“Avengers: Age of Ultron”: Do Less

Avengers

Age of Ultron is a fine title, but I might have called the Avengers sequel Age of A Lot. There’s a lot happening in this movie. A lot of characters, a lot of intersecting storylines, a lot of pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo, a lot of special effects, a lot of action, a lot of incident, a lot of a lot. Meanwhile, in short supply: imagination, variation, respite.

I enjoyed watching it, but I haven’t really enjoyed thinking about it afterwards. Mostly because I’m not sure my brain can handle the convoluted machinations that drive nearly every scene of this ultra- (ultron?)-long, ultra-confusing behemoth. It doesn’t need a little less talk and a lot more action – it needs a little less of all of the above.

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The M&M Report, Episode 32: When Hollywood Meets Reality

Bert Cooper

Listen to this week’s episode here.

This week on The M&M Report, Devin Mitchell and I discuss the recent controversy involving Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday’s assertion that Hollywood movies contribute to the culture that allowed an incident like last Friday’s shooting at UCSB to take place. We talked about Seth Rogen’s unfortunate response to the piece and debated whether Hornaday’s arguments of causation were valid and productive.

After that, we reviewed Jon Favreau’s food dramedy Chef, which made us very hungry indeed.

Finally, we took a look back at the first part of the final season of AMC’s Mad Men. We couldn’t come to a consensus on the musical number in the season finale, but we liked the rest of it quite a bit.

Come back soon for our thoughts on Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, summer movies and much more. Thanks for listening!

Click through for the time breakdown.

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“Chef”: Well Seasoned

Chef

Jon Favreau’s Chef is bloated at times and bites off more than it can chew, but it’s a frequently sumptuous and fully fleshed-out meal with side dishes as potent and satisfying as the main entree. The seasoning is exquisite, the presentation is dazzling and you’ll leave the theater full and content.

Now that’s enough food metaphors for one review, right?

After a lengthy foray into blockbuster filmmaking with the Iron Man franchise and the regrettable Cowboys and Aliens, multi-hyphenate filmmaker Favreau returns to his roots with this low-budget, star-studded, light-fare dramedy that indulges some of the director’s passions and incorporates many of his favorite famous actors. The movie doesn’t always make the best use of these supporting players, but Favreau’s finely tuned performance and the affecting relationship between his character, Chef Carl Casper, and his adolescent son Percy (EmJay Anthony) keep the film afloat.

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