kree-Skrull War storyline from the early 70s.  Since this movie is so far out I’m inclined to believe its just a rumor.  A lot could change between now and May 4, 2012 when the movie is slated to release.

Via: ABQ Journal and 411Mania

Update: Here’s a copy of the print version for everyone to see.  Still doesn’t mean its true just lends more credence to the fact that this is what was published.

The Fundamental Flaw Of Dollhouse

So as you all probably know by now Dollhouse has officially been canceled by the geniuses over at Fox.  Not even Summer Glau was enough to save it!  That makes a second television show by Joss Whedon that has come to a premature end on Fox.  The first of course was Firefly.  Don’t get me wrong, Dollhouse is no Firefly, but its still certainly entertaining.

I can’t complain too much, at least Fox gave Dollhouse a chance by renewing it unlike Firefly which got screwed over numerous ways.  The problem was that Dollhouse never seemed to catch on with people, it seemed to be missing something that other Whedon shows had.  Other sites seems to have it pegged and I have to agree with them.  If you look at Joss Whedon’s other shows like Buffy, Angel, and Firefly there was a ‘family’ that everything tied together with.  Buffy had the Scoobies, Angel had the Fang Gang, and Captain Mal had the crew of Serenity.  The family always made for an interesting dynamic and you don’t get that with Dollhouse.  The family to all of these shows makes it easier for viewers to grow attached to the characters and become invested in the show even if its not one of their normal types of shows they watch.

Dollhouse never had the family that viewers could grow attached to.  I really enjoyed Dollhouse and I’m pretty sure that I’ll miss it when its gone.  Then again, I’m not a normal television watcher.  I’ve always enjoyed odd SciFi shows that are thought provoking.  I really think that its really difficult to make a Friday night show take off and be successful.  Friday has notoriously been the graveyard where Fox places shows to do.  It happened to the Sarah Conner Chronicles and now Dollhouse.  Hopefully Joss Whedon can get his show on a different network next time, but of course I was shocked he went back to Dollhouse.  Dollhouse we’ll miss you when you leave, but we’re sure as hell going to enjoy the final run of episodes we get.

EDIT: We added a copy of the live stream discussing Dollhouse below.  Just our part of continually updating the Round Table.

Astonishing X-Men Motion Comic

Looks like Marvel is doing another round of motion comics.  This time they are doing Joss Whedon’s run on Astonishing X-Men.

To be honest, I’ve never really cared for the motion comic effects.  It looks pretty cheesy to me.  However, they must sell well if people keep buying them.  My bet is because its cheaper than making real animated movies out of the stories.  Maybe with Disney money Marvel will turn more of the comic story arcs into DVD movies.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

Anyway, below is the trailer for the newest motion comic.  It looks okay I supposes, but the voice actors for Wolverine and Cyclops are terrible.  I also love how they have to add the blatent shot of Emma Frost topless at the 44 second mark.  All you readers, let us know what you think.  Are motion comics any good?

Summer Glau Enters the Dollhouse

Just in case you all hadn’t picked up on it before I’m a big fan of Joss Whedon’s work.  I’ll be honest though and say I was late to the Dollhouse party.  I was pretty bored with the first 3 episodes and then I quit on the show for a while.  I was back home visiting my folks and caught the last two episodes of season 1 and what a difference there was.  Now I fully admit I’m hooked and will have to go back and watch the earlier episodes.

Well the big news is that Whedon-verse alum Summer Glau has signed on to be a part of Dollhouse in season 2.  She’s previously worked with Whedon on  Angel and Firefly before moving on to Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles.  Glau will be a recurring cast member in Dollhouse, playing a new character named “Bennett.”  The question is, what role will Bennett have with Eliza Dushku’s Echo?

That being said, it looks like Fox is letting Whedon pull out all the stops this season.  Guest stars already booked include Jamie Bamber and Michael Hogan of Battlestar Galactica fame as well.  Keep your fingers crossed, it looks like Dollhouse could be really good this year!

Stars of Dollhouse

Stars of Dollhouse