REVIEW: Avengers: Age of Ultron [2015]

“It wasn’t a nightmare. It was a legacy.” He may not have been there at the start, but Joss Whedon stewarded the Marvel Cinematic Universe through its make or break stage. It was one thing to give the world high-tech flying fun via a sarcastic playboy, otherworld fantasy come to earth courtesy of a haughty royal, and the ‘aw shucks’ patriotism necessary for a bona fide WWII hero on their own terms. Bringing them together along with even more allies was anything but. Yet Whedon—fearless when it comes to delving…

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REVIEW: Agent Carter [2013]

“Learn to count” If Item 47 supplying us an expanded look at alien tech from The Avengers was the first step in making Marvel’s One-Shots a legitimate canonical extension, Agent Carter cements them as requisite viewing. There was no guarantee the short would lead to an eight-episode pick-up on ABC—heck, there wasn’t even a guarantee “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” would earn a second season—when it was created, but we all know now that it has. Not only is the titular character (played by Hayley Atwell) a bad ass excelling beyond simply…

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REVIEW: Item 47 [2012]

“It’s time we took a chance for ourselves” I guess when your latest film makes over 1.5 billion dollars at the worldwide box office you find yourself with a little extra scratch to throw around. What better way to spend it than on the series of short films you’ve been producing for DVD releases? Where the first two entries lasted barely four minutes each and consisted of mainly dialogue and Agent Coulson’s deadpan smugness, Item 47 finds itself benefiting from a massively expanded budget. Not only do we get three…

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REVIEW: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer [2011]

“I also have this gun …” Okay, it may be a glorified commercial for Acura, but A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer is like the title says: funny. Using the same crew as The Consultant—director Leythum and writer Eric Pearson—the interlude bridging Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) appearance in Iron Man 2 with Thor utilizes all fresh material this time. It’s slight, goofy, and very self-conscious, but I can’t help feeling amused and satisfied nonetheless. My only qualm is in wondering why it took so long to…

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REVIEW: The Consultant [2011]

“I do a great patsy” The Marvel Cinematic Universe is something special—a franchise devoid of ceiling that has become Hollywood’s equivalent to a motion comic. Looking at it today, you can’t help but admire what they’re doing and how far their reach extends. There are the highly anticipated films each year, a dedicated TV show to provide a venue for more details behind the scenes, and a series of “One-Shots” released on the DVDs as gap-filling accompaniments. Suffice it to say, I was very excited to finally check out the…

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REVIEW: Captain America: The Winter Soldier [2014]

“I thought you were more than just a shield?” Despite what’s been said the past couple weeks, Marvel still hasn’t released that “A” film quite yet. Don’t get me wrong: the universe they have created is unparalleled and possessed by a consistency of success on par with Disney’s other child Pixar, but has there been a The Dark Knight? An X-Men 2 even? Not yet. The closest we’ve come is probably The Avengers for finding a way to integrate the many disparate storylines into the series’ most standalone feature to…

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