Advertisements

Avengers: Infinity War – Review 

The less said aboutthe particulars of Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Infinity War the better but know it rewards fans over casual viewers.  That’s not to say that if you haven’t seen all 18 of the prior MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movies you won’t enjoy it, though if you haven’t seen any Infinity War isn’t a great place to start.

This is because Infinity War assumes you’re familiar with the adventures of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Doctor Strange, Black Panther and so on and if you’re not you’re likely going to be a mite confused going forward.  Avengers: Infinity War is an epic, sprawling story that somehow manages to not only make sense, but feel significantly shorter than it’s 2 hour and 29 minute running time would lead one to assume.

Some people accuse the Marvel movies or being formulaic–and there’s a point to that in the sense that they tend to follow a particular pattern–but Infinity War turns that formula on it’s head because the movie revolves entirely around the villain, Thanos, and his efforts to procure–by hook or by crook–the five Infinity Stones that will enable him to remake reality in any way he feels necessary.

The heroes are delegated to deal with Thanos’ mechanizations though they’re almost entirely on the offensive, mainly due to the Black Order (like Gamora and Nebula, ‘children’ of Thanos) who are dispatched to obtain the Infinity Stones.

The movie is at turns funny and tragic and has one of the most somber endings of any movie in recent memory, never mind a MCU one.

Avengers: Infinity War is likely unlike any major tentpole movie you’ve ever seen and you’ll likely have a great time doing so.

Though if you’ve seen it already, what do you think?  Let me know down below.

Cargo – Trailer

CargoIt appears that the zombie genre has greater legs than anyone might have anticipated  (AMC’s The Walking Dead–despite a ratings decline–still shuffles on while spawning a sequel–Fear The Walking Dead–a somewhat unnecessary admonition) and along the way appears to have discovered a legitimacy few horror genres have had prior.

Though that shouldn’t be a surprise in that George Romero has long used the zombie genre to tell tales of class warfare and as metaphors for consumerism, among other things.

The latest example: Cargo, starring Morgan Freeman (Sherlock, Black Panther) which is coming on Netflix (Yay!) May 18.

What–if the trailer is to be believed–separates Cargo from it’s grisly siblings is that Freeman’s character appears to be be infected himself (and in search of a cure among the Aboriginal people of Australia) while the baby he carries (likely the ‘cargo’ of the title)–isn’t.

 

Is ‘Pacific Rim: Uprising’ In Trouble?

Screenshot 2018-03-14 14.54.50I asked this question a few months ago in reference to Ready Player One and I think it’s worth considering for Pacific Rim: Uprising as well because–while premiering domestically March 23rd means it will avoid the box office tsunami known as Black Panther–you have to wonder how much interest there is in the project.

Keep in mind the original movie’s only saving grace–in terms of box office receipts–was its performance in China, since it underwhelmed domestically.

For reasons I don’t claim to understand there doesn’t seem to be much demand at the moment for giant robot movies (a reality that has caught up with the Transformers movies as well–finally–seeing that Transformers: The Last Knight failed to set the domestic box office on fire as well).

Steven DeKnight is a capable director though but I don’t know what he brings to the project that a brilliant director like Guillermo Del Toro couldn’t, which is problematic.

Though to be fair, the original Pacific Rim was a passion project for Del Toro; perhaps DeKnight’s distance from the project may help DeKnight bring something to the project that Del Toro could not.

Or maybe, while I don’t believe that superhero fatigue is a real thing, perhaps giant robot fatigue is.

We’ll find out later this month.

 

 

Movie Magic: The Black Panther (Captain America: Civil War)

These days as a mover goer I know full well that practical effects combined with CGI can create virtually any type of effect imaginable. 

Though what I find infinitely more interesting is when a movie’s special effects are so seamless that I don’t know that what I happen to be looking at is a special effect, which brings me to Captain America: Civil War.  

<center€

There were two scenes where I recall the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was a full-on CGI character: when he was sliding down the side of a building when chasing the Winter Soldoer (Sebastian Stan) and another when he was slowing hinself down after momentum carried him beyond the Soldier in a second confrontation.

Beyond those two instances, I assumed that the character–as well as many of the locations–were entirely practical.  

Imagine my surprise to learn that virtually every scene featuring the Panther had three or four layers of CGI over a practical stuntman, and most of the locations were CGI enhanced as well!

Movie magic indeed.  

Captain America : Civil War Final Teaser Trailers

Team Cap Trailer

I have to admit that I am warming up to the whole “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” chant (and for editorial purposes I also admit that I am all about Team Cap, despite that the awesome-looking Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is on Team Iron Man).

In commemoration to the trailer that’s going to be released tomorrow–rumored to be very Spidey-centric, which I hope remains just that: a rumor–here are two trailers highlighting the divisions our heroes are split into after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Team Iron Man Trailer

And while I haven’t seen Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice let’s say that Warner Bros. was really wise to move it to a different date than Captain America: Civil War because this movie feels like it’s going to be a monster at the box office.

And speaking of box office, if Marvel Studios follows their traditional release pattern, the movie will premiere in overseas markets before domestic ones, which means that it’s not unconceivable that the movie will already be profitable by the time it’s released in the United States.’

By the way, did anyone else notice that they didn’t show a headshot of Rhodey (Don Cheadle) outside the War Machine armor like the other characters?

Hmmm….

Talking About White Privilege

White privilege isn’t the sort of thing that this blog tends to revolve around, but then again, since there are apparently quite a few actors that bring it up as of late–often in the worse way possible–i though that I’d do a blog post revolving around it.

It’s tough to talk about things like while privilege.  After all, it’s not like all white people have it easy.  When you hear about things like unemployment, it’s not only people of color that are feeling the pain.  That being said, people of color tend to have to deal with such issues as a disproportionately higher rate.

This is why when when you have Matt Damon, contrary to the image he projects, coming off as racist, it’s particularly galling.

That’s not to say that such slips of the tongue–which is a charitable way to look at it–are by any means unique to Damon or white people.

After all, it was Anthony Mackie, an African-American actor who’s played the Falcon in numerous Marvel Studios movies, who compared an African-American directing Marvel Studios’ upcoming movie based on the Black Panther to a horse directing a movie based on Mr. Ed.

So there’s clearly enough stupid to go around.

That being said, what you don’t often see are ways to make such historically difficult issues at least a little easier to discuss.

Which is why I posted this video from the ACLU (the American Civil Liberties Union) about white privilege, which talks about such things in an easy to digest fashion.

Because what’s assured is that things will never get better for anyone if we don’t talking about them, no matter how uncomfortable they may make us.

‘The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’

I was watching Netflix, when I saw one of the new additions was “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” a cartoon that’s, essentially, a twenty-three minute advert for Marvel Studios upcoming ‘Avengers’ movie this May.

The show is featured on Disney XD, which is owned by Disney (as is Marvel).

I didn’t expect all that much, but was pleasantly surprised to find it not only entertaining, but most importantly, well-drawn.

It has also introduced some Marvel characters that I have not seen in any movies–yet–like The Black Panther, The Wasp and Ant-Man.  I  knew that I was going to enjoy it when I noticed that one of the villains, The Leader, was voiced by none other than Jeffrey Combs and one of my favorite evil organizations, A.I.M or Advanced Idea Mechanics, playing a pivotal role in an episode.

Speaking of A.I.M, I am surprised that they have not appeared in an Iron Man feature because they would be prime candidates to use–or misuse–Tony Stark’s technology.

%d bloggers like this: