Avengers: Infinity War

ratings5

Six years ago, at the age of 10, I started this website, hoping to share my love of movies with the world, and my first review was for a film I had recently watched and loved — that film was The Avengers. I can’t believe it’s been so long since then, and growing up with this franchise, it’s amazing to see how it’s grown from 6 superheroes fighting an alien army to the extraordinary team-up of Infinity War. Marvel has always been my favorite film studio around, as their blockbusters always astound viewers and bring us together a few times a year. Their movies have rocked my world and are the reason I got so into action and superhero blockbusters. And after 10 years and 18 films, the buildup of the Marvel universe has finally paid off as Thanos begins his journey to find all 6 Infinity Stones in order to wipe out half the universe. If you’re not familiar with any of Marvel’s movies, don’t count on the film to help you catch up, and it doesn’t only require you to watch The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, it also brings together the events of Captain America: Civil WarGuardians of the GalaxyDoctor StrangeThor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther. The cast is exceptional, as they are in every Marvel movie — Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, and Chris Pratt all reprise their roles (among many others) as the heroes who have become among my favorite film characters through the decade. It’s plenty of fun to see these characters interact — particularly those who meet for the first time, such as Iron Man and Doctor Strange, Thor and the Guardians, and Spider-Man and Star-Lord. Like I said, many plot details involve knowledge from the previous film so I strongly recommend you watch all the previous Marvel films before watching this one. The humor is also a big part of many Marvel movies and here it once again doesn’t disappoint. Every member of the enormous cast does an excellent job bringing their characters back to the big screen, but the standout is the one we haven’t seen much of before — Josh Brolin as Thanos. Thanos is not only a threatening villain but also a complex one who is developed thoroughly and isn’t just another CGI alien trying to get control of the universe. He also shows complex emotions and sees his actions not as acts of villainy, but acts of sacrifice to save the universe.

The action is always spectacular, with gorgeous visuals and setting painting the screen in every shot. The stakes are always high for the Avengers and the fate of humanity, and the unpredictability takes the film to surprising places. Many have criticized Marvel’s villain problems or lack of risk-taking, but their villains this year — both Thanos and Killmonger — have become the best in their universe, and Infinity War may be the biggest risk ever taken for a blockbuster. Years of buildup over so many films — it could have gone wrong early on if any of their movies failed — but so much faith and effort was put into this project and it pays off perfectly. None of it feels unbalanced or crowded, and though my one complaint is that a few of my favorite characters ended up getting no development, and a few of the arcs from the previous films weren’t quite carried on, it’s forgivable because of how much action is already going on and how the main focus of the film is developing the villain. Infinity War is so much to take in not just because it’s different from any Marvel movie, but because it’s different from any movie that’s been released before in cinemas. With Infinity War, Marvel will not only have fans clapping and cheering, like I found myself doing in many of the awesome moments in the film, but they also break ground in the opportunities of high-budget filmmaking and create something truly unique for audiences to enjoy. Not to mention that incredible and shocking ending that’s one of the most brilliant cliffhangers in cinema history.

Avengers: Infinity War is not only another step up for Marvel, but also an achievement for Hollywood and action films that’s bigger than anything a studio has produced before. The gripping conflict, action, visuals, and entertaining cast and humor will satisfy all who have been waiting for so long, and assembles the world’s favorite movie characters for an epic battle you won’t forget.

