Movie Review: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON | © 2015 Marvel/Disney

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader (voice), Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Cobie Smulders, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Linda Cardellini Writer: Joss Whedon, based on characters created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby Director: Joss Whedon Distributor: Disney/Marvel Release Date: May 1, 2015 AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON is mostly what’s it should be and what’s expected – a superhero movie with slam-bang action, engaging characters, snappy dialogue and the fate of the world in the balance. Joss Whedon, who wrote and directed the first […]Read On »

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Exclusive Interview: Mark Ruffalo talks THE NORMAL HEART

Mark Ruffalo in THE NORMAL HEART | ©2014 HBO/Jojo Whilden

Larry Kramer’s play THE NORMAL HEART was first produced off-Broadway in 1985. In real life, Kramer is one of the founders of ACT UP, which describes itself as “a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to direct action to end the AIDS crisis,” which was being largely ignored by the government in the Eighties. In NORMAL HEART, the main character Ned Weeks is Kramer’s fictional surrogate, a gay man who is enraged by the indifference he encounters as he tries to get help for his critically ill lover and friends in 1981. Kramer has now adapted […]Read On »

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Five Classic AVENGERS Stories We Want to See in AVENGERS 2 or 3

Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet | ©2012 Marvel Comics

One of the great things about the Marvel movies that led up to the first AVENGERS film is how well they built a consistent universe with seeds planted all along the way leading up to the big epic battle for New York City and the world. The appearance of – SPOILERS! – Thanos during the closing credits suggests they know full well where they’re going next in AVENGERS 2 or 3, but let’s take a look at some past Avengers storylines in the comics that might make for good movie fodder. 1. The Infinity Gauntlet This one is probably a […]Read On »

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Five Villains We Want to See in AVENGERS 2 and 3

Ultron | ©2012 Marvel Comics

We already know – SPOILERS! – Thanos is on the way in the next THE AVENGERS movie, but what other famous foes from Avengers stories of the past deserve a shot at big screen stardom? After all, heroes are only as good as the villains they face. We list a few here, but they’re only suggestions; and no, Count Nefaria is not on this list. Complain all you like in the comments about that glaring omission or the lack of Baron Zemo, but remember that this is just one list for our villainous THE AVENGERS 2 and 3 films; you […]Read On »

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Interview: THE AVENGERS star Cobie Smulders on playing Agent Maria Hill

Cobie Smulders at the World Premiere of MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS | ©2012 Sue Schneider

Cobie Smulders has long been hailed for her comedic prowess as Robin Sherbatsky on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, now gearing up for its eighth season on CBS. However, with writer/director Joss Whedon’s box-office superhero THE AVENGERS from Disney and Marvel, Smulders shows off her action star side as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Maria Hill, running, sliding and shooting with the best of them. There are big differences in doing a weekly TV comedy series and a giant studio action feature film, Smulders notes. “It’s definitely a shift in schedule,” says Smulders. “I made it a point to do a lot of […]Read On »

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First Look Image of IRON MAN 3 and Robert Downey Jr.

First look behind the scenes photo of IRON MAN 3 | ©2012 Marvel Studios/Zade Rosenthal

On May 3, 2013, IRON MAN 3 hits theaters and the big question will be — how much has THE AVENGERS given that franchise an even bigger push into the boxoffice stratosphere? In the meantime, we can salivate over what director Shane Black has in store for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Iron Man, but in the interim, we have this first look photo behind-the-scenes as the film begins production in Wilmington, North Carolina. Check out the image below. Joining Downey for the third go-around is Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as James “Rhodey” Rhodes and Jon […]Read On »

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Interview: THE AVENGERS composer Alan Silvestri makes the Avengers assemble

THE AVENGERS soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

If you’re looking for a composer whose genre soundtracks seem to be printed in four colors as opposed to written with musical notes, then Alan Silvestri’s scores would be equivalent to the bright hues that compose comic book art. From the brawny militarism of PREDATOR, ERASER and JUDGE DREDD to the mythic exploits of THE MUMMY RETURNS, VAN HELSING and BEOWULF, Alan Silvestri’s talents have grown from the disco motorcycle beats of CHiPS to becoming the embodiment of do-gooding orchestral might. It’s music that captures any big kid’s dream of fighting cosmic evil, role-playing that’s accomplished with massive symphonic themes […]Read On »

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Five New Avengers Heroes We Want to See in AVENGERS 2 and 3

THE AVENGERS trade paperback | ©Marvel Comics

When you look at the history of Marvel Comics, just about everyone – even members of other long-standing teams and dedicated loners – have called themselves Avengers at one time or another. So the field is wide open for AVENGERS 2 and 3, but there is the ‘critical mass’ element; some of the team from the first film might have to sit one out to give others their screen time. After all, how many Avengers can you cram into one movie? But given the heroes we’ve already seen assemble, there are some obvious core members that really should turn up […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE AVENGERS

THE AVENGERS movie poster | (c) 2012 Marvel

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson, Gwyneth Paltrow Writer: Joss Whedon, story by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon Director: Joss Whedon Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures Release Date (U.S.): May 4, 2012 THE AVENGERS is spectacular in several senses of the word. It is literally a spectacle, with people flying up into the sky, monsters plummeting out of it, airships flying through it and so on. However, the real dynamism here is in the character interactions, not something one expects […]Read On »

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Interview: THE AVENGERS star Chris Hemsworth hammers down on Thor

Chris Hemsworth is Thor in THE AVENGERS | ©2012 Marvel Studios

In person, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth looks almost as imposing as he does onscreen as his Agardian superhero Thor. Having starred as the character once already in THOR, Hemsworth is now reprising the character in THE AVENGERS, written and directed by Joss Whedon. Hemsworth’s cohorts onscreen Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/The Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his THOR role as Thor’s adopted brother/nemesis Loki. With his mane of hair […]Read On »

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