Blog Archives

Happy New Year + George Lucas Says The Force Awakens Was Too Retro (WARNING – ANGRY RANT AHEAD)

Oh, George, George, George…I really haven’t given you any attention on this blog, have I? In the years I’ve been doing this blog (and yes, that scares me too that I’m coming up on FIVE YEARS of writing this blog in April), I have yet to dedicate an article to a man who created one of the greatest science fiction sagas of all time, the newest entry of which is breaking box office records worldwide right now, which is very impressive considering how much he’s done to make it suck. So, I figured I’d ring in the new year by doing just that. So, congrats, George Lucas, your moment on this blog has finally arrived.

Now, most of us are probably well aware of most of the things George has done to ruin the Star Wars franchise. If you don’t know, here’s a little ditty that I think best covers some of the bigger ones…

Oh yeah, and he was also the guy who made the Howard The Duck movie. Not related to anything else on here, but I just thought I’d bring it up. Then, in October 2012, he decided to sell the rights to the franchise to Disney…’cuz they really needed another multi-billion dollar franchise under their control. lol All kidding aside, though, when people were concerned about what would end up happening to Star Wars now that Disney was in control, I more or less had the following sentiment: “Star Wars is already dead. George killed it. So really, the worst that Disney can do in raising it from its grave is to kill it again, in which case, we’re just back to square one. They LITERALLY cannot do any worse than has already been done to this franchise.” And, considering that now, just a little over three years later, Episode VII is currently raking in…hang on… … …ah, over 1.2 BILLION DOLLARS at the box office, even managing to beat out Frozen, I think it’s safe to assume that Star Wars is gonna be okay.

However, one common critique I’ve heard about the movie is how it repeats a lot of plot points that we’ve seen in a lot of the older movies. I’ll avoid talking about them in detail, because I don’t wanna spoil anyone, but…yeah, they are numerous. And having gone to see the movie, I can say that, while I liked it A LOT (and was VERY proud of my mother for managing to sit through the whole thing even though she hates movie theaters), that IS a legitimate critique that someone can make about this movie, and I would say that I don’t mind hearing people bring that up… … …I repeat, I WOULD say that, except there is ONE person I do NOT want to hear that from: George Lucas.

Apparently, George decided to talk about how Disney made The Force Awakens a bit too retro, stated that he preferred to make each movie feel different, and referred to Disney as “white slavers”. Some have suggested that last part was meant to be a joke, but my personal opinion is that, even if it was, it was a kinda BAD one. However, here’s the sticking point for me: “Every movie, I worked very hard to make them different.” Um…what? First off, George, do you even remember what you yourself said about the prequel movies, and how they and the characters within them mirror the original trilogy and characters? And now you’re gonna judge J. J. Abrams and everyone else that worked on the story for doing the same thing, only with less green screen and Jar Jar? Second, you worked hard to make each movie different? Do you know which of the now seven Star Wars movies is probably the most thematically different, all things considered? The Empire Strikes Back. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s the one that, up until the newest movie, had the LEAST DIRECT CONTROL BY GEORGE LUCAS! Isn’t that a funny little coincidence?

And while I do consider the repeated plot elements from the older movies here to be a legit critique, I also kind of take the approach of…well, what were you expecting? If I may be allowed to quote the Cinema Snob from the Nostalgia Critic’s review of The Force Awakens, “It’s the reintroduction of an old friend who’s taken a beating and just needed to show that he’s gonna be okay before he accomplishes better things”. It had to hit all these same beats for this one, to show that the ones making these new movies know what they’re doing, before they continue down a new direction. So, while it’s a legitimate issue to take with this one movie, I think it’s one that shows that Episodes VIII and IX will probably be pretty good.

So, in short, here’s my final word on the subject: George, you sold the rights to Disney. You made more money off of that purchase than I will ever see in my entire life. On top of that, you made who knows how much off Star Wars when you owned it, you were awarded a Life Achievement Award by the American Film Institute (although I think perhaps one or two guests mistook the event for a celebrity roast, particularly Carrie Fisher…as frigging hilarious as that was), you won Hugo Award after Hugo Award after Hugo Award, and you were inducted as a Disney Legend by those same people you, jokingly or not, referred to as “white slavers”. So, I suggest you take all that money you’ve got in your World’s Biggest Piggybank, buy yourself a tropical island (which I’m shocked wasn’t part of the original game-plan in selling Star Wars), go retire there, and shut your mouth, you HHHHHHAAAAAAAAAACK.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter. And I know I’m opening the floodgates with this one, but…honestly, I just can’t seem to care this time. Lemme know what you think of all this, and hey, if you haven’t already, go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Yes, there are a couple of things I could give real critiques about, and I probably will someday, but overall, it really does hold up pretty well as the newest chapter of the Star Wars saga, and a VERY welcome breath of fresh air after the prequels. Just try not to post spoilers in the comments, or I WILL delete them. Ja né!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…On the other hand, though, at least he’s not that pig from the New York Post that body shamed Carrie Fisher, the stupid little shit…Yeah, you turn 59 and see how sexy you are. What, are you upset she doesn’t look like she did in Return of the Jedi? Seriously, what were they even smoking when they came up with the whole gold bikini slave girl on a chain thing???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, and Happy New Year, everybody! 😛

Advertisements

Kingdom Hearts III – Ten Years And Counting, And Why That’s Absurd

So, being a huge Kingdom Hearts fan, I was hyped as all heck when, on June 10th, 2013, during E3 that year, we finally got the following:

For years, we’d been waiting patiently for this game to be announced after we’d played through side games and prequels, and finally, we had confirmation that it was coming. So, when was the game going to come out? Didn’t know. All we knew was that it was being worked on…which we kinda already knew, and that development had been held up because the same team had been working on Final Fantasy XV (then known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII), but hey, at least we finally caught a glimpse of it. Two years later, that glimpse was expanded upon.

