Thursday, May 23, 2019

I see this as an absolute win.

Around this time next year, er, in two years (damn you, math), Two Dollar Cinema will turn ten years old. Though nothing is set in stone, that anniversary will serve as an ending point for this project - at least as the current format goes. And when I reach the end of this long (and sometimes arduous) journey, I hope to figure out a way to not only tie it all together, but to also pay tribute to those who have been along the way.

If only there was a blueprint for how to end something in the most perfect way possible...

It might be impossible to overstate how good Avengers: Endgame truly is, but don't think that that's going to stop me from trying. Easily my favorite film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Russo Brothers have improbably saved their best for last. 

As of this post, I've only managed to see Endgame once, and as anyone, er, everyone who has seen the film can (and will) tell you (with a glow not unlike a new bride or expectant mother), that simply isn't enough time to take it all in. It's so densely packed, so stuffed with perfect moments, I need to see it again.

And again. And again.

While rehashing the plot is foolish on countless levels (insert Charlie Day conspiracy pic here), all I can tell you is wowwwwwwwwwwwww. With storylines, plot points, scores to settle, callbacks, nods, winks, and relationships from over twenty films prior, somehow in Endgame, they all coalesce into a gripping story that simultaneously saved and destroyed me. Had I not been sitting with my brother-in-law (aka the Grinch), I'm not sure I would have made it out alive.

Movie studios aren't exactly known for their long-game, but Kevin Feige and his stable of co-conspirators managed to do something incredible for a decade. I'm not sure we're really appreciating how ridiculously ridiculous the MCU is, you know? I realize that not every film is perfect (and that they pretty much follow an all-too familiar formula), but who would have ever thought this is where we'd end up? And I'm not talking about the money, either, because who gives a damn. I'm talking about the emotional investment millions of us have with characters like Ant-Man, Black Widow and Rocket Raccoon.

This frame is more badass than probably three-quarters of all action movies ever.
All of which is another way of saying that we have been spoiled by the performances in the MCU. Instead of phoning it in at the end, remarkably, it feels like everyone actually upped their game in this latest installment. Going out on top is doing it a disservice, as collectively Endgame is a cinematic conclusion like nothing we've ever seen before, and...fingers crossed...something we'll never see again.

This new Wind River sequel is gonna be nuts.
Speaking of something I hope will never get reimagined or rebooted, here are the Yays and Boos for Avengers: Endgame. I have been holding off on this post assuming I would wait to see it again, but it's not looking that I'm going to be able to see it again (Detective Pikachu isn't going to watch itself). All that is just my sorry way of saying: this is all I remember.

