Avengers: Endgame (2019)

So, that’s it, as close to a season finale the MCU has had yet, this film genuinely feels like closure for a lot of the characters. A fitting closure too, it completes a lot of story arcs which have been running since 2008. Whilst there’s been a few missteps along the way it’s generally accepted that the films have been of high quality and with interacting storylines to keep you invested (even if they weren’t as carefully crafted as they needed to be at times, with major plot holes and continuity errors between separate films). I did love this film, I really enjoyed it, and didn’t feel it outstayed its welcome (which considering it is 3 hours long, really says something). It deserves the praise it’s getting, but I still can’t help but feel slightly disappointed, not with what happened, but with now can’t happen. Like I wish they pushed the Civil War storyline further, as it is it never really felt like a proper division between two sets, it always felt temporary and outside of Civil War itself, kind of small. It never had that urge of paranoia, you never felt like the heroes against registration were under any threat (with the possible exception of Ant-Man in Ant-Man And The Wasp). If you look at the movies after Civil War:

  1. Doctor Strange (completely unaffected by Civil War as not recognised by the government)
  2. Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (In space so unaffected)
  3. Spider-Man (pro-registration but didn’t affect the movie much. This is annoying as a big part of the Civil War comics was Spider-Man unmasking and revealing his identity, nothing similar to that has happened in this universe since the first Iron Man movie, and that was clearly Tony Starks decision, there’s no “forced to reveal identity” moments yet.)
  4. Thor: Ragnarok. (Again, in space)
  5. Black Panther (not as affected by the Registration Act as it could have been)
  6. Ant-Man And The Wasp (The most affected, but not essential)
  7. Infinity War (just causes a slight “we need to find this person” moment)
  8. Captain Marvel (Set in the past)

To be honest, I can’t even remember if the Act passed at the end of Civil War. That’s how little it’s affected the movies, and that can not be fixed now, it’s too late for it to start coming into effect now, and that’s disappointing. The other thing I’m disappointed in is that there were no post-snap movies. Ok, yeah, technically all movies now are post-snap, but they’re also going to be set after the resolution. There should have been a film between them, so many villain origin stories start with them losing their families, and yet the perfect opportunity for one now won’t happen (oh, spoilers, the people killed by the snap come back, but 5 years have passed in this world so they will be 5 years younger than they should be when they come back, I REALLY hope they make a big point of this in future films). We mostly saw how the snap affected heroes, we didn’t get much of it affecting the world, the opening scenes were done to show that, but the audience isn’t as invested in that as they should be as they’re sitting there waiting for everyone to get revenge on Thanos. Can you imagine how much more effective it would have been if there was an entire movie set in that world? The chaos, the frustration, the paranoia, the fear, the bastards using it to make money, the conspiracy theories! Do ordinary people know it was Thanos? As far as most of them saw, half the world just disappeared with no explanation. The only way they’d know it was Thanos is if someone put out a press release, which I can’t really see happening somehow. So can you imagine the conspiracy theories that would arise from that? It would be INSANE, and yet we will never find out (although I am thinking of writing a short Marvel story set in that universe, just to express that idea).

I know I haven’t spoken much about this film, but I feel if you wanted to see it, you would have seen it already, there’s nothing I can say in this review that will change that. Also, the entire internet has opinions on it and has expressed them better than I could. They’ve been right; it’s emotional as hell, full to the brim with references and fan-service, things are paid off which you didn’t even realise they were setting up, and most characters get their time to shine. It’s not perfect though; Captain Marvel seems misused, only seeming to exist as a Deus Ex Machina, and she’s involved in one of the most cringy moments of the franchise so far which is clearly designed to get a reaction in the cinema but is so false it seems like pandering. Despite how many characters are included, some rather important ones are missing with not even a mention. Also if you think about some aspects of the plot for too long it does seem to fall apart slightly.

