Mike’s Movie Review – Monster

Firesmith Movie Review

If you have never watched the police interviews you should, because they tell you everything you will ever need to know. Aileen Wuornos sits in front of the detective and laughs, or cries, or curses, or prays, like a flip book character sped up or slowed down by some unseen hand.  Wuornos is as stable as boiling oil in a hailstorm. You cannot help but walk away believing that woman is capable of murder and just as incapable of understanding what it means.

“Monster” the 2003 movie written and directed by Patty Jenkins takes us all down to Wournos’ level, and holds us there for the better part of two hours. Charlize Theron slips inside of Wournos’s skin like a doppelganger and she won an Oscar for it. It’s hard to believe it’s Theron in there, and it’s hard to imagine what it was like. “I watched a lot of film” Theron said when how she asked how she managed to become that character. And if you watch the police
interviews you can see that Theron did.

The movie guides the viewer through a side of life in the Sunshine State that excludes Mouse Ear Hats and Princesses. There are no tourists here. There are no happy endings. There is the harsh reality that life is process, and at one point Wournes is rebuffed by a potential employer, who says, “…When the beach party is over, you don’t get to say, “You know what? Now I think I’d like to have what everybody else has worked their entire life for.” It doesn’t work that way.”

Was Wuornos guilty of killing seven men? The film says she was, and she confessed to the murders. It’s easy to believe she did, and convenient. All the evidence, most of it circumstantial, points to Wuornos, but we will never really know. All the killings took place, if you believe what you’re told, between one woman and her victim. The weapon was never found, but the Florida coast is a very large place.

I’m not here trying to make some sort of argument that Wuornos was innocent of the crimes, or that her execution was anything but a bit of mercy for everyone involved. But unlike most movies whose subjects are serial killers who are captured, tried, and put to death, “Monster” leaves you with the feeling terrible things have happened and nothing, nothing at all, was done to make anything better at all.

I watch this movie every once in a while to remind me there are monsters, and not all of them are things we can see.

Take Care,
Mike

Monster (2003)  –  Rated R

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Friday Firesmith – Fire Ar Three In The Morning

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Smoke detectors are one of mankind’s more useful inventions much like the spatula or the ink pen whose plastic pocket grippers make such excellent ear cleaning tools. Yet the two aforementioned objects, useful that they might be, will not scream at you in the dead of night, like a banshee in a white dress ovulating into overtime. Smoke detectors are supposed to let you know when their batteries are dead, but it would to me a little odd the same noise that tells you that you’re going to die in a fire is the same noise reminding you to buy a battery.

I survived a house fire when I was nineteen and I am here to tell you when that smoke detector went off last night at three in the morning I was at the window about to toss a pair of dogs
through it, and not worrying at all about batteries. Look at all the gear the professional firemen use to go into a burning house. Look at all the training they go through. If you ever leave a burning house do not go back into that burning house until you load up on that gear and that training. You will die in a burning house and unlike drowning at the Hilton in a bathtub because your cocaine habit and your heart suddenly disagree, you will not like dying in a fire. And you aren’t likely to get mentioned at the Emmy’s either.

In 1980 there was screaming, and people beating on my door, and I didn’t wake up in time. The smoke forced my roommates out of the house, and by the time I woke up there was a lot of smoke, and no power for lights. I lit a candle and it nearly went out. I ran to the door, tore it off its hinges, picked up my laundry bag and I got the hell out of that house. The door was one I designed myself, to be cop proof because I sold pot and hash to supplement my pot and hash habit. The door was supposed to survive long enough for me to get rid of my stash, but it nearly killed me. To this day I sleep lightly, and I am deathly afraid of fire in a house.

But there was no fire last night, and the Banshee Model 9000 smoke detector alerts the owner of a dead battery by screaming at three in the morning. They really never die except at that time, do they? Worse, it has an internal battery so it can keep screaming until the dead battery is replaced or the internal until runs out. The Banshee 9000 spent the night in an ice chest outside. I could hear the armadillos leaving the county over the din.

