Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Directed By – Joss Whedon

Screenplay By – Joss Whedon

Cinematography By – Ben Davis

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner & James Spader

141 min.

How do you top The Avengers? Joss Whedon doesn’t know that answer either as he merely doubles down on the formula that worked the first time around for Age of Ultron. A baddie who’s looking to destroy the world with an army of minions all of whom never give us even the slightest of scares that they will be able to stop any of our Avengers, makes for a lackluster second half to what could have been something really special.

I think what Whedon missed was that the strongest part of the plot is when Ultron’s focus is to destroy the Avengers. Instead that focus quickly disappears and Ultron refocuses on what do you think? Destroying the world, surprise surprise.

Also what Whedon forgot is that there is an extreme gratification for the audience when the good guys (The Avengers in this case) defeat the bad guys (Ultron in this case). Why I suggest that he forgot this is that he has Ultron clone himself over and over again until he has an Ultron army. Now while this might be useful to serve your “Let’s destroy the world because the humans are actually the evil ones” plot, it also becomes a law of diminishing returns as we watch The Avengers rip through Ultron after Ultron with no effort. So when the “real” or “ultimate” Ultron is actually conquered it’s a big whoopty-fucking-doo.

Is Age of Ultron immaculately crafted in terms of its action sequences and making it feel like all of it’s main characters get the screen time they deserve? Yes. Do all of the special effects and is the sheer amount of time it must of taken to coordinate everything mind blowing? Sure is. But is Age of Ultron just a shinier less original version of the first? Most definitely.

God Bless America

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directed By – Anthony Russo & Joe Russo

Screenplay By – Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely

Cinematography By – Trent Opaloch

Starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson & Robert Redford

136 min.

I fucking hate Marvel because of how big a sucker I am for them. But actually Winter Soldier is a fantastic movie and anyone who doesn’t like this movie doesn’t like fun.

Really what I’ve come to terms with is, what other kind of movies is Marvel, a comic book company, going to make besides comic book movies? Exactly. That’s why I am no longer going to hold a grudge against the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I do hate how they have changed Hollywood. The studios suck. They now all want to be Marvel, but Marvel is a comic book company. They manufacture superheroes. Which is fine, because that is what they do. But the studios have an obligation to their audience to give them new and original content and until the audiences start demanding this we will continue to get regurgitated crap because the studios feel they have to compete against Marvel’s stage 2, 3, 4…

Think long and hard about when the last time you saw an adventure movie that had original characters. Not based off of a comic book or a book, but truly original to the big screen. It is depressing how unoriginal our movies have become and I’m sick of it.

Now going back to Marvel and The Winter Soldier, Marvel doesn’t have this obligation to make new content, to create new characters, because this is their first big stand in movies.

The Winter Soldier is a badass film and one of the better Marvel movies to date. I am excited for the Marvel Cinematic Universe but studios need to realize that they are m-o-v-i-e studios that are only limited by imagination and their courage to support new content. The only reason there are movies like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones to make sequels and reboots out of is because someone at a large studio green lit these original stories. Marvel also needs to encourage studios to produce new content because if the only movies that come out of Hollywood are sequels, reboots, and superheroes than the rush to go see Marvel’s products will decrease as the viewing public will eventually turn on this unoriginal unimaginative bullshit.

God Bless America

Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)

Directed By – Matthew Vaughn

Screenplay By – Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn

Cinematography By – George Richmond

Starring Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson & Mark Strong

129 min.

Kingsman is pure fanboy entertainment. It follows the comic books pretty accurately which is nice. The changes they made work well, but there are strange moments of raunchiness and absurdism that come from left field every once in a while and I’m not sure if they help the movie or detract from it, although they definitely add humor.

Samuel L. Jackson gives a refreshingly fun performance and every time he’s on screen I had a smirk on my face.

Lastly, the scene in the church with Colin Firth is the most mind-boggling scene that has come out of Hollywood in a long long time and it was fucking banana-pants crazy!

God Bless America