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TV of the Week Vol. 4

Vol 4! Really?! Well, I assure you I do watch A LOT more TV (or well, streaming services) than that. But this weekend I had a lot of free time, so I caught up with some of my favourite television.

breakingbadBREAKING BAD (2008-2013)

Created by Vince Gilligan

Starring Bryan Cranston & Aaron Paul

Synopsis (IMDb): “A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family’s future.”

Yes. I know. I’m still watching this. Shocker. I have no idea why I haven’t seen this before. It’s been something like two years or more when I started to watch this but it was a thing that I did with my then-roommate and after we moved apart, I let it be for quite a while. But the last week I finally continued watching this. The problem is that it really affects me oddly deeply and I can watch something like four episodes and then I need to watch something really fluffy and comforting. It’s really weird because I can’t remember any series going so badly under my skin. I don’t know why this one does. Oh no, not true, Hannibal was even worse, I couldn’t watch it at all after few episodes.

Obviously most of you, who read my blog, have seen the series and I also started the fourth season couple of days ago but again I find it difficult to go back to it. But when I do, I enjoy the writing and acting immensely. Especially the writing, it’s so amazing, the pacing is unbelievable. There are people who probably don’t like how it’s told, at points so slowly, that it’s hardly moving and then it hits you hard on the face when it moves so quickly that it almost hurts. But I actually think that is why Breaking Bad was and is so popular. It also e3e520e96df88334d79b5cbed18fbd58helps a lot that all of the players are amazing. Especially Bryan Cranston. But then again, isn’t he always. He is one my favourite actors of all time. And it makes it easier to relate when these people are a lot like us with their problems and especially how they look. Aaron Paul is cute as a bunny but he could be any bad, but so hot, boy from your high school.  Great series and even though I know the ending it is still a pleasure to watch this even though it’s taking its toll on me.

Rating: ****½ (out of 5) (I might give it full five after finishing it.)

DOWNTON ABBEY (2010-2015)

Created by Julian Fellowes

Starring Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Leslie Nicol, Penelope Wilton & Maggie Smith

Synopsis: “A chronicle of the lives of the British aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the early 20th Century.”

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I would have never, ever thought that Downton Abbey would be one of those series that I end up loving. Before starting to watch it I assumed it’s a soap. A very lavish and stylish, made with a lot of sterling but still a soap. And yes, maybe it is a bit. No, I can’t say that because that word underestimates Downton Abbey too badly. Although I have to admit that some twists in the plot are straight from soap opera world. But all in all, Downton Abbey is affecting drama with a lot of sugar and spice.

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When I started watching Downton Abbey, I watched four seasons in 10 days or so. That hasn’t happened for a while that I get caught so badly to any series. And what was the most surprising I absolutely fell in love with the characters. And that is where the richness of Downton Abbey lies. Its characters. They’re the heart of the whole thing. Yes, the series downton-abbey-ladieslooks amazing, the music is beautiful, English language is always amazing to listen when spoken so elegantly as here (some might call it snobbishly but I love it!) and as a big England fan, I love the scenery. But without rich and full-bodied characters, Downton would be nothing. It’s been a while since I’ve cared fictional characters this much. Even the ones that I don’t like that much. But Fellowes and co. have managed to make every character a human, a breathing, living, mistake-making human. And you accept them as those, love them despite their flaws.

I’ve been shocked to my core by Downton Abbey, I’ve cried so much, felt despair and love with the characters and lived every moment with them and it felt so good! I’m sad that it’s downtonabbey_mrsvioletlanghamnow over. But I’m glad they wrapped it up before it got sour. Btw, it’s surprisingly funny and big thanks for that goes to Maggie Smith. There is a reason why she’s been honoured because of the role again and again. She’s amazing.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

SCREAM season 2 (2016)

Created by Jay Beattie, Jill E. Blotevogel  & Dan Dworkin

Starring Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Carlson Young & Amadeus Serafini

Synopsis: “What starts as a YouTube video going viral soon leads to problems for the teenagers of Lakewood and serves as the catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to the town’s troubled past.”

I already reviewed the first season within the films, you can read it here. The second season continues the story in a same way, no big changes here. Murders are still bloody slashers, characters are still young high schoolers and plot repeats itself. No big revelations here. It’s entertaining and quite hooking but that’s it. I did like the first season more.

