Letitia Wright

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Director:

Anthony Russo

Joe Russo

Writers:

Christopher Markus

Stephen McFeely

Starring:

Robert Downey Jr.

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Evans

Chris Pratt

Mark Ruffalo

Don Cheadle

Benedict Cumberbatch

Tom Holland

Chadwick Boseman

Tom Hiddleston

Anthony Mackie

Sebastian Stan

Bradley Cooper

Paul Bettany

Vin Diesel

Scarlett Johansson

Zoe Saldana

Karen Gillan

Elizabeth Olsen

Danai Gurira

Pom Klementieff

Letita Wright

Gwyneth Paltrow

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.

Review:

Thor, Chris Hemsworth, and the Asgardians that escaped from Hela have been decimated by Thanos, Josh Brolin. Well, half of them, I’m going to assume Valkyrie got away with the other half because she’s not seen in the movie. Thanos beats the shit out of The Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, and for what might be the first time The Hulk gets scared and for the rest of the movie refuses to come out which puts our heroes at a disadvantage. Bruce may be smart, but they needed brawn more than another brain.

Tony, Robert Downey Jr., is settling into life, still not really facing his fears, but wanting to make a commitment to Pepper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and become a family man. I feel like I think he’s got certain issues, but he believes he has other ones entirely, and that’s why I never get to see any movement on his PTSD and anxiety. Seeing him and Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch, interact was one of the highlights of the movie. I also really enjoyed how each group or individual still had their own style. It was very clear when you were with Strange or the Guardians or the others, which I appreciated.

Star Lord, Chris Pratt, is the real fuck up of this movie. Everyone else is heroic, but he decided to lean more toward his roguish nature. He reacted entirely in character, which is annoying, cause everyone else rose to new heights with this challenge, but he was an ass and ruined everything.

Is Thor the mightiest Avenger now? I think there’s got to be a strong case for him. The Hulk is hiding inside Banner and Thor withstood the power of a dying star, after surviving floating in space for an undetermined amount of time. He’s grieving but still did what was necessary, plus he’s a cross between an angel and a pirate, I’d read that romance novel.

The final battle takes place in Wakanda, but Black Panther and his crew probably have the least amount of screen time, with maybe Cap and his people coming in next. There are a TON of people in this movie so it’s not entirely unexpected but I’m hoping that they all have more of a part to play in Endgame.

So many people are “dead” but you don’t see a lot of them actually disappear on screen so who exactly is gone isn’t quite clear. I believe the directors may have confirmed a few people, but I refuse to believe that Loki, Tom Hiddleston, is actually dead. He’s died too many times and he had to know what Thanos was going to do, he’s alive somewhere in the universe.

This movie felt more inspired by the older movies, so some of the things I’ve loved in the last few movies weren’t here. Thor was still awesome, but apart from Gamora, Zoe Saldana, and Scarlett Witch, Elizabeth Olsen, the female representation was light. Scarlett Witch and Vision, Paul Bettany, and their relationship felt really weird, in my opinion. I’m assuming it was something in the comics. I guess it was teased in Civil War, but it came off as more Vision being kind of creepy and Scarlett Witch being polite about it in that movie. I don’t know, they’re probably my least favorite characters, so while their story plays a key part to the movie it’s my least favorite. It doesn’t help that this is the most we’ve ever really spent with them so there hasn’t been as much buildup.

The end credit scene is nothing but hype for me, especially after watching Captain Marvel. Seeing Fury, Samuel L. Jackson, and Maria Hill, Cobie Smulders, again was just so exciting!

Infinity War is technically a complete story, but not really. We all know there is no way all of those heroes are staying dead and that Thanos is going to win. It just can’t/won’t happen. It is basically a two part story with an excellent first part, but what happens in Endgame is going to make a huge impact on it and could completely change my opinion of Infinity War. We’ll just have to see what happens.

