This Week in Dork involved a lot of waiting...or just killing time until the Friday midnight screening of The Avengers. If you recall, The Avengers was only #4 on my Fistful of Summer Anticipation 2012, but halfway through my Thursday shift at work I felt this tingling sensation take over my body. The Avengers was real. And I was going to see it on the big screen. That's madness.
But at 830PM I walked outta work and down the street to the movie theater to find my buddies Darren & Bryan already in line for the movie. I joined them along with a few other hundred comic book nerds and we spent the next several hours chatting movies and the Marvel universe. There were a lot of cosplayers and Whedonites and we had a blast geeking it up as a community. Then 12AM hit and we all saw the movie. And it was better than I had hoped...right now, it sits as my favorite film of 2012 and The Dark Knight Rises (or any other film) will have to work pretty damn hard to topple it.
TV OF THE WEEK!
Star Trek episodes 6-10, 14-16: Watched a lot of Star Trek in preparation for next week's Shat Attack. So much so that I don't feel like doing episode breakdowns for this week in dork. A lot of good stuff with "Balance of Terror" and "Shore Leave" being the highlights. McCoy is such a dog in "Shore Leave." The man might plaster on the eyeliner but he can bag the ladies with the best of them (i.e. J.T.K.) And I love how freaking mysterious the Romulans are when they first appear in "Balance of Terror." When you first see those pointy ears and the crew of the Enterprise starts to look slanty at Spock--that's just creepy messed up. Don't even get me started on that A-bag at helm.
The Avengers - Earth's Mightiest Heroes episodes 1-8: Well, this show is nowhere near as good as the best DC Animated stuff, but it's on par with some of the latest Justice League straight-to-dvds and it's far superior to anything else Marvel has put out on the animated front. The first batch of episodes provide for various origins of the key characters that will eventually form The Avengers. I particularly enjoyed the Captain America and Thor eps and as I finished my week with the two-parter "Breakout", loosely inspired by the first New Avengers arc from Brian Michael Bendis, I began to see some serious potential for the show. It's very geeky (again, not Brave & the Bold geeky but close enough) and it was a great way to prepare for Joss Whedon's film.
MOVIE OF THE WEEK!
The Furies: "I hope you can chew what you just bit off." Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston battle it out as father and daughter in this hotbed Western melodrama. Anthony Mann's The Furies is one of those special films where all the players are vile beasts to one another and as each back is stabbed (or face scissored) there is great delight in their wretched and ultimately deadly antics. As usual, Stanwyck spits hate better than most and Huston has a brilliant swagger to his a-hole patriarch. When the credits role I dare you to be pleased with either demon. As usual, here's more ramblings for my latest Western review over at cineAWESOME!
The Raven: Before I ever sat in the theater, The Raven had at least two strikes against it. 1. There was no way that John Cusack's Edgar Allen Poe was going to be as oafishly amazing as Jeffery Combs' version from the Masters of Horror episode, The Black Cat. 2. There was no way it was going to surpass the goofy wizard showdown oddity of the Roger Corman directed film of the same name. But when the film opened with Cusack channeling the craziest Nicholas Cage and screaming with boozy brutishness I thought that maybe, just maybe, this serial killer hunting Raven would be kinda fun. And then the film just kept puttering about with the Poe killings, never quite engaging this viewer with the thrill of the hunt. It's elementary investigation with an obvious conclusion that takes far too much time to reach. And poor Alice Eve wallowing in the premature burial that is her character.
Haywire: I was sorta lukewarm on my theatrical experience of Haywire, but after giving the blu ray a spin, I found this jazzy cool espionage actioner to be a lot of fun. Steven Soderbergh's red cameras definitely translate a lot better in HD and the quiet action layered with David Holmes' hipster score feels slick and artificial in a perfectly cinematic way. Gina Carano is a little wooden, as is Channing Tatum, but they get the job done. And the Michael Fassbender hotel room brawl is the frontrunner for 2012's best fight sequence.
Mission Impossible: Under the direction of Brian DePalma, the first Mission Impossible film feels a little too clinical for my summer blockbuster desires and the unwinding of the conspiracy definitely looses excitement on repeat viewings, but the antsy team building exercises of painfully cocky Tom Cruise & Co is oddly endearing (especially his relationship with Ving Rhames' Luther) even when things get back stabby. And I still say the helicopter/train tunnel climax is exciting, even when the CG reveals itself to be utterly wonky.
Mission Impossible 2: It's not the ridiculous motorcycle fu or the tired use of white doves that brings out the hate for the second Mission Impossible film, no...what is absolutely unforgivable is how unbelievably boring John Woo's entry in the franchise eventually becomes; after two hours of meandering, this viewer was ready for a nap. From the "Look How Cool I Am" mountain climbing credits to the flamenco cliff face car dancing, MI:2 lingers too damn much when it should be racing towards a fistpunching pummeling climax.
The People vs George Lucas: Well, this was a raw viewing experience. A somewhat self-depricating look into the culture of fandom surrounding the love/hate relationship some nerds (like myself) have with the corporation known as George Lucas, the one-time filmmaker who created the Star Wars empire. I, and apparently a whole lotta other folks, owe my entire love affair with cinema to Star Wars and it was seriously tainted by the 1999 premier of the dreadful Phantom Menace. But how can a love turn so angry? Why can't I let it go? The People vs George Lucas is kinda like a trip to the psychologist. Watch this documentary fanboy, and work out your pathetic issues.
The Avengers: Ok. I'm not going to be able to talk about The Avengers without venturing into the fanboy squeals of hyperbole. It's a miracle of cinema. The five previous films from Marvel Studios were barely a glimmer of the promise that's delivered with Joss Whedon's epic. Frankly, The Avengers is the First Comic Book Movie. In that moviegoers are finally given a film in which Iconic Superheroes are doing crazy Superheroic shit that comic readers have been blathering on about for decades. From giant "I'm Always Angry" Hulk Smashing to Captain America bouncing Iron Man's repulsers off his shield to Tony Stark and Bruce Banner chatting up science on the floating Helicarrier. There are such pure comic book moments in this summer blockbuster that I found myself welling up at it's beauty...that's embarrassing to say but it's true. Waving my geek flag proudly here. I wasn't at Mann's Chinese Theater in 1977 when Star Wars screened, but I have a feeling that the fanboys born there felt something akin to what I felt at 3AM Friday morning as a I stumbled back out into the real world. How can any other film in 2012 compete with that.
COMIC EVENT OF THE WEEK!
I didn't get much comic book reading this week, but that shouldn't be a problem for next week. Saturday was the annual Free Comic Book Day and The Wife, Matt, and our buddy Robert hit up a bunch of shops in celebration. Snagged a lot of interesting looking free swag including the first ever FCBD Hardcover Mouse Guard anthology, X-O Manowar, Graphic Elvis, Top Shelf Kids Club, Spider-Man Season One, Serenity, the Image anthology, Avengers Age of Ultron, The Avengers, The New 52, Atomic Robo, Super Dinosaur, and After Watchmen.
But it's not just about the free stuff. FCBD should also be about supporting local business so I did my part and blew quite a bit of cash on the new Knightfall omnibus, the Abe Sapien Devil Does Not Jest trade, and Tom Scioli's American Barbarian. Plus a Goon tee shirt and a SGT Fury & His Howling Commandos poster. So much good stuff. Can't wait to crack into it.
And Just One Week Till...