14 June, 2015

Jurassic World review

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction,
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D'Onofrio, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, B D Wong, Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus, Brian Tee.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 12A (UK) PG-13 (US)
Runtime: 124 Minutes
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Synopsis: "Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly." IMDB








So here we are 22 years after Steven Spielberg changed for that generation and every subsequent generation since, the original Jurassic Park is an all time favourite of mine and millions of others I'd imagine. So how did the latest instalment in the franchise by Colin Trevorrow hold up against the rest?

Lets start off with the story, a well paced blockbuster, with some nice turns that while aren't mind-blowing, they will surely keep you on the edge of your seat. I don't want to say too much and give it away, but they also wrote in some wonderful nods to the original which the fans of the first will adore and the younger fans will love when they are told about them. There is times when the subplots do not seem to make that much sense, that could be due to longevity that the project has gone through with numerous rewrites and tweaks, notably the parents getting divorced it didn't add anything to the film and didn't change the view of the young lads. That aside the story was solid and simple but a nice ride.
Another stellar cast for a Jurassic Park film, who would have thought that they could build a cast that was as enjoyable to watch as the original? I surely didn't, there was some brilliant performances some that really stood out for me were Ty Simpkins who at 13 is kick ass in the acting world, Nick Robinson, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt who is fun in ANYTHING he does, the dude is just a joy to watch plus his and Bryce's on screen chemistry felt real. D'Onofrio serves as the human villain in the film and to be honest he really isn't as good as we are used to seeing him, it feels over the top if you will. Saying these performances stood up does not mean I found the others lacking, just not as great as these specific ones. Not the right place to say but yet again another performance from Nick Robinson that adds credence to my personal opinion that he would make a pretty good Peter Parker, thought it since I first seen him in "Melissa & Joey".

Yet again another film in the series that had some breathtaking cinematography, which was done by the very talented Academy Award nominee John Schwartzman, some of the wide shots are beautiful. Which for the Jurassic World franchise is a big thing, I mean look at the first, it has one of the greatest all time pieces of cinematography, so this one had to have some wonderful shots too, which do not worry it does. 

Hard to believe this is only Colin Trevorrow's second feature film, which he did not only direct he also co-writ with his previous writing partner Derek Connolly who he worked with on "Safety Not Guaranteed". Which was an enjoyable film according to the people I have spoken to about it, Colin does what many directors over the past decade have worried they couldn't do, he made a film 22 years after the original and still was able to keep that wonderful charm the first had. This film is by no means better than the first, but was easily the second best in the franchise, after this I can see Colin going VERY far in the movie world.
My only complaint really was the lack of practical effects, I have always been an advocate for practical effects. The use of them in the original especially when the dinosaur hatches from the egg was something that made me fall in love with the art form that is practical effects. I just feel more drawn in when it comes it practical effects, not to say the CGI was poor or anything, the film was still visually stunning, it is just a personal preference of mine to have visual effects if and when possible. If so we would still have masters like Rick Baker working in the business and not retiring. That all being said, the visuals effects were amazing to watch and I'm sure anybody would agree, they also had a wonderful use of scale on the dinosaurs to really give the audience the feeling of how big these "monsters" truly would be if around today.

Overall this film was a thoroughly good watch, heck good it was great. I enjoyed it start to finish, it was not what I expected but it was brilliant none the less. Throughout the film there is a few misses, however the rest of the film really delivers in a big way I found. While it doesn't hit the heights of the first film it was truly a masterpiece in the blockbuster, bringing back the summer family blockbuster I really hope. Fingers crossed this gets Steven Spielberg to jump back into this world and he picks up Chris Pratt for the next Indiana Jones film. This film excelled in all categories and is a brilliant film for all to see, truly a revival of the franchise. "It's like the perfect sequel... 22 years later".
9/10








08 June, 2015

Whiplash review

Genre: Drama, Music.
Starring: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Jayson Blair, Kavita Patil, Michael Cohen, Kofi Siriboe, Suanne Spoke, April Grace.
Year Of Release: 2015 (UK)
Certificate: 15 (UK)
Runtime: 106 Minutes
Director: Damien Chazelle
Synopsis: "A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential." IMDB









When I seen the trailers for this I wasn't very excited, actually I didn't have any intentions to watch it until it maybe appeared on Netflix or maybe normal television. After being beatdown by my brother for months and my twitter followers constantly recommending it. I gave in last week. Here are my thoughts on it.

