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Avengers Infinity War — April 26, 2018

Avengers Infinity War

Spoiler-Full Movie Review

First, congratulations and thanks to Kevin Feige and his team for the 10 years leading up to IW. Congratulations to Anthony and Joe Russo, the team at Marvel, all the cast and crew for the herculean effort in pulling off their biggest movie to date. 10 years, 18 movies, literally 100s of actors and 1000s of crew members later, we arrive at, in my opinion, the closet to a masterpiece the MCU have ever done. I had a chance to watch it with my friends in a packed theater, and it was one of my favorite cinema-going experiences in a long while, I left with my jaw dropped and keen to go again! So, here’s my SPOILER FULL review for the Avengers Infinity War.


Greatest Strengths:

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Thanos:

Thanos the character is just incredible. Avengers Infinity War is his movie, he has more screen time and it makes sense because he hasn’t been developed as much in the previous 18 films. He’s the most developed character in this movie. He sees himself as the good guy, he not only justified what he’s doing but he has a conviction that he’s doing something that’ll benefit the whole universe and nothing can change his mind. He thinks his perspective is right, He also has an emotional depth – his relationship with Gamora – which many moustache twirling villains don’t.

Character Interactions:

The directors were smart in where they separated the characters, the Russo brothers and the writers picked character dynamics that would work the best (e.g Thor and the Guardians, Strange/Spidey/Iron Man). After Avengers (2012) we have been introduced to other properties like Dr Strange & The Guardians of the Galaxy and we have been patiently waiting to see all of them join our Avengers in one film, and here it is. The interactions between every character is so cool, the dynamics work, the themes and tones mesh well, and seeing them all fight together is a sight to behold. Thor interacting with the Guardians is my favorite scene. From Drax’s awe of Thor, to Star Lords jealousy and mimicry of him, to Thor’s hilarious quips, it’s just perfect.

Humour:

This is the funniest MCU film, apart from Thor Ragnarok, which is surprising for me because I was expecting a much darker tone considering the high stakes. I was pleasantly surprised and it’s understandable because of the characters involved. The levity worked for me considering the final moments in the film they build to is so crazy. The humour caught me off guard and I more than once laughed out loud to the detriment of those around me.

Action Sequences:

The Russo brothers just know how to film epic, crisp, inventive action sequences, and they just get better and better with each film. They are masterful here, easily interweaving the unique fighting styles of each character in massive set pieces, just amazing. Every character got one moment to shine, and that’s not easy to do. I also appreciated how the Russos didn’t use shakey cam, obviously to be more epic.


Greatest Weakness:

trailer

Thanos’ Motivations:

After thinking about it, his motivation just didn’t feel complete to me. Because his planet was destroyed due to overpopulation he wants to rid the universe of half its population. Maybe this is just as nit-pick. There’s also confusion on what he’s capable of without the Gauntlet.

Pace:

I may be nit-picking here; the pace of the film was fine. I’m talking more of the decisions made by characters felt rushed. Like Vision wanting to run away with Wanda, nek minnit he sees on TV ‘Tony Stark missing’ and then he says he must go, odd.


 

Characters:

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Thanos (Josh Brolin):

The questions I had going into this movie for Thanos was on his motivations and how formidable he would be up against the Avengers. After this movie, there’s no questioning he’s formidable, he is crazy powerful and incredibly intimidating. From the get-go, his “having fun” against Hulk, easily dispatching him, set the tone for the rest of the film. Over and over again, we see his use of the Infinity Stone’s power on display, temporarily incapacitating Drax and Mantis, single handily defeating EVERY hero and of course, decimating half of the universe by the snap of his fingers!

His mastery of each Stone was surprising, considering he is the first to control all let alone more than one.

The only thing with him was his motivations, which I talked about in the CONs, that you’ve probably already read… hopefully. Also, wasn’t clarified what his powers are without the Gauntlet.

The Avengers:

Our heroes are all over the universe in this film, but by the end they convene in two locations. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) leads Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to Titan meeting Star Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) to fight Thanos himself, Nebula (Karen Gillan) arrives to help. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) leads a bigger squad, Black Widow (Scarlett Johannsen), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), and War Machine (Don Cheadle) to Wakanda to protect Vision (Paul Bettany), with Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Winter Soldier (Sebastien Stan), Okoye (Danai Gurira), Shuri (Letitia Wright) and M’Baku (Winston Duke) helping fight against Thanos’ surviving Black Order children and his army of Outriders. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) and Teen Groot (Vin Diesel) eventually arrive in Wakanda to help.

Highlights – Dr Strange’s incredible one-on-one with Thanos, Drax was again hilarious, Spider-Man shone in his part, RDJ was at his acting best here, and it was great getting to see Bruce Banner contribute without relying on Hulk. Thor’s new weapon is extremely powerful, if only he aimed at the head, we got to see Scarlet Witch rip up with her Hex powers, and Captain America showing why he is just the best, surprising Thanos by holding him off but I did want more of Captain America, because he’s Captain America.

The Black Order:

The Children of Thanos were formidable and fantastic. They all managed to hold their own against multiple Avengers. My favourite was Ebony Maw, he was impressive, fighting off Strange, Iron Man and Wong by himself using telepathy. Corvus is the supposed leader of the crew but the Avengers seemed to always have his number unless he stabbed them in the back, I expected more from him. Proxima Midnight had some dialogue and it was cool seeing her fight Okoye, Black Widow and Scarlet Witch. Cull Obsidian was probably my least favourite out of the four, but he was still imposing.

One-Scene-Wonders:

Nick Fury (Sam L Jackson), Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders), Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), Ned, The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), Red Skull (Ross Marquand), Eitri (Peter Dinklage) Stan Lee were in the movie too.

Those missing (some credited on IMDB):

Hawkeye, Ant Man, Wasp, Ramona, Valkyrie, Korg, Clint Bartons wife and child.

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Developments:

  • IW starts a few moments after Thor Ragnaroks post credits scene. We miss Thanos’ attack so we don’t get to see if Valkyrie, Korg and Miek survived.
  • Infinity Stone 1Power: Its mentioned in passing that Thanos decimated Xandar to take the Power Stone.
  • NerdService #1: Hulk v Thanos – Thanos easily beats him, Ebony stops Cull Obsidien from intervening by casually saying “Let him have his fun”.
  • RIP Heimdall – After sending Hulk back to earth through Bifrost power, Thanos uses Corvus’ weapon to kill him.
  • Infinity Stone 2 Space: on the Asgardian ship, Loki gives Thanos the Tesseract which he crushes to reveal the Space Stone.
  • RIP Loki – After failing to kill Thanos, Thanos grabs him by the neck and starts to strangle him before just breaking his neck.
  • Stan Lee cameo – Stan Lee is the bus driver driving the school bus Peter Parker is in when Ebony Maw’s ship arrives in New York.
  • NerdService #2: Tony meets Dr Strange & Wong.
  • NerdService #3: Tony, Bruce, Wong, Dr Strange & Spider Man v Ebony Maw & Cull Obsidian.
  • Tony’s suit is now functioned by Nano-technology.
  • NerdService #4: Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, Vision & Scarlet Witch v Corvus Glaive & Proxima Midnight.
  • NerdService #5: Spider-Man gets his Iron Spider suit! Woohoo!
  • Iron Man & Spider Man save Dr Strange and sends Ebony Maw in space killing him. They decide to take the ship to Titan to fight Thanos head on.
  • NerdService #6: Thor meets the Guardians. Its decided he goes with Rocket Racoon and Groot to Nidavellir to help create a weapon, while Star Lord, Gamora, Drax and Mantis go to Knowhere to see the Collector.
  • Drax on difference between Quill and Thor: “You are a dude, he is a man”
  • Infinity Stone 3Reality: Star Lord and co arrive in Knowhere to find out Thanos is there and already has the Aether/Reality Stone and takes Gamora also.
  • Infinity Stone 4Soul: Gamora reveals the planet the Soul Stone is on, there they meet Red Skull who is like the gate keeper who explains how to retrieve the Soul Stone, one must sacrifice a loved one. Thanos cries and sacrifices Gamora and he gets the Soul Stone.
  • RIP Gamora.
  • Mini-Civil War II: Iron Man, Strange & Spider Man v Star Lord, Drax & Mantis.
  • Star Lord: “I’ve got one question, where is Gamora?”

