Avengers Endgame: Questions answered

Please be warned, as the spoiler embargo has now been lifted, I won’t be holding back. So if you’re yet to see the film and don’t want any of the major plot points completely ruined, turn back now.

Anyone who knows anything about the entertainment world has heard of Avengers, Marvel, Iron Man, Spider-Man or Captain America, right? And judging by the box office takings, most of those people have now been to see the latest and final instalment of the current MCU, Avengers Endgame. This week has seen the blockbuster take over $2 billion dollars putting it, quite comfortably, in second place amid the highest grossing films of all time. All it needs is roughly another $0.2 billion and it will over take Avatar and simply make it number 1.

I feel a bit like this film is all I’ve spoken about for the last few weeks, Avengers Infinity War was a big enough blow to get over but nothing could have prepared me for the Endgame. Everyone I know that has seen it has had different opinions about the plot (mostly being that they loved it and cried like a baby, or was that just me?) but more than anything this film, albeit the end of a cinematic era, seems to have presented the world with endless questions.

Now, given that I obviously don’t work for Marvel, nor have I read ALL the comics (disclaimer; I have read some of them so don’t get judgey on me) the answers to the below questions are just my opinions and theories. I just wanted to answer the questions for fun and if I have any facts wrong please just tell me or bugger off.

Question number 1:

Where is Gamora now?

I think it’s safe to say we’re all excited for the inevitable ‘Asguardians of the Galaxy’ film, especially now James Gunn is back on board. The scene featuring said Asguardians at the end of Endgame heavily implies the upcoming Guardians sequel will feature Peter Quill‘s hunt for Gamora.

My biggest question regarding this predicted storyline has been; but is Gamora even still alive?
Think about it, right, in the original time line (the one that existed before they started jumping around in time) Gamora was thrown over the edge of Mount Vormir in Infinity War to her impending doom allowing Thanos to receive the Soul Stone.  So she’s dead in that timeline which gets rid of that version of her completely from this equation, because as Clint says in Endgame there is no coming back from Vormir. But then she comes back into the new present in Endgame when Nebula and Roadie go back to 2014 Morag. She is then on Thanos‘ ship when he uses the Pym Particles to come back to 2023 (the new present).
Time passes, Avengers have assembled, Tony and Peter are reunited and Gamora is somewhere in amongst the fallen Avengers HQ building with two different Nebulas.
Long story short, Tony gets the infinity stones, snaps his fingers and much like at the end of Infinity War, Thanos and his crew dust into nothingness – the Avengers have won.
But where is Gamora now? My original theory was that she had dusted too, because she was still working for Thanos up until this point but has her allegiance changed? We do see her in the kick-ass “girl power” moment when all the women of the MCU fight together but has her allegiance completely changed? Also doesn’t it completely depend on the exact wording of Tony‘s thoughts when he snapped his fingers?

My theory is she is still alive, because it’ll make for a good story in Asguardians of the Galaxy but where the F is she? Because she wasn’t anywhere to be seen after the battle and she wasn’t at Tony‘s funeral. And if she had completely switched allegiance to be on the “good” side then wouldn’t she have stuck with the only familiar face and ended up on the Milano with NebulaSo actually maybe my theory is that she is dead.

Obviously we’re not going to find out until the next volume of Guardians is released what has really happened to Gamora but it’s fun to guess isn’t it?

Ok that was quite a lengthy answer so now lets try a couple of easier ones.

As established, yes, Tony Stark dies at the end of Endgame and no, we were not emotionally prepared for it. But if that wasn’t sad enough, the icing on the cake was Tony’s funeral scene, from the heartbreaking video message stored inside Tony’s Iron Man helmet to the adorable conversation between Morgan and Happy, Tony’s funeral will go down as one of the saddest scenes in MCU history. 

During the funeral we see a beautiful panning shot of all the surviving characters; we see Steve Rogers, Peter Parker, Dr Strange, Bucky and Sam, the Barton’s, all the Guardians and many, many more and at the end of the scene we see Nick Fury finally make his appearance.