YEAH, now we’re talking! So, when is the game coming out?! 😀

…MOTHER FUCKER! Yup, even after all this waiting, we still don’t have a solid release date. However, we then learned from the game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura, that there would be “news (and) new announcements” about the game at the Japan D23 expo in November, where he hoped to debut additional footage and content that was cut from the E3 2015 trailer due to time. And, in fact, on the 3rd of this month, we did get a trailer for KH3. Great! So, where’s the trailer? NOT AVAILABLE. Why? I don’t know. Apparently, it was shown exclusively to the people at the expo, who were told not to film the trailer, and everyone else was told that the official release of the trailer shown then was “To Be Determined”, which means there actually is no official release date for the trailer, because they don’t know when they’re going to show it to us. Of course, for all I know, that means the trailer could be posted as soon as I’m done writing this…although I wouldn’t count on that. lol

Now, with that said, I may not have the trailer, but I do know what happened in it, because I read the spoilers on KH13.com. And yes, a lot of what I read sounds very impressive. However, what I wanted to read most was the release date. Why am I so obsessed with that? Because Kingdom Hearts II originally came out in Japan on December 22nd, 2005. 2005! We’re less than two months away from ten years since that game was first released! For a decade, all anyone who enjoyed the Kingdom Hearts series has wanted to do was play Kingdom Hearts III, but we couldn’t for reasons that relate to Square-Enix’s priorities and that the new Final Fantasy game was a top priority to them. You wouldn’t think so, given how the last few FF games have gone, but it is, and thus we’ve had to be satisfied with side-games and prequels. Now, I will give this much: Birth By Sleep was probably always gonna be a thing, regardless of how plans went with the series due to waiting until KH3 could be done, and is a worthy prequel story that helps set up what we can expect in the next game. Also, while not 100% necessary in the grand scheme of things, 358/2 Days also had a good story that helped fans to learn of Roxas’ tragic life, and while held back a bit by the limitations of the Nintendo DS nonetheless plays pretty well. However, there was NO reason for Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, aside from the last chapter that, honestly, could’ve been done better and differently, and I don’t know why Kingdom Hearts χ is a thing. The odd one out in that line-up is Dream Drop Distance, which I can’t seem to decide if it makes for a worthy interquel like Chain of Memories before it or if it was another unnecessary side-game pushed out to satisfy fans. On the one hand, I DID really enjoy the new gameplay mechanics introduced, the revelations in the final parts of the story help to set up the conflict in KH3, and it was nice that it introduced a ton of new worlds we’d never been to. On the other hand, though, the story elements that actually matter could’ve been part of KH3 with little in the way of altering things, there were still locations we’d been to before present again (albeit with new additions to them), and from the looks of things, those same gameplay mechanics look to be made part of KH3’s gameplay anyway. Really, it just comes down to when you ask me.

Regardless, it’s safe to say that I’ve become more than a bit obsessed with learning the release date of Kingdom Hearts III. So, when I found info on the new trailer, I thought “Well, it’s been ten years, they’re no longer bound by the same issue revolving around FFXV, and this trailer is specifically going to contain visuals and info that didn’t make it to the E3 trailer”. As such, I read the details, looking forward to seeing that rele-MOTHER FUCKER!!! That’s right, STILL no release date! Oh, but you wanna know what DOES have a sort-of confirmed release date? Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue…Okay, we were pushing it with some of the titles before, but there is NO WAY you can take that game’s name seriously. Seriously, bet yourself five dollars you can say that name without either cracking a smile or feeling somewhat agitated just by the title alone… … …You just lost five dollars, didn’t you? lol But yeah, while we don’t know EXACTLY when, we do know that HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue will come out next year, and that it contains an HD remake of Dream Drop Distance, a special cinematic about the Foretellers from χ, and a new playable ‘episode’ (meaning probably a single world/level) starring Aqua and taking place sometime after Birth By Sleep. Ten years later, and Square-Enix is still making side-games.

Now, I don’t want anyone to come here and say that I just don’t get it, and that I think there’s no reason for the hold up. Of course there are reasons. Up until recently, the same team making KH3 was working on FFXV. Because of delays, the game has gone through drastic redevelopments, since I’m pretty sure they initially were thinking of doing it for PS3, and I know for a fact that they switched gameplay engines at least once so far. Plus, the people working on it beyond the developers have other projects they wanna do, and some have even died and had to be replaced. And no, I don’t know if Leonard Nimoy or Sir Christopher Lee got into a recording studio to do their lines for the game before their tragic passings this year. The only person I know that finished recording all their lines for the game was Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy, who is admittedly a main character in that he’ll be following Sora throughout the game. I get that there’s all kinds of reasons for why this game has been held up. What I’m saying is that it’s been held up for ten years and counting, and that is absurd! Duke Nukem Forever only has that beat by five years, and that gap is only gonna continue to shrink if something isn’t done to get this game back on schedule in a hurry!

