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Review: Avengers – Age of Ultron


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The most awaited sequel to mega blockbuster of 2012, Age of Ultron hit the theaters last week in theaters worldwide. Creating a sequel to a blockbuster as beloved and successful as The Avengers is something big for anyone to live upto. One of the reasons the film became such a massive hit because of the novelty of seeing these characters on screen for the first time ever on the big screen; something that was long thought to be impossible. After massive success of the first movie, the sequel would have to shake things up. Age of Ultron feels like writer/director Joss Whedon is constantly trying to outdo himself. For the most part, he is succeeds. The film is more ambitious, emotional, funnier, and darker than its predecessor. However, it’s also less coherent and streamlined. In an attempt to juggle so many characters and subplots, the film loses that magic of simplicity that made the first film so appealing.  Despite those misgivings, the film manages to still be a fun and engaging superhero epic that serves to kick off the summer movie season and serves as a proper farewell to Whedon from Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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For me Age of Ultron is a massive success but it fails to pull off everything with the grace and synergy. The movie is on a different scale unlike Avengers was. The movie is a massive balancing act, pulling in about a dozen important characters and trying to give them all something to do while also telling a cohesive, succinct narrative. The movie is a juggling act that Joss Whedon tries to maintain fairly well. While I was fairly satisfied while walking out of the theater the feeling was not as great as the first movie and there is where the problem is.

Most of the reviews are made comparing it with the first movie when they should not. Most of the reviews have complained about new characters, if there was a sequel without new characters there would still be complains. The movie outdoes the expectations that fans had after the announcement.

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Age of Ultron proves to be a massive entertainer from the beginning. It opens with an exciting, and an entertaining action sequence that reintroduces all of the characters and the dynamic they share as a team. The opening is right on point in nearly all aspects, and creates a sense of high energy and pacing that is never really lost. While there are slower moments in the movie (such as a mid-movie sequence at the Barton farm) the sense of energy is never halted because there’s always something happening that propels the story forward. Unlike with the opening act of the first Avengers film, which tended to lull in some segments as the team was pulled together, Age of Ultron quickly establishes an excellent sense of narrative pacing, and this is arguably one of the film’s greatest strengths.

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The movie shows a great pacing apart from action sequences. Joss Whedon and his team does their best to manage their time amongst the numerous threads that the plot weaves along with the way characters connect with each other. As a writer, Whedon manages to find a great way of doing this, incorporating minor details from previous Phase Two films to show that, yes, they were relevant, while also keeping the focus where it needs to be: the matters at hand, how the team operates, and how the characters evolve because of the ordeals they undergo.

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If The Avengers was about assembly, Avengers: Age of Ultron is about disassembly. The former played on their conflicting personalities while the latter plays on their fears and insecurities. Though Ultron may be the main antagonist of the picture, it’s our heroes who have themselves to fear. How can these people save the world when they can’t even save themselves? The internal struggle of these characters is trying to overcome their mistakes and pain. That is what raises the stakes in this film. The entire world is jeopardy, but it’s also a battle for the Avengers to save their souls.

The film is loaded with terrific action sequences. The Hulk vs Hulkbuster scene is everything you hoped it would be and more. Though there is a lot to take in from the set pieces, they never feel exhausting or overwhelming, despite it being clear Whedon is always trying to top what he accomplish in the first film. Though admittedly, it’s hard to feel sense of danger when you know these characters are going to be back for their individual movies including more Avengers sequels. As usual, each character gets their shining moment. The principal cast has grown into these roles to the point where they could pull them off in their sleep. A most notable improvement is Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), who after being relegated to Loki’s henchman for most of the first film, gets an integral and dynamic role among the team. Not to mention that he gets some of the best lines in the film. I wouldn’t be surprised if he emerged as fan-favorite after all is said and done.

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New additions to the cast vary. Thankfully, Ultron works for the most part and is miles ahead of just about all of the villains in Marvel films so far (which isn’t that hard when you look at how these villains were written). He’s surprisingly more snarky than people would expect an angry, maniacal robot to be. But that imbues the character with a personality that is sorely lacking from the rogue gallery in MCU. Joss Whedon admitted that the initial cut of the film was much longer. It comes out clear at many places as origin story for Quicksilver and Wanda comes out in a very rushed manner. Their origin is touched upon but in a very rushed manner. The Maximoff twins begin to work as characters as the film progresses, but there were missed opportunities to get audiences behind them early on. The breakout character of the film is hands down the Vision (Paul Bettany). While I won’t spoil his origin here, the film will leave you wanting to see more of especially since he does a fantastic job of making an impact in his first appearance.

