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Avengers: Infinity War Part I


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Links to our threads on Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Doctor Strange (2016), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Black Panther (2017), Captain Marvel (2018), Inhumans (2018) and Avengers: Infinity War Part II (2019).

 

Coming May 4, 2018.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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So exhausted already.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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And those are just the *Marvel* films.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

Featuring... Spider-Man?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

A Hollywood first.  According to Marvel.com, Infinity War 1 and 2 will be shot entirely in the IMAX format.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
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  • 1 year later...

 

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 year later...

Saw it. It's relentlessly ok. It isn't great, or even good--but it isn't the Death of Cinema, either. It's just--there. Some funny bits. Some genuinely astounding settings (the star forge). Lots of uninteresting action. An ending that should be affecting but isn't (apart from Tom Holland's performance). A villain who isn't interesting, in spite of all the advance hype. A conclusion that suggests the next movie will feature Matt Smith popping out of a TARDIS and doing some timey-wimey stuff. 

I did have fun, but the overall impression was of exhaustion.

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Relentlessly okay is a pretty good descriptor.  As franchise movies go, I'm more invested in the Star Wars series (though its long had diminishing returns, even as I remain favorably inclined to the new sequels, despite their faults), so I don't get tremendously excited when various Marvelista's appear or disappear.  I found Thanos to be pretty engaging as a bad guy, even if his minions and their motivations never really gel.  There was a bit too much Guardians of the Galaxy screen time, though I suppose the story demanded it to be so given the third act and its machinations. 

And I'm not sure that this ending could be affecting, as it is so obvious a set up for the next film, and with such clear Chekovian guns still hanging over their various mantles. For starters, of course, is that phone call that was never made between Cap and Iron Man, then Banner's impotence, as well as the fact that for an Avengers movie there was no Avengers reinstatement.  So many MCU threads that need resolution, and resolution that won't take place until the fourth film.  Just cinematically, this is half a story.

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Relentlessly okay, thirded.

A lot of really inert dialogue. The critical problem for me is that Thanos is not a compelling character, and the relationships intended to imbue his prodigious chin with pathos are not well scripted. A similar thing happens with the Iron Man/Spiderman relationship, which doesn't quite connect the emotional dots. There just aren't any stakes present.

A telling flaw is the first  Guardians of the Galaxy sequence, which lacks the crackle and pop of their film installments. This makes me think that had Gunn directed this entire film, it would have been more coherent and incisive. He is a much better director.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Buckeye Jones wrote:
: There was a bit too much Guardians of the Galaxy screen time, though I suppose the story demanded it to be so given the third act and its machinations.  

Ironically, one of the things I hated about Infinity War was how it effed up the Guardians, which had heretofore been one of my favorite Marvel movie properties. Among other things, they simply didn't have James Gunn's touch here -- and I can only wonder how Gunn will pick up the pieces once this Avengers storyline is over.

That being said, I did love the way Thor kept calling Rocket Raccoon "Rabbit".

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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4 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Buckeye Jones wrote:
: There was a bit too much Guardians of the Galaxy screen time, though I suppose the story demanded it to be so given the third act and its machinations.  

Ironically, one of the things I hated about Infinity War was how it effed up the Guardians, which had heretofore been one of my favorite Marvel movie properties. Among other things, they simply didn't have James Gunn's touch here -- and I can only wonder how Gunn will pick up the pieces once this Avengers storyline is over.

That being said, I did love the way Thor kept calling Rocket Raccoon "Rabbit".

I actually preferred the Guardians here to in Vol. 2, which I wasn't a fan of.

"A director must live with the fact that his work will be called to judgment by someone who has never seen a film of Murnau's." - François Truffaut

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  • 6 months later...

Wow, so this thread is evidence of decline in A&F traffic if ever there was one. 
Anyhow, Cindy finally watched this on streaming, and -- I am not making this up -- her first comment was:

I wonder if Deadpool is still around? It would seem to me if half the people were dead, he probably would be.

