Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Sherlock Holmes and the Abominable Bride (No, the Bride is NOT John Watson)

Hello People of the Interwebs!

Happy New Year to you all! For my first review of 2016, I won't be reviewing my childhood Disney Channel Original Movies (I've been procrastinating with those for a while). Instead I'll be looking at a special episode of one of my favorite shows, Sherlock. If you haven't seen the three previous series (9 Episodes total), then I highly suggest that you go and watch them! This is my review of 'The Abominable Bride!

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: (Major) Spoilers ahead!

The story, boiled down from its inherently confusing nature, is about Sherlock attempting to solve a Victorian era crime in his mind palace. The crime in question is where a bride, on her wedding anniversary, shoots herself in public. She is then later seen shooting and killing her husband. However, she has been dead in the morgue the entire time. Then, months later, there is a string of murders where the same bride is apparently seen committing the crime. Victorian-era Holmes and Victorian-era Watson attempt to solve the crime, but the mind palace crime is prompted by modern-era Sherlock's contemplation of the death and (apparent) return of Moriarty.

There have been some harsh words towards this special. The main complaint against the episode is that it was too confusing, convoluted, and pretentiously unrealistic. It is a convoluted episode, but it does make sense. Sherlock's mind envisions a past where he can use the same methods and knowledge as he does in his modern world. This mental world is also fictional. Which means that in the climax, where Sherlock 'solves' the crime, it is over the top and ridiculous, which a wedding dress clad Moriarty reminds him of. Sherlock's shifts from modern to Victorian mindsets really work, especially as he is extremely drug addled and a (supposed) sociopath.

The episode also has some tender moments between Victorian-era Holmes and Victorian-era Watson. Which means that, technically, it's just Sherlock having deep conversations with himself. Among which was a very awkward conversation about Sherlock's romantic life (in which Sherlock maybe confirmed that he wasn't straight?) and some rather sweet thoughts about John's usefulness.

There weren't just touching and confusing moments. There was also a healthy amount of humor and satire! Most of the humor came in the form of the discussion of Victorian-era Watson's stories about Victorian-era Holmes. One of my personal favorites was when Mrs. Hudson complains about being given no lines of substance in Watson's stories. He replies with a brief comment about her "function" in the stories. She then gives Holmes and Watson ( as well as their visitors) the silent treatment, which Holmes says is Mrs. Hudson practicing "literary criticism through the form of satire". Another constant source of comedy was Moriarty. However, that's a topic for the next section!

The acting is masterful. Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock Holmes, and he is so phenomenal. His Holmes is alienated and egotistical. He can rattle off the deductions with an incredible speed and clarity. Cumberbatch as Holmes is true perfection. The same can be said for Martin Freeman as Dr. John Watson. He has the perfect expressions and body language to accent Cumberbatch's Holmes. Probably the reason that this pairing works amazingly is that these two actors complement each other's performances incredibly.

The supporting performances are just as good. Two that really stand out to me in this episode are Una Stubbs as Mrs. Hudson and Mark Gatiss as Mycroft Holmes. Stubbs's Mrs. Hudson is witty, tough, and charming. She's sweet and funny as well. Gatiss also fits his role very well. Mycroft is essentially the mental counterpart to Sherlock, probably even the mental superior, and Gatiss's performance portrays these ideas very well. He actually shows his talents in two ways in this episode: he acts as Mycroft, and he helped Stephen Moffat write the episode (both are the co-creators of the show).

Now, we get to the villain. Professor Moriarty. Moriarty is played by Andrew Scott. Scott's performance as Moriarty is so delightful, mainly due to his affinity for the over-the-top. He plays the perfect match to Sherlock, well, perfectly. He plays his character with such abandon, with such passion, and with incredible skill. It's possibly one of the most enjoyable performances in this episode, an episode filled with enormously enjoyable performances.

This episode is well acted and well written. The themes of drug abuse, friendship, and the terrifying prospect of a dead enemy come back to life add together to make an enormously suspenseful and entertaining Sherlock Special. Again, if you haven't seen the three previous series (9 Episodes total), then I highly suggest that you watch them!

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

Like The Teenage Critic on Facebook here. Follow me on Twitter, @Thomas_Pflanz

Feel free to send me your suggestions for movies to review, or just to send me your opinions and fan mail. 