But despite that, I highly recommend it, so far it’s been the best example of spectacle so far this year, and I doubt even the Godzilla movie could top it

Musings On Marvel Day Six: Avengers Assemble

Director: Joss Whedon ((Much Ado About Nothing, two episodes of The Office (U.S))

Budget: $220million

Box Office: $1.5billion

  • Why’s the helicopter following a roadway?
  • Coulson wears sunglasses at night.
  • Nick Fury doesn’t say “That makes me Fury-us” during this whole film.
  • Cobie Smulders is actually kind of weak in this, her first lines are delivered like when an actor gives deliberately bad performance to show how bad their character is at acting.
  • “A door can be opened two ways” Science!
  • That’s not a spear, that’s a, well I’m not sure if it’s actually got a name, so I’ll just call it the Loki Pokey stick.
  • See, Loki Pokey.
  • “I am Loki, of Asgard”, ah, so not Loki from New Jersey then?
  • “I come with glad tidings”, I come with external stimuli, using a vagina or a mouth or a hand. General feelings of happiness don’t tend to do anything for me.
  • “What do we do?” *dramatic pause*. Yeah, that’s fine for the film and everything, but is pissing annoying for the other person who’s just waiting to be told what to do.
  • Wow, Edward Norton looks a lot different.
  • “what does he want me to do, swallow it?” Good people always swallow.
  • Did 9/11 happen in the MCU? It’s never referenced, not even in passing. And don’t give me that “but why would they mention it?” BS, it’s America, they always mention it, it’s been mentioned almost daily for the past week alone, so you think with all the constant attacks at least one person would say something like “this kind of damage has not been seen since 9/11”. And can you imagine Captain America being told about 9/11? Holy crap that scene would have been fantastic in terms of emotion.
  • So he’s in Germany, yet he’s delivering this speech in English?
  • “Isn’t being on your knees your natural state?” Let’s not get into my sexual proclivities right now.
  • This old guy is the most heroic character in the entire series. He is basically an average guy being the first in line to stand up to a vicious dictator with obvious superpowers. In a world with superpowers he has nothing but still stands up just because he knows it’s right. He risked his life just for his principles, and he did it on his own. That guy, is freaking awesome.
  • Obvious nazi parralels but nobody says “that makes me Führerious”
  • “there’s only one God, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that”, true, I prefer black t-shirt and jeans.
  • Ok there’s about a minute between Thor jumping out and Captain America parachuting up and jumping out, in a moving plane. There is no way Captain America would land anywhere near them.
  • Thor throws a magical hammer at Iron Man, potentially killing him.
  • Thor can charge up Iron Man’s suit, this is never referenced again at any point.
  • Thor basically tries to smash Iron Man’s face with a hammer, even if was just a regular hammer that would have killed him if it connected.
  • Thor then launches himself at Captain America to hit him with the hammer, in a move that surely would have killed him if it connected with a normal human being, which for all he knew, the Captain was. Basically, Thor is a psychopath who attempts to kill people for no reason what so ever in this film. One of many reasons I hate the character.
  • Wow, it sure sucks we have to wait until Civil War to see these guys fighting, you know, the guys who are currently fighting right now.
  • So “flying monkeys” Thor doesn’t understand, yet he mentioned nothing when “Galaga” or “Point Break” were mentioned?
  • “It’s not just power Loki wants, he wants vengeance”, so he’s, an Avenger?
  • “your ledger is gushing red”, yeah that happens like once a month once you pass puberty.
  • This is probably the only film that’s earned over a billion which has the line “mewling quim” in it.
  • Loki could totally play SuperLee in a movie.
  • “everything special about you came out of a bottle”. Yeah, developed by some idiot named Howard Sta—yeah nevermind.
  • Wait, one arrow did that?
  • So the world knows that Thor is a God? And this has had no impact on religion in the world? Not one member of the clergy, or even the Pope has mentioned the definitive existence of a God that walked among us? There’s been no resurgence in people believing in the Norse Gods? A God walked among the world and it changed absolutely nothing. I’m not buying it.
  • This should be much better shot. If this was done well then this moment of Black Widow silently walking around to avoid The Hulk could have been like Alien: Isolation. It could have been a huge dramatic set piece. As it is it’s just a scene that almost everyone will forget about.
  • Captain America there talking on the device in his ear. Which if you were paying attention to the previous scene you’ll know is either invisible or doesn’t exist. Is he going through a mental breakdown? What if the Captain America movie was just the insane thoughts of a madman who grew up reading Captain America comics and then had a nervous breakdown?
  • “so that’s what it does”, yup, pretty much the same as every other weapon, fires and knocks people backwards.
  • It’s well known that you can stop brainwashing by hitting somebody in the head really hard. Can’t imagine that defence standing up in court.
  • Does Stark not have any security cameras that picked up the strangers building something on his balcony?
  • Loki’s so nice. He waits for Tony Stark to land, take his armour off, and monologue before attempting to attack them.
  • “and you’ve got the glow stick of destiny”. It’s name is the Loki Pokey stick!
  • “what have I got to fear?” “The Avengers”, hey, that’s the title of the movie! (In America anyway)
  • I think we’re getting into the final battle now, and there’s 40 minutes left. Don’t worry, I’m sure every single moment of the following action sequence is necessary and none of it could be cut all.
  • The fact they also put “Avengers Assemble” (the UK title) into this film makes me wonder if this film was called “Mewling Quims” in Indonesia and that’s why that line was in there.
  • Ok this is a beautiful tracking shot.
  • “I put in a failsafe, the sceptre”, you couldn’t just put an on/off switch in?
  • “Detonation in two minutes thirty seconds, Mark”. Wait, no, this is Lee. Mark’s the other guy.
  • See, even the news doesn’t mention 9/11. It’s an attack, in New York, the news would definitely make a 9/11 reference.
  • So Tony Stark falls straight down, in zero gravity.
  • “and then there was like pew pew”, still more intelligent than how Daily Mail would report it.
  • Wait, can Captain America legally drive? Wouldn’t his license have expired?
  • And that’s phase one complete. Comment, like, share, bitch about how we’re wrong, whatever 🙂
  • Wait, what the f*ck is this song? It’s like “generic rock song #16”

