Welcome To New Asgard!
“Move aside, there, Lebowski!” – Tony Stark.
Thor: “Do you know what is coursing through my veins right now?”
James Rhodes: “Cheez Whiz?”
This is the end, beautiful friend…
In a movie that is the culmination of eleven years and over twenty movies, thus transcending the rules and expectations of the superhero movie genre, where the whole objective is to conclude all super-business in a convincing and compelling closure, AND fire decisive repulsor-rayblasts to your mind, heart and – hoo-boy! – tear ducts, where do we begin?!
Tony Stark is marooned in space with the daughter of the fiend who fatally slew him; where do the original Avengers – survivors of the Snaptastrophe – go from here?
To undo the Mad Titan’s wrongdoings, and try and restore some sorta semblance of order back to the universe, before you can say: “TREE! Help me find the handle!” they have constructed a “machine” that can transport what’s left of the cast into their respective subplots…
And to that end, as expected, the following three hours deliver on so many winning levels in the best way possible.
The only way.
The MARVEL way! 🙂
PHOOEY to those critics who dared slate this gargantuan cinematic swansong as “preposterous”(!)
Look, this is a comicbook movie fer cake’s sake, where fans don’t bat an eyelid at such Stark Raving Hazelnuts stuff as a talking raccoon, a wizard’s cloak that has a mind of its own and a giant Peter Dinklage.
One can appreciate how (the best of) these MCU movies have been created by comicbook buffs who not only know how crazy, clever and cosmic these stories can be, but understand how they work. Essentially, Avengers: Endgame has been (ahem) assembled in such a meticulous, but oh so MARVELous way that it looks – and works – like a remastered Greatest Hits compilation, with a handful of iconic scenes from the last eleven years – including familiar faces we thought we’d never see again! – lovingly spliced in to add an always-welcome tinge of nostalgia to that unfailingly spectacular eleven-year mix of action, drama and humour.
Moreover, this time, we are presented with an unprecedented, but irresistibly intriguing premise in a superhero movie:
failure, and how (what’s left of) the team deal with that.
Just when you think the First Act would dissolve into something too morose to handle, and drag a tad, once again – thankfully! – writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are at the top of their (end)game, providing one of the best scripts of the year (and not to mention, as reliable as ever, a hefty wodge of rad quotable lines! 😉 )
The depleted number of protagonists means that Avengers: Endgame offers closer attention to character study, and even sends some of their story-arcs down paths that were (dare we say it!) hitherto undreamt of. One of them in particular highly uncharacteristically crawls into a bottle (Clue: it’s NOT Ant-Man).
At the end of the day, it’s so cool to discover that – like your fav cake-scoffing blogger 😉 – Clint is just as badass with a blade as he is with a bow.
Oh, and speaking of cool, that much-anticipated Stan Lee cameo is – how we remember The Man – real classy!
At three hours and one minute, this is the longest MCU instalment; kudos to its directors: Anthony and Joe Russo for not letting the pace slip at all, not once, during these epic proceedings. Against all odds, Avengers: Endgame manages to be a worthy and thoroughly enjoyable successor to Avengers: Infinity War.
However, once that sheer exhilaration settles down and those critical faculties kick in, a few niggles pop up preventing me from bestowing it the full quota of five perfectly balanced stars.
The biggest drawback here happens to be the biggest character: despite having a few cool scenes, Thanos is inevitably relegated to formulaic antagonist.
When Captain Larson shows up at Avengers HQ, nestling the Benatar on their front lawn, there are no gawps or gasps from Steve and co. Obviously, this universe is positively heaving with enhanced individuals of one sort or another, so “New Girl” is allowed to hang around the base, no questions asked, until the moment
the script has no further need for her she has to skedaddle to some distant planet to… do something for no discernible reason… She eventually returns, making a brief, but blistering impact during the Final Act which, incidentally, looks far too cluttered and chaotic. All in all, Captain Marvel’s appearance in this movie was not substantial or integral enough to have warranted her own lousy movie almost two months ago.
Personally, last year’s masterpiece – with its towering (and harrowing) central performance, a truly Mighty Marvel Team-Up in the unexpected groovy forms of Thor and Rocket, moon-throwing and THAT unforgettable ending – seared a more indelible mark on my memory, but this is still an incredibly engrossing piece of work, and provides a fitting finale to this frenetic franchise.
When The BIG Bradscribe MCU Countdown is due to be revised shortly, Avengers: Endgame should be riding high in the Top 10. It deserves to snap out of existence all box office records; after only three days, it’s officially become the Highest Grossing Movie Of All Time.
The enormous, exciting, and – oh yes – emotional effects have proved remarkable, and will surely never end – this really feels like the blockbuster to end all blockbusters.
Therefore, yours truly takes this opportunity to announce The End of my forty years of cinema-going. Let’s face it: during the next ten – perhaps twenty – years, methinks it probably unlikely that we will ever experience a movie, bigger, bolder or better than this…
At the very least, watching Avengers: Endgame is infinitely preferable to being stuck in a flying doughnut billions of miles from Earth with no backup…
“I like this one.”
