Thursday, June 21, 2012

Media Musings Part 1: The Avengers

I had the opportunity to watch "The Avengers" a second time at the end of May with my dad, and it got me thinking about some of the movies and TV shows I've been watching lately.  My original thought was to "briefly" share my thoughts on each one.  Those of you who know me are smirking right now, because you know that being brief is not usually my specialty. ;)  I realized this partway through this post.  So, to avoid putting all of you to sleep with the longest post known to mankind, I decided to break this into a 3-part series of posts instead. :)

Before I start, once again I'd like to remind everyone that my thoughts will be coming from a Christian worldview, so if that bothers you, you've been fairly warned. ;)

Because of my faith, there are certain things I look for and enjoy in the movies I watch.  I'm definitely a fan of films that have a positive message, demonstrate a lesson learned in the lives of its characters, or illustrate a Biblical principle or truth that I can apply to my own life.  I have a hard time with films that have an ambiguous message or no message at all.  To me, everything I watch should have something in it that I can come away with and think about in my own life.  In fact, many things I watch I will mull over for days afterwards, thinking over the plot lines and the moral of the story.

Of course, content is important as well.  My favorite movies are those that have no swearing, no innuendo or inappropriate situations, and no violence.  As you might guess, these are getting fewer and farther between, even in movies meant for children!  Since perfectly clean movies are hard to find, I try to go for those that have very little swearing and inappropriate situations and minimal violence.  Which pretty much explains why I don't watch very many of the mainstream movies or sitcoms. ;)  Like everyone else, I tend to make a few more exceptions when it's a story I like, which I need to be careful about. :}

Aside from this, I'm also big on good acting.  I was involved in drama for the 4 years I was in high school, and while I am not an expert by any means, it did give me an appreciation for good acting.  I especially love watching how an actor or actress uses their facial expressions to convey what they are feeling or thinking.  It's amazing what you can reveal with a simple blink, a twitching of eyebrows, or a slight flinch.  My hubby totally glazes over when I start talking about this, but I find it completely fascinating!! :}

I had the privilege of seeing several live plays when I was in high school and college.  Whenever I saw one, it was absolutely essential to me that I had a pair of binoculars.  I wanted to see the actors' faces.  If I couldn't, the show was not nearly as enjoyable.  Then, after the play was done, I'd review their facial expressions over and over again in my head and geek out. :}

I also love seeing how actors play off of one another.  I always enjoyed ad-libbing with my fellow drama buddies.  It was amazing what we could come up with in a group of 2 or 3 that we might never have created on our own.  When I watch actors interacting on the screen, I look for little details.  Are they connecting with each other?  Can you feel their emotion, or catch the excitement building up inside of them?  What facial expressions or movements do they use to express what they're feeling?  And I always wonder, how much is planned and how much just happens on camera?  (See why Hubby starts zoning out?) ;)

I don't do much in the acting department anymore, aside from being involved in my church's Christmas and Easter cantatas.  But it's funny...I've found that my writing has almost become an acting outlet for me.  When I write my stories, I become the characters.  It's a way for me to experience that same rush that I did on the stage, a chance for me to see what it's like to be someone else for a while.  When I write, whether it's for the blogs or for my stories, I can see the entire scene I'm creating in my head like a movie.  I love it because it makes me feel like my characters are real, living beings.  Hopefully, if I feel that way about them, then I'll be able to pass that sense of realism on to my readers, too.

Okay, here I go again, giving you a huge, lengthy introduction before I get to what these posts were really going to be about! :}  You guys are always so patient with my long-winded chatter. ;)  Anyway, at least now you'll understand a little more where I'm coming from in the next few posts. :)


What can I say?  I love superhero movies! (Well, okay, not ALL superhero movies...some of them are a bit too intense for me...but I do have a soft spot for these guys.) I especially admire superheroes that are just normal guys who happened to be in the right (or wrong) place at the right time and now have the responsibility of this incredible power that can help all of mankind.  I suppose as a girl I always longed for a superhero type to protect me.  I always felt very safe and protected with my dad, and I think that was something I really sought out in my relationships, too. [Side note here:  I didn't exactly end up with a superhero, but I still think Hubby's pretty amazing! ;)  Besides, when he's late coming home from work, it's nice to know that it's just because he had a longer day on the job, not because he was being held captive by some evil super villain.] :}

Anyway, when it comes to a superhero movie, you can't get much better than one that has six superheroes in it! :D  Especially when most of them have had their own movies, so you feel like you already know them.  And especially when their personalities are all so different that you find yourself wondering how they'll ever manage to get along and save the world. ;)

Positives:  Constant examples of bravery and sacrifice in the face of impossible obstacles; examples of the importance of teamwork; hilarious script; well-rounded, likable characters; great acting

Negatives: violence, swearing, some innuendo, small mention of man "evolving", tight and low-cut clothing worn by Black Widow, creepy-looking alien bad guys; conflict and antagonism between major characters as they try to learn to get along.

Would I Recommend It?  I would cautiously recommend this movie depending on your tastes, standards, and age.  It is a very well-written movie that stresses the importance of working together for the "greater good", and seeing past seemingly insurmountable differences to achieve that goal.  The characters are real, flawed characters who sometimes make mistakes but try to make things right when they do.  Several instances of great sacrifice and courage are shown.  There are some great spiritual lessons that can be drawn from this movie.  But for some, the highly intense story line, constant violence, sporadic swearing, and tight, low outfits worn by the female lead may be enough to keep you away.  It's definitely not a movie I would recommend for kiddos because of the intensity of the plot line and the violence. (This movie has a lot more action violence than I normally watch.  Of course, when you mostly watch Disney movies and period dramas, I suppose that's to be expected!) ;)

I've tried to keep this fairly simple and spoiler-free.  If you'd like to have a more in-depth review before you decide whether or not to see it, you can go to Plugged In.  They're a Christian media review website associated with Focus on the Family, and they list all objectionable (or possibly objectionable) content in every movie they review.

If you're up for a little more info, you can also read Maggie and Rachel's review on Tess and Maggie's blog HERE.  :)  Interestingly enough, Maggie, Rachel and I had a lot of the same thoughts on the movie. ;)


Elliebob said...

I loved that movie! :)

leah said...

YOU LIKE AVENGERS. I'VE LIKED WATCHED IT A HUNDRED TIMES. Well I really didn't But I kinda did. I did like a entire post on at the begining of it tells you about the Avengers. Then the rest of the post is on Scarlett Johanssen. OK SEE YA SOON LEAH EXCITED

beastsbelle said...

Yes, I do love The Avengers. :) My favorite Avenger is Captain America.