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The Avengers (2012): Movie Review

Marvel’s The Avengers is a box office hit, topping The Dark Knight’s midnight premier

The Avengers (2012 film)

The Avengers (2012 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

records and emerging as #1 opening weekend at $207,438,708 [1] in the United States and Canada alone. However, is this highly acclaimed film worth the hype? Or is it simply another blockbuster blown out of proportion? Even many of the staunchest critics agree – The Avengers is a superhero masterpiece.

Incorporating elements from the previous films, The Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man II, Thor, and Captain America, The Avengers embodies a fantastic medley of the Marvel Universe’s greatest heroes and villains, all the while, paving the way for the next installments. It is highly comedic and intensely action-packed, superior to the Transformers series which attempts a similar plot-line in Dark of the Moon.

The Avengers opens up with a most ominous, alien voice, rambling on about some plot which entails the power-hungry Loki, banished of Asgard, like something produced by Garage Band’s “deeper vocals” voice modifier. Following this singular introduction, we find SHIELD agents and scientists (some from Thor) working diligently at unlocking the secrets of the divine Tesseract, a source of seemingly ultimate and limitless power. Albeit, as one might expect of the suspenseful setting, their experimentation goes terribly wrong. The Asgardian device suddenly reacts with a violent burst of light and generates a portal, which may be likened to the destructive force which presumably annihilated the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, sending forth the vengeful Loki who is bent on conquering Earth with an army given him in return for the Tesseract. The available SHIELD agents surround the self-proclaimed “god,” albeit are disposed of by a few blasts of Loki’s newly acquired staff. Nick Fury arrives on the scene, shooting a few rounds in vain, whilst Loki uses his staff to mind-control the mercenary Hawkeye and Dr. Erik Selvig to aid in his escape. The next few moments are without respite – the SHIELD complex sinks underground, collapsing inward as a maelstrom, due to the effects of the Tesseract. Fury and company give chase, although lose their quarry and are forced to flee.

On less dramatic grounds, fan-favorite Tony Stark and his girlfriend Pepper Pots, are debating who deserves the most credit for Stark Tower – a top of the line, self-sufficient complex inspired by the reactor core. Amusing quarrel aside, SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson -promptly arrives with a briefing for Iron Man, in preparation for the “Avengers Initiative” – it would appear the world is once again in peril and only the aforementioned team of heroes can save it.

In another part of the world, Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), after dispatching with a Russian general, is sent to extract Dr. Bruce Banner (The Hulk), and Director Fury introduces Steve Rogers (Captain America) to the Initiative. The team slowly comes together as the peril grows greater, and there is much dissonance among the members, as they fight to recapture Loki, and then amongst themselves (Thor vs. Captain America & Iron Man) to retain him. All the while, the preparations for Loki’s army is nearly complete… will the team be able to come together and save the world, or will the alien apocalypse fall upon them?

The Avengers is a barrel of fun, with enough intrigue to keep the audience guessing until the end and a good portion of comedy to provide the necessary balance. It introduces [to the series] the developmental process of a team, rather than a single protagonist. The villain is likewise in control of a massive army and it is evident another power is pulling the strings at the start, adding depth. In this way, it separates itself from its superhero predecessors outside of the animated realm, attaining the claim by some that it is “the best superhero movie ever.”

Family Perspective

This time around, the violence gets a little bloody, with the death of a great number of characters (as opposed to those scenes which are given little reflection), some more evident than others which are merely suggested.

Language is fairly minimal, albeit a few curse words are used in the course of the film.

Natasha Romanoff, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson, remains a source of eye-candy, albeit not as overt in as in the Iron Man films and much more of an independent protagonist. Her top, during the Russian interrogation, is low cut and gratuitous during fighting scenes, yet the “buck stops there” so to speak, in that the female form is not exploited for the vast remainder of the film (note: at the beginning, Pepper Pots wears “short-shorts,” she, however, plays a minor role in the film and takes up only a small fraction of screen time), aside from the skin tight suits.

The Avengers is better suited to teen and adult audiences, especially on account of much more mature conceptions and visuals.

