Tag Archives: Superheroes

Logan, American movie (2017)

All good things eventually come to and end. I don’t think that when actor Hugh Jackman signed up for the part of playing the role of Wolverine 17 years ago, he expected to play this beloved superhero for so very long. With this movie, he puts an end to that seventeen year run, having decided to finally quit playing the role. A real shame as I don’t think anyone will ever be able to play this character as well as he did. Ofcourse eventually the role will be recast, that is pretty much inevitable. Still I hope they are going to wait a while with this, as I don’t think the moviegoing audience is ready to see someone else play this part. As we are coming to the end of an era with this movie, the question on everyone’s mind was if this movie would be a worthy ending. I can honestly put everybody’s fears to rest and say: “hell yes”.

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Logan takes place in the year 2029, where mutants are almost extinct. Wolverine is but a former shadow of himself, having aged a lot, and drinking heavily. He works as a limo driver taking on as much work as he can get in order to get medicines for his old friend Charles Xavier. One day a mysterious woman contacts him saying that she needs help badly. Travelling with her is a young girl who is in big trouble. Going by the name of Laura, a group of very bad people are on the hunt for her. It is not clear exactly why that is. Even though Logan at first rejects helping them, eventually he gets caught up right in the middle of it all. Now on the run, Wolverine will have to use all of his old skills to keep both the girl and Charles safe. However, it soon becomes apparent why Laura is being hunted. And that truth is more incredible than he could ever have imagined…

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I had already heard great things about this film, when I went to see it, but I had not expected it to be this good. I dare say that this is one of the best Marvel films to date. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me start by saying that this movie is brutal. It really deserves it’s R-rating, seeing the violence in this film is at times really off the charts. But that really suits this film, and ofcourse Logan’s character. Hugh Jackman is simply amazing. I think this is his best performance as Wolverine after he started playing this role so many years ago. We get to see a totally different and vulnerable Logan , and that is what made this movie so great. Laura, being played by newcomer Dafne Keen, is another reason why this movie is so fantastic. This being her first movie role, I was simply amazed by her physical prowess as well as her acting skills, especially since she is so very young.

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The entire atmosphere of this film was very dark, and completely different from all the other X-men movies. And that was what I liked about it. The story was great, and it was nice to see an entirely different take on a character that we have grown to love and care about for so many years now. The action sequences were fantastic, and the most brutal fights ever featured in a Marvel movie so far. But besides featuring action, it also took it’s time to explore the characters and in that it succeeds equally well. Hugh Jackman’s final appearance as Wolverine is one you don’t want to miss out on. It is everything you would want to see as a fan of this X-man, and I highly recommend this movie. It is sad to know that we will never see Hugh reprise his role again, but as I previously stated, all good things must come to an end.

I give Logan a 9 out of 10 score.

Agent Carter Season One Declassified,Marvel tv series book (2015)

The character of Agent Carter was first introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in Captain America: the first Avenger. Played by actress Haley Atwell, Peggy Carter was a female who had no special powers, but who could stand on her own nonetheless.   Being a woman in the late 40’s where everything was dominated by men, was no easy task. But Peggy was not in any way hampered by the fact that she was a woman, in fact she pretty much outsmarted every living man in those days. And I guess you could say it is a character that I have developed a small crush on, ever since I first saw her in action in that movie. And I was not the only one, the character became so popular that she eventually got her own tv series. Agent Carter ran for two seasons, and after that was cancelled, mainly because the costs for the show were incredibly high.

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Agent Carter was a tv series set after the second world war, and continued the story of Peggy after losing the love of her life Captain America. It was a really fun show, with a lot of cool things on offer for people who are fans of the Marvel Universe. Even though this show is not a superhero series, it contains so many little easter eggs for Marvel fans, that it is easy to miss things. Luckily we now have a book that features the entire first season of Agent Carter in all it’s glory : Agent Carter Season One Declassified.

