Review: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ *SPOILER-FREE*

Ten years and eighteen movies have lead to this. Marvel Studios has been wildly successful in their films leading up to this moment, but this is quite possibly the biggest and most ambitious film of its kind. Avengers: Infinity War brings together the heroes of the MCU to take on Thanos, the mad titan, who is looks to fulfill his destiny of bringing together the infinity stones and reshaping the Universe. It’s all lead to this. Each past film was a piece in a larger puzzle and now it’s complete and the result exceeds expectations. Simply put, Avengers: Infinity War is epic.

Still broken following the events of Age of Ultron and Civil War, the Avengers are scattered across the galaxy. Thanos and his children have begun their quest in search of the infinity stones when they come across the Asgardian ship of Thor and his people, whom Thanos believes to be carrying the space stone. Seeing the sheer power of the mad titan, Hulk must reach Earth to warn the Avengers of the coming threat, but what he finds is a team shattered by squabble and a new group of heroes ready to take the fight to Thanos. The film is choked full of spoiler fodder at every corner so I will leave my summary there.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo continue their onslaught into the MCU with yet another film worthy of calling the best and most ambitious, but this one certainly stands out above them all. Based on a storyline from the Marvel comics, the film is a re-imagining of the original story with obvious liberties, but nonetheless, works magnificently with the previous MCU films tying them all together nicely. The worry for some was the massive undertaking of the cast and how they would all fit into a 2 1/2 hour film, but the Russo’s and their writing team gave each subplot equal amounts of care and screen time without over saturation. And you would be hard pressed to find a weak link in the casting chain. Each actor shines in their corner of Infinity War with Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth and Zoe Saldana winning stand out stars.

Overall, Avengers: Infinity War is a overwhelmingly satisfying first act and will leave you speechless at the close. It’s a film that needs to be digested multiple times to catch everything you missed while you were trying to pick your jaw off the theatre floor as you look on in awe of the visual spectacle before you. I can’t wait for the next 10 years of the MCU. If Infinity War is any indication, the best is yet to come.

Stars:

4 1/2 out of 5

After Credit Scene?

Yes. One after the credits

Trailer:

Marvel Studios ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Trailer is Here!

Watch the new teaser trailer for Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, which debuted this morning during Good Morning America here now!

An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Anthony and Joe Russo direct the film, which is produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

Avengers: Infinity War releases in U.S. theaters on May 4, 2018.

Jeremy’s Review: Justin Reardon’s “Playing It Cool” Holds a Mirror Up to the Rom-Com Genre with Varied Success

Playing It Cool_PosterI’ve stated this before a few times, but romantic comedies aren’t traditionally films that I will watch. Most of them are ill-conceived and rife with so many cliches that are so bad they make me want to punch my own face. From time to time, some stand out and rise above the all-too familiar trappings of being a romantic comedy (Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything is a perfect example) and that’s just what Justin Reardon‘s Playing It Cool aims to do. The film is what essentially is a meta-romantic comedy, think the Scream of the romantic comedy genre. But is it successful? Playing It Cool_Still01

