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Dept. of Do I Need A New Fandom?

So. The Avengers.



Tomorrow is my first day back from vacation, and I know the week is going to be a bear (not as much of a bear as it would have been, had certain folk at work gone above and beyond to make sure I get paid this Friday despite forgetting to put in my time card when I got back from Canada, which is another story). I plan to celebrate making it to this coming Friday by going back to see The Avengers in a movie theater.

Because, oh my goodness, I like that movie!

There were so many reasons I loved it, not the least of which were:

Natasha! Ms Romanov was smart, scared, brave, dangerous, human, cunning, caring, ruthless, and as far as I'm concerned, the most-rounded member of the team and of the cast. I understand that there's a lot of Scarlett Johansson dislike out there. I do not share it. I also know there are folks who are ambivalent about how Joss Whedon views or writes females. I can't speak to that because I know him largely from Firefly, Dr. Horrible and some of the early Buffy - not nearly enough by which to judge. But at least in terms of how he and  fellow writer Zak Penn handled the Black Widow, I'd have to say he did an outstanding job.

Clint Barton. Jeremy Renner sold me on his Clint/Hawkeye. I liked him for many of the same reasons I like Natasha - he's not super-powered, he's just really, really good at what he does. And his story - the possession and recovery - were fascinating.

Tony Stark learning to be a hero.I've always liked Downey's Stark, but he's particularly good in this. The moment he closes his eyes and falls back to Earth, he's obviously willing to give his life for it. That bit (kind of reminiscent of one of the best - and completely non-Batman-centric - bits in Frank Miller's original Dark Knight series) hit me particularly well.

Other things I liked? Chris Evans making Captain America even more likeable, complex and adult than he had been in his own movie - and I liked that movie a great deal. Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner, about who others have written more intelligently. Samuel Jackson, who actually got a chance to act, and pulled off an ambiguously honorable spymaster, who is also wicked impressive with a rocket launcher. Tom Hiddleston's Loki, who reminded me of the Loki I enjoyed reading in Walt Simonson's Thor adventures of the 1980s; an amoral villain with just enough conscience to render him real and the teeniest bit relatable, but not enough to redeem himself. He's no woobie (I share much of the estimable[personal profile] selenak 's views about Loki.) And, hey, he wore the horns! I love the horns! Clark Gregg's purely magnificent Agent Phil Coulson, who I am certain will be a factor in the next Avenger's movie, don't tell me otherwise, tra-la, tra-la. Oh, hell, all the characters. (Can we see more of Maria Hill and Pepper Potts next time, please?)

Also? The Hulk rag-dolling Loki. Shwarma. Thanos (THANOS!!! I always loved Thanos!) and so very much more. Also, Shwarma. Because you can't just say it once.</user>

The dialogue was just as fast, intelligent, and witty as others have reported it. The pacing worked well. And the story made more sense than it had a right to, although I'm willing to bet that my comic book sensibilities helped make it so.

And yes, after I saw it the first time, I told BB that I could see myself writing fic for the Avengers. It's the first time I've ever been interested in writing outside of the Whoniverse (with the exception of one June-centric White Collar idea). I probably won't, but obviously there's something in the movie - the relationships, the team-building - that pushed a button. So I've been reading some other people's Avengers fic, mostly via recs from[personal profile] selenak ; so far, I'm looking for especially liking Natasha and Clint oriented stories, but there are a lot of good stories focusing on the other characters as well.

</user>
So, yeah, I'm going to see it again. And I'm going to try very hard - very hard - not to get tangled up in another fandom. I really don't need it.