Iron Man: “I’ve got one, who is Gamora?”

Drax: “I’ve got one, why is Gamora?”

  • Thor, Groot and Rocket help Eitri, the last dwarf of Nidavellir build his new war hammer, Stormbreaker. Also, Rocket gives Thor a cybernetic eye.
  • Thanos arrives on Titan and fights off Iron Man and co. Iron Man and his team gain an upper hand and try to separate Thanos and the Gauntlet, but its revealed Gamora is killed and Star Lord in rage attacks Thanos allowing him a moment to get gain the upper hand. Thanos proceeds to beat them all up.
  • NerdService #7: Dr Strange v Thanos – An epic, inventive fight that highlights Dr Strange’s style of fighting and Thanos’ sheer power.
  • Black Panther: “Engage all defences, and somebody get this man a shield”
  • Proxima Midnight and Cull Obsidian lead a massive army of Outriders on Wakanda against Cap his heroes, Black Panther and his army. M’Baku and his tribe are there, he calls T’Challa brother, Banner is in the Hulk Buster and Bucky Barnes has a new arm.
  • NerdService #8: Captain America and Black Panther leading the army and fighting side by side.
  • The Outriders are starting to overrun the heroes, but Thor arrives using Stormbreaker, with Rocket Racoon and Groot and just ragdoll the Outriders.
  • Corvus attacks Vision but is killed by his own weapon. Bruce can’t turn into Hulk, but ends up defeating Cull Obsidian and sends him to his death. Proxima Midnight is killed by Scarlet Witch.
  • Infinity Stone 5Time: Thanos is about to kill Iron Man but Dr Strange asks for his life in exchange for the Time Stone. Thanos accepts and leaves them all on Titan while he teleports to earth.
  • Thanos arrives in Wakanda, and swiftly beats all our heroes who are trying to hold him off while Wanda destroys the Mind Stone.
  • Infinity Stone 6Mind: Thanos uses the Time Stone to reverse time to get back before Vision is blown, only to take the stone killing Vision.
  • RIP Vision.
  • NerdService #9: Thor’s new hammer is powerful. Its hurled towards Thanos not effected by Thanos’ power and hits him in the chest.
  • Thanos: “You should’ve aimed for my head”
  • NerdService #10: Thanos snaps his fingers and disappears, fulfilling his mission.
  • Half of the universe disintegrate. RIP Star Lord, Drax, Mantis, Dr Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, Winter Soldier & Groot. Leaving Tony Stark & Nebula on Titan, while Steve Rogers, Thor, Black Widow, War Machine, Bruce Banner and Rocket are left on Wakanda.
  • Post Credit Scene – Maria Hill & Nick Fury are in New York and people start disintegrating, including Maria. Fury tries to contact someone before he is disintegrated and its revealed to be Captain Marvel.

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GRADE:

5.5 out 6 Infinity Stones:

This is as close to a Marvel masterpiece as it can get, but it’s not just there yet because there’s so much characters that most have some just a few scenes not including the fighting scenes, which we knew going in and the directors handled it as well as it could have been.

The movie grips you and never let’s go, the action is non- stop but there’s also emotional depth. Everyone gets a moment to shine, and that ending… best film the MCU has ever done. There’s real emotional stakes and payoffs from a 10 years of world building and character development. There’s precise, sharp, inventive action sequences and massive set pieces on an incomparable scale, coupled with an ending that left my jaw on the floor. This movie is just incredible. Go watch it 5 times!

 

 

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Predictions For The 90th Academy Awards. — January 23, 2018

Predictions For The 90th Academy Awards.

My PREDICTIONS for the

90th Academy Awards.

 


 

Tomorrow is the announcement of the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards. Since it’s the Oscars, I wanted to make a list of who I think will be nominated, the outsiders and who I think will win. This isn’t for all categories just for the main four which are Best Director, Actor, Actress, and Film. So, here are my predictions, which may change in a few weeks’ time.

 

Best Director:

  • Guillermo Del Toro (Shape of Water)
  • Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
  • Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
  • Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Outsiders:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Steven Spielberg (The Post)

Guillermo-del-Toro-Hellboy-II-The-Golden-Army-1200x520

 

My Pick: Guillermo Del Toro

It’s a close one for me, it’s a race between Del Toro and Nolan, both deserved to win this Oscar long ago, which means whoever wins out of these two deserves it a lot, but my pick is Del Toro. Dunkirk is as visceral as cinema gets, but Guillermo took an original theme mixed with an unusual context and melded it together with his specific storytelling sensibilities. Greta and Martin deserve to be nominated and I would swap Spielberg out for Jordan Peele because his debut film was so masterfully directed, as if it was directed by a seasoned director.

 

Best Actress:

  • Frances McDomand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • Sally Hawkins (Shape of Water)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
  • Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)
  • Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game)

Outsiders:

  • Meryl Streep (The Post)

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My Pick: Frances McDormand

This race is between Frances, Saoirse and Sally. All three women deliver amazing performances in their respective movies but ultimately, I chose Frances. If I’m being totally honest the decision was more like a coin toss because each performance is fantastic. I swapped out Meryl Streep (ooooohhhhh) with Jessica Chastain because to be honest, I thought Chastain is phenomenal in Molly’s Game while Meryl was more pedestrian in The Post and wasn’t as spectacular as she is in other films.

 

Best Actor:

  • Gary Oldman (The Darkest Hour)
  • Timothy Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)
  • Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
  • Daniel Day Lewis (Phantom Thread)
  • Tom Hanks (The Post)

Outsiders:

  • James Franco (The Disaster Artist)
  • Hugh Jackman (Logan)
  • Christian Bale (Hostiles)

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My Pick: Gary Oldman.

Is there any doubt? Yeah, maybe, because it’s the Oscars of course. This award is Gary’s to lose, and if there’s anyone I think the academy might vote for other than Oldman, it’s Chalamet. Kaluuya is going to be nominated, not because he’s black but because his performance in Get Out is amazing. The academy loves Day Lewis, and since this is his supposed final film before his retirement, he’s bound to be nominated. I struggled to pick a fifth nominee, ultimately, I have Hanks over Franco because of the recent allegations coming out against Franco that might hurt his chances, but that depends on whether they’re true and if the voting has already closed which I suppose it has.

 

Best Film:

  • Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Lady Bird
  • Get Out
  • Dunkirk
  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Phantom Thread
  • Big Sick
  • Mudbound
  • Florida Project

Outsiders:

  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game

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My Pick: Lady Bird

This was a hard one, because there’s ten slots rather than five like every other category. Every film deserves to be on this list, but my heart says Lady Bird is going to win, even though my head is saying the obvious choice is going to definitely be Three Billboards. Lady Bird is definitely not the most obvious choice to win but I feel the academy is going to go that way and surprise everybody, it may seem too small a film to win this award, but Greta knocks it out of the park and considering this is her directorial debut, she’s still probably near the top of the most ‘overdue’ person in the film industry. For the outsiders I had Logan because it was released so long before most of the other films and it is one of my favourite films of 2017. In a couple weeks’ time my opinion might change to Three Billboards though.

