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Spoiler Review of Avengers Age of Ultron

1 May

The Avengers Age of Ultron is like being bitch slapped with Awesome!

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Here’s my not so epic long ass spoiler filled review Spoiilers in…

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Excuse me while I prematurely geek out all over your face during my review.  Avengers 2 starts off with action from the get go “Hail hydra!”  With the good old band getting back together again.  You should know the star studded cast by now if you’re following me.  If not we can’t be friends, so let’s save the formalities. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow  and Hawkeye are back as The Avengers! 

During the opening battle we see the Avengers have come along way since first film.  They fight as a unit under the command of Cap America, instead of a group of Super egos.  We’re quickly introduced to two newcomers the twins.  Piertro Maximoff “Quicksilver” (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who has super speed and  Wanda Maximoff “Scarlett Witch” (Elizabeth Olsen) with telekinesis and mind manipulator.  

Now the comic origins of these two is they’re the mutant children of Magneto.  You know that guy stuck in the shitty X-Men movies with Fox.  Thanks to legal issues Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch can’t be referred to as Mutants by Marvel studios.  Instead director Josh Whedon picks up where Captain America: Winter  Soldier post-credit scene  left off.  The twins are products of  Hydras experiments lead by Baron Von Strucker. 

Even though Lokis not in this film (sorry fan girls) his Scepter is a really big deal.  The team retrieves the scepter and throw a party at Avengers headquarters.  We see many Marvel fan favorites like War Machine and Falcon.  Hell even Stan Lee gets drunk on Asgardian Liquor in his highly anticipated cameo. 

However Tony Starks has been secretly using the scepters power to create an A.I.  His intentions to bring world peace but instead spawns a monster.  Ultron voiced perfectly by (James Spader) is finally a Super-villain worthy of The Avengers.  No disrespect to Tom Hiddlestons “Loki” but he’s not on same level of villainary.  Although some of his lines were corny Spaders voice was creepy and fitting. 

Ultrons origins is again a huge change from the comic storyline.  As his original creator is Hank Pym “Ant-man”.  Who’s yet to have been introduced to Marvel’s cinematic universe.  Maury: “In the case of Ultron, Tony Stark you are the father!”  I don’t mind the plot change as it has major implications on the team.

Ultron aligns himself with the wonder twins while building a massive army of robots and upgrading his cybornetic body.  The Avengers track him to Wakanda (home of Black Panther) where hes harvesting the rare resource “Vibranium”.  Thats the stuff Captain Americas shield is made of and nearly indescribable.  We find out why Ultron needs human help.  When Scarlet Witch uses her powers to mind manipulate most of the team.

  Even turning Hulk on citizens in Wakanda.  Leading us to my favorite fight scene in the movie as Hulk and Iron man in his Hulkbuster suit duke it out.  This was some spectacular eye candy and alone worth the price of admission to Imax 3D. 

The Avengers find themselves battered and at odds.  Mostly due to Tony Starks undermining them and creating this threat.  They regroup on a farm, Hawkeyes farm.  E-I-E-I-O.  Where we meet his illegitimate family he’s been hiding.  Thor takes off to go find himself in a pond.  Just an excuse to get Chris Hemsworth shirtless and wet.

Bruce Banner aka Hulk and Black Widow plan to into hiding.  Especially since the Hulk smashed half of Africa.  The films been playing off a whole love attraction between the two all film long.  Although this love interest came out of left field and felt forced.  If I was Brucie I’d definitely Hulk Smash Scarlett Johansson.

  Nick Fury makes his appearance because its not a marvel movie until Samuel L. Jackson pops in.  Fury rallies the troops with his pep talk than disappears again.  I swear this was Jacksons easiest paycheck as he barely got screen time. 

While the Avengers figure themselves out Ultron accidently shows his true plans to Scarlet Witch.  He wants to destroy humanity and usher in a new race of cyborgs.  The twins ditch Ultron and later on stand up against him with the avengers.  A fight over Ultrons new body takes place.

Bringing in a new character into the film “Vision” (Paul Bettany)  a super powered android.    Think a kindler gentler version of Ultron.  He wasn’t setup well and felt like a throw in to save Tony Starks image among his peers .  Vision was just one more hero to help take on the Ultrons army. 

