Tag Archives: Marvel

My thoughts on: Avengers: Infinity War (spoilers!!)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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Alright, this is it, this is the post where I hold nothing back about Avengers: Infinity War. This means a TON of spoilers are about to come out so if you have no seen the movie yet STOP NOW, do not go any further. You have been warned!!

Still here? Alright, let’s do this!

I have never heard a theater sit so quiet after a Marvel film ended in all my life. In the few minutes it took for the credits to play and reach the post-credits scene you could’ve heard a pin drop. And small wonder! We’d just seen the MCU as we know it completely turned on its head and destroyed!
I already talked about in my previous post how impressed I was with Josh Brolin’s performance as Thanos. I believed going in that Thanos was this completely evil villain that merely wanted to destroy half the universe…just because! But I was wrong, I was very wrong! Thanos is an example of Machiavellianism taken to the extreme. From his point of view, wiping out half the population will lead to more resources and living space for those who remain so everyone left will be much better off. Technically this IS true, however, that does not erase the fact that you have to kill untold trillions of people to make it happen! Despite this, Thanos genuinely seems to believe that he is doing the universe a favor, but I wonder if deep down he has any guilt about what he’s done, especially given what he had to do to get the Soul Stone.

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When it came out that the Soul Stone was on the planet Vormir, a planet we’d previously never seen or heard of, I was a little disappointed. It seemed nonsensical that the one Infinity Stone we’d not seen until now would just show up on a random planet. But then Thanos (with Gamora) arrive on the planet and the scene becomes something else when it turns out the guardian of the Soul Stone is none other than…Red Skull!! I’d wondered, like others, if we would ever see this character again after he got sucked into a Tesseract-formed wormhole in Captain America: The First Avenger and it felt awesome to see this plot thread finally resolved. It seems that 70+ years of exile on a distant planet has humbled Red Skull mightily (though I’d love to learn how he found out about what the Soul Stone needs to be unlocked). And speaking of…the moment Red Skull said you needed to sacrifice someone you loved to receive the Soul Stone I knew what was about to happen and Gamora not realizing it at first made it all the more painful. This is the moment that fully humanized Thanos for me, because despite everything he’s ever done, he really does LOVE Gamora and it pains him to do this but he wants this goal more than anything…so she dies. Now whether she’s dead permanently…I don’t know for certain, I’ll get to that argument in a minute.

 

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I need to talk about that ending, that hauntingly perfect ending. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it on here, but for the last several months leading up to the film, I had a suspicion that they might go with the “kill everyone and bring them back with the Infinity Stones” approach but deep down I didn’t think they’d actually do it. Well, they did it alright; granted they didn’t kill everyone, but it was close enough. Actually, after Thanos snapped his fingers (a very awesome moment that caused me to actually cry out “No!!” at the same time as Thor) and then disappeared to parts unknown, I actually thought the people had already disappeared, because it was so quiet!! And then Bucky disintegrated and I realized oh no….we have to watch this happen…and my heart got torn into a million pieces. Because suddenly heroes were dropping left and right: Bucky, Falcon, T’Challa (that one HURT because it was so sudden), Drax, Mantis, Groot (not Groot again!!), Star-Lord, Doctor Strange and…worst of all…Peter (Spider-Man). The moment Peter clung to Tony in absolute terror of his impending death destroyed me inside. And I could tell it destroyed Tony too because he’s the one who got Peter into this in the first place and now he’s had to watch him die. Even when this is undone, it’s probably going to stick with Tony for the rest of his life. And that final shot of the surviving Avengers on Earth sitting there numb with what’s just happened…that was a shock to the system because no Marvel film has ever ended this way, with the villain triumphant and the heroes in disarray. Normally there’s some type of closure, but we haven’t gotten it, and we won’t get it until next year!!