Amongst all these much beloved characters we see an unfamiliar face, and of course the question on most peoples minds when they came out of the cinema was “who was that random teenager at Tony’s funeral?”.

so…

Question number 2

Who was that random teenager at Tony’s funeral?

It’s a simple answer, the teenager at Tony’s funeral is Harley Keener, the young boy from Iron Man 3. Not only did Harley come back to bid a final farewell to Tony but Marvel also managed to get the same actor, Ty Simpkins, back for the scene.

Question number 2a

Who was missing from the funeral?

This is just my opinion but I wanted to get it in there, I think Agent Coulson should have been at Tony’s funeral. We all know he didn’t die in Avengers Assemble because he is a prominent character in Agents of Shield and he loved Tony and all the Avengers so why he wasn’t at the funeral is beyond me. They could get Harley Keener in there but they couldn’t have just stood Coulson next to Maria Hill? Shame.

Question number 3

Where was Katherine Langford?

As some of you may remember there was a big casting announcement made shortly before the films release featuring 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford. Her character was never revealed and a lot of people speculated that she would be coming in to play the teenage version of Cassie, Scott Lang‘s daughter. But, once Emma Fuhrmann was announced for that role, speculation began again.

It turns out Katherine Langford was cast as an older version of Tony and Peppers daughter Morgan. In the original draft of the script there was an extra scene after Tony snaps his fingers with the nano-tech infinity gauntlet, not dissimilar to the scene in Infinity War where Thanos faces young Gamora – “at what cost”. The scene was going to feature an emotional scene between Tony and Morgan where he explains why he did what he did. Joe and Anthony Russo recently said in an interview that the reason this was taken out was because it seemed too nostalgic and took the attention away from the loss of all the Avengers in losing Tony as apposed to the loss Tony was feeling with loosing Morgan.
I personally think it was a smart move to take this scene out, it would have become too complex as we hadn’t already been introduced to the older version of Morgan and it might have fallen a bit flat, which is why the corresponding scene in Infinity War worked so well as we already knew young Gamora. Also – why would you want to take that character away from the incomparable Lexi Rabe who played Morgan with such honesty? She was perfect.

Question number 4

Disclosure: this is not actually a question and more just something I wanted to talk about

Thors “Dad bod”

One of the biggest talking points of the entire film (which shocks me because the film has so many more amazing things we could be talking about) is how the directors decided to dramatically change Thor’s appearance.
We find Thor suffering in silence, after his failed attempt to defeat Thanos back in Infinity War, in a small seaside town (believed to be located in Scotland) with his friends Korg and Meek. He has gained weight and completely neglected his appearance. It’s a shame to see him like this, but for a lot of people it has become far too big of a deal. He is clearly suffering with PTSD or similar, he’s struggling to admit that he has failed because all his life he was told that he had to be the best, be the strongest, be a god.
People seem to have a problem with this character development, whether it’s because he’s now less appealing to look at or because he’s become a comedic element to the film.

I happen to disagree (shocking!) yes they have used him as a slight comic relief to all the intense drama going on throughout the film, but for me it just proves you don’t need to have a six-pack to still be a hero. I know it sounds cheesy but he’s still the hero he always was and due to this breakdown he was able to go out and achieve, his pain and suffering as his motivation. Mental health is important to talk about and the fact that the Russo brothers managed to include it in this film on more than one occasion is an achievement worth celebrating.

I like Thor’s Dad bod.

Question number 5

Was Black Widows death justified? 

There’s been a bit of debate about whether or not Natasha Romanoff was the right character to be killed off in the middle of the film. It’s a brutal scene on the planet of Vormir, where one has to sacrifice something they love above all else in order to retrieve the Soul Stone. This is the moment in Infinity War when Thanos sacrificed Gamora in exchange for the stone.
Hawkeye and Widow are sent back in time to retrieve the stone before Thanos has a chance, little do they know what task lies ahead.

