Tag Archives: Avengers

Avengers | Endgame – A SPOILER FREE Movie Review


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It is very difficult to review Avengers | Endgame without spoiling something. One of the recurring reactions during this movie was “how did they hide THAT?!?” In this age of spoilers, the fact that so much of this movie unfolded without the audience knowing what was coming next is something of a superheroic accomplishment in-and-of-itself. I found myself shocked and pleased by each successive surprise and, as I consider the movie a few days after seeing it, utterly pleased by each-and-every moment that directors Joe and Anthony Russo and the screen writers packed into this 3 hour movie, a runtime that never once felt long.

There is much to accomplish in this movie. If the title and the press is to be believed, it is the wrap up of 22 prior films and provides a coda to the story line that was originated in 2008’s Iron Man. The most impressive feat of the movie is that it lives up to those expectations. It accomplishes all it sets out to do and it is surprisingly funny in doing so.

We know the story: following the events of Avengers | Infinity War half of the population of the universe has been annihilated and the surviving Avengers are wrestling with what to next. Can they find a way to undo what Thanos’ snap accomplished? Do they continue to “avenge” in this new world? Are they done with the superhero game all together?

One of the most impressive things about the movie is that any and all of the above answers seem possible. The audience has very little idea of where this movie is going to take them (even if they assume that time travel is, in fact, involved). Somehow, the filmmakers manage to engage, amuse and surprise with this Tale to Astonish and the ride is terrifically fun.

But the stakes are real. They are high. There are repercussions. Deaths count. Actions have reactions. Decisions have consequences.

That’s a good thing after the emotional investment many have made in these movies and in these characters.

One of the things that have set these Marvel Studios films apart is the spot-on casting and the all-in nature of the performances that the actors have given in their iconic roles. Robert Downey, jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner – the original Avengers – are all so very good in this movie as they have been in all of these Marvel films, that one hates to see the closing credits roll. Without question, things have changed. The endgame has been reached. Each of these actors has terrific moments in the movie and each deserves them. Likely we will never see them assembled together in quite the same way.

Telling a “last” chapter is a challenging thing. Think of the final installments that have preceded this movie. They are often less than fulfilling either as a conclusion to running plot lines. They are often less than fulfilling as a conclusion to emotional arcs. Avengers | Endgame satisfies on both of these fronts and on so many more.

If this is truly the end, what a magnificent end it is!

AVENGERS | ENDGAME receives FIVE CODAS out of a possible FIVE

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Movie Review, Movies

Countdown to ENDGAME | Captain Marvel


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Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 1.26.57 PM

One thing that absolutely must be said about Marvel Studios is that those who run it are very, very clever. With the massive cliffhanger ending that was Infinity War, the gave us Ant-Man and the Wasp which took place 3 days before the events of that movie and Captain Marvel which took place 20 years before that film.

Smart.

Captain Marvel is a great movie that, in its own way, is as revolutionary as Black Panther. Something of a celebration of women’s empowerment, the movie moves through the conventions of the super hero origin story quickly and deftly and manages to turn audience expectations a bit upside as it does. This is, in my opinion, to the good. I had no problem with the change in canon that Captain Marvel creates. It works.

Captain Marvel herself emerges as, perhaps, the most powerful superhero of them all. She is so powerful, in fact, that she will likely turn the tide against Thanos in Endgame.

I gave Captain Marvel FOUR FLERKINS out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it last month. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
  • Nick Fury
  • Phil Coulson
  • Yon Rogg
  • The Supreme Intelligence

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Carol Danvers’ affection for and loyalty to Nick Fury was established in the film and in the mid-credit sequence which is, likely, actually a scene from Endgame.
  • Captain Marvel’s power is something the Avengers will likely need if they are to defeat Thanos and his plans in Endgame.

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Filed under Ant-Man, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Ant-Man and the Wasp


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 10.25.11 AM

 

Ant-Man and the Wasp was a perfect palate cleanser following the oversized and universe shattering (literally) Avengers | Infinity War. Marvel movies in general and superhero movies overall tend to have stakes that are nothing less than the salvation of the world. Ant-Man and the Wasp feels personal and, dare I say it, small by comparison.

That is a good thing.

A charming romp that is a delightful action comedy, the movie further explores the story of Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne, the titular characters, and finds time for a fairly extended and highly entertaining supporting cast to shine as well. It also brings the quantum realm fully to the forefront and that, for sure, will have major ramifications for Endgame.