Original Review

4/5

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Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther

Black Panther (2018)

Director:

Ryan Coogler

Writers:

Ryan Coogler

Joe Robert Cole

Starring:

Chadwick Boseman

Michael B. Jordan

Lupita Nyong’o

Danai Gurira

Letitia Wright

Winston Duke

Plot:

T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past.

Review:

T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, has come home to be crowned the new King of Wakanda after the death of his father in the events of Civil War. His ex is a spy for Wakanda and he can’t face his coronation without her because there is clearly love still there. Everything goes swimmingly with the coronation, though, there is a challenger that makes T’Challa work for it.

Still, things seem to finally be calming down for T’Challa. He’s mourning the loss of his father, but death appears to be a positive thing for Wakandans. He’s thinking about the future of his kingdom and whether to reveal their true nature to the rest of the world, when suddenly a notorious criminal responsible for the deaths of many of his people, shows up. Naturally, he must go after him. It ends up snowballing when Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan, shows up and takes the crown.

Here’s the thing, what makes Black Panther so incredible is the cast and the development given to their characters. This is easily one of the most creative Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, if not the most creative. It wasn’t just Black Panther’s costume that was created and imagined it was an entire country. It was incredible the amount of detail that was included. I would watch a TV show or read a book that had nothing to do with Black Panther set in Wakanda.

Women appear to be treated equally, Okoye, Danai Gurira, is their best fighter. Shuri, Letitia Wright, is the smartest person in the country and possibly the world. She certainly puts Tony and Bruce in their places in Infinity War. Even Nakia, Lupita Nyong’o, pushes T’Challa to be better and he listens to her. Each of the women here have personality and character and history. They aren’t just there to support the lead, though there is that, they are their own people.

Okoye is a general and stands by her oath to the very end, even when it goes against her wishes. Shuri doesn’t appear to back down from anyone, facing everything head on with her brain leading the way. Nakia loves T’Challa but refuses to compromise her career for that love because she believes what she’s accomplishing with it is more important and T’Challa knows that. He is able to find a compromise for them at the end. They are all strong, capable women, but with their own strengths and weaknesses, and they aren’t just props to further along T’Challa’s story.

This movie means so much to me because of those women. We’ve had Black Widow, Scarlett Witch, to a lesser extent Valkyrie, and a few others, but these women are the first time that I feel like we’ve gotten some fleshed out female superheroes and it’s just been one movie. They make me so excited for what’s to come for the MCU future.

Original Review

5/5

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Director:

Anthony Russo

Joe Russo

Starring:

Robert Downey Jr.

Chris Hemsworth

Mark Ruffalo

Chris Evans

Benedict Cumberbatch

Chadwick Boseman

Zoe Saldana

Tom Hiddleston

Paul Bettany

Elizabeth Olsen

Tom Holland

Danai Gurira

Scarlet Johansson

Josh Brolin

Chris Pratt

Letitia Wright

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.

Review:

SPOILERS

So I’ve seen Infinity War. Once. On opening day. That was pretty cool and even with pre-purchased tickets kind of a surprise. It happened though, so here are my thoughts.

My one desire for this movie was to see Tony, Robert Downey Jr., dead. I liked him in Iron Man 1 & 2, and I think RDJ is perfectly cast, but I am so freaking over Iron Man. He really pissed me off in Civil War and…I’m not going to get into that here, but I wanted him gone. He is not. He’s still there. Living. Breathing. Marrying Pepper. Color me annoyed.

Plus side Captain America, Chris Evans, is still alive too. Love Captain America, he’s awesome and all the things you want in a Leader. He was barely in the movie sadly and I hope that changes in the next.

Thor, Chris Hemsworth, was the Thor from Raganrok, so yeah! He was funny, and mourning, and determined, and his 1500 year old self kicked some ass. His interactions with the Guardians of the Galaxy were great.

The Russo’s managed to do a great job showing the differences between all the heroes and groups. Doctor Strange’s, Benedict Cumberbatch’s, fighting in particular was spot on. It is stylistically different from all the others and distinct and they did a great job showing that. Everyone sounded like they should and they reacted how you would expect them too, it was great.

