Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019)

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Plot: After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe

After 10 incredible years of the MCU, it seems that every single moment has led up to this film. Fan or not, you have probably heard of the staggering success of this film the last weekend – 1.2 billion dollars within one weekend. It is absolutely insane, yet no one seems overly surprised. I am not. I got my ticket for the first release in South-Africa. I get grumpy with spoilers but I don’t have meltdowns, yet I suspected I would have one if someone spoiled this form me. I will keep this review as spoiler free as possible, because if you have eagerly awaited each of these films as I have, you deserve to have it unspoiled for you.

Overwhelmed, emotional, shaken, surprised. That is pretty much how I felt. It became inevitable with the lead up to this film not to ask if a major superhero would die, but which one would. I will tell you that whatever happens feels completely right for that character, like they were always written for it. It is sad, but it feels like the perfect ending.

There are two character developments which feels… weird, even for Marvel. The one I will literally never be able to unsee but the actor involved handled it with charm and comedic ability. But still. It felt like a personal attack on the most beautiful character. The other one was quite hilarious but showed good character development. I am sorry, I am not really making any sense, am I?

It is a mammoth film, with a running time of three hours and 1 minute. It is a feat that I in particular didn’t feel that the film was drawn out, it is written well enough and is entertaining enough that the film runs without ever feeling that unnecessary time was wasted.

What worked well in this film is that the focus was very much on the original 5 superheroes. The Avengers crew has become way too large over the last couple of years and Avengers: Infinity War’s ensemble cast was large enough to host a high-school reunion of a really robust year. I don’t think it is too much of a spoiler to mention that when the rest of the avengers return, it is worth it and at the exact right moment. It is also really beautiful with the focus on one character’s reaction specifically, and you will have to have been dead inside for a thousand years not to be touched by it.

I will probably return with another review once the spoilers are out everywhere. Further than that, it was good and powerful and I enjoyed it. It has been a wild ride, and a beautiful one.

Love you 3000 😉

Rating: 7.5/10

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Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – Spoiler free –

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Plot: The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Well. I knew I had to get to cinema to watch Infinity War immediately after its release or else risk this film being spoiled by the internet for me. We’ve been waiting ages since the slightly lacklustre Age of Ultron for another instalment of the all powerful Marvel ensemble cast to once again fight some massive celestial being. Finally reunited, the Avengers and all their new superhero friends are forced to take on Thanos, the biggest and baddest of them all, who is also in running for the worst dad of all time to Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and Nebula (Karen Gillan). Thanos (voiced by Josh Brolin), is collecting the Infinity Stones, very powerful stones (obviously), and you don’t need a comic book background to know that it will be really bad when this genocidal maniac gets hold of all six stones. It’s no spoiler that some of the stones are in the possession of a few Avengers, and they do an ultimately dismal job in protecting them. You will have to watch it if you want to know what happens at the end, but it was neither comfortable nor a quietly satisfying end.

Infinity War takes an age to get their superheroes together, which is not surprising, since they decided to include a massive amount of their star power in the film. Since Age of Ultron the original Avengers have scattered and hidden, and they aren’t all super happy with each other. Tony (Robert Downey Jnr.) is still happy by being managed by Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow). Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is still dealing with the devastating destruction that happened in Thor: Ragnarok. Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johannson, this time blonde), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans, with deliciously longer hair) and Sam Wilson (Anthonie Mackie) are still (I think) in hiding. They all fall in at different stages of the film, and my sold out cinema was cheering as each original Avengers cast member was reintroduced.

It’s impossible to write a short and concise review of the movie and to discuss the stars, because (nearly) the entire Marvel universe is in the film. However, here are a few thoughts on some of the characters:

Vision (Paul Bettany) comes across as awfully wimpy and I don’t know how he was intended as a superhero in this film. He seems to just be there, and his moments of action aren’t all that action packed.

If I could have had more of Danai Gurira as Okoye I would have, because she just has the best attitude and lines. Also good seeing T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), but after the enormous success of Black Panther I would have loved to see more of the man.

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It is the first film where the Three Chris-es are combined – Pratt, Evans and Hemsworth have so much charm between them it is a wonder that they aren’t combined an Infinity stone themselves. There is delightful moments full of humour when Starlord meets Thor and needs to deal with all that muscle. I’ll just say that there is a moment when Thor arrives that made me very, very thankful.

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Thanos has character depth, and that is something that hasn’t always been present with Marvel villains. He has layers and there are times when he actually almost makes sense, his reasoning behind his warlord status. There were a few moments where I legitimately felt sorry for him, and then had to remember what he had done.

