Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron (SPOILER FILLED) MOVIE REVIEW




Avengers: Age Of Ultron starts out with a very comic book-y, Joss Whedon-y, giant fight sequence between the Avengers vs. what remains of the evil organization H.Y.D.R.A. led by Baron Strucker somewhere in the high a snowy part of Europe. The Avengers mission is to retrieve the Loki's Sceptre from Baron and as they were able to infiltrate the base and knock out Baron, they run in with the Maximoff Twins, Pietro the speedster and Wanda the weird mind bender. As Peitro shows off his ability against some Avengers, Wanda sneaks and messes up Tony Starks mind with vision; the defeat (and perhaps death) of The Avengers after they went on with a round 2 match against the Chitauri. 

Frightened by this, Tony Stark had a brilliant idea on how to prevent such trouble and damage, proceed with the Ultron program with the use of Loki's Sceptre. Because he's Tony Stark, he kept this a secret from his teams mates, except from an dismayed-Bruce Banner and went on to pursue with his plans and thus Ultron is born.

Unfortunately, Ultron (as an artificial intelligence) is displeased with how the humans run the world (or atleast with what he saw) thus set out a plan to make things right, restore peace by eliminating all human life form. So he kills the other artificial intelligence in the room J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at the Avengers Tower as he caught them off guard. 

The Avengers disassembled (pun intended) Ultron but his consciousness traveled through the internet and this makes every single one of our superheroes mad at Stark. Jumping back to the twins, Pietro and Wanda were contacted by Ultron, now with a new body and promises them that together they will destroy the Avengers.

Team Ultron and The Avengers faced again once more at the cargo ship of Ulysses Klaue, a smuggler on the strongest metal on earth vibranium, which is what Ultron is after for. The Avengers failed to subdue Team Ultron as they got their heads messed up by Wanda with visions. Natasha under going the Black Widow program, Steve with his dream dance with Peggy Carter, Thor with something bad going on in Asgard and Bruce with something that makes him mad. Probably a sad, disappointing and furious face of Betty Ross knowing this growing thing going on with him and Natasha. As Bruce is forced to wreck havoc in South Africa as Hulk, a back-up less Iron Man pursues him with his Hulkbuster armor. Now in what point of time did Tony made this armor and what made him do this armor? I don't know, they never said, just roll with it. 

Because of the incident, The Avengers had to go hiding for a while at a barn which turned out to be Clint Barton's home with his wife and kids, which brings our heroes to an internal turmoil among themselves. Thor temporarily left the team to pursue some unanswered questions from his visions. Nick Fury randomly shows up to be this not-a-director-but-a-concerned-old-man. 

Ultron uses the vibranium to create a new artificial intelligent life form, powerful and bent with his vision. The Avengers knew about this so Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow went on a sparring match with Ultron and his buddies through South 'Korea, or atleast Seoul to steal the Ultron's new A.I. that is still in process. They successfully snatched the packaged and they were able to bring a long a now convinced-that-The-Avengers-are-good-and-Ultron-is-bad Maximoff twins, but Black Widow is kidnapped. 

The Avengers had a small fight among themselves, a sample of a physical confrontation that foreshadows Captain America: Civil War (Captain America v Iron Man, yes it really did happen, but it was short) as they were debating whether it is a good idea to activate Ultron's A.I. and probably use it against him. Thor interferes the fight and activates the A.I. who keeps saying the word vision, thus maybe we should call him Vision. Thor did this because he had some sort of clarity from his premonition, which we never really saw get resolved. Thor concluded that it is okay to trust Vision, since he carried his mighty hammer. 

Steve called it enough, it's payback time and put an end to this. So with all they got, they pursued Ultron who took over Baron's base and terrorizes a city nearby, but before doing so they made sure everyone got out of the city and save Black Widow, or so they thought. Before they could get anyone out, Ultron unveiled his ultimate plan. It is to create a gigantic propeller with the vibranium, carry half of the city into orbit with it and strike the earth down with the floating city like a meteorite in hopes to create an explosion powerful enough to wipe humanity, I kid you not, this is his plan. Thus embarks on a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonngg roller coaster of action, destruction, superheroes vs. robots. 