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If you are a fan of this series,  this book is an absolute must buy. The book comes in a very sturdy slipcase, and the first thing you will notice is the very pleasing layout of the book. Contained within the book are an enormous amount of high quality pictures, featuring both images of the series as well as a lot of behind the scenes images. For this alone, the book is well worth the buy. You will spent a lot of time looking at the photographs, and you will probably look back into them even when you have finished reading this tome. The book itself is divided into four chapters, and also includes a foreword by Haley Atwell herself.

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The book deals with everything from how the series came into being, episode guides, and ofcourse some insightful things about the making of the series. The book is well written, although the chapter that tells the story of how the series was made I found the least interesting. A lot of the time that dealt with a lot of technical aspects, that I usually tend to find pretty boring. Another thing that I found at times a bit lacking was information about the photographs themselves. I would have liked to have had some info about exactly what was in a certain picture, but this is a minor issue.

All in all though, this is a very cool book, and if you are interested in the show I highly recommend tracking this one down. Even though the series has unfortunately come to the end of the road, this book let’s you relive the entire first season again.

I give Agent Carter: Season One Declassified a 8 out of 10 score.

The Flash Season 1, American tv series (2014)

Superheroes are hot. Where in the past reading comic books and talking about it was something that was pretty much reserved for geeks (and I am proud to be a geek, thank you very much), these days superheroes have become incredibly popular in todays culture. This is partly because of the enormous succes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Marvel expanding and integrating pretty much all of their superheroes, it is something that has become really unique. Marvel’s biggest rival, DC, has so far unsuccessfully tried to do the same with their superhero franchises. Last year’s Batman vs. Superman, a movie I quite enjoyed, was not received very well by most of the moviegoing audience. This year, they get to try again with Wonder Woman and Justice League. However as unsuccessful as they are on the big screen, DC has been very succesful on the small screen. Arrow has been one of their most popular shows, and when a show has that many fans, it is almost inevitable that a spinoff series at one point will get a green light. And so we now have The Flash, but is that series as good as Arrow?

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The Flash focusses on Barry Allen, a young man who through an accident, becomes the fastest man on Earth. As a young boy Barry loses his mother in a strange incident. His father is accused of the murder, and is sent to jail. In the first season, Barry tries to find out who is behind the murder of his mother. He receives help from the mysterious but kind dr. Harrison Wells and a team of friends at S.T.A.R. Labs. But as the season progresses, and Barry gets more comfortable in his role as the new protector of the city, The Flash, he will find out that not everything is as it seems….With new and more powerful enemies appearing every day, The Flash will certainly have his hands full. Will he find out who is the real enemy though?

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Arrow is a show that is very dark, and even though it has it’s funny moments, overall the series has a very serious tone to it. The Flash is the complete opposite of that. The best way to describe the show is just by simply one word: fun. The Flash just simply puts a smile on your face whenever you watch it. I would not go so far as by calling this show a comedy, there are too many serious events happening to call it that. But it does have a very light tone to it, and that is refreshing especially when considering that The Flash has it’s origin in Arrow. The cast of characters is one of the show’s stronger points.

Barry himself is played by Grant Gustin, an actor that I myself had never heard of before, but I doubt that there is someone out there who could have been better suited to play the part. Grant just seems born for the role, and it really shows in the way he plays the The Flash. The other actor who is worth mentioning is Tom Cavanagh who plays the role of doctor Harrison Wells. His sense of calm, and mysteriousness is for me one of the highlights of the entire show. The other castmembers are also very good in their own ways, and only add to the strength of this series.

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This first season has a lot of great and wonderful episodes. Sure there are a few episodes that are not as good, but pretty much every tv series has it’s ups and downs. Another thing that is a lot of fun is the fact that many characters from Arrow make guest appearances. It really is great to see how these two shows work so very well together, and now with both Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow joining the same universe it can only get better. The Flash is a perfect example of how a spinoff series can definitely grow to be as good and sometimes even better than the original. For those of you that thought Arrow was too dark at times, I highly recommend checking this series out. You can watch it even if you have never seen Arrow as the series only references some small things that happened in the aforementioned show. Basically this is just a fun series, which should appeal to pretty much every superhero fan out there.

