Saturday, May 12, 2012

Blown away

I'm  impressed. It wasn't just the fact that Whedon managed to successfully Tetris seven protagonist into a single story while nailing all of the "hell yeah!" moments expected of a blockbuster action film. He also stayed largely true to the original lore of the characters while opening them up a mainstream audience. Often that level of geek enthusiasm bogs down a story rather than giving it the gleeful energy that the Avengers had.

I was also deeply impressed by the ability of Joss Whedon to scale up--something I was skeptical about given his twenty years spent largely working with small casts and budgets on television series. Especially since I've never been a strong partisan of his works.

Well, that said, I did become a minor Buffy fan way back during my Balkan's peacekeeping period in the Army. A good friend from a rural working class background had somewhat improbably been hooked by the show, and so every Wednesday night was Buffy night in our room of twelve crammed together-scouts, way back when Buffy was running on the Armed Forces Network. It must have been an interesting sight to outsiders--a dozen or so Joes from different economic classes and ethnic backgrounds packed shoulder to shoulder around a television watching the adventures of a vampire-killing white girl from the suburbs.

I can't say I was hooked, but I enjoyed it and later the show became a gateway into Firefly and Serenity, which were closer to my tastes. That was the point when I clued in at long last to the obvious (and much discussed) fact that along with writing snappy dialog Whedon is great at exploring family dynamics and the emotional ties that emerge between disparate people thrown together in dire circumstances.

So if you haven't scene it already, go out shell the nine or so dollars. There's a lot to learn from this film craft-wise.

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