 

Head2Head: Dan Murrell v Mark Reilly v John Rocha. — January 3, 2018

Head2Head: Dan Murrell v Mark Reilly v John Rocha.

Head2Head Series

Dangerous” Dan Murrell v Mark Yodi Reilly v “The Outlaw” John Rocha. 

This may be the closest we may get to the WWE ‘End of An Era’ story-line in Colliders’ Ultimate Movie Trivia Schmoedown. The only difference apart from the physicality and the spectacle, is how organically all this unfolded. A storied rivalry between the three of the best and most decorated competitors in the Ultimate Schmoedown that has spanned three years and consists of some of the greatest matches we’ve seen.

Accomplishments/Records:

Mark “Yodi” Reilly “Dangerous” Dan Murrell “The Outlaw” John Rocha

•             9 wins, 4 losses.

•             2014 Schmoedown Tournament winner.

•             1st ever Schmoedown Champion.

•             1st ever 2x Schmoedown Champion.

•             1st player to 9 wins.

•             Yodi shares the record for singles longest winning streak (5) with Dan Murrell.

•             7 wins, 2 losses.

•             2nd ever Schmoedown Champion.

•             2nd ever 2x Schmoedown Champion.

•             2016 Schmoedown Player of the year.

•             Murrell holds record for most title defences (3).

•             Only player to win the Schmoedown Championship and defend it on the same day.

 

 

•             7 wins, 5 losses.

•             2015 Schmoedown Team Tournament Semi-Finalist.

•             2nd Tag Team Champions (Team Top10).

•             2016 Schmoedown Tournament Finalist.

•             3rd ever Schmoedown Champion.

•             1st person to have held the Tag Team titles and Schmoedown Championship title non-simultaneously.

 


The History:

09/24/2015 – Team Champs v Team Top 10 

hqdefault (1)During the Sophomore year of the Ultimate Schmoedown competition, we were treated with the first ever Teams Tourney. One of the biggest talking points was the formation of Team Champs, Mark Reilly (2014 Ultimate Schmoedown Champion) and Dan Murrell. They came in to the competition as hot favorites, but in their second match of the tourney they came up against Team Top10, a relatively unknown John Rocha and Matt Knost who shocked the internet by defeating Team Champs, and so starts this epic story.

07/08/2016 – Mark Reilly v Dan Murrell (Championship match)

maxresdefault (2)The first match between the former partners was a match for the Ultimate Schmoedown Championship. Reilly was the odds-on favorite to win in my opinion because he was on such a roll while Murrell himself. Two juggernauts of the Schmoedown finally facing each other like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair never did in a major WWE pay-per-view. One of the most highly anticipated matches that didn’t disappoint, with Murrell defeating the undefeated champ and becoming second Ultimate Schmoedown Champion in Schmoedown history.

10/07/2016 – Mark Reilly v John Rocha I

hqdefaultIt was at the Semi-finals of the 2016  Ultimate Schmoedown tournament that we saw the former champ Reilly come up against a reinvigorated Outlaw on his journey to the belt. Rocha came out on top defeating Reilly who took him all the way to the five-pointer. As the Outlaw, it was this roll he was on, the road to the title, that garnered the support of 100s’ from around the world. He set a record against Kristian in a great match he won blindfolded I might add and won many new fans to the Schmoedown, my friends included.

12/23/2016 – John Rocha v Mark Reilly II

Rocha lost in the final of the Schmoedown tournament against Mark Ellis, but it was announced that Rocha would face Reilly at the Schmoedown Spectacular for the #1 contenders spot to face the winner of Murrell v Ellis. It was supposed to be redemption for Reilly but Rocha’s road to the title could not be stopped. The same night Rocha (for Team Top 10) lost his tag team titles to The Patriots, he defeated Reilly and was one step closer to his dream of claiming the Championship belt, but to get there he had to defeat a beast.

02/17/2017 – Dan Murrell v John Rocha (Championship match)

maxresdefaultDan Murrell came into this match as a bonafide champ, undefeated with a record of most title defenses. No one would bet against Murrell, but Rocha came into this match at the end of a fairy tale-like journey, a road that saw him beat the former champ not once but twice, he beat his nemesis in a rematch from a match that saw him ridiculed for an answer he gave, and although he lost in the final of the 2016 Schmoedown tournament, he came into the match and did what no one before him could do. He beat THE champ. He beat arguably the most knowledgeable player in the schmoedown, completing his fairy tale. John Rocha became the first person to hold the tag team titles and the Schmoedown title but not simultaneously.

04/04/2017 – Collider v Screen Junkies (Impromptu Team match)

Kristian Harloff has had his own history with the despicable Andy Signore formerly of Screen junkies. When Harloff was to face off against Signore, Signore brought his working partner from Screen Junkies Dan Murrell to participate. Harloff accepted it, calling his friend John Rocha to join him in an impromptu team battles match. At the end of the day Collider beat Screen Junkies, while Rocha now has the distinction of being the only player to have three wins against Murrell.

(Link to match taken down understandably so link is to a LTTP reaction of said match).

04/21/2017 – John Rocha v Mark Reilly III (Championship match)

maxresdefault (1)In John Rochas’ first title defense he came up against his old rival, former champ Mark Reilly. The third time these two competitors would face off happened to be for the belt. History was on Rocha’s side seeing as he defeated Reilly before twice, but Reilly had nothing to lose, ultimately creating history himself. Mark Reilly became the first 2x Champion in the Schmoedown was one win away from 10 wins, the most in Schmoedown history. Avenging his two defeats to Rocha in a great match but the highlight of it being during their post-match interview, where Rocha challenged Reilly to turn his match with Dan Murrell for the belt at the Collider Collision into a Triple Threat match, which Reilly accepted. Setting the stage for the three best competitors in Schmoedown history competing for the most coveted belt in the Schmoedown. History was about to be made.

07/07/2017 – Mark Reilly v Dan Murrell v John Rocha (Championship match)

MV5BMmI1N2M0ZWQtM2I1Ny00YmY0LWE1ZjYtNjYyZmU3MjdkODc3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDc1NTk1MzE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,675,1000_AL_What’s better than having a title match between Rocha and Dan, or Dan and Reilly, Rocha and Reilly? Having them compete against each at the same time! At the Collider Collision, we were treated to Schmoedown history, the first EVER triple threat match between these giants of the game. Possibly the greatest match in Schmoedown history in my opinion because of the history, the people involved and the drama that unfolded. With an added stipulation in that the two losers, would have to win three matches (in a row) to challenge for the belt ever again.

The match itself was fantastic, Rocha wearing his blindfold again, Murrell on his A game and Reilly the respectable champion he is. The particular positive of this match was the fact that all three players landed their picks for the wheel. The spinning wheel can be the downfall for a player, the fact that all three landed on options that they called strengths made the match even more tense, because we knew the players were playing at their best.

The collision was spectacular and after the amazing match, Dan Murrell came out on top as the 2x Schmoedown champ, while Reilly unfortunately announcing his retirement and Rocha having to adhere to the stipulation. So, it’ll be a while until we see these competitors in a singles match against each other again for the belt, so until then, we are fortunate enough to have the history of this historic rivalry on YouTube to always go back to and relive.

Better breakdown of match here.

My Top 10 Films Of 2017. — January 1, 2018

My Top 10 Films Of 2017.

Happy New Years!

As a gift for you, I wanted to make a list of my favourite films from 2017. I have not seen every film released in 2017, and some movies released in US in 2017 are being released here in NZ this year like ‘The Darkest Hour’ and ‘The Shape of Water’. If anything, this list will tell you more of my taste in film than anything else so don’t expect an exploration of the state of the film industry here mate.

