S.H.I.E.L.D.E.D. – Resume Video for guy who wants to work on the new SHIELD TV series.

The most awesome resume video ever! This is an actual production designer who wants to work on Joss Whedon’s new SHIELD TV series, so he put together this video with SHIELD to show why he’s the right guy for the job. Really funny and well done!

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Season 2 Thoughts

Thanks to Australia airing Season 2 of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes at a rate of 4/week instead of 1/week like North American TV, I’ve just finished watching the second (and sadly last) season of Avengers a bit early. (Like 3 months, earth.)

I really enjoyed this series overall, and taken as a whole considered it a solidly good little show. I’ve been a longtime casual Avengers fan, so it was neat to finally see the characters animated and some of the Avengers storylines brought to life. I was especially impressed how they weaved forty years of superheroing into a single coherent form, and actually managed to improve upon it.

There are characters like Kang and Baron Zemo who I neither really liked or understood as villains, but this show really made me finally appreciate them and actually come to like them. (At least, in this version.) I also liked what they did with Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, the Black Panther, and loved how they handled The Vision overall. (I say overall, because it depends on who’s writing the episode on how effective he is.) The show did a great job with the characters, and stayed true to the comic versions of them nicely.

This is not to say the show didn’t have issues, as the animation quality could vary widely, and so could the writing. There were more than a few episodes where things happened because the plot called for it, and a number of stories were rushed, especially during second season.

I would say that First Season of the show was the better of the two, as it was well paced and planned. It did have a bit of a sharp learning curve at the start, since it plunged us right into a story about a whole prison worth of supervillains escaping and didn’t give us much of an explanation of who these villains were. Of course, they went back and introduced most of them later (which they also did with the heroes) and in the end it all worked out pretty nicely. The season all led up to a big showdown in Asgard that took several episodes and was a great epic ending to the show.

Season Two, on the other hand, was a real rollercoaster. It started out well enough, but then as it went on it become more and more uneven. The steady pacing of the first season seemed gone, replaced by a frantic rush to introduce new characters and hit us with as much adventure as possible. The episode introducing Beta Ray Bill is a perfect example, where they took 6 issues worth of comic story, and told it all in 22 minutes at lightning speed. It wasn’t bad, just…rushed.

I blame much of Season 2’s uneveness on outside interference. Between Season One and Season Two a new head of Marvel Animation came in named Jeph Leob, who publically stated right from the start his opinions about how these animated series should be done. At the heart of his opinions was the idea that it was wrong to do multi-part episodes (something season one relied on heavily) and that all episodes of the shows should be self contained. (Holy 80’s Flashback, Batman!)

This is really evident in the second half of Season Two (the portion Leob had control over, because the first part was largely done before he came in) which is packed with stories that should have been 2-3 episodes long being crammed into single episodes. The feel of the show really changes at that point, and while there’s still some good episodes I feel it lost some of the grandeur that it built up in first season.

That isn’t to say it’s a total loss. I especially loved the episode Emperor Stark, which is The Vision’s first episode as a member of the Avengers, and which worked well in the condensed form. Also the last three episodes of the show (written by showrunner Chris Yost) were fairly well done, with the finale truly being a finale worthy of the series.

I know some people are angry that there won’t be a season three of the show, and I admit that I’m also a bit disappointed. That said, we got 52 episodes of pretty good Avengers stories and I’m pretty cool with that.

Who knows, the new Avengers Assemble show replacing it in the fall might be alright, especially since it has a lot of the same production people working on it. But somehow, I still think I won’t enjoy it as much as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Review: The Avengers

Just got back from seeing The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble, to those outside of North America), and I think my take on the film is as follows:

After the Blu-Ray DVD version is released, some 15 year old kid using Apple iMovie is going to use it to produce an amazingly cool 80 minute long Avengers movie that’s going to blow everyone away. Until that day, we’re stuck with is a lumbering 142 minute long workprint (rough draft) of a film that seems to be more about ego (giving all the actors equal screen time) and spectacle (lots of epic FX shots and sequences) than telling an actual story.

It has some great sequences, some good humour, and some pretty good acting, but my god are those sequences spaced out by unncessarily long passages that do little to actually advance the plot (what there is of it). If it was only put under the editing knife of someone who didn’t care about anything but making it an effective story, then I think it could be turned into something awesome, but as it is- meh.

As a side note, it also totally confirmed my estimation that Chris Evans (Captain America) doesn’t have anywhere near enough presence or charisma to carry his role. I wouldn’t follow this Cap into a game of paintball, much less a full-scale war.

Robert Downey Jr. was Tony Stark (or is that the other way around?) and rocked as usual.

Chris Helmsworth was so-so, same with Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.

The two surprises of the film were Scarlett Johansen, who actually did have presence and style, and the (new) Hulk Mark Ruaffalo, who actually did a great job in the role. (In fact, the Hulk was probably the best character in the film. Maybe because we never had to see him brood or look angsty?) They may finally have a Bruce Banner who can carry a film or three.

In the end, I give it 6/10. Didn’t suck, but wasn’t especially good either.

Rob

 

The Avengers ’78 movie promo – YouTube

Brilliant! Althought you might have to be a child of the 70’s or 80’s to really get it. 🙂