The final showdown takes place in a flying city (I said wtf too).  It provided some fun visuals as the Avengers stood side by side joined by the twins, War Machine and Vision.  Fighting Ultron after Ultron and saving bystanders.  Fury and the artist formerly known as Shield make a dramatic  appearance with the Hellicarrier (oh thats why the city flew). 

During all the mayhem one of the newest heroes was surprisingly killed off.  Quicksilver took one for the team by shielding Hawkeye and a child from bullets.  The arrow shooting hero had the best moments with both twins and received a greater role this film.

Ultrons main vibranium superbody ultimately meets his demise after being blasted by Vision, Thor and Iron man simultaneously.  Than has his meatallic heart ripped out by a grieving Scarlet Witch.  The last of the Ultrons is destroyed after a showdown with his own creation  Vision.

The aftermath leaves the Avengers drastically changed.  Hulk goes into hiding from the world  including his love interest Black Widow.  Thor goes home to look into his visions setting up plot of Thor 3.  Iron man and Hawkeye decide its time to retire.  Captain America is found training a new team of Avengers.  Enter the B-squad War Machine, Falcon, Scarlet Witch and Vision.

Mid-credits bonus scene (don’t waste time sitting through entire credits after this) shows us Thanos and his quest to fill the infinity gauntlet.  Clearly Thanos (Josh Brolin) will be the main villain in Avengers 3.  I was really hoping to see Black Panther, Spider-Man or even Ant-man. 

Age of Ultron was a better film than its first go. I really enjoyed  this movie but can’t act like it wasn’t without flaw.  The plot isn’t as intelligent as Captain America Winter Soldier and at times writing seemed lazy.  It did provide plenty of entertainment.  It’s fun, action packed and beautiful to look at.

I recommend you go see it as its a blockbuster worth the price.  Marvel didnt disappoint earning a 8.5 from me out of 10

Spoiler free review: Guardians of the Galaxy

1 Aug

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Marvel has taken one of its lesser known series, and launched what’s sure to be a hit Franchise.   Guardians of the Galaxy is the comic book movie I’ve been waiting for.  Gone are the powerful yet anguished superheros, replaced by the most unlikely band of lovable misfits.

This wasn’t just a movie, it was an experience.  The F-word can best describe that experience, FUN!   Guardians hits you with one blast of fun after another.  You’ll be sure to talk about this one with all your friends and share many of the lines.

James Gunn directed and co-wrote along with Nicole Pearlman  a gem of a film.   To make a funny, action packed movie with memorable characters is no easy feat.  This is sure to be a cult classic on steroids.  _GOTG_ had the entire theater literally laughing out loud.  I don’t remember enjoying a movie as much as this one in my adult life.

From the moment Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) dances his way into our hearts.  I knew I was watching something special.    A classic that only comes around once every decade or so.  Disclaimer my generation (80s babies) may be a little more inclined to love this movie.  Thanks to the soundtrack, 80’s props and references we get treated to.

Pratt is such a different but like-able hero, he’s quirky but has a swagger to him.  He showed he has what it takes to be a leading ma.   Pratt nails everything they throw at him in this role.  Problem is the rest of the Guardians were just as good if not better.  This was truly a team effort, the Avengers should be jealous of what Gunn captured here.  The way they dropped hysterical one liners made me forget I was watching a movie and not just hanging with friends.

Zoe Saldana is the go to sci-fi actress and I understand why.  Shes sexy, charming witty and bad ass as the green skinned Gamora.   Drax the destroyer did a great job for being a wrestler turned actor making his debut.   Bautista does a good job delivering some of the funniest lines in the movie.  Believe me when I say nothing goes over his head because his reflexes are too good.

They jam packed well known actors from Josh Brolin,  Glen close,  Benicio Del Toro, Michael Rooker and it goes on. A very impressive supporting cast.   Lee Pace plays the main bad guy Ronan the accuser.   He does a decent job but again unlike many other comic book movies the villain plays second fiddle to its stars.

The cast chemistry is damn near perfect.  I find this impressive because the two scene stealers are CGI character’s.   We have Groot the simple minded but sweet humanoid tree.  Voiced by Vin Diesel who may have put on the best acting performance of all-time of a tree.   I loved the running gag of him repeating the same three lines, it surprisingly never got old.

