Live Action (Short Subject) Nominees

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers Age of Ultron posterFans of the Avengers – assemble! My guess is they’re already packing the midnight showings and putting this superhero superflick in prime position to knock those Fast and Furious folks from the top of the Box Office. And rightly so. Avengers: Age of Ultron delivers the goods. It’s not as good as the first one, but it serves the purpose of advancing the Marvel mythology and providing pure escapist entertainment by bringing together, once again, the world’s mightiest heroes, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). Eye candy, sarcasm, action. What’s not to like?

I don’t watch these movies on the same level as the truly obsessed – those who started cheering before the opening titles even rolled. And truth is, I don’t really understand the plot all that much. But I LOVE the banter between the heroes as they engage in a battle of egos – even while uniting to battle the bad guys. In this case, the baddest guy is the product of some experiment in Artificial Intelligence embodied by a giant robot, Ultron, voiced by James Spader. As is usually (okay, always) the case in these action adventure superhero movies, the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.

Two new characters with unique powers enter the fray in Avengers: Age of Ultron… fraternal twins Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) who have an axe to grind with the avengers, particularly Tony Stark aka Iron Man. The twins are allies – and pawns – of the villainous Ultron. I could try and go deeper into the plot, and how it plays off story threads from the franchise that includes a slew of movies featuring one or more of the Avengers, but what’s the point? You’re either into these movies – or you’re not. If you are, then Avengers: Age of Ultron is definitely worth checking out. It’s best viewed on the big screen, though the 3D doesn’t add much. The best interactions (for me) are the humanistic and emotion-driven scenes rather than the high-octane battles, of which there are plenty. It’s a chick flick wrapped in testosterone. The movie runs about two hours and 20 minutes, but moves at a steady clip. It’s packed with action from the very first frame – to the last, which fans now know always includes a teaser for what lies ahead. Here’s a hint: X marks the spot.

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