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The biggest annoyance here is the leading lady, Emma, played by Willa Fitzgerald. Her character is just really, really annoying. She just can’t see outside of her own life. And she’s such an angel. Ugh. I do not like her. So it makes that much harder to watch this. I heard they’re going to do two episodes special or something for Halloween and I kind of hope they will wrapped it up with it. There just isn’t enough steam to continue. But that is just my opinion. Or if they will continue, I hope they make some nice changes like kill the main character in the beginning of the third season. At this point, if feels like writers are playing it safe. But I do admit that the beginning of the season worked and so did the end of the season but as it is 12 episodes long, they could cut at least half of them and viewer would not lose any excitement. There’s basically no character development and the story itself is starting to be boring. Despite my negative thoughts, I did watch it in two nights. And was that scared that I needed to watch some Friends before going to bed.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

P.S. Nice pastiches of classic horror films including the titles of episodes.

Brooke Episode 204

The Graduate (1967) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

Here’s my guest review at Table Nine Mutant’s great blog!

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Satu of Fairytale Pictures. Thanks for the review, Satu!🙂 Now let’s see what she thought of The Graduate, IMDB rank 186 out of 250 (as of 01/01/13)…

There are another 15 movies available if anyone wants to do a guest review. The deadline is November 1st. The available films are:

Cool Hand Luke 1967
The Wrestler 2008
The Lives of Others 2006
The Sting 1973
Die Hard 1988
Léon 1994
The Hobbit 2012
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991
Rain Man 1988
Taxi Driver 1976
Gone with the Wind 1939
The Best Years of Our Lives 1946
Before Sunrise 1995
Before Sunset 2004
Life Is Beautiful 1997

See the full Top 250 list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE. Also, if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB review(s) on your…

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Liebster Award #2

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Great JW at Film & Nuance nominated me for a Liebster Award for the second time in my blogging history. THANK YOU! It’s nice to be recognized.🙂 Check out his site! And if you’re up to it, here’s my previous Liebster post.

Here are the questions he set up for all of us nominated:

1.What is your favourite movie in your least favourite genre. And why?

  • This is kinda hard to answer. There are three genres that I don’t like that much: western, war movies and mafia related films. But to be honest, all the films I’ve watched in the last genre mentioned, I’ve liked, so I should probably stop saying that I don’t like it. And I don’t remember watching any westerns that I actually liked. So, let’s say… Atonement. Can I call it a war movie? No? Well, hmmm, what about Inglourious Basterds? Still no? Ok, I’ll change genres back to western as I just realised (after checking my  IMDb ratings) that there is one western that I liked a lot: True Grit, Coens’ version. There you go, found it.

True Grit - Hailee Steinfeld -

2.If you had to favour a certain style (for directing a film,writing a book or any other art form of your choice), would you prefer a no-frills and direct approach, or an artistic and ambiguous one. Why?

  • I’d had to go with no-frills and direct as I enjoy those kind of films more than artsy ones. I do love beautiful writing in a book but without obvious story it just doesn’t work for me.

3.Name a movie you can watch any day.

  • That would be something silly and easy to watch like Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, Love Actually, Trainwreck etc.

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4.If you could keep an object that you had previously but by now either lost it,sold,misplaced,had it stolen or destroyed, what would it be?

  • Nevermind album by Nirvana. I used to listen to it all the time and got fed up with it and for some idiotic reason sold it. Same goes for special edition of Green Day’s Dookie. Idiot.

5.Pick an era to live in.

  • Hippietime, sometime around 60s to 70s. Interesting times, a lot of political changes, freedom and great music.

6.The best film you’ve seen this year and an unreleased 2016 film that you think might beat it.

  • Spotlight and I doubt there will be one but possible contenders are The Light Between Oceans, Silence, Arrival, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and La La Land. I’m really picky about films that I give 10/10 and there have been years when I haven’t awarded full points to any film. But La La Land is my the most awaited film of the year as I absolutely love both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and Whiplash, that was made by same man, Damien Chazelle, was my absolute favourite from 2015.

7.Name a memory you would keep till your death.

  • I don’t think I can single out one memory. I have a lot of those that I’d like to keep. I haven’t done anything THAT spectacular that I could point it out.

8.Ice-cream or popsicles?

  • Ice-cream

9.Where do you stand on the Harambe case?