Red Skull now inhabits Vormir and when they arrive he explains what needs to happen. After a short, but intense, discussion about what they should do Clint makes the decision to sacrifice himself so Natasha can take the stone back and they can stop Thanos.
In a beautiful sequence of ‘who beats who’ Natasha ends up being the one to make the ultimate sacrifice in her brutal and untimely death.

Clint goes back to the Avengers HQ in present time with the Soul Stone in tow and breaks down when the rest of the team ask where Natasha is.

So, was Natasha the right character to die? 

Although it was very sad, and I may be a tad bias as Hawkeye is my favourite character, I think it was right for the film. There was no way all of the original six were going to survive and losing Natasha had a huge emotional impact on the rest of the team. We all know how close a friendship she had with Clint and his family but she was also close with Steve and Bruce, if Clint had been the one to die we wouldn’t have had as much emotion impact from the rest of the team, it wouldn’t have meant as much to them or the audience.

Although she didn’t get a conventional funeral, there is a beautiful moment at the lake when the 5 remaining original Avengers get a chance to mourn and discuss what had happened. There’s tensions in the air around whether or not they can go back and stop it from happening but it also gives each of the characters a moment of mourning.

Her death was painful to watch and heartbreaking but I believe it gave them all the last burst of motivation they needed to achieve what needed to be achieved.

And on that note, that’s it, my top 5 questions answered!

I know it’s not on everyones mind anymore (especially as Game of Thrones is now coming to an end) but it was everything I could have asked for and more and I am still thinking about it. I wouldn’t change anything about it for the world and I want to thank the Russo brothers for achieving what they did. 

Now I’m off to watch it for the sixth time…

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Avengers Endgame: Questions answered

Boy Erased

Jared Eamons is an 18 year old boy getting ready to go off to college, he works at his Dads car dealership and spends the weekends with his friends at the beach. Mr Eamons is a pastor, he is a man of the church and believes solely in the greatness of God. Mrs Eamons is also a strong believer and spends her time supporting the two men in her life.

The Eamons live a happy, quiet, non-assuming life. Until Jared discovers he is gay.

In an attempt to “fix” his son of his “sins” Mr Eamons enrols Jared in a conversion therapy course which he believes will heal him of his homosexual ways.

Based on the memoirs of the real Jared Eamons, Boy Erased is a powerful, important story which highlights the unforgiving ways in which people all over the world are still being treated.

Lucas Hedges gives an incredible performance as Jared and delves deeply into the horrors of the characters past. Nicole Kidman portrays Mrs Eamons as a mother who is out of options but who is given an opportunity to protect her son when no one else will. Kidman’s performance is, as always, second to none. Russell Crowe plays Jared’s father, and although it is not the standout performance of the film, he performs it with passion and prowess.

The film contains some truly shocking scenes and writer/director Joel Egerton also gives face to the villain of the story as Mr Sykes, a twisted, evil man who believes he has the right to control these young people’s lives. There was also a surprise in the cast, Flea (of Red Hot Chilli Peppers fame) pops up as a “survivor” and gives a fantastic, albeit sinister, performance.

Egerton proves himself as not only the great actor we already know him for, but as an exceptional director. This film is full of heart and hatred and I believe is a must see for everyone.

Boy Erased

Roma

I feel it’s necessary that I talk about this film as everyone else seems to be raving about it.

I gave it one star purely for attempt. At the end of the day it is still a film so a lot of work will have gone into it but that’s not to say I enjoyed it in any sense. It took me two days to get through it, I had to turn it off half way through on day one because I kept falling asleep. On day two I started it from about 10 minutes before I turned it off just in the hope that I would catch something I missed to try and drive me to the end, I found nothing.