Musings On Marvel Day 5: Captain America: The First Avenger

Director: Joe Johnston (Honey I Shrunk The Kids, Jumanji)

Budget: $140million

Box Office: $370million

  • This entire movie is basically a prequel for Avengers.
  • You know who could have played this role just as well as Hugo Weaving? Raul Julia. If it wasn’t for him dying in 1994.
  • “and the Fuhrer digs for trinkets in the desert” Personally? I’d have thought he would be busy with nazi stuff like killing, being racist, and making tea by putting milk in first.
  • “even Little Timmy is doing his part”, I hate little Timmy
  • Yeah, I know I mock films, but I generally don’t do it whilst the film is playing in the cinema, and I definitely don’t do it to newsreel footage of soldiers fighting nazis. “boo, stop killing one of the most evil dictatorships of this century and get back to playing Yankee Doodle Dandy”
  • Side note: a film called “Yankee Doodle Dandy” not only exists but has an oscar to its name? Wow.
  • “just start the cartoon?” Wait, this is about a cartoon? And about 50 years before pixar? So he was this excited about seeing f*cking Bambi?
  • Wait, so nobody else decided to stop this asshole from mocking the army?
  • Guy introduces himself by using his own full name. I, [insert name here] Jr., think that’s ridiculous.
  • Damn this film is beautifully shot. It’s just wonderful, even a still shot makes it seem like it’s from the 1940s.
  • “there are already so many big men fighting this war, maybe what we need now is a little guy”. So you inject a small guy with super serum to make him a big guy? If you really want a small guy, call Ant-Man, not Paul Rudd, Hank Pym, was he around this time? I dunno, I can’t remember the timeline.
  • “Dr. Zola”, see, I don’t like that name as it just reminds me of the old Chelsea footballer so is too hard to take seriously. It would be like if in 10 years there was an evil guy in a film called Dr. Beckham or Dr. Rooney.
  • “what’s with the accent Queen Victoria? I thought i was signing up for the US Army”, says an english actor with a terrible American accent.
  • Stupidest criteria ever. Why pick the guy who needlessly kills himself at the first opportunity by jumping on a grenade that wouldn’t hurt anybody else because they had done the sensible thing and run away? This would be like stopping someone getting hit by a car by jumping in front of a car, whilst the car was in no danger of hitting anybody.
  • “he’s still skinny”, yeah but you’re going to inject him with totally-not-steroids anyway so what does it matter.
  • “he and Hitler share a passion for the occult”, wait, what’s evil about liking diary products?
  • Oh wait, that’s Yakult.
  • “good becomes better, bad becomes worst”, so in this universe it’s not only hammers who make judgement calls, it’s also serums. I said yesterday how it would suck to have Hitler with a hammer, but this film is set in the 1940’s, so that’s a genuine concern in this.
  • Guy shares heartbreaking back story, he’s definitely going to die.
  • “I got beat up in that alleyway, and behind that diner, and in that park”, then maybe the problem is you.
  • “somebody get that kid a sandwich”, someone get me a sandwich
  • See, told you he’d die.
  • So he just walked out of that crash completely fine? Bullshit.
  • Two moments with shields in the first hour? F*ck you movie.
  • You know he’s evil because he throws a kid in the water. Only way they could make him more blatantly evil is if he did a nazi salute. Which in this film is an actual possibility.
  • “cut off one head, two more will take it’s place” then why is your slogan one head with many tentacles? You’ve got that backwards. Your logo is bad and you should feel bad.
