0090 – Child’s Play 2019 Review


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Jack Frost (1997)


The World’s Most Pissed Off Snow Cone

When I was looking for movies for my Horrorthon this year, I’m not sure why Marcie would suggest I review a comedy movie starring Michael Keaton, but she did.  And if someone suggests something, I have to review it…unless I forget it or something.  So this is Jack Frost, written by … Oh wait … she must’ve meant this other Jack Frost that’s a horror movie.  Well that makes a lot more sense.  So THIS is Jack Frost, written by Jeremy Paige, written and directed by Michael Cooney, and starring Christopher Allport, Scott MacDonald, Stephen Mendel, Rob LaBelle, and Shannon Elizabeth.

A serial killer coincidentally named Jack Frost (MacDonald) is being transported to his execution when his truck collides with a genetic research truck, splashing chemicals on Frost and fusing him with the snow.  Now a snowman, he uses his newfound powers to exact his revenge on the Sheriff that caught him, Sam Tiler (Allport) and everyone in the town.

I find this movie a little complicated to review.  Not in making a judgment on it; it’s garbage.  But it is apparent that this movie wasn’t taking itself very seriously, which makes it difficult to say what was intentionally bad and what was accidentally bad.  Most of the writing seemed like the jokes Arnold Schwarzenegger refused when he was playing Mr. Freeze.  And if you think about the jokes that Batman movie kept, it’ll let you know the quality of terrible cold related puns this movie traded in.  It’s also weird that this movie has the same plot as the comedy Jack Frost.  Both Jack Frosts die in a car crash and become snowmen, then it just comes down to what they do with it.  I have to assume that movie is better written, but I’m only basing that on the fact that they’d probably have to try really hard to write a worse movie than this one.

So the deaths are probably the main draw of a horror movie and this movie…had them…?  I know they were going for a theme here, but most of them were just silly and poorly done.  I understand they had like $15 to work with, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t bother to make sense.  Like would a sled decapitate someone?  I doubt it.  Kill someone with a well-placed blade to the neck, maybe.  And when that happens, why does the police officer trying to clean up the blood shovel a little snow on top of it to barely cover it instead of shoveling up the blood?  And when Jack kills someone by shoving an axe down their throat, where does the other half of the axe go?  The top of the axe is sticking out of his mouth, but the way his head is bent the rest of the handle couldn’t be down his throat.  And why doesn’t an accomplished serial killer know that the sharp end of the axe is much more effective for murder?  And then when Shannon Elizabeth is murdered…what happened?  It was really hard to piece together.  It looked like she was hugging a snowman and bouncing gently off the bathroom walls.  Then she falls down and blood comes out of her mouth.  Wikipedia says the snowman raped her to death, but that was not super clear to me, even with the “Christmas coming” joke.  Why not do the exact same thing but when she bounces off the walls, put some blood from the back of her head on the wall?  Death by head trauma.  Everyone gets it.  Also, what’s with the weird rockabilly music?  Even though it doesn’t fit, I get the Christmas music to fit the theme, but most of the music is just weird.  And later, when they’re trying to melt Jack, I get their idea to fill the room with aerosol and ignite it to blow it up, but do they know that it’s not the bullet that sparks when you shoot a gun?  You don’t want to fire a gun in that environment because of the explosion that propels the piece of metal, not because of the metal itself.  Shooting into the building from across the street would probably not do much.  Of course, the same guy also tries to shoot a snowman, even when he turns to a puddle.  It was strange that shooting a puddle didn’t leave any holes in the ground though.  I guess he could’ve missed, but I would think shooting a puddle would be like shooting water in a barrel, as the saying goes.

