Category Archives: Movies

On MARVEL Studios | AVENGERS Infinity War

A decade in and Marvel Studios proves it still has all the best ideas with a cinematic universe that culminates in an epic confrontation in a war to end all wars — literally with AVENGERS: Infinity War.

After the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and its follow-up Captain America: Civil War the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes had become splintered beyond repair and with them scattered to the winds, a new phase was introduced that included an ant-man, a sorcerer supreme and the homecoming of a much loved web-slinger, and still a crisis was looming ever closer, creeping across the galaxy. Even a stalwart group of guardians would be in over their heads, as a god of thunder faced his own mythical Ragnarök, an “end of all days” had arrived. So begins Avengers: Infinity War.

Entering into its first decade Marvel Studios has cornered the market on perfectly adapting the comic book superhero genre to the big screen, and upon launching proper with the introduction of 2008’s Iron Man starring Robert Downey, Jr. the producers had their minds set on creating an entirely different cinematic experience — they dedicated themselves to developing a serialized universe. Now 10 years later, they’re dismantling their perfect world in preparation for its next evolution, and as they say: you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.

The mastermind behind Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige was quoted by recently on the daunting task of brining Avengers: Infinity War together:  “This feels like the culmination of something that’s been building for years.” The fact that it did indeed come together so solidly is a testament to Feige and his creatives, who managed to pool the narratives of all the Marvel Comics adapted films into a singularly spinning storyline, that first tested its durability with the release of Marvel’s The Avengers in 2012. It was the first time film properties crossed over so effectively, and it paid off!

“Avengers: Infinity War” spans the galaxy of the Marvel Studios cinematic universe, from as Spider-Man and Iron Man find themselves across the galaxy with the Guardians.

Assembling the Team

Over the course of Marvel Studios first decade, the arc of the storyline was divided into phases, each positioning each of its title characters to intersect into the next chapter of an Avengers film, while properly introducing new heroes that would spin-out into their own solo projects. Before Avengers: Infinity War came to theaters, the Russo Brothers, Joe and Anthony Russo delivered a one-two punch with the “bonus” Avengers flick Captain America: Civil War which (re)introduced two very important Marvel properties into the cinematic universe.

With the rousing introduction of the Black Panther and Spider-Man joining the rest of his big screen contemporaries, Marvel Studios guaranteed that even after Iron Man, Captain America and Thor round out their 3-picture deals, the mantle will have plenty of room for some newly minted heavy-hitters that would also include Ant-Man and The Wasp and Doctor Strange. Before those installments land in your local multiplex, the Russos were tasked with rounding out the first 10 years of films and prepare the segue into the next phase.

In Avengers: Infinity War the mad god Thanos (a motion capture realization by Josh Brolin) has finally gathered all six of the startling powerful Infinity Stones and embarked on his genocidal cleansing of the universe. As far as Thanos is concerned, he’s doing everyone a favor by getting rid of half of the universe’s population. With resources throughout the galaxy spread so thin, and wars over territory often leading to bloodshed, Thanos takes it upon himself to end the chaos and be rid of half of the people everywhere, a god-like initiative he handles with a simple snap of his fingers.

Introduced in the after-credits stinger of The Avengers after our heroes assembled to fight off a blitzkrieg alien invasion of New York City, the Marvel Cinematic Universe had all-but blown up, and by the end of that feature-length film space was anything but the final frontier — certainly for our heroes and the people of Earth. Besides a technological ironman, a green skinned hulk, a god of thunder and several super soldiers, the idea of our place in the galaxy had expanded beyond anyone’s imagination.

Captain America, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) finds himself in the grip of the mad Titan Thanos!

Guardians of Every Galaxy!

When the Marvel Cinematic Universe went beyond the boundaries of planet Earth incorporating the space-faring adventures of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarök the kid gloves had seriously come off, and with the gauntlet (the Infinity Gauntlet specifically) thrown down and in play, anything would be possible! The universe was literally the limit! Avengers: Infinity War although it spans the entirety of the Marvel cinematic world, it ultimately brings everything full circle and tightly walks the rope of credibility. We believe every minute of this movie!

Whether it’s because as an audience we’ve become so familiar with the exotic locations, whether the far reaches of Thanos’ home world of Titan, or the jungles near Wakanda, the seriousness of our heroes mission is never lost on us, and it’s because we believe in the Avengers that we become invested. After a decade, the heroes that we had loved for many more on the pages of our comic books, had sprung to life on the screen, made flesh and bone by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, Hemsworth and Pratt, alongside Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana and Elizabeth Olsen.

Unexpectedly, the formula here gets tripped up, as our heroes face a threat greater than anything or anyone that they’ve faced before! The audience is forced to struggle alongside with them. The Infinity War may be more than they’ve ever bargained for, but for movie-goers especially die-hard genre fans, it’s exactly what we’ve all been waiting for all along. With Avengers: Infinity War the pay off comes in the serialized connectivity between all the Marvel Studio films and how instrumental it is that it’s all come together.

