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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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Hypocrisy of DC comics’ fanboys


The Dark Knight Rises came out and went, didn’t did that magic like the previous movies did, and the time when I felt how hypocrites and shallow are DC comics fanboys, no different than those working at that company.

This was the third Batman movie by Christopher Nolan and is supposed to be the last, of which I am not sure because chances are that he may return for a reboot and spoil Batman’s stories once again. Dc comics are not going to give a Justice League movie, neither a decent Green Lantern movie right now nor they have such plans to do so in future.  There is hope that they are going to do Superman right.

In past few years Superman didn’t got any decent storyline as all the love and attention after Batman begins went to Detective Comics only which Action comics kept coming out with average stories and nothing more than that. Today a average reader who goes to buy DC comics knows only Batman and because of that he knows Justice League. These average movie retards think that DC comics publish only Batman and there is no need to make other movies because they are not cool, too lame and not realistic.

A comic book company should make movies to sell its comic books and get new readers, but in case of DC comics vice versa is happening and other than Detective Comics all of them have average sales record while Marvel is reaching new heights day by day. One must not ignore its other characters just because one of them is more popular than others. Marvel never ignored any of its characters just to popularize and sell one.  DC fanboys simply accept anything that they get and they know that they are never going to get a Justice League movie ever so they are pitching in with Batman series. Something is better than nothing it seems.

The Dark Knight Rises spoiler-filled review


We’ve waited 4 years for this movie since they announced about making it. Was it worth the wait? Well, I will give my thoughts on the film, while discussing the spoilers in full detail so please leave if you don’t want to read about them.

First of all, let me begin by saying that this is a very beautifully shot film and hats off to Wally Pfister (who started out making low-budget erotic thrillers and is now one of the most sought-after cinematographers out there and lets hope he won’t disappoint with his own feature film either). The dark places are very dark, the lights are “blinding”, as Bane would say and in the middle of all the despairingly grey Gotham we get big fires and explosions of bright red, orange and yellow, which create an interesting visual sense of contrast, which tells us about one of the many themes of the film: mirrors (be they psychological, thematical or otherwise).

From the first scene where Bane kidna’s a scientist and then crashes a plane the message given waas: escape is impossible and bane is totally in control.The pit scenes were brilliant and reminder of batman begins at the same time and show that Bruce Wayne actually has to grow up and best the fear he never had: the fear of dying because, ultimately, the idea of batman is a deathwish: the legend that can go on without the man implies that the end of the individual is something that Bruce Wayne is totally comfortable about. He has to learn to fear dying (=appreciate living) in order to lay down his life for others so that it feels like a proper sacrifice and Nolan understands that difference.

This film is much closer to Batman Begins than the Dark Knight where theme is concerned as Bruce wayne is the main focus and the entity of batman creeps in as a sort of afterthought.  Nolan gives the events of TDK enough momentum to have a lasting impact on the everyone including Batman and whoever is around him and the story works. Bruce wayne lost the love of his life but had no time to really let that affect him in the previous film. now the threat of the Joker and Two-face has been defeated at least superficially and batman has retired. That choice did not seem odd in the least bit, especially in a world of “heightened reality”, as the hero has been physically and emotionally crippled and the city has tasted the first breath of fresh air since…probably ever. but that air may just be poisonous because Bane recognizes the lies by reading a kidnapped Gordon’s speech the latter had originally prepared for Harvey Dent Day, decides it’s an undeserved achievement and does everything he can to bring down the lie and burn the city down. So batman obviously has to come back. The fact that the final fight takes place during daylight seems important enough to be mentioned: the night is over and dawn is finally upon us.

Coming to the cast Hardy is phenomenal and intimidating as Bane and it’s all in his eyes and body language. the way he looks, the way he holds his vest, the almost casual way in which he snaps Ben Middleson’s face. Tom hardy presents a very different form of terror: he is a sympathetic villain. Audience feel connected to him and feel bad fr his condition. Bane is the anti-batman, both mentally and physically. But it’s not just that: this version of Bane has a link to the League of Shadows, he does everything he does to prove his love and devotion to someone else (very much a motivation that Bruce embraced in Batman Begins to show Rachel his good nature, albeit with an objective that considers also the happiness of others) and even his voice is rough and grumbling (I could understand him perfectly by the way). Bane just wants to show how evil he can be so he can be loved, and maybe save the innocence of a young child born in hell. Which is totally in line with how that relationship was approached in the comics. Does this character suffer if one compares him to the joker? Yes but ONLY because peope expected a similar kind of villain, when bane and the joker could not be any more different.

Miranda Tate, as played by marion Cotillard, is a nice addition and does bring everything full circle and there was very little that made you see the big twist at the end unless you had been on the nternet beforehand and seen pictures of her in the Talia outfit.

Anne Hathaway is good but still no closer to her comic book counterpart. I hardly recall if she was called Catwoman in the movie,I my opinion she was just added to fill in too many non comic book lesser casts in the movie. Her outfit was solid but still no tail no cat eyes mean no Catwoman for me. She was just a feline theif who wanted to start a new life.

Michael Caine as Alfred got some of the best emotional depth out of the character and it is an understandable reaction that Alfred would, eventually, leave Bruce because that’s what people do in real life and John blake says so as well: they want you to get over your problems and they’re understanding until they see that the problem doesn’t get fixed, at which point they leave you. John “Robin” Blake (JGL) is a character that was another forced addition to the film adding the Robin reference in the film sounded forced and out of context. He was one of the most useless character in the entire trilogy just to be part of a cliched ending. Morgan freeman and Gary Oldman all have their moment to shine and now cannot imagine the characters looking any different in teh comics because that’s what this review inevitably boils down to: Nolan “gets” batman and his supporting characters, be they friend or foe.

Now some of the negative points (and they are few): the film is a bit rushed (some scenes could have been improved by devoting more time to them and it would have fleshed out the characters even more. The way Bruce wayne’s broken back gets fixed asks us to suspend our disbelief almost to the breaking point but Bale’s and Tom Hardy’s acting save it. The villain’s death is not all that spectacular but in this world of hard truths and inevitable consequences it’s easy to believe that people die in rather stupid ways sometimes. Also, since anne Hathaway is so good you miss her whenever she’s not on screen but that’s just a testament to the incredible character Hathaway and Nolan have created. Some minor continuity issues and moments of suspension of diselief were also there but had i not read about them before going into the film i wouldn’t have noticed so take that with a grain of salt. A good movie is one that makes you forget about this sort of stuff.

Not the best of the series yet an awesome movie. That’s why I give The Dark Knight Rises a well-deserved 8.0/10.