Avengers: End Game Trailer Review

Avengers: End Game Trailer Review

Finally, the new trailer for Avengers 4 is here! After all the hype and false alarms, we now not only have the trailer, but also the title: Avengers: Endgame. Disclaimer: I have not read the comics, but I have been closely following social media conversations involving theories and comic references for this universe. This trailer made me geek out and I needed an outlet, so this is why I’m glad I have a blog now. So I can do stuff like that.

I promise, I have not peeked at any other trailer reviews as of yet, though as soon as I post this I’m going to, so all this is 100% my inferences from this trailer based on what I know. I can’t source anyone because a lot of my knowledge is from scrolling through Tumblr and Pinterest, so credit to anyone to whom credit is due.

The trailer starts with Tony, leaving a message for Pepper via his damaged helmet. Tony looks like he’s alone on the ship, which is obviously Peter Quill’s ship, the Milano.  But Nebula was left on Titan, too. Where is she? And with that question, the scene cuts to the Marvel logo, which disintegrates as a visual reminder of the events of Infinity War.

Even though it starts with an image of Tony’s helmet, the trailer looks to be more about Steve’s story. The Russos said that characters not given much screentime in IW (like Steve) will be given more in Endgame. If IW was about Tony (engagement to Pepper, dream about a baby, responsibility and burden of guilt, Peter’s death, Thanos recognizing him, Strange sacrificing the stone for him) then Endgame will be about Steve because they are equal characters and equally reaching the end of their character arcs.

There’s a quick shot of Thanos’ armor set up on a pole,almost like a scarecrow…not sure where or why. Is it a warning, a trophy, a memento?

Then we see someone walking through a field of prickly plants. It’s impossible to tell who this person is, or even if they’re male or female, but they’re limping. The left leg is noticeably stiffer than the right. The sun is shining on the camera so it’s hard to see…but my first impression was that it almost looks like Gamora. I have no proof of this. It could just as easily be Nebula, Natasha, or Bucky, as all of them wear gloves like that on occasion. But I’m leaning towards female, and it just feels like Gamora. No explanation, just a gut instinct. But if I’m right, how is this possible? Is it inside the Soul Stone? Does she get resurrected somehow? The plants could also signify that the world is flourishing with half its population pruned, just like Thanos predicted, which is supported by Natasha’s voiceover about Thanos wiping out 50% of the world’s population. Just like a forest is always more healthy after a wildfire. The prickles, however, might also signify that it’s not flourishing in a good way.

Quick shots of a once-again clean-shaven, weeping Steve, then Nat, who is still blond but her hair is longer, long enough to pull back as we see later in the trailer. Steve crying is an instant tearjerker and hits us right in the feels, especially when we remember that the last time we saw him crying was at Peggy’s funeral. (Remember that detail, I’ll come back to that). Then we get Bruce looking at photos of Peter, Scott, and Shuri. The remaining Avengers don’t know the status of any of these three individuals, though we know that Peter disintegrated in the Snap and Scott is stuck in the Quantum Realm. Scott’s name clearly has the word MISSING next to it, and it looks like Peter’s does too. And it looks like neither we nor the characters know where Shuri is at the moment.

We see a wide shot of that large room in the Avengers training facility, then Thor in a hoodie, sitting in front of a white, interestingly paneled wall. Kinda gives off a prison cell vibe, what with the black bar passing in front of the camera’s foreground, but don’t quote me on that. He could just as easily be taking some alone time somewhere in Wakanda or the training facility.

Next, a shot of Nebula obviously on the Milano. So Tony isn’t alone, though he sure seemed like it at the beginning. Maybe she hates him and won’t talk to him. She probably hates him, given that 1) she hates everyone and 2) Thanos succeeded with the snap, Gamora is gone, and yet she and Tony survived– for her character, this could easily equal survivor’s guilt taken out on him.

Then blue fingers – assuming this is still Nebula, since she’s the only blue character confirmed to be in this movie – brushing some fabric that looks like the sleeve of someone sitting in a chair, with a strap that looks like a seatbelt. Whose sleeve? Tony’s? But Steve’s voiceover (“We lost friends,”) seems to say maybe it’s someone different, maybe at a later time in the movie.

Then – Hawkeye! But, actually, I don’t think it’s him. Not really. This seems to confirm the longstanding fan theory about Ronin. Like I said, I am unfortunately not a comic reader, but Ronin is said to be Hawkeye’s darkest alter ego from the comics. While the Russos and the MCU in general cannot be said to have ever imitated the comics exactly, I have been hearing for over a year now in all the hype for IW and now End Game (so many sources I can’t even cite something) that Hawkeye will don the Ronin alter ego, who is a kind of lone samurai act, because he lost his entire family in the Snap. Which is super sad, because Clint is my favorite character, and I love his family, but it makes sense as a character motivation and would be a great next step in his character arc, which has kind of been dragging compared to other Marvel characters. This is further strengthened by Steve’s voiceover again saying, “We lost family,” just as Clint appears on the screen.

