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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Avengers 2: Re-Avenging!

Firstly, yes, there will be spoilers. I'll try not to have big ones, but there will be.

Sorry about the lack of posting. Been busy lately with a new job. Now working at Koorong's warehouse three days a week! Is cool. But, for now, Avengers!

So, I went to watch the second Avengers movie last night. And yes.

It. Was. Awesome.

As I think I have mentioned before, I am very much a Marvel fan, so I am quite biased. So keep this in mind.

The film launches straight into what we saw at the end of Captain America: Winter Soldier - with the twins and the sceptre. The Avengers launch an assault on the Hydra base holding the sceptre, and manage to recover it, though are a bit shaken up after encountering the twins. (For those who don't know, the twins were basically raised by Hydra, hate Stark, one can go really really fast, the other can do telekinesis and mind games.) They celebrate finally recovering the sceptre; but Banner and Stark happen to find something in the gem of the sceptre - what seems to be the key to unlocking AI. They debate, but decide to go ahead, the idea being that it will protect the world for them. But the simulations keep failing - until they don't, right in the middle of the party. The new AI, Ultron, hears that he has come to bring 'peace' - and sees the Avengers as bringing war, so they must be destroyed. So he crashes the party, with some drone friends - though first killing JARVIS. Avengers are caught by surprise, but they manage to get the upper hand. Only thing is, Ultron is an AI, not a body - and now he's on the Net. They track him down to another spot, where they find he's recruited the twins - to quite disastrous effect. Scarlet Witch basically makes a mess of almost all of the team, and leaves them pretty bad, so they take some rest time, where Thor gets a dream telling them what to do. (Okay, that is pretty bad.) Nick Fury also comes in and gives them a pep talk. Meanwhile, Ultron is trying to get a real body, and when Cap, Barton and Romanoff steal it back, the latter gets taken by Ultron. But in getting a body, Scarlet Witch is able to read his thoughts and see what he's actually up to (destroying the world). So they're now on the Avengers side. They come back with Barton, but that doesn't make people so happy, so everyone starts shouting at each other, particularly when it comes up that Stark is trying to finish what Ultron started with the body, except putting in JARVIS, who has miraculously reappeared! Thor comes back and with his dream, jump-starting JARVIS into the body, creating Vision. Yay, more superheroes! The Avengers then find out where Ultron is keeping Romanoff, and head over there to find out he's lifting up the whole city. Fury arrives in time to get everyone out, and they manage to save the day, of course. The movie ends by showing Cap and Romanoff looking at a bunch of new Avengers - Vision, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, and Falcon.

Phew. Okay.

What I loved about this movie was the character development, and the little stories. I loved Natasha's lullaby for Bruce, and the little play that they had happening. You also really see Barton develop a lot more - we meet his family! - and the interaction between Stark and Bruce was good. You also had a lot more tension happening within the team coming out. One thing that was also great was having characters from the individual franchises come in - first seeing them at the party, but then War Machine hanging around for a bit, and Fury/SHIELD dropping by was cool. Also liked the creation of Vision from JARVIS :D That was quite nicely done.

Admittedly, Thor's dream was a bit of a cheat there. So not entirely happy with that. Also, the Avengers seem to suddenly be traffic controllers, directing dozens and dozens of people out of the way and such. They had a bit of that before, particularly with Cap - but there seems to be more of an emphasis on that, especially at the end of the movie. Cap also now has a thing on his arm specifically to bring the shield back, just like it already magically did before! Doesn't stop him from losing it once, though.

Ultron is also portrayed very well - and quite interestingly, actually. If you've watched a lot of the trailers, he's a lot less serious in the movies, and there's a bit of Stark's humour in there (funnily enough, since he was made by Stark). Which was a bit surprising, but it's a welcome change to have something a bit different.

The next movies coming up are Ant-Man and Civil War - there wasn't any set-up for the former, but there was a bit of tension between Cap and Stark happening to foreshadow the latter. The mid-credits scene also points again towards Avengers 3, like Thor's dream and a whole bunch from Guardians Of The Galaxy.

All up, I really enjoyed this movie - but that's coming from an avid Marvel fan. If you have a different opinion (as I know many do), comment below!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

An Easter Prayer.

Did you know that the Bible actually records a prayer Jesus made for us? It's true. You can find it in John 17:20-21, and occurs right before Jesus goes with his disciples to the olive grove, where Judas and the soldiers found them. The words are below.

"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me."

I love that Jesus' prayer for us was one of unity. Particularly when today, Christians are all over the world, and represent so many different ideas, beliefs, denominations - and we can focus so easily and so often on our differences. But unity is what Jesus wanted for us - and the sort of unity that he and the Father had, being so close as to be one. Each being in the other, together as one.

And I think that it's at times like these - like Easter - that we perhaps come closest to this. Because right now, all over the world, there are Christians celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No matter whether they're Anglican, Catholic, Baptist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Indian, African, Indonesian, English, young, old, male, female - together, they commemorate and rejoice in this time. And I love that :)

Have a joy-filled Easter, everyone :)