Avengers 2: Age of Ultron Review

This picture actually describes the movie Robert Downey, Jr. Tony Stark/Iron Man  Chris Evans  Steve Rogers/Captain America  Mark Ruffalo  Bruce Banner/The Hulk  Chris Hemsworth Thor  Scarlett Johansson Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow  Jeremy Renner Clint Barton/Hawkeye  Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury  James Spader Ultron  Elizabeth Olsen Scarlet Witch  Aaron Taylor-Johnson Quicksilver  Paul Bettany The Vision  Don Cheadle Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine  Cobie Smulders  Maria Hill  Stellan Skarsgård  Erik Selvig  Written and Directed by Joss Whedon

This picture actually describes the movie
Robert Downey Jr.-Tony Stark/Iron Man
Chris Evans-Steve Rogers/Captain America
Mark Ruffalo-Bruce Banner/The Hulk
Chris Hemsworth-Thor
Scarlett Johansson-Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
Jeremy Renner-Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Samuel L. Jackson-Nick Fury
James Spader-Ultron
Elizabeth Olsen-Scarlet Witch
Aaron Taylor Johnson-Quicksilver
Paul Bettany- Vision
Don Cheadle Colonel James Rhodes/War Machine
Cobie Smulders Maria Hill
Stellan Skarsgård Erik Selvig
Written and Directed by Joss Whedon

The New Characters are Scene Stealers

The first Avengers movie really succeeded expectations of world wide movie going audiences.  The excitement electrified the theater during the mid-credits scene after the purple alien looking Hulk (actually named Thanos) showed his face.  Iron Man 3, Thor 2: The Dark World, and Captain America 2: The Winter Solider teased audiences with specific references to upcoming Marvel movies and Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. Avengers 2: Age of Ultron isn’t the best Marvel phase 2 movie but it is a stellar blockbuster with lots of humor, cool new characters, and great action and special effects battles.

Avengers 2: Age of Ultron begins with the original Avengers destroying the final Hydra Base led by Baron Von Strucker, played by Thomas Kretschmann.  Strucker used Loki’s scepter, which has the Mind Gem in it, to create two new superpower villains, Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch aka Petro and Wanda Maximoff.  Iron Man and the Avengers take control of the scepter but the twins escape.  Iron Man and Bruce Banner discover the scepter holds a key to Artificial Intelligence so they use it to create a new peace keeping force called Ultron. Ultron rationalizes that humanity is violent by nature and needs to be destroyed.  Ultron allied with Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch start a global war to eradicate humanity with only the Avengers to save the world.

Age of Ultron is overall a great superhero movie.  It’s not as good as Captain America 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, or the first Avengers. The reason is the story is weaker than the three films mentioned above. It took an about fifty minutes to an hour for me really become emotionally invested in the movie.  The sequel has bigger action sequences, the team chemistry is more fluent with their banter and working together, and all of the avengers really have their moments to shine. Hawkeye has a bigger spot light shined on him in this film.   He might be the central player in the this film.  The Maximoffs, Ultron, and especially Vision are the movie’s scene stealers.

Quicksilver running toward Scarlett Witch

Quicksilver running toward Scarlett Witch

Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch are really portrayed and developed as characters in the movie. Quicksilver has this ignorance about his personality but is super protective towards his sister. The special effects used to zip around quickly are stunning. Scarlett Witch really has a central role as a catalyst in the movie.  Her ability to wrap people’s minds influences the plot from the first action.  She really torments the Avengers and makes the team doubt themselves.  Her powers are cool and hopefully she appears in Dr. Strange. Elizabeth Olson did say she would be in Captain America 3: Civil War.

Ultron is the best empathic villain ever to be portrayed in a superhero movie. Joss Whedon wrote the character in such a way that audiences will feel for him. His character has a pointview on humanity which people would agree with.  James Spader and Joss Whedon really nailed that observation of humanity with Ultron’s tone, dialogue, and his evil plan.  A minor spoiler is that Ultron shows empathy towards the Maximoffs twins.  He was a damn good replacement for Loki.  The Vision steals the spotlight in this film.

Paul Bettany as Vision.  My favorite character of the movie

Paul Bettany as Vision.
My favorite character of the movie

Jarvis becomes Vision but Vision is a separate independent thinking being with Jarvis’s knowledge and voice as his developmental template.  Ultron thinks he destroyed Jarvis but Jarvis survived.  Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, and Thor bring Vision to life to combat Ultron. Paul Bettany plays Vision and brings lots of humanistic qualities such as compassion, humor, and wisdom to Vision. Vision is so heroic and worthy that he can do something that no one has been able to do pertaining to a certain god.  Vision really stole the show because everybody automatically loves him after his paragraph of dialogue.

Age of Ultron has a few negative aspects. There two unnecessary character deaths in his movie, not going to say who, but future films would benefit with inclusion on these two characters.  The movie is also one long action spectacle that takes about an hour to become emotionally invested in the film. Joss Whedon never explained how Iron Man became Iron Man after he retired at the end of Iron Man 3.   These negative aspects do not take away from the film but it is the reason why Avengers is better than this one.

Overall, Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is a fun superhero film. The new characters and Hawkeye really have a predominant role in this film. I loved the ending of the film. Vision and Ultron were the best parts of the movie.  I will probably do a spoiler blog post on this movie.  Joss Whedon really made a great superhero movie that is a good sendoff for his final helm at a marvel film as far as we know. Avengers 2: Age of Ultron gets a 4.5/5.