There are so many interesting things about this scene alone that I want to highlight: what’s that cool sword/butcher knife thing he’s holding? And the even cooler armguard? I wanna know more about his costume and why he chose it. Who’s that on the ground at his feet? And why does it look like they’re outside the Sanctum in Hong Kong from Doctor Strange? Doesn’t it look like the same street that the final battle happens in? If so, why are they there? And we just saw Nat at the Avengers training facility in New Jersey so how and why does she end up there?

And look – Steve is holding his compass with Peggy’s picture in it. Now that’s interesting – now Peggy has been connected with this movie twice in this trailer, even though she died in Captain America: Civil War. I haven’t seen that compass for a while. It’s nice to know he still carries it. Why does he have it out now and why was it placed in this trailer? The music and the closing of the compass lid happen in such synchronicity I wonder if there’s some symbolic meaning to it. A firmness of purpose? Is he giving up? Is it foreshadowing his death? Or is there something else going on here?

Aaaaand, the Avengers logo and title reveal! Notice, however,that the A in the background is assembling (pun intended) out of the ashes.This looks like a symbolic reference to the reversal of Thanos’ destruction,hopefully. Kind of the opposite of the “ashes to ashes and dust to dust” line from the Bible used in funerals a lot. If Thanos caused so many characters to become ashes, then surely in a comic book universe that can be reversed. And this would be the time to talk about the time travel theory, but that’s way too much for an already long post, so I’ll save it for a future one. Suffice it to say that the prevailing theory for End Game is that they find a way to travel back in time to prevent Thanos from obtaining the Infinity Stones in the first place, likely by attempting to change Loki’s timeline during or after the Battle of New York.

Also, we have to talk about the symbolism of the title “Endgame”. This phrase is used twice in the movies, once by Tony in Avengers: Age of Ultron – “We can bust arms dealers all the livelong day but that up there, that’s the end game,” and by Steven himself in IW, right after viewing all 5 million possible futures: “We’re in the end game now,”. It was my top pick out of all the circulating title possibilities and I have to say I’m gratified that I was right.

Then, at the very end, we get one more treat – because every Marvel trailer has to have a post-credits scene, just like the movies. This time it’s Ant-Man! Wait, how did he get out of the Quantum Realm? Let me guess…..bum ba dah dum! Captain Marvel! She wasn’t shown in this trailer, did you notice? They probably want to show us her skills in her own movie first. My guess is she won’t be in any of the trailers, and she will be their biggest surprise. Especially since they said that she will be the most powerful character introduced in the MCU so far. Given what Wanda did in IW, that’s saying something.

That’s a lot! Do you think I got everything? Please comment below if you noticed something I didn’t or have some insider information I’ve missed, from the comics or otherwise. I hope you enjoyed this post and keep a lookout for more soon! I’ll be sending out the other half of my cosplay story next week, unless something else comes up.

Top 10 Film Scores for Beginner Listeners

Top 10 Film Scores for Beginner Listeners

I’ve been listening to film scores in earnest for several years now. I can rattle off facts about films and details about their scores and composers that stagger most of my friends. But I forget the fact that not everyone is familiar to the music behind our favorite movies, so my passionate rants usually end up receiving blank stares. Whenever this happens, I suggesting some places to start listening, based on my own experience. Most people like to listen to music that is engaging and keeps their attention, which, unless you are a fan of classical music, is hard to do without lyrics. But at the same time, some of the most emotional scores include some portions that are harder to follow along with on the first go.

(I have avoided scores by John Williams, not because he’s not a good composer – he’s absolutely amazing! – but because he’s the one composer most people will recognize, having scored so many universally recognized films – Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Jaws, and E.T., just to name a few)

So keeping that in mind, drawing from a huge list of popular movies and attempting some diversity between composers (though, seriously, almost anything by Hans Zimmer is great for a new listener) here are my top 10 choices for film scores to listen to if you have never listened to one before, along with some honorable mentions:

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1: The Lion King (1994) by Hans Zimmer

 

The Lion King is a classic, more than any other score in this list. I know very few people who have not seen this movie, and even fewer who wouldn’t recognize the music. Many people know that Elton John did most of the songs for this movie, but Hans Zimmer won an Academy Award for the score, though he initially didn’t want to score it because he didn’t like musicals or children’s films. But he accepted the job so that he could take his young daughter to the premiere, and later found that the death of Mufasa in the film helped him emotionally deal with the death of his own father (Daily Mail, 2017). The way Zimmer transfers from the cinematic drama of the major action scenes to the absolutely gorgeous African choir section makes this one of my absolute favorite scores.