 

It was almost worth watching the movie again just for that one line. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Coming to Netflix tomorrow (at least in Canada).

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 1 year later...

Reviving an old thread here, for a moment.

I have something of a connection to Infinity War. A couple of years ago, I was battling some health issues and was in and out of hospitals, and one Saturday I went to the theater with a couple of patients I got to know. I wasn't particularly keen on seeing this film, but I didn't mind tagging along, and I thought that this might stoke nostalgia for my youth, when I read Marvel comics regularly. I have the film on Blu-Ray largely because it's a reminder of a calm moment in the midst of a storm, and I saw the film with people I cared about, even though as time passed on we lost touch. One of them remarked at the time that Infinity War was one of the best looking films he'd ever seen. My first thought was "well, he's not seen a lot of films, apparently," but then my attitude quickly changed as I realized how good it was to hear someone quite young (maybe 20, 21 years old or so) respond so positively to a movie. 

Yet, even with this particular experience, Infinity War is entertaining, but that's about it. It has the same problem that almost all superhero movies have, in my view: the fate of the entire world, even the entire universe, is at stake, but, as a viewer, I feel that, actually, nothing is at stake at all. The premise is far too grandiose for me to take seriously, and I also know that even if there are losses within the story (Gamora dying, for example) everything will be set right eventually. As a result, my personal investment in the story just goes right out the window. What's worse, the characters who survive are stunned by their losses for about three minutes, and then it's back to business as usual. This is true in Endgame too. I know it's challenging to portray grief and mourning in a film (so few films get it right), and I know that those who make these kinds of comic-book movies have all sorts of audience expectations and genre conventions to comply with, but, my goodness, couldn't the filmmakers and actors at least try? The oddest thing to me about Tony Stark's funeral scene in Endgame is that everyone is standing around outside his home and looking stoic, but no one is crying or even looking all that forlorn. I've never been to a funeral like that. One might say, well, no one is crying because at that moment they're all proud of his heroism and sacrifice ... but I think it's more accurate to say that studio blockbuster films simply don't do grief.

I will say, though, that I still get a good laugh at Drax's line: "I'll do you one better. Why is Gamora?" That's hilarious.

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16 hours ago, Michael S said:

 

Yet, even with this particular experience, Infinity War is entertaining, but that's about it. It has the same problem that almost all superhero movies have, in my view: the fate of the entire world, even the entire universe, is at stake, but, as a viewer, I feel that, actually, nothing is at stake at all.

Yep. We've talked about that some over the years.

I'd add that for Marvel, I always feel a center-less circularity. The individual movies are teasers for the next movie. The Avengers movies are important as culminations of arcs -- I've invested this much time already, I should see it through to the end. But which movies (if any) stand on their own as good, complete, satisfying stories. I realize that there is a serial tradition, but Raiders of the Lost Ark pays homage to that while managing to be satisfying on its own. That, to me, is the big difference between the first three Star Wars movies and the last six. Star Wars, Empire, and (to a lesser extend) Return of the Jedi work as self-contained films even if they advance an arc. 

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5 hours ago, kenmorefield said:

I'd add that for Marvel, I always feel a center-less circularity. The individual movies are teasers for the next movie. The Avengers movies are important as culminations of arcs -- I've invested this much time already, I should see it through to the end. But which movies (if any) stand on their own as good, complete, satisfying stories.

Your point underscores a related issue as well: the commercial/corporate impetus behind these serialized franchises. One could make a good argument that some narratives, whether novels, films, comic books, short stories, etc., are meant to be serials by design, but it's hard to overlook the extensive merchandizing and ticket-selling opportunities that come with Marvel and Star Wars movies. 

Raiders of the Lost Ark is indeed a good example of a narrative that stands on its own and, in my opinion, didn't really need a sequel and probably would have been better served without one. I say the same of Ridley Scott's Alien and even of his Blade Runner, although I place Blade Runner 2049 on nearly the same level as its predecessor.

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