  • “you think this is about appearances?” Yeah, do you think Hitler’s racist or something?
  • Wait, this war was funded by kids buying comics? Dark.
  • “who’ll kick the Krauts to Japan”. There’s so much wrong with that sentence.
  • Dane Cook auditioned for the lead in this film. As did two of the Jonas brothers. Oh thank god they didn’t get it.
  • That shield is way too bright to make it a viable option for sneaking in.
  • Wait, there’s like zero guards there?
  • “Yeah, I’ve knocked out Adolf Hitler over 200 times”. He does know that wasn’t the real Hitler, right?
  • Oh, so THAT’S why he’s called Red Skull. Because he has a red skull.
  • We’re only an hour into this movie, so does anybody really buy that they killed the main character?
  • “captain Rogers”, wait, they made him an actual captain? I though that was a fake name bestowed upon him like Private Stash or Major Gunns.
  • “I’d like to surrender myself for disciplinary action” ooo sexy.
  • This is a waste of Natalie Dormer.
  • Still not as wasted as Idris was in Thor though.
  • “you still don’t understand women” of course he doesn’t, he’s from the 1940’s. If this was period accurate he’d consider “punching in the stomach” an acceptable pregnancy prevention.
  • So after 80 minutes we finally get Captain America, and then only in montage.
  • His name is Zola, he lives on the second floor.
  • Still a better train journey than southeastern.
  • Random fact: Sesame Street was banned in Mississippi because it showed black children and white children living together in harmony. This was in the 1970’s, AFTER they supposedly fought a war to stop racism. I know this has nothing to do with this film, I just think more people should know this, fuck Mississippi, you backwards racist bastards.
  • Considering that the guy was likely to be German, that could almost be a literal Wilhelm Scream.
  • Why did they trust Captain America again? Yeah he’s strong and brave, but he hasn’t had any actual military training in terms of preparation and planning.
  • Red Skull literally just stood there for 20 seconds, he had plentiful time to shoot people as they were coming in.
  • Side note: soldiers crashing through the window, this is why bond villains have underground lairs.
  • Oh thank god only nameless people have died, they totally don’t have family back home waiting for them so we shouldn’t feel sad or mourn them, or even talk about them ever again. No, the true sad thing is that his friend went missing.
  • Captain America attempts to kiss Agent Carter in the tunnel, brave move for a first option.
  • It’s lucky soldiers can only shoot what’s directly in front of them so that nobody shot Captain as he was running beside them.
  • Yeah, just stand up in the car that’s teetering over the edge, don’t attempt to climb out or anything.
  • Wait, he labels his missiles? Huge giveaway.
  • Captain finds a bunch of missiles with names of major cities written on them, but only reacts to the one that says “New York”. Because who gives a shit about Chicago or Boston, right? Not as though people live there.
  • “i have seen the future, there are no flags”, then what do people wave at Donald Trump rally’s?
  • Wait, so Thor, Odin, none of the Asgardians etc, noticed this HUGE display of energy? They’re not gods, they’re idiots.
  • So they happened to pick one of the few baseball games he was actually at? Could they have not done the simple thing and just, I don’t know, picked another game. One that happened after Captain was frozen. I think they still had baseball games after 1945 but I’m not certain, I haven’t checked.
  • I love these closing credits, so artfully done.