Where else to start with this film but the acting, I mean WOW! This was my first time seeing Miles Teller act, and I was blown away by such a performance from somebody I always assumed was going to be another member of the 20s comedy crop, very happy I was wrong. As student Andrew Neiman, Teller was able to showcase a complete range of his ability, be it giddy and flirty with the incredible Nicole (Melissa Benoist) to gut wrenchingly fighting for his place the band. Then we have a performance by everybody's favourite Spider-Man character J Jonah Jameson, J K Simmons who played Jazz instructor Terence Fletcher, I say "played" he really became him, another unfathomable performance, very easy to see why he won the Academy Award plus about 40 others for it. For me Fletcher is one of the scariest movie villains of all time, some of the scenes are so intense by Simmons you find yourself exhaling like you're on the receiving end of his tirades of mental and verbal abuse.
The use of cinematography in this film was superb, it really gives the viewer a look into the gritty world of music schools, really showcases the battle students go through to become the best they can be. 

You may be like me and struggle to comprehend how a film about drumming can really be that entertaining, because personally it was my main struggle with the film I have zero investment in the playing of drums (or any instrument for that matter). That being said you will you still hopefully thoroughly enjoy the film like I did, while at times the drumming can seem repetitive you are still drawn in by the majesty of the talent it takes to play that way and to have the ability to play that long without your hands falling off ha. The movie gave me a new appreciation of the dedication music students have to becoming the very best in their given field, if they are a tenth as dedicated as Andrew comes across then they will go far banging those drums maybe, heck what do I know I'm a movie blogger!
This is the first I have finished a film and felt physically drained and emotionally beaten and I have seen 1,500+ films. The film beat me down so much after it I had to sleep off the after effects, it was more than just an emotional thrill ride it was incredibly relatable if you look at it as a boy trying to make his Dad proud and show him what he can do (Fletcher also being used as the Dad in this analogy). After the film ended I spent a good few hours just thinking about how near perfect this film was, I thought it was post film high, so I gave it a few days to let it sink in before writing my review. However, allowing the time to pass, didn't change my view of this film is a modern masterpiece, well not just a modern masterpiece, it is just a masterpiece itself. Easily in my top 5 of this year, will take a lot to knock it anywhere near out of that list.

After just speaking about the emotional beatdown this film laid on me, I knew I had to touch on the pacing. This is one of the most wonderfully paced films I have watched in a long time, people say "emotional rollercoaster" a lot when it comes to these kinds of films. This time it is the most appropriate use of the phrasing I could think of, from the ultimate strain on you not to break like Andrew, to laughs given by director Damien Chazelle, you will be left with just an unbelievable feeling afterwards.

Overall, I was completely blown away by this movie, it was countless times better than I could ever expect. Damien Chazelle has thrown his name into the big leagues with this movie, I am not usually a
lover of the medium of films about musicians, this may have made me do a complete 180 and will be looking back on such films I may have missed, not that ANY could ever compare I do not imagine. From the get go the film is entertaining, filled with all turns and twists on the emotional roller coaster, this film really is with an ending that will have you tenser than you could ever believe a movie would make you feel. The ONLY reason I didn't give this film a 10 was the ending, while amazing was a bit abrupt, I would have liked to have seen a little more from it, I understand the reasoning behind it, I just personally would have liked to see Andrew get the plaudits he truly deserved. I find it a little heartbreaking I didn't get to see this masterpiece on the big screen with like minded individuals, hopefully I will get to one day!
9.5/10

25 May, 2015

The Cutting Room review

Genre: Found Footage, Horror.
Starring: Parry Glasspool, Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Lydia Orange, TJ Herbert, Jason Rhodes, Mkaya Carrigan, Louisa Adams.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 15 (UK) PG-13 (US)
Runtime: 76 Minutes
Director: Warren Dudley
Synopsis: "College students Raz, Charlie and Jess are about to start work on their end of year Media Studies project... unaware of a malevolent force lurking deep below their sleepy town. A recent wave of apparent Cyberbullying and the disappearance of two local girls lead the group to an abandoned army barracks situated deep in the forests that surround the college. What they find there is a terrifying labyrinth of tunnels from which there seems no escape... and a dark figure hell bent on tormenting them. Hunted, frightened and lost, Raz, Charlie and Jess must now escape the barracks or suffer the unspeakable fate that awaits them." IMDB




