Quote of the Day- May 9, 2015

“What do tigers dream of when they take their little tiger snooze? Do they dream of mauling zebras, or Halle Berry in her Catwoman suit? Don’t you worry your pretty striped head, we’re gonna get you back to Tyson and your cozy tiger bed. And then we’re gonna find our best friend Doug, and then we’re gonna give him a best friend hug. Doug, Doug, oh, Doug, Dougie, Dougie, Doug, Doug! But if he’s been murdered by crystal meth tweakers…..  Well then we’re shit out of luck.”

– Stu Price, The Hangover

The Hangover (2009) Poster

This franchise somehow managed to be both the best and worst thing to happen to Todd Phillips’ career.

Game of Thrones- Season 5, Episode 3: Sons of the Harpy (Review/Recap)

Rumours of her demise have been greatly exaggerated, unfortunately.

It’s episodes like this last one that really bring out both the vengeful, raging sociopath and blubbering neurotic in me.

SPOILER ALERT. OBVIOUSLY. 

King’s Landing 

“You will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”

The Queen’s amiable, if somewhat bumbling, father, Mace Tyrell, tells the other members of the Legion of Doom Small Council that the almighty Bank of Braavos is calling in ten percent of the debt owed to them by the Seven Kingdoms. Cersei sends Tyrell, the Master of Coin to Braavos in order to negotiate a new deal with the Braavosi, along with Kingsguard Ser Meryn Trant, who I admit to not remembering from previous seasons, but who, for the sake of convenience, I will just go ahead and assume to be a morally reprehensible dumpster fire of a human being. Don’t tell me that’s not a safe assumption. you’re watching the same show that I am.

After the meeting, Cersei meets with the High Sparrow, who I had mistakenly assumed to be a semi-cool guy before this episode. I should really learn to follow my own goddamn rules.

Cersei authorizes the use of a violent religious fundamentalist militia known as the Faith Militant, which immediately gets to work attacking anybody who they deem to be sinners, or disrespecting the gods. And people ask me why I’m not religious.

One of the many “sinners” incarcerated by The Faith Militant just so happens to be Loras Tyrell, Cersei’s fiancee and the Queen’s brother, and also noted gay dude. Surprisingly enough, the super-religious Faith Militant doesn’t take very kindly to gay people. Who’da thunk it?

Queen Margaery doesn’t like this and tries to get Tommen to do something about it, but he doesn’t allow the Kingsguard to attack the Faith Militant and the countless poor people that the Sparrows are sheltering, and ends up leaving empty-handed. To be fair, I probably would’ve done the same thing. At least he proved himself better than…. That Other Guy when he didn’t respond to the rabble yelling abuse at him.

Just thinking about the Other Guy makes me want to sterilize all blonde people. You know, just to make sure.

Frustrated with Tommen’s inability to do as she says, Margaery decides to call upon her grandmother to help. I’m repeating myself here, but…. There’s no possible way this ends well, is there?

The Wall

Jon Snow fights off the Red Woman’s attempt to seduce him in the name of the Lord of Light, or some shit. This would be a more impressive feat if I wasn’t mentally equating her with that old woman from The Shining, at this point.

Also, A+ parenting from Stannis. No sarcasm intended, that was actually pretty cool of him.

Winterfell

Scheming n’ shit. Also, we get some interesting backstory on the war that took place prior to the events of Season 1. And Littlefinger frenching Sansa. Yeecchh.

The sad thing? Out of all of Sansa’s suitors (Betrothed or otherwise), this guy is the least off-putting.

Dorne

Jaime and Bronn arrive in Dorne, and waste no time in awesomely murdering a bunch of Dornish soldiers. It’s not so much that I want to see Dornish people dead as it is that I want to see Myrcella saved from, uh, this lady who wants to see her mutilated in order to start a war with the Lannisters. Why are the pretty women on this show all either dead, bereft with grief, insane or some combination of the three?

Admittedly, if I had experienced what she had experienced…

For help in her anti-Lannister crusade, she enlists the help of Oberyn’s daughters, the Sand Snakes (Only one of whom is her daughter, because Dorne is a country of swingers), all of whom look like badasses. Oh, and they know Jaime and Bronn are in Dorne to rescue Myrcella. Fucking brilliant.

Across the Narrow Sea

Ha-ha, Jorah Mormont is a dumbass and Tyrion is smarter than him.

Meereen

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU SONS OF HARPIES SHITHEEL MOTHERFUCKERS!!! I DIDN’T KNOW HOW MUCH I LIKED THOSE TWO UNTIL YOU POSSIBLY KILLED THEM!!!

Overall: This is the episode where everything starts really going downhill, isn’t it?

Rating: 8/10

Again, why must they be crazy?

Avengers: Age of Ultron (Movie Review)

This movie is 141 minutes long. And they had to cut an hour. Think about that for a sec, will ya?

Before Age of Ultron, I had to do four major exams and a French oral presentation. That made May 1st one of those days that was simultaneously the best and worst day ever.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Directed by: Joss Whedon

Produced by: Kevin Feige

Written by: Joss Whedon

Based on: The Avengers by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Genre: Superhero

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany

Music by: Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman

Plot: The Avengers; Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, have been at their superheroing ways for a while now, fighting evil wherever it may rear its ugly head. However, after a somewhat traumatic mission in the fictional Eastern European nation of Sokovia or whatever (Where the official language is apparently heavily accented English),Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) decides that what the world needs is not the Avengers, but a super-powerful artificial intelligence whose goal is to achieve world peace by any means necessary. This is a wholly original concept that has never been attempted before in fiction, right?