I think the most important thing to mention about the cast of this movie is it’s Shannon Elizabeth’s first movie!  And much like the moment she really entered the zeitgeist, she gets naked!  …I don’t think you really see much as she’s mostly hugging a snowman when she’s naked, but it is something worth seeing in this movie, so it’s worth mentioning.  …I guess there are much better movies you could watch to see her naked though…  Also, she’s named Jill and she gets raped by Jack and there’s an obvious setup there for a Jack and Jill joke that they missed.  Maybe they could’ve ditched the rape and had him roll her down a hill?  There’s not much to say about Christopher Allport as the Sheriff.  No one in this movie was particularly good and they probably weren’t really trying to be.  The Sheriff does have a problem that might be very troublesome in his line of work: that he forgets how to use his hands when under stress.  I’ve never seen someone have such trouble grabbing a set of keys before.  It took like 2 minutes!  I hope it’s not that hard to enter his house every day.  The Sheriff’s son was also a complete moron.  It worked out in the end as it turned out to be Jack Frost’s weakness, but he put antifreeze in the snack he made for his dad?  Because he didn’t want him to get cold?  And what the hell was Mom doing like 2 feet from him when he was making that snack that she didn’t notice him loading it up with antifreeze?  I had the most problems with the FBI agent.  First of all, his name was Agent Manners and a movie with this many terrible puns didn’t go for a “mind your manners” type joke?  Why would you even name him Manners if that wasn’t the plan?!  But the biggest thing was when he thought he was about to kill Jack, Stone says, “Those are not your orders!” and he responds, “Somebody remember to put out the cat.”  …what?!  Does that mean something to anyone else?  Because to me, it sounds like the FBI agent had a stroke or something.  As far as what that statement means to me in the context, he may as well have said, “Apple sauce is contagious at the airport.”

I’m not entirely sure if Jack Frost is a bad comedy horror movie or just a really bad horror movie.  Either way, it was a bad movie.  If it was trying to be a horror movie, it wasn’t scary and it was just goofy.  If they were trying to be a comedy movie, they at best reached the corny level.  It was dumb, the kills not particularly well done, the cast didn’t really try too hard, and there was only almost nudity.  I would say there’s not much reason to watch this movie.  The only thing worth seeing in this movie can be seen much better in a much better movie by watching American Pie.  So just do that instead.  Jack Frost gets “Don’t eat yellow snow” out of “Deep fried Jack served at midnight.”

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It Chapter Two (2019)


This Meeting of the Losers Club Has Officially Begun.

Two years later and we’re back!  And we’re not the only ones!  Although technically they waited 27, but I’m not gonna wait that long to write a review.  And it’s still October and Horrors are still thonning, and today’s movie qualifies.  This movie of course is It Chapter Two, based on a novel by Stephen King, written by Gary Dauberman, directed by Andy Muschietti, and starring Bill Skarsgard, Jessica Chastain, Sophia Lillis, James McAvoy, Jaeden Martell, Bill Hader, Finn Wolfhard, Isaiah Mustafa, Chosen Jacobs, Jay Ryan, Jeremy Ray Taylor, James Ransone, Jack Dylan Grazer, Andy Bean, and Wyatt Oleff.

27 years after the first movie, Pennywise (Skarsgard) has returned to Derry, Maine and is killing again.  And that means the Losers Club – Beverly (Chastain, Lillis), Bill (McAvoy, Martell), Richie (Hader, Wolfhard), Mike (Mustafa, Jacobs), Ben (Ryan, Taylor), Eddie (Ransone, Grazer), and Stanley (Bean, Oleff) – have a promise to keep: to return to Derry and finish what they started 27 years earlier.  But there’s a problem: most of them have been inexplicably forgetting everything about their time in Derry.  And another problem: Stan killed himself when Mike called him.  So not off to a great start…  But anyway, the rest of the Losers get together in Derry and must work together to overcome the otherworldly evil Clown.

