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Archive for May, 2015

X-Men: Days of Future Past, Film Review.


Brian Singer make a welcome return to the X-Men franchise with a film that units the original X-Men trilogy with X-Men: First Class and the Wolverine spin off films. This film that units these films so that they are all set in one universe. It also try to fix a number of continuity errors in the franchise.

X-Men: Days of Future Past starts in the near future in which both mutants and most of the human race have decimated by the deadly killing machines known as The Sentinels. In this apoplectic world Professor X (Sir Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Sir Ian McKellen) have put their difference a side and battling to save what left of mutants and humans. But they are losing the war, so have gathered the last remains of the X-Men for a last-ditch attempt to stop the Sentinel war from ever happing and change their present so it is no longer the nightmare they are living.

Based on the X-Men story of the same name, Brian Singer has had to make some changes so that it will fit with the film franchise and unit them. In the original story it is Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) mind that goes back in time into her own body to make the change. However this would not work here as the past setting is 1970’s, in which she would be -20 years old.
To solve this problem Singer has picked Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to go back as he is ageless.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is by far the most ambitious film in the franchise to date. But not just with story but also sorting all the notorious continuity errors of the other films.
This make X-Men: Days of Future Past a soft reboot of the franchise. With this in mind Brian Singer has gone out and delivered the best movie to date. It also show that the X-Men franchise is best served when it is in Singer hands.

X-Men: Days of Future past is an entraining film from start to finished, all the Character get to grow a little weather it is in the future or the past. Once again James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are excellent as the young Charles Xavier & Erik Lehnsherr respectively. Re-joining them from X-Men: First Class is Nicholas Hoult as Beast and Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique. Also along for the ride from the original trilogy are Halle Berry as Strom. Her role was cut down due to her pregnancy, Shawn Ashmore as Ice Man, Daniel Cudmore as Colossus. Of course there are a few more actor from the original trilogy that appear in the film but they are just cameo and I won’t spoil who they are if you have not seen the film.

With the exception of X-Men: First Class, every X-Men film has been pretty much the Wolverine show, this not surprising given that Wolverine has to be one of the most popular Mutants from the X-Men line of comics. It is refreshing to see that in this film he has taken on the role of the team player and is the bridge between the future and the past. It is also fun to see that he has become the mentor to the man that will later become his mentor.

X-Men: Days of Future Past, has some great action scene, but the one stand out moment is with Quicksliver (Evan Peters), when he helps break out Erik Lehnsherr from prison. The scene was filmed with a high speed camera then played at normal speed to given the sense of speed that this Character move at. Both the future and past have different look with the future being dark, while Singer has captured 70’s with bright colour to show the difference between the two. The Sentinels of the 70’s look right at home and have a retro yet futuristic look for the period look to them. While the ones of the future look similar to the Destroyer from Thor, but a pick more menacing.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the best X-Men film to date and while it sort out most of the continuity errors, it does not manage to fix them all, and even creates one or two. But they are easy to overlook. In my mind Singer has been the best thing to happen to the X-Men franchise and it should not really leave his hands as a producer or director. (He did not serve as producer on X-Men: The Last Stand and is an uncredited producer on X-Men Origins: Wolverine.) Like Marvel Studios, Fox has started to add post credit scene to their Marvel films so keep and open for one that will lead into X-Men: Apocalypse.
I give this film 4.5 out of 5.

Logan: So, you always were an asshole.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Chronological Timeline

Chris Martin from Evil Starship Factory, asked me in my review of Age of Ultron. “Do you need to see Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D to know what going on in the movies?”
To put it simply the answer is a big fat No!
After all the movie have to be done in a way that anyone that does not follow all the movies let alone the TV shows as well. Needs to be able to sit down and watch them and enjoy them without seeing everything else in the MCU. (Marvel Cinematic Universe.)

After looking online to see if there was an official one form Marvel. I could not find anything.
Marvel did produce one for Phase 1 after the Avengers came out. If you look for anything after this you just get the releases dates for Phase 3 films.

So I have decided to put together a timeline that show all the major events and how they affect each movie and the TV shows. There was no real dates stated in the Phase 1 films and the official Marvel timeline. So when I started putting this together I used Tony Stark announcing to the word “I am Iron Man” as point Zero. So everything before is marked as ___ Years BIAIM (Before I am Iron Man).
Everything after is marked as ___ Years AIAM (After I am Iron Man.)
When Guardians of the Galaxy came out we know that Peter Quill was abducted in 1988 and the main story take place 26 years later. (2014) with that I was able to determine what year events took place. This allowed me to put in the year of the event.

**Edit 26/05/15, Correction made for Iron Man 3.**
Here is the MCU timeline to date.

Eons ago – Bor, father of Odin, clashes with the Dark Elf Malekith, who seeks to destroy the universe using a weapon known as the Aether. After conquering Malekith’s forces, including enhanced warriors called the Kursed, on their home world of Svartalfheim, Bor safeguards the Aether within a stone column. (Thor: The Dark World)

(1009) 1000 years BIAIM – Jotunheim invades Midgard/ Earth (Tonsberg, Norway). Odin defeats Laufey and Jotuns and captures the Casket of Ancient Winters (Thor)

(1409) 600 years BIAIM – Odin leaves the Tesseract on Earth.

