They’re All Dead!!! (Spoilers Ahead)

Avengers_Infinity_War_logo_001Wow!!! 10 years and 18 films later and Infinity War is the first MCU film where I did not leave with excitement about what I just saw, but instead excitement for the next Avengers film and the start of a new 10 year story line. That is not to say I did not like the movie. By all means it was fantastic and had so many great moments I cannot list them all here. It was just the first film for me from the MCU that did not have some optimism towards the end.

We saw Loki die very early on, Gamora was sacrificed by Thanos, and Vision was destroyed by Thanos towards the end of the movie (not to mention the whole Black Order was destroyed). It was the end where Thanos achieved his goal of wiping out half of existence and we saw many heroes die (which you will have to find out who by watching the movie). I am familiar with the original comic book story line, but I was shocked that the directors (the Russo brothers) had the guts to depict so much death and sadness on screen for many fans who were not comic book geeks. Of course, I know that most of these characters will come back because no one stays dead in comics, but some may not, especially those whose deaths were depicted earlier in the story. Walking out of the movie I just shook my head and said “Hmmm…what are they doing next?”.

The Russo brothers were perfect choices to direct this movie since they not only had no issues filming this intense of a story in a mostly lighthearted cinematic universe, but they also handled the insane amount of characters quite well. The antagonistic relationship between Tony Stark and Stephen Strange was entertaining as was Spider-Man’s excitement over becoming an Avenger. The Guardians of the Galaxy were their usual hilarious selves and inserting Thor into their dynamic worked masterfully. Seeing Captain America and Black Panther fight side by side was awe inspiring and for me there were no weak points in this movie.

The shocking, but not totally unexpected, ending sets up next year’s 4th Avengers film perfectly and I cannot wait to see how this is all resolved and how they start up a new version of the Avengers along with another 10 years of amazing films.

This film does require you to have knowledge of the previous films so if you do and you have not seen Infinity War yet, get out there now!

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Deadpool

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*As usual…spoilers ahead”

One of the most surprising and best films of 2016 so far is Deadpool. Created by Fabian Nicieza and Rob Liefeld in 1991 and debuting in The New Mutants #98, this character has a long history and is one of the most popular in Marvel’s line of mutant characters. In recent years the character has taken on a more adult sensibility and added large amounts of over the top humor to make the fans want a movie adaptation for some time.

We did get to see Wade Wilson/Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and even though Ryan Reynolds showed us the potential for the character earlier in the film the ending dashed all hopes at the time (just watch the ending of the film to see why so many people abhor it). Despite all this Reynolds still wanted a Deadpool solo movie so he could do justice to the character and give us a much better interpretation of the ‘Merc with a Mouth”.

20th Century Fox seemed to have zero desire to greenlight this film based on the previous movie’s reception, but that did not deter Reynolds. Test footage was leaked in 2014 that showed a hilarious, action packed scene that gave fans the Deadpool we all wanted to see. this caught the attention of Fox and the movie was finally greenlit  and the world is better for it!

What we got was a dirty, foul mouthed, action packed movie that broke all sorts of box-office records for an R-rated film and gave the audience the Deadpool we all wanted and deserved. The beginning of the money shows us the finalized scene of the test footage that went viral and was an amazing way to start the film. The violence, over the top humor, and amazing action got this movie off to the right start and let the audience know up front that they were in for a treat.

Ryan Reynolds has finally found the role of his career so far. He is simply hilarious and knows the character inside and out which gives us an incredible performance. There is no one that could of played this character any better.

The cast is solid overall, but the one who really sticks out is T.J. Miller as Weasel who is Wilson’s best friend. He delivers some classic lines in his unique way that only adds to the humor of the movie and makes it that much better overall.

I also enjoyed Deadpool’s sidekicks Negasonic Teenage Warhead and Colossus (Brianna Hildebrand and Stefan Kapicic respectively). Both performers played their roles perfectly and held their own despite the outstanding performance of Reynolds.

Every moment of this film is fun, exciting, and leaves you wanting more when the movie is done. The post credits scene is very memorable as well showing Deadpool’s homage to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off while letting the audience know that there will be a sequel featuring Cable which we have seen in the comics as a hilarious duo.

