The Avengers Assemble – Does it Live Up to the Hype?

May 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Avengers Assemble is the biggest blockbuster of all time. Countless people have told me how good it is and that I need to see it. So, you can imagine I was sceptical about whether it would live up to all the hype.

The week before my visit to the cinema I watched Iron Man, The Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America, so when the preview trailers started rolling so did my excitement.

I like a film that throws you right in from the beginning and that’s what The Avengers Assemble does. We immediately witness the return of Thor’s snivelling brother, Loki, and we soon realise that he has plans to take over the world, and recruits a bewildered Hawkeye in the process. Not bad after less than two minutes on earth. Tom Hiddleston performance is even more evil and vermin-like than in Thor, and it is a tribute to the actor and the writing that he really got to the core of the character.

We are then introduced gradually to all the Avenger members. The fantastic thing about this film is that each character gets their moment in the spotlight – even if Iron Man does steal the show in every scene he is in, but that’s just the type of guy he is.

However, I could have seen a bit more of Thor. Each character had a big, defining moment. Black Widow helped turn off the portal and kicked so much ass I’m surprised there are any donkeys left. Captain America helped get all of the citizens out of danger. The Hulk saved Iron Man, kicked Loki’s puny little ass and beat off all the Chitauri. Iron Man restarts the damaged engine on the Helicarrier, gets rid of a nuclear bomb and flies it into the portal. Thor just does a little bit of lightning and fights his brother a bit – nothing too heroic. Yeah, he returns Loki to Asgard, but if you ask me they should have killed him there and then. I wish there was more of him, not just because he is super good looking (and even you men can agree on that) but because he is an interesting character.

There was also the pointless Gwyneth Paltrow. Seriously, why was she in this film? Was it part of her contract to appear in the movie, because I can’t see any other reason? Yeah, it might have been to show she was still with Iron Man, but they could have just shown him looking at a picture of her like they did with Captain America and Iron Man. Then you might argue that it would add to emotional drama when Iron Man enters the portal – but again, a picture would still do the job. In fact, if she actually answered her phone then she might have served more of a purpose.

The movie has a good blend of comedy and action, and the films success is due to the production company, the phenomenal acting and, of course, Joss Whedon. You can imagine that the writer and director went through millions of drafts before he got the script right, because it is perfect. He utilises everything that makes these characters so entertaining, such as Iron Man and his humour, Thor and that crazy voice and Captain America and his old fashioned behaviour.

I’ll admit that I was dubious about Mark Ruffalo taking over Ed Norton as The Hulk/Bruce Banner, but I honestly don’t know why I was worried. Not only does he seem intelligent and gentle enough to play Banner, but he looks exactly how you would expect The Hulk to look. I always thought that Ed Norton seemed a little bit too weak to be Bruce, too, but Ruffalo has the right build to sell it.

Black Widow was one of the biggest highlights for me. I’ve never been much of a Scarlet Johansson fan but I’ve done a  total 360 now. The past twelve months have brought female characters to the forefront of film, and both Johansson and Black Widow proved how strong female performances can be and she thoroughly deserves to be one of the biggest stars of the movie.

I know I said that I thought The Hunger Games was the film of the year on a previous blog, but I was mistaken. The Avengers Assemble is the best film of 2012 and I can’t see anything topping it – and maybe nothing will until The Avengers 2. Bring back Joss Whedon!

If you like or dislike what you read, then please leave a comment below and share your views.


Top 10 Movies to Watch in 2012

April 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Welcome to The Dark Passenger! That’s right, it’s my first blog and I’m happy to say I’m here to stay people. If you love film and television then you’ll be happy you landed on my wonderful page. So, let’s get right down to it by telling you what big movies I think you should be watching out for this year!

1.    The Amazing Spiderman (UK Release Date: 4th July 2012)
Peter Parker is back and looking younger than ever. Andrew Garlfield has taken the reigns off the vulnerable Toby Maguire to become the new Spidey, and will tell a different story of his predecessor. While the trailer could have been a little better, I have no doubt in my mind that audiences across the world are in for a treat.

Also, with such a stellar cast, including Emma Stone (the most talented young actress in film right now), Martin Sheen, Rhys Ifans and the phenomenal Sally Field, it’s pretty hard to go wrong. Hell, it even features the Marvel creator Stan Lee. It’s pretty clear to see that they are pulling out all the big guns to really make this the must-see film of the year. If you see one film this year, make it The Amazing Spiderman.