I have also started another blog to hold myself accountable for my New Year's Resolution; to write one short story a week. The blog is: wendedwriting.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Disney Descendants, or "Disney Is Ignoring Its OWN Canon Now!"

Hello People of the Interwebs!

Today, I'll be reviewing the most recent Disney Original TV Movie, Disney's "Descendants"!

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

The story follows the children of the four evilest villains in the Disney canon. There's Carlos, son of Cruella Deville, Jay, son of Jafar, Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen from "Snow White", and Mal, daughter of Maleficent. After living on a secluded island for all of their life, they get invited by the Prince of Auradon (and the son of Beauty and the Beast), Ben, to attend a prep school on the mainland. However, Maleficent tells Mal that she must steal the Fairy Godmother's wand so that they can get their revenge and achieve "WORLD DOMINATION!". Through the process of trying to complete the mission, Mal gives Prince Ben a love potion so that she can be right by the Fairy Godmother during his coronation ceremony.

The other characters also have 'arcs', if you can call them that. Evie learns that she can get a B-minus on a test, Jay learns that he can play on a team, and Carlos learns that he likes dogs. Not particularly invested in those characters, are they?

There are so many problems with the story and characters. So, let's go through them one by one.

The "good" characters live in a suburban-esque kingdom. The "evil" characters live in a ghetto. Not only is this setup terribly offensive, but they add some abhorrent butter on top of this already reprehensible bread by having the "good guys" say that inviting the "evil" kids to their prep school is doing them a favor.

When Mal is speaking to Jane, the Fairy Godmother's daughter, about fixing her physical appearance, she claims that Jane's nose is a problem too big for the kind of magic that she can do. This, while being a ploy for getting the wand, is a terrible scene. For one, this entire scene is saying that if you're awkward, you're ugly. The same message as before, but it sends a very specific message about noses.

The character of Evie is completely terrible. A point has more actual dimensions than her. Sure she has classic Disney character traits and quirks, but those aren't interchangeable with actual character. Even the guy whose arc is "I like dogs now!" has more character than she does.

Then there's a problem with the rooms of the villains at Auradon Prep. The girls get a very frilly and pink room. The boys get a room decked out with video games and sports objects. Either it's a terribly sexist school policy, or just an enormously sexist piece of direction.

There are also a bunch of major plot holes. For one, the villain's kids hatch a plan to steal the wand and escape. Now, they discuss this plan and decide who does what. Carlos's job is to steal the button that opens the magical bridge to the villain's island. However, when it comes time to complete this plan, he doesn't have the button. Why? Probably because the writers needed a plan to be discussed, but knew that the characters wouldn't actually enact the plan.

Also, why do the villains (except for Maleficent) stay on the island after a hole is formed in the barrier. Even though the hole was in the sky, at least two other villains should have been able to escape. Jafar and the Evil Queen can use magic, not just Maleficent.

And, shooting off of that last one, how could Maleficent even USE magic? They expressly tell you at the start of the movie that there's no magic on the Isle of the Lost.

And how doesn't the Fairy Godmother hear Maleficent reminding Mal that she needs to steal the wand when they video chat?

And why are those villains alive? Didn't they die in their respective films? It's a mental overload.

The acting is... mixed. Some are good, and some aren't. I'm just going to mention main characters, since there are so many secondary characters. But I'll mention a few of the more important ones.

Mal is played by Dove Cameron. Her acting is hard to place. I've seen a bit of her acting on the show "Liv & Maddie" on Disney Channel, where she plays a set of twin sisters. There, she's terrible. However, at least comparatively, she's pretty good in this film. Evie is played by Sofia Carson. She's bad. Not really terrible, but most certainly not good. I haven't seen her in much else, so I can't FULLY judge her. Carlos is played by Cameron Boyce, who plays characters on "Jessie" and "A Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything". He's kinda mediocre, and he seems to play the same character in everything. The final of the villainous kids is Jay, played by Booboo Stewart. He's surprisingly good. He's a pretty decent actor, and he does his best with the awful script that he's been given.

The villains. There's really only one performance that can actually be rated, so I'll take care of that one last. The Evil Queen is played by Kathy Najimy, Jafar is played by Maz Jobrani, and Cruella Deville is played by Wendy Raquel Robinson. They are all fine. Absolutely nothing special, but nothing offensive. I do have a problem with the casting, however. The starkest is Robinson. She is African-American. However, Boyce is not. I have no problem with Disney starting to cast non-white actors as main-ish characters. I'm all for it. But, if you plan on casting a white actor as your character, cast his parent accordingly. Alternatively, Disney could consider, I don't know, casting an African-American as their main character?

