Watch the ‘Age of Ultron’ Trailer of Awesomeness

Ultron is the focus of the newest trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron — with a brief recap of his origin and James Spader using his creepiest voice to  lay out the evil AI’s plan to destroy Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

Lots to love about this trailer, which its action-packed scenes and intriguing teases — do Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) hook up? Do any of the big guns die? Who wins, Hulk or Iron Man in Hulkbuster armor? (Just so you know, Uncle Joe firmly believes that Hulk should win, but how it plays out on film is anyone’s guess.)
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Here’s the Plot for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

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Disney has released the official synopsis for Marvel’s latest blockbuster-in-the-making, Avengers: Age of Ultron:

When Tony Stark tries to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
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Official Peek at ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

ultron coverMarvel Studios have decided to put us out of our misery make it even tougher to wait until next summer with a passel of intriguing photos from Avengers: Age of Ultron that reveal the true look of the mean machine and his henchbots for the first time — as well as show off the redesigned costumes of the returning heroes.

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Lucy Kills This Guy With Style…

While we’re waiting for Scarlett Johansson to return to screens as the Black Widow in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, we will be able to watch the actress kick butt as a far different character in Luc Besson’s Lucy, coming this August.

I’m wincing a little, because the premise of the movie jumps off from the outdated myth that we only use 10 percent of our brain capacity – and Lucy gains superpowers from unlocking increasing amounts of her cerebral capacity. But, hey, it looks like fun, and Morgan Freeman is in it, playing yet another authority figure, so what’s the harm?

In case you want to see more, here’s the first Lucy trailer.

More ‘Avengers’ Sequel Set Snapshots

The actors’ photos from the set of Avengers: Age of Ultron keep on comin’ — but they haven’t started to get exciting. Yet.

Witness Mark Ruffalo’s (Bruce Banner/Hulk) snaps: a contemplative selfie with Robert Downey Jr. (who plays Tony Stark/Iron Man) and a rear view (sorry, only from the waist-up) of Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) that looks rather nicely moody.

Scarlett Johansson Finally Gets Superpowers

Scarlett Johansson has kicked more than her share of asses as Black Widow in her various film outings with members of the Avengers, Scarlett now has a summer movie coming out in which her character finally has superpowers of her own — in fact, she has a lot of powers.

In director Luc Besson’s Lucy, Scarlett plays an drug mule whose contraband cargo leaks and imbues her with any number of new physical and psionic abilities.

Perhaps the best news is that French auteur Besson is back in the action director’s chair after so many years of producing and directing subpar comedies like The Family. Besson is by far the most “Hollywood” of European directors, but he has a way with powerful female lead characters that is very un-Hollywood. The Fifth Element and La Femme Nikita are perhaps the best female-led action films ever made. And while Natalie Portman’s Mathilda is more of a supporting part in Léon: The Professional, I would add it to any list of the best action flicks with strong female central characters.

Now Scarlett should reap the benefits of working with Besson. This should also bolster the street cred of the Widow in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

I am really looking forward to seeing Lucy when it opens Aug. 8.

Scarlett Johansson: Nudity is ‘Liberating’

scarlettnakieIn her new thriller, Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson plays an alien sent to Earth to prey on human males — and the seductress role in the film directed by Jonathan Glazer called for her to be naked. Quite a bit.

Not accustomed to such displays, Johansson had to psyche herself up for it — despite being one of the most beautiful women on Earth. She told Yahoo Movies:

“I’m a pretty private person. It’s not like I want to be displaying myself all over the place. But I think I realized that through the process of just letting go and allowing myself as the character to be totally present in the moment, and making the discovery of my own self, as [my character] does… I realized what kind of judgment I place on myself, and how self-conscious I am about all different kinds of things. That wasn’t just the nudity, but many different situations, where I just had to…. We just couldn’t capture what we needed unless I was totally free of myself. That, in a sense, was very liberating.”

Under the Skin opens this Friday, April 4. (Yes, Scarlett is going up against herself in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)