New Podcast – Ava DuVernay Directing ‘The New Gods,’ Avengers: Infinity War Trailer, Deadpool 2 & More

The Movie Pit Podcast is live!

It was a great week of movie news and movie trailers, so sit back and enjoy everybody! You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, Youtube and Soundcloud

Soundcloud Link – https://soundcloud.com/the-movie-pit

iTunes Link  – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-movie-pit-podcast/id1249582608?mt=2

Youtube

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Review

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver11

Dir: Joss Whedon

Writer(s): Joss Whedon

Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader (voice), Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Don Cheadle, Thomas Kretschmann, Andy Serkis and Samuel L. Jackson

Synopsis: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

 

 

*Reviewer Note:  This will be a spoiler free review.*

 

 

It’s hard to believe that Avengers: Age of Ultron is only Marvel Studios’ eleventh film, and what better way to cap it off with the second outing of one of the biggest teams in history. Joss Whedon returns to direct his last Marvel films – at least for now, hopefully – and boy does he go out with a bang. Avengers: Age of Ultron not only brings the gang back together, but also sets up the craziness that will be the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

 

Whedon doesn’t hold back and really shows us what the movie will be like with the opening sequence, which is a huge action sequence, with some great comedy and humor, involved, on a Hydra base as The Avengers: Tony Stark/Iron Man (Downey Jr.), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Evans), Thor (Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Johansson), Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Renner) and Bruce Banner/Hulk (Ruffalo), led an assault to capture an important item. While there they encounter The Twins, Pietro (Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda Maximoff (Olsen), who are also called “enhanced,” and find out how deadly they can be. Wanda uses her powers to show them their worst fears, which varies on each Avenger, and I fears I won’t spoil here in the review.

 

MV5BMTU3NjU0OTUxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODIwMjQ0NTE@._V1__SX1217_SY533_

 

Moreover, Tony and Bruce discover what they think is a key to unlocking their “Ultron” program, A.I. Their hope is to have another peacekeeping option so their burden is not as strong. Of course, things don’t go according to plan and instead Ultron (voiced and motion captured by Spader) becomes a menace and sees the only way to peace is eliminating the human race and The Avengers.

 

If it is not clear by the opening sequence, Age of Ultron has a lot going on. Not only do we have the new characters, but also the multiple arcs going on that set up not just the rest of the movie, but also the future films, in particular Thor Ragnarok which actually slows down the movie a bit. One of the things that the movie is doing is pretty much showing us these characters aren’t always perfect, but also have their bad or imperfect sides, despite being labeled “superheroes.” They are still, for most of them anyway, human, they have flaws. Can they keep fighting forever?

 

1414042456754_Image_galleryImage_Marvel_s_Avengers_Age_of_

 

The other part that slows down the movie is the return of Nick Fury (Jackson). Don’t get me wrong, it is great to see Jackson back as Fury, but even his scenes slow down the movie too. Are they important scenes? Sort of. Fury is there to somewhat remind The Avengers why the world depends on them and why they were bought together, but during the third act they find that out themselves anyway.

 

MV5BMTgwNzQ2NjE1OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzMzNTY4MzE@._V1__SX1217_SY533_

 

So let’s get the cast. Everyone has their moment to shine. The already established cast members do great in the roles as usual and do even better with the added depth the plot of the movie is giving them. Jeremy Renner’s Barton/Hawkeye does get some renewed justice, after playing a zombified henchman in The Avengers. He has a great and surprising arc in this that finally gives the character justice and more than a secondary character. Johansson’s Black Widow and Ruffalo’s Hulk have their blooming romance, which makes a bit more sense when you see it fully played out onscreen. Downey Jr. and Evans tease out their Civil War bout with their ideals on what to do with Ultron, and Hemsworth’s Thor is well, Hemsworth’s Thor (not in a bad way).

 

avengers-age-of-ultron-james-spader-image-600x250

 

As for the new cast members, they’re a bit hit-and-miss. Let’s start with the obvious, James Spader’s Ultron. I don’t like to compare the comics to the movies, because they movies are their own thing, but the Ultron here is a bit different from the comics (and that’s as far as I’ll go with that). The movie version of Ultron is a bit all over the place. For the most part, he is ruthless and wants to rid the world of pretty much everything and everyone. However, he does a quality that Spader really nails and makes Ultron a little bit more complex and truly a creation of Tony Stark. It was rather odd to behold, but kind of welcomed.

 

Secondly, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as the twins Pietro and Wanda. Yes, they do have European accents, and no, they are not mutants (damn you 20th Century Fox, DAMN YOU). Instead, the Maximoff twins have been experimented on by Hydra’s scientists, mainly Baron von Strucker (Thomas Kretschamann), and are called “enhanced,” for their special powers for super speed and telekinesis and other psychic powers. It’s fairly clear in all the promotional that the twins work with Ultron at the start of the film and eventually end up working with The Avengers, which any comic book fan and maybe even casual fans would have guessed, so I don’t really consider that a spoiler. Taylor-Johnson’s Pietro, not Quicksilver which I don’t believe he’s ever called in the film, is cocky and a bit brash, while Olsen’s Wanda –also never called Scarlet Witch from what I recall, but is called witch by Tony– is both vulnerable, but mostly dangerous.

