Avengers: Endgame — The Perfect Ending to Marvel’s 10-Year Odyssey

“Did you know the MCU would end up here?” a friend asked as we walked (or stumbled) out of Avengers: Endgame, mind blown, our hearts full and souls in tatters. The question is essentially a humble brag for Marvel Studios. Every year it seems like the MCU outdoes itself, and every year my friends and I think back to Iron Man – the one that started this whole thing, the little movie that could. “Not in the slightest,” we’d all agree, and our shared sentiments only affirm just how much this universe has grown beyond our wildest comic book dreams. Continue reading

My Top 5 MCU Films

ENDGAME IS HERE, Y’ALL. This is not a drill.

Now, I have A LOT of thoughts on the movie, but in the interest of everyone going to see Endgame (and me going again twice, probably three times), I’ll refrain from posting until after opening weekend. In the meantime – and in the spirit of the mammoth Marvel celebration this weekend will undoubtedly be – I’d like to zero in on my 5 favorite MCU movies.

As Marvel Studios churns out excellent fanfare year after year, a list like this gets harder to pin down. *I had a version of this last year prior to Infinity War, but I was SO indecisive about what made the cut and what didn’t that, ultimately, I elected to shelve this list.

Dawn of Endgame and I have FINALLY settled on my clear picks. This of course is subject to change as time passes— because time, I believe, is the true determiner of a film’s greatness and impact. But I’m getting ahead of myself. (*Deep sigh*) Here they are, finally: Continue reading

And the Oscar Goes to… Bradley Cooper

Update: 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

It was during the meltdown scene in Silver Linings Playbook when I realized how much I underestimated Bradley Cooper as an actor. He goes from tender to volatile, rage-filled to repentant. Some of the best actors often overdo high-emotion scenes like this. When it’s a bipolar character in question, it becomes all the more crucial to get the nuances right otherwise you risk mocking the affliction. Cooper, fortunately, nails it with heartbreaking frequency.

In any other year, I firmly believe Bradley Cooper would’ve walked away with the trophy for his performance as Pat Solitano, but there’s just no competing with Daniel Day Lewis.

This year might finally be his. Cooper faces stiff competition for sure with Rami Malek poised to win and Christian Bale in position to pull off an upset. But Cooper’s performance as Jackson Maine, more than any of the 2019 Best Actor nominees, feels the most complete to me. Continue reading

Oscars 2019: Best Picture – ‘Black Panther’ Is Absolutely Oscar-Worthy

What makes a Best Picture? I ask this because I think a lot of us use the platform of the Oscars to represent our personal taste and opinions. That’s a little too singular for an organization comprised of 7,000 members. Think bigger than critics and Rotten Tomatoes scores. Think about the cultural moment we’re in. Think about what film as a medium can do, and how both the modern condition and today’s technology can push that. Continue reading

Oscars 2019: Best Director Race – Auteur Meets Relevancy

There are only 2 Oscar categories I care about this year: Best Director and Best Picture. The latter I’ll get to. The former I’ll jump right in. There are going to be some pretty divisive snubs come Tuesday, which seems like it’s always the case as the Oscars continue to toe between prestige and trendiness. Oddly enough, that’s what also makes this race so exciting, because more and more films are meeting at that precipice.  Continue reading