Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

The much-anticipated trailer for the second Avengers film – Age of Ultron – has officially been released, after it was leaked one week shy of its intended date. However instead of complaining about the trailer being leaked, Marvel did the adult thing and released their own Official HD version…and blamed the leak on villainous world organisation HYDRA.

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Fans of the Marvel franchise probably know by now that the main antagonist for the film is the artificially intelligent android Ultron, but it is only in this trailer that we really see how terrifying the character is. Along with the soothing-yet-merciless iconic voice of James Spader, fans worldwide will now know that Age of Ultron is going to be a step up from the previous film. Avengers Assemble saw the villain Loki drawn into war mostly by bitterness, but he was a character that had the chance to change his actions along the way. Ultron on the other hand has one goal: world domination, and nothing less.

With Marvel releasing Ant-Man next year it appears that Hank Pym will not be Ultron’s creator as he was in the comics, but rather Tony Stark instead. It is hard to take much from this short teaser trailer, as it seems to mainly introduce the villain and his helpers; Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. What we do know is that the Avengers – being Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye – are all back to save the world from any possible threat.

However a lot has changed since the first film; most of the characters have evolved through their other films, such as Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, and S.H.I.E.L.D has also been disbanded, as we saw in The Winter Soldier. Director Joss Whedon has said that it is going to be a lot like the The Godfather Part 2, in that a lot has happened since the previous film and throughout Age of Ultron we will find out what that is.

By the end of the trailer we are greeted to a fully functional Ultron who is explaining through a quote from the Pinnochio song ‘I’ve Got No Strings’ that he is not bound by anything and is free to do as he wishes.

We should all be very afraid.

Thor: The Dark World

The god of thunder is back in a sequel that presents even more challenges which he must face in order to save his lovely Jane Foster and planet earth.

thor the dark world posterThor: The Dark World – the most recent film in Marvel’s ‘phase 2’ – gives us everything which we loved about the first film and adds more to it. The great thing about all these Marvel sequels being released – Iron Man 2/3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier – is that, whereas the first film introduced the audience to the characters and their story, the sequels allow us to understand them more and realise what it is that they are actually fighting for.

The all-star cast is back, plus a few new faces, to play out a story much darker – hence the name – than the first film. Years ago ‘Bor’, the father of ‘Odin’ (Anthony Hopkins), fought to bring peace to the nine realms and apprehend a powerful stone called the ‘Aether’ from Malkieth – leader of the dark elves. He succeeded and hid the stone in the darkest of places where no being could find it. Unfortunately ‘Jane Foster’ stumbles upon a doorway which transports her to the location of the Aether and the power ends up connected to her body. Thor appears in his beautiful flash of colourful light to take Jane back to Asgard and attempt to help her, however things are not that simple. Especially now that the Aether has awoken Malkieth from his slumber to once again reap havoc on the nine realms. Thor must once again disobey his father in order to do what he feels is right, and team up with someone who he never thought he would team up with again…Loki. We get unbelievable effects, incredible fight and sorrowful scenes, diverse characters and inside jokes relating to Marvel’s previous ‘phase 1’. What more could you ask for?

Chris Hemsworth once again dons the cape as he stars for the third time as the Mjolnir-carrying god. He once more takes us on a journey with his velty-toned-booming voice, golden locks and muscles to match the Hulk’s. In the previous Marvel films where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been the villain (Thor/Avengers Assemble) the hatred between the two brothers has grown and grown, but as they team up in this film it is obvious that the love is still there. We really get to feel the emotions of Loki in this one, as an event happens which pulls at even his heart-strings.

What I found great about this sequel was that it let us see much more of the Asgardian characters rather than just the ones on earth. One of which is Heindall, played by Idris Elba, although we did get to see him partially guarding the realm doorway in ‘Thor’, this time we see what he is truly capable of. Long story short, he’s a real bad-ass.

We definitely did witness more screen time for the lesser-heroes of the film: Sif (Jamie Alexander), Fandral (Zachery Levi), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano). But two of the roles which make this film great are that of the antagonists Malkieth and Algrim, played by Christopher Eccleston and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. They do great at catching that villainous ‘I’m going to destroy the universe’ look, although a lot of that could be down to make-up, nevertheless their talents can not be overlooked. Eccleston has played many villains before (28 Days Later/Shallow Grave/G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra) so this was no problem for him.

Marvel’s ‘phase 2’ is really motoring on now, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy due in 2014. They are gearing up for a huge Avengers sequel (Avengers: Age of Ultron) in 2015, and if Thor: The Dark World is anything to go by then we have some extraordinary films in store for us.

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Just a little heads up to all you fans out there, we all know how Marvel love to stick a nice little post-credits scene at the end of every film as a taster for the next film in the franchise. I recently heard a rumour that because audiences have realised this Marvel have moved the scene up to literally at the end of the film. This is not true, there is a scene right at the end of the movie which hints at the plot for the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, but there is also one right at the end of the credits. So sit back and wait for your end of credits taster.