I give The Flash season 1 a 9 out of 10 score.

Arrow Season 3, American tv series (2015)

For those of you that might have been worried that my blog has died, I am here to put your minds at ease: no it has not gone dark. The past few weeks I have had something on my mind, which unfortunately at times robs me of the fun and energy to write a post. It is nothing serious, but it keeps circling around in my head. So my apologies for that, but I have tried to keep up with everyone’s blogs as much as I could. But enough about that, before this turns into a post about me, let’s do another review. Where Marvel shines on the big screen, it is pretty much the DC universe that rules the small screen. One of their most succesful series to date has been Arrow. It is not very hard to see why this is. The superhero show has fantastic special effects, great action, and a really appealing and ever growing cast of characters. The third season was definitely no exception to this rule.

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This third season of Arrow was all about identity. Oliver Queen has to face his worst enemy to date in the form of Ra’s al Ghul. When someone close to Oliver gets murdered, the Arrow crew will have to put everything on the line to find out who is behind it all. Even if this means forming alliances with some of their worst enemies. But it is not only that, Oliver himself will have to turn into something else. Even if that means that in the end he might end up losing all he cares about, and those who are his friends….

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Arrow season 3 has been the darkest season to date. And it is because of this that this entire season felt different than the previous ones. Besides it being dark, we also have a lot of new characters that made their entrance in this season, most notably Ray Palmer played by Brandon Routh. Now most of you will remember Brandon for his role in Superman Returns (a role I still think he played very well), and you can see the absolute joy he has in playing the character of Palmer. His chemistry with Felicity, really works, and I also thought the superhero character he ultimately turns into, is very cool.

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The story for this season, as mentioned earlier, was very dark, and that’s why it was great that there were at least a few lighter moments as well. Most of the comedy relief this season comes from Felicity (played by the amazing Emily Bett Rickards). Her character is just a joy to watch, and she just instantly lights up a scene when she enters it. Thea Queen, played by Willa Holland, was a character I did not enjoy this season. I am sorry to say that her turning into a sword fighting type of hero, just did not have me convinced. All in all though, this season is highly enjoyable. With numerous guest appearances by the Flash, it really seems that the DC television series universe is growing into something just as cool as the Marvel cinematic universe. If you have yet to discover Arrow, you are in for a treat (ofcourse start with season 1). Everyone who already knows the show will find this season to be every bit as good as the previous ones.

I give Arrow season 3 a 9 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents:Things to look forward to in 2017 (Movies, Part Two)

And here it is, part two of the movies I am looking forward to the most for 2017. (You can find part one right here). Are these the only movies that I am looking forward to? Ofcourse not. Next year definitely promises to be an exciting year for movie buffs, and there are a couple of great ones heading our way, that have not been included on my list. Justice League, the Mummy, Spiderman: Homecoming, all look like they are going to be really cool movies. I am just not as excited about those, as the ones on these two lists. So to continue here are the last 6 movies :

Blade Runner 2049

Yes, I know. Do we really need a sequel to a movie that is 34 years old, and was an absolute classic? Sure: I am skeptical about this one as well. But after seeing the first trailer for this today, I can honestly say that I am cautiously optimistic for it. First off, we have Harrison Ford returning as Deckard, which is awesome. And the director Denis Villeneuve who has made such great films as Prisoners and Sicario,  has yet to disappoint. The teaser accompanied by some great music, looks very cool, and seems to retain the atmosphere of the original film. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for it.

 

Resident Evil: The final chapter.

This one is a bit of a guilty pleasure I have to admit. These movies are cheesy and almost venture into the B-movie category, but I can’t help it, I really enjoy watching them. With this movie promising to bring the story of the saga to an end, and a final appearance of Mila Jovovich as Alice, I hope the movie brings things to a satisfying conclusion. Well at least until we get the inevitable remake, reboot or whatever you wish to call it.

