Avengers: Age Of Ultron Big On Effects, Short On Girlpower

If the world was ending tomorrow, we’d have to rely on a bunch of super-handsome and super-geeky superheroes – predominantly male – to save us; at least, according to the world of Disney’s and Marvel Studios’ red-hot, new movie release Avengers: Age of Ultron, that is.

RELATED: Date Night Movie: Furious 7 Is A Hell Of A Ride

This new blockbuster is both super entertaining and super long, but I also found it to be super lacking in women in powerful roles, it must be said (I’ll refrain from using any more “supers” now, I promise). My husband and I were fortunate enough to attend a media preview screening last week; our respective reviews are below for your reading pleasure.

SHESAID review:

The US superhero film, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, stars a powerhouse of top male actors who make for both strong performances and pleasing eye candy: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson and more.

The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, new movie releases

But it was the film’s performances by the female avengers – Scarlett Johansson and Elizabeth Olsen (pictured below) – which I found most interesting, intriguing, pleasurable and fun. Here, Scarjo rocks a black leather catsuit like no one’s business and I relished seeing a female actor in such a strong, central role. Also, is she actually pregnant in this movie? Maths isn’t my strong point, but it would seem so.

And the same goes for the equally freakishly beautiful, fabulous and kick-arse Elizabeth Olsen, who’s actually a very strong, central character at the heart of the film and far more deadly and sinister than most of her male counterparts, too. Thank God for these two characters, otherwise the film would get lost in an endless sea of ‘mine is bigger than yours’ male fisticuffs, yawn.

So, where the hell are the other strong female characters? Are we really to believe only men can perform superhero duties? Puh-lease – we women are hard-wired for birth, after all. But I know there’s a script to stick to, sure – it’s the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and the 11th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, new movie releases

And while the film’s many, many fight scenes are spectacular, I started to grow weary of them in the second half of the movie; writer/director Joss Whedon’s film is epic – no doubt about it – but it’s also bloody long and bloated. If you shaved half an hour or so off that film, plus packed additional interesting lead female roles, it’d be a damn right better film, in my opinion.

And my favourite male avenger by far? The super-manly and charismatic Jeremy Renner, who plays a tough guy with all the best one-liners, yet a committed family man to boot. Now, that’s hot. Incidentally, in real life the US actor is a doting dad of two daughters with another on the way.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is breaking box-office records with colossal earnings around the globe; go see it if you like your action adventures big, bold, long and male-dominated.

I give it a solid two out of five robots.

The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, new movie releases

HESAID review:

Short on story, big on effects, this 3D tale of good vs bad is a feast for the senses. The opening sequence alone is worth the admission price.

Massive fight scenes – which borrow a little from the X-men – are broken up with bite-size chunks of comedy and romance. Blink and you’ll miss the story line, but who cares! I’m having so much fun watching these superheroes interact and beat the hell out of the baddies that a complex plot might just get in the way.

I give it three out of five robots!

The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, new movie releases

Avengers: Age of Ultron is in all good cinemas now.

April 27, 2015

Date Night Movie: Furious 7 Is A Hell Of A Ride

Are you looking for a Friday night date-night movie this week which you and your partner can both enjoy? You could do a lot worse than Furious 7, aka Furious Seven and Fast & Furious 7.

RELATED: Disney Magic Casts An Enchanting Spell With Cinderella

My husband and I paid a babysitter to mind our two banshees, sorry toddlers, while we happily trotted off to the movies for a date night earlier this week. It was “his” turn to choose a movie and so Furious 7 it was. Our respective reviews are below.

SHESAID review

Judging by its box-office records, US action movie Furious 7 is delighting hardened action movie nuts the world over – and causing them to shed some serious manly (and womanly tears) in the process – since its early April release.

For the James Wan-directed film gives lovers of the franchise exactly what they have come to love and expect: high-octane drama, death-defying stunts, tits and arse aplenty and then there’s the cars – seriously swoon-worthy and very, very fast, luxury American, French, Japanese and Italian sports cars. I don’t even love cars, but even I wanted to ditch my sedate family car for something super shiny and fast, post-film.

movie review, Furious 7, Paul Walker

In addition, the film’s release is poignant and bittersweet as it marks the untimely demise of Fast & Furious star Paul Walker (pictured), who appears in it in one of his final roles after a 2013 car crash claimed his life at age 40. Indeed, Walker’s role was only finished via the wonders of digital technology and a series of stand-ins. And so the film acts as a kind of memorial to Walker, with the tribute to the late actor at the film’s end very touching.

I quite like action films at times, truth be told, but this was my first look at one of the Fast & Furious films. It was exactly as I expected: big and dumb, but highly enjoyable.

It’s the type of big action movie adventure during which you can happily turn your brain off on a Friday night and just enjoy the ride. At 137 minutes-long, I did find my mind wondering and erm, myself dozing off a few times during the somewhat repetitive action scenes towards the end.

Starring the one-dimensional man mountain Vin Diesel, who seemingly only has a grand total of two facial expressions in his acting repertoire and the slowest, weirdest turn of the head, which would easily score him a starring role in Neighbours, Furious 7 is essentially a revenge action film.

movie review, Furious 7, Paul Walker

To sum up, without giving too much away: homicidal London killer Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is plotting world domination and vengeance after Dominic Torretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew put his maniacal international terrorist brother into a coma.

Aside from a weird cameo by Aussie rapper Iggy Azalea; the film also stars action greats Kurt Russell (pictured below), and Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, and the best, bad-arse gal in town, Michelle Rodriguez (pictured).

movie review, Furious 7, Paul Walker

For me, Rodriguez is one of the best things about this film – aside from the crazy, sweaty-palms inducing stunts and very fine automobiles. She’s smart and sassy and kicks some serious arse like nobody’s business, all the while looking gorgeous, feminine and strong – this is no easy feat – and I can’t remember the last time I saw a female action character of her calibre on film.

All in all, I enjoyed Furious 7. I give it a solid three muscle cars out of five.

HESAID review

I really enjoyed the movie. There’s non-stop action and not a great deal of storyline to confuse anybody; it’s a great piece of escapism.

Exotic locations, extreme car chases and lots of fist fights are the order of the day. However, I couldn’t help but to compare it to the other films in the franchise in an effort to determine where it fits in.

movie review, Furious 7, Paul Walker

There’s very little character development and let’s face it, we’ve had five other films (not including the semi-spin off Tokyo Drift) to explore these one-dimensional heroes. However, unlike Tokyo Drift and others in the franchise, the emphasis in this film seemed to be less on the cars and more about action-fight sequences.

I almost felt as though I was watching a James Bond movie with far-away locations, pretty girls and action sequences, tied together with an almost non-existent plot. And that’s not a bad thing. Overall, four out of five muscle cars.

Images via;;;; and

April 11, 2015