We can’t always be as cool as the Avengers…

So today, my nails are bedecked in one of my favorite spring/summer polishes, Essie’s Bikini So Teeny. The way they describe it is “Cornflower Blue,” which always makes me think of a line from Fight Club:

It must’ve been Tuesday. He was wearing his cornflower-blue tie.

Bikini So Teeny
Let’s just ignore the fact that it’s a Monday.

BUT NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT THE AVENGERS!

Overall, I thought it was…pretty good! It wasn’t as good as the first one, but few sequels are (a notable exception is one of my Two Very Favorite Movies of All Time, which I’ll talk about later). I’d rank it about in the middle of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – better movies include the original Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Worse movies include The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, and Thor: The Dark World.

The action scenes though? If you’re in a movie theater to see something with explosions, robots, magic, and flying people (as I often am), you will not be disappointed. The fight choreography was just phenomenal, and the scenes that they teased with the Hulkbuster were pretty much everything I had hoped for in my wildest superhero dreams.

I won’t spoil too much more of what happened, but the new characters and the character development they brought in made me so happy too, despite the changes to the canon. The character that surprised me the most, though, was Hawkeye. I had read a study a few years back where they determined that Jeremy Renner’s character had only had 12 minutes of screen time in the first Avengers movie. Let me tell you, they more than made up for that one in Age of Ultron. He completely stole the show.

The only thing that kind of got me down? The villain, Ultron, started out warped from Day One. He just kind of…appeared. And BOOM, he was evil, despite having been created for “world peace” or something. I didn’t quite get the whole logic behind his destroy-the-world plan – usually you know something more of the villain’s motivation than “puppets.” I might have gotten caught up in the action of it all, and the character development, and the way that they tried to ramp everything up from movie one with mixed-to-positive results, and therefore I might have missed something important about his character or motivations…but still, Ultron rubbed me the wrong way.

Either way, though – Avengers: Age of Ultron is a part of the MCU, and it’s better than many of them. I’m probably going to see it again. And again. And again.

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AVENGERS (AND NAIL FANATICS) ASSEMBLE!

Hi guys!

Welcome to Movies and Manicures, which is a blog that may or may not focus on those things in the title. Unless you live under a rock or are nowhere near as nerdy as me (both likely options; I won’t hold either against you) you know that the movie Avengers: Age of Ultron is coming out in the US TODAY, Friday, May 1.

OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD

I’ve been waiting for this movie since…well, I suppose I’ve been waiting for it since Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out last May. No, wait, maybe since Guardians of the Galaxy last August? Either way, I’m a Marvel movie fanatic. When I was seventeen and only had a crappy Internet connection on a computer that was older than I was (and which I pretty much used only to read/write horrible fanfiction…ah, the teenage years), I waited up to 15 minutes (a LIFETIME, I tell you!) for the Iron Man trailer to buffer so that I could watch it again and again and again.

Well, now we’ve come to the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 2. I think we’ve all done some growing up in the meantime. I sure have – I’m a college graduate now, and I bite my nails way less than I did back then. However, that doesn’t stop me from doing some crazy things to them, and this weekend was the perfect opportunity.

Please ignore the terrible claw position I had to use.
Please ignore the terrible claw position I had to use.

Okay, okay, I’m new at this nail art stuff. While I got into painting my nails pretty consistently a few years ago, I stuck to solid colors with the occasional glitter or accent nail. I’m just happy you can read the letters, to be honest!

Anyway, AVENGERS. The Boyfriend and I are going to see the movie tonight (Friday) because a) we’re old fogies now and can’t handle midnight premiers when we both have work at 8:00 the next morning and b) I absolutely have to see important movies on their opening weekends so that I can guarantee a seat in a packed theater. Empty movie theaters make me sad – the collective laughs and gasps and overall energy of a crowded theater make the movie-going experience infinitely more fun. In fact, my very favorite movie theater moment was when I saw Inception on opening night and the entire theater gasped in unison at the ending.

The picture above is of my right hand, which I based off of the Marvel Studios logo. I’m right-handed, so I’m not even going to attempt complex designs if I have to paint with my left. Letters, luckily, are easy enough. I started with one of my tiny brushes, but I found that it made too thick of a line to accurately get a letter on my nail (see my wonky M for an example). I switched to my smallest dotting tool, which did the trick…passably. One of my goals from now on is definitely to work on my left-handed stability.

I wish I could tell you the name of the red polish I used, but it is a few years old and in a mini-bottle I got in a kit from Sephora. It’s OPI by Sephora, so I’m going to guess it has some relationship to OPI’s Big Apple Red, but I may be mistaken. The white lettering was done in Julep Brigitte (link below).

Want to see what I did on my left hand?

Check it out!

Tiny Iron Man wanted to hang out too.
Tiny Iron Man wanted to hang out too.

In order, we have the Avengers logo on my thumb, Captain America’s shield on my index finger, Iron Man’s arc reactor on my middle finger, Thor’s hammer on my ring finger, and Black Widow’s hourglass on my little finger. They’re a little iffy – Cap’s shield in particular – but for a beginner, I think the idea comes through.

This took forever, just so you know. I knew it would be complex, so I broke it up over the course of a few days – I did all of the base coats on Wednesday night so that they could completely dry, and I did all of the designs on Thursday with my set of tiny nail brushes and dotting tools. The colors involved are as follows:

If you couldn’t tell, I’m a Julep Maven because they just send me nail polish. It comes in the mail. I don’t even have to pick it out or anything. I’m sure I’ll talk about my undying Julep love in future posts, so stay tuned.

I’ll be back this weekend with my thoughts on the movie. In the meantime, send me links to your own Avengers (or other superhero) nail art in the comments!

Talk to you soon,

Mary

P.S. I also wanted to show off my shirt. I got it at Target for way less than I usually pay for clothes, so I’m pretty proud of it.

photo