(Light spoilers ahead) It's the weekend we've all been waiting for, the U.S. release of Marvels, Avengers: Age of Ultron, but how does this super hero action film stack up against the previous, lets take a look. First off, regardless of the sub-par reviews, the film has already brought in an incredible amount of money over seas and is sure to do well at the box office this weekend. With all that said, lets examine what went wrong. Age of Ultron picks up where Captain America: The Winter Soldier's story line left off, in a post S.H.I.E.L.D. world where our team is hunting down remaining Hydra members in search of the Chitauri scepter, used by Loki in the first film. While the players are all here, there's one notable difference and that's the budding love interest between Black Widow and The Hulk a.k.a. Bruce Banner and unfortunately, it doesn't do anything but weigh down an interesting and usually fun character. Some of the jokes for Natasha's character in the film felt forced and didn't match up with a character that's always had a tough exterior with the exception of her relationship with Hawkeye. Speaking of Hawkeye, he gets a lot more screen time and dialogue as well importance to the plot this time around, which is nice considering he was put on the back burner during the first Avengers film. We get to see a plethora of familiar faces from other Marvel films, including, Agent Smulders, Sam Wilson better known as The Falcon and even James "Rhodey" Rhodes, bringing all of the gang together. New comers Scarlett Witch and Quicksilver play central roles in this epic story line orchestrated by the villainous A.I. unit, Ultron. Another notable difference is how Ultron came to be in the film as opposed to the comics, which raises some questions over whether or not this new origin will be addressed by his creator in the comic books and character in the upcoming Ant-Man film, Dr. Hank Pym. While the movie has it's handful of continuity issues here and there, it's still a wild ride, full of funny moments and action sequences that far surpass that of the first film. One of the best moments is the Hulk and Hulkbuster fight scene. The events also set up the story arc for the next Captain America film, Captain America: Civil War, as well as show an mid-end credit sequence that shows whats to come during the following two Avengers films. Despite it's flaws, Avengers 2 is still one awesome ride with a few surprises that you don't want to miss!
Ex Machina delves into questions of morality and paranoia, as this sci-fi thriller pits one programmer in a test against a machine. The question is simple, can Artificial Intelligence develop a conscious and can the Turing test prove it? The films execution however, is near perfect. The film, that's already gained critical acclaim from critics, stars Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, as an A.I. named Ava. Her interaction is monitored by her creator and owner, Oscar Issac, who plays Nathan Bateman in the film, along side Domhnall Gleeson who plays the programmer and one of Issac's employees, Caleb Smith. Ex Machina's genius lies just under the surface, as the film builds up an expert level or terror, making you feel more nervous than comfortable. Issac's character, a narcissistic, alcoholic, tech genius, invites Caleb for a week long stay on his remote estate with limited access to rooms, outside phones and a lack of windows. With little explanation at first as to what he's going to actually be doing, Caleb begins to question Nathans motives, creating an initial uneasiness in their relationship and as the days advance, things begin to become more and more dangerous for our main character but its the ending that's the best moment of this solid film. (I also can't forget to mention that this movie might feature one of the best dance sequences I've ever seen.) Ex Machina is in theaters now, check out the trailer below!
What was once the most ambitious title in a long series of horror-survival video games has now fallen apart but the story behind it is much more complicated than a simple cancellation. In case you haven't heard, Silent Hills, the latest title by game publishing company, Konami, hit a snag when rumors began to surface that gaming director Hideo Kojima, planned to discontinue his partnership with the company following the completion of the latest Metal Gear Solid title, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. A tweet surfaced from a fan attending that San Francisco International Film Festival from director Guillermo Del Toro, who was also attached to the project, that it was "not going to happen," this was followed by the announcement that the playable trailer, available on the Playstation network store, was being pulled today, April 29th. Another tweet came from AMC's The Walking Dead star, Norman Reedus, whom the main protagonist was based, adding further speculation for gamers shortly before Konami themselves announced the title was officially cancelled. It's a shame to see a game with such potential and great minds behind it, fall apart in what feels like a number of days. Konami did state that they plan on moving forward with other projects for the franchise so hopefully we will get another, amazing, Silent Hills title. Take a look at the teaser that started it all.
If you were alive in the 90's, it was hard to escape to Dragon Ball mania, from it's original run of the series in the 80's, up until Dragon Ball Z and GT that ended in the 90's and even a remastered version of the Dragon Ball Z anime, Dragon Ball Kai, the Dragon Ball franchise has always had its influence known. Even conquering the realms of video games and releasing an impressive 19 films with one due this summer, it's no surprise that interest for this long time series is still running and high and all of the continued success has turned into some good news. Famitsu has reported that Dragon Ball will return with a brand new anime series under the name, Dragon Ball Super and is set to take place after the events of Goku defeating Majin Buu, which is pre-GT era. Original creator Akira Toriyama will develop the story for the new series as well. Get excited, it looks like we'll be seeing a lot more of Goku and the gang!
