Things Read in 2015

2015

When I was younger I would read all the time. Literally, just one book after another. I carried one with me everywhere (still do) and even when I wasn’t supposed to be reading, like, during class for example, I did anyway.

Now, being older, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I would like, but I still try to read as often as I can.

That being said, way back in the summer of 2007 (it’s actually quite a while ago if you think about it), I started keeping a record of how many books I’d read and how many pages they were.

It started being divided by the summer and school years, but then I just started doing it by year. So, now that I’ve babbled on and explained (poorly) how this system worked, here is a list of the things I read in 2015!

The Walking Dead Books 1-4 (Issues 1-8), Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

I was a fan of The Walking Dead show before reading the comics, but after hearing repeatedly how different the comics are from the show I decided I had to read them. I’m not going to get too much into what I thought of the books as I reviewed books 1-4 last year.

I will say that so far I’m thoroughly enjoying the storyline both on the show and in the comics. I plan on reading at least books 5-8 this year (hopefully more, depending on if I can get them from the library).

 

Death Note Black Edition I, Tsugumi Ohba

black edition i

The only book I read this year that I haven’t reviewed yet. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I wanted to read Black Edition II first.

I’d already watched the anime of Death Note before reading the manga novels and I absolutely loved it. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to read and when I discovered the Black Editions I was even more excited.

The Black Editions are basically two of the novels in one. Instead of spending twice as much and buying the books separate, you spend a couple extra dollars and get two of the books.

Death Note is amazing and I’ll definitely be posting a review of it this year as I recently bought Black Editions II and III.

 

F*ck! I’m in My Twenties, Emma Koenig

Fck Im in my TwentiesThis book is brilliant. I had wanted to read it for ages and was so glad when I finally did. Emma Koenig perfectly captures the feelings that come with being in your twenties, whatever stage you may be at.

I read and reviewed this book back in February and it is crazy how much changes in a year! Last year I wasn’t in school, had no job, and wasn’t doing too much. Now I feel like I hardly have time to slow down!

It’s absolutely insane how quickly things can change and I definitely need to read this book again to see just how different things are.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room, Lemony Snicket

Reptile Room

I still haven’t finished this series! I started it like a year and a half ago and I still haven’t finished. I’m not going to say I’ll finish it this year cause I think we all know if I say that then it won’t happen.

However, I will say that I’m excited to read it again and actually finish it this time because all of these books, not just The Reptile Room, but all of them are amazing and enjoyable.

 

Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult

Handle With Care

This book still gets me even when I just think about it. I read this book in a matter of days and to this day I would say it’s probably in my top ten favourite novels.

I loved this book, but to this day the ending gets me sooooo angry. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, read this book. Read it because it’s beautiful and wonderful and Jodi Picoult is truly a literally marvel.

And then I want you to come back here and tell me what you thought of the ending and if you were raging for days while simultaneously existing in a state of shock like I was.

 

Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis book is one I need to read again simply because I still don’t think I fully got it. But, like I said in my review (which wasn’t really a review), I think not fully understanding the book actually just makes me like it more.

This is definitely one of those books where even if you don’t fully understand it you’ll enjoy it. This is also one of those books where if you’re a book nerd you should read it. It’s not like the great novels of our time now. There’s no magic or great battle against an evil, superpowered villain.

But there is a story and at the end of the day Slaughterhouse Five is exactly what all great novels start out as and what they all end up being.

I love reading. When people ask me what I like doing the first two things I always say are reading and writing. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember and, even though I don’t have as much time as used to, I don’t doubt it will stay like that.

I look forward to reading many more books over the course of this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish all the books I started at the end of last year and more. My reading goal every year is to do slightly better than the year before.

Total Books Read: 9 (technically 14)

Total Pages: 2595

But I want to hear from you! What did you read last year? Have any reading goals for this year?

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Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis isn’t a review, per se, but more my first thoughts on the novel.

I had been planning to read Slaughterhouse Five for ages now and I finally did it. I bought it at Chapters and read it whenever I got the chance and I actually really liked it.

I’m not 100% sure I got it though, which is why I’m not doing a proper review. I understood the story and from hearing other people talk about it I know what it was saying, but I think this is definitely a novel I’ll need to read a few more times before I can fully appreciate it.

I actually liked this though, not getting it 100% on the first go. Some books I finish and I really enjoyed them, but it’s straight onto the next one.

I finished Slaughterhouse Five and I just kind of sat there thinking about it, trying to figure out what it all meant.

I got really excited when I finally understood the title of the book which, for years now, I had no clue why it was called what it was called.

I definitely need to read this book again because even though I don’t think I got it, I did really enjoy it.