Those hammers aren't the only thing
pulsing with electricity.
  • When my life is at its bleakest, I hope I can spend my last few moments playing paper football with Nebula.
  • She may not be in the movie all that much, but good God, whenever Captain Marvel does show up, she kicks a lot of ass.
  • I thought trash panda was peak Rocket shade, but Build-a-Bear might be even better. Fingers crossed he still e-mails me after this post...
  • Certain, uh, communities weren't thrilled with that Russo cameo, but I thought it was quietly awesome, baby-steps or not.
  • Okay, so there were about ten different moments that had me quite honestly holding my breath, but when Scott finally sees Cassie, I actually thought I might die. If I even halfway imagine myself in his position for two seconds, it's all I can do to not openly weep. 
  • But on the other end of the spectrum, I damn near died laughing at Scott's insistence on using Back to the Future as a guide in terms of time traveling. I mean, that movie is pretty straight facts, right? I'm assuming pictures fade slowly, and I get to invent the skateboard, yes?
  • Can we get a show on the new Disney streaming service that's just about Hulk at Breakfast? Greenlight this and I'll cancel Netflix immediately
  • Oh, and the credits for that show? They feature Hulk and Rocket Raccoon sitting in the back of a pickup truck, just kind of sitting there.
  • F--k me, do I love Valkyrie. When I first saw Tessa Thompson, I think I might of squealed a little. Fine, a lot.
  • The only thing better than Thor is Lebowski Thor. I don't care what anyone says, Hemsworth is the MVP of all the phases. Even the ones that haven't happened. 
  • Dude, even if it sounds like a bit of a dick move, I'm with War Machine. What it we just kill baby Thanos?
  • This is me when Rene, Peggy and Tilda show up. We have a winnerrrr!
  • Wait, the elevator scene is now better? How is that even possible? Hail, Hydra!
  • Yes, I know I already anointed Thor, but coming in an incredibly close second is (Chris Evans and what he brings to) Captain America. The scene where he has to fight an earlier version of himself is priceless. Seeing a hardened Cap fighting a younger, more idealistic Cap is something I think everyone should experience at least once in their life. 
  • Even if it's unused B-roll Natalie Portman, I'll still take it.
  • Twenty-plus movies in and I'm absolutely riveted by a conversation a character is having with his mom? Amazing.
  • Say what you want about Thanos, dude can take bad news like a champ. Oh, they cut my head off? *nods understandingly*
  • Hey, man. Make love, not war! RIP Mr. Lee.
  • That was a great scene between Tony and Howard Stark. So cool, seeing those two together. Hell, I'd be psyched to give my dad a hug now, let alone on the day I was born.
  • Of all the moments, I think the second Cap held Mjolnir was maybe the most electric. At least in the theater I was in. The dudes in the room were like that's f--king awesome. The ladies were like, I too, would like to hold Thor's hammer.
  • All the ladies in the MCU teaming up for a second? Um, yeah. I think I just pissed my pants. Fine, I did something in my pants. But it might not be urine...
  • Aw, Pepper's goodbye was so sweet. If only I wasn't having a cardiac event, perhaps I could have enjoyed it.
  • It's not a bad thing that it reminded me of Big Fish, as that ending bit was damn near perfect. At the time I didn't know who that one kid was, but now that I do, it's even better.
  • And finally, even though the person I brought to the movies was not part of it, the crowd was simply electric. You could honestly feel the good vibes and the breathless moments surge from row to row. Too often the people in the theater ruin the experience, but that show on that night? Those goofballs enhanced it.
  • Hey, a Marvel movie - this should be fun. *sees Hawkeye with his family* Aw, f--k me.
  • I lost the kid. (I'm not sure what knife in the heart this line was...two? twelve?)
  • My goodness, there were some scenes where Tony Stark looked like exactly like Robert Downey, Jr. Um, 1996 Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Dude, Thor, really? That's how you're gonna handle Thanos? There's kids in the theater, my dude.
  • We sure this is half the population? Half? 'Cause, kinda feels like...most, right?
  • Wow. Kinda putting Stark in a rough position, no? His kid vs. like, I don't know, half the kids. Dick move, Remaining Avengers.
  • At least that moral dilemma didn't slow down his ability to solve an impossible problem (I know he's a genius and all, but he solved that shit faster than it would have taken me to decide where we were going to meet to talk about the problem)
  • Why did I not see Hawkeye's bottoming-out as a bad thing? Honestly. Senselessly slaughtering Japanese gangsters seems like the ideal way to resolve a sense of overwhelming emptiness. And if doesn't really help, uh, at least you're outside.
  • Whoa. I didn't see that Dr. Strange isn't even Dr. Strange yet curveball coming. He's still just a selfish douche at that point, right? Probably totally unable to make spinny color things, huh?
  • Why? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy? Why did you have to make me finally love/respect Black Widow like that? I was perfectly fine laughing at her and her badass pistol, but now you bastards are going to make her the ultimate Avenger? That's messed up, guys. I hate you three-thousand.
  • F--king Nebula. Always trying to impress her Pops...(love her arc, hate her drive)
  • While the snap is pretty graceful (and a bit sassy), the alternate show up and nuke everything plan is anything but. Thanos, I expect more from you. Or less. I'm not even sure at this point.
  • And finally, let me be just entirely forthright and tell you that I am a terrible father/person. For many reasons, sure, but specifically the fact that I bought these tickets the day they went on sale, with the plan to take my nine year-old son with me. And he was pumped. Turns out, Matty had a baseball game that night. I mean, that's what they tell me, because I still went to the movies. Without him. Like a real dickhead. (and, even worse, I found myself secretly rooting for him to not get his first hit [he had a strikeout and a walk])
Clearly, the MCU isn't over, and for the foreseeable future, neither is Two Dollar Cinema. When my time does come, however, sometime in 2021, I now know exactly how I'm going to end it.