2.    The Dark Knight Rises (UK Release Date: 20th July 2012)
If you’re a Batman fan then you’re probably really annoyed that I put this at number 2, and I really did struggle to choose which film I wanted to see more, but when it comes down to it I’m a massive Spiderman fan. I root for the Underdog and no superhero is more vulnerable than Peter Parker. Anyway, The Dark Knight Rises has a lot to live up to after the fantastic The Dark Knight. However, everyone’s favourite vigilante is back to kick some ass and save Gotham’s citizens from a new terrorist leader in the form of Bane – played by the talented Tom Hardy – and boy does he look scary!

Christian Bale is reprising his role for the third time and there are some new faces to the franchise, including Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway and the wonderful Aidan Gillen. The third instalment from the Nolan brothers looks set to be one of the summer’s biggest movies, and is definitely one to look out for this year.

3.    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (UK Release Date: 14th December 2012)
One of the most celebrated directors in film history, Peter Jackson, is back to bring one of the most famous stories to the wide screen, and it looks like a right doosey.  The adapted tale of  J. R. R. Tolkien novel tells the story of the curious Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who undertakes a journey to the Lonely Mountain with an energetic group of dwarves in an attempt to recover a stolen treasure from the dragon Smaug.

Filming reportedly ended last month and features a whole host of famous faces, such as Billy Connolly, Evangeline Lily, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving and, the Peter Jackson favourites, Sir Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Andy Serkis.

4.    Prometheus (UK Release Date: 1st June 2012)
The director of Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Hannibal and American Gangster offers a new film that is sure to create a cinema buzz, as Prometheus will soon hit our screens. So, what’s it about?

A group of explorers happen to discover a clue about the origins of mankind on earth. As a result, this leads them to the very darkest corners of the universe and they are forced to partake in a terrifying battle in an attempt to save the future of the human race. You have to admit, that sounds like pretty gripping stuff!

5.    Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II (UK Release Date: 16th November 2012)
If you’re a fan of the Twilight Saga then you probably felt a thrill of excitement just reading the title. If you’re not a fan of the bloodsuckers then you’ve probably done the obligatory eye roll.

One thing is for sure, Twihards are in for a treat with this fantastical tale which witnesses Bella now living life as vampire and coming to terms with her new powers. If you’ve read the book then you’ll already know that the story is a bit far fetched – but that doesn’t mean it won’t be any less enjoyable. If you haven’t read the book then don’t go in expecting to see the usual miserable Bella Swan/Cullen, as she’s stronger than ever before.

6.    Men in Black 3 (UK Release Date: 25th May 2012)
It’s been 10 years since the last Men in Black film and Will Smith still hasn’t aged whilst Tommy Lee Jones looks a whole lot younger. This time, Agent J travels back in time to stop an alien from assassinating his partner Agent K (Josh Brolin).

Expect more laughs, some awesome CGI and a few cameo appearances from Nicole Scherzinger, Lady Gaga and the musical genius Jermaine Clement.

7.    The Avengers (UK Release Date: 27th April 2012)
Like Thor, Black Widow, Captain America, The Hulk and Iron Man? Well, you’ll bloody love The Avengers. Straight from the Marvel Studios, The Avengers is the first of the many superhero films this year, and it looks like it may well just compete with the best. The story is about Nick Fury assembling a group of superheroes to a fight a new enemy that’s a big threat to the world. Expect action, explosions and a throw in of a few funny one liners.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon, it contains an all star cast including Robert Downey Jnr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, to name but a few.

8.    Brave (UK Release Date: 17th April 2012)
One of the biggest animations to hit the cinema this year is Brave, and it is sure to have children and adults across the world lining roun the block of the cinema.

The story is about the daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. The skilled Merida is determined to lead her own life and ignore the age old customs of her family, and this doesn’t go down very well with the clan. She then meets a wise woman and is granted an unfortunate wish that makes her discover what true bravery is. Sounds good, right?

9.    Snow White and the Huntsman (UK Release Date: 1st June 2012)
The first Snow White film out this year, Mirror Mirror, didn’t gone down too well at the box office, but I’m pretty confident that Snow White and the Huntsman will fare much better. The story is dark and intriguing and is full of superb CGI that looks simply breathtaking. If the trailer is anything to go by, this could possibly be one of the films of the year.

Charlize Theron also looks deliciously evil as the nasty Queen Ravenna and Kristen Stewart definitely has the vulnerability to play a good modern day Snow White. So don’t expect her to be sitting on her laurels letting the Dwarves to all the work, as she is determined to bring her wicked Step Mother down.

10.    Skyfall: Bond 23 (UK Release Date: 26th October 2012)
Bond is back. Daniel Craig’s third performance of James Bond looks like it’s going to be as action packed as ever, as Bond’s loyalty is tested due to secrets from her past.

MI6 is then attacked and obviously there’s only one man for the job who can locate the threat and eliminate it. No doubt it’ll be full of the usual death defying stunts, sexy women and those one liners that we know and love.

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