The 6 Best Films of Summer 2015: PART I – No. 6, 5 & 4


We did it! We survived one of the highest grossing summers on record due mostly to Universal Studios hits like Jurassic World, Minions, and Straight Outta Compton. Not that Disney doesn’t deserve credit for Avengers: Age of Ultron, Inside Out, and Ant-Man.

But this list isn’t about the money grossed, it’s about the quality of films we watched. What were the 6 best films of Summer 2015? According to me…T-Rex Roars Over Jurassic World

Let’s start with my predictions for the whole year. View that article in its entirety or just read this list of my anticipation levels from least excited to complete obsession. Again, there were my predictions based more on enjoyment level, not a list predicting which films would necessarily be best this summer.

7. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

6. Ant-Man

5. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

4. Mad Max: Fury Road

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron

2. SPECTRE

1. Jurassic World

Mad Max Sticks Attack The RigSince this new List only covers Summer 2015 and not the Fall, we can knock Star Wars and SPECTRE off my possibility of choices.

The original list are the titles I thought would be most enjoyable. To be transparent, this new list of the “Best” Movies of Summer 2015 takes into account enjoyably AND quality. If this list were purely based on how much I enjoyed a film, the list would look slightly different.

Let’s start work from sixth favorite to my number one; this post just containing Sixth through Third favorite.

WARNING: SPOILERS Follow for each Film. Skip one if you haven’t seen it and don’t want it spoiled.

 

6. MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.The Man From UNCLE 60s Heroes

Not a great Guy Ritchie, nor Spy Film, but I had to include it rather because it still deserves a spot on this list, even if it was my 6th favorite movie of the summer and most lists are traditionally out of five.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E film is classy as hell, with tons of Guy Ritchie style more apparent than his more tightly controlled bigger studio franchise, Sherlock Holmes. The “buddy” dynamic between US Agent Solo (Our current Superman,Henry Cavill) and USSR Agent Illya (Armie Hammer!) brings most the humor that is not limited to dialog exchanges, but also humorous action scenes involving the competitive nature or two Spies from different sides of the Cold War.

HIGHLIGHTS: Henry Cavill  continues to nail the role as an American (again, see Man of Steel) with all the added almost overabundance of charm required to be a fantastic play on Sean Connery’s or Roger Moore’s version of James Bond.

Likewise, though they have a Brit playing an American and Armie Hammer playing Russian, Hammer also nails the role, with his aforementioned antics with Cavill’s Solo providing most of the film’s enjoyment.

Just like Kingsman back in February, Man From U.N.C.L.E. also has great classic 60’s 007 references in its locations and over-the-top not-so-secret Spy work of suave Solo.

Man from UNCLE 2WEAKNESSES: The action just isn’t there compared to other 2015 spy films like Kingsman: The Secret Service and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. There’s a decent chase at the end, some fun silly action sequences like the opening car chase, but the action just isn’t as abundant as in a 007 picture, for example.

Likewise, the “turncoat” scene where Gaby (Alicia Vikander) gives up Solo and Illya only to be reveled as a questionable British Agent, is very reminiscent of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.

That’s just bad (unlucky) timing for Man From U.N.C.L.E.

The film really feels like a set-up for a wonderful franchise we will never see as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a flop.

 

5. ANT-MANAnt-Man Vs Yellowjacket Chinese PosterLook, Ant-Man is neither my favorite Marvel movie, nor my least favorite. In an age when Ant-Man is Marvel’s 12th(?… Maybe 11th) movie, that is not a bad thing what-so-ever.

For me, Ant-Man falls in the middle of the pack, higher than The Incredible Hulk, both Thor movies, Iron Man 2, and Captain America: The First Avenger, but lower than movies Iron Man 1 & 3, Captain America: Winter Solider, Guardians of the Galaxy, and both Avengers films.

Highlights:   The cast, to start! Paul Rudd as Scott Lang gives us our most grounded Avenger yet; a father who is kept from his daughter because of a criminal past. Marvel as a Universe is known for down-to-Earth heroes, but Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, and Capt. are not mortals like Ant-Man (Iron Man technically is mortal, but he has none of the angst that comes with fatherhood). Rudd is one of the most likable Avengers, with his character’s weaknesses yet strength of charm, empathy and comedy.

Let’s not stop there! Of course Michael Douglas as Hank Pym and Evangeline Lily as eventual Wasp, Hope van Dyne, don’t disappoint. But, besides Rudd, Ant-Man’s Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket and Michael Pena as Lang’s best friend Luis steal the show.