(1942) 67 years BIAIM –
Johann Schmidt invades Tonsberg, Norway and steals the Tesseract. (Captain America: The Frist Avenger.)

Steve Rodgers becomes the first and only successful Super-Solider from Project Rebirth. (Captain America: The Frist Avenger.)

(1944) 65 Years BIAIM- during a Mission Bucky Barnes is believed to be killed. He is rescued by Hydra and later the Russians (Captain America: The Frist Avenger & Captain America: The Winter Solider)

(1945) 64 years BIAIM – Captain America defeats Johann Schmidt (The red Skull) and crashes the suborbital bomber into the Artic. (Captain America: The Frist Avenger.)

(1946) 63 Years BIAIM – Season 1 of Agent Carter. (Marvel’s Agent Carter)

(1964) 45 Years BIAIM – Howard Stark works with Anton Vanko on development of the Arc Reactor (Iron Man 2)

(1976) 33 Years BIAIM – Stark Industries unveils the first Arc Reactor.

(1988) 21 Years BIAIM – Peter Quill is abducted from Earth by the Ravagers. (Guardians of the Galaxy)

(2004) 5 years BIAIM – Bruce Banner working on recreating the Super-Solider is bombarded with Gamma Radiation, changes into the Hulk and escapes.

(2009) 9 months BIAIM – Tony Stark is kidnapped by the Ten Rings, he invents a miniaturized Arc Reactor to keep Shrapnel out of his hart and the Iron Man Mark 1 armor to escape. (Iron Man)

(2009) 1 day BIAIM – Iron Man battles the Iron Monger on the Howard Stark Memorial Freeway. (Iron Man)

(2009) I am Iron Man –
Tony Stack announces to the world he is Iron Man. (Iron Man)

Nick Fury approaches Tony Stark about the Avengers Initiative. (Iron Man)

(2010) 6 months and after AIAIM –
Banner “Hulks” out at a bottling planet While chased by General Ross and Emil Blonsky in Rochina, Rio De Janerio.(The Incredible Hulk)

Tony Stack is attacked by Ivan Vanko at the Monaco Historical Grand Prix and defeats him using the Mark V Armor. (Iron Man 2)

Tony Stack Build the Mark IV Armor and Rhodey Mark II Battle Armor, after a fight between the two Rhodey delivers the Mark II Battle Armor to US Air Force. (Iron Man 2)

Thor is banished from Asgard to Midgard/Earth. (Thor)

Banner goes to Culver U (The Incredible Hulk)

Agent Coulson travels from Malibu to Roswell (Iron Man 2 / Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s)

Iron Man and War Machine save Stark Expo from Ivan Vanko (Iron Man 2)

Blonsky becomes a Super-Solider (The Incredible Hulk)

Fury meets with Tony Stark and offers him a consultant role with S.H.E.I.L.D (Iron Man 2)

Thor returns to Asgard and Battles Loki, the Bifrost is destroyed during the battle and Loki falls into void of space. (Thor)

Banner is captured by General Ross, Blonsky becomes the Abomination. Banner is airdropped into Harlem, New York to take down the Abomination. After the Battle Hulk goes back on the run and Abomination is taken into custody by General Ross. (The Incredible Hulk)

Dr Erik Selvig is hired by S.H.E.I.L.D to work with the Tesseract at Project P.E.G.A.S.U.S (Thor)

Tony Stack Visits General Ross. (The Incredible Hulk & Marvel One-Shot: The Consultant)

(2011) 1 year AIAM – Captain America is found in the artic and taken to New York to recover (Captain America: The Frist Avenger.)

(2012) 2 years AIAM –
The Events of The Avengers

Two kids have been able to get a Chitauri weapon to work and are hired by S.H.E.I.L.D (Marvel One-Shot: Item 47)

Agent Coulson has been brought back to life using Project T.A.H.I.T.I. (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)

(Christmas 2012) 2 Years and 6 Months AIAIM – The Events of Iron Man 3

(2013) 3 years AIAM – Trevor Slattery is broken out of prison by agents working for the real Mandarin who is not please with Trevor Slattery. (Marvel One-Shot: All Hail The King)

(2013) 3 Years and 6 Months AIAIM –
Events from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 1 episode 1 (Pilot) to 7 (The Hub)

The Events of Thor: The Dark World.

(2013-2014) Events from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 1 episode 8 (The Well) to 16 (End of the Beginning)

(2014) 4 Years AIAIM –
The Events of Captain America: The Winter Solider. The events shown in Marvels Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. episode 16 End of the Beginning. Happen at the same time. (Captain America: The Winter Solider and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)

The Events of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Events of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 1 episode 17 (Turn Turn Turn) to 22 (Beginning of the End)

(2015) 5 Years AIAIM
Events from Marvel’s Daredevil Season 1.