The other problem the hold-ups have is that, because of all the side-games being released and all the plots being introduced, there’s no way that the start-to-finish story originally thought of for Kingdom Hearts III is the same as it once was. Oh sure, because I truly believe Birth By Sleep was always going to be a thing, then I can buy that this game would revolve around the return of Master Xehanort and trying to restore Terra, Aqua, and Ven. However, beyond that, we now have the following plot points going into KH3:

  1. The fates of Roxas and Naminé, which honestly didn’t need development past the resolution in KH2, and of Xion, who was introduced in 358/2 Days.
  2. Lea and Kairi’s training as Keyblade Wielders to try and catch up with Sora and the others.
  3. What’s going to happen with Lea and Isa now that Isa is working for Xehanort.
  4. There are now THIRTEEN Xehanorts instead of just the one, some of which are past characters with pieces of his heart placed in them in through an ability we didn’t know could be done, and we still don’t quite understand how Xehanort pulled all this off, other than it involves Square-Enix’s favourite type of story: A time-travel mess with LOTS of dei ex machina involved. They now form a NEW Organization XIII, and are the main antagonists.
  5. Maleficent trying to steal the Datascape, and the connection it has to the Book of Prophecies.
  6. The data that Ansem the Wise left in Sora’s heart while he was sleeping, and the fact that he’s apparently still alive, too.

That’s a LOT to pack into a single game, and that’s not even including ongoing stories within any worlds that will be returning! We’ve also had a number of retcons introduced, like the purpose of the Organization, the true nature of Nobodies (although I can KINDA believe that might’ve been planned from the start…maybe), and the fact that…well…King Mickey is one of the biggest liars-by-omission EVER. lol How much has he failed to tell ANYONE about past events that would’ve been handy information to have if he’d just said anything? Now, of course, the reason he didn’t tell anyone is because, at the time, it hadn’t been conceived of by the people making the games. However, by introducing these plot elements and having him take part in them, he nonetheless comes off as someone who has been withholding valuable information and lying his ass off about stuff for YEARS. Just saying, I don’t think they thought this all the way through, and have kinda painted Mickey Mouse in a rather disturbing new light if you think about it long enough.

Now, the last thing I wanna say is, I’m not saying all of this because I hate Kingdom Hearts now, or that I’m announcing my refusal to get Kingdom Hearts III when it comes out (provided I own a system it’s available on at some point). I still love Kingdom Hearts. THAT’S the reason I’m saying all of this, because the next real entry in the game has been in a level of development hell that few games have entered, and the most infamous of which came out of in VERY bad condition, and I don’t want that happening here. I want whatever bullshit is holding up progress to be dealt with. Ten years is long enough.

Anyway, lemme know what you all think in the comments, and hopefully, we won’t have to wait long until more information is made available to us. If nothing else, I’m holding out hope that we’ll get something solid at E3 next year. Until then, all we can do is wait, and keep counting the stars, hoping that, one day, we’ll count that last one that leads us to our destination. Ja né!

Jyger’s Favourite 5 – 5 Death Battles I Want To See (FEEDBACK REQUESTED)

So, as many people probably know, I’m a big fan of the show Death Battle, wherein two characters (usually fictional with few exceptions) are set against each other in a fight to the death. Of course, because some characters involved do not kill usually (Batman and Superman, for example), these fights are actually ‘simulations’ with all personality traits intact but that. Also, the fights take said characters from when they were at their peak ability, so that the hosts of the show can analyse the best of their weapons, armour, and skills. This is why Goku was unable to defeat Superman, as the whole point behind Goku’s character is that he will always have limits he has to break, whereas Superman has no limits other than how much solar energy he’s taken in at any given time, with a proven maximum potential of infinity.

However, despite the fact that the show has been around for five years and 54 episodes (not including mini-analyses, the spin-off shows Desk of Death Battle and One Minute Melee, or other such specials), there nonetheless are plenty of potential Death Battles that myself and many other fans have thought of and wanted to see in the future. So, I thought I’d go ahead and list five Death Battles I’d like to see, and as usual, if you can think of any I haven’t listed, feel free to add them in the comments. So, let’s start off with probably my most requested…

#1 – King Mickey from Kingdom Hearts vs Yoda from Star Wars

The battle of the master swordsmen who, while lacking size, nonetheless are incredibly powerful and skilled. Really, this fight would more or less come down to one major point: Which is stronger, King Mickey’s magic or Yoda’s mastery of The Force? Because I suspect they’re equally matched in swordplay, and while it can usually cut through most anything else, I doubt the Lightsaber could just as easily slice through a Keyblade. Either way, though, this would likely be a fast and furious battle with lots of insane acrobatics.

