Archive for September, 2013


Last Friday on channel 4 was the first episode of “Marvels agents of shield” and here is my review.

This is a coup for channel 4 and we watched with anticipation.

This spin off follows on from the avengers film but here, S.H.I.E.L.D’s boss Nick Fury (played by Samuel L Jackson in Avengers Assemble) is neither seen nor mentioned, at least in this first episode. It is Agent Coulson (a charmingly wry Clark Gregg) who takes centre stage. If you remember Coulson died in the battle for New York. but it seems that Coulson was actually swiftly resuscitated and sent to recover in Tahiti (“Welcome to Level 7”) – or so he thinks. There’s a secret  that we’ll have to keep watching to discover (“He can never know,” says Agent Hill (Colbie Smulders) mysteriously). I have my suspicions that he is actually a clone or some sort of robot, what do you think?

Anyway The big question was whether anyone else from the Avengers would drop into the opening episode. In a word, no. Not a single familiar superhero popped his head around the door. A quick cameo from Iron Man or Captain America (Coulson’s favourite) would have been a nice touch– though it was admittedly unlikely. Yet we can cling to the possibility of this happening in future episodes.

So back to the pilot.  The show opens is with a flurry of comic books pages and the Marvel logo. We are taken to city block where an unknown man is seen with his son outside a building which explodes in a fireball. The man tells his son to stay put and then rushes to the building. He puts on his hood, thus dubbing him “The Hooded Hero” in news stories throughout the episode, climbs a brick wall like Spiderman and saves a woman from the inferno.

We are then taken to Paris where S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is in the midst of trying to steal a piece of Chitauri technology from an enemy named “The Rising Tide.” There is a fight scene as he gets caught trying to steal the Chitauri artifact, but he makes it out with the device and catches a helicopter on the roof with the Eiffel Tower in the background. He then heads to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters we he meets Agent Coulson. The Rising Tide is then revealed to be an anti-government criminal organization, trying to reveal government secret programs like S.H.I.E.L.D.

S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to know who the newest gifted (person with superpowers) is before The Rising Tide gets to him first. Coulson and Ward set out on a mission with Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) to find the Hooded Hero via a fringe Rising Tide hacker named Skye (Chloe Bennett) they have tracked, and who saw the Hooded Hero save the woman from the fire.

It is revealed that the Hooded Hero, real name Mike Peterson (J. August Richards), is actually a created superhero. He has a “centipede” on his arm, which is a metal injecting device filled with fluid similar to the superhero fluid developed in the 1940s to make Captain America. The centipede is also filled with Extremis, which Marvel fans will remember from “Iron Man 3”. The side effect of Extremis are irrational anger and, eventually, spontaneous human combustion. Once finding this out, Skye switches allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mike begins to exhibit symptoms of Extremis and attacks his boss, who had fired him earlier, with his superhero strength.

It is then revealed that the explosion at the beginning where Mike saved the woman from was a resulting explosion from another individual with Extremis. The woman Mike saved was the doctor who gave him the centipede with the super soldier fluid and the Extremis fluid.

Mike confides in Skye that he just wants to live safely with his son. Skye informs him that he can remove all evidence he ever existed so both S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Rising Tide will never find him. Mike begins to exhibit Extremis paranoia and he kidnaps Skye.

S.H.I.E.L.D. begins a massive hunt for Skye and to contain Mike before he explodes and destroys everything in a “two block radius.”

In a climatic battle Mike takes a hostage and is shot by a unknown foe, probably an associate of the doctor that gave him the Extremis potion, Agent Coulson finally subdues him and promises him peace. The doctor and her hired gun get away.

However, there is a happy ending as Mike is reunited with his son, relocated to a safe house by Coulson. Coulson then offers Skye a job with S.H.I.E.L.D. He then receives a call about an “OH4” that needs immediate attention.

And the episode ends.

First, how can I sum up “Marvels agents of shield”, well It’s a secret agent series set in the Marvel Universe. I really enjoyed this pilot episode. It had action, gadgets and some good lines and references to the marvel universe.  Overall, it is witty, quick moving, smart and incredibly well-done. But those wanting to see loads of superheroes with powers will be very disappointed. However, this is a great start and this series has the potential to be really, really good. Well worth a watch in my opinion.

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Iron Man 3, my review.

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Gossip/News/Reviews - Film
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Hi folks, Hope you are well. Here is my review of “Iron Man 3” which I saw over the weekend (Released at cinema on 3rd May 2013).  Please don’t read if you have not seen the film, spoiler alert.

Iron man 3 continues the story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) who, after the Battle of New York in Avengers, is struggling with his place in the steadily expanding superhero community. Unable to sleep, Stark has prioritized tinkering with new suits over his personal relationships – even neglecting the one person he “cannot live without,” Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow).