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym with Corey Stoll as Darren Cross
Michael Douglas as Hank Pym with Corey Stoll as Darren Cross

Stoll combines the classic elements of Norman Osborne’s madness in the original Spider-Man and Obadiah Stane’s suit-envy in Iron Man. Meanwhile, hilarious Michael Pena brings more humor to the film than even funny-man Paul Rudd, reminding me of his favorite role as Seth Rogen’s right-hand security guard in Observe and Report.

Which brings me to Ant-Man‘s next strength… the genre. Lately, Marvel movies have played with mixing different genres with the classic Super Hero story to give their origin stories and the like more originality. Winter Soldier was a 70’s Thriller, Guardians was a Star Wars-esque Space Opera, and Ant-Man is a heist film… complete with a full team… including Michael Pena! (BOOM! Brought it all the way ’round.)

Yet, the tie-ins to Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War are the movies greatest strengths. Nothing like Ant-Man fighting Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the mention of someone who “can climb walls.”

Humor is the final piece of Ant-Man‘s successful puzzle. My father had no interest in Ant-Man, but I dragged him along and he was shocked by how funny the film is! Like The Guardians of the Galaxy, humor was the only way to make Ant-Man mainstream.

Weaknesses:  Some of Ant-Man is very cookie-cutter Marvel. Sometimes it does feel too much like the 1st Iron Man from the idea of a “suit” as his superpower to the notion that the villain just wants the same tech. In it’s least interesting moments, Ant-Man can feel like an Iron Man clone.

 

4. AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRONAvengers: Age of Ultron Roster

It’s The Avengers Assembled! Again! This time fighting a creation of almost villainous Tony Stark (who does risk the team’s life with the best intentions), Ultron, an artificial intelligence who cannot be destroyed until he is locked out of the net and every drone is blown to bits.

Highlights: A lot of people love to hate this film, but I still think Avengers: Age of Ultron is Marvel Top Five; even better than the 1st film.

Why? Because The Avengers was mainly awesome because of the “Holy Shit! Bruce Banner just met Steve Rogers!” That single shot in the 1st film that flies around New York City, catching every Avenger in action was mind-blowing.

And this film opens with a scene just like that!

Age of Ultron is the stronger film as the plot is more important and fleshed out than the 1st Avengers. Think about it; the 1st film was mainly on the Helicarrier and dealt with simply following Loki around, knowing exactly what he was up to. Age of Ultron doesn’t just offer a more fluid and varied plot crafted for amazing action sequences, but a more personal story that brings out every Avenger’s (except Hawkeye) greatest fears.

Tony Stark’s scene of fear is the most poignant; an alien invasion heading toward Earth while his friends die a rocky-planet with Capt. accusing Stark of not being there to save them. This is an excellent plot device to drive Stark into horrible decisions… like creating artificial intelligence using Loki’s staff… which was also handled by Hydra. It also sets the stage for Avengers: Infinity War where our heroes could very well end up dead on an Alien planet after a failed defense against Thanos.

Finally, we get a lot of Captain America! he has most the screen-time and why not? He’s team leader and his fight with Ultron is Seoul may be a mismatch, but it’s Capt. at his best! Captain America Run Avengers Age of Ultron

Weaknesses: I may like Age of Ultron better than Ant-Man, but it sure has more faults.

Too many characters! You can’t just add three Avengers in the 3rd Act (even though we knew you would…)! One can only hope that the super talented Russo Brothers can balance the sheer amount of Avengers that will exist by the time Avengers: Infinity War comes out.

Ultron is not as cool as he could have been. Right James Spader?

Hawkeye needs some screen-time to make up for The Avengers, and it’s awesome he actually has a family (like Scott Lang), but too much time spent on his farm regardless.

 

That’s it for Today, folks.

My favorite Summer Movies #3 – #1 is HERE

 

 

 

Can’t Wait Any Longer? Watch Hulk and Stark in Hulkbuster Battle For A Full 1 and 1/2 Minutes!


We all want to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. We all want to see Hulk fight Tony Stark in the Hulkbuster.

So, why wait? Marvel has released a 90 second clip online of the most anticipated scene of the summer’s most anticipated film.

With that ability to call new pieces of the suit to replaced Hulk-smashed ones, Hulkbuster might be more equipped to handle Hulk than any of us expected! Lot’s of bashing each-other into buildings…

More Marvel Studios nirvana!