Some people in this galaxy DON’T dig Marvel movies. 0_0
But not us…
Before unleashing my Review next week, this chattering animal will be posting – midweek – a few thoughts on the soon-to-be-revealed Avengers: Endgame, so hope you can join me for that!
Ha ha! We all wondered how we would manage to wait a whole year to find out how this monumental story arc could come to a satisfying MARVELous denouement – now we are only DAYS away.
So this is it? It’s all been leading to this…
“Foamfollower’s question caught him wandering. “Are you a story-teller, Thomas Covenant?”
Absently, he replied, “I was, once.”
“And you gave it up? Ah, that is as sad a tale in three words as any you might have told me. But a life without a tale is like a sea without salt. How do you live…?”
You must have noticed.
The words have not flowed on this site as one would like. Sure, my gobsmackworthy powers of expression and composition did not miraculously return with the chimes of Big Ben the other night, but all is not lost! As Ovid once said: “Perfer et obdura!” (Be patient and hold out!)
One great – and highly recommended – way for anyone to slip back into their creative groove is to escape from their desk and explore the outdoors. Supposedly, the biting nip in the air during this particular season should do wonders for my stuffy cranium. Sometimes, the crashing sounds of the surf can usually entice me down to the beach, but today, the opposite direction is taken.
On top of the hill looming majestically over our village, lies “The Ring” – a glorious local nature reserve named after a ring of beech trees planted up here in the late 18th century. Signs of habitation on this prominent point date back into prehistoric times, and traces of a Roman temple were unearthed back in the 50s, so the charm of this spot has been entrancing people for centuries.
Would proclaim myself: “Lord Of The Ring,” (oHO! 😉 ) but nah. The WordPress masses no longer swing by this site these days, and one doesn’t wish to lose his last few remaining readers by dispensing such cheap ‘cracks as that!
“Of the mastersmiths in the Northlands that were, and of their marvellous skills, the Winter Chronicles tell many tales. Greatest is that of-”
Brad, who, rather than stay on a crowded train reluctantly listening to such inconsequential babble emanating from endless banks of smartphones, you are more likely to find him trudging through the beechwoods, high atop The Ring, lost in the garrulous harmony of jays, nuthatches, robins and even the odd fastidious crow…
Why should this ol’ dude, now sporting a formidably bushy crumbcatcher, spend either his time or creds on such flaccid fare as Aquaman or Bumblebee, when this season boasts a positively splendiferous plethora of maidenhair spleenworts and their effulgent yellow-green pinnae?!
One arborial landmark in particular (see above!) entices me every time with its fantastical, Middle-Earth-like charm. Nicknamed it the “Elf Tree,” ‘cos you half expect an elf, goblin, or some frabjous form of faeriekind to lurk beneath its bark…
Whatever magickal and bewitching fantasy land lies deep beyond its gnarly roots: take me there!! For it can only be infinitely superior to this mundane madhouse we call the Real World, with its gaggles of dunderheaded politicians – on BOTH sides of The Pond! – bickering pathetically amongst themselves while We, The People, suffer as our socio-economic institutions are left to ROT.
And what about that other 21st century gripe of mine?!
My foray into social media (up until three years ago) did not last long. Upon finding old “friends,” the general consensus seemed to be: “Uff, he’s STILL alive…” And they all drifted off back to their own monotonous pursuits.
The distance – and anonymity – that social media affords has only served to increase – and embolden – the anti-social behaviour that now festers online… and on our streets. In my opinion, the uncontrollable proliferation of smartphones only makes these matters WORSE. And, regrettably, these wretched gadgets will NOT be vanishing like our ancient forests any time soon…
It is NO coincidence that a direct link exists between such rampant modern tech and a substantial lack of care and consideration for others…
So you see, up here, amidst my own bare, leaflorn bastion of solitude, there is no reason to rant. Just savour the serenity! And you can blot out such harsh truths that – as we traipse timidly into the year in which Blade Runner is set – the economic gap between the richest and the poorest around this befuddling Pale Blue Dot of ours is now so gargantuan that it makes the Death Star look like a ping pong ball…
“If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…” 😉
“What can we look forward to in 2019?!”
Well, you see, therein lies the problem – “looking forward” has become (for me) a most uncomfortable exercise that screams nothing but: “Make more tawdry remakes! Be more obtuse to your fellows! Dehumanize yourself further by snapping up yet more superficial gadgets with money you don’t have!”
NO thank you.
In order to deal with incessant swathes of rotten luck and poor health – during this past quarter alone – the pull towards nostalgia and the joys and contentment synonymous with yesteryear become ever more comforting. And helps replenish my waning will to write. So, expect to see more nostalgic-tinted stuff on this site!
Encouragingly, Christmas week witnessed an upsurge in both the quantity and quality of my writing, and the renewal of that urge to finish and Publish more Posts!
To help avoid any more anxious loooong waits for subsequent Posts, you might like to know that my Manic Music Monday series is to be resurrected! Thus, there will be a guaranteed weekly dose of Brad while my usual Reviews and special Features (hopefully!) come to fruition!
