Life In Germany: A cinema trip to see Avengers Assemble

It’s a rare occasion when, still emerging from your oversized cinema seat, you mentally consider your next viewing of a film moments after you’ve seen the last of the end credits roll off the screen. But then it’s also rare a big, and let’s face it, hyped, blockbuster movie comes along to inspire that overwhelming desire.

In fact I can think of only a handful of times I’ve walked out of the cinema, wishing I could re-live the last two hours of my life. Titanic (the James Cameron version first time round in 1998) was one of those, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey another. Bill & Ted is a classic case of cult 90s film. For Titanic I claim a pre-teen obsession with Leo DiCaprio and misguided judgement on what a ‘timeless’ movie actually is.
On Friday I added Avengers to that handful.
Avengers. Now that’s a film definitely worth every cent tipped out of my purse and onto the cinema counter to pay for a mildly extortionate ticket. A ticket that allows me to sit in a large public room with a big screen and lots of people and wear two pairs of specs (contact lens and my eyes have a love-hate relationship).
In case you don’t know, Avengers is the latest blockbuster in the run of Marvel Studio films, and the culmination of Kevin Feige’s original plan to have four separate superhero franchises (The Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Ironman) and then pull them all together into one epic action superhero movie. It is, in short, every comic book fan’s ultimate dream.
Director Joss Whedon (probably most widely known for his creation of TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer), has created a funny, clever, jaw-dropping and generally mind-blowing movie based on the simple plotline of ‘a selection of superheroes must save the world together’.
It helps if you know the superheroes back stories, or at least the idea that they have each emerged from their own set of comics and movie(s). But, even if you’ve no idea what Marvel is, the brilliance of the script will entertain with its comedy and action and the 3D graphics will amaze. Plus, there’s enough reference to previous encounters with each superhero to give you a basic grounding that will get you through and suck you into the story.

In fact, the only thing that was even slightly disappointing in my viewing of Avengers was the unexpected interval. Apparently in Germany it’s commonplace for a film that stretches into the two hour region to have a short interval mid-movie. The film is cut, the curtains swoop in front of the screen and the lights go up.

Having never experienced this in my life before I did, for a good few minutes, wonder whether in fact there was an actual problem with the film and how long it would be before we were offered free tickets to return to another showing. As those minutes passed, it became clear everyone else had been expecting this moment. ‘Do cinematic malfunctions have a high frequency in Germany’, I wondered? ‘No’, my German companions confirmed, ‘we just have breaks in long movies’. Right.

In the 48 hours since I saw Avengers I have tried to understand this concept of a break mid-movie, but to no avail. I really can’t see the point in cutting the action mid-scene. Sure, it has benefits, not least to the cinema who no doubt hope punters will leave their seats and shell out on snacks but really, when I’ve paid, let’s face it, a lot, to see a film, I don’t want my viewing interrupted. I can do that at home with the DVD.
However, the strength of Avengers is perhaps proven by this pause mid-movie. I doubt there are many films that can truly withstand a break in the adrenaline rush and excitement in the way Avengers did. It’s a cleverly put together film that will have you enthralled from the very first second and leave you on the edge of your seat until the credits are over. And refreshingly for a 3D blockbuster, it doesn’t rely on 3D and CGI to be its ultimate selling point. This has the added bonus of meaning it should be just as great in 2D and will translate well to DVD.
So, if you only see one movie in 2012, make it Avengers. Preferably in 3D.

(Just check first to see if there will be an interval. Great if you have bladder issues or are liable to need more snack food – not so great if you like to spend your cinema time fully immersed in the film and dislike surfacing before the last of the end credits has rolled.)

PS I don’t own the above trailer in anyway. It was posted by MarvelUK youtube.com user. You can check out the original here.

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