See the entire film when it hits our shores on May 1st!

Get Your First Full Look at AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON’s Vision!


We finally have two great, revealing looks at Vision, the Avenger only teased in the 2nd theatrical trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. Joss Whedon’s best kept secret… until now!

 

The new hero appears on the new Entertainment Weekly cover and also now has his very own character poster! The Vision 'Avengers" Age of Ultron'

First, here is EW‘s latest cover with Vision sharing the stage with Black Widow and the Hulk.EW Vision Avengers Age of Ultron Cover

There he is! There is Paul Bettany, former JARVIS, currently Vision!

For those not yet in the know, Ultron, artificial intelligence with real jealousy and daddy issues, creates a robot known as Vision to prove he too can create “life.” Of course, in the MCU version, Ultron creates Vision using Stark’s digital pal JARVIS, giving Paul Bettany the chance to escape the recording studio and join his Avenger pals on the big screen… in insane yet appropriate makeup.

Seriously though, Ultron looks like a robot. Silver and such: the whole deal. Yet he creates a very colorful more human robot? Marvel be crazy! And I love it.

Here’s the official Avengers: Age of Ultron character poster for Vision.Avengers: Age of Ultron Vision Poster

Check out Vision and the other 9 Marvel heroes he shares the official poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1st! We’re nearly there, fellow geeks!

‘Avengers’ TV Spot #3 Features New Action For Earth’s Mightiest Heroes


Marvel keeps blessing us with new ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ footage, this time in the form of their 3rd TV Spot. (The 1st can be viewed here)

EDIT: Upon watching the 2nd TV Spot HERE, it looks like most the footage actually comes from that teaser. Still, Marvel has blessed us with with some even newer footage for the 3rd Spot.

Watch it now!

There you go!

Iron Man admits that Capt. runs the show, though Stark,”Designs everything. Makes everyone look cooler.”Tony Stark Avengers : Age of UltronTV Spot 3 Iron Man Avengers: Age of Ultron

Captain America throws his motorcycle at a Hydra tank! “It just slipped.”Avengers: Age of Ultron TV Spot 3 Captain AmericaAvengers: Age of Ultron Captain America Motorcycle Flip

Black Widow confronts her old friend, Hulk. “Hey big guy.”Age of Ultron TV Spot 3 Black Widow

Hulk smashes.Hulk Age of Ultron TV Spot 3Hulk Smash Avengers: Age of Ultron TV Spot 3

Thor takes the Shield pitch from Capt. and rockets it away with his hammer. “It’s all in the swing.”Baseball Captain America's Shield Thor Age of UltronAll in the Swing Thor Age of Ultron

And… there’s Hawkeye… who remains a disappointing character considering he’s played by Academy Award Nominee Jeremy Renner. (Prove me wrong, Joss Whedon, prove me wrong!)Hawkeye Age of Ultron TV Spot 3

Then we get quick, not-so-new shots of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.Scarlet Witch Age of Ultron TV Spot 3Quicksilver Age of Ultron TV Spot 3

And then there’s Ultron. Who could forget Ultron? “It’s time for some fun.”

Ultron drone! (Not Ultron Prime)
Ultron drone! (Not Ultron Prime)

All that’s missing is Vision. Even Maria Hill is here! Working for her boss, Tony Stark, which brings us full circle back to his quote about Capt. being team leader.

I’m sure we’ll see plenty of new TV Spots between now and May 1st. Marvel Studios has been more than generous with ‘Age of Ultron’ footage.

But can we please get a better look at ‘Ant-Man?’Ant-Man Teaser

Final ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Trailer Shows Movie’s True Vision (Literally)


Daaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmn.

As good as the other trailers for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ have been, the third and final preview for Marvel’s next film takes the cake. It takes ALL the cake.Avengers Assemble Trailer 3

Watch Now! Talk Later!

Prepare to have your socks knocked off (not literally, though that is possible)!


That opening speech… is Ultron JEALOUS of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes? Awwwww. That’s so cute.

But seriously, that trailer is the very definition of coo-coo-bananas.

Capt. Fights Quicksilver.
Capt. Fights Quicksilver.

And that “Vision” comment… for those not in the know, Vision is the character whose eyes we see at the tail end of the trailer.

No time to go into any sort of detail… yet.