I enjoyed It a great deal, and I also enjoyed It Two too…as well…  I suppose I would assume that I enjoyed the first one more, but this movie would be somewhat confusing without that movie first so it gets extra credit.  Also, just the idea of turning that book into 2 movies seems like such a daunting task and they pulled it off admirably, and trying to wrap everything up is also a challenge.  I had few issues as far as the story goes.  One of them was with the Native American ritual.  My first issue with it is that someone made a comment that the ritual was ridiculous.  Yeah?  It’s a ridiculous solution…for your problem with a shapeshifting ghost alien clown?  …But now that you mention it, you do have a point.  Why the hell would a Native American ritual affect an alien?  Another issue I had was with the way they beat Pennywise.  They essentially defeat him by bullying him.  They just mock him until he shrinks and then they rip his heart out.  So maybe they’re even worse than bullies.  I mean, their bully was a complete psychopath, but even he didn’t get much further than cutting the fat boy.  At least not until he came back as an adult.  The last issue I had with this movie is actually an issue with myself.  In the movie, they do a gag when someone busts through a door and does the “Here’s Johnny!” thing.  I am embarrassed to admit that I actually thought for far too long that this movie ripped off the Shining.

A lot of the visual stuff in this movie was very well executed.  Like all those fortune cookie monsters were terrible.  That’s what they were going for, so congratulations.  Also terrible was the way the Losers cut their hands to make their little pact.  All of their scars looked way too big and then when we saw it happen, it looked like they all cut far deeper than was necessary.  A little slice will do ya!  No need to get the hooked piece of glass and really dig into your hand with it like you’re trying to hit some tendons so you don’t have to use it anymore.  You’re making a promise, not trying to get discharged from the military.  Especially since most of the Losers were young boys that are going to really need those hands coming up in puberty times.  Another terrible thing was Stan’s spider transformation later on.  That could haunt the dreams of a lesser man.

My biggest problem with the cast of the movie is similar to one I had with the first movie: I can’t remember which kids are which.  In this movie, I can’t remember which kids are which and I also can’t remember which adult represented which kid.  Except for Beverly.  For some reason, I was always able to tell which one she was.  Otherwise, all the kids and adults were very good in the movie, and a lot of them really worked as adult versions of their kid counterparts.  Chastain was a fairly obvious choice to take over as Bev.  I feel like she was even dream cast in the part by most places before she was officially cast.  She did great in the role though.  I took some issues with the fact that she went back to her old house that was now occupied by an old lady and just took it upon herself to start destroying the old lady’s floorboards to find a poem, but the trailers already let me know that this old lady was Pennywise so she can get a pass on that.  I didn’t think McAvoy looked very much like his kid, but he was probably hired more for the acting.  But maybe he was just cast last minute when they realized they hadn’t cast a Bill yet.  I assume they do this sort of thing since in the movie he was the writer on a movie that they had started shooting before he had even written the ending yet.  I did wonder why Bill would fall for Pennywise’s Georgie trick as an adult though.  When he’d fall for it as a kid, it made more sense, but why are you as an adult seeing Georgie in a sewer and the same age he was 27 years earlier and you think, “Yup!  That’s gotta be the real Georgie!”  I also wanted to say that when Bill was talking to that kid on the skateboard right after that, I was expecting a Pet Semetary style clobbering by a big truck and was very disappointed when it didn’t happen.  Ransone was a pretty good adult version of Grazer, but I kept getting distracted by where I knew Grazer from until I realized he was the kid from Shazam.  Bill Hader was another one I thought was more cast for who he was than his resemblance to Finn Wolfhard, but it was okay because Hader was great.  He acted the bejesus out of his reaction to a character’s death in the end, and he was also a nice comic relief for the rest of the movie.  Also, there was a cool Stephen King cameo!  …That’s all I had to say about it…

It Chapter Two was probably technically not as good as its predecessor, but since they were both taken from one book, I would say it’s best to just put the two movies together and judge them as one, which means that It was a really fun horror movie that was way too long at like 5 and a half or 6 hours altogether.  The story was good, the visuals were great, it was scary-ish I suppose, and it was cast very well.  You probably already have, but if you haven’t, I recommend you go watch it.  And by it, I mean It.  It Chapter Two gets “For 27 years, I dreamt of you. I craved you… I’ve missed you” out of “I guess you could say that was long overdue.  …Get it?  ‘Cause we’re in a library?”