Get ready to see Rocket Raccoon every where after this movie.   I know Disney will surely cash in on his merchandise.   Bradley Cooper surprised me at how good he was pulling off this character.   His voice acting was spot on for what I imagined Rocket could sound like.  I admit I was worried when he was first cast but man did Cooper dazzle without his good looks.  Rocket is such a great character and they truly brought him to life.

Groot, Rocket and all of the cgi are beautiful.   I saw the movie Imax 3d and it was worth it.  Marvel made sure to include some sweet 3d effects.   Plenty of action to go around from hand to hand, guns blazing and amazing space ship warfare.  Gunn does a great job of creating a beautiful galaxy.   Both Star Wars and Star trek would be proud.

The effects were awesome but GOTG succeeds where many other comic book movie’s fail.  By putting the focus on its characters.  They’re funny, charming, flawed and often fight each other but in the end they become family.   You wind up cheering out loud  because you cant help but like them.

This movie had me smiling from beginning to end.   As the crowd left after the post credits bonus scene, I looked around and saw nothing but smiles.  We didn’t just watch a movie we witnessed the birth of a classic.  Guardians of the Galaxy is something different,  special kind of different with some special ed thrown in.

Like Rocket Raccoon says “Ain’t no thing like me, cept me.” The same holds true for this movie.

I give Guardians of the Galaxy a 9.7 out of 10

Spoiler filled review of Dawn of planet of the apes

17 Jul

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Dawn of planet of  the apes is second blockbuster this summer in which CGI characters far out shine the human actors. The first was Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, which with all honesty wasn’t hard to do thanks to Mark Wagoner and company’s lackluster performances.  Optimus Prime can’t hold Caesar’s banana peels when it comes to acting or leading.   Matt Reeves Dawn of planet of the Apes is far more ambitious with its CGI stars and that’s what makes this movie great.

This movie picks up right where last one ended.  With Caesar leading his ape army into the California redwoods,  and  the Simian virus wiping out most of humanity.   During opening credits we get some newscasts and charts depicting human societies demise.  A variety of clips are shown from reporters to President Obama, until a realtime image of earth goes dark.

We than get a look into the fascinating ape civilization Caesar has built over the past ten years.  The apes communicate with sign language and English words. We see how they  hunt using spears and strategy.  Ape education, taught by Maurice from first film who’s back and loveable as ever.  They have a version of doctors who assist in birth of Caesar’s second son.  The apes even have laws “ape no kill ape”. I was captivated by their culture that I wish the human’s never showed up.

Eventually they do, lead by Malcolm  (Jason Clarke) aka the man in the yellow hat.  Hes with a small group of survivors from San Francisco venturing into Apeland in hopes of using a dam to  power the city.  This leads to hostility between Caesar and his old scarfaced pal Koba or as I like to call him Koba commander.   Koba hates humans and Caesar having been raised by one even though it was James Franco, has less ill feelings towards human’s.

Koba betrays Caesar with an assassination attempt and frames the human’s.  Using Caesars fall as an excuse to rally the apes and wage war on the unsuspecting humans.  The apes would have no chance to win chucking spears and rocks.  However Koba commander raids an armory and arms his simian army with fire power.  We are than witness to an intense battle between mankind versus ape.

Gary Oldman leads the defense but is overwhelmed by Koba commander and his ferocious charging followers.   Apes win and take humans prisoner, giving them a taste at life in a cage.  He also locks you Maurice and any other ape loyal to Caesar.   Meanwhile Casear is alive and being tended to by Malcolm and his family.  They hideout in Caesars old home from the first film.  Caesar’s son who rebelled (like most teens) all movie long finally sides with his father.

Once well enough Caesar heads into a final and glorious battle against Koba.  We watch then swing and pound eachother across a construction site high rise.  In the end Caesar wins and his apes rally against him.

Andy Serkis received top billing in this film as Caesar and rightfully so.  He stole the show in the first movie and does it again.   He is a motion capture acting specialist.   As much credit is due to the amazing special effects team.  Not only do these apes look eerily real, the way the faces express emotions blew me away.  I believe Serkis could play a more realistic cgi James Franco or Mark Wahlberg than they could   of themselves.

All of the apes stood out in this Oscar worthy visual production. I know  the human’s brought conflict to the plot but I do hope the next installment in this franchise is all about the Apes.  Dawn of planet of the apes is a smart, ambitious and stunning film that knocks it out of the park in every way possible.   Its and sure to be an instant classic.

I give it a 9.6 out of 10