The Playlist

Before They Assembled: The Best Performances From The Cast Of 'The Avengers'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 3, 2012 3:59 PM
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  • 15 Comments
For all the many strengths of "The Avengers," there's one that writer-director Joss Whedon can't take credit for: the casting. Of the main characters, only one, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, hasn't appeared in one of the previous five Marvel movies that have led to this point. So given the casting committee that assembled The Avengers, it's something of a miracle that it's ended up with one of the most enjoyable collection of actors in a big tentpole movie for quite some time.

Joss Whedon’s Advice For A ‘Justice League’ Movie & More From The Cast Of 'The Avengers'

  • By Jeff Otto
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  • May 3, 2012 10:03 AM
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  • 21 Comments
After years of rumors, what ifs and hearsay, perhaps the most unlikely -- and certainly the most ambitious -- comic book movie of all time is finally hitting theaters this weekend. Beyond the mere logistical nightmare of pairing this massive cast with the equally massive budget required for such an undertaking, the green light for an “The Avengers” movie was dependent on the success of five other films before it. But here we are, with the film set to take North America by storm with hugely positive buzz and fanboys salivating for the penultimate moment when they finally hear “Avengers assemble!” echo across the megaplex.

Review: 'The Avengers' Has Its Issues, But Mostly Delivers Thrilling, Engaging, Blockbuster Fun

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • April 30, 2012 10:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Everything that works in “The Avengers” really works, but not everything works in “The Avengers.” A virtuoso collection of action set pieces framed by an uninspiring “getting the team together” narrative which should have been accomplished in all of those post-credits sequences in earlier Marvel movies, Joss Whedon’s stab at superheroes delivers plenty of what makes both him and his subject matter appealing, as well as an abundance of mythological set-up that’s somehow simultaneously redundant and contradictory. But as the best (or perhaps most consistently engaging) Marvel movie since the original “Iron Man,” “The Avengers” is a winning piece of popcorn entertainment that does better with characters in an ensemble setting than many ever did when they starred in their own vehicles.

Is Hong Kong Superstar Andy Lau Joining The Cast Of 'Iron Man 3?'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 24, 2012 8:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The power shift in the blockbuster world is starting to drift away from Hollywood. The U.S. still makes the bulk of the product, of course. But particularly for action and science-fiction movies (doubly so for those in 3D), studios rely on overseas grosses, especially in Asian markets like Japan, India, Korea and, most importantly, China, all of which are hungry for tentpole product to make their movies profitable. It's a telling indicator that blockbusters like "Battleship" and "The Avengers" are landing overseas weeks ahead of their debuts in the U.S. And more and more, studio movies are engineered from the ground up to play well abroad as Chinese and Indian companies are increasingly financing large chunks of blockbusters, and international stars crop up in the pictures -- take Japanese actor Tadanobu Osano, who plays essentially the second lead in both "Battleship" and the upcoming "47 Ronin."

Review: Marvel's 'The Avengers' Is Immensely Satisfying, Entirely Thrilling & Possibly The Best Superhero Movie Yet

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 19, 2012 7:05 PM
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  • 33 Comments
The first scene of " The Avengers" is not very good. Deep in a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base, scientist Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) is conducting experiments on The Tesseract, the blue cube that powered the Red Skull's experiments in "Captain America." Expriments that, unfortunately, bring to earth Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the vengeful brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), last seen plummeting from Asgard into oblivion. Loki manages to take down S.H.I.E.L.D's best -- Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) -- with ease, and soon the base is decimated. It's a perfectly acceptable place to start, but there's something off about the execution: it's stilted, awkward and humorless, and the action is pretty uninvolving, with a TV-level of scope.

Watch: Iron Man & Thor Go Head-To-Head In New Clip From 'The Avengers'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 17, 2012 9:01 AM
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  • 3 Comments
How does Marvel sustain hype with two weeks to go until they unleash "The Avengers"? Release a clip or movie still every day until then. It seems the comic studio is taking a page out of Fox's playbook for "X-Men: First Class" last year which saw nearly half the movie (okay, we're exaggerating, but not by much) wind up online in some fashion before it hit theaters. Looks like we're going to get every story beat of "The Avengers" as well.

'The Avengers' Assemble For A Bounty Of Action-Packed Pics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 13, 2012 6:47 PM
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  • 2 Comments
"The Avengers" buzz is at an all-time peak at the moment. With the film making a splashy red carpet premiere earlier this week, and with fans heading to advance screenings tomorrow, the Marvel marketing machine is in maximum overdrive, and they've turned the faucet on at full force....

Is 'The Avengers' Still Shooting? Filming Going On Tonight, According To Robert Downey Jr.

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • April 12, 2012 6:02 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Update: According to our Jeff Otto on the ground at "The Avengers" press conference Mark Ruffalo has also confirmed they are shooting an extra scene. "We’re shooting a scene tonight. I’m not sure exactly where it’s gonna go. All I know is that someone came in with the costume and said, 'Here’s some wardrobe. We don’t know where you’re going to be or what you’re doing.' " Ruffalo said. We asked if it will be in the "The Avengers" when it hits theaters Ruffalo added, "Yeah. So I’m like, 'All right, when are we doing that?' Today after we’re done.”

Watch: Loki & Tony Stark Fight...With Words...In New Clip From 'The Avengers'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 11, 2012 9:31 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Well, the long wait is nearly over as tonight at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, the red carpet will be rolled out for director Joss Whedon and his cast -- Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Clark Gregg (Agent Phil Coulson), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig) and Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) -- for the glitzy premiere of "The Avengers." And not long after, critics will be getting their taste of the picture as well.

Robert Downey Jr. & David Dobkin Looking To Get In Front Of 'The Judge'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 4, 2012 9:47 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Robert Downey Jr. and David Dobkin are two faves down on the Warner Bros. lot. Of course, the former is the man who has turned "Sherlock Holmes" into a mega franchise and the latter had a huge hit for their New Line arm with "Wedding Crashers," also had a hit with "Fred Claus" and after a rough patch, is still developing "Arthur & Lancelot" under their roof. So why not pair those two together?

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