As you might have guessed it, The Avengers thwarted Ultron and his plan with a little help from Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. who just randomly pop-out of nowhere to help and with them is War Machine. Lots of casualty and one in particular is the life of one of the heroes; Pietro. Yes, it is Pietro who died. Ultron is "killed" by Vision and mission accomplished. 

Sometime has passed, the New Avengers head quarters was formed. Iron Man and Thor left The Avengers, Hulk went missing after the fight with Ultron, which made Natasha sad, and Captain America formed the New Avengers; War Machine, Falcon, Vision, Wanda Maximoff, Black Widow and of course, Captain America. With one epic final shot the last lines (from Captain America) are "Avengers, Assemble!", but before he could say the second word the screen cuts to black into the credit scenes. 

There is no after-credit scene, but there is a mid-credit scene. With Thanos, finally getting his hands on the Infinity Gauntlet and says the words "finally, I will handle this myself.." or something like that. I think I'm paraphrasing it, but I'm pretty sure he said something like that. 

In terms of visual entertainment, I liked this movie a lot. There are a lot of action sequences and a lot to choose from. The final fight was long, very long. I really like the humor in this film, there is a good amount of them. Some of the work, others don't, but that's normal. The characters interactions are top notch, especially the way how they unconventional relate themselves to each other as monsters and how we the audience segregate the good monsters from the bad monsters. 

There are certain things I don't understand though like, why does Ultron hate being related/compared to Tony Stark when he acts, thinks and speaks so much like Tony Stark?

I didn't mind the build-up to the Black Panther movie with Ulysses Klaue, I initially though it was going to feel forcefully stuffed, but it worked out just fine. 

The visions the Avengers had were visually haunting. We get a better look to Natasha's past in the Black Widow program. We get to see Steve feeling incomplete as he really didn't witnessed and experienced the end of the war and also his supposedly dance with Peggy Carter, thus showing him how much of a war freak he is. 

It is those Thor that makes me scratch my head. It is about asgardians partying to their death and Heimdall blaming their impending doom to Odinson. So he went to see Erik Selvig to get some sort of resolution from this that we never got to see. But it did contribute to the story, still this a big question mark on my book. 

Now there's this thing with Black Widow and Hulk. Practically, it wanted to show how tormented these two souls are and shows that they are destructive monsters of the team. But it's hard to get invested with this. But to the grander scheme of things, this just felt random. Not in a bad way though, but let's just say it wasn't as touching and moving as it should. 

I was really pumped up to see the New Avengers and this made me intrigued to see this roster in action. 

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron hits theaters this April.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Spoiler-Free) MOVIE REVIEW


After 2 and so years of waiting, we now have the opportunity to witness the first of many (hopefully) sequel to the massive-behemoth The Avengers (2012) and Writer/Director Joss Whedon's swan song to the franchise, Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

This Hulk-sized sequels is jam packed with action, adventure and humor that we all loved from the first film, but now with a dash of dimness with what could possibly the darkest movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2. 

Everyone and everybody just wanna know, is this movie better than The Avengers? Did it exceed all expectations? Now to answer the questions.

Realistically, Ultron failed to recapture the magic of the first film. You know? that feeling of thrill and excitement of seeing our beloved heroes on-screen side-by-side for the first time. For me, this is plainly unfair for the film. This is simply because the film isn't trying to do so. The first scene of the film is one epic action sequence with The Avengers already in the midst of action. No, this isn't the first time you saw them kicking butts, wrecking stuff and exchanging witty banters. As the how the film quotes it, Ultron simply "run with it" and you should too. The magic from the first film is now off the table, Ultron is a different kind of magic. 

In terms of entertainment value, Ultron never felt short in pleasing it's audience. There is a good amount of fight scenes that could pretty much satisfy anyone. You want Iron Man vs. Ultron? Done. Captain America vs. Ultron? Sure. Thor vs. Ultron? Why Not? These and more of it, it's there to punch its way in through your eyes and will blow your mind. 

Oh and did I say the witty banters? Yes, they never go away and they are as many as the punches each Avengers threw. Well maybe not, but you get the point. Writer and director Joss Whedon knew that he needed fire extinguishers to the heat, a tasty snack to cool off the chili and so he delivers. 

