How One Avengers Deleted Scene Shows The Central Flaw Of The MCU

It’s hard to imagine, but seven years ago Marvel Studios’ cinematic universe was far from a sure bet. Iron Man was a gamble, but hoping that characters connected to the outlandish concepts of Thor or the flag-wearing Captain America was one step further into the unknown. Connecting all these stories in one blockbuster, The Avengers, seemed like a gargantuan and foolhardy task, even with the ensemble-wrangling Joss Whedon at the helm.

Not only did it pull it off in a satisfying way, breaking box office records and emboldening the studio to extend their experiment into a dozen more productions, but it managed to pull off the impossible and give each character a reason to be involved. Part of this comes from the intuitive decision to centre a movie of disparate franchises coming together about disparate people struggling to come together. But not everything survived intact.

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Awful Movies By Great Directors

I turned up on The Digital Fix podcast again (you can find last time’s here), this time on the topic of awful movies by great directors.

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How Us Examines the Horrors of Privilege

Jordan Peele‘s Us follows Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), from a mysterious and traumatic event as a child to her return there as an adult. In the hall of mirrors of a Santa Cruz funhouse, she encounters her exact double.

The fear of what she saw that night has stuck with her, but now she isn’t a young girl, wandering off alone, but a grown woman, married with two children, driving down to their luxurious beach house for the summer.

For many, this is the epitome of success – the nuclear family, comfortable, privileged. Gabe (Winston Duke) has his boat, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) has her cellphone, and Jason (Evan Alex) has his toys. This isn’t their first trip to their summer home, it’s become routine. These comforts are all put to one side once their home is invaded, and they come face-to-face with their doppelgängers.

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2018 Film In Review

I took a long time to finish this, but I figured it was better to get it done than leave it to die in my drafts so…

I haven’t done one of these for a while, but it can be a lot of fun to document film experiences from a year in one post – even if this won’t be nearly as comprehensive as my (slightly OTT) post for 2015. As with that, all this goes by UK release dates.

First of all, I’ve contributed a few end-of-year lists for The Digital Fix:

  • I wrote about my top 5 films here, including Widows, Blindspotting, Annihilation, Black Panther and Duck Butter. Not easy choices to make.
  • I spoke about Better Call Saul and Atlanta (my favourite currently-running shows) as well as The Good Place and Daredevil, for our End Of Year Television Review
  • Starred on TDF’s Top Films of 2018 podcast, where I focused on two picks: Annihilation and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

As always you can find my film diary on Letterboxd, where I’ve also made a number of lists that I update over time. There’s also my Best Films of 2018 there too.

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Beautiful Boy Review

Being a teenager is by no means easy. Being a parent of a teenager certainly isn’t either. Whether it’s to the well-meaning and beleaguered father David (Steve Carell) or his introverted and troubled son Nick (Timothée Chalamet), it’s through dynamic that most will immediately relate to Beautiful Boy, but things soon take a darker turn.

Nick’s life is put in grave danger by an unexpected foray into hard drugs, leaving his father wondering where exactly it all went wrong – and what being a good father means in this context.

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The Night Comes for Us Review

Timo Tjahjanto alongside Kimo Stamboel (‘The Mo Brothers’) have been making visceral Indonesian action flicks for years now. Their underrated gem from 2016, Headshot, was often described as a second-rate version of The Raid, yet aside from the obvious connections of blood-splattered violence, intense martial arts and a few shared cast members, both have shown a skill for action filmmaking that shouldn’t be downplayed.

In The Night Comes for Us, Tjahjanto goes it alone, taking on singular writing and directing duties, and is once again joined by alumni from The Raid series. But if this film is anything to go by, even one half of the Mo Brothers is a force to be reckoned with.

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