Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

Finally, finally, this week the movie that we have been waiting for hits the home theater market.

The Avengers arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. To say we are excited would be an understatement.

This is the one movie my husband did not see this summer although the kids and I went with friends to the drive-in to see it on opening weekend.

And what a powerhouse of performances.

I love Chris Evans as Captain America which is a completely different character from his Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four.  He pulls together the serious earnest young man who wanted to fight Nazis and became a leader in the process. Robert Downey Jr. continues as the stunningly self-confident Tony Stark . Perhaps my favorite player is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in which he is humanized even more than when Bill Bixby played the character on the old TV show.

Poster Image from IMBd.com

The story follows Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) trying to come up with a solution when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) decides he wants to take over Earth with a group of otherworldly warriors. He starts with New York City. But the problem is Fury’s group is there as well. And they are ready to fight back, especially Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who wants to bring his adopted brother back home to Asgard.

But Loki is a fierce opponent. He has more than one weapon to use and his favorite one is discord, creating disturbances within the team. That scene in the flying headquarters is wonderfully tense as the darker parts of each person comes into play. It shows what propels each character and what they control within their soul.

This time I am looking for all of those little things I missed as I was paying attention to the big action scenes. The little details of pictures on the wall and references to other characters or real-life items. My neighbor saw a reference to the ship her son had served during his stint in the Navy. I have read articles about pictures and references  to other Marvel comic characters.

But I also want to see nuances. Such as the scene in which Steve Rogers gives Nick Fury some money for a bet. I could not remember what the bet is about. I want to observe the Hulk’s and Thor’s relationship to understand why the Hulk slams Thor at one point.  I want to watch for the scene all the way at the end of the movie when the whole group is at a diner, simply sharing a meal together.

Perhaps the greatest strength of this movie is the dialogue. There are seven characters that we need to know intimately as well as any secondary characters associated with each. With each interaction, whether in battle or in downtime, we learn a little more that defines these characters. We learn about who they are and who they love and why they act in the manner that they do.

There are precious few perfect movies. But in my book, The Avengers just might be one.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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