Avengers Age of Ultron

Well I’ve been lucky enough to see Avengers: Age of Ultron twice now (3D in the double feature and a 2D 9:15 am showing with my wonderful wife) so I suppose I should write about it.

Avengers Age of Ultron

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – Rated PG-13

When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it’s up to Earth’s Mightiest Heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.”

Avengers: Age of Ultron is magnificent. I’ve seen it twice in the theaters and am likely to watch it again. I also look forward to buying it on Blu-Ray. I will say that 3D did not add anything to the movie for me so I’d recommend against the extra charge. I saw a preview for Jurassic World in 3D and that looks like the 3D may be worthwhile.

That said, Age of Ultron is way too much. The CGI is seriously overwhelming. Whedon wanted a lot of the action to be freeflowing but I prefer setpieces properly designed where you can always tell what is happening (think Raiders of the Lost Ark). The CGI setpieces do showcase all of the team’s abilities and appearances but there is a serious case of information overload and in 3D, it is so much worse.

As a comic book fan, I love getting to see all the characters I grew up with appear on the big screen. Unfortunately the screenplay packs in so many, there is no room to breathe. We get The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, and Black Widow all returning from Avengers. We also get Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Ultron, Baron Strucker, and Vision new to the movie series. Also appearing are War Machine from Iron Man, Heimdall and Erik Selvig from Thor, Nick Fury and Maria Hill from S.H.I.E.L.D., and Peggy Carter and The Falcon from Captain America.

Since Vibranium figures prominently in the plot, Ulysses Klaue is introduced, played by Andy Serkis in a rare non-CGI appearance. I expect this is supposed to set up the future Black Panther movie. There was even a scene with Loki that got cut and of course a character not mentioned in the end credits scene.

Another nitpick, and it is a nitpick, is that the dream sequences seem poorly handled, especially the ones involving Thor. Several things are given hasty or even no explanation. One would think that that wouldn’t happen in a two hour and twenty minute movie but Whedon just stuffs and stuffs and stuffs until the movie is bursting.

Now back to the original verdict. Age of Ultron is marvelous. All the characters are given good character beats. Hawkeye who had the worst storyline in Avengers gets the best one here. We had a great Hulk vs. Thor battle last time so here we get a great Hulk vs. Iron Man (in Hulkbuster armor!) battle.

The battles are frantic and packed with state of the art CGI. They are a lot of fun if a little hard to follow. The humor in the script is great, including a nice running gag at Captain America’s expense. This is definitely a Joss Whedon film and I look forward to what he does next (sadly he’s done with this series).

If you like Marvel’s cinematic universe, you’ll like this film. Go see it and you only need to stay for the first post-credit sequence. There isn’t a second one as in the first movie. Joss felt that he could not top the shawarma scene.

Blargity Blarg Blarg Crash Bang

Well it has been an annoying couple of weeks for me. Two weeks ago someone hit my car when they ran a stop sign. I was lucky that was no one was hurt and that that was my first ever car accident. I still don’t have my car back. The insurance company still hasn’t adjudicated the case. They are exceptionally polite but not at all competent. It took them two days just to tow my car.

Crash

 

Crash (2004) – Rated Unrated

In post-Sept. 11 Los Angeles, tensions erupt when the lives of people from all walks of life converge during a 36-hour period.”

Crash is currently available on instant Netflix

Marvel Marathon

I failed to win Regal’s ultimate fan contest. /le sigh. My wife and daughter have been dealing with issues of their own that have made them unhappy. Still it looks like I might have my car back in time for The Avengers double feature on Thursday. It is no Ultimate Marvel Marathon but I’m sure it will make me happy. Now if only I could make my ladies as happy.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

 

 

Still More FREE Movies – Junk Food City & The Avengers

Well if you want to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron for FREE and don’t mind eating your weight in junk food, Kellogg’s has a deal for you.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

 

First up are Eggo waffles. Buy any three specially marked packages of Eggo waffles (various flavors) and get $6 movie cash to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. I admit $6 doesn’t cover most folks matinee price but if you eat Eggos anyway. Also for some reason this promotion involves taking a picture of your receipt instead of entering codes.

Kelloggs has an offer on specially marked packages of Pop-Tarts. Collect codes to use towards a movie or Pop Bobblehead. Six codes nets you a FREE movie ticket ($12 value). It is listed as Avengers Age of Ultron but the fine print states it can be used on any other movie.

