Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippet – Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers: Age of Ultron is a remarkably fun film. It’s not as good as the first, but that’s hardly surprising; the first Avengers broke new ground by proving that a shared cinematic universe could work and now that we know it does work, the same thing doesn’t feel as fresh. But same isn’t always bad and this movie definitely had a lot to offer.

The movie’s biggest strength is the titular villain through and through. I don’t know if he’s as good as Loki. I mean, he doesn’t have anything nearly as quotable as, “I am Loki of Asgard and I am burdened with glorious purpose.” Still, he balances pure terror with a comedic edge that I found refreshing and certainly gives him his own identity. James Spader of Blacklist fame provides a great menacing voice that gives Ultron the right amount of gravitas that we love to see from any good super villain. I love everything about this guy right down to his animation where I was absolutely enthralled by the fact that he was allowed some form of facial expression.

The returning cast is in top form and there are some unexpected cameos from other movies that make the world feel fuller. However, it’s the newcomers, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (a.k.a. The Twins), who are held under a lot of scrutiny because of the rather unique dual ownership rights case concerning their characters. Quicksilver in particular has a tough act to follow after his namesake stole the show in X-Men: Days of Future Past and while he isn’t as awesome here, he feels a lot more real than his twin at Fox and I can certainly appreciate that. Scarlet Witch is certainly good too, though her powers may confuse a lot of people when they’re explained. There was a scene in the beginning when she was sneaking up on Iron Man and she moved in a disjointed, disturbing way like something out of The Ring or The Grudge; I thought that was really creative and I was disappointed that they didn’t go anywhere with it. I also like the fact that they were given accents, as they were raised in Europe in the comics and I always find it odd when adaptations make them speak like Americans.

The film isn’t without its faults, though. I personally thought the scene during the credits was particularly weak, just telling us stuff that we already learned from the end of Avengers: Thanos exists and he plans to wreck your s***. The score is also weaker in this installment. Gone is Alan Silvestri in favor of Danny Elfman and wishing no offense to the man, he doesn’t capture the heroic and victorious qualities that the music needs. I also felt that the HYDRA villains in the beginning were a weak link, like some of them were trying to deliver funny quips and whether by awkward delivery or subpar acting, it kind of fell flat.

But a little bit of bad doesn’t erase all the good. For every one thing the movie gets wrong, it gets about fifteen to twenty things right. There’s a nice callback to the Agent Carter miniseries and a bit of groundwork laid for the upcoming Black Panther movie, but also some much needed development for Hawkeye, who seems to have gone from being a second stringer with a bow to a bit of a fan favorite. The debut of Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armor and the fight against the Hulk that ensues from it is one of the standout scenes, as it shows a lot more creativity than just two giants slugging each other. Also, I can’t help but impress on the fact that the movie actually allowed the heroes to balance a battle of epic destruction with them actually diverting their attention to saving people from the destruction they caused. It felt like the most subtle jab at Man of Steel ever and I loved it. While not the masterpiece that its predecessor or Winter Soldier was, it still was some quality storytelling with some great humor and acting and altogether an excellent piece of filmmaking.

Posted under Reel Snippets

Reel Snippet – Serenity 2: Still Flying

The following was viewed at a special screening and was in no way obtained illegally.

Serenity 2: Still Flying was a massive breath of fresh wittiness as Joss and the Firefly cast reunited for another trip into the Verse. Admittedly, the recasting of Jayne as Chris Hemsworth was a little jarring at first, but considering Adam Baldwin’s involvement in starting the #GamerGate scandal and Whedon’s own feminist views, it’s easy to see how conflicts would have forced a change. Also, Chris’ Southern drawl is quite convincing once you stop asking yourself when Thor ever spent time in the sticks. On the subject of returning faces, however, not only do Wash and Sheppard Book return in a brilliant scene where River is forced confront her own tortured psyche, but in the form of Adelei Niska, coming right off of the Firefly series to provide a chilling antagonist.

What’s really amazing is that after all these years, the cast still feels so natural together and can work off each other so well. There’s a scene involving Mal, Zoe, Simon, two angry clients, and a coffee maker that I won’t dare spoil. In lesser hands, this scene would have fallen flat, but the actors and Whedon’s writing work so well together that the entire audience, myself included, were rolling in the aisles. That said, it is a Whedon film and even though we were all prepared to get our hearts stabbed, nothing could have prepared us for who died here. If you played the Red Wedding scene from Game of Thrones twenty-seven times in a row, it still wouldn’t compare to the emotional gut wrench that scene provided. Suffice to say, this comes highly recommended. Fans will surely get a kick out of it, but newcomers will not only find it accessible, but incredibly engaging. Buy your tickets soon when it comes out because I’ll bet my life that they’ll sell out fast. It’s funny, some people at the special screening remarked how they weren’t sure that people would be interested in this universe continuing, that it was too old for people to latch onto. But it’s like Kaylee says in a line that’s sure to be famous on release, “The ship keeps stalling, but she’ll never stop flying.”

Posted under Reel Snippets

Reel Snippets – Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World is an immensely funny, action-packed, and very strong entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The fight scenes were amazing, the dialogue was sharp and punchy, and Loki once again, stole the show right from under Thor’s feet. Admittedly, there are some awkward elements, like the Darcie and Ian scenes which feel like they belong in a different movie altogether and a few of the jokes did leave me less than amused. However, this barely detracts from a very intense story that culminates in an incredibly creative and epic final battle. This is my second favorite Marvel movie, right under The Avengers, possibly under the first Iron Man as well.

EDIT: Admittedly, after a little while has passed, some of the flaws because more apparent, but that still doesn’t make this a bad movie by any means.

Posted under Reel Snippets

Social Widgets powered by