My grading system: Every reviewer has a grading system, and majority are the same such as out of 10 or C- to A+. Because I like the MCU, my grading system is out of 6 Infinity Stones, and it can vary from either a full number (1, 2, 3 out of 6) or point numbers (1.5, 2.6, 5.9 out of 6). Some of the grades are different here from my original reviews.

So, let’s start:


 

10 – Wonder Woman

Wonder-Woman-1

“The DCEU has been criticized for being too serious and of course there’s no problem with that, but when style takes precedent over substance, it does sucks. This movie finally delivers a Wonder Woman film we’ve all been waiting for.

The film ticked most if not all the boxes for me, a strong female role model for kids to look up to not just for being a badass but being a hero with convictions (tick), amazing, spectacular action sequences (tick), Gal Gadot delivering as Wonder Woman/Diana (tick, tick), and a chance to see Chris Pines abs (TICK).

This is definitely the best film in the DCEU, but I disagree with some people in that the DCEU has still got a long way to go if they want to reach the magic of The Dark Knight (2008) or even go beyond it.”

Grade: 4.3 out of 6

 

9 – Spider-Man: Homecoming

spider-man-homecoming-banner“Overall, this was just such a great time. This for me is easily the funniest and funnest Spider-Man to date, cast with the perfect choices for our main characters and nothing else can be said other than bring me more please!”

Grade: 4.4 out of 6

 

8 – Coco

Screen-Shot-2017-08-07-at-9.29.17-AM-e1502124096539Coco is one of Pixar’s best movies ever. It’s the first animated movie since Toy Story 3 or Up to make me cry… or even M. Night’s the Last Airbender. I loved most of everything about it, the songs, the story, the characters, the visuals and did I mention the story? The emotional element in this film is like none before in an animated film, all the visuals are superb, and the film is crafted with such respect for the culture, how many movies can you say that about right? It may be too predictable and has a few other flaws, but they don’t undermine the film because it’s such an enduring piece of storytelling with such a satisfying twisting narrative.

Grade: 4.5 out of 6

 

7 – Dunkirk

8070300“Any movie helmed by Christopher Nolan is an experience, no matter how ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ or even ‘A-word-describing-what’s-between-good-and-bad’ his movies are, you leave his movies wanting to talk about it, a lot, which is what a lot of talkative geeks want. With a talented ensemble like this, mixed with a great script and a director of this calibre, it was destined to be great. Dunkirk is as visceral as cinema gets. The battle sequences are very gritty and tense and adds a realism to them that harkens back to ‘Saving Private Ryan’. This film left me physically and emotionally drained, but I still enjoyed it a lot.”

Grade: 4.5 out of 6

 

6 – Get Out

la-et-hc-get-out-horror-peele-20161004-snapConsidering this is Jordan Peele’s feature directorial debut, it’s even more amazing how well this movie turned out to be. There’s an emotional build up in this film that could’ve been handled poorly by another director, but the balance Peele brings is astonishing, the balance between chills and laughs is perfect, the balance between the scares and twists are awesome. Peele has a soft touch when it comes to the many moments and plot beats that require just ‘the right visual design to be believable and effective’, and this new time director gets it all spot on! Peele delivered one of my favourite horror/thrillers ever, and I hate horrors.

Grade: 4.5 out of 6

 

5 – Transformers: The Last Knight

… NOT!

 

5 – The Big Sick

BigSickCastThe Big Sick is edgy, hilarious and lovable. There was a lot of hype for this film that I heard about, so I was really keen to watch it. This thoughtful film is more than just a rom-com, because it was surprisingly compelling.

I loved this film, and maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for movies with leads that have great chemistry, but even without the chemistry the story itself is heart-warming, emotionally honest, funny and moving in equal measure. Probably because it’s based on a true story. The fact that this was based on Kumail Nanjiani and writer Emily V. Gordon’s personal lives and their openness to explore it all with laughs and heartache made this film even more amazing than it already is.

Grade: 4.7 out of 6

 

4 – Baby Driver

Ansel Elgort;Jon Hamm;Jamie Foxx;Eiza Gonzalez“Edgar Wright takes movie genres, and puts his twist on it, creating some of the most creative movies out.

I loved this movie; definitely you can see that it’s an Edgar Wright movie. When a film maker conjures up an original movie and executes it well, we need to celebrate it. I’m keen to watch it a few more times; it’s that good, you need to go out and watch it! You won’t be disappointed! The performances from the a-list line up, the music, the style, the drama and the action all mix to make one of the best films this year!”

Grade: 4.8 out of 6

 

3 – Thor Ragnarok

Thor-Ragnarok-Revengers“I absolutely enjoyed my time watching this film, so much so one of my friends had to tell me to be quiet because I was too loud when I laughed. No other straight comedy has made me do that, except Batman v Superman (sorry not sorry). The MCU have done it again, and it has left me wanting to watch it again immediately. It’s the first Thor film to make me excited to see another Thor movie, and it’s the first movie with Thor in it that made me really root for the character to succeed in the film! I left the film wanting more of basically everything, but I could argue that that’s what a good filmmaker should do, leave the audience wanting more. And although there are some holes in Taika’s game when it comes to directing, he still left me thoroughly entertained and wanting to see more.”

Grade: 4.9 out of 6

 

2 – Star Wars the Last Jedi

rs_1024x646-171215065409-1024.CARRIE-FISHER.121517“When I watched this movie and I realised none of my expectations came true in the way I thought that it would play out, I was so pleasantly surprised. The second time I watched this film I went in not keen to watch certain scenes, but I also went in with a new perspective and ultimately most of the stuff I watched the first time that I didn’t like I now understand better and have a better appreciation for it. I loved this film, it wasn’t perfect, and I have some major issues with it, but I still really enjoyed this film. J.J. Abrams set the field for Rian to hit the ball out of the park, and he did so without relying on CGI… a bad analogy but I think this movie is amazing.”

Grade: 5 out of 6

1 – Baywatch…

OK, jokes gone too far now, sorry.

1 – Logan

logan“Logan is a sincerely moving and gritty human story, which enthusiastically abandons superhero formulaic traditions and templates, translating the antithesis of what we have come to expect superhero films to be. It has set the standard for genre defining films, because to lock it into a genre will only do it a disservice. It’s not just the best Wolverine film, or best X-Men film, or even one of the best superhero films, it can confidently stand alone as a cinematic experience worthy of multiple viewings, which I intend to do.”

Grade: 5.4 out of 6


 

Links to my reviews:

Wonder Woman – (https://nerdonomicsnz.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/wonder-woman-set-the-bar-for-the-dceu/)

Spider-Man: Homecoming – (https://nerdonomicsnz.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/spider-man-homecoming-the-funnest-spider-man-film-to-date/)

Baby Driver – (https://nerdonomicsnz.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/edgar-wrights-genre-defining-touch-evident-in-baby-driver/)

Thor Ragnarok – (https://nerdonomicsnz.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/thor-ragnarok-in-top-10-comic-movies-of-all-time/)

Star Wars The Last Jedi – (https://nerdonomicsnz.wordpress.com/2017/12/30/star-wars-the-last-jedi/)

Logan – (https://nerdonomicsnz.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/logan-third-times-a-charm/)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. — December 30, 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Spoiler-Full Film Review

Luke_Rey_Vanity_Fair

Arguably the most polarizing of the Star Wars films, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi has apparently divided fans more so than the others. I said ‘apparently’ because at the time of this writing, I have yet to read about the backlash or specific comments on reviews, YouTube comments, Facebook posts etc because I didn’t want to read something that’ll ultimately influence my own opinions. Talking with friends it seems like people actually HATE this film, and I want to say from the start, that I LOVE this film. Not because I want to be indifferent but because I think this film was spectacular and full of surprises. Here’s my Spoiler-full review after two screenings of The Last Jedi.

