Movies

Peter Suderman Reviews Avengers: Age of Ultron

|

Marvel

Marvel's latest superhero megamovie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, is set to smash all sorts of box office records this weekend, surpassing even the super-earnings of its predecessor.

I enjoyed the new one, but in general I think it's weaker than the first film, which, despite being a multi-movie crossover event, maintained a clarity and a light touch that this one just can't quite manage.

From my review:

'The Avengers" was not only one of the most successful blockbusters in years, but it was also one of the best. Writer-director Joss Whedon, the geek auteur behind television's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Firefly," delivered a film that balanced, with almost superhuman ability, the franchise's need for mammoth spectacle on one hand and careful character-building on the other.

It was a movie that demonstrated that it understood its cast of iconic comic book characters just as well as anyone in the audience, and that it cared about them in the same ways — and with the same intensity — that lifelong fans did.

Yet it was also easily accessible and enjoyable for those not steeped in Marvel Comics lore. It was a perfect summer blockbuster and a perfect comic book movie at the same time.

The sequel, "The Avengers: Age of Ultron," once again written and directed by Mr. Whedon, shows a similar regard for its characters and an equal zeal for effects-driven destructive spectacle, but it has a harder time balancing its many imperatives.

Like its predecessor, "Age of Ultron" is alternately intimate and bombastic, funny and thrilling, with grand action sequences punctuated by genuine laughs. Many of the scenes showcase Mr. Whedon's ear for zippy, character-defining dialogue.

With his TV background, his heavy reliance on quippy back-and-forths and his frequent use of scene-capping monologues, Mr. Whedon sometimes comes across as the Aaron Sorkin of the superhero set.

Read the complete review in The Washington Times

Something I mentioned in my review but didn't really get to discuss is how overloaded the movie is with super-characters. In addition to the four Avengers heroes who have starred in their own films (Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man), and the S.H.I.E.L.D. characters (Black Widow, Hawkeye, Nick Fury), who have been in previous Marvel movies, the movie introduces three more super-characters (The Vision, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch) and two new villains (Ultron, and another character who I won't reveal but who will appear more prominently in a future Marvel movie).

We're only two event-films in, and we're already approaching the point of overload. It's really a lot to follow, and a lot to manage, even if you've seen all 10 of the previous Marvel movies, and kept an eye on Marvel's primary Avengers tie-in TV series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

And if you haven't, you're virtually certain to be totally lost. The opening sequence is an extended battle against a horde of Hydra agents led by Baron von Strucker, neither of whom the script makes any attempt to identify. Hydra has appeared in several Marvel films before, but wasn't in the last Avengers movie. Von Strucker, meanwhile, has only previously appeared in a single 90-second bit during the credits sequence of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So if you haven't seen the last Captain America movie, or even if you did, but you left when the credits started to roll, you're not going to know what's going on. 

On the one hand, this suggests a fairly high degree of respect for the audience's ability to follow complicated continuity, and it's a victory of sorts for the sort of sprawling, complex, multi-threaded storytelling that moviemakers used to assume that audiences were far too dumb to grasp.

On the other hand, I do wonder whether this will eventually start to limit the accessibility and appeal of Marvel's continuity-heavy shared-universe storytelling. Comic books (the paper kind) do this sort of thing pretty regularly, and the deep fans tend to love it, but it tends to limit the ability of casual viewers to jump in. It's not that viewers aren't smart enough to get it; it's that it requires a kind of commitment to comprehensive viewing that isn't always possible.

This is increasingly going to be an issue for Marvel (and its competitors). Next year, a bunch of these characters (plus some new ones) will face off against each other in Civil War. And in the years after that, Marvel plans to integrate a ton of new characters from its cosmic line, including the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Inhumans, who will all meet up in the next Avengers movie, technically movies, a two-part extravaganza about the Infinity Gauntlet. If you're reading this and you're not a comic book geek, you're probably lost already.

The point is, the more movies and tie-ins that Marvel produces, the more complex the cinematic world will be — and the bigger the buy-in necessary to really appreciate everything that's going on. The first Avengers film balanced this just about perfectly; the second shows how difficult it has already become to maintain that balance. 

NEXT: The IRS Was Very Naughty, But It's Sorry, Says Inspector General

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. What’s with the article dump? Is the Reason staff on vacation tomorrow?

    1. Start making cash right now… Get more time with your family by doing jobs that only require for you to have a computer and an internet access and you can have that at your home. Start bringing up to $8012 a month. I’ve started this job and I’ve never been happier and now I am sharing it with you, so you can try it too. You can check it out here… http://www.work-cash.com

      1. I’m interested. Do you need dick pics?

      2. That explains it, they’ve gotten themselves involved in a pyramid scheme, got heavy into debt, and need to leave town.

        You’ve solved another mystery, Spambot! Spammy-sammy-spoo!

