August’s poll asked the question, “Who’s the best baddie so far?” when it comes to the 13 films and four TV series that have so far made up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel bucked the established trend in comic movies before Iron Man, which was that the villain was the centerpiece of the film and the hero’s journey was shaped by their adversary. Marvel’s films and series are very much hero-centric. The readers had no doubt as to whom the top villain was. Tom Hiddleston’s god of mischief was the star of Phase One of the MCU, and continued to expand his character in Phase Two, and I’m sure will have an impact in Phase Three both in Thor: Ragnarok, but in the Infinity War, as well. Continue reading POLL Results: Best MCU Villain
August’s poll asks the question, “Who’s the best baddie so far?” when it comes to the 13 films and four TV series that have so far made up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel bucked the established trend in comic movies before Iron Man, which was that the villain was the centerpiece of the film and the hero’s journey was shaped by their adversary. Marvel’s films and series are very much hero-centric. The villains tend to spring out of the origins or plot journey of the hero rather than, say, X-Men or Sony’s Spider-Man or past DC movies, which put the villain first. Continue reading POLL: Best MCU Villain
There’s an old saying amongst people who compulsively read comic books that heroes are only as good as their villains. The Marvel Cinematic Universe just churned out MCU #12 with Ant-Man (click here for review), and now we’re on a sad break until Netflix’s Jessica Jones in the fall. If there’s a systemic flaw in the franchise it is that, while the heroes have been cast and developed near-perfectly, the villains have not gotten the same treatment.
Sadly, this is-in part-because a lot of Marvel’s best villains are locked into the X-Men and Fantastic Four lots that are owned by other studios. The Red Skull was completely mishandled in Cap 1, and I don’t believe for a second he’s dead so hopefully they’ll give him his due the second time around. In fact, if Tom Hiddleston hadn’t nearly stolen Phase 1 from Iron Man, we’d be talking about this as a real problem. Hiddleston’s Loki is so good that the temptation is to overuse him because he’s SO GOOD. Norse gods don’t age though, and Hiddleston will, so the smart move is to spend more time developing antagonists with depth equal to the heroes. That will probably have to start with Dr. Strange, because in Captain America: Civil War, the heroes are going to be pounding on each other.
1. Wilson Fisk (Daredevil)
I think, and we’ll see if the fall’s Jessica Jones proves me right, that the best villains are going to come out of the Netflix shows. They have what the movie villains lack: time. The Kingpin doesn’t appear until the end of the fourth episode of the series, but his presence is there from the pilot. D’Onofrio didn’t just make him a thug or a refined crime boss or a bully. He made him a scared little boy trying to mold his world like a child building a train set. Nuanced, brilliant and explosively dangerous, the Kingpin is the new standard for what a Marvel villain can be.
2. Loki (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers)
I know, I know, you think he should be number one. He certainly was until April. He’s been in the most films of every villain (he was cut from Age of Ultron or he’d have been in four) and we’re certainly going to see him again. Loki is a character, like all the Asgardians, that could have come off corny and dumb, but Hiddleston just ate scenery like a mulcher every time he was onscreen. The best part about him, though, is he’s NOT pure evil, he does love his brother, he just also wants to rule the world. He has depth that only D’Onofrio topped and he had more time to develop it.
3. The Winter Soldier (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Oh he’s not much of a talker, but for sheer menace and ability, The Winter Soldier hit Cap and company like a freight train. I did not like Sebastian Stan in the first Cap film, but I will give him all the props in the world for making TWS a foe that made the Red Skull look like a pussycat (which is actually a problem, but not Stan’s fault).
4. Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Between Ultron and The Blacklist, I live in a world where I like James Spader. However did that happen? Spader did a great job with Ultron. He’s a child, learning at an exponential rate and if he sounds like Stark….you have to remember he kind of is. That is the scary thing and that, I think, will lead us to Civil War.
5. Whiplash (Iron Man 2)
I know Iron Man 2 has its detractors, but rewatch it and look how much it sets up for Phase 2. If you had told me that Whiplash was going to somehow be made cool, I’d have passed you some very tasty pills, but Mickey Rourke managed to put actual menace in him and the scene where he compares his family to the Starks while Tony visits him in prison is one of my favorite in the MCU.
Marvel Studios has officially revealed details on the home video release of this year’s blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. The film will debut on 3D Digital and Digital HD on September 8 and on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital SD and VOD on October 2! In addition, the bonus materials for the release were announced and include:
From The Inside Out – Making Of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron
The Infinite Six
Deleted & Extended Scenes [With Audio Commentary By Joss Whedon]
Audio Commentary With Director Joss Whedon
Avengers: Age of Ultron is the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill and Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Bettany becomes Vision.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Patricia Whitcher, Stan Lee and Jon Favreau serve as executive producers. Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron has grossed over $1.37 billion at the global box office.
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