Podcast #11: Nick And Andrew: Corporate Shills


Nick and Andrew begin their discussion, dissecting the latest, 2nd ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer (what a surprise!) before moving onto the “Oscars Game.” Basically, Nick tries to guess the Academy Award nominees with little help from Andrew. The best episode yet! For real. Would I lie to you?

Brand New AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer #2!


Last week Marvel knocked us all back on our asses with the 1st trailer and poster for ‘Ant-Man’ and news of their Netflix show, ‘Daredevil.’Age Of Ultron Capt.'s Helmet

Now… we have a brand-spankin’-new trailer for Marvel’s other little 2015 movie, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ with almost entirely new footage.

Here we go…

I won’t go too deep into it yet,  but Ultron’s statement, “Everyone creates the thing they dread” ties right into Stark’s ‘Iron Man 3’ problem of creating his own demons.Early UltronTony's Greatest Fear

The real theme of the trailer, which is most likely a much bigger part of the movie than initially realized, comes from Ultron’s ultimatum, “I’m going to tear you apart… from the inside.”

The trailer shows a lot of characters out-of-whack…

From Black Widow’s surgery/origin…

Young Natasha Romanoff
Young Natasha Romanoff

Romanoff Surgery

… to Thor torment and power removal?…

Something's wrong with Thor. Is that Enchantress behind him? Either real or a Scarlet Witch mind-fuck.
Something’s wrong with Thor. Is that Enchantress behind him? Either real or a Scarlet Witch mind-fuck?
Is this the same woman from the Thor shot? She is entering a pool of water... and Thor did pop out of water shirtless and in pain in the 1st trailer...
Is this the same woman from the Thor shot? She is entering a pool of water… and Thor did pop out of water shirtless and in pain in the 1st trailer…

…To a raging Hulk that must be taken down by the Hulkbuster, which, like the 1st trailer, is here in true form!Bruce Banner about to Hulk out.Something's wrong with the Hulk. Most likely Scarlet Witch manipulation.

It definitely seems like Ultron is using Scarlet Witch’s powers to get inside the Avenger members’ heads to bring out their most painful memories and cause them to squabble more hardcore than they did in the first film.

Lots of great money shots here too!

Great Iron Man in action at Baron Von Strucker’s castle…Iron Man lands

An epic one-on-one fight between Captain America and a Ultron drone…Captain America in 'Age of Ultron'Drone from 'Age of Ultron'Captain America takes on an Ultron DroneAnd amazing Hulk footage… including another great look at the epic battle between Hulk and Stark’s Hulkbuster (which contrary to my earlier theory, does look like Tony is piloting himself).Hulk vs. Hulkbuster

I was wrong! It's totally Tony Stark in that suit. Look at his HUD, there's even a image of the Hulkbuster, not a traditional suit.
I was wrong! It’s totally Tony Stark in that suit. Look at his HUD, there’s even a image of the Hulkbuster, not a traditional suit.

Hulkbuster flies with HulkHulkbuster Assemble!Very little footage of Quicksilver and only a sliver more for Scarlet Witch..

Really, the only shot of Quicksilver.
Really, the only shot of Quicksilver.

And finally… behold the power of Ultron! He can shoot lasers from his fingers!Ultron TurnsUltron Gloats

Ulton Fires!
Ulton Fires!
And Iron Man takes the hit!
And Iron Man takes the hit!

Like all good trailers (especially the Marvel ones) there is a lot to find and analyze in the coming days and weeks… until we get another trailer!

Or a new ‘Ant-Man’ trailer…

Or a ‘Daredevil’ one.

I love you, Marvel Studios. I really do. Marry me?

Breaking Down The ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Trailer: What Does It All Mean?


Concept Art of  Complete Ultron
Concept Art of Complete Ultron

This week we were blessed by the ‘Gods’ of Asgard’s gift to us mortals: the first trailer for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron!’

Our first look at the movie fuels my speculation on the path the film’s storyline will take by providing new information and images not offered in Marvel Studios’ official synopsis, early photos, and leaked information.

First, Marvel Studios’ official synopsis:

Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. 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 an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen, and Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

Captain America Runs From 'The Flying Car'In addition to the preceding summary, what did we see in the trailer and what will likely happen in ‘Age of Ultron?’

Act 1 – Assault on Baron Strucker’s Castle

During the mid-credit sequence on ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’ we were introduced to Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and his Hydra operation, in possession of both Loki’s staff with the Mind Infinity Stone and “the twins;” Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, who played husband and wife in 2014’s ‘Godzilla’).