Then, there's one side character to mention. Doug. Doug, son of Dopey, is played by Zachary Gibson. He is great. He takes a character with very few dimensions, and gives him depth. At the very least, his facial acting is particularly good. The subtle shifts in facial expression as his scenes play makes me willing to forgive his cliche, ahem, I mean character, of the "Nerd in Love with Fashionista".

Then there's Prince Ben. Oh, dear old Ben. He is played by a Zac Efron clone. Specifically Disney Clone #T3RR18L3, Mitchell Hope. His acting is the worst I have ever seen. The only scenes that he's ever good in are the ones where he has to play "awkward". But even that seems to be a stretch for him! Most of the delivery of his dialogue is uninterested, boring, and unconvincing. You can only call him an actor in profession. He's just another piece of chiseled out arm candy for tween girls to put on their walls.

The final actor of note plays Maleficent. Let's just see who this acto- no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no. Why, Kristen? Why?!?!?! Maleficent is played by sigh Kristen Chenoweth. Did she have to pay for a car accident? Did she need a little extra cash for a present for a family member? Down payment on a penthouse in the Upper East Side of NYC? Nevertheless, she's here. And she is SO MUCH FUN! Every time that she's on screen, she's so much fun to watch. Every scene. Every moment. And you want to know why? It's because she's having so much fun. When an actor is enjoying a performance, then that feeling transfers to a certain degree. Is the performance good? No. Is it fun? Abso-friggen-lutely.

As with every Disney film, there are songs. Mostly unnecessary. Most have people talking to a beat, or as they seem to think it's called, "Rap". There's the opening song, there's the finale, there's the song sung by a sports team. Most are forgettable, but some are catchy. However, there is one song that stands above the rest. And that would be "Evil Like Me", sung by Kristen Chenoweth. It's a stupid song, definitely. The lyrics are terrible, the tune is pretty unimaginative, and the idea of the song is basically that it's the Evil version of "Popular" from Wicked. However, Chenoweth, as usual, gives an astounding vocal performance. Her voice is amazing. But other than that, none of the other voices or songs stand out.

What's a Disney song without a dance routine to go along? I'll tell you. It's just as pointless. But with Kenny Ortega as choreographer, you can be assured that the dances will be, at the very least, interesting. And they are. The choreography is fun and strong, and allows actors who aren't trained at dancing look like they can dance. So, kudos to you, Mr. Ortega. Not only that, but the main actors, that being the four descendants, are all pretty good in the group dance sequences.

Now we come to the effects.The effects are terrible. The green screening is terrible. The CGI is the worst I've ever seen. But, worst of all, is the Freeze effect. During the climax of the film, Maleficent freezes the attendees at Prince Ben's coronation. When she does, all of the actors just freeze in place. No special effects. The actors just stay still. And most of them can't. They move, they shift. Even main actors! Beast is swaying constantly. The only word to use, other than terrible, is pathetic. With Disney's net worth being $74.9 BILLION (as of 2012), you would expect that they could afford CG and other special effects that at least College Student Film would consider using.

This film is terrible. The only redeeming qualities consist of one or two good actors, a fun song, and an interesting concept. There is no effort put into the production of this film. The effects are weak. The acting is weak. The characters are weak. And, worst of all, the story is weak. It is a really fun film to make fun of though!

You may be asking: "Hey, why is he going so hard at a movie aimed towards Tweens? Doesn't he realize that it's meant to be a kids film?" Well, my answer to you is this. Just because a film is aimed towards kids doesn't mean that the writers shouldn't bother with writing good story and/or character. You know, back when I was a kid, the Disney Channel movies that came out were so much better. High School Musical, Camp Rock. Those films were quality, fun, and did not fall prey to Disney's normal cliches and stereotypes.

Wait! No! Ignore tha-

Just great.

Well, for the next few reviews, I'll be reviewing several films, namely High School Musical, High School Musical 2, High School Musical 3, and Camp Rock, (maybe Camp Rock 2? It's not nostalgic for me).

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

Like The Teenage Critic on Facebook here. You can email the Teenage Critic at criticteen1@gmail.com. Feel free to send me your suggestions for movies to review, or just to send me your opinions and fan mail. Follow me on Twitter, @Thomas_Pflanz

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Candide, The Best of All Possible Operettas?

