Nobody quite makes caper films like Rian Johnson does. Making his feature film debut in 2005 with Brick, Johnson has already established quite a name for himself in the genre through films like The Brothers Bloom and Looper, before he went on to direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Going back to working on a smaller scale with Knives Out, it feels like this is the sort of film that Rian Johnson has always wanted to make for a while – and it really shows. Mixing all of his greatest passions together with his knack for always throwing in surprise after surprise for his viewers, Knives Out only manages to provide far more when you least expect it, and it makes for a wholly entertaining experience. Like all the best thrillers from the classic Hollywood era, it’s clear as day that Rian Johnson is having so much fun with what he’s been given and he knows how to transfer that feeling over to his own audiences too. The knives do come out in this twisty comedy-thriller, but how deep in they go, you’d have to find out for yourself.
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**SPOILER WARNING: This review does not spoil Endgame, but spoilers for Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Captain Marvel are also brought up. If you have not seen the aforementioned films, read this review at your own risk.**
Although I’ve never loved any of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe I’ve always admired the impact that they left behind on modern culture and with the latest Avengers film there’s already a sense of finality to the first phase as these films continue coming out over the years. But the biggest challenge that Infinity War had already faced was how it could still manage to mix the stories of nearly twenty films to come together for one big face-off, and with two more films having followed since, Endgame already has us awaiting something even grander now that the second Ant-Man film and Captain Marvel have already gotten out of the way. At a running time of a little bit over three hours, Marvel already promises something of such a grand scale and to say the least, they’ve accomplished a task that almost seemed near impossible. For Endgame isn’t only the best of the four Avengers films but it’s also a film that utilizes the legacy that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has accomplished in a little over ten years in order to give viewers who have followed suit for the longest time more than what would already make a memorable closer. It’s a film that was made out of love for everything that made the Marvel Cinematic Universe so grand, and the results may not be perfect but also provide a satisfying climax.
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There are many stories being told within Avengers: Infinity War and I think that happens to be the best way for something of this sort to be shown to the screens because it gives every character what’s needed in order to create an emotional resonance with its viewers. In the past ten years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been telling individual story after another but have always been dependent on one another in order to form something of a larger scope and as all stories come together to form one singular Avengers story. The ambition is clear enough from how all of these characters established by their own entries are coming together once and for all, so the question to be asked is how does the film live up to the scope it promises? It’s a step up from both the last Avengers film and the Russo brothers’ last Marvel film, but I feel hesitant to go beyond saying it pays off completely after the Marvel Cinematic Universe has only recently released their two most interesting films since the first Guardians of the Galaxy.
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The most basic comic book movies prominent today come from the likes of Marvel and DC, but Edgar Wright bests all of them with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. But for as much as I love Edgar Wright, I’ve always underrated this film since the first day considering I merely came in as a prominent Nintendo gamer and of course in theaters I caught onto the numerous video game references ranging from The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Final Fantasy, but even then, it only came perfectly clear to me I still didn’t “get” what the film was saying. But over the years and a journey through Edgar Wright’s body of work, everything had come clear to me about why Scott Pilgrim vs. the World works as perfectly well as it does and it may also be Edgar Wright’s finest film as a director as of yet. For as wonderful as the Cornetto trilogy may be, this one tops the rest in an instant.
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For the record, I don’t dislike superhero movies in general, but I’m not a particularly big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far, the only ones that really stood out to me that I really liked are Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and rarely would I call any of their offerings “bad” by any means. However, most of the time I find myself within a nonplussed state. As for more recent note, Captain America: Civil War leaves me with the same reaction which I carry towards the regular offering of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with that said, it’s a film recognizing its target audience and for those who like these films, I can’t fault one, but I really wish I could feel the love that I know many are picking out from these films because I feel like I’m being left out. Continue reading →