‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: Season 7 Review

'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' Season 7 Cover

So, that’s how it ends, I guess? The TV version of things, anyways. A pretty lackluster conclusion that just plodded along and equaled the minimal stakes of the previous season. There never seemed to be any consistent movement with the story, especially when they had a small kernel of an idea, with the potential vampire slayers, and stretching it out for the entire season.

To start off the season Buffy gets a job as a counselor at the newly built Sunnydale High, which is really just a reason to have a reason for her to back into the thick of things and gives us some of the school backdrop again, like from the first few seasons. Xander is also hilariously tied into this all as his construction company is doing work on the school. Willow of course is still reeling from that whole “trying to destroy the world” thing and the death of Tara. So, more Willow wallowing, basically.

I always wanted more backstory into the whole idea of being a slayer, what it takes and where they come from, which they never really delved much into, surprisingly. They brought the idea forth as the central framework of this season, but never really materializes beyond anything more than a device to further separate and differentiate Buffy and Faith and cause dissension between the groups with Buffy’s preferred method of attack.

Honestly, for a final season, and a show of this magnitude and genre, nothing really out of the ordinary happens, and is pretty by-the-numbers in terms of revelations and expectations. Willow finds a new lover, not much happens with Xander, besides the token death of Anya that he seems to not take THAT hard given the circumstances. Buffy becomes on the outs with her group after Faith ousts her, but of course Buffy wins herself back into their winning graces by the end. Giles is still kicking around on the outskirts, doling out his sage old mentor wisdom, and dang, I thought for sure he was going to die during this thing. Spike is back and not much happens with him until the end of the season, as they still are just obsessed with using Spike solely through his relationship with Buffy. At least Buffy doesn’t take him back after that whole weird rape thing from last season. So, of course Spike sacrifices himself to help defeat their enemy.

So, overall a pretty disappointing end to the series, that unfortunately was waning this way as it went along. Coming into the show I couldn’t help but be influenced by the praise and stature the show has received and achieved, and while ultimately I see where it’s coming from, it never fully hits that mark for me. I enjoyed how the show was able to very deftly switch up its format from the first few seasons of more procedural based into longer form stories across a season, even if these weren’t always executed perfectly. The first few seasons also teased dealing with Buffy’s psyche and how she would have to deal with the psychological effects of killing and how it effects the people around her. They never really did anything with this, beyond the occasional hardship of her normal teenage things, but I definitely thought they could’ve milked that a lot more.

Buffy would almost immediately become my least favourite character and would remain in that position for the entire series. I understand having her deal with romantic relationships, and that’s all well and good and expected, but it remained an overbearing thread in each season, often with her being the most hyperbolic when dealing with these guys in her life. She also always would give off this air of being better than everybody else with her way always being the best, usually in her dealings with Dawn. Beyond all this, though, what of course the show does best, and I imagine why the show is so beloved is the characters it created, their growing relationships between each other and the eventual sense of lived in they give off, like you’ve known them your whole life and know how they’d react to each situation, they felt like people you would know. Besides all that demon-killing stuff.

The success of the show is no doubt influenced by its timing. Starting in 1997 and ending in 2003 it no doubt was one of the major influences in the new era of television in the 90s, mixing strong teen characters and their subsequent drama with a supernatural element that gave the show a lot of freedom to explore wide depths of drama, horror, comedy. It allowed no restrictions really in the type of material it tackled and would do so full force whether it was the very real death of a family member, gay relationships, rape or even concept episodes featuring songs. The show was able to push boundaries because of its framework and thus I think why the last few seasons were a lot more freer in story and plot than the more focused and defined early seasons. It’s a show that largely deserves its praise, even if its just as well known as what it shaped after it.