Right!

Stark and Dr. Banner (Mark Ruffalo) accidentally create an A.I. named Ultron (James Spader) who, as anybody with half a brain could predict, is overwhelmed with a god complex, concluding that, since humans are the ones screwing up the world, the only way to ensure world peace is to destroy all humans, particularly the Avengers. Not exactly taking his kindly, the Avengers set out to defeat Ultron, but find themselves contending with divisions within the team, two mysterious twins working with Ultron, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) and the mysterious android named the Vision (Paul Bettany).

If that sounds like a lot of stuff going on, it’s because it kind of is. It’s become a growing trend among superhero movies lately to really up the amount of complicated subplots. I guess it makes sense that an extended universe would have more complicated storylines. You can’t merely have Superman saving Lois Lane anymore, you must have Captain America destroying HYDRA, have that tie in with a damn TV show, and have THAT tie into a movie that stars Vin Diesel as a fucking talking tree.

While I wouldn’t go so far as saying that you needed to have watched the other Marvel movies in order to understand this one, there are still some issues to be found in Age of Ultron. Joss Whedon has said that there is one hour of footage that had to be cut in order to get the movie down to a manageable length, and I commend him for that, because who wants to see a three and a half hour long superhero movie?

Besides me, I mean.

That said, during the second act, the movie starts feeling a bit rushed, trying to squeeze in development  and plot points that kind of come out of nowhere. There’s an entire sequence involving Thor that tries to serve as both an advancement of the plot and a setup for Thor: Ragnarok (Get hyped for that November 3, 2017 release date!!!) and… It doesn’t work. There’s just not enough explained. I understand part of the conclusion that Thor comes to during the subplot, but I’ll be damned if I know what happened up until that point. Something about Asgard, Stellan Skarsgard, Chris Hemsworth shirtless in a pool of water, whatever. Until the extended edition comes our on Blu-Ray (Please???), I can’t really give this movie points for flawlessly cohesive storytelling.

Also, while I’ll get into Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen as Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch a little later, their accents didn’t do it for me at all. Who knows though, maybe the official language of Sokovia is English spoken with a cartoonish Russian accent? Fuck if I know.

I’m done dicking around, though. What did I think of Age of Ultron as a whole?

I fucking love it.

I know, I know, I’m predictable, but this movie…. It’s just so cool, you guys.

Yes, in terms of story, it’s not the most narratively well done, and the “Evil A.I” has been done to death, but if you’re really bothered by that when watching… You were probably too far gone to enjoy the movie in the first place.

While the action is great, as one would expect from most summer blockbusters nowadays, and the CGI is on point (… Save for some moments in the opening action sequence), this movie, even more than the first Avengers, lives and dies on its larger than-life characters and personalities.

Some people assumed from the trailers that Age of Ultron was going to be yet another goddamn “dark and gritty” superhero movie, and while it does have some heavy moments, its not a dark movie. Like, at all. It has more or less the same tone and atmosphere as the first one, just with, you know, a threatening villain.

Again, thanks to the trailer, many people assumed that Ultron would be the most threatening villain in the MCU to date, based on his menacing appearance and penchant for monologuing. Once again, that’s kind of misleading. While Ultron is really cool, and James Spader is downright fantastic, he was also, completely unexpectedly, really damn funny in an appropriately twisted, dark way, which makes sense, when you consider that he was created by Tony Stark. In addition to that, he’s not entirely a creature of logic, he could be seen as a child with a very black-and-white view of morality. That’s a pretty good way to distinguish him from the humorless “Evil A.I.” archetype that fiction has beaten to death at this point.

“Dave…. Pull my finger…”

What I’m most impressed with, though, is what they did with the main characters. Actually, scratch that, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man are just as awesome and well-written as they were before, but the secondary Avengers, for lack of a better term, get a whole hell of a lot more interesting. Hulk and Black Widow have a relationship that some people are calling forced, but I think it helps develop their character arcs a little more. especially since we haven’t had a solo Hulk movie for a while, and fans are still holding out for the Black Widow solo movie that is growing more and more unlikely by the minute.

IT’S SCARLETT JOHANSSON AS A SEXY RUSSIAN SPY!!! HOW DOES THIS NOT WRITE ITSELF!!!!????

There was definitely a more PC way to phrase that caption, but my point still stands.

The surprising one for me (And a whole lot of other people) was Hawkeye, who was pretty much nondescript in the first movie, was my favourite character in this movie. Without getting spoiler-y… He’s a scene stealer. Hawkeye is a scene stealer. God, this movie is bizarre.

Lastly, the new characters are, big surprise, pretty damn great. The Vision, without spoiling any details, is fucking awesome, and Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are also good. While I wouldn’t say that this Quicksilver is as entertaining as the one in Days of Future Past, but this one has a pretty enjoyable personality that Aaron Taylor-Johnson has a lot of fun with. (Fun fact: Taylor-Johnson was the star of Kick-Ass, while Evan Peters, who played Quicksilver in Days of Future Past, played Taylor-Johnson’s friend in Kick-Ass. Full circle, or whatever.

Also, I have a crush on Elizabeth Olsen. I didn’t know that before today.

Her performance makes this movie the best project an Olsen sister has ever been associated with.

Overall: Age of Ultron delivers as a summer blockbuster on every sustainable level, being almost as good as the first movie. Shame the mid-credits scene sucks balls.

Rating: 9/10

“Wait’ll they get a load of me…”