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0089 – The Curse of La Llorona Review


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Hellions (2015)


Give Us the Baby, or We’ll Rip it Out of You

October has returned and, as I have been informed that I have not yet seen and reviewed every horror movie yet, that means the Horrorthon can continue!  Today’s movie came as a recommendation from Shannon, who knows all the horror movies I have never heard of and knows to tell me to review the ones that have a lot of stuff for me to make fun of.  This movie turned out to be one of those movies.  And it is called Hellions, written by Pascal Trottier, directed by Bruce McDonald (who is Canadian, but is not one of the Kids in the Hall, I checked), and starring Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Luke Bilyk, and Peter DaCunha.

It’s Halloween (of course) and Goth teenager Dora (Rose) has her festivities ruined when Dr. Henry (Sutherland) informs her that her boyfriend Jace (Bilyk) knocked her up some 4 weeks ago.  Dora is displeased.  And is even more so when her mother (Wilson) takes her brother (DaCunha) out trick or treating and she starts getting some very rude trick or treaters.  Ones who trick her with the severed head of her boyfriend and inform her that the treat they desire is her baby.  Also, the T-1000 is there and he’s a cop and helps her at some point.

I found this movie very confusing.  And also bad.  One of the big failings of this movie is how long it takes to get going.  There was a good period of time I legitimately thought the horror of this movie was just the real life horror of teenaged pregnancy.  I grant that nothing terrifies me more than the idea of having to raise children, but I don’t need to see an 81 minute movie about it.  Thankfully (I guess?) it goes in a more supernatural direction because her baby was…an alien or demon or something…somehow…?  I don’t know.  They didn’t bother to explain that.  And it didn’t matter because it was all a dream anyway.  That’s right!  They used the old we-just-wasted-your-time television trope of making a ridiculous episode that doesn’t count at all because it was just a dream.  Which felt cheap.  Just like when they used that for one last “scare” by having her wake up for one more attempt at spooky before she woke up again.  FOOLED YOU!  DOUBLE DREAM!  I also wondered if the point of this movie had something to do with abortion, but if it did I couldn’t tell if it was pro-choice, pro-life, or just the way the writer chose to tell his girlfriend that having children was a bad idea.  It doesn’t really matter because the movie was aggressively tame and not scary to the point of boredom.

The visuals of this movie were also disappointing.  Especially when the movie randomly went sepia toned when the spooky stuff started.  I guess putting Instagram filters on your movie that’s about a teenage girl is technically appropriate, but it’s definitely annoying.  Most of their visuals weren’t particularly well done either.  The little demon girl that melted was fine except for the fact that, while filming it, the directed seemingly accidentally upskirted the child and, instead of noticing it in the moment and filming it from another angle, just chose to blur it out.  The nearly fatal wound that the doctor took wasn’t particularly well done and looked not much more dangerous than if he had cut himself shaving.  They also seemed to borrow from other movies a couple times, like the sheet over the face thing that inexplicably completely disabled Dora felt a lot like a shout out to Nightmare on Elm Street.  And maybe it was just me, but it felt like they were trying to give Dora a Wonder Woman in No Man’s Land scene, but instead of mines and mortars it was pumpkins blowing up for no good reason.

I guess the performances were acceptable enough, but maybe that’s just me judging it as someone that can’t act.  The characters didn’t always make sense though.  Like what was the point of all the scenes of Dora’s disgusting method of eating pickles?  She would get a pickle, drizzle honey on it, and then sprinkle salt on it.  First of all, gross.  Second of all, I would never eat pickles if it was so damned complicated to do so.  I assume the idea was that she was getting weird pregnancy cravings, but they never said that this wasn’t just something she did all the time.  Also she was supposed to be 4 weeks in, which seems early for that.  But who can say for sure what Dora thinks is normal when later she’s on the phone with the police and never thinks to say, “Hey, is it newsworthy enough for me to bring up that there seems to be a hurricane happening inside my house?”  She’s also a lot more terrified of the evil children than I would be.  I mean weapons or not, I will beat the crap out of a little kid.  …Y’know, if they were a threat to me…not just for fun or something…  She does eventually become more resourceful, and almost to the point of absurdity.  She kills a demon kid with salt, finds out the gun has no effect, and so she is able to take apart some shotgun shells and replace the slugs with salt.  …Did I miss some exposition earlier on when she randomly said, “Well you know how dad used to put me through basic training in military school, right?”

