‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Review

Marvel raises the bar once again for the Superhero genre. Creating their greatest achievement yet. It’s perfectly balanced, as all things should be.

I laughed, I cried, I cheered. And that was all just in the first 10 minutes. I had to wait until Sunday night to finally see the much anticipated Avengers: Infinity War. Do you know how difficult it is to stay spoiler free from the biggest movie of the last decade? It’s extremely hard, I did my best to stay off social media, so when Sunday night rolled around I was ecstatic I was walking in spoiler free. So after a decade and 18 movies later, did Marvel hit a grand slam? Yes, yes they did. I’m not really sure where to start, this will be a spoiler free review, I’m going to write another piece about the future of the MCU and how I really thought about EVERYTHING that happens in Infinity War, but for now, here’s my review! Also just congratulations on this becoming the highest grossing movie ever domestically in a single weekend. It deserves it, this is bar none the best MCU movie ever made.

Boy did Marvel not hold back, from the very opening moments of the film, this felt like something epic. This review might be all over the place, because it will be extremely hard to write something spoiler free, which this will be! We are immediately introduced to Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his trusty side kicks – The Black Order. For sidekicks, the Black Order were pretty goddamn awesome I thought. Hats off to Tom Vaughn-Lawlor who played Ebony Maw, because if you tossed him into any other MCU movie, we could be talking about one of the best MCU villains here. Just so happens he was standing next to Thanos for the entire movie so it’s hard to really consider him truly great, because well Thanos climbed to the top of Mount Rushmore of comic book movie villains after this performance. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, it’s not like we have been waiting since 2012, when he first reared his big ugly purple head. Since then they have been building the MCU for this very moment. When everything finally comes together, crossovers you didn’t know you wanted, team ups we could have never imagined and more importantly the Avengers coming face to face with the Mad Titan Thanos. For the last 6 years all we have heard about is the 6 infinity stones and the unimaginable power they all contain. Put them all together and that person has the power to accomplish anything. Well Thanos is looking to round up all these stones and it’s up to our heroes to stop him. That’s almost the strongest part of the entire movie. It’s not an overly complicated plot, it’s simple. Thanos wants the stones, our heroes are trying to do everything and anything they can to stop him.

Thanos was such a terrific villain, we are coming off such a strong one with Killmonger in Black Panther, but Marvel stepped their game up even more with Thanos. What makes a truly memorable and great villain performance, is well, they need to have layers, and the character kind of needs to be flushed out throughout the movie. We get a ton of background and history about Thanos, we get to see inside his mind, what makes him tick and everything he truly loves. For being the most evil person in the entire universe, there are parts of the movie where you almost are rooting for him to get all the stones. Like if someone asks me, “Was Thanos a good villain?” Well, he’s unstoppable, terrifying, sadistic, at times polite and like i mentioned, in a few brief moments, sympathetic. He’s just not a power hungry mad man who has no sense or sense awareness to everything around him. He’s so much more complex than that, and you almost see where he’s coming from. He’s the most badass villain to ever show up in a comic book movie, and with that comes the fact he’s almost the most sympathetic villain to ever grace the big screen. So if you haven’t figured out by now, I really enjoyed Thanos, he makes the movie and I was glad that he got the most screen time out of any character in the entire movie. Frankly, us fans that have been waiting all this time for him to show up deserved it.

