AC: Why “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a Complete Disaster

Well, technically I phrase it why it’s “impressive, fun, and a complete disaster,” but chiefly it’s about the complete disaster part. And the film’s weird obsession with slow-motion cleavage shots. It’s like Joss Whedon suddenly turned into Michael Bay.

Here’s my review over on AC.


3 thoughts on “AC: Why “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is a Complete Disaster”

  1. The Bechdel Test, for me, doesn’t quite serve as a good rubric for pointing out gender inequality – it simplifies the idea of characterization to the point where a *lot* of films (from Citizen Kane to The Godfather) would be considered sexist for failing it, which is why I’d recommend having a more comprehensive series of tests to determine such a complex topic. Taking the case of Citizen Kane, the entire movie was about Kane, and who he was; Susan Alexander was one of five people interviewed by the reporter to describe her experience with the major figure, and she had nasty things to say about him (which contrasts with the very deferential approach shown by Mr. Bernstein).

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    1. Yep, I fully agree. I use the Bechdel Test to introduce the section because it boils down a few essentials quickly. It’s also pretty unassailable as a metric, in part because all it’s measuring are very simple quantities.

      This is why I never leave those questions alone in my Bechdel section and always try to discuss them in greater nuance afterward. In fact, occasionally my Bechdel section is longer than or disagrees with my review section. The least important aspects of my Bechdel sections are the questions themselves. Check out my review of Ex Machina for what I mean.

      To me, they’re portals into a discussion that quickly get everyone on the same page – they’re tools of measure, which don’t really constitute a discussion in and of themselves. The section also encourages me as a writer to regularly look at films from perspectives or gazes that are sometimes outside my default. I also hope its visibility in every one of my reviews serves as a way to remind others that supporting more women in film isn’t something special or an exception we only talk about during times of controversy – it should be an everyday facet of working in the industry. I find it useful as a foundation for a lot of different things. It’s a simple tool, but it’s a very adaptable one.

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      1. Very awesome points – after a few years of studying film, I eventually realized that a single analytical technique doesn’t cover all the bases, and approaching a film with a good amount of different techniques in critiquing/reviewing it helps tremendously in seeing how the narrative is constructed (if there is a narrative – avant-garde releases such as those by Brakhage tend to eschew a traditional plot altogether) and how the characters interact. Your Ex Machina review is excellent, by the by; Ava practically defies Caleb to ask some serious question through her existence as a sentient, sapient construct, which (as you mentioned) taps into the lingering discomfort about human mortality and the relationships we establish with others. This reminds me of how some of the best science fiction out there (such as 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Caves of Steel) present a moral dilemma in that we can see ourselves in other living things that exist in the universe alongside us; 2001 had the monolith, Caves of Steel had the Spacer robots (with R. Daneel Olivaw being the most prominent example), both of whom terrify the human characters while simultaneously causing them to wonder what it truly means to be “human.”

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