  2. Scarlett Johansson in black leather.That is all.

    1. Tied with Kim Kardashian for Most Overrated “Hot Chick.”

      1. This is literally the stupidest post I’ve ever read. It goes beyond Bo level stupid.

        1. I used to think ScarJo had a pleasant (but not really remarkable) face and a killer body.

          Then I saw Under the Skin, and now I don’t even think her body is that great.

          1. BURN THE NONBELIEVER

          2. I just recently had a similar discussion with a friend.

            We will let the group judge.

            NSFW NSFW AT ALL

            1. Exactly what I’m talking about. Her boobs aren’t as full or perky as I expected.

              I can name plenty of pornstars with better (natural) bodies than that, but as far as mainstream actresses, Julianna Guill (Friday the 13 remake) and Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D, True Detective) are much hotter.

              1. It’s going to be soooo hard to top Daddario and the other whore in season 2 of True Detective. Then again, McAdams…

                1. Rosario Dawson in Trance is probably superior as well. Damnit.

              2. They are both smokin’. But still, Kim Kardashian????

              3. You are one picky dude, Mint.

                1. You are one picky dude, Mint.

                  Look, I’m not saying I can go to bars and pick up chicks hotter than ScarJo. I’m not saying she’s below average looking by typical woman-on-the-street standards.

                  I’m just saying that for someone who’s frequently promoted as being the sexiest woman alive, she’s not nearly as stunning as she gets credit for.

                  “Overrated.” Not “ugly.”

              4. Scarlett Johansson has the body of a woman, not a 17 yro physique of a TMZ hottie. That is all.

            2. NSFW NSFW AT ALL

              Jesus, with that warning I thought she was going to be fucking a donkey.

              1. Sheepers creepers this is what a guy gets for trying to keep the folks safe at work.

              2. Jesus, with that warning I thought was hoping she was going to be fucking a donkey.

          3. There is just no reasoning with some people.

            1. I’m on your side you filthy racist.

          4. Then I saw Under the Skin, and now I don’t even think her body is that great.

            By Hollywood standards, I agree. There are at least two-dozen big name actresses with hotter bodies that they could’ve put in the role.

            By normal standards, you’re an idiot.

            If you paid to see the movie or actually watched the whole thing, it only confirms the latter.

            1. Personally, I think she has a great body. Are there hotter? Sure. But she’s hot for more than just her looks. She’s all kinds of sultry, and a much better actress than I originally thought earlier in her career.

              1. I’m with you on this. Faulting Johansson for not having a body that lives up to your expectations (especially in the movie in question) only lends credence to the people bemoaning unrealistic portrayals of women. Especially when we actually do have women like Kim Kardashian and acresses like Kristen Stewart and Rachel Weisz being cast in sexy roles.

                The only way I could see a tie with KK for overhyped is if twitter and facebook exploded over a bikini model who turned out to be a shaved grizzly bear.

            2. Mint is only saying that he wants me to have sex with ScarJo.

              I’m on it.

      2. I mean, I can sort of understand the uninformed person thinking that ScarJo’s not quite as hot as everyone makes her out to be. But to compare her to Kim Kardashian? A fucking hobbit? I don’t even know where to begin…

        1. What’s wrong with fucking hobbits?

          1. Peter Jackson.

            1. Didn’t realize he’d want to be included.

              1. Wait, does he get involved, or does he just watch from the closet?

                1. It’s worse than either of those. He directs.

                  1. You’re right. I’ll pass.

      3. Blasphemy!

      4. I ain’t kickin her out of bed for eating crackers

      5. At least Kim Kardashian is actually hot.

  3. ” the Aaron Sorkin of the superhero set.’

    (vigorous applause)

    that’s probably the most accurate ding of Whedon i’ve heard yet.

    his formula is maybe ‘more entertaining’ than sorkins, but can be as just insufferable and bombastic once you’ve decoded it.

    1. Well, as far as I know, he also doesn’t do “Someone said/did something to me, let me put it in the script so I can have the last word through my stand-in!”

      I mean, if he does that, his life is way more badass than typical writer’s!

      1. You’re indulging in a common stereotype about writers, but to take one counterexample – did you know that, according to recent research, Emily Dickinson worked as a Ninja assassin by night?

        1. No effin way, she did?

          1. I hope your response was as joking as my post – I don’t want to start any rumors.

    2. I’m not a big Whedon fan. His dialogue is too….Whedon-y.

      1. I think he deserves props for his ‘comic book’-style fast repartee. He creates character with dialogue, which is like the first and hardest lessons of writing for TV/Film

        but once you get into the depth of character *motivations*, and how they’re supposed to translate into ‘plot’*? he’s got all the substance of teenage girl. “shallow” doesn’t quite do him justice.