I found it painfully pretentious, clearly I am missing something because to me it also had no story whatsoever. The family were vile people who I had no interest in watching and honestly, couldn’t care less that her husband was cheating on his wife and mother to his children. I don’t think the mother showed any compassion toward her children who were dealing with a horrific event in their lives. The lead character (I don’t remember her name) was fairly endearing but for the most she came across as pathetic. I just didn’t warm to any of them. There were so many moments in it that had no relevance whatsoever to the main story, the martial arts training scene and the rich American’s holiday home but to name a few. I liked the inclusion of the protests and the civil war happening in the town but that was only to be over shadowed with the main character going into labour which bored me to my core.

Since watching the film a few weeks a go I have tried to understand the relevance of it being in black and white. It was clearly a conscious decision of, I assume, the director but it didn’t seem necessary to me, if I’m missing something then can someone please enlighten me? If anything it made the film harder to watch because not only did I have to follow the subtitles (which I actually didn’t have a problem with, I usually have subtitles on anyway) but I also had to try and read the times of day and locations without the use of colour which when you’re reading text at the bottom of a screen is fairly difficult.

I have read that Alfonso Curon made this film as a reflection of his life growing up in 1970’s Mexico, which is great, good for him. But did it need to be so self-indulgent? Couldn’t he have just written a book or a memoir that his fans could read? Honestly.

I don’t get it, I didn’t like it, it was boring, too long and quite frankly too vain for my liking.

 

Roma

Colette

Collette tells the story of an extrovert wife, writer, young girl, lover and adventurer. Gabrielle Collette (Keira Knightly) is the wife of Parisian author Willy (Dominic West), they have a fiery marriage but Willy falls on hard times when his ghost writers are not producing good enough work for him to sell. He soon discovers his wife has a hidden talent for writing and she creates a series of books about her alter ego Claudine. The only problem with Collettes new found success is that Willy doesn’t believe the books will sell if they are published under a female authors name. Causing constant struggles and strain on their marriage Claudette and Willy find every way possible to continue creating the work that sells and remain married.

The film is set against a beautiful backdrop of turn of the century Paris with costumes and makeup to match.

Keira Knightly gives a forceful performance as the struggling leading lady, her portrayal of Collette is empowering yet subtle and she remains relatable and honest throughout. This was the perfect role for her.

West is also a tour de force throughout, he sways from loveable rogue to complete scumbag so carelessly.

The supporting cast is also strong, the likes of Fiona Shaw and Eleanor Tomlinson help strengthen this female led film.

A fantastic watch and a strong plot. Could have been half an hour shorter to make it a slightly easier watch but other than that it has no flaws.

Colette

Welcome to 2019

I have slacked off massively with writing in here lately. I think I probably did half a dozen posts in 2018 (if that!). It’s a funny thing really because I watch so many films but I find it hard to write about them all the time, especially because I love most of them so it’s hard to just sit here and write “I loved it, it was great, go and see it” without being constructive! So I’m attempting it again, this is going to be the case every year I think but I can keep trying!

2018 saw some incredible films for us all, there really was something for everyone. It saw some of the biggest box office hits in the last 10 years and introduced the world to Netflix/Amazon/YouTube originals (which I have my reservations about). I haven’t necessarily got a top and bottom 10 because I genuinely couldn’t choose but I’ll write about the few that really stood out for me.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)Obviously this list wouldn’t even exist without me mentioning Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen have always been a huge part of my life, ever since I was about 8 and I discovered my parents old CD collection, Queen The Greatest Hits and Michael Jackson’s History were the two that I immediately latched on to. When I heard about 5 years ago that there were talks of a Queen biopic I was one of those stubborn fans that refused to get excited about it because no one can ever be Freddie except for Freddie. After years of debate and pre-production nonsense they finally announced Rami Malek was to play Freddie and suddenly I started having a bit of faith, of course it helped that Queen legends Brian May and Roger Taylor were producing.
On top of my love for Queen I have been obsessed with Live Aid for as long as I can remember, I don’t even really know when I first discovered it but they released the whole concert on DVD back in 2004 and I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve seen it, let alone the amount of times I’ve watched the Queen performance alone from that amazing day.
Then the film came and I loved it. I was actually fortunate enough to get tickets for the world premiere which they were holding at Wembley Arena so me and my friend went and got to witness the film on the biggest screen I’ve ever seen in the biggest room I’ve ever watched a film in with the cast and crew sat in the audience. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
Since then I’ve seen the film again at the cinema because no chance was one viewing enough, I’m hoping to see it one more time before the Oscars.
I love it, I think it shows everything that is honest and true about all 4 members of the band, ok some of the plot points are slightly out of order to how they happened in reality but they were told the way they were needed to in order to aid the film.
I sobbed when Malek won his Golden Globe and then sobbed some more when the film won best picture.
It has my undying support for the Oscars and I’m so happy it’s being recognised, for Freddie.