Notable Quotations

“Earth’s mightiest heroes type-thing. / Yeah. Takes us awhile to get any traction, I’ll give you that one. But let’s do a headcount here. Your brother the demigod, the super soldier living legend who kind of lives up to the legend, a man with breathtaking anger management issues, a couple of master assassins, and you, big fella, have managed to [anger] every single one of them.” -Tony Stark to Loki

“You miss the point, there’s no throne. No version of this where you come on top.” -Tony Stark to Loki

“I’m in the middle of an interrogation, this moron is giving me everything.” -Black Widow

“I’m bringing the party to you. | I don’t see how that’s a party.” Iron Man | Black Widow

“How desperate are you? You call on such lost creatures to defend you. / It burns you to have come so close. To have the tesseract, to have power – unlimited power. And for what? A warm light for all mankind to share, and then to be reminded of what real power is.” -Loki

“Well, let me know if real power wants a magazine or something.” -Nick Fury

Christian Perspective

The Avengers delves deep into what it means to be a hero, as clashing egos and selfish motives are put aside for teamwork and integrity.

Captain America, Steve Rogers, stands for traditionalist, Christian America, when, after a remark is made about Loki and Thor’s “godhood,” retorts “I mean no disrespect ma’am, but there’s only one God, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that!” All the while calling for team to unite and realize their duty.

References are made to the macro-evolutionary theory, as Loki jokingly states he had thought “humans were more evolved” than they were behaving. Loki, furthermore, observes the depravity of man and the hopeless nature therein (without a remedy).

Puss in Boots: Movie Review

Puss in Boots

Image via Wikipedia

It began a long time ago… you may want to sit down for this.

-Puss (Antonio Banderas)

Puss in Boots is back, and this time around there’s no sign of donkey, Shrek, or the usual storyline. Puss In Boots brings a fresh, rollicking, action-packed adventure to the table – abundant in sword fights, dance fights, and angry goose mothers.

The story kicks off with a Casanova-like Puss, escaping from an unknown villain at the dark of night. After a narrow escape, he ventures to a saloon for a glass of leche. Here he receives news of the infamous golden eggs, and the fantastic goose who lays them, residing in a castle far into the heavens. The only way to get there is to obtain the magical beans and plant them in a specific spot to create beanstalk. Simple, right? Until Puss learns of the bean’s current “owners,” the notorious Jack & Jill who seek the goose of legend for the great wealth it may provide. A race to obtain the beans ensues and Puss finds himself intercepted by the elusive Kitty Softpaws, who extends an offer of partnership, one that puss would readily accept…

I’ll steal you blind before you even know it. 

-Softpaws (Salma Hayek)

…if it wasn’t for his orphan “brother.”

I smell something familiar… *great whiff* … something dangerous… *contemplates* … something breakfasty… HUMPTY ALEXANDRE DUMPTY! How dare you show your face to me?


Puss first met Humpty in an orphanage as a mere kitten, and they forged an immediate friendship and a club dedicated to tracking down the magical beans. They had many an adventure together – stealing beans from local vendors, and planting them whenever they had the chance, hoping one day to find the ones they were looking for. One day, however, a raging bull escapes from its pen and charges through the town, heading straight for an elderly woman. Puss swoops in, saves her, and consequently becomes the town hero – receiving his well known boots and cap as a reward. From this point on, Puss vowed never to steal again, an oath which Humpty observed with annoyance – for although Puss had taken the path of straight and narrow, Humpty would not, and continued to strive for his goal by whatever means necessary, even by breaking into the head soldier’s household and stealing gold so that he may escape from town. Puss arrives on the scene as Humpty hobbles out of the grounds, unaware of his theft. Humpty prompts him to drive him away, and Puss obeys. Soon, however, he realizes the depth of their situation. Soldiers chase them until they reach the town bridge, and all the while Puss furiously chides Humpty on deceiving him. The next moment, their cart overturns and the gold falls into the river. Humpty, unable to stand up, rolls around and asks Puss for help. Puss, however, regards him as a traitor and runs off, leaving him to the guards.

Present day, Humpty asks Puss to join him (and Softpaws this time around) in capturing the beans. After much hesitation and backstory, Puss agrees, wanting to use the golden eggs to pay back the villagers and head Soldier… will Puss, Humpty, and Softpaws succeed in their endeavor or will Jack and Jill get to the castle first? All the while there is treachery afoot…

Christian & Family Perspective [See CS & PI for more information]

Puss in Boots is a fantastic movie, easily comparable to the rest of the related-Shrek series. It’s highly enjoyable for all ages – the audience I sat with consisted of elderly individuals, young people (children & college aged), as well as middle-aged adults.

Regarding age and religious confliction, the film is suitably rated PG and is mostly quite humorous, even “dark” foreboding scenes are somewhat predictable and not at all extreme in violence, imagery, or language. There are some concepts which parents may need to discuss with their children, but otherwise its a great, family-friendly movie for ages 7+ (Common Sense says 6+).

