Tagged: Ultron

Dennis O’Neil: Keeping Up With The Avengers

Age of Ultron

Saturday night and the old folks are not in Manhattan attending the convention. For many con goers, Saturday night is par-tay time, as it was for me in days of yore. But not now. If we were there we wouldn’t be partying and anyway, we weren’t there, so why the blather?

So: ordinary Saturday night. Does that mean it has to be boring? Wellll… Hey! I know, Let’s watch a movie on teevee – and don’t let me hear anyone say that senior citizens don’t know how to rip it loose! But which movie (and must life be one dilemma after another)? Hey, I know! Let’s pay homage to the fact that we’re not at the convention by watching… a superhero movie! Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

But – darn these dilemmas – which superhero movie? We missed a number of films we might have been expected to see – pretty arid summer, cinema-wise – and so, with a bit of channel scouring, we should be able to find a satisfactory non-convention-attending entertainment.

And lo and behold, there it is, available at the on-demand channel, for less than half the price of one theater ticket; a movie we actually wanted to see but for some reason didn’t – The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Life is good.

But the movie…?

Let’s put it this way:

BANG BANG BOOM talk talk BANG BANG BOOM talk BANGEDY BOOMBOOM

Open on a protracted and noisy fight and then more of the same. Structurally, the film reminded me of the old kiddie matinees shown at neighborhood theaters, in which one plot/story was stretched over months by dividing it into chapters, each ending on a suspense hook to pull you back for the next installment. Here’s how it parsed: Protagonist encounters adversary in battles that end indecisively until one doesn’t and the good guy wins. If he’s a cowboy, maybe he rides off into the sunset.

As noted, the opening scene in Ultron is loud and busy. In this it echoes one of the not-quite-rules that my merry men and I observed when we were Batman’s bosses: open on action. But a comic book is not a movie and anyhow, our debut action didn’t eat up much print space. Oh, and it was quiet. Little mousey quiet. Quiet as ink on a page.

One of my worries – okay, a small worry – is that film folk believe that audiences have come to expect – demand? – large portions of pyrotechnics and noise and in providing it they neglect others storytelling techniques. (Already, unless I’m missing something, they don’t seem much concerned with rising action.)

But maybe I shouldn’t expect expert storytelling. Maybe these entertainments are really about spectacle, closer to the offerings of P.T. Barnum than those of William Shakespeare. And in that case… next time you’re seeing a superhero flick, be sure to pop for a 3-D screening. When it comes to spectacle…hey, can it ever be too splashy?

Tweeks: Avengers Age of Ultron Squeee-view

Of course, we saw Avengers: Age of Ultron on opening weekend and of course you did too — or else why do you watch a comic geek vlog? But in case you didn’t get to it yet, do that soon and be careful watching our video, because you know….SPOILERS!

What we’ve done this week instead of a classic review is to answer some questions our friends asked us after the movie. If you haven’t been reading the comics and or watched all the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s offerings, you might have had these same questions as well. And if you already know everything there is to know about Marvel, maybe you can kindly (very nicely & respectfully because we are only kids & we can’t be expected to pass the 7th grade AND read & see everything in a time span that started before our parents were even born) expand on our points. We also talk about Avengers: Infinity Wars and our favorite MCU ships (#CaptainCarter #ScarletVision) and the one that sank during Ultron (you gotta watch to find out).

Dennis O’Neil: Are We Crowded Yet?

We’ll be at the big convention in Indiana this weekend. First con of 2015, which means that, for us, the comic book year has begun. ( or guys like me, the comic book year is like the school year is for a kid, the time when the action really begins.) The highlight of the convention may be interacting with another guest, Carrie Fisher, who once worked briefly with my chief DNA sharer. I mean, at least we’ll have an excuse to speak to her and Marifran might well do that, extravert that she is. I mean, don’t put it past her.

You might get to interact with her, too. She’s usually sitting beside me asking fans, in her nicest-teacher-you-ever-had way, to donate something to the Hero Initiative, which is a good idea and which you should do.

For those of you for whom comics are merely an interest, as opposed to a passion or, heaven help you, a lifestyle, the summer looks to provide the usual ration of superheroic pleasures, mostly in the form of huge movies. You know what they are, probably, and if you don’t, you should have ample opportunity to find out before you need a bathing suit.

If you attend either of the Rockland County NY multiplexes, you might see an old couple near the front. That’d be us. I’ll be the bald one.

Elsewhere, there’s television. Last week, we mentioned Daredevil, a show that Netflix will stream next month. And CBS has a Supergirl series ready to go. And I’m sure other costumed wrong-righters will pop up here and there. You superhero fans – you’ll be okay.

