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The Avengers – Age of Ultron: A Review

I think it was pretty obvious I was going to go see this film. The first avengers is still one of my favourite films and I must have watched it 20+ times now. I also totally love Joss Whedon’s character writing skills. Not to mention his dialogue.

avengers-ultronThis film sort of picks up where the previous marvel plots have left off, so it helps to have watched the Captain America film from last year as well as the previous avenger’s film, obviously. Right away there’s the focus on character and snappy one liners that Joss Whedon is brilliant at and in that respect this film was everything the previous one was. I laughed, a lot.

Avengers-ultron-3There’s a few more heroes in this one and some new and interesting powers, as well as the new and interesting bad guy, Ultron. This was some very well done animation. I often found myself loving the way his face moved as he spoke, and the voice actor, James Spader, was particularly spectacular with the expression and emotion he managed to get into it. I know there was quite a bit of news kerfuffle when he was announced but that was some definite fantastic casting.

I’m not sure what it was about this film though, but I didn’t quite love it as much as I thought I was going to. I liked it and laughed a lot. There’s nothing I can specifically say is wrong with it. But I’m beginning to wonder if the films are just a little too formulaic and I’m finally beginning to get a bit bored. Nothing totally surprised me and I like being surprised.

Avengers-Ultron-2There were a few things I really liked. I liked the massive iron man suit thing tony boosted his normal suit with in a very transformers sort of way, although I wondered if this contradicted the ending of Iron Man 3 a bit. I was fairly sure all the suits got blown up in that and would really like some kind of explanation on what happened there. I also totally loved what they did with Jarvis and Paul Bettany, and as usual he got some great one-liners.

All in all, I came out happy and pleased I’d gone to see it, but something was a little too samey about it, even if I can’t put my finger on what exactly. If you like Marvel films though this one really won’t disappoint.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: A Review

So I went to see this film at the cinema, as I usually do with Marvel films these days and I had to watch a 3d showing as my cinema didn’t have a good time for the 2d ones.

I want to start by saying that no other universe has been handled quite so well as Marvel handle the Avengers universe. There’s something about seeing these films (and the Agents of Shield tv series) in the order they were made that just builds and builds. Each film feels a little better than the one before. The characters more fleshed out and the universe more rich and complex. Some of that may be that each film requires more of everyone involved, but some of that is the subtleties, the little details that all add up.

The first Captain America film felt very different to the other avengers films. It had a little less humour and dealt with the much darker theme of the second world war. This meant quite a lot of people didn’t like it as much. I assume most of them were expecting the still deep but with a glossy finish style of Iron Man and Thor.

Captain America is a deep character. He deals with some of the fundamental issues of freedom, fear, and what it is to be an honourable soldier and you can see him wrestling with these issues in both films. As such the veneer is a little less shiny, although this sequel is a little more in tune with the sort of feel of the films over all. There was a bit more humour, but still not as much as Thor 2 or the Avengers, and definitely not as much as Iron Man 3.

On top of that the bad guy was a troubled soul. While there have been bad guys in many of the Marvel films that are evidently meant to be hated this wasn’t so clear cut in this story. I don’t want to plot spoil but I found myself not wanting to hate the Winter Soldier, but to hope that somehow he could be saved instead. The character is definitely an interesting one and I hope they revisit him.

Another common occurance in the Marvel films is the concept of how much control should our governments have and the moral obligation of standing up for the right thing even if it risks your own life, and yet again that was a strong theme throughout this film. and once more Marvel handled it well. Captain America, a character seen as deeply patriotic, is the perfect person to ask the right questions.

Finally the side characters were amazing. Scarlett Johanssen as the Black Widow was once again superb, building on her parts in the Iron Man series and the Avengers film. And then there was this new character here (<—) who has one of the coolest pieces of tech I think I’ve ever seen. He can fly! And some of his stunts and fight scenes were epic. He was also a great supporting character for Captain America, providing most of the funny one liners, typical of the Marvel style. Nick Fury’s story arch was also awesome.