 


 

Greatest Strengths:

The greatest strength of this film, is the unpredictability. Director J.J. Abram’s set up a truckload of things in The Force Awakens, and because this is Star Wars, naturally there are equal amount of theories about everything set up in TFA for how things will turn out in The Last Jedi. TFA was basically a rehash of A New Hope, characters and storylines parallel each other, and we can infer from Empire Strikes Back, which followed ANH of how things might turn out in TLJ. Also, we have 30+ years of Star Wars history to help inform our theories, and George Lucas himself who talks about the ‘Poetry of Star Wars’ in that there’s symmetry to the films. All of this made it easy to theorize and predict what might happen in TLJ. But in the film, at every turn where we might predict what will happen based on all of that, Rian Johnson masterfully undercuts our expectations by taking hard left turns leaving audience members surprised. When Snoke was introduced, we theorized based on Darth Sideous on how Snoke might be Darth Plagieus to fight Luke at the end of ep.9, but he was killed by Kylo. When Luke returned, we thought he would leave Ahch-To to join the resistance, but he remains on Ahch-To and projects himself instead. When we meet Rey, we theorize, based on Luke from ESB, who her parents might be, but they end up being nobodies. A fact J.J. might change. The Last Jedi succeeds where TFA fails, in its unpredictability and it comes down to Rian Johnson’s boldness and courage, which should be applauded.

 

Greatest Weaknesses:

The weaknesses in the film for me, came more with the story decisions or moments that didn’t make a lot of sense rather than overarching themes. Although everything in the film serves a purpose, there were many points where I had to sit back and say to myself: ‘Myself, I understand why that, or this is done, but it doesn’t make sense’. From the start, one moment I didn’t like was when Rey gave Luke his father’s lightsabre, and he just threw it behind him and walked off. A comedic moment that felt like a stuff you to all the hardcore fans that speculated for the past two years what his first reactions were going to be. It may be that for me the tone didn’t work. They played it for laughs but I would have preferred Luke to simply drop it infront of Rey and then walk off, similar moves but different tones. Other moments were just poorly thought out issues, like how did the bombs drop in gravity? My brains too slow to understand how. Also, how come Paige wasn’t sucked out by the space when the hatch opened? I guess we’ll just take it with a grain of salt like most of the things that don’t make sense.

The major part of the film I wasn’t overly ecstatic about was the Canto Bright storyline. For me, the Rose/Finn storyline was the least compelling out of the three major storylines, and much of that had to do with their little visit to Canto Bright. The only purpose for this setting was the introduction of DJ, the force sensitive slave kids and to show Finn the grey areas of war. This could have been somewhere else where they weren’t distracted by animal activism and other than the political theme, this setting offered nothing. DJ’s purpose was to show Finn how the rich get richer by selling weapons to both the Resistance and the FO. His line to Finn about them winning one day, and the next day the enemy wins is great character development for Finn. This storyline lacked a lot of urgency, so it side-tracks the main narrative and ultimately made the whole film slower for me

 


 

star-wars-the-last-jedi-2017-wallpaper_1985164232

Characters:

Rey (Daisey Ridley) –  Rey is the break out star of the new trilogy (sorry BB8), because Ridley is fantastic, and Rey is head strong and staunch in her convictions. In this film I was extremely happy to find out she wasn’t another Skywalker, her journey through that mirror cave giving her the confidence to accept her parents leaving her and accept that her identity isn’t in her past was refreshing and so awesome. Rey doesn’t need a last name like Skywalker or Solo or even Kenobi to be a badass, instead Rian decided her destiny is in her own hands, and that’s brilliant!

Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) – When we see Luke, we learn he has disconnected himself from the Force. It took training with Rey and a visit from Yoda to compel him to act. He demonstrates incredible use of the Force considering he’s been disconnected from it for some time, being able to project himself through the force light years away on another planet, although this act did end up killing him, it was an unbelieving show of force (no pun intended) by the Master Jedi. The only thing I didn’t really like was the twist to make him, even for a moment, try and kill Ben Solo. Darth Vader has got to be the greatest villain in movie history, and Luke saw a small spark of light in him, and believed he could turn him, why couldn’t he do that with Ben?

Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) – After watching the second trailer for this movie, I was convinced there was a redemption arc for Kylo, which I didn’t want at all. I prefer a Kylo v Rey showdown rather than Kylo/Rey v Snoke showdown. I’m so glad they didn’t go the redemption arc but instead used Snoke’s death for Kylo to ascend into Supreme Leader. Although there was a human moment from him when he refused to shoot the bridge of the ship Leia was in, his actions in the end shows he has truly gone to the dark side. It was also great to explore some of his backstory while generally deepening the character which moving him away from just being an angry man in a black mask.

General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) – In Carrie Fisher’s final appearance in a Star Wars movie, I felt so emotional watching it. especially during her scene with Mark Hamill. It felt so fitting and so right. In terms of what Leia did in the film, she finally had a chance to use her force powers and she is grooming Poe as the next leader of the Resistance. For the next year or so we’re going to be questioning her part in Episode 9.

Finn (John Boyega) – Though I feel he was toned down from Force Awaken, Boyega has this charisma whenever he’s on screen. His character goes through his own journey in this film, which wasn’t as compelling as others, but he learns a great deal from it, and it’s those character moments that makes it worth it. Finn makes the decision the go all in for the Resistance after some soul searching and almost commits suicide to save his friends.

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) – Poe is now a major leader, if not the singular major leader of the Resistance, if Leia’s “Don’t look at me, follow him” and constant lessons grooming him as a leader wasn’t obvious enough, the fact Carrie Fisher won’t be here for Episode 9 should give you a hint as to who’s leading the resistance now. We got to see him in action in the beginning of the film and then we got to see his development into a leader. Acknowledging Holdo’s sacrifice and then understanding Luke’s sacrifice to give them time or ‘hope’. Poe’s development stands out the most to me.

Rose – A new addition to the trilogy, Rose is Finns girlfriend. Cool.

Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) – Since the Force Awakens in 2015, there have been many theories of who Snoke is, how powerful he is or even his part in the trilogy. His part in this film reminded me every character has a purpose only useful in relation to other characters. How can one better serve some other characters and the story going forward? Snoke’s death took Kylo to a whole other level, Kylo is no longer Ben, but now Supreme Leader. It was never really about Snoke, it was about Kylo. Andy Serkis was, as always, Phenomenal.

Minor characters – General Hux (Domhall Gleeson), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhem), and Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) were underused.

Star_Wars_The_Last_Jedi_-_Promotional_Image_5


 

Other Points & Developments:

  • My favourite scene, by far is when Rey and Kylo fought side by side against Snoke’s Praetorian Guards. Potentially, the best choreographed fight sequence in any film this year, it was amazing!
  • Music: You can tell the difference when there’s a master at work with the score in a film. John freakin’ Williams ladies and gentlemen.
  • R.I.P Admiral Ackbar. Although he had little screen time, he was killed off early in the film and we didn’t even get a moment to mourn, just one line in passing. I do think though he deserved Holdo’s amazing sacrifice because of his part in the previous movies rather than what he got.
  • We finally get to see Leia use the force. It felt weird because it was the first time we’ve ever seen her use the force and she used it like a boss. It was like 0 to 100.
  • Snoke to Kylo: “You’re just a child, in a mask
  • Luke teaches Rey two lessons out of three. Can she finish her training in Ep.9?
  • R.I.P the two Porgs Chewie was going to eat. He should’ve killed more in my opinion.
  • Poe: “There were heroes on that mission