Dora was pretty much the only person in the movie.  Everyone else was pretty unnecessary.  The doctor guy mostly kills time and makes me very uncomfortable.  Like, I understand wanting to get into the Halloween spirit, but maybe don’t deliver life-changing and devastating news to a young girl while wearing giant elf ears.  Also, probably not wise to make house calls to a 17 year old girl.  He seemed to only have the best intentions but, I don’t know, maybe bring a nurse with you?  And maybe tell the girl not to apply duct tape directly to your wounds to stop the bleeding.  You’re a doctor, you should probably tell her to put something absorbent down first.

So Hellions isn’t a great movie.  There is certainly a lot of stuff to make fun of in it if you’re into that sort of thing, but it can take a pretty long, boring route to get there.  And then it continues to be boring, but at least you can have fun mocking it.  But good luck, ‘cause I probably made all the possible jokes already and left nothing for you.  So I’ll just recommend you skip it instead.  Hellions gets “How do you like the bath salts, bitch.”

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0087 – Best and Worst Films of 2018


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Avengers: Endgame (2019)


Assemble.

The day finally came.  After 11 years and 22 of my top 22 favorite films of all time, we’re in the Endgame now.  Even with all my hatred of people and crowds, my excitement and impatience would not allow me to wait long to see it.  But Infinity War set a very high bar for the MCU.  There was certainly no way they could pass that, or even blow it completely out of the water, right?  Well there’s only one way to find out.  Well, by the time of writing this, two ways because I’ve already seen it twice.  And even though the second time was today, I feel like I’m itching to see it again.  But what did I think of the movie, you might be asking?  …Really?  Have you never read one of my reviews or seen one of my videos?  Well here’s my probably entirely predictable review of Avengers: Endgame, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, and starring…like everyone.  Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Bradley Cooper, and so many more names.

Thanos (Brolin) won and wiped out half of all life in the universe with the snap of shiny, bejeweled fingers.  Even though they were thoroughly trounced by Thanos by himself, the remaining Avengers – Captain America (Evans), Hulk (Ruffalo), Thor (Hemsworth), Black Widow (Johansson), and War Machine (Cheadle) – as well as the two remaining Guardians of the Galaxy – Rocket (Cooper) and Nebula (Gillan) – decide it would be a good idea to take another crack at it because the new girl, Captain Marvel (Larson) claims to be super strong.  Iron Man (Downey) decides to stay home because he’s sleepy.  So the Avengers set off to … avenge.  And all of this is the first half hour.  Pretty much anything else is a spoiler.

Y’know what?  Avengers: Endgame could’ve been better.  …Don’t get me wrong, it was the greatest movie of all time ever, but I’m sure there’s something that could’ve been improved.  I was able to think of at least one, but we’ll get to that.  But a movie that contains as much hype as this movie has and I only really had one gripe?  That’s a killer flick!  Problematically for the sake of this review, I don’t think it’s worth talking about without spoilers.  Pretty much the entire movie after the first half hour is spoilers, so if that is a problem for you, feel free to stop reading and come back after seeing it.  Otherwise, let’s dish!