P.S. Two Avengers recs of my own: we were emergencies by [personal profile] gyzym  is subtle, dense, emotionally draining, and made me believe whole-heartedly in Clint and Natasha as people, friends, lovers and dysfunctionally awesome heroes. It's also extraordinarily erotic; explicit, but totally integrated and necessary to the story. Wardrobe Malfunction, or, Passing the Bok, by[personal profile] spiderine  (here on lj and here on dw) made me laugh because it's a pointy little stick, wielded with wit by the author and poked in the eye of female-diminutive marketing.
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This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/225784.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
a_phoenixdragon
Jun. 11th, 2012 12:36 pm (UTC)
*Drive-by hugs*
kaffyr
Jun. 11th, 2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks, my dear; it's been rather a drive-by day, so the hugs fit right in!
apostle_of_eris
Jun. 11th, 2012 11:13 pm (UTC)
It's still aggravating that I could walk over and knock on your window faster than you'll get this, but so it goes.
I don't go to a lot of comic book movies, so I don't have much basis for comparison, but I was impressed at how many Marvel tropes were incorporated. From smart-ass dialog through neurosis driven plotting to visual angles, I would not have been at all surprised to see Stan Lee off in some corner like Hitchcock. (Actually I would have been surprised, because I don't know if I know what he looks like.)

So does Sunday, at least potentially, work for you?
kaffyr
Jun. 12th, 2012 12:43 am (UTC)
Sunday for seeing the movie again? Sure! Wanna do a matinee in Evanston?

(Am I correct in thinking that you, too, have already seen it once? Kewl. Also, Stan Lee was very definitely in the movie - he's been in every Marvel-connected movie, a la Hitchcock, as far as I know; certainly all the ones I've seen.)
(Deleted comment)
kaffyr
Jun. 12th, 2012 04:43 am (UTC)
First off, your icon? Is impressing me and making me incredibly jealous.

Second, you're right about the "strong woman" antipathy out there. I think it's even worse if an actress has the gall to be conventionally pretty but demand to be taken seriously - and pull off acting jobs portraying strong women while doing so. I honestly haven't been able to fathom the Johansson dislike, which I gather is something of long-standing among some people (notably, but not completely, men, apparently), beyond the recent opprobrium heaped on her for this film.

And someone pointed out to me that most movie reviewers, even those who loved the film, either ignored Johansson and the Widow, or denigrated with faint praise or worse. I liked this story about the phenomenon.
lyricwrites
Jun. 12th, 2012 01:29 am (UTC)
If you write Avengers fic, I'll read it. Just so you know.

I adored Black Widow, of course. They managed to make her simultaneously badass as all hell, and not featureless or fearless. The fact that she was palpably terrified of the Hulk rounded out her character, made sense considering how she works—how do you trick an emotion incarnate?—and helped build the Hulk up into what he should be: a primal force of chaos, more terrible than the gods, and perfectly capable of pounding said gods against the floor until they get the point.

(Also quite fond of the way the Hulk moved: gorilla-like and lightning fast despite his size. Perhaps it was a small thing compared with everything else that was going on, but I liked the detail.)

At any rate, I watched the movie three times and I'm still not tired of it. I don't have any fic-bunnies myself, but that doesn't mean I won't read 'em.
kaffyr
Jun. 12th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
The fact that she was palpably terrified of the Hulk rounded out her character,

Oh absolutely; I was also incredibly impressed with how Johansson played weariness and outright (and quite reasonable) fear when she got Cap to throw her onto the Chitauri vehicle. It made me respect her; any agent/superhero/good guy who isn't afraid of bad craziness like that is going to go off half-cocked and get themselves killed, and Agent Romanova (I insist on using the proper Russian last-name nomenclature) knows that perfectly well. It's why she's one hell of an agent-assassin.

I like your points about how Whedon and the production team brought the Hulk to the screen - and I like the way you made them. As always, you write with gorgeous, evocative phraseology, when you say things like a primal force of chaos, more terrible than the gods, and perfectly capable of pounding said gods against the floor until they get the point. and ...Also quite fond of the way the Hulk moved: gorilla-like and lightning fast despite his size

Glad to hear you're another member of the repeat-watch club!

I will not be writing Avengers fic. Repeat, I will not be writing Avengers fic. Nope. Probably not.
lyricwrites
Jun. 12th, 2012 05:41 am (UTC)
I like your points about how Whedon and the production team brought the Hulk to the screen - and I like the way you made them. As always, you write with gorgeous, evocative phraseology

Aw, thanks! Seems we have a lot of the same reactions to the movie.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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