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Now then, I said “When this is undone” because you know not all of these characters are going to stay dead. There’s a Black Panther sequel in the works, Spider-Man has a new movie coming, etc. so we know most of these characters are coming back. The big question is, HOW? The last we saw, Thanos has retreated to a distant planet with the Infinity Gauntlet, and as long as he holds it intact, no one can really stop him. Which is why I wonder if some guilt in Thanos will eventually come into play because as things stand, he won’t undo what he’s done. The other question is, who CAN come back? I figure anyone who disintegrated at the end is eligible, but what about those killed before? Like Gamora, Loki, Heimdall, most of the Asgardians (I’m a little confused as to how many survivors there are from Asgard now). I’m pretty sure Loki isn’t coming back as I believe Tom Hiddleston’s contract is up, but at this point anything is possible. And speaking of Loki…what did you think of him dying via Thanos breaking his neck like that? It almost felt…anti-climactic given everything he’s gone through, but then again it’s also fitting as he tried to pull one trick too many with those magic daggers. If that was the last we ever see of Loki, at least he died showing Thor that he really does care about him.

Now for some final thoughts:

-I love that Thor kept calling Rocket Raccoon “rabbit”

-Peter Dinklage’s scenes are perfect

-The fight with Thanos when the Guardians are working with Tony, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange is great and pretty funny considering everyone keeps popping in and out of…time holes? I’m not sure what those are called but I love them.

-It’s interesting that after Hulk gets beat up by Thanos he refuses to come out fully for the rest of the film. Could the Hulk be…scared?

-I want to know how the directors picked which heroes disintegrated and which didn’t. There had to be a rhyme and reason behind it and I want to know what it was!!

And those are my spoiler-filled thoughts on Avengers: Infinity War! What did you think of this film? Were you stunned when the credits rolled? Let me know what you think in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Avengers: Infinity War-Review (no spoilers)

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Avengers: Infinity War-Review (no spoilers)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

*note: I will try to keep any and all spoilers out of this review but just in case I slip up here is the standard “possible spoilers from the movie may follow, do not read unless you have seen Avengers: Infinity War.”

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Wow. Wow. Oh my god they went there. It’s been just over 12 hours since I sat down to watch Avengers: Infinity War, the culmination of a story that began with Iron Man in 2008 and my head is still reeling from everything that happened. This will actually be the first of two reviews I do for the film. This one will just cover my general impressions and try to avoid all spoilers. Later, once it’s safe to discuss the nitty gritty details, I’ll post another review where I discuss everything.

 

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First of all, believe the hype about this movie, this is everything we were promised and more. There are surprises you will not see coming, some are awesome, some…not so much. I’m still in shock over where the movie left us. I mean, I speculated that they might do this, but I didn’t actually think they would, but oh my god they did (and that’s all I can say for now on that).

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It was thrilling to see all the different character interactions. Tony’s interactions with Doctor Strange and Star-Lord are everything you’d expect them to be (and are indeed some of my favorite funny moments). And speaking of funny, there are a number of humorous lines in this story that definitely does not feel like a 2 hour and 40 minute film. It was also great to re-visit Wakanda so soon after seeing Black Panther.

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What I want to talk about most right now is Josh Brolin’s performance as Thanos because he completely blew me away. There is such a depth to Thanos as he travels to collect the Infinity Stones that I never expected to see. Despite being a mad Titan, in many ways he’s very human and he quickly became a favorite character in the story. Like Loki and Erik Killmonger (two of my favorite Marvel villains), there are layers to Thanos and he has his reasons for being the way he is. The most frightening thing about this villain is he genuinely believes he’s doing the right thing, that the universe will thank him when it’s all over. That’s downright scary (and a complete contrast to Loki who, it was noted by Coulson “lacked conviction” during his assault on New York City). Thanos does not lack conviction.

I think that’s all I can talk about for now, I don’t dare spoil this film for anyone (that would be cruel). All I can say is, go see Avengers: Infinity War as soon as you can and prepare to be amazed. It shouldn’t be too long before I’m able to publish a full review that talks about everything, so for now, do NOT let me know what you thought about the film in the comments (I want to avoid spoilers at all costs) and have a great day!

