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Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is like a new episode of the biggest, most expensive TV show of all time. It’s not the event that the first movie was, and it might not be as Earth-shattering as I expected, but Age of Ultron is nonetheless a fun, exciting and action-packed movie starring all of our favorite superheroes. And therein lies my biggest complaint, which is really a non-complaint.

There’s a familiarity to Age of Ultron that leads to contentment. The movie doesn’t really give us anything new to get excited about, instead delivering just another solid chapter in this ongoing saga.

Movie Rating: 8/10 – Very Good.

I liken Age of Ultron to a TV show because that’s exactly what it felt like while I was watching. I may have been in a packed movie theater, and it’s been three years since the last episode, but Ultron was definitely the ‘monster-of-the-week’ in the latest episode of The Avengers. All of our favorite characters are back, their friendly, comfortable banter is exactly what we’d expect, and everything is more or less tied up in a nice, tidy bow by the end. Lessons are learned, a little romance is slipped in, and now we just sit back and wait for the next episode.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt this way with any movie sequel before. It’s a weird feeling.

But the episodic feel doesn’t keep the movie from being entertaining. It’s an exciting film from beginning to end. In the big picture sense, the movie is amazing. But when you step back and really think about all the moving parts, it’s not without some flaws. Director Joss Whedon juggles a few too many characters, so that some get a lot of attention — like Hawkeye, in some standout moments — while others are little more than props — like Thor, who spends most of his time dropping hints about future movies.

The new characters are a mixed bag. The titular villain, Ultron, is too entertaining to be menacing. That’s an odd way to describe a super villain, but it’s exactly how actor James Spader pulls it off.

I like Age of Ultron, a lot. It’s not as good at the first Avengers film, largely because the spectacle has worn off, but also for a lot of little reasons. Yet overall, it’s another exciting film in my favorite franchise of all time, despite those little reasons.

Join me after the jump for my full, detailed review. And there will be SPOILERS!

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6 Thoughts on the First Season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been over for a few weeks now, and I would have done this list sooner, but Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past had to be addressed (and both were entertaining movies). I’ve come to the general conclusion that I don’t think I would be a very good TV reviewer. I don’t have the time or energy to really tackle each episode when it airs, and I’m pretty subjective when it comes to TV. So in order to tackle these popular shows, I like to wrap up my thoughts in a List of Six.

Expect my thoughts on the second season for Arrow next week. And today, let’s talk about the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.!

What a pain in the butt title to have to write out

First things first, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t live up to the hype. There’s no way around it. This was billed as a TV tie-in to the amazing Marvel Cinematic Universe, produced by Joss Whedon himself, and the hype was through the roof last Summer. But I think we can all agree that the show just didn’t measure up. But I stuck with it every week and saw every episode, and I’m going to be tuning in next season. So you better believe I have some thoughts.

Join me after the jump! Also, expect FULL SPOILERS for the entire first season.

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Speaking of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Check out this new, three-minute long preview for Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.

That just looks fantastic. It’s witty, Agent Coulson is awesome, and it sounds a lot like what my List of Six was about earlier today. It seems these agents are going to investigate superheroes, and my boy J. August Richards is playing one of them. Internet speculation puts Richards as playing Rage, from the New Warriors. If you look at the Marvel logo at the start of the clip, with all the comic book panels flashing by in the background, you can see Rage in the panels. Why would they put someone like Rage in that logo buzzer if he didn’t matter?

And having Rage show up in the show is exactly like what I based my list on: random Marvel characters getting a cameo or guest spot on the show! Perfect! It’s like I can see the future, or something.

So attention, Joss Whedon, if you read today’s List of Six, feel free to use any of my ideas free of charge (and then hire me to write for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).

I could make this look good

First Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Promo!

Joss Whedon is soon to be back on TV! Here’s our first look at the new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I think it looks pretty neat. As we all know, Joss Whedon is a master of the TV arts, and any show he makes is bound to be amazing. The fact that it’s based in the Marvel Movieverse and stars Agent Coulson is just icing on this delicious cake! I can only hope that the show will be filled with juicy Marvel Universe Easter Eggs and cameos!

Joss Whedon Reads My Blog!

Or at least that’s what I have to assume based on the idea that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch have been all but confirmed for Avengers 2! And they were No. 5 on my list of the 6 Avengers That I Absolutely Want to See in Future Movies. So by the mathematical process of ‘I’m Awesome’, we can naturally assume that Joss Whedon was trying to think up what to put into Avengers 2, he saw my blog post, and boom, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch!

Yep, brother and sister…

Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily set in stone. But follow this logic.

Last week, Joss Whedon dropped this bombshell during an interview:

“I try not to think of it as topping it. I try to think of this as its own movie,” he replied. “Sometimes, yeah, I feel pressure […] But when you’re in the story and you’re dealing with these characters that you love, that everybody loves, when you’ve got the new characters sliding in next to them it’s very exciting. Then I don’t feel pressure, it’s like I’m reading my favorite comic.” He continued, “I’ve got these two characters … two of my favorite characters from the comic book … a brother-sister act … they’re in the movie …”

That’s pretty clear to us comic book geeks that he means Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, who are twins.

Then this week, Entertainment Weekly puts out an article on Iron Man 3, and they write that an unnamed source has confirmed that the two characters are in the movie. EW confronted Marvel Movie Guru Kevin Feige about it, and Feige had this to say:

“I’m not confirming or denying. The draft could change six months from now.”

Which, despite his best efforts to remain mum, pretty much confirms that the two characters are in Joss Whedon’s first draft of the script. And while the movie is a long ways off, you just have to know it’s already in pre-production. A lot of work has to go into securing which characters appear in the movie, I imagine, especially these two. Because of licensing rights disputes, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch would require a lot of work, so I doubt Whedon is just tossing them around into scripts all willy nilly.

Feige said in April 2012 that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are in an odd place when it comes to the licensing rights. The two characters have always been known in the comics as Avengers…but they’re also both mutants, and the children of Magneto, which would theoretically put them in the X-Men films, which are owned by Fox. But Feige said last year that the rights are shared by both Marvel and Fox, and since Fox hasn’t put either of them in their X-Men films, perhaps they’re free for Marvel and Joss Whedon to use in Avengers 2.

Suffice to say, this is awesome news and I really hope the two characters make it into the sequel. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were amazing in The Ultimates, and they could be amazing in the next Avengers movie.

Also, Joss Whedon is more than welcome to keep reading my blog for ideas.

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