My roommates and I were in a house fire before there were cell phones so we didn’t know where everyone was. One guy we thought was in the house wasn’t, but we nearly lost someone trying to get him out. One guy we were sure wasn’t there, and he wasn’t, and he came home to see the last wall fall over in flames. Have a plan, people. Make sure everyone knows where to meet up outside when you get out. GET OUT of a burning house and do not go back in for anything. I have resigned myself to losing everything here but two dogs. Pictures, music, the computer, my grandfather’s shotgun, I do not care. Let it burn. I am not going back in.

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – A Brief History Of Snakes

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To say that snakes and I have a history is akin to saying Lindsay Lohan and drugs are acquainted somewhat.  I caught my first venomous snake when I was five years old, and to this day I still defend my actions as a perfect example of a perfect capture of a venomous snake that was perfectly safe.  With a long stick I chased the snake into a metal bucket that had a lid that clamped when it closed.  When the snake went into the bucket I closed the lid with the stick, made sure it had locked, and then I picked the bucket up with the stick, and carried the bucket home in my little red wagon.

Perfect, right?

Okay, so I was five years old. What? I couldn’t be a prodigy? Well, my mother agreed with you and when I came into the house to show my parents what I had caught the full description of how I had executed the capture fell upon deaf ears. Of course, my mother’s screaming might have deafened anyone, but she was a mite excitable about snakes in general. Speaking of execution, the snake who due to no fault of his own was there to begin with, was killed by my father. I fared just slightly less better. The beating he and I received contained the same level of violence but at least I was able to survive.

One thing I have learned is that you can walked into a crowd of people in South Georgia with a gun in your hand and there is a chance no one will notice. If you walk into that same crowd with a snake in your hand you better hope the gun in hand crowd isn’t there. People react oddly, in my opinion, to snakes.

My first day of high school was one filled with many magical moments. Unfortunately for me, it was that same sort of magic people remember when they are turned into a newt. I had tormented and chased Teena Madison with snakes since we were both children and she would sometimes break into a screaming run if I merely moved towards her grinning. I could sometimes get her to gallop by hiding my hands behind my back. But this day, this first day of high school, the very first lunch break, I decided to do something special. I slipped up behind her I dropped a two foot long hog nosed snake down the front of her dress. I remember watching the snake slide down her shoulder and onto her left breast. Teena exploded into pure terror and I had the laugh of my life.

Teena did a dance that would have produced a deluge in other cultures and the snake eventually popped out and hit the ground from all the bouncing.  I went to retrieve the poor creature and as I looked up to see where Teena had escaped to I discovered she was right there in front of me. And she looked angry. And she had balled up her fist. And Teena Madison hit me right between the eyes with enough force to knock me flat.

This was during the era that a boy/man might torment a girl/woman with a snake but under no conditions would anyone male ever strike anyone female. It just was not done, ever. No matter what else happened, no matter what a girl did, you didn’t hit back. Not that I had that option, really. I was too busy trying to survive. Teena cast herself upon me screaming and cursing in a manner I thought girls were incapable of achieving. I couldn’t get away. I finally got my feet under me and as I sought safety in speed, I feel Teena’s fingernails dig into the back of my neck. She tore a red furrow from my neck down my back that looked like a tiger had gotten me. Worse yet, she tore my new Grateful Dead T-shirt nearly off. But I did get away. Not that I got far. Teena wasn’t done with me yet.

The girl who so feared snakes all her life stomped back to scene of the crime and took my brand new math book and used it to beat the snake to death. She then ripped the cover off the book in a display of strength that impressed even today. Teena then went to the Principle’s office and burst into tears over what I had done to her. The real terror had just begun, at least for me.

The Principle was a man who didn’t like me to begin with. My reputation as a snake handler made him uneasy and he saw this as a chance to make an impression. This was back in the day when students were paddled with wooden paddles, some of them long enough to be used as a two handed weapon, and he put his back into it. Then the science teacher who told me not to take the snake out of the jar got a shot at me with the same stick. And when I got home, my father had been called about the tale, and yes, once again, I was beaten for the deed.

I still catch snakes if I have to relocate one but you will never, ever, hear of me throwing a snake on a person, ever, ever, again.

Take Care,

Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

 

Friday Firesmith – Dogs and Cats and People

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I have never believed in the Dog Person/Cat person debate because I have always been a Dog Person and I have always been a Cat Person. The problem I have is I am a Large Dog Person, and Large Dogs and cats do not always mix well. Sometimes they do. I have friends who have large dogs and cats and everyone is happy and everyone loves one another.  I have Sam. Sam is part Greyhound and part rocket. Sam doesn’t like small mammals and his classification of cats in
that category, no pun intended, isn’t as accident.