The narrator and protagonist (played by Chris Evans) is a screenwriter hired to write…a romantic comedy (how meta is that)! The problem is he’s never been in love, and in fact has done everything he can to avoid it, so he is struggling to find his story and meet his deadline despite pleas from his agent (played by Evans‘s Avengers co-star Anthony Mackie). When the narrator (no, he doesn’t have a real name in the film) gets dragged to a charity benefit with his friend Scott (Topher Grace), he meets Her (she, too, has no name but is played by the exquisite Michelle Monaghan) and as would happen in your standard rom-com, they share a moment or at least the narrator thinks so. After they part, he can’t stop thinking about her so he embarks on a whirlwind tour of all the charity events he can find. Of course, he finally meets her again at an event. They talk more and of course, she’s got a boyfriend. But does that stop him? HELL NO! This is a romantic comedy, after all. The pursuit begins and it’s clear that the narrator has fallen for Her. His group of friends (played by Grace, Luke Wilson, Aubrey Plaza and Martin Starr) give him varying degrees of advice, some good, most of it bad. So the narrator is left to figure out what his approach should be. Does he get the girl? Remember, even a meta-rom com is still a rom com.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film, but I enjoyed it. Evans and Monaghan have real chemistry together, which obviously is key for a film like this. Monaghan really stands out, though. She is everything that a paramour should be in a romantic comedy – funny, pretty, witty and vulnerable. Evans does an admirable job stepping outside his more action-based filmography (his best role being in Danny Boyle‘s Sunshine). A lot hinges on how these two actors interact and they pull it off well. Writers Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair did a fantastic job deconstructing the romantic comedy genre and employing its more ridiculous conventions in funny ways right down to using the same cafe/diner that appears in every other romantic comedy. Honestly, I wish they would have eviscerated it a bit more, but I guess that may be too much to ask. The scenes with the narrator and his group of friends are the absolute highlight of the film, although I would liked to have seen more Martin Starr. Luke Wilson gets back to his early Wes Anderson-film form, which is nice to see since he been in a pile of shitty movies since Idiocracy.

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All in all, Playing It Cool is a satisfying experience and one that may well surprise you. This film opens today in theaters and will be the perfect antidote to the universally panned and borderline offensive Hot Pursuit. Monaghan‘s infectious performance is worth the price of admission. Here is the list of theaters where it is playing and it is also available On Demand as well.

Michael’s Review: ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

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Hard to believe but it’s only been seven years since Marvel set in motion this grandiose plan to create a cinematic universe that would bring many of it’s popular comic book character to life. A slew of solo films introducing Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and The Hulk all lead to one moment in 2012, when director Joss Whedon unleashed Earth’s Mightiest Heroes into cinemas to complete Phase 1 of the company’s plan, a feat that would result in the third biggest box office worldwide. Three years later Whedon returns to take this franchise to another level and looks to top the achievement many believed to be too large to tackle. Seven years and so many memorable films has lead to this moment, Marvel’s crowning jewel, Avengers: Age of Ultron.

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In Ultron, we find the Avengers back together and on a mission in the Eastern European city of Sokovia looking for Hydra operative Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann), who has been experimenting on humans using Loki’s scepter. The team encounter two of Strucker’s experiments, Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), who can manipulate minds and throw energy blasts. Tony (Robert Downey Jr) encounters Wanda’s power during the apprehension of the scepter and has a vision of a cataclysmic event that would see the end of everything and everyone he loves.

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Haunted by this vision, Stark and Banner (Mark Ruffalo) discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program, but things don’t go as planned.  Ultron (voiced by James Spader) misinterprets the directive and believes the only way to save the Earth is to eradicate humanity. Believing his biggest threat to be the Avengers, the program sets his sights on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as the first hurdle in his grand plan. Captain America (Chris Evans) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth), feeling betrayed by the duos secret plan, confront Stark and Banner for answers. Believing it will take all of them to take down the creation, the Avengers set out to find Ultron before he can enact his evil plan and destroy the Earth, but it will take not only the Avengers, but new alliances with the Maxinoff’s and a newly created AI named The Vision (Paul Bettany) to see this mission to completion. Can the team save the Earth one more time?

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Like Captain America: The Winter Solider, Marvel has begun to evolve it’s films with more mature storytelling. Avengers: Age of Ultron has a darker tone than the previous Avengers film, but it helps escalates the tension and performances of these actors to new levels not yet seen in the MCU. The addition of new characters, including the performances of Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as the Maximoff twins and Paul Bettany as The Vision are crucial to keeping the Avengers franchise from growing stale and all three actors bring a wonderful presence that fits perfectly in with the core team. Jeremy Renner‘s Hawkeye takes center stage for many crucial scenes in the film and shines with the increased screen time. The growing chemistry between Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner works wonderfully within the structure of the film and never feels out of place.

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Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans are exactly what they need to be for this film. The action sequences involving these two are spectacular as usual and each actor adds a nice dose of humor to the film. Robert Downey Jr is perfect as always. The human side of Tony was flushed out in Iron Man 3, but the effects of the events he’s faced have begun to multiply and lead to many hard decisions for the character. Downey Jr carefully dissects these effects and portrays them to perfection. James Spader is a tremendous presence as the voice and mo cap of Ultron. The seasoned actor is menacing and devilishly charming and his mannerisms and facial expressions are portrayed perfectly within the Ultron character.

