There’s no scenario where Joss Whedon gets the credit he deserves for The Avengers. Certainly he’ll be lauded for the cash this box-office bogart is already piling up, and critics seem impressed enough with the film to plant it firmly in the upper echelon of “comic book” movies. But the success Whedon has achieved is far loftier than that, encompassing years of Marvel canon, hoards of characters beloved to fans, and unparalleled expectations. Put another way: making this movie was an unprecedented challenge. And The Avengers isn’t perfect, though that was never really an option in the first place; there are far too many elements that would have to be handled flawlessly, far too much scrutiny from far too many directions to ever truly be called “perfect.” It is, however, as good as it was ever going to be, and considering the circumstances, that’s pretty damn good.
Tag Archives: Mark Ruffalo
While good films are allowed a few missteps, truly great films are about the confluence of many great things. Great films are about the serendipity of timeless talent doing their best work together. If this can’t be said for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, then it can’t be said for any film. As collaborations go, Sunshine sits in the stratosphere with films like Network or Star Wars; moments of such dramatic success that it seems impossible luck wasn’t somehow involved. It’s not precisely that the individuals involved with a movie like Eternal Sunshine will never again achieve a similar success, so much as they can forever after know that they achieved what they set out to do when they decided to make films: produce something timeless, and universal, and thoroughly, unequivocally great.
“It’s a fucking marathon,” says Julianne Moore‘s Jules of marriage in The Kids Are All Right. “You stop seeing the other person. You just see weird projections of your own junk.” This is nothing new, this stripped down reveal of the intimacies of marriage. If anything, the big screen is prime real estate for bared souls and uncomfortable break downs. Though Kids centers on a lesbian couple, the big picture problems of this marriage are no different then any other. Nor are the struggles with raising children ultimately any stranger. No, what makes Writer/Director Lisa Cholodenko‘s film worth watching is the monkey wrench of a sperm donor and the complexity of a family making room for one more.
There are a number of themes present in Martin Scorsese‘s Shutter Island, but the one most significant to the experience of the film is uncertainty. From the first moment we meet U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo), we’re thrust into a world of pure pandemonium, where it’s not just the chaos of the criminally insane that keeps us intensely uneasy, but also the aloof and decidedly dubious men in charge of the facility on the island. There’s nothing here to hold on to, and no technique sets an audience on edge quite so effectively. At one point in the film Teddy comes upon the cell of George Noyce (Jackie Earle Haley), one of the more lucid inmates and a man Teddy has been searching for. The two men bicker, canvassing their situation while keeping us firmly in the fog, then Noyce comes face to face with the Marshal, “Don’t you get it…? You’re a rat in a maze.” He may as well be looking right through the lens, into the audience.