EDITORIALS

Ethan Survives 15 Hours, 6 Films and an Assembly of 'The Avengers'

by
May 6, 2012

Marvel Marathon

At midnight on May 4th, The Avengers assembled on the big screen for the very first time (read Jeremy's review here) and audiences have turned up to the tune of over $200 million this weekend alone. But for the entire day preceding, some dedicated and loyal fans of the iconic superheroes had enough free time (or skipped out on work) to spend an entire day in the theaters as part of the epic Marvel Marathon hosted by AMC Theatres. The event ran through Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger, in that order, leading to The Avengers, and damn was it great.

This was my first time sitting in a theater for a long marathon of movies all from a single series, though I was interested but unable to attend events for The Lord of the Rings and most recently the Harry Potter franchise. I've partook in double and even triple features of the films in theaters at any given time, but this experience is quite different. Sitting with fellow nerds, most of them suited up in their best Captain America and Iron Man shirts (I decided to support the whole team with my 2011 Comic-Con exclusive shirt), the experience is truly a unique one and sometimes annoying if you're sitting next to a guy who sounds like a broken accordion when he breathes and always shows the crack of his ass when he stands up.

But that's not what's really important. What's really important is just how the right crowd can make an experience like this that much more enjoyable. When it comes to seeing films with the people who love them, they laugh, clap and cheer at all the right parts. This was no different as we sat in a movie theaters for 12 hours, watching directors Jon Favreau, Louis Leterrier, Kenneth Branagh and Joe Johnston assemble our Avengers little by little. Sitting through each individual movie, I found myself increasingly excited about the prospect of making our way to the epic assembly of superheroes that's been built over the past five years with no less than five feature length films building up.

The Avengers - Theater Crowd

However, I was also wondering just how the style in each film, and the strength of each character would be utilized in an ensemble setting. How the hell was Joss Whedon going to pull this off? Despite the fact that even my least favorite films in the series (Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk) were fun in the theater again with this comic book loving audience, there were cracks in the well-molded plan leading up to The Avengers. Mostly The Incredible Hulk has holes with its final scene where Tony Stark talks to General Ross (William Hurt) about recruiting Bruce Banner for "a team," something that doesn't make sense after seeing The Avengers. However, in the context of this marathon, I found myself more forgiving of certain flaws in each individual film. Even the clunky S.H.I.E.L.D. centric parts of Iron Man 2, merely there to help set-up this superhero ensemble, felt fine in the grand scheme of things, even if they don't let the sequel work as a standalone film.

Then before I knew it, the time had come for pigs to fly, as The Avengers were coming together on the big screen and it wasn't a cruel April Fool's Day prank. Thankfully, director Joss Whedon took all the best parts of each film (even some of Kenneth Branagh's Dutch angles) and threw them together in a blender with a shitload of great action, some quick, witty humor, and came out on top with a respectful comic book movie that should please fans everywhere. Though the first act is a little choppy and weak on the action front, once the team starts coming together, everything and everyone fits in its proper place.

The dynamic between our heroes is perfect, from the difference in their strategies and personalities to their hilarious banter, mocking each other at almost every turn (mostly with great nickname one-liners from Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark). The Incredible Hulk and Bruce Banner brought to life by Mark Ruffalo is easily the best incarnation the green mean machine has ever seen on the big screen (okay, that rhyme almost made me throw up in my mouth). Even S.H.I.E.L.D. gets a chance to shine through Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders) and especially Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg).

Honestly, it's been a long time since I have heard this much raucous laughter, excited applause, and straight-up cheering at any midnight showing. Joss Whedon has assembled The Avengers in one of the best comic book movies the genre has ever seen. Normally, I'm not a fan of things like magic and cosmos in comic book movies (I know it seems weird), but the way all of the grounded emotional elements of the series mesh with the outrageously fantastical pieces is almost too good to be true. And I'm not even going to spoil the credits scene that delivers one whopping set up for a sequel. Frankly, it's this film that already has me excited for another Marvel Marathon in another few years when The Avengers 2 eventually arrives.

