Sunday, 13 May 2012

REVIEWS: The Avengers (2012) & A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Yes I know I've only got around to a review at my fourth post. But alas, uni is a pain and I haven't got around to watching anything......until BAM - two movies in one day.

I watched The Avengers in the cinemas, without 3D cos I'm poor it's distracting. It's been anywhere and everywhere in the cinemasphere, so I was pretty late to the party. First of all I haven't watched ANY of the previous movies related to the main superheros and their franchises, so this was a pretty new thing for me. Apart from wishing that I knew some of the back stories, director Joss Whedon did a pretty good job updating all those clueless audiences like yours truly.

What's that up there? Oh just our box office sales kicking everyone's ass as it shoots to the sky.

Let's see.....action? Check. Cliched catch phrases? Check. Search for the true meaning of heroism? Check. Ok so it sounds like a pretty typical superhero movie, but instead of the usual personal character development of the one or two superheroes, The Avengers wins by having an array of characters who've already settled into their heroic roles and instead plays on the development of relationships between them. As seen by recent movies like X-Men: First Class, having a league of superheroes not only ups the awesome but allows for some superpower-fueled disputes and camaraderie.

To top it off the editing was seamless and everything was segwayed together nicely, even if a little cheesy. But hey, it is a superhero movie. Plus there was a nice smattering of humour here and there, and nothing out of character.

Things I couldn't help noticing included the fact that Thor was predominantly still that guy from Home & Away in my head, perhaps you could work on your accent Chris Hemsworth?

Captain America fights along Captain Straya with his tousled beach hair

I loved the unique blend of mythological, alien high-tech and prehistoric biological aesthetics that gave us awesome alien worms (fish?) that looked like they came out of Starcraft:

Y'know, just casually gliding through and destroying your city

The only thing I hoped could be changed was the fact that the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) could have been a much more badass character. She had the perfect tough persona and killer moves but seriously, compared to people like the god of thunder she looked a little lack-luster. I mean c'mon, even Hawkeye the other under-represented Avenger at least got to use some badass exploding arrows. Maybe it's my inner feminist showing, but I guess it could be contributed to the comics being written in a more conservative time.

Having an explosive background doesn't help the fact that she only got a plain black uniform and regular guns, *sigh*

The good news is that apparently the Black Widow will get her own movie soon, so I guess it works out after all!

TL;DR VERDICT: 4/5 stars, 6 Avengers in one movie means more bang for your buck

Now onto the second movie, which I watched on telly, something I haven't done for a long time. For those who don't know, A Beautiful Mind is about the life of famous mathematician John Nash whose life spirals out of control after he accepts covert work for the Department of Defence, without giving too much away.

Much of the movie is more a character study of Nash (played by Russell Crowe) and how his straight-forward nature means he pretty much has no friends, which plays to his strengths as he likes staying in the library alone while scribbling maths functions. I thought Crowe did a pretty good job translating his anti-social traits like a bashful chin waggle or nervous limp. He almost stepped across the line into over-acting territory but mostly had us sympathising with Nash.

Derpy Russell does maths good, nawwww

When Nash becomes extremely paranoid as he realises he's bitten off more than he can chew in his double life, the tone is set perfectly to become tense and doubtful as we're taken along for the ride with him. This, through Nash's POV, was a large part of what makes A Beautiful Mind worthwhile. Good musical scores also kept the suspense going in these scenes, while contrasting with the blossoming romance in other parts.

Jennifer Connelly won an Oscar as Mrs Nash but although her character was a good foil to bounce off all of Nash's problems and insecurities, I don't think it was hard to portray a woman pained and trapped by love. And I guess she WAS gorgeous:

Not so antisocial after all

What struck a chord with me most though, was the fact that a lot of Nash's paranoia and ambition-driven big-headedness came from his fear of not being recognised for his work, and his UNIQUE work at that. The search for that one thing that would make him and only him stand out from the rest is something that I have felt many times. *sigh*.....sorry for the personal tangent but I got a little emotional whenever this was brought up in the movie.

TL;DR VERDICT: 4/5 stars, the twists + emotional baggage + a love story to boot = equation for success (Yes I did just make a maths equation cos it was a maths movie..............what of it).

This blog post has dragged on way too long already but since we're already here here's a lovely Mother's Day message from Hugh Jackman on the set of Les Miserables, happy Mother's Day everyone =).


  1. "Captain Straya" L O L. I still don't know if I want to watch the Avengers, because I'm not particularly into superhero movies...

    1. You should! I'm not that into superhero movies either but I enjoyed it! But don't watch 3D just in case you waste more money haha...