Imitation Game (review)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing  Keira Knightly as Joan Clarke  Matthew Goode as Hugh Alexander Mark Strong as Maj. Gen. Stewart Menzies Charles Dance as Cdr. Alastair Denniston Written by: Graham Moore  Directed by: Morten Tyldum

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing
Keira Knightly as Joan Clarke
Matthew Goode as Hugh Alexander
Mark Strong as Maj. Gen. Stewart Menzies
Charles Dance as Cdr. Alastair Denniston
Written by: Graham Moore
Directed by: Morten Tyldum

 

Great Film about Unsung Hero!

The Enigma Machine was one of the most clever inventions in history. The Nazis used it to code their messages and for several years, it kept British intelligence dumbfounded. The Imitation Game was about the mathematician that cracked the code with a radical idea.  Alan Turing was the man who cracked the code but had a deep dark secret.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightly as Joan Clarke, his fiancée.

imitation-game

Alan Turing is a brilliant mathematician but is reclusive, awkward, and overly confident. He is recruited by the Royal Navy to crack the Enigma Machine used by the Germans in World War 2.  The leader of the team is Hugh Alexander and wants to crack the code traditionally. The problem is the Enigma Machine every 24 hours changes its code; therefore, any progress made on the encoded messages is useless after midnight. Turing’s radical idea is to create a machine that can crack the code. He is met with resistance but convinces Wiston Churchill to pressure Commander in charge to make Turing in charge of the team. Turing recruits Joan Clarke to help build his machine. The pair succeeds but success comes with a heavy price.

Film/ The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightly lead this all star cast. The Imitation Game has great acting. Cumberbatch and Knightly show a range of emotions throughout the film.  Turing’s homosexual nature is shown through flashbacks but Cumberbatch succeeds in portraying Turing’s cocky attitude and socially awkward nature.  He really deserved the Oscar nomination that he receive.  Knightly also really deserved her nomination too. Her character is met with resistance because she is smarter than most men. She is a pioneer in a “Man’s World.”  Many people forget that not only women in the United States helped win the war against the Nazis but many women from different countries had triumphs too.  The Imitation Game is one of the most well acted films in 2014.  However, it’s screenwriter deserved that Academy Award which he won.

Graham Moore’s screenplay was on the Hollywood blacklist for a few years.  Black Bear Production finally financed the film.  Graham wrote a screenplay that told a dramatic emotionally story. He was executive producer on the film. The Imitation Game told Turning’s story through three different time periods.  The film starts Turning being arrested for homosexual conduct. He precedes to tell his story to the police commissioner in charge. The film cuts back to 1939 when Turning is hired to help crack the Enigma code.  Turning’s childhood is also explored with his first semi-homosexual relationship with his best friend from boarding school. Graham Moore didn’t only explore the homosexual theme but how often socially awkward people are picked on and ridicule by others.

The Imitation Game gets 4.5 out 5 stars from me.

Daredevil (Into the Ring) Review

Daredevil on the roof  Copyright by: Netflix, Marvel Studios

Daredevil on the roof
Copyright by: Netflix, Marvel Studios

It hooks you from the first scene!

Daredevil is a beloved superhero in Marvel lore.  Comic book fans called him “Marvel’s Batman” which is one of the reasons for the character’s popularity.  Netflix announced two years ago that they, Marvel Television, and ABC entertainment will be producing shows about Iron Fist, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones known as the Defenders. Fans were delighted by this news especially after Daredevil announcement.  Daredevil is not only a superhero show that will lead to something meaningful like a team up but a well made crime drama.

The pilot opens with Matt Murdock, Daredevil, being blinded by chemicals as a child. He is a newly practicing defense attorney with his partner, Foggy Nelson.  Nelson gets word of a woman named Karen Page being suspected of murder. Murdock with his super senses can tell Page is innocent, and he and Foggy will defend her.  Karen tells them that she stumbled on suspicious numbers while performing her job as a secretary for a construction company.  She doesn’t realize that she dipped her toe into a much polluted ocean full of murder and corruption.

There are several reasons why you should watch this show.  First, it is a superhero show but really doesn’t feel like it. The storyline of Daredevil feels like a complicated, dark, and realistic crime drama.  Secondly, the acting is great.  Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, and Elden Henson are the main cast.  Cox plays Matt Murdock and plays a charming lawyer.  He also made a good Daredevil.  Woll plays Karen Page and displays her a lot emotion in her character. She will be a nationwide name sometime in the future.  Henson plays Foggy, Murdock’s law partner,  who is funny but honest. He realizes that he and Murdock need to make money and can’t play charity to everybody. Finally, the stunts and effects are amazing. The fights with Daredevil are sometimes in slow motion to make viewing audience hear and feel what Daredevil experiences when he fights.  The fight choreography is amazing. Daredevil broke someone’s knee cap in the pilot. This show is not for kids..FYI.

Overall, I can tell this will be one of the best superhero shows on television.  The storyline is intriguing and the characters display emotion and charisma. The show also mentions how the corrupt profit from the heroes punching people through walls. Daredevil’s pilot gets a 4.5/5 out from me.

Daredevil can only be streamed through Netflix; however, I suggest you watch the first episode and give it a try.