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‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: Season 5 Review

Buffy Season 5 Cast

“Buffy” is at that point now that most show’s with a core group of friends usually does where above anything else that the show does it’s really just fun to hang out with these characters, ones that you know so much by now and seem like just another extension of friends of yours. By this point the show isn’t really tied to having a baddie each episode for Buffy and company to dispatch all the while slowly moving along the overarching story. It’s still in effect, yeah, but it seems more freer, less concerned with sticking to a formula each episode, and just goes with the flow with whatever the writers feel like following that week, whether it be taking down a demon, focusing more on the characters relationships, hitting largely on the overarching story, or just menial things like people in their early twenties buying a house or getting a job or whatever. For at least the first 2/3 thirds of the season, it has a very laid back feel, and one that is a nice change of pace and works well as a foil as things eventually unravel in the back portion of the season.

Perhaps the biggest thing of the season is the literal random introduction of Buffy’s sister Dawn, where the show just literally drops her into the proceedings all like “What? Over four seasons you hadn’t noticed Buffy has a sister? She’s totally been here the whole time.” It’s hilarious how they introduce her like that, and at first I thought they just really wanted to introduce a new character, especially a sister to Buffy, and were just like “Screw it, this is the easiest way to put her in, nobody will notice after awhile.” But, thankfully, it wasn’t that dumb, and played into the series where she was placed there as a key between dimensions and memories of her were implanted into people who know her, which was slowly discovered by Buffy until they realized who she was and how she plays into things.

Oh, yeah, this whole “key” situation. So, sweet ‘ol young as hell Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn is a sort of “key” that the big bad of the season a goddess from hell needs to return to her realm of hell and subsequently wreck havoc on Earth. Glory, as she so affectionately is called, was kind of a letdown for me, where she was supposed to be built up as this all-ruling GOD, which the show was always quick to remind you was totally way worse than any other villain Buffy has faced, yet she never seemed all that formative in and of herself. I really liked the idea of Buffy having a sister, even if she just continually treated her awful time and time again. It provided a nice dynamic, and eventually would wring some much-needed humility from Buffy.

The rest of the cast honestly wasn’t really up to much this season, honestly. Giving credence to the whole laid back vibe of much of the season. Xander and Anya continue to develop their relationship, they get a place together and just generally try to juggle a relationship of human and emotionless demon. Anya also gets a job at Giles new magic shop, which basically just provides another location for the gang to hang out and scheme in. Nothing happens with Willow, until near the end of the season, but that can be said with all these characters I’m mentioning, really, and same with Tara, besides them delving a bit into her past with her family, but it’s never fully explored besides an episode or two, but it eventually pays dividends with her opening up to Buffy and helping her change her mind in regards to her sister’s role in everything.

And Spike, I guess I kinda shoulda figured that he wasn’t just going to go back to being a straight up villain who hated and tried to kill Buffy and co. He’s basically a good guy now, especially with his whole thing this season was just how much he’s in love with Buffy. I mean, I love him as a comedy outlet, but I still thought they’d utilize him in a more central and serious role, but he’s good with whatever he’s given, so it’s largely hard to complain. Speaking of Buffy and her love interests, Riley leaves halfway through the season because he pretty rightfully discovers that he’s not really a priority in Buffy’s life (que the Buffy complaining how it’s so hard to juggle her love life with demon slaying. Sigh.). I honestly just thought he’d be back the next episode, but it was literally until the last few episodes where I just realized that Riley was no longer regularly on the show, that’s how much I missed him. It was definitely a breath of fresh air, though, not having Buffy pine over someone each episode.

As most of my other reviews/recaps/whatever you’d call these things would suggest I’ve been counting down the episode until Giles dies, but damn, it’s the end of season five and he’s still alive, colour me surprised. But, I guess, the old, authoritative figure to die wasn’t going to be him now, or yet… but that role shifted to somebody else. Buffy’s mother was in the hospital early in the season with a brain tumor that was eventually cleared as nothing and just really seemed to serve as a minor storyline to further the Buffy, Dawn, mom relationship. But, then, to kick off the last third of episodes that ratchets up the dramatic core and drive of the season, Buffy walks into her house and see her mom’s cold dead body lying on the couch. The following episode “The Body” is one of the best of the series, following how the very real impact of Joyce’s death affects each of the gang in its own different way. Buffy imagines her mom alive in a fleeting hope of reality, but it’s all for naught, and no matter what spell attempts to be concocted Joyce is dead and gone. In the most real and grounded part of things, it’s not as if a demon or something in Buffy’s line of work caused where she brought a vampire too close to home and it costed her mom. Nope, Joyce died of that honest to goodness brain tumour, nothing fancy, just a sad reality of stuff that randomly affects humans, because we’re just that, human.