Avengers Infinity War poster.jpg

Advertisements

A Quiet Place

ratings4

This apocalyptic horror film focuses on a family who is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound. Starring in the main roles are John Krasinski (also the director of the film) as the father of the family, and Emily Blunt (his real-life wife) as the mother. With A Quiet Place, Krasinski not only crafts a great edge-of-your-seat thriller with plenty of scares for wide audiences and horror fans to enjoy, but also makes excellent use of suspense with the sound, directing, and acting. Every noise is made to feel loud enough to pose a threat and surprise us at certain moments, and the sound editors knew very well which sounds they needed to make louder than others and how loud each sound needed to be. The tension is built effectively in every scene, as we get character development with each member of the family while the danger around them quietly builds. Small moments like a lamp falling and breaking or a toy making a sound will frighten you, and whenever it gets too noisy you’ll even start getting stressed just by the thought of what what be about to happen to our characters. None of the intensity feels fake and you’ll definitely be as anxious as the characters in some of the most scary scenes in the film. Krasinski and Blunt are both splendid as the parents; Krasinski’s character clearly showing fright but also leadership of his family through the everyday hours and protecting them with everything he can. His love for his children is the strongest part of the film and his acting is always spot-on. Blunt also can’t be ignored; she’s a fearful and also protective mother who demonstrates pain and terror excellently.

A Quiet Place is not only a great showcase of acting and directing but doesn’t forget to be an entertaining horror flick; you don’t have to worry about this one being too boring or stretched out even though most of the film is in sign language rather than spoken dialogue as the device the family uses to survive against the creatures. The visual images are always conveying of the conflict and emotions the family faces, and we though we never see too much about how the creatures got there or what’s going on in the rest of the world, that’s what makes everything more mysterious. My one problem is the ending, which though I didn’t have something strong against, I feel the ending had a more light and even comedic feel to it, and I hoped it would’ve stopped at a place a little more powerful, like the rest of the film. Otherwise, horror and science fiction fans won’t bed disappointed by this short but noteworthy thriller that won’t fail to keep you thrilled and entertained.

The film poster shows a close-up of Emily Blunt in-character with her hand over her mouth.

Ready Player One

ratings5

In the year 2045, reality is harsh so everyone is escaping to the virtual reality of the OASIS. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he plants an easter egg within the game which one must find in order to inherit his fortune, which sends Wade Watts on a journey to win the competition and ensure a bright future in both reality and the OASIS.

Whether it’s animatronic sharks or dinosaurs, or recreating D-Day and World War II’s most frightening battles, or creating some of the most iconic action scenes and heroes, Steven Spielberg has always found ways to break ground, and here he presents us with another cinematic achievement. Ready Player One is an experience unlike any thing I’ve seen before. Like the characters in the film, you are pulled from your reality and into the OASIS as you race past worlds and characters based on your favorite films. You’ll see the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the Iron Giant, the Xenomorph from the Alien films, and many more that I won’t spoil but will definitely give your entire audience nostalgia. But it’s not the tributes to pop culture that makes this film so memorable. The visuals are gorgeous and the virtual reality is created so meticulously, scenes of cyber races, fights, and dances are absolutely unforgettable. Watching this in IMAX 3D doesn’t feel any more like looking at this movie than it did being inside this universe which is so wonderfully built. Tye Sheridan has always been a great actor and here he shines in the lead role of Wade, as well as his virtual avatar named Parzival. He’s got great chemistry with Artemis, another avatar known in real life as Samantha, played by Olivia Cooke. Also part of the cast is Ben Mendelsohn as a menacing businessman, as well as Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance as the creators of the OASIS. The story is filled with heart, and we get more of the Spielberg dynamic we’ve seen before of smart kids against greedy adults, without it feeling recycled or predictable. The adventure our characters embark on is gripping and the action scenes are no less marvelous than they should be. Spielberg has always been so great at creating wondrous worlds to behold and journeys to join the protagonists on, and it’s no less than a visual masterpiece with a soulful story and a theme about how virtual reality may impact us in the future, both good and bad.

Ready Player One is the kind of film blockbuster cinema was made for — it’s original, heartfelt, and beautifully directed, and you don’t have to be a video game fan to appreciate and enjoy the story, everyone can love this film. It’s the most fun film experience I’ve had so far in 2018, and I recommend you watch it on the biggest screen possible, preferably in IMAX 3D. You can bet Spielberg will never stop breaking the boundaries of cinema and giving viewers an incredible time at the movies — and that’s a truth in reality.

Ready Player One (film).png