        (*”plot” = ‘character, when presented with problem’)

        1. I can’t remember which of his I was watching, but it started with some badass spygirl tied up and she proceeded to beat up people (still tied) while engaging in a conversation with her superior over her wire.

          It was so cliche, so fucking Whedon, that I turned it off immediately thereafter.

          I really just can’t take it – it’s rapid-fire snark that thinly plasters over straight vapidity. Gives my eyes motion sickness. You know, from the rolling.

          1. I believe you’re thinking of “the avengers”, unless that’s been done twice.

            ‘Firefly’ was great, fwiw. but even that suffered a little from his need to turn people into cartoons.

            1. I believe he’s talking about Dollhouse. Which was actually quite good, though I remember the scene in the first episode that he’s referring to and it wasn’t great. However, the show was otherwise quite good and intriguing, Unfortunately it was shut down before Whedon could take it where he wanted. But that’s FOX for you.

              1. So did he reuse the same idea for the Black Widow bit in Avengers?

                1. I think…I thought it was the Agents of Marvel thing.

                  The fact we can’t figure out which part of the Whedonverse im talking about is just gravy.

                  FWIW I thought Firefly was okay despite Whedon’s Whedoniousness.

  4. Meh, I’m going to see Ex Machina this weekend, which hopefully means the theater will be less crowded because of all the people rushing to see ‘Avengers’ instead.

    To me blockbusters like Marvel movies are discount theater fare. If I’m going to pay full price for a ticket I’d rather see something unique. At this point the superhero genre has become pretty repetitive and overstuffed.

    1. No Paul Blart?

  5. I’ll see it, just because. But my heart belongs to Mad Max this year.

    1. I hope Fury Road is as good as the trailer looks. The Road Warrior is easily a top 5 action movie of all time.

      1. I’ll admit it. I got a little teary eyed thinking back to my teenage years and the first time I saw the Road Warrior.

        1. I’ll admit it. I got a little teary eyed thinking back to my teenage years and the first time I saw the Road Warrior.

          You missed the assless chaps didn’t you?

          Hilariously I don’t think portraying the bad guy as a flaming homosexual would be tolerated today as well as it was then.

          1. Somehow a cis gendered heteronormative Caucasian in khakis just doesn’t work as well

            1. Far too triggering!

          2. Johnny the Boy has done it again.
            This time it’s a scrubber.
            He’s never gonna learn.

    2. *nods aggressively*

    3. My pants almost exploded for both trailers. I don’t think the movie can match the hype I built up for it, but I hope. I so hope.

      1. LOVELY DAY

      2. “I don’t think the movie can match the hype I built up for it, but I hope. I so hope.”

        This is a phenomenon I have come to refer to as “Dead Island Syndrome”.

        1. No, no. The proper name is “Snakes on a Plane Syndrome”.

          There is too much hype on this mother fucking movie!

          1. Agree with the sentiment, but have never seen the film in question (but Abed’s referencing it immediately makes it a much better reference point for naming a phenomenon: hat’s off to you, sir, but apparently boasting about banging your mom should follow that acknowledgement). The work I referenced, Dead Island, I have been enjoying as a free game for XBL Gold members for the past month or so. Some weeks later, I watched the trailer for the game and was drop-kicked in the gut by how moving the advert was compared to the actual product. I

            1. Oh, I got the Dead Island reference, and understood, but I just thought Snakes on a Plane was more apt (it is, don’t even bother watching it, it’s terrible). I’m surprised you haven’t seen it, your mom talks about it in bed all the time.

              1. You’ve only further reinforced my decision to watch that terrible movie. And now I gotta call Mom and ask why she hasn’t ever even mentioned it to me! This is fucking bullshit, because we often talk about bad films.

              2. Sam Jackson in a terrible movie? I do not believe it!

                1. He was pretty good in Coming to America

                  1. And he was pretty good on his talk show , too!

                    Woot

                    1. He did peak as Morpheus in the Matrix films.

    4. It’s almost impossible for an old George Miller to give us something as good as the first three Mad Max movies (fuck anyone who claims Thunderdome isn’t a solid movie; it’s just that the other two are so good it’s hard to stand next to them) thirty years after his last one. That’s just an almost unavoidable fact age and time. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty damn good. The trailer is too flashy and bombastic and it makes me worry. Miller used to be sparing with that stuff in his older work, which is what made the moments of it so great. If he just fills the new one with it, it’s going to all blur together.

      Luckily, Miller has proven time and time again that he’s a very, very good director, so there’s some serious potential here, at least. If he can do Babe: Pig in the City, he can do anything.

      1. I’ll expect to be disappointed when I see it. That way it will be more enjoyable.

      2. fuck anyone who claims Thunderdome isn’t a solid movie; it’s just that the other two are so good it’s hard to stand next to them

        Are you talkin’ to me?

        I stand by my assessment that it was a moderately entertaining movie doubling as an excuse for a car chase at the end. It was 2.5 stars at best.