#2 – Mega Charizard X from Pokémon vs WarGreymon from Digimon

Pokémon vs Digimon. It has to happen at some point or another, and I feel these two are the best choices. With that said, there’s a couple of points that could work in either mon’s favour. Using Digimon logic, as Mega Charizard X is part Dragon-type, WarGreymon’s Dramon Killer claws should be highly effective on it. On the flip side, though, using Pokémon logic, because WarGreymon is covered in metal armour, Mega Charizard X’s Fire-type attacks should work well against it.

#3 - Dumplin from TFS Plays Dragonball Xenoverse vs Nazo from Nazo Unleashed

#3 – Dumplin from Team Four Star Plays Dragonball Xenoverse vs Nazo from Nazo Unleashed

Battle of the fan characters! And yes, I know Nazo’s design is based on a potential transformation of Sonic’s from the Sonic X pilot, but the fan community has since made him into something completely different. Really, this would pretty much by design be more of a joke battle, but an epic one nonetheless. Plus, I just really wanna see Team Four Star’s Demon God of Love step into Death Battle. lol

#4 – Team RWBY Battle Royale

Yes, I know we just had one of the cast of RWBY duke it out in a Death Battle, but honestly, I think I’d like to see these four in a battle not unlike the Ninja Turtles’ 4-Way. Mind you, something tells me we MIGHT be seeing something akin to this in the new season, but I doubt very much it’d be a fight to the death, for obvious reasons. However, with that said, there’s one other Battle Royale I’d love to see someday…

#5 – All Winners Battle Royale

Again, probably would have to be a joke battle that doesn’t involve any real analysis, because otherwise, it would take FOREVER to decide a winner. But yeah, I would love to see every single Death Battle winner step into the ring to determine who would win one final Death Battle. And Superman wouldn’t even necessarily win for being the strongest, since he’d be facing opponents like Spawn, who could hurt him very easily. In fact…ah, screw it. lol

#5.5 – Spawn vs Superman

Yes, Superman’s powers make him a near-unkillable being who really shouldn’t be in one-on-one match-ups with no prep time involved like Death Battles…usually. However, Spawn is a different story. His powers range from the magical to the demonic, and Superman lacks any kind of protection against magic-based attacks and weapons. So really, it comes down to a simple question: Is it possible for Superman to gather enough solar energy to cancel out Spawn, or are Spawn’s abilities simply the best possible offense to the Man of Steel?

Anyway, those are five…well, technically SIX Death Battles I’d like to see. Got any I didn’t post? Add them in the comments section, and who knows? Maybe Ben and Chad will see this and add them as future Death Battles. Ja né!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…*sighs* Okay, I’ll do it. IT’S TIME FOR A DEATH BATTLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEE!!! XD

Jyger’s Rant: Avengers Age of Ultron Review (WARNING – SPOILERS)

Well, I’ve let my thoughts on the movie sit and stew for a couple of days, so now I feel ready to talk about the eleventh movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron. I should warn right away, though, that if you have not seen the movie, there are massive spoilers ahead, so if you don’t wanna have the movie ruined for you, skip to where I have labelled ‘Spoilers End Here’ to get my overall thoughts on the movie. For now, let’s run down the plot of the film.

So the movie kicks off with the Avengers going to Sokovia, a fictional country in eastern Europe. Remember that mid-credits scene at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where we found out Baron Strucker was using Loki’s Scepter (likely procured due to Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D.) to enhance human beings? Well, apparently, in between these two movies, the Avengers realized that Hydra had it, and have been going through the process of finding hidden bases and clearing them out in the hunt for the scepter. However, while the operation goes well, save for Hawkeye taking a bad hit, and they wind up apprehending Strucker, the two Enhanced, the twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, not only escape, but Wanda uses her powers to feed Iron Man a vision of the future. In it, Tony sees the Chitauri return and the Avengers are all killed because he couldn’t do enough to save them. As such, he’s encouraged not only to take the scepter, but to examine it and, after he and Bruce find an artificial intelligence inside the gem of the scepter, try to use it to finish work on Tony’s Ultron program. Basically, a first line of defense against external threats to the world that wouldn’t necessarily require a second one. Meanwhile, Doctor Helen Cho repairs the damage done to Clint’s side with synthetic tissue. Remember this, it’ll be important later.

Unfortunately for the Avengers, during a victory party they’re hosting, which features appearances by Rhodey (who has gone back to being War Machine instead of the more PC branded Iron Patriot), Sam Wilson (who is still on the trail of Bucky following Captain America: The Winter Soldier), and quite possibly the best damn Stan Lee cameo EVER, Ultron comes online and is a bit…confused. After a quick search through the database and a conversation with J.A.R.V.I.S., though, he’s lead to believe that, for his mission to save the world to be successful, humanity needs to be eliminated. Specifically, those who want to protect the world but don’t want it to change. As such, he seemingly destroys J.A.R.V.I.S. and takes control of the Iron Legion, pitting them against the unprepared Avengers. Even after the Avengers manage to come out on top, it’s clear that Ultron is a massive threat, made worse when he escapes through the internet. He kills Strucker and regroups with Wanda and Pietro, and they plan to get rid of the Avengers. Luckily, said Avengers manage to figure out that he’s going to pay Ulysses Klaue a visit, who apparently smuggles vibranium (the metal used to make Captain America’s shield) out of the fictional country of Wakanda (which, if you’ve never heard of, you will in the Black Panther movie). However, while Iron Man is able to destroy Ultron’s newer, tougher body, he nonetheless escapes again, this time with the vibranium. To make matters worse, all of the team but Hawkeye are trapped in nightmarish visions from Wanda, which have caused the Hulk to go berserk in Johannesburg. Luckily, Bruce helped Tony build something to help contain him should he go out of control: The MK XLIV modular exo-skeleton, AKA V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A., or as comic fans know it better as, the Hulkbuster. While Tony DOES eventually bring Hulk down, though, the damage done to the city is pretty bad, and backlash against the Avengers is also bad.

