Archive for the ‘favorite-scenes’ Category

I’ve seen this movie twice in the last ten days, and, with scenes still (happily) swirling around in my head, now seems like as good a time as any to compile my comments.

CAUTION! SPOILERS!

With Captain America and the Winter Soldier, the writers checked Requisite Bromance off their list of Marvel movie staples.

Natasha Romanoff: Looking over your shoulder should be second nature.
Sam Wilson: Anyone ever tell you you’re a little paranoid?
Natasha Romanoff: Not to my face. Why, did you hear something?

Thumbsup on the continuity, having the leaked Hydra information be what led Zemo to the trigger words/book.

I truly hated that the Avengers were being taken to task for the aftermath of those attacks. The Avengers didn’t unleash other-worldly aliens on New York. The Avengers didn’t crash SHIELD’s flying fortress in DC. The Avengers didn’t choose Sokovia as ground zero in their plan to destroy the world. In all those cases, they tried to help, even though, no, they couldn’t save everyone. I think I hated this line of the plot so much because it plays out so often in real life: people who don’t! do! anything! rush to shame and blame whenever someone else makes an effort.

I also HATED Tony Stark trying so hard (and so uncharacteristically) to appease the secretary of state, Ross. Being so wealthy, Tony certainly has the most to lose if he’s branded a criminal, but I don’t think his motivation for agreeing with Ross is self-preservation. One of the few reviews I read of this movie pointed out that Tony’s faith in himself is shaken after his causing the Ultron fiasco (and feeling responsibility for all the damage from that), not to mention his failure on a personal level with Pepper. I think we’ve all been there: made some bad choices and found ourselves wanting someone else to do the heavy lifting, to make the decisions and tell us what to do next. But most of the time, it’s not that easy. The responsibility remains ours. And that is as it should be. For better or worse, we each have to do our part. As Peter Parker put it, “When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen? They happen because of you.”

Ross’s repeated demands to be in charge strike me as a red flag, especially when it seems that the Avengers will have no voice in the decision making: in that light, the neatly-bound Sokovia Accords bear a strong resemblance to a red book with a black star on it. Ross (oh, right, “the panel”) basically wants a team of winter soldiers, but as we see with Barnes, the problem with such tight reins is that someone else can take them. No doubt speaking from recent experience, Cap warns that people have agendas, and Zemo demonstrates the lengths to which some will go for them.

Another line for the drinking game: “A super-person wears a hat/sunglasses/hoodie in an effort to blend in.”

When Barnes was framed, I thought of The Fugitive, except there, someone was framed BY the one-armed man; here, the one armed man WAS framed.

Cap’s the best kind of friend: the kind who believes the best in you when no one else does… Not even you. And he doesn’t just say, “I know he didn’t do it”… then sit there. He moves to help, even at great personal cost.

“Everybody thinks the Winter Soldier goes to their gym.” XD

“Buck, stop!” Cap’s nod to President Truman? Alas, (the) Buck did not stop there.

It’s pretty awesome that the cure for Hydra programming is the same as that for TV show amnesia: being rendered unconscious.

Barnes says later that he remembers all of his victims, but when he comes to after being “triggered,” he asks, “What did I do?” He does seem like he’s a bit high/coming off a drunk. Perhaps coming out of the programming and back to his senses is kind of hazy, like waking up out of an intense dream.

I wasn’t surprised that Barnes could have broken out of their porta-prison; he fights back only when he’s in danger of being returned to a different cage. I think he was complying in an effort to pay his dues. Cap tried to dismiss Barnes’ earlier actions as being controlled by someone else. In Barnes’ case, the extent of his responsibility is debatable, but while some would relish such a pass (“They made me do it!”), Barnes still acknowledges that he was the one who did those things.

“I used to think of myself one way. But after this… I am something else. And still me, I think. But that’s not what everyone else sees.” Wanda’s declaration could also apply to Barnes… and to each of the Avengers, to varying degrees. Except maybe Vision.

It was nice to see even Vision finding a bit of humanity, being distracted by Wanda, when not even he thought it was possible for him to be distracted.

I liked how Barnes and Mackie smile, knowing that kissing Agent Carter is a milestone for Steve.