The story of Endgame was fantastic.  Time travel is a tricky thing to pull off and even the most well thought out stories can probably fall apart if you think about things too much.  Endgame does a good job of avoiding talking too much about the science involved so it can’t be picked apart too badly.  Science probably can’t prove that you can’t travel through time by shrinking down to sub-microscopic levels and entering the Quantum Realm because those things probably can’t happen in the first place.  And if you’re going into Avengers looking for good science to occur in the movie about superheroes, then what’s wrong with you?  The story obviously does leave some questions that may or may not be addressed.  What happened with past Loki?  What happens later when Hydra thinks Cap is one of them?  What changed when Cap decided to stay in the past?  In the very least, it seemed like these choices were intentional and may be leading to something.  The MCU has earned my faith in them.  And what’s more is that the time travel stuff added to what this movie really was deep down: fan service.  It was the most fan servicey movie ever, and I loved them for it.  There were callbacks to earlier movies (including what I say is the best moment of the film: when Falcon’s voice crackles through the radio when all hope seems lost and calls back to Captain America: The Winter Soldier when he says, “On your left.”)  And then when they start getting into time travel, we’re literally taken on the greatest montage/flashback in cinema history!  We go into Avengers, we go into Guardians of the Galaxy, and we go to shortly after Captain America: The First Avenger.  We see the filmmakers saying, “Remember this?  Oh you loved this!”  And we also see extra stuff, like how and why Loki got that gag mask in Avengers and what were the sorcerers that are supposed to be defending our realm doing during the Battle of New York.  You could also say that the death of Thanos in the beginning of the movie was not too surprising.  I mean, the team is in a spaceship heading off to kill Thanos in the first half hour, but we all know this movie is 3 hours.  They probably should’ve run the credits after killing Thanos and treated the rest of the movie as the best after-credit sequence ever.

I generally talk about the look of the movie here, but they put so much time and money into this movie it’s not worth talking about.  It was great.  I guess the only thing worth saying about it is that people often complain about CG characters and how they’re not realistic or compelling.  Avengers already got rid of that idea with Infinity War, making Thanos a very realistic and well-acted CG character, so much so that you could be forgiven for forgetting he wasn’t really there.  This movie continues that with Thanos, but also does the same level of quality with the Hulk.  So instead of talking about the look of the movie, I’m just gonna list the most exciting moments that I wrote down during that last fight.  And I’ll write them just as I wrote them in my notes.  Cap and Mjolnir!  Chips are down!  ON. YO. LEFF!!  Assemble! Rescue and Iron Man!  Wasp called him, “Cap!”  INSTANT KILL!  A-FORCE!!  CAPTAIN MARVEL!  I AM IRON MAN!!  …I straight up got goosebumps just typing those.  …I’m gonna go see it for a third time…

The cast of the movie was…well it was everything.  If you ever appeared in an MCU movie before, you probably showed up in this movie in some way or another.  You can get mentioned and shown in pictures like the Dark Elves from Thor: The Dark World or you can appear in unused footage with some new voiceover like Natalie Portman did or you can straight up appear in some degree like Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo, John Slattery, Tilda Swinton, Hayley Atwell, Marisa Tomei, Taika Waititi, Angela Bassett, William Hurt, Winston Duke, Maximiliano Hernandez, Frank Grillo, Jacob Batalon, Robert Redford, Ross Marquand, Callan Mulvey, Sean Gunn, James D’Arcy, and even Ty Simpkins, the little kid from Iron Man 3 that’s all grown up and appears at Tony’s funeral but even I didn’t figure it out until I got to the parking lot.  (In my defense, I didn’t care for Iron Man 3 much and don’t rewatch it often)  So many people you couldn’t possibly ask for more, to the point where they even had Wong say, “You wanted more?”  …Here’s my thing…  Yes, you gave us so many people.  Almost everybody!  …ALMOST!  There’s so many that I know I shouldn’t complain, but this is the end of an era, man!  I think you should’ve found a home for everyone.  At least everyone that’s still alive in the continuity.  But what about Lady Sif?  She’s still alive as far as I know.  What about some Nova Corps action?  Where was Adam Warlock?  What about the Skrulls?  Anybody from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., like Quake or Agent Coulson?  I’m not caught up on that show, but past Coulson could’ve appeared.  I’m not like most people in thinking that this was the time for X-Men to show up now that Marvel has the rights.  It would’ve been too rushed and the MCU really should build to them properly.  But biggest of all would be the Defenders.  I know the Netflix series are cancelled and Marvel’s not looking to bring them back, but this would’ve been one hell of a sendoff.  Just having Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and the Punisher step out of a portal together?  Tell me that wouldn’t have blown your mind!  And it would’ve been easy!  If those actors wouldn’t have agreed to get into wardrobe and step in front of a green screen looking determined, those actors are silly people!

