Cinema Misfits Podcast, Espisode 54: Battleship, Think Like a Man, Dark Shadows, and The Avengers

          6 ‘n 90!  Da Man reviews six films in ninety seconds.″

Battleship.  “Hey!  You sunk my spaceship!”  Huh?″

Think Like a Man. It isn’t a remake or a sequel and doesn’t have any aliens or superheroes in it.  Instead, the surprise hit of the summer depends on a likable cast, clever writing, and good directing.″

Dark Shadows.  Tim Burton is said to be a fan of the original show, but after watching his remake, it’s hard to imagine the film he would have made if he didn’t like the series.″

The Avengers. Some assembly required; luckily, Josh Whedon is the one doing the assembling.″

Thanks for listening!  We’ll be back in two weeks!
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4 thoughts on “Cinema Misfits Podcast, Espisode 54: Battleship, Think Like a Man, Dark Shadows, and The Avengers

  1. You almost have me convinced to try Battleship.
    Your enthusiasm for the Avengers though really alienated me. To the point where my stomach actually hurt when you were discussing aspects of the movie you enjoyed. I realized I might be the one lonely soul in this world who thought it was terrible. Looking forward to your thoughts on Amazing Spider-Man (a comic book movie I did love) Here’s a link to my grumblings about The Avengers…

    • Thanks for commenting on the podcast. I checked out your “grumblings” about The Avengers and agree with some of what you had to say. I would just add the following:

      The odds against this film being any good at all were so huge that I was impressed that they even managed to get it on a movie screen. It had to be preceded by four other films, and if one or two of those had been an outright flop, it could have derailed the whole process right there. Then you had to get this bunch of superheroes together and make them and their story work for a general audience, people who might or might not be familiar with the comics or even the earlier films. Now you’ve got a movie with huge expectations and a ridiculously large budget (and that means everyone wants to have a say in what is and isn’t done), and for me, anyway, against all the odds, it was a pretty good movie.

      Anytime a film is adapted from another source (book, play, comic, actual events) compromises are going to be made and the original is going to change and become something else — a movie, which has it own limitations and possibilities. While The Avengers comics definitely have more creative and interesting stories that could be used as the basis for a film, they often depend on a rich, detailed history (we are talking the crazy, extended Marvel Universe) that comic readers often take for granted. For many moviegoers, their suspension of disbelief is pretty much stretched to the limit by just one superhero and one supervillan per movie. Add a whole bunch of guys running around in crazy costumes and the whole thing can start to look pretty ridiculous fairly quickly (I’ll admit this was one of my fears). One of the things comic books can do almost effortlessly (especially when drawn by one of the better artists) is create a cohesive world where the impossible and the outrageous are easily acceptable — films have to work a lot harder at it.

      But none of this is a reason to like or dislike the movie. Films are tough to make and some are tougher to make than others. As a moviegoer, once I buy a ticket, I’ve upheld my end of the bargain. From that point on, it’s up to the movie-makers to show me an entertaining film. The Avengers did skate by with the “invading hordes” storyline that movies seem to be comfortable with (Transformers 3 is one recent example) and are ready to recycle again and again. When spending millions and millions of dollars, its easy simply to go for the spectacle, but The Avengers is mainly concerned with its characters. I’ve been reading Marvel comics since the mid 60s, and at the heart of what makes them different are the great characters that populate the Marvel Universe. For me, that is the core of what these comics are about, and I think the film got that right.

      Also, The Avengers is a huge hit, which shouldn’t have anything to do with whether someone likes it or not. But it does mean one other thing: there will be a sequel and hopefully they will adapt one of the more creative and interesting story lines from the comics in the next installment.

      As for Battleship… Well, maybe it’s better not to go there.

      Thanks again for taking the time to write.

      Jim Rutherford

  2. Unfortunately, I’m a big enough Marvel Comics fan that even though I thought Avengers was a lazy, cynical cash grab, I’ll be lined up to see part 2.

    But as far as having to introduce all the characters as being a reason to lower the bar for the Avengers’ storytelling standards…
    I thought X-men did a terrific job of introducing a bunch of new characters at once while still finding the time to tell a story. Every movie, in fact, has to find a way to introduce a cast of characters while telling a story.

    I’m not surprised Avengers has made a ton of money. I’m just shocked it’s such a critical success. I feel like when Avatar came out and it won the Best picture at the Golden Globes and was nominated for an Oscar. Did I miss something and the standards of what makes a good movie changed?

    • Well at least there’s one thing we can agree on completely — Avatar. Why that film was a hit is a complete mystery to me–and still is. Hell — forget about the Golden Globe — it should have won an Edgar.

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