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.

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The Equalizer 2 – Official Trailer 1

I participated in a thread on Twitter with C. Robert Cargill (co-writer of Sinister, Sinister 2 and Doctor Strange) where he was talking about The Equalizer 2 and it’s director, Antoine Fuqua (who also directed the first movie).

I described Fuqua as ‘the thinking man’s Michael Bay,’ and it’s an apt comparison because if you look at the trailer below you’ll see some very kinetic action set pieces, buoyed by quiet, introspective moments.

It’s a pretty impressive trailer that takes the movie more in the direction of the television series (starring Edward Woodward) that it’s  based upon.

And apropos of nothing, does ‘EQ2’ vaguely remind you of the the name of a coleoneor perfume?

As usual, let me know what you think below.  

Avengers: Infinity War – Final Trailer

“Let’s talk about this plan of yours.” says Star-Lord, while Peter Parker looks on bemused, while Drax looks just grim. “I think it’s good, except it sucks. Let me do the plan, that way it might be really good.”

“Wow.” Tony Stark relies, perfectly capturing how much of an ass he thinks Quill is in a single exclamation.

If I weren’t already sold on Avengers: Infinity War that exchange between Star-Lord and Iron Man sealed the deal because in that one moment you get more character development than the entirety of virtually anything from the DCEU (plus it showed what happens when you have two massive egos occupying the same space at the same space at the same time).

And can Doctor Strange catch a break?  Dormammu literally spent an eternity–or what felt like one–killing him in his own movie, only to have one of Thanos’ children try a similar trick.

The Man Who Murdered Time – Pt. 1

The Shadow was created by Walter B. Gibson, and long before he appeared in movies and television, he was a staple of radio.  HIs first appearance was in the 1930’s, and he’s had a huge influence on heroes (and villains) to follow.

For instance, the origin of Marvel Comics’ Iron Fist and Doctor Strange are remarkably similar to the Shadow’s, as is the that of Batman (from the Christopher Nolan movies) though the way he’s often depicted in the comics is very much in line with the Shadow as well.

The Shadow was Lamont Cranston (and Ken Allard, depending upon whether we’re talking about radio, television or novels.  This idea of identities within identities  is very similar to how Marvel’s Moon Knight has been portrayed), young wealthy man about town though having spend time in mysterious Asia gained the ability to cloud men’s minds.

Yet, can even the Shadow and all his mysterious powers stop a man with the ability to control Time?

Ghost In The Shell – Official Trailer 1

It’s hard not to see the latest trailer for the live-action version of Ghost In The Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, and not think about the allegations of whitewashing that plagued the production (the same thing happened when the Internet learned Tilda Swinton was cast as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange; a character that was typically not only male, but Tibetan). 

That being said, Japanese anime itself doesn’t tend to depict Japanese people with features that you’d think of as traditionally Japanese (there was a reason for this, though I don’t recall it off the top of my head).

The point being, Johansson actually looks the part, and since you can’t really tell that the character is Japanese–if the anime were made elsewhere, such as the United States (bear with me a moment) she’s could be drawn exactly as she tradionally is, though the casting would have been a no-brainer. 


Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex – Trailer

XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage – Trailer

When I caught Doctor Strange last weekend one of trailers before the movie was XXX: The Return Of Xander Cage, which fascinated me because prior to that moment I had rarely seen so much stupid squeezed into a trailer that lasted no more than two or three minutes. 

It reminded me of the time Jason Statham said that he would never star in a Marvel movie because of all the green screen and stunt doubles.

Though in the instance of Marvel Studios there’s a point to all the FX, because until people can fly, turn into green rage monsters or make costumes our of nonexistent metals (with miraculous, unearthly properties), CGI and green screen are the only way to bridge the distance between what’s possible and what isn’t. 

Now, compare that to movies like this one, where the main character isn’t Superman or Wonder Woman, but a guy really into extreme sports. 

CGI may make those stunts look more extreme, but it also cheapens things in exactly the way Statham was talking about, which is by removing the human element.

HUGE Doctor Strange Villain Confirmation

As I’ve said before, and bears repeating; I really hate spoilers. There’s often something about the early reveal of crucial plot-points that reeks of someone out to steal everyone else’s joy.

That being said, what I stumbled upon an article from Wegotitcovered.com it confirmed what I long hoped about the latest entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) long before it even hit theaters. 

Namely, the identity of Doctor Strange’s enemy (and I don’t mean Kaecilius, played by Mads Mikkelson, below)


What tipped me off were his eyes and how the prosthetic he’s wearing looks as if he were burned.  

When I saw that I KNEW almost immediately who was either pulling Kaecilius’s strings or manipulating him to do his dirty work.

And that puppet master is the lord of the Dark Dimension!

As a result I don’t think that it’s a spoiler more so than a confirmation because people who know Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts probably suspected it all along, and those who aren’t familiar with him it won’t matter all that much for that very reason.