Fun with Franchises: Our Favorite Images from The Marvel Universe – The Avengers
One of the recurring features that we do in Fun with Franchises (a feature within a feature) is, after we finish watching a film, we go through and pick out our favorite images from that film. These images could be anything from really famous images from the film or franchise, really beautifully composed shots, shots that are funny to us because of the facial expressions being made in them or because of what we said about them in the article in which they appeared, or simply because they have boobs in them.
How we do this is, in the same way we watch the films, Colin and I separately pick out about ten to fifteen shots that we really liked. (This typically ends up being him picking out around 30 and me having around 70.) Then we compare lists, and whichever ones we both chose automatically make our final list. Everything else we talk through. We have it down to a science by now. Within four total emails, we’re left with a final list of ten images we liked the best, along with ten honorable mentions, which were also as good, but just missed out on making the list proper. (And then more we just work in. Just cause.)
It’s not very complicated (like most things we do here at B+ Movie Blog), and is just a way for us to point out shots that we really liked in the films, especially since we tend to pick stuff that’s not always on the beaten path. (We also don’t officially rank the list of shots. We just put them in chronological order. Simply picking them is hard enough. We don’t want to make our lives any harder. Plus, we’re lazy.)
That said — here are our favorite images from The Avengers:
Goes to show you how these things are relative. I saw this and went, “Oh yeah, that’s an Honorable Mention.” And here we are. Because the rest of shots in this movie aren’t particularly memorable. But this is nice. Reflection, and a lot of stuff in the frame. It’s more of an interesting shot than this movie deserves.
Don’t we love reflections? I feel like those of you who read these articles even semi-regularly could pick out the most obvious shots that we’ll be fans of because Marvel’s not exactly awash in original shots to choose from.
2. This shot
You guys know we love simplicity and high angles. I love how this was set up. Just the guy on the tile floor and nothing else. Plus, with the arrow — very western. The other great thing is that you’d never know this came from this movie. Which I like.
What an amazing shot pick this is. Nobody remembers this shot, and yet, it’s a perfect shot that’s better than like 99 percent of the other shots in this movie. This is one of those shots that could be from a much better movie.
3. This shot
This shot lasts for like, two seconds, and should last for about forty. It speaks for itself. And 80% of it is the existing location.
I love this shot for everything except the staff. Wide, arch, art, carvings. This was a pretty great entrance, with the music and everything.
Didn’t think this would end up in the top ten. This is like, entry level film composition, cutting away from the dude getting his eye cut out to this. But in a movie like this, I actually had to stop and go, “Whoa, someone tried something intelligent.” And that basically means a top ten shot.
One of the film’s better shots. This is the extent of Marvel’s willpower, this shot. There are always two or three moments in every movie where something is grotesque to the point that it won’t go on screen and they’re forced to do something more artful and pleasant.
Framing. The low angle is nice. Mostly what I like is the lamp post acting as an anchor to him on the left, and the building wrapping around behind him.
Take out Loki and put in Joker and this shot totally works. That architecture, those lights, that angle…this is kind of Batman.
6. Tracking van
I’d have watched this van drive for three straight minutes. I love this. I’d have loved it if we watched this for three minutes and then it led right into a crazy action sequence. That would have been some Batman shit.
This was one of my favorite shots, because it was also totally Batman. They didn’t give in and do a passing shot or anything — they just stayed on the back of the van for a good 4 seconds through this tunnel before cutting to the interior. Made me think of The Dark Knight, and also how much I like tracking shots like this.
I love this shot. Thor is just laying there, and a giant fucking Hulk hand comes in and yanks him out of frame, and the camera lingers on the empty spot for a second. LOVED this.
It’s Samuel L. Jackson holding a gun with a red glow. How can you not love this?
I love the idea of this. Put the camera inside a taxi as it flips from the explosion. Totally unnecessary, yet memorable shot.
They did this twice. I can appreciate you flipping a car and showing us crap action when you do something a little different with it, like sticking a camera inside a cab with blown-out windows. A lot of these summer blockbuster movies have done stuff like this during their massive battle scenes to break up the monotony — think of the POV rifle shots in the Transformers movies.
10. Refections Part 2
It’s the dead guy laying there that makes this awesome. What a great composition.
What can I say? Break up your monotonous action sequences by showing the action through destruction and reflections. We like reflections.
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It’s just her looking good, in a simple shot where she’s the only thing in the frame, and the glint of the chandelier in the back.
Girl’s got some good looks, you have to give her that. I really like a lot of her faces, and a lot of her acting is great. It’s a shame that her character has to be such a second rater.
- This shot
I like the layout of this. Start with the shoes in close up, and she picks them up and walks away out of frame after dismantling like four people, and then we end up with this nice wide shot as the scene continues.
Good sequence. They shot it well, and it’s a great location for an interrogation and/or fight. Felt like something out of one of the Transporter movies, but what the hell. Faces, feet, and lots of twisted metal.
I specifically chose this because the camera angle is nice, the shot is wide, and because its lit sepia tone and meant to look all old timey. And it reminds me of what movies used to look like, before they looked like the rest of this movie, which is mostly a CGI mess of boring images.
You can shoot through stuff and it usually looks better. Rather than having a wide-open shot and then proceeding to shove a bunch of shit into the frame to obscure our focus, shoot in focus through something like trees or a fence or something. The only way the wide-open shot looks good is if it’s a long lens on someone walking toward the camera and people are crossing the frame periodically. I’m thinking…Midnight Cowboy, maybe? Why do I feel like that shot happened in that movie?
- Uncle Loki
That smile, though.
So…what was I JUST saying about shooting through stuff? This shot is like 90 percent better than it would have been if this had been a standard window. Great look on Hiddleston, but the window with bars really makes it.
- What That Smell Like
The best out of context shot in the movie. He lands, gets up, and then smells his fingers out of nowhere. I mean, sure, it’s blood, but fuck that. That’s totally a ‘smelling the fingers’ shot.
“I think I’m bleeding inside my chest.”
- Hope You Don’t Have Epilepsy!
Seriously, though, I really hope you don’t have epilepsy.
Doesn’t get much more lens flare than that, eh? They really didn’t mess with color all that much in this movie, so when we get it (and when it isn’t the crazy neon blue of all the Tesseract bullshit, which doesn’t count) it’s much appreciated.
Colors make it stand out. That counts in this movie, where half of it is people in suits on computers on a giant flying ship.
His head’s messed up, so we’re seeing things funny. Weird film exposures to convey blurred senses or a fuzzy head are pretty standard, even for Marvel — Incredible Hulk is kind of the go-to there. But this scene should have progressed a bit longer and should have featured more of THIS because the love interest/strange assassin bond between Barton and Romanoff is really the only reason they even remotely work.
- Chrysler Building
Simple image of him standing, looking out at the view. I like it. It’s not one of those shots of him in deep recollection, thinking about what he’s doing, but I can pretend that it is.
God, I love the Chrysler Building. I was happy every time it was in the shot, because it was the only thing I’d look at.
- Taxi shots
No purpose for this, but it’s interesting and looks cool, so there’s that.
Kinda the same deal as before. For Marvel, shooting through stuff, or shooting a reflection…that’s already better than par for the course.
- Thug Life
This is the face you make when you catch an arrow, mid-air, without looking. Bitch, please.
“You thought you could shoot me, but I shall pimpsmack you, like the Bitches of Old.”
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Tomorrow we give our final thoughts on the film.