By-the-way, speaking of Endgame and the supporting cast here, I would LOVE for the movie to start with a half hour of Michael Pena’s Luis explaining all the Marvel movies that predate this concluding chapter. That would be amazing!

I gave Ant-Man and the Wasp FOUR GIANT SALT SHAKERS out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it earlier this year. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Janet Van Dyne (the original Wasp)
  • Bill Foster (Goliath)
  • Ghost

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Again, Marvel got this right by weaving very few connections between this movie and Endgame, however…
  • The mid-credit sequence that features the “dusting” of Hank Pym, Janet Pym and Hope Van Dyne and the marooning of Scott Lang in the quantum realm must be a critical moment, right?

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Filed under Ant-Man, Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Avengers | Infinity War


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Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Avengers | Infinity War

Infinity War

Epic. Unexpected. Shattering. Avengers | Infinity War is a movie that manages to balance a gigantic cast of existing characters while, somehow, introducing a compelling handful of new ones. And it manages to give each of them a specific moment to play. That, in-and-of-itself, is a great accomplishment.

Bringing Thanos finally to the fore, Infinity War is unlike other Marvel movies for one very important reason (and you wouldn’t be reading these posts if you had to be worried about spoilers): the Avengers lose.

Big time.

As heroes (and half of the rest of life in the universe) turn to dust, thoughts of the audience turn to the next installment of the series and wonder how the heroes will turn this around.

That they will is doubtless. How they will will be revealed this week.

It received SIX Infinity Stones out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it earlier this year. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Thanos (this is the first time we’ve really seen him)
  • Does anything else matter?

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Every piece of this movie leads to Endgame.
  • We will know a lot more about what pieces of this movie are going to be most developed in Endgame. Certainly, there are plot elements and keys to the inevitable victory of the Avengers laced throughout this film.

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Black Panther


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Black Panther

panther

Marvel might be running out of “WOW! We didn’t see that coming” moments. We did not see the success of Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man or Doctor Strange coming. Those were surprises. After Black Panther, where can Marvel possibly go?

Black Panther is, as I write this blog, the third highest grossing movie of all time. Nobody saw that coming.

It is also a simply wonderful film. It is powerful. It is humorous. It is exciting. It is engaging. Black Panther ought to be nominated as a Best Picture possibility next spring, that is how good this movie is. And, somehow, it does not hinge on all that has come before it. Somehow it manages to be almost entirely its own thing while existing within the framework of the larger Marvel universe. It is clearly a Marvel movie, to be sure, but it is also something else.

Something important.

I loved this movie and I cannot wait for more from the character. I will be thrilled to see him in Avengers: Infinity War and will look forward to Black Panther 2.

Black Panther may well be the best of all the Marvel movies. It has made more money than all the rest and it is already iconic. It received FIVE ARMORED RHINOS out of a possible FIVE when I reviewed it earlier this year. It deserves more…


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Nakia
  • Okoye
  • Erik Killmonger
  • Shuri
  • Romanda
  • M’Baku
  • N’Jobu
  • Zuri

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Black Panther paints the kingdom of Wakanda as a fully realized world and we saw much of Avengers: Infinity War there.
  • It is clear that Shuri, T’Challa’s sister, has successfully deprogrammed Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. Perhaps he has recovered himself just in time to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America? Perhaps very soon in Endgame?

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios

Countdown to ENDGAME | Thor | Ragnarok


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Thor | Ragnarok

Thor Rag

It is said of Thor | Ragnarok that director Taika Waititi allowed his cast to improvise wildly on set. Re-watching the movie, it is obvious this is true. The film is almost as fun as the Guardians of the Galaxy installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has a villain in Cate Blanchett’s Hela that is far superior to any adversary the Guardians faced. Add to the mix a truly wonderful character in Valkyrie and you have all the ingredients of a superior superhero film if…

… you ignore the fact that the deus ex machina at end of the movie and the salvation of the Asgardian people is, essentially, the exact same one utilized at the conclusion of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This movie is a significant set up for Infinity War, far more a lead in than Black Panther, which immediately precedes it. It also is significant fun in its own right. Far superior to Thor: The Dark WorldRagnarok is more confident and knows what it wants to accomplish. It closes a number of plot lines while advancing others. Great movie. Great performances. Great fun.