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My thoughts on: Black Panther (2018)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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*caution, spoilers ahead*

It has been a very long time since I went to see a film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Due to burn-out and other situations, I believe the last film I went to see was Avengers: Age of Ultron all the way back in 2015. I truly thought I was permanently burned out on the MCU until I saw the first teasers for Black Panther late last year. Something about the film kept drawing me in, as much as I tried to ignore it. Then, when the first reviews came out critically praising the film as a masterpiece, I knew that I would have to go and see for myself.

The critics are right. Black Panther IS a masterpiece. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this is the best film in the MCU to date (though Avengers: Infinity War might claim that title once it releases in May).

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As far as I can tell (my knowledge of the MCU timeline isn’t the best), Black Panther picks up about a week after the events of Civil War, during which time T’Chaka, the king of Wakanda, was assassinated in an explosion at the United Nations. His son T’Challa is set to be crowned king and fully come into his rights as the Black Panther that protects Wakanda from the outside world. A beautiful prologue explains that Wakanda was built over a huge meteorite of vibranium that crashed into the Earth. While four tribes agreed to live in peace under the first Black Panther, a fifth tribe, the Jabari, refused and went to live in the mountains. Because the vibranium allowed Wakanda to build and work with technology that far outstripped the rest of the world, it was decided long ago that the nation would hide in plain sight, posing as a Third World country while it is actually the most advanced on Earth.

I think my favorite scene in the whole film is when T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is returning to Wakanda with Nakia (an ex-girlfriend that he clearly still has feelings for) for his coronation. The ship they’re flying on appears to be heading straight into a mountain when at the last second it’s revealed to be a hologram! The facade melts away to reveal this beautiful city full of flying ships, mag-lev trains and of course the enormous vibranium mine (overseen by a huge panther statue). The entire city is a perfect example of Afro-Futurism, combining traditional African designs with futuristic technology (it’s sheer perfection to watch). T’Challa is crowned king after forcing a challenger to yield in ritual combat; but his throne is not as secure as he thinks.

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Enter Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), my new favorite villain in the MCU (sorry Loki). Erik is introduced as an associate of Ulysses Klaue (whose vibranium stealing exploits have been a thorn in Wakanda’s side for thirty years). The pair (with the help of a girlfriend) steal a vibranium weapon that was mistakenly sent to a British museum decades ago. Klaue plans to sell the metal to an American bidder in South Korea, and T’Challa makes plans to capture the villain and bring him back to Wakanda for justice. Klaue is captured, but is shortly broken out again by Killmonger. In the ensuing fight, T’Challa gets a look at Erik and is stunned to see him wearing a ring that used to belong to his grandfather, something only a member of the royal family should have. It turns out that Killmonger is actually the son of T’Chaka’s brother who fell in love with an American woman while working undercover in California in the 1990s. When Eric was a young boy, T’Chaka confronted his brother over helping Klaue steal vibranium and was forced to kill him when he attacked Zuri, who’d also been undercover watching the prince. But the real tragedy of the situation emerges when it is revealed that T’Chaka chose to leave his nephew behind, rather than take him back to Wakanda. Is it any wonder that Erik is bitter and seeks to rule Wakanda as its rightful king?

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Killmonger fascinates me because his motives are so complex. He genuinely believes that he knows what’s best for Wakanda. Rather than maintaining the nation’s centuries of isolationism and secrecy, Erik seeks to spread vibranium-based weapons all around the world to his fellow brothers and sisters of African descent, train them in their use, and then take over the world in Wakanda’s name; essentially “starting the world over.” To this end, he KILLS Klaue and takes his body to Wakanda, knowing that alone will get T’Challa’s attention.  The young king, knowing who Erik is, doesn’t want the truth coming out in front of his council, but it does anyway. Aside from being stunned to learn that there’s a royal cousin that nobody in Wakanda knew about, they agree that Erik is fully within his rights as a royal prince to challenge for the throne by ritual combat. And this led to my other favorite scene: as Erik and T’Challa fight, Erik spells out why he is the better king for Wakanda, revealing that he has killed many, many times (and for each kill there’s a self-inflicted scar on his body). And Erik wins the fight! (This time anyway. Plot armor of course, ensures that T’Challa isn’t actually dead, but that doesn’t stop everyone from thinking so for a while).

