Avengers may as well be my middle name as over the last 10 years I’ve grown up and loved reading, watching and playing anything Marvel based. The newest location for the worldwide phenomenon that is Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N is right in my back garden at the Excel Centre in London. So when I was invited to a press night there, it was a no brainer I would be attending. Here’s what I made of the event.
The Academy just dropped the ball big time. Not content with making one change that annoys the film industry, they’ve made three! None of them however have caused as much noise as the idea to introduce an award for achievement in popular film. There are a lot of reasons why this is a dreadful move and I’m here to vent about a few of them.
Rating films is always going to open the floodgates for disagreement and difference of opinions. But one of the best things about doing a list like this is to remind yourself how many brilliant films we’ve been blessed with in just 6 months and how much variety there is. So without further ado, here are my top 13 films of 2018 so far. (sadly, as I’m not yet paid to watch films for a living, I haven’t seen everything but have only missed a few notably well reviewed film)
A few local cinemas near me put on films from a few months ago that people may have missed. Earlier this year, saw ‘A Ghost Story’ and it got me thinking about something; Is it a good or bad thing if my opinion of a film fluctuates constantly during the runtime? It may seem like an odd question, as surely if a film isn’t great the whole way through it spoils it? That was something I’d have probably agreed with but ‘A Ghost Story’ is the second film I’ve seen in the last year that’s changed my opinion on that.
“Tra La Laaaaaa!” A simple noise that once you watch ‘Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie’ you won’t stop chanting when the opportunity arises. Sadly, whenever I chant it, I’m met with bewildered looks and awkward silences. That’s because, in a world where seemingly everyone saw ventures as average as ‘Minions’ and ‘The Boss Baby’, no one managed to catch not only the best animation of last year, but one of the funniest films full stop.
In a few hours, I’m off to a midnight screening of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’. I am beyond excited, probably more than I have been for any film ever. To be honest, it’s probably up there as the one of the things I’ve been most excited for ever. Now, while some will say “It’s just a film”, I am here telling you it’s not, at least not in my case.
Looking back on the MCU, Captain America hasn’t gathered as much love as many of the other, more charismatic, characters. It’s understandable, like Superman, he’s a character committed to always doing the right thing and while never unlikable, people respond much better to say Tony Stark’s wit or Star Lord’s sarcasm. Because of this, a lot of people have taken his films for granted as just part of the MCU (Except for ‘…Civil War’). Now, while his third outing is undoubtedly one of the best MCU offerings, there’s something I’d like to argue; his first is the strongest pre-Avengers films and ‘… Winter Soldier’ is actually the best of the three. Overall, his entire trilogy is magnificent but also insanely underappreciated.
When ‘X-Men’ entered our lives at the start of the century, no one could’ve predicted the impact it would have and the path it would pave for the superhero genre. While the MCU is the undisputed king of the genre and the DCEU is dividing fans, the X-Men franchise seems to have slowly been fading out. Now, I think I need to make it clear, I’m speaking of the “main” series. The spin offs such as ‘Logan’ and ‘Deadpool’ have giving the franchise some much needed life, but with ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ coming and going without much love and a lot of people not too excited about ‘…Dark Phoenix’, is it now time we say goodbye to the main series in an effort to allow more diverse films to carry the franchise?
A few nights ago, I was lucky enough to see Annihilation on the big screen at Hampstead’s Everyman Cinema (Yes, it was a different beast in that format). What was even better was afterwards I witnessed a Q&A with director Alex Garland and composers Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury. Unlike other Q&A’s I’ve seen, this one was brutally honest about all the issues surrounding it as well as giving a greatest depth as to how much work went into this masterpiece.
Kicking off the decade was the utterly average ‘Prince of Persia: The Sand of Time’ which was a welcome change from the utterly awful. It’s probably been best remembered for causing a huge whitewashing controversy. Not only was Jake Gyllenhaal cast, the film doubled down by making sure no one else was played by an actor of Iranian, Middle Eastern or Muslim descent. This was obviously a huge issue and rightly so, (one that still plagues our screens today but is looking like it’s on the way out) but the film isn’t awful. Unlike most of the other adaptations before it, you didn’t feel like you’d wasted your time going to see it. You probably didn’t remember it a week later either, but this small improvement felt like a big deal at the time. Was this the turning point when studios realised that video game adaptations didn’t have to be awful? Not exactly.