Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, 2001

Fellowship of the Ring.jpg

December 19, 2001
Dir. Peter Jackson
Prod. Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Tim Sanders
Genre: Epic High Fantasy
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis

I love Lord of the Rings. The whole series is amazing and it’s definitely what kicked off my love for New Zealand.

I’ve seen the first film in the trilogy more times than I can count and think it’s absolutely brilliant. I recently bought the extended edition (finally) and have really enjoyed seeing all the behind the scenes stuff that went into making the film.

If I were to ask you to name a film (or several) that you thought was truly great I’m sure everyone would have a different answer. However, I don’t think anyone can deny that Fellowship of the Ring is definitely on that list.

Fellowship brings together an intriguing plot, fascinating characters, and a beautiful landscape and creates what is probably one of the best films of all time.

The film follows Frodo Baggins, a hobbit from The Shire, as he embarks on a quest to destroy an all powerful ring. A ring that could bring an end to Middle Earth if it fell into the wrong hands. With the help of several companies along the way, Frodo takes great steps on his journey to saving all of Middle Earth.

Now, as I mentioned before Lord of the Rings is full of interesting characters and in this first film we meet the original ‘fellowship’: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli.

All of these characters are very different and not only do they each bring something unique to the fellowship, but they bring something unique to the screen that makes the film all the more enjoyable.

On the surface each character appears very simple, Frodo is the hero, Sam the loyal companion, Merry and Pippin the comic relief, Aragorn the warrior, and Boromir the traitor. But they are all so much more than that. Each character, from Gimli to Gandalf, offers comedic moments and heart wrenching moments; moments where you admire their bravery and moments where you want to slap them for their stupidity (you know who I’m talking about).

However, even at their lowest moments you can’t help wanting these characters to succeed. Maybe not at everything they attempt to do (like, you know, stealing the ring from Frodo), but at most things. You want to see what happens next, where these characters are going, what they’re going to encounter.

And what they encounter is a whole lot of adventure and a whole lot of beauty as they travel across Middle Earth aka New Zealand.

Over the years my dream destination has changed drastically. As a child of course I wanted to go to Disney World. Then as I got older I wanted to go to England and Scotland, two places my family comes from.

Well now I’ve been to Disney World and I’d still love to go to England Scotland one day, for many years now I’ve wanted nothing more than to go to New Zealand. And Lord of the Rings played a big part in that.

Fellowship was my first memorable view of New Zealand and every time I watch the film and the ones that follow I desperately want to walk the same paths the fellowship follows over mountains and trails.

¬†New Zealand is Middle Earth, it is magical and mysterious and full of creatures that don’t exist anywhere else.

Kiwi 2.jpg

Fellowship of the Ring is a cinematic masterpiece. Not only does it contain all the things required to make a good film (interesting plot, characters, etc.), but it also contains something that keeps the audience completely entranced. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but anyone who has watched Lord of the Rings will know what I’m talking about.

There’s just something about these films, and Fellowship in particular, that keeps you watching over and over again.

Near the start of this review I called this film one of the best films of all time and I stand by that statement. There are many films that could fall into that category, but for all the reasons stated above and many more, I think you can see why Fellowship belongs there.

What do you think of Fellowship of the Ring? Which character is your favourite?

Facebook | Twitter

Advertisements

Names of the Week

Andrea

Female
Nickname: Andy; Andie
Pronunciation: An-dree-uh
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Brave
Well-Known Andreas: Andrea (Yesterday’s Child, Barbara Wood), Andrea (The Walking Dead), Andrea ‘Andie’ McPhee (Dawson‘s Creek), Andrea ‘Andy’ McNally (Rookie Blue), Andrea Joy ‘AJ’ Cook (Actress), Andrea Russett (Youtuber)

Carol

Female
Alternate Spelling: Carole
Pronunciation: Care-uhl
Origin: French
Meaning: Song of Happiness
Well-Known Carols: Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics), Carol Peletier (The Walking Dead), Carol Ross (ER), Carol Baldwin (Coronation Street), Carol Higgins Clark (Novelist), Carol Ann Sheilds (Novelist)