Deciding to hide out somewhere and regroup (the team is still pretty shaken from their visions), Hawkeye takes them to his place: A farm house in the middle of nowhere, where Clint lives with his wife and children…and if you’re like me, you’re more than a little surprised by that. It seems only Black Widow knew about them, as S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to keep the families of their agents in safe locations and the knowledge of them known only by a select few. The team tries their best to recover from their mental trauma, with Thor going to meet with Eric Selvig to learn about his visions of Ragnarok and the Infinity Stones, Bruce and Natasha confiding in each other about their tragic lives and a possible desire to escape everything and make a new life together (they’d been showing less than subtle hints of a mutual attraction for a while now), and Steve and Tony doing what they’re mostly known for doing nowadays in the comics: Arguing. lol Well, okay, Nick Fury also shows up (was he just hiding in that barn this whole time?) to help get the team back on their feet, and they learn that, while Ultron has been going after launch codes for various weapons of mass destruction around the world, someone or something has been constantly altering the codes, keeping Ultron out. Instead, they eventually figure out the next phase of Ultron’s plan: To create a new body made of vibranium and synthetic tissue. As such, he’s used Loki’s scepter to take control of Helen Cho and is using her to make said body. He even cracks open the gem in Loki’s scepter, revealing, you guessed it, an Infinity Stone, which he embeds in the new body’s forehead. However, as he begins to download himself into this body, Wanda is able to peer into his mind, realizing what his ultimate goal is: Essentially, he’s going to enact an Armageddon-level attack on the world with the intent of forcing what survivors are left to evolve into a stronger race, though it’s entirely likely that there may not BE any survivors. As such, the twins decide to leave him and, as the Avengers arrive to take the body before Ultron can finish downloading himself, come to their aid, as well as help keep the civilians in the area from getting hurt. Unfortunately, Ultron again escapes, and has captured Black Widow along the way.

You may have noticed one thing about the film already that can be a problem: The overall structure. Most movies follow a basic three act structure. As far as I can tell, Age of Ultron more or less has a four or five act structure, which can be off-putting for some people. Regardless, the team regroups at Avengers Tower, where Tony and Bruce are at work. Tony realized that the one rotating the launch codes and keeping Ultron at bay all along was actually J.A.R.V.I.S., who survived the attack on him and went into hiding. As such, they’ve decided to reconfigure J.A.R.V.I.S.’s program and put him in the body Ultron built. This leads to a fight between the six present at the tower, and when I say a fight, I mean they literally come to blows, until Thor arrives and uses lightning stored in Mjölnir to awaken the body. Apparently, it was in his vision of things to come, and that the Mind Stone is the source of Ultron’s AI, the twins’ powers, and was what was powering Loki’s scepter. The power of the Mind Stone, combined with Thor’s lightning, the new vibranium and synthetic body, and J.A.R.V.I.S.’s program, brings to life a whole new being called The Vision. Vision makes it clear that he doesn’t WANT to kill Ultron, but because of what he’s planning, there’s no other choice. He has to be stopped before he annihilates humanity. Luckily, Natasha managed to get a message out to Clint, and they figure out that Ultron is hiding right back at where the movie started: Sokovia.

Arriving on the scene, and evacuating as many people as possible, the Avengers confront Ultron, who reveals his ultimate move: He uses a machine made out of vibranium to physically lift a huge portion of the land out of the ground and into the sky. Once it’s high enough, he’ll drop it with enough force to wipe out humanity. He’s also built an army of robots to contend with the Avengers, with himself in an upgraded vibranium body. However, while it is possible to blow the machine up before it can hit the Earth, there’s still people left in the city that will die if they do. Thankfully, Fury arrives with a helicarrier, a skeleton crew of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and War Machine to evacuate anyone still left in the city. Bruce manages to save Natasha, and the two regroup with the others, as they assemble to stop Ultron from activating the drop mechanism. Vision cuts him off from the internet, and they crack his most powerful body, causing him and his army to retreat. Wanda stays with the control panel to keep it clear, while the others go about helping evacuate the civilians and destroying all of Ultron’s bodies before they can escape, as if even one of them gets away, Ultron will survive and do this all over again. However, in the midst of the chaos, Ultron steals a jet and tries to gun down Hawkeye as he saves a child, only for Pietro to save him at the cost of his own life. In a rage, Wanda finds Ultron and destroys his primary body, which allows one drone to crawl over and activate the machine. Luckily, they all manage to get away at the last minute as Iron Man and Thor destroy the machine, blowing the landmass apart, as Vision tracks down and destroys the last Ultron body, ending the threat for good. However, fearing for Natasha’s safety, Hulk takes Ultron’s jet and flies away in stealth mode, deciding to go into hiding alone.

