There was some organized excursion to go see the Avengers movie yesterday, and I decided to go along with Sarah. I bought my ticket online (they already had purchased hers) and at the theater I found that everybody else was booked into the 3D showing. James's mother said I should just go in with them and gave me a pair of glasses to wear. I didn't want to be separated from everybody in a show that ended fifteen minutes later, so I went.
They must have been children's glasses, as they were at least an inch narrower than my skull. I carefully pulled the temples out and balanced the rest inside my glasses, like my sunglasses inserts. I needed to adjust every couple of minutes for the rest of the movie, which knocked me out of the show more than the illusion of depth pulled me into it. Perhaps some sort of head vise would have kept me properly oriented instead of allowing me to move microscopically in ways that made multiple images appear.
I tried turning the glasses the other way to see how things looked in negative 3D. It's a strange effect that I've had before with stereo slides that were pasted up the wrong way, and even more strangely by looking at a hologram from the back. In this case, it resulted in double images that would not resolve. (Beamjockey, if you're reading this, why double images??)
Anyway, the movie exceeded any and all expectations, even my expectation that it was going to be good and that I would enjoy it. I seem to have missed all the prequels except Iron Man and maybe the version of The Hulk that they consider canonical this week. The action sequences are exciting, fun, and totally implausible. The characters are all worth watching even when they're not supering around. I rather liked Agent Coulson, who is sort of like a fan who made it. The Black Widow is actually more impressive when she's not fighting than when she is. Her interrogation of Loki is one of many moments when I couldn't help smiling.
The level of wisecracking is very good, and not excessive. Whedon has enough confidence in his audience to set things up that don't pay off for a long time. There are tons of great lines, such as [transmission suddenly cuts out]
[transmission suddenly resumes] "Smash." Sarah was still quoting it when we got home. There's also a wonderful response to Loki's I'm-a-god-and-you're-just-riffraff moment. I was a little distracted waiting for Stan Lee to show up and get it over with. It's something like 4/5 of the way through the climactic battle. He'll be on a TV screen of reaction shots.
It's over two hours, though I didn't look at my watch until I was in the lobby. I got up and stood in the wheelchair gap in the back non-balcony row to see if the 3D was better away from the periphery of the theater. "He was with them," somebody said, and a moment later a man sitting by the gap asked me if I was with the row of kids that had just left. I said yes, and he said that after they were gone, he found a $20 on the floor right there (He indicated a spot. Oddly, when I think of the moment, I 'see' the bill just where he said.) and said it was in front of a seat right by Sarah's (he had seen me bring her her popcorn). I thanked him a half dozen times, and we chatted briefly, on the surprise appearance of a familiar-looking portion of a face at the end (my first thought was of this one character from the DC universe), and on the movie as a whole. I said it reminded me of why I used to read comic books in the first place, and it really was. It was all there — the repartee, the sets (their S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier is more believable than Steranko's), and the hitting each other. I thanked him a couple more times.
Then I left the text credits rolling and went out for fear everybody would have vanished if I waited any longer. I saw a manager and accosted him, telling him my tale of being led into a life of crime by my daughter's friend's mother, and offered to settle the difference, and he said everything was fine and he hoped I'd enjoyed the movie. Then I talked to Sarah, who said that Jacob had dropped a big bill during the show, and she had stopped looking for it after she bumped her head on the seat.
Then we went home, and Sarah told Cathy the best lines before I could.