Movie review: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)

age of ultron

“Does anybody remember when I put a missile through a portal, in New York City? We were standing right under it. We’re the Avengers. We can bust weapons dealers the whole doo-da-day, but how do we cope with something like that?”

“Together.”

“We’ll lose.”

“We’ll do that together too.”

Whereas comic book superheroes and heroines have a long-standing, time-tested, free-swinging tradition of either brokering guest appearances in one another’s pages or, occasionally, full-on intramural team collaborations against a common enemy and/or towards a common goal, superhero movies have generally operated in hermetically sealed bubbles all their own, using house money and fighting the simplest, most obvious threats. Marvel’s decision, circa 2006, to revamp its existing film studio into something more robust and thus shepherd its own projects, independent of the sort of uninformed, high level meddling that helped turn promising sequels like Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand into underwhelming, overstuffed disappointments, or worse, didn’t immediately signal a seismic shift in the superhero game, though it did strike most observers as a pretty good idea. Little could anyone then have truly realized the scope of Marvel’s master plan Continue reading “Movie review: “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)”

Movie review: “Much Ado About Nothing” (2012)

Ado

“Come, lady, come. You have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.”

“Indeed, my lord. He lent it me a while and I gave him use for it…a double heart for his single one. Merry, once before he won it of me with false dice. Therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.”

When presenting any adaptation of Shakespeare to a modern audience, the filmmaker has some tricky choices to make up front, and faces any number of potential hurdles, not the least of which is the Bard himself. Though many of his themes and much of the behavior he relates are universal and relatable across time, there comes along also the nagging sense that Shakespeare’s works now have an instantly anachronistic quality about them, as if in over their years of being so intensely studied and performed and regularly adapted anew, they have passed some weird sort of expiration date in the larger consciousness of the consumer class, that time has, in some cruel way, begun to decisively pass them by. Continue reading “Movie review: “Much Ado About Nothing” (2012)”