Hello People of the Interwebs!

This week, I'll be reviewing two related things! Candide, the novella by Voltaire, and Candide, the operetta by Leonard Bernstein. Let's dive into the book!

Image Credit to Wikipedia 
Title: Candide, or Optimism

The story of the novella follows a young lad named Candide. He goes on many adventures. In each of the 30 chapters, a mini story unfolds, each leading to the next part of the story, which then becomes its own story. To get the basic story across. though: Candide is kicked out of Westphalia for falling in love with the Baron's daughter, Cunegonde. After the family is killed by Bulgarians, Candide is heartbroken. He travels with his mentor to Lisbon, where the mentor is killed, and Candide finds Cunegonde. They travel to Montevideo, in the New World. Candide loses Cunegonde, and finds paradise on Earth in the country of El Dorado. So much more happens, as Candide journeys to find the oft promised "best of all possible worlds".

Voltaire wrote the first draft in 3 days in an angry outburst. Back during that time, the world was falling apart, especially with... the philosophy. Which philosophy? Why, the best of all possible philosophies! Gottfried Leibniz coined the phrase "best of all possible worlds", to describe his new philosophy. Voltaire hated this, and thus satirized it in his novella. That's one of the many things that I love about this book. Voltaire perfectly satirizes history, philosophy, and religion. It's subtle, clever, and hilarious.

Now, onto the operetta!

Image Credit to Wikipedia

The story of the operetta is similar. Actually, besides a random change of city from Lisbon to Paris (which makes no sense, by the way), the first act of the operetta incredibly copies the first 10 chapters of the novella. However, that's only the first third of the book. The second act (which is 10 minutes shorter than the first act) covers the last 20 chapters. Needless to say they cut some story. Actually, in a surprising twist, they in fact ADD an additional character that never existed in the book. While that is a familiar tactic in adaptation, it's really a big shame. Voltaire's Candide is gift wrapped perfection, where there wasn't really any need to add in new characters. But that's just one of my problems with it.

My other main problem is how the humor is changed. The jokes are obvious. Way too obvious. Voltaire's comedy is subtle. It's clever. But with the operetta, they lose that subtlety. Sigh.

However, the operetta has one big plus side. The music. Leonard Bernstein's score is very good. The music is beautiful, and the lyrics, which were supplemented by Stephen Sondheim, are clever. The lyrics are actually better than the libretto, at least in subtle satire. I think that's what makes the operetta for me.

To surmise. The novella is a beautifully written satirical book. The operetta is a bad adaptation of the novella, but considering the music and ignoring the source text, it's a good operetta. And on that note...

I'm actually in a production of the operetta! The cast is fantastic. My good friend, Sydney Harris, plays Cunegonde. She's one of the most talented singers that I've ever had the honor of watching perform, let alone work with. The production has one official showing this Friday night, at 7:30. However, there is a final dress rehearsal open to the public on Wednesday, also at 7:30. All that information and more can be found at the official blog, here. Admission is free, but we do suggest that you donate to the church that we're performing in. Please come and support this production! Also, all of the money from concessions is going to help fund two young teens, my friend and my sister, in a venture to be a part of the Narni Festival this summer. It's a piano intensive, and is going to be a great experience for the both of them. You can donate directly to their fundraisers at the following links: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0zvc6 and https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/7zxo8

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

Like The Teenage Critic on Facebook here. You can email the Teenage Critic at criticteen1@gmail.com. Feel free to send me your suggestions for movies to review, or just to send me your opinions and fan mail. Follow me on Twitter, @Thomas_Pflanz

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nevermore: A Look Into Hot Topic

Hello People of the Interwebs!

Today, I'll be reviewing a musical, which recently was Off-Broadway. It is "Nevermore: The Invented Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allen Poe".

Image Credit to nevermoreshow.com

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

The story follows the life of Edgar Allen Poe, formerly Edgar Poe, as he goes from birth to death. Rather than a straight musical biography of Poe's life, it delves into his personal thoughts and internal monsters, with physical manifestations of his nightmares haunting him during the show. (It reminds me of Pink Floyd The Wall, which I reviewed a few weeks back). I really like this approach. I could feel his emotional turmoil in every moment.

The show has a very Gothic feel to it, but not just in the lines. The costumes and props were eccentric, with skewed shapes. For example, Poe's notebook, which he carries during most of the show. It has a weird, asymmetrical polygonal shape. Kind of funky and cool. And the aforementioned monsters were like lizard/ravens with twisted beaks.