I found a pretty stray car, named her Wakita, and went to war with Sam over the cat. Sam nearly caught Wakita in mid leap one night and that was when I realized that while I had been telling Sam, “Do NOT kill the cat!” Sam was hearing, “Do NOT kill the cat while I am watching you!”
Greys can hit forty-five miles an hour in two strides. I’m not sure what cats can do but I do know that once Sam lunches there is no abort button. I once pried Wakita’s head out of Sam’s mouth
at the last moment. This “stand your ground” theory when it comes to dogs only works if the dog isn’t looking to kill you.

Cats are different. I know, really know, what about 99% of the dogs I meet are going to do within ten seconds of seeing the animal. With cats, wellll, maybe. Some cats are social. Some are not. Some will be, sooner or later, but you have to work on it. Others like to be ignored. Unlike dogs, I can’t tell when a cat is a little disturbed, or just downright batshit crazy.

I went to a party one night and the woman who was hosting the party told everyone, “My cat is a psycho little demon. Do not try to pet this animal or you will most certain bleed.”  She piled some boxes in front of her staircase to keep people from going upstairs where the cat hid out. So after about a six pack of beer, a few shots of tequila, and some party favors, I wandered over to the bookcase and a tiny grey animal lept from the bookcase to the staircase.

“Meerrrrow” the little grey cat said. That’s something else. Cats have a larger vocabulary than dogs so. They chirp. Some make noises that are almost whistles. This one made a questioning type noise and I wondered why the woman thought this cat was crazy. Looked okay to me. I looked over at the woman, and please note she was a redhead, she smiled at me.

The little cat looked at me, I looked at the cat, and I stuck my hand out, but kept it outside the rails of the staircase. The little car sniffed my hand then rubbed her heads against the rails. “More pettings, please” the little cat said. The redhead grinned at me. Good points scored here, taming the wild cat of the redhead, yes. I reached through the rail and started petting the little cat and there was this wild loud purring. Man, I tell you, I got this animal thing pinned down. I’ll talk this cat into letting me pick her up and speaking of picking up a…

The little cat lashed out and grabbed my hand with her right paw, claws extended. My hand was on the other side of the rail, I couldn’t get it back. I looked back at the redhead and she looked like she was suppressing a giggle. I looked down at the little cat and she slowly put her nose to my thumb and then bit down as hard as a little cat could.

I screamed.

The redhead laughed.

I’m still a cat person. I still like redheaded women as long as they aren’t armed or drinking on my tab. But there is a deep seated and total difference between dogs and cats, just like there is between redheaded women, and those who aren’t crazy.

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Mike’s Movie Review – SWATH

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There are movie trailers that show you ever single decent moment of a movie and when you actually see the movie you realize you’ve been had to a degree. It’s a lot like seeing a photo of a woman from the neck up and then when you meet her she’s got a wart the size of a small German Shepherd Dog on her left knee. That wasn’t what I was going to write originally, but considering this is a movie review I thought I should keep it clean.

The trailer for “Snow White and the Huntsman” shows an action packed movie that is stark and gritty, rife with dangerous creatures and all manner of sorcery. When a trailer shows you stark and gritty then the move should be stark and gritty, and to some degree or another SWATH is
that movie, but in other degrees it is not that movie, and it doesn’t seem to know which movie it wants to be.

SWATH begins with an overlong voice over setting the film up and then there’s a jump to the future, and then there is some odd chase scene, and then there is some weirdness and then there is a drunken fight and then more weirdness. And suddenly, the movie just seems to drag for a while, like a man going through the desert with a five year old attached to his leg.

Okay, here’s the problem; on one side of the equation we have the Evil Stepmother, played by Charlize Theron and the evil stepmother’s brother, Finn, played by Sam Spruell. These two have most of the scenes where there is true evil, stark and gritty. Between the two actors, they own most of the good parts of this movie, mostly due to the talent of Theron, and the really neat special effects that goes with her character.