Glenn

Male
Alternate Spelling: Glen
Pronunciation: Glen
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: From the Wooded Valley
Well-Known Glenns: Glenn Rhee (The Walking Dead), Glenn Masters (Star of Babylon, Barbara Wood), Glenn Danzig (“The Misfits”), Glenn Worf (Country Music Bassist), Glenn Lee Beck (American TV Host)

Hershel

Male
Pronunciation: Her-shul
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: Deer
Well-Known Hershels: Hershel Greene (The Walking Dead), Hershel Agasa (“Case Closed”), Hershel McGriff (NASCAR Driver), Hershel Layton (“Professor Layton”

Judith

Female
Nickname: Judy; Jude
Pronunciation: Joo-dith
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: He Will be Praised
Well-Known Judiths: Judith Grimes (The Walking Dead), Judith Miller (American Journalist), Judith Butler (American Philosopher), Judith Shakespeare (Daughter of William Shakespeare)

Lizzie

Female
Alternate Spelling:
Nickname: Liz
Pronunciation: lih-zee
Origin: Isreal
Meaning: Form of Elizabeth
Well-Known Lizzies: Lizzie Samuels (The Walking Dead), Lizzie McGuire (Lizzie McGuire), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen), Lizzie Lakely (Emmerdale), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Lillian Marvelly (New Zealand Singer-Songwriter), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Mickery (British Writer)

Merle

Male
Pronunciation: Merle
Origin: England; France
Meaning: Blackbird
Well-Known Merles: Merle Dixon (The Walking Dead), Merle Haggard (Country Singer), Merle Evans (Circus Band Conductor)

Mika

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Micah
Pronunciation: mee-kuh; my-kuh
Origin: Isreal
Meaning: Humble
Well-Known Mikas: Mika Samuels (The Walking Dead), Mika Grainger (Waterloo Road), Mika Boorem (American Actress), Mika Abdalla (American Actress), Mika Brzezinski (TV Host and Journalist), Mika (Singer)

Morgan

Unisex
Pronunciation: mor-guhn
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: By the Sea
Well-Known Morgans: Morgan Jones (The Walking Dead), Morgan le Fay ‘Morgana’ (King Arthur Legend), Morgan Flynn (“The Sims 3”), Morgan York (American Actress), Morgan Freeman (American Actor)

Rick

Male
Nickname: Ricky
Pronunciation: rik
Origin: England
Meaning: Brave Ruler; Diminutive of Richard
Well-Known Ricks: Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead), Rick Blaine (Casablanca), Rick (“Portal”), Rick Riordan (American Author), Rick Springfield (Australian Singer)

Sasha

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Sacha
Pronunciation: Sah-shuh
Origin: Greece
Meaning: Defender of Mankind; Diminutive of Alexander (Russia)
Well-Known Sashas: Sasha (The Walking Dead), Sasha (Absolute Friends, John le Carre), Sasha Braus (Attack on Titan), Sasha Filippov (Enemy at the Gates), Sasha Issenberg (American Author), Sasha Skenderika (Bosnian Poet)

Shane

Unisex
Pronunciation: Shane
Origin: Ireland
Meaning: Gift From God
Well-Known Shanes: Shane Walsh (The Walking Dead), Shane Collins (Morganville Vampire, Rachel Caine), Shane McCutcheon (The L Word), Shane Botwin (Weeds), Shane Edward Smeltz (New Zealand Footballer), Shane Dawson (Youtuber)

Tara

Female
Pronunciation: tar-uh
Origin: Gaelic
Meaning: Tower; Hillside
Well-Known Taras: Tara Chambler (The Walking Dead), Tara Duncan (Tara Duncan, Sophia Audouin-Mamikoian), Tara Brennan (13 Gifts, Wendy Mass), Tara James (Chrissa Stands Strong), Tara Knowles (Sons of Anarchy), Tara Reid (American Actress), Tara Gilesbie (Apparently an Infamous Fanfiction Author)

Tyreese

Male
Alternate Spelling: Tyreece; Tyrese; Tyrees
Nickname: Ty; Reese
Pronunciation: Ty-reese
Origin: America
Meaning: Enthusiastic
Well-Known Tyreeses: Tyreese (The Walking Dead), Prince Tyreese (Dirt), Tyrese Darnell Gibson (American Singer), Tyrees Allen (American Actor)

The Walking Dead returns tomorrow and I decided to celebrate with some Walking Dead names! I’ve also been celebrating quite a bit over on my other blog with a Top 10 Favourite Episodes countdown which you can find here!