Baron Strucker as he appeared in the mid-credit sequence of 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier.'
Baron Strucker as he appeared in the mid-credit sequence of ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.’

Baron Strucker speaks of Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. being two sides of a coin “that is no longer currency” vowing to feed other Hydra bases to “Captain America and his colorful friends” in order to continue their own important research which has resulted in dead volunteers and the twins which, to Baron Strucker, ushers in the “Age of Miracles.”

I assume Loki’s staff from ‘The Avengers’ is the source of Baron Strucker’s experiments on humans that results in giving the Pietro and Wanda their powers, making them Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively.

Tony Stark surveys the area around Baron Strucker's castle? Or is that Wakanda? (More on that later.)
Tony Stark surveys the area around Baron Strucker’s castle? Or is that Wakanda? (More on that later.)

I propose the movie will open with an Avengers assault on Baron Strucker’s castle (seen below), freeing the twins and acquiring Loki’s staff which was confiscated by S.H.I.E.L.D. after ‘The Avengers,’ only to fall into Hydra hands due to their secret doings within Nick Fury’s old organization.

Baron Strucker's Castle? Home to Hydra Experiments Resulting In Twin 'Miracles' Scarlet Witch and 'Quicksilver'
Baron Strucker’s Castle? Home to Hydra Experiments Resulting In Twin ‘Miracles’ Scarlet Witch and ‘Quicksilver.’

The assault on Strucker’s castle would serve as the perfect action scene to kick off one hell of a movie with a blast while also serving the story. The twins have to be freed somehow. The Avengers need an opening action sequence to get them to their next scene; the party at Avengers Tower. It’s a win-win-win, if you include the audience.

Hydra Style Weapons Similar to What We Saw in 'Captain America: The First Avenger.'
Hydra Style Weapons Similar to What We Saw in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger.’
Hawkeye runs through what looks like the Forrest surrounding Baron Strucker's castle in what is likely Germany or another European country.
Hawkeye runs through what looks like the Forrest surrounding Baron Strucker’s castle in what is likely Germany or another European country.
Captain America standing  in Baron Strucker's Castle? We Shall See.
Captain America standing in Baron Strucker’s Castle? We Shall See.

The above photos offer a snowy Forrest, very simialar to what we saw in ‘Captain America: First Avenger,’ evidence we’re in Europe or Germany in these scenes, NOT Wakanda as suggested by other blogs.

ACT II – The Party and The Arrival of Ultron

The first footage revealed at Comic-Con showed the Avengers on their day off, throwing a shindig at Avengers Tower. The scene has a party-trick sort of contest between the members of the Avengers who each try to lift Thor’s hammer to the Asgardian’s amusement. When Captain America moves it an inch, Thor is a bit peeved… and shocked. Steve Rogers is worthy indeed…

The party is interrupted by an unexpected visitor. Presumably Stark already revealed his plan; the creation of Ultron taking world security off of the Avengers’ backs. But why is the Ultron in such bad shape? Did The Avengers already try to take him down after he overstepped his bounds? Is Stark still building him, C-3PO in ‘Star Wars: Episode I’ style?

The Avengers' party comes to a hault.
The Avengers’ party comes to a hault.

Stark Reacts to Ultron

Ultron has no strings.
Ultron has no strings.

Ultron Puppet 2

Or were Ultron and this other drone and/or Iron Man suit made to fight to the death, Mandingo style?

Ultron Holds A Second Drone... Or Is That an Iron Man suit?
Ultron Holds A Second Drone… Or Is That an Iron Man suit? (Take note of the Avengers logo on Ultron’s chest.)

Likely, Ultron overstepped his bounds, and the 2nd drone or Iron Man suit was dispatched to take him out, only to fail as seen below.

Ultron smashes the drone to the ground.
Ultron smashes the drone to the ground.
Ultron Smash!
Ultron Smash!

It’s safe to assume the party is over.

“The Twins” – Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch

The Maximoff Twins sure are angry about something. What are they protesting/revolting about? Is it an anti-Avengers rally? And is this before or after they were experimented on? There are obviously many questions to answer.
The Maximoff Twins sure are angry about something. What are they protesting/revolting about? Is it an anti-Avengers rally? And is this before or after they were experimented on? There are obviously many questions to answer.

How exactly do Joss Whedon’s favorite Avengers, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, play into the plot of ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron?’

