Marvel continues to print money

*Spoilers for Daredevil and Avengers: Age of Ultron*

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In a city that I drive through on my commute, there’s a man named Wilson who’s running for city council.  I see lots of navy signs in yards with “Wilson” in big classic white letters, and every time my heart does a little jump of panic, until I remember that “Wilson” is his last name, not his first, and his last name is not Fisk.

I started watching Daredevil the day it came out on Netflix; I got through 3 episodes that night.  The first was good, the second had that beautiful hallway fight scene, and by the third I knew I was hooked because I was talking to the TV and calling the main character “Matty.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect beforehand, but what I saw was a better version of Arrow, which is itself a good Batman TV show.  This is the story not of a superhero, but of a vigilante.  I was surprised by the level of graphic violence (and my cats hated the sudden yelling and gunfire every 20 min).  The characters (and the Catholicism) feel real.  The acting was engaging.  It passes the Mako Mori test with flying colors.

Yet even as Daredevil pulls you into despair with copious glasses of alcohol, serious bodily injury, and investigative journalism paranoia, it gives you an odious character named Marci and then scolds you for hating her, because people can choose to do good as well as evil, and people can change.  I still hope Foggy dumps her.

My few complaints: needs more Stick et al., and Rosario Dawson’s character Claire kinda got dropped in the middle.  The sound mixing on the fight scenes was weird, but I liked it because it gave the illusion of heightened senses.

There will be a second season, and I foresee Vanessa becoming very, very scary.

***

Avengers: Age of Ultron was only my 2nd most anticipated movie this year.  (But that’s not saying much as the 1st is Star Wars.)  In short, it neither exceeded nor fell short of my expectations.  It was pretty much exactly what I expected: a big story that was highly entertaining.

I found this movie darker than the first Avengers because villain is actually coming from within (specifically from within Tony Stark).  I loved Ultron’s quips, but he suffers slightly compared to Loki, because Loki already had a whole movie of character development before Avengers, and Ultron isn’t even “alive” when Avengers 2 starts.

The dialogue was sufficiently witty to keep me smiling the whole way.  (“Language!” is the new “On your left!” in our house.)  In only time I felt this work against the movie was Ultron’s “Oh, man” as he falls from the jet at the end; it’s right after Quicksilver’s death, and we’ve barely had time to process that before we’re having smart-ass remarks thrown in our face again.  The movie in general could have used some more to breathe; I daresay we’re all awaiting the director’s cut on Blu-ray.

My highlight: this was the best Scarlet Witch I could have asked for in the MCU.  Loved her look, her character arc, and her accent wasn’t even atrocious.

This movie had a lot of work to do with setting up future movies for Phase 3 of the MCU, and honestly it did a great job of it; I am excited for CA3: Civil War and Black Panther especially.

My lingering question: where the f was Nick Fury hiding a goddamn hellicarrier?

Captain America 2 has me pumped for the future

I have had to spend the last week watching what I read on the internet, because I didn’t get to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier until Saturday night, when B and I headed to the drive-in on a gorgeous evening for a double feature with CA2 and Need for Speed (which was not terrible, btw).

Captain America has never been my favorite super hero.  I enjoyed the first CA movie, but it felt fairly generic, nothing new and fresh that we hadn’t seen before.

This movie sold me on Captain America.  In the modern world, with excellent supporting characters (FALCON!!), Steve Rogers is a compelling hero.  The movie was exciting, with tons of well-choreographed action sequences, but smart, too, with plot twists and turns worthy of a spy thriller.

By Riccardo Rullo "shiprock" under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
by Riccardo Rullo “shiprock” on deviantart under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

I actually went into the movie already knowing the Winter Soldier’s identity, so I can’t really say how well that reveal was done (I thought it was great), but there were plenty of other great moments for fans.

For example, let’s talk about the FREAKING MID-CREDIT SCENE.  (Spoilers ahead)

I was squealing aloud as we got our first glimpse of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (this is why I sit in my car instead of going to an actual movie theater).  Their powers and character design look pretty cool–quite frankly, just from this brief glimpse I prefer this version of Quicksilver to the one that’s been teased for Days of Future Past.

It seems that Baron von Strucker has the siblings (here “twins”) in containment.  He indicates that HYDRA has been experimenting on them, resulting in their powers–they cannot be “mutants” here due to the fact that Fox retains cinema rights to the X-Men.  So we can assume that when we see them next in Avengers2, they will not be starting out on the same side as the Avengers.

Scarlet Witch has always been one of my favorite Avengers–it will be interesting to see what they do with her romantic relationships, if anything, because she seems to me to be a little younger than her counterparts, specifically the actors playing Hawkeye and Vision.

Overall, The Winter Soldier is right up there with Iron Man1 and Avengers1 in my list of favorite Marvel movies.  Also, I’m several episodes behind on Agents of SHIELD, so I really need to catch up and see where it’s headed now!

And please please please can we get Falcon in an Avengers movie??