Mark Ruffalo

The Avengers want you to see The Avengers in theaters.

It’s been open overseas for a week, already raking in more than $200m, and now The Avengers is landing on U.S. soil with one of the biggest summer openings in history. But does that mean you should see it now? Or do you wait for home video? Sure, there’s plenty of arguments as to why you can wait, including obnoxious crowds, high ticket prices, and the general hassle of getting your butt off the couch and driving to your local multiplex. However, here are seven ultimate reasons should convince you to, paraphrasing Shakespeare, “Get thee to a theater!” and witness Marvel’s greatest achievement in superhero movies.

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Did you hear? Did you hear? Go tell Paul Revere! Joss Whedon and Marvel’s The Avengers is out this weekend which marks the beginning of the summer and an end to the anticipation. To discuss the film, we turn to comic book/Avengers expert John Gholson from Movies.com. Plus, ScreenCrush critic Jordan Hoffman plays Movie News Roulette and talks Dark Knight Rises, Star Trek and texting in theaters. Download Episode #132

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The Avengers the film needs no introduction, and that’s mainly because The Avengers themselves need no introduction. A dream team of superheroes and superallies, The Avengers first appeared in the Marvel universe in 1963, so for fans of the mighty band of heroes, a big screen cinematic adaptation that would do justice to the justice-doers has been a long-held wish. With Marvel Studios churning out blockbusters for eventual Avengers like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk in recent years, it was only a matter of time before that wish was granted and the heroes united for one massive film outing. It goes without saying that Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers is already a big hit here at FSR (our own Cole Abaius called it “Marvel’s mightiest movie” in his review), and we’re all anxious to see what movie-going audiences think of it. To whet your palate for the inevitable Avengers bonanza, here are 12 things that we learned at The Avengers press conference (spoiler-free if you’ve seen a trailer or two!). The event featured a massive gathering of Avengers and pals, including Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man/Tony Stark), Chris Hemwsorth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America/Steve Rogers), Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk/Bruce Banner), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Kevin Feige (Marvel President), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye/Clint Barton),Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), and Joss Whedon (writer and director). Check it out after the break!

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s your nightly dose of what’s hip and happening in the world of entertainment. It’s also the friend who brings top shelf beer to the party, rather than a six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. It’s not that hip. In anticipation of a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man to be released this Thursday, iTunes has put up a few new images that show the hoodlum known as Peter Parker in action. He’s in a lab. He’s getting arrested. The kid is always in some sort of trouble. He probably could go more subtle with the outfit.

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The Hulk

After a lengthy and very structured lead up to Marvel Studios’ big 2012 release, The Avengers, the future of the film studio is looking up in the air for the first time in a long time. We know that Thor 2 and Captain America 2 are in the works, we know that quite a bit of work has been done preparing Iron Man 3, and there’s even been some talk about Edgar Wright’s Ant Man finally getting made – but what about films for the other members of The Avengers? What about films to introduce new characters who might take part in an Avengers 2? It’s starting to look like the first stages of those plans could be getting put together, with talks that could amount to yet another relaunch of the Hulk franchise. Whether or not Marvel is seriously considering a third attempt at a modern Hulk solo story is in contention, but what’s clear is that the way early audiences are responding to the character’s involvement in The Avengers has the idea fresh on everyone at the studio’s minds. Both Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Marvel Entertainment’s President of Consumer Products for North America Paul Gitter have commented on the possibility of new Hulk material in recent interviews, but their outlooks on the matter see Marvel sending out a mixed message.

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Joss Whedon‘s excellent action geek-out The Avengers hits US theaters this weekend after a storm of anticipation that’s lasted for four years and five movies. Marvel’s ultimate team is finally together, and the results are incredibly impressive. You can read my review here, but while you sit in your Captain America uniform, unwilling to remove it or bathe for the next week, gear up to new giddy levels of excitement with these behind-the-scenes videos. From a disoriented Robert Downey Jr. to Jeremy Renner in fight choreography practice to a running Scarlett Johansson to Mark Ruffalo blissfully posing with a nude mini-Hulk, there are some really fascinating bits here:

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In a New York living room, sometime in the early 1970s, a young boy is sitting in front of his television (possibly watching an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus) and playing with plastic toy figures of Earth’s mightiest heroes. He smashes The Hulk into Thor, zooms Iron Man around at incredible speed and makes Captain America leap over an H.R. Pufnstuf doll. Because, you know, he’s got one of those too. Forty some odd years later, that same little boy named Joss Whedon got a chance to slam those toys together again, and he achieved something that’s made up equally of the magic of childhood and the craftsmanship of a seasoned filmmaker. It was an impossible dream, a crazy call-out to the far left field bleachers, but The Avengers is the best movie that Marvel has made.

