Author Archives: ilovett18

“Some people move on. But not us…not us.”

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Endgame.JPGAfter 11 years we finally have the epic conclusion to the Infinity Saga. And while it may be what everyone has been waiting for one thing is for certain…nothing can prepare you for the endgame.

At three hours and one minute, Avengers: Endgame is the longest MCU movie to date. And while it may not be the longest movie in history; it may be one of the most memorable. Each hour, each minute, each second of this movie is perfection. It doesn’t drag on yet it doesn’t flash by so fast that you aren’t able to enjoy it.

Avengers: Infinity War ended with tremendous loss. And I don’t mean just a few heroes; I mean half the universe. Thanos succeeded; he did exactly what he said he was going to do and he won. A loss this size weighs heavily on the few heroes that are left. They’re supposed to be Earth’s Mightiest Heroes but they lost, and they aren’t used to losing. Oddly enough, the original six are among the survivors. That’s one thing the Russo brothers did a wonderful job with. They brought the focus back to the 2012 Avengers film; focusing on the six heroes who started it all. In a way it is a testament to how loved these characters are.

If a movie can be defined by the heart and strength of its heroes, Avengers: Endgame is monstrous. Throughout the 181 minutes each character is given their own defining moment. Whether it be a sacrifice or an epic fight scene; the true heart of Endgame lies with the determination of its heroes. While each hero is suffering from their own personal loss, they all have one goal in mind; bring back the people that were taken from them. Realizing they need to put their differences aside, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers rekindle their friendship, and along with the others promise to do whatever it takes to bring everybody back.

endgame2.jpgNow I’m not going to give away too many details out of respect for those who have not seen it yet, #Don’tSpoilTheEndgame. But prepare yourself, the amount of loss in Endgame may not be as high, but it can still be felt to the depths of your core. Right from the get go the film becomes an emotional roller coaster. I have no shame so I’m going to fully admit that I cried several times. Mark Ruffalo was right, bring a box of tissues because you’re going to need them.

Anthony and Joe Russo did an amazing job with this film. They were able to take the 22 films of the Infinity Saga and give them the conclusion they deserve. Once again they were able to pull of a superb superhero film, and one that likely will never be accomplished again. Endgame is littered with determination, heart, and most of all undeniable humanity. Among these, bits of comedy and witty banter are thrown around to remind us that our favorite heroes are indeed human. The balance of these traits throughout is pure perfection. And while their may not be the usual after credit scene that every Marvel movie contains, the Russo brothers made sure to add something special. I know what it is and what it means and let me tell you; it’s truly special.

At just under two hours, the Avengers: Endgame Original Motion Picture Soundtrack could quite possibly be the most influential one of the entire franchise. Alan Silvestri brings us full circle as he touches on themes from past movies as well as creating new ones, both emotional and powerful. Track 28 could very well be one of the greatest pieces of music to ever be composed. It could and should be described as instantly timeless and unfathomably epic. Everyone should listen to the soundtrack in its entirety but I strongly believe that you should wait to experience the music in theaters. It is truly masterful.

The Russo brothers success showed yet again when Endgame broke box office records before it was even released. The trailer drop broke the record for the most views in the first 24 hours being viewed 289 million times. Fandango and Atom Tickets both reported that Endgame has become their all-time highest pre-sellers breaking the record for first 24 hours and first week sales. Now here is where it gets so crazy that it’s somewhat hard to believe. Endgame broke several records this past weekend. It currently holds the Biggest Thursday Night Preview, the Biggest Friday Opening, the Biggest Saturday, the Biggest Sunday, the Biggest Five-Day total at a whooping $350 million domestic and smashed the record with an historic $1.2 billion opening worldwide! While Infinity War took 11 days to each $1 billion worldwide…Endgame only took a few. The question now is whether or not Endgame can become the highest grossing movie in history…I for one hope that it can.

Avengers: Endgame has more heart than most. Every movie, every experience these characters have gone through has been leading to this. It may feel like the end but true fans know there are going to be more Avengers movies…they may just not contain the characters we have grown to love over the past 11 years. Although this still doesn’t lighten the blow of feeling like we are saying goodbye to our beloved heroes, they each get the send off they deserve. It is truly a cinematic experience that likely won’t be repeated for some time; if ever. So thank you. Thank you to every individual who has ever been a part of this franchise. Thank you Anthony and Joe Russo for bringing us what I think is one of the best films in cinematic history. Thank you Robert Downey Jr. for being our Iron Man. Thank you Chris Evans for being our Captain. Thank you Chris Hemsworth for being our God of Thunder. Thank you Mark Ruffalo for being our Hulk. Thank you Scarlett Johansson for being our Black Widow. Thank you Jeremy Renner for being our Hawkeye. And last but certainly not least, thank you Stan Lee for being the creator of such a monumental universe.