Assuming they get their freedom from the Avengers assault on Strucker’s castle, they may face off against the Avengers early. Or, maybe they are gone by the time the Avengers steal back Loki’s staff and take care of the Baron.

Some footage suggests we will see them pre-experimentation. Above they appear to be pre-powers and in the screen-grabs below it looks like some sort of surgery is taking place… with tools shaped like the tentacles of the Hydra Seal.

Rushing someone to surgery?
Rushing someone to surgery?
'Dem look like Hydra tools to me...
‘Dem look like Hydra tools to me…

However it goes down, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch end up as allies of Ultron before they join up with the Avengers.

Ultron brings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver into his lair.
Ultron brings Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver into his lair.
Pietro and Wanda Maximoff Take In Ultron's Lair.
Pietro and Wanda Maximoff Take In Ultron’s Lair.
Later in the film, Quicksilver checks an Ultron drone, saving Captain America. So by the end of the film "the twins" are official, card carrying Avengers!
Later in the film, Quicksilver checks an Ultron drone, saving Captain America. So by the end of the film “the twins” are official, card carrying Avengers!
Siblings stick together, right? (Plus we've seen the twins figting alongside Hawkeye in leaked set photos.)
Siblings stick together, right? (Plus we’ve seen the twins figting alongside Hawkeye in leaked set photos.)

 

What’s Up With The Hulk?

The Hulk looks even more realistic than last time thanks to improved motion capture technology also being used on 'Star Wars: Episode 7.'
The Hulk looks even more realistic than last time thanks to improved motion capture technology also being used on ‘Star Wars: Episode 7.’

Something is going seriously wrong with Bruce Banner and “the other guy:” the incredible Hulk!

First he seems to be collapsing during the assault on the castle, as he is in the same snowy forrest as Hawkeye in the earlier screen-grabs.

What's wrong with Bruce Banner? He looks sickly in all the screen-grabs except at the cocktail party.
What’s wrong with Bruce Banner? He looks sickly in all the photos except at the cocktail party.

And he looks to be in terrible shape on the Quinjet.

Bruce Banner is having some serious issues in 'Age of Ultron.'
Bruce Banner is having some serious issues in ‘Age of Ultron.’

Finally, he’s fighting Iron Man? After causing destruction at what looks to be a European city. (We’re not in New York anymore).

The Hulk fights Iron Man? Or is someone else controlling that suit of armor...
The Hulk fights Iron Man? Or is someone else controlling that suit of armor…?

Yet, he still has time for a gentle moment with Black Widow. Maybe he accidentally Hulks out against the Avengers, requiring Tony to don the Hulkbuster and Black Widow is able to calm him down.Hulk and Black Widow Have A Moment

Ultron isn’t known for mind games; in the comics it is Loki who manipulates the Hulk to be the first Avenger baddie. Perhaps Scarlet Witch uses her powers to turn him against the Avengers and cause mass destruction in this scene and strip him of the Hulk in the snowy forrest?

Or does Tony deserve a Hulk attack? After all, he’s not the only Avenger pissed at Tony Stark. So…

What’s Up With Tony Stark?

Tony Stark seems to be pissing everyone off, based on the trailer.

First, Thor attacks Stark…Thor Attacks Stark

I assume this is retribution for creating Ultron. Or maybe Tony’s done something worse?

Stark is the only one not on the Quinjet. Is he flying Iron Man style instead? Or has he alienated the Avengers... or taken a slightly different stance from them... or is he taking a leave of absence after blaming himself for the creation of Ultron? Again, lots of questions, just speculations for answers.
Stark is the only one not on the Quinjet. Is he flying Iron Man style instead? Or has he alienated the Avengers… or taken a slightly different stance from them… or is he taking a leave of absence after blaming himself for the creation of Ultron? Again, lots of questions, just speculations for answers.

Finally, he does fight the Hulk… maybe…

The Hulkbuster Suit
The Hulkbuster Suit

I predict that Ultron is using his drone controlling powers to control the Hulkbuster armor, just as Tony Stark controls his empty armor remotely in ‘Iron Man 3.’

Unless my predictions of Scarlet Witch manipulation or an Ultron controlled Hulkbuster suit are true… Hulk is on the Avengers side and has been seen fighting alongside them with very little confrontation (with Thor, of course) in the first Avengers film. Maybe it is Tony who is out of line.