  • I wasn’t aware of this case but went and read about it. Idk, to me zoos are no-no anyway, so… But I think the staff acted the best way they thought was suitable at the moment. In case there’s someone as clueless as me, here’s the story.

10.Favourite type of music? And what does it mean to you?

  • These days I listen to all kinds of music from classical music to hard rock and anything between, also EDM. But I guess my favourite kind is still rock especially classic rock e.g. Led Zeppelin.

11.How do you cool off after being upset/angry?

  • Music. It always works. My ex-roommate aka one of my best friends used to say it was easy to know my mood by the music I was listening to. I use music to manipulate my feelings. It affects me a lot.

There you go. Something about me. Now it’s your turn. I should nominate ten blogs I guess but I’ll settle with half of them. Here are the blogs I love to follow and I hope they will get a lot more followers! I know it should be under 200 followers but I choose not to care.😉 Check them out!

So, here are my questions for you guys and girls:

  1. What kind of a role in a film would be the most interesting to you to play?
  2. If you read, what is the book you always go back to?
  3. Three things that would make your life better?
  4. Who is your ultimate celebrity crush and why?
  5. Who’s your favourite dead director?
  6. If you could choose to study whatever despite the future earnings/finding a job/the place of the study/etc. what would you study?
  7. What film do you think will win the best picture Oscar next February?
  8. Your dream vacation spot?
  9. The best movie memory?
  10. Do you have a schedule for blogging?

That’s it! Good luck and haveagreatweek_minion

 

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Summer’s Gone

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Wow! I didn’t even realise how amazingly lazy I’ve been again. With posts in general but especially with my updates. So, let’s take a look where I am at the moment, in life and movie world.

Did you, guys, realised that my 101 (which is 55 these days) has its deadline already in March?! I sure didn’t! Well, I’m certain that I won’t be able to travel to all those destinations mentioned on it. Pity. But at least I will be travelling somewhere (come January and I’ll be heading to Florida and The Bahamas!!! Yay!). Anyway, let’s take a look if if I’ve managed to do anything… Heh, yeah, I went on a date (#8), a very, very nice date. In May already. Pity it didn’t work because I liked the guy a lot. He was clever enough to suggest that we will go to see a film in local art house cinema and even was willing to see Son of Saul, not exactly the first date material. The other thing I did was taking a selfie every month for a year (#16):

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There are pics from June 2augustselfie16015 to March, April and May are somewhere in social media and  I’ll let them be as they’re not that good. But here’s me now, taken this Tuesday. I cut my hair after couple of years keepin’ it long.

Ok, enough of that. What else I’ve managed to do from my list… I did saw the northern lights when I was working in northern Lapland from February until April. I will go back there on 5th of September and this time I’m planning on staying there until the next spring. I also visited there the last week. Here are some pics from northern Norway where I visited for the first time ever:

Btw, if you’re interested in checking out more of my pics, follow me on Instagram, the name fairytalepictures. I also use Snapchat, feel free to add me, it’s satufp (my first name and letters from the blog). I’d love to follow you guys too if you use any of those.

So, three things in, what… a year?! Wow, talking about laziness… What about life goals aka the bucket list? Have I done anything? I kinda doubt it. And yep, I was right, I haven’t done anything. I better start, life’s short, huh?

In February I said I will go and post a list of films I watch every month. Did that happen? No. the-hundred-year-old-man-who-climbed-out-of-the-window-and-disappearedSo, let’s take a look now what has happened my 50/50 list. I can’t even remember when I watched those films. Thankfully (read: sadly) there aren’t that many. I’ve only read two books this year (it’s kind of hard to believe, I really though I’ve read more) but as I’m going to Lapland in a week, I know that I will have time to read more, so it’s still possible to get my 12 books before the end of the year. Right now I’m reading this novel called The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out of the Window And Disappeared and I recommend it gladly! It’s so funny, interesting, heartfelt and just absurd. I love it! They also made a film of it, it might be worth to check out too.

