The Avengers/Take Shelter


So I really wanted to write a review of the new ginormous blockbuster The Avengers, which I saw last night, but I am so massively uninspired and unmotivated to do so. I don’t get paid to do this—watching and writing about movies is my hobby, it’s something I love to do and if other people enjoy reading my posts then that’s icing on the cake.

My goal, for my pleasure and yours, is to cover two types of films: 1) the ones I WANT to see and 2) the ones I think I SHOULD see, both to broaden my understanding of popular culture and to maybe provide a little guidance for my audience, especially for a mainstream offering that you may be considering plunking down some hard-earned cash for—I’m happy to take that bullet for you.

And, no matter what, I usually am able to come up with something to say about every movie I see, bad or good and everything inbetween. But, for The Avengers, I seem to have hit a wall. I just don’t care. I’m tired. I’m tired of seeing the same thing and trying to come up with new ways of saying old things.

And here’s the irony of it all. A few nights ago I watched Take Shelter at home on blu-ray. Now THAT’S a movie I want to talk about. It is mesmerizing, powerful, intense, well-written, well-directed and features a staggering performance by Michael Shannon that was shamefully forgotten by the Academy. I’ll admit that it’s hard for me to really absorb movies when I sit and watch them in my living room, but this movie held me riveted and I was able to block out everything and everyone around me, which is quite a feat with all the comforts (and distractions) of home surrounding me.

The same thing goes for Melancholia, another film I watched not too long ago at home on blu-ray. Often referred to as a companion piece for Take Shelter, Melancholia is also a powerful, dark, riveting and incredibly intense movie about—for lack of a better non-spoiler term—the end of the world.

What I would have given to have seen these movies in the theatre instead of on a TV screen. I know I have only myself to blame because I chose to not find a place in my movie-going schedule last year for these films. In fact, I’ll be honest—Take Shelter sat on our shelf for three weeks before we finally were in the mood to watch it. Yes, Melancholia and Take Shelter are heavy experiences. But would I trade the derivative and mind-numbing experience I had with The Avengers for these dark, depressing, courageous and ORIGINAL movies? A million times over.

My point? I guess it’s to say this: you know what you’re getting with The Avengers. You don’t need me to say it. My joy and my job here, I feel, is to instead keep a look out for the wonderful surprises like Take Shelter and Melancholia and pass them onto you.

And when I’ve got nothing to say about a movie, maybe that’s all you need to know.