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  • http://profiles.google.com/snears Nick Sears
    That must of been pretty cool. Dress comfortably, that's for sure. I probably would have had a cooler of beers in my car I'd periodically go back and forth to. Went to a midnight showing on thursday night. Amazing.
  • John
    See the Marvel One Shot: "The Consultant" on the Thor blu-ray, it explains the context of the Stark/Ross scene.
  • VVS
    The Avengers was so disappointing  2/5  i think people let the novelty of having multiple superheroes on screen excite them too much to realize that1. the writing was atrocious (most of the dialogue was cringe worthy ...just about anything captain america, thor, hawkeye, or samuel l jackson said made me want to kick a little child)2. the production value was similar to that of a TV production of Star Trek3. None of the action introduced anything we haven't seen before. It was all the generic stuff we have scene a thousand times before in a non-descript action flick.4. there was no depth to the characters5. the ending was so underwhelming
    • attention seeker above
      Yawn
      • :D
        Be fair, its his opinion. He only has one a year when he is let out for a weekend.
        • VVS
          I'm not an attention seeker. I'm simply someone who is a fan of good movies. And this movie had very little to offer. I wouldn't even mind the lack of great story and dialogue had the action been unique and original. But can you honestly say there was anything remotely new or fresh about the action in this movie? There really wasn't. We've seen this so many times in generic disaster movies.  here's a list of flaws that the Marvel fanboys cannot argue against. 1. the writing was atrocious (most of the dialogue was cringe worthy ...just about anything captain america, thor, hawkeye, or samuel l jackson said made me want to kick a little child)2. the production value was similar to that of a TV production of Star Trek3. None of the action introduced anything we haven't seen before. It was all the generic stuff we have scene a thousand times before in a non-descript action flick.4. there was no depth to the characters5. the ending was so underwhelming6. who the hell cares about ________ dying??? this was a character that was never developed beyond 1 dimension...we never knew anything about this person....nothing!!! yet we are supposed to care about this person's death? that's the big emotional moment in the film??    
          • Chip_Tha_Ripper
            hey Dc fanboy you may love the dark knight but dc did that movie green lantern. Dont nitpick marvels writing if your a dc fanboy. All of your above remarks are invalid and I take away your internets.
          • VVS
            I'm not a DC fanboy, and you're right Green Lantern was garbage. Don't get me started on Jonah Hex. Avengers was about as good as Thor or Captain America...all rated 2/5 for me...Iron Man 1 was better than them all and is still the best marvel movie (not counting spiderman 1 or 2) 
          • Stavi
            Shut up. The Sound Off is two posts down. Go there and bitch with your basement-dwelling buddies.
    • Rhythm Master
      I don't think you deserve a response.
  • JP
    Speaking of major gaps in logic, The Avengers completely ignored the existence of War Machine.  Could've wrote him off with a line or two like they did with Natalie Portman's character from Thor.  Not really complaining though.  The Avengers is damn good.
    • Jericho
      he's in the military...anyone who knows at least two cents about the military knows that its a good enough reason as to why they wouldn't mention him.......
    • BinaryChaos
      War Machine wasn't chosen to be apart of the avengers initiative. I'm sure in the 2nd Avengers movie he will have his time to shine but possibly in the 3rd Iron Man movie they'll probably explain more upon his absense.
  • JP
    The military had better things to do than to help stop an alien invasion?
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VMLYRHNGBJJXXP7542DXX7FOWI Dan
    A local theater started their Avenger marathon at 4 May 2012 12:15 PM with a midnight showing of The Avengers. If I were not in the middle of a project with a severe deadline, I would have considered attending. With a price of $38 per ticket, the cost per film was less than the early matinee price. The marathon at my local theater only had five 20-minute breaks. I am assuming that Ethan is including the five 30-minute breaks in his fifteen hour total.
  • http://moviesiwanted.blogspot.com/ online movies
    good 2 see the reply of all

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