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I found the clash between Erik, who grew up in America, and the culture of Wakanda to be enthralling. Now I understand the article titles I saw that mentioned the conflict between African-Americans and Africans. Even though they have a common origin (in Africa), the way they grew up almost guarantees they’ll be nothing like each other, and so it is with T’Challa and Erik.

Another part of the film that I absolutely loved are the Dora Milaje; an all-female squad of elite warriors that protect the king of Wakanda at all times. They’re led by Okoye (Danai Gurira, aka Michonne on The Walking Dead!), an absolutely bad-ass warrior who will not hesitate to attack her enemies with a spear. Their fighting style is thrilling to watch; they move with such precision and grace that you can’t doubt their lethal abilities.

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Aside from T’Challa himself, I absolutely loved his little sister Shuri (Letitia Wright). Though only 16, she’s in charge of Wakanda’s technological developments, which also include providing updates to the Black Panther’s suit and weapons (which include being able to remotely drive a car via holographic interface). It’s hinted that she can fight as well, but it doesn’t come out until the big fight at the end when she emerges with Nakia in fighting armor and wreaks havoc on the enemy. I definitely want to see more of Shuri (and Wakanda in general) in the MCU.

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One last thought about Erik: part of me wishes he survived past the end of this film. I DO understand why he did and said what he did at the end, but he was so compelling to watch that I was half-hoping to see his body in stasis or something like that, ensuring a future appearance. I’ll also say that there were several scenes with Erik that had me in tears, including his final moments with T’Challa.

Final thoughts: Black Panther is without a doubt the best film produced for the MCU yet. It’s a compelling story, without any flaws that I could find. Definitely go see it!

What did you think of Black Panther? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂 As always, thank you for coming by and checking out the blog, your support means everything to me!

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See also: Film/TV Reviews

Film 101: The MacGuffin

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If you’ve ever read in-depth about films, you’ve probably come across some variation of the following statements:

“The hero chased a series of MacGuffins for the entire story.”

“The plot twist revealed yet another MacGuffin…”

But what is a MacGuffin? Well, MacGuffin’s are plot devices that originated in literary fiction and have long since moved over to film as well. They appear as some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist (and sometimes the antagonist) pursues, very often with little to know narrative explanation as to why they desire this thing. It should also be noted that a MacGuffin’s importance comes not because of the object itself, but rather how it affects the characters and their motivations.

In most films where a MacGuffin appears, they’re usually the main focus of the film in the first act, but thereafter decline in importance, often being forgotten by the end of the story (though sometimes it will magically reappear to aid in the climax of the plot).

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There are many examples of MacGuffins in film but one of the most popular would be the search for the Death Star Plans (held by R2-D2 and C-3PO) in the original Star Wars film. From the beginning of the film (when Darth Vader chases down Princess Leia’s ship), almost to the end (when the Falcon escapes the Death Star to head to the Rebel base on Yavin 4), the plot is driven around obtaining those plans for either the Empire or the Rebellion. This is an almost identical scenario to the one in The Force Awakens where both the First Order and the Resistance are seeking the last map piece to locate Luke Skywalker.

