Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Kretschmann’

Comic Book Pastiche

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver11

Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Paul Bettany, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett, Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, James Spader, Cobie Smulders, Hayley Atwell, Stellan Skarsgard, Thomas Kretschmann, Julie Delpy, Andy Serkis, Anthony Mackie.

The Avengers are back in director and writer Joss Whedon’s much anticipated sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron featuring all the Marvel superheroes and some new ones in a CGI laden special effects extravaganza, which is at times confusing and other times absolutely fascinating. At a running time of two hours and twenty minutes, director Whedon has sufficient screen time to flesh out all the characters individually as well as give nuance to some of their more complicated relationships.

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver14

Like the relationship between The Hulk, aka Bruce Banner wonderfully played by Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) and the Black Widow played by Scarlett Johansson who seems to be the only avenger that can calm the Hulk’s penchant for destructive anger.

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver17

The relationship between goodie two shoes Steve Rogers aka Captain America, played by Chris Evans and Nordic God Thor played by the hunky Chris Hemsworth is also subtly explored considering that the former is a World War two hero and the latter from another dimension.

Robert Downey Jr reprises his role as egotistical Billionaire Tony Stark, aka Iron Man and his irrepressible desire to mould any technological discovery, in this case the power artificial intelligence to his own advantage.

The Age of Ultron refers to the ubiquitous Altron a powerful A.I. force which is hell bent on human destruction and vain enough to realize that he can survive the aftermath, beautifully voiced with an underlying menace by James Spader (Bad Influence, more recently in the hit TV show The Black List).

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver18

The sexy Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton aka Hawkeye ‘s character is fleshed out as a devoting family man which is entirely incongruous with his status as a member of the Avengers, but hey who cares?

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver21

Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson play evil orphaned Eastern European twins Pietro and Maximoff who soon turn on Ultron when they realize his megalomaniac tendencies. Even Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis makes an appearance as a South African mercenary Ulysses Klaue and the Johannesburg downtown sequence is truly phenomenal to watch as is the action scene in Seoul, South Korea.

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver19

If audiences get confused with who all the avengers are, there are ample filmic references to each of their own background stories from Thor: The Dark World, including a brief appearance by Idris Elba and also Captain America’s Agent Carter, played by Hayley Atwell. Marvel is indeed expanding their universe exponentially and if The Avengers: Age of Ultron’s audience figures are anything to go by, this will prove to be another superhero box office smash hit.

avengers_age_of_ultron_ver10

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is fun entertainment and definitely aimed at Iron Man, Thor and Captain America cinema fans especially all the witty references and innuendo’s involving lifting Thor’s hammer which are neatly laced into a script which may seem convoluted but then again when it comes to Artificial Intelligence its more an infinite mess which at some point needs to be reined in.

Audiences should look out for brief cameos by Anthony Mackie, Stellan Skarsgard, Julie Delpy, Don Cheadle and Thomas Kretschmann. If The Avengers: Age of Ultron appears to be a pastiche of all the previous Marvel films, then director Joss Whedon has certainly achieved the impossible, not to mention making a narrative out of the dangers of artificial intelligence plausible and entertaining.

It’s best for audiences to suspend their disbelief and enjoy The Avengers: The Age of Ultron for what it is: a comic book orgy with a giant budget and loud, awe-inspiring special effects which will be sure to nurture any young adult’s imagination for awhile.

 

 

 

A More Impressive Mrs Brown

The Young Victoria

Regal, beautiful and rebellious to the point of gaining an Empire

Regal, beautiful and rebellious to the point of gaining an Empire

The Young Victoria is a treat for any dedicated royalist and purveyor of British history and shows Queen Victoria as she ascends the throne and deals with her first and only love, the marriage to Prince Albert of Germany, perfectly portrayed by Rupert Friend. Emily Blunt takes the part of the headstrong Victoria perfectly with the correct amount of poise and dedication and is supported by a fine cast such as Miranda Richardson as the Duchess of Kent, Mark Strong as Sir John Conroy and Paul Bettany as Lord Melbourne.