Any new ideas for this New Year you would like to see on Bradscribe, pls let me know!
Let me conclude then, by saying just this:
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And lo, Brad settles down this balmy eventide to write
Long and arduously into the night…
The view from atop the Ring, looking east… ^
…and looking west…
There’s a party goin’ on right here! A celebration to last throughout the years. Come on now!
Yes, friends, it’s FIVE YEARS AGO today since Bradscribe made its first tentative steps into the blogosphere. Essentially the main platform to bring my writing to a wider readership (i.e. not just my mother) it has grown (hopefully in a healthy way) with the original SF articles and movie and book reviews now accompanied by Bronze Age (comic) Bonanzas, fiction, music compilations and – oh yes – parties.
Such a monumental anniversary could not go unheralded. Besides, we could all do with another Bradtastic party, right? Let’s all celebrate and have a good time!
What better way to get these proceedings under feelgood way than with the Synchronised Sneakers Squad: 😉
1. Actually, my original sign-up with WordPress was made during the first months of 2012, but – thrilled at having access to my very own Dashboard from which my distinctive creativity (and waffle 😉 ) could pour forth – no matter how much the instruction manuals were read and reread, none of them made any sense; they may as well have been published in Lithuanian!
Only by constantly repeating a How To vid on YouTube did yours truly discover that the little white box in the top right corner of the Dashboard activates any New Post…
2. Brad is NOT superstitious and yet over the past 60 months, not a single Post got published on the 13th day of ANY of them. At least something – even if it’s just a music Post, (the quickest and easiest to compile) – has appeared EVERY month. Strangely enough, no Posts materialised during November 2013. As soon as the technical side to blogging was mastered, so me ol’ mucker Writer’s Block came a-knockin’. HA!
3. Posts have been published in 3 different countries. Having watched – and thoroughly enjoyed – Birdman in Singapore (in February 2015) an equally enjoyable night was spent at a 24-hours Starbucks typing up this Review:
4. Passing the 200 Followers milestone (in February 2017 is (Statswise) my most successful Post with 21 Likes and 36 Comments.
My most popular Post remains my tribute to one of the greatest actors: Peter Cushing It’s the one where the majority of my Spam Comments tend to accumulate. Although some are unintelligible – or in Portuguese – these are unanimously positive and full of praise – or giving tips on how to improve my hydroponics system… 0_0
The next two clickbaits in the Bradscribe Archives honour a couple of the most iconic female characters in popular culture: Rey Of Light: Who’s That Girl? and Here’s To Hela: The Girl With The Awesome Antlers
5. The first video to appear here happened to be the trailer for Ex Machina in January 2015.
Not comfortable with the way in which the text of this site looked too gargantuan on other consoles, and miffed that new readers could not access my wonderful About page, the decision to change my Theme was taken in June 2015.
The first gif – now a (beloved?) mainstay around here – featured (of all people) Max Von Sydow (!) and appeared during this fiction Post: in August 2015.
Speaking of shining stars, ;-) this site would be nothing without YOU.
Surely, the main aim of avy blogger is TO BE READ, yes? Taking this opportunity to extend gushing gratitude and virtual hugs to you all!
The main reason to get embroiled in this blogging lark was to meet and chat with a myriad of groovy, like-minded peeps. Starting out all those moons ago, admittedly, there was some trepidation: would other bloggers be kind and sane peeps to converse with?! Moreover, would they be sociable with Brad? At all?!
Such intelligent, interesting and witty individuals you are! Just the sort of lovely folk one expects to find in the local village.
And another reason why you are all so amazing?
You got soul! If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be in here 😉
“If I could save time in a bottle…”
The Perfect Storm!
You don’t know the power of the Dark Side... until his Lordship kindly gives us a demonstration…
She’s not a queen. Or a monster. She doesn’t hold back neither!
SNAP to it!
Is it possible that something got left out here?!
Can YOU think of a scene – shown on the big screen within the last five years – that needs to feature on this list?
As always, your awesome Comments will be very much appreciated!
Okey-dokey then, enough about ME!
Hope you have enjoyed these grooves, gags and gifs – thank you ever so much for popping round.
As long as WordPress continues, there will ALWAYS be good times and laughter on the site endearingly known as Bradscribe. For the rest of this month, it’s back to the spooky stuff as we hurtle hectically towards Halloween.
Had intended to round off this one-in-a-half-decade jamboree with a few deep and profound words, but really: can anyone still see/hear me above that joyous cacophony of loud music, merry banter and balloons popping?!
So, in eager anticipation of many many more positive and productive Posts ahead, let me just wish you ALL:
A Very Happy Triple Choc Cheesecake Peanut Butter Caramel Cake!! 🙂
By The Great Pama!
Only a half-human-half-Kree superwoman hurtling Earthwards and crashing into a branch of Blockbuster Video could bounce Brad back into the blogosphere!
The hotly-anticipated trailer for MARVEL STUD10S’ 21st movie: Captain Marvel – MCU’s first solo female-led movie, set in the 1990s – finally arrived yesterday morning.