The movie works and proves that Marvel Cinematic Universe is not going anywhere. Age of Ultron succeeds in teasing future movies with its supporting cast. The movie is entertaining but at the same time worries me about execution of future Marvel movies. It sets up Civil War, Wakanda and most importantly Infinity War and suffers with the same problem that Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man 2 suffered but on a very small scale. The summer has started with a bang and Marvel is going to rule.

Rating 8.5/10

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Movie Review – Captain America: The Winter Soldier


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Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the sequel to 2011 blockbuster Captain America: The First Avenger and follows up after events of Avengers. Captain America:TWS is one of the strongest films by Marvel Studios.

The plot of Captain America: TWS is simply mindblowing, two years after cataclysmic events of The Avengers Steve Rogers is trying to blend into the current world and is working as a SHIELD agent at the same time. The film sets in Washington DC where Cap is currently living and in the first sequence we are introduced to Sam Wilson who will take on the mantle of Falcon as the film proceeds, Wilson who is also a war vet and involved in secret rescue missions apparently has his own post war issues as revealed when Rogers runs into Wilson at a P.T.S.D. support meeting.

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The first action sequence is well done and serves as a precursor to how much the choreography has improved in Cap’s fighting. Cap’ along with his S.H.I.E.L.D. partner Black Widow (played by Scarlett Johansson) and Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillow) on a rescue mission aboard a ship taken over by French pirates. From the moment Cap’ boards the ship we are treated to a more impressive Captain America than seen in both The First Avenger and the Avengers. He is faster, more hard-hitting, and utilizes his shield in more creative and effective ways. This action scene was so impressive a late movie goer stumbled right into the middle of Cap’s fight scene with the main pirate and mistaken it’s intensity for the ending of the movie.
These sequences are also littered with great rapport building between Romanoff (Black Widow) and Rogers which continues throughout the movie. What’s so effective about these moments between Romanov and Rogers is that it’s done in a not so cheesy way. They portray a genuine friendship consisting of quips, interest in each one’s personal lives, and friendship. What’s also effective about the collaboration between the two is that they play off one another’s differences to their advantage in the field.

When the movie gains pace and the plot slowly begins to come to life, we realize the SHIELD is changing for worse. SHIELD is on a project to eliminate threats even before they start acting like a threat. Captain America as per his nature stands against what SHIELD is planning and in process makes himself public enemy #1.

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Among the villains in this film, the Winter Soldier is the standout amongst them.He’s cold, ruthless, brutal, scary, and an unstoppable force. Even when he is not in the film, his presence is felt throughout the film and how he’s been working in the shadows throughout the history.

When we slowly come to know that SHIELD has been infiltrated by HYDRA among every rank, Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon fight their way with destroying the project insight and in process getting some cool Easter Eggs.

Another villain played by Robert Redford’s character Alexander Pierce is as menacing and threatening as one can get. For the amazing actor Robert Redford is he made his presence and mission clear since the start of the movie and will go through any means possible to achieve it.

Russo Brothers about whom everyone skeptical when they were announced as the movie directors because they had nothing huge in their profiles actually proved to be an excellent choice to direct this film. It is great that they’ll be returning for the third installment that comes out in 2016.

Overall Captain America is an experience of the lifetime and the most solid entry by Marvel Studios.

Final Rating 5 out of 5

Wilson who is also a war vet and involved in secret rescue missions apparently has his own post war issues as revealed when Rogers runs into Wilson at a P.T.S.D. support meeting.
Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/DrBrooklyn/news/?a=97631#WTA8KHz2GiQ60hqv.99
Wilson who is also a war vet and involved in secret rescue missions apparently has his own post war issues as revealed when Rogers runs into Wilson at a P.T.S.D. support meeting.
Read more at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/DrBrooklyn/news/?a=97631#WTA8KHz2GiQ60hqv.99

(Know Your Movies) Captain America: The Winter Soldier


Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out this week on April 4th and everyone who is still trying to make up their mind if they should go watch this movie or not, here is why you should be watching this movie.

