I've realized why there were some early complaints about The Avengers "not looking cinematic enough," and it has NOTHING to do with the direction, the scope of the story, the length of the movie, etc.... I'm pretty sure that the complaints stemmed from the cinematography choices, i.e. the aspect ratio they shot the movie in. For those who may not know, the aspect ratio is the numerical ratio between the film's width to its height. The higher the ratio, the wider the on-screen image is compared to its height. All of the previous Marvel films -- Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, etc. -- were shot in 2.35:1 aspect ratio, which is standard for widescreen theatrical releases. However, The Avengers was shot in 1.85:1 -- which gives it a narrower, slightly more "boxed-in" sort of look. The cinematographer even noted that shooting in 1.85:1 "is kind of unusual for an epic film like this," but they needed to fit the Hulk's height on screen next to the shorter characters (like the Black Widow). If they had stuck to the 2.35:1, then if they were to fit the Hulk on screen, everyone else would look even shorter and smaller by comparison. That's why it doesn't "feel" or "look" as "cinematic" -- the picture in Avengers is literally narrower in relation to the height. You don't get that "epic" wide shot that you're used to. So, rest assured -- the film itself is still epic, even if the cinematography isn't.