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Movie of the Week

Avengers: Endgame

One of the most anticipated movies of the year, Avengers Endgame, pulls on the heartstrings and takes a step back from epic battle.

This review is an analysis of the film and is free of major spoilers. References to major events of Infinity War will not be considered spoilers.

The Avengers are back to undo the effects of “Thanos’s snap” that wiped out half of all living beings in Infinity War, but now with only half their team. The film reminds the audience that the Avengers are human too, and have to deal with loss in much the same way as the rest of the world.

As hinted in the trailer, the Avengers have to do the theoretically impossible to collect the infinity stones to reverse the effects of Thanos’ snap. The only problem is the infinity stones aren’t all in the same place. The Avengers must travel in separate groups to collect them, testing their abilities to save the world separately, for the first time.

Positives

Strong emotional performances

Some Avengers must face their darkest fears, as many are traumatised by the effects of Thanos’s snap. The portrayal of the effects of post-traumatic stress, which humanises the superheroes, is one of the best aspects of the film.

In particular, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) loses his way after he comes to terms with the seemingly irreversible effects of Thanos’ snap. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) also softens up, as he deals with Thanos’ snap and Spiderman’s (Tom Holland) death by starting a new life. 

Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) also tries to lead the Avengers but struggles to hold it together with an emotional, tear-jerking performance. Captain America (Chris Evans) holds onto an optimistic view, maintaining his role as a quiet pillar for the rest of the team. He also talks for the first time about his experience of being frozen in the 1940s and being unfrozen 70 years later, setting the scene for a startling emotional response.

Excellent soundtrack

As expected, the Avengers Endgame soundtrack was breathtaking and helped tremendously with driving emotional points home. Composer Alan Silvestri is known for his particular style of making use of very few instruments during emotional parts, which he also did in the previous Avengers movie.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Silvestri said: “I was there witnessing these elaborate action sequences, which were being shot on three separate stages. The added challenge was of course that they were working on both films simultaneously.”

Stunning special effects

The special effects are some of the best I’ve seen in Marvel films so far. Looking at behind-the-scenes work, most of the film comprised special effects, even for items that could exist in real life. Marvel’s ability to blend the virtual and real worlds has become near-indistinguishable. For those who don’t get dizzy from 3D viewing, it’s highly recommended to watch this film in 3D.

Negatives

Rushing the ending

The final moments of the film felt incredibly rushed and it felt as if Marvel writers needed to tie up a number of events. This also left no room for a “what next?” moment. Marvel missed a huge opportunity to expand these events in it’s future feature films by tying them up at the end of this film.

No post credit scene
While the credits are filled with Silvestri’s best compositions, it won’t appeal to Marvel fans because of the lack of a post-credits scene. What’s worse is that, once the credits roll, there is no mid-credit scene either. This is not only very unusual for Marvel films, but also a form of pulling the rug out from under fans’ feet, as they have come to expect, enjoy and almost revere these scenes.

A less epic battle scene

Infinity War’s battle scenes were intensely action-focused, and Thanos’s snap was an unexpected emotional event that took fans by surprise. Endgame’s battle scenes, for all their epic scale, were a little less focused on specific action. That may be as a result of the film gearing the audience towards an emotional climax rather than an expected superhero win.
Overall, Avengers Endgame does a great job of being visually and audibly stunning, augmented by very emotional performances, but didn’t fill the epic story-telling shoes of Avengers Infinity War. – Bryan Turner

Movie of the Week

The Silence – A Netflix Original Film

For fans of Bird Box, Netflix Original The Silence takes a different twist to horror-thrillers by introducing terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound.

Click here to watch the trailer and to read more about the film.

When the world is under attack from terrifying creatures who hunt their human prey by sound, 16-year old Ally Andrews (Kiernan Shipka), who lost her hearing at 13, and her family seek refuge in a remote haven. But they discover a sinister cult that is eager to exploit Ally’s heightened senses. The Silence is directed by John R. Leonetti (Annabelle) and stars Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, John Corbett, Kate Trotter and Kyle Breitkopf.

The film is available to stream now on Netflix.

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Movie of the Week

Everything Must Fall – Showmax

Everything Must Fall takes an unflinching look at the #FeesMustFall student movement that burst onto the South African political landscape in 2015 as a protest over the cost of education.

Click here to watch the trailer and to read more about the movie.

Everything Must Fall is directed by Rehad Desai, who won an International Emmy Award for Best Documentary for Miners Shot Down, about the Marikana massacre.

The story is told by four student leaders at Wits University and their Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib, a left-wing, former anti-apartheid student activist. When Habib’s efforts to contain the protest fail, he brings 1 000 police onto campus, with dire consequences for the young leaders.

#feesmustfall was a pivotal moment for South Africa. As we have just had our national elections, it’s the perfect time to revisit the questions the movement raised about our priorities as a nation. Vuyani Phambo and Fasiha Hassan, who both feature prominently in the film, are on the parliamentary election lists for The Economic Freedom Fighters and ANC respectively. In May, Everything Must Fall is one of six productions representing South Africa at INPUT in Bangkok, an annual showcase of the best storytelling in the public interest

The documentary is available to stream now on Showmax.

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