Disney truly got that magic formula right with 1991's Beauty and the
Beast, and it's a magic that is still clearly visable today with the new 3D re-release of the film. With a great deal of care, love and attention this film made
people take notice of the company again. The real shame is that it is
magic that they would see squandered as the 90's continued under studio
head Michael Eisner.
A cameo from Sam Jackson as Nick Fury at the end of Iron Man in 2008
started the ball rolling for an eventual assembling of The Avengers, and
now half way through 2012 that promise is realised. And it is fun,
ridiculously good fun. The film may take a while to get going, but once
it does it doesn't let up on action, adventure, comedy and just sheer
geeky pleasure. Many have already said that The Hulk steals the show in
the film, and they’d be right to say so, but the whole ensemble is on
top form and having a great time, which shines through in every frame.
One of the most impressive things about this film is that it exists at
all; it is really a testament to the creative team behind this cinematic
universe at Marvel and Disney who have delivered this fan-boy delight.
In essence The Avengers is the 6th film in a series, bringing together
and exploring these characters and doing it so well. Having these
characters know that they all co-exist in this Universe opens up a box
of exciting possible options for the future of The Avengers and Marvel
films, and I for one can’t wait to see what they deliver next.
Socially interesting but tonally and logically it’s a bit all over the
place. James Watkins' Brit horror is a well directed and tight entry
into the genre type, but its characterisation could certainly be seen as
demonising the working class. Whilst the more well-off characters
aren’t portrayed as much more likeable and often unreasonable character
choices can be forgiven for story purposes of horror more could have
been done to flesh out the issues the film tries to tackle. Recent
British sci-fi/horror Attack the Block is worth a watch for a similar
social theme but in my opinion a more rounded approach. Still, Eden Lake
is fairly interesting, enjoyable and commendable for its intentions of
highlighting social anxieties, but should have probably decided which side of the fence that it really wanted to be on.