Monthly Archives: April 2015

#Avengers Age Of Ultron – A Tango’s Thoughts review

Fan-boy as I am, I couldn’t contain the excitement for this film. Yesterday, I plowed through the Thor-soundtrack, I watched a bunch of Phase 1 featurettes and I played Marvel vs. Capcom, in addition to having watched all the Marvel-films from Iron Man through to Guardians of the Galaxy twice this year, in anticipation for this film. It would be an understatement to say that I have been in Full on Marvel-mode for some time now. But the question at hand is this; Did the film live up to its expectations? Let’s take a stroll down Tango lane and see what I thought about Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Avengers Age of Ultron banner

Age of Ultron suitsFirst off, I want to talk a little bit about the costumes. The Iron Man-armors have since the dawn of the MCU been awesome. I never had any complaints about any of them, and that is the case here as well. Streamlined, well colored designs of pure Awesome! The Captain America-suit however. It was fantastic in ..The First Avenger, but the suit Cap wore in the first Avengers-film looked ridiculous and corny. I thought it made Cap look like a Big Jim-doll rather than a superhero. The stealth-suit he wore in ..The Winter Soldier was fantastic, although I missed the colors a little bit. Now, Cap has a new suit, one that I found to be just as awesome as the one he wore in ..The First Avenger. It was similar in its structural design but with a modern twist. Great job there, costume designers!
Onward to Hawkeye. While I do like the suits he wears in both films, I miss the classic suit from the comics, but in ..Age of Ultron, his suit resembles the one from the comics a little bit more and that’s a big bonus! As for Black Widow’s catsuit, well… what can one say, it’s a catsuit, but this time around, she had these glowing, stripy things on it, which I found a bit odd seeing as she’s supposed to be a spy. Wouldn’t those light her up when sneaking around? Anywho, it looked great overall. As for Thor, he looks just as great as he did in the previous installments and both Scarlet Witch’s and Quicksilver’s outfits looked great.

And on we go then, to the film itself.
Again, Joss Wheedon has pulled off an amazing feat. Continuing the story of the Avengers in a brilliant and complex way, he now gives us some amazing character arcs, delving deeper into a relationship between Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff, some great backstory for Clint Barton as well as some strained issues between the group as a whole. It’s not at all hard to realize that Wheedon is, in fact, a fan of these characters. Just beautifully written from start to finish. As for the story of Ultron, well….. I liked it. It differs from how he came to be in the comics, sure, but they managed to bind the creation of both Vision and Ultron to the bigger scheme with Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet in such a way that it felt organic and natural, rather than forced and shoehorned. Hats off to Wheedon for his talents!

Age of Ultron ComicCon posters

There was some great action sequences in this film, but the one between the Hulk and Iron Man in his Hulkbuster armor (the one from the trailer), yeah that was pure awesome! It had me gripping my seat in excitement. The action in this film was great, but there was so much more to it than that. It had a lot of humorous moments, some where I laughed so hard I almost choked on my soda and I love that about these films. The naivite of the characters at times, it’s just amazing how well it works with all the action and Wheedon managed to blend the two to a perfect balance. Just perfect!

Avengers AoU UltronThe heroes of the film is just as great as they’ve been so far and all the actors behind the masks did their jobs fantastically well. Nothing at all to complain about, just great performances from all of them. As for the villain, Ultron himself, yeah he looked awesome in the film. I was really skeptical at first, when we saw in the trailer that his eyebrows and mouth moved, but now after having seen the film, it would just be nitpicking to complain about it. He was so overall badass that you just didn’t notice that small detail. And I have to say, James Spader, wow! I’ll be the first to claim that this would not have been as awesome with someone else as Ultron. His voice brought it all together for me. Hands down the greatest villain in the MCU so far!

