Marvel Memories: Avengers Blog 2

The Fight of the Century and one of the most anticipated sequels of that time period came out during the same weekend in 2015. Unfortunately, neither lived up to the hype.

Despite that outcome, though, it was a remarkable weekend I look back fondly on. For me it marked a sign of a comeback.

So, a little backstory. I have obsessive compulsive disorder, and I was officially diagnosed in late spring 2014. During that time period, my OCD was at an extreme, and it made life rather difficult.

For those who don’t know, OCD isn’t what you may have seen in memes, status updates or just chat in your day-to-day lives about having your house neat or liking things to be symmetrical. While this can certainly be a factor for people, OCD is much more of an anxiety disorder than a quirk somebody has.

Basically, a person has anxiety about something, which becomes obsessive. To calm that anxiety, they develop a compulsion. From there it creates a cycle.

That’s what I had to deal with at a very high level for several months. Fortunately I have a good support system in my life from my family and was in a position where I could afford seeking out therapy. I did just that. With therapy and medication, I was able to get my OCD under control by fall 2014.

In the months after my OCD spike, life pretty much got back to normal. After the new year and going into 2015, everything seemed to be on track again. And then, late January, something else happened. On the way to an assignment I had a rather nasty fall and hyper-extended my leg, causing severe damage to my knee. For the next month, I was stuck wearing a brace.

Leg injured and braced, January 2015.

Again, I was very fortunate to have a support system and I was able to spend plenty of time recovering. Most of February 2015, I was on the couch with my leg up, watching a lot of hockey, basketball and YouTube. Unfortunately, though, with my leg in that condition I was unable to make it to the theater. I even tweeted about it at the time.


Finally, though, I was on the track to healing. An MRI showed I didn’t need surgery and instead it was back to therapy, although it was physical therapy this time. After rebuilding strength in my leg, I was able to get back into the theater, although I still needed to take it easy. One of my first trips back to a theater was with the movies “Run All Night” and “Cinderella.”


Of course, the main goal was to be in good enough shape to go to a nice theater for the opening night of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Sure enough, by the time it rolled around on the last day of April, I was seated. Not only did I see “Age of Ultron,” though, I actually saw a double feature, with the 2012 film first followed by the premiere of the sequel.




So, yeah, as my tweet implies, I wasn’t as big a fan of “Ultron.” I’ve re-watched it a few times now and I come back with the same issues. There are good things in “Ultron,” but as a whole, there are a lot of flaws and just too much going on.

It was my birthday weekend, though, and “Ultron” was just one piece of it. So, for my day following the “Ultron” premiere, I decided to break out one of my favorite games, “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.” I was so into it that day, I actually completed the whole thing.




The next day, I was back at the theater, ready for more. “Ultron” didn’t necessarily leave a bad taste in my mouth, but there were other movies out that I wanted to see and I always love being at the cinema. One of the movies I saw was “Ex Machina,” a film that actually made my top 10 list of 2015.



Another interesting thing about that weekend was the amount of sports going on, especially on that Saturday. Now, anyone who follows my Twitter knows I’m a big fan of sports, and I was also tuned in over that time period.

Just to give people an idea, here are all of the sporting events happening on that Saturday, May 2:

  • Day three of the National Football League’s Draft.
  • The New York Rangers vs the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of the National Hockey League Playoffs.
  • A rivalry game featuring the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball.
  • The Kentucky Derby, where the horse American Pharoah won one of the races on the path to the first Triple Crown victory since 1978.
  • The San Antonio Spurs vs Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the National Basketball Association Playoffs.
  • A boxing match between Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao.

Even I was caught up with the events when I wasn’t at the theater.14Tweet.jpg






Interestingly enough, this is one of those times where sports and movies intersect. The opening weekend box office for “Age of Ultron” came in at $191 million, behind that of the 2012 “Avengers” which hauled $207 million in its first outing. Many analysts found the sporting events, especially the match between the two fighters, as the main cause.

In the end, many look back on both “Ultron” and the so called “Fight of the Century” as disappointments. I’d be lying if I said they’re the best I’ve seen in their respective categories. However, I always look fondly back at that weekend, that moment in time. It reminds me of being able to make progress, about getting back on track and pushing forward again.

In the months that followed, my own path changed, where I changed jobs and acquired the position I have today. My last review at my previous place of employment was for “Jurassic World,” which I watched on June 11.


I would then move away just 10 days later, on June 21.


I can’t say that in the time that followed everything’s been perfect, but it’s been pretty good.

For example, I was able to make it to a Minnesota Golden Gophers football game.

Back in action, enjoying extracurricular activities.

And I continued seeing all the films I could, even if that meant having to travel to do so during award season.

Outside the Edina (MN) Cinema.

Regardless of the quality in “Age of Ultron,” the time in which I saw it was important to me and for that, the movie remains in a unique place of importance to me.

In this column I noted obsessive compulsive disorder. For more information and details for help, see Mental Health America’s OCD website page.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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