Sunday, 13 May 2018

Podcasting: Rampage & Infinity War

Very recently I was lucky enough to be asked to join my friends on their podcast Cinebois2Cinemen. I've always been a big fan of podcasts and always wondered what it would be like to be on one, so I jumped at the chance to give it a go. I recorded an episode reviewing Rampage with them and an episode when we get down and nerdy with Avengers: Infinity War. I really enjoyed chatting films with these guys, they really have a good thing going with this podcast and I would recommend it to anyone even if I wasn't on it! That being said, I have embedded the two episodes I featured on below and would really appreciate the support if you would give them listen. Warning, we do go into spoilers on Infinity War!




Recording these podcast really got me motivated to do more when it comes to talking film... maybe even get my own podcast started... who knows. Watch this space!

Thanks for reading/listening!


Sunday, 29 April 2018

Avengers: Infinity War


Big Marvel fan boy here and although I may have been critical of some of the films in the past, this review will no doubt be full of bias but most importantly: it will be SPOILER FREE. We’re just going to jump straight into things, if you’re a fan you already know the basic premise, if you’re not then a bad space guy is coming and it’s going to take all the superheroes to stop him. It’s 10 years and 18 films in the making… So, what did I think of Avengers: Infinity War?

This is not a film. It is a comic book come to life on the big screen. Everything about it, the tone, the structure and the fantastical mythology made me feel like a child again. It reminded me of the first time I saw Iron Man in the cinemas - the awe of seeing the Nick Fury even tease The Avengers - I never expected this would happen ten years later. I was so blown away by it all, it makes me a tad emotional just thinking about it.

And breathe…

It’s important to recognise that, just because this film blew my little nerd mind, does not mean that it will for everyone else. It’s very long and if you’re not invested by the time the Marvel logo rolls then you’re going to find it exhausting. It breaks so many of the ‘usual’ parameters of what a film should be, it’s pure entertainment made for the one audience that Marvel has spent ten years building. This is not like The Avengers where you could jump in fresh and still understand everything going on, this is a film with 18 prequels, some more essential than others but all hold something that rewards us fanboys in the endgame.

This film is an epic, its story sprawls through the galaxy; the Marvel universe has never felt so big and comic-book-y. And boy does it feel like a comic book. Our heroes are split into different groupings across the galaxy and each group has quite a lot of time at once given to them, to the point where one group may not be seen again for another thirty minutes. To some this may be jarring. To me it felt like each segment was an issue of a comic book, each book bringing the characters closer and closer together until they are all impacting the story at once. The glue of this particular story; Thanos.

Marvel have had their problems with villains before but here they give more time to him than most of our villains. His plan may be typically evil sounding but you really get the sense that he has to do this, rather than just wanting to. Thanos takes his mission as a burden but ultimately sees himself as the good guy. And unlike most fully CG villains, you believe it. This was helped by the fact that he looks incredible, he’s imposing and you really feel like he’s a threat to your heroes whenever he appears on screen. He may not be as charismatic or make us feel as empathetic as others but he truly is one of Marvels best villains. The stakes feel pretty real in this one.

This the first film by Marvel to be fully filmed on IMAX cameras and it shows. IMAX cameras are super high quality and the end result in Infinity War is a really crisp and clear picture, where the colours pop and the CG work (for the most part) is very photorealistic. Added with iconic Avengers score from Alan Silvestri, the sense of scale is truly represented and really makes this film feel like the event it is.

Unless this is the first time reading you’re reading this blog, you know I’m a massive Spider-Man fan; so I’d thought I’d say something about his presence in the film. Marvel continues to make decisions with Spider-Man that don’t always sit well with me. He should have been my favourite character in this film by default but he was not. I enjoyed his part to play but he is still not ‘my’ Spider-Man and yes that Iron Spider suit is still ugly. He has his moments, there’s some great action beats with him and few lines that definitely felt like Peter Parker but the characters I enjoyed most in this film were probably Thanos, Thor, Rocket, Bruce Banner, Gamora and Doctor Strange. That being said, every character gets a moment - even if it’s one action beat or a cool line of dialogue - your favourite character gets something cool to do. The character interactions are great and the unlikely pairings are amazing to behold, even if there aren’t as many quiet moments where we can just see our characters relaxing together like in previous team up films.

As you can tell I was very blown away by this film, not just at the characters coming together but for the sheer scale, scope and awesomeness of the story. I recognise it’s not for everyone but it wasn’t made for a general audience. It was made for people like me and it is not ashamed to be that; a big nerdy comic book movie. This felt like the first time a comic book had been properly visually represented on the big screen and I could not have been happier with the results. I had high expectations and they were exceeded. Marvel have made a film I never thought I would see and it made me so happy, I cannot stop thinking about it. It’s pure enjoyment and I’m rating Avengers: Infinity War a 5/5.

Make mine Marvel.

Let me know what you thought of this film in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!