And so in the wake of all that, Glory’s forces close in on the Scooby gang, with Glory zeroing in on Dawn to fulfill her mass destiny and kill her and score one for the bad guys. But, Buffy decides to be nice to her sister for once and sacrifices herself in place of Dawn as they share the same blood. And that’s how the show ends, with Buffy dead and everybody just going on their merry ways. No, of course not, we still got two more season of this thing! At least. So, now I sit here wondering what I have the last few seasons, what will next season look like, especially since the last two have been vastly different from each other in style, scope, emotion and form. Buffy’s gotta come back and she’s gotta have another love interest, that’s like death and taxes! Season six, let’s see what you got.

‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: Season 4 Review

This is such an amazing promo cast picture that perfectly encapsulates 1999/2000.

This is such an amazing promo cast picture that perfectly encapsulates 1999/2000.

One of my favourite TV show things is when high school based shows reach the point, usually indeed around season 4, where they realize they can’t really just keep them in high school forever. High school shows are perfect fodder for shows because they’re easy situatio-wise in a place where all these people congregate for the majority of the day, there’s endless stories to mine and it’s really just a simple framework all the way around. But, enter college where someone can go theoretically wherever the hell they want, as opposed to be the junior/high school of the city they were born into. So, thus begins the TV show’s job of pushing characters into college, but somehow making them not separate into the furthest reaches of the world, because, you know, we still got a show to run here and character dynamics and all that. And this all leads to the anti-climactic thing that always happens where they just go “ehhh, screw it let’s just pretend their dream has always been to go to the closest school from where they are now.”

So, thus Buffy and Willow are now college students! And Xander, well, he supposedly goes off to travel and is unsuccessful in mining anything from that as Xander of course was, just prolonging his classic “I have no clue what I want to do with my life/have no clue what to do for college, so let’s just pretend I’ve always wanted to travel and that’ll fulfill me with meaning!” Anyways, Xander comes back and literally just hangs out the whole season with no explanation given to what he’s does with his day-to-day life. Well, I guess, he does begin to date a demon, because that’s literally all he seems to care about, and good for him I guess!

Anyways, this season! I was looking forward to Buffy and Willow tackling the new and exciting and cliche challenges of college, but that didn’t really happen. It was basically just like the seasons before, with a new backdrop that they didn’t really utilize all that often or separate from their high school experience. I love when these shows make the move to college, because it usually frees up the characters, makes things a bit looser and allows just a general freedom that usually cuts out the extraneous bits from the earlier season. I know this show’s about slaying vampires and such, but I kinda expected some “damn, keeping up with college-level school work while killing vampires is so hard” or “man, isn’t all these new things like partying, alcohol, drugs, sex free from the shadow of parents so cool!” storylines, but instead it never really was a major referential part of the season. There is some early stuff in the beginning, like Willow’s weird roommate, and stuff with a professor between Buffy that didn’t really go anywhere and was wrapped up pretty early.

The main crux of the season flows through Buffy’s newest dude crush, because of course Buffy can’t go a few feet without falling for some guy, even though she always claims it’s not really the life for her hence her occupation. But, anyway, the prototypical college dude Riley, a somehow worse name than Angel, enters the mix who is eventually discovered to be part of a secret group called The Initiative, a group with a hidden base under the college campus who kills and studies demons. Yes, it’s an amazing revelation when they reveal this big government organization operating under the college run by this normal looking professor who looks like everybody’s mom with her Abercrombie model doing these military-esque demon hits for her. Amazing. Of course, stuff goes up in smoke, and their big test subject demon/cyborg thing turns on everybody and destroys everything until Buffy and crew are there to make the save.