The film also took its time to focus more on the relationships and connections between each Avengers and how it contributes to the menacing scheme of the titular villain, Ultron. 

Ultron (James Spader) acted more like Tony Stark's twisted reflection than being the Pinocchio to Stark's Geppetto. It's interesting to see how these face-off each other, both physically and mentally. 

Tonally, Ultron in many ways is similar to the first film, but different on others. It's bigger, bolder, tougher, darker, but with all these changes is still very comfortable on its own skin. It's a very comic book-ish movie and most probably the most out of all the Phase 2 movies and it proudly wears it. 

Now this is where the rest of the disappointment comes from.  

The story itself isn't as solid and focused as one would say. In movies like this, it's hard to become emotionally invested to the grand scheme of things especially in the ones that you should, when they're not selling it to you very well. Why is thing here? Why is this person there? Should I ship this? There are certain elements of the story that just doesn't work simply because they're not earned  and some make you feel the movie is just dragging on and makes you say "I don't care about this" because you simply feel the need to be invested to real deal and not be distracted with this certain plot points that leads to future films, but just makes the movie clustered with more stuff. A person can only chew so much until that person unintentionally spits some of the food and drool with saliva. Plus the final act started with so much energy and power and it never stops until when it ended the whole thing just felt anti-climatic. These are some of the prominent problems or blockbuster movies particularly superhero films and this film did nothing about it, except they just roll with it. 

Between this and the first film, I like Ultron  better. Because visually it's more entertaining, plus the fact that it's bigger and meaner. But bigger and meaner isn't always better I might say. 

So if you're a person who this movie change your mind about your own personal negative thoughts about superhero flicks in general, if you wanted to see a movie that would prove Birdman wrong, there's a good chance this movie might disappoint you. But worry not die-hard and casual fans, Avengers: Age Of Ultron is fun and energetic enough to keep you entertained, thus making it a solid sequel. 

Score: B+ 

Marvel's Avengers Age Of Ultron hits theaters this April.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Batman Vs. Robin MOVIE REVIEW

Batman Vs. Robin is a direct-to-video animated film which is part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies. It is a direct sequel to last year's Son Of Batman. Voice actors Jason O'Mara, Stuart Allan, David McCallum and Sean Maher reprise their respective roles.

In the film, Batman and Robin continues to clash in regards to their trust issues with each other. In the midst of the struggle is the re-emergence of an old-school local criminal secret society, the Court Of Owls. Batman and Robin must then decide if they are to face the threat as a unified team or to give-in to the Court Of Owls schemes of turning the dynamic duo against one another.

Batman Vs. Robin has undeniably improved from its predecessor. The film tries to be a bit more focused on having the audience by into the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Damien Wayne, who is Batman and Robin respectively incase you didn't know, as opposed to how Son Of Batman did it, which felt it dragged on for centuries. Most of the main plot points were fleshed out just fine. Do keep in mind that the film is extremely focused on Batman and Robin so they take the lion's share of the film's attention, sorry Nightwing and Alfred fans. 

Now I don't really have any problems with the characters and how they were written, except one, Damien Wayne. I don't know, I'm just not a fan of this kid. Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy Son Of Batman that much.

The animation is still top notch, though most character designs seems a bit off. The voice actors did a great job, it's like they're aware that they're aware that they have to do better than last time and they certainly did. 

Director Jay Oliva usually hits the mark on directing animated fight scenes, which is a lot in this film. The final 20 minutes or so (I lost track) was just an endless onslaught of fight scenes and each fight scene keeps getting better than the last.

Now of course, we wouldn't call this movie Batman Vs. Robin if there wasn't any fight between Batman and Robin. Though I'm not gonna tell you who won the fight, it was still very satisfying to see. Compare to the final fight between Batman and Red Hood in Batman: Under The Red Hood, this fight is a tad bit shorter but is still packed.

While I wouldn't call this as one the finest DC Animated films, Batman Vs. Robin still did a good job at improving from its predecessor. I would say it could have been more, but at the same it could have been worse. It's a fun time for Bat-fans and a must have for any fan boy out there. 

Intense fight scenes
Better writing
Moderate entertainment value
Almost unapologetic brutal and obscene

Felt longer

Score: B

Batman Vs. Robin arrives at April 14, 2015

More News Around The Net