Tag Archives: Avengers

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D — “Pilot”

SHIELD1

Welcome to Level 7.

Usually I save my big reviews for films…not TV shows. But last night was a very big occasion not only for Television, but for all fanboys around the world. For the first time in history…we had a comic book based live action televisions show (I could just stop right there and be impressed) … debut on a major network that is…yes…IS canonically connected a film franchise.

Littered throughout the pilot episode of SHIELD was references to all the major players in the Marvel films. Tony Stark was named dropped, Thor was talked about, Hulk was brought up, Captain America and his super solider serum, Black Widow was used as the measuring stick towards all other combative agents…and even more impressively, one of the key elements and plot points of this summer’s Iron Man 3, played a role in the very first episode of SHIELD.

SHIELD2Besides an opening cameo appearance by Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, the true core of the team we are introduced to is headed by fan favorite and death beater, Agent Phil Coulson played greatly by Clark Gregg. We are given what seems like a lame excuse for Coulson’s resurrection at the start of the film, but a quick line turns that on its head in a split second. We are now under the first tease and storyline to be followed up about…what REALLY happened to Phil Coulson to bring him back to life?

The rest of the team consist of a pilot with fighting skills in Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), a scientific pairing of  Agents Leo Fitz and Jenna Simmons (Iain De Casestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge), glorified hands on combat Agent Grand Ward (Brett Dalton) and a civilian that is newly recruited to join the team for her expert hacking abilities, Skye (Chloe Bennet).

So how well does Joss Whedon and co. do in adapting a live action series without the budget of a Hollywood blockbuster? … actually very well. There are some big action moments in the first episode and separating them as usual with any Whedon TV project is a lot of character development. You will never say that a Whedon project is left with one dimensional characters, from the get go, we learn not only everything we need to know for the core group of Agents, but also a little backstory and idea of where they can develop into the future.

Most importantly…Extremis. The key plot point of Iron Man 3, is also the key plot point of this pilot episode. We are introduced to what we think is a new “hero” early on, but only to find out this Michael Peterson is nothing but a down on his luck average Joe that put his body on the line for experimentation with a mysterious group. We are given the term “Centipede Project” which is enough mystery to make us wonder who else has been part of this project. But what is really deep inside of Michael Peterson that makes him super strong and heroic…is a vile dose of Extremis.

CLARK GREGG, BRETT DALTON, CHLOE BENNETWithout the likes of Iron Man, Hulk, and the rest of the Avengers, how well do our new group of SHIELD agents do in taking down their first perp as a team…pretty well. It isn’t just as simple as a man that turns bad and has to be killed…its so much more. Its about an average person who has had nothing but bad luck on his side and thinking with help and a good spirit he can be a hero like the ones he has seen on TV. Its that idea that makes me love this show from the start, because everyone wants to be that hero at some point in their life. Agent Culson doesn’t have a suit of armor, a serum running through is veins, and isn’t a god of mythical perorations. Agent Culson is just a man. A man with a goal, a man with a sense of humor, and more important a man with a heart and that is why he is who he is and why his “death” was important enough to make a group of heroes come together and fight…for a normal man.

I can’t wait for next week’s episode.

I give Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D a NINE out of TEN, on  the merit of great writing and exciting action.

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Stub Review: Iron Man 3

IronMan3Iron Man 3

Iron Man is back and he brought with him…a serious case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder!~

Marvel’s Phase 2 is officially been kicked off and so has the 2013 Summer Box Office. Iron Man 3 is the first Marvel Studios film to come out since last years mega-ultra-super-duper blockbuster The Avengers broke almost every record standing in it’s way to become Marvel’s first ever billion dollar film.

IM2The word of mouth about the box office Iron Man 3 will bring in is already high up there, the film alone has brought in 300 million dollars over seas before even OPENING in the US. Usually I go see these films at their midnight showing, but I don’t know if this was just one rare occurrence or the new standard, but AMC theater was offering not only midnight viewings, but 9pm, 10pm, and 11pm shows for Iron Man 3 in both normal and 3D viewings. I can get behind that.

Ok…to spoil or not to spoil? I’ll put it this way, if you read this review, I wont spoil the BIG stuff in this film that will be talked about for time to come…but I will not fully not speak about some of the big moments of the film. So we begin…

…to party like its 1999. We kick the film off in a throw back to a moment talked about in the first Iron Man film, where we get a cameo of Shaun Toub who played Ho Yinsen. We are also introduced to Dr. Maya Hansen and Aldrich Killian, two people that will soon become the thorn of Tony’s existence for the next two hours.

The basis of Iron Man 3 comes off the excellent comic book arch “Extremis” written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Adi Granov. The name Adi Granov should sound familiar because its his design that help create the look of Iron Man’s armor over the last three films.

The film shows Tony post-Avengers and more importantly in a PTSD situation where even more like the inspiration of his character, Howard Hughes, he is always in his basement tinkering away at his suits. And we aren’t up to Mark VI or VII anymore…Tony has up to 42 different pieces of armor to play with, his own personal Iron Legion. These suits are keeping him away from his life, away from Pepper, and away from sleeping, as every time Tony puts his head down to a pillow, the images of invading Aliens, chaos, and destruction take over his mind and memories.