I have some issues with the ending (really, who doesn’t at this stage?). I don’t want to say too much, but I really hope that they are planning to address some… events… in the next Infinity War instalment (there better be one), because they can not just do what they did. I am REALLY excited for the post credits scene, and I am optimistic that that will mean something overall for the drama levels in the last ten minutes of the film.

I liked Infinity War, except that ending. Thee CGI is insane and everywhere again, and that as well comes as no surprise – I mean, Josh Brolin doesn’t really look like that, does he now? It is really long, again though, expected, and full of emotional upheaval. If you haven’t watched it yet and you really dislike spoilers, I suggest getting to a cinema soon. It’s a bit off the normal route for Marvel, and they’ve taken big risks, but if you look at the crowd response rate you can rest assured that Marvel has another hit on their hands.

Rating: 7/10

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Movie Review: 28 Thoughts while watching Captain America: Civil War (2016)

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Plot: With many people fearing the actions of super heroes, the government decides to push for the Anti-Hero Registration Act, a law that limits a heroes actions. This results in a division in The Avengers. Iron Man stands with this Act, claiming that their actions must be kept in check otherwise cities will continue to be destroyed, but Captain America feels that saving the world is daring enough and that they cannot rely on the government to protect the world. This escalates into an all-out war between Team Iron Man (Iron Man, Black Panther, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine, and Spiderman) and Team Captain America (Captain America, Bucky Barnes, Falcon, Sharon Carter, Scarlett Witch, Hawkeye, and Ant Man) while a new villain emerges

DON’T READ IF YOU ARE AVOIDING SPOILERS!

Rating: 7.5/10

  1. Why isn’t this titled Iron Man: Civil War? Was that the first fight between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark? (The lame comments gets worse, promise)
  2. Let’s just focus for a few seconds on the fact that this entire fight starts with Tony signing something, The Captain refusing and because they are both pigheaded, a big brawl starts. MEN.
  3. When did Rhodie become an Avenger?
  4. That scene with Tony Stark and the lady at the elevator at MIT is really very sad.
  5. Vision is like the strict dad. No fun allowed.
  6. Can I please learn to Sparta kick like Captain America?
  7. I will also pay a lot of money for fighting skills like the Black Widow.Civil war natahsa
  8. And also – her hair in time of upset – it remains perfect and I want her secret.Civil War BP
  9. Black Panther!!! How great does he look? I love it.I didn’t expect him to be Prince what-what, that was a surprise. Also, the country/area’s name is Wakanda? American source material, I tell you.
  10. On a serious note – I love that the cast is looking more diverse these days.
  11. But on another note – how are only TWO of the Avengers women? That is not very diverse – are the Avengers Donald Trump supporters?Civil war audi2Civil war Audi
  12. Let’s play a drinking game – every time you spot an Audi onscreen you take a shot of Jagermaster.
  13. Is there a slightly love vibe between Vision and the Scarlett Witch? For interest sakes, does he have… all… the equipment of a man or how does that work? And isn’t he something like Tony’s best brain parts? Does that mean that Tony also fancies Scarlett Witch? So many questions!
  14. How does Steve feel to have dated a girl and her grandmother’s sister? Steve is a fox!
  15. Captain America in sunglasses and a cap. (hehehe for my pun) – it works really well.
  16. The fight scenes were incredible, well choreographed and not over the top. Although, the buses flying everywhere at the helipad? That was the height of preposterous. Does Stark Industries cover the bill for all the damage the Avengers wreck?Civil WAr barnes
  17. Bucky Barnes. Such a great character and Sebastian Stan brought everything to the table as usual. Sebastian broke my heart with all his sad and soulful looks, though I loved the camaraderie between Steve and Bucky.
  18. How sad is Penny’s funeral? Seriously, how much must our guy handle? Penny’s inclusion broke my heart because she’s the only thing that Steve had left from the world he existed in and new well.
  19. PLOT TWIST! As mentioned above, how does he feel that he does a cross generational dating vibe going on?
  20. Steve can pull me closer like he did that helicopter. MY GUY.
  21. I want to bitch and moan that husband Chris Hemsworth is not in this, but really, there are about ten million characters already in here. Same goes for the green guy – I ADORE Mark Ruffalo and think he’s great as Dr. Bruce Banner. But I don’t think the posters would have been big enough for the cast if they were included.
  22. I really liked the Black Panther. He looks great. The character is also really solid – there is a goodness in him that was definitely missing from the havoc the Scarlett Witch wrecked in Age of Ultron.
  23. Daniel Bruhl! Great appearance by a solid actor.Civil war cia
  24. Some Martin Freeman too. I hope he has some more time in future movies – Marvel can do with some of his experience and class acting.
  25. I need to watch Ant Man really soon – I wish I could have seen the film before I saw Civil War – because my cutie pie Paul Rudd is his cute self.
  26. The new Spiderman… why is his aunt Marisa Tomei and why is he so young? I just can’t.
  27. Spiderman’s talking is only second to Tony Stark’s incessant talking, and if I have to be honest there is only enough space for one talker in the franchise.
  28. I enjoyed the end and appreciated that it didn’t end with a truce because everyone’s mother is named Martha. Not that I’m pinpointing to anything else.