I also liked how everyone is such a fan of Cap.

“Help me, Wanda.” Barton’s nod to the Beach Boys?

When I first heard that this installment was about “civil war,” I put off seeing it, and when I finally decided to go, I was fully prepared to hate it. But I didn’t, primarily because even as The Avengers started to divide, both sides maintained respect. The attitude was, “I hate that it’s come to this” but each stood their ground. Without that respect, the dividing plot would’ve been intolerable to me.

“I don’t know if you’ve been in a fight before, but there’s usually not this much talking.” Methinks this is a pointed (albeit good-natured) jab at nearly every comic book fight… including the ones in this movie.

I didn’t like the Peter Parker character being so young and inexperienced, although his fawning and uninhibited observations certainly lightened the atmosphere. Plus, if he was older and experienced, the fight might’ve ended a different way.

“You have the right to remain silent…” Spiderman to Barnes and Mackie XD

“You couldn’t have done that earlier?” “I hate you.” Barnes and Mackie XD XD

“I picture you as a redhead.” “You must be thinking of someone else.” “Must be.” Tony Stark and Friday. Hmm, what redhead might he be thinking of??

Cap confesses knowing that Barnes killed Stark’s parents, but how long had Cap known? It’s logical to assume that Barnes recounted details when he told Sam and Cap of Zemo’s interest in that December mission. But it’s also likely that Cap researched all he could while he was looking for Barnes, so maybe he knew even before the events of this movie.

Shades of Buffy the Vampire Slayer character Angel with the Winter Soldier tormented by memories of all his victims.

“I could do this all day” love the nod to the first C.A. movie

“He’s my friend.” “So was I.” :**(

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I watched Prince of Persia again recently, and I was reminded of two scenes that struck me, even though I neglected to elaborate in my previous writings.

As ever, Caution! Spoilers!

Framed for the murder of his father, Dastan is on the run. While trying to seek help, he is discovered by his vengeful brother, Garsiv. In the confrontation, Dastan insists that he is innocent, but Garsiv is unmoved, remaining set on ending Dastan’s life. Dastan escapes, but later Garsiv catches up again. Dastan maintains his innocence, and this time there is evidence to confirm his story, so that, although Garsiv is still angry and skeptical, he pauses to listen. Dastan rattles off his explanation, ending the account of his current predicament with, “Who could I tell?” Garsiv stands for a moment before imploring with a sincere, “Tell me, brother.” Okay, the scene is a bit corny, particularly after Dastan’s quoting their late father’s claim that “the bond between brothers makes their kingdom strong” (or however he said it). But I love the pictures painted here: a changed heart, a restored relationship, not to mention giving hope to Dastan who was out of options.

AGAIN MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS!

After time has been reset, it seems as if all of the bad things that happened have been undone: Dastan’s family and best friend are still alive, and Dastan is able to right the previous wrong by revealing his uncle’s treachery. However, as Tus is apologizing for the invasion-under-false-pretenses, when Dastan sees Tamina, it’s clear that something good was undone as well, that is, the growth in the relationship between Dastan and Tamina. Sure, they started out shaky, but in true Disney style they overcame it to find love… except that now it only happened for Dastan. (Hence, my reference to the [i]Angel[/i] episode, “I Will Remember You.”) Fortunately with Tus proposing a marriage between Dastan and Tamina to strengthen their countries’ relationship**, the two are on the road to getting back what they lost. Dastan even comments that he looks forward to the day when they know each other well. (Again.) 😉

** I love Tus’ “remedy,” btw. “So sorry we invaded your city by mistake. You can marry a complete stranger to make up for it!”

* I still find the Hassansins(sp?) scene hysterical, particularly when one guy just spins – really, that’s his deadly skill? LOL – and Dastan’s uncle looks positively giddy just to be there, walking through the midst of it all.

~ * ^ + – ~

* I miss Loki. I guess the guy can’t be in every movie… then again, why not? (As Paul McCartney would say, “What’s wrong with that, I’d like to know.”) I think his absence is what made seeing this film more of an “I’ll get to it sometime” rather than “I’m SO there on opening weekend!”