Image credit: https://bransonimax.com/movies/avengers-endgame-3d-imax/

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Bumblebee: The Origin Story We Didn’t Know We Needed

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It’s officially been twelve years since the Transformers cinematic universe was launched. In those twelve years five movies have been released, but none have explained how Bumblebee and the rest of the Transformers arrived on Earth. Twelve years later we finally have an answer.

BumblebeeBumblebee begins on Cybertron, a massive technological planet whose civilization of sentient robots are in the middle of a brutal civil war. Sensing their defeat, Optimus Prime, the leader of the Auto-Bots, calls for a retreat and sends soldier B-127 to Earth to prepare the planet to become the Auto-Bots base of operations. B-127 lands on Earth in the middle of a military operation led by Agent Jack Burns (John Cena), who immediately begins an alien robot hunt, leading to B-127 desperately trying to evade capture. Just when it looks like he may be able to reason with the humans, a Decepticon arrives, blowing up the military operation and ripping out B-127’s voicebox and erasing his memory in the process. As a defense mechanism, B-127 disguises himself as a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle and retreats to an old junkyard.

B-127 eventually gets purchased by young amateur mechanic Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), who is still mourning the loss of her father. Faced with bullying from her peers and the fact that her mother has moved on and remarried, Charlie feels utterly alone. Much to her surprise her new Volkswagen Beetle is well, not an ordinary car. Faced with the discovery of B-127, whom Charlie renames Bumblebee, we are able to witness the start of what can only be called an ‘amazing friendship.’

I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of humanity and emotion throughout the film. I mean yes we’ve seen the Auto-Bots interact with humans in the past five movies, but there was something different about the way Charlie interacted with Bumblebee and vice versa. The Auto-Bots showed human emotions like anger, sadness, and fear through the whole film and it was rather quite enjoyable. Instead of seeming far-fetched, the Auto-Bots felt lifelike and real. In the first three films we witnessed Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) develop a relationship with the Auto-Bots but for some reason it doesn’t feel as real as Charlie’s relationship with Bumblebee. Now don’t get me wrong, I love all the Transformers movie in their own way, I think they’re a great adventure; but an adventure that lacks human emotion.

The moment you witness Charlie open up to Bumblebee about her father’s death you begin to see the depth of her character. This conversation leads Charlie looking to Bumblebee for comfort, which he offers in the form of a hug. This moment right here is what pulled at my heartstrings. You could really see and feel the emotional attachment that Charlie was feeling with the black and yellow Auto-Bot and it gave the whole movie more depth.

I know that many people seem to think that the Transformer franchise has exhausted itself and could care less about another movie being released. I get it, but honestly if you do anything this year, watch this movie. It has more humanity and soul than most.

Overall, Bumblebee is a nostalgic bundle of fun and joy, set to the beat of classic 80’s music. Not only is it a good Transformers movie, it’s a good movie that is able to stand on its own two robotic feet thanks to the grounded and simple storyline, faithful direction, and committed and heartfelt character performances.

Image credit: https://www.amazon.com/BUMBLEBEE-POSTER-ORIGINAL-Advance-TRANSFORMERS/dp/B07DQRVZPC

Avengers: Endgame Trailer Breaks Record in Only 24 Hours

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Tony alone in space. Captain America crying. Bruce Banner with his head in his hands. The Titan scarecrow looming over a field. These are just a few things that the new Avengers: Endgame trailer revealed to us, and it might have been the only thing. Marvel fans have been demanding a trailer for weeks and well they finally got one; needless to say it didn’t reveal that much.

Being just over two minutes long, the trailer was applauded by fans for not giving anything away about the plot of the upcoming film. Infinity War concluded with the mother of all cliffhangers, with Thanos succeeding in his quest to wipe out half the universe’s population. Beloved Marvel characters such as Doctor Strange, Star Lord, Bucky Barnes, and Spider-Man all turned to dust in the final moments of the previous film. Avengers films tend to be highly anticipated, but the deaths of so many characters makes Avengers: Endgame even more of an event.