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You hear that? That’s the sound of everyone in Hollywood sitting up and finally taking notice of the absurdly talented Mark Ruffalo. While the actor has turned in a series of accomplished roles (including You Can Count on Me, Zodiac, The Brothers Bloom, and The Kids Are All Right) over the years, he’s never quite vaulted into big-name, big-award territory. Until now. Though his casting as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in Joss Whedon’s upcoming The Avengers was an unexpected choice, Ruffalo’s work in the film is outstanding (I can vouch for that, having seen the film last week), and fans will be very pleased with his take on both Bruce and “the other guy.” To that end, Variety reports that Ruffalo has landed his first post-Avengers role, and it’s one that may make an Oscar winner out of him yet. Ruffalo has now joined the cast of Bennett Miller’s long-gestating true crime story, Foxcatcher. Miller has been trying to get the film made for years, and Steve Carell and Channing Tatum have both been set to star for months now, but the casting of Ruffalo has proven to be especially important – as it will be Ruffalo who takes the co-leading role, not Tatum, as once reported.

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Joss Whedon has sought to make The Avengers unique, and the latest way was shooting a scene for the movie after the movie premiered. According to HitFix, the entire team (from Robert Downey Jr. to Scarlett Johansson) used the opportunity of the occasion to shoot one last scene. Apparently it’s tough getting a dozen notable names in the same room. There’s no telling what the scene entails, although there’s speculation from Mark Ruffalo‘s press conference statements that the scene will appear at the end of the movie. It’s not the stinger; the audiences on Wednesday night already saw that. It’s definitely an interesting move. Or a really expensive way to get one audience to want to see the movie again. It’s not like they need it. The movie is already tracking for a $135m opening. Let’s see all of them try to get in the same room after that.    

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Can you feel it? Now that The Hunger Games has made its way into theaters (and the record books), the only thing left to do now is begin Summer Movie Season 2012. That will happen on May 4, when Marvel Studios delivers the long-anticipated superhero team-up film The Avengers. With a little bit of Iron Man, some Captain America, The Hulk and the rest, The Avengers feels like the perfect place to begin what promises to be an intense summer of movie watching. But before we get to that, there is more excitement to be had (read: Disney has more marketing to be done). So today is the day when we bring you a number of behind the scenes images from the set of The Avengers, along with a new behind the scenes featurette that takes us into the production with Joss and the gang.

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The Avengers

Wow. People holding Tribeca badges and passes just got a kick in the pants from a dude in a metal suit, a guy who rips his purple shorts with rage and a host of other dysfunctional family members. According to their latest press release, the Tribeca Film Festival is closing its 2012 calendar with The Avengers. At a film event that celebrates James Franco’s eccentricities alongside indie filmmakers famous and not-yet-famous alike, this is a blockbuster move – one that the fest is using no doubt for publicity and as an opportunity to celebrate the heroes of New York City and beyond. Firemen, police officials, military personnel and others will have a special chance to join in on the screening. Marvel head Kevin Feige weighed in, saying, “We are proud that Marvel‘s The Avengers is the closing film of this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and we are excited to welcome local heroes to the screening as special guests. We all know and love our iconic Super Heroes, but when it really counts, it’s our real-life heroes who save the world every day by making it a better place for all of us.” Despite its normal focus on the obscure, this fits well with the Tribeca mission which arose from the ashes of 9/11 as a means to prop up the New York City economy and to celebrate its art. On another level, it’s a booking that’s incredibly cool and makes native New Yorker Joss Whedon very happy. The director had this to […]

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Do we really need to introduce this one? Check out the brand new trailer for The Avengers below.

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I tease, of course. The Avengers is almost guaranteed to be a gigantic hit this summer and probably one of the year’s highest grossers. The film has a built-in audience by virtue of its characters, history and the intentionally structured universe that Marvel has created with the earlier films. It’s going to be huge thanks to the presence of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo/CGI) and others. And it’s going to be fun thanks to Joss Whedon in the director’s chair. But will it be any good? All signs point to yes, and that’s including the new TV spot below.

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Actors Scarlett Johansson and Mark Ruffalo are already set to tear apart city blocks together as members of The Avengers this summer, so why shouldn’t they be in a love story together as well? Sounds like the logical next step. To that end they’ve both joined Once writer/director John Carney’s next film, Can a Song Save Your Life? Why the ridiculous title? Well, because, like Once, this movie is also about musicians falling in love. This time the story is set in New York City, where Johansson will be playing a plucky young singer trying to start a career in the music business after getting dumped by her stupid boyfriend. While there she meets a charming though mumble-mouthed record producer (Ruffalo) who’s been down on his lucky lately (you know, because he’s a record producer), and the two start up a fling that manages to turn both of their lives around.