Ultimately, Captain America: Civil War is Marvel at its’ finest. What did DC think in sending in the substandard BvS when it was so obviously made to go up against this? There is no competition. Marvel has established its’ characters and they follow a successful if generic formula, and it works every time. I thought the story was a bit rushed and Daniel Bruhl did not get nearly enough show time or even a few flashbacks. Only when he’s achieved what he wanted to achieve you get insight into why he is doing what he’s doing.

Civil War is also sporadically like a Game of Thrones episode – there are too many characters to follow and you end up looking at things like how nice the costumes are and the action sequences. Captain America has always been the best Marvel films in terms of material, and this one slipped just a bit in that aspect.

However it does not change the fact that Civil War is a fine piece of work – the action sequences are thrilling and authentic looking (except Audis flying here there and everywhere). Of the new appearances I enjoyed Black Panther the most, and Spidey way last because really, why a reboot when the last cutie pie Andrew Garfield movie was released only last year or something?

Anyway, good job, Marvel. You entertained me really well.

Also, these arms:

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Movie Review: Age of Ultron (2015)

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Plot: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

Rating: 8/10

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

Avengers: Age of Ultron, had the extremely difficult task of living up to its’ predecessor. My love for the first movie is well known, and I’ve reviewed it on my own site as well as on Rob’s for his Genre Grandeur.

I was extremely excited to enter the Marvel universe on Friday night, and I was not disappointed.

Age of Ultron immediately starts the action. The Avengers are united (although they sadly never share HOW the Avengers got back as a team), and they are kicking ass. Invading the Hydra building in Sokovia, they briefly meet the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and it is very clear that they are impressive enemies. Then Tony Stark is Tony Stark and uses fellow genius Bruce Banner, to set loose Ultron, a powerful creature with artificial intelligence whose main goal is human extinction.

Age of Ultron feels like one huge act. The action never stops, and the scenes flow into each other. I really enjoyed that and thought it also worked well with the slightly less over the top fighting scenes. I really enjoyed the character development. My big issue with the first Avengers were that the characters aren’t really developed – some you know because of their stand alone movie but the first Avengers is just packed with vague references and smart mouth comments between the team.

Age of Ultron tries to give you an idea that these are (mostly) people. I found the story line on Hawkeye the most interesting and never thought that would be in the books for him. I also really enjoyed the character development Natasha Romanoff got – she’s the only female Avenger from the first movie and it is clear that she’s had a sad and unsavory past, but no further background was provided. Her story is intense enough to draw outrage and sympathy on her behalf, and also endear her to the female audience.

AOU Team

The humor in AOU is a lot less forced and thus funnier than in the first movie. It is not only Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr.) who crack the jokes, it is everyone, and it makes the movie a lot more humorous. I liked the testosterone fight between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Iron Man. I also really enjoyed that Thor got more lines and that he actually spoke every once in a while, showing he had more potential than looking good – which he does, excellently. One of my favorite scenes is where everyone tries to lift the hammer, and Thor only gets uncomfortable when Captain America (Chris Evans) has the hammer twitching – proving that he is the only worthy Avenger of the hammer except Thor. Captain was also once again the sad guy that kills us with his desolation of having to live without Peggy Carter – just kill me already with that, okay?

Bruce Banner is played by Mark Ruffalo and I think it is one of the best casting choices they made. I work in an academic environment and let me tell you, he does the scatter brained scientist really really well. He is also very heartbreaking when dealing with his anger issues and his heartbreaking lifestyle choices. #lovetheguy

I also really appreciated Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver. He has that mouthy and badass vibe of what you would expect of him, but he also has an authentic quest for vengeance and I appreciated that.

AOU Scarlet

THEN: OMFG I LOVE THE SCARLET WITCH. Elizabeth does an absolutely amazing job as the female part of the Maximoff twins. Her attitude is fierce, her quest for vengeance is pure, she looks like such a bad ass and the way her powers are brought to life on screen had me in such a fangirling in the cinema. YAY to Marvel for bringing in such an impressive character in the Avengers franchise (I might add that brings the total females up to three, and the males six thousand).