The acting was quite amazing. Each performer, except for the one who played Poe, played multiple parts during the show. It's quite difficult to portray each character with a different voice, a different walk, a different way of holding their bodies. And these actors did it quite awesomely, giving a different life to each character, to say nothing of their singing! Quoth the raven "Give me more!" (In other words, I enjoyed their singing.)

One unfortunate thing was the music. Not the quality. The volume. They had the music playing over a loudspeaker, which from a Stage Manager's perspective, is like a horror movie moment waiting to happen. But besides the Tech Nightmare, at times the music would start to drown out the singers, which is never a good thing. The quality of the music was much better than the execution. It's a very moving and powerful score, with awe inspiring moments.

All in all, Nevermore is a fantastic show. Unfortunately, it's currently not showing. But when it starts showing again, go see it! Or, if not, think about pre-ordering the soundtrack, and make sure to check out their YouTube Channel, where they post clips from the show.

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

Like The Teenage Critic on Facebook here. You can email the Teenage Critic at criticteen1@gmail.com. Feel free to send me your suggestions for movies to review, or just to send me your opinions and fan mail. Follow me on Twitter, @Thomas_Pflanz

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Hello People of the Interwebs!

Today, I'll be reviewing, 'Buzzer' a play that I saw as a part of the TRaC, or the Teen Reviewers and Critics, Program, run by Arts Connection. It's a great program, and they do it for completely free! Check them out here. Anyway, into the review!

Image Credit to www.publictheater.org

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

The story follows three characters. First is Jackson, an upwardly mobile black attorney who grew up in the ghetto. Second is Suzy, Jackson's white girlfriend, who is a teacher. When Jackson sees that his old neighborhood is undergoing renovations and is being cleaned up, he buys an apartment, and he invites Suzy to live with him. She accepts, at first with some hesitation, but then wholeheartedly. Things get complicated when Jackson's best friend, Don, moves in with them. Don is fresh from rehab. The play only goes on an emotional downhill from there.

This play covers a wide range of topics. From drug abuse, to poverty, to catcalling, to cheating, (the last two have no relation to each other), all done quite well. The turmoil feels authentic, as do the characters. There seems to be a connection between the actors and their characters, as well as a deep emotional bond between the actors themselves. That is where magic in theater comes from.

The actors in question are Grantham Coleman as Jackson, Tessa Ferrer as Suzy, and Michael Stahl-David as Don. As I mentioned, there's a great chemistry between actors. There's just so much that I can say about these guys. They each bring their own spark to their roles.

This play does a great job at addressing real issues in today's society in a very realistic way. With the realism and quality of the writing, plus the actors' great portrayals, you get an amazing play. Unfortunately, this show has ended, but if it ever comes back, I recommend it!

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

Also, I hit 2000 page views during this past week! Thank you so much everyone!

Like The Teenage Critic on Facebook here. You can email the Teenage Critic at criticteen1@gmail.com. Feel free to send me your suggestions for movies to review, or just to send me your opinions and fan mail. Follow me on Twitter, @Thomas_Pflanz

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Daredevil - Noun "A Reckless Person Who Enjoys Doing Dangerous Things"

Hello People of the Interwebs!

This week, I'm reviewing the new Marvel/Netflix series, Daredevil!

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

Daredevil follows the exploits of a man named Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer in Hell's Kitchen. (For those of you that don't know, Hell's Kitchen is an area of Manhattan, around Midtown.) This blind lawyer is also a masked crime fighting machine. "What?" You may be asking. "But he's blind!" You may say. Well as it turns out, when chemicals blinded him as a young boy, they also enhanced all of his other senses. Power origins, kind of stupid, I know.

Other than the powers, Matt Murdock is a lawyer with his best friend Foggy Nelson. They decide to work together for the betterment of Hell's Kitchen, which, to the woe of Foggy, doesn't have much money in it. And, that's all I can really say specifically about the story without spoiling too much.

The characters are one thing that makes this series so phenomenal. Not only are the protagonists multi-dimensional, but so are the antagonists. This series makes you fall in love with all of the characters, so much so that, even when you know what the truly "bad" guy has done, you still feel super sympathetic and you understand why they're doing this. When a series can humanize a villain as cruel as this one, you know that they've succeeded.