It’s really no surprise that the trailer drop broke the record for the most views in the first 24 hours. Fans have been anticipating its release since Infinity War was released back in April. The Avengers: Endgame trailer was viewed 289 million times in the first 24 hours, breaking the previous record that Infinity War held at 230 million views. Marvel Entertainment released a statement the next day extending thanks to “the greatest fans in the world.” Not only did it break the record for most viewed trailer, it also broke the record for Twitter conversation for a movie trailer in the first 24 hours. It was mentioned a whooping 549,000 times which is over 100,000 times more than the previous record. The movie hasn’t even come out yet and it is already smashing record after record.

The Russo Brothers, who are in charge of directing the next film in the saga, tweeted a heartfelt message to their fans that said, “For those who have been there since the beginning. For those who have joined along the way. For the best fans in the Universe. This trailer is for you…with much love and gratitude for your patience, The RB’s.”

Chris Evans also took to Twitter and said, “This one is special. You guys have no idea…” His tweet sheds light on the fact that he may not be playing Captain America much longer; which also raises questions of what other characters we are going to have to say goodbye to.

Come April one thing is for sure, I think being unprepared for this film is an understatement.

 

“Dread it. Run from it. Destiny still arrives.”

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Infinity-War-Movie-New-Presales-Record10 years. 10 years of falling in love with these characters and growing with them through every movie. 10 years of emotional attachment and laughter. And finally, 10 years of superb movies. The time has finally come to witness the ending, or beginning, of an epic era. These past 10 years have been leading to this and let me tell you, it was worth the wait.

If a movie is defined by the strength of its villain, Avengers: Infinity War is monstrous. The 19th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe focuses around the six Infinity Stones and the intergalactic warlord Thanos, whose ultimate goal is to collect all six so he can “balance” the universe. His plan doesn’t center around universal domination like so many other villainous characters, but rather he wants to wipe out half the universe’s population, which is threatened by dwindling resources, in order to save the other half. In some ways this sounds heroic, even sympathetic, but the reality is Thanos’s plan comes with a vicious price. Taking place right after the events of Thor:Ragnarok, we see Thanos’s destruction firsthand as he takes over the Asgardian rescue ship; killing almost everyone on board. We then jump to New York where Tony Stark is reunited with Bruce Banner, who learns of the aftermath of Civil War. With the Avengers broken up and Captain America gone rogue, it seemed as if each superhero was going to be on his own against Thanos.

One thing that made this film so successful was how the directors jumped from character to character and their fight against Thanos. Instead of showing one entire fight and then skipping to another, they decided to skip around the entire movie, making it evident how powerful Thanos truly was. The Avengers were displayed in different teams throughout the movie, with each team fighting for the same cause. Some on Earth and some in space, we are able to see the desperation on their faces as they try to take out their most powerful enemy to date.

InfinityWar5a4bb101945c2-1360x718-e1544982619446.jpgThis wasn’t your typical superhero film. Sure it was filled with action and amazing CGI moments, but the underlying tone of the entire thing was loss. From the moment Thanos shows up on the screen you know that there is no hope. You know that this is a fight the Avengers are not going to win. And you know that some of the most beloved heroes are not going to make it out alive. Right from the get go a major character is killed and it’s at that point you realize this isn’t your typical Marvel movie. At that point your breath catches and you take a step back and imagine what they rest of the film is going to be like. You try and prepare yourself for the ending, but truthfully nothing could have prepared me for how it ended.

Anthony and Joe Russo did an amazing job with this film. They were able to pull of something that most directors aren’t able to do. They brought together a team of more then 70 people and pulled off a film that was not only a superb superhero movie, but one that was littered with undeniable humanity. They move the story line quickly and keep things changing throughout; making sure to add bits of humor in the midst of the chaos. From Banner fighting with the Hulk to the witty commentary between the Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, and Iron Man; the balance throughout was perfect.

The Russo brothers success showed when Infinity War broke box office records left and right. Right from the start it claimed the biggest domestic opening weekend of all-time with a staggering $257.6 million while also snagging the biggest global opening weekend of all-time. The records kept stacking up when it became the fastest film to make $1 billion dollars worldwide; taking only 11 days! And last but not least, it became the fourth film to gross $2 billion worldwide. Only three other films have been able to accomplish this: Titanic, Avatar, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

One thing that is different here compared to The Winter Soldier and Civil War, which the Russo brothers also directed, is that the losses in Infinity War actually mean something. They told audiences right from the start that the deaths in the upcoming film were going to be permanent stating, “There’s no resurrections this time.” In their other films we witnessed epic battles between Captain America and Winter Soldier, as well as Team Iron Man versus Team Cap but in reality neither of these fights had serious consequences. Not compared to the consequences and losses in Infinity War.