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2: National Treasure by Trevor Rabin

 

I have loved this movie since I was a kid, and when I became interested in film scores, I went back and listened to the score and realized just how memorable this score is. Try listening to tracks like “Preparation Montage” and “Foot Chase” – Trevor Rabin has a rock background (trevorrabin.net, n.d.) and you can really hear that in this score. Then listen to the more orchestral, moving tracks like “Ben” and “Treasure” and you’ll realize why I love this score so much. Additionally, it’s under an hour long, so it won’t take as long as other scores to listen to the whole thing.

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3: Up by Michael Giacchino

 

This is one of the sweetest and best Pixar movies out there, in my opinion. Michael Giacchino’s talent and feel for the heart of a movie really comes out in his Pixar scores. The track “Married Life”, is my personal favorite, because it was written for that heartbreaking montage at the beginning that made even critics cry. Ellie’s theme is really the highlight and the main idea of the entire movie, and this is one of the best places to hear it. Another good track is “Stuff We Did”, which features Ellie’s theme in a much more subdued and sorrowful light as you remember all the things that Carl and Ellie were going to do together that never happened. This score captures the highs and lows of the story perfectly, and is great to listen if you’re feeling relaxed.

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4: The Avengers (2012) by Alan Silvestri

 

How could I not put The Avengers in here? This score was one of the first scores I bought for myself when I was first getting into film scores a few years ago. It’s so iconic, and every track brings something new and exciting that really helps you remember without half trying what was going on in that scene. Take “Red Ledger”, for example – the conversation between Loki and Black Widow. It’s almost hard to tell who wins in that quiet battle of words – Natasha’s dark Russian theme weaves around Loki’s mysterious alien one so well that halfway through the track you aren’t sure which is which anymore. And one of my other favorites, “One Way Trip”, you can hear the moment that Tony disappears into the wormhole, and the tiny, one-time motif that plays when the Hulk snatches him out of the sky and saves his life.

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5: Once Upon a Time in the West by Ennio Morricone

 

This score is exciting because I actually didn’t learn about it until I was watching Hans Zimmer’s Masterclass on film scoring. Zimmer said that Once Upon a Time in the West was one the very first movie he ever saw, and that Ennio Morricone was one of his greatest influences (The Telegraph, 2012). So I went and listened to this score and was absolutely fascinated because I could hear so many of Hans’ scores in this music! So much of Hans Zimmer’s style is adapted directly from Morricone’s music and it’s amazing to listen to the similarities. We truly stand on the shoulders of giants.

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6: Beauty and the Beast by Alan Menken

 

This takes me back into my early childhood, one of the first themes to stick in my memory. I chose the newer version of this score because Alan Menken expanded and broadened the themes from the original animated version, but otherwise kept them the same (Billboard, 2017). So basically, it’s the same music, there’s just more of it. This theme is just so memorable and gorgeous I couldn’t not put it on this list. So lyrical and evocative – doesn’t the music make you want to go watch the movie again?

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7: Thor (2011) by Patrick Doyle

 

This was the other score I bought for myself when I first got into film scores, being a hardcore Marvel fan. I love this score in particular, because, out of all the other Marvel scores, this one has a very lyrical, Shakespearian feel to it. Patrick Doyle works with director Kenneth Branagh a lot (ClassicFM, 2018), and you can hear that Doyle knew exactly what Branagh wanted for this score. It’s so gentle and yet so impactful it really deserves its place on this list. Check out “The Compound” and listen to Thor breaking into the SHIELD compound to retrieve his hammer, only to find out he can’t lift it, or “Letting Go”, at the very end, when Loki falls into the wormhole.

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9: Edward Scissorhands by Danny Elfman

 

I am ashamed to say I have not actually seen this movie yet. But ask anyone who knows their film scores will mention this as a top Danny Elfman score (Filmtracks, 2016). In my own experience, having listened to the score without seeing the movie, I feel that the music is self-explanatory. No, I don’t know what goes on in this story – but I can guess based on the emotion I hear in the music. Ups and downs, action and emotion – that’s all captured within this score. And of course, the Ice Dance track. Amazing!

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8: August Rush by Mark Mancina

 

This is a lesser known movie than all the others on this list. I watched it a few years ago with my family and was not wowed by the storyline, but I was blown away by the music. This particular track kind of encompasses the main character’s entire journey through the movie, a young boy attempting to find his parents by following the music in his head. You can hear the noise of the traffic in New York City, the guitar that earned him money on a street corner, and the voice of the girl who became his friend and support. Using unconventional instruments and a creative composing style, Mark Mancina has definitely nailed it with this score.