Follow me on Twitter | Like me on Facebook

Names of the Week

Adelaide

Female
Nickname: Addy
Pronunciation:
Origin: Germany
Meaning: Of Noble Kin; Nobility
Well-Known Adelaides: Adelaide Brooke (Doctor Who), Adelaide Langdon (American Horror Story), Adelaide Anne Procter (English Poet), Adelaide Crapsey (American Poet), Adelaide Clemens (Actress)

Berlyn

Unisex
Alternate Spelling:
Nickname: Lyn
Pronunciation: Ber-lyn
Origin: Germany
Meaning: Son of Berl
Well-Known Berlyns: Berlin (Pop Band, 1980s), Ava Berlin Renner (Daughter of Jeremy Renner)
*These are the only ones I could find, but if you know of others let me know and I’ll add them to the list!*

Elise

Female
Alternate Spelling: Elize
Nickname: El; Ellie
Pronunciation: eh-lees
Origin: Germany
Meaning: Consecrated of God
Well-Known Elises: Elise McKenna (Somewhere in Time), Elise de la Serre (“Assassin’s Creed: Unity), Elise Rainier (Insidious), Elise Neal (Actress), Elise Crombez (Model)

Jaeger

Male
Alternate Spelling: Jager; Jaegar
Pronunciation: jay-ger
Origin: Germany
Meaning: Hunter
*Common Last Name**
Well-Known Jaegers: Jaeger Willis (“The Willis Clan”), Werner Jaeger (German Classicist), Hans Jaeger (Norwegian Writer), Gustav Jaeger (German Painter), August Jaeger (English Music Publisher)

Otto

Male
Pronunciation: aw-toe
Origin: Germany
Meaning: Wealth
Well-Known Ottos: Otto Klopp (Leviathan Series, Scott Westerfeld), Otto Octavius (Marvel Comics), Otto (Sons of Anarchy), Otto Graham (Football Player), Otto von Bismarck (Politician)

Follow me on Twitter | Like me on Facebook

Names of the Week

Uriah

Male
Pronunciation: yer-i-ah
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: God is Light
Well-Known Uriahs: Uriah Pedrad (Divergent, Veronica Roth), Uriah Heep (David Copperfield, Charles Dickens), Uriah Shelton (Actor), Uriah Duffy (Bassist), Uriah Smith (Photographer)

Vincent

Male
Nickname: Vince
Pronunciation: Vin-sunt
Origin: England
Meaning: Conquering
Well-Known Vincents: VincentCrabbe (Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling), Vincent Nigel-Murray (Bones), Vincent LaSalle (Recess), Vincent van Gogh (Painter), Vincent D’Onofrio (Actor), Vincent ‘Vinny’ Guadagnino (Jersey Shore Personality)

Willow

Female
Nickname: Will
Pronunciation: Will-oh
Origin: England
Meaning: Freedom; Willow Tree
Well-Known Willows: Willow Lynd (“The Sims 3”), Willow Danielle Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Willow Shields (Actress), Willow Smith (Singer), Willow bay (Journalist)

Xerxes

Male
Pronunciation: Zerks-eeze
Origin: Persia
Meaning: Hero Among Heroes
Well-Known Xerxes’s: Xerxes (The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Edward Gorey), Xerxes (Aladdin), Xerxes (Leader of Persia during battle of Salmis)

Zara

Female
Pronunciation: Sar-ah; Zar-uh
Origin: France
Meaning: Light; Princess; To Blossom
Well-Known Zaras: Zara White (Need, Carire Jones), Queen Zara (The Secret History of Queen Zarah and the Zarazians, Delarivier Manley), Zara (The Mourning Bride, William Congreve), Zara Wallace (Editor), Zara Wright (Author)

Follow me on Twitter | Like me on Facebook

Creating Characters: Hobbies

fictional characters

Hobbies is both a fun and a frustrating part of creating characters. Honestly, trying to come up with hobbies for my characters made me feel really stupid because I just kept coming up with the same ones over and over.