The ending of the film was soul shattering. I don’t think anybody predicted the ending going the way that it did. A broken Tony clutching his hands to his chest after seeing Peter disappear before him; Captain America dropping to the ground and placing his hand on the dirt where Bucky had just been; Bruce Banner with his head in his hands, and Thor’s devastated look as he blames himself for what had just happened. These are just a few of the things that were witnessed in the finals moments of the film. The ending of course sparked questions like: Is Peter Parker really gone? Was this the outcome that Doctor Strange knew about? How is Tony going to cope with Peter’s disappearance? And last but not least, Who is going to make the final sacrifice in the next film, Tony or Steve?

While there is no way to predict what is going to happen next, the only thing Marvel fans can be sure of is nothing can prepare you for the ending.

Image credit: https://canyonechoes.org/12246/showcase/avengers-infinity-war-or-infinity-boredom-part-2-spoilers/

Remembering Stan Lee

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StanLee

Yesterday the world lost an icon. It’s a day the Marvel fandom had been dreading for quite some time and one that came all too soon. The beloved real life superhero, Stan Lee, passed away at the age of 95 on Monday November 12th. I’m sure there will be people that find out about the passing of Stan Lee and simply shrug it off because they didn’t know him or they see his work as childish. The truth is, his work and legacy isn’t childish at all.

Stan Lee not only created an entire universe, he created a world where being different is okay. His characters faced real-life problems which gave them a sense of humanity that audiences could relate to. His characters such as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, and The Incredible Hulk may seem childish at first; but once you see their character development you realize how real they truly are. His characters started off in comic books but it took them no time to spring off the page. They flowed out of our televisions and eventually would spring to life on the big screen in what would become one of the highest grossing franchises of all time. The secret to the popularity of his characters is that he didn’t just create random superheroes, he created realistic story lines and hope to go along with them.

Everyone can find a piece of themselves in the characters that Stan Lee was able to create. He essentially created the X-Men to show that being marked as different in society isn’t such a bad thing. Black Panther deals with discrimination and how to combat it, while Iron Man shows the danger of weapons making and government control. And although Stan Lee didn’t create Captain America, he stands for patriotism and standing up for the ones who can’t fight for themselves.

The principles that Stan Lee created in his characters were not introduced or created by him. He simply made a way for people to see and understand how certain principles should be applied to someone’s everyday life. He gave us the hope and courage to combat evil and helped to create a hero in us all. His legacy doesn’t live on through cinematic universes or television shows; but rather through the characters he created and the willingness of his fans to do good in the world. Fans who help those who need it and to remember that being a hero to someone doesn’t mean you have to be perfect because most of Stan Lee’s characters were far from that.

It’s hard not to associate Marvel Comics with the name Stan Lee. Stan was the one who created the Marvel brand and the one who brought superheroes to life. Because of this, Stan Lee’s legacy will live on. Fans will remember him as they open his comic books, watch the past 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as they continue to see his beloved characters come to life on the big screen.

It’s always hard when an actor/actress dies, but I think the passing of Stan Lee is harder to accept than most. He created a universe where if you love a character enough they virtually never die and most fans seemed to apply that to him as well.

Yesterday the world lost an icon, a legend, and a true mastermind. Thank you Stan Lee for my childhood, my adulthood, and for the heroes I’ve fallen in love with.

Image credit: http://www.zerchoo.com/music/stan-lee-marvel-comicsreal-life-superhero-dies-at-95/

“Now you’re in the sunken place.”

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I can honestly say that I have not seen a movie like Get Out in a long time, if ever. No matter your race, you are mostly likely going to feel the discomfort that the African-American protagonist feels throughout the whole film. Imagine walking into a garden party full of creepy old folks who are smiling weirdly at you. I do not know about you but my first instinct would be to run…or get out.

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The menacing tone of this film is not confined to evil in a hockey mask that chases the characters around with a chainsaw, but rather the open arms and warm smile of a wealthy and well-off white family whose overly enthusiastic love for Barack Obama is somewhat peculiar. A secluded estate, a locked basement, and overly humble and optimistic staff are only a few of the strange events that take place during Chris’s time at his girlfriend’s parents house. We see from the viewpoint of young photographer Chris Washington, who thought he was going to visit a nice and thoughtful family. Right from the start we are thrown into an uncomfortable and creepy situation. The mildly racial statements and too many cups of tea lead to a psychological thriller that will make you cringe from the moment Chris’s girlfriend, Rose, says, “I want you to meet my parents.”

