Avengers : Age of Ultron

With only a few lazy days of summer left, we had another fun movie day for our Marvel marathon.  Next up was Avengers: Age of Ultron.  I always like the scenes were the Avengers work together, using their unique powers in different combinations.  This movie had a couple of scenes like that, but it dragged a little long.  My daughter gave up about halfway through, but my son and I stuck it out.

In this movie, Tony Stark creates a computer program, Ultron, to help protect the world, but it takes on a mind of its own and believes the only way to protect the world is for complete human extinction.  Ultron begins working with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, but they eventually realize his true plan and join the Avengers.  I also enjoyed the romantic subplot between Bruce Banner and Black Widow.

Night Film

I finally finished Night Film, and while I really enjoyed it, it took be forever to get through it because of the length.  I would definitely recommend this one though.  The mystery was compelling and could not wait to see what happened.

The main character is Scott McGrath, a reporter who had chased a story involving a mysterious film director, Cordova.  His pursuit of that story ultimately ended up getting Scott disgraced in his profession.  A few years later, Cordova’s twenty-four year-old daughter, Ashley, has turned up dead and Scott is again sucked into pursuing the story.  He meets two other characters who have a connection to Ashley and together they investigate what really happened to her.

The book takes the characters to various places around the city and each one leads to another fascinating clue.  The most exciting part is when the group finally breaks into the Peak, Cordova’s estate and location of many of his films.  The books also is interspersed with screenshots of webpages and new articles adding some depth to the story.

Sunset Boulevard

My husband and I watched Sunset Boulevard, number 16 on our AFI 10th anniversary list.  Number 15 was 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was started together and he just couldn’t get into it, so we turned it off.  I had seen 2001 a long time ago, but barely remember it, so I will probably have to re-watch by myself at some point.

Sunset Boulevard is a 1950 film noir directed by Billy Wilder and starring William Holden and Gloria Swanson.  A struggling script writer stumbles upon an aging movie star’s house one night and is sucked into her life, essentially becoming her live in boyfriend as she attempts to work on a script for her comeback.  It becomes more clear as time passes that she is losing her grip on reality.  At the climax of the movie, he tries to leave her and she shoots and kills him.

There are some famous lines from this movie, including “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”  This takes place at the end of the film, when as the police are taking her away from her house, she thinks it is a sound stage where her new movie is starting to be filmed.

Lion

I checked out the movie Lion on an airplane last month.  This was nominated for Best Picture last year and I have been meaning to see it.

Lion tells the true story of an Indian boy named Saroo, which in 1986, when he was five, gets lost in a train station and ends up traveling thousands of miles away from his home. He is eventually adopted by an Australian couple and as a young adult, is finally able to piece together where he is from by using Google maps.

The acting in the movie is very good. Nicole Kidman plays Saroo’s adopted mother and her story is very compelling as a woman who has chosen to help these children.  I pretty much cried the last 20 minutes of the movie as these characters got their resolution.  It was probably not the best airplane choice…haha.

Guardians of the Galaxy

The kids and I just watched Guardians of the Galaxy, our next movie in our Marvel marathon.  I really really liked this one.  It tells the story of a ragtag team who have to come together to save the galaxy.  Among them are Peter Quill, also known as Star-Lord, a human, Gamora, Thanos’s adopted daughter, a talking raccoon named Rocket, Groot, a tree creature and a prisoner named Drax.

The soundtrack is taken from Peter’s old walkman and is awesome music from the 70s and 80s.  The action is fun and engaging and all the characters are entertaining to watch. It held the kids’ interest the entire movie as well.  We are having so much fun watching these movies together!

Chemistry

I finished Chemistry but Weike Wang awhile ago, but never posted a review here, so I need to catch up.  It was a quick read about an Asian American woman in the middle of her PhD program in chemistry.  She is unsure on where she wants to go in her life and faced with a marriage proposal from her fellow scientist boyfriend, she basically chooses nothing.  She quits both the program and her her boyfriend.

I can’t remember too many details from the book, which I guess says something by itself, but I remember liking it.  That’s not an incredibly ringing endorsement, but there you go.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Our next Marvel movie was Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  The kids and I really enjoyed this one.  The action scenes were amazing and the character motivations didn’t seem contrived.  It was clear why each person did what they did.  I love Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow.  Her fighting sequences are spectacular.  Robert Redford played a convincing bad guy as the leader of Hydra.

In the movie, Captain America, Black Widow and their new ally Falcon have to work together to bring down Hydra, a group that has infiltrated SHIELD.  Their main foe is the Winter Solider who turns out to be Captain America’s old friend Bucky, who has since been experimented on and cannot remember his past.  One of the secret scenes at the end of the movie gives a clue to a future plot line when Bucky is shown reading his bio at a museum exhibit.

The kids and I have really enjoyed watching these films together and can’t wait for the next one.