One of the organizations doings is taking in Spike, implementing him with a microchip preventing him from killing humans, and essentially neutering him. Now I was psyched to get to see more Spike at first, he’s a great villain who is a nice foil for Buffy and the gang, has a great look, and is genuinely funny and has a well-developed character. But, nope, he just hangs out on the fringe of the season and lounges around like a college kid and cracks jokes about whatever and wallows in his inability to harm Buffy and co. He gets to do a bit more as the season progresses with helping out Buffy’s side, but he seemed grossly misused and I realize he wasn’t the focal point of the season, but I hope he gets some more meatier stuff to do in the future seasons.

Also, Willow’s not going to end up with Xander! Thank god for her. I had read accidentally somewhere that Willow would become/realize she was a lesbian, and I wasn’t sure if I misread things, but I’m glad I didn’t, as this seems something perfectly in-line with her and her character. Also, yeah, her ending up with Xander would be horrible in retrospective given how awful he treats her/shuns her when you really break things down. Anyways, Willow meets Tara, another witch, and they bond adorably over their spell-castings and slowly realize what their feelings toward each other means and it’s a really organic and mature way things just unfold. I also can’t imagine these types of storyline were all that prominent or done around 2000, where nowadays there’s gay relationships and storylines on every show it seems. I just hope they don’t exploit it or anything, but I highly doubt they would given how they treated it here.

Ultimately this season was pretty fine all the way around, definitely a step down from the last few seasons, but not by any huge margin. This season just seemed kind of fruitless and didn’t really advance, change or develop things all that much in any overall sense. Almost like it was a stop gap of things, rerooting the tenants of the show with Angel leaving and moving to a new location, even if it was treated like any other season, really. Riley basically just becomes the Angel of the season, Buffy’s new addiction and dude who always drives her into deeper troubles in both her emotional sense and killing demon sense. I’ve always loved Buffy’s internal conflict of having to be a vampire killer contesting with her own personal life as an eigtheen-year-old girl having to deal with what normally life throws at a maturing woman at that age, and add in the multiplier of college, I thought it’d be ripe for that examination, but nothing happened on that end, to its detriment, I think. I’m hoping this was just a treading of the water of a season, and things pick up with an overall driving force that doesn’t feel so contained as this season did as the show pushes on to the latter half of its run.

As you can probably tell I decided to not alternate back-and-forth with Angel and what a glorious decision that was. I don’t think I could’ve kept up with that, as it’s taking me longer and longer to get through these seasons (not the show’s fault, just me) and I really don’t care about the minuscule crossovers, although I do hear Cordelia is on Angel and damn I miss her so much.

‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: Season 3 Review

'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' Season 3

Season 3! It was good, as well! Now usually shows follow a similar pattern, the first season comes out and they see what works and what doesn’t, make changes that usually make season 2 the best of the series, and then into season 3 and 4 and on is when it really sinks in that, hey, we gotta keep making this, likely around 20 or so episodes simultaneously make the show engaging and create momentum from episode to episode while not making things boring and complement, and that’s the hardest part and one that I’m interested to see where Buffy takes thing.

Season 3 was goo in that it built off a lot of what made season 2 successful, not overly complicated things, have an overarching big bad that can be spun to the background for one-off episodes, while still slowly pushing the plot forward, but what this season does is slowly put more pieces into place and introduce new elements that hopefully will pay off later down the line as the show moves forward.

The introduction of Eliza Dusku as Faith was interesting to me because I’m really fascinated about this world and how Buffy acts around people who have a similar burden/gift as her and how they deal with it compared to how she does. This idea further deepens when Faith kills someone (ie. not a vampire or monster, an actual human) and doesn’t really feel so bad about it and stuff gets real with Buffy when, hey, actual people can die from these types of proceedings, not just monsters. Faith consequently turns to the dark side and becomes an adversary of Buffy, becuase of course she does, but Dushku’s good at playing this as it’s really her bread and butter type of role. The presence of this darkness in another slayer is paramount to see if the show ever explores this side with Buffy, as it’s always the shows best material when it deals with Buffy rationalizing her role as a slayer and what it truly means and can it be divorced from her as a person.