      3. Can’t we get Beyond Thunderdome?

  6. Unless they’re part of planned series, movies need to be streamlined events that can be enjoyed in one sitting. Anything too complicated is better served by a TV miniseries.

    1. As long as they’re making massive dollars, no one at the studio is going to care about bloat or continuity. Avengers made over $1.5 billion worldwide. I thought Guardians of the Galaxy was insufferably stupid, but it made 3/4 of a billion.

      1. GOtG was exactly what it set out to be, a kid’s movie. And it did it well.

        1. GotG was a Roger Corman flick with 1/10 of the brains and none of the boobs.

      2. The Avengers serves its purpose by providing an excuse to include the Hulk.

      3. One hilarious thing about that movie: it caused a surge in value of ’80s Sony Walkman tape players on eBay. Some friends of mine restored some and made good money. I think they were getting about $100 each.

    2. The indisputably greatest film of all time, City of God, begs to differ with this opinion.

  7. A clever man like yourself should not need much time to decode any formula.

  8. Would be better if Michael Bay were directing

    1. THIS X1000. I LOVE PEARL HARBOR MORE THAN CHRISTMAS.

      1. NEEDS MORE SPLOSHUNS AND FLAGS

      2. Bay is amazing. He can make a movie with Kate Beckinsale that I still turn off halfway through because it’s so unwatchable. That takes…uh…talent?

        1. More Shia, less Megan Fox and Transformers!

        2. I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed Pain and Gain

      3. I miss you more than that movie missed the point.
        And that’s enough a lot girl. And now, now you’ve gone away
        And all I’m trying to say is Pearl Harbor sucked…
        and I miss you.

        1. My darling I…can’t get enough of your love, babe.

  9. I am so, so burnt out on this superhero shit. I can still be drawn in by something like Daredevil, because it’s extremely well done and not all the super-hero-y (it’s more vigilante). But another overly busy destroy-entire-cities-fest? Holy crap has that become tedious in the extreme. And the first Avengers was a very solid movie–Whedon is a very good entertainer–but I just have zero interest in any of this shit any more.

    I’ll keep watching ones where people whose opinion I respect (*cough* not ProL *cough*) have recommended it, like Daredevil and Guardians of the Galaxy (which was WAY more fun than I expected), but the rest isn’t worth my money or time.

    The last few years have really been superhero overkill. It needs to stop. Maybe we could focus on, oh, I don’t know, zombies or vampires or something else not played out?

    1. They’ve got you covered Epi. Vin Diesel has a movie coming out where he’s the last witch hunter in a long line of witch hunters who’s the chosen one to destroy all witches with Michael Cain’s guidance (except for any they need for the sequel)

      1. So it’s witch hunters all the way down?

        1. At least until Diesel runs them all down in his Nitro powered GTO

        2. Vampires?! Twifag.

          1. Uh, what? This coming from the guy who dressed as a sparkly vampire for Halloween? J’accuse!

            1. Fucked up my threading.

              To be fair, I didn’t *dress* up as a sparkly vampire, I just buried my face in some cheap hooker ass and left the glitter.

              1. Whatever you say, Edward.

                1. That’s just the name I give your mom.

                  1. Uh, that is her name.

                    1. So you’re telling me that mega-clit was actually a….

                      This changes things.

                    2. RIGHT IN THE KISSER!

    2. Actually, two really good supehero movies (The Winter Soldier and Days of Future Past) were released last year. I wasn’t as big a fan of Guardians as everyone else.

      1. The ‘Young X-men’ series has been incredibly good. Days of Future Past was better than First Class and Age of Apocalypse looks like it might be good too.

        The cast of those movies is incredible.

      2. Winter soldier was great, and Civil War has the potential to be really, really good. Anyone who knows that story line should be looking forward to that movie after seeing what was done with Winter Soldier.

      3. Guardians of the Galaxy would have been interesting (and probably even more fun) if Glenn Howerton was cast as Quill.

  10. I’m going to watch this largely because Elizabeth Olsen is awesome in every role I’ve ever seen her in. I am a fan.

    1. Her and Cobie Smulders are why I’ll watch it when it comes to Netflix. Cobie looked fantastic in the first one.

    2. You just saw her in OldBoy you pervert.

      1. Actually, I saw her in Martha Marcy May Marlene first. Yeah, I knew about Elizabeth Olsen before she was cool.

        1. Gah, you probably drink PBR too

          1. He’s Irish, he drinks boilermakers; Bushmills with a Guinness chaser. And that’s for breakfast.

            1. I wonder how Guinness would be in oatmeal?

              1. There’s only one way to find out!

                1. I’ll post my findings next week

          2. How do you feel about Rolling Rock?

  11. By the time they get Infinity War they’ll be up to nearly 20 super heros, and they’ll almost certainly want to cross over the Avengers with some of the cosmic characters from Guardians. I like what Marvel is trying to do but it’s liable to out of hand unless they start to kill a lot of people off (which may very well happen).

