Yesterday, writer/director Joss Whedon posted an open letter to his fans, reacting to The Avengers record smashing opening weekend. He was gracious and funny, and mentioned Jai Alai (thrice). Here's my open letter to Mr. Whedon's open letter.
I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a devoted fan of yours, but you’ve impressed me on more than a few occasions. I’ve only dabbled in Buffy and Angel, and enjoyed most of what I saw. Your run on Astonishing X-Men with John Cassaday was compulsively readable. Dollhouse might've got off to a rough start, but it really started to sing by the second season. Dr. Horrible is in my Netflix queue, so we’ll get there eventually. I think Firefly is your finest achievement. The way you remixed genres was innovative, especially your southern-fried Elizabethan dialogue. Remarkable. And Serenity, the big-screen continuation, is a beautiful heartfelt extension of that raggedy ‘verse. It’s clever and sassy, and funny and emotional.
Now The Avengers, it’s a fun flick, sure. Chock full of the kind of witty banter I’ve come to expect from you. You understand each character infinitely better than the directors who played in Marvel’s cinematic sandbox before you. I could definitely feel your signature on the screenplay. But I couldn’t, for the life of me, tell that you directed the damn thing. The third act, in particular, felt like I was watching something helmed by Michael Bay. That’s not a good thing. Might I suggest you develop a more intimate relationship with a tripod? Or a crane? Or a steadicam even? They work wonders for incoherent action sequences.
I’m not ragging on you. You managed to pull off the impossible. Sure, I was bored out of my Skrull for the first half of the movie. But you rewarded my patience with a rousing finale. Next time around I hope you get more creative control (and better camera men). I firmly believe you have what it takes to play with the big boys (Speilberg, Lucas, Cameron, Jasckon). Now prove it. But if you’d prefer doing micro-budget black and white adaptations of Shakespeare instead, that’d make me just as happy.