It would have been easy for Avengers: Age of Ultron – the sequel to Marvel’s franchise mega-hit Avengers Assemble – to rest on its laurels. Thankfully, Avengers 2.0 improves on its predecessor on many fronts even if it doesn’t fully recapture the magic of the 2012 endeavour.
Whereas it took a little while for Avengers Assemble to get going, the opposite is true for the sequel. We begin with a Bond-esque opening skirmish between our heroes and HYDRA cronies that ends with the recovery of Loki’s scepter and a party to remember. But when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) attempt to use the power of the scepter to jumpstart a peacekeeping program, the inadvertent result is Ultron (James Spader), a highly intelligent robot hell-bent on human extinction. Making matters worse, Ultron joins forces with powerful Maximoff twins Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).
There is a great disparity between the posters and the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
In the build-up to today’s big reveal Marvel had released a number of bland and lazy character posters featuring each of our principal heroes in a standard hero pose set against a boring backdrop filled with Ultron drones. There’s also a one-sheet with all the Avengers that’s spent far too many hours in Adobe Photoshop:
Thankfully the trailers for Avengers: Age of Ultron have been anything but bland and lazy, and the third and supposedly (but probably not) final clip that was unveiled earlier today is no different.
Helmed by Christopher Nolan’s longtime DoP Wally Pfister and packing an all-star cast, there were plenty of reasons to be excited about Transcendence (2014). Sadly, the end result is a disappointing mess of a movie which fails to deliver on its strong premise.
Transcendence follows Will Caster (Johnny Depp), one of the leading minds in artificial intelligence research along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall). That makes them the target of anti-tech extremists, and an assassination attempt leaves Will wounded and dying from a radioactive bullet. With time running out, Evelyn and colleague Max (Paul Bettany) hatch a desperate plan to upload Will’s consciousness into an experimental A.I. Evelyn and Max ultimately succeed in their Neuromancer-esque goal, but as Will’s thirst for knowledge and power grows stronger, technological advancement soon gives way to fear and paranoia.
Robert Downey Jr.’s much loved interpretation of Tony Stark aka Iron Man has won fans all over the world, and he will be back to reprise his role for a fourth time in the highly anticipated Iron Man 3 next year. Earlier this year, the lucky fans at comic-con got a first look at some new footage, and in the past few days we have been privy to stills and, in what has become the latest marketing tool for big films, teaser trailers of teaser trailers. Now, we have the first full trailer for the Iron Avenger’s next solo adventure. Directed this time around by Shane Black, Iron Man 3 will pit the hero against the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). With his back against the wall, Stark must rely on his smarts to protect those he cares about.
Watch the trailer for Iron Man 3 at CineVue here.
After last year’s The Awakening, Nick Murphy returns to the London Film Festival for Blood, a moody police thriller based on the TV series Conviction. Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham are Joe and Chrissie Fairburn, brothers and fellow police detectives who are investigating the grisly death of a 12 year old girl. When all the leads point to a convicted sex offender (a suitably disturbing performance from Ben Crompton) Joe thinks he’s got his guy, but the lack of evidence means he may go free. Haunted by a past failure in similar circumstances, Joe is determined not to let events repeat itself, and he and his brother take matters into their own hands. But when the investigation turns up more likely suspects, things spiral out of control as the brothers desperately try to hide the truth from their suspicious colleague Robert Seymour (Mark Strong).
Read the rest of this review at Screen Geek here.