Daily Archives: May 22, 2012

Quick Critiques – May 22, 2012

Marvel’s The Avengers in RealD 3D movie (Marvel Studios/Paramount Pictures)
directed by Joss Whedon

Because one person demanded it, here are my thoughts on the Avengers flick — spoiler free, I assure you. There are two elements that influenced my movie-viewing experience Saturday night, and the first was seeing the movie more than a week after its release. The box-office success and hyperbole I’ve seen from fans and comics professionals alike online really built the movie up. I had people tell me even though they went in with high expectations, Avengers exceeded them. I didn’t feel the same enthusiasm for the film, though I couldn’t really pinpoint anything about it that disappointed in any real way. The movie’s paced well, and it boasts an interesting story, a punchy script, great effects and a strong emphasis on interpersonal conflicts to go along with the widescreen action in the third act. I was also impressed with how well balanced the movie is; all of the players get moments to shine. I was also surprised to find Scarlett Johannson’s role was pivotal throughout the film. The movie’s a lot of fun at times and boasts some great moments of humor, but it also exhibits some strong dramatic tension. The only character that doesn’t really seem like his original comic-book incarnation is Hawkeye. I also appreciated how the second act focuses on a much different sort of conflict than I expected, and the action in the climax unfolds quite differently than what the marketing campaign led me to expect. Nevertheless, while I thought the movie was solid across the board, I don’t agree Avengers the best super-hero movie ever made. The Incredibles and The Dark Knight stand above it for me.

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A New 52 Review: DC Universe Presents #9

DC Universe Presents #9
“Savage, Part One: Daddy’s Little Girl”
Writer: James Robinson
Artist/Colors: Bernard Chang
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover artist: Ryan Sook
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US

Well, this series has only struck out once in three times at bat. James Robinson’s reinterpretation of Vandal Savage is the third feature to grace the pages of this series, which offers stories spotlighting different characters by different creative teams. There’s an undeniable Silence of the Lambs riff at play in this story, but the familial dynamic keeps it from seeming derivative. The writer blends the serial-killer genre with the periphery of that of the super-hero (or villain, to be more precise), and the result is thoroughly entertaining. While I enjoyed the strong, new female protagonist Robinson introduces here, what stands out as the greatest strength of the issue is Bernard Chang’s artwork. He did such a great job on the inaugural Deadman story arc in DC Universe Presents and on this new one, it seems to me DC ought to just make him the regular artist for the series across the board. Chang is a skilled comics artist whose traditional style nevertheless boasts a great deal of nuance and impact when the story calls for it.

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