In short, I really enjoyed the film. I think Thor 2 is still my favourite of all the Marvel Avenger films so far as Loki was hilarious but this is definitely one of the better ones and well worth seeing, just don’t bother with the 3d unless you have no option and make sure you stay until the very end of the credits as there are two sneaky extras and only one is part way through the credits, with the other being left until the last moment.

Wolverine: A Review

I know this isn’t going to be out at the cinema much longer but I’ve not reviewed a film in ages despite seeing quite a few (they’re on their way, honest)

So the trailor for this film implied that wolverine was headed to Japan cause he was restless and didn’t quite know what he was going to do with himself and some dude decided to teach him how to be a samurai on top of his already awesome adamantine claws.

This had me quite excited but what I didn’t realise is that this was an after x-men film not a pre x-men film. so for the first bit I was confused. Thankfully I soon worked it out.

Wolverine starts the film doing what he does best. Loner in the middle of no where despensing justice on local idiots when he sees fit in the manner he sees fit.

There’s plenty of awesome Wolverine moments and they are set to continue. We also get shown a flashback of some guy he saved in what I think was a nuclear bomb blast in Japan, who turns out to be a samurai.

So Wolverine gets summoned to Japan when this guy is on his death bed as a sort of thank you, but soon gets caught up in family politics. Let’s face it, it’s Wolverine, and there’s a damsel in distress.

The film has plenty of action and plenty of fights as you’d expect with Logan around and most of these do feature samurai swords. However, I was very dissapointed to find that, despite the picture of him holding one (right), he never actually gets to do any samurai fighting. There’s a hot red hed chick that gets to and a few others but he himself only touched a samurai sword, once, and that seems to have been back when he saved the guys life.

The closest Wolverine gets to a sword fight is this (left). But I guess it is a pretty epic fight so we can allow him that.

In terms of plot, it’s not great and not that original but it’s a Marvel action film so it can be forgiven for some of that lack.

It’s also way better than the Wolvering origins film, better than x-men 3 and possibly better than x-men 2.

If you do go see it you should also wait until part way through the credits. Some very cool stuff happens and is very much worth a minute or two’s wait to see.

Marvel fan fiction

I recently had an idea for a new superhero that could be easily set in the Marvel universe and shortly after that had a creation idea for her, so I thought over the next little while I could try and write some fan fiction. I’m not going to write huge amounts but I’m going to aim to write a little bit more every week.

I figured the best place for this kind of thing was probably wattpad, as they allow the serial nature of writing a story in installments. Seeing as I talk about Marvel films here a fair bit, I thought I’d share my story here too.

There’s not huge plot in mind for this yet. I’m not even sure who the badguy is going to be, but I thought I could start at the start and just see what happens. Who knows I might end up with loads of super hero stories, I might not but sometimes I just have to write something because it’s fun, not because I want someone to pay me for it.

So here’s the link to what I’ve got so far – Loki’s Creation

Iron Man 3: A Review

I was very excited about this film coming out as I loved the Avengers and mostly thanks to Iron Man, so here’s what I thought of this latest Marvel epic.

The trailor made out that this was going to be quite a dark film, with no way near as much one liners and lots of explosions and action sequences. And while this was sort of true as it was about inner demons it still had a much more light-hearted feel than I expected.

There was the usual Tony stark responses that showed the speed and slight instability of his mind but it showed some characters improvement above and beyond the first two films. In short, it was a great sequel, because the characterisation was spot on.

For me there’s nothing worse than a sequel that feels like it’s been written by someone else who doesn’t have the same opinion of the character. Tony was spot on, so much so there were a few things he said that made me suck in my breath and wince, but that’s what he’d have said so I can’t really fault it.

In terms of action there was plenty, lots of iron man style stunts and generally saving the day from the evil badguy stuffs. And the final action sequence at the end was fantastic. Iron Man showed up, with extras and boy was that whole section amazing. sometimes obsessions make for awesome viewing.