The big bad this year of the mayor was a step down from Spike this year, as he was mainly just an old bore scheming in, like, the one room that the show apparently had in its budget for him to, uh, just sit around and scheme in and spout off bad guy demon stuff.

Now let’s get to the stuff that really matters, the Xander/Willow/Cordelia love triangle-ish things. I gotta say, Xander was probably my least favourite character of the past two seasons (except Angel, I guess, uh) as he was the prototypical “funny” guy, but always just came across as a self-righteous dick. Anyways, him and Willow finally kiss and wouldn’t you know it Cordelia and Oz (Seth Green) catch them and their go those two relationships up in smoke. Until, like, two episodes later when Oz in his typical Seth Greenness just takes her back because he’s all “looking past things” and such. So, Xander pines after Cordelia, all the while still not sure what to do about these feelings about Willow, which she still obviously has for him. This is the part where I say that Cordelia is my favourite character and, damn, I don’t even know how it happened. I’m a sucker for the classic “rich bitch character who at heart is really sweet and nice behind all her vitriol to others fed by her upbringing and stance in life all these years, until something drastic happens with her father’s job and they suddenly don’t have money and are left with nothing, but still tries against all to make up appearances that everything is normal until someone finds out and see the true person.” I love that character. Seriously.

Since who cares about the demons and major plotlines in the show, Giles and Buffy’s mom got it on, which I’m ashamed to say I did not see coming, but obviously should of, because, duh. Also, let’s give it up to Buffy’s mom who just kinda fully accepts that, yup, my daughter in between dating boys and trigonometry homework goes out and kills demons and saves the world on a nightly basis. I know I’ve talked about this every write up so far, but I just love how all these monsters and demons and vampire and teens killing them is just an accepted thing to everybody. There’s a great referential moment in the season finale where the students give Buffy props for making that year in Sunnydale the one with the least deaths at the high school. Implying that yes, of course, like any normal year a bunch of high schoolers died at the hands of some demons from the netherworld, but, hey, it was a lot less this year!

I don’t really want to talk about the trials and tribulations of the Buffy/Angel relationship because it’s been the same cycle for the past couple years, break-up/get-together/break-up/realize they’re destined to be with each other for life/break-up/repeat. At the behest of Buffy’s mom and Angel’s deep emotional introspection (ugh) he realizes that even though he loves Buffy sooooooooo much, he’s probably pretty bad for her in the long run and just keeps invited trouble so he leaves to go do a spin-off.

Yeah, so next season is when Angel gets his own show, which, man, he’s boring as hell to me, I don’t really get why they gave him his own show, but 1999 was a crazy time. I briefly mulled around watching Angel along with Buffy for next season going back-and-forth from each episode like it would’ve aired in real-time because I’m insane, but decided against it due to the fact that I really don’t care to do that, I’m not the fondest of Angel, and I kinda just want to breeze through this series as it is and don’t really care so much of the interconnectedness of the shows and universes that I’m okay to miss references, I think, even though I’m an insane completist perfectionist. But, I’ll watch it sometime in the future, we’ll see. I remember hearing differing opinions that season 4 was the worst for some people and the best for others, so that should be fun. Also, damn, I for sure thought Giles would be dead by now.

‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: Season 2 Review

Buff The Vampire Slayer: Season 2

Kinda regret making myself review every season of this, but not in a “this is so bad or pointless to even write about way,” but more in a “this show did everything I want/expected it to do and it’s really good!” I really don’t have much to say about season 2, except that it was really good!

As expected the full season let the show move forward with a season-long story arc with new vampire villain baddie Spike and a whole thing with Angel and Buffy which bored me that I’ll get to later. “Buffy” might be one of the best shows that I can think of off-hand who expertly balances the season-long story threads with standalone episode “cases” and baddies, playing off each other and usually the monster-of-the-week having some bearing or reflection of Buffy and friends overall dealings with saving the world from Spike and the Demons and bad Angel.

