The Avengers (2012) – A review


The Avengers Poster

I had been waiting to get my eyes on this movie since its first trailer. No, I am sorry, its since I saw Thor. Wait, no, since I saw Iron Man 2, I guess. Whatever, the point is I had been waiting to see this movie more than any other movie. No, I am sorry, I am eagerly waiting to see even ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. Wait, no, I am eagerly waiting for ‘The Dictator’. Okay, I am sorry, I am just kidding. But I was seriously looking forward to ‘The Avengers’ for long and finally, yesterday I got a chance to see it (dubbed in Hindi though :-(). Two words final verdict: ‘Amazing movie’. And consider the word ‘amazing’ from it as huge, like ‘amaaaaazzzzziiinnngg!!!’

All in all, as everyone expected, it’s a full-fledged, Hollywood studio movie. Its not the one that will be remembered for ages or the one that will bag lots of Oscars (it will surely win an Oscar for special effects though), but it will definitely score at least 9 out of 10 in the entertainment department. I will explain later, on why not 10 of 10. But if you’re the one who enjoys movies like Transformers, or Spiderman, or any other movies which are made using computers and where almost everything explodes, you should have watched Avengers by now. And for Iron Man fans or Hulk fans, if you haven’t watched it yet, your life is pointless.

The Iron Man

Hulk

As a part of homework, I hadn’t watched any Hulk movies (yeah, I know that’s bad), or read the comics of Avengers. So, I was completely at the mercy of the scriptwriter on how they would present a story where they can assemble 6 self-centered super heroes and make them form a team to fight alien terrors. And I think the story was pretty good. It was depicted quite well. The story transcends quite well from the individuality of super heroes to forming a team of Avengers, and the moment from when they start working together as a team, you start screaming with joy. You have to wait for almost 80 minutes to see them in action together as a team. But trust me, the wait is worth it. It is just last half an hour of the movie that will take you to the best roller-coaster ride of your life.

Captain America

Thor

Every superhero is presented at his best. Captain America is shown, as always, jumping into any fight he can, even though if he has no chance to win. Even though there were more powerful superheroes in the team than him, he clearly makes his mark. Iron Man is charismatic as always. If you think that last time when you saw him put on his suit on Monaco race track, in Iron Man 2, was awesome then you’re in for a whole new level of awesomeness this time. This time when you will watch him put up his suit, in air; I guarantee that you’ll pop your eyes out and scream, ‘OH MY GOD!’ It was the coolest thing I saw in last few months! The Hulk is mind blowing as well. All Hulk fans will get their money’s worth watching this movie. His strength is unfathomable, his scream can bring Tony Stark back to life, and his punch can stop an entire alien dragon. And the moment when he thrashes Loki, I observed that the entire cinema hall was cheering at the top of their voices. Thor is presented a bit laid back or a bit reserved. His entry in the film is very good but later on the demigod faces hard time even fighting Iron Man. In his dedicated movie before the Avengers, Thor was shown to have god-like powers. Considering that, he should have been depicted as the most powerful of the pack. But Iron Man and Hulk steals the show from him. But still he’s good.  The remaining two superheroes or I should say just heroes were Hawk eye and Black Widow. They were excellent soldiers for sure but they didn’t have any super powers like the other guys. But they still managed to put up a nice show. Hawk eye is amazing with his arrows and Black Widow or Agent Romanoff, as I should address her, is a treat to watch. She is the cherry on the super-cake. Every frame of the movie is enriched just by her presence, no matter if she fights somebody or just talks on a telephone with someone.

Hawk Eye

Black Widow

Apart from that there is nothing else noticeable in the movie. Just these 6 people carry the entire film on their shoulders. It was a superb piece of entertainment! The only part that stopped me from giving it a full 10 is the background music. It lacked a Hans Zimmer touch. It needed to be louder and more aggressive to increase the entertainment quotient of the movie. And the other thing, apart from the background score, was, women. There was hardly any space for them in the screenplay. Scarlett Johansson had to work really hard to make herself noticeable in the film. And yeah, there was Cobie Smulders as well in the movie. I almost forgot to mention her. That’s because she was there only to fire some gunshots and say a couple of dialogues, that’s it. More women in action and a killer background score would have made this movie an epic. But hey, its still is an epic for us fans! Just go and celebrate it.

Dear John (2010) – A review

 

After watching ‘The Vow’ recently in the theater, I was tempted to watch more of Channing Tatum in romantic flicks. I was starting to expect more out of him and I started to think that he could be an amazing actor for serious romantic films. Just then, a friend of mine gave me a DVD of Dear John and WOW! It was an amazing film. I wonder how I missed this movie for so long.

The story of the movie is basically adapted from a novel of same name written by Nicholas Sparks and I have not been able to read any of his works but I have watched 3 movies adapted from his novels, namely ‘A walk to remember’,  ‘The Notebook’ & ‘The last song’ and the first two of them are among my all time favorites. So, I was expecting a very good romantic movie out of Dear John. Critics and reviewers have often criticized works of Sparks saying that they are way too emotional and sentimental. They say that he desperately writes characters that would make young girls weep. That’s true to some extent but I don’t find it entirely true. His characters do have some depth and an essence of reality. I know, those of you who have ‘The lucky one’ in mind won’t agree with these words of mine. But speaking of Dear John, I found the character of John Tyree very real and heartfelt.

John’s relationship with his father is the part that touched me the most. It was captured with great poise and the director Lasse Hallstorm did perfect justice to it. I could feel as if I was reading the book. It is very close to the heart and it grips you around it, and the major credit for that spellbinding effect goes to the actors Channing Tatum and Richard Jenkins. I’ve always admired Jenkins as an amazing actor; Tatum too was equally impressive alongside him. Both of them together can make you forget the world around you and take you along with them on an emotional ride like never before.

The romance between John and Savannah is equally wonderful and stays the USP of the film. The on-screen chemistry between Channing and Amanda is really wonderful and picturesque. I found it better than it was with Rachael McAdams in ‘The Vow’. So, has Tatum degraded as an actor or was he actually less comfortable co-staring alongside McAdams than Seyfried remains to be seen. I would go with the latter option though. The romance is real and warm. You feel connected and convinced. When the letters start, you’d expect the story to get stagnant and monotonous but it doesn’t. On the contrary it turns out to be the main storytelling and character-expanding medium. Excellent work! The letters are amazing. It does look a bit old-fashioned long distance relationship between a soldier and his beloved but I find it extremely beautiful and romantic. I am still passionate about old-fashioned romance and letters are still one of my favorite modes of expressing one’s feelings. So, full marks there from my end.

The only part of the story where I feel less convinced is when Savannah decides to marry the single father, who is her neighbor, because he is dying and has no one after his son. I think that the part where Savannah starts getting second thoughts to where the relationship is headed, is not portrayed with enough importance. I am assuming that it would be explained aptly in the novel but the director didn’t have that luxury. But still it is not that ugly and pathetic. It is still fine and doesn’t ruin everything. The last letter that Savannah writes to John, after Tim passes away, is a home run and seals the victory. You end up being completely moved as the ending credits start rolling. If you’re a person who loves sentimental movies and if you can connect yourself with the story being told, trust me, Dear John will make your eyes wet. It is an emotional odyssey that you’d not want to miss. It doesn’t have the romance of The Notebook or Titanic that will make your knees weak, but it’s the entire story, the characters, and the presentation that will make you take a dive in the ocean of tranquility. You’ll feel liberated and enriched. I feel sad that I missed it for this long. I highly recommend it to all of you, who have missed it so far like me, and who believe in whatever I said here. Awesome experience!

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