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10: Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) by Harry Gregson-Williams

 

This score is special to me. It was the first score I ever listened to – at ten years old – and I was fascinated from the very start. One of my most favorite tracks, “Evacuating London” is kind of a transition track between WWII London and a little house in the country and a magical world waiting in a wardrobe. It’s moving and relaxing and really wakes up your imagination in a way that not much else can. And this track, “The Battle”, is so amazingly evocative of the images in the story. Close your eyes when listening to it and imagine the battlefield of the movie. Do like I did and assign different characters to different instruments, and try to pinpoint the exact moment when the White Witch stabs Edmund and it goes into slow motion. It’s sure to send shivers of pleasure down your back!

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Some honorable mentions I want to include are the scores for the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Howard Shore, which is gorgeous but also so incredibly long that a beginner listener might give up after a few tracks. If you stick it out, though, it’s worth it. So many motifs! I could go on and on. Also, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies by Hans Zimmer and Geoff Zanelli have some amazing music. These are easy to listen to but I couldn’t just pick one movie to put in the list as they are all equally action-packed and evocative. And lastly, I have always loved the score for The Polar Express by Alan Silvestri. The only problem with that is that the official score only has three orchestral tracks alongside the rest of the songs from the movie, so there’s not too much there to listen to. But go ahead and listen to them, please!

If you listen to all the scores on this list, you are well on your way to being a better informed moviegoer than all of your friends! I would encourage you to incorporate film music into your regular playlists as it will help you connect with your favorite movies and also broaden your knowledge of how music works to tell a story.

Sources:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4469138/Hans-Zimmer-composed-Lion-King-soundtrack-daughter.html

https://www.trevorrabin.net/Bio.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/classic-movies/9413230/Hans-Zimmer-on-Ennio-Morricones-score-for-Once-Upon-a-Time-in-the-West.html

https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7728552/alan-menken-new-music-beauty-and-the-beast-movie-interview

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/periods-genres/film-tv/director-composer-partnerships/henry-v-branagh/

Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 of 2 (SPOILERS!!)

Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 of 2 (SPOILERS!!)

It’s time to talk about it. I apologize that it has taken me so long to write this post – I’ve had a lot of life stuff and basic procrastination in the way. I will cover major fan theories and Avengers 4 rumors in a future post once I have more time. It’s been plenty of time since Avengers: Infinity War came out, and you’ve had more than enough time to watch the movie. So I’m going to go ahead and dive right into what happened in the movie, including BIG GIANT SPOILERS (don’t say I didn’t warn you), breakdowns, and some of the major new fan theories that have been popping up on social media.

This review is meant for those readers already familiar with the Marvel Universe, so I will not be introducing characters or explaining their backstories, unless I’m specifically drawing attention to them. If you are only a casual fan or haven’t seen all the movies, heads up, this might be a little too geeky for you.

Here we go. If you’ve read this far and haven’t seen the movie, you have no one but yourself to blame.

Here’s a summary of the movie, in case you were in denial and trying to forget – Thanos has been on the hunt for the six Infinity Stones – power (purple), space (blue), reality (red), soul (orange), time (green), and mind (yellow). His goal is to use them in his newly created Infinity Gauntlet to wipe out half the universe in order to balance out the remaining population and create peace and prosperity. Throughout the course of the movie, he obtains each of these stones, leaving our beloved characters dead in his wake as they try to stop him.

At the beginning, he has already been to Xandar and collected the Power stone. Then he encounters Thor’s ship and takes the Tesseract (Space stone) from Loki, killing him and Heimdall in the process. He then collects the Reality stone from Knowhere, killing the Collector, and kidnapping Gamora, who has come with Drax and Mantis to stop him.

She takes him to Vormir, where he kills her in order to win the Soul stone, then travels to his home planet, Titan, to get the Time stone from Doctor Strange, who ended up there with Tony, Peter Parker, Peter Quill, Mantis, and Drax. He is almost defeated by the six of them, when Nebula shows up and demands to know where Gamora is. When Quill finds out Gamora is dead, he punches Thanos and they lose their chance of taking the Gauntlet. Strange eventually gives up the Time stone in exchange for Tony’s life, and Thanos travels to Earth to collect the Mind stone, which is embedded in Vision’s forehead.

 

Thanos and the Black Order attack Wakanda, which is defended by Cap, Bucky, T’Challa, Black Widow, Okoye, M’Baku, Falcon, Rhodey, and later Groot, and Rocket, and Thor (who’s wielding a cool new battle-axe he got in Nidavellir), while Wanda protects Vision as Shuri tries to separate him from the stone without killing him. But Wanda ends up having to destroy the stone while it’s still in Vision’s forehead, succeeding and killing him just as she can’t withstand Thanos any longer. Thanos uses the TIme stone to reverse time and take the stone anyway. He snaps his fingers and wipes out half of all existence despite having Thor’s battle-axe in his chest.