* While I liked this movie, others have raised the bar pretty high for me, so I’d place A2 way down on the list when ranking my favorite Marvel offerings. After the first Avengers, the early 2000s Spiderman 2 and 1, the year 2000 X-men, the two Thors, Iron Man 1 and 2, the two Captain Americas… So far, A2 ranks somewhere above Iron Man 3 and the two original X-men sequels.

* I intensely disliked the preachy Ultron. An article I read after the first Avengers expressed the theory that, while Loki is by far the best Marvel villain, the writer had high hopes that James Spader’s character would give him a run for the title. That writer praised Spader’s ability to bring a character to life with shades of subtle nuance… but I saw none of that because, despite Whedon’s insistence that Spader would be more than a robot’s voice, that’s essentially what he was. If they indeed modeled Ultron after Spader’s expressions, well, they still failed to capture a single nuance.

* I thought having the opening scene in the midst of a battle was a bit muddled. But one advantage of a sequel is that you can assume viewers know the earlier story, so you can skip right to the kicking of butts and the taking of names. (I’m having trouble recalling exactly, but it seems this follows a standard formula for many Marvel sequels.)

* In the opening battle, LOL at the team charging all together, then hold it! a brief pause as if they’re posing for a group photo.

* LOL! also at the guys trying to lift Thor’s hammer. But GROAN! at the blatant setup, with Thor explaining that they must not be worthy. Then, later, the Vision (significantly) hands Thor the hammer. “Oh, so he can lift the hammer. Oh, so he must be worthy. I see what you did there.” 😐

* It was effectively shocking that the secret Hawkeye was hiding was… a normal life. And how weird did normal look, in the midst of Avenger-land? It seemed too good to be true, and I admit, Tony Stark said what I was thinking when he declared of Barton’s wife, “She’s an agent!” The affectionate displays continued when the kids arrived, but Tony insisted, albeit with much less conviction, “They’re… smaller agents.”

* I’m glad that, despite being out in the open with no defenses whatsoever, Barton’s house truly was a safehouse. I was going to be disappointed if Ultron crashed the scene… or if the wife (and kids) turned out to be agents, just another lie.

* I liked that Barton’s wife looked real – not impossibly perfect – with a few fine lines on her face. How refreshing to find someone age-appropriate in such a role, not some 20-year-old trying to pass as the mother of an 8-to-10-year-old.

* Tony Stark told Captain America that he doesn’t trust someone without a dark side. (I think a lot of people feel that way. Which is kind of… messed up. “He’s good; I don’t trust him! This other guy’s bad, so he’s alright.”)

* But I loved Cap’s response: “Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.” Hmm, are they setting up a future storyline? I’d kinda like to see a dark Cap… but then again, I wouldn’t. I like that he’s solidly good. Heck, “dark” is easy! It’s tougher to make the choice – and to keep making the choice – to rise above your dark side and do the right thing.

* I liked that when someone tried to write the twins off as freaks, Captain America defended them, comparing their situation/cause to his own from back in the day.

* Still, the twins’ hand-holding and looking at each other in their first scene was a bit too third-grade boyfriend-girlfriend for me. :shudders:

* I didn’t get the Black Widow’s “lullaby.” Were her fingertips drugged? Has she mastered the ancient art of sleep-touch?

* As I was trying to decide how I feel about the Widow-Hulk affair, I realized that perhaps for director Joss Whedon this is the new Buffy-Angel, from his TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But maybe the Buffy-Angel angle – forbidden love – is why I lean toward liking Widow-Hulk. I especially liked the way the actors portrayed it. Her, being experienced and jaded (likely jaded BY experience) yet being very understated with Banner, with just the right hint of suggestive. Him, completely stupefied by her attention and pushing her away, and yet oh-so-briefly entertaining the hope of “maybe…”

* Natasha was so understated at some times, her attentions were almost child-like. Perhaps this is a nod to her line from the first movie, “Love is for children”?

* Loved that even with all of Bruce Banner’s trying to push Natasha away, he honed right in on Captain America’s comment: “wait, you’ve seen her flirting??”

* Has Thanos put on weight?

* Barton’s advice to Wanda was basically, “It doesn’t matter what you did: it matters what you do.” Words to live by!