Ranking The Marvel Cinematic Universe Films (so far)

So yeah, Captain America: Civil War is out in 14 days. There’s 12 films, you know what that means? Yup, it’s time for the as-yet-untitled Marvel Version of my hugely unsuccessful Nightmare A Day series. What, you don’t remember that? Don’t worry, shall all be explained tomorrow. But until then, I still have to blog today, so what will today’s be? Simple, this will be my last normal blog until Civil War is released, so is really my last chance to do this and make it relevant. So here goes, all opinions are my own, but if you disagree you are wrong.

12. Thor: The Dark World

36519-thor_the_dark_world_wallpaper

I saw this film at the cinema and yet can barely remember anything about it. The trouble was that it’s kinda dull and doesn’t fit in with the rest. Plus by this point it was obvious that the character of Thor isn’t as interesting as his own villain. Loki dominates this film, just as he did the previous film, only this time it’s a lot more clunky in terms of why he’s there. It also completely wastes Christopher Ecclestone. The first film to really be skippable.

11. The Incredible Hulk

incredible-hulk-scream

A film that only ranks so low because it doesn’t really mesh with the others. The only thing tying this into to the rest is the cameo of Tony Stark. If it wasn’t for that, (and if it was released first instead of second) then they could just ignore it and pretend it never happened, like the world does with Godfather III.

10. Thor

91P1wWqX63L._SL1500_

Yeah, maybe my personal bias is showing, I don’t like Thor. Mainly because the rest of the MCU tries really hard to be realistic and scientific, and then suddenly this guy shows up and smashes that to pieces. Also I feel his character just displays wasted opportunities. They have a character who is a God, they could do films based on how the world reacts to this, how does religion react to the existence of A God, but not Their God? None of this is shown, at all. Oh, and Natalie Portman’s character has all the background and charisma of a see through piece of tissue paper. Oh, and they wasted Idris Elba. Plus, Thor basically tried to kill Captain America in Avengers movie. Yes, the shield stopped him from being smashed with a hammer, but Thor didn’t know that would happen! From his perspective he just jumped at someone and tried to smash their face in with an unbeatable weapon. That would be like me launching nuclear weapons at a school but it turns out it’s okay as Fuzzy Felt stops explosions (it doesn’t by the way, I can 100% confirm this, sorry Nagasaki).

9. Avengers: Age Of Ultron. 

age of ultron

This film highlighted a problem with a lot of modern super hero movies: pointless fight scenes and action sequences. Not just that, but poorly made action sequences too. There’s so many moments in this where action sequences just happen for no reason other than the studio thought “Action sequence goes here!”. Which is a shame as other than those it’s actually an okay story. I mean, the trailer did that annoying thing where it showed an awful thing that turned out to be a dream sequence. If it wasn’t for those two things it would be rated much higher (probably top five).