As for the rest of the team they all work so well together. Yes they all don’t have the most screen time, but if you love these characters and watching them, then you won’t care. The interactions between characters, like Rocket and Thor, Tony and Dr. Strange are all things I didn’t know I needed so badly in my life. The Russo Brothers picked the perfect little teams to divide into, and I think that was really important. If that doesn’t work, the whole movie doesn’t work. I thought Dr. Strange, Thor and Gamora were the MVP’s of our heroes. Thor has evolved into the best MCU character in my opinion and I can’t wait to see how he will keep evolving. The whole movie really flies by, they don’t really pussyfoot around at all. You’re in waist deep before you know it, and instantly the stakes are at an all time high. I saw a lot of people saying this was just another “funny MCU movie” and yes of course it’s funny. I’m happy this movie is funny, but when it wants to get down to the nitty gritty and be serious, it’s actually bone chilling serious. There are moments in this movie that I never saw coming, things that maybe I saw coming. Things I thought might happened, happened. Things that could happen, happened. A ton of available evidence and suspicion confirmed that, in the end that thing would happen. I WAS NOT PREPARED AT ALL TO WATCH THAT THING HAPPEN. This movie tugs on your heart strings and when the screen fades to black, you are gut punched. You are looking around searching for answers, you want to know what the hell just happened. I think that’s my favourite part about this whole thing. I have no idea where Marvel is going to take this thing. Well I have some thoughts and wild ideas, but I actually don’t really know the future direction of the MCU and for the first time in a long time, I am so intrigued about this whole thing.

Like I can’t even say much more, because all I want to do is talk about everything that happens within the movie. But I can’t, not here at least. What more do you want me to say? This is the movie of 2018, no other comic book movie will come close to making me feel what I felt during Infinity War. It’s damn near perfect, I can’t wait to watch it again. I saw it back to back nights, because I needed that in order to really process everything. Go see this movie, don’t be that weirdo that sits this one out. I will say this – It’s perfectly balanced as all things should be.

Check ya later

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Avengers: Infinity War = 98/100

 

‘Black Panther’ Exit Survey.

If you still haven’t seen Black Panther, shame on you.

(MARVEL)

The world has spoken, and it is indeed Wakanda forever! Grossing the 5th highest opening weekend of all-time, everyone is in love with Black Panther. So it only felt right to do a follow-up post about it. I asked fellow blogger Jason Kerin, who you can check out on WordPress at jasonsmovieblog.com. He does fantastic work, so if you’re ever looking for a well-written, insightful movie review, please go give him a follow and read his work! We thought it would be fun to do a little exit survey and ask ourselves a few questions about Black Panther!

Tweet Length Review of Black Panther?

Jason: T’Challa returns home to Wakanda to be crowned King. However, trouble soon begins to brew for the newly crowned King as an old enemy emerges and with it a new challenge that soon becomes clear that could alter Wakanda’s future.

Nathan: A worthy addition to the ever-growing MCU, in which we see the most compelling villain since Loki. Maybe too much Black Panther and not enough Killmonger.

Best Part of The Movie?

Jason: The three well-rounded women that surround T’Challa (Okyoe, Shuri, and Nakia). Loved all three of them. Okyoe was a badass, Nakia brought an interesting point of view to the political drama of the narrative, and Shuri was my personal favorite…. she had the best lines….” What are those!!!!”

Nathan: For me, going into Black Panther I knew Michael B Jordan was going to be great as Killmonger. He’s a terrific actor and seeing him play the villain was a new to everybody. We are custom to seeing him play the good guy (Creed) or the baby face in a rom-com. He exceeded my expectations without doubt, but the best part of the movie was hands down Letitia Wright who played Shuri. T’Challa’s younger sister, and science tech guru, she stole every scene she was in, and this is going to be a breakout role for her.

Worst Part of The Movie?

Jason: Despite having a strong theme and message, the actually narrative beats during the second half of the film were quite predictable as I guessed what would happen before it did.

Nathan: The movie is a smash hit, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Like every comic book movie this movie has some flaws, and for me, the worst part of the movie was the lackluster CGI in certain moments in the movie. Especially during the last action sequence between Black Panther and Killmonger. It at times can take you out of the movie, and for a movie so good, that’s the last thing you want.

Who Wins In A Fight, Batman or Black Panther?