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Woody Harrelson, Frances McDormand, and Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Hard to believe this was within the last year, I saw it on January 25th (I keep a list – I don’t just happen to have a freakishly good memory) which was actually the second time

I watched it as I was able to see it at the London Film Festival back in 2017.

It’s a stunning film that will be remembered for years to come, it’s a shame it didn’t win best picture at the Oscars but I did also love The Shape of Water so I wasn’t too disappointed.
I love the script, I think it’s the perfect balance of heart break and comedy, and Frances McDormands performance was second to none.

Ready Player One

My favourite book re-imagined into a film directed by my favourite filmmaker. It was winner from day one.
The first time I watched it I was so annoyed at how much they had changed from the book, honestly there is so many changes it’s basically a different story. After viewing it a second (and third) time I realised it’s not a different story, it’s the same story told by a different person. The book and the film are two seperate things and although I didn’t get to see all the things I had hoped for in the film I still have them within the book and that’s enough for me.
So after this realisation I came to love the film, the visual effects are outstanding and the cast are all so great and perfect for the roles. I was beside myself when they announced Mark Rylance as Halliday, he’s so perfect for the character.

Love, Simon

Love, Simon (2018)Such a beautiful, lighthearted film about love, friendship, family and courage. I found it so heartwarming I went to see it twice in two days. The script was so charming and the performances carried it with such grace. It tackled issues that hundreds of thousands of teenagers deal with all over the world every day and it did it with such care and compassion, it didn’t seem accusatory or shameful it just felt so honest. I can’t wait to see it again.

 

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)Lets end this run down of my 2018 favourites on the biggest high of the year for me. I saw it 5 times, I would have seen it more if I hadn’t run out of time. Infinity War has become my favourite (tide with Age of Ultron) Marvel film. It’s perfection of every element just astounds me, they didn’t shy away from killing off some of the most pivotal characters in the MCU and they allowed the audience to be left on the biggest cliff hanger of all time. They could have played it so safe and they didn’t and I am so grateful!
The countdown is on for End Game and I for one cannot wait any longer!!!

 

So that’s 2018 in a nutshell, I would also write about the films I didn’t like this year but why look back on the negatives when we can look forward on the positives!!

So far some of my favourite films of 2019 have been:

Colette
Aquaman (yes, really)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Mary Poppins Returns

And now I’m looking forward, into the future of film and what 2019 has to offer. So here are a few of my most anticipated films of the next 12 months!

Avengers: Endgame (26th April)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (5th July)
Captain Marvel (8th March)
Star Wars Episode IX (TBC)
Shazam! (5th April)
Ok now the obvious ones are out of the way

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (26th July)
Quentin Tarantino returns to the directors chair in this highly anticipated drama following to aspiring performers in Hollywood during the terror reign of Helen Skelter.
Likely to be gory, weird, clever and all round Tarantino, I’d say I’m more intrigued than excited but I’m sure it’ll be a huge box office hit.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (TBC)
Lily Collins takes on the role of Ted Bundy’s wife, Elizabeth Kloepfer, in this chronicle told from her perspective and how she battled to see the truth in her husband for so long.
Zac Efron takes on the role of Bundy and I think I’m most excited to see how he holds his own in this dark drama.

