Avengers: Age Of Ultron: A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Avengers: Age Of Ultron: A (Not So) Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

With Avengers: Infinity War opening this week, Phil’s Quick Capsule Review will be rerunning the reviews of some of our favourite Marvel Films! 

So the bigger, louder, more action packed sequel arrives in cinemas with a weight of expectation on it’s shoulders, a weight sadly even it’s great cast & solid director just can’t live up to. Even if it’s still likely to smash box office records globally…

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad film BUT even I’m getting a bit bored of this formula now and in an age when Guardians and Winter Solider did it differently enough to stand out from the crowd, Ultron just seems a bit of a backward step delivering us action, humour and character beats we’ve seen countless times before.

Starting with some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a long time, the film rattles along at a pace with action scene after action scene, adding more and more characters along the way. Problem is, like I noted above, we’ve seen it all before and, except for the Hulk vs Iron man bit, there was little that really got me excited – especially as the film ends in pretty much a repeat of Avengers Assembles impressive last 40 minutes (hordes of faceless bad guy getting pummelled by CGI Avengers). Yes the humour’s here once again, as is the stand out character interactions, but this time it feels more forced and whilst Ultron, the titular foe for this Avengers outing, is solid good creation voiced expertly by Spader, he lacks the charisma of say a Loki, as is always the way when it’s a purely CGI creation.

So for me this is one of the weaker Marvel films, not because it’s badly made, but because familiarity surely now is starting to breed contempt and with another 5 years of Superhero films in the works I just wonder what they can do different now to stop the inevitable decline of this genre of films.

 

Rating:

 

Author: Phil Hobden

 

To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download the Filmsploitation podcast, part of the All Things Film network. 

Phil’s Top 5… American’s Doing British Accents

Phil’s Top 5… American’s Doing British Accents

Other Cr*p Top 5

Each week Phil, from Phil’s Quick Capsule Review, takes a look at a different movie or TV related Top Five.  This time out: we take a look at American Actors Doing British Accents

 

5 – Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”

 

 


4 – Natalie Portman as Evey in “V for Vendetta” (2005):

 


3 – Renée Zellweger as the title character in “Bridget Jones’s Diary”

 


2 – Robert Downey Jr. as the titular British detective “Sherlock Holmes”

 


1 – Gwyneth Paltrow in “Shakespeare in Love” (1998)

 

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Avengers: Age Of Ultron Reviewed

Blog: Grosse Point Geek – Avengers: Age Of Ultron Reviewed

A Blog Grosse Point Geek Uncategorized

Grosse Point Geek casts his geeky eye on the latest Marvel Release, Age Of Ultron. 
Director: Joss Whedon
Actors: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johanssen, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, James Spader

After the Avengers successfully retrieve Loki’s missing sceptre from the evil clutches of H.Y.D.R.A. Tony Stark (Downey Jr) and Bruce Banner (Ruffalo) secretly use its powers to create the Ultron program – an advanced AI defence system that, once operational, will  protect Earth from another Chitauri style hostile attack. Naturally the plan all goes pear shaped when the supposedly benign  Ultron (Spader) wakes up, gets himself a host robot body and decides that the only true path to peace is the wholesale destruction of humanity and our heroes along with it.

When the Avengers was released in 2012 no one (including me) could quite believe how utterly brilliant it turned out to be.  Well written, superbly directed , action packed, very funny in all the right places – so to say the least it did just about everything right.

So one would expect that any sequel featuring the original cast (plus a few additions) and a returning Joss Whedon to the directors chair would pretty much guarantee more of the same. Well – sort of.

Lets start with the positives. All of the cast are universally excellent  (in particular Hemsworth’s Thor and Bettany’s Vision) all making good use of a sharp script and obligatory snappy one liners. The action scenes are also very well handled  – specifically a cracking opening sequence that sees the entire team lay waste to a heavily guarded H.Y.D.R.A fortress and an awesome mid section dust up between Iron Man and a rampaging out of control Hulk. Finally Whedon’s direction is pretty much faultless and once again proves that he is one of the most exciting film makers working today.

However despite these good points and the fact that its head and shoulders above most films of its type – there were a number of issues that i had that cannot be ignored.

To begin with it simply isn’t as good or as fresh as the 2012 original  – which is a surprise considering the pedigree behind the camera and the fact that 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy were so damned awesome.  Not only that but even though Spader does very well as Ultron – he’s no Tom Hiddleston and as a result we have a gaping Loki sized hole in proceedings that is sorely missed throughout. The story is also achingly unoriginal (another kill all humans/destroy our heroes plot) that does little to further the universe that Marvel has flawlessly created thus far. There are also too many supporting characters and a couple of  shoehorned in nods to future films in the MCU  – most notably the upcoming Captain America: Civil War and 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok  -seemed very tacked on and somewhat unnecessary.

My biggest complaint however was with the final climactic battle that sees the team going tooth and nail with Ultron and his robot army.

Now i love to see a good old fashioned scrap but disappointingly what we got here was way too similar to the original’s Battle of New York   – only very overblown, not as exciting and disappointingly showed that once again Marvel and Kevin Feige cant seem to end any of their recent films without a huge fight over a big city with thousands of innocents in peril –  (check out the finales of The Winter Soldier, Thor: Dark World and Guardians Of The Galaxy for further proof).

Now upon reading the above review you could get the impression that i didn’t care much for this film – which isn’t true -as despite numerous faults i did enjoy a great deal of it and will definitely be purchasing the Blu Ray. Without doubt Marvel still firmly rules the roost and with an upcoming slate that features Black Panther, Dr Strange and a two part 3rd Avengers film, the future is still looking very bright indeed. I just hope that they go back to focusing more on originality and better story telling than just merrily throwing in the kitchen sink and blowing things up – time will tell.