Previous film version about Queen Victoria only showed her as a reclusive widow hiding away in Balmoral as the 19th centure draws to a close while she is being wooed by a country groundskeeper played with Scottish tenacity by Billy Connolly with Dame Judi Dench taking the role in the superbly under-rated Mrs Brown.

Royalty and the birth of Victorian traditions in all its grandeur

In this film version with a wonderful script by Oscar winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes (Gosforth Park), captures the intrigue of the 19th century British court and how the Royalty then was so tied in with all European aristocracy demonstrating the formation of a strong consolidation of power, which eventually lead to the likes of King Leopold of Belgium, Prince Albert’s uncle and Queen Victoria’s government plundering Africa for the riches and expansions of a colonial empire, known as the scramble for that unknown continent giving historical insight into the treacheries and triumphs of the 19th century and the vast discrepancies which haunt the 21st century.

Nevertheless politics aside, The Young Victoria is a wonderful tale of a young girl who shrugs off the confinements of the Kensington system (a particular set of rules governing etiquette) and ascend the British thrown to become the second longest running monarch in British History second to only Queen Elizabeth I. The difference between the two Queens is while Elizabeth remained the epicentre of her own sovereignty and did not produce an heir, Victoria established a dynasty which is still surviving today.

************************************************************************

The Young Victoria is highly recommended as a fitting cinematic tribute to all that was once lavish where decorum reigned supreme and etiquette and conservation of dignity was regarded as the foundation of a powerful yet ultimately flawed civilization, to a nation that established its hegemony and was sure to lose that supremacy centuries later, only to be left with the vestiges of all those colonial expansions…

At the centre of any Empire was a ruler, in this case Victoria, like all charismatic leaders started off as impressionable and malleable but soon developed the skills of diplomacy and manipulation, especially playing the rules of power and politics on her own terms.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
September 2018
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
  • ‘Vienna Boys Choir’ Finds Harmony With Australian Development Deal
    Studiocanal Australia has signed a co-development deal with local producer Goalpost Pictures, for period film project “Vienna Boys Choir.” The film documents the quirky but real events that began in 1939 when the famous choir toured the U.S. and Pacific region, and became trapped in Australia for the duration of the Second World War. All […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Tokyo Festival Omits U.S. Films From Competition Section
    Gyorgi Palfi’s “His Master’s Voice” will line up against Fruit Chan’s “Three Husbands” and Veit Helmer’s “The Bra” in the main competition section of the Tokyo International Film Festival. Ralph Fiennes’ “The White Crow” will also receive its Asian premiere in competition. The festival announced its full line up Tuesday in Tokyo. The festival will […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Sharon Horgan’s Merman Moves Into Digital, Brings On New Team (EXCLUSIVE)
    Sharon Horgan’s burgeoning shingle Merman is launching a new digital arm, Mermade, and has brought in a clutch of seasoned industry execs the run the new U.S.- and U.K.-based business. Mermade will focus on shortform series for streamers, brands, and publishers. Rene Rechtman and Dan’l Hewitt, formerly of Disney-backed Maker Studios, will be non-executive directors. […]
    Stewart Clarke
  • Basque Production: Higher-Profile Titles at San Sebastian, or Coming Down the Pipeline
    A selection of Basque pictures, projects and productions in 2018: 70 BIG ONES Sayaka Producciones, Pokeepsie Films, La Panda Producciones and Setenta Invisibles L.P. AIE produce the next thriller from Basque genre specialist Koldo Serra (“The Backwoods”), starring Emma Suárez, Nathalie Poza and Hugo Silva. It features a desperate woman in need of $41,000, with […]
    John Hopewell
  • San Sebastian: France’s Logical Pictures, Filmax Board Aritz Moreno’s ‘Advantages’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    SAN SEBASTIAN — Based in Lyon, France Logical Pictures, proud of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s “Farming,” has come on board to co-produce Aritz Moreno’s much-awaited directorial debut “Advantages of Traveling by Train,” starring Luis Tosar and Pilar Castro. Sold internationally by Entertainment One’s Seville International, Filmax has picked up Spain’s distribution rights to “Advantages,” which is produced […]
    John Hopewell
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90