Joss Whedon gets group dynamics. He knows how to play characters and personalities off one another for maximum drama and humor because he understands his protagonists. One minute he has audiences laughing at situations or dialog that both draw from and adds to his characters (rather than handing over jokes that demonstrate how clever the writer is) and moments later he pushes crowds close to tears with indelible moments, also based on the people in the story.

The Avengers movie plays to his strengths with its array of gods, monsters and playboys. Among the menagerie, he even manages to make an acceptable character out of Scarlet Johansson’s Black Widow, making her much more than the token hot woman in leather. With Whedon’s gift with female characters, perhaps this group could use a Wasp or a Scarlet Witch down the road. Or maybe a She-Hulk.

Even without the director’s guiding hand, Marvel Studios has delivered on the seemingly impossible. In a comic book, unrestrained by budgets, its easy to throw characters together and create an all-star team. But to take blockbuster franchise films and stir them all together where budgets and egos can get it the way, is something of a miracle. But Whedon takes the thrilling premise and delivers charm and dimensional characters with conflict and big battles. The talent seems to have bought in, doubtless helped by knowing the plan from the beginning, and the ultimate superhero teams comes alive. Continue reading “Film Friday: ‘Avengers’ movie succeeds despite shortcomings”

Hugo Weaving, the man who delivered a fantastic voice performance in “V For Vendetta,” without ever showing his face, has been cast as Captain America’s nemesis and WWII Nazi the Red Skull in “Captain America: The First Avenger”.

Weaving, who TORn readers know as Elrond in the LOTR trilogy, may face another role behind a mask in this role as his character’s face is an…uh…red skull, although the press release from Marvel says, “The character will be updated for the feature adaptation.” Those hoping to see Weaving again as Elrond in a pair of yet-to-be-greenlit Hobbit movies, will do doubt be curious about the production schedule and potential conflicts with the two franchises.

Because of the financial situation of MGM, which is the distributor for the Hobbit films, nothing has been set in stone about shooting schedules. Producer Peter Jackson and director Guillermo del Toro have gone on record saying they would get the same actors for the same roles “whenever possible” and when appropriate. Elrond, although not a major role in the who films, who be an obvious and important character the two-part prequels to the LOTR film trilogy. The director hinted to the BBC that he expected Weaving to return.

The whole press release, can be found here. Thanks to board member Oden for starting a discussion on the topic.