8. Iron Man 2

iron_man_2_widescreen-wide

Mickey Rourke is good in this, as is Downey Jr. But that’s kind of the biggest problem too. It’s so heavily dependent on performance, that it forgets to carve a good enough story. The villain is too similar to the first one (although don’t get me wrong he is better). The scene where Tony Stark is called into congress to explain himself is fantastic and says a lot about the nature of heroes, but then it just dissolves into casual action fare. Plus it’s hard to imagine THIS Tony Stark being the same one who (maybe, if they go close to the source material) advocates government registration of superheroes.

7. Iron Man

ironman

Ok now we’re getting into awesome stuff. This is the film that launched not only the MCU, but superhero movies being fun again. After Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy it looked like all future superhero movies would just be fifty shades of grey and dark blues (and just as painful as that sounds). A great origin story, brilliantly directed by Jon Favreau, and the casting of Robert Downey Jr. was a master stroke. It was a risky decision but one that paid off.

6. Ant-Man

antman

Very, very fun. Paul Rudd is very funny. Yes, it would have been better if Edgar Wright stayed on but still. I saw this soon after Age Of Ultron, and the action set pieces in this were a lot better, featuring the best use of Thomas The Tank Engine I’ve ever seen in film.

5. Iron Man 3

ironman3

F*ck you I liked it. I know a lot of people don’t, and I understand why. But this was the first time the series tricked me. I’m a pretentious film student so I recognise plot twists early, but this one genuinely came out of left field, but in a way that made sense, it wasn’t one of those “and the killer turned out to be the goldfish all along!”. Yes, it still sucks that Iron Man films have had the worst villains so far but meh. This one also should be commended for actually showing character growth, Tony Stark is haunted by the actions of the Avengers movie, he’s basically suffering PTSD, sadly this was pretty much forgotten about by Age Of Ultron, very disappointing.

4. Avengers Assemble

3964_2891

I rate this higher than the second one only because the action sequences aren’t as long, and at the time it was new. Plus it resurrected The Hulk as a character after two previous attempts to make a live action film about the character. This film established Loki as THE best villain in the Marvel Universe, which counts both for and against it. For because in this film he’s a charismatic, logical villain. Against because they can never hope to do that again.

3. Captain America: The First Avenger

captain-america-first-avenger-poster-chris-evans-01

Yes, other films have been better, but this was the moment where the series grew from “action fare” to “cinematic genius”. The first (and best) use of cinematic emotion in the series. Usually when people say “Superhero movies are grown up and mature” they show things like Deadpool etc, things which are “adult”, but not “mature” (and yes, there is a difference). This would be a better option, exploring themes of identity, loss, and the commercialisation of war heroes to raise money instead of winning the war. The casting of Tommy Lee Jones in it added authenticity to the film, oh, and Hayley Atwell is superb. This is the first time they went beyond the “superhero saves world” story and focused on the hero themselves, a truly touching tale that was a worthy introduction to the character.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

maxresdefault

Probably the best example of a comic book movie transcending the genre. This film is almost like a cold-war era spy movie. Has the best plot of any of the films, fantastic characterisation, and is just all round brilliant. Amazing but not too comical, this film is not “look at this ooooo moment”, it’s not spectacle, but it is spectacular.

1. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-img.1

A part of this is because everybody expected it to fail. When it was announced people were certain this would be the biggest flop in Marvel history, more so than SuperLee, a superhero who fights crime with sarcasm and bitterness, which was invented by me, in my head, just now. But this film is amazing, it’s funny, smart and perfectly acted. It’s odd that Marvel has made better characters from a tree that only says three words than a lot of films manage with entire monologues. A space opera which is definitely the most fun film from all of them, and overall that’s what films should be: fun. It’s not the film with the best story, or the best acting, but it is definitely the one you’ll want to watch the most.