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Avengers AU poster

The Avengers: Age of Ultron directed by Joss Whedon and starring Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans continues the story of the Marvel comic group of hero’s, as they continue their fight to save the earth from the threat of darkness.

The films opens with an action packed scene as the Avengers battle a group of terrorists in Europe. New enemies are introduced as the Avengers search for Loki’s stolen scepter, which has a powerful stone inside it. They race to get the scepter back into the right hands.

Once they retrieve the scepter Tony Stark and Bruce Banner waste no time with trying to create something that can help keep the peace and the scepter protected. Tony uses his engineering talents to create a form of artificial intelligence with the hopes of it being the answer to all their problems, but as soon as the AI begins to take it’s form, the stages of evolution begin to take place and the entity that was designed to help turns into something much more sinister, and out of that Ulton is born.

In the process Tony has the program set where Jarvis has control over the entity, but Jarvis is quickly overpowered and Ultron destroys Jarvis.

The team bands together to battle the constantly evolving Ultron. He does everything in his power to break the bond and trust the Avengers share including using two powerful mutants Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, (which were created by William Stryker, the same man that created Wolverine) against them. The group retreats when they are overpowered and they seek refuge at Hawkeye’s home with his wife and children as they begin to regroup.

Captain America comes up with a battle plan, and each one the Avengers uses their strengths to battle Ultron. Ultron is thirsty for more power as he creates a group of autobots, to help destroy the Avengers. In the meantime Ulton possesses one of Tony Stark’s scientists and forces her make him a more sustainable body. In the process he becomes more powerful. Eventually Scarlet Witch and Quick Silver realize that Ultron plans to destroy all the humans on the planet and take over the world with his new artificial intelligent colleagues. They go against his plan and join forces with the Avengers to help save the people of earth.

Stark comes up with a plan to recreate a manifestation of Jarvis using the stone from Loki’s scepter. The manifestation of Jarvis has now altered into Vison. A powerful being that has a multitude of abilities. The will of the Avengers is strong as they all join forces to defeat Ultron.

Overall The Avengers: Age of Ulton was an awesome movie. The story was well written and gave each of the characters an opportunity to shine in an appropriate manner. Sometimes when movies have an all-star cast, the story can get lost in the process and the actors get swallowed whole, but this is not the case with the Avengers sequel. They each had good on screen chemistry and the new characters added to the adventure. The special effects were remarkable and captivating. The battle scenes took you to another realm and made you feel like you were in the adventure.

Now we know that there is a bigger story behind the Avengers and that all the Marvel Superhero movies are connected. In the end we see Thanos make another appearance saying “I will just have to do it my myself.” As he reaches for a glove with five holes in it. I don’t know too much about the bigger story, but I do know that the Infinity stone that was in Loki’s scepter is connected to the infinity stone in the Guardians of Galaxy. More stones will appear throughout the Marvel Superhero film world, which will lead to the Infinity Wars in the distant future.

This movie is a must see, which will kick off the season of Summer Blockbusters. I gave this movie 5 stars

L.L

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Annabelle poster

Annabelle directed by John R. Leonetti and starring Annabelle Wallis and Ward Horton tells the story about a young couple that experiences paranormal activity in their home. It all starts when Mia’s husband John brings home a vintage doll as a gift for his expectant wife. Soon after the couple’s home is broken into by a husband and wife that belong to a cult. Mia and John barely make it out alive. The cops intervene, killing both intruders. The female named Annabelle was found in the nursery holding the life sized doll in her arms.

The activity begins after Mia returns from the hospital on bed rest as instructed by her doctor. Strange things begin to happen. The doll starts to move on its own. At first the movement is very subtle but progresses throughout the film. The couple attempts to move out of the first house where the occult couple was killed, but the activity intensifies as time goes on. John attempts to throw away the doll but it mysteriously turns up in a box when the couple begin’s to unpack and settle into the new home. Mia decides to keep the doll and soon things get worse. Mia does some research about the young woman Annabelle and the occult she belonged to. She learns that the doll is possessed by a dark entity that Annabelle conjured and that it wants her daughter’s soul. Mia fights to protect her child and seeks the help of the church. Her local parish priest tries to help but is almost killed in the process. Mia’s friend Evelyn played by Alfre Woodard spends time with the family and experiences the activity first hand. She eventually sacrifices herself to save the baby.