Because it’s a dumb teen show about dumb teen things that just so happen to have to deal with monsters, the show always doesn’t take itself that seriously, especially with some of the monsters they have to deal with, but in not taking itself seriously a lot of the stuff that’s supposed to be played serious fall flat some times.

Like, damn, this Angel dude gets his own spin-off show in a few seasons, but I just don’t get his appeal and can’t stand the all the trials and tribulations of the Buffy/Angel relationship. Angel is basically like what you imagine one of those “Twilight” vampire to be, all brooding and concerned with his feelings and how everything’s just SO tough being a creepy, old vampire macking on a high school student. And because Buffy is a high school girl she eats up all this faux emotional pandering and then Angel gets turned bad by Spike and then Buffy is really conflicted about her feelings. It’s all a little much and Whedon and company consistently lay it on thick while it just causes constant eye-rolling. This is the part of the show I find the most pause with, and while it makes sense to be dealing with these things in this type of show, it just goes way too far into the melo-dramatics and thus makes it so cheesy within the context of the rest of the show.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of Xander, mainly because he’s just really not that funny, and also dude’s just a major dick. He’s madly in love with Buffy, but Buffy wants nothing to do with him, Willow is madly in love with her and he doesn’t really care about her in that way, but then consistently tries to get with every other girl who isn’t Willow, ie. eventually Cordelia, which is admittedly a fun dynamic. Yeah, sure, Xander/Willow will probably end up together, or at least in part, but dude just continues to use Willow as a tool and crutch to get things he wants, ie. “better girls.” Luckily our boy Seth Green shows up this season to show Willow that she’s pretty cool and deserved to be liked on.

Man, we’re through two seasons and I’m still surprised that Giles is still alive and hasn’t been killed dramatically by Spike or someone right in front of Buffy as she contemplates this whole vampire slaying thing and how it has affected the people she loves. I mean, I’m sure it’s coming, but dang, props to Giles for sticking around this long. And then added on to his impending doom, Giles’ romantic interest in Jenny gets betrayed when, surprise, she’s actually a baddie and then gets killed.

Buffy’s mom finds out what she’s been up to all these nights out when she’s not trying to hook up with Angel, ie. slaying some vamps. Again, I commend this show on basically just having characters accept fairly quickly more-or-less that vampires, monsters and demons are jsut legit things in this world. It’s nice not to see episodes of a character refusing to believe all these fantastical elements and just being like “yep, I guess vampires are real things to be feared and fought.”

Anyways, yeah, this was a good season and following season one it build and expanded upon everything I hoped it would. I’m looking forward to soldiering on into what I think/hope are its best seasons. And I also will promise to take notes this time, because that does a lot in, you know, helping me remember things and hopefully actually make this stuff seem cognizant.

‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: Season 1 Review

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 1

Everybody has their own pop culture blind spots including movies, T.V., music etc. etc. that people rave about that you just haven’t seen for whatever reason because there’s literally not enough time to see it all while also having a life, but that second part is overrated. Anyways, Buff The Vampire Slayer has been at the top of my list for as long as I can remember, and I’ve seen pretty much everything else Whedon has done outside of the Buffy world so it’s been long overdue to experience in seminal work.

Now I’ve never been the biggest supernatural/fantasy fan in the world, but I am a huge fan of teen angst and teens having to deal with their INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT problems and trying to make their way through life and all that. Of course Buffy’s caveat is that sometimes when the pressures of high school just aren’t enough, you gotta contend with creatures from the netherworld that try to kill you. Usually on these types of shows where they juggle the main conceit of the show with the characters dealing with their real life problems I tend to zone out of the former aspect of the show, especially when each story is contained to each episode. It’s a short first season, but the show does a nice job of stringing along a decent serialized story for the season that continues from episode to episode, if slowly, but also has episodes that you could easily just drop in for.