Leia: “Dead heroes. No leaders

  • Chewie did jack all. #JusticeForChewie
  • R.I.P Captain Phasma. Finn v Captain Phasma. Finn defeats Phasma, and now his arc has been resolved. Now what for Finn?
  • R.I.P Admiral Holdo. Had one of the most visually astonishing deaths ever. That shot of her using light speed to ram her ship into Snoke’s Supremacy was UNBELIEVABLE. Everything from the colour scheme to the bleak silence of space just made it one of the best scenes in the whole film. I must add again, that if any minor character were to go out like that, I would have preferred it being Admiral Gial Ackbar.
  • Kylo to Rey Re: parents: “They were filthy junk traders, sold you off for drinking money”
  • R.I.P Supreme Leader Snoke. Although Snoke gets no background, he still served a purpose.
  • Force Ghost Yoda shows up guys! It was great seeing him interact with Luke at this stage of his life. Yoda’s quite powerful as a force ghost, how he summoned lightning to burn the tree. I wonder how powerful Luke will be as a force ghost.
  • Yoda: “We are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of a master”
  • Rey took the Jedi texts from the old tree, right? I saw them when Finn opened a compartment in the Falcon to grab a blanket for Rose.
  • With Snoke dead, Kylo Ren becomes Supreme Leader of the FO.
  • R.I.P Luke Skywalker. See you when you return as a force ghost.
  • The resistance is wiped out. Although there are still other groups of resistance fighters who didn’t answer Leia’s call, I felt desperate for the heroes because there was so few who survived the film. Such a smart and brave move from Rian to wipe out most of the resistance to give our heroes a bigger hill to climb. I’m fully invested in their climb.
  • Special mention: The Praetorian Guards were amazing.

 


reykylolastjedi-1280-1509390847302_400w

GRADE: 5 out of 6 Infinity Stones.

When I watched this movie and I realised none of my expectations came true in the way I thought that it would play out, I was so pleasantly surprised. The second time I watched this film I went in not really keen to watch certain scenes, but I went in with a new perspective and ultimately most of the stuff I watched the first time that I didn’t like I now understand better and have a better appreciation for it. I loved this film, it wasn’t perfect, and I have some major issues with it, but I still really enjoy this film. J.J Abrams set the field for Rian to hit the ball out of the park, and he did that without relying on CGI… a bad analogy but I think this movie is amazing.

 


 

Photo cred: (Vanity Fair and Google Images)

Crisis On Earth-X pt.4 — December 4, 2017

Crisis On Earth-X pt.4

Legends of Tomorrow S03E08

Felicity: “So, if you want Kara you got to go through me. And even if you do, you won’t win, because we will not back down, we will keep fighting. So get the hell off our earth while you still can.”


-PROs:

  • NerdService #1: The Ray and Flash teaming up to take out Red Tornado.
  • Black Canary: “This guys like the Terminator”. #Terminator reference.
  • NerdService #2: It takes Vibe, Heatwave, Black Canary, Firestorm, The Ray, Steel, and Flash to take out Robot Metallo.
  • Citizen Cold and Heatwave Mick thinking Cold is a ghost. Mick in Earth-X died saving officers from a burning building, to which Mick replied: “I died tryna save pigs… I’m gonna be sick”.
  • The Ray and Terrific compare notes on their names. #Mr.Perfect reference?
  • An excellent FINAL scene between Stein and Jefferson. Man this was so emotional! I got teary, what a send off to probably the greatest actor in all CW shows.
  • Stein: “you once told me that I was like your father and I said you were my son. How could a father do anything less?”
  • Stein: “Thank you Jefferson for the adventure of a life time, I hope you live as long and full of love just as I did.”
  • The montage after Steins death where everyone was reacting to it was moving.
  • Atom: “We can’t bring Marty back, but we can protect the city he loves and the family he leaves behind”

White Canary: “For the professor… now let’s go kick some ass”

  • NerdService #3: the superhero lineup shot under the bridge from the trailers was epic… all our heroes side to side, with The Ray, Supergirl flying and Killer Frost doing her best impression of Iceman with her own ice glide
  • NerdService #4: Another EPIC showdown. It’s great to see all our heroes having something to do. Special mention Atom riding on Terrifics T-Sphere, Flash and Reverse-Flash fighting while everyone is in slow-mo, Arrow and Archers duel, to Killer Frost, Zari and Vixen taking out the Nazi Waverider.
  • Vibe: “Launching torpedo one” #AtariStarship reference.
  • Wells: “You need to fly her up, up, and away”
  • Martin Stein’s Oh my god why are they tryna make me cry?
  • Citizen Cold: “That’s it big guy, let it out”

Mick: “Allergies

  • Thankful Diggle gets to be apart of the Crossover, by marrying Barry/Iris and Oliver/Felicity.

-CONs:

  • So, the element of surprise is Atom needed to take out Reverse-Flash and Dark Archer.
  • They shouldn’t have killed Metallo off in STAR Labs. He’s quite a formidable opponent so having him fight during the final showdown would have made a much more engaging fight.
  • I know Barry doesn’t kill people, but why did he just let Reverse-Flash go? Why not put him in one of the STAR Lab prison cells?

-Developments:

  • Stein is shot again, before pulling the lever creating a breach back to Earth-1.
  • The Legends arrive just in time to save Kara and the other heroes. shortly after the heroes return from Earth-X come through the breach to join the skirmish.
  • Because Jefferson and Stein’s life functions are linked, Stein’s connection to Jefferson is helping him stay alive. Gideon is unable to heal them.
  • Terrific helps the ray, vixen and Kari realise that Overgirl if not treated will go supernova.
  • After an emotional goodbye, Jefferson allows Stein to drink the vial that separates them in order for Jefferson to live.
  • Zari gets a new costume.
  • Flash defeats and releases Reverse-Flash, Supergirl takes Overgirl out in space to go supernova, while Arrow Kills Archer.
  • The Ray returns to Earth-X while Citizen Cold decides to stay behind in Earth-1.
  • Barry and Iris are married, alongside Oliver and Felicity.

GRADE: B+

What a Crossover, what an event! This far exceeded my expectations going from the get go. The whole crossover as a whole, has just been spectacular. This episode itself I gave it a B+ because of some things that I personally would have wanted didn’t happen, like Martin Stein saying goodbye to others he’s close to, also the letting go of Reverse-Flash was weird, I guess he’s coming back, also I didn’t feel there was a sense of urgency towards the main storyline, but I understand it’s because of the Stein/Jefferson storyline and I applaud the decision to focus on it the length it did because it added stakes and consequences. Steins death is definitely one of the major talking points following this crossover. The episode itself is still really entertaining and enjoyable and fun, and worthy to finish off the Crossover event. Well done, CW, well done.

Crisis On Earth-X pt.3 —

Crisis On Earth-X pt.3

The Flash S03E08

Green Arrow: “It’s the strongs duty to protect the weak”.


-PROs:

  • Throwback: Eobard/Wells enters the labs on his old wheelchair.
  • As if we needed the reminder of how great an actor Paul Blackthorne is, his take on this Quentin is brutal. The music playing when he was talking to Sara was so spooky and unnerving.
  • Felicity: “Lead the way McClane” #DieHard reference!
  • Citizen Cold: “I hate fire”. Citizen Cold is such a great addition to the show, it’s really refreshing seeing a different side to this character. He’s so fun and yet Wentworth Miller maintains that slow delivery. It’s fantastic. Cold: “That is a fantastic outfit. Did you make that?”
  • The way they minimised last episodes drama with Felicity by giving her something to do like freeing her friends instead of talking with Oliver was fantastic!
  • NerdService #1: The crew General Schott is leading is called The Freedom Fighters, that fight in Earth-X against the Nazis.
  • Another great scene with Martin Stein and Jax Jefferson!
  • Stein: “Long before I unexpectedly found myself with a daughter, I found myself unexpectedly with a son”
  • Another great scene with Alex Danvers connecting with Sara Lance.
  • NerdService #2: Loved that parallel scenes with Dark Archer and Earth-1 Felicity Smoak alongside Green Arrow and Earth-X’s Felicity Smoak.
  • Enjoyed the call-back to Earth-1s Snart/Captain Cold’s philosophy on planning and Citizen Cold’s scoffing and dismissing the philosophy.
  • Stein: “Lets kick some ass Jefferson”
  • NerdService #3: We ended Pt.3 with another EPIC superhero battle scene. The raid on Earth-X’s Nazi compound had everything. Arrow and Citizen Cold paired to fight some Nazis, Alex & Sara kick some Nazi butt, Firestorm separating so Stein and Jefferson can both save the day, while The Ray and The Flash take on a far superior version of Red Tornado.