As for the overall design of the film, there is nothing at all to complain about. Sure, one can nitpick through some of the CGI work but that’s not for me. I know they used computers and I’m okay with that.
The camera work, editing, the scoring, it all works in a beautiful symbiote and pair that up with fantastic character development and a lot of badass action scenes and you have yourself a masterpiece! So with that said, I would like to conclude this review by handing out yet another ‘Platinum Stamp of Approval’ and end it all by saying this; I loved nearly everything about this film and I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing it again in the theater soon. I hope you liked my review, let me know down below, and look out for more goodies coming your way soon, but until then….

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#Furious7 – A Tango’s Thoughts review

One word; Finally! I know it seems kinda harsh to say but with the passing of Paul Walker, the yearning for this film grew to exuberant proportions and i couldn’t help but hope that they got to finish the film as soon as possible. As you all know, it took some time but we finally have it, and of course I saw it as soon as I possibly could. So, without further ado, I present to you, Furious 7.

Furious 7 banner

Once again, the Toretto crew is ripping through the streets in their own special way, waging vehicular warfare on anyone standing in their way. This time around, it is Deckard Shaw, the disgruntled older brother of Owen Shaw, the antagonist of the previous film Fast & Furious 6 (or Furious 6, if you prefer). The running theme of the film is ‘Family’ and it definitely shows us how far one would go for his family and in this case, it’s Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto that takes charge, cocking guns, throwing punches and throttles engines over cliffs and more to do what’s right by his “family”. The action of this franchise is breathtaking to say the least but they keep upping the ante with every installment and Furious 7 is not in the slightest an exception. A lot of movies these days seem to take the action to such absurd levels that we the audience gets bored with it toward the end, but this is where this film stands proud. Yes, there is A LOT of action in this film, but they managed to give us enough story in between action sequences to keep the movie interesting all the way through, and that couldn’t have been easy, considering the amount of action they actually propped in there.

The crew from the last two films are, more or less, back, with the exception of Han and Gisele and taking the reigns as the bad guy Deckard Shaw is none other than the oil-sliding, swift-kicking, knife throwing Jason Statham. Some might say that Statham has peaked in his career, doing the same thing over and over and over. Others are even dubbing his movies “Transporter 4,5,6” and onward, and I don’t blame them. Most of his films are the same in so many ways it’ll give you a headache trying to pry them apart. This time around however, we see a completely different side of him than we’re used to. Sure, he does a lot of his Statham-esque stuff too, but as a villain, I got the feeling that he had a lot of fun on set, working in characteristics to his Shaw that wasn’t really supposed to be there. He’s charismatic but efficiently brutal, always being a thorn in the Toretto crew’s side, popping up where you least expect him to be, sabotaging their missions from start to finish and it gave me a little chuckle every time. Brilliant villain, for sure. More bad guy-parts for Statham, plaese!

As or the rest of the crew, Tyrese Gibson’s Rome is probably the best comic relief I have ever seen in an action film of this quality and paired with Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges’ Tej, with their usual back-and-forth rapport, had enough humor to keep the movie light, a great buddy-cop duo for sure. Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty feels a little overworked at times with her amnesia but it works out perfectly in the end so no real complaints there either. Plus, her smile has got to be the best smile in Hollywood, hands down! We also had the handsome Son’bitch (his words) Dwayne Johnson returning as Hobbs. Oh yeah, he’s just as awesome in this as he is in everything. I have both heard and read critics saying that he wasn’t in the movie as much as the last two and that he didn’t deserve a top-billing but as far as I’m concerned, his part in this film was more than enough. He whoops as and takes names like it’s just another Tuesday and I definitely hope he’ll be back for the next one as well!