 

The Fate of the Furious

Vin Diesel and crew return for another installment in this enormously popular franchise. Sadly without Paul Walker, who’s untimely death still brings a sadness to my heart. The new movie promises to be more spectacular than ever, as the first trailer certainly shows. Yes it is completely over the top action, with impossible stunts and cheesy dialogue, but oh boy are these movies a lot of fun to watch. I would never have even guessed that this series would make it to a part 8, but I am glad it did.

 

Logan

Hugh Jackman returns in his iconic role of Wolverine, in which he tells us will be his final time. Although he has made this statement before, this time it might be the truth as there are at least no immediate plans for a new X-men movie. The new film is based on the highly popular comic book story Old Man Logan, in which we get to see a really vulnerable Wolverine. With captain Picard, excuse me Patrick Stewart, returning as Charles Xavier we are going to be in for an emotional and exciting ride for one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

With Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel made on of their funniest movies to date. A perfect blend of comedy, sci-fi and action, with out of this world characters, it was an instant hit. Next year the long awaited sequel makes it’s appearance, and it will be great to go back to see all those fun characters in action. As with any sequel it is always a question if it will be just as good as the first one, but after seeing the first trailer for it, I think it is a safe bet.

 

Star Wars Episode VIII

Well, this last one on my list is probably not a real surprise. Next december we will finally return to the galaxy far, far away in the way it should be done: a new real Episode in the Saga. It will be awesome to finally see Luke return into action, and find out some answers to a lot of unanswered questions. At this point not a lot is known about this one, not even a title yet, but I would not be surprised if we get to see a first trailer for this one somewhere in january. Hopefully the movie will be just as enjoyable as The Force Awakens

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So as they say in movies, that’s a wrap! As always let me know in the comments section if there are any movies that you have on your list for next year. Next up will be a post for the things I am excited about that will appear on the small screen next year. I hope to release that one just before Christmas. Thank you for reading and see you next time!

Doctor Strange, American movie (2016)

Superheroes in movies. Superheroes on television. Superheroes in comics. Superheroes on cerial boxes. Pretty much everywhere you care to look these days, you are being surrounded by superheroes. Even if you don’t like them, I guess nobody is in a position to deny the fact that these men and women in costumes are hot. And Marvel really is in the lead expanding their already very impressive cinematic universe, with new movies and characters each year. The final new character we get to meet (well at least for this year) is Doctor Strange. Well, Doctor Strange is not exactly new to comic book readers from across the world. But he is a new character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I can hear your thoughts already “Oh no, yet another origin story, this is getting really boring”. Is that really true though?  Let’s first see what this movie is about, before I will answer this question.

Doctor Stephen Strange is a very succesful neurosurgeon, and he has pretty much everything going for him. One day however he gets into a very bad accident, and his hands become seriously injured. Thinking his career is over, Stephen tries to find a way to to restore his hands to what they were. One day he meets a man that has recovered fully from an injury that should have left him completely paralyzed. He finds out that this miracle occurred in Nepal, and he promptly travels there to find the cure. However Strange is going to be confronted with something that he could not have prepared himself for. The world that he thought he knew, seems to be part of a mystical universe that is larger than he could have ever imagined. The role he has yet to play in it, is pretty much unclear, but when an ancient evil awakens, the life of every human being on Earth will hang in the balance….

Okay, one thing is clear: this movie has special effects in it, that are simply amazing. Think Inception, but only 10 times better. There are some absolutely spectacular scenes that pretty much defy the laws of physics, and you sometimes wonder “How on Earth did they do that?”. That being said, this is yet another origin story, and I do have to say that the set up for these movies is becoming predictable. Some kind of calamity befalls the new hero, he has to learn to deal with his new powers, and in the end he or she has to defeat an evil nemesis. This movie starts off pretty spectacular, but then takes it’s time to develop the character of Stephen Strange. And one could argue it takes too long. At certain times I felt my attention slip away, something that is usually a bad sign. I did enjoy this latest Marvel installment, but I honestly have to say I expected more of it. Stephen Strange is a great character, and he is wonderfully played by Benedict Cumberbatch. I only hope that the inevitable sequel will be a better balanced movie.