On the other side of the conflict is Snow White, played by Kristen Stewart, and the Huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth, famous for this role in “Thor” and oh, by the way, we also have Sam Claflin playing the role of the Duke’s son, William, who Snow White was in love with when they were kids. Now, do not get me wrong here, the idea of some sort of conflicted love triangle between the two male leads and Snow White isn’t a bad idea, but the movie never really develops a relationship between Snow White and anyone. There is no chemistry here at all. You are never emotionally invested in either guy getting the girl.

Oh, and remember the fairy tale? There was an audible groan from the entire audience when the dwarves showed up. Dwarves? Really? You’re going to have a stark and gritty movie with dwarves? Even if that can be pulled off it is not here. Suddenly, we’re reliving “Willow” and I half expected someone to call the dwarves “Pecks”. The whole movie began a slide into silliness at this point and never really recovered at all.

This is a movie that suffers from editing problems. It’s a movie that was not written very well. This is a movie that had great potential, but never rally explored it. It’s a movie that ended weirdly and left open some questions for a sequel but set it up just as poorly as the movie itself was presented. Theron, Stewart, and Hemsworth all play their roles well, but the script drags them under. And dwarves. If you want them to be taken seriously you have to do a little more than standard fare.

Wait until you can rent it on a slow night.

Take Care,
Mike

Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)  –  PG-13

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

 

Friday Firesmith – No Smoking

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Smoking cigarettes is the single most harmful activity a person can engage in unless you include marriage into the equation.  Worse, it’s like ingesting a poison and then puking it up in public because second hand smoke is nearly as bad for the people around a smoker as the smoke is to the addict that is spewing it out. The link between cancer
and smoking was well known to the people who sold the drug for years and it literally took an act by the American government to get them to not only admit it, but to post warning about the dangers of smoking. Since those dark and smoky days, local and state laws forbidding smoking in public have slowly forced smokers out of the public arena
and nearly out of existence.

Smokers are beginning to be a desperate lot of people and as such they are beginning to whine about their “rights” being trampled upon, as if the rest of us had no real recourse in putting up with their habit. As a former smoker, and I know exactly what smokers think of those of us who have jumped ship, I know firsthand the grip this addiction can have on a person. I have seen people collect cigarette butts out of an ashtray and smoke the longest one, or take the tobacco out of the butts and roll a new cigarette. I’ve seen people pick up a half smoked cigarette off the ground some stranger tossed away. I’ve seen people turn their sofas upside down looking for enough change to buy a pack of cigarettes. I’ve seen people walk to the store in ice storms to get smokes. I’ve seen pregnant woman smoke half a cigarette just to keep the poison in their system.

I’ve got a fairly Libertarian point of view when it comes to drug use. As far as I am concerned they could legalize every drug every invented and tax the hell out of it. What we’re doing right now is failing, has
failed, and will keep on failing, and all drug laws have ever done was create a class of criminals. If the aim of society is to stop drug use then drug laws do not work and that is clearly evident. The restrictions we have placed on cigarette smoking, as well as drinking and driving have worked. If we treat all drugs alike we will get similar results.

I quit smoking over seven years ago but I can remember the first three days of quitting vividly. The first seventy-two hours of withdrawal is akin to having some living creature inside your skin trying to tear its way out through your fingernails. It’s like having to pee and not being able to find a bathroom for a week. It’s like not being able to breathe. At the same time, stopping smoking is the single most important thing I have ever done for my health. The benefits of quitting are worth going through hell to get away from smoking.

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – That Smell

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Anyone who has ever changed a diaper believes in the supernatural. Nothing human, nothing natural, nothing made of this earth could come out of a baby and smell that bad. It’s more than just a smell, it’s a presence like that of a demon or a ghost or a Jehovah’s Witness at your door
when you’re drunk and naked and really pissed off that the Braves (or your favorite team) blew a five run lead in the ninth to lose by six runs.

But let’s face this issue like adults, not that this is an issue that would come up at a PTA meeting or the finals at a chess match; there are some things that come forth from the body human that dismay even the owners, and sometimes, especially the owners. I envision some sort of recording
device for smells one day that will prove to be the ultimate in guilt producing when parents sit teenagers down and say, “You smell that young man? We put up with THAT when you were a baby and you get drunk and wreck the car to repay us???”