Overall, Avengers: Age of Ultron should thrill audiences and set new records worldwide. The film is a true test of the power of story telling and takes the Marvel brand to a new height. Stay in your seats for a mid-credit scene which will no doubt set up the next adventure of our favorite heroes in 2018! But don’t fret, there will be plenty of Marvel films before that, including next year’s Captain America: Civil War! Buckle up, they’re just getting started.

Stars:

4 out of 5

After credit scene?

Yes. Mid credit scene, nothing after the credits

Trailer:

Final Trailer for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is Released

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Marvel has released their final trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron and you can view it below!

When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure.

The movie stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. Also starring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, James Spader as Ultron as well as Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Paul Bettany as Vision. Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige.

Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters on May 1.

Russo Brothers to Direct for Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Infinity War 1 & 2’

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Badass Digest dropped the news first and then the trades picked it up that that Joe and Anthony Russo, the directing pair behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, will take on Marvel Studios’ massive two-part Avengers: Infinity War.

The film is rumored to center around the Mad Titan Thanos’ quest to bring together the six Infinity Stones we’ve seen appear throughout the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Actor Josh Brolin, who appeared as the character in last summers hit film Guardians of the Galaxy, had this to say about the upcoming two parter:

“It’s Thanos against everyone”

No word on if the Guardians would appear in the either part of the films, but it is safe to say we will see many familiar faces pop up from the MCU.

Avengers: Infinity War Part I will be released on May 4, 2018, and Part II will follow one year later on May 3, 2019.

In the meantime, the Russo’s will start production on Captain America: Civil War in the next two weeks. The film will be released next year on May 6, 2016

New TV Spot for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is Released and I May Have Soiled Myself…a Bit

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Marvel Studios has released their new TV ad for Avengers: Age of Ultron which shows off quite a bit of never before seen footage! Check it out below!

When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure.

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron opens in theaters on May 1, 2015.

The Ultimate Marvel Marathon is Coming to Theaters!

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Are YOU the ultimate Marvel fan? Well, if you can handle this marathon you are! AMC Theaters, Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark, Megaplex, Harkins and National Amusements theaters are planning “The Ultimate Marvel Marathon” featuring every single Marvel Studios film in chronological order! Yes, you have that right, it’s 27 hours in a movie theater with your closest, and stinkiest friends! The event will begin on April 29 with Iron Man and conclude April 30 with Avengers: Age of Ultron. The schedule for AMC theaters will go as follows:

6:00pm IRON MAN

8:25pm THE INCREDIBLE HULK

10:35pm IRON MAN 2

1:00am THOR

3:10am CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

5:30am THE AVENGERS

8:48am IRON MAN 3

11:15am THOR: THE DARK WORLD

1:45pm CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

4:20pm GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

7:00pm AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (RealD® 3D)

Can’t handle that much awesome? Well, the there will also be an “Avengers” double feature of The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron as well. You can get your tickets for the event at AMC, Regal, and Cinemark, by clicking the respective theaters hyperlink. Oh, and each will be giving away a goodie so check chose wisely!

 

Full List of DC and Marvel Releases Thru 2020

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With the announcement of the Spider-Man acquisition, many have wondered how it will affect the release schedule moving forward…well…I have compiled a comprehensive list of the release dates of all the future DC and Marvel projects for your viewing pleasure…

2015:
May 1: Avengers: Age of Ultron (Marvel Studios)
July 17: Ant-Man (Marvel Studios)
August 7: Fantastic Four (Fox)

