Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Kretschmann’


Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 4.02.01 PMWatch Richard’s CP24 reviews for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Far From the Madding Crowd” and “Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police” with host Marci Ien.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

Metro: Avengers save the world again? Been there, watched that

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.16.23 PMIt’s not a spoiler to let you know the Avengers save the world in The Age of Ultron. The spectacular six have rescued the planet before and, no doubt, will save it again in future. In superhero movies the globe is always on the eve of destruction.

The original movie, 2012’s The Avengers, saw the team protect the planet from Thor’s evil brother Loki while in Superman II the Man of Steel battles three Kryptonian criminals set to obliterate our orb. A baddie named M tries to wage world war in The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and recently the Fantastic Four prevented a giant cosmic entity called Galactus from gobbling up the earth.

“I see a suit of armour around the world,” says Tony Stark in Age of Ultron. “Peace in our time, imagine that.”

The movies get bigger every time out and with thirty more superhero flicks scheduled for the five years—including Deadpool, Doctor Strange and Gambit—the mind reels at the ways villains might endanger our world. It sounds entertaining but haven’t we’ve already been there? Where do you go from the threat of total annihilation?

Diminishing returns in terms of audience reaction, that’s where. We all know The Avengers will pull out all the stops to save the earth. Buildings will crumble, trucks will go airborne and giant cracks will appear where city streets used to be but by the end credits you know everyone will emerge relatively unscathed, with the bad people vanquished and the good guys grinning from ear to ear. Viewers are left with CGI fatigue, but dammit a catastrophe was averted. Again.

But we’ve been there, done that. Why not freshen things up and turn back the hands of the doomsday clock a few minutes to create tension in the form of different kinds of situations? It sounds counter intuitive—bigger is always better, right?— but imagine Captain America going mano a mano with Kim Jong-un or Iron Man shrinking down to the size of a microbe to battle cancer from the inside à la Fantastic Voyage.

The real world is a very complicated place. Every day the news delivers more bad information than all the tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles combined. Stories of beheadings, terrorism and all manner of terrible behaviour flood the airwaves aching to be corrected by some sort of superhero. How great would it be to see warrior princess of the Amazons Wonder Woman unleash the Lasso of Truth on the Canadian Senate or weather maven Storm get all medieval on climate change?

An injection of real world issues might not make for big box office, but it certainly would infuse the movies with a sense of unpredictability—just like real life events. Real life is messy and volatile and that’s what keeps it interesting.

I understand one of the reasons we go to movies like The Avengers: Age of Ultron is to see things we’ll never witness in real life, but it’s hard not to agree with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) when he says, “We’re fighting an army of robots and I have a bow and arrow—it makes no sense!” These movies try to dazzle our eyes—and they do!— but bringing them down to earth, literally, might help us engage our brains as well.


Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.48.31 AMWatch Richard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” “Far From the Madding Crowd” and “Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police” with host Marci Ien.

Watch the whole thing HERE!

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON: 2 STARS. “Cue the metalocalypse.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.17.19 PM“Can we hold them?” asks evil scientist Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann) as a team of superheroes tear up his supposedly impenetrable HYDRA lair.

“They’re the Avengers,” comes the reply. The only thing missing is the “Duh!” at the beginning of the sentence.

Not only does the exchange answer the question of every film producer who has a movie opening opposite “Avengers: Age of Ultron” this weekend but it also sets a loose, funny tone for the film.

Twenty seconds into the movie we’re already engaged in a wild action scene that puts them in possession of an ancient gem containing artificial intelligence. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) intend to use the technology to build a peacekeeping army—“I see a suit of armour around the world,” says Stark. “Peace in our time, imagine that.”—but the plan backfires and instead of creating a global peace initiative they create a robot monster named Ultron (voice of James Spader). “I really miss the days when the weirdest thing science created was me,” says Captain America (Chris Evans). Hell-bent on improving the world by exterminating humanity, Ultron says, “When the dust settles the only things left will be metal.”

Cue the metalocalypse.

While many superhero movies have chosen a dark road—think Christopher Nolan’s ennui ridden “Batman” movies or the dour looking “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”—director Joss Whedon delivers action with a grin. There’s always time for a quip in “Age of Ultron.” The wisecracks are the glue that hold the film together, acting as a bridge between the battle scenes.

Stark is his old cocky self with none of the insecurity of the emo “Iron Man 3” in sight. Gone is the introspection of “Winter Solider.” Sure, Banner is still tormented by his Hulk alter ego—but let’s be honest, if you take away his torment, you take away his character—but nonetheless finds time to do a faceplant into Scarlett Johansson’s chest and Black Widow (Johansson) shows more of her feminine side than ever before, but the film is less interested in the characters than how carnage the characters can cause.

There are action scenes galore. If all you want are trucks flying through the air, buildings crumbling and Iron Man assembling and disassembling, look no further. It’s a smorgasbord of skirmishes, a constant barrage of action scenes, many of which appear in a blur, just glints of metal and flashes of colour. These sequences are stuffed to bursting with an overload of CGI that becomes less interesting the more you watch.

One of the reasons we go to the movies like “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is to see things we’ll never see in real life, but it’s hard not to agree with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) when he says, “We’re fighting an army of robots and I have a bow and arrow—it makes no sense!” Whedon has tried to dazzle our eyes—and he does!— but has forgotten about engaging our brains.