 


Rating:

Author: Will Strong 

Blog: All Things Film – Avengers Age Of Ultron Reviewed

Blog: All Things Film – Avengers Age Of Ultron Reviewed

Uncategorized

So the bigger, louder, more action packed sequel arrives in cinemas with a weight of expectation on it’s shoulders, a weight sadly even it’s great cast & solid director just can’t live up to. Even if it’s still likely to smash box office records globally…

Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bad film BUT even I’m getting a bit bored of this formula now and in an age when Guardians and Winter Solider did it differently enough to stand out from the crowd, Ultron just seems a bit of a backward step delivering us action, humour and character beats we’ve seen countless times before.

Starting with some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in a long time, the film rattles along at a pace with action scene after action scene, adding more and more characters along the way. Problem is, like I noted above, we’ve seen it all before and, except for the Hulk vs Iron man bit, there was little that really got me excited – especially as the film ends in pretty much a repeat of Avengers Assembles impressive last 40 minutes (hordes of faceless bad guy getting pummelled by CGI Avengers). Yes the humour’s here once again, as is the stand out character interactions, but this time it feels more forced and whilst Ultron, the titular foe for this Avengers outing, is solid good creation voiced expertly by Spader, he lacks the charisma of say a Loki, as is always the way when it’s a purely CGI creation.

So for me this is one of the weaker Marvel films, not because it’s badly made, but because familiarity surely now is starting to breed contempt and with another 5 years of Superhero films in the works I just wonder what they can do different now to stop the inevitable decline of this genre of films.

 

Rating:

Author: Phil Hobden

 

To hear more on this review (and others like it) make sure you download the Filmsploitation podcast, part of the All Things Film network. 

Blog: Chef – A Quick Capsule Review

Blog: Chef – A Quick Capsule Review

Quick Review

Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
So Jon Favreau leaves behind the big budget world of marvel and returns back to his Swingers routes with a low budget script led dramedy and ends up delivering a brilliantly entertaining, witty and heartwarming tale of a man, food and a kid.  He also stacks the film with some excellent performances (his own included) as well as a host of fun cameos from the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and Robert Downey Jnr.  Add to that the soundtrack of the year and a film that is never once boring and you have a real return to form for the once Indie director.  Charming.

Best Bit: Soundtrack

Buy, Rent, Stream, Borrow: Rent

If You Liked this Try: Swingers; Frank; The Way, Way Back

 

Author: Phil Hobden

Iron Man

Iron Man

Quick Review Uncategorized
Phil’s Quick Capsule Review:
First blockbuster of the year sets an (almost impossibly) high standard for those that will follow. IRON MAN is simply superb.

The Hollywood Exec Pitch:
Iron Who? $180million? Jon who? Aren’t there any more famous characters left. Sorry Marvel your on your own…

Review:
Marvel has a lot at stake with IRON MAN. Not least $180 million of their own money. This film needed to be good. And with so much at stake it seemed an odd choice not only to use one of your least known properties (Iron Man is after all much less famous than The X-Men et al), put a relatively untested director such as Jon Favreau (at least on the big summer stage) and chose a lead who in Downey Jnr, but a few years ago, didn’t look like he would make it out of rehab alive.

So was the gamble worth it? HELL YEAH! Iron Man is simple one of the best super hero films ever.
From the opening AC/DC backed Hummer ride through to Iron Man Mk1,2 and then eventually 3, through twists and turns and the final showdown IRON MAN hardly puts a foot wrong. At it’s heart is also one of the best scripts a blockbuster has boasted in some time. Funny, charming… the story is lead by the characters and as a result the characters shine.

Shining brightest is Tony Stark. Robert Downey Jnr has had his roubles but he’s always been considered one of the great talents of our generation. Now sober and out of rehab (we hope for a long time) he’s given a role that will thrust him back into the public’s eye. And this time for the right reason. Downey Jnr is so perfect as Stark it truly is impossible to see anyone else playing the role. From humour to frivolity from anger to compassion you never doubt Downey Jnr and that means you never doubt Stark as a character.

The other shinning light is director Jon Favreau . Make no doubt about it IRON MAN will make Favreau one of the hottest blockbuster directors in Hollywood. Whilst considered very much an actors director, he handles the action sequences with the skill and touch of much more seasoned directors like Tony Scott and Martin Campbell.
As for the support cast – an almost unrecognisable Jeff Bridges as eventual bad guy Stane is superb and Gwyneth Paltrow as the oddly named Pepper Potts (an actress who I have never really rated that much) was both sexy and charming. Even Director Favreau even pops up for an extended cameo as Tony Stark’s driver!

What else? Well the effects are flawless and your never sure what’s Stan Winston practical or ILM CGI. The jokes are funny, the action thrilling…

So in short – Favreau has created a comic book origin story that will sit along side the heady tales of Batman Begins & Spiderman…. And that is praise indeed.

Good:
A lot to choose from but Robert Downey Jnr is simply the BEST piece of casting ever… he is Tony Stark. More than Bale as Batman or Maguire as Spiderman, Downey Jnr nails the role and is never less than totally believable.

The Bad:
Err…. It’s pretty impossible to pick anything bad in a film full of such greatness. If I HAD to pick anything it’s the twist around Bridges. It was obvious from the start.

The Ugly:
Umm….

Best Bit: Iron Man flies…

IMDB Rating: 6/10

If you liked this try: Batman Begins (9/10); Spiderman (8/10); Hulk (5/10)

NB: Make sure you stay until after the end credits!