-CONs:

  • I don’t remember anything in the first two parts making it obvious that Dark Archer is Earth-X’s Fuhrer, from the lack of salutes and how Thawne talked to Dark Archer after Merlyns
  • This is probably just a nit-pick, because the episode is so great! But I feel it would’ve been better if at first it was Ray/Cold who tried to convince General Schott to go with their plan, then he declines them. So, Alex goes in and convinces him using her speech, I feel it adds depth to this Schott. Although I understand it shows his resolve to defeat the Fuhrer by willingly sacrificing probably the only two under his command that has powers and a cold gun.

-Developments:

  • We meet Russell Tovey’s Ray Terrill/The Ray in the concentration camp. While escaping with the heroes we also meet Earth-X’s Leonard Snart doppelganger: Citizen Cold (My favourite addition to the show).
  • Another character introduced is Nazi general Quentin Lance.
  • The Ray and Citizen Cold are resistance fighters who serve under General Winn Schott. We learn that The Ray is from Earth-1.
  • We learn that Dark Archer is the Fuhrer, instead of Earth-X’s Barry being the Fuhrer, which I thought it was going to either be him or Overman.
  • Reverse-Flash reveals he’s fought Superman in the future and that he’s faster than him. Is this going to happen on the show??? Whooa!!
  • Green Arrow disguises himself as Dark Archer to infiltrate the Nazi compound.
  • There’s a Nazi Waverider??
  • General Schott has a Red Tornado android under his command.
  • With everyone pinned down, Stein makes a run for it to turn the lever that creates a breach.
  • Cliff-hanger: Martin Stein is shot. Dammit!

GRADE: A

This episode is EPIC! It helped that we started the episode on Earth-X, which gets me thinking why we didn’t visit there earlier with the heroes. The tone was set early with the heroes in a concentration camp, filled with people who are gay, Jewish or just not Aryan enough. It’s great that during this crossover that were introduced to a new hero of the Arrowverse in The Ray, and also a fantastic new version of Leonard Snart is a welcome sight. The only piece of character drama that’s stayed from Pt.2 is the Firestorm drama. The cliff-hanger was made even emotional because of the scene where Stein openly acknowledges Jefferson as his son. So far, out of all three end of episode action sequences, this one is just above Pt.1’s.

Crisis On Earth-X pt.2 —

Crisis On Earth-X pt.2

Arrow S06E08

Green Arrow: “I’m going to kill you”

Dark Archer: “No you won’t. Your weak. All you choose the high road. Your heroes.”


-PROS:

  • NerdService #1: We start the show with the reveal the Prometheus from Earth-X is TOMMY FRICKIN MERLYN! Great to see Colin Donnell back. I’m so glad to see this!
  • The reveal of Tommy Merlyn was great, and his conversation after with Oliver was so good. Great to see an Oliver six seasons in communicating with his best friend, and Colin is great, he has always been one of the best actors in season 1 and it was great seeing him back since he didn’t turn up in the 100th
  • Jefferson revealing that Stein is the closest thing he has to a dad was super emotional! It’s the best scene these two have acted together in. It adds more depth to their relationship as two halves of Firestorm. Really fantastic!
  • I’m actually happy Alex has Sara to act with, before the crossover, I was worried she wouldn’t have anything to do but pairing her with Sara was smart.
  • That moment Kara and Flash arrived at the Nazis location fast, but Oliver arrived shortly after on his motorcycle saying: “Quick reminder: Superspeed, I don’t have it”
  • NerdService #2: Flash, Green Arrow & Supergirl facing off against Overgirl, Dark Archer & Reverse-Flash.
  • NerdService #3: Oliver has a Kryptonite Arrow! EPIC!
  • NerdService #4: Dayton Optical!! #DoomPatrol reference!
  • NerdService #5: The suiting up sequence was awesome!
  • That moment Heatwave didn’t know the heroes went out to attack the Nazis.
  • Dark Archers assault on STAR Labs was fantastic. EPIC!
  • Another awesome action sequence, this time in a warehouse, where the heroes get their butts handed to them! Great parallel to the last episode!
  • Iris: “I thought we were going to die”

Felicity: “If I had a dime for every time I thought that I’d have… $2.40 I really thought I’d have more than that”.

  • NerdService #6: Replicating a red sun to weaken a Kryptonian? #AllStarSuperman reference!

-CONs:

  • Would have liked Earth-X to be Earth-10 instead of Earth-53.
  • Nazi Merlyn killing himself fits perfectly for his character, but sad Colin Donnell only had one scene.
  • I didn’t like that scene with Oliver and Felicity in STAR labs at all. I think it’s badly written because it didn’t take into account a lot of things like, Oliver just came back as the Green Arrow and now he wants to marry Felicity and she doesn’t want to even though she truly loves him. Meh.
  • The interpersonal drama took away from the main storyline. It’s hard to advance the Earth-X storyline when we’re constantly forced to watch these characters sulk or give advice. Character moments are great, but I hate it when there’s too much from many different characters and it takes away from the main storyline.
  • Why did the team not go into where the Nazis full power? If they knew the villains were there why didn’t they go with more heroes to have a better advantage? I know it’s to make the three villains and their army of useless Nazis more intimidating, but it just didn’t make sense during that moment.

-Developments:

  • Earth-X Prometheus is Tommy Merlyn. Also, Overgirl and Dark Archer are married.
  • Green Arrow shoots Overgirl with a kryptonite arrow.
  • The Nazi doppelgangers stole something called a prism from Dayton Optical Systems, that can be used as a neutron bomb.
  • Dark Archer infiltrates STAR Labs singlehandedly defeating Heatwave, Killer Frost, Black Canary, Mr. Terrific and Wild dog.
  • Earth-X has their own Robot Metallo.
  • The Nazi doppelgangers motivation is to take Kara’s heart and give it to Overgirl. Because Overgirl is dying from being exposed to too much solar radiation. The Nazis needed the prism from Dayton Optical to replicate a red sun to weaken Kara so that they can cut her.
  • Cliff-hanger: Our heroes who were defeated at the warehouse wake up in a concentration camp on Earth-X.

GRADE: B-

In the aftermath of Barry and Iris’ crashed wedding, you would think that Team Arrow, Team Flash, The Legends and the Danvers sisters team up to devise a plan of attack to take on these Nazi doppelgangers. Nope. That’s not what we get. Instead we get some talking and whinging. Which to me was annoying for the only reason of wanting the heroes to punch some Nazis. I just wished everyone stopped whining and focused on the Nazis. It was still an enjoyable episode due to the awesome moments, and epic action sequences. Its very rare that you’d hear me saying that an Arrow episode wasn’t as good as a Supergirl episode, but I see the episodes of this crossover as four parts of one.