Jason: Definitely Black Panther, especially since he has new suit that could absorb kinetic energy

Nathan: I hate to say this, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s Black Panther. I don’t think Batman would be able doc counter his Vibranium suit; he just wouldn’t have an answer for it. Breaks my heart to say, maybe with a ton of prep time and knowing what he’s getting himself into, but he would be too much for the Dark Knight to handle.

Where does Michael B Jordan stack up in the MCU villain hierarchy?

Jason: Hmmmm…. well, I have mixed thoughts about him. The character of Killmonger was very rounded and the most compelling villain in the MCU, but I just couldn’t buy into him (as an actor). I do like him, but I couldn’t see him as a bad guy. However, I think he’s definitely one of the better MCU villains.

Nathan: He’s almost right at the top of the list. If we are talking one-offs here, it’s Killmonger then Loki. But since we’ve seen Loki four times now, he’s grown on us so much, and Tom Hiddleston does such a fantastic job, it’s hard to argue with anyone but him. In terms of impact, Killmonger was just relatable and you almost stood for what he believed in. Like all great villains he pushes the hero to be better and is always flawed in the way he does things. He just wasn’t evil for the sake of being evil, he had a real purpose, and that goes a long way in making a true great villain.

Can you believe Ryan Coogler is only 31 years old? Where does he go from here?

Jason: Damn…. didn’t know that! Wow! With Black Panther deemed a success, much like Fruitvale Station and Creed, I think the skies the limit for Coogler. He certainly does a have promising career as a director and I can’t wait to see what he does next.

Nathan: Without doubt the best young director in Hollywood today. I can’t recall the last time a director this young has had three impactful, meaningful and successful movies to open up his career. He can do anything at this point, I’m sure his phone is ringing off the hook right now with job offers. I wanted him for Creed 2, that’s not happening, I know he will be doing Black Panther 2 soon enough, but I want him to tackle a drama. Something that is Oscar caliber, because he needs to start being recognized, being 31 years old and having the command behind the camera like he does is very inspirational. I look forward growing old and watching Coogler movies, kind of makes the world a better place.

Check ya later.

 

 

 

‘Black Panther’ Review

Haven’t seen Black Panther yet? “Wakanda” do about it? You can get your butt to the theatre and enjoy this movie, that’s what!

c6739778-007d-4914-9351-9e2e50da1fbc-black-panther-shuri-letitia-wright.jpg
(DISNEY)

“T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, rises to the throne in the isolated, technologically advanced African nation, but his claim is challenged by a vengeful outsider who was a childhood victim of T’Challa’s father’s mistake.”

The latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is none other than Black Panther, which was written and directed by Ryan Coogler. It continues the story of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) after the events of Captain America: Civil War, where he is set to become the King of his country Wakanda. After Civil War came out, there were a few standouts of the movie and Boseman and his portrayal of Black Panther was one of them. So when they attached Ryan Coogler to helm his first solo movie, everyone was excited. First things first, the hype surrounding this movie is massive, and I understand that, but this is also a movie, and like every movie, it has flaws. This is important to discuss, because I believe that if people dissect this movie and talk about the good (which there is so much of) but also the flaws, they might fear repercussions. Which isn’t fair, because like most movies, especially comic book movies, they are bound to have flaws in them, it just comes with the territory. So I think it’s best to view the movie as a whole and just enjoy it for what it is. A terrifically directed, well acted Marvel movie, which will please audiences everywhere and make a boatload of money.