~ * ^ + ~

At (very) long last, here are my follow-up, spoiler-laden comments about Thor: The Dark World.

* By far the most compelling relationship in the film is the one between Thor and Loki. Even though that relationship has been strained, and even though Loki’s quick to declare he is not Odin’s son, when Thor and Loki are on their journey, working together, it looks as if deep down, they want their close, brotherly bond back.

* I love how Loki dropped the façade when Thor visited him in prison, not only of what he really looked like, but of how he really felt. “Did she suffer?”

* The scenes where they’re working together are so satisfying, especially the final battle on the dark world. Loki sees the Kursed pounding Thor into the ground, and promptly goes to help.

* Malekith told the Kursed that “no weapon our enemies possess” could stop him. Count on Loki to deduce that the Dark Elves’ oblivion bombs could take out even the Kursed.

* Speaking of Malekith, LOL at him walking in slow motion so much. For that matter, LOL at him in general. After this movie was in theatres, one article claimed that Loki was the best villain in the Marvel universe. That article opined that Malekith had potential to be a great villain, especially since the actor portraying him was a former Dr. Who. (The article’s contention was something along the lines that prosthetics prevented the audience from fully appreciating the actor’s powerful emoting.) Whatever the reason, Malekith generally left me cold. I mean, his single-minded purpose was to darken the universe… and I daresay few of us mere mortals can relate.

* I figured out (okay, just before it was revealed) that Loki and Thor had planned Loki’s “betrayal..” and I love that it wasn’t true. If Loki never truly loved Frigga or any of them, he becomes a boring, one-dimensional character [see: Malekith]. For him to have died fighting alongside Thor, with such honor was a good thing: he found redemption. Still, as my comic-book-loving friend says, “Everyone knows the only comic book deaths that ever lasted were Spiderman’s Uncle Ben and the first Robin.” So, I didn’t believe Loki was actually dead. And, dang it, I’m glad he’s not!

* With the comic-book-death-rule in mind, I expected Frigga to come back. Hey, she still might. 😉

* “Am I not your mother?” “No, you’re not.” Was Loki saying that because he knew he wasn’t actually talking to Frigga? Or was that him sadly realizing – again – that Frigga wasn’t his “real” mother?

* Loki told the Kursed where to go. He played a part in Frigga’s death.

* In my notes, I pondered, “Was Frigga Loki’s last hold to humanity?” But no, I don’t think so. As I said, even though Loki denies it, his brotherly bond with Thor is strong.

Even More Random Thoughts

* Loki in chains! :dreamy sigh:

* Loki protecting Jane twice, including shielding her with his body. :dreamy, dreamy sigh, sigh:

* No, I don’t think Jane’s slap would’ve turned Loki’s head; maybe he was just playing along?

* Poor Jane! Imagine trying to move on to someone else when your ex is a gorgeous demigod.

* I liked that the Dark Elves spoke a non-human language… even if they did have English as a second language.

* Eric’s mention of the aftereffects of having “a god in your head” sends my thoughts to wondering how the Hawk is doing.

* I knew they’d find those keys!

* Only Thor can pick up the hammer, and yet it hangs easily on a simple wooden peg?

* Jane’s face looked almost… hamster-y while the Aether pines for Malekith.

* I didn’t appreciate Sif’s flirting with Thor. No, I don’t blame her for doing so. But in the first movie, she seemed to be just one of the guys. Now that his heart’s elsewhere, she’s trying to get him to notice her?

* What was up with Odin? “Your only BIRTHRIGHT-AH! Was to DIE-YEE!” Is this the same guy who lost the will to live when Loki found out his true parentage and blasted Odin for keeping it from him?

* Thor’s comment to Jane that “my father doesn’t know everything” was not only about Jane not surviving, but also about Thor being “better served” by Sif. I think this declaration is to show that Thor is truly advancing, ready to take his father’s place as king.

* Side note: I hate that phrasing “better served.” Odin really is *such* a jerk here. And note how his levels of wisdom and common sense plummeted as his jerkiness quotient increased. I’d say that’s a great big Lesson Learned for all of us.

* Seriously, though, how DID Jane survive? Why would a dark power like the Aether *not* kill its host? Oh, right. They conveniently tricked Malekith into removing it with no side effects.