In the aftermath of the battle, Fury sets up a new base for the Avengers in upstate New York, since…y’know, having a giant tower in the middle of NYC makes you and everyone around you a massive target. Cho, Selvig, and Maria Hill all set up shop there, as well as the rest of Fury’s agents. Clint decides to retire from the team to be with his family, and Thor opts to return to Asgard, hoping to learn more about his visions as he believes someone is manipulating events to set up for something bigger than they’ve ever dealt with. Finally, Tony decides to take his leave of the team as well, which just leaves Captain America and Black Widow. Thankfully, though, it seems they’ll have a few new recruits, as Steve prepares to train Falcon, War Machine, Vision, and Wanda as the Scarlet Witch as the new team of Avengers. However, they may need more than that, as the Infinity Gauntlet is taken by Thanos, who proclaims “…Fine. I’ll do it myself.”

…SO, let’s get character stuff outta the way. First off, let’s talk about Tony Stark. This movie continues to delve into his PTSD following the first Avengers movie. He’s not having attacks like in Iron Man 3, but you can nonetheless tell how affected he is by what happened. Every decision, every move, everything he does in this movie, you can tell that he’s motivated by the fear of watching his friends be killed by the returning Chitauri. And what’s worse is that, as irrational as he comes off, as often as he makes decisions that are clearly not thought out that well, he’s right to be afraid. We know that this is all leading to Thanos looking to obtain the Infinity Stones, and where is one of them right now? On Earth. Worse, they’ve already earned his rage once. If he comes back with the rest of his army at their front door, AND the Infinity Stones, it’ll be a slaughter. They only won last time because of a conveniently placed off switch for the portal that let the Chitauri through. If it wasn’t for that, they would’ve eventually been exhausted, overwhelmed, and obliterated. Granted, the nuke kinda helped too, but something tells me that Thanos’ army will be prepared for that next time. So as much as what he does earns the ire of his now ex-team at times, you nonetheless understand what he’s going through and want to continue to root for him. Plus, y’know, he’s Iron Man and he’s a badass. And, as always, his snark levels are high for this. Oh, and the Hulkbuster being named V.E.R.O.N.I.C.A.? Apparently, that’s an inside joke. Veronica, as in opposite of Betty, like Betty Ross, the Hulk’s ex……..Not sure what to do with this information, especially considering that Bruce Banner actually helped build the thing. lol

Speaking of Bruce, I don’t know what happened between the first Avengers movie and Age of Ultron, but Bruce seems to have gone from having control of himself and acceptance of being the Hulk…to constantly having to keep himself as restrained as possible and being hesitant to releasing the Hulk. Seriously, what the hell happened there? Is there story we’re missing? I mean, I know there was a prequel comic to Age of Ultron that helps fill in when they got back together and started hunting Hydra, but if that’s where this development happened, I gotta call foul. Like, I get that it’s probably more compelling story for him, but it just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Still, I will give it this much: Seeing him leave on his own in the end is sad. His decision to keep Natasha from getting hurt by being around him is tragic……although, it would be MORE tragic for me personally, if this wasn’t a complete rehash of Oz leaving Willow in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Even Joss Whedon describing the Hulk as a werewolf makes it clear he’s falling back on that story heavily here. Hell, Willow and Natasha are even both redheads!

If Hulk’s story throughout this movie was sad, though, Black Widow’s is HEARTBREAKING. I’m not gonna lie, and N. Harmonik can attest to this since we went to see the movie together, when Natasha explained that, as part of her initiation as a Russian spy, she had to be sterilized, I was on the verge of tears. I’m not much for crying. I’ve never really had a problem being emotional, but tears requires some doing. So yeah, while Joss loses points with me for retreading ground I watched him tread over 15 years ago, he nonetheless makes it back here, as does Scarlet Johansson for really selling this scene. There’s something about her subtle yet strong delivery that makes me wanna weep for her. And for Nat to go through all of this and wind up alone in the end, it’s all the more horrible. Still, as one should expect from Black Widow, she takes the worst that this movie can throw at her and powers through like a boss……Seriously, though, how many movies does this character and the actress playing her have to steal before Marvel Studios finally green-lights a Black Widow solo movie? Honestly, I’m not asking for the moon here, I just want a frigging Black Widow movie. lol

Captain America’s personal journey in this movie is probably the least compelling of the group, but it’s nonetheless something that plays into his overall character arc throughout these movies. Steve Rogers is a soldier, built for war, but when the war’s over, he’s not sure what to do with his life. The love of his life is on death’s doorstep, nearly everyone he knew in his old life is dead, his best friend is missing, and he’s a man out of his own time. By the end, we see signs that he’s accepted his life as a soldier with no possibility of a ‘normal’ life, but one has to wonder. Still, like Black Widow, while he might get put down by these things, he will not allow himself to stay down. Cap fights like a man possessed in this movie, pushing himself as hard as we’ve ever seen. He’s also got a device on his arm that lets him recall his shield, which is handy since, with some of the enemies in this movie, his shield doesn’t so much bounce off of them as it does STICK into them. There’s a running gag throughout the movie wherein he chided Iron Man for his language early on and people keep teasing him over it, and while it’s funny, I think they maybe pushed it a little too far. But most of all, no matter how bad things get, he refuses to give up or give in, continuing to be the symbol of everything we should aspire to be, to the point where, during a scene where the team all try lifting Thor’s hammer, he actually manages to budge it, showing he’s well on his way to proving himself worthy of Mjölnir.