On top of that I think the supporting cast really need some honourable mentiones because they’ve really grown while doing this series. Pepper was fantastic and actually almost stole the show for me. She had some fantastic lines and that lady can seriously act! I also loved Jarvis but I always love Jarvis so there’s nothing new there, but he was extra special in this one.

This does mean there are a lot of great quotes from this film, way more than I expected, which is one of the best things to take home from this one.

Despite all these good points I do have a few issues. I didn’t actually like the ending few minutes (not including the after credits bit, that was hilarious) and wish Marvel hadn’t felt the need to make the film series feel so wrapped up, done and dusted kind of thing. Whether Downey Jr wants to do more Iron Man or not it didn’t need to feel so final. I want hope!

So to finish. Definitely better than Iron Man 2, jury is still out on whether it’s better than the first. I did enjoy it though and now I’m really looking forward to the next Avengers film.

The Avengers: A Review

Yes I know the film was actually called the marvel avengers assemble in the UK, but that has the be the lamest film name ever so in my opinion it’s really just called the avengers.

In short the film was awesome. So awesome that I can hardly find the words.

All the leading up to it with all the not quite so awesome but still good marvel films like Thor and Captain America paid off, big time. The film was quirky, funny and action-packed.

The actors were all on top form and Robert Downey Jr and Samuel L Jackson’s roles were so perfect it just added to the awesomeness even more. Even Loki was very well cast and I believe has garnered a little fan club of his own.

The relationship between certain characters was good too and it enabled some brilliant one liners to be delivered. I think I laughed a heck of a lot during the film, so hard from one joke we almost didn’t hear another funny joke that came right after. I won’t spoil the story or plot but I believe the line was ‘Puny God’. Two words have seldom made me laugh so much.

Action wise the first half of the film was a little lacking but the second half more than made up for it with some amazing action sequences and fights. I think pretty much everyone got their beautiful fight scenes and there was a lot of smash.

Music was good too and as expected there was the odd acdc track curtesy of Tony Stark.

I loved this film and I really can’t wait for Iron Man 3 next year.

Captain America: A Review

I went to see this film at the cinema in 3d just after it came out. I don’t read the Marvel comics so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I knew Captain America was the first Avenger and that this film was the lead up to the Avengers film next year. I also knew that he helped in American wars so I was expecting some war stuff.

Like Iron Man 2 there wasn’t as much action in the film as I was expecting. Other than a sort of car chase near the start their was hardly any at all in the first half of the movie. Even when they did get into the acrtion they glossed over the destroying of all of the Hydra bases, bar the first and the last. I thought this would bother me. I like my action films. Surprisingly it didn’t. There was lots of delicious back story and cross over characters that I was oblivious to the lack of action until I got to the end and suddenly thought ‘hang on a sec, where were all the explosions and fight scenes.’

I was in love with the majority of the cast. Tommy Lee Jones provided some amazing comic relief in a role that was perfect for him. Captain America himself was spot on and so was his girly, Agent Carter. Samuel L. Jackson had his usual cameo right at the end.

I was delighted when I saw Hugo Weaving’s face pop up only a few minutes into the film, I practically had kittens in my cinema chair. I do believe I squealed in a proper fan girly style. Unfortunately my delight lasted all of about 5 second, he opened his mouth and for those brief few second a mostly ok German accent came out. It soon got dropped, however and it never really ever came back. In terms of the role Hugo Weaving made a totally perfect Red skull but why why oh why did he not practice the accent more and get told by the director to reshoot the scenes that weren’t good enough. Hugo you let me down!

I did have a second fan girly moment, however, when Howard Stark was introduced, who was incidently played very well. I just got very excited when they reused the theme from the Stark expo in Iron Man 2 to introduce Tony’s father. He was amusingly very similar to Tony Stark as well and it was great comic relief to hear some of his lines.

So all in all apart from a slightly dodgy (read non-existant) german accent I thought this film was amazing and really really can’t wait for the Avengers film next year, or Iron Man 3.