Now let’s go through the main cast.  They are all still amazing at this, and I’m gonna be sad to see some of them go.  Though thankfully for my tear ducts, not too many of them had to die.  I think only 2 big ones.  Downey’s Tony Stark being the biggest one, obviously.  Man I cried so hard the first time I saw the movie!  And only maybe 10% less on the second viewing.  I didn’t see it coming really.  I was convinced that Captain America was going to die and Tony was going to retire, but they flipped it on me.  Tony bothered me in the beginning.  I really liked his relationship with Nebula, but when he gets home he starts being a real douche for no reason.  He claims Cap wasn’t there when he needed him.  I saw Infinity War, Tony!  Everyone was begging you to call Steve, but you just never got around to it!  I understand his motivations for not wanting to get involved when they found a possible solution, but I feel like everyone knew that Tony wouldn’t be able to resist if someone posed an interesting enough theory to him.  It was just a matter of time.  And finally, Tony’s sendoff was perfect.  Retirement would never be good enough for him, and if he was going to have to go, it should be by saying, “I am Iron Man,” and saving the day.  And the funeral was perfect, from the cast involved in it, to the music and presentation, to the wreath with the proof that Tony has a heart.  Speaking of send offs, Cap’s was perfect as well.  I was expecting a noble death, but his noble life was even better.  I loved the “Hail Hydra” moment and the fight with himself, and I especially loved America’s Ass.  …I mean the line!  I wasn’t staring at his ass…  Most of the joy of Captain America was in the final fight, how even as possibly the weakest of the three heroes that started it; Cap was the one holding his own the most.  And holding Mjolnir!  I squealed with glee at that moment!  And then how he used it!  Calling in lightning, spinning it like Thor, throwing it at his shield in midair!  Perfect!  And finally, after all these years, he says, “Assemble!”  Though it raises questions, I really enjoyed his ending.  He finally got that dance with his best girl.  It makes you wonder now where second Cap was through all these other situations as you assume he wouldn’t be able to just lay low and hide knowing he could help, but whatever.  I’m kind of on the fence about him handing the shield off to Falcon.  I know that happens in the comics, and I know Sam is an honorable dude, but I feel like you go with Bucky.  He can be Captain America, from the strength and the history and the fighting ability.  Falcon can’t do what Cap could.  Falcon should be Falcon.  But whatever.  It’s fine with me.

I was bummed and surprised at what happened with Black Widow.  Having heard she had a movie coming, I was not expecting what happened to her.  On second viewing, hearing her say, “See you in a minute,” before they head back in time was heartbreaking.  But anyone watching Hawkeye and Widow head to Vormir after having seen Infinity War probably had a sinking feeling in their gut.  I was personally hoping that the self-sacrifice aspect would be a loophole.  I mean, we’ve only ever seen someone sacrifice someone else.  Thanos threw Gamora in there and Thanos got the stone for it.  Widow threw herself in there, so Widow should get the stone.  And then the Soul Stone says, “Well…ya got me.”  The other hope I have is ongoing because, besides wondering what happens when Cap is returning the stones and goes to Vormir and sees his old buddy Red Skull there, what happens when the Soul Stone is returned?  Is the soul returned?  Maybe we’ll see…  Thor continues to be a joy since Ragnarok.  It was very funny, and very fitting, to see fat Thor, drowning in self-loathing as he would be.  And he got to have a lovely moment with his mom.  I was kind of hoping that his magic, armor-up, beard-braiding action transformation might Hemsworth him up a little and bring that sexy back, but it’s fine.  He’ll get there.  I also felt like they used Captain Marvel well.  They didn’t make her too over-powered and didn’t make her just save the day easily when she decided to show up, and they also explained well why she wasn’t going to be around to save the day every time because she’s busy in space.  And she set up a moment I loved.  First, her little interaction with Peter Parker was adorable, but then that leads to the assembly of A-Force, or all the women heroes of Marvel, getting together for a save the day push.  I love me some badass ladies, and they put so many of them in one frame that I nearly passed out.  I would say that part of me found it a bit pandering because why in the context of the movie would only the ladies decide to make a stand.  We’re all equal on this battlefield and everyone was all spread out, but all these ladies just ran to the same point to do some work.  But who cares?  It was awesome!  Speaking of awesome, Scarlet Witch versus Thanos!  At that moment, I wasn’t even thinking about how much I wanted to see that, but then it happened and it was epic.  And Tom Holland.  His activity in this movie was somewhat limited by the whole dead thing, but it should be noted that this kid is such a damned good actor.  His death in Infinity War and his reaction to Tony’s death here were so heartbreaking!  I felt worse for Peter than I did for Pepper, and Pepper is his wife and mother of his child! For two other tiny points, I loved Nebula’s character ark.  She’s really becoming likable. I just wish when Cap called Thanos a son of a bitch that Nebula would chime in and say, “Actually, my grandmother was a lovely person…”  And he wasn’t in there much, but I wish Doctor Strange’s line was, “If I tell you, it won’t happen…but trust me, the whole thing is going to be an awesome spectacle.”

