Flick Check: The Avengers: I may the last person to review The Avengers as if it were a new film, but I just saw it. And it was really, really good. It was fascinating to me to see this come to life, since I remember all of it from my youth collecting Marvel comics. The plot itself was standard comic book fare -- I'm pretty sure the plot wasn't exactly the comic book origin plot which did have Loki but not Nick Fury, IIRC. Anyway, it doesn't matter because the plot was good enough and relatively unobtrusive.
There are a number of reasons the movie turned out to be such a good actioner and they are all Joss Whedon. He's an old hand at comic books and understands the very basic attraction of superhero stories. He knows a thing or two about pacing and action film. And he brings the same hyper-ironic wit that he brought to Buffy all those years ago -- the kind of wit that was a key attraction of Marvel comics back in the 70s, when the world was deadly earnest about everything.
Excellent work, and as high an example of craftsmanship as any festival-award-winning, deeply meaningful, hipster favorite film. I expect this is the sort of film I'll land on and stop while channel surfing for years to come.