Half of all the remaining Avengers crumble to dust, and Thanos retires to a secluded place to watch the sunset. In the post-credits scene, Agent Hill and Nick Fury also crumble, but not before Fury sends an SOS to Captain Marvel.

Whew! This movie was packed! You should have seen how long my first draft of this summary was! All right, let’s dive in and see how much sense we can make of this thing.

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First off – I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW MANY PEOPLE DIED!!!!

Let’s take stock:

Before the snap: Heimdall, Loki, The Collector, Gamora, and Vision.

After the snap: Bucky, T’Challa, Sam, Groot, Wanda, Drax, Mantis, Peter Quill, Doctor Strange, Peter Parker, Agent Hill, and Nick Fury.

Just looking at that list makes me want to cry. But the directors let us know that we should pay more attention to who survived when it comes to theorizing about the next movie- so let’s also take a look at that list: We still have all six original Avengers (unless Hawkeye didn’t make it, which is unlikely, but more on that later) plus Rhodey, Rocket, Nebula, Okoye, and M’Baku. We can also probably safely assume for the moment that Shuri and Wong are still alive, since they were not shown after the snap. Ant-Man survived (spoiler alert for Ant-Man and the Wasp) but in the end credits scene it is revealed that neither Hope van Dyne (Wasp) or Hank Pym did.

Morality Debates on a Heroic Scale

One of the first things I noticed in this movie (besides the grotesquely unnecessary number of deaths) was the overarching theme presented by the Russos in their storytelling. This theme is the moral dilemma that Thanos thrives off of – sacrifice an individual, or the universe. Starting with Thor and Loki, then Peter Quill and Gamora, Gamora and Thanos, Tony and Strange, Wanda and Vision, and Vision and Cap. Though some characters actively try to oppose this dilemma (Cap’s “We don’t trade lives”), the trade ends up happening anyway, one way or the other. It’s interesting to note which characters sacrifice their loved one or the individual they are protecting to save the universe and which characters choose to save the individual above all else. I think this tells us a lot about the characters’ motives and worldviews

 Of the six sacrifices in this movie, three are made one direction, three in the other (hmm, perfectly balanced. Coincidence? I think not!). Loki, Doctor Strange, and Vision choose to protect the individual (Thor, Tony, and Cap respectively) to the detriment of the universe, and Quill, Thanos, and Wanda decide the universe is more important, and sacrifice the individual (Gamora, Gamora, and Vision, respectively). Poor Gamora.

Where’s Hawkeye?

Going into the theater when I first went to see the movie on April 26th, I was excited to see my favorite Avenger with a whole new look and story – Hawkeye. But the further the movie progressed, the more confused I got. Where was he? When he didn’t show up by the post credits scene, I was definitely bewildered, disappointed, and most of all worried.

I had looked it up before the showing. Jeremy Renner was listed in the cast. I’d been seeing set pictures of him sporting a cool new mohawk. And yet, I had been deceived. My guess is that IMDB just put everyone in the cast list so that no one would be able to guess what would happen. And I’m betting that the list for Avengers 4 is doing the same thing.

If Hawkeye wasn’t in this movie, what’s going to happen to him in Avengers 4? The directors have confirmed that characters who got less screen time in IW will get more in Avengers 4, and the characters that got more screen time will be in the background. This means, in my estimation, that characters like Gamora, Banner, and Thor will fade a little while other characters like Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Wasp, and Captain America will get more attention. Right now, the “Untitled Avengers Movie” cast list on IMDB includes characters that are supposed to be dead but I’m less inclined to believe them this time around.

 

I’ve got a couple of theories (and worrying premonitions) about Hawkeye, but because they’re theories, they’ll have to wait until the next post. But suffice it to say, my favorite Avenger had better get some good action in the next movie because I totally thought he was going to be in Infinity War.

 

Looking Ahead to Avengers 4

There was a bunch more I was going to say on this movie, but I’ve already procrastinated enough on getting this out. So let’s take a final look at what happened in this movie that will probably affect A4. I will also be including information from Ant-Man and the Wasp since you should have had enough time to see that movie, too, by now. (If you haven’t yet, go watch it, then come back and read this part). I’ll also mention some theories at what will happen in Captain Marvel, which comes out next March, that also might affect the fourth Avengers movie.

