Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Perhaps not as good as the original, but then, how could it be? Maybe the weight of expectations holds it down a little too, but nonetheless it is a thoroughly enjoyable, action blockbuster of the highest order. It both stands alone as its own movie and acts as a bridge to the next chapter in the massive overarching Marvel storyline – I must admit I found myself thinking ahead to what’s next and wondering what was being implied for the future more than I should have.

The Avengers

The Avengers

This movie seemed like it would be the perfect match made in heaven. Marvel, in proper control of their own property, carefully shaping a superhero team movie having used a series of previous films to flesh out the world and the characters. The cherry on top being the masterstroke of having Joss Whedon, a perennial underperformer, as the director.

It all worked out PERFECTLY. The Avengers is the pinnacle of comic book superhero move making. It has an authentic feel about it in terms of truly realising the spirit of a comic book superhero, but appropriately adapting it to movie form. It grounds it enough to make it palatable in the big screen format, but does not lose sight of it’s fantastical foundations.

Everything came together well. It is not a perfect film, the villain coud have been stronger, but in the context of a long arc, which it seems apparent Marvel are going for, this may not work out to be an issue at all. This is a great movie, and I only wish more of Marvel’s properties were back in their control – particularly anything that Fox owns.

All my childhood fantasies are coming true with Marvel movies. Brilliant.

Thor

Thor

When I first heard about the movie I wondered if the combination of high fantasy and comic book super hero mythology could work for mainsteam audiences. Somehow Thor manages to do it, and do it well. Branagh has taken the subject matter, and does what he does best, turned it into a kind of Shakesperean drama with very human and identifiable themes.

This film is so much more than a comic book action movie, despite being a story about a thunder god, it’s actually quite a relate-able story of greed, ambition, and family drama.

A good solid film, that gives me full faith in Marvel’s ability to turn any of their properties into good movies. It seems remarkable that we live in a world where there are better Iron Man and Thor movies than there are Spider-Man and Superman movies, but there you have it.

I now have full confidence in the Captain America and Avengers movie. Bring it on.

Thor: Official Trailer

Conceptually I have more trepidation about a Thor movie than I do something like Green Lantern. Both have dubious broad appeal no doubt, but a comic hero based on a Norse God? Tough sell. However looking at the newly released trailer for Thor, I have almost the complete opposite reaction to what I had for the Green Lantern trailer. This movie looks like it could actually be pretty good. Way too soon to tell whether or not that translates to general public interest, but it does look like something I’d be keen to see – and not because I want to see how much of a train wreck it will be.

Is it just me, or does Chris Hemsworth’s eyebrows look weird? It’s like they’ve dyed it too blonde and they kind of look like they’re missing altogether.

Movie Fail or Win? Thor

Aside from Iron Man 2, it would seem that movie studios have eased up quite significantly on their comic book movie titles in 2010, and aside from “Inception” the year has suffered for it in terms of the quality of its “blockbusters”. That looks to be remedied in the next couple of years with the impending releases of “Thor”, “Captain America”, “The Green Lantern” and “The Avengers”. Perhaps the break was a good thing to help people catch their breath.

As an avid comic book super hero fan, I am looking forward to these movies with great anticipation, however, lets face it, these titles are B-grade heroes at best. Sure, Iron Man has shown that if a film is well made it doesn’t matter what the status of the hero was in his comic book form, but I do wonder about the broad appeal of these upcoming titles.

So it was a pleasant surprise for me to see the extended Comic-Con trailer for “Thor” which is due out early next year. This particular property seemed challenging to make in any kind of grounded form – remembering that in conjunction with “The Avengers”, it is supposed to be set in the same world/universe as the “Iron Man” films which are somewhat grounded. This trailer made me feel better about the potential of this movie, but didn’t leave me all that convinced that it would have mass market appeal. What do you think?

See the bootleg trailer on YouTube