I chose Film Noir for my genre and finished the last step of the challenge yesterday, so I figured I'd post them all here.
That one's got over 4000 notes on Tumblr so far. Crazy, right? I don't even know. Also, one of the people who reblogged it is the author of The Spiderwick Chronicles, so there's also that.
Millionaire industrialist inventor Tony Stark is approached by a shadowy government agency and recruited to join a team of unusual men and women that includes a pair of master assassins, a WWII hero, a prince from a distant land, and a scientist with a dark secret. Stark soon finds himself at the center of a maelstrom of events that threatens to spiral out of control, unless the members of the Avengers Initiative can put aside their differences and learn to work together for the good of all mankind.
There is a notable forsaking of silver screen cliché in “The Avengers.” Joss Whedon’s sophomore directorial effort, which has opened with commodious fanfare at the Egyptian Theatre, has a great degree more narrative integrity than the tub-thumping suggests. On its surface, the film is a cinematic sock in the jaw, a collage of action, chills, and larger-than-life characters. But in the end, what makes this deliriously enjoyable thriller a celluloid masterpiece are the very human interactions and the heart that runs through it all.
The Paramount production boasts a dramatic depth which is rarely explored in the other fare of its genre. The hallmarks are all in the best Hollywood tradition: star-studded cast, rollicking story, sweeping romance, gut-churning action and, for the truly discriminating film-goers, a moving message of faith. The inner urges of the extraordinary figures caught up in an absorbing tale of adventure and intrigue are probed with subtlety and meaning. Mr. Whedon has delivered a crackling melodrama, sumptuously upholstered by its splendid characterizations.
It is played by an excellent cast of expansive actors, including Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, and the inimitable Mr. Samuel L. Jackson. Mr. Downey, who stars as a millionaire industrialist recruited by a shadowy government organization, gives one of his most engaging performances in a career packed with engaging performances. Miss Johansson shines as femme fatale Natasha Romanoff, a role she seems born to play. But it is Mark Ruffalo who shanghais the breakout performance as a tortured scientist haunted by a devastating secret.
For all that, however, Mr. Whedon has kept the picture in the spirit of romantic make believe, with a lot of elegant trifling, some highly fantastic fights and flights, and a neverending stream of jim-dandy repartee. “The Avengers” bounds along at a lively, exciting clip, the way all extravagant fictions should, and it has every bit the look of a proper spectacle.
Fundamentally it’s just good cinematurgy: a moving picture that moves. “The Avengers” is certain to cut plenty of fancy box-office takings in all markets, as it offers something for virtually every type film fan.