1. The Avengers Who Survived

I think one of the most obvious things about which characters survived is that almost all of them are very important, established characters with strong backgrounds. And I think it’s rather suspicious that the Russos, in choosing who Thanos should *randomly* kill with the Snap, decided to keep all six original Avengers alive. Sure, half of all the named characters died, but it’s a very uneven half. We do have characters with important backstories that are now dead (Loki, Gamora, Strange, and Peter Parker specifically), but on the whole, I don’t think this setup is as “perfectly balanced” as we were led to believe. Which leads me to my next point:

2. Coming Full Circle

One of the best ways to finish a story is by bringing it back to where it all started. Where did it all start? The Avengers. That’s what Infinity War has been teasing, even from the first trailer: “There was an idea….”. Having all six original Avengers left is very telling, especially given Strange’s sudden willingness to save Tony’s life at the cost of the time stone. Remember, this is the guy who just saw 4 million different futures. Something he saw told him that Tony was too important to die then on Titan. I totally expected Tony and/or Steve to die in this movie, but there is obviously a reason they are both still alive. Their character arcs are finished – all they have left to do is complete their story. That means that the Russos have a conscious plan for their characters and whatever it is they will do in the next movie will complete their stories once and for all.

Conclusion

Well, that’s the end of this exorbitantly long blog post that said a ton and not much at the same time. I hope to write a future post detailing some of the theories regarding Infinity War, Avengers 4, and Captain Marvel, which could be a whole series in itself. I might even write separate posts for each one. I mean, with the “Hulk Was Actually Loki in Disguise” theory, the time travel theory for A4, and the introduction of the Skrulls, it could be a really long discussion. But it’s one I’m excited to have in the future, and I hope you’ll enjoy it with me!

If you missed the first part of my post, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 (NO SPOILERS), go ahead and read that now.

 

 

 

How Halloween Turned Into My First Attempt at Cosplay – Part 1

How Halloween Turned Into My First Attempt at Cosplay – Part 1

I really don’t know what direction this blog is going to take.

I haven’t posted anything regularly yet, but I’m constantly thinking of ideas for it. I think the problem is actually making time to sit down and do something about it but I am going to rededicate myself to this project as many times as I need to in order to get this thing going.

I was going to focus this blog mainly on books. Well, stories. Well, it was already a lot of things when I thought it up. Books, book reviews, movies, TV shows, comic books, fandoms, music. And I’ve been adding to my list of fandoms that I want to talk about, not the least of which is Doctor Who, which has become kind of a big thing for me. And I think Doctor Who has made me an official fan in that, for the first time, not only am I getting the strangest impulses to write fanfiction (why on earth I want to do that I have no idea – I usually stay away from that kind of stuff because it’s mostly smutty), but I have started to dress up as my favorite characters, as well.

It started as a Halloween thing. I’ve never celebrated Halloween officially before (Woo-hoo, popcorn/movie nights with all the porch lights off so we won’t get interrrupted!) but this year, being at college and participating in all this college stuff, I needed a costume. And it just so happens that my wonderful friend Emily made me some Loki horns and a scepter for my birthday party earlier this year.

So, decided to dress up as Loki for Halloween, even though I had never really done costumes before. But more on that later. Because – my Loki horns were really delicate and were disassembled from the trip to my university, I decided they weren’t really travel-hardy.

Enter the Plan B costume for the fall break trip I just came back from….

Amy Pond from Doctor Who!

I picked her because I look most like her, out of all the Doctor Who companions, as you can see in this next picture. Also, because I mostly dress like her anyway (what a coincidence!) and all I had to do was borrow a miniskirt from a hallmate (because I don’t wear miniskirts) and voila! I’m Amy Pond.

I put a lot of thought into this costume….I looked at pictures of Amy on Pinterest and picked out items in my wardrobe that I thought she would wear, then decided which ones represented her entire character best. It’s a mix of different style from different episodes, but the winners were the purple plaid shirt, the miniskirt (even though the red plaid shirt she wears in Series 5 isn’t paired with a miniskirt, it still represents the character best, in my opinion), the brown jacket and red scarf. I meant to also wear my maroon fingerless mitts that my mom made me like Amy wears in The Pandorica Opens, but it totally slipped my mind.

And absolutely, I decided to draw tally marks all over my face and arms because the Silence were an awesome foe for series 6 and because I think that for anyone who has seen the show, the marks would instantly remove any and all doubt as to who I was supposed to be.

Then, as I was deciding what shoes I should wear, because Amy wears several different kinds of shoes, I went, “Hey, I should wear my Converse to represent the Tenth Doctor, because he’s my favorite.” And Amy wears blue Converse in an episode so it’s not totally out of her style, even though mine are the Doctor’s off-white classic look.

So in a kind of weird Doctor-Amy mashup I then had to build myself a sonic screwdriver. I decimated probably around two dozen pens/markers/sharpies and it cost about two hours and some silver Sharpie’d fingers, but I’m really happy with what I came up with considering I’ve never built anything like it before. I had a blue glow-stick inside it that I’d cut down and taped so it glowed, but I couldn’t figure out a good cap to put on it that would still show the blue glow but not stick out too much. So right now the blue pom-pom is holding its place.