Before I start my review, I just want to start off by informing you guys/girls I am doing a new rating scale for Horror. It came to my attention, when rereading some of my reviews, that it looks silly when I rate a film like say Grave Encounters as a 9 along with Guardians Of The Galaxy as a 9, it just doesn't seem to translate, so I will from now on, be rating my Horror films on a 1-5 scale. I just feel it looks better, if you have any feedback let us know in the comments or Twitter sorry for going off topic a bit, back to the review.

I always go in to Horror films very apprehensive, I have been burnt so many times over the years, that being said I am a huge lover of the genre especially the found-footage subgenre. So when director Warren Dudley got in touch with me on Twitter and offered me the chance to review his upcoming film of that genre I jumped on the chance. 

Firstly let me start with the story, the film was very well written, writer and director Warren Dudley did a great job at building suspense and making you feel very uneasy. I really enjoyed how there wasn't an attempt at twists and turns every so often to try and disorientate the viewer, also the use of comedy at times to keep the viewer calm really helps when the scares come. There is one scare that really stands out, that I can guarantee will leave you panting for a good few seconds. A nice combination of humour and feat leave you wanting to watch more from the team, I really hope this isn't the last Horror Mr Dudley does. From a nice slowly paced Horror in the third act, the film really kicks up a gear with a twist you will not see coming, an ending that will stick with you for a while, it was on my mind for a good few days.

The acting is so much better than I expected, no offence intended to the leading three of Parry Glasspool, Lucy-Jane Quinlan and Lydia Orange, I have just found in recent years Horror directors go for the cheapest option possible in Horror. However, all three were great in their roles, by no means are their performances say Oscar worthy, that being said, they really do get to showcase their acting talent. Especially for three people in their early 20s (educated guessing sorry), they are better than some of the more experienced people you see in the genre. Not solely down to the actors themselves the writing helped a lot, but the characters are so likeable you find yourself routing for them to survive, they were truly convincing as a group of friends

The use of gore is absolutely disgusting, but in a good way, not overly used, but when used you will scrunch up your face because it nasty but really conveys what was intended. It is great to see a film that isn't heavily reliant on gore, just uses it when they really need too. Speaking of being not reliant on modern tropes of the genre, I was pleasantly surprised at how somebody today made a Horror film without showing nudity, feels like everything in the genre is sold on boobs. This time around the director relied on his ability to write a great script and pacing it well enough to the point that you realise a lot of the modern tropes are unnecessary.

The use of locations in the film were great choices, most of us, if not all of us are familiar with the constraints of project work in school so the entire premise of the film was relatable which I loved. A fair amount of the filming took place in Newhaven Fort in the Southern part of England, the use of the fort was genius, I like many suffer from severe claustrophobia, so the dark, tight and never ending tunnels really got to me. Making the film incredibly uncomfortable, but in a great way which I do not get very often.

Overall, the film was a great watch, plus has the bonus of being British which for me adds the proud factor to the film. In recent months I have seen the likes of  "As Above, So Below" and "The Pyramid" which I imagine "The Cutting Room" was made for an absolute fraction of the price, yet manages to completely blow the two out of the water. The Cutting Room is easily one of the best British Horror films in the past 15 years, I'd personally put it up there with "Dog Soldiers", "28 Days Later" and "Eden Lake". I sincerely hope this film isn't slept on due to it being a British indie Horror, I enjoyed it more than I did a lot of the huge budget Hollywood Horrors in recent years, I implore my readers immensely to get their hands on a copy. Truly a low-budget diamond, shining in genre packed with mediocrity.  Pre-order yours NOW on Amazon here!
5/5

25 April, 2015

Avengers Age Of Ultron review (SPOILER FREE)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Superhero, Comic Book.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, James Spader, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L Jackson.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 12A (UK)
Runtime: 141 Minutes
Director: Joss Whedon

Synopsis: "When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans." IMDB
 
 
 
 
 
 
As you guys and girls may know I'm a HUGE comic fanboy not one publisher, I'm a fan of the medium of comics. So every time there is one released you know I am going to be posting about it more than most genres. This time around is no different, I went to the midnight showing of Avengers Age Of Ultron on April 22nd and it is safe to say it was the best cinematic experience of my life. If you are here and would like to read a review that is spoiler including CLICK HERE it has ALL spoilers in it.
 