I give Doctor Strange a 7 out of 10 score.

Batman: The Killing Joke, American (Animated) movie (2016)

Every person who loves to read comicbooks, knows that there are certain storylines that are considered to be groundbreaking. A graphic novel that is so important, that it pretty much changes everything that has come before it. An example of this is The Death of Superman. With the comic book sales for Superman reaching an alltime low, DC comics devised an ingenious plan to boost the sales: Why don’t we kill him? And that resulted in an uproar throughout the comic book world at the time. Superman’s long time friend Batman, has also had his share of acclaimed graphic novels. One of the most important ones was a story that was released in 1988 called the Killing Joke, and is by many considered to be one of the best Batman comics that has ever seen the light of day. This year an animated movie has been released, that is based on that comic book.

Batman the Killing Joke tells the origin story of one of the most important villains of the Batman universe: The Joker. Through a series of flashbacks, we get to see how The Joker came to be the man that he is today. Meanwhile in the present, Batman has to deal with another diabolical scheme devised by his longtime nemesis, one that has pretty dire consequences for one of the people closest to him. Batman has to face the fact that to end the conflict between himself and The Joker, one of them might have to die…

This animated movie has created a lot of controversy when it was released this year. Some fans argued that the relationship between Batgirl and Batman in this movie was handled in poor taste. Another argument that was heard, was that this movie was just a pretty bad adaptation of the original material. Honestly I can’t judge this myself, having never read the Killing Joke. In my younger years, I was always a Marvel fan, and I pretty much still am. Lately though I am getting more appreciative of DC comics, and am catching up with some of their more important comic books. So I am sure I will get around to this comic one day. As for this film, I thought it was pretty good actually. It is certainly one of the more darker animated movies of Batman, and as such is definitely not one to watch with your children. Some of the material is pretty gruesome indeed, and certainly a few scenes were hard to watch. Mark Hamill returns to give a voice to The Joker, and I think it is safe to say that he just simply is the best Joker ever. His chilling and maniacal voice is absolutely amazing. The animation was pretty much in line with the Batman animated series, and as I liked that style in the first place, I thought it looked very decent. Overall I have to say that I enjoyed this very dark chapter of the Batman story, and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the Caped Crusader.

I give Batman: the Killing Joke a 8 out of 10 score.

Justice League Hero Dice, a dice game for 1-4 players, by Heidelberger Spieleverlag (2015)

I love playing boardgames. There is just something about setting up a cool looking board with lots of features, cards, miniatures and other stuff. It can however sometimes be a lot of work to set up such a game. Luckily not every game has to have a massive set-up time to be enjoyable. Justice League Hero Dice falls into that last category, while still looking very cool it is quickly placed on the table and a blast to play.

Components

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Justice League Hero Dice currently has two sets. One for Superman, one for Batman. Each set is enabling you to play the game on your own, and by combining them you can play with two or more players depending on the number of sets that are used. The first thing you will notice is the cool artwork that is inside the box. If you are a comic book fan, you will definitely appreciate this. The other thing that is worth mentioning are the custom dice. These are absolutely gorgeous looking, chunky dice, and are the best that I have ever seen to date in any game whatsoever. The Superman set contains six of these, and the Batman set seven. Rounding out the game are 17 cards that contain 10 villains you will be fighting, six special superpower cards, and a card for the city you will be trying to protect. Finally each set has a number of tokens and the hero sheet that has all the information on it for the hero you have chosen.

Game overview

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Justice League Hero Dice is a dicegame in which you try to protect your hometown from a bunch of villains that are trying to destroy it. Superman for instance has to protect Metropolis from villains such as Lex Luthor and Doomsday. Each game plays in a series of rounds. Each round you decide which villain to fight against and then you roll your dice. A villain has a certain number of hits that he can take before being defeated. With the dice you are trying to score hits and avoid negative results that cancel these hits. Superman for example has dice which contain a Kryptonite symbol, a Superman logo, a Freeze breath symbol and a Heat Vision symbol. Each Superman logo rolled scores a hit, but each Kryptonite symbol negates these hits. Heat vision and Freeze breath symbols cancel out the Kryptonite. The Superman dice come in three colours, and after each roll you decide which colour to put aside, effectively locking the dice. After three rolls, you compare the results, and hopefully have scored enough hits to defeat the villain.