(But it does have THE WORST soundtrack – bracketing Immigrant Song – of all the Marvel movies – it is really bad)

Thor | Ragnarok is a terrifically fun movie and, when it opened last fall, I gave it FOUR and a HALF AIR CRAZY CAMEOS out of a possible FIVE. 


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Scourge
  • Hela, Goddess of Death, sister of Thor and Loki
  • Valkyrie
  • The Grandmaster
  • Korg
  • Thor’s new “Thunder” power

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • Thor starts the film by informing the audience what he has been doing since we last saw him: he has been searching for the Infinity Stones and he has not found any.
  • Thor has an extended (albeit utterly unnecessary) conversation with Doctor Strange.
  • “Fake” Infinity Gauntlet – apparently the gauntlet that Odin has (along with some other trinkets in his trophy room) are fake. When Hela gives Scourge a tour, they also pass the Tesseract – the Space Stone – one of the Infinity Stones Thanos will pursue in Infinity War. Did Loki steal it before the destruction of Asgard, by-the-way?
  • Oh, so this is where the Hulk has been!
  • We know from Infinity War that things for the Asgardian refugees did not go well.

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Filed under Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Comic Book Movies, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Comics, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Movies, Thor

Countdown to ENDGAME | Spider-Man | Homecoming


Related Content from And There Came A Day


Captain America: The First Avenger | Iron Man | The Incredible Hulk| Iron Man II Thor | The Avengers | Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Avengers: Age of Ultron | Ant-Man | Captain America: Civil War | Doctor Strange | Spider-Man: Homecoming | Thor: Ragnarok | Black Panther | Avengers: Infinity War | Ant-Man and the Wasp | Captain Marvel

Spider-Man | Homecoming

SpiderMan

Tom Holland is perfect as Spider-Man. Perfect. Marvel directors seem to have unerring instincts in casting and their choice for Spider-Man (who debuted in Captain America: Civil War – a film creatively revisited in this one) in Tom Holland is spot-on. This is a very fun film and does a massive amount of world building while telling a compelling Spider-Man story, too. The filmmakers based their take on the high school movies of John Hughes, and they do a great job generating that vibe.

Spider-Man | Homecoming is absolutely jam-packed with delightful easter eggs… Bruce Banner’s picture on a classroom wall display of famous scientists, the principal of Peter’s school is the grandson of a solider who fought with Captain America in World War II, Captain America’s educational videos, the Sokovia Accords, Donald Glover (soon to explode as Lando Calrissian is on hand), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is on screen, and Jennifer Connelly – the wife of Paul Bettany who provides the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S. and is the Vision – is the voice of Peter’s suit, which he names Karen. There are many more and, somehow, they do not overwhelm the movie.

Spider-Man | Homecoming also features one of the best Marvel villains in Michael Keaton’s Vulture. Fun, breezy and suitably Marvel, this is the second best of all Spider-Man movies (it does trail Spider-Man 2 by a pretty wide margin). It is also the most multi-cultural of all the Marvel movies (prior to Black Panther) and that casting serves it very well. There are a series of great set pieces here and the interplay between Spider-Man and Iron Man is fun to watch. It is so pervasive, however, that it does lead one to question whether Spider-Man will be able to carry his own movie.

Oh, and the twist ending is very, very well handled.

When Spider-Man | Homecoming opened, I gave it FOUR AND A HALF (because Holland is just SO good) FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOODS out of a possible FIVE.


KEY INTRODUCTIONS:

  • Adrian Toomes, The Vulture
  • Damage Control
  • MJ (Mary Jane, perhaps?)
  • The Shocker (two, in fact!)
  • Aaron Davis (the Prowler)
    • Miles Morales is referenced… he will become a Spider-Man, too!
  • Phineas Mason, The Thinker

CONNECTION(S) TO ENDGAME:

  • For a movie that almost immediately precedes Infinity War, there are surprisingly few lead ins to the movie, however…
  • The so-called Iron Spider armor is introduced at the end of the film when Peter turns down Avengers membership. He accepts it in Infinity War.
  • Tony Stark’s relationship with Pepper Potts seems very much back on after the “break” the two were on in Civil War… and we certainly know more given that they are engaged in Infinity War.
  • The new Avengers upstate New York headquarters features prominently in the last act. We will be seeing more of it in ENDGAME.

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Filed under Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Films, Marvel Movies, Marvel Studios, Movies, Spider-Man