The visual effects in the film were phenomenal, there was a minute or so at the beginning that felt a little off, but I think that was just me. After that the battle scenes were amazing, in my opinion second to none in comic films, it was as beautiful to watch as the action in say "Edge Of Tomorrow". There was some scenes that seem so flawlessly made that they could easily pull off being real life events. Stand out effects for me was the Hulkbuster and Ultron, both were amazing to see, especially Ultron the range of emotions shown by a completely robotic humanoid made the character that extra bit disturbing.  

As for the characters and cast, which at this point due to longevity have become one in the same really, by that I mean when I think about the characters I envision them as their live action selves and no longer their comic looks. All the returning cast are as good as they have been in previous instalments, except for Jeremy Renner, he was outstanding in his role as Clint he was really given the freedom to actually show emotion and his range as an actor. Was great to see him able to flex his acting chops, which I will be honest I was not sure he had. The biggest additions to the cast are Paul Bettany as Vision who was brilliant in what he done, but didn't have to do much due to being an emotionless android, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver his acting is as expected personally I find him to be a good actor who is really honing his skills in recent years, while his accent falters at times, it is a hard accent to pull off I find. Then we have Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch, another extremely talented actress in my opinion, she was brilliant in this too, especially in the more emotionally driven scenes then we have James Spader as Ultron the most ominous audible villain I have heard in a  LONG time, his voice just oozed evil and dominance I can say I finally understand the hype around his ability.

The action starts at an 11 in this film and only gets better, that's not to say that the story or characters miss out. The film has a solid story to it, but even more so, has some wonderful character development, you get to see sides of some characters we have not yet seen in the MCU. Really shapes up some big moments for the future of the franchise, some great moments, some gut wrenching, all together mashed into a brilliant story and progression to characters we all know and love.

The runtime does seem long beforehand, however, there is enough going on at every turn that you kind of forget how long you have been watching and that is a good thing. It's a 141 minute ride that doesn't feel as long as others that run this time.

Overall, I'd go as far as to say this is the best film in the MCU to date in my opinion, which I never thought I'd say due to my dying love for Avengers and Captain America The Winter Soldier. The film was an emotional ride from start to finish, filled with action, ass kicking, hilarious lines and character development second to none in the current MCU crop. If you are not currently into the whole superhero explosion we have had in recent years, I highly recommend starting with this or Captain America The Winter Soldier (REVIEW HERE) they perfectly personify the superhero world but also serve as "everyday" films if you will. Very happy to say Mr Joss Whedon goes out with a bang and certainly not a whimper, I'm already longing for the day he returns to the MCU in the future. I had extremely high expectations going into the film, came out with them shattered and then some, roll on Ant-Man!
10/10
 

Avengers Age Of Ultron review !!!SPOILER HEAVY!!!

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Superhero, Comic Book.
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, James Spader, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Samuel L Jackson.
Year Of Release: 2015
Certificate: 12A (UK)
Runtime: 141 Minutes
Director: Joss Whedon
Synopsis: "When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans." IMDB








***!!!SPOILERS AHEAD!!!***
So I got to experience the latest instalment in the MCU, when earth's mightiest heroes reformed in Avengers Age Of Ultron.Which may anger a few of my American based followers, I apologise for rubbing it in, but you guys NEED to book tickets for this go the second you can. This review will not just be spoiler heavy, it will be a detailed outline of the films plot, read on if you are willing to learn ALL the major plot details, if not, jump to our spoiler free review!

The film starts off in the midst of a battle between the Avengers and HYDRA agent Baron von Strucker played by Thomas Kretschmann, the Avengers are after Loki's sceptre that has been stolen. Resulting in some wonderful battle scenes with incredible visuals, while a brilliant opening in itself, it also serves as a recap if you will of the powers of our beloved heroes. During the fight we get to see the two new adversaries to the Avengers they are twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, they may better be know as Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch. During this big opening fight, the less than loved by many fans Hawkeye gets a pretty nasty injury, which he survives a few scenes later. After the fight scene we get to see the first huge part of character development in the film, we see Black Widow calm Hulk back from his green rage to Bruce Banner using a "lullaby", showing there is something going on between Bruce and Natasha.