And to films! I’ve seen 66 films this year, so far. 16 of them I saw in cinemas despite the fact that during two months I didn’t really have proper access to them. Well, there is one in the nearby village (30 km away) but the screenings are like four times a week, so it’s good luck if you’re not working then. The best one of the new films to me I’ve seen this year is still Spotlight, the runner-ups being Captain America: Civil War, The Big Short, Pan’s Labyrinth, In Your Eyes and of course Deadpool that delivered even though I had huge expectations! And when it comes to my IMDb-challenge, I’ve watched four from the list. And I’m planning on watching two more today! I already watched No Country for Old Men. On TV side I’ve been hooked to Bones the most of the year and as I’ve been quite tired this summer (I’ve been working at festivals, so it means travelling around all the time), I’ve mainly watched Gilmore Girls as I find it comforting. I did finish watching Outlander, though. It was recommended to me back then when I started my TV challenge.

There you go. This year has kinda gone past without me really noticing it. The summer went and I mainly worked. I only slowed down during the last few weeks and visited a friend in Kalajoki. While in home, I’ve been in Tampere, my favourite place in Finland (pics above, first Kalajoki, 2nd Tampere). I’m still in the middle of my uni, I still need to do the practical training and thesis. As I wrote in the end of the year, I wanted to stay in Amsterdam but couldn’t in the end, so I decided to go to Lapland to make some money after coming back to Finland in the end of January I did apply here and there during the last spring but didn’t get a place that I really wanted, so graduation post-boned but it’s OK. Now I’m off to Saariselkä. Winter is coming.

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Stranger Things Review

I’ve been away for over three months and that I apologize. I’ll get back to that but now the stranger_things_posterreview for my new favourite TV show. Again, like usually, spoiler-free.

STRANGER THINGS (2016)

Created by The Duffer Brothers

Starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer & Charlie Heaton

Synopsis: “When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.” (IMDb)

Few days ago I read a review of Suicide Squad where the writer complained about that there’s no more heart in filmmaking when everyone is just following same script and making same kind of superhero movies that have worked during the few last years. And I know what that person means. It’s all been about making money lately. Who gets the biggest opening, who hires the biggest starts, who has the biggest audience and especially who makes the most money. I’ve liked quite a few of those films but then again, I’ve kind of forgotten them almost immediately. On TV side there’s been amazingly great television lately but for some reason it’s glorious and looks amazing but it’s cold, dark, brutal, sad, violent and makes you feel dirty. To be honest, Stranger Things is also dark, actually very dark, especially literally and it is sad and a bit violent and people are dirty in it. It’s also cold in it. And brutal too, I guess. But what matters the most, it has huge, beating heart in the middle of it.

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When watching Stranger Things you can feel the love. Love towards filmmaking, 80’s, Spielberg, King, fairytales, good, old-fashioned good vs. evil. All those things that made you (or at least me) to fall in love with movies. That “larger than life” thing, you know? Besides that you can feel it, it is there to see in all those big and little details. You can easily see it in those photos of the set, how they look, how the setting is and obviously story owes so much to all those stories before it but yet again, it’s original and somehow weirdly fresh. And with a lot of twists.

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It’s always risky placing a kid in the centre of your film as child actor can easily ruin your story. It’s even riskier to put a bunch of them there but in Stranger Things all kids can carry their parts and even more. I loved every character, especially the lads in the center of it all and even more specifically Finn Wolfhard as Mike as he brought such maturity to the role that kind of variety might be hard to reach even for an adult. And none of these kids have THAT long careers behind them yet. And same goes for guys who created the show, Matt and Ross Duffer aka The Duffer Brothers. As directors both of them (they’re twins) have four (!) credits in IMDb. Not much. So kudos to them; well done! I wonder if they’re both married. :p

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The Duffer Brothers

Back to Stranger Things. Besides the great cast (only Winona Ryder was a bit too much for me from time to time), set decoration, all production design is basically flawless (surely some have already found flaws); it feels like you’ve watching some strange and much, much scarier E.T. And on that mark, do remember to give this excellent series its whole credit and watch it in dark after the sun has set. And how fun it is to spot all those popular culture references? At least to me it never gets old.

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What else? Nothing really, just watch it. I don’t know anybody who hasn’t liked it. To me it was total 5/5. The best new series since Sherlock (I watched that later than GoT). I don’t know how Netflix manages to do this, finding such talents, but I do hope they will continue doing it.

