Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Preview of This Week's New Releases (for Friday, May 4th)

Andrew: Hello readers! It's time for our weekly preview, and honestly it's going to be a pretty short one because there aren't a whole lot of movies coming out this weekend. In fact, there's really only ONE movie coming out this weekend and it's a pretty damn good one and we all know what it is - Marvel's The Avengers!

Sarah: Yes! This is a weekend that many have been planning for for the past few months! We have friends back in Michigan that have had their midnight tickets purchased for weeks! This is going to be an epic movie when it hits wide tonight at midnight. All of our favorite characters from the Marvel movies are back in this dramatic yet funny action flick. They all play such strong roles but our favorite narsacist, Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, brings back all the charm and swagger from his solo movies. Wouldn't you agree?

A: Tony Stark is definitely the man. But I think a lot of people will be pleasantly surprised with Mark Ruffalo's performance as Bruce Banner a.k.a. The Hulk, as well as Scarlett Johannson's expanded performance as Natasha Romanoff a.k.a. Black Widow.

And this brings me to an idea: why don't we briefly go over each character and their first appearances in the Marvel movies that lead up to The Avengers? We don't have to go some much in depth on some guys like Iron Man, but a number of the characters in the film had smaller parts in the first films or there have been some changes. If some of our readers haven't seen the all the movies that led up to tomorrow's film, this might be helpful. Who should we start with first?

S: Let’s do it!

A: Ok readers, here are our quick little write-ups on all the main players in the movie that you can either use as a refresher or as a Cliff’s Notes version if you haven’t seen their respective movie. Sarah, start us off...

S: Tony Stark/Iron Man - When we last see Tony, the self-proclaimed “genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist” is his usual narcissistic self but somehow he makes the audience fall in love with him anyway. At the end of Iron Man 2, Tony has been rejected initially as a member of the Avengers Initiative but is asked if he would like to stay on as more of a consultant. He is, according to Black Widow, too narcissistic and doesn't play well with others. In typical Stark fashion, that's just not going to be good enough for him, until he realizes that this might be more beneficial for him. The Avengers picks up with Stark's business continuing to prosper, and his and Pepper Potts' relationship in perfect harmony.

A: Bruce Banner/The Hulk - There have already been two incarnations of The Hulk on the silver screen within the last ten years (2003's Hulk and 2008's The Incredible Hulk) and this is the third different actor to play Banner in as many movies. Edward Norton's 2008 version somewhat follows parts of the 2003 Eric Bana version, but Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner is decidedly more timid than the other two despite being the same character. Not much is mentioned regarding the first two films this time around, and that's a good thing.

S: Thor - The Norse God of Thunder has probably the smallest part in The Avengers. In Thor he develops a love for Earth and the pretty scientist, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and has to protect both from his crazy little brother. When the scuffle moves back to Asgard, in order to stop Loki’s destructive tirade, he has to break the bifrost bridge (a cosmic means of transportation) cutting Thor off from Earth and the woman he loves...for the time being. In The Avengers, Thor has to come and basically grab his little brother by the ear almost in a "Okay, it's time to come home now, you rascal" sort of way. When that doesn't work, Thor joins the Avengers Initiative to stop his brother from trying to destroy Earth.

A: Steve Rogers/Captain America - The last of the main players in The Avengers to even show up in one of the recent string of movies, Captain America becomes the de facto leader of the group (if that's a spoiler to anyone, my apologies, but he's freaking Captain America). In Captain America: The First Avenger, Rogers is a small, thin man who is repeatedly denied into the U.S. Army during WWII until an experiment partial run by Tony Stark's father, Howard Stark, turns him into a superhuman. After fighting off a rogue Nazi group using a magical power source called the Tesseract as a weapon, Rogers ends up frozen for many decades until found and brought into the 21st Century. The Avengers picks up immediately where his film ends, with the Tesseract driving a large part of the plot along.

Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow - Black Widow's only appearance so far in the Marvel films was a supporting role in Iron Man 2 where S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury put her undercover as Tony Stark's new assistant so she could keep an eye on him. She did eventually bust out in full Black Widow gear half-way through the movie and showed off her expertise as a martial arts master, but other than that she's sort of a mystery in this film series.

S: Clint Barton/Hawkeye - We first meet Hawkeye in Thor, but unless you are a Marvel Comics fan, you might not have known who you were meeting. It’s a small cameo where Agent Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. orders him up into a bird’s nest to potentially take down Thor as he attempts to retrieve his hammer. But after that scene, we never see him for the rest of the movie and don't get to meet him again until the beginning of The Avengers.

Agent Coulson - This is one of the series' favorite characters if I had to guess, because he (along with Nick Fury) is in most of the other characters' solo movies. He comes through as a strong character and a great agent in all of his appearances. The audience may not realize it, but in every appearance, he has become more and more of an intricate character and someone that the audience may even begin to care for. It would appear that his primary role is to bring together all the members of the Avengers Initiative.

Loki - The Norse God of Mischeif and younger brother to Thor, Loki is the primary villain in The Avengers, as he was in last year's Thor. In Thor, Loki made a grand scheme to get his brother banished so he could take over the throne of Asgard (it didn't work). Having been lied to by his father and realizing his plan failed when Thor shows up again, he cracks before Thor (accidentally) banishes him from Asgard. Not content with having taken over Asgard's crown, he teams up with some shady characters in The Avengers to try and take over Earth.

A: Nick Fury - Sam Jackson's Nick Fury, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., has made small appearances in all but one of the Marvel films that lead up to The Avengers (only his name shows up in The Incredible Hulk, while Tony Stark takes his place as a recruiter), some smaller than others, but always there to speak with the characters about the Avengers Initiative. In the new film he steps up front and center to get the team together and convince them to work together.

Maria Hill - A new addition to the film franchise, Maria Hill is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who works side by side with Fury. In the comics she's the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. but this time appears to simply be second-in-charge.

S: Now, for those of you who either haven’t read it yet or are first time readers, Andrew and I have been fortunate enough to have seen The Avengers already! So in case you missed it, we wrote our review of it last week and it can be found HERE. Fair warning: there are some small spoilers so if you would prefer, wait till after you see the movie. It really is a great movie and we already have tickets to see it again this Saturday!

A: Indeed we do! Ok readers, hope you enjoyed this preview of The Avengers and we hope you check out our review of it! As always, thank you for reading!


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