The story starts where Tony Stark recalls a New Years Eve party in 1999 in Bern, Switzerland with scientist Maya Hansen, inventor of Extremis—an experimental regenerative treatment intended to allow recovery from crippling injuries. Disabled scientist Aldrich Killian offers them a place in his company, Advanced Idea Mechanics, but Stark guides him to the rooftop and leaves him there stranded, humiliating him.

13 years later, Stark’s experiences during the alien invasion of New York are giving him panic attacks. Restless, he has built several dozen Iron Man suits, creating friction with his girlfriend Pepper Potts. A string of bombings by terrorist the Mandarin has left intelligence agencies bewildered by a lack of forensic evidence. When Stark Industries security chief Happy Hogan is badly injured in one such attack and left in a coma, Stark overcomes his stupor and issues a televised threat to the Mandarin, who responds by destroying Stark’s home with helicopter gunships.

Stark escapes in an Iron Man suit, which his artificial intelligence J.A.R.V.I.S. pilots to rural Tennessee, following a flight plan from Stark’s investigation into the Mandarin. Stark’s experimental armor lacks sufficient power to return to California, and the world believes him dead.

Stark is stripped of his trademark armor, and forced to investigate the threat as an ordinary man. He embarks on a dangerous mission to bring the Mandarin to justice. Teaming up with a precocious 10-year-old boy named Harley, he investigates the remains of a local explosion bearing the hallmarks of a Mandarin attack. Stark discovers that the “bombings” were triggered by soldiers subjected to Extremis, which at this stage of development can cause certain subjects to explosively reject it. After veterans started exploding, their deaths were used to cover up Extremis’ flaws by manufacturing a terrorist plot against the United States.

With Harley’s help, Stark traces the Mandarin to Miami, Florida and infiltrates his headquarters using improvised weapons. Inside he discovers the Mandarin is actually a British actor named Trevor Slattery, who claims he is oblivious to the actions carried out in his name. The Mandarin is actually a creation of Killian, who appropriated Hansen’s Extremis research as a cure for his own disability and expanded the program to include injured war veterans. After capturing Stark, Killian reveals he has kidnapped Potts and subjected her to Extremis to gain Stark’s aid in fixing Extremis’ flaws and thereby saving Potts. Killian kills Hansen when she has a change of heart about the initial plan.

Killian has also manipulated American intelligence agencies regarding the Mandarin’s location, luring James Rhodes—the former War Machine, now re-branded as the Iron Patriot — into a trap to steal the armor. Stark escapes and reunites with Rhodes, discovering that Killian intends to attack President Ellis aboard Air Force One. Remotely controlling his Iron Man armor, Stark saves some surviving passengers and crew but cannot stop Killian from abducting Ellis and destroying Air Force One. They trace Killian to an impounded damaged oil tanker where Killian intends to kill Ellis on live television in the Iron Patriot suit. The vice president will become a puppet leader, following Killian’s orders in exchange for Extremis to cure a little girl’s disability.

On the platform, Stark goes to save Potts, and Rhodes saves the president, returning back to his armor. Stark summons his Iron Man suits, controlled remotely by J.A.R.V.I.S, to provide air support. Rhodes secures the president and takes him to safety, while Stark discovers Potts has survived the Extremis procedure. However, before he can save her, a rig collapses around them and she falls to her apparent death. Stark confronts Killian and traps him in an Iron Man suit that self-destructs, but fails to kill him, and Killian reveals he is the real Mandarin. Potts, whose Extremis powers allowed her to survive her fall, intervenes and kills Killian.

I love Marvel films and was looking forward to this. And so was Oscar, my six year old son.

This was an ok film. There are some good effects and action sequences. And Robert Downey, Jr was brilliant as usual. Although the action sequence at the end with all the “iron man suits” fighting was particularly pleasing for both of us the film was not as good as I hoped to be. It didn’t match the grandeur of the avengers or action from previous iron man films. That said, the Extremis super-soldier villains are a welcome change of villain from the suit-on-suit brawls of Iron man and Iron Man 2.

Although the film leans heavily on shared universe events from The Avengers as an emotional crutch for the Tony Stark storyline, Iron Man 3 entirely side-steps explaining why none of superhero team (or even S.H.I.E.L.D. members) attempt to provide backup.

One of the problems is that the film is packed with too many characters and overcomplicated tangents that take away from a relatively straightforward character story. It was too long and slow and was more like an action thriller (James Bond) rather than a superhero movie. But my main problem is that (and Oscar agrees) that Iron Man spends far too much time outside of his suit (even during several key battles), and that wasn’t to our liking. And it even got Oscar asking half way through the film “When is iron man going to appear?”

Worth a watch though. And watch out for the particularly amusing post credit scene, which made me chuckle.

What do you think?

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