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.

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The Foxcatcher (review)

Foxcatcher:  Starring: Steve Carrel as John Du Point

Foxcatcher:
Starring: Steve Carrell as John Du Pont Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz Mark Ruffalo as Dave Schultz Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman Directed by Bennett Miller

A Tragic Wrestling Tale!

The Foxcatcher is a historical based crime drama about two Olympic gold wrestling brothers being driven apart by a patriotic multimillionaire. The three main actors are Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo.  The film is directed by academy nominated Bennett Miller who was nominated for Moneyball and directed Capote. The film was considered to be one of the best films at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

Mark Schultz and John E. Du Pont posing at publicity shots for Team Foxcatcher.

Mark Schultz and John E. Du Pont posing at publicity shots for Team Foxcatcher.

Mark Schultz, Channing Tatum, is a Olympic gold wrestling champion from a small rural town iand feels constantly overshadowed by his older brother, Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) who is also an Olympic Champion. Mark is contacted by John E. du Pont, a wealthy philanthropist and wrestling enthusiast.  John wants to make wrestling America’s Olympic sport and use Mark as a symbol for patriotism. He also wants to be a father and mentor to his protégé. Mark jumps at the chance to represent team Foxcatcher, John’s private wrestling team.  As the film progresses John does lead Mark down a dangerous path but also career ending one. John has no choice but to turn to Dave Schultz. Dave accepts John’s offer but his decision proves to be fatal for his family.

Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum shine as team throughout the film.

Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum shine as team throughout the film.

Foxcatcher is about a film about two brothers who are absolutely loyal and supportive towards each other because Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo display that loyalty in every scene that they are in. Tatum and Ruffalo gave stellar acting performances and their acting makes my excitement even higher than what it was for their upcoming performances in future films.  The image above is from a scene where Tatum and his mentor John E. du Pont, Steve Carrell, come to Dave’s hotel room during the World Wrestling Championships. Dave is busy with his wife and two children, and Mark feels like Dave isn’t being supportive enough then leaves the hotel room furious. Dave stops him in the hallway, gives him tips, and shows him how to defeat his next opponent because Dave really does love his brother.  The movie is filled with that brotherly family dynamic and allowed the audience to be in the film along with the actors.  Ruffalo was nominated for best supporting actor. He will get an academy award one day because Ruffalo is a hell of an actor.  Channing Tatum is not some pretty boy but also great charismatic actor. He should have been nominated for best actor.

Director Bennett Miller  attending the Cannes premiere with Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo.

Director Bennett Miller attending the Cannes premiere with Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo.

Bennett Miller needs to be given a lot props for casting Steve Carell as John E. du Pont. His visual settings and tone were perfect, and he had a clear vision of the film’s story were perfect. He deserved that best directing nomination. Carell was amazing as John E. du Pont. Du Pont’s story was sad. At John’s core, he desperately seeks his mother’s approval.  He’s also batshit crazy with a lot of jealousy toward the relationship that Mark and Dave have. Bennett hit a homerun by choosing all three actors, and they together made Foxcatcher a tragic story.

Honestly, the film didn’t really have a lot of negatives. It was a compelling story that made the audience feel sad at the end. It probably deserved a best picture nomination, and Channing and Carrell will have career boost after more people see this film. Foxcatcher gets a 4 out of 5 from me.

Top 6 major new stories in the last week

Coop’s Major Movie New Stories

Edgar Wright leaves Ant-Man

Edgar Wright tribute to Ant-Man

Edgar Wright tribute to Ant-Man

Edgar Wright and Marvel formed an partnership to make a Ant-Man movie in 2006. This movie was in development before Marvel decided to make a Cinematic universe.  Last Friday, Marvel and Wright announced jointly that Wright has stepped away from being the director of Ant-Man. Each party cited creative differences. The film is set release on July 17th, 2015.  The film has yet to begin filming, and Marvel hasn’t announced a new director.  Who is Ant-Man?