    1. They should just reboot Spiderman again with Justin Bieber.

      1. He’s going to feature in the MCU, likely with a different actor. So be careful what you wish for.

        1. The MCU movies have been consistently better than the Spiderman movies (except Spiderman 2 which is very good). As a result, I think the new Spiderman reboot under the control of Marvel might actually be really good.

          1. I’m hoping that’s a typo because both the first Spiderman 2 with Doc Oc and TASM 2 were bad. All the Spiderman movies to date have not been very good but TASM were wretched.

  12. Oh goody. Another movie based on a comic book. I miss the 1930s.

    1. You know who else did his best work in the 30s?

      1. Nat Turner?

        1. John Peter Zenger? (1730s)

          1. George Calvert, Baron Baltimore, setting the foundations for the founding of Maryland?

    2. It’s this or a remake of Mannequin 2. Up to you.

  13. I liked Daredevil a lot precisely because it was not like these movies, but like Epi I am sure I will watch catch it on Netflix or something.

    I just hope there is more Hawkeye and references that only super nerds will appreciate.

  14. At this point, I’d be willing to pay to see the Hulk go HULK SMASH for most of the movie. But I feel like he was a bit underused in the last Avengers. Fucking Iron Man always hogging the limelight.

  15. I’ve long thought that a smart Hollywood producer would take advantage of modern CGI and make some movies based on classic science fiction (beyond Philip K. Dick).

    1. I have too, and also some classic fantasy (Elric of Melnibone comes to mind as a perfect candidate), because the CGI becomes almost like animation, but not quite, but it allows all the special fantastic shit without looking terrible like it would have before quality CGI.

      However, they haven’t really done that as much as I had hoped (basically making some of the previously though of as “unmakable” movies because the FX would have been appallingly expensive before CGI). Part of that, I’m sure, is that so many classic works are tied up in retarded optioning schemes where they languish because the chumps who optioned them don’t have the money to actually make the fucking movie. But still, I would have expected to see more by now.

      1. One of my dream projects is an appropriately updated version of the Lensman series. I want to see classic space opera: space pirates, giant fleets of spaceships, colliding planets, all that good stuff.

        1. The thing is, the space stuff has been pretty feasible since, well, Star Wars. I’m thinking more of something that takes place in a completely impossible to express world unless you’re using animation or now, CGI. I mean, I guess they’ve done dragons and fantastic creatures and aliens and whatnot in a lot of stuff, so they’re utilizing it, but still, there are some things (even Moon is a Harsh Mistress because it is supposed to take place in moon gravity which would be mostly impossible to film believably before CGI unless you wanted to spend obscene amounts of money) where it just wouldn’t have been feasible before. But we’ve seen less of these things than I expected.

          1. I am sure you are aware, but Bryan Singer is going to try to make Moon is a Harsh Mistress into a film. It will be interesting to see how far along he gets.

            Ender’s Game apparently that did not go so well, which makes me have even less faith.

            1. They can get Vince Vaughn to play Mannie!

            2. Ender’s Game was good.

            3. I am aware, yes. I have basically zero hopes that it will be what I want from it.

              But my point regarding Harsh Mistress is that I’ve always noted that the 1/6 Earth gravity of the moon is an integral part of the story, because it explains why Loonies can’t go back to Earth and also what happens physically to the Prof and Mannie when they go back to Earth for negotiations. All of the Luna scenes, which are most of them, would need to be filmed in what appears to be 1/6 Earth gravity. That’s either a lot of wires suspended from the ceiling that looks terrible, or some kind of 1/6 Vomit Comet for every scene, or CGI. And even the CGI might be tough.

              My actual previous thought for how they should have done it was using Final Fantasy movie animation. Because that would have been pretty good.

        2. So, Star Wars, but with better dialogue? Because Episode IV is basically the first Lensman book right up to the planetoid with lasers and the grey on grey bad guy. Sure Han and Vader aren’t there, but I remember reading the first book and thinking, “George Lucas ripped this off.”

          1. There was certainly an E. E. Smith influence in Star Wars, but I wouldn’t call it a rip-off.

    2. smart Hollywood producer

      It’s my theory that Hollywood producers are all looking for a Bold New Concept with a Proven Track Record, Written By A Committee.

  16. Is this the Andrei Tarkovsky thread? Stalker…discuss

    1. Never seen it. I saw Solaris under… unusual conditions, and had a great time: in Amsterdam, after having eaten a hash brownie, and the print was in Russian with subtitles in Dutch, which I don’t speak. It was hilarious.