2016:
February 12: Deadpool (Fox)
March 25: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (Warner Bros)
May 6: Captain America: Civil War (Marvel Studios)
May 27: X-Men: Apocalypse (Fox)
August 5: Suicide Squad (Warner Bros)
October 7: Gambit (Fox)
November 4: Doctor Strange (Marvel Studios)
2017:
March 3: Untitled Wolverine sequel (Fox)
May 5: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (Marvel Studios)
June 2: Fantastic Four 2 (Fox)
June 23: Wonder Woman (Warner Bros)
July 28:  Spider-Man 3 (Sony/Marvel)
November 3: Thor: Ragnarok (Marvel Studios) *new date*
November 17: Justice League, Part 1 (Warner Bros)

2018:
March 23: The Flash (Warner Bros)
May 4: Avengers: Infinity War, Part 1 (Marvel Studios)
July 6: Black Panther (Marvel Studios) *new date*
July 13: Untitled Fox Marvel film
July 27: Aquaman (Warner Bros)
November 2: Captain Marvel (Marvel Studios) *new date*

2019:
April 5: Shazam (Warner Bros)
May 3: Avengers: Infinity War, Part 2 (Marvel Studios)
June 14: Justice League, Part 2 (Warner Bros)
July 12: Inhuman (Marvel Studios) *new date*

2020:
April 3: Cyborg (Warner Bros)
June 19: Green Lantern (Warner Bros)

**All previously announced Sony Spider-Man spin-offs, including The Sinister Six, scheduled for Nov. 11, 2016, have been removed from the schedule.

Disney & Marvel Movies Coming in 2015 – Info & Trailers!

2015_DisneyDisney and Marvel has put together an impressive slate of movies for 2015. I’m really looking forward to most of them, but if I had to pick one (besides Star Wars) to be most excited about, I would choose Tomorrowland because of Judy Greer and Kathryn Hahn. They are awesome.

Which one are you looking forward to?

  • JANUARY 23, 2015 – Strange Magic
  • FEBRUARY 20, 2015 – McFarland, USA
  • MARCH 13, 2015 – Cinderella
  • APRIL 17, 2015 – Monkey Kingdom
  • MAY 1, 2015 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • MAY 22, 2015 – Tomorrowland
  • JUNE 19, 2015 – Inside Out
  • JULY 17, 2015 – Ant–Man
  • OCTOBER 9, 2015 –  The Jungle Book
  • OCTOBER 16, 2015 – The Untitled Steven Spielberg Cold War Spy Thriller
  • NOVEMBER 25, 2015 – The Good Dinosaur
  • DECEMBER 18, 2015 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Read More →

10 New Marvel Movies in the next 5 Years – Find out what’s coming up!

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This morning, during a special event at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige revealed the films that will make up Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, featuring a mix of fan-favorite characters and several heroes who will be making their big-screen debuts. Read More →

Marvel Just Added Dates to Your Day Planner Through 2019!

KEVIN FEIGE (PRESIDENT, MARVEL STUDIOS)

Marvel is sure pulling out all the stops a few days ahead of San Diego Comic Con. Today they announce that their cinematic universe will be expanding even further with the announcement of five new release dates which will help Marvel continue to dominate box office numbers through 2019.

The studio already had three unscheduled release dates for films confirmed: July 8, 2016 (Doctor Strange?) which will follow Captain America 3 on May 6, 2016 and then another on May 5, 2017. If that wasn’t enough, now they’ve reserved July 28, 2017 as well as November 3, 2017, July 6, 2018, November 2, 2018 and May 3, 2019! Holy guacamole!

Now nothing about which properties has been confirmed, but I’m fairly certain that’s going to change after next week’s Marvel presentation at Comic-Con! I’ll be on site at next week’s San Diego Comic Con live tweeting all the great news. Make sure to follow #RNDSDCC to keep up!

EW’s First Look at Avengers: Age of Ultron!!! Look at that sucker!

Entertainment Weekly’s newest edition , features a first look at Iron Man and Captain America as well as the film’s villain Ultron! The story goes on to give some insight into what we can expect from the film’s direction. After the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was shaken to its core with S.H.I.E.L.D. being disbanded and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes status as a group is left in question.  Tony Stark has taken it upon himself to search for a way to secure the Earth without the need to put back on the Iron Man suit and give the rest of the team a break.  His solution is Ultron, self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers instead. Read More →