* #ThumbsDown for Thor telling Loki to “Shut up.” The highly-advanced Asgaardians have that bit of disrespect, too? SIGH!

* #ThumbsDown #FrownyFace for “We’re Americans” “Is that supposed to make them like us?” I REALLY hate it when someone injects their blatant political jabs into my fun action film. (I’m looking at you, Prince of Persia!)

Favorite Quotes – Loki

“You’ll kill me? Evidently, there will be a line.”

“You missed a column.” Loki, being a little brother

“Oh, dear. Is she dead?” Loki, totally unconcerned about Jane

“If it was easy, everyone would do it.” I say this all the time!

“It’s not in my nature to be satisfied.” That makes me sad for him. 😦

“Trust my rage.”

“I didn’t do it for him.”

Favorite Quotes – Other

* “It’s not me.” Thor, when Jane looks to him after the ringtone music starts

* Thor’s larger-than-life self, crammed in that tiny car, insecurely asks, “Who’s Richard?” And Jane’s all, “Really?!”

* After they realize a huge battle is coming, Eric declares that he better get his pants.

* “Are you well?” Thor to Eric, who is wearing no pants

* Eric’s comment about seeing that the world is crazier than he is, and then tossing his meds in the trash.

One of my favorite 90s songs is Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me) by Blessid Union Of Souls. At first the words give the impression that the singer is bragging about all the things he is, and that’s why “she” likes him. But, mixed in, he seems to be celebrating the fact that she sees the real him – and still loves him. He even ponders, quite transparently, at one point why she “wastes all her time” with him.

But my favorite line is:

“She likes me for me,
Not because
I hang with Leonardo
Or that guy who played in Fargo –
I think his name was Steve.”

I like this line because he’s revealing how it’s good that she *doesn’t* like him for who he knows, because he is so far out of the A-list crowd [or whatever crowd Steve’s in] that he isn’t even sure of the guy’s name!

I also like this line because it sounds like he gets distracted, like he’s off “chasing a rabbit,” which is something I can totally relate to. In fact, as I’m singing along with the song when it plays on the radio, when it gets to the “I think his name was…” line, I ponderously touch my chin, tilt my head to the side, and look off into the heavens, as if I, too, am distracted by racking my brain trying to recall the guy’s name.

“I love that part!”   :thumbsup:

EPISODE REVIEW: Lady for a Night
The Young Riders, Season 1 Episode 15

Spoiler Alert! The review below contains spoilers, so if you’d like to watch the episode first, check out episode 15 of season 1, currently available at:
http://www.hulu.com/the-young-riders

The Young Riders’ writers consistently do a great job of telling their tales, but this week, I watched “Lady for a Night,” and the story struck me as especially compelling. It makes sense that, during the course of the series, there would be at least one plot (well, besides hiding-as-a-boy and attracted-to-Kid) where Lou’s being a girl creates unique complications. Typically the gang solves some crime or rights some wrong, but this time, the crime is perpetrated by the seemingly charming man Lou finds herself attracted to.

To further dissect the story, alone in another town, Lou’s seemingly simple foray out for an evening in a dress was her “testing the waters.” She’d been living a decidedly unfeminine life, posing as a boy but watching with envy as other girls get to dress and act like ladies. She finally decided to try it for herself. The handsome Tyler responding to her as he did no doubt validated her effort: she was indeed a lady. At the risk of over-identifying, I have been where Lou is. The first time a handsome guy paid attention to me, I felt just like Lou, and probably for the same reason: validation. However, also like Lou, it soon became painfully obvious that the man you want is not always the one you need. In fact, pursuing such a man could prove quite destructive.

At the risk of over-thinking, Lou’s dilemma with Tyler personifies the discussion Lou has with Emma about relationships. Lou confides to Emma that she’s frightened by Tyler’s feelings for her, and yet she likes it, too. Lou is at a loss for what to do next, and Emma (quite unhelpfully) says that Lou must decide for herself. This starts to ring true when Lou hears that Tyler lied to Sam. Lou chooses to keep quiet about what she knows, opting instead to go confront Tyler. Sadly, he turns on her. He not only chooses his life of crime over any feelings he has for her, but he tries to use her own feelings for him against her. “You won’t shoot me,” he taunts confidently. “You like me too much.” And it’s true, she does like him – but she chooses to end the relationship and save herself. However, the pain of her choice (Tyler’s death, representing the finality of her decision) shows on her face. It’s as if, in the moments after he died, her whole attempt at being a lady – in fact, a woman – was a mistake in the way it all ended so badly. Happily, Lou seems to have made peace with it by the episode’s end.

