Tag Archives: Whedon

Joss back for more “Avengers”, shiny awesome badassery to ensue…

“And the awesome sauce shall be liberally sprinkled behind me. Make it so, CG elves!”

Is it Summer 2015 yet?

Disney have announced, via one of those highfalutin financial call things, that Joss Whedon will write, direct, act-out motion capture reference material, pen delightful ditties and liberally sprinkle his particular brand of spectacular nerdery over the “Avengers 2: Thanos Boogaloo” sequel.

Apparently, and who would have thought it, earning $1.5 billion at the box office tends to make you popular and beloved with studios, don’t you know?  It couldn’t have happened to a nicer multi-media hypethenate.

Assembled. Any questions?

Whedon’s deal locks him into Disney’s mousy embrace until 2015 and includes input into the much-rumoured Marvel Universe television drama and other Marvel flicks, which I suspect is the kind of vote of confidence that must be nice to have.

So, Thanos and some galaxy-bestriding, cosmic adventuring, budget-smashing shenanigans then?  Sounds lovely.

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“The Avengers” – a reading list

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Just seen “The Avengers?  About to see “The Avengers” for the fourth or fifth time?  Not entirely sure who these “Avengers” folks are and just what all the fuss is about?  Don’t worry about it – Den of Geek has your back.

DoG’s writer James Hunt has compiled a handy cheat sheet for reading material which might tickle your fancy after viewing Joss Whedon‘s face-meltingly awesome superhero adventure and I heartily concur with some of Hunt’s choices.  Just be forewarned that the list can be considered rather spoiler-filled if you’ve not yet seen the film and have been observing radio silence prior to its release.

Right off the bat – check out “The Ultimates volume one and two.  You’ll find them very familiar if you’ve seen any of the Marvel Studios films.  Whedon’s film feels like a cover version, to some extent – bits and bobs from the original comics appear in the film, but he hasn’t slavishly copied anything and invents some other plot strands which are as satisfying as the ones weaving their way through Mark Millar‘s story.   Whedon’s tone is also distinctly different from Millar – compare Buffy The Vampire Slayer to Hit Girl from Millar’s “Kick Ass” and you might sense that the two writers approach an empowered heroine from distinctly different viewpoints.

The Whedon run on Astonishing X-Men is also worth your time – it fell victim to scheduling delays, which rather rankled, but was quality storytelling for the most part from a writer who genuinely loves the comics medium and its history.

If you fought the action in "The Avengers" was nuts...

I was really into the Marvel event “Civil War”, which would arguably make a better movie than comic – the spectacle and hero against hero conflict is inherently dramatic and there’s a chance to fix the somewhat underwhelming ending of the story if it gets a big screen makeover, too.  You can almost see the roots of this story being set down in “The Avengers” – I’ll not spoil your experience of the film by saying any more…

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“The Avengers” – the Fluffrick review.

"The Avengers" - they're Earth's mightiest heroes, you know...

‘Joyous’ is the first word which comes to mind when discussing Joss Whedon‘s landmark superhero action adventure extravaganza, “The Avengers” (I can’t be bothered with that goofy UK re-titling – if there’s genuinely anybody in the country who could confuse these Marvel superheroes with John Steed and Emma Peel, the odds are quite good that they’re not in the demographic for this film anyway.  “The Avengers” it is, then).

Take a bow, folks, take a bow...

It’s a two and a half hour thrill ride quite unlike any of the other Marvel comic adaptations – the ensemble nature of the story makes it different and the dynamics brought to the film by the actors involved also help in that regard.  What’s actually different about this film is the scale of the piece – its bloody massive and fully deserves what might seem an excessive running time to fit everything in.  There’s no bloat here – not at all.

I wouldn’t dream of spoiling things for you, but I will say that your enjoyment of “The Avengers” is going to be very dependent on which of the team is your particular favourite – unsurprisingly, Joss Whedon gives Scarlett Johansson‘s Black Widow some decent stuff to do, but I was surprised by how well he balanced screen time for the principal characters and the supporting cast.  I’m a Tony Stark guy myself, but I really warmed to Mark Ruffalo‘s Bruce Banner/Hulk and the prospect of a movie starring the latter would really sit well with me after this film.

Whedon’s often been criticised for not filling the screen in the same way as some feature directors do – ‘he’s a TV director’ is often the cry, but it’s one which I feel could be reasonably silenced by the way that Whedon works with his director of photography Seamus McGarvey in this film.  If you’re still of the opinion, after seeing this film, that Whedon doesn’t know how to stage large-scale action sequences or throw special effects around with abandon, perhaps you might want to see the film without the chip on your shoulder and the blindfold over your eyes.

It’s a spectacular film – you wouldn’t really it want it to be any other way, but it genuinely feels appropriately big, thrilling and eye catching, all without some of the hand-held camera work and distracting editing which blights a lot of would-be action flicks.  You can see what’s happening, know where the characters are on-screen and have a sense of what’s happening from moment to moment which seems as though it should be a bare minimum or sign of competence for a film maker but sadly seems to be an increasingly forgotten art.  Thank Whedon for that.

I didn’t want to do spoilers, and this isn’t a spoiler in the truest sense of the term, but there’s one shot in the movie (in the climactic battle) which takes Whedon’s love of long takes and extended camera shots and runs with it – you’ll know it when you see it, because you’ll be grinning like a loon as you watch your every comic book team fantasy put on-screen seamlessly.

It’s not perfect – the initial coming together of the team takes a while to reach a point which really drives the plot forward – but “The Avengers” gets so many things right that it feels churlish to moan about little things.  I’m confident in saying that your inner Leonard, Sheldon, Howard, Raj and Penny would find something to enjoy in this film – it’s catnip for comic book fans, just plain exciting for regular citizens and a sterling effort by all concerned.

Joss Whedon – you’ve done us all proud and I thank you for it.

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Joss Whedon on Devil’s Tower

Auteur, renaissance man and uber-nerd Joss Whedon has been hitting the campaign trail in a major way these last few weeks.

The revisionist meta-horror piece he wrote and produced with Drew Goddard, “Cabin In The Woods” opened last week and that Marvel Superhero flick that I dare not mention again on this blog starts opening worldwide in but a matter of days.

To this end, The Guardian snagged Joss Whedon and got him to chat about the film which changed his life – and wouldn’t you know it, it wasn’t “Holiday On The Buses”.  Go figure, right?

In an outbreak of good taste so perfect that it makes my toes tingle with happiness, Whedon’s most influential film ever is…

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“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”.  If you’re a young person and have yet to experience the sheer wonder of this film, stop reading this post and go and track down a copy.  Then watch it on the biggest screen you can, with the biggest speakers that you can get your hands on.

Whilst I enjoyed last year’s JJ Abrams directed Spielberg homage, “Super 8”, it lacked a little of the wonder which Spielberg routinely brought to his alien pictures like this and E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial (the less said about his War of the Worlds, the better…).

Perhaps the joy of this film is in its every man hero – to cast an equivalent leading man to “CE3K” head schlub Richard Dreyfuss would be a bold move for today’s studios, who don’t think that audiences want to see recognizably human and unglamorous character actors fronting their summer blockbusters.  Can you imagine Universal greenlighting a major sci-fi pic and jamming Paul Giamatti on the poster?  It would be all kinds of excellent and I’d see it in a heartbeat, but he doesn’t have the Bradley Cooper factor, does he?

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is a classic and Joss Whedon says so.  I’d listen to him, if I were you.

 

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