Here it is:
You may not be surprised to learn that a Captain Marvel bio is already in the works on this site!
While the original (male) Captain Marvel was a Kree superhero called Mar-Vell, Carol Danvers served as a USAF pilot who trained with NASA before getting caught in a psyche-magnetron, whereby Mar-Vell’s DNA was fused with Carol’s, imbuing her with superhuman strength and a mysterious seventh sense.
As a big fan of cosmic adventures – already impressed with Guardians of the Galaxy – we are set to see Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou) again! -and Thor: Ragnarok, this movie looks like it could be another groovy entry in this scintillating subgenre.
Guardians of the Galaxy already introduced us to the Kree, who, in the comics, were at war with the Skrulls, a nasty race of shapeshifting aliens, set to make their big screen debut in this movie.
In its first TEN hours online, the Captain Marvel trailer notched up 10 million views.
The general consensus among fans is that the movie looks awesome. Yes, these photonic-blasted rapid scenes look impressive, but…
There is a montage of memories from Carol’s past, both here on Earth, and on Hala, the home planet of the Kree, so the factor of determining who she is and where she really comes from looks set to dominate proceedings. By The Black Nebula! Let’s hope this origins storyline is handled well.
Part of my speculation aimed at this trailer concentrated on what “classic” rock or hip-hop platter would we be subjected to. In the end, alas, we get neither – just the standard bombastic dirge that besets nearly all trailers these days.
It really is swell to see a younger Nick Fury (sans eye patch!), so you can’t help wondering what role S.H.I.E.L.D. (or Hydra?!) will play in this movie.
No sign of Ronan or Korath, but at least we got to see Starforce, the combo of Kree superheroes as featured in the comics (see above). They are led by an enigmatic figure (played by Jude Law) who may likely be Mar-Vell himself – the original “Captain Marvel.”
Most intriguingly, the Skrull archvillain: Talos is played by Ben Mendelsohn. If he is allowed to be even half as impressive as he was in Rogue One, the MCU will be blessed with a stronger, more compelling, villain. But he had no badass line, not even the barest glimpse here! The only shot of a Skrull we get is an autopsy. And that is a long shot.
This trailer did not super-psyche me up in quite the way Ragnarok or Infinity War trailers managed so easily.
Personally, if Carol shouts “Hala!” at all the right tense and exciting moments like she did during her own Bronze Age comic book series, Brad should be a happy bunny.
This blockbuster will be crashing into our popcorn parlours from Friday 8 March 2019 – International Women’s Day, of course!
Are YOU impressed with this trailer? Let me know in the Comments!
For this Post, considering how the majority of you live Stateside, thought it best to write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.
As far as one can remember, America always had something bigger and better to offer. British television: yes, all three channels, just two if you include the broadcasters’ strike (one of many in various sectors to cripple the UK during the late-’70s) languished in the doldrums. Even Doctor Who – that longest-running bastion of SF TV, its already-miniscule fx budget hindered even further by a technicians’ strike at the BBC! – could not compete against the flashier, more expensive likes of Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, or The Muppet Show, The Incredible Hulk, Starsky & Hutch, Kojak(!) (et al, etc. etc.) for that matter. Who (else) did we have? Metal frickin’ Mickey, that’s who – who?? Exactly!!
Compared to the subsequent decade, The British Film Industry offered larger, more expensive than usual, but ultimately unattractive movies, but nothing like those two gargantuan smashes of 1977 and 1980 respectively (you know what they were!) that sent cinema queues trailing down the street. And then around the corner.
So finger-lickin’ good: American comics, American toys – heck, even American words – dominated our school playground. Yay, our precious post-punk platters led the way in the pop parade, but let’s face it, our own Claire Grogan was cute, but Debbie Harry was gorgeous.
Still, my father actually spent some time in the US during the ’60s, and was that close to getting a really great job in aviation – so, for that brief time (28 years ago) Brad found himself the centre of attention for once! Until one of the other kids announced that his Dad actually was American, and the throng gravitated to his side of the bike shed, eager to catch a glimpse of the bigger and better delights he could reveal from his Starsky & Hutch satchel.
Anyway, one of the various quality products that my father brought back with him – and enriched my childhood – included a classic Stan Freberg long-player (in Stereo!)
It’s in, it’s very in! 😉
Now, onto American music.
Generally, my music tastes gravitate towards the Blues, Soul and Jazz – all the phenomenal African-American essentials.
Which is my favorite American band, you ask?
Gee, that’s a toughie.
The Doors immediately excite the senses, but what gets me every time has to be Creedence Clearwater Revival. Ever since Bad Moon Rising caught my attention in An American Werewolf In London, they have held a very special place in my heart. And my record collection!
During the Vietnam War, thousands of American servicemen were stationed @ U Tapao, Nong Kok and other bases in Thailand. Countless bars – playing music of that era, including Creedence, sprang up all over the place. Most of these guys left long ago, but, most of the bars – still playing music of that era, including Creedence – remain.
This was always my go-to tune on Karaoke Night:
Just thought it would he groovy to fill this gap to ask:
How will you be celebrating today? Where will you go? What will you eat? How many fireworks are required?