  17. OT: Rand Paul wants to kill net neutrality and ruin the internet, warns Gizmodo idiot

    There are plenty of hair-brained plans to destroy net neutrality rules, but the latest is, like, hair-brained minus the brain part. You won’t be surprised to hear that the man behind it is attention addict and presidential hopeful Rand Paul. We need to have a chat about facts, Rand.

    Long story short: Rand Paul wants to ruin the internet by repealing the new?and widely loved?net neutrality rules from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). “Ruin the internet” is a strong phrase, but it’s exactly what many very smart internet experts say will happen if strong net neutrality rules aren’t implemented.

    Senator Paul has now introduced a bill to the Senate that he intends to push through Congress with the help of a nebulous law that removes procedural hurdles when trying to repeal new regulations. Senator Paul has no cosponsors on the bill.

    So avoiding the political idiocy of going alone with an unpopular opinion on net neutrality, let’s just focus on the facts that Rand Paul is spitting in America’s direction. Because they’re not facts at all! They’re just plain incorrect. Here are three lines from Senator Paul’s statement about the bill:

    1. This regulation by the FCC is a textbook example of Washington’s desire to regulate anything and everything, and will do nothing more than wrap the Internet in red tape.

      Well that’s wrong. There’s actually very little red tape involved in the FCC’s net neutrality rules. The rules are basically written to preserve the internet as it currently exists which, it should be made clear, is pretty unregulated. (More on this in a second.) You might call the provisions to prohibit internet fast lanes, traffic throttling, and website blocking “red tape.” But you might also call laws that prohibit injustice, theft, and censorship “red tape” as well.

      The Internet has successfully flourished without the heavy hand of government interference.

      Nope! The internet has long been regulated by existing communications laws, however minimally. The FCC classified broadband as an information service back in 2002, after the dot com bubble burst, and imposed a specific set of regulations that’s governed the internet for the past decade and a half.

      However, those regulations allowed internet service providers to do things that were good for their profits but bad for American consumers. That’s why the FCC crafted new rules that treat the internet more like a public utility?for the good of American consumers. Presidential hopefuls should probably be on board with that.

      NN is really an article of faith among them, isn’t it?

      1. He said it’s for the good of consumers. Unlike profits. What more do you want?

      2. The rules are basically written to preserve the internet as it currently exists which, it should be made clear, is pretty unregulated.

        Imagine had we preserved the internet as it existed in 1992?

        There is a retard singularity here that defies all explanation.

        1. These socialists don’t understand the concept of evolution, of progress as it occurs fluidly and naturally. They’re developmentally and functionally retarded. I’m so fatigued with all of this bullshit, I just walk away from anybody who even brings this sort of shit up in person anymore. It’s not worth the aggravation.

          1. I suspect our misinformed gizmodo pundit wasn’t alive in 1992, so my comment probably wouldn’t be understood in any meaningful way.

            1. He doesn’t even remember the FLOPPY DISC.

              1. Floppy disk. /pedantry

          2. They understand that it happens, but they don’t understand why or how.

            It’s like taking medicine away from a doctor and then getting pissed when they can’t cure you, so you take away their instruments, too.

        2. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I’ve heard the same sentiment expressed by really knowledgeable IT guys, that NN will just make sure the internet works the way it was intended.

          What to do if people want to use the internet in a way that it wasn’t intended?

          1. Then they’re not knowledgeable. Standard SMTP servers don’t work the way they were originally intended because of this thing called SPAM that the original designers never foresaw.

        3. There is a retard singularity here that defies all explanation.

          Not really. It’s become politicized. The instant something simple becomes politicized, most people become total mongoloids about it, because now logic and reason and reality have nothing whatsoever to do with it any more. All their little biases and TEAM bullshit and stupid fuckass social signaling shit takes over and totally overwhelms any intelligent thought they will ever have about it again.

          Politics and partisanship make people retarded. About anything.

      3. There’s actually very little red tape involved in the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

        “Very little red tape” doesn’t require 400 pages, that they were afraid to publish before they made the rule.

  18. If ‘The Force Awakens’ doesn’t feature titanic, ‘Warhammer 40,000’-grade ground and space battles with the brutality of a realistic war movie, I’ll weep.

    1. From the trailer I suspect that is what we will get. Abrams ‘gets it’ since his whole career is him aping the early works of Spielberg and Lucas. He knows what the audience wants, which is actual people on actual sets with practical effects augmented by CGI instead of replaced by it.

      None of the shitty CGI battles in the prequels were impressive or involving because one side was robots and the other side were clones with zero personality or humanity to them. So simply avoiding that will make the movie better.

      1. That’s sort of what I was hoping. Integrate highly advanced, photorealistic, bloody, rugged CGI effects and elements portraying what doesn’t exist in reality, but not anything you can use practical effects for, with old-fashioned realism. A single well-done ‘Saving Private Ryan’- or ‘We Were Soldiers’-esque combat scene in ‘The Force Awakens’ in all of its gory, gritty realism that’s also masterfully immersed in ‘Avatar’-grade universe-specific effects for a viscious, pitted ‘Halo’-like space battle — viscera and violence galore — would instantly mark an immeasurable improvement in the franchise.