Obviously you don’t want all your characters to have the same hobbies and traits because that would be boring. Not to mention incredibly unbelievable. You’ve got six characters who are all avid readers and all love to play volleyball. Unless they were all related and came from a reading/volleyball playing family, this doesn’t seem very likely does it?

Now, I wish I had some super sage advice on how to come up with unique hobbies, but I don’t. Use the internet, that’s all I can say. That’s how I come up with hobbies for my characters. I’ve included the PDF file for the Go Teen Writers Hobbies/Skills list, which is one that I use frequently, on the bottom of the post. It’s a great list and I recommend checking it out if you need help coming up with ideas.

The advice I do have though is to make your character’s hobbies diverse. You can have the stereotypical nerd kid whose hobbies include reading, doing homework, going to conventions and that’s fine (personally, I don’t have an issue with stereotypes, but that’s a post for another time). But! There’s nothing wrong with breaking stereotypes too.

Your stereotypical nerd kid could be an avid soccer player or they could love to knit or they could collect shot glasses or something like that. That’s the part of hobbies that I really enjoy, giving the characters kind of strange, unique things.

As frustrating as it can be to think of things, how awesome is it once you’ve got this character who actually has things they like doing. When those things can be incorporated into the story in various ways. It makes them seem a lot more real doesn’t it?

I’ve got a character who is really into certain types of art and whenever I see a piece of art like that I think of that character. It’s weird that something like that can make me think of a fictional character I created, but that’s just how it works and, as weird as it is, it’s a pretty cool feeling. If I feel like that then maybe one day others will too.

Imagine your character really liked black and white photography. Now imagine that your character is someone’s favourite character. Whenever this person sees black and white photography they think of your character. Maybe they even get into black and white photography themselves because of your character. How cool is that?

Hobbies are significantly harder to talk about than I thought they would be. I guess this shouldn’t really be a surprise given how difficult it was for me to come up with hobbies for my own characters, writing about it probably wouldn’t be a walk in the park.

Nonetheless, I hope you maybe found this post helpful. If not, then thanks for sticking with it anyway long enough to reach this point.

How do you come up with hobbies your characters? Do all your characters share a certain feature?

Character-Hobbies-and-Skills-Brainstorming-List

Follow me on Twitter | Like me on Facebook

The Walking Dead Books 1-4, Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

****Warning: This post will contain spoilers for The Walking Dead comics, issues 1-8 (books 1-4)! If you haven’t read them yet and are planning to, don’t read this!****

I had been wanting to read The Walking Dead comics for ages. I’m a huge fan of the show so when I found out my local library had all the books I’ve pretty much been reading them nonstop. And are they ever different from the show!

I already knew about a lot of stuff that happens in the comics through the magic of the internet so I knew that there would be a lot of differences. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for some of them.

For instance, Lori’s death. Totally different from the book to the show! In the show, she dies giving birth to Judith (who lives) and Carl has to shoot her in the head to make sure she doesn’t come back. In the comics, she dies during The Governor’s attack and when she falls she crushes Judith to death. I knew this was coming because I read about it online, but it was still a bit of a shock when it happened.

A lot of people have talked about why they didn’t do this on the show and instead kept Judith the “Walker Car Alarm”. Even though the show can get pretty graphic and horrific, I’m not sure they could actually show a baby (even a fake one) being crushed to death under it’s dead mother. Now she’s a toddler though so I’m not even sure Judith is safe.

Something I really wasn’t prepared for in the comics was Carol. I love Carol in the show, she is absolutely one of my favorite characters and she is so badass. In the comics however, she is… something else. First she gets together with Tyreese, then when they break up she starts hitting on Lori… and Rick… and Lori and Rick together. No really. She suggested the three of them get together and raise Carl and Sophia and the baby as a trio. This is just one of the many things she does in these books that I found kind of strange. But really, all the characters in the novels are a little strange.

I’m currently reading book five which has issues nine and ten. I know I have a lot more to go and I’m definitely going to read them because they are enjoyable. But, and this is probably the unpopular opinion, I do enjoy the show more.