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The Infinity Stones could be described as the ultimate MacGuffin of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, as possession of these objects (the Tesseract, the Aether, the Mind Stone, the Power Stone, the Eye of Agamotto) has driven a large number of the films, with the threat of Thanos coming to collect them himself growing ever larger. Just for a refresher:

-The Tesseract: Captain America: The First Avenger; Thor; The Avengers; Avengers: Infinity War

– The Aether: Thor: The Dark World; Avengers: Infinity War

-The Mind Stone: The Avengers; Avengers: Age of Ultron; Avengers: Infinity War

-The Power Stone: Guardians of the Galaxy; Avengers: Infinity War

-The Eye of Agamotto: Dr. Strange; Avengers: Infinity War

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Another MacGuffin example that appears both in literature and film is the One Ring from The Lord of the Rings. If you think about it, for the most of the story the Ring doesn’t really do anything except lie on a chain around Frodo’s neck. The entire plot revolves around destroying this Ring of pure evil before the Dark Lord Sauron can get his hands on it or before anyone else can claim it for their own, but we never really get to see it used to its full potential (though admittedly hints are given as to what it can do).

Possibly the most famous MacGuffin of all cinematic history comes in the classic Citizen Kane, when the reporter attempts to track down the meaning of Kane’s last whispered word “Rosebud.” To this end, he interviews countless former friends, lovers and associates, all in an attempt to find where this one word came from (I’m not going to tell you because the reveal is something everyone should experience for themselves).

And that’s my explanation for what a MacGuffin is. Having read through the examples, do any MacGuffins come to mind that I didn’t list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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See also:

Film 101: Archetypes

Film 101: Deus ex machina

My thoughts on: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

*the links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

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WARNING: Spoilers of varying sizes will be found in this review. DO NOT read until you’ve seen the film (unless you don’t care if some epic plot twists are spoiled, in which case, carry on).

It’s been a long three years since I saw Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) and for a while it felt like the sequel would NEVER get here. But finally the great day arrived and it was totally worth the wait!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was everything I dreamed it would be, an epic return to the zany world of blue space pirates, trigger-happy raccoons and talking baby trees. And speaking of….HOW ADORABLE IS BABY GROOT???? Seriously, that little guy practically stole the film! He was almost too cute for his own good (even the minor villains were commenting on his cuteness at one point), but it added some levity to some pretty dark moments (like when half of Yondu’s crew was ejected into the vacuum of space, yeah, you read that right). And the post-credits scene featuring Teenage Groot was just hilarious. It literally consists of Groot sitting in his messy room (messy with tree vines) playing video games while Star-Lord admonishes him to clean up his room.

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It was great to see Yondu back, even if I was slightly confused about his situation at first. When we first see the space pirate again (after he was tricked out of an Infinity Stone by Quill), he has (apparently) been exiled from the Ravagers for breaking their code, something involving the trafficking of children. I assumed they were referring to Yondu kidnapping Peter all those years ago, but it turns out that was only the tip of the iceberg (more on that later). Yondu has a pretty up and down time in this film: he starts off being an exiled captain, is taken prisoner by mutineers, and then retakes his ship with the help of Baby Groot, Rocket and one loyal crewmember in one of the most epic montage scenes I’ve seen in YEARS (lets just say his telekinetic arrow has a starring role).

Star-Lord’s team is as hilarious as ever (though I do feel like Drax burst into laughter one time too many, but that’s nitpicking). The tension between Gamora and Peter is beginning to grow palpable (she totally digs him even if she won’t quite admit it, but he definitely knows he loves her, or at least has very strong feelings for her). I wouldn’t be surprised if those two are together by the end of Vol. 3.

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Now let’s move on to Ego, The Living Planet, aka Star-Lord’s long-lost father. When I first heard that this character would be in the film, I was totally confused (I’ve never read the comics), and could not visualize what a living planet would look like. Actually, at first I thought Peter would just be talking to a giant planet for most of the time. But I have to say, the film did a great job of explaining how Ego is able to appear and travel as he does. And Kurt Russell was totally the best choice to play Star-Lord’s father, they totally act just the same way!! It explains so much about Peter, it really does. And the surface of Ego was so beautiful, perfect and so Eden-like…that I really should have figured out that much sooner that something was terribly wrong (like, before Mantis dropped the hint by nearly spilling the beans to Drax the first time).