What does it take to be King of a nation? What responsibilities comes with it? For T’Challa he is about to find out about all of these things, and what it truly means to be a great ruler and leader of a nation. Going into Black Panther, I knew there would be a strong political message, and strong social commentary, which there was. But Coogler found a way to do it so seamlessly and naturally, that it really tied the movie together. Wakanda is the most technologically advanced country in the world, yet they hide in plain sight. Built on the backbone of Vibranium, they have the means to do so much, but they keep all of these secrets to themselves. They do not help the outside world, and millions of people could use their help. T’Challa is conflicted when he becomes King, because unlike previous rulers, he believes Wakanda can be doing so much more. They have the power and tools to help so many of those that suffer; yet they do nothing, and that starts to eat away at him. This is where Michael B Jordan’s character Killmonger comes into play. You see, he is of Wakandan decent but was raised in America, so he didn’t have all of this technology and a safe space to grow up in. Now an adult, he wonders why they sit back and do nothing, while their kind is struggling in the outside world. So when he challenges T’Challa to the throne, he wants to be King, so he can use their technology to essentially rule the world. Or take back what was rightfully theirs. Michael B Jordan is such a great young talented actor and when he was cast as Killmonger, and I saw he was going to be playing the villain, I knew this had serious potential to be a special performance, it was. He gives a charismatic performance, the best villain since Loki, and the craziest part about Killmonger is, you feel for him. Like I said, he wasn’t raised in the protective bubble that is Wakanda, he was raised in the outside world, and had to deal with all the hardships that come with that. Stuff we know to be true and see everyday on the news, and he is extremely pissed off that they have done nothing about it. So when he shows up in Wakanda and starts asking all of these questions, it makes all the other characters start to question their own beliefs, and that is what makes the movie so damn good. What makes a truly great villain is when he makes the hero question his own belief system and what it means to be a hero, and Killmonger does just that. Because deep down, you kind of believe in what he believes in. Why doesn’t Wakanda help the outside world? Why aren’t they using this incredible technology to help those in need? So you start to see where he’s coming from, but like every great villain, he goes about it the wrong way. He questions the entire existence of Wakanda and what it means to be the world’s most powerful nation, and they start to listen. Michael just gives such a powerful performance, like I knew he would and continues to just knock it out of the park. That brings me to the biggest flaw of the movie, not enough Killmonger. He has such a cool introduction and you are instantly connected to him, then we go about 40 minutes without him. The movie needed more, because whenever he was on screen, you couldn’t look away, and every one of his scenes was intense.

Michael B Jordan isn’t the only standout in this superb cast. Again this movie is being celebrated because of the massive African American cast, which it should be. The movie is so rich in black culture, but Coogler also uses that to build a culture of his own, which is that of Wakanda. The world building here is incredible, and you leave the theatre wanting to see more and to understand more. They could have just said, look at this magical place we have made up, and not given any insight to their beliefs or culture, but they dive so deep into it, you almost begin to think it’s a real place. That is truly the work of a great director. Letitia Wright who plays Shuri, the little sister to T’Challa was the breakout star of this film. She gives one heck of a performance, where she can be fierce and feisty, yet provides some of the biggest laughs in the entire movie. A star making performance in my mind, and I expect to see her in many things down the line. I can’t wait to see her in upcoming MCU movies, because she was so great. The whole cast is awesome, and I know they all had so much fun making this movie together and knew what it would mean to the world. This really is a special movie, during a time when we need a movie like this. Because the themes and the messages behind it are so relevant today, that it makes it that much more important. Marvel could have just made another stereotypical comic book movie. About a guy in a costume and have a ton of stuff blow up. Yes stuff goes boom and there’s a guy in a costume, but it’s about so much more, and that’s why it’s so important.

In the end I really enjoyed Black Panther, it was a fun ride, with plenty of action, the CGI in some parts was a tad underwhelming, but overall it’s was fine. I prefer a better-told story and a strong message behind something than having incredible CGI. Ryan Coogler is now three for three in directing and he’s only 31 years old. That’s a very inspirational thing, seeing someone so young create such incredible movies. He has such a bright future ahead of him, and personally I can’t wait to continue watching him make movies for decades to come.

Check ya later.

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Black Panther = 90/10

Bow Down To Black Panther

Anyone else getting a Lion King vibe. 