By far my favourite thing of the entire series was how quick it got itself off and running and how little exposition, if all, was used. There was no long drawn out episode or scenes explaining how or why Buffy was a vampire slayer of all things, it was just an assumed acceptance in this world and even though it’s a fantastical thing treating it this way kept everything very grounded. As well, when others found out what she does and that creatures such as vampires, werewolves and other demonic monsters are just as much real life as zits they didn’t freak out or take episodes trying to accept and come to grips with the world changing before they knew it, nope they just accepted things and it was off to helping Buffy or filling out the world in whatever sense. Cutting all this fat lets everybody get right to the meat of things and avoids storylines and cliches that we already know how they will end up. And with knowing that there’s six more seasons after this I’m sure a lot of that backstory and explanation will be further shaded in.

I really enjoyed the first season even though it didn’t do anything amazingly, but really used the 13 episodes it had perfectly to set up this world to even further expand and deepen it in the future. I’m really hoping the future seasons rely more on serialization and have long continuing stories and big bads that the show can build towards and off rather than just relying on baddies of the week all the time. I don’t have much else to say at this point, besides being really excited to see how this universe gets fleshed out and also I’m just counting down until Giles gets killed off, because that could not be more blatantly being set up for down the line.

‘The Avengers’: Review

The Avengers Banner

I’m not really a fan of superhero movies. I think my disinterest with them coincided with my disinterest in Summer blockbusters and that whole movie season. I see maybe one movie in the theatre each year, something I’ve been insanely looking forward to, or most likely a DiCaprio, which is why I saw The Great Gatsby in the theatre. Don’t get me wrong, I like watching Summer blockbuster, superhero and big-loud crashing and banging special effects heavy movies, but I know what I’m getting now and it’s not worth it. They’re entertaining films to watch, and I’ll watch them in the comfort of my own house, but I know every beat coming, where each big action sequence goes, and what happens in the end. Of course, every movie is like this to a degree, there’s typical classic Hollywood archetypes that most American films follow, whether big budget or indie, but Summer movies are indeed engineered to be massive and liked by all, so they can make that sweet, sweet money. I’m also not like 12 anymore, when the Spider-Man and X-Men movies kicked all these things off, and then when Iron Man changed the new direction of future superhero movies. I think also, in the early 2000s when these movies were just kicking off there wasn’t that many of them, they felt like a semi-rare commodity and something you’d have to wait along time to see again. But, now they’re the currency of popular movies now, sequels upon sequels, spin-offs, reboots, remakes, crossovers, there’s so many of them now that the novelty and specialness had worn off. It’s old hat and expected that we get so many of them, and not that any of them are outwardly terrible or bad, they’re just bland and continuing stock Hollywood plotlines with superheroes plugged in.

So, basically, that whole drawn out paragraph is trying to justify why I just now saw The Avengers more than a year after its release. I think it’s so cool that this movie actually happened, and, hey, it was actually good. Back when Iron Man came out, and started rolling the ball on these new-age Marvel films, the idea of an Avengers movie with all these characters started percolating, but it never seemed like a legitimate possibility to me. It seemed like the grandest occasion, and in my small mind couldn’t believe you could ever coordinate the actors, budget and just the sheer massiveness of the whole undertaking. Kudos to Joss Whedon who I don’t think the enormity ever really hit him, because he’s such a huge fan of the series that he knew what had to be done and what he was going to do, that it probably never seemed that hard for him to do.

The movie’s, like 2hrs. 20 mins., but I honestly thought it could’ve gone on longer, not because it was so great that I didn’t want it to end, but everything just clicked along so easily, action scene, introduce all avengers, action scene, witty banter/dialogue, action scene, explain about some science-y thing they’re trying to recover that I could care less about, action scene, fly somewhere else, action scene, action and we’re done. It was nice that we didn’t have like 20 minute origin stories for each hero, and it went relatively smoothly introducing them and having them come together.

I thought I had more to say, but really I just wanted to get my superhero rant off my chest. This movie was good and within the confines of what superhero movies are now, and how blockbusters go, it of course hit everything on the nose. But, it executed all those well, which is really the only thing I really care about when the framework is always so rusty and permanent. I was entertained, that’s the main thing with these movies, so good job everybody. Now off to see Iron Man 3… eventually…

7/10