Kellogg’s cereal also has a collect the codes and get a FREE movie ticket ($12 value). Specially marked cereals that have this offer include Apple Jacks, Krave, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Avengers, and others.

Pitch Perfect 2

 

Cover Girl has a deal where if you buy at least $20 worth of their product, they’ll give you a FREE ticket to Pitch Perfect 2.

Avengers Assemble! Epix edition

Okay I was going to do this post closer to next Friday when The Avengers opens but Epix has a special deal right now. This weekend they will be showing three (Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man 2 but not The Incredible Hulk or the first Iron Man) of the five canon films leading up to the Avengers.

April 27-29 is Marvel Heroes Weekend on Epix. If you have a Roku box then Marvel Heroes Weekend is FREE (even if you have used up the FREE trial). Epix can also be viewed on the Xbox 360 or your home computer. If you have never signed up for Epix, a two-week FREE trial is available at www.epixhd.com

Thor (2011) – PG-13

“When the god of thunder angers his father, he is cast out of the fantastical realm of Asgard and banished to a life among the lowly humans on Earth. (Wait, should we be offended?) But Thor soon discovers the 21st century is pretty fantastical, too, from first loves to Facebook. As his newfound home is threatened by Asgard’s most ominous villain, Thor must use his courage – and his mighty hammer – to become the noble warrior he’s destined to be.”

Thor is a lot of fun. Chris Hemsworth is fantastically cut as the title character and is ably supported by Natalie Portman, Stellan Skargard, and especially Kat Dennings on Earth and by Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Com Feore, Rene Russo, Jaimie Alexander and Ray Stevenson in Asgard. The Asgard segments are more serious than the Earth segments but I enjoyed the self-deprecating humor of the Earth segments more.

Look for a cameo by Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye (setting up his role in The Avengers) and don’t forget the after-credit sequence (again setting up The Avengers).

Iron Man 2 (2010) – Rated PG-13

“If 2008’s Iron Man rocked your socks off, get ready – because the sequel just might melt your fillings. Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark, a billionaire weapons mogul now committed to maintaining world peace as his own mechanically enhanced alter ego. But our hero is definitely up against it this time around: not only does the U.S. government want control of his super suit, but he’ll also go toe to toe with Scarlett Johansson and (gulp) Mickey Rourke. This is rock’em sock’em popcorn fare at its finest.”

Iron Man 2 is not as much fun and nowhere near as tight the first Iron Man but it is still a blast. Black Widow/Natalie/Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) gets a fair amount of screen time to set up her role in The Avengers.

Robert Downey Jr. swaggers his way through this one – he makes a great Tony Stark. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Favreau return as Pepper Potts and Happy Hogan but Terence Howard is replaced by Don Cheadle as James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes. It’s a shame but both are fine actors.

Don’t forget the after credits scene that sets up Thor.

Captain America (2011) – Rated PG-13

“Patriotic but frail young man Steve Rogers wants nothing more than to serve his country, so he volunteers for a top-secret experimental military program. One hearty dose of Super Soldier Serum later, and Captain America is born. With his indestructible red-white-and-blue shield and rippling man muscles (wowsa!), Marvel Comics’ first Avenger springs into action to take on the deadly terrorist organization HYDRA, led by evil mastermind Red Skull.”

Captain America is NOT available until Sunday (8 pm I believe) but is a part of Marvel Heroes Weekend. Captain America is a bit slower paced than the other two movies but is still quite enjoyable. Strangely while the thing I most looked forward to in Captain America was Hugo Weaving as The Red Skull, he turned out to be not very impressive. Hugo Weaving was fantastic in The Matrix series, The Lord of the Rings series, and V for Vendetta but his German accent here is very jarring and undercuts his normally powerful delivery. On the other hand, Chris Evans was a lot better than I expected and Captain America’s earnestness is not played tongue-in-cheek.

With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story (2012)

“With Great Power explores the life of Stan Lee from the early days of his Depression era upbringing through the Marvel age of comics! The film uncovers original transcripts, illustrations, photographs and stories of Lee’s journey from his early years at Timely Comics, his military service, the comic book industry’s censorship battle of the 1950’s, the dawn of Marvel Comics and the legendary characters Stan co-created, to his current company POW! Entertainment.”

I have not seen this but look forward to catching it sometime this weekend.