Speaking of drunks, I worked with a land surveyor who was going through a divorce. He drank a lot of beer and ate pickled eggs in bars because they were there. The resulting flatulence was incredible. We would screech to a halt and get out of the van or hang our heads out of the windows. It was really that bad. It was worse than anything I have ever smelled in a living creature. He let one rip in a McDonalds one day that cleared three booths. People were looking under tables to see what had just crawled out of Hell.

I once threw a party where the main dish was black beans and rice. I drank a lot of Scotch that night, and because I refuse to let a hangover stop me from functioning, I went to the gym the next day. A truly good looking woman was teaching a Pilates class and asked me to take the class so I did. Bad mistake! While getting into a position that created a lot of stress on my stomach, a poisonous vapor escaped from my body. It was made entirely of the Satan. It smelled like a herd of leper zombies had been put into a blender then left in a hot car for a week and poured over maggots. I tried to ignore it, but my eyes began to water. Worse, the vapor came again, and I tried to hold it back but realized if I tried to hard when it did find release, it would vocalize its existence. Slowly, I released the toxin into the crowded room, and I prayed for
forgiveness.

An older woman on a mat behind me was the first to discover the possession. I heard her exclaim and then she checked the bottom of her shoes. Then she looked at me. I smiled. She didn’t. She got up and turned on this giant fan, and I was saved. At that point no one there could tell where it was coming from.

Years later, the woman who taught the class saw me in another gym and she and I talked about the good old days. Near the end of the conversation she asked me, “Do you remember one day, when there was that smell in the room…?”

I hope that recording device stays un- invented for a while.

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Memorial Day

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Today is Memorial Day and a lot of people will have a day off and many of them will stop to consider the well earned praise of heroes. We all have someone we admire in uniform from some war in the past or perhaps one of our recent wars, someone whose bravery is an example
of living humanity and courage. We should do this. We should pause in our lives to consider the efforts of individuals who through selfless action saved others or perhaps even kept those who opposed us from advancing in some way.

I have heard that this current generation is bereft of these sorts of people but I say there are many in uniform who give lie to this false belief, and that the young men and women we have in uniform at this very moment are some of the very best, ever. The post 9-11 American military is proof we are still capable of bravery, of courage under fire, of exemplary grace under pressure, and of dedication to the ideas and ideals that have always made this country strong.

Memorial day flagsThis Memorial Day, when you think of Midway, Omaha Beach, or Yorktown, or Iwa Jima, or Khe Sanh, or Inchon, or Antietam, please take a moment to consider Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember Baghdad and Fallujah, Remember Kandahar and the Korengal Valley.

These are the men and women who are our heroes today. There are our heroes now.

Politics have divided this country on partisan lines and please allow me to remind you that the men and women in uniform and their actions, their courage and their blood are the only reasons you can express an opinion. Without such people this country would not have been born and it would have not survived, many times over. So regardless of how you feel about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, remember the men and women in uniform, some of which will not come home, others who will not come home whole, serve you. They serve all of us no matter what political beliefs we hold.

The three thousandth casualty of the war in Afghanistan, and that include all coalition forces, died last week. We do not own bravery, courage, or sacrifice in this mission and this too, we should remember on this day. We are not alone. We never have been. But the world does look to us for leadership and only politically have we been lacking.

On this day stop to remember Greg “Pappy” Boyington who was a drinker, a fighter, a flyer, but most of all a Marine, who was sent to die and went to kill, and came back again. Remember one person, one man or woman in the military that you think embodies what a hero is, or should be. But please do not forget this generation. Do not forget that right now, at this very moment, some young person from America is far away from home, and perhaps fighting for their very lives.

Remember the heroes. Remember this generation. They are one in the same.

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Friday Firesmith – Music

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When I was growing up every family had a radio and most cars and trucks had radios but kids didn’t own anything that could be plugged in. Most houses had one electrical socket in each bedroom and that was it. If a kid was lucky he might have a lamp, but as far as having something that produced sound, well, no. My parents had a turntable and they had four or five albums but they weren’t really into music that much. The radio in the car stayed tuned to whatever my father liked and therefore I liked it too, or didn’t but no one cared.