I'm going to sit down with my kids, grab some popcorn, and watch the biggest movie of all-time.

Avatar 2. 


  1. Ugh are you gonna talk about the end in every post now? Because I did a lot to bring Fisti back and he still disappeared. I try to hold our small but awesome blogging family together and it is already hard as it is, I have stuff going on outside of this too.

    Anyways, yes Thor is the MVP but Rabbit is still best Rocket shade for me

    1.! I was just writing the two posts at the same time, and I saw an obvious parallel. I'm not trying to be negative, just aware that I'm on the clock. I have been thinking about my last review...and I know you're going to love/hate it.

      My kids are both now avid readers, and I sometimes worry they'll stumble on this and then never speak to me again. Eh, we had a good run.

      As for this movie, and this universe, Thor is hands down the MVP. I can't believe that I forgot about 'Rabbit', but Thor says it with such conviction, it seems more like a compliment. *sighs* Oh, that silly Norse God....

    2. Well for me it's very negative. I was not a fan of you never really reciprocating the time your readers spent here (not visitng, not commenting etc.) but now you actually put an expiration date on a place people loved and supported for years. Tour choice but to be honest, I don't know if I will be here for that 'last review'.

    3. I'm sorry you feel that way. I've never been good at showing my appreciation in just about anything, blogging included (despite attempting to do so). I get how that could be frustrating and insulting, but I never meant any disrespect.

      If you decide to bail, I'll miss you. But I sure as Hell won't blame you.

  2. Please don't say you're leaving us soon! I won't allow it!
    So glad you loved Endgame though, and I damn near died when Scott found Cassie too <3

    1. Maybe I'll just take some time off? (er, I guess that should read TOOK, as clearly, I've been gone for awhile!).

      Holy shit, right? That moment was early on and I was wrecked. Jeez. The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced I was an emotional basket case from the first minute to the last.


  3. Hmm. So... I am correct in that you're saying I should go see this?

    I do find it funny though that Brie is credited as Captain Marvel but none of them can ever say that phrase. Tee hee

    Interesting tid-bit - have you see The Adventures of Captain Marvel from 1941? For a superhero movie during the war era its pretty damned fun!

  4. You missed the Booiest of all the boos.....fucking Gwyneth Paltrow and her "mean" face. She ruins Peppers.

    1. Aw, I liked her moment with Tony. How she tried to comfort him at the end.

      But to your point, the ol' mean face? Kinda silly, yes. Luckily 80 bajillion other things were happening/exploding, so we could all move on quickly.

  5. Love this review. I really appreciate how much you liked this film, it really comes through here. And, "Hey, a Marvel movie - this should be fun. *sees Hawkeye with his family* Aw, f--k me." Duuude that was such a great intro, hooked me right away.

    1. Thanks, AW.

      Totally agree! I was pretty much dead TWO MINUTES IN. Pretty solid way to personalize such a massive event, right? Like, yeah this was awful in a grand sense...but imagine if it was just your family?

      And now I'm crying.

  6. I think it's perfectly valid to skip one baseball game for this. After all, this is the Endgame. Just don't expect him to turn up to your endgame either I guess?

    Love this review. Love this blog. What a hero you are!!

    1. Hahaha...I like what you did there. Luckily, he ended the season with a huge hit (that I was there to see). So, using your math, I saw half his hits, so he has to at least come to half of my funeral. Seems fair.

      Totally a hero, right? Or did you spell 'loser' incorrectly?