Events from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 2, episode 1 (Shadows) to 19 (The Dirty Half Dozen)

Events from Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Events from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 2, episode 20 (Scars) to 22 (S.O.S Part 2)

Events from Ant-Man

So there it is the MCU timeline to date. I could go into more details but that would take a lot longer to put together. With the exception of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk & Captain America: The Frist Avenger all films take place in the year of their release.
Daredevil has not been given a date (I sure it on one of the newspapers.) but following the films and Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D taking place in the year of release it will be the same for this.
We do know that it take place after the Battle of New York. Given the damage New York took it not hard to believe that time for building to be knocked down start of construction of new ones. Daredevil season 1 happening in 2015 would fit.

Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Film Review


Age of Ultron brings Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase 2 to a close, even though Ant-Man is the official last film. But that is a standalone film and the events of Phase 2 will not affect what will happen in Ant-Man.

Age of Ultron is set roughly a year after the events of Captain America: The Winter Solider, S.H.E.I.L.D is gone and the world thinks Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is dead. Over the last year the Avengers have banned back together to bring Hydra down for good and reclaim Loki sceptre.
Unknown to them Agent Coulson has found its location and given the information to Maria Hill (Cobbie Smulders) who then forwards the information to the Avengers. (This event does not happen in the film but in the TV show Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D season two episode “The Dirty Half Dozen.”) This brings us to the action pack opening of Age of Ultron.
From the get go Whedon, does not disappoints, with lot of action and humour. We get introduced to two Enhanced Humans that was briefly scene in the post credit scene from Captain America: The Winter Solider and also a closure to the Hydra storyline started in that film. (Though I will not be surprised if we see more of Hydra in later episodes of Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.)
With the help of Dr Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) attempts to build an A.I that will help save the world from extra terrestrial threats, using his Iron Legion. This is where the creation of Ultron (James Spader) happens. From this point on the Avengers go after Ultron to stop him at any cost.

The film has lots of drama with a budding romance between Banner and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson.) and we get to see Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) personal life away from the Avengers.
This gives Renner a lot more to work with this time around instead of being a mind-wash drone like he was in the first film. Spader is excellent as Ultron and brings a lot of comedy to the role which you not expect for someone trying to wipe out all life on Earth. Ultron has been flesh out better than past villains in the MCU, which is a good thing as so far all they have seem to be is just progress the story along.
We finally get to see Paul Bettany on Screen as Vision and the roll really suit him. But it also looks to be the last we hear him as J.A.V.R.I.S.
Newcomers Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) fit in well. It a shame we don’t get their real heritage, being the children of Magneto. But this is down to the rights issue that Marvel has with FOX, who currently own the film rights. So don’t expect any mutants appearing in the MCU.
As for the rest of the main cast, this is their forth time or more playing their roles. So they all know what they are doing.
Age of Ultron is a dark film; one of the reasons for this is that Joss Whedon has states that The Godfather Part 2 was inspiration for the film. But Whedon does not go to dark making sure to lighten some of the darker moments with comedy that we come to expect from him. While some of these did make me laugh, there where not as many laugh out load moment as there was in The Avengers.
The action is fast and you are able to follow what is going on screen, and there is lot going on screen with the hundreds of Ultron drones.
Age of Ultron has the most effects in a Marvel film to date, and it stunning. It looks like Marvels did not waste a penny in this area. One the highlights form the CGI. Is Iron Man fight with the Hulk in the Hulkbuster suit. This fight bring everything fans have wanted to see when these two go up angst each other on the big screen.
As with Marvel other films there are lots of hidden Easter eggs for fans of the comics with find and quite a few references to up coming films in Phase 3.

Joss Whedon has been very busy since he wrapped up work on the Avengers, with kick-off Marvels TV show Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D (which is part of the MCU) and working behind the scene of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Solider. So that they will set up events that will lead into Age of Ultron. With all of this he has managed to pull it off again and deliver a very enjoyable film. After I watched it I thought the film was missing something and I could not put my finger on what it could be. But now that I had a few days to think about it, I would put it down to the fact that even though he has brought so many elements together it’s no longer new like it was with the first film. Add to it the hype that was been created it all adds up.
As I have stated, Whedon has delivered once again. After five years working at Marvel he has earned a well deserved break. (Joss Whedon dose have the option to come back to the MCU and do another film.) For Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, they have some very large shoes to fill, as they are currently set to direct Captain America: Civil War and then start work on bring everything together for Avengers: Infinity War Part One & Two, which could also include a fair few of the Marvel TV shows that are part of the MCU.

I give Avengers: Age of Ultron a 4.5 out of 5.

Tony Stark: What’s the vibranium for?
Ultron: I’m glad you asked that, because I wanted to take this time to explain my evil plan… [blasts Stark]