Excerpted from Adventure Writer's Blog:Preliminary Review

The character of Puss transitions from a thief, to an unrighteously accused outlaw, seeking to making up for crimes he did not commit. He does also, however, constantly retain a rogue-romantic-avenger aspect – flirting with female cats (most especially Softpaws, with whom he wishes to have many more adventures), and shaving off opponent’s hither and thither.

In conclusion, I greatly enjoyed Puss in Boots and would certainly recommend it for the family setting. It has, in my opinion, far surpassed the Shrek series.

Ready for the Avengers?

I’ve been ready since I heard about it months ago (update), although I wasn’t sure what to think of the trailer.

The Avengers promises to be explosive, yet whether it will have an equally well-thought out, energized plot is to be determined. From my experience with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and such other Marvel films I’m hopeful, however, I’ll have to see it before I get beyond my perceptions of the trailer.

Puss in Boots: Notes and Quotes

Just like last time with Captain America, here’s our Puss in Boots: Notes & Quotes!

The full review is now available here!


Image via Wikipedia

Preliminary Review (Full-Review Monday)

Puss in Boots is a fantastic movie, easily comparable to the rest of the related-Shrek series. It’s highly enjoyable for all ages – the audience I sat with consisted of elderly individuals, young people (children & college aged), as well as middle-aged adults.

Regarding age and religious confliction, the film is suitably rated PG and is mostly quite humorous, even “dark” foreboding scenes are somewhat predictable and not at all extreme in violence, imagery, or language. There are some concepts which parents may need to discuss with their children, but otherwise its a great, family-friendly movie for ages 7+ (Common Sense says 6+).

Highlighted Movie Quotes

It began a long time ago… you may want to sit down for this. -Puss (Antonio Banderas), regarding life story.

I’ll steal you blind before you even know it. -Softpaws

You’re better than that. – Orphan Caretaker & Puss (3x) – marks many turning points in the film.

I smell something familiar… *great whiff* … something dangerous… *contemplates* … something breakfasty… HUMPTY ALEXANDRE DUMPTY! How dare you show your face to me? -Puss [see teaser]

Holy frijoles! -Puss

Best Movies of 2011 (thus far)

As I post more and more reviews, I find I like to go back and see which films I liked the best, which had the greatest impact on my memory, emotions, and entertainment.

Here’s a short list of movies I felt were tremendously well done (out of movies I’ve reviewed or plan on reviewing in the next few days… with the exception of the 2nd list), and an even shorter list of movies that had a negative impact and that I would never see again:

 (listed in no particular order unless otherwise posted)
  1. Soul Surfer (#1)
  2. Captain America: The First Avenger
  3. Cowboys & Aliens
  4. Rango
  5. Green Lantern
  6. The Adjustment Bureau
  7. Unknown
  8. X:Men First Class
  9. Kung-Fu Panda 2
  10. Source Code
  11. Thor
  12. Fast Five
The Dreaded Second List
  1. Limitless


Cowboys & Aliens: Movie Review

Cowboys & Aliens

Image via Wikipedia

I woke up in the desert, like I’d been dropped out of the sky

Jake Lonergan [Movie Trailer]

Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) is the man with stolen alien technology, and a criminal track record to boot, as well as having the original dilemma of Jason Bourne. He’s forgotten everything – his name, his past, his home… and whatever his fancy wristband is. So when a group of outlaws decide to surround him and attempt to take him in for a possible bounty, he does the logical thing (again, like Jason Bourne) and knocks a few out cold, shooting the rest dead. He proceeds to strip a man of his clothing and horse then ride into town, breaking into a preacher’s house to use his sink to wash off, only to be held at gunpoint (you don’t mess with pastors in these parts) by the owner. After a brief explanation of, “I don’t know who I am,” the preacher, Mr. Meacham, decides to take kindly to him. Only moments after this quaint acquaintance, a barrage of stray bullets tear through the house and we’re taken back to the primary, action-oriented layout of the film. A few more character introductions, gun shots, and bar fights later, the movie starts to unfold… into what the audience likely expected from the trailers.

Where’d you get that weapon?

Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford)

I don’t know.

Jake Lonergan [Movie Trailer]

You’re coming with us.

Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde

Colonel Dolarhyde is a ruthless rogue of a man on the outside, with a caring human heart for the inside. When his son, Sheriff, and other townspeople are taken, he forms a group of men and an accompanying Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde), to hunt after the aliens that took them.

