The Avengers (2012)

It’s not hyperbole to call The Avengers the greatest superhero movie of all time — better than Captain America: The First Avenger, better than The Dark Knight, and better than Spider-Man 2. And the best superhero movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD starting today.

The cardinal sin of most superhero movies is that producers change too much from the page and the screen, and then crowd the story with too many characters (especially villains) that all have to be introduced. So how does Avengers — a movie featuring six heroes, a villain, a host of supporting characters and an entire top-secret international organization — manage to not only avoiding becoming an overstuffed muddle, but pull it all off brilliantly?

One name: Joss Whedon.
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The Cabin in the Woods (2012) — No Spoilers

The best — and smartest — horror movie in a dozen years, The Cabin in the Woods, is released on Blu-ray and DVD today, and if you missed your chance to see it during its truncated theatrical run earlier this year, rectify that mistake and watch it now.

The brainchild of co-writers Joss Whedon (who also wrote and directed this summer’s megablockbuster, The Avengers) and Cloverfield scribe Drew Goddard (who also directed this masterpiece), Cabin has all the cultural savvy, whip-smart dialogue and razor-sharp meta references one expects from veterans of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s scary, funny and thought-provoking — all while being wildly entertaining.
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Joss Whedon Gains Superpowers

Of course there could not be better news for the Avengers sequel than the announcement that Joss Whedon will write and direct it — but it now appears that, as part of his three-year exclusive deal, Marvel will let him shape the Captain America, Thor and Iron Man sequels to set up the characters the way he wants them for The Avengers 2.

Marvel’s statement this week declared:

“As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.”

What that TV series will be is anyone’s guess, but I’m more interested in the bit that promises he will “contribute creatively” to other movies — namely, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Except for the Guardians, all those characters are closely tied to the Avengers. Maybe Whedon will be able to get Nathan Fillion to sign on as the Hank Pym original version of Ant-Man!
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Browncoats Unite!

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2012 has come up with the first bit of good news for Browncoats in as long as I can remember: The creators of the cult series Firefly will gather for a 10-year reunion in San Diego — and the Science Channel will tape it for a one-hour special to air on Nov. 11.

I know what you’re thinking: The Science Channel? Well, they’ve been airing reruns for the last year or so, and piling up gangbuster ratings, so they figured it was worth the investment to dish up a little treat for its loyal Browncoats.
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Female of the Species: Deadlier Than the Male

This clip is the first piece of a scene released from the forthcoming summer blockbuster The Avengers, written and directed by Joss Whedon, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame.

This snippet showcases the team’s only female member, the Black Widow, and demonstrates the two big reasons why she’s on the team:

  1. She kicks total ass (even while bound in a chair).
  2. She’s played by Scarlett Johansson.

In this non-spoiler scene, the Widow is being interrogated by some bad guys. She’s wearing a cocktail dress, so they probably captured her during an operation and then tied her to a chair. Bad move for them…

The Avengers opens May 4 in the USA.

Awesome New Avengers Trailer!

The new trailer for Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers manages to simultaneously make the movie look epic — by playing up the widescreen action and pumping up the threat level — and intimate — by featuring tiny little character moments that demonstrate these are Marvel characters (by which I mean, damaged souls). Check it out at Apple trailers.

And check out The Avengers in theaters May 4.

The Avengers Will Assemble in Britain — and Soon!

The U.K. poster

The AvengersJoss Whedon’s big-budget adaption of the comic book and featuring Marvel’s mightiest movie heroes teaming up — will sport a slightly different name when it is released in the U.K.  — and British fans will get to see it a full week earlier than we Yanks.

Marvel Avengers Assemble will be released on April 26, sporting the new title in an effort to avoid any nasty legal entaglements with the owners of the copyright to the ever-popular 1960s caper series, THE AVENGERS (of Steed and Mrs. Peel fame), which is a cultural touchstone in the United Kingdom. (The TV series was made into a wretched feature in 1998, starring Uma Thurman and Ralph Fiennes.)

Still, one would think there’s not much chance of mistaking the Hulk for the sophisticated John Steed…
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