Make plans to see this one with your girlfriends now.
And it’s kinda genius.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
Avengers: Age of Ultron is in all good cinemas now.
If you’re already rocking a shorter hairstyle or need some extra inspiration to chop those long locks, then you’re definitely in the right place. Actress Scarlett Johansson has been sporting a shorter, edgier look over the last few months which is perfect since we’re heading into warmer weather.
This easy look can easily be recreated at home with just a few key techniques and holy-grail products.
1. Start by using a thickening shampoo which will give your hair some extra lift and texture at the roots. Massage carefully then rinse with cold water to awaken the hair follicle.
Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultimate Thickening Shampoo, $24.42
2. Wait for your hair to air-dry, then apply a lightweight mousse into the longer layers. This is perfect since it won’t leave your hair feeling too oily or crispy, and will give it some extra hold.
Oscar Blandi Hair Lift Mousse, $23
3. Use a round brush and wrap your hair around the bristles. Blow-dry on a cool setting, making sure to alternate layers of your hair. It will create the illusion of extra body at the crown.
ghd Natural Bristle Radial Brush Size 1, $32
4. To set this all in place, use a hairspray and mist finely over the top of your hair. It will keep everything looking perfect without leaving the hair feeling too dry.
Shu Uemura Sheer Lacquer Micro-Fine Finishing Spray, $45
Images via Zimbio
Scarlett Johansson is Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive, again.
The 28-year-old actress was first crowned the title in 2006, the only woman to be awarded it twice. Seems like keeping busy – starring in Don Jon, a Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and getting engaged – does wonders for your sexy status.
She admits the reason she jumped at the opportunity to pout for the Esquire camera came about because she knows her bombshell shelf life is short.
“I’m a twenty-eight-year-old woman in the movie business, right?” she said in the November issue. “Pretty soon the roles you’re offered all become mothers. Then they just sort of stop. I have to hedge against that with work, theatre, producing, this thing with Esquire.”
Johansson also gushed about her fiancé, French creative agency manager Romain Dauriac, 31, over the subject of jealousy.
“I’m with a Frenchman. I think jealousy comes with the territory,” she added. ”But I’d rather be with someone who’s a little jealous than someone who’s never jealous. There’s something a little dead fish about them. A little bit depressing.
Alluding to ex-husband Ryan Reynolds – the couple divorced in 2010 – she said she’s only just started to understand jealousy.
“I didn’t think I was a jealous person, until I started dating my current, my one-and-only,” she added. “I think maybe in the past I didn’t have the same kind of investment. Not that I liked my partner less, I just wasn’t capable of it or caring that much.”
Who do you think is the sexiest woman alive?
Scarlett’s lingering lady love
Experimenting ScarlettFellow drinkers in a New York bar were shocked when uber cool Scarlett Johansson locked lips with another woman last week. The 19-year-old star was seen drinking with blonde designer Tara Subkoff at the hip Hiro venue. A source said, “Tara took Scarlett to a dark corner of the bar, where she proceeded to administer a very long and lingering kiss. People who saw it were shocked. Then she did it again. Maybe she just thinks Scarlett’s hot.” Or maybe Scarlett thinks Tara was hot. 30-year-old Subkoff is known for her provocative actions and has also been nicknamed the new Twiggy for her startling appearance. We suppose her boyfriend, director Wes Anderson, is used to her antics but wonder what Scarlett?s new man, actor Patrick Wilson, thought?
A baby for Julia?Twins for Julia?
After rumours over the weekend whether Julia Roberts is pregnant, we finally know the truth. Her spokeswoman Marcy Engelman told People magazine that the Pretty Woman star is due to give birth to twins early next year. She was recently spotted strolling on an Italian beach with a telltale bump on her belly. According to The Sun, pictures prove the Hollywood star is pregnant to husband Danny Moder. Julia is currently filming Ocean?s Twelve. Her character, Tess Ocean, was originally meant to be eight months pregnant, however Julia changed it to three months to avoid wearing padding. US Weekly said Roberts, 36, has been pregnant for about nine weeks with twins. Star magazine, citing unidentified sources, said the twins were a boy and a girl. Friends of Julia?s say she is happier than she has been for years. ?The pressure of trying over and over again has got to her in the last few months but it looks like her agony is over.”
Whereas Jennifer is acting like a babyJ.Lo won?t be seen with Ben
Jennifer Lopez has irritated film bosses by refusing to turn up to the premiere of her last film with ex flame Ben Affleck. Jersey Girl is a romantic comedy staring Affleck, and includes the Latino actor in a small role. She is snubbing the British premiere, sources saying “J.Lo was far from happy about facing up to Ben in front of the glaring eye of the world’s media.? Meanwhile, she?s well on the way to snaring new boyfriend Marc Anthony. 34-year-old actor Anthony has filed for a quickie divorce from ex-Miss Universe Dayanara Torres in the Dominican Republic. The pair were seen together shortly after Jennifer?s wedding to Ben was called off. According to The Sun, she was recently seen wearing a massive diamond which friends say is an engagement ring. Phew! The serial lover strikes again.
Who’s Joaquin’s lucky lady?Joaquin?s silky secret
The set of Joaquin Pheonix?s latest film The Village is abuzz with rumours of the identity of his new conquest. According to sources in Chadds Ford, Chester Country where the horror flick is being filmed, Joaquin has chosen nearly $2,000 worth of silky lingerie (including a silk embossed whip) from a Philadelphia store. The items were all gift wrapped in silver boxes especially for him. But despite the guessing game played by the film crew, no one is privy to the identity of the special lady.