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Rumors of my absence ... were totally true. OK, there weren't actually any rumors. I have been bad about updating. Sorry! It turns out that typing is much easier with two good hands (or wrists).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

1. I finished Being Human (UK) Series 2. Unlike S1, I thought this series made a few missteps. More thoughts (in what will probably be excruciating detail) shortly. (I know I keep saying that.)

2. I saw the new Avengers movie.



Some of my movie watching buddies were comic book fans, none except me were Joss Whedon fans. Everyone liked it, though immediately afterwards comic book fan #1 explained for 20 minutes why she’s sure Coulson isn’t really dead. Actually, I buy her argument. We stayed for *both* post-credits sequences, and I laughed my head off at the shawarma coda. Apparently, sales of shawarma skyrocketed after the movie came out. (True story!)

I had been mostly oblivious to the fact that Whedon both co-wrote and directed the movie, but there were an awful lot of uniquely Whedon-esque bits along the way. Cleverly humorous dialogue? Check. Super long tracking shots taking the viewer from character to character? Check. Destruction of Sabratt hot dog cart? Check. (Sabratt hot dogs apparently being to Joss Whedon, what pigeons are to John Woo.)

Mostly, though, the whole thing just *felt* like a Whedon project, I think because of the combination of sharp, funny dialogue and the fact that the script managed to give some decent emotional depth to a huge cast of characters all vying for screen time. I particularly liked Bruce Banner’s portrayal, as I think the script and Mark Ruffalo’s performance really captured the fundamental awfulness of Bruce’s life, while also showing him as a very decent human being. While I was, as usual, annoyed at the shortage of female protagonists, Natasha Romanoff was completely made of win throughout the movie. Hawkeye’s villain turn was decently done (and boy has Jeremy Renner come a long way from guest starring as a vampire serial killer on Angel). He seems intriguing, though I don’t feel like we learned enough about what makes him tick. I suspect Tony Snark, I mean Stark, is getting most of the fandom adoration, but I would absolutely watch a Hulk/Black Widow/Hawkeye sequel.

Speaking of Angel alums, I was completely shocked to see Alexis Denisoff’s name in the credits. I hadn’t picked him out at the Other, but in my defense, his voice and look were completely different.

In all, I thought Whedon did a good job with his big-budget debut. While I enjoyed the movie, I don’t think the writing was perfect. The pacing is a bit weird, with the first half seemingly made up of endless talks in conference rooms, followed by the Avengers pairing off to beat the stuffing out of each other, followed by CGI mayhem in New York City. On the other hand, unlike most action films, it actually has some good writing and acting, so overall I’ll consider this one a win.



3. I have been watching Game of Thrones. I wish I were as awesome as Arya Stark. The young actress who plays her, Maisie Williams, is insanely good. I hope she goes on to great things.
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oceloty

July 2012

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