Is it the same every year?
Will be thrilled to read your Comments! 🙂
The political systems in both the US & UK these days are as mad as a bicycle. And then some.
Today, your fest may not have the right zest, or your grub may lack the necessary relish, whilst grudgingly knowing that such a deplorable doofus is running your country (into the ground), but your Brit correspondent here would like to assure you that my thoughts are with you during these very trying times.
You will NOT see Brad meddling in politics – by Jove, no!
Why, the very word itself is detestable: consisting of “poli” which means “more than one” – yours truly is an old-fashioned type o’ fella: can only handle one lousy inconvenience at a time. While “tics” are bloodsucking parasites.
You see? Not my scene.
Couldn’t proceed without this BBC comedy gem from 1980, the year in which current affairs analysts on both sides of The Pond could not envisage a ’50s B-movie star in the White House.
Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat! How times have changed…
Fact: Brad did not travel overseas until his early-20s.
As my inaugural trip outta Blighty, guess the only one desirable destination that sprung to mind.
Yep! That’s right: during May 1996 – one of the highlights of this boy’s life – Brad spent a fortnight on YOUR side of The Pond. Manhattan, to be exact – sight-seeing (searching for those crucial movie locations, mainly). There was no need to fret over how to wrangle a cab to get me to the IYH (International Youth Hostel) – sitting next to me on the flight was a British businessman who kindly offered to give me a lift Uptown. And, as a regular visitor, he gave a few tips on how to get by.
Can vividly recollect waking up on my first morning in another country.
The temperature was scorching; the city noise every bit as cacophonous as my craziest dreams had imagined; and as my feet hit the NY street for that very first giddily-exciting time, which song on my Sony Walkman marked my wild-eyed an’ gawping-gob entrance into Pretzel Central?
Well, goldarn it! It had to be this:
After visiting the Statue of Liberty, made my groovy way up Downtown to Uncle Huckle-Buckle’s Chuckle Hutch (try sayin’ that after a few Buds!) to sit down and listen to the stand-ups; can’t forget my ears popping in the express elevator to the top of the Empire State Building; and other wondrous sights and sensations too numerous to drone on about here(!)
Out and about in NYC, chances are that you will see some very famous people. One day, taking a route recommended by my Tourist Map, a classy African-American lady marched straight past me – yes! None other than Diana Ross!! Ruminating over which was her best: either Baby Love or Chain Reaction, walked around a corner and almost collided into John Lennon’s widow!! (Don’t forget: you heard it here first). A few months earlier, we had recorded Jackie Mason Live In London – a programme that my father always requested to watch and never failed to reduce him to tears of laughter. So, imagine papa’s envy when listening to my incredible story of hanging around in the doorway of the Waldorf Astoria, standing next to the comedian himself, listening to the joke that reduced two NYPD officers to tears of laughter.
And upon returning to the hostel every evening, a special, extra-large, local delicacy awaited all tourists on the front desk. Absolutely scrumptious! What on Earth was it?!
“We call it ‘pizza’…”
After ten days of intense adventures, no wonder there was no energy left; nevertheless, my last four days turned out to be equally life-changing; just around the corner(!) two important discoveries were made in that “New World”: the Barnes & Noble Superstore (ended up buying two books for myself and two books for Dad); and even more crucially:
Thus, thenceforth, Brad‘s undying love for Mexican food flourished.
Obviously, if and when another Stateside visit occurs, special detours will have to be taken so that, finally, WE CAN MEET and you can regale me with tales of YOUR bigger and better way of life!
Who better to round this Post off than with The Boss himself?!
What better way to sign off than by saying:
Have A Nice Day! 🙂
You can say that again, Cap.
Avengers: Infinity War is an extraordinary piece of work.
A group of superheroes must band together to thwart a maniacal extraterrestrial threat- but fortunately this is NOT Justice League! Only the Russo brothers could manage so many elements and craft them into a cohesive and highly entertaining package.
As mentioned here so many times already, Thanos seeks the six Infinity Stones – the ultimate power in the universe. At whatever cost, this Titan must be stopped.
He’s positively Stark Raving Hazelnuts…
As soon as a suitably sinister score begins to play, you instantly realise you’re in for one helluva good ride!
Movie of the Decade? Quite possibly.
A monumental cinematic achievement? Oh, most certainly!
And that’s just the Running Time.
Those 149 minutes feel more like 90. From the faint distress call relayed over the MARVEL STUD10S logo, to the very evident signs of distress among some departing cinema-goers, Infinity War crackles along, as fast as a giant green behemoth hurtling towards Earth.
There is such a great roster of characters on show here:
Yet again, Robert Downey Jr. shows here that Tony Stark everybody’s fave action-hero/playboy/philanthropist quip-dispenser works so much better in these Avengers movies than he ever did in his solo trilogy.
The romance between the Vision and Wanda is handled very well; Natasha and Bruce’s reunion is relegated to an exchange of awkward glances and just as well! (Black Widow always only had eyes for Hawkeye).