Are we nearing a saturation point? Are we already there? I shrug. A network executive recently said that no, we aren’t overstuffed with superheroes because every show and movie is different. Well… every cop show is different, too, in that they use different casts, characters, sets, locales. But they all feature dedicated public servants, some of them maybe a tad quirky, who, dammit, make the system work. Who bring what they call “justice” and what a nitpicker might call “vengeance.” Most superhero stories have a similar dynamic, with a quasi-mythic super person replacing quirky policemen.

It’s how ancient themes are expressed in our post-industrial Earth and I’m not complaining. Catch me on a sunny day and I might even cheer. But this particular way of expressing them, with the costumes and flying and the double identities and all the rest of it? Too much, yet? The obvious parallel genre is the westerns, once an absolute staple of screens large and small, now rare. But the world has changed since the cowboy heyday and the parallel might not be valid. We’ll see, eventually, maybe.

Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the spectacle of Iron Man kicking Ultron butt and, convention goers can breathe the same air as the talented folk who enact our favorite fantasies.

 

The Point Radio: Talking Green And Scarlet With Elizabeth Olsen

A new take on GODZILLA hits theaters in a new days, and director Gareth Edwards and star Elizabeth Olson fill us in on the road they took to get the popular franchise rebooted. Plus Elizabeth talks about her prep for the role of Scarlet Witch in AVENGERS:AGE OF ULTRON. Meanwhile, out looks like comics will dominate the TV nets next season with no less than five news series!

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Law Is A Ass #310: Avengers A.I.: Where Intelligence Really Is Artificial

So let me get this straight, in order to defeat the villain, the Avengers made a worse villain?

That first villain, Ultron, the living automaton with artificial intelligence and massive daddy issues about its creator Henry Pym, had made things pretty bad in the Age of Ultron mini-series. “Pretty bad” being a euphemism conquering the world, destroying major cities, killing people, and generally not playing well with others. In order to undo the Age of Ultron, Invisible Woman and Wolverine went into the past and visited Henry Pym before he built the first Ultron. They told Dr. Pym that Ultron would destroy the world in the future but also told him he still had to build Ultron so that the time line would stay the same until just before Ultron started the Age of Ultron. So Pym built Ultron, but put a kill switch into Ultron’s A.I. so that Ultron could be defeated at the right time in the future.

Cut to years later and the right time in the future: Invisible Woman visited Dr. Pym again. She showed Dr. Pym, whose memory of the earlier visit had been wiped, a video about Ultron which included instructions on how to activate the kill switch. This occurred just before the events of The Avengers v.4, # 12.1, where, you may recall, the Avengers rescued Spider-Woman from super-villain team the Intelligencia but inadvertently reactivated Ultron. (You may recall it. I had to look it up.)

Because he had been warned, Dr. Pym could change what happened after the Avengers reactivated Ultron. This time Ultron didn’t get away. Instead Pym had Iron Man upload the kill switch activation codes into Ultron. Then, after Ultron shut down, Pym used a computer virus to destroy Ultron. And they all lived happily ever after, no?

No.

(more…)

The Point Radio: Dissecting THE BLACKLIST

Thanks to an added boost from DVR users, NBC’s THE BLACKLIST continues to be the fastest growing, and only real breakout hit  of the TV season. We talk to the folks from behind and in front of the camera, including cast member Parminder Nagra, to find out the secret of their success. Plus GHOST IN THE MACHINE might actually be a movie, and that POWERPUFF GIRLS cover…..really?

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: James Spader From BLACKLIST To THE AVENGERS

PT100413

James Spader is a master at creating riveting and intense characters. There is no better proof than on his new NBC series, THE BLACKLIST. James talks about why he came back to TV, how he gets into a role and the reason why he wanted to be in the next AVENGERS film. Plus SHIELD takes a dive and SLEEPY HOLLOW is the first winner.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: Joss Whedon Has A Tough Task and Joe Rogan Has A Question

PT072613

This week, you get to reap the benefits of our Comic Con trip as we share comments from Brian Fuller on how intense the next season of HANNIBAL could be, C. Thomas Howell admits he doesn’t know who The Reverse Flash is – but he loves voicing him, and Josh Holloway assures us that his new series, INTELLIGENCE ,is totally believable. Plus Joss Whedon admits that it wasn’t as easy as you might think getting AGENTS OF SHIELD on the air, and SyFy allows Joe Rogan to QUESTION EVERYTHING.

This summer, we are updating once a week – every Friday – but you don’t have to miss any pop culture news. THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE! The Point Radio App is now in the iTunes App store – and it’s FREE! Just search under “pop culture The Point”. The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun for FREE. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE on any computer or on any other  mobile device with the Tune In Radio app – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

“Age Of Ultron” coming soon from Marvel, according to ASCII

A piece of promotional artwork came in today from Marvel, which when translated from binary to ASCII spells out “Age Of Ultron”. Marvel will be making a bigger announcement for this project on Monday, but one presumes that the other shoe from events in Avengers a few years back are finally coming to the forefront…