It’s just one of those books that is so talked about and was (and still is) so influential. I definitely recommend checking out Slaughterhouse Five if you haven’t already. You might read it and not understand it, but I think, in this case, that’s okay.

Order Slaughterhouse Five on Amazon

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Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, 2015

Sharknado 3 oh hell no

July 22, 2015
Dir. Anthony C. Ferrante
Prod. David Michael Latt
Genre: American Disaster Horror Sci-Fi
Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Bo Derek, Mark McGrath, Frankie Muniz, Ryan Newman, Mark Cuban, Jack Griffo, David Hasselhoff

My first thought when I saw the commercial for Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! was “Oh hell yes!”. My next thought was, “these movies get worse and worse every year. I can’t wait to watch it!” I then immediately went and listened to the Sharknado song (video at the end of this review) which has now been stuck in my head ever since.

Sharknado 3 is everything I was hoping it would be and more. Unlike the first two, the third film in the series doesn’t take place in just one city, but instead goes all the way from Washington, DC to Florida. With many returning characters from the first and second films and a wide array of new faces, Oh Hell No! takes cheesy shark film to a whole new level.

Where do I begin with Sharknado 3? I don’t think it really need too much description as far as plot goes. Anyone who has seen the first two know the general idea and, if you don’t know what it’s about, just read the title. It’s about a Sharknado. What is a Sharknado?

Sharks! Tornado! Sharknado!

That was said in the trailer for the first film and I still remember the exact voice and way it was said and is the way I describe Sharknado to everyone I know.

Honestly, this film is gold. Really, the whole series is (and yes, I said series. They announced a fourth film shortly after the third one premiered). Sharks in space, stair-surfing, sharks on waterslides, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! had everything.

Sharknado - Shark surfing

There were many notable actors and actresses in this film, including David Hasselhoff, Frankie Muniz, Mark Cuban, and even with appearances from Lou Ferrigno, Penn and Teller, Jedward, and even George R.R. Martin who died during a screening of “Shark Wedding”. Well played Sharknado 3, well played.

George R.R. Martin

Having the main character in a shark film be named Fin is super cheesy and I laugh every time. Then, just when I thought it couldn’t get worse (better), Fin’s father is named Gil. And who plays Gil? None other than The Hoff. Yes, David Hasselhoff was in Sharknado 3.

It’s always funny because I just try to imagine what it must be like to have any of the Sharknado films on your resume. Like, I’d say a good majority of people have at least heard of the film by now and I just try to picture people’s reactions to seeing that on an actor’s resume when you’re casting them for a film or show.

One aspect of this film that I think many people enjoyed was the introduction of Lucas who was played by Frankie Muniz. Seriously, I could not count the number of Malcolm in the Middle jokes made. This one was definitely the most popular:

Sharknado 3 - Malcolm The Middle

Mark Cuban also played a part in this film as the President of the United States. If you can have one of the guys from Shark Tank say, “This is for America baby” as he’s using machine guns to fire, you’ve done well. Though apparently not well enough to afford a good green screen, as was displayed when Fin, Martin, the President, and Vice-President kill a shark with a giant American flag in front of the Washington Monument. It was the worst green screen effect I have ever seen in a film and I loved it.

Sharknado 3 - Green Screen

We saw the return of Fin’s beloved chainsaw in this film. Seriously, if a sharknado ever actually happens I’m just going to grab a chainsaw because apparently that’s all you need to survive. He actually had a golden chainsaw in this film which was actually part of his award given to him at the ceremony in Washington. I’m fairly certain that most awards given are probably fake, but not this one. Fin got a working, golden chainsaw because why not.

Sharknado 3 - Lightsaber Chainsaw

He also had what looked like a lightsaber chainsaw while they were in space. Little nod at Star Wars? I think so. Even April had a chainsaw this time around! Well, a handsaw. Yup, that’s right. After losing her hand in Sharknado 2: The Second One, April apparently replaced the missing appendage with a chainsaw. Pretty cool, but it seems a little inconvenient (not to mention dangerous) when you think about the fact that she’s going to be holding a baby soon.

Also returning was Nova who we hadn’t seen since the first one. They took the return of Nova as a chance to coin the term “Post-Traumatic Shark Disorder” which was the best decision they could’ve made.

Sharknado - PTSharkD

At one part of the film, Fin and The Hoff are going up into space to set off a laser (a terrible CGI laser) to destroy the sharks. April ends up climbing aboard the rocket and going with them Now, they don’t usually let pregnant women fly on a plane during their third trimester, I’m about 99% certain that going to space probably wouldn’t be a good idea either, but I’m guessing no one’s ever really tested the theory.

Sharknado 3 - Sharks in Space

But then, I guess if sharks can survive in space the baby will be fine. Seriously, the sharks in these films are indestructible to everything except gunshots and chainsaws. How is that they can survive in space and in tornados, but a single shotgun wound can kill them? How? Can someone answer that for me?