I absolutely love the first Iron Man film and feel a bit indifferent for the second film, where I think the focus is unclear and plays more of a film going towards Avengers, than just a stand alone Iron Man film. Iron Man 3 falls somewhere in the middle for me, it plays off of so many great things and characters, Guy Pearce’s role as Killian is the best villain we have had in this franchise since Jeff Bridges role as Obadiah Stane aka the Iron Monger. Pearce plays the role of Killian with such bravado and scene chewing evilness, he comes off as an equal to RDJ’s Tony Stark.

IM3Now the question is why no mention of The Mandarin so far? And well that is a tricky nut to crack in a review that doesn’t want to reveal too much. “The Mandarin” has a fantastic look and his presence in the film for the most part is terrifying for every character that see’s his face pop on their television. The fear of “The Mandarin” is very real amongst the people and especially Tony. The idea of “The Mandarin” is that nobody is safe and nobody can trust in Iron Man or in heroes to truly save them from the evil and destruction he can unleash. How that plays out? And how that all comes to a resolution…you should see for yourself and make up your OWN mind about after seeing the film.

Iron Man 3 is easily a stand a lone film that Iron Man 2 wasn’t and that has a lot to do with Shane Black taking the helms of director and writer from fan favorite Jon Faveru, who still plays Happy Hogan in this film and plays Happy with a lot more vigor and fun, I guess having the pressure of the world off your shoulders helps you revel in the fact that you get to play a comic book character. Both Happy and Pepper have much more to do in this film than they ever had in the previous two, especially Pepper who’s role of now CEO of Stark Industries is more important than just being “Tony Stark’s girlfriend.” Both Gwyneth and her character Pepper Potts get something more to do in Iron Man 3 and take a step up in a much bigger way toward the final act.

Iron ManIron Man 3 both delivers and continues the tradition of Marvel putting out their best effort in a post-Avengers world, both figuratively with the marketing of the films and literally with the characters that live in this universe we now come to expect and are anxious to see every summer.

I feel that the big twist of the film is going to polarize the people that see the film and maybe will be the only thing they take away from it, but it shouldn’t be. This is Tony Starks film…and at the end of the film, just like at the end of the first film, Tony helps to clearly inform the audience and himself…”That I am Iron Man.”

I give it an EIGHT out of a TEN, on the scale of film merit and overall quality.

But I also give it a “DON’T BE A PUSSY” out of TEN, on the scale of the great dialogue spoken by RDJ and all the actors in this film. Lot of laughs, lot of great serious, and important moments.

BUT WAIT…It isn’t a Marvel movie….or a Marvel movie review without a post credit scene…

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED DON’T GO…

…ANY

….FURTHER!~

Bruce Banner Iron Man 3

That pretty image is of a great post-credit scene where we get for the first time in movie history…an actor reprising their role as Bruce Banner. A small cameo from Mark Ruffalo as the not-so jolly green giant, but just Tony’s science buddy.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE!~ …. AGAIN!!!

First, just watch….

Ok…did you watch? Good. Now let me allow you like myself enough time to go to your closet so you can change your underwear and put on new stain free pair of paints.

I’ll meet you back here.

..

..

Back? Great me too and if you are like me, then A) you have a new pair of pants on and B) are in preparation to clean up your sitting area cause YOUR MIND WAS FUCKIN BLOWN!~

It is rare for a trailer to have that big of an impact on me. I haven’t felt such joy and excitement and …I wont lie tingles … since probably I first saw the teaser trailer for the 2002 Spider-Man film. But this? This is the live action Avengers film. We will be seeing Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Hulk, Widow, Hawkeye, Fury, and even Maria Hill in live action..on screen together..in a film directed by Joss Whedon. Holy shit.

There is no real rhyme or reason for this post, just to get my excitement out and on a public forum, but while I’m typing let me just run down a few key points of the trailer that stood out to be…

1) Inner Team Fighting. IF there is one thing that is a staple of comic book hero team-ups, it is that before you can work together, you must fight. So seeing Cap’s shield withstand a shot by Thor’s hammer. Or seeing the tech based Iron Man versus the God of Thunder. Or the quick snippet of Widow vs. Hawkeye are going to be dreams come true.

2) Heroic Hulk. Seeing Iron Man falling from the sky only to be rescued by Hulk gives value to the idea that Banner/Hulk will be a bit more brainer than per-usual for the previous Hulk incarnations on film. It’s going to be great to see Hulk aware of his surroundings and his capabilities for once instead of just mindless smashing…

3) SMASHING! But fuck that, we love explosions! Buildings being blown up, gun fire, stuff collapsing. How does it get better?

4) WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT THING AT THE END~! Oh hell yeah, Loki starting a war? Might as well bring a robotic serpent looking destroyer.

5) Assemble. I know this visual has been seen before…but I just can’t get over that amazing 180 degree shot of the entire team backed up next to each other ready to fight. It just FEELS like a comic book page come to life.

I can’t wait for May 4th!

Avengers …(SB Teaser)….ASSEMBLE!

I don’t know what to say. My jaw dropped at least 5-6 times throughout that extended trailer (thank you Marvel).

Cap and Stark with their little “Stark…Captain” exchange. The Loki/Stark “I have an army.” “We have a Hulk.” The circling shot around the complete team. Hawkeye with a arrow shot in mid air, Scarlett Jo. looking … like Scarlett Jo.

Avengers can’t come soon enough. I love you Spidey. I respect you Nolan. But damn, do I want me some Whedon stylized Avengers action!

….

P.S. Go GIANTS!