The dice results can be slightly altered by using the superpower cards of your hero. Since you only have six of them, you must use them wisely and at the times you need them the most. After each round a new villain enters the battlefield. If you have not managed to defeat the previous one, things can become very bad, very fast. When there are a certain number of enemies you risk the chance of being overrun, and they start tearing down the city you are trying to protect. But you won’t let that happen right?

The game ends after the villain deck runs out. The points that have been scored are then compared to the city card chart. And this determines if you are a Legendary hero, or just someone who is nothing more than a footnote in the history books.

Difficulty

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This game is very easy to learn. The rulebook is pretty straightforward, and explains things just enough to get a clear picture. Winning the game however, can be tough. As with most dicegames it depends a lot on luck. The superpower cards do let you manipulate the game a bit, so you do have some influence on the dicerolls. In order to get a cool Legendary Hero endresult however, you have to pull of some very nifty moves. But hey, that is what being a Superhero is all about right?

The Verdict

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I really liked this game. It looks great, is easy to learn and is just nice to play if you have some spare time to kill. It is not an earth-shattering or worldchanging game, but it doesn’t have to be. Supposedly there are two new sets in the works right now (The Flash and Green Lantern). I am looking forward to those, and wondering what they are going to come up with. The Batman set is different from the Superman set, in the way that the dice rolling mechanics are slightly changed.

All in all though this is a nice little game, and whether or not you will like it, all depends on if you want all your games to be really complex. If that is the case, you can pass on this one. If you like the occasional simple game that still looks great, and you are a fan of superheroes, than you should definitely give this a try.

I give Justice League Hero Dice a 8 out 10 score.

The Avengers, American Movie (2012)

Marvel has enjoyed a lot of succes these past few years. Nearly every superhero movie they have brought out has been a massive succes, and generally received postive reviews. And there is no end in sight. This year we still have dr. Strange to look forward to, and in the coming years there are so many movies lined up, that it might almost be a little too much. But what can I say? I love these movies, and as long as they maintain the level of quality they currently have, I am not complaining. Today I found myself seeing the original Avengers movie again, the first time a group of Marvel heroes banded together on the big screen. It was a movie that broke box-office records at the time, and that has been lauded as the best superhero movie of all time.

The Avengers is the culmination of the event that Marvel called, Phase One. The groundwork was laid for it with the movies Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: the first Avenger. And in the Avengers all those storylines come together, and are brought to a satisfying conclusion. The evil brother of Thor, Loki, arrives on Earth in attempt to bring forth an alien army called the Chitauri. For this he needs an ancient artifact called the Tesseract. An artifact that is currently in the possession of S.H.I.E.L.D. But as S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to tamper with it, they inadvertently bring Loki inside their base, and as such he is able to steal the Tesseract. With the faith of the world hanging in the balance, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick Fury, decides to assemble earth’s mightiest heroes. But before they can take the fight to Loki, they will have to deal with their own differences, in order to become a team. And that is easier said than done….

The Avengers is a great movie. However it is not my alltime favorite superhero movie. That spot so far remains reserved for Captain America the Winter Soldier. There is also much to enjoy in the Avengers as well, though. I love it how every major character gets just enough screentime to satisfy every fan of that particular hero. Joss Whedon, director of the movie, has done a great job pulling that off, which might have been the most difficult part. The fightscene in New York is truly spectacular and pulls out all the stops. The part in the middle however, is the part that at times tends to get a little boring. It takes a bit too long to bring all the heroes together, but that is just a very minor complaint I have about this film. Overall though, this is a highly entertaining movie, with fantastic special effects, a decent enough story, and a joy to watch for every Marvel comic book fan.

I give the Avengers a 8 out of 10 score.