 

The two are a bit underutilized unfortunately. They have their own story as to why they want to team up with Ultron at the start, but after that they really don’t do a hell of a lot. Yes, they play a role in the final act, but this is the trouble with having so many moving parts, it was bound to happen. Again, that isn’t to say they don’t have their moments to shine, more so with Wanda as Olsen gets the edge of screentime than her onscreen brother, but as a whole they are just okay until the final act of the movie.

 

MV5BMTQ0MDU4NDY4Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDM2NzYzMjE@._V1__SX1217_SY533_

 

Finally, Paul Bettany as Jarvis/The Vision. It’s a bit weird to say Bettany is a new cast member, since he has been a part of the MCU since day one as the voice of Stark’s helpful computer program Jarvis. But here in Age of Ultron, he is physically there with everyone as The Vision. I won’t say how he comes to be in the movie, but when he finally shows up and how he shows up it is truly great to see. More importantly, it is more great to see Bettany finally be an actual part/physically there for The Avengers from this point forward.

 

MV5BMTA0NDA1MjQ3NDVeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDQ5MTU2MjUx._V1__SX1217_SY577_

 

There are some nice small appearances in there. Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie and Cobie Smulders pop up during the fun and funny party scene that happens before the “Lift Thor’s Hammer Challenge.” Andy Serkis plays Ulysses Klaue, which if you’re not a big comic book fan, you should try to remember his face and name for the future. There is some other surprises, but I’ll leave you to see those yourself.

 

Age of Ultron is filled with great action, the opening sequence is great and the Hulk vs. Tony in his Hulkbuster suit was awesome, but it is also filled with great humor. Yes, some of the jokes fall flat or feel unnecessary, but most of them feel right and it’s nice to have a laugh when despair and destruction is going around. Also, there are some serious surprises in this, that I won’t spoil, but one truly comes to mind that I’m sure many fans will be talking about.

 

MV5BMjAzMTc2MzI5NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjMwMjQ0NTE@._V1__SX1217_SY533_

 

All in all, Avengers: Age of Ultron does have a lot of stuff going on, but Joss Whedon being Joss Whedon manages to be able to balance a large chuck of it and make a great sequel to what many thought, would be an impossible team-up movie. Age of Ultron has it all; action, drama, humor, and a great cast. You will surely have a fun time watching this. Of course, stay for the first credits scene, no after credits scene.

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

4.5 out of 5

 

 

May Movie Releases

Hello Boys and Girls!

 

It’s the beginning of the Summer Movie Season!

What better way to start off this run of movies than a great month of films. We got a lot of films to get to, so let’s get to it!

 

 

1st

Limited Release: Far from the Madding Crowd

Based on the novel by Thomas Hardy, the film stars Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene, who attracts three different suitors played by Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, and Michael Sheen. The film also stars Jessica Barden, Bardley Hall and Juno Temple.

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

I mean come on, it’s the sequel  to one of the biggest superhero team-up movies ever! The cast keeps getting bigger and better. I, for one, am excited about watching this (more than once).

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver11

 

8th

Limited Release: Maggie

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a father trying to protect his daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, for as long as he can before she dies of a slow disease that is slowly turning her to a zombie. The trailer shows that Arnold is going to be diving into his dramatic chops, and people that have already seen it are saying it is a great character piece.

 

Hot Pursuit

Reese Witherspoon stars as a by-the-book cop who tries to protect a widow of a drug boss from killers all across Texas. I have to say, for me, this is a weird pairing and the movie doesn’t really seem like anything new to the action/comedy genre.

hot_pursuit_ver2maggie

 

15th

Limited Release: Good Kill

Ethan Hawke stars as a man that begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot. The films also stars January Jones, Zoe Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Jake Abel

 

Pitch Perfect 2

The sequel to the surprise hit comes back and it looks like it is going to be better than ever. Not only that, but, producer and star from the first film Elizabeth Banks will take the helm and director the sequel. I didn’t see the first film so I can’t say am going to see this one just yet.

 

Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller returns to the world of the Mad with his new installment/reboot Mad Max: Fury Road. Tom Hardy plays the new Max and is joined by Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Zoe Kravitz and original Mad Max star Hugh Keays-Byrne playing a new character. That and the trailers make the new movie look bad-shit crazy.

mad_max_fury_road_ver11 pitch_perfect_two_ver3

 

22nd

Poltergeist

A remake of the original cult-classic is coming to the big screens again. The remake actually looks like it could be kind of fun, then again, I’m one that doesn’t mind remakes unless they are done right and do their own thing. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Jared Harris.

 

Tomorrowland

Brad Bird is bringing a mysterious take to what looks like a coming of age story with sci-fi elements and George Clooney. No I’m just kidding, but seriously we know very little about this new film that brings three people together to help save a world called Tomorrowland. The film also stars Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, and Kathryn Hahn.

poltergeist tomorrowland-poster-imax

 

29th

Aloha

Cameron Crowe directs  this new film that stars Bradley Cooper, a celebrated military contractor who returns to the site of his triumph and re-connects with a lost love, while falling for a hard-charginig Air Force watchdog assigned to him. The women that Cooper’s character is falling for are Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams. The film also stars, John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, and Bill Murray.

 

San Andreas

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson vs. Big Earthquake. Okay, maybe he’s not physically fighting the earthquake, but you can’t pass on something like that. Anyway, Johnson does play a rescue-chopper pilot who goes on a dangerous journey to rescue his estranged daughter played by Alexandra Daddario. The film also stars Carla Gugino, Ioan Gruffudd, Kylie Minogue, Colton Haynes and Paul Giamatti.

aloha san_andreas_ver2