Avengers: Endgame is one of the most anticipated movies in recent memory. From the start, Marvel Studios made fans aware that the movies were building towards an epic story as part of their ambitious, shared cinematic universe. Respecting the source material, Marvel Studios adapted a roster of comic book superheroes for a modern audience. As fans became more invested which each new franchise, including superheroes that were not widely popular, Marvel’s momentum continued to grow. With Endgame, not only has the anticipation greatly risen so has the expectation for an emotionally satisfying and meaningful conclusion to the Infinity Stones story line.
“The Long Night” deserved the extra long run time. It would have been painful if the episode cut off at the 60 minute mark and left us hanging for a week. Game of Thrones has delivered action-packed episodes before, but not one that sustained the intensity for this long, basically an hour and 20 minutes and without much dialogue.
As a calm before the storm episode, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” offers plenty of feel-good moments. In a typical season, the early episodes lay the groundwork for the big spectacle event, usually episode 9. In this final shortened season, episode 3 will be epic, so “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is a quiet prelude with many plot points to set up. Fan reaction is very positive, even more so than the premiere. I personally enjoyed it but because I’m not super sentimental the heart-felt moments didn’t resonate with me as much as other fans.
With only 6 episodes in the final season, “Winterfell” sets up the necessary groundwork. The season premiere is spent getting characters up to speed on what the viewers have already known for years (the show last aired in 2017) and in doing so also serves as a solid refresher episode. When the episode ended my reaction is “oh common on!” Not because the episode is bad, but because I didn’t want it to end. It’s great to get back to the Game of Thrones world, the characters and to whatever may happen next.
A couple of Johnny Depp video clips recently popped up in my recommended section on Youtube. I’m not sure why they are recommended to me but these videos show another side to the actor known for “weird” roles. The videos aren’t shocking or salacious. In the video, Johnny Depp is at a children’s hospital fully dressed up as Pirates of The Caribbean’s Jack Sparrow and greeting sick kids.
Back in May 2016, ex-wife Amber Heard made domestic abuse claims against Depp. At the time, according to Los Angeles Police Dept., officers responded to the call and found no evidence of any crime. Still, the unproven accusations remained a cloud of controversy over Depp.
Upgrade (2018) is a cyberpunk thriller that paints a murky outlook on technologically enhanced humans in the near-future. Self-driving vehicles, VR technology and artificial intelligence are already a reality today. Just imagine how much further we will have developed and integrated these technologies in the years to come. The believable aspects to the futuristic setting in Upgrade adds to the disconcerting anxiousness to what could be in store for the next stage in humanity.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part recaptures the feel-good energy of the first film, although it’s not as refreshingly humorous. Part of the reason is it’s really hard to recreate that lightning in a bottle again even if the same successful elements are mostly present.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is an animated superhero movie that will be referenced by fans and cultural commentators for many years to come. The film takes the popular formula of a coming of age meets superhero origin story but tells it through a fresh, bright-eyed perspective. Miles Morales as a new Spider-Man and Peter Parker (also Spider-Man), team up when their alternate universes collide. The hallmarks of what makes a good Spider-Man movie are in Spider-Verse. There is plenty of web-slinging action presented through visually stunning animation. The story has enough heart and depth to engage viewers of all ages. Overall, the quality of the story, voice-acting and presentation is far above what one might expect from an animated superhero movie.
Looking at the 2019 movie lineup there are a number of tent-pole films that the studios are banking on. Part of the fun is speculating on which films are going to hit it big at the box office. Sure, several movies are pretty much guaranteed money makers based on the brand name and franchise power. Cue the ubiquitous tie-in merchandising. Other franchises are loosing steam. It will be interesting to find out which major studio film will be this year’s Solo. Hopefully, some smaller indie films will break out of the crowd and find an audience too.
Why do certain superhero movies personally and emotionally resonate with you? Sometimes the reasons are obvious: a great story, memorable characters, stellar performances, cool special effects and awesome direction.
Maybe you wish you could have the superhero’s powers? Sometimes, it’s harder to put a finger on exactly why a particular superhero captures the imagination while others are forgettable.
Superheroes use their extraordinary abilities to perform heroic deeds. Their struggle to overcome conflict should imbue something meaningful.
There are many different types of heroes. Some don’t fit neatly into a category but the building blocks of a superhero are universal patterns. Here are several qualities you might see in a superhero and what they tell us about the human condition: