Avengers: Endgame (PG-13)
One of the many, many things the Marvel Cinematic Universe has severely lacked is a sense of poetry — visually, verbally, thematically, or otherwise. But what strikes me about Avengers: Endgame is that it is a small but significant step toward reversing that trend. The film contains a surprising number of poetic touches and grace […]
Avengers: Infinity War (PG-13)
Avengers: Infinity War is as middle-of-the-road between better and lesser MCU films as I am middle-of-the-road between the two camps of reviewers. The MCU’s greatest weaknesses are on full display here, and while Infinity War doesn’t always play to the MCU’s greatest strengths, it does keep my hope alive that those strengths do exist. Infinity War is not a game-changer. It could have been, should have been, and almost was, but it’s more of the same—only it’s more of the same to the power of more of the same.
Captain America: Civil War (PG-13)
This is the zenith of Marvel’s storytelling method. Over the past eight years – a time period winkingly referred to in the film – the studio has built an intricately interconnected “cinematic universe” through thirteen feature films. This model has drawbacks and benefits, both of which I discuss at length in my essay on The […]
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (PG-13)
Purity is a hard sell, particularly to Hollywood. Its very presence shines a light on lesser qualities, it is a rude virtue, the byword of arrogance, and, to take Hollywood’s view, guilty of the chief sin of being dull. Our cultural revolt against the Puritans as stodgy, strict, morose and over scrupulous is not due […]