How To Prep For The Avengers
Five years is a long time to wait for such an anticipated event tying-in five movies from the most successful comic book franchises so far in the history in comic book movies. The Avengers is almost upon us with only a couple days left before commercial launch and fans already feel the stomach-knotting anticipation. We all know it’s in good hands since Joss Whedon took over the project, and we all trust him. Plus, it already has good vibes from pre-screenings and premieres, so the only thing left for us to do is patiently wait. There are a few ways you could constructively pass the time in measure to be mentally prepared for the big event. Of course, this list is constituted by non-DC Comics movies, and also not part of the Marvel universe outside the ties-in, since different studios own the rights and are not coagulant to The Avengers storyline.
The conventional way:
Yup, you’ve guessed it; this is the easiest possible way to refresh your memory on the matter and being fully conscious for what’s coming in The Avengers and that goes without saying: Marvel movie marathon. Most of you probably watched these movies a hundred times already, but now you get to see them from another prospective: everything is truly coming together and this project is finally proved fruitful. All the movies tie in for what we hope to be the greatest comic book movie event in a long, long time. So no need to go in the details here, but you should definitely watch them in the proper order and for those who didn’t yet—what are you waiting for?! Get to it.
Recommended order: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, and Captain America: The First Avenger.
The casual way:
Once you’re done with the Marvel franchise and feel like you wanna branch out with maybe more comic-book-y movies-vibe, you’re awesome. Here are a few suggestions you should contemplate that might either appease your anticipation for the big Marvel-mammoth or just feed your thirst for it.
#5 Mystery Men
Who doesn’t love Ben Stiller, “comic book heroes” and comedy? I explicitly heighten the emphasis on the quotation marks simply because the whole movie has that feel of absurdity, but doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. Special effects might seem dated, but the writing is just charmingly witty and the actors are just lovable (I’m looking at you, Greg Kinnear).
#4 The Rocketeer
The Rocke-who? Such a fun flick that engages the most over-used villains of all time, by time lifted by its sweet dialogues and simplicity of eye-catching scenes obviously inspired by the comic book genre. A must-see for those of you who have not seen it yet, but given with a fair warning that the cinematography might not have aged very well.
No need to state that this is one of the most beloved vampire-comic-book-inspired franchises that geeks everywhere love. Action, blood and dynamic fight scenes serve as a reminder that anti-heroes in comic-books are totally badass.
#2 Kick Ass
One of the most recent non-Marvel, non-DC comic-book adaptation that totally worked for the big screen and made us feel that the genre still has hope for a major upheaval, and good comic-book movies surely exist. Plenty of, yes, ass-kicking, but most importantly a well woven story and beautifully written character that will make you watch Kick Ass over and over again. Plus, a lot of “oh-shit” moments and those are welcomed in plenty,
#1 Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
This is indeed the epitome of nerd culture and comic-book dwellers. You can’t watch Scott Pilgrim just once—trust me, I’ve tried. With the cumulative references to video games, comics and out-of-this-world fight scenes, this will totally distract you from the waiting and will open a new gate to nerd-pleasure filled with impressive eye-candy special effects and a break-neck non-stop laugh-fest.
The extreme way:
Yes, there is another way, and those of you who can achieve watching most of these by adding it to the rest, you’re crazy (but extremely awesome). With these titles, you get to step out of your comfort zone and go into a darker corner of where comic books are from.
#5 The Losers
Neither the darkest nor the smartest adaptation based upon the Vertigo series has its moments by being at times fun and raw. Very action oriented flick, The Losers calls for a pop-corn guilty-pleasure filler if you’re out of ideas on what to watch and wanna see some shit get blown-off. For those of you who never gave it chance, this couldn’t be a more appropriate timing.
This goes without saying that the movie barely made justice to the original source material, but new-comers won’t have much to complain. It has its dark moments and a lot of self-realization topics in which it gives a very palpable prospective on life/heroes/foes. Over-the-top action sequences and sometimes unbelievable scenarios, it still has a very good sense on how comic book movies are about to shape-up and obviously gave the right steer to what’s in sight for the future on the genre. Very entertaining, to say the least.
Witty and over-flowed with the right amount of action (this called for an oxymoron). Engaging by its premise, Red gives us the satisfaction to see what would be like if James Bond would retire and come back for one last mission. Pleasantly presented, this needs to be on your list for the comic books movie adaptations well done.
#2 A History of Violence
Very underrated work by Cronenberg based upon the Vertigo novel by the same name. Stretching out the thin line between good and evil, and the disambiguation on how a character can be perceived. Everything in this movie is well placed to follow its dark tone and well-written twist brought by its organic feel and unflattering shots it mostly delivers. Well achieved comic adaptation, and a proof comics are better achieved when targeted to a more serious audience.
#1 V for Vendetta
An unsettling futuristic world run by fear and terrorists attacks, V shines for being the best out of the darkest comic book adaptation your conscience should feast upon. Written by the same dudes who brought us The Matrix, it’s hard not to notice the similarities in the genre and artistic direction. Being suspenseful and calm at the same time, V evokes a new palette of emotions and grasps better than well on the definition of freedom, fear and trust. To be watched (again) and highly recommended before the big weekend event.
All that said, this weekend will wrap-up our hunger of geekery for the comic-book whores and Marvel enthusiasts. But meanwhile, these suggested titles might help if you’re one of those unfortunates ones who can’t get to see The Avengers at the midnight opening (or the poor bastards that can’t on Friday either).