There’s an old saying, that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And while it IS true that Ego is Peter’s father (the opening scene set in 1980 establishes that), he is hardly an ideal parent. The way Ego presents his story, he’s spent the last 30 years or so searching for his son, his ONLY son, so they can finally be together as father and son. It sounds nice, but considering he’s lived for millions of years I should’ve considered there was more to it than that. One of the first things they do together is see if Peter can connect to Ego’s essence, referred to as “The Light”, which resides at the core of the planet. Peter can do it, which makes Ego really happy, but not because it proves beyond a doubt that Peter is his son, but because it now gives him a means to an end.

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(WARNING, I’m about to spoil the big plot twist of the film): See, Ego isn’t this benevolent immortal looking to play catch-up with his son. He’s actually a little (lot) crazy and has come to the belief that his purpose in life is to fill the universe (or at least the galaxy) with replicas of himself. To this end, he’s spent the last million years or so planting essences of himself on every planet he’s ever come across (we see Earth’s at the beginning of the film, though we don’t know exactly what it is then). And on each of those planets, he made sure to sire a child, because, though he has the ability to plant these essences, he can’t activate them without the help of a second Celestial. But until Peter, none of this children, none of his MILLIONS of children, have possessed the right genes. So what did Ego do? He KILLED them!! Gamora and Nebula discover a series of caves below the surface that are filled to the brim with bones, millions of bones. And every last one belongs to Ego’s children, many of whom were brought to the planet by Yondu and his pirates (this is why the Ravagers exiled him). Yondu was paid handsomely to turn a blind eye to what was happening, but when he was sent to fetch Peter, he couldn’t bring himself to take the boy, because he figured he would die like the others. Now, all of this is bad enough, but then Ego admits one of the most shocking statements I’ve ever heard. In describing the glories of being a Celestial, Ego tells him (Peter) that they are “above mortals.” But then, what about Peter’s mother? “You said you loved my mother” Peter reminds him, and Ego admits that he really did love Meredith Quill, so much so that had he visited her on Earth a 4th time, he would have stayed on the planet and never left.

“It really broke my heart…” he says “When I had to put that tumor in her head.”

WHAT?? (I swear you could’ve heard the gasp all throughout the theater). Crazy Ego god-planet guy say WHAT???

As the opening of the first film established, Peter’s mother died of brain cancer, a long and tortuous way to die. NOW we learn that Ego PUT the cancer there in the first place!!!!! This knowledge pushes Peter over the edge (he loved his mother more than anyone) and leads into the climactic battle between father and son.

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Of course the big lesson of this film is that family isn’t defined just by blood, it’s also who raised you, who forms actual bonds with you. The Guardians are more Peter’s family than Ego ever could have been. And as for Peter’s father…well, it was Yondu who really raised him, a fact that neither really admits to themselves until nearly the end of the film when….*gulps* when Yondu sacrifices his life to save Peter’s. Oh, that moment about broke my heart. Yondu tells Peter that “He (Ego) may have been your father, but he wasn’t your daddy!” And then he put the last spacesuit capsule-thing on Peter so he would be safe when they entered the vacuum on space, and all Peter can do is cry and scream in denial as Yondu dies right in front of him (that has to be one of the saddest moments ever in the MCU).

I’m so excited to see where the Guardians go from here, as we’ll next see them in Avengers: Infinity War (I sincerely hope Peter and Iron Man bump heads figuratively, I just know those two won’t get along at first). I also hope that Nebula gets the chance to exact vengeance on Thanos for everything he did to her as a child. I knew Thanos was cruel, but to do all of THAT to his own child…

I could probably keep going for another 1000 words, but these are the bulk of my thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. Final verdict: it is definitely a film worth seeing and it totally lives up to the hype.