I cannot stress more that this is a very adult movie. With heavy violence and gore, very adult language, nudity and sex, this is a movie that young children should not see. I only stress this because I heard several stories about the movie’s theatrical run with many an ignorant parent bringing their children to see the film because a “superhero” is in it only to complain over the content. FYI…it is R-rated for a reason.

If you are not too sensitive to adult material and are looking for a fun movie with big laughs then go to the store and buy a copy on blu-ray. You will not be disappointed.

Captain America: Civil War

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*Be forewarned…there are spoilers ahead*

There is a always a great deal of excitement when a new Marvel movie comes out. The success rate for these movies is quite high and even though some are better than others, all the movies in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) have been entertaining and important to watch considering how each movie effects the others. After watching Civil War I realized that superhero movies are not in a slump as some people claim and are in no danger of wearing out their welcome as long as they continue to be as excellent of a movie as this one. The Russo brothers have given us great hope that their spin on the MCU will be the best to date.

One thing was made very clear to me after watching this film…all those before it were leading to this movie. The very first Iron Man made a clear reference to the Civil War comic book event when the movie ended with Tony Stark telling everyone he is Iron Man which was a key moment early on in the comic book event. Also, the destruction at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron hinted strongly at the fact that something was going to happen as a result of so many civilians being killed and injured.

The conflict between Tony Stark and Steve Rogers has been shown throughout their previous meetings and due to the Sokovia Accords (which essentially gives the government control over the Avengers) the antagonism between them come to a boiling point. What impressed me most is how the movie makes you see and somewhat agree with both sides. Controlling the superheroes could be a good way of preventing more deaths of civilians, but the concept of any government possibly using them for their own personal gain is an uncomfortable idea.

Iron Man leads the pro-Sokovia Accords side and Captain America leads the side that is against the proposed laws. What truly brings things to a head is when Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier is framed for killing the king of Wakanda, T’Chaka. Iron Man wants to bring him in to pay for his supposed crime and Captain America wants to protect his life-long friend.

The action scenes in this movie are insane and I will not go into great detail since these moments have already been well chronicled, but there are so many incredible moments without making the viewer feel overwhelmed. When T’Challa/Black Panther hunts down Bucky we get to see one of the most incredible chase scenes captured on film in a long time. The big airport battle between Team Cap and Team Iron Man has so many amazing moments it is hard to pin them all down, but when Ant Man becomes Giant Man we are treated to a humorous and awesome moment.

When Spider-Man enters the fray we see nothing but one great moment after the other starting with him fighting Captain America one-on-one in a pitch perfect battle and then Spider-Man taking on Bucky and Falcon that will having you smiling throughout. The final battle, which is the most emotional and brutal, shows Iron Man taking on Bucky and Captain America in an amazingly choreographed scene. We find out that Bucky murdered Stark’s parents decades ago while he was being brain washed and the anguish and rage we see on Stark’s face when he discovers this is extremely powerful.

The one thing I really appreciated was that none of the main heroes died. Some came close, but none actually perished. In the comic books we see Captain America die at the end of the storyline which causes Tony Stark  to rethink his position, but we do not get such an easy out in the movie. We see a hint of reconciliation, but they still are not fully on the same side which makes sense and gives an intriguing spin on what we may see in the next two Avengers movies.

It is amazing to me that a movie which has some dark/serious undertones can still come off as bright, humorous, and positive. Everything does not have to be constant doom and gloom to be an effective movie in today’s world. Civil War proves that.

Despite all of the amazing moments and performances the two actors that stick out the most are Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker and Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T’Challa. We have finally found the perfect Spider-Man who truly embodies the role better than anyone before and Boseman’s portrayal of Black Panther gives us a performance that is truly gripping and gives us a new character in the MCU that could turn out to be it’s best and most popular. Their performances give me great confidence in their upcoming solo movies.

This movie is definitely a must see wether you enjoy this genre of film or not since it is not only a great superhero film, but a great movie overall.