in recent years


movie monday: the avengers

Let’s talk about how I’m a crazy, excellent, obsessed fan of stuff, yeah?! And it will also serve as a LONG OVERDUE Movie Monday!

Obviously this is going to be about The Avengers because, duh, are there even any other movies IN theaters right now? SPOILERS! Probably! Because I’ve seen it four times! And I can recite a lot of it! And HAVEN’T YOU SEEN IT BY NOW?!

I loved The Avengers obviously, like basically every other human being who went to see it in the last seventeen? days because it’s GREAT and it’s fun and it’s good looking and it’s a nice, tight story, and it’s FUNNY, and it’s got all those emotion things and it’s just great. It’s GREAT. I can’t imagine if you’re reading this that you haven’t seen it, but if for some reason you haven’t: GO. Go now. Ditch work! Burn your work down! Light yourself on fire after the movie to use as an excuse. WHATEVER. Just go. [EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: DON’T DO THOSE THINGS. I DO NOT CONDONE YOU DOING THOSE THINGS. ASHRUSSELL.COM IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU DO THOSE THINGS. Except if you just go to the movie in your free time ’cause that’s great and I’d love to take credit for that!]

We’ve seen Avengers four times now. Once at a packed as hell midnight show, once on the Saturday afternoon following the release, once on the Sunday evening of weekend two, and Sunday morning of weekend three. Let me tell you, it holds up EFFORTLESSLY to repeat viewings. IT GETS BETTER with repeat viewings. And we’ll probably go at least one more time (if not more if we’re being honest) because it is, legitimately and truly, that good.

Our midnight show was GREAT. We had to sit second row (SECOND ROW) which means we were not watching The Avengers, we were IN THE AVENGERS. Which, I mean, so many hot people and great butts in my face! BUT THAT IS TOO CLOSE TO ENJOY ANY MOVIE. And yet. SO FUN. And SO GREAT. Plus, you know, midnight shows are full of nerds (so many laptops and ipads out during the preshow — GAWD BLESS NERDS) so there was A TON of squealing and screaming and clapping and going “WOOOOOOOO” — which, full disclosure, was usually started by me…

Like, the thunder! And Loki being like, “I’m not overly fond of what follows…” and then Thor landing on the jet! And I was like, WOOOOOOOOOOOOO. And then Hulk hulking out intentionally the first time and I was like, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. And like, Black Widow kicking ass ALL THE TIME and I was like, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. And every time something awesome happened and I was like, WOOOOOOOOOOOO for two and a half hours. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

an actual real life photograph of me during the avengers
But here’s the thing. When I L-O-V-E things as much as I L-O-V-E The Avengers, I don’t just love it, I go FULL TILT. And I think about it a lot and I talk about it a lot and I write about it and I read other people writing about it and I get excited! And I LOVE IT. Being a fan is THE BEST. Being a nerd is GREAT. Loving dumb, inconsequential stuff with your whole heart is one of the BEST PARTS of being human. I believe this so fully that I honestly don’t understand people who aren’t fans. Like… how do you… just… not… constantly… L-O-V-E stuff?! It’s like… people who don’t have favorites. How can you not name your top five movies? Or your top five bands? Or the greatest song of all time? Or tv shows or WHATEVER. How do they survive the turmoil and torture of regular life?!

Anyway, yeah. So. My love for Avengers is so blistering and unbearable that I am physically having to contain it. Like, my body feels INCAPABLE of containing this many feelings at a time. Good feeling! Excited feelings! Creative feelings!

Because one of the BEST aspects of really loving something I’ve experienced means that I also want to create stuff that other people (and I!) can love! And sometimes that’s art or writing or blogs or dumb images or SHOUTING YELLING TUMBLR AND BLOG POSTS or fanworks or WHATEVER. But also and especially I start getting INVIGORATED and DRIVEN and EXCITED. Just because I deeply and truly enjoyed experiencing something that someone else has created. IS THAT NOT SUPER COOL?! Like! WHAT AN AWESOME BYPRODUCT OF MEDIA CONSUMPTION. Oh, I consumed this awesome thing, I WANT TO MAKE SOMETHING AWESOME.

But yeah, sometimes that thing is this — haha, I fooled you! — which is radio stations based on what I think avengers would listen to. So yeah. Fannishness happens and sometimes it’s this.

This actually started because I was looking for something in my iTunes and I was like, “OH SHIT MOTOWN” because I love Motown — I LOVE IT — and I didn’t want to dig through iTunes to make a playlist, so I went to Pandora and created a new account since it’d been years since I used it and I think I actually deleted the old account and I was like, GIMME SOME MOTOWN RADIO. And an hour and a half later I was like, “Ohhhhhh, I bet Bruce Banner loves Motown.” And then I couldn’t stop. Because I needed a variety of stations! I AM A FAT NERD OKAY LEAVE ME ALONE.










This is what geekery does to you. Take that as warning or suggestion, your call.

I could also talk about how intensely I feel about all these characters or about all the nuanced and beautiful characterization or about the incredible score or the great humor or how Black Widow and Hawkeye have STOLEN MY HEART ENTIRELY because they’re HUMANS — just HUMANS — with these shady pasts and these mistakes and they’re not soldiers and they don’t FIGHT like soldiers — hair pulling! biting! — and even though they’re not super and they could tap out at any second with GOOD REASON, they don’t. They fight on. And they’re AWESOME at it.

Or I could talk about how incredibly hard Steve Rogers’ life is or how being around Tony is frustrating because he’s not Howard but he reminds Steve SO MUCH of Howard and all the good and bad things that means and how everyone he’s loved is DEAD or almost dead and he IS a soldier and it’s all he’s known and then Tony and Bruce are like, “UH DON’T YOU THINK YOUR COMMANDER, YOUR LEADER, IS BEING SHADY AS HELL?!” and Steve has to CONFRONT THAT and then find out that Fury IS being shady and he has HYDRA WEAPONS, these dark things that Steve remembers so vividly and he has to challenge the ideas that his commanders know what’s best. And, like, after waking up and finding out that the country he loved so much bombed and murdered hundreds of thousands of people to win the war.

Or Coulson. Beautiful, wonderful Phil Coulson who has been with us through these movies and who we have learned to trust and believe in! And his characterization is particularly wonderful in this one because HE LOVES CAP and he does all these little quiet things for everyone — hiding Jane and standing up to Loki and being friendly with Pepper and telling Cap that his kind of old fashioned is valuable and bringing Tony in and trusting Bruce — and the way he intertwines with all of them so that when he dies it hits all of them and all of us right dead center in the heart.

AND AND AND Bruce’s HULK PAINS! — “I know, I’ve tried” and “That’s my secret: I’m always angry.” And Tony’s ALWAYS PAINS! And Thor and Loki’s BROTHERLY FAMILY PAINS — “We thought you dead.” “Did you mourn?” “We all did.” And all of it is just. so. damn. great.

And that’s what I’m saying. It’s great. It’s beyond great. It’s fabulous and I want another one and I want it right now.

And if Avengers isn’t your thing, COOL! But man, do I hope you’ve got something like this. Something fun and exciting and inspirational and driving and joyful. Because it’s so, so fun to just L-O-V-E some dumb shit.