Amid the comical moments, the guest of horror sticks around and throws red flags at you to ensure you know that it is still there. Instead of being straight up horrifying, the entire film is disturbing and had me wondering what was wrong with Rose’s deranged family. I was kept on my toes the whole time and while Get Out may have been somewhat predictable, it certainly lived up to its hype of being equally parts terrifying and captivating. There were so many times I wanted to look away but my eyes were glued to the screen, almost as if I was in a hypnotic trance myself.

Get Out was rightly nominated for four Academy Awards. It went on to win Best Original Screenplay, and let me tell you it was well deserved. Writer and director, Jordan Peele, created an original and astonishing film that not only touches on race and privilege, but also real world problems that people face while others of us are blind to them. He gave us a film that immersed us into a story told from an African-American man’s perspective that helped to show us that everyday phrases can not only be awkward and uncomfortable, but deeming as well.

If you have yet to see Get Out I highly recommend it. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and it was terrifying and brilliant in its own way. Sure there were some jump scares but the majority of the film was horrific in the way it messed with your brain. It was truly a psychological thriller.

The most important thing I learned from this film is to watch what you say. Your words tend to speak more truth than you think they do. Oh, also never go to someone’s house without meeting their parents first. It is a recipe for terrifying and creepy events to occur.

Image credit: https://mondotees.com/collections/archive/products/get-out-francavilla-poster

“I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi…to end.”

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I’m not going to lie, the first time I saw Star Wars: The Last Jedi I was not exactly impressed. Yes, the cinematography was astounding and the music was impeccable but for me the story line did not exactly line up with any of the other Star Wars films. I have since then changed my mind. I have seen it four more times since my first impression and now I can honestly say that I truly appreciate and love the film ⇒ maybe a little too much.thelastjedi

The new characters in this trilogy are officially taking over and finding a special place in my heart. Rey is strong-willed and worthy of becoming a Jedi. Poe, who is a skilled and daredevil pilot, is becoming a main force when it comes to defeating the First Order. His hardheadedness and drive to do what is right are extremely prevalent in this film. Now while I love all of the characters, I believe Kylo Ren is the one who truly steals the show. In Star Wars: The Force Awakens we were left with this angry and somewhat conflicted young man. We witnessed him kill his own father and attempt to walk down the same path as his grandfather, Darth Vader. In The Last Jedi we are shown the same conflicted character but one with more emotion. You can truly see both the light and dark sides of the force pulling him in opposite directions and as the film goes on you wonder which side is going to win. There is a lot of talk on whether or not Kylo Ren is on a redemption arc and I honestly hope that he is. Now I know that has happened in the past Star Wars films but with how Kylo has acted in the past two movies, it is safe to say that he could be redeemed in the upcoming film.

As I mentioned before the music was impeccable and John Williams has done it once again. If you listen closely enough you can hear reoccurring themes from all of the previous Star Wars films. There are multiple points in the film where you can hear Darth Vader’s theme playing very quietly in the background. The music is always one of my favorite parts of a film partially due to the fact that it adds so much emotion to each scene. John Williams does a wonderful job of adding a dark undertone to the dark side and a more uplifting and hopeful sound to the light side. I can listen to the soundtrack and know exactly where each song was in the movie and this just helps to further prove how brilliant John Williams is.

I have read so many reviews of people saying how much they hate this film and that it is a disgrace to the Star Wars franchise. The funny thing is movie critics love it. It received 91% on Rotten Tomatoes which is around the same score that Star Wars: The Force Awakens received. This also puts this movie on the same spectrum as Episodes IV and V. I think the biggest problem fans have with it is that it doesn’t answer all of their burning questions. But guess what…we have another movie to go before this trilogy is over that will most likely answer the questions we have after seeing The Last Jedi.

I think one of the biggest problems with the audiences response to this film is that everyone is comparing this one to the rest in the series. The truth is, you can’t do that. Each trilogy has its own story and its own way of telling that story. Even though all of the films technically go together, you can’t compare them to one another. Each film brings its own beauty and emotion to the big screen. One thing we need to remember is that the legacy of any Star Wars film is the fan base and while my parents grew up with the originals and I grew up with the prequels, there is a whole new fan base now. There are younger kids going to see this new film and absolutely loving it simply because they are being taken on a new adventure. In the end, this is what truly matters. While we may not all agree on the storylines and how they fit together, we can all at least agree that every movie takes us on an adventure and that the love we have for Star Wars is rooted in our core.

Image credit: https://www.starwars.com/films/star-wars-the-last-jedi-poster-gallery