Comic Book readers have known all along, that these heroes and their adversaries are far more dimensional than the paper they are printed on, and finally the rest of the world has caught up to us. It may have taken an infinity, but from the looks of it, it’s only just begun…

Advertisements

I Survived ALIEN DAY 2018!

Every year fans celebrate the little xenomorph in all of us! Oh no…that came out all wrong! The horror franchise continues to inspire still today, as the ALIEN legacy continues to grow.

If only the crew of the USCSS Nostromo had never intercepted that distress beacon; if only every other interplanetary space traveler had done the same, Alien Day would never have been a thing, but 20th Century Fox the studio behind the film franchise couldn’t resist capitalizing on the fandom. It’s hard to imagine that it’ll soon have been four decades since the release of director Ridley Scott’s original horror classic Alien. The film delivered on the premise that in space no one can hear you screen, though at the multiplex it’s another story.

With the advent increasing popularity of the science-fiction film genre in large thanks to the success of George Lucas’ Star Wars all the studios were in search of their own lightning to capture in a bottle. Scott was more than happy to oblige, though perhaps his decision to blend several types of film archetypes, stealing a bit of the realism from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and incorporating the emerging tropes of slasher films, Scott turned audiences onto something completely different with Alien.

The film also introduced an entirely unexpected lead with Sigourney Weaver taking on the big bad and turning Ellen Ripley into the cinema’s most prolific centrifugal heroines. Ripley’s legacy would extend into four chapters of the Alien film franchise, and would influence the evolution of the mythology with the prequel episodes. Both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant would also position very strong female leads taking on the threats of an alien conspiracy, an emerging new life meant to eradicate and eliminate an entire civilization. Alien is the ultimate in extinction scenarios.

The movie poster to the original horror film classic is still a striking masterpiece.

Gets You In The Chest

The star of the franchise, with perhaps the exception of Prometheus is the “alien” itself. Popularly known as the xenomorph, the creature is first introduced as another equally frightening form, that of a “facehugger” that emerges from an egg (an ovomorph) that film audiences will later learn is laid by a Queen. The xenomorph itself is a dragon-like beast and the stuff of haunting nightmares, was inspired by the designs of surrealist artist H. R. Giger. It’s no accident, the artist has admitted, that the design is meant to evoke a deliberate sexuality and is neither male of female.

It’s vicious ferocity is unparalleled as it decimates the crew of the Nostromo in an hour, but if not for Ellen Ripley’s own cunning would have perhaps achieved its instinctual survival, but if one proved so difficult to kill, imagine the horror of facing a colony of these creatures! That’s what happens in the follow-up feature Aliens directed by James Cameron in 1986. Together these films achieved blockbuster film status, and the Alien storyline continues still today, most recently in the prequel installment Alien: Covenant promised as the second part of a trilogy.

Alien has joined the ranks of the films in a genre that have themselves achieved an iconic status that was neither expected or imagined by the originating film makers, but nonetheless welcomed. With one more film expected from Ridley Scott meant to more closely connect the origin story with the events from the 1979 original film, audiences anxiously anticipate a return to the coldness of space, and return of one of the modern era’s most beloved and bedeviled screen monsters. On Alien Day celebrated every year on April 26 we can all thrill this enduring film favorite.

In space, after all, no one can hear you hit the “repeat” button on your Blu-ray player!

iEditorial | Captain America CHRIS EVANS To Hang Up His Shield

With Captain America ready to lead the Avengers in battle against the greatest threat they’ve ever faced, will one of the mightiest fall in the final moments of the Infinity War?

<span class=“dropcap”>A</span>mong the many dangling participles fans can expect from the much anticipated Avengers: Infinity War which is coming to theaters earlier than anticipated, is which one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes may not survive the onslaught brought upon them by the arrival of the Titan known as Thanos (motion captured by John Brolin). A decade in the making the latest installment in the Marvel Studios franchise will be unprecedented in that it will unite on screen the core cast of all the Marvel films characters for the two-part epic.

10 years in the making, the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off with the introduction of Robert Downey, Jr. starring in Iron Man and continued with an unlikely cameo appearance in The Incredible Hulk (2008) which then starred Edward Norton in the titular role. The cinematic continuity continued with Thor but it wasn’t until the introduction of Chris Evans as the Star-Spangled Sentinel in Captain America: The First Avenger that everything started to take shape. Suddenly a “team movie” appeared very realistic and quickly came together.

Evans may be the first casualty of the Avengers: Infinity War.