Don’t get me wrong, I like both, but I feel like I can get more invested in the show. When I watch the show, I watch it for hours and I feel like I get to know the characters. Then, when a character dies, I feel something about it. If it’s a character I liked then I’m sad, if it’s a character I didn’t like then I’m glad they’re gone. But I can finish one of the books in a couple hours and when a character dies, then that’s it, I turn the page and they’re gone. I turn the page and they’re just not being drawn anymore.

I just feel like, with The Walking Dead comics, I don’t really have time to become invested in these characters like I do in the show or like I would with other comics I’ve read where the characters are in hundreds of issues.

However, that is not to say these aren’t amazing. They are. They’re different from anything I’ve read before and, while I prefer the show, I am thoroughly enjoying them and am excited to keep reading.

Have you read The Walking Dead comics? What did you think?

Buy The Walking Dead Book One on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Two on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Three on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Four on Amazon

Follow me on Twitter | Find me on Facebook

Avengers: Age of Ultron, 2015

Age of Ultron

May 1, 2015
Dir. Joss Whedon
Prod. Kevin Feige
Genre: American Superhero Film
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, James Spader, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellen Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson

****WARNING: This post will contain spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron! If you have no yet seen the film, STOP READING NOW****

Avengers: Age of Ultron, where do I begin? I am a huge fan of Marvel and especially of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I have been anxiously waiting for this film since I saw the first Avengers film and, while there were a couple thing I was a little ‘meh’ about, overall it far exceeded all expectations I had.

In this next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), what starts out as a simple mission turns into a fight for all of the earth and humanity. The Avengers have finally managed to track down Loki’s scepter, leading them to the Hydra base belonging to Baron von Strucker. While they are able to retrieve the scepter, they realize von Strucker has been using it to experiment on humans, namely, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Taylor-Johnson and Olsen respectively) aka Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.

The pair are soon recruited by Ultron (Spader), a robot designed by Tony (Downey Jr.) that was meant to protect the world, but instead became bent on destroying it. The Avengers must now find a way to defeat Ultron and his army of robots before he kills every human in the world.

Avengers

There were so many characters in this film! All the Avengers returned: Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, as did many other characters from the MCU. Falcon, Rhodey, Peggy, Maria Hill, the computer guy from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, even Fury came back! I was half expecting Coulson to pop out somewhere. however, there were also many new characters.

First and foremost is Ultron. Ultron is pretty much the ultimate bad guy. Sometimes you sympathize with the antagonist or villain, like many people do with Loki. Some the antagonist is a victim masked as a villain, like Bucky. But in this case, nope, Ultron is just crazy. Literally from the moment he was ‘born’, he was like, “Death! Destruction! Kill all the humans!” James Spader, who did a phenomenal job in his role as Ultron, said Ultron is very much like a child and I have to say I agree. it’s like he’s throwing a tantrum, but instead of banging his fists on the ground he built an army of killer robots. I imagine this is actually what most toddlers would do if they had the mental capacity to do so.

ultron

Another new character in this film is Vision. Though, I guess he’s only half new as Vision is played by Paul Bettany, the same actor who has been voicing JARVIS since the first Iron Man film. I was so excited when they announced Bettany would be playing Vision. He is a fantastic actor, but I must admit it’s a little strange hearing that voice now with a face to go with it. I imagine it was even stranger for Bettany to suddenly be right in the middle of the action with the other actors instead of recording in a studio for a short period of time.

Vision

Andy Serkis had a small role playing Ulysses Klaue and again, hearing his regular voice and seeing his face was very strange after watching Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes.

Linda Cardellini also appeared in the film playing Laura Barton, Hawkeye’s wife, but I’m going to talk more about that later.

Marvel's Avengers: Age Of Ultron..L to R: Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen)..Ph: Jay Maidment..©Marvel 2015

Finally, two characters who I didn’t expect to like as much I do, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff aka Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Now I’ll admit, going into this film I didn’t know too much about these characters except that they’re Magneto’s children (which is totally irrelevant in this film so basically I knew nothing), but they quickly became two of my favorites.