Now, you’ve been waiting through a lot of fangasming to see the payoff of a tease I mentioned in third paragraph and never paid off.  What is the one problem that I had with Avengers: Endgame?  It sucks to have something built up and built up and never pay it off, doesn’t it?  …Well too bad!  Moving on!

I’m kidding.  THE HULK!  That was my one problem with this movie!  Infinity War sets up Hulk’s inability to transform and help the team SO HARD and never pays it off.  It gave me blue balls!  …Or in this case, green balls, I guess.  And it just ended on that!  So of course I spend an entire year dreaming of what that moment will be where the chips are down and everything looks like it’s lost and then Falcon says, “On your left,” and Hulk transforms and turns the tide.  It would have to be some epic moment, right?  After all that build up?  …NOPE!  This movie starts and he’s just Hulk already.  Granted, he’s Hulk AND Banner, which is cool, but he just figured it out off screen in a bland, science moment we never saw and all that build up to nothing.  Well then certainly we’ll have some great moment for him in the big fight where almost everyone has a big moment then, right?  …NOPE!  I think I saw him once, and he punched something insignificant off camera and was never seen again.  I will grant you that technically the greatest moment for me in the film happens because of the Hulk.  If he hadn’t sacrificed his arm to snap then no heroes return moment.  I also grant you that his arm was hurt so he wouldn’t be as big of a factor in the fight.  But I’m not asking him to be the one that defeats Thanos, but give him something!  In Infinity War, Banner had a very hard time in his fight against Cull Obsidian because he had to rely on the Hulkbuster armor.  Why could we not have the moment when Cull is walking up on Iron Man but the Hulk drops down, makes some quip about beating him with one hand tied behind his back, and whoops that ass?  Well we couldn’t because Cull was stepped on by Ant-Man as a throwaway gag.  I don’t need Hulk to save the day or win the movie or absorb the gamma radiation he said the glove gives off to become Worldbreaker Hulk or anything, but you guys set it up and let it fizzle out and that was a real bummer that stuck with me after the movie.  …The one and only bummer, so you guys still did an amazing job.

So that’s it.  A decade long setup leading to a seemingly decade long review written by me.  And all of it paid off perfectly.  At least from Avengers: Endgame.  This review?  Fine at best.  But Endgame was the perfect fan service movie that included characters and references from nearly all of their 21 movies leading to this moment that in no way disappointed.  Well, in one way disappointed because of the Hulk thing, but if your movie is 2 hours of solid fan service followed by one hour of back to back hype moments and I leave with only one minor bummer as a Hulk fan, you have succeeded in a way no one ever has and possibly no one ever will.  You have done the impossible.  I’m not even going to tell you to see this movie because it’s obvious that I think you should and you should have already at least 7 times and I also told you not to read this until you had.  Avengers: Endgame gets “I love you 3000” out of “SO MANY STAIRS!!”

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