What did YOU think of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2? Did you like it, not like it, prefer the original instead? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear about it 🙂

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John Debney (and Tom Morello) talk Iron Man 2 (2010)

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John Debney (and Tom Morello) talk Iron Man 2 (2010)

It’s hard to create a sequel that lives up to the awesomeness that was the original Iron Man film, but Iron Man 2 did a pretty good job. The film follows Tony Stark after he publicly reveals that he is Iron Man to the world.

See, as it turns out, the palladium in the arc reactor that’s keeping Tony alive is also slowly killing him, so he begins to live life very recklessly (as he doesn’t have much time to live), to the consternation of Pepper Potts and James Rhodes, who have no idea that Tony is slowly dying. But there are other problems: Ivan Vanko, determined to seek vengeance on Stark, builds his own arc reactor and sets out to kill him. (This is also the film that introduces Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow) to the MCU.

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Stark is also under increasing pressure to sell the designs of his Iron Man suits to the government, but he is unwilling to do so. Everything comes to a head when Tony gets drunk at a birthday party while wearing his Mark IV armor. Rhodes dons the Mark II prototype and the two fight to a stalemate which ends with Rhodes flying off with the armor to give to the Air Force. At the same time, rival Justin Hammer has enlisted Vanko to build his own set of armored suits (which he passes off as his own work), not realizing that Vanko has sabotaged them so that they can be remotely controlled by him. It’s up to Tony to stop Vanko once and for all!

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While the film’s score features a healthy selection of rock songs (including two from AC/DC), the orchestral score was composed by John Debney and Tom Morello. The above video featurette details how Debney collaborated with Morello to create the score for the film.

Some have criticized the MCU for not having a “consistent” sound, which is to be expected since multiple composers have been employed to score these films, but I think each composer puts their own unique twist to each installment of the MCU, and Iron Man 2 is no exception. I hope you enjoy this behind the scenes look at the making of this film’s score.

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See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

See also:

John Debney scoring Predators (2010)

John Debney talks The Scorpion King (2002)

John Debney talks The Passion of the Christ (2004)

John Debney talks The Jungle Book (2016)

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Marco Beltrami talks Blade II (2002)

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Marco Beltrami talks Blade II (2002)

In the early 2000s (before The Twilight Saga set itself up as the vampire saga), there was another vampire of note appearing on the silver screen: Blade. Adapted from a comic book, Blade is a half-vampire who spends his days waging a behind-the-scenes war against vampires and the humans allied with them. Being a half-vampire himself, Blade suffers from a growing thirst for blood, but also has none of the weaknesses of regular vampires.

Blade (1998), introduced us to the character and his war against vampires, while Blade II (2002), continues the story. In the sequel, two years after the original story took place, Blade is forced to join forces with his hated rivals to combat a new strain of vampirism that turns those infected into “Reapers”, a mutation that is immune to all vampire weaknesses except for bright light.

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Reapers kill all humans that they come into contact with, while any vampires they feed on also become Reapers. Blade is brought in to help with the situation as the vampires have found themselves unable to contain the Reapers. Ironically, the team of vampires Blade is forced to work with (known as ‘the Bloodpack’) were actually trained for the sole purpose of killing Blade. (Also interesting to note: this film features a pre-Walking Dead Norman Reedus as seen in the picture below.)

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The orchestral score for this film was composed by Marco Beltrami, and I was delighted to find this interview where he describes the process of creating the score for Blade II. One of the drawbacks of an action film is that the fights and mayhem usually drown out the score, so this interview provides a rare opportunity to hear pieces of the music without any interference.

I used to be really into movies like Blade II, and I feel it’s a good example of a comic adapted to film (and significant since this takes place before Marvel and DC began saturating the market in 2008). There have been whispers of Blade being rebooted into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, though I’m not sure where the character would fit in (it would be pretty huge to introduce the existence of vampires).

What did you think of Blade II? Did Marco Beltrami’s score stand out at all? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

See also:

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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*film poster is the property of New Line Cinema