Furious 7 Paul Walker action shot

And then there was Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner, the blonde Mr. blue-eyes Everyday-cop man that keeps the franchise somewhat grounded. Paul’s demise in late 2013 came as a shock to many of us and it left the franchise in limbo. Thankfully for us fans, the cast and crew completed the film and I have to say, they did a magnificent job honoring him. The film gave his character arc a beautiful touch, showing him as a family man in the beginning and on through an immense volume of fist- and gunfights, car chases and explosive action and back again to family man in the end. Paul did his job as Brian O’Conner just as brilliantly as always and the way they completed his scenes using his brother(s?) and CGI was amazing. I would be lying to you if I said I was able to spot the scenes they shot after his death. In short, everything surrounding Paul and his character was just fantastic and the narration given by Vin Diesel in the end…. I teared up, to be honest, because you know full well that when Dominic speaks about Brian, it’s Vin saying those words to Paul. A truly heartfelt moment and I applaud them for it!

This seventh installment of the franchise delivers on everything it promised. It was intense, it had humor, it had amazing over-the-top action, it had heart and it was made with love. Epic on all accounts and I gladly award this, the best of the franchise, the Tango’s ‘Platinum Stamp of Approval’. With honors!

I’m gonna end this review with those words, but I’ll be back soon enough with other goodies for you to read. Maybe I’ll do a run-down on the entire franchise, who knows. They may even be featured in a webisode down the line. Whatever the case, it’ll be worth the wait, but until then….


#Stretch – A Tango’s Thoughts review

Every once in a while (or, more often than not if you live outside of the US), a great movie goes completely unnoticed. With a pretty decent ensemble of supporting actors, including Ed Helms, Jessica Alba and James Badge Dale, both Patrick Wilson and Chris Pine stand out in the latest feature-installment on Joe Carnahan‘s resumé Stretch. Here’s some of my thoughts on the movie that nobody (outside the US) heard about.

Stretch banner

Stretch (Wilson), a down on his luck limo-driver has a failed acting career, a shitty job and is about to get his legs broken (for starters) by his bookie when he by chance books a client, Roger Karos (Pine), an eccentric, ridiculously weird, hedonistic and completely out of his mind millionaire. As he’s promised a $6000 tip if he does any and all things Karos asks him to do, Stretch immediately jumps on the opportunity to pay off his bookie debts an after that, all hell breaks loose. He cons an FBI-agent out of $300 000, gets his limo stolen by the King of all things douche, constantly obsesses over an ex girlfriend, gets chased by a group of African-American bouncers and Boris, the competing limo-company’s bonebreaking badass, as well as a lot of other weird and utterly chaotic things one could imagine.

Patrick Wilson Stretch

Along for Stretch’s chaotic ride is the in-his-head-vision of Karl (Helms), a limo-driver who took his life and Charlie (Alba), the sympathetic limo-company employee, and no matter how good either of their performances were, the one that stood out the most in this film was Chris Pine’s portrayal of Roger Karos.

Even with the recent career boom he’s had, with great performances in the rebooted Star Trek-franchise, Unstoppable, This Means War (the movie was bad but he was great) and Jack Ryan, among others, I would never had imagined that he possessed this kind of talent. Everything about his Karos is amazing. His mannerisms, the way he speaks, it was the most brilliant performance I have seen in a long time. It did take me a while to actually figure out that it was Captain Kirk I was looking at, ’cause he looked so ridiculously different than what we’re used to see on the screen. Don’t believe me? Take a look!
Chris Pine Stretch
Yeah, there’s no way that That is the same guy that’s commanding the Enterprise, right? Anyway, hats off to you, Chris, for one hell of a performance!!

As for the film itself, I thought it was both brilliantly written and directed and even if the chaotic plot didn’t really seem to go anywhere at times, other than to show as much chaos one person can go through in one night, the overall points were when the end credits rolled clear as day. It had drama, action and comedy as well as conspiracy, unexpected twists and an overall goodhearted (yet chaotic) feel to it that made this movie a Must-have on the shelf, so I gladly hand out this Tango’s ‘Stamp of Approval’ to both the movie and its director for a job brilliantly done!

There you go, chalk that one up as Done! Now, I’m off to do battle with my own mind as I have to figure out what to watch next. Whatever I might end up watching, I will review it for you, but until then….