We Assemble! Rachael Berkey

On Friday, one of the most anticipated movies of the year opened. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of comic books, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t walk down the street without seeing gigantic billboards featuring the handsome (and beautiful) faces of some pretty beloved superheroes from the Marvel universe.

That’s right. Avengers finally dropped, and girls and boys of all ages were smashing their fists together in delighted Hulk-rage at the marriage of so many characters and beloved director Joss Whedon. My Avengers dates, aka my roommate and his boyfriend, were also super excited. So much so that one of them yelled “Tomorrow, we assemble!” at me from a block away on Thursday night. Clearly, this is why we’re friends.

(Don’t worry! I’m not going to spoil anything from the movie! When I wrote this, I still had 24 hours to go before I could see it!)

I got to thinking about the aspects of adaptation that people have protested in the past, which naturally brought up all my own previously felt rage over poor adaptations. Were characters portrayed accurately? Were settings and landscapes constructed with a nod towards realism and the original story? Were the costumes exactly what I had always imagined them to be? Did that actor look enough like the vision I had in my head as I read a book?

A lot of the time, the answer to all of the above questions is no. Really, up until the Harry Potter franchise, I hadn’t seen a lot of good adaptations. And I don’t necessarily think that the Harry Potter films are great adaptations, but they are really fun, well made portrayals of stories I love by people who are doing their best to condense thousands of pages of story into a few hours of film. I try not to be bitter about the bits of story that were left out.

I’m a firm believer that no movie will ever be as good as the book. Is anyone really surprised by this? It’s part of why I am both excited and horrified that they are making Ender’s Game into a movie this year. While I really want to see a live-action portrayal of one of my favorite stories, I just don’t think that there is anyway that Hollywood can pull off a film that is better than my imagination.

But I’m trying to keep an open mind. And I’m hoping that I walked out of Avengers on Friday with only more conviction that Hollywood can step up to the proverbial plate and deliver on my over-the-top expectations.

Everything I’m hearing about Avengers is great. And really, has Joss Whedon ever delivered something I didn’t fall in love with almost immediately? I don’t think so.

For that matter, Marvel has almost always served up characters and worlds that I immediately fall in love with and want to read over and over again, so my hopes are pretty high. I fell in love with the X-Men on Saturday mornings as a little girl. I was a big fan of the cartoon. I was a big fan of the movies that came out a few years ago.

That’s right. I liked them all. Don’t judge me.

I have been a big fan of all the Avenger titles I’ve seen in theaters and out of them over the last decade. There are great moments in all of them. Granted, I was not a huge reader of the comics that revolve around those particular characters so maybe it’s just easier for me.

Is it weird that I think my only fear for this movie is that I might like it too much? What if I get completely addicted and want to see it, in the theater, multiple times?

(This will probably happen.)

What happens if I end up spending way more money than I can realistically afford going to the theater over and over again?

(This will also probably happen.)

What happens when I start buying t-shirts, figurines and all other manner of memorabilia that I don’t have shelf-space for in my apartment?

(This will almost definitely happen.)

I’m trying to mentally prepare myself for how awesome it will be. I have almost no fear that it won’t live up to my expectation.

After all, it was released on May 4th. And in case you were under a rock that day, you know it’s a geek holiday. So to you, fine readers, I say a belated May The Fourth Be With You, and hope you got in some seriously geeky goodness this weekend.

Image via me…getting a hug from LegoHulk at ToyFair 2012.

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  1. Definitely going to see it again. Thankfully, the theater I went to sells real food and drinks. Maybe it was the mix of Chinese food and beer that made it all the better. No stale 20$ popcorn there. Found a new favorite drink, Long Island with a shot of raspberry liquor. I give it two blurry thumbs up!

  2. I watched Avengers today and it rocked my socks off. As a matter of fact they’re still off right now. I’ve been a fan of The Hulk and Ironman since they had shows on Saturday mornings. Needless to say the movie and the ones leading up to it were amazing. I’m a big Michael Crichton fan and have seen all of the film adaptation as well as reading the books associated to with them. There is no movie that can match the book. It’s an old cliche but it’s true. There is a lot to be considered when you write a screenplay adaptation of another work of fiction such as pacing, character development and exposition. One of my recent favorite comic to movie transitions was Tamara Drewe with Gemma Arterton. The graphic novel was brilliantly done and transitioned well to the screen. There were some events in the plot that were shifted in order to make them flow better in the movie but it retained the spirit of the story. One thing that I will disagree with Rachael with is the last two X-Men movies, not Wolverine: Origins, but X-2 & 3. There are too many rabid fans that have gone forth tearing them apart so I’ll skip that. However I can appreciate them for what they did bring to the table and enjoyed watching them even if they weren’t true to the mythos. With that said I loved The Avengers. They all kicked a good portion of intergalactic ass and I’m proud to say it was a great flick.

  3. I loved all the X-Men movies too!! Though I disagree on the Harry Potter adpatations, I HATED the first movie, but I have to admit that they got better as the years progressed, and I’m happy with the final product.
    And I ABSOLUTELY ADORED Avengers, I’ll probably watch it a couple more times on theaters.
    At least once more, since I decided not to see it in 3D. When it started I was really impressed by the composition, and during the first minutes (apart from my overexcitement and being on the verge so start jumping on my seat) I kept thinking “WOW this would look SO good on 3D!”, so now I NEED to watch it in 3D or I’ll never forgive myself, and then I’ll probably watch it again when it finally comes to my town’s theatre (yeah, movies take more than a month to get where I live, if I want to watch something on its opening day I have to take a 40 minute car ride)

  4. I’m pretty lucky I live in Manila so The Avengers opened here last April 25. I wanna know what you’ve thought of the movie! A review soon, perhaps.

    P.S. Not to sound stalker-ish but I LOVE YOUR ARTICLES. :D

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