Eager to see how the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy fitted – or fretted – alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: no worries! The mix turns out to be supremely entertaining, especially Star-Lord’s desperate attempts to out-macho the God of Thunder.
There is genuine friction on an antler-locking scale between Stark and Strange -both ridiculously rich and self-centred enhanced playboys. It’s as if that off-screen bickering between Robbie and Bennybatch as to which one played the best Sherlock spilled over in front of the cameras…
What about the Man of the Match himself: Thanos – one of the most formidable villains in the Marvel canon?
It is with great joy – and relief – to see one of my personal favourite comic book characters make such a triumphant transition to the big screen. A powerful and yet demented tyrant whose twisted logic cannot distinguish harmony from genocide, is portrayed here through a phenomenal mo-cap performance by Josh Brolin.
Brutal, intractable and ferocious, as you would expect, what sets this particular antagonist above the usual one-dimensional, monologuing nerks is an unlikely serene and sensitive side. This is perfectly exemplified by all the dramatic scenes he shares with adopted “daughter” Gamora.
Finally! After two Guardians movies we get to see the character of the last Zen Whoberis develop. The emotional intensity of the moment Thanos finds Gamora as an infant just transcends the simple confines of the traditional “blockbuster.” Didn’t know they made ’em like that any more, but glad that the Russos could so happily oblige…
A superhero movie on such a gargantuan scale must have outstanding moments and thankfully, those fantastic fist-pumping, whoop-worthy moments are in abundance here: SPACE and the first sight of the Milano with mixtape blarin’; the Cap stepping out of the Scottish shadows; and the biggest cheer at my viewing: Thor, Rocket and Groot materialising amidst the Wakandan battlefield with the stirring Avengers theme ringing out at top volume.
You also get Iron Man, Spider-Man and Magic Man riding through the cosmos in a giant flying donut. WAHEY!!
You couldn’t make this stuff up – but it’s great to know that Christopher Markus and Stephen Freely can – and have done – again to such top-notch extent – arguably the best screenwriters in any genre. Their scripts are beyond compare. The way they can move from heavy drama to light relief, and back again, is a masterclass in deft writing. Who but they could include dialogue implying the Avengers “breaking up like the Beatles,” during a movie concentrating on the Stones – a force as old as the universe itself? 😉
Assuredly, there are plenty of great quotable lines to sustain this site for another few weeks. “Dude, you’re embarrassing me in front of the wizards!” should be recognised as one of the best in the franchise.
But the Greatest Hits this War has to offer come in that unforeseen and yet so-cool-as-fudge Marvel Team-Up we never knew could happen. Come on! Let’s start an online petition and get a Thor and Rocket Rabbit cosmic buddy movie in the works! If the Studio doesn’t comply, then, as the Mad Titan himself once said:
“Fine, I’ll do it myself…” 😉
Watched Avengers: Infinity War for a second time yesterday evening, admittedly to eke out any glaring errors or anything amiss…
Honestly, the amazing action set-pieces, affecting romantic interludes, carefully crafted comedy, breathtaking drama and Josh Brolin, of course, completely cancelled out my critical faculties and swept me headlong (always go for the head) just as giddily and intoxicating as it did last Friday.
The direction is so taut, tense and terrific that there is never a dull moment. But there’s never been a better opportunity to make this next statement: There’s no oxygen inside that donut.
How does Peter continue to patter faster than lightspeed just as endearingly as always, without air?! And it’s a good job the atmosphere on Titan is still sufficient enough for Spidey to carry on his dizzying friendly neighbourhood loopin’ an’ a-swingin’. What the hey – just immerse yourself in the pure comic book escapism…
As expected, the Children of Thanos aka The Black Order did succumb to that dread affliction of our era: the “Phasma Curse”: they look/sound awesome, but get little/nothing to do in the actual movie. Despite constantly gleering, wielding a rad-bladed staff, and looking like he’s just traipsed over from World of Warcraft, Corvus Glaive – even the name is too astounding for its own good! – becomes far too underused. Still, the awesome conceptual design has, nevertheless, intrigued ol’ Bronze Age Boy here to check out the current comic books (These servants of Thanos have only been around for a few years so it should not take long to track Corvus et al down)
The same applies to Mrs. Glaive: Proxima Midnight. Actually, with a tighter adroitness towards choreography and camerawork, her duel between Black Widow (okay, Natasha is blonde now! She’s blonde now!) and Okoye in Wakanda ought to be one of the Most Awsweome Fights In The Movie Ever. Opportunity missed…
What looked to be the least interesting chatacter turned out to exact the most impact: Ebony Maw, a nasty, maleficent matter-manipulator whose street fight with Strange and Wong has become an instant classic.
Personally, greater emphasis on character interaction – more brooding, less brawling – would not have gone amiss. The climactic Battle of Wakanda – the MCU’s most grandiose spectacle yet – could so easily have been avoided. Let those rampant alien beasties mince themselves on the Wakandan forcefield? No, gotta give those thousands of digital artists something to do, so His Majesty orders Plot-hole 17 to open up…
Despite these relatively minor niggles, when it comes to Star Ratings, Brad is notoriously stingy when it come to dishing out his precious 5-star icon, but, in this case…
Considering the gasps and laughs these non-stop thrills evoked from me; its power to make me care – and cry – for a psychotic, yet placid, purple pariah; the sheer exhilaration it instilled for hours after my first viewing – a sensation not felt since Rogue One, it would be my genuine pleasure to bestow upon this treasure the highest rating possible!