Serenity (1st March)
Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway star in this drama thriller as a divorced couple who have to face reality although it may not be as it seems.
I’m obviously excited to see McConaughey back on the big screen and I’m expecting great things from him and Hathaway.

The Irishman (TBC)
Robert DiNero, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel in a mob film directed by Martin Scorsese.
Need I say more?

That’s it! My sort of review of 2018 is done and now we look forward to what excitement 2019 will have in store. Bring it on.

 

Welcome to 2019

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N

Last night I had the privilege of going to a press night at the new immersive experience from Marvel called the Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Located just outside London’s Excel in a purpose built arena the experience is the ideal experience for any Marvel fan.

You are treated as new recruits of SHIELD as soon as you get there with the staff ushering you through the different rooms (although you can absolutely go at your own pace if you want to nerd out a bit longer than everyone else – like we did!). Agent Hill welcomes you to the training programme in the first room before the walls open up and you are taken through into the first of 4 exciting rooms, Tony Stark’s Workshop.

Greeted by a life-size Iron Man costume and closely followed by the Hulkbuster suit, Tony Stark’s Workshop sets the scene perfectly for the rest of the tour.

Moving through the experience you get to see Hulks fists, Captain America’s bike and shield, Thor’s hammer, Hawkeyes bow and arrow, War Machines suit and the remains of Ultron as well as much more. All wrapped up with a full size arc-reactor at the end. Costumes, activities and displays from all of the characters can also be found all the way through.

The final stage of the training is an I-phone powered game where you get placed in different teams to destroy Ultron (I was in Team Hawkeye, which I was very happy about!).

It’s a fantastic experience for any marvel fan and perfect for the whole family. With similarities to last years Star Wars Identities experience at the O2, there’s enough activities throughout to keep children entertained.

I had a couple of disappointments as a huge Marvel fan in that they missed out a few of the pivotal characters, Spider-Man and Dr Strange being the main ones. There’s also no mention of the Guardians of the Galaxy which was a shame.

From a personal perspective I was happy with how ‘Age of Ultron’ heavy the experience was as that’s my favourite film, however some people might find it strange that there’s not a huge mention of Infinity War or some of the other characters.

It’s a great experience and it’s a lot of fun, I had a great time trying to lift Mjolnir (turns out I’m not worthy) and sitting on Cap’s bike. Make sure you look out for the ants leading you to Ant-Mans suit.

The shop was ok, there’s a good green screen photo opportunity just as you enter it, but the whole shop could have done with a bit more variety – this is probably due to it not being officially open yet.

Overall I really enjoyed it and I think families will go crazy for it.

Stan would have loved it.

Excelsior.

Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N

Retail Therapy

Retail Therapy is a one act comedy play which tells the story of a corner shop set in Yorkshire, showcased at Ye Olde Rose and Crown in Walthamstow as part of the Undisposables ‘New Voices’ season.
Throughout the piece we are introduced to the staff members and some of their regular customers through the cleverly written script by one of the shows leading actress’, Hannah Whyman. 

The piece features a clever and innovative script using wit to aid the comedy and keep the whole performance at a watchable pace. I’m not usually a fan of sit-com style comedy but for me this was just the right amount of crude, slapstick and nonsensical to make it enjoyable for the whole audience. 

The performances were fantastic, the timing throughout was perfect and given that it was performed in an intimate setting the cast didn’t overact and the expressions on their faces and the comedic skills they were using were on point. With a cast of only 5 people and much more characters than that, they did a fantastic job of quick changes and sudden accent changes that it didn’t effect the piece at all.

I was very impressed with this production, particularly with the writing – I thought the script was perfect. 

Amazing job done by all, they should all be very proud. Looking forward to seeing what else The Undisposables have got up their talented sleeves.

Directed by: Caspian Cunningham
Written by: Hannah Whyman
Starring: Hannah Whyman, Francene Turner, Caspian Cunningham, Jamie Terry and Richard David Law. 

 

 

 

Retail Therapy