Age of Ultron – Review

Marvel are really nailing it when it comes to their movies. It will be hard to keep producing quality film after quality film, especially if they all rotate around some kind of superhero (human or not).

There are a ton of spoilers in this review so don’t read it if you haven’t seen the film or don’t want to know what happens. They all die! Just kidding… or am I? You have been warned. I’ll try and keep things simple and short.

Here are some general thoughts.

Ultron as a villain works… just. My personal feeling is that even if this film was rubbish, I’d still love it. The enjoyment of seeing these heroes on the screen is just too good and hasn’t worn thin on me.

In the comics, Ultron has returned time and again and he’s a good comic book villain. In this film, he appears too quickly and his intent seems based on nothing other than the fact the Tony Stark made him. However, I still think it worked. Bearing in mind that in the first film they were fighting aliens, now fighting a robot (highly intelligent AI android albeit) might seem less of a concern. Either way, Ultron created enough of a threat that you felt like it needed serious Avengers attention. The use of the infinity gem/stone helped it work. Without that (and the scepter), I think the AI villain thing would have struggled to work.

The Twins are an interesting choice and they grow into their roles well as the film progressed. I still think the Quicksilver kitchen scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past is hard to beat but the Avengers version is pretty decent. Note: this is a far superior movie to that X-Men movie. We could have maybe seen more of a back story with them although it’s hard to cover every character without making it too long. The Scarlet Witch is actually a very cool character (and incredibly powerful) so I hope we see more from her.

The Vision. Again, a very cool character. He was done very well in the film. I like Paul Bettany. He’s got an excellent speaking voice and his transition from Jarvis to Vision is pretty cool and very well handled.

The banter between the team remains sharp and witty for the most part. The action scenes are ever more epic and there are a couple of times where it gets too much, but thats the nature of these movies and it generally recovers pretty well.

Other notable mentions. Cap was awesome as always. A few scenes were suggestive of the Civil War rift yet to come. Hulk got more screen time. Hawkeye was given more of a back story, as was Widow. Thor was Thor. It was good to see the backup characters making an entrance, although there was very little mention of Shield insofar as tying into the TV series. And no Phil. Wakanda got a mention – cool!

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will go and see it again (happy face). It does have a darker mood than the first movie but it needs to as the team question and realise what it really means to be the last line of defence.

8/10

iCloud, Again

Bloody Hell! Apologies for my language but iCloud really gets on my nerves.

Time and again, I’ve given it (iCloud) the opportunity to become my best ‘cloud’ friend and time and again it has failed me.

My request of it is simple, ‘please work.’ I’m not asking it to do anything that is out of the ordinary. I’m not asking it to learn how to reverse park a car or engage in Kung Fu. No, I am simply requesting it to allow me to access documents on the road when using apps like Pages.

Consistently all I see from this ‘shit’ (again apologies) service is ‘updating’ as I try to access documents that have been penned and drafted only hours previously on a different device. Thats the whole point isn’t it?

I’ve even got it set on ‘cellular’ usage and still when I’m out and about it refuses to give me access to my documents.

I’m done with it. All (and I do mean ‘all’) of my online cloud based activity is now going to be done through my own My Cloud server. iCloud has had it’s chance.

Geek Thoughts for the Week

I’m just going to say it. It’s a freakin great time to be a comic and movie fan right now!

The Star Wars Trailer.

Put simply, it broke the Internet last week. It had grown men crying, myself included. It offered everything that the original three stand for – lightsabers, Chewie, Han, Mark Hamill’s voice, Kylo Ren (Bad dude) and TIE fighters. And, from everything I’m reading, it actually sounds like it’s shaping up to be a good movie, not just a Star Wars movie. If it can stand the test of time as well as the original trilogy, then we are in for a treat. Watch here.

AI Discussions.

The prospect of artificial intelligence one day being a reality seems to be discussed more and more. With wearable tech and the Internet of Things fast becoming the norm, isn’t it the next natural stage for a computer or robot to start ‘behaving’ like a human? Alex Garland’s Ex Machina has popularised the discussion again.

Netflix’s Daredevil.

I’ve watched the first two episodes of season one and so far I’m very impressed. Charlie Cox is a good Matt Murdoch and seems to have a handle on the Daredevil character. There’s a rich history in the comics, much of which is quite dark and brooding. This series seems to nail that whilst still setting it in the bigger more colourful Marvel cinematic universe. In a market that is saturated with superheroes, it’s impressive that Marvel can still offer something new.

Age of Ultron is nearly upon us.

Staying on the Marvel theme, Age of Ultron is out next week and the excitement is really beginning to rise. Not only are the Star Wars and Dawn of Justice trailers attached, but there is also the introduction of Ultron and The Vision. I’ve always liked the Ultron character and tie that into the AI question (see above), I think this will be a really interesting interpretation of a well know Avengers storyline. Oh and it has the hulk buster suit! Here’s a reminder.

The Vision discussing AI
The Vision discussing AI

Batman v Superman Trailer.

This post wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the Dawn of Justice trailer. The version that’s leaked is not great quality but it’s still epic. I believe the HD versions will be online this week so if you haven’t already seen it, maybe you wait? Hmm, I couldn’t. Aside from the quality, it looks like a dark, gritty film that steals a lot from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. It is one of my all time favourite story arcs (that probably goes for most Batman fans) and the fight scene that the trailer alludes to is just a sensational piece of art and story telling. If they even get it a little bit right, it’s going to be supreme.

Blog Ramblings – Still going on about Writing Workflow

I’ve been banging on about the perfect writing workflow for a while now, knowing full well that I probably will never be content. Of course that isn’t going to stop me trying every word processor and writing tool I can get my hands on in an effort to find my ‘perfect’ setup.

I’m also still going to write up a detailed post on all the different tools I currently use in an effort to clearly define the best process possible (specifically for me).

Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I find I’m much more productive when I ‘enjoy’ the experience of the tools that I’m using. It’s not enough that I just want to write (although when I’m in the flow, it doesn’t matter). I want to write in the most comfortable and best looking app and be able to save whatever I write in various drives and clouds, all of which are accessible via my iPhone, Macbook and iPad.

DC Comic’s Convergence

Issue #0 was setting the scene. It follows that #1 should get stuck into the story. However, having just read it, whilst I think it was good, # 1 is still setting the scene. I think DC Comic’s would definitely benefit from a Marvel style inside front page update/reminder.

I like the premise of Convergence and I’ll be interested to see what they do with Telos after the event and how they deal with all the worlds afterwards. There will definitely be some fun team ups and scenes to come.

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Comics, Tech and General Geek-fest!

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