Saturday, March 16, 2013

Seeing the Cracks

(Warning! Post holds spoilers for The Avengers.)

The other day I had this conversation:

Me: "Hey, do you have Skyfall? I want to watch it again."
Friend: "What? You hated Skyfall. I know this because I saw the movie with you in theaters and you wouldn't SHUT UP during it."
Me: "So?"

Actually, I didn't hate Skyfall. But I did see some big, gaping flaws in it, which is precisely why I'll watch it again - and probably more times after that.

Sometimes I'll see a movie and there will be these bright sparks of brilliance in it that captivate me. And then these cracks will spiderweb across it and the whole thing will just implode, never coming even close to reaching the potential I saw. It's endlessly infuriating. But also fascinating.

When I saw The Avengers I wasn't expecting much from it. I was a casual fan of a couple of the comics as a kid, but I'm not hugely into superhero movies as a whole - I think the best this trend has ever gotten was X-Men 1 and 2. Everything else has been pretty mediocre.

But then I saw the cast in action and I totally got it. Captain America was upright but brittle, Tony Stark was endlessly cool but vulnerable, Thor was the epitome of heroic but kind of clueless, Black Widow was running around directing everyone, and Hawkeye was Jeremy Renner (honestly what else did you need). I was holding my breath through the first 45 minutes of the movie waiting for them to finally, finally get into one place and start in earnest.


Aaaaargh. You have all these incredibly well-cast, dynamic characters, and barely let them interact. It's a damn travesty.

And at last count, I have watched The Avengers roughly seven times.

Does that mean I actually enjoy these movies? I don't know. They frustrate me, but they fascinate me as well. They're like badly put-together puzzles that I want to take apart and reassemble correctly.

Is there anything that you don't precisely enjoy, but are captivated by anyway?


  1. Skyfall Spoiler: It made me really mad that Judi Dench's M didn't kill the baddy at the end. It was M. She could have and should have done it. I didn't like the way she became like Bond's old mother at the end of it. Grrr. She should have gone out with a bang. Or a quick stab. I'm ridiculously tolerant if something is fun. Plot holes annoy me, but I am often able to enjoy the film so long as they're minor. I'm not remotely tolerant of plot holes in books.

    1. YES. That was one of my biggest issues with the movie, other than the fact that they chose to do a movie about Bond's midlife crisis and chose an actor who can't emote worth a darn. Bond is supposed to be going through this huge inner crisis, compounded at the end by his childhood trauma, and his one and only expression throughout the entire movie is "mildly irritated". I'm not saying he should have been weeping all over the place, but good actors can give subtle cues as to their character's emotion states without having tears pour down their cheeks.