What the blazes! Who knows when – or how! – another monumental sci-fi epic as big, bold, bonkers and brilliant as this will invade our popcorn parlours again…?
And as for those viewers “exhausted”, or exasperated by this movie:
What’s the matter with you kids? You’ve never seen a masterpiece before? 😉
Avengers: Infinity War is precisely the sort of entertaining – and jaw-dropping – spectacle we have come to know/expect -and love – about the MCU; against all the odds of scale and ambition, it not only met our expectations – well, mine anyway – but exceeded them. This epic, most definitely, is one to enjoy time and time again. And again!
“Dread it. Run from it.”
HA! Not a frickin’ chance, Grimace!!
“Perfectly balanced, as all things should be…”
In an old abandoned ware’ouse...
“I would have been first in line to see The Avengers, so to be on an Avengers film set as a 21-year-old is surreal,” says Tom Holland, in his mo-cap jimjams (‘cos he sports an upgraded Spidey-suit in Avengers: Infinity War).
Considering how this 21-year-old has been spouting Spidey-spoilers on social media, his comments have been scrutinised ever-so-closely here @ this site…
“We’re just not allowing him to see the film,” his directors, the Russo brothers, joked.
Trust the Master of Media Arts himself: Benedict “Doc” Cumberbatch to leap to Spider-Boy’s defence: “There is this new, sort-of anti-social media cloak – we’re just going to throw it over him…”
In case you’ve been wondering what helped me compile so much Avengers-related movie and comic material into these Marvel-ous Posts, here’s what yours truly has been listening – and grooving – to recently:
“I’ve never felt like a fan as much as I have on these films,” exclaimed Chris Hemsworth.
“Like meeting the Guardians [of the Galaxy] as Thor, but also as Chris, was equally as exciting and new, and it brought in a whole different energy-”
By the blessed mixtape of Starlord! That’s it!!
The key word here is energy.
For me, the behind-the-scenes interviews and suchlike have become irresistible, because the tremendous fun and camaraderie enjoyed by the cast flies in the face of the seemingly grim and morose tone with which we will have to handle this closing chapter of the MCU’s Phase 3.
“…Especially these last few days,” Chris continued. “We’ve had just about every member of the Marvel Universe on the set.”
Enjoy it. While it lasts…
“I won’t say where we are,” the other Chris (Pratt) offered enigmatically, “but the first frame of seeing [The Guardians], people will be on their feet. I’m not just saying that because of how great we are, although we are great, and I guess I am pretty cocky, but the way it’s executed really works.”
Filming with ol’ Shellhead on his first day for Infinity War, what must it have been like sharing scenes with the great Robert Downey Jr. – the star who got this unprecedented MCU franchise going in such awesome fashion a whole decade ago?!
“Man, he set a really amazing tone… He really takes care of the actors around him in a way I’ve never seen before…
“When I first arrived in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Downey was the first to call and tell me:
“Hey man, welcome. If there’s anything you need, I will help. There are so few people on the planet who are going through what you’re going through right now. I have, so I’m here…
“Anything you need, you let me know.'”
Let’s have a party! 🙂
Okey-dokey, LIFT those knees, boys! Hup, hup, HUP!
Most of you will be watching this EPIC tonight (Thursday night). Here in th UK, the first screenings commenced @ midnight(!) this morning.
One ecstatic blogger has posted their Review and – although stating there would be NO Spoilers, in the very next sentence(!) – bally well gives away this epic’s first major dramatic plot-point!!
Still, with my legendary storytelling wits, kinda surmised that THAT would happen anyway… …
In the remaining hours before this next life-changing event in our lives, this boy will retreat into his bubble. Absolutely NO social media. (Ha! Like most days, then). Only immerse myself in the beats – and they keep on comin’.
This classic track, dear friends, is one of my Desert Island Discs…
Off and on, Brad trawled through YouTube for years searching. And searching again. Found it a few weeks ago – it’s only been up for the last four years! Must get Shuri to upgrade the ol’ Bradmonitor.
Blimey! If Thanos should ever need a theme tune…
A pounding, pulsating pile-driver – not unlike the Mad Titan’s right hook:
As the first reviews filter through and are – as expected – overwhelmingly positive, minds blown and jaws dropped right across the ‘net, there is no reason to fret anymore. Always knew this movie was in safe – and highly competent – hands.
My only concern: how mentally exhausting will these 160 minutes be? How many tears will be shed…?
Never has the term: “Expect the unexpected” sounded so apt. As Stan Lee (how and where will his cameo fit into all this?!) used to say: Be prepared, pilgrims…
Looking forward to reading all YOUR Reviews!
As is my unceasing habit – let me close with a suitably-groovy story:
That distinguished Englishman In New York: Benedict Cumberbatch was – as you well know – chased to participate in the MCU.
