Tag Archive: The Avengers


Infinity War

Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

So Friday night, my daughter and I went to see Avengers: Infinity War. Even though I had bought tickets the night before, we still had to wait outside in a long line to get in to the theater before the show.

Avengers Infinity WarI have to admit I went into this movie with some fears and preconceived notions. I wasn’t sure if this was the last movie, that it would end the series. I wondered how bloody it would be or if it would be too much for me to watch.

I walked in with these fears because this movie was going to be heavy. Thanos, a super villain, is a character who is trying to find balance in the world and he tends to invade various worlds. He almost always instantly kill half of the population with no rhyme or reason as to who is killed.

But now he is trying to collect six infinity stones in order to put his plan of equal destruction throughout the universe without having to leave the comfort of his home. We watch as Thanos tromps his way through the universe working to get the remaining of the six stones.

That is all I can say without getting much more into the story line. It is too complicated.

I can tell you this. Do not go in blind.

There are a lot of characters from the Marvel universe, some from the first Captain America movie. Others come from the Thor and Iron Man movies. Newer characters who have had only one or two movie so far are here as well.

If you don’t go on a Marvel Universe binge before seeing this movie, you might want to create a score card. There will barely be any clues as to how various characters relate to each other. As they interact with each other you will only notice some friendliness between a few and animosity between others.

Honestly, it is easier to go on a Marvel Universe binge.

Avengers Infinity War 2Once you do, go see this movie because it is great. It asks the difficult questions of mortality and survival and why anyone would continue fighting when it appears nothing is left. This is not the usual light-hearted comic book fare. It is heavy with light moments thrown in. And there are moments when the crowd in the theater cheered because favorite characters showed up. There are other moments when the crowd voiced their disappointment over happenings in the movie.

This is one movie that will stick in my head for quite some time. I will think about different characters and what they were willing to do to fight evil. I will think about the Rapture and how this movie reminds me of those aspects.

I might even go see this movie again to catch all the little things I missed that might lead to clues about the next Avengers movie which is currently scheduled to be released a year from now.

I am looking forward to it.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Going with an Old Favorite

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

There are days when all one wants to do is watch a favorite movie or genre.

 

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, Image from IMDb.com

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, Image from IMDb.com

The other day, I caught a snippet of You’ve Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. One of the kids came through and said “oh, it is that movie.” I was at first amazed that he could identify the movie. But then he commented that I am always renting this movie or the Mamma Mia! flick.

 

I admit that these are the two genres that I love the most and turn to when I am in need of comfort. We all have our favorites. That would explain why marathons happen all of the time on some TV channels. That might explain why the Godfather movies are constantly playing. Fans know them, love them, quote them.

 

Go to the Mattresses.

 

It’s not personal, it just business.

 

Perhaps one of the reasons why I love You’ve Got Mail is the discussions about The Godfather and how it fits into daily life – at least for some people. I like that Meg Ryan tries to live some of these phrases and then realizes how some of it does not fit for her. As she puts her life back together after her business is driven to failure by a big box book store, she tells the owner of the big box that at the very least business should be personal.

 

It is personal because it is your life’s work; your heart and soul goes into creating a business. For me that is the turning point of the movie when Ryan explains why business is personal.

 

Poster Image from IMBd.com

Poster Image from IMBd.com

I was thinking about that on Saturday as we watched The Avengers again. It has become a family favorite for the quick lines, the surprising depth of characters, and the great action scenes.  We love it for the scenes we have seen several times, for the moments that Hulk purposely hits Thor or Tony Stark baits Loki. We love the schawarma scene at the very end.

 

Favorite movies give us comfort because we know what is going to happen with each scene. We know the scary parts, the parts that make us happy. With favorite movies we know every line, every expression, and every song. With each viewing we are reminded why we love the movie and find something new that we have never noticed before.

 

That is why I watch certain holiday movies and why some of my friends watch horror/scary movies. The comfort we receive from the familiar also has something to do with the need for successful problem solving. Every movie sets up a problem of some sort –  trying a new romance, saving the world from evil domination, solving a mystery regarding a crime or supernatural forces – that must be solved.

At the end of the movie the world has been saved and we feel good. It all works out in the end, just as we wish for real life.

 

 

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

Come See The Avengers!

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.

Family Movie Night

 

by Karyn Bowman

 

The Avengers is one movie that had a huge build-up.

 

It has been years in the making, starting with the first Iron Man movie in 2008. In Iron Man 2 we met the Black Widow, a spy whose beauty matches her skill.  Last year we were treated to the first Thor movie which had audiences falling in love with an arrogant man forced to learn honor through difficulty.

 

And I cannot forget Captain America. The hero from years past charmed us with his earnestness as he fought Nazis and secret organizations.

 

This past weekend, the Marvel characters came together in The Avengers. 

 

Loki is a Norse demi-God who wants to rule Earth and the rest of the universe. He has teamed with other evil creatures that are looking to control Earth.

 

While Loki is capable of controlling some people to do his bidding, there is a group of people willing to do whatever it takes to keep earth safe. That team is called the Avengers: Iron Man, Captain America , Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and the Hulk. They have been brought together by Nick Fury, head of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 

But Loki is tricky. He likes chaos, he likes creating disturbances. He is capable of doing that to anyone. With a touch of his scepter on the heart, he can make just about anyone follow him.

 

We saw the movie in the drive-in and loved it. I was happily surprised to see six different back stories weaved in to something that made sense. Plus, it was clear that people had history together in their comments and body language. Not every one liked each other, but with the proper motivation, they were able to work together.

 

The movie was long but thanks to a tight screenplay that gave a real voice to each superhero and interesting, compelling action sequences, the movie never feels as long as it should. Just as Jon Favreau did with Iron Man, director Joss Whedon has put in a certain amount of lightness with all the seriousness of a comic book movie.

 

Now the question you might be asking is “do I have to watch all of the other movies to see this one?” My answer would be yes IF you do not have a thorough knowledge of the Marval comic characters. I was not familiar with Iron Man before the movies nor was I all that knowing about Captain America. Because of a youth spent watching Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, I understood The Hulk and enjoyed Mark Ruffalo’s performance.

 

On the other hand, we went with friends who were not familiar with the whole story and they enjoyed it. Part of it was the experience of being at a drive-in but the movie was exciting. The other part was the stunning special effects that created leviathans and creepy ice guys to cause trouble.

 

Strangely enough, I found the movie to be mostly kid appropriate. It has a PG-13 rating, mostly for the action shots. If your child is not used to such movies, then it will not be appropriate. However, our 7-year-old watched and loved it. Granted, he has also seen many of the movies leading up to this one and knew what to expect.

 

A good story with great dialogue and thrilling action along with characters that are more than cardboard cutouts make for a great movie. It is everything I would want for a summer blockbuster movie and much more.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.