Thursday, March 6, 2014

Marvel's "The Avengers" (Part III)

Here are the last three characters from Marvel's The Avengers, and my favorites.

> Steve Rogers, alias Captain America (Chris Evans). My third favorite character. The outdated symbol of patriotism and justice, unshakable faith in the stability of right and wrong. A little slow on the uptake sometimes, but it makes him endearing. I've always been a sucker for a man who says "sir" and "ma'am." His military background shows through. If you don't already know that I bleed red, white, and blue shamelessly, you might as well find out now.

> Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man, (Robert Downey, Jr.). My second favorite character. Brilliant, egotistical, uncouth, rude, he says the most scandalous things not necessarily to shock others but simply because he's so secure in his status and worth that he genuinely doesn't give a damn what others think. His  relationship with Pepper and his philanthropic endeavors give him a soft side, but there's really nothing quite like his one-liners. ("Then don't take my stuff.")

> Loki (Tom Hiddleston). My very favorite character of all these movies. As bad guy, he turns out to be freakishly frightening, but he's well-rounded. He's got a great deadpan sense of humor ("I'm not overly fond of what follows"). Cast out by his people and adopted by the family he's always thought his own, he's not a cliched evil-for-the-sake-of-evil villain. He's genuinely tormented by who he believes he was meant to be, and how he can now set the universe to rights in the way he believes has been denied him. Who couldn't appreciate his tenacity?

And, really, how on earth am I supposed to develop people as fully and genuinely as this movie does?

See why I'm envious?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Marvel's "The Avengers" (Part II)

I tend to attach myself to a movie through the characters first. Setting is great, costumes are wonderful, action sequences are fantastically choreographed and all that, but I connect first with characters. What are they thinking? Why do they do what they do? What would I do in their situation?

I really envy, and enjoy, the characters in Marvel's The Avengers.

> Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Sort of the modernized Gothic or Byronic hero: brooding expression, deadpan humor, tortured past and hidden secrets, evidence of regrets he wishes he could undo. Wields a wicked bow and arrows, and has insane reflexes.

Writers out there: just try to reproduce on a page, black lettering on white paper, Hawkeye's incredible reflexes, action moves, and skill with a bow and arrows. Somehow, it falls flat. Drives me crazy.

> Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). Not my favorite character, but I appreciate that the writers gave her several dimensions. Not only a deadly weapon all by herself but also someone with regrets and a devastating past that dogs her like her shadow.

> Dr. Bruce Banner, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). Nothing if not multidimensional in his angst. Proverbial Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde combination, hating the Hulk side of himself but dependent on that side to survive and do what needs done. Unable to make peace with who he's become.

> Thor (Chris Hemsworth). Because of his own movies, I know what it costs him to face down his own brother, no matter how much Loki might dispute that relationship. Thor keeps trying to be Loki's keeper, believing that there might be hope for Loki.

More to come!