I wasn’t much of a fan of Vision, Paul Bettany, and Scarlet Witch’s, Elizabeth Olsen’s, relationship. Well, not the relationship, but the focus. I just don’t care about those characters at this point. Vision is supposed to be this super powerful being but he’s forever getting his ass kicked. Scarlet Witch is pretty boring too.

The scenes in Wakanda were great, though I really wish we had more Shuri, Letitia Wright, and Okoye, Danai Gurira. The fight with Okoye, Black Widow, Scarlet Johansson, and Scarlet Witch was the worst filmed fight of the movie which was a huge disappointment. You couldn’t see what the hell was going on.

The movie had a huge cast so while I missed getting to see more of my favorite characters I understood it. So I’m not going to complain too much about it.

Thanos, Josh Brolin, while not as empathetic a villain as Killmonger, was still really good. You could understand his goal and motivations even if you thought he was fucked up in his methods.

The endings was expected, for me at least. It was definitely a downer, like Rogue One, but I fully expect it to get reset in the next Avengers movie. If that doesn’t happen, well, it will definitely end up impacting how I feel about this movie. Infinity War was a set up. Technically it was a complete story, but it was also buildup for the future movies so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens next.

4.5/5

Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther (2018)

Director:

Ryan Coogler

Starring:

Chadwick Boseman

Michael B. Jordan

Lupita Nyong’o

Danai Gurira

Martin Freeman

Plot:

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.

Review:

There is no way I can do this film justice in my review. I’m just not skilled enough and I’m still surfing on a buzz of awesome, but I’ll try.

T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman, is now not only the Black Panther but he’s king. Well, he will as soon as he completes a traditional ritual that involves fighting anyone that challenges him.

This is an incredibly technologically advanced culture and yet they are still able to honor their traditions, it was really quiet lovely. Embracing one did not, necessarily, take away from the other. However, it did end up causing some problems and they might want to think about a change in the future.

Anyway, as king he makes a vow to finally capture the colonizer that killed so many of their own decades ago. He’s given a chance, but is blindsided by a new player and loses his opportunity. This angers one of his friends and ends up providing an opening to the true villain, Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan.

Marvel is really winning on the villain side of things lately. They had a horrible, lets please forget the movie ever exists, misstep with Age of Ultron but got things right with Thor: Ragnarok and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Doctor Strange. They’re on a real winning streak which has me really looking forward to all the future movies.

Anyway, back to Black Panther. Killmonger could have very easily been not evil enough. He was incredibly empathetic, you could easily see how he’d become what he had become. He’d suffered and seen his people suffering all the while knowing that there was an entire country where they weren’t. Where they advanced beyond anything in the rest of the world. If he had stopped there, pleaded his case to T’Challa and tried the more humanitarian route that Nakia, Lupita Nyong’o, wanted to go then the movie wouldn’t have been as good. He went further and in so doing nearly destroyed what Wakanda stood for, but he also forced T’Challa to really see what life was like for those outside of his country and also see that his father wasn’t perfect.

Villains that make the hero change, to see other perspectives, are the best. Black Panther was a great hero, he was everything I like in a super hero. He was a good man, that strove to do the right things and make the right decisions, even when it wasn’t always the easiest route. Without Killmonger, though, I don’t think the movie would have succeeded so well in my eyes.

The supporting cast in Black Panther was also incredible. I freaking loved General Okoye, Danai Gurira, she was so freaking awesome. That red dress billowing in the breeze while she destroyed shit around her. So cool! Then you’ve got T’Challa’s sister Shuri, Letitia Wright, who was hilarious. It was so much fun to see her interactions with T’Challa. I also enjoyed how Martin Freeman’s character, Everett Ross, was the token white guy. He wasn’t killed in the first few minutes, he was actually given something useful to do so that was nice for him.

Black Panther is my second favorite Marvel movie, it was so good, and I hope that everyone is able to go see it.

5/5