After defeating, what is made out to be modernised Nazi's it feels like, the gang returns to Avengers tower as it is now, no longer Stark tower. While there Stark realises the power that the sceptre really holds, he sees it as the answer to artificial intelligence he and Banner have been looking for, for their Ultron project (self aware Iron Man suits that patrol the earth protecting from evil), after this we are blessed with the party scene, sure to give anybody a few giggles especially the Mjolnir scene and the obligatory Stan Lee scene. While everybody is on a high we are introduced to Ultron voiced unbelievably well by James Spader.

 This is where the film really kicks into gear, Ultron attacks the Avengers in his destroyed state controlling Tony's "Iron Legion" to try and take out the team to no avail. With the sceptre being stolen the Avengers clash heads, mostly everybody with Stark for creating Ultron and being responsible for sceptre being back in evil hands. Ultron returns to the previous home of the sceptre in Sokovia to rebuild in the HYDRA base before setting out to recruit the Twins for his evil plans. Who both have deep seeded hatred for Stark due his weapons being responsible for their deaths. Working out Ultron has set his sights on vibranium the team heads to Wakanda, the teams goes head to head, after Scarlett Witch does what she does best and twists the minds of the Avengers, sending Hulk into a rampaging frenzy tearing through a city, Stark call in his Hulkbuster suit and he and Hulk go toe to toe in one of the most enjoyable fight scenes in comic film history.

After this huge rampaging battle, the Avengers have to go into hiding and Clint recommends a safehouse he knows of. The gang turn up at the farm house, which seems like a normal farm house, which it is, it's who that is inside that truly makes this farm house special. In the house we meet Clints wife, YES HIS WIFE, it doesn't end there, he has TWO CHILDREN, I'm being honest my mind was blown. It really gives depth to a character that had become very stagnant, before the film I was desperate for him to be killed off, this film changed that. They really gave him a new lease of life as a character. At the farm house, Banner susses out that Ultron will use their friend Dr Helen Cho's synthetic prototype she has been working on (mentioned previously before Tony's party, where Ultron overhears it).

Ultron plans to meld himself into the newly acquired synthetic organism, due to the newly found organism being as much "man" as it is machine, Scarlett Witch gets her first look into what Ultron is planning to do. A plan her and her brother had no clue how severe was to be, he plans to end ALL living life on the planet, this results in the twins switching their allegiance from Ultron to Avengers, or at least that is their plan. The Avengers fight to get back the synthetic body, so Ultron doesn't have the body he needs to take over the world. Once they have the body, Stark decides they should install J.A.R.V.I.S into the body, most disagree, Thor on the other hand does not, using his lightning wielding ability to literally jolt the body into life. Bringing us the incredibly great looking and wonderfully acted Vision. Thor informs the Avengers that the stone in Vision's head is in fact one of the most power gems in the entire universe, one of the six "infinity stones". During these scenes of Vision being born and the Avengers deciding he is a good guy there is a moment when he is wielding Mjolnir like it is a toothpick and it will blow you away how funny it is, how Thor and everybody else reacts.

The Avengers, now joined by Maximoff twins and Vision head out to Sokovia, where Ultron has made a device that is lifting a whole city skywards, which he plans to drop from a huge height to cause a global extinction event on par with what took out the dinosaurs. Here is where the HUGE battles commence, the Avengers fight off Ultrons army of robotic clones, Fury turns up with a S.H.I.E.L.D helicarrier to help save the innocent people in the city, along with the carrier he brings his trusted Maria Hill and remaining S.H.I.E.L.D agents. At this time Ultro is inside the Quinjet shooting bullets and everything and everybody nearly killing Cap & Thor in the process, he sets his sights on Hawkeye who has ran back into the city to save a child. Quicksilver sees the immediate danger Clint and the child are in so sprints over to save them, knocking a car into the path of the bullets and saving the pair, unfortunately resulting in his own death, a death I partially expected going in but really shocked me still. After the death of her brother, Wanda, unleashes her true potential destroying numerous robots with just her emotional scream then setting out on causing the death of Ultron, which she does ripping out his "heart".

