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.

Advanced Screening of ‘Spotlight’ in Select Theaters Nationwide *Regal Crown Club*

spotlight_xxlgRegal Crown Club is sponsoring a bunch of advanced screenings for the upcoming drama Spotlight and we have them for you below!

Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James and Stanley Tucci, Spotlight tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delve into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy, Spotlight is a tense investigative thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest crime stories in modern times.

The screenings will take place in the following cities:

Albany, NY

Aliso Viejo, CA

Amarillo, TX

Anchorage, AK

Astoria, NY

Atlanta, GA

Austin, TX

Bend, OR

Boise, ID

Boston, MA

Carmel, IN

Cary, NC

Charlotte, NC

Charlottesville, VA

Chicago, IL

Coeur D’Alene, ID

Dublin, CA

Eagan, MN

Eugene, OR

Fort Myers, FL

Fresno, CA

Gainesville, FL

Gambrills, MD

Greenville, SC

Honolulu, HI

Houston, TX

Irving, TX

King of Prussia, PA

Knoxville, TN

Lakewood, CO

Las Vegas, NV

Lexington, KY

Los Angeles, CA

Mason, OH

Miami Beach, FL

Nashville, TN

New Albany, IN

North Little Rock, AR

Orlando, FL

Pinellas Park, FL

Rancho Mirage, CA

Richmond, VA

Roseville, CA

Royal Palm Beach, FL

San Antonio, TX

San Diego, CA

Santa Fe, NM

Seattle, WA

Silver Spring, MD

Syracuse, NY

Tigard, OR

Virginia Beach, VA

Westlake, OH

Williamsville, NY

Wilmington, NC

Wanna go?! Click the link below and grab a pair while supplies last

Tickets

Melissa’s Review: ‘Infinitely Polar Bear’ is a warm and sweet story of a struggling family

Left to right: Imogene Wolodarsky as Amelia Stuart, Mark Ruffalo as Cam Stuart, Zoe Saldana as Maggie Stuart and Ashley Aufderheide as Faith Stuart Photo by Seacia Pavao, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Left to right: Imogene Wolodarsky as Amelia Stuart, Mark Ruffalo as Cam Stuart, Zoe Saldana as Maggie Stuart and Ashley Aufderheide as Faith Stuart
Photo by Seacia Pavao, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Watching Infinitely Polar Bear, I was anxiously waiting for some terrible event to happen that tears the family apart, only to bring them back together again. This is such a standard in movies that it almost ruined this movie. However, if you decide to let go and just watch, it’s a beautiful and heartwarming story of the inevitable ups and downs of parenthood and life.

Left to right: Zoe Saldana as Maggie Stuart and Mark Ruffalo as Cam Stuart Photo by Claire Folger, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Left to right: Zoe Saldana as Maggie Stuart and Mark Ruffalo as Cam Stuart
Photo by Claire Folger, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Maggie (Zoe Saldana) and Cam (Mark Ruffalo) have a tumultuous relationship, mostly due to Cam’s mental instability. After an incident, Maggie is left raising their two daughters and searches for a way to support their family. Maggie is accepted into an MBA program and moves to New York so Cam returns home to care for their children while she’s away.

Based on a true story and told in the late 1970s, the dialogue is incredibly intimate and the story goes in unexpected yet inevitable directions. Mark Ruffalo brings a desperation to Cam that is never outshined by his genuine love for his daughters. Zoe Saldana is authoritative yet compassionate as a mom doing anything it takes to give her family a better life.

Left to right: Imogene Wolodarsky as Amelia Stuart and Ashley Aufderheide as Faith Stuart Photo by Seacia Pavao, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Left to right: Imogene Wolodarsky as Amelia Stuart and Ashley Aufderheide as Faith Stuart
Photo by Seacia Pavao, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

This is the first feature film for both the daughters, Imogene Wolodarsky as Amelia and Ashley Aufderheide as Faith. Their relationship is just as important and they each have their own qualities that complement and play off each other.

I think what I enjoyed the most was the love and dedication of Cam for his family. He was not perfect but he never gave up. I enjoyed watching a movie where it was purely a story of a family and not a contrived, artificial sensationalization.

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.

If I Chose the Academy Award Winners and Nominees – 2015 edition

I’ve now seen most of the films that had a release in 2014. This makes me more qualified to vote for the Oscars than 97.548% of the Academy’s membership. With the Oscar ceremony occurring tonight, I’ve picked, as I have the previous two years, who I think the nominees and winners should be in the bulk of the major categories. Once again, the foreign film category will be left off because I simply haven’t had access to enough foreign films to make a comment on them. Those that have made it to my neck of the woods, I will say, have been very good for the most part. Read More →

Michael’s Review: ‘Foxcatcher’- Sometimes the Price of Fame is Too Costly

Foxcatcher

I remember the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz like it was just yesterday. Being from the Philadelphia area, the story was all that anyone talked about for weeks after the tragedy. Not only was Dave Schultz an Olympic gold medalist, but John du Pont and his family were such big personalities in these parts. It’s not everyday you get to relive a local tragedy played out on film, but Director Bennett Miller has reenacted this story for the screen in hauntingly realistic fashion. Foxcatcher is going to leave you speechless. Read More →

Idris Elba Reveals Heimdall and Loki Will Appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron!

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Just over a week ago we were all freaking out watching the debut of the Avengers: Age of Ultron, now comes word that the cast may have just gotten a bit bigger. British actor Idris Elba says he will appear as Heimdall alongside Tom Hiddleston as Loki in next year’s sequel. Read More →

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 →