Speaking of the God of Thunder, Thor’s story in this movie is actually something I wanna get into later. Suffice to say, beyond the pacing and act structure of this movie, there’s one other problem this movie has. For now, though, it seems like some of the stuff regarding his arc in this movie may have been cut for time. There was talk that Loki was gonna be in this movie, which I imagine would’ve been in the visions (because otherwise, how else would you even get him in here?), and a scene of a woman stepping into the pool that Thor enters at one point in one of the trailers, but neither occurred in the movie. One other running bit in the movie is, again, when everyone tried to lift Mjölnir and failed, though you could see a look of concern on his face when Steve budged it. Then comes The Vision, who is somehow able to lift it with ease, much to Thor’s stunned amazement. However, by the end, while Steve and Tony are trying to comfort him over it (in a rather amusing manner), we see that Thor’s alright with it, and uses the fact that Mjölnir deemed Vision worthy as proof that the Mind Stone is safe with him.

And that brings us to The Vision…who I absolutely loved in this movie. His overall power-set is a bit different in this movie from how he is in the comics, but I’m fine with that. And while he sounds like J.A.R.V.I.S., and even has maybe a tiny hint of his old personality, he’s clearly something wholly different, born from the sum of his parts into something completely new. His cape is probably justified in the movie due to having been created through Thor’s lightning, feeling a connection to him. He also has an interesting relation to Ultron. Despite Ultron having tried to eliminate him as J.A.R.V.I.S., he doesn’t want to destroy him. He sees Ultron as a unique being, whether he counts as alive or not. But, ultimately, he doesn’t have a choice. To him, Ultron is less-so evil than he is a rabid dog: He doesn’t WANT to kill him, but at this point, it’s the only humane option left. And while the team is at first distrusting of him, when he rallies them all together and even lifts Mjölnir, there’s no question in their minds from then on that he’s not only on their side, but he may be the only one who can save the world.

Let’s talk next about the twins, Wanda and Pietro…who, for some reason or another, are never, at any point in this movie, referred to as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. I dunno, maybe it’s a rights thing. Speaking of, because Fox owns the cinematic rights to the X-Men and Mutants, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are obviously very different in this movie. They’re ‘Enhanced’, humans that were given powers through the Mind Stone in Loki’s Scepter, who had volunteered to such a process as a means of eventually getting revenge on Tony Stark, as his weapons were used to destroy their home, their family, and left them hidden under a bed for two days with what turned out to be a dud, waiting to die. As such, when Ultron plans to eliminate the Avengers, they’re all to happy to join his cause, but once they find out what he’s really after, they immediately realize their error and switch sides. Plus, after spending some time with the team, they quickly begin to learn that they’re good people and start integrating themselves into the group, becoming Avengers themselves.

While I still prefer the version of this character from X-Men Days of Future Past overall, I really liked this Quicksilver from pretty much his first scene. He’s snarky, cocksure, and full of energy. He doesn’t like staying in one place for very long, unless it involves protecting Wanda (because he’s technically the older brother by being born twelve minutes earlier than her, a fact he likes to point out). When he first meets Hawkeye, he develops a rivalry with him that, by the time they’re working on the same side, develops more into an annoying brother sibling rivalry type of thing. And, I’m not gonna lie, watching him sacrifice himself to save Clint and the child he was protecting was heart-wrenching. As I told several people, I had a feeling someone was gonna die in this movie and have it be for real (a lot of the Marvel movies like to do fake-out deaths), but I wasn’t expecting it to be him. And seeing that Clint named his newborn son Nathaniel Pietro Barton really brought it home that they’d developed a tight connection, and that his sacrifice would always be remembered. Personally, I kinda want a memorial for him in the new Avengers facility.

Regarding Scarlet Witch…….Okay, here’s where I’m honestly finding myself having to tread lightly, so bear with me here. I really like this character, and I’m SO glad that we got another woman on the team. Plus, after she had a little Heroic BSOD and got a pep talk from Hawkeye, which I’ll talk about in a sec, she bounced back and became BADASS. She was clearing Ultron robots out like a fucking demon, and when Ultron killed Quicksilver, she got her revenge by literally ripping his ‘heart’ out of his chest. Having said that, beyond her relationship with Pietro, I don’t really think I would consider this character all that faithful to her comic book counterpart. She’s a good character, she just doesn’t feel like Wanda. Honestly, with the changes to personality and powers, she feels similar to, ironically enough, Jean Grey. But regardless, that doesn’t devalue her as a character, just let it be known for comic book purists, you’re probably not gonna be 100% satisfied with this portrayal.

