Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Avengers!

Hello People of the Interwebs!

My apologies for last week's missing post. It sort of... slipped my mind. Sorry.

Now, for the movie that I've been building to for the past few weeks....... The Avengers!

Image Credit to IMDb

WARNING: Major spoilers ahead!

The Avengers is probably one of my favorite movies from the modern Marvel Franchise. It's fun, it's well paced, it's exciting, it's funny, and the action's great!

The Avengers centers around Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye. They band together to form the team know as the Avengers, who are "Earth's Mightiest Heroes"! There are a lot of story lines, so I won't recount them for you.

However, let's take a look at how good the story is. I think that Joss Whedon did a fantastic job with this film. The story lines don't feel jumbled or crammed into the movie. The over-arching plot is simple and interesting, with Loki trying to take over the world. I also never felt talked down to. The first time I watched this movie, I had practically zero clue about the stories of the characters, and I felt that they explained it neatly, simply, and made it understandable. When I re-watched it, after having seen the other movies in the franchise, I feared that I would feel talked down to. But that didn't happen! The movie doesn't treat you like an idiot, and if you know the information and back story of the heroes already, you can notice little details that they threw in! 

Now, for the acting. Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Also returning to their previous roles are: most of the cast. So, I'll list them for simplicity's sake. Chris Evans as Steve Rodgers/Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki. The newest cast member is Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Other side characters include Cobie Smulders and Maria Hill, and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Pots. To put is simply: I think that the acting and talent in this movie is incredible.

This film has fantastic action. I mean it. It is amazing and deserves much praise!

All in all, I think that this movie is fantastic. The re-watch value is enormous, and I believe that it may last for a long time.

Teenage Critic, signing off!

(Please leave any and all comments)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Man and Mouse

Hello people of the inter-net/web/thing!

Today's review will be something a bit... different. You're probably getting tired of all the superhero reviews that I've been doing. So, here's a review of the current Broadway Production of "Of Mice and Men", starring James Franco and Chris O'Dowd!

Image credit to

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

The story is centered around two men, George and Lennie. (George is portrayed by James Franco and Lennie is portrayed by Chris O'Dowd)

If you're familiar with the book, you probably know the central plot. I, unfortunately, have not read the original book. But, if you've never seen/read either, here's a character and back story overview.

George is clever, but uneducated, and quite irritable. Lennie, is sweet, caring, but has an intellectual disablity. They both have lost their jobs, and are going to start working as farm hands. The reason? Lennie has a bad habit of losing them their jobs. The last one they lost because he loved the softness of a lady's dress, and wouldn't let go, so she started calling out for help, accusing him of rape. Men heard her cries and started hunting for Lennie and George, so they ran. They start their new jobs and make some friends. That's all you really need. The play itself is just amazing, so I won't spoil it for you.

This is definitely the best acting I've ever seen from James Franco; his performance is astounding. The same can be said for Chris O'Dowd. Both actors portray their characters in a heart-wrenching and beautiful way, and their performances complement the bitter-sweet ending perfectly. Other than those few words, I can't really say much else. Their performance really speaks for itself.

The set is excellent as well. It's simple, with very few set changes and settings. The use of the space is very nice, and the portrayals of houses, creeks, and barns adds a very nice, rustic feel to the whole show.  

If you're staying in or visiting New York City, or if you live there, I would highly recommend going to see this beautifully done production. It closes on July 27th.

Teenage Critic, signing off.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Titanium Alloy Man! (Number 2)

Hello people of the interwebs!

Today's review is of the movie Iron Man 2!

Image credit to IMDb

WARNING: Spoilers ahead!

This movie once again follows the exploits of a somehow more narcissistic Tony Stark as he faces a new villain: the super genius son of an old colleague of Howard Stark. 

You're probably wondering how Tony's gotten more narcissistic than before. Well, at the end of the last movie, he revealed that he was Iron Man. You can probably guess what that does to a man's ego. Well, you don't have to guess. I've already told you. 

The story is simple enough to follow. It's also probably my favorite of the Iron Man stories. (Just you wait until my Iron Man 3 review!) It introduces the Black Widow and Agent Coulson, and re-introduces Nick Fury. The villain is Ivan Vanko, a genius who builds an Arc-Reactor, like the one in Tony's chest. However, the one in Tony's chest is slowly killing him. Painfully, I believe. (Don't worry, towards the end of this one, he discovers a new element that's compatible with the core. So he's still alive.) Ivan is arrested, then freed by a rival of Stark Industries, Justin Hammer. He's hired to build an army of Iron Man-esque suits to demonstrate at the Stark Expo. Then James "Rhodey" Rhodes, Tony's best friend steals one of his suits, and Hammer adds weapons to it to make him the WAR MACHINE! Then... You know what? This story may not be as simple as I had originally thought, but I still think it's the best of the Iron Man franchise. 

The acting is better than the first movie. (Of course, Robert Downey Jr. is still good, as is Gwyneth Paltrow.) The actors playing Ivan Vanko and Justin Hammer, (Mickey Rourke and Sam Rockwell respectively), are both amazing villains, both providing similar, but separate challenges for Iron Man. Don Cheedle plays Rhodey, a role played in the first movie by Terence Howard (I don't have a particular favorite; each of them is a fun choice for the role). As I said in my Thor review, Clark Gregg is always a great actor to have in a Marvel movie as Agent Coulson. Scarlett Johansson is a kick-ass Black Widow, and Samuel L. Jackson is a great addition to any movie as Nick Fury.

The action scenes are much better than in the first. (Even though I said I thought that the special effects were great, I think these are better.) The fight between Tony and Rhodey, both in Iron Man suits, is amazing. The final fight scene, with Tony and Rhodey versus the drone suits, and then Ivan himself, is incredible.

All in all, this is probably the best movie in the Iron Man franchise. It's fun, awesome, and gripping. Enjoy watching this super fun, action packed movie, just to hype yourself up for the Avengers!

Teenage Critic, signing off!