The Marvel Movement: Part 1

The past 12 years have seen dozens of comic book fans heroes grace the big screen, some films being action-packed thrill rides which did the comics proud, whereas others crashed and burned like a vehicle in the Incredible Hulk’s path.marvel-comic-logo

What everybody is wondering now is what’s next for the Marvel Cinematic Universe in this so called ‘Phase 2’, post-The Avengers. Well a lot has been planned after the huge success of Avengers Assemble – and the films leading up to it: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America. It was obvious that the fans were on board and wanted more – hence Phase 2 of Marvel’s plan to take over the world of cinema.

Although the post-credits sequence of The Avengers showed us that the lovely purple-faced villain, Thanos was behind the Chitauri attack on New York, it appears that we won’t see much more of him until the end of Phase 2. No at the moment Marvel are trying to get the audience intertwined with the characters, and the best way to do this is by giving the heroes a sequel, to explain their story and who they are better. We have already seen this in Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, the first film in phase 2. The film took us deep into Tony Stark’s back story, showed the effects which the battle in Avengers Assemble was having on him and, due to a lack of suits, forced him to use the only power that he has…his mind.iron-man-3-official-hd

The same theme will be seen in Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as the god of thunder and America’s super soldier will be developing more as characters for the audience. With Thor having his love interest, Jane Foster, thrown right into the mix this time thanks to the dark world Svartalfheim, and being forced to ask his brother, the god of mischief, Loki for help. Then Captain America faces his old best friend Bucky, after he has been turned into the villain known as the winter soldier. Its too bad that Marvel have not planned any solo films for the other two heroes from Avenger Assemble, Black Widow and Hawkeye, both being vital to the Avengers storyline, however they both will be weaved in to the upcoming films in some way.

With the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, or S.H.I.E.L.D, being such a huge part of the Marvel universe, and appearing in every pre-Avengers film. It only seems right that the organisation which gathered the team together should not be forgotten in Phase 2, and thankfully they haven’t. With Avengers Assemble director Joss Whedon helming a S.H.I.E.L.D TV show, which shows a team of agents led by the somehow resurrected Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) investigate into various Marvel related occurrences around the globe.sheildThe second half of Phase 2 introduces a film, Guardians of the Galaxy, and a band of characters which could take fans of the films by surprise, with it going over towards the science-fiction side of things. All of the movies so far have been set on Earth, minus Thor’s home world and the ending to Avengers Assemble which could have been hinting at the space theme. Guardians Of The Galaxy is set for release after the Captain America sequel, and will feature a whole new set of characters for audiences to sink their teeth into, if you thought that some of the Marvel heroes were odd, you haven’t seen anything yet. As you can guess, the guardians job is to protect the galaxy, and apparently we should be rooting for them much more than we think because if the guardians fail, then the Earth is affected. Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer, Groot (a mobile-talking tree), Gamora and Rocket Raccoon (who is a talking Raccoon) are the heroes of this film, and with names like that, it is sure to be a magic Marvel carpet ride. Whether or not they will be referenced in any of the post-Avengers films is yet to be known.Guardians_of_the_galaxy-CopyThe final part of Phase 2 is, you guessed it, The Avengers 2. Although director Joss Whedon will not give much information out about the film, it has been rumoured that there will be plenty of deaths, and that the mutant brother and sister team Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) will be appearing in the film – using them could lead to their father Magneto possibly making an appearance. As for the villain and what other characters will be introduced, well we’ve still got 2 years until it’s release so anything could happen.quick

Not much is known about Phase 3 as of yet, however one thing which is certain is that Ant-Man, one of the founding and long overdue for a film Avengers, will finally be hitting the big screen in 2015. The film will be directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz/Scott Pilgrim vs the World), and will follow scientist Henry ‘Hank’ Pym as he discovers how to shrink things down to a much smaller size. After wondering whether it will work on a live test subject, he tries it out on himself and shrinks down the size of an Ant, however still regaining his normal strength. He resizes himself and creates a helmet which, through using vibrations, he can control the Ants, and creates a suit that can deflect other insect stings. Whether his wife Janet van Dyne A.K.A The Wasp – another founding member of The Avengers – and Pym’s other aliases Giant-Man and Yellow Jacket will feature in the film is yet to be seen.ant-man-movie-logo

I’m sure I am not the only one who has sat around staring at my Dr. Steven Strange figure and wondered when his turn will come to dazzle audiences, well wonder no more because it is confirmed that the Doctor will appear in Phase 3. However it is not yet known if the sorcerer will be given his own film or be put together with a team, most likely The Avengers. Which, if so, could also feature Black Panther the African based Avenger whose whereabouts were hinted at during Iron Man 2, and possibly, with his appearance in the Captain America sequel, Falcon, the high-flying, crime-fighting crusader.

Whatever the future holds for Marvel and The Avengers, Phase 3 is sure to go out with a bang.

PHASE 2:

Iron Man 3 – Out Now

Thor: The Dark World – October 2013

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – April 2014

Guardians Of The Galaxy – August 2014

The Avengers 2 – May 2015

PHASE 3:

Ant-Man – November 2015