The romance in Avengers came unexpected but not unwelcome. I don’t really think it was necessary because it is not a rom-com, but it is still welcome and surprisingly sweet. The two characters involved surprised me because I would never have grouped them up, but it worked out really heart twisting in the end.

AOU Ultron

I really liked the villain. Ultron is surprisingly funny and embodies the darker side of Tony Stark’s thought. Ultron is multi-layered, extremely intelligent, not alien (good to Marvel for not going that route again) and he had me worried a lot of the time for the level of destruction he could cause. His cause was initially so noble and good, and enales great discomfort because Ultron really has something right – the human race has no idea how to maintain peace.

I thought AOU did so many things better than the first one did: humor, pacing, character development. I still like the first one more, but can’t really pinpoint why – perhaps it is Loki’s deadly charm that pushes it to the top. Age of Ultron is an excellent job done by Joss Whedon and Marvel, and the characters individually shine and as a team. It is definitely worth paying a ticket for!

Six Degrees of Separations Blogathon: Linking Robert Downey Junior and The Green Mile

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When Zoë first asked me if I would like to take part in this blogathon I was quite excited but extremely confused at the same time – the theory behind the blogathon was fantastic but sounded completely undoable.

The six degrees blogathon is based on the theory that every single person on the planet can be linked to another person in six steps. These posts connect random stars to stars or movies. Here goes!

Then I heard the topics of my linkage –  The Green Mile, an epic movie but a quite old one, and an actor I have always thought very present right now, Robert Downey Junior.

I knew I would have to bring a person in that spanned the time difference between the two links, and I was completely surprised when I finally figured it out.

Thanks for nominating me, best one! It was LOADS of fun and I can actually picture myself doing this for days on end!

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1. One of Robert Downey Junior’s most known roles is as Iron Man/ Tony Stark in the Marvel Universe’s Avengers franchise

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RDJ is such a great, charismatic man and I respect him so much for rebuilding his life.

2. Chris Hemsworth stars with RDJ as Thor in the Avengers, and he is the brother of Liam Hemsworth in real life

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(The above beauty is brother of the below beauty)

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3. Liam Hemsworth is Gale Hawthorne in the Hunger Games, in which Woody Harrelson stars as Haymitch Abernathy, the mentor of Katniss and Peeta.

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4. Woody Harrelson stars alongside Morgan Freeman in Now You See Me

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5. Morgan Freeman also stars in the Shawshank Redemption, directed by Frank Darabont

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6. Frank Darabont is also the director of the Green Mile (1990)

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I nominate Melissa from Snap Crackle Watch to link Robert Downey Junior with Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark. Enjoy!

PS: Go read Zoë’s post – Truly awesome!

Iron Man 3

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I have been jumping around excitedly for the first few months of the year for this. Last week, I prepped by watching both Iron Man 1 and 2 for when I finally got to watch Iron Man 3. Sadly, I wasn’t overly impressed. It is still Iron Man, Robert Downey Jnr. still rocks as Tony Stark, the digital effects are still amazing, but to me, it lacked something.

What happened

Tony Stark remembers a New Year’s Eve party where he met scientist Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall). Maya was the inventor of Extremis – a drug that allowed recovery from crippling injuries. He also meets Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a disabled scientist, but turns Killian down for a place in his company.

In the present, Tony Stark is experiencing severe anxiety attacks due to his involvement with the Avengers in New York. He constantly works on his suits, enabling them to fly to him when he summons them. This causes his girlfriend Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Palthrow) to get angry at him, but when she finds out the reason for his anxiety she supports him again. When he turns on the television, he witnesses the Mandarin terrorizing the US government with threatening messages. He challenges the Mandarin to attack him after his faithful servant, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreu) nearly dies in a bomb explosion caused by the Mandarin.

The Mandarin responds by destroying Stark’s palatial home in Malibu. Stark goes on the run after telling Pepper that he still lives, and starts gathering information about the Mandarin.

When he tracks the Mandarin to Miami, he discovers that it is only an act, and that Killian is the true terrorist. When Killian takes the American President Hostage, Stark and agent James Rhodes attacks the oil tanker where they are keeping them hostage. A full scale fight develops, with Tony summoning his entire range of suits, and Tony manages to walk away with his best friend and girlfriend still alive.

Rating: 7/10

Even though it is officially my least favorite Iron Man film, it was still great. The suits and fights are spectacular. I think the Iron Man movies shouldn’t be remade in the future, since RDJ is such a perfect match for Iron Man and Tony Stark.

What I didn’t appreciate is that the humor seemed forced at times, to fit into the funny background now expected from Iron Man, and making the Mandarin’s character a joke seemed silly to me when he had been perfect to terrorize. Also, Tony seems uncommonly lucky for a superhero – don’t they always lose someone they love?

What did you think of it?