The result was Marvel’s The Avengers which brought together all the established leading players (and recast Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk); a sequel followed-up and several more solo films, but can anyone imagine the franchise continuing without Chris Evans as Captain America? That’s what reports will have us speculate — the fates of several Avengers have already been hinted at hanging in the balance — but the actor who has portrayed not only the First Avenger, but previously entered into the Marvel Universe as a member of the Fantastic Four may be calling it quits.

The actor has reported that after the next Avengers film, that is the one after Infinity War he will be leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe for good. Evans has been quoted as suggesting he’d rather “get off the train,” rather than “before they push you off.” Evans won’t be the only star that has been hinted at not returning after the climatic arc ends. Robert Downey, Jr. apparently has also hinted that this may be his last turn as the Armored Avenger Iron Man. Downey, Jr. unlike Evans has previously talked about his exit, even teased after Captain America: Civil War he’d retire.

Though nothing has yet been set in stone, the stars that lead off the spin-offs features are becoming increasingly more expensive even for a blockbuster budget, and with the new kids on the block like Black Panther raising the stakes, perhaps the timing might be perfect to bring in some new blood and give the original roster of Avengers some time off to enjoy the riches of their reward, or enter into the afterlife as true heroes! Whatever fate befalls our favorite Avengers in Infinity War it will no doubt alter the fabric of the summer blockbuster season.

The countdown has begun! Avengers: Infinity War makes planetfall on April 27.

Poster Art Reveals an “Infinity” of AVENGERS

Fans anxiously await the arrival of AVENGERS: Infinity War and with these newest theatrical posters just released, the enormity of this blockbuster is beginning to assemble!

When the announcement was made that Avengers: Infinity War was getting moved up and its release date would be an internationally simultaneous event on April 27 to prevent the blog-world from delivering spoilers, fans sighed in relief, no longer concerned that anyone, anywhere would spoil the most anticipated blockbuster of the season. After a decade Infinity War is the culmination of nearly 20 Marvel Films, and will feature one of the largest casts ever!

Iron Man teams up with Spider-Man and Doctor Strange.

A cast so big in fact, it’s taken five distinct movie posters to get every Avenger, Guardian, web-slinger, panther and sorcerer supreme into the action! Every big screen Marvel character is represented and will be part of the story narrative of this two-part epic that promises to end this particular “phase” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and take audiences into the next 10 years. It’s no small feat for sure, as the film will follow the arrival of Thanos in search of the Infinity Stones!

Many are already speculating just how much the cinematic universe will be changed; though some of the characters like Doctor Strange and Spider-Man are largely new initiates to the Marvel Films universe, and the Black Panther has only just been featured in his first solo film, Infinity War will begin right where Captain America: Civil War ended with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in a state of disarray and Thor lost in space!

The countdown has begun! Avengers: Infinity War makes planetfall on April 27.

Trailer | Marvel’s AVENGERS: Infinity War

So exactly how many superheroes does it take to make a blockbuster in today’s overly saturated genre market? Well, it appears that it takes all of them at least every one that’s ever appeared in a Marvel movie in the last decade. Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War has been promised all along and it is the culmination of a well marketed, ambitious and well strategized campaign by Marvel Films who set out to create a cinematic universe that began with Iron Man (2008) and has come to this; every hero coming together to bring down a mad god, the Titan Thanos!

Infinity War is based on one of the most celebrated arcs in the Marvel Comics and has been teased since the very first Avengers film when Loki bargains with an alien army to wage an invasion of the planet that results in the mighty Avengers, the world’s greatest heroes coming together to repel the threat. Thanos has been on a quest to gather the Infinity Stones a series of precious gems older than the cosmos that grant whomever possesses them ultimate power. Now the mad Titan has come to Earth, and the Avengers are our first and last defense against his tyranny.

From the scope of the latest trailer, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War will culminate in at least one sacrifice and when the film ends, audiences will have to hold their breaths. Infinity War is the first part in a two part feature film that will reshape the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward.

Check out the trailer here: 

 

Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War will be released in theaters this April.

Trailer | FANTASTIC BEASTS: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The Wizarding World is coming alive once again as the magic of Harry Potter’s world grows by leaps and bounds in the trailer for the upcoming follow-up to Fantastic Beasts.

It was obvious from the get go…author J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World was much more than even its creator could have ever imagined. After the successful sequence of Harry Potter films based on the beloved novels, such a mythic and epic construct would eventually give way to even bigger creatures. With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald the narrative adventures of magi-zoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) continue.

The trailer features the first glimpses of actor Jude Law who is stepping into the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore, the future headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Though many had speculated as to whether or not Warner Bros. would be able to perpetuate this franchise without the benefit of the more familiar Harry Potter at the center; with a startling complex and critically well received first installment Fantastic Beasts is on firm ground.

With Johnny Depp also taking a centrifugal role in this chapter, the stakes have certainly increased and the significance of Newt Scamander to the overall mythology is much more broadly explored.

Check out the trailer here: 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in theaters in the fall of 2018.