        As for the prequels, it wasn’t even that the Confederacy fielded droids, or that the Republic fielded clones. That’s just lore. The battles sucked cock because they were visually sterile in every way. It was tedious, rudimentary, substandard computer graphics bullshit that wasn’t even executed with skill.

        Watch the two trailers for ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ on YouTube. It’s a KotOR-related MMORPH that came out a few years ago. Even those were infinitely better than the turds Lucas has been giving us since 1999.

        Also, ‘Star Wars’ absolutely needs to discard its devotion to ensurinng it’s family-friendly in its atmosphere. Fuck that bullshit. It’s a galactic, hyper-scale space opera. Blood, war, famine, genocide, murder, rape, planetary glassing — that’s what we need.

        1. I’ve long thought Halo’s overall story would make for an excellent miniseries. They’d have to jettison some of the more convoluted plot elements, but a story about the fall of Reach or some other planet could be really good.

          1. ‘Halo’s story and execution as a series of games were excellent, and if somebody could translate them with real quality, they would make for spectacular stuff for not just TV, but even major motion pictures, provided they’re not butchered and simplified to cut them down for length.

            The last third of the Human-Covenant War would be particularly good material, I think. It’s awesomely steeped in some really great tragedy, action, and just general full-scale epicness in every way.

            But your idea is probably best. Maybe they should focus just on Reach if it’s a movie, and show you all the details of that battle.

            A full-length TV show of ‘Battlestar Galactica’s breed would also be welcome, in my view. Not sure how wide in scope I’d make it, though.

            1. THIS THIS THIS

              I simply want a Reach miniseries because it could be a way to retcon the godawful letdown that was Halo: Reach. I’M STILL ANGRY.

            2. At the risk of showing just how boring I am, I think a fictional “documentary” series exploring how the war affected human society and culture would be fascinating. There are endless topics to think about when the human species is faced with a war of annihilation.

        2. A single well-done ‘Saving Private Ryan’- or ‘We Were Soldiers’-esque combat scene in ‘The Force Awakens’ in all of its gory, gritty realism

          This will never happen. This is a Disney film now, dude. It wouldn’t have happened under Lucas either but it’s really not going to happen under Disney. Or to be honest under Abrams. It would be great, but…never. Gonna. Happen.

          As for the prequels, it wasn’t even that the Confederacy fielded droids, or that the Republic fielded clones. That’s just lore. The battles sucked cock because they were visually sterile in every way. It was tedious, rudimentary, substandard computer graphics bullshit that wasn’t even executed with skill.

          This is 100% correct. It’s almost impossible not to be utterly sterile when your actors are literally acting in green suits in front of nothing but a greenscreen.

          GREENMAN!

          1. I know you’re probably right about Disney’s kid-friendly shit, but I’m hoping against all odds here that Abrams will deliver a war movie to the studio having spent the entire budget, stick his dick on the projector, and scream, “Here’s your $200,000,000, fuckers. Screen it, or lose it.”

            Seriously, though, a real ‘Star Wars’ war movie is THE dream for me. ‘KotOR’ movie, anyone?

            And I saw a short documentary on the making of the prequels back when III was released, and I was dumbfounded at all the footage of the actors walking around literally atop nothing, surrounded by greenscreens and motion capture tag-laden sticks and frames and shit. It was so awful.

            I think it was Ewan McGregor who openly bitched about how crappy it was, because he was basically required to deliver a rousing, dramatic interaction and performance while yelling at a green wall.

            Even simple shit like the scene where he inspects Camino’s cloning facilities in the second prequel were hard, apparently, because he couldn’t take anything seriously about the set, so it took him forever to manage any sort of look of amazement and awe at the screen he was glaring at.

            1. Disney isn’t all that kid friendly. The Moses movie they did had mass-killing of children. Our hopes could come true.

            2. Seriously, though, a real ‘Star Wars’ war movie is THE dream for me. ‘KotOR’ movie, anyone?

              Based on what I’ve heard, I think you might be looking forward to the Rogue One movie. Rogue One is going to focus on actual soldiers and in is going to be part war movie, part heist film since it’s about the mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.

          2. “This will never happen. This is a Disney film now, dude.”

            I think you might be wrong.

            The thing about Star Wars? is that everyone agrees now about what the “prequels” got wrong.

            There’s not a producer on earth who’s going to re-make those mistakes. So ‘erring on the side of ‘drama’ instead of kitch’ may in fact happen.

          3. This is 100% correct. It’s almost impossible not to be utterly sterile when your actors are literally acting in green suits in front of nothing but a greenscreen.