Critical Perspective

Cowboys & Aliens could have gone wrong in so many ways… yet it only erred in a few respects. The film is another terrific blockbuster to be added to the belt of director Jon Favreau, and likely to make a [somewhat] lasting impression on the box office (although it has been a bit short of its goal [1]). The plot was in the fashion of a typical action movie.

Entrez-vous antagonist, followed by viable love interest/s, and the monter d’un cran, or call to action. Considering it’s a Western, somebody will end up riding off into the sunset, and a few poor ole’ chaps will bite the dust before the film is through… one of which ends up being (spoiler follows) Jake’s primary love interests. His original love (who was never developed much, other than identified as a prostitute) and his second love, Ella Swanson.

The film left many unanswered questions – which, depending on your perspective, may have proved quite a faux pas.

Christian & Family Analysis

Quite a few issues here…

  • The original love interest is identified as a prostitute.
  • Ella appears naked from the back, enough to indicate nudity, without revealing anything which could be deemed drastically inappropriate. The scene itself, however, although fairly void of innuendo, is still highly suggestive.
  • Christianity, as voiced by many of the film’s characters, is not properly conveyed. Mistruths are scattered hither and thither. Christian values are often contradictory with the characters behavior.
  • Plenty of violence, quite a few deaths and up-close examinations of injuries. A tad bit gory at times, however, without the extensive borderline R-rated content of war films and other more violent presentations.
  • The aliens are quite repugnant, and may prove to be quite scary to younger children. Especially when they have tentacles coming out of their chests, attempting to devour human flesh. Not kid friendly.
  • Common Sense recommends Age 13+, I’d say 14-15+ due to all the factors listed.
  • Check out for more Christian outlook resources.
If you liked this film, you may be interested in:

Nintendo, Netflix, and Transformers 3

As mentioned before, Nintendo has joined up with Netflix to provide a video streaming service program, free of charge, on the Nintendo eShop. Once downloaded however, a Netflix unlimited membership ID will be require, so if you aren’t already paying for a membership then the service is of no use.

In other news, tomorrow I’ll likely be posting my review of Transformers 3! An interesting movie to be sure… had mixed impressions before entering the theater and left with a totally contrary impression of the film.

Captain America: Notes and Quotes

Update: The full review has been posted.

Preliminary Review (Full-Review Tomorrow)

Captain America is a fantastic movie, though often falls short of the critical acclaim attained by Iron Man.

Some parts of the film may be deemed as “cheesy,” by the average movie watcher, though these segments quickly fly by into better developed scenes.

The beginning of the movie is tremendously well done, drawing the audience in to the film.

I’d recommend this movie to any fan of MARVEL, and other movie-watchers that enjoy science fiction and fantasy mixed with realistic historical backgrounds.

Age-wise, there is a deal of violence which should be considered, and children should generally be 13+.

Highlighted Movie Quotes (from trailer)

(Steve Rogers / Capt. America) “Is it too late to go to the bathroom?”

(Dr. Abraham Erskine) “Whatever happens, stay who you are. Not just a soldier, but a good man.”

(Steve Rogers / Capt. America) “I know that neighborhood. I got beat up in that alley… and there…” continues to list an excess of locations he was beat up in.

(Dialogue Between Rogers and Bucky Barnes) – ” (Barnes) Are you really gonna do this now?” ” (Rogers) There are men laying down their lives – I got no right to do any less than them.”

(Dialogue Between Col. Chester Phillips and Dr. Erskine) “(Col.) When you brought a ninety-pound asmatic onto my army base, I let it slide.” /

“(Dr.) I am looking for qualities beyond ze physical.” “(Col.) You win wars with guts – GRENADE!”

“(Soldier) Everybody down!”

Steve Rogers shields the others by jumping on to of the grenade, after the grenade fails to explode… “It was a test?”

“(Col.) He’s still skinny.”

Regarding the relationship between Stark and Peggy – “(Steve Rogers) How do I know you don’t go fonduing together?”

The Dark Knight Rises: July 20th, 2012

July 20, 2012

Official Site

Psyched to find an official trailer released, looks like it’ll be an interesting wrap-up. Look for the review shortly after July 20th on the Adventure Writer’s Blog!

Reviews Galore

Quill pen tip

Image via Wikipedia

Are you ready for back-to-back movie reviews?

Hope so, because in a few days I’ll be reviewing some of the following films:

  • Transformers III*
  • Unknown*
  • The Adjustment Bureau*
  • The Soloist
  • Green Lantern: First Flight
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
  • Prince of Persia
  • Captain America “
  • Iron Man
* definitely going to be reviewed
`` movie has yet to be released - most likely TBR (to be reviewed)