A big part of Lou’s peace likely came from Emma acknowledging Lou as a girl. Emma revealed that she had known Lou’s secret, but she waited until Lou gave some sign (in this case, buying the dress, even if she did hide it) that she was ready to share it. In her disguise, Lou had been forced to relate to everyone as something she wasn’t, so it’s important that she’d now have Emma to relate to not only as a fellow woman but as a mentor and friend, both good to have when braving uncharted territory. It’s also significant that Emma wanted the other riders to be “introduced” to Lou in the dress. This gave the guys a more complete picture of who Lou is, and as the people who know her best (who happen to be members of the opposite sex) their subsequent approval was critical. At first, Lou only dared to wear the dress away from home, as if the two lives, rider and woman, could not coexist. In the end, Lou appreciated that Kid accepted her as both, even if he’d only physically seen one side.

It’s debatable what kind of feelings Tyler really had for Lou, but in the moment he realizes that it’s her dressed as a boy and snooping through his room, his reaction is an appropriate mix of surprise and hurt. Lou’s not the first person to ever want to reinvent herself; maybe Tyler had seen Lou as his chance to make a fresh start with some innocent young thing? Given his penchant for slapping prostitutes around, it’s believable that he’s a man very driven by emotion. Clearly, meeting the real Lou, and knowing that she had seen the real Tyler, shattered any delusions either of them had about the relationship and sent Tyler’s passion back to his customary anger.

On a completely shallow side note, Roger Rees reminds me of some deadly combination of Pierce Brosnan and George Harrison, and in my book it’s *very* easy to see how Lou could fall hard for such a man.

So inspired was I by this episode (and by Roger Rees’ face 😉 ) that I made a wallpaper using screencaps from this ep. It’s currently the 2nd wallpaper on this page:
http://www.neloo.com/chezanne/fanart/index.html

I saw “Marvel’s The Avengers” again last weekend, and I was inspired to compose a few thoughts.

NOTE THAT THIS POST COULD SPOIL ANY SURPRISE(S) IF YOU HAVEN’T YET SEEN THE AVENGERS!

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FAVORITE AVENGERS QUOTES

“Until such time as the world ends, we will continue act as though it intends to spin on.” Nick Fury, with some sound advice for all of us when we’re tempted to let ourselves be overwhelmed by a potentially bad situation

Those That can be harmful.” Nick Fury’s very serious response when someone explains dismissively that the Tesseract gives off a few gamma rays

“I’m having twelve percent of a moment.” Pepper, referring to Tony’s earlier comment about her getting twelve percent of the credit

“What does Fury want me to do? Swallow it?” Bruce Banner, after being shown the Tesseract

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REPEAT! DETAILS BELOW COULD SPOIL ANY SURPRISE(S) IF YOU HAVEN’T YET SEEN THE MOVIE!

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FAVORITE AVENGERS SCENES

* The Russian general’s response when Natasha says that he’s giving her everything during her interrogation. The General pouts like a little kid, “I… not… give… everything.”

* Loved Tony and Pepper together, especially his jealousy when she refers to Agent Coulson as Phil. “His first name is Agent,” Tony corrects her. Then a bit later (revealing that he – the self-proclaimed “Genius. Billionaire. Playboy. Philanthropist.” – is still thinking about it), he demands quietly, “Why is he ‘Phil’?”

* Thor, about to say something very important, implores that Loki listen, but Thor is suddenly knocked away by someone else. Left standing in place, Loki quips, “I’m listening…?”

* Whenever Loki calls on their connection as brothers, it’s usually because he wants Thor to let his guard down. Some people might fault Thor for “falling for it” (every time), but it shows that he does possess the conviction that Agent Coulson observed Loki lacks. Despite Loki’s repeated betrayals, Thor truly sees him as a brother, and he keeps believing that the true-ness of that former relationship can reach through Loki’s current feelings and help save him.

