MatthewSean Reviews

Book reviews, movie reviews, and other writing

Movie Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) — June 2, 2015

Movie Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Movie Review – Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)


Movie Synopsis:

This sequel to the Avengers movie from three summers ago (2012) has our Avengers crew now facing off against the evil Ultron, created secretly by Iron Man, who is now out of control and wishing to subjugate the human species for their own good.  Also entering the fray, on whose side we are not entirely sure, are powerful twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  The intense action is taut with confusion, as Ultron uses his powers to chip away at the alliance created by the Avengers and Nick Fury.  The Avengers team must find ways of working together to end the danger posed by Ultron and his far-reaching powers.

Movie Review:

This action packed sequel was a fantastic second showing of the Avengers series.  The action sequences are as usual top notch, and super hero fans will definitely enjoy all the adventure and fast paced plot.

The same cast from the first film comes back, and is true to form, spectacular.  However, in addition to this, there is a little bit more of a plot in this second showing, and we see sparks of deeper emotion and feeling behind many of the main characters.  Everyone is facing a variety of different issues and concerns, and the cast does a wonderful job of humanizing our supernatural saviours and helping us as the audience to connect with them on a deeper level than in the first movie.  The plot definitely has advanced and grown, and leads to a better movie overall.  The additions of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch also add intensity and nuance to the film, and the tension between the main characters also adds fuel and suspense from new angles.

Overall, this is a fun and enjoyable summer action film, and it definitely delivers a solid punch!

Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Movie Review – The Avengers (2012) —

Movie Review – The Avengers (2012)

Movie Review – The Avengers (2012)


Movie Synopsis:

The international peace keeping force S.H.I.E.L.D. is preparing for war. The dangerous and powerful god Loki is threatening the entire planet, and it is up to the team of super heroes that include Nick Fury, Iron Man, Captain America, Incredible Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, and Hawkeye to protect the planet.

Movie Review:

This super hero action film, out for summer 2012, was a huge hit with the super hero fan base, in large part because it brings together so many different super heroes together for a fast paced adventure.

In watching the movie, the overall opinion I have is that it is successful at presenting a fun, action-packed, super hero thriller of a ride.  There are some fantastic action sequences throughout the film, and the writers do a nice job of bringing the super heroes together and into the story in diverse and interesting ways.  The script is sometimes weak in parts, particularly in the area of meaningful character development, but it is more than made up for in terms of the action, which moves the plot forward quickly.

Acting in the film is strong, and it has truly been a long time since such a strong cast was brought together for a film in this genre.  Although there is not a lot of deep and meaningful character development, the cast does a great job with the action and adventure they are assigned to play.

The film has a very obvious setup for a sequel, and given the fact fans of the franchise enjoyed this film, and brought it monetary success, they will obviously get their wish. What works here though is that the different and divergent super heroes are brought together and unified behind a common cause, and they are each highlighted in different scenes, creating an overall enjoyable summer action film.

Overall: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.

Book Review – The Year of Reading Dangerously – Andy Miller — June 1, 2015

Book Review – The Year of Reading Dangerously – Andy Miller

Book Review – The Year of Reading Dangerously – Andy Miller

year of reading


  •    Book: The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life
  •    Author: Andy Miller
  •    Genre: Non-Fiction
  •    Year of Release: 2012
  •    Read 318-page hardcover edition in May 2015.

Book Description:

This is a non-fiction account of Andy Miller’s year long experiment in reading.  He has decided to read from his selected “Books of Enlightenment” List for the year. Miller loves his wife and young son, but feels he is falling into some bad daily routines and losing that connection to the magic of being a reader.  We follow him along his journey for the year, as he reads a variety of amazing books, and shares the impressions, events, and situations that occurs during this year long process.

Book Review:

This was an enjoyable book for those who love reading.  For those who are readers, it is wonderful to read about reading.  Of course, if you aren’t a reader, this book will not be for you.  And for those who may want to read some of the books on the list that Miller reads from, be warned there are a few spoilers on some of the books, so you need to be mindful of that.

Miller does a great job presenting his concerns with falling into the numbing pattern of day to day life, concerns which many of us start to feel as we get into the grating habits of daily work and life.  Miller is wonderful at illustrating the issues many of us have, and presenting them in a relatable and often times humorous way.  It is Miller’s use of humour that is one of the highlights of the book.  Sometimes the humour is about reading and novels, but often it is simply about his life, and is written in an approachable way.

The second highlight of the book is the discussion about several of the books on Miller’s list.  Miller doesn’t cover all 50 books on his “List of Enlightenment” but he does cover many.  He doesn’t like all of them, but he gets some form of value from all of them, as they all fall on his journey of reacquainting himself with his passion for reading.  And for many of the books, he is able to connect them with his family life, work life, or the broader world around him.  This creates a great demonstration of why reading is truly so powerful.

Overall, Miller has done a great job talking about the importance of reading, but doing it with humour, and connecting the solitary act of reading with family relationships, friendships, and the world around us.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.