The film had its scary moments and at times demonstrated the classic clichés of horror. Child’s play and Rosemary’s baby references were scattered around the film. The acting was just average and there were paths that I thought the movie was moving in but then moved in a completely different direction.
Overall the vision for the film could have been a lot better but I think that it’s a subtle flick for those horror fans that just want a taste of Halloween horror.
I gave this movie 2.5 stars.
Happy Horror
L.L.

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The New Line Cinema production, The Conjuring directed by James Wan and starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga was one of the best horror films I’ve seen this year.
The movie follows husband and wife paranorormal research team Ed and Loraine Warren.
Based on true events that happened in the early 70’s, the story is about a family that moves into a new home, that is haunted. As soon as they get settled in, the paranormal activity begins. The mother(Carolyn Perron) played by Lili Taylor and their young daughter seem to clearly be targets for the haunting entity. The activity is so traumatic that Perron quickly seeks the help of the Warrens. The Warrens set up an investigation in the home to present proof to the Vatican that the house is in need of an exorcism. The team learns that the house has a horrible history and are concerned for the survival of the family.
Ed is a demonologist and his wife Lorraine is a clairvoyant. Together they use their gifts to battle the entity that eventually possesses the mother Carolyn.
Wan and his team did a great job with authentically creating the time period. The costumes and overall set design including the actors character portrayals was definitely believable.
The story was well written and special effects were tastefully done and added to the telling of the haunting story. Evil Dead remake was the last movie that made me scream. If you are looking for a great horror movie to scare the s*** out of you, than The Conjuring is your movie. This is a must must see and I give it 5 stars. Well done New Line.
Happy Viewing
L.L.
Note: I’d love to see a sequel for this film. It has great potential to begin a new franchise.

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The Paramount Pictures production World War Z directed by Marc Forster, and starring Brad Pitt was not the zombie horror flick I thought it would be.
The film opens like most zombie films do, with people living their ordinary lives and going though with their daily routines.
As a family starts their day with preparing to go to school and work, everything is disrupted as a sudden unknown emergency sweeps the area of downtown Philadelphia.
Survival mode quickly settles over Gerry Lane(Brad Pitt) as he struggles to keep his family safe from the threat.
As an employee at the U.N., he is soon recruited by government officials to try and track down and identify the origin of the “So called zombie plague”.
Lane sets out on a global quest to learn the answers about what’s happening.

World War Z was based on a book by Max Brown(which I haven’t read yet) but according to what I already know about the book, the film is very different.
I thought the film was interesting, and had quite a few scenes that were intense, and very engaging. This is of course not the classic zombie flick, but the concept of killing them was traditional. The origin of where they come from is unknown, in the movie (they mention rabies’) and the zombies seem to be much more amplified than the “rage” filled 28 Days Later zombie. There wasn’t much zombie killing and gore like I like because I think they were just too darn fast, one of the major pit falls the movie has. The solution they came up with at the WHO was innovative and creative.
The effects were entertaining and the zombie makeup was awesome. I really appreciated the hard work and talent that went into that aspect of the film.
It’s hard to not compare the movie with other zombie films. I clearly understood what the writers and director was trying to go for but I don’t think their interpretation came off well. The last really good Zombie movie I saw was Dawn of the Dead.
I’m a big fan of Brad Pitt’s so I gave this movie 3 stars for overall good entertainment.
Enjoy L.L.

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The Man of Steel directed by Zack Snyder was a Sci Fi thrill ride that will take you on a massive adventure between worlds.

Starring Henry Cavill, as Superman aka Kal-El. Henry is best known as the Tudors supporting actor and King Henry’s right hand man Charles Brandon.

