Paul Bettany

The Avengers Age Of Ultron

Nearly two years ago to the day I sat in a theater, watching a dream come true. Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor, on screen together. Marvels The Avengers changed the game. Then, in its end credits, around 245 in the morning, The Mad Titan Thanos made his debut. Since that moment, I have been waiting for this night. The return of Earth’s mightiest heroes! Could this film live up to the hype? The first one was so special because we had never seen these characters, on screen together. The Marvel villains can be one sided at times, could Ultron live up to Loki? Well, yes. In every sense of its being, it was epic!

The Avengers Age of Ultron tells the story of Earths Mightiest heroes coming together again to finish what they started in Marvels The Avengers however, during their wrap party they are greeted by a creation that Stark and Banner had been working on to create peace. However this creation, this Artificial Intelligence has decided the best route for peace, is extinction. The film stars Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Arron Taylor-Johnson, and Elizabeth Olsen. It is once again written and directed by the great Joss Whedon.

The pace is epic in this film. We open up with the Avengers on a mission and we never really slow down. It is nearly a 2 and half hour action scene. That’s not to say the story does not follow suite. Whedon has done and incredible job bringing these characters back together, and while the magic of seeing them for the first time is gone, the charisma between the characters is so much fun to see unravel. There is a lot of worry that the film would be to dark, however it is quite the opposite. While it is dark and gritty, there is no lack of fun and jokes. Every joke hits perfectly.

The cinematography is beautiful. Every shot is nearly seamless. The CGI is incredible. Hulk is once again amazing to see on screen. The story is well written. Ultron is a well-rounded villain that makes you fear for everyone in this film. And for good reason. Whedon does such a good job with this script. Are some of the beats the same as the first film? Yes, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. There is a lot of heart to this one. To the point that I was actually tearing up at certain scenes.

Now that’s not to say I don’t have any negatives. I had a few issues. There is no explanation for the end of Iron Man 3. Stark is just, Iron Man again. I guess forget that he said he was done. Also Ultron is kind of just thrown together. While he has no lack of personality, there is not much to his creation. Short montage and boom. I’m here; there are no strings on me. There is a random cross thread which I assume is meant to build the greater universe, a short scene with Thor, that feels out of place and is never mentioned again. Other than those, I don’t have much to complain about.

I think the biggest positive about Age of Ultron, is its character development. We get three new members this go around. Marvel’s version of Quicksilver, his sister The Scarlett Which, and The Vison. And I enjoyed all three of them. The accents the twins are given are little off. And Olsen has a hard time keeping it up in some scenes. Vision is incredibly well done. A character that could come off as pretty goofy comes off, pretty epic. There is a lot of develop to the Hulk and Black Widow as well as their relationship. You get hints toward the Civil War between Stark and Rogers. As well as Hawkeye. Hawkeye final gets the respect he deserves.

So all in all. Age of Ultron is an incredible film, and a must see in the theater. Before I get my Jeebus score, I am going to let you in a little surprise. I will be releasing my first video review within the next week. It will be much more spoiler heavy and meant for fans who have already seen the film. But know that it is coming. So, score. Age of Ultron is epic as I have said, I gave it a 5.0, with a .5 bonus for spoilerific reasons I can’t tell you here (wait for the video) giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.5.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

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Terminator, year 1. Wait, that’s not right. TRANSCENDENCE

From the cinematographer who brought us The Dark Knight Trilogy, and has not directed anything, at all. And starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Houser, and JARVIS, er Paul Bettany. Comes the film that could be considered the alternate reality of Skynet, Transcendence. So this is Wally Pfister’s first outing as a director, and I won’t say it was terrible. Maybe a little rough around the edges but if your first outing is helming a Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman film, good job bro.

Transcendence follows Dr. Will Caster (Depp) working on an A.I. system with his wife (Hall). When a radical anti-technology group lead by The Invisible Woman, who I don’t think you ever get her name in the film, orchestrates a terrorist attack on multiple technology companies and figures, one of which being Caster who is left fatally wounded. His wife, and best friend Max (Bettany) decide they can upload his consciousness into a super computer so that Castor can live forever. From there Castor grows in power and intelligence becoming connected to the internet and everything. Max realizes the dangers and joins up with the government and the same terrorist organization responsible for Casters death to put a stop to all-knowing A.I. that Caster has become. But are they too late?

Is this Johnny Depp’s return to super stardom? Absolutely not, but is it the abysmal fail that Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, and The Rum Diaries were? No. It’s quite entertaining to start with. It is definitely more of a drama throughout the first act, dealing with letting go of a loved one. But then it begins to get a bit technical and hard to follow. Transcendence is full of plot holes as well. Once Castor is uploaded to the web he sends his wife to a tiny town in the middle of know where and they proceed to build an entire unground laboratory, in what seems to be the span of 2 years. Now I’ve seen construction on the highways here in Dallas Texas and go on for well over two years and they have yet to do what these people seemed to do. The film also makes the assumption that you are just going to figure out the random sci-fi like acts that go on, and again makes it hard to follow. You leave the theater thinking about the film, but end up picking it apart.

It’s not all bad like I said though. With Pfister being a cinematographer the visuals are stunning in Transcendence. Plus the casting is incredible. Everyone in the movie is believable in their roles. And for the most part it is very entertaining. It goes from a drama to the thriller, all though not the most thrilling of a thriller. Depp is great, it is always nice to see him outside of the eye liner wearing crazy characters that he has been doing lately.

All in all I gave Transcendence a pretty good Jeebus score, probably higher then I should of, but I couldn’t dispute the math. 3.8, Check Out The Matinee.