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The Avengers: Age Of Ultron is the long awaited sequel to The Avengers (2012) and sees the return of writer and director Joss Whedon for the second installment. Age Of Ultron sees lots of familiar cast members return such as Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth,  Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Don Cheadle. There are also some new cast members such as James Spader, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Trailer

Avengers: Age Of Ultron Review

In this Avengers outing, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) works with Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) to create an artificial intelligence strong enough to keep the world safe and maintain peace for all. The new artificial intelligence they create ends up being a big problem though, it turns into what is known as Ultron (James Spader). Ultron doesn’t fully understand his purpose and thinks to get peace he must do some really bad things to the world. It’s time for the Avengers to assemble, but will they all be strong enough to beat Ultron? You’ll have to watch to find out.

The plot of Avengers: Age Of Ultron is fairly solid and also very easy to follow even with the many characters inside the film. The characters are fairly dynamic and we learn some new things about each of them them, such as getting a glimpse at the private life of Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). We also get to see a bit of a romance form between The Hulk/Bruce Banner and Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) which is interesting to see develop. There is also quite a few action scenes and fights due to tensions within the group such as Iron Man V Hulk or Thor V Hulk and everyone V Ultron which are a lot of fun to watch.

In Avengers: Age Of Ultron there are some apects of the film which act as plugs for other films from Marvel yet to come. There’s a point where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) goes into a small magical pool and swims there a bit which results in him having a vision of the future which will likely be for the next Thor film. These things are okay and they are interesting but at times they feel a bit too distracting from the main films story.

Avengers Age Of Ultron

Avengers Age Of Ultron

Avengers: Age Of Ultron is a film that many go along to see for a good time and it provides exactly that. The dialogue is well written from Joss Whedon and it’s much more funny than the first Avengers film. Characters have always got some witty remarks to say or clever lines which are spoken almost non stop. Even Ultron himself manages to get quite a few of them. The directing from Joss Whedon is is also very good with some nice pacing throughout, the film neither feels rushed or long. The ending is a bit of an issue, it’s not the best ending ever, but it’s enough for another sequel. The better scenes in my view were the more dialogue heavy ones with everyone just sitting around chatting as it’s interesting to see how the characters interact. My favourite scene was the one where everyone went around the table and tried to lift Thor’s hammer after they all went to a party, actually the whole party scene in the film was good fun.

The performances from the actors are all spot on in every way possible, many of them have acted as their characters before so they all know what they are doing. Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth are all very entertaining. Although Chris Evans doesn’t seem to have many memorable scenes compared to the rest while Ruffalo’s Hulk/Banner gets a lot of great moments.

In my view James Spader was perfectly cast as Ultron because he does really well here, you can feel his presence on screen even though you can’t actually see him because he’s a robot. From the voice acting to his performance as a whole, James Spader was the perfect choice for the films villain. Other newcomers to the Avengers such as Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen were interesting but as characters and actors they really are overshadowed by the much more famous main cast and characters of the film.

The music in Avengers: Age Of Ultron comes from Danny Elfman and Brian Taylor who have composed some nice pieces to listen to throughout the movie. The music of Avengers: Age Of Ultron is much more consistent and is used in a much better way than in the previous Avengers. Sound effects are all well done with many laser sounds, explosions and even occasional gunfire all having a solid impact in the cinema. Special effects are also worth a mention as everything looks great on screen from Iron Man’s shiny suit to an even shinier Ultron armor.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron is an entertaining film and is well worth seeing if you’re a fan of these Marvel superhero films. Its plot is solid and easy to follow, although it does have a fairly standard superhero v super villain, “take over the world” storyline, but that doesn’t matter. James Spader’s performance as Ultron is worth seeing as his voice acting is spot on. While the rest of the main cast all deliver great performances as usual. There’s some very entertaining action sequences to see and the character dynamics are handled well. Avengers: Age Of Ultron is well worth a trip to the cinema and it’s a lot of fun to watch.

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Stuber Review

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Stuber Review

Stuber is a film which comes directed by Michael Dowse and stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani and Betty Gilpin. The film is an action comedy adventure about an Uber driver and a policeman who go on a wild ride together.

Going in to see Stuber I didn’t really know where to set my expectations. Knowing only that the film was a comedy, meant I went in for the lols and didn’t expect all that much from the story. But coming out of the film, I’m sorry to say, but it’s not really that great.

The film starts off okay and the opening scene features both Vic (Dave Bautista) and Sara (Karen Gillan) engaged in a dangerous shootout with some bad guys. Both are seriously injured and Vic loses his eyesight, which means he gets some urgent surgery. His eyes need time go recover, but as soon he’s able to walk he calls for an Uber and continues on with his police business, which is catching the bad guys who got away in the opening scene. This is where Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) comes in and the journey between this awkward duo begins.

I wish I could say that it was all good once the Uber ride began but it wasn’t. The film is only really mildly funny. Dave Bautista who I do really like in action films really isn’t great at comedy. Kumail Nanjiani basically was just screaming and yelling the whole time and talking about his Uber rating and reviews. I admit I did find some of the bad reviews he got from his previous customers in the film funny when they were shown, but that’s about it. Some of the jokes were also drawn out way too long. Dave Bautista’s character being blind was kind of funny in the first minute when you saw him trying to walk around without being able to see. But it’s only funny once and they did this joke over and over again almost all the way until the end!

In addition to this, for quite a bit of the film, I wondered if this was some sort of product placement or advertisement for Uber. There were so many mentions of Uber, Uber reviews and the difference between Uber products and services. What are we paying to watch here? Who cares about Uber!?

In the end I would suggest avoiding Stuber at the cinema this week and choosing literally any other film currently showing. After leaving this I instantly thought that Stuber needs to be on my list of worst movies of 2019 which I created just after seeing this and that says a lot because I was not compelled to make one after seeing X:Men Dark Phoenix.

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The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019: Updated Chart

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Biggest Album Debuts of 2019

The Biggest Album Debuts of 2019 – Billboard has been publishing a list of the most popular albums in America every week since March 1956. They include the “equivalent album units” for the albums in the top ten. What’s not included is a way to view the biggest debuts for each year.

For anyone else who is curious, here is a chart that ranks the biggest album debuts of 2019.

NOTE:

  • This only covers first-week album sales in America that debuted in the top ten on the Billboard 200 chart
  • EPs are included in this list
  • “Equivalent album units” factor in traditional album sales, concert ticket/merch bundles and streaming numbers

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

ArtistAlbumFirst Week “Units”
Jonas BrothersHappiness Begins414,000
Ariana GrandeThank U, Next360,000
Billie EilishWhen We All Fall Asleep313,000
Backstreet BoysDNA234,000
BTSMap of the Soul: Persona230,000
KhalidFree Spirit202,000
Juice WRLD

Tyler, the Creator

Death Race for Love

Igor

165,000 (1) (2)
Vampire WeekendFather of the Bride138,000
DJ KhaledFather of Asahd137,000

CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL AND UPDATED LIST

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