Ant-Man is a scientist, Hank Pym, who created Pym particles which causes the  ability to change the body size. Michael Douglas is slated to star as Hank Pym.  Scott Lang is the successor of Hank Pym who is a petty thief.  Paul Rudd is slated to play Scott Lang.

The reports state that Marvel had a few of their in house writers rewrite the script and made changes without Wright’s consent.  Wright was unhappy with the changes and left the production.  Marvel has used this strategy on many films such as Thor 2, Captain America 2, and etc. Marvel has to create an Ant-Man movie that fits within their universe. Wright might wanted to make a movie based on more thievery and comedy.

All I want is a good Ant-Man movie and a plot that teases Avengers 3 and Thanos. I don’t care who they hire as along.  I want my Ant-Man movie super entertaining, with great action, and cool characters. How many people really know about Ant-Man anyways?

Bennett Miller wins best director for The Foxcatcher at the Cannes film festival

Channing Tatum, Steve Carrell, and Mark Ruffalo

Channing Tatum, Steve Carrell, and Mark Ruffalo

The Cannes Film Festival is one of the most predominant film festivals of the year. Films are shown have turned out to be Oscar contenders or winners.  The Cohen Brothers have premiered their films at the Cannes and won awards which has garner them Oscar buzz. The Foxcatcher is garnering that buzz. Bennett Miller won best director at the Cannes.

The buzz is around Channing Tatum. Channing Tatum might look like a model but he can act. Major critics have mentioned him an Oscar contender for best actor. We have halfway through the year and there a lot other movies coming out. I’m excited about the Foxcatcher.  You can catch the teaser trailer here.

 

My Big Fat Greek Wedding sequel in the works

Written and stars by Nia Vardalous

Written and stars by Nia Vardalous

My Big Fat Greek Wedding was released in 2002. It was made for 5 million and made 368 million at the box office. It is  the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, his wife, produced the film. Variety has reported there is a sequel in the works.

Vardalous will write and star in the film again with John Corbett playing as her husband. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are producing again. The story will follow the family ten years later and will have a reunion with new family members. I loved the first movie so much that my cousin’s stole my DVD of it.

Stephen King’s IT is coming to big screen

The villain of IT, Pennywise

The villain of It, Pennywise

Stephen King (my favorite author ever) wrote the horror classic It . It is about 6 friends who come together to defeat the villainous clown, Pennywise. It was made into a mini-series (1990 starting John Ritter, Harry Anderson, and Tim Curry as Pennywise. Warner Bros brought the rights to the project a few years ago.

Warner Bros handed the project to their newline cinema branch. Newline is responsible for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. It might be produced into two movies or one big long movie. The novel is about 1,100 pages. There is no release date, writer, or director attached to the project yet but don’t be surprised to see It come out in a 2 to 4 years.

X-Men Dominates at the Box Office Globally

The poster for X-Men Days of Future Past

The poster for X-Men Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past might be one of the best comic book movies ever. It dominated the box office over the weekend. It made 301.5 million over the holiday weekend.  The domestic take was 110.5 million and it made 191 million at the foreign box office. It has made 301.5 million worldwide. It could be the highest grossing film ever.

The production budget was 200 mill not counting marketing. X-Men could make up to the 400-600 million range. The film is not only a classic action movie. It is overall a great movie. Godzilla made 38 mill this weekend and it is at 322.1 million worldwide. It has yet to open in China or Japan.  You can read my Godzilla and X-Men reviews by clicking the links.

Trailer News: This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You is, based off the book with the same name, written by Jonathan Tropper. It is directed by Shawn Levy (Night of the Museum, Date Night). It is being released by Warner Bros. The story is about a man who left his cheating wife and finds out that his father died. He comes home to see his other siblings who he has no connection with. The film stars Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Tina Frey, Connie Britton, and Corey Stroll (Peter Russo from House of Cards).  It will be released Sept 12, 2014.  I watched the trailer and found it rather amusing.