Today’s Movie: Avengers: Age of Ultron
This post is part of the Movie Scientist Blogathon, hosted by Christina Wehner and Silver Screenings. Day 1 is all about good scientists, day 2 is for mad scientists, and day 3 covers lonely scientists.
The idea of “mad scientists” is probably as old as science, and it’s certainly been around since the beginning of cinema. There are countless iterations, from Victor Frankenstein to Dr. Jekyll, and it’s easy to see why the concept makes for such compelling storytelling. They’re often tragic heroes in the classic sense, full of noble intentions but undone by their own ambition or shortsightedness. The mad scientist is of course distinct from the “evil genius”. Where an evil genius is typically the villain of a story, using their knowledge and ability for nefarious purposes, the mad scientist is typically a character with noble intentions who is subject to the tragic flaw of being unable to see the consequences of their actions until they’re too late. (Then there are good scientists who are just kind of crazy or reclusive, whom I wouldn’t typically classify as “mad.) To me, there’s no better use of the mad scientist trope than in last year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
The 88th Academy Award nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, with the ceremony scheduled for February 28th, hosted (for the second time) by Chris Rock. 2015 was a pretty good year for movies, both the big box-office smashes and the smaller films, and as always I have some things I want to see from tomorrow’s nominations. These are not predictions, but simply films I’d like to be recognized in certain categories were this an ideal world. I’ve split them up into nominees that are at least possible versus ones that I know have no conceivable chance. So read on for my Oscar nomination wish list, and then leave me a comment and let me know what you hope to see!
We’ve almost reached the end of 2015, and it was a big year for movies. It’s been a year of long-awaited sequels, broken box office records, and some really fantastic movies. There was a lot to love from the movies in 2015, and a few things that weren’t quite so good, so here are my favorite and least favorite things from the world of cinema this year. I generally don’t do a “top 10 films” list, because I don’t get a chance to see everything, and many of the so-called “Oscar bait” films don’t get wide releases until after the year is over. Of course, the best part of 2015 at the movies was getting to interact with so many great people here on the blog, and on Twitter and Tumblr, but I lack the words to properly express my grattitude for you taking the time to read what I write, comment, and discuss movies with me. So instead I present my favorite (and least favorite) movie-related items from the year, comprised of films, characters, scenes, events, themes, and trends from 2015. And let’s hope 2016 is even better!
If there was one criticism that could be leveled against 2012’s The Avengers, it might be that the film was just a little too perfect. I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing to say, but bear with me. The second highest grossing film of all time was almost universally beloved and forever changed the landscape of the film industry with its success, but it was perhaps a little too polished. The action was too slick, the one-liners too well-timed and well-written, the effects too impressive, the heroes too heroic and the villains too villainous. For Avengers: Age of Ultron, the second Avengers film, the eleventh movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Joss Whedon’s second and final outing in the MCU, that perfection is intentionally avoided and the result is a film that’s messier, dirtier, more complicated, and ultimately a richer and better film than its predecessor.