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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.

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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

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

The sequel to Disney’s global box office hit Maleficent, Maleficient: Mistress of Evil, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning, hits cinemas on 18 October.

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In Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and dark new forces at play. The years have been kind to Maleficent and Aurora. Their relationship, born of heartbreak, revenge and ultimately love, has flourished. Yet the hatred between man and the fairies still exists. 

Aurora’s impending marriage to Prince Phillip is cause for celebration in the kingdom of Ulstead and the neighbouring Moors, as the wedding serves to unite the two worlds. When an unexpected encounter introduces a powerful new alliance, Maleficent and Aurora are pulled apart to opposing sides in a Great War, testing their loyalties and causing them to question whether they can truly be family. 

The film stars Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Harris Dickinson, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple, Lesley Manville and Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith, and is directed by Joachim Rønning. With a story by Linda Woolverton and a screenplay by Linda Woolverton and Noah Harpster & Micah Fitzerman-Blue, the film is produced by Joe Roth, Angelina Jolie and Duncan Henderson, with Matt Smith, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Mike Vieira serving as executive producers.

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil opens in cinemas from 18 October.

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Movie of the Week

IT Chapter 1 – Streaming on Showmax

For those who missed it on the big screen, one can stream IT Chapter 1 on Showmax before going to see Chapter 2 in cinemas.

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IT is a Stephen King classic tale about Pennywise the killer clown. When children start to go missing in a small town, a group of young friends must band together to face their biggest fears. The first chapter is about the lives of the children and the psychological torture they must endure as Pennywise uses their weaknesses against them.

The film has scared off The Exorcist to become the highest-grossing film ever, when it launched at the box office.

The movie is now available to stream on Showmax.

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