“We want you to play Doctor Strange!” the studio execs enthused.
“Doctor Who?” Bennybatch frowned.
“YAYEAH! That would be awesome too, Benny-baby! But let’s do the MCU first!” 😉
Yeah, “baby”, LET’S…!
“The threat has risen to a new level – which is really saying something,” says Robert Downey Jr.
It really is!
Considering how Rob’s first outing as Iron Man – released ten years ago next week – started this whole delirious, but irresistible, MCU malarkey that has culminated in Avengers: Infinity War – just DAYS away now(!)
It has been an absolutely spectacular decade, watching this particular Universe develop. Thankfully in all the right places.
How’s it been, Rob?
“…It’s been the Ben-Hur of the MCU, for sure. This is huge, isn’t it? It is HUGE.”
And impossible to disappoint… right?
This Enhanced Individual Convention is arguably – creatively, logistically, budgetary – not only Marvel Studios’ BIGGEST movie, but the GRANDEST superhero epic ever (ahem) assembled. In this camp, there are no doubts that all elements will work, for writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen Freely and directors Anthony and Joe Russo – responsible for the amazing Captain America trilogy – are in charge here.
When asked how high the stakes are, Freely offers: “Is the universe high enough for you?”
This is only the largest event movie. Ever!
Expect to see just about all the Avengers we’ve come to know so far. And the supporting characters from their respective solo movies. PLUS the Guardians Of The Frickin’ Galaxy! AND Fields overflowing with Wakandan warriors!
As the younglings are wont to say these days, it’s only gonna be FUCKIN’ AWESOME!!
“This is the biggest film of all time,” says Benedict Cumberbatch.
You can trust him. He’s a Doctor.
That colossal third-act battle – teased tantalisingly in the trailers – breaks out across Wakanda, because the sixth, as yet unseen, Infinity Stone languishes there, right?!
Normally, my journalistic instinct is to uncover every juicy, spoilersome nugget of info from each major movie, but considering the scale and ambition of this EPIC, who knows what will transpire?!
Yes, so good to see Chadwick Boseman return as King T’Challa: The Black Panther – Cool. Charismatic. AND GET THIS MAN A SEQUEL! As Black Panther has become the first non-Stark MCU movie to pass a billion dollars worldwide, quite clearly, Wakanda‘s finest will be the new figurehead for the new Phase going forward.
Considering the xtreme measures taken to protect certain plot-points, it comes as no surprise to learn that Chris Evans was one of the few members of the enhanced ensemble to receive a complete script.
“The majority of people on set are like, ‘So what are we doing today?’ The Russos have to give a loose description of what’s happening. I didn’t complain. I was just like, ‘I need to know what’s going on! Give me a fucking script!'”
Behold! Earth’s Mightiest Boy-Band: N-Hanced…
“You could call this movie: Avengers: Thanos if you wanted to,” says Stephen Freely. “He is the main character.”
“The movie is told from his point of view,” Anthony Russo explains, discussing Josh Brolin’s performance. “It’s a very complicated character. He’s at times despicable and horrifying, and at other times oddly empathetic.”
“He’s an exceedingly difficult character to beat. He’s stranger than the Hulk – he’s a force of nature. He is a conqueror of worlds.”
The next statement intrigued me the most.
“He doesn’t have a weakness, and that’s what makes him so threatening.”
How the Avengers can prevail against such an indefatigable foe, will certainly make for intriguing viewing. Having been in awe of Thanos over these past two years of Bronze Age explorations, seeing this big threat marching across the big screen will probably be quite a dewy-eyed experience as well…
“It really is mind-blowing…” adds Joe Russo, “…how sensitive a performance we can translate into a CG character now, and how much of Josh’s performance is in that character.”
Yep, sounds like all concerned know how to handle the Mad Titan here.
AND that we are all going to have to rearrange our Top 5 Movie Villains charts…
“We heve not had any special death requests,” McFeely stated, confirming that he and co-writer Markus had “free reign to kill off whomever the story dictated should go.”
“It’s a cocktail of emotions,” was how Evans summed it up.
So many bloggers have speculated as to which of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will fall in this big showdown. Yes, much must be risked in War, but you KNOW how Brad prefers to concentrate on the positive, hopefully life-affirming, textured-sponge-with-a-creamy-filling things in life, so no morbid discussions to round off this particular blog-post, ta very much!
Plan to watch The Movie Of The Decade this weekend having avoided – for once – all rumours, leaked clips, TV spots and what-have-you. Just looking forward to finding out what this jaw-dropping spectacle has to offer.
We began with Rob Downey Jr. – is it with him where it will all end…? Well, let’s close with him here anyway, speaking highly about IW’s lead actor: Josh Brolin.
“I love him,” Downey leads the praise, having known each other for thirty years, and so happy to see him become a solid participant in the MCU. “Brolin doesn’t take himself seriously, but there’s a lot of weight in how he’s portraying this guy. We literally are all a little bit scared when he’s done cracking wise and steps into it.
“Get ready… the Brolin Effect is coming.”