How Did Ultron Break Captain America’s Invincible Shield?Captain America's Broken Shield

Capt.’s shield is made from Vibranium, the most invincible metal on Earth (even Thor’s hammer couldn’t break it in ‘The Avengers’). In ‘First Avenger,’ Howard Stark says the S.H.I.E.L.D. is made from all the Vibranium on Earth.

But there is more in the comics… and it all comes from Wakanda, home of the Black Panther.

Some websites assume we will see Black Panther in ‘Age of Ultron,’ but I think that’s more than a long-shot; it’s not going to happen!

How do we even know Wakanda will be featured in the film?

Well, the official summary calls the film a “unique global adventure,” so locations like the snowy European forrest and Wakanda make a lot of sense.

After all, if Capt. hopes to fix his shield or if Ultron hopes to destroy it, then Wakanda and Vibranium are totally in the mix.

Plus there’s this photo of a mysterious character played by Andy Serkis.

Is Andy Serkis playing Ulysses Klaw?
Is Andy Serkis playing Ulysses Klaw?
Ulysses Klaw as seen in the comics.
Ulysses Klaw as seen in the comics.

As the photos show, Serkis looks a lot like Klaw.

Klaw is a Black Panther villain, but I don’t think his appearance means we will see Black Panther (he may be name-dropped, like Stephen Strange in ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’). I think Klaw may be doing a job for Ultron…

Ultron's hand cannot be melted. Does that mean he's made of Vibranium? Or is this a scene where Klaw coats his body in Vibranium?
Ultron’s hand cannot be melted. Does that mean he’s made of Vibranium? Or is this a scene where Klaw coats his body in Vibranium?

It is doubtful a villain like Klaw, who does specialize in Vibranium – the reason he lives in Wakanda – would help the Avengers fix Captain America’s shield. But it is totally feasible that Ultron hires (or forces) him to give the robot a fresh coat of the indestructible metal.

How does one break a shield made of the stuff then? Well, in ‘The Wolverine,’ Wolvie’s Adamantium claws are cut off by the Silver Samurai using heated Adamantium. Perhaps Ultron uses a similar tactic to break Capt.’s shield? Because if Thor’s hammer doesn’t destroy the thing, how can a punch from Ultron do it?

Ultron and the Places They Go

Entertainment WeeklyAs originally described in Entertainment Weekly’s ‘Age of Ultron’ cover story months back, Ultron is not just a machine, he is a consciousness on the cloud that can control a number of drones, like the one below.

Waterproof DroneThe trailer features dozens of these drones attacking another old-school, stone, European structure, that does look to be different than Baron Strucker’s castle. One that, on the inside, might look like this…

The Avengers wait for a drone siege?
The Avengers wait for a drone siege?

That has the Avengers in New York at Avengers Tower, a stop in what is likely Germany for Baron Strucker’s castle, some time in Europe/Eastern Europe where the Hulk fights the Hulkbuster, Wakanda, and this other European looking stone structure.

The Avengers are covering more ground than James Bond, which is especially exciting considering they spent the first film entirely in the United States.

As for Ultron, he may have many drones and start out as a freaky looking suit, but he finally reaches his full potential (with Vibranium?) and ends up looking like this…Ultron Hi Res Head Cocked

Of course, some sort of finale happens with all the Avengers, including Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, against this final incarnation of Ultron and perhaps an entire army of drones.

The Avengers may have their differences again in this film - Stark pisses off Thor, the Hulk fights Stark (maybe...), and the Twins hate the Avengers -but Earth's Mightiest Heroes must join together to defeat the world's biggest threat.
The Avengers may have their differences again in this film – Stark pisses off Thor, the Hulk fights Stark (maybe…), and the Twins hate the Avengers -but Earth’s Mightiest Heroes must join together to defeat the world’s biggest threat eventually…

Even though he was absent in the trailer, Vision will be in the film as seen in the upper left corner of the above Comic Con exclusive poster. He’s that dude hovering in the air. Ultron makes this robot companion using Tony’s J.A.R.V.I.S. artificial intelligence, only to have it eventually turn on him like Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

Will We See Nick Fury?

Nick Fury in 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'Nick Fury had to fake his death in ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘stayed dead’ after the film. But he does make some sort of appearance in the film, though it has been said that it will be a much smaller role than in ‘The Avengers’ or ‘Winter Soldier.’

Who knows what role his character will play in all this.

Finally…

What’s This About the 1940s?

