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The Playlist

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.

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.

The Lost, Forgotten & Undersung Projects Of Joss Whedon

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 11, 2012 11:04 AM
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  • 8 Comments
Joss Whedon is about to have a very good week. The writer/director/producer has until recently, been best known for his work on television: he turned his poorly-received screenwriting debut "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" into one of the most beloved cult series of all times (which itself got a long-running spin-off, "Angel"), and followed them up with the short-lived but passionately followed sci-fi Western "Firefly," a show that lasted as single season, but managed to get its own cinematic sequel, "Serenity," which marked Whedon's big-screen directorial debut.

To Get Ready for 'Cabin in the Woods,' Here Are The Top 5 Cabin Movies

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • April 10, 2012 10:05 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Everything from “The Truman Show” to John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is chopped up and blended in the pop culture Cuisinart that is Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon’s irrepressible “Cabin in the Woods.” But it quite clearly owes a certain debt to a very specific type of horror sub-genre set primarily in a rickety homestead in the forest, one just desolate or decrepit enough to be rife with the possibility of evil spirits, demented madmen, psychic trauma… or all of the above. When Whedon originally came to Goddard with the concept, he gleefully suggested making a “cabin movie.” While “Cabin in the Woods” ended up being much more than that (it's an acidic takedown and euphoric celebration of all things horror), we wanted to briefly cite five of the films that contributed, either directly or through the pop culture ether, to “Cabin in the Woods.”

Review: Morgan Spurlock's 'A Fan’s Hope' Comic-Con Documentary, Is An Amiable & Harmless Look At Geek Culture

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • April 3, 2012 1:57 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Celebrating its 40th anniversary later this year, Comic-Con, while originally a convention for comic books and science fiction/fantasy enthusiasts has expanded into an annual pop-culture juggernaut that as Kevin Smith says, Comic-Con has gone mainstream; in his view on par with Cannes, Sundance and even the Olympics. Even your mom has heard about it.

Watch: New Japanese 'The Avengers' Trailer Reveals Gwyneth Paltrow Is In This Too

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • March 15, 2012 9:44 AM
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  • 7 Comments
Upon seeing the new Japanese trailer for "The Avengers," you'll have to agree that there's something about the visuals that blends better when underlined by an indecipherable Japanese narrator. Our latest peek at the superhero epic might be our clearest showcase yet, utiziling footage from the previous trailers while debuting a bit more of its own. Notably, several scenes from the first clips associated with the film return, but this time souped up with the addition of some special effects providing added context. To paraphrase Luke Wilson in "Idiocracy," now you know whose ass is farting, and why.

SXSW '12: Joss Whedon Talks Challenges of The 'Avengers,' Potentially Resurrecting Old Horror Epic 'Goners,' And How 'Cabin In The Woods' Came To Be

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • March 10, 2012 4:03 PM
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  • 4 Comments
Today at South by Southwest, there was a panel with "Cabin in the Woods" director Joss Whedon (the screening the night before brought the house down – Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford were still talking about it today!), wherein the fan favorite writer/director talked about his intentions for the film, why he fled the Hollywood system (for at the very least distanced himself to the point where he's working parallel to it), the state of his big budget horror movie "Goners," the pluses and minuses of working with an inflated budget, and his personal little art film, "The Avengers."

SXSW '12 Review: 'The Cabin In The Woods' Is A Smart, Witty Blast For Genre Fans

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • March 9, 2012 9:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Almost no genre (bar perhaps the romantic-comedy) revolves around formula as heavily as the horror film. Obviously there are sub-categories: the haunted-house film, the zombie flick, the vampire movie. But a disproportionate amount of the involves a group of horny teens going to a remote location, taking off clothes, making stupid decisions, and getting picked off one by one, whether by a man in a mask, or by some kind of supernatural creature or force. So on hearing the title, and indeed basic premise, of "The Cabin In The Woods," it's hard not to be a little downhearted. Is this the same old cheapo horror flick we've seen dozens, if not hundreds of times?

Good Luck With That: Joss Whedon Says The Only Way To Approach An 'Avengers' Sequel Is To Make It Smaller & More Intimate

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 9, 2012 1:38 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Well, "The Avengers" is still a little bit away from hitting theaters, but might as well get the sequel talk started already, right? Because since everyone in the Marvel universe has signed their lives and their children's lives away to star in the series forever, if the movie is a big box office hit (and it should be) and pleases the fans (it likely will) you can bet everyone will be getting out their dayplanners to figure out when they can get Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston all back together in the same room. But if Joss Whedon has his way (and he won't), his concept for a sequel to "The Avengers" runs directly opposite the current climate in Hollywood.

Watch: Hulk Smash, Downey Jr. Wisecrack In Full Trailer For Marvel's 'The Avengers'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • February 29, 2012 11:54 AM
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  • 11 Comments
Last summer saw a fairly major clash of the superheroes, with four movies featuring men in tights battling it out for box office supremacy. Marvel's duo of "Thor" and "Captain America: The First Avenger" won out over "X-Men First Class" and "Green Lantern," but as it turns out, it was all just a warm up for this summer's main event. July will see follow ups to the two biggest superhero movies in history arrive in the shape of "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "The Dark Knight Rises," but they won't have it all to themselves, as May doesn't just bring Thor and Captain America back, but also Iron Man, The Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury, for Joss Whedon's "The Avengers."

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