Wednesday, April 24, 2019

the wait is over

I'm a gullible creature, easily susceptible to the suasion of market forces. And while I can be a snob about some things, my tastes are generally not very highbrow, especially when it comes to the movies I like to watch.

I'm not much of an art-film guy, mainly because artsy filmmakers annoy me. And to my mind, there's a difference between pseudo-deep artsy pretentiousness and artful profundity. Many of the movies I like are artfully deep: definitely within the range of the tastes of the hoi polloi, but sparking interesting thoughts all the same. I may even have written (or tried to write) some of them down in some of my reviews.

Which leads me to where I am now, and what I'm doing. I'm blogging this entry at the Lotte World Mall, and I'm here because I have a ticket for a matinee showing of "Avengers: Endgame," which comes out in East Asia on the 24th, and in the US on the 26th. So yes, I'm a sucker for all the hype, and like the millions (billions?) who saw "Avengers: Infinity War," I'm monkey-curious as to how the story ends. I'll know that ending by the time I make my way to work today.

I have several problems with "Infinity War," which I still haven't discussed in a spoilery review. But I own the movie on iTunes and have watched it many times, and I have to admit it's grown on me. I have to respect the way the writers handled the complex story structure; the film has good pacing. The dialogue and action are snappy and energetic, and I can't say that the film really drags at any point. The actors all hit their marks, and while I think Thanos's plan is stupid as hell when viewed through the lens of population dynamics, I really love James Brolin's burly performance as Thanos, a villain who forces us to reconsider whether the color purple can be dismissed as merely frou-frou.

The movie spawned endless speculation as to which hero would die (everyone's betting on Captain America because actor Chris Evans is at the end of his Marvel contract), how the team would defeat Thanos (with time travel as the most likely solution), and what nifty new hero-to-hero interactions we'd see (Rocket and Black Widow?). This movie also marks the end of the so-called "Phase 3" timeline; Phase 4 will begin with movies featuring familiar heroes but will eventually go super-cosmic to include some of Marvel's grander celestial beings.

I'm honestly not sure how interested I'll be in Phase 4 and beyond. "Endgame" promises to end with a bang, and I might very well be all Marveled out by that point. I suppose we'll see, though. I've been a sucker for marketing before, and I doubtless will be again.

ADDENDUM: according to the nifty Population Calculator, if we assume a 2000-era global-population growth rate of 1.2%, and a 2018 global population of 7.6 billion people, we know that Thanos's snap would reduce Earth to 3.8 billion. At the aforementioned growth rate, we'd be back to 7.6 billion people by the year 2076. Thanos would have "solved" our planet's overcrowding problem for less than 60 years.

1 comment:

Charles said...

Yeah, Thanos' plan was indeed stupid as hell... but there was a reason they called him the Mad Titan.

Anyway, I've seen Infinity War twice now, and I still freaking hate it. Not that's a poorly made film or anything like that, it's just painful to watch our heroes making mind-numbingly stupid decisions at every possible opportunity. I was also pissed off by the attempt at an emotional ending when you just know that this is all going to be reversed. The ending doesn't make me sad, it just exasperates me.

For some reason, people take my hatred of Infinity War to mean that I'm not going to see Endgame, but we are--we're going to see it next Monday (because I'm curious, but not that curious). I can see from your next post that you weren't all that impressed. Not sure what my expectations are going into this, to be honest. I guess I'm just expecting it to be over.