The Hulk, seeking a break from all the destruction he causes and is involved in sets a Quinjet to autopilot and just leaves, not to be seen again in the film. Tony and Thor find a way to say the city from plummeting to the ground and ending mankind after Ultron pulls the trigger on his master plan. Just when you think the last piece of Ultron is gone, we see the last remnants of him trying to escape, only to be confronted by Vision, who using his insane powers obliterates him after they converse shortly. With Ultron defeated life reverts back to its semi-normal ways for the Avengers, a few months later we arrive at the new Avengers headquarters in New York, now ran by Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Dr Helen Cho and Erik Selvig. Now with the belief in mind that the infinity stone is safe with Vision, Thor decides to return to Asgard, with the addition of Stark and Barton retiring the Avengers lose Thor, Hawkeye, Iron Man and Hulk (whereabouts unknown). Becoming a shell of what they were, not for long though.

Cap and Black Widow enter a hangar in which we see Falcon, Vision and War Machine standing there and then Scarlett Witch appears now donning a more comic appropriate costume. Forming the NEW Avengers, as Cap role calls "Avengers..." cutting out before he can exclaim assemble! Now to the part many are waiting to read I imagine, the mid-credits scene, a safe/safety box opens up to reveal a glove, a glove we us Marvelheads and comic fans alike are familiar with, a large blue hand slides into the glove we hear a voice say "Guess, I'll have to do it myself" panning out to reveal Thanos, credits roll and NO END CREDITS SCENE, so no Spider-Man scene unfortunately, it was a wonderful fake like we all assumed but kind of wished was real.

Wow! That was an awful lot of writing, and I haven't even started "reviewing" the film yet ha. So here I go with my reviewing of the actual film.

The visual effects in the film were phenomenal, there was a minute or so at the beginning that felt a little off, but I think that was just me. After that the battle scenes were amazing, in my opinion second to none in comic films, it was as beautiful to watch as the action in say "Edge Of Tomorrow". There was some scenes that seem so flawlessly made that they could easily pull off being real life events. Stand out effects for me was the Hulkbuster and Ultron, both were amazing to see, especially Ultron the range of emotions shown by a completely robotic humanoid made the character that extra bit disturbing.  

As for the characters and cast, which at this point due to longevity have become one in the same really, by that I mean when I think about the characters I envision them as their live action selves and no longer their comic looks. All the returning cast are as good as they have been in previous instalments, except for Jeremy Renner, he was outstanding in his role as Clint he was really given the freedom to actually show emotion and his range as an actor. Was great to see him able to flex his acting chops, which I will be honest I was not sure he had. The biggest additions to the cast are Paul Bettany as Vision who was brilliant in what he done, but didn't have to do much due to being an emotionless android, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver his acting is as expected personally I find him to be a good actor who is really honing his skills in recent years, while his accent falters at times, it is a hard accent to pull off I find. Then we have Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch, another extremely talented actress in my opinion, she was brilliant in this too, especially in the more emotionally driven scenes then we have James Spader as Ultron the most ominous audible villain I have heard in a  LONG time, his voice just oozed evil and dominance I can say I finally understand the hype around his ability.

The action starts at an 11 in this film and only gets better, that's not to say that the story or characters miss out. The film has a solid story to it, but even more so, has some wonderful character development, you get to see sides of some characters we have not yet seen in the MCU. Really shapes up some big moments for the future of the franchise, some great moments, some gut wrenching, all together mashed into a brilliant story and progression to characters we all know and love.

The runtime does seem long beforehand, however, there is enough going on at every turn that you kind of forget how long you have been watching and that is a good thing. It's a 141 minute ride that doesn't feel as long as others that run this time.

Overall, I'd go as far as to say this is the best film in the MCU to date in my opinion, which I never thought I'd say due to my dying love for Avengers and Captain America The Winter Soldier. The film was an emotional ride from start to finish, filled with action, ass kicking, hilarious lines and character development second to none in the current MCU crop. If you are not currently into the whole superhero explosion we have had in recent years, I highly recommend starting with this or Captain America The Winter Soldier (REVIEW HERE) they perfectly personify the superhero world but also serve as "everyday" films if you will. Very happy to say Mr Joss Whedon goes out with a bang and certainly not a whimper, I'm already longing for the day he returns to the MCU in the future. I had extremely high expectations going into the film, came out with them shattered and then some, roll on Ant-Man!
10/10