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Movie Review: Avengers Age of Ultron (2015) *Phase 2 Ends With a BANG* EXTREME SPOILER WARNING

Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ultron, James Spader
It seems like only yesterday that Iron Man 3 kicked off Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and today it comes to a close with Avengers: Age of Ultron.  I’m going to structure this review differently than I typically do.  I want to get into spoilers and talk about each of the characters, the plot, the shockers, but I also don’t want to spoil it for people who didn’t wait 2.5 hours in line tonight to see a 2.5 hour movie.

Therefore, in this first section I am going to give you the absolute bare bones if you want to read a review before you head off to the theater this weekend like the rest of THE WORLD is doing.  Should you be worried about Chapter 11 in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe? NO.  Let’s cover any other general questions quickly so you may be on your merry way and I’ll even give you my rating:
1. This is as good, if not better than The Avengers.
2. Ultron is the most formidable villain yet in the MCU.
3. This film makes past films better and lays the groundwork for much of Phase 3.
4. There are no good places to run to the bathroom.
5. There IS NO POST-CREDITS SEQUENCE; just the mid-credits.
6. The Avengers each have a distinct arc in the midst of world-threatening chaos.
7. The team at the end of the film is VERY different from at the beginning both in composition and purpose.
8. This is the beginning of the transition from original cast to next.
9. Joss Whedon’s writing and themes throughout his career shine through much more in this film than the first.
10. Few characters have a happy ending, but the audience will be screaming (literally) as we gleefully turn the page into Phase 3.
9.50/10 STOP READING NOW TO AVOID ANY MORE DETAILS! Continue reading Movie Review: Avengers Age of Ultron (2015) *Phase 2 Ends With a BANG* EXTREME SPOILER WARNING

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!

No regular posts until after midnight as I am pre-gaming for my screening tonight of Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Hopefully, I will have enough energy once I return from 2.5 hours of staking out my seat and 3 hours in it to write the kind of review you all deserve.  THIS IS WHAT I DO FOR YOU GUYS!  I’m not saying I’m taking a fairly accurate replica of Mjolnr with me to fend off seat stealers, but….I may ….have already….said too much.  Avengers: Age of Ultron starts showing tonight and goes forth to smash Avatar’s record tomorrow!  SUMMER MOVIE SEASON IS FINALLY HERE!!!!!

PS – I know Joss Whedon has said there is no post-credit scene, only a mid-credit teaser.  Before you freak out, that would mean last time we WOULD have gotten Thanos and would NOT have gotten Schwarma.  I will stay through the entirety of the credits so you know if you have to or not.  You’re welcome.
Chris Evans, Captain America, Avengers: Age of Ultron

My Favorite Scene: The Cabin in the Woods (2012) *Every Monster Ever Including Angry Unicorn*

I hate horror movies.  Well, no, that’s too wide a statement, but for the most part I find the genre as eye-rollingly predictable as I do romantic comedies.  Then, every now and again, one comes along and scares the bejeebers out of me and I do appreciate those.  The Cabin in the Woods is the horror movie for people who love everything about horror movies, no matter if they’re good or bad.  Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, the team behind Angel and The Avengers and Daredevil while we’re at it, wrote this amazingly plausible reason to have these contrived situations arranged for a purpose.

I don’t want to give away the plot for anyone who hasn’t seen this, but there’s a point at which the monster stable used in the scenarios we’ve all seen a thousand times…..um……gets loose in an office complex.  It is spectacular and WARNING spectacularly bloody (I’m not kidding, this is a massacre) so if you haven’t seen the film and this is out of context, you may not appreciate why this isn’t really so much horrific as it is hysterically funny.  If you haven’t seen this, DO.  Brilliant spring surprise from three years ago that makes every crappy horror film I’ve ever seen worth it.

I know it’s kind of cheating to throw in a bonus, but if any scene in the whole film sums up the tongue-in-cheek, twisted meta horror that makes this film so brilliant it’s this bit when Bradley Whitford puts THE HARBINGER on speakerphone to mock him while he delivers portents of doom.

Avengers: The Infinity War Will Be Directed By The Russo Brothers!!!

Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos

 

Pretty much everything concrete I have is in the header, so if you want to bail now I’ll understand.  I’ll be hurt, but life goes on.  Much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe will go on once Joss Whedon goes off to create new worlds post-Avengers: Age of Ultron.  The Russo Brothers, who directed in my opinion the best MCU film thus far, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  They’re already making Captain America: Civil War (which is becoming so huge people are calling it Avengers 2.5.  I think this is a great choice, not only because they’re proven talents, but they’ll be shaping the movies to lead up to what is going to be the climax of everything since Iron Man: The Infinity War; the throwdown with Thanos.

I have no doubt the MCU will continue post Avengers Infinity War (which is scheduled as a two-part film in summers 2018 and 2019), but it will be the end of the first major story arc of the MCU.  I think a lot of casting changes will be made post AIW and new characters will be brought to the fore while the originals are retuned for another go.  Personally, I’m hoping FOX sells the Fantastic Four back to Marvel after what will be another colossal failure this summer so that Galactus can be our second EXTREME big bad.

POLL: WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE AVENGER?

The polls have closed, the people have spoken, and your favorite Avenger wears the red, white and blue!  This was a two-horse race the entire way.  Iron Man and Cap would flip flop back and forth, but in the end, Cap won out.  Tony Stark’s Iron Man finished a very respectable second, but I was shocked to see Hawkeye at third over Thor, Hulk and Black Widow (all of whom have had a huge boost in popularity in the Marvel Cinematic Universe).  Hawkeye’s best moment, honestly, so far was his cameo in Thor.  I love the character, and his book right now is one of the best Marvel books out there, but in the MCU, Jeremy Renner hasn’t had an “it” moment yet.

Despite the fact that all he’s done was open his eyes at the end of the third trailer, Vision got 4% of the votes while Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver got no love whatsoever.  Not even pity votes.  They’re going to have to earn some fan love in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opens May 1, 2015.  Thank you all who voted; a giant raspberry to those who did not; and we’ll have another poll up soon.
Avengers Age of Ultron