Twims Xmen

Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in this film are played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen respectively. They have absolutely no connection to the X-Men films except for the fact that Taylor-Johnson and Evan Peters (Quicksilver, X-Men: Days of Future Past) were both in the film Kickass which I thought was pretty hilarious.

Quicksilver and Quicksilver

I was a little confused by the lack of connection to X-Men because Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are supposed to be mutants, but apparently that isn’t the case in this film. In this instance, the twins got their powers after HYDRA experimented on them using Loki’s scepter. Now, as someone who has not read the comics (though if anyone knows where I can read them online, please let me know!), I wasn’t too bothered by this plot change. However, apparently a lot of people were very angry about this change. People were also angry about the fact that the twins were Eastern-European in this film, hailing from the fictional city of Sokovia. Again, I really wasn’t bothered by this. It was done to drawn a firm distinguishing line between the Avengers and X-Men so I really don’t think it was a big deal. Watch the video below to hear what Taylor-Johnson and Olsen had to say about mastering the Sokovian accent (1:17).

Alright, the last thing I want to say about the twins is that they seemed very human to me. In a film full of superheroes and gods, I always like those little details they add in to make the characters seem like people instead of machines. That was especially pertinent in this film where they were battling machines. In AoU, there are several instances where we see Quicksilver getting tired or sweating. In other media, this isn’t something we usually see happen to him, but you would think it would, right? After running and running and running the guy would need a break eventually. As for Scarlet Witch, she’s always been displayed as being this huge badass, which she absolutely is. But we also got to see the other side of her. Regret and fear which are two very human emotions and really drove home for the audience that they weren’t bad guys and, even though they’re superheroes, they’re still people.

So like I said, these two very quickly became two of my favorite characters in the film. Quicksilver had all of seven lines and yet here we are, with me rabbiting on about them for several paragraphs. I think it’s safe to say that I did not see this coming. I can’t wait for Captain America: Civil War so we can see more of Scarlet Witch and I really hope we eventually get to see more of Quicksilver (It’s the MCU, anything can happen). I know many people (myself included) are also hoping to one day maybe see a Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch film, but I feel like we’re about as likely to see that as we are to find out what happened in Budapest.

Speaking of Budapest. Raise your hand if you thought they were hinting at a romance between Black Widow and Hawkeye?

*Raises hand*

Whelp, apparently not. Instead we learn that Clint is married and has three children and Natasha and Bruce are dancing around each other. Now, before I get into this and cause a huge ship storm, I would just like to say that yes, I do ship characters regardless of what the official storyline in the films is. But that’s why fanfiction and tumblr and things like that exist so you can create things exactly the way you want them to be. I’m not taking sides here because frankly, Clint/Natasha is adorable, but so is Bruce/Natasha and Farmer Clint/Laura so I’m not taking one side or another.

#StopShipWars2k15

So, Clint having a family was pretty unexpected, I think we can all admit that. However, their explanation for why we never heard about Laura and the kids until now actually did make sense. I do still think that maybe they could have dropped a little hint or something, like during Captain America 2:

Steve: “Where’s Hawkeye?”
Natasha: “Family stuff.”

Hawkeye Family

Just… something because I do really feel like they were hinting at Clint and Natasha being together. I mean, all the people who were up in arms over the sudden changes didn’t just get their crazy ideas from nowhere, right? But instead, Clint has a family and a farm out in the middle of nowhere. However! It’s really not a bad thing. The idea of Hawkeye having chickens, wearing plaid, and riding a tractor is pretty hilarious and overall I actually really enjoyed this whole storyline.

Hawkeye Farm

The writers must have known how much people were going to freak out over these new developments, but they jumped straight into it and I think it was success. Linda Cardellini did a great job and the kids were adorable. Hawkeye is in the new Captain America film so I hope we get to see more of his family (especially Nathaniel Pietro Barton because that was the cutest thing ever!).

Nathaniel Barton

Like I said, I’m not too bothered about who’s with who. Shipping for me exists in the world of fanfiction and other parts of the internet. The only time I really focus on it is when it really doesn’t make sense. Which, for me, was the case with Bruce and Natasha.