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Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie and entertainment news column that, now that it’s a year old and feeling mature, is looking to bring you only the best links of the day. Think of it as your one-stop-shop for the best of the entertainment web. If you didn’t see it here, it probably wasn’t that good. If we missed it, just email it to neil@filmschoolrejects.com and we’ll consider it for tomorrow. We do this every night. We begin tonight with a new shot of Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man as a funeral-going Gwen Stacy. She’s looking quite sad. I wonder who died. Oh right, they are telling the origin story of Spider-Man again. I know who’s going to die.

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Heist movies are usually about that one big score. That one massive job that’s too risky to take on, but too enticing to pass up. In order to motivate heist movie characters to step out of their comfort zones and take big risks, whatever they’re breaking into has to have a pretty big booty. But with each passing announcement, it becomes clearer and clearer that in Louis Leterrier’s upcoming heist film Now You See Me, the most valuable thing on screen won’t be the stockpiles of cash the illusionist characters steal from the world’s banks, but the amazing cast that he has assembled to bring these characters to life. It seems like almost on a bi-weekly basis some new casting announcement is made about this film that tops the last, and the latest comes from Movie Hole, who reports that Michael Caine has become the latest actor to join an already bursting at the seams ensemble. This puts him in a group of actors including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Melanie Laurent, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, and Woody Harrelson. Admittedly, Movie Hole’s accuracy rate at breaking news stories has been a little bit dubious, but The Playlist, a publication with a better batting record, has confirmed the story as well, so there must be some legitimacy to what Movie Hole’s secret source is saying. And if Movie Hole’s source knows what it’s talking about, then it raises another question about the film. Their source mentions the fact that Woody […]

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When the first public trailer dropped for Joss Whedon’s upcoming Avengers film, it was met with a collective sigh from many, including yours truly. It wasn’t very exciting and the only thing it had going for it was some pedestrian banter that relied solely on the charm of Robert Downey Jr. Even on a visual level, the trailer failed to deliver the scale expected from an Avengers movie. It’s with that attitude that I entered the IGN theater at the New York Comic Con this past Saturday. When the panel started, moderator Chris Hardwick walked out to a crowd that was already coming down from the high of The Walking Dead panel and introduced the film’s producer Kevin Feige. Feige commented on how the teaser just recently dropped, but that it was on the computer and then proceeded to ask the audience if they would like to see it played on the three giant screens in the theater. This was met with great enthusiasm.

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It’s not quite hyperbole to say the The Avengers is the most eagerly anticipated film of 2012. The ensemble superhero film features several characters who have already proven themselves in their own movies (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor) as well as a few who haven’t (Hawkeye, Black Widow), but the idea of bringing them all together into one adventure has been a dream of Marvel’s and the fans for quite some time. And now it’s almost here. We’ve seen some images and a very brief teaser, but Marvel and Paramount have released the first real trailer this morning. It’s still teaserish at only two minutes, but it offers up a good idea of what we can expect from director Joss Whedon’s upcoming blockbuster. Check it out below.

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After all these years of Margaret being stuck in legal and release limbo, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Kenneth Lonergan‘s (subtle) post-9/11 film turned out to be a misfire. All the turmoil made it doubtful that we’d ever get the masterpiece that Scorsese and many others claimed Lonergan’s film to be. The final, two-and-a-half-hour cut — which is unfortunately being dumped on a few screens — actually features hints of that masterpiece. Those hints, ultimately, make for a messy-yet-poignant dramatic opera about the power of regret, loss, and worst of all, being a teenager. Lonergan aims high in a way that, even if Margaret was a disaster, it’d still be an admirable (but failed) passion project. This isn’t that film, though. The playwright’s tremendous You Can Count on Me was small-scale, but full of power. His follow-up attempts to operate on a grand-scale, and it contains most of the power exhibited in his directorial debut.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; 100% medically accurate. Because Salisbury has staked the reputation of his chubby little column on my abilities to pen something that will be even in the same neighborhood as his consistently hilarious musings on bad movies and bad food, I will honor him in the only way I know how – by writing about a romantic comedy that centers on a lady in a coma and the dude who loves her. You’re regretting your decision now, aren’t you, Briguy? TOO LATE. I’ve hijacked your precious little column and we’re going straight to the most glorious reaches of heaven above (with a wee detour along the way). What’s the plan? Well, it’s the usual plan. I’m going to roast a terrible film over the coals of a hellfire, gently turning it on a devil-approved spit, and dance around all that horrific burning while the screams stretch up through eight other levels of Hell, said bad film begging for mercy and forgiveness. Then, we’re just totally going to skip Purgatory, because it’s super-boring, but then and only then will I shower the film with love, tickling it gently with little white feathers, with a brief pause to run through a sunlit meadow while a blonde lady plays a harp nearby. Then we’re all going to eat cake. Please open the pearly gates for Just Like Heaven.

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