The Avengers

We’re having a movie-May; The Raven last week, Dark Shadows this coming weekend, and we went to see The Avengers on Sunday. There was the usual lead-up stuff: calls to coordinate rides and meeting places: “Where are you? I bought tickets.”

“In the parking lot, which is packed.”

“Yes, so you should hurry, I don’t want to sit way down front. We’re on the bench by the ticket-taker.”

Ian bought two medium sodas and a medium popcorn, $17.50. Holy shit! Really? Had the sodas not been large enough to hydrate the entire African continent, I might have been more traumatized by the price. It’s no wonder Americans are overweight and broke. We made mental notes; if we forget to pack our own, get smalls. Or better yet, do without. We sat and waited for Jamie and Ryan. I watched as one overweight person after another juggled their mammoth sodas and popcorn (and nachos, and pizza, and hotdogs, and icys) to hand their ticket to the young woman taking tickets.

It is possible that we can blame American obesity on Hollywood. I’m not being critical, I need to lose weight too. And I had a humongous soda as well—but I won’t make that mistake a second time! Who is calling the shots here? Who decided we needed anything this big? We don’t need anything this big—Jamie and I shared “my” soda and in two hours and twenty-three minutes we couldn’t finish it! And why do we pay for it? Do the powers that be in Hollywood think it makes us want to see Scarlet Johnasson and her ilk more—that’ well desire that image more? Or will it leave us depressed because we’re drinking huge sodas and eating bad food while watching thin and beautiful on the screen. What was the message supposed to be here?  The thought process was like being written into a bad George Orwell novel, or Ray Bradbury. Shame on you, Movie industry. It was sobering. It made me want to go to the gym.

We managed to juggle our gluttonous fare, hand over our tickets, and get into seats only a row behind where we would normally sit. So, that was ok.

The preview trailers played: Men in Black III, The Expendables II, Brave, and a couple that didn’t hold my interest, Spiderman 8-million-and-one, or something.

I didn’t expect to like The Avengers: super-hero(es) action movie, yeah, sort of not me. But I did like it; I liked it a lot. It started slow, but I guess a movie that is sixth (maybe?) in a series needs to have a slow lead in. The script laid out the plot, and introduced the characters one by one (except Thor, who just sort of arrives, but he is a god after all and therefore should need no introduction, right?). Just as I was about to get restless, the story picked up. Well played.

It’s your basic the-world’s-going-to-end-at-any-moment-super-hero-action-movie. A testosterone-fest. And the “good” guys have egos the size of…Texas, and they don’t like each other much.  But again, just as the muscle flexing begins to grate on my feminist nerves, the movie shifts gears. Very close to that point, amidst the good-guy in-fighting, I leaned over and whispered to Jamie, “They need an adult.”

I admit when the adult turned out to be Captain America, I was more than a little amused. The adult in this film is the guy dressed in the stripped pajama suit, representing the youngest, and in my opinion, most testosterone-flexing country in the world. I liked the irony. A lot.

I liked the referential-attitude of the film, it didn’t exist in a vacuum (The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Ghostbusters, to name but a few). And then, you know, there’s Robert Downey, Jr. with his snide, I’m-too-smart-for-you-attitude. I always like him. He’s always the smart-ass, snarky. I can relate to him. Well, maybe not in his incarceration days, but you know, to his characters on screen.

The Avengers has lots of action, surprisingly, lots of comedy, beautiful and tragic characters, a hint of romance, and for those who paid close attention, good irony throughout. If I wasn’t going to see Dark Shadows this weekend, I’d take the rest of my grandchildren to see this.

But, in the end Johnny Depp trumps Robert Downey in smart-assedness, and snarkiness. So, if you’re one of the six people in the US who hasn’t seen The Avengers yet go do it!—and for God sake, bring your own drinks—save the money to see Dark Shadows, after I review it, of course.


11 thoughts on “The Avengers

  1. Hi Mel, We also saw the Avengers this weekend, sans grandchildren. They all had to work. My baby brother, who is turning 63 this month, had to serve as our child. We all laughingly make fun of the “destroy the world” genre of movies, but we still love to watch them. Especially when the actors seem to be having so much fun with it, as Downey always does.

    Movie theater “refreshments” is a conundrum. If they made the drinks a more reasonable size, would they need to charge less? A large iced tea costs $2.10 at most drive-thrus these days. It’s about the size of the small movie theater drink.

    Our theater has a sign up that forbids you to bring in your own snacks or drinks. I suppose they’d have the right to make you leave if they caught you.

    My uncle used to manage a theater and he said they didn’t usually make money off the tickets. By the time, they paid for the movies and the expenses of running them, the ticket money was gone. Their profit came from the snack bar. I’d guess that is still true today.

    Then again, every place you go that holds you captive: amusement parks, zoos, etc., charges exorbitant rates for refreshments. Did all the others take the lead from movie theaters do you suppose?

    • I’ve heard profits come from the concessions–but it is insane, 2 sodas for 17.50? That’s robbery. And wasteful, we ended up throwing a lot of it away.

      We bring coolers to amusement parks–and come out to the parking lot for lunch. I am simply not going to pay too much for products, I get enough of that at the grocery store and gas station.

  2. Holy smokes! Our solution is to stick a few of oranges, dates, nuts into our pockets and a bottle of water into my purse. Honestly, 17.50 is… like…4.5 Starbucks Chai tea lattes! (I’ve got my priorities straight) 🙂

  3. I can’t tell from the trailer if Dark Shadows will be amusing or awful. Looking forward to your review. The daytime soap was that perfect combination of awful and awesome, and i don’t imagine it will be easy to live up to that.

  4. Going down the list of MNINB blog list and finally made it to yours (but it’s not my first time). So I’m ashamed to say that I am one of the six who hasn’t seen Avengers yet. Yes, with movie ticket prices and snacks, I prefer to wait for it to go on DVD and watch it in the comforts of my home…in my jammies on my bed with a bowl of ice cream.

    • I usually agree with that sentiment — but there are some things that should be experienced on the big screen. I think I missed out because I never saw The Wizard of Oz that way…

      • I agree, Mel. I can wait for many things, like most Romantic Comedies (or any kind of comedy really), but some things just need the huge screen and surround sound. Other things, like anything with Johnny Depp in it, just have to be seen as soon as possible, good or not. Dark Shadows was one of those “in the Middle” things. Not overly Impressive, but good enough, and it had Depp.

      • Exactly — and I can listen to 70s music in movie-theater surround-sound any day of the week. I might actually but that soundtrack. Wait! I probably have most of the songs. Now I must go to Amazon.

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