Bruce and Natasha are actually a really cute idea. There’s just something about two damaged people coming together that views always seem to enjoy. However, while I feel like the writers explained Hawkeye’s situation really well, they seemed to be lacking in this particular storyline. Bruce and Natasha’s liking for each other really seemed to come out of nowhere. When did it start? Was it back during the first Avengers film? Was it during Captain America 2? If that’s the case, why didn’t he help them when they were after Steve? How did it start? Why wasn’t it mentioned until now? Again, in CA2:

Steve: “Where Bruce?”
Natasha: “Oh, he’s going to Fiji.”

Or something like that. Two lines. Two very short lines just to let the people watching know that the pair were even talking! Their relationship just really seemed to come out of nowhere and I really think that’s why so many people were so hesitant and confused by it. And now, the last we saw of Bruce, he was leaving in one of the jets to go who-knows-where. I hope he’ll be back. Mark Ruffalo always does a great job in the role of the giant, green rage monster and maybe if he comes back there’ll be more of an explanation and more context about BruceNat.

BruceNat

Now, I know I just about Hawkeye, but can we just take a minute to acknowledge how amazing his character was in this film!? He actually had lines! I was so proud! He wasn’t someone’s puppet in this film and had a major story arc. Hawkeye was a hugely sarcastic and vital part of this film and I think Jeremy Renner did a spectacular job.

Alright! I’ve gone on and on and about the characters in this film, but what about all the other stuff? It would be a pretty boring film if we saw Iron Man and the Hulk battling in front a green screen. Actually, I guess without the special effects it would be Iron Man .vs. Bruce Banner in a leotard with dots all over his face. Yeah… real ferocious. It would also be incredibly boring to see Thor fighting without his hammer or Captain America with his shield. Like, these movies would not exist in the capacity that they do without the special effects, props, and costume/make-up departments.

The special effects department always has quite the job on these films and AoU was no exception. Obviously the cast and crew didn’t go around destroying buildings and practically leveling cities. But it sure looked like they did. I always love thinking how those things must look to the younger audience members. Sokovia flying in the sky looked amazing and so real. I obviously know it’s not and that it didn’t happen. But the kids in the audience? They believe the city was flying and I think that’s a pretty magical thing that the SE people manage to do. Elizabeth Olsen stated that there was quite a trust thing going on between her and the department as she obviously didn’t have red magic balls of energy flying out of her hands so essentially she had to just wave her arms around and hope they would be able to do something with that. It worked.

Hulk vs Iron Man

The costume and make-up department also had even more work to do with this film with more characters and more things happening. Between prosthetics, turning Paul Bettany red, and all the variations of costumes that had to be designed for each character. I guess they were kind of lucky that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch’s outfits are so simple, but then you add Vision and Ultron to the mix and I’m sure it was pretty evenly balanced.

Finally, the props people. Cap wouldn’t have a shield, Thor wouldn’t have a hammer, Hawkeye wouldn’t have a bow, and Tony wouldn’t have any of his little gadgets if it weren’t for these people. They really go above and beyond, creating so many variations of each prop. The different versions of Thor’s hammer all varied in weight, they had to make Cap’s shield looking different levels of battle worn. It really never ends. You can watch the video below to get a behind-the-scenes look at the props department on set.

Okay, the last thing I want to talk about is the extraordinary amount of sass and sarcasm in this film. I always expect there to be some, it is a Marvel film after all. But AoU was just jam-packed with one liners and a level of sass I never expected. From Hawkeye especially! I mean, “The city is flying, we’re fighting an army of robots, and I have a bow and arrow” has to be one of the best lines in the film. That, “You didn’t see that coming?”, “Not when I’ve created a murderbot.”, and “Language.” are just a few of the lines I can think of off the top of my head. Seriously, this film’s script is sarcasm gold. Well done Joss Whedon.

Language

While there were a couple things in this film I was a little iffy about, overall I absolutely loved it. Age of Ultron, like the other films in the MCU, is one of those movies that I will watch over and over and over again. It’s probably one of my favorite Marvel films to date and has me even more exited for Captain America: Civil War next year!

Civil War

Have you seen Age of Ultron? What did you think?

Follow me on Twitter | Find me on Facebook