Probably the absolute most ridiculous part of the film (and that’s saying something) was April giving birth inside the shark. Now I’m going to be totally honest, I wasn’t aware Fin and April had older children. I guess that little detail went right over my head during the first two films when I was focusing a lot more on the sharknados.

While they’re in space April is eaten by a shark that then begins to plunge back down to Earth because apparently gravity decided the sharks weren’t allowed to be in space anymore. April somehow survived and, in a dramatic twist, she’s the one who chainsawed her way out of the shark this time. Along with the baby!

Sharknado 3 - Baby

How ridiculous does this thing look? Like, I thought the CGI on the sharks was bad, this baby is so obnoxiously fake looking, they weren’t even trying. But, just like everything, this only made the film a thousand times better.

One thing I was disappointed about was that we didn’t get to see Jedward being eaten by sharks. Jerry Springer was attacked by the shark from Jaws, but Jedward lived. *sigh*

Sharknado 3 - Jerry

The film ends with a giant piece of space metal falling on April and it is up to viewers to vote for whether or not she lives or dies in the fourth one. I mean, realistically she’d be dead. I’m surprised she’s made it to number three already. But this is Sharknado and if April can give birth while inside a shark in space, there’s no way a piece of space metal will kill her. That’ll actually be the most unrealistic thing in the whole series.

The acting is bad, the CGI is terrible, the music is fantastic, and I am incredibly excited for the fourth one. Sharknado 3 was just as gloriously bad and fantastic as the previous two. I’m so glad these movies exist in the capacity that they do and I really want to thank Anthony C. Ferrante for bringing these masterpieces to the screen.

If you haven’t seen Sharknado 3 yet, or any of the Sharknado films for that matter, go watch them now. They are so worth it and you will be laughing for days.

Did you watch Sharknado 3? What did you think?

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So Much Time, Yet Nothing Gets Done

Have you ever had it where you have so much time to do things, but you have so much to do that you just don’t know where to start? Yes? Okay good, I’m not alone.

I used to be on top of everything I was doing and I felt so great about it. Then one day I fell behind on a couple things and now it’s like battling against the current to catch up.

I’ll finally finish something that needs to be done and suddenly there’s five more things. I’ve got reviews for blog posts I’m behind on, reviews that needed to be written yesterday and aren’t done yet, fanfiction that I’m constantly late posting and it’s like the further I fall behind, the less I want to catch up, you know?

It’s like, now there’s such an overwhelming amount of work that I just sit here and stare at the pile and at my to-do list and I just have no idea where to start in getting through it all.

I know that when I do catch up on everything and get ahead of the game it’s going to feel great. I’ll be able to relax and breathe a bit easier.

It’s just reaching that point that I’m struggling with right now.

Honestly, the thing I always think of is Jurassic Park. It’s like, I finally start getting work done and then “life finds a way” to send in something else that needs to be done first.

Do any of you have times like this? How do you beat it?

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

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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?

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Reviews

I love reviews, both writing and reading them, whether they’re for books, movies, or episodes of shows. Despite this though there has been a serious lack of reviews on this blog. Why? Two reasons:

First, I don’t like posting reviews I’m not happy with. I feel like there will inevitably be something I write that I’ll look back on and wish I had written it different. As a writer, this is just how things are and I’ve accepted that. But if I write and rewrite something (like I did with my Avengers: Age of Ultron review that was meant to go up last week) then I probably won’t post it right when I meant to. I want to be able to go back and reread the reviews I’ve written and be happy with majority of what I said.

I also don’t want what I write to seem forced. I want it to be genuine and for everyone reading my reviews to know I was being genuine. If I read a review and it seems like people are saying what they’re saying just for the sake of saying it, then I’m not likely to believe it, am I? And I figure people will probably think the same about my reviews.

If I say I really enjoyed a film and a book, I’m saying it because I mean it and I want to make sure all of you know that.

The second reason is lack of time. For some reason everything in my life decided to get crazy all at the same time. This means that there are certain things that get done on time and other things that don’t. Unfortunately, blog posts and fanfiction haven’t really been at the forefront of what I’ve been doing recently as other things have been taking up about 95% of my time.

A lack of time means that I might end up rushing a review which then leads to problem #1 that I talked about. I swear I need like an extra set of arms that are specifically for working on blog posts and reviews.

So what does this mean for my reviews on this blog? It means that sometimes reviews won’t be posted when they’re supposed to or when I want them to. Things seem to be calming down slightly (I think, I hope) which means I should have more free time to get back on track with things.

Reviews will resume soon and hopefully they will be something that I’m happy with and that you enjoy reading.

Thanks so much!

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