And then there’s Hawkeye……who has my favourite damned scene in the entire movie, when he says to Wanda during her breakdown, and I quote, “Hey, look at me. It’s your fault, it’s everyone’s fault, who cares? Are you up for this? Are you? Look, I just need to know, because the city is flying…okay, the city is flying, we are fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow. None of this makes sense, but I’m going back out there because it’s my job. Okay? And I can’t do my job and babysit. It doesn’t matter what you did or where you were. If you go out there, you fight. And you fight to kill. Stay in here, you’re good. I’ll send your brother to come find you. But if you step out that door, you are an Avenger.” In that one scene, they completely redeemed him not getting a lot of character time in the first Avengers movie. That and including his family. That being said, if they kill off his family like in the Ultimate Universe just to bring Clint back for Infinity War, I’m NOT going to be happy.

And last of all, let’s talk about Ultron. I actually thought the idea to make his personality seem like a dark reflection of Tony’s worked out great. He’s got a lot of the same snark levels and actually beats him to the punch of certain jokes. It also gives him a character trait wherein he more or less has daddy issues with Stark, and actually cuts off a man’s arm for comparing the two. But one thing I find very interesting about him, though, is how he interacts with Wanda and Pietro. He seems to legitimately care for the two, despite the likelihood that his plan might kill them, although it’s possible he’s not mentally registering that fact. He even comes off as somewhat hurt by their betrayal. Even in the end, when he’d inadvertently killed Pietro and was confronted by a vengeful Wanda, all he could do was tell her that, if she stayed, she’d die. In that moment, her safety still mattered to him. One has to wonder if Vision was correct about him, that he wasn’t really evil, just wrong and dangerous, and simply went too far in his misguided quest. And whereas Vision looks to him with pity, Ultron likewise feels disappointment in how Vision turns out, seeing him as a puppet. There’s a reason the original teaser trailer used lyrics from “I’ve Got No Strings”, and why he sings it during his escape. Ultron doesn’t want to simply be a puppet under anyone’s control. He wants to be his own individual with his own free will…which one can see as ironic and a little hypocritical for someone who builds his own legion of robots that respond to his will, but again, that can be seen as further enforcement of how he’s unwilling or unable to see his own mistakes. His last words to Vision were “You’re unbearably naive.” But, really, while that might be true, the same reflects on himself. Likewise, Vision’s retort that he was literally born yesterday also can be applied to Ultron, since he’s only got him beat by a couple of days. He’s quite literally a child. If he’d simply given himself more time to think things out, to learn about the world and how it works, and to learn about himself and his own emotions, he might’ve turned out differently.

So, before I wrap this up, let’s talk about one aspect of this movie that, while I personally don’t mind too much, is nonetheless a problem: All the advertisement for the Phase 3 movies. Look, I’m just gonna say it, and I don’t care who gets pissed with this one, but Iron Man 2 SUCKED. Why did it suck? Because the actual plot took a backseat to being a 2 hour commercial for the Avengers, which we were gonna see anyway. This movie’s plot didn’t necessarily take a backseat to being a 2 1/2 hour commercial for Phase 3, but it was still pretty blatant. Thor’s visions are setting up for Thor: Ragnarok. Captain America and Iron Man’s issues in this movie are setting up for Avengers: Civil Wa-…Oh, I’m sorry, Captain America: Civil War. I got confused because I looked at the cast for the movie and saw a lot of the Avengers on there. Wakanda’s mention is to set up for Black Panther. The mid-credits scene is setting up Infinity War, but I guess the mid-credits scene is always where we see advertisement for the next movie, and that’s okay. But seriously guys, we’re already gonna go see these movies, you didn’t have to do this.

Spoilers End Here

Anyway, with all that said, my overall opinion is that the movie is really great. It’s got a couple of problems that maybe hold it down a bit, but I think the pros outweigh the cons. That said, if you didn’t like the first one, this one’s probably not gonna sell ya. So yeah, definitely for fans of this franchise, but the plus side is, those that are fans of this franchise will likely love this movie. Those are my thoughts, but hey, feel free to leave your own. Ja né!

Disney Owns Star Wars…So The Heck What?

So yeah, word has reached my ears of Disney purchasing Lucasfilm, and by extension Star Wars, and that they even plan to do a Star Wars Episode VII. And naturally, my first reaction was to come on here and bitch about how they’re gonna kill Star Wars, but then I realised they can’t. You know why? ‘Cuz it’s already dead. George already killed it. The worst Disney could do is bring it back to life and then kill it all over again, and that’d just be putting us back where we are now, so really, what’s everybody so worried about?

I will say one thing I am actually legit excited to possibly see if Disney decides to do this: Star Wars world in Kingdom Hearts. That would be fucking AWESOME. Although I suppose technically we already have Star Wars in Kingdom Hearts, what with Xemnas using lightsabers, King Mickey fighting like Yoda, and Master Xehanort going all Emperor Palpatine on us. lol

In closing, I would just like to say that, for now, people need to just chillax and wait and see what happens. Really, the worst they can do is a Howard the Duck sequel (since Howard the Duck is a Marvel comic and a Lucasfilm movie and now Disney owns both), and if that happens, I just won’t see it. End of story. Feel free to comment on how wrong I am if you really wanna, all I ask is that we have smart discussion talking about the pros and cons of this. Ja né!