Nearly every week of the current season of Mad Men, I pick out a few moments that really make the episode for me. Those moments are why I love the show. For example, last week’s Draper-looking-down-elevator-shaft thing? Effing awesome. Bitchface’s interaction with the Gilmore Girl? Also awesome. I have been harping on how much I love those moments since I started watching the show.
Last week, after seeing The Avengers, I came away with a similar appreciation. The movie painstakingly gives each character a moment with nearly every other character. Iron Man and Loki. Iron Man and Bruce Banner. Hawkeye and Cap’n. Black Widow and Loki. etc, etc. While there are a multitude of other reasons why that movie works, that is the shining triumph for me. That is why The Avengers blows away most other superhero movies.
Look at something such as X-Men: The Last Stand (“X3”), which I unfortunately caught parts of on TV over the weekend. In that movie, they introduce Ben Foster as Warren Worthington/Angel. He barely interacts with anyone else. He doesn’t have any defining moments outside of flying out a window and hating his dad. He is a prime example of why that movie doesn’t work. Conversely, X2 pairs the good guys and bad guys together, letting Ian McKellan as Magneto chew the scenery with nearly everybody else. It provides venues for moments. X-Men: First Class does a similar thing.
More than anything else, that is what I look for in television/movies: those moments that make minutes/months/years of watching totally vindicated. Seeing Joan and Don interact. Seeing the Hulk beat the hell out of Loki. Seeing Magneto flirt with Mystique.