Crisis On Earth-X pt.1 —

Crisis On Earth-X pt.1

Supergirl S03E08

Barry: “People like us are always going to be getting into trouble, right? Having someone we love by our side makes getting out of that trouble that much easier. We have something to fight for…”


-PROs:

  • NerdService #1: From the get go, the opening logo/montage is fantastic! I loved that they’re using the font from the Crisis on Infinite Earth.
  • The montage of our heroes RSVPing to Barry and Iris’ wedding was fantastic! Flash fighting King Shark, Arrow fighting ninjas, Legends fighting in England 1183AD, while Supergirl defeats a Dominator.
  • NerdService #2: Supergirl beating a Dominator: “These guys are so last year”.
  • Mick interacting with everyone is just gold. I love him so much!
  • They made good use of Jesse L Martin heart-warming acting chops and Joe’s toast for Barry and Iris is up there as one of the most heart-warming moments in this show.
  • The music throughout the whole episode was fantastic!
  • Mick was fantastic the whole episode, everything he did or said was a highlight. Getting to know Caitlin again, wearing Steins robe, saying “I hate cops” to Captain Singh. Oh, also how fast he fell asleep after the bride walked in during the ceremony.
  • NerdService #3: Oliver & Kara: “I hate Nazis” #IndianaJones reference!
  • The church action sequence is one of the best in any CW show! Dark Archer v Green Arrow, Overgirl v Supergirl, Alex & Sara v Prometheus (a clear highlight), Killer Frost, Firestorm, Cisco, Wally & Heatwave v Nazis. EPIC!
  • NerdService #4: Wally and Barry catching bullets, Cisco creating a breach for Arrow to get to Dark Archer faster, Green Arrows portable bow, Supergirl doing her best rendition of a Hulk-clap! EPIC!
  • Even the camera work is excellent! The cameras following the actors are visible and clear, we know it’s the actors fighting, its well-choregraphed, well-staged, it’s engaging and very entertaining. EPIC!

-CONs:

  • When you realise that this is the only episode Martian Manhunter or Wally West appears in.
  • Spider-man exists in this DC universe.
  • Look, Melissa Benoist has a good voice, and her rendition of ‘Running Home to You” was cool. But the one who should have sung at the wedding, is JESSE L. MARTIN! JOE WEST should have sung! We’ve already established he’s a singer that’s not in a dream sequence! Kara singing at the wedding seemed out of place because she barely knows Iris and Kara was asked the night before!
  • I will admit the episode was slow plot-wise. I don’t know anything about Earth-X or the villain’s motivation apart from the obvious.
  • The Nazis trained at the Stormtroopers academy of shooting everywhere except your target. They get beaten pretty easily by our heroes.

-Developments:

  • Cold Open: We start in Earth-X where The Guardian is killed by Dark Archer.
  • The ‘calm-after-the-firestorm’ cure Cisco, Wells and Snow made for Stein and Jefferson.
  • Martin wants to be cured from the Firestorm pairing with Jefferson, but Jefferson seems like he still wants to fight with him.
  • Oliver wants to marry Felicity, but Felicity doesn’t want to.
  • Kara can sleep fly. #Smallville reference.
  • Alex Danvers and Sara have a one-night stand.
  • Who the hell is the caterer who talked to Barry before his wedding ceremony started. She gets like more than 3 lines, so you know she’s going to be important or semi-important going forward in the Flash
  • Overgirl, Dark Archer & Prometheus interrupt Barry & Iris’ Fight ensues, where our heroes win by beating the villains and catching Prometheus alive.
  • Cisco gets concussed. Wally takes Joe and Cecile away to safety.
  • ReverseFlash from Earth-1 is alive and on Dark Archer & Overgirl’s

GRADE: B

I was so glad that unlike the last CW crossover, that all four episodes are all four parts of a whole in this year’s crossover, Crisis on Earth-X. The first episode of this crossover is very entertaining. It’s nice to see the writers taking their time, having all the heroes under the same roof they need space to breathe, and Barry and Iris’ wedding was a fantastic way to spend time with each character and enjoy their interactions. Even though this episode didn’t reveal much of our villains or their earth, it did make the most of character interactions, delivering a dose of humour (I love you Mick) and some pretty serious character drama before transitioning into an epic showdown at the church. Great way to kick off a four-episode crossover.

 

Takeaways From The Avengers: Infinity War Trailer. — November 30, 2017

Takeaways From The Avengers: Infinity War Trailer.

So, the Avengers: Infinity War trailer just dropped.

I stayed up here in New Zealand until like 2am. And I got to say, it was well worth it bruh!

My initial reaction is that I’m very excited. I am not one to do breakdowns, but I wanted to talk about some things that stood out.


 

Music:

The first thing that stood out for me was the music. The MCU isn’t known for its incredible scores as much as it is known for its soundtracks. I absolutely love this Avengers theme, and this one slightly different. The music was sombre and ominous, there’s this sense of impending destruction which suits the initial tone of the movie considering what our heroes are up against. It does a lot when you have a recognizable theme, and I’m super glad Alan Silvestri is back.

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A war of two fronts:

There’s two major set pieces in this trailer that I think take place on earth, Wakanda and New York. There’s another that looks like another world, so I won’t talk about that.  Obviously, they aren’t concurrent scenarios because some actors are in both places. My 5cents is that the New York scenario takes place probably in the beginning to middle. And the Wakanda scene probably in the final act, which probably is concurrent with the fight on that red planet.

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Last Infinity Stone:

On the subject of Wakanda, one of the reasons maybe Thanos’ creatures are attacking Wakanda is because that is the home of the final infinity stone, the Soul Stone. Oooh. Also, to point out possibly a continuation of Thor: Ragnaroks post-credit scene, where there looks like a lot of dead refugee Asgardians and Loki walking over them to give the Tesseract to someone, probably Thanos.

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2 out 6:

One shot in the movie shows Thanos letting the Space Stone/Tesseract connect automatically to the glove. Already on the glove is a purple stone, the Power Stone. How did Thanos get it since last, we heard it was kept safely on Xandar protected by the Nova Corps. Maybe that’s how the Guardians get in the film, by hunting down the stone and intercepting Thor and the debris of his ship. also begs the question whether by the end of the film Thanos gets all of the Stones.

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The MCU trinity over?:

I think main three are done. In this one or Avengers 4, I think one way or another, Cap, Iron Man and Thor won’t be front and centre post-Avengers 4. Whether that’s through death, or retirement or taking a higher (kingly) responsibility. I think Thor will continue to lead his people and not be a permanent member of the Avengers, not ruling out Valkyrie though. I also think either Tony dies and Cap retires. I think it’s the most emotionally satisfying if Tony dies. He’s been the glue through the years, because he started it. Stark is also the cause for most problems, he created Ultron, and he’s sometimes a jerk. I think he needs to sacrifice himself to save the world, cap sees this as an emotional close to their argument in Avengers about sacrifice. Also, there’s a moment in the trailer where Thanos goes: “you know what it’s like to lose” and the shots on Tony. I won’t be surprised if Cap dies.

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A New Leader?:

Cap dies or Stark dies or Thor leaves, I don’t know. All I know is the team is in need of some serious leadership if the three do die. Maybe the team can be built around a young Peter Parker, doubt it. The sense I got from the trailer is that Black Panther is groomed for a leadership position among these heroes, not just of his own country. If so it’ll be the perfect pick, his secret technologically advanced home of Wakanda will be very useful for the avengers to use a HQ. Maybe the vibe I’m getting is just of him being a leader is because some of the set pieces is in his land.

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This has a decade in the making. Since 2008 and even long before that in the planning phases of this huge unprecedented universe, Marvel studios still had to create good to great movies, sort out contracts for talent, continually have successes yearly to ride that momentum and add credibility to their brand that all culminated in this film. Everything else has just been cherries along the road.

From a fan full of gratitude, thank you Marvel.