Rating: ***** (out of same amount)

 

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The Best of the Best – Marvel Cinematic Universe

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I was thinking of saving this for later when MCU is ready with its plan but they probably will continue making those films as long as there’s audience for them, so as I really liked new Cap America, let’s list things to celebrate the success of Marvel!  So far there have been 13 films that are part of phases one, two and three. Obviously there are tons of other films that are Marvel branded, e.g. X-Mens but I will only include films surrounding The Avengers.

avengers-age-ultron-hulk-mark-ruffaloUsually I have in my Best of the Best lists some bubbling-unders and will do that this time too. Though there are only three of them. I’m not a big fan of The Incredible Hulk, the whole Hulk-thing didn’t work for me at all until Mark Ruffalo came along. He’s genious. So that is on the bottom of the bunch and next up is Captain America: The First Avenger, it’s way too American for my taste. Plus Cap is kinda boring. And unfortunately I have to leave Ant-Man out of the final Top-10. I love Paul Rudd but that film was just ok.

10)

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Captain America: Winter Soldier

This is really hard as I’m a fan of the whole universe and all these films are entertaining enough and often more. Well, Cap, until the last chapter, has been way too oldie goldie for me and thus this is my number 10 pick.

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Thor

I love, love, love Loki as many of you might know but if you take him away from Thor films, they are not very entertaining. Especially the first one.

8)

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Iron Man 2

Perhaps. I just checked and I’ve given all three Iron Man movies 8/10 at IMDb. So… I don’t know.

7)

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Iron Man

Yeah. Still don’t really know.

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Iron Man 3

Right now it feels like I enjoyed this one the best, I really liked Ben Kingsley’s character.

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Thor: The Dark World

Loki. And London is a plus. But mainly Loki.

4)
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Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s a bit messy and too much but I just love it when they’re all together. And Hawkeye’s storyline worked for me. And it was a bit sad too which is usually nice touch to this kind of action films.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s basically tie between this and number two but like said, I love my avengers, so Star Lord and his crew lost. Then again that killer soundtrack gives it an edge. It’s a tie.

2)

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Captain America: Civil War

Like said and like I wrote few days ago, the latest installment to the series is a great one! Go see it! Spidey! Whose side your on?

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The Avengers

But it does not beat the original. Josh Whedon is king of this film, the script is absolutely great. And you know; Loki.😉

What do you think? What’s your favourite?

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Captain America: Civil War Review

captainamericaposterCAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)

Directed by Brothers Russo

Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely (comics by Mark Millar, characters by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby)

Starring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Daniel Brühl, Scarlett Johansson, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Emily VanCamp, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd & Tom Holland

Synopsis (IMDb): “Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.”

First of all, Captain America: Civil War is not really a Captain America movie, it’s The Avengers film. To me that means that I like it better than other Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Or at least it has been that way so far. And you know what, it still stands. New Captain is very good.

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The film is a bit too long but as the ass-kicking still looks good, well, actually, I thought that some fight choreographs were even better than in previous MCU films, it hardly matters. Obviously those scenes need to top each other if you want to place your favourite superheros against each other. Apart from fighting or fleeing, the tone of the film is very sobering as the team ponders what is right and what is wrong and are they too far gone. But it’s still classic MCU and there are great, witty lines written for everyone. Especially for Tom Holland who plays new Spider-Man. He’s absolutely great! I kind
of like to think that he steals the show. And is probably the best Spidey on silver screen ever. Perhaps. I need to see the film again to judge that truly. Just wait for the homage to Star Wars, I couldn’t help to cheer a bit in that scene. Yay!sebastian_stan_hot

Tom Holland might steal the show a bit but everyone involved is great. Obviously. They’ve been playing those characters for some time and some of them really have become them (hint: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans). To me it’s funny how much I like Cap these days as the first Cap film wasn’t my cup of tea. Oh, and all you Sebastian Stan fans; this film is for you. He gets A LOT of screentime. Paul Rudd has great scenes too, I loved that! Ja Hawkeye gets much more time too that I expected, yay for that too, I’m still a big Jeremy Renner fan. On the down side, I’m not sure if I was that into Black Panther and he is going to get his own film… I’m a bit worried about it.

It’s hard to say anything clever of this kind of film. Summer has officially started, popcorn flicks are here (yeah, yeah, there was already one Superman s**t, but who wants to remember that?)! This one is a great one! I recommend to see it. It helps a lot if you’ve seen the other Marvel Cinematic Universe films to keep up. At least the ones with The Avengers. The plot is based on them. Go enjoy! Pure entertainment.