The story arc is also very dimensional. We not only follow Matt, but we also follow around Foggy, their assistant, and the villains. You get to see multiple angles of the story, each with the respective character's own perception.

Oh, then the acting. The actors just bring the already amazing story to life even more. I'm not going to give each their own critique, since I'll say the same thing for each actor... except for one. You'll see. The actors are as follows: Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Vondie Curtis-Hall as Ben Urich, Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Ayelet Zurer as Vanessa Marianna, and Toby Leonard Moore as James Wesley. Each and every one of these actors is phenomenal in their role. They bring an amazing depth to the characters. Also, Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk. Fisk is probably my favorite character in the entire show, in part due to D'Onofrio. His portrayal of the classic Daredevil villain makes him a teddy bear. A horrifying, cruel, deadly teddy bear. It's hard to explain well. He's just amazing.

Then, as there is with all Superhero things, there's the action. The action is simple, with no fancy gadgets or weapons, besides the bad guys' guns. The fights are also incredibly well paced, and the suspense is just enough.

The effects are also fantastic. It's mainly the blood and wounds in the show, but there are a few CGI effects. First, the wounds. They look very realistic, especially when you see a bone jutting out from a broken arm and such things. Then the few CGI moments. The opening credits are done in a really cool way, but at first it seems kind of dull and boring. But it really grows on you. The other moment I won't mention, since it's a beautiful and poetic moment of the show.

Marvel/Netflix's Daredevil is purely amazing. I highly recommend it. Do keep in mind, it is quite graphic at times, but it doesn't change the fact that this is a phenomenal show.

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

Like The Teenage Critic on Facebook here. You can email the Teenage Critic at criticteen1@gmail.com. Feel free to send me your suggestions for movies to review, or just to send me your opinions and fan mail. Follow me on Twitter, @Thomas_Pflanz

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Avengers: Ultron's, Like, Less Than a Week Old

Hello People of the Interwebs!

Today I'll be reviewing the most recent film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Age of Ultron! Let's get into the roller coaster of a film!

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

The story follows the Avengers as they take out the last of a series of Hydra bases, looking for Loki's scepter. They find it, along with many notes on Baron von Strucker's experiments, including the super-powered twins: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Quicksilver has super speed, and Scarlet Witch has limited mind control and telekinesis. According to Tony Stark/Iron Man, Loki's scepter contains a living computer; an Artificial Intelligence of sorts. Tony and Bruce Banner (Hulk) decide to use this AI to create Ultron, an international peace keeping robotic army. Great idea, right? Well, Ultron attacks, and everything goes down from there.

I really enjoy the story of this film. While it may not have the classic Superhero movie feel of the 2012 Avengers film, this film takes many more interesting risks with its storytelling. They use typical cliches of this genre to trick you into incorrect predictions of what's to come. For example: Leading you towards expecting a character's death, then completely flipping that expectation upside down.

One criticism that I do have is about Ultron. In the previous versions of Ultron that I've seen, he's intimidating with a negative world view. But he was always serious and stern. In this film, I felt like they wrote him too sassy and sarcastic, like they were trying to make a "new Loki". I didn't necessarily not enjoy it. I just felt like Ultron's tone could have been different.

The acting is till amazing. I feel like I don't have to re-say everything that I said in my first Avengers review, almost a whole year ago! (Wow, how time flies!) The actors listed there are all amazing and have great on-screen chemistry. Then, there are the new actors. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver. Elizabeth Olsen plays his twin, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch. These actors are great together and separately. Then, there's James Spader as Ultron. His voice was extremely intimidating, and his overall acting was great! Also among the new actors is Paul Bettany. Not only does he play JARVIS, Stark's personal computer, but he also plays the Vision, an enormously powerful superhero created by Ultron to be his perfect being, made of human cells and vibranium, the strongest metal on Earth. He's quite amazing.

This film is fantastic! While it may not satisfy all of the check boxes of a classic superhero film, it is most certainly a great movie. In fact, I prefer it to the first Avengers film! I highly recommend going to see it!

This is the Teenage Critic, signing off!

Also, as a quick side note, I'm at 97 page views away from hitting 2000 page views!

Like The Teenage Critic on Facebook here. You can email the Teenage Critic at criticteen1@gmail.com. Feel free to send me your suggestions for movies to review, or just to send me your opinions and fan mail. Follow me on Twitter, @Thomas_Pflanz