            The fact that they managed to make the acting terrible in a series that included Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Lee, Ewan MacGregor, and Natalie Portman is incredible. It really was the result of all that CGI – Natalie Portman and Ewan MacGregor should be able to act well when on screen together, but when everything else in a scene is CGI it becomes ridiculous.

        3. You can be violent enough with a PG-13 rating these days. The important thing is that the audience must care about the characters. If the viewer is emotionally invested in the people fighting any modicum of violence or reversal can be highly moving.

          You’re right that the graphics mostly sucked in the prequel battles but I still say the fact that nothing was at a stake because the droids and clones were literally mass produced and expendable is what made them so boring and uninvolving.

          By comparison, in the Battle of Yavin every pilot we saw had a face and a personality. The way Lucas achieved that by including the scene where they all report in with their call signs is so brilliant that, to steal a joke from the Red Letter Media Mr. Plinkett reviews, I strongly suspect Lucas had nothing to do with it and fought against its inclusion.

          1. That’s true. It’s like a huge ‘Total War’ gameplay video. It’s all just CGI pawns you don’t give a fuck about.

            And weren’t the original trilogy movies good precisely because Lucas didn’t have control of them? Heh.

            1. He started to take control for Return of The Jedi and that’s why it kind of sucks.

              1. It was pretty good, but it wasn’t V.

                1. Everything on Endor sucked.

                  1. The amusing thing is everything on Endor was the only thing that mattered.

                    Also the speed bike scene before they ever met the Ewoks had some good moments

            2. I believe he had a lot of control over Star Wars (Ep IV)–he directed and wrote it after all–but that was also the first one where his derivative, ripped off Shaolin monk Jedi routine was at its freshest and most mystical and mysterious, and all the various tropes he ripped off just worked together really well. Lucas is a pretty good idea thief at times. It’s when he tries to actually make up his own material that he exposes how terrible he actually is. Plus he got to do all kinds of ships zooming around and he loves that shit.

              Empire was different because the direction and writing were handed off. The writing was actually done by scifi semi-legend Leigh Brackett, and she actually brought some depth to the whole thing. Along with solid directing, there’s a reason why Empire is often considered the best one.

              Jedi wasn’t directed by Lucas but he was back in the writer’s seat for this one, and it shows. Implausible dumb shit abounds, culminating in the merchandise-tastic Ewoks, which would be an indicator of the inanities that would infest the prequels.

              The prequels were just retarded and get more retarded as they go along. Ugh. Fuck Lucas.

              1. Holy shit, I just found out Lucas made a short film based on E. E. Cummings Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town. How dare he! That’s probably my favorite poem.

        4. As for the prequels, it wasn’t even that the Confederacy fielded droids, or that the Republic fielded clones. That’s just lore. The battles sucked cock because they were visually sterile in every way. It was tedious, rudimentary, substandard computer graphics bullshit that wasn’t even executed with skill.

          The effects in Battlestar Galactica were better, and so were the battles.

          KOTOR has better writing that Lucas could ever pull from what I have seen.

          1. They were, which is amazing, considering the differences in budget.

  19. I think it’s pretty clear all those people warning about the dangers of comic books were right.

    There’s basically no more science fiction, it’s all comics. And the people who read them move their lips.

  20. Wheedon’s Avengers is big fun in the old Mighty Marvel Manner, but I think Netflix’s Daredevil is the best current example of what a serious, grown up film about a comic hero can be. Dialogue and character development vs. endless CGI and quips.

  21. Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome and anyone who disagrees can go to Hell!

    I just saw the trailer for Jurassic World. It’s…Rise of the Planet of the Dinosaurs. No really.

    Also, last week I watched over an hour of Quantum of Solace. That’s all I could take. Worse than the politics was the stupid fucking camera work and editing. Good God it was terrible. At least Skyfall wasn’t that bad. Still bad.

    1. Skyfall is not a bad movie. Javier Bardem’s speech in that movie is one of the greatest Bond moments.

      1. Your movie tastes are incorrect. If it were a good movie it would not have morphed into Home Alone in the last act.

  22. I’m getting advertizements for the Alberta NDP. Glad to be helping Reason with funding but…ugh….

    1. So will Rachel Notley be the new premier? All I’ve read is that she wants more taxes and more spending.

    2. So Will this be Alberta’s libertarian moment?

      1. No, but it would be worth it if it would make you stop being a tedious cunt.

  23. Why isn’t there any reference to the fact that Age of Ultron is a remake of Less then Zero?

    http://images4.fanpop.com/imag…..00-906.jpg

    Also in regards to Joss. this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aciOOfNHyI

  24. I sure hope we’ve had enough of these “the only way to save the world is to kill all the people” stories that real AI developers know to deploy [!DON’T DESTROY HUMANITY!] commands regularly throughout their code.

    1. Maybe AI works a lot differently than some static code.

  25. I thank Suderman for letting us all know this movie kinda sucks.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.