(MARVEL)

Well this certainly cured the Monday blues. Sunday scaries were hitting pretty hard last night and this was a nice little treat to wake up too. Black Panther is ultra badass and this entire trailer is truly something unique and something we really haven’t seen from a Marvel movie before. Is the Rocky universe part of the Marvel universe? Because that would be a crossover I would love to see. Ryan Coogler the director is really putting his stamp on this movie, and making it his own. It’s very urban looking, insanely colourful, and just all around world building. 

Tons of action is going on throughout the trailer, but very little about the actual story line is known up to this point. I pointed out that this trailer feels very “world-building” where we are not in a modern city like most Marvel movies or in space for the GOTG and Thor franchises. We are seeing things we have yet to uncover and discover in this trailer and everything just looks spectacular. We have gotten a slew of trailers lately and I think this is really close to being my favourite one. It’s right there with The Last Jedi trailer. 

The cast is just fantastic but I can’t stress enough how excited I am to see Michael B Jordan tackle the role of a villain. He’s one of my favourite actors working today, and I’m really excited to see his take on this character. Seriously this is one of the best all around casts in a comic book movie that I can remember, there are so many talented people working on this movie, it really is something special. I’m not really sure what’s going on with the suits, but it looks pretty awesome, I’m excited to get to learn more about Black Panther and where he comes from. 

Ryan Coogler cares deeply about all of his projects and the fact he also is getting a writing credit for Black Panther speaks volumes. I know there is going to be a ton of passion and heart behind the camera and in the script, so that’s why I have tremendous faith in this movie. He’s coming off Creed which was one of my favourite movies of that year, so he’s got a great track record. There’s just too much to love about the entire project for me not to realize that Marvel has another home run on their hands. Look for this one to break the mould on the cookie cutter formula we are all so accustomed too when it comes to these Marvel movies, I think this one is going to be special. 

Check ya later. 

So ‘Black Panther’ Looks Really Dope 

Michael B. Jordan as a bad guy? Sign me up!

(MARVEL)
Wow, wow, wow! Okay, so one of the best parts of Civil War was the introduction of Black Panther. The king of Wakanda is now getting his very own movie, and my god, this just looks incredible. Ryan Coogler is fresh off his Creed success, I thought it was such a fantastic movie. How he handled the Rocky universe and his ability to tell a great story, can only be a recipe for success when it comes to Black Panther.

First things first, this cast is remarkably good. The amount of star power is just something you don’t see in a comic book movie. Big stars are certainly involved, it’s just the actual amount of incredible actors and actresses is something truly special. From Michael B. Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett and finally Forest Whitaker. Now that’s some serious star power, I can’t wait to see Michael B. Jordan and Daniel Kaluuya play a couple of bad guys. Daniel is coming off playing hero of the century in Get Out, and you always think of Michael as such a sweet and innocent guy in everything he’s in. Wakanda itself looks breathtakingly beautiful, the visuals throughout this trailer, especially shots of Wakanda are just top notch. It’s a nice change of scenery for the MCU, shifting away from either that cosmic look, or the big city feel, that most of the movies have.

Marvel does enjoy following the same cookie cutter formula for every origin story they tell, but this one seems different. Maybe it’s because we have already been introduced to this character, but certainly not his universe or where he comes from. But I got a serious Batman vibe from this trailer, and when he’s lurking up in the trees, it felt like Batman, and that’s only a compliment. I’m really curious to know if Bucky will make his return, seeing how we last saw him going into some sort of hyper sleep at the end of Civil War. I would love to see these two characters interact again, and build on their unique relationship. We also have Martin Freeman and Andy Serkis back in the mix, Serkis is playing bad guy Ulysses Klaw again, the arms dealer from Age of Ultron, and it’s just a nice little reunion for the actors. Seeing how they both stared in The Hobbit movies together.

What can I say, Black Panther is going to be Batman for the MCU. I’m pretty excited to see this thing, and I have a feeling they will have some awesome action sequences throughout it. Some of the hand to hand combat looks amazing, it’s very brutal and face paced, which again makes it feel like Batman. This movie needs to come out sooner rather than later.

Check ya later.