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The main characters

A look at the main characters in the film is as follows.

The Black Widow

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Natasha Romanov, aka the Black Widow debuted in Iron Man 2 and then in Avengers. At times there are occasional rumors of her getting a solo movie sometime in the future,she has been through an excellent character development. The Black Widow is a former soviet spy turned an Avenger and part time Agent of SHIELD. In comics as well in the MCU its been hinted that she has a romantic relation with Hawkeye so it is going to be intriguing how this is going to proceed in future movies.

Falcon

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The filmmakers were interested in adding more of a tactical design to the Falcon costume than was represented in the comic books. Accordingly, they incorporated a lot of real-world webbing, straps, and gear. The final result was a costume that retained the iconic parts of the Falcon costume but stripped away the more comic book elements that would not work in the modern day. The Falcon costume takes actor Anthony Mackie 25 minutes to put on.

Bucky

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In the comics, Bucky Barnes was Captain America’s young sidekick during World War II; a fresh-faced 18 year-old just old enough to enlist. Years later, it was revealed the Bucky’s innocent exterior was a cover for his true purpose: while Captain America was the stars and stripes, Bucky had secretly been trained to act as Black Ops assassin, killing high priority targets during the war. In the comics, Bucky was killed in the same accident that would put Captain America on ice; on film, he was killed in a separate incident, falling from a train.

The Winter Soldier

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Years later, it was revealed that Bucky had survived the explosion depicted above, at the cost of his left arm. He landed in Soviet territories, where he was resuscitated. Suffering from amnesia, he was given a cybernetic arm and reprogrammed to act as a Soviet operative throughout the cold war – codename Winter Soldier. During this time, he would form a relationship with a fellow Soviet operative – the Black Widow. When not out on mission, Bucky was kept in a cryo-stasis that preserved his body over the decades. It wouldn’t be until the 21st century that the Winter Soldier would come into conflict with his former partner, Captain America.

GSP – Batroc The Leaper

Reigning UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre plays a French mercenary in the film. For the filmmakers, landing the popular MMA fighter for the role was a stroke of luck and good timing but is was equally a stroke of luck for Georges St-Pierre who was excited to get his first chance at being in a big action movie.

NICK FURY

the legendary director of the international peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D, is back at headquarters in Washington, D.C., following the success of his special team, The Avengers, in repelling an alien invasion of New York City. Now Fury is faced with a hidden enemy that threatens to put the world at risk.

ALEXANDER PIERCE

A high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and personal friend of Nick Fury’s, Pierce is respected and politically connected. Often the person who interfaces with prominent world officials, he is polished and well spoken, and presents a credible face to the world on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Read list

read

Captain America: Winter Soldier (The Ultimate Collection). The entire Ed Brubaker run on Captain America has been amazing but this one is more important of all.

The sequel pick-ups where The Avengers left off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and teams up with Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, to battle a powerful yet shadowy enemy in present-day Washington, D.C.

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Chris Evans returns as the iconic superhero Steve Rogers/Captain America, along with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. The Winter Soldier character, played by Sebastian Stan, was created for Marvel comics by Ed Brubaker in 2005. Though the character of Bucky Barnes existed previously in the Captain America comic books, he was killed off in WWII and not resurrected until Brubaker brought him back as the Winter Soldier.

Chris Evans truly had mixed martial arts training as the fighting techniques he employed in the film were a mixture of Parkour, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, karate, and boxing. The filmmakers believed that bringing Steve Rogers into the modern day also meant that he had studied and mastered modern fighting styles and techniques. Evans also willingly engaged in gymnastics training. That training had a big payoff when it came time to shoot fight sequences like the Elevator Fight.

Captain America gets a new “stealth” suit—a navy blue, utilitarian-looking suit that moves fluidly. Since Captain America is working in special ops in the new film, it was only logical that he would not be wearing a target on his chest when on clandestine missions. So the filmmakers opted for a suit that would have texture and look more real world with a Kevlar-based ballistic component that would protect Captain America but at the same time function like a military uniform.

Triskelion. Fans will get to see multiples of the 2.0 version of the helicarrier as well as S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters based in a building called the Triskelion in Washington, D.C. The Triskelion is a newly designed, state-of-the-art facility that fits seamlessly into the backdrop of Washington.

Here is the official synopsis for Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C., and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widown, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.