And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


A Podcast from the After Movie Diner Walks Among Us
May 16, 2012, 12:15 am
Filed under: Housekeeping, News from Within the Empire, Podcasts | Tags: ,
We've put a team together...

We've put a team together...

Having connived and blackmailed my way into become his “fount of all comic book knowledge and information” I sat down with Jon X of the After Movie Diner to discuss all six of the films that currently compose Earth 199,999 (otherwise known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe). Listen here

or you can visit the After Movie Diner’s website and download this or any of Jon’s other wonderful podcasts to your mobile device of choice on Stitcher, iTunes or Talkshoe. (And while you’re there, you could do worse than give Jon the highest rating possible and – who knows – maybe even a review.)

Those six films are, of course, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers, which long-time readers (both of you) watched me suffer through in real time. New readers: now’s your chance to blow some dust off these old reviews and discover all the wonderful ways I’ve contradicted myself over the years. More to come this Friday.



The Avengers (2012)

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

It’s been a long, strange trip, reviewing all these Captain America films. So, with a heavy heart, I laid my seven bucks down and sat through the sixth one I’ve seen this year: Captain America: The First Avenger. How was it? Ask the hideous talking head below what he thought.



Ultimate Avengers 2 (2006)
"Alright, I'll give. Just don't review that Albert Pyun film. That's all I ask."

"Alright, I'll give. Just don't review that Albert Pyun film. That's all I ask."

Even the simplest of superhero sequels can be its own kind of hell. Sagas about superhero teams are even easier to screw up. At worst, they end up looking like an amateur plate-spinning performance at some lame high school talent show. Ultimate Avengers 2 isn’t quite that bad…but it’s verging on territory the Fantastic Four films would explore at length to their (and our) eternal detriment. For thirty minutes Ultimate Avengers 2 held me. Then it all fell apart in the act of wrapping itself up. There’s some irony in there somewhere.

Animated direct-to-DVD superhero movies have this bad habit of taking on more water than they can reasonably carry through their truncated running time. It’s an old story but I’ll tell it again: when you have seven characters with seven back stories, seven arcs with seven conclusions, and only a hundred and nine minutes to run them all…you get a disappointing sequel. Continue reading



Ultimate Avengers (2006)
Yeah, guy wearing a flag into battle. That's not an easy target.

Yeah, guy wearing a flag into battle. That's not an easy target.

Best to begin this with what Ultimate Avengers is not. It’s not the movie I’d hoped it would be. What is these days, right? It’s not a shot-by-shot recreation of the similarly named, and much more thematically complicated Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch comic book miniseries upon which it is based. It’s not necessarily a major milestone in American animation. (No Fritz the Cat’s here, folks, keep walking.) It is not Marvel’s answer to Paul Dini’s spectacular Justice League series, which did more with more characters, smaller budgets, and the Ever Present Eye of Cartoon Network’s Standards and Practices.

Ultimate Avengers is not a great movie at all…and it shakes and shutters on the cusp of being good. By any objective or technical measure it’s not really that, either. The reasons why become quickly apparent. But first: plot synopsis.

Ultimate Avengers opens (like so much else in the Marvel Universe) during the winningest days of World War II. Hitler is dead, his armies in retreat, Germany safely carpet-bombed back to the Middle Ages. “But what,” asks the radio announcer, “are these rumors of a secret Nazi super weapon aimed at Washington? Categorically false, says the War [nee, Defense] Department. And we believe them!” {More}