The Spider-man film franchise has changed dramatically over the last year, from the lack luster box office performance of, despite it's flaws, one of the best Spider-man stories to date, to the recent deal between Sony and Marvel, guaranteeing Spideys spot in the ever building Marvel Universe, fans are still asking one big question. Who's going to play Spider-man? Marvel released it's alleged shortlist of actors, naming their top 5 who are currently in the running for the spot as well as sparking a rumor over the title of the upcoming new film. As for the actors (picture above) in the running for Spider-man, you can certainly tell that the rumors that Marvel was heading in a more "teenage" version of Peter Parker is apparent. Starting from the left, we have Nat Wolf from the Fault In Our Stars and will later star along side Suicide Squads Cara Delvingne in Paper Towns, Tom Holland from The Impossible, Timothee Chalamet from the TV series Homeland as well as Interstellar, and Laim James from The Killing and The Way, Way Back. Wolfe and Butterfiled both have blockbuster experience under their belt, while James and Chalamet performed impressively well in their respective roles. Holland is the lest known on the list but won a number of awards for his role in The Impossible. Regardless of who gets the role, we do know that Marvel's current plan is set for a cameo of the new Peter Parker in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, before starring in his own feature length film July 28th, 2017, under the rumored title, Spider-Man: The New Avenger. There's also a report that Drew Goddard, the director of Cabin In The Woods, will be directing and writing the reboot. The good news in all of this is that this time around, we'll have Spider-man right where he belongs.
After weeks of teasing, director David Ayer let loose a full image of Jared Leto as Suicide Squad's Joker and boy, is it a lot to take in. A few things to notice are the symbolism of the various tattoos and accessories, displayed all over Leto's body, from the jester face over the left side of this pec, to the grinning mouth on his forearm next to (what appears to be) a purple surgical glove, to the sprawling "ha ha" written on both the other side of his chest and along his other fore arm. We can see that this version of the Joker will have the iconic green hair sitting just about the word "damaged," tattooed along his fore head. We can also see just the top part of a stomach tattoo that I'm sure we'll get a better glimpse of at another time. To me, Leto looks like a punk rock maniac and it has me a lot more excited for the forthcoming film than I was before. Get ready to see the newest version of the Joker come to life August 5th, 2016.
While we wait for E3 in June to give us some possibly good news about the future of this futuristic war franchise, players have another reason to rejoice as the original Gears of War title is making it's way to the Xobx One. The original game, released in 2006, is reportedly being remastered for the new console, with some cleaned up visual and tweaks to cutscenes. Polygon broke the news of the report today, stating that this could be the possibility of the first title in the series getting remastered for a collection for the Xbox One. This isn't too surprising considering Microsoft acquired the rights to the franchise just last June.
John Trank's Fantastic Four is finally showing more and more footage and we're slowly beginning to realize that this movie isn't going to be like any other Fantastic Four story, ever. The new trailer, oozing science fiction vibes, takes out original heroes through an alternate dimension that gives them new physical abilities. We see a lot in this second trailer like out first clean glimpse of Jamie Bell's "The Thing," as well as a quick shots of the rest of the cast using their abilities and trying to understand what happening to them. We also see the role that House of Cards, Reg E. Cathey, will play in the film as Dr. Franklin Storm. Take a look at the dark trailer below and get ready for the reboot to his theaters August 7th, 2015.
This weekend's big Star Wars celebration brought us a lot of news and one of the surprising stories to come from it was a look at the first standalone Star Wars title, Star Wars: Rogue One, as well as some details. Rogue One will follow a group of heroic pilots who aim to steal the plans to the Death Star, pre-the original trilogy era. The title card for the film showed Star Wars Anthology, which makes sense considering there are multiple films planned along side the next trilogy that follows the events of the original cast. Greig Fraser, the cinematographer behind Zero Dark Thirty and Foxcatcher will be behind the lens of this film along side 2014's Godzilla director, Gareth Edwards. Edwards went on to reveal that he was actually approached and hired for the role during the production of Godzilla. The Theory of Everything's Felicity Jones is rumored to star in the film, along with Ben Mendelsohn from Exodus: Gods and Kings. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One will be released December 16th, 2016.
Yesterday, the teaser trailer leaked for Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and even though I viewed it, the quality was so poor that it was hardly worth posting. (including that fact that it was taken down just several hours later) However, director Zack Snyder has decided to release a HD version of the video that gives us a look at the tone that this sequel will have, thus paving the way for the Justice League film in the future. It looks like man kind is at odds with their new extraterrestrial being and whether his intentions are good, or bad. This is where Batman comes into the mix to challenge the "False God," in an attempt to find out just how human he is. Take a look at the trailer and pay close attention to Batman's suit and his voice.