Thursday, April 26, 2018

Four Movies in April

I got to see a handful of movies at the cinema this month.

Avengers: Infinity War

Obviously, this is one of the movies I was most looking forward to seeing this year, especially after the build-up over the last 10 years. This film has gotten some great reviews and multitudes of people who have seen it have been greatly affected. People have said that most audiences are left speechless at the end of the film. I've seen Infinity War criticized by some for having too many characters and being too overcrowded but I actually thought the screen time for each character and their interactions were done very well. Despite this, I was very strangely and surprisingly underwhelmed. Was it because I was expecting too much? I don't know. In any case, while I say I was underwhelmed, I will of course still recommend this movie.

Spoiler alert: please stop reading now if you don't want to be spoiled!!! The opening scene was so powerful. In fact, I love that Thor had such a key role and that he was god-like here (Thor has always been one of my favorite superheroes, even pre-Marvel movies). I got really pissed off at Starlord and I feel like it was his fault Thanos ended up getting all the infinity stones. I personally didn't like the Thanos backstory. I somehow didn't find his love of Gamora all that believable - he tortured her after all - so when he cries for her, it just felt really out of character and out of place. I also didn't quite like the Hulk-saying-no scenes. I thought it was a bit corny. I really loved the Black Order or the Children of Thanos (I didn't know that is what they were called; I only found out later on). Speaking of the Black Order, I was surprised by the death of Ebony Maw. He was so powerful going up against Thor and Doctor Strange and yet he couldn't save himself when he was suddenly pulled into outer space. In summary, practically everyone I know who has seen it was "shookt" but strangely enough I wasn't. I guess for me, I knew that Thanos destroys practically the entire universe in the Infinity Gauntlet comic book series so it should've gone without saying that there would be a ton of casualties in this film, including many with whom we have grown attached over the years.

Pacific Rim Uprising

This film has been panned by audiences and critics alike, with sub-50% scores on Rotten Tomatoes from both critics and audiences. Even my nephew who watched it with me said that he felt it was missing something. Strangely enough, I actually really enjoyed it. (So I found Infinity War underwhelming and Pacific Rim Uprising entertaining; there is clearly something wrong with me LOL.) I will agree though that this sequel is not as good as the first one and I felt the build-up here took a little longer than I would have wanted, unlike in the first film which almost immediately opens with a Jaeger-Kaiju combat sequence. I did enjoy the tension and the sort-of-bromantic relationship of the two lead characters played by John Boyega and Scott Eastwood. I also enjoyed the visuals here a bit better. I guess that is because in the first one, all the battles were done in the dark (either at night or underwater). In this second one, the battles are done in daylight so you can see the robots and the monsters better. I guess the reason why I enjoyed this film is that I didn't really care too much for story, I just wanted to see Jaegers battle Kaijus (which I did).

A Quiet Place

I initially thought that this was a horror film but a friend told me that it was more like a sci-fi thriller. To be honest, I wasn't all that interested to see it but I kept on seeing amazing reviews; of the four films I watched this month, this one has the highest critics score on Rotten Tomatoes at 95%. I will say though that this film requires a great amount of suspension of disbelief since the premise is quite bizarre and it is quite easy to poke holes at the story and the concept. I have a friend who found it all too incredulous but I myself found it easy to accept the premise. I gotta say, Emily Blunt put in such a strikingly brilliant performance. If she doesn't get nominated for Best Actress next year for this, I will be greatly disappointed. I am also pleasantly surprised that John Krasinski (who happens to be Emily Blunt's husband not just in the movie but also in real life) is a very capable director.

Mazinger Z: Infinity

I was a fan of the Mazinger Z cartoon series back when I was a kid so when I saw that this was showing, I had to watch it. Interestingly enough, most other viewers at the cinema seemed to be my age or older. :) I didn't know what this film was going to be about but, similar to my basic expectation in Pacific Rim Uprising, I was just expecting to enjoy robot battles. I thought it was cool that the film featured both Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger as well as the characters of both series like Koji Kabuto, Sayaka Yumi, Tetsuya Tsurugi Dr. Hell, Baron Ashura, and Count Brocken among others. Despite all that, I can't say I enjoyed it. I guess the problem for me was that instead of robot battles, the film went all metaphysical as it talked about the destruction and creation of parts of the multiverse. It kind of reminded me of the popular Japanese sci-fi animation film Akira. I guess I am not such a fan of metaphysical discussions. I can't quite say I would recommend this movie but if you are a Mazinger Z fan and you don't mind paying money for a  movie ticket, I guess you can go and see this and somewhat enjoy the nostalgia amidst the strange storyline.

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