The two and a half hour movie, features an all star cast in some of the most important roles the story has.
The movie opens with a spectacular scene as Jor-El played by Russell Crow and his wife Laura have a baby. As they quickly settle into parenthood, their happiness does not last long as they face the fate of a dying Krypton.
Jor-El meets with the leaders of the Council and tries to find out what they can do to save their people from extinction. The meeting is interrupted by General Zod played by Michael Shannon as he murders members of the Council and Jor-El in an effort to take over as the leader. He and his crew are captured and banished from the planet. Before Zod’s departure, he vows that he will find Kal as he witnesses Laura sending him to safety in an escape pod.
The secret to Krypton’s survival is within the genetic make up of Kal-El.
The planet explodes and with that no one survives.
As Kal adjusts to life on Planet Earth.
The movie then picks up with Clark as an adult, as he moves from one odd job to the next searching for his place in the world.
A strange and supernatural encounter in the Artic with a journalist sets off a chain of events that changes everything for the entire world.

I don’t want to give everything away but the storyline was indeed very complex and well thought out. The film was hard core Sci FI and not what you’d expect from a Superman movie.
The world created for the film was fitting for the story and the cast choices perfectly pulled everything together. My only concern with casting was Amy Adams as Lois. She was not a good choice. The effects were amazing and pulled you right into the adventure. I give this movie 5 Stars.

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The official summer Blockbuster movie season kicked off with the release of Iron Man 3 this past May.
There is a long list of movies expected to be released this summer, but I have compiled a list of a few that I think will be worth watching.
I’m a big super hero fan, so the first movie on my list is
Man of Steel-June 14 starring Henry Cavill

World War Z- June 21 starring Brad Pitt

White House Down-June 28 starring Jamie Foxx

The Lone Ranger-July 3 starring Johnny Depp

The Conjuring-July 19 starring Patrick Wilson

Elysium-August 9 starring Matt Damon

I’ve seen all of the trailers to these films and feel that they will all take their audiences on a thrill ride of adventure.
I expect that they will do very well at the box office.
As I continue to search for summer movies I may add to my list in the near future.
Enjoy your weekend at the movies!
L.L

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The Marvel Studios production, Ironman 3 starring Robert Downey Jr. and directed by Shane Black was a good film considering some of the negative reviews that have been written about the film. Black is fairly new to the directing scene and is known for writing for the popular 80’s action flicks Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2, and Lethal Weapon 3.
Ironman 3 picks up sometime after the Avengers have saved the world from an intergalactic alien invasion. A disturbed Tony Stark is in the process of trying to deal with the shock of knowing that other worlds and beings exist. He is also adjusting to being in a steady relationship with Pepper.
The normalcy of life quickly comes to a halt when Tony learns that the world is once again under attack by a terrorist. The Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley. He is a vicious killer and will do anything to get what he wants. The government acts quickly and sends Colonel James Rhodes out on a mission to search for the terrorist. An old acquaintance of Tony’s surfaces Aldrich Killian, and makes Pepper an offer for Tony to be a partner in his DNA altering project. Pepper declines and little do they know that Killian has a more malicious agenda in mind. Tony calls out The Mandarin and soon his home is under attack. Barely making it out alive Tony and Pepper survive, but their home is destroyed. As Tony searches for The Mandarin he quickly learns that he is a fake, an actor and that his real enemy is Killian. Killian has developed a way to heal the physically disabled, but has changed them into heat resistant mutants. He has created these beings to destroy Stark and the world. His plan is to become the world’s most powerful terrorist. He kidnaps the President and Pepper and tries to use Tony’s love for her to get him to work for him.
Tony and Killian battle it out in the traditional fight between good vs evil.
Overall I thought that Ironman 3 was a good movie. The first two were better, but that still doesn’t take away from the film. Black was creative in his representation of Ironman. There were a lot of action pact scenes and creative concepts that haven’t been done before with Ironman. The effects were good, the score was disappointing.
I give this movie 3 1/2 stars.

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