I’m thinking about building another screwdriver when I get the chance to buy some actual materials to work with, so I can have it actually lengthen out, glow blue and make the sonic sound when I press a button, but all in all, I’m super proud of my work. I would do Amy Pond again for Wednesday’s campus-wide costume contest, but, like I said: I have Loki horns, and I don’t want them to go to waste.

So. Back to the horns.

They’re made out of cardboard, foam, and tinfoil, and Emily cleverly glued the pieces together, then spray-painted them gold. Which is perfect – she’s really got her game up – except they came off soon after the party, and I transported them to my dorm room in pieces. The scepter came apart as well when it got knocked over.

So tonight I’m working on supergluing them back together. There are pieces scattered all over the floor right now, in various stages of drying, and I have them off to the side a little because I don’t want my roommate tripping over them when she comes back later. The horns are slightly difficult to re-glue because they are heavier than the cardboard headpiece and unbalance the helmet as a whole to create the look. I hope I don’t run out of superglue trying to keep them on, don’t think I will, but I have to use painters tape at the top for right now because that’s all I have to keep the horns attached. Fortunately, I won’t be doing any looking down in that thing (heaven forbid) so nobody will see it, but it feels tacky to me because I have no gold spray paint to cover it over.

Also, this afternoon, I came to the sudden realization that while I have horns and a scepter, and I can make do with a green sweater and black pants for the outfit, I don’t have a cape! Loki needs a green cape! So as soon as I got back from my fall break trip this afternoon, I hopped on my bike and pedaled over to the nearest party store to get a green cape.

It took me forever to find it because it was really well hidden. It felt like the entire store was secretly owned by Edna Mode (“NO CAPES!”) because I couldn’t find a single cape, let alone a green one, anywhere. I finally had to ask an employee where they were and she pointed me to the back corner of the store. Fortunately, it was only about 5 bucks, so I felt like I could justify spending that much with my broke college student budget. I had to pass on the black wig, though, one because I didn’t see a wig I thought would work really well, and two because I couldn’t justify spending that much when I’m trying to save for my next tuition payment. So my own (very) red hair will have to do, slicked back and pulled into a ponytail at the base of my neck.

Since I now have a gorgeous green cape (doesn’t fall all the way down to the floor but you can’t have everything), I decided I should put a little more work into the other details of the costume. I have only cardboard, the Internet, and a printer to work with, but I took a template I found online for the arm guards and just traced the outline onto some cardboard and cut it out. I then got the cardboard wet at the sink and bent it around my forearms so that it has a shape to it. They’re drying on my water bottle and a glow stick package now and I’ll see how I want to decorate them in the morning.

I have a brown paper bag that I can cut up to make the other gold pieces of the costume (I’m thinking specifically the Avengers/Dark World look) but I don’t know exactly how I’m going to do it yet. And I want to take my popsicle stick sword that I used for one of the freshmen events earlier this semester and cut it down, sharpen it a bit and maybe color it silver so I can have a useful knife to hide in my costume and randomly stab someone (ehehehe).

Well, so far so good and I’ll try to keep you updated, but in a really really long nutshell that was how my hunt for a Halloween costume turned into a serious attempt at cosplay and this might very well become a major part of my life and my blog now.

And since we were on the topic of capes and Edna Mode, I thought I’d share this funny with you:

Happy Halloween (and happy cosplaying)!

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 of 2 – Man, This Movie Was Hyped! (NO SPOILERS)

Avengers: Infinity War Part 1 of 2 – Man, This Movie Was Hyped! (NO SPOILERS)

(Author’s Note: Avengers: Infinity War came out on April 26th, and I thought since there’s such a huge hype about it, and I personally have an emotional attachment to this thing, I should write a post on it. This isn’t a review of the movie, just me talking about the kinds of things that ran through my mind most while I was waiting for the movie to finally come out.)

Let’s get started!

I’m a HUGE Marvel fan, so much so that my family members (who are also fans) tease me about it. And last Thursday I got to finally watch Avengers: Infinity War!

My family usually goes together to see Marvel movies, but this time I got a text from a friend saying that there was a group of grads from my homeschool group going to see it together.

Of course I said yes, especially since the 26th was at least a day earlier than I had planned on seeing it, depending on when my family had time to go.

I was so excited.

The entire 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has culminated in this moment, and though I’m not going to spoil anything in this post since it’s been less than two weeks since the movie came out, I just wanted to share some of my biggest feelings and hopes that I had regarding this movie before I saw it.

First of all, I wanted to see it as soon as possible. There was no way I was going to let social media spoil it for me (I saw my first spoiler post today on Pinterest, as a matter of fact, and I was so glad I’d seen the movie), and I didn’t want to have to stay off the Internet altogether if it was going to be a while before I’d seen it.