* Loki, however, is choosing to believe that knowing his true paternity somehow negates the bond he shared with Thor and his family, so he, in essence, lost his identity. He’s trying to be who he thinks he should… but deep down, he just can’t shake the former connection — in the form of sibling rivalry. Still the jealous younger brother, he wants what Thor has, but he doesn’t want to make the sacrifices required to get it. I think this is what Agent Coulson means when he declares that Loki will lose: when working toward what we want, we have to accept the bad along with the good.

* “Put on the suit.” Captain America growls this several times while arguing with Tony Stark because he wants them to fight, but when their location is attacked, Cap says it in a decisive, call-to-arms sort of way, to which Stark responds, equally urgent, “Right Yeah.”

* The way Natasha’s reverse interrogation works on Loki just as it does on the Russian general. It’s quite believable that people will reveal a lot when they think they have the upper hand.

* I loved the relationship between Hawkeye and Natasha, and that they didn’t try to make it romantic. The two shared a history – and clearly some connection – but they weren’t all doe-eyed at each other. That wouldn’t have fit with their characters.

* However, I didn’t understand why Hawkeye basically asked Nat why she was there. Has she previously run from fights? Not likely, since they battled together in Budapest. Still, when Agent Coulson first interrupts Nat’s interrogation to say SHIELD needed help, she was reluctant to abandon her current project – until he said that Hawkeye had been compromised.

* Loved the scene with the caretaker/janitor man casually talking with the naked man (i.e. Bruce Banner) who just fell out of the sky as a large green monster. After they’d chatted a bit, the janitor asks, almost as an afterthought, “You an alien?” I think the man’s acceptance at this point was important, and certainly his seemingly simple observation (“You were awake when you fell”) was critical in confirming for Dr. Banner that he *can* control “the other guy.”

* Really, though, he should’ve known he could control him. When meeting him, the others were curious as to how he got rid of his anger. In the final battle, he revealed, “That’s my secret. I’m always angry.” So he didn’t get rid of it; he had it under control. (Perhaps he didn’t realize that himself until his talk with the janitor.)

* When Loki ominously tells Tony Stark that the others “will be busy fighting you,” Stark’s face shows his concern as Loki lowers the staff toward Stark’s chest, to turn him as he did others earlier in the film. But this time, there’s a harmless “plink” because Stark’s heart is not quite so accessible. (Loved Loki’s confused, almost apologetic, response, “This usually works…”) The fact that the arc reactor protected Stark here further proved his earlier claim to Bruce Banner, about his condition being a gift that saved him.

* The theatre erupted in cheers at both shows I attended when the Hulk smacks Loki down. When the Hulk starts to attack, Loki tries to stop him with words and attitude, “I am a GOD–” but he doesn’t even get to finish his arrogant little speech because the Hulk recognizes that his power doesn’t match his pomp. The Hulk slams him around like a rag doll, leaving him stunned and clearly in pain. It’s so fitting that the one Loki looked down on as a mindless monster, the one Loki apparently thought he could use against the others is the only one to have such an impact on him. And as if that’s not enough indignity for the mighty Loki, as the Hulk walks away, he taunts, “Puny god.”

* Am I crazy, or was that Agent Coulson walking through the last(?) shot of the SHIELD Flying Fortress Command Center?

* If I may be completely shallow, wowza, there is an abundance of yummy eye candy in this movie; my delighted inner fangirl could hardly decide what to feast upon. Captain America’s fabulous shoulders? Tony Stark’s gorgeous face? Thor’s general, overall fine-ness? Too many choices! Although I do confess that I repeatedly stared, transfixed, at that bad boy, Loki…

* Finally, although roles in action movies, especially superhero movies, are (grossly, shamefully) overlooked by The Academy because they’re not Important (or whatever!) enough, I think everyone in The Avengers did a stellar job, playing their roles just right. They not only brought the characters to life but made them real and relatable.

P.S. Are my quotes/scenes incorrect? Please let me know!

[Edited (strikethroughs) 6/7/12… after my 3rd viewing of the movie.]