As a stand-alone product, Black Widow is a very moody film.
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The long wait to understand why Black Widow is who she is gets muddled on the big screen. I’ve known about her origins by reading the graphic novel collections and consulting the Internet. To finally see her solo adventure in cinema is more of a let’s stick to the MCU tradition: Every hero needs his or her solo adventure, and let’s try not to riff off of Captain America: Civil War too much.
We’ve seen snippets of this superspy’s training from past films. To know how these past scenes and other bits play to her psychology isn’t examined. I was hoping part of the tale would flashback to specific moments of her life and lead up to how she died in Avengers Endgame. Sadly, this would mean viewers would have to know those past movies. There’s no guarantee everyone would understand when the film ends with her broken body, and the last words from her lips muttering, “No regrets…” It can work had it started as an intro, and reference those movies so some fans can go rewatch them again. Movies that are built through flashbacks can be done.
Expectations are high for Avengers: End Game to see how Thanos will ultimately get defeated. I know some points from Ant-Man & The Wasp are key to this film more than the self-titled movie introducing Captain Marvel. To see the heroes make use of the quantum realm can mean anything… and just what happens is a huge spoiler which I will not directly address in part one of a two-part article. Massive plot reveals will be explored later.
Overall, the experience of seeing Endgame is worth the wait of everything the past films built up to. It’s well-paced, packed to the gills with Easter Eggs to sate the Marvel Cinematic Universe fans and gives audiences everything expected of a blockbuster film. Warning: a few Act One reveals follow.
The live-action Hollywood “remake” of Ghost in the Shell (GitS) hardly succeeds in waxing the philosophical from Masamune Shirow’s manga or the anime directed by Mamoru Oshii. While I knew these ideas will be the farthest thing the hive mind planned for the Western adaptation, I secretly hoped for some redemption. A few scenes from the anime were nicely recreated in live-action format, but I wanted more substance than style, to which this film had in abundance. When this movie is partially shot with Alexa 6K (65mm) cameras, I’m hoping the National Geographic IMAX theatre in my hometown gets it during this film’s second run at theatres so I can see this movie proper on a square screen.
While I did not expect much of the Frankenstein-style discourse to exist throughout the film, there were a few moments Major (Scarlett Johansson) tries to understand who she is, why she was created and where her “ghost” comes from. This actress basically got a chance to play a different kind of Black Widow, a person stripped of her identity to become a professional hit-man (woman) and not have “family” to worry about. When she’s the main character, at least fans of this actress got what they wanted instead of waiting for a Marvel Comics Entertainment version.
Illumination Entertainment’s Sing is their latest animated work and it is so far not making the charts.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Illumination Entertainment has not had a massive hit outside of the Despicable Me franchise. The Secret Life of Pets (now available on Amazon) was kind of fun, but a lot of the good parts was given away in the trailer. Sing is their latest and it is so far not making the charts. While there’s a lengthy story to bring the lives of five anthropomorphic animals together to win a contest, there was not a lot of plot short of turning this film into the animated equivalent of Glee.
This film is more like a celebration of all those television shows that follow the America’s Got Talent mold, but this time it includes a bit of back story about the lives of the top five talents. Had this film been a television show, more drama could have been added and the lives could have been better explored.
Writer/Director/Actor Jon Favreau certainly has a knack for creating whimsically hilarious movies. He does a better job at films like Swingers and Iron Man than he is with Cowboys & Aliens. But perhaps, that’s because some titles are more ready-made for mass appeal than others. His latest film, Chef, cooks up a delightful tale about Carl Casper (Favreau), a renowned Los Angeles chef who prefers to create gastronomic delights over following the rules.
When he is often challenging restaurant owner Riva (Dustin Hoffman) about what to offer in every night’s top menu selection, he is eventually going to lose his job. When he blows up in front of top food critic Ramsey Michel (nicely played by Oliver Platt), he’s going to need a new line of work.