There is one screen-grab that looks like Captain America back home in the 1940s.Captain America Flashback

Some suggest that Scarlet Witch’s powers could cause Rogers to have a false perception that he is back in the past, putting him out of commission. After all, like manipulating the Hulk, the Avengers are easier to fight when they are not “assembled.”

I bet it’s a flash back. The summary from Marvel also reads ‘When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry.’ It is assumed Hank Pym, who we will not see until August 2015 in ‘Ant-Man’ may have created the program initially as he creates Ultron in the comics. But, if it was Steve Rogers’ old friend Howard Stark who attempted to start the program in the 40’s, then a flashback with the Capt. makes sense.Captain America assesses destruction in Age of Ultron

Do I have all the answers? Obviously not. But I think I’ve made a few good points based on the material Marvel Studios has provided in the form of that excellent new trailer.

All questions and assumptions will be answered on May 1st!

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!!!

Podcast #7: The Reapening – Ultron Comes To ‘Gotham’


Nick and Andrew are back after a summer hiatus! Plans of discussing the brand new  ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ trailer and the TV show ‘Gotham’ are often derailed by the excitement 2015 bring-ith.

Ultron stands aside Scarlet Witch and Quicksiler
Ultron stands aside Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver
Captain America in Age of Ultron
Capt, runs from flying cars!

Some more screen grabs from the epic trailer posted previously.

Age of Ultron Avengers Asunder
Bruce Banner/ Hulk gets seriously spooked!
No Strings
Creepy-Ass string-less robot!
Hulk V. Hulkbuster
… And Hulk Vs. The Hulkbuster!

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer & Poster Have Arrived!!! “There are no strings on me.”


Watch now! Talk later!

Watch again! We talk later!

Oh… and new poster…

The new 'Age of Ultron' teaser poster.
The new ‘Age of Ultron’ teaser poster.

Look familiar?

OG Avengers Poster for 1st Film
OG Avengers Poster for 1st Film

Hulkbuster out!

Hulkbuster: Tony Stark running it? Or Ultron?
Hulkbuster: Tony Stark running it? Or Ultron?

Why ‘Avengers 3’ WON’T Be Split Into 2 Movies And Thanos Might Need His Own Film


There’s a rumor floating around the net that ‘Avengers 3’ may be split into two movies.

Part 1, mutha fuckas! Now wait for part 2, suckas!
Part 1, mutha fuckas! Now wait for part 2, suckas!

We have, of course, seen many films adapted from young-adult novels that split the final book into two movies. ‘Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2,’ ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2’ and now ‘Hunger Games: Mocking Jay 1 & 2.’ Meanwhile Peter Jackson believes ‘The Hobbit’ is actually 3 super long movies; just as long as the non-extended versions of the entire ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy.

Splitting a book in half is one thing, but splitting ‘Avengers 3’ in half actually creates ‘Avengers 3’ and ‘Avengers 4.’

The problem? If I am not mistaken, all the stars, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, and even Samuel L. Jackson are only under contract for 3 ‘Avengers’ films. And I know that Robert Downey Jr. only has 1 movie left on his contract; a single ‘Avengers’ movie, following ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron.’

I’m not sure how the contracts with franchises like ‘Harry Potter’ work when it comes to splitting the final book into two movies, creating eight films instead of seven. They may have had to renegotiate the actors’ contracts for ‘Deathly Hallows, Part 2,’ but I’m sure the original contracts for ‘Twilight’ and ‘Hunger Games’ included the extra fourth film (aka ‘Part 2’ of the finales), as was likely the plan from the beginning.

Which is where the problem for ‘Avengers 3, Part 1 & 2’ arises.

RDJ (Robert Downey Jr.) got the sweetest deal of all, as no one expected the first ‘Iron Man’ to spawn two sequels and three ‘Avengers’ films. He got to negotiate his pay for the sequels and three Avengers films AFTER Marvel made him a superstar in the first ‘Iron Man’ film.

On the other hand, actors like Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth where hired on the cheap, pre-stardom, allowing Marvel to throw two sequels and three ‘Avengers’ movies on their contracts for a lot less cash than RDJ’s salary.

How much money will it take to get the two Chris's back for 'Avengers 4?'
How much money will it take to get the two Chris’s back for ‘Avengers 4?’

But making ‘Avengers 3’ into two films – creating ‘Avengers 3’ and ‘Avengers 4’ – would mean new negotiations with the entire cast of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Continue reading “Why ‘Avengers 3’ WON’T Be Split Into 2 Movies And Thanos Might Need His Own Film”