When my older sister got a turntable for her birthday, and I think she was twelve or thirteen, it was as if someone had walked into the house leading an alien by a leash. Here was a personal music playing device and even though my sister didn’t own any music, and all this thing would play was those small 45’s, but that was heaven enough.

It was an odd thing to be given a choice in music. All the music we had ever heard was on my father’s car radio, or one of those old albums, but when it got right down to it, there wasn’t enough music I had heard to know what I really liked. There weren’t that many radio stations and the older kids all listened to the same music as the adults. When my birthday rolled around I got a turntable, too, and it too played 45’s but it was mine. I just had no idea what music I liked.

I started out with what was popular on the radio, and for a short time anything on the top ten on the radio was enough. But then eight track tapes became more popular and suddenly, there was a lot more music, and some of it was rock and roll. Everyone knew who the Beatles were but we had only heard rumors of what Alice Cooper was like, and what some of the bands like the Rolling Stones sound like.

I lobbied hard for a real turntable, one with two speakers so I could listen to things in “stereo” and I wanted one that would play albums. But my parents wondered if allowing a kid at the age of fourteen to choose his own music, if that wasn’t going too far. My father had a solution to the problem by not allowing us to buy music he wasn’t standing there to see, and it worked. He would shake his head and say, “You don’t like that.” My father did that a lot, explaining to us what we did or didn’t like.

In the Summer of 1975 my mother allowed me to go to a local music store and buy anything I wanted, one album, of any sort, of any music, no holds barred. I had heard Alice Cooper, and this store had one copy of one Cooper album, “Welcome to My Nightmare” I loved it. I played the album until the grooves nearly wore off of it.

Okay, your first album was…?

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.

Mike’s Movie Review – The Avengers

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For those of you looking for some sort of intellectual pursuit in a movie, go away, and go away now. This is “The Avengers” and it was based on a comic book and a cast of characters created by Stan Lee. For those of us old enough to remember when comic books were the form of entertainment we loved, we were waiting to see how well the movie was going to be made, and whether or not it would be goofy or campy or just plain bad.

Strap on, boys and girls, we’re going on a ride!

Don’t you just love this? The “Ironman” the “Thor” the “Captain America” movies, each and every one of them, here they are, rolled up in one. But wait! There’s more! Let’s bring in Joss Wheton, who put eight of the best characters together in “Firefly” and turn that son of a bitch loose on some super heroes.

Oh, and some killer special effects, let’s have some of those, and then when you’re awed there’s some more.

Okay, my first fear was with that many super heroes things might get weird. Four of the characters had their own moves, but now we also have a couple of more, and then some other people, too. We have Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evan as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, oh and we also have Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury and even Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts.

And those are just the good guys.

But Whedon makes it work, and he works it as no one else could. This is a masterful creation of both personality and process. This is a comic book come to life. This is all we have ever wanted and more from the ten cents apiece books we loved when we were kids. This, boys and girls, is the Avengers.

Wheton begins with no background from the other movies because he flat doesn’t need it. This is a standalone spectacular, just as “Serenity” could fly without “Firefly”. Don’t worry about trying to understand the complexities of the plot because it’s as simple as something Stan Lee would have sold you forty years ago, and every bit as effective, too. If you’ve ever wondered what it would look like if it was done right, look no further.

And there are some very nice little touches. Johansson isn’t sexualized at all, beautiful as she might be. She plays her part skillfully and puts in a performance worthy of the film. Ruffalo as Bruce Banner is a simmering mess until he turns into the Hulk, and my, what a Hulk he is, too. By far, this Hulk is the best Hulk ever. Every bit of what you were hoping for, this is the unstoppable behemoth of the comic books. His final showdown with Loki is as funny as any scene ever made, and it is the humor in this movie that helps make it what it is.

There are some one liners in here that are just pure Wheton, and they help carry the day wonderfully.

This is a well done comic book movie but it is also a well done movie. Smartly laid out, vivid in its special effects, and comic book plot nicely trotted out, this is it, this is the film we have been waiting for and the entire cast stands and delivers. Wheton pulls this off and leaves the door open for much, much, more, and those of us who remember sitting against a tree reading the thin pages of Marvel Comics await the sequel. We are not alone. This is going to be great fun, people, and it already has been!

The Avengers (2012)  –  PG-13

Take Care,
Mike

 

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit