The Avengers

So, the biggest movie of 2012, indeed one of the biggest movies of all time, came out on Blu-ray/DVD today, and I tell ya, I’m so excited about it, as I type this out, this is my 2nd viewing since getting my copy last night.

Yes, I am of course talking about The Avengers.  The bringing together of Marvel’s franchises into one massive property.  Iron Man, Hulk, Thor and Captain America headline the movie that has set box office records around the world as it comes to home video for the 1st time.

I have to begin by saying that The Avengers is only the 3rd movie I have ever seen 5 times in the theatre, joining both The Two Towers and The Return of the King from The Lord of the Rings trilogy in that rare area of over exposure in my life.  Not only that, I saw it 3 times within the first 37 hours that it had been released, as I caught an out of town midnight opening, the first possible viewing in my city, and a Saturday afternoon matinee.

While not a perfect movie, I immensely enjoy The Avengers, and I fully believe that the extended action shot showing the heroes working as team in New York City is right up there with the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Return of the King, and that is saying a lot, as I have long said that the Pelennor Fields is the best piece of cinema I have ever seen in my life.

While not a perfect movie, and I seriously wonder what actually constitutes that, The Avengers manages to make me laugh, smile, sad, cry and giddy, all in the course of 140 minutes.  That is a testament to Joss Whedon.  Though Whedon had previously never helmed a big budget, tent pole, summer blockbuster before, his time as writer/creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is clearly seen in his use of Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in this movie, as her character, along with Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk advance the most during the film.

What many may not also know is that Whedon is no stranger to Marvel either, as he spent a number of years with the company as a comic book writer, most notably on Astonishing X-Men, a 25 book series that delved into the workings of a team and developed two female characters into the hierarchy of current X-Men lore.

What this proved as a whole is if you put a comic book guy in charge of a comic book movie and pretty much let him do what he’s good at, you will wind up with a huge hit on your hands, especially when you are bringing together a group of characters that other people have helped to create.

At the end of the day, The Avengers has become one of my favourite movies of all time, will be a staple of watching for years to come, especially with the second wave of Marvel Studios films ramping up, starting with next year’s Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Darker Worlds, all leading up to The Avengers 2 in May of 2015.

I will say one more thing though, the only thing missing from The Avengers was Captain America yelling out “Avengers Assemble” and I really, really hope we get that in the sequel in three year’s time.

For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer, and Like our Facebook Fan Page with the link to your right.  Cheers.

Slap Shot

It had been a number of years since I had sat down and watched Slap Shot, but that is exactly what I did last night.  Slap Shot was a rite of passage for me growing up, with my Dad showing it to me when both of my parents agreed that I was old enough to watch it.  That is one of the main reasons why I hold this movie in such high regards.

That being said, upon watching it again for the first time in a while last night, a number of things stood out for me.  Firstly, this movie could never get made in this day and age.  The Seventies were a perfect time period for this movie, and one that actually suits the overall tone of the movie.

Secondly, the language is a bit shocking, but in a good way.  The amount of swearing in this movie is still quite possibly the most I have ever heard in a movie, but let’s be honest, that is how hockey players, especially in the 70’s, talk.  For me, the language in the movie actually lends to its believability, but also allows me to know that my boys will not be watching it for some years to come yet.

Thirdly, while hard to believe, most of the events of the movie are based on real life situations involving low level minor league hockey in the early 70’s, hell, the going into the crowd scene to beat up fans is not only something that happened in the minors, the Boston Bruins did it once, with the infamous Mike Milbury beating a fan with his own shoe incident.

Paul Newman has said that the most fun he ever had making a film was during Slap Shot as he had played hockey while growing up, and just allowed him to cut loose, and that Reg Dunlop is one of his favourite roles he ever played.

Slap Shot is very much a cult movie, as there are people like me that absolutely love it, and there are others that hate it, while still others that have never seen it.  Despite the cult status that it carries, Slap Shot carries a rating of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it is clearly even loved by critics.

It has even spawned two sequels, but you will never hear me talk about them as they are sequels in name only, and not in anything else.

If you love hockey, if you love Paul Newman, do yourself a favour and watch Slap Shot.  It is hands down the best sports movie of all time in my opinion.

For all this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer and check out my Fan Page on Facebook by clicking ‘Like’ to your right.  Cheers.

Finding Nemo 3D

While I am still not 100% if 3D is just a fad in movies right now, or if it is actually here to stay, I will say that in some instances, the 3D has been well worth the three dollar upcharge on tickets this year, but at other times, not really worth it.  And then you get all these old movies that are being re-released with the added “benefit” of 3D, like Titanic and Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace earlier this year, in what is clearly a money grab for some studios.

Contrary to that is what Disney and Pixar are doing.  Yes, they are re-releasing some older movies into theatres with 3D, and in some of them, The Lion King comes to mind, some scenes definitely did not benefit from 3D due to how the scenes were originally formed.  The 1st Pride Rock scene from The Lion King is a perfect example of that, as the 3D seemed blurry as the camera panned too quickly in that scene.

Yet despite that, they continue to do so, and that is where the glory of Pixar truly shines thru, as we all know is not an uncommon occurrence.  Finding Nemo in 3D was gloriously beautiful.  The underwater backdrop definitely served to heighten the depth that the 3D brought out, and unlike other recent 3D up-converts, there were no blurry pan scenes that I can remember seeing.

It definitely feels that a 100% computer animated movie is the one most likely to benefit from a 3D up-convert re-release, and it was a pleasure to finally see Finding Nemo on the big screen, as I missed out on it the first time around.

Up next for Disney and Pixar is a 3D up-convert re-release of Monsters, Inc. in December to setup the prequel, Monsters University, which comes out on June 21st of next year.  Another movie that I am sure will be a home run from Pixar.

For this and more, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @kymayer, and as for me, looks like a couple of movies I have not seen in a while tonight, The Island and Semi-Pro.  Cheers.