I also was (like I mentioned already) really, really pumped!

I mean, nothing like this has ever been done in the history of movies before. It’s such a big crossover! I have seen all the movies anywhere between one and two dozen times, except for Spiderman: Homecoming, and can practically quote some of them.

I’ve grown very attached to most of the characters, and was constantly reading and coming up with theories of my own about what the Russo brothers were going to do with the movie. But, judging from how amazing Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War turned out, I wasn’t really worried that the movie would be terrible.

I was worried about the characters, obviously. I have definitely have favorite characters, and I don’t want to see anything happen to them. But I also like to try to see movies from a storyteller’s point of view as well. So imagine seeing the story from both sides, both as a fan (“I really hope they don’t kill off this character! The universe wouldn’t be the same without him/her!”), and as a writer (“Hmm, this character’s story arc is just about complete. The best ending for this character would be to _______ and then probably die.”).

Like I said, I’m not giving away any spoilers in this post, but some of my theories turned out to be correct and others were way off mark. There were some things that were totally unexpected and had never even crossed my mind.

And finally, I was super impressed with the hype. The marketing was done so well! Every time I turned around, at least on my social media, there was a new poster, or a new trailer, or a new TV spot. By keeping the movie and what could possibly happen so public and yet so under wraps (no spoilers, Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo!), it really kept people talking about it and wondering what was going to happen.

Overall, my general impression of the movie itself was that I probably shouldn’t make a decision yet – I need to wait for Avengers 4 before I can make a final judgement on what I really thought of it. But Marvel already has an A+ in market strategy, in my opinion.

As far as rating the movie goes, I’ll just say that I’m very glad I went to see it, and if you’re a Marvel fan, you should go and see it, too. I even got a cool souveneir

Avengers: Infinity War cup! I’m going to take it to college with me and use it for popcorn.

I will post again in a few weeks with a full-breakdown review – spoilers and everything – about my most and least favorite moments in Avengers: Infinity War. Make sure you see it before then!

 

Here’s the trailer for you (if you by some coincidence you haven’t seen it):

On a side note, what kind of a fan are you? Do you try and research everything you can about a movie beforehand – promos, clips, fan theories, because it increases the anticipation for you? Or do you try to stay away from anything related to the movie because you don’t want to have the experience ruined by possible spoilers?

I’m of the first opinion – in my mind, the anticipation before the event is half the fun! I always try to make the most of the wait, so even if I’m disappointed in the movie, I at least enjoyed something.

Comment below and tell me which one you are!

Which Hogwarts House Am I In?

Which Hogwarts House Am I In?

I’ve been going through lists of posts you should make when starting a blog. You know, looking for ideas about what to write.

And one of the ideas that I’ve found most popular is to share your Pottermore sorting.

Obviously, I thought that would make a good starting point.

I’ve recently gotten into Harry Potter. I read all the books within the last few months, and saw all eight movies in less than a week with my family.

And though it’s not my most favorite series in the world, I like it enough to research J. K. Rowling’s writing techniques, such as the meanings behind her characters’ names and the inspiration for certain scenes.

So I decided to visit Pottermore and sign up to see what house I would be sorted into.

It’s not what I expected.

Before I read the series, I had taken a couple of those internet quizzes that sorted you into the different Hogwarts houses, but they were pretty straightforward and obvious enough that I could tell which answers I would have to give to end up in a certain house.

So naturally, I ended up in Gryffindor, which is my favorite house.

But on Pottermore, the questions were a lot more intense and unpredictable

And I ended up in….

 

 

HUFFLEPUFF!

Not a bad house, just not what I expected. I can now claim a commonality with Cedric Diggory, after all.

Pottermore says that your house is permanent (at least on the site), so I’ll go with Hufflepuff for now.

But I can still be secretly disappointed that I wasn’t in Gryffindor…

 

Additionally, I also found out what my Patronus would be.

The graphics in the quiz were pretty cool.

But I’m not sure what this is. Maybe I missed it in the books, maybe it’s because I haven’t read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them yet. Maybe you guys can fill me in.

My Patronus is an…

OCICAT!

Is it like a cross between a cat and an ocelot? It’s pretty cool, in my opinion, even though I don’t know exactly what it is.

Pottermore says the test can be only taken once, which makes sense. But it’s also a bummer, because I can’t help wanting to know what it would have been if I’d made different choices.

 

Let me know in the comments which Hogwarts house you’re in, or even if you’re a HP fan or not.

And don’t be afraid to ask me questions about what I liked or didn’t like in the series (for example, I think my favorite book would be either Order of the Phoenix or Deathly Hallows).

I’ll start a Harry Potter thread on the forums, as well.

I’ll sign off with my favorite quote from the series, or rather, word:

Harry Potter GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY